Category Archives: Book

I love to read.

An Independence Day Reading List

American Flag

From Time to Time I receive books from Disney Publishing. I promise that I’ll bring more books to the blog as suggestions. I receive these books for free and I get them to review and share with you. Opinions are our own.

We received a couple of books recently that are perfect to read heading up to the 4th of July holiday and the celebrations that we will be attending. Two years ago Eva sang God Bless America and did an amazing job. She may do it again this year at the annual neighborhood parade. I hope she does because it is the 100th anniversary of the song. You can see her sing it in the video below.

One of the books that I have to tell you about is God Bless America: The Story of an Immigrant Named Irving Berlin. This is the story of Irving Berlin’s experiences that led him to writing this song which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The second book is about Thomas Paine and Common Sense. I had to read Common Sense for Humanities when I was in college. I may have to re-read that one. We read both of these books and they were good. We then donated them to the kids’ school for the library. Continue reading An Independence Day Reading List

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Ready Player One Review and Giveaway

Ready Player One
Photo-A-Day #4732

I was provided a gift card for the movies and I used it to see Ready Player One. I was also given a Ready Player One prize pack for myself and one to give away… to you!!! Opinions are my own. I’ve been so excited to see Ready Player One. I received the book in the February Loot Crate in 2015 themed Play. It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I actually got around to reading the book. Once I did I was all in. Not only did I read the book but I also listened to the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton. I loved the books.

What did I think of the movie, though?

As an action adventure movie that is a good family movie I would say this definitely on point. the movie and the books diverge in many ways. Not bad ways but they just diverge. Many characters in the movie have larger roles then they had in the book. Key action points that a character in the book does become action points for another character in the movie. One character from the book who is a bit of a throw-away character has a much larger role in the movie and is played well and for great comedic effect by T. J. Miller. He certainly brings the character of I-R0k to life in an interesting way. Ben Mendelson plays the IOI head Sixer, Nolan Sorrento, to his creepy best. The casting choices were excellent including casting for Aech, they really got that character right.

I understand why they beefed up certain roles and changed so much of the book. While the book plays out like a movie in my head it does get bogged down in minutiae that you can do in a book that doesn’t translate well into a movie. Also, there are things in the book that might not have worked like watching a character play a video game like Joust or Pac-Man. I did wish that they were able to get the rights to either Wargames or Blade Runner in order to do those scenes but the way they incorporated a movie as one of the challenges was good, too.

The challenges in the movie are entirely different and the notion of there being a key and then a gate is done away with. The keys are what remain for the movie and again that is to move the action along. It was a long movie but it goes by so quickly. I did need to stop comparing it to the book in my head many times. I can’t decide if it would have been better to see the movie before reading the book or done it the way I did it. But, it was definitely worth the watch!

Well, I have a great prize pack to offer you. Not only will you get the essential Ready Payer One swag but also the book and Fandango passes to see the movie! Here is what is in the prize pack!

Ready Player One Swag

  • t-shirt
  • button pins
  • book
  • tote bag
  • water bottle
  • screen wipes
  • Fandango code carrier valid for up to 2 tickets to see READY PLAYER ONE in theaters

Enter through the Rafflecopter Widget Below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More info about the Ready Player One Movie: Continue reading Ready Player One Review and Giveaway

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Big Time Harry Potter Winner

Harry Potter Trivia Winner
Photo-A-Day #4688

Last night Eva and her friend Maryana went to Pea Poddery to create a special piece of pottery. They were also there for Harry Potter Trivia night. Now, Eva reads Harry Potter almost nightly. She has read the first book several times and then books 2 & 3. She has the illustrated versions of the books and loves them. Even before she got those she read my copies so many times that she actually broke book three.

The illustrated copies of the book are beautiful and I can understand why she’d want to keep reading and re-reading these books. The world of Harry Potter is an amazing one. It has certainly brought out some major creativity in Eva. She writes her own stories and has created her own characters, too. She and Maryana went by the team name, Granger Girls. They were so excited about winning the game. Allison said that they wee squealing with laughter and excitement all the way home. Eva nearly bounced up the walkway when she got home.

Allison told me that she had won last night but not to say anything because Eva wanted to be the one to tell me. When I got home I was ready to be super surprised. she started telling me about the event and when she got to the part where she was going to tell me that they had won Andrew walked in and said, “She won”. I was quite upset with him. Both Allison and I spoke to him about how disrespectful it was to do that. You don’t just steal someone’s moment. It is such a jerk move. We talked all about it together and his lunch note even had a message about such things.

Cut to tonight. Continue reading Big Time Harry Potter Winner

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Book Review: The Perfect Pillow

Love reading the Perfect Pillow
Photo-A-Day #4682

I often receive books for free from Disney Publishing to read and review. The opinions expressed are my own.

This is an adorable story and perfect for any child who has just moved to a new house or into a big boy or big girl bed of their very own. The story is of Brody, a young boy who is in a new home in a new big bed. However, he is not finding it easy to get to sleep and so he and his stuffed dragon, Horst, go on an adventure in search of The Perfect Pillow only to end up back in their new house and new bed. It is a good book to read to a child who is making that transition from something familiar to something new and possibly strange and scary. It takes Brody and Horst a while to get acclimated to their new normal.

I love the character of Horst. I personally am a huge fan of dragons, especially friendly ones. While Horst never actually says anything the illustrations bring our a personality there of a friend who has been with Brody through everything. Every skinned knee, scary moment and joy that Brody has had he has shared with Horst.

When Eva was young I bought her a stuffed dragon. She never quite took to it but then again she’s got a ton of stuffed animals. So, the dragon went to Andrew and again the same thing. This was not a stuffed animal that would become his confidante. There are just too many in the house. When I was a boy I had a teddy bear that I took with me all over. He’s battered and worn as a Teddy with a lot of life experience should be. The book did tap into that emotion of having that security to help you through something new.

The Perfect Pillow is a good read with beautiful illustrations and a nice story. It is also available today and you can purchase it through my link below. And there is also the official book release for more information. Continue reading Book Review: The Perfect Pillow

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Good Friends at Unlikely Story

Good Friends at Unlikely Story
Photo-A-Day #4609

This morning we met up with Allison’s best friend from college and her family. We went to the Purple Rooster for breakfast. This is a great restaurant and they were able to accommodate the nine of us plus have games and things for the kids to play. They have Jenga and dominoes and so many other games. The kids had all of them out at once to play. They got a little loud but very good-natured. The kids did enjoy spending time with each other. The food was delicious, too. They have fantastic food there.

After breakfast we went across the street to The Unlikely Story. This is a local bookstore that is owned by Jeff Kinney, author of the Wimpy Kids books. This is one of the nicest stores I have been in before. Both kids had their birthday money burning holes in their pockets. Eva went looking for a book that had suggestions of things to draw. Andrew wanted a hangman game book. I guess you scratch off the letters to play the game. We steered him closer to a book about drawing. He got that and another one like Eva’s but for younger kids. We spent some time also looking for books to donate to Christmas is for Kids. Andrew helped me pick out some Pete the Cat books. It was a nice morning that we all enjoyed.

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