Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Small Town, Sweet Romance with Julie Anne Lindsey (Guest Post)

I am so happy to welcome author Julie Anne Lindsey to Library Girl Reads and Reviews today as part of her blog tour for Bloom. Although I have not (yet) read one of her books, she is great fun to follow on twitter and I'm excited to see what she is up to next.

Thanks for stopping by Julie!

Thank you so much Angela for letting me stop by your blog today! This is my very first blog tour and I’m a little bouncy over here. Meeting friends online has made writing much more fun and really changed my reading habits too. Sites like yours have introduced me to new books and authors so often, it’s become hard to remember what I did before. I used to have to find new books all by myself! I’m a voracious reader first, but today I’m celebrating another bookish milestone in my life. I wrote a book! My love of words has taken a whole new turn and I wanted to share a little piece of my new love with you and your readers. Thanks for letting me do this!

Small Town. Big Love.

When I think of small towns, a lot of things come to mind. I’m a small town girl. I love the sense of community, even if that means I catch a little trouble when I miss a Sunday service or skip volunteering for the fall PTA fundraiser. Small towns are a lot like really big families. There’s always a trouble maker or two. A handful who will always have the latest gossip, and other ones you steer clear of whenever you can. But, even the most annoying of those would kick your enemy in the shins if they dared wrong you while they were around to see it. Because that’s how families work. The sense of community, loyalty and pride found in a little town makes me smile.

When I came across the call to submissions for a new line of books, I knew I found my home. Honey Creek books all center on the same small fictitious town in rural Ohio. I have my share of stories to tell, but choosing the genre was harder. Where do you start when there are so many possibilities?

For me, all things in life come back around to love. In hindsight I wonder how it took me so long to realize sweet romance was the answer. I set out to write one short, sweet romance for Honey Creek and ended up with four. I hoped the press would like my first story. This kind of submission is tougher than some because I had nothing to research. The line didn’t yet exist. So, I wrote from my heart and tried to create characters I’d want to call over for a barbecue. The next thing I knew, I was writing more books for the line. Lucky for me, the books were accepted because I can’t seem to leave Honey Creek! I wander away to work on other projects. But it never takes long before my heart is back in the Creek writing something new. I really like it there.

In Honey Creek, life moves a little slower. People are a little kinder, and families still sit down together for dinner. The pastor is your neighbor and your neighbors are your friends. If you work late, your children know they can have dinner next door and you never worry they might not be safe or happy until you reach them. In Honey Creek, love forms out of friendships and the whole town is rooting for you.

I hope you’ll visit Honey Creek. It’s a beautiful place where anything is possible. Kick off your shoes, relax into that porch swing and cuddle with a steamy hot toddy and maybe my debut novella Bloom. Now taking a trip to Honey Creek is as easy as Amazon : ) See you there!

Bloom by Julie Anne Lindsey

In a town filled with her past, she never expected to find her future…

Seven years ago Cynthia left Honey Creek with a broken heart. Three years ago Mitchell arrived with one. Now Cynthia’s come home, and these two hardened hearts can’t stop arguing. If they’d only take a break long enough to find some common ground, they might be surprised to find love can grow anywhere.

If they’ll let it, love will find a way to Bloom .

*Bloom is book one in my new Seeds of Love series. I’ll be planting those seeds all year.

About Julie:

I am a mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus. Most days you'll find me online, amped up on caffeine & wielding a book.

You can find my blogging about the writer life at Musings from the Slush Pile

Tweeting my crazy at @JulieALindsey

Reading to soothe my obsession on GoodReads

And other books by me on

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our New Addition!

 On Thursday, February 16, our family grew by one. Victoria Jean entered the world at 6:45 pm weighing 7 pounds 3.6 ounces. Having Victoria was a completely different experience than having Elizabeth was over three years ago and I'm happy to say it was MUCH easier this time around!

Needless to say, I'm not getting a whole lot of reading done lately because taking care of a newborn and a three year old is a full time job in itself. I finished The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes before I went to the hospital and I haven't even picked up a book since I've been home. So things here on the blog may be slow for quite a while. I have some great books waiting to be read but I need to grab sleep whenever I can these days!

