Monday, December 17, 2018

Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3) by Julia Quinn

The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3)The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My book year is not complete without a read from the incredibly witty Julia Quinn.

I felt like I had to wait forever for this one, while also waiting for more news on the Bridgerton Netflix series, that I've longed for years.

The Other Miss Bridgerton had its moments. Star-gazing. A surprise dinner-guest twist. It's an adventurous novel, in which the heroine is kidnapped by pirates. And, in which, the captain hero is undercover for the government, and also secretly a friend of her family. More kidnapping.

I've been bored by the "kidnapped-by-pirates" trope before. Mainly because it usually means spending a lot of time on a ship, doing nothing. But, as always, Quinn made it fresh, with enough tension and distractions to keep me from feeling trapped as a reader. Although, I did eventually speed-read through some of the back-and-forth sibling-like bickering between the heroine and hero. It was nearly akin to slow-burn.

Overall, "Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1)" has been my favorite. But, again, this one had some very darling moments.


View all my reviews

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Review: The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors, #2) by Sarah E. Ladd




The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors, #2)  by Sarah E. Ladd

My Rating: 4 out 5
A little bit Jane Eyre, a little bit gambling debts, horses, and two suitors at dinner.

Patience Creighton is the "unofficial" headmistress of Rosemere. Her father, the former headmaster, has died. Her brother has not been heard from in months. Her grieving mother is stricken with melancholy.

One night, their wayward landlord, William Sterling, suddenly appears beaten and in need of aid. As Patience tends to him, the attraction is clear. Except he kept muttering the name "Isabelle."

When a fire threatens Rosemere, Patience comes to trust William. Could he be the romantic hero she dreamed of as a girl? The dream suitor she envisioned when she refused an offer of marriage from her childhood friend?

William knows he should be thinking of his gambling debts and finding a buyer for his foal. However, his thoughts are increasingly on the headmistress of Rosemere. But how could he ever hope to love, again? What can he offer her? When he finds his late mother's jewelry in the headmaster's office, a mystery from his past resurfaces.

Very enjoyable read. I couldn't put it down.

The ending was a little rushed for me. I needed a chapter in which Patience takes in or thinks over the mystery of William's past. She did a lot of thinking about every other situation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read

Books By My Favorite Authors That I Still Haven’t Read




Persuasion and Mansfield Park - Jane Austen -  I'm dragging my feet a little because these are the only finished Austen titles that I haven't read. And I can only read them for the first time once...and while it'll be great to have bragging rights that I've read all her work, on the other hand, it's sad there's not more of it in existence.

Dancing at Midnight, Everything and the Moon, Brighter Than the Sun, Minx by Julia Quinn - When I someday read these, I'll be all caught up on the author's work and I'll be left slowly waiting for the new releases.

In Calabria - Peter S. Beagle - I was stoked to find this in an indie bookstore on vacation in Asheville, NC. I bought it! But there's just so much to read. Right now, after seeing Beagle at Dragon*Con, I really want to go back and re-read the work he said is his favorite, The Innkeepers Song.


A Size 12 Is Not Fat - Meg Cabot - The title alone would have been right up my alley during my weight loss journey. Ditto for A Size 14 Is Not Fat Either - I can remember a time when I would have loved to be a size 14...back when I was a size 20.

Inferno Squad - Christie Golden - I have it autographed. The husband has read it. I just haven't got around to it. I'm not much of an SW "Empire" person. I'd be more likely to join the Rebels.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Decatur Book Festival 2018

Decatur Book Festival 2018

Thankfully, the post-residency life schedule has been flexible and my husband was able to take us to this year's Decatur Book Festival and Dragon*Con.

Decatur Book Festival

It's a little overwhelming to think this was the first year we actually had a choice in deciding what day to attend the Decatur Book Festival. In years past, my husband was usually on call at least one day during Labor Day, so we attended depending on his schedule. There was no such thing as holidays. Making Labor Day fun but stressful, as it was a little like attending an event in the middle of a work week.

But for a long time we felt it was worth it. We love books.

Dragon*Con in Atlanta is a little crazy on Saturdays, a lot of people only buy Saturday memberships, so I thought Saturday would be the best pick for the Decatur Book Festival instead.


Unfortunately, my husband was sick most of Friday night into early Saturday morning.

