Showing posts with label Book Issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Issues. Show all posts

Friday, November 1, 2019

#WeekendReads First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain

#NonFictionNovember is going to have to wait a little bit longer, bro.  Why?  Because I got to stay up all night and read First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain.  It's the second book in her Green Rider series.  A series that follows this pretty neat-o young lady named Karigan G'ladheon.  She works as one of the king's (y'all know how these fantasy worlds go) messenger services dudes called Green Riders.  And, well, given her job she also has the ability to turn invisible...


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

6 Ways I Try to “Save a Little Change at the Bookstore Retail Chains”


Yearly, shell out the $25 for your favorite bookstore chain‘s membership program. You’ll earn it back in savings before long, especially as it concerns saving 10% on purchases. Plus, free shipping! I don’t know about you, but I hate paying for shipping. That’s one reason why I keep up with my memberships, as well as subscribe to Amazon prime. (Off course: I won’t buy anything off Fingerhut unless free shipping pops up as an offering.) No, for real; I love being a member. The added benefit is it cuts the bookseller from giving you his or her pitch to become one.


New releases take something like twelve months at least to hit the bargain/remainder section. So you may find a cheaper deal there. Such as a newly released mass market’s hardback counterpart a full 90% off from its original price. Which, in turn, stomps on the mass market's current price. Plus, that area has better deals on exclusive classics you may be interested in reading. And don't get me started on how you can use that area to racked up on book-ish gifts. Whether it's a book, stationary supplies, diaries, or neat little ole kits; there's always something to be had in the bargain section.


Member or not, coupons are available by simply signing up to receive emails. While I’ve never received physical coupons in the mail from Books-A-Million, they do offer the use of coupon scans via your cell phone. Super convenient! However, Barnes & Noble periodically send physical coupons in the mail. They usually come around certain holidays and all throughout the summer months. So sign up to receive emails. But also remember to delete those emails quickly if you've placed your book spending on a budget. Because we all know how inciting the situation can get with those blood-red numbers reading a certain percentage off.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"PICTURE THIS" Book Blogging #1 ~ The Sliced Reviewer

Picture this, book bloggers (in my Sophia Petrillo voice)...

A book you liked or loved and shared more than likely won't land the same adoration by some in your audience. On the flip-side, there are some who may like/love it the same as you. Regardless, the same principle applies to yourself, even when the former situation sneaks up and hurt your feelings just a little bit.

But think about it, pussycat. It’s fair to say we’ve all tried recommended books by book bloggers. And it's fair to find ourselves of the opposite opinion about whether we liked the book or not. Sometimes you like a recommended book from a book blogger, and sometimes you don’t. It's all par for the course in this “business”. Right?

And yet, despite all that jazz, as a book blogger an audience member's dislike of a book you loved and shared on your platform sometimes stings. As it has a personal touch to it. And–if you choose to sit in it–it ruffles with your “credibility” as a reliable book reviewer.

You still with me here, pussycat?

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A Little Library Book LOVE

I love my public library. No, I mean I loveeeee [insert expletive] that place. I’m there 1-2 times a week. And, even as I write this, I want to make a library run. Depending on how sunny it is outside; that place is one of the first stops I like to get out to. Skip the lunch date, eh? Well, unless it's with somebody cute and interesting to talk to. As well as more engaging than a book.

Anyway, there are thousands of reasons why I (and everyone else I hope) love his or her public library. Yet, I wanted to talk about one superficial and simple reason why I love library books themselves. We’ll consider this an off-beat and celebrator post on library book love.

Recently, with purpose, I shelved my trade paperback copy of Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin. Why? Because I favored my library’s hardback copy. Beforehand, I couldn’t read my book club edition copy of Gary Phillips’ High Hand. So, instead, checked out my library’s copy.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Library 25 Cent Sale ~ Basically Book Upgrades

Everybody loves when his or her library unloads the 25 cent book sale. I managed to make it to mines a weekend or two ago (depends on when this post goes up), and didn’t find much. Yet, for what I did get, I took the opportunity. I upgraded two mass market books, featuring series I enjoy reading, into hardbacks. And another two… well… like any reader, there’s always an “interest” story to tell. But first the hardbacks.

"The devastating fire tore through the horse farm, destroying everything it touched. Picking through the wreckage, Dr. Kay Scarpetta uncovers human remains—the work of an audacious and wily killer who uses fire to mask his brutal murders. And when Scarpetta learns that her old nemesis, Carrie Grethen, has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is somehow involved, the investigation becomes personal. Tragedy strikes close to home. And Scarpetta must match Grethen’s every move with one of her own to douse the inferno of evil that threatens everyone around her..."
Yeah. Yeah. Read the book almost ten years ago. Since I found myself in the mood of changing my mass market copies into hardback, this decent copy will do. This is the book where Cornwell made a wild misstep by killing off one of the series main characters. Why? Because she brought his ass back three books later. It was clear she needed him. Either way, it is what it is.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

4 Reasons Why I Enjoyed the F Outta Kristen Britain's Green Rider ~ As a Below Average Reader of Fantasy Books (Though I Want to Improve That Average Desperately, Making This a Great Start)

"On her long journey home from school after a fight that will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her uncertain future. As she trudges through the immense Green Cloak forest, her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves, as a galloping horse bursts from the woods.  
The rider is slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king of Sacoridia.  
Before he dies, he begs Karigan to deliver the “life and death” message he bears to King Zachary. When she reluctantly he agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission, whispering with his dying breath, "Beware the shadow man...".  
Taking on the golden-winged horse brooch that is the symbol of the Green Riders, Karigan is swept into a world of deadly danger and complex magic, her life forever changed. Compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is accompanied by the silent specter of the fallen messenger and hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination."

There are times when a book's cover will just… well… summon you.  It'll be a book cover that commands you–from a bookshelf in some random bookstore–to buy and read it.  While this year I managed to find a small piece of territory in the science-fiction space opera sub-genre (bless your sweet ASS Tanya Huff for creating Torin Kerr), my itch for a strictly traditional fantasy book had yet to be fulfilled.  Until I saw a mass market copy of Kristen Britain Green Rider at my local Barnes & Noble, and immediately became enchanted and curious by its cover.  It was giving me T. A. Barron The Ancient One tease (my favorite fantasy book).  Ever hesitate from being burned before, I waited matters out.  And each visit it kept calling.  No.  Screaming actually.  

But 500 pages for a fantasy book takes determination and stamina for a reader like myself, so I needed it in the comfort of a hardback if I was going to take it on by the book's weight alone.  Ordered online.  Spent five days reading it (took a day off so it would've been four).  And it was a win!  For once, I got shit right for myself based solely off a cover.

Nevertheless, I’ve stated this before how I’m not that great at taking on fantasy novels.  Why?  Maintenance.  Upkeep.  And little much-needed reference materials to draw from as I delve into all these innovative and imaginative lanes authors have created for themselves and readers.  I always need just a little something extra to remain anchored into the story.  And I can say brevity on the exposition concerning world-building and magic systems is essential to my reading experience.  I guess that brevity is what separates the "epic" in "epic fantasy" from... well... I guess "fantasy."   Forgive my ineptitude on the subject, because Green Rider does away with all my fantasy-reading anxieties and here’s why...

"Karigan thought desperately.  She thought back to summer evenings in an empty warehouse on her father's estate where the cargo master practiced swordplay with her.  For one lesson, he left the wooden practice swords leaning against the wall and devoted the session to what she could do with her bare hands."
"'I once asked her what she wanted to do with her life,' Rendle said.  'She told me, something adventurous.  She wanted to be a merchant like her father.  It is not many children who choose to follow their parents' footsteps.'" 
"She dreamed also of her mother's ring, which Jendara wore.  Sometimes she dreamed that her mother chastised her for her carelessness.  Other times, her mother held her in a warm embrace....  How did a simple schoolgirl ever get into such a mess?"
The quick backstory of the lead character, Karigan, is simple enough.  Her father created a successful shipping business out of nothing.  This put her family in the spectrum of influence and aristocracy, though they are humble and quiet living below their means.  Her mother died some years ago, leaving just Karigan and her father.  And, also, leaving Karigan with very little baggage about the loss to mull depressingly over.  To further her educational purposes, she went to an elite school where she was later suspended because she crossed a governor's son on the practice field.  A big no-no.

