Friday, April 29, 2016

Gilmore Girls Book Tag

I absolutely love The Gilmore Girls so of course I am thrilled Netflix is reviving it with four 90 minute episodes to air sometime later this year.  I have seen all kinds of related tags but I saw this one on Pink Lemonade Reads on Booktube and although I don't want to do all 20 questions, figured I would pick my favorite 10.  So here we go!

I PUSHED HIM IN THE LAKE (a book you'd throw in a lake): 

HEP ALIEN (a book centered around music):

STARS HOLLOW (wildly eccentric cast):

KIM'S ANTIQUES (a world you'd be afraid to enter):

FIRST SNOW (a snowy or holiday read): 

Weird pick I know but I usually read King around Christmas (new book/gift) and I love all the snow in this one!
JESS (an unpopular opinion):

Didn't love it, barely even liked it!

LUKE'S DINER (a comfort read):

1000 YELLOW DAISIES (favorite romance):

LORELAI and RORY (favorite dynamic duo):

Veronica Speedwell and Stoker
I JUST GOT HIT BY A DEER (character having the worst day):

Ash Larkin
Hope you had fun with this.  Are you a Gilmore Girls fan or are you like my husband, who think Lorelai needs to talk less and drink more tea or water?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (53) - Booker T and Cassius Style

"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.  

Mom is working out of town a lot this week and while she will be home in the evenings, she will have some long days so the timing was prime for me and Cassius to sneak in and do the W.O.W. feature while she isn't looking.

November 8, 2016
FROM GOODREADS: New to the historic town of Metamora, Indiana, Cameron Cripps-Hayman is looking to make friends with her neighbors. What she isn’t looking for is one of their bodies floating in the canal. 

When she and her estranged husband, the town sheriff, are both named suspects for the murder, Cameron takes solving the crime into her own hands, teaming up with her eccentric co-workers who dub themselves The Metamora Action Agency. 

As if hunting for a murderer with two high school geniuses, the town drunk, and an elderly kleptomaniac isn’t hard enough, Cameron adopts the five mangy guard dogs of her deceased neighbor. But maybe a stint at playing gatekeeper is just what she needs to come face-to-face with the killer and save another neighbor from being the next victim.

WHY BOOKER T IS WAITING: I know Mom likes cozy mysteries and who could resist the cute dogs on this cover.  And you can't go wrong with a story that has a woman adopting 5 dogs.  Plus, there has been TOO much cat love on here lately!

October 8, 2016
FROM GOODREADS: Rory Chasen, manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, hopes her new line of good-luck doggy toys will be a hit, especially the stuffed rabbits with extra-large feet. The timing of the line’s debut proves ill-fated, though, as several local shops—including Rory’s—are ransacked and vandalized with spilled salt and other unlucky charms.

The most likely culprit is disgruntled real estate agent Flora Curtival, whose issues with the town give her a motive. But when Flora is murdered and one of Rory’s toy rabbits is found with the body, Rory needs all the luck she can get while trying to determine just who killed the superstitious vandal.

WHY CASSIUS IS WAITING:  This book features a doggy boutique which sounds like a fun place to visit (we go to the pet store every once in a while).  Also, BECAUSE BOOKER T TOLD ME TO!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

TTT - Top 10 Bookworm Delights

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.  This week I am sharing with you my top 10 bookish delights.

1.  Getting approved for that ARC you just HAVE to have! - There's nothing like checking your email and learning from Netgalley, Edelweiss or the publisher that you received a copy of one of your most anticipated releases.

2.  Getting books in the mail - Whether it be books from publishers, books you ordered, or books won in giveaways, there's nothing like coming home and finding book packages waiting for you!

3.  Going to an actual physical bookstore! - It's fun to order on line and true, you can find some great deals, but nothing beats wandering into a bookstore and losing yourself in all the books there to discover.

4.  Vacation - Having the ability to read whenever you want and not having to worry about things like work getting in the way. 

5.  Finding other people who love your favorite books as much as your do!

6.  Using your local library -  I have 3 great local libraries, plus on on-line Overdrive system.  When I can't find what I'm looking for, they will usually order it in for me.  Plus I love browsing there.  I always have more checked out than what I can actually read.

7.  Bookmarks!!! - I love finding them, collecting them and sometimes even making them.

8.  Staying up late and getting lost in a book even though you know you have to get up early - How many times have we told ourselves "One more chapter."

9.  New bookshelves! (I would love to have these)

10.  Making lists about our favorite bookish things!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Start With The Backbeat - #ItsRainingBooks Review

TITLE: Start With The Backbeat
AUTHOR: Garine B. Isassi
PUBLISHER: She Writes Press
PUBLISHING DATE: April 5, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: It is the spring of 1989 in New York City when Jill Dodge, a post-punk rocker from Texas, finally gets her big promotion at Mega Big Records. She is thrust into a race to find a gritty, urban rapper before the Gangsta trend passes their label by. As Jill and her mostly middle-class coworkers search for the next big rap star, they fluctuate between alliances and rivalries, tripping over the stereotypes of race, class, and musical genre. They work to promote their current roster of acts as well as the new rap artist they sign to a contract. It turns out, he may not be what they expected. Full of original lyrics and wit, "Start With the Backbeat" is a compelling examination of the nuances of class, race, and culture in America which are sometimes ridiculously serious."

I have always loved music and used to collect tons of CD's. Now that so much is digital, I've lost count of how much I actually own, but besides my family and reading, music ranks right up there with my favorite things in life. Add that to the fact that I have been reading so much darker material right now and I figured it was time for a break so picking up "Start with the Backbeat" was a no-brainer.

The story takes place in the early 80's in New York City. Jill moved from Texas two years ago to make her big break in the music business and finally has her chance. Recently promoted, she is assigned to the task of finding the next big rapper, since "gangsta" rap is just taking off. Not an easy task for a white, punk-rock Texan. Along her journey, Jill is joined by an eclectic group of coworkers, a crappy boyfriend, and some interesting struggling artists.

There are quite a few things I enjoyed about this book besides the music element and the 80's setting. "Start with the Backbeat" has one of the most diverse cast of characters I have seen in the past six months. In addition, most of them are pretty relatable and are experiencing real life problems. I really liked Jill and wanted her to succeed throughout the novel, but also enjoyed her flaws. This book not only focuses on the music world, but also tackles issues surrounding friendship, relationships and culture/diversity/stereotyping.

My only real problem with the book may be credited to reading an advanced ebook. There are parts of the book which are lyrics being composed by the artists the reader encounters. There is little distinction between where these lyric begin and they need to be separated better. However, like I said, this could just be a formatting problem and I am interested in seeing/hearing how it plays out in the physical copy.

While the book isn't anything I would categorize as "earth-shattering," it is a really cute, enjoyable read and I am glad I picked it up. Anyone who enjoys music, the music industry or the 80's would more than likely find something about it to like. In addition, if you are looking for a book with diverse characters, this definitely fits the bill.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Book Sparks in conjunction with their "It's Raining Books" blog tour in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (63) The Review Edition

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews.  Clicking on the book should take you to the Goodreads page.  

I didn't feature any review books last week so I am just focusing on them this week so they can get the attention they deserve!

The Rivals of Dracula Paws to Reflect The Assassin Game Paper and Fire
Pride's Spell The Wolf Road Not So Much Said the Cat The Sister

I am beyond thrilled that a publicist from Tor sent me a copy of "Pride's Spell" earlier this week when I requested it. It always amazes me that I can send an email and sometimes companies do indeed respond. I am also really looking forward to "Paper and Fire" as I loved the first installment.

What did you add to your shelves or TBR this week?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Weekly Reads (04/22/16)

Not my usual Weekend Reads  photo but above is a picture of Niagara Falls last night.  I think it is a beautiful photo and a wonderful tribute to an artist who us much too early.  It's definitely going to be a purple weekend at The Farm.  This past week I did manage to get a few books read, but basically I haven't picked up anything in the past two days.  I hope to remedy that this weekend.  I have a few errands to take care of Saturday morning but other than that, no real plans.  Husband and I will probably watch "The Revenant" and of course, Game of Thrones starts Sunday so we will at least DVR it.  I may slip "Purple Rain" in somewhere along the way. Here are the books waiting to be picked up:

True Born She Poured Out Her Heart Meternity

So what are you plans this weekend/week?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Moments Break From the Normal Bookish Things

RIP Prince
Today is an extremely sad day for me.  I grew up a teen of the 80's.  I loved glam rock, neon colors and most of all, the artist pictured above.  No matter what my life brought - good times, happy times, party times or just time chilling, I could always find a Prince song that fit the mood.  I remember my parents dropping me and my friend off at the local theater (I didn't have my license yet) to see Purple Rain and then us singing it at the top of our lungs for weeks to come.  Even when his music became less mainstream, I still bought it and have 62 CD's in my collection.  I always knew this day would probably come, but it still came too soon.  So I must say "Goodbye" to someone I never knew, but who shared a lot of times in my life.

The Shadow Queen - "Mirror Mirror On The Wall...."

TITLE: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1)
AUTHOR: C. J. Redwine
PUBLISHER: Balzer & Bray
PUBLISHING DATE: February 16, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

MY THOUGHTS:  In my opinion, "The Shadow Queen" is a strong addition to the YA world of retellings. For those who don't know, this book is a retelling of Snow White and while I kept having flashbacks to the TV series "Once Upon A Time," there really is no true comparison. When Lorelai Diederich was young, her mother was killed in a tragic accident. Her father, King of Ravenspire, eventually remarried his wife's sister, Irina, and basically the kingdom was never the same. As the book opens, King Diederich is killed by the wicked Queen Irina and Lorelai and her brother, Leo, take off with their trusty guardian Gabril and spend years living on the run. Over the course of evading Queen Irina, who initially believes the whole family is dead, Lorelai and her companions plot and plan to regain Ravenspire, which Irina is running into the ground. Along the way, Lorelai encounters "the huntsman," in the form of Kol, a human/dragon shifter from the land of Eldr.

This book is packed full of action and lots of characters. I really enjoyed Lorelai, who is a strong female lead who loves to fight, plan and oh, did I mention, use magic. Her bond with Leo and Gabril is touching and Redwine manages to avoid the "insta-love" plague while still creating a strong interaction between Lorelai and Leo. Irina is evil done at its best and on a personal note, I am surprised I managed to get through this book without nightmares because Irina's pet is a large poisonous black snake which she can communicate with and which loves to sit around her neck and sleep on her bedpost at night (yuk)! However, Lorelai's animal companion, Sasha the gryfalcon, has the complete opposite effect and is a fun addition to the tale. The concept of hearts plays a vital role in the book, just like in the original Snow White, but it goes so much further and is fun to watch play out.

Basically if you like retellings, then I would say you should at least give this one a try. I don't pick up a lot of them, and there seems to be plenty out right now, but I am not sorry I grabbed "The Shadow Queen" from my local library when I saw it had arrived. Seeing as there were no real cliffhangers in this book, I am interested in knowing where Redwine plans on taking the Ravenspire series, as I believe this is only the first installment.


CASSIUS' THOUGHTS:  I'm so excited...Mom is letting me do my first review because "The Shadow Queen" features a gryfalcon named Sasha and I am the bird-lover in the family and she's so great and I want one...(need to take a breath).  Sasha is Lorelai's companion and because Lorelai saved her with magic when she was a baby, they have a bond and can read each others thoughts (Mom and I do that sometime).  Anyway, Sasha is brave and smart and she sounds really pretty.  She also has a great bird sense of humor.  She is fiercely loyal to Lorelai which I can relate to as I love my Mom, Dad and even Booker T.   I really really want a grylfalcon and Mom says when I find one I can have it - Booker T says she is "humoring" me but I'm not sure what that means.  Anyway, I'm getting a gryfalcon, I'm getting a gryfalcon!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (52)

"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases. 

July 5, 2016
FROM GOODREADS: When her father is accused of being a serial killer, Bex becomes the ultimate bait in this game of cat and mouse

Bex is ready to start a new life in foster care. There, she won't be known as a serial killer's daughter. Though her father was never tried for the murders attributed to "The Wife Collector," he disappeared after questioning. And Bex struggles with the guilt that she provided the circumstantial evidence that convicted him in the public's perception—and drove him to abandon her.

But when a body turns up in her new hometown, all signs point to the Wife Collector. Bex's old life isn't ready to let her go. The police want to use Bex to lure in her father. But is she baiting a serial killer or endangering an innocent man?

WHY I'M WAITING:  Saw this one somewhere last week and it just caught my attention.  Sounds like an interesting thriller and I'm excited to learn more about "The Wife Collector."

So what are you waiting for this week???? 


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

TTT - 10 Books That Will Make You Chuckle

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.  This week's topic is books that made me laugh (or at least chuckle).  I really like my books dark and edgy, but I have do have a strong love for snarky characters, so you may get a real mix-up with this week's list!

While not a funny novel at all, there were parts where I really chuckled, perhaps because I loved all the characters and because this book made "dying" less depressing.

This book had some really hilarious characters and I think anyone who loves "Me, Earl and the Dying Girl" should pick up this one as well.

Jenny Lawson openly talks about mental illness, and shares her crazy antics with all of her fans.  This book was Laugh Out Loud funny in many parts and its sequel sits on my shelves - unread though.  Need to remedy that.

A totally hilarious look at not-so-funny situations. And the drawings - adorable in a twisted, psychotic kind of way.

Had to work horror in here somewhere. The main character is such a smart-ass.  Love her.  You can't help but laugh at a few things in this book, even though overall it's about monsters.

This book gave me a few chuckles - but maybe it wasn't supposed to. 

Although I have no desire to continue with the series, you have to admit, Bridget is pretty funny.

The main character in this book is so snarky she is almost perfect.  And her top ten lists at the beginning of the chapters are so amusing you can't help but laugh.

The main character, Charley is so perfectly snarky in all the right places - I dare you not to chuckle at times.

This series gets more laughable as it goes on - yet I am pretty sure that is not the intended effect.  If you have read this far, you totally get my drift.  However, I still keep checking them out from the library.

So what made you list this week?  Have you read any of these?