Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Esther the Wonder Pig

Esther the Wonder Pig
Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter & Caprice Crane

In the past year, I have learned so much about myself, my eating habits, and what eating meat not only does to my body, but also to the planet. I happened to listen to a podcast about 6 months ago where Russell Simmons spoke of eating animals and why he quit eating meat. Without getting in to the details, he talked about factory farming and the horrific conditions in which animals are slaughtered, and how we, the consumers essentially eat the stress of the animal. Much of what he said made a lot of sense, so I decided to try to cut out meat from my diet. It was surprisingly easy, and I didn't miss eating meat, though many told me I would. Then I read this story about a sweet little pig named Esther, and how she came to live with Steve and Derek. I flew through the pages of the book, and was really entertained by the way Steve writes about Esther. Yes, it was funny and charming, but more importantly, it resolved my strength to show compassion to animals in my life, and more broadly in the world. While reading, I couldn't help but laugh and think about the parallels between Steve (Me) and Derek (My husband). I'm always bringing animals home, and my husband is always threatening me "don't bring another animal home!" 

While this book does not push a vegan or vegetarian agenda, I think it raises some points that we all should consider, and Esther has become one of the faces for animal rights. I think that is wonderful, and I think the broader message is that if we could all raise the level of consciousness for what we eat, that is never a bad thing. 

In the summer of 2012, Steve Jenkins was contacted by an old friend about adopting a micro piglet. Though he knew his partner Derek wouldn't be enthusiastic, he agreed to take the adorable little pig anyway, thinking he could care for her himself. Little did he know, that decision would change his and Derek's lives forever. It turned out there was nothing "micro" about Esther, and Steve and Derek had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, Tiny Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds. After some real growing pains and a lot of pig-sized messes, it became clear that Esther needed much more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and other animals in need. Funny, heartwarming, and utterly charming, ESTHER THE WONDER PIG follows Steve and Derek's adventure--from reluctant pig parents to farm-owning advocates for animals.
Note: Thanks to an incredible Kickstarter campaign that was funded by donors, Steve and Derek purchased the farm. A truly remarkable story that highlights the collective kindness that makes the world an awesome place to be!   To read an excerpt, click HERE
Happy Reading! 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for an early copy of the book. I received this book in exchange for a fir and honest review. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper

People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper

I won't waste any time with any small talk, I will cut straight to the chase. I really loved this book! At the very end of this novel, I craved answers that only sitting in my car with my Kindle in hand could solve. I was enthralled by the characters in this book, and grew to be especially fond of Paul, Drew and Claire. Kim Hooper is an incredibly gifted writer, and I only hope that there is a sequel to this book. This should stand as my official plea to Kim to write the second installment of this story. 

Emily Morris got her happily-ever-after earlier than most. Married at a young age to a man she loved passionately, she was building the life she always wanted. But when enormous stress threatened her marriage, Emily made some rash decisions. That’s when she fell in love with someone else. That’s when she got pregnant.
Resolved to tell her husband of the affair and to leave him for the father of her child, Emily’s plans are thwarted when the world is suddenly split open on 9/11. It’s amid terrible tragedy that she finds her freedom, as she leaves New York City to start a new life. It’s not easy, but Emily---now Connie Prynneforges a new happily-ever-after in California. But when a life-threatening diagnosis upends her life, she is forced to rethink her life for the good of her thirteen-year-old daughter.
A riveting debut in which a woman must confront her own past in order to secure the future of her daughter, Kim Hooper's People Who Knew Me asks: “What would you do?”

About the Author 
Kim's Blog

Seriously...Order Your Copy 

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 23, 2016


Have you heard about Litsy? It's a new app that is a place to connect with readers just like you and see what kinds of books they are sharing. If you are anything like me, choosing your next book in an extensive TBR stack is a daunting task. I usually go to my friends and ask, "what should I read next?" You can also organize your reading list, add quotes, and create a blurb about a book you are reading. It really is a book lover's paradise!

It is streamlined and extremely easy to create an account. Litsy Sign Up
Find me at lilmommareader and let's connect!
Happy Reading!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Summer Reading Challenge!

I have some really exciting news for all of you parents out there! This summer, Read Baby Read (that's me!) will be hosting a Summer Reading Challenge for your Middle Grade and Teen Kids. There are weekly prizes, plus a grand prize up for grabs! I know how challenging it can be to get your kids to want to read over the summer, so that's why you should get them involved in this inaugural reading challenge. 
Please fill out this FORM to be contacted for further information.
Here are some of the awesome books that will be featured in the Summer Reading Challenge:

Eliot Schrefer
The Rules of Survival
Nancy Werlin
All The Bright Places
Jennifer Niven

Bone Gap
Laura Ruby

The Hour of The Bees
Lindsay Eagar
The War That Saved My Life
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Fish in a Tree
Lynda Mullaly Hunt

El Deafo
Cece Bell

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Best Books of May

Blood Defense by Marcia Clark
Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star—and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.
Though Sam has doubts about his innocence, she and her two associates (her closest childhood friend and a brilliant ex-con) take the case. Notorious for living by her own rules—and fearlessly breaking everyone else’s—Samantha pulls out all the stops in her quest to uncover evidence that will clear the detective. But when a shocking secret at the core of the case shatters her personal world, Sam realizes that not only has her client been playing her, he might be one of the most dangerous sociopaths she’s ever encountered.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past. 
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. 

Titans by Leila Meacham 
Texas in the early 1900s, its inhabitants still traveling by horseback and barely familiar with the telephone, was on the cusp of an oil boom that, unbeknownst to its residents, would spark a period of dramatic changes and economic growth. In the midst of this transformative time in Southern history, two unforgettable characters emerge and find their fates irrevocably intertwined: Samantha Gordon, the privileged heiress to the sprawling Las Tres Lomas cattle ranch near Fort Worth, and Nathan Holloway, a sweet-natured and charming farm boy from far north Texas. As changes sweep the rustic countryside, Samantha and Nathan's connection drives this narrative compulsively forward as they love, lose, and betray.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

There isn't a doubt in my mind that Chris Cleave is a brilliant, talented writer, and this book is no exception. Readers who enjoyed Little Bee will devour this novel as well. All readers will find this book to be an enjoyable read, but fans of historical fiction will be particularly excited for this novel. For me, the connection to the main character was a the selling point. I hope you all enjoy reading Everyone Brave Is Forgiven. 

It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.

Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.

A sweeping epic with the kind of unforgettable characters, cultural insights, and indelible scenes that made Little Bee so incredible, Chris Cleave’s latest novel explores the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, and incredible courage.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Best Books to Buy Mom!

Today I am sharing with you the best books to buy mom! It's not a simple task to buy mom something for Mother's Day, so if your mom is a reader, then check out this list of books to buy that special woman in your life!

If your mama is a...
Fiction Lover 
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If your mama is a...
Mystery Lover
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If your mama is a...
History Buff
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If your mama is a...
Psychology Lover

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If your mama is a...
Young Adult Lover
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