The Know-It-All

28116Title: The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
Author: Susan Gloss
Source: PaperBack Swap
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I thought A.J. Jacobs might be too irreverent for me, so I was surprised to find his passion for knowledge and success both relatable and fascinating.

The Know-It-All is a classic stunt memoir, in which author A.J. Jacobs attempts to read the entire print version of the Encyclopedia Britannica… all 33,000 pages of it. Organized by letter, A.J. shares fun facts he learned in each section as well as words that were relevant to his life while he was reading. This included things relating to everything from his job to his attempts to have baby, from his drive to accomplish something to his relationship with his father. Along the way, he also explores the nature of intelligence, testing different definitions with activities like joining Mensa and auditioning for Jeopardy. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Humor, Memoir, non-fiction

Jane Austen Mini-Reviews

50398Title: Northanger Abbey
Author: Jane Austen
Source: free from Amazon
Rating: ★★★☆☆

This may make me a disgrace to Jane Austen fandom, but Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice have always been fairly interchangeable in my mind. They’re just so similar! So, even though I love them both dearly, I was initially very excited to start this book and find something a bit different. As always, I adored Austen’s writing style and her pointed humor. In this book, she very deliberately breaks the tropes of the Gothic novel, with funny asides about the genre along the way. Her points are made clearly enough that I could tell what she was making fun of in Gothic novels, even though I’ve read very few myself. However, as I got further into the book, it soon became clear that there was essentially no plot and the main character isn’t very bright. Although she does grow a bit, she has very little agency. Nearly all of the difficulties she faces are in her head or at least blown all out of proportion. I didn’t really feel that this silly main protagonist deserved the intelligent, funny, kind love interest. In typical Austen fashion though, everything just works itself out in the last few pages. This doesn’t typically bother me, but in this case, there wasn’t enough action by the main character preceding the speedy resolution. Only Austen’s wonderful writing saved this for me. Continue reading

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Filed under Classics, Fiction

The Impaler Legacy

Impaler Legacy - OmnibusTitle: The Impaler Legacy Omnibus
Author: Ioana Visan
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Since this is a collection of several novellas and short stories, I’ve decided to break from my usual format and do short, bulleted reviews for each title in the collection. In this series, the author imagines a world in which vampires coexist with human everywhere except Romania. The absence of vampires is the responsibility of The Little Council, including Liana Cantacuzino and other descendants of Romanian families with some natural resistance to vampiric powers. When the president requests that Liana help sneak a vampire into Romania, the secrets she learns will forever change the way Romanians interact with vampires. Continue reading

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Filed under Fiction

Non-Fiction Friday

NonFictionFriday2

Non-Fiction Friday is a link-up where you can find all of the awesome non-fiction happenings of the week. Be sure to link-up your non-fiction posts too!

Non-Fiction News and Resources

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Filed under non-fiction

Vintage

VintageTitle: Vintage
Author: Susan Gloss
Source: from publisher for TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This is a beautiful, amazing, wonderful book which explore female friendship and stands as a powerful testament to the idea that the modern women can be anyone she wants to be.

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I love books where people’s lives intersect and they all become happier as a result. This is one of those stories. At the beginning, I thought I might be getting tired of that story. I thought this particular story might feel clichéd and exactly like all the others. However, the more I read, the more I was convinced this was something special. The writing did remind me of The Wedding Bees or Lost Lake. Susan Glass does a wonderful job creating a vivid world with a cheerful atmosphere. Her writing is bright and colorful, making reading this book a delightful experience. Initially, I wasn’t sure I liked the fashion references, especially since I’m not fashionable enough to get all of them. I did, however, think the idea of focusing each chapter on one item from Violet’s store (described at the beginning of the chapter) gave this book a unique character. I eventually got used to the in-chapter fashion references too.
Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Romance

Mug O’ Comfort Swap Reveal

Today I’m writing to say thank you to my fantastic swap partner, Cassandra at The Fictionista, and to the lovely ladies at Chaotic Goddess Swaps for putting this together. Although this was Cassandra’s first swap, she did an amazing job putting together a really thoughtful package.

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Filed under Blogger Events

The Collector of Dying Breaths

18144112Title: The Collector of Dying Breaths
Author: M.J. rose
Source: from publisher for France Book Tours
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Although the writing of this book included bits that were melodramatic and bits that were dry, I really enjoyed the action-packed plot, complex characters, unique mythology, and rich grounding in historical fact.

Jac L’Etoile has been hiding from her past. She’s avoided joining the family perfume business, is skeptical about her visions of past lives, and tries not to think about her ex-boyfriend Griffin. However, her brother’s death will force her to confront all three as she tries to finish his final project: reconstructing an ancient formula for reviving someone using their dying breath.  Through her visions, she learns about the originator of the dying breath project, René le Florentin. René is both a perfumer and a poisoner for Catherine de Medici. Only by learning about René’s tragic death can Jac hope to avoid the same fate. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Historical Fiction, Uncategorized