Friday, December 30, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: In the Labyrinth of Drakes

In the Labyrinth of Drakes In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First off, the font is red. I don't know how common an issue this is but it was hard on my eyes to read in that color. I found it harder to focus on the words. Bad choice.

This book was a lot slower to start than the others in the series. There was more intrigue than action. The ending was a bit Indiana Jones, though, so the wait was worthwhile.


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Review: Pieces of Hate

Pieces of Hate Pieces of Hate by Tim Lebbon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, for starters, the stories are out of order. The first book you read takes place after the second. The first story had a a Western feel but was a little too noir for my taste. It just didn't fit. The second story had some pirate elements but wasn't really a pirate story. It felt like a bit was borrowed from the show Black Sails. Just not the greatest use of reading time.

This review is in exchange for a free e-galley from Netgalley.com.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to the Husband

The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to the Husband The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to the Husband by Jason Hazeley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I still like the choices for illustrations but this volume wasn't as funny as the book about hangovers.

This review is in exchange for a free e-galley from netgalley.

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Review: The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to the Hangover

The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to the Hangover The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to the Hangover by Jason Hazeley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not aware that "every unit of alcohol kills the equivalent of two inches of bacon, which must be replaced the next morning." Useful information indeed!!

Awesome. I really enjoyed the choice of illustrations and the way they fit with the text.

This review is in exchange for a free e-galley from netgalley.com.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel

The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel by Katherine Arden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had the same problem with this book as I have with most other Russian stories, the names. Each character has too many names and it takes a long time to get into a rhythm of knowing who is who. That aside, this was a really wonderful tale. It's always fun to get brand new fairy tales, especially ones that can hold their own and stand alongside the classics. I dragged the reading of this one out quite a while as I didn't want it to end.

This review is in exchange for a free e-galley from netgalley.com.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't realize this was going to be so sad or I might not have read it right now. Excellent story though.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: The Mortifications

The Mortifications The Mortifications by Derek Palacio
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quite an interesting cast of characters. Even though it's hard to like them all the time, the author makes them feel like they are your own family, and you love them anyway. A lot of the book is told via the character's thoughts. There's not as much dialogue as in an average novel (but there's also no quotation marks used so that might be partly an illusion) so the narrative has a dreamy quality to it that is very lovely. I wasn't sure I was going to like this book when I first picked it up but it really grew on me.

This review is in exchange for a free copy from bloggingforbooks.com.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction

Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction by Elizabeth Vargas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm always amazed and impressed but the amount of courage people can muster to tell the stories of their demons and struggles. I remember hearing about the author's struggles when she went public on the news but it was quite something to read the full story of what she was dealing with her whole life.

This review is in exchange for a free copy received from Goodreads giveaways.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review: Buddha's Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind

Buddha's Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind Buddha's Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind by Tara Cottrell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book fits quite well with the last one I read on the topic of diet and puts an emphasis on mindfulness. I really think this is key. Ok ow it is key as I ate too much pizza on my day off, kept eating after I was full, and felt horrible after. It was a stupid thing to do. This is a change I need to strive harder to achieve. I also like the idea of limiting eating time to 9 hours a day. I normally do 10 on work days and feel good when I stick to that frame. 9 would be a reasonable tweak. I just need to work on being consistent when I'm not at work and have less structure.

This review is in exchange for a free copy received from Goodreads giveaways.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery

Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery by Deborah Howe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cute. I can't believe I made it through childhood without hearing about this.

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Review: Every Hidden Thing

Every Hidden Thing Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book made me very interested in reading some non fiction about the early paleontologists and their "bone wars." It must have been a very exciting time. As far as this story goes, it was a fun read. Any story that makes me want to learn more about a subject is a wonderful thing.

This review is in exchange for a free e-galley from netgalley.com.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: Lirael

Lirael Lirael by Garth Nix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Felt somewhat like a cautionary tale about not doing your homework, but good.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review: A Head Full of Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Good story but wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. Thought it would be a good read for Halloween season but it didn't live up to the holiday in my mind.

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Review: Eat What You Love Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle

Eat What You Love Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle Eat What You Love Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle by Michelle May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yup. I am the correct audience for this book. I overeat and yo-yo. Definitely need to work on being more mindful about when and what I eat. Probably my main problem.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: Infomocracy

Infomocracy Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really like the idea behind this story. It's scary how probable it is. Unfortunately, it was way too much work to follow the plot and the characters and I gave up before I finished.

This review is in exchange for a free review copy from Netgalley.com.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: Sabriel

Sabriel Sabriel by Garth Nix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've heard a lot of good things about this book and they are all justified. Wonderful new world. I do want to hold off on passing final judgement until I finish the series.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Review: All the Missing Girls

All the Missing Girls All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I almost never like mysteries and , at first, I wasn't a fan of the way this story was told, going into the past and then forward from there. It ended up working though and was an interesting and compelling story. Pleasant surprise.

This review is in exchange for a free copy received from the publisher.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Review: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The only complaint I have about this story is that, being a novella, it was way too short. Backman continues to delight with his magical storytelling ability. Not only is it a great perspective on the world from a child's point of view but it feels like a good description of what it might be like to succumb to dementia. Looking forward to May and his new novel.

This review is in exchange for a free e-galley from NetGalley.com.

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Review: Born to Run

Born to Run Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, that was a long read. It's hard to believe Mr. Springsteen is so old with so many stories under his belt. He's always seemed young to me and it feels like he hasn't aged, he's kind of timeless even though he keeps up with the times. This was an interesting read. Even though he admits he's not telling you the whole story (who has time for that?!) he is brutally honest about his ambitions and flaws. It's quite refreshing. It feels agenda-less. Although I consider myself a pretty casual Springsteen fan, I think anyone who likes his music will get a lot out of reading this book.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: Happy People Read and Drink Coffee

Happy People Read and Drink Coffee Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agn├Ęs Martin-Lugand
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Kind of a cross between Pride & Prejudice and Under the Tuscan Sun. Going off the title and being that it takes place in Ireland, I thought there would be more humor but there really isn't anything funny in this book. It's quite dark and depressing. Maybe the sequel will be better.

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Review: Illuminae

Illuminae Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, that was different. Never would have guessed that a book comprised of a lot of notes in the form of memos would be worth reading. The plot, for some reason, reminded me at times of Battlestar Gallictica, even though it really wasn't similar. So you have your sci fi, some zombie type action, and rage against the machine all tossed together. Interesting combination that really worked.

This review is in exchange for a free copy received from the publisher.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Review: Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training

Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not at all what I thought it would be. Spends very little time actually talking about dogs specifically, more about people and dolphins than dogs. The training tips that are provided are those that you will find in almost any other positive reinforcement on the market.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pretty good for a second book. In my opinion, book two is usually the weakest link in the chain, but this one holds up quite well. There was also a decent amount of recap of book one, for those of us that read so much we have trouble remembering it all.

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Review: The Vegetarian

I try to read award winning books, I figure they win them for good reason, but I've had a long stretch of not liking any of them. Streak broken! This book was really interesting. I kind of wish the first section, told from the Vegetarian's point of view, had been longer but I decided it was more significant that you didn't understand her as well since no one else did. This book just had a lot going on. It was about domestic abuse, PTSD, impulse control, patriarchies, women's rights, mental health, and society's standards. Like I said, lot going on. You really can't take away any of these topics either or it would all fall apart. It's remarkable so much is crammed in to such a short story without leaving the reader clutching their aching brain. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

This review is in exchange for a free copy received from bloggingforbooks.com.

Review: Stiletto

Stiletto Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Doesn't raise the bar level set by the first book but easily matches it. No easy feat for any sequel. Looking forward to #3.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: The Nest

The Nest The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't know what this book was about when I requested it from the library. I only knew it was selling well and a lot of people seemed to be interested in it. Sometimes, that's enough to pique my interest.
Anyway, good story and well-developed characters. I really loved how it was all woven together. Not sure it was worth so much hype though.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: FastLife

FastLife FastLife by Michael Mosley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yup. I'm doing this. I tried intermittent fasting before and had great results and felt great. My previous plan was a bit more drastic and hard to sustain. I'm starting this on the 1st. Can't wait!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review: Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days: Take Charge of Your Health with the Master Cleanse

Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days: Take Charge of Your Health with the Master Cleanse Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days: Take Charge of Your Health with the Master Cleanse by Peter Glickman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I almost gave up on this book right away when I saw how often the author was using Wikipedia for source material. I'm a big fan of fasting, I've tried it before and it worked great. The sysem in this book seems like a horrible plan. I will not be trying it.

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Review: The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was quite funny. Not quite as funny as I thought it would be, but funny. I do want to real the sequel and see what other madness the oldies get up to. This would be a wonderful caper film.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: Every Frenchman Has One

Every Frenchman Has One Every Frenchman Has One by Olivia De Havilland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As this book is about life in the 1950's, it's an interesting little cultural time capsule, in addition to being a great cultural comparison between America and France. I have heard of the author and know she was quite famous during this time period, when she was making movies. I don't think I've ever seen one of her films though. So without that sense of celebrity awe that sometimes taints memoirs of people we are fans of, this was just a lovely little read of a woman making the most of her challenges and facing them with a wonderful sense of style and humor.

This review is in exchange for a free copy received from Bloggingforbooks.com.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: Dear Emma

Dear Emma Dear Emma by Katie Heaney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got the impression that this was supposed to be some sort of variation of Jane Austen's Emma. You could see that a little bit but it is just so far removed to compare the two. Maybe I'm just to old to enjoy a book about the college problems of young 20-somethings.

Meh.

This review is in exchange for a free e-galley received from Netgalley.com.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Review: Along the Infinite Sea

Along the Infinite Sea Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Usually books in this genre are fairly predictable. You don't really get excited about reading them but they're a good way to pass the time. This book was genuinely enjoyable. The characters were interesting (although the story in the 1930's had events that made the people more compelling), and the whole story arc was wonderfully rendered. It's really not often I'm surprised and I really enjoy it when I am.

This review is in exchange for a free copy received through GoodReads Giveaways.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not quite as funny as I was expecting. A lot of her stories are kind of disturbing or even a little sad. You do learn a lot about Amy though. I have to admit I like her more than I did before reading this book. I'd seen her movie and some of her show and thought she was funny but not exactly the type of humor I normally go in for. Knowing a bit about her now and realizing how down to earth she is elevated my appreciation a bit more to the point that I will probably continue to watch her work. I should backpedal just a little and make sure you know I did think this book had its funny moments and it will make you smile a time or two. Maybe just not laugh out loud.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: The Glorious Heresies

The Glorious Heresies The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a pleasant surprise. Who would have thought a book about a bunch of characters stuck treading water in their own separate but joined pools of misery would be so entertaining? This was gritty and real, well thought out and beautifully executed. My only complaint is that there wasn't enough of Maureen's narrative, since she seems to be a bit of the glue holding it all together. Mainly I wanted more of her because she was my favorite character. Really lovely writing.

This honest review is in exchange for a free copy received from bloggingforbooks.com.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an absolutely harrowing story pulled out of one of the ugliest scars on this nation's landscape. The only problem I had with it was that the layers of metaphor were a bit distracting. The real railroad standing in for the symbol that was really still a symbol...I'm still not sure I've wrapped my head around that one. Timely read though, considering all the problems we are still having with racial inequality.

This review is in exchange for a free e-galley received from Netgalley.com.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: The St. Lucia Island Club: A John Le Brun Novel, Book 5

The St. Lucia Island Club: A John Le Brun Novel, Book 5 The St. Lucia Island Club: A John Le Brun Novel, Book 5 by Brent Monahan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I like this publisher and this sounded interesting so I wanted to give this a read but it really just wasn't my thing. If I were more a fan of mysteries, I might have enjoyed this more but I didn't love it. That said, the writing is very good and there's a lot of interesting history that the author obviously spent a lot of time researching to make accurate. You also don't need to have read the previous books in the series to follow this one. So, not for me but if you enjoy the genre you will probably love this.

This honest review is in exchange for a free copy received from the publisher.

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Review: Above: Broken Sky Chronicles, Book 2

Above: Broken Sky Chronicles, Book 2 Above: Broken Sky Chronicles, Book 2 by Jason Chabot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I gave this 3 stars instead of 4 as it's in medias res. These middle stories never seem to be quite as good as the beginning and the end even if the narrative does move nicely along. And this book is still very good. The action is original and the characters continue to develop in interesting ways. It just makes me long for the next book more and I know there will be a long wait.

This honest review is in exchange for a free copy received from the publisher.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: The St. Lucia Island Club: A John Le Brun Novel, Book 5

The St. Lucia Island Club: A John Le Brun Novel, Book 5 The St. Lucia Island Club: A John Le Brun Novel, Book 5 by Brent Monahan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I like this publisher and this sounded interesting so I wanted to give this a read but it really just wasn't my thing. If I were more a fan of mysteries, I might have enjoyed this more but I didn't love it. That said, the writing is very good and there's a lot of interesting history that the author obviously spent a lot of time researching to make accurate. You also don't need to have read the previous books in the series to follow this one. So, not for me but if you enjoy the genre you will probably love this.

This honest review is in exchange for a free copy received from the publisher.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Review: A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches

A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches by Tyler Kord
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I never thought I would read a synopsis for a cookbook and think, "hey, that sounds entertaining." This really was though. I don't think I've ever laughed out loud (LOL for you youngsters) reading a cookbook before but this was really funny. I'm really curious to try out some of the recipes because they are so unique but I'm pretty lazy when it comes to sandwich cooking so I'm not sure when I'll get around to it. Probably when I want to impress someone with an obscure and fancy portable meal. I will update you and let you know how that goes.

This honest review is in exchange for a free copy received from bloggingforbooks.com.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review: Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel

Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel by Dan Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I feel like the drug cartel problem in Mexico and on the American side of the border is something that is extremely underreported. You hear a story every once in a while when something really shocking happens and the media gets wind of it but this is a daily problem in this area. It's really easy to forget how bad it is when you don't hear about it all that often. When you do, it's terrifying. This book was really well written. It's so insightful I had a hard time putting it down. If you want to open your eyes and get a glimpse of what's going on, read this book.

This honest review is in exchange for a free copy received through GoodReads Giveaways.

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