Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2015 Second Quarter Wrap Up Post!!

Wow, I can't believe that half of 2015 has now officially come and gone!! Time is really flying by quickly this year for me. 

The good news is that the first half of 2015 has been filled with many wonderful reads for me so far. My goal is to read or listen to 100 books this year. So far, I've read or listened to a total of 63 books this year. It looks like I'll reach my reading goal at this rate... Although I have some doubts about reaching my reading/listening goals as I plan to go back to school this Fall and this will take up a lot of my time that I would normally spend reading books. I'll just have to wait and see how things play out. Maybe I'll reach my reading goals despite returning to school later this year.

I already made a Top Ten Tuesday post earlier today titled Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015. So, click on the link to see my top ten favorites for this year so far. It was definitely difficult to narrow down which book titles would make the top ten list as I've read so many wonderfully written books this year to date.

How is your year in reading going for you so far?

Top Ten Tuesday --- Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

The following ten books are my top ten reads so far for 2015!

I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
Innocent In Death by J. D. Robb
Rain Gods by James Lee Burke
Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann
Hour Game by David Baldacci
Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver
Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robbins
The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson
The St. Valentine's Day Cookie Massacre by Elisabeth Crabtree

Now that 2015 is halfway over with, which books have made your top ten favorites for the year so far?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Reunited in Japan by Chera Zade

I read the short story Reunited in Japan by Chera Zade this past weekend in less than an hour on my Kindle. Reunited in Japan is approximately 37 pages in length.

Reunited in Japan is the third installment of Lizzie Dell's World Travels... I enjoyed reading this historical, erotica short story very much. It's been fun reading the series starting with the first short story and seeing where the story and characters lead the readers. I like the characters of both Lizzie and Andrew and seeing where their relationship takes them. The Lizzie Dell's World Travels series isn't anything 'highbrow' by any means, but I've enjoyed reading the stories quite a bit.

The following is a summary for Reunited in Japan by Chera Zade:
As Lizzie's travels continue across Europe, Middle East, and Asia, she can't seem to shake off her last night with Andrew. Her skillful lover managed to take Lizzie to new heights, exploring everything the young woman had to offer.

During her trip, someone informs Lizzie that Andrew had announced his engagement, and she's heartbroken, cursing herself for giving in to the bachelor's seductions. How could she be so naive? But a big surprise awaits her at her last stop before she boards her final steamboat ride to the States. Andrew meets her in Japan, and all misunderstandings melt away.

I'm giving Reunited in Japan by Chera Zade a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson

Nonfiction eBook About Sushi!
I love sushi!! It's one of my favorite foods to eat and the really well made stuff makes eating sushi worth while... Unfortunately, I've had to stop consuming sushi temporarily due to the elimination diet I'm currently on due to food allergies/intolerances I'm currently dealing with.

In the meantime, I read The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson to get my sushi fix!

I enjoyed Trevor Corson's writing and how he shares information about sushi with the reader... The story of sushi just isn't about the history of sushi in Japan, but also the history of sushi in the United States. Also, to make things more interesting, Trevor Corson writes about students training to become sushi chefs in Hermosa Beach, California at the California Sushi Academy, which I found made for interesting reading.

I also enjoyed reading the 'How to Eat Sushi' section at the end of The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson.

I learned tons of interesting facts about sushi, fish and rice from reading The Story of Sushi... Too many facts to share here, but the following are some of the interesting factoids I learned while reading The Story of Sushi:

* "The Japanese believe eel meat to be an aphrodisiac." Page 226
* Bluefin tuna are the fastest fish in the sea and can swim 50mph. If they swim too slowly, they'll suffocate. They are also warm blooded and can also weigh up to 1,500 pounds.
* "The modern term for "sushi" refers not to fish, but to rice -- rice seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Any food made with this seasoned rice can be called sushi, whether it involves fish." Page 27
* "In Japan alone, farmers have cultivated at least 2,000 varieties of rice." Page 38
* The California Roll "was invented in L. A.'s Little Tokyo in the late 1960s, at Tokyo Kaikan, one of the first restaurants to open a sushi bar, and premier Japanese eatery in L. A. The California rolls' inventor was a chef there named Ichir Mashita." Page 81

The following is a summary for The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson from Amazon's website:
A New York Times Editor's Choice 
Everything you never knew about sushi— its surprising origins, the colorful lives of its chefs, and the bizarre behavior of the creatures that compose it 
Trevor Corson takes us behind the scenes at America's first sushi-chef training academy, as eager novices strive to master the elusive art of cooking without cooking. He delves into the biology and natural history of the edible creatures of the sea, and tells the fascinating story of an Indo-Chinese meal reinvented in nineteenth-century Tokyo as a cheap fast food. He reveals the pioneers who brought sushi to the United States and explores how this unlikely meal is exploding into the American heartland just as the long-term future of sushi may be unraveling. 
The Story of Sushi is at once a compelling tale of human determination and a delectable smorgasbord of surprising food science, intrepid reporting, and provocative cultural history.
 I'm giving The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars!

