Thursday, April 28, 2016

Oooo, 10 Games For Book Lovers That You'll Want!

Are you a book lover who enjoys playing games? Then you may be interested in reading the following article I discovered on the Bustle website titled 10 Games For Book Lovers Looking For Spice Up Their Next 'Readcation' by Kristian Wilson. In her article, Kristian Wilson writes:
Book nerds aren't exactly known for being the most social people in the world. Find the right games for book lovers, however, and you'll see us spring out of our shells. If you're looking to spice up your book club's next readcation, any of the games on this list would be a perfect choice.
Plenty of Hasbro titles — including Monopoly, Risk, and Clue — have had licensed literary versions available at some point. To save from overwhelming you with these familiar offerings, I've limited their inclusion on this list. Instead, I want to showcase lesser known entertainment here, to give those who haven't been thrilled with traditional board games the chance to find a title that really speaks to them.
Click on the top link to read the full article and discover games that will delight the book lover within in you!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday -- Top Ten Bookworm Delights

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 are my top ten bookworm delights in no particular order of preference:

1. Bookcrossing --- I've been of Bookcrossing since January 2007. I love the community on Bookcrossing! I am active on the Bookcrossing forums. I have enjoyed exchanging books with other avid readers around the world. I've attended Bookcrossing meet-ups and left books at Official Bookcrossing Zones. I've also had fun participating in various book sweepstakes hosted by various Bookcrossers and participated in read-a-longs as well. Plus so much more!

So what is Bookcrossing:
It's the World's Library. It's a smart social networking site. It's a celebration of literature and a place where books get new life. BookCrossing is the act of giving a book a unique identity so, as the book is passed from reader to reader, it can be tracked and thus connecting its readers. There are currently 1,597,913 BookCrossers and 11,434,915 books travelling throughout 132 countries. Our community is changing the world and touching lives one book at a time.

Bookcrossing's mission is "to connect people through books."

2. Visiting Little Free Libraries --- I love the idea that folks out there have created and maintain these cute little libraries within their own community as a way to connect readers with books!

I also love it when various businesses (like coffee houses) or other places within the community offer a free way to exchange books, whether it's a Little Free Library or not.

3. Independent Bookstores --- Need I say more?? I love promoting small businesses over big chain bookstores. Indie bookstores offer great services like staff picks, book signings, book clubs, and so much more! Some of my favorite indie bookstores include Bart's Books in Ojai, California, The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, California, Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California, Elaine's Book Mark - The Paperback Exchange in Escondido, California, The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, California, and Chaucer's Books in Santa Barbara, California.

4. Book Festivals --- I don't like crowds all that much, but am willing to deal with large crowds of people to attend book festivals. I attended the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California last year and enjoyed my time there immensely. I look forward to attending other book festivals in the future.

5. Attending Author Signings/Events --- It's so fabulous to meet favorite authors at author signing events at book festivals and independent bookstores. Last year, I met Judy Blume, Garth Stein, Paula Hawkins, and Amy Stewart.

6. Meeting & Discussing Books with other avid readers! Need I say more?? I really do enjoy discussing books with other readers it's so much fun. Especially, when you inspire another person to read a book they haven't read and they end up liking it as much as you do! Plus, I enjoy reading other books that readers recommend to me. I end up discovering new to me authors that I most likely wouldn't have learned about on my own otherwise.

7. Bookplates --- Although, I don't use them very often (because I read a lot of ebooks and listen to audiobooks from Audible), I do like unique bookplates. One of these days, I'll have to start using bookplates more regularly.

8. Magnetic Bookmarks --- This is another one of those bookworm type of items I really like using. However, due to the fact that I read a lot of ebooks & listen to a lot of audiobooks throughout the year, I rarely use magnetic bookmarks as much as I would like to these days... And when I do use bookmarks, I usually end using whatever bookmark is handy.

9. Cloth Bookcovers --- Yup, love these too! I use to use them more frequently in the days before ebooks and also before I became a huge audiobook listener... I only have cloth book covers for mass market paperbacks, so when I read trade size paperbacks or hardback books then using my cloth bookcovers are out of the question.

10. Just About Anything Book Inspired ---- I love book inspired clothing (I recently bought a pair of leggings with a vintage comic books printed on them), book inspired jewelry, totes, etc.

So, which bookworm delights make you a happy camper?

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox

Unabridged Audio Book
This past weekend, I finished listening to the unabridged audio version of The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox and narrated by Tavia Gilbert. Listening time for the The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox is 9 hours, 24 minutes.

The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox is the first novel in the paranormal/fantasy 'Demon Slayer' series.

Paranormal/fantasy novels are normally ones I do not gravitate towards all that frequently. This year, however, I have been listening to or reading paranormal novels more than usual (it seems) for me.

After reading the plot summary for The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox, it captured my attention. So, I decided to download this novel from Audible. The narrator, Tavia Gilbert, is really good and the premise of The Accidental Demon Slayer seemed like a good one... But after listening to The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox, I was pretty let down... The novel just didn't do it for me. 

So what didn't I like about The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox? Where should I even begin? 

* The leading character, Lizzie Brown, is really wishy-washy, which is annoying. She seems to lack confidence one moment and then the next moment she's bursting with confidence, which sometimes seems like misplaced confidence. Lizzie appears to be overconfident for reasons that are naive on her part at times.

* Lizzie's talking dog, Pirate, is annoying... Pirate is very, very annoying!

*The entire paranormal demon, witch coven, griffin thing is so unbelievable and unconvincing that it wasn't worth reading about. The author didn't capture my attention or my interest in the paranormal events she wrote about in her novel at all. The storyline and plot weren't that great overall. I almost gave up listening to this novel several times.

* Lizzie was given up for adoption at birth. On her 30th birthday, Lizzie is reunited with her biological grandmother, who happens to be a witch. Lizzie and her grandmother essentially have an 'instant' relationship from the get go that seems unbelievable. Lizzie meets the rest of the coven of witches her grandmother is part of and Lizzie couldn't be more different from this strange group of witches if she tried.

* Lizzie even meets her biological mother during the course of the novel and that was an odd/random event that happened for no reason that I could see.

The only thing that was even remotely good/entertaining in The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox was the 'love scene' between Lizzie and Dimitri Kallinikos (the handsome shape-shifting griffin)... Otherwise, The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox was a complete waste of my time.

The following is the publisher's summary for The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox, which I found on Audible:
A New York Times best seller!
It's never a good day when an ancient demon shows up on your toilet bowl. For Lizzie Brown that's just the beginning. Soon her hyperactive terrier starts talking and her long-lost biker witch Grandma is hurling Smuckers jars filled with magic. Just when she thinks she's seen it all Lizzie learns she's a demon slayer-and all hell is after her. Of course that's not the only thing after her. Dimitri Kallinikos a devastatingly handsome shape-shifting griffin needs Lizzie to slay a demon of his own. But how do you talk a girl you've never met into going straight to the underworld? Lie. And if that doesn't work how dangerous could a little seduction be?
I am giving The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox a rating of 1 stars out of 5 stars. Needless to say, I will not continue reading the rest of the 'Demon Slayer' series by Angie Fox.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Canetti's Bookshop in Orinda, California

Earlier today, my hubby and I enjoyed visiting an independent bookstore in Orinda, California called Canetti's Bookshop. Canetti's Bookshop is a cute and charming used bookstore filled with a wonderful selection of books for sale.

We encountered a friendly staff member on hand during our visit... Plus, we saw a very cute cat sleeping inside Canetti'e Bookshop!! This must mean that Canetti's has a cute cat for a mascot. Gotta love animal mascots at bookstores for sure. I look forward to a return visit to Canetti's Bookshop for my book needs.

Have you visited any good independent bookstores lately?

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Elephant In The Room by Jack Bender

Hardback Book
I won a FREE hardback copy of The Elephant In The Room by Jack Bender through Goodreads Giveaways!! It arrived to my home on April 21, 2016 and I eagerly began reading this book the day I received it in the mail.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of The Elephant In The Room by Jack Bender.

For me, the best part of this book was the beautiful artwork that filled the pages of this hardback book that makes for a great coffee table book. Jack Bender is definitely a really good artist.

The Elephant In The Room by Jack Bender is made up into five stories with pictures as follows:

1. Animal Logic
2. The Urban Acrobats
3. Wanda Woke Up
4. My Wife Was Killed By An Alligator
5. Who We Are

Each story has something to offer... I think Animal Logic may have been my favorite of the five stories written.

I am giving The Elephant In The Room by Jack Bender a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem

Unabridged Audio Version
I am so happy that I listened to the unabridged audio version of My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem and narrated by Gloria Steinem and Debra Winger. Total playing time is 9 hours, 27 minutes.

I missed the opportunity of hearing Gloria Steinem speak at my Alma mater, the University of Iowa, back in the mid 1990s... I didn't attend Ms. Steinem's on campus speaking engagement for reasons I am unable to recall now. I now, of course, wish I had attended the event as I would love to hear Gloria Steinem speak at a live event. 

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem and would highly recommend this nonfiction book to all those readers who want to know more about Gloria Steinem's life, her travels on the road, and what she's learned from her life's travels and from other people she's met along the way.

The following is a book summary of My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem from Audible:
Gloria Steinem - writer, activist, organizer, and one of the most inspiring leaders in the world - now tells a story she has never told before, a candid account of how her early years led her to live an on-the-road kind of life, traveling, listening to people, learning, and creating change. She reveals the story of her own growth in tandem with the growth of an ongoing movement for equality. This is the story at the heart of My Life on the Road.
I am giving My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Books About Serial Killers

I like reading nonfiction books. One of the subsets of nonfiction that makes for interesting reading to me, are books about serial killers. I like true crime books and I've always wondered what makes serial killers tick. 

I've read a couple of books about serial killers that I enjoyed as follows: 

The first one being, Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell. This book wasn't well loved by many reviewers on Amazon, but I enjoyed reading this book. 

I also loved reading The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi. This book is an awesome read. I highly recommend it. 

I also discovered an article on Bustle titled 12 Nonfiction Books About Serial Killers That Will Definitely Keep You Up At Night by Catherine Kovach that provides some intriguing book titles that may be worth the read!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

I've been a huge fan of Maya Angelou for decades now. I have had the great honor of having seen Maya Angelou speak twice before a live audience... She was a phenomenal speaker!!

I recently read the hardback edition of Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou. This book captured my interested due to the unique relationship between mothers and daughters and also because, I wanted to learn more about the relationship Maya Angelou had with her mother.

I thought Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou was overall a good read and would recommend this book to others. My only major complaint is that many of the life events that Maya Angelou discusses in this particular book have also been discussed in her other books. So, I only learned a few new things about her life that I didn't know before, which was disappointing to me as I wasn't expecting so much of Mom & Me & Mom to be a rehash of what I'd already read in her other books.

The following book synopsis for Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou comes from GoodReads:
The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother.
For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them.
Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.
I am giving Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey

Unabridged Audio Version
I recently finished listening to the unabridged audio version of The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey and narrated by Finty Williams from Audible. Playing time is 13 hours, 4 minutes.

I read nothing but good reviews about The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey online... And after reading the plot synopsis about this novel, I decided to give this novel a go as the story/plot sounded very intriguing to me.

I should start my review by adding that M. R. Carey is a new to me author. I would also like to add that I am normally not a science fiction fan or a science fiction genre reader as the science fiction genre normally doesn't interest me very much. So, I have mixed feeling about how much I liked or didn't like The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey.

I enjoyed the strong, well developed characters in The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey... As well as the plot and storyline for the most part. The first one-third and the last one third of The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey, were really engaging, but the middle of the novel wasn't as moving for me. 

The following is a plot summary of The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey from Audible:
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. 
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad. 
The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.
I am giving The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

The Birthstone Book Tag

After watching Kassidy Voinche's The Birthstone Book Tag video on YouTube, I became inspired to participate in The Birthstone Book Tag myself and share my answers here with my blog readers... The Birthstone Book Tag is a pretty fun book tag! Happy reading!
Below are my answers:

1. January (GARNET): Associate with warding off negative forces and dark energies - Name a book with the darkest/evilest character you can think of.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck has a very evil female character in it named Cathy Ames (later known as Kate Trask)... She's the most evil female villain I know of and she's a really well done character created by John Steinbeck. 

By the way, East of Eden is one of my favorite all time novels!

2. February (AMETHYST): Purple is associated with royalty - Name a book with regal qualities... You can base this off of characters or choose the King of all books.

I am selecting Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender for this one, as it features the ghost of Marie Antoinette as a character in the novel. Click on the link to read my review of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender.

3. March (AQUAMARINE): Washed out - Name a 'wishy washy' character, a character who is not strong or a follower.

UPDATE:  I realized that character Eleanor Merritt from Game Control by Lionel Shirver is a very 'wishy washy' character! So am updating my answer!

4. April (DIAMOND): A diamond in the rough - Name a book that you loved but is not well known.

The Forty Fathom Bank by Les Galloway is a phenomenal novella that I highly recommend. It's been a few years since I've read it and I am up for reading it again!! The story and characters are what make this book come alive for me. Les Galloway is a really good writer... Too bad I'd never heard of him as an author until I read The Forty Fathom Bank. 

Also, if you enjoyed reading Ernest Hemingway's novella, The Old Man and The Sea, then I think you'll like The Forty Fathom Bank by Les Galloway too. In fact, I actually liked The Forty Fathom Bank by Les Galloway a whole lot more than The Old Man and The Sea.

The following is a plot synopsis for The Forty Fathom Bank from Amazon:
Called "stunning and suspenseful" (Andrea Barrett, Outside), and "exquisitely detailed" (Alan Cheuse, NPR), The Forty Fathom Bank is a gripping novella of adventure and desperation in the tradition ofThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Finally back in print, this acclaimed cult classic tells the story of two men seeking riches on a late-season fishing trip off the coast of San Francisco. When a storm hits and the engine fails, they confront more than treacherous seas in their fight for survival. This new paperback edition also now includes the late author's other rarely seen stories of the sea, as well as an afterword by his friend and editor, Jerome Gold. As James Lee Burke says, "No one who reads this book will ever forget it."
5. May (EMERALD): Said to balance energy - Name two characters who balance each other well.

Jamie Fraser & Claire Randall Fraser from The Outlander Series... They make such a great couple in this series. How can I not love them?! They make an awesome couple/team!

6. June (PEARL): Associated with loyalty - Name a character who is loyal to the end.

Last year, I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. Almondine, Edgar Sawtelle's dog, is very loyal to Edgar until the very end.

7. July (RUBY): Blood red - Name a book that made your blood boil, one that made you angry.

The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubois III. I read this novel when it was an Oprah Book Club selection, but I intensely disliked this novel. I found the storyline, the characters, and the events that occurred in this novel to be so frustrating and annoying. The characters caused themselves a lot of trouble they could have simply avoided if they had taken a different course of action.

8. August (PERIDOT): Pale green (it pales in comparison to other gems) - Name a supporting character who you like better than the main character.

Once again, I am selecting characters from the novel The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I didn't like the leading character, Edgar Sawtelle, very much. I ended up preferring the characterization of Almondine, Edgar Sawtelle's dog a lot more.

9. September (SAPPHIRE): Blue like the ocean which is calming - Name a book that had a calming affect on you.

Reading in general is calming to me! But a specific books that had a calming affect on me is difficult to name off the top of my head... Books can make you laugh, cry, bring one joy or knowledge and even frustration or anger... The first book to come to mind to me is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read this book years and years ago now. It's probably best if I reread it again as a refresher of the ideas presented within. But I remember like the concepts presented in the book itself.

10. October (OPAL): Iridescent - Name an iridescent book, this can be a book with a beautiful cover (Shiny? Lots of Color?) or you can base it off of a character (Quirky? Colorful?).

I've read Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and loved this nonfiction book!! I highly recommend reading it if you haven't done so already. I selected this book for its colorful cover. Click on the link provided above to read my review of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.

11. November (TOPAZ): Associated with resilience - Name a books with a character who rises to the top in a time of adversity.

I listened to the unabridged audio version of Sold by Patricia McCormick in 2014. It's a short audiobook (under 4 hours) and one that was very powerful. It's the fictional account of Lakshmi, a 13 year old Nepal girl, who is sold into the child sex trade industry in India unknowingly by her family. Lakshmi and her family think she will be working as a maid to a rich family and the money she earns will be sent back home to her family.... This couldn't be further from the truth. What Lakshmi must endure is horrific! 

Long story short, Lakshmi rises above it all to find a way out of her circumstances. Sold by Patricia McCormick is a really well told story and well narrated as well.

12. December (BLUE ZIRCON): Associated with friendship - Name a book with a friendship you'd want to be apart of.

This was another of the more difficult ones for me to name as there isn't a specific friendship I read about in a book that made me say to myself "Oh, I'd like to have a friendship like that!"... I am randomly going to choose the friendship of Cee Cee Bloom and Bertie White from Beaches by Iris R. Dart. I did enjoy reading both the novel and seeing the movie back in the day.

I'm tagging the following book bloggers
to take part in
The Birthstone Book Tag

Miranda Atchley at A Real Writer's Life

Jessica at A Great Read

Liz, Miranda, Michelle, & Jessica,
I look forward to reading your answers to
The Birthstone Book Tag!
Please let me know make a post to your blog.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday to Author Beverly Cleary!!

I admit it, here and now!! I've never read a novel by American children's Beverly Cleary... Maybe, it's time here and now to read at least one of her novels.

In the mean time, to celebrate and honor, Beverly Cleary, on her 100th birthday, I wanted to share an article I found online titled 10 Life Lessons From Beverly Cleary on Her 100th Birthday by Francesca Bacardi. These life lessons are good ones!!

Top Ten Tuesday -- Ten Books Every Russian Lit Lover Should 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 10 Russian Classics I have read over the years and enjoyed reading.

1. The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
2. A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
3. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
4. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
5. An Ordinary Story by Ivan Goncharov
6. Fathers & Sons by Ivan Turgenev
7. The Queen of Spades & Other Stories by Alexander Pushkin
8. The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy
9. A Sportman's Sketches by Ivan Turgenev
10. The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Visit to the San Francisco Center For The Book

Me @ The SF Center For The Book!
It's been a dream of mine to visit the San Francisco Center For The Book ever since I first learned and blogged about this place back in January 2012 here on Captivated Reader.

Since my husband and I have moved up to the San Francisco Bay Area, we finally made the pilgrimage to the San Francisco Center For The Book yesterday afternoon.

I liked the location of the San Francisco Center For The Book. It's away from the tourist area... Yippee!! They have friendly staff members, many cool workshops held throughout the year, exhibits, opening receptions for exhibits, and so much more!! I want to take one of their bookbinding or letterpress classes in the future.

Here's more information about the San Francisco Center For The Book from their website:
The San Francisco Center for the Book is a center of inspiration for the book arts world, featuring the art & craft of letterpress printing, bookbinding, and artists bookmaking. We are dedicated to the art of the book! 
The San Francisco Center for the Book is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fosters the joy of books and bookmaking, the history, artistry, and continuing presence of books in our culture and enduring importance as a medium of self-expression. We provide both a home for Bay Area book artists and a place where the wider community can discover book arts. Everyone is welcome here, experienced practitioners and newcomers alike.
San Francisco Center for the Book offers 400 workshops annually, which offer learning opportunities at all levels: from introductory classes, to focused advanced and master courses spanning the range of bookbinding and letterpress printing techniques, from traditional methods to cutting-edge printing techniques and experimental book forms.
Exhibitions at San Francisco Center for the Book are designed to inform and inspire visitors. Free public programs include opening receptions for exhibitions in the gallery, book release parties for our publications, gallery talks, tours, open houses, mixers and other community events including the annual Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival and Holiday Fair.
Have you visited any interesting book related places lately?

Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Baroque And Desperate by Tamar Myers

Paperback Novel
I am a BIG fan of cozy mystery novels!! Yesterday, I finished reading cozy mystery novel, Baroque and Desperate by Tamar Myers, which is the 5th novel in the Den of Antiquity mystery series.

At this point in time, I've almost read the entire Den of Antiquity Mystery Series. I only have one more novel left out of sixteen novels to read. With the exception of the first novel in the Den of Antiquity Mystery Series, I have not read the other novels in the series in order of their publication date. 

Some of the novels in the Den of Antiquity Mystery Series have been really good novels to read. While others have been downright difficult to trudge through and quite frankly, Baroque And Desperate had been one of the more difficult novels in this series for me to want to finish reading. The cliches and one liners used just aren't that funny anymore to me. The shallow characters created are annoying and even the regular characters like C. J. (the leading character, Abigail Timberlake's friend) and Abigail's mom Mozella are grating to my nerves with their odd/quirky behavior. So needless to say, the Baroque And Desperate by Tamar Myers wasn't one of my favorite novels in the Den of Antiquity Mystery Series.

The following is a summary for Baroque And Desperate by Tamar Myers from Amazon:
In a Treasure-Laden Mansion
Unflappable and resourceful, Abigail Timberlake, antique dealer and owner of Charlotte, North Carolina's Den of Antiquity, relies on her knowledge and savvy to authenitcate the facts from the fakes when it comes to either curios or people. Her expertise makes Abby invaluable to exceptionally handsome Tradd Maxwell Burton, wealthy scion of the renowned Latham family. He needs her to determine the most priceless item in the Latham mansion and then split the proceeds of it with her. A treasure hunt in an antique-filled manor? All Abby can say is "let the games begin."
It's Tough to Keep Help
Accompanied by her best girlfriend, C.J., Abby arrives at the estate and is met with cool reserve, if no downright rudeness, from the members of the Latham clan. Trying to carry out Tradd's request, Abby finds that she could cut the household tension with a knife. But someone has beaten her to it by stabbing a maid to death with an ancient kris. Suddenly all eyes are on C.J., whose fingerprints happen to be all over the murder weapon. it's up to Abby to use her knack for detecting forgeries to expose the fake alibi of the genuine killer
I am giving Baroque And Desperate by Tamar Myers a rating of 1.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Books Told From The Villains' Perspective

I haven't read any books from the perspective of the villain before that I can recall... The idea of reading a novel from the perspective of the villain is an intriguing idea for me. 

I actually came across an article titled 7 Books Told From The Villains' Perspective by Caitlin White on Bustle's website that now has me wanting to read one of the featured novels mentioned in the article. 

Have you read any of the books listed in Caitlin White's article or any other novels told through the villain's perspective?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Graveyards To Visit During Your Literary Travels

Alright, I must admit that visiting cemeteries has never been a tourist destination/attraction for me... But I'm beginning to rethink the idea after reading an article posted on Bustle titled 10 Bookish Graveyards To Visit During Your Literary Travels by Alex Weiss. In the article, Weiss writes:
When you're traveling abroad or within your very own state, there's plenty to explore on your vacation. While art museums, top-notch restaurants, and unique shopping spots take over the top of your travel to-do list, I'd bet cemeteries hardly ever make the cut. You're probably thinking — Well, yeah, why would they? I get it, cemeteries are creepy and it's not like you want to spend your limited time in a new place among the dead, but I have the feeling that idea might just change.
Graveyards are quiet, for one, and they're historic. You can learn a lot aboutthe history of a town by its main graveyard. As the book nerd and writer that I am, I'm sort of fascinated by them. Sure, they can be spooky, but they're also filled with neat facts, gorgeous gardens, and famous dead authors. If you love books more than the average person, then you probably got a little excited about that last point, too.

Wherever you travel to next, make sure to scope out the best places to eat and things to see, but don't forget about looking up the graveyards, too. You might just find out that you're within a walking distance to Oscar Wilde's kissed gravestone, or Shakespeare's unique burial site.
Click on the top link to see the ten graveyards to visit that were mentioned in Alex Weiss's article.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

This Sums Up My Two Favorite Hobbies!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

Reading & Chocolate!

Books, reading, chocolate, coffee, and tea are all things that go together in my opinion! So, when I discovered an article from The Guardian titled Ten reasons why you should eat chocolate while reading by Chris Callaghan, I couldn't resist reading it. I was surprised to learn a couple of new things about chocolate that I didn't know before... Nonetheless, Chris Callaghan's article is a fun read, so click on the link above to read it.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Could Your Book Collection Earn You Prize Money?

Who knew that you could potentially win prize money based on your book collection! This is news to me for sure. I read an article this morning on Bustle titled Competitive Book Collecting Is Seriously A Thing — So Your Overloaded Bookshelf Is About To Come In Handy by Emma Cueto. In her article, Ms. Cueto writes:
Book lovers get their books in all kinds of fashion, but for those of us who buy them in hardcopy, we often wind up with more books than we know what to do with — which could actually be a good thing, believe it or not. Turns out competitive book collecting is a thing, and you can win prizes for it. In fact the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is accepting entries right now. So that's right, you're not a book hoarder, you're a book collector — and there's potentially even money in it.
The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest has been held every year since 2005, and offers a chance for both undergraduates and grad students to show off their literary chops. But if you don't have an overflowing bookshelf in your dorm room or a treasure-trove of first editions, don't worry. It's not the number of books you have or how rare they are, but rather the theme of your collection. That's right, this is no contest where you simply document a stack of books; it's about building a unique and interesting collection.
Too bad I am no longer a college student, because I'd love to enter this contest!!

Until my next post happy reading!!

Happy National Poetry Month!!

I'll admit that I've never been a huge reader of poetry... Sure, I love Maya Angelou's poems and could easily read her poems without much coaxing from anyone. 

Additionally, I've discovered some other amazing poems/poets over the years... But, to be brutally honest here, most of the poetry I've read was required reading for English courses while I was in school. Normally, I don't read much poetry today in my everyday life. I can only think of a few times that I've actually sought out poetry on my own as it's simply not a genre I generally gravitate towards by any means. 

I tend to avoid reading poetry for the following two reasons. I generally think of poetry as being boring OR that certain poems are completely cryptic in terms of the meaning a poet is trying to convey to the reader.

However, maybe, I'm missing out on some truly, magical poetry!! I'm sure that I am missing out on some fabulous poetry... But I'll never know if I am or not until I expand my reading horizons. 

I discovered an article on Bustle titled 9 Ways To Add Poetry To Your Life This Month by E. Ce Miller. Maybe this is just the inspiration I need to venture out on my own and read more poetry. Click on the above link to check out the 9 tips on adding poetry in your life this month.

If you're an avid poetry lover, share with me in the comments section below, some of your favorite poems and/or poets.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Neil Gaiman Quotes That Will Help You Tackle Your Day!

Calling all Neil Gaiman fans!!! I just read some awesome Neil Gaiman quotes in an article on the Bustle website titled 13 Neil Gaiman Quotes That Will Inspire You To Tackle Your Day by Charlotte Ahlin. Gaiman's quotes are fun and inspiring!! Click on the above link to read them.

9 Dysfunctional Literary Couples!

I was browsing the Bustle website earlier this morning and came across the following article titled 9 Dysfunctional Literary Couples With Seriously Toxic Relationships by Catherine Kovach. This compiled list of dysfunctional literary couples is a good one. Click on the above link to see which literary couples made the list. 

Which other literary couples with toxic relationships should have made the list?

Friday, April 1, 2016

9 Essential Books About Women's Rights

I seem to find some good articles on Bustle's website including the following article, 9 Essential Books About Women's Rights You Should Read Before National Women's History Month Is Over by Sadie L. Trombetta. 

National Women's History Month officially ended yesterday, but that doesn't mean one shouldn't read books about women's rights any time throughout the year.

Click on the above link to see which books about women's rights topped the list.