Posted in About me, Confessions of a bookaholic, Monday Mania

Monday Mania#19: Favorite Childrens Books

Everyone has books they loved growing up.  Below is a list of some of my favorite children’s books.  This list is far from complete, so if you feel that a book should be added to this list please add your book’s name and author in the comment section below.

Adult readers remember that reading out loud with a child, even if they already know how to read, is a great way to encourage them to read on their own AND is a great bonding experience.

  1. The Mare On The Hill by Thomas Locker
  2. Where The Wild Things Are story and pictures by Maurice Sendak
  3. The Story of Barbar by D E Burnhoff
  4. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown art by Clement Hurd
  5. Everything by Dr. Seuss
  6. I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayer
  7. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  8. Berenstain Bears series created by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  9. Curios George by H.A. Rey
  10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  11. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  12. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  13. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  14. Corduroy by Don Freeman
  15. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie story by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
  16. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
  17. Love You Forever written by Robert, illustrated by Sheila McGraw
  18. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
  19. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  20. The Little Prince by Antone De Saint-Exupery
  21. Harold and The Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  22. I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm
  23. Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White
  24. The Giver by Lois Lowery
  25. A Girl of The Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
  26. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  27. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Bety Smith
  28. Island of Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  29. Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
  30. Hardy Boys series by Franklin W Dixon

Happy Reading!!!!

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Posted in review

Review: It’s a Bright World

  • Title: It’s A Bright World to Fell Lost in
  • Author Mark O’Dwyer
  • paperback
  • # of pages: 49
  • released: 2017
  • Published: Publisher Obscura
  • genre(s): humor
  • My rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis

Are you feeling a little lost? Got that ‘left in the spare room’ emptiness about you? Mawson does too.

He sits atop his cushion and ponders about baffling things.

The world is a funny place for a curious teddy bear to live in. Friends approach him about their own dilemmas. They seek instant answers that will make everything all right. Mawson does his best. But after he ponders deeply, most things remain for him just as baffling as they were before.

Take a moment out of your day to pawse with him and explore the world. For the many frazzled readers who feel, secretly, much the same, he offers the comfort that the world is a bright place to be.

My Review

This book was absolutely precious.  Any one who had a favorite animal, doll or toy growing up should read this book.

Telling this story through the eyes of Mawson the bear is what makes this book so good and the reason that I encourage everyone to check this book out.

Happy reading!!!!

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What I read this week!

Over the last two weeks I have been attempting to read the book Dark Chains by LaTasha “Tasha B” Braxton.  I really wanted to give this book a try because the author had alot lot of information to support everything she had to say but after alomost two weeks I decided to put this book down as a “DID NOT FINISH” because of the fact that it couldn’t keep my attention for more then a few minutes at a time.

 

Happy Reading!!

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Posted in About me, Fun tidbits, Helpful information, interview

Talking with Tom Starita

Hello everyone, meet Tom Starita.  He has recently released his second fiction book.  For those of you who don’t know already I like to get to know the authors behind the stories I am reading.  Today we are meeting American writer Tom Starita.

Author’s Bio:  Tom Starita is the author of two novels, “Two Ways to Sunday” and “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” and makes an impact on everyone he encounters. When asked for her thoughts about him, Oprah Winfrey said, “Who?” Tom Hanks refused to respond to an email asking for a quote and former Mets great Mookie Wilson once waved to him from a passing taxi.

Originally from Staten Island, NY Starita has now found a home in the beautiful beach community of Stratford, Connecticut where he remains a loyal fan of the New York Mets.

Questions

1.      What/Who inspired you to write “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”?

When the historians look back on the town of Weehawken, NJ they’re going to note two tragedies that resulted in a creative tsunami of epic proportions. The first involved Alexander Hamilton, and led to the play, “Hamilton.” The second involved me, Tom Starita and resulted in, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated.”

Back in February of 2013 I was living in Weehawken and if my life was a rock band I would have been Dire Straits. The week of Valentine’s Day I was diagnosed with approximately 9 strains of the flu. This presented somewhat of a challenge since I was living alone so I decided to hibernate and not die.

That’s exactly what happened.

Come late Friday night I woke up and I was starving. Starving isn’t even the word for it. I was, “alone on an island and don’t know how to fish” hungry. I made my way to the kitchen and remembered I hadn’t gone food shopping in at least a week and a half. I must have opened every door and drawer and my options were baking soda and ice tea. All right, not ideal but I’m in New Jersey, there are diners every five feet, I’ll just drive to one.

That’s when I looked out the window and noticed ten inches of snow.

I was snowed in with no food, no options, no prospects, no hope and that’s when Lucas James came peeking out of my imagination to introduce himself. I ran to the computer and started typing, and I kept typing every day until I finished telling his story.

2. Do you feel you have a personal connection with any of the characters?

People often ask me if Lucas James is really me, which makes me wonder if they think I’m a psychopath! Lucas James was literally the only reason why I got out of bed for a long time, so I’ll always be thankful he showed up. He’s also the ultimate cautionary tale of what happens when a person allows his Id to run rampant.

4. The book’s description ends with “Is ‘growing up’ just another way of saying ‘selling out’ “.  Is this something you have believed?

Nope. When I started writing this book I had no idea of a plot, or an ending or anything else except I knew his voice. I also knew that I wanted to write someone irredeemable and be out front about that and see if I can still convince the reader to like him/root for him. That tag line expressed his viewpoint on life perfectly and should be a red flag for anyone wondering what kind of person/character this is!

I knew I had something when my mom emailed me to say that she didn’t want to like this book but she did. Mission accomplished.

5. So, what is your plan after this book? Will you continue to focus on writing fiction books?

I’m actually shopping my third book now. It’s called, “Total BS (bedtime stories)” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Quick and easy stories for adults to read before bed, or in the bathroom or while commuting on the Staten Island Ferry. They’re weird and funny, and sometimes a little dark as well! And I think there are at least ten of them that could be developed into a movie—but that’s a different conversation!

6. Tell me something random about yourself

I once heckled Paul Anka at the blackjack table at Foxwoods casino. I think the line that cut the deepest was, “you’re no Billy Joel.”

For the record I’m not a Billy Joel fan—although “Downeastern Alexa” is a fun song to sing to.

7. If you were in a life and death karaoke contest what song would you sing?

Great question! Either Bryan Adams, “Summer of 69” or Journey, “Any Way You Want It”

8. Should I buy your book?

Another great question. After careful consideration I’d have to say yes, yes you should.

9. Does this mean that, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” is the best book ever written by a guy from Staten Island, NY who now resides somewhere else?

Admittedly I might be a little biased but yes it is.

10. Worst owners in professional sports?

That’s easy, the Wilpons.

Let’s Go Mets!

 

Book info:

  • ISBN-10: 1520705816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1520705811

Find this author at:

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all @TomStarita

Happy reading!!!

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Posted in review

Review: Dis’ Taste

  • Title: Dis’ Taste
  • Author: Caven Tootell
  • Kindle
  • # of Pages: 307
  • Released: October 27, 2017
  • Publisher:
  • Genre(s): Historical fiction
  • My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*I was given my copy of the book by the author but all opinions are my own.

Synopsis

Set in pre-WWI Congo Free State, the story follows two Belgian Colonial officers, Philippe and Augustine and the latter’s wife, Clementine. The Congo Free State was established as a private fiefdom of King Leopold of Belgium, to extract as much wealth as could possibly be achieved with no care on the effect to the native people. Estimates point to deaths of over ten million Congolese during Belgian rule.Augustine brings his new wife into country; to bring a piece of normality into their lives, the two men strike up a friendly challenge to host each other to lavish dinner parties using exotic local foods and recipes. The story then follows the three characters, their interactions with each other, other Europeans, Africans, and the oppressive state sponsored rape of the country.The violent environment creates a surreal world where each person attempts to forge a new life for themselves, but eventually descend into an ever darkening world of lost dreams, disillusionment and hatred. At the start, Philippe is brutally and savagely maimed in an attack. The aftermath causes him to deal with an ever increasing post-traumatic shock, whilst managing a company rubber plantation, using opium as a crutch.All characters strive to build themselves an elusive, better life, but the oppressiveness of the country overtakes their lives. Philippe questions the ethics of what they are doing, whilst working his plantation with local assistants and an indigenous woman. Augustine suffers issues with the nature of his work which causes him to lose his sense of proportion, humanity and ability to relate to Clementine, who finds comfort with Philippe.The friendship between each person becomes more and more strained with the cycle of substance abuse, distrust and tensions over their relationships, eventually leading to the outside horror visiting their lives.

