Recommendations · Worth a Watch

Worth a Watch: From Cradle to Stage

A couple of days I ago I posted my review for the book From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers who Raised Rock Stars by Virginia Hanlon Grohl. After listening to the audio book I discovered that it had been turned into a documentary series. It was released in May of 2021 and can been seen on Paramount.

As with the book, I would recommend this show for music fans of all genres. Check out the trailer below.

Articles · Recommendations · Worth a Watch

My Firefly Lane Playlist

Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane has been on my TBR for years, however in light of the release of the Netflix adaptation, I decided to bump it up my list. I finally read this book in April and enjoyed the coming of age story of two best friends.

For those who are not familiar with this book here is the synopsis:

Book Cover

From the New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .

In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.

From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.

Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .

For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.

Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.

Source: Goodreads

I loved all the cultural references to the time periods it covers. Kristin Hannah really transports her readers back in time. Another aspect I loved, was how much amazing music was incorporated into this book and how it played such a pivotal role in the different chapters of Tully and Kate’s lives.

Today I would like to share with you some (and I could add tons more ha) of my favourite songs that were mentioned in Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane.

For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield

Daydream Believer by The Monkees

Takin’ Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

Book Reviews · Read-a-thons · Recommendations

Charlie's Corner: Book Review: Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.
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Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons
By: Ashli St. Armant
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin

Published: October 2019
Published by: Audible Original

Format: Audiobook, Audible
Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery, Series

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

Viva Durant, New Orleans’ youngest detective, is on a quest to solve a jazzy mystery involving hidden treasure, while exploring the city’s unique culture, history, and music. This family-friendly audio original features original jazz music from the creator, Ashli St. Armant, and an enthusiastic performance from Audible Hall of Fame narrator, Bahni Turpin.

Plucky 14-year-old Viva Durant heads to New Orleans every summer to spend time with her loving but stern grandmother, known as Gram. After Gram reads Viva an article in the local paper about a missing treasure related to the world-famous song, “Miss Mary Mack,” Viva traverses the Crescent City on an epic adventure to solve the mystery. Along the way she meets some of the city’s most colorful characters as her journey takes her to the French Quarter, a jazz club, a creepy cemetery, and even the circus. Can Viva rise to the occasion and solve this musical mystery? Listeners will find Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons a joy to listen to!

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

I came across Ashli St. Armant’s, Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons when searching Audible Originals. I thought it would be a cute story to listen to for the Middle Grade March Read-a-thon. Surprisingly, I ended up loving Viva’s story and it became my second 5 star book of .

California girl Viva is given her first taste of freedom, while visiting her grandmother in New Orleans. She is taken by a newspaper article about a missing treasure, connected to the children’s song Miss Mary Mack. Using the article and the song lyrics, Viva goes on a treasure hunt that takes her into the French Quarter, on a discovery of music history and even to circus school. Additionally, it is all set to a soundtrack of some great Jazz music.

I thought that a mystery involving such a widely known song as Miss Mary Mack, was so clever. It features a stellar audio production and Banhi Turpin’s performance brought Viva to life. The setting felt authentic and vibrant. This audio book will also introduce a whole new generation to the Jazz genre, including those who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.

Viva Durant is a wonderfully put together audio book that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Book Reviews · Charlie's Corner · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: Book Review: Saltwater Joys

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.
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Saltwater Joys
By: Wayne Chaulk
Illustrated by: Dawn Baker

Published: August 2012
Published by: Pennywell Books
Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Children’s Lit, Picture Book, Lyrical, Cultural

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis

“Saltwater Joys” is perhaps one of the most popular and well-known songs to come out of Newfoundland and Labrador. Written by Wayne Chaulk of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, the song is a celebration of the simple pleasures of outport life.

This beloved song is now available in book form, with Dawn Baker’s stunning illustrations capturing the joys of living in Newfoundland. From enjoying quiet mornings in the cove, to admiring icebergs in the spring and brightly coloured leaves in the fall, to breathing in the salty ocean smells and watching the sun set over the water, the words to the song come alive within these pages.

Complete with sheet music at the back, Saltwater Joys is as beautiful as the song that inspired it.

Finalist for the 2014 Heritage and History Book Award

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

On our last trip to Newfoundland, I was lucky to find a signed copy of Wayne Chaulk’s book Saltwater Joys. As I am eager to continually expand our collection of literature from the province, I am very pleased to say that it is currently in heavy rotation among my toddlers numerus books.

This children’s picture book, follows the lyrics to the song of the same name, that was made popular by Chaulk’s band Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers. It tells the story of a young boy who takes pride in his island home.

Beautifully illustrated by artist Dawn Baker, the scenes depict each line of the song in vibrant colours that capture life in Newfoundland, past and present. This copy also includes the sheet music, for those who are so inclined to play the song themselves.

I believe that everyone (young and old) could enjoy this picture book. Especially those who are interested in Newfoundland culture and those who are fans of musician Wayne Chaulk.

Additional Notes

Saltwater Joys by Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers