Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald

9 Dec

 

Author: Betty MacDonald

Narrator: Heather Henderson

Length: 9 hours

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2015

Genre: Humor, Memoir

 

synopsis

When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax. And then came the children. Yet through every trial and pitfall – through chaos and catastrophe – this indomitable family somehow, mercifully, never lost its sense of humor.

A beloved literary treasure for more than half a century, Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I is a heartwarming and uproarious account of adventure and survival on the American frontier.

buy-links

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author-bio

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.

MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).

Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

 

narrator-bio

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine. She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry. In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

 

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review

I chose to listen to the audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Egg and I is a delightful memoir about the first couple of years of Betty MacDonald’s marriage. Despite her misgivings, they bought a remote ranch on a mountain and started a chicken farm.

Even though the work was grueling and it was lonely, Betty kept her sense of humor and her husband loved the life they were living.

Readers nowadays may be offended by the way she talks about Indians but they need to keep in mind that this book was written in the 1940’s, and her view was accepted back then. She actually wrote that she hated the Indians. I’m not sure why she wrote that since she talked nicely about a couple of them later in the book. But I suggest not reading or listening to The Egg and I if you can’t get past that. It did rub me the wrong way but I know people talked like that 70 years ago and it was considered “okay,” so I looked past those comments and was still able to enjoy the book.

Another thing that stuck out as something that wouldn’t be accepted today was when they went to the fair and she put her baby in the truck to sleep and left her there to look at some things at the fair. Or when she left the baby lying with the dog when she went to care for the farm animals. Times sure have changed!

Betty MacDonald’s description of her neighbors, the Kettles tickled me. We lived in northeast Tennessee when I was a teenager and we often drove in the mountains and saw farms that looked like she described the Kettle’s home. My dad always commented how funny it was that there’d be a farm like that next to one that was really nice.

The narrator, Heather Henderson, has a pleasant voice and I enjoyed listening to her. She did a great job of using different voices for different characters. I especially liked Pa Kettle’s voice.

I enjoyed listening to the Egg and I and I hope to see the movie sometime. 

 

giveaway

The Egg and I Grand Prize
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The Egg and I Runner Up
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The Egg and 2nd Runner Up
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The Egg and I 3rd Runner Up
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tour-schedule

Nov. 20: From the TBR Pile (Spotlight)

Nov. 21: Printcess (Review & Giveaway)

Nov. 22: Voicing Expert (Review)

Nov. 23: The Pursuit of Bookishness (Audio Excerpt, Spotlight & Giveaway)

Nov. 24: A Page To Turn (Audio Excerpt & Spotlight)

Nov. 25:

Nov. 26: He Said Books Or Me (Review)

Nov. 27: Field of Bookish Dreams (Audio Excerpt, Spotlight & Giveaway)

Nov. 28: Que Sera Sara (Spotlight & Giveaway)

Nov. 29: Terri Luvs Books (Review)

Nov. 30: Never Anyone Else (Review & Giveaway)

Dec. 1: Dab of Darkness (Review, Interview & Giveaway)

Dec. 2: Avid Book Collector (Review, Spotlight & Giveaway)

Dec. 3: Ali The Dragon Slayer (Review & Giveaway)

Dec. 4: Never 2 Many 2 Read (Review & Giveaway)

Dec. 5: Celtic Lady’s Reviews (Spotlight)

Dec. 6: Terri Luvs Books (Interview & Giveaway)

Dec. 7: Chapter Break (Interview)

Dec. 8: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)

Dec. 9: Bound 4 Escape (Review & Giveaway)

Dec. 10: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)

Working Mommy Journal (Review & Giveaway)

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How do You React?

9 Dec

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Book Review: Bear with Bear by Hagit R. Oron

7 Dec

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Nine-year-old Bear is set on having a critter as a pet. After failed attempts to adopt beetles and snails, he has to settle on a book with pictures of bugs. This is a great opportunity for him to annoy his little sister, Penelope, who is afraid of bugs.
When his parents decide to bring home a cat to help Penelope with her nightmares, Bear helps Kitty find her wild side. As a consequence, Penelope’s nightmares get even worse!
Over-tired Mom is about to give in on the snake debate, which seems to be a perfect solution for all, but Bear has other plans…

 

My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What a cute story! A boy named Bear is fascinated with insects and wants a pet snake. He tries to keep a maggot (yuck!), beetles, and other creepy crawlies but his parents explain that these creatures aren’t meant to be pets.

Bear’s parents decide to try a kitten as a pet for his sister Penelope. They bring the kitten back after it doesn’t work out. I understand that keeping a kitten that the children won’t care for is responsible. On the other hand, giving up on the kitten so quickly doesn’t send the best message. They then got a dog and the kids decided to keep the dog, especially since it had ticks which Bear found great. In fact, he wanted to keep the ticks more than the dog!

This book was cute and the illustrations are bright and colorful. At the end, the author explains where different parts of the story came from: some are pure imagination and others are actually based on things the author experienced. Both parents and children will enjoy the end which is both interesting and informative.

I definitely recommend this book for children. It would be a good book for parents to read to children, also.

Available on Amazon.

 

 

 

A Sojourn in December

6 Dec

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Book Review & Giveaway: Dreaming Sophia by Melissa Muldoon

5 Dec

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Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.
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Buy the Book:  

My Review

I received a free e-copy of this book and chose to review it. All opinions are my own and are unbiased.

