Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mom and Me Mondays: Johnny Green and the Little Green Men & Geronimo Stilton: Christmas Tale (Reviews)

Johnny Green and the Little Green Man
by Suzan Tyler Decker, Illustrated by Julia Marie Floyd

Xlibris
ISBN: 978-1-4415-2209-2
48 Pages
Ages: 6 - 8

Description: One day, on his way home from school, Johnny falls asleep in a field only to be awakened by a little green man claiming he is lost. As this unbelievable story unfolds over the next few days, Johnny realizes he has a huge problem on his hands. But in the end Johnny learns a valuable lesson and just what he can do to help save our green earth!

Jake's Review: Mom this is a little young for me and sort of lame.  The little green man is creepy looking. Mom, I think we could do a little more recycling around the house, I think we throw away some stuff that actually could go into the recycling (Nothing worse than being reprimanded by your 8 yr old and knowing he is right). This would be a good book to show Jesse in a couple of years -- the little green guy is sort of like Jesse when he chews on my books -- he must be a recycling monster ; )

Jake's Rating: 5/10

Mom's Review: A little preachy, but it is a good introduction to recycling and the environment for the younger set, I would actually suggest 4-7 for the reading level.  Nice illustrations and a very simple story. Really liked the 2 page illustration of things that can be recycled.  Would be a great book to have in a public library collection and for JK and SK classrooms.

Mom's Rating: 7/10

Geronimo Stilton: A Christmas Tale
by Geronimo Stilton (Elisabetta Dam)
Scholastic Inc
ISBN: 978-0-545-11610-7
55 Pages
Ages: 7-10
http://www.scholastic.ca/geronimostilton/

Description: It's Christmastime on Mouse Island. Geronimo Stilton can't believe it! Everyone in his family, and every one of his friends has other plans for Christmas. It looks like Geronimo will spend the holiday alone. Or will he? Readers will enjoy this humorous tale from the "Geronimo Stilton" series.

Jake's Review: I like how a lot of the words are in different colours and different shapes.  Some of the words actually look like what they mean (for example Frozen looks sort of like an icicle with blue and white letters) The story is really short and I like the happy ending.  He is really lucky to have so many friends and family to hang out with. I liked how there were lots of pictures in it. I also like Pages 45 - 47 it reminds me of the flip o rama's in the Captain Underpants books.  I would like to read more Geronimo Stilton books -- can I go out and play in the sprinkler now instead of reading more books now.  Dad says staying inside and reading all day isn't good for you  (Mom's note -- off to beat up my hubby now)

Jake's Rating:  8.5/10


Mom's Review: When I first looked at this one I swore the author must have ADD, since each page is so busy looking.  I find the set up of the different fonts and colours to be irritating, but I'm old and the books are not meant for me.  These types of books are great for reluctant or readers that are easily distracted.  The different fonts, colours and pictures keep this type of reader interested in the book and stops them from putting the book down. The storyline was nice and simple and had a lovely little moral message about Christmas being too consumer driven. I would be interested in having Jake and I read a couple more of these to find out  more about all the characters who are only briefly introduced in this story.  The Geronimo books sound like they would be lots of fun for Jake, as he is one of those easily distracted -- squirrel (think Dug from Up)-- readers

Mom's Rating: 8.5/10

These two books are from Jake and Jesse's book shelves.  I won the Johnny Green book from InfoMommy.com

Friday, May 28, 2010

Winner of It Could be Worse, you could be me

Hi Everyone

The winner of the draw for

It Could be Worse, You Could be me

is

elizabeth said... Sounds like a fun book! I am definitely going to check it out.

I will send you an email Elizabeth pirate_pony2





Congrats!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CSN Stores Review and Giveaway (US & Canada ONLY) Sorry my UK buddies



Ashley at CSN stores has generously afforded my blog readers to win one of the following items from their fantastic web site. Before I posted this I wanted to take a serious look at the site and make sure it was a legitimate and worthwhile before I agreed to blog about it.

Wow, so many stores, so many wonderful items you will not know where to start.  Since I am in desperate need of a new sofa (due to 2 energetic children with a love of bouncing) I thought I would start out at the SOFA department.  There were so many beautiful items, I decided that I really, really need to actually start saving for one instead of just talking about it.

Now enough about me, lets talk about you guys.  You get to decide which item you would like to win from the following. Whatever you choose, I get one too. So its a win win situation.

Here are the items you can choose from

http://www.csnstores.com/MMMDS100SKPB-MMMDS100SKPB-MMMDS100SKPB-YZS1114.html
http://www.csnstores.com/Travelon-7283x-JF1136.html?cv=2
http://www.csnstores.com/Prepara-PP01-CC100-RPA1000.html
http://www.csnstores.com/Carters-CA7915-CTT1016.html
http://www.toysandgamesonline.com/Wham-O-62041-WAM1024.html

In order to win you must do the following:
  • Be a Follower
  • In the comments section pick your item and type in your email so I can contact you if you win
Bonus Points for those who make a comment about what they think of the CSN websites
    That's it, nice and easy -- like I wish Ryan Reynolds would be with me ; )

    Contest ends: June 3, 2010

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep: Book Review

    Web of Lies  (Elemental Assassin Book 2)
    by Jennifer Estep
    Simon and Schuster
    ISBN: 9781439147993

    Description: Curiosity is definitely going to get me dead one of these days. Probably real soon. I''m Gin Blanco.  You might know me as the Spider, the most feared assassin in the South. I'm retired now, but trouble still has a way of finding me. Like the other day when two punks tried to rob my popular barbecue joint, the Pork Pit. Then there was the barrage of gunfire on the restaurant. Only, for once, those kill shots weren't aimed at me. They were meant for Violet Fox. Ever since I agreed to help Violet and her grandfather protect their property from an evil coal mining tycoon, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm really retired. So is Detective Donovan Caine. The only honest cop in Ashland is having a real hard time reconciling his attraction to me with his Boy Scout mentality. And I can barely keep my hands off his sexy body. What can I say? I'm a Stone elemental with a little Ice magic thrown in, but my heart isn't made of solid rock. Luckily, Gin Blanco always gets her man . . . dead or alive.

    The Good Stuff
    • Gin is kick ass! One of my favorite heroines ever - up there with Julie Kenner and Jeaniene Frost heroines
    • Yummy mentions of food that will make  you drool
    • Hot male characters (although the detective is a bit of a pussy at times)
    • Excellent second book in series, back-story being developed quite effectively
    • Love the idea of Elementals 
    • Fiery and hot -- and I don't just mean the food
    • Witty dialogue and fast paced, good luck putting it down -- I had to but I'm a Mom (my little hellions come first)
    • Secondary characters are interesting and some of them just plain fun
    The Not so Good Stuff
    • The term Po-po irritates the crap out of me, don't know why, it just does
    • The descriptions of food are so yummy you will gain 10 pounds just reading about them
    • You won't want to put it down and may forget about your responsibilities -- just warning you -- Sorry Jake and Jesse about those PB sandwiches for dinner last night
    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "Donovan Caine had made himself a promise, and he wasnt going to break it. Oh, I imagined I could get him to forget about his morals, his rules, his vows. All Id have to do would be to crawl over and start giving him the lap dance of his life."

    See something you like, detective?" I said in a soft voice. Because I sure do. 

    "Wow. Three cliches in a row. Somebody was seriously lacking in the imagination department"



    What I Learned
    • Pesky morals get in the way all the time
    • Police departments are always filled with crooked cops
    • I really want to have bbq for dinner tonight
    • That I really wish that someone had Jo-Jo's talents, I really could use some of her help

    Who Should/Shouldn't Read
    • Not for the very young or prudish as there are naughty bits
    • Not for those that are squeamish or who don't have a sense of humor (and if you don't have a sense of humor you are soooo at the wrong blog)
    • Great for fans of Julie Kenner, Jeaniene Frost, or Ilona Andrews 
    • Everyone because Jennifer is just such a nice person, go buy her books NOW -- yup all of them!

    5 Deweys (Go now and buy the book -- trust me I'm a Librarian)

    Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins: Book Review

    Before I do the review I just want to thank Janet Murie from Scholastic for passing these on to me and getting me addicted -- Guess what I am getting my nieces for Christmas now -- Shhh don't tell em

    Catching Fire (Book #2 of Hunger Games Trilogy)
    by Suzanne Collins
    Scholastic Press
    ISBN: 978-0-439-02349-8
    Ages: 12 and up (For violence and slight implication of sex)
    http://www.scholastic.ca/thehungergames/

    Description: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

    The Good Stuff
    • Words cannot describe how much I ADORE this series!!!
    • A fantastic second book for a series, usually the second book in a trilogy is quite weak but not in this case
    • Fascinating new characters to add to the already beloved characters from the first book
    • Katniss as always is kick ass. Her character is also being developed so beautifully
    • Fascinating setting and unusual storyline
    • Wonderful development of characters and storyline.
    • Main characters feel like family. So beautifully written you almost feel sad that they are not real
    • Intense and addictive
    • The scene near the end where Finnick and Katniss have a light moment
    The Not so Good Stuff
    • I have to wait HOW long until the next book, crap anyone have an arc they want to lend me
    • My house looks like a tornado hit it since I couldn't put the book down to do my chores
    What I learned
    • Government people are almost always BAD -- no never mind we already knew that (with the exception of Justin Trudeau of course)
    Favorite Quotes/Passages



    "I have people on my side? What side? Am I unwittingly the face of the hoped-for rebellion? Has the mockingjay on my pin become a symbol for resistance? If so, my side's not doing too well. You only have to look at what happened in 8 to know that"

    "My prep team. My foolish, shallow, affectionate pets, with their obsession with feathers and parties, nearly break my heart with their good-bye"

    "Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?"  I say
    "It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all  these years? he asks."
    "Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it," I say
    "Not if I keep looking at you," he says

    "But the only thing that distracts me from my current situation is fantasizing about killing President Snow.  Not very pretty daydreams for a 17 yr old girl, but very satisfying."


    Who Should/Shouldn't Read
    • Not for sensitive younger readers
    • Other than that I think it is a great read for anyone
     5 Deweys (Go now and buy the book -- trust me I'm a Librarian)

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon: Book Review

    Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father and Son

    By Michael Chabon
    Harper Perennial
    ISBN: 978-0-06-149019-4

    Description: A shy manifesto, an impractical handbook, the true story of a fabulist, an entire life in parts and pieces, Manhood for Amateurs is the first sustained work of personal writing from Michael Chabon. In these insightful, provocative, slyly interlinked essays, one of our most brilliant and humane writers presents his autobiography and his vision of life in the way so many of us experience our own lives: as a series of reflections, regrets, and reexaminations, each sparked by an encounter, in the present, that holds some legacy of the past. 

    What does it mean to be a man today? Chabon invokes and interprets and struggles to reinvent for us, with characteristic warmth and lyric wit, the personal and family history that haunts him even assimply becauseit goes on being written every day. As a devoted son, as a passionate husband, and above all as the father of four young Americans, Chabon presents his memories of childhood, of his parents' marriage and divorce, of moments of painful adolescent comedy and giddy encounters with the popular art and literature of his own youth, as a theme playedon different instruments, with a fresh tempo and in a new keyby the mad quartet of which he now finds himself co-conductor.

    The Good Stuff
    • The essay entitled "The Amateur Family" about being a family of geeks -- please adopt me I belong with you guys
    • Essays are wonderfully written, interesting and extremely witty at times
    • The author is obviously a geek -- and you know what they say "The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth" -- in your face oh husband of mine who is soooo not a geek
    • Book starts with a great essay
    • The Essay entitled "The Memory Hole" about children's artwork -- trust me if you are a parent you will definitely understand it!
    • The Essay "The Wilderness of Childhood" I very much agree with the author -- now we have to figure out what to do about it
    The Not so Good Stuff

    • Some of the essays are a little dry and over my head -- nothing against the author, I am just not that intelligent
    • Chapter on Baseball -- but that's because I am a chick and I don't get the passion for the sport

    What I Learned
    • All men seem to really like Baseball
    • That I really need to watch Dr Who, the 1970's Dr creeped me out so much I never tried any of the other versions
    • A better understanding of men -- well except I still don't get the baseball thing or the stooges for that matter

    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "I define being a good father in precisely the same terms that we ought to define being a good mother-doing my part to handle and stay on top of the endless parade of piddly shit"  (Jen's note -- I AGREE)

    "I like a good sitcom as much as anybody , but did any kids ever try to get up a game of Murphy Brown"

    "the trick of being a man is to give the appearance of keeping your head, when deep inside, the truest part of you is crying out, Oh s**t"

    "I don't know what you need to truly understand brassieres, and what's more, I don't want to know.  I'm sorry. Go ask your mother."

    "I am a liberal agnostic empiricist, proud to be a semi-observant, bacon-eating Jew, and I have only contempt for the intolerance, ignorance, anti-intellectualism, self-deception, implicit violence, and misogyny that underlie religious fundamentalism of every flavor."



    Who Should Read
    • Men and Women over the age of 13 (women just skip over baseball chapter)

    4 Dewey's (Definite worth price of cover)

     
    I received the book in return for an honest review -- don't shoot me if you don't like it, it's just my opinion.

    Hump Day Hottie: Canada's own Ryan Reynolds

    This week once again taking the Canadian hottie angle -- but seriously who doesn't think this boy is hot -- and frickin hilarious as well (which makes him even hotter)  BTW, if you ever worked in the restaurant industry you MUST see his movie "Waiting"


    IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005351/
    Waiting: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348333/

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    I Love My Kobo ereader

    Thanks to my hubby, Natasha and Richard, I got a Kobo ereader for my birthday.  Can I tell you how much I love this thing. I LOVE THIS THING.  It actually saved my sanity yesterday when I was stuck in a stuffy lecture theatre for a session on Workplace health and safety that we were FORCED to take. Now nothing against the speaker, but it was a dry subject on changes to legislation and the definitions of the terms in the legislation.  The only time I really paid attention was when they mentioned all the incidents of violence to Librarians and in Libraries.  Think I am going to be having to take martial art training now.  Until yesterday I had no worries about anything more serious than a paper cut happening to me while I am at work.  Now I have to worry about disgruntled student throwing staplers (some of you know my issues with students and staplers) at me or taking the damn place hostage. 

    OK, totally off topic as usual -- now back to my new toy the Kobo.

    The Good Stuff
    • Its really inexpensive for an ereader
    • It comes pre-loaded with 100 free books, so right away you have something to read
    • You can read it at boring lectures with no one knowing it
    • You can adjust the font size to your preference
    • I don't get sick reading it on the bus
    • It's really light
    • Simple to use
    • Mostly Canadian ; )
    • When you turn it off it shows the cover of the last book you were reading
    The Not so Good Stuff
    • You cannot delete any of the pre-loaded books and that annoys me because seriously I am NEVER going to read Beowulf I am just not that intelligent
    • You cannot highlight a page - this is irritating since I review books and book a sticky on pages that I want to quote in my review
    • Only 1 holder/case for it so far from Roots and its boring and expensive
    • No back-light so you cannot read it in low lighting (This doesn't bother me at all, because I'm not usually in that situation)

    Who Should Get One
    • Anyone who likes to read
    • Anyone who gets bored commuting
    For more info and where to buy:  Canadian and American

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Win an Ereader from the Bibliophilic Book Blog

    One of my favorite blog's is having an incredible contest, here are the details from her blog:

    "Guess what? I got another anonymous donation for an ereader for one of my deployed soldier friends and one for you too! Oh, and guess what I met my goal I raised enough funds and donations as well as donated my personal money to buy 10, that is 10 Sony ereaders for my deployed friends who are crazy readers. They love me and they love all of you for helping and sending them books. So from myself and from them, THANK YOU! So...in thanks...YAY! I have it right here in front of me...you can choose between..."


