Monday, May 27, 2019

MOVIE - All Is True

PG-13 (1:41)
Limited release 5/10/2019
Viewed Memorial Day, 2019 at the Maple Theater in Bloomfield, MI - a pretty cool theater
IMBd: 5.9/10
RT Critic:  72  Audience:  76
Critic's Consensus:  Impressively cast and beautifully filmed, All Is True takes an elegiac look at Shakespeare's final days.
Cag:  5/Loved it 
Directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also starred
Sony Pictures Classics

Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench 

My comments:  A pretty decent movie.  All is true?!?  That's what I kept wondering as I watched this movie...how much is true and how much is just of the author's imagination?  How much is based on tidbits of information?  There's so much controversy about Shakespeare, the man and the myth, lol!  There's even a huge faction that say it wasn't even a guy named Shakespeare that did the actual writing of any of the plays.  This movie was totally interesting, thought-provoking, and whether it is true or not, was a great piece of historical storytelling.  The poor older gent behind me fell asleep, I suppose it was slower going than the adventure-packed stuff that is thrust down our throats for the last couple of years.  I really enjoyed this one a lot.  And Branagh's depiction of the bard is a blast to watch!  AND with Judith Dench as Anne...be still my heart!


RT/ IMDb Summary  The year is 1613, Shakespeare is acknowledged as the greatest writer of the age. But disaster strikes when his renowned Globe Theatre burns to the ground, and devastated, Shakespeare returns to Stratford, where he must face a troubled past and a neglected family. Haunted by the death of his only son Hamnet, he struggles to mend the broken relationships with his wife and daughters. In so doing, he is ruthlessly forced to examine his own failings as husband and father. His very personal search for the truth uncovers secrets and lies within a family at war.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Picture Book - The Neighbors by Einat Tsarfati

Illustrated by the author
Translated from Hebrew by Annette Appel
2017/Israel 2019/Abrams Books for Young Readers, NY
$16/99 HC
40 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.21 - 212 ratings
My rating:  5 A terrific picture book!
Endpapers:  mustard yellow with white line drawings of something from each apartment

1st line/s:  "I live in a building that is seven stories high."

My comments:  This clever picture book entertains up to the very end - and what an ending!  It's all about a little girl's imagination, with lots and lots and LOTS to look at in each illustration.  It's also about what her life is about to become, I think!  SO MUCH to talk about and share with kids in this one.

Goodreads As a young girl climbs the seven stories to her own (very boring!) apartment, she imagines what’s behind each of the doors she passes. Does the door with all the locks belong to a family of thieves? Might the doorway with muddy footprints conceal a pet tiger? Each spread reveals—in lush detail—the wilds of the girl’s imagination, from a high-flying circus to an underwater world and everything in between. When the girl finally reaches her own apartment, she is greeted by her parents, who might have a secret even wilder than anything she could have imagined!

Picture Book - Cicada by Shaun Tan

Illustrated by the author
2019 Arthur A. Levine Books
$19.99 (ridiculous anymore!)
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.12 - 1853 ratings
My rating:  2
Endpapers:  (Front) gray city blocks with no personality (Back) the forest and a beautiful sunrise/sunset

1st line/s:  
    " Cicada work in tall building.
      Data entry clerk.  Seventeen year.
      No sick day.  No mistake.
      Tok Tok Tok!"

My comments:  This poor cicada works for seventeen years for low pay, zero respect, and is constantly bullied and discriminated against.  Okay, I get it.  The ending, yes, is a treat.  But the message is bleak and depressing and much more for an adult than a kid.  And what on earth is "Tok Tok Tok?"  Am I missing something?  Is that supposed to be the sound a cicada makes??  Sorry to say, this book didn't do it for me.  And the jury's out on how most kids would enjoy it.... (I really did like the little guy and felt so sorry for him for those 17 years!)

Goodreads:  From the visionary Shaun Tan, an inspirational story for older picture book readers and beyond
          Cicada tells the story of a hardworking little cicada who is completely unappreciated for what he does. But in the end, just when you think he's given up, he makes a transformation into something ineffably beautiful. A metaphor for growing up? A bit of inspiration for the unappreciated striver in all of us? Yes, yes, and more.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Picture Book - A Poem in Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara

Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
2015 Schwartz & Wade Books
HC $16.99
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  3.94 - 355 ratings
My rating:  5, It's a terrific book
Endpapers:  Deinm blue with denim pockets with slips of papers (with words) sticking out of each
  
1st line/s:  "Mr. Tiffin's class had never had an author visit them before."

My comments: This is a terrific book, telling both the story of a teacher and his class and the cool way he teaches them about poetry - including similes, metaphor, concrete poetry,  acrostic poetry, and haiku.  And, so importantly, that poetry doesn't have to rhyme!  There's a bit of a theme about not trying to be perfect, as one of the clever kids in the class never writes a poem because she doesn't think it's good enough.  (Funny that no one's ever written a book about kids writing really bad poems...)

Goodreads:  Usher in National Poetry Month with Mr. Tiffin and his students, stars of the hugely popular How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? and The Apple Orchard Riddle
          Once again, Margaret McNamara sets her playful, child-friendly story in the classroom, and this time, poetry—from metaphors to acrostics to haiku—is the name of the game. The focus here is on Elinor, whose confidence falters as she tries to write something "perfect" for Poem in Your Pocket Day and impress a visiting poet. G. Brian Karas's accessible, adorable illustrations add to the fun.
          Includes a list of Mr. Tiffin's tips for celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day.
          "A nimble introduction to poetry as well as a sensitive look at the perils of perfectionism." —The New York Times
          "Pair this book with the works of Shel Silverstein, Paul B. Janeczko, Jack Prelutsky, Douglas Florian, or Robert Louis Stevenson." —School Library Journal, Starred

Monday, May 20, 2019

47. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

listened to on Chirp
read by Caitlyn Green
Unabridged audio (8:55)
2009 Simon & Schuster
420 pgs.
YA Fantasy
Finished 5/20/2019
Goodreads rating:  3.99 - 517,264 ratings
My rating:  3
Setting: Contemporary Coldwater, Maine

First line/s:  "I walked into Biology and my jaw fell open."

My comments:  Well...this is just the sort of book a young teenage girl would enjoy greatly.  Romance, cute boys, a little bit of mystery, an "innocent" protagonist who is daring one minute and shaking in her boots the next.  As an adult, of course, I spent much of the read (or should I say listen) rolling my eyes.  But it's perfect for a 13-year-old fantasy lover.  I do think I'll pass on the rest of the series, myself....

Goodreads synopsis:
A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE

          Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.
          But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
          For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Movie - Breakthrough

PG (1:30)
Wide release 4/17/19
Viewed Sunday, May 19th, 2019 in Chambersburg
IMBd: 4.5/10
RT Critic:  60  Audience:  83
Critic's Consensus:  Like its lead character, Breakthrough is fiercely focused on faith -- but its less subtle elements are balanced by strong performances and an uplifting story.
Cag:  4.5 Liked it a lot despite so many religious overtones
Directed by Roxann Dawson
20th Century Fox
Based on the book by the mom, Joyce Smith (not the Joyce Smith I grew up with....)

Topher Grace, Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Mike Colter

My comments:  Interesting, well-done, and not too religious.  Based on a true story.  A faith-based movie about a young man who drowned and should've never lived, but did.  Without brain damage, without lung damage, and with the whole town pulling for him.  Definitely a miracle, but was open ended enough so that if you don't believe in "God" it gives you lots of food for thought.  I didnn't feel like faith or belief-in-God and Jesus was being shoved down my throat.  My favorite person to watch was Topher Grace, who played the pastor.  He was just terrific, as was Mike Colter who played the firefighter who finally found John and pulled him out of the water.  A solid 4...maybe even a 4.5....



RT/ IMDb Summary  BREAKTHROUGH is based on the inspirational true story of one mother's unfaltering love in the face of impossible odds. When Joyce Smith's adopted son John falls through an icy Missouri lake, all hope seems lost. But as John lies lifeless, Joyce refuses to give up. Her steadfast belief inspires those around her to continue to pray for John's recovery, even in the face of every case history and scientific prediction. From producer DeVon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven) and adapted for the screen by Grant Nieporte (Seven Pounds) from Joyce Smith's own book, BREAKTHROUGH is an enthralling reminder that faith and love can create a mountain of hope, and sometimes even a miracle.

Friday, May 17, 2019

46. Open Season by Linda Howard

listened to Audio - Chirp
read by Deborah Hazlett
Unabridged audio (8:47)
2001 Pocket Books
320 pgs.
Adult romance with a bit of mystery....fun!
Finished 5/17/2019
Goodreads rating:  4.01 - 17,200
My rating: 4
Setting: 2001 Alabama

First line/s:  from prologue:  "Carmela nervously clutched the burlap bag that heeld her other dress, some water, and a small package of food she had been able to save for the trip north, across the border."
from Chapter 1:  " 'Daisy, breakfast is ready!' "

My comments:  This book was a riot!  I snickered and guffawed all the way through it.  It was a mystery and it was a romance (quite sexy, actually, for its 2001 copyright) and it was a makeover story, all rolled into one...and it was loads of fun.  The narrator, Deborah Hazlett, used just the right touch of southern/Alabaman accent to really pull the whole thing off.  Greatly enjoyed it!

Goodreads synopsis:  On her thirty-fourth birthday, Daisy Minor decides to make over her entire life. The small-town librarian has had it with her boring clothes, her ordinary looks, and nearly a decade without so much as a date. It's time to get a life—and a sex life. The perennial good girl, Daisy transforms herself into a party girl extraordinaire—dancing the night away at clubs, laughing and flirting with abandon—and she's declared open season for manhunting. But her free-spirited fun turns to shattering danger when she witnesses something she shouldn't—and becomes the target of a killer. Now, before she can meet the one man who can share her life, first she may need him to save it.     
          Seamlessly blending heart-pounding romance and breathless intrigue, Linda Howard delivers a stylish and provocative novel that absolutely defies readers to put it down.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Poetry - Outside the Box: A Book of Poems by Karma Wilson

Illustrated by Diane Goode
2014 Margaret K. McElderry Books
HC $17.99
172 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  3.85 - 221 ratings
My rating:  4.5 

My comments:  In this homage to Shel Silverstein, funny, clever, rhythmic poems (including poems with no flabby rhyming) are not only dedicated to the great children's poet, but they even look and sound somewhat like his creations.  Such fun!  A few follow...

GoodreadsThis laugh-out-loud poetry collaboration from a New York Timesand Publishers Weekly bestselling author and a Caldecott Honor illustrator is anything but ordinary.
          Dive in to Karma Wilson's latest collection of more than 100 poems: some humorous, some poignant, and all of them Outside the Box. Illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Diane Goode, Outside the Box has something for everyone. Appealing to kids and parents alike, poems such as Sick Day, My Pet Robot, Balloonaphobia, and Aliens Under My Bed are sure to delight and entertain.

Bubble Trouble

I bought myself two packs of gum.
I chewed and chewed some more.
I blew a bubble round a fat,
and bigger than ever before!

I blew and it grew
and grew
and grew
and grew!
None of my friends could believe it.
The biggest bubble ever blown,
and I was the kid to achieve it!

I kept on blowing, it kept on growing.
When would it ever stop?
It all seemed like such an awesome plan
till my sister made it
POP!

Man in the Moon

When you look at the face
of the Man in the Moon,
what kind of face do you see?
Is it aged and wise, sad, surprised,
or happy and beaming with glee?
Is it angry and stern, full of concern,
wistful, or filled with delight?
What mood do you see
in the face that shines down
and kisses the darkness with light?

A Lump of Clay

It’s just a lump of clay,
that’s it.
But pick it up
and squeeze a bit.
Now roll it, pat it,
poke it, too.
Pinch the clay
a time or two.
With imagination
and elbow grease,
you’ll create
a masterpiece
Pound it down
to a lump, and then
pick it up and
start again.

Shades of Gray

The shadows of trees, the clouds in the sky.
The wings of a wren as she flutter on by.
The face of the moon as he watches the night,
not quite black, but not quite white.
The hue of the world
when the sun slips away.
Beautiful shades of gray.

Moose on the Bus

There’s a moose on the bus,
and he caused quite a fuss
when he clambered aboard, big and brown.
We screamed for police
to restore general peace,
but they weren’t anywhere to be found.

The moose thought awhile,
then strolled down the aisle
and sat in the seat next to me.
He is kind, more or less,
and I have to confess,
he makes for polite company.

But one thing I’ve found
while the bus drives around
and I sit with a moose at my side,
He’s friendly and all,
but he’s really quite tall,
and his antlers are rater too wide.-

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

45. Spider Woman's Daugter by Anne Hillerman

Leaphorn &Chee #19
listened on Audible
read by Christina Delaine
Unabridged audio (9:53)
2013 Harper
301 pgs.
Adult Murder Mystery
Finished 5/15/2019
Goodreads rating:  3.97 - 9354 ratings
My rating:  3.5
Setting: Contemporary Navajo reservation, New Mexico

First line/s:   " 'I get this call out of the blue.  A woman.  First, she reminds me that I saved her life.  Then she says she wants me to do her a favor...' "

My comments:  It took me a long while to get through this one. I listened to it. The narrator spoke with a strong Navajo accent for both Chee and Bernadette.  The pronunciation was slow and drawn out, and it wasn’t at all the voices or accents I’ve had in my head for them. It was too slow — slowed down the action, slowed down their thinking, slowed down the story. I didn’t like it. There were three or four places that 2+2 equaled 15, but it gave them clues in the right direction. Huh? A bit disconcerting. Not the same kind of writing, which is to be expected, but I’ll get used to it and continue on with the series.

Goodreads synopsis:  Legendary tribal sleuths Leaphorn and Chee are back! The supremely talented daughter of New York Times bestselling mystery author Tony Hillerman continues the popular series with this fresh new Navajo Country mystery-her debut novel-filled with captivating lore, startling suspense, bold new characters, vivid color, and rich atmosphere
          It happened in an instant: After a breakfast with colleagues, Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito saw a truck squeal into the parking lot and heard a crack of gunfire. When the dust cleared, someone very close to her was lying on the asphalt in a pool of blood.
          With the victim in the hospital fighting for his life, every officer in the squad and the local FBI office are hellbent to catch the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations strictly forbidding eyewitness involvement. Her superior may have ordered her to take some leave, but that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is put in charge of finding the shooter.
          Pooling their skills, Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key to the shooting. Digging into the old investigation with fresh eyes and a new urgency, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth with every clue . . . and closer to a killer who will do anything to prevent justice from taking its course.

Movie - The Hustle

PG-13 (1:33)
Wide release 5/10/19
Viewed on Mother's Day 5/15/19 RC Hanover Theater, early afternoon
IMBd: 5.3
RT Critic: 14   Audience:  48
Critic's Consensus:  The Hustle's stars might make an effective comedy team in a different setting, but this gender-flipped remake of a remake adds little beyond its feminine twist.
Cag:  4/liked it quite a bit, funny
Directed by Chris Addison
MGM

Rebel Wilson, Anne Hathaway

My comments:  Well that was fun.  Cute and entertaining.  Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson played off each other really well as two con artists working both against each other and together.  Entertaining, lush setting, and funny.  Not hysterical, but enough good laughts.  Finally, a comedy that is funny but not stupid, yippee.

RT/ IMDb Summary:  Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway have winning chemistry as a pair of con artists plying their trade in a stunning seaside town in the south of France. Josephine Chesterfield (Hathaway) is a glamorous, seductive Brit with a sprawling home in Beaumont-sur-Mer and a penchant for defrauding gullible wealthy men from all corners of the world. Into her well-ordered, meticulously moneyed world bursts Penny Rust (Wilson), an Aussie who is as free-form and fun-loving as Josephine is calculated and cunning. Where Penny amasses wads of cash by ripping off her marks in neighborhood bars, Josephine fills her safe with massive diamonds after ensnaring her prey in glitzy casinos. Despite their different methods, both are masters of the art of the fleece so they con the men that have wronged women. Wilson's talent for physicality and Hathaway's withering wit are a combustible combination as the pair of scammers pull out all the stops to swindle a na├»ve tech billionaire

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

44. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tehereh Mafi

Listened to audio on Chirp
read by Priya Ayyar
Unabridged audio (6:43)
2018 Harper Teen
310 pgs.
YA
Finished 5/14/2019
Goodreads rating:4.30 - 13,629 ratings
My rating:  4.5
Setting:  2002 anywhere America

First line/s:  "We always seemed to be moving, always for the better, always to make our lives better, whatever."

My comments:  What an exceptionally written story!  Set about a year after 911, from the point of view of a 16-year-old Muslim American girl who has decided to wear a hijab, even though people's reactions are unbelievably cruel.  Shirin is the new girl in a new school, trying to be invisible, but with sassy responses whenever anyone gives her a hard time, which is frequent.  She doesn't take any shit from anyone.  Her only friends are the three guys who hang out with her older, senior-year brother, and who she joins in creating a break-dancing routine.  Then along comes a guy named Ocean.  And the story twists and turns from there.  Twists and turns in a very believable way.  Watching these two characters grow and change and really use the lessons their lives are throwing at them is a treat.  So well written!

Goodreads synopsis:  It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
          Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
          But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

TBR Goodreads List

As of May, 2019, I have 352 books on my Goodreads Want-to-Read List!
As of August, 2019 I have 371 books - finding more than I'm able to read!

Not out yet:
7/30/19  Never Have I Ever (Jackson)
8/6/19  House of Salt and Sorrows (Craig) 4.17
10/8/19  Bloody Genius (#12 Virgil Flowers) (Sandford)
10/8/19 The Who Was? History of the World
11/2019  Starless Sea, The (Morganstern) 4.38
1/7/2020  Scavenge the Stars (#1) (Tara Sim) YA
1/21/20  Hand on the Wall, the (#3 Truly Devious) (Johnson) YA 
1/21/20  Tweet Cute (Emma Lord) YA
2/2020  Alone in the Wild (#5 Rockton/Casey Duncan)

Adult Books Alphabetical by Title
99 Percent Mine (Thorne) 3.51  2019
A Closed and Common Orbit (Chambers) (#2 Wayfarers) SciFi  4.36  out in 2016
A Curious Beginning (#1 Veronica Speedwell) (Raybourn) 3.97  2015 K-3 CCLS-eBk
A Gentleman In Moscow (Towles) HF 1922 Humorous 4.363 2016  CCLS-both
A Merciful Secret (#3 Mercy Kilpatrick/Survivalist)  4.41 2018
A Thousand Splendid Suns (Hosseini) Afghanistan  4.36 out in 2007
A Woman is No Man (Rum) Conserv. Arab women in America 4.32 out 3/19
All Systems Red (Wells) 4.15  2017  Chirp
All the Beautiful Lies (Swanson) ME? mystery Have on Kindle
Alone (#1 Det. D. D. Warren) (Lisa Gardner) 3.97 out in 2005  E-CCLS
Alone in the Wild (#5 Rockton/Casey Duncan) Feb. 2020
Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure (#1 InfinityEngines) (Hastie) SciFi/Chg the past to save the future  4.22 out in 2017
Artifacts of Death (Manny Rivera #1) (Curtin) SE UT myst - grt. rev.  4.28  2011 K-Unl-free
Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers, The  3.68 out in 2018  K-2
Beneath the Depths (#2 Byron/Portland ME) (Coffin) 4.31 pub 2017
Bloody Genius (#12 Virgil Flowers) (Sandford) out 10/8/19
Body in Question, The  (Ciment) 3.84 out June 2019
Body Keeper, The (#3 Jude Fontaine) (Frasier) 4.35 out 6/4/19
Bookshop on the Corner (Colgan) Bookmobile  3.85 out in 2016 Have on Chirp
Bride Test, The  (#2 Kiss Quotient) "cute/smutty rom"  4.20 out 5/7/19 ON RESERVE
Child Finder, The (#1 Naomi Cottle) (Denfeld) Female finds missing kids 3.99 2017 CCLS-Aud
Clockmaker's Daughter, The (Morton) Multivoices across time  3.76  out in 2018 eBk-CCLS
Closer Than You Know (Parks) StandaloneMyst  4.07 out in 2018
Collision (#3 Phobos) (Dixen) 4.02  2019 in US
Conviction (#3 Rebekah Roberts (Dahl)  3.85 out 2017
Craven Manor (Coates) caretaker scary mansion  4.03  our 2017
Dante's Equation (Jensen) Codes/Toah/Bible/Myst grt rev.  3.70 2003
Dark Pattern (Mayne) #4 Theo Cray Oct. 2019
Daughters of Temperance Hobbs, The (Howe) 3.85 June 2019
Dead to Me (#1 Det. Kate Matthews) (Edger) Myst/PolProc  4.05 out in 20178 K-3
Dead of Autumn (#1 Alexa Williams) (Knowlton) 4.18 out 2015
Dead of Summer (Knowlton) (#2 Alexa Williams) out in 2015
Dead Lemons (Bell) old hse & hist  4.25 out 2016
Dear Lily (Drew Davies) 3.79  2019  Own-K
Debt of Tamar, The (Dweck) 16th Cent meets 21st Cent Turkey/Jews  3.76  2013
Desert Cut (#3 Lena Jones) (Webb) 3.86 out 2008  TPPL has Audio
Dream Queen (#6 Chloe Newcomb) (Thornton) Chloe prequel 3.00 2010 K-7
Elevation (Stephen King) a CastleRock story  3.70 out 2018  CCLS-both 
Ellie and the Harpmaker (Hazel Prior) 4.05  Aug 2019 OWN K
Ellie Dwyer's Great Escape (Winger) 4.30  2019  Have on Kindle
Evvie Drake Starts Over (Holmes) (Maine) 4.05   2019  eBk & eAud ON HOLD
Familiars, The (Halls) 3.90 May 2019
Fifth to Die, The ($MK #2) (Barker)  4.34 out in 2018  K-Unl-free
Flatshare, The (O'Leary) funny, light romance 4.22   April 2019
Force of Nature (#2 Falk) (Harper)  3.85 out in 2018 Have Audio and K
Forgotten Ones, The  (Holmes)  Fam Secrets 2 POV  4.02 out in 2018 K-Unl-free
Genealogy (Wood) Letters across generations  4.24 out 2018
Ghostwriter, The (Torre) 4.22 2017
Glovemaker, The (Weisgarber) 3.81 Feb. 2019
Halfway Human (Gilman) AdSciFi Asexual  4.00  out in 1998 K-5
Hiding in the Past (#1 Forensic Genealogy) 3.88 2013
Home Fire (Shamsie) immig in US  4.08 iyt ub 2017  Have on Kindle
House at Ladywell, The (Slade) Recom by GeraniumCat  4.44  out 2017
House of Salt and Sorrows (Craig) 4.17  out 8/6/19
Huntress Moon (#1) (Sokoloff) FBI fem detect hunts for fem serial killer 4.11 2012
Ice Cold Kill (#1 Daria Gibron (Haynes) ex-Israeli Secret Service, now US/Thriller  3.9  out in 2013
IQ84 (Murakami) dystopian/2 pov/LONG 3.91 out 2011
Islanders, The (Meg Mitchell oore) 3.96 - 2019
Jonny Appleseed (Whitehead) NatAm/cybersex worker  4.19  out in 2018
Keep Her Safe (Tucker) 4.08  2018 Have Audio
Last, The  (Jameson) Dyst thriller/apocolypse  3.69 out  4/19
Last Runaway, The  (Chevalier) HF  3.80  2013  BOS-CD
Last Time I Lied, The (Sager) Myst from 15 yrs prior  4.08 out in 2018 CCLS-both
Leave No Trace (Mejia) psychol. thriller/reappearance of a boy 10 yrs later 3.59 2018 published CCLS-both
Leavers, The (Ko) 2 voices abanodoned Chinese boy & his mother  3.87 out in 2017
LIFEL1K3 (#1) (Kristoff) Post-apocal.Dyst  4.07 out in 2018
Line Between, The (Tosca) 425 1/2019  Chirp
Livia Lone (#1 Eisler) (Kristoff) Post-apol. Dyst 4.14 2016 K-Unl-free
Lost Man, The (Harper) Australian standalone 4.26 out 2/19  CCLS-both
Lost Vintage, The (Hah) AdMyst thru the yrs to WWI  4.03  2018
Lying Next to Me (Olsen) 4.25 May, 2019
Magpie Murders (Horowitz)  Myst within a Manuscript  3.93 out in 2015 eAud-CCLS  Have on Kindle
Marsh King's Daughter, The (Dionne) Contemp Thriller 3.87 out 2017 Have Kindle  CCLS-both
Mayan Star (Allan) Cont Myst 3.88 out 2018 read 5/19 
Murder Once Removed (#1 Ancestry Detective) (Perkins) 3.80   2019
Name of the Devil, The (Mayne) #2 Jessica Blackwood (cop/ex-magician)  4.14  out in 2015
Never Have I Ever (Jackson) out 7/30/19
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (#1) (Molly Harper)  3.91  2009
Nine Perfect Strangers (Moriarty) CRF/suspense  3.52  out in 2018  CCLS-both
Nowhere to Run (#1) (Bush) Colleagues shot/secret past 3.86 2012
Once Upon a River (Setterfeild) HF/great rev  4.03 out in 2018  CCLS-both 
Orphan X (Hurwitz) BlackOps Thriller 4.09 2016 CCLS-eBk
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Marquez) Highly Rec 4.06 2003  CCLS-Aud
Open Season (Howard) Myst/Librarian/Makeover  4.01  out in 2001 Have on Chirp
Overlook, The (#13 Bosch) Next one up!  3.93 2007  CCLS-Aud
Play Dead (#4 Kim Stone) (Marsons) 4.40 2016  K-5
Playing with Bones (#2 Joe Plantagenet) (Ellis) 3.79 2009
Printed Letter Bookshop, The (Reay) 4.09 CRF coming 5/14/19
Rabid (#8.5 Mike Bowditch) 4.11  6/5/18
Recursion (Crouch) AdSciFiMyst (NYC cop)  4.36 out 6/11/2019
Rick Steves Travel as a Political Act (Steves)  4.03 2014  CCLS-eBk
River of Salt (Warner) Australia/ex-hitman 4.00 out 4/1/19
Run Away (Coben) Standalone 2019
Sadness is A White Bird (Zecher) teenagers-Israeli/Palestinian  4.01 2018
Secrets of Paper and Ink, The (Harrel) Cornwall/3 intertwining lives  4.09 2/19
Shamed (Burkholder #11) (Castillo)  out 7/16/19
Sixth Wicked Child (#3 4MK Thriller) (Barker)  4.66 Out 8/29/2019
Skull Flowers (Fletcher) Fant/SciFi 4.23 3/19
Snowblind (#1 Dark Iceland) Jonasson) AdMurdMyst No. Iceland 3.56 2015  CCLS-eAud
Sotah (Rogen) Jerusalem/Hasidic sisters  4.12  2001 Have Kindle
Sourdough (Sloan) CRF funny-Iris recom. 3.76 2017 CCLS-both
Starflight (#1 Starflight) (Landers) Sci/fem protag.  3.87 out in 2016
Starless Sea, The (Morganstern) 4.38  11/2019
Stay Hidden (#9 Mike Bowditch)  3.87  out 2018
Story of Arthur Truluv, The (Elizabeth Berg) 'sweet"  4.16  out in 2017
Tattooist of Auschwitz, The (Morris) HF  4.28  out in 2018 CCLS-both 
Tell No One (Coben) Myst Thriller Standalone  4.11 out in 2009
Their Last Words (#1 DS Ray Paterson) (Parker)  London cop  4.19  out in 2018
There There (Orange) 12 people NatAm pow wow  4.02  out in 2018 CCLS-both 
Thornyhold (Stewart) 3.78 pub 1988 (have Kindle) Aud out in 11/2019
Truth and Lies (Mitchell) #1 DI Amy Winter) Eng myst-serial killer biol. mom!  4.35 2018
Unhoneymooners, The (Christina Lauren) 4.06  5/2019 
Unlikely Adventures of the Shangill Sisters, The (Jaswal) 4.04 out 4/19
Unmarriageable (Kamal) Pride & Prej in Pakistan 3.83 out 1/19
Unquiet Dead, The  (#1 Getty & Khattak) (Khan) Ad Canadian Muslim Myst  3.84 out in 2014
Unsheltered (Kingsolver)  3.64 out 2018  CCLS-both
UNSUB (#1) (Gardiner) Murd Myst clude/20yrs 4.04 2017  CCLS-both
Vanishing Girls (#1 Josie Quint) (Lisa Regan)  4.24  2018  Own K & Aud
Wake the Devil (#2 STurgis & Kale) Loved #1 4.07 2016
Walking the Perfect Square (Moe Prager #1) (Coleman) ex-cop/1998NYC-9 bks in acclaimed series 3.81  2002
Watcher in the Woods (Rockton #4) (Armstrong) 4.18 out 2/19 CCLS-both 
Weight of Ink, The (Kadish) HF/1660/Contemp  4.18 out in 2017 Have on Kindle
Witchborn (Bowling) Fun Hist/Fant/1577 England 3.39 out 2018

