Commentary #66: “T5W – Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy in Other Media” (Reblogged)

Star Wars

Image Credit: Quora

I think I need to start doing these different posts during the week! This one from Thrice Read caught my attention immediately. By the way, T5W stands for Top 5 Wednesday. Too cool!

I’m married to a wonderful, amazing geek, so I have a much greater appreciation for science fiction and fantasy now!

Here are my Top Five:

1. Star Wars (Movies)
2. Star Trek (Movies and T.V. Shows)
3. The Princess Bride (Movie)
4. Jessica Jones (T.V. Show)
5. The Flash (T.V. Show)

Star Wars (Movies)

Full disclosure: I already liked the Star Wars franchise before I met Al. I have now watched all of them. I wasn’t partial to the sequels at first, but now that we watched all of them in “machete order,” I understand why they were produced. I don’t have to like them, though. My all-time favorite Star Wars movie is currently The Force Awakens (2015).

Star Trek (Movies and T.V. Shows)

I have definitely gained a greater appreciation for the Star Trek franchise since meeting Al. I remember watching The Next Generation as a kid, and loving LeVar Burton! We’ve seen all the movies. The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Star Trek Into Darkness.

The Princess Bride (Movie)

This is one of my favorite movies!

Jessica Jones (T.V. Show)

Like Thrice Read, I love this show! Netflix struck gold with this one. We just finished watching all of Season 2, which we both think was better than Season 1!

The Flash (T.V. Show)

We loved this show from Day 1. It’s a good series. Plus, Grant Gustin is a local boy! My mom’s best friend taught him piano!

What about you? What are your favorite sci-fi and fantasy in other media? Let me know!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Thrice Read

It’s another Wednesday and another really awesome top five Wednesday.

Obviously I’m a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy, but this week I get to completely geek out over the genres.

This week I’m going to give you guys the low down on my favorite science fiction and fantasy’s in other media.

The 100 (T.V. Show)

The 100 wasn’t a show I would have watched without Jenn pushing me to watch it. It’s a CW show and it’s not really within my demographic any longer, but I absolutely love it. It’s got both elements of science fiction and fantasy and it’s just everything for me.

Jessica Jones (T.V. Show)

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this show. From the cast to the story line, this show is everything to me. I’m about two episodes from finishing the second season and, honestly, I may just go…

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Awesome Authors #13: Caroline B. Cooney

Caroline B Cooney - AZ Quotes

Image Credit: AZ Quotes

I discovered Caroline B. Cooney through one of the libraries, either the school or the Russell Memorial Library in Chesapeake. I think I read her for the first time in middle school? It’s been a minute since then, wink wink.

Born in May 1947, Cooney grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. After high school, she attended several different colleges (Indiana University, Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, and University of Connecticut), but did not obtain a degree.

Her first novel, Safe as the Grave, was published in 1979. Since then, she has written well over 30 stand-alone novels, a trilogy, and three different series. Her work has received multiple honors and awards, including several from the American Library Association (ALA). In 2008, her book Diamonds in the Shadow was named an ALA/YALSA Quick Pick, and nominated for the Edgar Allen Poe Award.

Driver’s Ed (1994)

Driver's Ed

Image Credit: Between The Lines

This was the first of Cooney’s books that I remember reading. I think I was in middle school at the time, because I specifically remember asking my mom lots of questions about what I would learn in driver’s ed.

This book haunted me for years, and I didn’t dare read it again until after I got my license!

Flight #116 Is Down (1992)

Flight 116 Is Down

Image Credit: Caroline B. Cooney

I’m so glad I didn’t read this one while traveling! I realize Cooney’s works are fictional, but she brings such realism to them, I was always left a little paranoid after reading them.

Flash Fire (1995)

Flash Fire

Image Credit: Goodreads

This book made me grateful we never lived in California or anywhere with a high fire danger.

Code Orange (2005)

Code Orange

Image Credit: Caroline B. Cooney

I remember reading this book right after it was published. It was fascinating to me. She revealed the genesis of this book on her website – A librarian was going through donated medical textbooks and an envelope, at that time 100 years old, fell out. It was labeled “smallpox scabs.” What do you think happened next?

Cooney wrote the book in the context of a sixteen-year-old boy finding them in New York City. What could possibly happen?

The Face on the Milk Carton (1990)

I tried to read this one in middle school, but ending up waiting until high school. I do want to read the whole series eventually. It’s fascinating to read about Cooney’s research and writing processes – What if a girl recognized herself as a missing child on a milk carton?

Emergency Room (1994)

Emergency Room

Image Credit: FictionDB

This is one book I don’t remember hearing about. This is going on my TBR!

What about you? Have you read any Caroline B. Cooney’s books?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #65: “SuperShe Island: Women-only luxury retreat opening in Finland”

Image Credit: LoveThisPic

On a recent Monday, this article from CNN caught my eye:

I’ve always been fascinated with the Scandinavian region! That’s one of the many, many places on my travel bucket list!

And, I totally agree with the article’s author. Yes, I did want to relocate to the island of Themyscira after watching “Wonder Woman” this past summer. Bring it on!

This retreat paradise sounds like a super-awesome, grown-up version of summer camp. Who’s with me?!

At least it’s not like Survivor.

Excuse me while I go daydream about the beauty of Finland!

The retreat’s owner, Kristina Roth, also owns property in Turks and Caicos. She stated that if the resort in Finland is successful, she plans to renovate her additional property for a similar purpose. Yes, please! She’s already received rousing positive feedback, so I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more from her!

