Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chit Chat

*I saw this interesting post about diversity on tumblr the other day and thought it was worth a brief discussion. It's actually something I think about especially when the topic comes up that there's a lack of representation --like recently, and forgive me for not having the link, there was a discussion about how there are only white gay men on TV. First of all yes I think this is a very valid point and there are a lot of points to be made about the lack of experiences being depicted on television for gay men, the questions surrounding why there are a lot more LGBTQ female characters, etc. But whenever this discussion comes up, I do feel a little bitter because there was a show tackling a storyline like this with gay African American men on the CW and no one was watching. No one was even talking about it! And it was a good show, really entertaining, etc. So it's frustrating to hear the idea that these shows don't exist because sometimes they do, it's just that no one is watching. (DON'T misunderstand, I don't think one show is good enough I'm just pointing out that it's up to us to watch what IS there or at least talk about it)

On the other hand, I totally get where the original poster is coming from and I think we can all agree that in a perfect world we wouldn't have to ask for diversity it would just exist. But I like that this discussion takes what makes a bestseller into consideration! Anyway worth a read, I haven't checked anything that's been added to the conversation since I reblogged it (oh the woes of tumblr) but check it out!

*What do you guys think of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge? To be honest, I watched a few videos before I understood what was going on which I don't know if that means the first people I watched did a good job or not. But I think it's lovely to be honest, this summer has been filled with such hard news and difficult times and there's something very humanizing about famous people dumping buckets of freezing water over their heads. And it IS for a good cause, it's sparked conversation and money for ALS. I know it's been met with some backlash, as anything that deals with money is and I do think John Green hit the nail on the head when he talked about limited resources. We all know there's only so much charity to go around do we really want to funnel it to ALS? (I'm not sure I agree with him on everything--yes there are limited resources but I doubt very many people have actually reached that point yet) But I think it's the absolute perfect awareness raising venture for our social media, ADD times...and it ultimately is about thinking about others and developing empathy. Have people been attention seeking etc? Sure maybe but look that's life and that's humanity. Nothing is perfect let's just enjoy the little bit of kindness and other-thinking we find, okay? And if you are interested I giffed the big names in ice dance participating..Scott Moir's was my hands down favorite it was just so funny and cute and the first time I watched it unexpected!

*Speaking of giffing, ever since I told you I learned how, I've been doing a fair bit. I think that there's something very interesting about the way tumblr works, that is sort of troublesome? In a way, I like that I can make something and post it and tag it and then people who are interested will find it. (unlike blogging where I post about something I like but no one cares and crickets) But it's like the ultimate experience in not needing to have relationships and just having everything streamlined to your taste. I don't know, I need to think more about it, I guess. I'm just getting old, y'all.

*I won't link to everything I've made and bore you to tears, but I do want to link to this TWD set I made because I'm proud of took a long time, I had to learn how to subtitle the gifs etc. but before I knew how I always wanted someone to gif this because it's my favorite thing Danai has ever said about Michonne. It's just so smart and interesting and sometimes I just wish there was more ~smart or academic talk about TWD? It has so much going on and a lot of it is really interesting. I don't know working on this made me think a lot about Michonne and her katana and her relationship with the governor etc. So!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Thrillers and Chillers and Diversiverse

It's only August 17, but the world seems ready for autumn and I'm right there with them. I'm gearing up for the wonders of scary Halloween and already mentally stockpiling books to read for the season. I've heard the Pumpkin spice latte is about to make an appearance soon and Bath and Body Works has severely let me down by trying to promote Japanese Cherry Blossom as a fall fragrance instead of releasing some wonderful new apple line.

Penguin Paperbacks is hosting a Twitter chat with Sarah Hilary and Alex Marwood on Wednesday at 12 PM EST/9 AM PST. Alex Marwood has just recently landed on my radar as an author to read so this is all very exciting. Plus, Stephen King said his forthcoming novel is "scary as hell." I'm excited! Seems like it's all coming about in the right season.

Here are the details about the chat if you're interested:

*going to be hosted by @PenguinPbk

*Tweet @sarah_hilary and @AlexMarwood1

*Use the hashtag #killerfiction

*Sarah Hilary's book is called Someone Else's Skin (great title!) and Alex Marwood's book is called A Killer Next Door.

I'm going to try to make it, but 9 AM can sometimes be a little rough for me.

What are the best mysteries and thrillers you guys have read recently? Can you believe Gone Girl comes out in just a few months?

Aarti has announced Diversiverse sign-ups for the year and this year the book does not have to be SFF. So read and review a book by a person of color at the September...I mean really why wouldn't you?


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Back when I read The Cuckoo's Calling, you may recall that I enjoyed it but felt like it was almost too cozy for me. I have to admit I thought about this when I picked up The Silkworm...a book I may not have read as quickly as I did if not for reading it to discuss with friends. I ended up really liking The Silkworm a lot more than the first one which I think is both because the characters are already established and also because the murder was more interesting!

If you don't know, this is the second book in J.K. Rowling's detective series written under the pen name of Robert Galbraith. The main character is Cormoran Strike an army vet with his own fair share of baggage. His assistant, Robin, also gets some time in the book but it's far less.

