Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2015 Third Quarter Wrap Up Post!!

Wow, 2015 is really flying by for me this year... I can hardly believe the year is almost over with and that the holiday season is upon us.

I've had a decent year in reading so far. I've read or listened to a total of 82 books so far this year. My goal is to read 100 books this year. So far, I'm making great strides in meeting that goal... At this rate, it looks like I just may exceed my goal of reading/listening to 100 books!! Wouldn't that be great?

The break down of what I've read thus far this year is as follows:

I've listened to 20 audiobooks.
I've read 48 eBooks.
I've read 14 physical books.

My favorite books read so far this year include the following books:

1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
3. The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015 ~~~ Wrap Up Post!!

The Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015 is officially over with this year. I would like to thank Wishful Endings for hosting this wonderful read-a-thon!! I look forward to participating in this fun event next year. I hope to read more next year than I did this year for the read-a-thon.

I had hoped to read 5 to 7 books during the Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015 event, but alas, I definitely fell short of my reading goal this year. I didn't have any time for reading the last three days of this read-a-thon... I probably could have finished reading at least one, if not both books, that I had left unfinished at the end of this read-a-thon. Life happens though, right?

I did finish reading the following four books during the Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon as follows:

1. The Nightmare by Lars Kepler (unabridged audiobook)
2. The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe (unabridged audiobook)
3. Spooky Things by Katelyn Sinclair (hardback children's book)
4. Victoria: Daughter of Darkness by W. J. May (ebook novella)

Plus, I started, but didn't finish reading two other books as follows:

1. The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery (unabridged audiobook) (14% into this audiobook)
2. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (paperback edition) (81 pages into this novel)

If you participated in the Tackle Your TBR Read-A-thon this year, how did you do? Did you meet your personal reading goals?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Oyster, "Netflix For Books", Is Shutting Down

I read an article on Wired titled ‘Netflix for Books’ Startup Oyster Is Shutting Down by Davey Alba. In the article, Davey Alba writes the following:
The two-year-old company says it will take steps to “sunset” the Oyster service over the next few months and will honor customers’ requests for refunds over the next few weeks. It’s not immediately clear exactly why the company is shuttering its operations, but as Re/code initially reported, most of its team, including CEO Eric Stromberg and co-founders Andrew Brown and Willem Van Lancker, are joining Google to work on the company’s Google Play bookstore. (Google confirmed the move in an email to WIRED.)
“We believe more than ever that the phone will be the primary reading device globally over the next decade—enabling access to knowledge and stories for billions of people worldwide,” the co-founders wrote in a blog post. “Looking forward, we feel this is best seized by taking on new opportunities to fully realize our vision for ebooks.”
Click on top link to read the full story. 

I haven't personally used Oyster's services myself. Yet, I found myself surprised by the announcement that they were shutting down. I'd think being able to read an unlimited amount of ebooks would be a huge draw for avid readers.

Have any of you used Oyster? Are you sad to see that they'll be shutting down?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Victoria: Daughter of Darkness by W. J. May

eBook Novella
I finished reading the ebook version of Victoria: Daughter of Darkness by W. J. May earlier this week. Victoria: Daughter of Darkness is a vampire/paranormal themed novella approximately 150 pages in length. Victoria: Daughter of Darkness is also the first novel in the series.

I was able to download Victoria: Daughter of Darkness by W. J. May for FREE to my Kindle. Below is my unbiased review of this vampire/paranormal novella.

I first came across the Daughter of Darkness series when I read and reviewed Blair (Daughter of Darkness Series Book 1) by Chrissy Peebles in July of this year. I enjoyed reading Blair (Daughter of Darkness Series Book 1) by Chrissy Peebles. It was in Blair (Daughter of Darkness Series Book 1) that I first came across the character of Victoria, who had a minor role in Blair (Daughter of Darkness Series Book 1). So, when I discovered that Victoria had a leading role her own series of books by W. J. May, I wanted to learn more about her character. 

First off, let me say right away that I love the cover art on Victoria: Daughter of Darkness by W. J. May. It's pretty badass and gives a pretty good feel/vibe/look at who the character of Victoria is really like!

As far as the story and writing goes, I wasn't very impressed with Victoria: Daughter of Darkness by W. J. May. I wasn't sucked into this novella, like I was with Blair (Daughter of Darkness Series Book 1) by Chrissy Peebles. I thought the character of Victoria was ruthless and rude and mostly one dimensional... Victoria came across as entitled. I also thought that W. J. May's writing was just so-so. Needless to say, I won't be going out of my way to read another book by W. J. May.

The following is a summary for Victoria: Daughter of Darkness by W. J. May from Amazon's website:
4 authors will each take a different daughter born from the Prince of Darkness, Vlad Montour. (Also known as Vlad the Impaler, an evil villain from history)

Blair – Chrissy Peebles
Jezebel – Kristen Middleton
Victoria – W.J. May
Lotus – C.J. Pinard


Only Death Could Stop Her Now

The Daughters of Darkness is a series of female heroines who may or may not know each other, but all have the same father, Vlad Montour.

Victoria is a Hunter Vampire, one of the last of her kind. She's the best of the best.
When she finds out one of her marks is actually her sister she let's her go, only to end up on the wrong side of the council. 
Forced to prove herself she hunts her next mark, a werewolf. Injured and hungry, she is forced to do what she must to survive. Her actions upset the ancient council and she finds herself now being the one thing she has always despised -- the Hunted.

This is Tori's story by W.J. May. This is a novella. As a courtesy, the author wishes to inform you this novella does end with a cliffhanger. The next book coming out in early Autumn (or sooner) will continue the story.
I am giving Victoria: Daughter of Darkness by W. J. May a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe

I finished listening to the unabridged audio version of The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe and narrated by Heather Corrigan this past weekend.

This was my first experience with anything written by Katherine Howe and I am unsure at this point in time whether or not I'll try reading another novel written by Ms. Howe as I wasn't very impressed with The House of Velvet & Glass

I did think, however, that Heather Corrigan did a splendid job narrating The House of Velvet & Glass and will look forward to hearing her narrate other audiobooks in the future.

The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe falls into the historical fiction genre. The setting of this novel primarily takes place roughly a century ago on the East Coast of the USA in Boston, Massachusetts. Topics/themes for this novel include the Titanic, the sinking of the Lusitania, World War 1, Spiritualism, Scrying/Divination, family loss, and also a family scandal to name a few of the topics touched upon in this novel.

I liked the premise of The House of Velvet & Glass and many of the themes/topics touched upon within it, as I do enjoy reading historical fiction. I thought, for the most part, that The House of Velvet & Glass was a very slow novel overall.... Some of the scenes did pick up and were interesting, but for much of the novel, I felt it was boring/slow and it felt disjointed as it moved between time periods. I also felt that the ending of The House of Velvet & Glass was very flat. There is an abrupt gap of two years where the novel goes from 1915 and then jumps to 1917 in the next chapter. The novel ends in an unexpected way that wasn't fulfilling to me. The ending was very anticlimactic to say the least. The House of Velvet & Glass just didn't resonate very well with me.

The following is a summary for The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe from Amazon's website:
Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in an elegant town house in Boston's Back Bay. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sybil flees for solace to the parlor of a table-turning medium.
But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Jones, despite the unspoken tensions of their shared past. As Benton and Sibyl work together to solve a harrowing mystery, their long-simmering spark flares to life, and they realize that there may be something even more magical between them than a medium's scrying glass.
From the opium dens of Boston's Chinatown to the opulent salons of high society, from the back alleys of colonial Shanghai to the decks of the Titanic, The House of Velvet and Glass weaves together meticulous period detail, intoxicating romance, and a final shocking twist in a breathtaking novel that will thrill readers.
I am giving The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spooky Things by Katelyn Sinclair

Hardback Children's Book
I received an autographed hardback copy of Spooky Things by Katelyn Sinclair in the mail. I received this book for FREE through the Goodreads Giveaway Program. Below is my unbiased review of Spooky Things by Katelyn Sinclair.

First off, I must admit that I didn't realize that Spooky Things by Katelyn Sinclair was a children's book when I entered this Goodreads Giveaway.... I know, I know, I should have known by the cover of this book and by also reading the description of what this book was about when I entered for the chance to win that it was a children's book. But, I digress... So, let me share with you my thoughts about Spooky Things by Katelyn Sinclair.

I loved reading Spooky Things by Katelyn Sinclair!! It's the perfect children's 
Halloween book for younger kids (ages 3 to 6 years old) without being scary. The illustrations/pictures in Spooky Things are really fun and well done. But, best of all, is the Halloween themed poem (iambic tetrameter) that comprises this Halloween themed story! The poem really makes reading Spooky Things aloud to a child all the more fun to read.

At the end of Spooky Things, Katelyn Sinclair shares a section on "How to Read This Book Aloud", which I enjoyed reading very much.

I am giving Spooky Things by Katelyn Sinclair a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Top Ten Tuesday ---Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR!!!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Here's my list of Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR!!

1. Death of a Rug Lord by Tamar Myers
2. The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart
3. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
4. The Four Agreements Companion Book by Don Miguel Ruiz
5. Baroque and Desperate by Tamar Myers
6. Gilt By Association by Tamar Myers
7. Caviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World's Most Coveted Delicacy by Inga Saffron
8. The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity by Donna Gates
9. Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs by Caroline Knapp
10. Forever by Judy Blume Read already.

So, which books are on your Fall TBR??

Monday, September 21, 2015

Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015 ~~~ Week 1 Update

Yesterday was the end of week one of the Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015. I haven't been doing daily updates or participating in any of the daily read-a-thon challenges for this read-a-thon as I just haven't had the time between reading, making other blog posts, and life in general. 

I only plan to make two updates for Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015. Today's post marks the halfway mark update and next Monday's blog post will be my wrap up post for the Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015.

During the first week of the Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015 (September 14th through 20th), I finished listening to the remaining three compact discs for an unabridged audiobook I had begun prior to the start of the Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015 titled The Nightmare by Lars Kepler (click on the link to your left to read my review of The Nightmare). 

I also started and finished listening to another unabridged audiobook titled The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe last week. A review for The House of Velvet & Glass by Katherine Howe will come in the next few days. Listening time for The House of Velvet & Glass was approximately 16.5 hours.

I am currently 81 pages into Casino Royale by Ian Fleming and 15 pages into Victoria: A Paranormal Romance (Daughters of Darkness: Victoria's Journey) by W. J. May. I am hoping to finish reading both books by the end of Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015.

Are you participating in the Tackle Your TBR Read-A-Thon 2015? If so, let me know how you're doing in terms of your reading goals.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California

Indie Bookstore Here I Come!!
I enjoy visiting independent bookstores as frequently as I can!! This past weekend, my hubby and I visited Santa Cruz, California to celebrate his birthday.

During our time spent in downtown Santa Cruz, we happened upon an independent bookstore called Bookshop Santa Cruz... Well, I couldn't resist perusing this bookstore with my hubby. I'm happy that he enjoys visiting bookstores as much as I do.

I am so thrilled that we stumbled upon the Bookshop Santa Cruz during our visit to Santa Cruz, California, as it's an amazing bookstore!! The Bookshop Santa Cruz is a lot larger on the inside than one would imagine it to be when looking at it from their outside entrance on Pacific Avenue.

So, what did I like about Bookshop Santa Cruz?? Just about everything!! 

*I liked the size and layout of this indie bookstore. 
* Plus there is plenty of areas to sit and enjoy reading books or periodicals.
Bookshop Santa Cruz
* The periodical section is wonderful... As a knitter, I enjoyed the wide variety of knitting magazines on hand for purchase.
* I liked seeing all the staff book recommendations scattered throughout the bookstore.
* I like that used books are sold in addition to new books.
* Bookshop Santa Cruz also buys used books.
* I enjoyed seeing a section devoted to local authors.
* Lots of sale books.
* Author events.
* Book Publishing services.
* Plus so much more!! See link above to visit the Bookshop Santa Cruz website for more details about their bookstore.

I hope to visit the Bookshop Santa Cruz again in the not so distant future. 

Until my next visit, happy reading!!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Love Margaret Atwood's Novels??? Then Check Out These Books!!

I am an admitted Margaret Atwood fan!! I admit that I have yet to read every book she's ever written, but the novels I have read by Margaret Atwood are FABULOUS to say the least.

So, when I discovered an article on the Bustle website titled 9 Books You Must Read If You Love Margaret Atwood by Alex Heimbach, I couldn't wait to read which nine books made the list.

Click on the above list to see which books made the list!!

14 Must Read Biographies About Women!!

I came across another wonderful article on the Bustle website titled 14 Biographies About Women That Need To Be On Every Woman's Bucket List by E. Ce Miller. In the article, E. Ce Miller shares some really exciting sounding biographies of fascinating women... I'd like to read the biographies of Catherine the Great, Henrietta Lacks, and Sisters In Law about Ruth Bader Ginsburg & Sandra Day O'Conner mentioned in E. Ce Miller's article.

Click on the above link to view which books made the list. Happy reading!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Finds #95

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

Here's the books I've added to my ever growing reading pile this week:

1. The End of Me by Tara Brown
2. Miami Requiem by J. B. Turner
3. Ink Red Dead by Joanna Campbell Slan
4. Snow Sometimes Falls by Brian Ming
5. Victoria: A Vampire & Paranormal Romance by W. J. May
6. Hammered by Belle Knudson
7. Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys by Pamela DuMond
8. City of Ghosts: A Mystery in Vienna by Shawn Kobb
9. Coming In From the Cold by Sarina Bowen
10. Killing Hemingway by Arthur Byrne
11. The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker
12. The Witch Hunter by Nicole R. Hunter

What did you add to your collection this week?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Happy 125th Birthday to Agatha Christie!!

Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors. I've enjoyed reading several of her novels over the years and am currently reading a collection of short stories featuring Miss Marple at the moment, among other books as well.

Earlier today, I came across an interesting article on the India Today website titled Happy Birthday, Agatha Christie: 15 thrilling facts about the best selling novelist of all time

I was surprised to learn from the above mentioned article that Agatha Christie "qualified as a pharmacist in April 1927. Here, she acquired the knowledge of poisons that would later become an important part of her thrillers."

Click on the above link to read more interesting facts about Agatha Christie.

Top Ten Tuesday --- My List of Favorite Banned Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

With Banned Books Week 2015 right around the corner (September 27 through October 3rd), I thought I'd share my top ten list of favorite banned books that I've read throughout the years... It was pretty tough deciding which books to select for this list. There are a few banned books on my list below that I'd like to reread as it's been several decades since I've read two of the ones I've mentioned.

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

4. The Giver by Lois Lowery

5. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

6. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

8. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

9. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

10. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

Share a few of your favorite banned book titles with me! I'm curious to see which ones you've enjoyed reading.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Nightmare by Lars Kepler

Tonight, I finished listening to the unabridged version of The Nightmare by Lars Kepler and read by Mark Bramhall. 

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for Swedish literary duo,  Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril.

I thought that Mark Bramhall did an excellent job of narrating The Nightmare by Lars Kepler. A good narrator and a good quality audio production always makes listening to a book so much more enjoyable than if a narrator is a bad one or if the audio production is poorly done.

The Nightmare, itself, is a mystery novel that is the second novel in a series to feature detective inspector Joona Linna. I liked the character of Joona Linna quite a bit.

As far as my thoughts about The Nightmare, I thought it had a lot of layers to it and some intriguing characters and plot twists... But, I thought it was a bit drawn out in parts. I thought that The Nightmare could have been a shorter novel than it is in its current state.

I also thought that the bad guy was evil, no doubt about it, but couldn't quite find him any scarier than any other bad guy... And without going into all the details, the bad guy creates a 'nightmare/worst case scenario' type of contract between himself and those he was trying to strong arm,  and this scenario really didn't seem all that scary because of the way the authors describe it.

There's also a scene where a couple in the novel is stranded on an island and they are being chased by a hit-man out to kill them. Sure it's a scary scene/scenario. BUT I found it difficult to believe that this couple couldn't find help from others on the island sooner than they did... And the guy who does eventually help them out, is a bit sick and twisted himself... It was just a bit odd/non-realistic to have the situation play out the way it did.

So, in some ways, there was quite a bit I liked about The Nightmare, but in other ways there were things that I didn't resonate with me with regards to The Nightmare.

I also enjoyed the author interview at the end of The Nightmare itself, even if the audio quality wasn't so good and the interview ended somewhat abruptly.

The following is a summary for The Nightmare by Lars Kepler from Goodreads:
Lars Kepler returns with a piercing, bestselling sequel to The Hypnotist.
After spellbinding audiences in The Hypnotist, Detective Inspector Joona Linna is back in The Nightmare, an internationally bestselling Swedish thriller published to critical acclaim in dozens of countries. As the Swedish newspaper Arbetarbladet put it, "The reader is ready to sell his own soul for the opportunity to read this book without interruption, in one sitting."
On a summer night, police recover the body of a young woman from an abandoned pleasure boat drifting around the Stockholm archipelago. Her lungs are filled with brackish water, and the forensics team is sure that she drowned. Why, then, is the pleasure boat still afloat, and why are there no traces of water on her clothes or body?
The next day, a man turns up dead in his state apartment in Stockholm, hanging from a lamp hook. All signs point to suicide, but the room has a high ceiling, and there's not a single piece of furniture around--nothing to climb on.
Joona Linna begins to piece together the two mysteries, but the logistics are a mere prelude to a dizzying and dangerous course of events. At its core, the most frightening aspect of The Nightmare isn't its gruesome crimes--it's the dark psychology of its characters, who show us how blind we are to our own motives.
I am giving The Nightmare by Lars Kepler a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon 2015 ~~ September 14th Through September 27th

Once again the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon is being hosted by Wishful Endings!! I kind of found out about this read-a-thon at the last moment, as in the last hour or so. So, I am signing up for this read-a-thon now, as I need to greatly reduce of TBR Pile!!

Below is some information about the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon 2015 from the Wishful Endings blog site:
The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon begins Monday, September 14th and ends Sunday, September 27th, with a wrap-up (including giveaway winners) on September 28th. You do not have to be a blogger to sign up. Just use your Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Tumblr, or leave a comment stating that you'll just post updates on my blog commenting on my updates instead (just pick a place you're going to post updates on). For the linky, you need to leave a link (so if you're going to post on my blog, then leave the link to my blog, but your email so that I have a way to reach you). 
When the read-a-thon officially begins, you all will have a chance to add a sign-up/goals post (or leave it in comments in response to mine when that goes up on September 14th). 
What can you read as part of the read-a-thon? Anything. It can be an audiobook, ebook, physical book, published, ARC, etc. There are no restrictions. The idea is to lower our TBR piles and any way you want to do that is just fine by me. 
Please sign up by using the linky at the end of the this post (even if you're only going to be participating via commenting). You MUST be signed up in the linky to enter any related giveaways and participate in the challenges. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO POST A SIGN-UP POST (with or without goals, we will be posting goals too, but that isn't required as a separate post) AND A WRAP-UP POST (at the end of the read-a-thon) TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GIVEAWAYS HOSTED HERE. Everything else and how you participate is up to you.
I'll attempt to read five to seven books during the next two weeks. Since I already have a few books that I am currently reading, reaching my goal shouldn't be too difficult I hope!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Finds #94

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

Here's the books I've added to my ever growing reading pile this week:

1. Forever by Judy Blume
2. The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele
3. The Firebird Mystery by Darrell Pitt

What did you add to your collection this week?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Librarian Rhapsody- Shoalhaven Library Staff!!

Love this fun music video promoting libraries and reading! Enjoy watching this video posted on YouTube... And don't forget to visit your local library!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

First Public Library Biotech Lab Opens in San Diego, California

Do you love science? Then check out the first public library biotech lab to open in San Diego, California!! 

I first learned about this new library from the Library Jornal website in an article titled San Diego Opens First Public Library Biotech Lab by Lisa Peet. In the article, Lisa Peet writes:
The world’s first biotech lab in a public librarycelebrated its grand opening September 1 in the La Jolla-Riford Branch Library of the San Diego Public Library (SDPL). The Bio Lab is part of the library’s Life Science Collaboratory, which has hosed a variety of classes and talks from visiting scientists since it opened its doors in April. The Bio Lab, however, promises to take Collaboratory’s citizen science mission a step further.
Outfitted with used and donated equipment from local sources, the Bio Lab meets Basic Safety Level (BSL) 1 standards, the equivalent of a high school laboratory. It currently offers microscopes, centrifuges, DNA copying machines, electrophoresis gel boxes, a vortex mixer, and other basic molecular biology equipment, as well as access to the branch’s 3-D printer lab and a 50-person classroom. Drawing on San Diego’s thriving biotech community, the Collaboratory has assembled an enthusiastic volunteer staff to helps lead demos, lectures, workshops, and hands-on participation for users of all ages.
All-ages workshops are held monthly, as is a lecture aimed at adults. Workshops, offered by volunteers from the Wet Lab, a local citizen science facility, have included lessons in DNA extraction using a strawberry; lectures have covered topics such as the sensory system of sharks and rays, alternative energy sources, the intestinal parasites Giardia lamblia, and gene splicing.
After reading this article, I now want to visit the biotech lab in San Diego. Public libraries are awesome! Click on the top link to read the full story!  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Cover of Night by Linda Howard

Unabridged Audiobook
I enjoyed listening to the unabridged audio version of Cover of Night by Linda Howard and narrated by Joyce Bean and Dick Hill.

The first thing I'd like to mention is that I thought that Joyce Bean and Dick Hill are phenomenal readers for this novel!! As I've mentioned before, narrators can make or break one's listening experience of an audiobook... So, I was thrilled that Joyce Bean and Dick Hill made my experience listening to Cover of Night a good one.

I enjoyed the premise/storyline of Cover of Night quite a bit. I also enjoyed the characters in this novel as well. Some of the details/plot scenarios in the Cover of Night seemed a tad far fetched Some of the romance scenes seemed a bit unrealistic too. But. overall I enjoyed listening to the Cover of Night by Linda Howell immensely.

The following is a plot summary for Cover of Night by Linda Howard from Goodreads:
In the charming rural town of Trail Stop, Idaho, accessible to the outside world by only a single road, young widow Cate Nightingale lives peacefully with her four-year-old twin boys, running a bed-and-breakfast. Though the overnight guests are few and far between - occasional hunters and lake fishermen - Cate always manages to make ends meet with the help of the local jack-of-all-trades, Calvin Harris, who can handle everything from carpentry to plumbing. But Calvin is not what he seems, and Cate’s luck is about to run out. 
One morning, the B&B’s only guest inexplicably vanishes, leaving behind his personal effects. A few days later Cate is shocked when armed men storm the house, demanding the mystery man’s belongings. Fearing for her children’s lives, Cate agrees to cooperate - until Calvin saves the day, forcing the intruders to scatter into the surrounding woods.
The nightmare, however, is just beginning. Cate, Calvin, and their entire community find themselves cut off and alone with no means to call for help as the threat gathers intensity and first blood is drawn.
With their fellow residents trapped and the entire town held hostage, Cate and Calvin have no choice but to take the fight to their enemies under the cover of night. While reticent Cal becomes a fearless protector, Cate makes the most daring move of her life…into the very heart of danger.
I am giving Cover of Night by Linda Howard a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

Literary T-Shirts for Book-Lovers!!

Check out the cool literary t-shirt I discovered through the Bustle article titled 13 Cool Literary T-Shirts Perfect For Any Book Lover Going Back To School by Emily McClure. 

Frankly, I think these t-shirts can be worn by any book lover, even if you aren't going back to school!! 

Click on the link above to see these cool t-shirts. 

Ways to Start Preparing For National Novel Writing Month

Are you planning to write a novel during National Novel Writing Month (November)? If so, perhaps the following article from Bustle titled 11 Ways You Can Start Preparing For National Novel Writing Month Now by Alex Weiss. In her article, Alex Weiss wrote the following:
Whether you're a first time NaNoWriMo participant or a well-rounded veteran, preparing for it is absolutely essential. The first few days, and even weeks (if you're lucky) will go well. It usually isn't until you're a couple chapters in when you realize you have no idea where your novel is going or why your characters are just standing around aimlessly that problems begin to arise. Don't worry; it happens to the best of us. To battle that, though, I've come up with a few tips on getting a basic understanding of your novel, characters, and plot — as well as lifestyle changes to start getting used to. 
Remember, NaNoWriMo is all about getting words down on the page. It doesn't matter if some of your characters go missing halfway through, or if your plot changes dramatically. Just getting to the 50,000-word goal in 30 days is what you need to keep in mind. If you survive the month and finish, you can always go back and rewrite. (AND YOU SHOULD. THIS IS A FIRST DRAFT, PEOPLE.) And getting the first draft out is what it's all about.
Click on the above link to read the 11 ways to prepare for National Novel Writing Month. Good luck and happy writing!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Finds #93

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list... 

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

Here's the books I've added to my ever growing reading pile this week:

1. Knitting In Plain English by Maggie Righetti

I bought this used knitting book based on the awesome reviews I read about it on Amazon's website from customers who like it. I am hoping it will help we improve and advance my knitting skills as time goes by.

2. Books, Blogs, & Reality by Ryan Ringbloom

I won the above new paperback novel through the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Program. The book looks like a good read and is autographed by the author!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

12 Ways Parents Turn Us Into Book Lovers!!

Yes, our parents can help us turn into book lovers and avid readers!! My mom use to read books to me as a toddler/child, so my love for reading and books began at an early age for sure. I've loved reading ever since. So, thank you mom for enriching my life and turning me into an avid reader!!

I came across an article on Bustle's website titled 12 Ways Your Parents Turned You Into A Book-Lover by Julia Seales. In her article, Julia Seales writes:
My mom got her degree as a reading specialist. So, it'd probably be an understatement to say that when I was growing up, books were a pretty important part of everyday life. There's no way I could have grown up NOT loving books, because I was surrounded by them all day, every day.

At one point, my mom actually owned a used book business, and she would take me to book sales and let me get as many five-cent Nancy Drew Notebooksas I could fit in my scrawny arms... and then some. (Side note: If you’ve never experienced a book sale, you’re missing out. We would wake up at about 4 a.m., go to a huge warehouse, and straight-up fight other lit-lovers over old library copies of rare books. Literally, imagine a fashion sample-sale scene, replace the Louboutins with books, and you’d have an accurate mental picture of a book sale.) 
Anyway, if you're a fellow book-lover, you probably have a similar story. No, I don’t mean you fought some woman with a blonde updo over a rare children’s book… I mean that if you love to read, your parents are at least partially to thank for that. After all, chances are they're the first people who even told you what this beautiful and wonderful thing called a "book" was, and that's just one of the many ways they turned you into the lit-lover you are today.
Click on the above link to read the full story. Until my next post, happy reading!! 

In Need Of A Challenging Book to Read?

Once again I discovered another enlightening article on Bustle's website that is one sure to please those readers wanting a challenging book to read! Check out 9 Complex Books For Readers Who Want A Challenge by Crystal Paul. In her article, Crystal Paul writes:
Fair warning: these books are not for the casual reader. They’re the kind of make-your-brain-hurt, re-read-every-sentence-three-times, I-didn’t-know-words-could-do-that books that make most readers give up by Chapter 4. But, if you stick it out, you’re in for a real intellectual treat that’ll have you trying to force these tough tomes on all your friends.
So, click on the above link to see which challenging books made the cut!

Are You In A Relationship With A Writer?

Then there are some suggestions on how to survive a relationship with a writer! Earlier this week, I came across another interesting article on Bustle's website titled 10 Ways To Survive A Relationship With A Writer by Dina Gachman. In her article, Dina Gachman writes the following:
Not that all writers are crazy. At least, not all of the time. Sure, T.S. Eliot supposedly wore green face powder and lipstick when he wrote, and Nabokov wrote novels on index cards (hey, whatever works), but most writers are sane, disciplined, rational human beings. It’s the profession that makes us crazy. Sitting alone all day, trying to create earth-shattering things out of thin air, getting paid peanuts, baring your soul, and dealing with rejection after baring that soul could turn even the most stoic chemical engineers into Scarlett O’Hara before Tara burned down and taught her a lesson. But boohoo, right? It’s pretty great work, if you can get it.
If you are dating a writer, there are a few things you can do to make the ride a little less… challenging. And if you’re the writer in the relationship, share these tips with your engineer/doctor/mathematician/lawyer honey to help them understand that the whirlwind of emotions you experience during any given day (or hour) isn’t anything to be scared of. It’s just life. And if both people in the relationship are writers? I wish you all the understanding, patience, and fortitude in the world.
Click on the above link to read the ten tips provided by the writer, Dina Gachman. 

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Frequently Banned Books Written By Female Writers

With Banned Books Week coming up later this month, I couldn't resist sharing an article I stumbled upon earlier this week on Bustle's website regarding banned books. The article is titled 11 Frequently Banned Books By Female Writers That You Absolutely Cannot Miss by Blaire Perel. In her article, Blaire Perel writes:
There’s one upside to book-banning: it’s that kind of like anything-banning, the more you take something away, the more people want it. Is it the danger? The mystery? (The ridiculousness of a book being banned in the first place?) Whatever it is, reading banned books is a fantastic idea. Not only are you telling those who are pro-censorship that you’re not going to take any of their BS, but you also just might get a little thrill from getting your paws on the prohibited.

But the question remains: Which author to choose? Unfortunately, so many books have been banned, called "vulgar,”“inappropriate,” and “offensive,” that picking a title from the banned-book pile isn’t an easy feat. It even turns out that Maya Angelou, a writer who is beloved by so many, holds the dubious distinction of the most banned author in America. In 1983, Angelou was accused of harboring “a bitterness and hatred toward whites” by members of the Alabama committee that approves schools texts. (Apparently the Pulitzer Prize board missed that when nominating her work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

Quite a few of the book titles mentioned in Blaire Perel's article I have never even heard of before. I have, however, heard of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, which I read last month and really enjoyed reading. Now I have more banned books written by female writers to add to my reading wishlist. I also hope you have some new book titles to add to your reading list as well.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Take A Vacation, Become A Bookseller!!

Lol, have you ever wanted to become a bookseller?? Well now you can take a vacation to Scotland and become a bookseller for a week through AirBnB! Check out Alex Heimbach's article on Bustle titled Best AirBnB Listing Ever Lets You Become A Bookseller For A Week. In her article, Alex Heimbach writes:
There's a new vacation option for bibliophiles that may replace Jane Austen tours and the Harry Potter theme park in your holiday fantasies. You can now live for a week above a bookshop — and run the place yourself. Located in Wigtown, Scotland's national book town, The Open Book welcomes travelers who want to spend a week selling books, provides training from local booksellers, and offers the chance to inject your own personal style with book displays and special events. Each resident is also invited to write about their experiences on the Open Book's blog.

Though newly listed on AirBnB, The Book Shop holiday has been up and running for almost a year under the guardianship of the Wigtown Book Festival, which leases the store from a local family. "It can be a hard life, selling books in a small town, so it’s not a holiday for everybody," says Adrian Turpin, director of the book festival. But so far, the guests, who've ranged from retired American booksellers to English artists to the Bookshop Band, have raved about their experiences.
This sounds like an awesome experience!! Sign me up!! 

A List Of Books That Even Stephen King Found Scary!!

Calling all Stephen King fans!! Check out the 11 Books That Scared The Master Of Horror, Stephen King, And Will Terrify You, Too by Amy Sachs. In her article, Amy Sachs writes:
King obviously has a way with words, and his Twitter is no exception. Full of hilarious thoughts and weekly answers to reader questions, it's always entertaining. He alternates between adorable tweets featuring his dog, Molly (aka The Thing of Evil), and recommending the books he's reading. Being the master of horror that he is, I consider him an authority on recommendations in that genre. You could make an entire reading list based on Stephen King recommendations, and be set for a long time. 
Here are 11 books that scared the unshakable Stephen King, and so are pretty much guaranteed to keep you up at night and/or give you nightmares. But hey, that's the fun part!
Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Book Recommendations on Every Aspect of Launching & Running a Business

Have you ever thought about starting your own business?? In the not so distant past, I, myself, even thought starting my own small business. 

This morning, I came across an article on Entrepreneur titled 12 Books on Every Aspect of Launching and Running a Business by Firas Kittaneh. In his article, Firas Kittaneh writes: 
To expand my knowledge and skills, I read. To source inspiration for innovative ideas and to develop a better understanding of the ever-changing world that we live in, I carefully absorb information from books. Over the years, I’ve read dozens of amazing works but for busy entrepreneurs, here are 12 leadership, marketing and technology books that I would highly recommend. As a whole, they offer valuable life guidance, contemporary approaches to work and unconventional world views that will motivate you to approach things in a new, refreshing way.
Check out which business books Firas Kittaneh recommends in his article by clicking on the link above!

I still haven't launched my own small business. Maybe I will some day, maybe I won't. Perhaps after reading some of the books mentioned in Firas Kittaneh's article, I'll be armed with the needed inspiration and knowledge to move forward.