Tuesday, April 30, 2019

TTT - A Switch Up

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 related to inspirational quotes or something like that.  To be honest, I'm not huge on noting quotes.  I have started highlighting some on my Kindle reads which show up on Goodreads but I don't know about them being inspirational.

Since April is the month Prince passed away (3 years ago) I usually feature him some here at The Farm.  That got pushed to the side when I lost my own little Prince - Booker T.  So since it's  the last day in April, I'm going to share Prince related items that are on my radar that I WILL be adding to the collection eventually.

Book - The Beautiful Ones.  I already featured this on a "Can't Wait Wednesday" feature.  

Book - Prince, The Life, The Genius, The Legend.  I just recently discovered this book.

Book - My Name is Prince.  I just heard about this one and it's another that's coming out in October.  It better be worth it because right now it's listing for almost $53.00.  Wonder what it's made of???

Diamond and Curlz.  This is a new book written by Prince's stylist.  I'm pretty sure it's trash and I don't have high hopes.  However, I'm curious and if it is indeed as bad as I think, it should make for a fun review (I just love getting snarky at times).

3rd Eye Blind Funko Pop

Purple Rain Funko Pop

CD - Ultimate Rave.  A sort of reissue with a new CD added and a DVD of the Rave concert held on New Year's Eve 2000.  

Prince Originals CD.  This comes out in June but they've already announced that a few months later there will be a deluxe edition so I'll be waiting for that one.

So there you have it.  My cap off to remembering Prince.  In all honestly, next year April will probably be a tribute to Booker T so you guys might be safe.

Monday, April 29, 2019

A Little Prince to End the Month

TITLE: Prince - The Last Interview and Other Conversations
AUTHOR: Prince
PUBLISHER: Melville House
PUBLISHING DATE: March 12, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: There is perhaps no musician who has had as much influence on the sound of contemporary American music than Prince. His pioneering compositions brought a variety of musical genres into a singular funky and virtuosic sound. In this remarkable collection, and with his signature mix of seduction and demur, the late visionary reflects on his artistry, identity, and the sacrifices and soul-searching it took to stay true to himself. 

MY THOUGHTS:  I read this one early in March as I was able to grab it on release day on Overdrive.  It was a collection of 6 interviews, including Prince's last one.  I did find some of the interviews interesting as I never realized he was interviewed for a vegan magazine. 

I didn't really gain any new insights on Prince, which would have been nice, but it was a quick read and a nice trip down memory lane.  I did find it funny how hard Prince was to interview at times.  He often made a game of dealing with the press and wasn't until his later years that he shared much about himself to the public.

I don't think I'll be picking this one up for my collection.  I just don't think it's worth the money that they are asking for a physical copy.  Maybe I can find a used copy one day.  If you're a fan, you probably know most of everything in this collection. 


Saturday, April 27, 2019

What's Happening...(04-27-19)

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 as most of you are aware, it's been a trying week at The Farm.  We are all struggling with Booker T's loss,  but we are coping.  We've been spoiling Cassius something rotten because we both feel badly that he's now home alone during the day by himself and I'm just grateful I can stop in at lunch and check on him.  And I know people are being kind but if one more person sees us walking is the neighborhood and tells us we're missing one, I might hit them over the head with a bottle of Jack Daniels.  I may have an extra one or two on hand.  And one more thing, we are now sleeping with a stuffed squirrel.  When we buried T, we sent his favorite blanket, toy and snack with him but we kept the toy squirrel which was his constant companion while he was sick.  For several days, he used it as a pillow.  So yep, you guessed it, it's now a permanent fixture on our bed.  

We did manage to watch a few movies.  I don't know how much I took in of them but it kept us busy.  We watched "Glass" which was the day after he passed and I know I missed something important because I didn't really care for it.  And then we watched "Mercy Black" on Netflix and it was a pretty decent horror flick considering I never heard of it before.  This weekend we may try something else and the NFL draft is also on so there will be mindless banter in the background while I read.

