Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality!

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 

 

-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty

 

This book was written by the same author as Big Little Lies, and it follows the same format. There is a big event that changes everything. The narrative jumps back and forth between the time before the event, the time after the event, and the night of the BBQ (the main event). Moriarty draws out the big reveal, just like she did in Big Little Lies. I will say I was anxious at first to find out what happened, and it made me spend more time reading just so I could find out. At one point I had an idea what happened, but I wasn't completely right. My friend said this means I was wrong, but in truth, I was partially correct. But still wrong I guess. ;)

 

Bottom line, if you liked Big Little Lies, you will probably enjoy this one. It took a while to get to the point, but it was worth the wait.

Unwind - audiobook

Unwind - -Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged-, Neal Shusterman, Luke Daniels

 

In a not-so-distant future, the pro-choice and pro-life forces went to war. The compromise that ended the war was The Bill of Life. Under this bill, human life is protected from the moment of conception until the age of 13. Between the ages of 13 & 17, parents can choose to have their children "unwound". Unwinding is a process that harvests ninety-something percent of the body and then transplants the parts into other people's bodies. Supposedly, this means the child doesn't die but lives on divided into the bodies of other people.

 

Three children selected for unwinding for various reasons come together in this story, Connor, Risa & Lev. The reasons they became unwinds vary as much as their outlooks on life, but they are thrown together by circumstances and must find a way to survive together.

 

WOW. I loved this book. The plot is complex and exciting, the characters are flawed (in other words, human), and the circumstances are believable. The idea of unwinding is just terrible, but somehow it is common practice in this world. There are a lot of details I won't mention because I wouldn't want to spoil this book. But, the most intense and disturbing are the moments the reader witnesses an unwinding - chilling. And all the more so in the audio version. The voices and the technique the narrator uses fit the situation perfectly.

 

I love the story, the narration, everything about this book. I purchased the next 3 books in the series and have already started listening to book 2 - UnWholly.

Reading progress update: I've read 250 out of 430 pages.

Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty

 

I was reading this book last night before bed. When I tried to sleep, I couldn't - probably due to that late afternoon espresso (not a good choice). But, as I was lying there trying to sleep, my mind wandered to the book. And suddenly I had an idea what happened at the barbecue. The clues are all there, but I'm not sure if I'm right yet.

 

This book is similar to Pretty Little Lies in that an event occurred and we hear about the characters lives before and after the event with little pieces of what actually happened that night sprinkled in between. 

 

It's a bit annoying because I really want to know what happened...

"No one warned you that having children reduced you right down to some smaller, rudimentary, primitive version of yourself, where your talents and your education and your achievements meant nothing."
Truly Madly Guilty - Liane Moriarty

 

 

How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer

How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer - Taryn Souders

 

 

Someone once told me that money can't buy happiness. They obviously never had to ride a baby bike to the first day of middle school.

-opening lines

 

Chloe is determined to earn money this summer (maybe by babysitting). What she didn't plan for is her parents deciding to send her to career camp. There she will have the opportunity to see what it's like to be a cake decorator, athlete, scientist, or veterinarian. Well, Chloe knows for sure she doesn't get along with animals, by maybe she could work with the cake decorating thing. But, life has other plans... Between spiders, a goat named King Arthur, a rude girl named Victoria, and Director Mudwimple, Chloe's summer is looking ruined. But luckily Chloe meets a friend, a bouncy girl named Paulie (who Chloe nicknames Pogo), and finds out two of her friends from home are also there, Nathan (her secret crush) and Sebastian.

 

The story is told through Chloe's experiences and nightly journal entries. Chloe is relatable and the drama seems pretty accurate for a bunch of middle school aged girls living in a cabin together. Chloe's friendship with Pogo and the difficulties with the bully Victoria seem to be accurate portrayals of middle school relationships. Chloe doesn't always make the right choice, but in the end, she does the right thing. I read this quickly in one sitting and I think 4th through 8th graders will enjoy it.

Mark of the Dragonfly

The Mark of the Dragonfly - Jaleigh Johnson

Piper, a young girl with a talent for fixing mechanical things, finds Anna (a young girl with amnesia who needs her help) and together they take the 401 train trying to escape the man pursuing them. There they meet Gee, a boy who can transform into a dragon and who might be able to help them.

