Brenna M's Book Blog

I grew up in Western New York, with a huge Italian, German, and Irish influence in my family life. Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony, the Haudenosaunee, and the Erie Canal are a big part of the history in my area. This is, I believe, is one reason I like reading about history and historical fiction.

 

I garden, cook, and preserve some of the food I grow. I, also, enjoy traveling. A book or two are always with me when I travel. And there is always one in my car, at my desk, and anywhere I may have a chance to read. Primarily I read fiction--young adult, historical fiction, mysteries, thrillers. I do enjoy a good memoir, biographies, and cookbooks. If someone recommends something, I will always check it out.

WOMEN WRITER BINGO UPDATE

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Ellen Marie

Wiseman

The Life She was Given

finished 3/24/2018

K

 

 

 

 

 

R

Ann Rinaldi

Cast Two Shadows

 

 

(library book)

N

Q

F

Danielle Flood

The Unquiet

Daughter

finished 3/7/2018

 

G

 

 

 

 

 

O

E

B

V

Sally Valentine

STORMED

 

 

 

 

H

Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

finished 2/5/2018

 

(library book)

 

 

 

FREE

SPACE

P

X/Y

M

Z

 

 

 

 

 

I/J

Iris Johansen

On the Run

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

L

T

U

 

 

 

 

 

C

A

S

Helen Simonsons

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

finished 3/2/2018

(librarybook)

 

 

 

CODE TALKER: THE FIRST AND ONLY MEMOIR....By Chester Nez, Judith Schiess Avila

Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII - Judith Schiess Avila, Chester Nez

Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII

Chester Nez, Judith Schiess Avila

Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2011)
ISBN:  0425247856 (ISBN13: 9780425247853) 
also available in hardcover, Kindle, Audible Audio, and Audio CD
 
Reading Chester Nez's impression of his early life and military experience was a wonder read. There are books about the Navajo Code Talkers, as well as movies, but this is the only memoir. Using code talkers were kept confidential and top secret for quite a while.
 
A lot of military terms and such were used throughout the book. This is an important part of the book, but not being military, I struggled and sometimes skimmed these parts of the book. I was definitely more interested in Nez's personal side than the actual military tactic specifics.
 
 
 
 
 
 

THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN by Ellen Marie Wiseman

The Life She Was Given - Ellen Marie Wiseman

THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN

Ellen Marie Wiseman
Library Binding, 527 pages, Large print
Published September 1st 2017 by Center Point Pub (first published July 25th 2017)
ISBN:  1683245032 (ISBN13: 9781683245032) 
also available in paperback, Audible audio, Kindle, ebook,
and in German on Kindle (Die Bittere Gabe, A Sin B072DTNYMD)

 

Some of the reviews were negative and I wasn't sure I would finish this book. As it turns out, I really like Wiseman's writing. There is the circus animal abuse in the book that was graphic;  but in remembering when Lilly's part of the story was to take place (1930's/1940s), this type of abuse is not addressed in the same way it is today. Lilly's character is different, her parents and the general population did look upon her as someone who needs to be caged or treated like a freak in the circus. The author does well in showing Lilly's progressing into accepting herself and her new circus family, and thus starts Lilly's understanding that all people and animals deserve respect.

Alternating chapters with Lilly is Julia. She had the choice to run from the same parents who raised Lilly. Julia's life is not so great on her own, but then she inherits the family property. The author does develop this character decently away from the angry daughter who ran away from home.

A lot happens in the book. It is a tough read with the animal abuse issue in the book, and the neglect and abuse that Lilly as a child, and her circus family endures as freaks. Seeing that people may be different on the outside, but more alike on the inside, is written well here. Understanding that people still hold the older views and how keeping all this private affects our lives is brought to light in the book.

Diversity, coming of age, forgiveness are all part of the plot. The ending could have been written a little tightened up, and maybe a not so perfect, happy ending. I believe, after reading <u>The Life She Was Given</u>, I will read more of Ellen Marie Wiseman.

THE UNQUIET DAUGHTER by Danielle Flood

The Unquiet Daughter - Danielle Flood

The Unquiet Daughter

Danielle Flood

Paperback, 388 pages
Published September 1st 2016 by Piscataqua Press

ISBN: 1944393188 (ISBN13: 9781944393182)

 

I had read The Quiet American, a while a go, and was quite intrigued when I read the description of this book. The author did her homework/research for this memoir, so there were a lot of description of what was happening in Vietnam when her mom, father, and stepfather were living there. Having a not so wonderful childhood, and parents who either did not communicate well or outright lied to her, I could feel her struggle in trying to figure out who she was and where she belonged. The research Flood has done of her mother's background, as well as that of her biological and stepdad's, gave a lot of insight as to what was lost to her in her formative years. Many of us have a lot more from our parents as we grow up. I did enjoy reading this memoir. At times, I felt as if the author's need for positive attention from her mom and for a relationship with her biological dad came across as a childlike "I want, I want" flare up. I wasn't sure how much of that came from the upbringing she had.


***This copy was received from the Author through a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for a fair review***

MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND by Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Helen Simonson

Paperback, Large Print, 585 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Large Print Press (first published 2010)
ISBN: 1594134448 (ISBN13: 9781594134449) 

 

 

 

  I was not sure I would like this one; but once I started following Major Pettigrew's character in the book and seeing the changes in him, I fell in love with the book. Did he actually change, or did he finally stand up for the lifestyle he believed in? There were several characters I liked, then others who I just wanted to punch...I liked how Simsonson wrote her characters so that there was a distinct emotion I felt as I read about them. Definitely a must read...

WOMEN AUTHORS UPDATE

I'm not great at making charts but here goes....not doing some of the suggestions that Themis-Athena made when she posted the bingo originally but I am hoping to get some good, new to me authors.

 

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K

 

 

 

 

 

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N

Q

F

Danielle Flood

The Unquiet

Daughter

 

 3/6/2018

 

G

 

 

 

 

 

O

E

B

V

 

 

 

 

H

Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

finished 2/5/2018

 

 

 

FREE

SPACE

P

X/Y

M

Z

 

 

 

 

 

I/J

Iris Johansen

On the Run

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

L

T

U

 

 

 

 

 

C

A

S

Helen Simonsons

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

 

3/3/2018

 

 

 

PROGRESS UPDATE: Page 252 THE UNQUIET DAUGHTER

The Unquiet Daughter - Danielle Flood

I am on page 252 of this memoir. I am not much of a memoir reader, but this one claims to be the inspiration for "the love triangle The Quiet American by Graham Greene." Graham Greene is one of my favorite writers, so I grabbed a chance at a giveaway from the author on Goodreads and won it! So far I am enjoying it a lot. (it's actually got another giveaway on Goodreads that ends on March 3rd). I'm in the middle of 2 other books, but I am hoping to finish this one soon.

THE RULES OF MAGIC by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

Alice Hoffman

Hardcover, 369 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Simon Schuster

ISBN: 1501137476 (ISBN13: 9781501137471)

 

  I've always liked Alice Hoffman as a writer. She is definitely a strong story teller, and she brought "Practical Magic's" back story to life with a good plot, and some great characters. I loved Aunt Isabelle. Part of the story is set in the 60's, and Hoffman works that into the storyline well.

MYSTERY OF THE GOLDEN TEMPLE (Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures - Thailand #1)

Mystery of the Golden Temple (Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures - Thailand 1) - Lisa Travis, Adam Turner, Janelle Diller

A 2018 MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN'S BOOK DAY BOOK REVIEW. THANKS TO REBECCA FLANSBURG, PROJECT MANAGER/MCCBD, VALERIE BUDAYR, MIA WENJEN, AND ALL THE MCCBD 2018 CO-HOSTS. SPECIAL THANKS TO LINDA TRAVIS, WHO SENT ME A PAPERBACK COPY OF THE BOOK TO REVIEW.

 

Mystery of the Golden Temple (Pack-n-Go Girls Adventures - Thailand #1)

 Linda Travis (Author),                   

 Adam Turner (Illustrator)

Paperback, 118 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by WorldTrek Publishing
ISBN  1936376091 (ISBN13: 9781936376094)
 
 ****I received this book from the Author for Multicultural Children's Book Day (January 27th, 2018). ****
 An enjoyable book. The main character is a girl, Nona May, and she uses some of her Thai language throughout the book which is really cool to see and read. She and her American friend, Jess, solve a mystery about a special family treasure. Lots of action, lots of fun through the book. The writing is simple; but that allows the eagerness and determination of the girls to be the focal point in solving the mystery. Linda Travis wrote her girls as strong, active, spunky, and tenacious. I would definitely recommend this book and series to girls.
 
 
 A 2017 Literary Classics Gold – Best Series – Young Reader
2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Silver - Best Chapter Book Series
A 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Winner - Best Chapter Book Series 
 
 About the Author: Linda Travis
"Lisa Travis dreamed of faraway places ever since she was a little girl who explored National Geographic magazines every month. Looking for ways to discover the world, Lisa studied at the University of Freiburg in Germany, traveled the USA in a Volkswagon camper, and lived and worked in South Korea. She currently finds ways to pack and go by creating global executive leadership programs that take her to cool places like Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Brussels, Copenhagen, and Prague. Her experiences around the world inspired her to create Pack-n-Go Girls. Lisa lives, bikes, and skis in Colorado with her husband, two kids, and two dogs." http://www.packngogirls.com Twitter-packngogirls , https://www.goodreads.com/lisa_travis 
 
About the Illustrater: Adam Turner
Adam Turner is an illustrator, living in Surprise, Arizona with his wife and daughter. He has been illustrating commercially for almost 30 years and has been creating dot to dots for about 10 of those years.
 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5 th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

 

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

 

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild
PLATINUM: Scholastic Book Clubs
GOLD: Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright
Books, Worldwide Buddies
SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal
Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg,TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

 

2018 Author Sponsors

 


Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina, Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, AuthorKathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan
and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes
Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim

 

 

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts thebook review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

 

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and
crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party!

 

http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party- great-conversations- fun-prizes-
chance-readyourworld- 1-27- 18/

 

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

 

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and
Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom- empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our
official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

RIP URSULA K. LEGUIN

Author of Earthsea novels and The Left Hand of Darkness has passed away...so sad. Seems we've lost a lot of good authors lately. 

 

https://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2018/01/23/19624732/ursula-k-le-guin-beloved-portland-author-has-died

Source: http://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2018/01/23/19624732/ursula-k-le-guin-beloved-portland-author-has-died

2018 Library Love Challenge Hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures & Brooke Blogs

 

This is the Second Annual Challenge hosted by Angel's Guilty Pleasures and Brook Blogs. I love my local library, even as small as it is. It's part of The Pioneer Library System with 42 libraries spread over several counties in New York State. My goal is 1 book a month from the library. Rules of the challenge, at least 12 books for the year from the library. A little bit of fun with this is the giveaway they are having at the end of the year.

 

I've included both the goodreads link and the sign up link on Angels blog for anyone else interested in doing this.

 

 

http://angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/12/sign-up-open-2018-library-love-challenge/

 

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/206149-library-love-challenge

THE SILENCED by Heather Graham

The Silenced - Heather Graham

The Silenced (Krewe of Hunters #15)

Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Mira

ISBN:  0778317994 (9780778317999)

 

 

Every once in a while, I enjoy reading a Heather Graham novel. This one, set around a new FBI agent and her best friend who works for a congressman. Meg, upon completing her FBI training, gets assigned to a division of the FBI who are also mediums. Set in Washington, DC and several areas well known for their Civil War history, the plot moves along well. Graham always seems to add a little romance to her novels as well. In The Silenced, this romance part did not seem to get too much in the way. I enjoyed the Civil War part of the story, which includes a Civil War Reenactment. While Heather Graham is not one of my favorite authors, I do enjoy reading her novels for something fun and appealing for something a little easier to read.

NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS

2017 fell flat, very flat, when it came time to finish up my # of books goal.

So this year, I am going to try to get the reading done, but I am going to look at it a different way.

 

I am heading backwards slightly, to some challenges I really enjoyed in the past.

 

1. Debut Authors. I found so many good authors this way, Some have written and published more, some haven't. But that is ok. It's a great way to get the new perspective on stories going; sometimes even getting a totally new story to come forward.

 

2. Women Authors. For some of the female authors who were well published that I hadn't read before the first time I did this challenge, I found myself looking for more of their books. Yes, there is much more to read in this category!

 

3. Reading around the world. So much to discover.

 

Maybe this will motivate to keep reading.

 

THE OLD BALMAIN HOUSE by Graham Wilson

The Old Balmain House - Graham Wilson

The Old Balmain House

Second Edition, Smashwords Edition

Graham Wilson

Copyright Graham Wilson 2016

Published by BeyondBeyond Books

ISBN 9780987197115

 

(Also goes by Little Lost Girl (Old Balmain House #1) (Paperback) (isbn 154126284; Little Lost Girl (Old Balmain House #1) (paperback) (isbn 1542624347; The Old Balmain House (Old Balmain house #1) (isbn 1542755166)

 

I received this off Smashwords. It's taken me a while to get back to it. I set it aside, and then decided, once I started up again with The Old Balmain House. I couldn't put it down. The descriptions of the houses, the towns, and the people around the main characters help make the story of Sophie and her bottle a wonderful story.

 

 

RIP Sue Grafton

I just read an article on the NPR news site that 14 authors died this year. Well, unfortunately for Mystery lovers, Sue Grafton passed away at age 77.

 

 

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/news/mystery-writer-sue-grafton-dies-in-california/ar-BBHuHOd

Source: http://www.msn.com/en-us/entertainment/news/mystery-writer-sue-grafton-dies-in-california/ar-BBHuHOd

MERRY CHRISTMAS

I HOPE EVERYONE'S CHRISTMAS IS FULL OF THEIR FAVORITE THINGS, (AND A FEW NEW BOOKS TO READ!)

Currently reading

The History of Bees by Maja Lunde
Progress: 92/352pages
State of Sorrow (Sorrow, #1) by Melinda Salisbury
Progress: 142/452pages

Brenna's books

Garden Spells
3 of 5 stars
Garden Spells is a relaxing read. Sara Addison Allen developed the characters well, giving them and the little southern town personality and charm. I liked the little eccentricities built into the characters, making them unique. Allen bu...
The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes from Comic Book History
4 of 5 stars
The League of Regrettable Superheroes is definitely a fun and informative read. Included in the book are vintage covers and pages from the comics that these superheroes were featured in. The art alone is wonderful, but the history of eac...
The Woods
4 of 5 stars
The Woods seemed a little slow and wordy when I first started to read it, but that didn't last long. I started to like the characters, despite their flaws, and enjoyed the descriptions of the town and region. I could tell a lot of time w...
Beatrice Belladonna's Black Magic Web
4 of 5 stars
Beatrice Belladonna's Black Magic Web is a quick read. It is a little spooky reading about a sociopath murder who is being interviewed about her life before and during her prison sentence. King keeps the pace of the story moving quickly....

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