Until my next post, happy reading!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Finds #87

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!


I've added a few free ebooks from Amazon to my Kindle as follows:

1. Shifter's Ascent (Book 1) by Vivian Wood

2. Shifter's Ascent (Book 2) by Vivian Wood

3. Shifter's Ascent (Book 3) by Vivian Wood

4. Shifter's Ascent (Book 4) by Vivian Wood

5. Strings by Allison M. Dickson

I also received the following books for free through Goodreads First Reads

Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Lion of Justice by Leena Lehtolainen

So, which books have you added to your reading wishlist or reading stack this week?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

2015 Audiobook Challenge 2nd Quarter Update



Welcome to the Second Quarter Update for the 2015 Audiobook Challenge. I'd like to thank both Jennifer at The Book Nympho & Lupe  Hot Listens for hosting the Audiobook Challenge as it's one of my favorite challenges to participate in as I love listening to audiobooks.

This quarter I listened to more audiobooks than the first quarter, which is awesome. I listened following ten audiobooks since my last update:

Crusader's Cross by James Lee Burke
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (Well Done Dramatization)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (I Didn't Like This One)
Innocent In Death by J. D. Robb  (Loved This Audiobook)
Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann (Loved This Audiobook)
Fidelity by Thomas Perry
Run by Ann Patchett
Cat Daddy by Jackson Galaxy (Loved This Audiobook)
The Genius by Jesse Kellerman

During the first quarter I listened to the following four audiobooks:

1. Garden of Beasts by Jeffrey Deaver
2. Hour Game by David Baldacci
3. Rain Gods by James Lee Burke
4. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

So, I've managed to listen to a total of 14 audiobooks so far this year!! 

So, which audiobooks have you enjoyed listening to this quarter?

I've Been Nominated For The Beautiful Blogger Award



I've been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award.by Kayla at The Review Court. Thank you so much for the nomination, Kayla, I so appreciate the gesture! Like Kayla, I think blogger awards are a nice way to network with other bloggers out there and spread the love of book blogs and reading.

Here are the rules for the Beautiful Blogger Award:


Link to the blogger who has nominated you.
List 7 random facts about you.
Nominate 7 creative, beautiful bloggers and let them know about about the nomination.

Here are 7 random facts about me:

1. I've loved reading books for as long as I can remember... My love for reading books began as a toddler when my mom use to read Babar the Elephant books to me and other children's books. I thank my mom for my love of reading!

2. I'm happily married to the love of life. We've been married for 13 years now.

3. I'm also an only child and have no children of my own.

4. My most exotic vacation to date was one I took with my husband in 2012 for our 10 year wedding anniversary. We sailed through the Panama Canal and had a blast visiting cities in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia.

5. I've been an active member of Bookcrossing since 2008 and actively participate in the Bookcrossing forums. I've enjoyed exchanging books with readers around the world.


6. I collect postcards from places I visit. In fact, I started collecting postcards as a kid 30+ years ago! I currently have so many postcards, that I've lost count as to how many I actually have in my collection. :-) 

7. My other favorite hobbies aside from reading, blogging, and Bookcrossing include knitting (I'm still a newbie), geocaching (a hobby I've enjoyed doing with my hubby since 2005) and visiting new places.


The following is my list of wonderful bloggers who
 I'm nominating for the Beautiful Blogger Award:

1. Michelle @ Michelle's Minions
2. Ellen @ Glam Book Lounge
3. Marianne @ Let's Read
4. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books
6. Carole @ Carole's Chatter
7. Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday --- My Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics From The Past 5 Years



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

My Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics From The Past 5 Years:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Author Spotlight ---- Chera Zade

Erotica Short Story
I recently read a couple of erotica short stories by a new to me author by the name of Chera Zade.

I read both Surrendered On A Steamboat 
(Lizzie Dell's World Travels Book 1) and Pleasured In Paris (Lizzie Dell's World Travels Book 2) by Chera Zade. Both of these titles are short stories that fall into the erotica and historical fiction genres.

I was able to download both short stories from Amazon to my Kindle for FREE!!

Below is my honest review for both short stories.

Surrendered On A Steamboat (Lizzie Dell's World Travels Book 1) is approximately 39 pages. I like historical fiction and I also erotica themed reads. I enjoyed this short story quite a bit. Surrendered On A Steamboat was a fast, fun read and made for a wonderful first story in a series. I liked Chera Zade's writing style and the characters as well. The erotica scenes were fun to read as well.

Here's a summary for Surrendered On A Steamboat by Chera Zade from Amazon's website:
Lizzie Dell is a young journalist who decides to do the unthinkable: travel the globe in less than eighty days, alone. She is as irreverent as she is brave when it comes to her work, but when dealing with men - she's a little less experienced. Well, significantly less experienced, to be completely honest.

Andrew Hamilton is a billionaire shipping magnate from London, the most eligible bachelor on both sides of the Atlantic. Arrogant and wealthy, he could have any woman if he so pleased, but he finds himself completely smitten with the innocent Lizzie.

When the two meet on his steamboat during the first leg of her trip, sparks fly and reservations melt away. Lizzie surrenders herself to the powerful alpha male, secretly as infatuated with him as he is with her. Her first time is magical, and she cannot stop thinking about Andrew. But her plans do not include a male companion, and she must decide what to do.

Erotica Short Story
Pleasured In Paris (Lizzie Dell's World Travels Book 2) is approximately 37 pages in length. Again this short was another fun, fast read that falls into both the historical and erotica genres. Pleasured In Paris is the continuation of Surrendered On A Steamboat. The writing is wonderful in this short story as well. I enjoyed reading it as much as I did reading Surrendered On A Steamboat.

Here's a summary for Pleasure In Paris from Amazon's website:
Lizzie Dell is a brave young journalist who has set out to girdle around the globe in eighty days. During the first leg of her travels, she met and hopelessly fell for a charismatic older billionaire Andrew Hamilton. But she had to say goodbye to him, resolved to stay focused on her career. Now, as she arrives in Paris, she is determined to keep all thoughts of the dashing bachelor out her mind, even as her body refuses to suppress its desires.

Andrew conspires to meet with Lizzie in Paris, and the two find each other together again, their passion unbridled and rough with need. Once more, he insists on making Lizzie hers, but she's too rebellious to settle. His only option is to wait for her to finish her project of circumnavigating the globe.
I'm giving both of the above short stories by Chera Zade a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Learn Pole Dancing (Single Wide Female: The Bucket List) by Lillianna Blake

Novella 
Earlier this week, I read Learn Pole Dancing (Single Wide Female: The Bucket List, #1) by Lillianna Blake.

Learn Pole Dancing (Single Wide Female: The Bucket List) by Lillianna Blake is novella approximately 46 pages in length (or is it considered a short story??) that I downloaded to my Kindle from Amazon for FREE!!

Below is my honest review of Learn Pole Dancing (Single Wide Female: The Bucket List) by Lillianna Blake.

I enjoyed reading Learn Pole Dancing quite a bit for the most part. Sam (Short for Samantha) is a fun character. I like her character a lot. She's a full figured, voluptuous woman who has recently lost 70 pounds and still has 30 more pounds she'd like to lose. Sam has come up with a bucket list of things she'd like to do if she ever lost the weight and as a way to celebrate the weight she has already lost she's gone from being a brunette to being a blonde... And now, she wants to take pole dancing classes! She finds the pole dancing class to be empowering. 

I love the idea of a bucket list. I want to create my own bucket list and use it as an incentive for me overcome a few obstacles in my life. Writing down one's life goals or creating a bucket list can actually help propel a person in a positive direction and help them meet or fulfill their wildest dreams.

The only character I didn't like from Learn Pole Dancing was Max. Max is Sam's best friend, but I really found him to be an asshole. The guy was mean and rude to Sam throughout the entire novella and wasn't supportive at all. She'd been crushing on him for over a decade and had hopes that they would come together after she lost weight, but she realizes he isn't the one.

The following is a summary for Learn Pole Dancing (Single Wide Female: The Bucket List) by Lillianna Blake from Amazon's website:
Pole dancing - that's it. I can do that. I used to be a gymnast as a kid. Well I used to run around in the garden with a long ribbon pretending I was a gymnast during the Olympics…that's just the same, right?

Well, I just need to tone up a little and lose that last, ahem, thirty pounds. I know, I know, But hey I've lost seventy-pounds already so give me a break! I'll tell you what though - it's not been easy. There's temptation everywhere, and the slimmer I get, the temptation is morphing from cup cakes into men. Or maybe cup cake covered men? mmmm.

Oops, sorry about that. Anyways, I need to lose another thirty pounds and I just know that pole dancing is the answer - then watch out world. Or more in particular, watch out if you're a single guy - I have cup cakes and I know how to use them.

I'm giving Learn Pole Dancing (Single Wide Female: The Bucket List) by Lillianna Blake a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!!

Sacred Medicine: Book One by Adlynn Flaharty

Romantic Novella
I finished reading Sacred Medicine: Book One by Adlynn Flaharty yesterday. It's a quick read that can be finished in less than two hours. 

Sacred Medicine: Book One by Adlynn Flaharty is a novella approximately 73 pages in length. I was able to download this novella to my Kindle from Amazon for FREE!!

Below is my unbiased review of Sacred Medicine: Book One by Adlynn Flaharty.

Ugh, I didn't like Sacred Medicine: Book One by Adlynn Flaharty at all!! The writing is really bad... Mainly, I thought the writing was flat and one dimensional. The sex scenes between Brian and Cassie and how they interacted just seemed so unrealistic. Plus, there was too much unnecessary description of the surroundings that I felt the reader really didn't need to know about at all.

I didn't like the characters either. Cassie loses her beloved husband, Brian, in a tragic accident near the start of Sacred Medicine. I can understand Cassie's grief over losing her husband and having PTSD like symptoms surrounding the accident. But to still feel soooo much grief, anxiety, about the loss of her husband three years later, despite the fact that she's been seeing a psychiatrist and taking prescription medication for it seemed a bit much. She doesn't want to move on with her life and date anyone ever again. Cassie loves Brian too much to move on. It was all too much. I'm not unsympathetic to people dealing with grief, loss, or PTSD issues, I just thought the way in which author writes about what Cassie is experiencing wasn't well written. 

Later in Sacred Medicine, Cassie meets Jed at a convention and he keeps flirting with her. She isn't interested in him and thinks he's too cocky. But then she keeps self medicating by drinking too much alcohol and taking her medication. Cassie eventually starts a relationship with Jed, but feels guilty about it like she's betraying her deceased husband and the love they shared. 

Jed also keeps things from her from the start of their relationship. It should have been a HUGE clue to Cassie that something was wrong in their relationship. Cassie's relationship with Jed kind of drives Cassie crazy towards the end of the novella... The story line in Sacred Medicine was just too cheesy and I didn't like the cliffhanger ending. Sacred Medicine was a complete waste of my time and wouldn't recommend it at all to other readers. Needless to say, I will not be reading any more of the books in rest of this series.

The following is a plot summary for Sacred Medicine: Book One by Adlynn Flaharty from Amazon's website:
Dr. Cassandra Jones married the love of her life. Both medical Doctors, they lived a fairytale romance until a tragic accident ripped that romantic fairytale to shreds.

She was determined to honour Brian's memory, and was doing just that until the very handsome, sexy Jed Atwood walked into the medical conference. Something about Jed stirs Cassie in a way she never expected, and what begins as a one-night stand during the conference turns into a whirlwind romance.

Dr. Cassie struggles with her conscience as her relationship with Jed continues; is she being faithful to her beloved husband? All she knows is the attraction between her and Jed is undeniable.

The adventure does not turn out how she expects and she surprises herself with a series of unpredictable actions.

Just as Cassie opens to the possibility of real feelings for Jed, he abruptly vanishes. It's an unexpected mystery; has he just lost interest? ….has he been kidnapped? Cassie soon discovers he is involved with a sinister group of criminals. Should she walk away or follow her heart into danger's path?

The first novella of a four part series will pull at your heart strings like a Harlequin and make your heartbeat race with excitement and suspense.
I am giving Sacred Medicine: Book One by Adlynn Flaharty a rating of 1 star out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday Fridays #86

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!


I've added a few free ebooks from Amazon to my Kindle as follows:

1. Buttercream Murder: A Frosted Love Cozy Mystery (Book 7) by Carol Durand & Summer Prescott

2. Murder in Wonderland (Allie Griffin Mysteries Book 1) by Leslie Leigh

3. Blair (A Vampire & Paranormal Romanceby Chrissy Peebles

4. A Hint of Magic by Claire Chilton

5. Dear Kate by Hannah Duggan

6. Glutton For Pleasure by Alisha Rai

7. The Library: Where Life Checks Out by Carmen DeSousa

8. First Night by Lauren Blakely

9. Surrendered on a Steamboat by Chera Zade

10. Pleasured in Paris by Chera Zade

Last weekend, I visited The Dollar Tree for the first time ever to buy some padded envelopes. While I was there, I also ended up buying a hardback novel for, you guessed it, a dollar!! The novel I purchased was titled Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole... Who would have guessed The Dollar Tree sold new books for a dollar??  I have a feeling, I'll be buying more books there in the future!!

So, what have you added to your 'to be read' pile or reading wishlist this week?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Female Correspondent by Eva Deverell

Historical Fiction Novella
Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? Then The Female Correspondent by Eva Deverell may be the next read you'll want to read for yourself!

The Female Correspondent by Eva Deverell is a historical novella approximately 55 pages in length that I downloaded to my Kindle for Free from Amazon. 

Here's a blurb about The Female Correspondent by Eva Deverell from Amazon:
Beatrice Debord has assumed a male pseudonym in her correspondence with famous botanist, Henry Burbank. When, impressed and intrigued by her knowledge and reticence, he seeks out his correspondent, Beatrice is forced to invent a series of lies for the fictional Mr. Allenham’s whereabouts. A clean regency romance in the vein of Georgette Heyer.
Below is my honest review of The Female Correspondent by Eva Deverell. 

I enjoy reading historical fiction and enjoyed the premise of The Female Correspondent by Eva Deverell. I also thought the cover art/design for The Female Correspondent was nicely done. I did enjoy reading The Female Correspondent very much even if I did find it a bit predictable... It was only a matter of time before Henry Burbank discovers that the Beatrice Debord has been the one sending him botanical information. Of course, Mr. Burbank is furious with Miss Debord for lying to him, but in the end they become romantically involved.

I didn't much care for Beatrice Debord's brother John, nor his wife, Clara... Both of them seemed so stereotypical of what you'd think people were like a couple of centuries ago. Other than that, The Female Correspondent was a pleasant read.

I am giving The Female Correspondent by Eva Deverell a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

First Night by Lauren Blakely

Erotica Novella
I have been on a reading rampage the past 63 hours and read 6 eReads in a short amount of time!! One of the eReads that I've read in the past 63 hours, was First Night by Lauren Blakely.

First Night by Lauren Blakely is a super HOT and very SEXY erotica novella approximately 53 pages in length. I was able to download this eRead to my Kindle from Amazon's website for FREE! Below is my honest review of First Night by Lauren Blakely.

First off, I loved just about everything about First Night by Lauren Blakely. The cover of this erotica novella is awesome and Lauren Blakely's writing is superb! I thought Lauren Blakely's writing was crisp, engaging, fast paced and fun to the last word. I like the characters of both Julia and Clay immensely and the story line itself very much. So, if you're into super hot and very sexy erotica novellas, then I think First Night by Lauren Blakely is the one for you.

The following is a plot summary for First Night by Lauren Blakely from Amazon's website:
It was only supposed to be one night…

When the sinfully handsome man walks into her bar in San Francisco, Julia Bell simply wants a break from the troubles that keep chasing her. That escape comes in the form of sexy, confident and commanding Clay Nichols, who captivates her mind AND turns her inside out with pleasure. The attraction is electric and they share one scorchingly hot night together, but they also discover there is more than just off-the-charts chemistry; the connection between them runs deep. Clay never thought he’d return to New York with this woman still on his mind. But he can’t get her out of his system, and he needs more of her…He wants more than just the first night…
 I am giving First Night by Lauren Blakely a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Career Lessons From Comic Books

I read an article through Forbes Magazine titled Nine Career Lessons I Learned From Comic Books by Bruce Kasanoff. In his article, Kasanoff writes: 
Forget 300-page business books. In reality, comic books contain all the insights you need to have a spectacular career.
Unlike “business strategy” tomes, comic book wisdom is packed into the fewest words possible. Translation: if you give me two minutes, I can save you a lot of time…

Click on the above link to read Bruce Kasanoff's 9 career lessons he learned from comic books. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bookstore Tourism --- 66 Bookstores on Route 66!!

