Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tell Me Tuesday (#1)

So a few months ago I did a Getting to Know You Bloghop (hosted by the lovely ladies down at Cuddlebuggery) and it successfully introduced me to some pretty awesome bloggers.  One of those bloggers is La La, who is just all around pretty fantastic and does all sorts of fun and creative stuff on her blog which guys should all go check out like immediately.  She does this awesome feature (which I am doing...right now. You are reading the feature I am talking about as you get to these words lol) where you basically just talk about what you've been reading. It's super chill, - you just put it up whenever you have something to put up, and that's it!  It works perfectly for me right now as I'm being a lot more selective about TTT posts and it gives me a way to put up my general thoughts about books, particularly ones I'm not going to review. Which, let's face it, is like all books since I don't really do reviews anymore lol!

So, let's get to what I've been reading.  And what I've been reading mostly....


...is picture books.  I've mentioned before (or at least I think I have) that I nanny two boys - a 7 year old and a 4 year old.  When it comes to dinner time, we'll read a book while they eat - if they stop eating, I stop reading.  IT'S SO GREAT!  I'm going to be out there every night this week...so expect your Goodreads feeds to be absolutely bombarded with picture books (sorry!).

(Also speaking of the boys, we usually read a chapter book, but we've got a hitch. The 7 year old really wanted to read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Turns out it freaking TERRIFIES the 4 year old...I guess talks about being kidnapped by witches can totally do that, so we've put that on halt. I had originally planned to bring in Series of Unfortunate Events because I think the 7 year old would LOVE that...but on second thought I think that's a terrible, terrible idea for the 4 year old.  The 7 year old reads wayyyyy above his grade level - he's read half of the Odyssey. And like a crap load of classics.  So I need something that won't bore/terrify the 4 year old, but will entertain the 7 year old. I think we're finally getting bored of only reading Magic Treehouse, so any suggestions would be super welcome! I think I'm going to see if I can grab Edward Eager's Tales of Magic and see if that might be a good place to start for this week)

In reading these picture books, I'm rereading a bunch of ones I read as a kid and have come to some conclusions.

1. Dr. Seuss is overrated.  Yes, his good books are really good. Green Eggs and Ham? The best.  The other ones run between downright offensive (If I Ran the Zoo), to painful (I think my mouth went numb after Fox in Socks. I don't care how much the 4 year old loves it, NEVER AGAIN), to just kind of...dumb. Shel Silverstein does rhymes too, but they're pretty clever. I'll probably change my tune about this, but I've had a run of bad Dr. Seuss the past two weeks.

2. I like Berenstain Bears about as much as I did as a kid - they were ok but nothing too exciting.  But now I've discovered they've got religious ones, and...no. Just no.  I'm sorry, but your kite did not fly because of faith. It flew because of SCIENCE.  I'm not against religious picture books, but I do think they need to use better examples. And in general the bears get their solutions/resolutions in dreams WAY too often.

3. That being said, I've been introduced to absolute gems like Ella and The Day the Crayons Quit, which I've never read before and are now instant favourites of mine.


On the novel side of things, I've been listening to Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper series in the car. I finished Terrier last week...and I think it is probably my favourite first book in any of her series (of which she has many). It's by far the most ambitious - and I think the longest at 584 pages.  How did I put it on Goodreads?  "It's got the epic story line of In the Hands of the Goddess, and the unflinching grit you get in Lady Knight, plus some new magic we haven't seen before, a la the Immortal series." (Yes I did just quote myself. I CAN DO THAT. BECAUSE I SAID SO.)  So basically I loved it even though I wasn't sure in the beginning. (Beka comes off quite cocky in the opening).  Also I LOVE that this is about one of George's ancestors and how did I not figure that out just from the title?  It's about a COOPER. Who else would it be about!?  I'm listening to Bloodhound right now, and it's shaping up to be just as good as Terrier.  I'm a little nervous because I heard a lot of people didn't like the conclusion to the trilogy very much (also I'm not positive my library has the third book on audiobook...) but hopefully whatever it is about the third book won't bother me!

