Sunday, November 18, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | November 18

I don't know what is going on to make it so cold where I live. I get worried for people who live in places where it's actually supposed to be cold this early. I hope you guys are OK!

This week is going to be hectic with Thanksgiving on the way. I have to work Monday through Wednesday and then host my family for Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday. Cooking the turkey always full on stresses me out.

Posted Last Week

Another week of posting reviews! Can I keep it up?

Last week I posted reviews for A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem edited by Eric J. Guignard ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur ⭐⭐⭐.

Finished Reading

Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal by J.K. Rowling, Alicia Dellepiane Rawson (Translator) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I finally finished my Spanish edition of Harry Potter. I highly recommend reading through Harry Potter if you are trying to improve your reading skills in a foreign language. It helped so much to already be familiar with the text.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur ⭐⭐⭐ - You can read my full review here.

Currently Reading

A Primer to Kaaron Warren edited by Eric J. Guignard - This is the second book in the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series.

Harry Potter y la cámara secreta by J.K. Rowling, Adolfo Muñoz García (Translator) - I plan to carry on through the series and read them all in Spanish.

Recent Acquisitions

La sombra del viento (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - This is Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind. I've been wanting to read The Shadow of the Wind for a long time now. I think I'm going to give the original a try.

Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - Someone posted about this one on Instagram not too long ago so I grabbed this one, too.

El amor en los tiempos del cólera by Gabriel García Márquez - Have you read Love in the Time of Cholera? I'm a little nervous about this one, but if I wind up loving One Hundred Years of Solitude, I know I'll want to read this one, too. It's highly rated among my GR friends so we'll see!

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Book Review | The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

The Sun and Her Flowers is a poetry collection by Rupi Kaur.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
in order to bloom

The Sun and Her Flowers is the followup to Rupi Kaur's amazing poetry collection Milk and Honey. (You can read my review of Milk and Honey here.)

Unfortunately, I didn't love The Sun and Her Flowers as much as I loved Milk and Honey. There were several poems in The Sun and Her Flowers that I did love very much, but as a whole, the collection fell more toward the middle for me.

The Sun and Her Flowers felt like an extension of Milk and Honey, and I highly recommend reading Milk and Honey first. I think I enjoyed The Sun and Her Flowers much more having read it on the heels of Milk and Honey. Rupi Kaur has a unique style, and I think it was presented best in her previous collection.

Even though The Sun and Her Flowers didn't wind up as a favorite collection, I do still recommend it. I look forward to picking up more poetry by Rupi Kaur in the future.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

On My Wishlist {16}

I'm way over due for posting a wishlist post! I've read so many amazing reviews and have been recommended a lot of books lately. This post could really get out of hand. I've decided to try my best at narrowing down my list to just three books I'm currently wishing or waiting for.

The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste

The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste

Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street.

It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies wither away, their fingernails turning to broken glass, and their bones exposed like corroded metal beneath their flesh.

As rumors spread about the grotesque transformations, soon everyone from nosy tourists to clinic doctors and government men start arriving on Denton Street, eager to catch sight of “the Rust Maidens” in metamorphosis. But even with all the onlookers, nobody can explain what’s happening or why—except perhaps the Rust Maidens themselves. Whispering in secret, they know more than they’re telling, and Phoebe realizes her former friends are quietly preparing for something that will tear their neighborhood apart.

Alternating between past and present, Phoebe struggles to unravel the mystery of the Rust Maidens—and her own unwitting role in the transformations—before she loses everything she’s held dear: her home, her best friend, and even perhaps her own body.

The first book comes out later this week, and that is The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste. Several members of the Ladies of Horror Fiction team have already read it, and they are raving about it. It sounds like a must buy horror book for this year.

Love For Slaughter by Sara Tantlinger

Love For Slaughter by Sara Tantlinger

This debut collection of poetry from Sara Tantlinger takes a dark look at all the horrors of love, the pleasures of flesh, and the lust for blood. For discerning fans of romance and the macabre, look no further than Love For Slaughter.
Love for Slaughter is another wishlist book I'm blaming on the Ladies of Horror Fiction team. Both Emily and Toni have been reading a lot of poetry with me this year, and they are raving on Love for Slaughter. It's quickly heading to the top of my must buy list.

The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky by John Hornor Jacobs

The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky by John Hornor Jacobs

Having lost both her home and family to a brutal dictatorship, Isabel has fled to Spain, where she watches young, bronzed beauties and tries to forget the horrors that lie in her homeland.

Shadowing her always, attired in rumpled linen suits and an eyepatch, is “The Eye,” a fellow ex-pat and poet with a notorious reputation. An unlikely friendship blossoms, a kinship of shared grief. Then The Eye receives a mysterious note and suddenly returns home, his fate uncertain.

Left with the keys to The Eye’s apartment, Isabel finds two of his secret manuscripts: a halting translation of an ancient, profane work, and an evocative testament of his capture during the revolution. Both texts bear disturbing images of blood and torture, and the more Isabel reads the more she feels the inexplicable compulsion to go home.

It means a journey deep into a country torn by war, still ruled by a violent regime, but the idea of finding The Eye becomes ineluctable. Isabel feels the manuscripts pushing her to go. Her country is lost, and now her only friend is lost, too. What must she give to get them back? In the end, she has only herself left to sacrifice.


How does someone simply give up their home...especially when their home won’t let them?

The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky is a Lovecraftian tale from John Hornor Jacobs. If I'm not mistaken, it's set in the same world as Southern Gods. I was hoping to get a paperback, but I've only seen an ebook release so far.

Have you read or are you planning to read any of these? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Book Review | A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem edited by Eric J. Guignard

A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem is a biography, a collection of short stories, and an analysis of Tem's work. It includes an interview with Tem as well as a non-fiction essay by Tem.

For over four decades, Steve Rasnic Tem has been an acclaimed author of horror, weird, and sentimental fiction. Hailed by Publishers Weekly as “A perfect balance between the bizarre and the straight-forward” and Library Journal as “One of the most distinctive voices in imaginative literature,” Steve Rasnic Tem has been read and cherished the world over for his affecting, genre-crossing tales.

Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to his work, the first in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a chance to discover—or learn more of—the rich voice of Steve Rasnic Tem, as beautifully illustrated by artist Michelle Prebich.

Included within these pages are:

• Six short stories, one written exclusively for this book
• Author interview
• Complete bibliography
• Academic commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD (former humanities chair and professor of the year, Seton Hill University)
• … and more!

Enter this doorway to the vast and fantastic: Get to know Steve Rasnic Tem.

I absolutely loved this introduction to Steve Rasnic Tem. It's not only an introduction to some of Tem's stories, it's also an introduction to the author and his view on genre.

There are six short stories by Steve Rasnic Tem in this primer. Each story is accompanied by commentary from Michael Arnzen. I'm not big on literary analysis, but I enjoyed reading Arnzen's take on each story. I imagine folks who love analysis will really dig those sections. There's also a nice write up by Arnzen titled "Why Steve Rasnic Tem Matters".

I loved each one of the stories in this primer, and I think Steve Rasnic Tem really captured why during the interview portion of this book.

The writing process for most of my stories involves discovering what that emotional center is, and until I find that emotional center I feel there's not really a story yet. ... And as all this evolves I'm constantly looking for that emotional center - what the viewpoint character is feeling about whatever is going on, because in my experience it's the conviction of emotion that gives things meaning.

His stories are about the characters, and character driven stories are the best of horror for me.

Whether you are unfamiliar with Steve Rasnic Tem or are already a fan of his work, I highly recommend A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem. I definitely want to read more of Tem's work, and I'm looking forward to diving into more Exploring Dark Short Fiction primers from Dark Moon Books in the future.


Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | November 11

If you are joining the Ladies of Horror Fiction team for the Rebecca readalong, the week one discussion post is live. I'm absolutely loving Rebecca so far. Daphne du Maurier's writing is so beautiful.

Be sure to stop by and comment if you are reading along with us. We are giving away a copy of our next readalong selection (to be revealed after Rebecca).

Posted Last Week

I'm starting to get my reviewing (and maybe even my ebook) mojo back.

Last week I posted reviews for House of Fallen Trees by Gina Ranalli ⭐ and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I just realized how extreme my reviewing week was!

Finished Reading

It was a rough week including no A/C (and I live on the Gulf Coast where it was still quite hot this week) so I only finished one book. It was an amazing book, though.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Milk and Honey is a poetry collection and you can read my full review here.

Currently Reading

Return to Dyatlov Pass by J.H. Moncrieff - I'm enjoying this one.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur - The Sun and Her Flowers her follow up poetry collection to Milk and Honey.

Recent Acquisitions

Skyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson - It was Lynn's review that sealed the deal with this one.

Dreaming At the Top of My Lungs by Israel Finn - This horror collection was recently a Kindle deal.

North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek, Jenny Jurek - I grabbed this as part of an Audible Daily Deal. I enjoyed Scott Jurek's Eat & Run so I'm really looking forward to hearing about his running journey on the Appalachian Trial.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching!) this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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