Journey to the Center of the Earth is one of literature’s earliest works of science fiction. It vividly animates a fantastical subterranean world as an intrepid crew, led by the eccentric Otto Lidenbrock, traverses the planet’s core and its various bizarre obstacles: giant mushrooms and insects, a herd of mastodons, prehistoric humans, a treacherous pit of magma, and more.
Tim Curry, narrator of the customer favorite A Christmas Carol, returns for an encore performance that delivers a range of distinct character voices and captures the energy and enthusiasm of a time when scientific exploration was a brand new adventure.
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Friday, April 16, 2021
Told with a lyrical, almost-dreamlike voice as intoxicating as the moonflowers and orchids that inhabit this world, Monsoon Mansion is a harrowing yet triumphant coming-of-age memoir exploring the dark, troubled waters of a family’s rise and fall from grace in the Philippines. It would take a young warrior to survive it.
Cinelle Barnes was barely three years old when her family moved into Mansion Royale, a stately ten-bedroom home in the Philippines. Filled with her mother’s opulent social aspirations and the gloriously excessive evidence of her father’s self-made success, it was a girl’s storybook playland. But when a monsoon hits, her father leaves, and her mother’s terrible lover takes the reins, Cinelle’s fantastical childhood turns toward tyranny she could never have imagined. Formerly a home worthy of magazines and lavish parties, Mansion Royale becomes a dangerous shell of the splendid palace it had once been.
In this remarkable ode to survival, Cinelle creates something magical out of her truth - underscored by her complicated relationship with her mother. Through a tangle of tragedy and betrayal emerges a revelatory journey of perseverance and strength, of grit and beauty, and of coming to terms with the price of family - and what it takes to grow up.
I also came across this YouTube video of Cinelle Barnes being interviewed by Nia Ita.
I am giving Monsoon Mansion by Cinelle Barnes a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
|1072 Ocho Rios Drive, Danville, California 94526|
|1056 Westridge Avenue, Danville CA 94526|
|2128 Estrella Court, San Ramon CA 94583|
Sunday, April 11, 2021
In the Old West, murder is a way of life. But psychic detective Ophelia Wylde is dealing out her own brand of justice by talking to the victims . . . after they’re dead.
Ghost In The Machine
It’s one of the strangest trials in Colorado history. A “spirit photographer” is accused of fraud, and Ophelia Wylde agrees to examine the man’s ghostly portraits and testify in court. In a sealed room, she is presented with five photographs. Four are obvious fakes. But one photo—featuring a powerful politician, Jackson Miles, with a sorrowful ghost in chains behind his shoulder—is the real McCoy. When Ophelia makes contact, the spirit is in such agony that she’s unable to learn anything but his name: Angus Wright. Intrigued, Ophelia sets out to learn more about the wronged Mr. Wright and discovers he was murdered nearly twenty years ago during the Gold Rush. The politician is somehow involved, and Ophelia has to watch her step. Because the living are much more dangerous than the dead . . .
Saturday, April 10, 2021
I ended up enjoying the audio version of The Ranger, and Other Stories by Zane Grey and narrated by Robert G. Slade. There are a total of four short stories in this collection, which include the following stories: "The Ranger", "Canyon Walls", "Avalanche", and "From Missouri". Both "Avalanche" and "From Missouri" were my two favorite short stories.
Four tales of love and adventure in the Old West introduce a cast of characters that includes a brave Texas ranger who risks his life against avenging outlaws to rescue the woman he secretly loves; a beautiful seductress who comes between two brothers; a desperate fugitive who seeks sanctuary with a peace-loving people; and a daring young schoolteacher who journeys West to meet the man who has captured her heart.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Yes, to finally reading something written by T. C. Boyle!! He's been on my radar for more than a decade now
La Conchita by T. C. Boyle is a short story set along the central coast of California between the cities of Ventura and Carpinteria in the hamlet of La Conchita, California.
Gordon is a delivery driver with a predilection toward road rage, and he's on the most important delivery of his life. In Santa Barbara there's a mother of three on life support waiting for Gordon, waiting for the liver he's transporting from Los Angeles. But there's a mudslide, and cars are being swept away, people being buried in the sludge. And Gordon, who's as far from a hero as they come, has to find a way to get the liver to Santa Barbara.I am giving La Conchita by T. C. Boyle a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars!
Until my next post, happy reading!
Friday, April 2, 2021
In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.
“That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”
Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her―a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.
