WWW Wednesday

 

It’s time for the WWW Wednesday meme brought to you all by Taking on a World of Words

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What Are You Currently Reading?

Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens, #1)

GoodReads:
The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.
In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.
When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.
But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.
Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

Reading this as a buddy read with two awesome friends! Kal and Ruby

I’m really enjoying it so far, so yay for getting an eARC from Netgalley!

I’m also reading these two as well:

Practical Magic

GoodReads:
The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.
One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…

 

Women's Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1890-1940

GoodReads:
Early Weird fiction embraces the supernatural, horror, science fiction, fantasy and the Gothic, and was explored with enthusiasm by many women writers in the United Kingdom and in the USA. Melissa Edmundson has brought together a compelling collection of the best Weird short stories by women from the late nineteenth and early twentiest centuries, to thrill new readers and delight these authors’ fans.
Contributors:
Louisa Baldwin
Mary Cholmondeley
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Edith Nesbit
Edith Wharton
Francis Stevens
Elinor Mordaunt
May Sinclair
Margery Lawrence
Eleonor Scott
Margaret Irwin
D K Broster
Mary Butts

Handheld Press was kind enough to send me a copy after I expressed interest and though I’ve only read the first two stories, I love it so far!

 

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

The Deathless Girls

You can find my review of this one, here!

 

What Do You Think You’ll Read Next?

The Art of Sherlock Holmes: USA 1 - Special Edition

GoodReads:
The Art of Sherlock Holmes-USA Edition 1 is truly unique. While there have been literally hundreds of Holmes pastiches written (even a few of mine), before our first volume, The Art of Sherlock Homes-West Palm Beach, there had never been a volume where Holmes short stories were interpreted by such accomplished artists. In this first USA edition, thirteen world-class artists who live and create in the United States have each had a story assigned to them – specifically dependent on the particular talent of each artist. Whether the interpretations be from the forms of surrealist, contemporary, realist, digital, minimalist, symbolism, or an amalgam of various forms, each piece of art created is unique, hypnotic, mesmerizing and unforgettable. Each created specifically to express the essence of each incredible Holmes story. The thirteen stories herein range from the impossibly baffling (except for Holmes) to the humorous, paranormal, or simply intellectually intricate. You’re presented with murder, theft, treason, betrayal, love, loss and greed. All the ingredients to make delicious Holmes meals of mystery. But please remember, art is in the eye of the beholder. So we hope you’ll appreciate each creation for what it is: an inimitable interpretation of a truly unique Holmes story. And for those of you who get lost in abstract art, our abstract artists have provided an explanation of what their art means in relation to the story they’ve interpreted.

I’m on the blog tour for this one on Friday and I really enjoyed the last Art of Sherlock Holmes which I was also on the tour for! Obviously I’ll be reading this one tonight and tomorrow lol. Nothing like the last minute! Woo!


It’s still chaos here and still waiting on my laptop charger. I feel lost without my own computer and my American Keyboard lol. The amount of times I have put \ that instead of shifting, it’s impressive at this point.

Thursday I’ll probably put up my Gravemaidens eARC review, Friday the blog tour, and then who knows after that! I can honestly not wait to finish unpacking, because I never want to see another moving box again!

Descendant of the Crane Preorder

[Images belongs to Joan He, it comes directly from the link to her preorder campaign.]


Do you see this beautiful cover?? DO YOU?? Great, because, if you’re on the market for an April book, please, choose this one. Why? Well, I mean first off it’s a Princess who is so determined to find the truth that she’ll do dangerous things to unearth it, but secondly, isn’t it about time we just took some more focus onto Asian fantasies and Asian/Asian American/Asian British/You get the point, writers?

[And others outside our normal westernized fantasy novels, to be frank, but hey I’m trying to get this post finished at some point today]

But, I’m not great at summarizing so here you go,

GoodReads Blurb:

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

If you need more incentives, there’s also preorder swag. The bookmark in the featured image is one, along with 4 out of 5 character cards which can also be seen a bit in the featured image. I’m so excited to receive mine if I’m going, to be honest.

*** UPDATE: The bookmark is sold out, I know, oh noooo, but those cards are still gorgeous! ***

No money? No problem

Joan He has been awesome enough to make the incentives available to those who put in library requests as well. Not to mention this way if you don’t have money for the book you still get to read it when your library gets it and you still get the cool incentives.

I’m doing this of my own volition don’t worry, no one ever pays me for jack, but that’s not an issue, I really just want to promote amazing books that I think deserve to be read. I’m currently buddy reading this and you can expect a review for it in the next week or so. All I can tell you for right now is….

It’s already amazing.

So, if you’re interested, go do the thing!

Toodles!

In Search of a Witch’s Soul

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Human, private detective Anna Caill isn’t keen on the prohibition of magic enacted by the 18th Amendment, but she won’t deny it’s good for business. The coppers couldn’t care less about the witches’ problems, giving her any number of clients to choose from.

When mysterious witch Jesse Hunt saunters into her office, he and his case will test her limits. While a killer stalks the magical underworld, Anna is hired to find Jesse’s friend, the high priest of an ancient coven.

As her case unravels, Anna is forced to confront her addiction to a dark spell in this urban fantasy noir.

1920s, prohibition exists but not as we know it, it’s a prohibition on magic. Anna Caill a flapper girl and private eye who helps Witches (which are both men and women) who come to her with cases. Not to mention she goes against the 18th amendment to use the Living Memory spell whenever she can to help ease the pain she’s been in from losing a loved one.

Jesse Hunt comes in with what seems a pretty straight forward missing person’s case with a person not really missing, just run away, but why is she so drawn to Jesse Hunt? And is this case as straight forward as she thought?

[Trigger Warning: Character death(s), some steamy love scenes in general if that’s a thing that may be a no for you or a trigger]

Pros:
-Guys…GUYS. It’s prohibition era, NOIR urban fantasy! IT IS A MYSTERY WITH FANTASY [I am freaking out!]
-Quick, fast-paced read
-Such a great integration of magic into the 1920s setting
-1920s slang even used throughout the narration not just when characters talk
-Jesse Hunt is pretty cool
-Jack is very cool
-Small twist in the epilogue that I hope means we get to see more of Caill!!!
-Caill is an awesome flapper who solves freakin’ mysteries and helps out witches.

Cons:
-More erotic than I thought? Which isn’t necessarily a con but it really just goes wham bam and you’re peering around you wondering if anyone can see you blushing.
-1920s slang may seem trite to some instead of immersive
-Jesse Hunt may be eye-roll inducing for the first 60% bahaha
– You may find it too predictable [In Lieber’s defense I would imagine that she meant it to be predictable to us, it was supposed to be a surprise for Caill, not us lol]
-May have tropes you hate that I don’t want to give away too much and give out spoilers, but some usual romance tropes, a bit of a love triangle.

This isn’t my usual thing as far as reading something with steamy scenes but I loved it and just read it in like a handful of hours between two sittings last night and this morning. I think Lieber has a fantastic voice and I really hope there’s more to this! IF NOT I GOT SOME WORDS FOR HER!

[I received an eARC copy of this in exchange for my honest review via NetGalley, here is the GoodReads Link]

 

It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta Get-

Just joking. But I do have that song stuck in my head now.

I think I’ll be talking about book clubs but before I do…..

Updates: So I’ve never done like a book haul before, just post pictures when we go charity shopping, but I may actually be able to do one for March! I just preordered the paperback of Cindy Pon’s Want for my YARC challenge (the library didn’t have it and the Kindle version was more expensive by enough that it made a difference and I bought the paperback, so I’ll be twiddling my thumbs for that, and A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia Cole…not to mention….Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller! (Comes out March 1 for us U.K. peeps!)

So there we have it, three new books when the newest book I bought was the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, used, this past summer.

As far as reviews go, I’ll probably not post any reviews for my Agatha Christie reads on here, I might on GoodReads if I feel it’ll add something but it just feels like an unnecessary cluttering of the blog if I do it here!

I’ve finally started Dead Man’s Blues last night which is a large read, got through part one and there are 8, so, it’ll probably take me a few days as I’m trading off between that, an ARC, and my huge nonfiction slow burn read, The Romanovs. This weekend I plan to finish and review the ARC by Sunday, hopefully finish Dead Man’s Blues by Monday/Tuesday, and then really knuckle down on my February TBR that I’ve been ignoring to push down my NetGalley list (I am not allowed to browse on there until I’ve finished what I’ve picked up already). However, I feel I may not get to Becoming Michelle Obama, until late March, I was 90 on the hold list when I signed up (or 89…one of those two) and uh I’m 79 now, so progress, but, it’ll be a minute! Also on hold for two others but I’m in the single digits on those so I’m not too worried. : End Updates

Alright, now that I’ve got my mindless rambling out of the way, let’s talk, Book Clubs! I’m in one right now as well as in some reading groups on GoodReads (if you’re on there, feel free to snoop, I’m in 4, but active in 3 as I can’t get to the books they have in the last one, but the moment I can get one I’ll leap in!

Are you all in book clubs, and are they online or physical ones? I was the secretary of the High School Book Club and though I did enjoy it I found that most of their reads were not something I found interesting, I will admit though that at least two books had a really big impact on me. One neat thing about that club was that the school funded it entirely so we didn’t have to pay for the books. The others books I was able to give away to friends and so it was no harm no foul, but now as an adult, if I can’t get it at the library that means having to buy it. If it’s old or commonplace I can snag it cheap but if it’s not, well I’m like Scrooge and I cry over my pennies as they pry them from my hands at the counter. Such as, I spent 8 dollars (my kindle is still connected to my American Amazon and American bank card) on Stalking Jack the Ripper, and as someone who wasn’t very fond of that, I glare at it daily on my carousel on my KFire, in fact, I keep it in my carousel for that very reason, to glare at it.

I love that book clubs get me into genres I might not normally dive into, honestly, I do, but I also hate when we read ab ook that I know is going to be one everyone loves and I’m in the corner like this:

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I also sometimes get very busy with other reads and forget and then I’m rushing to read and in a state of panic….like this:

I think for me I better enjoy doing a book club with people I know, or one that perhaps focuses on certain novels. Like I love my Agatha Christie GR group, but, because I know I’ll enjoy every book, not to mention, I don’t have to sit there with them in person. I am friends with the person who leads the FB one with the regrettable kindle purchase, and it’s nice to be in a book club with people I know in real life but via online. The only problem with this one is that it’s a free for all, people just recommend a read for the month and it’s randomly chosen, which is not the problem…The problem is that I can see myself being uncomfortable if I really don’t like the read and it was recommended by someone I like and know.

“Let’s read my favorite book, guys!”
“OKAY!”

Oh crap, I hate their favorite book.

“So what did you think of the book that changed my life?!”

I really don’t like feeling very guilty and I hate telling people I hate something they love. I mean I’m mean…but I don’t go soul-crushing for no reason!

So I can prep myself, has this happened to any of you all, book club situation or not? Did you just say ‘it just wasn’t for me’ or were you like ‘UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!’

Are you all proud of me? I finally had the energy to use gifs, can you tell???

In the end, my verdict on book clubs? I love them but I am an ugly ball of anxiety and lies in them.

My Love Affair with Agatha Christie

[I hope that picture terrifies you as much as it terrifies me]

Everyone has their niches of reading and mystery novels really attend to attract a crowd, and I am so very much a part of that crowd. The first mystery/crime novel I ever read was actually a Mary Higgins Clark book, Loves Music, Loves to Dance but that was only the beginning. Eventually, there was a kindle sale and I found myself buying Five Little Pigs, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

There’s something about getting lost in a novel where you’re kept on your toes and it’s a race to see if you can figure out ‘whodunit’ before it’s revealed by the Author. It’s like a battle of wits in a way, and one I admittedly am not great at, I get too lost in the story in the characters and I half forget what I was supposed to be doing the whole time besides thinking ‘it can’t be them, can it?! And what about the cousin, what will happen to them after this is all over?!’

This is the year I’ve decided to try and tackle as many of her books as possible, they’re the books I read while I waited in the car pick-up line for Mini-me, while I’m waiting in the doctor’s office and when I just don’t feel like tackling whatever large behemoth I checked out when left alone and unsupervised in the library. I’ve even joined a reading group on GoodReads who share the same goal as me.

What I love about Agatha Christie is that she became prolific and simply snubbed her nose at the fact that she was a woman writing, in her time, gritty mystery novels. She didn’t shy away from things that others might have, including the death of a child in her Hallowe’en Party. She was methodical and brilliant and oh sure I love Vanity Fair and I bleed Slytherin silver and green, but she’s always there at the top of my to-read shelf, my gateway drug to branching out and reading more mystery novels and being addicted to so many crime shows I daresay. It is also in thanks to Agatha Christie that I’ve discovered Muriel Sparks and her mystery novels are totally the bee’s knees too.

