June 15th, 2011

50bookchallenge2011

Murder on Sister's Row by Victoria Thompson

Murder on Sister's Row by Victoria Thompson

B&N Synopsis
Thompson's otherwise solid 13th whodunit set at the end of the 19th century in New York City (after 2010's Murder on Lexington Avenue) lags a bit until the appearance of a corpse. Sarah Brandt, an heiress who works by choice as a midwife, gets an urgent summons on behalf of a Mrs. Walker to assist a woman in labor at a house that Sarah belatedly learns is a brothel. After Sarah successfully delivers a baby boy, the terrified mother, Amy Cunningham, begs Sarah to help her escape the clutches of her madam, Rowena Walker. The midwife reaches out to a charitable organization, Rahab's Daughters, which specializes in rescuing fallen women in Amy's straits. When the charity's involvement leads to murder, Sarah's significant other, Det. Sgt. Frank Malloy, can't prevent her from investigating. Thompson does her usual persuasive job in recreating the past.

I like this series, but I'm getting a little bored with it. This wasn't one of the most exciting installments, although Thompson did an admirable job of throwing you off the killer's trail until the very end. I think part of my frustration lies with Sarah Brandt's and Frank Malloy's relationship or lack thereof. Thompson had it going pretty quickly at the beginning of the series all those years ago, but over the last four or so books there's been virtually nothing. Not even a hint of it. It's frustrating. I'm not asking her to have them get married or even kiss, but please acknowledge their feelings. Grr.

I'm hoping the next book, which will come out next year, will touch upon this. I'm curious to see what part of the city she chooses for her setting.

Books completed 15/40

Race Day (Cars) by Disney

B&N Synopsis
 
Lightning gears up to compete for the Piston Cup.

This was a book I read to my 4.5 year-old nephew last night. It's a condensed version of Cars. I was sort of impressed, because the book didn't shy away from using "big" words. I liked that about it. The illustrations were all right but not as good as Disney could have made them for the book. Xander enjoyed it, and I'm sure we'll be reading it again before he leaves.

Books completed 16/40

Bach's Farm Animals by Chad Creighton and Trey Stinnett

Synopsis
Bach's Farm Animals is a Classical Kids take on a typical farm and the animals on that farm. Filled with the wonderful sounds of Bach's Cello Suite and 6 year old Aiden's voice, this book is sure to delight every young learner in the family. With a movie and page by page audio, this book will positively help any child with learning farm animals by name. 

This was a neat, if brief, little book and my nephew devoured it. I used it as an opportunity to expand his vocabulary and teach him that chickens and roosters have their own name and are not called by the generic name of bird. He liked hearing the sounds they made, and because the animal names were printed in big letters, I used that as an opportunity to work on his reading skills. He knows all his letters by sight, so after he sounded them out, we would read it as a word. I know this worked somewhat, because we spent a while on sheep and how s and h makes the shh sound. But when we read the book again, he instantly knew what the sheep was!

It's a great little book for teaching smaller children their animals, sounds and reading.

Books completed 17/40
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50bookchallenge2011

Best children's book ever!

Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach

B&N Synopsis

Go the Fuck to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don't always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach's verses perfectly capture the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.

With illustrations by Ricardo Cortes, Go the Fuck to Sleep is beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny—a book for parents new, old, and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.

This book is hilarious. It perfectly captures moments I've witnessed myself with my little nephew. I can only imagine how full-time parents must take to it. Even better is the audiobook which they got Samuel L. Jackson to narrate. What could be even awesomer than that? How about this: Audible.com is giving it away for FREE. Go grab an audio copy and prepare to laugh your head off!

Books completed 18/40