Friday, July 21, 2017

*Stacking the Shelves* 22 July 2017


(Titles link to Amazon via Amazon Affiliate links)

Stacking The Shelves is a feature/weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews in which you share the books you are adding to your shelves, both physical and virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Now, I already have a monthly post I do featuring the books I get in the mail (and it's a lot because I have a serious Goodreads First Reads giveaway addiction), and I'm going to try to start posting my monthly Read-A-Thon posts again too (even if none of the Platypires will be joining me), which will cover the books I receive through Netgalley. But I also go to my thrift store at least once a week, and often leave with a bag full of books. It's such a common occurrence that I'm known as The Book Lady to the frequent volunteers (and I suspect that they've started scheduling their $1 bag of books sales for Thursdays simply because that is the day I usually visit.) So my Stacking the Shelves posts are going to focus on my thrift store hauls, because this is my blog and I do what I want. 

On that note, here are the books I picked up this week.

The Haunting of Hillside School by Kristiana Gregory - My eight-year-old asked if we could get this. I couldn't say no. 
Sacajawea: Her True Story by Joyce Milton - This is an early reader that I believe also has some educational value. 
The Statue Walks At Night by Joan Lowery Nixon - This seems like a good book for a middle grade reader, particularly a boy, and I have one of those. 
Mysterious Messages by Gary Blackwood - This is a book about the history of codes and ciphers for younger readers. I think it could be interesting. 
Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash - The cover of this book makes me think of the Game of Thrones series, so I hope I enjoy it. 
A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay - I feel like the author is one of those that has a book on one of those lists I love so much...I don't think it's this one, but seemed worth buying anyway. 
The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea - I don't know what to expect from this story, but I figured it would be a diverse read. 
I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas by Lewis Black - I've always found Lewis Black's comedy to be intriguing at the very least, so I'm interested in this book. 
Sepulchre by Kate Mosse - This book just has a really awesome looking cover, and it's historical fiction so right up my alley. 
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch - I think one of my blogger friends has recommend this book, but I might just be making that up. 
Alphas by Lisi Harrison - I'm pretty sure this is basically teenage chick lit along the lines of like Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars
Buying a Piece of Paris by Ellie Nielsen - This is an Advance Reader Copy of the book (I buy those every time I see them at the thrift store), but since the book released like seven years ago, I don't think it's a big deal that it was donated to the thrift store. Also, it's not like the original recipient made money off of me buying it. 
Truth or Dare by PJ Night - It's a horror novel targeted towards middle grade readers, kind of like Goosebumps I think. 
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau - This is part of a four book series, and I know I own three of them. I think this is the one I was missing, but I might be wrong about that. 
Lirael by Garth Nix - I have bought a few Garth Nix books. I'm pretty sure he writes fantasy which is one of my preferred genres, so I buy them when I find them. This happens to be a naked hardcover, but I'm okay with that. 
Pulgarcita by Hans Christian Anderson - Based on the pictures in this book, I think this is a Spanish language version of Thumbelina. I don't know Spanish, although I took two years of it in high school so I have a decent grasp on pronunciation at least. My daughter wanted the book though and she's sure it will teach her Spanish. We shall see. 

So that's all the books I picked up at the thrift store this week and this haul only cost me one dollar. It was a bag of books sale and they all fit in a single bag. Pretty good haul for a buck if you ask me. 

What books did you add to your shelves this week? If you're stopping by from Stacking the Shelves, please drop a link in a comment below so I can be sure to visit you back. - Katie 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

*Review* I Don't Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer


Genre: Memoir
Published: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 256

Synopsis

You know Judy Greer, right? Maybe from The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, Carrie, Arrested Development, or The Descendants. Yes, you totally recognize her. And, odds are, you already feel like she’s your friend. 

In her first book of essays, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From, Greer writes about everything you would hope to hear from your best friend: how a midnight shopping trip to Walgreens can cure all; what it’s like to wake up one day with stepchildren; and how she really feels about fans telling her that she’s prettier in person. Yes, it’s all here—from the hilarious moments to the intimate confessions.

But Judy Greer isn’t just a regular friend—she’s a celebrity friend. Want to know which celebs she’s peed next to? Or what the Academy Awards are actually like? Or which hot actor gave her father a Harley-Davidson? Don’t worry; Greer reveals all of that, too. You’ll love her because, besides being laugh-out-loud funny, she makes us genuinely feel like she’s one of us. Because even though she sometimes has a stylist and a makeup artist, she still wears (and hates!) Spanx. Because even after almost twenty years in Hollywood, she still hasn’t figured everything out—except that you should always wash your face before bed. Always.

Review

Judy Greer is one of those actors that is in literally every movie to ever exist. But she always plays a role that’s important and crucial to the movie, but not very memorable. I’ve seen a bunch of her movies, and I recognize her in them all. And I can list you the movies she’s in. But I cannot tell you the name of a single one of her characters. (Although that shouldn’t really mean much coming from me, because I’m horrible at names.)

One very important thing to note is that she has the single greatest name of all time. Not including her middle and last name, I mean. And yet she chooses to shorten it with the WORST version of our name. It’s a travesty! Nobody tell my grandmother I said this, because that’s how she shortens her name as well.

Reading this did make me appreciate her much more than I already did. She’s made a carrier out of playing the best friend. Which helps make the main character more accessible to the audience. So, basically, we’re all lucky she’s taken these roles. Thanks, Judy!

I found her story to be quite entertaining. It wasn’t super exciting, but it was incredibly relatable. Also, I really appreciated how she included her step family. I think it’s important that people recognize that just because a family isn’t blood doesn’t make it less of a family.

Before reading this I never paid attention to IMDB ranks. But I totally just checked her profile, because I know she does, and I saw she’s in the top 500. Also her rank jumped up quite a bit from last week. I will absolutely claim credit, because I read this book. And doing so made everyone so excited about her. I don’t blame them.

4 Platypires - Joood - Hooligan



Buy the Book


About the Author

Judy Greer is an American actress with an extremely wide range of films and television projects under her belt. She is probably best known by fans of Arrested Development as Kitty and in films such as 13 Going on 30 (in some countries Suddenly 30) as the awkward best friend of Jennifer Garner's character Jenna.

Some of Judy's other film and Television credits include: 27 Dresses, 2 and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother and Jeff who lives at Home. To fans of the show Archer, Judy is known for her voice role as Cheryl.

Judy's most current film project is Kimberly Peirce's adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie as the kind gym teacher, Miss Desjardin who tries to stop Carrie's bullies.

In July 2014, Judy will be seen as the chimpanzee Cornelia, the wife and queen of ape king Caesar played by her Suddenly 30 co-star Andy Serkis.

Judy has two other projects coming out in 2015 including Tomorrowland and Disney/Pixar's The Good Dinosaur.

Monday, July 17, 2017

*Deja Revu* 17 July 2017

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
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Original
Meme
Response
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Fantasy
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Contemporary
Fantasy
Paranormal
Romance
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Contemporary
Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic
Fantasy
Romance
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Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic
Fantasy
Graphic Novel
Historical
Horror
Romance
Science Fiction
Suspense/Thriller
Women's Fiction

#MadLibMonday - Pucked by Rachel Walter

When I was growing up, I loved Mad Libs. The excitement of sort of writing your own story really appealed to me. So I thought it would be fun to mesh that love with my love of books by turning blurbs into mad libs and letting you guys write your own book blurbs. 

For anyone that doesn't know how Mad Libs work, I will ask you for certain parts of speech or other specific things (i.e.: date, age, color, etc.) which you will write down. After you have completed your list, scroll down below the cover image to find the redacted blurb. Then read through it substituting your words where applicable. Try not to laugh. (Laughing is actually strongly encouraged, because this is supposed to be funny.)

Some brief definitions of the parts of speech.
Noun: Person, place, or thing.
Verb: Describes or indicates action.
Adverb: Modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb expressing manner, place, time, or degree (gently, here, now, very).
Adjective: Names an attribute of a noun (pretty, blue, large)
Pronoun: A word that can function as a noun (I, we, they)
Preposition: a word that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that usually acts as an adverb, adjective, or noun (on, after, for)

And with that, here we go.

1: Noun
2: Verb ending in s
3: Noun
4: Adjective
5: Verb
6: Verb
7: Plural noun
8: Adjective
9: Verb
10: Noun


Genre: YA Romance
Published: February 8, 2015
Pages: 328

Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, (   1: Noun   ) of the Warrior’s Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he (   2: Verb ending in s   ) to be true, it’s that love causes pain and (   3: Noun   ) is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warrior’s number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the (   4: Adjective   ) of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to (   5: Verb   ) his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they (   6: Verb   ) to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her (   7: Plural noun   ) and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path. 

Can she find her (   8: Adjective   ) self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to (   9: Verb   ) his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the (   10: Noun   )?

Now that your fun is through, here's the real blurb for Pucked by Rachel Walter. 

Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warrior’s Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warrior’s number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path. 

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?

If you enjoyed this mad lib, comment with your list below (if you dare) so the rest of us can get a chuckle out of it as well. - Katie 

#MadLibMonday - Cry of the Sea by D.G. Driver

When I was growing up, I loved Mad Libs. The excitement of sort of writing your own story really appealed to me. So I thought it would be fun to mesh that love with my love of books by turning blurbs into mad libs and letting you guys write your own book blurbs. 

For anyone that doesn't know how Mad Libs work, I will ask you for certain parts of speech or other specific things (i.e.: date, age, color, etc.) which you will write down. After you have completed your list, scroll down below the cover image to find the redacted blurb. Then read through it substituting your words where applicable. Try not to laugh. (Laughing is actually strongly encouraged, because this is supposed to be funny.)

Some brief definitions of the parts of speech.
Noun: Person, place, or thing.
Verb: Describes or indicates action.
Adverb: Modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb expressing manner, place, time, or degree (gently, here, now, very).
Adjective: Names an attribute of a noun (pretty, blue, large)
Pronoun: A word that can function as a noun (I, we, they)
Preposition: a word that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that usually acts as an adverb, adjective, or noun (on, after, for)

And with that, here we go.

1: Noun
2: City
3: Plural noun
4: Verb
5: Two-digit number
6: Verb
7: Noun
8: Mythical creature, plural
9: Adjective
10: Verb


Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: February 23, 2014
Publisher: Fire and Ice Young Adult Books
Pages: 208
Goodreads // Amazon

Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which (   1: Noun   ) to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to (   2: City   ) to be far away from her environmental activist (   3: Plural noun   ). They expect her to (   4: Verb   ) the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average (   5: Two-digit number   )-year-old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so "out there?"

Her feelings on the subject are changed when she and her father (   6: Verb   ) to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the (   7: Noun   ), struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she finds out that these aren't humans at all. They're (   8: Mythical creature, plural   )!

Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his (   9: Adjective   ) young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company (   10: Verb   ) over the fate of the mermaids.

Now that your fun is through, here's the real blurb for Cry of the Sea by D. G. Driver.

Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average seventeen-year-old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so "out there?"

Her feelings on the subject are changed when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she finds out that these aren't humans at all. They're mermaids!

Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.

If you enjoyed this mad lib, comment with your list below (if you dare) so that the rest of us can get a chuckle out of it as well. - Katie 

#MadLibMonday - Dragon Hunter by Carina Wilder

When I was growing up, I loved Mad Libs. The excitement of sort of writing your own story really appealed to me. So I thought it would be fun to mesh that love with my love of books by turning blurbs into mad libs and letting you guys write your own book blurbs. 

For anyone that doesn't know how Mad Libs work, I will ask you for certain parts of speech or other specific things (i.e.: date, age, color, etc.) which you will write down. After you have completed your list, scroll down below the cover image to find the redacted blurb. Then read through it substituting your words where applicable. Try not to laugh. (Laughing is actually strongly encouraged, because this is supposed to be funny.)

Some brief definitions of the parts of speech.
Noun: Person, place, or thing.
Verb: Describes or indicates action.
Adverb: Modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb expressing manner, place, time, or degree (gently, here, now, very).
Adjective: Names an attribute of a noun (pretty, blue, large)
Pronoun: A word that can function as a noun (I, we, they)
Preposition: a word that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that usually acts as an adverb, adjective, or noun (on, after, for)

And with that, here we go.

1: Adjective
2: Verb, past tense
3: Noun
4: Verb, past tense
5: Adjective
6: Plural noun
7: Adjective
8: Noun
9: Verb ending in ing
10: Noun


Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published: March 11, 2016
Pages: 352

Neko is a skilled, (   1: Adjective   ) Hunter who's always kept to herself. When she's (   2: Verb, past tense   ) by a stranger to take down the most gorgeous, alluring (   3: Noun   ) she's ever met, her life becomes more interesting than she ever (   4: Verb, past tense   ) for. 

Lumen is a powerful, (   5: Adjective   ) Dragon shifter, one of the legendary Kindred. As Alpha of the Dragons' Guild, he has (   6: Plural noun   ) to his own kind and isn't looking for a mate. That is, until he meets the (   7: Adjective   ), dangerous Hunter who's been hired to take his (   8: Noun   ). To complicate matters, he can't stop (   9: Verb ending in ing   ) about her, and his inner Dragon is pretty sure they're meant to be together.

Will unrelenting (   10: Noun   ) win out over duty? 

Now that your fun is through, here is the actual blurb for Dragon Hunter by Carina Wilder.

Neko is a skilled, powerful Hunter who's always kept to herself. When she's hired by a stranger to take down the most gorgeous, alluring man she's ever met, her life becomes more interesting than she ever bargained for. 

Lumen is a powerful, gorgeous Dragon shifter, one of the legendary Kindred. As Alpha of the Dragons' Guild, he has responsibilities to his own kind and isn't looking for a mate. That is, until he meets the beautiful, dangerous Hunter who's been hired to take his life. To complicate matters, he can't stop thinking about her, and his inner Dragon is pretty sure they're meant to be together.

Will unrelenting desire win out over duty? 

If you enjoyed this mad lib, comment with your list (if you dare) so that the rest of us can get a chuckle out of it as well. - Katie 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

#SneakPeekSunday - All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

Title: All the Wind in the World
Author: Samantha Mabry
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Published: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 288
Goodreads

Synopsis

Sarah Jacqueline Crow and James Holt work in the vast maguey fields that span the bone-dry Southwest, a thirsty, infinite land that is both seductive and fearsome. In this rough, transient landscape, Sarah Jac and James have fallen in love. They’re tough and brave, and they have big dreams. Soon they will save up enough money to go east. But until then, they keep their heads down, their muscles tensed, and above all, their love secret.

When a horrible accident forces Sarah Jac and James to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch called the Real Marvelous, the delicate balance they’ve found begins to give way. And James and Sarah Jac will have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.

Sneak Peek Review

I received a copy of this sneak peek from Algonquin Young Readers through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

I hate that all I had for this was a sneak peek! I still have so many questions about what the heck is even going on in the world portrayed in this story. To me, it seems to be a near-future dystopian (basically everything west of the Mississippi is desert apparently), but the feel of society is a bit like during the Great Depression as portrayed in East of Eden by John Steinbeck. So maybe it's not a dystopian at all and is actually set in the not so distant past. I'm just not sure and haven't seen enough of the story to make a final conclusion. 

Then there is the relationship between Sarah and James. I would apparently have understood it better had I read the blurb before starting the sneak peek (one of these days I'll learn my lesson, I really will). It seemed like they were a couple, but they kept telling us that they're cousins, so that confused me. Based on the blurb, they clearly really are a couple and for some reason it's important for everyone else to think that they're cousins, which makes no sense to me at this point in the story (and is one of the biggest reasons why I wish I had the whole thing). 

In the sneak peek they had just gotten to the Real Marvelous ranch and because I have a decent understanding of foreshadowing and what it typically means for the future of a story, I know that stuff is going to get bad for them at Real Marvelous, like really bad, and probably really strange and almost unexplainable. And all of that worries me because these are kids and I don't want bad things to happen to them, and I need to know that they are okay. 

So, I'm going to have to buy this book at some point to make sure that Sarah and James ultimately survive and find their happy for now at the very least, because that is what I hope for them. - Katie 

Buy the Book


About the Author

Samantha Mabry grew up in Texas playing bass guitar along to vinyl records, writing fan letters to rock stars, and reading big, big books, and credits her tendency toward magical thinking to her Grandmother Garcia, who would wash money in the kitchen sink to rinse off any bad spirits. She teaches writing and Latino literature at a community college in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband, a historian, and her pets, including a cat named Mouse. She is the author of the novels A Fierce and Subtle Poison and All the Wind in the World. Visit her online at samanthamabry.com or on Twitter: @samanthamabry.