Book Review: Dad is Fat

dadisfatDad is Fat is the latest book from comedian Jim Gaffigan. I am incredibly “picky” about what comedians I enjoy and find funny (most aren’t) but Jim is definitely one of my favorites. (And I even got to see him in person when I went to a taping of The View a few years ago!)

Jim has 5 kids – one of which gave him the title for the book.  The book is Jim’s take on parenting the 5 kids – who all live in a 2 bedroom apartment in New York City. (And occasionally join him on tour as well.) You don’t have to have kids to find the book funny, although it may end up being funnier if you do have kids and can relate to some of the situations that he has been put in by his kids. A parenting book without really being a parenting book and a humorous book as well. Some of the bits in the book I have heard him talk about in TV interviews lately promoting the book but I wouldn’t say that it was so much I felt I already knew what the book was about. 

I was provided a free copy of this book to review from Blogging For Books. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald’s, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’sFatherhoodDad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home

Book Review: Whaley’s Big Adventure

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
whaleyWhaley’s Big Av denture is written and illustrated by 5 year old Alexander Luke. It is a super cute story about a whale and the friends he meets in the ocean on his adventure.  The illustrations are just wonderful as well.  This is very easy to read for a child and I am sure that anyone will enjoy it, especially if you like the ocean and whales! The book is educational and fun!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
About the Book

Join Whaley on his big adventure in the ocean as he meets Whales of all different sizes. Written by 5 year old Alexander Luke and presented by his grandmother, award-winning children’s author Carole P. Roman, this oceanic adventure of whale sized proportions will teach youngsters about the different whales that live in the oceans.


Book Review: If You Were Me and Lived In… Australia

australiaDisclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

If You Were Me And Lived In… Australia is an introduction to learning about other cultures by Carole P. Roman. The book is short and sweet but I think that it takes care of all the questions children would have about another country – where is it? what’s it like? what would we eat? Would we go to school? What kind of games would we play?  I also liked that there were pronunciations throughout the book for the name of the country, cities and other items that may be confusing to pronounce to children (or adults too!).  There are a lot of great illustrations throughout the book as well and I think it really gave a great idea about the country.  This would be a great starting point and if your child was interested in the country, maybe they could research things a bit more on their own – or with some help.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

About the Book

If You Were Me And Lived In … Australia: A child’s introduction to culture around the world – What would it be like to live in Australia? You would call your Mommy “Mummy”, and you would eat a special lunch of Vegemite Sandwiches. Now, children aged three-to-eight-years-old can learn all about fascinating, farflung countries and cultures in If You Were Me And Lived In… Australia: A child’s introduction to cultures around the world.

The latest in Carole P. Roman’s delightful, globetrotting series, this colorful immersion Down Under opens a child’s world up to the many strange and wonderful things that take place in other countries. Written in simple, playful language especially for young readers, this latest addition to the series is certain to inspire curiosity and launch children on a lifelong love of exploring other locales.

Informative, fun, and always interesting, the book also covers history, national celebrations, and food, coming together in the vivid patchwork of a special place waiting to be explored by an eager young mind. It’s certain to prompt further conversation on this remarkable country, and to capture a child’s imagination about the rich and varied world beyond.

Former teacher Carole P. Roman is an accomplished author of the critically acclaimed Captain No Beard series that deals with such issues as dyslexia, compromise, sharing and leadership. The first book of the series, Captain No Beard – An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life was named to both Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012, as well as the Pinnacle Award – Best Children’s Book 2013. Her second series is a fun and educational approach to Yoga.Finally, Roman’s new series explores the small world we live in as well as the different, complex cultures of the people around us. The first book in this series, If You Were Me And Lived In… Mexico, received the Pinnacle Award for Best in Non Fiction in 2012.



Book Review: Hot Rock

hotrockHot Rock is about a girl named Megan who heads from Australia to England to a music festival. She is there to do research so that she can write her PHD thesis. (What do you have to go to school for to write a thesis on a rock festival? Sign me up!)

When she arrives she is dropped off at the wrong cottage, without the key to get in, she sits on the porch and waits.  She ends up being greeted (if you can call it that) by a man who is a splitting image of her 70s Rock Idol, Davy Morgan.  It turns out that he is Davy’s nephew, David.  Or so he says… It certainly seems like there is something weird going on at this festival.

Megan wakes up in the medic tent at the festival and isn’t sure how she got there. Davy is performing and then David Bowie is performing.  Has she traveled back to the festival in the 70s? Is that really Davy or his nephew David? What is going on!?

