Saturday, February 6, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 2.6.16

Stacking the Shelves
hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!



The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
by Marie Kondō, Cathy Hirano (Translator)
-Japan, How-to
Amazon | Goodreads

This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

=====> With such rave reviews, I wanted to pick up some tips and inspiration for this new year from this book. I went Kondo in my dresser drawers and am amazed at how much space I gained.


H is for Hawk
by Helen Macdonald
-Birds, Memoir
Amazon | Goodreads

When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer, Helen had never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk, but in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White's chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life.

Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer's eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator.

=====> Listening to the audio version. Although interesting facts about goshawk, even more thoughtful observations on life and death.

OTHER things on my shelf: kinda book-related

BookSparks Bookgram
sent one to a gal pal for Valentine's Day
includes a book (details)

AND listening to: trying out these podcasts

The Black Tapes
-paranormal | Website

The Black Tapes is a weekly podcast from Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale, and is hosted by Alex Reagan. The Black Tapes is a serialized docudrama about one journalist's search for truth, her enigmatic subject's mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.

How do you feel about paranormal activity or the Supernatural? Ghosts? Spirits? Demons?

Do you believe?

Welcome to Night Vale
-Fantasy, Horror, SciFi, Humor | Website

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff's Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Turn on your radio and hide.

=====> Book based on this is now available...

Welcome to Night Vale
by Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
Amazon | Goodreads

From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find matter where we live.

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked "King City" by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels.

Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton's son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane's started to see her son's father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it.

Diane's search to reconnect with her son and Jackie's search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: "King City". It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures...if they can ever find it.

=====> I will most likely read this once I get caught up with the podcast series.

AND watched: in theatre, Oscar nominees

Mustang (2015)
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Screenplay: Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Alice Winocour
Günes Sensoy as Lale
Doga Zeynep Doguslu as Nur
Tugba Sunguroglu as Selma
Elit Iscan as Ece
Ilayda Akdogan as Sonay
-Drama, Turkey | imdb | my rating: 5

Early summer. In a village in northern Turkey, Lale and her four sisters are walking home from school, playing innocently with some boys. The immorality of their play sets off a scandal that has unexpected consequences. The family home is progressively transformed into a prison; instruction in homemaking replaces school and marriages start being arranged. The five sisters who share a common passion for freedom, find ways of getting around the constraints imposed on them.

=====> France's entry. I liked getting a small peek into girl's world in Turkey.

Oscar Shorts Live Action (details):
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay

=====> Except for Ave Maria and Stutterer, this set of entries are mostly serious and heavy topics. All good.

Oscar Shorts Animation (details):
Bear Story
Sanjay's Super Team
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

=====> Also, all good. Also, most hit heavy except for Sanjay's Super Team.


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

* per usual, check out the sidebar for my current giveaways offers

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, Christina MacSweeney

The Story of My Teeth
by Valeria Luiselli, Christina MacSweeney

Original Title: Historia de mis dientes

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Genre: Literary, South America
Paperback: 184 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
I'm the best auctioneer in the world, but no one knows it because I'm a discreet sort of man.

I was born in Pachuca, the Beautiful Windy City, with four premature teeth and my body completely covered in a very fine coat of fuzz. But I'm grateful for that inauspicious start because ugliness, as my other uncle, Eurípides López Sánchez, was given to saying, is character forming.

Highway is a late-in-life world traveler, yarn spinner, collector, and legendary auctioneer. His most precious possessions are the teeth of the "notorious infamous" like Plato, Petrarch, and Virginia Woolf.

Written in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory, Teeth is an elegant, witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli's own literary influences.

My two-bits:

The first half of this story is told from one point of view and then another point of view in the second half that makes an interesting twist.

Lots of info on teeth and owners of teeth. Interesting how teeth could be made sooo interesting and made into an engaging topic.


Tournament of Books short list nominee (details)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I Have The Right To Destroy Myself by Young-Ha Kim

I Have The Right To Destroy Myself
by Young-Ha Kim
translated by Chi-Young Kim

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2007
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.
Genre: Korea, Mystery
Paperback: 119 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
I'm looking at Jacques-Louis David's 1793 oil painting, The Death of Marat, printed in an art book. The Jacobin revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat lies murdered in his bath. His head is wrapped in a towel, like a turban, and his hand, draped alongside the tub, holds a pen.

"I don't encourage murder. I have no interest in one person killing another. I only want to draw out morbid desires, imprisoned deep in the unconscious. This lust, once freed, starts growing. Their imaginations run free, and they soon discover their potential... They are waiting for someone like me."

A spectral, nameless narrator haunts the lost and wounded of big-city Seoul, suggesting solace in suicide. Wandering through the bright lights of their high-urban existence, C and K are brothers who fall in love with the same woman - Se-yeon. As their lives intersect, they tear at each other in a struggle to find connection in their fast-paced, atomized world.

Dreamlike and cinematic, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself brilliantly affirms Young-ha Kim as Korea's leading young literary master.

My two-bits:

Artsy feel to this one with a grim reaper feel to it.

Although I read this to get a sense of Korea, the story is one that speaks to all in regards to life and living and could have very well taken place anywhere in the world.

About the author:
Young-ha Kim was born in Hwacheon. He moved from place to place as a child, since his father was in the military. As a child, he suffered from gas poisoning from coal gas and lost memory before ten. He was educated at Yonsei University in Seoul, majoring business administration, but he didn't show much interest in it. Instead he focused on writing stories. Kim, after graduating from Yonsei University in 1993, began his military service as an assistant detective at the military police 51st Infantry Division near Suwon. His career as a professional writer started in 1995 right after discharge.

Kim previously worked as a professor in the Drama School at Korean National University of Arts and on a regular basis hosted a book-themed radio program. In autumn 2008, he resigned all his jobs to devote himself exclusively to writing. He currently lives in Seoul, Korea.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Storming by K.M. Weiland

A Dieselpunk Adventure
by K.M. Weiland

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @KMWeiland

Published: November 2015
Publisher: PenForASword
Genre: Action, Adventure, SciFi, Steampunk
Paperback: 454 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
Flying a biplane, especially one as rickety as a war-surplus Curtiss JN-4D, meant being ready for anything. But in Hitch's thirteen years of experience, this was the first time "anything" had meant bodies falling out of the night sky smack in front of his plane.

In the high-flying, heady world of 1920s aviation, brash pilot Robert “Hitch” Hitchcock’s life does a barrel roll when a young woman in an old-fashioned ball gown falls from the clouds smack in front of his biplane. As fearless as she is peculiar, Jael immediately proves she’s game for just about anything, including wing-walking in his struggling airshow. In return for her help, she demands a ride back home . . . to the sky. Hitch thinks she’s nuts—until he steers his plane into the midst of a bizarre storm and nearly crashes into a strange airship like none he’s ever run afoul of, an airship with the power to control the weather. Caught between a corrupt sheriff and dangerous new enemies from above, Hitch must take his last chance to gain forgiveness from his estranged family, deliver Jael safely home before she flies off with his freewheeling heart, and save his Nebraska hometown from storm-wielding sky pirates. Cocky, funny, and full of heart, Storming is a jaunty historical adventure / dieselpunk mash-up that combines rip-roaring steampunk adventure and small-town charm with the thrill of futuristic possibilities.


My two-bits:

Lots of aerial scenes both stunt and serious flying in a small town setting with its set of colorful characters.

I liked the character growth with the main character, Hitch. He was one of those unsuspecting and unexpected heroes with a bit of a transformation that was fun to see.

For this story, I was more interested in character development than the steampunk part (which was on the light side).

A few illustrations are sprinkled throughout the book.

About the author:
K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic, the western A Man Called Outlaw, the medieval epic Behold the Dawn, the portal fantasy Dreamlander, and the historical/dieselpunk adventure Storming. When she’s not making things up, she’s busy mentoring other authors on her award-winning blog. She makes her home in western Nebraska.


* review copy courtesy of author

Monday, February 1, 2016

The New World by Chris Adrian, Eli Horowitz and Russell Quinn

The New World
by Chris Adrian, Eli Horowitz and Russell Quinn

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: SciFi
Hardback: 224 pages
Rating: 3

First sentence(s):
Jim collapsed and died at the hospital where he and Jane both worked, she as a pediatric surgeon and he as a chaplain—a humanist chaplain, as he liked to remind everyone.

What is the purpose of life?
If you could send a message to the future what would it be?
Why do you deserve, not desire, to live forever?

Acclaimed author Chris Adrian (The Children’s Hospital, The Great Night) joins the award-winning creators of The Silent History – Eli Horowitz and Russell Quinn to create an innovative digital novel about memory, grief and love.

The New World is the story of a marriage. Dr. Jane Cotton is a pediatric surgeon: her husband, Jim, is a humanist chaplain. They are about to celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary when Jim suddenly collapses and dies. When Jane arrives at the hospital she is horrified to find that her husband’s head has been removed from his body. Only then does she discover that he has secretly enrolled with a shadowy cryogenics company called Polaris.

Furious and grieving, Jane fights to reclaim Jim from Polaris. Revived, in the future, Jim learns he must sacrifice every memory of Jane if he wants to stay alive in the new world. Separated by centuries, each of them is challenged to choose between love and fear, intimacy and solitude, life and grief, and each will find an answer to the challenge that is surprising, harrowing, and ultimately beautiful.

My two-bits:

I found this to be a quick read on the topic of grief. It is not too different than other grief books out there and only provided a couple ideas on the afterlife that had me pondering.

Not sure why this book made it into the Tournament of Books shortlist as it does not seem as strong as a contender as other nominees.


Tournament of Books short list nominee (details)

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu