My Book Life

Here lies all my feels and opinions on the books I read. Including reviews, photos, and random book related news that has turned me into a fangirl. Oh, and probably photos of my cats will appear. I am, after all a crazy cat lady who wants all the books.

Vacation Book Haul

As long as I can remember my hometown has never had it's own Used Bookstore until a couple of years ago.  Last year I managed to peak inside before my little brother was complaining and we had to leave.  Which was probable for the best because it was Christmas and I knew I wouldn't have extra luggage room.  That was over a year ago, and to my delight the store was still open when I went home for Easter!  It's only open one the weekends, but it's a book lovers paradise.  From floor to ceiling, the entire place is covered on books.  They are stacked on top of each other, shelves bursting, sitting on the floor, stools, any where you looked.  It was organized chaos and I love it!


The visit was my Grandmother's idea, because there is no bigger support of my book problem than her and my mom.  So this trip was on her! We went early in the day, I even surprised with my flatmate, and set out digging through the stacks.  By the end of it both my flatmate and my Grandmother were sitting in chairs reading, patiently waiting.  Two hours later I called it.  I could of spent all day in there, but I had limited space in my little carry on.  


On top of a visiting the Used Bookstore my mom and I went garage selling.  It's something her and I use to do all the time when I lived much closer to home, but haven't been able to do since I moved four years ago.  I found some really awesome Classics that I either didn't own a copy of, or hadn't read.  Except for the Time Machine by HG Wells. That I bought for the cover alone.  It is brilliant.


Paradise Alley (P.S.) - Kevin BakerCatch-22 - Joseph Heller  20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA - Abridged - Jules Verne,Vic Crume  The Odyssey - Homer,Robert Fagles,Bernard Knox  The Time Machine (Signet Classics) - Greg Bear,H.G. Wells  The Pit and the Pendulum - Edgar Allan Poe    Dinotopia Lost - Alan Dean Foster  The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street - Charles Nicholl  As the Crow Flies - Jeffrey Archer  20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill,Christopher Golden  Moonstone - Wilkie Collins  Dick Tracy Meets the Night Crawler - Chester Gould (credited)  The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches - Alan Bradley  Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne, Brian W. Aldiss,Michael Glencross  Chaucer: Modern Essays in Criticism - Edward Wagenknecht  


Most of what I bought are books I haven't ever read before, and when it comes to the Classics, I really should have read them years ago.  It was totally worth the Jenga I had to play to get everything organized to get back home.  My trip was too short and I wish I had another week to spend with the family.  It's always hard to leave them, but I am glad to be back home.  Glad to be back to having my mornings to read and back to paddle boarding.  I do not miss being land locked!


Some of these books are going to the bottom of my reading list either because their sequels are something I want to reread.  A few of them I've been itching to crack open. Once again I'm back to waffling between what to pick up next.  Any suggestions?  What should make it to the top of the pile?

Most Anticipated - April Edition

A new month means new books, because what I need is to add more books to my never ending list of things I want to read.  There a lot of interesting books being released in April that I would like to read at some point.  However, there are two that I will make sure to hopefully get into my reading rotation sooner rather than later.  Which makes these book my Most Anticipated for April!



Release: April 5

Author: Marie Brennan

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Lady Trent #4

Shelf: Own, soon as I finish #3.


In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.




Release: April 12

Author: Joe Abercrombie

Genre: Grimdark Fantasy

Series: First Law #7

Shelf: Library


From New York Times bestselling author, Joe Abercrombie, comes a collection of award-winning short fiction set in the world of the First Law.


As usual a big thanks to Goodreads for the brief description of each book.  I'm a book being on the Lady Trent series so I need to get caught up before buying the new installment.  As for Sharp Ends, I know it's going to hurt but I have missing Logan Ninefingers.  What is everyone else looking forward to this month?  Anything I should add to my list?

March Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone, and to be honest I'm surprised I got this many books in.  It may not seem like a lot compared to some of the other wrap ups going on, but considering the last few weeks.  I'm pretty surprised at myself.  My job got a little crazy when everything tried to explode at once, then all we all started passing around a head cold at work, and out of no where vacation time!  Which I got no reading done because there is always something for me to do around my parent's place.  So the fact I managed to read four books is more than I figured I'd have a chance to read.  



