Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Virulent: The Release

The dogs died first. Then humans started getting sick. The manmade virus, an act of planned bioterrorism, spread quickly and acted fast. By day two, tens of millions were dead. (Sorry folks, no zombies in this one.) Trapped in the high school, Lucy King and her best friend, Salem, are two of the few survivors. There's also a boy named Grant with them. And the principal who's gone a bit mad. The school offers them food and water and some safety, but there's a chance Lucy's family is still alive. Outside. In a changed world where Lucy's real fight for survival is about to begin.

This is the first book in Shelbi Wescott's end-of-the-world apocalyptic series, and I liked it. It's not a perfect read. Some of the set up, like how Lucy got stuck at the high school in the first place, felt a little contrived. And both Lucy and Salem have a few annoying moments of teen angst, but overall, I liked Lucy and the other characters. Virulent: The Release is an entertaining, fast-paced and enjoyable read. And I'm looking forward to seeing how Lucy's journey continues in the next book.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

September's Bookish Art...

James Jebusa Shannon--Jungle Tales

"Can you smell it? The scent of new books. Unread adventures
Friends you haven't met yet, hours of magical escapism awaiting you."
--Katarina Bivald, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Haiku Reviews...

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

On the train, at work,
coming home --- be on your guard.
Someone is watching.

(Psychological thriller .... 375 pages .... 3.5/5 stars.)

Murder on Union Square (Gaslight Myster #21) by Victoria Thompson

Accused of murder, 
Frank needs everyone's help to
prove his innocence.

(Historical fiction/mystery .... 323 pages .... 3/5 stars.)

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Gothic steampunk fun:
a cursed lord, murder, ghosts, vamps,
mystery & romance.

(Steampunk romance/mystery .... 313 pages .... 4/5 stars)
This is a crazy, entertaining take on Beauty and the Beast.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

In My Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke

"I was only a girl, alone among the enemy.
What could I do?"

Irene Gut was only seventeen when Poland was invaded by Germany on the West and Russia on the East. Separated from her family, raped by Russian soldiers, and then forced to work for the German army, she found a way not only to survive, but to fight back. She snuck food into the Jewish ghetto, passed on information she overheard from the German officers she served, and managed to hide twelve Jews from the SS in the basement of the house where she worked. She even fought with the Polish Resistance. Her memoir is an amazing story of survival, courage, and sheer grit, and shows what World War II was like through the eyes and heart of a young Polish girl caught between countless enemies who refused to give up. It's honest and moving and several parts made me cry; I read it all in just one day and loved every single word. Irene Gut is such an inspiring person and her story is a truly memorable one. This is one book that's definitely going on my list of favorite reads in 2018!

"The war was a series of choices made by many people. Some of those choices were as wicked and shameful to humanity as anything in history. But some of us made other choices. I made mine. ... I did not ask myself, Should I do this? But, How will I do this? Every step of my childhood had brought me to this crossroad; I must take the right path, or I would no longer be myself. You must understand that I did not become a resistance fighter, a smuggler of Jews, a defier of the SS and the Nazis, all at once. One's first steps are always small:  I had begun by hiding food under a fence."

 Happy Reading!


Thursday, September 6, 2018

A bookish gem...

Kristen at We Be Reading blogged about this book a few weeks ago and I'm so glad she did because this book is awesome. The way John Atkinson can take a classic and capture its essence with a witty and pithy one or two-panel cartoon is amazing. I loved each and every one. It's a book you can read in under an hour, and savor for days. Here are a few of my favorites:

Isn't this a perfect summary of Proust? I know it made me laugh.

I also love this caption for Ulysses. (Although the cartoon panel in the book is slightly different.)

And then there are these:

Aren't they great?

So, if you get a chance to check out this delightfully funny book of abridged classics don't pass it up! It's one of my favorite books of 2018!

Happy Reading!

P.S. This cartoon isn't

Monday, September 3, 2018

Recipe for a fun read:

Combine one streetwise pick-pocket, two curators from the British Museum, and the fiesty daughter of an English clergyman.

Mix in the secretive Department of Unclassified Artifacts, some graverobbers, a walking dead man, a lost diary, murder at the museum, and some mechanical monsters.

Add a dash of humor and a teaspoon of suspense.
Set in all in Victorian London and stir.

What do you get?

An entertaining mystery that reminded me of a Holmes and Watson adventure. I liked the characters, especially Eddie the pick-pocket and Liz. And George Archer, one of the museum curators, had some mad mechanical skills. And I thought those mechanical monsters were both creepy and cool. There were a few chapters in the middle that read a little slow, but overall I liked this one. And even though it's labeled as a YA, it didn't feel like a YA to me. The Death Collector by Justin Richards is a fun mystery that readers of all ages can enjoy.

Happy Reading!

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Grand Sophy

Meet Sophia Stanton-Lacy.  Headstrong. Outrageous. And above all else, unforgettable. I wasn't sure I liked her at first, but she grew on me. And while I'd never want her "organizing" my own life, I thoroughly enjoyed watching her meddle in her cousins' lives. Especially the Honorable Charles Rivenhall's. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this fun Georgette Heyer Regency romance, all about the redoubtable Sophy:

"Sophy would never be a beauty. She was by far too tall; nose and mouth were both too large, and a pair of excessive gray eyes could scarcely be held to atone entirely for these defects. Only you could not forget Sophy."

"We are all very fond of my dear niece...but she is too fatiguing. One does not know what next she will do, or, which is worse by far, what she will make one do that one does not wish at all."

"Sir Horace himself couldn't stop her, not when she's got the bit between her teeth."

"I have a great many faults, but I am not lazy, and I am not timorous--though that, I know, is not a virtue, for I was born without any nerves at all, my father tells me, and almost no sensibility.... I have not yet made up my mind just what I should do, but I may need your assistance in breaking this foolish engagement."

"...her determination once taken, no consideration of propriety would deter her from embarking on schemes which might well prove to be as outrageous as they were original."

Happy Reading!

P. S.  If you want to know more about Georgette Heyer and her many entertaining Regency romances, Helen over at She Reads Novels recently wrote an excellent post about her with links to all of her own Georgette Heyer novel reviews, so be sure to check it out!