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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Look—Shiny!

Since a lot of you access this blog via some kind of feed reader, I wanted to make sure you knew about a few fun design changes here on BBB.  If you're reading it on the actual web page, you've probably already noticed my new pretties.  Nice, huh?  I've been wanting to re-do my left sidebar to make it less text heavy and more eye-catching.  Since I have no talent in that arena, I contacted my favorite graphic designer, Jerilyn, for help.  She's the one responsible for all of my blog's lovely graphic elements—the header, buttons, backgrounds, etc.  I've gotten tons of compliments on them over the years and it's all thanks to her!  Jerilyn's work is fun, whimsical and just perfect for the vibe I'm going for here at BBB.

First, if you're reading this via a feed reader, click on over to my actual blog.  Now, notice the awesome new info-graphic at the top of my left sidebar.  I actually wrote the text a number of years ago, but hadn't decided how to use it—until now.  Paired with Jerilyn's wonderful illustration (so perfect!), it just encapsulates everything I want people to know about this blog.  Now, scooch your eyes on over to my right sidebar.  Take a gander at the shiny new info-graphic that explains my grading/rating system.  Adorable, right?  I think it provides valuable information while being super cute at the same time.

I'm so pleased with Jerilyn's work that I wanted to give her a huge shout-out.  She's a talented graphic artist and photographer who's very easy to work with.  If you need work done on your blog or if you're looking to order some custom invitations (birthday, wedding, baptism, etc.), she's your girl.  Check out her website and her new Etsy page, Picadilly Lime Design Studio.  I promise you will not be disappointment in anything she designs!

So, tell me, what do you think of the new designs?

Mermaid the Perfect Novel to Savor Over Long, Lazy Days of Summer

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Stay-at-home mom Jenny Lipkin is doing just fine, thank you very much.  She's left behind her career as a magazine editor to raise her daughters, 2-year-old Betty and baby Rose.  So what if her Park Slope apartment's about the size of a Twinkie?  Or if her husband doesn't make enough money to afford one of the fancy new strollers all the other moms are sporting?  So, Jenny's not as svelte or skilled as the other women around her.  So what?  She's happy enough.  Isn't she?  Actually, she's tottering on the brink of insanity.  She loves her kids, but they're sucking all the life out of her.  She loves being at home, but it's making her crazy.  She loves her life, but it's not turning out quite the way she's planned.  And then there's the unrelenting heat; it's boiling her brain.  That, combined with new-mommy sleep deprivation, is enough to make Jenny want to crawl into her bed (baby spit-up spattered sheets, be darned) and never, ever come out.

Then, her husband bails.  Harry's disappearance isn't even all that unusual—he's a gambler, who goes on frequent binges—but it's enough to put Jenny over the edge.  Especially when weeks roll by with no word from him.  Numbed by anger, fear and desperation, she makes a shocking decision, one that will change her life forever—just not in the way she thinks.

With help from a very unlikely source, Jenny looks at her life in a whole new light.  As she changes her attitude and approach, she finds herself starting to become the woman she's always wanted to be.  But a little attitude can go a long way and when Jenny crosses a line she swore she never would, it's time to step back and ask herself the tough questions:  Who is she, really?  What does she truly want?  How much is she willing to sacrifice to finally find happiness?

I wasn't sure what to expect from The Mermaid of Brooklyn by Amy Shearn, but the novel surprised me.  In a very good way.  From the first sentence of her story, Jenny proves herself to be the kind of honest, self-deprecating character with whom any woman can relate.  She's funny and sympathetic and so real, you just want to reach out and hug her.  Even when she messes up big time, you feel for the girl.  This is a character-driven novel and Jenny Lipkin's more than strong enough to carry it.  The book's got some annoying typos/copy-editing errors, but overall, I ended up really enjoying The Mermaid of Brooklyn.  It's a fierce, empowering read, a perfect novel to savor during the long, lazy days of summer.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:  B+

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for strong language and sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Mermaid of Brooklyn from the generous folks at Simon and Schuster via those at BookSparks PR.  Thank you!


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<i>Reading</i>
The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

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Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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