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Book Suggestions For Adults And Kids

Thanksgiving is coming and so are my in-laws. The horror! Here are some book suggestions in case you want to hide away from crazy relatives and dive into another world that doesn’t involve an uppity mother-in-law criticizing the most trivial shit. Good luck on the day we give thanks and have to do this again next year with family that drives us crazy.

Happy Thanksgiving. The news seems to be more grim than usual and I know it’s been tough on everyone, no matter where you live. Much love!


The Winter People – Strange things are going on in West Hall, Vermont but what is it? This book goes back and forth from present day to 1908. Make sure to leave the lights on while you’re reading. Great book!


Me Before You – This book is beautiful and I fell in love with it right away. Louisa takes on a much-needed job with a quadriplegic, Will Traynor, and it is a really fantastic read.



How Groundhog’s Garden Grew – This is an adorable book about a groundhog eating food from other gardens. His friends point out that it’s not nice to help himself to other’s food so he gets help making his own garden. Ages 3-7.


Boy + Bot – This is a cute story about the friendship about a boy and a robot. Ages 2-6


The Ladybug Girl At The Beach – If only it was still beach weather! This was the first book in the ladybug girl series that we read. Lulu is going to the beach for the first time and she has mixed feeling about it. This is a great book that shows kids that each person has their own way of confronting their fears. Ages 3-6.


P. Zonka Lays An Egg – This has already gone on the hummingbird’s Christmas list because of the gorgeous illustrations and the wonderful message in the book. P. Zonka isn’t like other chickens and takes her time to enjoy the beauty around her, unlike the chickens who are laying a lot of eggs. Ages 3-8.


My Leaf Book – My 6 year-old loves collecting leaves, sticks, rocks, and everything else so she loves this book about leaves. It shows kids some of the differences of leaves and makes it fun. Ages 3-6.


Butterfly Park – A little girl moves to a new town and finds a butterfly park without any butterflies. Soon, with the help of the townspeople, everyone comes together to make a special park. Ages 3-7.

*Are You That Somebody

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Book Suggestions For Adults And Kids

I’m finally blowing the dust off this here blog and getting back in the habit of posting. All of the large gaps I’ve been having on here is for several reasons but one is I’ve been putting together a book of essays I’ve written over the years that I’d like to self-publish it. The reason I’m even telling you this is now I have to finish it. No excuses! I’ve also been reading more than ever, if such a thing is even possible.

Here are some books that the hummingbird and I have really liked. I hope you find a few that you’ll enjoy just as much.

Sidenote: I haven’t had any caffeine today and my brain is pissed. So, it’s paying me back by not letting me form proper sentences. For all I know, this whole post might be gibberish. Okay, more gibberish-y than usual.


The Light Between Oceans – Stop everything you’re doing and get this book right this second! I read this months ago and I still think about it most days. I love that kind of impact a book or movie has on me. Tom, a lighthouse keeper, and his wife Isabel have gone through the grief of miscarriages and a stillbirth.

Soon after, a boat comes up onto the shore with a crying infant and a dead man. I’ll leave it there because you should just read this beautifully written book. And make sure to get out the tissues. I was doing the ugliest of ugly cries while reading the last bit of the book.


You – This book is creepy as fuck.


The Girl On The Train – This book was better than I was expecting. I’m pretty tired of hearing that this book or that book is the next “Gone Girl”. Each book has its own uniqueness so saying this book is the new hot at the moment style does nothing for me. Now, get off my lawn you damn youngsters!

Rachel takes the same train every day and stops at a signal by a building with a couple that she becomes infatuated with. After noticing some things that seem off to her about the man and woman, she takes it upon herself to investigate. I actually liked this book better than the one it was compared to.


Mrs. Kennedy And Me – Clint Hill was the Secret Service Agent that was on Mrs. Kennedy’s detail and was the one who jumped onto the presidential limousine right after President Kennedy was shot in Dallas. Mr. Hill recounts his 4 years with Jackie and the Kennedy family.

I have to say with everything I’ve heard about the President and his family, Clint Hill is a true gentleman in recalling his days with the Kennedy clan, particularly the First Lady. While I love my gossip rag reading on the weekends, I love that this former agent showed class and restraint with what he revealed and what he kept to himself but that doesn’t take away from it being a pretty fascinating read.

Some Scary Ass Books About Scientology – Okay, I rarely say y’all but oh my god, ya’ll. This shit is scary. I’ve read three books about Scientology in a row and there was no way in hell I could sum it up in a few sentences so it’s getting its own post.


For the kids…


The Bumpy Little Pumpkin – My 6 year-old absolutely loves this book. We checked it out from the library a few weeks ago and have already read this several times. Little Nell gets to pick a pumpkin and decides on a little, bumpy one but her older sisters tease her about it and tell her to pick a better one.

She ends up showing that there’s beauty in everything, no matter the shape and size. Good for Little Nell. This book prompted my daughter to gain quite a collection of bumpy and imperfect pumpkins that I found very sweet. Ages preschool to 6.


This Is Not My Hat – A small fish steals a hat from a big fish and thinks he’ll be able to outsmart him. This is a cute book and the hummingbird said she found it hilarious. Ages preschool to 6.


A Treasury Of Curious George – I bought this book when the hummingbird was about 3 years-old. I needed a book to read to her while we were moving and in a hotel. This ended up becoming one of the most read books of her young library. While she doesn’t have us read it constantly like she used to, she still likes reading this one from time to time.

It’s gotten so much wear from the 8 stories in the book that we have read many times, over and over and over again. I think this would be a perfect baby shower gift or for a young child’s birthday. Ages newborn to 150.


One Grain Of Rice – A very clever girl named Rani uses her smarts to pull one over on the Raja. Her town is going hungry but the greedy Raja won’t give to those in need so the young girl comes up with a plan that will help her town in its time of need. I think this is such a gorgeously illustrated book with a strong female character and I love that there is math involved and used in a way to make it fun.

When I read this book to the bird, the higher the numbers get, the more I over exaggerate what a mouthful it is to say such high numbers, which the hummingbird finds funny and looks forward to. Rani earns one grain of rice that doubles each day for 30 days and my daughter is entertained by not only learning numbers and the way math works but also about the message this book has about greed and kindness. I highly suggest this book and I’m definitely putting it on my daughter’s Christmas wish list. Ages preschool to 8.

*James Bay

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Book Review: The Husband’s Secret


I’ve been reading so many thrillers and decided it was time to change things up. I came across The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and while I wasn’t sure what to expect, I found there was more weight to the plot lines than I had expected.

It took a bit to wrap my head around the three main characters, Australian women Cecilia, Tess, and Rachel. But, their stories start to intertwine and at that point, it was hard to put the book down.

Cecilia is a very organized and put together woman with a husband and three daughters. Her life becomes out of sorts the day she comes across an envelope from her husband. The contents of the letter inside are unknown but the words on the envelope ‘only open in the event of my death’ makes Cecilia’s curiosity get the best of her.

Although, out of all the scenarios she ponders, reading the letter and finding out a truth about her husband isn’t anything she could have ever imagined.

Tess thinks she has it made with her husband and young son, Liam. She has a stable and comfortable life until she finds that the people closest to her have been betraying Tess. It puts her in a tailspin and has her going off to Melbourne to stay with her mother. She also comes across an old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, which has Tess conflicted.

Marriage was a form of insanity; love hovering permanently on the edge of aggravation.

Rachel dotes on her toddler grandson, who is her world. Soon, her son and daughter-in-law drop the news that they’re moving to New York City. The thought of no longer living near her grandson is too much to bear.

Rachel is also still reeling from the loss of her teenage daughter many years ago. Her murderer has never been caught but she’s had her eye on a suspect for quite a while. Rachel finds a video that gives her the certainty of her daughter’s killer but convincing the police isn’t so easy.

Should you buy the book? Yes, if you like suspense and mystery. I’ve already downloaded another of the author’s books, Big Little Lies.

*A must see… Thunderstruck – 2Cellos

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The Stages Of Buying And Reading A Book

My husband thinks I’m nuts, which is a given, but even more so because of the emotional attachment I have with every single book I read. Even the not so great ones. But once I start a book, damn it, I have to finish it.

Example A.

I read several books at a time but there’s always a front-runner and after that book is finished, the cycle starts over again.

Stage 1: Deciding on a book to read. Sounds easy but it’s torture picking one book out of millions. Damn those first world problems.

