Saturday, May 23, 2020

Quarantine Watch List

We're not only big readers - we all enjoy narratives through television and movie as well! Here are some of the things we've been watching recently.

Rebecca T: I just finished a grand rewatch of all 4 of the Hunger Games movies. I reread the book and then rewatched the movie and I was really blown away by how faithful the movies are to the books - there are whole sections of dialogue lifted straight from the books! Obviously, there are a lot of things missing. That's just what happens with movie adaptations. But these are some of my favorite and, in my opinion, some of the best done book to screen adaptations. Now I'm ready to read The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes!

rachelyons: I discovered Chopped was on Hulu so I’ve been watching approximately 20 hours of it per day.

Jenn N: I have been watching a DVD box set of Cagney & Lacey gifted to me by my boyfriend. When I was a kid my mom was on a bowling league on Monday nights. For some reason I always wanted to stay up and watch Cagney & Lacey which came on at 10pm. My dad only allowed me to watch the opening credits before going to bed. The show holds a special fondness in my heart of a simpler time. I caught a rerun on an obscure cable channel a few weeks ago. It was awesome. Extremely well written, engaging and still relevant and relatable despite the passage of time. My boyfriend then surprised me by sending me the box set of the complete series to subdue the quarantine blues.
 
Melanie:
I'm watching Ugly Betty for the first time.
 
Alan:
In the last week, I've completely caught up on
Better Call Saul
The Good Place

Forged in Fire
Brockmire

I'm halfway through book 5 of 5 in Chris Fox's Void Wraith series. That's about 40 hours on Audible.

Now I'm sifting through Naked and Afraid, looking for unwatched episodes, while my wife and I are waiting for the new season of Dead to Me.


Albert:
Upload on Amazon, Also, I am catching up on Ru Paul's Drag Race.

NaomiRuth:
I just finished watching Bryan Fuller's Wonderfalls. I am planning on re-watching the first season of American Gods next.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Go-To Comfort Reads

We're back with another group post! A lot of us are returning to books that we enjoy or that give us a comforting feeling right now. Here are a few of ours:


Jenn N: " I always return to childhood favorites such as The Baby-Sitters Club where I can practically recite the whole book from memory and there’s always a happy ending."

Rachelyons: Anne of Green Gables "just makes me feel so cozy inside! It’s been a favorite since childhood so it’s just a great comfort read."

Rebecca T: "Mine is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It makes me laugh and cry both sad and happy years and has so many sweet love stories, both romantic and platonic."

NaomiRuth: "Probably Pantheon by Hamish Steele. Mythology in comic form that's slightly inappropes." 


What are your go-to comfort reads? Share with us in the comments! 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Meme Crush Monday


Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.



This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:



Are you a fan of Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews?


Stay safe and watch out for those powdered donuts. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Social Distance Reads

Hello! We hope everyone is safe and well. Since we're all in the north east, we've had to spend a lot more time at home, as many people have had to across the country. What better thing to get you through all the social distancing than a good book! We can get as close to fictional characters as we want, after all. Check out what we're reading now and feel free to share your current reads in the comments!

Jenn N. - I just read an Elin Hilderbrand book - What Happens in Paradise. Most of her books are set in Nantucket and I thought a virtual vacation was just what I needed. This book was set in the US Virgin Islands and provided a great escape to a beautiful beach destination that I needed.

Alan - I just started Out of the Dark, by David Weber, on Audible.

Eileen - I'm a little over halfway thru Brothers, by Yu Hua. It's a sad book but I'm learning a lot about a place and time period I didn't know before.

Rachelyons - I’m almost done with Legendary by Stephanie Garber! Then onto Finale!

Rebecca T - I'm listening to Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi - working my way through the series again in preparation for Imagine Me coming out next week! Even though it's a dystopia, it's such a fascinating world to return to, and it's the first time I've read all the way through the series since the 3rd book came out.

NaomiRuth - I am reading The Broken Kingdoms by NK Jemisin, the second in The Inheritance Trilogy. I am over halfway through and cannot wait to see what happens next. I love her world-building!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Meme Crush Monday



Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.


This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:



I saw this making the rounds on Facebook this weekend and had to laugh. I hope you’re all staying safe, practicing social distancing and taking care of yourselves. 

Now, tell us who is your favorite dystopian heroine and why? 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Meme Crush Monday



Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.

This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:



How long do you give a book you’re not really enjoying before picking up a new book? Share with us! 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Meme Crush Monday




Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.


This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:



Who are some of your favorite fictional characters that seem real to you? Share with us. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Sweet Valley High: Academic All-Star? (Graphic Novel)


Written by Katy Rex, Art by Devaki Neogi

When Jessica falls in love with her Shakespeare teacher, she begins to act like her studious twin sister Elizabeth to impress him. Now it's up to Elizabeth to make sure that all's well that end well - but with Jessica playing her role, will anyone be able to tell which twin is which? dynamite.com

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Based off of Francine Pascal’s bestselling novels, . Sweet Valley High has been updated in a graphic novel format for 2019 (pub date July 2019) with social media and more risquΓ© plotlines. However this is still Sweet Valley. Jessica is cooking up a crazy scheme that’s destined to fail with  and Elizabeth is martyring herself trying to rescue everyone in town as Lizzie always thinks she knows best.  I also loved the subtle nods to Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley Kids that long time fans will appreciate.

The illustrations were adorably fantastic. Click on the publisher link in the summary above to see some of the pages. The artist truly captured the twins’ personalities and the Wakefield home in their work. It was also really cool to see new renderings of the twin's friends.

Don’t miss this delightful graphic novel adaptation. It’s perfect for long time favs and a fresh generation of fans to be. I can’t wait for the Part 2 that’s teased at the end.
🌟🌟🌟🌟/5



Special Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Dynamite for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Meme Crush Monday




Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.


