Project Wonderful

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Shannon's Review - The Dinner by Herman Koch

Title: The Dinner
Series: No
Author: Herman Koch
Genre: Fiction, Literature, Contemporary
Publisher: Hogarth
Received: Purchased
Release Date: November 2013
Pages: 310

Author Herman Koch’s Official Websites:

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Shannon’s Thoughts:  

The Dinner starts with two brothers and their wives at a fancy restaurant in The Netherlands.  The one brother is a politician and the other a businessman out of work because of an illness. They both have teenage sons who seem to get along. The way the cousins get along and spend their time is what starts to bring the drama to the story.  It is mostly set at the restaurant and flashbacks other places where the story takes an unexpectedly dark turn.

I read this for a book club. This book was not technically picked, the theme for the month was “Food”. This was the closest I had on the subject. I was not sure what to expect because I had never heard of the book before. Reading the description of the characters and story did not interest me.  In fact, I think my husband picked up the book. The story was very different than anything I have read and with this one I consider it a good thing. I really did not expect the turn at the end. In truth, I figured the opposite was going to happen and most lived happily ever after. Nope, that was not the case.  The kids were juvenile delinquents who needed a kick in the ass and a trip to jail, as did other characters by the end. The book kept me interested. It was like watching an accident on the side of the road.

I do not usually read books with such dark and despicable underbelly unless it is so supernatural or fantastical that I know the happenings will not come to be.  This was a story about something that could happen and probably has. So my only dislike after reading this is me whining “why’d you have to make me think such dark thoughts?”

It was an interesting read but I think if I had the choice to read it again for the first time I would not. Reading a review would have been enough for me.  That does not mean I hated it and it was not interesting. I just feel like I spent more time then I want on this book.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Celebrate Every Day With Books 2/11/2019 - 2/17/2019

Celebrate Every Day With Books 2/11/2019 - 2/17/2019

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?


Get Out Your Guitar Day

Title: The Birth Of Loud by Ian S. Port
Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Music, Pop Culture
What It Is About?: The real story between guitar making legends Les Paul and Leo Fender.
Available: IN STORES NOW!

Title: Brian May’s Red Special by Brian May and Simon Bradley
Genre: Non-Fiction, Music, Instruments, Guitar
What It Is About?: In 1963 Brian May and his father made a legendary guitar that would help create the sound for the band Queen and let him live the life he has now.  Learn how it was built and see pictures you can not see elsewhere.
Available: IN STORES AUGUST 6TH 2019!


Plum Pudding Day

Title: Nathaniel’s First Plum Pudding Party by Marjorie B. Martinez
Genre: Children, Picture Book, Cookbook
What It Is About?:  Written for children containing recipes and how to eat the holiday dessert at celebration time.
Available: IN STORES NOW!

Title: The Plum In Mr. Blum’s Pudding by Tosh Berman
Genre: Poetry
What It Is About?: Not necessarily about actual plum pudding but I do enjoy some poetry. This is the first collection of poetry for author Tosh Berman. Written while living in Japan.
Available: IN STORE NOW!


Radio Day

Title: Midnight Radio by Iolanda Zanfarding
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel,
What It Is About?: Various people with social issues find solace in a late night radio show.
Available: IN STORES JUNE 4TH 2019!

Title: Race And Radio by Bala James Baptiste
Genre:  Non-Fiction, Social Science, Ethnic Studies, African American Studies
What It Is About?:  Author Baptiste follows the history of the first influential African Americans in radio living in New Orleans. Historical events that take place during the 1940s to 1960’s creating a space for black voices to come together.
Available: IN STORES AUGUST 15TH 2019!


Valentine’s Day

Title: A Very DC Valentine’s Day by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, Jeff Lemire, Paul Dini, and Kelley Jones
Genre: Fiction, Graphic Novel, Superheroes
What It Is About?: Collection of previous comics about love and romance.  Featuring Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and Batgirl
Available: IN STORES NOW

Title:  Red Hearts And Rose? by Rhiannon Ifans
Genre: Poetry
What It Is About?: Poems and songs about St. Valentine translated from Welsh.
Available: IN STORES MARCH 15TH 2019!


Hippo Day

Title: Big Little Hippo by Valeri Gorbachev
Genre: Fiction, Board Book, Toddler, Animals
What It Is About?: A young small hippo doesn’t want wait to be a big hippo he wants to be a big hippo now.
Available: IN STORES MARCH 5TH 2019!

Genre: Fiction, Board Book, Toddler, Animals
What It Is About?:  From a series called Alphaprints. Silly characters with fun rhymes.
Available: IN STORES AUGUST 13TH 2019!


Do A Grouch A Favor Day

Title: The Pursuit Of Grouchiness by Oscar the Grouch
Genre: Humour, Parody
What It Is About?: Wisdom from the grouchiest grouches there ever was.
Available: IN STORES APRIL 9TH 2019!

Title: How To Be A Grouch by Caroll Spinney
Genre: Fiction, Toddler, Sesame Street
What It Is About?: Kids guide on how to be grouchy like Oscar the grouch.
Available: IN STORES MAY 7TH 2019!


World Human Spirit Day

Title: The Spirit Of This Place by Patrick Summers
Genre: Non-fiction, History, Music
What It Is About?:  Discussing how arts and music in schools are needed more than ever. All arts open the spirit to begin soul searching and find ones place in the world and how to help heal all.
Available: IN STORES NOW!

Title: Spirit Hacking by Shaman Durek
Genre: Mind, Body & Spirit, Shamanism
What It Is About?: Written by a 3 generation shaman, teaching us how to get ourselves to step out of “The Age of Darkness” and into the light.
Available: IN STORES OCTOBER 15TH 2019!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Shannon's Review - Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov by Mary Englar

Title: Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov
Series: Queens and Princesses
Author: Mary Englar
Genre: Juvenile, Non-Fiction, History, Russia, Royalty,
Publisher: Capstone Press
Received: PaperbackSwap
Release Date: September 2008
Pages: 32

Author Mary Englar’s Official Websites:





Shannon’s Thoughts:

Part of the”Queens and Princesses” series this installment is about one of the most famous Russian princesses, Anastasia Romanov.  Anastasia was the youngest of four daughters and older sister to brother Alexie. Her parents, Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra, ruled Russia Empire in the early 1900s. This book shares pictures taken of the family and facts about the short life of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov.

The Romanov family has been a favorite of mine to read about. Not sure why but Anastasia seems to be the fan favorite of the family.  Maybe because she appeared to be normal and not just royal. She had fun climbing trees, taking photos of her family and making faces in photos others took of her.  Maybe it is because people want to believe she made it out of the war alive. This book describes a little of those things and there are many other books that go into detail about Anastasia and the rest of the Romanovs.  This one is a good starting point for juvenile readers.

The pictures in the books are good although they are ones that I have seen before.  I feel like we could have learned a little more about Anastasia in general.  The book goes more in detail about the whole family which is part of her history but this is a book that is supposed to be about Anastasia, not just the Romanov family.

This is a book for ages 8 - 12 and it is a good start on the history of Tsar Nicholas’ family.  As a kid, I would have loved this book. I will be keeping this for my Romanov collection which is getting really big.