A Bookish Abode

Monday, July 31, 2017 / Leave a Comment
Because I have been so focused on bookish things in my personal blog space, I've decided that it was time to finally make a move! Give it the space it deserves, if you will...

All book reviews, book chatter, and book what-nots will now be published over at: abookishabode.com

Personal blog stuff will remain here and continue to be written here, as well as legacy bookish posts. All new book reviews, however, will only be posted at our new home.
I hope to see you there!!


p.s. there's already some new content!! Follow my blog with Bloglovin
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Book Review - Finding My Badass Self

Thursday, July 27, 2017 / Leave a Comment
"Fighting midlife inertia, Sherry Stanfa-Stanley chose to stare down fear through The 52/52 Project: a year of weekly new experiences designed to push her far outside her comfort zone. These ranged from visiting a nude beach with her seventy-five-year-old mother in tow to taking a road trip with her ex-husband—and then another one with his girlfriend. She also went on a raid with a vice squad and SWAT team, exfoliated a rhinoceros (inadvertently giving him an erection), and crashed a wedding (where she accidentally caught the bouquet). While finding her courage in the most unlikely of circumstances, Sherry ultimately found herself. 
For midlifers, fatigued parents, and anyone who may be discontent with their life and looking to shake things up, try new things, or just escape, Finding My Badass Self is proof it's never too late to reinvent yourself—and that the best bucket list of all may be an unbucket list." ~ NetGalley

  Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares by Sherry Stanfa-Stanley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I had to pick just one book to share with all of my girlfriends, a book that was a surefire way to kick them in the panties and spawn some inspiration for living, truly living, life - this is it.
I laughed, I cringed, and I laughed a whole lot more.
Sherry Stanfa-Stanley is not only "badass", she is a fabulous story-teller. Her experiences are not just; she wraps each one up beautifully and delivers them to the reader like a fabulous gift. Because that is what they are. Experiences of all kinds are gifts and Sherry is reminding us of that in this incredible read.
I know, I know. I am fangirling. What can I say? I AM a new fan and I want to follow along as Sherry continues to push herself to try new things. AND I want to push myself to try new things, too!
Each chapter is a new, wonderful retelling of one of Sherry's 52 experiences at age 52. And if she has the gusto to hit a nude beach, crash weddings and go zip-lining - just imagine what other incredible gems are tucked away in this book.
If you need a laugh, a bit of inspiration, and a book that feels like a friend - this is definitely for you. This book is easy to read when you are short on time. Take a chapter or two when you've got a few minutes to spare. You will be glad you did.

A huge thank you to NetGalley and She Writes Press for the opportunity to review this book and to provide my honest feedback. All comments and opinions are my own.

Release date: 08/15/2017

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Book Review - Windy City Magic: The Best Kind of Magic

Monday, June 26, 2017 / Leave a Comment
"Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love..."

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Windy City Magic, Book 1 - The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari is an honest to goodness, sweetheart of a story. YA + the pure kind of romance + mystical beings = a fun, fun weekend read!

Written from our sassy heroine's point of view, you get a taste of the magical world through the eyes of a teen with sharp wit and a good heart. Though she may not be a full witch like her mother, Amber's matchmaking skills are certainly a special gift.

I absolutely enjoyed Amber's interactions with the non-magical but super charming Charlie, her best friend/clairvoyant Amani, her Wiccan mother and even the dreaded siren Ivy and the untrustworthy witch Victoria. Oh, Ivy and Victoria... Cestari sure knows how to whip up the perfect villains!

Amber is likeable and, in a way, relatable. I may have no magical, matchmaking abilities but we've all shared similar (sorta) snide thoughts. I love Amber's fearlessness to speak out and do what she feels is best to protect the ones she loves.

There was nothing about this read that was too much or too little. It was a breezy, refreshing story with a bit of drama, a dash of danger and a taste that leaves you thirsty for the "what next."

Seriously, though... what's next?! Looks like we find out February of 2018 and I'm looking forward to it. Windy City Magic, Book 2 - The Sweetest Kind of Fate has already been added to my TBR list!

Thank you, NetGalley and Disney Book Group/Disney-Hyperion for the opportunity to read this digital ARC in exchange for my honest feedback and review!

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Father's Day & It's Great Being a Dad

Sunday, June 18, 2017 / Leave a Comment

This year, for Father's Day, we picked up It's Great Being a Dad - story Dan Bar-el and illustrated by Gina Perry. It was an early gift for daddy (gifted Saturday night), mostly because mommy couldn't wait... we do love our books in this house! Every night we read together as a family and I couldn't have found a better book for this Father's Day (weekend) read. We loved the story and the fantastic illustrations!!

It's Great Being a Dad by Dan Bar-el
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully written book that demonstrates the vivid imaginations of children through fantastic story-telling and artistry. My daughter loved the colors, the characters and every illustrated page. My husband and I loved the honest and familiar tale, told with great humor for everyone to enjoy.

Truth be told, mom and dad loved the pictures as much as our little reader.

This was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful children's family book!

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Happy Father's day to my love, my dad and the rest of you awesome dads!!

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Book Review - Trusting You and Other Lies

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 / Leave a Comment

Trusting You and Other Lies
by Nicole Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trusting You and Other Lies by Nicole Williams is an enjoyable summer read written from the perspective of an almost–adult teen girl.

