Stacking the Shelves (159)

January 22, 2017 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 4 Comments

Recent Posts

New Books

For Review

I’ve been really picky when it comes to my review books lately but I couldn’t resist requesting these two. The Book of Mirrors made it onto my highly anticipated debuts of 2017 list (here’s hoping it goes better than my first read from the list). And Made for Love sounds quirky and weird but Alissa Nutting is a spectacular author. Sure, Tampa was more than a bit scandalous but was still nonetheless an incredible story.

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The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici [Purchase]
Made for Love: A Novel by Alissa Nutting [Purchase]

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Recommended Reading 101: Unreliable Narrators

January 21, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 2 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Unreliable Narrators 101

Early Review – The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren SumaIf you’re looking for a haunting story (both literal and figurative)…

Nova Ren Suma is known for her incredible stories but this one takes the cake. The Walls Around Us delves into juvenile delinquency and the discrepancies in the criminal justice system as well as the harsh reality of discrimination, and the blurred lines between fantasy and reality.


Book Review – The Collector by John FowlesIf you’re looking for something especially disturbing…

The Collector is the story of Frederick Clegg, a man that collects butterflies but begins to desire collecting other beautiful things. Like a girl named Miranda. The story splits points of view between the two characters. It’s an unnerving yet unforgettable read.


Short & Sweet Review – The Secret History by Donna TarttIf you’re looking for the classic boarding school novel…

 The Secret History is one of the most enthralling stories I’ve ever read. Beautifully written and immensely captivating. The end is revealed at the very beginning of the book but it doesn’t detract from the shocking way it unfolds.


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Short & Sweet – Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, My Not So Perfect Life, Deathly Hallows

January 20, 2017 Bonnie Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2017, Short & Sweet Reviews 3 Comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short & Sweet – Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, My Not So Perfect Life, Deathly HallowsEleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #11
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 24th 2017
Pages: 352
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: First Grave on the Right

three-half-stars

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

*spoilers for previous installments*

“…I’m going to take over the world.”
“The whole thing?”
“Well, I’m going to try to take over the world.”
“And you feel you’re prepared for world domination?”
I lifted a noncommittal shoulder. “I’m taking a business class.”

Despite her new awareness of her God-like state, Charley Davidson strives to continue living as a normal human would. She’s taking a business class at the college (to help her out when she takes over the world), she has a new case which involves the son of the people that kidnapped Reyes when he was a child, and she’s helping the police sort out why and who could be sending Cookie’s daughter, Amber, threatening text messages.

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Although I continue to profess my love for this series, it must be said that the plots of these later installments are getting weaker with each new one. I have always loved the incorporation of her day-to-day investigations mixed with the advancement of the Reaper storyline but if I’m being honest, more needs to happen with the Reaper storyline. It continues to be stretched to the limit and we’re given minuscule nibbles with each book which seems like nothing more than a way to continue to stretch the series past its expiration date. For the most part, there isn’t any actual advancement until the final 10% or so, and while it’s a most excellent 10%, it makes one definitely wish there was more to go around. And then as a cherry on top, we’re given a massive cliffhanger that will leave the reader groaning until the next installment.

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The mysteries are great, the paranormal aspects are incredibly interesting, the sex scenes are off the charts, and Charley is always a source of amusement. But, Jones, you’re killing me with these cliffhangers.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short & Sweet – Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, My Not So Perfect Life, Deathly HallowsMy Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
Published by The Dial Press on February 7th 2017
Pages: 448
Genres: Chick-Lit
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Wedding Night

three-half-stars

Part love story, part workplace dramedy, part witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world, this is New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s most timely and sharply observed novel yet.

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. The final, demeaning straw comes when Demeter makes Katie dye her roots in the office. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.
Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the image.

Katie Brenner grew up in the English countryside and has always dreamed of living in the big city. At 26-years-old, she’s finally working her dream job at an ad agency, has a place of her own, and an Instagram account that showcases a life that anyone would envy. Despite her perfect outward appearance, everything is far from perfect. She’s not doing anything terribly creative at her job and is barely making ends meet, she has her own place but she has roommates and her room is tragically small so she keeps all her clothes piled in a hammock, and all those pictures she posts on Instagram is more how she wishes her life was vs. how it really is. When her life is abruptly upended and she finds herself living once again with her dad in the English countryside, she doesn’t think she’ll ever find her way back to London. A new family “glamping” business keeps her busy and her creative side honed, but some unexpected glampers from London have Katie realizing that London isn’t quite done with her.

