Posted in Reading Roundup

November Reading Wrap-Up

novemer-reading-wrapup

Saying goodbye to yet another month. November was pretty busy for me. We’re still dealing with the cleanup from my daughter’s car accident. Still a lot of things up in the air where that’s concerned. We also had my step mom down to visit. It was a totally laid back, rest and relax, type of visit but it still left me with little time for anything outside of being a good host. Directly following that, we had Thanksgiving here in the United States. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is the big Ohio State vs. Michigan football game and boy! Was that an exciting game. OSU barely won (for the 5th year in a row) and I was exhausted following the double overtime.

With all of the above, I didn’t get a whole lot of reading done. Frankly, I can’t figure out what to read next and haven’t picked up a book since I finished The Wicked + the Divine graphic novel five days ago. Anyway, here’s a summary of my month in reading:

  1. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. 608 pages.
  2. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. 384 pages.
  3. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. 400 pages.
  4. Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb. 375 pages.
  5. The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal. 400 pages.
  6. The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. 144 pages.

That is a total of 2311 pages and an average Goodreads star rating of 3.67. My favorite pick for the month would be Gemina. For books that I’ve already reviewed, I’ve linked back to their original posts. If you’d like to hear my thoughts on any of the books not already reviewed, leave me a comment. I hope you had a fantastic month of reading in November and here’s to an even better December!

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Lost Property Office

lost-property-office

Title:  The Lost Property Office (Section 13, #1)

Author:  James R. Hannibal

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages:  400

Genre:  Middle grade, fantasy

Setting:  Modern day London

Source:    I received this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway from the publisher.

Publication Date:  Nov 8, 2016

Blurb:

James R. Hannibal presents a thrilling adventure through history, complete with mysteries, secret items, codes, and a touch of magic in this stunning middle grade debut.

Thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles is great at finding things. Not just a missing glove or the other sock, but things normal people have long given up on ever seeing again. If only he could find his father, who has disappeared in London without a trace.

But Jack’s father was not who he claimed to be. It turns out that he was a member of a secret society of detectives that has served the crown for centuries—and membership into the Lost Property Office is Jack’s inheritance.

Now the only way Jack will ever see his father again is if he finds what the nefarious Clockmaker is after: the Ember, which holds a secret that has been kept since the Great Fire of London. Will Jack be able to find the Ember and save his father, or will his talent for finding things fall short?

What I Say:

This book was a lovely mix of middle grade fantasy and London history. We meet Jack and his sister Sadie in a London hotel. Sadie wonders off looking for her father and Jack goes in search of her and finds not only his sister but the Lost Property Office. Here, we meet Gwen, an apprentice clerk. Gwen reveals the true nature of Jack’s dad’s work and how Jack is also a part of the Lost Property Office. Together, they meet the Clockmaker and discover that he is responsible for Jack’s father’s disappearance and in order to get his dad back alive, Jack must find the Ember and hand it over to the Clockmaker. Thus, the adventure begins as Gwen, trying to prove herself, helps Jack search for the lost Ember. Through their detective work, Jack learns more about the Lost Property Office as well as other secret societies that exist in London.

This book is full of fun, adventure, and laughter. It is cleverly written and hard to put down. I had a great time reading this book and I’m looking forward to future installments in the series. This is Hannibal’s first foray into middle grade writing and he does a superb job. He stays true to writing in the middle grade form, nothing overt in terms of language, violence, or Jack and Gwen’s relationship; he kept the focus on the kids’ adventure. I also loved the elements of steampunk added in for flavor. As if all that weren’t enough, you even learn about London’s Great Fire of 1666 in a clever and witty story.

I highly recommend this book to all middle grade readers and fans of adventure mysteries.

4 Hearts

Posted in meme

Get to Know You Tag

I saw this tag over on An Historian About Town and thought I’d play. If I’m remembering correctly, I haven’t done a tag like this one before on this blog. I reserve the right to be forgetful and wrong though.

youre-invited-to-ababy-shower-for

BASICS

  • Name: Trisha
  • Age: 39. I’m not shy about it
  • Height: 5 feet 4 3/4 inches. I hold onto that 3/4 inches.
  • Zodiac Sign: Cancer
  • Tattoos/Piercings: I have the regular ear piercings, one in each lobe, but I hardly ever wear earrings because they irritate my ears. No matter what material they’re made out of.

MY FAVOURITES

  • Colour: The green familiy
  • Season: Summer. Actually, that probably isn’t accurate. I like the warm weeks right before Memorial Day and directly following Labor Day. Where I live in Florida, both the weather and the Gulf of Mexico are still warm enough to go to the beach but there are way fewer tourists.
  • Shop: Ulta, Michael’s/Hobby Lobby
  • Song: These Days by Foo Fighters. You should give it a listen and really pay attention to the lyrics.
  • Music Artist: Dave Grohl, Jack Johnson, Dierks Bentley, Eric Clapton
  • Bands: Foo Fighters, Phantogram, Banners, Chvrches, Joywave, MS MR, Of Monsters and Men, The Lumineers, Vance Joy, Cage the Elephant
  • TV Show: Friends, TBBT, Shameless (UK & US versions), The Walking Dead (that show is walking a fine line though, no pun intended.)
  • Film: I couldn’t think of one and didn’t want to steal Funny Face from the Historian.
  • Actor/Actress: Audrey Hepburn
  • Book: I could never pick just one. Or twenty.
  • Food:  Mexican food but more, Baja Mexican food.
  • Beverage: Wine. Red:  Cabernet Sauvignon. White:  Riesling or Viogner or Gewurztraminer (Had to spell check that but impressed myself with how close I got, lol.) I much more a red wine person.

10 QUESTIONS (I looked up the original post tag and it only had 9 questions. Not sure about that.)

1. What’s the story behind your blog name? 

I have a thing with the 1920s. Also, I wanted it to be “bookish” so that I could include things about libraries, publishing, etc., and not just book reviews.

2. What are your three best and three worst personality traits?

Best: Honest, Intelligent, Loyal

Worst: Honest, Critical, too much of a realist

3. Favourite subject in school?

High school:  Sociology. Undergrad:  Vampires in Myth and Culture. Grad School:  Rare Books

4. What are your fears?

My friends and loved ones getting sick and/or dying. Rushing water (hard to explain this one). Being lost, physically not metaphorically.

5. What is the last thing that made you cry?

When Churchill cried in The Crown.

6. What countries have you been to?

United States, Mexico, Bahamas, England, Germany

7. What was your dream career when you were little? Has it changed?

I wanted to be a teacher when I was really little. Then I realized I don’t like other people’s kids and I’m working on my MLIS.

8. How would you describe your fashion sense?

I have none. I wear what I like, what fits, and what’s comfortable. I am trying to get rid of my t-shirts in favor of more adult’ish type shirts that don’t look so frumpy.

9. If you could be any animal, what would you be?

My dog. Milo is much beloved and spoiled rotten. He has a great life.

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Bone Witch

the-bone-witch

Title:  The Bone Witch

Author:  Rin Chupeco

Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

Pages:  400

Genre:  Science Fiction, High Fantasy

Setting:  The fictional world of The Eight Kingdoms

Source:    I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Publication Date:  March 7, 2017

Blurb:

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

What I Say:

This novel follows the story of Tea (pronounced Tay-ya, which wasn’t revealed until the very latter part of the book and I spent almost the entire time reading this book pronouncing it as Tea, like the drink. This really annoyed me.) from the moment when she discovers she’s a bone witch until she is about 17 years old. The story switches focus from following along her journey in learning who she is and how to be a bone witch in the world of asha, or witches, to a point in the future where Tea is exiled and communicating her story to another exile, The Bard.

I mostly enjoyed the parts of the story where it is being told in the first person from Tea’s point of view. During these scenes, we get to see how Tea is being trained as an asha. There’s action, humor, and a bit of romance. It’s very Harry Potter-like. The other scenes where the reader is given a third person point of view from the perspective of the Bard were a little confusing. The only thing you really get from these scenes is the Bard’s nervousness around Tea but not what her motivations are. What is she doing, exiled with only bones for company?

The book also ends on a cliff-hanger, not having resolved anything at all in the entire book. I get cliff-hangers and why this device is used in series and trilogies, but Chupeco could have chosen to, at the very least, clear up some of the cloudiness and mystery surrounding Tea. We don’t find out why she’s exiled, whose grave she mourns, who the Bard is and what role is he going to play, if any at all, what Tea is going to do now that her preparations on the beach seem to be completed, or why her brother and all of her friends seem to have abandoned her. Chupeco was a little bit too mysterious and I felt like she could have fleshed out Tea’s world a little better and the people in it.

That being said, I liked Chupeco’s lyrical writing. She is very poetic in her prose. It was easy to read and, like I said before, I really had fun with the parts of the story told from Tea’s perspective. This is an ARC though, so there’s room for changes to be made before the final release.

3 Hearts

Posted in blog stuff

Quick Review: Apprentice in Death

Every time I think things are going to settle and I can get back to my normal routine, something else pops up. Life? I suppose so. Now, with all the rush and bustle of the holiday season being upon us, I figure that I might see something resembling normal in January. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’m posting a quick review of the last book I finished reading. Quick because it’s the 43rd book in a series. If you haven’t read the In Death series yet, I’m not going to talk you into doing so using the 43rd book. Frankly, I wouldn’t even bother posting a review at all except that this is my 65th finished book of 2016, which means I have completed my Goodreads Challenge for this year!!! Yay!! Go me!

apprentice-in-death

Title:  Apprentice in Death

Author:  J.D. Robb

Publisher:  Berkley

Pages:  375

Genre:  Futuristic mystery/crime, fiction

Setting:  2060 (I think that’s the year. I may be off by one or two and I’m too lazy to go get my book and verify.) New York City, NY, USA

Source:    I bought this lovely book for myself from B&N.

Publication Date:  Sept. 2016

Blurb:

The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.

Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.

Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil…

What I Say:

One of the better, more recent, installments of the In Death series. All of the feelings of suspense and urgency having to do with the crimes being committed were there. Also, being fearful right along with Eve when she’s dealing with her friends and loved ones was there too. I have felt like those two things have been lacking with latter books in the In Death series.

I liked the plot of this story and enjoyed the different aspects that Robb forces you to consider like domestic terrorism and what defines it, what makes a criminal, who is responsible for committing crimes, etc. I can’t say too much more without giving away some of the plot. Still, I though that these different things were addressed in a way that wasn’t too political, which I appreciate.

Also, we get to go to the party. There have been some In Death books where Eve is has to attend some event for whatever reason. She’s not much of a people person, preferring her husband’s company, a vid on the couch, and some wine at home. Then, the book ends without getting to see what happens at the party. With Eve and the ways in which she lacks certain social graces, parties are usually an opportunity for the reader to enjoy some comic relief and to get to see her as a person outside of the cop. Here in Apprentice in Death, we get to go to the party too and it doesn’t disappoint.

One last thing before I go, for anyone else who has read a significant amount of books from this series, do you feel that Roarke and all of his resources make solving the crime(s) almost too easy? Maybe even a tad unrealistic? I hate even bringing it up because this is my all-time favorite series, but this point has been niggling at my brain.

Posted in Weekly Reading

Mid-Week Update: 11/9/16

This is going to be a very quick post. I need to leave to drive to the Mobile airport in about five minutes from now, heheh.

Now for What Are You Reading Wednesdays hosted by It’s a Reading Thing.

whatareyoureadingwed

Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

  1. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco.
  2. At 34% we have:  “I have a blunt personality, more likely to say what I mean instead of sparing someone’s feelings.” This passage and the fact that I found it at 34% is uncanny. Chupeco could’ve been talking about me when she wrote it.
  3. I’m actually 41% into this book so I’m somewhat familiar with the world. It’s fantasy and at this point, the main character is going through her witch’s training. So far, it’s been an entertaining read. I don’t think I’d mind living in this world so long as I could be a witch too, lol. I don’t think I’d want to be a bone witch though as they are feared and ostracized.

On a side note, I put this book down to read The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon yesterday. It was a one sitting, can’t put it down book and I loved it. I am feeling the need to talk about it so look for a review in the next couple of days. Till then…

Posted in blog stuff

Top Ten Tuesday: New to My TBR

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s prompt is Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately.

This is good timing with this post. With Christmas right around the corner, you all will know what to get me. You’re welcome.

  1. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This sounds like such a good thriller/sci-fi book. It’s also up for Best Science Fiction on Goodreads.
  2. Monstress, Vol. 1:  Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu. This is a graphic novel with steampunk elements and the artwork looks amazing. This is another selection up for “best of” on Goodreads.
  3. Wool by Hugh Howey. My husband actually brought this book to my attention. He bought it for himself and told me it would probably be something I’d like. Being a dystopian novel, he’s probably right.
  4. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. This is the 8th novel in Gregory’s The Plantagenet and Tudor Novel series. I don’t know about you, but this is one series that I’ve read completely out of order because I didn’t even realize it was a series at first. It doesn’t help that this is the combination of two of her other series either. Still, I enjoy Gregory’s novels and I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
  5. The Fountain of St. James Court by Sena Jeter Naslund. The synopsis for this novel is a bit confusing. I saw Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun and figured it’d be right up my alley and bought it anyway, lol. I saw a couple of her paintings in London this past May and being an artist from the French Revolution era, I expect this book to be interesting at the least. Also, I loved Naslund’s novel Abundance, which is about Marie Antoinette.

The next five books are all off of my TBR on Goodreads that I added after seeing them in Goodreads’ Giveaways. They sounded good enough to enter the giveaway and to add them to my TBR, but I don’t know anything about them other than what Goodreads says about them.

  1. The Calorium Wars:  An Extravaganze of the Gilded Age by Dennis O’Flaherty
  2. The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
  3. Grigory’s Gadget by E. A. Hennessy
  4. The Ashes and the Sparks by Mary Victoria Johnson
  5. Nightmares:  A New Decade of Modern Horror by Ellen Datlow

And there you have it. I already own books 3, 4, and 5, but feel free to send me any of the other seven books. 😉