Stage 2: I finally decide on one but there might be a few more that are in the running. As much as I love real books, I’ve been reading on my kindle more and more. So, I use the “buy now with 1-click” button. And those few other books that sounded good? The “buy now with 1-click” button makes me get those too.

You are a thing of evil buy now with 1-click button. Evil, I say!

You are a thing of evil buy now with 1-click button. Evil, I say!

I had more self-control when I would be asked for my credit card but it would be in my purse downstairs and I would be too lazy to get it. Boom, no impulsive shopping for books or anything else for that matter. Now, with that clicky button, I go clicky crazy and have accumulated so many books, I could open my own library.

Stage 3: I seem to start out reading a book and usually think, meh. Because it’s not the last book I read and my head is still in that story.

Stage 4: I cannot put the book down. I don’t want to tear myself away from the characters. My kid needs to be fed, dinner has to be made, and laundry has to finally be folded after spending the past 3 days in the dryer after being dried over and over again with the intention of taking it out but then forgetting about it. But I can’t stop reading!

Stage 5: It never fails that when I’m at a crucial point of a book, my 6 year-old wants to have every single second of my attention. Even if she has a friend over to play with. I’m convinced that kids have an internal radar that pings when you really, really need a little time by yourself. It’s like she knows and thinks “Wait a second! My mom looks like she’s enjoying herself without my company. So, I will bug the shit out of her to make sure she remembers I will never let that happen.”

For that matter, even my husband is that way. The man isn’t much of a talker but when I’ve been having a toddler like tantrum in my mind because I haven’t been able to move along in the current book I’m reading and my daughter is in bed at last, I open up my kindle and my husband seems to have a rare moment when he wants to talk and talk. They know. Oh, yes. They know.

Stage 6: Oh my god. I’m getting close to the end of the book. No! No! No! This can’t be happening. I want to finish but I can’t let these characters go!

Stage 7: I set the book aside for several days because I need time to accept the fact that it will be over soon. Sniff… sniff.

Stage 8: I finish my beloved book and it’s bittersweet. Yay, I’m done but booo, so is the story and characters I’ve been consumed with.

Stage 9: Spend days with a book hangover.

Stage 10: Finally settle on a new book. And get a few more because of that damn “buy now with 1-click” button.

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Book Reviews: A Fine Dessert and Uni The Unicorn



A Fine Dessert – Out of all the books I’ve reviewed for Random House, this quickly became my husband’s favorite. As you may know by now, my husband’s not very vocal but he said “This is a really great book. Nicely done.” He spoke one and a half sentences, y’all!

This is a book about four families over four centuries that make the same dessert, blackberry fool. It shows the way people lived in different times and how this special dessert has gotten easier to make in modern times. The book includes the recipe for blackberry fool, which we can’t wait to try.

I love the unique topic and how it brings the history of food in a form that is entertaining and educational for kids.

a fine-dessert2


Uni The Unicorn – The hummingbird always pays close attention to the illustrations of a book and loves to hear how it’s done so this book really appealed to her. It’s so vibrant and fun.

Uni the Unicorn day dreams about playing with a little girl but is told there’s no such things as little girls. At the same time, there’s a little girl who dreams of meeting a unicorn and going on adventures.

Did I mention it’s about a unicorn? I did? How in the world can you pass up a book about unicorns, one of the best things in the world. You can’t. And yes, I do want to believe that they’re real.


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Kindergarten Book Suggestions

Here are just a few of the books the little hummingbird has been reading in her Kindergarten class that she loves. Her teacher also encourages the kids to look for wordless books, as that is supposed to help develop their reading. The bird’s teacher also sends home small beginner books. With those, we first go through the book and ask the hummingbird what she sees in the illustrations.

Then we go back to the beginning and she seems to have a better understanding of the words we help her read from the book. They are very simple sentences made easier by already knowing what people are doing on each page. We were also guided to a blog called The Book Diaries. It has fabulous book suggestions of all kinds for kids.

If you may be doing any last minute shopping, these book suggestions would be a hit for kids ages 3-8.

dog-loves-books1Dog Loves Books – A dog loves books so much that he opens up his own bookstore. Unfortunately, there weren’t any customes that came in for books. They would come in to ask for directions or tea. He didn’t mind it much though as it gave him time to dive into stories about dinosaurs and space aliens. But will he eventually get a customer that needs a book? For ages 3-7.

510H4-12bOLI Like To Be Little – This is a fabulous story about a mom and daughter who have discussions about why the little girl likes being little. Such as skip when happy and sit under the dining room table. But parent don’t do things like that which is why the girl likes being little. This book was a hit in our house and we read it all the time. For ages 4-8.

51Ggj6r9PyL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Otto The Book Bear – When this book is left behind by his former family, Otto comes to life and off the pages in search of a new home. Great for ages 3-8.

sea-of-dreams-cover-imageThe Sea Of Dreams – This wordless book is definitely one of our favorites. The illustrations are lovely and each time we read it together, we can make the story serious or silly. It’s great for ages 3-7.

dl20120419509249387849Are You My Mother? – The were reading this a lot in the bird’s Kindergarten class and even made their own books of the story to take home. A baby bird goes in search of her mother that she lost. It’s a simple story that my daughter now knows by heart. For ages 3-7.


Miss Lina’s Ballerinas – Miss Lina’s Ballerinas start with eight dancers who dance in two rows of four. But when a new student arrives, it throws the dancers in chaos. They learn to make it work by making a new dancing arrangement. The illustrations are light and whimsical. Great for ages 3-6.

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50 Shades Of Shit: Well, I Got Through More Than A Few Pages This Time Around

fifty-shades-of-grey-trilogy1I was supposed to start reading this book a while back and snark the shit out of it. In my quest to find enough things to trash in this trashy “book”, I, um, well, read the whole thing.


Then, I went on to read the second book.


Now, I’m reading the last crappy book in this 50 Shades Of Shit trilogy.


I don’t know what happened. OMG, who am I anymore? I have some amazing, can’t wait to read books just waiting for me on my Kindle and I’ve been stuck on 50 Shades Of WTF.

The writing is cringeworthy but I somehow got sucked into it. Yes, I’m ashamed! It was such mindless entertainment that I really needed since going back to school has been so stressful.

Maybe I’m more of a kinky bitch than I’ve ever realized but I didn’t find too much of what was in the book to be that shocking. The shit that got me turned on was Christian letting Anastasia sleep in. What? You mean, Ana doesn’t have to deal with a little person saying Mom? MOM? MOOOOOM?! WAKE UP!

Then, Ana leisurely walks into the great room without walking every few feet picking up toys and kids clothes. There’s Grey’s maid, Mrs. Jones, who cooks her breakfast and even makes her lunch. Oh, really now?

This bitch, Anastasia Steele doesn’t have to hear Moooom! I’m sooooo hungry now. I’m huuuungry!

Nope. The bitch eats in peace and quiet. She doesn’t have to deal with telling her kids to EAT. RIGHT. NOW., have them take two bites and have the kids say BUT I’M SO FULL. I CAN’T EAT ANYMORE.

Oh yes, yes you can. You did not get me up at 6 am saying your ass is starving and you can’t take it anymore because you are so damn hungry. Oh, hell no! You are not taking two little bites of food and proclaiming that your stomach hurts so you can’t eat any more. Nope. Nope. Nope.

So, where was I?

Oh yeah, poor little Anastasia Steele. I’m not jealous of all the sex she got. I’m fucking jealous of the times she would wake up with Christian Grey already gone and would have to deal with a few “awkward silences” with the maid.

The peace and quiet, the awkward silences, and the intimate dinners she would have with Grey are the things that got me all hot and bothered.

The one thing that would truly make me laugh out loud was whenever butt plugs were mentioned… because I have the humor of a 12 year-old.

The second book in the series was eh. More sex, crazy ex sub with a gun, butt plugs that were never used, a boss that wanted Ana who Christian beat up, and now the ex boss is exacting revenge in the third book where Ana and Christian are newlyweds. AND they still call each other Mr. Grey… Mrs. Grey… seriously?

I thought Ana’s inner goddess and subconscious was lame and mentioned way too much. She’s always thinking about what her inner goddess/subconsious is doing and you want to punch the goddess in the face.

I’m not that far into the third book but there’s been arson at Grey’s HQ which I’m thinking is Ana’s former boss’ doing. But I’m sure it really doesn’t matter because the books pretty much follow this format…

These two fuck like rabbits, fight, pout, fuck, eat, fuck, fight, pout, fuck, eat, fight, fuck, cry, fuck, eat, pout, and fuck.

And there you have it!

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