New Book Wednesday – Ghostly Edition

We need a little supernatural something-or-other for the Halloween weekend, right? So, here’s Cornelia Funke’s Ghost Knight.

ghostThis is a really fun story about Jon, a young man recently sent to boarding school. Everything seems to be going okay, until a pack of bloody ghosts come after him. They’re out for revenge, but Jon has no idea why. He teams up with Ella, who comes from a rather, shall we say, “non-traditional” family to figure out why he’s been targeted and how they can make it stop.

I loved this book! I listened to the audiobook a while ago when this won an Odyssey honor. Suspenseful. Funny. All around awesome. Cornelia Funke also wrote the Inkheart series, so you know she does fantasy really well. (And for the record, Inkheart is one of the top examples of “never judge a book by its movie.”)

And since some of you are into this now, thanks to Mr. Betteridge, you can check out my Goodreads review.

App of the Week – Flipgram

Time to get a little artsy with our apps, I think. I just stumble across this one and I am in love with it!!


Flipgram (available for iOS and Adnroid) lets you take photos from your phone, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social account, put them together, add music, and make a quick video. It’s easy-peasy. To try it out, I just grabbed a couple of photos I had on my phone from the cross country meet against DelVal on the 17th. It’s short, because I only had a few photos, but you get the idea.

That took me about 2 minutes to put together. You can set up a free account so that you don’t need to save everything on your phone. Having an account also allows you to go back and edit your Flipgram. I foresee lots of time spent playing with this app!

Classic Book Friday – Fright Edition

Every year when October rolls around, I have a visceral urge to read scary stories. I’m currently in the middle of a book whose review claimed that the last 30-pages of the book are some of the scariest every written.

And with the Halloween sleepover tonight, I thought it would be a good time to remind you all of one of the most classic scary books.

scaryI know full-grown adults who still have nightmares over these stories.

Solar Eclipse!!


There’s going to be a partial solar eclipse this afternoon. I think this is so cool, and it may help make up for the fact that I kinda missed the lunar eclipse a week or so ago. (Actually, I did see it when I went out for a run that morning, I just didn’t know that there was going to be an eclipse, so I was confused because I thought the moon was supposed to be full. What can I say? Running makes you stupid.)

Anyway, if the skies clear up (I’m an optimist), it will be visible between 5.50 and 6.10 this evening.

You should never look directly at a sun during an eclipse (unless it’s a full solar eclipse, then you can look at it when it’s fully eclipsed). But this website has info on how to safely view it.

I love reading stuff by Phil Plait. And it was his article where I first learned of the eclipse. At the end of the article, he has a list of places that will be live streaming the eclipse in case the sun doesn’t come out this afternoon. So, go to this article and then scroll to the bottom. And it turns out that there’s a monster sunspot that’s supposed to make the eclipse that much more awesome!!

New Book Wednesday – Judging a Book by Its Cover Edition

100100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith is proof that I am not a smart woman.
I read another book by Smith a few years ago that everyone was raving about. And I hated it. Not just hated it, but “hated, loathed, despised, abhorred, and abominated” it, to paraphrase my American History teacher.

But when I saw this in a list of review copies, I was so taken with the bizarre cover, that I didn’t notice the author was my imagination’s nemisis and I downloaded it. And that’s a good thing.

Finn, the main character of this book, tells time not in minutes, hours, or days, but in miles – that is, how many miles the earth has travelled in its orbit around the sun. He suffers from seizures that mess with his everyday life. His dad’s a famous sci-fi author whose incredibly well known character is based on Finn, which doesn’t always help with Finn’s reality. His best friend, Cade, is a little crazy. And then Finn meets Julia, who happens to be a fan of his father’s work and who finds him passed out after a seizure. Despite these two perceived strikes, Finn and Julia hit it off.

The book ends as a road trip story with Finn and Cade heading off for a college visit that ends up taking a very big turn.

The cover and the title come from an event in Finn’s childhood that has shaped his life, for better or worse. I won’t give it away, because it’s definitely a unique plot point.

App of the Week – Jetpack Joyride

The App of the Week is back. And to make up for the Mondays I wasn’t here, I decided to go with a fun one. So this week’s app is courtesy of Matt W.jetWhen I started App of the Week, Matt came to me with a few suggestions. This one looks like a  lot of fun. According to Matt, if you like Temple Run or Minion Rush, you’ll like Jetpack Joyride. In this game, you’re battling evil scientists and need to collect coins and avoid death. So far, I’ve died three horrible deaths and collected no coins, but it takes me a while to figure these things out.

The game is free (although there are in app purchases) and available for both iOS and Android.

If you have a suggestion for App of the Week, share it with me!

Bookish Events – Wimpy Edition

For all you Wimpy Kid fans out there (and I know who you are…even you high school students), Jeff Kinney is coming to the area to promote his latest book. He will be appearing on November 4th, courtesy of Children’s Book World in Haverford (my favorite book store). But because they are expecting a lot of Wimpy fans, 1) you must buy a ticket in advance for the event and 2) the event is going to be held at The Horticultural Center, located at 100 N Horticultural Drive Philadelphia, PA 19131.

Tickets will be available starting at 9.30 tomorrow (Saturday, 10/18) morning. They are $16 each and include a copy of The Long Haul.

All the information is on the bookstore’s website.