Bookish Blerd

I'm a book buying junkie who buys books faster than I can read them. But what better way is there to live than surrounded by books?! I read as much as I can and I do my best to give coherent reviews...which doesn't always happen.  I enjoy many genres, which is likely the reason I struggle with deciding my next read.

Venting...

...so many things going through my head this week.  We are still in the middle of a pandemic, which is frightening.  I take public transportation to work and the fear that I will contract COVID-19 and bring it home to my family worries me to say the least.  But that is not my biggest worry.

 

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As a woman of color, I feel a little twinge of fear everytime I step outside my home-- hell, I probably shouldn't even feel safe at home considering what has happened to other people of color, minding their business at home.  It is the year 2020 and black people, brown people, all people of color, immigrants, we all live in fear.

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Why?   Why do people have so much hate in their hearts?  Why hate someone because of who the love, what religion they practice, the color of their skin or their country or origin?  I wish I could understand it, but if it could be understood, it could be fixed.

 

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I am a good person.  I try to be.  Yes, I'm also an asshole, but that part usually comes out when provoked.  And if I hurt someone I try to make amends.  I work two jobs. I have been with the same man for 27 years and we have two amazing daughters.  We have taught them right from wrong and how to be good people.  And lately they are teaching us about the world today, social justice, what it's like to be children of mixed race.  They will never have my experience as a black woman, but I will never know what it's like to be caught between two worlds.  And my poor husband... He tries his best to understand, but as a white man, he never truly will.  But the fact that he tries is what makes him a good husband and father, a good man.

 

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We work, pay bills and taxes, help our neighbors.  We love each other, we drive each other crazy.  We feed and care for stray animals.  I donate to charity and various causes when I have the means.   We are not perfect, I am not perfect, but I'm always striving to be a better me.

 

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So why, in the year 2020, do I have twinges of fear everytime I see police?  I am not a criminal. I shouldn't feel this way.  I should not fear for my family members, especially the males.  My brother. My nephew. My cousins. My uncles. My friends.

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I should never be ashamed of my skin. And I should never fear for my life because of my skin.  As no one should feel fear for how they pray, how they identify, who the love.  We are supposed to be better than our past.  And while it may not be worse, it certainly feels worse.  I think I felt safer walking around in the 1980s than I do now.  Is it because I'm older and smart enough to have concern?  Or is it because we as a people have gotten bolder and more vocal in our hatred? I think I liked it better when people called me nigger behind my back. You knew how people felt back then, but the words and actions hurt so much more now.

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What do I do? What do we do? How many necks have to be kneeled on before people not only admit we have a problem, but actually make efforts to fix the problem? What happens if my brother or nephew or cousin or friend is the next one suffocated begging for air, for their mother, for help? When will it stop? When will we feel safe again... Only I've never really felt safe. I'm black and I'm a woman, there is no saftey for me.  Whether it's because I'm black or because I'm a woman, I fear harassment on a daily basis.  I shouldn't.

 

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We need to be better. All of us. White, black, brown and everything in between.  All lives matter when black, lives matter, when brown lives matter, when POC lives matter, when lgbtqia lives matter, when trans lives matter, when women's lives matter...  We all matter and it's long past time we all act like it.

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Review: Kidnapped by the Pirate

Kidnapped by the Pirate: Gay Romance - Keira Andrews, Cornell Collins

M/M historical romance.  The story was well put together.  It held my attention and made my heart race in all the right  places.

 

Nathaniel is sailing to a New World Colony with his sister when they are set upon by pirates.  As it turns out this is the very Privateer turned pirate at the betrayal of Nathaniel's father.  Once the Hawk knows who he has in his midst, he kidnaps Nathaniel as he is the only son and heir of his bitter enemy.  Hawk's plan in to ransom Nathaniel and finally visit revenge upon the man that took his legal life as a Privateer away.  What Hawk doesn't count on is falling for his captive.  Romance, mutiny and adventure ensues.

 

The plot was good, the characters were likeable, the romance was sweet and hot where it needed to be.  The narration was spot-on.  There was emotion and I felt as though I were truly "hearing" the characters.   Job well done.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've listened 300 out of 606 minutes.

Kidnapped by the Pirate: Gay Romance - Keira Andrews, Cornell Collins

This is pretty damn good. Good story, and hotness. I'm happy with this pick.

Review: The Gentleman and the Rogue

The Gentleman and the Rogue - Jasper de Montfort, Bonnie Dee, Summer Devon

This was a M/M historical romance.  It was a fun escape from the currently reality. The story read like a fanfic I once read, but that's a compliment as most fanfic I have read is as good as or better than many novels.  The narration and just meh.  There was no emotion to it, which took from the story.  Not bad, but not great.

Review: A Murder of Manatees

A Murder of Manatees - Larry Correia, Rymor Publishing Group;Jerald Tuck Jr;Don Bilger;Carl Roehrich;Kimberlee Bowen;Larry Milton;Cindy Baldwin;Jennifer Luxmoore;Stacie Turner;Jane Parillo;Jimmie Espo;Adam Flaherty;Paul Legault;Karen Hyde;Marietta Giorno;Courtney Wetzel;Stacy O'

This was a hoot. It was full of camp and ridiculousness and it was fun to listen to.  It's a stupid funny space multidimensional adventure, and I recommend.

Review: Tales of Beedle The Bard

The Tales Of Beedle The Bard (Hogwarts Library #3) - J.K. Rowling

This was a fun quick listen. I very much enjoyed the stories (fables). The narration was well done. This was a series of stories with the addition of notes from Albus Dumbledore and footnotes for non-magic readers.

Review: Neverwhere

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

So I think I have a love/hate relationship with Gaiman books.  Everything about them says I should love them, but 50% of the time I...well I don't hate them, but I also don't love them.  This was another that I didn't love.  It's fantasy, adventure, intrigue, and good narration (I listened and read along with my nook because I won't take my paper books on the bus.)

 

It follows Richard, a Londoner who lives a fairly normal boring life with a very unlikeable girlfriend who seems to only want to control his every move.  He gets mixed up with Door, who is from the London Under, which is the world beneath the regular world, the place where the people who fall through the cracks end up.  After his first encounter with Door, rescuing her and helping her to get back to her world, Richard inadvertently becomes part of London Under.  It's as if he doesn't exist in his world.  So Richard adventures to London Under hoping to find Door and her guide the Marquis De Carabas.  They are on a mission to learn who killed Door's family and trying to kill Door. Richard is hopeful that once their mission is complete there will be a way for him to fully return to his world.

 

The story just didn't hold my attention.  I couldn't get into it and was easily distracted from the story.  The best and most interesting part was the short story of the Marquis and his quest to find his missing coat.  It was just meh for me.  Maybe a re-read at a later date will be in order

Review: Inside Jobs

Inside Jobs: Tales from a Time of Quarantine - Ben H. Winters, Scott Aiello, Ellen Archer, Kevin T. Collins

This was one of the audible monthly free listens.  I listened to this at work while binning and while I would love to say I couldn't focus on it because of the job, that's not the case.  It was a fun-ish listen; the stories had some comedy, and intrigue that made me laugh or gasp, but it was nothing to write home about.

 

I feel as though it was a good effort and the stories were decent, but I could only manage 3-stars.  The stories all take place during the "current global situation" and I can appreciate the thought behind it.  A little something to make you giggle during quarantine, or something the spike your heart rate.  I get the intentions behind it, and I applaud the authors and editors, as well as the narrators.  I just didn't love it.  It was not quite distracting enough.

 

But it's a quick listen with comedy, quarantined mobsters, estranged brothers stuck together in their childhood home, and a woman who is certain one neighbor murdered his b=husband and is slowly disposing of the body in pastry boxes every day. So it's worth a listen, especially if you're an audible member.

Review: How To Defeat A Demon King

How To Defeat A Demon King - Andrew Rowe, Suzy Jackson, Steve West

A fun listen.  I very much enjoyed the story, the adventure.  The characters were great, very likeable.  This was a different kind of story for me.  This is what I imagine playing and MMO is like.  All around good fun.  I would definitely listen to another adventure like this.

I'm doing some recon and need assistance...

...has anyone tried scribd.com or libro.fm?  If so, what are your thoughts? I'm probably going to keep audible for the audible exclusives (I'm on a special membership that only gets credits every other month so they're not getting as much of my money as they could), but I've been saying for ages that I'm always looking for ways to cut the amount of money I give amazon (I buy books everywhere else unless it can't be helped.)  If anyone has any feedback, I'd be grateful because I'm interested, but undecided.

Review: Happy Doomsday - DNF

Happy Doomsday - David Sosnowski, Lauren Ezzo

DNF!

 

This was tough to get through from the start. It was a little too heavy and intense, not at all what I was expecting. Then the protagonist locked a seeing eye dog inside a room to die of thirst and starvation alone and that was too much for me. This one is a big nope!<!--/data/user/0/com.samsung.android.app.notes/files/clipdata/clipdata_200511_082455_774.sdoc-->

SPOILER ALERT!

Review: Watchers

Watchers - Dean Koontz

So my first experience with this story is the Corey from the late 80s early 90s. I loved it and when I realized it was based on a novel it was immediately added to my TBR.  I listened to the audiobook version and the narrator brought Fur Face to life. And yes, I realize his name is Einstein, but he was Fur Face in the movie and will always be that for me.  The performance was excellent. I could really picture everything thing happening and I felt the emotion of the situations.

 

So Fur Face is a genetically engineered golden retriever that escapes the lab he was created in.  He finds his way to Travis who is a lonely man at the end of his rope. He's not quite suicidal, but he's pretty much given up on life.  Fur Face is just what he needs to bring him back to life, especially when the dog reveals his human-like intelligence.  Travis instantly falls in love with Fur Face.  Travis now has a companion to love and care for, and Fur Face gets the same on top of having freedom from the tests and cage he was in at the lab.  

 

Fur Face leads Travis to Nora, a woman who was raised almost entirely by her miserable, horrible aunt.  She never went to school or had friends, her life was completely controlled by her aunt until the woman's death.  While Nora is attempting to learn how to live a life free of her aunt, she is targeted by a creepy man who wants to control and use her until he's had his fill.  Fur Face leads Travis to her and together they rescue her from the horrible man.  The two develop a friendship that eventually develops into love.

 

Together Travis and Nora discover just how intelligent Fur Face actually is and create a means of communication. They learn about his past and that he was not the only experiment that escaped the lab.  The Outsider is an abomination that has a deep hatred for Fur Face. Somehow they are bonded and can sense other another.  The Outside is searching for Fur Face because he wants to destroy him.  And then there's the  problem of the NSA and a hired hitman on Fur Face's trail.

 

The trio go on the run getting far enough away to give them time for The Outsider eventually finding them.  They have a final battle where the Outsider nearly kills Fur Face, and Travis kills both the hitman and The Outsider.

 

This is so ridiculously well written I could literally listen to the audiobook all over again.  I felt the emotions and humanity in Fur Face, but also you felt empathy for the Outsider. He was created to be a monster, a killing machine.  He grew to hate himself for being an ugly monster and his hatred toward Fur Face was really his envy at being the beloved child while The Outsider was clearly feared and even hated.  In the end I felt for the Outsider and wished that he could have been saved.  His death was actually very sad.  

 

I enjoy the heck out of this book. It was excellent from start to finish. I felt completely satisfied with the ending.  I don't know why anyone would need a sequel. Travis and Nora lived happily ever after. And Fur Face lived, got a mate of his own and had children.  What more was needed? 

Zombie Attack! Rise of the Horde, Book 1

Zombie Attack: Rise of the Horde (Volume 1) - Devan Sagliani

This was a fun listen during my commute to/from work today and a nice bit of escapism.  The action starts off almost immediately and continues practically non-stop to the finish.

 

The story follows Xander a 16-year-old living at a military instillation at the behest of his older brother, Moto, an enlisted man.  Moto has gone to another base to get things settled and will send for Xander when things are safe.  While waiting for his bother to return for him or send for him, Xander (inadvertently) takes responsibility for 8-year-old Benji who lost his family to a zombie attack.  Xander rescues from bullies and Benji won't leave his side after that.

 

When the base is overwhelmed by a roving horde, Xander, armed only with the katana his brother gifted him, gets himself and Benji safely away from the carnage of the base headed  toward the base where Xander's brother currently stationed.  Along the way the run into rival gangs, religious cult leaders, rock stars, reality TV stars, cannibals, bikers, and so much more.  They lose people along the way and pick up people as well.  The group just keep falling into one mess after another and always manage to escape by the skin of their teeth.  In the end Xander is reunited with his brother, but it's just the beginning of a bigger story.

 

Some of the situations are similar versions of each other and a little convoluted, for example they escape a neo nazi cult leader, and end up running into a religious cult leader.  But it's a book about teenagers in a zombie apocalypse,  and it's practically Mad Max out there, so it's to be expected.  The narrator did an excellent job getting across the various emotions of the characters throughout each situation. I liked the characters, including the "villains" and will definitely check out the next book in the series.

Dewey's Read-a-thon [April 2020]: Closing Survey

Closing Survey

  1. How would you assess your reading overall? 4 1/2 stars
  2. Did you have a stategy, and if so, did you stick to it? My strategy was literally just to enjoy myself and I did.
  3. What was your favorite snack? Pringles.
  4. Wanna volunteer for our next event? Perhaps. My schedule is unpredictable, but I may be willing to do something. Stay tuned for the recap post!

 

 

 

 

Dewey's Read-a-thon [April 2020]: Hours 19-24

Mental/Physical Update: I tried, but failed to make it to hour 24. Excuses, excuses, but A girl was just exhausted. I had a good time. I napped a bit at hour 20, then struggled to focus on reading. I got a second wind and got some reading in but it was slow going. Right around hour 22 or 22:30 I wasn't taking in what I was reading and I started doing that long blink, so I tagged out. I still call this readathon a success! I'll get to my wrap-up a bit later. Still a bit sluggish.

Pages Read: 30....ish

Minutes Listened: 0

Books Completed: 0

Dewey's Read-a-thon [April 2020]: Hours 13-18

Mental/Physical Update: Starting to have trouble with concentration now. I was doing well until about 1:30-2.  With having a not-so-great night of sleep, the struggle will be real now. I've finished World War Moo and begun Shattered Hourglass.  I may have to set an alarm and take a 30-60 minute nap. I will try to soldier it out like always, but it's more about quality reading than quantity of reading.

Pages Read: 275

Minutes Listened: unsure

Books Completed: 2

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