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#47 Follow Friday with book bloggers: JL's Bibliomania

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Today let's meet Julie. You need to keep on reading to see those shelfies! :D

 

Follow JL's Bibliomania on BookLikes: http://jlsbibliomania.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

 

I’m reading three things as I write these responses:

 

Heaven's Queen by Rachel Bach, which is the concluding volume of a lighthearted romp of a Space Opera featuring a girl and her big gun.

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which is the story of how Marie- Laure, a blind French Girl, and Werner, a German Orphan, converge in the French town of San-Malo near the end of the 2nd World War.  Slower moving, especially as an audiobook.

 

The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions by Thomas McNamee, which is the current selection for the Flat Book Society.  OK so far, but recently I’ve been struggling with sustained attention to non-fiction.

 

Heaven's Queen - Rachel BachAll the Light We Cannot See: A Novel - Anthony Doerr, Zach AppelmanThe Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

 

READ & JOIN THE BOOK CLUB ->

 

However, I expect that by the time this is published, I will have finished Heaven’s Queen and moved on to another piece of fiction

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

If this question is asking when did I (first) discover I was a book lover the answer is: When books were replacing my non-existent friends in Elementary and Middle School and I was devouring a book an afternoon.

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

Because I like how reading fills the spaces in my head. Because I crave the escape it offers.

 

Follow jlsbibliomania.booklikes.com

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I’m currently excited about The Hate U Give, which is getting a lot of buzz, and does a great job personalizing the questions behind the Black Lives Matter (Movie due to release in October)

 

I discovered Maggie Stiefvater relatively recently and loved The Raven Boys and the sequels as an audiobook.  

 

I read them a long time ago and the details have faded, but I think Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay is essential reading.  

 

I also love CJ Cherryh’s work.While a bit older, I particularly like how the Faded Sun Trilogy and Forty Thousand in Gehenna wrestle with the idea of being the “Other” and of becoming the bridge between human and alien.

 

The Hate U Give - Angie ThomasThe Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater,Will PattonTigana - Guy Gavriel Kay

The Faded Sun Trilogy - C.J. CherryhForty Thousand in Gehenna - C.J. Cherryh

 

 

In your bio you write: “Daughter of a Bookaholic. Wife of a Bibliovore.  Mother of 2 Bibliophiles” Did your family had an influence on your reading passion, and how do you encourage your kids to keep on reading?

 

My parents really didn’t watch television much and were always reading, particularly my Dad who always has a book or 3 going, typically Space Opera or military SF.  My parents definitely had an influence on my reading passion by always having books around, and nurtured my love of SF by handing me Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong when I was in Jr. High and complaining that I was bored and out of things to read.

 

This is going to sound trite (or like stock advice), but when my kids were little my husband and I read to our sons, always had a rotating stock of library books around that were age and reading-level appropriate geared towards their passion of the moment, and modeled reading because we often had a book of our own with us. We were lucky. My older son dove into Richard Scarry partway through kindergarten, my younger son got lost in the Warriors series in 3rd grade and we really haven’t had to do much to encouraging since.  

 

Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? - Richard ScarryWarriors #1: Into the Wild - Erin Hunter

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

As you can see by the answer to question 1, I typically read several books at a time.

- 1 fiction in print or ebook,

- 1 audiobook for the car,

- and sometimes a non-fiction. 

 

But the print book and the audiobook have to be different genres for me to keep track, which is fine because I like to mix things up.

 

BookLikes Shelf

 

 

Do you review all books you read? How does your review process look like?

 

I don’t review everything I read.  I write when I have something to say and when time permits (and as you can see by the fewer and shorter reviews recently, time has recently been in short supply so I haven’t been as active). 

 

I’m more of a book diarist than a book reviewer.  I started tracking on Goodreads and blogging about books to help myself remember what I’ve read.  I consider what I write to be book reactions rather than truly reviews, which is why many of my entries are a short paragraph or less, and I almost never include a synopsis of the plot. I try not to look at too many reviews before I read a book, but often look at the book page here and at other book-review sites after I finish.  I typically dash off a draft over the weekend, ask my husband to copy edit it, then post the following day.  

 

 

Your Shelf presents many audiobooks. Do you experience the book differently while listening to it instead of reading?

 

I do experience stories differently when I listen to them. Listening to an audiobook forces you to move at the narrator’s pace, which means that you can’t read too fast and miss details.  Sometimes that’s an advantage, and sometimes that leads to tedium.

 

I’m also not one who easily builds a concrete picture of what the characters look like, or imagines what they sound like.  The audiobook narrator often fills in that gap for me, especially the recent productions that turn books almost into audio plays by using multiple readers.

 

The experience of reading an audiobook is also different for me because I mostly listen to them in the car, while I’m driving. A story is different when experienced in 15-30 minute chunks, and with distractions.

 

2018 Reading Challenge Page

 

 

A library or a bookstore?

Definitely a library!

 

While my husband and I spent many pleasant hours in used book stores as a teen and young adult (hence the collection in the basement), we almost entirely stopped buying books as part of the financial adjustment after buying our first house. We are lucky to live in an area with good libraries and I get more than 90% of what I read from the local county library consortium. 

 

 

Your favorite genres are fantasy and sci-fi. Why are they so special?

 

 

SF and fantasy were initially appealing to me because of the escapism. If you’re not happy in mundane reality, SF and fantasy provide ample opportunities to imagine being a heroine elsewhere. 

 

Now I find that SF and fantasy are special in the way that they pose questions about what makes us human.

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I'll admit that I hate the share 3 book-covers question since doing most of my book “shopping” in the online library catalog, the cover isn't really something I pay much attention to. However, there’s a strong tradition of SF-related artwork. So instead of book covers I’d like to share 3 of the signed, numbered SF-related prints that I’ve bought at conventions over the years. 

 

Menolly by Robin Wood, originally included in The People of Pern http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Prints/PrintPages/Menolly.html

 

 

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Virginia Poyser.  Victoria is currently working under her married name of Virginia Lisi and no longer focusing on SF-related art.  I couldn’t find a good copy of this picture online, but her website is https://victoria-lisi.pixels.com/

 

 

A Stitch in Time by David Cherry (brother of  CJ Cherryh)

https://davidcherryart.com/prints/a-stitch-in-time/  I don’t believe this piece is connected to a specific book, but it appealed to me as someone who occasionally stitches.

 

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

When I’m home, I’m a traditionalist and prefer paper.  When I’m travelling, or when the library only has the ebook, I’ll happily reach for the e-reader for novels. I dislike non-fiction and graphic novels as e-books. 

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

 

Did I say that I hate giving recommendations?

 

Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach  and the sequels (though it looks like others who tried it here on BL haven’t liked it much)

 

When Dimple Met Rishi – light realistic fiction YA – definitely recommend the audiobook.

 

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. Suggested in honor of the Summer of Spies.

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

My absolutely favorite quote is

Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.

(Often misremembered as – Life is short, Eat dessert first)

And when I was in college I spent several years doing just that.

 

Despite coming late to canine ownership, my favorite bookish quote is

Outside of a book, a dog is man’s best friend

Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

The first two pictures are of the two bookcases in the living-room, which contain cookbooks, religion reference works and library books. Life has been so much easier, with many fewer desperate searches for the overdue or missing books since we cleared off shelves a shelf for me and a shelf for my sons to keep our library book in the right hand case.

 

 

The last picture is of a few of the 13 bookcases in the basement library.  We’re in the middle of re-sorting/re-shelving/trimming the collection as we recently decided to store all fiction alphabetically by author and to stop trying to sort by genre.  And while the basement is mostly fiction, there are 2 ceiling high cases full of my husband’s history references.

 

 

 

 

Thank you! 

 

*

 

Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the interviews catch up links below: 

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3 ways to fill up your BookLikes profile information

BookLikes is a blog platform for all book lover. Thais means that when you register you set up your own book blog with an endless virtual bookshelf (YAY!). Here are three places to add your details in order to fill up your BookLikes profile information and to present yourself to other readers and bloggers. 

 

1. Settings

 

When you log into BookLikes you see Dashboard -- your feed, a place where you see the  blogs' reviews and bookshelf updates. Remember that in order to add a blog to your Dashboard you should start following the blogs! If you're looking for new blogs to follow, go to the Explore page (menu->Explore), click the blog name and click FOLLOW in the upper right corner.

 

Remember that all your actions done in your Settings and in your Dashboard view will be presented on your blog page (your account on BookLikes IS your BOOK BLOG). The Dashboard view is internal and will always stay the same. 

Your blog page on BookLikes is: yourusername.booklikes.com.

 

Let's get back to Settings. So once you're on Dashboard, you gonna view one menu button in the upper left corner. Click it and go to Settings. In Settings, select tabs to add your details:

 

Settings: add your photo and username, e-mail, change password, select language and e-mail notifications, connect your social media

Settings/Blog: add your blog name, your short bio, select comments settings, and a blog theme

Settings/Import: import your books & reviews collections from Goodreads and other book social sites

Settings/Pages: add a new subpage to your book blog

Settings/Affiliate Programs: add your affiliate IDs to earn on your book blog

As you can see, each Settings tab let's you fill up your personal information.

Make sure to click Save once you add new information. 

 

 

2. The Customization tab

 

Your book blog needs personalization. Make sure to visit the Customization tab to select a blog's layout and add your social profile links.

 

To enter the Customization tab view, go to Settings/Blog, scroll down and click Customize.

 

 

Here you are! Add your short bio, your social profile links and widgets. You can also select a new blog theme and customize the color and layout. 

 

Remember to Save all the changes and check how your blog looks like (your blog is at yourusername.booklikes.com). 

 

 

3. Add a new Page OR new links

 

If you prefer to add a new sub-page with your longer bio, you can do it in Settings/Pages. 

 

 

If you wish to add links, to your other webpages, you can also do it in Settings/Pages. 

 

 

Your new pages and links will be visible in your Settings/Pages:

 

 

Remember that all your actions done in your Settings and in your Dashboard view will be presented on your blog page. Your blog page on BookLikes is: yourusername.booklikes.com

 

 

You may also want to check our previous tutorial and how-to posts:

 

How to start a book blog on BookLikes 

6 ways to blog about books

7 tips how to write a book review on BookLikes

BookLikes How-to: Advanced Shelving Options

BookLikes How to: book search tips

It's time for a reading challenge!

 

Four more books to add to your summer reading list

— feeling question

 

 

Share your Summer book picks! We're looking for new reading inspirations!

 

We've asked this question on our Facebook page and revived four great reading recommendations. And what are you recommending? 

 

For romance fans:

Dear Mrs Bird - AJ Pearce 

Buy it ->

Debut.

London, 1941. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.

Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can't bear to let their children be evacuated, she decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back . . .

Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce is a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

 

For YA fans:

Heartless - Marissa Meyer 

Buy it ->

Long before she was the Queen of Hearts, Catherine Pinkerton was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship...

 

Book review by YA Fanatic

I really enjoyed Marissa Myers new book. It's not as fast paced as the Lunar Chronicles was but its a great retelling of Alice In Wonderland and her fans are bound to love it... continue reading

 

For historical fiction fans:

The Other Einstein: A Novel - Marie Benedict 

 

Buy it ->

 

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

 

Book review by Lora's Rants and Reviews

I found the author's voice very engaging and soon got caught up in her tale, even looking up a few mentions of Mileva's life on Wikipedia. The story is mostly fiction based on bare bones scaffolding of known facts, yet it felt very plausible all the way through... continue reading

 

For mystery fans:

Origin - Dan Brown 

Buy it ->

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement--the unveiling of a discovery that "will change the face of science forever." The evening's host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon's first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence...

 

Book review by Tina (HDB)

Part of the charm of Dan Brown's stories are that they all take place in real places, and this is no exception. Focused in Spain our hero, Robert Langdon once again finds himself caught in the middle of an ordeal, this time focused on a former student of his... continue reading

 

 

 

AND WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 

 

Three books with women in the title worth the hype

Have you noticed that books with woman in the title are a real trend now?! It's safe to say that the following titles are books about women who are dangerous,  interesting, gripping. And deadly. If you love books with a wide array of emotions, hop right into. Have a look at three amazing books and their reviews to make sure they're worth your reading time.  

 

 

The Other Woman - Sandie Jones 

Buy it ->

HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.
BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.
AND SHE'LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

 

Book review by Celticlady's Reading Room

 

 

I love a good psychological thriller that keeps you wanting more, page after page. The Other Woman definitely delivers on that score... continue reading

 

Book review by Obsidian Blue

 

So I am of two minds. This was a good thriller, however, I wanted to yell at the main character (Emily) for being so clueless sometimes. Love is not the answer if you think your fiancee's mother is out to get you... continue reading

 

 

The Woman in the Woods - John Connolly 

Buy it ->

It is spring, and the semi-preserved body of a young Jewish woman is discovered buried in the Maine woods. It is clear that she gave birth shortly before her death.
But there is no sign of a baby. Private detective Charlie Parker is engaged by the lawyer Moxie Castin to shadow the police investigation and find the infant, but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in more than a missing child, someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.
And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring.
For a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman...

 

Book review by Reclusive Reads: 

 

This one had me considering mortality, my own and that of others, from many viewpoints. Connolly only gets better and better, the proof of this is not only in the longevity of the series, but the fact that his characters evolve naturally as time passes, growing older, but aging well... continue reading

 

Book review by Char's Horror Corner

 

At this, the 16th novel in the Charlie Parker series, I find myself still blown away by the quality of the writing and the depth of the story. Charlie Parker rocks!... continue reading

 

 

The Woman in the Window - A. J. Finn 

Buy it ->

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

 

Book review by Thewanderingjew

 

This psychological thriller was written with a fine hand, using an exceptional choice of vocabulary to describe scenes and evoke images in superbly descriptive ways. The images will come alive in the mind of the reader because of the juxtaposition of words. No sentence is wasted and no description overdone... continue reading

 

Book review by My Never Ending List

 

I’m not going to rehash this novel as it seems everyone and their brother has read it. If you haven’t and you like mysteries and suspense novels, I highly suggest you pick this novel up. I found, as I read the first third of this novel, I got to know the character of Anna quite well but it wasn’t until after this point that I finally understood what the hype about this book was all about... continue reading

 

 

LOOKING FOR MORE BOOK WITH WOMAN IN THE TITLE?

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BOOK REVIEWS

6 scary books for Friday the 13th

 

Read them if you date! Challenge accepted? 

 

Unnatural Creatures

Buy it ->

Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds—collected and introduced by beloved New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman. The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified.

 

Review by Lora's Rants and Reviews

 

This is a collection of mostly excellent stories edited by Neil Gaiman. Naturally the quality of writing is set to a high bar and I enjoyed most of them very much... continue reading

 

 

Broken on the Inside - Phil Sloman 

Buy it ->

Phil Sloman’s BROKEN ON THE INSIDE presents a quintet of macabre mentality in: Broken on the Inside; Discomfort Food; The Man Who Fed the Foxes; There Was an Old Man; and Virtually Famous.

 

Review by Char's Horror Corner

These stories were all heavy hitters and combined, make up this powerful narrative as a whole. I enjoyed it as entertaining storytelling on one level, but it also caused me to think deeply about life as we know it and how we go about living that life. Every single person in this book had problems-addictions and obsessions. They were broken on the inside. This led me to thinking about the people I know and even myself. Aren't we all BROKEN ON THE INSIDE in one way or another?... continue reading

 

 

They Feed - Jason Parent 

Buy it ->

A troubled man enters a dusky park before sunset. A young woman follows, hidden in shadow. Both have returned to the park to take back something the past has stolen from them, to make right six long years of suffering, and to find justice or perhaps redemption—or maybe they'll settle for some old-fashioned revenge. But something evil is alive and awake in those woods, creatures that care nothing for human motivations. They’re driven by their own insatiable need: a ravenous, bottomless hunger. The campgrounds are full tonight, and the creatures are starving. Before the night is over, they will feed.

 

Review by sherrysniderfundin:

OMG. Everything, the title, cover, the woods…makes me eager to begin my ‘hike’ through the pages of They Feed by Jason Parent. I am a huge fan of Jason Parent and his ability to scare the bejesus out of me. He did not fail to do so in They Feed. I love book covers with the trees and woods on them and this cover is so eerie, I know there is some badness in them there woods... continue reading

 

 

Final Girls - Riley Sager 

Buy it ->

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to--a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

 

Review by christina's book corner:

This book was crazy this is about Quincy and 10 years ago escaped being killed while all her friends died at pine cottage then one of the final girls died and another final girl shows up at her door. who is kinda fucked up and tries to get Quincy to deal with her pain of pine cottage . I loved how it had flashbacks to pine cottage going up to the killing of her friends and I will say I did not see what came coming... continue reading

 

 

Obscura - Joe Hart 

Buy it ->

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses. Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission.

 

Review by Andreya's Asylum:

This book. This book is worth the hype. All of it. I had no clue what it was about going into it, which as someone who has read way too many reviews that give away the entire premise, I considered a win. I like Joe Hart, possibly because I may have confused one of his books with Joe Hill when I bought it, and liked it anyway. I knew that he could write with The Exorcism of Sara May. I've realized that he is on my must-read list after this.

Obscura hits all of the right notes in all of the right areas, which is a real diamond amongst books... continue reading

 

 

Survive the Night - Danielle Vega 

Buy it ->

Stephen King meets Pretty Little Liars in this pulse-pounding novel from the author of The Merciless. Just back from rehab, Casey regrets letting her friends Shana, Julie, and Aya talk her into coming to Survive the Night, an all-night, underground rave in a New York City subway tunnel. Surrounded by frightening drugs and menacing strangers, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse...until she comes across Julie’s mutilated body in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Casey thought she was just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music. And by the time they get back to the party, everyone is gone.

 

Review by Hooked on Books:

 

That was pretty intense... Great book if you like YA monster horror.

 

 

Share you scary book recommendations! 

 

Happy Friday the 13th!

 

What are you reading: Summer of Spies

 

I cannot imagine my Summer time without good mysteries and fast paced thrillers. And now I have to add spies. All because of BookLikes bloggers' trend in summer reading. It's called Summer of Spies. Hop on board, we'll give you a tip how to find a good old spy story! 

 

How to find summer spies books? 

 

1. TAGS

 

Use the book search as a tag search. Type in Summer or Spies or Spies and click TAGS. Voila. A library of summer of spies at your fingertips! Click the covers and +Shelf the spy books you need to read this summer. 

 

 

Recommended reading:

Book titles are tags - finds book reviews and book posts

How to start a book blog on BookLikes 

6 ways to blog about books

7 tips how to write a book review on BookLikes

- BookLikes How-to: Advanced Shelving Options

BookLikes How to: book search tips

It's time for a reading challenge!

 

2. READING LISTS

 

Go to Reading Lists sections (main menu -> apps -> reading lists) and use the search box on the right: type in spies and you'll see the lists tagged as spies or having books with spies in a title. 

 

 

If you love mysteries, make sure to check these summer spies reading lists:

 

2018 Summer of Spies, created by Wanda's Book Reviews

 

 
 

 

 

Women of Intelligence, created by Themis-Athena's Garden of Books

 

In tune with the 2018 BookLikes "Summer of Spies" and my "Women Writers" project, a few books on spies and spying written by women ... and a few books on woman spies written by men.

 

 
 
  
Inspired by Wanda's original list of Summer of Spies and Moonlight Reader's equally inspiring authorised copy of Wanda's list, I'm also tempted to read some spy fiction - but only on the side. I have no illusions of finishing all of the titles on this list but wanted to have a pool of titles that I know I already own or can get from the library.
 