Books Read: 4

Pages Read: 754 pages

Series Started: Hercule Poirot 

Favorite Book: Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling 

Least Favorite Book: Queen of Thieves

BINGO Books: 4





My reading slump for the last two months has definitely been busted!  I have a lot of good books lined up for this month, and the weather is getting warmer.  Which means I've been able to nest on our patio to read.  Away from my TV and other distractions.  So, how was everyone else's month? Read anything awesome?

The Mysterious Affair at Styles Review

The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie

When a wealthy heiress is murdered, Poirot steps out of retirement to find the killer. As the master detective makes his way through the list of suspects, he finds the solution in an elaborately planned scheme almost impossible to believe.


Agatha Christie's works will always hold a special place in my heart, because I was introduce to her by Great Grandmother.  Since then I have read most of her stand alone novels and a few from her Miss Marple and Tommy and Tuppence series.  However, I realized I have never read the Hercule Poirot series in order, a just a few out of order.  So one of my goals for this year was to start from the beginning and read through them all.  Only, I ran into a bump with the first book.  The waiting list was long at the library and I could never seem to find the first book.  The latter only being a problem because I have a thing for my books series matching.  So it really was my own fault that.


ANYWAY! I finally managed to get the version I was looking for while at a book even a few months back.  Then of course other things found there way on top of my reading pile.  So I figured, vacation was a good time to bust it out on my flight.  


Once again I was starting a book that I had high hopes for, because I do love Agatha Christie's work, but it had been a while since I cracked one of her works open.  At the start I found it hard to get into the Mysterious Affair at Styles, but I think it might be because of the era that the books was set it.  The book is set in the summer of 1917, just toward the end of World War One.  Which is an era that I know very little about in terms of social queues and traditions.


So it took me a few pages to pick up on the way people spoke to one another and such things.  Once I managed to pull myself into the settings, I devoured this book during my to flights (to my family and then back home).  There is a reason Agatha Christie is called The Queen of Mystery.


I never found myself wanting to put down the book as the plot slowly unfolded itself around me.  In fact I found myself actually afraid for characters that I had come to enjoy within the family when I thought they might be involved with the murder of Emily Ingelthrop. I even found myself trying to solve the murder before Poirot gave his famous sitting room reveal. 


In fact during the last few pages I thought I had it all figured out with evidence laid before me.  I was excited as the trail portion of the book took place and was ready to see the culprit convicted.  Then of course, I realized I was wrong because there was a couple pieces of evidence that hadn't been seen.  One path that I hadn't seen that, of course, our famous detective had caught onto.  It's something I'll keep in my mind when I dive into the second book.


Honestly I really only had one complaint about the book and that is the character of Captain John Hastings, Poriot's sidekick.  He is suppose to be the regular chap that helps Poriot and his little gray cells.  Personally, he felt kind of one sided to me throughout this first book.  I know his purpose was to be Poirot's eyes and hears inside the family, but I times I felt him a little too thick at times.  Though he did make a wonderful narrator through the whole story.  So I forgave him for not being Doctor John Watson, which was probably my problem with if I'm being completely honest.


All and all it was a wonderful book and a great way to get back to reading more Agatha Christie.  To the point even my flatmate has picked one of the stand alone novels to read.  I've already put the second book on hold at my library and made sure that I pick up the Agatha Christie book I found my Great Grandmother's farm at the top of the pile.  For those that have never read any of this women's book I strongly suggest picking one up.  Especially those who love a good murder mystery.  She's one of my favorites!



Queen of Thieves Review

Queen of Thieves: The True Story of "Marm" Mandelbaum and Her Gangs of New York - J. North Conway

Queen of Thieves is the life of  Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, a poor Jewish woman who rose to the top of her profession in organized crime during the Gilded Age in New York City. During her more than twenty-five-year reign as the country’s top receiver of stolen goods, she accumulated great wealth and power inconceivable for women engaged in business, legitimate or otherwise.


This was an impulse buy for me, because up until I saw it at Half Price Books, I had never heard of Fredericka Mandelbaum.  True crime books are my weakness, especially when I know nothing about the subject, and one of my main characters was born around this time period.  So it had three big red flags that told me this book was meant for me.  I was gong to learn something knew, read about a woman defying the traditions of the time, and manage some research for a character.  Queen of Thieves was put on the top of the reading pile.


Highlighter in hand, I started this book with so many high hopes.  Sadly it didn't take long for those hopes to start getting chipped away out.  For me things started to get a bit repetitive.  The same facts being looped over and over: the grand parties that "Marm" Mandelbaum threw, that other high society people disliked her, yet attended this parties, how she "greased" the right palms to get away with things,she started out as peddler, etc.  It felt, at least to me, like being stuck in a loop.  


Multiple times I put down the book and started others, coming back to Queen of Thieves here and there.  Only to realize that I was quick to be reminded of what I had read a few days ago a few pages later as it was once again summed it.  Which generally lead me to put the book down again.


However, once I got through the first part of the book and into the second, things got a little more exciting and found myself reading nonstop.  It was all about the thieves that had worked under Mandelbaum, how she financed their heist, helped some out of trouble, and of course how those thieves ended up. After that little section though, the books fell away from me again. The last part of the book about Mandelbaum's trial felt the same as the first half of the book.  Once again I was putting my book aside to do other things.  


I made myself finish the book though for one reason, it was well researched.  I learned quite a bit about the Gilded Age of New York City, about the corruption, the poverty, and the crime.  Those were the reason I didn't quit reading, because if I over looked the repetitive facts about Mandelbaum, I did actually learn a lot.  I just wished we'd have gotten a more in-depth look at the women herself and not just a grand overlook of her syndicate of criminals.


Another things Queen of Thieves gave me was a need to know about Fredericka Mandelbaum.  I already have a few more books lined up in my ever growing TBR pile that I hope will satisfy my curiosity about this women and her rise to criminal power.  In the end I gave the book 2 stars because it well researched when it came to the Gilded Age of New York City and really didn't hold in punches about the filth that blanket the city during those years, but it did leave me wanting just a little when it came to the women the book was about.

Happy Easter



Hope everyone is having a greater Easter filled chocolate bunnies, family, and friends!





It really does need to be in all caps because I'm ridiculously excited for tomorrow.  Well, I guess technically today seeing what time it is, but sleep isn't something I can achieve at the moment.  That's how excited I am.  It's been about a year since I went home and saw my family, and that's where I'm going later today.  I'm going to surprise my pops for his birthday and join the family for Easter.  The only downside is I was hoping to finish the last two books I started before I left, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.  One is a research book for a character I'm working and the other is a library book, so both will have to wait until I come back to finish them!


However!  I won't be traveling without something to read.  In fact a friend of my helped me decide which books to take with me.  She told me to take: something I need to read, something I want to read, a mystery, and one I've been putting off.  So with that I picked four great books for my flight and any quiet time I get.  Which you know, I might get.


Golden Son - Pierce Brown  Plague Land: A Novel - S. D. Sykes  The Sin Eater's Daughter - Melinda Salisbury  The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie  


So I'm probably going to be much quieter than usual, because I'm not taking my laptop with me.  Mostly because I hate taking it through security with everything else I have to take.  Cell service is, well it's real spotty.  So once the plane lands I'll be able to check things here and there, but I'm hoping to have four reviews ready once I'm back to my the regular schedule program.


I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter full family, food, and good times!  See you in a week!!


The Children's Home Review

The Children's Home: A Novel - Charles Lambert

In a sprawling estate, willfully secluded, lives Morgan Fletcher, the disfigured heir to a fortune of mysterious origins.  Morgan spends his days in quiet study, avoiding his reflection in mirrors and the lake at the end f his garden.  One day, two children, Moira and David, appear.  Morgan take them in, giving them free rein of the mansion he shared with his housekeeper, Engel.  Then more children begin to show up. 


Originally it was the description of The Children's Home that pulled me toward the book.  I haven't read anything else my its author, Charles Lambert, but from the synopsis on Goodreads, it seemed right up my alley.  Generally speaking I'm a slower reader.  I rarely read a book a in a day.  Mostly because I get distracted, but that wasn't the cause here.  I started after work and finished it before I left for my shift the next day.  Sleep was the only thing that got in my way.


The Children's Home is a great many things packed into one little book, a sort of mixed bag.  There is the journey you go through with Morgan the disfigured heir, and our main character.  He hasn't seen his face since the accident, and neither has anyone else, except for the housekeeper.  Then there is the sort of supernatural air around the mysterious arrival of all these children.  Why have they come? Where have they come from? What do they want with Morgan?


Charles Lambert did a wonderful job keeping the mystery surrounding the purpose behind the children flowing through the entire book.  There was not a moment where I started to feel bored or that the story lacked.  Each chapter brought something else to the mystery, to the wonder of the children.  Just when you thought maybe you knew what was going on, I didn't.  


This was honestly the reason I swept through this book so quickly, because just like Morgan I needed to know where the children came from.  I wanted to know why they had come. 


The farther into the book the more gruesome things became as I started to see that the children might not be as naive as I, or Morgan and Doctor Crane, originally believed.  In fact even the housekeeper has her secrets.  When one of the children finally tells of who they all are, it is without a doubt heartbreaking.  However, once I found out I was even more interested to know why they chosen to Morgan.  What did he have to do with everything?


Despite how much I did enjoy the book I could only give it three stars for a few reasons.  One of the bigger reason was I would get a little lost in the text.  Occasionally, at least for me, I felt like the narration jumped around.  One minute Morgan would be telling us about an occurrence with one of the children, and the next he's talking to Doctor Crane about else entirely.  A couple of times I had to go back and re-read things to make sure I hadn't skipped pages.  


To be honest it only happened a couple of times and was just small thing. The writing is still beautiful and draws into the story.  Morgan is kind of a pathetic creature, but in a way that pulls you in as well.  A product of the environment in which he was raised.  All of this really over powered the occasional jump in the text. 


The second, and last reason, for three stars is because I'm still not entirely certain what happened.  I mean I know what happened in the book, but I don't understand why it all happened.  Was it because of what the children could do?  Were they harvesting it?  A day later and I still don't have the answers.  Maybe we're suppose to make of it what we each make of it.  A mystery that can never be solved.  Maybe I missed something in the text.  


In the end I enjoyed the book and it's very well written.  The characters were wonderful, even though slightly broken, and some of our questions were answered.  Besides there was a bigger message in the book outside of the magic and the mystery.  It was about learning to love the you, no matter if it was the you that you that you once were.  A everything happens for a reason, and sometimes the monsters are the heroes.  So for all of that 3 stars, because it's a really good book.


I recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a little different.  Something that's kind of a mystery, kind of out finding your courage, and a bit about a revenge.  It's a book that will linger with you for a while.  I found myself talking about it at work to a co-worker last night, and I realized that just because I didn't fully understand the whole of the book, I honestly enjoyed it.

Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling Review

Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling - Tony Cliff

"I am a fancy lady and you are my footman."


When Delilah is framed as a spy by an English Officer, her and Selim travel to London to clear her good name.  Only things don't go as planned and her passion for revenge puts pressure on her friendship with Selim. So with the lies building and time running out, Delilah needs to clear her name and protect the Crown's officer before France tips the balance of war in their favor.  


I have been waiting for The King's Shilling to be released since 2011 when I read the first book, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant.  Which I was lucky enough to win a copy of from the writer, and illustrator, Tony Cliff.  I instantly fell and love and have been following the build of for the release of the second installment since.  In fact I carved out an entire morning on my day off just so I could sit down and enjoy it without any distractions, and I had barely put it down before my flatmate had picked it up.  


Without a single doubt, King's Shilling was worth the wait.  It was everything I love about this first Delilah Dirk graphic novel, and more.


Just like the Turkish Lieutenant, the entire story is told from Selim's point of view, and author Tony Cliff, throws us into the story.  Though honestly it's just another day for Delilah Dirk and Selim.  For me I felt like the story started off and high note and ended with a promise for the future with these two.  It was nice to get a longer, in-depth, story arc for the second installment now that we've been introduced to the characters.  There was no back stepping in this book to remind us how the characters met.  You are just thrown straight into the story and expected to keep up.  Personally I liked that, but that means the first installment, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, must be read before starting this second book. 


Never once did I feel like story lagged.  There were a few quiet panels where we get a little look at where Delilah came from and the people who turned her into the adventurer we met in the Turkish Lieutenant. I enjoyed the journey that Tony Cliff took us on and was glad to see a few more pages in this book compared to the first.  It was also nice to see things get a little personal for Delilah.  Which isn't something we really saw in last installment.


Selim had definitely grown since the last book as well, Delilah was her usual self, which was a bad thing per say.  She was already a strong a character and at the start of the book she was consistent with where we left her.  Which was good, but for the plot kind of bad.  Confused?  Good, I don't wanna give any spoilers away.  But, Selim, he has grown since he first met Delilah, so has their friendship.  You can see the trust they have in each other and just how comfortable they are with one another.  Also it was nice to see that Selim has learned to read Delilah to know what will happen when her plans, like the usually do, don't got quite as planned.


The artwork was wonderful once again as well.  Tony Cliff is an amazing illustrator and I always take a little a longer to catch on the detail in each panel.  He draws sarcasm so well. Which is good since that is Delilah's main form of communication.


By the end I was said to see the back flap getting closer, but I honestly felt like everything was tied up pretty well.  I feel like Delilah and Selim's friendship grew into something stronger through this book, because Delilah realized just how much the man means for her.  Most of all I love the fact that ending was open so we could possible get another installment.  Which probably means another wait, but for Delilah Dirk and Selim, I think I can do.


I totally recommend Delilah Dirk to anyone who loves the Indian Jones movies.  That was the reason I took a chance on the first book, because the tag line said she was the female version of Doctor Jones. There is action, adventures, laughs, and lots of Victorian things.  It's honestly a wonderful read and I adore them very much!  What more could you want than a sword fighting Victorian Lady and her always there with the save Turkish Lieutenant? 

Rock Paper Books Re-Imagines the Classics

Even though we all know we shouldn't, we always judge books by their covers.  Me personally, sometimes I'll pick one up because of a wonderful cover.  Sometimes I'll pick up a fantasy novel because of the rad 80s cover that looks like it should be on the side of a surfer van.  Which is kind of what Rock Paper Books is doing.  Only with the classics.  They have teamed up with 30 artists to update the covers to make them a little more appealing.  The covers are gorgeous and I'm pledging just a little bit to help these guys out.  I might even have to cruise on over to their website Rock Paper Book's Classics.




I'm really excited about their project, and I've sort of blown up my social media with it lately.  It felt right to spread the news here as well.  I also wanted to show off the first collection of the Classics they produced. A few of the covers will have to join my classic shelf soon. Now if I can just find a way to get a hold of their Shakespeare collection.  I have fallen in love with their Hamlet cover.


Most Anticipated - March Edition

How is it March already?!  I swear February just started this last week.  My reading plans for the month were shattered by life.  I have zero idea where my month went so quickly.  Still, a new month means new releases are either already here since the month started on Monday, or are almost here!  That means there are a few I'm a little more excited to get my hands on.  This will be my March Most Anticipated!!


A Study in Charlotte - Brittany Cavallaro

Release Date: March 1st

Author: Brittany Cavallaro

Genre: Mystery & Young Adult

Series: Charlotte Holmes #1

Shelf: Library


The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability.


  The Last Days of Magic: A Novel - Mark L. Tompkins 

Release Date: March 1st

Author: Mark Tompkins

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Stand Alone

Shelf: Library


An epic novel of magic and mysticism, Celts and faeries, mad kings and druids, and the goddess struggling to reign over magic's last outpost on the Earth.



 A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls - Jessica Spotswood  

Release Date: March 8th

Author: Jessica Spotswood (Editor)

Genre: Short Stories

Series: Stand Alone

Shelf: Library


Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.


Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton  

Release Date: March 8th

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Rebel of the Sands #1

Shelf: Library


Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.


Release Date: March 8th

Author: Tony Cliff

Genre: Graphic Novel

Series: Delilah Dirk #2

Shelf: Own


When Delilah is framed as a spy by an English army officer, her passion for revenge threatens to sever her friendship with Selim. Is she willing to lose the companionship of her only good friend in order to reclaim her reputation?


Okay, so I'm probably the most excited for Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling.  I was super honored to have won Tony Cliff's first Delilah Dirk graphic novel not long after it was released through Goodreads.  I fell in love with his characters and the story, and I've been so excited for their return to print.  It will be one I stay up late to read, that's why they have coffee.  Right?!


Still, Delilah Dirk isn't the only thing I'm a little impatient to get my hands on.  Everything on this list has been added to my Hold list at the library since they went on order.  I'm on the top of the list to receive copies and I really, really hope they don't all come in while I'm on vacation.  I will not be amused.


As always thanks to Goodreads for the description of these books! You can click the books to see the full synopses on their profiles. What books are everyone else looking forward to?

