Source: from publisher for review

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Truly, Madly, Guilty

July 27, 2016 Uncategorized 10

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Truly, Madly, GuiltyTitle: Truly Madly Guilty
Author: Liane Moriarty
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Not my favorite of Moriarty’s books, but a still a fun, suspenseful, summer read.

“Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other. Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends… But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.  Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?” (source) Because the tragedy that marred an otherwise normal night threatens all of their relationships and how they each view themselves. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Multiple Choice

July 24, 2016 Uncategorized 12

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Multiple ChoiceTitle: Multiple Choice
Author: Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: I’m not entirely certain what to make of this clever and darkly humorous book, but I definitely enjoyed how unique it was.

If you’re like me and actually found standardized tests kind of fun or if you just share my enjoyment of unique book formats, you should definitely check out Multiple Choice. I’ve never read anything like this book, with its test-like format, before. The reading experience reminded me a tiny bit of Brown Girl Dreaming, because in both cases the authors’ packed a lot of meaning into few words. I had to intentionally slow myself down and make myself take the time to absorb the writing. I wasn’t sure this was going to be something I enjoyed at first, but it grew on me.
Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Lost and Found

July 5, 2016 Fiction, Young Adult 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Lost and FoundTitle: The Lost & Found
Author: Katrina Leno
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Although cute, sweet, and quirky, this book managed to tackle some big issues believably and sympathetically.

“Frannie and Louis met in an online support group when they were both younger. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they both have a mysterious tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear. […] They each receive news in the mail that sets them off on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find, as if by magic, important things the other has lost.” (Source) During the trip and with each other’s help, they may be able to come to terms with big changes in their lives. Read more »

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3 Awesome Books About Modern Women in Mini-Reviews

July 1, 2016 Uncategorized 20

3 Awesome Books About Modern Women in Mini-ReviewsTitle: The Assistants
Author: Camille Perri
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Lately, I haven’t had specific review deadlines to guide my reading choices and I find the options a bit overwhelming. I’ve gotten extremely lucky with a lot of the books I’ve picked though! The Assistants was one of several books I’ve read while working on my thesis that was precisely what I needed at the time. It was light and compulsively readable, but also smart and insightful. It had all the fun of a heist movie, but also managed to feel real and relatable. I loved the main character, the sidekicks, and the love interest. I had a serious book hangover afterwards because I couldn’t imagine finding something else that fit my desire for light but smart reading as well as this did. I think everyone in their late twenties will also share my enjoyment of reading a book about a character at this stage in their life. This is a book I want to recommend to everyone, but I think it’s especially perfect if you’re looking for your next not-too-light beach read. Read more »

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Review: The Nordic Theory of Everything

June 18, 2016 non-fiction 12

Review: The Nordic Theory of EverythingTitle: The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life
Author: Anu Partanen
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: A bit repetitive and a mix of uplifting and depressing, but I really enjoyed learning about the government and social structure of other countries.

When Finnish journalist Anu Partanen moved to the United States, she found herself overwhelmed by anxiety. The lack of a social support system, especially public healthcare, and the complexity of everything from taxes to securing a child’s education was shocking compared to the ease and security provided to citizens in Finland. By comparing and contrasting the social services provided in the US and the Nordic countries, she “debunks criticism that Nordic countries are socialist “nanny states,” revealing instead that it is we Americans who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy dependencies than we realize. As Partanen explains step by step, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than we do.” (source) Read more »

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Review: Brilliance and Fire

June 14, 2016 non-fiction 4

Review: Brilliance and FireTitle: Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds
Author: Rachelle Bergstein
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This engaging story that used a single object to tell great personal stories, as well as talking about larger social issues and historic moments, was everything I want from a microhistory.

Diamonds have long fascinated people far beyond their value and the diamond industry has worked hard to keep it that way. Throughout history, they have been associated with everything from critical wartime manufacturing to genocides but still advertising and an artificially limited supply have fairly consistently maintained their association with luxury and love. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Grunt

June 7, 2016 Humor, non-fiction, Science 18

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: GruntTitle: Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War
Author: Mary Roach
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a slightly more depressing topic than Mary Roach’s previous books, but it delivered all the same great elements – fascinating facts, hilarious commentary, and delightful footnotes.

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them” (source). And if you’ve read a book by Mary Roach, that’s probably all you need to know – maybe more than I needed to know. Mary Roach’s amazing ability to find the best fun facts and quirky stories, then present with great candor and humor are enough that I’d read on any topic she wants to write about. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Mirror Thief

May 10, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary, Thriller 9

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Mirror ThiefTitle: The Mirror Thief
Author: Martin Seay
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a big, bold, beautiful story with inspiring writing and an enthralling plot.

“The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world’s most wondrous inventions: the mirror. The Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology, and subject to industrial espionage…for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however—a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose—has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city’s terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten . . . Meanwhile, in two other Venices—Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today—two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret . . .  All three stories will weave together”, connected both thematically and by direct interaction or inspiration of each character by the others. (source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Atomic Weight of Love

May 3, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction 16

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Atomic Weight of LoveTitle: The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel
Author: Elizabeth J. Church
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I liked the idea of this book and the writing was beautiful, but the tone was too detached and the glimpses of the protagonists life were too brief.

“In 1941, at seventeen years old, Meridian begins her ornithology studies at the University of Chicago. She is soon drawn to Alden Whetstone, a brilliant, complicated physics professor who opens her eyes to the fundamentals and poetry of his field, the beauty of motion, space and time, the delicate balance of force and energy that allows a bird to fly. Entranced and in love, Meridian defers her own career path and follows Alden west to Los Alamos, where he is engaged in a secret government project (later known to be the atomic bomb).” (Source) Once there, Alden and Meridian’s relationship suffers. They no longer have the intellectual conversations she so loved and she resents that Alden respects her less now that she no longer has the academic career she gave up for him. When, twenty years later, a young Vietnam veteran shakes up Meridian’s life, she must decide if it’s too late to start again. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Britt-Marie Was Here

April 28, 2016 Fiction 6

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Britt-Marie Was HereTitle: Britt-Marie Was Here
Author: Fredrik Backman
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

At 63 years old, Britt-Marie is used to living for others and very set in her ways, so it takes a lot to convince her to leave her husband of 40 years. This is the beginning of the path that leads her to the small, crumbling town of Brog where the residents may need her as much as she needs them. Through a number of unexpected adventures, from coaching a soccer team despite her previous hatred of the sport to the romantic advances of a kind policeman, she just might learn to live for herself. Read more »

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