 
 
 
 A somewhat narrower list of spy fic for my Memorial Day to Labor Day festival of espionage in 2018. For series books, I've just included the first book. I've also just included one book per author, although I made read additional books if I enjoy the representative selection.
 
 
Recommended reading: 
 
 

Maintenance update info:

 

- BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization - the feature is under review and will be turned on shortly 

- Twitter connection is under review and will be turned on shortly 

 

Happy reading! 
 

Debut: Author Interview with Nikki Mays & "Surrender to you" Romance Giveaway

 

Hello and welcome to BookLikes blog. Today we have a real pleasure to talk to a debut author whose first novel is out in July. If you love romance books and looking for new reads to your TBR pile, keep on reading! :)

 

Nikki also agreed to give away an e-book copy of her debut novel. Read more and REQUEST HERE

 

Surrender to You by Nikki Mays  

Surrender to You - Nikki Mays

E-BOOK GIVEAWAY

JULY 10 - JULY 18, 2018

 

"The day that I saw you was the day that other women stopped existing for me. You were all that I thought about and still are."

 

A quirky coffee shop owner finally lands the SWAT office who leaves her hypnotized. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy for them. Someone is willing to go to great lengths to keep them apart, including murder.

REQUEST ->

(for Kindle users only)

 

Let's get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. 

 

Hi everyone, my name is Nikki Mays.

 

 

Where are you from?

 

I live in a small town in New Jersey, about fifteen minutes from Princeton University.

 

 

A little about yourself (i.e.,  your education, family life, etc.).

 

I am a stay at home mother of three rambunctious boys, who I lovingly refer to as my little hellions. My husband and I just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary but have been together for well over a decade. When I'm not writing or trying to keep my tiny humans alive, I love to cook and bake.

 

 

Tell us your latest publishing news.

 

I currently have Surrender to You out and am working on finishing up the second book in the series. I'm hoping to have it out around September but probably later.

 


When and why did you begin writing? 

 

I started writing a few years ago. I woke up one day and was just tired of only being "mommy". I needed something that was just for me and loved being able to hop into a different life when I needed a break. Or when I started to consider selling my kids on Etsy after a long day of tantrums.

 


When did you first consider yourself a writer? 

 

I've actually always loved to write. Even in school when everyone would groan over an essay assignment, I would smile to myself. It always came a lot easier than having actual conversations with people. You can change things on paper to make anything sound amazing...not so much in real life.

 

READ MORE & REQUEST ->

 (for Kindle users only)

 


What inspired you to write your first book?

 

It was a quote by Toni Morrison actually. The quote is:

"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."

It just seemed like really good advice.

 

 

 

How did you come up with the title for your latest novel?

 

Michelle from Kingston Publishing Company helped me come up with it. We brainstormed and liked Surrender to You the best.

 


Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

 

I'm not sure that I have a specific writing style. I do like to make my female leads quirky. I also want them to have their own mind. No one likes a doormat. The thing that I find somewhat challenging is writing love scenes. I keep questioning whether I should add more or less. In the back of my mind I'm always like: "Crap. What if mom and dad  read this and start thinking that Billy (my husband) I have some weird sex life."

 


How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

 

I think that the relationships in the book are very realistic. I feel like these would be people that I would really want in my life. I am also addicted to coffee and would actually love to own my own bakery/coffee shop.

 

 

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why? 

 

Mellie is definitely my favorite character. She is so awkward at times that she would make me cringe. But then she also has this kick butt side of her, that I feel males her a great female lead. I think that a lot of women can relate to her very well. Her relationship and banter with her brother makes my day when I write them together in a scene.

 

 

What is your favorite book of all time? 

 

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - Mariana ZapataThat's really tough! There are so many amazing books in this world. But if I had to pick one that I have read several times, I would have to say, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me By Mariana Zapata. I adore all of her books but Aiden Graves will probably always be my favorite book boyfriend.

 


To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process? 

 

Not really. With three small boys it's hard to even get to the store. But my husband will try to give me one day a week to sneak out to a café for a few hours. Those tend to be the most productive.

 


Who designed the covers?

Crystal Green at Kingston Publishing.

 

 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

 

Just that an awkward introvert can get the hunk. I'm kidding...a little. I like to try to make the relationships as real as possible. I know some women want the fantasy but I'm a realist. Even if you get the man of your dreams, it's not always going to be smooth sailing. Some days you might adore them, while others you're wondering how difficult it is to dig a hole. I also like having a woman who knows her worth. A girl who can talk smack while hanging with the guys.

 


Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

 

As I said, I love Mariana Zapata. I love her build up and how it's not insta-love. My second favorite would be Bijou Hunter. I crack up reading her books! Junkyard Dog had me laughing so much my husband kept giving me weird looks.

 


Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

 

Author MA Foster has been supportive of me from the beginning. She was one of the first writer friends that I have made. I appreciate her support so much!

 


Would you please recommend three titles for a holiday break? 

 

I would say the Billionaire Boys Club by Jessica Clare. There's more then three books in the series, but they are perfect! Especially this time of year when you want to be at the beach on a fabulous island but can't. You get to pretend you're Bronte on a tropical island with a handsome stranger. I think that this series is the perfect getaway.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nikki Mays is a wife and mother, who lives in a small town in New Jersey. She has been with her husband for close to a decade. She began writing as a creative outlet after becoming a stay at home mom. She decided that she needed something exclusively for herself, not just being mommy. She has two crazy boxers who are way too loving towards the children that use them as horses. She is addicted to coffee and chocolate. She considers coffee, chocolate and naps to be a perfect trifecta. Besides writing and spending time with her little hellions, she enjoys cooking/baking. She has recently taken up gardening and made her loving husband plant her a mini fruit tree orchard.

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/nikkimays/

https://www.instagram.com/nikkimaysauthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/nikkimays

https://www.facebook.com/NikkiMaysRomance/

http://booklikes.com/nikki-mays/author,5061361

 

35 books for a desert island recommended by book bloggers

It's summer time! If you plan an intriguing trip, a long flight, a dangerous adventure, an escape to a silent and quiet place, like a desert island here's your survival kit. BOOKS. 

 

For the last year we've been interviewing BookLikes book bloggers and gathering reading recommendations. Have a look at 35 reads picked by an amazing group of readers and reviewers, and stay tuned, more is coming!

