On the Book Shelf – December 2017

Fracture
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Woah, boy has it been a while since I’ve done my reading report.  After July I seriously slowed down a LOT on my reading.  I’ve hit 154 books, and hopefully will meet 160 by years end, if I finish everything I’m currently reading. Because it has been SO long since I’ve done this. I’m going to highlight a few books from months past, and will likely do the same over the next couple of months.  Life is about to get crazy busy with a new job and lots of writing to be done, so hopefully next year I can do at least a third as well as I did in 2017. 🙂 So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve read, and what I’m reading now will follow closely after. What I Read Life changing. I actually had seen this on netgalley a while back, but not knowing what it was didn’t click “request”.  Then a friend mentioned something on twitter about #oola, and I got intrigued, then remembered seeing the book and requested it. I got approved, but it sat on my Kindle for a while…until one weekend when I had some time waiting around while doing a little bit of work…and so I went ahead and started this. I’m not sure why I did…but I’m SO glad I did. I could go on and on, but the short of how much I liked it is this:  I bought the print version of the original for him. Then, I bought the print version of for myself…having it on my Kindle was not enough. I wanted more. The voice is good and easy to read, the stories told are sometimes of the eye-rolling variety with some very wealthy people talking about things I could only dream about…but it didn’t detract from the core message.  The core message that you’ll be hearing a bit about as I work on it. I have a long way to go to find my oola, but I’m excited for the journey.   I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. All my friends read it WAY back in high school…but I never did, no clue why. A couple-few years ago, we watched the movie based on the book. It was slightly memorable, but we haven’t watched it since… And yet, when I started listening to this, I knew the narrator sounded distinctly familiar. It had been some time since I had seen the movie, but I swore the narrator was one in the same. A quick check and I found it that it was! Stephen Fry gave a fun, quirky read for this fun, quirky book.  It was an enjoyable listen for sure. I grew up watching the syndicated reruns of the Carol Burnett Show. I love it. I laughed with it. I have many good, fond memories of the show. This book was read by Carol herself, which is awesome.  The stories were a mix of details over how the show got created, how she knew some of the guest stars before they appeared, and other behind the scenes magic…along with fantastic retelling of some of the best skits, which sometimes got our wonderful narrator chuckling at the stories herself. A fun listen, and even had me in tears as she spoke of the final episode, and her closing monologue.  Definitely worth a listen if you ever watched the show.     I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while. I’ve been told time and again that I should read it. Since I once worked at B&N in the late 90’s (one of my favorite jobs), I’ve been hearing about this one. By luck of the draw, I picked it off my shelf using random.org to select a book on my shelf. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it!  It was a quick read, and very interesting. The set up of the world was perfect, descriptive, and drew me in. Loved the introduction of color into it. For once, I totally understand why people were telling me to read it. Very good, and I highly recommend. Not sure if I’ll read on, as I have a mountain of books on my shelves…but definitely enjoyed it.     I got this a while ago, started reading it, then stopped. Then got the audiobook and didn’t finish before my borrow period ran out. Then hubby got it and read it all the way through and raved (never mind that I told him about it first…it took someone else telling him aobut it to read it.).  So, finally, I got to borrow it again and listen all the way through. First, if you didn’t know, this is read by Wil Wheaton. I’m a big WW fan…have been for years.  His voice is perfect for this bit of nostalgic geektastic fantasy. I really liked all the fun mentions of classic 80’s pop culture. You can’t help but grin at all of the many references.  The action is interesting, and kept me wrapped up in it, worried about how it would come out.   What I’m Reading Now I am a huge little house fan. Have been since the age of 4. I read them 18 times between the ages of 4 and 18. Over and over. One of the few books I can claim to have re-read. So, when I happened to see this book show up in my facebook feed, I knew I had to get it. And I did. Set during the Little House on the Prairie novel, but told from Caroline’s perspective, it’s an intriguing look at Ma Ingalls…a character I’ve always been fascinated with and staunchly picky about in any screen-rendition of (but let’s not get into the TV show or mini-series, we’ll be here forever). I’m about 1/3 of the way through it right now.  The writing is stunningly lyrical, the imagery beautiful.  My biggest hiccup, and it’s all my own issue, is getting my brain to register that this is Ma Ingalls…and it’s not a book for kids…because there is talk of her attraction to Charles, and their intimacies. A hurdle I will happily get over, because I have to continue reading it. I got most of this series off of netgalley (one of them is not available for some reason). I’ve barely scratched the surface of it, so I have not thoughts yet, but it seems like it will be a quick enough read. If I can ever remember to open my Kindle to read with all of the print books I have lying around.   Okay…I had heard nothing about this book, seen nothing about it, knew nothing of its existence. I went to the library to get the next book in the line, and had no intention of getting anything else, but I cannot go to the library without meandering. The bright neon colors on the spine of this book called to me, and the title of “Meddling Kids”. I opened it up and read the blurb, and instantly knew I had to borrow it, even though it was on the new shelf, which meant a short borrowing period. It’s basically a different version (yet totally familiar) of the Scooby Doo Mystery kids…all grown up, years after their last catch has passed, all still haunted by the inexplicable things that happened that night, which can’t be explained away by the very human man they apprehended. Seems like a fun, slightly kooky read.   I know next to nothing about this book. Honestly. I am pretty sure I’ve seen it on the library shelves, the title and cover seem familiar…but it is nothing I’ve picked up before. I blame this library borrow on the TV advertisement for the show that’s coming out based on the book. I thought the show seemed interesting, mentioned it to the hubster and he said, “Is it based on that book?” I said, “What book?” And within 30 minutes I was on my way to the library. So there you go. We’ll see what happens.   *~* That’s it for this month. I decided to go easy on us all, because there are a BUNCH that I’ve never mentioned on here, both good and bad. Hopefully next month some of these currently reading books will be read.   Read more »

What I’m Reading – July 2017

Happy Independence Day to my American friends!  To everyone else…HIHI! 🙂 I was going to initially say June was a slow month for me…until I started gathering all of the images for the post and realized that…nope…I actually read quite a bit…so bear with me while I try to be concise!! What I Read Born with Teeth – A Memoir (audiobook) Autobiography of Kate Mulgrew read by the author. Deeply fascinating and moving…I learned so much about Kate Mulgrew that I never knew before. I’ve only ever known her as Captain Janeway, but now there’s so much more to her than I ever realized before. Definitely worth a read… Definitely worth listening to the audiobook even more. There is nothing like hearing an actress tell her story in her own words.  I’ve heard a rumor that she’s planning to continue on with her memoir (this one concludes around season 5 of Voyager)…if she does, I’m all in. Star Wars: Rogue One (A junior novelization audiobook) Grabbed this on impulse at the library because…it was there. I really enjoyed the movie and thought I’d enjoy this one. I was right.  The narrator was good and easy to listen to. Despite being a “Junior” novelization, the story didn’t feel lacking in any way, shape, or form. It covered all the key points of the movie, left nothing out, and added to the depth of the story in just the right places. I liked getting into the mind of some characters more than you do just seeing them on the screen. Great movie, and a great book.   We Come Apart Ooof. As soon as I saw Sarah Crossan’s name on this one, I knew I had to try to get it…and I started reading it within hours of being approved. After all, I’d truly loved (despite all the wild feels) her book, One…and though I knew nothing about Brian Conaghan…I was more than happy to read another of Crossan’s stories in poetry form. I’m not sure what I expected out of this…but I didn’t get it…I got something better. You’re immediately thrown into the sort of mindset these two teenagers are in. Nicu is clearly foreign as his verses are all broken English and strange phrases. The connection between the two starts slow, and builds into a snowball. I couldn’t put it down. *Copy attained via netgalley. All opinions are my own.   The Ocean at the End of the Lane While at the library looking for something else to read…I did a search for quick reads. This one came up, the library had it, and I’d been wanting to try some Gaiman. So glad I did. This was quite startlingly engrossing. I stayed up until almost 3AM to finish it once I sat down with it.  A strange mix of fairy tale and reality, the flashback of a story. Honestly, I don’t even know how to begin to describe it. It’s just a book you need to read. * Wake of Vultures (The Shadow #1) This was a re-read for me. I read it a couple of years ago, but wanted to reread it so I could read the second because the third book in the series will be out this year. A couple years ago I picked it up on a blind read from the library because of the cover and loved it. I think I forgot in the interim how much I enjoyed it.  This is such a fascinating blend of paranormal and historical. It’s not a romance, but there’s definitely romantic elements, there’s a resolution, but there’s no complete ending…and the… Okay, all I have to say this is the most literal of cliffhangers ever. Onto the next. ASAP. * Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Audiobook) What can I say? I’m addicted to audiobooks.  The silly thing is, I could just go into the library and take out the CD’s of this series..but I just put them on hold through Overdrive and wait with anticipation…getting the next one is like a little (free) Christmas present every couple of months. 🙂 As usual, the audiobook did not disappoint. I even enjoyed hearing the story over either watching or reading it directly. I’m not sure how or why the narrator made it so much more enjoyable, but he did…and I looked forward to turning on my app every day. Locke & Key vol’s 1-3 My friend, JoAnne, from book club recommended these graphic novels. At first, I wasn’t sure…but volume one, Welcome to Lovecraft, sucked me in quickly, and leaving things as it did, I couldn’t wait to pick up book 2.  I’m on volume 4 as we speak, but have slowed down this first week of July.  However, they’re all due next week so I expect to have them done soon. Onto the stories themselves….creepy and dark, plenty of weird twists. The kids are in on it all, the adults mildly oblivious. Tragedy, terror, and complete utter weirdness is on every page of these GN’s and it’s fabulous. A Year & a Day of Everyday Witchcraft and Supermarket Sabbats I might have threatened to scratch out netgalley’s eyes if I didn’t get Deborah Blake’s book here. I’m a huge fan, she’s my friend on Facebook…and I just wanted it.  Thankfully, Netgalley complied, and I gobbled this book up FAST. As usual, Deborah’s voice, even in non-fiction like this, was warm and welcoming, easy to read when you’re reading a sort of devotional (but so not a devotional at the same time).  The daily tasks suggested were completely doable in a day, and the lessons wonderful. I have full designs on getting this in print so I can use it every day. Supermarket Sabbats also had an easy voice to read, and some great tips on at-home rituals. Another great reference book that I’d like to get for my overflowing shelf. *Both these books were received free via netgalley. all opinions are my own. A Few Graphic Novels from an A to an “eh”-worthy D Spill Zone – I’ve wanted this one for a while now…I don’t know, the cover appealed to me, the familiar author (though I’ve only read Uglies)…either way, this was a great, different post-apocalyptic world to explore. The characters were great, the artwork was wonderful, edgy and slightly abstract in all the right ways. I’m anxious to read book two to see where this goes. Poe – A graphic novel depiction of some of Poe’s stories and poems. They were stunningly dark, appropriately dreary, and I’m a sucker for anything Poe-related. Definitely worth a read if you like Poe. *received via netgalley. Opinions are my own. Artful – A weird vampire-filled take on the Artful Dodger story.  The artwork was…choppy to me. Perhaps it was intentional, but I didn’t enjoy it or the vampire storyline. I know that’s a “thing” now to do classics with monsters…but it’s not my thing. *received via netgalley. Opinions are my own. What I’m Reading Now Star Wars – Aftermath Set after the events of Return of the Jedi. The narrator on this is awesome…he’s the same that did the Junior novelizations of the original trilogy and his voice acting is AMAZING. Anyhoo…I’m only about 20% in so I can’t say much about where the story is at…but I am highly intrigued. I love that it starts with a “known” character in Wedge before bringing in unfamiliar characters. Nice touch. Now I just have to finish before it’s due in 10 days. Locke & Key vol’s 4-6 I’ve already started on 4…but need to get on the ball. These books are due in about 5 days and I’m out of renewals. Really, really enjoy this dark and twisty series, I just fell out of my reading zone for a couple of weeks. I think I needed a breather. Anyhoo, back at it today. Watch me burn through those pages.   Zeroes Hey, look at that…I seem to be on a Westerfield kick these days (I have Pretties on my bookshelf waiting for me). So far Zeroes is decent. I’m really  not far in…this is a LONG book. Hopefully I get it done before it’s due back at the library. Teens with magical powers that don’t make sense and aren’t exactly what you’d call “awesome” as they often hurt more than they help…but they banded together…then fell apart. This is apparently about how they end up beginning to pick the pieces back up.   Growing Wings I read and reviewed book 1 sometime back…I was super excited to get on the review team for book 2…when it was supposed to be out on July 19th.  Yeah, it released yesterday and I’ve read like half a chapter because I wasn’t in the zone. Still, I have started it and am super excited to see where the story goes. I’ll definitely let you know when I do. 😉 *copy received free via the author. all opinions are my own. * The Book of Broadway I love all things Broadway. So this is a no-brainer. It is HUGE and not at all in chronological order…so I’m trying to get used to that. Should be a quick read, though…even if it is on my computer only (hate books like that unless they’re graphic novels). * *~* I’m going to spare you the what I’m reading next list since this is already huge, I’m running behind for work, and all of that jazz. See you next month!   Read more »


by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.


