October 22, 2014

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being.

The title takes on much more meaning upon reading the book.

It's not just a tale for now.  But a tale about Nao.  And a tale for all beings, in all times.

Nao is a sixteen-year-old who moves with her parents from Sunnyvale, California back to Tokyo after her father loses his job. As if Tokyo is not confusing enough for her after living in America, Nao is bullied at school (they even have a funeral for her to signify how much her presence is worthless to them) and her father attempts suicide the way some people switch favorite songs.  The one person who makes any impact on her at all is her great-grandmother, a 104-year-old Buddhist nun, and she begins a journal to and for a random person in the future to find, documenting Jiko's life (and, unintentionally, perhaps, her own.)

Ruth and her husband, Oliver, live on a quiet island in British Colombia where she is a writer.  While walking the beach, they stumble upon a lunchbox with a freezer bag, washed up from the ocean, inside of which contains Nao's journal, among other discoveries.  The assumption is that the Tsunami has washed these ashore.  Ruth begins exploring the contents and almost just as soon begins to obsess over Nao's life.

The book is written in alternating chapters between Nao and Ruth.  Nao was by far the more interesting of the two.  Ruth was incurably boring and I had trouble not simply skimming through her chapters most of the time.  She did not add much to the story and her chapters could have been cut in half.  I found her husband, only a minor character in the story, to be far more compelling a character than Ruth.  Perhaps this was Ozeki's point- that Ruth was such an impotent personality that she couldn't help but be swept up into the mystery of Nao.  However, seeing as how Ruth is a writer, it is just as likely that was to be the reason behind her infatuation.

Jiko, the great-grandmother, was by far my favorite part of the entire story.  I empathized with Nao and her mother, dealing with the chronic depression and suicidal behavior of her father.  I felt bad for her father because I do not believe he wanted to be like that.  I am not sure I am happy with the way Ozeki took things with the nuclear family unit.  The ending, as a whole, was a bit lacking.  It felt like a lot of build-up, and then it just sort of fizzled out.  I enjoyed reading it up to that point, though.  I didn't hate the ending, it was just kind of like Ozeki did not know where she wanted to take it so she made it into a non-ending. Maybe I missed something or my expectations were too high.

Have you read A Tale for the Time Being?  What were your impressions?





"I don't mind thinking of the world without me because I'm unexceptional, but I hate the idea of the world without old Jiko.  She's totally unique and special, like the last Galapagos tortoise or some other ancient animal hobbling around on the scorched earth, who is the only one left of its kind." - Nao

"How much can you really trust the promise of a suicidal father?" - Nao



Nonfiction November: Readalong Announcement!

nonfiction november readalongs


A few weeks ago we had you vote on the book you would most like to read for the readalong for Nonfiction November this year.  Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff and The Restless Sleep by Stacy Horn were the two favorites in the poll. My co-hosts, Kim, Katie, and Leslie, and I agreed that it would be awesome to let you guys decide between the both of them!  Why have just one readalong, when you can have two?

So Kim and Leslie are going to be hosting the readalong for The Restless Sleep, and Katie and I will be hosting the readalong for Cleopatra: A Life.  You can choose whichever readalong you like!

We will be having our discussion, along with link-ups, on the readalong books on Wednesday, November 19th.  
Before that though, feel free to chat about the books on Twitter using the hashtag #nonficnov.

The readalong is not a requirement to participate in Nonfiction November.  We will also have weekly discussion topics, too.  I am also really excited about these!  I think it will be a really fun celebration and I hope you will join us!


October 21, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: New Series I Want To Start


Today's topic is top 10 new series (from the last 2-3 years) that we would like to start.
Here are my top 10:

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Milo 2.0 by Debra Driza (Mila 2.0 Series)

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.


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The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Trilogy)

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.


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Adaptation by Malinda Lo (Adaptation Series)

Reese can’t remember anything from the time between the accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: She’s different now.

Across North America, flocks of birds hurl themselves into airplanes, causing at least a dozen to crash. Thousands of people die. Fearing terrorism, the United States government grounds all flights, and millions of travelers are stranded.

Reese and her debate team partner and longtime crush David are in Arizona when it happens. Everyone knows the world will never be the same. On their drive home to San Francisco, along a stretch of empty highway at night in the middle of Nevada, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened, where they are—or how they’ve been miraculously healed.

Things become even stranger when Reese returns home. San Francisco feels like a different place with police enforcing curfew, hazmat teams collecting dead birds, and a strange presence that seems to be following her. When Reese unexpectedly collides with the beautiful Amber Gray, her search for the truth is forced in an entirely new direction—and threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

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The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings (The Murder Complex Series)

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?


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These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman (Starbound Series)

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

--

A timeless love story, These Broken Stars sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.


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Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen (The Malediction Trilogy)

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.


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Hexed by Michelle Kays (The Witch Hunter Series)

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy)

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda.

Ender's Game meets The Hunger Games in this, the first in an extraordinary trilogy from an incredible new voice.


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Stained by Ella James (Stained Series)

After a fire destroys seventeen-year-old Julia’s home and kills her foster parents, she chases the half-demon responsible across the country and back, determined to avenge her family and discover why a host of celestial baddies want her dead. With Julia is enigmatic hottie - Cayne, who has his own score to settle with the half-demon, and who might be just as dangerous as the creature he and Julia hunt.


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Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes Series)

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.


Have you read any of these?

What's on your list?

October 20, 2014

What I've Read, Am Reading, Will Read - 10/20/14



This weekend was Dewey's Readathon.  I started at 8am (my start time) but crashed around 3am with 5 hours left.  I tried really hard to make it all the way through, but it wasn't meant to be. :(  I did finish one book, a novella, and 2 comics, so at least it was pretty successful!

I also finished a couple other books before the Readathon.  I also started a few more, including 3 during the Readathon that I didn't get finished, but I knew I wouldn't get more than one read if I made it the whole 24 hours.

In good news, I've read 23,837 pages this year!  That's just counting books finished, no DNF's.  Only 2163 pages left until I hit my goal of 26,000 pages for the year.  I already hit and surpassed my books read goal, so it will be exciting if I can meet both of these goals!  The Readathon really made a difference in how much I read this week.  Check out the STATS for the largest number of pages read ever for me!


Me - looking at those numbers.
Who, me?  I did that?


How was your reading week?  Tell me all about it!


FINISHED READING THIS WEEK:




Sold by Patricia McCormick
Goodreads Link
*Read for Dewey's Readathon*
5 STARS
Pages Read: 263
Thoughts: SO moving.  Review to come.



Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidic Jews by Lynn Davidman
*For Review from Oxford University Press via Net Galley*
3 STARS
This Week: 50-100%
Pages Read: 136
Thoughts: Review to come.



Heller's Revenge (Heller Series #2) by J.D. Nixon
*For Fun, Borrowed from Mom*
3 STARS
This Week: 67-100%
Pages Read: 150
Thoughts: Interesting ending.  Not as awesome as Book 1, though.



Lumberjanes #1 by Noelle Stevenson
3 STARS
Pages Read: 22
Thoughts: Weird, but weird in a way that intrigues me.



Hacktivist #1 by Alyssa Milano
2.5 STARS
Pages Read: 32
Thoughts: Honestly?  The tech talk was a bit over my head.


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The Cat Manual by Michael Ray Taylor
*Read for the Readathon*
3 STARS
Pages Read: 51
Thoughts: Cute and humorous!  


NEW BOOKS ADDED THIS WEEK TO CURRENTLY READING:


High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
*Started during Readathon*
Pg. 36 of 323
This Week: 36 pages
Thoughts This Week: So far, I actually prefer the movie. The horror.  It probably gets better.  Still the beginning.



A Place Beyond the Map by Samuel Thews
*Started for Readathon*
This Week: 0-10%
Pages Read: 34
Thoughts This Week: Interesting so far.  I think it is supposed to be YA, but it feels more middle grade.  Either way, I like the way the Fae is presented. :)



What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman
*For Review thanks to Random House Crown via Edelweiss*
This Week: 0-11%
Pages Read: 33
Thoughts: As someone who never wanted kids and wishes she were traveling the world, I feel so far that Kristin is a kindred spirit.



Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Translation by Katie Rain Hill
*For Review thanks to Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss*
This Week: 0-17%
Pages Read: 49
Thoughts This Week: Good so far.  I'm rooting for Katie!



CONTINUING TO ENJOY THIS WEEK:

The Review Books:



Against the Country: A Novel by Ben Metcalf
*For Review from Random House and Netgalley*
Last Week: 0-10%
This Week: 10-23%
Pages Read: 43
Thoughts: Pretty much the same, still, as last week.



Nest by Esther Ehrlich
*For Review from Random House Children's via Net Galley*
Last Week: 32-47%
This Week: 47-58%
Pages Read This Week: 31
Thoughts:  Very good story. As good as it is though, I always think I've read much more than I have. 



The Hidden Ones (Legacy of the Watchers #1) by Nancy Madore
*For Review from Author*
Last Week: 41-54%
This Week: 54-61%
Pages Read: 31
Thoughts: Another book I am thoroughly enjoying, yet feels like I've been reading more than I end up having read.




The Aftermath by Jen Alexander
*For Review from Harlequin Teen*
Last Week: 15-41%
This Week: 41-63%
Pages Read: 67
Thoughts: I hope this ending is satisfying.  It will be awesome if ending is awesome.
If the ending is meh, it will throw the whole book.


The Reading For Fun Books:



A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
*For Fun*
On pg. 406 of 579
Last Week: 96
This Week: 252
Thoughts: This book is soooo good.  I'm glad you guys all talked me into reading it. :D  Unlike a couple of the other books, I had no idea I had read this MUCH in one week!




A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
*Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge*
Pg. 299 of 422
Last Week: 93 pages
This Week: 0 pages
Thoughts: Just didn't get to it this week apparently.



STATS:

Total Pages Read Last Week: 607
Total Pages Read THIS Week: 1230

Books Reading for Review: 6
Books Reading for Readalongs/Challenges: 1
Books Reading for the Fun of It: 3

Total Books Currently Reading: 10
Total Books Read So Far This Year: 87




REVIEW BOOKS UP NEXT:


 






~What are you reading right now?  
~What did you just finish?  
~What book are you looking forward to reading next?  
Share in the comments

October 19, 2014

Dewey's Readathon Update Numero Tres

Me, while reading Sold.  Brothels are a bitch.

It's Dewey's Readathon!  
I'm having fun, are y'all?

Previous Updates: 

What I've Finished Reading:




Currently Reading:




Most Interesting Quotes:

"It's just my father. He won't hurt you."
Periwinkle glanced at Phinnegan.
"You've got that right, mate."
And then he was gone.

Phinnegan blinked at the empty space in front of him where the Fae had stood a moment before.

-A Place Beyond the Map by Samuel Thews

Current Reading Spot:




Current Snack Stuffs:

Starbucks Vanilla Chai Latte
Pizza for dinner
Lots of Coca-Cola with life-saving caffeine!

Socialization

Twitter, Goodreads, and I visited some participating blogs!

Stats:

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 435


How are you doing with the readathon?