domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home

I won my copy of domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home from a holiday giveaway from A Beautiful Mess and I was really excited about that. (I had hoped the book would arrive before Christmas so I could gift it to one of the kids but that didn’t happen so maybe that kid will receive it for another holiday… we’ll see.)

I enjoyed reading it, though the type is WAY too small and WAY too light (read other reviews, it’s not just me who felt that way.) I didn’t love a lot of the rooms that were shown but it was interesting to flip through and pick out bits and pieces that I did love. There’s one page with an orange wall… I need that orange wall… and another with a pink wall that I really loved, which surprised me. (It’s not pink pink, it’s a reddish pink but still… pink, who’d have thunk it?)

If you like domino magazine, you’ll like this book. Definitely.


The Thessaly books are so darn interesting and Necessity was pretty much what I expected, though it would have been nice to see more about the human contact there at the end. Sigh.

I also kind of wish I hadn’t read these until they were all available at one time — so complicated and it was always a little difficult to remember who was who after waiting so long for the newer books.

I still think Plato is stupid… lol

The Witches of New York

Sassymonkey is the BEST and I’m so glad Ami McKay is her internet girlfriend because it means I was gifted with a signed copy of the Canadian version of The Witches of New York, for Christmas. (The link goes to the American version that is available for pre-order.) MONTHS earlier than I’d have been able to get the American version. Also, SIGNED. WOOT.

I stayed up way too late finishing it the other night because I had to find out how Beatrice got out of the… place she was in… and once I read that part, there wasn’t much left so I figured I should keep reading. And I did and it was awesome.

I loved all of our witches and the supporting cast. Loved Perdu. Loved the spirits (and demons) and dearlies.

I know it’s a silly, tiny little thing that meant very little to the story but I loved the addition of Georgie, towards the end. Nice touch.

I also wouldn’t mind a sequel to this one (even though Ami hasn’t really done sequels.) I mean seriously, NYC — suffragists, mediums, witches, demons — and three very strong, independent female characters. It would be awesome.

Thanks, Sassymonkey (and Ami!)


It took me a very long time to read Smoke because of the holidays and this darn flu that won’t go away. I almost want to read it again because I’m pretty sure there were some sections that just didn’t “stick” because I was distracted or unwell.

I liked it. I liked it a lot. But, there were a lot of moving pieces and there was a lot of missing info about the Smoke itself both of which caused me to feel a little frustrated by the ending.

And, as I was grabbing a link to throw in here, I realized that some people are calling this YA but… I’m not sure it was intended to be YA. Hmmm. YA is weird that way, ya know?

Talking as Fast as I Can

I actually bought Lauren Graham’s audiobook version of Talking as Fast as I can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls because Gilmore Girls and because Lauren Graham!

It’s a really short audiobook and there’s not a lot of “substance” here but it was fun and it made me unreasonably happy to listen to it during all of our trips to/from the airport after Christmas and it was especially nice to listen to something I loved while I was really, really sick.

One problem, though. She refers often to “photos” included in the book and of course we were in the car listening and had no photos. This is always annoying about audiobooks and I commented on that. Then, I realized after we finished that there is supposed to be a PDF included that has all of the photos. Err, umm, oops? I suspect I threw it away just thinking it was a random piece of paper. Gah. So annoying.

I think I’ll buzz all of the kids and ask them if they want to listen to it — they can make a round robin of it and pass it to all of their siblings.

Related: Didn’t you think the ending was more of a cliffhanger than an ending? Didn’t you????

2016 Cybils Shortlist

While I’m not going to attempt to read all of the Cybils Finalists, I will be reading many of them — and I encourage you to read them as well. They are always excellent books. ALWAYS. (And, I’m really excited by the audiobook category! And, I’m confused by the board book category…)


Out of Abaton, Book 1 (Library Edition): The Wooden Prince
Raymie Nightingale
The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog
When the Sea Turned to Silver

Easy Readers and Early Chapters

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! The Cookie Fiasco
Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! We Are Growing!
Rabbit and Robot and Ribbit
Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends
The Great Antonio
The Infamous Ratsos (Ratso Brothers)
Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheep
Juana and Lucas
Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig (Book One) (Mango & Bambang 1)
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde
Weekends with Max and His Dad
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume Three

Elementary Non-Fiction

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
Giant Squid
Pink is for Blobfish
Plants Can’t Sit Still
Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness
The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan E. Goodman (2016-01-05)
Tortuga Squad: Kids Saving Sea Turtles in Costa Rica
Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals
Floodwaters and Flames: The 1913 Disaster in Dayton, Ohio
Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Tricksters
Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White
The Inventors of LEGO Toys (Awesome Minds)
The Slowest Book Ever
Will’s Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk

Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels

Bera the One-Headed Troll
Compass South (Four Points)
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Book 2) (Lowriders in Space)
Mighty Jack
Princess Princess Ever After
The Nameless City
The Wolves of Currumpaw

Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

Shadow Magic
The Evil Wizard Smallbone
The Firefly Code
The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice
The Memory Thief
The Voyage to Magical North

Fiction Picture Books

A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals
Ida, Always
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree
Strictly No Elephants
The Night Gardener
There’s a Bear on My Chair
They All Saw a Cat

Board Books

Cuauhtemoc: Shapes/Formas
Dinosaur Dance
Follow the Yarn
Look, Look again


Fresh Delicious
Garvey’s Choice
Guess Who, Haiku
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party
When Green Becomes Tomatoes

Middle Grade Fiction

Full of Beans
Ghost (Tracked)
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
Ms Bixby’s Last Days
Save Me a Seat
Some Kind of Happiness

Middle Grade/YA Non-Fiction

A Storm Too Soon: A Remarkable True Survival Story in 80 Foot Seas (True Storm Rescues)
Bubonic Plague: When Plague Invaded America
Fashion Rebels: Style Icons Who Changed the World through Fashion
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story
Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter, Nellie Bly
This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights
Blood, Bullets and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA
Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea
In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives
Radioactive: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World
The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century
The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero

YA Graphic Novels

Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey
Faith Vol 1: Hollywood and Vine
Lucky Penny
March Book Three
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening
Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Super Famous

YA Fiction

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes Novel)
Salt to the Sea
The Serpent King
The Weight of Zero
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

YA Speculative Fiction

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas)
Still Life with Tornado
The Door at the Crossroads
The Keeper of the Mist
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity)
When the Moon was Ours: A Novel

Reading in 2016 and in 2017

What a crummy year for reading. You’d think I would have had some inkling that it would be pretty much impossible for me to read 250 books. You’d think I would have noted that difficulty and set a perfectly reasonable goal. But no. Not me. (eyeroll) I didn’t even manage to make it halfway to my goal and I didn’t manage to read all of the Cybils, either.

Buying a house is hard.
Moving is hard.
Losing a job and finding a job are also hard.
Presidential elections are hard, too.

All of those things meant I had less time (or energy or inclination) for reading so 118 books shouldn’t seem so bad. Really. (eyeroll)

So in 2017, how many books do I want to read? Knowing I’ll be doing some traveling. Knowing there’s a whole lot of yard work in my future. How many books… certainly not 250. Sheesh, what an unrealistic goal. hahaha. (eyeroll)

Let’s shoot for 175, ok?

And, I’m not going to hold myself to reading all of the Cybil shortlist books, though I do intend to read a good number of them.

I also need to go back to reading more books from my bookshelves.

And, I want to backtrack a little and catch up on books from series I have enjoyed.

Reading in December

Welp. 17 books for the month. Pretty darn good, all things considered.

11 were Cybils.
6 were non-fiction.
1 was an audiobook.

Ho hum.

Telegraph Avenue

It took us months to get all the way through Telegraph Avenue on audio. It was good but oh so very long. SO VERY LONG.

The Life of Elves

Welp. I read it. It was no Elegance of the Hedgehog but it did have a lot of pretty words. But, The Life of Elves just wasn’t amazing like I wanted it to be. (And, it read like the first book in a darn series… no idea if Barbery plans/planned a sequel but I’m pretty sure I won’t read it.)