Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mysterious Saturday Review: Death is Like a Box of Chocolates

* First Book in a Series * 
Michelle and Erica got roped into hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off - partly to promote the town and partly to promote their combine chocolate and bookstore business.

When a body is discovered inside the shop with a chocolate stuffed in the victim's mouth - everything could change in a heartbeat.

Michelle's worried that her shop won't last and that her business customers will cancel their orders. Just as she's finally found herself, she faces losing everything.

Michelle starts looking into the murder in order to get her life back on track.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this mystery with the small town charm, the chocolate and bookstore business, the friendships, and the potential romance. I loved learning more about Michelle and her chocolate making - this book made my mouth water. I craved chocolate while reading it (who wouldn't). I liked both Michelle and Erica's brothers and I'm interested in learning more about them. I really enjoyed the Great Fudge Cook-off and how it came together. I'm looking forward to learning more about these characters. 

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library
Final Thoughts: If you're looking for a fun mystery with lots of chocolate and great friends, look no further. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

About Me: Dogs

One of my resolutions this year (and to be honest almost every year) is to talk more about myself on the blog. Me in a nutshell: I'm a Librarian. I'm a blogger. I'm a reader. Here's a little bit about me outside the bookish world.

When I was a kid, I desperately wanted a dog. I used to ask for one all the time. Instead, I got dog stuffed animals, which I loved, but it wasn't the real deal. Finally when I was heading into middle school, my parents gave in. We got a Shetland Sheep dog (just like a family friend's dog Jack who used to shake paws). I helped pick her out. She crawled into my lap and it was love at first sight.

Isn't she the cutest?

She would wake me up in the morning by racing up the stairs and jumping on the side of my bed, barking until I reached my hand down to put her. 

I taught her tricks. She loved playing ball. She loved food. She would wait at the edge of the driveway for me to come home from school. She always knew when I was coming - unless I was at practice. 

She hated the word college. Her tail would droop and she would get cranky. 

 She was the perfect dog. 

She died after I was gone from the house. My parents got a new dog (same breed) Ivy. Here she is in a fun Christmas photo. 

Merry Christmas:
Isn't she adorable?

She's cute, but I didn't spend too much time with her as a puppy and then I got a dog. She wasn't thrilled about sharing the house with another dog. Ivy isn't one for cuddling too much, but she does love food and she loves to play.

And then there's my playful dog who isn't a puppy any more, but acts like one (especially on days like today when it snows)

He's a good sport about taking funny pictures. He loved going for long walks - his nose leads him everywhere. He loves sleeping and snuggling (even when we read)

He loves smelling books. He's super curious and he knows a fair amount of tricks. He loves having his belly rubbed. He has the most expressive eyes.

He can be a bit of a handful. He gets super excited around new people - jumps all over them. He's also a bed hog. 

But I love him dearly.
Having a dog is the best thing in the world. They're always happy to see you. Hugging my crazy dog makes me feel better, especially when I'm sad. I'm not sure I could ever not have a dog. I often think about getting another one, but I'm not sure my puppy wants to share the house. 

My Grandfather and Me

21 years ago today, we lost my grandfather very suddenly. I was a freshman in high school and I was devastated. February 5th is always a hard day, but today I'm going to take time for the happy memories over the sadness and gaping hole in my heart.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my sister and I with our grandparents.

You can read the rest of my post from last year here about what I remember most about him. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Adult Review: Rogue Not Taken

 * Book 1 in the Scandal and Scoundrel series *
Lady Sophie Talbot is different than she sisters; she isn't fond of the tabloid gossip detailing their every move. In fact, up until now, she's stayed out of the limelight. But when her sister's husband does something unforgivable, she must act.

Now she's embarrassed and wants to escape the party. She ends up fleeing the scene on the back of a carriage. Only the carriage isn't going where she expected. Now she's in a worse mess with no way out.

What will happen when she's discovered?
My Thoughts: I'm a huge fan of Sarah MacLean's and this book made me so so happy to read. It was hilarious. I loved the banter between Sophie and King. They got into serious scrapes, but they always managed a way out of the them. I loved the idea of owning a bookstore away from town. Oh, and that library scene reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. Of course I loved it. You can't help but love a bookish heroine. Strawberry tarts. Hedge Mazes. I really liked Sophie's sisters and can't wait to see what happens next with the Talbot family. 

Cover Thoughts: Charming - I like the blue
Source: My Library
Final Thought: You never want to miss a Sarah MacLean book, they're too good!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February Book Display Ideas

Welcome to a New Year. Winter has hit, but it still doesn't feel like winter here in New England. Still, any weather is great for reading and discovering new books. One of things I miss about being a YA Librarian is making displays. So I thought maybe I'd write up a few posts about display ideas and create a monthly blog post.

February is:
Black History Month
Display Ideas: Fiction/Nonfiction titles featuring characters from history

Great American Pie Month
Display Ideas: Characters who love pie

Canned Food Month
Display Ideas: Dystopian novels
Book List: Think of this one and build from there
Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)

National Wedding Month
Display Idea: Characters in weddings

Dates Include:
Feb 7th - Superbowl Sunday
Display Ideas: Football Field
Book Lists: Check out my previous football post for more ideas

Feb 11: Make a Friend Day
Display Ideas: Friendship Books

Feb 14: Valentine's Day
Display Ideas: Blind Date with a Book / Romance theme books
Book Lists: Older Romance List to help get you started

Feb 20: Love Your Pet Day
Display Ideas: Characters with pets
Booklist: Favorite cats

Feb 28: Oscars
Display Ideas: Books with Pretty Dresses
Passive Program Idea: Have your teens vote on the dress they would wear to the Oscars

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Historical Fiction

This week's topic is  Top Ten Historical ... - I changed mine to the top historical reads I'm looking forward to this year. Of course there are others, but for once, I stopped at just 10. I love historical books - probably because my dad is a retired high school history teacher and I grew up in a historical household. 
Ice Age: 
Ivory and Bone

My Lady Jane

Age of Enlightenment:
Masks and Shadows

Regency (one of my favorite time periods)
The Gilded CageLove, Lies & SpiesBecause of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys & Bridgertons, #1)

Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2)

Imperial Russia:
The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)

Early 1900s
Outrun the Moon

Throughout history:
A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls

Tween Tuesday Review: Pie

In the summer of 1955, Alice's Aunt Polly dies leaving a huge hole in everyone's heart. Polly made the best pies anyone has ever tasted. Her unique pie shop brought in tourists from all over.

Then she was gone. Alice's world crumbled. She felt like Polly was the only person who loved and understood her.

Her mother wants the secret to Polly's pie. In her will, Polly leaves the secret to Lardo. She leaves her cat, Lardo, to Alice.

Now the whole town's missing her pies and wanting to know how the cat could possibility know the secret recipe. Everyone starts making pies, thinking they could be the next best pie maker.

Alice knows something is going on. She enlists the help of a boy to uncover the plot behind the strange happenings following her aunt's death. Could someone be trying to steal her cat in order to gain access to the secret recipe?
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this historical fiction book.I loved Aunt Polly and her pie making abilities. Her shop sounds very special.

I liked Alice's friendship with Charles. I liked how they worked together to solve the mystery.

I liked Alice making up song lyrics. 

I liked the ending and how things turned out - especially in the epilogue. 

I confess reading about all these pies made my mouth water and I might be trying out a recipe or two.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: my Library
Final Thoughts: A mouth-watering read with a little mystery, lots of friendship, and growing up.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mini Review: Roller Girl

Astrid and Nicole are best friends. When Astrid's mother takes both of them to see a roller derby match, she can't wait to try it. Nicole isn't all that interested. In fact, she seems to be much more interested in Robin, boys, and ballet. Can Astrid survive roller derby without her best friend by her side?
The Good:
Great illustrations
Friendship drama
Astrid's letters to her idol
Learning more about roller derby
The roller derby names
Getting back up after you fall down
It makes me want to learn to skate
The socks!

The Bad:
It ended too soon (I do hope there's another book or four coming!)
Overall Thoughts: One of those rare books that should be in every library! Plus is fits perfectly with this year's summer reading theme.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Spring Programs: Food

It sure feels like Spring now in New England, but I'm sure that will change soon. It's nice to imagine that we might just sail through winter without huge snowstorms and move right into Spring.  Or maybe it's just fun to imagine Spring programs. So I thought I'd attempt to help and toss out a few ideas for fall - all from pinterest
Also, take a look at last year's Valentine Programs or Mint programs for St. Patrick's Day ideas. Plus last year's Spring Flower program ideas.
This year's Butterfly ideas or Garden programs or Flowers
sugar cookie/fruit tacos!:
Fruit Tacos
nutter butter sandal cookies -- someone needs to make these for me (ha):
Flip Flip Sandal Cookies 
Fun, easy and delicious! Dip into the holidays one cookie at a time! This recipe is the perfect activity for your kids to join in. Easily make them with Pillsbury sugar cookie dough – simply roll it out into a rectangle, cut with a pizza slicer, bake and dip into frosting with a candy coating.:
Dip with Spring Colors