 

You can also read the interviews with the readers - interview links are attached between the book recommendations. All 46 interviews can be viewed here:

Follow Friday with book bloggers: interviews with book lovers

 

35 BOOKS FOR A DESERT ISLAND

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling  

 

Burdened with the dark, dangerous, and seemingly impossible task of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes, Harry, feeling alone and uncertain about his future, struggles to find the inner strength he needs to follow the path set out before him.

 

 

And Then There Were None - Agatha ChristieAnd Then There Were None - Agatha Christie  

 

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…

 

Lessons From a Scarlet Lady - Emma WildesLessons From a Scarlet Lady - Emma Wildes  

 

The Duke of Rolthven's new wife, Brianna, is the perfect aristocratic bride. So what would society say if they saw her with a copy of Lady Rothburg's Advice--a courtesan's lessons for the boudoir? When his innocent wife suddenly becomes a vixen in the bedroom, the proper Duke is truly astounded by her seductive powers. Following a courtesan's advice might lead to trouble-but will it lead to Brianna's ultimate desire: winning her husband's love?

 

Read a full interview: #1 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jennifer's Books

 

Dreaming of You - Lisa KleypasDreaming of You - Lisa Kleypas  

 

She stood at danger′s threshold-- then love beckoned her in. In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Feilding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven--and into Derek Craven′s dangerous world. A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from, poverty to become lord of London′s most exclusive gambling house--a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world...

 

Branded - Scottie BarrettBranded - Scottie Barrett  

 

Slade Dalton's partner has just dispatched their latest quarry, a member of the notorious Purdy clan. Slade's certain there will be retribution and he's certain that he's damn tired of the bounty hunting business. Returning to the family's cattle spread in the Colorado Territory, he's relieved to find his brother Grady has not claimed ownership of the ranch in his absence. But there is a troubling, new addition to the Lazy Heart Ranch, an irresistible, raven-haired English beauty.

 

Beau Crusoe - Carla KellyBeau Crusoe - Carla Kelly  

 

Stranded alone on a desert island, he had lived to tell the tale. A triumphant return to the ton saw James Trevenen hailed as Beau Crusoe—a gentleman of spirit, verve and action. But only he knew the true cost of his survival! Scandalous! Susannah Park had been shunned by Society. She lived content with her calm existence—until Beau Crusoe determinedly cut up her peace! The beautiful widow wanted to help him heal the wounds of the past—but what secrets was this glorious man hiding?

Read a full interview: #2 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Punya Reviews…

 

The Count of Monte Christo - Alexandre DumasThe Count of Monte Christo - Alexandre Dumas  

 

Young, honest and loyal, Edmund Dantes, about to be promoted as captain of his ship, is accused of treason, and condemned to imprisonment in the isolated Chateau d'If. He endures years of suffering before making a dramatic escape. Newly liberated, he discovers the identities of his accusers, and intent on revenge he assumes a new identity for himself.

 

The Anubis Gates (Ace Science Fiction) - Tim PowersThe Anubis Gates (Ace Science Fiction) - Tim Powers  

 

Brendan Doyle, a specialist in the work of the early-nineteenth century poet William Ashbless, reluctantly accepts an invitation from a millionaire to act as a guide to time-travelling tourists. But while attending a lecture given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810, he becomes marooned in Regency London, where dark and dangerous forces know about the gates in time.

 

Quick Service - P.G. WodehouseQuick Service - P.G. Wodehouse  

 

When rich and imperious American widow Beatrice Chavender eats a forkful of inferior ham at her sister's country house near London, it affects the lives of everyone around her - her sister, her brother-in-law, her sister's butler, her sister's poor relation Sally, Sally's fiance Lord Holberton, and, most of all, Mrs Chavender's own one-time fiance, 'Ham King' J. B. Duff, whose rotten product spoils her breakfast.

Read a full interview: #3 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Tigus 

 

Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto,Megan BackusKitchen - Banana Yoshimoto

 

Kitchen is an enchantingly original book that juxtaposes two tales about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. Mikage, the heroine, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, Mikage is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who is really his cross-dressing father) Eriko. 

 

Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone - J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the philosopher's stone - J.K. Rowling  

 

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Read a full interview: #4 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Nicole Reads

 

Spectred Isle - KJ CharlesSpectred Isle - KJ Charles  

 

Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense...except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.

 

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William GoldmanThe Princess Bride - William Goldman  

 

 

Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. So when she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts - who never leaves survivors - her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup. So starts a fairytale like no other, of fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.

 

Are You Dave Gorman? - Dave Gorman,Danny WallaceAre You Dave Gorman? - Dave Gorman,Danny Wallace  

 

After a heavy night of tequila, flatmates Dave and Danny set off on what turns out to be a 24,000-mile journey to meet all the other Dave Gormans in the world. They visit Scotland, Israel, America, France and Ireland. They even hold a party in London where 50 Dave Gormans attend, including two women who have kindly changed their name via deed-poll. Silly, but engrossing, fascinating and addictive - and a touching, funny story of two friends who grow to share a mutual obsession.

Read a full interview: #5 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Silence in the library

Magic Bites - Ilona AndrewsMagic Bites - Ilona Andrews  

 

The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.

 

Read a full interview: #6 Follow Friday with book bloggers: That's What I'm Talking About ->

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan DoyleThe Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle  

 

Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson investigate the case. This was the first appearance of Holmes since his intended death in "The Final Problem", and the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles led to the character's eventual revival. In 2003, the book was listed as number 128 of 200 on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novel." In 1999, it was listed as the top Holmes novel, with a perfect rating from Sherlockian scholars of 100.

 

Arcadia Falls - Carol GoodmanArcadia Falls - Carol Goodman  

 

Financial straits and a desire for a fresh start take recently widowed Meg Rosenthal and her aloof teenage daughter, Sally, to Arcadia Falls, a tucked-away hamlet in upstate New York where Meg has accepted a teaching position at a boarding school. The creaky, neglected cottage they’ll be calling home feels like an ill omen, but Meg is determined to make the best of it. Then a shocking crisis strikes: During Arcadia’s First Night bonfire, one of Meg’s folklore students plunges to her death in a campus gorge. Sheriff Callum Reade finds the presumed accident suspicious, but then, he is a man with a dark past himself. 

 

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen,Anna QuindlenPride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

 

Mr and Mrs Bennet live with their five daughters at Longbourn in Hertfordshire. Jane, the eldest, falls in love with Charles Bingley, a rich bachelor who takes a house nearby with his two sisters and friend Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy is attracted to the second daughter, Elizabeth.

 

 

Read a full interview: #7 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Sailing in a Sea of Words ->

 

Exes and Goals: A Slapshot Novel (Slapshot Series Book 1) - Heather C. MyersExes and Goals: A Slapshot Novel - Heather C. Myers  

 

Harper Crawford is a big fan of the Newport Beach Seagulls, despite their abysmal previous season. It's been a year since Ken Brown's murder and Seraphina Hanson, Ken's youngest granddaughter, just survived her first year as the new owner and manager of the national hockey team. Barely. The last year was dismal to the point where Seraphina is making drastic changes. Like hiring Harper as their official blogger. Harper gets to travel with the team, write character pieces, critiques, game summaries, and the like. It's her dream job.

 

Rules Of Prey - John SandfordRules Of Prey - John Sandford  

 

The "maddog" murderer who is terrorizing the Twin Cities is two things: insane and extremely intelligent. He kills for the pleasure of it and thoroughly enjoys placing elaborate obstacles to keep police befuddled. Each clever move he makes is another point of pride. But when the brilliant Lieutenant Lucas Davenport--a dedicated cop and a serial killer's worst nightmare--is brought in to take up the investigation, the maddog suddenly has an adversary worthy of his genius.

 

Dark Lover - J.R. WardDark Lover - J.R. Ward  

 

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

 

Read a full interview: #8 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Momma Says to Read

 

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Maurice HindleFrankenstein - Mary Shelley

 

At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

 

Arabella - Georgette HeyerArabella - Georgette Heyer

 

To Arabella Tallant, the eldest daughter of a penniless country clergyman, the invitation to stay with her London godmother was like the key to heaven, for in addition to living in the glamorous city, Arabella might even find a suitable husband there. Armed with beauty, virtue and a benevolent godmother, the impetuous but impoverished Arabella embarked on her first London season with her mother's wish in mind: snare a rich husband. 

 

Gardens of the Moon - Steven EriksonGardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson  

 

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

 

Read a full interview: #9 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Midu Reads [Nominated]

 

Immortal in Death - J.D. RobbImmortal in Death - J.D. Robb  

 

When Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates the murder of a top model, she is putting her career on the line, because the prime suspect is her best friend. Eve's investigations lead her into the glamorous world of high fashion.

Read a full interview: #10 Follow Friday with book bloggers: The Book Gourmet

 

The Terror - Dan SimmonsThe Terror - Dan Simmons  

 

The bestselling author of Ilium and Olympos transforms the true story of a legendary Arctic expedition into a thriller worthy of Stephen King or Patrick O'Brian. Their captain's insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of The Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn't the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison before they open them, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the frozen ocean. 

Read a full interview: #11 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Book Cupidity [Nominated]

 

 

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel - Stephen King,Owen KingSleeping Beauties - Stephen King, Owen King  

 

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. 

 

Darkhouse - Karina HalleDarkhouse - Karina Halle  

 

There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. 

 

Read a full interview: #12 Follow Friday with book bloggers: 99 problems, and a book ain't one 

 

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders - Ross MacKenzie,Soji Shimada,Shika MacKenzieThe Tokyo Zodiac Murders - Soji Shimada

 

Astrologer, fortuneteller, and self-styled detective Kiyoshi Mitarai must in one week solve a macabre murder mystery that has baffled Japan for 40 years. Who murdered the artist Umezawa, raped and killed his daughter, and then chopped up the bodies of six others to create Azoth, the supreme woman? With maps, charts, and other illustrations, this story of magic and illusion, pieced together like a great stage tragedy, challenges the reader to unravel the mystery before the final curtain.

 

The Changeling - Victor LaValleThe Changeling - Victor LaValle

 

When Apollo Kagwa was just a child, his father disappeared, leaving him with recurring nightmares and a box labelled 'Improbabilia'. Now a successful book dealer, Kagwa has a family of his own after meeting and falling in love with Emma, a librarian. The two marry and have a baby: so far so happy-ever-after. However, as the pair settle into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll. Emma's behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, until one day she commits an unthinkable act, setting Apollo on a wild and fantastical quest through a suddenly otherworldly New York, in search of a wife and child he no longer recognises. 

 

Read a full interview: #13 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Obsidian Blue

 

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories - Francis King,John Blackburn,Richard Marsh,Michael McDowell,Stephen GregoryThe Valancourt Book of Horror Stories

 

Spanning two hundred years of horror, this new collection features seventeen macabre gems, including two original tales and many others that have never or seldom been reprinted. 

 

Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell,Matt GodfreyBlackwater - Michael McDowell, Matt Godfrey  

 

Blackwater is the saga of a small town, Perdido, Alabama, and Elinor Dammert, the stranger who arrives there under mysterious circumstances on Easter Sunday, 1919. On the surface, Elinor is gracious, charming, anxious to belong in Perdido, and eager to marry Oscar Caskey, the eldest son of Perdido’s first family. But her beautiful exterior hides a shocking secret. Beneath the waters of the Perdido River, she turns into something terrifying, a creature whispered about in stories that have chilled the residents of Perdido for generations. Some of those who observe her rituals in the river will never be seen again ...

 

Read a full interview: #14 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Char's Horror Corner [Nominated]

 

The Best We Could Do - Thi BuiThe Best We Could Do - Thi Bui

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail HoneymanEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman  

 

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office.

 

Read a full interview: #15 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Bookish thoughts!!! ->

Tweet: 35 books for a desert island -->http://bit.ly/2KTKJND It's #summer time! If you plan an intriguing trip, a long flight, a dangerous #adventure, an escape to a silent and quiet place, like a desert island here's your survival kit. #BOOKS. Recommended by #BookBloggers. #amreading

 

See you next Friday! 

July Giveaways Alert: Sunny days & free books - book lover's perfection

It's Summer time and this means so much more time to read, right?! Don't miss BookLikes July giveaways, here's a bunch of books ready to be requested, read and reviewed!

 

To sign up, please click Read more & request under the BOOK cover. 

 

Not a BookLikes member yet? No problem. Sign up to BookLikes.com, fill up your bookshelf with 11 titles and publish a Hello post -- these actions will unlock Giveaway for you. 

 

If you're still not sure how to request the giveaways, please have a look at our tips and step by step instructions: How to enter giveaways on BookLikes and Giveaways: win free books and give your titles away

 

Happy reading and winning! 

