Friday, February 24, 2017

Framed! by James Ponti

A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery

5 stars

Boo LOVED this one.

And really, so did I.

Sherlock meets.... White Collar..... meets..... the Disney channel?


Florian is 12 when he helps solve a major art theft and becomes a consulting detective for the FBI.

What's not to love, right?

Seriously, this was so much fun.

Highly enjoyable; highly recommended.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Everydaycook by Alton Brown

This Time It's Personal

4 stars

From GoodReads:
My name is Alton Brown, and I wrote this book. It’s my first in a few years because I’ve been a little busy with TV stuff and interwebs stuff and live stage show stuff. Sure, I’ve been cooking, but it’s been mostly to feed myself and people in my immediate vicinity—which is really what a cook is supposed to do, right? Well, one day I was sitting around trying to organize my recipes, and I realized that I should put them into a personal collection. One thing led to another, and here’s EveryDayCook. There’s still plenty of science and hopefully some humor in here (my agent says that’s my “wheelhouse”), but unlike in my other books, a lot of attention went into the photos, which were all taken on my iPhone (take that, Instagram) and are suitable for framing. As for the recipes, which are arranged by time of day, they’re pretty darned tasty. 

I love Alton Brown's stuff.  

And while this isn't quite Good Eats in the same way his other books are, it's still seriously awesome.

There are several I'm definitely going to try.  Though admittedly a lot of them will probably have to wait until I'm not cooking with the 5-ring-circus that currently makes up my evenings.

(I seriously want to see a competition show where they have to cook with only what's on hand while a toddler is screaming at their feet, a young child is trying to "help", and an older child needs help with homework.  I would watch that.)

My one complaint is that the text-on-picture format of some of the pages made parts hard to read.

Overall, give this one a try.  Even if you don't cook, read it for the funny. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Don't Pigeonhole Me! by Mo Willems

4 stars
(This is not a kids' book.)

It's no secret on this blog that I adore Mo Willems.  I think the man's a genius.

This collection of sketchbooks was so fun to read.

I especially loved learning that the Pigeon was a doodle who just showed up and insisted on a starring role.

(I have totally had characters do that.)

There is definitely some adult content here, though.  Don't make the mistake I did and leave it sitting around for your six-year-old to read before you get to it.  Not ideal.

Nope, this one's for the grown-ups.

And I totally recommend it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores by Bob Eckstein

True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers 

3 stars


I just.... didn't love it. I really wanted to. I expected to. But.... meh.

For one, the cover opens one way, but then the pages turn perpendicular to it (if that makes any sense..... you hold the book with the cover binding at the top, but the pages are bound on the right, unconnected to the front cover....) so it's awkward to hold.

The physical logistics of the book were frustrating-- in addition to the tricky cover, the actual binding (of the pages) felt really flimsy, so I was constantly worrying about damaging the library's clearly very new book.

Also, maybe it's my crappy eyes, but some of the quotes/stories on the paintings were hard to read because of color choices and such.

The anecdotes were amusing, but some really needed more context and there was at least one that made no sense at all.  Like really just none.

I wanted more about some bookstores and less about others....

Overall, I don't know.  It just didn't work for me.  Maybe as a book to jut flip idly through but to read cover to cover... meh.

(Though I did enjoy the forward by Garrison Keillor.)

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Jane Austen Writers' Club by Rebecca Smith

Inspiration and Advice from the World's Best-loved Novelist

4 stars

This was like taking a creative writing course-- which makes sense given that Smith was the Writer in Residence at the Jane Austen's House Museum and teaches creative writing.

While the book is all set up using Jane Austen's life and writing and writing process, the exercises are entirely flexible and applicable to any genre.

I'm not really doing a lot of writing at the moment (because, um... life.  kids.  house.  you know) but it certainly gave me things to think about.

I recommend this for any writer, but especially for those who enjoy Jane Austen. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L Holm

5 stars


Seriously, just such an enjoyable little book.

It's a quick read, but every so worth it.

This one has come up on my radar before... Boo read it quite a while back... but I hadn't gotten round to it.

I'm so glad it's this month's Great Reads pick at the library!

(It used to be Great Reads for Girls, and then the one library started doing an equivalent program for boys, but then there was a hullabaloo about discrimination, so now it's just Great Reads and I take both Boo and Mister the same night rather than different nights.  I have mixed feelings about the change and what it has done to the dynamic of the discussion, but whatever.)


Go read this.  Right now.  Just do.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Question of Inheritance by Elizabeth Edmondson

5 stars
r- 1
sequel to A Man of Some Repute


Okay, so once again a delightful mystery.  I love the feel and the setting and the characters.

You must must MUST read the first one first.... plus probably the novella, which is #1.5 (A Youthful Indiscretion) which apparently would have made the beginning of this one make more sense.

(I thought I'd just forgotten more than I thought I had of book 1, lol, but it appears that the novella clears things up.)

Unfortunately, reviews indicate that the novella is not quite as well written/edited as the novels, which is a shame.

The real reason for my outburst at the beginning of this post though is that the author died.


Just over a year ago.


According to her website, publishers have contracted with her son to complete the third book, but I'm still devastated.

We shall have to see what happens, I suppose.