Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop (4 stars)

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I read Anne Bishop's Written in Red earlier this year and really liked it. It was exactly the kind of non-YA fantasy with limited romance I'd been looking for. I'm pleased to say I loved its sequel just as much, if not more. The romance factor is present, but it's a slow, developing friendship. And it makes me laugh. :)


Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #2
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Published on March 4, 2014
Published by Roc
Final Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside's shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

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Updates: Beaten by the Wheel

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The pottery wheel and I had a minor disagreement (read: full blown war). ... The pottery wheel won. Meet the two survivors (out of five).

Every time I went to thin out and shape the sides, I mangled it. Sigh. :( Oh well, there are more classes next month, and I think, with a TON of extra help, I'll take another shot at it. Yes, the instructor will be sick of me by the end, but hopefully I'll have some nice pieces to show for it. Time to set my evil plan in motion!

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Top 10 Authors Whose Books I Own

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

It's actually "Top 10 Authors I Own the Most Books From," but that sounded so awkward, what with the hanging preposition and everything. So the post title went with the less specific but more grammatically pleasing "Top 10 Authors Whose Books I Own." Let me say ahead of time, these are all guess-timations. My shelves remain in disarray (read: in various piles around the house), so everyone on this list is an educated guess.

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Discussion: Books are Excuses

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Do you ever put things off because you're reading? I've seen several posts lately about the crush of giant ARC and TBR piles, the pressure of getting through them all. But that got me thinking. What doesn't get done while you're busy reading?

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Fan Art Up! - Meeko

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Fan Art Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

This week is #10 in the Disney Series. (Pretend you haven't read the post title for a second.)

Here are your hints:
He leaps before he looks.
He's a thief.
He's always eating.

That's right! From Disney's 1995 desecration of US history, "Pocahontas," he's....

Meeko

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Blackwood by Gwenda Bond (4 stars)

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I'm a little ticked off. I finally read a Strange Chemistry title I loved...and the imprint closed down. Yep. On the bright side, I have Gwenda Bond's other Strange Chemistry novel, The Woken Gods, waiting in my TBR pile. I'm pretty excited about it after reading Blackwood, which is a fun, standalone mystery with a hint of paranormal/fantasy. But really, you only need to know one thing: Roanoke.


Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
Series: n/a
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on September 4, 2012
Published by Strange Chemistry
Final Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:
On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

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Updates: Japanese, Beach, Library Overdose

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Yay! We all survived another week! And it was eventful!

Read:

Illusive didn't blow me away, but I enjoyed it and recommend picking it up. (I actually didn't realize how much this one character bugged me until I was jotting down notes later, but it was still a fun read.)

I've kind of stalled on Vicious and Loki's Wolves, but I'm not kicking myself for it. Friday, I went to pick up a book at the library; it turned out all six books I requested were in...and I already had one at home. And the six requests can't be renewed. ... Yep. Reading binge.

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Top 10 Characters I Want on a Deserted Island

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic is "Top 10 Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island." But let's be honest here. If we want to survive, we only need One.


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Discussion: Books at the Beach

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How protective are you of your books? Do you cringe at the idea of lending them to others? Do you fear dog-eared corners and cracked spines or worse- water damage?

I ask because this morning I faced a dilemma. Do I take books into one of the most dangerous environments known to paper? The BEACH. Duh duh DUH.


To cut the suspense, yes, I packed the library book I was in the middle of (Illusive) and a paperback in case I finished/got bored. (Side note: the library book has a lovely plastic cover on the outside and, aside from a grain of sand here and there, sustained zero damage. :) ) But I'm curious. Summer means visits to the beach or pool or lake or some body of water. Which usually means sand and/or splashing.

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Fan Art Up! - Jasmine

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Fan Art Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

This week is #9 in the Disney Series. (Pretend you haven't read the post title for a second.)

Here are your hints:
She likes (big) cats.
She has a thing for criminals.
Women's rights are very important to her. At least the ones involving marriage.

That's right! From the magical 1992 Disney film, "Aladdin," she's....

Jasmine

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Cracked by Eliza Crewe (2 stars)

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When I first read the synopsis for Cracked, I was intrigued but wary of the writing style. It seemed a little too "stream of consciousness." After reading several reviews raving about its snark and originality, I grabbed it with a gift card. Unfortunately, my first impression was accurate. :(


Cracked by Eliza Crewe
Series: Soul Eater #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on November 5, 2013
Published by Strange Chemistry
Final Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis:
Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

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Updates: Starry Night and Other Bright Things

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It's been a rush and crash kind of week, so here's a quick rundown of the updates. :)

Currently Reading:

I like Vicious so far, but I think I may need something a tad lighter right now until I can really sit down and dig into it, hence the long neglected NetGalley copy of Loki's Wolves. I also picked up Emily Lloyd-Jones' debut, Illusive, at the library today and got a copy of a certain YA fantasy debut in the mail, so plenty of choices this week. :)

Non-Book Stuff:

I stopped by a local lighthouse Saturday night under the full moon for a climb to the top. It was cool, but I need to go back in the sunlight and see the whole park and maybe wander around town. There are some great historic buildings. And Thursday night, I painted! Before you get too excited, it was a step-by-step instructed class, but it was a lot of fun. And we painted (a version of) Van Gogh's "Starry Night." I definitely recommend trying it if you have something similar nearby. I already have my eye on another class at the end of the month.


My book order from Better World Books finally arrived! Actually, they've been here...next door on the neighbor's porch...for however long they've been in the Bahamas. Thank you postage service. Anyway, they're here! Also, a HUGE thank you to Dahlia Adler of The Daily Dahlia for sending me a lovely copy of Midnight Thief from her OneFourKidLit giveaway!




That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping in and check back tomorrow for my review of Cracked by Eliza Crewe!

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Top 10 Favorite Animated Movies

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

Much as I love books, I'm also a major movie and TV watcher. It's nearly impossible for me to choose only 10 favorites, so for today we'll go with (some of) my top animated picks! So, in no particular order...

Top 10 Favorite Animated Movies:


How to Train Your Dragon - Toothless! And that flying scene! I'm still kicking myself years later for not seeing it on the big screen.
Kung Fu Panda - It was so original and did so many things right.

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Discussion: (Books) As Seen On TV

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How many of you get excited when you see a display full of "As Seen on TV" products at the store? We have a tradition in my family of getting at least one "As Seen on TV" gift as a gag each Christmas. Some of them work as advertised (like the Turbo Snake), some sit on a shelf unused for years (like the Snuggie), and some don't work or break and are promptly tossed.

What does this have to do with books? Hardly any are advertised on TV and those few usually involve James Patterson. But stay with me. It'll all make sense.

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Fan Art Up! - Belle

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Fan Art Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

And we're back this week with #8 in the Disney Series. (Pretend you haven't read the post title for a second.)

Here are your hints:
Disney's most famous bookworm.
Daydreamer.
Stockholm syndrome.

That's right! From the 1991 Disney film, "Beauty and the Beast," which gave us that awesome library scene, she's....

Belle

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ACID by Emma Pass (2 stars)

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ACID's cover and synopsis promised a psychological, action-filled thriller with a tough as nails heroine out for revenge. They're not completely misleading. Emma Pass created a dystopian military-state Britain and a protagonist with more mental problems than Jason Bourne. Unfortunately, ACID disappointed with little action and no thrill.


ACID by Emma Pass
Series: n/a
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopian
Published on March 11, 2013
Published by Delacorte Press
Final Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis:
The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna's violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary.

When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn't know who to trust?

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Updates: Clay Things, Books & Blog Design

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I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend here in the States. My beach plans washed out, but I did see "How to Train Your Dragon 2" at the drive-in! And yes, it was pretty good, especially for a sequel.

My finished pottery pieces survived and made it home! They're only a couple inches high and I'm not exactly sure what they are. Jars? Candle holders? Inkwells? Soy sauce dishes? Clay things? Whatever, they are, they're alive! And the professionals trimmed up the bottoms and did the glazing, so they actually look kind of nice. :)

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Top 10 Blogging Confessions

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

And here it is! The week we are all asked to lay bare our deepest, darkest blogging secrets. Our worst habits, fears and puns, all at once! Actually, nothing on my list is particularly deep, dark, secret or punny. ;) But here they are, my....

Top 10 Blogging Confessions:

  1. I have never participated in a book blast, book tour or giveaway hop. But I may be scratching one off that list sooner rather than later. ;)
  2. I'm a Twitter failure. Even with the smart phone, I tweet 20 times one day and then disappear for two weeks except for my automatic new post tweets. :(
  3. I'm a notorious book giveaway fiend. You know those giant giveaway hops with lists of 150-200 participating blogs? I go through them ALL. I don't sign up for every giveaway (especially the ones with books I don't care about or that make you leave a comment or dig for follow buttons before you can access all the entries), but I go through the ENTIRE list.

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Discussion: Holiday Reading

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Have you heard of Hallmark Channel's "Countdown to Christmas"? If you've ever channel surfed, you can hardly miss it. From early November through Christmas, Hallmark broadcasts its legion of made-for-TV Christmas films. (I spend all of November yelling, "It's not even Thanksgiving!") They're all similarly cliched, sappy, predictable chick flick romances, but they're winter-y and/or Christmas-y. It's like watching Rudolph or Frosty or "It's a Wonderful Life" in mid-December. It's a tradition and it gets you in the holiday spirit.

And all that rambling leads to this question: do you like to read themed books around certain holidays or seasons?

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Fan Art Up! - Captain America

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Fan Art Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

This week we're taking a break from our regularly scheduled Disney Series for a special 4th of July edition of Fan Art Up! We should return to our regularly scheduled programming next Saturday. Although I did just see How to Train Your Dragon 2 last night... >.>

For today, in honor of the 4th of July, thank you to all our servicemen and women past and present who have protected our country and our freedom.

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The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley (3 stars)

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If the book cover makes you think of action, adventure, mystery and Victorian England, you're right. Paul Crilley's The Lazarus Machine is a steampunk ride through a London beset once more by the evils of Professor Moriarty. With a little help and a few explosions, conman's assistant Sebastian Tweed and journalist-in-training Octavia Nightingale set out to find their kidnapped parents. I admit, this cover and synopsis gave me some pretty high expectations and, while it didn't wow me like, say, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, The Lazarus Machine was definitely worth reading.

This copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley
Series: Tweed & Nightingale Adventures #1
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Steampunk
Published on November 6, 2012
Published by Prometheus Books (Pyr)
Final Rating: 3 star

Synopsis:
An alternate 1895... a world where Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace perfected the Difference engine. Where steam and tesla-powered computers are everywhere. Where automatons powered by human souls venture out into the sprawling London streets. Where the Ministry, a secretive government agency, seeks to control everything in the name of the Queen.

It is in this claustrophobic, paranoid city that seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed and his conman father struggle to eke out a living.

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Updates: Jumping into July

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At the beginning of every month I'm amazed at how quickly the year is passing. Why is that? Regardless, an early Happy Fourth of July to everyone! I'm very much looking forward to one of my rare days off work. Anyone have special plans for the Fourth?

In book news, I read two books over the past week that I really enjoyed: The Lazarus Machine (which I'll be reviewing here tomorrow) and Murder of Crows. After several reading slumps, I finally found a productive month in June. Recap time!


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Top 10 Classic Film Adaptations

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's theme is "Top 10 Favorite Classic Books (however you define classic) or Top Ten Classics I Want To Read, etc." We've already established that I'm sorely under-read in the classics, so this time around, I decided to take a slightly different route- one that makes use of all the movies I watch. ;)

TOP 10 FILM ADAPTATIONS OF CLASSICS:

 

Treasure Planet - Steampunk in space. Plus an awesome soundtrack.  Need I say more? Robert Louis Stevenson would be proud.
Muppet Treasure Island - This may be the best Muppet movie. Oh, and it loosely used the plot of "Treasure Island." ;)

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