February Wrap Up

Okay, so I didn't read as hard as I should have for February.  I mean I tried to, I started a few books, put them down, and picked up another one.  It wasn't that any of them were bad books.  The only problem was none of them were what I was in the mood for. They would hold my interest for the time I was reading them, and the next day I wouldn't be in the mood to pick it back up. So, I'm basically in book limbo.  I have tons of awesome things I could be reading, just wish I knew which one I wanted to be reading.  The upside is I'm still ahead of my of reading goal for the year and I get a bit of a vacation this month which I plan on doing a heavy bit of reading!  


Now, to my very tiny February stats!



Books Read: 2

Pages Read: 394

Series Started: Warren the 13th

DNF: Twisted Fairy Tales

Favorite February Book: The New Hunger

Currently Reading: Queen of Thieves

Put Aside: The Devil's Workshop

BINGO Books: 2 , still no BINGOs




So I've actually managed to find a book that's holding my interest and I have a few lined up to read after I'm done. I'm also putting a few aside for my vacation this month as well. Basically I need to read all of my library books before I leave.  Otherwise there will be so many fines.  


How was everyone else's month?


Birthday Book Haul Part 2

Finally all of the books are in and I can get a post up about the second haul!  I'm not sure why I waited until all of them where in since I knew they were all coming, but it's too late to wish otherwise.  So the books are in, sitting here on my desk so I make sure I don't miss anything as I type.


As I mentioned in the first part of this haul, both of my bosses surprised me with a really wonderful birthday gift.  My love of reading is well known through out bakery, even this blog here.  So it was really nice to get a chance to go a little crazy with the book buying. Course I was a little good and stuck to books that where growing dust sitting in my Amazon wishlist section for a while.  Everything except for Lost London, that was an impulse buy that popped as a recommendation at some point while I was adding things to my cart.


This haul took me two days to organize as I figured out which ones I wanted to take off my wishlist and which books I could wait on.  Originally I pre-ordered a book, but realized I would need a copy sooner than it would ship.  So I had to cancel that order which allowed me to get a couple new books as well.  Two of the books in this haul actually were not on my TBR list, but were in fact books I needed to round out my collection.  The Yard is the first book in the Murder Squad Series and I didn't have a copy of mine own, and of course I bought the cover of Unholy Night that I wanted.  Which also rounded out my collection of Seth Grahame-Smith books.


So now that I've yammered on and on about the haul, maybe I should give a little peek at what I picked up.  Well, Amazon picked it up.  I did a lot of button pushing.


The Haul:


The Yard - Alex Grecian  The Harvest Man (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad) - Alex Grecian  The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Albino's Treasure - Douglas Stuart  The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - The Devil's Promise - David Stuart Davies  The Fifth Heart - Dan Simmons  I, Ripper: A Novel - Stephen Hunter  Under the Poppy - Kathe Koja  Unholy Night - Seth Grahame-Smith  Lost London: An A-Z of Forgotten Landmarks and Lost Traditions - Richard Guard

Haul number 3 didn't happen, I was thinking about buying some books off of Book Outlet during their big President's Day Sale.  However, I was quick to remind myself I have a vacation coming up.  So there will book buying on that, I have no doubt.  At least a little tiny bit.


The finally tally of both hauls was a grand total of 17 books with 3 books bought to fill holes in my collection while the rest were all sitting on my TBR pile for a while, growing dust as more things piled on top of them.  All things I'm excited to read and glad to have in the house.  I'm also starting to realize why I've had a hard time deciding what I'm going to read next.  I have reached the point of having to many options, even when I know what genre I'm in the mood for.

Alexander Chee Book Event

I'm so far behind on my posts!  The weather out here has been so warm for the first time in forever.  So I was terrible and sat on my patio on my days off and soaked up some sun while I read.  Which was a wonderful thing and relaxing!  If only it hadn't put me behind on February posts.  However it looks like I might manage to get caught up before March 1st gets here.  Can't believe that is here on Tuesday either...


Anyway, luck was on my side this month for many things.  One of which was being able to make to the second book and author event I wanted to attend this month.  The Queen of the Night isn't typically a book that I would pick up, but the cover was hard to look away from.  So I clicked the link to see what it was about and I was hooked.  There is something about this book that I me intrigued.


