Monday, May 20, 2019

My top 5 gift ideas for book-loving dads

By Fatima C.

We're doing this list thing for fathers too... Unfortunately, my own husband is not much of a reader - unfortunately for him because I don't have many options for presents beyond clothes, shoes, electronics. But if you do have a dad in your life, take a look below to these cool gifts.

This book lamp is shaped like a book and may emit enough light for him to read by it. Plus, it's more affordable than the Lumio version. 

Make it even more comfortable for him to read with this appropriately named "Husband Pillow".

Superhero bookend. Make him feel "cool" by combining his love of comics with a functional twist.  

Literary shot glasses. They're a pun between guns and liquor, the Old West and books. 

While in the topic of drinking, this drink recipe book is very fun and whimsical with concoctions like "The Last of the Mojitos" and "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margarita". 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mine by Courtney Cole

Summary on Goodreads.

"Our world was crumbling. You took advantage.
He was weak. You’re weaker.
A wedding ring isn’t a challenge. It’s a promise.
But that promise wasn’t for you.
Get some self respect. And get your own life.
My husband isn’t yours.
He’s mine.
And no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be me.
You don’t have the balls..." [+ More]

Oh! I didn’t expect this book to be the way it turned out. I got a little bit of of good-woman and bad-woman. I must say that it kept it real. Both women were believable.

I really was into the plot and wanted to know how it would end that I read it in one day!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Those People by Louise Candlish

Summary on Goodreads.

"Lowland Way is the suburban dream. The houses are beautiful, the neighbors get along, and the kids play together on weekends. But when Darren and Jodie move into the house on the corner, they donʼt follow the rules. They blast music at all hours, begin an unsightly renovation, and run a used-car business from their yard. It doesn't take long for an all-out war to start brewing. Then, early one Saturday, a horrific death shocks the street. As police search for witnesses, accusations start flying--and everyone has something to hide... [+ More]

Ohhh how I enjoyed this one. Something about the “drama” that wasn’t really drama. I have the same problems with noisy neighbors, and I too, ha plot to... not kill them but burn their house down! Also thinking about moving..:

Anyway, the beginning was a little slow for me but then it picked up (for me) and I really enjoyed how everything came together and things were being “discovered.”

I liked each of the characters, the narrative, and the writing so much that I am going to read her other book, “The House.”

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Monday, April 8, 2019

My top 5 gift ideas for book-loving moms

By Fatima C.

Let the countdown to Mother's Day begin! If you need ideas of gifts for your mom, mom-friend (or ideas to give others to get for you), consider these unique gifts. 
Why not pair a book with one of these thoughtful and off-the-cuff presents?
- I am personally a comic/superhero geek. And my kids know this (hint, hint). This totally looks like it's floating. I recommend using it with a paperback book so it grips better.
Black metal superhero bookend
- Beautify your kindle cover. This is lightweight and "splashproof". I especially like that it's not pink! (Although there's a very pretty floral Pride and Prejudice option too).
Kindle Paperwhite Case:
- Take her relaxation to the next level with this bathtub caddy. I mean, wine and a book, and 30 minutes of peace (or an hour).
Umbra Aquala Bathtub Caddy
- One of my biggest problems with reading in bed is the pain in my neck. Now, I don't know why this product is called Husband Pillow, as we women con obvs use it, as the picture clearly shows.
Big Reading & Bed Rest Pillow:
- A cheeky but oh-so-honest mug. When it comes to books, I can be as snarky as I want.
Book Lover Mug Gift

Complete Amazon Wish List: Bookish Gifts for Mom

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Little known poets you may not known about

April is National Poetry month. I have to admit that I don't read much poetry now, but when I was a teenager I was heavily into reading and writing (my own poor attempts) poems.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Re-reading a book from my youth. How was the second time around?

By Fatima C

My son recently picked The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to read as his next book in 6th grade. I got super excited. I read that book when I was 11 and it is one of my fondest memories. I LOVED it - all upper case. I decided to read it again though I was very hesitant to find out that it was just a case of nostalgia and that I wouldn't like it as much this time around. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Book adaptations I'm most excited to see in 2019

I honestly get tired of seeing so many books turned into movies, especially the YA ones. I mean, how many post-apocalyptic worlds and teenage savers can we get? 

Having said that, of the more than 30 movie-to-screen adaptations, I am really excited to see what they can do with the following four stories:

Monday, February 4, 2019

The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Summary on Goodreads.

"Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then let's begin...
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others..."[+ More].

Well... this was a fast read, since I DNF it not even half way through. I was bored. Completely bored with the repetitive "who am I" and "what is happening" and the sense of the host of not knowing anything.

The writing is very... literary (if I even know what that means), but I didn't find it engaging.

My disappointment started in chapter one when the host witnesses the murder of a woman (I guess that would be Evelyn? ). And what does he do? Does he go over the body to see if she is still alive, or even to confirm that she is actually dead? No. I found that awkward. A little further I realized that the plot is set in a different time period where "Sir" and "Madam" are in order.

Did I care for this dead Evelyn? Not at all. But that is not even the point of the plot. The thing here is for this man to find out who killed this woman.

I was wondering if through the whole story he was going to be as confused as the first two times when he woke up in a different body, because boy! That would be dragging the same scene eight times.

In short, this book was not for me.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Perfect Girlfriend Karen Hamilton

Rating: DNF

Available on March 26, 2019.

Summary on Goodreads.

Well, this is a short review because this book is so insipid that I don't even want to waste my time coming up with something substantial to explain why I didn't like it. I just don't care but, because I received a free copy of this title from Netgalley, I feel obligated to write something.

This story is so pathetic. Right away I figured that the MC, Juliette, must have had some type of mental disorder because, why else is she stalking her ex MONTHS after they broke up?

And what stalking this is! Not even interesting. I was getting a headache with all the little side things that were going on in here.

This book is more like a lot of useless blah blah blah to fill out pages. Really, this is beyond boring but... books must be written and printed, right?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Defense of an Other by Grace Mead

Rating: 2-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Defense of an Other begins in the French Quarter with a day in the life of a young lawyer named Matt Durant gone horribly awry. After a few beers, Matt works up the courage to visit a gay bar, where he meets a stranger named Joey Buckner. When Matt and Joey duck into an alley behind the bar to take a leak, three drunks target them for a hate crime and beat up Joey, which forces Matt to attack and kill one of the men. Matt is then arrested for murder, thrown in Orleans Parish Prison and calls his boss for help, forcing him out of the closet. The novel then follows the course of his trial and explores its consequences..." [+ More]

I liked the writing and I liked the main character, Matt, but something about the whole story didn't click with me. I enjoyed the trial and the gathering of evidence but as a whole I found the whole thing odd. Why was such a rush and determination to convict a lawyer of good character?

The fourth part of the story (as it was divided in 4) was irrelevant to me; and even more irrelevant was Matt's journey trying to find out if he was gay or not. Was this a thriller or psychological journey?

I think that the whole gay dating thing and support should've been a different book because the way it is described in the summary, this story is about a man being accused of murder for trying to save his and someone else's lives.

I know that in trials things get distorted to fit an agenda but I was given no reason of why the jurors believed what they believed (and I can't say more because then I would give away the story).

Thanks Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

Rating: 3-Stars

Available on February 5, 2019.

Summary on Goodreads.

"Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her. As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died..." [+ More].

It was an interesting read. I was fully into it trying to figure out who killed her sister and man, I didn't see it coming (but I never do!).

The story is told in the present but Sylvie gives us flashbacks of what was before and I liked this format to tell the story.

I also liked that Sylvie told her mother things the way they were; she wasn't like "oh! my mom is sick, I cannot say that..." No, the conversations here seemed real, the way people in real world would talk.

Why not give the book more than 3 stars? (I ask myself). And I don't know! I liked it but I just find that I had read the same story/plot before, written in a different way, of course. That is why although I liked the book, I wasn't blown away by it.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Rating: 1-Star

Available May 14, 2019

Summary on Goodreads.

"Rosie and Laura are as different as two sisters can be. One is stable and has the perfect family. The other struggles to break free from her troubled past. When Laura disappears after going on a blind date, Rosie takes matters into her own hands. But as Rosie begins to search for her sister, her greatest fears come to the surface. Could Laura be more of a danger than the stranger she meets or is the night before her last night alive?
Told in dual timelines—the night before and the day after—The Night Before is a riveting thriller about family loyalty, obsession, and what happens when the desire for love spins out of control... [+ More].

Not completely badly written but close.

