Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Review: The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma

I read this book via audiobook. Mostly because it was available for download immediately.
The Goodreads Summary (truncated):
"Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal."

What I Thought About It:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my secret BFFs. I think I’ve played it cool during the THREE times that she and I have met face- to- face so, you know. Whatever. She attended The Rochester Teen Book Festival in May and that’s where I picked up this book.

I read it as part of the Make Me Read readathon challenge. Out of the 130 or so votes I got for my challenge, this book got picked as the one I should read first.

For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Here’s what I thought about it all:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Broadway and the Make Me Read Challenge (Outbox - 7/21/16)

For the first week of July I was out of town. We planned to take a train down to NYC to see a couple of shows and just not be home for a while. 

So. Day one, we took the subway down to the church/ cemetery where Alexander Hamilton is buried. It’s what all the cool kids who can’t afford tickets to Hamilton are doing. The church is beautiful. We spent far too long looking for Angelica Schuyler's grave before looking on Google and finding out that it is not marked with her name. It's in the Livingston plot, in case you're looking and we still didn't find it. [The duck lips in the picture are ironic, y'all.]

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Clear A Shelf August – Reading Challenge (Sign Up Here!)

I know I’m not the only one. Admit it. You have loads of books sitting around your house but you still mostly read books that you just randomly pick up new at the library, at the book store, or from the Little Free Library near you. And they are mostly completely unrelated to the books on your completely overstuffed and ridiculous TBR shelf. 

So, I’ve decided to take a month and try and "Clear a Shelf." Hence the name of the challenge. Clever, no? I've been thinking about hosting a challenge and viola! So, come along with me. You know your shelves will thank you.

Qualifying books fall into two categories:

OWNED: Anything you own before August 1st is fair game. You can use this challenge to clear a shelf of books you already own. I am going to try and focus on this category.
TBR: Any book already on your established To Be Read (TBR) list as of August 1st regardless of whether you own it or not.

Percentages are based on the total number of books you read for August.

0% - 25 %:  Noble Page
25% - 50%: Knight
51% - 75%: Ruler
76% - 100% Warrior

If you want to join me on this quest, post your goal on twitter, your blog, or wherever you do such things. On Twitter please use the hashtag #ClearAShelf. And check this out. I made a thing! You can use this sticker on your post. It's cute, right!?

Sign up using a link to your post in the linky form thingy below. If you use your actual sign- up blog post or tweet, I will pop in every now and then to shout words of encouragement along the way. All Rulers and Warriors at the end of the challenge will be entered into a raffle to win two new- to-you books from my shelves. I haven't figured out those details yet. Obviously, I'm new!

So, the stupid linky thing is no longer working. If you are joining me on this challenge, just drop me a Tweet or an email with the link to your sign up post! Technology is such an awesome and spectacular pain in the butt!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

I got this book for free during Book Riot Live last year. I think. I’m 85% sure that’s where I got it from. Which means it’s been on my shelf for about 9 months. I wasn’t really interested in reading it because of the spy/political/mystery description. Really, I rarely care about who killed whose mother. I know. I’m terrible.

I ended up reading it as part of the Make Me Read readathon challenge

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her -- so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can't control Grace -- no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Here’s what I thought about it all:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Make Me Read - Recap Post 
Make me read was a week- long readathon where you ask people to vote on in what order you should read a selection of books. Here’s my sign- up post. I listed 10 books with an intention of reading 4-6 because I average about 3 books in a week, usually.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Guest Post: The Inherited Author, Freedom Matthews

I am really looking forward to being able to read this book! I love pirates, romance, AND female leads. So this one is a no-brainer. I also got to ask the author, Freedom Matthews, a question about her inspiration.

Your book has fantasy, romance and magic. What do you think are some of the books you’ve read that really get you excited, inspire your work?


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books

Here’s the prompt for Top Ten Tuesday this week:

Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads (we've done underrated books a bunch of times in the past 6 years but thanks to Lenore at Celebrity Readers for suggesting this topic as a new way to talk about underrated books especially when underrated is subjective. An easy way to find this -- go to Goodreads, your read list, at the top of your read list where it says settings you can add a column for # of ratings, then you can sort by that. If you aren't a Goodreads user you can look up books you think are underrated and see what their # of reviews is on Goodreads? Or if that's too hard you can spin it some other way!)

So, following the directions, there are only 8 books that make the cut! Apparently, I read a lot of popular books. Maybe I should go off the beaten path every now and then. Interestingly, eight of the nine are on my Must Reads shelf: