Month: November 2014

Nov 07

Bookish Q&A: Stuck in the Middle

Blogging, Personal, Q&A 17

Helloooooo Bookworms!

I know you were incredibly disappointed that I didn’t quite finish my Bookish Q&A a while back, so I’m picking up where I left off. I can feel the excitement radiating through the internet. Tangible thrills, y’all.

22. Favorite genre: This is a tough question for a dabbler like myself. I do enjoy a bit of everything, but I think historical fiction elements tend to run through a lot of my favorites.
 
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did): I’m not one to think, “Man, I wish I read more self-help books” and then not read any self-help books. I don’t read self-help books because I just plain don’t wanna!
 
24. Favorite biography: I really dig memoirs as opposed to full on biographies. I like them funny, so Bossypants by Tina Fey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson are some of my super favorites (reviews).

mindy
25. Have you read a self-help book (and was it helpful)? Oh, number 25. You should see number 23. Actually, when I was in high school I did read a book on getting in touch with my own psychic powers. I’m even less psychic than Professor Trelawney, as it happens. Although I am uncannily good at guessing the sexes of unborn babies. I have a significantly better than 50/50 average.
 
26. Favorite cook book: My mother-in-law made me a cookbook for my bridal shower. It’s a binder that includes all the family recipes. It’s pretty much the only cookbook I use (well, that and the cookbook my sister-in-law used as her wedding favors, but there’s a lot of overlap there.) I’m not much of a cook, but I can make a mean apple crisp. Oh, and I’ve managed to perfect the cream caramels by sheer force of will. Candy is finicky, but I can do it… With a digital candy thermometer. And low humidity.
 
27. The most inspirational book you’ve read this year: I think I’m going to give it to Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (review). It made me feel good about humanity and gave me all the warm fuzzies.
 
28. Favorite reading snack: Is it weird that I don’t typically eat while I read? I mean, I love to eat (so, so much!) but I’m bad at multitasking when appendages are involved. I sometimes read while eating on my lunch breaks, I guess, but that’s not so much a snack as like “oh, I’m going to eat this soup now because I’m the kind of person who eats a lot of soup.”

You can bet I'd take pains to follow procedure.

You can bet I’d take pains to follow procedure.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience: Hmmm… I wouldn’t say the hype necessarily RUINED anything for me, but The Goldfinch (review) and We Were Liars (review) didn’t live up to my expectations. I didn’t hate them, they were just a bit of a let down, you know?

30. How often do you agree with the critics about a book? LOL! Ooooh critics. Um, pretty rarely, I think. Traditional critics tend to favor literary fiction of the stylistic variety… I’m much more a story/character reader, so I find a lot of critical darlings to be a snooze-fest. Plus, you know, I unabashedly love oodles of books that are NEVER going to win big impressive prizes. If I want to love a romantic series whose plots rely heavily on kidnapping and time travel, I’m going to do it with no apologies! (Seriously, there is SO MUCH kidnapping/captivity in the Outlander series. I don’t even care.)

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? Well, you know, I really love being an asshole, so… No really. I don’t like giving negative reviews, but I’m not going to lie and say I liked something if I didn’t.
 
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which would it be? Ooooh good question! Realistically, I stand the most chance of being able to read in Spanish as I studied the language in school, but since we’re playing hypotheticals here, I think it’d be nice to read in French.
 
33. Most intimidating book I’ve ever read: Speaking of French, I think Les Miserables is the most intimidating book I’ve ever read AND liked. Amazing.

gavroche  
34. Most intimidating book I’m to nervous to begin: I’m a whole lot of intimidated by The Count of Monte Cristo for some reason. I think it’s the sheer size of the thing, but I have a feeling it’s a book I’ll enjoy.

35. Favorite Poet: I don’t really like poetry as a general rule… Unless it’s Emily Dickinson. I love that crazy broad.
 
36. How many books do you generally have checked out of the library at a given time? Since I do the majority of my library-ing digitally, I typically only take out one book at a time.
 
37. How often do you return books to the library unread? Rarely. The whole one book at a time thing really helps with that.
 
38. Favorite fictional character: Good gracious, I feel you’ve asked me to choose a favorite child! I am far too attached to far too many fictional characters to answer this, I’m sorry!
 
39. Favorite fictional villain: Oooh tough call. I’m really quite fond of The Hound from the Song of Ice and Fire series.

thehoundWhew! These surveys are intense and I’m STILL not done. No worries, kids. You’ll see a part 3 one of these days, I promise. What about you, Bookworms? Pick a question, any question. I want to know your thoughts. 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Nov 06

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK is a saucy minx)

Audio Books, Mystery 23

Howdy Bookworms!

It will come as no surprise to my regular readers that I don’t typically go in for thrillers and mysteries. I do, however, go in for all things JK Rowling. If I didn’t know that Robert Galbraith was JK Rowling incognito, the odds of me ever picking up The Cuckoo’s Calling were nil. Luckily, someone leaked Robert Galbraith’s identity, and I’m confirmed in my suspicions that JK Rowling can write anything. I’m also confirmed in my suspicions that my library’s selection of digital audio books is completely awesome.

thecuckoo'scallingThe Cuckoo’s Calling begins by introducing a down-on-his-luck private detective named Cormoran Strike. After having his leg blown off in Afghanistan, he left his military career behind and went out on his own to decidedly disappointing effect. He’s just split up with his emotional roller coaster of a fiance and he owes money to just about everyone and their mom. It’s almost cliche, really, but somehow it stays out of of kitschy place. Just as Strike is on the verge of complete collapse, he’s visited by the distraught brother of a recently deceased supermodel. Though Lula Landry’s death has been ruled a suicide by the police, John Bristow begs Strike to investigate the case. He simply doesn’t believe his adoptive sister jumped to her death from her apartment balcony. He thinks foul play must be involved.

I can’t help but think that Rowling’s own fame influenced the way she portrayed the paparazzi-hounded Lula Landry. I imagine press coverage has died down a bit since Harry Potter has been a (mostly) a closed book in recent years, but I think that insight was helpful in imagining what super A-list celebrities deal with on a daily basis.

I should probably dabble in thrillers more often, because I found this book quite a lot of fun. Dark and twisty characters, mysterious motives, scandals, and a lovely variety of English accents? (Did I mention the narrator was brilliant?) What’s not to love? A colorful cast of quirky characters and varying degrees of dastardly behaviors made The Cuckoo’s Calling a winner for me. It also made me happy that I’m not obscenely wealthy and constantly photographed. I would TOTALLY end up on the cover of a tabloid picking a wedgie… Or my nose. Siiigh.

Talk to me, Bookworms! If you were a celebrity, what embarrassing situation would you most likely be caught in?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Nov 04

Literary Love Connection: The Brooding and The Obsessive

Literary Love Connection 16

Hello Bookworms and Welcome to Literary Love Connection!

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Today’s Bachelorette is Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (review). Scarlett enjoys being admired, flouting social mores, and romantic espionage. She spends her free time ruminating on her beauty and obsessing over The One That Got Away And Ended Up With A Much Better Wife Despite Being A Giant Weenie.

 Today’s Bachelor is Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (review). Heathcliff enjoys brooding, nefarious plotting, and revenge. He spends his free time acquiring wealth in order to shame those who have hurt him and obsessing over The One That Got Away Because She Was Shallow And Lived Miserably Ever After.

Date Takes Place at a Ball in Atlanta, Mid-Waltz.

Scarlett: Most of my beaux have proposed by this point in the evening. I hear you have a large estate?

Heathcliff: I was adopted into a wealthy family but treated like a peasant. I’ve since acquired a vast amount of wealth, and used it to torment those who once persecuted me.

Scarlett: I do admire a man with gumption. Not as much as I admire Ashley, but he’s been damaged goods since the war. Can you BELIEVE he chose that dowdy Melanie over me?

Heathcliff: Don’t speak to me of thwarted love! Why, my Catherine. Whatever our two souls were made of, hers and mine were the same. And yet! I had no name or fortune to offer her and she spurned me. Now it’s naught but misery, MISERY, I tell you!

Scarlett: Misery? Well, I’ll think about that tomorrow. But this money you have. Do you think you’d be interested in investing in a gorgeous plantation? My father was Irish, I don’t suppose it would matter that much if my new husband were to be a Brit.

Heathcliff: Damn you, woman! I did not offer you marriage!

Scarlett: Fiddle dee dee! You can’t resist this.

Heathcliff: Take your damnable bustle elsewhere, witch! And by elsewhere, I mean to my carriage. Let us away!

llcscarheath

 

Yes, Bookworms. Scarcliff just happened. SorryNotSorry. Are there any other fictional characters you’d like to see hooked up? Tell me about it in the comments!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Nov 03

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

Historical Fiction, World War II 17

Ahoy Bookworms!

One of my favorite things about reading, particularly when I read historical fiction, is learning new things. I mean, you THINK you know all there is to know about WWII and its aftermath and BAM. Something new. Did you have any idea that enough Australian women married British service members to necessitate a post-war trip hauling 650+ war brides to England in an aircraft carrier? And that was just ONE of the ships. Thank you, Jojo Moyes, for teaching me these things. *And thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of The Ship of Brides for review consideration.*

shipofbridesThe Ship of Brides focuses on four Australian war brides who are making the pilgrimage to England aboard the Victoria. Everyone on board (brides and crew) are held to strict behavioral standards. Let’s face it, attempting to keep hundreds of young brides who haven’t seen their husbands in ages (and who likely didn’t know them all that well to begin with) AND hundreds of young sailors who just finished fighting a war to keep their hands off each other was going to require some discipline, you know?

Margaret, Frances, Avice, and Jean end up being bunk mates. Margaret is enormously pregnant and facing a new life on a new continent with a husband she barely knows, AND motherhood. Jean is all of 16 years old. She’s flippant, flirty, and a bit of a party gal. Avice is an uber snob from a fancy schmancy family. She spends her time looking down her nose at everyone and making me want to smack her. Frances was a nurse during the war and has a past full of SECRETS, I tell you! These four are stuck together on a boat, sharing a tiny room, in equatorial heat for SIX WEEKS. I’ll let you imagine that cesspool for a minute and then try to figure out just how well they all got along, mkay?

So, you know I love Jojo Moyes. I’ve read and enjoyed Me Before You (review), The Girl You Left Behind (review), Silver Bay (review), and One Plus One (review). I liked The Ship of Brides overall… It’s just that my Jojo Moyes standards are SO HIGH. The book started out kind of slowly for me and I found it dragged a bit. Then all the juicy tidbits were stuffed into the last few pages. It’s a great story, I just thought the pacing could have been better. Still, if you like historical fiction, WWII, or Jojo Moyes, you should DEFINITELY check this out!

Talk to me Bookworms. Since this book takes place on a boat, why NOT talk about cruises? Have any of you been? Do you recommend them? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Maybe I’ll hoard the cash and buy a cruise.*

 

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Nov 01

It’s TOTES Time for a GIVEAWAY!

Giveaways 7

Howdy Howdy, Bookworms!

It’s that time again! The Literary Blog Hop (hosted by the lovely Judith of Leeswames’ Blog) is upon us and I have some AWESOME free stuff for you to win… If you live in the US. (Sorry, internationals, shipping is evil. Next time I promise I’ll do an international giveaway, k? There are still tons of international giveaways in the blog hop though, so be sure to scroll down and do some clicking!)

literarybloghopnovember14

On offer today is this SWEET tote bag featuring the cutest penguin on the internet! You’ll also get a *very* gently used hardcover copy of Anthony Breznican’s novel Brutal Youth (review). Are you excited?! I know I am!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Check out all the other giveaways HERE!

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self (N. Am.)
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  17. The Emerald City Book Review
  18. Wensend
  1. Laurie Here
  2. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  3. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  4. I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  5. Lost Generation Reader
  6. Books Speak Volumes
  7. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  8. Books on the Table (US)
  9. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  10. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  11. Words And Peace (US)
  12. Booklover Book Reviews
  13. Inside the Secret World of Allison Bruning (US)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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