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first impressions

The full title of Charlie Lovett’s novel is First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen, which sums it up pretty well, except I’d definitely add mystery to the mix. The Jane Austen parts dovetail with the present-day to an extent, as Sophie find out more about the rare book that she’s trying to find for a buyer. We are reading about Jane Austen’s special friendship with an older gentleman, and learning about how he might have influenced Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice.

Go over to 5 Minutes for Mom to read my full review of Charlie Lovett’s First Impressions. You can enter to win a giveaway too.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer

Jennifer lives in Houston with her family. In addition to reading, she enjoys travel, Bible study, food, and fun. She blogs about some of these things -- when her nose isn't in a book -- at Snapshot.

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Today I’m Going to Wear…

Asking a toddler what he or she wants to wear can be the beginning of a seemingly endless process. I remember my own kids having their favorite articles of clothing and sometimes switching allegiances at the drop of a hat (pun fully intended). A new brightly colored board book by Dan Stiles, Today I’m Going to Wear…, depicts the experience of one very enthusiastic young girl choosing her clothing and accessories, and you can imagine that she shows her creativity in the process. Though it starts out simply enough with one little yellow bow, soon the girl is mixing and matching and accessorizing with glee and complete disregard for complementary colors or styles. Yes, she is a toddler, so this will come as no surprise to parents
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Sister Mother Husband Dog: (Etc.)

Delia Ephron and her sister Nora are well-known in America, mostly for such movies as Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. This collection of essays by Delia was my introduction to her as a writer and as a person. Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc. is a collection of personal essays on a wide range of topics, from an extremely poignant one dealing with Nora’s death, to humourous ones on how she lost her 20s to an idealism sprung from over-watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. She talks about her dog, Honey, her family, growing up as the  child of alcoholic parents, the importance of friends, and more, ranging in topic from the weighty to the light and frothy. Ephron is an excellent writer, and
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Mr. Tweed’s Good Deeds

Mr. Tweed is a smartly dressed dog who is heading out for his daily walk. With his dapper suit jacket, striped trousers, walking stick, and extremely tall stovepipe hat, he looks like quite the character. Soon, he reveals himself as a kind friend as he bumps into neighbor after neighbor in need of assistance. Mr. Tweed’s Good Deeds by Jim Stoten tells the story of this helpful dog, in a picture book that is part narrative, part counting book, and part ‘look-and-find’ activity book. Each friend that Mr. Tweed assists is looking for an increasing number of items or creatures- one kite, two kittens, three mice, in that type of pattern. After the missing object is declared, readers are invited to search for them on the
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Us by David Nicholls

Douglas is awakened one night by his wife Connie who says simply “I think our marriage has run its course.” It’s a time of change, the summer before their only child leaves for University, and so Douglas understands Connie’s unhappiness on that level, but he can’t come to grips with her assertion that their marriage is over.  They had already planned a grand tour of Europe as a last family trip, which she wants to keep on the books and not talk about the possibility of her leaving until Fall. The author David Nicholls has made a video in which he explains the basic plot and purpose of Us: A Novel well, so I’ll invite you to watch it: The novel is told solely from
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6 Round-Ups on Reading

As you know, 5 Minutes for Mom is our parent site. There have been quite a few bookish posts there lately that I wanted to be sure you haven’t missed. And if you have, there’s no time like the present to click through and enjoy: 1. When Kyle was a young early reader, getting him to read was a challenge. One of the first series that hooked his interest was Ricky Ricotta. Kyle and I made a video post in honor of its all new release in full color, so go ahead and watch us embarrass ourselves as we try to sound smart and look cute (at least those were my goals). 2. 5 Minutes for Mom writer Bonnie Way recommends 10 Books for Armchair
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Bad Dog Flash

A puppy and mischief go hand in hand, and in Ruth Paul’s new picture book Bad Dog Flash, the mischief couldn’t get any cuter. Flash has energy, and he just wants to play. When chasing the cat leads to him getting chastised, Flash tries to avert his attention to other playful things. But trying to carry a stick inside results in a broken window, and sniffing at the shoes all lined up in a row ends in a mess of chewed leather. After a series of indoor and outdoor adventures gone awry, poor Flash is mucky and sent out to his dog house away from everyone else. Thank goodness that his little girl knows when he needs some love. As a picture book, this makes
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A Brief Moment of Weightlessness #Giveaway

In A Brief Moment of Weightlessness, author Victoria Fish takes us deep into everyday lives, into the thoughts and emotions of people facing various crises or developments, into the heads of children, the elderly, teens, mothers of grown children, and more. This collection of short stories deals with events as small as a girl dealing with her older sister’s adolescence, as momentous as a couple adjusting to life after an accident has left the husband missing a leg. Fish’s genius lies in her ability to plunge her reader down into the depths of the psyche. Her writing is lyrical and lush with description. Each story begins in the middle, as it were, and it only becomes clear as the reader opens herself up to it.
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A Collection of Oxford Children’s Classics

The thing with the classics is that you grow up with them, and you love them, and by the time you’re ready to pass them on to your own kids, they are tattered and dog-eared and too-much-loved, and that’s if you’ve managed to hang on to them and not lost them in one of your many moves. It’s time for new versions, and Oxford University Press is obliging by coming out with new editions of all your old favorites. And they are delightful; they contain the original unabridged stories, of course, but also bonus material such as quizzes, reading recommendations, fun and unusual facts about the author, and more. I chose four to look at, but they’re coming out with many more. With these reviews,
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Little Humans #Giveaway

Fans of Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York have likely heard about his newest book focusing on young subjects from his NYC photography project. Little Humans, which is already receiving tons of publicity and positive reviews, made me smile, too. A celebration of childhood through simple, encouraging text and gorgeous photographs of young kids, this book is a delight to look at whether you’re little or not. To hear more of my thoughts on this book, please read my full review over on 5 Minutes for Mom, where you can enter to win a copy of both this beautiful picture book and a Little Humans poster.
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Crooked River

Just weeks after burying their mother and days after moving into a teepee in a meadow to live with their long-absent father, 15 year old Sam and her 10 year old sister Ollie find the dead body of a young woman in the river. As Ollie had stopped talking when her mother died (just as she previously did after the death of a relative), the responsibility of reporting what they’ve seen lies with Sam. Not saying anything about it to the authorities or to her father, Bear, becomes a decision that weighs on her conscience in coming days when their already loosely tethered new life begins to unravel. The opening of Valerie Geary’s debut novel Crooked River doesn’t hold back. Readers first meet Sam and Ollie in the moment they
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Dear Reader, You Matter to Authors {On Reading}

Dear Reader, I am an author, and I want to tell you about the best reader ever. She approached my book signing table with a smile on her face despite the oxygen tank she was pulling and the clear tubes hooked over her ears like the girl in The Fault in Our Stars. Of course, I didn’t know anything about that book back then, but I knew the importance of lungs. In the book this reader was asking me to sign, the first chapter opens with a young woman having a severe asthma attack that has devastating circumstances. I never imagined that one of my first readers would be a thirty-something mom pulling an oxygen tank standing at my book signing table, and I worried
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