Sunday, June 11, 2017

To Review: "Hag-Seed" by Margaret Atwood

Next up to review is Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. It's a retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest, published by Hogarth Shakespeare.

I've read another novel from the same publisher that was the retelling of The Winter's Tale, which was called The Gap of Time, by Jeanette Winterson. Though I wasn't a huge fan of that retelling, I do like Shakespeare and Margaret Atwood, so perhaps this one will be a better fit!

I've read Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake (with The Blind Assassin sitting in my to-be-read pile!). Looking forward to getting into Hag-Seed and letting you know how it is!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"Jesus Loves Me! A Sing-Along Book" illustrated by Gynux

Image result for Jesus Loves Me! A Sing-Along Book illustrated by Gynux


Jesus Loves Me! A Sing-Along Book is a children’s board book containing three verses of the song Jesus Love Me. It is 20 pages long of thinner weight board pages. It opens so that the pages can lie flat, which is really nice since the pictures always are across the entire spread.




The pictures feature animals going on a nature walk while playing instruments, as the book is supposed to be sung to/with children. Along the nature walk, the animals engage in other activities in addition to playing instruments, such as catching a butterfly, saving a kitten from a tree, having a picnic, and building a campfire.

The last spread features a bunch of the animals looking at the book with the instruments, as though they are actually reading/playing along. The other side of the pages is sheet music for the first verse and chorus. Since all of the verses are the same tune, this can be used to play the entire song.

The book is of high-quality, with a foam board cover. The animals are cute, but the illustrations aren’t my favorite style; they’re slightly more towards realistic in textured drawing, but with extra expressive faces.

I wasn’t super familiar with the second and third verse of the song, since usually all I heard growing up was the first verse (“Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong; they are weak, but He is strong! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”). This would be a really fun way to sing along with children who love music, or if you play an instrument, you could even play along given the music at the end. The sheet music is simple to follow along.


I received a free copy of this book, but was not required to post a positive review.

Monday, May 29, 2017

"All Things Bright and Beautiful" illustrated by Dawn Machell


Image result for all things bright and beautiful book  the lord god made them allAll Things Bright and Beautiful: the Lord God Made Them All is a padded board book with a handled spine. I can definitely see young ones carrying around this book full of colorful illustrations and glittered pages. 


It is described as a rebelling of a well-loved hymn. The story starts and ends by saying that God created all things bright and beautiful. In between, several examples are listed, such as the seasons, plants, and animals.


Each spread of pages contains rhyming text, colorful animals, and glitter. The 10-page book contains a surprising amount of text for its small size, but did not feel like too much. The book is six sentences long in total, with each page I'm the last spread containing a while sentence. 

I love the artistic style, which is simplistic but modern and full of interesting colors and always glitter! I especially like the adorable smiling moose, the glittered river, and the way extra colors and designs were added to the elephant’s ears and birds’ wings. This book is adorable and so cheerful, with all of the animals showing off smiling faces. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with young children, or for giving as baby shower gifts!



I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to give a positive review. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom

I'd originally read Tuesdays with Morrie as a part of my high school sociology class. I was moved by it so much that I remember it clearly years later and was excited to read the new 20th anniversary edition.

For those unfamiliar with the book, Tuesdays with Morrie is life lessons from a dying professor to his former student.Though Mitch had lost contact with his old professor over the years, after seeing him on the news, he made an effort to get back in touch. The result was weekly Tuesday visits in which they talked about the world, feeling sorry for yourself, regrets, death, family, emotions, fear of aging, money, how love goes on, marriage, our culture, forgiveness, and the perfect day. The book is told from Mitch's perspective as an interview with Morrie.

For who have already read the original Tuesdays with Morrie, the message "giving is living" is given much more importance. The short afterword only added six pages, but they were six important pages. Pages that said that Morrie's lessons were still impacting Mitch and still impacting the world.

My only complaint with this book, which I don't remember being an issue when I first read it, was that the writing style was repetitive due to the interview style. Often Morrie would say something and Mitch would repeat a word or phrase that Morrie had just said in the form of a question, as a way of getting an explanation. It didn't really bother me until I was reading it aloud and it felt redundant.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my second read through of Tuesdays with Morrie. This book is a great gift for students, teachers, and people who want the world to be a more loving place. This new edition is perfect for showing the last impact of giving kindness.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books, but was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Terry Pratchett's "Wyrd Sisters"

I finally finished Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters and in the end, I enjoyed it much more than the Colour of Magic.

Though I wasn't a huge fan of the plot itself, the characters were unforgettable with spot-on wittiness. I especially loved meeting Death and watching a romance unfold between a witch and a fool.

I think I'll probably attempt some more Terry Pratchett books in the future, but I stand by my thought that I do better with a physical book than audio book for Pratchett's humor. Any suggestions on the next Pratchett book to read? There's so many options!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Beginning a new journey: MA in English!

I'm excited to announce I've been accepted to a masters of English program! I'll begin taking classes this fall, one at a time while working full time at the university.

My first course will be "literary studies," which even with the course description was super vague. So I have no idea what I'm getting in to with this one, but I hope there will be some great books to read and interesting discussions with new classmates.

The university offers a focus on children's literature, so I'm planning to do that. It looks like I'll be able to take a children's literature class in the spring.

I can't wait to get started and see where this journey leads!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Summer Reading Ideas

I'm going on a trip in a few months and already trying to plan my book-load! I don't know whether I should take the paper books that I have that I've been meaning to read, or whether to splurge and purchase some eBooks for ease of travel!

What are your strategies for books when traveling? I never estimate correctly how much reading time I will have and either take way too many books or not enough...at least if I choose to take my Nook I won't have that problem!

Happy summer reading to everyone!