August 28, 2015

Blogger Shout-Outs #40



 In Shout Outs you will find book reviews, discussion posts, blogger events, and giveaways from bloggers across the web. I read a lot of blogs and I like to give love when I find a post I really like or admire. I also like to make you abreast of events and giveaways because those are awesome, too.  Bloggers put lots of work into those, as well.  I am now including either a quote directly from the post (with quotation marks and italicized) or a reason I liked it after each link.

In addition, I like to give shout outs to my readers.  I know there are lots of lurkers and silent readers and that's totally okay! I don't know how to say thank you other than right here saying THANK YOU FOR READING! YOU'RE AWESOME!  If you leave a comment during the week, I will give you a personal shout out on this post each Friday. Commenters are also eligible to receive a bookish prize pack.

I hope you find something interesting, exciting, and thought-provoking in the posts below!  

-xoxo Becca


ENTERTAINING BOOK REVIEWS


gaultCinders & Sapphires


1. Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed @ About to Read
"There are so many great characters in this novel. Some of them or lovable, some are really hateful, and others are just complicated. You’ll find a bit of everything in this one—including a wonderful romance."

2. The Incarnations by Susan Barker @ 52 Books or Bust
 "The Incarnations by Susan Barker has been praised as China’s Midnight’s Children. I hate comparisons like that because it almost sets The Incarnations up for failure. Midnight’s Children was a game-changer for Indian literature in English, and in many ways put South Asian literature on the map. For years it was cited as the quintessential novel of India’s coming of age. The Incarnations, on the other hand, though a mighty book, is not forwarding the cause of Chinese literature per se"

3. This Godforsaken Place by Cinda Gault @ ebookclassics
"This Godforsaken Place is a historical adventure featuring a strong, female character. I particularly liked how Canadian and American history crosses over in the story and all of the real-life figures of significance who were characters, such as Annie Oakley and Gabriel Dumont."

4. The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows @ A Utah Mom's Life
"The Truth According to Us is filled with fabulous characters so real, you're sure you saw them sitting on the porch last time you drove through town."


5. Brilliant by Roddy Doyle @ Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia
"When I finished this book, I couldn't help but grin at the joy it brought me and the laughter and tears it provoked. In that moment I didn't care who it was written for, I just knew that it had been a good read."

6.  Breakaway by Kat Spears @ YA Romantics
"I loved the fact that this book was just about ... life. About crappy things that happen and the people that help you get through them."


If Ralph Ellison’s invisible man had no voice thirty years before the publication of The Color Purple, then Walker has located in Celie a person whose presence is even less acknowledged by society: the black, poor lesbian. - See more at: http://www.bibliofreak.net/2015/08/review-color-purple-alice-walker.html#sthash.oLGdy4Y1.dpuf
If Ralph Ellison’s invisible man had no voice thirty years before the publication of The Color Purple, then Walker has located in Celie a person whose presence is even less acknowledged by society: the black, poor lesbian. - See more at: http://www.bibliofreak.net/2015/08/review-color-purple-alice-walker.html#sthash.oLGdy4Y1.dpuf
AWESOME DISCUSSION/NON-REVIEW POSTS:




1. On my TBR List: Transgender Fiction @ Lovely Bookshelf

2. Do You Keep Your Reviews Vague? @ Readers in Wonderland

3. How do you feel about excerpts? @ There were books involved... 

4. Questioning Katie: Book Universe @ Words for Worms



UPCOMING/CURRENT EVENTS:




 

Brianna's Monthly Review-a-thon is coming up!



Re-read favorite books with a specific readathon for it @ An Armchair By the Sea


Joy

Join in the Joy Luck Club Readalong @ Reading Wench



BookClubLogoSpecificBook

September Nonfiction Book Club Readalong @ Doing Dewey



 

 Jenn's Bookshelves's photo.

 Design a new logo for this year's Murder, Monsters, Mayhem @ Jenn's Bookshelves


MORE CURRENT EVENTS:
#AusteninAugustRBR
#TraveltheWorldinBooks House of Spirits Readalong
Utah Book Month
Beat the Heat Readathon



WIN! GIVEAWAYS!


Season of Salt and Honey




Season of Salt and Honey by Hannah Tunnicliffe @ Traveling with T
(US/CA Only)


 
Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold or a $50 Amazon Gift Card
@ True Book Addict as part of a tour 


 Nantucket

 Nantucket by Nan Rossiter @ Book Chatter


 The Wife, The Maid and The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon Review & GIVEAWAY!
 
The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon
@ Mom's Small Victories


 Dumplin prize pack
 
Dumplin' Prize Pack Giveaway @ The Perpetual Page-Turner
(U.S. only)





Print copy of The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
@ Socrates' Book Reviews



MY COMMENTERS ROCK:
  Top Commenters of the Week are in Bold.


Bermudaonion (Kathy)
Beth Fish Reads
Fictional 100/Lucy
Freda Mans-Labianca
guiltless reading
Hazel
Katherine P.
Lisa @ Lost in Literature
Litha
Lory @ Emerald City Book Review
Louise
Michelle @ That's What She Read
Rihannon Johnson
Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves)
Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight
Sheila DeChantel
Soudha Parsan
Tasha B.
Ti Reed
 Thank you for leaving me comments this week! I appreciate it so much! 

 

2015 COMMENTER LEADERBOARD SO FAR


The top six (6) winners at the end of the year will receive fun bookish swag! The top two (2) winners will receive a paperback book from Indiebound or The Book Depository! Just my way of showing my appreciation!

1. Freda Mans 
2. Bermudaonion (Kathy)
3. Belle Wong
4. Tasha B.
5. Sarah's Book Shelves
6. Melissa (My World in Books and Pages) and Michelle @ That's What She Read

YOU! Could be on this list and win for 2015!
Leave comments, win prizes as thanks!


August 26, 2015

Review: Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

The Indian culture is rich, complex, and vibrant.  This book was decidedly...not.

These pages should be flying past, flowing like a rushing river. Instead it is puddles joined by small run-offs - in short, it feels like you've been reading way more than you have.  Not good.

I love Moran. Her first 3 books are 3 of my favorite books of all time.  Her last two books, however, have fallen short, this one in particular. She can do so much better than this.  I'm really disappointed.


Sita is the most vanilla protagonist she has ever written about.  She is interesting for approx. 1/4 to 1/3 of the book.  This is not to say she is not likeable - she is.  But she could not hold my interest past the first 1/4 of the book and then a chapter or two near the end.  The rest of the time I was reading I contemplated why Moran wouldn't pick the Rani (the Queen) to write about, or I contemplated why Moran has gone downhill in her storytelling.  Did she peak too soon?  It can't be easy to live up to the expectations readers have after Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen.  I know it is not because she is disinterested in the culture.  There were sections where she was able to give the culture due reverence, but most of the time I was like really?  Really?

At any rate, I'm glad I read it, but I won't read it again like I have her first books. I am glad she is returning to her roots in writing about Egypt because there's no way I'd pick up another book by her on India. I love India too much for that.

August 25, 2015

Cover Discover Tuesday: Flower, Singular

If you're new to Cover Discover, it's a feature just for the fun of it in which we judge books by their covers.  Both frontlist and backlist are included, and you get to vote for your favorites.  The results will be posted the following week with the next Cover Discover poll.

Here's the results from last week's Cover Discover: Desserts


Your Top Choice:




Your Second Choice:
TIE



What I would've voted for if I voted:



Which book did you pick last week?  




THE TOPIC YOU CHOSE FOR TODAY:
Flower Singular


Here are today's choices:








NOW ON TO THE VOTING!

August 22, 2015

Short 'n Sweet Reviews: The Silver Swan and Angelbound




The Silver Swan by Elena Delbanco
2 STARS

I really wanted to like this book.  I liked Marianna and Claude.  I liked the musician aspect (I even listened to cello music while I read it), I liked the twisted daddy issues and her grappling with her father's larger-than-life legacy and her own past demons.  But honestly?  It got stale.  Nothing was being said throughout the middle of the book, it was just filler.  I think this would have been a much superior story had it been a novella instead. 

 

Angelbound by Cristina Bauer
4 STARS

Great points: Fast read, kick-ass heroine, romance that doesn't take front seat or happen overnight, interesting secondary characters (a lot of secondary characters, too), and a plot I haven't seen before. 

Why wasn't it a 5-star rating? It was incredibly long and while that's not always an issue, it could've used with a bit of tightening in places, particularly in the beginning.

Will I read the next book in the series?  Probably, but not right now.

August 21, 2015

Book Blogger Shout-Outs is Back!!! #39: Readathons, Reading Habits, and Jane Austen Manga



Welcome back to Book Blogger Shout Outs!  

I took a little break this summer.  I love putting together these posts as much as you love reading them, but it's a lot of work! I am excited to get back to it, though!

In Shout Outs you will find book reviews, discussion posts, blogger events, and giveaways from bloggers across the web. I read a lot of blogs and I like to give love when I find a post I really like or admire. I also like to make you abreast of events and giveaways because those are awesome, too.  Bloggers put lots of work into those, as well.  I am now including either a quote directly from the post (with quotation marks and italicized) or a reason I liked it after each link.

In addition, I like to give shout outs to my readers.  I know there are lots of lurkers and silent readers and that's totally okay! I don't know how to say thank you other than right here saying THANK YOU FOR READING! YOU'RE AWESOME!  If you leave a comment during the week, I will give you a personal shout out on this post each Friday.  If you leave tons of comments, you are eligible to get a prize pack at the end of the year!  It's just my way of saying thank you!

Without further ado, here are this week's links. I hope you find something interesting, exciting, and thought-provoking in the posts below!  

-xoxo Becca


ENTERTAINING BOOK REVIEWS




1.The Color Purple by Alice Walker @ Bibliofreak.net "If Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man had no voice thirty years before the publication of The Color Purple, then Walker has located in Celie a person whose presence is less acknowledged by society: the poor, black lesbian." And it just gets better from there.

2. The Bookseller by Mark Pryor @ Words and Peace
"If you have had the opportunity to visit Paris, I would bet one of your favorite spots is the row of bouquinistes along La Seine. Now imagine a mystery centered on these book stalls. How cool is that! With ample suspense and great characters, I could not pass the opportunity to present to you The Bookseller."

3. Emily's daughter, Abigail, reviews her favorite picture books @ Emily's Reading Room
One of her reviews: "Abigail says: I like this book because it’s about cupcakes. The funniest part is where the dog gets frosting ALL OVER ITS FACE. I can read this book by myself. And I also like that they make cupcakes for the bake sale. And I’m also reading French."

4. Jane Austen in Manga and Comics @ Roof Beam Reader
I've been reluctant to try Austen graphic novels since the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies disaster, but Adam's convinced me to try some of these out.

5. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler @ The Midnight Garden
"If What We Saw isn’t already on your radar for September 2015 releases, it should be."

6. The Son by Jo Nesbo @ The Steadfast Reader
"Some of the so-called twists were visible from a mile away in dense fog."

7. Paper Towns by John Green @ Reviews from a Bookworm
"The story IS Margo Roth Spiegelman, which I wouldn't mind if I found her to be an interesting and likeable character. She isn't. Q is actually obsessed with her and in all honesty...I just don't get it."

8. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan @ 52 Books or Bust
Like I told Tanya, I will read anything set in India, but the fact this also looks like crazy fun is an added bonus!

9.  The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud @ Booksie's Blog
"Claire Messud has given a voice to the overlooked women we all know."

10.   Armadale by Wilkie Collins @ The Emerald City Book Review
"The merits of melodrama..."

11. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers @ Hazy Reads
" Do you get the impression that I loved it? I’ll be surprised if any book can top it this year. Can I give it 6 stars, please"



If Ralph Ellison’s invisible man had no voice thirty years before the publication of The Color Purple, then Walker has located in Celie a person whose presence is even less acknowledged by society: the black, poor lesbian. - See more at: http://www.bibliofreak.net/2015/08/review-color-purple-alice-walker.html#sthash.oLGdy4Y1.dpuf
If Ralph Ellison’s invisible man had no voice thirty years before the publication of The Color Purple, then Walker has located in Celie a person whose presence is even less acknowledged by society: the black, poor lesbian. - See more at: http://www.bibliofreak.net/2015/08/review-color-purple-alice-walker.html#sthash.oLGdy4Y1.dpuf
AWESOME DISCUSSION/NON-REVIEW POSTS:



1. The Myth of the Crappy Blogger @ Estella's Revenge
Because it's good to have a reminder every so often that we don't need to be superheroes.

2. True Confessions: I have never read Shakespeare @ Shaina Reads
Confession: I've barely read him myself.

3. How to Cull Your Personal Library and Live to Tell About It @ Beth Fish Reads
Do I really need to explain why you should read it? lol

4. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle @ It Starts at Midnight
I couldn't pick out just one or even two quotes because the whole review is made of awesome.

5. Reading Habits: Finding Time @ The Socratic Salon
"My favorite is when people tell me that they don’t have time to read, somehow inferring that I fritter away my time on books while they are busy with real things. It’s about priorities. I make time for books. It’s not magic, it’s just what I like to do with my spare time."

6.Reading on the Phone @ My Bookish Life
"Here’s a surprise for you: according to a new Nielsen survey, it’s not e-readers that will reign supreme in the future, but phones and paper."

7. Ten Things That Scare Marie Lu @ Gone With Words
Spiders raining from the sky and Nursery Rhymes? Totally agree.

8. The Journey or the Ending: Which is more important to you? @ Sarah's Book Shelves
I'm a journey kind of girl myself.


UPCOMING/CURRENT EVENTS:


Books & Bloggers: A Thrice-Yearly loved book swap is opened up for it's 3rd and final swap of the year until August 24th! @ Based on a True Story


Jessi and Reanna are hosting another Beat the Heat Readathon starting Monday!


 

Brianna's Monthly Review-a-thon is coming up!



Re-read favorite books with a specific readathon for it @ An Armchair By the Sea



MORE CURRENT EVENTS:
#AusteninAugustRBR
#TraveltheWorldinBooks House of Spirits Readalong
Utah Book Month
#BoutofBooks



WIN! GIVEAWAYS!


Dark Ascension by M.L. Brennan @ Between dreams and reality
(U.S. Only)


 1kgiveaway
Shannon is hosting the coolest giveaway game @ It Starts at Midnight

MY COMMENTERS ROCK:
  Top Commenters of the Week are in Bold.
For this post I am counting all the comments left since my last Shout-Outs post.  
They are also included for the leader board below. 

Alise (Readers in Wonderland)   -   Andi   -   Andrea Stoeckel
Anita LeBeau  -   Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)   -   Belle Wong
Bermudaonion (Kathy)   -   Bryan G. Robinson
Care   -   Caspette   -   Cecelia   -   Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy
Dari   -   Donna Cimorelli   -   ebookclassics  -   Emma L
Emma @ Words and Peace   -   Erin @ PaperbackStash   -   Fictional 100/Lucy
Florinda   -   Freda Mans   -   guiltless reading
Hazel   -   HeatherDVM   -   Helen @ My Novel Opinion
Irene McKenna   -   Jennine G.   -   Joy Weese Moll   -   Karen
Katherine P.   -   Katie @ Doing Dewey   -   Kayla Beck   -   Laurie C.
laurievrigler   -   Lindsay Brambles   -   Lisa Sheppard   -   Litha 
Louise   -   Mary   -   Melinda   -   Melissa (My World in Words and Pages)
Memory   -   Mia Sutton   -   Michelle @ That's What She Read
Michelle Miller   -   Naomi   -   Nancy Bekofske   -   Nari   -   Niki   -   Patti Smith
Rachel @ Dashing Good Books   -   Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves)
Savvy Working Gal   -   Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight
Soudha Parsan   -   Stephanie Ward   -   Sue Jackson
Suey   -   Tanya M.   -   Tasha B.   -   Ti Reed
Tif Talks Books   -   TJ @ My Book Strings   -   topazshell   -   Trisha Dandurand
 
 Thank you for leaving me comments this week! I appreciate it so much! 

 



2015 COMMENTER LEADERBOARD SO FAR


The top six (6) winners at the end of the year will receive fun bookish swag! The top two (2) winners will receive a paperback book from Indiebound or The Book Depository! Just my way of showing my appreciation!

1. Freda Mans 
2. Bermudaonion (Kathy)
3. Belle Wong
4. Tasha B.
5. Sarah's Book Shelves
6. Melissa (My World in Books and Pages)
7. Michelle @ That's What She Read

YOU! Could be on this list and win for 2015!
Leave comments, win prizes as thanks!



August 20, 2015

Beat the Heat Readathon






BeatHeatRAT3

I'm going to be participating in Jessi and Reanna's 3rd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon! 
It starts Friday, goes for 3 weeks, and it's a very low-key readathon, which I love.  My goal is basically to read as much as possible.  Maybe do a mini-challenge.

Visit Novel Heartbeat or Phantasmic Reads to sign up.

August 17, 2015

What I'm Reading 8.17.15


 This week I worked on finishing up two books- one I liked, one I became frustrated with. Three books I did not even get to this week. I still read over 600 pages, though.

So what about you?  
What did you read this past week?  What are you currently reading?
What are you planning to read next? Give me the deets!


FINISHED READING:
 



 The Silver Swan by Elena Delbanca
# of Pages: 241
This Week: 41-100%
Pages Read This Week:143
2 STARS Review to come.

 
Bridger (Bridger #1) by Megan Curd
# of Pages: 258
This Week: 56-100%
Pages Read This Week:114
Thoughts This Week: 4 STARS I was going to start the 2nd one in the series but then I saw the third book in the series was supposed to come out in 2013 and never materialized. Going to find out more if I can. I'd hate to be on an even bigger cliffhanger and be stuck.


CURRENTLY READING:

 REVIEW BOOKS/ARCs:


Becoming Darkness by Lindsay Francis Brambles
On pg. 257 of 485
Pages Read This Week: 53
Thoughts This Week: ooooh.  Not good.  Not good things happening.

 


Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran
*Also qualifies for Travel the World in Books Challenge*
# of Pages: 352
This Week: 54-64%
Pages Read This Week: 35
Thoughts This Week: These pages do not pass very quickly. I felt like I'd read many more pages. I love Moran, but she can do much better. Plus, Sita must be the most vanilla protagonist she has ever written about. The Indian culture is rich, vibrant, and complex. This should be flowing like a rushing river. Instead it is puddles joined by small run-offs.

 

 The Vagabond Vicar by Charlotte Brentwood
# of Pages: 279
This Week: 35-%
Pages Read This Week:0
Thoughts This Week: Didn't get to it this week.

 

 Cold Deception by D.B. Tait
# of Pages: 274
This Week: 34-%
Pages Read This Week:0
Thoughts This Week: Didn't get to it this week.



About a Girl: A Novel by Sarah McCarry
# of Pages: 256
This Week: 37-49%
Pages Read This Week: 31
Thoughts This Week: Now that it is in the part of the story that the blurb reflected, it is getting good. Mysterious girl, mysterious setting, mysterious elusive birth parents.



A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
# of Pages: 280
This Week: 22-33%
Pages Read This Week: 31
Thoughts This Week: It's a chaotic kind of storytelling but it is working for me somehow.




BOOK CLUB BOOKS/READALONGS:


The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons by Heather A. Slomski
*Postal Book Club*
On pg. 66 of 146
Pages Read This Week: 0
Thoughts This Week: Didn't get to it this week.



 Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
*#AusteninAugustRBR*
# of Pages: 260
This Week: 13-55%
Pages Read This Week:110
Thoughts This Week: It's so-so. I both like Catherine and find her annoying.
Am I alone with that?


NON-ARCs from TBR Pile (For Fun):
aka Slower Reads generally


The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
*TBR Pile*
On pg. 202 of 592
Pages Read: 9
Thoughts This Week: Radical mastectomies are scary (not just the breast, but the pec muscles, etc.) and not any more effective than less invasive procedures. Thank goodness for Rachel Carson and friends who were like oh hell no and got people talking.




Angelbound (Angelbound Origins #1) by Christina Bauer
*TBR Pile*
# of Pages: 524
This Week: 53-79%
Pages Read: 136
Thoughts This Week: I always read far more a week in this than I think I am. It's like the opposite of how I felt with The Silver Swan or how I feel with Rebel Queen.  It's not without flaws, but the story is GOOD.



STATS:

Total Books Currently Reading: 10
Total Books Read in 2015: 49
Pages Read This Update: 662
Total Pages Read in 2015: 16,806



REVIEW BOOKS ON DECK:
One of these will be next.







~Have you read any of the books I'm reading?  What did you think of it? 
~What are you reading right now?  
~What did you just finish?  
~What book are you looking forward to reading next?  



Share in the comments!!!