Friday, May 18, 2018

A Court of Frost & Starlight by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Frost & Starlight

Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2018
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA 13+
This series has been an earth shattering, breathtaking, beautiful ride that I always want to get on. I am sad that it will be a little while before we are back with our friends in Prythian. But hey..that's why rereading is a thing! I was so excited to get this book. I got the first 3 books on sale when I decided to preorder this one, I got all 4 for about $20 which is a huge deal. Even though this book is a novella, cross over type book I was still very excited & am also very happy that I read it & can't wait until the next one. If you haven't read this series I would warn you against this review because it will contain some spoilers.
We find ourselves once again in the magical land of Prythian. The world has just seen a great war that affected humans & fae alike. Everyone is trying to recover from the horrors brought upon them by the King of Hybern. This is also very true for Feyre & her family. After losing her mate Rhysand, King of the Night Court, & bringing him back much like her own birth as a fae, she is eternally grateful for the peace they have all finally found.

In this 4th installment in the series the Velaris gang are celebrating the winter solstice. This means great food, presents, drink, & time together. It is even more special for Feyre because she was born on solstice & it is now her 21st birthday, not that she's counting now as a high fae. This means Cassian, Azriel, Rhys, Mor, Ameren, Nesta, Elain, Lucien, & the rest of the group are coming together for the first celebration after the war. The people of the city are still mourning their losses so this holiday is an important one for most.

The story is told from different view points so this means we get to see many different sides of the story including the Illyrian training camp,Velaris, the Spring Court, & the human lands. While the book was short we get to interact with each character a little bit & it helps bridge the gap between the 3rd book when the war ended & the next few books. Apparently the next few books in the series will focus on the other characters in the story like Mor & Feyre's sisters.

ACOFAS gives us someone the things that hard core fans of the series love to see like the bond between Feyre & Rhys, Feyre's art, the beautiful starlit city of Velaris, as well as some new developments in the story that we have been waiting for.

Overall it was a beautiful, although short story that leaves you wanting more...
Likes: What is their not to like about this book or this series! I have loved it since the beginning. I really like the way things are taking shape & the way the story is moving along.

This book mad me laugh much like the others & it's good to see that despite the war everyone is still as funny & charming as always. 

I am sad that it was so short but I am happy to have a little teaser into the next book & I can't wait!

We get to see Feyre & Rhys's relationship grow even more which I thought would be impossible by no but they are a surprising pair.

In the last book we were kinda left hanging with what would become of Tamlin, Feyre's ex lover, & I have to say I feel a little bit bad for him but...YES his life if sucking & he deserves it!

I'm hoping that in the next book(s) Lucien's life improves. He did what was right for Feyre & the rest of fae kind but that meant leaving Tamlin & his family behind. Things haven't turned out great for him & I hope that he gets a happy ending.

Velaris as always is beautiful! I would love to see this book turned into a movie or a show just to see the city of starlight.

It ended with the famous the stars who listen & the dreams that are answered. I really lost it at that point. I was teary eyed throughout the book because there is some touching moments & some sad realizations/flashbacks. But that line gets me right in the feels every time. 

Overall I loved the book & I want more!

Dislikes: The length of the book, way too short, more now!!!


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Picture Books I Read This Week (May 14th - May 18th)

Katie the Windmill Cat by Gretchen Woelfle
Super cute cat & beautiful pictures! But these kinds of books make me feel bad for the animals. I will say that I am happy there is a happy ending at least but poor Katie!
Katie lives an easy life with Nico, the miller, in a Dutch village by the sea. One night Nico went to town & came back with a girl named Lena. Lena had "replaced" Katie in Nico's life. Soon they had a baby named Anneke & Katie liked her but Lena didn't want Katie around the baby. One day Lena sees Katie playing with the baby & chases her outside. So Katie goes to live in the windmill. Nice brought Katie milk & asked her to come home every day but she wouldn't because of Lena. One day there is a storm & the dike in their village breaks flooding the town & the house. The baby's cradle is swept out of the house & Katie jumps on to save the baby. In the end the baby & Katie are safe, everyone is back home & they all love each other. 

I Know a Lot of Things by Ann & Paul Rand
I picked this book because there is a cute little owl on the front! This book has simple pictures & lots of primary colors. Perfect for toddlers.
I know a lot of things like a cat goes meow, an ant can carry a load on his back, a leaf can be a ferry to a snail, & I can dig a hole this big, etc. 

