WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday May 9, 2018

It’s Wednesday! In May the weeks seem far too long as summer is not officially upon us and every single week is crammed full of activities and end of the school year shenanigans. So, I fall deeper in love with Wednesday as this is the day that rolls us closer to the weekend and summer.

WWW

Sam generously continues to host the WWW Wednesday meme which gives us all a chance to get organized. Please check out her website and all the other fantastic WWW lists. So, without further adieu….


What did I just finish reading?

 

My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris is an adult, Victorian romance themed, choose your own adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed it and you can read my full review here.

Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead is an all ages read that had me smiling on full beam. I loved Bob and Livvy and you can read my full review here.

I also finished BatmanNightwalker by Marie Lu. Marie wrote Batman true to character and filled the book with interesting sidekicks, friends and foes. However, I must admit, I really do not like Batman. I find him deeply annoying. His parent’s death aside, he needs additional therapy for his inability to believe that a gorgeous woman could be capable of evil deeds. Pretty ladies get him every single time and it makes me want to bat-slap him. However, if this doesn’t bother you about Batman you might enjoy this story. Nightwalker finds Bruce at the end of his high school experience stepping into his role in Wayne Enterprises (and into his slick Bat-suit.).


What am I Currently Reading?

I think the more important question might be, “Have I lost my mind?” Actually, I seem to have lost my attention span. I am struggling to get through The Book of Joy even though it is excellent. It has a lot of deep thoughts and rather than speed through them all I am challenging myself to slow down and absorb the wisdom. Therefore, I decided to read just one chapter a day.

The same is true of all the other books on this list with the exception of Good in Bed. Each of these books is proving to be a unique and interesting book that I have gotten sucked into one chapter at a time. Check back next week to see if this weird attention problem proves to help or hinder my reading log. Good in Bed is just a cute romance someone recommended to me that I am burning through right before bed.


What do I plan to read next?

The only firm plans I have is to get my Sunday Comics back on track. So I have these two graphic novels sitting at the ready!


Tell me, please!

Have you read any of my books? And, how excited are you for the longer days of summer?!

all ages · Fantasy · fiction

Bob by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass

One of my 2018 challenges was to not purchase any books until I had read my already owned whole shelf of books. I did really well in January and February and then fell off the wagon….hard. I wrote down my newly purchased books for some of March but then I just couldn’t even keep track. Now I am not even trying. Recently, I went into Barnes and Noble to wander around (the lie all book lovers tell themselves upon entering a book store). I stumbled across an a few must-purchase books and I could not resist the sweet premise of Bob by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass.

BobFive years ago Olivia (Livy to her friends) visited her Gran in Australia. Now that she is back she can’t help but feel that she is forgetting something. Something really, really important. Maybe it is the little green man dressed in a handmade chicken suit hiding in her closet. His name is Bob and he has been waiting for her all this time. She promised to help him and now its time to keep that promise.

This sweet little book left me sighing with pure happiness. Olivia and Bob’s friendship is pure and wrapped in the protective bubble of childhood that seems to disintegrate slightly during adolescents. The mystery of what Bob is and why Livvy struggles to remember him only adds to their bond.

This adorable book is well written and sweet. For adults, this is a one hour read. I can imagine this book would be a one week to ten day read aloud. Either way, it really make me think about memories, friendships, and how childhood adventures can sculpt our future lives.


Tell me, please!

Was there a childhood moment that defines magic to you?


Romantic

My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

I love Regency Romance novels. It doesn’t bother me one little bit that there are more Dukes in these stories than people in my hometown, the stories are lovely and sometimes all I want to read is something lovely. So, when I saw My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris I had to read it.

myladyschoosingMy Lady’s Choosing is a Choose Your Own Adventure novel that stars you as a plucky, penniless, Regency-era London lady. You begin your adventure as a companion to your dragon Aunt and through a series of choices end up in a wide variety of situations and endings.

For those who don’t remember these books, Choose Your Own Adventure novels typically give you two avenues and your selection takes you to a certain page. This continues until the end of the chosen story-line. I loved them as a kid. A number of years ago I discovered that there were adult versions out there but I never really enjoyed them like I did the juvenile versions. Many of the adult choices were daunting and I kept dying or getting kidnapped. The adventure part was missing. I didn’t want to chose whether to take a job or go back to college – I was actually making those decisions already.

This is what makes My Lady’s Choosing so fun for me. Finally I get to participate in a Regency romance from inside the story. I get to decide whether to slap the gentleman caller or kiss him. One path had me taking a position as a companion to an older gentleman or choosing to teach orphans. I decided whether to help the insufferable Lord or travel to Egypt. All paths obviously included romance.

My one complaint is that I felt at times that the authors were overly mocking regency romances. I accept that this book as a parody but still, names were frequently too silly and the characters could be inconsistent in their historical accuracy. But, I let many of the details pass as the Choose Your Own Adventure stories of my childhood were riddled with similar issues.

If you enjoy historical romances this book is a fun way to participate in the story. I had a great time working my way through the book five times already and I know that there are several other paths I have not yet taken!


Tell me, please!

What do you think of Choose Your Own Adventure novels?


Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday

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Throwback Thursday was originally started by Renee at It’s Book Talk. It is a way to highlight some old favorites or share books that I’m finally getting around to reading that were published more than a year ago. Or, in my case, usually more than ten years ago.

attachmentsAttachments, by Rainbow Rowell, was published in 2011 and takes place from late 1999-2000. This, for any reader born after 2000, was the real beginning of companies using intra-web applications and playing with allowing employees to have access to the internet. There were rampant concerns about Y2K and IT people came out of the shadows to save us all. And, obviously, read our e-mails.

Rowell focuses on this snippet of recent history and features Lincoln O’Neill who has been hired by The Courier as an internet security officer. He thought he would be putting up firewalls and crushing hackers when his night actually consists of reading e-mails that are flagged for inappropriate words. Typically, he reads the e-mail and sends the individual a warning. But one exchange, between Jennifer and Beth, pops into his folder and he is so captivating and engaged in their messages that he not only doesn’t warn them, he continues reading. The more he reads, the more he becomes invested in these women and their lives. And he finds himself falling in love with Beth even though he had never seen her. How can he admit his feeling when he has been invading her privacy?

I worked in an office as a intra-office e-mail trainer right around this time and Rowell took me right back to that (horrible) job. Beyond explaining to people that their disk holder was not a cup holder (for real) it was also my job to review their exchanges looking for porn and time wasters. Lincoln got to read adorable conversations between Jennifer and Beth and I got to inform a nasty man that just because other people couldn’t see into his cubicle didn’t mean that it was permissible to watch “light” porn on his break. Sigh. Life is better in books.

Rowell may give Lincoln a better experience than mine but he deserves it. At 27 Lincoln has several masters degrees but lives with his Mom and is still nursing a broken heart from his first love. Reading the supportive and loving messages between Jennifer and Beth is a balm for his soul. And who could blame him? Jennifer and Beth are the epitome of great girl friends – supportive, loving, hilarious and just there for each other.

I loved this little book for all the reasons I hated my IT job – the people. Rowell’s characters are good to the core and grow into only more likeable characters as the story continues. If you have not already enjoyed this sweet story I highly recommend it!


Tell me, please!

Have you ever worked a job featured in a book? How was your experience the same / different?


WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday April 25th

WWW

WWW Wednesday, as always, is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Join the fun by either checking out all of the other amazing WWW posts or answering the following three questions yourself!


What did you just finish reading?

Oh my bookish friends, things have been ugly here. A strange combination of books that failed to keep my interest and a free 30 day subscription to Hulu has resulted in me not reading very much at all. Still, I finished a couple of books and placed a few more firmly into the dreaded did not finish pile.

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston was in my April OwlCrate. It was such a pretty book and I love (love) this author so I was pretty excited. Sadly, this book will not be receiving a SilverButton review. It was a retelling of Princess Anastasia told from four (four!) different points of view and it was a bit of a mess. Apparently it is also Book 1 in a series so perhaps the fabulous Poston will make it all work in the sequels.

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan was delightful! You can read my review here.

All four of these books went back to the library unfinished. Perhaps it is my mood but I couldn’t get into any of them. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules was a wonderful premise but the translation made the story stilted and boring. The Case of the Missing Books featured a main character that I hated and I couldn’t stick with him. The Book Jumper was another I-have-super-powers-and-we-move-a-lot-and-I-call-my-Mom-by-her-first-name story. And The Wish Granter was just overdue. I didn’t even crack into it.

See? It might be me! I could be in a true book funk.


What am I currently reading?

I am trying to limit myself a little bit this week to only three books: One fiction, one non-fiction, one graphic novel. So, this week I am a couple of chapters into the inspirational book The Book of Joy. So far, I am deeply moved by the profound words and the loving relationship of these two spiritual leaders.

I either love Rainbow Rowell books or….not. Attachments is from 2011 but I am halfway through it and really enjoying it.

Brazen is the graphic novel to pique your interest in learning more about Brazen women who rocked the world. I have already enjoyed half of the book and I cannot wait to see the rest of the ladies!


What do I plan to read next?

I picked up The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell because the cover reads “Tales of a 6’4”, African-American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and proud, Blerd, Mam’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-up Comedian. SOLD.

Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu is part of the DC Icons series. I love Warbringer and so I was curious enough to check out Batman even though Batman is my least favorite superhero. Maybe Marie Lu can bring me to the bat-side.

I first saw Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Franklin reviewed on Ryan’s site Muse With Me. His review is here and if you read it you’ll see why it piqued my interest. After The Book of Joy I really want to explore resilience and this book seems like a fine place to start.


Tell me, please!

Have you read any of these? Thoughts? Also, let me know what’s on your WWW list in the comments section below!

nonfiction

Non-Fiction Friday: I Work at a Public Library… by Gina Sheridan

I have had a serious dry spell in good non-fiction! I read and read but haven’t loved anything enough to recommend it. Then, I picked up I Work at a Public Library, A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks, by Gina Sheridan. I initially chose the slim book because I needed one that could be read in a day for one of my reading challenges. Then I enjoyed it so much I wished it was longer! Imagine my joy when I discovered that it began as a blog and she continues to add entries. You can find the blog here.

iworkI was also interested in reading the stories because my first, third, fourth and fifth jobs were all at libraries. I worked as a page (that person who re-shelves your books), a reference assistant and later a legal reference librarian (worst.job.ever – no books!). I loved being a page because I spent my days looking at the books and seeing what people loved checking out and returning. And, in case you haven’t visited one lately, the public library is amazing people watching. Amazing. There are very few things in life I enjoy more than people watching.

Gina Sheridan embraced the people watching without making me feel like she was mocking the patrons of the library. From innocent questions about internet porn to the crazy antics of the usual customers, it was clear that these people were important to the author. And, I was incredible impressed with her diplomatic answers to some truly rude and probing questions.

For a small taste: One entry on her blog from December 2017 reads,

“Today a patron brought in his own (large) TV and game console and set them up in a study room. He played for hours with no explanation or disruption.”

This is what I love about the public library. It’s public but for many people it is their home away from home. And they treat it just like it belongs to them – for better or worse.

I really enjoyed this funny quick read but the last chapter, the one that focuses on the patrons that return to thank their librarians, made me happy-cry. Librarians are heroes and Gina’s humurous book and blog embrace the beautiful and sometimes weird things our librarians do for all of us.


Tell me, please!

Do you love your public library? 


WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday, March 28th

WWW

Happy Wednesday! The week has tipped toward the weekend and it is time to check in on what everyone has read, is reading and will be reading. Thanks, as always, to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting. Please check out her WWW post here and the other fantastic people’s lists in the comments section. If you want to participate, please do so! You can leave a link or a list in the comments below.


What did I just finish reading?

