Audiobook reviews, Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Upcoming Reviews

I have a couple of upcoming reviews for audio books and print books.

BellwetherBellwether by Connie Willis

Genre: SciFi

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Powerful of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Genre: Non-Fiction

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

A Madness So Discreet

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

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Audiobook reviews, Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Review: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Audio Book)

Why Not Me?

4 Stars of Five

Mindy Kaling is a delightful storyteller, and a hilarious wit. This is her second book, the first being Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? It is an further telling of her life before, during and after The Office and her show The Mindy Project.

The Goodread’s summary is,

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.
In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions”, Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate-this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady”, she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes”, Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)
Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Kaling. Her intriguing stories of time at the White House and body issues, and relationship fails is heartening.

Audiobook reviews, Favorites List, Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Review: Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson (AudioBook)

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain4 Stars of 5

I have started listening to audio books again, and began with a follow up to one of my favorite tomes. The Road to Little Dribbling is a revisit to Notes from a Small Island, written over 20 years ago. In Notes, Bill Bryson traversed across his adopted nation in search of what it meant to be British. Twenty years on in Road, Bryson revisits his adopted country from the view point of a fellow British Citizen.

Goodreads summarizes The Road to Little Dribbling as,

In 1995 Bill Bryson got into his car and took a weeks-long farewell motoring trip about England before moving his family back to the United States. The book about that trip, Notes from a Small Island, is uproarious and endlessly endearing, one of the most acute and affectionate portrayals of England in all its glorious eccentricity ever written. Two decades later, he set out again to rediscover that country, and the result is The Road to Little Dribbling. Nothing is funnier than Bill Bryson on the road—prepare for the total joy and multiple episodes of unseemly laughter.

I’ve read a lot of Bill Bryson’s work and this is the first of his work of which I have listened, mainly because it is narrated by someone other than the author himself. Bryson doesn’t generally have a reader friendly voice. His voice is nothing like what you would expect for a man of Bryson’s demeanor-but enough on that.

This books is typical of Bryson’s work, if not a little more academic than usual. It was an interesting and entertaining, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys British life, Expat stories (although Bryson hates that word), and hilarious takes on what it is like to travel by oneself across a country, from bottom to top.

Other similar books

Notes from a Small Island In Search Of EnglandThe English: A Portrait of a People

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Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Review of On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

4 of 5 Stars

I am a sucker for books on writing. Whether or not the author is famous matters only some, because I just love to read about other’s love for the craft. I was love reading these pseudo guide books, because I hope that they make spark my creative flame once more, or at the least, make me get back into writing.

On Writing has proved to be inspirational in this regard. I know that the muse cannot be waited on. Sometimes you have to prod it to wake it up. As summarized on Goodreads:

“Long live the King’ hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999–and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it–fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.”

Generally on high school and college reading lists, King’s memoir of the craft is educational, and any struggling writer should own this for their toolbox. He does seem a bit scattered through certain parts of the book, after his C.V. Although, how can I honestly critique a man that has written as many best selling novels as Stephen King?

All in all, this memoir has convinced me to start writing again, and it has made me realize that some of the strategies I learned in college creative writing classes need to be unlearned.

Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews, What I'm reading now...

What I’m Currently Reading…

OnWriting

Stephen King’s On Writing is the book that is supposed to make me want to write again, or at least that is what I tell myself. It’s a tall order, but it is Stephen King.

So far, it has help to remind me that I know how to write, that I can write, and well. I just need the gumption and dedication to stick to a story until it’s finished.

Netgalley/ARCs, Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Review: “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

5 stars of 5 ★★★★★

Pub. Date: July 29, 2014

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

*This eBook was provided free by the publisher through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

This ebook short gets straight to the point: We should all believe in equality. We should all strive for equality. Thus, we should all be feminists.

Here’s the summary(via Goodreads):

What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

A great work for students new to the Women Studies field or for anyone that just doesn’t get it or needs to be reminded of the principles on which feminism stands. It’s a short read, and it’s not littered with jargon or theory, just real life experiences by a real live woman.

Fiction Reviews, Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Series Reviews, Updates, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Update: What I Read in January…

jan2015reads

I created a list earlier this month to give readers some idea of what I was going to read this month. All that list did was to prove that I have no self control over my reading habits. Strike-through titles are ones I read this month and are linked to the review, if you’re interested. Below are other books I read and review, for those that missed them. I’m going to do better to read what I say I’m going to read in February, I promise!

January To Read List: 

Other books that I read and reviewed (instead of reading what was on my list):

I also read Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton and K-9 by Rohan Gavin. Those reviews will be up later this month.

Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Review: “Graduates in Wonderland” by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Five stars ★★★★★

I loved this true (if slightly edited) account of two twenty-somethings finding their way in the world. I feel like I know Rachel and Jessica, and even if I am slightly jealous of their lives, I am so glad they’re lives are possible through hard work and determination. It gives hope to people like me( who really, really wants to work in publishing in London but lives in a black-hole the shape and size of a southern US state).

Through a series of emails, we follow two Brown graduates and their lives in Beijing, Melbourne, London (Jessica) and New York, Paris, and London (Rachel). We see their quest for employment, love, friendship, and understanding of their place in the world through a series of emails to each other. they find that sometimes you have to do things you never thought you’d have to do, just to make it as an adult, and as someone that’s experiencing the same kind of hardships, I appreciate to see other people royally screwing things up and coming out the better for it.

I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to figure out the next stage in their life or those who want to live vicariously through others.

Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Review: “I work at a Public Library” by Gina Sheridan

★★★★★

If you seriously think librarians do nothing but sit around all day reading books, then please read this book. If you think libraries and librarians are or should be obsolete, please read this book. If you know a librarian, give them a hug and ask, “Which crazy patron did you have to deal with today?” Librarians are superheros. You disagree? Then read this book.

Libraries fill a different space in each person’s life. They can be the place where you get free books, the place where you get free internet access, the place where you take your kids for Story-time, the place where you took your one and only yoga class, the place where you took your new tablet/e-reader and were shown how to use it or took a computer basics class, where you took your resume for critique and got a job with take resume, should I keep going? ‘Cause I can.

Libraries are the hub of communities. They are the one true place where a person regardless of whatever variable are equal and are around people they may not meet in regular day life. Libraries are 3rd spaces in communities, meaning a place that isn’t home or school/work. Libraries are needed and always will be. Will they change? Yes! Just like every other aspect of society, they’re going to change.

If you’re even a little bit curious about anything I’ve said, read this book full of stories from librarians across the country (even the world) and what a normal day is like for them. If you can’t afford/don’t want to buy the book, check out the Tumblr here. It’s hilarious, even if you don’t work in a library. I recommend it and the book.

Non-Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult Reveiws

Reveiw: The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

5 stars of 5

I loved this collection of graphic novels (graphic non-fiction) by Marjane Satrapi. It chronicles her life in pre- and postwar Iran, and her life abroad as a refuge. It’s amazing to see how life in Iran completely changed during a short period of time. Here’s the summary:

Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi’s best-selling, internationally acclaimed memoir-in-comic-strips.

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom–Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.

This was one of my first forays into the comics world, and I am really glad to have given the genre a chance. I selected this title as December’s Teen Book Club Read, because of its inspirational content. It’s not a straight forward account of overcoming diversity, because it’s mixed with actual teenage, young adult shortcomings and self-consciousness. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

P.S. Persepolis means “City of Persians”.