Review: The Gashlycrumb Tinies: or, After the Outing by Edward Gorey

imageThis delightful mock children’s alphabet book tells the story of twenty-six children and how they died. It is told in rhyming couplets, accompanied by illustrations of their demise.

Edward Gorey is a writer and illustrator, famous for his whimsical, macabre humor and distinctive pen and ink drawings. Amongst his many works is the animated opening and closing segments for PBS’ Mystery.

If you have never read Gorey, start with this one. You will be laughing at death. Wouldn’t that be a great reply to someone’s question of “How was your day?/How are you doing?” “Wonderful/ Excellent/ Marvelous,” you will say. “I looked at death and laughed today.”

In closing, life is short. We don’t know how many years we have on this earth or how we are going to die. I do know that I do not want to suffer the fate of Neville.

“M is for Maude who was tossed out to sea”
“N is for Neville who died of ennui”

~Thalia

Buy It Now The Gashlycrumb Tinies

Buy The Compilation Amphigorey: Fifteen Books

Review: A Mercy by Toni Morrison

mercy“She learned the intricacy of loneliness: the horror of color, the roar of soundlessness and the menace of familiar objects lying still.”
― Toni Morrison, A Mercy

“I dream a dream that dreams back at me”
― Toni Morrison, A Mercy

With quotes such as this how can one not just love the book that they are from? I am the type that can fall in love with a book because of one sentence. This however was not that book. Maybe it was too short to come together for me….maybe I just don’t like Toni Morrison’s writing style….but this just can’t be! I mean it’s THE TONI MORRISON! I’ve wanted to read her forever and I really, REALLY, R E A L L Y wanted to love this book, it was my first experience with her…….I usually love beautiful poetic writing styles! Why couldn’t I fall in love with this book?????????? Why!!!!???

Honestly, truth be told, I just didn’t feel the story. I didn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t feel respect….I didn’t feel fear….I didn’t feel love…I didn’t feel sacrifice….I didn’t feel regret….I didn’t feel sorrow. There just wasn’t a basis for it. Sure, I knew I was supposed to feel these things. I knew exactly what I was supposed to feel and who my sympathies were suppose to lie with…I knew who I was meant to despise….however, I felt no more emotion for one character than another. I barely cared at all. I just wanted it to end….and it wasn’t even that long of a book. Maybe I needed more character development. Maybe I needed more details. I know the words were there…..there is no doubt that Morrison writes in a beautiful lyrical way….it’s just that in this story….well….it was almost as if Morrison sat down and penned a few great sentences. Sentences full of promises….and THEN and only then did she try to build a story around them. I wanted her to write a story first AND then write beautiful sentences to tell that story….I realize that to some they will think that sounds foolish and silly….that there might not be a difference….a story is just a story, but this is what I thought when I was reading the story….and it’s still what I think after I have finished it.

I want to give Morrison another try. I *really* want to read “The Bluest Eye”…..but I’m afraid that no matter how much I know that I am supposed to love Toni Morrison, that she just might not be the writer for me…..sigh….I seriously HATE when that happens, don’t you?

~Urania

Buy it now A Mercy

Review: The Master Undone, by Lisa Renee Jones

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Warning!!! SPOILER ALERT!!!You must not read this unless you read Being Me. This is a novella that takes place a day after Being Me ends.

I positively LOVED seeing Mark, Mr. In control all the time, not in control. 🙂

When he meets Crystal, the new sales rep for Riptide, she give him a run for his money. She doesn’t back down at all. He doesn’t know how to deal with that and he is OK with that. Part of him wants her to take control, but the other 95% doesn’t.

It’s a very quick read, 40 pages, so there’s not much to say. Mark is one tough cookie and doesn’t wanna show weakness, but somehow Crystal creeps in and slowly shows him that the loss of control isn’t weakness.

It ends quite suddenly and now I’m dying to see what comes next!!!

I received this ARC, for an honest review.

~Melpomene

Buy now The Master Undone: An Inside Out Novella

My Forever Growing TBR List…..

945197_10151389248375064_582985017_nSome people believe you can never have too many friends. I’ve always held the belief that one can never have too many books. In fact, I will take it a step further and say that you can have too many friends. Why would I ever dare say something so preposterous? Well I have two answers to that…..both are painfully honest….I reckon the one you would get from me would be determined by my level of aggravation that day. If you asked me on a very busy or stressful day of work I would tell you that, yes, you can have too many friends….friends whose sole purpose in life was to keep you from enjoying a peaceful, guilt free night of reading! If you asked me the same question after a day spent far from work, a day spent finishing a great book and then going in search of another book to read, well I would have to tell you that, yes, you can have too many friends….friends that are always begging you to try this book, or that book….friends that are giving 5 star reviews…..friends all too willing to help you buy yet one more book……

Before the internet was so common….before smart phones…..before Amazon (Bezos is out to get me!!!) and its magical kindle…..well, I confess, I still had a problem with books. I had bookshelves full of books. I had books upon books stacked upon flat surfaces in my house….beside my bed on the floor….my kitchen table…..my nightstand…..the backseat of my car…..I confess, even on the back of the commode in the bathroom……I would spend part of each week gathering up all of these books and trying to find hiding places for them all….when I was asked if I got a new book, I would reply with, “this old thing? I’ve had it for ages!”….hey, it’s not like anyone I know would ever realize that the book was a new release just out that day! But life was easier then. I mean, I had to actually go to a store and look at the books. I would have to study their covers. I would have to open them up and read the first paragraph of the description. I would have to be moved enough to actually spend my hard-earned money on an author I had never heard of. Was it worth the risk? I didn’t know many readers…..I was far better off sticking with those authors I knew and loved….I was able to somewhat control my addiction……

Then my entire world changed….around this time I thought Facebook was just a wasteland of worthless posts that you signed on once a week and looked around for 15 minutes and logged out. At this same time, I thought Amazon was a great way for me to order my books without having to go and find a store close by that had the new book I wanted….sometimes finding a book was tough where I lived.

Then two life changing events happened…..it was late in the year 2010…the first thing that happened is I caved and bought a kindle….Bezos with his evil plot to take over the entire world finally convinced me to come over to the dark side….in doing so, I was inspired to type in KINDLE in the search engine of Facebook…..OH MY GREAT GOODNESS!!!!! What do you mean they have entire pages dedicated to kindle and eBooks? What do you mean there are other people in the world that would rather read on a Friday night then go out and get pissed? What do you mean that other people love books as much as me? How is this possible? I am a grown woman who has met thousands of people in this life and I thought I was the only one!!!!! Have I suddenly been transported into a parallel universe or something?

<conversation with myself> okay….chill! calm yourself! let’s adjust to all of this….let’s learn to accept all of this….okay….this is a good thing….NO! a great thing!!!! I now have book friends! For the first time in my life, people “get me”…..How awesome is this! Oh my! Look, they are offering suggestions! Oh my! look how helpful they are! They even provide me links that take me directly to the book! Oh my! I LOOOOVEEEE my new friends…..I would have never tried this book if they hadn’t told me about this great new author….oh wow! This author doesn’t just have this one book out, they have an entire series!!!! My new book friends are amazing…..How did I ever live before I met them all? I am the luckiest bibliophile on the planet!!! And seriously….look how easy it is to hide how many books I have! Not one single person has asked me if that’s a new book I am reading!!!! Well, except my new book friends, but it’s almost like bragging! They actually get excited for me…not a single one has rolled their eyes wondering why I just bought that new book when I have so many to read

fast forward 6 months

<yet another conversation with myself> hmmmmm…..now that I have over 500 books on my kindle (I love you, Bezos, you’re not evil at all….let me help you take over the world, I want to tell everyone how much I love my kindle!!!!) perhaps I am confident enough to let go of some of my hard covers…..oh, but I love them all so much….first let me make sure I have purchased the kindle copy….one day I might run out of books to read and want to revisit this old favorite…besides, I am giving them to people who need books….I am being charitable…I deserve some new books, since I am being so generous…hmmmmmm…..all of my new friends are great, but they keep telling me about new books….perhaps they need to step away from the computer for a while….it would be nice if they actually READ their TBR list before they added to mine…or even worse….made fun of mine….who cares how many books I have….it’s not like they are taking up room in my house…..and besides, my buddy Bezos stores them in the magical cloud for FREE!!!! Free!!!! Can you believe that? And hey, it was hard work to get track down this many great books to read!!!!

fast forward again

<conversation with family members> I don’t care if I asked for an Amazon Gift Card last year for my birthday….it’s what I want….no, I don’t want a stupid set of pajamas. I want a GC…..I’m sorry if you think a GC isn’t personal enough…personally I’ve had no use out of a single present you have ever given to me EXCEPT for the GC from last year….for now on don’t send me anything BUT GCs…..I need a few more books to read…..don’t roll your eyes at me like that!!!!!!!!!!!

fast forward one year

<yes, yet another conversation with myself> oh look! One of my great friends just told me about a website where I can track all of my books…..I must go check it out!!!! Holy Hell, this GOODREADS is freaking awesome sauce! I love this! I’m going to add all my books in……hmmmmm….I didn’t realize I had purchased this many books…..hmmm…..maybe I need a new kindle to keep track of the books I’ve purchased so I can make sure to get to them first….lots of people have multiple kindles….why should I be stuck with only one when they aren’t limited to just one…..yes, I NEED this other one….It’s so I can track my books better……..OH MY GOSH!!!!! Why in the world did I buy this stupid book? Who recommended this one? I give up! I can’t add all of these books! There’s no flipping way….I need five of me to enter all of these damn books….how is it possible that I have these many books? It just isn’t possible….seriously! I’m going to Amazon right this second and checking my archives…….OH HELL NO!!!!! I DO NOT HAVE 6,000 BOOKS IN MY ARCHIVES…..THIS ISN’T POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today

<current conversation with myself> hmmmm….I really should finish this blog post, but my book buddy just told me about this book that just came out….I really need to go check it out….one more book won’t hurt anyone, will it?

Much Love to Each and Every One of my Fellow Book Friends,

Urania

Review: Love, Technically by Lynne Silver

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This novella was a quick, easy mid-week read.

I loved the fresh, early-20s characters of Michelle and Noah. The tech-y office setting reminded me of my first corporate job after college – making friends, going to happy hour, figuring out whom to call at the Help Desk. And who can’t resist a juicy office romance where gossip and rumors abound?

But the writing seemed amateurish, the dialogue unnatural, and the comedic timing was off. In addition, the timing of the epilogue — taking place three years after the last chapter — was awkward.

Love, Technically is a cute, fun romance. A few more chapters and a little more editing would make fine improvements.

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

-Calliope

Buy It Now Love, Technically

Review: A Different Blue, by Amy Harmon

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“Once upon a time there was a little blackbird, pushed out of the nest, unwanted.”

WOW!!! This was an amazing book! I kept hearing about this book and that people were crying and emotionally drained afterwards. So I knew this was right up my alley.

Blue Echohawk has no idea who she is or where she came from. She doesn’t even know her real name or how old she is.

What she knows is that the man, Jimmy Echohawk, who raised her, from age 2 til 10 wasn’t her father. She was left in his truck, by her mother, and he was afraid to turn her in, after finding out her mother was killed in the motel he was parked outside of. So he took her and cared for her, until one day he went out and never came back. She was then raised with her step aunt and put into school for the first time.

The story takes place during her senior year of high school, where she is forced to revisit her past, what she knows of it, by her 22yr old good looking, British, cello playing, History teacher, Mr Darcy Wilson. Poor guy had a P&P lovin’ mom. 🙂 He forces her to think about who she thinks she is.

“You may not be a work of art, but you are definitely a piece of work.”

What she discovers is more than she bargained for.

This entire book is about her quest to find out who she really is. Mr. Wilson helps her in ways no one else ever could. As they grow closer, Blue is faced with a difficult decision and He is there to get her through it. It was one of the hardest scenes I’ve ever had to read. Ugly tears were falling. Love in the most beautiful and purest form, was shown here. I had such a hard time getting through it.

“I keep wishing you had had a better life…a different life. But a different life would have made you a different Blue.” He looked at me then. “And that would be the biggest tragedy of all.”

This is a sweet romance with a happy ending, if you can get past the crying and the emotions. 🙂

~Melpomene

Buy A Different Blue

Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead; Narration by Emily Shaffer

13477883 In looking for a new audiobook I was surprised to find a new series by Richelle Mead that I had heard nothing about. I really enjoyed Richelle’s first series The Vampire Academy due to the strong female characters and take no crap attitude. I listened to the first few books in the spin off series of Bloodlines and really enjoyed that one because even though it continued some of the same characters it was still pretty different from the original series. I also really liked Emily Shaffer, she did a great job narrating both male and female characters. So when I saw that she was going to narrate this one too I immediately bought it.

Gameboard of the Gods is set in the future where society is pretty segregated into different classes. Mae was born into the elite upper class but is now a member of the militaristic Praetorian Guard. Justin was previously an investigator of “religious groups and supernatural claims” as a revered servitor but was exiled four years ago. He is brought back after a series of difficult to solve murders take place and Justin and Mae are teamed up to solve the crimes.

I wanted to give up on this book multiple times but I didn’t solely because I’d liked so many of her other books. At the end I was left wishing I had given it up. The audiobook was around 16 hours which was about 12 hours longer than I wanted of this world. I didn’t understand the segregation of classes or the reason for the segregation and it wasn’t really ever explained.

Much worse than that was that Justin literally talked to birds in his head. Let me repeat – he talked to birds in his head. I’m not sure when exactly we found out the reason for this but it was very, very late in the story and I saw no real understanding of why we couldn’t have been told this information much earlier.

At the end of the book I was left feeling very meh. I will definitely not be reading further in this series.

2 stars for the book. 4 for the narration.

~Clio

Buy it Now Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X)