Monday, March 27, 2017

The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson

The Rise of Miss Notley
by Rachael Anderson

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: February 2, 2017
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Genre: Historical, Romance (clean)
Paperback: 270 pages
Rating: 5

Tanglewood series:
The Fall of Lord Drayson
The Rise of Miss Notley
The Splash of Lady Harriett - release date: August 7, 2017

First sentence(s):
Miss Coralynn Notley stood on the steps of Langtry Park, directing a pleading glance at the stately butler.

When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow. The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?

My two-bits:

The setting and cast of characters does well in telling the tale of a (clean) romance during the regency period. Got a sense of the fashion and daily living which created a cozy ambiance to spend time in.

There was a good dose of classism and social etiquette of the time presented. The dilemma that young ladies of upper society must contend with of an arranged marriage is the focus. In this scenario, the protagonist, Cora, opts to do otherwise. We get to see how that goes.

Loved how Cora is feisty, bright, cheery and independent.

Learning about running a household as a housekeeper and some "downstairs" perspectives were entertaining to experience with Cora. However because Cora is from a wealthy upbringing, the upper class world and its restrained and difficult issues for a unmarried young woman is exposed in this story as well.

A touch of the Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice vibe comes through which is something I always enjoy.


* book tour sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post - 3.25.17

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)
Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer (details)


Slow reading week. But, the mailbox had some goodies.


For Review:

by Edan Lepucki
courtesy of BookShout -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

Always and Forever, Lara Jean
(To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3)
by Jenny Han
-Romance, YA
courtesy of publisher -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

Get It Together, Delilah!
by Erin Gough
courtesy of publisher -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads


From Owlcrate package (details & signup):
OwlCrate is a subscription service that sends you magical monthly boxes tailored to a chosen theme. Each OwlCrate will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish treats to help you get your nerd on. @owlcrate

March Box includes:
theme: Sailors, Ships & Seas
- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
- Signed bookplate, letter and temporary tattoo from author
- Sea theme pendant necklace from The Geeky Cauldron
- Octopus notepad from Boygirlparty
- Mermaid scales washi tape from Simply Gilded
- Sea theme tea towel from Kitch Studios
- Owlcrate pin

Daughter of the Pirate King
(Daughter of the Pirate King #1)
by Tricia Levenseller
-Fantasy, Historical, Pirates, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

OTHER things: kinda book-related

Win a Signed Copy of Puck for Shakespeare's Birthday (April 23)!
from Twisted Lit (here)

by Kim Askew, Amy Helmes
-Retelling, Shakespeare, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Life isn’t always fair, and no one knows that better than fifteen-year-old Puck. When she’s unceremoniously booted from yet another foster home, this city kid lands at DreamRoads, a rehabilitation wilderness camp. Her fellow juvenile delinquents include a famous pop star with a diva attitude, a geeky, “fish out of water” math whiz, and a surly gang-banger with a chip on his shoulder. The program’s steely director aims to break Puck, but she knows that every adult has a breaking point, too. Determined to defy this realm of agonizing nature hikes and soul-sucking psychobabble — even if that means manipulating four lovestruck camp counselors and the director’s dim-witted second-in-command — Puck ultimately gets much more than she bargains for in this “wondrous strange” outdoor odyssey inspired by Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

AND watched: in theatre

Song to Song (2017)
Director/Writer: Terrence Malick
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman
-Drama, Music, Romance | imdb | my rating: 4

Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.

MUST remind myself for next time that I am not crazy about this director's style. However, it does well in taking you into the music scene in an artsy way. You will love the soundtrack if you are into this type of music. Loved the cast and all the cameos of musicians. When Ryan was at the piano I was wanting to hear him start singing City of Stars - but that is another music genre.

The Tenor (2014)
Director/Writer: Sang Man Kim
Starring: Ji-tae Yu, Yûsuke Iseya, Ye-ryeon Cha
-Biography, Drama, Music, Korea | imdb | my rating: 4

The talented Korean tenor, Bae, who penetrate the audience's hears through his delicate and powerful singing, is on the rise to stardom at the European opera scene. Sawada, a Japanese music producer, is searching for a new tenor for an upcoming performance. He watches a performance of Bae and invites him to Japan, which marks the beginning of friendship. But, the thyroid cancer strikes Bae. During an operation, the nerves of his vocal cords has be cut due to the widely spread cancer. Unfortunately, Bae ends up losing his voice at the peak of his career. Sawada cant's stand to watch Bae's miserable so he starts to look for a solution.

PART of CAAMFest 2017 (Celebrating Asian American Film, Music and Food - here)
Based on a true amazing and inspiring story. The power of the human spirit and passion (for whatever) as a driving force can create magic.

As this film was part of a film festival a special thank you recording was made for the San Francisco audience from the actual tenor, Bae Jae-chul.

AND watched: on DVD

Bad Moms (2016)
Director/Writer: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell
-Comedy | imdb | my rating: 4

When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.

FUN and funny. Loved the interviews with the actresses and their moms in the Extras section.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Friday, March 24, 2017

Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Biography by Zena Alkayat

Library of Luminaries:
Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Biography

by Zena Alkayat
illustrated by Nina Cosford

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Biography, Art
Hardback: 128 pages
Rating: 5

Library of Luminaries series:
Jane Austen
Coco Chanel
Frida Kahlo
Virginia Woolf

First sentence(s):
"i paint myself because i am so often alone, because i am the subject i know best." -Frida Kahlo

Step into the world of one of history's most celebrated artists and feminist icons: Frida Kahlo. This beautifully illustrated biography is full of colorful details that illuminate the woman behind the artwork, including excerpts from Kahlo's personal letters and diaries on her childhood dreams of becoming a doctor, the accident that changed the course of her life, and her love affairs with famous artists. Featuring handwritten text alongside lovely illustrations in a charming case with foil stamping and debossed details, Library of Luminaries: Frida Kahlo provides a captivating window into the vibrant life, work, and creative vision of the beloved Mexican artist.


My two-bits:

This is a gem of a book with colorful whimsical illustrations presenting Frida Kahlo's life. The text is brief and basic which was a great quick way to learn about Frida.

Not really a part of the baby book or children's genre.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The Vegetarian
by Han Kang

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2016
Publisher: Hogarth
Genre: Literary
Hardback: 192 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
Before my wife turned vegetarian, I'd always thought of her as completely unremarkable in every way.

A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul

Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.

Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.

My two-bits:

I found this to be a surreal read with some colorful artsy scenes and stark medical depicted images.

Themes of body image, oppression of women, dreams and freedom run throughout.

One of those books where I am not quite sure I like it but agree that it is written well.


* part of Tournament of Books 2017 (here)

* part of Book Passage Literary Prize Book Group (here)

* part of Korean Book Challenge (here)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - 3.22.17

Waiting on Wednesday
hosted by Breaking the Spine
Spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


I'm waiting for...

A Ring of Truth
(A Henrietta and Inspector Clive Novel, #2)
by Michelle Cox
-Historical, Mystery
Release date: April 4, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

In this second book of the series, Henrietta and Clive delightfully rewrite Pride and Prejudice―with a hint of mystery!

Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of meeting each other’s family. “Difficult” because Clive has neglected to tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been hiding secrets about her past as well. When Clive brings Henrietta to the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs. Howard―and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly servant’s ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a bigger, darker plot.

As Clive and Henrietta attempt to discover the truth in the two very different worlds unraveling around them, they both begin to wonder: Are they meant for each other after all?

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu