A Dog Blog

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly blog post put on by LaLa in the Library where we discuss what we have been reading. What have you been reading?

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Last weekend I drove a couple hours to see David Rosenfelt.  He is most famous for writing his Andy Carpenter mystery books.  I have not read one of those books.  However, I did stumble across his book Dogtripping about a year ago.  It is the true story of how he and 25 dogs, 11 volunteers, and 3 RV’s made a week long cross country trek from California to Maine.  As you can imagine this was a huge challenge and undertaking. This book was hilarious, sad, and very informative about adopting senior dogs. The author wrote like he was just having a conversation with the reader which I enjoyed. His humor was refreshing and I at times would literally laugh out loud. Of course with any book that involves dog rescues, there is going to be some sad parts.

I really enjoyed meeting him and hearing him talk about all of his books.  Mr. Rosenfelt was just as funny in person and I loved that he only came to cities that the price of admission went to a dog rescue organization.

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Outlander Update!!!

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I finished book two and it was unbelievable! The book did have more political strategy than the first book so I am afraid to say that sometimes I would skim past those parts. I look forward to starting the third book this week.

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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I am also VERY VERY VERY excited to start this book on the 31st.  I will be reading/blogging about it with my friend La La in the Library

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Book Review: The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn 3 stars (barely) out of 5

 

I recieved an advanced ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 I just didn’t GET this book.  Was it a metaphor for something? Life? Trust? Love? Like the main character, Arman, I didn’t know what was going on half of the time! From other reviews I have read I am not the only one who feels this way which makes me feel a little bit better.  With that said, the book is well written and the author is very talented.  I just wish I had understood what I had read. Below is the Goodreads summary of the book.

17-year-old Arman Dukoff is struggling with severe anxiety and a history of self-loathing when he arrives at an expensive self-help retreat in the remote hills of Big Sur. He’s taken a huge risk—and two-thousand dollars from his meth-head stepfather—for a chance to “evolve,” as Beau, the retreat leader, says.

Beau is complicated. A father figure? A cult leader? A con man? Arman’s not sure, but more than anyone he’s ever met, Beau makes Arman feel something other than what he usually feels—worthless.

The retreat compound is secluded in coastal California mountains among towering redwoods, and when the iron gates close behind him, Arman believes for a moment that he can get better. But the program is a blur of jargon, bizarre rituals, and incomprehensible encounters with a beautiful girl. Arman is certain he’s failing everything. But Beau disagrees; he thinks Arman has a bright future—though he never says at what.

And then, in an instant Arman can’t believe or totally recall, Beau is gone. Suicide? Or murder? Arman was the only witness and now the compound is getting tense. And maybe dangerous.

As the mysteries and paradoxes multiply and the hints become accusations, Arman must rely on the person he’s always trusted the least: himself.

 

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When We Collided by Emery Lord

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly feature put on by La La in the Library  where we talk about the books we are reading and the books we look forward to reading soon!

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La La and I will be reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child together starting next week!

Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post are weekly posts put on by  tyngasreviews.com

and The sundayCaffeinated Book Reviewer  Join us instacking talking about what we have been reading!

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When We Collided by Emery Lord 4 stars out of 5

This book was an amazing read! I enjoyed the author’s fabulous imagery and descriptions of all the characters and the small town they inhabit. The story is told from two points of view, Jonah and Vivi. Jonah’s father died about a year ago and his mom doesn’t come out of her room so he is responsible for helping take care of his three younger siblings along with working at his dad’s restaurant. Vivi just moved to the small town of Verona Cove, CA from Seattle. She starts everyday by throwing one of her pills into the ocean. Vivi’s mom is an artist and she has no idea about her dad. Jonah and Vivi meet and instantly become friends. Vivi’s upbeat personality and spontaneity is just what Jonah needs to help break up the monotony and stress of his life. “Jonah is a truly beautiful boy, that gorgeous hair and olive skin and strong arms from carrying groceries and his little sister. He has those deep dark eyes that show he carries a lot of heavy things inside himself, too.”-Vivi
As the story progresses, the effects of Vivi not taking her medicine starts to show. She doesn’t eat or sleep and she is constantly sewing or working on a project. We discover that Vivi is bipolar. Also, through the story we see Jonah’s mom dealing with depression and grieving for her husband. Even though this book deals with these serious issues, the author does add humorous scenes and dialogue and you can’t help but root for everything to work out for Vivi and Jonah.
Depression, bipolar disorder, and any mental illness is different for everyone but the author makes sure to emphasize that it is important to talk to someone, anyone you trust.

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Orphan Trains by Rebecca Langston-George

I did get a chance to read a small non-fiction book called Orphan Trains. It is for 9-12 year olds. This was a great read and interested me because many of the children in this book ended up in my home state of Iowa.  I never realized orphaned children from out East were put on trains and sent to families in the Midwest.  I like that there were different types of stories about the children. Some of them were sad and heartbreaking but some had very happy endings.

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I am still reading the second Outlander book, Dragonfly in Amber.  I am almost half done and really enjoying it. I finished watching the first season of the Outlander tv series. I can’t wait to watch the second season when I am finished with the second book.

 

 

The Crown’s Game and Memoirs of a Vampire

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly post put on by LaLa in the Library  It is where we discuss what we have been reading lately.  Please check out her blog because frankly La La is just plain awesome.

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 So for all of you following my Outlander addiction, I finished Outlander last week and started book two in the series, Dragonfly in Amber. I had to stop reading however because my library let me know that the first season of the Outlander tv series on DVD was waiting for me.  So I have been binge watching that in my free time.  The show is beautiful.  I love the scenery, the music, costumes, and the actors are amazing.

