Tag: book

Reading Lolita in Tehran

July 15, 2014 History, Memoir, non-fiction 16

7603Title: Reading Lolita in Tehran
Author: Azar Nafisi
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I found this a bit hard to get into, a little too academic and a little too literary, but once I adjusted to the writing style I was very moved by the author’s and her students’ experiences.

When it became required that female professors in Iran wear the veil, Azar Nafisi resigned and began to teach a small, secret class from her home instead. Every week a group of very different women came together to discuss banned classics. The women also shared in each others struggles to find themselves and express their personalities despite the fear inspired by an oppressive regime. Read more »


How To Build a Girl Read-Along – Part 1

July 14, 2014 Blogger Events, Fiction 14

caitlin moranSince this is a read-along, be warned that there will be spoilers. Today we’re discussing chapters 1-4. My main observation about this part of the book is that Caitlin Moran’s hilarious, ernest, frank style in How To Be a Woman translated just fine to fiction. In fact, so far the book reads a lot like the parts of How To Be a Woman which describe Moran’s childhood. There are obvious differences – as Moran is quick to point out, she had much better parents – but there are obvious similarities too. Both Moran and her character are particularly fond of dogs, books, and wanking. Both live in houses crowded with children, have few friends, and enjoy escaping into books. Most importantly, her character in this book narrates her story in Moran’s style, which means I’m loving it. The differences are large enough that I don’t feel like I’m just reading How To Be a Woman over again. It’s more like I’m getting awesome bonus material and I can’t wait to read more!

This read-along is being hosted by Emily at As the Crow Flies (And Reads) so you can check out what the other participants are thinking so far at her link-up.



Soundbite Sunday – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

July 13, 2014 Uncategorized 19

17155412Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Narrator: Ari Fliakos
Rating (Story): ★★★★☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

As a geeky, bookish programmer, this book was basically written for me. I love that the author created an exciting mystery with secret societies, codebreaking, mysterious disappearances, hidden vaults, and adventure, all of which revolve around books. I loved the geeky pop culture references, all clearly explained so the less geeky reader won’t feel left out. I loved that the author didn’t shy away from sharing some real details of programming and parallel computing, also well explained.  As a reader and a programmer, the author’s comparison of different programming languages to different writing styles made me incredibly happy. There are also delightful descriptions of books and bookstores and book obsessed people.  There are even book emergencies, which also made me happy because they showed that the characters’ valued books very highly.

Read more »


Return to the Beach House

July 12, 2014 Fiction, Women's Fiction 2

16248158Title: Return to the Beach House
Author: Georgia Bockoven
Source: from publisher through Goodreads giveaway
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: The short length of each story meant that parts of the endings were too pat or not resolved enough, but each story was emotionally moving and I was impressed that some dealt with difficult topics.

Return to the Beach House is more a collection of short stories than a traditional novel, with each section connected to the others by their shared location. Although this is a sequel, it stands alone quite well. During their stay at the beach house, characters are forced to confront the things straining their relationships. They learn to move on from loss, seek independence, trust in their friends, and maintain relationships in the face of devastating tragedies. More specific details are available in the goodreads summary. Read more »


Alias Hook

July 9, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Re-telling 22

18404312Title: Alias Hook
Author: Lisa Jensen
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This was a truly delightful story, with the setting and emotional impact amped up into something awesome for a perfect, adult fairy tale.

Before he was sent to Neverland by a curse, Benjamin Hookbridge was a ruthless privateer. Now he’s simply a storybook villain, at the mercy of his childish opponent. His hatred has kept him from imagining any way out but death until Stella Parish enters Neverland. Although Hook fears this is just another trap of Peter’s, her faith in him and in the magic of Neverland might be exactly what’s needed to set him free. Read more »


Book Blogging Events

July 7, 2014 Blogger Events 25


Beyond the Borders Bingo Challenge – June-August

Although I’m a bit late officially joining this challenge, I’m excited to share with you Cayce at Fighting Dreamer’s Beyond the Borders Bingo Challenge. The goal is to fill in a row, a column, or more if you’re feeling ambitious by adding some diversity to your reading in the months of June, July, and August. Sign-ups are here. Read more »


That Night

July 7, 2014 Fiction, Thriller 8

18404248Title: That Night
Author: Chevy Stevens
Source: from publisher for SheReads book club
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Despite the obvious answer to the mystery, the character growth and the fact that a happy ending seemed unlikely kept me hooked.

As a teenager, Toni Murphy was viewed as a troublemaker by nearly everyone, even her mother, while her younger sister could do no wrong. Vindictive classmates and family troubles meant she and her boyfriend Ryan were just waiting to graduate and get out. All their plans were destroyed the night her sister was murdered and they took the blame. At 34, just released on parole, Toni is bitter but she’s more scared of going back to jail. This leaves her with the tough decision of whether to try to find the people responsible for her sister’s murder or to lay low to protect the life she’s managed to scrape together. Read more »


Soundbite Sunday – Mr. Mercedes

July 6, 2014 Audiobook, Fiction, Thriller 13

18775663Title: Mr. Mercedes
Author: Stephen King
Narrators: Will Patton
Rating (Story): ★★★☆☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

About half way through this book, I noticed that many Stephen King fans had written reviews indicating that they were disappointed with it. At the time, I didn’t get why that would be. The writing is standard Stephen King, which is a good thing – he has such a way with words! There was some tension about the characters’ safety which also struck me as classic Stephen King. The bad guy is incredibly creepy and the bits from his perspective freaked me out. However, by the end I found myself a bit disappointed in this book too. The plot was very predictable, the tension King created felt contrived, and the story was full of stock characters. I expected a bit more originality from King.

Read more »


Shooting Stars

July 5, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 2

18509676Title: Shooting Stars
Author: Jennifer Buhl
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I thought the bits about Jennifer’s career were fascinating (except the gross bits), but I found the parts about her personal life unrelatable.

Jennifer Buhl was struggling to make it in LA until she decided to try her hand at being a paparazzi. That’s not to say that being a paparazzi was easy. Paparazzi often tip each other off and it took Jennifer some time to make connections. She faced bullying and discrimination, both for being one of the few women in the business and for being successful. Despite the challenges, she really was successful, getting some fantastic shots with celebrities, as well as many fascinating stories to tell. Read more »


Jennifer, Gwyneth, And Me

July 3, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 5

18465836Title: Jennifer, Gwyneth, and Me
Author: Rachel Bertsche
Source: from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Even though I’m not the biggest fan of non-author celebrities, I enjoyed following Rachel on another self-help adventure with lots of fun stories and great advice.

Since starting working at home, Rachel hasn’t felt very pulled together. In order to motivate herself to exercise more, eat right, and dress better, she decides to emulate her favorite celebrities in hopes of achieving their air of having it all together. Trying the meals, exercises, and other lifestyle changes the stars swears by, she finds that the ones which truly improve her life often surprise her. Read more »