So, I was content to miss the festival this year.

Last DBF, 2017, was just ok for me. Inside some of the church sanctuary panels, I had issues with individuals seating themselves directly in front of me...when there was plenty of room on the pew and in pews several rows up front. It was just, like a magnet, there was something about sitting right directly in front of me that these people wanted to do. I swear they were part of the Matrix. (It's like who does that without looking if they are blocking someone? Bots, that's who.) I got really close to starting a mockumentary Twitter account using the photos I took of the back of their heads. But I guess that would make me as rude as they are.

And, there was also a big panel we wanted to see and for some reason it was put in a tiny venue and it just made the whole festival experience feel off. Sorta, like, you, young people (if, 31 is young to you), not welcome here. You either gotta be under 18 or 50+, is what it felt like. 


This year wasn't much different. In years past, I felt like there were more people our age at the festival. Maybe they were all at Dragon*Con Saturday because they like crowds. Or just not enough NA, fantasy, romance, or other authors to draw people our age and my husband and I are anomalies.

The one and only panel we attended was "Women Take Charge In Sci-Fi" with Malka Older and Liza Yaszek. I don't have a photo because the host stated it's no longer allowed during panels.


Anyways, I'm looking forward to checking into Liza Yaszek's collection of classic American science fiction by women from the 1920s to the 1960s titled The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin: A Library of America Special Publication which releases according to Amazon, October 9th.

I felt the panel was very informative to me. I've always been a big fan of scifi and fantasy movies. Recently, I've been wanting to branch out and read more classic scifi and fantasy novels. Tons of interesting recommendations were thrown out: Parable of the Sower(Earthseed, #1)EscapologyHow to Suppress Women's WritingAn Unkindness of Ghosts, and many more I didn't manage to type into my phone.

So, even though I was kinda meh about going because of past experiences, I'm glad I did.

Bookhaul

We usually don't escape without buying a few books. It was our first year visiting the Georgia Book & Paper Fair.


And, we'll probably be back.

Hiatus

Hiatus

The old me would say sorry for the hiatus, but honestly I'm not. 

I needed a break from this. For a long time I've just been phoning it in. I think when the original Top Ten Tuesday ended, it was sorta a wakeup call for me. I started this as a hobby to "take notes" on books while in college. Because, although, I very much wanted to write, I didn't feel like I had a lot of time to be creative. So, writing about books seemed like a good use of my time. And, as someone who struggles with anxiety, unlike some social media, it seemed less likely that I would be trolled blogging about books.

But, even as a non-traditional student, college has been over for almost four years now. I have the time to be creative and try to do the things I dreamed. I never set out to be a great blogger. I mostly wanted to keep a diary of what I read. Ok, and bragging rights to a few ARCs, but ARCs out of my system now.

There came a point when I was much more active on Goodreads, because I felt like I could interact, find books, and meet more readers there. But recently I've struggled over leaving that account. I love it. So, on one hand, I don't want to give up something I love. It's a habit for me, as much as drinking coffee in the morning. However, it also became a source of pain...and, in reflection, its mostly because how "I am" as a person with anxiety. Maybe certain comments from the Goodreads Twitter account and others wouldn't have bothered a normal person. Someone on Instagram assured me "that's just the Internet." And, it is. I see that. But, also, from my perspective, as someone who struggles socially (and hates struggling)(I can hardly bear to write it) the Internet "feels" like my only opportunity to make friends. Up until recently, there were long stretches of time when the Internet was my only window to the world. Otherwise, I would have been literally alone and agoraphobic. When your window's nothing but storm clouds and bolts, you have to pull away. And that's like not having a window at all.

It's pathetic. I wish it wasn't. I thought moving, I would be able to turn over a new leaf. I was wrong. I put too much pressure on myself. I'm probably always going to be this way. I'm not some heroic character in a book who's suddenly going to get plot armor and be self-actualized. It's just the day to day victories, mostly avoiding pain and embarrassment. Throwing myself into my projects even if they amount to nothing.

Anyways, point is...things have sucked, I took time off, now I'm going to endeavor to update here once a month for a little while longer.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read



Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

Argh! Those nagging, someday-I'm-going-to-get-to-these, books! Here's a few of mine.


The Book of Merlyn - Told myself I was going to read this summer after graduation. I was riding the wave after reading 'The Once and Future King'. Instead, I read the Harry Potter series. Fun times, but not what I'd planned.

The Count of Monte Cristo - Bucket list item I've yet to conquer.

Les Misérables - I've heard from a friend that, while a great work of literature, it makes one miserable to read cause every character is miserable. Bad times, an understatement.

The Time Traveler's Wife - Although the movie and the hype has passed, I love time travel as a genre. I've wanted to see what it's all about. At this point, I could probably read the book with little memory of the movie and re-watch like new.

1984 - Heard that it's a creepy but thought-provoking read. A grandpa of scifi and most of the dystopian novels I like today.

Life of Pi - I said, once again, I was going to read this one back during a fall or spring TBR...didn't happen. The movie was great. I'm sure the book is better. Just so much to read.

North & South - LOVE the mini-series. Gah, I need to see if the book is equally swoon-worthy!

Little Men - Little Women is one of my fav classics. I've always heard mixed things about the sequels, mainly they don't hold up to the first. But, I should see for myself.

Uglies - Ever since it's publication, it sounded like an interesting plot. Just never got around to reading it.

Cinder - Based on the synopsis and the rave reviews of friends, I really should have read this by now!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

The Nonesuch - Um, Georgette Heyer is really cool and creates the best Regency worlds since Austen. But other than a bunch of scenes in a parlor, maybe, and a guy with an unfortunate name, my mind just can't recall.

A Streetcar Named Desire - Read for college several years ago. Seems like there was tons of drama. My mind sees Marlon Brandon and his arm muscles in black-and-white from the movie. Maybe it's time I re-watched it. I sorta wish there was a local play I could see, too.

Ethan Frome - Another school read. Although it's fairly short, I also remember it being a bit slow. I only recall an affair and a pretty major accident ending in a ironic situation.

The Vampire Lestat - Seems like Lestat is turned into a vampire and spends some time as an actor, maybe? I think I remember reading about dancing? I think he looks for his creator eventually?

Twenty Boy Summer - I recall loving this one. Seems like two friends go to the beach? One girl's brother has passed away. Um, maybe there's a bucketlist? Eck, I read this so long ago, I feel old.

Delirium - Ditto. Another book I remember page turning! Nowadays, I don't remember much, other than it was Dystopian and interesting. I need to re-read it and the sequels I never got around to cracking open.

The Host - I remember finding the plot unusual and definitely food for thought. Years ago, I even put the book on my Goodreads favorites list. But nowadays, even after the movie release, I don't recall much about the story, other than two souls/beings in one brain and a love triangle? Seems like there was a little brother who needed help?

Shadows of The Empire - The story takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Luke and Leia are working their way to save Han. There's this royal, Prince green-guy that captures Leia, maybe-ish? At the time I thought it was the best Star Wars book.

All the Tea in China - Adventurous inspirational romance that starts in England and ends up in China. Sword fighting. Opium addiction. Don't remember how and why the heroine falls for the hero.

The Railway Children - There's a railway, trains, and children (a group of siblings). It was sweet and cute, but other than that it's faded back to neverland for me.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: MARS: Horse With No Name (Mars Volume #16)



Horse With No Name (Mars Volume #16)

Info: Published July 13th 2004 by Tokyopop (first published 1999),  (ISBN13: 9781591828648)

Acquired: 2nd & Charles

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Blurb: "We know how the story ended...but how did it begin? In this special edition of MARS, we explore what happens when Kira meets Rei for the very first time. Longtime friends Tatsuya and Rei are acting more like enemies these days as they battle it out for Kira's affections. Will they be able to mend their friendship and settle their tense conflict once and for all? As a special bonus, acclaimed manga-ka Fuyumi Soryo also includes two additional stories for your reading pleasure. Long live MARS!"

Vonze's Review: Ah, there’s just something about ‘90s manga, the style, the stories. Makes me nostalgic similar to watching ole TGIF programming. This prequel to the Mars series contains 3 stories packed full of drama, fights, racing, and angst. Not at all necessary, but enjoyable if you already like the series.

Fav Quote: "It's not that you don't have courage. It's just that the courage was sleeping inside of you. No one's that strong. Everyone's scared of something, but they keep on living. That's why I think...that inside of everyone, there's a lion..."

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