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Book Review: Grump

Snow White is my favorite Disney Princess and has been since i was a kid and Grumpy has recently become my favorite dwarf, since a great interaction with him at Disney World!  So I was pretty pumped when I saw this book that seemed to be about Grumpy.

This book is told from the dwarves perspective – they are usually born way, way underground but this dwarf in particular was born close to the surface absolutely hated being down far in the ground.  So then he was NOT happy when he was added as the “seventh” dwarf – the one that everyone can boss around – working down almost as far as you can go.

But somehow, the crew ended up at the surface and interacting with the Queen and her step-daughter, Snow White.  He and the Queen are fast friends because they are both outcasts, but he also has a special spot for Snow White – and ends up saving her life.  This is all the story of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves from “Grump’s” perspective – but years later after Snow White passed away, humans continued to tell the story and forgot/decided that the dwarves all didn’t have real names – and more and more of the story got changed to be more about the humans, because humans always need to be the center of attention!

This is a really nice and different perspective on a story you’ve probably heard over and over again.  My favorite quote from the book was: “I just wish I’d known that getting your wish comes with its own load of rubble”

I received a free e-copy of  this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rump, comes the true story behind another unlikely hero: a grumpy dwarf who gets tangled up in Snow White’s feud with the wicked queen.

Ever since he was a dwarfling, Borlen (nicknamed “Grump”) has dreamed of visiting The Surface, so when opportunity knocks, he leaves his cavern home behind.
At first, life aboveground is a dream come true. Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.) is the best friend Grump always wanted, feeding him all the rubies he can eat and allowing him to rule at her side in exchange for magic and information. But as time goes on, Grump starts to suspect that Queen E.V.I.L. may not be as nice as she seems. . . .
When the queen commands him to carry out a horrible task against her stepdaughter Snow White, Grump is in over his head. He’s bound by magic to help the queen, but also to protect Snow White. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, the queen keeps bugging him for updates through her magic mirror! He’ll have to dig deep to find a way out of this pickle, and that’s enough to make any dwarf Grumpy indeed.

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Book Review: I’m Keith Hernandez

Keith Hernandez was the Mets 1st baseman in the 80s.  Prior to that, he was a Cardinal.  Currently, he can be heard in the booth for Mets broadcasts and has been a bright spot in an otherwise pretty meh season so far from the team.  Last month he released a memoir titled “I’m Keith Hernandez” which is his line in a Seinfeld episode.  Although the book cover features him in Mets garb, most of the book focuses on his life growing up and making his way through the minor leagues and to the Cardinals team.  It was extra interesting for me because most of his minor league time was spent in Tulsa, OK – a place I have been visiting yearly for the past 10 years.  He bounces back to present day as well, as an announcer and how he was preparing to write the book and trying to figure out what he should include.  (He opted to not touch as much on the Mets because he said that era has been written about a lot.)

Keith ended up doing a book signing tour and one of his stops was in Madison, CT!  Keith is one of my favorites in the Mets organization so I knew I had to go.  As luck would have it, I ended up having a business trip just before the signing and so I ended up getting an audio version of the book – which was read by Keith himself.  The book was 9 hours and 45 minutes long – my trip was supposed to be round trip 8 hours. (I did listen to a couple chapters while eating dinner during my trip) I ended up finishing the book just as I was pulling into my driveway – got changed into Mets garb and headed out to meet Keith.

I have to say, the book is great, but if you have the chance to have Keith read you the audio of the book – definitely take it.  It was great to hear his words in his voice and he even laughed sometimes if remembering a particularly funny moment or anecdote.  I felt like I had Keith sitting in the passenger seat with me on my way there and back. When I met him he told me it took him 1 week to record it and asked me how I thought he did, “Oh it was great! I felt like you were in the car with me!” “Well, I was!” he replied.

If you are a Keith fan, a Mets or Cardinals fan, or even just a baseball fan – this book is for you! I definitely recommend it.  I received a free e-copy of this book, purchased a hard copy and audio book version in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Legendary first baseman Keith Hernandez tells all in this gripping and literary memoir.
New York Times Bestseller
Keith Hernandez revolutionized the role of first baseman. During his illustrious career with the World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, he was a perennial fan favorite, earning eleven consecutive Gold Gloves, a National League co-MVP Award, and a batting title. But it was his unique blend of intelligence, humor, and talent–not to mention his unflappable leadership, playful antics, and competitive temperament–that transcended the sport and propelled him to a level of renown that few other athletes have achieved, including his memorable appearances on the television show Seinfeld.
Now, with a striking mix of candor and self-reflection, Hernandez takes us along on his journey to baseball immortality. There are the hellacious bus rides and south-of-the-border escapades of his minor league years. His major league benchings, unending plate adjustments, and role in one of the most exciting batting races in history against Pete Rose. Indeed, from the Little League fields of Northern California to the dusty proving grounds of triple-A ball to the grand stages of Busch Stadium and beyond, I’m Keith Hernandez reveals as much about America’s favorite pastime as it does about the man himself.
What emerges is an honest and compelling assessment of the game’s past, present, and future–a memoir that showcases one of baseball’s most unique and experienced minds at his very best.


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Book Review: Shape of My Heart

Shape Of My Heart is the 3rd book in the Heartthrob series. Unfortunately I missed out on Book #2, but did read All I Ever Wanted earlier this year. I didn’t really miss out on too much by skipping book #2, as each book focuses on a different one of the Heart brothers and his love life.  This one focused on Jimmy.  The book starts with Jimmy outside on his balcony trying to write a song while his neighbor Maggie’s dog will not stop barking interrupting his train of thought.  He ends up throwing a pretzel at the dog in an effort to shut it up, which set Maggie off as the dog was not to ever have people food!  Jimmy asks for a few treats in an effort to win the dog over – and as you can probably guess – he starts to win Maggie over as well.

Maggie is well aware of who Jimmy is – she had quite a crush on him during Heartbeat’s hey day but is trying to play it cool like she has no idea he is a famous pop star.  The chapters alternate between Jimmy and Maggie telling the story from their point of view, which I really like because you can kind of get into each of their heads and see where they are at in the relationship.  It took a while, but Jimmy finally gets Maggie to cave and have dinner with him… and things progress from there.

I really enjoy this series and am kind of bummed I missed out on Book #2 and #4 on NetGalley 🙁  I’ll have to see about finding It’s Gotta Be You and As Long As You Love Me on Amazon!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Cricket Creek series returns with this third title in her fun and flirty Heartthrob series, following the quiet songwriter of the Heart brothers as he meets a feisty young adult author who may just be his match.

Meet the Heart Brothers: formerly the members of the cult-phenomenon boy band Heartbeat, now they’re all grown up and back together for one last reunion tour. Trends may come and go, but a group of sexy brothers with a penchant for song and dance never goes out of style…

Jimmy Heart, affectionately known as the quiet one of the group, was never completely comfortable on stage. He prefers writing songs on his balcony in his high-rise condo overlooking the sea. But when a noisy neighbor moves in next door, Jimmy’s muse goes on strike, leaving him no other choice but to confront Maggie Murphy and her little dog, too.

But the sassy author of empowering novels for teen girls refuses to pipe down, creating an ongoing battle along with an underlying sizzling attraction they both can’t deny. And when Jimmy learns that feisty Maggie has gone through emotional turmoil as a teen, he’s touched by her bravery and he vows to show her the depth of his unconditional love.

With her “rich and unique voice” (Romance Junkies), LuAnn McLane crafts another sweet and spirited novel that is perfect for fans of Anna Todd and Katy Evans.

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Book Review: A Whale’s World

A Whale’s World is about a pod of orcas who are looking around the Great Bear Sea for something to hunt and eat.  It is a lot of photos and a lot of interesting information about the ecosystem and Orcas and other sea life as well.  Beautiful imagery.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A Whale’s World follows a pod of spy-hopping orcas as they explore the ecosystems of the Great Bear Sea while hunting for their next meal. Past rocky shores and through kelp forests, they observe foraging wolves, hungry grizzly bears, curious black bears, graceful fin whales, splashing porpoises, slippery seals and other members of the Pacific coastal food web. The book gives readers a fun introduction to the many ways that marine and land animals interact with their environments and with each other.

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Book Review: My Doll, My Style

My Doll, My Style has a lot of sewing patterns for 18 inch dolls.  If this was out when I was about 10 years old, I probably would have tried my hand at sewing and making some of these designs for my doll! I was obsessed with picking out outfits for my American Girl 18″ doll – that is until I decided she was possessed and moved at night when I was asleep and locked her in a locker never to be seen again.

The book has some really cute summer/beach attire and accessories and a bunch of other designs too. A lot of great ideas for you or your daughter to sew!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Style trends trickle down to girls’ clothes, infusing their day-to-day wardrobes with edgy, fashion-forward pieces combined with age-appropriate styling. It’s that line of thinking that inspires this new doll clothes collection, resulting in a must-have project book with up-to-date silhouettes and fabrics that kids gravitate towards (and infused with thumbs-up sensibility from mom.)
12+ designs with accessories ranging from fancy to out-and-about cool following today’s fashion-savvy girl through a busy week!Great for all skill levels with information on sewing basics and tips on using contemporary fabrics including metallic transfers, sewing with knits, and more.My Doll, My Style is authored Anna Allen is the owner and designer of Doll It Up, a popular website dedicated to 18-doll clothes patterns and accessories. Doll It Up has established its brand, focusing on well-fitting doll clothes, simple designs for beginner/intermediate sewing, styles inspired by current fashion, and beautiful photography.

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Book Review: Rad Girls Can

I like to think that I have my finger on the pulse when it comes to Rad Girls, but whenever I read these books I am always surprised to find out there are only a handful that I have heard of before reading the book and with this edition of Rad Girls Can, I found the same thing to be true.  Why are there so many Rad Girls out there that I otherwise have not heard about? Where is all the media and social media coverage for them?  At least I keep reading these books to educate myself and I hope that if you have a daughter you give her these books to read as well so she can find out about the Rad Girls out there and hopefully follow in their footsteps!

This book contains 50 girls – all of who have done amazing things before they even turned 20 years old. It also includes some who are transgender. The book notes that it believes in celebrating the greatness of all young people, but this book only focuses on females. This book is full of great and inspiring stories of all these girls that have done amazing things. It kind of makes me feel like quite a slacker! But I always enjoy reading about girls who kick ass, and these in this book certainly do.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

From the New York Times best-selling authors of Rad Women Worldwide and Rad American Women A-Z, a bold and brave collection of stories and art about inspiring and accomplished girls who have made positive impacts on the world before the age of 20.

You might know the stories of Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank, Jazz Jennings, and Joan of Arc. But have you heard about Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee who swam a sinking boat to shore, saved twenty lives, then went on to compete as an Olympic swimmer? Or Trisha Prabhu, who invented an anti-cyberbullying app at age 13? Or Barbara Rose Johns, whose high school protest helped spark the civil rights movement?

In Rad Girls Can, you’ll learn about a diverse group of young women who are living rad lives, whether excelling in male-dominated sports like boxing, rock climbing, or skateboarding; speaking out against injustice and discrimination; expressing themselves through dance, writing, and music; or advocating for girls around the world. Each profile is paired with the dynamic paper-cut art that made the authors’ first two books New York Times best sellers. Featuring both contemporary and historical figures, Rad Girls Can offers hope, inspiration, and motivation to readers of all ages and genders.

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Book Review: Rock and Roll Explorer Guide To New York City

The Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to New York City is a really cool book.  It breaks down different neighborhoods in NYC and how they relate to stories in Rock And Roll History.  There is the address to the location, details about it and photos in some cases.  It is also noted if the location no longer exists, and instead just shares the stories locations.  Certain more iconic bands have their own sections in the book – for instance The Beatles have their own chapter and John and Yoko have a chapter as well.  It was fun to go through and see which locations I have been to (not many) and which I have heard of (some, but nowhere near all).

Definitely an interesting and fun read and a great guide for the next trip to New York City when we aren’t sure what to do or check out!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

From the churches and street corners of Harlem and The Bronx to the underground clubs of the East Village, New York City has been a musical mecca for generations, and Rock & Roll Explorer Guide to New York City is the definitive story of its development throughout the five boroughs.

Plug in and walk the same streets a young Bob Dylan walked. See where Patti Smith, the Ramones, Beastie Boys, and Jeff Buckley played. Visit on foot the places Lou Reed mentions in his songs or where Paul Simon grew up; where the Strokes drowned their sorrows, Grizzly Bear cut their teeth and Jimi Hendrix found his vision. Rock and Roll Explorer Guide gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at how bands came together, scenes developed, and classic songs were written. Artists come and go, neighborhoods change, venues open and close, but the music lives on.

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Book Review: Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is a book full of photos and details on America’s Legendary Mach 3 Spy Plane.  It is really cool to see all the photos of this plane and all about the history of it.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

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Book Review: 200 Embroidered Flowers

200 Embroidered Flowers has instructions on how to make some really cool looking embroidered flower designs.  This isn’t something I have tried to do before, but the way the book explains all the knots and stitchings in the beginning of the book makes it seem like this is something I might be able to try out! Of course, I had to check to see if there was a pansy design included and was happy to see that there was – and a hop plant as well! Maybe I’ll soon be on my way to a Hanson themed embroidered flower display…

In addition to Hops and Pansy’s just about any other flower or plant you could imagine was included – aloe, african voilets, cactus, etc! and they even have some done on tote bags instead of embroidery hooks. Lots of great and wonderful designs if you are looking for flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Learn how to stitch all your favourite flowers, leaves and foliage, with this is collection of tutorials for 200 embroidered flowers and foliage. Discover how to stitch beautiful blooms including roses, daisies, daffodils, pansies and buttercups as well as more exotic blooms.

Modern hand embroidery expert, Kristen Gula, shows you how to create all the floral motifs from a stitch library of less than 10 embroidery stitches.

As well as the step tutorials for the flowers and leaves, there are 10 projects for home decor items and accessories that showcase the embroidery so you can show off your makes and create beautiful gifts for family and friends. Choose from a collar motif, pillow cover, table decoration, shoe embellishments and many more!

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Book Review: Lies We Tell Our Kids

Lies We Tell Our Kids is a book of lies that parents have told their kids – and some cute and creepy illustrations of them.  Like George Washington was the first president in space and fish don’t sleep so we can. I am not sure how many of these are actually told by parents – but there were a handful that I had heard at one point or another! Really cute book that gave me a few good laughs.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

From acclaimed artist Brett Wagner comes a book about tall tales that parents tell their kids in the hopes of getting them to do something… eat, sleep, apologize to their sibling or siblings or learn to do something the right way. Fun, heartfelt and a little bit weird “Lies We Tell Our Kids” exposes the not-so-great generational parent tactic… lying to your child for the greater good!

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