The Queen of the Night - Alexander Chee   


Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one is dead, one loves her, one wants to own her. And one, she hopes, never thinks of her at all.  As she mines her memories for clues, she recalls her life as an orphan who left the American frontier for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris. In order to survive, she transformed herself from hippodrome rider to courtesan, from empress’s maid to debut singer, all the while weaving a complicated web of romance, obligation, and political intrigue.


So there's all I know about the book.  I haven't read any reviews that have been popping up since it's released, or anyone lucky enough to have gotten an early copy.  Well, I know it's gotten some pretty awesome reviews.  Which it great!  I just didn't read farther into it.  I want to go into this fresh and unaware of too much or with any kind of spoilers.


Alexander Chee read the first few pages of the book, and I have moved the book up to the must read pile.  Just those few pages were beautifully done.  The world that Alexander Chee is writing is one I don't know so well.  It's not the setting or the time period that I read often.  Though I have no doubt that I will enjoy this book.  In fact it might be one of the ones I bring with my on vacation that is now just a few short weeks away.


This will be my first book by Alexander Chee and after meeting him I really do have high hopes for the Queen of the Night.  It was a nice evening getting to see the time and research that went into the making of the book.  All of the little things that sort of came together for it to happen, and the road that was taken.  I love getting those little windows at events like this.


As for the author himself, Alexander Chee was so sweet and it was a pleasure to meet him.  I cannot wait to make it to his book and I might to add a few his other pieces to my TBR.



I love that he drew us little crowns in our books!

Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye Review

Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye: A Novel - Will Staehle, Tania del Rio

Quirk Books was amazing and sent me a free copy of Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye for my honest review.


Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it.


Since I stumbled on this, which I can't honestly remember how, or where, I stumbled across it, I've had high hopes for Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye.  I wasn't disappointed.   Tania del Rio and Will Staehle created an adorable Middle Grade mystery very reminiscent of Edward Gorey.  Which is probably what originally pulled me toward the book in the first place.  I do love Edward Gorey.



The illustrations done by Will Staehle are fun and compliment that story well, which isn't surprising since original story was Staehle's.  They are wonderful additions to the story.  In fact the first thing I did when I received my copy was flip through to see all the illustrations.  Never once did I feel like the art pulled away from the story being told, but they were a great addition.  Personally I like the sort of sketchbook, newspaper, fell of the artwork that is in Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye. I'm sure there is a proper term for this kind of art, but i felt for the setting of the book.  Almost like Warren had sketched the pieces himself.




As for Tania del Rio's story, loved it!  The story moves pretty quickly, but I never felt confused or that the pieces were rushed.  Warren the 13th is written for a younger crowd, but it appealed to me just fine.  I felt it was a fun afternoon read.  I was rooting for Warren the whole time.  for me the plot felt like one of those plays where the audience cheers every time the see hero and boo's every time they see the villain.  Which makes it a wonderful bed time story.


Sitting here writing this I'm trying to think of something I didn't like, and really there is only one part that comes to mind.  Captain Greyishwhitishbeard.  I understood why the Captain was in the hotel.  He was there the same reason everyone else was there, but there was this moment between him and Warren that kind of confused me.  It was really the only that felt disjointed.  The Captain was was a fun character none-the-less, and it honestly didn't stop him from finishing, and enjoying, the book.


I have already pushed Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye on my bookies friends.  Particularly the ones with kids.  So a huge thank you to Quirk Books for giving me this book.  It's a beautiful cover!


The next installment is due sometime this Fall.



Library Haul

Been a few weeks since I've done one of these guys.  Mostly because I've had enough to read and haven't needed to add more to the stacks.  It's also been a little because I've had a hard time deciding what to read next since finishing The New Hunger.  However two of my Holds came in, and they are both ones I've been wanting to read.  So I picked them up this week.  I'm hoping they'll hold my interest and I'll stop jumping from book to book.


Truthwitch - Susan Dennard  Shallow Graves - Kali Wallace  


Both of these are my Most Anticipated list for this January.  So I'm hoping to get of my weird reading ADD thing and fine something to hook me in.


Last Haul:

Six of Crows  (had to return)

Night Parade

Something Nasty in the Woodshed (returned)

Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye

Baby Yaga's Assistant

Twisted Fairy Tales (DNF)

Literary Lives of Inklings

Don't Point That Thing at Me  (DNF)

The New Hunger