Categories
weekly wrap-up wrap-up

Weekly Wrap-up | May 31, 2020

It’s time for another weekly wrap up, in which I round up books I’ve read, posts I’ve made, and thoughts I’ve had this week.

Well, oops! I sort of dropped the ball this week. On Wednesday, I was writing up my WWW post but had trouble uploading images and then my computer crashed. I was so disgusted that I decided to scrap the post and stay away from my blog for the day. Somehow, that translated to three days. Oh well, I guess I needed a break.

Meanwhile, the world has been completely turned upside down. At least in the US. Yet another black man, George Floyd, was murdered by the police and people have had it. There are protests all across American and, from what I understand, London and Tokyo as well (although, in Tokyo, they are also protesting police brutality of their own police). I personally am incensed and tired of the injustice people of color face in my country. I want change.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure what I can do. There was a protest yesterday nearby, but I didn’t find out about it until now. I’ve donated to the Minneapolis Freedom Fund. More importantly, I’m starting to actively educate myself about anti-racism and what actions I can take to help. I know it’s not enough, but I hope it’s a step in the right direction.

Last Week’s Posts

Monday: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Summer Reads

The Upcoming Week

Monday:A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Books I Haven’t Read

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Bloom by Kevin Panetta (review)

Friday: May wrap-up

Currently Reading

Around the Blog-o-Sphere

Black Lives Matter by Carly Books

YA books by Black authors that need to be read by The Book Raven

Black Lives Matter by Poetry, Prayer, Peace

How was your week? Read anything new?

Categories
Top 5

Top 5 Summer Reads

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Each week, Shanah gives a topic and participants are invited to give their answers. This week, the topic is Top 5 Summer Reads.

Summer where I live tends to be gloomy and cool… but not this week! We went from temperate to hot, hot, hot overnight! As I write this, I’m sweating and thinking about getting out my fan. But the weather has perfectly put me in the mood to talk about summer reads.

First off, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is a fantastic summer read. It’s set partly at a camp, which gives it a summer feel, is a great adventure, and the characters are great. Summer is the best time to reread this fantastic series.

I cannot wait for Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian to come out. What better time to read a friends-to-lovers romance than summer? It will be the perfect beach read.

Considering the state of the world right now, I think Pandemica is a timely release. Set in the US during an outbreak of a bioweapon/plague, one child holds the key to humanity’s survival. I’ve been wanting to read this book since I first heard Jonathan Maberry talk about it, and I preordered the second I found out it was available to do so. I cannot wait.

Ahab’s Wife, or the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund is a beautiful book about Una, Ahab’s wife from Moby-Dick. I first read it many years ago and fell in love with the prose, the characters, and the setting. I’ve always meant to read it again and never have. I think it’s the perfect summer read and I’ll put it on my TBR for sure.

The last book on my list is Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I first read it two years ago during the summer, and it’s forever cemented in my mind as a summer read. Now that I’ve finished my reread of Illuminae, I cannot wait to read and listen to Gemina

What are some go-to summer reads for you?

Previous Top 5 Tuesday:

Top 5 Opening Lines

Categories
book review

Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker

cover of "The Prince and the Dressmaker"

Title: The Prince and the Dressmaker

Author: Jen Wang

Publisher: First Second

Genre: Graphic Novel, Romance

Source: borrowed

Publication Date: 2018

heading "summary"

In The Prince and the Dressmaker, Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride. Well. His parents are and throw a ball in his honor. All the young ladies in Paris are excited and dresses are commissioned. One dress, however, shocks everyone and grabs Sebastian’s attention. He decides to hire the dressmaker, Frances, for a special and secretive purpose: to design the most beautiful dresses for him.

Frances longs to be a famous designer. She quickly agrees to Sebastian’s unusual request and turns him into Lady Crystallia, Paris’s newest fashion icon. She and Sebastian grow closer and closer, but living in secret, unable to take credit for her designs, isn’t how Frances wants to live.

