Clockwork Angels
Book Review / January 5, 2017

Title: Clockwork Angels Series: Clockwork Angels, #1 Author: Kevin J. Anderson & Neal Peart Genre: Steampunk Publisher: ECW Press Release Date: January 1st, 2012 Format: Hardback Pages: 315 Source: Borrowed from Friends Illustrator: Hugh Syme A remarkable collaboration that is unprecedented in its scope and realization, this exquisitely wrought novel represents an artistic project between the bestselling science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and the multiplatinum rock band Rush. The newest album by Rush, Clockwork Angels, sets forth a story in Neil Peart’s lyrics that has been expanded by him and Anderson into this epic novel. In a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. The mind-bending story is complemented with rich paintings by the five-time Juno Award winner for Best Album Design, Hugh Syme. GoodreadsAmazon   When I was in middle school, I adored binge reading series books. In fact, I had decided in 7th grade I would read EVERY SINGLE Star Wars Universe novel (now called…

Mini-Review: The Sigh
Book Review / December 19, 2016

Title: The Sigh Author: Marjane Satrapi Genre: Fairy Tale Publisher: Archaia Entertainment Release Date: December 13th, 2001 Format: Hardcover Pages: 52 Source: Library First Published: 2004 Rose is one of three daughters of a rich merchant who always brings gifts for his girls from the market. One day Rose asks for the seed of a blue bean, but he fails to find one for her. She lets out a sigh in resignation, and her sigh attracts the Sigh, a mysterious being that brings the seed she desired to the merchant. But every debt has to be paid, and every gift has a price, and the Sigh returns a year later to take the merchant’s daughter to a secret and distant palace. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon A variation on a traditional Azerbaijani fairy tale, The Sigh is a breath of fresh air for those used to the saccharine-sweet Disney tales. More in line with traditional Grimm and Scheherazade tales, Satrapi’s interpretation isn’t completely gruesome but contains all the iconic fairy tale details a lover of this genre would appreciate. The Sigh tells the story of Rose, the youngest daughter of a merchant who promises to bring his daughter’s heart’s desires upon returning from…

Mini Review: A Moon of My Own
Book Review / December 9, 2016

Title: A Moon of My Own Author: Jennifer Rustgi Genre: Picture Book Publisher: Dawn Publications Release Date: September 1st, 2016 Format: Paperback Pages: 32 Source: Owned Illustrator: Ashley White An imaginative young girl travels the world with her faithful companion, the moon. In her enchanted adventure she visits all seven continents while the moon goes through its cycle of phases as portrayed in silhouetted art. “Explore More” sections for kids and adults offer information and activities on phases of the moon and other aspects of astronomy and geography. GoodreadsAmazon When this book arrived on my doorstep, I knew it was something special. Inspired by her daughter asking, “Mama, why does the Moon always follow me?” author Jennifer Rustgi explores this idea within the pages of A Moon of One’s Own. A young girl in goulashes and carrying a stick is wandering the world having a conversation with the moon. She asks if the Moon is lonely or playing hide and seek. She compliments it’s brightness and appreciates the aurora borealis. A heart warming short story, this is perfect for bedtime. I adore the artwork of this book. The large glossy pages jumped out at me, but in a muted way….

Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow
Book Review / November 11, 2016

Title: Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow: an organizing guide Author: Daniel Hunter Genre: Social Justice; Self Help Publisher: Veterans of Hope Release Date: February 27th, 2015 Format: eBook Pages: 81 Source: Owned Expanding on the call to action in Michelle Alexander’s acclaimed best-seller, The New Jim Crow, this accessible organizing guide puts tools in your hands to help you and your group understand how to make meaningful, effective change. Learn about your role in movement-building and how to pick and build campaigns that contribute towards a bigger mass movement against the largest penal system in the world. This important new resource offers examples from this and other movements, time-tested organizing techniques, and vision to inspire, challenge, and motivate. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon   It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything. A lot has been happening in my home country of the good ol’ US of A. It’s been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I don’t want to get political here— heck, I barely get political in my daily life. However, it’s obvious to me that a lot of people in my social circles feel trapped and scared. Everyone is entitled to their emotions and…

The Girl From Everywhere
Book Review / November 7, 2016

Title: The Girl From Everywhere Series: The Girl From Everywhere, #1 Author: Heidi Heilig Genre: Magical Realism Publisher: Greenwillow Books Release Date: February 16th, 2016 Format: Audiobook Pages: 443 Source: Library Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination. As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix. But the end to it all looms closer every day. Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence. For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters. She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love. Or she could disappear. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon The Girl From Everywhere is everything and nothing like I expected it to be. Time-travelling pirate…

This One Summer
Book Review / October 25, 2016

Title: This One Summer Author: Mariko Tamaki Genre: Young Adult Publisher: First Second Release Date: May 6th, 2014 Format: Hardback Pages: 320 Source: Library Illustrator: Jillian Tamaki Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other. In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon A 2015 Caldecott Honor winner, This One Summer follows the perspective of Rose during a summer vacation at Awago Beach in Canada. Paired with her goofy friend Windy, the two of them experience life in…

Never Let Me Go
Book Review / October 17, 2016

Title: Never Let Me Go Author: Kazuo Ishiguro Genre: Speculative Fiction Publisher: Vintage Books Release Date: August 31st, 2010 Format: Paperback Pages: 288 Source: Owned First Published: 2005 As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. GoodreadsAmazon   I have never read a book like Never Let Me Go. Why? There is something about well praised literary and speculative fiction that turns me off. I think it’s years of being forced to read these genres in school, never understanding it, and never appreciating it. I tend to drift away because the genres make me feel stupid. If only I could learn from my mistakes. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Book Review / October 12, 2016

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Series: Harry Potter, #8 Author: J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany Genre: Stage Play Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books Release Date: July 31st, 2016 Format: Stage Play Pages: 327 Source: Owned Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016. It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon   Ah, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. You poor thing. You are the book everyone anticipated,…

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Book Review / October 10, 2016

Title: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man Series: Song of the Lioness, #3 Author: Tamora Pierce Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Simon Pulse Release Date: January 6th, 2005 Format: eBook Pages: 284 Source: Owned First Published: 1986 “Let her prove herself worthy as a man.” Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death — either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe’s first female shaman — despite the desert dwellers’ grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes — for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall. Alanna’s journey continues… (Via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon   (This post will feature covers from the different publications of this book. Most of them are terrible. You have been warned.) (…Also, that’s why I picked them. NEVER judge a book by its cover. …But it’s okay to laugh at them.) The third book in the Song…

Slaughterhouse-Five
Book Review / September 28, 2016

Title: Slaughterhouse-Five Author: Kurt Vonnegut Genre: Classic Publisher: Dell Release Date: November 3rd, 1991 Format: Paperback Pages: 215 Source: Library First Published: 1969 Prisoner of war, optometrist, time-traveller – these are the life roles of Billy Pilgrim, hero of this miraculously moving, bitter and funny story of innocence faced with apocalypse. Slaughterhouse 5 is one of the world’s great anti-war books. Centring on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden in the Second World War, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon   A commonly banned book, Slaughterhouse-Five, Or the Children’s Crusade is a powerful piece of classic American literature. Believe it or not, this was my first time reading a Vonnegut novel. Sometimes, I reflect back on my public school English curriculum, and I wonder what my teachers were thinking. There are so many classic authors I have never read. But then again, there are a lot of classic authors… I digress. Kurt Vonnegut was a prolific American author who had a perchance for the darkly comic in his writing. His writing quickly became classics of American counterculture and he was an…

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