Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Read in Color: Announcing Little Free Library’s Diverse Books Initiative


 I recently learned about Little Free Library's new initiative called Read In Color

Read in Color is a new initiative bringing diverse books to Little Free Library book-sharing boxes around the world. Kicking off in the Twin Cities, Read in Color will distribute books that provide perspectives on racism and social justice, celebrate BIPOC and LGBTQ voices, and incorporate experiences from all identities for all readers.

We believe everyone should be able to see themselves in the pages of a book. We also know that books can be a window into experiences that are different from our own. By reading diverse books, we can increase understanding, empathy, and inclusion.

Are you ready to Read in Color?

To learn more about Read in Color initiative and to sign the Read in Color pledge, click the link above!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Four New to Me Little Free Libraries in Solana Beach, California

 So, I spent roughly 6.5 weeks in San Diego, California with my parents as an escape from the major fires and smoke that ravaged the San Francisco Bay Area/Northern California regions recently. 

It was a wonderful reprieve to getaway from the smoke and bad AQI for awhile and spend quality time with my parents.

Below are four photographs of new to me Little Free Libraries I discovered with my mom. We just happened to drive around a particular neighborhood and voila, we found four Little Free Libraries. How cool is that?






Have you found any Little Free Libraries lately?

Monday, October 19, 2020

Little Free Library in San Diego, California + Harper's Topiary Garden

 



My mom and I visited Harper's Topiary in downtown 
San Diego at the end of September, which was so cool to see in person!!
So what exactly is Harper's Topiary? 
I'm glad you asked!
Harper's Topiary is a topiary garden located in a residential neighborhood,
is very easy to find, and is free to view.
Harper's Topiary is part of someone's personal garden
and located on private property.
What a great way to make use of one's yard space 
with unique landscaping. 
See panoramic photo below.

After visiting Harper's Topiary, my mom and I
I discovered a Little Free Library right on the border to
this property and the next property. So, I'm not exactly sure
which physical address the Little Free Library belongs to.
The good news is that we had books with us to leave at this
Little Free Library. 

See above photo of my mom standing
next to the Little Free Library. 
The Little Free Library is just to the right of
Harper's Topiary.

Harper's Topiary - 3549 Union St, San Diego, CA 92103

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

 
I received an uncorrected proof paperback copy of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman through the Goodreads Giveaways program for FREE.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

I basically chose to read Norse Mythology for two main reasons:

1) I was not all that familiar with Norse Mythology; other than knowing the names of four of the Norse gods/goddesses. 

2) Neil Gaiman seems to have a huge fan base and is almost a god himself in the writing/literary world.

However, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman fell flat, in my opinion. I didn't enjoy the stories much as I found them to be boring and formulaic in nature. 

As far as Neil Gaiman's writing goes, I'm not crazy about it. Norse Mythology is the third encounter I've had with Gaiman's writing and I'll take a pass on reading anything else written by him.

Below is the plot summary for Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman from Goodreads:
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor's hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman—difficult with his beard and huge appetite—to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir—the most sagacious of gods—is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.

Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
I am giving Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama

 


I received an uncorrected proof in paperback of The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama through the Goodreads Giveaways program for FREE earlier this year. I've wanted to read a novel by Gail Tsukiyama since the mid to late 1990s, so I was thrilled to finally read one of her novels this year!

Below is my honest, unbiased review of The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama.

I truly enjoyed reading The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama!! The Color of Air is a work of historical fiction set in Hilo, Hawaii. It's a very atmospheric read weaving many elements of island life for Japanese-Americans whose lives are tied to working on the sugar plantations or fishing for a living. The eruption of the Mauna Loa volcano near the start of the novel plays a large role in the novel as well.

I enjoyed reading about the lives of the main characters Daniel, Koji, and Mariko as well as those of the supporting characters too. Gail Tsukiyama's writing is really good. I love the short, tight chapters and the juxtaposition of past and present in The Color of Air.

Below is the plot summary for The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama from Goodreads:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai's Garden comes a gorgeous and evocative historical novel about a Japanese-American family set against the backdrop of Hawai’i's sugar plantations.

Daniel Abe, a young doctor in Chicago, is finally coming back to Hawai'i. He has his own reason for returning to his childhood home, but it is not to revisit the past, unlike his Uncle Koji. Koji lives with the memories of Daniel’s mother, Mariko, the love of his life, and the scars of a life hard-lived. He can’t wait to see Daniel, who he’s always thought of as a son, but he knows the time has come to tell him the truth about his mother, and his father. But Daniel’s arrival coincides with the awakening of the Mauna Loa volcano, and its dangerous path toward their village stirs both new and long ago passions in their community.

Alternating between past and present—from the day of the volcano eruption in 1935 to decades prior—The Color of Air interweaves the stories of Daniel, Koji, and Mariko to create a rich, vibrant, bittersweet chorus that celebrates their lifelong bond to one other and to their immigrant community. As Mauna Loa threatens their lives and livelihoods, it also unearths long held secrets simmering below the surface that meld past and present, revealing a path forward for them all.
I am giving The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz

 
I received a finished paperback copy of Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz through the Goodreads Giveaways program for FREE.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz.

Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz is cozy mystery novel set in Seattle, Washington. It's the first novel in 'A Spice Shop Mystery' series. I really enjoyed the plot, storyline, characters, and flow of this cozy mystery novel. I didn't guess whodunnit and why until the very end, which is a definite plus in my book. 

My favorite part of Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz was the setting of Seattle, Washington and Pike Market Place more specifically. I briefly visited Seattle, Washington 12 years ago in 2008 and loved visiting Pike Market Place as well as the Space Needle with my husband. 

Below is the plot summary for Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz from Goodreads:
The Agatha Award-winning author of Crime Rib is proud to introduce Pepper Reece, the owner of the Seattle Spice Shop who thinks she can handle any kind of salty customer—until a murderer ends up in the mix…

After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars. But when a panhandler named Doc shows up dead on the store’s doorstep, a Seattle Spice Shop cup in his hand, the local gossip gets too hot for Pepper to handle—especially after the police arrest one of Pepper’s staffers, Tory Finch, for murder.

Tory seems to know why she’s a suspect, but she refuses to do anything to curry favor with the cops. Convinced her reticent employee is innocent, Pepper takes it on herself to sniff out some clues. Only, if she’s not careful, Pepper’s nosy ways might make her next on the killer’s list…
I am giving Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

 


I love reading historical fiction. I am also fascinated by almost anything pertaining to the Romanov Dynasty. So with that said, I couldn't pass up listening to the unabridged audio version of Romanov by Nadine Brandes and narrated by Jessica Ball.

Listening time for Romanov by Nadine Brandes is 11 hours, 2 minutes.

I truly enjoyed listening to Romanov by Nadine Brandes. It has a great storyline, good writing and plot development as well as good characterization. Romanov is told through the point of view of Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, about the last days of the Romanov family. This novel also contains an alternative ending to what may have happened to the family. So kudos to the author for creativity.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes falls into not only the historical fiction genre, but the young adult genre as well. There is also strong romance elements contained within Romanov, which made for a fun read.

Below is the plot summary for Romanov by Nadine Brandes from Audible:
My name is Anastasia.... The history books say I died.... They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are either to release the spell and deal with the consequences, or to enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad...and he’s on the other.
I am giving Romanov by Nadine Brandes a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer

 


I finished listening to the unabridged audio version of Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer in August of this year. The contents presented within Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town made my skin crawl and my blood boil. I knew going in that this nonfiction book was going to be a rough read based on the topic of rape. But just how rough was an entirely different matter altogether.

Rape is such an ugly crime. It’s also one of the most unreported violent crimes (if not the number one unreported violent crime) in the United States. To make matters worse, rapes that are reported rarely make it to trial. Additionally, women between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most likely demographic to be be raped. Other statistics regarding rape are simply appalling as well.

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town is the first book I've read by Jon Krakauer. It is a well written book. I enjoyed how the content was presented and look forward to reading more books written by Jon Krakauer.

Below is a summary for Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer from the author's website:
Missoula, Montana, is a typical college town, home to a highly regarded state university whose beloved football team inspires a passionately loyal fan base. Between January 2008 and May 2012, hundreds of students reported sexual assaults to the local police. Few of the cases were properly handled by either the university or local authorities. In this, Missoula is also typical.

In these pages, acclaimed journalist Jon Krakauer investigates a spate of campus rapes that occurred in Missoula over a four-year period. Taking the town as a case study for a crime that is sadly prevalent throughout the nation, Krakauer documents the experiences of five victims: their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the skepticism directed at them by police, prosecutors, and the public; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them. These stories cut through abstract ideological debate about acquaintance rape to demonstrate that it does not happen because women are sending mixed signals or seeking attention. They are victims of a terrible crime, deserving of fairness from our justice system. Rigorously researched, rendered in incisive prose, Missoula stands as an essential call to action.
I am giving Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I've Read With Super Long Book Titles


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Top 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.


Below are 10 books I've read with super long book titles.


1. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

5. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

6. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

7. The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts by Siân Rees

8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

9. The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World by Greg King and Sue Woolmans

10. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch

Monday, October 12, 2020

George by Alex Gino

 


BE WHO YOU ARE. 


I read George by Alex Gino for Banned Books Week 
last month as this middle school
novel has been the number one banned book in recent years.

George by Alex Gino is a phenomenal novel!
The writing is marvelous, poignant, and timely. 
The storyline is very engaging.
I love the characters for this novel.
George by Alex Gino deals with LGBTQ themes.
In fact, many of the top ten most recently challenged books
have LGBTQ themes to them.

Below is the summary for George by Alex Gino from Goodreads:

BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.

George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part... because she's a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte—but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

I am giving George by Alex Gino a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

2020 Third Quarter Reading Update!!!


Dear Blog Readers, I  know I’ve been missing in action lately and not posting frequently to my blog since the end of August through September.... Or leaving comments on posts made by favorite bloggers lately. 

I’ve been experiencing an increase in pain due to my crps, so I have backed off writing and posting book reviews and reviews of recent virtual events I’ve attended, etc. the past six weeks or so.

I’m hoping to catch up on my book reviews soon. Hope you are all doing well and staying safe from COVID-19!

I set my 2020 Reading Goals on December 31st of 2019 as follows:
My goal is to read 52 books in 2020. All 52 books to be read will come from my current 'to be read' pile. No specific titles at this time have been decided upon. However, I do plan to read 13 books that I've acquired through Goodreads Giveaways, 13 books that I acquired prior to May 2014, and the 26 remaining books will be chosen at random from my 'tbr' pile... These could be books added  to my collection after May 2014, more of my older books acquired prior to May 2014, or more books I acquired through Goodreads Giveaways.
I've read 44 books so far this year.

Here's the break down of my reading so far in 2020.

Goodreads Giveaways books as follow:

1. Where the Lost Girls Go by R. J. Noonan
2. The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel
3. A Killer Kebab by Susannah Hardy
4. The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness by Jill Filipovic
5. The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman
6. Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West
7. Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper
8. The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman
9. The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama 
10. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Books read that were acquired prior to May 2014 as follows:

1. You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam
2. The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship by Joanna Burger
3. The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee
4. The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
5. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke

Books read that were acquired May 2014 or later as follows:

1. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
2. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson
3. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
4. Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani
5. Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole
6. Smaller and Smaller Circles by F. H. Batacan
7. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
8. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
9. Becoming by Michelle Obama
10. The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates with Linda Schatz
11. Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke
12. Dearly Depotted by Kate Collins
13. Snipped in the Bud by Kate Collins
14. Night of the Living Dandelion by Kate Collins
15. Conversations With Black: 13 People, 1 Body by Bill Puett, Ph.D.
16. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
17. The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg
18. Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens
19. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
20. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
21. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
22. The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull
23. 
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
24. George by Alex Gino 
25. Romanov by Nadine Brandes 

How is your year of reading going? I hope you have read many great books to date!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 12 Favorite Bookish/Reading Quotes!



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.

I have posted various bookish/reading quotes over the past 10+ years to my book blog. Here are some of my favorite quotes. Enjoy!!












Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull



I learned about The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull in July through BookClubbish as this novel was their August book club selection. I loved attending their online book club meet up in July via Facebook Live, so figured why not read their August book club selection?

I love reading historical fiction novels and The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull fit the bill in spades on this front. Also, the idea of reading a novel about the Windsors, Vanderbilts, and a royal scandal sounded intriguing to me. 

The Woman Before Wallis is Bryn Turnbull's debut novel. It's a really well written book and deeply engaging from start to finish. I truly enjoyed reading more about the life of Lady Thelma Furness. Lady Thelma Furness was kind of like the Kim Kardashian of her day... Famous for being famous. 

Lady Thelma Furness was an American who married and had a son with Lord Duke Furness. She later became the mistress of King Edward VIII while he was still the Prince of Wales, prior to his relationship to Wallis Simpson. 

In addition to that, Lady Thelma Furness's twin sister, Gloria, was married to Reggie Vanderbilt. Gloria Vanderbilt became the mother of 'Little Gloria' who was later to become a fashion designer and mother to Anderson Cooper. Gloria Vanderbilt (senior) later became embroiled in the infamous child custody of the 20th century, which ended in her losing custody of her daughter ‘Little Gloria’ to her sister-in-law.

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull skillfully weaves these two stories together... And what an engaging story it is. In some ways it may seem like a love story between Lady Thelma Furness and the Prince of Wales, but is really a testimony of the love and loyalty between sisters.

Below is the plot summary for The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull from GoodReads:
This novel is the fictionalized story of the American divorcée who captured Prince Edward’s heart before he abdicated his throne for Wallis Simpson.

In the summer of 1926, when Thelma Morgan marries Viscount Duke Furness after a whirlwind romance, she’s immersed in a gilded world of extraordinary wealth and privilege. For Thelma, the daughter of an American diplomat, her new life as a member of the British aristocracy is like a fairy tale—even more so when her husband introduces her to Edward, Prince of Wales.

In a twist of fate, her marriage to Duke leads her to fall headlong into a love affair with Edward. But happiness is fleeting, and their love is threatened when Thelma’s sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, becomes embroiled in a scandal with far-reaching implications. As Thelma sails to New York to support Gloria, she leaves Edward in the hands of her trusted friend Wallis, never imagining the consequences that will follow.
I am giving The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

CELEBRATE INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY 2020 VIRTUALLY THIS YEAR!!

I discovered a good article online through Book Riot's website titled, CELEBRATE INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY 2020 VIRTUALLY: FOUR MEANINGFUL THINGS YOU CAN DO FROM HOME by Stacey Megally. In the article, Stacey Megally wrote the following:

If you love indie bookshops as much as I do, then Independent Bookstore Day might as well be your birthday. It’s a gift, after all, to spend the day wandering around your favorite indie bookstores with all the other book nerds out there, browsing and stocking up on new stories to dive into.

Independent Bookstore Day 2020 has been rescheduled from April to August 29 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but if you’re still social distancing, don’t worry: there are plenty of ways to celebrate virtually. In fact, you might even find that shopping from home opens up a world of possibilities for finding, supporting, and interacting with indie bookstores you might never have known about otherwise.

So, grab your laptop and TBR list and get ready for an unforgettable Independent Bookstore Day 2020.

So, click on the above link to discover four meaningful things you can do at home to support your favorite indie bookstores!!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Today is the 75th Anniversary of Animal Farm by George Orwell

I have never read Animal Farm by George Orwell. Maybe it is time that I make reading this classic novel a done deal!

Have you read Animal Farm by George Orwell? If you have read Animal Farm by George Orwell, what did you think of it?

By the way, I came across an interesting article on Mental Floss's website titled, 10 Facts About George Orwell's Animal Farm by Lucas Aykroyd. In the article, Lucas Aykroyd wrote the following:
On August 17, 1945, legendary British author George Orwell—who also penned 1984—published Animal Farm, a satirical allegory of Soviet Russia featuring animals who revolt against the farmer Mr. Jones and wind up in a pig-led Communist dictatorship. Orwell called Animal Farm “the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.” It went on to find a spot on many school reading lists and cracked top-100 novel lists by Modern Library and TIME. 
Click the very top link to learn 10 facts about George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

How to open a bookstore during a pandemic!

 I just came across an article on Literary Hub's website titled, How to open a bookstore during a pandemic: Prepare for delays and lots of cleaning. by Corinne Segal. In the article, Corinne Segal wrote the following:

What logistical difficulties have you faced during this process, and how have you been able to address them?

Closures and delays have affected all businesses. From huge delays at the post office to shutdowns affecting key vendors, it was a challenge to align the pieces correctly to queue ourselves up for a successful opening. In our new reality, there’s also the added complexity of ensuring all the correct safety measures are in place to protect customers and staff. We’re closely following the guidance provided by the governor for retail businesses, with an emphasis on regular disinfecting and sanitizing throughout the store. With that being said, we have an incredible team that has worked diligently to keep the business running on all fronts.

Personally, I can't imagine opening any new brick and mortar store during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it's wonderful to see indie bookstores, like The Strand, thriving during this time.

Click on the first link to read the entire article.

Friday, August 14, 2020

The Brontes vs. Jane Austen: A conversation with Finola Austin & Natalie Jenner Hosted by Wellington Square Bookshop

Yesterday evening from 4-5:30pm, I enjoyed watching another live author event hosted by Wellington Square Bookshop titled, The Brontes vs. Jane Austen: A conversation with Finola Austin & Natalie Jenner.

This was a lovely author event to view, especially for fans of Jane Austen and the Brontes!!

The event description described The Brontes vs. Jane Austen: A conversation with Finola Austin & Natalie Jenner author event as follows: 

Two Books, Two Authors: Bronte's Mistress by Finola Austin & The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Finola and Natalie will discuss:

• Branwell Bronte's scandalous affair with an older woman, which inspired Finola's novel Bronte's Mistress

• What inspired Natalie to fictionalize the story of the Jane Austen Society's origins in her novel, The Jane Austen Society

• Their favorite (and least favorite) Austen and Bronte novels

• What drew them to the Brontes and Austen, and whether they'd ever consider going over to the other side.

 Have attended any online author events lately?

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Online Author Event with T. Jefferson Parker & Glen Erik Hamilton Hosted by Murder by the Book

 

Tuesday evening, I attended another wonderful online virtual author event featuring T. Jefferson Parker & Glen Erik Hamilton talking about their newly released novels, Then She Vanished and A Dangerous Breed. This event was hosted live on Facebook by independent bookstore, Murder by the Book. In addition, to learning about the new novels written by each author, I learned how each author deals with writers block and so on.

I became interested in this live event because I'd previously read a novel written by Glen Erik Hamilton, which I enjoyed immensely. I don't believe I've read anything written by T. Jefferson Parker before... However, after hearing T. Jefferson Parker speak, I now want to read one of his novels too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Another New to Me Little Free Library Find in Walnut Creek, California


This cute Little Free Library in Walnut Creek,

California was a bit tricky to find. We almost didn't find it!

I'm glad we did find it though. It's cute, long, and narrow.

I left behind one book, but didn't take one home with me as I

have way too many books to read as it is.

Have you visited any Little Free Libraries lately?

Walnut Creek Little Free Library Find!!

 

Over the weekend, my husband and I
discovered three new to us Little Free Libraries!
This one was found in Walnut Creek, California
and was my favorite one to find. I think the stained
glass looks beautiful and makes this Little Free
Library unique.

I left two books and didn't take any home with me.

Have you found any Little Free Libraries lately?

Monday, August 10, 2020

Little Free Library Find in Lafayette, California

It's been a while since I've found any new to me Little Free Libraries. Yesterday morning though, my husband and I found this cute Little Free Library in Lafayette, California. This particular Little Free Library was off the beaten path in a more rural residential area with larger amounts of land between properties. We almost missed spotting this Little Free Library. 

Glad we found this Little Free Library!! I left three books behind, but didn't take any home with me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Books with Colors In the Titles


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.

Below are ten book titles with a color(s) in them that I would like to read. I either have these books in my possession already waiting to be read or the books are on my wishlist of books to acquire and read.

1. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
2. The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee
3. The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons
4. Rose Gold by Walter Mosley
5 Twelve Red Herrings by Jeffrey Arher
6. The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
7. White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages
8. The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
9. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
10. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

Have you read any of the books in my top ten post? If so, what did you think of the book(s)?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Virtual book launch for Unspeakable Acts by Sarah Weinman in conversation with Casey Cep




Yesterday, I attended another virtual author event!!

I finished reading Sarah Weinman's book
The Real Lolita this past Saturday. Later that same day, I learned through Ms. Weinman's website that she was coming out with 
a new true crime book titled, Unspeakable Acts
which was published yesterday. 

Independent bookstore Books Are Magic was hosting the book launch for Unspeakable Acts. So I was able to hear Sarah Weinman in conversation with author, Casey Cep, via Zoom. 
This was the first time I used Zoom, which I found easy to use.

Whoop, whoop, what a fun virtual event to attend!!
I enjoyed the dialogue between both authors. I am so glad that
I decided to attend this free, hour long online event.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - FREEBIE - My Top Ten Favorite Nonfiction Books About Animals



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.

I enjoy reading nonfiction books about animals. Below are ten books I've really enjoyed reading about animals in recent years.

1. Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior by Temple Grandin
2. Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence—and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene M. Pepperberg
3. Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien
4. The Parrot Who Owned Me
: The Story of a Relationship by Joanna Burger
5. Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean by Jackson Galaxy
6. Grayson by Lynne Cox
7. Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs by Caroline Knapp
8 The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
9. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: A Love Story . . . with Wings by Mark Bittner
10. Making the Rounds with Oscar: The Inspirational Story of a Doctor, His Patients and a Very Special Cat by Dr. David Dosa

Please share with me a few of your favorite nonfiction books about animals in the comment section below as I'm always on the look out for good books!!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman



I read the advanced reader's paperback edition of The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman, which I received for FREE through the Goodreads Giveaway program. 

