Saturday, December 22, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, November 17, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, October 27, 2012
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Pros: A fun romp with shapeshifting goodness
Cons: A lot of inconsistencies and some unanswered questions
The Bottom Line: Despite some hiccups and the like, I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Midnight Liaisons series.
After skimming through my copy of My Fair Succubus, I discovered a sliver of this book at the end. One of those little preview deals. I enjoyed it – and then spent forever tying to find the flipping book. Turns out Beauty Dates the Beast is under the name Jessica Sims, one of Jill Myles’s pseudonyms. Good to know.
Bathsheba is human – she just happens to work for Midnight Liaisons, a dating agency that caters to the more “special” clients in the city. From shifters to vampires, harpies to doppelgangers, if you need a date, then Midnight Liaisons is for you. But when Beau Russell’s date cancels on him, Bathsheba is in a panic. He needs a date and decides Bathsheba is his girl. Even though a human dating a shifter is strictly a no-no in the business, she might get fired anyway for losing the account. Besides, how much trouble could one little date stir up?
Apparently, quite a lot...
Bathsheba was a fun character and I really love that Sims decided to name her that. It’s different and not something you often see, well, anywhere. I like how protective she is of her sister (and her sister’s secret). I reminded me of myself and my sisters. Beau is an all around good guy that you eventually wish Bathsheba would realize and spill her guts to – even though that’s not possible for the sake of the story. Their interactions were entertaining and steamy when necessary – as they ought to be for a romance book.
However, there area lot of little hiccups in this book that I felt diminished it. The antagonist was someone who was supposed to be dead, and yet no one mentions the fact that he was still alive or questions why. His motivation is sort of weak, but I was willing to let that slide. Another issue was that it’s made pretty clear that shifters view humans as icky, and yet at the same time after Beau got his date a bunch of big-time shifters really wanted to date Bathsheba – so much so that her boss is willing to get downright ugly about making her date them. Confusing. There’s also a big deal made about Bathsheba being a virgin, making it sound as though that makes her magical in some way, but that’s never explained either (unless shifters just dig human virgins? But that still doesn’t make sense).
Scents are brought up a lot in this book, and it’s kind of contradictory at times. Bathsheba’s sister Sara is a werewolf, but they haven’t exactly had good relations with werewolves in the past, so they’re doing all they can to keep Sara away from them. A big deal is made about Sara’s wolfy scent and Bathsheba’s attempt to hide it, and at one point after the house has been broken into she doesn’t want to bring out clothes for an overnight stay elsewhere because they’ll smell wolfy and alert Beau. Yet at the same time she allows one of Beau’s shifter guys to check out the house – pretty sure the whole house would smell wolfy and they’d know anyway. And then when Sara is being kept safe in one area and Bathsheba in another, somehow she doesn’t think the shifter guys will find out – even though Sara has absolutely no way of hiding it and she’s there for several days.
I do take issue with how werewolves are portrayed in this book and wonder just how much Ms. Sims knows about wolf packs - because if the were packs are supposed to be reflecting them, then it's clear no research whatsoever was done. But this is a shifter thing and humans always screw everything up, so it's not inconceivable that they would act in such a manner. (personally, I'm just sick of wolves always being the bad guys)
There are some other things (such as a few other nonsensical decisions by Bathsheba), but then I think I might get into some spoilers and I don’t want to do that. If you just want a fun romance to read in a few hours and enjoy the paranormal side of things, then this is a solid choice.
Originally posted on Epinions.com
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, October 13, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
I didn't actually buy this book - instead I got it for my birthday! I've been wanting to read this for months and I'm #19 on the library list and they only have two books. I had a customer come in requesting this book and initially I thought (from the title) that it was a nature book. When I saw it was fiction, I found the book for him and then proceeded to read the blurb myself. I was immediately intrigued. Only later did I hear it was being made into a movie. But that doesn't matter to me since books are 99% of the time better than their movie counterparts. This book is one of those begin in the past and work its way toward the far-future kind with all sorts of little connecting threads that just sounded oh-so-interesting. I very much look forward to reading this and falling into whatever world(s) Mitchell crafts and discovering all the little details that bring his characters together across time.
Notes from the playlist: "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, October 06, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, September 29, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Pros: Talk about world building! It's wild world building in a microcosm!
Cons: Only that Haly got the short end of the stick here.
The Bottom Line: If you haven't read the first two books recently, then you really ought to do that first and then brace yourself for this last one.
Holy cow, where to start. I really should have reviewed this book while it was still super-fresh in my mind. But I’ll see if I can still do it justice. If you have not already read Pearl North’s first two books in this trilogy (Libyrinth and The Boy From Ilysies), then you need to go about doing that.
Queen Thela has Endymion’s Rose, a pen that gives her the power to unmake the world and craft a reality to her liking. She has kidnappedPoas well, and it may be that only he can keep her from using the pen. Meanwhile, Haly does everything she can to keep the inhabitants of the Libyrinth from starving, and that means traveling to a city that is no longer what she thought it was. It is there that she will discover the legendary Book of the Night, and the truth in its pages, as well as the truth of her world and everyone in it.
So that’s only a super tiny snippet of the fractal that is this book. Honestly, this one could easily have ended up in the adult section for a myriad of reasons. This book somehow manages to make it beyond imagination to stuff that I never expected, nor would I have ever expected even if given years and years to try. This book starts off simply enough, with a small quest to go on and the hope of finding some food – and then it just spins off into this bizarre story of a future so far ahead I think only The Doctor (for us Dr. Who fans) would understand and be able to manage it. It’s like swimming around in a pool and then deciding to go off into the deep end – only to realize that once you’ve reached the deep end you’re not in the pool anymore, but swimming in the middle of the ocean.
And I mean all of that in a good way.
Each character is trying to accomplish a goal, whether it’s just to get home, find food, or survive, and the stakes keep getting higher and higher as the pages turn. Clauda is back with her Wing and I’m surprised that some of the things she saw didn’t scramble her brain like an egg. It was nice to see her and Selene finally work things out. The dynamic between Queen Thela andPowas undeniably interesting. He and Clauda took the brunt of the book on their shoulders while Haly seemed mostly in the background despite some of the things she found. In the end, I was disappointed that Haly felt more like a side character than a main protagonist. I had thought the story would return to her, but in the end she kind of got screwed the most which was a bit bummy.
This book has elements of The Matrix, The Thirteenth Floor, Fushigi Yuugi, (and I know you pulled a Wash!), and all sorts of stuff that will make your brain twist in ways you weren’t sure were possible. It’s a book that will demand at least one repeat read – preferably with the first two books being reread first.
Review originally posted on Epinions.com
How about an interview with the author? Visit my other blog to find out all about Pearl North!
Notes from the playlist: "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, September 15, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Yep, it's been a while since I've done a giveaway, but this time I've got some help. I have 3 - count 'em - 3 copies of Pearl North's The Book of the Night to give away!
Now if you've read Libyrinth, then you've got to be ready to finish off this trilogy with a bang! You might want to be ready to have your mind twisted a little too because I'm about halfway through my copy and whoa-hey Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku would flip out if any of this were really out there (...then again, who's to say it's not? o_O).
If you haven't read Libyrinth...well...I recommend picking up a copy. If you think you've been to enough imaginary places, trust me, you have not been to the Libyrinth of any of its surrounding areas. So, how do you get in on the giveaway? Easy. Just leave a comment and some way for me to reach you (email is best) in case you win. Sharing this blog post with others is encouraged - in fact, tell me how you've shared (Twitter? Facebook? Your blog?) and I'll throw in an additional entry for you!
The closing date for entries will be September 10 at midnight, so get your entry in and find out what's inside of The Book of the Night!
(Please note, this giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry!)
Posted by Nicole at Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Pros: This. Book. Is. So. Cute.
The Bottom Line: This is especially great for families that own – you guessed it – wiener dogs.
I never thought I would be the kind of person who would own a wiener dog. A dachshund. The kind of little dog you can dress up as a hotdog, banana, and other oblong shaped items. But my dad wanted one and, long story short, he’s pretty much my dog now. My sister makes fun of him and calls him a mosquito.
But moving along. While at work at the bookstore (where else?), I found this nugget of joy. And now that I’m the owner of a wiener dog and I have always loved wolves, I thought this might be a funny story. It was indeed.
Wiener Dog lives with Granny. He’s got a sweater, chew toys, his own drinking bowl, and everything he could want. But he wants something more these days. And when he sees and hears a wolf howling on television one day, he thinks he knows just what he needs. Wiener Dog hitches a ride to the national park nearby where he meets up with some new friends and becomes Weiner Wolf! But it’s not long before he realizes that there’s a lot more to being Wiener Wolf than he thought – and he might not be ready for some of it!
