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Mary's Books

I have loved to read since I was little. I would borrow many books from the library and still borrow to this day, but I also purchase books (mostly for my kids) and freebies on Kindle. I read as much as I can daily. Sometimes I read several books at one time. I don't have a preference of paper book over an ebook, I just love to read. Keeping lists of what I have read is a good way for me to remember. 

Currently reading

Harry Potter's Book of Virtues: Volume 1, The Virtue of Work
Casey Robin, Connie Neal
Progress: 24 %
Murder at the 42nd Street Library: A Mystery (Thomas Dunne Book)
Con Lehane
Progress: 49/320 pages
Aunt Dimity's Good Deed
Nancy Atherton
Progress: 83/288 pages
Mint Chip Murder: A Donut Hole Cozy Mystery - Book 6
Susan Gillard
The Devotional Bible: Experiencing The Heart of Jesus
Max Lucado
Progress: 51 %
Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days
John A Carroll
Progress: 60 %

What Do You Know about Wildfires?

Jaw-Dropping Geography: Fun Learning Facts About Wicked Wildfires: Illustrated Fun Learning For Kids (Volume 1) - Jess Roche

I know that wildfires are currently raging in Montana and that people are evacuating. I know that there are times where I can be outside and smell the smoke from that wildfire (the meteorologists even said that it has to do with how the winds are blowing from Montana to us). I know that they can be nature started or man started. This book was full of good information that I was not aware of. Since my daughters had been asking questions about the wildfires, this is now an assigned reading for them. 

 

Yep, I read things before assigning, it allows me to ask them questions after they say they read it. I got this book for free, but it is inexpensive. 

Geography

Jaw-Dropping Geography: Fun Learning Facts About Rambunctious Ruins: Illustrated Fun Learning For Kids - Jess Roche

I did enjoy this book more than the others. My one complaint was that the book was put together in an unusual fashion and that I wished that the sites had been grouped by area or time frame. It seemed to jump from one location (Europe, to Asia, to South America, etc). The photos again were beautiful and the author did include some good information that might prompt a student to want to know more. 

More on the Education Shelf

4th Grade History: Ancient Civilizations: Fourth Grade Books for Kids (Children's Ancient History Books) - Baby Professor 4th Grade History Book: Mayans and Incas of South America: Fourth Grade Books Ancient Civilizations (Children's Ancient History Books) - Baby Professor Socrates: A Stunning Look At Socrates Amazing Philosophies, His Ethics And The Tragic Trial And Death Of Socrates: Socrates Series And Socrates Books (Socrates ... Socrates Apology, Socrates Way,) - Paula Berrigan Let's Get Charged! (All About Electricity) : 5th Grade Science Series: Fifth Grade Books Electricity for Kids (Children's Physics Books) - Baby Professor Jaw-Dropping Geography: Fun Learning Facts About Volatile Volcanoes: Illustrated Fun Learning For Kids (Volume 1) - Jess Roche

Yes, these books are all on Kindle. Yes, these books were all found and purchased for free. Yes, the ones that list as grade levels have some really nice photography. Yes, they have some really good, but sparse information. They just did very simple information and again I feel that the books are too simple and too easy for the grades listed. 

 

If you have younger kids, these might be good starters. 

Breakfast, the Best and First Meal of the Day

50 Quick and Easy Recipes For Breakfast - Including Pancake Recipes, Waffle Recipes and Crepes Recipes (Breakfast Ideas - The Breakfast Recipes Cookbook Collection 2) - Pamela Kazmierczak

Recently, I saw a thing about breakfasts around the world, titled, "US Really Does Eat Dessert for Breakfast." When I read the article all the way through, I thought that this is definitely true. I want to try and give my kids better. I know that having something more substantial (and less sugary) is better and helps them get through the day. So anytime I get a chance, I look at the recipe books I have been accumulating and marking recipes that I know that my family would eat (picky eaters) and enjoy. There were quite a few recipes that I have marked for making for my family. It is worth the money asked. 

Reading progress update: Study Habits

Harry Potter's Book of Virtues: Volume 1, The Virtue of Work - Casey Robin, Connie Neal

I am loving this book! It talks about work habits and the virtue of work. About 10% in they have Hermione's Study habits! Great things for anyone in school or just studying in general. 

Pumpkins and Fall

50 Delicious Pumpkin Dessert Recipes - Recipes For Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Brownies, Blondies and More! (The Ultimate Pumpkin Desserts Cookbook -  The ... Desserts and Pumpkin Recipes Collection 8) - Pamela Kazmierczak

I know that there are many jokes about it being Pumpkin Spice time, but this book is definitely for those who love pumpkin. 

 

I was marking so many recipes to make with my girls. I will be putting pumpkin on my list for things to buy next shopping trip so we can make them. 

 

 

More for the Education Shelf

5th Grade Geography: Seas and Oceans of the World: Fifth Grade Books Marine Life and Oceanography for Kids (Children's Oceanography Books) - Baby Professor 4th Grade US History: The Civil War Years: Fourth Grade Book US Civil War Period (Children's American Revolution History) - Baby Professor 4th Grade Geography: North and South Poles: Fourth Grade Books Polar Regions for Kids (Children's Explore Polar Regions Books) - Baby Professor

I realize that these state that they are for 4th and 5th grades, but I felt that they might have some information that would be good for what we are studying, but these were too young. I felt that they would have been good for kindergarten or 1st graders over 4th or 5th graders. 

 

The pictures in the books were very well done and the wording was definitely for teaching, but was definitely too young for the grades mentioned. 

 

 

Finally Allowed on the Computer!

No Nest for the Wicket - Donna Andrews For Home And Country: A Civil War Scrapbook - Norman Bolotin

Sorry, I know they are different genres and different uses, but this is the first time in 5 days I have been allowed on the computer! We have 3 computers and 5 people and someone is always on the computer and I hate doing updates on a tablet or phone, so I have been waiting for a computer to be vacated so I could get on and make updates. 

 

Since I finished the Civil War book first, I will start there. This is another book that I got for school use. It was a really good read and full of some interesting facts, that I will be using when I lecture on the Civil War (tomorrow). The girls are not going to be happy, but there is a test at the end of this study grouping. This book was full of names, dates, and facts that they may not be aware of, for instance, our current army is uniform in looks and dress, while Revolutionary to Civil War forces were mixed and matched adding problems to the fight, attacking their own sides. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for information on the Civil War or Wars in general. 

 

I finished "No Nest for the Wicket" by Donna Andrews today. I love her books and this book is no exception. I reread this book because she had a new book come out in August and another coming out in time for Christmas. Her books are full of words that are fun to use in vocabulary tests (yep, my kids were groaning as I would say, "Oooooh, here is another word!" 

 

In this story, Meg's family member referred to as Mrs. Fenniman, reads about a new sport, Xtreme Croquet. She loves croquet and loves the idea of playing Xtreme Croquet. With the help of Meg's family, her dad getting the farmers to let them use their land, and Mrs. Fenniman posts that they will be having a competition and opens it to anyone who wants to play. A team of college boys comes to play and "The Dames," members of the Historical Society and another group from town with "The Clones" and Meg's family team are playing. As they play, the competition is ruthless and Meg's ball is hit into some briars and she finds the body of a woman, no one admits to knowing. When they find out who she is and where she is from, it becomes apparent that many of the competitors are lying. Meg tries to find out who really did the deed and stumbles across another mystery and learns the truth about the Pruitts that make them appear to be less than they are, because of a prank from some college kids in the 1950's. 

 

 

The Ending was Better Than the Start

The Mystery of The Crochet Chess Set (Crochet Mysteries Series Book 1) - Pamela Murrey

Megan is an older sister to Anne and aunt to Ian. She is getting ready to retire and her last days are happening, just as her nephew gets hit by a hit and run driver. There is a prior crime that is starting the book and it leads up to what happens to later in the book. Jasper is a valet at the hospital and he and a buddy rob a jewelry store. He hides his loot and then it is several years later and we meet Megan and her family. She sits by the bedside of her nephew working on a crochet chess set for him (this was why I was interested because I was hoping that there was a pattern) and Jasper is out of jail and working at the hospital again. He steals the chess pieces that are finished and plans to use them to get them out of the area. While this is happening the grandson of the fence is following Jasper in hopes he can find the stash, he is also to blame for the hit and run, he also plans to kill the nephew of Megan because he was able to id him (or so he thinks). 

 

Megan and Anne go through many things while waiting for Ian to recuperate and be released. 

 

My main issue with the story was how fragmented it was and then all the errors, spelling, grammar, paragraphs, etc. It made the story hard to follow and difficult to understand in many places. I plodded along because I was still hoping for a pattern. The ending did come together well and was better than the start. There is also a pattern to make your own garden chess set, but my first read through was not a happy event. She tries to explain how she wants you to create the pieces and the pictures of the pieces were not what I was imagining. I may go to Ravelry and see if I can find some things to make to use as chess pieces. I can easily make a board for the girls to play on, but I just want to make the pieces, too. 

Another Book for History Class

Civil War Forts (Uhc) - Victor Brooks

This year we are studying the Civil War. We are looking at what led to the Civil War and the Battles. While I sat at the library waiting for my girls, I spied this book (and about 6 others) sitting near where I was and grabbed them up to see if they would be good for the lessons. 

 

I started the one yesterday and finished it this morning. It is a fast read and very good information on the Forts that were battled over and why they were battled over and how the fight for it took place. 

 

The front before the forts lists dates and the order that the battles took place. The first shot of the Civil War, by whom and where. First person to die in the Civil War and how that happened (an accident during a celebration). 

 

The author also talks about how the different generals and officers knew each other and their connections and their feelings about this war. 

 

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and the information it contained. Definitely, recommend this book to others who homeschool or just want more information. This was found in the "Teen" Room at the library. 

Reading progress update: All the Errors!

The Mystery of The Crochet Chess Set (Crochet Mysteries Series Book 1) - Pamela Murrey

While the story is somewhat okay, the errors really detract from the story. There are times where I have to stop and really think about what the author was trying to say. I am powering through this story just to say I finished it and to see if it actually contains a pattern to create a chess set. My girls love to play chess and I would love to make each one a set of her own. Mostly so they can challenge more people. 

 

If it doesn't I will figure something out, but that was the whole reason for choosing to take this book as it didn't sound like something I would enjoy. 

Reading progress update: Started at Library

No Nest for the Wicket - Donna Andrews

I didn't think to bring my tablet with me, so I could continue to read at the library while I waited for my daughters, usually, they are waiting on me, while I hunt books, but this time, they wanted to play Minecraft and so I picked up a book to read, while I waited. This was on my tablet waiting to be read and is one that I purchased to read because I was having trouble getting a copy of it. 

 

Meg is playing X-treme Croquet with her family and 7 other teams in two neighbors fields. Mrs. Fenniman read about the sport in a magazine and decided she wanted to play, but the family wouldn't get on board. Meg's family is known for being extreme with croquet games already. After she takes her turn, along comes Mrs. Pruitt, who sends Meg's ball over a cliff. She goes to hunt the ball and finds a dead body. 

 

While all this is going on, she and Michael have hired the local characters, the Shiffleys, to do the work on their house so that it can be lived in and they are hosting the teams that came from out of town to play in the tournament. 

 

There are so many laugh out loud moments that my middle daughter borrowed the book from the library so she could read it, while I was reading it. 

Harry Potter Themed Cookbooks

Cooking for Muggles - The Harry Potter Cookbook: Harry Potter Recipes with Desserts, Snacks and Drinks Inspired by Harry Potter Food - Martha Stephenson The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook Presents: A Magical Christmas Menu - Dinah Bucholz The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook Presents: 10 Summertime Treats - Dinah Bucholz

These were fun to read through and I marked several to try and make for my family, especially for Halloween and/or Christmas. There are drinks (Butter Beer alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and treats and meals. They give some of the background on where the foods were used in the stories and sometimes their usage in the History of English meals. 

 

The one that I think will get made first is an Irish Soda Bread. I have other recipes for this and have made them successfully and they were delicious, so I am interested to see how this version turns out. 

 

 

Reading progress update: Not very far yet

Murder at the 42nd Street Library: A Mystery (Thomas Dunne Book) - Con Lehane

I know it isn't far, but I borrowed it on Kindle App and I just sent a bunch of books to the app because I am rereading them. So it takes a long time for things to download and the actual book to open so that I could read and then I set it down, did a bunch of things with my girls (basically returning books to the library and getting more books). But I am enjoying this story. 

 

Ambler is an employee at the 42nd Street Library. This is basically a reading library. You cannot borrow a book from it, you request books and/or papers and come in and read in the library for research. 

 

There are a lot of descriptions of the library in the first chapters to give the reader a glimpse of the place, should they like me, not have been to NYC and may never go there. I went through NY to NH one time and was so disappointed in my visit that I said I wouldn't go there again. On the other hand, I did love New Hampshire and would love to go back again. 

 

A man walking into the library is shot in front of a defrocked priest (Harry) and the police are investigating and come to Ambler to see if he has heard anything they need to hear. 

 

There seems to be a lot going on, Adele (another librarian) has just lost her mother, Harry trying to keep certain "researchers" happy, and Max (a former classmate of Ambler and writer of celebrity autobiographies). 

 

 

Another for Double Dipping

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - Ambrose Bierce

I assigned this book to the girls for History and English. The book is a classic (and I read it in college) and it also looks at some of the things that happened during the Civil War. The farmer was caught trying to burn the bridge down after the Union had fixed it and posted signs that they would hang anyone caught trying to get rid of the bridges. 

 

He thinks of his family and there is a description of his hanging and how he came to be at the bridge and why he would undertake such a chance. 

 

The girls were not impressed, but they are younger and I think the discussion of the two books together may help them understand their importance in the classics and may see some of the things that happen in wars that would keep them from being romantic or idealized. 

 

 

Why Did I Choose This for the Start?

The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane

I decided that the girls were going to study Civil War for History and to double dip with Literature that covers the topic, too. This is an iconic classic of the Civil War. I remember reading it many years ago. I flew through it, too, not noting some of the things that I saw when I was reading this time. Age over youth caused me to slow down and read when I didn't have people trying to get my attention (you know, someone talking to you while you read). It took some time, I took notes and I know that when we start back on Tuesday, we will have an interesting discussion of the novel.