One thing that I hadn't completely forgotten about but that still shocked me a bit was the cost of diapers when we picked up our first package for Victoria. We used Pampers diapers with Elizabeth because that is what they had in the hospital and they worked so we just kept using them. We knew we would be bringing home some diapers from the hospital so we just picked up a small package of newborn diapers before I went to the hospital and it was around $10. I think that lasted us all of three days after getting home! I would love to have a cheaper alternative for diapers that work as well as the Pampers.

Thanks to and Comforts for Baby, I have the opportunity to try the Comforts for Baby brand diapers, wipes, and sippy cups. I was sent one package of baby wipes, a package with two sippy cups, a coupon for a free package of diapers, and several 20% off diapers coupons. Comforts for Baby products are available at the Kroger family of stores which is incredibly convenient for me as that is where we do our weekly grocery shopping anyway.

I picked up my free package of diapers on my last shopping trip but unfortunately we won't be able to use them for a while. The smallest size that I could find was a size 1 which starts at 8 pounds. Victoria is currently wearing the newborn size from Pampers which actually goes up to 10 pounds if we need it to. I pulled one of the Comforts diapers out of the package just to see how much bigger it is and it would definitely be too large on her right now. Plus the Pampers diapers have a small dip in the front to accommodate her cord which hasn't fallen off yet. Even if the Comforts diapers would fit at this point, I would still have to fold them down in front so it wouldn't cover and rub on her cord. The good news was that the package of Comforts diapers would cost me between $6 and $7 for about the same number of diapers as I got in the $10 Pampers package. So I'm looking forward to trying them when Victoria is a little bigger to see how they fit her and if they contain leaks. It would be nice if we like them because it would save us some money and a trip to another store since we've been buying diapers at Target or Sam's Club depending on the size we need.

The Comforts for Baby wipes say they are comparable to Huggies baby wipes and I would agree that this is an accurate comparison. I think we used one or two packages of Huggies baby wipes with Elizabeth but we didn't really care for them much. The Comforts wipes are thick which is nice for cleaning up a messy diaper but they are also a bit stiff and don't seem very soft. Baby bottoms are a very sensitive area so not being very soft is a huge negative for me. We actually like the up & up brand of baby wipes from Target. They aren't as thick as the Comfort wipes but they are softer and have a little texture to them which helps clean the skin with less rubbing. Although I didn't look at the price of the Comfort for Baby wipes when I was in Kroger, my guess is that the pricing would be comparable to the up & up brand.

The Comforts for Baby brand carried by the Kroger family of stores goes far beyond just diapers and wipes. They also carry:
  • Disposable changing pads
  • Training Pants
  • Skincare products
  • Formula & Bottle liners
  • Bowls, Spoons, & Cups
  • Bibs, Pacifiers, & Teething Rings
While we don't currently have a need for most of these products, it is nice to know that Kroger has options available to meet Victoria's needs as she grows. I'm very curious too see how the diapers work for us when she is ready for that next size.

Be sure to check out for a full list pf products, great parenting articles, and product coupons.

Have you ever tried any of the Comforts for Baby products? What did you think of them?

This post was written after receiving Comforts for Baby products to try from All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and no one from BzzAgent, Kroger, or Comforts for Baby edited this post in any way.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guest Post by Lou Aronica

Today I would like to welcome author Lou Aronica to Library Girl Reads & Reviews to talk about his experiences in the publishing business and as a writer...

Back in the mid-seventies, Elvin Bishop released the now-classic hit “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.” Since I wasn’t in the publishing business (or any business, for that matter) in the mid-seventies, I assume Bishop had something else in mind (I don’t know, perhaps romantic love?) when he penned this tune. However, the title adequately sums up my experience with the business side of the book world.

When I graduated college, I intended to get a job as a high school teacher. However, the economy was dreadful, school budgets were especially bad, and there were no teaching jobs to be had. As a fallback, I sent my resume to every book publisher in New York, and Bantam Books hired me. From the time I’d been a teenager, it had been my ambition to be a writer, so it seemed to make sense to work in a place that dealt with lots of writers. Still, I didn’t intend to stay in this field for long. My expectation was that I’d either get a teaching job eventually, or I’d start writing books. Either way, I assumed I was only going to be dabbling in the publishing biz.

But then I fooled around and fell in love. I was only weeks into my first position – a dreadful job that required me to cart cover materials from one executive’s office to another’s for approval in the days before the electronic conveyance of such materials – when some of those executives started talking to me. They’d ask my opinions of the covers, ask whether I’d read the book in question, and ask my thoughts about books in general, and I found these conversations far more interesting than I imagined they would be. My love for the business end of the industry started then. It ratcheted up several levels a few years later when I started editing books. Working directly with writers to help them craft their stories was the best kind of work I could imagine, as was doing everything I could do within the organization to make sure each writer had a high profile in the house.

At some point, I realized I wasn’t “fooling around” any longer. I was flat-out in love with the field and everything that came with it. Admittedly, some parts of the job were more appealing than others. Eating in four-star restaurants three or four times a week to court agents, for instance, or going to benefit film premieres. But even the budget meetings and paperwork had some appeal because the end product meant so much to me. I became so attached to this side of the business that it was twenty-four years before I published my own first book.

Ultimately, I decided that the daily commute to New York from my home in Connecticut was causing me to miss too much time with my family, and I embarked on a full-time writing career. In 2008, I stepped back over to the publishing side while continuing to write with the launch of the independent house, The Story Plant. And then, when I decided that I wanted to publish my new novel, Blue myself, I set up an entire publishing imprint, The Fiction Studio, to do so, and the slate of writers for that program is growing quickly.

These days, I spend about half of my time writing and the other half publishing. For me, nothing appeals to me more than writing fiction, even when a novel like Blue takes six years to come to completion. Publishing is a very, very close second, though. My love for it has never faded.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Unintentional Parallelism of a Puggle by W.H. Buxton

Today I would like to welcome author W.H. Buxton to Library Girl Reads & Reviews to tell us how Puggles relate to his book CyberLife...

A short while ago, I was working on the first of a three book series, CyberLife , (The next two being CyberSapien in 2012 and CyberSavior in 2013) which fictionally describe one man’s attempt to live in a globally integrated communication-driven world supported by his holographic best-buddy; when, without prior warning, my wife came home from one of her daily credit stretching shopping sprees with a new family member: a small, fuzzy brown female puppy she called “Boo-Boo.” Unable to recognize the breed of dog, I asked her what kind of Dog it was, and her response was “Why, a Puggle, of course!”

OK…So what’s a Puggle? My first thought (hope, really) was that it was a Virtual Pet, like a few of the characters in the CyberLife world. Not so…

photo credit: LaurenKates via photo pin cc
A Puggle is a Hybrid Dog; an $800, hyperactive 50-50 mix of a registered Pug and Beagle. As such, it combines the apatite, personalities and physical characteristic of both dogs into one small, clumsy, vocal, digestively-efficient, always hungry and otnay-oota-itebray package of shoe-chewing fun.

As I looked at the Puggle, I saw a 15 year commitment and all the costs and expenses associated with raising another child. My wife saw a cute little puppy with big, brown eyes, a playful personality, and a total joy.

Which leads me to the question of unintentional parallelism. One Dog, Two Perceptions, and both are required to coexist and create the singular world me and this perpetual mouth are going to spend our lives life in. Which is also the problem plaguing the principle character of CyberLife. As with me and the Puggle, Jim Murphy tries his best to live in two worlds: one Physical and the other Virtual. Two different points of view, but at the end of the day, we’re both is still the same dogs living in the same world.

CyberLife describes the world of the full-time integrated communication and our daily lives within it, all told through the eyes, ears and mind of Jim Murphy, a 39 year old mediocre Knowledge Systems Architect. In his world, we “Physicals” no longer need to use laptops or smartphones to access the Internet. Most people use implanted Comderms and Vertals (Holographic projections), to access and manage all the information in the Cybersphere: a massive socially oriented network that connects everyone to everything. It’s like the Internet, but on steroids, and you can’t unplug from it…

Although not described directly, two of the CyberLife’s key concepts involve Unintentional Parallelism and implications of Sociological-Transformative approaches in ascertaining Comparative Advantage, which, coincidently, also directly apply to acquiring and training a Puggle Puppy; mastering Puggle Dynamics through an interactive knowledge system designed to enable continuous learning of the “hidden curriculum” of Puggle-Integrated adult life. Although the context of this learning mechanism described in both of us (meaning: the Puggle and me) are somewhat unique, both of ours will have to develop concurrently around the same sociological perspectives of the continuous education of the individual as we adjust to a new and ever-changing environment. For the Puggle, it is the potential increase of mastering her Canine Capital of economic advantage through repetitive occupational learning of Puggle training. This means lots and lots of snacks and treats.

For me, it is the description of intellectual capital accumulation newly stockpiled in order to help me cope with the consequence of living with a Puggle. This means hiding my shoes on a shelf at least four feet high and correctly living within the Three Laws of Puggle:

1. All food is good;
2. More food is better;
3. Your food is the best.

And for both of us, it is the continuous process of learning to understand and nurture Puggle-Human cohabitation and the coping skills my wife must learn as she strives to survive our respective educations.

So why is this of any importance? Perhaps the hidden forcing function of working to identify the elements of continuous learning in both myself and the Puggle, and for Jim and his Vertal “Jasper” in the Cybersphere stems not solely from abstract social transformational theory, but from the humanist characteristic of acquiring Competitive Advantage. I can already see that some situations resolving shared structural understanding (and food sources) where the supplying resources will be limited and any final arbitration will be deterministically derived from a decision-making third party, meaning my wife. And it will be that decision makers understanding of the desires behind individual and organizational learning incentives, which creates more social capital which leads to greater knowledge sharing and greater competitive advantage in a competing marketplace. In other words, the better I learn, the more I know, the better I can compete and cope, the more influence I have with my environment, and hence, my incentive to learn. This is important, since after observing my wife’s own interactions with this new Puggle puppy, I know that if it comes down to me or the dog, I’m going to need a massively huge stockpile of competitive advantage stashed somewhere.

Which brings me back to the Puggle. Despite the two different perspectives my wife and I have on the puppy, it is still the same dog. It’s going to require all three of us to continuously learn about each other, and it’s that interaction which will lead to developing our own unique “competitive advantages” as we learn the influences we have on each others environment. Knowing where these advantages lie will lead to better enjoyment of our interactions all the way around, and will, hopefully, result in not having to split my lunch with the dog and the saving of the rest of my shoes from a trip through Boo-Boos Alimentary Canal.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Witchful Thinking by H.P. Mallory

Title: Witchful Thinking
Author: H.P. Mallory
Series: Jolie Wilkins Book 3
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Bantam Books
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program
Reading Challenge: 2012 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Witchful Thinking is actually the third book in the Jolie Wilkins series, although it is the first to be published by a major publisher. The first two books, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble and Toil and Trouble, are both self-published and most widely available in digital format. I did not realize this when I requested Witchful Thinking from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program or I would not have selected this book. I was able to borrow a paperback copy of Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble from my library to review but had no luck obtaining a physical copy of Toil and Trouble even though both the author's website and Amazon show that a paperback version should exist.

I'm actually not sure if one would be better off reading both of the previous books in the series or just starting straight in with Witchful Thinking. Because this is the first book from a traditional publisher, many people seeing it in a bookstore would have no idea that there were two books already in the series. The story takes this into account heavily with the prologue to this book being the first chapter from Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. Having read that book, I could identify major sections of information dumping to catch the reader up on all that had happened when Jolie first met Rand. I had a little more trouble identifying pure information dumps from the second book only because I have not read it. Having missed out on that action, it was very clear that I was being brought up to date but I was not as clear on how much of that portion of the story was repetition and how much was simply being examined through a new lens based on current events. It felt like it took over half the book to really get into the current action. While this might be good for a first time reader, it was frustrating to know how much repetition was happening.

My biggest issue with this series, especially this book, is that I simply don't like the characters all that much. I must be used to much stronger female characters from reading a lot of urban fantasy. Jolie drove me absolutely crazy because she was such a doormat. Every time she made a decision, she would question herself and fill her own head with self-doubt. She changed her mind every time a hot guy entered the room and it didn't always seem to matter which one. She is told it is her destiny to be Queen of the Underworld and takes on the role even though she is constantly whining that it is one she doesn't want. She decides to rule in her own way only to have those around her change her ideas and block her at every turn. The constant whining about Rand and her inability to hold her own where he was concerned truly made me want to throw the book across the room at times. Rand had a lot of the same issues as Jolie as far as making decisions and changing his mind and not acting on his feelings and so on. I realize it is a paranormal romance, which is not a genre I read much, but does that mean the characters must be spineless?

I didn't particularly like the format of this book either with the use of diary entries. Some of them felt like just ways to dump information while others were more of Jolie's whining and uncertainty.

Without being too spoilery, I will say that the ending seemed an awfully convenient way to keep the series going but I'm afraid it will lend itself to even more repetition and information dumping in future books. I won't be sticking around to find out though as this is not a series that I plan to continue.

Related Post: My review of Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

OTL: Ghirardelli Chocolate & Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ah, Valentine's Day... the day to celebrate love and romance. Also a season of advertising jewelry, flowers, and, of course, chocolates. I've seen so many chocolate advertisements lately for pricey truffles with major brand names. The funny thing is that I see those commercials and remember that I actually don't like those truffles all that much. I am a big chocolate fan and enjoy most chocolates so for me to not like a truffle is odd. I haven't completely pinpointed exactly what it is about those truffles that I don't care for but I think it has something to do with the contrast in texture from the outer shell and the inside truffle filling. If that shell doesn't melt in my mouth along with the truffle, it taints the rest of the chocolate for me.

Now Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares are a brand I can really enjoy. I've loved their mint and raspberry versions from the first time I tried them and the milk caramel is a wonderful treat on occasion. I was thrilled when offered me a chance to try the new Milk & Truffle version of Ghirardelli Squares. I was sent one package of the chocolates to try plus two $1/2 Ghirardelli Squares coupons.

I shared my Ghirardelli Milk & Truffle Squares with my husband and my mom. All of us agree they are wonderful! My husband, being a man of few words, simply said, "mmmm" and left it at that. My mom gave a bit more of an analysis, commenting that the milk chocolate square and the truffle filling both melt easily and the flavors complement each other well. I agree with mom and also love the size of the chocolate square. Although the bag states that a serving size is actually three squares, I find that they are rich enough that one satisfies my chocolate craving, at least for a time.

My husband and I don't really have any Valentine traditions - we are both pretty laid back about gift giving for all holidays - but if chocolate were one of our traditional gifts I would much rather have a single flavor bag of Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares than a boxed of mixed chocolates, flowers that will die, or jewelry that I wouldn't wear.

I hope that you have a wonderful Valentine's Day however you spend it. What are your favorite Valentine traditions? Do you have a favorite brand of chocolate?

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Keeper of Light and Dust by Natasha Mostert

Title: Keeper of Light and Dust
Author: Natasha Mostert
Publication Date: April 2009
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Personal Collection

Keeper of Light and Dust is one of those books that has been sitting on my TBR shelf for so long that I've forgotten where I got it. I know that I won it from a blog a couple years ago but I neglected to leave myself a note in the book about which blog it came from. After being pushed to the back of the shelf many times as review books, books by my favorite authors, and newer books were read first, I finally decided that I needed to pick this one up and read it.

Keeper of Light and Dust is a really interesting book but it definitely isn't for everyone. Mostert brings together elements of the mystical, martial arts, tattooing, and technology to create a unique blending between tradition and the modern world. Mia is a tattoo artist and a Keeper, watching over three martial artists. She uses her spiritual practice to protect her charges before and during each match. The death of one of her fighters brings on emotional doubts and questions about the mysterious circumstances. Nick, Mia's childhood friend and a martial artist himself, begins to investigate the death and finds several more deaths among martial artists that follow the same pattern. The two meet Ash, a handsome and charismatic martial artist searching for a new training partner. While he seems to be the perfect trainer to get Nick in shape for his next fight, Ash carries mysterious secrets and dangerous intentions.

Mostert does a fantastic job of drawing the reader into Mia, Nick, and Ash's world of martial arts and tattoos. The training sessions and fights are painted realistically but not graphically. A reader who knows little of this world would still be able to follow along. She also moves between characters easily so the reader can learn about each character's motivations without the secrets being spilled to other characters too soon. The pacing of the book is excellent and the characters are strong.

I think Mostert did the book a disservice by adding too many contemporary references though. It was almost as though the characters inserted very specific mentions of people and internet sites in order to position themselves as experts in their fields. Unfortunately, this also gives the book a very specific time frame and moves it away from a book that could remain relevant through the otherwise universal themes it presents. While I don't think Keeper of Light and Dust would ever become a considered a classic novel of any type, I think it could have had a longer shelf life while keeping the contemporary feel if the references had been a bit more generalized to the time period.

Keeper of Light and Dust is a unique story and I greatly enjoyed it. However, I can see how the subjects of this book might limit its appeal for many readers and this narrows the appropriate audience considerably.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.

Friday, February 3, 2012

OTL: Mega Sw@gbucks Friday

Search & Win
Today is another Mega Swagbucks Day! Today and every Friday you can win even more Swagbucks when using the Swagbucks search engine. These Swagbucks can then be redeemed for great prizes including gift cards.

For more about Swagbucks and how I've used the program to pay for Christmas for two years check out my post on How I Earn Swagbucks.

Have fun searching and I'd love to hear if you score a big win!

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We Bought A Zoo by Benjamin Mee

Title: We Bought A Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Changed Their Lives Forever
Author: Benjamin Mee
Publication Date: September 2008
Publisher: Weinstein Books
Source: Library
Non-Fiction, Memior

I wanted to read this book after seeing the commercials for the movie We Bought A Zoo that came out in December. I never know how books will translate onto the big screen and how many significant changes the movie will make from the book. So often the book is better because a movie has a limited amount of time to tell the entire story and some of the details are usually forced out along the way. Although I still haven't seen the movie yet, I'm not sure this will be the case with We Bought A Zoo.

After reading BermudaOnion's review of We Bought A Zoo, I will admit that I was rethinking my strategy and considering going straight to the movie. But since I already had placed the book on hold through my library, I decided I would start it and then if I wasn't enjoying it I had already given myself permission to not finish the story. I completely agree with her assessment that Mee writes what could be a very emotional story in a very clinical way. While I'm sure the business aspects of the transaction were his primary focus and his background in journalism may have prompted a factual recitation, it seems he completely missed the human interest angle on this story.

Essentially, Mee moves his family from the idyllic life they have created for themselves in southern France to a completely run-down zoo in the English countryside. While he negotiates the red tape involved with purchasing the zoo, his wife Katherine faces a life-threatening brain tumor. The move also involves their two young children, Mee's brother Duncan, and Mee's mother. It was easy to forget about Katherine, the children, and Mee's mother as they were so seldom mentioned. Katherine and the children seem to have their place in the story before the move to the zoo and then only show up rarely. Mee's mother finally gets a place closer to the end of the story as he talks about how she becomes involved with the business after Katherine's death. These are the people I really wanted to hear about - how did this move affect them?

Instead we read about the zoo's dire financial situation, the staff squabbles, and the physical repairs that need to be completed. Mee can't seem to decide if his zoo keepers are competent and willing to work together to bring the zoo back as a viable business or if they resent the changes being implemented and the new staff being brought on board. While I'm sure there were moments of each, Mee seems to paint a drastically different overall picture at various points in the book.

I know that the movie changes the location of events from England to southern California and I am very curious to see what other changes they have made. I'm hoping that the movie will focus more on the people living out this story and will have more of an emotional impact than the book. While I won't be rushing out to see the movie right away (for various reasons, not the least of which is how expensive movies have gotten with ticket prices plus the cost of childcare), We Bought A Zoo is definitely on my radar for when it is available on DVD or streaming.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Bookstore links are generally affiliate links and I do earn a small amount for each purchase. Other affiliate links will be noted in the post.