Friday, September 21, 2018

Early Reader Bedtime Story: What is a Wookie? by Laura Buller

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "Describes various non-human characters from the "Star Wars" universe, including C3PO, Dexter Jettster, pit droids, and Ewoks."

My Review: Munchkin and I picked this book out at the library, figuring a level 1 book is great for him and he loves Star Wars particularly Chewie. Turns out this really isn't a book about wookies, but about a bunch of the different species you meet in the series from Episode I through Episode VI. It was also a lot more difficult than most Level 1 books, Munchkin can usually read those on his own, this one however had a lot of text with small images and a quite a few difficult words (I would say this would be more of a later Level 2 or even Level 3 book). It was fun having seeing a lot of the alien races and learning a bit about what makes them unique but the title was rather a poor representation of what the book contained.

My Rating: This book was a bit of a disappointment all around for Munchkin and myself, I think if the title had been different and set more appropriate expectations, it wouldn't have been so disappointing.  We give it a rating of Two Paws.


Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Bookshelf Magazine Tag

It has been a while since I have done a Tag post and I decided it was time to post something other than reviews.  Then I saw Harriet Rosie post a tag video to promote her new online magazine, I had to do her tag.  I am so excited for her magazine, The Bookshelf Magazine (that will launch October 1st), unlike other literary magazines I have found which are geared more towards publishers and people in marketing or buying for businesses or libraries, this one will be more for those of us reading for fun or for blogs, youtube, or instagram feeds. If you get a chance go check out her announcement video HERE to find out more.

In the mean time, on with The Bookshelf Magazine Tag:

1. Book Review: A book you could talk about for hours
Well you should all know by now that I could talk about Frankenstein for hours on end, in fact, what happened to that old tradition of lectures open to the public? I want to go to a public lecture about Frankenstein, and then a discussion group after.

2. Author Spotlight: An author you’ve read a LOT of books from
Besides the early chapter book  and children's book authors, who turn out half a dozen books a year and sometimes have over 100 books in their series, my most read author is Laurell K. Hamilton with a total of 34 books, but I have since stopped reading her series.  
More recently I have really enjoyed Laura Kaye with 19 books and Jennifer Probst with 15 books.  Clearly the romance genre is my go to with certain authors because they are top of my list.

3. Interviews: A bookish person whose brains you’d love to pick!
I would love to pick the brain of a head librarian, I want to know how they manage the library, what goes into selecting the books and themes throughout the year.

4. Inside Indie Bookstores: Are there any indie bookstores in your area?
Yup, there are a few, a couple of my favorites are Barrington Books Retold, The Unlikely Story and a used book store called Mary's Paperback Books.  There is a used book store I found up in Maine on vacation one time that I so want to return to, but I can't remember the name of it.  One other new book store recently opened called Riff Raff which also serves adult beverages and appetizers to go with your books and hanging out with other readers; I haven't been yet but so want to go!  

5. Recommendations by Genre: The genre you read the most from
This fluctuates a bit but the past year or two it has mostly been fantasy, before that it was a lot of romance.  I do a feel like there is a bit of shift going on in my reading preferences lately, so we are going to have to see what comes up next. 

6. Opinion Piece: A bookish opinion you feel strongly about
Audio books are still reading books! It drives me so crazy when someone says that it doesn't count when you listen because you aren't actually doing the reading.  The same goes for reading books for younger readers and graphic novels, it is all reading!

7. Recommending Bookish Creators: Recommend a book blogger, booktuber, or bookstagrammer
I am really bad about keeping up with my fellow book bloggers, I only have time to visit in the evenings and I can't stand reading blogs on my phone.  As far as booktube I really enjoy content from Kitty GJess Reads BooksBexnBooksSassenach the Book WizardShaeGeeksOut and NovelTea Corner.
For instagram, I love @Superspacechick@Theardentbiblio@latashasbookworld@dauntlessreading and I love @Adrienneyoungbooks the author of Sky in the Deep, she is so encouraging and open about the writing and publishing process.

8. Readathon Round Ups: Your favourite readathon
My favorite readathons are the longer ones, like Bout of Books, Tome Topple and Middle Grade March

9. Publishing Trends: A trope you enjoy in books
I really enjoy the enemies to lovers/friends, when it is done well and without a love triangle, I really gobble that up. As much as I really enjoy the Alpha Males in my books I also love the Alpha Female who won't let him get away with that crap. 

10. Who do you tag?
I don't know if anyone I tag will actually post the tag but here it goes . . 
Kami's Library Thoughts and Alternate Readality because I know you will both at least read this.
Stef at NovelTea Corner

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Series Review of Sin du Jour by Matt Wallace

I have been trying to figure out a way to share all these books I read with you but still include other non-review posts on the blog.  One method I have come up with was to share the reviews for an entire series (or pair) of books in one post.  I will do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of these posts in case you plan to read the books, but there is a slight chance that even the synopsis of a book can give away the result of the previous book. So if you don't want to know anything at all about the later books in a series that might giveaway something in the first book STOP READING NOW!


So this is a different series, 5th book in the series kept catching my eye because my husband is big in to BBQ and it seemed like a book that I would find entertaining based on the cover, but it was later in the series so I wrote it off.  Then I saw Kitty G on Youtube review them and decided to give them a shot. I mean who doesn't love books revolving around food?! 

Again as with many series I have been reading lately, there are a lot of books (7 and a novella) so I figured I will just link to my review to each individual book and post a full series review here.


Series Synopsis“Matt Wallace’s Sin du Jour series is a comedic action-packed supernatural romp through the New York City restaurant scene, told in serialized standalone novellas. It’s a twisted world of magic, monsters, and gourmet food that makes for fast-paced, highly addictive reads.”

Synopsis for Envy of Angels: "In New York, eating out can be hell.

Everyone loves a well-catered event, and the supernatural community is no different, but where do demons go to satisfy their culinary cravings?

Welcome to Sin du Jour - where devils on horseback are the clients, not the dish."


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Full Review                                                    Full Review


 
Full Review                                              Full Review


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Full Series Review: This series was nothing that I expected, and it is not often that books can surprise me anymore but this series certainly did!  This is more of a Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal series, which I haven't read in some time due to all the tropes, but Matt Wallace created something completely new and unique with this series.  Ever page was a new twist or surprise coming at you.  It may not be a series for every one, especially since at times things get obscure and it is definitely geared towards adults. The characters all have very individual personalities and quirks, they are all flawed in some way, which makes them a lot more appealing.  If you are looking for something unusual that will give you something new and exciting, give this series a try.  The books are all fairly short, around 200-250 pages so are quick and entertaining reads.  I give this series a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Review of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Reviews

Synopsis: "For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on "climbing boys"--orphans owned by chimney sweeps--to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous. Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived--and a girl. With her wits and will, she's managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. 
But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature--a golem--made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire. 
Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together--saving one another in the process."

My Review: I happened to stumble upon this book while browsing and the premise sounded so interesting and unique that I had to give it a try (of course the beautiful cover also helped). I don't think I have read anything quite like this book. Nan has quite the story to tell and it was both heartwarming and heart breaking. I loved the historical elements of this story, they were really eye opening to an ugly element of history that we don't learn about in school or really hear about at all. There were also some religious elements in there that added another layer to the story. It was a bit of a slow read at times but you get so wrapped up in Nan and Charlie and the other kids that you just want to keep reading.

My Rating: This was such a different story from ones I have seen in the past, I really enjoyed the blend of factual elements and mythical elements, they blended so well and created a beautiful story.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!


I received a complimentary copy of Sweep via Netgalley, the above is my honest opinion.

You can find out more about Jonathan Auxier and his book on his Goodreads Page or Website.

Sweep will be released on September 25, 2019 but you can pre-order your copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it from your library!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Reading List



Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!




Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Piraroo by Marko Kitti
Dinosaur Train by John Steven Gurney (Bedtime Story)
Tellos Vol. 2: Kindred Spirits by Todd Dezago (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets
George
Sweep: A Girl and Her Monster
Now I Rise
Drama
Ready Set Boo!
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone - DNF


Currently Reading:

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller - Print - on page 36 of  416



Pages Read/ Time Listened
451:51 Hours Listened (16:23 listened this week)
31,089 Pages Read (1,040 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Luck Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert Unhaul
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Frankenstein Alive! Alive! Trio by Steve Niles
Frankenstein, Alive! Alive! #4 by Steve Niles
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Beyond the Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
True North by Marie Force
The Sorting Room by Angelina Singer
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Sherlock Holmes and the Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Fight for Everything by Laura Kaye
Catching Stars by Cayla Keenan Unhauled
Light as Air by Mari Carr
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
Half Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner
Guardian of Whills by Greg Rucka
Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Opal
And I Darken by Kiersten White
Frostbite by Joshua Williamson
The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Pirateology by Dugald Steer
Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak
LifeL1k3 by Jay Kristoff Unhauled
Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez Unhauled
The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon DNF - Unhaul
Now I Rise by Kiersten White
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
The Pirate by Harold Schechter
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Bob by Wendy Mass
George by Alex Gino
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch Unhaul
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Assassin's Gambit by Amy Raby
Refugee by Alan Gratz
And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness




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Another really great reading week! It is so nice to be finally getting back on track and finding a new routine to settle into.   We are still adjusting a bit to the new school and soccer schedules but feel like we are finally getting somewhere.  I have been able to get back to reading more and crafting more.  Which is good because I have a bunch of challenges and readathons going up this month and next month. This month I am participating in Bibliophile Prints' Girl Power month long readathon which includes 7 challenges, so far I have completed 3, a long way yet to go.  Also, this weekend is the Boston Teen Author Festival which I plan on going to, so I am trying to read a few more books by the authors attending before Saturday.  And then next week is Banned Book Week! Of course I am also working on my personal reading challenges, I have really been focusing on the books I have added to my shelves this year, I went through and tried a chapter on a handful last week and that removed a bunch, I might do that one more time this month too.

 Can you believe September is already almost over?!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Graphic Novel Review of Tellos, Volume 2: Kindred Spirits by Todd Dezago

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge

Synopsis: "Tellos is cleverly described as being for those who are leaving Harry Potter on their way to Tolkien via Narnia. A delightful adventure series with talking tigers, pirate queens, magical swords and a young boy's quest that will fire the imagination and delight the senses of all readers.The spectacular artist of Spiderman and Superman."

My Review: I received this in a graphic novel swap on Free Comic Book day this year, I wasn't sure what to expect as I haven't heard of it before and haven't read Volume 1. It turns out a lot was explained throughout the story so I didn't feel like I was missing information. I like the world that was built in the story, it is vibrant and full of interesting places and characters. I also love the odd group of main characters, though they have a tendency to have involved conversations at really in opportune times, like when they are being attacked by shadow creatures. The twist at the end was really unexpected but I did like the way it was integrated in the story and it gives a slightly different sense of resolution but leaves enough open that the story could continue but not necessary.

My Rating: I was very pleasantly surprised with this one, having never read the first one I was expecting to struggle but it was all clear and well explained. And the twist at the end was fantastic!  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bedtime Story: Dinosaur Train by John Steven Gurney

Read for: Children's Book Challenge

Synopsis: "All Aboard!Have your tickets ready for the most exciting ride of your life on the Dinosaur Train!"

My Review: Munchkin picked this book out at the library. It was a fun concept, dinosaurs on a train but it just didn't fit. The little boy likes dinosaurs and trains and they were just smashed together. It would have been nice to have a little more of an explanation, even Munchkin was asking why the dinosaurs were on the train, why they were wearing clothes and if they were driving. It was fun to see the little boy direct the dinosaurs how to fix the train but all in all it wasn't for us.

My Rating: We weren't such a big fan of this book, maybe it would have been better when he was younger but there wasn't enough to it for Munchkin now.  We give it a rating of Two Paws.



Good Night! Sweet Dreams!