Friday, March 24, 2017

Spinning Pages (7): Four-Four-Two/Goodnight Saigon

Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 

From the moment I finished reading Dean Hughes' Four-Four-Two, I knew that this would be the song I would use for it. While the song may be about the Vietnam War, I feel that it is also a good fit for this book as the song kept popping into my head as I was reading.

Goodnight Saigon by Billy Joel (written and song); also covered by Garth Brooks-
We met as soulmates
On Parris Inland
We left as inmates
From an asylum
And we were sharp
As sharp as knives
And we were so gung
ho to lay down our lives

We came in spastic
Like tameless horses
We left in plastic
As numbered corpses
And we learned fast
To travel light
Our arms were heavy
but our bellies were tight
And it was dark
So dark at night
And we held onto each other
Like brother to brother
We promised our mothers we'd write

And we would all go down together
We said we'd all go down together
Yes we would all go down together

So many of the lyrics reminded me of the characters; especially how eager they were when they first enlisted. You know since they really did not know what exactly it was that they had signed up for. There were also, as you'll see, the lines that spoke of the strong friendships that were forged among the soldiers who fought together. These were the lyrics from Billy Joel's Goodnight Saigon that came into my mind as I was reading Four-Four-Two by Dean Hughes. 

Do you need further convincing on why you should give Dean Hughes' Four-Four-Two a chance, then check out my review and see why I think you should read it. 

Just a warning, the song may give you the chills (or if you're like my sister, make you teary).

You can watch the official video of Billy Joel's Goodnight Saigon below.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Non-Fiction Review: How to Pack

How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip by Hitha Palepu, March 7, 2017. 128 pages. Published by  Clarkson Potter Publishers. Source: Blogging for Books.
It's time to pack perfect. Every trip, every time. Your journey starts here. When you travel, the journey is just as important as the destination--and packing is the first step. In How to Pack, Hitha Palepu, a former consultant who has traveled more than 500,000 cumulative miles around the world, shows that what and how you pack are who you are. Confidence and comfort inspire success upon arrival, whether you're exploring a new city, hoping to nail a job interview, or relaxing on a beach. In How to Pack, you'll learn about:
- Power Pieces vs. Fantasy Pieces: How clothing earns its place in your suitcase
- The Accessory Math Secret: The precise formula for all you need to finish off your outfits
- Folding versus Rolling: What's right for which items
- Globetrotter Gorgeous: Editing your beauty routine while still looking great
- The Packing Timeline: How to avoid "I'm forgetting something" syndrome
- Pack Perfect Lists: Samples and blanks for any kind of trip

Okay, while this may not be the typical book you'll see featured here, I just could not resist. Not only is the binding darling, especially in person, Hitha Palepu has some wonderful advice for how to pack. Not only for the trip, whatever kind it may be, but how to be a confident packer as well as how to roll that confidence in packing into whatever you're setting out for.
  • First off, I really enjoyed the way Hitha Palepu wrote. She took what could have been a dull topic and just made it fun. Each section was short yet very insightful. 
  • Another reason I found myself enjoying How to Pack was that she explained her reasoning on packing this way in an open way. There was no judging; just Hitha Palepu trying to pass on what she's learned from her extensive traveling. Also, it was not like she was commanding you to pack a certain way, or certain items, to do it "right". Just, you know, suggestions on how to make the whole process smoother. 
  • I don't know about you, but I did not think the book could get even better. I mean come on, the binding is adorable as can be and the contents are super helpful, BUT! But there's tear out packing lists in the back to help you out! All to make sure that you don't over-pack or forget something vital. 

Final Verdict: How to Pack- Delightfully packaged and full of useful information! Definitely a must-have for travelers looking to learn the art of packing smartly for all trips (business and pleasure).

How to Pack earns

A copy of this book was received through Blogging for Books in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I Want to Read It (49): A Taste for Monsters

I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby, September 27, 2016. Published by Scholastic. Source: Want to Read.
Fear the living more than the dead.
It’s London 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital. Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain.
When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares.

First off, I don't recall hearing much, if anything, about this book last year. I just stumbled upon it whilst browsing Goodreads a coupe weeks ago. While it may not have the highest ranking on there, I am intrigued enough to give it a chance. 

What really makes it sound interesting is the two characters, Evelyn and Joseph, and how they must face their fears to, I'm assuming, help stop Jack the Ripper or something (the synopsis is rather vague)... 

Truthfully, it could be a great read or a terrible one (like all books) and should my library have it, I may look into reading it. 

Have you read A Taste for Monsters, if so, what did you think of it??

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Four-Four-Two

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, March 20, 2017

YA Review: Four-Four-Two

Four-Four-Two by Dean Hughes, November 8, 2016. 272 pages. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Source: Borrowed from Library.
From the author of Soldier Boys and Search and Destroy comes a thought-provoking, action-packed page-turner based on the little-known history of the Japanese Americans who fought with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II.

Yuki Nakahara is an American.

But it’s the start of World War II, and America doesn’t see it that way. Like many other Japanese Americans, Yuki and his family have been forced into an internment camp in the Utah desert. But Yuki isn’t willing to sit back and accept this injustice—it’s his country too, and he’s going to prove it by enlisting in the army to fight for the Allies.

When Yuki and his friend Shig ship out, they aren’t prepared for the experiences they’ll encounter as members of the “Four-Four-Two,” a segregated regiment made up entirely of Japanese-American soldiers. Before Yuki returns home—if he returns home—he’ll come face to face with persistent prejudices, grueling combat he never imagined, and friendships deeper than he knew possible.

First Sentence
Yuki Nakahara was stacking wooden boxes according to size in a musty storage shed.
Are you a middle grade author, want your book to be spotlighted this year during the challenge on my blog? Than this post is just for you. All about Middle Grade Challenge

Sign up for the 2014 All about Middle Grade Reading Challenge.


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