May 29, 2020

Monthly Re-Cap: May 2020



Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 


~~Books I Read in May 2020~~

The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel  I Left The House Today!  Phoebe and Her Unicorn Book 12  The Secret of the Stones (Sean Wyatt, #1; Lost Chambers Trilogy, #1)  The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires  Happily Ever After & Everything In Between  Cat's Cafe: A Comics Collection  Superman Smashes The Klan    5-Minute Stress Relief: 75 Exercises to Quiet Your Mind and Calm Your Body  The Very Last Leaf by Stef Wade  Beauty and the Beast  Plastic Soup  Time for Bed's Story  Sea Witch (Sea Witch, #1)  Violet and the Trial of Trauma (Dark Agents #1)
                            
    ~~ Guest Review ~~
    Whole Food Vegan Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Healthy, Natural Ingredients

     Guest Review w/ Larissa: Whole Food Vegan Baking by Annie Markowitz (Cookbook) - 3.5 stars


    ~~Links to Some Reviews~~

    May Reviews

    I Left the House Today! by Cassandra Calin (Adult, GN) -5 stars
    Cat's Cafe by Matt Tarply (GN) - 5 stars
    Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (Audio) - 4 stars 
    The Secret of the Stones by Earnest Dempsey (Adult) - 4 stars 
    Superman Smashes the Clan by Gene Luen Yang (YA, GN) - 4 stars
     The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (Audio, Adult) - 5 stars 
    5-Minute Stress Relief: 75 Exercises to Quiet Your Mind and Clam your Body by Elena Welsh (Non-Fiction, Self-Help) - 3 stars 
    The Lost Carnival : A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel by Michael Moreci (YA, GN) - 4 stars 

    Reviews from Books Read last Month

    Leo's Monster by Marcus Pfister (Youth) - 4 stars

    Reviews Coming Soon

    The Invisible Bear by Cecile Metzger (Youth) 
    Virtual Unicorn Experience (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #12) by Dana Simpson (MG, GN)
    Happily Ever After and Everything In Between by Debbie Tung (Adult, GN) 
    The Very Last Leaf by Stef Wade (Youth)
    Beauty and the Beast by Jessica Gunderson (MG, GN)
    Plastic Soup by Judith Koppens (Youth)
    Time for Bed's Story by Monica Arnaldo (Youth)
    Violet and the Trial of Trauma (Dark Agents #1) by Janina Scarlet (YA, GN)
    Sea Witch (#1) by Sarah Henning (YA, Audio)



    Thanks so much for reading!
    Support late night reading by sending caffeine 😮

    May 28, 2020

    Early Reader Review: I Left the House Today! by Cassandra Calin

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

    I Left The House Today!: Comics by Cassandra Calin
    I Left the House Today! by Cassandra Calin
    Publisher:  Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Publication Date:  June 2, 20202



    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

    Format: Ebook

    Rating:







    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Hilarious and relatable comics about one young woman's life, relationships, and day-to-day humorous musings on why it's good to leave the house sometimes—and when it's better to stay home.
    Cassandra Calin’s ability to document the hilarity of relatable everyday events in a series of webcomics has generated a huge following on social media. This beautifully illustrated compendium of first-person comics about the trials of the single life, school, stress, junk food, shaving, and maintaining a healthy self-image. Cassandra Calin's comics frequently highlight the humorous gap between expectations and reality, especially when it comes to appearance and how much she can accomplish in one day. This book is funny, lighthearted, introspective, and artistically stunning—the perfect gift for young women, recent graduates, and anyone who might need a little comedic incentive to leave the house today.
    Review: 
    I realized that my notes/ keywords for this book review are almost exactly the ones from the synopsis... this book really was hilarious and relatable. This graphic novel is a collection of comics from a webseries, which I had not read until now. The collection is full of hilarious moments about being a female and also dealing with life struggles, one of which is leaving the house. Cassandra shares her issues with curly frizzy hair, her love of food and sleep and her life in these comics. 

    The comic themselves are pretty simplistic, no color, inked with no other fill. They have a good amount of detail and are quick and easy to read through a few or the whole collection, should you choose to. They range from comics with speech bubble to only visual representations and everything in between. 

    Overall this was a very fun read about adulting struggles and introvert struggles that really resonated with me. I would happily own and gift this book to my crazy friends and family members.

    May 25, 2020

    Blog Blast w/ Giveaway! Deeplight by Frances Hardinge


    About the Book

    Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Frankenstein in Frances Hardinge’s latest fantasy adventure

    The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to his friend when he’s becoming a monster—and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him?

    Praise for DEEPLIGHT

     “Equal parts dazzling fantasy, swashbuckling adventure, and tender coming-of-age tale.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
     “Monsters and mortals collide in this fantasy adventure that explores the hypnotic allure of fear, the adamant grip of the past, and the redeeming power of stories.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
    "Glorious thematic complexity inhabits a wildly inventive world, with the menacing roils of a dangerous sea threatening the archipelago and touches of steampunk rounding out the fantastical elements." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
    "Chilling and provocative, this dark fantasy will appeal to thrill seekers and cerebral tweens." —Booklist


    You can purchase Deeplight at the following Retailers:
     



    About the Author


    Frances Hardinge is the winner of the Costa Book of the Year for The Lie Tree, one of just two young adult novels to win the major UK literary prize. Known for her beautiful use of language, Hardinge has written many critically acclaimed novels, including Cuckoo Song, Gullstruck Island, Fly by Night, Verdigris Deep, and Fly Trap. She lives in England. Visit the author at franceshardinge.com.

    Find the Author





    Giveaway is open to International.
     Must be 13+ to Enter
    - 5 Winners will receive a Copy of DEEPLIGHT by Frances Hardinge.

    *JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    May 24, 2020

    Building the Book Pile #327


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

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 


    It is Memorial Day weekend, I hope that everyone has made time to remember those we have lost for our safety and freedom. It is a time of remembrance, love, gratitude and memory. Regardless of what you are doing this weekend, please take a moment.

    I hope that everyone is doing well and having a nice long weekend. We had a socially distanced BBQ and fire with a couple we know and love and it was great to finally have some socialization again, even though it was small and short-lived. Hoping for more socializing soon.... but not too much... #introvertlife

    We are still in the midst of home projects and cleaning... motivated like crazy because next weekend our house goes up on the market! YUP you heard that right! We are moving... to where  I don't know yet (insert full panic here). The goal is to move to Cape Coral, Florida but we will probably find a rental in VT or NH for another year after selling the house before getting done there. Although with our work being remote we might be able to get down there sooner. We just don't want to wing-it quite yet.

    As for reading... I haven't done much because my focus has been on the house and school work (OH GEEZ SO MUCH SCHOOL WORK). I should have a few reviews up soon though so hold tight!


    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!
     



    Current Giveaways

    New one up on MONDAY!

    Coming up on the Blog

    Blog Blast w/ Giveaway! Deeplight by Frances Hardinge (YA)

    Recent Reads: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (YA) - [sorry didn't finish this one last week]

    Early Readers Review: I Left the House Today by Cassandra Calin (GN, Adult)

    Monthly Re-Cap: May 2020



    Books Received Recently...

         The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea  Violet and the Trial of Trauma (Dark Agents #1)

    The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall from Librarything Early Reviewers program and Candlewick Press for review. 

    Violet and the Trial of Trauma (Dark Agents #1) by Janina Scarlet, Illustrated by Vince Alvendia from Librarything Early Reviewers program and New Harbinger Publications for review



    Have you missed anything lately?

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

    May 22, 2020

    Early Reader Review: Cat's Cafe by Matt Tarplay

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

    Cat's Cafe: A Comics CollectionCat's Cafe: A Comics Collection by Matt Tarplay
    Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
    Publication Date:  May 26. 2020



    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

    Format: Ebook

    Rating:







    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Serving up more than just coffee and tea, Cat’s CafĂ©  provides its cast of adorable characters a gentle, supportive space and a hefty serving of the warm and floofies.
    Welcome to Cat’s CafĂ©, a neighborhood coffee shop where all are welcome! Based on the popular webcomic, Cat’s CafĂ© introduces readers to the adorable denizens of this world. There's Penguin, who has a bit of a coffee problem; Rabbit, whose anxiety sometimes overwhelms him; Axolotl, whose confidence inspires his friends; the always-supportive Cat, who provides hot drinks made with love and a supportive ear for anyone's troubles; and many, many more. With a sensitive take on real issues and a gentle, positive outlook, Cat’s CafĂ© is about the power of acceptance, friendship, and love ... and delicious cups of coffee.
    Review: 
    This graphic novel is a collection of web comics and it is ABSOLUTELY  adorable. Cat owns a cafe as the title implies and the comics follow Cat as well as a whole host of animals. The cafe and the whole comic is a safe-space for all animals and readers and deals with depression and loneliness in a warm, feel good, and wholesome way.  The animals are cute and hilarious and I absolute felt warm and fuzzy after. 

    There is a penguin with a coffee addiction that is hilarious and all too relatable for me. He is over the top obsesses and it is very fun. The other animals all have some sort of ailment or issue, there is a lonely snake an emotional hyena, an anxious rabbit. They are all adorably drawn but the comics cover important issues and is deeper than you would expect. This is just want I needed as a pick me up. 

    I think that this book would be great for just about anyone, especially those that enjoy cute animals, safe spaces, and coffee. 

    May 21, 2020

    Guest Review w/ Larissa: Whole Food Vegan Baking by Annie Markowitz, PhD

    Source:  My Friend, Stephanie 
    Stephanie received this book from Callisto Publishing Club and Rockridge Press in exchange for an honest review, and passed it along to Larissa for review. This in no way alters her opinion or review. 

    Whole Food Vegan Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Healthy, Natural IngredientsWhole Food Vegan Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Healthy, Natural Ingredients by Annie Markowitz, PhD
    Length: 100 pages
    Publisher: RockRidge Press
    Publication Date: 2020  


    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

    Format: Paperback

    Rating:


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Vegan baking made even healthier—and just as deliciousThe classic cookies, cakes, and pies in Whole Food Vegan Baking have been transformed into better-for-you versions of themselves that still taste fantastic. Most vegan baking includes refined sugar and other processed foods, but these recipes are made with only natural, whole food, plant-based ingredients. So you can be kind to your body while still indulging in decadence.Whether you’re vegan, or just in search of a healthier way to enjoy your favorite sweets, Whole Food Vegan Baking shows you how to create cookies with chickpea flour, oil-free apple pie, and dozens of other vegan baked goods that you’ll love to eat and be proud to serve.Whole Food Vegan Baking is:Easy as pie—Bake each recipe to perfection with simple instructions, and notes on prep time, cook time, and all the necessary tools. Vegan, naturally—Learn the science behind swapping sweeteners, omitting oil, and picking plant-based—without sacrificing flavor. Tips and tricks—Get pointers on recipe variations, ingredient substitutions, serving suggestions, and more.Experience natural vegan baking that’s as flavorful as it is good for you with Whole Food Vegan Baking.
    Review: 
    First, I should admit that I am a cook, not a baker. My baking repertoire is confined to the realm of cookies, muffins, fruit breads, and the occasional birthday cake. All of these things I can do quite well, but not great. Further, when my husband and I went from vegetarian to vegan last year, a lot of recipes went out the window. Yes, there are things you can use as egg replacements, but honestly I’m such a non-baker that the complication of a “chia egg” was enough to turn me off from even attempting to convert most of my old recipes to be vegan-friendly.


    When Stephanie asked if I’d be interested in this book, I jumped at the chance to try it out. I have only one other fully vegan cookbook and looked forward to building out my culinary library around our new lifestyle. When I first got it, I thumbed through the recipes as I usually do, to see if anything caught my eye. I was pleasantly surprised that the recipes seemed simple and approachable. Many had less than 10 ingredients required, and they were all “normal” things like oats, applesauce, and sugar. I was able to identify several that I had all the ingredients for on hand and could therefore make right away – winning!

    At this point, having tried several recipes I can attest that they produce consistently yummy results. Favorites include the Easy-as-Pie Apple Pie Bread and Healthy Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting. I’ll note that as a cook, I’m prone to making … adjustments throughout the process. I know, I know. I can’t help it though! This is why I’m not a baker. Anywho, the recipes have held up well to my changes, which mainly include the addition of flour to help firm up the consistency of the batter. While I appreciate the author’s attempt to keep things gluten free, my diet doesn’t necessitate that, so bring on the gluten!


    The only negative I’ve found is that the ingredients lists doesn’t seem to include water. It’s a minor detail, but as someone who likes to set out all the necessary ingredients and measuring utensils ahead of time, I found it annoying. The first couple times I actually re-read the ingredient list to make sure I hadn’t missed anything upon encountering the addition of water in the recipe instructions. Spoiler alert – I hadn’t. Minor inconvenience aside, I have still thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to making more recipes from it in the future.  





    Many, many thanks to Larissa for taking the time to try out this cook book AND write a review for me/us. 

    Share some love in the comments below and let us know if you have any great recipes (vegan and non-vegan) to share [pssst...we like sweets] . Happy reading, baking, cooking, etc  - xoxo, Steph

    May 18, 2020

    Building the Book Pile #326


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

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 


    Happy Monday! I hope everyone is doing well! Let me know in the comment what you are reading this week :)

    This past week we worked on house projects, cleaning out (we got a dumpster to help) and I worked on homework too. It was busy busy, but our housing is looking great and we are getting things done that have needed to be done for a while (including making the basement less creepy).  With most shops and restaurants closed we have had the time and money to put into these projects finally, so this pandemic is both a blessing and a curse in many ways. 

    I am working on getting more reading done so I can have reviews to post, but after I am done reading I often want to wait a bit before reviewing so that is making it difficult. But this week I have a guest review going up!! I am excited to share it with you.

    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!
     



    Current Giveaways




    Coming up on the Blog

    Early Reader Review: Cat's Cafe by Matt Tarpley (GN)

    Guest Review w/ Larissa: Whole Food Vegan Baking by Annie Markowitz (Cook Book)

    Recent Reads: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (YA)


    Books Received Recently...

             

    I was on Negalley and wanted some Cozy Mystery, so here is what I picked:

    Boston Scream Murder by Ginger Bolton from Netgalley and Kensington Books for review.

    Check Out for Murder by Allison Brook from Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for review.

    Other Books that I picked up...
        
    Fatemarked (The Fatemarked Epic, #1)

    Fatemarked by David Estes  (The Fatemarked Epic #1)  borrowed from Amazon Prime Reads Library for Book Club



    Have you missed anything lately?

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