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Book Love

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The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

// BOOK REVIEW //

I don’t know if you feel the same way but sometimes when my life is crazy and hectic I find it so refreshing to read a lovely, bookish story that is delightfully told and easy to process. The Bookshop on the Corner’ was a perfect December read in the middle of the busyness of the holiday season. I enjoyed the charming, colorful and at times even a bit cheesy story of a librarian who loses her job but gains everything she really always wanted but never had possessed. Although this story is sweet and romantic, Jenny Colgan effectively addresses important themes of starting over, following your dreams, the value of community, the bonds of friendship, turning bad situations into good, helping the needy, finding joy in the little moments, and the wonder presented through reading the perfect book! I listened to the audio version narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis and I completely enjoyed the Scottish accents!

** This book was the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club pick for December. I just finished our monthly book chat and found out that many of the titles that Colgan introduces in the story are made-up books! I initially recognized the titles she referenced and then as I read through the book I was surprised that I knew none of the books she referenced! I kept thinking that I would need to go back through the book and look them up! Now I know why I didn’t recognize the books! I love learning new things from other readers!

Book Details:

Title: The Bookshop on the Corner

Author: Jenny Colgan

Publisher: William Morrow

Format: Paperback

ISBN:  978-0062467256

Favorite Quotes:

“Some people buried their fears in food, she knew, and some in booze, and some in planning elaborate engagements and weddings and other life events that took up every spare moment of their time, in case unpleasant thoughts intruded. But for Nina, whenever reality, or the grimmer side of reality, threatened to invade, she always turned to a book. Books had been her solace when she was sad; her friends when she was lonely. They had mended her heart when it was broken, and encouraged her to hope when she was down.” - The Bookshop on the Corner

“Just do something. You might make a mistake, then you can fix it. But if you do nothing, you can't fix anything. And your life might turn out full of regrets.” - The Bookshop on the Corner

“Books were the best way Nina knew – apart from, sometimes, music – to breach the barrier; to connect the internal universe with the external, the words acting merely as a conduit between the two worlds.” - The Bookshop on the Corner

“Anything that spreads books and brings about more books, I would say it is good. Good medicine, not bad.” - The Bookshop on the Corner

“In front of the fire If you haven’t got a fire, a candle will do. The one thing I really look forward to as the nights draw in is a big cozy fire and a good book—the longer the better. I love a really, really long novel, a large cup of tea, or glass of wine depending on how close to the weekend we are (or how much I am in the mood to stretch the definition of what constitutes the weekend), and a bit of peace and quiet. A dog helps, too. Dogs are tremendously good at showing you you don’t have to check your phone every two seconds to have a happy life.” - The Bookshop on the Corner

“Because life is like that, isn’t it? If you thought of all the tiny things that divert your path one way or another, some good, some bad, you’d never do anything ever again. And some people don’t. Some people go through life not really deciding to do much, not wanting to, always too fearful of the consequences to try something new. Of course, that in itself is also a decision.” - The Bookshop on the Corner

“The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things.” - The Bookshop on the Corner

“I am of the old-fashioned conviction that reading is a pleasure to be carefully guarded at all times.”  - The Bookshop on the Corner


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Meals on Wheels

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Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

// Book Review //

Thank you to Scholastic Press for this complimentary review copy!

“It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.” It isn’t often that the first words in a book begin in the middle of a fervent chase, however Mortal Engines wastes no time in setting the pace for this fantastical story. Thousands of years after the world as we know it ends, surviving cities and towns roam the earth on the sea, in the sky, and most notably - on wheels. The feared city of London grows tired of hunting small towns for resources and longs for more suitable prey. In the event that led to the earth’s intense shift, the most highly advanced technology of the old era was lost to time… until London learns of a top-secret “old tech” weapon capable of restoring them to their former glory. The daunting race gets rolling between the feared towering city and a group of improbable intercontinental friends for the control of the future.

There are a number of areas that Phillip Reeves knocks out of the park in Mortal Engines, such as the elegiac painting it creates of our altered world and the descriptive scenery along the way. The protagonists of the story travel long distances throughout the book, and while the story never seems aimless it remains easy to appreciate how sizable the traveled world feels. Another highlight of the book for myself was that it at no point felt predictable. The story is so inherently unique and the character’s roles so unfamilliar that they make for an undeniable rollercoaster from start to finish. With today’s release of the cinematic take on this book, I recommend to anyone interested in this captivating story to read the book first. While I expect the movie to be a stunning visual depiction of events in the book, I can not confidently assume the movie will build the stories depth quite as thoroughly as the book in the readers mind. Mortal Engines is a sometimes fierce, sometimes silly book that is always fun.

Book Details:

Title: Mortal Engines

Author: Philip Reeve

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Paperback

ISBN:  978-1338201123

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You'll Want to Add This Book to Your Library!

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Red Sky at Night by Elly MacKay

// Book Review //

Thank you to Tundra Books for this beautiful, complimentary review copy!

I am so excited to share this book with you! I have been recently posting a variety of children’s books that make great gifts and this book is a delectable treat that you will want to enjoy over and over again! If you already know Elly MacKay’s work you know the wonder and whimsy of her creations. If you are not familiar with Elly MacKay’s art, I am so excited to introduce you to her stunning photography!

Elly creates tiny little treasures from paper, arranges her paper creations in a paper theatre, creatively adds light and then beautifully photographs the stage she has set. The final product is a gorgeous photo that has a feel of magnificent water color creation! Elly’s incredible art is featured on the cover for the Tundra Books paperback editions of the Anne of Green Gables series, Emily of New Moon series and other Montgomery titles including Mistress Pat, The Golden Road, The Story Girl, Jane of Lantern Hill and The Blue Castle.

While Red Sky at Night is a visual dream, the reader will want to slowly meander through the pages while soaking up the delightful details, it is also an interesting compilation of weather folklore. I remember when I was a child, my grandfather used to say phrases such as “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight”. At the end of the book, Elly includes a list of the weather-related phrases mentioned in the story along with an explanation on what they mean and whether or not they are true.

Red Sky at Night is a perfect combination of interesting text accompanied by stunning illustrations! I am confident that you will want to add this beauty to your home library!

Book Details:

Title: Red Sky at Night

Author: Elly MacKay

Illustrator: Elly MacKay

Publisher: Tundra Books

Format: Hardbound

ISBN:  9781101917831

The end papers in  Red Sky at Night  are stunning!

The end papers in Red Sky at Night are stunning!

Weather is such an interesting topic for children to talk about!

Weather is such an interesting topic for children to talk about!

Adorable!

Adorable!

The clouds do look like woolly fleece!

The clouds do look like woolly fleece!

I only knew a saying or two before I read this book. My understanding of weather folklore has now significantly increased!

I only knew a saying or two before I read this book. My understanding of weather folklore has now significantly increased!

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If A Horse Had Words

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If A Horse Had Words by Kelly Cooper and Lucy Eldridge

// Book Review //

Thank you to Tundra Books for sending me this beautiful, complimentary review copy!

I believe a great children’s book meets at least two important criteria. First, the book must tell a story that captures a child’s imagination and interest. Second, and equally if not more important, a great children’s book carries a positive message that is reinforced through the story’s development.

‘If A Horse Had Words’ demonstrates through the narrative the importance of being kind to animals. Although animals can’t speak like we do, they have feelings and need to be treated kindly. I love how the little boy in this story rescues a baby horse from harm, handles the horse gently and then meets him again at a later time. My only regret is that the horse was sent away and I wish he would have been allowed to stay with the boy. Yet, despite their separation, the horse remembers the boy’s kindness in the end. Treating animals with kindness and respect is such an important trait to teach our children!

If A Horse Had Words is also beautifully illustrated! Take a look below at the gorgeous illustrations on the cover, end papers and through the story!

Book Details:

Title: If A Horse Had Words

Author: Kelly Cooper

Illustrator: Lucy Eldridge

Publisher: Tundra Books

Format: Hardbound with dust jacket

ISBN:  9781101918722

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Anything is Possible!

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Petra by Marianna Coppo

// Book Review //

Thank you to Tundra Books for this beautiful, complimentary review copy.

Petra is a rock star… both in the literal and figurative sense. This children’s picture book features adorable illustrations and a big, powerful message! The reader follows Petra, a rock, through a variety of life experiences that are both charming and engaging. My favorite part about this book is the two-fold message it communicates: “Never give up” and “You can be anything you want to be”!! I will be giving Petra as a gift to the little ones in my life!

Congratulations to Marianna Coppo and Tundra Books! Petra is a nominee for both the 2018 GoodReads Choice Award and the 2019 Kate Greenaway Medal.

Book Details:

Title: Petra

Author: Marianna Coppo

Illustrator: Marianna Coppo

Publisher: Tundra Books

Format: Hardbound with dust jacket

ISBN: ISBN 9780735262676

“I am strong. I’m a fearsome, fearless, mighty, magnificent mountain.” -  Petra

“I am strong. I’m a fearsome, fearless, mighty, magnificent mountain.” - Petra

“But what an amazing island I am! What paradise! What palm trees, that peace, what sunshine, what…” - Petra

“But what an amazing island I am! What paradise! What palm trees, that peace, what sunshine, what…” -Petra

Isn’t she just the cutest rock!! :-)

Isn’t she just the cutest rock!! :-)

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