Bookish Blerd

I'm a book buying junkie who buys books faster than I can read them. But what better way is there to live than surrounded by books?! I read as much as I can and I do my best to give coherent reviews...which doesn't always happen.  I enjoy many genres, which is likely the reason I struggle with deciding my next read.

Review: You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir - Joss Whedon - foreword, Felicia Day, Felicia Day, Simon & Schuster Audio

This was amazing. It was funny, as expected, but also sad. I love how Felicia grew up "weird"; I feel like we all grow up in varying degrees of weird. It's what makes us who we are. It was fascinating hearing, in her own words, in her own voice, her childhood, her initial trip into the interwebs, her gaming obsession. It was sad to hear about her descent into depression, and the decline of not only her mental health but her physical heath. Her slow journey back to to good form was heartening. Creating her webshow and learning all it entailed was surprising and it made me so happy that she never gave up and ended up with own company. Sometimes I forget she was behind Geek & Sundry. We're not even going to talk about internet trolls and especially not gamer gate. This look into Felicia's life, a person who's content, I have greately enjoyed over the years was super fun and I think I got misty-eyed a time or two. I have the paperback and the audiobook and I find listing to the audio by the author always makes the read/listen that much better. This did not disappoint.

Review: Deathless Divide (Dread Nation, Book 2)

Deathless Divide - Justina Ireland, Shirley Drake Jordan Editors: Sharon E. Cobb, Bahni Turpin
Wow. Ms. Ireland took us for a wild ride on this one.

Wherein Jane and Katherine become the best of friends, go on more adventuers. We have deaths, rebirths, apparently the vaccine works, but also, it does not work. We have a mad scientist on the loose, and vengeful bounty hunters on his trail, the East Coast has fallen, more racism and mysoginy. There are not-so-happy reunions, a whole lot of character development, more allies, and lots more death..

This was just fabulous. I loved the story, the characters, the narration with the added narrator was wonderful, and the ending left me wanting more, yet was completely satisfying. I loved this book and its predecessor and whether or not it's this story continuing, or something completely new, I look forward to reading more by the author.

Review: Dread Nation

Dread Nation - Justina Ireland, Bahni Turpin

To start, I have no idea what I was thinking when I decided I HAD to read this. I shall quantify this by saying, as someone who has lived her intire life dealing with the reality of slaver, racism, and mysoginy, I despise dealing with it in my fantasy world. I actively avoide books and movies that are racially charged or heavy with the sexism. Sometimes you can't avoid it, and sometime and book/movie is so effing fantastic that I can give it a pass. Dread Nation is going on the list. But make no mistake, the racism really grated on me.  Also, it was in first person perspective, which I normally loathe; this was not bad.

 

With that being said, this was an amazing story, and what drew it to me was zombies, combined with historical fiction, and black people in the forefront. The characters were fun and likeable, even when they were unliekable. The world building was amazing and the writing was incredible!

 

We follow Jane McKeene a half black/white girl who is a student at Miss Preston's School for Negro Girls (I think that's what it was called.) Basically when the dead decided to get up and walk during the battle of Gettysburg The Civil War "ended" and the war vs the Dead began. The North still "won" and blacks were given freedom, but not really. They, along with indigenous tribes were swooped and placed in combat schools where they taught them how to be on the frontlines in the battle against the dead, as well as beat their culture and "savageness" out of them so that they can better serve their white betters. Sigh, I'm letting the bitterness bleed into the review.

 

Anyway Jane gets thrust into crazy adventures and all around bad situations with her nemisise Kathrine Devaraux, who is also of mixed race, but a goody-goofy know-it-all, which irks Jane to no end. There are devious plots, secret "utopia" towns, crazy scientists with vaccines and terrible experiments. There is also the dead, which the characters refer to as shamblers. There's a lot of death, allies, betrayals and grudging friendships.

 

I've heard the narrator before and they were amazing. They captured the voices and brought the world to life.

 

Just read/listen to it; it was great!

2021 Reading Challenge

So...2020 was an absolute shitshow and we all know I did not finish my reading goal. I'm not even angry or disappointed. I'm proud that I made it through that dumpsterfire of a year in once piece and (partially) sane!

 

For 2021 it's more of the same, 52 books which breaks down to one book per week. As always, I make no promises to myself or anyone else; however, my goal is to get myself together. Last year was a disaster in just about every way possible. I allowed myself become so out of sorts and-- it was a mess; seriously not pretty. So it's back on track with journaling, organizing and scheduling. So I have hope that I will actually get to 52 (and beyond) this year.

wp-15782859734428383886582855744247.jpg

Still attempting to finish the books I started in previous years:

  1. Twice Bitten
  2. Werewolves and Shape Shifters
  3. The Silmarillion
  4. Boys Will Be Boys
  5. Shattered Hourglass
  6. Legacy of the Jedi
  7. Young Bucks: Killing the Business from Backyards to the Big Leagues
  8. Dread Nation
  9. Deathless Divide (Dread Nation, Book 2)
series project

The Series Project continues:

The Chequey Files

     1 Stiletto

Day By Day: Armageddon

     2 Shattered Hourglass

     3 Grey Fox

     4 Ghost Run

Inheritance Series

     5 Brisingr

     6 Inheritance

*Tolkien

*Star Wars

 
End of 2021 TBR

Tentative TBR

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. The Hate U Give
  3. Army of Darkness, Omnibus 2
  4. NOS4A2
  5. Six of Crows
  6. Black Hole Sun
  7. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
  8. Smoke & Mirrors
  9. The Martian
  10. You're Never Weird on the Internet
  11. The Legends of River Song
  12. The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl
  13. The Gospel of Loki
  14. White Fragility
  15. Zoey Punches the Future on the Dick

Good luck to us all!

2020 Read List

wp-16097288903204502098438432235203.png

Books I read in sh!tshow we called 2020.

  1. The Raven King
  2. Tinaca Jones
  3. Good Omens*
  4. Illuminae
  5. Gemina
  6. Pippi Longstocking
  7. The Bluest Eye
  8. Treasure Island*
  9. Children of Vengeance and Virtue
  10. The Obelisk Gate*
  11. The Stone Sky*
  12. Where the Crawdads Sing
  13. Alexander X: Battle For Forever
  14. Ancient Among Us: Battle For Forever
  15. Savage Tears
  16. Finding Finn
  17. The Fireman
  18. World War Moo*
  19. Zombie Attack!Rise of the Horde
  20. Watchers*
  21. Happy Doomsday [DNF]
  22. How to Defeat a Demon King
  23. Inside Jobs
  24. Neverwhere
  25. Takes of Beedle the Bard
  26. A Murder of Manatees
  27. The Gentleman and the Rogue
  28. Kidnapped by the Pirate
  29. Fake Out: Fake Boyfriend Series 1
  30. When Women Ruled the World
  31. Trick Play: Fake Boyfriend Series 2
  32. Obsidio
  33. Born a Crime
  34. The Poet X
  35. Master & Apprentice*
  36. Zero G
  37. The Ruin of a Rake
  38. Consorting with Dragons
  39. The Magpie Lord: A Charm of Magpies 1
  40. A Case of Possession: A Charm of Magpies 2
  41. A Flight of Magpies: A Charm of Magpies 3
  42. Kenobi
  43. Nowhere Ranch
  44. Star Wars: Darth Plagueis
  45. The Deep*

Review: The Deep

The Deep - Rivers Solomon

I'm going with 3 stars because I don't know how I feel about this novella.  I wanted to love it. I didn't hate it.  There were parts that I got lost in.  However, there were parts that lost me.  I own the hard cover, but had to borrow the audiobook from the library to get through it.  Perhaps a re-read at a later date...

Discouraged...

...this is the first time in almost a week I was able to get booklikes to load. It's just getting worse, isn't it? And if that's not bad enough, I finally created a post on Wordpress after the new update.  Typically my posts are crossovers from here or tumblr, or whatever.  So that block thing...OMG does it suck so much ass!  I tried to "switch to classic editor"  and you know what it did?  It took me right back to the block editor.  It's so...ugh!  It's frustrating and I now want to start looking for a new book blog spot.  I'm on Librarything, but it's not a blog spot and you couldn't pay me to go back to goodreads.  I've recently signed up for the beta site The StoryGraph, and though I haven't fully explored it, I'm pretty sure it's not a full-on blog spot like here.  I think it'll be a good site after some time, but right now, the only way to import your library is from goodreads, so that's going to make adding my library tedious.

