Friday, July 22, 2016

Quick Audiobook Reviews

Alice in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1)

This was a great listen for the entire family. We listened to it twice on our road trip this summer and were completely entertained. My 5 year old loved it. Scarlett Johansson did a fabulous job reading. She used different voices for all the characters and just brought the whole story to life. 

Seriously, this was perfect for entertaining a young kid on a very long drive. 

Beezus and Ramona (Ramona, #1)Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

I purchased the audio collection of this series of books to take along with us on a road trip with our five year old. She loves books and I thought she would love these as I once did. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its reading by Stockard Channing. One critique, though, I wish she hadn't given Ramona such a whiny voice.

The little girl enjoyed it but definitely got sad and upset when Ramona did some of her worst things.

We have yet to finish Ramona the Pest, due to some uncomfortable situations for the little girl. She doesn't like when Ramona is going to get in trouble. 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer In pictures...

Strawberry picking
Davenport, CA

The Exploratorium
San Francisco, CA

Red Rocks
Sedona, AZ

Rio Grande Gorge
Taos, NM

The Grand Canyon
Williams, AZ

Giants-Diamondbacks game
Chase Field
Phoenix, AZ

The Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA

Happy Summer!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Since She Went Away by David Bell

Since She Went Away by David Bell
432 pages, Paperback
Published June 2016

Source: From publisher in exchange for review, NetGalley

The Diamond Mom. 

Celia disappears after heading out to a park in the middle of the night to meet up with an old friend. Has she been murdered, kidnapped or has she run off and left her husband and daughter for another man? 

The mystery of what could have happened to this woman haunts Jenna Barton for she was the one that invited Celia out to meet her. She waits nervously every day waiting to hear if she has been found. She visits online chatrooms hoping to find clues to what happened. I believe she has the detective-in-charge's number on speed dial.

Questions, family secrets, murders and suspicious newcomers months after her disappearance quick start the investigation and send Jenna, her son and Celia's family reeling when the truth to what happened is revealed. 

About the Author

David is the writer of Cemetery Girl, published by NAL, a division of Penguin Random House. Cemetery Girl (2011) went on to win the prestigious Prix Polar de Cognac in 2013. Since then, David has published five more novels with NAL: The Hiding Place (2012), Never Come Back (2013), The Forgotten Girl (2014), Somebody I Used to Know (2015), and Since She Went Away (2016) as well as a novella, Rides a Stranger (2013), with Mysterious Press. When he is not teaching or writing, David watches lots and lots of movies and reads lots and lots of books. He also enjoys walking in the cemetery near his house with his wife, writer and blogger Molly McCaffrey.

For more information about the author and book visit his WEBSITE.

Happy Reading.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford
384 pages, Paperback
Publishes June 2016, NAL Trade Paperback
Source: From the publisher for review, Netgalley
About the Book

London, 1926. American-raised Maisie Musgrave is thrilled to land a job as a secretary at the upstart British Broadcasting Corporation, whose use of radio- still new, strange and electrifying- is captivating the nation. But the hectic pace, smart young staff, and intimidating bosses only add to Maisie's insecurities.

Soon, she is seduced by the work- gaining confidence as she arranges broadcasts by the most famous writers, scientists, and politicians in Britain. She is also caught up in a growing conflict between her two bosses, John Reith, the formidable Director-General of the BBC, and Hilda Matheson, the extraordinary director of the hugely popular Talks programming, who each have very different visions of what radio should be. Under Hilda's tutelage, Maisiediscovers her talent, passion, and ambition.  But when she unearths a shocking conspiracy, she and Hilda join forces to have their voices heard both on and off the air... then face the dangerous consequences of telling the truth for a living.

My Review

Maisie was a great character to follow along through the halls of the BBC at this pivotal time in history. Young, ambitious and a hard worker, she was ready for the changes that came with the  women's right to vote and their increased presence and acceptance in the workplace.

This book mixed history with the drama of workplace romance and espionage. It was a lot of fun and a pleasure to read. Very interesting time in history and what a better place to see it all happening than from the BBC.

About the Author

Sarah-Jane Stratfor grew up in Los Angeles with a deep love of theatre and literature. After earning a bachelor's degree in history from UC Santa Cruz, she then obtained her master's degree in medieval history at the University of York in Britain, where she wrote a thesis about women in the manorial court system which gave her a new appreciation for the modern era.

Sarah-Jane has written articles and essays for a range of publications, including The Guardian, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Marie Claire, Bitch, Slate, Salon, Guernica, and BOMB.

In addition to theatre and activism, Sarah-Jane enjoys knitting ( when the project is submitting to her will) and wandering around interesting places. She currently lives in New York.

For more information about the author and the book visit her WEBSITE.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

One True Love by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
352 pages, paperback and ebook
Publishes June 2016, Atria/Washington Square Press

Source: From publisher for review, NetGalley

About the Book

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever. Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly? Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

My Review

This story had me teary eyed a few times. Had me smiling and talking to the characters a few times...Ha. I don't know what I would do if this ever happened to me, and how I would go about choosing. Pretty crazy to think about. It was an interesting situation which I am sure has happened but still really hard to imagine. 

Now, the way Jesse disappears and the explanation of where he has been for three years was a little hard to believe, but that really isn't the main plot of the book so I didn't let it bother me too much. It really is all about Emma and how she handles his "death", finding herself and love again, and dealing with Jesse's return.

I was very happy with how the book ended.

I enjoyed it and read through it very quickly. It's another great summer read from Reid.

About the Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Forever, Interrupted, After I Do and Maybe In Another Life. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. 

Instagram: @tjenkinsreid


Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

School's Out Readathon

I love this! A week of reading to celebrate the end of the school year. I am in! I will even get the little girl reading with me, too. She is done with school on the 14th, so the 15th and 16th will be our read along days. We are going to the library today, so will be sure to get some good ones.

As for me, I have some books all ready and stacked up that need to be read. For book group: Dead Wake by Erik Larson, for review: Since She Went Away by David J. Bell, and on audio: Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer Break is Upon Us

It's funny to not be cheering for summer break like I used to when I was a teacher. Now I am a parent and wondering what I will be doing to fill the little girl's summer days. Camps? Day trips? Play Dates? 

We are, luckily, in the perfect place to be able to do all of the above. Preschool friends and new TK friends are always ready to do something fun like go to the beach, go berry picking, head to a museum in the city and so much more. 

We have her enrolled in a couple week long camps this summer and all of June is basically filled with traveling. We seem to think we can manage a long road trip through the desert with a 5 year old. Ha! 

We shall see how that goes. 

We have fun stops planned, though. Sedona for a couple nights, Taos with friends, Holbrook on the way back to meet up with some family, Giants/Diamondbacks game in Phoenix. And stops at my parents both on the way out and back.

Any fun activities, ideas for keeping a 5 year old entertained on the road?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Current Read: Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford

Happy Reading!

Fit4Mom's Body Back

I just finished another session of Body Back with Fit4Mom. It is an 8 week session that includes two bootcamp-like workouts a week, nutrition guidance and meditation. A full body overhaul, if you will.

I have been taking these sessions pretty regularly for the past two years. The workouts are really great and a lot of fun when surrounded with other moms. Even better- I have seen results! 

I have lost over 15lbs. This might not seem like much for 2 years, but I find that losing slower is helping me to keep it off. However, what I am most proud of is the changes made in my strength, endurance and speed.

I couldn't run a mile without taking many walking breaks. I have now broken a 10m mile. I could't do more than a few push ups. I now can do 20+ in a minute. I could barely hold plank for a minute. I have held it for 3min.   

On to the next session!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Up All Night

We have all gotten very little sleep. Running on fumes here.

The little girl was up vomiting almost every hour from 8pm to 2am. Poor little thing. She was miserable and I feel like a zombie. Up munching on a bagel and having a cup of coffee while she finally sleeps, the poor girl. 

While up last night, I did finally finish reading Armada by Ernest Cline.  Have to say, I did't enjoy it as much as Ready Player One. It didn't have the same feel to it despite the inclusion of the SciFi pop culture references. It was a bit predictable and not as fun.

Alright, back to bed I go. For a little while, at least. I doubt the little girl will be asleep for much longer. 

Happy Napping!