Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Y, Bo Go Up, and Cat Egg by Larry Baum

Y (The Bo Books, #1)
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The first in the Bo Books series, using very short words in order to make it easier for children to learn how to read. "Y" uses only one-letter "words", "Bo, Go Up!" uses words no longer than two letters, and "Cat Egg" uses words no longer than three letters.

"Y" is about a little girl who asks her dad why the sky is blue and the grass is green. He doesn't know and gets frustrated, but she opens his eyes, literally and figuratively.

Bo Go Up


The second in the Bo Books series, using very short words in order to make it easier for children to learn how to read. "Y" uses only one-letter "words", "BO, GO UP!" uses words no longer than two letters, and "Cat Egg" uses words no longer than three letters.

In "Bo, Go Up!", two friends play with a ball until the ad on one of their t-shirts leads them to a hot air balloon ride.

Cat Egg


The third in the Bo Books series, using very short words in order to make it easier for children to learn how to read. "Y" uses only one-letter "words", "BO, GO UP!" uses words no longer than two letters, and "Cat Egg" uses words no longer than three letters. Three friends in "Cat Egg" play with a pet cat, which surprises them by appearing to have laid an egg.

My Thoughts

I read these books to my kindergarten class last school year but I forgot to post about them!
They are cute little stories that my class enjoyed.  The best part is that they were able to read them by themselves later!

Note: I received copies of these books in exchange for an honest review.

What's the Worst That Could Happen by Yewande Daniel-Ayoade

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What’s the worst that could happen? Easy for grandma to say. But Kayla could only imagine the worst-case scenarios as she tried to make friends at her new school. Will Kayla overcome her fear of rejection? Or will an overactive imagination get in the way?

'What's the Worst that Could Happen?' tackles the subject of social anxiety in children with a deft, yet gentle hand. Children with social anxiety will find Kayla very relatable. Adults that struggled with shyness as children will also see themselves reflected in this book.

My Thoughts

I read this book to my class and they certainly enjoyed it!  A cute book with a good message!

*Note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Today's Book Highlights!

Today I'm going to post a little book highlight.  I have been getting so many books to review and I'm getting quite behind!  I went through all of the books on my review tbr list and made some hard choices.  I decided to do a highlight post for some of the books instead of doing a review.  See, sometimes I receive books that aren't exactly ones that I would have chosen for myself.  And, in the past, I have even accepted books for review that I wouldn't typically choose because I just didn't want to say no.  The problem with that is that if I read the book and didn't enjoy it, simply because it wasn't my kind of book, I would not post the best review.  That is unfair to the author.  So, I have decided that I am going to be a lot more picky with the books I accept and with the books I already have I will choose which ones to read and review and which ones to post a highlight about.

So..... Time for today's highlights!

Rising Tide by Lynn Steigleder


Rising Tide depicts a world in which land is at a premium due to the advancing sea, where man’s attempt to adapt has led to a decay of morals into survival of the fittest. In the midst of the ocean, a crew of racketeers rescues a stranded diver, Ben Adams. Is the rescue just a fortunate coincidence for Ben, or has he been led to this rendezvous with fate for a common goal? A mysterious island inhabited by a primitive yet advanced race of people. A devious ship captain’s metamorphosis into the essence of evil and a ship’s container discovered by itself in a billion square miles of ocean all play a role in this tale of rebirth for a world corrupted by the collapse of morality.

Mission From Venus by Susan Plunket


The dark side has infiltrated many governments and much of the world of finance. The mission from Venus threatens their planned takeover of Earth. Failing a takeover, the dark lords will cause the planet's destruction through nuclear war, to prevent Earth from ascending to the fourth dimension on the path of light. The volunteer wanderers are all that stand in the way.

Why Didn't I Notice Her Before by Beth Cramer


In the fall of 2017, Beth Cramer went to a doctor for heartburn and came home with seven samples of Prilosec and stage 4 ovarian cancer. Over the next several months Cramer was in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices with her three fearless sisters, parents, husband and son by her side. However, it was through her diagnosis and impending death that she was finally set free from an obsession and debilitating regret that had defined nearly a quarter of her life. Who would have thought that the journey towards purpose and peace would be achieved through the teachings of cancer?

Irreverent, painfully honest and often hilarious, Why Didn’t I Notice Her Before? Is a beautifully observed memoir that finds courage and humor in the face of undefeatable odds. It questions the importance of regret and life choices, and it explores motherhood, marriage, friendship, and family while examining the elusive questions we all grapple with. Why me? What am I living for? And who can I negotiate with to make my life and legacy more meaningful than driving a carpool?

Friday, July 31, 2020

Ivy is a Weed by Robert Morse Roseth


Something funny is going on here!

Late one autumn evening, Mike Woodsen, the public relations director for a major Pacific Northwest university, is called by the campus police. A body has been found in central campus. It is Jeremy Ronson, a university vice president in charge of information technology. He lies four floors beneath his office window. The police conclude very quickly the fall was accidental and close the case.

Woodsen isn't convinced. He manages to get in to Ronson's office and finds stacks of paper everywhere -Ronson's "filing system" -- but only the stacks on the path from Ronson's desk to the window are disturbed. Woodsen decides to look deeper, despite his boss's admonition to suppress his investigative instincts.

Meanwhile, in his day job, Woodsen encounters the bizarre world of a public university in the 21st century. It is governed by suffocating and arcane bureaucratic rules, but at the same time its leaders dream of it achieving its rightful place as one of the most important, if not the most important, of society's institutions. Woodsen has a ringside seat for a major "rebranding" effort that is underway. The consultants announce the new "brand" is to make the university seem comparable to Harvard. They defend this lie by describing it as an "aspirational truth." They're slippery bastards. But apparently, in the current environment, they have the upper hand.

The university administration announces a series of cheesy television commercials to launch the rebranding project. Faculty react angrily. They regard it as a shallow effort that ultimately will devalue the institution as it moves down the slippery slope to becoming just another commercial product like soap or deodorant. They are pretty much ignored. Academic freedom, it turns out, is free but powerless.

Woodsen finds that the still-dead Ronson was responsible for the precipitate layoff of about 50 tech employees due to his mismanagement of the budget. But Ronson himself kept his title - apparently because he had a golden parachute built into his employment contract. He thought such deals were only found in the private sector among the mega-rich. So naive.

This is just the beginning of the seamy underside of the higher education business that Woodson unearths during his investigation. He has gathered a basket of facts about Ronson, his life, and the people who had reason to hate him. But he hasn't identified anyone with the combination of motivation and opportunity to hasten Ronson's exit from this world.

Just when he's about to give up he has a random encounter that sets his world on edge. The pieces of the crazy puzzle start to fall into place in a pattern that no one could have predicted. Even the jaded Woodsen is stunned by where his investigation has led him. The conclusion is both absurd and totally logical. Woodsen doesn't know whether he should be outraged or amused by the picture he has created.

My Thoughts

Before I started this book I read a review from someone and they described it to be cheeky.  That is such an accurate description!  Ivy is a Weed is definitely a cheeky mystery. 

This book is full of satirical charm and wit.  My son has the some kind of sarcasm so I really think that he would enjoy this book. I actually laughed out loud a few times!

Good book!  Pick up a copy for yourself!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Tell The Rain Goodbye by Jacqueline L. Sullivan

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For the last couple of years I’ve been convinced I was being extremely noble dragging around my special load of guilt and sorrow. I mean, I thought I was the only person in the world who hurt so much. After listening to Lanie, I knew that, in fact, I was pretty much full of my own special kind of crap.

What could a troubled sixteen-year-old and an aging, homeless television actress, now living in her decaying Mercedes, possibly have in common? Plenty as it turns out. Tracy Cooper finds her life begins to change in ways she never could have imagined after a chance meeting with Alana “Lanie” Milner, once one of television’s most beloved stars. Tracy soon finds herself caught up in the heartbreaking life on the street. The experience becomes a defining one for her, and she uses her camera to record Lanie’s life and the experiences of the homeless women she meets. In the process, she learns to deal with loss and the value of letting go, and she realizes that being a family is more about love and acceptance than about blood.

