Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Quaker State Affair

The Quaker State Affair by Dan Romain is quite the book - I loved it!  (And I will say right off the top that it is not my typical read!!)  It was intriguing, suspenseful, and fascinating - and centers around government - I know SHOCKING for me!!  It is the story of nuclear secrets being stolen from Los Alamos - it is China and America racing in a battle of technology and what happens to each of their nations as they are racing forward technologically.  And it all centers around Patrick "Mac" McDaniels - a physicist who wants only to study science - he wants to stay far away from the government - but he seems to be the only answer to America's problems - or is he!?!?!?  This is a ride - fast-paced and intense.  I loved the aspects of government and espionage it opened as I read and the ideas and thoughts that presented themselves on a topic I don't give much thought!  This is a well-written, futuristic novel that really brings up some important ideas.

More about the author:

Dan Romain is a nationally recognized business consultant who built one of the most successful insurance firms in the country. A graduate of the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a member of the Omicron Delta Epsilon International Economics Society, he currently resides in Seattle, Washington, with his wife, Lori, their two children, Danielle and Brian, and their black Labrador, Kona. He has been widely credited as one of the few who accurately predicted the economic melt down.

To see other stops on this blog tour - go HERE.

* I was sent a copy for review purposes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Sacred Thread

Here is one for non-fiction lovers - or maybe even if you don't LOVE non-fiction!  Adrienne Arieff's The Sacred Thread is an account of Arieff's experience with surrogacy - even more interesting, surrogacy in India.  You follow her miscarriages, infertility, and then her journey through surrogate birth.  I found the book fascinating - I may live under a rock, I'll admit that, but I had no idea this surrogate birth was as popular as it was - especially traveling to India to have it done.  It was a wonderful autobiography that lends a whole new way to look at another birth experience. 
I found Arieff's writing to be easy to read - and although some parts felt a bit long to me, I did feel it kept my attention and I wanted to know how it would all end for them.  I would encourage you to pick this one up!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Simon and the Easter Miracle

Mary Joslin and Anna Luraschi have teamed up and written and illustrated a children's book that portrays the Easter story in a whole new way.  I loved the idea of telling the story of Christ's death from Simon's view - the man who innocently was asked to carry the cross.  Simon and the Easter Miracle is a touching story - with a fresh way to see a story that we are told year after year - one that SHOULD NOT, but can become routine.  I enjoyed the story and the illustrations - I only felt it ended rather abruptly, but I did enjoy Simon's reward for carrying the cross and I think the kid will enjoy this too!

*I was sent a copy for review purposes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Fault in our Stars

I had heard so much hype over John Green's The Fault in our Stars, that I knew I had to read it!  So read it I did - and I could hardly put it down.  What an inspiring read!!  It is the beautiful story of Hazel and Augustus and their chance meeting at a cancer support group - and the relationship that develops because of that chance meeting!  You could empathize with their struggles with their health, their hopes for a full and rich future and yet see their angst as two teens falling in love.  I was touched by the story - it was well-written and stirring.  I would highly recommend it - although I hesitate to say gung-ho, have all of your teens read it.  I would caution that there are some things that I am not sure I'd want my teens to read in their early years - so I will throw that out there.  I enjoy a good love story and this one had that - the tragedy is very real but so is the humor - it was a wonderful balance.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Lone Wolf

Yes, I do think Jodi Picoult is a wonderful writer and yes, I do wait expectantly for her upcoming novels - so might this be a bit biased??  Maybe!  Once again, her latest novel, Lone Wolf, was a story that was told marvelously and was a topic that created conflicting emotions.  It is a tough story of a brother and sister torn apart as to what to do with their dying father - should they discontinue life support or continue to let him stay on support and see if his body takes over.  I love how Picoult tells her stories from all different narrators - it gives such a unique aspect to her novels.  And you come to feel for each character as you hear their stories from their viewpoint.  I thought the novel was also interesting as it centers around their father's lifelong love of wolves.  He actually has lived with wolves and so much of the story tells how wolves behave and live - intriguing, I thought, and such an interesting fit with the novel's ups and downs as well.

What I didn't like about the book?  Usually with a Picoult book, I'd say NOTHING!  But with this one I was really disappointed in the ending - I felt it was anti-climactic.  Usually when she ends - I am blown away and thinking, "I never saw this coming!"  But I did not feel that way in this novel - it seemed predictable to me and in that - I was maybe just disappointed.  I thought the ending was ok - it resolved itself and was a fine ending - but not the Picoult kick I am used to!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns

Sometimes I get SO many books to review that I can hardly keep up.  SO when a co-worker showed interest in blogging and asked for tips - I didn't have many tips, but I did have some books to share!  She gladly took them and wrote her own reviews of which I am quite proud and wanted to pass them along to you.  She has a great blog and if you are looking for new book suggestions - she is a great spot!!

Over A Steaming Cup of Tea - Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Dinosaur Pet

Kids love pet books - especially FUN pets - like dinosaurs!!  Dinosaur Pet is a children's book taken from Marc Sedaka's song lyrics, with an accompanying CD sung by Neil Sekaka, and illustrated by Tim Bowers - yep, it is quite the team and it makes for such a fun book.  And I am afraid this one must come with a warning - if you read it to your children, BEWARE, they WILL want a dinosaur for a pet!!  And how do I know this?  Because after I read it even I wanted one!!

*I was sent a copy by the publisher for review purposes.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

No Go Sleep!

As an adult I do wonder why children ever fight sleep!  :)  But after having 5 of my own children, I know it is true and this story will resonate with children everywhere.  Bedtime can be a fight!  So Kate and Jules Feiffer have teamed up and written and illustrated No Go Sleep!  which just makes me want to smile.  It will be a classic for moms and dads everywhere as they chuckle at the antics this little guy pulls when it is bedtime.  But it is a sweet lullaby as the story shows how all of the animals outside are wishing him a wonderful sleep as well.  I loved this one - truly a sweet bedtime story!

*I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Monday, April 02, 2012

When You Are Camping

It is the time of year - that time when you begin to think about when you will be camping!!  And that is what makes Anne Lee's book, When You Are Camping, so much fun!  I don't think she's left out one fun thing about camping!  It is a fun read that explores the joys of camping and makes us all remember why camping is so much fun!  The illustrations are simple with the water color feel that gives a dreamy aura.  This one will be fun to share with our kids when we are dreaming of camping season!!

*I was sent a copy by the publisher for review purposes.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Monkey's Friends

Ruth Brown's latest, Monkey's Friends, is a picture book that I think you will want to share with your kids!  This is a fun read-aloud romp!  You get to talk about jungle animals and, at the same time, use your rhyming skills AND make fun guesses with your kids as you read.  This book has so many great things going for it - and yes, the boys will LOVE it too!!

*I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes by the publisher.

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