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.

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!)

EXCITED! 2 NEW AUTHORS

Of all places to find a new author is a craft fair at my local community center. And not just one-2 of them!

 

One is Tracy Fontaine, a debut author, who wrote Beyond Lilla. She is a 30 year resident of the city that I was born in; the book is set in the city's municipal cemetery that was founded in 1838 and is still in use today.

 

The second author is Sally Valentine, a teacher and a Rochester native, who writes middle grade historical fiction and poetry about the Rochester area.

 

Of course, I walked out with 3 books, autographed and all.

 

 

Sally Valentine-http://rochesterauthor.com/

Tracy Fontaine-http://www.beyondlilla.com/

For the Sake of Elena (Inspector Lynley #5) - Elizabeth  George
For the Sake of Elena
Elizabeth George
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Bantam Books (first published 1992)
ISBN 0553561278 (ISBN13: 9780553561272)
 
  I am reading these out of order. Yes, there is some backstory to Inspector Lynley and Sergeant Havers, but each case can be read on its own. I do enjoy reading this series. I would like to go back and read #2-#4 just to get the backstory. This one is set in Cambridge, and I like the way E. George describes the colleges and the towns.

THE LUSTER OF LOST THINGS BY Sophie Chen Keller

The Luster of Lost Things - Sophie Chen Keller

The Luster of Lost Things

by Sophie Chen Keller

Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published April 8th 2017)

ISBN:  0735210780 (ISBN 13: 9780735210783)

 

I finished this a while ago. While it was a little slow moving at first, I got to enjoy the story very much. The main character got to be very likeable and I really enjoyed the people he met along his journey.

****I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway from the author and publisher***

SO BEHIND

I have about 4 books to review and 6 books in the house ready to read. Time for me to get moving!

 

THE CROWNS OF CROSWALD BY D.E. Night

The Crowns of Croswald - D.E. Night

The Crowns of Croswald

D.E. Night

Paperback
Published July 21st 2017 by Stories Untold
ISBN13 9780996948654
also on Kindle

The Crowns of Croswald is D.E. Night's debut YA novel.   Different enough from Harry Potter (no muggles, a female lead (YAY!), dragons, and more), D.E. Night brings a creative storyline with Ivy as the main character who likes to daydream to get away from her scullery maid job. Night's writing kept the plotline interesting and moving at a fast pace. 1 or 2 things gave me an inkling of what might be coming but I won't give those away here; but other than that, I found the events that Ivy got into to be suspenseful,  while potentially causing chaos for her. The story ended well, and left a want for more.

****I received this novel from a Booklikes giveaway in exchange for a fair review.****

 

THE HIDING PLACE by David Bell

The Hiding Place - David J.  Bell
  • THE HIDING PLACEDavid Bell
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045123796X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451237965
  • aslo on Kindle ASIN: B0083P4ANC and audiobook ASIN: B009SBIGSA

 

I must have changed my mind as to the who and what 3 or 4 times by the end of this book. David Bell's writing style is easy to read, so this I was able to get through this quickly, even while trying to not speed read and miss anything. I really enjoyed the main character, Janet's daughter. The main characters were developed well. I am looking forward to reading more of David Bell's writing.


******I received this book from a Goodread's first reads giveaway held by Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA)****

SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK by Robert Beatty

Serafina and the Black Cloak - Robert Beatty

SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK

Robert Beatty

Format: paperback

ISBN: 9780545948890
Publish date: 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Pages no: 304
 
A short little review, but a good one-4 stars. Definitely an enjoyable read! Serafina is a great character with a lot of personality. This is set at Biltmore Estate, and the plot shows Serafina discovering not only the Estate but the grounds as well. Beatty brings his characters to life while they deal with some adventure, some friendship, and a little bit of spookiness. I am looking forward to the next in the series. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Currently reading

The Slave Players by Megan Allen

Brenna's books

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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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