Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 7.23.16

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!



Travels in a Thin Country:
A Journey Through Chile
by Sara Wheeler
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> August selection for SF Travel Book Club.

Sarong Party Girls
by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> Booksmith, San Francisco, hosted a visit from author, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan. Her debut fiction novel is written in Singlish.

For Review:

Bad Girls Throughout History:
100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World
by Ann Shen
courtesy of Chronicle Books -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads -giveaway for this ends Aug 5

When It Rained at Hembry Castle
by Meredith Allard
courtesy of author -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

From BEA:


History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
-Mystery | Amazon | Goodreads

Heather House by Carmen Caine
-Romance | Amazon | Goodreads


How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics by Eugenia Cheung
-Non-fiction, Science, Cookbook | Amazon | Goodreads

Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
-Non-fiction, Environmental | Amazon | Goodreads

Not Just Jane: Rediscovering Seven Amazing Women Writers Who Transformed British Literature by Shelley DeWees
-Non-fiction, Biographies | Amazon | Goodreads

Audiobook: from library

Chasing River
by K.A. Tucker
narrated by Elizabeth Louise and Steve West
-New Adult, Romance
Amazon | Goodreads


Sweet Progress Summer Box Swap (see it here)
#SPBoxSwap @Akaleistar @Mrs_AOK
SIGNUP for the Fall swap here or here

AND watched: in theatre

Seoul Searching (2015)
Director/Writer: Benson Lee
Starring: Justin Chon, Jessika Van, In-Pyo Cha
-Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

During the 1980s, the Korean government created a special summer camp for "gyopo" or foreign born teenagers where they could spend their summer in Seoul to learn about their motherland. While the intentions of the program were honorable, the activities of the teens were not. The program was eventually cancelled after a few years because the government simply could not control the youth. Seoul Searching is a teen comedy and coming of age film, based on a true story about one of the summer camps that took place in 1986.

=====> LOVED it! Reminded me of John Hughes films of the 80s. In fact, the soundtrack for this incorporated a lot of my favorite 80s songs.

Star Trek Beyond (2016)
Director: Justin Lin
Writers: Simon Pegg and Doug Jung
Based on tv series by: Gene Roddenberry
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban
-Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | imdb | my rating: 4

The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

Oscar nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling.

Lots of action and funny quips in between.

Currently flipping through: from my shelf

Art Book Now
by Yusuke Nakamura
-Art, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> Gearing up for the J-pop Summit event (details) this weekend! Yusuke was last year's guest artist.


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

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sweet Progress Summer Box Swap

Sweet Progress Summer Box Swap
(details) #SPBoxSwap
hosted by
@Akaleistar of Happy.Pretty.Sweet
@Mrs_AOK of Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress

SIGNUP for the Fall swap here or here

SWAP partner: Ashley of Happy.Pretty.Sweet - Thanks mucho!

I am enjoying this summer box of goodies:

- Journal book
- Note card set and sharpie pen
- Balloons, bookmark bands, sparkly confetti
- Lip balm
- Soap (sea themed) - always a hit with me ;-)
- Pinwheel earrings (hand-made)
- Summer cup with lemonade mix and umbrella drink accessory

=====> The note set is a wonderful addition to my stationery as I am making efforts to write more snail mail.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Watchmaker's Heart by Juli D. Revezzo

Watchmaker's Heart
by Juli D. Revezzo

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

Just released: March 1, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Romance, Steampunk
Paperback: 220 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
The red-cheeked paymaster twiddled an unlit cigar in his hand, rose from his seat, and headed for the rear of the train.

For Miss Phoebe Lockswell, fashionable London tea parties and balls aren’t her style. Instead, she prefers to tinker tirelessly with a clockwork diffuser she’s built from scratch. If only she can get the invention to work on command, she might earn her way out of an arranged marriage to a repugnant member of the House of Commons.

London watchmaker Mortimer Kidd was brought up hard in the arms of an infamous London gang. Despite the respectability he strives for now, the gang leader is blackmailing him. When Mortimer sees Phoebe’s diffuser, he thinks he’s found a way to buy himself out of trouble. The brash Phoebe manages to steal his heart, however, before he can purloin her invention.

Will Mortimer’s unsavory past catch up to him before he convinces Phoebe of his devotion? Worse, once Phoebe learns the truth, will she ever trust him again?


My two-bits:

The main character, Phoebe, is an inventor with a creation made that fits right into a steampunk kind of world. However, Phoebe's actual gadget places this story into more of a romance setting. Based on its description, it would be amusing to see it in action.

Loved how Phoebe's spunky spirit made this story a light and fun romance read. Also, loved Phoebe's strong and independent personality. Despite her time period, it was good to know that she would not conform to the etiquette of the times. Her curiosity was a driving force in this story.

Phoebe's love interest, Mortimer, was just as endearing although his past remains somewhat of a mystery until the end.


* review copy courtesy of author

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - 7.20.16

Waiting on Wednesday
sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine (details)


I'm waiting for...

The Perilous Journey Of The Much Too Spontaneous Girl
by Leigh Statham
-Steampunk, YA
Release date: October 11, 2016
Amazon | Goodreads

Lady Marguerite Vadnay and her trusty automaton, Outil, have settled into life in New France rather well. Marguerite is top of the class at flight school and her future as an aerpilot is nearly secure. She has everything she wants— except a commission on the pirate hunting dirigible The Renegade. Using every card in her aristocratic arsenal, Marguerite wiggles her way onto the finest warship France has to offer. But as usual, Marguerite’s plans endanger the lives of those she holds dear— only this time no one else is going to save them. As Marguerite and Outil set off on a rescue mission they may not return from, she finally realizes it’s time to reorder her cogs.

This steampunk adventure is littered with facts from The Golden Age of Piracy and follows (not too closely) some of the lives and adventures of the brave men and women who sailed the seas as privateers, pirates and soldiers.

=====> I like the steampunk and pirate mashup going on here. And, I want to read book one in this series as well...

Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl
by Leigh Statham
-Steampunk, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Monday, July 18, 2016

Below by Jason Chabot

by Jason Chabot

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

Release date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Broken Sky Chronicles
Genre: SciFi, YA
Paperback: 308 pages
Rating: 4

Broken Sky Chronicles series:

No one but the dead dare venture Below . . .

The first volume in this thrilling trilogy opens on the barren plains of Below, where Hokk and his fox sidekick, Nym, live in exile amid the remnants of our modern age.

Overhead, on the floating islands of Above, Elia is trapped in a life of endless toil and drudgery as a laundress for the Mirrored Palace. To Elia, the islands’ edges are borders that no one dares cross until the ancient ritual that delivers the dead to Below. But a series of natural disasters rumbling through Above sends Elia’s world crashing into Hokk’s―and she falls Below.

Their journey together will propel them across endless plains and through shattered cities in a centuries-old battle for the very earth and sky around them...

My two-bits:

Good start to this trilogy. There is an introduction to the world of Above and Below to capture the curiosity. At the end it had me wondering about the origin story of the worlds and why things are starting to change.

The story is told through two main characters that were equally interesting.

As mentioned above, I felt this book to be just a start of things to come.

Side note: I would have liked a bit more to the story.

About the author:
I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, but grew up in the rural outskirts of a city called Chilliwack – a Stó:lō First Nations word meaning “quieter water up the river” – where our home was built beside a gurgling creek and surrounded by forests. With no neighbors in sight and only one channel on TV, I had plenty of time to invest in my imagination.

Looking back, the seed for The Broken Sky Chronicles was first planted as a teenager when I worked at a tree nursery that supplied saplings to reforestation programs. I didn’t think a summer job could get any worse – the burning sunshine, the dirt, my aching back, the relentless little flies, always biting. I used to gaze up to the mountain peaks poking above a halo of clouds and wish I could somehow, miraculously, be transported to their alpine meadows, to relax for hours while watching everyone else slave away, far below, in the afternoon heat. “Above” always seemed like the ideal place to be, although I now suspect the bugs would have been larger and definitely more ravenous.

Many other elements of The Broken Sky Chronicles were inspired by places and moments in my life. Growing up on the West Coast, I have always been captivated by nature, whether by our storms, our oceans, or our sunsets. In Vancouver, we are always warned that the Juan de Fuca fault line is long overdue for a horrendous earthquake – so be prepared! And during an amazing trip to Egypt, I was surprised many times to see plastic trash everywhere, half-buried in the sand dunes or floating high in the air, caught in the currents where clouds should be drifting instead.

I chose to write a fantasy adventure novel for young adults because I was intrigued by all these natural elements and how they might affect the lives of two teenagers when their physical worlds collide. While Elia has been enslaved by class and drudgery, Hokk lives in almost complete isolation, and I have enjoyed exploring how each character discovers unexpected strength to survive epic challenges, yet at the same time questioning their perception of reality.

But of course, I suppose Hokk and Elia could have had it worse. They could have worked in a tree nursery!


* review copy courtesy of publisher

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 7.16.16

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!


For Review:

Giovanni Goes To Med School
by Kathy Bryson
-Short Story, Zombies
courtesy of author -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

The Regulars
by Georgia Clark
courtesy of BookSparks Blog Tour -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

From BEA:

GOT some YA...
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
-YA | Amazon | Goodreads

Little Deaths by Emma Flint
-Mystery, Thriller | Amazon | Goodreads


The Muse by Jessie Burton
-Historical | Amazon | Goodreads

The Nix by Nathan Hill
-Historical, Humor | Amazon | Goodreads


The Mothers by Brit Bennett
-Women's Fiction | Amazon | Goodreads

The Next by Stephanie Gangi
-Women's Fiction | Amazon | Goodreads


If you’re an avid reader, one thing is for certain: if you only shop the “bestseller” lists, you’re going to miss many of the best stories. That’s why we work hard to bring you the gems: well-written, immersive stories that transport you, give you thrills, and tug at your heartstrings. The books that are truly worth reading.

JULY Box includes:
-Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (my selected pick)
-Book of the Month Note, Bookmark and Straw

Sleeping Giants
(Themis Files #1)
by Sylvain Neuvel
Amazon | Goodreads

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

Currently flipping through:

Taemin: Press It
Block B: Blooming Period

=====> Fangirling over photo books that accompanied Kpop CDs. So excited to see these two perform at the KCon LA convention later this month ;-)


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

Friday, July 15, 2016

Pasta Wars by Elisa Lorello

Pasta Wars
by Elisa Lorello

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

Release date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Adaptive Books
Genre: Humor, Romance, Food, Italy
Paperback: 256 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
There are two kinds of people in this world; those who love coconut and those who hate coconut.

Slim, successful, and soon to marry the man of her dreams, Katie Cravens is leading the life she always wanted. As the face and CEO of Pasta Pronto, a “Carbs for the Calorie-Conscious” line of frozen food, Katie chooses to live life like one of her Slimline Spaghetti dinners―no mess, no surprises, and everything tied up in a neat little package. But when Katie’s fiancé runs off with another woman and a quality control fiasco sends her customers running for the hills, it’s time for Katie to make a change.

Her company’s salvation presents itself in the form of a partnership opportunity with the legendary Ristorante Caramelli of Rome, and Katie has no other choice but to jet off to Italy to convince gorgeous, hotheaded co-owner Luca Caramelli that she’s a worthy partner. Gaining Luca’s respect proves harder than Katie could have ever imagined, however, when he insists that she must learn how to cook―and how to eat―true Italian food before he will ever agree to their companies’ partnership.

Katie and Luca's tension in Italy mounts into a fierce public rivalry that erupts back in the States with a nationally televised cooking competition. As Katie tries to channel her inner Mario Batali to win the competition, she must choose between the flavorless prepackaged life that she worked so hard to maintain and the mouth-watering uncertainty of a life chock full of carbohydrates and Caramellis.

My two-bits:

There is some arm chair traveling to Italy with this delightful sort-of coming of age romantic read. At first, I found the main character, Katie, to be a bit annoying. But as the story progressed, her character developed into a more likable and better person.

The topics of food and cooking brought about thoughts on eating healthy and cooking from scratch.

I especially loved the descriptions of preparing and cooking pasta. Made me want to make pasta despite not having recipes provided.

Issues of diet and self-image also are touched upon in this story.

Got a sense of what it is like working for a small company in the food industry.

About the author:
Elisa Lorello was born and raised on Long Island, the youngest of seven children. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and launched a career teaching rhetoric and composition. She has been teaching first-year writing to university students since 2000, but went on sabbatical in fall 2012. Elisa spent six years in North Carolina, where she split her time between teaching and writing, and returned to the northeast in October 2012.

Elisa is the author of the Kindle best-selling novels "Faking It" and "Ordinary World", "Why I Love Singlehood" (co-authored with Sarah Girrell), and "Adulation".

Some of Elisa's favorite pastimes include chocolate, reading, and walking. She is also an avid fan of Duran Duran, pop tarts, and finding the perfect shade of lipstick.


* review copy courtesy of publisher

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On Rue Tatin by Susan Loomis

On Rue Tatin:
The Simple Pleasures of Life in a Small French Town
by Susan Loomis

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @SHerrmannLoomis/

Published: 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: France, Travel, Cookbook
Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
The story of our adventure, our move to Rue Tatin, began some thirteen years earlier, when I first went to live in Paris.

Beguiling, aromatic memoirs of a cookery writer, settling in a small Normandy town, very similar in flavour to Under the Tuscan Sun.

The second house that Susan Hermann Loomis looked at in the small town of Louviers was perfect. Dilapidated, rambling, crumbling walls which were covered with faded paper, it had been a convent. So Susan, her husband, luckily a sculptor and builder, and small son, moved in – to spend a year and more, rebuilding, finding new hidden treasures of their house, and discovering their neighbours, and the life of a small French town.

Some of the great pleasures of the book come from sharing in Susan Loomis’ daily journeys: to the market, to the butcher and the baker, talking to the shop keepers and the teachers at the school, and meeting the clergy who tramp through their garden. As her son joins the local school, as Susan’s cookery work gets underway, so the reader is part of all the human – and gastronomic – experiences that shape this very French town.


My two-bits:

This tale presents food (french flavors), people (mostly local) and small town idiosyncrasies in a charming way that one can't resist but add it to a future European travel itinerary.

I could see how the process of setting up house and learning the culture of this area can provide inspiration to creative souls.

Delicious recipes are shared along the way to tempt non-cooks (like me) to give a try.


* part of SF Travel Book Club

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Four Chambers by Julie Wright

Four Chambers
by Julie Wright

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

Just released: May 1, 2016
Publisher: Heart Stone Press
Genre: Romance (clean)
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
"Give me the paint," I said, hoping Janette heard the threat in my voice. She was coming seriously close to getting demoted from favorite roommate to homeless person.

Every time Andra Stone crosses paths with Everett Covington, trouble follows. First she loses her scholarship, then she loses the apartment she’d wanted more than anything. But tragedy hits hardest when she loses her grandmother—the best friend Andra has ever known. She determines that Everett is a talisman of ill fortune. When Everett comes to work in her hospital and is applying for the same position she’d been working toward since residency, Andra believes him to be her personal poltergeist.

The human heart has four chambers—four chances to get it right. Andra has only one chance left.

My two-bits:

In a contemporary setting, this romance took me into the world of medical students. I liked learning about some of the details in the time and care they put into working towards becoming a medical doctor.

Despite the push-pulls of the romance, I liked how this couple built a solid friendship along the way.

The insert of Miss Pearl, her wisdom and matchmaking continues to be a treat in this Matchmaker series that I have been enjoying. I look forward to her encounters when reading this series.

About the author:
Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen. She's written over twenty novels since then. She is represented by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger Inc. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her book Cross My Heart and a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.

She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition).

She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

She hates mayonnaise.


* courtesy of eBooks for Review -get free ebooks to review (here) -Thanks!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Stacking the Shelves - 7.9.16

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!


FREE: for Kindle prime members

by Kodi Scheer
-New Adult, Paris
Amazon | Goodreads

For Review:

Chasing Fireflies
by Taylor Dean
courtesy of eBooks for Review -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

In America
(Wayfarer Trilogy #3)
by Nina Romano
courtesy of courtesy of Turner Publishing -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads -giveaway ends July 20

From BEA:

GOT some France theme...

Constellation by Adrien Bosc
-France, Historical, Biography | Amazon | Goodreads

The Only Street in Paris by Elaine Sciolino
-France, Travel | Amazon | Goodreads

GOT some Asia theme...

The Conjoined by Jen Sookfong Lee
-China, Canada, Fiction | Amazon | Goodreads

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
-Korea, Fiction | Amazon | Goodreads

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
-Japan, YA | Goodreads

GOT some Graphic Novels...

Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel
-Graphic Novel, YA | Amazon | Goodreads

The World According to Wolverine Matthew K. Manning
-Graphic Novel, Superhero | Amazon | Goodreads

AND watched: in theatre

Captain Fantastic (2016)
Director/Writer: Matt Ross
Starring: Viggo Mortensen
-Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

Oscar nominated for Best Actor.
Loved the dynamic of this family and how they gelled. Makes you think about parenting styles and what we want of our kids.

Tickled (2016)
Director: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5

Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesnt stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.

=====> This starts out amusing and funny, but turns into something chilling.

AND binge watching: on HBO

Game of Thrones
tv series, season six
Creators: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Based on book by: George R.R. Martin
-Adventure, Drama, Fantasy | imdb | my rating: 5

While a civil war brews between several noble families in Westeros, the children of the former rulers of the land attempt to rise up to power. Meanwhile a forgotten race, bent on destruction, plans to return after thousands of years in the North.

=====> Through a generous friend, I am able to watch the sixth series via HBO. LOVING it!

Currently flipping through: from the library

Big Eyes
The Film, The Art
by Leah Gallo
-Art, Non-fiction
Amazon | Goodreads

=====> Also pictured above is the DVD which I plan on watching as well. It looks so small compared to the grand coffee table art book.


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