Friday 56, #21

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate!

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here’s my contribution:

         

 

This book has been on my TBR pile for years. And I’m just now reading as a part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016. What do you think of this excerpt? Would you read this  novel? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to leave your link below so I can visit your blog. Happy Reading!

Friday 56, #19

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here’s my contribution:

Small Wonder

Dire habitat loss has become the norm for tropical species, but macaws and parrots are further doomed by their own charm. Such beauty doesn’t come cheap: A poacher who captures a young scarlet macaw can sell it into the pet trade for up to $400 U.S. (The fine for being caught is about $325.)

 

This has been on my TBR pile forever. So this year I decided to use it as a part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 and #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. What do you think of this excerpt? Would you read this book? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to leave your link below so I can visit your blog. Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 56, #16

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate!

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here’s my contribution:

Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba, #1)He nods like he understands, which is enduring even though he obviously has no clue what’s going on. He stands up and shuffles through his pockets for a moment before handing me a business card. “Take this. My girlfriend, Jenny, does natural healing. You know, herbal crap and all that. Doesn’t stand up too strong when you’re in cardiac arrest, but she’s pretty up good at what she does.”

“Thanks,” I say. I don’t really know what the hell he’s talking about, but he seems genuinely concerned. I pocket the card, nod at Victor, and trudge off to find Riley.

What do you think of this excerpt? Would you read this  novel? Let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to leave your link below.

Top Ten Tuesday, #4

 

September has been such a busy month that I’ve done very little blogging. But I’m getting back into the swing with one of my favorite memes!  It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday. It’s hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Do visit this fun blog and read all the other lists. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll be sure to add books to your TBR pile. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is: Books On My Fall TBR List!

  1. The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante. I read My Brilliant Friend last month and loved it. I am looking forward to reading this so very much!
  2. The Past by Tess Hadley. I picked this up at Costco over the weekend. I love the cover!
  3. The Witches by Stacy Schiff. I found it at Costco.
  4. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. I’ve had this book forever. I’m reading it for two challenges: Book Riot Read Harder and #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.
  5. Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s the end of the year so I need to read as many books for the Read Harder Challenge as I can. And I’ve had it forever, so it counts toward my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.
  6. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I’m planning to participate in the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon in October. And this one is in my to read pile for that weekend. Also, it counts toward #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.
  7. The Halloween Tree by  Ray Bradbury. It’s on the Readathon pile, too.
  8. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Readathon pile!
  9. Hell House by Richard Matheson. Readathon.
  10. Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys. This is for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.

Have you read any of the books I’ve listed? Are you participating in any reading challenges? What books are you planning to read in the Fall? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

August 2016 Wrap Up

August was a much better month for me when it comes to reading and blogging. I made a bit of progress on the book challenges I’m participating in, but not as much as I would like. Here is my list for August.

Books I’ve read this Month:

My Favorite reads:

  • One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash is amazing. It’s beautifully written and the story is engaging. If you haven’t read it, do! As soon as possible!
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith [AKA J.K. Rowling] is just a wonderfully plotted story. I started reading it as an eBook borrowed from the library, but became so engaged I also borrowed the audio book version to listen to while I worked in my garden and did housework.

Books I Acquired:

  • Asking for Trouble by Elizabeth Young (paperback)
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez (audio book)
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (audio book)
  • One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash (paperback)
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne (hardback)
  • The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev (eBook)

Books in Progress:

  • The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (eBook from the library)
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Farrante (paperback)
  • S. by J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst (hardback)

Books I DNF (did not finish):

  • In Bed With the Devil by Lorraine Heath (eBook from the library) This one didn’t catch my attention.

Reading in September:

Most of the books I’m planning to read are #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks and two are for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge. Now, I’ll probably won’t achieve this goal, but that’s okay.

  • The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev (eBook)
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  • I Am America (And So Can You) by Stephen Colbert (2016 Read Harder Challenge)
  • Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff (2016 Read Harder Challenge)

Here is some of my favorite reads across the blogisphere and the web.

