Friday, December 28, 2012

The Time Traveler's Wife



The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

I had seen this movie and wanted to read the book so when I found it at a garage sale a few months ago, I decided to snatch it up.

I really liked the concept of this book. The whole idea of him having a genetic disorder which causes him to time travel was fascinating. I liked how the story was told from both of their perspectives and I even liked how it jumped between different time periods. It was interesting to see how it all fit together.

What I didn't like about this book was that it was a little to long and drawn out, especially for the way it ended. (Or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a sad story.) There was also a lot of sex, drugs, drinking and language in this book. I realize much of it was him trying to deal with his time traveling, but it was just too much for my taste.

I think I may have liked the movie better... Anyone else ever like a movie better then the book?


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Skippyjon Jones



Skippyjon Jones
by Judy Schachner

My son got this book from Santa at his class party. I must say that Santa knows how to pick out a good book.

We had a great time reading this book. What's not to love about a Siamese cat who imagines he is a chihuahua?!  I loved reading this book to my kids because the story was fun and I got to use funny accents while I was reading it.

It actually has a little more writing then my kids can normally handle but they didn't seem to mind. I think they liked it as much as I did.

I loved the pictures, too.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Hobbit

We went and saw the Hobbit last night and we loved it.













My favorite Quote from the movie:

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love." Gandalf the Grey

Isn't this the truth! I truly believe the world would be a better place if we all lived our lives with this in mind.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Pillars of the Earth



The Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett

I was finally able to check this e-book out from the Library again so I could finish it. You may remember that I started reading it a couple months ago but was unable to finish in the time allotted.

I have never read historical fiction based in Medieval Times before and I found the story, characters, and era to be fascinating. Ken Follett does an amazing job of painting a picture into the world of Knights, Serfs, Craftsman and the Catholic Church. It was so interesting to see how the decisions of a few powerful men could effect an entire nation of people.

The book follows the story of a Prior of a Monastery, a Master builder and his family, A noblewomen, and an evil local Gentry who wants the local Earldom. It spans a period of nearly 40 years and creates a vivid picture of what it would have been like to build of a Cathedral during a time of uncertainty and civil war.

Even though this book was very long,  I really never grew bored of it. At one point I did get frustrated that the main antagonist continued to spread destruction and pain, but really it showed how one evil man could cause such affliction. He was a brutal, evil man and at times I found it hard to read about him, especially when it was being narrated by him. I would find myself dreading what was coming next when ever I saw his name appear at the beginning of a chapter.

There were a couple graphic rape scenes and a lot of very descriptive sexual references. I would not recommend this book to anyone who does not want those type of scenes ingrained in their mind. It was too much for my taste and I could have done with a little less descriptions and references.


I saw that there is a Miniseries based on this book and I admit that my interest has been peaked.



I think that this story could be a very interesting movie but I am undecided wether it would be worth watching. Has anyone seen this series? Do they stay true to the book? Do the actors portray the characters the way I envision them? Plus, I worry that it may be too graphic for my taste, with too much sex and violence. Should I give it a try?


Friday, December 7, 2012

The Littlest Elf


The Littlest Elf
by Brandi Dougherty

We are doing an activity Advent Calendar in our home this year and  on several of the days our activity is to read a Christmas book.

Today was our first day to read a Christmas story. I ordered this book a few weeks ago because it looked cute and it arrived just in time for our activity.

It is about a young elf who is trying to figure  out what job at the North Pole he would do the best. The story is cute and the pictures are too.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter

We recently got a couple books that are great for wintertime. Well, I think they are great because they involve things that make me think of winter like Snow and Polar bears. ;-)




Froggy Gets Dressed
byJonathan London

These Froggy books sure are fun to read. This one is about Froggy wanting to go play in the snow, instead of going to bed. He keeps forgetting some of his clothes and has to go back inside to get dressed again. I thought this one was pretty funny and my boys enjoyed it too.

 
Who Has These Feet
by Laura Hulbert

I ordered this book on a whim because I thought it looked cute and I sure am glad I did. The pictures are beautiful and I thought it was fun to learn about different animal's feet. Really cute book. I can't wait to read this one with my boys more. The first time through the only feet they recognized were the parrot's. Next time maybe they will remember more!

Do you have any "winter" books you like to read to your kids?


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Hero of Ages



The Hero of Ages
by Brandon Sanderson

This was a big book but well worth my time. It took me a couple weeks to finish it but only because these past few weeks have been so busy. (I love the Holidays but they sure do keep me busy!)

I really do think that Brandon Sanderson is an extraordinary writer. I was a little sad when this book ended. Partly because of some of the things that happen and partly because it meant this series was over. I really grew attached to these characters.

This was a great conclusion to this series. It kept me guessing what would happen and there was always some twist that surprised me. I did figure a couple things out and I did spend part of the book wondering when Vin was going to figure it out.

Maybe the most interesting part for me was the depiction of Sazed's struggle with his faith. The way he struggled with the idea that people could believe in something with out any proof or that people could believe in a higher power when such bad things were happening all around them was eye opening for me. It really helped me understand how hard it can be to believe in the unknown. Being a religious person, I know that there are times when our faith is tested. When we question how or what we believe in and I thought Brandon Sanderson did a wonderful job of portraying that struggle.

I also liked how he showed that the sometimes there can be a fine line between doing the right thing or the wrong thing. How many times do people claim they are doing something in the name of good but are really hurting more people then they are helping? What is ok to sacrifice for the "greater" good?

This book has so much good in it. It is thought provoking, it's characters have such depth, their emotions feel so real, the world is fascinating. I could go on and on. Loved this series!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Serpents Shadow


The Serpents Shadow
by Rick Riordan

This is the third book in the Kane Chronicles. These continue to be really fun reads. I really enjoy the interactions between the different characters. This story is fast moving and full of action. I really liked how he wrapped up this Trilogy.

I did wonder about halfway through why Carter and Sadie (the brother and Sister who tell the story) didn't realize what was happening to their friends because it seemed fairly obvious to me. But of course they were busy trying to save the world.

On other comment. The teasing that went on between the siblings didn't seem really neccesary. It was almost like they continued because that was how their relationship had began, but they didn't really mean any of it anymore. Maybe that was the point?

Anyway, this series is fun and I'm glad a read it. I think that my boys will like these books when they get older. My husband sure does.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Well of Ascension



The Well of Ascension
By Brandon Sanderson

This was the second book in the Mistborn Series. I loved this book just as much as the first. I couldn't put it down, but it did take me a while to read because it was so long. These are the times that I wish my kids were better at entertaining themselves, so that I could have a little more time to read the books I want to read. ; )

This really is the type of fantasy writing that I love. His characters just come alive for me. Their emotions and reactions feel so natural. Unlike some books I've read, I never found myself annoyed with the main character because she couldn't figure out who she was meant to be. I completely understood why she was so confused and it didn't bother me that the right answer seemed obvious to me. I think that is a sign of a truly great writer.

There are so many characters I love in this story and they are all so different from each other. I thought that the story was interesting and did a great job of continuing were the last book left off. I have so many questions from the first book about the Mist and about the Hero of Ages and I feel like these questions are starting to be answered.

I cant wait to read more about these characters and find out how this Trilogy ends.

(Terri- Remind me to bring that book the next time I come to visit, so you can read it... I'm pretty sure you would love this series too.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mummies, Fire Engines and Dogs

When I took the boys to the library this week I was hoping to find some Halloween inspired books to read.

 I didn't have a chance to look any up before we went so I just browsed the shelves looking for something the caught my eyes. I'm not always very successful this way but I did manage to find a few fun books, but connecting them to Halloween may be a little bit of a stretch.




Not Afraid of Dogs
by Susanna Pitzer

Being afraid, that relates to Halloween right? This is a cute story about a brave little boy who just doesn't like dogs. When his family takes care of their Aunt's dog for the night, he is forced to face his fears.






Fire Engine Man
by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha

A book about a kid who dresses up like a fireman, Costume=Halloween. See how I made that work. ;)
We have really been enjoying these books in our house.  We recently read Train man, which the boys loved. We had Fire Fighters in our neighborhood to fight a fire and they were kind enough to let my boys climb on their truck and explore (after they were done putting out the fire, of course!). My youngest was especially excited about the fire fighters, so this book was perfect for him. Simple story, cute pictures, just right for a 2 year old.



Ten Little Mummies
by Philip Yates

This was a great counting book and perfect for Halloween because it is about Egyptian Mummies. We have really been enjoying this one. I like the pictures and the rhymes are cute. I love finding a good counting book for my boys!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Chaos
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This is the third book in the Beautiful Creatures series. I have really been enjoying reading about these characters and I was excited to find out what happens next.

I was happy that in this book Lena was back to her old self. No more running away and acting like she was doomed to be evil. I like her much better when she is with Ethan.

The story took an interesting twist and I had fun reading it.  Although, I kept thinking that Ethan should be more worried about losing his memory then he acted. I get kind of frustrated when a character ignores some really important clue/ sign for the majority of the book, especially when it clearly has something to do with what is happening.

I also felt like the ending was a little jumbled. Things started happening very quickly. One chapter all the friends where together and then the next chapter Ethan was off doing stuff by himself again. Where did everyone else go, why did he take off by himself? It was just a very abrupt transition.

I'm still not sure if I like the ending. SPOILER: I just don't like the idea of someone taking their own life. I'm fine with the idea of someone sacrificing themselves for another, like  jumping in front of a bullet.  But I have a hard time accepting that suicide would ever be the right thing and that is what it felt like to me. But of course I may be reading too much into the ending and it was supposed to be perceived more like a sacrifice for the greater good. Plus it ends before you find out if the sacrifice happens. Maybe the next book will clear that issue up for me.

That being said I look forward to reading the last book in the series to see what really happened in that last chapter. 


Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween

It has been difficult finding time to read this week. I am determined to have more time next week, especially since my library book is due at the end of the week!

Speaking of books, my oldest got to order his first books from Scholastic in his preschool class. I loved picking out books from those magazines when I was a kid, so I was more then happy to let my son choose some too.

He choose a set of five Halloween books. We have been enjoying reading them all this week. They are perfect for the month of October.













There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!
by Lucille Colandro

This was the book that my son really wanted. I think he thought the title was funny. Read this to find out what else she swallows!



Wee Witches' Halloween
by Jerry Smath

A cute rhyming tale about newly hatched witches who try to scare trick or treaters.












T.Rex Trick-or-Treats
by Lois G. Grambling

A fun story about a T.Tex who wants to find a scary costume for Halloween.











Ten Timid Ghost
by Jennifer O'Connell

This story is my favorite of the bunch. This is a great counting and rhyming book about ten ghost that a witch tries to scare out of their house. Each page starts the same but with a different number (i.e. 8 timid ghost or 6 timid ghost) and my son quickly memorized the lines and loves reading this along with me. Plus he is great at telling what number is next based on the word used in the rhyme. These are my favorite types of stories because the kids learn something by reading a fun story. Win. Win.














Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever!
by Don Freeman

Another story about finding the perfect Halloween costume. It also has a great message about helping our friends.



Have you read any fun Halloween stories to your kids this month?






Monday, October 8, 2012

Uncommon Criminals

Uncommon Criminals
by Ally Carter

I am really loving these books. This was such a fun read. This was just what I need this week. A book that I didn't have to struggle to get through. A book that I didn't have to think too much about. A book that was just plain fun.

This follows the same group of young thieves from the first Heist Society novel. I love this mix of characters. There really is a little bit of everything which is what makes these books so much fun.

I really love trying to figure out how they are going to pull off their next job. I'm not good enough to ever figure it out but it is still fun trying.

I hope there is another one because I can't wait to read about what they do next!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Library Books

I finally got around to borrowing a E-book on my Kindle. It was pretty easy. I just signed in with my library card and put myself on the waiting list for the book I wanted. A week or so later the book was available for download onto my kindle.

The only problem was that I only got to keep the book for 7 days and I choose a really long book. This one to be exact:

The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

I only got through 40% of the book before I had to return it and I thought I was a fast reader! Now I have to request the book again and wait for it to be available again. (I want to know what happens but not enough to buy it.)


Speaking of Library loans, here are a few children's books we have been enjoying this week:



Mr Prickles, A Quill-Fated Love Story
by Kara Lareau

This is a cute story about a porcupine that has a hard time making friends because he is different from the other animals, until he discoveries someone else just like him. I liked the pictures and the story. Win-win.



Train Man
by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha

My 2 year old is in love with trains right now so he thinks this book is pretty great. It is a story of a young boy who dreams of being a Train conductor. It is a cute book. I love finding a good train story!



Duck's Key, Where Can It Be?
by Jez Alborough

This is a lift the flap book, so of course my boys love it. They want to read this one every night. It is a simple story of a duck who is trying to find his car key and a frog who keeps hiding it.



No to alike
by Keith Baker

I really liked this one. I think the pictures are beautiful. The story is simple and really sweet. The boys like it too, although maybe not as much as I do.