Dreaming Sophia is about a woman who experiences a tragedy early in her life. She learns to cope with it by embracing her love of art and history. She relies on “dreaming” about important historical figures who help her make decisions and get through life.

I have never been to Italy but Melissa Muldoon brings the art and history of Italy come alive. I happen to have a book with amazing photos of Italy so I took that out and it made the reading of this book even more injoyable.

I recommend Dreaming Sophia to anyone who enjoys good fiction that incorporates the history of Italy.

 

 

About the Author

melissa-muldoonMelissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned”. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta (studentessamatta.com). Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, “Tutti Matti per l’Italiano” and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.
Dreaming Sophia is Melissa’s first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.

Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.
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Connect with the Author:  

Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~ Pinterest

Giveaway

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Prizes: Win a copy of Dreaming Sophia (print open to USA & Can, ebook int’l)

One winner will get the grand prize package that includes a copy of the book, calendar, mug and tote bag (USA & CAN only) 7 winners total

Ends Dec 24

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Book Review & Giveaway: Overcast Sunset by Joyce T. Strand

5 Dec

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NEW RELEASE…..

Brynn Bancroft’s enjoyment at running her former husband’s winery is overcast by a rash of troubling burglaries and her inability to reconnect with her ex. When she receives an urgent phone call from an old college friend requesting that she speak to an investor, she welcomes the interruption. Unfortunately, her friend’s business activities intrude on her routine. Then her ex-husband threatens her marriage hopes when he considers selling the winery. When the burglaries escalate, a sense of foreboding plagues her, hinting at trouble to come.

Available to buy from….
Amazon.co.uk   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Paperback    

 

About Brynn Bancroft

Brynn Bancroft evolved from the Jillian Hillcrest mysteries where she served as Jillian’s manager while Chief Financial Officer of Harmonia Therapeutics in Silicon Valley. A shapely blonde with a MENSA IQ, she had an affair with the CEO of the company.

Unfortunately for Brynn, the CEO’s wife figured out that the two were involved and asked Brynn to leave the company, which she agreed to do.

In the meantime, her husband, Liam—not unfamiliar with extramarital affairs himself but also understanding that Brynn grew up in an abusive household- grew tired of waiting for Brynn to commit to their relationship and asked for a divorce. At the same time, he solicited her assistance in developing his new winery in Sonoma County, Calif.

As the protagonist in HILLTOP SUNSET, Brynn begins to shed her past and her behavior of protecting herself by blocking emotions. We watch her transition from a shallow uncaring person to someone who starts to understand the emotions of friendship and love.

At the same time, much like Jillian—who occasionally shows up in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries—Brynn, too, attracts mystery and murders as she grows to enjoy life at her ex-husband’s Hilltop Sunset Winery.

 

My Review

I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

I read Hilltop Sunset and Landscape for Murder and I was looking forward to reading the next Brynn Bancroft book. I had trouble relating to Brynn in the first book, but with each book she gets easier to relate to both for me as the reader and those who are around her. 

She and her ex-husband, Liam,  were divorced because of her infidelity and her inability to feel or express feelings. She is slowly learning how to make friends and how to love. Although Liam seems to notice that Brynn is changing, he’s being standoffish and she’s afraid that he may have found someone else. 

Overcast Sunset has a large cast of characters and it’s hard to know who Brynn should trust. It’s especially difficult for her since she’s trying to learn to trust people. As a result, she could put herself in precarious positions.

Anyone who likes mysteries will like Overcast Sunset. Even though it’s the 3rd book in a series, it stands on its own. It has more than one mystery to solve, a couples twists, and some suspense. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

Also Available
Hilltop Sunset: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery

A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a
determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.

Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death
has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.

Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.

Read an excerpt here

Book available from….
Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com   Barnes & Noble   Paperback

 

Landscape For Murder: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery

A friend’s murder. An unconnected cast of suspects, including the victim’s missing adult daughter. As if that wasn’t enough, Brynn Bancroft’s winery has been broken into. Can she deal with her co-owner ex and help the police find her friend’s murder so she can finally overcome her own troubled past and enjoy family life with her teenage ward?

Book available from….
Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com   Barnes & Noble   Paperback   

 

About the Author

Joyce T. Strand is the author of who-done-it contemporary and historical mysteries set in San Francisco, Napa-Sonoma wine regions of California, or Ventura, California.

Her most recent novels, Hilltop Sunset and Landscape for Murder, feature protagonist Brynn Bancroft, a financial guru in transition to winemaker from corporate executive. Brynn Bancroft is a minor character in Strand’s first three novels On Message, Open Meetings, and Fair Disclosure—three mysteries solved by Jillian Hillcrest, a publicist in Silicon Valley whose boss was Chief Financial Officer Brynn Bancroft.

Her first historical mystery, The Judge’s Story, tells the story of a Superior Court Judge with a passion for social justice as well as the law who strives to discover the truth behind the mystery of a robbery-murder in a small California town in 1939.

All of her novels are inspired by actual events and/or real people, although they are definitely fictionalized.

Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California’s Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products

She lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and enjoys exploring and writing about the growing wine region in the Ramona Valley near San Diego.

She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Find the author on the following sites….
Website   Blog   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Google+   Goodreads
   Amazon Author Page
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