Tag Archives: Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

WWW Wednesdays – July 17, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

I’m not sure how your summer is going but mine is zooming by. I have tons of funny moments to share for a Goofy Monday edition but by the time I look at the calendar and think about it, it’s usually Tuesday or Wednesday already. So I’m trying my best to at least write this WWW Wednesdays on time, especially since we continue to read lots of good books.

My bookshelf

Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath– What I’m currently reading
Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath.

– What I recently finished reading
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. After enjoying Chomp a few months ago, I thought I’d go back and read Hiaasen’s first young adult novel Hoot to see where it all started from. I wasn’t disappointed. Hiaasen has a very natural and convincing way to make his own characters become more aware of the environment around them and show how their actions can have a positive or negative effect. He doesn’t preach to preserve the environment one way or the other, but rather guides you in understanding how we can all help, one person at a time. The main story involves young Roy Eberhardt, who is new to Florida and doesn’t think it’s as cool as Montana. He may just change his mind by the end of the book. There’s bullying, new friendships, greed, and a whole lot of natural props (snakes and alligators, anyone?). A fun read for the summer, or anytime of the year.

Random Acts of Kindness by the editors of Conari Press. A little gem of a book sharing true stories of people’s encounters with random acts of kindness (they were either the givers or the recipients), as well as inspiring quotes about kindness and giving. This short book is super fast to read but full of ideas of what makes a random act of kindness kind and special indeed.

– What I think I’ll read next
How to Remodel a Man by W. Bruce Cameron, the author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey, a couple of my favorite books these past couple of years, and Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. This book looks absolutely hilarious and I can’t wait to laugh my way through it.

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading 
If You Want To See a Whale by Julie FoglianoIf You Want To See a Whale by Julie Fogliano. This book advises you what to do (and what not to do) so you can spot a whale. That includes wrapping yourself up in a not-too-cozy blanket so you don’t fall asleep, and being very, very patient.

How To Clean Your Room In 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer LaRue Huget. This hilarious book shows you the best way to tidy your bedroom, starting with waiting for your mom to holler,  “GET UP THERE AND CLEAN YOUR ROOM—NOW!”, using all three of your names. One of the next steps is to actually take everything out of the drawers and closets… My kids laugh out loud at the advice and I haven’t seen them follow it, fortunately!

 – What they recently finished reading
My Mom Has X-Ray Vision by Angela McAllisterMy Mom Has X-Ray Vision by Angela McAllister. Matthew believes his mother has x-ray vision because she always knows what he’s doing. It beats the eyes behind the back of the head, doesn’t it? One day he decides to test his theory. The results are quite astonishing, especially for the reader, who gets to see a lot more about super mom than Matthew himself!

The Museum by Susan Verde. As a young girl walks through various museum galleries, she experiences different emotions by looking at different styles of art. When she finds herself in front of an empty canvas, she feels inspired to create art in her own way. The story is OK but Peter H. Reynolds’ illustrations are what make this book a must-read.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

Advertisements

WWW Wednesdays – July 10, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

Well, somehow it’s been three weeks since my last WWW Wednesdays update. It’s not for lack of reading because we’ve done a lot of that. Rather, a limited number of hours available in front of the computer with internet access, and a lot of quality time with the kids. Including some great reading I’m sharing below.

My bookshelf

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen– What I’m currently reading
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. I read Chomp a few months ago and I really enjoyed it so I thought I’d go back to Carl Hiassen’s first young adult novel and see where it started from. So far, so good!

– What I recently finished reading
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is a magical story in every sense of the word. I truly enjoyed following Celia and Marco’s journey and their struggle to go against their preset fate. Two things bothered me about this book though. It was a little too long and could have used some editing, as some chapters went on for too long. And the story bounced not only from one place to the next, but from one moment in time to another, back and forth. I tried to keep up with the time shifts but it eventually tired me. Other than that, it’s definitely a story worth reading.

Mennonite In A Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen. Although the premise of this memoir is interesting – a 40-something year old woman going back to her Mennonite family after her husband leaves her for another man and she recovers from a serious car accident – it couldn’t keep my interest. The first chapter tries to stay on track but after that the book goes all over the place, bouncing from one current event to another, then to a memory, then to another. As I was reading this book, I couldn’t keep track of what year each memory was taking place and it got tiresome. I put it down halfway when my interest ran out. If you’re interested in reading about Mennonites in the modern world, it’s probably a good read, as long as you’re aware of the story bouncing around with no specific purpose.

Night Sins by Tami Hoag. I actually own this book and started it a couple of weeks ago but I’m not finding myself in the mood to read a story about a kidnapped kid in the middle of winter in the Minnesota at this time. Besides, I just got several books from the library I really want to read, so I put this one back on my bookshelf for a later time.

– What I think I’ll read next
Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath.

My kids’ bookshelf

The Dot by Peter H. ReynoldsWhat they’re currently reading
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. We LOVE this book! Vashti is a young student who believes she can’t draw, so her art teacher simply asks her to draw a dot, and then sign her artwork. What happens next makes Vashti change her mind about her artistic abilities. This is a great book for any kid who doubts his/her own talent.
Ish, another book by Peter H. Reynolds. Ramon loves to draw but loses confidence after his older brother notices his artwork isn’t perfectly true to reality. Fortunately his sister gives him a new perspective on things and encourages him to find his own style. A wonderful story on creativity, individuality and what art is about.

Oh the places you'll go by Dr Seuss– What they recently finished reading
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss. What better book to read before heading to kindergarten? Or second grade? Or a new path in life? We all had our own reasons to read this book and we enjoyed it very much. I’m looking forward to reading it again when we reach a new milestone.
E-mergency by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer. The letter E falls down the stairs and gets hurt. It’s an E-mergency! Now the story can’t use the letter E until it heals, so which letter will replace it in the meantime? This is a very funny story that features with even funnier illustrations that tell a whole story by themselves. You could probably spend a whole hour going through this book and not notice everything there’s to see.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesdays – February 20, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

Sorry, I missed last week’s WWW Wednesdays update. It’s not because I didn’t read any books – I sure did! – but simply because I couldn’t find enough time to write about them. And this week’s Wednesday update is one day late for the same reason. But hey, now you get to read about the really cool books we’ve enjoyed these past couple of weeks. There are some really good ones in there…

By the way, did you notice I created a new header for my blog? I’d love to hear what you think of it.

My bookshelf

Die Trying by Lee Child– What I’m currently reading
–  Die Trying by Lee Child. This is the second book in the Jack Reacher series and I can’t put it down! I read Killing Floor, the first in the series a few weeks ago and I just realized I never posted my review, so here it is below.

– What I recently finished reading
Killing Floor by Lee Child. After reading A Wanted Man and liking it, I wanted to go back and read the very first book in the Jack Reacher series. And boy, was I smart to do that. It was excellent! I love the writing style, the story, the mysteries, the Jack Reacher character, his reasoning and deductive skills, and his coldblood behavior when it comes to saving his life and the lives of others. I am hooked and I’m looking forward to slowly reading every single book in the series.
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen. This book is my first experience with Carl Hiaassen and it won’t be my last. Chomp is a young adult novel people of all ages will enjoy. I myself found it very entertaining in many ways. Chomp deals with a lot of subjects in under 300 pages: reality TV, environmental issues, family, financial stress and abuse, just to name a few. Hiaasen takes a big bite of fun at reality TV, which he reveals is nothing but real. Derek Badger is a phony copy of the late and wonderful Steve Irwin, and he had me laughing at every scene he’s in. I enjoyed the bond between middle-school aged Wahoo and his father and seeing how much they work hard to support each other through their hard times. If you’re looking for an entertaining read that will make you question what you see on TV, this is the book for you. I’ll definitely be adding Hoot to my to-read list now.
Coma by Robin Cook. A few weeks ago, I mentioned this story looked familiar. Well, I don’t think I read the book before but I sure saw the movie! I remember seeing it on TV in the early 80s and being really freaked out about the story.
Let me start with a few flaws I see in this book:
1) Being Robin Cook’s first novel, it could have used more thorough editing. I’m not sure why it didn’t. Also, the first third of the book was a little too slow paced for me. The editing could probably have fixed that too.
2) Some of the underlying themes seem outdated today, almost 40 years after the book was written. Woman doctors are a lot common today and I doubt there is as much sexism as described in this story. How do I know? I’ve watched plenty of ER and Gray’s Anatomy’s episodes, so I’m fully qualified. ;-)
3) The main character is very stubborn and determined to figure out what is going on in the hospital. I can’t imagine a medical student blowing off her residency on the very first day to investigate a couple of unsuspicious coma cases.
That being said, this story is riveting and I couldn’t put the book down when I got to the last third. The issue the book tackles with is still very relevant today and it put some very chilling thoughts in my mind.

– What I think I’ll read next
The Lying Game #4: Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard. I can’t wait to read this book, although I know there are probably four more books after this one before the story ends (talking about milking this series all the way to the bank…). Sutton is the narrator and the peculiar thing about her is, she’s dead, and she doesn’t remember who killed her. Her long-lost twin sister somehow appears in Sutton’s town and people mistake her for Sutton, so she plays the game along to try to find her sister’s killer. This is a real nail biter (although I have a pretty good idea who the killer is by now) and I love this guilty pleasure.

My kids’ bookshelf

Nightsong by Ari BerkWhat they’re currently reading
Nightsong by Ari Berk. My kids LOVE this book and I bet it will appear on my top favorite children’s books for 2013. If you have young children, you HAVE to read this book with them. It’s a wonderful story about becoming independent and confident as you start flying on your own. The text is very poetic and the illustrations are simply magical (see below). Chiro, a young bat, feels nervous about flying on a very dark night without his mother for the first time. His mom advises him to rely on his “song” to find his way around and not go past the world he knows unless he’s sure he can make his way back. This is what his mom tells Chiro before he leaves:
“Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you.”
Here’s Chiro singing her song to view the world in front of her. Just beautiful.

Nightsong by Ari Berk

Nightsong by Ari Berk

On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole. I love how this book shows children what little positive changes they can make around them, and how these changes will multiply once other people follow their lead. After they move into their new house on Meadowview street (without any meadow in sight), Caroline and her parents decide to stop mowing their lawn and encourage wildflowers to grow. Many birds and animals start visiting their yard and neighbors follow Caroline’s lead until the whole street lives up to its name. What a great message to give our kids!

Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini– What they recently finished reading
–  Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini. We’ve read this book before and we enjoyed it a lot, so we had to get it from the library again. Moose thinks he has all of the Christmas preparations taken care of, until his family points out he forgot the Christmas tree. And there are no more trees left in town. Oh my, where will Santa put the presents? Moose isn’t about to let his kids down and you can probably guess from the book cover how Moose will save the day, or rather Christmas night.
Moosekitos: A Moose Family Reunion by Margie Palatini. Moose plans the perfect moose family reunion but it doesn’t turn out quite as he expected. Everyone seems to be going off on their own instead of spending quality time all together. With a little help from mosquitoes, Moose may just get the family reunion he’s been hoping for.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

WWW Wednesdays – February 6, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

Coma by Robin Cook– What I’m currently reading
Coma by Robin Cook. I like it so far. The writing style is not perfect but it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story. I keep thinking I may have read this book a very long time ago, and just don’t remember it.

– What I recently finished reading
Still Life With Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. This is the first time I’ve read a book by either Douglas Preston or Lincoln Child and this was my first encounter with FBI Agent Pendergast (I loved the unique character!). I really enjoyed reading this book, and since I’m not a Preston & Child expert, I don’t have other P&C books to compare it to and judge if it’s better or worse. Compared to similar nail-biting thrillers, this one makes it to the top of my list. The chilling, gruesome and scary suspense throughout the book kept me on the edge. I think my heart skipped a beat or two several times and I don’t have any nails left to bite. If you’re looking for a good thriller that will keep you up at night, this is it. I can’t wait to read more by Preston & Child.

– What I think I’ll read next
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen, a young adult novel. My best friend recommended this book to me and told me I would like Hiaasen’s stories. I’m giving this one a try and if I like it, I’ll read more of his books down the road, probably starting with Hoot.

My kids’ bookshelf

Over and Under the Snow by Kate MessnerWhat they’re currently reading
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. Over the snow, the world is white and quiet, but under the snow lays a secret world of squirrels and hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other critters who live hidden or underground in the woods during the winter. This is a great book for kids who want to understand better how nature works. The illustrations are very pretty too.
Little Penguin’s Tale by Audrey Wood. Grand Nanny Penguin tells a group of little penguins the story of a little one who is searching for fun in this ice cold world. As she tells her story, you can see Little Penguin doing exactly what she describes: he slides down the hills, dances with the gooney birds, and mingles with dozens of other animals at the Walrus Polar Club, until… he gets eaten by a whale! But the other little penguins don’t like how Grand Nanny Penguin’s story ends so she decides to edit it. This is another hilarious story by brilliant children’s book author Audrey Wood.

Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday– What they recently finished reading
Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday and Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt by Megan McDonald. McDonald has also written the Judy Moody books and the Stink books. My six-year old has read a few books featuring each character so far and really likes them. Somehow when you combine these two siblings together, it seems to create some very funny stories. How would I know, without having read any of these books? Because I sit next to my son when he’s reading them and I hear a lot of giggles and laughs as he turns the pages. Sometimes he even asks me to read a page so I can laugh too. He quickly takes the book back when I’m done though. To me, that is what reading is all about.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!