Tag: book

Season of Storms

September 8, 2014 Fiction, Gothic, Magical Realism, Review, Romance, Women's Fiction 8 ★★★★★

Season of StormsTitle: Season of Storms
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: A beautiful, atmospheric book with great characters, full of exciting romance and adventure.

Galeazzo D’Ascanio last play is known as his most brilliant, but it’s never been performed. Each attempt has been plagued by disaster, starting in the early 1900’s with the first performance when D’Ascanio’s muse and lover, Celia Sands, disappeared the night before she was to play the leading role. Decades later, a young actress named after Celia Sands is asked to take on the same role in the play being stated by D’Ascanio’s grandson. Both the mystery of the play and D’Ascanio’s handsome grandson intrigue Celia, but the relics of the play’s history may prove more dangerous than they first appear.
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Soundbite Sunday – The Well of Ascension

September 7, 2014 Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Review 2 ★★★★

Soundbite Sunday – The Well of AscensionTitle: The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Source: Bought
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

 

As always, listening to a Brandon Sanderson book read by Michael Kramer was a fun experience. The character growth was, as usual, a real strength of the book. Some of the characters were a bit angstier than usual, but they always fell just short of becoming annoying. A new character, who became one of my favorite characters in the series, was introduced in this book and brought with him some interesting new hints about the world the story is set in. There was a huge twist at the end which was believable because of previous clues without being obvious or expected. My least favorite thing about this installment in the series is that it did drag a bit. There’s always the possibility with an audiobook that a story feeling slow can be attributed to the format and that might be part of it here. However, I’m also certain that the characters spending the whole book trying to achieve one goal and making very little progress also slowed the story down.

Do you find that audiobooks often seem to drag more than a book you’re reading yourself?

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Tacolicious

September 3, 2014 non-fiction, Review 12 ★★★★★

TacoliciousTitle: Tacolicious
Author: Sara Deseran
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Very usable, great pictures, and tasty recipes!

This cookbook includes fare from the San Francisco restaurant Tacolicious. The recipes include a wide variety of tacos which seem more traditionally Mexican than what I usually make or get at restaurants. There are also large sections devoted to salsa, snacks, and drinks. In addition to the recipes, there are some beautiful pictures of food and interesting tidbits about the history of the restaurant. Read more »

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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

September 2, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review 21 ★★★★★

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, SpyTitle: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Author: Karen Abbott
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: Some of the most exciting narrative nonfiction I’ve read. All four stories are brought vividly to life, with great detail and accuracy.

The four women in this book are very different but they also have a lot in common. Two of them were Confederates and two were loyal to the Union. They each had different motivations, from Belle Boyd’s pursuit of notoriety to Emma Edmonds’ desire to provide medical aid to soldiers on the battlefield. However, they all shared common attributes, including their bravery, their dedication to their work, and their ability to influence the outcome of the war.
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Beyond the Pale

September 1, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Gothic, Magical Realism, Urban Fantasy 4 ★★★★

Beyond the PaleTitle: Beyond the Pale: A Fantasy Anthology
Author: Gillian Philip, Heather Brewer, Jane Yolen, Jim Butcher, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Peter Beagle, Saladin Ahmed
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: I liked almost all of the stories included in the collection and loved the diversity of the mythologies on which the stories were based.

This collection of short stories includes those I would categorize as paranormal, urban fantasy, magical realism, and a few bordering on horror. All stick relatively close to reality but step “beyond the pale”, including some mythical element. Several previously published authors contribute short stories related to their published series, but all of the stories can easily be read on their own.
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Male vs Female Writers: No, It’s Not “Their” Fault

August 28, 2014 Uncategorized 25

LiteraryRomanceIn this blog post, I’m going to strongly disagree with this post from Brenda at Daily Mayo, so I’d like begin by saying that I think that she wrote a wonderfully provocative post and asked a great question. Although I disagree with her conclusion, I think she makes a lot of good points along the way. However, I think she also accepts some biases which it’s important for readers to challenge. She points out that women authors are taken less seriously than male authors, with everything women write often being lumped in the chick-lit category, and suggests that women authors should respond by writing less romance. I have a number of problems with that statement, so I’m just going to run through them one by one and will include some direct quotes I’m referring too.

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The Story Hour

August 19, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Literary, Review, Women's Fiction 8 ★★★★

The Story HourTitle: The Story Hour
Author: Thrity Umrigar
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: The author’s beautiful writing made me experience the character’s emotions very deeply, but the emotional impact of the ending was weak compared to the rest of the book.

Psychologist Maggie has always been willing to try unorthodox methods and has become known for her ability to help in tough cases. When she is asked to help Lakshmi, an isolated Indian immigrant who tried to commit suicide, it is clear that unorthodox methods are called for. Lakshmi understand therapy to mean making friends with Maggie and Maggie relates to Lakshmi too much to maintain her usual distance. As these two very different women learn each other’s biggest mistakes, their differing backgrounds and expectations of their relationship will threaten their friendship, making it hard for them to forgive one another.
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Bout of Books 11

August 17, 2014 Blogger Events 4

Bout of BooksBout of Books 11 starts tomorrow and I’m excited to be joining in! As usual, I’ll just try to read as much as possible, particularly making an effort to cut out TV. I’ll also be tracking the time I spend reading and the number of pages I make it through here. I also hope to participate in at least two of the challenges being hosted throughout the week. For those of you unfamiliar with Bout of Books, I’d like to highly recommend it and share the official blurb with you here:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
Happy reading all!

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Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final Empire

August 17, 2014 Audiobook 4 ★★★★

Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final EmpireTitle: Mistborn
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

 

As with Words of Radiance, I’m probably rating this book less highly because I read The Way of Kings first. Compared to The Way of KingsMistborn seemed like a younger sibling, a scaled down version perhaps intended for a younger audience. There are a lot of similarities between the two books: a world with a tyrannical ruling class; a male and a female narrator; chapters beginning with quotes from books; and similar magical combat. This is a good thing because these were strengths of The Way of Kings, but it’s also a bad thing because Mistborn felt much less novel. Mistborn also had a similarly consistent magic system and great character growth. Unfortunately, the epic scale and impressive world building of The Way of Kings were missing, but hopefully that will come as I read the next two books in the trilogy. Michael Kramer’s narration was spot on as always.

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