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Breaking the Slump?

“Grief is love made homeless.” – Søren Sveistrup, The Chestnut Man


Readers, could it be that I can finally see the light at the end of the reading slump tunnel? Could it possibly be that I may have found a story that is threatening to jostle me out of my media melancholy?

It could most definitely be true. I have made it halfway through this chiller, The Chestnut Man, by way of audiobook (thanks Audible), and I haven’t given up yet. And getting halfway through this 500+ page monster is no small feat!

I’m actually not too terribly surprised that the same guy responsible for Danish police procedural, The Killing, is killing it right now with getting me back on my reading track. This book is just smart enough, just edgy enough, and more than Scandinavian enough to give me all the feels.

So, while this isn’t a true book review… it’s the hint of possible future book review, which is pretty exciting for me to even consider right now!



Not surprisingly, Netflix started filming a six-part series in September for The Chestnut Man. Thank goodness I will have read the book before the series starts. The release date is still TBD, but that just means they’ll have plenty of time to get it just right!

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My Nightmare – No Spooky Season Books

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” – Macbeth, William Shakespeare


By this time last year I was already deep into my Spooky Season reads and I was as happy as an oblivious little clam! Little did I know that the irl nightmare was only a few short months away and that everything – including my reading habits – would change in ways that, then, would have seemed incomprehensible.

This year I had planned on reading more of the thrillers that live on my shelves, plus I was hoping to find at least one new REALLY creepy spine-tingler to keep me up at night. But I’m finding it difficult to wrap my head around anything that’s as scary as real life is right now.

Reading is usually my escape, so I think I might skip the spooky reads for right now and maybe find a good happy comedy instead!


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Book Deals on Amazon Prime Day! Go Crazy!

“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.” – Austin Phelps


Wait a minute… I thought 2020 was the beginning of the apocalypse, the worst year in history, the precursor to the annihilation of all things decent and good in the world.

HOWEVER…

Whoever sat behind their shiny, modern, responsibly resourced desk and decided that Amazon Prime Day would happen on MY birthday, October 13th, was nothing but a pure genius and she or he may have just saved the entire year for me! Well, that’s a tall order, but at least they improved my week immensely.

What better excuse to spend a lot of money on the internet under the guise of getting fabulous deals than to celebrate capitalism with the biggest retailer on the planet?! And on my birthday no less! They love me!


So now I ask you, what self-respecting book lover – like myself – would waste this opportunity to stock up on the latest book releases, a favorite classic (or five), or those elusive titles that I’ve been seeing pop up everywhere, but just haven’t added to my collection yet? Not me. I’m not a waster. I’m a consumer, danggit!

So, let’s run down just a quick taste of what Amazon is offering in the way of book deals tomorrow and Wednesday…

Kindle Deals

  • Not only can you save 25-30% on everything from self-help to biographies, you can also…
  • Save big money on Kindle devices too! ($80 savings on Kindle Paperwhite and $140 savings on Kindle Oasis – If you’ve had a Kindle device on your wishlist, now might be the time to move it into your cart
  • Best part? Buying e-books doesn’t leave any tell-tale evidence like a mountain of smiley-print brown boxes at your door. Judgement thwarted!

Audible

Prefer to maximize your reading time? Multi-task with a book in your ears while you fold laundry, bathe the dog, work out, or dodge traffic on your way to Trader Joe’s? Audible makes it possible to have all the titles you most want to read at your fingertips, and then bounding off your eardrum. Get a deal on your Audible subscription during Prime Day that just may equal $50 off a yearly subscription. Yes, 50 bucks!

Hardcover / Paperbacks

Remember when Amazon used to be known mainly for selling books? Ahhh, the good old days. Well, don’t let that busy little search bar fool you, they are still the kings of lit! While I’m not going to go through a list of titles here, just know that everything from bestsellers to new releases, classics, cookbooks, kid’s faves, and more will have that glorious Prime Day blue badge attached to them. All mine for the taking! Well… and yours, of course. Yours too. Yeah.


So there you have it, that’s what has me excited about life today. Doesn’t take much, hunh? Even in the midst of a raging pandemic, a reading slump, and nightmarish political unrest, I have allowed Amazon Prime Day to boost my spirits to epic heights. Let the irresponsible spending begin! Well, I have to wait til 3am here on the East coast, but it will eventually begin! Charge (card)!!!


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The Slump Continues…

“Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw


One of the big points in my original reading slump post was that sometimes you just have to be OK with being in a reading slump.

I was pretty sure that the slump wouldn’t last long and that ultimately it would be like hitting the reset button on my reading life. I’m still waiting for that to happen.

I have to be OK with being in a slump. But… in the meantime if anyone knows of one great blockbuster book that is 100% guaranteed to pull anyone out of the reading doldrums fast, PLEASE recommend it to me!


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Book Spotlight: The Tiny Chef and da mishing weshipee blook

“What will the Tiny Chef do without his favorite recipe book.” – The Tiny Chef and da mishing weshipee blook



Authors: Rachel Larsen, Adam Reid, and Ozi Akturk
Hardcover; 40 pgs
Pub Date: September 15, 2020 by Razorbill / Penguin Random House

If you ask around, you will most likely find that people are able to point to one or two particular things that are helping them get through this year of quarantine and massive change.

For some, it’s discovering the world of podcasting. For others, it’s rediscovering their love of cooking. Others are learning how it feels to be a family again. And some are just loving the peace and quiet.

And, believe it or not, social media has had a lot to do with helping people get out of the doldrums. Whether you want to exercise along with your favorite celebrities or enjoy an endless stream of puppy videos, there is something on screen for everyone. I was looking for just such a distraction when I came across the Tiny Chef.

What is a Tiny Chef?

First of all, Cheffy is a who, not a what! He is an adorable, tiny, green, … chef! Trust me, he is everything that is right with the world, and he is one of the things that got me through some very long days of quarantine. Let me introduce you…

OK, honestly I can’t take credit for happening upon the Tiny Chef all on my own. I follow Kristen Bell on Instagram, and she and Cheffy are like besties. But once I started checking in with The Chef every day, I found that his little light made my whole day shine!

How The Chef made it through the first weeks of quarantine

Cheffy hit the Instagram scene in June, 2018 and never looked back. Since then he has carried his mini cooking skills onto all platforms, including Tik Tok! He captures the imagination of everyone he “blel hello”s to. Don’t worry, you’ll get it soon.

So why am I discussing this little guy on this blog today? Drum roll, please!

The Tiny Chef came out with his own book!

Cheffy (and his talented team) have released a picture book for 4-8 year-olds about his missing recipe book and it is wonderful! From the eye-popping illustrations to the adorable drama of watching Chef hunt down his beloved recipe book, this is one of the most creative books in my whole literary collection. And, no, I am not being paid to say that!

SUMMARY

Our debut picture book adventure finds the Tiny Chef at home in his kitchen on a beautiful day, but not all is well inside the Chef’s stump. He’s misplaced his favorite recipe book–the one he uses to cook all of his best dishes, like his famous stew, which he always makes on the first day of fall, and that day is here! What is the Chef to do! He practically tears apart his house looking for it. He gets so frustrated he throws a tantrum. But then he does what we all have to do sometimes when we’re upset. He counts to ten. He goes for a nice long walk. And that’s when inspiration strikes! A little rosemary, some mushrooms, and the Chef might have a brand-new recipe after all. And that’s when his recipe book finally appears. Right where he left it–now isn’t that weird?


I have tried to share the Chef with everyone who could use a daily pick-me-up because he has brought so much tiny joy into my life. He cooks little food, but he has big love!

Cheffy baking an American Pie

GET THE TINY CHEF FOR YOUR FAVORITE TINY CHEF

The Tiny Chef and da mishing weshipee blook is available at all major book retailers, so get order your copy today! Click here

A little, tiny comfort reading

And if you’re looking for some very tiny recipes with gigantic flavor, check out his recipes HERE


The Tiny Chef

From his humble garden tree stump, an herbivore named The Tiny Chef creates the world’s tiniest dishes for the world’s tiniest cooking show.
bio from thetinychefshow.com


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My Third Quarter Reading Slump

“One of the smart behaviors for the readers is, challenging yourself.” – Maryam Abdullah Alnaymi


I’m sure you’ve been there: you’ve had an amazing month of reading, you’ve met all your goals, participated in all the challenges, and even impressed yourself with how much reading you’ve accomplished.

Then it happens. The Slump.

Mine is happening right now and it is the most frustrating thing! So, as I’m working through it, I hunted down some tips to help myself and others traverse the valley of the dreaded reading slump!

TRY READING SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT

Is your favorite genre mystery/thrillers? Or do you always trend toward romance? Maybe you’re addicted to only reading books with 800 pages or more. Whatever your best-loved genre is, try substituting it with something you’d never normally pick up. Try a comic book, a horror novel, or a poetry anthology. Always read adult lit? Give a middle grades book a try. There’s great literature everywhere. And maybe reading something off of your beaten path will reignite your passion for reading and also introduce you to a new genre interest!

Never force yourself to read a book that you do not enjoy. There are so many good books in the world that it is foolish to waste time on one that does not give you pleasure.

Atwood H. Townsend, Good Reading

CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

I usually read in my comfy circular couch in my bedroom. I put on my mood music and drift away into whatever place I’m visiting on the page that day. But lately, I’m finding that my comfy couch by the window with all the natural light is also riddled with distractions.

Neighbors walking their dogs, music drifting in from the ice cream truck making its rounds, the beeping of the Google Assistant with reminders about everything else I could be doing during this time. It has become a space that isn’t peaceful and quiet anymore.

So maybe a change in reading location would help me. I have two highly underused living room couches that would suit me just fine. They have perfect natural light and the room is already equipped with lovely scented candles! Why didn’t I think of this before?

DO A BUDDY READ

The last time I did a buddy read was with my best friend, and we read the entire Crazy Rich Asians series together. It was so much fun and reminded me of one of the things I really love about reading – sharing it with other people.

If you’ve been a lone wolf reader for some time now, maybe it’s time to branch out and share your love with others through a buddy read – either in person with close family or friends, or virtually with a book club or Goodreads member. It may be that the spark that ignites a renewed interest may just come through reading with someone else.

RE-READ A FAVORITE

Quick, what’s your favorite book? I know, I know – it’s like picking a favorite child. It may be impossible to say, but even if you have a top ten list, reading even one of those may rev up your reading engine once again.

I have many books that I loved while reading, but honestly the thought of rereading them makes me anxious. What if I have a different perception of them now that ruins my initial experience? But also, what if I reread and I end up loving them even more? Those questions alone make the reread even more enticing!

If a book is worth reading, it will most probably be worth reading twice.

Aman Jassal, Rainbow – The Shades of Love

CHANGE YOUR READING FORMAT

If you ask me, there is nothing better than the feel of a hardcover book in your hands, smelling the lignin on the pages with its faint hint of vanilla, and letting your eyes roam over the Garamond font. It’s heavenly!

But if you’re a reader who always grabs the nearest paperback or hardcover, maybe a great slump-beater is to pick up a Kindle e-reader instead. Or finally use the Audible subscription that you’re paying for every month. E-Readers and audiobooks are great alternatives to ink and paper books, and changing your book-reading format may also change your mind about being in a reading slump!

GET NEW RECOMMENDATIONS

Where do you get your book recommendations? Goodreads? Your mom? That one cashier at the eclectic book store on the corner in that hip little neighborhood you love walking through? Well, even though they may have high the jackpot more than once with their recommendations, maybe it’s time to branch out a little.

Try a recommendation from the stranger on the subway who is always reading something with an interesting cover. Ask your coworkers what they’re reading and if they can recommend a great book. Listen to some bookish podcasts (like Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next?) to get some reading inspiration. Sometimes the right recommendation can propel a bored reader over their slump.

Read whatever book you lay your hands on if you can, for every writer has a story to tell

Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom

BE OK WITH TAKING A BREAK

One of the great things about being an adult is that there is no reading requirement. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, so if you’re currently slumping like me, it’s OK to be OK with taking a break from reading!

About 20 years ago I had just come off of a break of several years where I read very few books. Rediscovering my love of books then was like giving spring water to a desert-wanderer. It was new life! I became a voracious reader once again and it was as if no time had passed at all.


So, if you are currently experiencing a reading slump, hopefully at least one of these tools will help you to either get through it or be OK with it. Personally, I think I’m going to just wait it out. I’m sure that when the right book comes along I’ll be ready to read it and everything else again!


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Sex and Vanity

“I think the most impractical thing one can do is not follow your passions.” —Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan


Author: Kevin Kwan

(3.45 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Hardcover

Publication Date: June 30, 2020, by Doubleday

336 Pages (Hardcover)

#SexandVanity #KevinKwan


…it lulls your inhibitions, seduces you, and makes you do crazy, impulsive things.

Shoot. I was so looking forward to this book.

Let’s just jump into this – here’s the blurb…

On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can’t stand him. She can’t stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can’t stand that he knows more about Curzio Malaparte than she does, and she really can’t stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin, Charlotte. “Your mother is Chinese so it’s no surprise you’d be attracted to someone like him,” Charlotte teases. Daughter of an American-born-Chinese mother and blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucy is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment, and ultimately herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world–and her heart.


When we align with the truth of who we are, all things are possible.

The moment I heard that this book was coming out, I was so excited and happy that my adventures with Kevin Kwan’s characters and all their extravagances wouldn’t have to end. I knew it wouldn’t involve the same characters, but I was so confident that Kwan’s writing would breathe life into an entirely new group of folks that I would also come to adore.

But this is the trap that occurs when you compare books – even those written by the same author. Although all three of the books in Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians series immediately drew me in and made me love everything about them, I spent all 315 pages of Sex and Vanity trying to (1) get into it, (2) remember who all the hundreds of characters are, and (3) get over my disappointment of not immediately loving it.

LA? You want to move to LA? Why would you want to move to a place that’s devoid of culture and has no seasons?

One highlight was Astrid Leong’s cameo at the Capri wedding. I got all kinds of Crazy excited, only to have that literally be the most exciting thing that occurred. Again, womp womp.

So, between my reader’s guilt and my entire disinterest in this novel, I reluctantly gave it 3 stars after fully expecting a 5-star showing. Womp womp. This won’t stop me from reading the next Kwan novel, but maybe it will temper my expectations going forward.


Kevin Kwan

KEVIN KWAN is the author of Crazy Rich Asians, the international bestselling novel that has been translated into more than 30 languages. In 2018, Kevin was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. -bio adapted from Goodreads.com


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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

“I lived for the joy of bringing books and reading materials to the hillfolk who were desperate for my visits, the printed word that brought a hopeful world into their dreary lives and dark hollers. It was necessary. And for the first time in my life, I felt necessary.” —The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson


Author: Kim Michele Richardson Narrator: Katie Schorr

(4.25 stars – Goodreads rating)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Format: Audiobook

Publication Date: May 7, 2019, by Blackstone Publishing

308 Pages (Paperback) ; 9 hr 26 min (audio)

#TheBookWomanofTroublesomeCreek #KentuckyBluePeople #KimMicheleRichardson


Being able to return to the books was a sanctuary for my heart.

Every little kid is asked what they want to be when they grow up. It’s a normal question that can be answered thousands of ways. Commonly, kids want to be grow up to be firefighters, doctors, astronauts, or princesses. It is a rare child that has aspirations to become a librarian. But think about it, shouldn’t that career at least be in the top five of everyone’s dream-job list?!

Well, it was for Cussy Mary Carter – called Bluet by the townsfolk. She wants to be a librarian so that she can share the written word with even more people than just those that live in and around Troublesome Creek. She sees what even the smallest samples of literature has done for the people on her book route and it’s a feeling that she wants to share with others far and near. And isn’t that part of what reading (and writing) is all about? Let’s read the blurb…

In 1936, tucked deep into the woods of Troublesome Creek, KY, lives blue-skinned 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry. The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.
Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government’s new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a powerful message about how the written word affects people–a story of hope and heartbreak, raw courage and strength splintered with poverty and oppression, and one woman’s chances beyond the darkly hollows. Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a historical first for the introduction of Pack horse Librarians in literary novels — a tale of fierce strength and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.


No city drug’s gonna change small minds, what they think about peculiarity. For them like-minded folks, there is no redemption for our kind.

This book initially drew me in because it was about a woman delivering books to people in her small town. I wanted to read about a community being encouraged to read by a person who has to overcome some struggles herself in order to provide for others. It seemed like an adventure story with an unconventional heroine.

And that IS what this book is about, but it is so much more than I initially expected. It’s Cussy’s story, and it’s an overview of the workings of a community. It’s a survival story of a family on the edge of a town that barely tolerates them, but that also wouldn’t be the same without them.

Richardson tells a layered story in which our main characters battles hardships based on her being a single, working woman with skin that is something other than white. She struggles to find independence in a world that believes that her place should only be behind an acceptable man.

I never understood why other people thought my color, any color, needed fixing.

Of course these are common themes that we see in literature often, so what makes …Troublesome Creek such a unique story? So many things, not the least of which is how timely it is when we are currently struggling with racism and sexism and almost every kind of -ism known to man in this country. Cussy and her father have blue skin, and to many of their unkind neighbors this makes them freaks. And it also makes them “colored”.

There’s the colorful and dull, ugly and pretty, old, new ’uns. But in the end we’s all fabric, cut from His cloth. Fabric, and just that.

Read this book for the story of a woman going against all odds to deliver books and educate her community. But also read it for the overall, too-familiar story of a family maintaining a lifestyle surrounded by hostile prejudice in the place that they call home. There is a meaningful dialogue between writer and reader here that is honest and understanding for all races, not just the ones we are most familiar with.

I recommend giving this book a read based on all that, but I can also heartily recommend listening to the audiobook which is narrated so expertly by Katie Schorr. Through either format, Cussy’s story will permeate your heart and you will cheer both her and her ornery mule on every step of the way!


Kim Michele Richardson

Kim Michele Richardson lives in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child, and a book critic for the New York Journal of Books. Her novels include, Liar’s Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and The Sisters of Glass Ferry. -bio adapted from Goodreads.com


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Blog Tour| Secret Crush Seduction

-》”She’s done waiting for what she really wants.” -Jayci Lee/ Secret Crush Seduction 《-

*Many thanks to Harlequin Desire and the author for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and to read this book in exchange for my honest review.


Author: Jayci Lee

(3.88 stars Goodreads rating)

Genre: Fiction / Contemporary Romance

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: September, 2020, by Harlequin Desire

Pages: 215 (Paperback)

#secretcrushseduction #theheirsofhansol #jaycilee #harlequindesire


Adelaide Song was ready to change the world. The next question was how?

You had me at “secret crush”! It’s amazing how those two words can instantly throw you back into memories of your high school crush. How he/she made you nervous, got you tongue-tied, pushed your pulse up a few beats. I could tell you some stories about one or two MAJOR crushes I had back in the day, but… this isn’t about me (phew!).


Grade school is a time for crushes. They are all-consuming and emotionally taxing. That’s how Adelaide Song used to feel about Mike Reynolds. Correction… Michael Reynolds.  She’d been crushing on him since she was a child, but it’s time to show Michael (and her overprotective brother and grandmother too) that she is not a child anymore! Let’s read the blurb…

Aspiring fashion designer Adelaide Song wants to prove she’s more than just a pampered heiress. All she needs is a little courage–and the help of deliciously sexy Michael Reynolds, her childhood crush and her brother’s best friend. But when her secret crush turns into an illicit liaison, Adelaide realizes mixing business with pleasure spells trouble for all her plans…


She wanted to change for the better not so others would love and accept her, but so she could love and accept herself.

The second book in Harlequin Desire’s Heirs of Hansol series delivers with characters that break the mold, well-placed conflict, and steamy romantic tension that is only escalated by a few awkward family dinners!

…there was nothing sweet about her. She was fire and sin.

This is a quick (almost too quick) romantic read that definitely deserved a nice, tidy epilogue,  but hey… what a way to pull you into book #3!


Secret Crush Seduction by Jayci Lee is available September, 2020!


Jayci Lee

Jayci Lee writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge. She lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction.


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The “Also-Reads”

“You can kill a book quicker by your silence than by a bad review.” – E. E. Bucchianeri


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Every year I read more books than I could ever write a blog about. Honestly, some of the books I read wouldn’t fare very well on a blog of their own. And some were perfectly fine reads, but I just didn’t get around to sharing my thoughts on them.

So, here’s to those books – the Also-Reads!

A writer hopes never to offend, but if he must, pray let him offend the gods before the reviewers.

Chila Woychik, On Being a Rat and Other Observations

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Genre: Dystopian / Lit. Fic. / Women’s Lit.

Pub. Date: September 10, 2019 by Random House Audio (audiobook)

This is one that needed to sit with me for a second before I assessed it. If I had just immediately launched into judgment, it wouldn’t have fared too well. However, the book definitely has its merits. As a sequel, it holds up – we needed to have this account. For readers that would read The Testaments without having experienced The Handmaid’s Tale first, I don’t know if the story of Gilead would hold as much gravity with them.
I’m not sure if listening to this was the best way to go, but the audiobook’s saving grace was Ann Dowd! She is amazing on the television show and just as amazing voicing Aunt Lydia in The Testaments.
So, now are we done with Gilead? Are we done with June and Aunt Lydia and the kids? We’ll see…


Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy / Paranormal

Pub. Date: September 3, 2019 by Scholastic Audio (audiobook)

Suspenseful and full of backstory, Tunnel of Bones is the perfect sequel. Cassidy Blake is a great protagonist, and both my daughter and I really enjoyed reading her latest adventure.


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Genre: Mystery / Horror / Paranormal

Pub. Date: February 18, 2020 by Berkley

You won’t find many classically styled ghost stories like this anymore, and then St. James doubles down with a nefarious serial killer – come on!
This is an enjoyable read from start to finish.


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal

Pub Date: October 8, 2019 by Macmillan Audio (audiobook)

This was not the book for me. I never became interested in its characters, was only mildly interested in its plot, and ended up caring even less about both by the last chapter.
I know mine is an unpopular opinion, and I’m OK with that, but The Ninth House just seems to have too many villains and not enough plausible action. I finished it, but I forgot all about it within a month.


The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Genre: Contemporary Adult Fiction / Cultural

Pub Date: July 6, 2010 by Scribner

Although I truly enjoy the premise of this story and its initial ambiance, as the book moves into its later chapters, I found it less dedicated to its characters and the initial attention to details. The food gets most of the attention to the detriment of the people who are eating it.
The author completed his task by showing us that great achievement requires sacrifice; however, did he, himself, make too many to get us to the end of the book quickly?


Paper Wife by Laila Ibrahim

Genre: Historical Fiction / Cultural

Pub Date: October 30, 2018 by Lake Union Publishing

I admit that I was first drawn in by the gorgeous cover, but soon after, the story had me just as mesmerized.
I learned so much about the history of Chinese immigration into the United States from this book in a way that felt personal and meaningful.
I would have given 5 stars, but it ended too abruptly with a few questions unanswered! But that didn’t take away from the beauty and powerful message of this book. Read it. 


Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Genre: Young Adult / Middle Grade / Fantasy / Adventure

Pub Date: April 26, 2001 by Disney-Hyperion

This was a quick read and an interesting one – I just don’t know exactly how I’m supposed to feel about Artemis.
I went in thinking that I would love him as a sort of antihero; however, I really did dislike him strongly and wanted him to lose. Is this how I’m supposed to feel? Or is everyone else on the #teamArtemis bandwagon?
It seems odd to like a book whose main character is so inherently unlikeable; would I be able to enjoy a series featuring an MC I don’t want to see succeed? Meh, jury’s out. 


The Getaway by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

Pub Date: April 30, 2020 by Audible Original

Great development. A perfectly suspenseful way to spend an afternoon! Even from the first 30 mins of this audiobook I knew that things were not going to turn out well for this character as she left to spend time at a secluded retreat that she learned about on the internet. And, man, was I right!


She has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by J.D. Barker

Genre: Supernatural Thriller

Pub. Date: March 31, 2020 by Hampton Creek Press

Let the wordy title be your guide, this book is big. Sure, I read it on a Kindle so 700+ pages looked different for me, but there’s a lot of story here, told over decades, with many, many characters. A.big.book.
But was it good? Sci-fi fans will appreciate the underbelly of the story that hides as much as it shows about a few children’s twisted lives and the results of one company’s too-good-to-be-true offer. Thrill-seekers will latch on to the mystery and violence of the people in white and the heated cross-country pursuits. Some readers may like all of it. Others, none.
I fall somewhere in the middle. Barker can’t write a bad book, so there’s that. After reading …Broken Thing… though, I prefer his thriller/serial killer (4MK) stuff. It’s more in my wheelhouse.
But if you’re a Barker fan, don’t skip this one; just take your time and enjoy the scenic route!


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy

Pub. Date: June 26, 1997 by Bloomsbury Publishing

No real need to review this one – you already know it’s great!


Unfortunately, missing the author’s point, or not understanding the book, is not enough to prevent one from reviewing and/or rating it.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
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New or Old – That Smell is Incredible

Welcome to my book review blog. Thanks for dropping in!

The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.

–W. Somerset Maugham

Whenever I get a new book, or mooch an old book, or borrow a book from the library, for that matter, I bring it close to my nose… and inhale.

Sometimes the smell is crisp and warm, almost woodsy. Other times it’s ancient and musky, like well-worn furniture. Either way, it’s a great smell. Remember that episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory is showing Anna (future Yale student) around the library and she picks up a book and smells it? Yes, just like that: #bibliosmia.

So now you know I read old books and new – and I love them both equally. So if you’re here to just see reviews on all the hot new releases that everyone else is reading and blogging about, then you’re not in the right place. Sorry.

I do read selective New Releases, but I also have a lot of “Dusty Bookshelf” reads that I am committed to getting through in this upcoming year (I said that last year too), and a lot of books that people have recommended to me that I will finally get around to. The books I read/review won’t always be current, but they’ll always be interesting.

I prefer reading hardcovers or trade-sized paperbacks (there’s nothing like the feel of a book in your hands), but I also read several e-books and listen to a few audiobooks each month, so you’ll likely see reviews for publications in those formats as well.

Occasionally, when she lets me, my daughter and I will read her books together. She’s in 5th grade and has a bookcase full of chapter books that we work our way through whenever she’s not bogged down with school-assigned stories. When our read-along books are especially good, I’ll review those too.

I’ll also occasionally be featuring my favorite authors, book events in Georgia, upcoming new releases, links to free e-book deals, and throwback looks at my favorite childhood reads.

I’m a Goodreads member and belong to several groups there. The book cover pics I post will most often come from Goodreads along with mentions of their overall rating of each book. However, I do not – I repeat, NOT – allow the rating from “the masses” influence my personal opinion of any book I read. Reviews are my own individual thoughts and I am absolutely not receiving any compensation for anything I post here.

As you may have guessed, this is my first foray into blogging so I’m sure I have some kinks to work out. If something isn’t working or posting correctly, just bear with me and I’ll get it worked out. Eventually. ♥

Enjoy!

booksniffing