The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Happy National Poetry Month! I found this video of Sir Michael Caine reading his favorite poem 'If' by Rudyard Kipling and thought I'd share it to kick of National Poetry Month.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Chaucer's Books Virtual Author Event ~ Monty's Marvelous Adventures by Dori Edwards and Illustrator, Ryan Carr
I lived in the Santa Barbara area for 16 years with my husband. We were members of the Santa Barbara Zoo off and on for years when we lived there... And what a spectacular, small zoo it is!! We always enjoyed seeing the animals and exhibits along with attending various zoo events. The Santa Barbara Zoo has ocean views and overlooks the Andree Clark Bird Refuge... It's a lovely place to visit.
Since moving to San Francisco's East Bay Area nearly 7 years ago, I have followed the Santa Barbara Zoo through their Facebook page and have enjoyed keeping up with what has been going on there.
During the pandemic, the Santa Barbara Zoo has been uploading short videos of Monty, the penguin, exploring the zoo on foot with his caretakers and the adventures he has had. These videos have been absolutely fabulous to watch and have become a huge hit with viewers.
So, eventually, a children's book about Monty's adventures at the Santa Barbara was created by author, Dory Edwards and illustrator, Ryan Carr.
On Sunday, March 28th, Dory Edwards and Ryan Carr each spoke about their collaboration on Monty's Marvelous Adventures and the current projects they are each working on now. Dory Edwards even read her book, Monty's Marvelous Adventures, aloud during the event... And it's a really cute children's book with a great message about celebrating our difference, but also how we're really all alike!
Best yet, was a very special appearance made by Monty live during this event with his caretakers from the Santa Barbara Zoo. The zoo staff spoke about Monty. What a fun event!
Below is a short video I discovered on YouTube promoting Monty and the book written about his adventures at the Santa Barbara Zoo!
Monday, March 29, 2021
Join National Book Award-winning Anishinaabe author Louise Erdrich for a conversation about Native American civic engagement on the page and in the world. She will discuss her own experiences with activism, whether through writing about or mobilizing in support of causes close to her heart. She will also describe how those experiences have influenced her fiction, especially her most recent book, The Night Watchman.
This program was funded by the “Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
I enjoyed hearing Louise Erdrich speak, especially about her latest novel, The Night Watchman, her writing, and the q & a between audience members and the author. There wasn't enough discussion about the topic of voting for my liking, but a good event overall.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs
I chose to listen to the unabridged audio version of The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs after hearing the author, along with Dr. Shirley N. Weber (California Secretary of State) speak at a virtual author event earlier this month on International Women's Day.
I was intrigued by what Anna Malaika Tubbs shared with viewers during the virtual author event and also by the title of her newly published book. Motherhood is an important topic and women do shape the lives of future generations to come. Additionally, I enjoyed the idea of learning more about how three specific mothers shaped the lives of three important American Civil Rights leaders of the 20th century. So, with this in mind, I decided to read Anna Malaika Tubbs' book, The Three Mothers, this month during Women's History Month.
I was not disappointed!! The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the lives of Berdis Baldwin, Louise Little, and Alberta King. I also enjoyed learning more about the lives of their sons and the relationship each woman had with her son, along with more information about black history and black motherhood within the USA.
Listening time for The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs is 6 hours, 51 minutes and is narrated by the author.
Below is the summary for The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs from Audible:
Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin's son James, about Alberta King's son Martin Luther, and Louise Little's son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them.
In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of the three women who raised and shaped some of America's most pivotal heroes.
Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King, and Louise Little were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women. These three extraordinary women passed their knowledge to their children with the hope of helping them to survive in a society that would deny their humanity from the very beginning - from Louise teaching her children about their activist roots, to Berdis encouraging James to express himself through writing, to Alberta basing all of her lessons in faith and social justice. These women used their strength and motherhood to push their children toward greatness, all with a conviction that every human being deserves dignity and respect despite the rampant discrimination they faced.
These three mothers taught resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people to their sons, even when these beliefs flew in the face of America’s racist practices and led to ramifications for all three families’ safety. The fight for equal justice and dignity came above all else for the three mothers.
These women, their similarities and differences, as individuals and as mothers, represent a piece of history left untold and a celebration of Black motherhood long overdue.
I am giving The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.
Until my next post, happy reading!
Monday, March 22, 2021
More than twenty years ago, Carola Dunn introduced to the world the charming, vivacious and perspicacious Daisy Dalrymple and the tumultuous decade of the 1920s, in an England barely starting to recover from World War I and now undergoing rapid social changes.
In early 1923, the young Honourable Daisy Dalrymple has made a decision that shocks her social class-instead of living in the Dower House with her mother and being supported by her relatives, she's decided to make her own living as a writer. Landing an assignment for Town & Country to write a series of articles on country manor houses, Daisy travels to Wentwater Court to research her first piece. There she finds a household in turmoil, filled with holiday guests and recriminations. But that's nothing compared to the uproar when one of those guests drowns in a tragic early-morning skating "accident." When it is learned that this was anything but accidental, Scotland Yard is called in and a young Chief Inspector, one Alec Fletcher, is called in to investigate. And therein hangs a tale...