 

So...suggestions?  I know I should probably suck it up and figure out how to make the new wordpress update work for me, but I don't have a ton of time to blog as it is.  And when I have the time, I'm usually exhausted and sore from work.  Life is stressful enough right now, and book blogging is supposed to be fun.  I barely have a handle on wordpress as it is.  Again, UGH!!

 

If anyone is/has been blogging somewhere else that they like and find (at least a little) user-friendly, I'd love a heads-up.

 

Also, I hope everyone is doing well,  I know I've been absent from here for a bit and only part of that is because the site only works half the time I log on.

Review: Master & Apprentice

Master & Apprentice - Claudia Gray

Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi have been my favorite master/padawan pair since the prequels were released. I devoured the Master Apprentice series and this book is just an extension of that. In this novel we got to know their relationship a bit more intimately. It was fascinating that Qui-Gon was offered a position on the council as well as the fact that he believed he was failing Obi-Wan as a master. Seeing them go through turmoil once more was unexpected, but I suppose that was their relationship from the beginning to the very end. They clearly loved and respected one another, but they also butted heads frequently. Perhaps their love for one another was the reason they were in opposition so often.

 

This story was well done because it didn't lose anything from the Master Apprentice series and even though I knew the outcome would be Qui-Gon declining his invitation to join the council, which woulingd have meant hand Obi-Wan over to a new master, I still had no idea how it would all transpire. They were both disenchanted with one another throughout, but it was because they both cared. Qui-Gon saw his failings as a master and pondered whether or not he even deserved to be Obi's master. Obi-Wan felt his inadequacies as a padawan was the reason he learned about Qui-Gon's invitation from an outside source, rather than from his master. I think he believed that Qui-Gon was disappointed in him as an apprentice. Oh, and in the midst of all of this angst, there were flashbacks from Qui-Gon's time as Dooku's apprentice, and an entire plot of betrayal and murder involving a "backwater" planet's monarchy and their ascent into "modern" within the republic.

 

A very good addition the the JA canon and Jeff Davis did very well with the narration. He captured each characters voice and emotion in a believable way. Fun listen.

Reading progress update: I've read 152 out of 336 pages.

Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass - J.L. Bourne

It's not terrible, but all the excess military talk/speak/jargon is what is making this less likeable that the first two novels in the series. I'm invested in the characters and sometime there a chapters that are just further the story. Other times it so confusing it makes my head spin. 

Review: The Poet X

The Poet X - Elizabeth Acevedo

Talk about a wild ride! 10-out-of-10, will listen again! This was amazing. The story was sad and heart-wrenching, yet hopeful. This made me cry.

 

Xiomara is a teenage girl trying to navigate life with so many things pulling her in different directions. It spoke to so many teenagers living similar lives. There are parents who try to live their lives through their children, parents, who think they're doing what is best for their children, but are actually putting them in cages to live the lives they want for them rather than letting their child just live, forcing instead of guiding. It was so sad and it upset me so much as a parent. The ending was hopeful, because the family as a whole sought outside help to deal with their issues, which so many families need to do, but do not. It gave me hope that while things would never be perfect, they could get better.

 

I am so very glad that I bought the audibook version of this book, because hearing the author's words, in her own voice made it more powerful and profound for me. This was excellent and I look forward to reading/hearing more from the author.

Dewey's Reverse Read-a-thon [August 2020]: Hours 1-6

Whew what a rough start to everything!  Bad morning, meh day at work, very bad commute home.  I'm tired and in pain, but I'm pushing forward.  I had a glass of Stella Red and some jerky and a few pringles.  I'm currently drinking a Real Sugar Pepsi.

 

I finished Born A Crime  and am continuing with my "Tolkien Project" with the Silmarillion audiobook...I've realized that I've messed up the reading order, but I can't make myself care right now, because this is an audiobook, and the other is not and I don't think I can do ereader or paperback at this current moment.  I'll fix it later when I'm in better shape mentally and physically.  I'm really trying to continue with the positivity, but the negative me creeps out with little rants and offhand remarks.  I'm a sarcastic Negative Nelly at heart, but I'm also a W.I.P. and ever evolving--thus the repeated attempts at being positive.

 

Hubby and I have appoints with the chiropractor for massages and adjustments this morning, so that's another break from reading.  And I know I won't last much longer, but so be it!  I think I may try The Princess Bride later today when I'm "better".  I think I can use the whimsy.

 

This is like the worst update ever. I hope everyone is having a good readathon.

Review: Born A Crime

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah

This was amazing. I do not understand how there are people who thought this was bad. My first thought is that it's white people who just don't/won't get what growing up black is like, but I don't want to be that person.

 

As a black woman growing up in racist America, even I cannot imagine what it was like to grow up like Trevor did. Apartheid... I just can't imagine. I've experienced racism, but DAMN! I thought this was a brilliant story about his life and the fact that he was unapologetic made it that much better. Why should he apologize? And no wonder he turned to comedy. Yikes! His life was fully a humor, but sadness and fear were very prevalent. I cried when he spoke about his mother being shot and how he thought he had lost her. I was so angry that nothing was ever done about his waste of space step-father. The only parts I skipped were anything with the dogs being abused, or if/when they died. I cannot do animal abuse or death even if the death is just of old age.

 

Excellent listen.

Reading progress update: I've read 61 out of 336 pages.

Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass - J.L. Bourne Struggling with this one. It's become more military. And while I loved that from the first two books, this has become more military than anything else. Early going though, so we'll see.

Review: Obsidio, Illuminae Files 3

Obsidio - Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman

I very much enjoyed this as the end of the trilogy.  We were met with more characters, crazy shenanigans, and a self-aware A.I. that was bonkers, but not really.  This finished out the story very well.  I don't think I have it in me to write a more articulate review.  Just know I liked this very, very much.

Review: Trick Play, Fake Boyfriend Series #2

Trick Play - Eden Finley, Alexander Cendese, Iggy Toma

This was more a sister story than a sequel to the first book in this series. They have many of the same characters, but the main protagonists change. This one flows Noah and Matt. Noah is the biracial son of a rich politician... he's also gay, so of course his father uses his mixed race and sexual orientation as a campaign tactic, which Noah clearly resents. As a way of irritating his father he agrees to be the fake boyfriend of Matt. Matt is a pro football player who was forcefully outed by the tabloid media. He loses his job with his current team on a morality cause, but everyone knows he was because Matt is gay.

 

His friend and agent Damon convinces him that he needs to clean up his image and portray himself as someone in a relationship rather than a guy who has random hook-ups at clubs.

Matt and Noah struggle to be fake boyfriend, mostly because they are both attracted to one another and it frightens them.

 

What I liked about this book was the backstory for the main characters as well as the struggle. Again, it wasn't overly angsty. There was time to develop the plot and relationship without it being too quick or drag on too long. Very good narration; I felt the characters come through.

Review: When Women Ruled The World

When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt - Kara Cooney

I do not think I can adequately express my feelings for this book.  So I will just say that I find Egypt fascinating and love to learn anything I can about its history.  I also love women and stories of empowerment and the fight for that power.  This encapsulates both.  It was well researched, well written and the author did the narration herself and while it wasn't spectacular it was what I expected for something so academic.

Currently reading

Boys Will Be Boys
Clementine Ford
Progress: 23/384pages
The Silmarillion
J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin Shaw
Progress: 687/889minutes
Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within
Francesca Lia Block, George R.R. Martin, H.P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman, Tessa Gratton, Bentley Little, Zak Jarvis, Violet Glaze, Peter Giglio, Mercedes M. Yardley, Dieter Meyer, Scott Bradley, Brad C. Hodson, Nicole Cushing, Alice Henderson, Alethea Kontis, Steve Duffy, Max
Progress: 31/640pages
Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass
J.L. Bourne
Progress: 152/336pages
The Paper Magician
Charlie N. Holmberg
Collected Tales and Poems
Edgar Allan Poe
Twice Bitten
Crystal Green, Erica Orloff
Progress: 271/542pages