This book has it all – romance, a rock festival, time traveling… It is a pretty quick and easy read and was a lot of fun to read about something that absolutely would never actually happen. (Or is it happening and I’m just not privvy to the path to time travel to rock festivals of the 70s yet?)

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


About the Book

Megan Miller is on a dream trip to research her doctoral thesis at a rock festival in England. When she arrives in town she’s stunned that her temporary neighbor is the spitting image of her 70’s rock idol, too bad he’s also a world-class jerk. So why can’t she stop thinking about him?

Seventies rock star Davy Morgan is a man with a secret: rockin’ in one time and living in another. He holds his privacy close to his heart, so when a beautiful girl who not only loves but truly understands his music moves in next door, he works overtime to keep her at a distance. Easier said than done.

Megan follows Davy to the rock festival, but it’s not what or when it seems. The lure of the music draws them closer, but can their newfound love span across the decades, or will it get lost in time?

Book Review: Double Play

doubleplayDouble Play is a biography about Tampa Bay Rays Ben Zobrist and his wife Julianna. The book is all about the importance of Faith and Family.  In fact, Ben’s at bat song is sung by his wife, Julianna, and has been since 2009!  The book somewhat alternates between chapters about Ben and Julianna and how they grew up and how their faith was instilled with them throughout their childhood and growing up.  The story of how they met and the conversations that they had very, very early on in their relationship are so adorable it’s almost sickening.  It was nice to read them recall these moments though and how even though Julianna thought that they shouldn’t continue their relationship so she could go to college in Nashville, a bunch of things kept happening making them end up seeing each other again – like Ben rooming with Julianna’s older brother! It certainly seemed that there was a higher power who knew that these two had to be together.

It was a very sweet story, though they did have their struggles in there as well.

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


About the Book

All-Star player Ben Zobrist (Tampa Bay Rays), considered one of the best all-around players in baseball, writes about the importance of his faith, life, and athletic career in Double Play. Written with his wife, Christian singer Julianna Zobrist, and MikeYorkey, best-selling author of Every Man’s Battle and Linspired: The Remarkable Rise of Jeremy Lin, the book gives fans a first look into the heart of an athlete whose talent and devotion to God, family, and baseball make him one of the most loveable figures in the Major League today.

Book Review: The Who FAQ

thewhoThe Who FAQ is All that’s left to know about fifty years of maximum R&B.  Although the book is called “FAQ” there really aren’t any questions in the book.  Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the band – starting of course with “Who’s Who in the Who” (try saying that 5 times fast!).  Then it goes in to other band members, management, songwriting, unrecorded songs, on film, solo albums, girlfriends and wives and many, many more topics. (35 in total).   Between all the topics it covers everything one would need or want to know about The Who.

This is an interesting approach at a biography, it isn’t quite chronological in its grouping, but information is grouped in a different way than you are used to. I liked this approach though because it kind of “chunked” the information into categories which didn’t make it any more difficult to read or absorb.  There’s a lot of great information and photographs mixed throughout as well.  With it broken down in to smaller sections within each chapter it makes it really easy to read either all at once or here and there when you find yourself with a free moment.

I certainly know a lot more about The Who than I ever thought I would after reading this!

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

About the Book

Fifty years after Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon made their first ruckus together onstage, the world is still fascinated with its greatest rock-and-roll band. Whether their music is popping up in TV commercials and the various incarnations of CSI or the remaining members are performing at the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or multitudinous charity events, the Who have never faded away. Yet while such artists as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Led Zeppelin have been pored over, flipped on their backs, and examined from every imaginable angle, the Who remain somewhat mysterious. Questions persist. Who were their most important influences, and which other bands were their most loyal followers? Did they really create the very first rock opera? What were their most important collaborations, gigs, solo projects, and phases? Where do they stand on politics, religion, and philanthropy? The answers to these questions don’t amount to mere trivia but create a clearer portrait of the enigma that is the Who.

Whether they were Mods or punk pioneers, rock Wagners, or a gang of guitar-smashing thugs, the Who is a band beyond categorization or comparison, a band that constantly poses new questions – and The Who FAQ digs deep to find the answers.

Book Review: Don’t Even Think About It

dontevenDon’t Even Think About It is about a group of teens all in the same home room in the Tribeca area of New York.  Things seem to be normal – that is until they were due to get their flu shots from the school nurse.  Starting that afternoon, the kids start hearing other kids in their classes talking – but their mouths aren’t moving.  How can that be?  It turns out that almost all of the kids who got the flu shot now seem to have developed ESP and can hear everyone around them’s thoughts!  Slowly, all the kids who get the shot begin to gain this skill and they make a deal not to let anyone know.  Now they can hear what their boyfriend or crushes are thinking about and even what the smartest kids in class are thinking to themselves during the next test.

The longer they are dealing with this skill, the more they are learning how to control it.  If people are in between them they can’t hear people.  If they close their eyes, they can’t hear it.  Everything seems to revolve around their eyes – which have begun turning from their normal shades of browns and blues to a lilac color.

Eventually, those that administered the shot have caught on and come to the school to discuss an antidote with the students and their parents. They will get a settlement and the antidote and hopefully everything will go back to normal.  But do they really want that? The ESP has made kids who otherwise would not be hanging out together bond and has brought them all together in ways that nothing else could have. Do they want to lose that and go back to being normal?

One of the smartest girls in the school, Pi, decides that she doesn’t want the antidote and wants to be a guinea pig for research on the effects of the flu shot.  She seems to convince the agents at the school to go along with the plan and use her for their research.  Meanwhile, the other kids are thinking that they don’t want to get the antidote shot either.

Will they go through with not getting the antidote? Will they did if they don’t? You’ll just have to read Don’t Even Think About It to see what happens.

This is a Young Adult novel, takes place in a high school and revolves around high school themes – boyfriends/girlfriends, cheating, crushes and all that goes along with being in high school.  It was a quick and easier read, but quite enjoyable.  Not something that I ever thought about happening but was certainly fun to ponder for the few hours I spent reading the book.

About the Book

Secrets. Scandals. ESP. A terrific and sexy new novel about a group of Tribeca teens from Sarah Mlynowski that will immediately appeal to fans of realistic fiction as well as readers who enjoy a little magic.

We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. 

Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same. 

So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.

SARAH MLYNOWSKI is the author of the Magic in Manhattan and Whatever After series, as well as Gimme a Call, Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have)Milkrun, and more. Her books have been translated into twenty-two languages and Bras & Broomsticks was optioned to Hollywood. Sarah was born in Montreal but lives and writes in New York City. Visit her at, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter at @sarahmlynowski.

Product Review: Kid Coder

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

The award-winning KidCoder and TeenCoder computer science courses will teach your 4th-12th grade student how to create their own websites, video games, and apps.  The self-study curriculum will introduce students to modern, industry-standard technologies like HTML, Java, C#, and Visual Basic.  Ideal for homeschool students seeking elective computer credit or any individual student who can’t get material like this through their normal school system.

I have to say – as a software engineer, I totally wish that something like this was around when I was in school! We had 1 programming class available in highschool, which I obviously took – but having more languages and resources at my finger tips would have been great.

I reviewed from the TeenCoder series – Java Programming. For review purposes, everything that I used was digital.

TeenCoder works on both PCs and Macs and the text book includes what kind of system hardware you will need in order to run the course.

The text book explains things in an easy to understand way and there are also insets with tips and additional information.  The code is all blocked out in the texts as well so if you need to refer back quickly to find a piece of code, it stands out.

The book starts out with background information and talks a bit about ethics, etc. before really jumping into things.  Similar to what you would learn in any programming class at school – but you can read through everything at your own pace.

I didn’t get through the whole course (yet) but since the next step in the TeenCoder series is Apps – which is something I’d really like to learn more about – I will certainly be finishing this Java course to move on to the next course!

The courses currently available are:

Kid Coder : Web Design
Kid Coder : Windows  / Game
Teen Coder: Windows / Game
Teen Coder: Java / Android

Find out more at:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Product Review: Rainbow Loom Band Refill

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Rainbow Bandz Rainbow Loom REFILL pack – the new and improved highest quality, brightest color rainbow band refills. The original 5400 pack of Rainbow Bandz latex free rubber bands in 9 different colors: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Pink, Purple, Orange, Black, and White. This refill pack is 100% compatible with all loom kits.


Premium Quality Bands and safe for Kids
Packed individually per color for easy organizing!
No Smell and won’t easily break!
Compatible with all Loom Kits!



This refill pack has so many bands – they don’t even all fit into the organization box!  I guess that means I just need to get to work on making some more bracelets.  So far I’ve only made the 2 above.  They were quick and easy and the bands held up to being stretched and pulled without breaking.  Two thumbs up!  And a great variety of colors as well.

Each refill bag has a hook and clips in them and are packed by color, so if you want to keep them in their original packaging they will be sorted for you already, or you can toss them into the organization box to have them all together in one spot.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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