Friday Round-Up

First up, thanks to those who entered the Heart Health giveaway.  The winner (via random.org) is Carrie!  (Please send me an email with your address and I’ll pass it along to the folks who will send you your goodies!)

I didn’t do a Friday Round-Up last week because it was Tucker’s birthday…so I have a lot of fun things to share today.

To get a dose of adorable dogs, check out this story about future service dogs meeting a group of firefighters.

It’s almost Spring Break season–do people still send postcards?  Here are vintage postcards that might make you laugh.

Break out the tissues…here’s the moment a deaf mother hears her 8-year old’s voice for the first time.  So precious.

And finally, here’s the Valentine I sent out yesterday:

Valentine

PicMonkey is so fun!

Happy Weekend!  What’s on tap?  

Bookshelf

First of all, I wanted to say Thank you! to everyone for the adorable Tucker birthday wishes and comments.  He had a vet appointment today and he’s doing great.  He needs to put on a little bit of weight, so he’ll be dining on hardboiled eggs (in addition to his stinky dry dog food) at breakfast and dinner.

Both Kostas and Tucker are very fit and lean dogs–Kostas actually weighs 20 pounds more than Tucker!  He carries his weight in his huge ears 🙂

K

Moving on to recent reads…

Cold, snowy, icy weather the past couple of weeks has meant I’ve been A-OK with taking some time to read.  Here are the last few books I’ve read:

A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass – My niece suggested I read this book and I’m glad I took her recommendation.  It’s definitely in the YA genre so it wasn’t too taxing.  The book is the story of Mia Winchell and her struggle with synesthesia – her senses mingle and so words and letters have color for her.  She tries to hide this from her friends and family, but she is struggling in school so her parents take her to a series of doctors.  Mango, the family cat, is also central to the story.  No spoiler alert here, but the ending is sad.  I was intrigued to learn more about synesthesia.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell – The overall premise:  two young sisters are forced to take care of themselves after the “mysterious” death of their parents.  The friendly neighbor takes the girls in and starts to get suspicious that the parents are not coming back from their trip to Turkey (this is what the girls tell people – their parents left town).  This story pulls at the heartstrings and is a brilliant debut novel.  On Goodreads I only gave this 3 out of 5 stars because it was just so depressing.  The ending was a real shocker and I think when I closed the book after finishing it I let out a very audible sigh because I’d been taken on an emotional roller coaster.  All that said, I still recommend it.

Hikikomori and the Rental Sister by Jeff Backhaus – If you read this, try to read it when you have time to dedicate to getting through the entire book in one or two sittings.  You’ll want to get to know the characters and find out if/when they are successful at starting over.  Thomas and Silke Tessler live together in their New York apartment but Thomas has sequestered himself in one room–for the past three years.  The Tessler’s son died and Thomas feels to blame.  Thus, the seclusion.  He only goes out at night for groceries – microwave dinners and instant coffee.  Silke wants her husband back.  She hires Meguni, a young Japanese immigrant attuned to the hikikomori phenomenon, to lure Thomas back into the world.  This is a complex story and I enjoyed it because I learned about hikikomori and felt invested in these characters.

These books have been a bit deep–I may need to read a book about puppies and rainbows to bounce back!

How is your Monday?  Any book recommendations to share?