Below is my honest, unbiased review of The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman.

I enjoy reading true crime books and nonfiction books about other books. So with this in mind, I wanted to read The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman. The irony is that I've yet to read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I hope to read this classic novel some day... Hopefully sooner rather than later. 

The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman combines the true crime genre by chronicling the kidnapping and rape of 11 year old Sally Horner, who was held for almost 2 years by her abductor, Frank La Salle. This book goes on to additionally discuss Vladimir Nabakov's life and his writing of Lolita. Sarah Weinman makes a very compelling case that Nabokov's novel, Lolita, was inspired by the events surrounding Sally Horner's abduction, rape, etc. and sets out to uncover "how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita."

I really enjoyed reading The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman. In fact, I was pretty impressed with Weinman's writing overall in that it kept me captivated throughout the entire book from start to finish. I also liked the way in which Ms. Weinman organized her book to keep her readers riveted. Additionally, I found The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman to be a quick read.

Below is a summary for The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman from Amazon:

“The Real Lolita is a tour de force of literary detective work. Not only does it shed new light on the terrifying true saga that influenced Nabokov’s masterpiece, it restores the forgotten victim to our consciousness.” —David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon
Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet, very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner.
Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner’s full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, public records, and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman uncovers how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita.
Sally Horner’s story echoes the stories of countless girls and women who never had the chance to speak for themselves. By diving deeper in the publication history of Lolita and restoring Sally to her rightful place in the lore of the novel’s creation, The Real Lolita casts a new light on the dark inspiration for a modern classic.
I am giving The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Read With BookClubbish: Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West - Online Event via Facebook Live



This morning, I took part in my first online book club organized by BookClubbish. This event was hosted through 'Facebook Live' via BookClubbish's Facebook page.

I read and reviewed Saving Ruby West by Catherine Adel West earlier this month. Shortly after posting my review of Saving Ruby West, I learned that BookClubbish's JULY’S BOOK CLUB PICK: SAVING RUBY KING BY CATHERINE ADEL WEST was happening! So, I decided to participate in this online book club as I recently read and thoroughly enjoyed reading Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West.

I am so glad that I decided to watch this 'Facebook Live' book club event! 

I learned it took Catherine Adel West 5 years to write Saving Ruby King. I also learned that the character of Jackson was based partly on the author's father. The author's favorite character in her book was Calvary Church, which also happens to be my favorite character from Saving Ruby King. Lebanon was the easiest character for the Catherine Adel West to write. Ruby's perspective was the most difficult character to write for the author.

I also enjoyed learning what inspired the author to write Saving Ruby King. Catherine Adel West was originally going to write a short story, but decided to write a novel instead based on another person's suggestion. She talks about how the novel evolved, which was cool to hear. But it sounds like Catherine Adel West was mainly inspired by circumstances in her life and in her community when it came to actually writing Saving Ruby King.

Catherine Adel West is working on two projects currently. She's expanding the Ruby King universe. I'm looking forward to reading more by Ms. West.

I also learned that Catherine Adel West was inspired by many writers like James Baldwin, Charles Dickens, Richard Wright, Octavia Butler, Dean Koontz, and William Shakespeare to name a few. I also learned her influence for writing dialogue comes from movies and television.

So have you attended any book club meetings online recently? How'd you like it?

Monday, July 20, 2020

Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper


I received a review paperback copy of Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper through the Goodreads Giveaway program. 

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper.

Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper is the fourth novel in Molly Harper's 'A Southern Eclectic' series. I've read two previous works written by the author, but this is the first novel I've read that is part of Harper's 'A Southern Eclectic' series. 

Although, I found Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper to be a good summertime beach read, it just didn't have the depth of feeling I would have liked to make this a better read for me. The plot, storyline, and characters are good, but as I already mentioned there is lacking that little bit of something extra to make this novel great... For instance, the humor was entertaining, but wasn't as funny as I thought it could. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading this contemporary work of fiction. I highly doubt I'll read the rest of the novels in the 'A Southern Eclectic' series by Molly Harper. 

Below is the plot summary for Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper from Amazon:
An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet - but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.

Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything - but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.

Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another - which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.

Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden...a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?

Frankie has other questions that need answering first - namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff - and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.
I am giving Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!