Thursday, February 28, 2013

Picture Quote of the Day 2/28/13

I like LARPing as much as the next person, but this would be a tad extreme. Hence my appreciation for the excellent world builders who bring my mind into their stories with the written word. Thank you for not being kidnappers!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

Rescued by a stranger.

Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn't easy…

Such is the synopsis given by Goodreads, and it's an accurate summation. After rescuing her from nearly being raped in a fraternity parking lot, Lucas and Jacqueline begin a long and sometimes difficult journey toward trust, healing, and love.

I really liked this book, and I think it's a great example of what the New Adult genre is bringing to the market place. It's sexy, sweet, touching, and gives a true depiction of college life. The book and I didn't get along the entire journey, but by the end, I was sold.

First, like I said before, this book had a truly compelling and realistic view of college life. I felt like these characters were living on my campus and taking the same classes I was (though I would LOVE to have had a professor as forgiving as their Econ professor). All of the characters act like they're in college. Sometimes, it read a bit more like YA than NA, but having just graduated from college within the past couple of years, I find that reasonable. I think we all still act like we're in high school sometimes, even if it's been only a year, six years, or twenty years. High School Persists!

I liked the relationship between Jacqueline and Lucas. It felt mostly organic (though some of the scenes seemed rushed into). The heat of their encounters radiated off the page. Even the scenes where they were only kissing had me sweating! They had definite chemistry and I wanted more and more. I was BEGGING them to get it on already! And the scenes where we find out that alluded to secret, had me near tears. They are an excellent couple and they kept me rooting for them.

For the most part, Webber did an excellent job handling the rape topic. Mostly. For about the last two-thirds of the novel. This is why the book lost a point for me. At first, I was disappointed. Jacqueline didn't seem to be handling her attempted rape at all. It was as though it never even happened, just something the author threw in to get Jacqueline and Lucas to interact. But then, about a third of the way in, she begins to move back to Jacqueline's encounters with Buck, her attempted rapist, and she begins to really deal with what happened. At that point, I really got into the book. Once Webber came back around to it, she handled it with sensitivity, strength, and seriousness, and very realistically. I loved the scene when Jacqueline and Mindi are discussing with the sorority officers about what to do about testifying against Buck and President Katie says "You know what looks bad? A bunch of girls who don't support each other when a guy pulls some shit like this... That dickwad hurt two people at this table. And you're worried about who'll look bad if they tell? Screw that... Are we sisters or not?"


Overall: hot romance, realistic setting, belated but good topic handling. I would recommend this one, but I'm only giving it a 4 espresso shot rating.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Did you know?

I couldn't believe this when I heard it. I had to read the article about three or four times just to be sure what I was reading was real. I'm still flabbergasted.

Get this: Johnny Depp owns a publishing imprint.


The imprint is called Infinitum Nihil (meaning "nothing is forever") and is a part of HarperCollins. They will be releasing their first book on Tuesday: House of Earth by legendary folk singer/song writer Woody Guthrie, about a family struggling during the Dust Bowl, was discovered by historian Douglas Brinkley in 2011. Depp calls it "a lost treasure of 20th-century American literature." The imprint plans on publishing two to three books a year, including an upcoming biography of Bob Dylan by Douglas Brinkley in 2015.

I don't know about you, but I am really excited by this revelation. I mean, Johnny Depp and books???

I'm not good at math, but I'm sure anyone would agree JOHNNY DEPP + BOOKS = EPIC HOTNESS!

You can find the link to the article here: Woody Guthrie's lost novel is first for Depp's imprint

Have a great night everyone! Sweet Depp dreams!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Minion Battle for Sports Awesomeness

First, I have to say congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens on their Super Bowl win. I didn't watch, so I guess I'll have to watch the commercials online today. I mean, that's why we all watch the Super Bowl. For the commercials, right?

I heard that the power went out? And being the super sleuth I am, I found the culprit.
You're welcome. I didn't even have to interrogate him, though I would have liked to (who WOULDN'T want to interrogate Tony Stark?). He was ready to take full credit, as you can see.

But now, the real battle begins. I am not much of a football fan, I admit. I understand the basic principles and goals of the game, but I don't understand all of the plays, so I find it rather boring. I'd rather watch hockey, which is awesome and has the added advantage of seeing a bunch of angry Canadians knocking each other against glass and fighting on the ice. Football has a ball and some hulking guys knocking each other on grass. Hockey players of sticks, fists, and sharp blades attached to their feet and fall onto ice. So on the violence scale, hockey wins. But what do the minions think?

So I take it to you, blogosphere? Which is better?

It's up to you.

Have a good week!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Picture Quote of the Day

Isn't that the truth. Whoever said money can't buy happiness, has never been in a bookstore or a Starbucks.

