Monday, September 29, 2014

Flop - A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor

Sorta Recommended Read - Satchel & Sword I: The Search for the Saluka Stone by Claudette Marco

Satchel & Sword I: The Search for the Saluka StoneSatchel & Sword I: The Search for the Saluka Stone by Claudette Marco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had the pleasure of running into this author at a comic con, and always like to support indie authors at those events so I grabbed a copy of the book! I love the overall theme of the book following Amazon warriors and involving trickery and magic and all things awesome.

That being said, sadly there was one thing that really made this book tedious - the horrible poetic writing! The phrasing was forced and unnatural, making reading difficult even for someone like myself who reads somewhere around 100+ books per year! If the language was re-written so that the story had a natural flow, it would be a much much better book.

Final thoughts - great underlying story, but it's hidden under unnecessary and annoying verbiage. I'm not sure I'd have the energy to devote to another book in this series despite how much I enjoy the characters!

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Recommended Read - Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Cress by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have loved this series so far, and eagerly anticipated this next installment - and for the most part, it lived up to my expectations! The action and pace were fantastic, and we get to know Cinder, Iko, Kaito, and the Dr quite a bit better. However, Cress as a character is ... well... annoying, for lack of a better term, and neither Scarlet nor Wolf had enough character development in my opinion.

That being said, I can't wait for Winter to come out and see how things end!!!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Recommended Read - Little Known Facts about Well-Known Places: Walt Disney World by Laurie Flannery

Walt Disney World (Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places)Walt Disney World by Laurie Flannery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up this fun little book for a travel client of mine, and couldn't help but read it before giving it away! This has a lot of great tips and facts about Disney that is perfect for the new visitor, and even the seasoned pro. It's small enough to be packed into luggage and taken along with you on a trip to Disney, and could help fill your time while waiting in line for one of the more popular rides. :)

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Recommended Read - Cursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland

Cursed in the ActCursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fans of Sherlock Holmes and other old-style mysteries take note - this is a series just for you! Meet the author Bram Stoker (whose most famous work was Dracula) as imagined in a fictional way through a creative mystery surrounding the Lyceum Theater, which he worked at in real life. The cast of characters feels true to form, and you may recognize some of the names that are dropped throughout the chase to find the dastardly saboteur involved in the crimes at the Lyceum. The only thing that didn't work for me? The weird constant references to red hair - it feels like the author is obsessed with it for some reason. But otherwise this was a fun mystery!

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Recommended Read - Dark Invasion by Howard Blum

Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in AmericaDark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America by Howard Blum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great read for any history buff - or for anyone that enjoys mystery novels! Follow along with a real life spy thriller and learn about the war from a whole new angle. The writing is done in a way that it is not the type of dry, boring read you may often find in this genre, and pictures sprinkled throughout help to clarify mental images of key figures. A few parts did get slow and/or confusing, and since there is such a large cast of characters the names could be easy to confuse, but overall this is a solid read.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Ok normally I just post bookish things, but I'm a huge pizza fiend (though less so since I've been gluten free, the crust just isn't as yummy lol) and I love this promotion by Dominoes!

They did this last year, I didn't win but I got a $5 off coupon. :) This year maybe I can win a bigger prize!

Anyway, to join in, just click here. It has all the details, and you get a free 2 minute head start from me! Yay!

Recommended Read - Ripper by Isabel Allende

RipperRipper by Isabel Allende
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were some slow parts, and a few parts that may have been confusing simply due to translating it into English. But the characters are well-written, and this thriller kept me guessing until the end! I was genuinely surprised yet gratified by the reveal at the end, and found the book fast paced enough to keep my attention until then.

A solid book, great for any fan of suspense or thriller genres.

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Recommended Read - Falling to Earth by Kate Southwood

Falling to EarthFalling to Earth by Kate Southwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a born and raised Midwesterner, so I've heard many tales of tornadoes and the seemingly random destruction they wreak upon towns and cities alike. This masterful tale brilliantly portrays one such tornado, with it's senseless movements and terrible wrath upon a small town in the 1920's. The characters feel so real that it is easy for the reader to ride the rise and swell of emotions, and the devastating ending left me hopelessly crying (and I"m not the emotional sort generally).

This is a fantastic book and one I highly recommend - but keep a box of tissues handy!!

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Sorta Recommended Read - Children of Paradise by Fred Aguiar

Children of Paradise: A NovelChildren of Paradise: A Novel by Fred D'Aguiar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I both loved and hated this book, which I received an Advance Copy of prior to final editing. I loved the inside look of a "Koolaid Cult", for lack of a better description, and the religious obedience ingrained into every single act. It was masterfully scary, terrifyingly realistic and yet so unbelievable that you knew it could happen anywhere at any time. However, the story did have some bits and pieces that felt disjointed and confused the overall plot, and some of the characters felt forced. I also found the ending to be a bit confusing, jumping between two alternates with no clear conclusion as to which was real.

Overall, this was a solid read but could use a little more clarity for my tastes.

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Flop - The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the HedgehogThe Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book, with such an interesting title - but I couldn't even make it past the first few chapters before I gave up in frustration.

Perhaps it's because this is a book translated into English, or perhaps it's just not my style, but I found the perambulating phrasing and perhaps slightly insane characters too much to handle. I couldn't find the hook that would keep me involved and wanting to know more, and instead found myself flipping to the end just to be done with it.

Just not my cup of tea.

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Recommended Read - The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

The Good Luck of Right NowThe Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. What can I say about this book other than it is a remarkable story of faith, family, and friends as told by the lovable Autistic narrator to his movie star idol Richard Gere through a series of letters that are often funny, sometimes poignant, and always downright interesting.

Those in the mental health field may appreciate the portrayals of autism, Tourette's, a little bit of OCD, and bipolar disorder. Those in the midst of a faith struggle may appreciate the complexity of what it means to believe, and how certain beliefs are chosen for us and by us. Others may appreciate the numerous interesting tidbits about Richard Gere woven into the story.

Regardless, I think almost every reader could appreciate this incredible book!

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