Shelf Control #9

Happy Wednesday! It’s time for another edition of Shelf Control hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan.

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses.

It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned–crime pays.

Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders, and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding–though from what or whom?

Worse, Julia suspects that there’s a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city.

The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. To go back to the safety of her friends and fellow thieves. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she’d ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.

How I Got It: 

Book sale! There’s a children’s literature reviewer near my house. They have a book sale every couple of months selling books publishers give them for very cheap. I love acquiring books that way.

Why I Want To Read It:

I’ve heard a lot of buzz around the book community about this book. I don’t know a whole lot about it, but in general I’m into reading YA books.

When I Am Going To Read It:

I don’t know when I’m going to get to this. Maybe in the summer?

Until Next Time World…

Shelf Control #8

Happy Wednesday! It’s time for another edition of Shelf Control hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel.

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

Reina Castillo is the alluring young woman whose beloved brother is serving a death sentence for a crime that shocked the community, throwing a baby off a bridge—a crime for which Reina secretly blames herself. With her brother’s death, though devastated and in mourning, Reina is finally released from her prison vigil. Seeking anonymity, she moves to a sleepy town in the Florida Keys where she meets Nesto Cadena, a recently exiled Cuban awaiting with hope the arrival of the children he left behind in Havana. Through Nesto’s love of the sea and capacity for faith, Reina comes to understand her own connections to the life-giving and destructive forces of the ocean that surrounds her as well as its role in her family’s troubled history, and in their companionship, begins to find freedom from the burden of guilt she carries for her brother’s crime.

Set in the vibrant coastal and Caribbean communities of Miami, the Florida Keys, Havana, Cuba, and Cartagena, Colombia, with The Veins of the Ocean Patricia Engel delivers a profound and riveting Pan-American story of fractured lives finding solace and redemption in the beauty and power of the natural world, and in one another.

How I Got It: 

I purchased this book through Book of the Month. If you haven’t checked it out, you really should. It’s a cool subscription service.

Why I Want To Read It:

Roxane Gay was the person who recommended it, and I love her. The book also seems interesting in general.

When I Am Going To Read It:

Definitely going to be on my TBR in February.

Until Next Time World…

Shelf Control #7

Happy Wednesday! It’s time for another edition of Shelf Control hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

How I Got It: 

My edition of this is an ARC that I received at BlogBound in 2016.

Why I Want To Read It:

Books about death always have a good premise. This is a series; so I’m not sure how much I’ll love it. I’m not a big series person.

When I Am Going To Read It:

This will probably get read in February. It’s a YA book; so it should be an easy addition to that month.

Until Next Time World…

Top “10” Underrated Books I’ve Read Recently-ish

Hi Friends –

Another week, another Top Ten Tuesday. This bookish meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish every Tuesday. This week focuses on books that I believe are underrated and/or hidden gems. I think that I talk about these types of books a decent amount, but since I haven’t consistently blogged on here. I’m going to reference from the ones I read in late 2016.

  • Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
    1. Sherman Alexie isn’t underrated, but I haven’t seen a lot about his books other than The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. I enjoyed this collection of short stories, and recommend it to anyone who is looking to read some #ownvoices about indigenous people of the US.
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
    • This book got a little traction from BoTM and some NPR type lists. However, I do see it mentioned a lot in the blogging/booktube world. I think that the writing ended up being better than expected, and the story of family drama was interesting. It would have been a little bit better if socio-economic status was explored more, but overall this was solid 4 star read.
  • Puddn’head Wilson by Mark Twain
    • I read this book in college, and re-read it for a readathon sometime in the past couple of months. It’s amazing the complexity that Twain puts into this little story about an attorney. I believe I had to write a paper about this at one time, but if I had to now I would explore what Twain’s commentary on slavery/black Americans meant within the context of the children’s role switch.
  • A Murder In Time by Julie McElwain
    • I randomly picked up this book, but it ended up being a very interesting tale of a modern day officer stuck in the middle ages. It’s enjoyable and has fantastical aspects if you like things like that.
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
    • I really, really liked this book. I don’t understand why I don’t see it on more blogs/book reviews. I think people should really pick up this #ownvoices work about a teenage trans girl trying to survive high school. It’s hopeful, albeit not perfect, but we need to support literature like this. It’s so important for people to see themselves in books.

 

What doing this list has shown me, is that I read A LOT of popular books toward the end of 2016. I also read a lot of books that were just okay. The books I listed here, don’t get enough blog/media  traction, and really should.

Until Next Time World…

Shelf Control #6

Happy Wednesday! I’m bring back shelf control to the blog, because my TBR shelf is SERIOUSLY out of control. At some point toward the end of 2016, I counted 90 books. That’s pretty wild. But also probably due to me picking up 30 books at a book sale for less than $25. Shelf Control is hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma.

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

In a Nigerian town in the mid 1990’s, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family. 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. Seen through the prism of one family’s destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions—economic, political, and religious—and the epic beauty of its own culture. With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation’s masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.

How I Got It: 

My friend Amanda got this for me for my birthday in 2016.

Why I Want To Read It:

This book was a man booker finalist. The past couple of years I’ve been trying to keep up with the nominees.

When I Am Going To Read It:

Fortune is unclear. Hopefully sometime in 2017…

Until Next Time World…

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite 2016 Releases

It seems as though people really liked when I did this bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish every Tuesday. So here is another one for this week.

 

  1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  2. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  3. A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain
  4. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
  5. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  6. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  7. Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
  8. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  9. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  10. Giant Days, Vol. 2 by John Allison

 

I’ve talked about a lot of these books on my blog already, and if I haven’t talked about it yet – expect an upcoming post (I’m looking at you Raven Boys Cycle). I realized that this list basically covers almost all of the books that I’ve read that were published this year. What are your favorites? Do we have any that overlap? Let me know in the comments down below.

Until Next Time World…

Top 10 Books That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

I don’t know if I’m going to regularly do this, but I liked this week’s topic. I’ve read a lot of political science books that don’t get much traction on Goodreads. I’m going to use this time to highlight some of those books and some other underrated fiction.

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This is a memoir about a person who was addicted to prescription pain killers. I really enjoy books about recovered (recovering) addicts. This one was a little better than others. I gave it 4 stars.

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I’ve referenced this book on my blog before, and it’s fantastic. It’s a in depth look about hunger in the US. It gives you a lot of food for thought. 4 stars!

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This is a book I read either in grad school or undergrad. I took a couple of National Security courses (my specialization), and it was pretty great. Richard Betts makes what could be a boring topic engaging. If you’re interested in the CIA, FBI, and the overall American intelligence system – this book is for you! 4 stars.

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I cannot believe that Heather McElhatton’s books don’t have more views on Goodreads. She’s such a good writer for those of us who enjoy chick-lit. This book, in particular, is absolutely hilarious.  5 stars!

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I really liked this book. It’s sort of like an adult version of a Dead Poet’s Society. A bunch of people trying to answer the questions of life. This book is definitely character driven, which is great. Walter Mosley has a lot of books, and I think this is one of his best. 4 stars.

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This book probably only has under 2000 ratings because it’s new. But you should definitely go out and read this book. It’s an #ownvoices book written by a trans woman about a trans girl who moves to live with her father in the South. It’s a contemporary romance, and is very cute! 4 stars!

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This book is so good! This was on the short list for the Manbooker International Prize for 2016, and I am so happy that I read it. It’s a wonderful fictional telling of the The Great Leap forward and life in a re-education camp. If you don’t know what The Great Leap forward is, try to pick up this book. 4.5 stars.

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Good Kings, Bad Kings is a good book shedding some light on both individuals with physical disabilities and the state care system. It’s written by a woman who crated plays focusing on physical disabilities, and she uses a wheelchair herself. This book is set in Chicago and is written in a variety of dialects that are true to inhabitants of Chicago and the surrounding areas. If you’re looking to read some books that have a variety of characters, I’d suggest this book. It’s a 5 star read.

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This is another Man Booker International Prize 2016 find. It’s originally written in French, and it follows the path of a heart transplant. You get to see into the lives of the person who is going to donate the heart, their family, the doctors and nurses involved, and the recipient of the heart. It’s an interesting look at how the transplant process effects so many. I thought it was a superb concept. 4 stars!

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I actually don’t understand how more people haven’t read this book. It follows a male narrator, Benjamin, who’s parents drop him off at an in-patient “boarding school” for trouble teens. These “troubles” range from depression to anxiety to a variety of personality disorders. The hospital is very focused on punishment and Benjamin has to figure out how to navigate his years at the school.

I love recommendations! I hope that you’ll check out a couple of this books. Happy Tuesday!

Until Next Time World…

Shelf Control

So I’ve been working a lot and pretty uninspired, but I wanted to post something today. I’ve heard of these things called “book memes” and I decided to see if there were any cool ones for Wednesday. I found this one, hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. Since I’ve packed away most of my books, I didn’t have that many on my shelf to choose from. However, my pick this week is Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson.

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The Goodreads Blurb:

Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years, but now she’s writing her first book in decades and to ensure timely completion her publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noël Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth graders.

As she gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who his father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

Full of heart and countless only-in-Hollywood moments, Be Frank With Me is a captivating and heartwarming story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.

How I Got It: 

I have the uncorrected proof that my friend lent to me earlier this year. (She won the proof in a Goodreads giveaway because she is lucky and I am not.)

Why I Want To Read It:

I love books about writers and other books. This one seems to tie in some nice family drama, which always makes for a fun and entertaining read. My friend also enjoyed it, and she has good taste.

When I Am Going To Read It:

This is one of my next 10 books that I’ll read. So I will definitely finish this in the next two months. I’m determined to not let the library distract me too much.


That was pretty fun! Get ready for these weekly from now on.

Until Next Time World…