Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What's Next Wednesday (88)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.

6149

I'm looking forward to... 

Beloved by Toni Morrison. Can anyone even believe that I've never read this book?? After studying creative writing for four years and nearly two years of grad school, I'm finally reading it. I'm very surprised that it hasn't popped up in any of my syllabi before now. But! Better late than never! I'm really excited to start this book. I've heard amazing things about it and am ready to dive in!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (298)


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


36274542

River Rising
 (Kindle 76%)
     - John A Heldt

"Something tells me your dilemma involves more than a desire to return to Arizona."
"It does," Natalie said. "It involves something I've been afraid to talk about for months, something that would test the limits of your imagination." 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cane

9814533First published in 1923, Jean Toomer's Cane is an innovative literary work-part drama, part poetry, part fiction-powerfully evoking black life in the South. Rich in imagery, Toomer's impressionistic, sometimes surrealistic sketches of Southern rural and urban life are permeated by visions of smoke, sugarcane, dusk, and fire; the northern world is pictured as a harsher reality of asphalt streets. This iconic work of American literature is published with a new afterword by Rudolph Byrd of Emory University and Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, who provide groundbreaking biographical information on Toomer, place his writing within the context of American modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and examine his shifting claims about his own race and his pioneering critique of race as a scientific or biological concept.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Cane by Jean Toomer is a book unlike anything I've ever read before. This piece of literary modernism combines prose, poetry, song, and drama into a whole that is held together by theme. Though none of the characters in the novel are present all the way through, often only included in one chapter, Toomer presents them with reasons to like them, hate them, understand them, pity them, and even hope for them. In this way, the novel is almost like a set of introductions from which meaning can be taken only after meeting everyone present. 

The vignettes that Toomer offers are interesting, heartbreaking, and include themes of racial tensions, discrimination, magical realism, allusions to the bible, framed with beautiful imagery. After reading this book it's obvious why Toomer was called a writer before his time as his experimentation with style is incredibly unique and was probably a put off in the 1920s for most readers. Though this book does not have a unifying plot, the entire piece can be taken as a study of the way people treat people in the 1920s. I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy reading something they've never read before, but are not afraid of controversial topics and historical viewpoints.

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What's Next, Wednesday (87)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


175675

I'm looking forward to... 

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow. This is another book I have to read for class and it sounds interesting enough that I'm excited to start it. With the interweaving of fictional characters and real-life historical figures, this book promises to blend history with fantasy. I'm most looking forward to the characters of Houdini and Freud, to see how they're represented fictionally. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (297)


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


36274542

River Rising
(Kindle 37%)
    - John A Heldt

Natalie pondered the many ways she could reply. Since traveling through time to the 1880s, members of the Carson clan had flooded the market with tiger's eye, struck up romances with local girls, reported on a restless rodent, secured an exclusive interview with Mark Twain, and survived a 'violent encounter' in Arizona. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Dhampir (The Noble Dead #1)

413814Magiere has earned a reputation as the most formidable vampire slayer in the land. Villagers far and wide welcome her with both awe and disdain — grateful to her for ridding their towns of the undead menace, but finding themselves made poorer for their salvation. Magiere knows she’s dealing with simple folk, who only wish to have their superstitions silenced, and sees nothing wrong with exploiting them for profit.

Now, tired of the game, Magiere and her partner, the half-elf Leesil, are ready to hang up their weapons and settle down in a place they can finally call home. But their newfound peace will not last — for Magiere has come to the attention of a trio of powerful and dangerous vampires who know her true identity — and fear the birthright that flows through her veins. And they will stop at nothing to keep Magiere from fulfilling her destiny.

*May Contain Spoilers*

I always enjoy an interesting fantasy novel with vampires so I'm not surprised my friend gave me Dhampir by Barb and JC Hendee after she had finished reading it. Though she warned me it started slow, it was almost too slow. Therefore, it became the book I read between other books so it took me quite a while to finish it. 

The main characters of this book are Magiere and Leesil. Both of them were interesting and well-developed characters with room for improvement and further discovery. Magiere is a dhampir, half-vampire, and half-human, that isn't aware of her mixed heritage at the beginning of the story. In the past, she's used a facade of being a vampire hunter to make money, but when real vampires (or Noble Deads) learn of her existence, they decide to put a stop to her 'hunting.' This is when she finds out she was actually born to hunt vampires. Magiere is the quiet sort who swindles but doesn't want to make a lifetime career of it. She wants to settle down and live a quiet life by the sea. I think readers will like her, but may not connect with her due to her serious nature. Though, I think many readers will like Leesil a bit more as he offers a balance to Magiere's formidable seriousness while also having a secret, shameful past that gives him a haunted air. 

Leesil has elven heritage and adds to the fantasy details right away. Not only is he Magiere's trustworthy sidekick, he also is quite caring and intelligent. Though it's a bit scary how intelligent he is in killing... due to his secret past. I enjoyed Leesil's character more than Magiere's, but I think for those who decide to continue reading the series, the revealing of Magiere's past will create a firmer connection with readers as they discover more about her at the same time she does. 

The plot of the novel was very enjoyable, though slow, like I previously mentioned. Magiere and Leesil decide to quit swindling townspeople with their little game after Magiere saves enough money to buy a tavern in a little seaside town. Though their ruse of being vampire hunters has already reached three Noble Dead who live in that same seaside town. Now they believe Magiere is after them and decide to kill her before she kills them. This gives the story a back and forth plot as the Hendees switch points of view to include the three Noble Dead: Rashed, Teesha, and Ratboy. Even though I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to readers who enjoy fantasy, vampires, and a plot line that has just as many secrets as the characters, I don't think I'll be continuing the series.

Rating: 2.5/5 Cups

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What's Next, Wednesday (86)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.

19003137

I'm looking forward to...

Cane by Jean Toomer. I'm reading this book for a class discussion next week and I'm mainly excited because of the blurb on the back. I don't think I've ever read anything part drama, part poetry, and part fiction before. It makes it seem like it's going to be a fun read while tackling some serious modernist issues. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (296)


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


413814


Dhampir
(p. 289)
    - Barb and J.C. Hendee

There was no need for fear. When powerful people had secrets, they would pay handsomely for silence. 

2018



2018 is here! I hope everyone enjoyed celebrating the arrival of the new year. I have lots of plans already for this year and I'm excited to get started! I'm not really setting resolutions this year, but I am setting a reading goal of 80 books! Last year (that sounds weird already) I read 83 books and my goal was 90, so I missed it by only 7 books! :( With so much going on this year, I'm dropping my goal by ten... we'll see if I can do it! Anyone else have reading goals they want to hit this year??

Cheers! 

-Tracy