So, Happy Valentine’s to the best Valentine, Agatha Christie and all her mystery books! In fact, today I just finished reading another one of her books, so boom, screw chocolates, give me murder and whodunit.

The Spitfire Girls ARC Review

First off, guys, I’m wheezing because I accidentally wrote Spitefire and I feel like that was my subconscious talking.

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Blurb: At the height of World War II, the British Air Transport Auxiliary need help. A group of young women volunteer for action, but the perils of their new job don’t end on the tarmac. Things are tough in the air, but on the ground, their abilities as pilots are constantly questioned.

There is friction from the start, between the new recruits. Spirited American Lizzie turns heads with her audacity, but few can deny her flying skills. She couldn’t be more different from shy, petite Ruby, who is far from diminutive in the sky. It falls to pragmatic pilot May to bring the women together and create a formidable team capable of bringing the aircraft home.

As these very different women fight to prove themselves up to the task at hand, they are faced with challenges and tragedies at every turn. They must fight for equal pay and respect while handling aircraft that are dangerously ill-equipped; meanwhile, lives continue to be lost in the tumult of war.

Determined to assist the war effort doing what they love, can May, Lizzie and Ruby put aside their differences to overcome adversity, and will they find love in the skies?

[^ Let me tell you if I read that last little line/rhetorical question, I may not have jumped so eagerly to read it.]

Pros:
-Freakin WWII Women Pilots, I mean, seriously, how awesome is that?!
-Women Pilots
-Women Pilots flying huge bomber planes
-Are we seeing my pattern here yet?
-It’s sweet and fluffy and a book you can pick up and read while waiting for an appointment without getting too consumed.

Cons:
-Cringe-worthy stereotypical characters: You have the brash rude and horrible American, the demure, sweet, insecure small girl, the stoic ‘I can’t show emotions’ Commander.
-Honestly, the American in the first chapter is just shown as headstrong but then suddenly when we see her next she’s a spoiled little princess, or at least that’s what Lane wants you to think and I ended up just liking her more because she was competitive, ambitious, and went after what she wanted.
-The rivalry between the American and little Ms. Perfect was vomit inducing, of course, the sweet quiet one is the favored one, who wouldn’t want an insecure pilot flying a bomber plane?
-Of course, we have to have the overly confident one go through a personality change -ugh-.
-She switches between three characters and it just feels like they have no depth and their love stories are mushy gushy, so if you like that [the mushy gushy], throw it up in the pros!

Really I’m just not a sweet and fluffy person but I can tell you one thing, had this been a movie, I would have probably thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, I wanted to give this 2.5 but I realized, why should I rate a book so low just because I’m an unbelievable cynic? I hate sweet fluff with no depth, but, you know what, sometimes it’s nice to read that and not have to deal with a book that will emotionally drain you, plus it’s nice that she chose to focus on these women in history. I just feel that others have and will do better with this time in history. I intend to look into more books about our female WWII pilots.

This book comes out on February 26, I read this in exchange for an honest review and received it via NetGalley.

Harry Potter Book Night & The Week Ahead

So, I’m dead tired, I’m actually leaning back in the recliner and my head is dangling off the side of it as I type this. Does it sound uncomfortable? Well, it is.

Today at our library was Harry Potter Book Night, and the event was so much fun for my daughter! They had a man come in to explain some creatures, and she got to pet the cutest and largest snake I’ve ever seen in my life, and I was so proud of her as she is usually the type to shy away from anything not fluffy [she was even excited to see the tarantula!]. She also got make a winged key and a dragon egg and spent probably two hours doing everything so it was a nice Sunday for us. I wish her school would have done something for it as well but I’m super happy that our library did and I basically screamed ‘take my money’ at them when they announced they were.

I’m chugging along with bookstagram, the blog, and still….still progressing through the ARCs.

I’ve got two ARCs for this week plus The Priory of The Orange Tree extract I got from NetGalley, and then that’s it I’m taking a week break so I can go through my monthly Agatha Christie and reading the follow-up book to The Axeman’s Jazz; Dead Man’s Blues.

There’ll be at least one review post this week, and I’ll do a list of my top Dystopia picks tomorrow. Speaking of Dystopia novels, anyone have a favorite in that genre?

That’s it, there’s my post, I’m going to go to bed now, lol toodles everyone!