In novel form I've been reading Outlander, which is taking me WAY LONGER than I thought it would!  Like I know 627 pages isn't anything to sneeze at, but considering how much reading I can get done at work, I wouldn't have expected this to take me all week.  I'm technically not finished yet, but I imagine by the time this posts I will be. Some of this may just be big book fatigue - I stupidly started reading this right after A Clash of Kings....so that's a lot of big books in a row. (I think I was subconsciously trying to make up for all the picture books haha).  It's also not what I was expecting at all. I think I was expecting more time travel (and there are like 7 more books to go, so I am fully expecting that to happen), and CLEARLY my prediction is not going to happen (god I'm so bad at those!). I certainly was not expecting so many sexy times, or for SPOILERS Jamie and Claire to get together in the first half of the book. It's 8 books long! I wasn't even expecting it to happen for the first entire book! I was totally expecting more of a slow burn romance, and while I'm not disappointed by this turn of events... I think I was really looking forward to that slow burn. END SPOILERS.  And having unexpected sexy times in your book while at your work is not necessarily a very pleasant surprise haha.  So I don't know. I don't dislike it, but I'm not really loving it either.  A family friend gave me the first 7 books though, so I'm definitely going to keep reading and hopefully I'll change my mind on it all.  But definitely a break from big books for me for a while!

And that's what's been going on in my bookish life!  Anything fun in yours?  And while you're at it, don't forget to check out La La's blog, and maybe join in on the fun next week!


  1. Fun! I found this article: http://www.belmont.lib.ma.us/childrens-recommended-reading/chapter-books-gr3-and-up/470-chapter-books-if-you-like-the-magic-tree-house-series

    Also, maybe Magic School Bus?

    Other kids books that Kaylee loves are Dragons Love Tacos (they have a couple other funny books out) and Lucky (a girl adopts a sloth as a pet). I'll see if any others pop up in my head.

    I read Outlander so long ago...like 15-16 years ago? I wonder how I would feel about it now. But I loved it. I got through most of the books, but they start to get a little...weird (and that's saying something) once they get to America. I think I really liked the first 4 or 5. I think things get pretty shaken up in the 3rd book if I remember correctly...

  2. First of all, yay for you joining us for TMT! Ha ha, neither, I, nor Pili did one this week, lol, but I am going to tweet your link (I already have twice) and will link it in my The Sunday Post. I love that you are a nanny! I was, too. It is one of those jobs that a musician can pick up quickly, but I akways felt horrid when we went on the road and I had to quit and say good-bye to the kids. I had a similar problem with my son and reading. I taught him to read at two, and when he took his reading assessment tests at the beginning of second grade he was reading at an 11th grade level. I struggled with the finding reading materials that challenged him (especially before he was 11), but didn't bore him, or scare the begeezus out of him. His Godfather gave us all of his son's Goosebumps books when Sebastian was four, but they scared him. For chapter books, Wind in the Willows is a good one, and Sebastian loved author Dick King-Smith; Martin's Mice was his favorite. Was Harriet the Spy scary? I don't remember. The Indian in the Cupboard books might be okay for the four year old, too. I used to censor some of the scary scenes in books if I was the one reading. Ugh, Outlander, my sister WORSHIPS those books. I thought she was going to have a coronary when they decided to make the tv series. If they had magic in them I would probably read them. I think they are the only books she has ever re-read. I am so happy you have joined us for TMT. :)

  3. ...ok I just looked up the rest of the synopses and my god how many husbands can one woman have?! ARGH. Yeah, I'll need a few months before I attempt the next one probably haha

  4. Aww, thanks for the tweets!

    Yeah, the thought has occurred to me that if I ever get a music job and it conflicts with nannying the kids....I'm going to feel pretty awful about it.

    Wowwwww! Yeah I'd imagine it was pretty hard to find the right balance there for a while! Ooh The Wind in the Willows is a good one and I think they own it too! And I've added Martin's Mice - I bet they'd love that one. I don't think Harriet the Spy was scary, but I'm having this problem with a lot of books. It's been so long since I read them, let alone read them as a kid that I can't remember what I would have considered scary.

    Yeah Outlander fans seem to be really into it, and I've got a lot of friends who are, so I'm going to keep with it. Now that I know what the series is really like I'm hoping I'll be able to enjoy it without having my expectations in the way. (But yeah, for some reason I was expecting some magic)

    And yay! Thanks for creating TMT! This was fun, I'll definitely be doing this every couple weeks probably. (My reading of things other than picture books has definitely slowed. But then again I've only been reading picture books and monsters, so who knows? Maybe I'll get through more books now that I've decided no monsters allowed for at least the next two books haha!)

  5. Ooh this article is great! I've added Dragons Love Tacos to my list and Magic School Bus is likely going to be a winner with both boys! I couldn't find Lucky but upon some googling, is it by any chance Sparky? The mom explained how Lucy and Mr. Tumnus end up being best friends, so we're back on with Chronicles of Narnia, but it's always good to have some options as back ups in the mean time!

    Sooo I couldn't stop myself and I looked up the synopses of the next two books and I was like....WHAT?! 20 YEARS AND SHE'S BACK IN THE FUTURE?! Also it turns out my prediction WAS right, I'm just not sure how it all goes down. Also my bet is that evil Randall is still alive because she's still with Frank and how the hell else is he going to exist? I'm hoping now that I have a better feel for what the series really is instead of my expectations for what it would be will help me like it. And yeah, all the reviews I'm seeing from friends on the third book seems like they all freaking LOVED it...which means I'm probably going to expect a lot of heartbreak since that's usually what that means hahaha

  6. I'm pretty sure Harriet the Spy wasn't scary. I also thought of the Boxcar Children the other day too. There is another fun little series about the Penderwick girls. Of course, if you are nannying two boys I'm not sure they will be into the idea of 4 sisters. But they were cute books. Oh! And this will probably be to scary for the little one, but the Bunnicula books were my favorite growing up.

  7. In Outlander? Two husbands. LOL. But, well, it works itself out with Frank...very conveniently. And some new characters pop up who are a lot of fun.

    And yes, Sparky! Haha! I'm SO bad with names.

  8. The Beka Cooper series sounds awesome! Can't wait to get there! And good job with Outlander I've gotten halfway through that book three times and can just never finish it. I feel like the only woman in America that does not click with it. And very sad that the 4 year old finds Narnia scary:(. What about a gigantic God lion being brutally sacrificed by ghouls and a terrifying witch is scary lol!

  9. Ok, now I'm trying to think of books for the kids you nanny! David loved the Winnie the Pooh books around 4, although I don't know if they would be too tame for the 7 year old. You could look into these series: Cam Jansen, Anna Hibiscus, Bink and Gollie, Geronimo Stilton, Humphrey by Betsy Birney, the Mary Poppins books (a little crazier and scarier than the movie suggested!), and the Ramona books. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory might be fun too!

  10. I think I could sell them on a series about girls, and the 7 year old thought he had really liked the first Boxcar Children book, so it's looking promising! And I definitely have Bunnicula pegged as a good Halloween book for the 7 year old!

  11. They show absolutely NO interest in Winnie the Pooh! It pains me greatly. I would love to read it, as it's one of my favourites and I've been wanting to reread it as is (...and discovered it was one of the books that didn't make my multiple moves). I've never read the Mary Poppins books! Those might be really great. I think they'd find the Ramona books hilarious too, and I know the 7 year old liked Charlie adn the Chocolate Factory so he might be up for that for dinner. I'll have to look up the Betsy Birney books, I've never heard of them before - thanks for all the suggestions!!

  12. They are! And the narrator is SO GOOD. I wonder if it's the same as the one for the Alanna books...hold on let me look that up...nope! Ah well, if I end up listening to the Alanna books I can look forward to a new narrator!

    I know right?! As I was reading I was like...I actually really thought this WOULD be super up my alley. It didn't even occur to me to be a little skeptical since usually a ton of hype turns me off. But who knows? Maybe I'll change my tune.

    Yeah...I definitely remembered about the lion sacrifice on Friday and was like...OH YEAH. We're just going to go ahead and spoil that one so he knows it's going to happen and that everything is going to be ok! I think we're going to finish this Narnia book and hold off on the rest of the series. He's gotten really into it, so I agreed to keep reading since he really, really wanted to...but it also stresses him out about every 20 pages haha!

  13. Outlandeeer!! Oh dear, how I loved that book!! Welcome to Tell Me Tuesdays!!

  14. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsFebruary 5, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    I should totally do this when my cousins kids come up, Blake's 7 too, he's not too bad since he will sit down and eat properly, Lexi 's 6, and won't sit down whatever, she fidgets like mad, drives me mad, haha, and Parker's 4 and he just doesn't eat much food at all, he'll sit down, take a bite, then a drink, and tada! He's done. I think the dude literally lives off juice and cheese, but they love picture books, especially pop-outs and sound ones,. I bought a Narnia box set before Christmas (is that weird?) I've been wanting to read them for a while, so now I totally have an excuse to. ;)

    Crap, I can't even remember some of the ones we used in the Nursery, though I tried to get out of the Story Corner as much as I could, reading out loud is not my strong suit).

