Friday, April 16, 2021

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (Adult Nonfiction Book Review)


A Walk in the Woods:
Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
by Bill Bryson
Published by Anchor Books
First published in 1998
Genre: Adult, Nonfiction
Length: 397 pages


Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Synopsis:
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America--majestic mountain, silent forests, sparkling lakes. If you're going to take a hike, it's probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you'll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hard (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way--and a couple of bears. 


My Thoughts:

Whenever I ask for recommendations for books with settings in or about the Great Smoky Mountains or the Appalachian Mountains, 'A Walk in the Woods' is almost always mentioned. Throw in that I'm a regular outdoorsy hiker type and it's described to me as a 'must read'. 
 I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed a few years ago and really enjoyed it but it is set on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail, on the West Coast) and I'm on the East Coast and the AT has been sitting in the shadowy depths of my bucketlist for years so I definitely wanted to cross this one off of my TBR. 

I'm going to be a bit negative and POSSIBLY SPOILERY from here on out because, unfortunately, I didn't get much out of this and couldn't help but compare it to Wild, which was written by a female whom hiked a much longer distance, alone, on hardly any funds, and seemed to have more purpose to what she was doing.

Bryson starts the book with the gruesome statistics and details of others' hiking trips gone wrong; bear attacks, maulings, murders, and moonshine-addled hillfolk. Then he ropes an old friend along for the ride, paying most of his way just so he doesn't have to go alone, and makes fun of just about every other hiker he comes across (especially if they're female). They skip big portions of the trail once they realize their first week or so was only a tiny portion of the trail on the full map, and they take a cab and hang out in hotels every chance they can get. And then they go home, but the book isn't over with! Bryson rambles on about different day trips and hikes he partakes in on his own, usually to places of historical interest, sometimes droning on about the place instead of anything to do with hiking. I basically skimmed the last third of the book because I was bored. 

Overall, it seemed less about hiking (and even less about him hiking) and more about the history of the trail and gruesome events that have happened on or near it. I would definitely recommend it if you're serious about hiking the AT or like nonfiction.


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Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Enchanted Egg (M.A.A.A. #2) by Kallie George (Children's Fantasy Book Review)

The Enchanted Egg
The Magical Animal Adoption Agency #2
Written by Kallie George
Illustrated by Alexandra Bolger
Published by Disney-Hyperion
on November 3, 2015
Genre: Children's, Fantasy
Length: 144 pages
Ages: 7 - 10 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Synopsis:
There's a new resident at the Magical Animal Adoption Agency- but this one hasn't hatched yet! 

In the second book in Kallie George's delightful illustrated chapter book series, Clover meets a jovial pair of giants, a cupcake-baking ghost, a colorful young leprechaun, and a very special magical animal; one that must be seen to be believed! 


My Thoughts:

We return to the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, this time as Mr. Jams includes a mysterious magical egg to their magical menagerie. Clover is left to care for the egg as Mr. Jams goes off in search of an egg expert and while he is away, the egg hatches! But Clover can't seem to find the creature that has hatched from it! What could the creature be? And can Clover find it before it's too late? 

We have been really enjoying Kallie George's stories!

This is a whimsical little chapter book series for young readers that includes an MC who finally seems to find her luck when she stumbles upon the Magical Animal Adoption Agency within the woods her pet bird flew off into. She volunteers, thinking that if she can't keep a pet, she might as well work with them instead!
 
Our favorite part of these books are the magical creatures that Clover and Mr. Jams take care of and find homes for but also sweet Clover who is always trying her best, despite her perceived bad luck. 

This is a super cute, illustrated series that is easy to follow and perfect for chapter book readers or little listeners! 



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Friday, April 9, 2021

The Incredible Nellie Bly by Luciana Cimino & Sergio Algozzino (Nonfiction Graphic Novel Review)

 I won a physical copy of this book in a giveaway from the publisher via Goodreads. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The Incredible Nellie Bly:
Journalist, Investigator, Feminist, and Philanthropist
Written by Luciana Cimino
Illustrated by Sergio Algozzino
Introduction by David Randall
Translated by Laura Garofalo
Published by Harry N. Abrams
on March 2, 2021
Genre: Graphic Novel, Biography
Length: 144 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Synopsis:
A visual biography of the groundbreaking investigative journalist.
Born in 1864, Nellie Bly was a woman who did not allow herself to be defined by the time she lived in. She rewrote the narrative and made her own way. 
Luciana Cimino"s meticulously researched graphic novel biography tells Bly's story through Miriam, a fictionalized female student at the Columbia School of Journalism in 1921.
As Miriam learns more of Bly's story, she realizes that the most important stories are not necessarily the ones with the most dramatic headlines, but the ones that, in Nellie's words, "come from a deep feeling."
This beautifully executed graphic novel paints a portrait of a woman who defied societal expectations--not only with her investigative journalism, but with her keen mind for industry, and her original inventions. 


My Thoughts:

The Incredible Nellie Bly is a fantastic graphic biography of the infamous investigative journalist that made waves by infiltrating a women's insane asylum and traveled around the world in less than 80 days, alone!

This fashionably designed graphic novel highlights Bly's groundbreaking investigations and how she opened the door for future female journalists (some of which share a cameo spread at the end of the book) as well as how she persevered despite the limitations set on women in that time period.

I found this to be quite fascinating with fantastic illustrations with era-appropriate clothing that take us right into the past, including Bly's 'around the world' travel outfit!


Many thanks to Abrams and Goodreads for the chance to read and review this! 


Want more nonfiction graphic novels about incredible women?
Try 'Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier' by Jim Ottaviani!


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Friday, April 2, 2021

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart (MG Contemporary Book Review)

 I won a paperback copy of this book from the publisher via Goodreads Giveaways. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
by Dan Gemeinhart
Published by Henry Holt & Company
on January 8, 2020
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Length: 344 pages
Ages: 9 - 12 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Synopsis:
Five years. That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo have lived on the road in an old school bus, crisscrossing the nation. It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash. 

Coyote hasn't been home in all that time, but when she learns the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished--the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box--she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days... without him realizing it. 


My Thoughts:

Coyote Sunrise and her dad, Rodeo, have been living on a bus for the past five years, traveling wherever their hearts desire, but one day Coyote gets word that a very special park in her home town is being torn down and must find a way back across the country to Washington to save something incredibly important before that happens. With only a few days left to convince her dad to return to a place he has no intention of going to, Coyote recruits a band of hitchhiking friends to help along the way.

This is essentially a road trip story that goes from Florida to Washington but is also about loss, grief, friendships, and parent/child relationships, all while being an incredibly positive and uplifting read that is full of life lessons. 

Coyote is only twelve years old but she has been dealt a devastatingly difficult hand and has learned a lot from her travels across the country with Rodeo and uses those street smarts and Rodeo know-how to secretly get across the country in just a few days. 

This book had a little of everything I'd want from a great middle grade. Adventure, a secret plot, high stakes, a budding friendship, and a bit of emotional turmoil to really round it out. Plus, literature references!

I definitely recommend this and think it would make a fantastic summer read! 



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Thursday, April 1, 2021

April 2021 Reading Goals & TBR

 Hello April! 

I''m getting this up a little late thanks to some fun adventures but here's some of what I'd like to read this month!


Books I Hope to Read in April







Keep up with what we're reading at
@LazyDayLit & @LazyDayKidLit



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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

March 2021 Reading Wrap Up

 Goodbye March! 

It's been a beautiful month! 
The weather has been gorgeous, which means all the outdoor activities for us! We fit in a couple of long hikes, swimming at the springs, and lots and lots of gardening! 


BOOKS READ IN MARCH





Many thanks to @MacKidsBooks and  @AbramsBooks for the gifted books!

Started But Haven't Finished


I joined an online book club for the first time this year called The Bookstorians that focuses on historical fiction and we are reading Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell, which I'm loving so far.

I'm also reading The One and Only Ivan for the 52Weeks Book Challenge prompt 'A book mentioned in another book'. 


READ ALOUD



Challenge Progress

ABC CHALLENGE
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

12/26

E - Elatsoe
L - Long Way Down
I - Inside Out & Back Again
R - The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE

16. Indigenous author
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
29. Set in multiple countries
Inside Out & Back Again

52 BOOKS CHALLENGE

26. An author of color
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
39. Alternative history novel
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
43. A character with a pet cat
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise


NEW TO ME AUTHORS
Jason Reynolds
Darcie Little Badger
Thanhha Lai
Dan Gemeinhart
Luciana Cimino
Maggie O'Farrell


READ AROUND THE WORLD

[Elatsoe]
? to Texas

[Inside Out and Back Again]
Saigon, Vietnam
Guam
Alabama

[The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise]
Oregon
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Turquoise Lake, Colorado
Naples, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Petoskey, Michigan
Billings, Montana
Minnesota
Wallowa
Boise, Idaho
Yakima
Poplin Springs, Washington


1001 Children's Books to Read Before You Grow Up list
Feb: 176/1001
March:179/1001
+3

Now We Are Six
Frog and Toad are Friends
Amelia Bedelia


______________________

What was your favorite read of the month?


Keep up with what we're reading at
@LazyDayLit & @LazyDayKidLit



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Monday, March 29, 2021

Your House, My House by Marianne Dubuc (Children's Picture Book Review)

 We originally received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


 Your House, My House
Written & illustrated by
Marianne Dubuc
Published by Kids Can Press
on October 6, 2020
Genre: Children's, Picture Books
Length: 24 pages
Ages:
3 -  7 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository


Synopsis:
There's no neighborhood like a Marianne Dubuc neighborhood--this time in an apartment building!

This multilayered picture book from international award-winning Marianne Dubuc allows readers to peer into the homes of all the charming animal families in the building on every spread. Dubuc's winsome one-of-a-kind illustrations include heaps of clever details for children to pore over, promising something new to discover with every look and encouraging visual literacy in readers and prereaders. 


Our Thoughts:

This oversized picture book features a glimpse into the lives of one apartments' inhabitants on one very busy day that includes a birthday, a brand new sibling, new neighbors, and much much more!  

We fell in love with Mr. Postmouse's Rounds and And Then the Seed Grew which gave us glimpses into the lives of different animals and garden dwellers' homes so we were pretty excited to read this new picture book that takes place in an entire apartment building! 

Dubuc's entertaining picture books have lots going on in them and this one is extra big in size so you can get a good look at everything around the apartment on every page. We have lots of fun following along with the text but also love finding all the extra little storylines and flipping back and forth to see what's different! 


More from this author/illustrator:


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