Monthly Archives: April 2017

I Want it Now! by Julie Dawn Cole

In 1970, Julie Dawn was selected to play the part of Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I Want It Now! is mostly her memories of the magic of filming and other things related to the movie. There are lots of pictures scattered throughout the book. It’s great for her fans and fans of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 56
Pages Read in 2017: 16,967
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (I in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Memoir

Death in Yellowstone by Lee H. Whittlesey

Covering over 300 deaths since the 1800s, Death in Yellowstone ranges from drownings to bear maulings to burns in hot springs to murders to Native American attacks to poisonous plants to carbon monoxide to runaway coaches. Sometimes it’ll jump 100 years and then go back. Sometimes the information about what happened is sparse and sometimes it’s well documented. All of it adds up to one simple warning: Follow the rules and you will probably stay safe in that particular National Park. Climb over a barrier or try to take a picture with a bear and you may not come out alive.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 55
Pages Read in 2017: 16,715
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (D in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Non-Fiction

Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer

Everything turns a beautiful purple when a comet circles the earth. Things aren’t so beautiful the next morning when pre-pubescent children discover all the teens and adults are dead. On the little Castine Island, a small group of children must create a fledling society, but it’s a race against time before the older children get sick and die, too.

Night of the Purple Moon is a fast read that really drew me in. The last quarter was incredibly intense. There were a few things that bothered me about it such as the children, 12 and under, being able to drive really well. Much later it is mentioned that on their island kids 10 and up can drive. It would have saved me some annoyance had that been stated earlier in the book. I recommend it to teens and young adult book fans. It’s not quite a YA book, but it’s also not quite a middle grade book, but instead somewhere in between (early teens).

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 54
Pages Read in 2017: 16,275
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (N in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Dystopian, Science Fiction

My Story by Elizabeth Smart

When Elizabeth Smart was 14, she was stolen from the bedroom she shared with her little sister. For the next nine months, she was held captive, repeatedly raped, and abused. This is her story. What happened to her is terrible and evil. The hope and determination that comes through as she tells about those horrible nine months is inspiring. Elizabeth Smart is truly an amazing woman. I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 53
Pages Read in 2017: 16,063
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (M in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Memoir

The Darwin Awards Next Evolution by Wendy Northcutt

Darwin Awards are awarded posthumously to those who remove themselves from the gene pool in a way that makes you go “a lot of beer must have gone into that one.” The Darwin Awards Next Evolution describes the final acts of several people as well as things done by at risk survivors. The vignettes are humorous and clearly marked whether they are confirmed or unconfirmed. Interspersed between the chapters are essays on scientific topics ranging from mosquito spit to duck phalli to real life Hobbits. There’s an extensive FAQ at the end (too extensive, honestly). It’s a fun read and occasionally educational, too. It can all be found on the Darwin Awards website, but it’s often more convenient to read in book form.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 52
Pages Read in 2017: 15,743
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (D in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Humor

Once Upon a More Enlightened Time by James Finn Garner

Once Upon a More Enlightened Time is a collection of fairy tales (and the story of Pinocchio) retold politically correct to the extreme. Sometimes they are utterly hilarious. Sometimes they are a bit tedious. They are good enough to pass the time reading when you can’t really concentrate on a book.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 51
Pages Read in 2017: 15,423
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (O in DIAMOND)

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Filed under Fairy Tale, Humor

August Fortress by Andrea Pearson

Jacob must lead an expedition to August Fortress to free the Shiengols. The path there is loaded with traps set by the Lorkon. This time their senses are lost one by one as they go, making the chance of success very low.

I usually read one chapter a night to the boys. We were down to two chapters and I asked if they wanted me to read both in one night. They very excitedly said yes. I was happy to oblige. It was all I could do not to read ahead on my own. I wanted to know what happened to Jacob and his friends! That the traps caused them to lose their senses one at a time was quite clever. My boys and I enjoyed this one possibly more than the previous two Kilenya books. I very highly recommend reading August Fortress (read the first two books first!). This series makes an excellent read-aloud.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 50
Pages Read in 2017: 15,317
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Filed under Fantasy, Middle Grades