B is for Beer by Tom Robbins Review by Lauren copy from library; all opinions are my own Official Summary: Once upon a time (right about now) there was a planet (how about this one?) whose inhabitants consumed thirty-six billion gallons of beer each year (it's a fact, you can Google it). Among those affected, each in his or her own way, by all the bubbles, burps, and foam, was a smart, wide-eyed, adventurous kindergartner named Gracie; her distracted mommy; her insensitive dad; her non-conformist uncle; and a magical, butt-kicking intruder from a world within our world.
Review: This was another book title I came across at the library while working. The title looked familiar and I thought it might be a bit enjoyable to read this "Children's Book for Grown-ups" or "Grown-up Book for Children" - whichever you prefer.
The book isn't very long, but it still took me a little bit to get into. It took me no more than an hour to read and there were certainly passages in the book that I found interesting. It wasn't as funny as I expected; instead, it offers up a good lesson on the limits of alcohol and how too much can affect you in a negative way. In that regard, it really did seem like a "Grown-up Book for Children" and as someone who does not drink alcohol, it's one I could appreciate. I don't mind people that drink, but in moderation!
As for the summary, where it mentions a "butt-kicking intruder from a world within our world", the author is actually talking about a beer fairy. Yes, a beer fairy. She was the one giving out all the wisdom on proper drinking, etc. to Gracie. One of her quotes was something I really liked though-
"Courage is where you find it. Having said that, I must admit that bravery that comes from a bottle - or from a book or a sermon, for that matter - lacks the full strength and purity of bravery that comes straight from the heart."
Overall, it was a very quick read that I was able to find some meaning out of...though if I gave ratings, I'd say this is around a three star read overall.
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story Review by Lauren copy from library, all opinions are my own Official Summary: The Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided the Beatles - from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to unprecedented international stardom. Yet more than merely the story of "The Man Who Made the Beatles," The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Brian himself died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two, having helped the Beatles prove through "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" that pop music could be an inspirational art form. He was homosexual when it was a felony to be so in the United Kingdom, Jewish at a time of anti-Semitism, and from Liverpool when it was considered just a dingy port town.
Review: When people hear the term "The Fifth Beatle" they often think of Stuart Sutcliffe, who was a member of the Beatles before they become famous. So when I first saw this book at the library, that was who I assumed the book was about. I was glad to learn that, instead, I would be reading about a man who name I only recognized. As the back of the book reads, in a quote from Paul McCartney, "If anyone was the fifth beatle, it was Brian."
This book shows the enthusiasm and hard work that Brian put into the Beatles. He believed in them from the beginning and kept pushing until they were famous worldwide. What Brian did for the Beatles, though, he neglected to do for himself. As the summary says, he was gay and Jewish in a time when that was not accepted, and Brian seems to have had a lot of trouble living a truly fulfilling life.
The Beatles obviously cared for Brian, understanding and accepting him for who he was. One of the scenes in the book has Brian and John Lennon on a beach, with John pointing out guys to see who Brian fancied. You can see some of that here:
That also gives you a look at the drawing and color too. The book spans a lot of years, and I did find some parts a bit confusing (especially at the end), but overall, I really liked this look at Brian Epstein. It really shows how the Beatles were helped made famous by a man that most people don't even remember. I hope that changes.
Noggin by John Corey Whaley Review by Lauren In Stores April 8th! copy from publisher, but all opinions are my own Official Summary: Listen—Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.
Now he's alive again. Simple as that.
The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he's still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she's not his girlfriend anymore? That's a bit fuzzy too.
Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.
Oh well, you only live twice.
Review: To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I first picked it up. I wasn't a huge fan of the title or the cover, as it made the story seem a bit immature. I want to mention this for those of you who may have first thoughts similar to mine because I can safely say now that I highly enjoyed this book. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read the book and get inside the head (pun intended) of Travis Coates.
Travis was sixteen and dying of cancer. There was no chance of his recovery, so he talked his parents into allowing him to join a science experiment. They would cut off his head, freeze it, and maybe sometime in the future he could be brought back to life. He never really thought it would work, and definitely not in five years time. Now, he's sixteen all over again, and he has to deal with his best friend Kyle and girlfriend Cate having grown up without him. Not to mention being stuck on another guys' body instead of his own. Travis is definitely having a rough "second life."
I liked that the overall story is a typical coming-of-age. Travis' life is different from most (there is only one other person who has successfully survived this experiment) but he still has to deal with typical teenage situations like girls, friends, and family life. It's weird to imagine someone coming back to life, but Whaley made it seem realistic. There wasn't a lot of details concerning the science, but there didn't really have to be. It makes sense that something like this could exist, and besides, the after-effects are much more interesting.
There were moments in the book where you wanted to shake Travis into reality. His emotions were stuck in the past, while those he most cared about had grown up. It was easy to see both sides of their situations, but it's hard to see Travis continually reach for something you don't think he can get. He's a character you grow to care for and understand though. As are the rest of the characters. I especially liked Travis' new friend, Hatton. He's obsessed with girls, always speaking his mind, and pretty hilarious.
In the end, if you aren't sure about this book, I would suggest giving it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised!
This week I wanted to share some ideas for a RainbowArt Party. Of course, you can make it simply a rainbow party or an art party, but it seems much more fun if you mix the two! I like that some of these ideas could work for adults too. I know many of my friends still love being creative and making crafts!
Hi Sugarplum! had two Rainbow Art parties that you can check out here and here. Above comes from their second party. I love the rainbow fruit kabobs. I've seen these around the blog world for a lot of parties, and I really want to make them sometime!!
I also like the drink set up, as it goes along with the rainbow theme (as do the crazy straws!!)
Hostess with the Mostess shared a Rainbow Paint party with a lot of cute ideas. I really like the colored candy divvied up in paint cans. Aren't the paintbrush labels too fun?
From the same party, I wanted to share these rice krispie paint brushes. Yum! What a clever idea.
From Catch My Party, I really liked these edible art kits. Some of the items included are colored cereal rings and gummy rings. I'm sure you could come up with all sorts of things to include!
The above photo shows you some of the fun things set up for the art party at Kara's Party Ideas. I think my favorite are the cake balls with the paint brush sticks!!
The same website offers some free art party printables too, if you're looking! One of those items is the invitation. I like how they spruced them up with the paintbrushes in the photo above. You could roll it up like scroll!