I discovered a fabulous article through Shelf Awareness titled 66 Bookstores on Route 66 by Paula Lane and Dasha Minyukova. In their article, Lane and Minyukova write:
It's arguably the most famous road in the world. Route 66 - just saying those words makes you want to hit the road. But did you know there are many wonderful used bookstores along the way from Chicago to Los Angeles? We have plotted the ultimate bibliophile's road trip where you can visit 66 bricks and mortar used bookstores - who all sell on the AbeBooks marketplace - while driving from the shores of Lake Michigan to the beaches of Santa Monica. We are talking about two thousand miles and hundreds of thousands of books. It's a booklover's paradise - and worth the trip for that alone. Some folks travel for culinary adventures, some travel for landmarks and museums, but bibliophiles travel for the finest in literary offerings. It's called Bookstore Tourism, and yes - there's a book about it.

The bookstores we've featured vary in size, and range from quintessential neighborhood used bookstores to specialists dedicated to subjects like children's books, history, mysteries, architecture, theology, alternative religions and cooking. Get your motor running, head out on the highway and discover some amazing used and rare bookshops in America's heartland.
Click on the top link to see which 66 bookstores made the list.

Wow, Bookstore Tourism is my idea of a unique vacation!! Especially for book lovers like myself. I wonder if I could persuade my husband that this should be our next vacation/travel journey?? He loves books, bookstores and indulging me on my bookish related quests.... But a vacation around Bookstore Tourism, I'm not so sure he'd go for.

What do you think about the idea of Bookstore Tourism? Would you travel along Route 66 and visit several of the bookstores listed in the above article? I like the idea myself. Not only would I be able to visit several indie bookstores, but I also like the idea of leisurely driving across the USA and seeing the landscape that makes up our my great nation. 

Additionally, I like the notion of stopping by and visiting various cities/towns along the way that I may never visit otherwise if I wasn't driving cross country. Of course, I wouldn't want to make the journey alone. It would be more fun to have someone like minded individual sharing the experience with me. I also wouldn't want to make the journey during the winter months either.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Genius by Jesse Kellerman

I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Genius by Jesse Kellerman and narrated by Kirby Heyborn.

This is the 1st novel by Jesse Kellerman that I've read or listened for that matter. I have, however, heard Kirby Heyborn narrate a novel before and he is a terrific narrator... I really like how Kirby Heyborn narrates The Genius as well.

As far as The Genius goes,  I like the way the story unfolds. For the most part, The Genius is told through the first person narration of Ethan Muller... But in various sections interspersed throughout The Genius, we learn the back story of Ethan Muller's family history through present day and these sections are not told to us by Ethan Muller's character. There are some pretty deep dark family secrets that we learn about regarding the Muller family. 

As far as the characters go, I actually liked the character of Ethan Muller. Also, the more I learned about Victor Cracke and his mother, the more I felt sad for their plight and mistreatment.... It's difficult to go into the specifics without giving away plot details for those that haven't read this novel.

The only thing I didn't like was the ending of The Genius. I wish it hadn't ended the way it did... I felt it ended rather abruptly. Again, I don't want to give away any spoilers about the ending of The Genius. I just a bit more had been flushed out.

The following is the publisher's summary from Audible:
The sinister and provocative thriller from crime writing's freshest new voice.
Ethan Muller is struggling to establish his reputation as a dealer in the cut-throat world of contemporary art, when he stumbles onto a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: in a decaying New York slum, an elderly tenant named Victor Cracke has disappeared, leaving behind a staggeringly large trove of original artwork. Nobody can say anything for certain about Cracke, except that he came and went in solitude for nearly forty years, his genius hidden and unacknowledged. All that is about to change.
So what if, strictly speaking, the art doesn't belong to Ethan? He can sell it - and he does just that, mounting a wildly successful show. Buyers clamor. Critics sing. Museums are interested, and Ethan's photo looks great in The New York Times. Then things go to hell....
I am giving The Genius a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Finds #85

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!


Last weekend, my hubby and I attended the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California!! We had a blast attending this two day event... And, YES, I walked away with some books!! I actually came away with ONLY seven books from the Bay Area Book Festival, which is a major miracle in and of itself as I am severely addicted to adding more books to my already overflowing personal collection of books.

Here's what I added to my ever growing collection this week:

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

My hubby and I heard Judy Blume speak this past Saturday evening and she signed copies of her new adult novel after the event had ended. It was really fun hearing her speak. I only wish that she could have personalized the book to me and that I could have posed to have my picture taken with her... But there were way too many people there waiting to have their book signed by Judy Blume to have that done.

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

My hubby and I also heard authors Amy Stewart and Adam Rogers speak at a free lecture about the science of booze while we were at the Bay Area Book Festival. The irony is that neither my hubby or myself drink booze!! 

I am a fan of Amy Stewart's writing. I read both Wicked Bugs and Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart and loved reading them both immensely. So, I had to hear Ms. Stewart speak and have her sign a copy of her nonfiction book The Drunken Botanist. I also have a picture of me with Amy Stewart as well.

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Okay, I also picked up the above young adult novel, which is also signed by the the author. I've heard rave reviews of Denton Little's Deathdate. I am looking forward to reading it.

I also picked up the following four, free, used books being given away the Bay Area Book Festival:

The Murdered House by Pierre Magnan
The Book of the Seven Delights by Betina Krahn
The Book of True Desires by Betina Krahn
Light In Shadow by Jayne Ann Krentz

Plus, I received a copy of Casino Royale by Ian Fleming from a Bookcrosser in the UK!

I also received two free book from Goodreads First Reads giveaway program:

The Secrets of Blood and Bone by Rebecca Alexander
American Mojo: Lost and Found by Peter D. Kiernan

So, which books did you add to your reading wishlist or 'to be read' pile this week?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bookish Quote of the Day!!!


The 10 Best Books Set In Orange County, California

I've spent roughly two thirds of my life living in Southern California... So, when I stumbled across an article on the OC Register's website titled, 10 best books set in Orange County. Did we get it right? Peter Larsen, I could resist checking out the book titles that made the list. In the above article, Larsen writes the following:
A young outsider travels to Huntington Beach and finds salvation but also danger in the local surf scene.
An upwardly mobile family in a gated community in south Orange County comes undone, leaving a Latina maid to hold the pieces together.
An ex-cop in Newport Beach investigates his sister’s murder, following a trail that leads to unexpected places.
These Orange County stories could be fact but in this case they’re fiction, plots from a few of our list of the top 10 novels or short story collections set in Orange County.
To my surprise, I discovered that I haven't read any of the book titles mentioned on this list of books. I am intrigued and find myself wanting to read a few of the ones mentioned.

Click on above link to see which books set in Orange County California made the top ten list.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

2015 Bay Area Book Festival

Last weekend was the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California. My husband and I only attended part of the festivities at the Bay Area Book Festival last weekend.... What we did see and do while we were there was awesome! I am so grateful that we went to this fabulous literary event.

Several streets were blocked off to cars in Berkeley during the Bay Area Book Festival and streets were lined with different booths. Some booths were filled with various book publishers, bookstores selling books, writer's groups, authors signing their books, food vendors, and so on. 

Plus, there were lots of free indoor and outdoor author speaking events for children, teens, and adults, which made for an awesome weekend of literary fun for people of all ages. 

I also enjoyed that the Bay Area Book Festival was conveniently  located in downtown Berkeley, so we were able to ride BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) into Berkeley verses driving and dealing with the hassle of finding parking during this busy two day event. 
Outdoor areas for families with children to sit and hangout.

Some of my favorite highlights of our time spent at the Bay Area Book Festival are as follow:

1. The Lacuna Project --- 50,000 FREE used books were given away to the public during the Bay Area Book Festival. What a fabulous idea to create an outdoor art installation that doubles as an outdoor library!?!? I thought the Lacuna was absolutely fabulous and loved that it connected the public at large with books to take home and read!



I happened to take home four free used books during our visit to the Lacuna. Because we came to the Bay Area Book Festival on BART, there were only so many books I could hand carry around the book festival with me during the day and then carry back home with us, which is probably a good thing as I already have more books to read than I can possibly read in a lifetime.

2. Attending the Judy Blume event at the Berkeley Community Center on Saturday, June 6th. Click on link to read my experience about hearing/seeing Judy Blume speak. It was a wonderful and lively event that I am so glad that we didn't miss out on as I now have a sign copy of Ms. Blume's new novel for adults titled, In The Unlikely Event.

3. My husband and I also attended the Science of Booze, a free lecture, featuring authors Amy Stewart (The Drunken Botanist) and Adam Rogers (Proof). After the lecture Amy Stewart signed a copy of The Drunken Botanist for me. 

The irony here is that my husband and I do not drink booze at all. I am, however, a huge fan of Amy Stewart's writing. I've read Amy Stewart's nonfiction books, Wicked Plants and Wicked Bugs, and found them both to be fabulous. So, now of course, I look forward to reading The Drunken Botanist

As a side note, I'd made a post earlier this year listing the ten authors I'd like to meet in person at a literary/books signing event and Amy Stewart was one of the authors I wanted to meet!!


Me (left) with author, Amy Stewart, at the Bay Area Book Festival!!
I missed many of the free lectures during our time spent at the Bay Area Book Festival... It was too beautiful of a day to spend most of our time indoors during our few hours at the Bay Area on Sunday, June 7th. Next year, my husband and l have to plan better and spend both full days at the Bay Area Book Festival.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Very Special Evening with the Remarkable Judy Blume

Judy Blume sigining copies of her new novel!
Last weekend was the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California. The Bay Area Book Festival was a fantastic two day event taking place on both Saturday, June 6th and Sunday, June 7th.

I was thrilled to learn that legendary author, Judy Blume, would be spending the evening of Saturday, June 6, 2015 at the Berkeley Community Center from 7pm-9pm and interviewed by Walter Mayes! 

Since the Bay Area Book Festival had several authors speaking and signing books at their event that write books for children, young adults or adults, I thought that Judy Blume was the perfect single author to have speak at a single one night event because she has written books for all three age groups.

Of course, in my excitement, I bought tickets for my husband and I to see Judy Blume speak at the Bay Area Book Festival. I thoroughly enjoyed spending the evening hearing Ms. Blume discuss her writing career and her new novel for adults titled, In the Unlikely Event

During the course of the evening, I learned that Judy Blume has been writing now for 46 years!!  Wow, isn't that fabulous?!? I didn't know that she'd been writing for that long... By the way, I also learned during the course of the Blume's speaking engagement, that she is 77 years old. She looks fabulous and really young for her age... I would have never guess that she was in her seventies at all. Ms. Blume is so vivacious and she seems like such a fun person you'd like to get to know.


Judy Blume being interviewed by Walter Mayes on stage

After about an hour of speaking, Ms. Blume signed copies of her new novel, In The Unlikely Event. I was thrilled to have my copy of her new novel signed that evening. I only wish that I was able to have my picture taken with Judy Blume as well as having her personalizing my copy of her new book for me. Unfortunately, because there were so many attendees that evening, she didn't time to do either task. 

All in all, it was a wonderful evening and I am glad that we saw Judy Blume!! 

Check out the following NPR link to hear Judy Blume talk about her new novel In The Unlikely Event

I will be making another post of my time spent at the Bay Area Book Festival shortly. So, until my next post, happy reading!

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

I have loved elephants for as long as I can remember. My mom use to read Babar the Elephant stories to me as a toddler and I loved the Babar series. I use to ask her to read these books to me repeatedly as a youngster... Not that I can remember any of this now.

I was also a fan of the Disney movie Dumbo as a child and slept with a stuffed Dumbo that my parents had bought from Disneyland before I was even born.  
Needless to say I love elephants. Earlier this year, I came across a used copy of The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Yoko Tanaka. It's a children's book, but I bought it as I was intrigued by the title and the storyline... And, of course, I couldn't pass up a story about an elephant! So in an effort to channel my inner child, I read The Magician's Elephant.

After I finished reading The Magician's Elephant, I was kind of feeling so-so about it. I actually have mixed feelings about this novel. For the most part The Magician's Elephant is going to be a forgettable read for me... It's a quick read, with some finer points to it that make it a sweet read. But overall, I wouldn't go recommending this novel to others. My favorite lines from The Magician's Elephant are the the questions "What if? Why not? Could it be?" that are sprinkled throughout this novel. I took the questions to mean that a person should be open to the possibility that some sort of miracle or something magical might happen if only we were open to it happening in the first place.

The following is a summary for The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo from Goodreads:
In a highly awaited new novel, Kate DiCamillo conjures a haunting fable about trusting the unexpected — and making the extraordinary come true. 
What if? Why not? Could it be?
When a fortuneteller's tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortuneteller's mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true. With atmospheric illustrations by fine artist Yoko Tanaka, here is a dreamlike and captivating tale that could only be narrated by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. In this timeless fable, she evokes the largest of themes — hope and belonging, desire and compassion — with the lightness of a magician’s touch.
I'm giving The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!