Saturday, July 29, 2017

Title:  I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool

Genre:  Non-fiction, short story
Rating:  3 stars

The bestselling and “perennially hilarious” mother-daughter team is back with a new collection of stories from their real lives, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Join Lisa and Francesca as they regret drunk-shopping online, try smell-dating, and explore the freedom of a hiatus from men - a Guyatus. They offer a fresh and funny take on the triumphs and facepalm moments of modern life, showing that when it comes to navigating the crazy world we live in, you’re always your own best lifeguard.T

A fun dip into the chaotic life that is this mother/daughter duo.  It is for sure a chick lit summer read.  A lot of essay's that dive into the personal lives of the two women.  I found it fun and amusing, but it did seem to repeat some of the same stories.  The two women write a book like this every summer and I would  suggest it if you are looking for that quick fun read that doesn't need a lot of brain cells to dive into.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Title:  Rabbit Cake
Author: Annie Hartnett
Publisher: Tin House Books
Available:  now
Source: library
Rating: 4 stars

Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know—like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother's silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother's death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.

Watching grief through a child's eyes reminds us all that we grieve in our own ways and sometimes everyone may need a little help to get along.  This book had a bit of everything for everyone, from sadness to complete nuttiness to overwhelming breaks from reality.  This book can give and get with the best of them and for a debut author I was extremely impressed!  Can't wait to read more by Ms. Hartnett!  If looking for a contemporary that's not a romance or thriller, but something a tad deeper with some smiles thrown in, pick this won't disappoint.  And that cover....I'm in love!

Monday, July 10, 2017


Title:  Little Tails in Prehistory

Genre: Graphic Children's Fiction
Available:  July 11, 2017
Series: Little Tails

Chipper and Squizzo are a precocious puppy and squirrel who love to explore new and exciting environments, flying their cardboard box airplane to wondrous worlds full of fascinating animals and creatures. In each volume of this fun, educational series, they tour a different location, encountering the real-world animals found there in beautiful illustration and fun cartoon strip antics. 
This exciting volume sees our adorable nature guides traveling back in time (in their cardboard time machine) to view the dinosaurs up close!

What a great series to teach young readers about different environments and animals.  This book is sure to delight all readers of dinosaurs and time travel!  The book is full of color and descriptions and full of life.  There is even more education at the end of the book with more details about the animals encountered along the way.  This particular book dives into the age of the dinosaur and how we are learning about them today.  The story is told in a comedic way but gets the learning in as well!  There are so many lessons to be learned throughout this story that would make this book good for all ages.  As an adult the artwork is stunning and well worth the read.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Title:  The Graybar Hotel:Stories
Author:  Curtis Dawkins
Publisher: Scribner
Available: Now 7/4/17
Genre:  Short Story Collection
Source:  NetGalley

In this stunning debut collection, Curtis Dawkins, an MFA graduate and convicted murderer serving life without parole, takes us inside the worlds of prison and prisoners with stories that dazzle with their humor and insight, even as they describe a harsh and barren existence.

In Curtis Dawkins’s first short story collection, he offers a window into prison life through the eyes of his narrators and their cellmates. Dawkins reveals the idiosyncrasies, tedium, and desperation of long-term incarceration—he describes men who struggle to keep their souls alive despite the challenges they face.

In “A Human Number,” a man spends his days collect-calling strangers just to hear the sounds of the outside world. In “573543,” an inmate recalls his descent into addiction as his prison softball team gears up for an annual tournament against another unit. In “Leche Quemada,” an inmate is released and finds freedom more complex and baffling then he expected. Dawkins’s stories are funny and sad, filled with unforgettable detail—the barter system based on calligraphy-ink tattoos, handmade cards, and cigarettes; a single dandelion smuggled in from the rec yard; candy made from powdered milk, water, sugar, and hot sauce. His characters are nuanced and sympathetic, despite their obvious flaws.

The Graybar Hotel tells moving, human stories about men enduring impossible circumstances. Dawkins takes readers beyond the cells into characters’ pasts and memories and desires, into the unusual bonds that form during incarceration and the strained relationships with family members on the outside. He’s an extraordinary writer with a knack for metaphor, and this is a powerful compilation of stories that gives voice to the experience of perhaps the most overlooked members of our society.

I wasn't sure how to first take this book, so I just dived in Short stories can be hit or miss with me, but this collection was spot on! I loved the stories, albeit if this were a novel even better! It was like peaking into a world where you have all the questions but none of the answers and then Bam, someone that can write great prose shows you inside that room. I realize this is a work of fiction, but hey, he's writing from inside a prison so I'm sure there's some truth behind those words The truth behind the fiction, the words behind the words is what will hit you and probably stay with you for quite some time! If you like short stories, and want to see a little more behind the scenes of a prison and learn a lot more about freedom, pick this up. It flew by and I was done before I realized it, or you can even take bits and pieces and stretch it out over a longer length of time.

review copy courtesy of netgalley

Friday, July 7, 2017

Title: A French Affair
Author:  Katie Fford
Publisher:  Bookouture
Available 7/7/2017
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Source: Netgalley

Escape to France for a summer of new beginnings, second chances and an unexpected romance … 
Sisters Gina and Sally Makepiece couldn’t be more different. Sally is a stay at home mum to twins while Gina is a busy career woman with little time for anything else. 

Their two lives are about to change when they discover their eccentric Aunt Rainey has left them her beloved stall in the French House – an antiques centre nestled in a sprawling stately building in the heart of the English countryside. 

As Gina and Sally work together to transform the business, they find themselves growing closer than ever. Their biggest challenge is winning over the brooding but gorgeous owner, Matthew Ballinger

But romance is in the air and a beautiful, sunshine filled trip to France changes everything for Gina and Matthew .

I'm in love with Katie Fford's books now. This was my first Fford book and I was not disappointed. Cute and fun and such a delight to read. Romance with a little extra in the mix. It was great for a way to while away a summer afternoon (although this book may be even better for a winter read). The books are being republished and I think a new audience will find great delight in this British Chic Lit. I must read all the books now! If looking for a lighthearted romp through the English countryside, take this book out for a spin. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my thoughts!

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Title:  Bring Her Home
Author: David Bell
Genre:  Psychological Suspense
Publisher: Berkley
Available: July 11, 2017
Rating: 3 stars


In the breathtaking new thriller from David Bell, bestselling author of Since She Went Away and Somebody I Used to Know, the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father’s worst nightmare.... 

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family...

Great read, kept the suspense going for most of the book, although some of the details were figured out early on.  It is a fairly fast read with not a lot of characters to keep up with.  However, some of the characters I could never tell if I was to love or hate them or suspect them or root for them, probably the intention!  If looking for a beach read to while away the hours of the summer I'd recommend picking this up.  I'll be looking for more of David's books to see if I like them even more.

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Title:  Paintbrush
Author:  Hannah Bucchin
Available: July 11, 2017
Publisher:  Blaze

Rating:4 Star

Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren't particularly close--at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.

But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.

A sweet clean ya romance. It's a quick light read just perfect for a sunny day read! It's a friends becoming maybe more story and nothing really new with the story, but the extra characters made the story more special. I loved the community of paintbrush and I think it would be great to see more of the other stories.
There is a little physical abuse talk from the past and some issues with drinking, but it was managed well. Just thought I'd drop that in there if anyone has those triggers.
Cute, likable characters and clean, can't wait to see more from Hannah Bucchin.
Thanks to Netgalley and Blaze for the book in return for my honest review.

Monday, July 3, 2017


Title: The Day the Crayons Came Home
Publisher: Philomel Books
Available: Now
Genre: Picture Books
Source: Library

I'm not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan's stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.

Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers have combined to create a companion book every bit as funny and kid-friendly as the #1 bestselling The Day the Crayons Quit.

This was a fun book, but the writing in several of the colors may prove to be a challenge for new readers, but for a read along book this is great.  Learning that maybe we can come back home, no matter what the reason was for leaving.  Looking to seeing even more of these books in the series?

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Title: Jackaby
Author: William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Available: Now
Series Jackaby 1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 299
Rating: 4 stars

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

I loved this fun book. Full of snarky humor and dry wit it kept my attention throughout the book and I can't wait to read book 2. For a debut novel, always a few issues that people have with a book as seen in the reviews, but I thought this one was pretty good. The characters are great and I'm sure we'll get to know more about them in future books. I wouldn't quite call this a Sherlock book, maybe Sherlock like, but I still liked it. It's a great who dun it and great for all ages, although I think it's labeled YA. Read it!