Sunday, August 13, 2017

Book Review....
The Nightingale
I have to shout from the rooftops about a new book I just finished. (Full disclosure it was via audible. I travel in the car a lot and "read" half my books this way.)
It is actually one of her newer books, published in 2015 by Kristin Hannah.  I would loosely categorize it as a historical fiction which is my favorite genre!

You get such a great point of view from every day folk that experienced the worst of WWII. Not on the battle field with soldiers but in their very own French towns and homes that got invaded by German troops.  It doesn't paint a pretty picture of these animals.  Some may have been kinder than others but for the most these men were monsters that you can't even fathom and treated everyone with pure contempt.

The story follows two sisters that have a colorful background already. You will laugh at these women's gutsy attitudes and cry with them during their trials because this author does such a great job of ensconcing them in your heart.  The bravery these woman show is more than admirable and I'm sure a small example of what people did to try to preserve good in a world that couldn't look any darker.

The story does a great job of wrapping up the story with the main character as an elderly woman.  I loved how it ended but won't give you any more detail.

Thank you @authorKristinHannah

Friday, June 24, 2016

Traveling via the Commercial Airports
Call me crazy but it seems that airports especially mine (PHX) has filled every possible space with retail and restaurants and expects us to stand while eating or waiting by out gate for the recommended 2 hour window.
Perhaps this is their newest ploy to charge us for something other than the luggage we need to have for our trips. Say $35 for a seat in the lounge or a premium seat by your gate.  The only other option is to sit in a overpriced restaurant and there may be a wait to get that seat.....
I'm pretty sure they know how many people will be sitting on said planes so why have they taken out all but 30 seats by the gates?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Patterson gets recoginition

One of our favorite authors that has given back plenty to small book stores and many authors gets some recognition to be proud of....
James Patterson will receive Lifetime Achievement Award by National Book Foundation.
See more of what Patterson is all about on his website

Thank you Mr. Patterson for all that you do for literacy and getting children excited about reading!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

 I spent some time in my favorite local book store @changinghands today and picked out a few of my favorites.

This little gem is a delightful story about wanting to be something else and missing the greatness of what we are and what gifts we have as a person or frog.
Baby Bear Counts One is beautifully illustrated and a fun story to read out loud. It gives you the chance to count up to 10 with your little one and has lots of intriguing animal sounds you would hear in the wild.  This story allow the reader to expand on all the creatures and their habits as winter nears.

There is something special about an artist that can draw their own story.  These 2 selections star an author/artist that possesses this gift.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Reviewing a few of my recent favorites:
Goldfinch by Donna Tartt  @donnaTartt is a spectacular mystery that grabs you from the start and has you page turning until the very end. The list of words to describe this book are far too long to list.

The story takes us through Theo's life that is full of sadness, love, neglect, mystery and has the reader anxious for the loving characters through this entire book!  The story is full of everything from sex, drugs, murder, art, culture, love and desperation.

Ms. Tartt writes beautifully with a great care to detail which could be why it's over 700 pages or in my case 32+ hours of windshield time.  I should also mention the fabulous job the narrator David Pittu did with his many accents and inflections.  Most importantly though is the intricate story that Ms. Tartt weaves the most wonderful characters into.

Big Little Lies by Laine Moriarty  @LaineMoriarty is another mystery with fun and devastating family drama weaved throughout.  Ms. Moriarty explores everything from childhood bullying to domestic abuse in her book.  I found it a very fun read relating to almost all the parents she brings to life on the pages.

I will admit I was dead wrong on which parent had been killed on Parent Trivia Night at Pirriwee Public School.

I really enjoyed the integration of several controversial and scary social topics (human rights for young girls) she has mentioned in the book. Ms. Laine writes with wit and has great detail to plot and characters which isn't the case in every published book with a comedic tone.

It is quite clear why this is a must read!

SCBWI Bulletin @scbwi
This is a small magazine that holds a big punch for children book authors and illustrators.  Each issue prompts me to write, read and research something new.  It's put together by a handful of staff that do a fabulous job to inspire each of us that are lucky enough to subscribe.  This is a must read for any aspiring or published author.  Due to the audience of illustrators it always has joyful drawings throughout that I share with my Grandson.

Thank you Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators! @scbwi

Sunday, April 12, 2015

America's Royal Family

I've heard several people proclaim who should be our royal family (that is if America were to have one.)  Everyone from the Obama's, Clinton's, the Trumps and even Kanye stating he and his wife one of Kardashians should be the ideal couple to represent our country.  Most of these options make me ill for reasons I won't bother with but if I were to nominate the perfect couple it would be Bill and Melinda Gates.

This wonder-couple has been married for 21 years, produced 3 children and more importantly devoted their lives to philanthropy serving millions of people all over our world. Thirty billion dollars of their very own and many more billions raised by them through the Giving Pledge is directed to education, vaccines, computer access in our libraries and woman's health worldwide. #gatesfoundation

Melinda attended Duke before going to work at Microsoft for Bill who started at Harvard but didn't finish with a degree before he co-founded the largest software company. Both of these amazing individuals seem driven and focused on inequality and health issues on a grand scale that is making a difference across the world. #endpolio, #philanthropy

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Friends are like water

We all need water and water comes in varying forms. Rushing rivers, meandering streams, the ocean waves, and calm lying lakes.  I liken my different friends with this analogy. 

I've been fortunate enough in the last few weeks to celebrate my birthday with a number of friends and family.  What I have noticed is the difference in each of my relationships.
Some friends are inspirational......I hope to be that kind of friend one day.
Some are just for fun and that is as important as any other.
Others make you feel loved more than anything, while others need your love more than anything.
I have friends that are like sisters: older and younger sisters.  There is certainly a difference between the two and friends that are mother figures in my life. Others that I liken to a lawyers scale of day they lift me up and another I lift them. In the end we balance each other well.

As I compile my next interview for a 2nd inspirational essay I just wanted to share that all of them are special, intriguing and important in their own special way. My friends feed my soul and fill me with joy.

Love's Philosophy by:  Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever 
With a sweet emotion:
Nothing in the world is single:
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle......