The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Sorry I haven’t posted as much this past week. Very swamped with school stuff due before my spring break (which I will be home during, so hopefully lots of posts then). I’ve also been very busy playing with this new selfie-stick. I am both ashamed & ecstatic to own one.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August follows Harry, a kalachakra, one of a rare type of person who, after dying, comes back to life at the start of his past life all over again. So they live many lives, but always as the same person & always at the same time. But they keep their memories from all their previous lives. Harry gets involved with other people who have this ability, most of which are members of a secret society known as the Cronus Club. But not all of which are good & Harry eventually feels it’s his duty (partly because he is a pneumonic, somebody who remembers every little detail & never forgets no matter how many lives they have) to stop one of these people in particular from destroying the world. The whole thing is a recount told by Harry, but it jumps around from life to life in no particular order. Some of his lives and adventures don’t really have a direct relation to the plot, but help build his character & explore the idea of what a person would do if he was able to live infinitely. Continue reading

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Bookish Cover Similarities

The above photo is a sneak preview of my mini haul I’ll be posting as soon as I get my other books I ordered online in the mail.

But this post came about when I was watching a video & I saw the cover for Men Explain Things to Me and Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit. I realized the cover looks kind of similar to Dog Stars by Peter Heller. I started thinking that there’s actually a lot of covers that I’ve mixed up before because they look so alike.

So after a quick google search, turns out I’m not the first person to think of this… So I’ll add some other sites down below that have their own examples. But my contributions are less lookalikes, and more books (based off of some aspect of their cover) that my brain tends to associate with each other. The content of the books do not relate, it’s strictly judging the book by its cover. So here we go, (click on any of the books to be directed to their Goodreads)

I noticed dogstars looks like menexplain Continue reading

Unkept by Ericka Clay

This book was sent to me from the author for review. The publisher is Bannerwing Books & you can buy the book on amazon.

As the live-in manager at her father’s funeral home in Burling Gates, Missouri, Vienna Oaks has succumbed to the mediocrity and abject loneliness of her life. Her days are suspended between the mundane and the misery of her clients’ throttling grief, of changing light bulbs, and encountering strangers as bereft as she. But after orchestrating the funeral for a little boy named Parker prompts a severe panic attack, she finds herself at a personal crossroads in which she is forced to confront the pregnancy she’s been hiding, her childhood nemesis, the boy she never stopped loving, and the deep-seated secret surrounding her mother’s death more than a decade before.

In another part of town, Heather Turnbull has just learned from her estranged father that her mother, a lifelong recluse, has died. When making arrangements for her funeral, Heather chooses Oaks Family Funeral home, where she comes face to face with Vienna – the woman she tortured throughout grade school, the woman who has recently had an affair with her husband.

Together, Vienna and Heather navigate through a makeshift friendship born of circumstance and devised to assuage their ambivalence towards motherhood and their tenuous relationship with reality, discovering, in tandem, the art of forgiveness and the will to go on.

With humor and poignancy, Ericka Clay’s debut novel, Unkept, explores the thorny landscape of childhood trauma and the ferocious politics between little girls — and the adults they become.

You know the Bechdel test? The one that says your novel/movie/whatever should have at least two women in it, those women should have names, & they should talk with each other about something other than a man? This book passes that test with flying colors. It was really refreshing to read a story so rooted in what it’s like to grow up as a girl and live like a woman. It rightfully fits into the Women’s Fiction genre. Continue reading

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

This has been marketed as Harry Potter for adults. That it is not. If it’s going to be compared to any children’s book, Chronicles of Narnia would definitely relate more. But even then, it skews heavily to the adult side. I think the whole point is a counter response to C.S. Lewis’ innocent childrens’ books.

Quentin is hopelessly attached to a childhood fantasy series he read as a kid, that take place in the magical land called Fillory. This is embarrassing for him since he’s a high-school senior getting ready to apply for colleges. But he finally has his ultimate dream come true as he discovers a type of magical portal to Brakebills, a school in upstate New York for magicians. But instead of being completely over the moon with happiness, he slowly learns that the adventurous life he’s read in books doesn’t match up to the one at his school. Magic turns out to be hard work & tedious. There aren’t any big villains to battle. He isn’t the hero of his story. Or I guess I should say, so he thinks…? Continue reading

Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I figured I’d celebrate with Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks. Tony Hawks, the British comedian, not to be confused with Tony Hawk, the skateboarder. Not that I initially made that mistake or anything when I first read the cover…

The story is basically, for all we know, an entirely true account of Tony’s journey hitch-hiking around Ireland with a mini-fridge. It’s described as “a totally purposeless idea, but a damn fine one…” Continue reading

The Districts Tag

I love book tags. This one was made by CityOfYABooks who is a booktuber. But I like blogging them because bringing these tags to different sites makes it more fun. The theme is based off of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series. There are twelve questions & each relates to one of the twelve districts. But I’m going to include books that aren’t YA because I read other genres a lot. Plus I’m limiting myself to only include books I currently have on my shelf.

So #1. Opulence:

dt1

The goal here is to name a book where there is a clear display of luxury. For this one I chose The Beautiful & Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I’m pretty sure you could choose any one of his works & it would apply. I’m a bit of a Fitzgerald nut & have these pretty editions designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. He has a weird love/hate relationship to the wealthy class in my opinion. Continue reading

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award is a chain award that was created by bloggers, and is a tradition to make new friends in the blogging community. I was nominated by Khloud from A Bookworm’s RamblingsSummer from xingsings, & sherlockianbooklover. Thank you guys 🙂 Rules:

  1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions given by the nominator.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers and link them.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
  5. Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.

Since 22 questions is a lot I narrowed it down to 15 combined from the two nominators.

  1. If you could pick the era and place in which you were born, what would you pick?

I’d like to live in the late 1960s to early 1970s. New York City. Not much of a stretch from current times, but I think it’d be a lot more fun. Good music, different standards. Continue reading

The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson

I was a little scared to read this one at first. I had only received one or two ARCs in the past (not very great ones) & this would be my first time using NetGalley. I read book descriptions for a while before ultimately deciding on this one from Little, Brown. The cover looked beautiful & vibrant. The story description sounded like the sort of book I want to read right now.

lostboyssymphony“After Henry’s girlfriend Val leaves him and transfers to another school, his grief begins to manifest itself in bizarre and horrifying ways. Cause and effect, once so reliable, no longer appear to be related in any recognizable manner. Either he’s hallucinating, or the strength of his heartbreak over Val has unhinged reality itself.

After weeks of sleepless nights and sick delusions, Henry decides to run away. If he can only find Val, he thinks, everything will make sense again. So he leaves his mother’s home in the suburbs and marches toward the city and the woman who he thinks will save him. Once on the George Washington Bridge, however, a powerful hallucination knocks him out cold. When he awakens, he finds himself kidnapped by two strangers–one old, one middle-aged–who claim to be future versions of Henry himself. Val is the love of your life, they tell him. We’ve lost her, but you don’t have to.

In the meantime, Henry’s best friend Gabe is on the verge of breakdown of his own. Convinced he is somehow to blame for Henry’s deterioration and eventual disappearance, Gabe is consumed by a potent mix of guilt and sadness. When he is approached by an enigmatic stranger claiming to be an older version of his lost friend, Gabe begins to fear for his own sanity. With no one else to turn to, he reaches out to the only person who can possibly help him make sense of it all: Val.”

This will be so hard not to spoil. 

This book felt like it came out of my own head. How many times have we all wanted to go talk to our high-school or middle-school selves & tell them to lighten up or knock some sense into them? Or pondered what we’d be like years from now if we’d made different choices? Continue reading

Wonderland by Stacey D’Erasmo

I feel the book description doesn’t accurately describe what you’re getting into.

The story follows Anna, a former rock artist, not necessarily a rockstar. I’d possibly compare her to my generation’s Semisonic or Spacehog. Not sound wise, but in terms of one hit wonders being their claim to fame. Anna is on her fourth tour, Wonderland, & she’s put all her money into this second shot at…something. Fame? Happiness? She seems like she’s searching for something to give her meaning. I really loved her. Wonderland is very character dependent, & if you don’t love Anna I don’t think you’ll enjoy it very much. But I have a thing for self-destructive, red-headed females so…

Continue reading

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to ahouseofbooks & adancewithbooks for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!

There’s a few versions of the rules. But I’m going to do the version that ahouseofbooks did.

How it works:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Share 10 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers who are relatively new to blogging (& you like!)

My Ten Random Facts:

1. I have a puppy named Ody (Odysseus from The Odyssey) & a cat named Elphie (Elphaba from Wicked).
2. I switched my college major five times, everything from Art History to Environmental Science…
3. I was adopted.
4. I pull three day Netflix binging sessions (recommend shows to me!).
5. I can not cook for shit.
6. But my dad’s a chef so it’s okay.
7. I’m deathly allergic to peanuts.
8. I’m a NY Giants fan.
9. Clowns are scary.
10. Some Kind of Wonderful by Grand Funk Railroad has been my alarm song for the past three years.

And the ten bloggers I would like to nominate are:

Alice and the Books 

xingsings

Big City Bookworm

Bookshelves & Paperbacks

Nihil Sed Tempus

Becca and Books

That Worn Book Smell 

The Book Magpie

Mishi-Reads

Little Black Blog

The nominees can do the above version, or follow the VBA rules below!

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award.
  •  Include a link to their blog.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Happy blogging everybody!