Monday, September 25, 2017

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford ~ My Thoughts

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Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
Print and e-book, 320 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Ballantine Books

A powerful novel about an orphan boy who is raffled off at Seattle’s 1909 World Fair, and the friends who teach him what it really means to have a family, from the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Inspired by a true story, this is the unforgettable story of a young boy named Ernest, set during the 1909 Seattle world’s fair called the Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo. It is a time when the magical wonders of technology on display at the expo future seems limitless.

But for Ernest, a half-Chinese orphan who found his way to America through a last desperate act of his beloved mother, every door is closed. A charity student at a boarding school, he has never really had a place to call home. Then one day, his wealthy sponsor announces that if a home is what he wants, then that is what he will have: Ernest will be offered as a prize in the daily raffle at the fair, advertised as “Healthy boy to a good home for the winning ticket holder.”

The woman who “wins” him is the madam of a notorious brothel who was famous for educating her girls. He becomes a houseboy in her brothel and is befriended by the daughter of the madam, as well as a Japanese girl who works in the kitchen. The friendship and love between these three form the first real family Ernest has ever known.


My thoughts about Love and Other Consolation Prizes ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"Ernest Young stood outside the gates on opening day of the new world's fair, loitering in the shadow of the future."

What a beautiful love story. But it is also a heart wrenching tale, a tale of a young boy who is shipped off to America, all alone. But somehow he makes it and finds love and friendship.

There is always so much depth to Ford's stories as he weaves his wonderful imagination into the stories he has heard growing up. He creates such interesting page turners, full of amazing and memorable characters. His stories show us the hardships of Chinese-Americans and give us a glimpse into their lives.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes is based on a true story and it's hard to imagine one person going through all that Ernest had to go through. I loved him from the beginning and marveled at his strength as he went from day to day. This is a story that will stay with me for a long time as I think of that little boy and the journey he takes to find love and friendship. 

I received a copy of Love and Other Consolation Prizes from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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About the author

Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Jamie’s work has been published in 34 languages. Also, because Jamie feels weird writing about himself in the 3rd person, he’s going to say…

Hi, this is me.

Not a publicist. Not some weird aggregated bit of web-content, just little ol’ me, the author, sitting here in my favorite Batman pajamas (yes, I have several pairs) writing this note in my cozy home office, dog at my feet. His name is Dexter and he’s twitching right now, obviously chasing rabbits in his dreams.

While we’re chatting, I should mention that my second novel, Songs of Willow Frost, came out in 2013–which I think is better than my first novel, but I’m kind of biased.

And…now my third novel Love and Other Consolation Prizes, also historical fiction, also set in Seattle, will be published September 12, 2017.

If you’re looking for more things that have spilled out of my brain, I have steampunk tales in The End is Nigh, The End is Now, and The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych). Also a story in Last Night, A Superhero Saved My Life. That particular piece is about Daredevil, Elektra, and how I lost my virginity. (TMI?)

Connect with Jamie


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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? September 25, 2017


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

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It's been a slow reading week for me this week. Seems like I've been so busy at work and when I get home, we hang out on the patio enjoying the last of the nice days that by the time we come in, I'm too tired to read. Gasp!! How does that even happen. I guess I'm in what is called a 'reading slump.' The book I am reading now is for my book club this week and it's just not grabbing me. But I know I have to get it read—I'm finding other things to do besides read.

And.... we did have another weekend full of grandkiddos with some major family time coming up all next weekend. This is such a busy time for us right now. I want my reading life back to normal! 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

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The Zookeeper's Wife
by Diane Ackerman
This is my book club read for later this week. Have you read it?

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Treachery in Death (In Death #32)
by J.D. Robb, narrated by Susan Ericksen
(audio-book)

What I recently finished

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Cardinal Cabin
by Joanne DeMaio
My thoughts will be posted tomorrow. 

What I am going to read next

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A Little Bit of Grace
by Phoebe Fox 

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Chasing Darkness by Julie Cassar ~ My Thoughts


Chasing Darkness

Chasing Darkness
by Julie Cassar

Series: Stealing Light #2
e-book, 225 pages
Expected publication: September 26, 2017

As Cecelia Walker embraces her gift of stealing Light, she learns of the horror that lurks in every shadow. A hellacious evil force seeks to quench its insatiable hunger for power. Which souls will fall in the path of its destruction?

Angels, Anninox, and other-worldly warriors wreak havoc and join in the battle for souls, while CeeCee and Cash find themselves as pawns in the center of this deadly game. Chasing the Darkness, they discover that all choices come with a cost. Will her power be enough to save them, or will it be used against her as Dark forces invade every inch of her life and threaten to drive a wedge between these long-lost soulmates?



My thoughts about Chasing Darkness ~~ 

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"I stood in the room of white, but could not bring myself to look at the throne where He would soon be sitting. I hung my head in shame and waited for my judgement."

Stealing Light, book 1 in this series just blew me away! And Chasing Darkness continues with that same kind of awesomeness. I went back and re-read Stealing Light just so I could get caught up in the story again. It was just as good the second time. Then the action takes off in Chasing Darkness

I love CeeCee and Cash together and this book gives us a little more of their history as we see their relationship deepen. CeeCee has so much to learn about the Light and the Darkness. This is a scary time for CeeCee as the Darkness and the shadows become evil things. She starts to grasp the power of her Light and learns to use it to fight the Darkness. Epic battles ensue! 

Chasing Darkness is such an exciting look at a different world; a world that is full of light and dark, good and evil. I devoured this story and I can't wait to continue this tale in book three as CeeCee and Cash 'chase the Darkness.'

I received a copy of Chasing Darkness from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I loved book #1 in this series! Read my thoughts here

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About the author



Julie Cassar's debut Young Adult Fantasy "Ruby Blue" Series has been met with rave reviews and has spent weeks on Amazon's Fantasy Series Best Seller List as well as its Top Rated list. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art, specializing in Graphic Design, Cassar has also worked as a production artist, designer, painter and photographer. She has been featured in Fitness Magazine, "Outdoor Athlete," and publishes a monthly blog.

Connect with Julie


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Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.

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The book this week is another book club read from the past. I loved this heartbreaking story and we had a great discussion about it. I got this copy from a friend and now I'm passing it onto one of you. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published June 2nd 2002 by Little, Brown and Company

Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. The Lovely Bones is such a book - a phenomenal #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its narrative artistry, its luminous clarity of emotion, and its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."

So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on eath continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.

Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy

  
About the author

Alice Sebold

Alice Sebold is an American writer. She has published three books: Lucky (1999), The Lovely Bones (2002), and The Almost Moon (2007).

Connect with Anne




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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? September 18, 2017


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

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We had another great week with some cooler temps, some rain. I love sweatshirt weather! Hubby was gone over the weekend so I was able to have some quality time to myself.... and I spent a good share of it reading cause, why not? 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

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Cardinal Cabin
by Joanne DeMaio

8886573
Treachery in Death (In Death #32)
by J.D. Robb, narrated by Susan Ericksen
(audio-book)

What I recently finished

https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Darkness-Stealing-Light-Book-ebook/dp/B075HNDSQT
Chasing Darkness (Stealing Light #2)
by Julie Cassar
My thoughts will be posted later this week. 

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Stealing Light
by Julie Cassar
This was a re-read for me as I got ready to read book 2. I love this series. Read my thoughts here.

Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems 
Phyllis Cole-Dai & Ruby R. Wilson
Beautiful book, inspiring words. Read my thoughts here.

Love and Other Consolation Prizes
Love and Other Consolation Prizes
by Jamie Ford 
My thoughts will be posted later this week.

What I am going to read next

35706356
A Little Bit of Grace
by Phoebe Fox 

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems ~ My Thoughts

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Poetry of Presence

Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems
Edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson
Paperback, 248 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Grayson Books

Mindfulness poems invite us to bring our whole self to whatever moment we’re in, and truly live it. They encourage us to be more present, more attentive and compassionate, in the living of our days. They grant us a taste of being good enough, just as we are, in this world, just as it is.

Poetry of Presence is a collection of more than 150 mindfulness poems, mostly by contemporary or recent poets. These poems call us to the Here and Now, and help us to dwell there. The Here and Now is all that truly belongs to us, and as the poets say, it’s enough.

This is a book for the times we live in. An inspiring read for lovers of beautiful, accessible poetry, it’s also a valuable resource for literature teachers, spiritual directors, meditators, interfaith clergy, mindfulness trainers, social workers, counselors, poetry therapists, hospice and grief workers, and medical personnel.

Anthologized poets include Yehuda Amichai • Margaret Atwood • Ellen Bass • Wendell Berry • Robert Bly • Billy Collins • Mahmoud Darwish • Thich Nhat Hanh • Joy Harjo • Tony Hoagland • Miroslav Holub • Marie Howe • Erica Jong • Kabir • Galway Kinnell • Ted Kooser • Howard Nemerov • Kathleen Norris • Mary Oliver • Rainer Maria Rilke • Rumi • May Sarton • William Stafford • David Wagoner • Alice Walker and many more.

My thoughts about Poetry of Presence ~~

Poetry of Presence is a beautiful collection of poems, written by many very talented poets. It is a collection to savor and reread. You will find yourself coming back to it over and over as life changes happen, each time gaining more wisdom, advice, and peace from the words within.

Okay, I have to be completely honest here for a bit. I did not enjoy poetry in high school; all that analyzing and pulling each poem apart, trying to discover it's meaning. It just wasn't fun for me as the teacher tried to get us to 'get it'. So, my attitude has always been, I don't do poetry.

Poetry of Presence advises the reader to slow down, read and enjoy each poem, think about how it relates to your life. Some you may 'get' right away—it will speak to you. Others, maybe not. Or maybe not right now. Maybe it will speak to you at a later time. Come back to it.

This is going to be a slow read for me because I am going to take their advice. I am going to savor each poem, marking the ones I love and noting the ones to come back to. Honestly, Poetry of Presence made me rethink my feelings about poetry—I now do poetry.

Trailer


Purchase Poetry of Presence



About the Editors

PCD for web

Originally from Ohio, Phyllis Cole-Dai now makes her home in Brookings, South Dakota, where she resides with her husband and teenage son in a cozy 120-year-old house. Poetry of Presence is her seventh book, and her only volume of poetry. She has also created four music albums and is in demand as a public speaker. “My profession,” she likes to joke, “is whatever doesn’t pay well.” But don’t let her humor fool you. Her work is driven by a profound desire to help create a more humane world for this and future generations. In 2013 her adopted city awarded her the 14th annual Dorothy and Eugene Butler Human Rights Award.

Ruby Portrait

Ruby R. Wilson graduated from South Dakota State University with majors in German and Geography. Though she had a hard time figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up, she has now found her niche as an archivist in the University Archives & Special Collections Department at SDSU, and as a freelance writer and photographer. She has published three poetry chapbooks: Campus Sketches: Images of South Dakota State University in Word and Photograph (2012), At the Rim of the Horizon (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and Maybe the Moon is Falling (South Dakota State Poetry Society, 2014), one of four winners of the Society’s chapbook competition. She lives on a small acreage in rural Brookings County with her husband Jim. She can sometimes be seen gathering seeds from big bluestem and other native plants, or gazing at stars that aren’t crowded out by city lights.

Fellow writers and great friends, Phyllis and Ruby brought complementary strengths to the creation of Poetry of Presence. Phyllis has practiced mindfulness meditation for more than half her life. Ruby possesses a poet’s eye and ear, and a passionate love of language. They share the belief that mindfulness poetry can help change the world—one poem, one reader, at a time.

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