Project Wonderful

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Shannon's Review - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Title: Frankenstein
Series: N/A
Author: Mary Shelley
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Horror, Classic
Publisher: Barnes Noble Classics (for above version)
Received: Purchased
Release Date: Jan 2005 (above version), Jan 1818 (original)
Pages: 223

Author Mary Shelley’s Official Websites:
(image from


Shannon’s Thoughts:

Scientist Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with finding a way to reanimate human life after death. After he successfully fulfills his desire he immediately regrets it, condemning the new horrific life form to live in hiding.  As Frankenstein’s new monster learns to understand those around him and his own existence he begins to hate his creator. The monster enacts revenge on Victor by taking away those he loves, only stopping if the doctor does what the monster asks for.

The very start of the book reminded me of Moby Dick, at least the little I read of it.  Victor Frankenstein obsession with creating life is very much like Ahab’s obsession with finding the whale. Then the middle of the book was like The Picture Of Dorian Grey which a book I really liked and very much about doing good or evil and how it affects those around yourself. It ends again like Moby Dick as Victor new obsession directs him. The middle of the book had me interested because it is really a discussion on what being human is or could be, and regret. Actually, it is about even more than that so much you could a book about and people probably have.

I for one not a fan of the scenes where Dr. Frankenstein was channeling Ahab from Moby Dick. His obsession is part of the reason I couldn’t finish Moby Dick.  Luckily Frankenstein is much shorter than Moby Dick.

I am glad I took the time to read this.  It is a book that is so much different than what the movies and tv have done. In fact, there is so much difference in the movies I am really curious why or how they came up with the character where in the book.  The monster having a square head and bolts on the neck...nope not in the book. I am not a big fan of most classics but this one that I did enjoy.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Shannon's Review - If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

Title: If You Come Softly
Series: If You Come Softly (#1 in series of 2)
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Speak
Received: Swap site
Release Date: June 2006
Pages: 181

Author Jacqueline Woodson’s Official Websites:






Shannon’s Thoughts:

Miah, a black boy, starting a new school runs into Ellie, a Jewish white girl.  They feel connected and start a relationship. They keep their relationship a secret because they know their parents will not understand because of their different color. Their future seems bright and hopeful until one day someones bad judgment call ends the life of one of them.

I picked this up because of John Green’s new life’s library book club. I am not a big fan of contemporary novels but I do read them from time to time. The characters did grab me and I did fall for Ellie and Miah. I felt Ellie’s pain when she mentioned to her sister about dating someone of color and her sister was against it.  Miah parents were not as tolerant on the subject of interracial coupling either. I feel there was a lot more pain in this book then the love Ellie and Miah shared and that made the ending sadder.

I disliked one thing about the book and that was that the very first chapter basically tells you how the book ends.  Even though I loved the characters getting to know each other and their relationship with their own family there was still that little voice in the back my head saying, “Yeah but so and so is going to kick the bucket.”  

I do think Woodson is a fine author.  For a book that is 20 years old and still relevant is in some ways a good thing for an author but because of the theme it is very sad it is still something the world deals with daily.   

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Shannon's Review - Buffy The Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare by Carolyn Nowak

Title: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare
Series: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Author: Carolyn Nowak
Genre: Graphic Novel, Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, Fantasy, Juvenile
Publisher: Little, Brown Book For Young Readers
Received: Borrowed
Release Date: September 2018
Pages: 160

Author Carolyn Nowaks Official Websites:

(picture was taken from






Shannon’s Thoughts:

A good starting point for anyone who has not seen or read the previous Buffy The Vampire Slayer seasons. This would technically be a reboot or alternate history. Buffy Summers is starting a new middle school in Cleveland and finds out she is a vampire slayer. It’s hard to be a teen let alone a slayer but with her new female watcher and two best friends, a witch and a werewolf, she is not alone.

Buffy and the slayer mythology is about the only thing familiar with this graphic novel if you are a fan of the past Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Now, I do not know if this is going to match the reboot that will be taking place on tv. I think probably not since the book has the blonde haired and white Buffy because it is rumored that the new tv series Buffy will be African American. ]

The art is quaint and there is nothing too racy for young kids. Since there are new characters interacting with Buffy it is all new to me, which did make it hard to put down and fun to read.

The story is cute and action-packed but as a Buffy fan, I did miss Willow, Xander, and Giles from the original group. I think is great that Buffy is coming back in some way, I just wish it a continuation or a new slayer rather than use Buffy again.

As Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a creation of Joss Whedon, I will probably support this version of Buffy and any others. So “Long Live Buffy!”... I guess.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Shannon's Review - Fairy Dreams by Carol McLean-Carr

Title: Fairy Dreams
Series: N/A
Author: Carol McLean Carr
Genre: Children, Picture book, Fantasy, Seek and find, Fairies
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Received: Swap site
Release Date: October 2000
Pages: 32

Author Carol McLean-Carr Official Websites:

(I could not find any sites for the public on this author)

Shannon’s Thoughts:

Fairy Dreams is written and illustrated by Carol McLean-Carr.  The paintings are intricate and brightly colored. There is so much detail that every time it is viewed you will find something new. The story focuses on items to find in the imagery.

This kind of detailed fantasy drawings are popular and it is not hard to see why.  Of course, the characters are fairies which are a big thing for me. Big “Yay!” for fairies.  

The story is lacking as it is more of a find and seek book.  It mentions an item to find in the illustrations on the page. I don’t know if it is because my eyesight is going, but I couldn’t find the items.  Not a one. I keep trying but I am not sure if my book is a little faded or something. I do love the illustrations but sometimes looking for the items I felt it very busy.

I wish the story was a little more interesting. The art is amazing though.  When I was a child I was not really introduced to many “Seek And Find” books.  Now Barnes & Noble kids clearance section is usually full of them. I am going to take another look at this book and try to find some items. I will probably pass it on to someone who might love all of it.  

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Shannon's Book Review - The Enchanted Life by Sharon Blackie

Title: The Enchanted Life
Series: N/A
Author: Sharon Blackie
Genre: Self Improvement
Publisher: Ambrosia
Received: Copy For Free For Honest Review Purposes
Release Date: April 2018
Pages: 356

Author Sharon Blackie’s Official Websites:

(taken from





Shannon’s Thoughts:

Dr. Sharon Blackie writes a book that many psychologists would not encourage most to believe and that is the power of mythology, fairy tales, and magic. She describes her connection to nature and how she creates her own enchantment within life over years she has practiced.

What interested me in this book was the title and I was very interested in a doctor who as a scientist also believes in magic.  I know from experience these kind of doctors are hard to come by. As someone who does believe that we create our own magic or enchantment in our lives, I sometimes lose belief and or doubt in magic in life. So I was at the time of reading this looking for some hope and something relight that spark that anything is possible.

As I continued to read the book Dr. Blackie made some interesting points about fairy tales and the ones you relate to or see yourself as. That in particular really made me think of why I think do or things about myself. But for the most part, the book did not really teach me anything new or help me to see myself in a better way, which is more what I need. I feel like we read about her finding her own contentment in nature and relationships but not really explaining how to find that happiness for yourself. I just needed more from the book.

I do think Dr. Blackie has some interesting points and I think I would have a couple of questions if we ever met.  Even though I was not satisfied with the knowledge I received from this book I would read another by her.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Celebrate Every Day With Books 8/27/2018 - 9/2/2018

Celebrate Every Day With Books 8/27/2018 - 9/2/2018

It seems like everyday has some new theme to celebrate so I thought it might be fun to see what kind of interesting books I can find  (new, old, or coming soon) for an everyday holiday. In fact, most days have more than one holiday!

Just so you know I have not read most of these but the ones I pick seem the most interesting.  You can probably find tons more books for each holiday but I am only going to pick two books for every holiday.

Let me know what you think.  Do any of them seem interesting to you? Is there another book you think would be a better choice?



Banana Lovers Day

Title: Banana Split by Josi S. Kilpack
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Cozy Mystery
What It Is About?: Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is forced to face the compounding fears and anxieties that are making her life so difficult to live.”(from Goodreads)
Available: NOW

Title: We Are Bananas. By Charles Saatchi
Genre: Art, Popular Culture
What It Is About?: In his new book, Charles Saatchi looks at hard-to-believe bewildering facts. Amongst the startling images, these mystifying hidden stories are explained in Saatchi’s entertaining, succinct style.”(From Goodreads)
Available: NOW


Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

Title: The Rainbow Bridge by Adrian Raeside
Genre: Fiction, Children's, Picture Book, Animals, Pets
What It Is About?:Adrian Raeside captures the special bond between humans and their pets, and with marvelous illustrations, brings a gentle humor to a story that will resonate with children and pet lovers of all ages.”(from Goodreads)
Available: NOW

Title: The Legend Of Rainbow Bridge by William N. Britton (illustrated by Dandi Palmer)
Genre: Fiction, Children's, Picture Book, Animals, Pets
What It Is About?: “The Legend of Rainbow Bridge by William Britton has comforted the hearts and souls of countless animal lovers around the globe. Written for adults and children of all ages, Mr. Britton s healing words offer solace and comfort to those left behind when their beloved companions journey to Rainbow Bridge. This beautifully revised hardcover edition is filled with stunning new illustrations by Dandi Palmer and is a must for all who share their lives with animals of any kind.” (From Goodreads)
Available: NOW


More Herbs, Less Salt Day

Title: Herbs And Spices by Cinzia Trenchi
Genre: Non-Fiction, Health & Fitness, Herbal Medications
What It Is About?:Even in the smallest gardens, there’s a world of herbal remedies awaiting us—and this beautiful book is packed with a wide variety of wonderful recipes to try. They include delicious dishes and extracts, such as Sautéed Wild Fennel with Broad Beans and Artichokes; infusions and juices, like a Lime and Lime Flower Honey Tisane; and products for personal care, including Clove Soap, Lavender Scrub, and Soothing Toothpaste with Aloe and Mint.” (From Goodreads)
Available: NOW

Title: The Art Of Herbs For Health by Rebecca Sullivan
Genre: Non-Fiction, Health & Fitness, Beauty & Grooming
What It Is About?: This beautifully photographed book contains a wealth of knowledge for anyone who wants to improve their health with herbs. Herbal medicine has been used for centuries, and in this thoughtful and inspiring guide, Rebecca Sullivan shares a combination of traditional wisdom and modern ideas.” (From Goodreads)
Available: SEPTEMBER 4TH 2018


Beach Day

Title: Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble
Genre: Fiction, Women’s Contemporary
What It Is About?:  “Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach.”(From Goodreads)
Available: NOW

Title: Beach Day by Karen Roosa (illustrated by Maggie Smith)
Genre: Fiction, Children's, Family
What It Is About?: The perfect board book for summer! Buoyant verse and bright, playful illustrations capture the singular feeling of a hazy, lazy day by the ocean, complete with a ball game with new friends, water-skiers and sailboats, and a picnic lunch. A captivating introduction to the beach for young children.”(From Goodreads)
Available: NOW


We Love Memoirs Day

Title: The Boy Who Slept Under The Stars by Roseann Lloyd
Genre: Memoir, Poetry
What It Is About?:Roseann Lloyd's new poetry collection takes us on a sister's unflinching exploration into grief for a brother lost on a solo hike in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. His clothes are found but not his body. How does one mourn without a body? This absence calls up memories of his life and mixed emotions; it evokes other disappearances—children missing in Iraq, climbers lost on Everest, a college student drowned.”(From Goodreads)
Available: NOW

Title: Dark Star by Alan Strachan
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography, Memoir
What It Is About?: Vivien Leigh was perhaps the most iconic actress of the twentieth century. As Scarlett O'Hara and Blanche Du Bois, she took on some of the most pivotal roles in cinema history. Yet she was also a talented theatre actress with West End and Broadway plaudits to her name. In this ground-breaking new biography, Alan Strachan provides a completely new full-life portrait of Leigh, covering both her professional and personal life. Using previously-unseen sources from her archive, recently acquired by the V&A, he sheds new light on her fractious relationship with Laurence Olivier, based on their letters and diaries, as well as on the bipolar disorder which so affected her later life and work. Revealing new aspects of her early life as well as providing glimpses behind-the-scenes of the filming of "Gone with the Wind" and "A Streetcar Named Desire," this book provides the essential and comprehensive life-story of one of the twentieth century's greatest actresses.” (From Goodreads)
Available: FEBRUARY 28TH 2019


World Beard Day

Title: Boo’s Beard by Rose Mannering (Illustrated by Bethany Straker)
Genre: Fiction, Children, Picture Book, Dog
What It Is About?: This sweet book familiarizes children with social disabilities, such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Children learn the meaning of facial expressions and are introduced to the possibility that some children may have difficulty interacting with them.”(From Goodreads)
Available: NOW

Title: The Philosophy Of Beards by Thomas S. Gowing (Illustrated by John Kettlewell)
Genre: Fiction, Humor, Topic, Relationships
What It Is About?: Reminding us that since ancient times the beard has been an essential symbol of manly distinction, Thomas S. Gowing (whom we trust had a spectacular beard) presents a moral case for eschewing the bitter bite of the razor. He contrasts the vigor and daring of the bearded—say, lumberjacks and Lincoln—with the undeniable effeminacy of the shaven. Manliness is found in the follicles, and the modern man should not forget that “ladies, by their very nature, like everything manly,” and cannot fail to be charmed by a fine “flow of curling comeliness.” Even old men can hold on to their vitality via their beards: “The Beard keeps gradually covering, varying and beautifying, and imparts new graces even to decay, by highlighting all that is still pleasing, veiling all that is repulsive.” (From Goodreads)
Available: OCTOBER 23RD 2018


World Coconut Day

Title: Luscious Coconut Desserts by Lori Longbotham (Photography by Lucy Schaeffer)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Cookbook, Desserts
What It Is About?: When you think of coconuts, what comes to mind? Paradise, of course! Toasted, sugared, creamy, or crunchy, nothing compares to the flavor of coconut. Lori Longbotham, beloved author of the popular Luscious series including Luscious Lemon Desserts and Luscious Chocolate Desserts offers a taste of paradise with over 60 recipes for coconut-based cakes, tarts, cookies, custards, sauces, and candies. From classic coconut cream pie to Coconut Pistachio Baklava, Lori's recipes are proof that sweets can be nutritious! Coconut is high in fiber, rich with vitamins and minerals, and utterly indulgent. This is a great cookbook for those who are delighted by coconuts!”(From Goodreads)
Available: NOW

Title: Coconut by Ben Mims
Genre: Non-Fiction, Cookbook, Ingredients
What It Is About? Whether you're a recent coconut convert or a longtime lover, Ben Mims's cookbook will give you newfound admiration for this hard-shelled fruit. This edition cracks the coconut open from all angles, with recipes like Black Pepper-Coconut Dutch Baby, Soaked Coconut & Semolina Cake and Indian Coconut & Red Cabbage Slaw.”(From Goodreads)
Available: NOW