Monday, October 8, 2018

5 Reading Slump Killers ("with" Cynthia Bailey)

Every reader goes through this mess: you’ve finished a book (outstanding or awful) and can’t decide what to read next.  Or if you even want to follow up your reading so shortly.  So you ponder over what's your mood looking like–in concerns to your next choice in a book.  And sometimes that pondering goes on a little too long.  Sometimes... your decision gets clouded.  

After finishing a book, I usually take a day or two off from reading.  Sometimes that day or two sticks around a little longer.  And three days is always too long.  Then it begins to sting when I have four bookshelves riddled with unread titles glaring at me wondering what the hell I‘m doing sitting around without a book in hand.  One shelf wants to be chosen.  One book desperately wants to be elected.  And I just sit there like a chump biting my lip and as indecisive as ever.  Something has blocked me from reading.  My mood?  Energy?  Maybe solicitude from my last book?  All I know is days are ticking by and I can't seem to find a dang thing I want to read and it's pissing me off.

It's a reading slump indeed. 

So I, like many book bloggers, decided to create another remedy post for readers who need to get through a reading slump.  And if one method listed doesn't work, another one always will.  So let's go!


Hell, I’ve learned long ago how throwing away and getting rid of old junk kills some spectrum of my anxiety.  There’s this sort of alleviating transference I get from donating old clothes; alongside tossing pay stubs, art supplies, and old birthday cards into trash bags.  Seriously, when miscellany leaves happiness circulates within the soul.  

So one method that often helps me pull out of a reading slump is getting my shelves organized.  By “getting organized” I mean going to a shelf to pull unread titles off to compile what I haven‘t read and how long its been hanging around–and deciding what should hang around.  Something about pulling unread books off, piling them up, and actually looking at them helps get me centered.  It’s revisiting titles long acquired that at one point I was excited.  That is until time and other books caused my enthusiasm to slip by, before deciding what's next for said title.  And, naturally, the benefit is I find myself donating piles of unread and clutter-clogging books after a change in interests.

This method allows me to focus on the now.  Not the then and not the later.  We hate to admit it, but there is a level of anxiety and agitation we get from being book lovers who simply can't read and take every book with us throughout life.  Heck, I would even equate books to friendships: they have their seasons, chile.  And only the most trustworthy, loyal and respectful can stay.  Oh, and enriching.  Never keep something around that doesn't enrich your life.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Issues: Taking Character's Advice Ever Happen to You?

This picture is what happens when you read 15 Susan Wittig Albert herbal mystery books in one month. You start to listen to the characters. Particularly that of the series heroine (and herb shop owner), China Bayles, as book after book she expresses her love of lavender oil. Why? Well, folk medicine aside, supposedly the scent of lavender eases anxiety and insomnia. Not that I suffer from either of the two (well, from a marginal standpoint I would say I do). Nonetheless, the scent is for relaxing oneself. And, hell, anybody can do with that.

So I went out and bought some.

The effects concerning myself? Not really sure yet, as it may work best with a diffuser. Or to dilute it with water in a spray bottle. By itself the oil can be overpowering, which leads to a sinus headache if you apply too much. Very much the opposite of its purpose. LOL.

All the same, sometimes we get so rooted and invested in book series/fictional characters that we sometimes find ourselves taking their advice on certain things. Out of curiosity? Maybe. For a true solution to our personal concerns? Most likely. In either case, it's our way of building rapport with whatever beloved character we enjoy spending quiet evenings with. And my time in January with China Bayles certain became an example of the case.

So has this ever happened to you? Your favorite fictional character inspired you to, well, take their advice about something?

(SIDEBAR: Once while reading the Kinsey Millhone series back to back, I started to take on Kinsey’s hungry for Quarter Pounders with Cheese. I would stop reading to go grab one. And I don’t even like them.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

6 Ways to Tell a Book Club Edition Book From Original Publishing House Releases

Maybe this’ll sound a little snobbish and petty of me, but I recently received the final two books necessary to fulfill my Nevada Barr Anna Pigeon Mysteries collection.  So, yes!  Finally I have my own copy of book #17 and 18; The Rope and Boar Island respectively.  Anyway, I ordered the two through; bypassing Amazon and Bookoutlet, I figured I would gives these guys a try.  Besides, I did the math and it was just cheaper to go with Thriftbooks.  Especially considering I’ve already read the books over the summer, via the public library.  I just needed personal copies to fill my shelf.  You know, in case one wants to re-read titles without fuss. 
So, without much thought after I placed my order, I waited a week and a day for their arrival.  Only to find out–as I retrieve the packages–that they were…
Standing at the kitchen table, I unwrapped them and a light expletive just burst out.  Had I done my research, I probably would’ve known better before I ordered them.  Yet, it is what it is.  Still why was I surprised to find my copies were book club editions?  

Then I thought about why in the hell do I carry this tiny stigma against them?  Part of me blames the OCD half of me.  Or the collector who wants his shelf of series-related books to look uniform with one another.  I mean not that I’m totally against book club editions, but that could be part of the blame.
Or not necessarily...

But hey, I'm not the only one!
Nonetheless, I decided to turn this scenario into a post on 6 things to look for between book club edition books and titles from the original publishing house.

1.  The obvious difference is the size of the book.  Book Club Editions are often smaller than the same title sent from the publishing house.  I don’t have a “house” copy of the The Rope to match book-for-book, but Destroyer Angel follows in the Anna Pigeon series.  Identical in their make-up, cover art, uniform, and marketability techniques; you get the picture.  
2.  Besides size and dimensions, Book Club covers lack the graphical effects of books sent from publishing houses.  In the above image, notice how the publishing house book has a metallic gold tint and 3d effect to the author's name and book's title.  Whereas the BCE is just one flat cover. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

5 National Parks Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon Books Got Me Scared Of

My summer of reading Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon park ranger mystery series continues.  I’m currently halfway through book #14, Winter Study.  If the title doesn’t give away any hints, the story takes place in Isle Royale during the winter season.  Between October and May the park shuts down to tourist.  This allows fifty-plus years of research to continue, regarding the study of the moose/wolf activity surrounding the island.  And that’s a dollop of information best left to experts and the internet to explain to you.  I could break the research down–coming from what's given to me via the book.  However, it would appear as weak as pre-generic Dollar Store coffee.  So with one operational gear of Winter Study aside, my issue is that the book takes place in fiercely below freezing terrain.  Terrain chillingly described within Barr's juggle of metaphors (lots of movie references in this one) and icy prose.  So far as my reading, Barr's Anna Pigeon has slept in this literary blizzard outside in a tent!  A tent which found her and her team under attack by an unidentified creature.  (Similar to what happened in Blood Lure, if you're familiar with the series.)  However, as of where I stand, the team believes it’s a mutated wolf of some sort.  So I must keep reading to see.  
Anna has also skidded across a froze Siskiwit Lake while setting up wolf traps, apropos the research.  And, as such elementally-heavy mystery books go, she immediately found herself thrown over into the icy waters to nearly drown.  What else crazy happened?  Oh, the team has to collect snow for water; an interesting nugget of information mentioned that quickly boiled snow is actually bad for you.  I never would've known.  Also, Anna and the team spend a day dissecting a wolf and examining moose body parts.  Cool but grizzly by way of Barr's description of rotting flesh and bloody innards.  

There's just a slew of craziness taking place in Winter Study.  But because a murder hasn’t happened yet (except for a couple of moose and a fallen wolf), I got a feeling the story is about to get crazier.  Like, Jason Voorhees level crazy!  Especially as ice and cabin fever sits in.
Yet, this is precisely why I enjoy this series; Anna’s always in some crazy-ass situations.  And it's in these situations where she has to think her way out, before she gets the ax.
So before I run off to fix a cup of coffee and throw myself into Winter Study, I want to share a few of the national parks Anna Pigeon has got my ass scared to go to!  In order from least scary to MOST!  But, being the nature lover that I tend to be, this listed is for fun.  So of course I’m not serious, because all I've wanted to do since reading these books is start a GoFundMe to see if I can tour all Anna's spots.
So the list goes...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dealing with a Book Snob, Per Phaedra Parks

Now I don’t get into bookmanship (just made that up) debates with people often.  Without preamble, I know I have one of those oozing “ain’t no way you can tell me what to do” attitudes.  And it bubbles up especially when someone tries to talk down to me with their angle on the front line.  The memo goes: you can never tell an Aquarius what to do, think, sniff, or taste without opposition.  (Taurus and Scorpios are not to be trifled with as well.)  So that kind of spares me from having to tangle with another’s judgment of my reading choices.  It also serves  to the opposite effect of the wielder.  Nevertheless, with one life in hand, I’m old school and willing to shoot from the hip if admonished about what sits on my nightstand.  
But sometimes the energy between two readers sharing what they’ve read comes vibrating with silent judgments.  Naturally, as a close acquaintance to the often considered “fourth tier” mystery genre, my antennae has caught such in the past.  So I know when a little shade is thrown my way, and will handle it in whatever degree it is given.
But anyway, there’s always been this despairing conversation between literary fiction and commercial fiction.  Literature versus genre fiction.  YA versus adult books.  Read only books written by this group of people; or that.  Hell, physical book versus e-readers is in there as well.  It’s almost par the course for us bookworms.  I blame the once elitist aura books and reading had (and generated) centuries ago.  You know, when only Anglo men could be accounted for constructing what was in and what was not.  But digressing to the present; sometimes, when caught in defending your reading choices, you just got to let a judgmental snob know what time it is.  "Time" as in you don't have it for his or her shit.
And here lies “Dealing with a Book Snob.  Per Phaedra Parks.”
The Snob Who Thinks He Should School You

Now here's one thing I can’t stand.  You ever run into someone so high on their own reading fumes that he or she tries to tell you to ingest their opinion/perception of a particular book over your own? Furthermore, finding him or herself getting enraged because you continue to contest their view upon their pressure to convert?  And even furthermore, begins to take the matters personally by attacking you and your intelligence?
Chile, remind this person God gave you two good eyes, a couple of ears, and enough brain power to think for yourself–just as they supposedly have.  (I say "supposedly" because some folks follow the literary criticisms of critics to shape their thoughts.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Summer Breakup with an Author?

What's that Don Henley song?  "After the Boys of Summer."  Yeah, not so much.  Anyway, when it comes to books and maintaining our shelves, I have to ask when is it time to breakup with a once beloved author?  “Breakup” as in "sacrifice" to make room to create some control on our messy-ass bookshelves.
She’ll probably slice my tires for this, after having read her books for eight years; but I’ve grown out of Sandra Brown’s romantic suspense thrillers.  Her writing formula has gotten stale to me, I guess.  Her whole misunderstood and framed-for-murder male lead (who is always thirsty for the bumbling female lead) got old after 2013’s Flat–excuse me–Deadline.  With my current infatuation with Nevada Barr (Anna Pigeon series) and Susan Wittig Albert’s (China Bayles) infesting this area of my shelf, somebody’s gotta go in the name of control.
While I’ll forever hold on to Brown’s Rainwater masterpiece, I think we gotta break up.  I see one of those cardboard boxes coming in to shuttle books into a summer donation pile, as my interest in certain authors change.
So how do we breakup with an author?  Especially one you've enjoyed, and has carried you through certain periods of our life?  Do you just throw their stuff in a box and, well, push?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Putting the Public Library to Use this Weekend

The book/series collector in me says, “no, no, no.”  The hungry reader says, “yes, yes, yes.”
A.     My ordered copy of Liberty Falling is slated for a June 14th delivery, instead of the May 27th that was originally tracked and posted.  This, effectively, cut me out of ever ordering books from this particular marketplace seller.  May 23: SHIPPED.  June 14: DELIVERED.  Do the math.  Or maybe I’m just tripping.  But I mean, really?  I have to wait until June 14 to get my hands on Pigeon #7?  Hell, no!  
Waiter!  I want my check!  PLEASE!  
Backstory stuck in the middle. Going about my Saturday morning (after a post office and Dollar General trip), a light bulb lit up in my brain.  Why not go to the public library and check out a copy of Liberty Falling until your personal one comes in.  Bing.  Bing.  Bing.  And take your laptop along to also get some blog post drafts together, Mr. Lazy. 
B.      As for Susan Wittig Albert’s Rueful Death, I tittered around until I decided to take it.  It’s book #5 in Albert’s China Bayles series.  I’m currently less than 90 pages away from the end of book #4, Rosemary Remembered.  And, just in case I get impatient and don’t want to order and wait for a personal copy, I grouchily took Rueful Death.  Will catch up on ordering a personal copy later.  In the meantime, China Bayles is too charming to not take home.
Oh, check it out!  I also found out I have a $3 outstanding balance at the public library.  Now where did that come from?  And when did I last use my card?  Oh…wait….  I didn’t use my card for myself last time.  I let...


Friday, May 20, 2016

This Ever Happen to You? | Used Book Struggles

NOTE: Because of some technical issues around the image folder, I lost all the "proof" and "evidence" spoken about in this post.  And, since I returned the book, I have no way of getting it back on track.  Sorry!

Had me a good cup of coffee.  Caught up on all my TV shows (can we talk Empire and Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D?).  And was ready to take down the last 125 pages of Nevada Barr’s Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon #6).  I was getting into the reading when I reminded myself how I didn’t have the following book, Liberty Falling, in my possession.  As of late, I haven't been into reading anything but Barr's park ranger sleuthing adventures.  My momentum was going just too damn good to break; I needed to exhaust myself of Barr's shit-stirring and pessimistic Anna Pigeon character.  Besides, Barr had an overarching sub-narrative of Anna's story begging for resolution.  It's a "Damn!  What's gonna happen?  I need the next book!" situation.
Y'all know how it is! 
So what to do other than dash through upcoming rain to the used bookstore to find a copy?  Partially tattered or not, I needed Anna's next adventure.  And with an easy $5 bill tucked in my struggling wallet, I was ready to rectify my situation.
I saw this moderately decent and only available copy of Liberty Falling.  And as always in used bookstores, I flipped through it a couple of times.  I do this mostly to feel a book's handling–particularly with mass markets.  I think we all know some people can get out of control with mass markets.  Bending and breaking spines.  Dog-eared pages.  A little too much yellowing for an individual's taste.  Torn pages.  Burnt pages.  The occasion buried bookmark.  Sometimes strands of hair and food residue.  Or mysterious residue.
None.  With the exception of its age and a temperately blitzed spine, all seemed acceptable.  Workable.  Manageable, if you will.  I would grabbing a matching colored marker to "paint" over the spine's creases later.  You know, bookshelf whip appeal.  
We have a deal.  My Saturday and Sunday was set.  
$3.85 broken out of $5.
I got home to sanitize the book.  Yes, I use sanitizing wipes on used books.  Followed by a sage smudging.  And yes, I believe in spirit attachments.  I have this niggling superstition that for every used book I buy, some dead person’s relative brought his or her stack in to unload a house going up for sale.  I'm from the South.  Blame parts of my folkloric upbringing.
Anyway, I took an anxious, closer look before putting the book on my shelf as my next reading.  This is what halted me…!  And no, for whatever blind and desperately-seeking-Anna reason, I didn't notice this before buying it.

Total Pageviews