Silence is a Scary Sound by Clint Edwards

Silence is a Scary Sound by Clint Edwards

As the mother of ten kids, five of whom are currently in the toddler stage, Silence is a Scary Sound is incredibly relatable (silence is a terrifying sound when it’s my 2-year-old somewhere in the house not making any noise). It’s incredibly honest about so many things including no sleep and lots of poop and how you’d do it again because when it’s over you appreciate and miss that crazy time when they were little (because somehow we forget about just how crazy it was). The author has a way of telling the stories that will have you cracking up. Each chapter is like a blog post, quick and easy to read. The only thing I didn’t like about the book is the formatting. For some reason every few pages they inserted a bit of repeated text from elsewhere on the page in a different font right in the middle of the story. I found this very annoying. Otherwise it was great. Definitely make sure to look at the last page where a rather amusing index is included. I recommend this book to parents with toddlers or who used to have toddlers, but probably not to people without kids because they might be convinced to never have any and then the author would be solely to blame for the birthrate dropping and that wouldn’t be cool.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 27
Pages Read in 2021: 7450

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Filed under Humor, Reason: Vine Review

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I absolutely love The Hunger Games trilogy. I first read them almost a decade ago. This time I am reading them to my sons who were just preschoolers back then. Suzanne Collins can craft an amazing story. The way things are phrased puts you right in the action, as if you are in the arena with Katniss. I enjoyed this book just as much as the first time I read it and my sons (who are now 12 and 14) loved it, and were a bit annoyed with Katniss in the end, too. I recommend The Hunger Games to young adults and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 26
Pages Read in 2021: 7162

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys

Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle

Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle

Miss Norma was 90-years-old, newly diagnosed with cancer, and did not want to deal with doctors anymore. Her son and daughter-in-law had been nomads in their RV for a few years. And so an idea was born. Take Miss Norma on the road with them for the rest of her life however long or short that might be. Driving Miss Norma chronicles some of their adventures during that year and a bit. They shared life, love, and learned how to knock down walls and just be. The chapters alternate between Tim and Ramie. The book is interesting and uplifting and inspiring. Totally worth taking the time to read.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 25
Pages Read in 2021: 6776

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Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

I Want You to Know We’re Still Here by Esther Safran Foer

I Want You to Know We’re Still Here by Esther Safran Foer

Parts of I Want You to Know We’re Still Here were quite interesting and parts were dreadfully boring. It seemed the author wanted to tell her family’s post-Holocaust story. She eventually did and did it well. But then she got bogged down in this and that person and recent times and taking a trip to Ukraine to see where her parents had lived. It got quite tedious, really, at times. I feel like the book really was meant for her family or people who have a personal connection to her family. For the post-Holocaust story, it’s great, but as a book to read in its entirety, I don’t really recommend it (just skip the personal journey parts).

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 24
Pages Read in 2021: 6524

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Filed under Memoir, Reason: Vine Review

Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott

Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott

While slow to get started, Murder by the Book is full of unexpected twists and turns I mostly did not see coming. By the middle I was sucked in and had no idea where it was going to go. The wrap up was a bit confusing just because so many characters were involved, but the explanation ultimately made sense and while highly unlikely, it was still totally plausible. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, especially ones centered around books.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 23
Pages Read in 2021: 6298

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Filed under Cozy Mystery, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede

When the airspace over the United States was closed following the terrorist attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001, several thousand passengers were diverted to Gander, a small town in Newfoundland. Faced with the “plane people” staying amongst them for a few days, the people of Gander jumped into action. They organized clothes, towels, medication, food, entertainment, and places for the stranded passengers to stay. They made lifelong friends. They restored a belief in humanity that was lost when the terrorists turned planes into missiles. The Day the World Came to Town is a quick and easy read. It’ll make you smile and maybe cry, but it’ll definitely make you feel good. It closely follows the stories of a few days in the lives of several people, flipping between them in a more or less linear timeline. Even almost twenty years after 9/11, this story is a wonderful snapshot of a bunch of people making a horrible situation into something not nearly so bad. I recommend it to all adults.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 22
Pages Read in 2021: 5993

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Raising Multiracial Children by Farzana Nayani

Raising Multiracial Children by Farzana Nayani

Aside from being dreadfully dry and boring, Raising Multiracial Children didn’t seem to have a clear focus or purpose (definitely not what the title indicates). The author rambles on and on and is very disorganized. Sometimes she’s talking to parents, sometimes to teachers, switching sometimes in the middle of a single paragraph. There are some excellent statistics and a few gems for raising children from multiple races or ethnicities, but for the most part it’s just not a very well-written book. Everything useful in it could have been written in a handful of blog posts. This is a book to skip.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 21
Pages Read in 2021: 5733

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Vine Review

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

There’s just so much to The Hate U Give. It confronts everything from police brutality to cultural differences between races to things Black people do to be fully accepted by predominantly white groups (code switching, etc.) to why people end up doing things to finding your voice and so much more. The writing is excellent and really sucks you in. It is frustrating and sad because it’s so realistic and predictable. Even with tackling all the tough issues and the rather depressing premise, there is a lot of love and even hope. There is quite a bit of language but it makes sense for the story. I highly recommend it to teens and adults.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 20
Pages Read in 2021: 5563

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Potty Training for Busy Parents by Allison Jandu

Potty Training for Busy Parents by Allison Jandu

There’s nothing much new in Potty Training for Busy Parents. It’s the same old advice for how to potty train little ones with an extra emphasis on using little potties and pushing potty training younger than most people start trying. There’s a lot of repetition and it’s short and to the point. It really should be called Potty Training for Special Snowflakes, though. The repeated advice to basically demand that daycare follow how you want to potty train and to send in this weird form filled out so the daycare knows how best to train precious little junior (like they havn’t trained hundreds of kids already) is a bit over the top. I also would not say it’s for busy parents, just ones who work and have plenty of time when they aren’t at work to potty train. I suggest skipping this one if you are looking for potty training advice.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 19
Pages Read in 2021: 5116

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Filed under Reason: Vine Review, Self-Help/Motivation

The Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis,Wendy Lyons Sunshine, and David R. Cross

The Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis, Wendy Lyons Sunshine, and David R. Cross

Parenting kids from hard places can be challenging. The people who worked with Karyn Purvis found so many ideas to help (TBRI). The Connected Child is filled with examples and strategies. It’s a pretty quick read and is guaranteed to have something in it that will make your family’s life smoother and easier. I recommend it to foster and adoptive families as well as parents of biological children who are struggling.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 18
Pages Read in 2021: 5011

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Filed under Reason: LitHub Bingo, Self-Help/Motivation