Katie is an incredible character for many reasons but first and foremost: she’s so realistic. Don’t get me wrong, 95% of the time I love a good story to escape into so I can leave the real world behind but that straggler 5% loves a character that I can feel in tune with, a character that I can truly understand. This story gave me major Devil Wears Prada vibes but instead of the invisible girl that gets a haircut, loses some weight, and is bestowed a gorgeous wardrobe only to live happily ever after we get Katie. Katie didn’t get a haircut, lose weight, or get a new wardrobe. Nope. Katie loses her job, has to move back home with dad, and is often found in wellies because it’s just sensible in the countryside.

My Not So Perfect Life centers around Katie’s personal development and the realization that much like her own Instagram account, people hide beyond a persona that is not always the person they truly are. This is a laugh out loud adventure that despite its slightly unnecessary page length and unexpected lack of focus on the romance, this delightful story will no doubt charm new and old fans alike.

Short & Sweet – Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, My Not So Perfect Life, Deathly HallowsHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Narrator: Jim Dale
Series: Harry Potter #7
on July 21st 2007
Length: 21 hrs and 36 mins
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Cuckoo's Calling

five-stars

As he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid's motorbike and takes to the skies, leaving Privet Drive for the last time, Harry Potter knows that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not far behind. The protective charm that has kept Harry safe until now is broken, but he cannot keep hiding. The Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything Harry loves and to stop him Harry will have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. The final battle must begin - Harry must stand and face his enemy....

*spoilers*

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This is officially my very first time I’ve completely re-read this series and it’s quite possible that I love it even more than I did before. Reading all books back to back (I started the first one in October and finished the last one in January) only made it even more apparent what an incredible saga that Rowling gifted us. All the linked parts, the character development, and just how astonishing it was to see it all unfold. Somehow it still managed to leave me awed even knowing how it all ends. While my opinions of the series as a whole didn’t change (other than the fact that my favorite book is now officially Half-Blood Prince and I’ve gotten over my irritation with Dobby) there is one aspect in these stories that I paid a lot more attention to this go around: Dumbledore and Snape.

First and foremost, I’m team Snape (and a Slytherin if you were curious). Yes, I am fully aware that he was a horrible shithead to a bunch of children, primarily Harry, and the only reason was because he loved Harry’s mother and she didn’t love him. Boo-hoo. I’m also aware that he was a Death Eater doing terrible things on behalf of Voldemort before he joined up with Dumbeldore. I’m aware of all these things but I can still appreciate the bravery and risks he took in the name of love, even it was misguided. It doesn’t necessarily make him a hero in my eyes and his actions don’t make up for the wrong he did, but it is still worthy of mention. Don’t agree?

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hahaha Kidding. But on to an even more controversial topic: Dumbledore was kind of a dick. Sure, at first he’s that kind, fatherly figure that Harry can’t help but look up to. But when year after year at Hogwarts passes and poor young Harry is dealing with shit that he can barely comprehend, does Dumbledore make it a point to educate him on the ways of the wizarding world? Nope. And when we finally realize what’s been going on this entire time? That he’s known from the very beginning that Harry was going to have to die for the “greater good”?!

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Sure, if he had told Harry at an early age he could have lost his marbles at the prospect of an early death so I understand why he didn’t tell him but I definitely don’t agree with it because he didn’t treat Harry like a pawn; he treated him like he was someone special to him. Think of all the times that Harry was touting Dumbledore’s greatness while from the very beginning he’s known the endgame all along.

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Leave an infant on a doorstep, don’t even ring the doorbell. They’ll find him in the morning. Know Harry’s living in a goddamn cupboard under the stairs, constantly abused by the Dursley’s–does nothing. Let Snape continue to mistreat him unnecessarily. Blames it on the fact he developed feelings for the reason why he’s lied to Harry his entire life… talk about emotional manipulation. Not letting Harry in on the secret of the horcruxes until after he was doomed to die because his dumbass, for personal advancement reasons, put it on because it was also a Hallow. Dick move, Dumbledore. /rant

Rowling really achieved greatness with this final installment. Each installment has progressively gotten darker as Harry and all other characters take step after step into adulthood. This world that Rowling has created is both horrible and mesmerizing in equal measure. A world where there are creatures that can suck out your very soul, but also wondrous creatures like unicorns and Hippogriffs. A world where you can be struck down with two simple words, but also where owls deliver your mail and paintings talk. But the most wondrous thing that Rowling accomplished with these stories is just how many lives she transformed, mine included. It’s enough to make anyone believe in magic.

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(2016) Best Of: Audiobooks

January 19, 2017 Bonnie Best Of 4 Comments

I’ve already done my End of Year Survey for 2016 but I felt the need to call attention to audiobooks in specific because I listened to more audiobooks in 2016 than ever before. I read a total of 175 books last year and a whopping 57 of them were audiobooks! According to my Reading spreadsheet, I spent 27,351 minutes listening to books (or 18 days, 23 hours, and 51 minutes) which is basically forever so special mention was due.

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My following picks, broken down by genre, were all not only fabulous stories but possessed a narrator which took the experience above and beyond. All but one narrator (Will Patton) were brand new to me and I will definitely be looking up the narrators book of work vs. just the authors.

Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Euan Morton (Narrator)
The Voodoo Killings (Kincaid Strange #1) by Kristi Charish, Susannah Jones (Narrator)
Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel, Andy Secombe (Narrator), Eric Meyers (Narrator), Laurel Lefkow (Narrator), Charlie Anson (Narrator), Liza Ross (Narrator), William Hope (Narrator), Christoper Ragland (Narrator) , Katharine Mangold (Narrator), Adna Sablyich (Narrator)

Horror

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Dead Souls by J. Lincoln Fenn, Julia Whelan (Narrator)
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, Gibson Frazier (Narrator)
The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp, Joe Jameson (Narrator)

Mystery

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Clare Corbett (Narrator), Louise Brealey (Narrator), India Fisher (Narrator)
End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen King, Will Patton (Narrator)
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy, MacLeod Andrews (Narrator)

Contemporary

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Heartburn by Nora Ephron, Meryl Streep (Narrator)
Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach, Francisco Pryor Garat (Narrator)
After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes, Anna Acton (Narrator)

Memoirs

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler (Author & Narrator), Carol Burnett (Narrator), Seth Meyers (Narrator), Mike Schur (Narrator), Eileen Poehler (Narrator), William Poehler (Narrator), Patrick Stewart (Narrator), Kathleen Turner (Narrator)
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (Author & Narrator)
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (Author & Narrator)

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

January 18, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 4 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Book of Mirrors by E.O. ChiroviciThe Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on February 21st 2017
Pages: 288
Genres: Mystery
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Book of Mirrors

An elegant, page-turning thriller in the vein of Night Film and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, this tautly crafted novel is about stories: the ones we tell, the ones we keep hidden, and the ones that we’ll do anything to ensure they stay buried.

When literary agent Peter Katz receives a partial book submission entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued by its promise and original voice. The author, Richard Flynn, has written a memoir about his time as an English student at Princeton in the late 1980s, documenting his relationship with the protégée of the famous Professor Joseph Wieder. One night just before Christmas 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home. The case was never solved. Now, twenty-five years later, Katz suspects that Richard Flynn is either using his book to confess to the murder, or to finally reveal who committed the violent crime.

But the manuscript ends abruptly—and its author is dying in the hospital with the missing pages nowhere to be found. Hell-bent on getting to the bottom of the story, Katz hires investigative journalist John Keller to research the murder and reconstruct the events for a true crime version of the memoir. Keller tracks down several of the mysterious key players, including retired police detective Roy Freeman, one of the original investigators assigned to the murder case, but he has just been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Inspired by John Keller’s investigation, he decides to try and solve the case once and for all, before he starts losing control of his mind. A trip to the Potosi Correctional Centre in Missouri, several interviews, and some ingenious police work finally lead him to a truth that has been buried for over two decades...or has it?

Stylishly plotted, elegantly written, and packed with thrilling suspense until the final page, The Book of Mirrors is a book within a book like you’ve never read before.

About E.O. Chirovici

Eugen O. Chirovici had a career in mass-media, running a national daily newspaper and then a TV news channel. He has published over 1,000 articles in Romania and abroad. He currently holds three honorary doctorates (in Economics, Communication & History) and is a member of the Romanian Academy of Science. He is the recipient of several prizes for journalism. He lives in both the UK and New York City.

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Ooooh… this sounds GOOD. Actually does give me slight Night Film vibes too! Can’t wait to read this one.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Top Ten Tuesday – Underrated Gems Pt. 3

January 17, 2017 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 9 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Whenever the subject of my blog comes up in conversation, I’m always asked why I started blogging. “I just love books!” is the simple answer and one I give most to non-readers. “I just love writing about books!” is the second typical answer. I blog for both reasons in addition to wanting to be a source which people are able to go to for recommendations. There is nothing better than to recommend a book to someone and have them come back telling you how much they loved it. Blogging is a hobby for me, not a job, but a successful recommendation feels like a job well done. But I also love being in a position where I’m able to help share the book love and give some of those lesser known titles a leg-up, and hopefully find a few more readers who can love it as much as I did.

I’ve done this same post type before: last time was in July 2016 and first time was September 2014. These ten are the most recent underrated gems from the past year of reading for me.

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Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing by Lauren Beukes [Purchase//Review]
74 Goodreads ratings, 6 Amazon ratings

Dead Souls by J. Lincoln Fenn [Purchase//Review]
250 Goodreads ratings, 27 Amazon ratings

Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith [Purchase//Review]
282 Goodreads ratings, 11 Amazon ratings

Dark Alchemy (Dark Alchemy #1) by Laura Bickle [Purchase//Review]
298 Goodreads ratings, 35 Amazon ratings

The Voodoo Killings: A Kincaid Strange Novel (Kincaid Strange #1) by Kristi Charish [Purchase//Review]
324 Goodreads ratings, 10 Amazon ratings

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan [Purchase//Review]
764 Goodreads ratings, 58 Amazon ratings

Fallen Land by Taylor Brown [Purchase//Review]
995 Goodreads ratings, 71 Amazon ratings

Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser [Purchase//Review]
1,240 Goodreads ratings, 101 Amazon ratings

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp [Purchase//Review]
1,251 Goodreads ratings, 59 Amazon ratings

Reflections (Indexing #2) by Seanan McGuire [Purchase]
1,527 Goodreads ratings, 127 Amazon ratings

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of January 16th, 2017

January 16, 2017 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

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Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of January 16th, 2017

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Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

As Red as Blood (Lumikki Andersson #1) by Salla Simukka [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Soho Teen

The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin

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Empire Games by Charles Stross [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Tor Books

Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Tor Books

The Rising: A Novel by Heather Graham & Jon Land [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Tor Books

The Fortress at the End of Time by Joe M. McDermott [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Tor.com

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Harper Voyager

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Feversong (Fever #9) by Karen Marie Moning [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Delacorte Press

The Wolf of Allendale by Hannah Spencer [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by HarperLegend

The Nowhere Man (Evan Smoak #2) by Gregg Hurwitz [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Minotaur Books

Kill the Father: A Novel by Sandrone Dazieri [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Scribner

The Believer (Klara Walldéen #2) by Joakim Zander [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Harper

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Little Deaths: A Novel by Emma Flint [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Hachette Books

This Is Not Over by Holly Brown [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks

K Street (Agent Kay Hamilton #3) by M.A. Lawson [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Blue Rider Press

Never Never (Detective Harriet Blue #1) by James Patterson & Candice Fox [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 16th 2017 by Little, Brown and Company

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The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson: A Novel by Nancy Peacock [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Atria Books

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

The Man Who Walked on Water by Jacob Beaver [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by HarperLegend

The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by William Morrow

The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by William Morrow

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The Winter in Anna: A Novel by Reed Karaim [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company

Night of Fire: A Novel by Colin Thubron [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Harper

Indelible by Adelia Saunders [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Penguin Press

A Word for Love by Emily Robbins [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Riverhead Books

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The Chosen Maiden by Eva Stachniak [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Doubleday Canada

The Futures by Anna Pitoniak [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Little Brown and Company

Human Acts by Han Kang [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Hogarth

The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead: Stories by Chanelle Benz [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Ecco

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda by Rachel Hulin [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Doubleday Books

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Recommended Reading 101: Cozy Mystery

January 14, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 3 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Cozy Mystery 101

7558193If you’re looking something humorous and light-hearted…

Lucky O’Toole is head of Customer Relations at the Babylon, Las Vegas’ newest and largest ‘mega-casino’ and as you can only imagine, all kinds of craziness happens. While the crimes are often serious, there’s an airy feel to Wanna Get Lucky? and a comedic element that will keep you entertained.


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If you’re looking for something with some historical significance…

Constance is not a regular lady since most ladies in the early 1900s wouldn’t choose to carry a gun and patrol the streets alongside men. She’s a fascinating woman, but what’s even more fascinating is the fact that her story is based off a true story: Constance Kopp is credited as being one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs.


17405003If you’re looking for a “monstrous” cozy mystery…

In the basement of the Holy Heart church, a group of monstrous individuals (consisting of a werewolf, a mummy, a Frankenstein creation, etc.) hold support groups as they struggle with life among humans. Club Monstrosity is the first of (unfortunately) just two stories but they’re both plenty entertaining.


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Life’s Too Short: All Our Wrong Todays, Daughter of a Thousand Years, The Last Adventure of Constance Verity

January 13, 2017 Bonnie Book Reviews, Life's Too Short, Read in 2017 9 Comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Life’s Too Short: All Our Wrong Todays, Daughter of a Thousand Years, The Last Adventure of Constance VerityAll Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
Published by Dutton Books on February 7th 2017
Pages: 384
Genres: Sci-fi, Time Travel
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads


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You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn't necessary.

Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

DNF @ 8%

I was so thrilled to get an early review copy of this fascinating sounding Utopian time-travel adventure. It even made it onto my most anticipated debuts of the year. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

The main issue I had was with the voice of the narrator. Tom is  a man in his thirties but comes off sounding like a confused teenager. He’s not one of the scientists responsible for the discovery of how time travel works, but he still tries to explain how it works to the reader while advising that he basically has no clue what he’s even talking about. He was confused. I was confused. It was all very confusing (and frustrating). I’m sure he was meant to be viewed as mildly inane and definitely humorous but his flippant nature was vexing to say the least. I chose to attempt to persevere thinking that maybe he would grow on me but then I got to this scene:

“…a malfunctioning navigation system caused a hover car to break formation, careen out of control, and smear half of my mother across the lawn in a wet streak of blood and bone and skin and the end of everything.”

His mother’s death was written so crudely it was distasteful all the while stating how much he cared for her. It didn’t mesh. And then there was:

“I got the wary sense she felt some shudder of excitement at me so openly expressing my grief to her, to her alone, as if she were the only one who could coax it out of me before it rotted right through my skin.

Looking back, it’s like the grief was an offering I made to them in exchange for their bodies and, for reasons I’m not insightful enough to understand, my tears turned them on.”

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This is a reference to the multiple women that attended his mothers funeral and who he subsequently slept with (all of them, he slept with all of them). I’ve read about some pretty repugnant characters in my life and while Tom was certainly far from the worst, there was nothing appealing about this character to keep me invested in the remainder of this story.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Life’s Too Short: All Our Wrong Todays, Daughter of a Thousand Years, The Last Adventure of Constance VerityDaughter of a Thousand Years by Amalia Carosella
Published by Lake Union Publishing on February 21st 2017
Pages: 432
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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Greenland, AD 1000

More than her fiery hair marks Freydís as the daughter of Erik the Red; her hot temper and fierce pride are as formidable as her Viking father’s. And so, too, is her devotion to the great god Thor, which puts her at odds with those in power—including her own brother, the zealous Leif Eriksson. Determined to forge her own path, she defies her family’s fury and clings to her dream of sailing away to live on her own terms, with or without the support of her husband.

New Hampshire, 2016

Like her Icelandic ancestors, history professor Emma Moretti is a passionate defender of Norse mythology. But in a small town steeped in traditional values, her cultural beliefs could jeopardize both her academic career and her congressman father’s reelection. Torn between public expectation and personal identity, family and faith, she must choose which to honor and which to abandon.

In a dramatic, sweeping dual narrative that spans a millennium, two women struggle against communities determined to silence them, but neither Freydís nor Emma intends to give up without a fight.

DNF @ 12%

Dual timelines! Iceland! Thor! And…Viking romance you say??

*ponders*

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Alas, I never got to the hot Vikings bit, if that was even a possibility. The bit I did read didn’t amount to much other than a complete dwelling on religion. In 1000 AD, Freydís is battling to retain her belief in the old gods as everyone around her is being converted to a belief in one god. In present day, Emma is battling to retain her belief in the old gods… in a society that hasn’t recognized those gods in centuries. She’s determined to believe as she wishes even as she breaks up with her boyfriend because of it and is discussing it with her friend incessantly.

“I’ve tried to be patient with you, Emma,” he said when I didn’t respond “I think I’ve been incredibly understanding, all things considered, while you’ve worked through whatever rebellion this is. I haven’t pressured you or made any demands –“

The “rebellion” being her refusal to believe in God. Guy sounds like a dick anyways.

“I loved Sarah, I did. We’d been friends practically since birth. But if I hadn’t been Catholic enough for David, I would never be Christian enough for her, either.”

Good grief. If any “friend” ever said that I wasn’t Christian enough for them I’d probably die laughing.

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Sorry, but I came for the hot Vikings.

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I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Life’s Too Short: All Our Wrong Todays, Daughter of a Thousand Years, The Last Adventure of Constance VerityThe Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez
Narrator: Cynthia Farrell
Series: Constance Verity #1
Published by Recorded Books on December 15th 2016
Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: the Publisher
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Constance Verity has been saving the world since she was seven, and she’s sick of it. She sets off on one last adventure to assassinate her fairy godmother and become the one thing she’s never been: ordinary.
Ever since she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother, Constance Verity has become one of the world’s great adventurers. It all began at her seventh birthday party when she defeated a snake. She has become a master of exotic martial arts, a keen detective, and possesses a collection of strange artifacts gathered from her adventures. But Constance has spent the past twenty-eight years saving the world, and she’s tired of it. All she wants is to work in an office and date a nice, normal guy. And she is finally figured out a way to do it: she’s going to kill her fairy godmother and reset her life. The only problem, though, is that saving the world is Constance’s destiny. She’s great at it, and there are forces at work to make sure she stays in the job.

Then again, it’s also her destiny to have a glorious death.

DNF @ 32%

“I’m Constance Danger Verity. I’ve defeated magical Nazis in four different alternate realities, and saved the King of the Moon from a literal army of ninja assassins. I can do anything. Why the hell can’t I do this?”

“This” = quitting the job of being the savior of the world.

Yes, Constance Verity was blessed as an infant by a fairy godmother who bestowed upon her the ability of mastering anything she puts her mind to. Anything. But she’s done with that life and all she wants is to get an office job and have a normal life, one that doesn’t involve vampire Al Capone, leprachaun kings, or turtle dragons. Whatever that is.

I really enjoyed this one at first because it had a super quirky sense of humor added into some pretty crazy urban fantasy. But those quirky levels kept rising further than I thought was possible. The formulaic clichés are piled on page after page and while I can see the appeal, it just wasn’t my preferred type of humor. We veered quickly into screwball territory. Constance Verity should have been delved into more because she was an interesting individual and one that I would have enjoyed learning more about. For the most part though we learn about the adventures she’s undertaken, the creatures shes battled, and the ways she’s saved the world. But we find out little about her personally as the story continues the focus on the plentiful quirky tropes instead.

“Are you trying to be a tough guy?” asked Connie. “If so, I’d recommend putting down the snow cone.”
Tia took a bite of her ice. “But it’s so good. I don’t know what they put in it – “
“Buzazabog blood.”
Tia examined the crimson shavings in her hand. “I thought it was some kind of space cherry.”
“Nope. Blood.”
Tia shrugged. “As long as it’s not artificial sweeteners, I can live with it.”

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