    Sony Pocket (color of your choice) Ebook

    RCA Reader Ebook

    Aluratek Libre Ebook Pro

    Kobo Ereader


    Here are the guidlines:
    - International Welcome
    - Just click the button above to enter in the form
    - If you don't want an ereader, you can win a 100$ Amazon GC.
    - Must be a follower
    - To Enter Just Click the Giveaway Time Button

    http://www.bibliophilicbookblog.com/2010/05/here-we-go-again.html

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Rcipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond: Book Review

    My buddy and co-worker Natasha introduced me to an incredible blog a couple months back called The Pioneer Woman.  On the blog the blogger has step by step instructions on cooking and the pictures are mouthwatering! Well from the site I found out she had a cookbook, so I convinced our collections development Librarian to purchase a copy for our students.  Well, it finally came in 2 weeks ago and I was the first to check it out (I know, I abused my power) and let me tell you I am going to buy a copy for all my friends and family.  Here is a quick review of it since I have to return it so Natasha can check it out next and I know once I show it to Adam (poor bastard has to work in a library full of woman), he will want to check it out too.

    The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
    by Ree Drummond
    ISBN: 978-0-06-165819-8
    William Morrow (Imprint of Harper Collins)
    http://thepioneerwoman.com/

    The Good Stuff
    • Stunning Photography
    • Mouthwatering recipes (Jeff has already made the Pico de Gallo)
    • Easy instructions with step by step pictures
    • Easy to find ingredients
    • First time I ever read a cook book cover to cover
    • She gives away great stuff on her website!
    • Lovely self deprecating stories about her life on the ranch
    • Picture of Charlie her basset hound (You also have to read her stories about him on her blog)
    The Not so Good Stuff
    • You will gain weight -- even by just looking at the photo's
    • I'm going to be spending a lot of money at Chapters soon buying everyone a copy
    What I Learned
    • Homeschooling is not as bad as I thought
    • A lot about Ree and her family
    • How to make Buttermilk
    • The importance of all of the ingredients in Pico De Gallo -- not just the tomato's
    • That I really want to move to Oklahoma and live on a ranch
    Favorite Recipes
    • Pico de Gallo
    • Prune Cake with Buttermilk Icing
    • Maple Pecan Scones
    • Spicy Pulled Pork (making it this weekend)
    • Sangria
    Who Should Buy
    • Everybody (except for the friends and family I am going to buy it for)
    5 Dewey's (Go now and buy the book -- trust me I'm a Librarian)

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    It Could be Worse, You Could Be Me by Ariel Leve: Review and CONTEST

    It could be worse, you could be me

    by Ariel Leve
    HarperPerennial
    ISBN: 978-0-06-186459-9


    Description: Meet Ariel. Her glass is half empty . . . and leaking.

    If someone tells her everything will be okay, she asks: How do you know? If there's a wrong thing to say, she'll say it. If there's a downside to see, she'll see it. She lives in a permanent fear of what's to come. But at least she's prepared.

    In these witty and entertaining tales from the front lines of woe, Ariel highlights the humor in our everyday anxieties and delivers insight that will ring hilariously true if you are inclined to view the world through gray-tinted glasses.

    So whether you've been dumped by the love of your life, lost your job to the guy in the cubicle next to you, said the wrong thing at the party, or weren't invited to the party at all, Ariel is here to remind you that it could be worse, you could be her.

    Good Stuff
    • Wickedly funny, must remember to not read this stuff while at the Reference desk, my snorting out loud continuously was upsetting the college students (Freaks them out that library staff have a sense of humor)
    • After reading it I realized that things could be worse in my life and that I could be as neurotic and depressed as the author. Very life affirming I tell ya.
    • Author says a lot of the things that we all think or feel but would never say out loud because other people would judge or look down at us.
    • The discussion about dogs and therapy -- I dare you not to laugh your ass off
    • Author's justification about wanting to be put into a medically induced coma -- no seriously
    • Author likes coffee as much as I do -- I'm thinking even more so
    • Author reminded me of one of my favorite fictional characters "Scaredy Squirrel" -- and that is not a bad thing
    • The list of "Things a Pessimist should try before they die"
    Not so Good Stuff
    • Not sure I really believe someone could be this neurotic (and have so many friends)
    • See above about snorting out loud at reference desk
    • a lot of post it notes were used in marking off all the quotes/passages that I like -- now I have to go buy more
    What I learned

    • I don't have it so bad
    • I really am a half full type of person
    • Don't think I ever want to live in New York
    • That my anxiety prone son may have a career as a journalist 
    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    "I'm far too impatient to sit still in a salon, but in a coma there's nothing but time."

    "But she (authors mom) told him that the reason I didn't pay attention in class was because he was a moron"

    "And that doesn't count, because it's like having a foot-hooker. They're not really into you, you don't know who they were with an hour ago and you have to pay them."

    "And yet, if I ask for a plastic bag at Waitrose, I'm made to feel I'm personally responsible for killing the polar bears."

    "But then it occurred to me I'm doing more than most. I'm not having children. That's about as environmentally friendly as it gets.  Putting fewer people on earth does far more to prevent global warming than buying organic blueberries"

    "And a doggy gym for the ones who don't like walkies. I wonder if dogs size each other up in the gym.  Would a mutt be considered less attractive than a poodle?"



    Who Should Read
    • Pretty much everyone -- other than really overly happy and annoying people
    • Not for those who like lighter happy fluff
    • Also not for those who are seriously depressed already
    4 Dewey's (Definite worth price of cover)


    Harper Perennial has generously donated 1 copy of It could be Worse, You could be me by Ariel Leve to win.

    Please fill out the form and Make a comment below.  Winner to be announced on May 28th

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    BlogFest 2010 - September 10 - 12, 2010

    Thanks to Natasha I am also going to take part in Blogfest 2010.  Basically its a blog tour in September and there are no minimums required for your giveaways -- which is nice since I don't have much spare cash : )  I will probably give away a 2 book prize from the Book Depository (Aprox $25)




    If you want more information please check out HERE

    These are just some of the participants

    Press Release from Nikole at Scholastic

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHORS GORDON KORMAN AND PETER LERANGIS APPEARING AT:


    INDIGO YORKDALE ON MAY 30TH, 2010

    1:00-3:00pm


    COME JOIN THESE MASTERS OF MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION AS WE CELEBRATE THEIR LATEST BOOKS IN THE WORLDWIDE BESTSELLING THE 39 CLUES SERIES!

    May 12, 2010 (Toronto)Acclaimed authors Gordon Korman and Peter Lerangis are coming to Toronto! Appearing together for an exclusive event at Indigos Yorkdale location, these two bestselling authors will be signing books and talking to fans about their latest titles in The 39 Clues series.

    Born in Montreal, Quebec and raised in Thornhill, Ontario, Gordon Korman published his first book (This Cant Be Happening at Macdonald Hall!) with Scholastic Canada when he was only 14-years-old! With a 30-year writing career behind him, he has gone on to publish almost 70 middle-grade and YA novels to dateeach one displaying his trademark witand shows no signs of slowing down. What is the secret to Gordons success? It's a combination between real life and pure imagination, he states. I always start off with something real, but then I unleash my imagination to make it more exciting, funnier, or a better story. To be honest, by the time a book is done, you can't recognize much of the real-life part. It's been changed too much. But I never could have gotten there without it.

    Gordon graduated from NYUs film program and now makes his home in Great Neck, New York.

    Peter Lerangis has written more than 150 books for young readers in many different genres including mystery (the Spy X series), historical fiction (Smilers Bones) and science fiction (the Watchers series). Former First Lady Laura Bush selected Peter Lerangis, along with two other writers, Marc Brown and R.L. Stine, to accompany her to Moscow in 2003, representing the United States in the first Russian Book Festival. Peter graduated from Harvard University with a degree in biochemistry. Hes also a Broadway musical theater actor/singer, a marathon runner, and a father of two sons. He currently lives in New York City.

    Peters latest release in The 39 Clues series, The 39 Clues Book Seven: The Vipers Nest along with Gordons The 39 Clues Book Eight: The Emperors Code each appeared on the New York Times bestseller list upon release. Their additions to this popular series promise to share explosive secrets about the characters and take the story to places the reader couldnt possible imagine!

    The 39 Clues series launched on September 9, 2008, with Book One: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The 39 Clues is a groundbreaking multi-media adventure series for children ages 8-12 that spans 10 adrenaline-charged books, hundreds of collectible game cards, and a website that allows readers to play a role in the story and compete for prizes. The series centres around the Cahillsthe most powerful family the world has ever known. But the source of the familys power has been lost. Grace Cahill, the last matriarch of the Cahills, changed her will minutes before she died, leaving her descendants an impossible decision: receive a million dollars or a clue. The first Cahill to assemble all 39 clues hidden around the world will discover what makes the family so powerfula reward beyond measure.

    For more information or to book an interview with Gordon Korman and/or Peter Lerangis, please contact:

    Denise Anderson
    Manager, Marketing and Publicity
    [email protected]
    (416) 915-3518

    Nikole Kritikos
    Publicity & Promotion Associate
    [email protected]
    (416) 915-3500 ext. 3051

    Prolific Blogger Award

    Audrey from Holes in my Brain sent me a lovely award


    "A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive, keeping up an active blog with enjoyable content. After accepting this award, recipients are asked to pass it forward to seven other deserving blogs."

    Once you receive the award, you pass it on to seven other deserving blogs.

    I am passing it on to the following bloggers:


    Amanda Leigh : Not-really-southernvampchick
    Natasha: My Disorganized Ramblings
    Doug Knipe: Sci-fi Guy
    Tori: Book Faery
    Christa: Words Roll On
    Donna: Donna's Blog Home
    Candace: Candaces Reading Blog

    Hump Day Hottie - Daniel Craig

    For those that know me - you know I claim that Daniel Craig is actually the father of my child since the reason I got pregnant was a bottle of red wine and a showing of Casino Royale.  : )  Hands off he's MINE!

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0185819/

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Harper Perennial presents LETTERS WITH CHARACTER An Interactive Literary Environment

    This is such a fun idea, kudos to Harper Perrenial for coming up with something creative and original to market one of their titles.  I'm totally going to take part, now I have to decide what character I would write to.  Maybe Edward Cullen and talk to him about his serious "stalking issues" OR Bella and tell her to stop being such a wuss and grow a pair or Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Bones and Cat books and tell him all the naughty things that I would like to do with him -- the possibilities are endless -- who would you write to?  Come on everyone lets get creative  check out the blog at: LettersWithCharacter.blogspot.com

    Here is the press release for more information

    Harper Perennial presents

    LETTERS WITH CHARACTER

    An Interactive Literary Environment

     On the occasion of the publication of Ben Greenmans What Hes Poised to Do (Harper Perennial, On Sale: June 15, 2010) we invite you to celebrate the art of correspondence and WRITE A LETTER TO A FAMOUS FICTIONAL CHARACTER

    Before there was any fiction at all, there were letters. For centuries, letters were the only way for people in different locations to communicate with each other. But letters have also become a rich and complex element of the best literary fiction. The acclaimed author Ben Greenman explores how letters function in life, as well as how they function in fiction in  his new collection of inter-linked stories What He's Poised to Do.

