Monday, January 22, 2018

Dear Martin

TITLE: Dear Martin
AUTHOR: Nic Stone
PUBLISHER: Crown Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: October 17, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.

MY THOUGHTS: So "Dear Martin" was the last book I finished in 2017 and came to me via a Christmas gift. I kind of picked it up on a whim knowing I had other books which I needed to read but I don't regret it for a minute.

Justyce attends a private school despite his meager upbringing and is headed to an Ivy League school upon graduation. Justyce not only has to contend with all the issues of attending an elite school and being an active member of the debate team, but he also spends a lot of time grappling with issues regarding race and social status. Justyce is very interested in the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and he chronicles his day-to-day struggles in letters called "Dear Martin." 

I could go into all the reasons why a book like this is extremely pertinent in today's society, but I won't. I try my best to keep political issues out of my favorite hobby, and let me tell you, sometimes it's hard. However, this is one book I think more people should read. The author does a great job at looking at both sides of the race issues today. She doesn't bash anyone yet she still manages to make her views crystal clear. I think she is very fair in her assessment of today's race issues and law enforcement and I love the fact that she covers both sides. 

I found "Dear Martin" to be a quick read that holds no punches and I would highly recommend it. I stepped out of my comfort zone reading this book and am grateful I took a chance.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (144)/Sunday Post - Damn You Netgalley!

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer

I had to turn a few books back into the library this week and they have recently remodeled and reopened so of course I had to have a look around.  I saw "Space Dumplins" online and thought it looked like a fun, colorful read and I've been curious about Blade, oops I mean Wesley Snipes, writing a book so when I saw "Talon of God" on the NEW shelves I had to take a risk.  

I was trying to stay of Netgalley, but who am I kidding.  I received an invitation for "The School for Psychics" and since it was a Can't Wait Wednesday feature not so long ago, I couldn't resist.  I got the third installment of Bethany Blake's The Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries, "Pawprints & Predicaments" and I can't wait to start it.  "A Riesling to Die" is the start of a new series and what can I say - DOG.  I totally blame Tammy from Books Bones & Buffy for my "Obscura" grab while "The Flight Attendant" is #StormiMadeMeDoIt.  Finally I take total responsibility for "The Merry Spinster."

So what books did you add to your shelves this week????

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Weekly Reads (01/19/18) - Who Ticked Off Mother Nature???

So although I had a nice three day weekend last weekend, it was full of cold temps, snow and ice.  In fact, as I type this, a lot of the snow and ice is still around.  I'm so through with winter it isn't even funny.  I know people up north have had it much worse, I'm just being a whiner.  We are expecting a warm-up though starting this weekend so that's good news.

I did get some reading done and we watched a few movies but nothing that really stands out.  We broke down and streamed "Day of the Dead: Bloodline" because Mr. Barb is a zombie fanatic and "Friend Request" which I'm not gonna lie, made me (and Mr. Barb) jump in a few places - although the rest of the movie wasn't that great.

I also managed to work some more on the "library" in the house. Right now I'm in the decluttering stage and am tossing things out left and right.  Mr. Barb did give me money for new book shelves for my birthday, which was this past week. It was also Cass' "Coming Home Day" because he was a birthday present 4 years ago and we picked him up that day.

So this weekend, more decluttering is on tap along with some more reading.  I'm currently reading "The Chalk Man" and here's what's on tap afterwards.

So I hope you all have had a warm and happy week?  Any fun plans this weekend?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Blog Tour - Deadly Sweet

Deadly Sweet
Lola Dodge
(Spellwork Syndicate #1)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: January 16th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

For fans of Hex Hall, The Magicians, Practical Magic, and Food Wars!
Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks inblissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.
Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’snot supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.
The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.
If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?

MY THOUGHTS:  This is a cover that grows on me each and every time I see it.  I may not have initially been a fan but once I took in all the details, especially the pentagram and skull details, I sort of fell in love. 

At first, the MC Anise, took some time to get used to.  She lacks confidence and is not very outgoing.  However, as her witchery skills develop, so does her character.    Dodge creates some interesting characters, especially in Wynn, whom I found to be adorable.  The mystery was kind of easy to figure out, but interesting enough to hold my attention.  While this book may not be for everyone, anyone interested in witchcraft or baking would be amiss not to pick it up.  I hope that the future installments focus more on the magical elements and if that is the case, the series will only get stronger as it progresses.

Also, be sure you have plenty of sugary snacks available while reading one because this book really set off the cravings.

I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours and the author in exchange for an honest review.

RATING: 4 Icing-covered Paws

Author Bio:
Lola Dodge is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University–and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (141)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision in an over-the-top science fiction spectacle from bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente, in which sentient species compete for glory in a galactic musical contest—where the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny—they must sing.

A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  So I have success with one science fiction novel and I think I must read more?  Who am I kidding, I was initially drawn to the cover, I'm familiar with the author, and it sounds WEIRD and I like weird books.  Those are probably the real reasons.


Challenge Announcement! - They Call It Puppy Love

So, I wanted to give everyone a heads-up on a challenge I have created and am hosting for the month of February.  It's the "They Call It Puppy Love" challenge and the rules are as follows:

  • Make a sign up post and link it here to the blog.
  • Read at least one book which: has a dog (or cat) on the cover or features a dog (or cat) in it.
  • Do a wrap up post at the end of February with links to your review(s).
Seems easy enough huh?  At the end of the month, I will put all the participants in a bowl and Booker T will pick a lucky winner.  That person will receive a $10.00 gift certificate to Amazon or Book Depository.

Contest is open to everyone.

Monday, January 15, 2018

TTT - Bookish Resolutions

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

This week we are looking at bookish resolutions.  I'm not huge on resolutions so I can't guarantee 10 but here we go.....

 I've already started on this some.  You may have noticed a new monthly feature starring Booker T and Cassius which will allow us to look at some older books and not just new releases.  Also, Stormi and I have a neat project planned for February.  There is also the "They Call It Puppy Love" mini-reading challenge I'm hosting that month.  I just want to keep things fresh and not fall into a rut.

Again, kind of already accomplished.  I love my old challenges and will keep some of my faves (Cloak & Dagger, What an Animal and COYER) but I want to reach outside the box/comfort zone this year.


It's easy to get discouraged with reading progress, number of follows, different social media outlets and followers.  I just want to be providing content that people are enjoying and if I pick up some new followers along the way, great.  If not, I've made a great group of blogging friends and I love visiting with them so all is good.

No-brainer right?  

So there you have it.  It might not be 10 but it's a strong 5 and see #4 :)