Memoir
Becoming (Obama)  4.64  out in 2018
Heart Berries (Mailhot) Memoir/NatAm  3.88 2018
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love (Shapiro)  4.07  out 1/19  CCLS-both
Rules Do Not Apply, The (Levy) Memoir  3.74 out in 2018
She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders (Boylan) Memoir 3.92 out in 2004  eBk-CCLS
Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland (Shah) Memoir 3.83  2004

MidGrades Bks by Title
A Boy Called Bat (#1 (Arnold)  4.04 2014  K-Unl-free
A Dash of Trouble (#1 Love Sugar Magic) Meriano) Mid Gr magic/DoD  4.04 2018
Ahimsa (Kelkar) MidGr 1942 India/Gandhi  4.17 2017
All of Me (Baron) MidGr overwt boy 4.88 out 6/11/19
Amal Unbound  (Saeed) MidGr Pakistan 4.23 2018  CCLS-eAud
Benefits of Being An Octopus, The (Braden) MidGr grt. rev.  4.47 out in 2018 E-CCLS
Bob (Mass)  MidGr/Australia/Fant 4.08 out in 2018  CCLS-both
Book Scavenger (Chambliss) (#1 in series) MidGr  4.16 out in 2015 CCLS-both Have on Kindle
Boy on the Porch, The (Creech) boy found on porch 3.90  2013  K-6
Boy, the Boat, and the Beast, The (Clark) MidGr/Amnesi/survival  4.05  out in 2018
Bridge Home. The (Venkatraman MidGr CRF/India 4.47 out 2/19
Escape from Aleppo (Senzai) MidGr fleeing Syria  4.04 2018
Eventown (Haydu) MidGr Dystopia  4.03 out 2/19 read 4/19
Just Like Jackie (Stoddard) MidGr VtMale/bullies  4.34 2018
Just Under the Clouds (Sarno) MidGr/Homeless  3.99 out in 2018
Length of a String, The (Weissman) MidGr Jew/search for birth parents  4.37 out in 2018
Louisiana's Way Home (DiCamillo) MidGr  4.33 out in 2018  Aud-CCLS
Maybe a Mermaid (Cameron) MidGr 4.03 out 3/19
Merci Suarez Changes Gears (Medina) MidGr CRF NEWBERY  3.85 out 2018
Miscalculations of Lightning Girl (McAnulty) MidGr genius/homesch/begins Mid Sch  4.256  out in 2018  eAud-CCLS
Navigating Early (Vanderpool) MidGr 1945 ME boys  4.06 2013
Night Diary, The (Hiranandani)  4.20  2018
Otherwood (Hautman) 3.92  2018
Paperboy (Vawter) Tn Stutterer 1959 3.95  2013  CCLS-Aud K-8
Parker Inheritance, The (Johnson) MidGr FoundLetter  4.21 2018
Pay Attention Carter Jones (Schmidt) Mid Gr 4.11 out  2/19
Refugee (Gratz) 3 stories tied tog @end 4.52 2017 CCLS-bk
Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, The (Gemeinhart)  4.55 out 1/19
Restart (Korman) kid loses memory, must restart  4.22  2017  CCLS-Aud
Rhyme Schemer (Holt) MidGr 7thgr bully/novel in verse  3.98 2014
Secret Tree, The (Standiford) 3.98  2012  K-4
Shadow Cipher, The (#1 York) (Ruby) 2017
Sky at Our Feet, The (Hashimi) MidGr Afghan Immig 3.78  out in 2018
Small Spaces (Arden) MidGr/Fun & Spooky  4.03  out 2018  Aud-CCLS
Song for a Whale (Kelly) MidGr CRF Deaf/Trip to AK 4.29 out 2018
Storm Keeper's Island, The (#1 Storm Keepers) (Doyle) 4.24  2018
Sure Signs of Crazy (Harrington) MidGr coming of age 3.94 2013  CCLS-bk
Unforgettable Guinevere St. Claire, The (Makechenie) MidGr Mystery  4.11 out in 2018
Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth (O'Connor) MidGr/Viet era  4.28  out in 2018
Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (Glaser) 4.24  2017 CCLS-eBk
Where the Watermelons Grow (Baldwin) MidGr Mom's Mental Illness  4.20 out in 2018
Whispers, The (Howard)  3.97  Jan. 2019
Who Was History of the World coming 10/8/19
Zenobia July (Bunker) 4.10  May 2019  CCLS-Aud

YA Bks by Title
A Very Large Expanse of Sea (Mafi) YA/Muslim/5stars  4.30  out 2018
American Road Trip (Flores-Scott) YA CRF male protag.  3.90 out in 2018
An Ember in the Ashes (#1) (Tahir) YA Fant  4.31 2016 CCLS-both
Anatomical Shape of a Heart  (Bennett) 3.93  2015  have on Kindle
And She Was (Verdi) YA teenager discovers mom is trans  3.76 out in 2018
Ascension (Phobos #1) (Dixen) YA SpeedDating in space  4.05 out in 2015 have BOOK
Bloodleaf (#1 Bloodleaf) (Smith) YA Fant 3.89 out 3/19
Caraval (#1) (Garber) YA Fant/Magic  3.95 out in 2017
Changeling (Harper) YA Fant 4.11 out 2018
Collision (#3 Phobos) YA Fant Book only-have
Darius the Great is Not Okay  (Khorram) PersAmerican boy goes to Iran 4.31 2018  CCLS-both 
Down and Across (Almadi) YA Coming of Age  3.55  2018 CCLS-Aud
Dread Nation (#1 Dread Nation) YA CivilWarEra/Fantasy  4.16  out 2018  RESERVED at CCLS
Flight Season (Marquadt) YA CRF/Seattle  4.18  2018
Forbidden Wish, The (Khoury) YA genies/rom  4.08 out in 2016  E-CCLS
Hand on the Wall, the (#3 Truly Devious) (Johnson) out 1/21/20
Hope and Other Punchlines (Buxbaum) YA "Baby Hope" want to be anony 4.33 out 5/7/19
How to Disappear (Roat) 4.32   2019
Hush, Hush (Fitzpatrick) YA Fran  3.99 out in 2009 Have on Chirp
If I Was Your Girl (Russo) YA Trans MtoF  4.00  out in 2016  eAud-CCLS
If You're Out There (Loutzenhiser)  3.85  2019
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (Bowling) YA HS girl w/no arms  4.33
Letters to the Lost (Kemmerer) YA Ltr writing bet two unknowns 4.36 2017  K-5
Love, Hate and Other Filters (Ahmed) YA Crf Ind-Am Muslim  3.84 out in 2018
Lovely War (Berry) 4.31  March 2019
Midnight at the Electric (Anderson) YA SciFi  3.93 2017  CCLS-eBk
Neverworld Wake (Pessl) YA mystery  3.79 out in 2018  CCLS-both 
Nyxia Unleashed (Reintgen) (#2 Nyxia Triad) YA 4.22 out in 2018
On the Come Up (Thomas) YA 4.36 out 2/19 Aud WL @TPPL  CCLS-both
Other Words for Home (Warga) 4.57 YA-Syria coming 5/28/19
Our Dark Duet (#2 Monsters of Verity) (Schwab) YA Vampires? Dyst  CCLS-both
Out of the Easy (Sepetys) YA/1950 New Orleans Myst  4.05 out in 2013  Aud-CCLS
Reached (Matched #3) (Condie)  3.56  2012  Aud-CCLS
Return of the Continuums (#2) (Brody)  YA 4.13 2016
Scavenge the Stars (#1) (Tara Sim) 1/7/2020
Scream All Night (Milman) YA dark & funny CRF  3.77  out in 2018
Serious Moonlight (Bennett) YA CRF/Rom 3.97 out 4/19
Starry Eyes (Bennett) YA/Stranded in wilderness  4.04 out in 2018
Thunderhead (#2 Arc of Scythe) (Shusterman)  4.52 out 2018 have AUDIBLE
Treatment, The (#2 The Program) (Young) reread #1?? 4.02 2014
Tweet Cute (Emma Lord) out 1/21/20
We Hunt the Flame (#1) (Faizal) 3.89  2019  Aud-CCLS REQUESTED
Weight of Our Sky, The (Alkaf) YA 4.30 out 2/19
What to Say Next (Buxbaum) YA/Unlikely friendship 4.09 out 2017
Your Destination is on the Left (Spieller) YA Road Trip  3.78 out 2018

43. Internment by Samira Ahmed

listened on Audible
read by Soneela Nankani
Unabridged audio (11:17)
2019 Hachette Audio/Little Brown Books for Young Readers
387 pgs.
YA CRF (I cannot call it anything else!)
Finished Sat. May 11, 2019
Goodreads rating:  4.05 - 2128 ratings
My rating: 2
Setting: Contemporary California

First line/s:  "I strain to listen for boots on the pavement.  Stomping.  Marching."

My comments:  Well, I'm going to go against the general flow of raving reviews for this book.  I had many problems with it and I'm not exactly sure how to put my finger on all of them, but I'll try.  However, I do want to say that the premise of this book is spectacular, and very, very timely. 
          I think the author tried, but her writing style and character development didn't work.  And there were so many things included that were hard to believe and so many things not included that needed to be.  (A few possible small spoilers follow.)  Layla's insta-relationship with Jake?  Smuggling her boyfriend in and out of a prison camp - more than once?  NO adults other than an 80-year-old woman with any gumption to say or do anything?  Spending copious time with a prison guard, including in a female prisoner's bedroom, amid cameras and drones and constant surveillance without ever being spotted?  Unfortunately I could go on and on and I haven't even touched on the character development!  Layla's (or the author's) long, drawn out thinking about situations actually work to slow down any action that takes place.  Too much tell, not nearly enough show.  Again, a great premise for a book, but its execution didn't work at all for me. Big sigh.

Goodreads synopsis:  Rebellions are built on hope. 
          Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
          With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp's Director and his guards.
          Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.
 

Monday, May 6, 2019

42 Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu

read the book!
2019 Katherine Tegen Books
328 pgs.
Finished May 6, 2019
Goodreads rating:  4.03 - 456 ratings
My rating:  3
Setting: contemporary/dystopian Eventown, USA

First line/s:  "Jenny Horowitz likes horses and the color pink and asking questions about things I don't want to talk about."

My comments:  It's hard to separate my thinking about this book as an adult versus my thinking about it as a kid would.  I pretty much knew what was going on and what was going to happen, but most probably it would be hazier for a nine, ten, or eleven year old.  Like The Giver, this book gives the reader a chance to ponder upon the questions: What would it be like to live in a perfect world?  It was an OK so-so book for me as an adult, but would probably be quite a bit more than that for me as my 10-year-old self.

Goodreads synopsis:  The world tilted for Elodee this year, and now it’s impossible for her to be the same as she was before. Not when her feelings have such a strong grip on her heart. Not when she and her twin sister, Naomi, seem to be drifting apart. So when Elodee’s mom gets a new job in Eventown, moving seems like it might just fix everything.
Indeed, life in Eventown is comforting and exciting all at once. Their kitchen comes with a box of recipes for Elodee to try. Everyone takes the scenic way to school or work—past rows of rosebushes and unexpected waterfalls. On blueberry-picking field trips, every berry is perfectly ripe.
          Sure, there are a few odd rules, and the houses all look exactly alike, but it’s easy enough to explain—until Elodee realizes that there are only three ice cream flavors in Eventown. Ever. And they play only one song in music class.
          Everything may be “even” in Eventown, but is there a price to pay for perfection—and pretending?

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Poetry Picture Book - No More Poems! by Rhett Miller

Illustrated by Dan Santat
2019, Megan Tingley Books, Little, Brown & Company
HC $17.99  Bosler Juvenile section
48 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  3.17 - 123 ratings
My rating:  4  

My comments:  There's been some controversy about one of the poems in this collection, "Brotherly Love."  I've got to admit that I think it's a riot, but I love it as an adult.  I do think it's not quite the poem to be included in a book of poetry for kids from 7 to 10, and I'm really surprised that the editor didn't think about all the parents (and teachers) that might potentially be up in arms about a poem that tells some pretty descriptive ways to kill your sibling....smothering with a pillow, dousing with gasoline, drowning by dunking three times...
     All the poems are really funny.  He borrows freely from Shel Silverstein, at least two of his poems are direct knock-offs - which I enjoy a lot.  We all have mentor texts from which we write."The Bathtub's Too Small" is a longer retelling of Silverstein's "Crowded Tub" and "My Homework" is definitely a reworking of Silverstein's "Sick."  Great fun.
     Of the 23 poems, only a couple have a rhythm that doesn't quite work for me.  All in all, they're funny, well-written, clever, and just plain fun!

In Defense of Rhet Miller's No More Poems!  Excellent thoughts...

My Secret Karate

There’s a type of karate I specialize in
I invented it all on my own
No one has witnessed my secret karate
It’s meant to be practiced alone

I stand on my left foot and raise my right leg
Using muscles in abs, thighs and tush
And with just the toe of my special blue sneaker
I make the toilet flush

I toggle the lever or mash down the button
Or lean on the handle just so
That way my fingertip never gets yucky
Thanks to the skills of my toe

Courtesy’s something my mom always taught me
Starting when I was a kid
So using the toe of my special blue sneaker
I lower the seat and the lid

My secret karate is practiced in private
In public bathroom stalls
I don’t mean to brag but my balance is awesome
I never touch the walls

I don’t have a name for my potty karate
I might call it Tae Kwon Doo
Or maybe I’ll say I’m a third degree black belt
In the top secret art of Kung Poo


Goodreads:   Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rhett Miller teams up with Caldecott Medalist and bestselling artist Dan Santat in a riotous collection of irreverent poems for modern families. 
          In the tradition of Shel Silverstein, these poems bring a fresh new twist to the classic dilemmas of childhood as well as a perceptive eye to the foibles of modern family life. Full of clever wordplay and bright visual gags--and toilet humor to spare--these twenty-three rhyming poems make for an ideal read-aloud experience. 
          Taking on the subjects of a bullying baseball coach and annoying little brothers with equally sly humor, renowned lyricist Rhett Miller's clever verses will have the whole family cackling.