A series with all the charm of the classic golden age mysteries with the kind of full-blooded, three dimensional characters that define the best of modern mystery, the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries have been a favorite for more than two decades. Now, with this reissue, readers can enjoy it from the very beginning.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Sometimes you have to return to the place where you began, to arrive at the place where you belong.
It’s the early 1970s. The town of Ringgold, Georgia, has a population of 1,923, one traffic light, one Dairy Queen, and one Catherine Grace Cline. The daughter of Ringgold’s third-generation Baptist preacher, Catherine Grace is quick-witted, more than a little stubborn, and dying to escape her small-town life.
Every Saturday afternoon, she sits at the Dairy Queen, eating Dilly Bars and plotting her getaway to Atlanta. And when, with the help of a family friend, the dream becomes a reality, she immediately packs her bags, leaving her family and the boy she loves to claim the life she’s always imagined. But before things have even begun to get off the ground in Atlanta, tragedy brings Catherine Grace back home. As a series of extraordinary events alter her perspective--and sweeping changes come to Ringgold itself--Catherine Grace begins to wonder if her place in the world may actually be, against all odds, right where she began.
Intelligent, charming, and utterly readable, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen marks the debut of a talented new literary voice.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Here is the timeless story of Mary Poppins, the world's favorite nanny, and her magical adventures with the Banks family.I am giving Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.
Mary Poppins is like no other nanny the Banks children have ever seen. It all starts when their new nanny is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house, carrying a parrot-headed umbrella and a magic carpetbag. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!
Until my next post, happy reading!!
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Lottery, and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson and narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Gabrielle de Cuir, Kathe Mazur, and Stefan Rudnicki.
A powerful collection of short stories by Shirley Jackson.
"The Lottery," one of the most terrifying stories of the twentieth century, created a sensation when it was first published in the New Yorker. "Powerful and haunting," and "nights of unrest" were typical reader responses. This collection, the only one to appear during Jackson's lifetime, unites "The Lottery" with 24 equally unusual stories. Together they demonstrate her remarkable range - from the hilarious to the truly horrible - and power as a storyteller.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
1. Simon Vance
2. Will Patton
3. Stefan Rudnicki
4. Bahni Turpin
5. Angela Dawe
6. Cassandra Campbell
7. Jayne Entwistle
8. Juanita McMahon
9. Juliet Mills
10. Ralph Cosham
Monday, March 8, 2021
Happy International Women’s Day! Join First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom for a virtual discussion on the role of motherhood in society and social movements TODAY at 1:30 pm!
Special guests include Dr. Shirley N. Weber, the first African American California Secretary of State, and Anna Malaika Tubbs, author of the book “The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation.” Both guests’ achievements are highlighted in updates for Women’s History Month to our signature exhibit “Women Inspire: California Women Changing Our World,” which will be featured in today’s livestream.
Sunday, March 7, 2021
I enjoyed watching another short YouTube video from AbeBooks on how to identify first editions when published books may not always state that they are first editions... Plus, a couple of other resources were given in this video as well.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Friday, March 5, 2021
Thursday, March 4, 2021
I enjoyed listening to the unabridged audio version of City of Illusions by Ursula K. Le Guin and narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
City of Illusions is the first novel I've ever read by Ursula K. Le Guin!! It was first published in 1967 and is the third novel in Le Guin's 'Hainish Cycle' series. Initially, I didn't know City of Illusions was part of a series when I downloaded it to my iPad from Audible. I simply chose this novel because I'd been wanting to read a novel by Ursula K. Le Guin for quite a while and also because the plot sounded alluring.
I've heard great things about Ursula K. Le Guin's writing and novels in general, which is why I chose to read one of her novels. However, I do not read a lot of science fiction or fantasy novels. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a novel published 54 years ago and also from a genre I normally do not read. Long story short, I was blown away by City of Illusions by the time I was finished listening to it yesterday afternoon. City of Illusions is an excellent read! Other than a few minor issues, I enjoyed reading this novel from start to finish. Additionally, I didn't feel like I missed anything by not reading the first two novels in the 'Hainish Cycle' series before reading City of Illusions. The characters, plot development, storyline, and writing were all well done.
He is a full-grown man, alone in dense forest, with no trail to show where he has come from and no memory to tell who or what he is. His eyes are not the eyes of a human. The forest people take him in and raise him almost as a child, teaching him to speak, training him in forest lore, giving him all the knowledge they have. But they could not solve the riddle of his past, and at last he has to set out on a perilous quest to find his true self - and a universe of danger.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
The Committed: Viet Thanh Nguyen on Betrayal & Belonging. Viet Thanh Nguyen In Conversation with Laila Lalami.
Yesterday was the release date for Viet Thanh Nguyen's new novel, The Committed, which is the sequel to The Sympathizer.
I am very interested in reading both The Sympathizer & The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen. I watched a live virtual author event last night hosted by the Bay Area Book Festival featuring Viet Thanh Nguyen in conversation with Laila Lalami from 7-8pm Pacific Time. I really enjoyed listening to this author event and learning more about The Committed and why Viet Thanh Nguyen chose to write a sequel to The Sympathizer among many other topics discussed!
I look forward to receiving an autographed copy of The Committed in the mail shortly!
Monday, March 1, 2021
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the '30s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and ultimately, their lives.
English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband, Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby - the artistic, female-dominated Tam - he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone's control.
Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.
I enjoyed watching the following video of Lily King discussing her novel, Euphoria.
Monday, February 22, 2021
Professor Louis Moore’s audiobook about the history of African Americans in sports in the United States educates listeners about the fascinating social and cultural history of the nation. For example, integration of major league and professional sports broke a major color barrier for one of the first times in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement. African American athletes competed in America long before the 20th century - in fact, they even competed during the years of slavery.
Hear how the struggles and triumphs of these and other African American sports stars opened doors for professional players who came to dominate their fields, including Serena Williams and Michael Jordan. Learn about the founding of Black sports leagues during the years of segregation, how the Great Migration reshaped athletics in America, and how African American athletes balanced their athletic success with the everyday reality of racism and became engines of social change. While sports helped level the playing field in many ways, Black athletes still grapple with the legacy of inequality in America today.
- Boxer Tom Molineaux, who fought for the entertainment of slave masters, went on to earn his freedom, and then became a professional fighter and trainer
- Champion boxer Jack Johnson
- High jumper Rose Robinson
- Track star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens
- Baseball legend Jackie Robinson
- Decathlon gold-medalist Rafer Johnson
- The first female African American Olympians, Tidye Picket and Louise Stokes
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
Discover the inside story of the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of one of its most iconic figures, Congressman John Lewis. March is the award-winning, #1 bestselling graphic novel trilogy recounting his life in the movement, co-written with Andrew Aydin and drawn by Nate Powell. This commemorative set contains all three volumes of March in a beautiful slipcase.
#1 New York Times and Washington Post Bestseller
First graphic novel to receive a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
Winner of the Eisner Award
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
One of YALSA's Outstanding Books for the College Bound
One of Reader's Digest's Graphic Novels Every Grown-Up Should Read
I am giving March (Trilogy Slipcase Edition) by John Lewis a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
Until my next post, happy reading!!
P. S. One of my reading goals for 2021 is to read five trilogies... One trilogy down, four more trilogies left to read!
Sunday, February 14, 2021
I was able to download the ebook edition of Real Men Howl by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix to my Kindle app from Amazon for FREE.
Below is honest, unbiased review of Real Men Howl by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix.
Real Men Howl by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix is a paranormal romance novel and is the first novel in the 'Real Men Shift' series. Real Men Howl features werewolves... And even though I found Real Men Howl by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix to be predictable and formulaic in many ways, I enjoyed the writing, the characters and the feisty main character, Lucy Morgan.
So if you're looking for a hot, paranormal romance novel with some sizzle, then Real Men Howl by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix may be the read for you.
Below is a summary for Real Men Howl by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix from Goodreads:
Mason’s inner wolf will go crazy without her. Lucy thinks he’s already crazy. Werewolves aren’t real. Right?
Lucy Morgan left Ashtown, Georgia, ten years ago and planned to never return. Unfortunately, life didn’t get that memo. She’s back and now painful memories follow her everywhere. Until she meets him. Mason Blackwood is over six feet of sinfully gorgeous man who—for some reason—wants her. He also thinks he’s a werewolf so… yeah. He’s crazypants. But when he wants to have his wicked way with her, his sanity doesn’t seem all that important anymore.
Mason isn’t sure how much longer he can remain Alpha over the Blackwood pack. Without a mate to balance him, his wolf snatches more control every day. It won’t be long before he loses himself to the animal entirely. Then he meets Lucy—a sassy, curvaceous beauty who calms his beast with a smile. One sniff is enough to tell him she’s his mate, and nothing will keep them apart.
Not even the pack’s deadliest enemy who’s determined to kill Lucy before Mason can claim her.
I wasn't sure whether to give Real Men Howl by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix a rating of 3 or 4 stars. I decided to be generous and give Real Men Howl by Celia Kyle & Marina Maddix a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.
Until my next post, happy reading!!