 

Piper is smart, brave and mechanically inclined, who could ask for a better heroine. She is alone and barely scraping by until she finds Anna in the meteor field (each meteor shower brings items from other worlds that the scrappers find and fix or sell). Anna doesn't know who she is but she has the mark of the dragonfly which means she is someone important to the king. Piper sees her chance to help Anna and maybe get a reward that could change her life at the same time.

 

This story is filled with magic, adventure, steampunk, humor, and a smidge of romance. I highly recommend it to readers in grades 4 through 8 (and adults who enjoy strong female characters and a bit of western/sci-fi; sort of like Firefly for the younger set). A promising series which I plan to continue.

 

The Time Machine

The Time Machine - H.G. Wells, Marina Warner, Steven McLean, Patrick Parrinder

 

This is a classic that I never read and I always meant to, and it's short so it didn't take long at all. It was just okay for me. My favorite parts of the book were the beginning and the end, not so much the parts when the time traveler is actually in the future. But, it is amazing to think that Wells came up with the idea of a time machine and how so many movies, books, etc. went on to use and further expand on the idea. Wells was truly a visionary.

"Fire wants to burn,
water wants to flow,
air wants to rise,
earth wants to bind,
chaos wants to devour."
The Iron Trial - Cassandra Clare, Holly Black

The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Silver Mask

The Silver Mask (Magisterium, Book 4) (The Magisterium) - Holly Black, Cassandra Clare

 

This is book 4 in the series that began with The Iron Trial (review here). The series started off closely paralleling the Harry Potter series, but as it continues, it becomes something more and in its own way, better.

 

The series is full of magic, adventure, danger, heroes & villains, and even friendship & typical teen issues. The story begins with Call in magical prison because of who people think he is. He is rescued and then asked to do the one thing magic hasn't been able to do -- raise the dead.

 

I am still enjoying this fantastic series and I can't wait to see what comes next.

Maus 1: My Father Bleeds History

Maus I : A Survivor's Tale : My Father Bleeds History - Art Spiegelman

 

So, I started reading this book in June, ended up getting caught up in other things, including other readings, and I finally just finished it. I actually had to start again from the beginning, but it was worth it.

 

This graphic novel is written by Art Spiegelman and based on his father's experiences before and during World War II. The book skips back and forth in time between the adult author speaking to his father and the years around World War II. In the illustrations, the Jewish people are represented by mice, the Germans cats, and the Polish people by pigs. This graphic novel is at times touching, at times horrifying, and at times just sad. A definite must-read for anyone interested in this time period.

The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

 

An adventurous tale of a hot-headed young man who finds true friends, faces violent enemies, falls for a few women, and escapes from danger many times, all while trying to realize his dream of becoming a musketeer like his father.

 

I found this to be an enjoyable read though a bit slow at times and while I was anxious to see how the action turned out, it was somewhat bogged down by the old language and lengthy descriptions. 

Happy New Year!

 

I just realized my last post was in the beginning of December. Between final papers for school, Hannukah, and Christmas... Well, I've been busy and a bit distracted.

 

But I have been reading, and I have a few reviews to catch up on. I'm going to keep them short because I can't remember too many details and so I don't overwhelm you all with my posts. :)

nine, ten: A September 11th Story

Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story - Nora Raleigh Baskin

 

This book follows four children from diverse backgrounds in the days leading up to the attacks on September 11, 2001, their experiences that day, and where they are one year later. Rather than focusing on the horrific events of the day, the book instead focuses on the children's individual lives, dealing with everyday issues, including mourning the death of a parent, fitting in with peers, and moving to a new school. It is a good book to read aloud to a class to spark discussions of the events of the day and how they changed our world.

Show your books with widgets / BookLikes know-how

Reblogged from BookLikes:

For all those who like to share their reading life, show your recent blog posts, promote the giveaways or popularize the reading lists, we have great news - you can do all of that with BookLikes widgets! Have a look at the collection of our widgets and how they can be customized to show what you love the most - your books and reviews. 

 

 

What are the widgets? 

 

BookLikes provides a service that allows you to share your book collection, your giveaways, your blog post and reviews with your friends, blog readers and fans. The widgets can be added to your BookLikes webpage or any other www website you have, including your other blogs and author pages.

 

Thanks to the widgets you can spread the word about the bookish events you're participating in (giveaways, discussions, currently reading books) and reach more readers. We bet your blog guest would love to see what reading lists you're recommending and how to request your newest book. 

 

 

Where to find BookLikes widgets?

 

BookLikes widgets can be found in the main menu. Please select Goodies from your menu and then go to the Widgets tab where you can view all BookLikes widgets.

 

 

Let's have a look at the widgets and its customization options. 

 

 

The Follow widget

 

This widget lets BookLikes readers follow you the very same moment they click it on your blog page. You'll also show the non-BookLikes readers that you're active in the book lovers and bloggers community. 

 

How to add the Follow widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget), the Follow widget is the first thing you'll notice. 

 

 

Customize:

- The standard title for this widget is Follow your blog name but if you wish to change that, please do. 

- Decide whether to display your Followers number or now.

- The widget's width and height are auto set and customized to BookLikes templates but you can add your own dimensions if you want it bigger or wider.

 

Add the follow widget to your BookLikes webpage:

In order to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, click the green Get code button and copy the code from the box.

 

Then click the green link saying customization tab - you'll be moved to a customization tab of your blog template. Scroll down on the left and find the Widget Area, paste the code and Save. The widget is on!

 

 

Add the follow widget to your other webpage:

To add widget to your other webpage, customize the widget , copy the code and paste it into your webpage's HTML. Voila! 

 

 

The Shelf widget

 

The shelf widget displays your book collection. You can present the books your love, the titles that you've recently published, books you've just reviewed or your wishlist (who knows, maybe Santa is actually reading the book blogs!).

 

How to add the shelf widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget), the Shelf widget is just under the Follow widget. 

 

 

Customize:

- Select a title for your widget, e.g. my books, new books, my favorites, pre-order, new releases 

- Choose a shelf style: wood, light, dark -- the widget preview will present your shelf choice so you'll know how the widget will look like

- Select shelf - you can choose from your reading shelves (read, planning to read, currently reading) and your thematic shelves added by you (e.g. mystery books, new releases, my books, 2017 reads)

- Select cover size - small/medium/big -- the widget preview will present your shelf choice so you'll know how the widget will look like

- Sort books - choose how the books should be displayed, you can select from the following: add date, read date, ratings, author and book title

- Choose how many books to show - decide on the total number of books and how many titles in the row should be presented -- the widget preview will present your shelf choice so you'll know how the widget will look like instantly

 

Add the shelf widget to your BookLikes webpage:

In order to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, click the green Get code button and copy the code from the box.

 

Then click the green link saying customization tab - you'll be moved to a customization tab of your blog template. Scroll down on the left and find the Widget Area, paste the code and Save. The widget is on! The blog preview will show you where the widget was placed and how does it look like in your template.

 

 

Add the shelf widget to your other webpage:

To add widget to your other webpage, customize the widget , copy the code and paste it into your webpage's HTML. Voila! 

 

 

The Reading challenge widget

 

The reading challenge widget presents how well you're doing in your reading resolution ;) It presents your reading progress and the links takes your blog guest to your reading challenge page where all your books read in a given year are presented with the review links and some reading statistics. 

 

How to add a reading challenge widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget), the reading challenge widget is number three. 

 

 

Customize:

- Select the year of the challenge -- if you're a long term BookLikes member is very probable you'll have the reading challenges since 2013

- Decide if the year should be visible in the widget title -- the year is always added at the beginning so if you're thinking of a more personalized titles like "My 2017 reading struggles" we recommend switching off the year and writing the full title in the next field

- Write your reading widget title

- Select the widget's size - you can stick to the auto dimensions or add new ones 

 

Add the reading challenge widget to your BookLikes webpage:

In order to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, click the green Get code button and copy the code from the box.

 

Then click the green link saying customization tab - you'll be moved to a customization tab of your blog template. Scroll down on the left and find the Widget Area, paste the code and Save. The widget is on! The blog preview will show you where the widget was placed and how does it look like in your template.

 

 

Add the reading challenge widget to your other webpage:

To add widget to your other webpage, customize the widget , copy the code and paste it into your webpage's HTML. Voila! 

 

 

The Giveaway widget

 

The giveaway widget presents the details of the giveaway you've created: the book title, author, book format, dates when the giveaway is held, number of copies and number of requests. When your readers and guest post click ENTER TO WIN they will be taken to the giveaway page where they can request the book. 

 

How to add the giveaway widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget), the giveaway widget is number four. 

 

 

Customize:

- Choose a title for your giveaway widget, it will be displayed at the top

- Choose a giveaway -- you'll see a list of the giveaways you've created and this means you can create a giveaway for every book you're giving away on BookLikes

- Select the widget's size - leave it as it is or customize as you wish, the preview will show how the widget will look like

 

Add the giveaway widget to your BookLikes webpage:

In order to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, click the green Get code button and copy the code from the box.

 

Then click the green link saying customization tab - you'll be moved to a customization tab of your blog template. Scroll down on the left and find the Widget Area, paste the code and Save. The widget is on! The blog preview will show you where the widget was placed and how does it look like in your template.

 

 

Add the giveaway widget to your other webpage:

To add widget to your other webpage, customize the widget , copy the code and paste it into your webpage's HTML. 

 

 

The Reading in progress widget

 

The widget presents the title you're currently reading along with your progress in pages/minutes or % depending on the book format and your update. 

 

How to add the reading in progress widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget), the giveaway widget is number five. 

 

 

Customize:

- Select a title for your widget

- Choose the cover size - small/medium/big - the widget preview will display the cover size of your choice

- Select your book - you can create a widget for all titles on your currently reading shelf

 

Add the reading in progress widget to your BookLikes webpage:

In order to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, click the green Get code button and copy the code.

 

Then click the green link saying customization tab - you'll be moved to a customization tab of your blog template. Scroll down to the Widget Area spot, paste the code and Save. The blog preview will show you where the widget was placed and how does it look like in your template.

 

 

Add the reading in progress widget to your other webpage:

To add widget to your other webpage, customize the widget , copy the code and paste it into your webpage's HTML. 

 

 

The Quote Widget

If you've recently published a quote you adore make it more visible by using the quote widget. You can use the widget on your BookLikes blog page as well as on any other webpage you have.

 

How to add the quote widget?

To create a widget with your most recent quote post go to Goodies/Widgets (the main menu -> Goodies -> Widgets), find the Quote Widget spot, adjust the widget if necessary and copy the code.

 

 

Add the quote widget to your webpages:

If you wish to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, paste the code in the Widget Area in the customization tab (follow the instruction under the widget), and if you want to add it to your other page, just copy/paste the widget code into your other website's code.

 

 

The discussions widget

 

No one is better in discussing books than book lovers! The widget with your book talks can support and popularize the book threads you're active at and bring more participants to the discussion groups. The more, the merrier! 

 

How to add the discussions widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget), if you've been participating in the discussions recently the widget will be visible just under the Quote widget. 

 

 

Customize:

- Choose a title for your discussion widget

- Select how many discussions you wish to present

- Choose a widget size 

 

Add the discussions widget to your webpages:

If you wish to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, paste the code in the Widget Area in the customization tab (follow the instruction under the widget), and if you want to add it to your other page, just copy/paste the widget code into your other website's code.

 

 

My latest posts widget

 

The widget is like a table of content on your blog. It will present up to 20 most recent posts from your blog with titles and links. Your blog guests will be able to look through your articles, get to know you a little bit better, and choose what to read first.

 

How to add the latest posts widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget) and find the spot which present your most recent reviews and posts. 

 

 

Customize:

- Write the widget title

- Select the number of posts that should be included (the articles will be selected by the publication date, starting from the most recent one)

- Select the widget's dimensions -- you can make it wider and taller if you wish, the widget preview will show you the actual look

 

Add the latest post widget to your webpages:

If you wish to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, paste the code in the Widget Area in the customization tab (follow the instruction under the widget), and if you want to add it to your other page, just copy/paste the widget code into your other website's code.

 

 

My profile widget

 

This widget is a compilation of information about you and your blog stats. Thanks to the profile widget your blog guest can have a closer look at the person behind the reviews and your reading preferences. 

 

How to add the profile widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget) and find the profile widget with a list of reading and blogging details.

 

 

Customize:

- Select the information to be visible on the widget. If you decide to hide some of the details, the widget preview will be updated and it will present only the selected information. 

 

Add the profile widget to your webpages:

If you wish to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, paste the code in the Widget Area in the customization tab (follow the instruction under the widget), and if you wish to add it to your other webpages, just copy/paste the widget code into your other website's code.

 

 

The reading lists widget

 

This is another way of recommending the books you enjoy reading. The reading list widget can present the book collections you've created or the lists that you've liked or signed in to on BookLikes. 

 

How to add the reading lists widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget) and scroll down to the reading lists widget spot. 

 

 

Customize:

- Add the title

- Choose how many lists should be presented, the preview will be adjusted to your choice

Select the lists - you can create a separate widget for 3 types of lists: the lists added by you,  the list you've liked and the lists you've signed in to

- Size

 

Add the reading lists widget to your BookLikes webpage:

In order to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, click the green Get code button and copy the code from the box.

 

Then click the green link saying customization tab - you'll be moved to a customization tab of your blog template. Scroll down on the left and find the Widget Area, paste the code and Save. The widget is on! The blog preview will show you where the widget was placed and how does it look like in your template.

 

 

Add the reading list widget to your other webpage:

To add widget to your other webpage, customize the widget , copy the code and paste it into your webpage's HTML. 

 

 

The Author widget

 

The author widget is great to tell all the world that you're a fan! If you're an author you can use this widget to present your short bio and your titles along with a link to the author page with all your books and editions. 

 

How to add the author widget?

Go to the Widgets page (menu -> Goodies -> Widget) and scroll down.

 

 

Customize:

- Search the author using the search bar just at the widget spot

- Write the widget title 

- Select how many books you wish to present

- Widget size 

 

Add the author widget to your webpages:

If you wish to add the widget to your BookLikes blog, paste the code in the Widget Area in the customization tab (follow the instruction under the widget), and if you want to add it to your other page, just copy/paste the widget code into your other website's code.

 

 

Social media widgets

 

No matter whether you are a writer, publisher or a book bloggers, it's important to present all possible information about your profession and links to your other webpages and other social platforms. Only then your readers will be able to look through your dossier and get to know you a little bit better.  Read how to add social media widgets to your BookLikes webpage

 

 

Questions? Check out the BookLikes Tutorials, click HERE

OR

Let us know in the comments below, or write to Kate@booklikes.com :)

 

Happy reading! 

 

The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley (Audio) - Patricia Highsmith

 

Tom Ripley is not a likable character though I did kind of feel sorry for him at times. What really motivates his actions? Is it his superiority complex, his contempt for others, his confused sexuality, or just boredom?

 

The murders are particularly vicious. His ability to mimic others is uncanny. The audio was good and I couldn't skip over the descriptions of the killings, so I really got the full effect. 

 

Part of me wanted him to get away with it and part of me wanted him to get caught. I was a bit disappointed at the lack of resolution at the end. I didn't realize there were more books, so there's that. But overall a good book, fun to listen to.

 

I watched the movie many years ago and this book makes we want to see it again - to compare. 

Childhood's End

Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke, Eric Michael Summerer

 

A slow-paced story about aliens who come to earth bringing world peace, ending cruelty, and guiding mankind into a strange, new, and unexpected future.

 

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel. The narrator was ok, but not exceptional. The events of the story take place over decades and generations. It was interesting to hear how different people felt about the aliens and the prospect of world peace. And what do people do with themselves once everything is affordable and you actually don't have to work if you don't want to? The ending was clever and not at all what I expected.

 

Overall it was just okay.

 

 

Currently reading

The Wide Window
Lemony Snicket
UnWholly (Unwind, #2)
Neal Shusterman, Luke Daniels
The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend
Sharon Robinson
Progress: 118/208 pages
The Man in the Iron Mask
Alexandre Dumas

Read 2017

The Bronze Key
Hate List
The Fireman
Island of Legends
Island of Shipwrecks
Island of Graves


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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
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