Thursday, March 22, 2018

Review: White Wild Indigo: An Illustrated Collection of Poems for Children

White Wild Indigo: An Illustrated Collection of Poems for Children White Wild Indigo: An Illustrated Collection of Poems for Children by Jet Widick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

White Wild Indigo is an adorable collection of poetry geared to show children all the beauty and fun that surround them. The poetry covers everything from self-esteem to nature. The illustrations are colorful and cute--the kind of book you could look through, even without reading the words.

I like that many of the poems use big words and don't assume that kids need to be talked down to (which is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to kid's titles). Although not every kid will understand specific words or phrases, it's the cadence in which its read that makes the most difference, and helps readers connect to each piece. A lovely book for anyone who enjoys rhyming poetry.

*Book provided by NetGalley

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Review: Stories That Are Short Vol I: A Collection of 5-Minute Short Stories to Read Before Turning on the TV

Stories That Are Short Vol I: A Collection of 5-Minute Short Stories to Read Before Turning on the TV Stories That Are Short Vol I: A Collection of 5-Minute Short Stories to Read Before Turning on the TV by Ibrahim Ashmawey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a collection of short stories that come with the concept of picking it up and reading one before you turn on the TV. While I completely agree with that concept and often practice it myself, I wasn't particularly impressed with this collection of stories.

The one glaring issue with this collection is that close to ninety percent of the stories are in the speculative fiction genre, though this isn't known until you dive in (it would be beneficial to those who enjoy this genre to know about it in the synopsis). The rest range from historical and fable types to even a few middle grade selections. Not all of the stories are bad, but they do leave something to be desired. The stories don't necessarily give you that visceral reaction at the end like some of the best short stories do. None of the work gives you a last-sentence plot twist that leaves you burning to turn the page, begging to see a chapter 2. While it would cure boredom to read it, it's not something that I would be excited to keep picking up over and over again.

*Book provided by NetGalley

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Contest Spotlight: i-Proclaim Annual Book Award

Call for Entries for i-Proclaim Annual Book Award (i-Proclaim ABA-2018)!

The 2018 i-Proclaim AWARDS FOR BOOK PUBLICATION is now open and ready for entries. Be one of the entrants in i-Proclaim ABA-2018 by clicking here and filling out the online entry form and paying the entry fee. 

To be eligible for the contest, applicants must submit work that meets the following criteria:

- Self published and small press titles.
- Entry submissions by Authors, Illustrators, Publishers, Self Publishers and Agents.
- Digital Books in ePub or PDF format
- Audio Books
- Books which do not have an ISBN (Top Honors entries must have an ISBN)
- Galley/layout copies, if final copy is not yet available.  (Top Honors entries may not be in galley/layout format)
- written for the English-speaking audience

Judging is based upon the criteria set forth by a highly selective committee which seeks to honor books promoting character, vision, creativity and learning, through content which educates and inspires audiences. The judging committee consists of experts with backgrounds in teaching, publishing, writing, editing, design, illustration, and book reviewing.

With Award Certificate one promotional video will be delivered to the awardee. Each book award honoree will receive an award certificate (pdf/image) and digital award seal(s) for future print runs. Award seal stickers will not also be made available for purchase, only reserve for i-Proclaim ABA winner.  All titles entered into the awards contest are eligible to be considered for the i-Proclaim Seal/logo of Approval. Seal of Approval Honors are presented throughout the year on an ongoing basis.

Check out the ABA Guidelines for more information on what you can submit. 

Submissions will be accepted starting April 1, 2018. Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review: Gun Love

Gun Love Gun Love by Jennifer Clement
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pearl is a girl living a life that's very different from the rest of her neighbors. She and her mother are living in a car, and have been for Pearl's whole life. Parked in a trailer park near a dump, she has nothing resembling a conventional childhood. She has a friend and she has her mother, but once those two things disappear from her life, she's left with not knowing who she is or where she belongs.

This novel puts an emphasis on pretty writing rather than an intriguing plot. You want to know what happens to Pearl, but you're mostly stuck in her head. And I'm certain that this book is trying to say something about guns, but there's no clear message that I got from it. They're bad? They're good? They're bad but necessary? It's an interesting read, but certainly one that will leave you with more questions than answers about why things happen the way they do in the book.

*Book provided by Penguin First to Read

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Book Spotlight: A Guide to Models Used by Business Analysts (Carnsa Development Series)




Books for busy business people:

This book is about models used by business analysts in a project. It is set in a semi-fictional story with examples you can relate to. It is designed to be read in less than an hour, giving you the understanding and tools, you need to work effectively with BAs (Business Analysts) or to start you on your own BA journey or provide you with some useful models for use in your own project.
Spoiler alert: models are not exclusive to the business analyst role.

A Guide to Models Used by Business Analysts (Carnsa Development Series) is available from:

Barnes & Noble

For more information, please visit Carnsa Books.

Review: I'm Not Your Sweet Babboo!

I'm Not Your Sweet Babboo! I'm Not Your Sweet Babboo! by Charles M. Schulz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you love the Peanuts Gang, you'll love these adventures. This is a sweet, fun book that brings to mind all of the classic cartoon strips and TV specials. In this collection, the gang deal with the usual range of issues, from Snoopy trying to write his novel, Charlie Brown now being any good at baseball and the kids all showing their quick wit to their teachers. The part at the end where there are instructions to build a paper helicopter seemed little weird (since there was only one Snoopy-copter joke in here), but other than that, it's great book to read for fun.

*Book provided by NetGalley

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Review: The Radicals

The Radicals The Radicals by Ryan McIlvain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the surface Eli and Sam seem like any other twenty-somethings—they are attending grad school, they philosophize just for fun, they play tennis together and they develop a social conscience. What sets these two apart is their eventual spiral into life's gray area where good intentions cannot solve the world's problems, only show them that as part of a privileged class, they are really just another part of the problem keeping everyone else down.

Eli and Sam take what was to be a stand against corporate America and its greed a step too far. They start by trying to save the home of a woman in Arizona who was getting a raw deal, but the other social activists that they meet during this time will help shape their outlook on social justice and plant the seed that turns a weekend college protest into a Weathermen-esque plot for violence against one of the one-percenters.

I do like the writing style of this novel, however, I don't have an ounce of sympathy for Eli, Sam, or any of the other characters that grace this book. Even Maria from Arizona ends up being a sellout, with little thanks to those who tried to help her. Eli and Sam are privileged themselves, which quite a lot of college and grad students somehow forget while they are trying to fight for social change, so it makes for a muted argument as to how they could get it in their minds that they are essential to national or global change. Eli in particular is living in a haze of laziness—at any point in this novel Eli could have just stopped, evaluated where he was, hit the parents up for another check, and established a life for himself. But he doesn't. If feels like he has little connection to the Group after Arizona, yet his indecisiveness just keeps him tagging along for it all. With the end not really giving readers any sort of satisfaction (whether you liked Eli or not), it sort of fell flat, just like Eli's good intentions from the beginning.

*Book provided by Blogging for Books

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