Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30 | Currently Reading

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend. It was Thanksgiving weekend for us. We host Thanksgiving at our house each year which I love, but it's a lot of stress. I feel like the fate of the holiday rests in the hands of my turkey*.

I got a lot of great reading done last week. I finished reading Dead Ringers which was a scary surprise.

I also read My Diary from the Edge of the World which really wasn't a book for me. The writing was great, but I couldn't believe a word of it.

I finished reading the second Amulet book - The Stonekeeper's Curse. It wasn't as great as the first one, but I jumped right into book three.

I also read Slade House by David Mitchell. I think this is one that will continue to grow on me. It's very classic horror, but very new at the same time.

I'm almost finished with Michael McBride's Snowblind, and as I mentioned, I'm also reading the third Amulet book The Cloud Searchers.

What about you? What are you reading this week? Be sure to let me know in the comments or leave me a link!

*I realize turkeys don't have hands. :)

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review | The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kibuishi

The Stonekeeper is the first graphic novel in the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi.

Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot---and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids' mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

I picked this up at the library for my son. I started reading it for curiosity's sake and knew right away I would be finishing the entire book before passing it on to him.

The Stonekeeper does a great job at gripping you emotionally from the get go. We are immediately dealt the "death of a parent" card followed by the hardships a family faces in the wake of tragedy.

Due to the financial burden of losing their dad, Em's family moves into an old abandon house that once belonged to her grandfather.

They, of course, happen upon a magic amulet as one does in old family homes.

Em's mom gets kidnapped into another realm so Em and her brother Navin set off to save her.

The graphics in The Stonekeeper are fantastic.

I wound up returning this to the library without passing it on to my son. I love my entertainment to be really dark, but he does not. This definitely wouldn't have been his cup of tea. I, on the other hand, have already picked up the second and third volumes of this series.

7/10: Recommended Read


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Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16 | Currently Reading

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. My kids played their last soccer games of the season this past weekend. They both played really great games; it was a great end to the season. My 8 year old's team finished in first place. That really doesn't mean much to him, but I know he will be excited when he gets his medal. He loves that kind of stuff.

With our commitments winding down, I was able to find a bit more time to read last week. I finished reading Ania Ahlborn's Brother. I also read Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke.

Brother by Ania Ahlborn Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke

This week I will be playing catch up with my reviews! I started reading Christopher Golden's Dead Ringers last night, and so far I'm really loving it.

Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden

What about you? What are you finding time to read this week? Be sure to let me know in the comments or leave me a link!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9 | Currently Reading

My life has been crazy hectic lately. This is the very first time in my life I've been looking forward to winter. I'm hoping to have a reprieve from some of our commitments soon. My kids have ONE MORE week of soccer left for the season. We also just made the decision to pull my oldest out of Taekwondo after 5 years. Between both of my school age kids being inundated with projects and homework and my two year old being a full time two year old, I need to whittle life down to an acceptable amount of chaos.

I'm hoping a nice side effect of winter will be more time to read and blog.

I haven't even had time to go through the first round of Goodreads Choice nominations!

I'm pretty sure the only book I finished last week was Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi. It was really great, though. I look forward to working my way through this series of graphic novels.

I'm currently in the middle of reading Brother by Ania Ahlborn. This is normally the kind of book I would fly through so I'm looking forward to getting back to it. I also started the second Amulet book The Stonekeeper's Curse.

What about you? What are you finding time to read this week? Be sure to let me know in the comments or leave me a link!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 2015 | Notable New Releases

So October ended. That happens every year. Thankfully there are always great books to help pull us out of our funk. These are the books I'm most looking forward to escaping with in November.

Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz

An unholy predator on the prowl!

The small town of Lakeview offers little excitement for Duane, Savannah, and their friends. They’re about to endure their ten-year high school reunion when their lives are shattered by the arrival of an ancient, vengeful evil.

The werewolf.

The first attack leaves seven dead and four wounded. And though the beast remains on the loose and eager to spill more blood, the sleepy town is about to face an even greater terror. Because the four victims of the werewolf’s fury are changing. They’re experiencing unholy desires and unimaginable cravings. They’ll prey on the innocent. They’ll act on their basest desires. Soon, they’ll plunge the entire town into a nightmare. Lakeview is about to become Wolf Land.

My Diary from the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this playful and perceptive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.

Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.

To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.

Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

Stay Tonight. Stay Forever.

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn't have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she's met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Welcome to the Ruby.

Planetfall by Emma Newman

From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thorns, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

Convalescence by Maynard Sims

Who will protect the children?

Fourteen-year-old James has seen his family wiped out by tuberculosis in the England of the 1960s. When he is sent to the country to convalesce with his Uncle Thomas it seems a welcome respite. But his uncle is strange, and clearly has a dark secret. The huge house is secretive too, with whispers and cries in the night. Gradually James meets other children, some real, some apparently ghosts, but all of whom have been hurt by the uncle. Will James be next?

In an eerie novella of repressed depravity, Maynard Sims conjures nightmares from the fears of childhood.

Slade House by David Mitchell

From “one of the most electric writers alive” (The Boston Globe) comes a taut, intricately woven, spine-chilling, reality-warping short novel. Set across five decades, beginning in 1979 and coming to its electrifying conclusion on October 31, 2015, Slade House is the perfect book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night.

Solar Express by L.E. Modesitt Jr.

A thrilling, new, hard science fiction novel from New York Times bestselling author L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

You can’t militarize space. This one rule has led to decades of peaceful development of space programs worldwide. However, increasing resource scarcity and a changing climate on Earth’s surface is causing some interested parties to militarize, namely India, the North American Union, and the Sinese Federation.

The discovery of a strange artifact by Dr. Alayna Wong precipitates a crisis. What appears to be a hitherto undiscovered comet is soon revealed to be an alien structure on a cometary trajectory toward the sun. Now there is a race between countries to see who can study and control the artifact dubbed the "Solar Express" before it perhaps destroys itself.

Leading the way for the North American Union is Alayna’s friend, Captain Christopher Tavoian, one of the first shuttle pilots to be trained for combat in space. But, as the alien craft gets closer to its destination, it begins to alter the surface of the sun in strange new ways, ways that could lead Alayna to revolutionary discoveries—provided Chris can prevent war from breaking out as he navigates among the escalating tensions between nations.

This Gulf of Time and Stars (Reunification #1)
by Julie E. Czerneda

...I’d lived on a starship long enough to value the small sounds the Fox made: the whoosh of air through vents, the bone-deep growl of lift engines, and the reassuring almost-whine that meant not only gravity, but that we were moving through subspace under power. Sound meant we were safe and all was well.

Silence meant the opposite...

First in a new science fiction trilogy, set in the same universe as the Clan Chronicles, by the Prix Aurora Award-winning Julie E. Czerneda.

Black Wolves (The Black Wolves Trilogy #1)
by Kate Elliott

For readers of Brent Weeks and fans of Netflix's Marco Polo comes a rich and inspired fantasy tale of warriors and nobles who must take the most desperate gamble of all: awaken allies more destructive than the hated king they hope to overthrow. Kate Elliott's new trilogy is an unmissable treat for epic fantasy lovers everywhere.

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father's fate.

Combining the best of Shogun and Netflix's Marco Polo, Black Wolves is an unmissable treat for epic fantasy lovers everywhere.

Experimental Film by Gemma Files

Experimental Film is a contemporary ghost story in which former Canadian film history teacher Lois Cairns-jobless and depressed in the wake of her son's autism diagnosis-accidentally discovers the existence of lost early 20th century Ontario filmmaker Mrs. A. Macalla Whitcomb. By deciding to investigate how Mrs. Whitcomb's obsessions might have led to her mysterious disappearance, Lois unwittingly invites the forces which literally haunt Mrs. Whitcomb's films into her life, eventually putting her son, her husband and herself in danger. Experimental Film mixes painful character detail with a creeping aura of dread to produce a fictionalized "memoir" designed to play on its readers' narrative expectations and pack an existentialist punch.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.

Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”

Do you have plans to read any of these November new releases?


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