Saturday, September 22, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 9.22.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Short work week due to taking the kid back to college.

2. Oregon Shakespeare Festival - going to see Sense & Sensibility, Manahatta, and Othello.

3. Traditional Cheese Fondue


For Review:

Art Boss
by Kayla Cagan
-Art, YA
Release date: October 2018
courtesy of publisher -Thanks! | Goodreads

A companion novel to Piper Perish which includes illustrations sprinkled into the pages of the book.

by Hannah Moskowitz
-Fantasy, YA
Release date: November 2018
courtesy of publisher -Thanks! | Goodreads

SEA monster hunters premise makes this a good candidate to add to my R.I.P. 13 challenge.


By a Lady:
Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen's England

by Amanda Elyot
-Historical, Time Travel, Jane Austen | Goodreads

GOT this from the bookswap table at the local chapter Jane Austen Society Fall meeting.

Finding Fraser
by K.C. Dyer
-Chick-lit, Scotland | Goodreads

GOT this from the free bin at Green Apple Bookstore. Could not resist this Jamie Fraser inspired romance (from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon).

AND watched: in theatre for Fall Film Challenge - six degrees from Kevin Bacon (here)

A Simple Favor (2018)
Director: Paul Feig
Screenplay: Jessica Sharzer
Based on the novel by: Darcey Bell
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding
-Crime, Drama, Mystery | imdb | my rating: 5

A Simple Favor, directed by Paul Feig, centers around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mommy blogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily's (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town.

Watched: 9/15/18
Connection: Anna Kendrick was in Pitch Perfect 3 with John Lithgow who starred with Bacon in Footloose
I liked this chick-lit thriller and enjoyed the french swinger tunes in the soundtrack.

AND watched: on DVD for Fall Film Challenge - six degrees from Kevin Bacon (here)

Annihilation (2018)
Director/Writer: Alex Garland
Based on novel by: Jeff VanderMeer
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson
-Adventure, Drama, Horror | imdb | my rating: 4

A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don't apply.

Watched: 9/14/18
Connection: Benedict Wong starred with Benedict Cumberbatch in Avengers: Infinity War who starred with Bacon in Black Mass
Interesting concepts brought up in the mysterious zone aka the shimmer. Ended with an interesting cliffhanger too.

The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Chris Morgan
Writer/based on characters created by: Gary Scott Thompson
Stars: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson
-Action, Crime, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 5

When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.

Watched: 9/17/18
Connection: Jason Statham was in The Italian Job with Mark Wahlberg who starred with Bacon in Patriot's Day.
This film series continues to entertain with its action packed scenes (with cars), especially the zombie time sequence.


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Death On Demand by Paul Thomas

Death On Demand
by Paul Thomas

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2013
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
Genre: Mystery, New Zealand
Paperback: 288
Rating: 5

Tito Ihaka series:
Death On Demand

First sentence(s):
Greytown, fourteen years ago
Females had always found him hard to resist.

Zombie sighting:
He drove over the Rimutakas to Greytown, aka Gaytown. It had been just another zombified little country town until a few gays from Wellington jazzed it up.
-chapter 9, page 145

Maori cop Ihaka, unkempt, overweight, intemperate, unruly, unorthodox, and profane, is a cop unable to play the police politics necessary for promotion, but he's a man who has a way with women, and he's a stubborn investigator with an uncanny instinct for the truth.

Tito Ihaka is in the wilderness, having fallen foul of the new regime at Auckland Central. Called back to follow up a strange twist in the unsolved case that got him into trouble in the first place, Ihaka finds himself hunting a shadowy hitman who could have several notches on his belt.

His enemies want him off the case, but the bodies are piling up. Ihaka embarks on a quest to establish whether police corruption was behind the shooting of an undercover cop and—to complicate matters—he becomes involved with an enigmatic female suspect who could hold the key to everything.

My two-bits:

This mystery got complicated and twisty-like. However, I liked how this cop stayed true throughout.


* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 9.15.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Watching films for the start of the Fall Film Challenge (here)

2. Making Chinese hot pot meal using a fondue pot :-) it worked but was a slower process

3. Custom-made zombie cards, stickers and washi tape by @beecreativegreetings - Thanks Nicole!



How To Walk Away
by Katherine Center

PART of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge. Although summer is over, I am still working through some of the books on the list (here).

A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
by Raymond A. Villareal
-Horror, Vampires | Goodreads

IMPULSE pick up. Looks like a good one for R.I.P. 13 reading challenge (here).

AND watched: in theatre

BlacKkKlansman (2018)
Director/writer: Spike Lee
Writers: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott
Based on book by: Ron Stallworth
-Biography, Comedy, Crime | imdb | my rating: 5

Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan with the help of a white surrogate, who eventually becomes head of the local branch.

“based on some fo’ real, fo’ real shit.”

TIMELY story as a reminder of the past and how things have/have not changed.

Of Love & Law (2017)
Director: Hikaru Toda
-Documentary, Japan | imdb | my rating: 5

Fumi and Kazu are life partners, both professionally and privately: they run the first and only law firm in Japan set up by an openly gay couple. The lawyers know all too well the realities of being a minority in a conformist society, where the collective unity is absolute and often maintained at the expense of individual rights and freedom. Not being part of the majority could lead to prosecution by law and alienation by society at large - illustrated by the cases that the two lawyers take on. The individual freedom is viewed as a privilege not a right, and the fundamental human rights of equality and security are only extended to the majority. In a 2014 report, Amnesty International slammed Japan for 'veering away from global human rights standards', while the World Economic Forum places Japan 101st out of 145 countries in the global gender equality ranking, far behind developing countries such as Rwanda and the Philippines. Laws of Love and Other Things follows the two lawyers as they enter into the lives of their clients; each revealing the hidden diversities of the homogeneous and conservative society. As the two lawyers work hard to defend the rights of their clients, they have their own dilemma to deal with - to raise a family of their own in a society where their partnership have no legal recognition or protection. The film explores the universal concept of love, family, and equality with the personal stories of the characters revealing modern Japan in transition. The film also poses the questions - what are the risks of being an outsider in your own country? What happens when you don't belong to the masses?

THOUGHTS on diversity and conformity prevail.

AND watched: on DVD

Jane Got A Gun (2015)
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Screenplay: Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis, Joel Edgerton
Story by: Brian Duffield
Stars: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor
-Action, Drama, Western | imdb | my rating: 4

A woman asks her ex-lover for help in order to save her outlaw husband from a gang out to kill him.

WESTERN heroine by necessity. Made me think of Natalie's character from Cold Mountain film and this film as the continuation of her story.

AND watched: on DVD for Fall Film Challenge - six degrees from Kevin Bacon (here)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Based on comic book The Secret Service by: Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons
Stars: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
-Action, Adventure, Comedy | imdb | my review: 5

When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the United States. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

Watched: 9/11/18
Connection: Colin Firth starred with Bacon in Where the Truth Lies
Action-packed with British spy work and a kooky villain.

The Sea of Trees (2015)
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Chris Sparling
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts, Ken Watanabe
-Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

A suicidal American befriends a Japanese man lost in a forest near Mt. Fuji and the two search for a way out.

Watched: 9/10
Connection: Ken Watanabe was in Batman Begins with Christian Bale who was in The Big Short with Steve Carrell who starred with Bacon in Crazy Stupid Love.
Slow moving but good story on self reflection and survival amongst trees (and dead people).


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Summer of Scandal by Syrie James

Summer of Scandal
by Syrie James

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Historical Romance
Paperback: 416
Rating: 5

Dare to Defy series:
Runaway Heiress
Summer of Scandal
book 3 - 2019

First sentence(s):
Bolton, Cornwall, England
June 21, 1889
The brisk wind bit Madeleine Atherton's cheeks as she stepped down from the train.

Madeleine Atherton is no typical American heiress, sent to England to marry an English lord. A brilliant college graduate who secretly dreams of becoming a published author, she wants to marry for love. After receiving a proposal from a future duke, Madeleine flees the London Season for Cornwall to seek her sister’s advice, never expecting her decision to be complicated by a charming, handsome earl she’s certain she dislikes—even though his every touch sets her blood on fire.

Charles Grayson, the Earl of Saunders, has secrets and ambitions of his own. Although under pressure from his mother and gravely ill father to marry his cousin, Charles cannot find the words to propose. But this fascinating American visitor does not figure into his plans, either.

Thrown together unexpectedly at Trevelyan Manor, Madeleine and Charles struggle to rise above their intense attraction. But as things heat up between them over a summer that becomes increasingly scandalous, Madeleine and Charles will both be forced to make a difficult choice. Can two dreamers dare to defy convention and find their own happily ever after?

My two-bits:

Although second in the series, this works well enough as a standalone. But it is an extra treat when characters from the first book make appearances.

Loved the friendship to love transformation with this couple. Lots of chatting, sharing and stolen kisses to move this along.

Liked learning about what the two characters face when their expected paths "dare to defy".


* review copy courtesy of author

Thursday, September 13, 2018

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

News of the World
by Paulette Jiles

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Historical, Literary, Western
Hardback: 224
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Wichita Falls, Texas, Winter 1870
Captain Kill laid out the Boston Morning Journal on the lectern and began to read from the article on the Fifteenth Amendment.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.

My two-bits:

This western road trip tugged at my heart at parts. All the elements of a western old-timey tale were in place including the pacing. Loved it.

And, loved the relationship and interactions between Captain Kidd and Johanna throughout.


* National Book Award Finalist—Fiction

* part of the Blog All About It Challenge: Escape (here)

* part of Bout of Books 23 (here)
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu