Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story by Jean ShepherdGoodreads Synopsis:    A beloved, bestselling classic of humorous and nostalgic Americana—the book that inspired the equally classic Yuletide film.

The holiday film A Christmas Story, first released in 1983, has become a bona fide Christmas perennial, gaining in stature and fame with each succeeding year. Its affectionate, wacky, and wryly realistic portrayal of an American family’s typical Christmas joys and travails in small-town Depression-era Indiana has entered our imagination and our hearts with a force equal to It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.

This edition of A Christmas Story gathers together in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. Here is young Ralphie Parker’s shocking discovery that his decoder ring is really a device to promote Ovaltine; his mother and father’s pitched battle over the fate of a lascivious leg lamp; the unleashed and unnerving savagery of Ralphie’s duel in the show with the odious bullies Scut Farkas and Grover Dill; and, most crucially, Ralphie’s unstoppable campaign to get Santa—or anyone else—to give him a Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle. Who cares that the whole adult world is telling him, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid”?

The pieces that comprise A Christmas Story, previously published in the larger collections In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories, coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.

My Thoughts:

-    A Christmas Story has always been one of my favorite Christmas movies. I have a lot of fond memories of watching it with my brothers every year. My family loves to quote the movie a lot.

-    The book was hilarious! The feel and the characters were spot on, and I love that the movie and book compliment each other. 

-    There is something so fun about seeing the world from Ralphie's perspective. I love his innocence, but I also love everything he observes.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite 2017 Books

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

I'm not going to count re-read books, so all these were ones I read for the first time this year.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

A Christmas Kiss II

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My Thoughts:

-    This movie was terrible! It was ridiculous, and I was SO bored!

-    This shouldn't even be associated with A Christmas Kiss. Yes, there is a kiss in the elevator, and Miss Hall is in a couple scenes, but it wasn't as good, AT ALL!

-    I didn't like Cooper from the beginning, and I felt the same way about him at the end. He was ridiculous. 

-    I liked Sebastian. He was a fun character.

-    I liked that Miss Hall found happiness, and I wish the story had been about her. I wish we could have seen her learn and grow from her experiences and find love. 

-    This movie did not keep my attention, I played on my phone for most of it. 

-    The movie didn't have a lot to do with Christmas. This couldn't have happened any time of year. 

-    Lame!

A Christmas Kiss

My Thoughts:

-    I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I kinda liked it.

-    Hubby watched this one with me, and he didn't fall asleep once (which is a big deal, he falls asleep during everything). He said he enjoyed it.

-    I love that the movie revolved around Christmas time, The Nutcracker, and a first edition copy of A Christmas Carol. 

-    I liked Wendy a lot. She was really pretty and very charming. 

-    I loved Wendy's friends. Tressa had the best lines! Every time she spoke, I laughed. 

-    I wasn't too jazzed about Adam. He was nice and everything, but his face bugged me. He wore WAY too much makeup. I don't like how they accentuated his features, it made his mouth move weird. 

-    Miss Hall was a piece of work! Wow! She is one of those ladies that shouldn't be around people. 

-    The story was cute. It held my attention the entire time, and I didn't feel bored. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas in the City

My Thoughts:

-    Oy! This one was a little more rough to get through.

-    I've only watched two cheesy Christmas movies this year, and both have had the girl walk in on the guy playing the piano. 

-    I liked all the Christmas songs, especially the Toy Land song, but I'm pretty sure everyone but Angie was dubbed. The Noel song was a tad too cheesy for me.

-    I liked that the mysterious Santa was the real Santa, but I wish they hadn't said it out loud. I like the mystery.

-    I get that Christmas decorations get people in the mood for Christmas, but you CAN have the spirit of Christmas without them. 

-    I don't understand how changing the store's decorations were going to help sales go up. 

-    The shirtless men in the children's department to replace Santa was HORRIBLE!!! UGH!

-    I liked how the little girl was nice to the stooge and softened his heart. 

-    Through the whole movie, I kept thinking about how the main lady was one of Ted's girlfriends in How I Met Your Mother, and she smiles WAY too much.

-    Santa's voice sounded SO familiar, but I couldn't place him.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Kings of Clonmel

7006095Goodreads Synopsis:    Mankind puts its faith in many things?gods, kings, money?anything for protection from the world?s many dangers. When a cult springs up in neighboring Clonmel, promising to quell the recent attacks by lawless marauders, people flock from all over to offer gold in exchange for protection. But this particular group, with which Halt is all too familiar, has a less than charitable agenda. Secrets will be unveiled and battles fought to the death as Will and Horace help Halt in ridding the land of a dangerous enemy.
The worldwide phenomenon is back with a gripping new adventure. Yet for these Rangers, the peril is only beginning . . .

My Thoughts:
-    I really like that this series is split into different adventures, and each adventure is only 2 or 3 books long. I like how each adventure challenges the characters in new and different ways. 
-    I enjoyed learning more about Halt and his past. I hope he gets his own series sometime. I'd love to read about Halt's earlier years. 
-    I loved the tournament with Horace. It is always thrilling to read about Horace in combat. I love how the author describes the fight, and how Horace's instincts are second nature.
-    It was good to read about Halt, Horace, and Will going on an adventure together. I love their chemistry and banter. I love the Horace is starting to get the better of Halt.
-    I love how Will and Halt talk to their horses and then interpret what they think their horses reply. The horses are such great characters throughout the series. I love them.
-    I can't praise these books enough! 

Previous Ranger's Apprentice Books

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The Bad Guys in Attack of the Zittens

33938939From Goodreads   It's a zombie kitten apocalypse! 
Can the Bad Guys save the world from evil Dr. Marmalade's meowing monsters?!? They'll need help from foxy Agent Fox, a swampy secret zombie antidote, and the feistiest, toothiest, hungriest granny around. Get ready to watch the fur fly!

My Thoughts:

-    Zombie Kittens!!!! HAHAHA!

-    These books still crack me up, and Gnome loves them. We laugh so much during these stories.

-    Shark's disguises are getting funnier each time. 

-    I loved the bantering between Wolf and Snake. Great dialogue! 

-    The artwork is great! Gnome likes how the eyeball detaches when one of them is upset.

-    I hope the next book comes out soon.

Previous Bad Guy Books:

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Christmas Prince

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My Thoughts:

-    Last year I got into the cheesy Christmas shows on Netflix. Don't ask me why. This year I feel like watching some more.

-    There has been a lot of buzz about this Netflix original. It wasn't too bad.

-    Throughout the whole movie, I knew I'd seen Amber before in something else, but I couldn't place her. I kept seeing her with a different accent. It was driving me crazy! I finally realized that she is Tinker Bell from Once Upon a Time

-    The scenery is awesome. That castle is to drool over. 

-    I liked the Emily. I liked seeing Amber help Emily to overcome her self doubt and self consciousness. Their relationship was fun.

-    The prince was blah. I liked that he was kind and played the piano, but I wish there had been a little more to him. 

-    At the ball, I think Amber had too much eye makeup on. She looked like a raccoon. I liked her more natural look. 

-    The antagonists were very cheesy. They were the classic close relative that wants the crown villain.

-    Even though the movie wasn't too long, it felt a little too long.

-    Not the best flick, but definitely not the worst.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I'd Love to Visit

Top Ten Bookish Settings I'd Love to Visit

Middle Earth

Prince Edward Island


Theatre Illuminata

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England in a variety of time periods


A Galaxy Far Far Away
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The Enchanted Forest


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ink and Ashes

25569013Goodreads Synopsis:    Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met.

Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.

So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life. Ink and Ashes, winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, is a heart-stopping debut mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

My Thoughts:

-    I have to say, there is a big difference between an author who is Japanese and a Japanese enthusiast author. This book felt more real, and I appreciated the small things, like Claire enjoying seeing other Asians at school. I would have really liked that as a kid.

-    For a mystery, I felt like there wasn't enough suspense and tension. The story moved a little slow, and it spent a lot of time on every day things. I felt like some of the "clues" didn't lead anywhere. I really wanted the letter from Claire's dad to have a bigger part. 

-    There are a lot of kids in Claire's group, and I thought there were too many for a while, but towards the end of the book, I liked each character. 

-    I got tired of Claire blaming Chase for everything. He was a jerk! I get it! Move on!

-    I felt that Claire's letters to her dad weren't needed. I got enough of her personality and feelings from the story.

-    I really liked the relationship between Claire's group of friends. I like that her brothers were involved, and they all watched out for each other.

-    I liked who Claire hooks up with, but there was a too much focus on the romance for a little while, and way too much kissing. Good grief!

-    Overall, it was a good story, and I appreciated all the Japanese American culture.