Weekend Update – Things I Liked This Week – February 2018

Posted by on Feb 18, 2018 in Fun, The Things I Liked This Week, Weekend Update | 0 comments

The Things I Liked This Week January 2018

The Things I Liked This Week January 2018

I started doing The Things I Liked This Week in June of 2015 and it’s definitely become my favorite monthly post. I love adding to my list throughout the week.

Here are the things I liked this week:

1. These cats


2. Fiona the hipoo
The Cincinnati Zoo posted a video this week of some never before posted video from when Fiona was little. It’s predictably adorable.


3. Our Valentine’s Day tradition
Every year we get some Moonstruck chocolates, something bubbly to drink and watch our wedding video.
Valentine's Day Chocolates and Proseco


4. This is so true
My brain at night


5. This is too
Flu season


6. Brilliant ideas


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Blizzard of Glass by Sally M. Walker

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018 in 2018, 4 stars, Book Review, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Blizzard of Glass by Sally M Walkerby Sally M Walker

Genre: Middle Grade Nonfiction
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 145

The Book:
From the publisher:

On December 6, 1917, two ships collided in Halifax Harbor in Nova Scotia, Canada. One ship was loaded top to bottom with munitions and the other held relief supplies, both intended for war-torn Europe. The resulting blast flattened two towns, Halifax and Dartmouth, and killed nearly 2,000 people. As if that wasn’t devastating enough, a blizzard hit the next day, dumping more than a foot of snow on the area and paralyzing much-needed relief efforts.
Fascinating, edge-of-your-seat storytelling based on original source material conveys this harrowing account of tragedy and recovery.

My Thoughts:
I learned about this book from a friend in my LibraryThing group. I vaguely remember hearing about the Halifax Explosion at some point but I really didn’t remember any details, so I picked this up at the library.

It’s a middle grade book but it’s an good read for adults too. There were only a couple of places where she’s explaining terminology that reminded me that this was a book intended for a 10-14 year old audience.

The book is fascinating. Walters sets the scene and introduces several families who will be impacted by the disaster. The story of how the ships ended up colliding, the actual explosion and the aftermath were all well done.

The immediate aftermath focuses much on the children in the families she features. many of whom were in the age range of her audience.

What surprised me was how quickly the city leaders got organized and began search and rescue as well as treating the wounded and managing the dead. An interesting note was that Halifax had experience in dealing with large numbers of dead because the bodies that were recovered from the Titanic disaster 5 years earlier had been taken there.

Other interesting things:
Many people thought that the Germans had attacked.
Lots of people were watching the fire after the ships collided so when the blast happened there were large numbers of eye injuries when the windows they were watching through blew in.
People were thrown by the blast and many babies were gathered in one place until they could be identified by surviving family members.
The blizzard that dumped snow on the are the day after the explosion hampered the rescue and recovery efforts.
Within hours of the explosion the city of Boston was organizing relief efforts and sending a train with supplies and medical personnel.

This is an interesting book about an incident I had heard of but didn’t know a lot about. I might seek out a more comprehensive book aimed at adults about this event.

I’d recommend this one even if you aren’t the target age range.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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Lady Killer Vol. 2 by Joelle Jones

Posted by on Feb 13, 2018 in 2018, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Joelle Jones | 0 comments

Lady Killer Vol. 2 by Joelle Jones

Lady Killer Vol. 2 by Joelle Jones  with art by Joelle Jones

Genre: Action/Adventure
Format: Comics Collected Edition
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 127
Source: Library

The Book:
This volume 2 is a  compilation of issues 1-5 of the Lady Killer 2 comic series.
From the publisher:

The secret’s in the cleanup!

The killer housewife is back! The Schuller family has moved to Cocoa Beach, where life carries on as usual. Josie continues to juggle Tupperware parties, her kids, and a few heads–and things don’t get any easier for the entrepreneur hit lady when her past comes back to haunt her.

My Thoughts:
I loved the first volume of this series so I was not surprised at all that I loved this second volume too. Josie Schuller is a picture perfect housewife in early 1960’s Florida. She’s also a killer for hire. She’s a Tupperware lady with a plan for after the party.

Yes there’s plenty of graphic violence in this series but it also manages avoid being gross. There are also picture perfect early 1960’s fashion and decor. In addition, there is plenty of dark humor.

When I finished the first volume I had said I was interested in “finding out what is the story with her mother-in-law? That woman has a past, I tell you.” Oh boy was I right.

This one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger so I hope Joelle Jones is working on more.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Weekend Update – Bookish Nostalgia January 2018

Posted by on Feb 11, 2018 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia February 2018

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

Some of these are pre-blog so the links take you to Powell’s for more information. Links for 2007 and later take you to my review.

Mrs.Polliifax and the Golden Triangle by Dorothy Gilman narrated by Barbara Rosenblat
This is just a delightful series and the audio editions are quite entertaining. Mrs. Pollifax is a retired widow who becomes a spy.

In the Bleak Midwinter by Juila Spencer Fleming
This mystery series features a female former Army helicopter pilot who is now an Episcopal priest. It’s been far to long since I read one from this series.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen narrated by Kate Reading
Apparently I don’t have the Jane Austen gene. I ended up listening to this because I couldn’t get through it in print. Meh.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne narrated by Michael Maloney
I’m glad I listened to this one instead of reading it. The audio edition included an interview with the author.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
This is a good little Gothic tale that’s more spooky than scary.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I’m so glad I finally read this. It’s excellent!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018 in 2018, 5 stars, Book Review, Jim Kay, JK Rowling | 0 comments

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated edition by J.K. Rowling with art by Jim Kay

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition by J.K Rowling with art by Jim Kay

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Oversized Hardcover
Series: Harry Potter #3
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 336
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

The third book in the bestselling Harry Potter series, now illustrated in glorious full color by award-winning artist Jim Kay!

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter’s defeat of You-Know-Who was Black’s downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, “He’s at Hogwarts . . . he’s at Hogwarts.”

Harry Potter isn’t safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

My Thoughts:
I’m not going to bother to talk about the story because we all know it. I’ve read it multiple times, listened to it once (the Jim Dale versions) and plan to listen to it again (the Stephen Fry versions) so obviously, I love it.

I adore these illustrated editions of the series. They have been released in October every year so far. I have made it an annual tradition to start reading them in January every year. The books are big and heavy so definitely not something I take with me to work. That means I read them a little bit every day so I can savor them all over again.

These editions are oversized (coffee table size) books printed on high quality paper with an attached ribbon bookmark. I’m still a little worried about what they’re going to do with Order of the Phoenix. I have to think it’ll be a two volume set or I won’t be able to lift it. We’ll see how much Goblet of Fire weighs in October.

Jim Kay has done a masterful job with the illustrations. They are beautiful. I am amazed that he has managed to create these images. They are wholly new, yet at the same time remain true to both the drawings in the original editions and the sets and actors from the movies.

I felt that Jim Kay managed to take the images in my head and make them even more beautiful than I hand imagined.

Fortunately this one didn’t have the spiders that Chamber of Secrets had. There weren’t any illustrations in this one that I had to skip.

5 stars Rating 5/5

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