I did find time to read a couple fantasy books this week.

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The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye 4 stars out of 5

I would describe this book as Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games.  A girl, Vika, and a boy, Nikolai, are enchanters (can perform magic) in Russia.  There is usually only one enchanter alive at a time but for some strange reason there are two.  Because there are two, the Tsar of Russia must decide which one he wants on his court so he decides to host The Crown’s Game.  Vika and Nikolai are forced to do magic against each other.  Their goal is to kill each other and impress the Tsar. They each have five turns to accomplish this.  If they don’t succeed in killing one another then the Tsar decides who wins at the end of the competition and the loser automatically dies.  The magic in this book is not quite like Harry Potter.  It is a bit more grand, imaginative, and beautiful. (Not that I don’t love the magic in HP, I do! It is just different.)  I loved the premise for this book and for the most part it works.  There were a few places where it got a bit dull and the love triangle aspect is a bit cliche.  There will be a sequel to this book.

The second book I read was written by an awesome lady I met on Twitter.  She self-publishes all of her books which I think is very admirable. I think it is very important to support authors like this.  They don’t make a lot of money, if any.  They simply write because they love to.  If you are interested in the book below here is the link on Amazon.  It is only $3.99 on Kindle! Purchase here! If you would like to read more about Ms. Coulter and her books click here!

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Memoirs of a Vampire by T.L. Coulter 4 stars out of 5

It has been a long time since I have read a Vampire book so I was excited to read this one. First off, I really liked how this story was told. There is the present day story and then the journal entries from 100 years ago to present day. The main character, Karen, is physically abused by her husband and with the help of her friend, Melissa, leaves her husband secretly and move across the country. Melissa’s family has a house in Oregon that has been in the family for years. This is where the two friends first discover a journal that was left by one of Melissa’s ancestors. The writer of the journal, Allison, says she is a vampire and goes on to tell the story of how she became so. Her story is similar to Karen’s. Allison’s sister was abused and murdered by her husband. I loved how the two stories mirrored each other. Oh and by the way, Allison’s last entry was to Karen and Melissa the night they moved in! The story has more characters and plot twists but I don’t want to ruin it for you. I think one of my favorite lines from the book is in the dedication. Ms. Coulter writes, “I dedicate this book to all the women who have ever known abuse in their lives. No one should ever have to suffer in an abusive relationship. You are beautiful, your are strong, and you are so much more than they deserve.”

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly post

by tyngasreviews.com and The Sunday Post is by the Caffeinated stackingBook Reviewer. It is where we discuss what we are reading! What are you reading?sunday

Review: The Memory Book and Outlander

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Tell Me Tuesday is put on by La La in the Library It is where we talk about what we are reading, going to read, and have read. So tell me what you are reading!

The Sunday Post is put on by Kimberly sunday.jpgfrom TheCaffeinatedBookReviewer and
stackingStacking the Shelves is put on every week by tyngasreviews is where we talk about what we are reading, going to read, and have read.  Check out their links above.

I didn’t get as much reading done this week as I would have liked because Outlander sucked me in! I was only going to read it a few minutes here and there but before I knew it hours would pass and I would end up being sleep deprived the next day.

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Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery 4.5 stars out of 5

I had received an ARC of this book at BookCon in Chicago this spring.  This book just came out in bookstores on July 5.

The concept of this book really intrigued me. The main character, Sammie, has a disease, Neimann Pick type C, that affects her mind and body. She is slowly starting to forget things and is desperately trying to fight it because she plans to go to college and law school in New York. To help herself remember things that she may forget in the future, which includes herself, her family, and her friends, she starts a journal to her future self. She writes in a journal, her memory book, about her family, friends, school, boyfriend, and the struggles that go along with those relationships. I looked up this disease to see if it was a real thing and unfortunately, it is. In fact, I think Neimann Pick disease is worse in real life than described in the book which makes sense since the story is fictional and needed to be compressed for book purposes. However, Ms. Avery does a phenomenal job of showing us through the story (Sammie’s journal) how Sammie begins to deteriorate. Her future is so promising and she starts to realize it probably won’t happen. It is heartbreaking to read and share in Sammie’s realization of this. The Memory Book book pulls at the heartstrings and definitely made me want to hug my kids more.

After I posted this review to Goodreads I got a reply from a mom whose daughter has Neimann Pick.  This is what she said,

“Yes, it is much worse in real life. My daughter has it. The deterioration and death d0esn’t come quickly. My daughter is 31 and has been deteriorating in front of our eyes for years. Please go to Chasethecure.net for more information. Also go to npcstories.tumblr.com to read the stories from real families who deal with NPC day in and day out.”

So if you are interested in this disease, click on those two links.

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Outlander (book 1) by Diana Gabaldon 5 stars out of 5

I am not really going to review this book but just talk about why I like it.  I think most people have heard of Outlander the book series or maybe the tv series.  I have not watched the tv series yet.  I have the first season on hold at my library since I don’t have the Starz cable channel anymore.  I had been hesitant to start this series because the books are gigantic and I am afraid it will cut into my reading time of other books I need to read. (refer to first paragraph of this blog post) However,  with Game of Thrones on hiatus, both the books and the show, I decided to see what all the hype was about.

I was immediately sucked in.  The author develops the setting and characters so richly.  I just completely got lost in this world she created.  If you like Game of Thrones than you may enjoy this series.  However, it is not as brutal as GoT and I think a bit easier to follow.

I plan to start book two in the series this week.  I really hope I DON’T finish it soon.

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I started reading The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye.  I had heard a lot of hype about this book.  I am almost done and it is very good. The best way to describe this book is Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games.