I Am Beauty by Riku Campo

I Am Beauty : Timeless Skincare and Beauty for Women 40 and Over by Riku Campo, photography by Samantha Rapp. Published 2021, 240 pages.

A gorgeous book for women over 40! I Am Beauty: Timeless Skincare and Beauty for Women 40 and Over prominently features women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. This book is a treat and if you are starting to think about holiday gifts you should definitely check this out for the mature women in your life. I’m so glad that I was gifted this copy by TLC Book Tours.

This isn’t about brands, but a routine that will give you healthier skin. Campo is a makeup artist and includes interviews with dermatologists and aestheticians, as well as with the 16 chosen women who received makeovers. Knowing how our skins changes and how our makeup choices also need new life is a lesson or reminder for us older ladies 💄

And all of the photos celebrating us? Beautiful!

As woman who has never taken good care of her skin and is spending her last few weeks in her 40s 😱 this book came at just the right time for a reset.

Check out what others have to say…

Review Stops

Monday, September 20th: A Bookish Way of Life

Tuesday, September 21st: Instagram: @readalotwritealot

Wednesday, September 22nd: Books, Cooks, and Looks

Thursday, September 23rd: Stacy’s Books

Friday, September 24th: What Is That Book About

Monday, September 27th: Instagram: @mrsboomreads

Tuesday, September 28th: Instagram: @pickagoodbook

Wednesday, September 29th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Thursday, September 30th: Bibliotica

Friday, October 1st: Instagram: @jenniaahava

Monday, October 4th: Run Wright

Tuesday, October 5th: Instagram: @nurse_bookie

Wednesday, October 6th: Instagram: @oddandbookish

Monday, October 11th: Instagram: @andrea.c.lowry.reads

Wednesday, October 13th: Instagram: @bookishly_overdue

Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

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Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg. Published 2021, 286 pages, YA

A sequel to Runaway Train, Grenade Bouquets picks up Nico’s story and runs with it. It’s the mid 90s and her idol, Kurt Cobain, is dead, but her love of grunge isn’t. Her parents are convinced to let their 17 year old daughter tour with her boyfriend’s band over the summer where she will sing a few songs on stage. She’s a hit.

Fame is like a drug and Nico is hooked. As the band travels around the country, it is angsty Nico that gets them their first song in the radio. Nico doesn’t have the maturity to handle it, and her band mates only make it worse.

She’s real, she’s flawed, and she’s unapologetically Nico. She’s a little like a train wreck, you know what’s coming but you don’t look away. She can be highly annoying, just like your typical teen, but also surprisingly vulnerable.

I see in an interview with the author that he’s trying to get this series (he’s writing the third now) on TV. I’d watch it 😁. Get a head start and give these YA books a chance.

Thanks to Wise Wolf Books and Virtual Author Book Tours for getting the book into my hands.

There’s still time (but barely) to be entered for a chance to win a copy, click here.

This Week – Friend Fun

This week the local school had Thursday off for Yom Kippur so, we were able to take Gage’s friend with us to his weekly nature camp. The boys had fun and I was lucky enough to spend 30 minutes on the way home with them talking about girl crushes, lol. Here’s the photo they let me take when we dropped off his friend…

Love these boys! On to the books.
Good morning! Mary Bly (Eloisa James for romance readers) has written a book that touches the heart. Lizzie has stage 3 cancer and travels to Italy with her BFF and his famous boyfriend, wanting to soak in the moments before they’re gone. Then Dante shows up with his pre-teen daughter and her heart must come to terms with new possibilities.

This was emotional, tragic and hopeful at the same time. Lizzie is a Shakespeare professor (much like the author) and Romeo and Juliet play a pert in the storyline (hence the title?). I knew nothing about it going in, basing my reading decision in the beautiful cover and knowing it was an author I enjoyed, so I won’t say any more about it. Well, except that I’m glad that I read it 😁
The only thing these two books have in common is their red and white covers and the fact that I read them yesterday. One, about Africans making the treacherous journey to Europe and the other a picture book made from a song by the White Stripes.

Alpha: Abidjan to Paris is the story of a man who has tried to get visas for him and his family to travel to Paris to stay with his sister-in-law. When that becomes impossible he sends his wife and son to make the dangerous and illegal journey, hoping that when they arrive they’ll send money so he can join them. Heartbreaking and informative, this graphic novel shouldn’t be missed. The first two pics are from this book. Translated from French.

We”re Going to be Friends is a charming kids picture book made from the song by the White Stripes. The artwork is fantastic and, the ‘story’ is sure to please kids and adults. It was the illustrations that won me over. The last two pics are of this book.

There’s nothing prettier than a Kleypas cover! This is the third book about the Hathaways and I loved catching up with them all.

When Poppy runs into the reclusive Harry Rutledge in a secret passage in his hotel his desire for her changes the course of her life. It’s up for debate about whether it’s for the better.

Historical romance fans can do no better than Kleypas. This wasn’t a favorite, Harry wasn’t my speed, but I did love my time spent with the rest of the Hathaway clan.
Annie Lumsden, the Girl from the Sea reads a little like a fairy tale, but its center is Annie, a girl who is considered ‘daft’. She lives by the sea with her mother who loves to tell tales and one day tells the one Annie’s been waiting for, the one about her father.

It was different and I wonder what kids actually think of it since it’s labeled juvenile. Annie is different and that will appeal to many kids, but it felt written for someone older. I think it would be a lovely book to read with your pre-teen child, especially if they love mermaids 🧜‍♀️ the illustrations were lovely.

This is one that I’ve been meaning to read for years and when this copy came in with the library donations this week I immediately stuck it in my bag . Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is a graphic memoir by the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors. She tells the story of her childhood during the Islamic Revolution and Iran’s war with Iraq.

It’s 152 pages of black and white illustrations full of horror, history, and heartwarming and heartbreaking stories. This covers her life from 6-14, when she was then sent to Vienna without her parents.

I’m late to the game, but this is a must read. I’m already looking to get my hands on book 2! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Book of the day with our latest  puzzle! I ❤️this happy circle puzzle with flowers, birds, and butterflies 🌸🦜🦋

As good as Long Bright River was, it wasn’t cheery like the puzzle. It’s about bad beginnings, drug abuse, and the ties that keep families together. BUT it is a thriller, with clues told at just the right pace to keep this almost 500 pager racing to the finish.

Mickey, always the good sister, is worried because she hasn’t seen her sister on the streets for awhile and women are being murdered in the neighborhood. She’s a policewoman with a new partner and a boss who doesn’t like her. How will she find her sister? And if she does will she still be alive?

This book had a little bit of everything (except cheerfulness) and I thought it was very well done. This is my first by Liz Moore, but I’ll be looking for more.

I loved this book for kids (Gage just started it) and will definitely be looking for more of the series. Two siblings try to outdo each other with the interesting and obscure facts they know about the famous boxer. At just over 100 pages and with short chapters and paragraphs this is sure to appeal to even a reluctant reader. It’s told in a fun way with recognizable interactions between the siblings.

Along with the facts and stories there were quotes and the poetry he recited. The illustrations were great too. I loved reading some of the facts out loud to Jason since he hadn’t heard most of them either. Muhammad Ali paid someone to lick his sweat? Those kind of facts combined with more biographical information make this a winner for the late elementary set ❤️❤️❤️❤️

This Week – School is in session

This week we started full day of school and we hired our last instructor (reading and writing tutor in addition to piano and speech) so everything is in place for the next few months at least, yay! In the first week there was only one meltdown with tears and I think I finally have a way to deal with it that should lessen the occurrence (hopefully). Being better organized has helped immensely.

We also went to the drive in for the first time in forever. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Three Rings and Free Guy was the double feature and Gage was thrilled to be out past midnight, lol.

Here was my earlier update and here’s what I’ve read since…

This puzzle was HARD even at only 500 pieces. I loved the fun shapes of the pieces, but this wasn’t a favorite. Usually I like to look at the picture of the puzzle and then put it away, not using it after I’ve started, but not so with this one. I had the picture right in front of me the whole time 😁. The guys helped a bit, but it was too challenging to be fun for them, at least til the end. Can’t wait to see what @completingthepuzzleofficial sends next!

I listened to the Bill Clinton/James Patterson collaboration The President is Missing while I puzzled. It’s been a long while since I’ve read Patterson. I thought this was a fun, fast-paced read especially if you like political thrillers. A President only has a small amount of time to stop a terrorist attack, but the opposing party is slowing him down. And he has to trust the very people who put the attack in motion. Nothing groundbreaking, but still entertaining.
Gage and I used both of these week for our morning journal, finishing up both yesterday. I checked out both when I reserved the Ashley Bryan autobiography that I raved about yesterday. I love his illustrations.

The Night Has Ears, African Proverbs was a selection of very short proverbs, each attributed to a tribe, and a beautiful illustration taking up most of the page. A few we choose for our daily quotes…
“There is no one-way friendship.” Maasai
“No One knows the story of tomorrow’s dawn.” Ashanti

Sail Away poems by Langston Hughes and illustrations by Ashley Bryan was a nice, small poetry collection for kids, bite-sized really. I’m not a poetry person 🤷🏻‍♀️ but I do keep sharing it with Gage hoping he’ll pick it up better than I ever have. The jury’s still out.
It’s always good to read a book from my TBR piles. I get a lot of books from the library and get a few more from publishers or book tours, but that means that my pile of books to read just grows and grows.

The Perfect Girl is a thriller about 17 year old music prodigy Zoe, who was hiding from her earlier big mistake. She and her mother tried to escape what Zoe had done, but the past finally caught up to their new life.

This was told from multiple viewpoints, also going back and forth between then and now. This was a solid thriller with an ending that satisfied. I didn’t find any of the characters likable enough to care too much, but it works as a domestic character study with a twist.

It’s September?

So many things to juggle these past few weeks, so having a few minutes to stop and blog is a breath of fresh air. The glass of wine doesn’t hurt either! Gage has still not fully recovered from gastritis and that means extra doctors on board. We finally started full day school yesterday. And I’m planning a trip for us, which always stresses me out.

But I’m still on track with a book a day (barely ;)) Here are my daily updates from IG.

My September intentions! I read March, book 1, a graphic memoir that tells the story of John Lewis, civil rights hero. It jumps between the morning of Barack Obama’s inauguration and his childhood in Alabama and college days in Tennessee.

It’s very good.
March, Book 2, the graphic memoir by civil rights icon John Lewis. This covers his time with the Freedom Riders and his rise to chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at 23, becoming one of the Big Six leaders of the civil rights movement. He was also the 6th speaker at the March on Washington.

I was so fascinated with this second of the trilogy. I loved getting a behind the scenes look at what was happening and my respect for the Lewis grew by leaps and bounds. His commitment to the cause is inspirational still.

A must read for history lovers.

I finished up the March trilogy, graphic memoirs by John Lewis, about his childhood and involvement in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s.

March Book 3 contained more of the violence against these non-violent protesters and much more about the politics involved as all organizations serving the movement were not always in agreement.

The trio of books need to be read together. He names names and brings to light the horrifying treatment and harassment of these Americans just trying to have equal rights. Especially the vote, many a protest was solely to get African Americans the right to vote, something they were routinely denied in the south. The blacks and whites pushing for change were beaten, jailed, and killed, often under the orders of the officials in charge.

Do yourself a favor and take a few hours to see the world through Lewis’s eyes. I am so thankful that there is so much heart and fact that came together for me to integrate these books into my knowledge of the time period.

Anyone who says it’s necessary to make it more difficult to vote is using the same playbook that’s always been used by those who want to stay in power and are fearful of change. So much has changed, but there’s still work to be done.

A must read when studying the civil rights movement.
I read and listened to #17 of the Jack Reacher series, A Wanted Man. I’ve been reading these in order, but accidentally read 18 before this one. 😱

I always enjoy the antihero Reacher (I’m really looking forward to the upcoming tv series!) but this was not one of my favorites. Hitchhiking his way to Virginia he gets caught up in a manhunt and faces dire consequences (yes, the dire consequences happen every book). It’s solid, but got a little too crazy by the end.
Yesterday was game day at our house and we each chose one. Gage chose Azul and he and I tied for the win. I chose our newest game, Wingspan, and kicked butt. Jason chose The River and Gage crushed us both.

These are all strategy games and if you’re curious about any of them drop a comment and I’ll show and tell tomorrow 😁

I read the delightful The Ocean at the End of the Lane. What a fantastic way to spend a few hours. Is it a fable? A fairy tale? A dream? A story sure to cause nightmares? Let’s call it all of these.