My Thoughts

Tell the Rain Goodbye is a really quick read at just over 100 pages.  And, while it's a short book, it still packs quite a punch!  There were definitely parts of this story that were unexpected and got to my heart.

There were a few things I did find a little problematic.  The part where Tracy says for Mr. Lewis to be her guardian would probably not really fly.  A single man taking in a teenage girl, while completely innocent, wouldn't really be accepted.  And, honestly, when Tracy's dad passed away, she more than likely would have immediately gone into foster care or something since her dad and Carole weren't married.

Even with the few things that I found to be somewhat unrealistic, I still found this book to be enjoyable and I definitely recommend that you read it.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Tell Me Why by Ruth O"Neill

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Lauren Adams is just an ordinary single girl, until one split-second decision throws her life into crisis.
When she meets the handsome and intriguing Max Davies during a girls’ weekend away, she can’t believe her luck. But it soon turns out to be her biggest mistake.
Max gets accused of murder, a murder that allegedly happened on the same night he and Lauren met.
Is Max really the man she thinks he is? Is he really innocent of murder? And why does Lauren hear him late at night, building something in the basement – a basement he’s made clear is out of

Tell me why follows a woman who just wants to be loved, but who instead ends up in a tangled web of lies, deceit, and terror.
A chilling read you won’t stop talking about.

My Thoughts

I have recently been reading and enjoying thrillers quite a lot.  So, this book coming up nest on my tbr list made for a good day!

Now, as I said, I have been reading a lot more thrillers lately than I used to so several are pretty fresh in my mind.  With that being said, there were parts of this book that I really enjoyed and kept me on my toes, and then there were some things I didn't love.

Normally I like it when stories move quick but I kind of felt like this one moved a little too quick.  I feel like maybe I would have liked everything better if the characters had a bit more development.  Not that I didn't like them, I just needed more.

Overall, this was a good book!  I just really think I needed more.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Heartless Divine by Varsha Ravi

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In this unexpected twist on mythology inspired by Sangam India, reincarnated lovers find themselves bound together, connected to their past by a centuries old tragedy that only one of them remembers.

In the ruthless martial empire of Naja, Suri is the crown’s unfailing blade. But the princess dreams of a life exploring the lands beyond the borders, unshackled by blood. The king and queen offer her freedom, at a price: marriage to a king she’s meant to kill, and the death of Athri, a kingdom her family once nearly destroyed.

Her only obstacle lies in the mountains above the Athrian capital of Marai, where a young prophet sees a world struck by catastrophe—a world where a girl lies dead in the temple of the fire god, and the city lies burning below.

Centuries later, Suri lives with no recollection of her past lives. Haunted by her family’s deaths eighteen years ago, Suri sees the boy bleeding gold on her doormat as an opportunity to unravel the mystery of the car crash that took their lives. But not all gifts are created equal, and the boy soon proves to be more trouble than he’s worth, a dangerous link back to a world of gods and wishes.

My Thoughts

When I first picked up this book I had a hard time getting into it.  I was on vacation and had brought it along to read while we were in the room or at the airport.  The problem may have been that I was too distracted to be able to get into and understand it well enough to really fall into the story.  So, I put it down and decided to read other books for a while.

A few days ago I picked it back up.  This time I was able to connect with the story and really become immersed in it.

It takes place in two timelines.   There is a historical timeline where Suri, the main character, is a princess turned assassin.  Her job is to marry and kill a prince.  Then, there is the present timeline where Suri finds someone bleeding on her doorstep.  This someone happens to be a god...

I absolutely love the main characters in The Heartless Divine.  Suri is such an interesting and relevant character and Kiran... he's great!  You fall in love with him instantly.

I do have to say that the other characters in this book weren't that great.  I didn't care much for any of them.  But that's really the only complaint that I have with this whole book.  The story, the world building, the mythology... all wonderful.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.