Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Last Wish

Honestly I love how much this fleshed out the show for me. I had some questions and this book definitely filled in the gaps! I loved how many of the monsters had backstories from fairy tale lore that we all know and love (Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White). The stories are told mostly through flashbacks as Geralt recovers from wounds he got while fighting a Striga. From meeting Yennefer for the first time, to travelling to the "end of the world," to the law of surprise - Geralt has many an adventure. Nearly all the stories in the book are told during season one of the Netflix series, The Witcher.  Freaking fun and I definitely plan on reading more in this series. I want to know more about the man and his adventures!

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

If you loved Firefly you will absolutely love this! A rag tag crew of humans and aliens on a patchwork ship must go on a very long haul across space. They are tunnelers and they have just been commissioned on the biggest job of their lives. They are going to create a space tunnel towards a new GC colony. Easy right? Wrong.  They not only have to contend with the risk of space, vigilantes, and space disasters; they have to make sure they can survive each other for that long. For the most part the crew gets along, but there is at least one member who rubs everyone the wrong way. Laugh out loud funny, inventive, and cute this space opera is fantastic. The audio book was especially great! I have to read the next two in the series!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Matchmker

These are all so stupidly good. Why has no one ever thought of putting an Amish spin on Jane Austen before?!? This spin off of Emma is wonderfully done and so faithful to the book. I really enjoyed this and I can't wait to get the rest in this series. It's a light fluffy read and is such a uniquely satisfying spin on a classic that is truly closer and more faithful than any other adaptation I've read! The summary is Emma. It's just like Emma. There is still bonnets, matchmaking, picnics, weekly visits, and handsome men. All the essentials!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

First Impressions

I've read a lot of adaptations in my day and I thought this was one of the most unique. The Amish lifestyle is very well suited to Jane Austen's classic novels of love and society; instead of balls there are singings, but both still have horse drawn carriages (or rather buggies), modesty, manners, and grace. Lots of good clean fun. I look forward to reading the rest of the adaptations in this series.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Somebody Give This Heart a Pen

Raw emotion oozes out of every pore of this poetry collection. This collection of poems covers it all, love, family, coming of age, identity, police brutality and more. It's evocative, painful, brilliant, and powerful. Thakur is a talented spoken word performer and this debut collection of poetry is need now more than ever. Fearmongering, Girl You Better Sing, and Heavy World especially seem needed in these turbulent times. Definitely a voice to pay attention to and I look forward to reading more of her works!

Dead Letters

Ugh - was not a fan. Premise started ok but then quickly veered into the absurd. And it didn't help that this was one of those books that has ZERO likable characters. Not a redeemable one. Ava and Zelda are twins born into an alcoholic, vineyard owning family. Their dad walks out when their teenagers and their home life gets even more tumultuous. Ava is always the reserved responsible one and Zelda is easy-going, carefree and seeks out trouble. After college the two have a falling out and Ava flees to France for grad school. When Ava receives the call that her sister died in a barn fire she doesn't believe if for a second. Zelda is up to her old tricks and Ava is going to play her stupid morbid game. When Ava starts receiving emails from Zelda's email account - sh knows it's only a matter of time before she beats her at her own game. Dark, disturbing, and hard to feel pity for any of these shallow characters.

Monday, June 15, 2020


One of the most necessary books I have ever read. Even though this remix of the original version is written for teens, the writing style and the prose make it accessible to everyone. Powerful, searing, and eye opening; I wish everyone could read this book and open their hearts. So many ideas we have about race aren't ours and we've been lied to time and time again without us even knowing. It goes much deeper and farther back than we realize. We need to work hard at becoming antiracist, not just once, but every day. A punch to the gut, but absolutely necessary to wake you up to the history of racism and to the possibility of what the future could be without it.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

One Corpse Too Many

As an avid fan of the Masterpiece Theater series, I was excited to finally read this bad boy. This was always my favorite episode because it introduced my man, Hugh Beringer. There is something soothing wholesome and educational about medieval mysteries and this series is the best of the best. Brother Cadfael used to be a man about the world and served in the crusades, but these days he's much more content in his herb garden. Things in the world are more hectic than ever and the battle between Queen Maude and King Stephen as they fight for the throne is literally outside the gates. When Kind Stephen takes over he kills all the rebels, but when the monks go to give the poor traitors a christian burial they discover one extra body among the hanged. Who killed him and why? Brother Cadfael takes it upon himself to avenge this poor wretch whose death was not ordered by the king. Fabulous storytelling and an amazing setting!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Quantum of Silence

I really enjoyed this collection of short stories they varied in intrigue, missions, and continents. In one or two of the stories Bond is only a minor part of the action - but honestly that made it more interesting. Some of the stories include Octopussy, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, Quantum of Silence, 007 in New York, The Hildebrand Rarity, From a View to a Kill, and others. Many are also movies but their only similarities to the films are the titles, the plots are vastly different. Minus the blatant sexism and racism; the action is always unique and intense, and the stories are compelling and readable. This collection is better than some of the full length novels, I had no idea that these even existed, being published in Playboy, Cosmopolitan, and other publications. A great collection!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Recipe for Persuasion

I didn't love this one as much as Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors but I LOVE that it was set in the same universe with the same characters and the focus on food, family, and friendships. Ashna Raje desperately needs to come up with a way to save her restaurant. She's been the owner and chef at Curried Dreams since her father's suicide when she was 18. These days all she seems to do is stress out and have panic attacks and things are only about to get worse when she finds out her best friend has signed her up for a cooking show. She want's to reject it but she desperately needs the money to save her restaurant. When she finds out who her celebrity partner though she wants to curl up under a rock and die. It's her first boyfriend (the one no one knew about) who has gone on to become an internationally famous soccer player. Why is he back in her life after all this time? How long can they keep up the charade that they don't know each other? Ashna was a tough nut to crack but once the reader is able to peel back all the layers to her anxiety and history; she becomes much more understood and beloved. I also really liked Ashna's mother's story-line. I can't wait for the next one in this series!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Home Before Dark

Absolutely stellar! This horror novel had definite "Haunting of Hill House" vibes. I couldn't put it down. It was compulsively readable, creepy, and super intriguing! When Maggie was 5 she and her parents lived in a huge hulking house that turned out to be haunted. They fled after 20 days never to return. Her father wrote a bestselling book about their experience and that book has changed Maggie's life. She was too young to remember those 20 days so all she knows is what her father wrote about it and she doesn't believe any of it. Her parents refused to ever discuss it with her. When her father dies she discovers that she has inherited the house. She didn't even know her father still had it. What else was he lying to her about. She goes to the house to flip it and try to sell it for a profit, but really she's going for answers. Chapters alternate between Maggie's present day experiences in the house and excerpts from her fathers book. So good and I didn't see the ending coming. I loved it! Riley Sager hits another one out of the ballpark!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Shutter Island

It's been a good six years or so since I saw the movie so I had pretty much forgotten all about the twist. This psychological suspense novel has pretty good build. It keeps leaving you with more questions. US Marshal Teddy Daniels is sent to Shutter Island to look for a missing woman. The island houses the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane and all of the inmates are violent and crazy. Teddy and his partner are having a tough time getting answers and everything is getting jumbled. Are they doing illegal treatments on the patients? How could this woman have escaped? What are they hiding? Dark, disturbing, and the twist will leave breathless!

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

WOW! I didn't know if I would love this but I was hooked in the first chapter. I was drawn back in so quickly it was like I never left Panem! I didn't think I would care for a story that centered on Snow the future president; but really it was fascinating. He's a teenager when the 10th Hunger Games takes place and he's assigned as a mentor to a girl from District 12. Readers get SO MUCH backstory on the games, the war, and the slow and steady rise of the capital. Snow is from a great family but dirt poor - having his champion, Lucy Gray, win the Hunger Games could secure his spot in University - tuition free. Snow always land on top. Things get a lot more complicated when he starts to fall for Lucy Gray, how could they ever make romance work though - she's from the districts?! Filled with so many unforgettable characters; this book will make readers want to re-read the entire trilogy. My true rating 4.5. Excellent, unexpected prequel!

Monday, June 1, 2020

What Momma Left Behind

Worie is going to have to learn to fend for herself quick. She's 17, unmarried, and her mother has just killed herself. Her father is dead, one brother is a drunk and in jail, and the other brother is an evil snake. She's going to have to learn how to take of herself and her small house and plot of land in the Appalachian mountain community. She soon realizes that some may have it worse than her. As typhoid and the influenza spread through the mountains many children are left orphaned and starving. Worie may be the only person capable and willing to take them under her wing. She at least has reliable neighbors who can help out; but when one of her good for nothing brothers comes storming back into the picture things are about to become even more complicated. Fans of inspirational historical fiction will enjoy this unique look into the hard living of mountain people and their unwavering faith amidst unbelievable tragedies.