Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 1.30.16

Stacking the Shelves
hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!



K-Pop Now!:
The Korean Music Revolution
by Mark James Russell
-Non-fiction, Korea, Music
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> Got this for the basic intro to Kpop music.

Freebie: PDF

The Book of Yes
by Sarah Von Bargen
courtesy of author -Thanks!
Goodreads | Website -get yours

The Book Of Yes is 51 pages of checklists, tips, and journaling prompts that will help you:
Travel more
Meet more people + strengthen your friendships
Be more intentional with your spending
Stop dating the wrong people
Treat yourself (in ways that don't involve shopping or food)
Actually enjoy winter
Get what you want

=====> Looks like a fun one to start the new year with. It includes lots of lists perfect for list lovers ;-)

Freebie: for kindle

by Derek Murphy
-Fantasy, Mermaids, YA
courtesy of author - Thanks!
Amazon -get yours | Goodreads -giveaway ends 2/4 | (Giveaway for Mermaid Lovers) -ends 2/4

=====> Adding this to my summer reading list. Who could resist mermaids?


I Have The Right To Destroy Myself
by Young-Ha Kim
-Korea, Mystery, Art
Amazon | Goodreads

"I don't encourage murder. I have no interest in one person killing another. I only want to draw out morbid desires, imprisoned deep in the unconscious. This lust, once freed, starts growing. Their imaginations run free, and they soon discover their potential... They are waiting for someone like me."

A spectral, nameless narrator haunts the lost and wounded of big-city Seoul, suggesting solace in suicide. Wandering through the bright lights of their high-urban existence, C and K are brothers who fall in love with the same woman - Se-yeon. As their lives intersect, they tear at each other in a struggle to find connection in their fast-paced, atomized world.

Dreamlike and cinematic, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself brilliantly affirms Young-ha Kim as Korea's leading young literary master.

=====> This starts my exploration into reading books by Korean authors. Feel free to send me any recommendations of other Korean authors or fiction that takes place in Korea.


From Owlcrate package (details & signup):
OwlCrate is a subscription service that sends you magical monthly boxes tailored to a chosen theme. Each OwlCrate will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish treats to help you get your nerd on. @owlcrate

JANUARY Box includes:
- Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley
- Letter from author, Lena Coakley
- Paper doll kit
- Funko POP figure, full-size, Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter collection
- Patronus Lip Balm from Geek Fire Labs
- Bookmark inspired by The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater from Evie Bookish
- Art print inspired by Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas from Evie Bookish

=====> Dolls :-) Fun box for the kiddie in me!

Worlds of Ink and Shadow
by Lena Coakley
-Historical, Fantasy, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families.

=====> Loving and looking forward to this Brontë theme.

AND watched: in theatre, Oscar nominees

Big Short (2015)
Director: Adam McKay
Screeplay by: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Based on book: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling
-Biography, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

Four denizens in the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.

=====> Great historical piece for those of us who are a bit clueless as to what (and how) happened during this time period.

Carol (2015)
Director: Todd Haynes
Screenplay by: Phyllis Nagy
Based on book: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
-Drama, Romance, LGBTQ | imdb | my rating: 5

An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman.

=====> Lovely. Beautiful shots. Tugs at the heart.

The Hateful 8 (2015)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Screenplay by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
-Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Western | imdb | my rating: 4

In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.

=====> Truly hateful. Tribute to the genre with Tarantino style violence. Cool film-making with shots taking place in mostly one room.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

* per usual, check out the sidebar for my current giveaways offers

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson

Coming soon from USA Today Bestselling Author Rachael Anderson

The Fall of Lord Drayson
by Rachael Anderson
Coming late-summer 2016
Amazon | Goodreads

Who is he really? A high and mighty Lord, or a lowly servant?

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother have two months to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied.They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience?

Mere hours later, Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. Grudgingly, she takes him into her home to tend to his wounds, but when he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach a much-needed lesson in humility. Pushing her own twinge of conscience aside, she informs the earl of Drayson that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact.

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?

About the author:
A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms.

She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @RachaelReneeAnd

*** Cover Reveal Giveaway ***

$25 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/17/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Broken Things to Mend by Karey White

Broken Things to Mend
by Karey White

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @kareylwhite

Just released: January 1, 2016
Publisher: Orange Door Press
Genre: Romance (clean), Christian
Rating: 3

First sentence(s):
Celia is in desperate need of change--a change of scenery, a change of pace, and a complete redo of all relationships.

Celia is in desperate need of a change--a change of scenery, a change of pace, and a complete redo of all relationships. Not knowing what else to do, she opens a map, closes her eyes, and lets fate decide her future. Then she packs her meager belongings and buys a one-way ticket to a little town on the fringes of Oregon's Deschutes National Forest called Sisters. She's wanted a family for years. Will she find one in Sisters?