Our main character, Phoenix, is dealing with complex family issues, change and love. You can't help but to root for her as she tries to figure out life, while at the dreaded family camp, during the summer before her final year of high school.

Trusting You and Other Lies is sweet, sometimes a little serious but never boring or too predictable. I found myself breezing through this book and enjoying every moment!

If you enjoy YA, I highly recommend Trusting You and Other Lies. Take this one to the beach, or to camp, or the lake, or anywhere you will be doing your summer reading!

p.s. I'm in love with this cover!!!

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children's Crown Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read this book at no cost, in exchange for my honest feedback and review.

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Book Review - Internet Famous

Monday, June 5, 2017 / Leave a Comment
Internet Famous by Danika Stone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Internet Famous by Danika Stone

Usually, I adore YA books and I thought the concept around this one was great. The problem for me and where it fell short was it just did not feel believable. I really had a lot of trouble with the characters and the parental figures. Honestly, I don't know if it improved but I had to stop reading halfway through. It was just impossible for me to get into. I have read a lot of other great reviews of this book, so maybe it just wasn't for me.

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review - The Lives of Desperate Girls

Friday, May 26, 2017 / Leave a Comment
The Lives of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Lives of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common was a fantastic read! The characters were well thought out, easy to identify with, and easy to connect with. The storyline was written in the appropriate pace and kept me well interested throughout.

Some parts of this book might be a bit difficult for some people to digest. This book hits on a lot of heavy subjects like sex, rape, murder, racism, bullying, and suicide. That being said, some of the subject matter opens up to meaningful dialogue.

Written in a first person narrative, the approach of storytelling was somewhat different than others I've read in the same genre. And even though some elements of the story may appear familiar, it is truly special and unique in its own right.

I absolutely enjoyed this read and would recommend it to others who enjoy YA/mystery type books.

I received this book at no cost, courtesy of NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada, for my honest feedback and review.

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Mini & Me - Bookish Stuff

Thursday, May 11, 2017 / Leave a Comment
One thing you must know about Mini & me... we absolutely love books, as if that weren't already apparent! As the momma, I plan on encouraging that love.

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. When I was a little girl, many moons ago, my father read to me each night. He lit a fire in my heart for stories of all genres. I can recall hiding away in my bedroom to get lost in the worlds that Judy Blume created or trying my luck with a series of Choose Your Own Adventure books. Heck, I even read my father's Reader's Digest because even those stories fascinated my 8 year-old mind.

Reading Rainbow was my favorite show on the television and I couldn't wait for the school book fair. The Scholastic order sheets would come out and I would go bananas over all the books I dreamed of owning. Library hour was the best hour. Highlights for Children was a fun distraction. And when I hit my teens, V.C. Andrews was cooler than Vanilla Ice.

I've always loved to read.

When I found out I was pregnant with Mini, I knew that I would want to make reading a huge part of her life as early on as possible. I asked my girlfriends to please, please be sure to make building a baby library a part of my baby shower. I want to expose my little one to as many books as possible, I reminded them. I didn't want to just make a wish list of books, I wanted the books I never heard of - I wanted to discover with my little one.

Needless to say, Mini has a beautiful library of books already. She has several shelves worth of picture books, fairy tales, books for today and books for when she is a little bit older. I've read many and there are many more that I can't wait to explore for the first time with her. So, each night, my husband and I pluck a book from a shelf and read it to her before bedtime. First we read, then we allow her to explore the book herself - just for a few moments so she can take in the illustrations.

Reading time isn't just for bedtime anymore. Though my Mini is still just a wee thing, she loves books more than any child I know. She flips through the thick pages of her board books, her fingers examine the colors, shapes and letters... she's not reading yet but she's finding the story her own way.

You will see we do talk a lot about books! And if there is a book that you think that we might love, please don't keep it to yourself. We'd love to hear about it!!

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Book Review - How to Make Friends with a Ghost

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 / Leave a Comment

How to Make Friends with a Ghost
by Rebecca Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How to Make Friends with a Ghost by Rebecca Green is by far one of the most surprisingly sweet and most original children's books I have read in a long time. Honestly, I really was not sure what to expect upon receiving this advanced copy, but you can bet I loved every single page and every illustration in all it's detail.
Rebecca Green has put together an enjoyable book for all ages with silly recipes, tips and helpful info on caring for your own ghost. How to Make Friends With a Ghost is quirky, cute, and every bit fun! I know of at least two or three people who will be receiving this treasure once it is published!
...And who knows, maybe I'll be lucky enough to have a ghost of my own one day that I can care for, make mud tarts for and grow old with! One thing is for sure, I'll be well prepared!

I received this book at no cost, courtesy of NetGalley, for my honest feedback and review.

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Book Review - A Bedtime Yarn

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A Bedtime Yarn
by Nicola Winstanley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Bedtime Yarn by Nicola Winstanley is a very charming tale about a little bear named Frankie who has trouble going to sleep. To help him overcome fears of being in the dark alone, his mother gives him a colorful ball of yarn to hold tight while he sleeps and dreams of adventures.

Each colorful ball of yarn Frankie holds marks a different adventure for this little bear. And while each adventure is beautifully illustrated, the special prize is at the end of this very sweet book.

This is a wonderful read for children and for parents, or even grandparents, who enjoy knitting and crocheting for their loved ones.

I received this book at no cost, courtesy of NetGalley, for my honest feedback and review.

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