Audiobook reviews, Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews

Audiobook Review of BellWether by Connie Willis

BellwetherRating: 4 of 5 Stars
Pages: 247
Published: 1997

Connie Willis somehow connects RomComs and Sci-Fi, and I love it. She takes the most random topics, like in Bellwether where we have fads, flock mentality, sheep, and scientists.

The Summary, taken from Goodreads:

Pop culture, chaos theory and matters of the heart collide in this unique novella from the Hugo and Nebula winning author of Doomsday Book.

Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennet O’Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions.

Connie Willis is one of my favorite SciFi writers. Her protagonists are generally female, and authentic which is so rare in science fiction. I whole heartily recommend Bellwether to those you are not sure they like SciFi or just like light SciFi.

Buy from Amazon($7.99), here.

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

Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Series Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Review: Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger

Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School)Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School, #4)

My Rating: 4 Stars of 5
Amazon’s Rating: 4.5
Pages: 352

The final book of the Finishing series by Gail Carriger is packed full of excitement, fluttering eyelashes, and deadly acquaintances.

Sophronia is an young lady of good graces, as far as appearances go, but appearances are deceiving.

Taken from Goodreads,

If one must flirt…flirt with danger.
Lessons in the art of espionage aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s floating dirigible have become tedious without Sophronia’s sootie Soap nearby. She would rather thwart dastardly Picklemen, yet her concerns about their wicked intentions are ignored.

Who can she trust? Royal werewolf dewan? Stylish vampire Lord Akeldama? Only one thing is certain: a large-scale plot is under way. Sophronia must be ready to save her friends, her school, and all of London from disaster.

If you’ve been following this series, the final book is fun and a satisfying close. There is even an epilogue that helps put some of the “I wonder what happen to…” questions to rest. All in all, I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys steampunk, Victorian easy reads.

Buy from Amazon ($10.97), here.

Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Review: Wink, Poppy, Midnight

Wink Poppy Midnight

This novel was weird. Like imagine Lana del Ray singing at an Adams Family Reunion kind of weird. It was haunting.

It was annoying, too. We never find out what the MC’s real name is, she is just simply called River because that’s the name she calls herself in her head. Quite honestly, the whole book is about ‘River’ fangirling over a family of maybe witches. It reminded me of Twilight.

The summary from Goodreads:

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Like? I read this novel a little while ago, and I didn’t post the review because I could not think of anything positive to say. The writing itself is good, but the story sucks balls, man. The cover is pretty.

So… yeah.

Sold on Amazon ($6.99) here.

Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Series Reviews, Young Adult books, Young Adult Reveiws

Review: Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)London. Supernaturals. Petticoats. Bladed Fans. Espionage. That’s all it took for me to be interested in this series, and book Three, Waistcoats & Weaponry does not disappoint.

Sophronia is back at finishing school (a.k.a. Espionage School) and is faced with a whole new set of problems. Add to a young teen girl trying to save the British Empire, annoying boys are vying for her affections. Sophronia doesn’t let this stop her, fluttering eyelashes or no.

Need more depth? As summarized on Goodreads:

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style—with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland.

No one suspected what—or who—they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Check out the Finishing School series on Amazon.

More Books in the Series:

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School, #4)

(Links are affiliate links for Amazon.)

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.

Fiction, Fiction Reviews, Reviews, Series Reviews

Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series

Rivers of London (Peter Grant, #1)Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)

****4 Stars out of 5

The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch is a series I have wanted to read since 2012, when I was studying in London. As you can see from the cover, Diana Gabaldon pitched it as grown-up Harry Potter. I mean, come on. How could I not love this series?

I started reading this series a couple of months ago, and yes, I love it. It is not Harry Potter by any means, but that’s okay. The main character, Peter Grant, is a young police constable, who by happenstance of meeting a ghost, is appointed an apprentice to a magician investigator. There are vampires, and river spirits, ghosts, and of course magic, all this fantasy is mixed in a very believable depiction of the London Metropolitan Police.

This is a light read series, of course. It is intriguing and the main character is very likeable. Peter is a POC, which is refreshing, and the novels do mention that fact in ways other than just character descriptions.

All in all, if you like Urban fantasy, I would recommend this series. So far, I have only read the first two novels, Midnight Riot (Rivers of London-UK name) and Moon over Soho, but I will continue with the series.