This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:



Seriously - how do you politely say “go away I’m reading.” Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Favorite Book Fridays

NEW FEATURE! Favorite Book Fridays, a spin on #fbf where we’ll share some of our all time favorite books because who has just ONE?!! 



One of my (Jenn’s) favorites is The Concrete Blonde, the 3rd Harry Bosch novel by Michael Connelly. I love all Connelly’s novels but this one featuring Harry on the hunt for a serial killer while his career is on the line gives readers a real understanding of Harry’s psyche and background. Plus Connelly’s detailed atmospheric descriptions of LA bring the series to another level of crime thriller. 

Special Thanks to my bestie for life and former Borders co-worker Melanie for suggesting this feature

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Look Alike by Erica Spindler


Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother’s paranoid delusions. Now, she's returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life. 
In her mother’s shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head—that it was she who had been the killer’s target that night. And now, with it, a new fear—that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake—he’s already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother?
As the walls close in, the line between truth and lie, reality and delusion disintegrate. Has Sienna’s worst nightmare come true? Or will she unmask a killer and finally prove she may be her mother’s look-alike, but she’s not her clone? -indiebound.org

This was a fun little thriller with a tender backstory of loving someone dealing with mental illness.  Sienna was a really cool heroine.  She's a true badass but she deals with self doubt. Her development throughout the novel was really strong.  I figured out the killer very early on but there were enough red herrings and twists thrown in that I too doubted myself along the way.

If you love great thrillers that are light on the gore, definitely pick up The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler.  The novel was just released yesterday! Head on over to your favorite local bookstore, library or check out ordering options from indiebound.org and support local book stores.

****/5 STARS


Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.



Monday, January 27, 2020

Meme Crush Monday



Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.


This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:




What’s the last book you escaped the world in? Share with us! 

Friday, January 24, 2020

American Magic by Zach Fehst

When an enigmatic message uploaded to the dark web turns out to contain an ancient secret giving regular people the power to do impossible things, like levitate cars or make themselves invisible, American government officials panic. They know the demo videos on YouTube and instructions for incantations could turn from fantastical amusement to dangerous weapon at the drop of the hat, and they scramble to keep the information out of the wrong hands.
They tap Ben Zolstra, an ex-CIA field operative whose history with the Agency is conflicted at best, to lead the team that’s racing to contain the dangerous knowledge—and track down the mysterious figure behind the leak who threatens that even more dangerous spells will be released one by one until the world as we know it no longer exists.
This sweeping, globe-spanning thriller explores the dark consequences of a question mankind has been asking for centuries: What if magic were real? -indiebound.org
 
I loved this book. Ben reminded me of a younger more tech savvy and sarcastic Jack Reacher to the point where it felt kind of like a mash-up a Reacher (by Lee Child) thriller with The Magicians (by Lev Grossman) His slightly reluctant partner Elia has as intriguing back story. I also loved the concept of “what if magic were real”,” and what impact it would have on national security.  

Check out American Magic at your favorite local bookseller, library or consider ordering from indiebound.org. 




Special Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Atria books for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Horror Stories by Liz Phair






When Liz Phair shook things up with her musical debut, Exile in Guyville—making her as much a cultural figure as a feminist pioneer and rock star—her raw candor, uncompromising authenticity, and deft storytelling inspired a legion of critics, songwriters, musicians, and fans alike. Now, like a Gen X Patti Smith, Liz Phair reflects on the path she has taken in these piercing essays that reveal the indelible memories that have stayed with her. For Phair, horror is in the eye of the beholder—in the often unrecognized universal experiences of daily pain, guilt, and fear that make up our humanity. Illuminating despair with hope and consolation, tempering it all with her signature wit, Horror Stories is immersive, taking readers inside the most intimate junctures of Phair’s life, from facing her own bad behavior and the repercussions of betraying her fundamental values, to watching her beloved grandmother inevitably fade, to undergoing the beauty of childbirth while being hit up for an autograph by the anesthesiologist. Horror Stories is a literary accomplishment that reads like the confessions of a friend. It gathers up all of our isolated shames and draws them out into the light, uniting us in our shared imperfection, our uncertainty and our cowardice, smashing the stigma of not being in control. But most importantly, the uncompromising precision and candor of Horror Stories transforms these deeply personal experiences into tales about each and every one of us. -indiebound.orgI remember the first time I heard Liz Phair's music, it was Halloween 1998 and I was in high school attending a party thrown by one my good friends. My friend loved putting on mini-concerts at her parties, playing and singing the alt hits of the era and this party in particular featured a performance of Phair's Polyester Bride.  At the time, I was and still am obsessed with 80s music but there was something special about Liz Phair.  To me her songs seemed like little story snippets of her life.  Her memoir, Horror Stories showcases her strengths as a confessional story teller. Despite all her success in the music industry, Phair's experiences are everybody's stories: awkward relationships, break-ups and make-ups and struggles with self doubt.  Her honesty and candor is in this memoir is just what you'd expect if you're a fan of her music but I think her memoir would appeal to non-fans as well given the relatable nature of her stories.

What I also loved about this memoir is that the stories are not in chronological order and they can each stand-alone.  So, it's perfect if you're juggling multiple books at one time or are really busy and just have a few minutes a day for reading.

****/5 stars


Look for Horror Stories at your favorite local bookseller or check-out indiebound.org to order.

Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Meme Crush Monday

Forget about “Man Crush Monday’s,” here #MCM means Meme Crush Monday! For those who don’t have access or don’t wish to use Instagram, I’ll share a bookish meme right here weekly on the blog.


This Week’s #MCM Meme Crush Monday:



What’s your reading style? Can you block everything else out and escape? Do you prefer background music or the TV? Share with us in the comments below.