Speaking of reading, here are the books on the this weekend's stack.  I started "The Department of Sensitive Crimes" Thursday evening and am about 30 pages in.  It kind of has my attention.  I also need to read "Killing November" and/or "A Curse So Dark and Lovely" before they are due back to the library.

And I did get a few books for review.  I really like Charlaine Harris so I'm excited to give "Small Kingdoms and Other Stories" a chance.  "Till Death Do Us Part" is touting a killer twist so that may be a bad sign but I do like the cover.  And "The Chain" has been blurbed by Stephen King and sometimes that is all it takes.

And a final rant.  What the heck happened to itunes.  Now a lot of time I stream music but sometimes there is a rare music release where I want the whole CD.  I've always been able to get these reasonably from itunes.  April must be music month because there are 5 CDs I want.  I probably didn't buy 8 all of last year.  Usually I just purchase a single or two with Christmas gift cards.  Itunes prices have skyrocketed.   Single tunes are now $2.19 vs $1.79 and I won't even go into the albums.  Let's just say that when I do end up buying them, itunes is forcing me to give Amazon my business.  Okay, rant over.

So thanks again to everyone for all the kind thoughts and words during this difficult time and I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead of you.

Friday, April 26, 2019

A Rare DNF - I Tried, I Really Tried

TITLE: The River
AUTHOR: Peter Heller
PUBLISHER:  Knopf Publishing Group
PUBLISHING DATE: March 5, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, this is a masterful tale of wilderness survival in the vein of Into the Wild and The Call of the Wild. It is the story of two college friends on a wilderness canoe trip--a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, whitewater, starvation, and brutality. 

Wynn and Jack have been best friends since freshman orientation, bonded by their shared love of mountains, books, and fishing. Wynn is a gentle giant, a Vermont kid never happier than when his feet are in the water. Jack is smaller, more rugged, raised on a ranch in Colorado where sleeping under the stars and cooking on a fire came as naturally to him as breathing. When they decide to canoe the Maskwa River in Northern Canada, they anticipate long days of leisurely paddles and picking blueberries, and nights of stargazing and paperback western novels. But a wildfire making its way across the forest adds unexpected urgency to the journey. When they hear a man and woman arguing on the fog-shrouded riverbank and decide to warn them about the fire, their search for the pair turns up nothing and no one. But: the next day a man appears on the river, paddling alone. Is this the man they heard? And if he is, where is the woman? From this charged beginning, master storyteller Peter Heller, unspools a head-long, heart-pounding story of desperate wilderness survival. 

MY THOUGHTS:  So this was the first book I chose to pick up in April and while technically not the cause of a reading slump, it didn't really help my reading progress.  Wynn and Jack are best friends and they decide to take a break from working and spend several weeks "roughing it" to canoe down a river in Canada.  Both are experienced outdoorsmen, Wynn is more emotional and sensitive while Jack thinks more with his head than his heart.  While canoeing, they run into a group of jerks.  They also hear a woman and a man fighting one evening and when they meet up the next morning, there is no woman and the man claims something happened to her and he needs help.  Add in a horrific wildfire that may overtake everyone if they don't get down the darn river faster than planned and you should have the makings of a good mystery.  And perhaps for some there is, but not for me.

This book is highly descriptive, which is okay if you care about what they are describing.  I'm not a camper and I'm definitely not a rafter.  And I'm sure as heck not roughing it for several weeks.  Therefore all the poetic prose about the landscape and the water and the sounds bored me to no end.  However, I had hope when the "mystery" started taking place.  But even then, I wasn't sold.  I had to put the book down to read a buddy read/library book and really intended to pick it up and finish it.  Yet on the night that was to happen, I declared nope, I was done.  I didn't care about solving the mystery or the cast getting to safety.  I pretty much made it page 200 of 272 pages so I feel confident in expressing my opinions of this book.  In my mind, everyone perished in the fire.  I'm okay with that.

So I gave it a fair shot.  If you have been curious about this book, because it has been receiving some high praises, I can't recommend it.  I will say go to Goodreads and read some reviews of people who enjoyed the book and form your own opinion on if you want to pick it up.  So long Wynn, Jack and everyone else trying to stay alive.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Magic Bleeds

So Stormi and I are moving right along with our buddy read of the Kate Daniels series.  I mentioned in last month's post that I am anxious to see what book finally gets a 5/5 rating from me.  I think I figured it out.  Read on for my thoughts and then be sure to hop over to Stormi's at  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and see what she thought. 

TITLE: Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4)
AUTHOR: Ilona Andrews
PUBLISHER: Berkley Publishing Group

FROM GOODREADS: Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community. 

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father. 

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family… 

MY THOUGHTS: So I've been told by several fellow bloggers that this series just keeps getting better and better and I have to agree that thus far, I am finding that to be the case.  In "Magic Bleeds" Kate's familial ties are starting to catch up to her.  There is a "Steel Mary" running around Atlanta creating utter chaos and spreading plagues.  Kate is struggling to stop the havoc while playing by The Order's rules.  People Kate know are dying left and right and on top of that, she is trying to figure out where her relationship with Curran is headed, if it is headed anywhere at all.

I think Andrews does a wonderful job with the characters in this series.  There are so many that I have come to love.  I adore the dynamic between Kate and Curran and I really hope to pick up the books featuring her best friend Andrea at some time because I think she is just downright awesome.  And of course, there's her adopted daughter Julie.  She is someone I could have seen me being friends with when I was her age.  And finally, there's Curran.  He and Kate clearly have feelings for each other but both have such strong personalities, it's been excited to see how things develop, or in some cases, how they lack development.

So as mentioned, I always wondered what might push me to a 5/5 rating and I think I figured it out.  It's the introduction of Grendel, the giant attack poodle which befriends Kate in this installment and ends up being a pretty faithful sidekick through most of the book.  Yep, a dog pushed the rating over the edge.  Imagine that. 

So thanks to all the people urging Stormi and I to continue on and so many of you were right, this series is awesome.  I can't wait for the next one.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (207) Prince and Booker T

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.

Plus this is a wonderful way to show off Booker T.  Mommy, Daddy and Cass miss you baby!

OCTOBER 29, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death. 

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most talented, beloved, accomplished, popular, and acclaimed musicians in history. He was also a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of “Uptown” to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of “Paisley Park.” But his most ambitious creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, the greatest pop star of his era. 

The Beautiful Ones is the story of how Prince became Prince—a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is composed of the memoir he was writing before his tragic death, pages that brings us into Prince’s childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us into Prince’s early years as a musician, before his first album released, through a scrapbook of Prince’s writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince’s evolution through candid images that take us up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book’s fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain—the final stage in Prince’s self-creation, as he retells the autobiography we’ve seen in the first three parts as a heroic journey.

The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s riveting and moving introduction about his short but profound collaboration with Prince in his final months—a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he’d so carefully cultivated—and annotations that provide context to each of the book’s images. 

This work is not just a tribute to Prince, but an original and energizing literary work, full of Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice and image, his undying gift to the world.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Really?  I've wanted to get my hands on this for 3 years!


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

TTT - The First 10 Books Reviewed at Booker T's Farm

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 focuses on the first books reviewed so to make it simple, I'm just going with the ones on the blog and leaving Goodreads out of the equation.

Dear Daughter - Elizabeth Little (4/5)

Surviving Henry - Erin Taylor Young (5/5)

Zac & Mia - A.J. Betts (4/5)

Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding (3/5)

On Borrowed Time (Library Lovers #5) - Jenn McKinlay (4/5)

House Broken - Sonja Yoerg (4/5)

Alias Hook - Lisa Jensen (3/5)

So there you have it.  I have to admit it was nice to go back through the blog as I got to revisit some Booker T posts from when he was in his zombie hunting phase.  I think this is a good selection but no horror, so my tastes have developed some.  If you like cozies, I can't recommend the Dog Walking Mysteries enough.  They are older but really fun.  Also, there is NO WAY Alias Hook would get 3 paws from me now.  

Can't wait to do some hopping and see what you guys have listed today. If any of these look good, clicking on their title will take you to my review.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Sunday Post - A Very Sad Day

On Friday, April 19th at 2:20pm, we said good-bye to our best friend.   He was taken way too early and didn't even make it to see his 9th Birthday in May.  He loved playing in the fields in front of his local high school, walking with Dad, Mom and Brother through the neighborhood, eating and sleeping in bed.  Everyone who ever met him fell in love with him and as the usual case with pet lovers, most in our neighborhood know us as T's Mom and Dad and have no clue about our actual names.

I would like to tell you what happened but in all honesty, we don't know.  Wednesday we noticed he was having some minor trouble walking more than a few feet before dragging his leg a tad.  We went to the ER vet who suspected some sort of trauma to his back and who sent us home with pain killers, muscle relaxers and an order of no walks for at least 7 days.  By Thursday evening, he could barely move and by Friday morning, he couldn't use his back legs at all.  We tried helping him around the house and outside, which was no easy feat with a 120 pound pup.  However, if it would have helped, we would have gladly continued doing so for as long as necessary.  I was able to take off work to be with him Thursday and both Mr. Barb and I stayed home with him Friday.  We spent two nights sleeping on the floor beside him because he couldn't really make it upstairs.  

Our vet worked him in Friday afternoon.  He and Booker T's favorite vet tech and girlfriend Peggy examined him and although some possible causes were given (a ruptured disc in his back, nerve damage, some sort of nerve stroke) we didn't really hear what was being said.  Booker T's prognosis was not good.  He hadn't used the bathroom in over 24 hours and although he was being strong and acting like everything was okay, we knew he was suffering.  So we made the decision all pet owners hope they never have to make and helped him pass.  We were there with him the whole time holding his paws and kissing his face.  I promised him we would take care of Cass and more importantly, let Cass take care of us.  I also told him I would do my best to help his Dad through this.

Booker T was laid to rest in the flower garden in our backyard with the three boxers we have lost before him.  He is now in a place where he is healthy and feels no pain.  He's playing with lots of other dogs, chasing squirrels and playing tug.  We promised him he would no longer have to be afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks. We also told him there would be a tree in Heaven which grows his favorite treats - bone shaped Chew-lottas.  

We are trying to survive here at The Farm.  Everyone is basically numb.  Cass won't let us out of his sight and has comforted us and licked away our tears.  

I want to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers.  Booker T will live on through Booker T's Farm.  Every time I do a "Can't Wait Wednesday" post it will be his face you see.  Cass will be more prominent than in the past because Booker T would want it that way.  

We love you Booker T.  You'll always be in our hearts!

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.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A brief hiatus

Booker T is really ill right now and I'm afraid we 're losing him.  I am going to be absent for a few days.  All prayers are appreciated.

2 Bloggers 1 Book - The Hunting Party

So this month Stormi and I kind of went back on forth on what book we were going to actually feature.  We finally decided on "The Hunting Party" and I want to thank Stormi for getting it finished so quickly since I fell behind on "Magic Bleeds."  I do think we might differ a tad on our opinions and I'm excited to see her final thoughts.  So after reading below, make sure you hope over to Stormi's at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see her review.

TITLE: The Hunting Party
AUTHOR: Lucy Foley
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
PUBLISHING DATE: February 12, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves. 

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.Annabelle Gaskin spies the camper parked behind her rundown motel and offers the disheveled cowboy inside a few odd jobs to pay his board. 

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead. 

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps. 

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it. 

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close? 

MY THOUGHTS:  At least once a year a group of old college friends try to take a holiday together to have fun and unwind.  But as they've grown older, things have changed.  Some friends have become super busy and are rarely seen or heard from during the off time and one couple has even had a baby. The thing that remains the same is that they still all have secrets and I doubt any of them were any more likable as 20 somethings as they are as 30 somethings.

This group tends to have it all.  You have the "ideal" couple with the husband a trading guru and the wife, Miranda, the perfect everything.  There is a lawyer who has finally made it to the top and a couple who recently had a baby, who accompanies them on their New Year's vacation.  These people clearly haven't really grown up all that much as their time together proves.  A lot of time is spent drinking and trashing each other for one reason or another while still striving to stay friends.  Add in a very remote location, an epic snowstorm (yay!) and three staff each hiding something of their own and you have a recipe for disaster.

Overall I really enjoyed "The Hunting Party."  No, the characters weren't that likable but I think that was Foley's intention.  I did find a few people I liked and in the end, I was pleased with the outcome.  Let's just say in my opinion the right person was murdered.  Oops, does that sound bad?  I also liked the author's style.  The story is told in dual timelines, but the timelines all happen within the same week.  Soon on you learn a body has been discovered but it's not until roughly 80% in that you find ut who was actually killed.  This is a twist I haven't encountered a lot and which contributed somewhat to my overall rating.

Also, I've made it no secret that I like snowed in settings and the weather and isolation actually made for another "character" to watch develop.  The mystery wrapped up nicely and although I started to suspect about mid-book who the victim was (and so did Stormi - I could tell from our conversations), there were still some surprises thrown in at the end.  I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys winter settings, mysteries and survival tales (and I know you're out there).  I must say that for some reason I do believe that the story needed a dog.  I don't know exactly what made me feel such a strong desire but I did.  Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed Foley's debut and look forward to her future endeavors. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (206)

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: Lilly Echosby just witnessed a murder on a pet cam. Or did she?
When a last-minute opportunity arises to accompany her boss to an art auction in Atlanta, Lilly throws some money at the problem of where to board her toy poodle Aggie (short for Agatha Christie). Posh Pet Haven offers the most luxurious canine accommodations in all of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The place even provides pet cams so anxious owners can check in on their pampered pooches.
But when Lilly tries to take a peek at her poodle, she gets a terrible shock—she witnesses what she’s sure is a murder. She thinks the victim may be the wealthy co-owner of Pet Haven. The police follow her lead but find no body, no evidence of a crime, and no video record. Starting to feel like the dog owner who cried wolf, Lilly decides to go undercover to catch a killer who may be hiding in plain sight …

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  You know Booker T has been kind of under the weather and even though he is doing fine, I couldn't help but post this when I discovered it Tuesday.  I'm behind on this cozy series and by behind I mean I haven't started, but hey, it's only book 3.  And catching a murder on a pet cam?  Sounds pretty cool.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

TTT - Rainy Day Reads

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 Rainy Day Reads.  Now I rarely do re-reads and until I've read a book, I don't know if it will necessarily be a good rainy day read.  However, I know what kind of books I gravitate to on rainy days - horror.  So I'm going to give you five reasons I think horror is perfect for rainy days and five books I've discovered which are fairly new and might be future rainy day reads. Are you confused yet?


1.  It's already dark and dreary so why not pick up a dark book.

2.  If it happens to be storming you might have the wind howling and rain pelting the window as well as a loud thunderclap here and there so why not scare yourself some more with a scary read?

3.  Horror reads often address fear and honestly, I'm personally afraid of storms so why not try to take my mind off of what is outside and focus on some imaginary scares.

4.  On dreary days, who wants to go outside?  So it's the perfect time to curl up with a good scary book and read as much as you can in one sitting.

5.  Some horror books (I'm thinking King here) are pretty hefty.  So if your reading a physical copy and you get scared, you can use it to block  the door (OK I'm grasping  I've actually ran out of reasons).


I actually find snowy settings one of my favorite, and one of the most terrifying and hey, snow is just frozen rain right?

Seriously - 1950's horror and it even has a classic car, rain and tentacles on the cover.  This sounds like a fun collection of stories.

Another collection of short stories all centered around small town terror.  It even has a map outlining where they all take place.

A book about the terrors that happen when animals get even and Mother Nature "becomes an Angry Bitch."  

So you know that obsession I have with Lizzie Borden and Jack the Ripper?  Well, Elizabeth Bathory is also on that list so I'll be looking forward to this one.

So there you have it, some books you can pick up on your next rainy day.  All are available right now on Kindle (which means impulse buying is possible) except for Blood of Bathory which comes out in June.  

So do you have any reasons why rainy and horror go hand in hand?