What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Not My Side

Shadow on the Mountain has nothing to do with My Side of the Mountain, which I couldn't get through to save my life.  SOTM was super good.  It is set in Norway after the Nazi occupation and it really asks some good questions and doesn't answer them, which is just what a great book with do, because there are no answers for some questions.  At least not easy ones.  I had forgotten Snow Treasure also takes place in Norway during the same time and I just read my adult take on that and I liked SOTM so much more. It was interesting to me to get some insight into why/how someone could side with the Nazis.  It still blows my mind.  The horror of it all.  But, for example, Aksel became a Nazi sympathizer because he was attempting to right the wrong of his father's death at the hands of the Russians.  So his hatred for the Russians led him to more hate and so on and so on.  It shows that hate begets hate and violence begets violence.  Ah and it is just awful because it still happens today.  SOTM was based on the real story of Erling Storrusten.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

And Now for Something Completely Different

Left Out is totally different from Serafina.  But I loved it just as much.   I love Tim Green.  I really do.  I had a lot of questions while reading this.  There were just a couple of things that made me wonder.  It got me thinking a lot about the cochlear implant that Landon has and the varied ways in which the implant is viewed by members of the deaf community.  I know that the book would have been way too long to go into all of that, but it did get me thinking about it.  Also Landon use any form of sign language (though I did get a little hint, but maybe I was reading into it, that his dad and he probably would have used it if the mom wasn't so set on not using it.)
I looked around a little and found that members of the CI community really praised the book, just wondered what others in the D/deaf community think. 


There are a couple of books about a gal named Serafina.  The one I read for work was Serafina and the Black Cloak.  It's the first in a series.  There's also a Dragon Born Serafina.  I didn't read any in that series.  And then there is this Serafina.  And I haven't read any of those.
For a few years now I have been told by friends, "Have you read Serafina? It is so good!  You have to read it!" and these friends are friends who read YA and Children's lit and so now I have no idea if they meant any of these Serafinas or another Serafina altogether. 
All I can say is, I really liked Serafina and the Black Cloak.  I loved the Vanderbilt stuff, I loved the animal stuff, I loved the whole temptation of the Black Cloak and the question that Serafina asked herself.  She was wondering if she was "good" or "bad" and did the "bad" people even know that they were doing bad things, did all "bad" people think they were doing "good."
Anyway, I will read the next one! 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Quite Good and No Off-Putting Briticisms

or Missing Molly was just that good that they didn't bother me.  Natalie Barelli wrote The Housekeeper which I read earlier this year.  I am SO looking forward to reading more from her.  It was one of those books that I had skip to the end and read backwards at one point.  I got so involved with molly, really cared about her, that I had to see how it ended!


One-third Nerd was a great, super sweet read.  Very funny, very real.  Good good stuff!  I loved the 47s! I do love stories in which siblings get a long in a realistic way.  And also I loved that divorce isn't seen as a BIG EVIL.  Much too often it is.  And in reality, it is often a very good thing.  The parents in this book really act like adults.  Good stuff. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Skeleton Stories

I am trying very hard to find out if the spooky story that Bruchac tells in Skeleton Man and The Return of Skeleton Man.  It is such a good, spooky story!   Both of these books are!  Good, good, good! 

The Odd One

I know I am odd in my ambivalent feelings for Stephen King.  Some people who have written critical comments about Gwendy's Magic Feather say that it isn't good because it is written by Chizmar and not King.  For me, I think it seems as if it is written by King alone!  I have been much more disappointed with King than Chizmar, though I do admit that I have enjoyed a lot of King's stuff.  I am just saying this reads like one of King's boring titles.  And there are many of those, too!  I liked the first one a lot!  And I know, I know, King is credited with the main authorship of that one...I'm just saying. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Winner

in every sense of the word.  The Only Road is the first book and now I MUST read the sequel, The Crossroads.    TOR by Alexandra Diaz was named a Pura Belpré Honor Award for narration in 2017.  And may I just say in my humble opinion, it deserved it.  Don't know if this was 1954 because I have not yet read the winner, Juana & Lucas
This book is timely and heartbreaking.  And boy did I learn a great deal.  Jaime and his cousin travel from their home in Guatemala across the border to Mexico and then into the United States
Please note that in the past I have linked countries to the CIA World Fact Book.  I love this country.  But right now it is run by an administration that has proven time and time again to be untrustworthy, that is why I am not linking to them this time.