Nov 29, 2019

Monthly Re-Cap(s): September to November 2019

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

~~Books I Read in September - November~~

(not all are pictured)
 The Little Grey Girl (the Wild Magic Trilogy, Book Two)  Snitchy Witch Red Yellow Blue     The Unicorn Whisperer (Phoebe and Her Unicorn Series Book 10) Black Canary: Ignite How to Catch a Dragon I Love You Like No Otter    Charlie Brown: All Tied Up (PEANUTS AMP Series Book 13): A PEANUTS Collection  Alma and the Beast
    ~~Links to Some Reviews from Books Read in November ~~ 

    The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne- Jones  (YA)- 3 stars
    Snug Harbor Stories by Will Henry (GN) -5 stars
    Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World by Scott McCormick (MG) -4 stars
    Jukebox Joyride by Jacob Stein, Jason Rabinowtiz and the Pop Ups (MG)- 4 stars
    Harley Quinn Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh (YA, GN) -5 stars
    Texts from Mittens by Angie Bailey (Comic, Adult) -4 stars
    Red Yellow Blue by Lysa Mullady (Youth) - 3 stars 
    Snitchy Witch by Frank Sileo (Youth) - 2 stars 
    The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander (MG) - 5 stars
    The Brilliant Dark by SM Beiko (YA)- 4 stars
    Who Stole My Hazelnuts by Marcus Pfister (Youth) - 5 stars
    The Little Grey Girl by Celine Kiernan (MG) - 4 stars
    The Unadjusted by Marisa Noelle (YA) - 4 stars

    Bird Count by Susan Edwards Richmond and Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Youth) - 5 stars
    Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (YA, GN) - 4 stars
    The Crayons' Christmas by Drew Daywalt (Youth) - 5 stars 
    A Daily Dose of Dad Jokes by Taylor Calmus and Peter Harmon (Adult) -4 stars 
    A Warm Friendship by Ellen DeLange (Youth) - 4 stars
    How to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace - 3 stars
    Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot - 5 stars
    The Unicorn Whisperer by Dana Simpson - 5 stars 
    Frog's Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables by Michael James Dowling and Sarah Buell Dowling -3 stars  
    Ramen Obsession by Naomi Imatome-Yun and Robin Donovan (Cookbook) - 3 stars
    Bird Brain by  Chuck Mullin (GN, Adult) - 3 stars
    Alma and the Beast by Esme Shapiro (Youth) - 4 stars

    Nov 28, 2019

    Happy Thanksgiving from Cover2CoverBlog

    I am so thankful this year and every year for many things! That you are here reading the blog (still) and are my internet friends is one of the things I am MOST thankful for.

    You are with me through life, school, and blogging messes. I appreciate you all so much.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you are in the US and a wonderful day even if you aren't celebrating...

    Gobble Gobble!

    Nom Nom!

    Nov 26, 2019

    Recent Reads: Alma and the Beast by Esme Shapiro

    Source: From Librarything Early Reviewers and Tundra Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review. 

    Alma and the BeastAlma and the Beast by Esme Shapiro
    Publisher: Tundra Books
    Publication Date:  September 3, 2019

    Format: Hardback


    Goodreads Synopsis: 

    Alma's beautiful, hairy world is turned upside down by the arrival of a stranger. From the utterly original imagination of the author-illustrator of Ooko comes a story about celebrating differences and making new friends. For fans of Where the Wild Things Are and Wild.
    Alma lives happily in her hairy world, where she can braid the trees, comb the grass, pet the roof and feed her plumpooshkie butterfly. Until one day . . . a hairless, button-nosed beast appears in the garden! At first Alma is scared but when she realizes the beast is lost and misses her hairless home, Alma offers to help her find her way back. As the two take a fantastical journey through the red-headed woods and the bearded mushroom glen to the beast's bald abode, they discover that they are much more alike than different.

    This quirky and charming story about friendship, tolerance and perspective invites readers into a surreal, fantastical world that evokes Alice in Wonderland, Where the Wild Things Are and The Lorax. 
    Alma and the Beast is a cute and colorful book about overcoming differences and fear to help each other. When Alma and the Beast first meet they are both scared and the beast is very lost. Alma must help her back to her home.

    This book has a little bit of everything for young readers. It is about overcoming differences, in this case beasts and fuzziness, and learning how to help one another anyway. It is colorful and the adventure these characters go on to find home is beautifully illustrated. All of the places and plants are very interesting and there are so many layers in the illustrations. The book is large with big bold two pages spreads for the little ones that want pictures and to point and ask questions but the story is a nice one for both listeners and adults.

    I think that parents will really like this as an alternative to their normal book collections and it is a very creative imaginary world that young readers would be happy to experience.

    Nov 25, 2019

    Recent Reads: Bird Brain: Comics About Mental Health, Starring Pigeons by Chuck Mullin

    Source: From Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review this in no way alters my opinion or review.

    Bird Brain: Comics About Mental Health, Starring PigeonsBird Brain: Comics About Mental Health, Starring Pigeons by Chuck Mullin
    Publisher:  Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Publication Date:  November 19, 2019

    Format: Ebook


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Bird Brain is a collection of brutally honest, brilliantly weird comics exploring what it’s like to live with mental illness . . . using pigeons.
    When Chuck Mullin began experiencing anxiety and depression as a teenager, she started drawing comics to help her make sense of the rollercoaster. Eventually, she found that pigeons—lovably quirky, yet universally reviled creatures—were the ideal subjects of a comic about mental illness. Organized in three sections—"Bad Times," "Relationships," and "Positivity"—and featuring several short essays about the author’s experiences, Bird Brain is a highly relatable, chuckle-inducing, and ultimately uplifting collection of comics for anyone who has struggled to maintain their mental health.
    Bird Brain is a graphic novel of sorts that is about mental health but told through pigeons instead of people. It addresses things like fear, depression, anxiety, social awkwardness and overall just the bad times and how they impact life. 

    I did not expect this book to be so heavy as it is comics about pigeons, but it is about a very difficult subject matter for some and might even be a little triggering. However, the comics are relatable and put mental health on the forefront which it needs to be more often. 

    I also didn't expect for this book to also include blocks of narration from the author. I think it might have been better served throughout with the comics versus in the long blocks. They seems a bit long-winded and since I was expecting comics I found that they really took my attention away from the images.

    I liked this collection and found it to be soothing, in that I related to so many of the anxiety based comics, but it wasn't a love it book for me. 

    If you are looking for an interesting take on mental health in a more whimsical medium, this would fit that build.

    Nov 22, 2019

    Recent Reads: Ramen Obsession: The Ultimate Bible for Mastering Japanese Ramen by Naomi Imatome-Yun and Robin Donovan

    Source: From Callisto Publishers Club and RockBridge Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

    Ramen Obsession: The Ultimate Bible for Mastering Japanese Ramen
    Ramen Obsession: The Ultimate Bible for Mastering Japanese Ramen by Naomi Imatome-Yun and Robin Donovan
    Publisher: Rockbridge Press
    Publication Date:   October 15, 2019

    Format: Paperback


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    The world of ramen—from the streets of Japan to your kitchen
    Seasoned broth, slurpable noodles, and colorful toppings brimming with flavor and texture—a good bowl of Japanese ramen is more than just food, it’s an experience. With Ramen Obsession, you’ll have all the tools, techniques, recipes, and step-by-step instructions you’ll need to make the perfect bowl of ramen at home.
    A master class in the art of ramen, this comprehensive book provides a fascinating overview of the global history and culture of the dish, from its early start to modern-day interpretations. Ramen Obsession will also teach you how to make a wide array of ramen broths, salty tare sauces, aromatic oils, authentic noodles, and vibrantly assorted toppings—all from scratch.
    This book includes:
    Local flavors abound—From hearty Sapporo ramen to bold Takayama ramen and beyond, take your taste buds on a tour of Japan’s diverse regional varieties.
    Broth in the bat of an eye—Save time with convenient methods for making chicken, pork, and vegan ramen broths with an electric pressure cooker.
    Ready for ramen—Use helpful shopping and essential item prep lists to guarantee your pantry’s perfectly stocked to make delicious ramen recipes.Bring the incredible flavors of a bustling Japanese ramen stall straight to your stove top—Ramen Obsession shows you how.
    I love ramen, but I am a connoisseur of instant ramen and cup-noodles. I also really love pho... but that is a digression... I really love noodley soups... like REALLY LOVE them. They are warm and comforting and they can be so flavorful. 

    I have yet to try any recipes from this book but I learned more than I ever expected from it. The first part is a history of ramen and the culture and how it is different all over based on the region it is cooked in. Part two of the book is all about the steps to putting a good ramen together with detailed instructions and shopping lists. This is going to be very helpful as you plan to make your very elaborate ramen at home. The last section is the recipes divided up by types of ramen  - yes, there are quite a few! as well as sides. 

