Saturday, October 19, 2019

What's Happening...(10-19-19)

So I'm doing things a tad bit differently this year and will be combining all of my regular weekend posts.  This will enable me to add more content on Fridays and it is just starting to make more sense.  I'll still be linking up with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.  Both blogs are awesome so make sure you check them out.  

So for lack of a better word it's been kind of a melancholy week at The Farm.  I've not done a lot of reading.  In fact, on two different nights I read nothing at all which is VERY strange for me.  I did finish one book last weekend and finally squeezed in a graphic novel one evening.  Poor Cass has even seemed down in the dumps but I think he's picking up on my vibe.  Mr. Barb also worked more than normal which threw Cass off too.

So I finally managed to pinpoint the issue - I think it all boils down to Booker T.  I'm missing him like crazy.  He always loved Halloween and when putting out some of the decorations and lights I couldn't help but realize the empty space he left.  Also, I've started shopping some for Christmas and I always worked so hard to find the perfect toys, blankets and treats for the pups and now it's just Cass and it just sucks.  If I found the perfect dragon toy, I'd get different colors and buy in twos but this year there's just one.  I also had a digital painting made for Mr. Barb for our Anniversary in November (he doesn't read the blog so it's safe) of Booker T and it turned out gorgeous and of course I cried.  So as if it isn't enough, I'm doing it to myself!  But we will persevere.  

So reading....I do need to get some done this weekend because I'm massively behind.  Here is what is up on the stack. "Tinfoil Butterfly" is a horror novel I had on hold that came in this week and even though it wasn't on the TBR, I started it.  Such a mood reader.  And of course nothing's changed from last week and I STILL need to start "Slash" and "Magic Strikes."

I did snag a few review books but nothing like that week.  "Curious Toys" is a book I featured on Can't Wait Wednesday some time ago and "A Witch in Time" doesn't come out until 2020 so it will be a while before I need to get to it.  

And finally I will leave you with Cass's Instagram post for the week.  See, even he looks rather depressed.  Hopefully I can get a happier shot next week!

So I hope you all had a wonderful week.  Are you reading or watching anything good?  Please let me know so I can add MORE books and movies to my list!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Book Discussion - Should My Blog Be More Defined?

It's sure been a while since I've had a decent discussion here but lately I've been wondering a few things so I thought I'd throw it out there.  

Should my blog be more defined?

"Now what do you mean?" you might ask.   Basically some of my favorite bloggers are ones who focus on particular genres/categories.  Perhaps it's YA, speculative fiction, horror, indie reads or contemporary.  And when I visit them, I know exactly what to expect.  However, I realize that when you visit Booker T's Farm, you are going to get whatever mood strikes me.

Now yes, I love horror, mysteries and thrillers.  And from the beginning, this blog has always been about incorporating my four-legged children in as many ways possible.  And you can always count on a Prince post once or twice a year because yes, I'm a tad obsessed.  Deep down I consider myself an eclectic reader.  Much like people, I don't like to stereotype or categorize books.  If I think it sounds good, and it's something I'm in the mood for, I'll grab it. And hey, maybe I'll even get it read.  

I have tried to stick with some regular features which does provide some consistency.  You'll almost always find Top Ten Tuesday posts and Stacking the Shelves/Sunday posts as well as Can't Wait Wednedays.  In addtion, Cass is now a regular CWW contributor as I'm always finding new pet-centered books to brag about. Plus Stormi and I do several buddy reads each month with individual books and series.  We already have next year's series picked out and are even adding a new feature - it's still under wraps though.

So what do you think?  Do you find my blog confusing?  I'm just curious because it's something I've thought about lately.  Of course, that doesn't mean I'm changing a darn thing.  As I like to say, my blog, my rules.  BUT, you never know, any comments and wisdom might steer me in a different direction - but don't hold your breath.

Thanks again for all my regular followers - you don't know how much you are appreciated!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

You Had Me...Then You Lost Me

TITLE: The Doll Factory
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Macneal
PUBLISHING DATE: August 13, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: In 1850s London, the Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and, among the crowd watching the dazzling spectacle, two people meet by happenstance. For Iris, an arrestingly attractive aspiring artist, it is a brief and forgettable moment but for Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by all things strange and beautiful, the meeting marks a new beginning. 

When Iris is asked to model for Pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly, her world begins to expand beyond her wildest dreams—but she has no idea that evil is waiting in the shadows. Silas has only thought of one thing since that chance meeting, and his obsession is darkening by the day. 

MY THOUGHTS: So I have to get something out of the way.  When I placed a hold on this at my library, I clearly had it confused with another book. Or else I dreamed up the synopsis or something because needless to say, it turned out to be something VERY different from what I anticipated.  And I was okay with that - in the beginning.

So it's the 1850's (yep, I thought it was more modern - told you I was confused) and Iris and Rose are twins working in an old woman's shop making dolls.  Iris is in charge of the faces and it's evident from the beginning that she possesses more talent and has higher aspirations.  However, Iris has not pursued them because her sister Rose was severely deformed as a child from small pox and Iris does not want to leave her side.  She feels an obligation toward her and Rose plays it up for all it's worth.

Then you have Silas.  He works in taxidermy.  Or the closest thing. He loves recreating morbid art and also aspires to be a feature artist in The Great Exhibition.  So from the start the reader picks up on the fact that Silas is not the most stable shelf on the wall.  One day the two accidentally meet and Silas becomes obsessed with Iris. 

I feel like I could ramble on but this book continues and Iris branches out on her own and quite possibly finds love and quite possibly finds death.  I'm not going to spoil it and let's be honest, I couldn't if I tried because I skimmed the last 40 or so pages because I was bored to tears.  However, the highlight of the book was the little vagrant boy named Albie.  Albie does what he can to earn money so his sister one day won't have to be a prostitute and so he can buy himself some teeth.  (Now there's a sentence I'd never thought I'd type)  He grows so attached to Iris and honestly, I'd have been happy to just have more of him in the book - and he was already quite present. 

So I kind of feel like I'm not being fair about "The Doll Factory."  The first 50% of the book I could clearly see it being a 4 paw read.  However, the last part killed me and drastically dropped my opinion.  It is a rather Gothic read which I enjoyed, but it's fairly romance heavy and I just wasn't in the mood for that.  If you decide to pick this up, I hope you enjoy it more than I did.  Also, hopefully you know what it's about because I clearly did not.


ANIMAL TRIGGER WARNING:  Several dogs are killed tragically...and then dissected. Evil Silas!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (232)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

So the public has spoken - Cass is now a full-time contributor to Can't Wait Wednesday.  That means each week you'll see two books here. Of course Cass is already lobbying for an increase in salary (at least he works for treats - and bandanas).

FROM GOODREADS:  Mark Davies has no memory of what happened when he fell from the King’s Cross train. But ever since the accident he has been haunted by terrifying nightmares, and he feels compelled to return again and again to the station.

Yet Mark is not alone. Over the span of decades, many strange and violent incidents have occurred on the King’s Cross line. Unexplained acts of brutality. Random acts of violence. An unseen force that drives people to kill.

There is something evil aboard the train. And to stop it Mark must take one final train ride – right through the gates of Hell!

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: This is actually a reissue that Valancourt books is publishing and ever since I saw that cover, I've been wanting it.  I love the idea being stuck on a train and having horrific things happen - as long as I'm not the one stuck on the train that is.


FROM GOODREADS:  This is a book about dogs: the love we have for them, and the way that love helps us understand the people we have been.

It’s in the love of dogs, and my love for them, that I can best now take the measure of the child I once was, and the bottomless, unfathomable desires that once haunted me.

There are times when it is hard for me to fully remember that love, which was once so fragile, and so fierce. Sometimes it seems to fade before me, like breath on a mirror.

But I remember the dogs.

In her New York Times opinion column, Jennifer Finney Boylan wrote about her relationship with her beloved dog Indigo, and her wise, funny, heartbreaking column went viral. In Good Boy, Boylan explores what should be the simplest topic in the world, but never is: finding and giving love.

Good Boy is a universal account of a remarkable story: showing how a young boy became a middle-aged woman—accompanied at seven crucial moments of growth and transformation by seven memorable dogs. “Everything I know about love,” she writes, “I learned from dogs.” Their love enables us pull off what seem like impossible feats: to find our way home when we are lost, to live our lives with humor and courage, and above all, to best become our true selves. 

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  Mom and Dad tell me several times a day what a Good Boy I am. They clearly know how much it means that I hear it.  So I want to learn all about this author's good boys.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

TTT - This Needs a New Title

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

This week's topic is books I'd give different titles to. I honestly don't know how this one's going to go so who knows if we will actually hit 10 or not!

"Slow Ride"

"The Racist Pervert Gets a Dog"
"This Dog Isn't in the Book"

"Beware the Pink Devil"

"Boring Cannibals on the Prairie"

(oops that one's already taken!)

"Pure Hell"

"Poor Max"

"Oy With the Poodles Already"

So that's about all I can come up with. I'm sure I'll see some stellar examples while blog hopping today.  Wish I could have came up with better.

**** So I looked at the wrong date so I guess I'm just giving you a preview of what to expect next week - oops!

Monday, October 14, 2019

So My Babysitting Jobs Weren't That Bad....

TITLE: The Babysitter's Coven (Babysitter's Coven #1)D
AUTHOR: Kate Williams
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PUBLISHING DATE: September 17, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it's kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she's good at it. 

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let's just say she owes some people a new tree. 

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She's Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria cooking. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme's babysitters club? 

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra's mother left her: "Find the babysitters. Love, Mom." 

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they're about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home. 

MY THOUGHTS:  Basically I can sum this book up in one word - fun.  Esme lives alone with her father and her pit bull, Piggy.  Her mother has been institutionalized the past few years and no one has been able to get through to her.  Esme and her best friend babysit local children which usually goes off without a hitch.  However, things are starting to get a tad strange.  Let's just say Voldemort just tried to kidnap one of her charges.  The new girl in school also wants to join the babysitter's club but it becomes quite evident that she doesn't have as much experience as she says.  Soon Esme and Casssandra discover there is more to babysitting than meets the eye.

As I said, reading this novel was just a lot of fun.  I love Esme as a main character.  She is witty and sarcastic and she and her best friend Janis dress in a theme each day and some of the themes were downright riotous.  And it has to be no surprise that I loved Piggy - such a wonderful addition to the book.  As the book progresses the reader gets a lot of backstory on Esme and Cassandra's lives and the last third of the book is pretty much all action.  I also like that Esme actually has parents who are present in the book, even if her mother is institutionalized.  The author did a wonderful job of showing some of the struggles Esme's father faced raising a teenage daughter alone.

When I started this book, I really had no idea it was the beginning of a series.  However, at the conclusion of it, I was glad to see that another one is coming in 2020.  Honestly, if you are looking for a serious read or even a scary one, you won't find it here.  But if you want something that's a lot of fun and dabbles on the idea of witchcraft, you should seek "The Babysitter's Coven" out.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

2019 Halloween Creatures Book Tag

I actually ended up doing this tag two years ago here at Booker T's Farm and I thought it would be fun to revisit it.  This wonderful tag was created by Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward.  I see that he has Anthony has since created a 2.0 version so I'm doing his new one instead.  

WITCH - A magical character or book.
I have to go with "Rules of Magic," the prequel to "Practical Magic."  The whole book was magical and I enjoyed it so much more than the first one, which is now technically the second one.
WEREWOLF - The perfect book to read at night
"The Chrysalis" will definitely make you wonder what that sound coming from your basement might be.

FRANKENSTEIN - A book that truly shocked you
I'm still not over the Pink Devil from "The Mouth of the Dark."  Those of you who have read this HAVE to understand.

THE DEVIL - A dark, evil characters
There are a lot of dark, evil characters in "A Discovery of Witches" but for some reason, the first one who popped into my mind was Baldwin.

THE GRIM REAPER - A character that never should have died
Good Dog Max from "My Best Friend's Exorcism" did not need to die and I STILL haven't fully forgiven the author

ZOMBIE - A book that made you "hungry" for more
"Gwendy's Button Box" was too short and I'm thrilled I'm finally getting a sequel.

GARGOYLE - A character that you would protect at all costs
Buttons the Beagle from "Creature."

VAMPIRE - A book that sucked the life right out of you
"The Hunger" - enough said!

GHOST -  A book that still haunts you
"Little Heaven" and not for good reasons.

DEMON - a book that really scared you
I don't scare easily so I'll go with "We Sold Out Souls" which is a very demonic book.

SKELETON - A character you have a bone to pick with
How about an author?  CJ Tudor, I really want to like you so why don't I?

MUMMY - A book you would preserve throughout time
What's Winnie doing in a Halloween tag 😊

CREEPY DOLL - A cover that's scary to look at
Pearl and his messed up eye from "On this, the Day of the Pig" is pretty creepy.

THE MONSTER MASH - It's fun to be friends on Halloween
I don't really like to tag people but I want to encourage everyone who visits to participate and make sure to link back to Anthony.