Jeff Crosby did both the story and the illustrations, and he wins on both of them. The story is really cute and even unexpected in some places. The end is great because it really does tell readers a little something about what dogs need. The illustrations are really rich in color and have excellent detail when Crosby needed them to. They can be goofy or just downright pretty, and I’m pretty sure Crosby owns a few wiener dogs of his own because just looking at the cover – yup, my dog’s ears flap all goofy like that too.
It’s a book that kids will have fun reading or being read to. They’re sure to giggle at Wiener Dog’s antics and they’ll love his name. It’s more fun to say than “dachshund” when you’re a kid, right? This will be especially delightful for kids whose families own wiener dogs.
Originally posted at Epinions.com
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, August 25, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, August 18, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
I'm off to Colorado to play in the Rocky Mountains! I'll be back next week and who knows? Maybe I'll pick up a book while I'm there!
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, August 11, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
The Vindico by Wesley King
With such a dashing cover, I had to take a look at this one. The back didn't offer me a blurb, but instead a piece of the book; "Somehow I don't think this will be an apprenticeship program. Unless it's for a weird fashion school, in which case, I'm loving the cape." Here we have several teens who have been kidnapped and who will receive super powers - but at a price. They are to become the next super villians of the world (as they live in a world where superheroes and villians are the norm). But why were they chosen? Will they do what the evil group, the Vindico, asks of them? How far will any of them go to get the super powers of their dreams. I'm curious about all of this myself and look forward to see how things go. While I don't expect this to be amazing literary reading, I do expect it to be an exciting adventure and likely a quick read - which is exactly what I was looking for.
Notes from the playlist - "Misery," by Maroon 5 by Wesley King
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, August 04, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Mistress's Revenge by Tamar Cohen
I picked this up as an ARC because it sounded interesting. After all, it was described as "Fatal Attraction in the age of Facebook." Sounds like a party to me. It's written in journal format which is an interesting but still effective way to do it. It really gives readers the chance to be right in the psyche of a woman who's been dumped by her lover after a 5 year affair. So where will it go? What will she do? Well, she's already getting buddy-buddy with her former lover's wife so...I think we can all see where this is going. Although I hear there's a twist at the end. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Thusfar it's been a pretty entertaining read and so I say kudos to Cohen for an engaging debut.
Notes from the playlist: "Love Bites (So Do I)" by Halestorm
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, July 21, 2012
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Pros: Almost a cuteness overload.
The Bottom Line: What better book for a bookseller than a book about a dog that loves books and owns a bookstore! Ha!
As usual, I spotted this back in the kid's section. All it took was the cover; a little white dog with perky ears carrying a stack of books, stepping high and proud with the title Dog Loves Books underneath. I immediately made a mental note to read it.
Eventually I got my chance and was delighted with what was inside. The little white dog loves books so much he plans on opening his own bookstore. But when he does, no one shows up for the grand day. Dog gets a little bummed out, but plucks up his spirits by doing what? Reading books of course! Books can take him into different worlds to meet different creatures and have all sorts of adventures. But will anyone ever come in to his new bookstore?
I think we all know the answer to that.
It's a very simple book focused on the joy and power of reading. The book explains that Dog is never alone because he has all sorts of fun and friends ready and waiting within all his books. It's cute because even the dinosaurs look happy when they pop up. The illustrations are colorful and rather minimalist until Dog opens up his favorite books and then the pages fill up with kangaroos, spaceships, and all sorts of other exciting things. Dog is a cute little guy and I love his little doggie smile and happy ears. I'm always astonished with the illustrations that artists can create with the use of watercolors.
This is a great way to introduce kids to reading. Since this is a picture book for kids ages 4-8, not only do they get to read with you, but they can also get a peek into their future when it comes to books. There's nothing heavy about it, no deeper message other than books are great. And who's going to argue with that?
The book is an easy read; it doesn't use any rhymes or anything, just a straight story that you can read to your kids or have them read to you. It's a great anytime book, and might be particularly fun to read right before everyone goes to a bookstore.
I don't have kids or nephews or nieces or anything, but if I did, this would have been in my bag and on its way home.
