Posts Categorized: Books

Comics February! The Roundup!

March 3, 2015 Books 1

Another year, another end to Comics February. Sure, I can read comics all year, but it’s not quite the same. February is special because a bunch of my friends are indulging in comics too! It’s just so much fun.

So. Surprisingly for me, I read 22 comics this month. I meant to read more, but I ran out of time. Here is the run down:

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Alex + Ada, Issue 6
Alex + Ada, Issue 7
Alex + Ada, Issue 8
Alex + Ada, Issue 9
Alex + Ada, Issue 10
Alex + Ada, Issue 11
Alex + Ada, Issue 12

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Rat Queens, Issue 6
Rat Queens, Issue 7
Rat Queens, Issue 8
Rat Queens Special: Braga #1

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The Fade Out, Issue 1
The Fade Out, Issue 2
The Fade Out, Issue 3
The Fade Out, Issue 4

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Lumberjanes, Issue 11

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Wayward, Issue 1
Wayward, Issue 2
Wayward, Issue 3
Wayward, Issue 4
Wayward, Issue 5

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Fatale, Issue 1

Yeah, I’m feeling kind of wow about it. I’m sure others read more, but by golly, I read all these and all of them were awesome. I honestly can’t point to one I didn’t like.I love the futurist tones of Alex + Ada, and the unlikely love story. Rat Queens is just plain FUN. It’s like the male trope of raising hell, kicking ass and taking names, and getting as drunk and sexed-up as you want and giving it to the ladies. The ladies. They love it. The Fade Out is pure cinema noir/murder mystery fun. Lumberjanes is my love. I can’t get enough of these kids. Wayward indulges my fascination with mythology and Japanese culture. And Fatale, in the vein of The Fade Out (same authors!) is, well, I need more of it to say for sure. I only read the one volume. But I’m dying to get my hands on more.

So, there you have it. My Comics February. Now I can’t wait for 2016!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

March 2, 2015 Books, Meme 13

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HAPPY MONDAY!!!!!! No, seriously. It’s not snowing or sleeting or freezing of the rain or even raining. It’s just foggy. I AM HAPPY.

And would you look at that? I’m not reading The Soloist OR Geek Love any more! BECAUSE. I. FINISHED. THEM.

Hallelujah amen.

After the complete…weirdness…of Geek Love, I needed something relatively normal. I am not finding it in The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac! I am in Someone at a Distance though. These two together feel like a good balance for me.  And Neil Gaiman. I’m just dragging it out because it’s Neil Gaiman. So yeah.

Up next, I’m leaning toward Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer,  the audiobook of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Pepper: A History of the World’s Most Influential Spice by Marjorie Shaffer.

What are your plans for the reading week? Read anything good next week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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Ten Favorite Posts from the Last Ten Years

February 26, 2015 Books 6

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In ten years of blogging, I have wrote a LOT of posts. This will be my 1,902nd post, to be precise. I’ve had some popular ones, mostly giveaways and anniversary posts. I thought, to continue my anniversary celebration, I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite posts from the last 10 years.

1. Virtual Advent Tour, 2009 – a collection of favorite Christmas songs

2. My review of The Help by Katherine Stockett was a surprise favorite book. I didn’t think I’d like it, but as it happens every once in awhile, the hype was right.

3. My review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was one of my most visited posts ever. It was a fun book at the time, but I got tired of mash-ups super fast.

4. I first read The Little Stranger in 2010 and was completely blown away. I love the picture I took of the book for my post! I forgot I used to take pictures for my reviews. Maybe I should get back to that….

5. My review of Room by Emma Donoghue has the most comments of any post on my blog. I was so surprised to see that!

6. My interview with Barbara Rosenblat for Audiobook Week in 2010 was a fun experience. She’s is quite a character.

7. In 2010, I shared a recipe for Strawberry Rosemary jam for Weekend Cooking. Man, that stuff is so good! I’ll have to make some more come strawberry season.

8. Also in 2010, I read and reviewed The Color Purple. That was an amazing audiobook production. Having Alice Walker read her own book was a stroke of genius.

9. And then, there was the time Andi and I read Madame Bovary together. That. Was hilarious. I love reading books with my Andi.