    I feel that this is a good book to add to your collection if you like soups, and if you like elaborate and well thought-out soups, not just throw in the pot and go soups. Ramen seems like an easy thing, but these recipes and ingredient lists seem intense. I will be giving some a try but what I really think that I will do with this book is start to get more creative with toppings on my instant ramen (hey, just being realistic).

    Nov 21, 2019

    Recent Reads: Super Cool Space Facts: A Fun, Fact- Filled Space Book for Kids by Bruce Betts

    Source: From Callisto Publishers Club and Rockridge Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

    Super Cool Space Facts: A Fun, Fact-filled Space Book for KidsSuper Cool Space Facts: A Fun, Fact- Filled Space Book for Kids by Bruce Betts
    Publisher: Rockridge Press
    Publication Date:  September 3, 2019

    Format:  Paperback


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Discover a universe of fun and amazing facts about space!
    Take an exciting, fact-filled journey that goes where all great space books for kids should—to our solar system and beyond! Super Cool Space Facts is bursting with info about stormy planets, exploding stars, weird black holes, amazing landers, and more.
    Blast past other space books for kids with:
    Galaxies of wonder—Launch into learning with awesome and easy-to-digest facts about everything from asteroids hurtling through space to astronauts on the International Space Station.
    Entertaining information—Fill your outer space adventure with the jokes, big word alerts, and fascinating mysteries of the universe all space books for kids should have.
    Full-color photos—See how cool space is with incredible pictures of stars, galaxies, planets, constellations, and more.
    Super Cool Space Facts brings you out-of-this-world fun—and a must have title for anyone interested in space books for kids.
    Super Cool Space Facts, was just that, super cool, lots of interesting space facts. It hosts a wealth of knowledge for both adult and younger readers as well as wonderful images throughout.  It is divided into a few sections, The Universe, Stars and Constellations, The Solar System and more, for easier reading and the sentences are short and to the point. Most items covered have a nice two-page spread with blurbs about the topic then bubbles that fill the rest of the space with short facts.

    I learned a great deal from this book, more than I expected to and it was put together in a way that was easy to learn and read without feeling overwhelmed like some non-fiction books can feel.  The pages are so bright and fun and some of them have space jokes which were very dad-joke-esq but very fun.

    For those that love to learn it also includes a resources section as well as a glossary and the images are labelled very well.

    If you are looking for a book about space that is super easy to read and you can learn a lot from, or your kids can learn a lot from this would be a great addition to your home library, and a great excuse to stare up at the night sky.

    Also by this author


    Nov 13, 2019

    Waiting on Wednesday: Unicorn Training by Amanda Brendon

    Unicorn Training for Beginners

    Unicorn Training by Amanda Brendon
    Publisher: QED Publishing
    Publication Date: November 19, 2019

    Why I Am Waiting:
    I have been loving Phoebe and her Unicorn series... so why not another book about unicorns ?! This one looks super cute and like it might also be a great book about learning to have a pet.

    Nov 11, 2019

    Recent Reads: Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

    Alaskan HolidayAlaska Holiday by Debbie Macomber
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Publication Date:  October 8, 2019

    Format: Paperback
    Source: Bought/ Own


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    An uplifting Christmas tale, set in the Alaskan wilderness, about finding love where it's least expected--from the #1 New York Times bestselling author who's one of America's most beloved storytellers.
    Before beginning her new job as sous chef at one of Seattle's finest restaurants, Josie Stewart takes on a six-month position cooking at a lodge in an Alaskan lake town. It's only temporary--or so she thinks, as she becomes a valued part of the local community, falling in love with the people who call the Klutina Lake home. But one man, in particular, stands out among Josie's new friends: Palmer Saxon, a quiet, intense sword craftsman, whose very existence forces her to question whether her heart wants to return to Washington at all.
    On my way home from a family trip, at the airport, I decided I needed something light to read and so I picked up Alaskan Holiday. I was feeling like I needed something warm and holiday themed to get me through my travel.  I don't think I have ever read anything by Debbie Macomber but I see her books everywhere and thought it was time to pick one up.

    Alaskan Holiday is a chick-lit romance about a man that lives in Alaska and a woman that is just there temporarily for work. They fall for each other over the course of a few months and when she is about to head back they realize that maybe there is more for them. The story is told in an alternating point of view, so you get some chapters following Josie and some following Palmer. There is a cast of interesting and quirky characters throughout the book though as well. 

    The book was pretty insta-love esq but both sides are realistic about their lives and it is refreshing to see them weigh the options throughout the book. Josie is strong-willed and determined, and Palmer is rustic and sensitive and it makes for a great couple and I enjoyed reading their story.

    If you are looking for some clean romance and a winter feel, this book would be up your alley.

    Nov 8, 2019

    Early Reader Review: You are Home with Me by Sarah Asper-Smith

    Source: From Netgalley and Little Bigfoot in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

    You Are Home with Me
    You are Home with Me by Sarah Asper-Smith
    Publisher: Little Bigfoot
    Publication Date:  November 12, 2019

    Format: Ebook


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    From the author and illustrator of the popular I Would Tuck You In, this endearing picture book introduces young children to the homes of a variety of animals.
    Explore the many ways that animals create a habitat for their young in this charming picture book, filled with baby animals and their parents.
    A polar bear carves out a den in a snowbank to keep its cub warm. A tufted puffin digs out a burrow to shelter its young on a cliff near the sea. A lynx makes a shelter under a fallen tree to snuggle with its kitten. Young children will learn all about these animals and more, as each spread also includes a short piece of nonfiction about each creature.
    Lovingly illustrated and lyrically written, this is the second children's book written and illustrated by the husband-and-wife artist and author team Mitchell Watley and Sarah Asper-Smith.

    This book showcases gorgeous images of animals and their habitats as well as facts about the animals. In bold text is is a tale about different animals and where they live with their parents and in a smaller font each spread has a fact about the animals as well. 

    This is another wonderful and educational book for parents of animal loves, the images are so pretty and details. I love seeing the animals in their natural surroundings in these images. The facts were interesting and I learned a lot as will younger readers. The book indicates that is it suitable for ages 3-7, I think that the older end of that range will appreciate this more that the younger ones, but it is a beautiful book and sentiment to read to your child.

    Nov 6, 2019

    Building the Book Pile #314

    Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

    Happy Wednesday Readers!! It has been a while so I figured I would pop in and say hi

    i miss you
    virtual hugs

    Work and school have been keeping me very busy so reviews and blogging are few and far between. That said, Blog Ahead was not a complete bust, I was able to get a little ahead which was nice but I did not win it. Some posts planned and ready are better than zero so YAY!

    I have been reading though! I just need to buckle down and REVIEW all the things!

    How are you? Tell me in the comments, let me know all the fun things you are doing or reading... are you ready for the holidays ?! OMG its November already !!

    Random other thing I do because I have SO much free time (are you getting the sarcasm?... insert nervous laughter) 
    Color Street:

    If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi

    Share about your week with me in the comments below!

    Coming up on the Blog

    This week:
    Early Reader Review: You are Home with Me by Sarah Asper-Smith (Youth)

    Next week:
    ?? not sure yet ??

    Books Received Recently...
    For Review

    Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
    Happy Reading!

    Nov 4, 2019

    Early Reader Review: How to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace

    Source: From Netgalley and Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

    How to Catch a DragonHow to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace
    Series: How to Catch
    Publisher: Sourcbooks Wonderland
    Publication Date:  November 5, 2019

    Format: ebook


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Do you have what it takes to catch a dragon? 
    The How to Catch kids are off again, this time trying to catch a dragon as they chase him through Chinese New Year celebrations! Set in China during the Spring Festival, otherwise known as Chinese New Year, the wily dragon will have to avoid trap after trap as the kids run through paper lanterns, red envelopes, fireworks, and more! Bonus Mandarin translation included in the back!
    Dragons are a clever bunch,They're difficult to catch.You'll have to set the ultimate trap--But have you met your match?
    How to Catch a Dragon is one of the books in Adam Wallace's How to Catch series, where kids can learn about different holidays by trying to catch a creature that relates back to the holiday. In this book we are trying to catch a dragon for the Chinese New Year.

    The book takes on a rhyming scheme and it full of bright and engaging two page spreads for each stage of trying to catch the dragon. While trying to catch him we are also learning about different traditions in the Chinese holiday. 

    The book also has a highlighted word on each page - it is a color, and then there is a matching colored Chinese symbol. Since I don't read Chinese, I can only assume that they are the same word but in two different languages, which would be pretty cool if I am right. However nowhere in the book does it note that it does this or is going to do it so it is hard to come around to this conclusion.  Additionally, in the back of the book it lists the whole text along with two other versions, it is possible Chinese and another, but I am not sure which. Either way a cool additional that could possibly use some explanation.

    Overall I though this was a fun book, it was interesting to learn about the tradition in this way, but I think that it could have used a bit more if it is trying to teach younger kids about cultures. 

    [on another note, it does make a joke about not giving the dragon tacos... do you understand the reference? If not let me know :)]