Sunday, January 21, 2018

Winner! -- My Best Read of 2017 Giveaway




The votes are in and you all picked The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood as my best read of 2017! I won't lie, it was a pretty frightening and intense book, I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the Hulu series of it yet!



The book with the next highest votes was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which was also just excellent and I cannot recommend it enough! 



 


  The Winner of my contest is *drumroll* .... Rachelle B. who said agreed The Handmaid's Tale was my best read in 2017, and chose to win Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman! 

Congrats Rachelle!  I have e-mailed you to work out the details of your win! 




Thank you to everyone who entered!  I had a great reading year in 2017, and I can't wait to see what my best read for 2018 will be!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Best Reads of 2017 - A Giveaway!

So life happened, and the rest of my polls didn't, so I made some executive decisions and have a best book for each month! Giveaway incoming! This is a two-parter, you're going to tell me which book was the best of the year, and then you're going to tell me which one you'd like to win if you are chosen! So it's a choose your own giveaway!

The chosen winner will have their choice between a US Kindle copy or a physical copy from The Book Depository or Amazon (my choice which vendor), please note that the cover may vary as I will choose the most economical version of the book for myself to send.  Thank you!

This Giveaway will be open Through Saturday January 20th, 2018! 

Your choices are (with links to their Goodreads pages):

January

Vicious
by V. E. Schwab

February

The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood

March

Between the World
and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates
 April

Norse Mythology
by Neil Gaiman
May

The Fifth Season
by N. K. Jemisin
June

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
July

Eliza and Her
Monsters

by Francesca Zappia
August

Binti: Home
by Nnedi Okorafor

September

Sorcerer to the Crown
by Zen Cho


October

The Tethered Mage
by Melissa Caruso



November

Beasts of
Extraordinary
Circumstance

by Ruth Emmie
Lang
December

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
by Jennifer Ryan





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini

Synopsis:

The only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the most brilliant, revered, and scandalous of the Romantic poets, Ada was destined for fame long before her birth. Estranged from Ada’s father, who was infamously “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” Ada’s mathematician mother is determined to save her only child from her perilous Byron heritage. Banishing fairy tales and make-believe from the nursery, Ada’s mother provides her daughter with a rigorous education grounded in mathematics and science. Any troubling spark of imagination—or worse yet, passion or poetry—is promptly extinguished. Or so her mother believes.

When Ada is introduced into London society as a highly eligible young heiress, she at last discovers the intellectual and social circles she has craved all her life. Little does she realize that her delightful new friendship with inventor Charles Babbage—brilliant, charming, and occasionally curmudgeonly—will shape her destiny. Intrigued by the prototype of his first calculating machine, the Difference Engine, and enthralled by the plans for his even more advanced Analytical Engine, Ada resolves to help Babbage realize his extraordinary vision, unique in her understanding of how his invention could transform the world. All the while, she passionately studies mathematics—ignoring skeptics who consider it an unusual, even unhealthy pursuit for a woman—falls in love, discovers the shocking secrets behind her parents’ estrangement, and comes to terms with the unquenchable fire of her imagination.

Publication Date: December 5th, 2017
Imprint: Dutton
Publisher: Penguin Group Dutton
Genre: Historical Fiction
Received From: Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback
My Rating: 4/5

This cover is gorgeous and I was interested to find out more about Ada Lovelace's work with Charles Babbage as I knew they were associated, but only vaguely.  This was a slow read for me, tedious at times as so much of it is Ada, alone with her governesses or her mother's friends, angry and lonely, a brilliant mind with not enough to keep it busy.  She did not have an exciting life, and was often ill, but in spite of being the daughter of a wealthy mother, she was nearly a prisoner, as her mother sought to keep her from falling prey to her bad Byron blood, by keeping her imagination reined in.  Luckily her mother did approve studies in math and science, or the world might not be where we are now!

This is my first read by Chiaverini, but I am interested in more.  While it was not a quick and smooth read, as I mentioned above parts were somewhat tedious as there was much description of not a lot happening, that does serve to give an idea of how Ada herself must have felt, wanting so badly to experience life and being held in check by her mother's fears that she will turn out like her father.  Apparently I was the only person who didn't already know that Lord Byron the poet was her father!

I think lovers of historical fiction with an interest in Ada Lovelace's life will enjoy this, it is not heavy in actual math and science, but more description of Ada's experiences and interests in those studies and relationships with some of the great minds of the time.  The Analytical and Difference Engines of Babbage are mentioned, and described in a way that a person not familiar with them should be able to follow along and have a good idea why they were important. Even though it is told from Ada's point of view, there is a lot of set up from before her birth and while she was very young that helps to establish her mother's feelings about her father, which will in turn affect Ada's entire life.  Her story is often a sad and lonely one, but then I wonder, had she not been watched so closely and kept focused on math and science, but allowed more freedom of imagination, what might she have done instead with her brilliant and all too short life? Would we have computers as we now know them?


Sunday, December 10, 2017

My Best Read of August 2017 - A Poll Off!

It's always hard to decide what the best books you've read in a year are.  We can look at our ratings, but those may change depending on our mood. It's really hard to compare some of those books against each other, especially when you've read them months apart, or they are on completely different subjects.

I'm going to have a friendly competition between the books I've read this year and see what YOU think was my best read in 2017.  I'm going to post a poll for each month of the year, with the books I've read in one list for you to vote on, so that by the end of the year, I'll have 12 books for a final poll to decide what the best book I've read this year was, according to you! There may even be a giveaway at the end!

Starting the first week of October, I will post a month's worth of books every week to be voted on, with the winner for that week going on the final list.

Here are the books I read in August, covers and links to Goodreads will be below the poll itself so you don't have to scroll if you already know your answer!  It's okay if you haven't read any of them, just pick the one that sounds the most appealing to you!

Update: I got a little behind on making polls, and there will be a giveaway at the end, so if you haven't read any of these, please still vote for the one that interests you the most. Chaos voting is okay! ;)

Create your own user feedback survey


by Tamora Pierce
by Neil Gaiman
by Yoon Ha Lee
by Kauffman
and Kristoff
by Eddie Izzard
by Cat Winters
by Nnedi Okorafor

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

My Best Read of July 2017 - a Poll Off!

It's always hard to decide what the best books you've read in a year are.  We can look at our ratings, but those may change depending on our mood. It's really hard to compare some of those books against each other, especially when you've read them months apart, or they are on completely different subjects.

I'm going to have a friendly competition between the books I've read this year and see what YOU think was my best read in 2017.  I'm going to post a poll for each month of the year, with the books I've read in one list for you to vote on, so that by the end of the year, I'll have 12 books for a final poll to decide what the best book I've read this year was, according to you! There may even be a giveaway at the end!

Starting the first week of October, I will post a month's worth of books every week to be voted on, with the winner for that week going on the final list.

Here are the books I read in July, covers and links to Goodreads will be below the poll itself so you don't have to scroll if you already know your answer!  It's okay if you haven't read any of them, just pick the one that sounds the most appealing to you!

Update: I got a little behind on making polls, and there will be a giveaway at the end, so if you haven't read any of these, please still vote for the one that interests you the most. Chaos voting is okay! ;)

Create your own user feedback survey


by Cindy
Spencer Pape
by Hand, Ashton
and Meadows
by Francesca Zappia
by F. C. Yee
by Gabrielle Zevin
by Natasha Pulley
by Scott Hawkins

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Hope Divided (The Loyal League #2) by Alyssa Cole

Description:

The Civil War has turned neighbor against neighbor--but for one scientist spy and her philosopher soldier, war could bind them together . . .

For three years of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother's traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her--until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie's home for their new base of operations in the guerilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.

Unbeknowst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.

When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie's freedom on the line, she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love--and freedom--before they ever cross state lines.


Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
Imprint: Kensington Books
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Received From: Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback
My Rating: 4/5

I have always been drawn to Civil War fiction, John Jakes' North and South being an early favorite of mine.  I have been interested in trying Alyssa Cole's Loyal League series, and when I saw A Hope Divided available on Netgalley I jumped at the chance, and luckily was approved!

I enjoyed the characters, Marlie is in a difficult position of being considered Negro, yet protected by her family name, and Ewan is not at all your conventional romance hero, often unsure of himself and confused by Marlie's reactions, being relatively inexperienced with the opposite sex.  He's very detail oriented and inventive, in this story someone who constantly tries to keep his mind occupied by reading, and fixing and thinking things through logically.  Marlie is a good match for him, and is constantly challenging the philosophical ideas he has held as guiding precepts in his life.  They are both firmly scientific, but Marlie's healing skills, though carefully derived and precise, originate from a background in arts a little more mystical from her mother, that she struggles with, on the one hand wanting to reject them as unrealistic, but on the other, sometimes they seem to prove out in unexpected ways. 

There are plenty of heart stopping moments as Marlie's home is invaded by the Confederate Home Guard hunting down deserters and resisters, and her life quickly changes and even becomes endangered, her family name no longer a protection compared to the color of her skin. Overall this was an interesting story that gives a good representation of the fear and complications of being a Union sympathizer in the South during the Civil War, and I recommend it if you enjoy stories set in this time period.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Sunday Post #13



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


Bowling is going well!  I have bowled twice for my team when other ladies have been absent and I felt great! I even bowled decently for me! I have to say it is such a relief, as that's truly the only sport I really participate in, other than walking as exercise, which I don't do nearly enough!  I would say the broken arm is just about back, I have a hard time putting weight fully on it, with my hand perpendicular to my arm, so I'm not ready for push ups, but most other things are pack to normal! (Push ups really haven't been normal for me anyway!)

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving in the US, so that was nice getting together with family for lots of food and visiting! Having a long weekend has been great too!

This coming Friday my husband and I will be attending another author talk, hosted by our local Rainy Day Books, and it will be astronaut Scott Kelly, discussing his book Endurance.  I can't wait, I think it will be so exciting!





Reviews:

I should have had a review for Artemis by Andy Weir.  Unfortunately, I DNF'd it about a quarter of the way through because I had real issues with the main character, with how he presented her in relation to our current social/political climate, I just felt that he made bad choices.  Here is a link to my Goodreads opinion if you are interested.  Artemis review

I was also supposed to have reviewed The Upside of Unrequited for My TBR List's November choice, but I just couldn't get into it, through no fault of the book, it was just too teen and too contemporary, and too cute boys and girls and worried about dating and how they looked, which is exactly what it says it was, but it just wasn't for me right now.  I don't want to relive those days, even vicariously, nope!



Features (otherwise known as ALL THE VOTING!):

Polls:
 
I've started a poll feature to last from now until the end of the year where you will help me pick what my best reads were!  Each week I will have a poll that lists the books I read in a particular month for you to vote what my best read that month was.  At the end of the year, I will run those 12 in a poll against each other, and when we have a winner I will host a giveaway for that book!

Even if you haven't read any of them, please vote on the one that interests you the most!

I have posted the results for January - May voting here: January - May 2017 Best Read Results

And have opened the June poll here: Best Read of June 2017 Poll

June has a tough choice with 3 books I would be hard pressed to decide between, as they've all been popular and important in different ways.  I'm really interested to see how that turns out!

Please Vote! 



The Polls for My Best Reads for the months I'm behind.


A Review for A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole - coming out 11/28/17




Received through subscription boxes (Uppercase, Owlcrate and Pagehabit):


Physical books I bought: None since last time. 


Kindle deals, freebies and Prime checkouts (which may or may not still be freebies or on sale):



Netgalley Approvals: Nothing new since last time



Library Books:





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