TLC Book Review: Dragon Springs Road

February 9, 2017 Uncategorized 6

TLC Book Review: Dragon Springs RoadTitle: Dragon Springs Road
Author: Janie Chang
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Enjoyable but a bit bland and not as good as the author’s earlier novel.

Although I enjoyed this book, it left me with mixed feelings. The writing was good, but it mostly just stayed out of the way of the story. The scenery wasn’t easy to picture and sometimes I felt I was only given a few small details about a place or a person – not enough to picture them as a whole. The plot was fast-paced, but I didn’t feel especially emotionally invested. The only time I found myself getting a little emotional was in the last chapter or two. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Systematic

February 7, 2017 Uncategorized 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: SystematicTitle: Systematic: How Systems Biology Is Transforming Modern Medicine
Author: James R. Valcourt
|Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: I enjoyed hearing about the fascinating success stories and future directions of this exciting new field.

Systems biology is a newly formed and rapidly evolving field, filled with exciting new research made possible by the computing power available today. Many scientists still do valuable research exploring very small, specific parts of biology. Now systems biologists are beginning to look at how all of this previously studies pieces connect. By taking into account the bigger picture, systems biology has enabled the design of “cancer drugs personalized to an individual’s genetically unique tumor, insights into how the brain works, and the discovery that the bacteria and other microbes that live in the gut may drive malnutrition and obesity.” (source) And that’s just the beginning. Read more »

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Doing Discussions: Why Have Giveaways?

February 7, 2017 Uncategorized 12

I’ve been really lucky this quarter, with publishers sending review copies for many of the books I mentioned looking forward to in the Futuristic Friday post I did with Tamara of Traveling with T. This also means lots of giveaway copies for all of you, since I always promise publishers that these are books I’ll promote and pass along. Since this has meant a lot of me running giveaways and often paying (the small amount) of shipping myself, it’s made me think more about what motivates me to run giveaways. I’ll share with you some of the reasons I’ve thought of, but then I’m curious about your perspective on giveaways too! Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Furry Logic

February 2, 2017 Uncategorized 2

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Furry LogicTitle: Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life
Author: Matin Durrani, Liz Kalaugher
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Interesting and informative, but it read like a textbook at times.

As I mentioned when talking about Storm in a Teacup, I’d really like to know more about physics than I do. Since I love animals, this book about animal physics seemed like the perfect solution. In this book, the reader will learn that “the way cats and dogs lap up liquids can be explained by the laws of surface tension, how ants navigate is due to polarized light, and why pistol shrimps can generate enough force to destroy aquarium glass using their ”elbows”!” (Source) Read more »

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Doing Discussions: What Makes a Good Audiobook?

February 1, 2017 Uncategorized 2

I’ve recently started running and I’ve been struggling to find an audiobook that keeps me engaged enough that I’m not bored. That’s got me pondering what I’m looking for in an audiobook and what it would take to keep me entertained. I’d also love to hear what you all think makes for a good audiobook and would definitely appreciate any recommendations you have! Read more »

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January Wrap-Up

January 31, 2017 Uncategorized 0

If I’m honest, it’s been a bit of a rough month for blogging! I’ve done a lot of reading that I’ve really enjoyed, but I’ve had a hard time either getting ahead on blogging or making myself sit down and write posts on weekday evenings. I’m happy to report that I’m currently writing this post two days in advance, so progress! I’m also excited to report that I have actually done some reading for the few challenges I’ve picked out and done some writing non-review posts, so that’s progress too. Here’s what that meant for my reading this month: Read more »

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Diversity Challenge Review: Dumplin’

January 30, 2017 Uncategorized 6

Diversity Challenge Review: Dumplin’Title: Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
Author: Julie Murphy
Source: Library
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: Somehow this book managed to feel light and fun, but also include well-developed characters and tackle tough issues.

“Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.” (Source) However, a surprising romance with the sexy jock Bo makes Will doubt herself rather than raising her confidence.  And this summer, that’s only one of the many things pushing her and her traditionally beautiful best friend, Ellen, apart. To regain her confidence and hopefully her best friend, Willowdean decides to do “the most horrifying thing she can imagine” and enter the Miss Clover City beauty pageant. Read more »

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Nonfiction Book Club Reboot and March Read-Along Announcement

January 26, 2017 Uncategorized 6

As you all may have noticed, I’ve been having a bit of a hard time keeping up with the Nonfiction Book Club schedule. From posting questions to posting polls, I feel like I’m always behind! Participation has also been low and I’m guessing the late notice I give for read-alongs is part of the reason why. But not to worry – I have some ideas to change things up. First, we’ll be skipping February and holding off to read the next selection until March. Second, I’ll post the poll for April in the middle of February. That will give us two weeks for voting and then I can still announce the next book a month in advance. Last but not least, we’ll do just one set of discussion questions each month. I’ll post them at the beginning of the month so you can consider them while you read. Then I’ll post a link-up and my answers at the end of the month. Please let me know if you like or dislike my ideas for a new schedule and if you have any suggestions for improvements! So, with the new schedule, you’ll have until March to read our next book, which will be…. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Lost City of the Monkey God

January 23, 2017 Uncategorized 6

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Lost City of the Monkey GodTitle: The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story
Author: Douglas Preston
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a fun adventure story, but a little light on the science and archeology.

A mysterious civilization as wealthy as the Maya has long been rumored to be hidden in the mountainous Mosquitia region of Honduras.  However, it was only with the advent of LIDAR, a sonar-like technology for mapping the jungle floor, that any progress was made in the search. The two sprawling cities revealed by this mapping were incredible discoveries that the author was able to explore on foot, enduring encounters with “torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes” (source). This is the story of that expedition. Read more »

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