My Review

This book took me awhile to get into but I loved it by the end.  The ending is, actually, why I gave this book five stars.

Caven Tootell is a wonderful writer.  I found his descriptions of characters to be unique and insightful without being complicated.  Tootell also used the Congo and it’s features to show his readersdifferent moods.

Dis’ Taste deminstrates multiple common views black and white people had for each other in post W.W.I Africa.  I am so happy that there has been so much progress in human rights over the last hundred years but we still have a long way to go.

I would encourage all matchure individuals, reader or not, to read this book.

Happy Reading!!!

Posted in About me, Confessions of a bookaholic, Tag

The Nope Tag

Thank you to @WordsWithLara for tagging me for this tag.  The Nope Book Tag was created by A Booktube Book.

1. NOPE. Ending:a book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

Kingdom of Ash and Soot by C. S. Johnson.  The book ends with the main character unconscious.  This ending didn’t make me read book two, it enraged me too much.

2. NOPE.  Protagonist:a main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

3. NOPE. Pairing:a “ship” you don’t support.

I don’t like fiction books that romantasize abusive relationships.  Books that do this allow society to continue to rationalize away this behavior. When, in reality, abuse shouldn’t be tolerated no matter how minor it may seem.

4. NOPE. Plot twist:a twist you didn’t see coming and liked.

The ending of The Diary by Julia Derek.

5. NOPE. Genre: a genre you will never read.

I am willing to read all genres of books, but I don’t like to discuss political or religious books with most people because of the issues that can arise.

6. NOPE. Book format: book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition

Audio books.  I have tried listening to them but my hands get fidgety causing me to lose focus on the book.

7. NOPE. Trope: a trope that makes you go Nope.

I not fond of books that romanticize Stockholm syndrome by having a woman get kidnapped for sexual pleasure.

8. NOPE. Recommendation: a book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  I know this book is a classic but I don’t like Salinger’s writing style, so I don’t see the point.

9. NOPE. Cliché: a cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

I hate when authors end with “and they lived happily ever after”.  Come on there are other ways of conveying a positive ending.

10. NOPE. Love interest: the love interest that’s not worthy of being one.

In my opinion most love interests aren’t worthy no matter how incredible they are.

11. NOPE. Book: a book that shouldn’t have existed and made you say NOPE.

I can’t answer this question.  Yes there are quit a few books I don’t like, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist.  Just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean others wont like it.

12. NOPE. Villain: a villain you would hate to cross.

Hannibal Lector.  He scares me because a cannibal with a high IQ and a degree in psychology is someone who could actually exist in the real world.

13. NOPE. Death: a character death that still haunts you. 

Dobby from the Harry Potter universe

14. NOPE. Author: an author you had a bad experience reading before and have decided to quit.

E. Thomas Joseph.  I tried to read Winter Eternal: The River That Flows Two Ways but after two weeks I had only gotten 33% through the book and decide to stop.

 

Happy Reading!!!

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Posted in review

ARC Review: Kingdom of Ash and Soot

  • Title: Kingdom of Ash and Soot (The Oder of The Crystal Daggers #1)
  • Author: C. S. Johnson
  • Kindle ebook
  • # of Pages: 352
  • Publisher: Prodigy Gold Books
  • Releases: July 3, 2018
  • Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
  • My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

* I was given a copy of this book by the publisher but all opinions are my own.

Synopsis

In an age of political unrest and racial divide, one girl’s search for truth will determine the future of her kingdom.

   Prague, 1870 

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodová has worked as a servant in her stepmother’s household, dreaming of the day she will be free to live life on her own terms.

But when her estranged grandmother, Lady Penelope, comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria, everything changes. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup, and Lady Penelope, as the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, is determined to discover the perpetrators. When she offers Eleanora the chance to help her prevent the kingdom from falling apart, she is hesitant to trust her. And while joining means freedom from her stepmother and protecting the people of Prague, Eleanora knows her life will never be the same–or her own.

Can she find a way to be free and still do the right thing? Or will joining the Order only lead to disaster?

Review

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, but I was disappointed with the ending. I have to keep reminding myself that this book is part 1 of a series for young adults and I’m 36.

All readers looking for an easy, fun read should consider this book. Just remember it’s book one in a series, so the ending isn’t as vague as I initially thought.

Happy Reading!!!