What Celia doesn't plan to find is a strange Chinese woman whose meddling ways keep throwing her in the path of a handsome, but reserved, forest ranger. But no matter how kind or dependable Silas seems to be, there are some things in Celia's past that neither of them can escape, and this time, the damage might be too much to mend.

My two-bits:

Nice clean romance which I found mellow.

I always like the small town setting which usually involves local personalities that create drama. In this case, Pearl, is that person who has a bit part as the matchmaker mostly in the beginning of this story.

However, the rest of the story was just okay. My problem with this story is that I did not grow to feel anything for the couple. They were an average couple and did not have that extra sparkle to fall in love with either.

Although, the couple had some misunderstandings, they were able to clear them without too much fuss. So not much push-pull tension. And, the conflict that was there did not hold my attention enough to care.

The rest of the story focused on the main character, Celia, adjusting to small town living as well as trying to figure out how to deal with her special issue.

About the author:
A little about me.

I am the oldest of eleven children, born to parents who were either saints or crazy, maybe both. They thought we were all capable of being professional athletes or broadway stars. They weren't right, of course, but they did help us have self-confidence.

I have the greatest family. A patient husband who makes me laugh and four clever, good-looking children--two boys and two girls. I adore them all.

Through the years I've been a student, a teacher, a secretary, a clothing designer and seamstress, a wedding cake maker, a crafter, a scrapbooker, a cook, a homework helper (until they pass me in math, somewhere around the third grade), and a fan at my children's sporting events. Before I die, I'd either like to be a great housekeeper or have the money to hire a maid. (more here)


* courtesy of eBooks for Review -get free ebooks to review (here) -Thanks!


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 1.23.16

Stacking the Shelves
hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!



(Passenger #1)
by Alexandra Bracken
-Fantasy, SciFi, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

=====> So thrilled to finally get this. It was one of my most anticipated books for 2016 :-)

=====> Books Inc. of San Francisco presented both Alexandra Bracken and Susan Dennard along with their latest books!

Things related to both authors…
- latest books involve sea, sailors and ships
- love research
- online gamers

To everyone's delight, Susan sang a sea shanty which appears in her book, Truthwitch (see below for details on book).

For Review:

Losing the Light
by Andrea Dunlop
-Contemporary, France
courtesy of tour, BookSparks -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads -giveaway offer, ends Feb 6

A smart, obsessive debut novel about a young woman studying abroad who becomes caught up in a seductive French world—and a complex web of love and lust.

When thirty-year-old Brooke Thompson unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, she’s plunged headlong into memories she’s long tried to forget about the year she spent in France following a disastrous affair with a professor.

As a newly arrived exchange student in the picturesque city of Nantes, young Brooke develops a deep and complicated friendship with Sophie, a fellow American and stunning blonde, whose golden girl façade hides a precarious emotional fragility. Sophie and Brooke soon become inseparable and find themselves intoxicated by their new surroundings—and each other.

But their lives are forever changed when they meet a sly, stylish French student, Veronique, and her impossibly sexy older cousin, Alex. The cousins draw Sophie and Brooke into an irresistible world of art, money, decadence, and ultimately, a disastrous love triangle that consumes them both. And of the two of them, only one will make it home.

=====> I am looking forward to dipping into this one as it takes place in one of my favorite locations - France!


From Uppercase package (details & signup):
A hand-selected young adult book & fun bookish item, delivered monthly #UppercaseBox

JANUARY Box includes:
- Truthwitch by Susan Dennard - signed
- Truthwitch poster (map)
- Truthwitch related bookmark (with interactive links)
- Sup Nerd? socks from Blue Q
- Childlike Wonder Coloring Book from Emma Margaret (Uppercase exclusive)

(Witchlands #1)
by Susan Dennard
-Fantasy, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

=====> LOVE this month's selection and socks are always a favorite. Nice touch with the coloring book as that is definitely the most IN thing to do these days ;-)

I must say that the exclusive bookish items created for Uppercase make the box quite special and unique.

OTHER things on my shelf: kinda book-related

Tournament of Books 2016
Short List - now available
Details | Powells | Goodreads

=====> I was lurking in the last two years of tournament play. This year, I plan on reading as many as I can in this before the March discussions begin.

AND binge watching: online

Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)
tv series, season one
Director: Dae-jin Kim, Jin-man Kim
Writer: Soo Wan Jin
Starring: Seong Ji, Jung Eum Hwang
-Korean, Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

A love story between the son from a wealthy family who has 7 personalities Cha Do Hyun (Ji Sung) and Oh Ri Jin (Hwang Jung Eum) who becomes his secret psychiatrist.

=====> Still enjoying Kdrama. This series has an interesting premise that makes for interesting situations that hit extremes of wacky to violent.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tournament of Books 2016

Morning News Tournament of Books
12th Rooster Award for best fiction
short list & judges (here) | (Powells | long list (here)

IN MARCH download your bracket for the short list (here)
follow along each day (here) | results (here) | Bracket PDF (here)

The 2016 Rooster crows in March, which means it’s time to download this year’s brackets to make your picks for which books will live, which ones will die, and which ones will live, then die, then get zombified in the 2016 Tournament of Books, presented by Field Notes.

=====> This competition starts in MARCH and it is one that I thought I would follow along with this year. The idea of the bracket format is based on the NCAA tournament-style bracket which will be available to download later.

The discussions at the tournament site for the nominees are so lively and inspiring for book reading recommendations. I plan on binge reading as many of these now to March to be able to participate.

The Shortlist for The Morning News 2016 Tournament of Books:

A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara
Powells | Goodreads | my review

A Spool of Blue Thread
by Anne Tyler
Powells | Goodreads | my review

Avenue of Mysteries
by John Irving
Powells | Goodreads

Ban En Banlieue
by Bhanu Kapil
Powells | Goodreads

Bats of the Republic:
An Illuminated Novel
by Zachary Thomas Dodson
Powells | Goodreads

The Book of Aron
by Jim Shepard
Powells | Goodreads | my review

Fates and Furies
by Lauren Groff
Powells | Goodreads

The Invaders
by Karolina Waclawiak
Powells | Goodreads | my review

The New World
by Chris Adrian, Eli Horowitz
Powells | Goodreads | my review

by Fran Ross, Harryette Mullen
Powells | Goodreads

Our Souls At Night
by Kent Haruf
Powells | Goodreads | my review

The Story of My Teeth
by Valeria Luiselli, Christina MacSweeney
Powells | Goodreads | my review

The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Powells | Goodreads

The Tsar of Love and Techno
by Anthony Marra
Powells | Goodreads | my review

The Turner House
by Angela Flournoy
Powells | Goodreads | my review

The Whites
by Harry Brandt
Powells | Goodreads | my review


* UPDATE: And the winner is...

The Sellout
by Paul Beatty
Powells | Goodreads | my review -still to come

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 1.16.16

Stacking the Shelves
hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!



Coloring with Your Octopus:
A Coloring Book for Domesticated Cephalopods

by Brian Kesinger
-Coloring book, Steampunk
Amazon | Goodreads

A cinematically proportioned coloring book based on Brian Kesinger's popular picture book "Walking Your Octopus" which showcases the day-to-day adventures of independent girl-about-town Victoria Psismall and her pet land octopus Otto. Forty-eight ready-to-color illustrations humorously chronicle the duo's home life, travels and social adventures. The Victorian era characters and period-influenced design elements provide a visual spectacle that is as fun to look at as it is to color.

=====> Loved the shape of this book and whimsical images in this. Hmmm, where to start...

For Review:

A Sudden Crush
by Camilla Isley
courtesy of book tour -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads -giveaway offer ends: Feb 28

Painter's Daughter
by Julie Klassen
-Historical, Christian, Romance
courtesy of publisher -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads


Every Breath
by Ellie Marney
-Mystery, Romance, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.

James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old who's also a genius with a passion for forensics.

Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. He's even harder to resist when he's up close and personal - and on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer.

When Rachel and Mycroft follows the murderer's trail, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...

=====> Sooo curious to start this series based on hype.

AND watched: in theatre - working on watching the Oscar nominees

Anomalisa (2015)
Directors: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
Writer: Charlie Kaufman
Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
-Animation, Comedy, Drama, Oscar Nominee | imdb | my rating: 4.5

A man crippled by the mundanity of his life experiences something out of the ordinary.

=====> Unique presentation of story with the quirkiness that is Charlie Kaufman. Thought provoking. Loved the office scene.

Danish Girl (2015)
Director: Tom Hooper
Writer: Lucinda Coxon
Based on book by: David Ebershoff
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander
-Biography, Drama, Romance, Oscar Nominee | imdb | my rating: 4.5

A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

=====> Lovely. Great visuals and locations. Definitely lots to discuss on this topic.

The Forest (2016)
Director: Jason Zada
Writers: Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell, Ben Ketai
Starring: Natalie Dormer, Eoin Macken
-Horror, Ghosts | imdb | my rating: 3.5

A woman goes into Japan's Suicide Forest to find her twin sister, and confronts supernatural terror.

=====> Not too scary. Slight Blair Witch feel to it. Interesting Japanese folklore and spooky.

The Revenant (2015)
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Writers: Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
-Adventure, Drama, Thriller, Oscar Nominee | imdb | my rating: 5

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820's fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

=====> Brutal. Sad. Beautiful. Definitely Oscar worthy!


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

* per usual, check out the sidebar for my current giveaways offers

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