Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Arctic Fury

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look ahead to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is one somewhat outside my usual, but that I’m curious about: The Arctic Fury by Greer Macalister.
Expected Release: December 1, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • Partially set in Boston, and partially set in the wild arctic. I am forever favoring stories set in Boston, and the arctic is this symbol of untameable natural wild that can so easily destroy people. With two settings like that, I’m expecting some really incredible atmosphere. Plus, in a place like that, people are bound to go a little crazy and relationships are destined to be frayed. And since this may have ended in murder…
  • A female-focused expedition to the arctic, especially in 1853, is a big deal. I’m sure there will be some flak towards the women from the public due to how unusual it would have been at the time. Besides the social aspects of this, I’m also very curious to see what the plan was for the women in preparing for such a harsh environment in a time before so much of the technology that makes it a bit easier today.
  • This is an adventure exploration of the unknown and a murder mystery tied up into one story. What an amazing combination! I feel like with those two main stories, this is going to have something for everyone. I also already have an opinion: there’s no way anyone was murdered. It’s the freakin’ arctic. I’m sure they just froze, or got eaten by a bear, or drowned.

Summary

In early 1853, experienced California Trail guide Virginia Reeve is summoned to Boston by a mysterious benefactor who offers her a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: lead a party of 12 women into the wild, hazardous Arctic to search for the lost Franklin Expedition. It’s an extraordinary request, but the party is made up of extraordinary women. Each brings her own strengths and skills to the expedition- and her own unsettling secrets. A year and a half later, back in Boston, Virginia is on trial when not all of the women return. Told in alternating timelines that follow both the sensational murder trial in Boston and the dangerous, deadly progress of the women’s expedition into the frozen North, this heart-pounding story will hold readers rapt as a chorus of voices answer the trial’s all-consuming question: what happened out there on the ice?

Annihilation: Book v movie

I’m reading Annihilation by Jef Vandermeer right now, as it’s been one I’ve been curious about for a while. Specifically, since the movie came out a few years ago. I wasn’t actually that into the movie, but I was still curious about what the book it was based on would be like.

So far the answer is: completely different from the movie. I’m actually pretty happy with that since like I said, I wasn’t that into the movie so something different works for me.

The book does maintain the otherworldly aspects, though, which is pretty much a requirement for a story about a creepy unexplained chunk of world that has spawned eerie unfamiliarity. My favorite aspect has been the way the writing reflects the narrators growing instability. The fact that it’s written as a journal introduces some wrinkles and expectations that I want to see resolved, out of curiosity of how they’ll be handled.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Dune – The Graphic Novel, 11/24

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to write about an upcoming release I’m excited about! Today’s is a new adaptation of an old classic… that I have still never read. Maybe this graphic novel will be my entry point to Frank Herbert’s Dune!
Expected Release: November 24, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • I’m excited to have an approachable path to this intimidating book. Though it seems to have all the elements I would enjoy — a fantastic new world, a dramatic environment, a zero-to-hero character, betrayal — I’m not 100% sure I actually WILL. A graphic novel might help bridge any barriers to writing style or dryness that could pop up in the original 600+ page prose.
  • By all expectations, this story seems like an EXCELLENT candidate for a graphic novel adaptation. The desert world alone is ripe with possibilities for stunning landscapes and stark contrasts to really breathe life into the story. Just look at the cover above! I have very high hopes for the art with this.
  • If I like this “part 1” graphic novel, I will probably read the original someday as well. It’s a good sampler, and I desperately want to read this ultimate-classic kind of book for the world of science fiction. This is like my chance to read a little taste of the overall story, but not have to commit to the entire Beast.

Summary:
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for. When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream. Dune is a powerful, fanstastical tale that takes an unprecedented look into our universe, and is transformed by the graphic novel format. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s adaptation retains the integrity of the original novel, and Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín’s magnificent illustrations, along with cover art by Bill Sienkiewicz, bring the book to life for a new generation of readers.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Stunning theatre turned bookstore

I stumbled upon this gem of a bookstore (in searching online, not in real life, alas):

Behold! El Ateneo Grand Splendid!

This grand hall in Buenos Aires, Argentina started as a performance area for all kinds of events, like dancing and music. In the 1920s it was turned into a cinema, with seating installed. Then in 2000, a company leased the building, removed the seating, and turned it into a flagship bookstore for their publishing house. Pretty impressive history of artistic involvement in this building!

By Galio – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21137254
By Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand – El Atena Grand Splendid Bookshop, Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 28th. Dec. 2010, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18428631
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Way Back, 11/17

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Friday’s to look forward to an upcoming release that I”m excited about! Today’s is The Way Back by Gavriel Savit, and it’s based in Jewish folk tradition. I am woefully uneducated in Jewish beliefs and folklore, and this sounds like an excellent way to pick some up plus the book just sounds incredible on its own.
Expected release: November 17, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • Like I mentioned above, this story draws on Jewish folklore, which is something I know very very little about. I tend to love stories based in cultural or religious lore as it’s an interesting insight into that group. PLUS those kinds of stories tend to be ABSOLUTELY WILD and I am all about that.
  • For example, The Way Back involves demons and angels and pacts with Death. There are even Death angels, which are usually two opposite things in my mind! And a whole royal hierarchy of demons? I am so fascinated and excited. Only in my books do I love demons, but boy do I love demons in my books. 😍
  • If you didn’t gather this already from above, this sounds like a seriously epic story. As always our hapless heroes get forced into things wayyyy out of their league, and have to try to make do. Wheelin’ and dealin’ with devils and demons never gets old for me. Throw in some new Yiddish words for me to learn and it’s a killer combo!

Summary:
For the Jews of Eastern Europe, demons are everywhere: dancing on the rooftops in the darkness of midnight, congregating in the trees, harrowing the dead, even reaching out to try and steal away the living.

But the demons have a land of their own: a Far Country peopled with the souls of the transient dead, governed by demonic dukes, barons, and earls. When the Angel of Death comes strolling through the little shtetl of Tupik one night, two young people will be sent spinning off on a journey through the Far Country. There they will make pacts with ancient demons, declare war on Death himself, and maybe– just maybe–find a way to make it back alive.

Posted in A Picture's Worth

A Picture’s Worth: Roma, Juliette, and Mina Lee

Words have always carried more weight with me than images – give me a book over its movie any day – but I do love to see the beautiful images other people create when they’re in love with a book. That’s not my strength, but I can certainly appreciate it in others! So here’s a few of my faves based on what I’ve been reading recently.

These Violent Delights

I chose These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong as a Book of the Month because I had never heard of it before. And then promptly was told by others that they had been hearing about it everywhere for ages. 🤣 Not sure where I’ve been, but it was new to me! 1920s Shanghai combined with Romeo and Juliet and also gangs — yeah, I’m into that.

Ughhhh THE COLORS! They’re so pretty together! I love the high contrast on this one making the drama of the book cover’s details really stand out.

It was nice enough recently for me to chill on the deck again and enjoy some citrus while reading my delicious new book 😍

Continue reading “A Picture’s Worth: Roma, Juliette, and Mina Lee”
Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

When all your library loans come in at once

So! This morning I got a nice surprise: my hold for Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer was available from the library! But in a kind of bittersweet way because I also have several other holds that recently came in the last few days.

And I also still have several books from my physical collection that I want to read this month and am excited for…

I was pretty much faced with a dilemma. After mulling it over a bit, I accepted the hold for the new book, and read it entirely today. 😂 I was really excited about it! It was so cute, even if the MC was actually pretty annoying as a person (more on that when I eventually review it). Ah, the joy and pain of library holds. 🥰

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

November 2020 TBR: obligations and explorations

Hey y’all!

I’ve got a plan again this month for what I’ll read. These plans are sometimes a bit silly though, because by the time I write this post to share it, I’ve usually already finished a few of them. 😂 Today is no different, but I’ll include the books here anyway as I’m excited about them! It’s a tidy planned set of nine this month. 😊

The best obligations

These books are each ones I’m reading for A Reason Not Only My Own. I mean, to be real, I’m still the one deciding and benefiting here, but they’re in the list for more than just “I wanted to” reasons!

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson is one that I already finished because I couldn’t resist plowing through it once I had started. I went in somehwat blind from a recommendation from my friend Elise (thanks again!), and WOW was this a fabulous recommendation! I really love it, as you can see in my review. 🙂

Continue reading “November 2020 TBR: obligations and explorations”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, 11/10

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey. She’s a new author for me, but if this book is as good as I hope it will be, she’ll be a familiar author before long. 🥰
Expected release: November 10, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • Multiculturalism is a constant delight. I love stories that allow people of all kinds to shine through, and sending a Cuban American girl from the lively culture of Miami to rainy small-town England is a combo I haven’t been able to experience yet. Seeing through someone else’s eyes is always a revelation, and I live for the moments of humour and wisdom that come with it.
  • I’m all about stories focusing on identity and finding yourself, especially when it happens by force when all your plans totally blow up in your face. Grace in those moments is a pleasure for me to see and read, and it sounds like Lila is definitely in that category.
  • ENGLAND! TRAVEL! I know, I know, I’ve been saying this about pretty much every book I’ve featured for months now. But I’m used to traveling to several new countries every year, and traveling is very much on hold for the forseeable future. So I take what I can get. And what I can get is England, shown to me on the arm of charming teashop boy Orion.

Summary:
For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

October 2020 Wrap Up (and what a month it was!!!)

You know, considering I’ve been in my house 90% of the hours in this year, a lot more big life changes have happened than I’d anticipated. 😂 Here’s this month’s recap in reading, writing, and the rest of my life. And let me tell ya: it’s a bit of a doozy.

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?
I planned for twelve books, knowing full well that would not happen. 😂 I read 8 that I planned, one that I couldn’t resist, and two that were nearly done by the end of the month but technically I finished yesterday when it was already November.

The Plan:

Forgive my laziness… but I’m not writing all of these out again. 😂

The Result:

I started The Passage by Justin Cronin, but it is as slow-paced as the show was and really long. I just had so many other stories I was excited about that I passed on this one for now. It’s definitely one I’ll read, just… next year probably. 😂 I’ve already got plans for the next two months!!! (WOW WHO EVEN AM I…)

Continue reading “October 2020 Wrap Up (and what a month it was!!!)”