Showing posts with label bunmi laditan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bunmi laditan. Show all posts

Monday, February 15, 2016

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Day 1!

Good morning, readers!  Guess what?  Today is Day 1 of the long-awaited return of Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  This was a fun event that I participated in when I first started blogging, but unfortunately it disappeared soon after.  However, it's BACK, thanks to The Estella Society!  I am so excited to celebrate the awesomeness of book blogging all week long.

For Day 1, bloggers are asked to share 5 books that represent you or your interests/lifestyle.  Ooooh, deep thinking here!  I reached back in my book archives and came up with these:

1. The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan

My life is so kid-focused these days, since I stay home with my 4- and 2-year-old sons.  And I could never make it as a stay-at-home-mom without having a solid sense of humor about it.  The Honest Toddler not only is hilarious, but is a fairly accurate representation of the lighter side of parenting.

2. Run Like A Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea

Many of you already know that I do a Well-Read Runner feature on the blog, because I also love to run!  I read Run Like A Mother not long ago, and found that it accurately described the triumphs and struggles of being a running mom.

3. Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey is my spirit animal.  No need to elaborate beyond that.

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Okay, this might seem like a weird choice to describe me, since I didn't grow up in Brooklyn, or in poverty, or in the early 1900's.  However, Francie Nolan is possibly my favorite fictional character of all time.  As a coming-of-age story, I found this entirely relateable, even if Francie's circumstances were extremely different from mine.  There is something about her voice that resonates with me.

5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

While I didn't think the hype for this book was entirely warranted, I still put it on this list because Gilbert's global journey certainly describes the love of travel and adventure that my husband and I share.  We did a fair amount of world traveling and exploring before our kids were born, and while our destinations are more thoroughly planned and kid-focused for now, we can't wait to one day return to the fun of globe-hopping.

Tell me a book that typifies YOU, dear readers!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Big NEWS, and May 2013 In Review

There is a reason May rhymes with cray.  CUZ THAT MONTH WAS CRAY CRAY, Y'ALL.  As I alluded to earlier this week, I have two big pieces of news to share, and the time has come to grace you with one of them.

The Well-Read Redhead (and family) are moving!  

And not only are we moving...but I am taking on a new and much-wanted job title: CEO of Domestic Affairs.  (Stay at home momma, to the layperson.)  

HOLY CRAP CRACKERS.

My husband applied for a really great job a couple of months ago, but we didn't have our hopes up for it even a little.  Two months and many interviews later, he was offered the position.  Needless to say, our shock was GREAT.  However, shock was immediately replaced by excitement (great career step!  Kelly gets to stay home!) and also terror (we have to sell our house!  We have to buy a new one!  IN LESS THAN 2 MONTHS!  Please kill me).  But mostly excitement.
Jessie Spano, so wise.
The offer happened during Armchair BEA, so this greatly explains my absence at that time.  We are now steeped in the mucky muck of the home buying/selling process, among all the other wonderful things that come with moving 4 hours away to a town you know nothing about.  Chaos for sure, but we are really psyched about this opportunity, both for my husband and for our family as a whole.

(In related news, any book bloggers in the greater Rochester, NY area?  I need friends!  I promise I'm not (too) weird.  Maybe.)

So, that is Part 1 of my news.  Part 2 is forthcoming...soon.  (Suspense, I HAZ IT.)

Onward to May in review (book-wise).  First, as always, a photo depicting the month.  Despite all the insanity, Small Fry and I also took heavy advantage of the summer-like weather.
Small Fry at the water table, Mom in the kiddie pool, everyone's happy.
Now, the book-related goodness!

The May 2013 Fave/Least Fave honors go to:

May 2013 Favorite: The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan
May 2013 Least Favorite: Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline

In total, I read/reviewed 7 books:
Frozen In Time by Mitchell Zuckoff
The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan
The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard
Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline
The Bridge of Years by May Sarton
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert
Mama's Child by Joan Steinau Lester

I also posted one new Small Fry Saturday Review of Does A Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle.

I didn't do a lot of other book talk last month (preoccupied!) but I did flash you back to my star-studded engagement anniversary.  Good times.  And my participation in Armchair BEA was basically the equivalent of going to actual BEA and sitting in the hotel room the whole time.

June is going to be nutty around here as we try to get things in order for The Big Move before my husband's official start date (August 12!).  Plus, we have a vacation scheduled mid-month (much needed under the circumstances, though it also feels somewhat poorly placed now, time-wise...ah well).  I have a few book tours scheduled, so I promise not to disappear!  And I'm hoping to get a little beach reading done on vacation anyway.

Have a lovely month, readers...and stay tuned for more excitement!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan



Title: The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting
Author: Honest Toddler...written under the supervision of Bunmi Laditan
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Source: ARC provided by the author for an honest review

Plot Summary from Goodreads:

Bracingly candid, sweetly indignant, and writing with an unchecked sense of entitlement, the Internet’s wildly popular Honest Toddler delivers a guide to the parenting techniques he deems acceptable (keep the cake coming and the apple juice undiluted).

The toddler stage can be a rude awakening for parents, whose sweet infants morph, seemingly overnight, into tyrants ready to turn simple errands into hellish and humiliating experiences. Trying to convince your defiant darling to do something as simple as put on her shoes can feel like going to war. It’s not all blood, sweat, and tears, though. Toddlers can be charming little creatures, with their unfettered enthusiasm, wide grins, and ready hugs. In fact, what makes toddlers so fascinating is their unique blend of cute and demonic behavior. A toddler will take your hand and say "I love you," then slap you in the face.

Now, The Honest Toddler provides an indispensable guide to parenting that places the toddler’s happiness front and center. Who better to instruct parents on the needs of toddlers than a toddler himself?

In a voice that is at once inimitable and universal, The Honest Toddler turns his sharp eye to a wide range of subjects, including play date etiquette, meal preparation, healthy sleep habits, and the pernicious influence of self-appointed experts and so-called doctors. The result is a parenting guide like no other, one that will have moms and dads laughing through tears as they recognize their own child in the ongoing shenanigans of one bravely honest toddler.


My Review:

First question: are you familiar with the Honest Toddler already?  If not, please visit her (yes, it's a her! A mystery that this book finally answered for me) blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages first.  When you're done feeling ashamed and altering your parenting style (if you're a parent) or laughing your arse off (if you're not), come back and read my review.

Done?  You're a fan now, right?  At the very least, you're flabbergasted to the point of intrigue.  Okay then.

Honest Toddler is an anonymous...toddler who has been sharing her young wisdom with the world through social media since May 2012.  I wrote to HT a few months ago, promising to lower the ratio of water to juice in Small Fry's sippy cup if I could review an ARC of her upcoming parenting guide.  HT (and/or her mom) agreed to the deal, and thank goodness.  Because now I can share this important manifesto with the world.

Honest Toddler has a pretty simple philosophy on parenting.  Fewer Pinterest meals, more being allowed to roam pantsless, and stop "making a big deal".  It sounds easy, but as a parent, I often found myself taking HT's admonitions and suggestions to heart.  I learned a lot of important life facts from this book.  Did you know:

-That Grover Cleveland and Abraham Lincoln were not potty trained?
-That the "it" being cried out in the "cry it out" sleep method...is love?
-That 50% of toddlers who wake up at 5am are gifted, and the other 50% have above average intelligence?
-That the human body is 75% juice?

I know.  I'm hitting you with some serious knowledge right now.  Honest Toddler has opened my eyes to the true nature of parenting and our lives will never be the same.

Besides the fact that this book has bettered me as a mother, it's also just all-around hilarious.  If you're already familiar with HT's voice from the blog/Facebook/Twitter updates, you know what to expect: a straightforward, sarcastic 'tude dispensing life lessons that leave every toddler parent wondering if their very own precious angel assisted in writing them.  Honest Toddler has 124,000+ likes on Facebook for a very simple reason: because every.single.person who has parented a 1- to 3-year-old can picture their kid thinking most (if not all) of the words that HT shares with the world.  The Child's Guide to Parenting takes that and puts it in book form.

If you're a loyal HT reader, you may recognize some of the material from HT's blog, but the reiterated information is reformatted in a way that doesn't make it feel repetitive.  And there is enough new material to make it a worthwhile read for the longtime followers.  New followers will find it easy to figure out HT's style early in the book, as each section begins with some Dear-Abby-ish letters to HT from parents, followed by a  chapter that delves further into each particular issue (potty training, food shopping, toddler entertainment, etc).

You all know that I'm a pretty discerning reader, but I have no complaints here.  People who haven't parented a toddler might not feel the humor as much, but parents of the world: you need to read this book.  As soon as you get off Pinterest and get your kid occupied with unlimited servings of cake.

Much thanks to HT's handler, Bunmi Laditan, for forwarding me a copy of this book for review!

Are you an Honest Toddler follower?  If you're a parent, how has HT changed your life?  Shameful parenting confessions welcomed and encouraged.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cannibals and Coasties and Cooking, oh my...


Hope you all had a great weekend!  What's everybody reading today?


I'm a busy reader these days.  Here's what I'm steeped in right now:

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost

At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost—who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs—decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.
The Sex Lives of Cannibals tells the hilarious story of what happens when Troost discovers that Tarawa is not the island paradise he dreamed of. Falling into one amusing misadventure after another, Troost struggles through relentless, stifling heat, a variety of deadly bacteria, polluted seas, toxic fish—all in a country where the only music to be heard for miles around is “La Macarena.” He and his stalwart girlfriend Sylvia spend the next two years battling incompetent government officials, alarmingly large critters, erratic electricity, and a paucity of food options (including the Great Beer Crisis); and contending with a bizarre cast of local characters, including “Half-Dead Fred” and the self-proclaimed Poet Laureate of Tarawa (a British drunkard who’s never written a poem in his life). (from Goodreads)

I'm reading this for April's Around The World challenge (South Pacific), and LOVING it.  It's a hilarious travel memoir that's teaching me a lot about an area of the world I am unfamiliar with.  Oh, you thought all islands of the South Pacific were idyllic gems like Fiji?  Not so much.  Troost's travelogue is leaving me in stitches and I can't wait to review it.

Frozen In Time by Mitchell Zuckoff

On November 5, 1942, a U.S. cargo plane on a routine flight slammed into the Greenland ice cap. Four days later, a B-17 on the search-and-rescue mission became lost in a blinding storm and also crashed. Miraculously, all nine men on the B-17 survived. The U.S. military launched a second daring rescue operation, but the Grumman Duck amphibious plane sent to find the men flew into a severe storm and vanished.

In this thrilling adventure, Mitchell Zuckoff offers a spellbinding account of these harrowing disasters and the fate of the survivors and their would-be saviors. Frozen in Time places us at the center of a group of valiant airmen fighting to stay alive through 148 days of a brutal Arctic winter by sheltering from subzero temperatures and vicious blizzards in the tail section of the broken B-17 until an expedition headed by famed Arctic explorer Bernt Balchen attempts to bring them to safety.
But that is only part of the story that unfolds in Frozen in Time. In present-day Greenland, Zuckoff joins the U.S. Coast Guard and North South Polar--a company led by the indefatigable dreamer Lou Sapienza, who worked for years to solve the mystery of the Duck's last flight--on a dangerous expedition to recover the remains of the lost plane's crew.  (from Goodreads)

I'm at the beginning of this book, and already HOOKED.  I'm a bit of a Coast Guard groupie (both my brother and stepbrother currently serve) so this historical account of a World War II search-and-rescue mission is fascinating to me.  Plus, I love that the author got involved in the more recent search for one of the planes that was never found.  Adds a unique twist the story.

Weelicious by Catherine McCord

After her son was born in 2007, Catherine McCord sought out resources to teach her how to prepare fresh, healthy, appealing meals for young kids—but she came up empty. With culinary school under her belt and a hungry baby to feed, Catherine started Weelicious.com, a website that has since grown into a comprehensive offering of kid-friendly family meals.

Complete with beautiful color photos, tips and tools, lists of pantry staples, feeding plans, and more than seventy new recipes never before seen on Weelicious .com, Weelicious makes it easy to get kids eating healthy foods from their first bite. Catherine teaches parents how to turn their kids into great eaters who appreciate food and are open to exciting new flavors.  (from Goodreads)


You guys know I love Small Fry to pieces.  He's the shizzle.  But seriously, one of the hardest things IN LIFE is trying to feed him.  He is the world's pickiest eater, hands down.  I have been on a desperate quest for the last year to find foods that will appeal to him (other than PB&J and fruit...which in themselves are not terrible, but a good diet they do not make).  I heard amazing things about Weelicious and decided to give it a try.  It's been an interesting journey.  I only have the book for 2 more days from the library, so will soon be reviewing it and sharing my saga with you...

And my audiobook is still Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline--should be finishing up this week!

What will be coming up next?
The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan.  I've been trying really hard to delay this awesomeness until close to its release date, and that is quickly coming upon us, so this is next in my queue!  Others on the horizon include Jordan Freeman Was My Friend by Richard White (for this month's Keyword Challenge: friend), The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard (for an upcoming book tour) and Fly Away by Kristin Hannah (ARC that I'm pretty excited to review).

What are you reading this week, friends?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Whatcha readin'?

Did you get any good reading done this weekend, friends?


The husband, Small Fry, and I had a nice relaxing weekend at home.  Hubs and I finally watched Argo on Friday night, which was awesome.  And then we watched Syracuse lose on Saturday night, which was EXTRA AWESOME.  (UConn may not be tourney-eligible this year, but that doesn't mean my disdain for Duke and Syracuse has waned.)

The temperature continues to slowly chug its way upwards, so we spent a good amount of time outside.  All fun, except for when Small Fry took a big digger in the driveway.  Now he's got a nice case of road rash on his face.  Ah, the life of a toddler boy.  I told him to tell all his friends that he got in a fight with a 3-year-old.  You can't start the street cred too early.

Between all that and playing way too much Candy Crush (that game WILL be the end of me), I did get a good amount of reading done, finishing up Found Objects by Peter Gelfan (review to come tomorrow!). 

As for what I'm reading now:

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations. (from Goodreads)

Yes, I am finally reading one of the food books I got from the library!!  I have been dying to read Samuelsson's memoir (released a few months ago).  I adore many of the Food Network stars, including Samuelsson, and I've heard that his road to food glory was a unique one.  I just started this, can't wait to share with all of you.

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

Josh Hanagarne couldn’t be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn’t officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6’7” when—while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints—his Tourette’s tics escalated to nightmarish levels.

Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in Library Science. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman—and former Air Force Tech Sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison—taught Josh how to “throttle” his tics into submission through strength-training.

Today, Josh is a librarian in the main branch of Salt Lake City’s public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting—and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourette’s.

The World’s Strongest Librarian illuminates the mysteries of this little-understood disorder, as well as the very different worlds of strongman training and modern libraries. With humor and candor, this unlikely hero traces his journey to overcome his disability— and navigate his wavering Mormon faith—to find love and create a life worth living.
(from
Goodreads)

Just starting this interesting memoir as well!  I have an ARC from NetGalley that I couldn't resist, because Hanagarne's story sounds so intriguing.  The book is released next month, and I've already heard a lot of great reviews.

Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline

When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer.

However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparent household accident. Devastated, he returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart. His medical practice is in jeopardy, and he is a complete stranger to the only family he has left - his precious baby girl. Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral.

Ultimately, Mike realizes that the most important battle of his life faces him on the home front and he’ll have to put it all on the line to save what’s dearest to him – his family.
(from
Goodreads)

This is my current audiobook.  I had a somewhat lukewarm reaction to my first Lisa Scottoline read last year (Look Again), but I do think she comes up with twisty, unexpected plots, so I decided to give this one a shot.  It's definitely keeping my interest so far as I try to figure out what happened to Chloe, and how Mike is going to work through it.  Kind of a women's fiction novel from a man's POV, which is cool.

What will be coming up next? 
My two top contenders for my next read: Frozen In Time by Mitchell Zuckoff, and The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting by Bunmi Laditan.  Words cannot do justice to how FREAKIN' STOKED I am about that book.  Review coming soon!
 
Imagination Designs