Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bookish Quote of the Day!!!


Top Ten Tuesday --- Top Eleven Coffee Table Books I Want To Add to My Collection


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.


I love coffee table books and would love to have an endless amount of them because I find them beautiful and my interests are so diverse.... But alas, I don't have enough room to collect all the coffee books I would like to have. Below are just a few coffee table books I would like to have on my coffee table:

1. The Art of Maurice Sendak by Selma Lanes
2. Tiffany Style: 170 Years of Design by John Loring
3. Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture by Jill Gasparina, et al
4. The Secret Art of Dr. Suess by Theodor Geisel
5. Spanish Colonial Style by Pamela Skewes-Cox and Robert Sweeney
6. Dogs by Lewis Blackwell
7. The Life and Love of the Sea by Lewis Blackwell
8. National Geographic Greatest Landscapes by National Geographic
9. The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World by Jacques Bosser
10. Gem: The Definitive Visual Guide by DK & Aja Raden
11. Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time by Beth Moon

Monday, January 30, 2017

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro and narrated by Wanda McCaddon on compact disc.

Ugh, the audio production/quality of this audiobook wasn't very good, which is unfortunate!! However, I did think that Wanda McCaddon was a good narrator.

As far as James Shapiro's writing/book goes, I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information provided in this book. I am not a William Shakespeare scholar and have only read a few of his plays during my high school and college years as required for English classes. Before reading Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro, I'd only vaguely heard that some people speculated whether Shakespeare actually wrote his plays, but that was all I really knew about the subject until listening to this audiobook. Approximately, the first 80% of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro focuses on the history of those that believe Shakespeare didn't write his plays or sonnets, while the remainder of the book focuses on why the author feels that Shakespeare wrote his plays and sonnets.

Between the bad audio quality and being overwhelmed by the amount of information provided in Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro, I found myself tuning out frequently and only listening in spurts at the parts that captured my interest.

I feel like James Shapiro has a vast knowledge regarding the subject of William Shakespeare and the authorship of his plays. But the audio quality of the audiobook was definitely a downer for me. In this case, I would have very much preferred to read Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? myself verses being read to.

I liked learning more about the authorship controversy of William Shakespeare's plays. BUT, as I mentioned above, I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information provided as I am new to this particular topic. There was just so much food for thought to take in and digest. I think if you are a Shakespeare enthusiast, then by all means this book is probably for you!

Below is a summary for Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro from Amazon:
For more than two hundred years after William Shakespeare's death, no one doubted that he had written his plays. Since then, however, dozens of candidates have been proposed for the authorship of what is generally agreed to be the finest body of work by a writer in the English language. In this remarkable book, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro explains when and why so many people began to question whether Shakespeare wrote his plays. Among the doubters have been such writers and thinkers as Sigmund Freud, Henry James, Mark Twain, and Helen Keller. It is a fascinating story, replete with forgeries, deception, false claimants, ciphers and codes, conspiracy theories—and a stunning failure to grasp the power of the imagination.

As Contested Will makes clear, much more than proper attribution of Shakespeare’s plays is at stake in this authorship controversy. Underlying the arguments over whether Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, or the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare’s plays are fundamental questions about literary genius, specifically about the relationship of life and art. Are the plays (and poems) of Shakespeare a sort of hidden autobiography? Do Hamlet, Macbeth, and the other great plays somehow reveal who wrote them?

Shapiro is the first Shakespeare scholar to examine the authorship controversy and its history in this way, explaining what it means, why it matters, and how it has persisted despite abundant evidence that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays attributed to him. This is a brilliant historical investigation that will delight anyone interested in Shakespeare and the literary imagination.
In the end, Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro just didn't do it for me in terms of interest. I'm not going to remember much about this book over the long haul. With that said, I am giving Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Winter's Respite Readathon 2017 Final Update!!!


A Winter's Respite Readathon 2017 has come to a close. I enjoyed reading books during the past two weeks.

My goal was to read four books and listen to one audiobook.

I started and finished one audiobook, Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? by James Shapiro. My review for this audiobook is soon to come in the next couple of days!

I made good progress in terms of reading more pages of Eat Dirt by Josh Axe and reaching roughly half of Bruja Bruhaha by Rochelle Staab, but I have not finished reading either book at this time.

I ended up choosing to read La Borinqueña #1 by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez and Dead Man's Diamonds (Piece of Cake Mysteries #1) by A. R. Winters instead of reading Deenie by Judy Blume or A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson like I had originally to do at the start of this readathon.

Despite not meeting my reading goals during the past two weeks, I really enjoyed participating in A Winter's Respite Readathon 2017!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday --- FREEBIE -- Top Ten Feminist Books I Want to Read


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.


Here are the Top Ten Feminist Books I Want to Read:

1. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2. Fight Like A Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World by
Laura Barcella

3. The Essential Feminist Reader by Estelle Freedman
4. Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker
5. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
6. Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do about It by Kate Harding
7. Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf
8. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
9. Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights by Katha Pollitt
10. The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness by Jill Filipovic

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Winter's Respite Readathon Update #1


I've been having fun reading this past week for A Winter's Respite Readathon. I have finished reading two books already as follows:

1. Dead Man's Diamonds by A. R. Winters 
2. La Borinquena #1 by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

So far, I started and finished reading books that weren't in my goals post for the A Winter's Respite Readathon, which I made a week ago. Oh well!

I'm currently 108 pages into the cozy mystery novel, Bruja Brouhaha by Rochelle Staab.

So, how is your reading going for A Winter's Respite Readathon?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

La Borinqueña #1 by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

Comic Book
In an attempt to expand my reading horizon to new genres and books with more diverse topics, I chose to read La Borinqueña #1 by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, which is a cool new comic book featuring an Afro Puerto Rican female superhero!

I really enjoyed reading La Borinqueña #1 by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez! The artwork and colors displayed in each of the pages in this book are very well done. I liked the story and the characters very much. I also like that the main character is a woman of Afro Puerto Rican decent, a college student, and very much for the environment. I like strong, diverse, female characters and Marisol Rios De La Luz (the main character) is such a character. I think Marisol Rios De La Luz  makes a good role model.

My only minor complaint about La Borinqueña #1 by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez is that some of it is written in Spanish and I don't understand/speak Spanish. So, I felt like I was missing out on some of what was going on in this comic book when it came to the parts written in Spanish.

I am giving La Borinqueña #1 by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Dead Man's Diamonds (Piece of Cake Mysteries #1) by A. R. Winters

It's no big secret, but I love to read cozy mystery novels. I enjoy discovering new to me cozy mystery authors and new to me cozy mystery series.

I recently discovered and read the eBook edition of Dead Man's Diamonds (Piece of Cake Mysteries #1) by A. R. Winters. 

I was able to download Dead Man's Diamonds (Piece of Cake Mysteries #1) by A. R. Winters for FREE to my Kindle from Amazon. Below is my unbiased review of this cozy mystery novel.

As far as cozy mystery novels go, Dead Man's Diamonds (Piece of Cake Mysteries #1) by A. R. Winters is a pretty good read. I enjoyed the story, characters, and plot overall... This novel is good, not great, but works nicely in helping to pass the time.

In Dead Man's Diamonds, you have two long time friends in their 20s, Mindy and Beth, who are amateur sleuths who help solve crime. In the case of the Dead Man's Diamonds, Mindy and Beth are trying to help a former high school classmate, Mike, prove his innocence. Mike is being accused of murdering his uncle by the police and Mike hires Mindy and Beth to prove his innocence. Are Mindy and Beth up to the task??? 

I am giving Dead Man's Diamonds (Piece of Cake Mysteries #1) by A. R. Winters a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wouldn't Be Great To Be Paid To Read & Review Books!?!?!


Top Ten Tuesday -- Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I've Read In The Past Year Or So



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.


Here are the hidden gems books I've read in the past year as follows:

This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wicklund
Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

Obituary Society by Jessica L. Randall
The Good Traitor by Ryan Quinn
Deadly Readings by Laura Bradford
Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera
My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy by Grace Buchele Mineta
Hard Cold Winter by Glenn Eric Hamilton
Blood Wager by Connie Suttle

Which hidden gems books have you read in the past year?

