Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: The Golem and the Jinni

Title The Golem and The Jinni
By Helene Wecker
Genre Adult Magic Realism Historical
Pages 486

First Sentence The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free – an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world. The Golem and the Jinni is their magical, unforgettable story; unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures – until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful threat will soon bring Chava and Ahmad together again, challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice. (From Goodreads

What it has going for it
I really don't have many nice things to say about this book. I will say, I enjoyed the historical look at New York and Ellis Island etc. I also liked the magical element and the story held me just captivated enough to finish but I was reading it for book club and that might have been why I really finished it. The character development was good but I didn't particularly like  any of them. Chava was too...good and proper and Ahmad was kind of a jerk. 

What's lacking
Any time a book makes you drag yourself through it, it's not a good thing. And if it going to make you work to get through it, the least it could do is have a decent ending. This one feels like the whole book, or at least three quarters of it are setup. The rest was meandering nonsense where very little was happening. Back in the day authors were paid by the word. Now all those endless, wordy classics make sense, don't they? Well, guess what, Helene, you're not getting paid by the word so how about a little editing. All that set up, all that endless nothingness building up to...what? That ending? That's it?! Thanks a lot for wasting my time. Argh! 

Yea or Nay
Hell NO!   

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dune Read-along Part One Discussion

It's been a week and section one has been read!  It was a bit of a slow confusing start but really picked up and I'm eager to continue with book two.  The questions for part one were asked by Jenni, one of our lovely hosts.  Here we go.

Have you ever read a high sci-fi book before?
Nothing quite as hardcore as Dune.
Is this your first time reading Dune?
If this is your first time reading Dune, is the book anything like you expected it to be? If this isn’t your first time reading it, have you noticed anything different this time around?
This is my first time reading it. It's very much like I expected. I've read enough "older" books to know what to expect.
Were you surprised that you knew who the traitor was before everything went down at the end of this book? Did it help prepare you? Or, were you bugged by it?
It didn't bug me. When I know and the characters don't though I'm always screaming at them to see what's happening but I still enjoy knowing something they don't.
What do you think of the idea of recycling the water from your body to survive in such an arid climate? 
I don't think it's gross but I did wonder, when they were describing the stillsuits, if recycling sweat  etc. in that manner was even possible. I'm sure it probably is and I think Herbet is smart to think of it. Plus the whole idea really makes you realize how desperately important water is.  
What was your favorite part of this section? Why? 
Obviously I liked when the action picked up but I think my favorite part of this section was the dinner party. I like that we get to hear all the main character's thoughts and all the political intrigue just makes me happy.
Which character(s) do you find the most interesting? Why? 
Of course I like Paul and Jessica the best. I also really liked the Duke and since his death was very for-shadowed I tried not to become attached but I did anyway. I'm also very intrigued by Kynes.
Are there any revelations in this section that surprised you?
Oh yes!  Totally didn't see Jessica being the Baron's daughter. Now I want to know what the hell's going to happen there.
What do you think of Dune so far? Are you having a hard time following what’s going on? Is it engaging? Boring?
I'm really liking it. The first bit was very confusing but as soon as they get to Arrakis it gets good. I thought so anyway.
Do you have any predictions about what’s going to happen in the next section?
I think we can expect to see more about Paul and his destiny unfold, but no, I don't really have any predictions. 

So, yeah. I'm enjoying the book more than I thought I would. And because it wasn't mentioned it the questions can I just say how pissed I was that the Baron escaped! I know, I know. He can't very well die off, he's the main villain, but I still was pissed!   Anywho, I'm enjoying things so far and anxious to continue. 

Don't forget the Twitter chat tonight at 9:00pm MST. It's a fun conversation. So far we've been discussing cheating (for those who are struggling through this part) Tsk. Tsk. It's a riot! Rember to use the #DuneRAL hashtag.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Final Update

Well, I had to take a break to plan a lesson for church tomorrow that ended up turning into 3 hours but then I continued reading Cress. It was far too exciting to quit. I'm calling it a night.  I've got to get up early so sleep calls.

Pages Read: 300

Books finished: None

Snacks consumed: Sadly,  not much.  I didn't even break out the M&Ms.

Interruptions: Just the one really.

Total Hours Spent Reading/tweeting: About 10 not too shabby.

Good night! Good luck to those of you hard core readers.  You can do it!

Update 2

After a shower I've been reading Cress by Marissa Myer. Sooooo good! I think I'll order a pizza for dinner and keep reading Cress for awhile and then start in on.  Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen.

Pages read: 300

Snacks consumed: Buncha Crunch and licorice.

Interruptions: Minamal. Though I have been trying to keep up with social media.

I seriously love this, guys. Think of how many of us are reading at this very moment. Love it!

Update 1

Doing great! Finished part one of Dune for the read-along. Had lunch and now I think I'll shower for the day and read Cress for awhile.

How's everyone else holding up?


Alrighty! Getting off to a late
start but here we go.  I've got my couch...and kitties.

I've got my snacks...

And of course my books.  Sorry no pictures. Mostly I'll be reading off my Kindle. I think I'll start with catching up on my read-along book Dune. Ouch! Maybe a bit heavy reading for first thing in the morning. Aw well. I'll keep you all updated on this post through out the day. Here we go!!!! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Finally! Some Reading Time!

It's time!  I'm very excited to participate this year mostly because my reading has really died down and I miss it! So while I won't be pulling a 24 hour readathon. I'm definitely spending the day reading, pigging out and snuggling my kitties. Hopefully all at once. 

Are you joining us?  Let's do this thing! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dune Read-Along

I shall be joining this Dune read-along hosted by Jenni, Suey and Kami because...well we're reading it for book club so I have to read it anyway.  No I'm Teasing. It's going to be fun.  There's Twitter chats and a mini series watch -along and discussion posts and it's just going to be awesome. Hopefully the book is as good. ;) 


  • Section 1: April 19 – 27
  • Section 2: April 28 – May 6
  • Section 3: May 7 – 16

Discussion Posts

Each discussion post will go up on either Suey’s, Kami’s, or Jenni's blog at the end of each section.

Twitter Chats

  • Section 1: Monday, April 27 at 9:00 pm MDT
  • Section 2: Thursday, May 7 at 9:00 pm MDT
  • Section 3: Saturday, May 16 at 9:00 pm MDT


The watch-along will be onSaturday, May 30 at 6:00 pm MDT and we'll watch until we’re done with the whole mini-series (about 5 hours). Join us via Twitter using #DuneRAL.

If you've been wanting to read this book or if you're just a fan of scifi, you should totally join us. These ladies really know how to host a read-along. Link up here if you want to join. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review: The Princess Guide to Life

Title The Princess Guide to Life
By Rosie Blythe
Genre Self help/non-fiction
Pages 312

First sentence From supermodels to precocious 8-year-olds, nearly everyone has some anxiety about their looks.

Everybody has the wrong idea about Princesses. Sure, we dress like superstars and rarely have to buy our own drinks, but we're not divas. (Life's too short to throw a tantrum because a barista spelled your name wrong.)

In this entertaining and insightful book, Rosie Blythe offers a fresh perspective on what it means to be a powerful woman in the 21st century. (from Goodreads)

What it has going for it
I'm not big into self help non fiction. Though I wouldn't exactly categorize this one as self help, there isn't exactly a better way to do it. So, for the sake of calling it something let's just stick with self help. The author of this one contacted me and asked me to review it and after reading the description I thought, "I could use some princess-afying", so I agreed. The book covers everything from appearance to personality to handling difficult people and even has a section on books and movie recommendations. The section on Creating a Princess Persona was dead on! I loved it. Sure, the title of that section sounds like it's going to tell you to be all prissy but it wasn't. It had a great part about femininity vs Feminism that was just perfect. Mostly I loved that this book just made me want to grab life by the horns and love it and that's just what I needed right now. 

What's lacking
I only had two problems with this one. First, it wasn't anything new. It's not like I haven't read or heard these things before, so it's not horribly original. And second, There was a section on handling difficult people that listed all types of jerks but didn't really offer THAT much advice on dealing with them. It just went on and on about the different types of a-holes in the world and, yeah, I already know about them all. I've worked customer service my whole life! Other than that the book was fun and makes you want to better yourself. 

Yea or Nay?
If you like this kind of book, whether for light reading or serious soul searching, yes, I'd recommend it. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

While I've been gone

I've been missing for the past two years. It's not because I don't like blogging or reading, though. As you all may remember. I met a hot guy, went on vacation, got married started a business with my husband and now...Now I've bought a house. We've been remodeling like crazy and while we still have things left to do and projects left to finish (mainly the yard now), the big project, the basement, is done!!!! Wahoo! You have no idea how much I hated working on it. And for the record, we weren't picking out paint and cabinets and hiring big muscley men to come do all the work. WE did all the work and it sucked. Sigh! I'm glad that's over. Anywho, here's some before and after pictures. In case you're interested.

We had to completely gut one of the bathrooms due to water damage.

Much better.  Love my lights.

The downstairs bathroom

Look at the disgusting dated tub, oh and the walls

Voila! You Like? 

The scary old windows

OK so you can't see the new windows but still.  

Notice the hole on the wall where the dryer plugs in and the vent going out a window

Look, a dryer vent in the wall. 

The room we turned into a kitchen

Ta da! What do you think?

So, there a you have it. What do you think? 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

March Wrap Up

I'm so embarrassed by my pathetic numbers in March but here you have them anyway.

Too hyped up. It wasn't that great.

The Fetch 
I'll just stick to the authors other books. Great idea, poor execution.

Ugh! Snotty girl does horrible thing. Tries to change. Doesn't change. Just terrible!

And that, my friends, is all I read this month. I didn't have a favorite this month, sadly. Least favorite was Speechless.

Maybe in April I'll get more reading done. Here's hoping!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review: Speechless

Title Speechless
By Hannah Harrinton
Genre YA contemporary
Pages 288

First Sentence Keeping secrets isn't my specialty.

Known as the high school gossip, Chelsea Knot has a big secret. In a drunken stupor she blurts out that secret about a boy that results in him getting beat up and ending up in the hospital. Even though she turns in the perpetrators she still can't rid herself of the guilt. So she takes a vow of silence. She won't be spreading any more rumors. She won't speak at all. Saying sorry isn't enough.

What it has going for it
Well, I loved the idea of this one. I saw so much room for a snotty gossipy girl to learn and grow...but alas.

What's lacking
My biggest issue with this one, aside from the fact that the main character really doesn't learn from her experience, was that nothing followed through. For example. Chelsea, our chatty Cathy, gets her idea to take a vow of silence from an article about a monk. He took a vow of silence and learned to meditate and self evaluate. So, of course at the beginning I'm thinking: "aw sweet, she's going to realize that not only should she keep her mouth shut but that maybe her arrogant judgey attitude was crap!" Alas, our character never learns a thing. She had the decency to report the perpetrators, at least, and had to endure a minor amount of bullying but other than that there was no change of character. Sure, she got a new group of friends that welcomed her with open arms, which she didn't deserve, and yes, she isn't quite so high and mighty in the end but the changes in her attitude were concocted by the author. Never does Chelsea look at herself and realize what a horrible person she was. Alright, I'm going to stop. The book really wasn't that terrible. I just really wanted the character to self evaluate and grow but she just lucked out and moved on.

Yea or Nay?
You won't be missing anything by skipping this book.