May 31, 2016

An entire chapter devoted to competitive Scrabble

I've recently delved into the world of feminist literature and so it was bound to happen that I would read Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. Ya'll, this book will slap you in your face with its brutal honesty. It's a collection of essays about everything from what it's like to be a black female professor (or what the teaching profession is like at all really) to the pressures of being the 'right' weight in our society. It's a no holds barred look at how we place everyone into categories and what it's like when you're one of those people that defy this categorization. This is a look into what it means to be a flawed human (or a bad feminist to use Gay's terminology) who recognizes that it's impossible to get everything right. One can only try to be their best self and do their best to stay true to their beliefs. She talks about her struggles with the label of 'feminist' and how she has always chafed against being lumped in with this group as she doesn't fit all of the supposed parameters. However, there is no one definition of feminist. (Am I ranting? It feels like I'm ranting. And even this worry right here is a part of the problem because I have been conditioned to feel that expressing my opinions/feelings is something I should apologize for.) She covers a lot of sensitive topics such as rape and in particular gang rape. The discussion of whether or not the term 'rape culture' has helped or hindered our society in terms of making this a known issue but at the same time desensitizing us to its effects (mention of Law & Order: SVU may have been made). This book is real. If you only read one book labeled as 'feminist literature' then I hope this is the one that you pick up. 10/10 highly recommend. :-)

Note: More books on feminism coming up soon.

**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

May 27, 2016

Too cute to pass up

I believe I've mentioned before that a lot of times I'll pick up a book based on a review I've seen on BookTube. In fact, my resolve to give graphic novels another shot happened because of the excellent recommendations of Ariel Bissett. She kept talking about a cute little graphic novel by Philippa Rice entitled Soppy: A Love Story and every time she'd mention it she would be overcome with how much she liked it so...I checked it out. She was absolutely right. It's a little dose of happiness in book form.  It's about a couple that decides to move in with one another and the adjustments that are made to accommodate their differences and how their relationship evolves. (Note: I am the girl in this book. She is me. I am her.) I laughed out loud and actually said "aww" more than once. They're a quirky little couple who makes me hope that things might actually work out for me in the future. If you want something light and sweet then I highly recommend this one to you.

Also, the artwork is adorable. Here are a few examples:

This is how I expect I'll meet "the one"

This cracked me up.


**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

May 24, 2016

For advice on world building consult J.R.R. Tolkien or J.K. Rowling

Have you ever read a book and felt like you came in at the middle? Or maybe that there was a prequel that you somehow didn't know about? If you answered yes to either one of these questions then you know how I felt while reading The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. I felt thrust into a set of characters and a story that was already in full swing without any kind of reference point. It was only toward the end that some of these questions were resolved and annoyingly the book ended in such a way that smacks of 'sequel in the making'. Now this might leave you with the impression that I didn't enjoy this book. Wrong, I did like it. However, I never felt fully connected to the characters because of that feeling of 'Have I missed something here? What is happening?!". The story is basically about a group of children who are taken in by a man they call Father (yes, it's weird) and are trained in completely different fields (languages, military tactics, animals, etc) in order to become experts in those fields. The story begins with the main character named Carolyn who is for lack of a more appropriate term dissatisfied with the status quo. I can't decide if this is a book about magic or just a world in which fantastical things can happen just because. There are definitely fantastical elements such as resurrection, the ability to talk with animals, and the like but Carolyn maintains that 'magic isn't real'. Like I said, I liked the book but it's not one that I would reread and if there was a sequel I'm not entirely sure that I'd be first in line to read it because it just didn't stick with me. I would like to warn any of you that are sensitive to violence and/or coarse language because this book is chock full of both. I don't dislike deconstructing worlds by getting little pieces from the start of the book but there was something missing from this one. Sorry that this review is all over the place but honestly that's how I felt pretty much the whole time I was reading it so it's appropriate. :-P

Source: amazon.com

**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

May 23, 2016

Newly Released: Be Witched

I'm going to periodically feature newly released books. These are self-published books which I've agreed to lend a helping hand. I'll include cover art, synopses, excerpts, author bios, and purchasing links. If you're interested, I encourage you to take the leap and give them a shot. So here we go! :-)


BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Be Witched AUTHOR – 21 NYT, USA Today, and International Bestselling authors GENRE – Paranormal Romance PUBLICATION DATE – 5/3/16 LENGTH - Over 1 million words PUBLISHER – Bestselling Boxed Sets

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Prepare to BE WITCHED with 22 tales of magical and mysterious Paranormal Romance. All one million words of this witchy romance boxed set will leave you spellbound, but this collection won't last long. This limited edition omnibus is available for a limited time and packed with today's NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling authors, bringing you nothing but the best of the best in the witch romance genre. 

BUY & TBR LINKS

Boxed Set Image

AUTHOR BIO


  • NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, Sarah Mäkelä MOONLIT FEATHERS - After faced with crippling loss, a heartbroken raven must find her wings again... 
  • USA Today Bestselling Authors, Kressley & Hamilton MOON COVEN - Julia's coven has been at war with Roman's for generations. Now their love for each other may be the death of them both. 
  • USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton THE FOREVER GIRL - A witch gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust a shifter. 
  • USA Today Bestselling Author, Rainy Kaye THE DEEPEST BLACK - Ember has a little problem...fairies want her dead. 
  • Harlequin Author & International Bestselling Author, Debbie Herbert CHARMED AND DANGEROUS - A witch returns years after a traumatic Ouija board incident. She falls for a classmate and struggles to keep her magic secret. 
  • International Bestselling Author, Linsey Hall WITCH'S FATE - When warlock Malcolm Brent chose power over Sofia and cast her aside, she vowed to forget him. For four hundred years, it worked. Until he forced her to return to him... 
  • USA Today Bestselling Author, April Aasheim THE WITCHES OF DARK ROOT - Seven years ago Maggie left her enchanted but stifling town and her mother's magick shop. Now she's returned to find both the town and her family in peril, and she might be the only one who can save them. 
  • USA Today Bestselling Author, Apryl Baker THE BLACKBURN LEGACY - Fearing for her sanity, Alexandria must face her nightmares. Aided by new friends, who have dark secrets themselves, can she survive long enough to discover the secret behind the secret? 
  • International Bestselling Author, Poppet SAND WITCH - A sexy, witchy, good time tale. Falling in love is magickal, despite the bullets and near death experiences.   
  • USA Today Bestselling Author, Noree Cosper THE PANDORA PRINCIPLE - As a descendant of Pandora, Cassi must discover if her lover is one of the evil spirits she hunts before all of her friends die. 
  • International Bestselling Author, Caethes Faron MAGIC BORN - A college student discovers she's the daughter of a powerful mage when a panther shifter delivers the news of her mother's murder...and now the killer is after her. 
  • USA Today Bestselling Author, J.E. Taylor BLACK MAGICK - When a banishing spell goes awry, Paige Turner must defeat a vengeful spirit before he destroys everything she loves. 
  • International Bestselling Author, Lindsey R. Loucks THE GRAVE WINNER - Leigh Baxton is terrified her mom will come back from the dead...just like the prom queen did. 
  • International Bestselling, L.V. Lewis THE CASTER'S CANTICLE - When hopelessness and lust collides, how does one give life to a heart that sings to you like no other? 
  • International Bestselling Author, Shannon Eckrich KISSING THE DEVIL - A witch, a devil, and a curse. A romantic twist on the legend of the New Jersey Devil. 
  • International Bestselling Author, Rachel McClellan THE DEVIL'S FOOL - Eve spends most of her life avoiding people like her power-hungry witch parents, but when she meets a seductive vampire, she finds it increasingly difficult to spot the true devils of the world, especially when she becomes one herself. 
  • International Bestselling & Award Winning Author, Charity Parkerson THE SEXY & THE UNDEAD - Single, unemployed, and in charge of her very own pet zombie, Ella Perry is cooking up trouble, and it's raining men. 
  • USA Today Bestselling Author, Susan Stec WITCHY - Skylar is a white witch full of good intentions, bad habits, and poor relationship choices. 
  • International Bestselling Author, N.R. Larry THE NIGHT - Kinsley will do anything to forget that she killed a guy. 
  • International Best Selling Author, C.P. Mandara GOOD AS DEAD - Everyone wants her dead. One vampire has been ordered to keep her alive, and he's hungry... for much more than blood. International Bestselling Author, Diana Bocco WICKED - One night. One ritual. Passion will change everything.