10. It’s so hard to pick just one more post. I interviewed Melissa Wyatt for NerdsHeartYA in 2010. I interviewed Audrey Niffenegger in 2009. I MET NEIL GAIMAN in 2012. I’ve shared a pregnancy and a miscarriage, I went through the loss of my birth mother and my grandmother. I found my best friend. I have shared my kids growing up, our adventures in the wild, our pets, gardens, food, everything. This blog has been such a huge part of my life. I’m so thankful you’re along for the ride.

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Ten Years Is A Long Time; a Celebration of Blogging and a Mission Statement

February 25, 2015 Books 31

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That’s right. Sometime around now is my ten year blogging anniversary. I don’t remember the day I started, I just know it was around the same time Andi started hers.  It wasn’t even my first, but my second, or maybe even third attempt at blogging. It was a rough start. I’m almost embarrassed by my backlog (and am often tempted to delete it!). But it grew, and I grew, and even though I’ve never been a major book blogger (thank God), it’s been a happy home.

In light of the general craziness going on in book blogging right now, I almost didn’t post for my anniversary, but ten feels too big to let just go past. Things have been rocky this year. We’ve already had plagiarism scandals, favorite bloggers quitting, and a general malaise flooding our small community. Honestly, I even entertained the thought of quitting a couple times as well. My readership is down. My spirit is sore. Reading is (sometimes) a chore. Yet, there are so many good things. I met my best friend in the whole wide world because of blogging and finally got to meet her (and be in her wedding!) last year. I’ve made many lifelong friends that I care about very much. I know about their families, their favorite books, and their lives. I wouldn’t give that up for the world. I still love discussing books and listing books and just being the bookish self I am.

As I look ahead, I honestly expect much of the same. We are a drama filled group. I can hope for some peace and happiness for our community, and we will have it again, but we’ll also still have the drama. I will continue to do my damnedest to stay out of it. I have no desire for my blog to be any bigger than it is, so my social media presence will remain small (for the blog anyway). I am seriously considering moving away from reviewing books as, well, basically no one reads them and that’s fine. Reviewing can be stressful for me and I’ve never felt very good at it. I will still discuss the books I read, but in a different way – a way yet to be determined. I will continue to mix in other parts of my life like the podcasts, the learning, and perhaps more. Perhaps less.

Mission Statement:

I’m going to do what makes me happy.

So, to celebrate? I really feel like a giveaway is in order! I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate to Amazon or B&N OR for the international readers, any book under $25 from The Book Depository. This will run until next Wednesday and is open internationally. I’d love for you to leave a comment telling me how long you’ve been following me or how you found me or, even better, tell me about a book you read because of me! Thank you for reading and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

February 23, 2015 Books, Meme 6

Monday

Y’all. I don’t know why I’m bothering. I’m reading the same stuff I was last week and IT. IS. DEPRESSING. Not that The Soloist isn’t good. Not that Geek Love isn’t weird. It is just still. there.  I am ready to be DONE already.

In the listening side, I’m listening to Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warnings, which is every bit as delightful as I expected. The man can do no wrong in my eyes. I was trying to listen to My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh as well, but it’s not working out too great on my phone. I think I’m going to have to burn it to CD. My phone doesn’t want to keep my place and Lord knows I can’t remember.

On deck, I STILL WANT TO READ The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac (will I EVER get there?). I was talking with a coworker about The Dresden Files series, which made me want to listen to the next book (for me) Proven Guilty (by Jim Butcher, read by Spike from Buffy aka James Marsters). I also want to listen to Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Robert G. Slade.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

February 18, 2015 Books 6 ★★★★

First Frost by Sarah Addison AllenFirst Frost
by Sarah Addison Allen
Format: eARC
four-stars
It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

...

Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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What is it about Sarah Addison Allen’s books? I would call them fluff, but they’re not. I could call them romances, but they are more than just that. I should call them magical realism, but that feels limiting. Her books are deeper than fluff, more than romance, with the lightest touch of magic…so, I guess to me, they defy categorization.

Mostly, they are like coming home.

And to come home to familiar, beloved characters, felt like an extra special blessing. I suppose it’s the fact I live in North Carolina and that I long for a little magic in my life. I love food and love the idea that food can magically affect your mood (which, I would say it does. Just eat some chocolate.). Allen makes the characters feel like family, or extra special friends. The characters from Garden Spells are particularly beloved as it was the first Allen book I read and I instantly fell in love with her writing. I’ve read it a couple of times, I love it so much.

Do you get the feeling I love this book and Sarah Addison Allen?

Hope so.

If you’ve read Garden Spells, I totally recommend you continue their story. They are older, but still magical…in more ways that one. The Waverly’s are a family worth revisiting. If you haven’t read Garden Spells, what are you waiting for? Pick it up, and this one, and experience the warmth that being a Waverly friend can bring and the simply beauty of Sarah Addison Allen’s writing.

Favorite bits:

“Sometimes its necessary to embrace the magic, to find out what’s real in life, and in one’s own heart.”

“Oh, please. Everyone in this town always says that, like you have to be born here to understand things. I understand plenty. You’re only as weird as you want to be.”

“She finally understood that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone love you. You can’t stop them from making the wrong decision. There’s no magic for that.”

“She couldn’t change who she was, and she no longer wanted to, even if she could. She knew that who you are is a stone set deep inside you. You can spend all your life trying to dig that stone out, or you can build around it. Your choice.”

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

February 16, 2015 Books, Meme 7

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Hey! Would you look at that? The Soloist is STILL ON MY LIST. Never fear my friends, I’m about halfway finished with it. My God, what an amazing book. So sad. So inspiring.  I tore through half of it yesterday and, if the weather does what they are saying it will, I expect I’ll have some extra time this week to tear through the rest.

In Geek Love news, I’m still working my way through it. It’s one of those books that…well…feels long even if it isn’t. What I mean is, I can sit down with it for an hour, feel like I’m reading at a pretty good clip only to look up and see I’ve only advanced 5%. Good thing I’m still enjoying it.

Since I finished The Man Who Touched His Own Heart last week (excellent audio!), after much hemming and hawing, I started Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I would listen to that man read anything. ANYTHING I TELL YOU.

On deck, I’m thinking I’ll finally start The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac by Sharma Shields. I also really want to start Pepper: A History of the World’s Most Influential Spice by Marjorie Shaffer, another book I bought with my birthday money (The Soloist is the other). And in audio, I’m thinking My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh, if I can manage to get it on my iPhone. It’s an audio ARC and I’m no good with iTunes.

What are your plans for the reading week? Read anything good last week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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The TBR Tag!

February 15, 2015 Books 7

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The TBR Tag!

I was tagged my best bud Andi from Estella’s Revenge. My internet has been down all week and lazy me didn’t write anything anyway, so… this is good timing

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile? I am terrible at this. Sometimes I put books in Goodreads right after I buy them, but most of the time, I only add it once I start reading it.2. Is your TBR mostly print or eBook? I’d say, right NOW, it’s pretty even, but it’s steadily skewing toward eBook. Damn you Amazon and your fantastic sales.3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next? My reading tendencies are in my blog name. I am capricious. I read whatever trips my trigger at any given moment.

4. A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest? Oh my gosh, I have no idea. The earliest book on my Goodreads TBR is Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl.

5. A book you recently added to your TBR? The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng.

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6. A book on your TBR strictly because of it’s beautiful cover. Ha! SO MANY. It would be easier to say which book is on my TBR with an ugly cover. I’m such a cover whore.

7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading. What? I PLAN ON READING THEM ALL. SERIOUSLY.

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for. Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein.

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9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. 

11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read. The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac: A Novel by Sharma Shields. SOON. Very, very soon.

12. How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf? Um….1,080… THIS DOES NOT MEAN I OWN THEM ALL. My TBR shelf on Goodreads serves as much as a wishlist as a TBR list.

I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you choose to do this, please let me know!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

February 9, 2015 Books, Meme 13

Monday

Hellooooooooo my friends! Happy Monday!!!!! (This is me, putting on my I’m Happy It’s Monday, Even Though I’m Really Not, Face!) (I’d rather be in bed.) And how are you this glorious rainy overcast day?! Wonderful!