So many books! I have been on jury duty so I have been sitting in a room waiting to serve my civic duty for hours and hours (I’m on day three!) and I have filled them with books. There is limited internet connectivity which I why I have read so many and reviewed so little.

Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid was everything I was hoping Dan and Kat’s story would be and more. The review is coming soon!

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert was delightfully dark and weird. I enjoyed it and it’s review is also coming soon!

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown I actually finished late last week and you can find the review here. It was a great read and everything I have come to expect from Pierce Brown.

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan was a quick and hilarious collection of stories from a public librarian. The review is scheduled to appear this Friday for Non-Fiction Friday.

The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan was several hundred pages of ridiculousness. I believe that gratitude is key to choosing happiness but Janice acts as though she invented the concept while filling the book with one brag after the other. Or, as a dear friend of mine calls them “humblebrags.” No review for this one!

The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearshall is a late elementary school to middle school book that I consumed like a bag of delicious chips. After the Gratitude Diaries it was such a refreshing and beautiful story and I look forward to telling everyone more about it in…you guessed it, a review that is coming soon!

Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell is a book from the library I grabbed in the off-chance I would be stuck for a long period of time for jury duty. Well into my second day I was thrilled to discover that this cutie is a British countryside story with multiple perspectives. It was so cute! Review coming soon!


What am I Currently Reading?

The Case of the Missing Library Books by Ian Sansom is incredibly enjoyable so far. A nice fish out of water story set in Ireland, what’s not to like?

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman Sundberg is an enormously popular book about a group of elderly individuals who break out of the retirement home and orchestrate a crime spree. It is a book in translation and I struggle occasionally with some of the phrasing but I just can’t help but love the whole idea!

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang is on my desk because I really want to return to Sunday Morning Comics. I need a couple more for a weekly roundup so please let me know if you have other graphic novels or comic recommendations.


What do I Plan on Reading Next?

thebookofjouy

Honestly, this is getting embarrassing. Why didn’t I bring this with me to jury duty?!?

Science Fiction · series

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

When there is a new book in a long adored series there is a unique sense of anticipation. On one hand you know the world. The characters are your friends and sometimes your favorite people. And it is so very thrilling to be back again. On the other hand, the author can make choices in this place you love that give you pause. They can kill off characters you have long treasured or simply change them in a way that negatively alters your connection. Plus, anytime there is anticipation and hype the pressure can kill the enjoyment. I felt all of this and more when I finally received my pre-ordered copy of Iron Gold by Pierce Brown.

irongoldThis book was one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2018. I feel I must make two things clear. First, I do not like dystopian science-fiction. Second, the Red Rising Trilogy is  dystopian science fiction and I am still a gigantic fan. I love the characters; Darrow, Mustang, all the Howlers (especially Sevro!) and Ragnar. I am fascinating by the different planets and caste systems. The pace and action are thrilling to the point of near exhaustion. If you enjoy science fiction I feel confident in recommending the Red Rising Trilogy.

When I first heard that there was a new book by Pierce Brown I had assumed that it would be a new series. Instead it is a new trilogy that begins ten years after Morning Star concludes. Darrow, Sevro and the Howlers are still fighting to take control of the inner ring planets. And, while Darrow and Mustang have married and have a son, Pax, the three are rarely together.

I will freely admit that I found the idea that these characters were not at peace after all of their trials and tribulations to be a bit exhausting. Furthermore, I had difficulty remembering who everyone was, especially since some of the main characters in Iron Gold were children or minor players in the prior trilogy. The shifting narratives created delayed comprehension of the story as a whole but eventually gave a much better understanding of the new story Brown was putting together.

By the middle of the book, I was quite torn. Then, slowly, Brown began to rebuild a new generation for the next wave of the revolution. All of the old guard still maintain a presence in the storyline but now the light is shone on a new cast of characters that I found obsessively interesting.

