Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Best Books of November

I usually recap my best books of the month on the last Friday...but this week is all jacked up because of the holiday. So I'm doing this one early to make sure everyone gets to see it! Here we go...all the great books I read in November.

I had so much fun reading this month's first book. Ruby Reinvented is Ronni Arno's debut novel and it's so much fun!

Ruby is the daughter of two mega-celebrities. The kind of celebrities even tweens know about. While that might seem like a cool life to lead, we learn through Ruby's story that it can royally suck. You see, when your parents are famous, people befriend you just so they can meet them. After learning her best friend is just pretending, Ruby arranges to be transferred across the country, where she tells everyone her parents are dead. We get to then watch Ruby emerge from her cocoon as for the first time, people let her know she is both talented and a great friend. Not only does this book have the perfect message for young girls, but it's a super-fun read!

My next book was from a fellow blogger some of you may recognize. Melanie Schulz blogs about her life, writing, and great books. She also writes great books herself...namely, a series called The Newstead Trilogy. I started with Volume 1:

Warning: This book will pull you in from the start...and it won't let you go until the end. Then you'll want to grab book #2 and read it immediately! Don't say you haven't been warned. Joel is living a fairly normal life with his single mom when he is recruited to join Newstead, an all-boys' school. He has a bad feeling about the school, but he doesn't listen to his intuition. He should have. What follows is an exciting mystery-slash-adventure with a little romance thrown in. I loved the way Melanie slowly revealed the truth about Newstead. You'll love this one!

Nick Wilford is a blogging buddy of mine, so I was excited to read his anthology, A Change of Mind and Other Stories

Most of the book is a phenomenal story called A Change of Mind. It stars Reuben, a timid man who deals with constantly being bullied. You know the type--walks around with his shoulders slumped. Reuben stumbles upon the answer to all of his problems: a surgical operation that will give him more confidence. Only things go very wrong in a very Twilight Zone-ish way. In addition to this bigger story are five much smaller stories. I found Marissa especially good--and I demand Nick turn it into a book so I can find out what happens next! The entire book reminded me of the British TV series Black Mirror, which streams in America on Netflix. This is the kind of sci-fi I I'm eager to read more of Nick's books.

The last book this month is a fun young adult novel from HarperCollins' Epic Reads Impulse line. I instantly fell in love with the title of this one.

There are so many things to love about The Jock and the Fat Chick. The story is told from the male POV and the author, who is definitely not a male, did such an amazing job of capturing the mind of the adolescent male. I also loved the fact that when we saw the "fat chick" through the main character's eyes, not once did she ever come across as even overweight. We saw her as he did--beautiful and curvaceous. In fact, the main guy was completely unattracted to bony girls. I know men like that exist...I've met them. It just made me want to hug this fictional guy on behalf of all of those men who like some curves on their women!

What's the best book you read in November?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pizza, Pizza Everywhere!

I moved from a town with about ten restaurants (most fast food) to an area with about 50. We have family-owned breakfast places… 

A couple of waterfront restaurants that make you feel like you’re on vacation… 

And, of course, numerous chain restaurants. 

In our old town, we’d listen for every announcement of a new restaurant opening, only to be disappointed when we heard it was yet another pizza place. By the time we moved, we had a Pie Five, Little Caesar’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s, Papa Murphy’s, and a family-owned place.

Where we live now, we probably have 20 pizza places within a ten-mile radius. Four are within the same half mile of each other. 

So you can imagine my surprise when I heard Mellow Mushroom was occupying the space where a Mimi’s Restaurant once was. That makes five sit-down pizza places within a half mile: Pie Five, Mellow Mushroom, Brixx, NY Pie, and Windy City Pizza. 

We aren’t a college town, unless you count community colleges. This is a residential area with typical families. 

So what’s the deal? Do people eat anything but pizza?