Monday, May 21, 2018

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Today is my birthday!!
My hubby surprised me and purchased an
Audible membership as one of my birthday gifts.
Gotta hand it to my hubby for knowing
what to give me as a birthday gift.

I look forward to listening to some fantastic
audiobooks for the remainder of the year! 
I've chosen to start listening to 
I Am Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon.

I've been binge listening to I Am Anastasia 
by Ariel Lawhon. I'm 33% into this
historical fiction novel so far! It's a
good novel thus far. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti

Paperback ~ Memoir
I read the paperback edition of Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti, which is a book that has been on my wish list for a while.

I first became acquainted with Jessica Valenti's writing when I read and reviewed her book, Full Frontal Feminism, (click on the link to the left to read my review of Full Frontal Feminism) back in January 2014. I think that Full Frontal Feminism is a good, basic introductory read for newbies wanting to know more about feminism... But for those of us with more knowledge of feminism, then please take a pass on Full Frontal Feminism.

"Sex Object" initially seemed like an odd title for a memoir for someone who isn't a super model or porn star... However, I fully understand that women are treated like sex objects in our society and I suppose for a book title, "Sex Object", is appropriate as any book title in this context.

I think the introduction of Jessica Valenti's memoir was probably the most enjoyable thing I liked about her memoir. The rest of Jessica Valenti's memoir wasn't good at all in my opinion. In fact, I am surprised that Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti was named 'NPR Best Book of 2016'!

Yes, unfortunately, women are and have been viewed as sex objects in our society, which is extremely dehumanizing and derogatory to women to say the least. 

I also feel that it was extremely brave of Jessica Valenti to come forward and describe her negative experiences of the various ways in which she was objectified by men in society. However, I wasn't completely sympathetic to her plight. I don't think Ms. Valenti deserved to be treated like a sex object or any other woman for that matter. However, there was behavior I felt Ms. Valenti did engage in at various points in her life as an adult that caused negative outcomes... I felt these series of negative outcomes could have been prevented or at least mitigated had she exercised better judgment on her part.

The following is the publisher's summary for Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti from Amazon:
New York Times Bestseller
“Sharp and prescient… The appeal of Valenti’s memoir lies in her ability to trace objectification through her own life, and to trace what was for a long time her own obliviousness to it…Sex Object is an antidote to the fun and flirty feminism of selfies and self-help.” – New Republic
Hailed by the Washington Post as “one of the most visible and successful feminists of her generation,” Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a memoir thatPublishers Weekly calls “bold and unflinching,” Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes on women’s lives, from the everyday to the existential. From subway gropings and imposter syndrome to sexual awakenings and motherhood, Sex Object reveals the painful, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City.

In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, Sex Object is a profoundly moving tour de force that is bound to shock those already familiar with Valenti’s work, and enthrall those who are just finding it.
I am giving Sex Object: A Memoir by Jessica Valenti a rating of 1 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day ~ Name Your Favorite & Least Favorite Mother in Literature!

Happy Mother's Day!!
Wishing you a fabulous day today and every day!!

Please share with me in the comment section below
Your Favorite & Least Favorite Mother in Literature.

My Favorite Mother in Literature is:
Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maud Montgomery

My Least Favorite Mother in Literature is:
Cathy Ames from East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday - Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

There are a few colors I truly love! So, I am not sure I really have a favorite color. I guess it depends on my mood. However, the color turquoise is definitely one that is a top color choice for me and one I gravitate towards frequently.

Below are ten book titles that contain the word 'turquoise' in it. I have not read any of these books before... Buy maybe I should!

1. The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard by Kristin Schell
4. Turquoise: A Chef's Travels in Turkey by Greg Malouf & Lucy Malouf
6. The Turquoise Mask by Phyllis A Whitney
7. Turquoise Girl by Aimee & David Thurlo
8. Under A Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter
9. The Turquoise Lament by John D. MacDonald
10. Defending Turquoise by John Ellsworth

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell and narrated by Paul Boehmer. Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell falls into the thriller/romance genre.

Listening time for Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell is 9 hours, 10 minutes.

I enjoying listening to Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell and thought it was well narrated by Paul Boehmer. It's a good thriller/romance novel to pass the time with if you're looking for something fun.

The characters and storyline were really good, but not great. I loved the main characters of Samantha Edgars and Jack Carlisle and their sizzling romance... Even if the way they fell in love happened in unusual circumstances and happened way to fast... Instalove! As much as I enjoyed Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell, I'm sure it will be forgettable for me over the long haul.

Below is the plot summary for Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell from Audible:
Book One in the Edgars Family Romantic Suspense Novels
A Man in Desperate Need
FBI Agent Jake Carlisle is in deep trouble. While undercover he's been shot, but he's not sure if it's the crooks or local cops behind it. Worse, if he can't get help fast, two lives will be lost - his and that of the young witness, a boy whom he's sworn to protect. On the run from both the police and the Russian Mafia, Jake will do anything to save the child at his side, even something illegal. In desperation he kidnaps a nurse from a hospital parking lot.
A Woman at the Edge of Despair
ER nurse Samantha Edgars has been living in an emotional vacuum since the death of her daughter. Abandoned by her husband not long afterward, she struggles just to get through each day, but now all she wants is for the pain to stop and to finally be at peace with her child. Mentally and physically exhausted following a difficult shift, she walks through the hospital's dark parking lot lost in her own thoughts. Suddenly she's jolted from her stupor when she's bound, gagged, and tossed into the back of her car.
Danger on Their Heels
When they arrive at her home, she's terrified and forced to tend to a bleeding FBI agent and his injured witness. But Samantha quickly learns the rogue agent and orphaned boy need more than just her professional skills. With a menace bearing down on them, she must learn to trust Jake - and her heart - if they're all going to survive.
I am giving Kidnapped by Suzanne Ferrell a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars. 

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, May 4, 2018

2018 Nobel Prize for Literature Will Be Delayed Over Sex Scandal!!

Like, O-M-G!! Sex scandals
seem to be coming out of the woodwork...
When will it all end?

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Book Read in April

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reads and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. This fun themed meme focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc). Every week a new topic will give bloggers the chance to showcase their answers.

This week's topic is the 
Best/Worst Book Read in April 2018

It was a slow month of reading in April for me.
I only read four books and started a fifth book.

The Best Book Read in April 2018
(Click on above link to read my review)

The Worst Book Read in April 2018
(Click on above link to read my review)

Which books have been your favorite or least favorite reads for April 2018?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bottoms Up by Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell is a very new to me author. She's an English professor at UC Berkeley and she interviewed, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival last Saturday. 

I was impressed with the interview Namwali Serpell did with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. I wanted to check out Namwali Serpell's writing and discovered a short story of hers titled, Bottoms Up, on Audible. I decided to download and listen to it yesterday afternoon while enjoying my lunch.

Listening time for Bottoms Up by Namwali Serpell and narrated by Fleet Cooper is 18 minutes.

Do you like unique reads that are science fiction and literary romance inspired with a bit of technology thrown in? Then Bottoms Up by Namwali Serpell is the short story for you!! I enjoyed it... As the description below states, this short story is weird, creepy, and funny.

Fleet Cooper is a good narrator.

The following is a summary for Bottoms Up by Namwali Serpell from Audible:
Weird, funny, and deliciously creepy, "Bottoms Up" shows us a twisted not-so-distant future where technology is used to control even the most intimate of human acts. A mismatched pair of socks brings two people together, but once they find out they’re perfect for each other, their obsession with a clean bill of health drives them to seek the ultimate in safe sex. A slick read that melds science fiction and literary romance, "Bottoms Up" is an utterly original look at the disintegration of love as mediated by our modern obsessions with health, self-improvement, and technology. This story originally appeared in Tin House.
I am giving Bottoms Up by Namwali Serpell a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 Bay Area Book Festival in downtown Berkeley, California!

This past weekend was the 4th annual Bay Area Book Festival! I love this annual event and have attended it each year since its inception in 2015. It's my favorite annual book related event, which I look forward to attending with relish each year. Usually, this annual event is held the first weekend in June, but this year it was moved to the last weekend in April.

This year, 250 authors were speaking at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival!! Gotta love the free outdoor fair with 200 literary exhibitors (bookstores, publishers, authors), food trucks, and family fun zone with activities for kids.

I had planned to attend the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival both Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th as each day was filled with excellent author speaking and signing events I wanted to attended.

Unfortunately, for me, I missed Day 2 of the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival due to unexpected circumstances, which was a complete disappointment to me as I had looked forward to attending both days. Additionally, I looked forward walking around the rest of the outdoor 2018 Bay Area Book Festival itself as there were so many vendors and other activities to enjoy as well.

I will focus this post on what my husband and I enjoyed while attending Day 1 of the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival on Saturday, April 28th.

First of all, my husband and I took BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) into downtown Berkeley to avoid the traffic and parking issues involved with large crowds of people attending this wildly popular literary event.

The first author speaker event my husband and I attended on Saturday, April 28, 2018, was to hear Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o interviewed by Namwali Serpell from 11:45am to 1pm. The title of the talk was Wrestling with the Devil: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in Conversation:
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is one of the world’s most prominent African writers working today, often on the radar for the Nobel Prize. He joins us to discuss the American release of “Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir.” In 1977, he was imprisoned by the Kenyan government in a maximum security facility because of his artistic defiance of a regime. In prison, he penned a novel—on toilet paper, the only paper to which he had access—that would become his classic, “Devil on the Cross.” He will discuss the prison experience, challenges of writing fiction under twenty-four-hour surveillance, and the spirit of defiance that defines hope. He testifies to the power of imagination to help humans break free of confinement, the story of all art. It is an honor to welcome him to Berkeley.
It was an honor to hear Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o speak at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival. He had a lot of enlightening things to say/share with audience attending his speaking event. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's thoughts on the importance of imagination was one of the most interesting topics he spoke about during his speaking event on Saturday afternoon.

I was able to have Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o sign a copy of his novel, Petals of Blood, for me. I love languages, so it was totally cool that he wrote the word for 'peace' in his native language for me along with his signature.
Me with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival
I've had the novel The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen on my list of books to be read but have yet to read this novel... I guess that's going to have to change! Anyway, Viet Thanh Nguyen spoke at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival about Art and Politics. He was interviewed by Karen Tei Yamashita.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for his novel “The Sympathizer,” Viet Thanh Nguyen—fiction writer, essayist, activist, and UC Berkeley doctoral alum—has become an outspoken voice for refugee rights and justice for immigrants. In 2017 he received a MacArthur Genius Grant, and while he was commended for “challenging popular depictions of the Vietnam War and exploring the myriad ways that war lives on for those it has displaced,” his latest efforts move outward to the plight of refugees across the world. His lauded story collection “The Refugees” explores immigration, identity, love, and family. His latest project, “The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives,” brings together a host of prominent writers. He joins us to today to talk with Karen Tei Yamashita, novelist and essayist on the immigrant experience, about the role of the writer in society, the importance of art to politics, and the power of the written word.
I really enjoyed briefly meeting Viet Thanh Nguyen! I think it is cool that Viet Thanh Nguyen is back in Berkeley, California for the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival as he earned both his undergraduate and graduate degress from UC Berekeley and now teaches at USC!
Me with Viet Thanh Nguyen after he signed my copy of The Sympathizer.
The last speaker of the day that we heard was young adult author, Melissa de la Cruz from 3:15pm to 4:30pm! She was interviewed by Jessica Lee. I became aware of Melissa de la Cruz in the past few months through another book blogger, who really enjoys Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Bloods series. I decided that I would like to read one of Melissa de la Cruz's novels, but selecting which novel was a tough decision as Ms. de la Cruz has published 46 novels and writes various genres (historical, fantasy, etc.) within the young adult genre. Suffice it to say that Melissa de la Cruz is a very versatile writer! I ended up with Melissa de la Cruz's stand alone young adult novel, Something In Between. Melissa de la Cruz was an awesome speaker to hear talk about her writing. I was actually surprised that more people were not in attendance to hear her speak at the Bay Area Book Festival. I also had fun practicing my limited knowledge of Tagalog on Melissa de la Cruz while she was signing my book!

Me with author, Melissa de la Cruz!
In between author talks and signings, my husband and I were able to walk through part of the outdoor fair at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival. We enjoyed eating lunch outdoors despite the cooler, windy weather with partly sunny, partly cloudy skies. It alternated being too cold or just right in terms of the outdoor temperature. 

We also enjoyed speaking with other book festival attendees too during our time at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival. All in all, we had a great day at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival on Saturday, April 28th!

Sadly, I missed out on hearing Joyce Carol Oates, Meg Elison, Viv Alberine, and Lidia Yuknavitch speak on Sunday, April 29, 2018! I'd really wanted to hear all four women speak at this amazing event and have them sign copies of their books for me. But alas, I guess it wasn't meant to be!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Melissa de la Cruz Will Be Speaking at the 2018 Bay Area Book Festival Today!

Melissa de la Cruz is a young adult author I've recently learned about... In fact, another book blogger mentioned that she loves Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Blood series. So, I decided I'd attend her speaking engagement this afternoon.

Above is a YouTube video of Melissa de la Cruz speaking about one of her novels.