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Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: Tuesdays With Morrie

This is the first Mitch Albom book I have read. It was given to me by a friend who I now suspect may have had an ulterior motive in wanting me to read it. It’s entire purpose is to pass on the teachings of the author’s beloved teacher. And it’s not subtle.

What does an seventy-eight year old retired college professor have left to teach his successful former student?

Learn How To Die.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why Should You Read YA?

I'm supposed to talk to you about why you should read YA fiction. That's "young adult" books, if you're wondering. Books aimed at teenagers. And I'll be upfront, I don't actually know the answer to this, so I'm going to stall by telling you a story.

I had just graduated high school. A friend and I were talking online, and for some reason or other she said, "Have you read Harry Potter?? You really should, it's good!"

What I typed was "Okay! :D" What I thought was 'Are you kidding me? You want me to read a children's book?'

I'd seen Harry Potter on TV. This was just as the series was taking the United States by storm. There were news broadcasts in my town about how parents disapproved because it promoted witchcraft. But that didn't matter to me. It was a kids' book. You know, for kids! Why in the world should I be interested in it? 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Review: Nickel Plated by Aric Davis

This book came to me in the best possible way: a friend recommendation. A coworker whom I know I have a lot of common interests with recommended me this book after she devoured it in one sitting, and to sweeten the deal she lent it to me on my Kindle (thanks, Joanna), so I knew I had no choice but to dive in. I like to think of myself as someone who doesn't have a "type" of book that I gravitate towards, but my first couple of reviews contradict that statement. This book intrigued me immediately because it was completely different than anything I had read in the last year. The description promised a light hearted mystery centered around a unique narrator, whose character surprised me on every page. My only difficulty in writing this review will be that I do not want to give too much away, because I am literally begging you to read this book. But I will do my best!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When Reading Becomes a Responsibility

From about the age of 7, I have been an avid reader. Let me rephrase that. When I was in Elementary School, I learned how to read. My mom would probably argue that I was ahead of the curve, reading before a lot of the other kids, but I'll keep it simple and say that I learned to read with everyone else, in Elementary School. I don't have many memories of what it was like to learn to read, because in my mind there has never been a time where I couldn't. Not to take any credit away from my family, but my passion for reading wasn't really inspired by anyone in particular that I grew up around. I wasn't recommended a book that would change the way that I felt about the world, inevitably plunging me into the incredible world of fiction. I wasn't forced to spend any amount of time after school reluctantly reading until it finally became something that I enjoyed. My earliest memories of myself are all strung together by what books I was reading when the memorable moments in my life occurred. Skiing road trip to North Carolina in 6th grade? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. When the Marlins won the World Series in 2003, I had just finished the 3rd book in the Mediator Series by Meg Cabot. Historical events of years past have the most meaning to me through the books that I read that told stories of both fictional and real people who were experiencing the events first hand. Every book I could get my hands on, I would read. I would beg my parents to buy me books for birthdays, Christmases and for no reason at all, but they would argue that buying me books was a waste of money simply because I would read them in a day and never pick them up again. This unfortunate circumstance gave way to what I would regard as the most meaningful relationship of my life: the library. The library opened doors for me that otherwise would have been impossible. I practically lived at the library in middle and high school. My friends and I would ride our bikes to the library at least twice a week to trade out books we had devoured in a matter of hours. I volunteered at my local library throughout High School and I absolutely loved being there. 

You may be asking yourself, why is all of this so important to note? It's obvious this person is a reader, which I already knew because she is contributing to a book blog. This seems redundant. Where is this romance going?!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Review: The Bone Season

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon may be one of those series that sweep the nation and beyond. Published earlier this year, the first installment of her possible seven book series was at the top of several best fantasies of the year and it's movie rites have already been optioned. It could be really big.
Or it could not. 

After giving The Bone Season a shot, I found it....intriguing. Not bad, not great, but definitely unique enough for me to anticipate a sequel before I make a final judgement.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An Evening With Leigh Bardugo

Last Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending an appearance and signing event for the New York Times Best Selling Author Leigh Bardugo. Bardugo is the mastermind behind The Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Seige and Storm, and the upcoming finale Ruin and Rising. The event was free and open to the public, so around 30-40 of her biggest fans made the trek out to the Burbank Library on a breezy Wednesday night ready to get their books signed.

Having not been to many signing events myself, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Were we just going to line up, say hi, get stuff signed, and pray for a reading from Ruin and Rising? Well I was more than pleasantly surprised by the evening which left me and (I think I can speak for everyone) everyone else feeling like we'd all made a new best friend and, if possible, more pumped than ever for Ruin and Rising.

Don't worry I'll explain this picture later

Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Moonshine

I have a soft spot for urban fantasy. I also loved Alaya Dawn Johnson's young adult novel The Summer Prince. So when I found out she wrote an urban fantasy novel about vampires set in the Roaring Twenties, well, I knew what would happen next.

I was going to read it, of course.

Zephyr Hollis has developed a reputation as a regular do-gooder, standing up for the rights of the lower class, immigrants, and even America's not-so-human citizens. When she finds a recently turned vampire child lying unconscious in the street, a mysterious dark-skinned man comes to her aid. He takes the boy, but in exchange he asks Zephyr to help him find a notorious gangster, who he suspects is really a vampire. Zephyr accepts the job, as well as a hefty cash advance, and soon finds herself tangled up in a supernatural mystery on the snowy streets of Prohibition-era Manhattan. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Transitioning to Kindle: The True Struggle

I recently was given a Kindle as a gift—a seemingly nice gesture for someone who loves to read—but to tell you the truth, it’s been sitting in it's package for almost two months. It's not that I'm ungrateful. I love presents. People tell me all the time that I'm a wonderful "receiver of gifts." I'm just simply refusing to abandon my beloved books for an an archaic-looking technology that may or may not be prone to epileptic seizures at the click of a button. And it doesn’t even have Snake.

But the Kindle is everywhere. It has taken avid-book-readers by storm, and I’m not sure I should continue fighting it. Does that mean I'm cheating on my books?

Kindle [setting books on] Fire