Heading "My thoughts"

My goodness, The Prince and the Dressmaker was just the most adorable and lighthearted story I’ve read in awhile! I loved Sebastian and Frances with all my heart. Sebastian just wants to be free to be himself, someone he feels most like when he’s dressed in beauty. Frances desires the same thing, but faces hard decisions along the way. Not only does she have to decide if she wants to stay a secret, but when given the chance to go public, she has to decide between success and being herself.

There is a romance in this, and it’s lovely. Frances and Sebastian grow closer and close throughout the book, and you can really feel the tension between them. It’s done in looks and words and little touches, and it’s just lovely.

The end is wonderful, too. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but it brought tears to my eyes. It’s truly fantastic.

Heading "Would I recommend it"

Yes! Please, go read this book. It will make you very happy!

Other Reviews:

The Hockey Player’s Heart by Jeff Adams and Will Knuass

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Categories
Uncategorized

Weekly Wrap-up | May 24, 2020

Hi everyone! This past week was a really good one for me. It was days 65-70 of isolation, and I’m falling into a good groove. My reading has shot up incredibly. I finished six books this week: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Illuminae, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, A Study in Scarlet Women, and Bloom. I also started a book journal and if you’re interested, I’d be happy to post pictures.

I’m getting back into the exercise groove this week as well. I ran three times: a mile on Tuesday, two miles on Thursday, and 3.10 miles on Saturday. I didn’t work out on the days I didn’t run like I’d ideally want to, but I did go on walks. A lot of times around the internet, I see posts that say something to the effect of “running is my therapy” or “lifting is my therapy.” Well. Therapy is my therapy, but working out is what I do to help my mood. And getting back to running this week has really helped it.

In other news, I wrote a little this week, but not as much as I should. I hope that once school is officially out for the year, I’ll have the discipline to get back to doing what I love. Right now, my work stuff takes up my desk and I’m just not as focused when I’m writing on my couch.

Lastly, I’ve moved to a self-hosted journal. I’m completely out to sea at how this works, and can only hope people will follow me here.

And now, onto the week.

Posts Last Week

Monday: The Hockey Player’s Heart by Jeff Adams & Will Knauss (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Opening Lines

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (review)

Friday: Stay At Home book tag

The Upcoming Week

Monday: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Summer Reads

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (review)

Friday: TBD

Currently Reading

Cools Posts by Others

6 of My Favorite Books as Mood Boards @A Literary Latte

5 Bookish Sins I Commit on a Regular Basis by Sherena

How do I pick a book? @Local Bee Hunter’s Nook

How was your week? Any new or interesting books? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Categories
book tag

Stay At Home Book Tag

I saw this floating around the blog-o-sphere and decided to give it a try. If anyone knows where it originated, let me know so I can credit them.

LAYING IN BED — a book you read in one day.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. Prince Sebastian in in Paris so his parents can find him a bride. Sebastian, however, is looking for something else: someone who can sew him fabulous dresses. He finds that and more in the form of Frances, a talented designer who soon becomes his best friend.

I love this book. I read it on Wednesday night and it was delightful. I had only intended to read a chapter or two, but it was so good, I read through the whole thing all at once. Loved it.

SNACKING — a book that is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read.

I wouldn’t exactly call it as guilty pleasure read, but I frequently reread Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan by Vonda N. McIntyre and feel like I shouldn’t be. I love the movie novelizations so much and I read them probably more than I should.

NETFLIX — a series that you want to start.

I want to start reading the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare next. It’s on my TBR, but kind of far down.

 DEEP CLEAN — a book that has been on your TBR for ages.

I’ve been meaning to read American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton for quite some time.

ANIMAL CROSSING — a book you recently bought because of the hype.

I don’t know if it was hype, exactly, because the author is the only one who’s really been talking about it, but I pre-ordered Pandemica by Jonathan Maberry as soon as I heard the trade was coming out.

PRODUCTIVITY — a book you learned from or had an impact on you.

Atomic Habits by James Clear had a big impact. It changed the way I though of habits and habit-building, and it made me more aware of the things I say about myself.

 FACETIME — a book you were gifted.

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca was a gift from my mother. It’s the true life tale of a female lawyer and detective living in New York and one of her most famous cases. I’ve set it aside for now, but it really is very interesting.

SELF-CARE — what is one thing you have done recently to look after yourself.

I’ve been trying to get back into running and working out more regularly.

BONUS  an upcoming release you are looking forward to.

I cannot wait for Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian. I love her romances, and I’m excited to see these two characters, who’ve been on the periphery of the other two book sin the series, finally get together.

I tag everyone and anyone who wants to do this tag.

Categories
Uncategorized

Review: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Title: Whose Body?

Author: Dorothy L. Sayers

Genre: mystery, detective story

Source: Amazon

Publication Date: 1923

When a dead body turns up mysteriously in a bathtub wearing a pair of pince-nez, Lord Peter Wimsey jumps at the chance to investigate. The police soon think they have identified the body, but Wimsey is unconvinced. He thinks the missing person the police have identified the body as is still missing. Excited by his first murder case, Wimsey dives headfirst into intrigue, deceit, and grudges long held.

When I bought this book, I really had no idea what to expect. I’d heard of Lord Peter Wimsey, but have never seen nor read anything of him. I went into this book blind.

Luckily, I was very pleasantly surprised. I love Wimsey. He’s easy-going, light-hearted, funny, sarcastic, and good humored. He pokes fun at others and himself. He’s a gentleman without a profession, so he’s turned his sharp mind to detecting. He also is a veteran of World War I, something that could not fail to leave its scars.

The mystery was well constructed. A body is found in a shared bath of a building. Another man fitting the description has disappeared. It seems like an easy match and the police are happy to rest there, but Wimsey is observant and soon discovers the man in the bath cannot be the missing gentleman. He works very well with a police detective, Charles Parker, and his valet, Bunter, and they soon untangle the mess.

I will say that I was uncomfortable by some period-typical anti-Semeticsm. The missing person is Jewish, and while everyone is complimentary, it’s in a sort of back-handed way that makes it clear that “for a Jew, he’s actually not bad.” That made me very uneasy because I was unable to decide if it was the characters or the author talking. My only solace was that Wimsey himself did not join in.

I also really loved the lighthearted digs at other detective novels the characters too. They weren’t mean-spirited, but all in good fun. The characters would mention how thing would go if this were a detective novel and how much easier it would be. It was a lot of fun. There was also a brilliant scene in which Wimsey and Parker question a witness. They start by saying how witnesses rarely have as good a memory as in detective stories, and then ask a series of questions that guide the witness deeper into his memory until he surprises himself at how much he knew. It was brilliant.

Yes. Whose Body? is a sharp, funny, and well constructed detective mystery. Wimsey is a delight, and I look forward to reading more of him.

Categories
Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday May 20, 2020

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are asked three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

So, I’m reading quite a few things right now. I’ve been listening to Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff while following along with my copy, and I am loving my reread. Everything about it is fantastic. I’m also rereading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen in my new Penguin English Library edition and thoroughly enjoying myself. I’ve been listening to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and while I like it, I feel like I’ll never be done; I’ve listened to ten hours already and still have another twenty to go. I started reading My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which is a collection of things she’s written in her life. And, this morning, I started The Feminine Revolution by Amy Stanton and Catherine Connors, which is about reclaiming the feminine as powerful. I’m juggling a lot, but , hey, I’ve got time!

I just finished rereading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, which was even more delightful than I remembered it being, and then I read Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers. This was my first Sayers novel and I enjoyed it so much, I became an instant fan of Lord Peter Wimsey. I cannot wait to read more.

Next, I’m going to start tackling my giant TBR pile (I really need to get me one of those TBR carts) with the book on top: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. I’ve been wanting to read it for quite a long time and totally forgot I’d borrowed it from my sister until last week. I’m super excited.

What are you reading this week?

Categories
Top 10 Tuesday Top 5

Top 5 Opening Lines

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Each week, Shanah gives a topic, and participants are invited to come up with their top 5 for that topic. This week is Top 5 Opening lines.

For my first opening line, I’m going with something that I imagine might be on quite a few lists (although, I could be wrong.) But, I’d be remiss if I left the first line from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen off this list.

It is a truth universally acknowledge, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Next, I am putting the opening line of one of my favorite children’s book, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.

Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago.

My third choice is Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, which has a beautiful first line that perfectly sets the tone of the entire book.

That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift.

Honestly, I don’t know why I love the first lines of Beauty by Robin McKinley so much, but I love, love, love when books start with characters declaring who they are. I even copied that style when I was a baby writer of 17 and working on my first novel.

I was the youngest of three daughters. Our literal minded mother named us Grace, Hope, and Honour, but few people except perhaps the abbot who had baptized all three of us remembered my given name.

And, last, in a slightly different tone, is the first line from Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry.

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week then there’s either something wrong with your skills or somethign wrong with your world.

And there’s nothing wrong with my skills.

And that’s it, my top 5 favorite opening lines. What are some of yours?

Categories
Uncategorized

Review: The Hockey Player’s Heart by Jeff Adams & Will Knauss

Title: The Hockey Player’s Heart

Author: Jeff Adams & Will Knauss

Publisher: Big Gay Media

Genre: contemporary m/m romance, hockey romance

Source: Amazon

Publication Date: January 15, 2020

Caleb Carter is a hot shot hockey player out with a foot injury. He’s returned to his hometown for some rest. He never expects to run into an old crush, Aaron Price. Seeing him brings up a lot of old feelings, and he decides to go for it. But Aaron’s had some bad experiences and isn’t ready to jump into a relationship with a celebrity. The chemistry between them, though, is hard to deny and both become optimistic about their chances.

This was a very sweet story. Both characters were wonderfully well done and very believable. For all his fame and fortune, Caleb was very down to earth. He’s affable and outgoing, connects with those around him, and politely deflects attention that is unwanted. I also like how good he is with kids, both in Aaron’s third grade class and the local hockey team. There’s also a very sweet scene near the end of the book between him and a teenage fan that almost brought tears to my eyes.

If I had any complaint about the story is that it was almost too easy for Caleb and Aaron to get together. There were barriers, yes, but they all were easily overcome and there was no real drama. I would have liked to explore the depths more, especially Aaron’s troubled past.

However, this book had wonderful relationships between characters. I loved the main relationship, but also the relationship between both men and Caleb’s sister, Pam. I thought it really brought the characters alive.

Yes. If you want to read a lighthearted romance that will make you smile, this is a great book to pick up.

Categories
weekly wrap-up

Weekly Wrap-up: Sunday, May 17

Got another week down. It was a great reading week because I’m setting more and more time each day to read. I’m also dipping my toes in the annotating pool, something I’ve really never done before. I started just by tabbing my favorite lines, but now am trying to get more organized and color coding and adding some thoughts. I’m doing it with a reread of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I’ve never been against writing in my books, precisely, I just never know what to write. But, I thought it might be interesting to give it the good old college try.

In other news, my dad started his daily radiation treatments on Wednesday and will be doing it for about three or four more weeks. It’s tough, not being around. And, by around, I mean not even being in the same town. Not that I could help if I was in town because of physical distancing and all, but I might be able to swing by and see him through the window or sit in the yard a safe distance away. Wish me luck; I applied for a few more schools down by my parents; I hope I at least get an interview with one.

Monday: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophia Gonzalez (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Worst Rulers

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (review)

Friday: Bookish Bucket List tag

Monday: The Hockey Player’s Heart by Jeff Adams and Will Knauss (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Opening Lines

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (review)

Friday: TBD

Saturday: TBD

How was your week? Anything great happen? Let me know!