Originally posted on Epinions.com
Notes from the playlist: "I Will Find You" by Clannad
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, July 14, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
Indeed, if you follow this blog this title may sound familiar to you. I recommended this book two years ago. Since then I've often thought about reading it again. When a gift card fell into my lap I decided to add it to my little bundle of purchases because this is the kind of book I can see myself reading multiple times - and that is one of my top criteria for purchasing a book. Scalzi is a skilled writer who can spin an interesting tale that will draw reactions from the reader - whether those reactions are laughter or worry for the characters. You should pick this one up if you love a good science fiction book. Indeed, I'm awaiting my chance to snag his newest book, Redshirts because it looks like a great deal of fun. And if it's anything like Scalzi's other works, then I'm sure I'm in for a good time.
Notes from the playlist: "Tick Tock" by Hans Zimmer
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, June 30, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Pros: Excellent book
The Bottom Line: My 13-year-old self wants to tell others her age to read this book.
I did read this when I was 13. And you know what? I liked it so much and remembered the storyline so well that years and years later (I’m 28) I was able to re-discover the book without knowing the title or the author. I was quite excited to see it was still in publication.
Kit is a young girl with some problems at home. Her father frequently gets drunk and calls her demeaning things - like an animal. She wishes she could just buy nice things like her friend, and one day she is caught stealing a bracelet. She didn’t even really want it. But now she’s sentenced to twenty hours of volunteer work at an animal shelter. It is there she meets a special dog that means a great deal to her. Kit feels a lot like the animals in the shelter, and it is there she will learn how to free herself.
All right, so I made that sound a little cheesy, but it really is a great book. I think this was one of the few books in my life that almost made me cry – and as a kid I never cried at books. This is a story that I never forgot and there is still one instance in particular that I remember vividly and thought was so great, I’ve always held onto it. I won’t say what it is because that will spoil things though.
And this isn’t the first book that Peg Kehret wrote that’s gotten notice from young readers. At the bookstore where I work, she has four books in our summer reading shelf – several of which were Mark Twain award nominees (and one winner I think) – and I’ve already had to order in more. I ordered in Cages and put it on my recommendation display. To think that years later I’d be able to put a book I enjoyed on display for other kids. Lovely.
Pick this up a bookstore, pick it up at the library, it doesn’t matter. Kit is a character that is easy to identify with and she’s got a strong voice and, and readers will be pleased to see the resolutions she discovers.
Originally published on Epinions.com
Notes from the playlist: "A Promise" by Alan Silvestri
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, May 26, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
That's right. I won this bad boy. I haven't started it yet because I've only just finished A Feast for Crows and want to take my time. After all, A Feast for Crows came out in 2005 and this nugget of gold wasn't released until just last year. Add to that the two other books Martin is working on and a bookseller has plenty of time on her hands, ya know? But how did I win such an awesome book in all it's hardcover glory, you may ask? If you're a regular on this blog, you may remember the Book Club books I included here every month during 2011. The host of the club, know to the online world as Calico Reaction (I knew her in graduate school), awarded points during the course of the year for reading, participation, etc. Those with the highest point totals won books. I managed to come in at second place and won myself a choice of a hardcover book.
It took me a while to decide because I'm a very, very picky book buyer. If I see something, I'll try to get it at the library first. If I buy it, it's because I know I'll read it over and over again. Hardcovers are particularly rare in my collection. A book has to strike me in just the right way in order for me to want to buy it in that format. So far, if you don't include hardcovers that were only avaialble in that format (like the Intellectual Devotionals), books that have made it to my shelf include the Harry Potter series, extremely fancy (re: expensive) copies of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and both of Michio Kaku's books - Physics of the Future and Physics of the Impossible.
So finally after asking about 6 of my fellow booksellers for ideas (and none of you were much help by the way, haha), I finally settled with this book because it does look pretty awesome in hardcover and let's face it, while hauling around a giant tome is kind of annoying, trying to read a book this fat in mass market form is worrisome because trying to keep it open enough to read means paranoia about breaking the spine.
I very much look forward to opening this up and thank Calico Reaction for her generosity in prizes (because honestly, even on sale, this book is by no means cheap - at least not to me anyway). To the rest of you I say head on over to her blog and see what she's got to offer. Her book reviews are excellent - as are the occasional movie/TV mentions - and she's also got another book club going on so if you're looking for something good to read and this little blog o'mine isn't doing it for you, dive in over there and see what strikes your fancy!
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, May 19, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Pros: My favorite William Steig book!
The Bottom Line: If you're a fox and need dental help, don't think about eating your mouse dentist. That's just rude.
I remember a lot of the children’s books I read when I was a kid. Doctor De Soto was one of my favorites. Written and illustrated by William Steig (who also Alexander and the Magic Pebble and Amos & Boris), it’s a smart story with adorable drawings.
Doctor De Soto is a dentist. A mouse dentist, to be precise. But he doesn’t treat things that are likely to eat him, like cats and the like. But one day there’s a dapper fox outside his office crying pitifully about his aching tooth. The Doctor takes pity on him and with the help of his wife, takes out the bad tooth. The fox is ever so grateful, but needs to return in order to get his new tooth. While at home, the fox seriously starts to consider eating the Doctor despite all his help. The Doctor, on the other hand, is well aware of what goes on in the heads of foxes, and has a plan on how to teach this one a lesson…just in case.
I loved – and still love – the illustrations. They’re cute and full of life and color. The Doctor has all his little dentist implements, from drills to a little gas mask the fox has to wear before they take the tooth out. It’s not often that I get to recommend this book to people, but not long ago I had a couple looking for dentist-related kids books and got to chuck this one at them (which they bought – yay!).
Interestingly enough, this is a Newberry Honor book. Odd because it’s a picture book, but I guess the story was worthy of the nomination. But hey, I’d say it was with good reason. You’re not going to find a story like this anywhere else. After all, how often do you find tales about dentist mice?
I highly recommend giving this book a peek. Kids will love seeing how the Doctor thinks of a way to keep the fox hungry, and they may not even dislike the fox too much. He has a bit of a conscience battle about eating the Doctor, but after all, a fox is a fox, so you can’t really blame him. At least, that's what I thought when I was a kid. And hey, he gets himself a shiny new gold tooth!
Originally posted on Epinions.com
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, May 12, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Pros: A unique look at the world from other characters' perspectives
Cons: No Tyrion (yes, I know why, but I still miss him)
The Bottom Line: A meaty stepping stone from the last book to A Dance with Dragons.
I’ve been taking my sweet time with this series because Martin still has two more books to put out (that we know of…) and goodness knows that means waiting a while. But I finally decided to read this one before moving on to the next title.
You don’t actually find out until the end of the book (I think it would have been handy to know at the start, but oh well) that as Martin was writing, the story just got too big, hence A Dance with Dragons. He split the tale up geographically, which is why in this book you don’t get any Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon, or Bran. Instead, you get a very interesting array of various characters. So many, in fact, that I’m not even going to try and list them in this review. Suffice to say that you get some main characters like Jaime and Cersi, some characters that are becoming more important like Brienne, and others that may or may not be seen again and who don’t even have chapters named after them but instead by their nicknames like The Soiled Knight.
But that doesn’t make the book any less interesting. While you may be disappointed that you don’t get to hang out with Tyrion and Daenerys, you do still get to see Sansa and Arya from time to time. Likewise, because of the various viewpoints, you get to see what’s going on in all sorts of other parts of Westeros, such as down south in Dorne and over at the Iron Islands. And there are some interesting things going on in these locals. You still see people like Cersi makes mistakes that you know will be far-reaching (you’ll even be sitting there thinking, “Wow, how stupid are you?”) and naturally there are plenty of cliff-hangy moments with people, such as Brienne, Cersi, and Arya.
While it’s not the best in the series – as many have said – it is still a solid read. There isn’t as much action now that things have calmed down. Rather, I suppose things are slowly but surely working their way up again. We’re in that little lull in the rollercoaster before it starts clinking up again and then racing back down at breakneck speed. I didn’t do as much skipping ahead as I have in the past, though I do admit to doing so with Arya and Sansa. Everyone else either wasn’t that engrossing or just didn’t have enough chapters to bother with. No joke – some of these people have just one or two.
This is all primarily why I went ahead and gave this book four stars instead of five. It’s good, but not super fantastic. I’m willing to bed A Dance with Dragons will snatch up five stars without a problem. Keep reading kids – things are going to get interesting…not that they aren’t already...
Originally posted on Epinions.com
Notes from the playlist: "Reading In Bed 65dos Remix" by 65 Days of Static
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, May 05, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Uncover a Tarantula by David George Gordon
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, April 28, 2012