Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Backyard Guide To The Night Sky by National Geographic

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Explore the star-studded cosmos with this fully updated, user-friendly skywatcher’s guide, filled with charts, graphics, photographs, and expert tips for viewing — and understanding — the wonders of space.

Stargazing’s too much fun to leave to astronomers. In these inviting pages, “Night Sky Guy” Andrew Fazekas takes an expert but easygoing approach that will delight would-be astronomers of all levels. Essential information, organized logically, brings the solar system, stars, and planets to life in your own backyard. Start with the easiest constellations and then “star-hop” across the night sky to find others nearby. Learn about the dark side of the moon, how to pick Mars out of a planetary lineup, and which kinds of stars twinkle in your favorite constellations. Hands-on tips and techniques for observing with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope help make the most out of sightings and astronomical phenomena such as eclipses and meteor showers. Photographs and graphics present key facts in an easy-to-understand format, explaining heavenly phenomena such as black holes, solar flares, and supernovas. Revised to make skywatching even easier for the whole family, this indispensable guide shines light on the night sky–truly one of the greatest shows on Earth!

my thoughts:

Looking up at the stars and wondering about the cosmos - talk about a fascinating way to spend your night. I absolutely love the memories I have of looking up at the night sky and imagining what the stars looked like up close and the planets filled with the unknown. It was exciting, scary, and so much fun.  The vastness that is the sky mixed with the darkness that creates night - the planet rotating and moving at its own speed as we sleep and dream.  Talk about fascinating food for thought.  And so, when I was given the opportunity to read National Geographic's latest edition of Backyard Guide To The Night Sky, I immediately said "yes."   I was so excited when I got my copy and grabbed a cuppa so I could settle in and learn about the night sky that has kept my imagination running wild for years.

Chock full of photographs, graphics, tips, and information - this book is THE book to read if you want to learn about watching the night sky and what's in it. You can find out about what telescope to use and the various star patterns that make up the constellations. Its so interesting, you can't help but get lost in the pages of this book - learning so much about the beautiful night sky that mesmerizes us.  I found myself completely engaged in this book - it was so much fun to read. I loved it!

I would happily recommend Backyard Guide To The Night Sky to fans of National Geographic and to budding astronomers/fans of stargazing - you will LOVE this book to bits!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Backyard Guide To The Night Sky
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Friday, March 15, 2019

My Friday Five...

1. Books.  My reading has fallen to the wayside.  So, to ramp up my reading mojo, I read some magazines and am currently re-reading All These Wonders (and am LOVING it even more this time round).  I've also added some new-to-me books to my TBR list:



2.  TV shows.  Real Housewives is where's it at for me lately. I am loving Beverly Hills - OMG! Its all about a rescue puppy. Apparently, Dorit got a rescue dog from Pump's dog place and the dog bit her kids and husband. So, she gave the dog to some woman who promised a happy home for it. Well, the dog wound up at a shelter and Pump's business got a call since they chip all of their dogs - even the ones they wind up getting a home for. Pump was upset that the dog wound up in shelter. And now, everyone knows and they are all in a tizzy. It is crazy!! Over on NYC, Luann is still upset with Ramona and Dorinda, so she is icing them out. And the new lady on the block, Barbara is stirring up trouble left and right. It is so much fun to watch!!  I'm also back on TWD - Daryl and Beta!! OMG!! What a battle!! Can't wait to see what happens at the fair.

3.  News.  Parents getting arrested for buying their kids' into college. I'm not shocked at all and am happy they are all getting busted. I only hope the other cheaters get busted, too. I have no problem if you are rich and can afford to send your kids to privates schools, get them tutors, and all that jazz. However, when you have to pay a chunk of money to buy your kid into school - that is just wrong on so many levels. What do you think?

4.  Journals.  My obsession is getting even worse. Not only do I keep buying journals and journal covers, but I am now buying junk journals, too. Ack! I can't seem to help myself. I have two journal covers on the way from Chic Sparrow and an awesome junk journal on the way from Char DeRouin (found her on IG).  The craziness must end. So, I am going to try and force myself to use what I own.  I think I'll switch out my journal covers every month, so that way I can go through what I have and actually use it. I have my daily journal (gratitude), my real journal (all the feels go into this one), my creative journal (quotes, poems, songs, etc.), and my devotional journal (I just started these - I bought two devotionals and want to journal about what I read).  Oh, and I have a journal where I put quotes from the Joel Osteen books I read. And, I have my memory journal.  I also want an art journal - where I can just draw and collage.  Oh, and I was thinking of starting a glue book - where you just glue cool images.  Plus, I have another journal I just started for my writing - stories I'm working on. So, you see - so many journals. Ack!! I think that I am trying to get my cluttered brain organized with all of these journals, but it might just be too much. What do you think - how many journals are too many?

5. Music.  The Beatles are in my head again. Along with Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins, and Natalie Merchant. What a mix!

And now, I'm off to journal about this crazy week. Take care and happy reading!!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Article 353: A Novel by Tanguy Viel (translated by William Rodarmor)

(Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

This atmospheric noir novel retraces the steps that led to a murder off the coast of Brittany, probing the relationship between law and justice.

In a depressed town on France’s northern coast, a man named Martial Kermeur has been arrested for the murder of real estate developer Antoine Lazenec after throwing him overboard. Called before a judge, Kermeur goes back to the beginning to explain what brought him to this desperate point: his divorce, his son’s acting out, layoffs at his job, and, above all, Lazenec’s dazzling project for a seaside resort. The temptation to invest all of your severance pay in a beautiful apartment with a view of the sea is great. But of course, this is only a plan in the works—or is it?

In this subtle, enthralling novel, Tanguy Viel examines not only the psychology of a crime, but also the larger social ills that may offer its justification.

my thoughts:

Any book set in France is my jam. Why? I am obsessed with all things French. I just am.  So, when I was provided with the opportunity to read Tanguy Viel's latest novel, Article 353, I jumped at the chance. How could I not, right? Especially, since it was being touted as a crime novel written in the noir style - talk about book bliss!  So, imagine my joy when the book arrived - woo hoo! I grabbed a huge cuppa, a comfy corner on the couch and settled in for the afternoon with my copy.  And let me just say - what a story! I absolutely LOVED it!!

This is the story of Kermeur, a man who has committed murder.  He is brought before a judge to explain himself - why did he kill Antoine Lazenec? And so, we sit in on this conversation as Kermeur tries to explain what brought him to such a place - what caused him to throw Lazenec overboard?  We learn about the small town Kermeur is from, along with the story of his family and how it fell apart.  We learn about Lazenec and his grand plans for the small town.  We learn about a man who felt so lost and alone, he felt he had nothing left to lose.  He reacted by throwing Lazenec overboard, which led to Lazenec drowning.

Slow-going and character-driven, this story is a quiet one.  It is subtle, smart, and thought-provoking.  I found myself captivated by Kermeur's story and his interaction with the judge was fascinating to read.  Questions about right and wrong abounded - this was a novel that made you think and I loved every minute I spent with it. These slow-burn stories are quickly becoming my favorite - they feel like a wolf in sheep's clothing.  They lull you in and then slam you with the simple way they get you to question everything. Talk about a great read!

I would happily recommend Article 353 to fans of Viel and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!!

Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

All Happy Families: A Memoir by Hervé Le Tellier

(Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book: (release date March 26)

A prominent French writer delves into his own history in this eloquent reflection on dysfunctional family relationships.

Hervé Le Tellier did not consider himself to have been an unhappy child—he was not deprived, or beaten, or abused. And yet he understood from a young age that something was wrong, and longed to leave. Children sometimes have only the option of escaping, driven by their even greater love of life.

Having reached a certain emotional distance at sixty years old, and with his father and stepfather dead and his mother suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, Le Tellier finally felt able to write the story of his family. Abandoned early by his father and raised in part by his grandparents, he was profoundly affected by his relationship with his mother, a troubled woman with damaging views on love.

In this perceptive, deeply personal account, Le Tellier attempts to look back on trying times without anger or regret, and sometimes even with humor.

my thoughts:

Wow! Le Tellier has written an amazing book recounting his life, his family, and their story.  It is emotional, engaging, and unputdownable! I absolutely LOVED it. I found myself grabbing a cuppa, a cozy corner, and settling in for the night. And I just read, read, and read until I turned the very last page. Memoirs are quickly turning into one of my favorites genres - the history, the personal, and the relationships all make for a compelling story.

Le Tellier writes about his past with such openness and honesty, that you can't help but be pulled right in. He remembers his mother and the way his relationship with her impacted his life - as a child he couldn't see it or understand it, but now as an adult who has lived for decades (6 decades) he can see what was happening and why he felt the way he did as a kid (unsettled. ready to flee).  Time truly helps with perspective, which is precisely what Le Tellier needed in order to pen this memoir. The stories, the family - all of it combined show how dysfunctional people's lives can be and how everyone has something to deal with.  Life is not filled with only happy memories - the good and the bad rear their ugly heads from time to time. Such is real life.  And, Le Tellier captures the truth with such heartbreaking honesty. What a book!

Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!