Lawn to Lawn by Dan Yaccarino
I also picked this book because of the cover!
Pearl is moving & her parents help her pack, but they forget her lawn ornaments along the way. So the ornaments have a map to her new house in Ritzy Estates & they plan to go there but it's a long way. They are making good progress & avoiding the awful trash truck of doom. They finally make it but a pair of mean lions at the gates stop them. They decide to sit on the curb to think about what they will do without Pearl when the trash truck comes & takes them away. Luckily they are going through the gates & past the means lions. They find Pearl & they all live happily ever after on the lawn. 

In the Sea by David Elliott
Sea turtles are one of my favorite animals so I once again picked this book because of the cover but the pictures inside were pretty too. The story is told in rhyming verse with different sea animals.
Sea horse
Sea Turtle
Clown Fish
Moray Eel
Chambered Nautilus
Giant Squid
Puffer Fish
Blue Whale

Mrs. McGee's Coconut by Allia Zobel Nolan
I was interested in the title & the cover but this book was a little weird...
Mrs. McGee buys a coconut in Tennessee. She takes it home & tries to open it. She wacks it & it goes flying out the door. It goes all over town & Mrs. McGee catches it on the back of her motorcycle. But she hits a bump & it goes flying off again. It makes it onto a boat on its way to Kashmir. It skips off the boat & lands in the hands of a monkey who drops it & SPLAT! 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

MAD Librarian by Michael Guillebeau

MAD Librarian

Author: Michael Guillebeau
Publisher: Madison Press
Year: 2017
Genre: Fiction/Crime
Age: Adult 18+
I must have walked past this book about 50 times & kept thinking I need to check that out. But since I'm a compulsive book checkouter (that is not even a word! LOL) I told myself no...the first 50 times. Then one night I finally decided to check it out & read it. Overall it was a good book. The story was entertaining but the execution of the story was a little flawed & the writing was disjointed. I'll explain below.
Our story begins with Serenity Hammer, she is the head librarian at the Maddington Public Library in Maddington Alabama, soon to be know as just the MAD. Their city has taken away the funding for the library slowing but now completely except for the few dollars that still remain in their budget for the year. According to the city council there is much better things that could be done with that money. This is a story we as librarians here all the time! But Serenity wants to save her library for the betterment of the town & the world. She wants to fight for libraries everywhere starting with hers. But how?

During the consolidation of the city the library was given the city servers that now reside in the children's room of the library. They were also put in charge of the accounts & book keeping for the city. This turns out to be a super convenient thing for Serenity & the library. One of the library clerks named Amanda Doom is the tech genius behind the library desk & she stumbles upon an account that has a suspicious amount of money in it. The account is used for residual funds, this means that if your water bill is $34.51 cents the city will bill you $35 flat & the extra money will go into the residual fund. But as it turns out that's not what the fund is being used for at all.

There is a man within the city named Coucilman Doctor Bently, he is a big jerk & he doesn't care if the library is open or no because you can find everything on the internet including books. It is him that Serenity has to fight with to stay open. It turns out that he also has something to do with the money.

Serenity decides that since the library is in charge of the accounts she can control the money. As long as no one finds out & espically Bently of course...

She gains control of the money so that her library can have it's much needed expansion & some repairs etc done. The plan is to spend the money as fast as she can so why not seven stories of building in seven days? Unfortunately some problems come up along the way.

People start to get suspicious of where all this new found money came from. This includes Serenity's handsome southern husband named Joe who is a police detective. But Serenity has it all under control...maybe...

Our story takes a turn that involves murder, drugs, embezzlement, the mob, & some really big alligators! What else could go wrong?

In the end none of that matters if the MAD goes up on schedule & Maddington, AL becomes a city built on books...right?
I can't really do a normal likes & dislikes section, this book is a little more complaicated than that so here it is..

 The concept of this book was a great one. City library gets no funding because the government doesn't care about literacy. It's a very typical & unfortunately very common story to hear these days. But of course there's a librarian who is willing to risk it all to keep the library open. This is where the turn occurs...the book becomes a crime novel instead of a book about home town heroes & learning to help one another for the greater good. Somehow the story turns into a murder mystery involving a big drug dealer that uses the library as his hub & has paid off people in the city. This was exciting to read but it was a little out of place. On top of that the way the story is written is in little short chapters with TONS of dialogue. So one minute Serenity is having sex with her cop husband then the next shes in the library day drinking out of a rum bottle & talking to the library rat named Faulkner. Then the next chapter someone has died in the library & they are letting homeless people stay inside at night. Overall the story is a good one but the way it's told is a little weird.

On the plus side according to the note inside the book 1/2 of all the funds from this book being sold go towards the Awesome Foundation for Innovation in Libraries. This makes sense because the reason they need the MAD to be seven stories tall is so they an put in a day care, a women's shelter, a homeless shelter, a tech center, a small business start up, a cafe, & more library space. That is one of the more realistic parts of the book even though it's a big dream to have for a small town library. Those are all needs that the library meets or has to meet based on the needs of the community, another common library problem.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics

Author: Chris Grabenstein
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Year: 2016
Genre: JUV Fiction
Age: JUV 10+
Audio Publisher: Listening Library (Penguin Random House)
Audio Year: 2016
Audio Reader: Jesse Bernstein
Audio Length: 5discs (6 hours & 5 minutes)
This is the second book in the Mr. Lemoncello's Library series. I got the book on audio then finished it through my library's ebook app Cloud Library. I already have the 3rd book on ebook checked out & I also have the audio on hold.
The Ohio winners of Mr. Lemoncello's Library game are back again! Kyle, Miguel, Hailey, Akimi, & Sierra are all enjoying stardom on the big screens of kids all over the country. The prize for the winning team was starring roles in Mr. Lemoncello's new TV commercials. Hailey moves away with her family,off to bigger & better things. But the other 4 members of "Team Kyle" are ready for their next turn.

Mr. Lemoncello has been getting letters from kids ever since the first games took place. They all want their chance at fame & getting to show off their skills of course. So he decides to create the Library Olympics so that kids from all over the country will have a chance to win a prize inside the coolest library in the world. Kids from all over compete in challenges in their hometowns to get on teams that are broken up by region. Then all the teams come to Alexandriaville to compete for a full ride to college by playing games & winning challenges inside Mr. Lemoncello's fantastic library.

All the kids participate in various challenges like picking out Dewey Decimal books with no call numbers, making paper airplanes, & book trivia.

But not everyone is happy about the games taking place.Charles Chiltington is still mad about losing to Team Kyle. So him & his mother hatch a plan to run Mr. Lemoncello out of town for good so Charles's mom & her band of concerned library lovers can swoop in & take over, running the library the way they think it should have been running from the beginning. They have the help of Woody Peckleman, Andrew's long lost uncle, plus one of the Olympian kids.

Kyle & his friends are up against some fierce competition this time around. Their opponents include a girl named Majory Muldauer from the Midwest team that is the most knowledgeable library goer ever.

The hometown heroes are gonna have to read up, practice their skills, & use some of their previous knowledge to win this game before it's too late!
Likes: This story was just as fun as the first. Keeping some of the original characters & adding new ones keeps your interest. Being back in Mr. Lemoncello's beautiful & magical library gives you goosebumps & keeps you at the edge of your seat. The blending of knowledge & technology is once again present in this book & they include it in the games. Perfect book for people of all ages.

Once again the book is jam packed with library info & skills. So it's the perfect book for avid readers & library lovers alike!

We get to see some different parts of the library as well as some new things that it can do, adding to the magic of an already magical place. The Wonder Dome mesmerizes you with its technological abilities & with secret rooms & hidden doors you can't wait to see what will happen next.

This book had a twist right at the 3 or 4 chapters before the leaves you wondering how in the world you didn't no about it! I can usually pick up on stuff like that pretty early on but I was surprised by this book.

We get to see some sides of the library that are not great but are apart of the library world unfortunately. Missing books, book banning, fighting for intellectual freedom, & possible book burning! These are things that while working in the library world happen frequently & I think it's good that they have been included. We all need someone like Mr. Lemoncello to fight for libraries & our right to reading & information.

The reader is the same for the audio version as the first book. I hate when they change readers so I was happy to hear that it was the same one. He does a great job keeping with the characters except for Mr. Lemoncello, he loses his Italian accent & I'm not sure why. But the book jokes & puns remain. 

After you read this book you start wondering what could the next book possibly be this point I have no idea but I like the suspense.

Dislikes: -


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Picture Books I Read This Week (May 7th - May 11th)

I'm going to finish out May by doing at least 5 books per week on this thread. Then in the summer things are going to be crazy at work so I might switch to a monthly listing. Here are the picture books I read this week.

Basghetti Spaghetti by Susanne Vettiger
Super cute!
Oscar the little crab loved spaghetti! He loved it so much he made up a song about it. But when he tried to sing the song he got nervous & couldn't say the right words. The other kids laughed at him...but Susie the sweeper fish thinks that there is someone who can help Oscar with his words. She takes him to Dr. Octopus ,the Speech Fixer. Octopus helps Oscar with his words so he can go back to school & eat spaghetti with his friends while singing the song. 

Away by Emil Sher
The pictures in this book are really pretty & the story is told through sticky notes.
Skip is going away on a trip but really doesn't want too. He can't go because the cat will miss him & he can't find his favorite shirt. He finds out that his mom went to camp as a kid & loved it so maybe he will too. The day is finally here & he goes reluctantly They write letters back & forth from camp but everyone is happy when he is home...even the cat, Lester. 

Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper
One of my coworkers read this book & loved it so I picked it up & it was great! There is also recipes in the back.
After all the mixing & baking Vanilla Cupcake is born. He met all his brother's & sister's including Chocolate Cupcake, Pink Princess Cupcake, Rainbow Sprinkle Cupcake, & many more. Vanilla felt happy to be apart of such a colorful family. But at the end of the day Vanilla Cupcake didn't feel so special because no one picked him at the bake sale. Candle sees Cupcake & they bond over being ordinary. Candle decides to help Cupcake be trying different toppings. They try pickles, spaghetti, pancakes, eggs, peas, & smelly cheese. Finally they figure out Candle is the best topping ever!

Goldilocks & the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
This book was an interesting take on the classic story.
Once upon a time there was 3 dinosaurs from Norway. There was Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur, & some other dinosaur. One day for no reason  they made their beds, positioned their chairs just so, & made some pudding. They were hoping to catch a little succulent child that came into their home by chance. So they "went somewhere else" & hid in the woods. Soon Goldilocks came along to their trap...I mean home. She saw the pudding & the third bowl was just right. All the chairs were to tall, so she moved to the bedroom. All the beds were too big too. Outside the dinosaurs were talking about how delicious she would taste. Goldilocks heard them. She figured the dinosaurs lived there & got out as soon as possible. The dinosaurs rushed in to eat her but they were too late & she was already gone! 

The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky
This was another one that my coworker read then I picked up, it was a cute story.
Six little rabbits out by the lake & an apple fell from a tree & goes PLOP! into the lake. The bunnies run away & all the other animals follow them. They run into a big brown bear & he is not afraid of the plop. The bear grabs a rabbit to take him back to the lake & show him the plop. When they get there another apple falls from the tree with another giant PLOP! The rabbit turns around & the bear has run away in fear. The rabbit laughs & happily eats grass by the lake knowing he was braver than a big brown bear. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Picture Books I Read This Week (April 30th-May 4th)

So I missed my Wednesday posting for this week but it's not next week yet so I'm still in the window. I'm thinking about making this a monthly list instead of a weekly thing but I'm not sure.

 I Had a Robot by Dan Yaccarino
Phil wants to have a robot to do all the things he doesn't like to do. The robot needs to eat vegetables, take a bath, go to school, take piano lessons, kiss aunt Louise, help him win at basketball, & rule the world. But Phil realizes that he might want to eat his veggies if he gets chocolate cake afterwards!

Wink The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed by J.C. Phillipps
This is actually a series, I found that out after I read it. I'm thinking of reading the other ones if I can find them.
Wink was so excited to be accepted to the Summer Moon School for Young Ninjas. But he had a hard time being quiet & doing what he was told. Wink makes an outfit out of flower curtains but even then he doesn't fit in. He fails at everything! But finally he gets into the circus by doing his tricks & everyone likes him!

The Egg by M.P. Robertson
This cover is great,it really caught my attention! Plus the story is adorable.
George finds the egg in his chicken coop & moves it into his bedroom. After 3 days & 3 nights it starts to's a little baby dragon! George knows he must teach the dragon everything he needs to know. So he teaches him how to fly, breath fire, save a damsel, & defeat a knight. But the dragon missed his own kind. The next day the dragon is gone. A week later he comes back & picks George up. The dragon has found a home with other dragons & now he has a family. 

Chicken & Cat Clean Up by Sara Voron
This is a book with no words, only pictures. Kids can use their imagination to tell the story.
Chicken owns & runs Chicken's Housekeeping Service. Cat goes with him & helps but doesn't do a great job. Chicken makes him go outside because he's not helpful. When he's outside he sees a mouse steal a lady's purse. Cat chases the mouse & catches him. Cat & Chicken take him to the police & get reward $. Cat uses the money to buy them a pet turtle.

Good Night Bat, Good Morning Squirrel by Paul Meisel
Cute story & pictures!
Bat lost his home & he's looking for a new one. Bat discovers a comfy home that squirrel lives in & he likes it. Squirrel wants her home back so she leaves bat a note. They leave eachother notes back & forth but bat never quite understands what squirrel is trying to say. Ex: "Dear Bat, Leave my house!!!! Sincerely Squirrel." Then bat will not understand & gather leaves for the house & write a return note. "I leaved your house, hope you like it. Bat :)" Squirrel decides to let bat stay after he turns out to be nice & helpful.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 2018 TBR

This month I'm hoping to read at least as many books as I did last moth maybe more...I've been listening to a lot of books on audio lately which means I can read & get stuff done at the same time which is a bonus. 

Mad Librarian by Michael Guillebeau
Artemis by Andy Weir
Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand
A Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein