Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Broken Rules of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay

Mystery Novella
I recently read a mystery novella titled The Broken Rules of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay. The Broken Rules of Ten is approximately 121 pages in length and is the first read in the Tenzing Norbu Mystery Series.

Before I write my review for The Broken Rules of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay, I would like to add that I am familiar with Gay Hendricks as an author and as "one of the major contributors to the fields of relationship transformation and body-mind therapies." (Quote source Amazon). But I've never read any of his relationship/mind-body books before. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I even became aware that Gay Hendricks had begun writing the Tenzing Norbu Mystery Series with Tinker Lindsay. I learned about the Tenzing Norbu Mystery Series when they both came to The Sacred Space in Summerland, California to talk about their new mystery series and sign copies of their new book. I attended this particular author signing event and was able to meet both authors and have them sign copies of their novels. Click here to see my post about attending this author signing event -- it was an awesome author event to attend! 

Long story short, I finally found time to read the ebook edition of The Broken Rules of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay this past week. I enjoyed reading this novella. It's a good introduction to the leading character, Tenzing Norbu. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

The following is a plot summary for The Broken Rules of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay from Amazon:
In this prequel to the popular Tenzing Norbu Mystery series, we meet Ten as a confused 13-year-old boy—before his life as an ex-Buddhist-monk, ex-LAPD-officer, turned private eye. The Broken Rules of Ten invites readers to join Ten as he navigates his first brush with mysticism, mystery, and maybe even murder. 
Like most teenagers, Ten’s life is rife with change and emotional upheaval. In addition to his newfound fascination with girls and some unexpected bodily sensations, he’s been spending less time with his Parisian mother and more time in his Tibetan father’s Dharamshala monastery. This, in conjunction with the fact that his best friends, Yeshe and Lobsang, aren’t having the same revelations about the world around them, leaves Ten feeling puzzled and isolated. 
When the brilliant 17-year-old scholar Lama Nawang, already a legend and a star, takes the lonely boy under his wing, Tenzing senses that his luck is about to change—and it does, but not in the way he expects. He becomes entangled in a dark web of intrigue including the theft of a secret teaching, the betrayal of a community’s trust, and the mysterious death of a local Indian boy. Tenzing breaks almost every rule in the monastery, along with a young girl’s heart, as he struggles to recover the Buddha’s sacred text and uncover the real reason behind Lama Nawang’s cascading series of seemingly wrong actions.
I am giving The Broken Rules of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

2016 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon Questionarire

What’s your name?

My name is Lisa.

Where in the world are you blogging from?

I am blogging from San Ramon, California.

How did you get into blogging in the first place?

I'd always wanted to keep a blog of some sort, but didn't want my blog to be a collection of random topics... Since I love to read and discuss books I chose to start a book blog as a way to share my love of reading with others.

How did you come up with your blog name?

Captivated Reader wasn't my first choice for a book blog name. I forget now what I originally wanted to call my book blog... All I can say is that the name I had originally chosen was already taken on Blogspot. 

So, after much thought I came up with Captivated Reader because I am captivated by reading books... Especially a really good book that grabs and holds my attention throughout the entire book.

What genre do you read and review the most on your blog? 

Tough question to answer as I read a lot of fiction and nonfiction. I don't like to read books from just one genre. I like mysteries, thrillers, general fiction, young adult, classic literature and I like nonfiction books from a wide range of subjects.

What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?

I think the question should really be 'what don't I blog about that isn't book related?'. 

I blog about the indie bookstores I visit, author events/signings I attend, literary festivals I attend, literary prize winners (such as Nobel Prize Winners), bookish related quotes, weekly book memes (like Top Ten Tuesday), collecting rare books, anything library related... Essentially, I blog about anything related to books, authors, or reading in some way.

Favorite thing about the blogging community?

Interacting with other readers and bloggers.

Name the 5 books you want to read this 2016 that you didn’t get to in previous years!

Leaving Time by Jody Picoult
My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart
Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee earlier this year. I know this novel received a lot of media attention last year about the novel's discovery and publish date. But it seemed to me that when Go Set A Watchman was finally released last July, it received less than a stellar reception.

Personally, I don't think that Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee is as good as her novel To Kill A Mockingbird. But I do think that Go Set A Watchman is a good novel nonetheless and well worth reading. It's different from To Kill A Mockingbird as it casts Jean Louise and her father Atticus Finch in a different light.

Read my review of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee.

Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?

Poncho I Made Last Fall
I am an avid knitter!! My New Year's resolution in 2014 had been to take up a new hobby... Little did I know it would be knitting or that I would grow to love it so much! I start knitting in March or April 2014 and made knit cuffs and a scarf... After that I took a 4 month hiatus to move to Northern California, I started knitting once again and have enjoyed seeing my knitting skills improve. I am currently making my first sweater, which will be a cardigan with matching scarf.

I also have a knitting blog called My Knitting Journey, One Stitch At A Time! if you are interested in seeing some of my completed projects and other knitting related posts.

I also geocache with my husband!

Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?

Yarn and other knitting supplies to make various knitting projects I have lined up... One can never have enough yarn, right? I currently have quite a yarn stash!! My yarn stash that may soon rival my collection of books if I don't curb my yarn buying habits.

At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing?

Adele's Rolling In The Deep

Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book

I'd love to see the His Fair Assassin trilogy by Robin LaFevers made into movies!!

What would your dream library look like?

Image from AmericanLibrariesMagazine.Org
Again, so many choice to consider when coming up with my very own dream home library, but I'd consider something like the above library... But I'd want to add a bit more natural light to the ambiance.

Author you want to meet and sit down to tea with?

I have to pick ONE author??? Only ONE author??? Ooo, this is tough decision to make as I have so many authors that I would love to meet and sit down and have tea with! 

The first author's name that comes to mind is Diana Gabaldon... I've been a fan of her writing for a couple of decades now. I've always wanted to meet her in person at an author signing event, but have never had the chance to do so yet. I think she'd been an interesting person to meet in real life.

Rest In Peace, Harper Lee!!

It was sad hearing the news that beloved, American author, Harper Lee, had passed away at the age of 89 years old. I learned in an NPR article titled Harper Lee, Author Of 'To Kill A Mockingbird,' Dies At Age 89 by Bill Chappell that Harper Lee passed away in her sleep.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of my favorite novels. I also recently listened to the unabridged audio version of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman, which I also enjoyed as well.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Gone by Stacy Claflin

Unabridged Audiobook
I recently finished listening to the unabridged audio version of Gone by Stacy Claflin and narrated by Dave Wright. 

Wow, I had never heard of Stacy Claflin before, but was blown away with her novel, Gone! If you like mysteries and psychological thrillers, then Gone may be the next novel for you to read!!

As far as the narration goes for Gone, I thought Dave Wright was a good narrator overall for Gone... However, for some reason I thought a female narrator would have been a better choice for Gone. Especially considering that the leading character is a teenage girl.

As a side note, I'd also like to add that Gone is the 1st novel in the Gone Series.

The following is a plot summary for Gone by Stacy Claflin from Audible's website:
Macy Mercer only wants a little independence. Eager to prove herself grown up, she goes to a dark, secluded park. She's supposed to meet the boy of her dreams who she met online. But the cute 15-year-old was a fantasy, his pictures fake. She finds herself face to face with Chester Woodran, a man capable of murder.
Distraught over his own missing daughter, Chester insists that Macy replace his lost girl. He locks Macy up, withholds food, and roughs her up, demanding that she call him dad. Under duress from his constant threats and mind games, her hold on reality starts to slip. Clinging to her memories is the only way of holding onto her true identity, not believing that she is Chester's daughter. Otherwise she may never see her family again.
I'm giving Gone by Stacy Claflin a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou

Hardback Edition
Maya Angelou has been one of my favorite authors for a few decades now. I haven't read her entire collection of published works, so thought that I would read Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou this month.

Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou is a really quick book to read... And I mean, a really quick book to read. I was finished reading it in a few hours.

I was disappointed with Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou after reading it. It's a collection of short personal essays and some poetry on various topics. Some of the essays in this collection are familiar ones that have already been touched upon in the past by Maya Angelou. Some of the essays I really enjoyed reading. Some of the essays, I didn't like in the least... And still others, didn't resonant with me in the least. This is one book that I could have truly skipped reading altogether and not felt that I was missing out if I hadn't read it.

The following is a book summary for Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou from Amazon's website:
For a world of devoted readers, a much-awaited new volume of absorbing stories and inspirational wisdom from one of our best-loved writers. 
Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight. 
Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that led Angelou to an exalted place in American letters and taught her lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward, six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son. 
Whether she is recalling such lost friends as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice–Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.

Like the rest of her remarkable work, Letter to My Daughter entertains and teaches; it is a book to cherish, savor, re-read, and share.
I am giving Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday --- 10 songs I wish that were books!!!

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've selected 10 random songs from Youtube... I didn't put a lot of thought as to why I chose each song, just picked them and posted them here.

1. Rolling In The Deep by Adele

2. I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry

3. Maria Maria by Santana

4. Fool In The Rain by Led Zepplin

5. Straight On by Heart

6. A Kiss To Build A Dream On by Louis Armstrong

7. Will You Think Of Me by Robert Cray

8. The House That Jack Built by Aretha Franklin

9. Mr. Big Stuff by Jean Knight

10. Knock On Wood by Eddie Floyd

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans

Unabridged Audiobook
I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance That Changed the World by Sue Woolmans and Greg King and narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner. Listening length is 11 hours, 27 minutes.

First off, I really thought that Malcolm Hillgartner was a phenomenal narrator for this nonfiction book. Secondly, if you love history, especially European history, then this book is a must read. It not only deals with the life of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his romance and eventual marriage to Countess Sophie Chotek (and their eventual assassination), but also the lives of their children, other European royalty, the start of World War I, and more. 

I really learned a lot of history that I never knew before about this time period and about Franz Ferdinand and his family... I was truly impressed with the amount of research the authors incorporated in their book and how they presented this information to readers. 

The only minor draw back I have with the audio version of The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans is that there are a lot of people of historical importance presented in the book and it is difficult to initially remember who all of them are. At the start of The Assassination of the Archduke, the authors give a list of the relevant players, but in an audiobook you can't easily retrieve this information like you can with a physical book... With a physical book, I'd be able to easily turn to the section and look up who the person was if I forgot their significance. This is only a minor complaint though with the audio version.

I would say that as of this moment, The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans is my favorite read for 2016 so far.

The following is the publisher's summary for The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans from Audible:
Drawing on unpublished letters and rare primary sources, King and Woolmans tell the true story behind the tragic romance and brutal assassination that sparked World War I.
In the summer of 1914, three great empires dominated Europe: Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary. Four years later all had vanished in the chaos of World War I. One event precipitated the conflict, and at its heart was a tragic love story.
When Austrian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand married for love against the wishes of the emperor, he and his wife, Sophie, were humiliated and shunned. Yet they remained devoted to each other and to their children. The two bullets fired in Sarajevo not only ended their love story but also led to war and a century of conflict.
Set against a backdrop of glittering privilege, The Assassination of the Archduke combines royal history, touching romance, and political murder in a moving portrait of the end of an era. One hundred years after the event, it offers the startling truth behind the Sarajevo assassinations, including Serbian complicity, and examines rumors of conspiracy and official negligence.
Events in Sarajevo also doomed the couple's children to lives of loss, exile, and the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, their plight echoing the horrors unleashed by their parents' deaths. Challenging a century of myth, The Assassination of the Archduke resonates as a very human story of love destroyed by murder, revolution, and war.
I am giving The Assassination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolmans a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentine's Day ~~ Romantic Ideas For Couples That Are Book-Lovers!!

Looking for romantic ideas to celebrate Valentine's Day this year? Then look no further!! Checkout the article I discovered on Bustle's website titled 9 Date Ideas For Book-Lover Couples This Valentine's Day by Crystal Paul.

Gotta love the ideas presented in the article! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

So Long, Lollipops by Sarah Lyons Fleming

I recently finished listening to the unabridged audio version of So Long, Lollipops by Sarah Lyons Fleming and narrated by Julia Whelan. Playing time is 3 hours, 12 minutes.

I was able to download So Long, Lollipops by Sarah Lyons Fleming for free from Amazon. Below is my unbiased review of So Long, Lollipops by Sarah Lyons Fleming.

So Long, Lollipops is a science fiction/fantasy novella that is dystopian in nature and deals with the subject of zombies. I'm usually not much into science fiction/fantasy themed reads, especially ones with zombies!! But, I'm trying to be more open minded and explore more genres and new to me authors.

I was really impressed with So Long, Lollipops by Sarah Lyons Fleming. I didn't think I'd like this novella much... But, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really liked listening to So Long, Lollipops

Julia Whelan does a good job narrating this novella. I liked the story and I also the characters in So Long, Lollipops. The only minor issue/complaint I have is the cliffhanger ending... It isn't a huge cliffhanger by any means, but the ending definitely leaves you want to know more... Which means you'll most likely want to continue reading this series!

I am giving So Long, Lollipops by Sarah Lyons Fleming a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better by Dave Eggers

Unabridged Short Story
I listened the following short story titled We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better by Dave Eggers and narrated by Dion Graham, which I downloaded for free from Audible. Listening length is approximately 47 minutes.

The following is my unbiased review of We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better by Dave Eggers.

First off, I'd like to say that Dion Graham does a fabulous job of narrating We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better. I liked the story and also the characters quite a bit in this short story. I found the story a bit creepy though... And the company portrayed in the short story to be a bit on the 'cultish' side. It's worth a listen to if you are interested!

I am giving We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better by Dave Eggers a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan

Unabridged Short Story
I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan and narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds. The Jester is a short story that I was able to download for free from Amazon. Listening length for The Jester is 54 minutes.

The following is my unbiased review of The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan.

First off, I thought that Tim Gerard Reynolds did a good job of narrating this short story! The Jester is my first experience with anything written by Michael J. Sullivan. I liked Michael J. Sullivan's writing style overall. I felt The Jester was a good story, with relatively engaging characters. The plot and dialogue between characters was also good for The Jester.

I realize that The Jester is a short story, but I felt like some of the storyline or scenes could have been flushed out a bit more for the reader. With that said, I did enjoy listening to The Jester. Is it the best short story I've ever read?? No... Nor is it the worst short story I've read. The Jester is likable nonetheless. The best part of The Jester is how the story comes together in the end.

The following is the plot summary for The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan from Amazon's website:
Stop me if you've heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap...and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester's treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.
This is a standalone short story of 7,200 words. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Riyria veterans to spend a little more time with old friends. The Jester is a story of adventure, bonds of friendship, and a recognition that the choices we make dictates the future we find.
I am giving The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Graveyard Shift (Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. Book 1) by Angela Roquet

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Graveyard Shift (Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. Book 1) by Angela Roquet and narrated by Hollie Jackson. Audio length is 7 hours, 22 minutes.

Angela Roquet is a new to me author... I decided to try one of Angela Roquet's novels as I was looking to expand my listening/reading experience by trying something from the science fiction/fantasy genres. I usually don't read much from the science fiction or fantasy genres.

I wasn't impressed with Graveyard Shift (Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. Book 1) by Angela Roquet. I enjoyed the premise of this novel and felt the storyline itself overall was a decent one. I also felt that this novel was well narrated by Hollie Jackson. But, something about this novel didn't do it for me. The interplay between some characters seemed to be less than grand. Parts of the plot just didn't work for me because they weren't that interesting.

The following is the publisher's summary found on Audible's website:

The inferno has evolved.
Lana Harvey is a reaper, and a lousy one at that. She resides in Limbo City, the modern capital of the collective afterlives, where she likes to stick it to the man (the legendary Grim Reaper himself) by harvesting the bare minimum of souls required of her. She'd much rather be hanging out with Gabriel, her favorite archangel, at Purgatory Lounge. But when a shocking promotion falls in her lap, Lana learns something that could unravel the very fabric of eternity. If the job isn't completed, there could be some real hell to pay.
I am giving Graveyard Shift (Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. Book 1) by Angela Roquet a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!