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May 20, 2016

Needs less drama and more food

2016 has been the year of the graphic novel for me. In the past, I had given one or two of them a shot but I guess I was making the wrong choices because I thought it was a medium that held no interest for me. Thankfully, I've been getting really great recommendations and the ones I've read thus far this year have been for the most part very enjoyable.


Today's review is about Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley. I picked this book up because I kept hearing how great it was especially in regards to the artwork. I have to say that I've read better graphic novels. The art alternated between beautiful and just okay. (I'm certainly not an art critic but this is how I felt about it so...) The main protagonist is a chef named Katie who was the co-creator of a restaurant named Seconds. However, at the start of the narrative we learn that Katie has stepped down as Head Chef because she's in the process of opening a new restaurant across town in a decrepit building that she's always 'had a feeling about'. (Spoiler: The new restaurant is very unimaginatively named.) She has a dream one night that there's this girl in her room who shows her a magic mushroom that if eaten in conjunction with writing down a mistake she can then go back in time and 'correct' things. (Was this the 60's?) Through a series of missteps which were pretty predictable Katie discovers that while she can go back again and again to 'fix' things she's in actuality just making things worse. (I had kinda hoped that this would be more about food to be honest (darn you, Lucy Knisley!)). To sum up, this one was right on the line for me. I'd say it was a solid 'meh'. It was a basic morality tale about wish fulfillment and the consequences of not learning from your mistakes. 5/10

PS I didn't like Katie.

The best bit of art in the book. Source: pinterest.com


**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

May 17, 2016

Space yachts is a good band name

Last month you may recall that I reviewed Isaac Asmiov's first novel, Pebble in the Sky, which was part of the Galactic Empire series. Now here's where it gets interesting because even though he wrote this one first it wasn't actually the first book of the series...it actually started with The Currents of Space which coincidentally is what I'll be reviewing today. (Do I know how to prologue a post or what, guys?) So far, I'd say that there is absolutely no need to read these in any particular order as there are no character crossovers and in fact only cursory mention of Earth at all (which is where 99.9% of the action took place in Pebble in the Sky). In this story, we are introduced to Rik (not his real name), Valona (peasant mill worker), Townman (title not name), Junz (cool cat), Abel (mover and shaker), and the Great Squires of Sark (I'll let the book describe these). This book's main focus is on classism especially on the world of Florina where the major commodity is kyrt (super fancy clothing is made from it). There's intrigue, rebellion, derring-do, and space yachts. Asimov is the king of sci-fi for a reason, ya'll. I was swept away on a gentle cloud of otherworldliness. The last book of the series is proving difficult to obtain but hopefully I'll have my hands (actually ears) on it soonish. XD However, if you're looking for a fun read and/or want to continue the Galactic Empire series then you'd be accomplishing both objectives by reading The Currents of Space.


Source: shortbookreview.BlogSpot.com


**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

May 13, 2016

Sci-fi meets mystery meets political thriller

Well, I'm going to have to expand my favorite authors list once again because Sylvain Neuvel has come into my life with the supremely compelling and well-written book entitled Sleeping Giants: Book One of the Themis Files. Guys, this book is so awesome that just by reading it on the train platform I invited bookish conversation with a stranger. The back blurb of this book is what initially caught my attention as it states the book is a mix of World War Z and The Martian (both books that I enjoyed). Also, the fact that it had whiffs (can a book blurb have whiffs?) of The Iron Giant. For someone who is terrified of robots and artificial intelligence, I sure do find a way to read a lot of books on the subject... Well, this story focuses on a group of people who are looking for pieces of a giant robot in the hopes that they can learn more about the makers of said robot and improve the lives of humanity all in one fell swoop. The writing style is very unique as the majority is done as a kind of interrogation by a nameless individual (I think from the CIA) with the various members of the team. Interspersed are also small journal entries which the reader is made aware are being reviewed by this nameless figure. It's all very cloak and dagger stuff which I really liked. It also meant that the story moved on at a fairly quick pace (it also helped that I really got into it). This is science fiction at it's very best, ya'll. Not to mention, there's a political mystery occurring right alongside which would appeal to pretty much any audience. If you're looking for a fast paced sci-fi mystery you can't go wrong with Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. 10/10


Source: books.google.com


**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **