ANNOUNCEMENT
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bear with me as I still continue to recover.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's Author Season!

I've been lucky enough this week to attend not one, but two!, author events, each hosted by my favorite local Indies.

First up, last night Schuler Books hosted Steve Hamilton for the kick off of his signing tour for the release of his newest Nick Mason book, Exit Strategy. Steve is a very funny man and very humble and I've enjoyed both times that I've gotten to meet him.


Tonight, Nicola's Books hosted Paula Hawkins for the release of her new book, Into the Water. I was lucky enough to meet Paula many moons ago at one of the ALA Mid Winter Conferences in Chicago right after the release of The Girl on the Train and she is just as charming now as she was then.

Next week, there will be back to back signings again at Schuler, for Josh Malerman and his newest, Black Mad Wheel, and then the next night with Jacqueline Carey for Miranda and Caliban.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too by jomny sun

 photo 080417348601_SX175_SY250_SCLZZZZZZZ__zpsda9e2b77.jpgeveryone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too
by jomny sun
Published by Harper Perennial • June 27, 2017
304 Pages • ISBN 978-0062569028 • Hardcover

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Book description:
everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too is the illustrated story of a lonely alien sent to observe Earth, only to meet all sorts of creatures with all sorts of perspectives on life, love, and happiness, all while learning to feel a little better about being an alien – based on the enormously popular Twitter account, @jonnysun.

Here is the unforgettable story of Jomny, a lonely alien who, for the first time ever, finds a home on our planet after learning that earthlings can feel lonely too. Jomny finds friendship in a bear tired of other creatures running away in fear, an egg struggling to decide what to hatch into, an owl working its way to being wise, a tree feeling stuck in one place, a tadpole coming to terms with turning into a frog, a dying ghost, a puppy unable to express itself, and many more.

Through this story of a lost, lonely and confused alien finding friendship, acceptance, and love among the creatures of Earth, we will all learn how to be a little more human. And for all of us earth-bound creatures here on this planet, we can all be reminded that sometimes, it takes an outsider to help us see ourselves for who we truly are.


I have never heard of Jomny Sun, nor his twitter feed, @jonnysun, and after having read everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too, I feel like I've been missing out on something fairly amazing. everyone's a aliebn opens with the alien Jomny being dropped off on Earth, to study the planet and what it means to be an earthling. Never feeling like a part of his people, Jomny at first feels lost on Earth, but as he learns what it means to be an earthling thru his encounters with a varied cast of characters, he actually discovers what it means to be human instead, and begins to finally feel like he has found his place in the universe.

This is one of those rare treats of a book for me that reminds me how you can be fooled by a book, and in a beautiful way. Remarkably told thru the sparsest of illustrations and text, everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too has an emotional impact I was not expecting. The illustrations and text are so basic, I initially thought I was just reading a cute little story about an alien on Earth and his misadventures, but what Jonathan Sun provides is actually a guide to the ups and downs of all human emotion, and it is surprisingly powerful. I enjoyed it so much, that I immediately flipped back to the beginning as soon as I finished it and read the whole thing again. I think this would be a perfect book for anyone who is having a hard time finding their place in the world; if Jomny can do it, any of us can.


I received a print ARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano

 photo 080417348601_SX175_SY250_SCLZZZZZZZ__zpsda9e2b77.jpgThe Girl with the Ghost Machine
by Lauren DeStefano
Published by Bloomsbury • June 6, 2017
224 Pages • ISBN 978-1681194448 • Hardcover

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Schuler BooksAmazon
To purchase any of the books in this post and help me buy more books, click the links above!
LibraryThingGoodreads
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Book description:
When Emmaline Beaumont's father started building the ghost machine, she didn't expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.

Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work... or destroy it forever.

Emmaline Beaumont's mother has passed away. Unfortunately, Emmaline's father has become fixated with building a machine that will bring Emmaline's mother's ghost back, and in doing so, he himself has forgotten about the living in his obsession with the dead, so in many ways Emmaline has lost both of her parents. The only people she can confide in are twins Gully and Oliver, her best friends in school. Yet for of their understanding and patience, Gully and Oliver are unable to fully understand Emmaline's loss as they have never lost someone so close to them as Emmaline's mother was to her. Her father's machine, however, may actually work, and it is then that Emmaline must decide whether the cost of operating the machine is worth the price paid, and will the twins help her in her decision, regardless of what that decision is?

Lauren DeStefano has created a beautiful and poignant story that I feel would be an important book for anyone to read who has recently (or not so recently) lost someone very close to them. DeStefano has a keen ability to cut to the quick of the emotions of loss and what that can feel like, especially for someone too young to have have lost a loved one. Her characters are not cliché and their feelings are quite real, and the story she has created feels honest and important. That's the best way I can describe it. A fan of her YA series The Chemical Garden Trilogy and The Interment Chronicles, I have not yet read her other two middle grade books, The Curious Tale of the In-Between and The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart, and I think I'll be needing to rectify that soon.


I received a print ARC of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 2017 Recap


  1. Empress, Book One by Mark Millar, illustrated by Stuart Immonen
  2. Death of X by Charles Soule & Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Aaron Kuder
  3. The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano
  4. Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness by Howard Mackie, illustrated by John Romita, Jr & Ron Garney
  5. Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Book 8 by Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello, illustrated by Andy Kubert
  6. May Sarton to Valerie Knapp: Letters and Poems to a Secret Muse by May Sarton, edited by Mary Chenoweth Stratton
  7. Invincible, Vol 3: Perfect Strangers by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Cory Walker & Bill Crabtree
  8. Dr. First/Dr. Fourth/Dr. Eleventh/Dr. Twelfth by Adam Hargreaves
  9. Invincible, Vol 4: Head of the Class by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Ryan Ottley & Bill Crabtree
  10. Invincible, Vol 5: The Facts of Life by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Ryan Ottley & Bill Crabtree

Top Book of the Month
The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano


April 2017
Number of books read: 10
Number of pages: 1,376

Number of books acquired: 37
Number of those books read: 6


First month out of the hospital, and feeling better. Concentration isn't exactly up to par yet, so there will still be an abundance of graphic novels for the time being.


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 30
Number of pages: 4,688

Number of books acquired: 106
Number of those books read: 20

Friday, March 31, 2017

March 2017 Recap


  1. Doctor Who: Choose the Future: Night of the Kraken by Jonathan Green
  2. Fish Girl by David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by David Wiesner

Top Book of the Month
Fish Girl by David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by David Wiesner


March 2017
Number of books read: 2
Number of pages: 400

Number of books acquired: 10
Number of those books read: 0


This was my month in hospital for the transplant, hence no reading after Fish Girl. Next month will hopefully be better.


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 20
Number of pages: 3,312

Number of books acquired: 69
Number of those books read: 12

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017 Recap


  1. Invincible, Vol 2: Eight Is Enough by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley, & Bill Crabtree
  2. Modern Masters, Vol 1: Alan Davis by Eric Nolen-Weathington
  3. Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Shane Oakley
  4. The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, narrated by Lisa Flanagan
  5. Smurfs, Vol 2: The Smurfs and the Magic Flute by Peyo
  6. Civil War II by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by David Marquez
  7. Hounded by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels

Top Book of the Month
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, narrated by Lisa Flanagan


February 2017
Number of books read: 7
Number of pages: 1,552

Number of books acquired: 34
Number of those books read: 7


Slow reading month. Getting ready to go into hospital for my transplant, so I'm a little distracted.


YEAR TOTALS
Number of books read: 18
Number of pages: 2,912

Number of books acquired: 59
Number of those books read: 12

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

The Queen of the Night The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not really sure what to say about Alexander Chee's novel The Queen of the Night other than it is magnificent. A sprawling, epic tale that put me in mind of Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, we follow Paris Opera sensation Lilliet Berne as she recounts her life from her humble beginnings as an orphaned American child, who tried to make her way to Europe to the only family she new of after the death of her family and ended up being swept up by one circumstance after another into the spectacle that was the Second French Empire. We follow her life from her time with a traveling circus, to becoming a prostitute in one of Paris' more prestigious whorehouses, to her time as a dresser for Empress Eugénie de Montijo at the Tuileries, until she finally makes her debut at the French Opera. Through this tale, she is trying to discover who might know of her secrets, as each time she took on a new role, she also cast off her old life and name and reinvented herself at each turn, trying to finally free herself from her own past and come into the life that she wants for herself.

Chee seems to have thoroughly researched his setting for Lillet's journey, and his writing is strong and precise. Lilliet's life is quite an adventure, but it never seems to be dull, and I never felt like I was wishing that her tale would hurry along. I listened to the audio version, and Lisa Flanagan's narration is spot on; she truly became the voice of Lilliet for me. The only thing that I added to my own listening of the book that I think could possibly benefit other readers is that I listened to selections of the operas and other musical pieces that are mentioned in the book, to add that next level of enjoyment to the story.

Chee is an extraordinary storyteller and I'll definitely be reading more by him in the future.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Shane Oakley

Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Basically one long run on joke about all the tropes found in every Gothic tale ever told, this is the weakest of Dark Horse's Gaiman adaptations. I haven't read the original story this was adapted from, so I'm not sure if this is worse/better or if it's Gaiman's story or Oakley's adaptation, but I quickly found myself skimming thru just to get to the end, and when you're reading something only 48 pages long and you start skimming when you're only half way thru...

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Modern Masters, Vol 1: Alan Davis by Eric Nolen-Weathington

Modern Masters Volume One: Alan Davis Modern Masters, Vol 1: Alan Davis by Eric Nolen-Weathington
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A nice volume about comic book artist Alan Davis, who has been a favorite of mine since I first encountered his art in Uncanny X-Men back in the late 80s. Including an interview with Davis, the book is also filled with sketches, finished art, previously unseen art, a look at the artists that have influenced Davis over the years, as well as interviews with some of Davis' contemporaries. If you're a fan of the history of comic books and want a firsthand look into the life and influences of Alan Davis, this is the perfect book for you.

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