Thursday, May 31, 2018

Two Bloggers One Book - Sharks and Summer Go Hand in Hand Right?

Stormi and I were long overdue for an awesome buddy read for our monthly feature and I think this time, we hit the jackpot!  Was the book we chose perfect?  No, but it sure was a lot of fun.  Plus, I got great use out of my shark stickers on Messenger while talking about it.  So let me present to you my thoughts on "MEG."  I don't know about you but Memorial Day always makes me think of sharks (cue my Jaws obsession).  When you're done reading my thoughts, hop over to Stormi's @   Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! for her thoughts as well!

TITLE: Meg (Meg #1)
AUTHOR: Steve Alten
PUBLISHER: Viper Press
PUBLISHING DATE: December 8, 2015 (revised edition)

FROM GOODREADS: All New Revised and Expanded! Inclydes Meg: Origins. Carcharodon megalodon apex predator of all time, the most fearsome creature that ever lived a 70-foot, 60,000 pound Great White Shark. Hundreds of 7-inch serrated teeth filled jaws that could swallow an elephant whole. It could sense its prey miles away, inhaling its scent as it registered the beat of its fluttering heart, and if you ever came close enough to see the was already too late. For Navy deep-sea submersible pilot Jonas Taylor, it nearly was too late. Years ago, on a top-secret dive seven miles down into the Mariana Trench, Jonas came face to face with an ancient monster everyone believed extinct. Having barely escaped with his life, Jonas must prove to the world that Meg still exists. When an opportunity to return to the trench presents itself, he takes it, intent on returning topside with a 7-inch tooth! But man s presence in this unexplored domain releases one of the sharks from its purgatory, and now Jonas is the only one who can stop it.

MY THOUGHTS:  I love sharks and am pretty much fascinated by them, which is easy to say from my landlocked state because no, I've never seen a real one up close.  I'm sure then my opinion would change.  So I was thrilled to pick up "Meg" and for it to be my buddy read with my blogger BFF for the month of May.  My love of sharks was fueled by my father as he introduced me to "Jaws" when I was young and as the release of the "Meg" movies grows closer, I only wish he was here to watch it with me.

So this edition starts out with the "Origins" novella, which made the first book make so much sense that I can't imagine reading it after the fact (as it was originally released).  I can best describe "Meg" as a creature feature in a book.  A bunch of scientists and explorers, some good and some not-so-good, are trying to prove the megalodon actually still exists.  Well some are also trying to prove the MC and believer, Jonas, is stark-raving mad.  But I bet you know where this is leading right?  They do discover a megalodon and they've really pissed her off. I was fearful this book might be too scientific to hold my interest but that was not the case and other than a few scientific info-dump paragraphs I could have lived without, the book kept my interest.  Of course, it also helps that there were plenty of "lunch worthy" characters for Meg to chose from for dinner and that I enjoyed cheering on the deaths of some.  

Now I also have to admit a secret - I actually felt sorry for Meg.  I mean, she was living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench when humans interrupted her routine life so I can't blame her for being mad.  And even though the humans were hunting her down to keep her from killing people and upsetting the ecosystem, it was all their fault to begin with.  So yep, the shark gets all my sympathy. 

So if you are looking for a good summer creature feature, there's still time to read this before the movie releases.  And in case you've not seen the trailer, check it out!

RATING: 4 PAWS (or should I say fins?)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May Blog All About It - Organization

Blog All About It is a challenge being hosted by Anna@Herding Cats and Burning Soup.  Each month we are given a prompt and have free reign regarding what we chose to blog about pertaining to that prompt. May's prompt is........................


So the second half of 2017 I tried bullet journaling...and failed miserably.  However, I did really learn some things about how I wanted my bullet journal to function.  So with my own ideas and some inspiration from blogs and pinterest, I came up with something this year that seems to be working.  I create a 2-page monthly spread and then I also have quite a few lists going.  I'm constantly adding new pages (for example I'm currently creating a to-do list for my spare room/library renovation.  So I thought this month's topic would finally allow me to share my bu-jo.

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So here's an example of a month spread.  I have a space for favorites (songs, dates, quotes, etc) and a space to track bills and other important dates (vet appts, car maintenance, etc.)  Then I have a Mood Tracker and a Habit Tracker.  Finally, I have an area called "On the farm..." which lists blog ideas, arcs obtained and need to read, and reviews which need to be written.

Here are a few more example of my mood trackers.  It's where I get to be the most creative and sometimes where I struggle the most.

Next up are some of my lists.  I do a lot of challenges so I've created a 2-page tracking spread for them.  I also have a series watcher spread and  movies watched spread which aren't shown. 

Here are a few examples of some of my challenges - Cloak & Dagger and What An Animal.  

I also created a list for books I'd like to eventually read which I know I can get from my library, Overdrive or Hoopla.

So there's a few of my pages.  It's an ever-evolving process so if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to share!

Can't Wait Wednesday (160)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS: When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, she's confused. It's the job of Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the rules of the afterlife and to warn her about Suppression--a punishment worse than death.

Lacy desperately wants to leave the cemetery and find out how she died, but every soul is obligated to perform a job. Given the task of providing entertainment, Lacy proposes an open mic, which becomes a chance for the cemetery's residents to express themselves. But Lacy is in for another shock when surprising and long-buried truths begin to emerge.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I can't determine if this is MG or YA but either way, I'm pretty sure I want to read it.  I love the historical element of it and come on, an open mic night in a cemetery with the ghosts of dead inhabitants?  It kind of screams "Barb, read me!"


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Summer 2018 Comment Challenge

So last year was my first year participating in this great challenge and I met some wonderful bloggers who, a year later, I still follow on a regular basis.  I found this a great way to make some new blogging friends and knew I'd have to sign up again this year.  Hosted by Flylef and A Kernal of Nonsense, it runs June, July and August and you can sign up for one month or all three.  Basically you sign up and commit to posting comments to your blogging partner for the entire month.  You can chose the 5 comment category or the 10.  I went with the 10 and last night, the June partners were announced.  

I've been teamed up with Meg @ Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest.  I've never visited her blog before so see, I'm already meeting new people. I look forward to getting to know Megan and sharing some wonderful book love with her. 

Aren't her graphics adorable?  

TTT - Who Knows What You're Gonna Get

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

This week's topic is Bookish Worlds I'd Like to Live in.  I know I did a similar one some time back where.  In fact, I actually located it and it was 10 Bookish Setting I would NOT like to visit.  You can find that post HERE so this time I'll focus on ones I would like to see.

Let's get real, I basically just like to meet Stoker.

Ready for some twisted thinking?  If I could visit parts of this "world" then Prince would still be alive and I might actually get to see him in concert or meet him.

I think Lily the shifter sounds like she would be fun to hang around with but get real, I honestly just want to play with Smooshie.

The town library is the center of things in this cozy mystery.  Plus Briar Creek is a small coastal town where everyone knows pretty much everyone.  

Over-the-top Christmas stuff usually drives me crazy but in this small town, it seemed to work and I definitely wouldn't mind vacationing there!

Come on, who wouldn't want to visit the Peanuts gang?

If for no other reason besides getting to see all the unique and fabulous creatures.

Dillon creates such lovely English settings with wonderful characters who also happen to be very dog centered.  Lots of the books take place in the same location and to be honest, not only would I like to visit, I can see myself living there.

If I'm being honest, I'd probably slap Sookie silly within an hour of meeting her but I think Bon Temps would be a fun vacation spot.  I could play fetch with Sam and build something with Alcide.  

I wish more people would read this book.  I love the 1926 setting and the magical system in place.  There's plenty of glamour and bootleg "Shine" which is actually magic.  

So there you have it.  Some practical and some not-so-practical.  Would you like to visit any of these worlds???

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sidetracked Sunday #5 - The Graphic Novel Edition

This month's choice comes from a series I absolutely love.  In fact, without double-checking, I'm pretty sure all the volumes have gotten at least 4/5 paws from me or higher.  Usually I grab the new releases as soon as I can from my library, but this time around, it took a tad bit longer - almost 6 months.

TITLE: Saga Vol. 8
AUTHORS: Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PUBLISHING DATE: December 27, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: After the traumatic events of the War for Phang, Hazel, her parents, and their surviving companions embark on a life-changing adventure at the westernmost edge of the universe.

CollectingSaga 43-48.

MY THOUGHTS:  It's a tad hard to review Volume 8 without giving too much away but I will say Saga continues to enthrall me and it's a series I hope doesn't end anytime in the near future because I'm not ready to say goodbye to most of the characters.  This volume does add in a new surprise love story but I have to be honest, I kind of saw it coming and I was thrilled.  I didn't get much Lying Cat but Issue 48 pretty much centered around my much beloved Ghus.  The art in this series continues to please and amaze and the story line remains refreshing despite encompassing issues 43-48.  Since it's hard to not spoil much else, let me leave you with some of the great artwork.


One of the best scenes in the entire volume!

You gotta love Hazel.....

Ghus goes to some pretty heroic measures to save his best pal Friendo.

So if you haven't started this yet, this summer's a perfect time to start.  Vol 9 releases in October!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (163)/Sunday Post - I Have the Greatest Library.

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer

So I really do have one of the best libraries!  A few weeks ago, I requested a few books for them to purchase because I knew I wanted to read them and I didn't really want to purchase them.  Not only is it a money thing, it's a space thing.  Also, can I add that I can request books not currently owned by the library on their website from the comfort of my own home.  So I requested "Lizzie," "A Guide for Murdered Children," and " City of Lost Fortunes" and three weeks later, they are in my greedy little hands.  And last month they purchased "The Wild Inside," "Forever: Samantha Fox," and "Outpost" when I requested them.  

Now "Bourne" is another story.  I saw Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy talking about it last week and I had no idea it had a giant bear which totally intrigued me so I added it to the library haul as well.  

So the next three books I can also blame on Tammy.  A few weeks ago the topic of Friday Face Off was Dinosaurs.  She featured the first book in a series which honestly, sounded too quirky to pass up.  It was unavailable on Kindle so I check Thrift Books and was able to get all three in the series for about $10.00 including shipping.  Had I just got the first one, it still would have been about the same price so why the heck not?  "Anonymous Rex" is a dinosaur detective and one cover boasts "Sam Spade meets the X-Files." 

And finally, of course I grabbed a copy of this baby -  "The Outsider."

So all in all it was a great book week at Booker T's Farm...thanks mostly to Tammy!

What did you add to your shelves this week???

Friday, May 25, 2018

Weekly Reads (05/25/18) - 3 Day Weekend Version

Happy Memorial Day! (at least for some of us).  Hope everyone had a great week.  It was pretty busy at The Farm but for the life of me, I don't know why it has felt that way.  My Mom has kind of driven me crazy this week with her love life (I am your daughter, NOT your friend, I don't wanna hear your dating issues) and the state prison system has been closing facilities and moving people around so Mr. Barb has had to work late helping process people in.  On top of that, the facility is understaffed which is not good when you just got 152 additional inmates in 3 days.

The boys are doing well.  Last Sunday, we all went shopping at the local pet store in celebration of Booker T's birthday and they got to pick out their own snacks and a toy each.  Cass fell in love with a soft white lamb that he is now carrying everywhere - I think the dog has issues.  Booker T picked a pig wearing sunglasses with racing stripes down it's back that oinks.  I would respect nothing less from him.  Introducing Lammy and Piggy...aren't we so original???

We watched some movies this week.  A new horror called "The Nanny" which was more fantasy than horror and involved fairies and "Island Zero" which really wasn't too bad considering I've never heard  of it.  I also started season 2 of "13 Reasons Why."  I'm not a huge fan of the show but it has kind of sucked me in and hey, it good filler.  I hesitate to say I'm in a reading slump because I love both books I'm reading, but I've just done other stuff this week.  So basically I'm still reading "Meg" and "Undead Girl Gang" although I should be wrapping up "Meg" tonight.  When they are finished, these are the next 3 on the agenda.  I would love to finish them before the month is out to make up for this week's slacking.  

So I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and stayed tune for an EPIC library haul tomorrow.  I LOVE my library!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

At Least There Was Plenty of Snark and Attitude - Class Mom Review

TITLE: Class Mom
AUTHOR: Laurie Gelman
PUBLISHER: Henry Holt & Co.
PUBLISHING DATE: August 1, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom--or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it's her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max--this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the-wisest-candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.

From recording parents' response times to her emails about helping in the classroom, to requesting contributions of-special-brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen's methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen's past, a hyper-sensitive -allergy mom,-a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.

MY THOUGHTS: So "Class Mom" isn't my usual read but after seeing one of my favorite bloggers review it, I grabbed it from my library. So a few weeks ago when I was severely under the weather, I picked it up anticipating and easy and light read and it was the PERFECT thing to keep me company while I "died" on the couch.

Jen Dixon is married and has two daughters in college and a 5 year old son. She gets roped into being class mom for his Kindergarten class and that's when the fun ensues. Jen is not really ready to dive back into school activities. She raised her daughter as a single mother following her young adult years filled with being a groupie for INXS and only settling down when children dictated she do so. In fact, she isn't entirely convinced that the lead singer isn't her daughter's father. But now Jen is a "respectable" housewife. Her husband owns a sporting goods store and she is trying to get in shape after being embarrassed by last year's mud run.

What makes this book so great is Jen's snarky and sarcastic attitude. Part of the book is told in emails sent to the class parents and to say Jen is a smart ass is an understatement. Gelman also does a wonderful job of portraying the various parents one might expect to encounter in today's school environment. Even the parent whose kid is allergic to EVERYTHING! 

"Class Mom" might seem an odd read for someone who doesn't have small children at home but truth be told, you don't really need that element to find this book hilarious. However, the humor in this book is not for everyone and I could see some people being offended at some of the things in it. However, if you are in the mood for sarcasm, friendship, unique characters, lots of drama and a small amount of intrigue, "Class Mom" just might be the book you're looking for.



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (159)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS: Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t. When her dear friend Lord Ingram stands accused of the murder of his estranged wife, Charlotte goes under disguise to help prove his innocence to Scotland Yard.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I adore this series and look at that cover!  So wonderful.  In fact, I really hope I can score an ARC of this somehow!


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

TTT - Some of My Favorite Character Names

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

So it seems lately I have been putting some different twists on TTT so why should this week  be any different?  I'm sure I'll look at the lists and be like "Yea, why didn't I think of that one?" but for the current time, since I think I may struggle with this one, I'm dividing it into HUMAN NAMES and PET NAMES.  Is it really that surprising???


STOKER (The Veronica Speedwell Mysteries)

CASPER (in particular because in the book, he's a ghost hunter!)

ATL (the badass female vampire)

BONES (those that know him know I needn't have to say more)

PEPPER NEELY (because I think it's an awesome name for a young adventurous gal to have)


SOCRATES (such a cute name for an intelligent Basset Hound)


CUALLI ( An awesome tattooed Doberman.  
Can you tell I like this book?  Seriously guys, read it!)

SMOOSHIE (Cass' book-girlfriend)

ENZO ( I can still envision him attacking the evil zebra).

So there you have it.  Can you guess which list was easiest for me???