Laura might or might not be a murderer; but she is made out to sound like bad news, at least, because her trail of bad men in her relationships (as she claims, not that I actually read it).

So Laura is the bad sister and Rosie is the good one. One night, Laura goes out with a man she met online and doesn't come back home that night which makes Rosie to start going crazy, worried about the date because, holy shit! What if Laura killed the poor guy (because...)? So now I wonder if Laura is some type of psychopath.

Rosie goes on to find out why her sister hasn't come back (because, you know, having sex on a first date would be as impossible as being abducted by aliens).

Laura and this guy go out and the whole fucking date is about them baring their souls to each other because apparently, that is what people do when on an first online date.

Even more, tough girl Laura cries her heart out to this unknown man (real tears people, real tears). Their whole conversation was "blah blah blah; and then what happened?; and then what did you do?" Weird conversation; it was like forcing a story out of a mental patient.

At the same time, throughout the date, Laura just keeps thinking about her life and her parents, which I guess was an attempt to show how "bad girl" Laura is, but I couldn't see this.

So the only thing to find out for me was: did she kill that boy back in her teens? And, is she really a psychopath or not? Oh! Also, was she going to kill her date?

I really liked Walker's previous book All is not forgotten and found Emma in the night okay. But this one, The night before, was a big disappointment. I didn't like the characters and found the writing... Complicated.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Still Standing: Finding Light Inside a Guatemalan Prison, The Battle of an Innocent Woman by Anaite Alvarado

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"Anaité Alvarado was at home caring for her children when she noticed Guatemalan police on her street. She sent her children to school just minutes before the police burst into her home, handcuffed her, and dropped her in a dirty Guatemalan prison. In prison, we meet face-to-face the women in the shadows who the Guatemalan government attempts to forget. We hear firsthand accounts of crimes and atrocities, by free will or by force, but we also see how even in the most deplorable of conditions, friendship, kindness, and humanity persevere. We see how women can become violent criminals, murderers even, and yet still have empathy and compassion. We also see how women, like Anaité, are left to linger in jail for crimes they didn’t commit..." [+ More].

Who is Anaité Alvarado? Why should anyone care about her story or the justice system in Guatemala? Well, if this case was famous in Guatemala, it makes sense to publish this book; otherwise, I don't see the point of this book.

I didn't find the story interesting; actually, I didn't care at all about it, therefore, I stopped reading it.

It is not badly written, it is just that without a connection to the narrator, this would just be another fiction book (which would then be badly written).

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Suspect by Fiona Barton

The Suspect (Kate Waters, #3)

Rating: DNF

Available on January 22, 2019

Summary on Goodreads.

"When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years since he left home to go traveling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think...[+ More].

Am I the only one not to like this book? I loved The Widow but found The Suspect completely boring.

These two girls disappear in Thailand, and Kate's son (Jake) is in Thailand. One thing leads to another and Jake becomes a suspect (or not). I mean, this didn't have any thrill. Why were two teenagers backpacking to a country of dubious security by themselves? And how old was this Jake that he needed to get away to "find himself" traveling? Then we have this long emails that one of the girls sends to I don't know who detailing their trip (as if I cared for what two girls who were dead from the beginning of the book were doing before they disappeared).

The story also has the "my daughter doesn't do drugs" and "Jake won't do drugs" lines. Probably, but what do you expect of kids traveling by themselves with no adult supervision?

I didn't like the plot, the narrative, the characters... I didn't like anything at all. I DNF it at 85% because I wasn't interested in knowing if the girls' death was an accident or not. And obviously, Jake wasn't going to be the culprit because that is not the way that books work (so I gather).

Jake has disappeared, as in 'he doesn't want to be found' (remember he was traveling to "find himself"). Initially, Kate went to Thailand to cover the story of the two girls but now she has to find out where his son (Jake) is to clean his name...

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Silent Patient by by Alex Michaelides

Rating: 5-Stars

Available on February 5, 2019

Summary on Goodreads.

"Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.... " [+ More].

Oh! How I enjoyed this one. This book is coming out on February and it has already been bought for a movie. Yes, it is very good.

I liked the narrator and the twist.

This is this author's first book and it has already been a hit.

In terms of the plot, I can't really say much but that Alicia killed her husband and then has been silent for years. It is up to this new doctor to make her talk so we can know for sure if she really killed her husband or what.

Definitely, psychological thrillers are my favorite.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.