Mysteries are always hard to write about but I will say that I felt like this mystery was surprising but that all the clues had been laid out for me, I just hadn't been paying them much attention! Rowling also seemed to take some fun digging at the publishing industry through all the shattered relationships and poor decisions they'd made!

When Cormoran is first called upon to investigate the disappearance of an author, who is supposedly horrible, it made me think of the writer that I learned about through Mark O'Connell's book, Epic Fail, Amanda McKittrick Ros who was apparently a terrible author who thought she was a genius. Everyone knew she was terrible except for her? And Fancourt raging on about how it's a proven fact women can't write reminded me VS Naipaul's comments last year. I think Rowling must find some humor in the many colorful personalities of the literary world!

I also thought it was funny how people were so unnerved by Strike's memory. I actually get this a lot in real life as well. I don't claim to remember everything anyone ever tells me, but I do remember a lot. It's also just one of those weird quirks of human nature...we long to be remembered and known and often assume that people are paying attention to us but at the same time there's a certain...comfort in the idea of anonymity! We both want to be known and not known at the same time, lol. Anyway, it sort of made me think I should have been a private investigator to be honest!!! I think I've been wasting my most obvious skill all these years...

Also, a lot of the women do this and don't do this stuff was kind of important in the end, so if you're reading and it grates a little just be warned!

Robin was still a lot of fun, but I wish she'd get rid of Matthew, he's such a loser! But I do understand it's a very long term relationship she'll probably be reluctant to lose!

The farting couch was hilarious :D

I did feel a little bit frustrated with Strike's ease of using people without wanting to commit to anything, like taking his brother out for a meal, knowing his brother would like more a relationship, but being unwilling to give it. I get that this is the character, but man if the world isn't full of people like that!

Anyway! I thought it was fun, funny, and surprising and I enjoyed it a lot! I bought my own copy! Oh and I just googled and found out this series has seven books you think Cormoran and Robin will get married??


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

CFBA Book Spotlight: Sky Zone by Creston Mapes

About the Book: A rally for a controversial presidential candidate.
A terrorist threat.
A nightmare of cataclysmic proportions.

Jack and Pamela Crittendon have hit the breaking point. After months out of work as a reporter, Jack is playing Mr. Mom and working part-time at Festival Arena with his survivalist friend Brian Shakespeare. Meanwhile, Pamela has gone back to work full-time while eight months pregnant. Having her recently widowed mother on hand isn't making matters any easier. With financial pressures boiling, Jack reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist threat, Jack and Shakespeare are thrust into a life-or-death battle to save their own lives--and the lives of thousands of innocent people.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Life Drawing by Robin Black

Every once in awhile I read a book where I just want to get out a highlighter and mark every other line because the writing is simply that gorgeous, insightful, perceptive, and unique. That's how I felt about Life Drawing, everyone. It was so nice to be able to read a book and just sort of want to roll around in how absolutely gorgeous the words were. I feel like by saying that I make it sound like it was flowery or something, but that's not what I mean--I mean that it felt true.

And the story was interesting as well. The story is the kind where something happens but it's the intensity of the characters that really carry it. Maybe this is a story that could happen to anyone, but it's interesting to read because you find something true there. Because life it's in particular messiness and with its particular consequences and joys and pains and hurts that resonates so strongly.

I guess you could say it's a story about marriage, or a story about creating art, or a story about infidelity because it is most certainly about all of those things. A short plot summary is that it's the story about a middle aged couple, both artists, who live in seclusion until a new neighbor moves in and that changes everything as new relationships are formed and secrets shared.

Anyway, I received an ARC through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers and I definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good read :)


Monday, August 4, 2014

Giveaway: Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou

When my nieces were visiting we all went to our favorite place together--the book store. In our case, the only real bookstore we have near by is Barnes and Noble but we saw this book for sale there and my thirteen year old niece was quite captivated by the pink cover. I'm excited to be able to offer a giveaway of this book today.

About the Book

In James Patterson's first highly illustrated "diary fiction" story for teens, the mega-bestselling author's most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while.

Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her "Happiness Project". She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters.

Cuckoo's also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves "the Freakshow") decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and "bring the Nations together". Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling...until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.

More information about the book can be found by visiting the Homeroom Diaries official site and checking out the instagram account. You can also follow James Patterson on Twitter and Facebook!


A prize pack fit for a doodling diarist! Enter for your chance to win a copy of Homeroom Diaries, a sketchbook, and artist drawing pens.

Giveaway is open to residents of the US only and sponsored by Little, Brown.

To enter just fill out the form below!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Guilt Trip Giveaway!

Summers are for giveaways galore. (also weeks when I'm more or less on vacation)

Mother-daughter author team @Lisa Scottoline and @Francesca Serritella have a new essay collection just out called HAVE A NICE GUILT TRIP. Excitingly, I have a copy of this book--plus their FOUR previous books--to give away to one lucky winner. (Yes, the winner gets all 5 books!) Just fill out the form below to enter. You can also enter to win this awesome "Guilt Trip Giveaway" prize pack worth more than $1,000! Visit this page on Lisa's website for full details and the entry form:

The books:
Have a Nice Guilt Trip
Best Friends, Occasional Enemies
Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim
My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space
Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog


Just fill out the form below to enter!