Annihilation
Book Review / January 28, 2018

Title: Annihiliation Series: The Southern Reach, #1 Author: Jeff VanderMeer Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Blackstone Audio Release Date: February 14th, 2014 Format: Audiobook Pages: 195 Source: Library Narrator: Carolyn McCormick Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition. Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the…

Building Better Book Clubs: An Insider Glance
Building Better Book Clubs / January 12, 2018

          is a series of posts focused on all things book club related: discussions, listicles, how to’s and more! I started this feature because I love book clubs. I adore them. I think they are an incredible way to connect with people, enrich our lives, and… well, you can read the other reasons here. People have asked about my own book clubs many times over the course of the past year. I reference them often. Not only because I am passionate about them, but because they consume quite a bit of my reading. People have asked about how many I participate in, what types of book clubs they are, and why I love them. In this post, I’m going to give you a glimpse into the book club world I live in. I hope that this will provide you some opportunity to reflect on all the book club options in your world.   This book group began hosted by the library closest to where I live. We met once a month at a local coffee shop where a librarian would lead us through a book discussion. The book group was intended for those in their 20s and…

Morning Star
Book Review / July 17, 2017

Title: Morning Star Series: Red Rising, #3 Author: Pierce Brown Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Del Rey Release Date: February 9th, 2016 Format: eBook Pages: 524 Source: Owned Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within. Finally, the time has come. But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender. (via Goodreads) Amazon   This is a review for Morning Star, the third book in the Red Rising trilogy. Spoilers will be marked, but read with caution if you have…

Fahrenheit 451
Book Review / July 5, 2017

Title: Fahrenheit 451 Author: Ray Bradbury Genre: Speculative Fiction Publisher: Simon and Schuster Release Date: June 2012 Format: Hardback Pages: 249 Source: Library First Published: 1953 Sixty years after its publication, Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before. “Fahrenheit 451- The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns.” Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. The sixtieth-anniversary edition commemorates Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Neil Gaiman; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by…

The Screwtape Letters
Book Review / December 15, 2016

Title: The Screwtape Letters Author: C.S. Lewis Genre: Theology Publisher: HarperOne Release Date: October 8th, 2013 Format: Hardback Pages: 169 Source: Library First Published: 1942 This extraordinary little book is a startling, unique, and powerful presentation of the old, old problem of the continuous battle for the soul of man between the insidious forces of evil and the triumphant forces of good. It consists of a series of letters written by Screwtape (an important official in his Satanic Majesty’s “Lowerarchy”) to Wormwood, his nephew, who is a junior devil on earth. The letters are instruction in temptation as to how to corrupt the faith of Wormwood’s “patient,” who is in danger of becoming a Christian. “The book sparkles with wit and reveals on every page a penetrating understanding of man’s spiritual struggle upward toward the City of God. Its incisive truth, its scintillating style cry out for quotation. The reader will irresistibly find himself carrying it about, reading it to anyone who will listen. It is a perfect joy and should become a classic.” (via Goodreads) Amazon C.S. Lewis is known as a Christian apologist. This means he presents reasoned, logical, evidential bases for Christianity. In fact, he is known…

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Book Review / November 3, 2016

Title: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Series: Inheritance, #1 Author: N.K. Jemisin Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Hachette Book Group Orbit Release Date: February 25th, 2010 Format: Paperback Pages: 427 Source: Library Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle. (via Goodreads) Amazon   This is a book I might have never read without BookRiot’s Read Harder challenge. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms satisfied “Read the first book in a series by a person of color.” Check. Reading this book opened my eyes not only to a new fantasy series (which I already adore) but to an entirely new perspective in fantasy. Yiene Darr is summoned to the floating city of Sky, the seat of the Arameri family that controls the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. As the unsanctioned biracial daughter of the self-abdicated heiress to the Kingdom, Yiene doesn’t know what to expect when she meets her Grandfather for the first time. She certainly doesn’t…

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