Monday Musings: February 23

Today’s musing comes from the random question on MizB’s Should Be Reading blog: Do you enjoy debating / discussing the books that others are currently reading? Why, or why not?

If it’s something that I have read and am familiar with, then sure!  Some of the best conversations that I’ve had have been about the meaty aspects of a good book.  This may come from the fact that I’m an English major, and debating the printed word is second nature to someone in that field.

What I really love to do is recommend a book to someone and then discuss it with them after they’ve read it.  It’s always interesting to get another person’s point of view on a book that I’ve read and enjoyed.  I also find it a personal challenge to recommend a book that I think a particular person will love.  Bonus points if I can do so for someone who isn’t normally a reader.

How about you, fellow readers?  Do you like discussing books?

City of Savages by Lee Kelly

City of SavagesThis book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“It’s been nearly two decades since the Red Allies first attacked New York, and Manhattan is now a prisoner-of-war camp, ruled by Rolladin and her brutal, impulsive warlords. For Skyler Miller, Manhattan is a cage that keeps her from the world beyond the city’s borders. But for Sky’s younger sister, Phee, the POW camp is a dangerous playground of possibility, and the only home she’d ever want.

When Sky and Phee discover their mom’s hidden journal from the war’s outbreak, they both realize there’s more to Manhattan—and their mother—than either of them had ever imagined. And after a group of strangers arrives at the annual POW census, the girls begin to uncover the island’s long-kept secrets. The strangers hail from England, a country supposedly destroyed by the Red Allies, and Rolladin’s lies about Manhattan’s captivity begin to unravel.

Hungry for the truth, the sisters set a series of events in motion that end in the death of one of Rolladin’s guards. Now they’re outlaws, forced to join the strange Englishmen on an escape mission through Manhattan. Their flight takes them into subways haunted by cannibals, into the arms of a sadistic cult in the city’s Meatpacking District and, through the pages of their mom’s old journal, into the island’s dark and shocking past.”

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Throwback Thursday: February 19

Galileo's DreamI’ve been reviewing since 2001, when I was employed at the local newspaper and my reviews appeared in their arts section on the third Thursday of the month.  When I started this website in 2011, I was amazed (and somewhat horrified) to realize that I had a decade of reviews to archive!  I’m still working on it to this day, and so my version of “Throwback Thursday” will feature some of those old reviews.  Just for fun, we’ll jump back to five years ago this month.

Today, have a peek back at Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Click the cover of the book to read the review.

Waiting on Wednesday: Pocket Apocalypse

Pocket Apocalypse(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Alexander Price has survived gorgons, basilisks, and his own family—no small feat, considering that his family includes two telepaths, a reanimated corpse, and a colony of talking, pantheistic mice.  Still, he’s starting to feel like he’s got the hang of things…at least until his girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, shows up asking pointed questions about werewolves and the state of his passport.  From there, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to Australia, a continent filled with new challenges, new dangers, and yes, rival cryptozoologists who don’t like their “visiting expert” very much.

Australia is a cryptozoologist’s dream, filled with unique species and unique challenges.  Unfortunately, it’s also filled with Shelby’s family, who aren’t delighted by the length of her stay in America.  And then there are the werewolves to consider: infected killing machines who would like nothing more than to claim the continent as their own. The continent which currently includes Alex.

Survival is hard enough when you’re on familiar ground.  Alex Price is very far from home, but there’s one thing he knows for sure: he’s not going down without a fight.”

Tuesday Teaser: February 17

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

“I looked into her comfortable face, utterly bereft of doubt, and felt a chill trickle down my back.  The room must have a draft.”

–from page 166 of The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Leave a comment with a link to your own Teaser Tuesday post, or just leave the teaser in the comment if you don’t have a blog!

Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

Heir to the JediThis book was provided by the publisher as an e-ARC through NetGalley.

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

A brilliant alien cryptographer renowned for her ability to breach even the most advanced communications systems is being detained by Imperial agents determined to exploit her exceptional talents for the Empire’s purposes. But the prospective spy’s sympathies lie with the Rebels, and she’s willing to join their effort in exchange for being reunited with her family. It’s an opportunity to gain a critical edge against the Empire that’s too precious to pass up. It’s also a job that demands the element of surprise. So Luke and the ever-resourceful droid R2-D2 swap their trusty X-wing fighter for a sleek space yacht piloted by brash recruit Nakari Kelen, daughter of a biotech mogul, who’s got a score of her own to settle with the Empire.

Challenged by ruthless Imperial bodyguards, death-dealing enemy battleships, merciless bounty hunters, and monstrous brain-eating parasites, Luke plunges head-on into a high-stakes espionage operation that will push his abilities as a Rebel fighter and would-be Jedi to the limit. If ever he needed the wisdom of Obi-Wan Kenobi to shepherd him through danger, it’s now. But Luke will have to rely on himself, his friends, and his own burgeoning relationship with the Force to survive.”

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Monday Musings: February 16

Today’s Monday Musings was inspired by last week’s random question on Miz B’s Should Be Reading blog: Do you have people in your life (face-to-face) that are readers like you?  Or, do you find that you have to reach out to those online in order to find like-minded folk?

For me, this is an interesting question, because at various times in my life, it has been both!  I think that my preference nowadays is to talk to people in person rather than online; however, there are people who would not be in my life if I hadn’t reached out to folks online.

For real, in-depth, meaty book talk, there are a few people I turn to:

The first one is my husband, Scott.  He’s into much of the same stuff that I am, and I’ve put him onto so many good books that he calls me his “dealer”.  We often sit and read together and read little bits to each other that are funny or clever.  I also read out loud to him while he’s driving us on a road trip.  We’ve read so many of the same things that book references have turned into a kind of shorthand language.

The second person is one of my oldest friends, Kyle.  He’s even more of an avid reader than me (which is astonishing), and a faster reader than me (which is frightening).  He and I have the kind of deep, detailed discussions that make other people’s eyes glaze over.  That book shorthand language works with him too.

The third person is a co-worker, Karl.  He’s the trade book buyer for our store, and he gets lots of comps and shares them with me, and I sometimes share my comps with him.  His reading has been more broad than mine has, so I get lots of good recommendations from him.  He’s also one of the only people I know who is also into young adult fiction.

There are some people online with whom I bounce around book recs, neat quotes, and stuff like that, but it’s much less frequent.  As I mentioned above, though, online interactions have brought some wonderful people into my life… including my husband!  He and I met online in a book discussion group while he was still living in Texas.  See, books can bring you other precious things besides entertainment!

Friday Fun: Maps to places that never were

Happy Friday!  If you’re considering going on a literary adventure this holiday weekend, you may want to take along some maps so that you don’t get lost.  Here, for your convenience, are some well-known destinations that aren’t a part of the real world.  Click on the map of Narnia to walk through the wardrobe and behold these lovely maps.  🙂

Narnia map

Throwback Thursday: February 12

Shades of GreyI’ve been reviewing since 2001, when I was employed at the local newspaper and my reviews appeared in their arts section on the third Thursday of the month.  When I started this website in 2011, I was amazed (and somewhat horrified) to realize that I had a decade of reviews to archive!  I’m still working on it to this day, and so my version of “Throwback Thursday” will feature some of those old reviews.  Just for fun, we’ll jump back to five years ago this month.

Today, have a peek back at Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.  Click the cover of the book to read the review.

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