What I’m Reading – June 2017 (Part 2)

And I’m back with the books I read in May!! Once again there’ll be none of the what i’m currently reading or reading next…because that would make this crazy long….so onto Part 2… What I Read In May Beauty in Summer, Beauty in Autumn, & Beauty in Winter (Beauty #’s 2,3, & 4) As I mentioned last week, I picked these up on a whim on my way out of town. As a whole I enjoyed the series. I enjoyed 1 & 3 most (Spring & Autumn).  Those two had backstory, something…more…to them. For me, Summer and Winter were more sex for sex’s sake. It was “mates meet and that’s all she wrote.” They know nothing about each other, but sure, let’s bond for life. While they were short reads, I still want more substance to my smut.  Beauty in Autumn delivered that for me, Summer and Winter did not. Overall, I enjoyed the series, though. Fun, quick reads. Joyride vol. 1 I had no idea what I was getting into when I requested this one from netgalley. I paid pretty much no attention to the blurb, and only noticed the top half of the cover. Let’s just say I was on a graphic novel requesting spree, and this fell into the pile. I’m glad it did, though. It was fun, unexpected, and different. The fact that the Joyride is in a spaceship, and that the heroine is a ‘devil may care’ person bursting through life, and into the hearts of her both willing, and unwilling, compatriots, were unusual enough to keep my attention. Danger peered around every corner, and the resolution of each situation was swift, but not so swift that I found it inane. I’m definitely interested enough to want to get the next in the series. *Copy attained via netgalley. All opinions are my own.   The Wendy Project A surprising take on the Peter Pan story, in graphic novel form, in a contemporary setting. I realized none of this when I requested it, but quickly realized what it was as I got into the heart of the story. The artwork in this graphic novel is lovely. The mix of black and white and color to maintain the essence of what the story is really brings things into perspective. About love and loss, grief and acceptance. The story, its message, and its artwork all combine into a lovely graphic novel well worth the time. *Copy attained via netgalley. All opinions are my own.   Wires and Nerve vol. 1 A graphic novel that is, I didn’t realize, a continuation of The Lunar Chronicles (which I have not read). I only knew it was by Marissa Meyer, and that the cover looked cool, and I was seeing it EVERYWHERE. So when I spotted it at the local library, I picked it up. Unfortunately, like most super-popular things, I have never been one to go crazy over the Lunar Chronicles (as is evidence by my partially read copy of Cinder that has been sitting on my shelf for years, as I found it “meh” and never finished).  The graphic novel itself isn’t so much a standalone as it referenced the series ALL.THE.TIME. That is to be expected as an extension of the original series, but I felt like I should have seen the massive spoiler alert on the cover (my fault for blind-grabbing). Either way, I didn’t find this overly exciting, even with the inclusionof creatures and ships and such. The artwork was stunning, but the story itself fell flat for me, I’m afraid.  I think this would be PERFECT for fans of Meyer. Unfortunately, I am not yet one. Gretchen (Zombillenium 1) Just look at that stunning cover. How could you go wrong? Add in a creature-filled zombie theme park, some clueless normal’s, a witch, a secret mission, and the ultimate creature being created… Well, it was a fun little romp in the graphic novel realm for sure.  Short but sweet, fun and slightly weird, all in all just how i like them. The artwork is gorgeous, the characters are interesting and fleshed out. Glad I picked this up on a whim at the library. * The Descendants vol 1 (Manga style) Anyone that’s a fan of the movie will easily enjoy this version of the story.  The artwork is fun, and the story is true to the movie. A new way to see it all over again. It was fun, and cutoff with a little of a cliffhanger. Would definitely grab it for my GN & Disney loving middle one. *copy received free via netgalley. All opinions are my own. *~* That’s it for what I read in May. Even fewer than in April (although I may have accidentally put a few May reads in my April post by mistake. It’s a lot of books and I get confused, even with GR helping tell me when I finished something. lol. Anyway, it’s back to regularly scheduled programming next month, and I have hit a milestone number in my books read for the year. 🙂   Read more »