    "Ben Greenman's masterwork of stories inspired by letters offers
    fresh insight into the mysteries of intimacy."
    --Simon Van Booy.

    On the occasion of the book's publication, and in celebration of the art of the letter as a form of fiction, Harper Perennial invites you to participate in its Letters With Character campaign, and to write a letter to a fictional character. The letters can be funny, sad, demanding, fanciful, declarative, or trivial. They can be about a novel, a short story, or a children's book, works both literary or popular. There is only one requirement: They must be written by a real person and must also address an unreal one.

     The best, most interesting, strangest, and most moving letters will be collected on LettersWithCharacter.blogspot.com. Visit the site to see a selection of those that have already been written: a romantic appeal to Captain Ahab, a moving consideration of middle age addressed to a Garcia Marquez heroine, a hilarious challenge to Agatha Christie's famed detective Hercule Poirot.

     Submit your letters to: [email protected]

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Would You by Marthe Jocelyn: Book Review

    Would You
    by Marthe Jocelyn
    Tundra Books
    ISBN: 978-1-77049-223-3
    Ages: 12 + (Slight mention of sex)

    Description: WOULD YOU RATHER know whats going to happen or not know?
    A summer night. A Saturday. For Natalies amazing older sister, Claire, this summer is fantastic, because shes zooming off to college in the fall. For Natalie, its a fun summer with her friends; nothing special. When Claire is hit by a car, the world changes in a heartbeat. Over the next four days, moment by moment, Natalie, her parents, and their friends wait to learn if Claire will ever recover.

    Good Stuff

        Brought back memories of the emotional YA books I read as a teen
        Some of the dialogue was snort out your nose funny
        Tear jerker
        Very realistic thoughts and emotions from the main character Natalie -- even the unpleasant and selfish thoughts that we all have, but very rarely admit to
        Relationship between the sisters is lovely, now I must go email my sister and tell her how cool I think she is and wish that we were closer as youngsters
    • I Look forward to reading some of the authors other works, her writing style is very interesting

    Not so Good Stuff

        Should come with a warning not to read the sad stuff while on a bus.  The sniffing made people stare at me like I was some kind of freak (heartless creatures)
        The break of each chapter was a little distracting for me, but I imagine it won't bother the teens
        Way too short, not enough development of character.  Think if the story was longer if would be more enjoyable. Than again I am writing from the point of a 40 year old women not a teen

    What I Learned

        Always tell those you love that you care, because you never know what will happen

    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    What is the deal with old women and facial hair? I know it's some function of aging and not producing estrogen and blah blah blah, but these old dames at the hospital, they've got nasty spiky hairs growing out of their chiny-chin-chins

    But there never is only one broken person

    And where are you going to find twenty or thirty girls whose last wishes include having sex with Carson Jefferson -- where are you going to find one

    Who Should Read

        Teens will love this!

    3 Deweys  Not bad try borrowing from friend or library

    Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston: Book Review

    Wondrous Strange
    by Lesley Livingston
    HarperTrophy Canada
    ISBN: 978-1-55468-274-4
    Ages: 12 and up (Or mature 10 and up)

    Description: 17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesnt believe in Faeries. Not unless theyre the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespearethe kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Nights Dream, wishing is probably the closest shes going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, thats what she thinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelley's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeares plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.

    Good Stuff

        Delightfully imaginative
        Stories about the Fae often irritate and confuse me, but not in this case.
        Tons of magic, suspense and romance
        Interesting characters
        Intelligent and witty dialogue that is very realistic (well as much as you can in a story about faeries)
        Beautiful cover
        Fast paced storyline
        Great secondary characters (Hopefully they will be developed more in the rest of the series)
        wonderful descriptions of the theatre world
        Heroine is wonderfully human. She makes mistakes, learns from them and she is just plain interesting
        Loved the horse in the bath scenes
        Some of the early scenes between Kelly and Sonny are wickedly funny
        Sorry Twilight lovers (I like the books too -- not those horrendous movies) but this is much more age appropriate for the YA category.  Also Kelley is far more interesting and less wussy than Bella -- sorry it had to be said, cannot tell you how many times I wanted to smack Bella upside the head
        Author is Canadian : ) and she doesn't write depressing stuff set in the bush

    Not so Good Stuff

        Some of the Fae lore information irritated me a little (just a personal observation, nothing against the author)
        Had a sudden urge to read Shakespeare
        The main characters name is Sonny

    What I Learned

        The Fae really are not nice creatures for the most part
        That it would be kind of cool to have a horse that lived in your bathtub -- but only if you had more than 1 bathroom of course

    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    Over my dead, shapely body, the Faerie sneered.

    Well. I think it is safe to say that, in my absence, the power grabbing and backstabbing and political intrigue has officially reached an all-time Otherworld high.

    I HATE the courts! She spat. Why can't they just leave off with all the stupid homicidal meddling.

    Ask that Sir Lancelot creep, Tyffanywy snapped. Wait -- no, don't. It was complicated.

    Who Should Read

        Fans of stories about the Fae
        Those who are usually irritated about stories about the Fae
        Young adults -- even as young as 10 will enjoy it
        Lovers of the theatre world


    5 Deweys (Buy it, trust me I'm a Librarian)


    I received this book from  the Harper booth at the OLA conference.  This copy is signed by the author who was very lovely and fun to chat with

    Mom and Me Mondays: Scholastic Edition

    Well, we had another busy weekend so this is going to be really brief,  since I am totally behind in everything!

    Mmm, Cookies 
    by Robert Munsch
    Illustrated by Michael Martchenko
    Scholastic Edition
    ISBN: 978-0-590-51694-9
    30 Pages
    Ages: 4-8 (and their mommy and daddy's)

    Description: When Christopher goes into the basement and sees a pile of play clay in the corner, he decides to cook up some mischief. Wap, wap, wap - he shapes the clay into cookies, and then decorates them with sugar, icing and raisons, all of play clay. His parents are pleased to receive the cookies, until they bite into them! Then Christopher heads off to school where his teacher whips up a tasty surprise just for him.

    Jake's Review: Mom, I really like the pictures in this one. Each time I read it I find new things in the picture that I didn't notice before.  Can we buy some of the artists paintings, they are much better than those animal pictures you have all over the house.  It kinda bugs me when he Mr Munsch uses all those sound effect words like scritch-scritch and Glick-Glick in his books.  Although, I think I would like to hear  him read it out loud.   I like the practical joke he plays on everyone, it really makes me laugh.  The book is way too short though and I really feel hungry for a cookies now.  I also like the recipe for play clay at the beginning of the book, can we make some now -- and umm than bring some "cookies" down to daddy and Jesse.
    Rating: 7/10

    Mom's Review: It's a Robert Munsch book, of course I am going to like it.  The guy is a great big kid and knows how to tell a story that kids will like and pay attention to (and young at heart 40 year old mom's).  After seeing Munsch read to kids, I now imagine his voice and expressions every time I read one of his books.  This isn't one of my top 10 of his, but it is still a fun story that any kid would love to hear.  The illustrations are beyond wonderful and I agree with Jake that everytime you look at Martchenko's work you find something new. The author and illustrator really have a nice connection with each other.  Now, I must keep Jake away from the ingredients for play clay  -- because my boy would sooooo do what the kid in the story did!
    Rating: 8/10

    This book is from Jake and Jesse's bookshelf and nobody paid me nothing for us to tell you about it -- and let me tell you I could use the cash hint hint!

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Another Prize: Signed Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

    Wow!  Just received another signed book for my charity raffle

    More info to come

    WINNERS

    Winners of 25 Follower Contest

    I just wanted to start off by thanking everybody that took part in my 1st ever contest. I was really hoping that I would make it to 25 followers by my birthday and was blown away when my final count last night was 78!

    I wanted to get more followers so that book publishers would take notice of my blog and start sending me books to review.  Well it has worked folks, a couple of publishers have taken notice and have put me on their ARC lists.  Also some of the publishers will also have me hosting some contests for them -- which is great for both you and me!

    Drum roll please ......

    The Winners are as Follows

    Grand Prize: Christa

    1st Prize: Alyce

    2nd Prize: Cindy

    3rd Prize: Audrey

    4th Prize: Jenna

    5th Prize: Marthae

    6th Prize: layla418

    7th Prize: donnas

    I will email  (That way no mistake on names) you all and you have 48hrs to get back to me or I will pick a new name. For your choice of books

    Please keep following and promoting my blog so that we can all get some free books. Also keep tuned in the next week or so for the posting of my Raffle for the Spina Bifida Association. I am just waiting to hear back from a couple of authors and than I will post about it.  Take a look at some of the items I have recieved so far  and for the original post about the raffle

    http://raymentsreadingsrantsandramblings.blogspot.com/2010/04/another-prize-for-charity-raffle.html
    http://raymentsreadingsrantsandramblings.blogspot.com/2010/04/more-prizes-have-arrived.html
    http://raymentsreadingsrantsandramblings.blogspot.com/2010/04/1st-of-my-raffle-prizes.html

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen: Book Review

    The Creation of Eve
    by Lynn Cullen
    G.P. Putnam's Sons (Penguin)
    ISBN: 978-0-399-15510-6

    Description: It's 1559. A young woman painter is given the honor of traveling to Michelangelo's Roman workshop to learn from the Maestro himself. Only men are allowed to draw the naked figure, so she can merely observe from afar the lush works of art that Michelangelo sculpts and paints from life. Sheltered and yet gifted with extraordinary talent, she yearns to capture all that life and beauty in her own art. But after a scandal involving one of Michelangelo's students, she flees Rome and fears she has doomed herself and her family.
    The Creation of Eve is a riveting novel based on the true but little-known story of Sofonisba Anguissola, the first renowned female artist of the Renaissance. After Sofi's flight from Rome, her family eagerly accepts an invitation from fearsome King Felipe II of Spain for her to become lady-in-waiting and painting instructor to his young bride. The Spanish court is a nest of intrigue and gossip, where a whiff of impropriety can bring ruin. Hopelessly bound by the rules and restrictions of her position, Sofi yearns only to paint. And yet the young Queen needs Sofi's help in other matters-inexperienced as she is, the Queen not only fails to catch the King's eye, but she fails to give him an heir, both of which are crimes that could result in her banishment. Sofi guides her in how best to win the heart of the King, but the Queen is too young, and too romantic, to be satisfied. Soon, Sofi becomes embroiled in a love triangle involving the Queen, the King, and the King's illegitimate half brother, Don Juan. And if the crime of displeasing the King is banishment, the crime of cuckolding him must surely be death.

    Combining art, drama, and history from the Golden Age of Spain, The Creation of Eve is an expansive, original, and addictively entertaining novel that asks the question: Can you ever truly know another person's heart?

    Good Stuff

    • Historically accurate and very rich in detail
    • Intriguing characters
    • Very well researched and the author obviously has a passion for these historical characters and their time period
    • Interesting notes at the beginning of each chapter
    • wonderful understanding and description of a woman's place in this era of history
    • Lots of court intrigue
    • The Author's note at the end of the book

    Not So Good Stuff
    • Storyline dragged and was a little dry at times
    • Not very passionate and fiery as you are lead to believe by the books description
    • Story focuses far too much on the royals and not enough time actually on Sofonisba
    • Some of the theatrics of the queen and the kings brother are repetitive and irritating
    What I Learned
    • Lots of fascinating little historical facts about the late 1500's in Spain and France
    • It really sucked to be a women during this period of time!
    • Some interesting facts about Michelangelo
    • about syphilis

    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    Item: In Madrid, a woman whose only crime was to look especially beautiful dressed in her gown for Mass, was gouged in the cheeks by her husband, his weapon being his fingernails. Her husband was found not guilty of any wrongdoing. She bears the scars on her face to this day.

    Not long after our return to the palace, the King, finding me painting on the Queens portrait, stopped to study my work. Alone and filled with remorse and shame that his presence now evokes in me, I painted in silence, the hushed dab of my bush against canvas mingling with the roar of the river outside. I  heard his pained swallow behind me. You have captured her.

    Who Should Read
    • Art/History Lovers
    • Lovers of richly detailed historical fiction

    3 Deweys


    Won from Early Reviewers Group on Library Thing in exchange for an honest review

    Mom and Me Mondays: Scholastic Edition

    Sorry my partner in crime did not finish this one due to schooling and extra curricular activities.  I did read some of it to him and he thought it might be a little too old for him, but he will try it out later.  I think he will like it probably when he is 10 or so, he is a great reader but very sensitive, some of the serious historical stuff would freak him out and he would have nightmares (and than I would get even less sleep than I do now -- with Jesse "sleep is for sissies" Rayment)


    Countdown  
    by Deborah Wiles
    Scholastic Press
    ISBN: 978-0-545-10605-4
    Ages: 9-12

    Description: It's 1962, and it seems everyone is living in fear. Twelve-year-old Franny Chapman lives with her family in Washington, DC, during the days surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. Amidst the pervasive threat of nuclear war, Franny must face the tension between herself and her younger brother, figure out where she fits in with her family, and look beyond outward appearances. For Franny, as for all Americans, it's going to be a formative year.

    Good Stuff:
    • Wonderfully realistic portrayal of a pre-teens anguish and fear during the cuban missile crisis. Her (Fanny) fear of the unknown and the changes going on with her family and friends is so beautifully written and realistic. The main character has to deal with all those horrible emotional growing pains while at the same time dealing with the fear that the "enemy" could just blow them up at any time
    • All of the characters are interesting and unusual and the author describes them so well that you feel like you know them.
    • Weaves fact and fiction so beautifully together.  It is as no surprise that the story is based on the authors experiences during this tense moment in history.
    • Fanny's imaginary letters to Khrushchev
    • The relationship between the Fanny and her Uncle Otis who is obviously suffering from post traumatic stress disorder
    • Fanny's teacher Mrs Rodriguez love for and stories of Cuba
    • The tumultuous relationship between Fanny and her mom
    • Beautiful scenes between Fanny and her sister, especially the one where she shows her how to dance
    Not so Good Stuff:
    • I liked all the mixed media within the book, but I would have preferred it all to either be at the beginning or the end of the story, as I found it distracted from the story when it was mixed in with it.  That is just my opinion and lets face it I'm 40 and have 2 small children -- I already have far too many distractions!
    What I Learned
    • The Cuban Missile Crisis was very scary and it really makes you understand the development of the American psyche (This is not a dig -- I love Americans -- well --  a lot of them anyway, I don't have much love for George W Bush and Tom Cruise)
    • Tons of facts about American history, that I really had no knowledge or understanding of
    Favorite Quotes/Passages

    There are always scary things happening in the world. There are always wonderful things happening. And its up to you to decide how youre going to approach the world . . . how youre going to live in it, and what youre going to do.

    Where have you been ? she asks in her Spanish inquisition voice.


    How can I be scared of such a beautiful country full of people  who are related to my teacher?

    Who Should Read
    • Americans who lived through this time - especially if they were young
    • Perfect for discussions of history by Teachers and Librarians (OR Library Technicians) -- this is a definite must have for any school or public library
    • Canadians so they can understand a little more about how scary this time period was for our neighbors in the US
    4.5 Dewey's (Sorry couldn't figure out how to do a half a .jpg)


    The book was given to me by Scholastic in return for an honest review