I’m always looking for the next big social book reviewing site, but so far, I’ve found very few sites I like as well as Goodreads. It’s primarily what I use to track my reading and share reviews, despite the uproar over reviews being selectively deleted by the site. However, I have started using Riffle in parallel for several reasons. First, it’s a really good looking site. I love the Pinterest-inspired layout, with everything from activity feeds to book recommendations displayed using book covers. Second, the list feature is a lot of fun, both because of the book cover-focused layout and because the site moderators do a great job moving interesting lists (best sellers, for example) onto the site. The resulting lists are also easily embedded into blog posts. And last but not least, the site emphasizes genre, allowing you to sign-up as an expert in a particular genre and to categorize the lists you create as belonging to up to three genres. As a book blogger, this is invaluable, because it gives other users of the site a way to find you. The moderators of particular genres are also great people to be friends with, since they sometimes will choose to share your themed lists with their followers. Read more »
Title: Edward Maret: A Novel of the Future
Author: Robert I. Katz
Source: bought on amazon
Review Summary: Although this re-telling lacked the complexity of the original, it was a well written, believable story and the world building was fantastic.
In this futuristic retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, Edward Maret is a happy man. He is engaged to a women he loves and destined to inherit a bountiful estate. Little does he know that he has enemies who are prepared to betray him because they covet what he has. Denounced as a revolutionary and condemned by a corrupt judge, Edward is turned into a mindless cyborg and sent to kill any who threaten his world. When he is eventually freed from the mind control, his first thought is of revenge… Read more »
Title: MWF Seeking BFF
Author: Rachel Bertsche
Fun Fact: Being part of a group that meets just once a month will give you the same happiness boost as doubling your salary.
Review Summary: This book was just a conglomeration of all the things I like – humorous working woman’s stunt memoir including fascinating research and personal anecdotes.
After moving to Chicago to be with her boyfriend, Rachel Bertsche found herself missing the close friendships she’d had in NYC. She bravely and ambitiously decides to take things into her own hands and invite other women to go on 52 friends dates during the 52 weeks of the coming year. Read more »
Title: Deadly Outbreaks: How Medical Detectives Save Lives Threatened by Killer Pandemics, Exotic Viruses, and Drug-Resistant Parasites
Author: Alexandra Levitt
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: The stories were fascinating but were often told in a clinical way that reduced the drama and my sense of connection to the people in the story.
As the subtitle suggests, Deadly Outbreaks is all about medical mysteries. For suspicious cases where multiple patients die or fall ill and the reason is unknown, epidemiologists are often called in to help determine the cause. Some of these investigations are retrospective, but many require clever deduction to take place quickly in order to prevent more people from becoming sick. Read more »
We here at Doing Dewey are very anti-spoiler but for read-a-longs, there’s really no way to avoid them. So, if you haven’t read the first three parts of The Book Thief which are being discussed in the It’s All About Books read-a-long, this post is going to be COMPLETELY SPOILERY. You have been warned.
This read-a-long for The Book Thief is one of the first read-a-longs I’ve done, so first I’m going to tell you a bit about how I’m liking it. Then I’ll answer some of the discussion questions from our host, Suey. I don’t like to be reading multiple books at one time, so I was surprised at how easy it was to read this between two other books. It was very hard to stop reading because I was enjoying this book a lot, but it’s worth it to me to get to discuss the book with other bloggers. I can’t wait for the twitter chat tomorrow!
- What’s your first impression of Death as a character/narrator? Read more »
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. (synopsis from goodreads). Read more »
Title: Your Republic is Calling You
Author: Kim Young-ha
Review Summary: The sparse prose, surreal feel, and intimate details you learn about characters’ lives reminded me of Murakami but the book was far darker and the unresolved ending knocked a star off my rating.
Gi-yeong is a typical South Korean family man or so even his wife believes. He’s almost come to believe it himself until one day he gets a mysterious e-mail, recalling him to the home office and his duties as a North Korean spy. The book covers the 24 hours Gi-yeong has been given to report in. As he debates what to do and what to tell his family, he learns that his wife has some secrets of her own. Read more »
Title: The Dashwood Sisters’ Secrets of Love
Author: Rosie Rushton
Review Summary: Although nothing to write home about, this modernization of Sense and Sensibility was a cute, fun read.
Like the book, this review is going to be a quick, easy read. The plot is almost exactly that of Sense and Sensibility, just a modernized version. My first reaction was disappointment that the author didn’t even try to copy Austen’s beautiful prose or understated humor. Once I got past that, I was better able to enjoy the book for what it was. Elinor and Marianne were both updated very nicely. Like the actions of Austen’s characters, the update wasn’t predictable but just felt right. Of course Elinor would be good at academics! Of course Marianne would act! I was also impressed by the way the update translated events with no modern equivalent. For instance, some of the social constraints on the original characters’ actions have no longer exist, but the author managed to come up with suitable substitutes. Read more »
Title: The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
Author: David Epstein
Source: from publisher for review
Fun Fact: One in two hundred men share a common male ancestor, thought to be Genghis Khan
Review Summary: Scientifically accurate but easy to follow and with topics of interest even if you don’t love sports.
Pop culture has long used the phrase “nature vs nurture” to ask whether genetic or environmental factors are more important. As science has discovered, the truth is far more nuanced. David Epstein explores this fascinating topic in the context of extreme athletic performance. The questions he address include whether there are people who are just naturals and whether or not everyone could be equally good at sports with the same amount of practice. He also addresses more sensitive topics, such as the influence of race and gender on athletic prowess. Read more »
Title: Sense and Sensibility
Editor: Jane Austen
Review Summary: Austen’s writing is funny, beautiful, and engaging but I was sometimes disappointed by the sparse descriptions.
Originally titled Elinor and Marianne, in a way the book was still named after it’s two main characters. Elinor is eminently sensible, always putting her own feelings second to looking out for her mother and sister. Elinor is the exact opposite, entirely focused on her own sensibility and feelings with a complete lack of concern for the practical. Despite their dissimilarity, both sisters will face similar challenges as they navigate society trying to find love. Read more »