Have a good day, everyone! God bless!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

This Week in Books (and Life)

Hey everyone!

So it's been a big week in life and in books. I broke up with alcohol and started seeing smoothies and hibiscus tea. Call it a late start on New Years resolutions, it just seemed like a good idea, and I'm glad I came to that decision. I'm also trying to cut back on gluten where I can, and sprinkling cayenne on everything. Where it is all going, we shall see. Next, back to the gym so that I stop spending money on something I don't use.

I also met my cousin Mandy for the first time in almost 18 years. She came down from Nova Scotia to visit her parents (my aunt and uncle, of course, who have become snow birds in the last two years) this week, and came to visit us. It was awesome getting to see her, just as it is whenever we get to see family we haven't seen in years. When we moved to Florida in '95, leaving it all and everyone behind felt like cutting off a limb. But with our family slowly finding their way down to our neck of the woods, and their families following, even just for a visit, and the growth of social media and technology, that limb is slowly being reattached, stitch by stitch. And it feels nice to have that mobility back.

Now, to the books!

1) Happy Birthday Pride and Prejudice!!! This is one of my all time favorite books, and it astonishes me that it has been 200 years since its publication! Jane Austen sometimes gets a bad rep for being overly sentimental, but she paved the way for some of the greatest female writers of our time and for realistic women's fiction as a whole. And she gave all men an unrealistic standard they will never live up to. Let's face it, we all want a Mr. Darcy or a Mr. Knightley. It's just a fact, right, ladies?

No matter which version you favor, (Matthew Macfadyen, PLEASE!!) Pride and Prejudice is a standard bearer of romance and women's fiction. And, I'm sorry if you're a Bronte fan, but the Bronte sisters will never match Austen's storytelling capability or the caliber of her characters.

And as a birthday recommendation, read Tracy Kiely's Murder Most Austen. It's a great mystery centered around a murder of a notorious Austen professor at the Jane Austen festival in Bath, U.K. Great story, compelling characters, and perfect for Janeites. It even features a ball where all the attendants have to wear regency style costumes (about 90% of the guests dress as Elizabeth and Darcy: Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle edition). Also: Austenland by Shannon Hale

2) Hilary Mantel is certainly making a name for herself. Last week, I reported that the Royal Shakespeare Company was adapting Mantel's Tudor novels Wolf Hall  and  Bring Up the Bodies into a two part stage production for their 2013 season. Now, Mantel has more to celebrate. Both novels have won the Man Booker Award, but it was announced this week that Bring Up the Bodies has also won the Costa Award, making BUtB 2 for 3 so far in the U.K.'s triple crown of literary awards. The third,the Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange) is still up for grabs and won't be announced until later this spring. Will BUtB sweep this award's season? We shall see, but if Henry has anything to say about it...
...the other books don't stand a chance. And may come away a head shorter.

Other awards announced this week were the Caldicott, Newberry and Printz awards. 
Caldicott: This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Newberry: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Printz: In Darkness by Nick Lake
Other award winners can be found here: Children's and Young Adult Book Award Winners

3) Jerry B. Jenkins, the popular Christian fiction author and coauthor (alongside Tim LaHaye) of the Left Behind series, is launching his own self-publishing company called Christian Writers Guild Publishing; Jenkins acquired ownership of the guild in 2001. The new company will play mentor to new Christian writers on their path to self-publishing.

4) Kate Winslet has signed on to a role in the film adaptation of Veronica Roth's Divergent, which will star Secret Life of the American Teenager actress Shailene Woodley. The film is set to be released to theaters on March 21, 2014. No sign yet of who may play the hunky, angst-ridden leading male.

5) Barnes and Noble announced this week that it will begin closing some of it's brick and mortar stores, up to a third in the next decade (about 20 stores a year). They expect to leave open about 450 to 500 stores and assert they are still full committed to good, old-fashioned retail.

6) If you haven't read it yet, bestselling author Justin Cronin (The Passage and The Twelve) published an incredible op-ed in the New York Times this week on what it's like to be a gun-owning liberal. He explains what ultimately led him to his decision to own a gun and why he still approves of gun control legislation. It is a great example of how one can be both pro-gun rights and pro-gun reform. I admire this man so much more after this article. Confessions of a Liberal Gun Owner I'm also looking forward to reading Stephen King's "Guns," an essay about gun violence in the United States and possible solutions, which was released last week on January 25 (only available on Kindle).

That's all for this week. Will have another book review up shortly. Enjoy your weekend. Have a drink for me!

*Update: It's February, so for our new segment, Featured Coffee of the Month, try a raspberry white mocha latte. Raspberry and white chocolate come together in a delicious concoction that will make you fall in love over and over again! Not a raspberry fan? It's also good in strawberry.