Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Unlikely Disciple

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest UniversityThe Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. The title makes you wonder how it is going to end. The weird part for me is that I was also at a religious university in Virginia during the time Kevin Roose was at Liberty. I remember events that happened that year that are mentioned in the book. Looking at it from someone else's point of view brings me back to that time. That's the sign of a well written book, when you can transport someone to a moment in time from your point of view, even if they actually experienced it for themselves.

There were a lot of humorous moments that made the book feel like a human experience, and not just the facts about life at Liberty.

The one thing I really had an issue with is the beginning of the book. It seems like the story was just thrown in there to grab your attention, but Kevin never comes back to it and says what happened. It's only part of a story, and I kept hoping to find out the rest through the whole book, but it never happened.

All in all, I don't think this is a book that I would buy, but, it is one that I would be willing to read again if I picked it up at the library.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

The Journeys of a Sleep Walking Goat

Good Night Mr ClutterbuckGood Night Mr Clutterbuck by Mauri Kunnas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Good Night Mr Clutterbuck is a children's book that has been translated from Finnish. It is absolutely adorable, and I didn't fall asleep last night until I had finished it.

Mr Clutterbuck is a goat that has a habit of sleepwalking. During the day, he is mild mannered, and very shy. He tries to avoid social situations as often as possible. He is completely different in the night, when his true self takes over. I feel he is a true representation of a lot of humans. We tend to worry about what other people will think of us, but if that is taken away, great things can happen.

Of course, the book poses the question, "Who took all the spoons?" The answer is hilarious and surprising.

The illustrations are wonderful and bring the story to a whole new level. I enjoyed looking at all the details in the illustrations just as much as the actual story. This is an adorable children's book that everyone, no matter the age, will enjoy. Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
Author: Mauri Kunnas
Publisher: Elswhere Editions
Publication Date: 28 Nov 2017

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Prelude to Mayhem

Prelude to Mayhem (Mayhem Wave, #1)Prelude to Mayhem by Edward Aubry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Prelude to Mayhem is one of those books that is completely unpredictable. Every time I thought I knew what was going on, the plot went in a completely different direction. I'm glad this is a series, because after everything that happened in the first book, I still don't know what is going on. My confusion is not because the book is poorly written, but because the characters don't know what is going on either. The narrator is not omniscient; therefore, the reader only knows as much as the characters do.

This is a dystopian novel that deviates from the traditional. There are hints of sci-fi and fantasy, which makes this series one of a kind. It doesn't follow the mold of other dystopian novels. I'm glad that there is that deviation, because there have been a lot of dystopian novels written in the last few years, and it's refreshing to read something that does not follow the rest.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
Author: Edward Aubry
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: 28 November 2016

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Humorous Side of Life

Life Is a Joke: Funny Lessons for Serious LivingLife Is a Joke: Funny Lessons for Serious Living by Gordon & John Javna
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The format makes the book seem light hearted, while at the same time, teaching the reader a lesson that they may be able to use in the future. This is a joke book that delves deeper. Each joke is related to real life situations. If this book had contained only the lessons and not the jokes, I'm not sure I would have finished it. The jokes made everything more relatable and understandable.

I would recommend this book for anyone that wants a little more guidance in their life, which is probably everyone.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
Author: Gordon and John Javna
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: 31 Oct 2017

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Zen Pencils Illustrated Quotes

Zen Pencils--Inspirational Quotes for KidsZen Pencils--Inspirational Quotes for Kids by Gavin Aung Than
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is filled with inspirational quotes meant for children. After reading it, I feel that you shouldn't let the word "Kids" in the title dissuade you from reading it. I found myself taking the messages to heart as I read. There is an adult version of this, so if you really want to read something not geared towards kids, I would suggest that.

The illustrations were great and helped to bring a new layer to the quotes. They provide a story all on their own.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
Author: Gavin Aung Than
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Publication Date: 17 Oct 2017

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Underbelly of Medicine

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure EverythingQuackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Before the review, an important note on my rating system. Two stars from me does not mean that the book was bad. It means, that the book is actually good, it's just something that I can't see myself reading again just because of my personal preferences.

This book was highly entertaining and gory at the same time. As I was reading it, I kept thinking how glad I was to be alive during a time when we know procedures used in the past are actually harmful. I wonder how many of the things we done in health care now will be considered quackery in a few hundred years. On the bright side, at least I've never had to deal with the procedures mentioned in this book.

I enjoyed the book, pulling faces all the way through, but I think for me personally, it's not something I would read again. Now that I have learned the information, I'm good. People that are into medicine, history, or science in general would like this book. I really think anyone would like this book, but it takes someone with a strong interest in this kind of information to decided to read it over and over.

There are some cheesy jokes throughout that broke up some of the gross bits. There are also little thoughts throughout that echoed what I was thinking while reading those sections. The author knows that some of the procedures done in olden days is really off the wall, and the notes make me feel like I'm not alone in my thought process.

The pictures were a huge help in really understanding what the processes were. When you read that they used a certain instrument that is not used today, it's hard to picture how everything worked. The images clarified those questions.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.
Author: Lydia Kang
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: 17 Oct 2017

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Wallace the Brave and Sterling

Wallace the BraveWallace the Brave by William Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I started reading Wallace the Brave, I thought it was going to be a different take on Calvin and Hobbs. I figured there would be a little kid getting into trouble, while everyone around him is more mature and tries to bring him back to the real world. I was wrong. These comics stand on their own, and are enjoyable for readers of any age.

The illustrations bring you back to a simpler time. They are not as clear cut as older comics. Sometimes characters will randomly have a unibrow, which oddly works. I feel that the illustrations show the connection between the author and the book. Having perfectly drawn characters every time is not as important as the story.

Wallace is the main character, but you also have his friends, family, and teacher. All of the characters are lovable in their own way. While there isn't an animal that follows them on their adventures, there are seagulls that show up every now and then to bring in more humor. There are adults in this book, but unlike other comics, the adults sometimes act just as childish as the kids. This seems more true to life than an adult always being serious and trying to bring their children back to the real world.

My favorite character is Sterling, Wallace's little brother. I'm not sure how old he is supposed to be, but he is hilarious when he shows up. He is a character that can sit quietly in the background until he has something to say. Like most little children, the things he has to say tend to be a little off the wall and filled with drama.

I appreciate that Will Henry does not just do the standard story lines. With the number of characters he created, he is able to do more. I found myself wishing there was another Wallace the Brave book so that I could keep reading. I did receive a copy to review, but I will be buying a physical copy when it is published. The simple joys shown in this book make me wish I was still a child.

I really don't know anyone that wouldn't enjoy this book. I guess if someone really does not like the comic format then they wouldn't like it, but that is it. I am highly recommending this book. I hope a second volume is in the works.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley for an honest review.
Author: Will Henry
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Publication Date: 17 Oct 2017

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Are Toddlers Related to Zombies?

The Toddler Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Whiny UnfedThe Toddler Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Whiny Unfed by Mike Spohr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading this, I really think Mike Spohr and James Breakwell need to collaborate. This book shows you how to survive toddlers, and James has a book on how to fight zombies with toddlers. And by that I mean when you have toddlers, you shouldn't actually use toddlers as a weapon against zombies.

This book is filled with humor, while at the same time, actually gives out good parenting advice. Some of the situations are presented in the extreme, but that just ups the humor. Even in the extreme, I'm sure there are plenty of parents that can relate.

The images helped to add some extra enjoyment. I don't have children, but if I ever do, I will read this book again to have some sense of what to do. This isn't a book written by a child care expert, just a parent that talks about the real world, not some imaginary place where things go as planned.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGally for an honest review.
Author: Mike Spohr
Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group – Voyageur Press
Publication Date: 1 Aug 2017

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When You Need to Know You Are Not Alone

We're with You: Counsel and Encouragement from Your BrethrenWe're with You: Counsel and Encouragement from Your Brethren by Council of the Twelve Apostles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I feel like this is one of those books that you read once to get a sense of what it contains, and then go back to sections when needed.

There were sections that really pertain to my life right now, but others would have been helpful in the past. This book is for youth, so for them, a lot of what is talked about is in the future.

It is always comforting to know that you are not the only one that has gone through struggles. There are people that have been through the same thing and have come out on the other side. This is a great way to learn from your elders.

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Riding the Bus with My Sister...and a Bunch of Drivers

Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life JourneyRiding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey by Rachel Simon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I know this is a true story, which I'm sure is difficult to write, but I felt that is was all over the place. The rotating cast of bus drivers left me confused. When one was mentioned later, I couldn't remember what had already been said about them.

The flash backs helped to explain the story, and they were great to read, they just seemed all over the place.

Maybe I just needed to take more time to read it, but it seems like the story focused more on the bus drivers and bathrooms than the actual sisters.

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If You Give a Man a Cookie You Might Need Counseling

If You Give a Man a Cookie: A ParodyIf You Give a Man a Cookie: A Parody by Laura Joffe Numeroff
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. I didn't find the humor in it. It seemed more like a rant than something that is enjoyable. This is a parody, but it is written by the author who wrote the original, so I was expecting great things.

I enjoyed the illustrations a lot more than the actual story. Maybe the humor was just too crude for me. This is definitely not a book to give to children to read. It pains me to write this review, but I will always give my honest opinion.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
Author: Laura Joffe Numeroff
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Publication Date: 10 October 2017

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Fowl Language

Fowl Language: The Struggle Is RealFowl Language: The Struggle Is Real by Brian Gordon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fowl Language is a comic, but one that is specifically geared towards adults. The title is not just in reference to the ducks. That being said, there is not a lot of actual foul language, which I appreciate.

The comics were unexpected. The last panel always threw me off guard. You think you know what is coming, but like kids, sometimes you are just along for the ride.

When reading this book, make sure you do not skip to the actual comics. The humor begins in the introduction. While I don't have kids and I can't draw, I feel like I have now been given a gift, a way to help cope with kids doing crazy stuff without going crazy myself.

I would recommend this book to people with kids and people who want to enjoy laughing at parenting struggles. If you are planning a fantasy where you have perfect children that never do anything you believe to be inappropriate, this book is not for you. After you have had kids for a few years and your dream is in the past, then read this book and find joy in knowing that raising kids is hard and hilarious at the same time. It's all in how you look at it.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Brian Gordon
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: 10 Oct 2017

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What Teachers Really Think

Teaching: The Luxurious Life of the Underpaid and OverworkedTeaching: The Luxurious Life of the Underpaid and Overworked by Bored Teacher LLC
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book was a humorous quick read, and as the daughter of a teacher, I remember my mom saying some of the phrases mentioned. Teachers, at least those in elementary schools will easily be able to relate to this book. For me, even though it was funny, it was a one-and-done book. I don't see myself deciding to read it for a second time. It may be because there wasn't a lot of content, or because I'm not actually a teacher, so I had a hard time truly relating.

There are a few teachers I know that would love this book, so as far as being giftable, it does really well.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Cassandra Clare's World

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a little late in joining the Cassandra Clare band wagon, but I'm beginning to see why so many people like her books. Luckily for me, I don't have to wait for the next book to come out.

So far, I have enjoyed the mystery aspect of the series. The reader does not get all the information at once, so you have to pay attention to what is going on and pick up on the little details that make a whole. I kind of wish I lived in this world, but at the same time, I'm really glad that I don't have to deal with the issues they deal with. I'm pretty sure I would just crawl into a ball if the world was really like it is portrayed in this series.

I will admit, I am not a big romance person, so the only part I really had issues with was the love triangle. It was a little too much and a little too cheesy for my taste, but I know a lot of people like that kind of stuff, so for them, it is great. For the record, if I was Tessa, I think I would just hide under my bed until everyone went away. I'm glad she at least deals with the situation and makes a decision.

The character development has been great. It shows that first impressions are not always correct, and that people are more than their past. In this book, there were quite a few characters that showed they had more to them then previously thought. I relate better to characters that are more than one dimensional. It keeps the book interesting to know that you may not understand everything about the character, and the judgments you make could be completely wrong.

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