    Oh God But now I've discovered they've got religious ones, and...no. Just no. I'm sorry, but your kite did not fly because of faith. HAHA!

    Outlander!I was tempted to read them, and saw how big they were and just thought...maybe I should watch it instead. Same with Game of Thrones, though that is never going to happen, nope. Although I was tempted to buy the box set in The Works
    (where I got Narnia) they had them for like £35 in a sale (and by "sale" I mean, The Works is always on sale, the store in town, that has only just moved into the new arcade, had been "closing down" since before I was born). They do have some good deals, just mostly crap books, or ones I've already read, but they do have great art supply deals.

    My life has been uneventful since December, though I'll be surrounded by half of my family Sunday, (It's my mum's birthday, and what would've been my brothers) so I'll need help. And paracetemal. Headaches all around when the kids are around, I should just throw books at them. But that would be bad. I'll throw one at Amber instead...

  15. Aww, thank you!! I'm excited to join you guys!

  16. Yeah it's seriously like magic. They know they're in big trouble when I say that if they do whatever thing they're doing again there will be NO MORE books at dinner. (They don't know that I'm praying they won't push it because then getting them to eat dinner would be a complete misery). They get so caught up in the story that I have to remind them to chew every paragraph or so hahahaha. It's kind of adorable. You've never read The Chronicles of Narnia before? Man even most nonreaders I know had them forced on them haha! They're a lot of fun...but as I found out with the four year-old, they're a bit scary for the young kids which totally surprised me. And then when I thought on it, I don't know why I DIDN'T think they were scary haha!

    Man, I was the WORST at reading out loud! My brain reads words so much faster than my mouth can catch up with so I mixed up words ALL THE TIME. I still specifically remember in second grade having it be my turn to read out loud and I said "The grey lady with hair" instead of "The lady with grey hair" and I got teased mercilessly for WEEKS. Hence me being traumatized enough to remember that sentence word for word 17 years later. I used to get so nervous reading aloud, but reading to the kids has totally fixed that now haha

    I'm with you on GoT right now...I want to catch up on the tv show (I haven't finished season 1) in time for the new season because I get free HBO until September, and what else am I going to do with that? I've read the first two books and just...lord it takes it out of you! I'm afraid if I watch the show that I won't be interested in reading the books though since they're so similar, but I'm also debating whether that's a bad thing. And I'd say the same thing about Outlander because I had to WORK to get through that book...but I own the next 5 books and I'd feel terrible if I didn't read them! So we'll see. I've never heard of a books store with art supplies before, it sounds kind of neat! We've got an Indian store (furniture, rugs, clothes, incense, perfumes, etc.) that's like that hahaha. (The always closing/having a sale)

    Your mom and brother had the same birthday? That must make it pretty tough for your mom :-/ (and really everyone I guess). God I can't imagine having that many kids under 10 hahaha they sound like they can be menaces! Feel free to hide under the bed and bitch to me about all the craziness. Stock up on paracetemal!

  17. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsFebruary 8, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    I WILL read all the Narnia by the end of the year, I'm making a list. English and Welsh were the worst for me in school, every time we had to read out ourwork or from a book, I'd be like don't pick me, don't pick me It' is traumatising, should be banned, haha.

    Everyone seems to love GoT, ( even my mum watched the first season, but I heard about the incest and nope, not going there) but exactly, if they follow the book closely, what's the point? Like, The Vampire Diaries is totally different to the books, and Bones is different-ish, so I get that. The Works has a bit of everything (except food), it's a rather odd store.

    Yeah, they did. which makes a really awkward day, since it's still her birthday but she doesn't want to celebrate it. They are so evil when they're all together, they''ll be playing quietly one minute, then throwing stuff and screaming the next. I totally hid upstairs. ;)

  18. I was about to be like...you had to learn Welsh?! ...then I realized where you live hahahaha.

    The incest doesn't bother me actually. I guess because there's such a huge cast of characters and they're kind of terrible to each other all the time? I honestly don't know why. I'm just not going to dwell on that though hahaha

    Yeah, I can imagine it being rather complicated emotionally. That sounds pretty much like kids hahaha. Or puppies now that I'm thinking about it...

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