I closed the book thrilled and wanting more. At more than 500 pages it is an epic story. Visiting with some of my favorite characters from the original trilogy was enjoyable but eventually I found that I was more than happy that Brown is re-focusing on other characters for the subsequent books. Not unlike the Star Wars universe, I got to go back and see Luke, Han and Leia but I didn’t expect that they would be the only stars of the show.


Tell me, please!

Have you read the Red Rising Series? Are you interested in Iron Gold?


WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday March 7, 2018

WWW

I LOVE Wednesdays and I j’adore WWW Wednesdays. This is not only my most social day, checking in on other participants, but I come out the other side of my post organized and enthusiastic about reading and blogging. What’s not to love?

So, in the off chance you aren’t familiar (or because I haven’t gotten to participate in too long!) here is how it works. You just post about the three Ws:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Then you can link your post or post your reading list in my comments section and then head over to Taking on a World of Words to see the host Sam’s WWW list and all the other participant’s great posts.

So, here we go (in chronological order because….I can’t help myself)


What did I recently finish reading?

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black! After my massive reading dry spell due to my giant test I finally got to read the book everyone seems to be talking about. You can read my review here.


What am I currently reading?

I am still working through the massive Iron Gold which I had put aside to study. So far, I am really enjoying the thrill of being back with Darrow and the crew but I am having trouble not being sad that they are, once again, at war (not a spoiler, I swear the fighting started at the beginning of the book).

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert I started recently to alleviate the stress Darrow was putting me through but this book is terrifying! I cannot wait to see how it all ends but it is too scary for me to read at night.

Thank goodness the ever delightful Penny Reid released Marriage of Inconvenience! I love her books and have been waiting forever to read the story of Dan and Kat.


What do I think I will read next?

I have a pile of books almost as tall as my dog sitting right next to my desk. There is nothing quite as thrilling as a huge pile of books I am looking forward to reading. So, I picked up the top two, The Book Jumper and The Wish Granter to try first. I also know that The Book of Joy has been featured on my “next” list for far too long and I am determined to start it this week.


Tell me, please!

Have you read anything on my lists? Any thoughts?

Feel free to share your WWW or anything else in the comments below!


Fantasy · fiction · YA

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince has been everywhere. I love Holly Black and I was thrilled that she had a new book. But, I made a New Year’s Resolution that I wouldn’t buy any new books. Sigh. I resigned myself to waiting until after the backlog of books was taken care of and then I would zoom out and purchase it right away.
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Then, I received an OwlCrate Subscription for Christmas. And in one of my delightful boxes…The Cruel Prince! I put it aside to read after my test and it was well worth the wait. Plus, just look at the gorgeous OwlCrate exclusive cover. So pretty.

I have loved Holly Black since The Spiderwick Chronicles and I will pick up anything with her name on it. She has a way with magical stories that never fails to engage and surprise me. Her tone varies depending on her target audience but her writing is always tight and masterful. There have been books of hers I have adored and there are others than I appreciated but did not fall in love with completely.

The Cruel Prince is difficult to discuss without spoilers and, truthfully, it has been so hyped that at this point I will be surprised if anyone doesn’t know the basic plot line. Still, for readers venturing outside of their preferred genre into YA – here goes.

It is safe to say that the main character, Jude Duarte, and her twin sister Taryn are human. Their older sister Vivi is half human, half fae and the three of them are taken from their human home and spirited away to live with the Fae by Vivi’s Fae Father. There Jude and Taryn are raised among the Fae with access to the Court but their humanity always sets them apart. They are humans under the protection of the same powerful man that stole them from their home. They are commoners being educated amounts royalty. They live in fear of their present safety and neither girl has any guarantee of a future at all.

Admittedly, for at least the first half of the book I was unengaged. Wait, that is not right. Rather, I felt removed from the action. I felt apart from the story and off-kilter. Approximately half way through the book the threads started to weave together and I realized that my off-kilter matched Jude’s inner turmoil. And when Jude found her purpose I was with her stride for stride.

In the end, I loved The Cruel Prince because it was so much more than a dark Fairy Tale.


Tell me, please!

If you read the book, which character was your favorite?