A middle aged man goes home to Sussex for a funeral and is drawn to his childhood home and the farm at the end of the road where magical things happened to him 40 years before. He had been only 7 and the story, remembered from that perspective, was frightening and real.

Loved this one! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
We’ve played Wingspan twice and love it. It’s suggested for ages 14+, but Gage is almost 11 and caught on easily. That being said, we play The River often and it’s similar in some ways so that helped. Everyone has their own board and is building their own sanctuary with birds from 3 habitats. There are 4 rounds and with the three of it took us an hour and a half the first time and closer to an hour the second.

The art on these cards (170 birds) is gorgeous. Each card tells you where the bird is found, how it nests, how big it is, and it’s habitat. It’s an easy gift for bird lovers. 🦅🐥🦉🦆🐦

There is also another way to play, solo, but we haven’t checked that out yet.

I looked through some picture books last night and settled on this one, How Emily Saved the Bridge, as being the best one about Emily Warren Roebling, the woman who was responsible finishing the Brooklyn Bridge. My book club read The Engineer’s Wife, a historical fiction novel about Emily and I was intrigued enough to want to share her story with Gage. This book covers all of important facts with fun illustrations.
We officially started full day 5th grade this morning (he’s having his weekly piano lesson now). We’re starting out with a more structured schedule so we’ll see how it goes. So far so good!

I chose the perfect day to read ADHD in HD: Brains Gone Wild. It’s written by a young adult with ADHD for kids, teens really, that also have special brains. The layout was very kid friendly and the stories/advice bite-sized so it’s easy to digest.

As a parent to a kid with ADHD this was a much needed reminder as our homeschool school year begins. I didn’t necessarily learn anything new, but I sometimes forget the struggle that goes into doing things that are typically easier for other kids. I tend to push when sometimes a hug will do just as well.

I think it’s a good book for early teens who have been diagnosed. I know that I will be sharing with Gage in a year or two. It’s a feel good book not an in-depth look into the science behind it.
Gage has read a few of the Hank series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver. I had to decide if I thought these were up to snuff to read for schoolwork so I read You Can’t Drink a Meatball Through a Straw last night.

Interestingly, the books use the Dyslexie font that makes it easier to read for people with dyslexia. I had never heard of this before, but good to know if your child’s reading struggles stem from dyslexia or similar issues.

The story features Hank, who himself has dyslexia, and his family and friends. This one has a cousin visiting from out of town who is entered into a cook-off competition. Fast talking Hank somehow also becomes a participant. It was cute and had a feel good moment at the end. I’ve okayed the series for independent reading 😂

123 pages with a picture on each pages, mostly smallish for interest.

August Wrap Up and Favorites

A few days late, but I’m here. In August I read a total of 37 books and watched 3 bookish movies.

10-kids picture books (non-fiction)

6-adult fiction

5-thrillers

5-kids picture books (fiction)

3-romance

3-kids fiction

3-adult non-fiction

1- poetry

1-kids graphic memoir

Here are the few since my last update…

In Good Company Flora finds her husband’s first wedding ring, in the bottom of a file cabinet, a ring he had supposedly lost in a Lake years ago. What follows is the past and present lives of two couples and one daughter, each getting a chance to show their perspective.

I listened to the whole thing so it was at least that good, but I had a difficult time caring about any of the characters, except maybe the daughter. And the story, the way that it jumped around,didn’t help me get invested. I thought the end was well done. If you like books about complicated marriages (aren’t they all?) then this will probably appeal to you.
We watched Sarah’s Key, based on the bestselling book that I finally read last month. Alternating between 1942 and 2002 Paris it explores the French roundup of its Jewish citizens during WWII. I thought both the book and movie were good and I always like seeing Aidan Quinn onscreen 🙂

My book of the day is also one of my favorite books of August (the others are shown). Just Last Night looks like a cute romance from the cover. But even though there is some romance, this is more about friendship and loss and coming through stronger. It was not at all what I expected and I loved it! But beware I shed a tear or two in the middle.

FAVORITES

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What was your favorite read of August?

Posts about this month’s books…

August 7

August 14

August 22

August 28