For more information, check out the SuperShe website.

What do you think about a luxurious women-only retreat in Finland? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #64: “This Small Norwegian Town Turns Abandoned Buildings Into Bookstores”

Geeky Book Snob

Image Credit: Geeky Book Snob

I saw this post from Read Voraciously on February 28th.

Here’s the link to Read Voraciously’s original post:

And, here’s the link to the Reader’s Digest article:

I knew I wanted to write about this before I finished the Reader’s Digest article. How cool is this?

There are approximately 2.5 miles of books in the village of Mundal, part of Fjaerland, Norway. Northeast of Bergen, it looks like an absolutely beautiful area to live and visit!


Image Credit: Alamy

Knowing me, and my love of books, I don’t think I would want to leave! But, the bokbyen (“booktown”) is only open for business from May to mid-September.

But, fear not! The online side is open year-round.

I would love to at least see the stunning glaciers. And then, read a book next to them.

For more information, check out these sources:

What about you? Have you ever visited a booktown?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #56: “Chances and Changes: My Journey with Molly”

Chances and Changes

Image Credit: Amazon

If you haven’t already, I recommend reading the Book Reviews on the first two volumes of Molly’s BeForever collection:

I really like the Journey Books that American Girl is producing. They offer readers the chance to connect with the historical characters via a modern girl character, and everyone learns something valuable along the way.

I mentioned my love of Camp Gowonagin in my previous Book Review, so I was thrilled when I first learned Molly’s Journey Book would be primarily set at camp. It had me dreaming of my own summer camp experiences, but those were in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was 1945 – Very different!

I won’t give away a lot of detail, but I appreciated the lessons about friendship, teamwork, cooperation, courage, bravery, and helping others. I also learned a different series of facts about World War II – Something I never knew existed in the United States during this time. I really liked that American Girl took this and worked hard to educate readers about it. Kudos!

Reading this book made me wish there was a time portal in the book. Although summer camp back then was very much structured like the military, I think I would have loved it!

I’ve heard of “adult summer camps” in different states – Maybe it’s time that I sign up for one.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #55: “Stars, Stripes, and Surprises: A Molly Classic 2”

Stars Stripes and Surprises

Image Credit: Amazon

If you haven’t already, I recommend first reading my Book Review of Molly’s Classic Volume 1:

Volume 2 covers the other three books in Molly’s original Classic Series:

  • Happy Birthday, Molly!
  • Molly Saves The Day
  • Changes for Molly

This volume starts in the spring of 1944. Molly is excited to celebrate her birthday. Her family also receives some exciting news – A girl, Emily, is coming all the way from London, England, to live with her aunt. When Emily’s aunt falls ill, Mrs. McIntire offers to help out. Molly is happy – A girl her own age! After a few stumbles and culture shock, Molly and Emily become friends and celebrate their birthdays together. There’s also a few birthday surprises!

As school lets out, Molly, Linda, and Susan head to Camp Gowonagin for two weeks! I remember loving this story in particular as a kid, and made up countless stories about summer camps!

Along the way, the girls learn many things, including the camp’s hallmark event of Color War. They end up on different teams, so who will win?

The final chapters breeze through the fall, winter, and find Molly in the spring of 1945. The war is coming to an end, and everyone in town is putting on the “Hurray for the U.S.A.!” show. Molly’s family receives an exciting telegram from Dad – He’s being reassigned to the local Veterans Hospital and coming home for good! Yay! Molly really wants to be Miss Victory, the tap dancer with the big solo in the show. But, she wants to transform her stick-straight hair into big, beautiful curls before the show. Her sister, Jill, is happy to help. Will everything work out the way Molly hopes it will? And, will Dad arrive in time to see the show?

Like Volume 1, I miss the original illustrations. But, the writing is so vivid, I feel like I’m beside Molly the whole time!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #54: “A Winning Spirit: A Molly Classic 1”

A Winning Spirit

Image Credit: Amazon

Finally! The new BeForever books for Molly were released last week!

Some of you may know that I fell in love with Molly’s character as a kid. I read and re-read her six-book Classic Series over and over. I loved everything that was featured in the catalogs. In 2013, I finally realized one of my biggest childhood dreams by buying the Molly doll from American Girl, shortly before she was archived.

Now, on to the review!

Like the other BeForever series, this first volume covers Molly’s original three books:

  • Meet Molly
  • Molly Learns A Lesson
  • Molly’s Surprise

We first meet Molly around Halloween, with her friends, Linda and Susan. They live in Jefferson, Illinois. They are planning their Halloween costumes in the fall of 1943, as World War II continues. Molly’s father, James McIntire, is an Army doctor, currently stationed in England helping sick and wounded soldiers. Molly misses him dearly, but has a full house at home, with her mom, the housekeeper, Mrs. Gilford, and her three siblings – Older sister, Jill; older brother, Ricky; and younger brother, Brad.

After multiple tricks and treats at Halloween, Molly learns several lessons about lending a hand, cooperation, jealousy, and speaking up when it counts the most.

Christmas is challenging with Dad still away and the war, but the Merry McIntires make the most of it. Molly works together with her sister to pull off one great surprise, and someone in the family has a surprise of their own to share!

I certainly miss the beautiful illustrations from the Classic Series, but Valerie Tripp’s writing, as always, carried me back in time, right alongside Molly, her family, and her friends.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