Bloggers:

Both of these posts have nothing to do with books or reading.

  • CoffeeandaBlankpage writes a letter to a man who approached her on the street.
  • TheThrifty Gourmond writes about buying less than pretty vegetables. I really like this since my garden produce is not as perfect as the stuff at the grocery store.

Links from Across the Web:

  • Jessica Gross’s Things We Like website. This is website is lists that Jessica Gross collects and presents on this page. It’s really fascinating, and I enjoy reading them.
  • Hiking stories can be found at this link. I love the idea of hiking different long trails, but i don’t think I ever will do it. So, I do the next best thing I watch videos on You Tube and read essays about hiking.

 

How was your August reading? Did you meet all your goals? What are your plans for September? Let me know what you think of my plans in the comments. Happy Reading!

 

Friday 56, #9

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate!

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky on Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here’s my contribution:

I Am America (And So Can You!)

And I’ll give Mormonism this: They know which way the wind blows. When America decided polygamy wasn’t the way to go, the Mormons changed their ways and banned it. They had similar changes in policy when public opinion turned against the tradition of massacring pioneers and believing Black people are evil. Pretty much whenever the general populace decides the Mormons are a crazy, sinful cult, their leader receives a message straight from God that makes everything OK. This practice continues to this day; you can see it in the way Mitt Romney was pro-choice when he was running for governor of Massachusetts, but was divinely inspired to become pro-life when he was running for the Republican nomination for president.

Well, after finding this excerpt for the Friday 56, I’m pretty sure this book will count for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge task read a book about politics!

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 in the comments below (And Daniela, go ahead do your own Friday 56 in my comments!)

Quickie Review of The Sharper the Knife, The Less You Cry

For many reasons August has been just a hard month to read and write about books. I’m finally getting back into it this week , slowly. And I’m behind on so many things.  I’m behind on the 2016 Read Harder Book Challenge and #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, and I’ve only written two book reviews so far this month. So today I though I’d a a quickie review of a book that is a part of both of the challenges.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School in Paris

Kathleen Flinn was a thirty-six-year-old middle manager trapped on the corporate ladder – until her boss eliminated her job. Instead of sulking, she took the opportunity to check out of the rat race for good – cashing in her savings, moving to Paris, and landing a spot at the venerable Le Cordon Blue cooking school.

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the funny and inspiring account of her struggle in a stew of hot-tempered, chefs, competitive classmates, her own “wretchedly inadequate” French – and how she mastered the basics of French cuisine. Filled with rich, sensual details of her time in the kitchen – the ingredients, cooking techniques, wine, and more than two dozen recipes – and the vibrant sights and sounds of the markets, shops, and avenues of Paris, it is also a journey of self-discovery, transformation, and, ultimately, love.

I like this book, but I do not love this book. It’s one of those memoirs in which upper middle class woman looses job and goes to exotic location to find self (Think Eat, Pray, Love. Oh, and Elizabeth Gilbert has a blurb on the cover, so you know who the audience is for this book.) I don’t have a fight with this genre, but there is something so off-putting about this genre for me. I only got through the eating portion of Eat, Pray, Love because of the gorgeous descriptions of Italy and food. Which leads me to The Sharper the Knife. The recipes and descriptions of classes at the Cordon Bleu are what I like best about this book. The chef’s and students along with the rivalries are what kept me coming back to this book. And the recipes! The recipes seem like something I can follow successfully.

What I did not love about this book. The trials and tribulations of finding the perfect apartment in the center of Paris. The sadness of living out with the poor folk out on the eastern edge of Paris. The struggles of getting to school on the metro, and the uncomfortable feeling of struggling back to the apartment through the children of the neighborhood begging for money. And she did have a serious issue with her new husband towards the end of the book, but all the other tone deaf “trials”earlier in the book make it hard to feel too sorry or sympathetic for her.

Now, that being said, its not a bad story. I will recommend it to anyone who is interested in what it’s like to attend the Cordon Bleu in Paris. But if you are looking for inspiration…..No. Read something else. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

What do you think? Would you read this book? Do you like memoirs? Do you like novels that include recipes? If you do, let me know in the comments!

Review of The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling)

  • Author: Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling, Robert Glenister (Narrator)
  • Genre: Mystery/Crime
  • Version: Audiobook (17 hours, 17 minutes)
  • Publisher: June 19th 2014 by Hatchette Audio
  • Source: Library
  • Read: July 18-27th.
  • 4 stars

From Goodreads:

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

What a fun read! I think after reading this second book of J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s detective series that I really just like the way this women tells a story. Wizards or detectives, I’m all in.  All of the characters, both major and minor, are well fleshed out and interesting, the plot moves and doesn’t dawdle, and I was completely surprised to find out who the killer is at the end. The subplot that focuses on Corm and Robin’s relationship is well done, too. And I really think that this second book in her Cormoran Strike series would have given her cover away if her pen name hadn’t been leaked earlier. This novel focuses on a world J.K. Rowling knows well: publishing. The references to so many stories about literary figures, stereotypes of writers, and even famous feuds make this a fun, and for me, a delicious read. And it’s sort of hilarious the way Rowling paints male literary writers, too.

I also love the growing friendship between Cormoran and his assistant Robin. The reliance they have on each other is sweet. And his respect for her is also refreshing. It’s not surprising that J.K. Rowling writes such lovely relationships (see all the Harry Potter books), but in the more hard boiled mystery novel it’s certainly refreshing to have that kind of relationship between a man and a woman.

I listened to this book as a part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, Task 9. Listen to an audiobook that was won an Audie Award. This won the Audie Award for Mystery 2015 and I can understand why. Robert Glenister is the narrator and he does a wonderful job. And, as an American, I loved hearing all of the different English accents. As the week I listened went on, I found myself using some of my favorite British expressions and pronunciations (well, as close as I could get) around the house. And, yes, most of it was swearing.

Overall, I enjoyed the bloody hell out of this book (see what I did there?), and I will encourage you to read this book and the entire series as well. Don’t be afraid to read it because it isn’t Harry Potter, and think you can only read J.K. Rowling if she is writing HP novels. J.K. Rowling writes a damn good mystery novel and, if you love mysteries, you will enjoy the Cormoran Strike stories too.

 

 

 

August Plans

After the horror of July, I’m determined to get back on the wagon. I’m behind on Book Riot Reader Harder 2016 challenge and need to get more tasks completed.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)  Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

 Here’s a list of books I want to read and finish this month:

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling, Robert Glenister (Narrator) [ebook/audio book]

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne. {Read Harder 2016 Challenge}

One Foot in Eden  by Ron Rash {Skype Book Club}

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab (Pseudonym), Victoria Schwab [eBook]

I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert, et. al. {Read Harder 2016 Challenge}

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn {Read Harder 2016 Challenge}

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

S.by J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst

What books are you planning on reading in August? Have you read any on my list? What do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments. Happy reading!

 

 

 

 

June 2016 Wrap-Up

Well, June is done. That was quick, wasn’t it? It’s already time for me to think about my reading life this past month. I’ve had a very busy month both reading and blogging about reading. I made some dents in challenges, and didn’t do as much in others. But there are still six months left in the year, so I’m not too worried about meeting the goals of the challenges.

This month: I’ve read 9 books total and still have one to finish.

Pages read: 2,950

Challenges:

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 7

Book Riot Read Harder: 1

#WeekofReviews Challenge: 7 (on 6 of the 7 days.)

Book Formats and Genres:

Library Books: 2

EBooks/Kindle: 4

Romance Novels 3

How to/Self-help: 3

Books Purchased: 5.  2 kindle books and 3 paperbacks

Book Box: 1 (#BookMailBox) 2 books, apron, tea towel, bookmark, granola bar.

Book Reviews Posted: 8 (7 for the #WeekofReviews)

 

Reading goals for July:

  • Need to read three books for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.
  • Finish S! I’m dragging my feet on this one.

How was your June?