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books & reading reviews

Kids’ Picks: Grumpy Frumpy! Happy Snappy!

My son hasn’t gotten into too many new books since last month’s kids picks a great book carnival @ 5 Minutes For Books EXCEPT this little gem that I picked up at Target in the $1 bin…

He immediately seemed to know that these little guys were “monsters” in a big scary silly voice, though I’m not sure where he learned about monsters in the first place, it’s hilarious to hear him read this. I guess that means it’s hilarious to hear ME read this, since I read it to him first and he now imitates me, but the cool thing is he seems to remember each page, each voice and I think he really gets the idea of the opposites on these pages. Here’s an example from MM The Future Hand Model…

He loves to turn the book upside down on THIS page to show me how it works – how did he figure this out because I’m pretty sure I didn’t teach him that, much like I didn’t teach him his ABCs. This genius little two year old seriously taught himself. I honed it all in, but really, he was the mastermind there. And here. I’m so proud… sniff…

This book is awesome and a short quick read and so fun to make silly voices with. Did I mention it was a DOLLAR?

I’m trying really hard not to show you every page because there must be some copyright thing against that but all the pages are so adorable and my son just LOOOOOVES this book. Here’s him showing you what a grumpy frumpy looks like…

Sort of… He kind of smirked right when I took the picture but trust me, he was Grumpy Frumpy at it’s finest.

What books is your kid reading this month? If you blog about it, make sure to link up here, and also let me know in the comments section!

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books & reading

Do You NaNoWriMo?

So is anyone else planning to write a novel next month? Have you ever tried? I’ve “tried” but have yet to finish. But I’ve always been in college during previous attempts and did you know there are a lot of big exams in November? In hindsight it wasn’t my best idea. Or I’m the hugest procrastinator and excuse maker ever. One of those.

But so I’ve had this story idea flitting through my head since like um a year ago. It’s changed about eighty gazillion times since then so that if I told you about the first version and the current version you probably wouldn’t believe me when I told you they were related. Maybe I’m only pretending they’re related. But if I don’t start writing soon I don’t think I ever will and what’s left of this story might disappear altogether.

The nice thing about letting it flit through for the past year is that I think I have the core of this story down. I’m not going to “forget” it just yet because I’ve been thinking about it on and off for a year now. Maybe that means this is the “one” – that soon I’ll be the next Stephenie Meyer or Libba Bray or Janet Evanovich or whatever? People will KNOW my NAME and I’ll probably need to start a new blog or start mentioning who I am on this blog. Because I’ll be famous. All thanks to NaNoWriMo.

Or at least, I’ll have fun this month pulling my hair out and trying to do something productive for myself for a month and pretend that my English Degree really does mean something now because, “Look, I’m writing a novel!”

I’ll post the details of my story at some point maybe. I have this weird fear that someone will steal my idea like it’s really that brilliant. So maybe I’ll just include a word count or something or a sentence snippet until it’s done and copyrighted?

Anyone else doing the NaNoWriMo? What are you writing about? Wanna be my writing buddy?

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books & reading reviews

Children’s Classics: Newbery Medal Favorites

The big topic at 5 Minutes for Books this week is Newbery Medal winners. Have you read many of the books that have won a Newbery Medal? Do awards influence which books you will or won’t read? I think for the more official awards like the Newbery or Caldecott – or even the NYT bestsellers, having that recognition would definitely influence me to read a book if I’d maybe been the fence about whether or not to read it, whereas I’ve on occasion opted not to read a book if say, Oprah has it on her book list. Some hype is worthy, some not so much.

I’ve read a good handful of the Newbery award winners, some of which are high up there on my favorite books from when I was a kid. Here are some of my favorite Newbery Award winners:

If I were to make a list of my favorite books from that time period of my life, this would likely be it, so I’d definitely recommend any of them to a young reader or an older reader. I’d be extremely excited if my children chose to read these books someday and may read them again just to brush up on the classics.

Are any of your favorite children’s books a Newbery Medal winner?

Categories
books & reading memes & carnivals

Booking Through Thursday: How I Read

I don’t think I’ve done a BTT in a while, but I saw that my very bestie Ange @ Red Knows How did it this week and I was all, “Someone beat me to a meme!!!” and “Holy crikey, it’s a good one!!!!” so you know I had to stop throwing out random exclamation points and just join in already.

What was the last book you bought?

I really should remember that, right? I am going to guess that it was Breaking Dawn but I could be wrong. But I’m probably right because what else would be worthy of my hardly earned thus hardly there cash than this:

Name a book you have read MORE than once

That’s a pretty tough one to answer – there are a lot of books that I love and think about constantly but not many that I actually read more than once. But here are a two:

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Nothing comes to mind sorry. I think every book you read changes you a little bit, but I can’t think of one book that just completely changed me. At least not yet. The closest would be French Women Don’t Get Fat – while it certainly hasn’t made me French or skinny, there were a couple lines that made me re-think my eating habits at least a little bit. The biggest being that if you are going to put it in your body it should be amazing and really worth it. I don’t always remember it, but sometimes I do and I’m glad. If you are going to indulge, REALLY indulge, you know?

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

Lots of ways! I get the Borders newsletters via email, I keep a list on GoodReads.com and see what some of my friends are reading, I read a few book blogs – one of my favorites is 5 Minutes for Books, I browse the aisles of bookstores or I ask my bestie what she’s reading, cause it’s usually good!

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I prefer fiction but I try to read both

What’s more important in a novel – beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

I guess the plot, but good writing (not necessarily beautiful, but GOOD) is also very important. At a certain point you have to get picky – I read a lot but I don’t have time to read everything – it has to be good in both regards.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

I’m gonna go with Stephanie Plum but there are a lot of good characters I’ve read it’s hard to choose!

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

Right now I’m reading Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde, then I plan to read In The Hand of The Goddess by Tamora Pierce

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

Breaking Dawn was the last book I finished, and according to my list I finished it September 25.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Yes, it definitely happens – the last book I abandoned was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. For details on why, check out my review here.

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books & reading reviews

“The Dog Ate My Copy Of Jane Eyre,” And Other Lies

I know I was supposed to read Jane Eyre for this…

But I confess, bloggy friends, I didn’t finish it. Why?

Let’s play that game where I give three lies and one truth and you guess which one is the real reason I didn’t finish reading okay?

  1. I couldn’t finish my copy of Jane Eyre because after reading the first few chapters I got so enraged by her poor story of life as an orphan, that I convinced my husband to adopt a daughter with me. We got on the phone with an orphanage in England and adopted a ten year old girl who happened to be named Jane. We’ve been so busy getting used to life with a depressed ten year old girl that I simply haven’t had time to read. Yesterday some guy named Rochester showed up and keeps calling Jane his little pet. Should I ask him to leave?
  2. I didn’t finish reading the book because I was busy living inside of it. Apparently because of reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, I now have the ability to jump inside of books simply by reading them. So after re-reading the chapter in the red room several times, trying to understand it, I found myself THERE trapped in the Red Room with Jane. I had a long talk with her aunt, explaining that the poor girl thought she’d seen her dead uncle and what kind of stupid aunt was she, and so I wasn’t able to finish your copy of Jane Eyre because in my copy the aunt comes to her senses, spanks her son, apologizes to Jane and well as you can imagine, they all lived happily ever after instead. Sorry.
  3. I didn’t finish reading the book because after about 150 tedious, overly descriptive only Nathaniel Hawthorne could appreciate this book pages, I decided that life was too short to be spent reading bad literature. Sorry Charlotte, but I’d rather go visit the Well of Lost Plots instead.
  4. I couldn’t finish reading my copy of Jane Eyre because my dog ate it. I was kind of sad, because where I was reading, Jane finally found a friend – you know Helen Burns, the dying chick who thinks dying is awesome? Yeah that was sad…

Can you guess which one is true?

So did you finish reading Jane Eyre? Make sure you write a post about it and link up here!

And remember, next month we’re reading A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. I’ll be sure to tell my dog to get a copy of his own this time.