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Winter's Respite Readathon Goals



My goals for the A Winter's Respite Readathon are to read the following books:

1. Listen to one audiobook (yet to be determined).
2. Finish reading Eat Dirt by Josh Axe (I started this book last year and can't believe I haven't finished it!!)
3. Bruja Brouhaha by Rochelle Staab
4. Deenie by Judy Blume
5. A Simple Christmas Wish by Melody Carlson

Are you participating in A Winter's Respite Readathon? If so, what are your reading goals??

Maple Syrup Murder by Grace Lemon

Cozy eBook Mystery
Maple Syrup Murder by Grace Lemon is my 8th read for 2017 and the first cozy mystery book I've read this year. As many of you may know, I enjoy reading cozy mystery novels.

Maple Syrup Murder is the first book in the 'An Oh Fudge!' series.

I was able to download Maple Syrup Murder by Grace Lemon for FREE from Amazon to my Kindle. This eBook is approximately 61 pages in length. Below is my unbiased opinion of Maple Syrup Murder by Grace Lemon.

I enjoyed reading Maple Syrup Murder by Grace Lemon overall. but it was more of a novella than full length novel. I enjoyed the story and writing overall as well. The leading character, Ida Noe, and her best friend, Maura Sweeney, are no fuss, feisty women and seemed a bit gruff, but were otherwise were decent characters. The mystery and murder were interesting and I enjoyed reading how Ida Noe solved the mystery. 

The following is a plot summary for Maple Syrup Murder by Grace Lemon from Amazon:
Welcome to Cider Island – a town where anyone who’s anyone knows something about someone. It’s just that kind of place. And things get a whole lot stickier for the residents when a businessman visiting the island ends up smothered at the local sugar bush. 
With maple syrup season in full swing, Ida Noe’s fudge shop is busier than a centipede at a toe counting contest – especially when she’s invited to showcase her world famous Maple Bacon Fudge at Sweeney’s Sugar Bush. All is sweet until some poor sap kicks the bucket in the sugarhouse and all fingers point to Ida’s best friend Maura Sweeney.

With the help of her lumpy black Lab and origami loving friend, Ida is determined to “tap” the real killer and prove that maple can indeed be murder.
Previously published as Maple Can Be Murder.
I am giving Maple Syrup Murder by Grace Lemon a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson

Unabridged Audio Version
I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson and narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen. Listening time for The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson is 6 hours, 37 minutes. 

The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson is the first novel in a young adult series, that I discovered while browsing Amazon's website. The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson received really good reviews from online reviewers. I also liked the premise of The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson, so I decided to listen to this novel. 

I am glad that I did listen to The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson. It's a good novel. I liked the storyline quite a bit and the writing is solid. I enjoyed many of the characters, especially the leading character of Samantha and also the character of Will, whom Samantha falls in love with during the course of this novel. I also enjoyed Sarah Mollo-Christensen's narration of The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson.

The following is a summary for The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson from Audible:
Samantha yearns to shed the label of that girl whose mom died, but finding she can turn invisible isn't what she had in mind. Especially when she learns the neo-Nazi who killed her mom may be after her next. Sam's crush Will offers help and secrecy, but the time is coming when Sam will have to choose between keeping her secrets and keeping Will safe.
I am giving The Rippler (Ripple Series Book 1) by Cidney Swanson a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Bookish Quote of the Day!!


Looking to Join an Online Book Club? Look No Further!

Earlier this month, I joined Bustle's American Woman Book Club and love the fact that the theme for this book club is diversity. 

I've already read the first book selected for Bustle's American Woman Book Club titled, Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera. I look forward to discussing this book later in the month online with the rest of the book club members.

A few days ago, I discovered more online book clubs through another article on Bustle titled, 9 Online Book Clubs To Join In The New Year by E. Ce Miller.  In the article, E. Ce Miller writes:
If you’re looking for a great excuse to read even more books in 2017, there’s no better way to make sure you stay committed to your literary resolution than by gathering a group of like-minded readers around you — and checking out this list of online book clubs to join in the new year is a great way to get started. Now, if you’re already an avid book club-goer, you might be thinking: an online book club? Where’s the fun in that? (AKA: where are the wine, snacks, and salacious girl talk in that?) And you’re right — online book clubs are not notorious for their cheese trays and wine spills on your couch (unless you spill it yourself, which you should still totally feel free to do.)
But here’s the flip side: when you join a digital book club, you’re really there to talk to your fellow readers about the book. A couple of these online book clubs even give you an opportunity to talk to the author of the book — something you’re definitely not going to get anywhere else. (You can always indulge in your wine and gossip on gal’s night, am I right?)
Check which online book clubs made the list! 

Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Body Reader by Anne Frasier

I can't remember where I first learned about The Body Reader by Anne Frasier... I think I may have read a review of this novel on another book blogger's website and decided to add it to my ever growing reading wishlist.

Long story short, I decided to download and listen to the unabridged audio version of The Body Reader by Anne Frasier and narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith. Listening time for The Body Reader by Anne Frasier is 8 hours, 31 minutes.

The Body Reader is the first book I've read by Anne Frasier. I enjoyed this novel, but didn't love it. The premise of this novel is really good. I liked both the overall storyline and the characters. This is a good thriller overall that provided a good source of entertainment for me, but it won't be very memorable for me in the long run. 

As a side note, the narrator, Emily Sutton-Smith, was bland as far as narrators go. I felt like she read The Body Reader way too slowly.

The following is a plot summary for The Body Reader by Anne Frasier from Audible:
For three years, Detective Jude Fontaine was kept from the outside world. Held in an underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. Learning his every line, every movement, and every flicker of thought is what kept her alive.
After her experience with isolation and torture, she is left with a fierce desire for justice - and a heightened ability to interpret the body language of both the living and the dead. Despite colleagues' doubts about her mental state, she resumes her role at Homicide. Her new partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, doesn't trust her sanity, and he has a story of his own he'd rather keep hidden. But a killer is on the loose, murdering young women, so the detectives have no choice: they must work together to catch the madman before he strikes again. And no one knows madmen like Jude Fontaine.
I am giving The Body Reader by Anne Frasier a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, January 13, 2017

50/50 Friday --- Most/Least Favorite Cover

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reads and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. This book meme focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc). Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

This week's topic is to share your most/least favorite book cover. This will be a difficult choice for me to make as there are way too many favorites and I tend to forget about my least favorite book covers. 

Anyway, I've decided to narrow down my book cover choices and select book covers from books I read in 2016.

Most favorite book cover from a book I read in 2016:

I loved reading The Obituary Society by Jessica L. Randall last year. I thought the book cover for this novel was charming and beautiful. It was the perfect book cover for the novel.






Least favorite book cover from a book I read in 2016:

I loved reading The Witches by Roald Dahl last year, but the artwork on the cover of the edition I read was not very visually pleasing. The drawing looks like it was done by an amateur.







Do you have a most/least favorite book cover??

Thursday, January 12, 2017

'La Borinquena' Is A New Comic Book Featuring A Puerto Rican Superhero!



Comic books, manga, and graphic novels are a genre I'm only just beginning to explore. So, I was excited to discover an article on Bustle's website titled  'La Borinquena' Is A Puerto Rican Superhero Who Proves You Don't Need Powers To Make A Difference by Zoraida Cordova. In the article, Zoraida Cordova writes:
With La Borinqueña, creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez hopes to inspire the idea that you don't need superpowers to create social change. In an interview with Bustle, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez speaks about La Borinqueña's origin story, her roots in Puerto Rico and New York City, and the ways she changes the world both as a superhero and a regular college student.
La Borinqueña is the story of Marisol Rios de la Luz, a Columbia University Earth and Environmental Sciences student who is given powers by an ancient Taino goddess during a trip to Puerto Rico. But her name, Borinqueña, is given to her by the people of the island; it's the feminine version of Borinquen, the Taino name for Puerto Rico.
La Borinquena sounds like my kind of superhero!! I love that La Borinquena is a strong female superhero of Afro-Puerto Rico descent, that she is wearing a costume that comprises both versions of the Puerto Rico flags, and that her costume isn't a skimpy one designed to treat female superheros as sex objects.

I am totally excited about reading La Borinquena in the near future... In fact, after reading Zoraida Cordova's article, watching a couple of online videos about La Borinquena, and visiting the official website where La Borinquena is sold, I ordered a copy of La Borinquena. 

I enjoy reading books with refreshing, diverse characters and topics. It looks like La Borinquena will most definitely be both refreshing and diverse!

Bookish Quote of the Day!!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

THE BOOK COURTSHIP TAG

-THE QUESTIONS-

Phase 1 - Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?


Phase 1 Choice
I purchased Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender. I thought it had a wonderful book cover and I ended up enjoying the book as well.

Phase 2 - First Impressions: A book that you got because of the summary?



Phase 2 Choice
The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey had a book blurb that made me want to read this book asap! The book blurb I read says the following: 

"Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her 'our little genius.'

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh."


Now if that doesn't make you wonder what the heck is going on in this novel, then I don't know what will.

Phase 3 - Sweet Talk: A book with great writing?


I'm choosing a classic novel for this one. I love East of Eden by John Steinbeck!! I read this novel in 2008 and I need to reread it at some point in the near future. The prose Steinbeck uses is simple, yet powerful and very captivating. I found it very difficult to put this novel down.

Phase 4 - First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?



Phase 4 Choice
Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers is the first novel in the young adult 'His Fair Assassin' trilogy. I'd read this novel for a book club a few years ago and at the time wasn't much of a young adult book fan. Thank goodness this book sounded like a good read and it definitely was a hit for me as I read the rest of the series.

Phase 5 - Late Night Phone Calls: A book that kept you up all night?


I have to pick one book, just one book??? There are a lot of books that kept me up late reading!! Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is a book I found difficult to put down.

Phase 6 - Always on my mind: A book you could not stop thinking about?


The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein is a very memorable novel for me! I loved reading this book. It was excellent and even made me cry in parts.
Phase 6 Choice

Phase 7 - Getting Physical: A book which you love the way it feels?


Um, I don't have a specific book in mind for this question, but I pretty much like the feel of real books in my hands. There is something special about the feel of real books in my hand and being able to turn physical pages.

Phase 8 - Meeting the parents: A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?

Phase 8 Choice

There are so many awesome books to recommend to family and friends.... But I loved reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's a magical read and a good general book to share with others.

Phase 9 - Thinking about the future: A book or series you know you will reread many times in the future? 

Phase 9 Choice

Oh boy, tough choice!! I have so many books that I would like to reread many times in the future.... Perhaps The Power of the Habit by Charles Duhigg for nonfiction or East of Eden by John Steinbeck for fiction.

Phase 10 - Share the love: Who do you tag? 


Anyone who is reading this post is welcome to take part in The Book Courtship Tag, so consider yourself tagged!! If you do decide to do this book tag, please leave me a comment below and a link to your Book Courtship Tag post.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera



I joined Bustle's American Woman Book Club earlier this month and this book club is all about diversity. The first book selected for Bustle's American Woman Book Club is Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera. I'd never heard of Gabby Rivera until joining Bustle's American Woman Book Club.

I chose to listen to the unabridged audio version of Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera and narrated by Lillian Claire. Listening time for Juliet Takes A Breath is 7 hours, 35 minutes.

Wow, Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera is a phenomenal novel to kick off Bustle's American Woman Book Club! I am so glad this novel was chosen because Gabby Rivera's writing is crisp, refreshing, engaging, and the perfect introduction to a wide range of diverse topics. Juliet Takes A Breath encompasses the topics of feminism, coming of age, various LGBTQ topics, and the Latino experience. 

I was completely hooked on Juliet's story from the moment I began reading the preface of Juliet Takes A Breath all the way through to the epilogue. This novel is a heavy hitter in terms of the topics covered regarding feminism, identity, culture, self discovery, and more. There is so much food for thought throughout Juliet Takes A Breath... It is a very tightly written novel and a must read for those interested in reading books with diverse topics.

By the way, I thought that Lillian Claire did a fabulous job narrating Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera. So, if you're into listening to audiobooks, then by all means buy this novel from Audible.

I have one minor complaint with this novel that is difficult to articulate into words, so will not address it. Other than that this book is a superb read.

The following is a summary of Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera from Audible:
Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn't sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that's going to help her figure out this whole "Puerto Rican lesbian" thing. She's interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women's bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle? With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.
Below is an interview featuring Gabby Rivera discussing her novel Juliet Takes A Breath.


I highly recommend reading Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera and am giving this novel a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Bookish Quote of the Day!!


Monday, January 9, 2017

A Winter's Respite Readathon 2017 Sign Up!!



I'm on a roll with reading this year. 

I've just recently finished the Bout of Books 18 Read-A-Thon, which was a total blast!! So, to keep up the reading momentum I've already begun, I've decided to join another readathon hosted by Seasons of Reading called A Winter's Respite Readathon 2017.

Below is more information about A Winter's Respite Readathon from the Seasons of Reading blog:
This is the official sign up for A Winter's Respite Readathon! Dates are January 16 - 29, starting at 12:00am Monday the 16th, and ending at 11:59pm on Sunday the 29th. Times are central standard time so adjust your times accordingly. Yes, the readathon is now two weeks long! I, for one, am pretty excited about that!

Of course, like most readathons, the books read must be novels or novellas, adult or young adult are fine, and you can read children's books too (as long as you do read some novels too). Note: Non-Fiction is also okay! You DO NOT have to participate the entire two weeks. Join in when you can, start in the middle, end early...whatever works best for your schedule. As with all of my readathons, it will be a time for relaxed reading during which we can personally challenge ourselves and whittle away our ever looming TBR piles/shelves/libraries.
I hope you join me in participating in this low key readathon! Click on the top link to sign up/learn more about A Winter's Respite Readathon 2017.

Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Bout of Books 18 --- Update 7

Bout of Books 18


Today, I started listening the unabridged audio version of Juliet Takes A Breath, which is a novel by Gabby Rivera. 

Gabby Rivera is a new to me author this year. I learned about Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera from Bustle's 2017 American Woman Book Club, which is a book club that will focus on diversity. I've joined Bustle's American Book Club and am excited about reading a diverse selection of books. I've even joined their Goodreads discussion group!

I've listened to 3 hours, 25 minutes or 45% of Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera today. Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera is an amazing read so far. I am looking forward to discussing this novel through the Goodreads online book group.

Below is a video of Gabby Rivera discussing her novel, Juliet Takes A Breath.




How much reading did you get done today for BOB 18?? Have you met your reading goals? I met my reading goals and more this round of Bout of Books!

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

I finished reading the paperback edition of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey last night and it marks the fourth book I've read for 2014. 

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey is a short work of nonfiction, which I've been wanting to read for quite awhile now. It has a catchy title and after reading what it was about, I knew I had to read it. I received the paperback edition of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating for Christmas in 2016 from my husband, so I decided to read this book right away.

WOW, Wow, wow, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey is an awesome book to read!! I was really blown away with how much I enjoyed reading this book. Seriously, who'd ever think reading about snails would be so interesting, unless, of course, you're a malacologist (one who studies mollusks)?!?! The author, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, makes reading about snails interesting for the lay person, by writing about the topic of snails in a unique and engaging way. 

Essentially, Elizabeth Tova Bailey comes down with a mysterious virus she contracts while visiting Europe that leaves her weak and virtually bedridden for many years. When a friend brings the author a pot of violets that includes a live snail, Ms. Bailey soon finds endless fascination in watching the snail live its life. Over time, the author, Elisabeth Tova Bailey, wants to learn more about the lives of snails and begins researching snails. 

During the course of reading The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, I read about not only the author's life, but also about her curiosity and fascination with the snail she had been given, as well as information about snails in general. Eventually, Elisabeth Tova Bailey begins to recover and she returns the snail to the wild. 

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey provides a wonderful balance of sharing information about the author's life and the lives of snails in general. Everything in The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey is presented in fascinating bite sized, informative chunks. This book isn't a dry, boring academic read, but a charming book that shares nature to the masses in a way that everyone is able to enjoy.

I can fully understand why The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey has won the following book awards:

  • John Burroughs Medal Award for Distinguished Natural History
  • William Saroyan International Prize for Nonfiction
  • National Outdoor Book Award
  • Gold Foreword Book of the Year Award for Autobiography/Memoir
The following is an editorial review for The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey which I found on Amazon from Booklist:
*Starred Review* At age 34, Bailey was stricken with a mysterious virus while on a trip to Europe. Her healthy life had been full of activity, and now just the thought of getting up to get something was exhaustive. When a friend found some violets and brought her one in a pot, she also added a live snail below the violet’s leaves. Bailey wondered why she needed a snail, but after square holes began to appear in a letter propped on the violet’s pot, it occurred to Bailey that the snail needed food. She put a withered flower in the saucer below, and when the snail began to eat, Bailey realized that she could hear it eating—it was the sound of someone very small munching on celery. Soon the author realized she was attached, the snail providing an oasis of calm for her frantic and frustrated thoughts. She worried that the snail’s world was too artificial, so her caregiver created a woodland terrarium. Not only did the snail have a new home but Bailey had a new game: hide-and-seek with a snail. She began to read about snails, learning from scientists, early naturalists, poets, and writers, and found herself beginning to understand a snail’s world. And when her snail began to lay eggs, Bailey discovered that she might be the first person to record observations of a snail tending its eggs. This beautiful little book will not only make snail lovers of its readers, it will make them appreciate the small things in life. --Nancy Bent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Watch the following YouTube Video about The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey.




I am giving The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bout of Books 18 ~~ Day 6 Update

Bout of Books 18


Today, I continued reading more of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. I am not sure how much time I spent reading today. However, I read a total of 66 pages today and ultimately finished reading The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. It was an excellent nonfiction book, which I'll review soon.

How much reading did you get done today for BOB 18?? Are you meeting your reading goals?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Bout of Books 18 ~~ Day 5 Update + Read-A-Thon Challenge

Bout of Books 18


Today, I continued reading more of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. I read 77 pages today.

Below are my recommendations for books! Happy reading!

If You Like This, Try This book recommendations:

If you like historical fiction set in ancient Rome, then try reading I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith. It's an awesome read!

If you like listening to historical fiction novels, then try listening to Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim and narrated by Bahni Turpin. I loved this novel and gave it a 5 star rating last year.

If you like sushi and are a foodie, then try reading The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson.

If you like reading young adult trilogies, then I highly recommend reading the 'His Fair Assassin' Trilogy by Robin LaFevers. I loved reading Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph, and Mortal Heart.

If you like nonfiction books about encounters with wildlife, specifically whales, then try reading Grayson by Lynne Cox.

If you like books with a dog as the main character, then try reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. The Art of Racing in the Rain is told from the perspective of a dog named Enzo. It is a must read for all dog lovers.

If you like reading celebrity memoirs, then try reading Bryan Cranston's A Life In Parts. I was surprised at how much I liked his memoir.

Have You Made Your Reading Resolutions For 2017 Yet???

If you haven't made your reading resolutions yet for 2017, not to worry! Bustle has you covered... Check out an article on their website titled 9 Unusual Book Resolutions To Make In 2017 by E. Ce Miller.

I already give away a lot of books throughout each year, so I can pretty much skip on this one as a resolution in coming years. 

I do like the idea of rereading favorite books, but I am not sure I could devote an entire calendar year to solely rereading books I've already read. Sure I have several books I'd like to reread, but I also have way to0 many books on hand that I want to read as well. 

I'd love to read a book with a close friend, my hubby, or family member and then discuss the book we've read, but not many close friends or family members like to read books.

It would be kind of fun to let my hubby choose 10-20 of my books to read this year from my 'to be read' pile, just to see which books he'd chose for me to read. I'm not sure I could relinquish complete control and allow him to select all of my reads for an entire year. That would be just too much!!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Bout of Books 18 ~~ Update 4

Bout of Books 18

Today I finished listening to The Defector by Daniel Silva and narrated by Phil Gigante. I wasn't impressed with this audiobook and am very glad that I am finished with it. Now I can focus on my last read for this read-a-thon, which is The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey.

I hope you are having fun reading this week for the Bout of Books 18 Read-A-Thon. Happy reading!!

The Defector by Daniel Silva

Abridged Audio Version
I listened to the abridged audio version of The Defector by Daniel Silva and narrated by Phil Gigante.

I like reading or listening to thrillers quite a bit, so was eager to listen to The Defector by Daniel Silva. This is the second book I've listened to by Daniel Silva that I can recall. I didn't like the way the narrator, Phil Gigante, narrated The Defector. I've heard better narrators and I've also heard better audio productions of other books as well over the years.

I'm not a huge fan of abridged audiobooks, but went ahead and listened to this audiobook particular anyway. I was not impressed with The Defector by Daniel Silva once I finished listening to earlier today. I kept finding myself tuning out on occasion. I just didn't like the way this book was narrated. I didn't like the overall audio production. And, I didn't care for the characters or the storyline much either... Also, with abridgments, a reader feels like they're missing out on a lot of the plot details.... Basically, these are the main reasons why I didn't like The Defector by Daniel Silva overall.

The following is a plot summary for The Defector by Daniel Silva from Amazon:
Six months after the dramatic conclusion of Moscow Rules, Gabriel has returned to the tan hills of Umbria to resume his honeymoon with his new wife, Chiara, and restore a seventeenth-century altarpiece for the Vatican. But his idyllic world is once again thrown into turmoil with shocking news from London. The defector and former Russian intelligence officer Grigori Bulganov, who saved Gabriel’s life in Moscow, has vanished without a trace. British intelligence is sure he was a double agent all along, but Gabriel knows better. He also knows he made a promise. Do you know what we do with traitors, Gabriel? Many things have changed in Russia since the fall of Communism. But the punishment for betrayal remains the same. Promise me one thing, Gabriel. Promise me I won’t end up in an unmarked grave. In the days to come, Gabriel and his team of operatives will find themselves in a deadly duel of nerve and wits with one of the world’s most ruthless men: the murderous Russian oligarch and arms dealer Ivan Kharkov. It will take Gabriel from a quiet mews in London, to the shores of Lake Como, to the glittering streets of Geneva and Zurich, and, finally, to a heart- stopping climax in the snowbound birch forests of Russia. Faced with the prospect of losing the one thing he holds most dear, Gabriel will be tested in ways he never imagined possible. And his life will never be the same.
I am giving The Defector by Daniel Silva a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Bustle's American Woman Book Club!!

This morning, I visited Bustle's website where I read an article titled, Bustle's American Woman Book Club Is All About Reading Diversely In 2017 by Cristina Arreola. In the article, Cristina Arreola writes:
2017 is a year for action. It’s more important than ever that American women try to understand each other in the face of such partisan division, and that we come together in the quest for social justice and equality. That means making calls. That means protesting. That means making your voice heard and lifting each other up. That means educating yourself about experiences outside your own. 
And that's the purpose of Bustle's American Woman Book Club.
Reading has been proven to promote empathy, and Bustle believes that reading broadly is one small step in mending the divides of our nation. The books Bustle's American Woman Book Club will read will encompass a broad range of American experiences. We’ll read about Muslim-Americans, Latinos, African-Americans, LGBTQ+ individuals, undocumented immigrants, white working class women, and more. Because all of these people are American, and all of their stories are American stories.
I'm totally EXCITED about Bustle's American Woman Book Club!! I joined Bustle's American Woman Book Club group on Goodreads and have downloaded the Audible version of their book for January 2017!! The very first book Bustle selected  for their American Woman Book Club is Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera. I've never heard of this book or the author until now! Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera sounds like a really good read. I'll most likely begin reading Juliet Takes A Breath after I finish reading my two most current reads. 

Online virtual meetings will happen monthly to discuss each book selected by Bustle... I learned from Cristina Arreola's that the first virtual will take place "on January 27th at 6:30pm, author Gabby Rivera will join the book club for our inaugural meeting to discuss her book, our January selection, Juliet Takes A Breath."

To learn more, please feel free to visit the following link/article Bustle's American Woman Book Club Is All About Reading Diversely In 2017 by Cristina Arreola.  

I hope you're inspired to join me in participating in Bustle's American Woman Book Club!! Leave me a comment below if you decide to join Bustle's American Woman Book Club and read Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera.

Until my next post, happy reading!