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Book Talk with R and T: Let's Talk About Pen Pals

Tamara and I have been having a great week chatting about THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND. We shared our opinions here and here, interviewed author Katrina Bivald, and debated book covers. We've been tweeting non-stop and our giveaway runs through the weekend.

Today I wanted to know if anyone had pen pals growing up? I had one that I think I got out of the back of Teen magazine and we wrote maybe 4 letters to each other. I loved getting mail and thought it was so cool to "talk" to someone I didn't know. Now with social media, I do that everyday. Maybe that's why I like Twitter so much. It's pen pals 2.0! Did you have a pen pal? How did your correspondence begin? How long did you stay in touch? Did you ever met in person?

Don't forget to enter to win your own copy of this great book about books!!

Book Talk with R and T: Which Book Cover Do You Like Better?

This week Tamara and I are featuring THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND as our Book Talk with R & T selection. We have posted our reviews here and here. Today Tamara has an awesome interview with author Katrina Bivald  over on her blog, and I'm doing a little poll to see which book cover readers like better. I'm pretty torn. I like the script on the blue one but I love the cozy scene on the yellow one. Leave me a comment below and tell me which you like best. 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Book Talk with R and T: Review of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: January 19th, 2016 (originally published 2013)
ISBN: 9781492623441
Number of Pages: 400
How I Got It: NetGalley 
Format: Kindle
Goodreads Description: Here
My Review:

I am a sucker for a book about books. This selection popped up on NetGalley months ago and when Tamara and I discussed Book Talk options, it was a hands down winner. We thought "let's start 2016 with this!" Then I realized I double booked myself (haha, get it? booked? ok....) with my vacation for the first week of the year. Thank goodness T was flexible and we pushed back our feature one week. Which actually meant more time for our giveaway (don't forget to enter below!)

Having lived in Iowa and Illinois for the first 23 years of my life, I especially loved little things like Sara's realization that people wear hats advertising tractors (I grew up with this and was puzzled when the trucker hat phenomenon caught on,) Taco John's (boy do I miss Potato Oles,) and the fact that the miles and miles of corn are only broken up by a field or two of soybeans. (Quick story: it was so flat and unpopulated where I lived that I could see the school bus turn off the main road and it wouldn't make it to my house for another 10 minutes.)

There were so many great quotes in this read such as "As long as she had books and money, nothing could be a catastrophe." Or what reader can't relate to this one: "People were strange like that. They could be completely uninterested in you, but the moment you picked up a book, you were the one being rude." 

 Small towns are not always warm and welcoming, quite often they are the opposite. Outsiders are considered outsiders for years and sometimes generations. The story was charming and I loved the idea of a whole town being transformed by reading and  embracing Sara, but based on my experiences I'm not so sure it is realistic. But isn't that the point of reading? To escape to an alternate reality? 

***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***

Enter the Giveaway Here!! 

I Started 2016 with a Vacation from Reality: Take a Peek at my Week in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

I started 2016 with a week in the sun! We visited Providenciales in Turks and Caicos and I've never seen water so clear as it was in Grace Bay. No seaweed and when we went boating, snorkeling, or fishing, you could easily see 50 feet to the bottom. I ate grouper, snapper, conch, mahi, shrimp, and the most delicious lobster (imagine if a lobster tail and a margarita had a baby--yum!) I saw stingrays, crabs, dolphins, parrotfish, trigger fish, barracuda, sharks, and iguanas. I drank rum punch, vodka Cran-Grapes, and wine all day and night. Pretty much a week of food, fun, and sun.
Abandoned pier on the beach (I was too chicken to go all the way to the end)
Our pool
Boardwalk leading to the beach
end of the boardwalk (everyone would just leave their flip-flops here)

Our main location for the week
Our own personal beach (We did a private boat charter and this was where our captain made our lunch)