Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I Want to Read It (40): When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight

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.

When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight: A Cartoon PreHistory of Life in the Triassic by Hannah Bonner, April 10, 2012. Published by National Geographic Children's Books. Source: Want to Read.
In the style of WHEN BUGS WERE BIG and WHEN FISH GOT FEET this book discusses all the exciting developments of the Triassic Age, from the recovery of the planet from the most deadly mass extinction ever, to the first appearance of the dinosaurs. We also get to meet the first mammals, the first pterosaurs (flying reptiles), the first frogs, a host of predatory marine reptiles, early turtles, and the first coral reefs.  With the books' signature blend of humor and clearly presented information, cartoon illustrations help keep the fact-filled material extra fun.


Early this week, or Monday if you will, I had the opportunity to review Hannah Bonner's newest book Dining with Dinosaurs, which was purely delightful. So I decided to look up her other books and came across this one....and I must say I need it! Sure, it may be a picture book, but it has dinosaurs and I'm all for that!! 

While I may have only two reasons for be interested in reading this one, dinosaurs and that I enjoyed her other work, I just really want to see how this one plays out.

Are you, or someone you know, in to dinosaurs? Then I highly recommend checking out  Dining with Dinosaurs. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Dining with Dinosaurs

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, January 16, 2017

Children's Book Review: Dining With Dinosaurs

Dining With Dinosaurs: A Tasty Guide to Mesozoic Munching by Hannah Bonner, September 20, 2016. 48 pages. Published by National Geographic Children's Books. Source: Publicist for review.
Sure you know T-Rex was the meat-eating king and brontosaurus munched on leaves, but what else was on the dino dining menu during the Mesozoic era?

Meet the 'vores: carnivores, piscivores, herbivores, insectivores, "trashivores," "sunivores," and omnivores like us.

Readers will be surprised and inspired to learn about dino diets and they'll get to explore how scientists can tell which dinosaurs ate what just from looking at fossils!

Journey through artist and author Hannah Bonner's whimsical world to learn how the dinosaurs and their contemporaries bit, chewed, and soaked up their food.

You know that I rarely accept children's books for review. But, how could I possibly say no to one that featured dinosaurs?!? What can I say, even now I'm still a huge fan of dinosaurs and could not resist delving into this one.

  • Dining with Dinosaurs uses a light touch to talk about what dinosaurs, of all kinds, ate and their role within the chain. It was both insightful and entertaining to read; and something I think readers, of many ages, will find enjoyable and informative. It really hit a great balance that should appeal to those interested in learning more about all the 'vores'.
  • It was nice to see scattered throughout the book sections where the guide of the book, for lack of a better term, spoke with those in the field of paleontology. It gave the book a broader scope and credibility. I'm not trying to be mean, it was just nice to see the short Q&As with them throughout the book. It was a nice addition.
  • As for the illustrations, they were pretty nice. I know, I may be some what harder to please when it comes to illustrations; yet I thought they were good and age appropriate albeit more like caricature-istic then what I would personally prefer. Yet they were really well suited for the tone of the book and the age range that it is aimed at; and did not take anything away from my enjoyment.
  •  Overall, this was a fun, well written, and thoroughly enjoyable. It covered everything from carnivores to plants. A book that I'm sure will delight readers and get them curious to learn more about paleontology and dinosaurs. Would I have liked it to be longer, well, yeah. Would a more in-depth look into the field of paleontology have been cool? Always! But like I said, this is really a good book, just that my dinosaur loving self is craving more.   
Final Verdict: Dining with Dinosaurs- Entertaining and enjoyable, a great combination if you ask me!

Dining with Dinosaurs earns

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

Books of 2016 (PT 3): The Time I fell Down the Rabbit Hole of History

Since y'all have graciously stuck around through two chapter of books from last year, On the Importance of Walking Away from Bad Books & That Made My Reader Heart Rejoice, how about a third one!

You may have noticed, if you follow me on Goodreads and Twitter, that I fell down the rabbit hole of history books last year. I have zero regrets about spending more time reading about history, especially my favorite period, or all the non-fiction books that occupied my time last year. None! It was just what my brain and heart needed last year, and for that I'm grateful for having discovered two historians that totally blew me away with their writing.

I'll say this once- I am an unabashed history loving nerd. My poor parents and sisters, I kept cornering them to tell them about what I was reading and how fascinatingly alive they brought history. For me, the Middle Ages is the most interesting. It was more lively than your typical textbook would have you believe.

Ah, the moment you have all been waiting for, the reveal of which straight up history and one's that touched on historical points, and, which books helped me to grow in faith. And without further ado, here are the Best History and Faith Books of 2016!

Our Lady of Kibeho by ImmaculĂ©e Ilibagiza-

Simply powerful! Despite everything that happened to her, this book is overflowing with hope. Her writing is just so straight forward, which was one of the reasons that I could not set it down until the last page had been read.

Lilies of the Field by William E. Barrett-

To be honest, I was not expecting this one to be enjoyable. For some unknown reason, I wrote it off before I had even read the first page...yet, I ended up devouring it because I loved how the characters learned and grew so much from their short time together.

Lily of the Mohawks: The Story of St Kateri by Emily Cavins-

Not only did I enjoy learning more about St. Kateri's story but also that of the Mohawk's. I am admittedly not an expert on Native American culture, but, (as far as I can tell) the author did a really good job bringing their culture to life.

Characters of the Inquisition by William Thomas Walsh-

I'll be honest, I loved this one! It's not often that you read a history book that covers the Inquisition through the lens of the people living during that period. It was interesting to see how the proceedings happened during the Inquisition how the courts of it were managed; I really enjoyed that it covered both the positive and negative effects. There were many facets of the story that you just don't hear about; like how more people were killed during England's persecution of the Church, or the witch trials that swept countries, versus during the Inquisition. What made it an even more fascinating read was the writing. It was anything but dull.

The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich-

This was perhaps the toughest book I read last year; as in it made me ugly cry (I'm not one that usually cries)! While not 100% authenticated, yet, Anne Catherine Emmerich's visions of the Passion were heartbreaking. Most especially the Agony in the Garden and the Scourging. If you've seen the movie The Passion, it's based off of this book.  You'll need all the tissues! ALL OF THEM!!

The Bad Times by John Walsh and Christine Kinealy-

One of the most beautifully written and powerful graphic novels I read last year. This one about broke my heart as it covered the great famine that struck Ireland in the late 1800s. Seriously though, they did a wonderful job bringing to life the hard times that the famine caused the people of Ireland. It was just really well done (almos had me in tears as I was reading it prior to the start of a book club meeting).

City of Saints by George Weigel-

Have you ever read a book that just made you want to visit the place even more. Well, that is what happened when I read City of Saints last year. If I could, I would be on the first available flight to Poland to see everything it has to offer, as well, as to walk through all the places that were important to Pope St. John Paul II. George Weigel does one killer job bringing to life the culture and beauty of Poland with his descriptions.

Echo of God by Fr, Lance Harlow-

While I have not had a chance to review Echo of God yet, because words fail me, this book is a wonderful guide to True Devotion by St. Francis de Sales. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was how he expanded upon, and made Francis de Sales' True Devotion more accessible for modern readers. He did a great job shining light on some aspects of the saints writing that may be hard for readers of our time to understand.

Our Lady of Fatima by William Thomas Walsh-

The appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three kids at Fatima is one of my favorites. While I knew a decent amount of the story before reading this book, it was nice to learn more in-depth about the children and the experiences that followed the event. Let us not forget about the phenomenal miracle that took place in the the by, this is the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.

The Retrial of Joan of Arc by Regine Pernoud-

While not my favorite saint, or even in my top ten (no offence Joan), I've always been curious as to why the English burned her at the stake. To me, it always felt like more of a political move them a religious one-which was kind of proved as the book takes you step by step through the retrial held around twenty years after her death, It was interesting to note the simple things she was denied during her incarceration- that of being held in the Ecclesiastical prison for women and being tried through the Church, especially since she appealed right to the Pope numerous times, and many other points. You could tell that the author really did her research whilst putting this book together. And how important it was to not only herself, but also to the French to set the record straight. Lots of politics...but then again what point of history is not steeped in it.

The Templars: Knights of Christ by Regine Pernoud-

Okay, so, The Templars is one of the most intriguing groups from the Middle Ages. For one thing, their rise to power and then sudden collapse. I've always found it to be rather suspicious/fascinating. Don't ask me how I came to be intrigued by the history of the Templars, that is one mystery that not even I know the answer to. But, I will say that Regine Pernoud did a great job presenting historical facts, in both the positive and negative, in regards to the history of the order of the Templars. While I still have questions, it was an interesting read nonetheless.

Those Terrible Middle Ages by Regine Pernoud-

*pardon me while I flail* Those Terrible Middle Ages was everything I wanted, and, oh so much more! The way she debunked those myths regarding the Middle Ages was hilarious. I could very nearly picture her sitting at a table giving a discourse and slamming her hand down upon the table as she shattered those misconceptions (of which there were many). On a more serious note, as she talked about the people's reasoning for dubbing the Middle Ages the "Dark Ages", you not only came to have  a better grasp upon what actually happened during that time period, but also to have a better respect for those that lived during it. It was a breath of fresh air!  *shoves book at every single one of you*

At long last, we have come to the end of the bookish recap of last year. If you check out the links at the beginning of the post, you will see the best and worst fiction books of last year. As well as some ramblings on upcoming changes to The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia and thoughts on last year. 

In case you were wondering, I'm not quite done recapping last year! I still would like to talk about all the anime I watched, of which there is an abundance, and maybe, just maybe, y'all can assist me in naming a new feature for the blog. One that shows you what goes on when I'm not reading, blogging, nor killing time on social media. I am at a total loss on what to call it, and am hoping that you can help me get this new blog project off the ground!

I am looking forward to another year of blogging here; and am hoping to get to know all of you much better this year. As we rocket towards my ninth year of blogging, I want to make this year more of exciting journey with you the readers of the blog. 

Tell me, what are you goals and dreams for 2017? Any books that you hope to read this year (that you've been meaning to)?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Want to Read It (39): Last Day on Mars

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.

Last Day on Mars (Chronicles of the Dark Star, 1) by Kevin Emerson, February 14, 2017. Published by Walden Pond Press. Source; Wishlist.
It is Earth year 2213—but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova. The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while we prepare for a second trip: a one-hundred-fifty-year journey to a distant star, our best guess at where we might find a new home.
Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the very last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed.


If you could not tell, after taking most of December off, I am somewhat behind on book news. Like for instance, I had no idea until last week that Kevin Emerson had a new middle grade book coming out this year from Walden Pond Press! *flails* I cannot even tell y'all how excited I am for Last Day on Mars because it sounds like such an interesting read. I for one and really hoping that the first book, yes it's a series, gives some more information on why the sun has started to go supernova (in the book). Curiouser, and curiouser.

Have you added this one to your 2017 TBR??
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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