One good thing about today, as my daughter has been telling me for the past week, is that it is NATIONAL READ IN THE TUB DAY! I am so doing that tonight.

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty darn good. Another reason why I’m having trouble embracing Monday. I was able to read so much yesterday! I just want to kick back and do it some more! The weather was gorgeous, the porch so comfortable! I even walked outside with no shoes on! In February!! Ah, Spring. I am so ready for you.

So, as for the reading. I finally finished Burial Rites, which completely broke my heart at the end. I hate knowing the end and hoping it won’t happen that way despite knowing it will. Kind of like watching Titanic. I started Geek Love last night (for the group read with Estella? There’s still time to join!) and zipped right through several chapters. I can’t wait to get back to it. Hello, tub time!

In addition to Geek Love, I am still trying to read The Soloist. I am finding that more and more I have less time to read from a real book. I tend to read very late at night and it’s so much easier to read on my iPad then. I did get a couple chapters read and am desperate to find more time with it. I’m intrigued.

Lastly, I am listening to The Man Who Touched His Own Heart by Rob Dunn, read by Robert Fass and OMG who knew the history of the heart was so gosh darn fascinating? I am totally loving this book.

Next, I really really want to read The Sasquatch Hunger’s Almanac by Sharma Sheilds. On the nonfiction side, I’d really like to get to A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire by Amy Butler Greenfield. I have Neil Gaiman’s new short story collection, Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances in the wings. And, as for a new audiobook, I was leaning toward The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, since I splurged and spent a credit.

What are your plans for the reading week? Read anything good next week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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Stuff I Learned This Week

February 6, 2015 Books 9

I’ve learned some pretty interesting things the last week or so, listening to my podcasts and in my reading, so I thought I’d share a few of them here.

  • Bessie Coleman was the first African-American pilot. – Nerdette Podcast
  • Play-Doh was invented to be a wallpaper cleaner. – History in Five Minutes Podcast
  • Thomas Edison invented the tattoo needle. – History in Five Minutes Podcast
  • Caroline Herschel was the first woman paid for scientific work. – Stuff Your Mom Never Told You Podcast
  • Woodpeckers peck up to 12,000 times a day. – American Museum of Natural History Podcast; The Science Behind Football
  • Emma Ann Reynolds was the first African American woman admitted to the Medical College of Chicago at Northwestern University. Chicago schools refused to admit Reynolds because of her race. In 1889, Reynolds sought the assistance of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams to receive training. Williams proceeded to establish the Provident Hospital and Training School, an interracial hospital and nursing school.Reynolds enrolled at Provident in 1891. She graduated in 1893, and she then entered the Medical College of Chicago at Northwestern University, becoming the first African American woman admitted to study at this institution. She graduated with her medical degree in 1895. In 1896, Reynolds moved to Waco, Texas, where she opened a medical practice. She lived in Waco until 1899, and the, she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she continued to work as a doctor. In 1902, Reynolds returned to Frankfort, Ohio, practicing medicine until her death in 1917. (source for this text) – The Man Who Touched His Own Heart: True Tales of Science, Surgery, and Mystery by Ron Dunn
  • Dr. Daniel Hale Williams (referenced above) was the first man to perform open-heart surgery He was also African American. Learn more here. Seriously. He’s fascinating.
  • This is a biggie. I was listening to Nerdette. They were interviewing Scott McCloud about his new graphic novel The Sculptor (which, by the way, I really need) when he mentioned he had recently found out he had something called ASMR. He asked the hosts if they knew what that was, to which one hesitantly replied, “is that the scalp tingling thing?” and he said YES. He said YES y’all. I have that scalp tingling thing! I’ve had it all my life! I never knew what it was or if anyone else has it! I WAS SO EXCITED. ASMR stands for Autonomous sensory meridian response and basically, well, it can be many things, but in my case, certain sounds, low pitched voices, sounds, whispers, etc, well, make my scalp tingle. It doesn’t hurt. It tickles. It’s kind of weird, but also soothing. Anyway, here’s more on it if you’re curious. I’m just so happy that it’s not a weirdo thing that I’m not alone with!! – Nerdette Podcast

Have you learned anything interesting this week? I’d love to hear about it!

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