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!
edit

I've discovered that I can link my Goodreads account to my blog and create blog posts that way, so I'll be doing that instead. They won't be as involved as my previous posts, but at least I'll still be adding something here!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Release: The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER
By Jenny Colgan
William Morrow Paperbacks
September 20, 2016
ISBN: 9780062467256; $14.99
E-ISBN 9780062467263; $9.99


About the Book

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

Purchase Here:

About the Author
Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, includingLittle Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.

Connect with Jenny Colgan


Praise for Jenny Colgan and THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER:

“Losing myself in Jenny Colgan’s beautiful pages is the most delicious, comforting, satisfying treat I have had in ages.”
   — Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of Summer Secrets

“With a keen eye for the cinematic, Colgan (Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, 2016, etc.) is a deft mistress of romantic comedy; Nina's story is laced with clever dialogue and scenes set like jewels, just begging to be filmed. A charming, bracingly fresh happily-ever-after tale…”
Kirkus

 “This is a lovely novel with amazing characters who are hooked on books… at least some of them. The plot is believable and is a joy to read. The main female character, Nina, is the librarian who always figures out the best choice for a patron without fail. Jenny Colgan thinks outside the box and creates a memorable book.”
RT Book Reviews

“This charming tale celebrates the many ways books bring people together”
Booklist

“This light, fresh romantic comedy is the perfect escape for bibliophiles. Enjoy it with a cup of tea on a crisp day.”
Real Simple

“[A] love story about reading and the joys books can bring to people’s lives.”
All About Romance

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Excerpt from THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER:

The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”
            That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.
            A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.
            She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.
            Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.
            (What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.
            Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)
            It was just, Nina thought, trying to squash down the lump in her throat . . . it was just that they had been such a little library.
            Children’s story time Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Early closing Wednesday afternoon. A shabby old-fashioned building with tatty linoleum floors. A little musty sometimes, it was true. The big dripping radiators could take a while to get going of a morning and then would become instantly too warm, with a bit of a fug, particularly off old Charlie Evans, who came in to keep warm and read the Morning Star cover to cover, very slowly. She wondered where the Charlie Evanses of the world would go now.
            Cathy Neeson had explained that they were going to compress the library services into the center of town, where they would become a “hub,” with a “multimedia experience zone” and a coffee shop and an “intersensory experience,” whatever that was, even though town was at least two bus trips too far for most of their elderly or strollered-up clientele.
            Their lovely, tatty, old pitched-roof premises were being sold off to become executive apartments that would be well beyond the reach of a librarian’s salary. And Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, bookworm, with her long tangle of auburn hair, her pale skin with freckles dotted here and there, and a shyness that made her blush—or want to burst into tears—at the most inopportune moments, was, she got the feeling, going to be thrown out into the cold winds of a world that was getting a lot of unemployed librarians on the market at the same time.
            “So,” Cathy Neeson had concluded, “you can pretty much get started on packing up the ‘books’ right away.”
            She said “books” like it was a word she found distasteful in her shiny new vision of Mediatech Services. All those grubby, awkward books.


Nina dragged herself into the back room with a heavy heart and a slight redness around her eyes. Fortunately, everyone else looked more or less the same way. Old Rita O’Leary, who should probably have retired about a decade ago but was so kind to their clientele that everyone overlooked the fact that she couldn’t see the numbers on the Dewey Decimal System anymore and filed more or less at random, had burst into floods, and Nina had been able to cover up her own sadness comforting her.
            “You know who else did this?” hissed her colleague Griffin through his straggly beard as she made her way through. Griffin was casting a wary look at Cathy Neeson, still out in the main area as he spoke. “The Nazis. They packed up all the books and threw them onto bonfires.”
            “They’re not throwing them onto bonfires!” said Nina. “They’re not actually Nazis.”
            “That’s what everyone thinks. Then before you know it, you’ve got Nazis.”
With breathtaking speed, there’d been a sale, of sorts, with most of their clientele leafing through old familiar favorites in the ten pence box and leaving the shinier, newer stock behind.
            Now, as the days went on, they were meant to be packing up the rest of the books to ship them to the central library, but Griffin’s normally sullen face was looking even darker than usual. He had a long, unpleasantly scrawny beard, and a scornful attitude toward people who didn’t read the books he liked. As the only books he liked were obscure 1950s out-of-print stories about frustrated young men who drank too much in Fitzrovia, that gave him a lot of time to hone his attitude. He was still talking about book burners.
            “They won’t get burned! They’ll go to the big place in town.”
            Nina couldn’t bring herself to even say Mediatech.
            Griffin snorted. “Have you seen the plans? Coffee, computers, DVDs, plants, admin offices, and people doing cost–benefit analysis and harassing the unemployed—sorry, running ‘mindfulness workshops.’ There isn’t room for a book in the whole damn place.” He gestured at the dozens of boxes. “This will be landfill. They’ll use it to make roads.”
            “They won’t!”
            “They will! That’s what they do with dead books, didn’t you know? Turn them into underlay for roads. So great big cars can roll over the top of centuries of thought and ideas and scholarship, metaphorically stamping a love of learning into the dust with their stupid big tires and blustering Top Gear idiots killing
the planet.”
            “You’re not in the best of moods this morning, are you, Griffin?”
            “Could you two hurry it along a bit over there?” said Cathy Neeson, bustling in, sounding anxious. They only had the budget for the collection trucks for one afternoon; if they didn’t manage to load everything up in time, she’d be in serious trouble.
            “Yes, Commandant Über-Führer,” said Griffin under his breath as she bustled out again, her blond bob still rigid. “God, that woman is so evil it’s unbelievable.”
            But Nina wasn’t listening. She was looking instead in despair at the thousands of volumes around her, so hopeful with their beautiful covers and optimistic blurbs. To condemn any of them to waste disposal seemed heartbreaking: these were books! To Nina it was like closing down an animal shelter. And there was no way they were going to get it all done today, no matter what Cathy Neeson thought.
            Which was how, six hours later, when Nina’s Mini Metro pulled up in front of the front door of her tiny shared house, it was completely and utterly stuffed with volumes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ménage à 3: Round 2 by Gisèle Lagacé & David Lumsdon

Ménage à 3 Round 2 Ménage à 3 Round 2 by Gisèle Lagacé
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Printing the second year of Ménage à 3 , this collection is just as funny and naughty as the previous. Still one of the funniest web comics I've read.

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Ménage à 3: Round 1 by Gisèle Lagacé & David Lumsdon

Ménage à 3 Round 1 Ménage à 3 Round 1 by Gisèle Lagacé
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the funnier web comics that I've read, Ménage à 3 follows the adventures of Gary and his two roommates, Zii and Didi, as they navigate life in Montreal. Basically, think Three's Company, but with way more sex (of every variety - everyone seems to have sex with everyone else at some point). Definitely written for a mature audience, there are several laugh out loud moments in this collection, printing the first year of the online comic.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Calamity Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really great, thought provoking ending to this series. I truly hope that Sanderson revisits these characters and themes again in the future.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Extraordinary X-Men, Vol 1: X-Haven by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Humberto Ramos

Extraordinary X-Men Vol. 1: X-Haven Extraordinary X-Men Vol. 1: X-Haven by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won't lie, I miss the X-Men of my younger years (late 80s/early 90s). I've been trying to reconcile their fall from popularity and the direction their stories have been taking in light of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (don't get me started on the X-Men movie franchise **shudders**), but I've been sticking with it. This book, my first post-Secret Wars X-Men experience, has left me torn: even tho every aspect of this book has already been done before (mutants being hated for being different; mutants needing to go into hiding; mutants being on the edge of extinction for about the third time in a decade now; Sinister conducting his weird experiments and playing around with famous mutant's DNA), it did leave me wondering what was going to happen next, so that's at least somewhat good storytelling, right? Right?! Sigh.

There are things I don't understand in this post-Terrigen bomb/Secret Wars world: what exactly is the difference between being an Inhuman or mutant and why is one seen as seemly being acceptable by the populace at large? Other than needing to push the Inhuman as the new version of being a mutant in the MCU, I see no distinction. What does it matter if the Terrigen mists are making mutants sterile? Don't normal humans give birth to mutants, as well? Maybe it's changing the structure of the entire world's DNA? What if a human with dormant Inhuman genes gives birth to a mutant? What would the Terrigen mists do to the mutant? How long does the Terrigen mist linger in the atmosphere? I'm hoping some of this is addressed at some point.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Bill the Cat Story: A Bloom County Epic by Berkeley Breathed

The Bill the Cat Story: A Bloom County Epic The Bill the Cat Story: A Bloom County Epic by Berkeley Breathed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Filled with his usual wit and humor, Berkeley Breathed tells the origin of Bloom County's very own Bill the Cat in this clever book. Masquerading as a children's picture book, The Bill the Cat Story is really written for Breathed's long-time fans (tho kids will enjoy the illustrations and the not surprisingly touching message), and I'm looking forward to more Bloom County picture books.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne

The Purloined Poodle The Purloined Poodle by Kevin Hearne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great addition to Hearne's Iron Druid chronicles, starring everyone's favorite Irish wolfhound, Oberon.

Champion dogs have been disappearing up and down the west coast, and Oberon decides to take it upon himself (with Atticus' help) to find out what's been happening to these dognapped hounds. Filled with Hearne's signature humor, and told exclusively from Oberon's POV, this is a genuinely funny book. Will definitely be picking up more of Oberon's Meaty Mysteries!

I received a free ebook from the publisher thru NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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