Saturday, March 31, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 3.31.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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



1. Hanging out with the kid who is home from college for spring break :-)

2. Grilled Cheese sandwich made with cheese from Cowgirl Creamery - yummy in the tummy

3. Crafting projects - from craft magazines mentioned in a previous post (here)

I made my first pom pom creature with a pom pom maker from Mollie Makes #88 spring edition. It turned out scrappy looking - so dubbed it the zombie chick.

From the Make Special Cards magazine kit, I made a spring card themed card by assembling some of the kit ingredients into a layered piece. Sending it off to one of my nieces.

FYI: I ended up using the stickers, washi tape, etc. from the My Creative Journal kit for my Happy Planner and will use the journal for something else later.



Tokyo Hearts
by Renae Lucas-Hall
-Romance, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR a Japanese reading binge I will be doing in April.

Death Going Down
by María Angélica Bosco
-Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Argentina
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR Foreign Intrigue Book Club April pick (here).

Author event:

Book Passage, Corte Madera hosted a Q&A with Jacqueline Winspear for the release of To Die but Once (Amazon | Goodreads). She mentioned that this book was inspired by her Dad and his war experience.

For Review:

Perfectly Misunderstood
by Robin Daniels
-Romance, YA
Release date: April 4, 2018
courtesy of author -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads


Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
by Balli Kaur Jaswal
-Women's Fiction, India
Amazon | Goodreads

FOR Reese Witherspoon's book club March pick (here).


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: Across the Galaxy

- Owlcrate spoiler card
- Owlcrate button - monthly theme
- Owlcrate booklet - includes Q&A with author
- Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
- Signed edition, letter and character poster from author
- Candle inspired by Kady Grant character of The Illuminae Files from Wick & Fable.
- Rocket of Guardians of the Galaxy FUNKO pint-sized hero
- Bookmark inspired by Star Wars created by Lexy Olivia
- Infinity scarf by Owlcrate
- Ceramic mug inspired by Lunar Chronicles designed by Sasha Natasha.

Heart of Iron
by Ashley Poston
-Fantasy, SciFi, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

AND watched: in theatre

A Silent Voice (2016)
Koe no katachi (original title)
The Shape of Voice
Director: Naoko Yamada
Writers/Screenplay: Yoshitoki Oima, Reiko Yoshida, Amanda Winn Lee, Clark Cheng
Based on comic: Koe no katachi by Yoshitoki Oima
Based on book: Curry and Rice by Kiyoshi Shigematsu
-Animation, Drama, Romance, Japan | imdb | my rating: 4

A young man is ostracized by his classmates after he bullies a deaf girl to the point where she moves away. Years later, he sets off on a path for redemption.

INTERESTING take on the consequences of a bully.

Ready Player One (2018)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Based on book by: Ernest Cline
Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn
-Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | imdb | my rating: 5

When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.

LOVED the book, so had to see this. Although not as detailed as the book, it was adapted well for a fan like me.

AND watched: on DVD

Whisky Galore (2016)
Director: Gillies MacKinnon
Writer: Peter McDougall
Stars: James Cosmo, Eddie Izzard, Naomi Battrick
-Comedy, Romance, Scotland | imdb | my rating: 4

Scottish islanders try to plunder cases of whisky from a stranded ship.

THIS was part of the Mostly British Film Festival selection that I missed seeing last month. So, I got the DVD to complete that viewing session.

Loved the small town island community and the humorous trials and tribulations that surround the love of whisky during a time when it was scarce.

Marshall (2017)
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Writers: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Koskoff
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens
-Biography, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5
Oscar 2018 nominee

The story of Thurgood Marshall, the crusading lawyer who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.

GEM of a film that is a good bit of history about Thurgood Marshall.


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, March 30, 2018

Giveaway: Love in Bloom $100 Kick Off

Love in Bloom
hosted by I Am A Reader
April 2018

Featuring Clean Adult & Young Adult Romance

Throughout the month of April, we will be featuring 10 fabulous authors who write clean romance. There will be a dozen giveaways, free ebooks and lots of great deals on books.

We’re starting off with a $100 Kick-Off Giveaway.

One lucky winner will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Code or $100 in Paypal Cash.

Check out this great list of authors we will be spotlighting!

NOTE: guest posts include giveaways

Melinda Curtis - guest post

Liz Isaacson - guest post

Melanie D. Snitker - guest post

Carol Ross - guest post

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis - guest post

Rachael Anderson - review

Delaney Cameron - guest post

Donna Hatch - guest post

Brooke St. James - guest post

Becky Monson - guest post

--~ Giveaway ~--

WIN $100 in Paypal Cash or a $100 eGift Card

Ends 4/30/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via PayPal or gift codes via Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

The Animators
by Kayla Rae Whitaker
narrated by Alex McKenna

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Contemporary, Art, Women's Fiction
Hardback: 384
Rating: 5

Zombie sighting:
Because everyone knows that a zombie's eyes are always empty.
chapter Sleepwalk, page 311

First sentence(s):
Introduction to Sketch was held in Prebble Hall, a building professor McIntosh called "Ballister's dirtiest secret" during our first class.

In the male-dominated field of animation, Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses are a dynamic duo, the friction of their differences driving them: Sharon, quietly ambitious but self-doubting; Mel, brash and unapologetic, always the life of the party. Best friends and artistic partners since the first week of college, where they bonded over their working-class roots and obvious talent, they spent their twenties ensconced in a gritty Brooklyn studio. Working, drinking, laughing. Drawing: Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.

Now, after a decade of striving, the two are finally celebrating the release of their first full-length feature, which transforms Mel’s difficult childhood into a provocative and visually daring work of art. The toast of the indie film scene, they stand at the cusp of making it big. But with their success come doubt and destruction, cracks in their relationship threatening the delicate balance of their partnership. Sharon begins to feel expendable, suspecting that the ever-more raucous Mel is the real artist. During a trip to Sharon’s home state of Kentucky, the only other partner she has ever truly known—her troubled, charismatic childhood best friend, Teddy—reenters her life, and long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.

A funny, heartbreaking novel of friendship, art, and trauma, The Animators is about the secrets we keep and the burdens we shed on the road to adulthood.

My two-bits:

Loved this story of friendship, collaboration, and life of two artists in the animation business.

Got me thinking of the life of artists, their creations, their transitions and their inspirations.


* part of Tournament of Books 2018 (here)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Happy Release & Giveaway: My Sister’s Intended by Rachael Anderson

My Sister’s Intended
by Rachael Anderson
-Historical, Romance
Release date: March 20, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

For as long as Prudence can remember, it has been understood that her sister will one day wed the eldest son of their nearest neighbor. Such an alliance will benefit both families and bring a great deal of joy to all parents involved.

Unfortunately, Prudence has never been able to feel as joyful. She believes her sister is mad to consider marrying a man she hardly knows, even if he will one day make her a countess. Titles and wealth shouldn’t factor into matters of the heart, and as an aspiring romance novelist, Prudence cannot fathom how anyone could even think of settling for less than love. She certainly wouldn’t, and she doesn’t want her sister to either.

Unable to stand by and do nothing, Prudence sets out to help the awkward couple discover the best in each other with the hope that they will eventually find love. What she neglected to foresee, however, was the possibility that she might fall in love with Lord Knave herself.


When Prudence lifted her eyes to his again, they sparkled with a challenge. “I was going to save this question until later so as not to shock you from the get-go, but I really do need to know . . . What does it feel like to kiss a woman?”

A large lump formed in Brand’s throat, and his mouth went dry. What the deuce? She had promised not to ask questions that would make him uncomfortable, but already he wanted to flee like a frightened kitten. How could he possibly explain how it felt to kiss a woman?

Brand searched his mind for a way to avoid answering until he heard a snicker escape her lips. She was laughing at him. Him! Hildebrand Ethan Cannon, Viscount Knave—a man at least eight years her senior and a great deal higher in social standing.


“You are teasing me,” he said, hoping it was true. If she’d posed the question to make him squirm—and perhaps make him more inclined to answer her other questions—then she wouldn’t be expecting an answer.

She shook her head, still smiling. “I’m afraid not, my lord, although I did find the look of terror on your face vastly amusing.”

“I’m glad I could entertain you.”

“I hope you will be equally glad to instruct me on a few things as well. The first scene in my book will include a kiss, and I have no idea how to describe the experience. Do a woman’s lips feel warm or soft or even moist? Would your pulse quicken? Aside from touch, what other senses are engaged? How would it make you feel and what would you notice when you held a woman in your arms?”

If she thought he’d appeared terror-stricken before, there would be no word for how he looked now. Did she earnestly expect him to answer such questions? Surely even she knew how inappropriate it would be to discuss such things, her being an innocent.

“I cannot say,” he finally muttered.

Her brow puckered in confusion. “Have you never kissed a woman, my lord?”

Brand was sorely tempted to lie and say he had not, but he couldn’t bring himself to do so. Any man of six-and-twenty who had never experienced a kiss would be laughed out of his manhood. Women were expected to remain innocent until married. Men were not.

“Yes, I have kissed a woman,” he finally admitted, “but I have no intention of discussing any of the details with you.”

“Why not?” she asked, her large brown eyes blinking at him curiously. “Would you rather I invent the information?”


She obviously didn’t appreciate his retort because she scowled. “Can you not tell me at least a little?”



“Because a kiss could never be described with any sort of accuracy, at least not by me. It involves too many feelings and sensations and complexities of thought. If you wish to know what a kiss feels like, you’ll have to experience it for yourself.”

Too late, Brand realized his mistake. Her expression became contemplative, as though she was actually considering doing just that. Good gads, had he really just encouraged an innocent young woman to go hunting for a kiss? Who would she ask? A groom? Stablehand? The next peddler that came to town?

“I think you are right,” she said at last. “I really must experience a kiss for myself if I am to describe it with any sort of accuracy.” She blinked up at him with that innocent expression again. “Will you kiss me Lord Knave? No, how silly of me. You are to marry my sister, so that would never do.” She pursed her lips for a moment before musing, “Perhaps one of the footmen would be kind enough to show me how it’s done.”

Kind enough? Brand could think of a great many reasons a footman would comply with such a request, and kindness did not factor into any of them. Brand would kiss her himself before he allowed a footman near her.

He rubbed the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming on. “Perhaps I can try to explain what it feels like after all.” Better that than having her chase after a footman.

“But you only just said you couldn’t do it justice,” she pointed out. “I realize I sound dreadfully forward, but I really must know, and experience is the best teacher, is it not?”

“No, it isn’t,” he lied. “And you are not going to kiss a footman.”

“Then who? Felix or Lionel, perhaps? I’m fairly certain I can convince one of them to do it, if given the opportunity. The question is how to go about it?”

It was plain to see by the firm set of her jaw that she would not rest until she had experienced a kiss of her own. She didn’t seem to care who did the deed, only that the man did a thorough job of it. A quick peck on the lips wouldn’t satisfy her curiosities.

“Perhaps I could send a note to Felix and ask him to call on me,” she continued to muse. “We could take a stroll through the maze in the gardens. There is a hidden alcove on the south side, which could be quite perfect. We would have to evade Ruth, obviously, but—”

“Devil take it,” Brand growled as he pulled her to him. Her quick intake of breath was the only sound she made before his mouth covered hers.

About the author:

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Find out more about this book and author:
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--~ Blog Tour Giveaway ~--

WIN $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in Paypal Cash

Ends 4/22/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


* courtesy of tour (see complete schedule)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Blog All About It: Favorite Scent

I tweaked this prompt from favorite scent to future scent to experience.

I would love to visit Japan during the Cherry Blossom season someday...

For now, I explored the library for Japanese cherry blossoms.


Cherry Blossoms: Photographs by Jake Rajs
Cherry Blossoms of Kyoto - A Seasonal Portfolio: Photographs by Hidehiko Mizuno, Kayu Mizuno, Yasutaka Ogawa
Cherry Blossoms: Traditional Patterns in Japanese Design

And, for a Japanese mystery set in the 1600's, The Perfumed Sleeve by Lisa Joh Rowland (Amazon | Goodreads).

For something contemporary...

Tokyo Hearts
by Renae Lucas-Hall
-Romance, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads

A fascinating exploration of life in modern-day Japan, TOKYO HEARTS is a poignant love story that will catapult you directly onto the fashionable streets of this nation’s capital and into the hearts of Takashi and Haruka. Takashi is a young and popular university student who has fallen in love with his stylish and sophisticated friend Haruka. She is sweet and kind and adores shopping for high-end Japanese and Western brands. Every week, they meet up in the heart of Tokyo, enjoying each other’s company, and for Takashi, life is perfect. But the path to true love is never easy. When Takashi discovers that Haruka is seeing her wealthy ex-boyfriend from Kyoto, his life begins to turn upside down. This coming of age story traces the lives of Takashi and Haruka and their friends as they deal with young love and the ups and downs of growing up in Tokyo – truly one of the most stylish, energetic and exhilarating cities in the world.


Cherry Blossoms (2008)
Kirschblüten - Hanami (original title)
-Drama, Romance, Japan | imdb


Started an embroidery project of cherry blossoms.


The Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in San Francisco's Japan town on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 1pm.


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

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 3.24.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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



1. Starbucks Citrus Defender White Tea (with lemonade and honey)

2. Dreaming of travel to Europe

3. Paint nite at LaLe

I tried out the latest group activity craze - it was fun to come out of this two hour paint and (eating/drinking) with a somewhat finished creation. It was a paint-by-number experience except you had to eyeball things that the instructor did.



BOOKS, Inc. hosted author, Kristin Hannah, to promote her latest, The Great Alone. Most of the inspiration for this novel was Alaska.

The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah
-Women's Fiction, Alaska
Amazon | Goodreads

For Review:

My Sister's Intended
by Rachael Anderson
-Historical, Romance
courtesy of tour -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

ONE of my favorite romance author's new one is a must read.

AND watched: at community event

Finding Kukan (2016)
Director/Writer: Robin Lung
Writer: Shirley Thompson
Stars: Ling-Ai Li, Kelly Hu, Daniel Dae Kim
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5

FINDING KUKAN investigates the story of Chinese Hawaii-born Li Ling-Ai, the un-credited female producer of KUKAN, a 1941 Academy Award-winning color documentary about World War II China that has been lost for decades.

GREAT pick for Women's History Month as it reveals Li Ling-Ai and the scope of her involvement in the Oscar documentary film winner, Kukan. What a woman!

Check out their website (here) for a screening near you. And, be on the lookout as it will air on PBS soon.


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
by Agatha Christie
narrated by Hugh Fraser

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 1920
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 4

Hercule Poirot series:
The Mysterious Affair at Styles 1920
Murder on the Links 1923
Christmas Adventure (short story) 1923
Poirot Investigates (short stories) 1924
Poirot's Early Cases (short stories) 1974
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd 1926
The Big Four 1927
The Mystery of the Blue Train 1928
Black Coffee (play novelisation by Charles Osborne) 1997
Peril at End House 1932
The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest (short story) 1932
Second Gong (short story) 1932
Lord Edgware Dies 1933
Murder on the Orient Express 1934
Three Act Tragedy 1935
Death in the Clouds 1935
The ABC Murders 1936
Murder in Mesopotamia 1936
Cards on the Table 1936
Yellow Iris (short story) 1937
Murder in the Mews (four novellas) 1937
Dumb Witness 1937
Death on the Nile 1937
Appointment with Death 1938
Hercule Poirot's Christmas 1938
Sad Cypress 1940
One, Two Buckle my Shoe 1940
Evil Under the Sun 1941
Five Little Pigs 1943
The Hollow 1946
The Labours of Hercules (short stories) 1947
Taken at the Flood 1948
Mrs McGinty's Dead 1952
After the Funeral 1953
Hickory Dickory Dock 1955
Dead Man's Folly 1956
Cat Among the Pigeons 1959
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (short stories) 1960 not published in the USA
The Clocks 1963
Third Girl 1966
Hallowe'en Party 1969
Elephants Can Remember 1972
Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case 1975

First sentence(s):
The intense interest aroused in the public by what was known at the time as 'The Styles Case' has now somewhat subsided.

The heiress of Styles has been murdered, dying in agony from strychnine slipped into her coffee. And there are plenty who would gain from her death: the financially strapped stepson, the gold digging younger husband, and an embittered daughter-in-law.

Agatha Christie's eccentric and hugely popular detective, Hercule Poirot, was introduced to the world in this book, which launched her career as the most famous and best loved of all mystery writers.

My two-bits:

I've been reading a lot of thriller and mystery related books lately. Also, watched episodes of Hercule Poirot mysteries. AND, am now inspired to finally read/listen to stories from the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie. She has an amazing collection of works. So, I started from the beginning.

While this first story in the Poirot series is the start of it all, it is not an origin story for Poirot. The story jumps right into a mystery which is told from another character's perspective, Hastings, who is a friend of Poirot.

Poirot get pulled into this mystery as a side character doing his own investigations and solving it with the big reveal in a room with the assembled suspects.


* Listened to audiobook version.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Goodbye, Vitamin
by Rachel Khong

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Contemporary, Humor
Hardback: 208
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
Tonight a man found Dad's pants in a tree lit with Christmas lights.

Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.

Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

My two-bits:

This is a humorous, yet serious perspective of a young adult in a caregiver role for a father experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer's. The gradual transition of the relationship between father and daughter is also presented by way of short observations of daily living.


* part of Tournament of Books 2018 (here)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lulu Anew by Étienne Davodeau

Lulu Anew
by Étienne Davodeau

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Genre: Literary, Women's Fiction, Graphic Novel
Hardback: 160
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
I can only tell you what I know about Lulu.

At the end of yet another unproductive job interview, Lulu, on a whim, takes off for the shore just to get away from it all. She’s got a husband and kids left bewildered but it’s nothing against them. This is just her time, getting away from the grind and with no other plan than savoring it. Surprised at her own temerity, she meets other people on the edge of the world. It wasn’t meant to be for long. It wasn’t meant to be anything but in the end thrilling, fun, and possibly dangerous, this improvised experience will make of Lulu a different woman.


My two-bits:

LOVE how the premise of the story grabbed me which holds true from the first page of the story to the end.

The story is told through different perspectives other than directly from the main character, Lulu, which was refreshing and different than the norm.

Interesting twists and turns along the way for Lulu with support and care from friends.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day with S.A. Dunphy and Kit de Waal

CELEBRATE today with Irish authors!

When She Was Gone
by S.A. Dunphy
-Crime, Thriller
Release date: March 1, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

When criminologist David Dunnigan receives the shocking delivery of one of his niece Beth's shoes, it reignites the eighteen-year-old investigation into her disappearance - which Dunnigan has always blamed himself for. But is he ready for what he might find?

New evidence links Beth's abduction to an antiquated psychiatric hospital, and on to an Inuit village in the frozen north of Greenland where the parents of Harry, a homeless boy Dunnigan and his friend Miley rescued from the streets, may have been trafficked.

Can Dunnigan survive the hunt, and will he find Beth after all this time?


The Trick To Time
by Kit de Waal
Release date: March 29, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

Mona is a dollmaker. She crafts beautiful, handmade wooden dolls in her workshop in a sleepy seaside town. Every doll is special. Every doll has a name. And every doll has a hidden meaning, from a past Mona has never accepted.

Each new doll takes Mona back to a different time entirely - back to Birmingham, in 1972. Back to the thrill of being a young Irish girl in a big city, with a new job and a room of her own in a busy boarding house. Back to her first night out in town, where she meets William, a gentle Irish boy with an easy smile and an open face. Back to their whirlwind marriage, and unexpected pregnancy. And finally, to the tragedy that tore them apart.


* found these authors amongst The Irish Times Books to Look Out for in 2018 article (here)

Lovely Books and Things - 3.17.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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



1. Happy St. Patrick's Day - going out to get Irish Soda Bread

2. Watching Japanese tv show about making miniature food with miniature appliances (source: image)

3. Studio Ghibli Pop Up Shop



My Neighbor Totoro
by Tsugiko Kubo
illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki
-Fantasy, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads

MY treat from the Studio Ghibli Pop Up shop.

Prize: books and audiobooks

Red Sparrow Trilogy
by Jason Matthews
-Espionage, Mystery, Thriller
courtesy of Simon and Schuster via instagram -Thanks!

FIRST book win from an instagram giveaway! So cool ;-)

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads
Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads
The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads

AND watched: in theatre

Red Sparrow (2018)
Director: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay: Justin Haythe
Based on book by: Jason Matthews
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Mary-Louise Parker
-Mystery, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 4

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

THE origin story for the Dominika character with Jennifer Lawrence doing what she does best. Tough cookie that she is.

AND watched: on Netflix

The Armstrong Lie (2013)
Director/Writer: Alex Gibney
Stars: Lance Armstrong, Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 4

A documentary chronicling sports legend Lance Armstrong's improbable rise and ultimate fall from grace.

THE curiosity of this whole affair is fascinating.

AND watched: at event

The Ito Sisters (2018)
An American Story
Director/Writer: Antonia Grace Glenn
-Documentary | website | my rating: 4

THE ITO SISTERS is a feature-length documentary film that captures the stories of three Japanese American sisters, interviewed in their 80’s and 90’s, as they recount how their immigrant parents struggled to make a life in America at the beginning of the 20th century. The family’s chronicle is set against the backdrop of the anti-Japanese movement in California, a 60-year campaign by politicians, journalists, landowners, labor leaders and others that culminated in the evacuation and incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast during World War II. THE ITO SISTERS is written, directed and produced by Antonia Grace Glenn, the granddaughter of the middle of the three sisters.

THE Presidio Trust presented a screening of this which included a Q&A with director, Antonia Grace Glenn, and lead scholar, Evelyn Nakano Glenn.

GREAT personal story piece to watch and learn about for Women's History Month!


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

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson

A Different Kind of Evil
by Andrew Wilson

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Agatha Christie
Paperback: 336
Rating: 4

Agatha Christie series:
A Talent for Murder
A Different Kind of Evil
book 3 - tba

First sentence(s):
As I felt the ship tilt and roll, I looked out the porthole to see a hidden horizon, the skyline obscured by the dirty smudge of a black storm cloud.

Agatha Christie—the Queen of Crime—travels to the breathtaking Canary Islands to investigate the mysterious death of a British agent in this riveting sequel to the “twisty thriller” (Publishers Weekly) A Talent for Murder.

Two months after the events of A Talent for Murder, during which Agatha Christie “disappeared,” the famed mystery writer’s remarkable talent for detection has captured the attention of British Special Agent Davison.

Now, at his behest, she is traveling to the beautiful Canary Islands to investigate the strange and gruesome death of Douglas Greene, an agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service. As she embarks on a glamorous cruise ship to her destination, she suddenly hears a scream. Rushing over to the stern of the liner, she witnesses a woman fling herself over the side of the ship to her death.

After this shocking experience, she makes it to the Grand Hotel in a lush valley on the islands. There, she meets a diverse and fascinating cast of characters, including two men who are suspected to be involved in the murder of Douglas Greene: an occultist similar to Aleister Crowley; and the secretary to a prominent scholar, who may also be a Communist spy. But Agatha soon realizes that nothing is what it seems here and she is surprised to learn that the apparent suicide of the young woman on the ocean liner is related to the murder of Douglas Greene. Now she has to unmask a different kind of evil in this sinister and thrilling mystery.

My two-bits:

This captured the Agatha Christie vibe with its slow pacing and various characters that take you down the wrong path.

I liked the on holiday vacation setting and lore that went with the island doings.

As I read this mystery I had and inkling of who the culprit might be, but was taken to the end for the final reveal.

Makes me want to do an Agatha Christie reading binge.


* review copy courtesy of book tour sponsored by publisher

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Aspen Words Literary Prize 2018

Aspen Words Literary Prize 2018
longlist | shortlist | details
Winner announced: April 10, 2018

Aspen Words is proud to present the inaugural longlist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize. These works of fiction, published in 2017, include titles from small presses and large, debuts and established authors, a mix of story collections, novels and translations. All of these works reflect some of society’s most pressing contemporary issues with artistry and humanity.

Wanting to read more literary works on contemporary issues after the Tournament of Books, I am going to work on this shortlist as a self-challenge.


Exit West
by Mohsin Hamid
Amazon | Goodreads | my review | rating: 4

Mad Country
by Samrat Upadhyay
-Short Stories, Asian American
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Sing, Unburied, Sing
by Jesmyn Ward
-Literary, African American
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky
by Lesley Nneka Arimah
-Short Stories, Magical Realism, Africa
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

What We Lose
by Zinzi Clemmons
-Literary, African American
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba
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