Friday, July 20, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (170)/Sunday Post

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. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

So Mr. Barb had Friday off because he worked last weekend so he picked me up for lunch and also bought me a new doggy book.  I collect W. Bruce Cameron books and his newest MG one just came out.  I can't wait to add it to my shelves.


About a month ago, I requested a few books from my library.  They make it really simple because if they don't have them, they have a form you can fill out online.  Well, they ended up purchasing new copies of all three and of course, since I requested them, I get them first.  I picked them up Thursday - "Neverworld Wake," "Bring Me Their Hearts," and "We Are Where the Nightmares Go," which I've heard awesome things about.




From Netgalley I got a review copy of "The Mansion" which I can't wait to read and which is putting all my other reads this weekend at risk. 


And I want to thank Alan Baxter for sending me a copy of "Manifest Recall."  It's a shorter dark noir story and I am super excited to dive in.  


So what did you guys add to your shelves this week?  Have you read any of these?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Weekly Reads (07/19/18)


So this week's weather has been more hot than not. The forecast keeps promising us rain, but never delivers.  Everything is so dry so I'm hoping the rain promised this weekend shows up - just keep the storms away please.  Can you believe some idiots in the neighborhood are still randomly letting off fireworks.  Poor Booker T was outside last night and one went off around the corner and then I couldn't get him back out.  However, for some reason, he's fearless at 3am - cause that's almost ALWAYS when he wakes me up to take him out in the middle of the night.

I've done some reading this week but won't lie, it's been more of a movie week.  Stormi did convince me to participate in COYER's Christmas in July Challenge so we ended up accidentally buddy reading another book this month.  Sometimes our reading tastes are so common it's scary!  So I became obsessed with a new series - Claws.  This show is a hot mess and centers around the Dixieland mafia and these women who work at a nail salon.  It's like a train wreck, but I can't look away so I've managed to watch the entire first season on Hulu the past 2 weeks.


Mr. Barb and I also had a throwback movie weekend.  We watched "Salem's Lot" on Saturday night and then watched "Return to Salem's Lot" on Sunday.  I never realized until this time around that the creepy little vampire girl obsessed with kissing and sex is actually Tara Reid.  Seems so obvious right?


I finished reading "Lizzie" and also a Christmas cozy " 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas" and as I am typing this (a day ahead on Thursday), I'm at a loss what to pick up next.  Here are the main contenders. I'm in such a mood though that I could possibly chose something different too.


Oh and one of my favorite series FINALLY starts back up tonight.  Looks like the makings of a good weekend.  You can find it on Cinemax.


So what are your plans this week????


Well THAT Hyped Book Didn't Work For Me

TITLE: To Kill a Kingdom
AUTHOR: Alexandra Christo
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Freinds
PUBLISHING DATE: March 6, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever 

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy? 

MY THOUGHTS: So this was probably one of my most anticipated books of the year - or at least the first half.  I feel like I've been drooling over that cover FOREVER.  You guys KNOW I love tentacles.  Add all of that to the fact that some of my favorite blogging buddies loved this book and.............. I should have known it would fall flat for me.  Seriously guys, hyped books and I do not have the best relationship.  

So this story has sirens (mean and vicious sirens), royalty, pirates and numerous kingdoms.  Lira basically gets on the Sea Queen's bad side, who is also her demented mother, and is punished by being made human.  In order to return to her killing fun in the sea, she has to obtain Prince Elian's heart.  We all see where this is headed right?  I have to give the book credit though because there definitely isn't any insta-love here.  More like insta-attempted murder.  

I think my main problem is I didn't really care for Lira or Elian.  I much better liked the minor characters, especiallu Elian's crew.  I love to read some more stories about them.  The adventure aspect was interesting enough, but I struggle to keep picking this book up and at the end, just wanted to be done.

I know lots of people LOVE this book so I would never tell anyone to skip it... well, okay, I have told a few friends to do that.  However, I didn't connect with "To Kill A Kingdom" which is sad, because I STILL love that cover.

RATING: 2 Paws (which in reality is more like 2.5 but stupid Goodreads and half ratings!  And I'm not feeling it enough to round up.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (166)


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.


FROM GOODREADS:  Everyone Emily has ever loved has been brutally murdered. The killer has never been caught, but Emily knows who's responsible.

She is.

It's the only possible explanation. Emily is the one thing all the victims have in common, which can only mean that someone--or something--is killing them to make her suffer.

Determined never to subject another person to the same horrible fate as her parents, friends, and pets, Emily sequesters herself at a private boarding school, keeping her classmates at a distance with well-timed insults and an unapproachable air. Day after day, she loses herself in the writing of Emily Dickinson--the poet makes a perfect friend, since she's already dead.

Emily's life is lonely, but it's finally peaceful. That is, until two things happen. A corpse appears on the steps of the school. And a new girl insists on getting close to Emily--unknowingly setting herself up to become the killer's next victim. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I will admit I'm a little nervous about the mention of pets in this one but other than that, it sounds like a pretty thrilling read.  Maybe I can skip that part or gloss over it.  I'm such a wimp when it comes to animals getting hurt so we'll see.  

WHAT BOOK CAN'T YOU WAIT FOR THIS WEEK???

Monday, July 16, 2018

TTT - My Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

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. 

So this week's topic is favorite novellas/short stories.  I'm going to be honest, I looked up "novella" before starting because I don't want to mistakenly classify something as one if it's not cause I don't want to offend.  That being said, I doubt you guys really care because come on, you come here to see the books!  Technically though it's  "a short novel or long short story."  Well, if you read a lot of King, a lot of books could be considered "short" and isn't "long short story" kind of contradictory.  Oh well, enough rambling.  


I could say the entire "Sin du Jour" series but on the whole, one of my faves of the seven is "Lustlocked."


Followed closely by "Taste of Wrath" because come on, Prince.  If and if you don't understand that comment, go read the series and come back and see me.


I also adored McGuire's "Wayward Children" series but this one is clearly my favorite of the three, and perhaps the darkest one yet.


Speaking of McGuire, or in this case Mira Grant, I loved "Rolling in the Deep."  I just need to make time for the full-length sequel.


It had King's name attached so I knew I had to read it.  I really enjoyed some of the tales in this one.


Technically not a short story OR a novella, but it was short, it's about an adorable dog, and my list, my prerogative.


It's Peanuts - do I need to say more?


"Sour Candy" is a totally creepy, totally awesome novella.


"The Language of Dying" is a hauntingly beautiful novella.


As if you haven't guessed, I love Seanan McGuire and will give anything she writes a chance.

BONUS:


We can't forget one of my favorite horror writers.  I think this has to be one of my faves!

So have you read any of these????  What made your list????

A Long Time Coming

TITLE: Lizzie
AUTHOR: Dawn Ius
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
PUBLISHING DATE: April 10, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: Seventeen-year-old Lizzie Borden has never been kissed. Polite but painfully shy, Lizzie prefers to stay in the kitchen, where she can dream of becoming a chef and escape her reality. With tyrannical parents who force her to work at the family’s B&B and her blackout episodes—a medical condition that has plagued her since her first menstrual cycle—Lizzie longs for a life of freedom, the time and space to just figure out who she is and what she wants.

Enter the effervescent, unpredictable Bridget Sullivan. Bridget has joined the B&B’s staff as the new maid, and Lizzie is instantly drawn to her artistic style and free spirit—even her Star Wars obsession is kind of cute. The two of them forge bonds that quickly turn into something that’s maybe more than friendship.

But when her parents try to restrain Lizzie from living the life she wants, it sparks something in her that she can’t quite figure out. Her blackout episodes start getting worse, her instincts less and less reliable. Lizzie is angry, certainly, but she also feels like she’s going mad…''

MY THOUGHTS:  Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows I have a small obsession with Lizzie Borden.  So when I saw a new YA book coming out about her, I knew I'd have to grab it.  A lot of us already know the tale of Lizzie and this one is basically the same.  However, it's an updated version and Ius added some modern flair.  For example, Lizzie wants nothing more desperately to be the next Emeril Lagasse and is always cooking and creating new dishes for her father and step-father's bed and breakfast.  Also, while the relationship with her sister Em is explored, it isn't as much in the forefront as some of the other retellings I've read.

It's no real secret that many believe Lizzie went on in her life to have relationships with other women.  And I know a lot of people were excited to see Ius openly explore Lizzie this.  However, there is a twist involved and to be honest, I saw it coming early on in the book which was kind of a letdown.  Also, considering we know Lizzie's parents end up dead (if I spoiled this, I'm sorry but I figure everyone who wants to read this book knows the song and the tale), it takes FOREVER for this to happen.  Then once it does, it all resolves itself in the next 3 chapters.  

Lizzie Borden clearly suffered from abuse and mental health issues.  I don't doubt for a minute that she killed her parents but I think were it to occur now, she would be found not guilty by reason of insanity.  Ius follows a lot of the actual facts of the incident, while also adding her own spin which makes it an entertaining read for a new generation.  

RATING: 3 Paws

Friday, July 13, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (169)/Sunday Post

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. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

So I had an Amazon order come in this week and although I announced this arrival via Twitter, I had to show it here as well.  I love Thomas Sniegoski's horror books and this one new one from him seems especially tailored for me (even though then it would have been called Atomic Boxer in stoead of Atomic Frenchie).


I had a few requests come in from Netgalley.  I'll be honest, I requested "Red Harvest" some time ago and forgot all about it so I was surprised to see it come through.  Words can't state how thrilled I am to have "The Hollow of Fear" in my possession.  You guys know how much I love this series.  "City of Broken Magic" was featured a few months back on Can't Wait Wednesday and "Like Never and Always" was a complete impulse grab - what can I say? #noexcuse


And then Paul Anka was hungry so I fed my Kindle.  I saw "Broken World" on a Booktube Horror channel and when I went to look it up, it was free, so of course I grabbed it.  I had "Mad Librarian" on my wishlist and saw it offered for free as well one day.  I couldn't resist grabbing "Endal" when it was on sale for $0.99 and I thought "Home is Where the Bark Is" was just a cover change for the author's other dog-centric series but when I figured out it wasn't, I went ahead and grabbed it!


So I'm really excited for all of these.  What books did you guys add this week???

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Weekly Reads (07/12/18)


So things are getting a tad bit back to normal here.  Mr. Barb and I both went back to work and I won't lie, we really both felt we could have used another week off.  However, I bet that's the case for lots of people.  The pups miss us but luckily I have a job where I can stop and check on them during lunch so they're not doing too badly.

We ended up watching "Blumhouse's Truth or Dare" Saturday night for lack of choice.  Seems like it's a bad time for TV/movie watching.  It wasn't bad but it wasn't good.  If we hadn't been desperate for something, I'd have probably skipped it altogether.  We then watched "Deep Blue Sea 2" for the same reasons.  I liked this one better because of the shark aspect.  

I finally feel like my reading is back on track.  I've already finished 3 full-length novels this month, with one being a Stephen King monster, and a graphic novel.  I'm about 75 pages into "Lizzie" too.  Here's the next set of books up on the stack:


It's supposed to be another hot weekend here so I hope all my fellow heatwavers are taking care and being safe.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Swim Away Amelia - FAST! (The Mermaid Review)

TITLE: The Mermaid
AUTHOR: Christina Henry
PUBLISHER: Berkley
PUBLISHING DATE: June 19, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid.


MY THOUGHTS:  So last year, "Lost Boy" was one of my favorite reads.  So when I saw this one was coming out, I immediately thought it would be another great dark tale from Henry.  Then I started hearing it wasn't dark at all... and I became worried.  However, I recently read a few reviews from some of my favorite bloggers and they seemed to really enjoy this one and hey, at least I knew going into it not to expect dark and gruesome (although I still wanted dark and gruesome).

So imagine my surprise at how much I really enjoyed "The Mermaid."  I'm glad I let my expectation go and enjoyed the tale for what it was meant to be - a historical fairy tale.  "The Mermaid" is the story of Amelia - a mermaid who years ago was caught in a fisherman's net and then let go, just to return to him and share his life..until he died (and no real spoiler - this happens pretty early).  So after living alone for years and mourning Jack, she gets the opportunity to move to New York and work for P.T. Barnum.

There were several things I liked about this book.  Amelia was a great character.  Yes, she was a mermaid and she struggles throughout the book with the dilemma of the whole human/creature of the sea argument.  But she is smart and kind, and yes, vicious when need be.  In addition I liked many of the characters Amelia meets including Levi, Barnum's attorney as well as  Barnum's wife and children.  However, Barnum was highly despicable and I certainly did not agree with some of his methods and his madness.  The story is good and definitely kept me captivated and honestly, at times, hard to put down.

The book is divided into three parts and I wish there had been more about Amelia and Jack.  They share such a beautiful love and I wanted it fleshed out a little more (even if I'm not a huge fan of romance in books).  Also, for those of you who have read the book - I NEED closure for the orangutan!  In fact, I docked at least half a paw because that poor orangutan is out there hanging in limbo!!!!!


Overall, I'm pretty much sure Hnry is now an auto read author. There is something lyrical about her tales, whether dark or whimsical, and I'm very anxious to read more.  Could there be a companion novel out there called "The Orangutan?"  I doubt it.

RATING: 4 PAWS

July 2018 Musts & Mights


So I pretty much TOTALLY skipped this feature last month, and I'm running late this month but I refuse to miss it 2 months in a row.  Plus, it's helpful for me to take stock of what I want to read and what needs to get reviewed.  So let's look at some pretty books!

MUSTS


MIGHTS




I just love looking at all of these exciting covers (and since it's ALMOST mid-month, I can share that I've already managed to finish a couple of these :)

So what are you reading this month???

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (165) - I'm Back!


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.


FROM GOODREADS: It broke into their home and set up residence in their minds.

When the . . . thing first insinuated itself into the Lund family household, they were bemused. Vaguely human-shaped, its constantly-changing cravings seemed disturbing, at first, but time and pressure have a way of normalizing the extreme. Wasn't it always part of their lives?

As the family make more and greater sacrifices in service to the beast, the thrall that binds them begins to break down. Choices must be made. Prices must be paid. And the Lunds must pit their wits against a creature determined to never let them go.

It's psychological warfare. Sanity is optional.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I really liked "The Atrocities" when I read it even though I felt it was a tad short and could have been longer.  This one clocks in at 256 pages so I'm super excited to see what Shipp does with a longer length.  

WHAT BOOK CAN'T YOU WAIT FOR THIS WEEK???

Monday, July 9, 2018

TTT - Best Books I've Read This Year (So Far!)

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing 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. 

So this week we are sharing our favorite books so far this year.  This might be a tad redundant with my mid-year freak out tag but I still hope you find it interesting.  So here we go!


I'm kind of cheating with "The Outsider" because I just finished it  this July, but even though my review isn't up yet, I absolutely loved it!  "Snowblind" was a book I've been meaning to read for ages and am so glad I finally made time for it this year.


I've made it a point to read some science fiction this year and I really loved "The Prey of Gods" as well as "Outpost."  I can't recommend either enough.


It's just a coincidence that both of my pup faves happened to be Basset Hounds (don't tell Cass and Booker T) but I loved Socrates from "Pawprints & Predicaments" as well as the opinionated Elvis from the Southern Cousins mysteries.


I sort of have a hit-or-miss relationship with thrillers but here are two that were absolute hits for me.  "Into the Back Nowhere" is the continuation of the UNSUB series and "Let Me Lie" was my first Mackintosh read but not my last.


And what's a list without a few great creatures - the giant iguanas from "Jurassic Florida" and a prehistoric shark from "MEG."

So there you have it.  Some of my faves broken down into some of my favorite categories.  Did any of these make your list.