 

JULY BOOKLIKES GIVEAWAYS

 

Civil Blood BY Chris Hepler
ENDS JULY 7, 2018

READ MORE & REQUEST

 

copies: 1

countries available: USA

categories: Thriller, Fantasy, Legal thriller

 

In a future America still recognizable as our own, the outbreak of a vampire virus becomes front-page news. An infected trial lawyer named Morgan Lorenz sues the corporation that tried to conceal the existence of the virus, claiming medical negligence on a massive scale.
Facing potential bankruptcy, the Benjamin Rush Health Initiative files a unique motion. They say Lorenz cannot sue, because he's no longer human. For him, and all vampires like him, the Constitution simply doesn't apply... READ MORE & REQUEST

 

 

Hat BY Renée Paule
ENDS: JULY 8, 2018
 
copies: 2
countries available: Worldwide
categories: Children's Books
 
Bertie the gardener is happy with his life, so is Oscar - his dog. However, this happiness turns to discontent when Bertie sees George looking ‘important’ in his new bowler hat. Bertie wants one just like it, so that he can look important too. Consequently, he hangs up his comfy old hat and that’s when his adventure begins. There's a fun activity page at the back of this book so that children can learn more about different types of hats and their names... READ MORE & REQUEST
 
 
A Lovestruck Freshman BY Caroline A. DeJong
ENDS: JULY 08, 2018

 
copies: 3
countries available: USA
categories: Romance
 
Eighteen-year-old Sophie Shelton has left behind her comfortable, naive life in Kissimmee, Florida for a startling awakening at the University of Miami. When she begins college, she’s determined to concentrate on her education and future career as a writer. However, her life takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself thrust into a world she never knew existed. Immersed completely in a world of sex, love, and cutthroat Greek life, she finds herself dating the freshman quarterback, yet developing feelings for his best friend. Her own best friend advises Sophie to stop leading the two guys on, but she finds that her heart is torn... READ MORE & REQUEST
 
 
Sweep BY Cate Tiernan
ENDS: JULY 14, 2018
 
copies: 1
countries available: USA
categories: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
 
Morgan Rowlands never thought she was anything other than a typical sixteen-year-old girl. But when she meets Cal, a captivatingly handsome coven leader, she makes a discover that turns her whole world upside down: she is a witch, descended from an ancient and powerful line. And so is Cal. Their connection is immediate and unbreakable; Cal teases out Morgan's power, her love, her magick. But Morgan discovers too soon that her powers are strong, almost too powerful to control. And she begins to suspect that Cal may be keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that could destroy them both... READ MORE & REQUEST
 
 
Catching Stars BY Cayla Keenan
ENDS: JULY 14, 2018
 
copies: 1
countries available: USA
categories: Fantasy
 
Witch. Betrayal. Hunted. Jayin Ijaad is in hiding. A witch with powerful abilities, she carves out a life for herself in the slums of Pavaal, a city rotting from the inside out. When an old acquaintance tracks her down, Jayin is dragged back into a world she tried to escape -- and is determined to escape again.  Maddix Kell is on the run. After two years in prison for crimes he did not commit, Maddix escapes and seeks out a legendary order of witchhunters who are his only chance to find justice... READ MORE & REQUEST
 
 
Heart of Iron BY Ashley Poston
ENDS: JULY 14, 2018
 
copies: 1
countries available: USA
categories: Science-Fiction, YA, Action & Adventure
 
An action-packed tale full of romance, royalty, and adventure, inspired by the story of Anastasia. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows, Cinder, and the cult classic television show Firefly.Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space... READ MORE & REQUEST
 
 
State of Sorrow BY Melinda Salisbury
ENDS: JULY 14, 2018
 
copies: 1
countries available: USA
categories: Fantasy, YA
 
Sorrow all but rules the Court of Tears, in a land gripped by perpetual grief, forever mourning her brother who died just days before Sorrow was born. By day she governs in place of her father, by night she seeks secret solace in the arms of the boy she's loved since childhood. But when her brother is seemingly found alive, and intent on taking control, Sorrow has to choose whether to step aside for a stranger who might not be who he claims to be, or ... READ MORE & REQUEST
 
 
Meridian Chronicles Black Widow Curse & The Coven BY MD Fryson
ENDS: JULY 31, 2018
 
copies: 100
countries available: Worldwide
categories: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
 
MERIDIAN’S curse has left her in a state all her own of amnesia. The once spirit guide can only recall her name and the two names of very important beings in her life. She is on Earth lost and afraid with only fragments to piece together her mysterious circumstance. Her realm’s leader, Warrick and his curse have taken the unimaginable from her and her hidden memory has the answers locked away from her. Her best friend Relic, the peacock of the realm flees for Earth to save Meridian only to find nearly a stranger... READ MORE & REQUEST
 
 
Piasa BY Michael Kott
ENDS: JULY 31, 2018
 
copies: 3
countries available: US, CA, EU
categories: Fantasy, YA, Romance
 
Do you believe in fate? After suffering separate personal tragedies, Cryptozoologist Mike Kellogg and teen-aged Sara Williams are thrown together in Alton, Illinois when Mike goes to investigate reports of the reappearance of the unproven-to-science creature known as the Piasa. The mural of the Piasa, which according to early Native American residents meant ‘the bird that devoured men, is painted on thebluffs near the town of Alton, Illinois. The dragon-like depiction overlooks what the Ojibwe Tribe called misi-ziibi…the Mississippi River... READ MORE & REQUEST
 
 
 
Happy 4th of July to all US book lovers!
Enjoy the following quotes and share your favorite book passages!

Stay free, stay happy!

Happy 4th of July! 10 Quotes to cherish your freedom and independence

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Happy 4th of July, folks! In honor of the US Independence Day we're sharing quotes from literature about freedom, liberty and independence referring to all life fields.

 

Remember, be free, be happy.

 

 

Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela 

Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country... 

 

 

 

 

 

1984 - George Orwell

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time...

 

 

 

 


Delirium - Lauren Oliver   

They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. Until now. Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie. 

 

 

 

 

 

Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History - Rhonda Garelick

Certain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century—throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking change—here brilliantly treated, for the first time, with wide-ranging and incisive historical scrutiny...  

 

 

 

 

 A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf   

"A Room of One's Own", based on a lecture given at Girton College, Cambridge, is one of the great feminist polemics, ranging in its themes from Jane Austen and Carlotte Bronte to the silent fate of Shakespeare's gifted (imaginary) sister and the effects of poverty and sexual constraint on female creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre dazzles and shocks readers with its passionate depiction of a woman’s search for equality and freedom. Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, where she endures loneliness and cruelty, and at a charity school with a harsh regime. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane’s natural independence and spirit—which proves necessary when she takes a position as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice...   

 

 

 

 

 

Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison 

Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952.  A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century.  The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.

 

 


 

Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison   

Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson   

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing...

 

 

 

 

 

Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin 

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

 

 

 

 

Happy Independence Day!

 

 

Source and more desserts for 4th of July ->

#46 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Reading For The Heck Of It

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Alicea, an avid reader and blogger who lover the non-fiction literature.

 

Follow Reading For The Heck Of It blog: readingfortheheckofit.booklikes.com

 

 

What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

I’m currently reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison   and while I’m enjoying it it’s quite a heavy read and I don’t always want to pick it back up. :-/ It’s actually one of the 100 titles from the Great American Read list (I’m using it for inspiration to read books I might not necessarily pick up on my own.). 

Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison 

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

I think it was pretty clear by the time I was in middle school that I was a big book lover. I would always carry books around with me and when everyone else was watching TV I’d have a book ready to read during the commercial breaks. Also, I was the only kid in my high school that continued the Accelerated Reader quizzes just because I enjoyed taking the tests. That’s when you know you’re a book nerd!

 

 

readingfortheheckofit.booklikes.com

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

I love learning about new things so nonfiction books are especially interesting to me. And I don’t think I’m unique in saying that reading is a great escape from reality so if you need to de-stress what better way than picking up a book and losing yourself in a character’s life?

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

This answer changes quite frequently but right now there are 2 that immediately come to mind. The first is The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford  which is all about the death industry in the United States. Funeral industry practices as well as the stigma surrounding death in our culture are extensively discussed. It totally blew me away. 

 

The second book I’m excited to review and recommend is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer. Told entirely through correspondence the protagonist of the story, a female writer, is immediately drawn into the story of a small town ravaged by the effects of WWII and the book club that came into being as a result. Utterly captivating, heart-wrenching, and hilarious this is a book that I think anyone would love. 

 

I actually just thought of another one right before I finished these questions. This one came across my desk to be shelved and I couldn’t stop myself from taking it home to read. I am SO glad that I did. The book is called The Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition by Jim Trelease and it’s the perfect resource for anyone with kids, around kids, or working with kids. It talks about best practices and procedures for nurturing lifelong learners plus includes an extensive treasury of books at the back. 

 

The American Way of Death Revisited - Jessica MitfordThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer,Annie BarrowsThe Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition - Jim Trelease

 

 

 

You’re a Librarian this means you have unlimited access to all kind of books! WOW  Is that intimidating or encouraging to pick different titles?

 

It’s completely overwhelming! Hahaha Because I have access to so many titles I often bite off more than I can chew. If I sent you a picture of my desk right now you’d be absolutely horrified. I have 5 piles of books and a postage stamp sized space for my laptop. At the same time, if I’m ever in a book rut I can just go to the shelves and pick a random book to read which more often than not draws me right back into gobbling up a zillion books at once. My co-workers are always laughing at me because 4 out of 5 days in the week I have titles on request coming in for me to pick up.

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

I generally stick to one book at a time because with the amount of books I have to look through at work and as a book blogger I get a bit scatterbrained. As it is, I keep a notebook handy to make notes about what I’ve read so that when I get set to review the book I actually remember details even if it’s weeks later. (I’m always backlogged.) The exception is when I read a book at work and then take another one to read during my commute (usually a graphic novel or audiobook since they’re faster).

 

 

Do you review all books you read? How does your review process look like?

 

The only ones I don’t review are the picture books that I read for storytime here at work and that’s because it would take me FOREVER to review all of those. Otherwise, yes, I review every single one that I read. I generally jot down page numbers as I’m reading so that I can reference back when I’m taking down notes later. Because I don’t review the books immediately after reading them I tend to take rather detailed notes so that I can reference back and get a well-rounded picture of what I thought of the book like its tone, characters, etc. I try to post every Mon/Tues & Fri to keep a consistent schedule. It can be hectic with my full-time job and the long commute that I have (2 hrs each way) but I’m passionate about it so I try my best to stick with it.

 

 

 

A library or a bookstore?

 

This is an impossible question! I love them both for very different reasons. Libraries to me are magical places and I have very fond memories of visiting my town’s public library as a child. Bookstores like the Strand in NYC are equally amazing because they not only have new titles but used books which might be out of print. (I tend to favor used books over new ones these days.) I love out of the way bookstores especially if they have a lot of ratty books lining every conceivable space. There’s a bookstore in Carnforth, UK which is absolutely BANANAS. Here’s their website because you’ll definitely want to go if you’re into unique bookstore experiences: http://www.carnforthbooks.co.uk/

 

 

Your favorite genre is nonfiction (especially science). Why non-fiction books are so special?

 

If you had asked me 5 years ago what my favorite genre of book was without hesitation I would have said sci-fi. I have a fascination with the future of science and how it could be used to either further our species or utterly destroy it. It was only natural that my interests in that topic navigate to the real deal of nonfiction science. I’m especially intrigued by Artificial Intelligence (I’m terrified of it) and Environmental Sciences (SO fascinating that I’ve thought about getting a Master’s in the field).

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I don’t know if these are my favorites of all time but I really, really like them right now so…

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep - Joanna Cannon 

 I preferred the UK cover to such a degree that I bought it from a UK distributor. So simple but so perfect…not sure why I love it so much but I really do.

 

The House of Months and Years - Emma Trevayne 

 I liked this cover so much that I went to the illustrator’s website to see if it was available as a print. (In case you’re wondering here’s the site: http://peahart.tumblr.com/post/158472539301/hey-guys-i-had-the-opportunity-to-paint-the

 

The Hunt for Vulcan: . . . And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe - Thomas Levenson 

I saw this book cover and chose it almost entirely because I thought it was beautiful. This was right around the time I was getting into Cosmology and Astrophysics so it checked those boxes as well.

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Paper although if an e-book is the only available option I’ll suck it up.

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

My first choice is a book that I read over a Thanksgiving break and so I’ll forever remember the experience as being associated with a trip to Disney. It’s Russell Brand’s second nonfiction book, Revolution, and much like his first book the writing is excellent and the points he makes are solid and thought provoking. Highly recommend. 

 

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins is a graphic novel with a really powerful message. It’s meatier than the majority of graphic novels that I’ve read and I was so impressed by it that after I checked it back in at the library I bought myself a copy. The illustrations are DELIGHTFUL. 

 

Revolution - Russell BrandThe Gigantic Beard That Was Evil - Stephen CollinsSophie's World - Jostein Gaarder

 

My final choice might be a tad unconventional but for those wanting to know more about philosophy or who want a book they can really sink their teeth into on long-haul journeys Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder an excellent choice. It’s a middle grade novel that follows a girl who receives philosophical lessons from an anonymous source in her mailbox. This book is one of the reasons I fell in love with Swedish authors. 

 

 

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, Dune by Frank Herbert

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

I don’t generally drink while I’m reading but when I do it’s usually a hot beverage like tea or coffee.

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

I’m including all but one of my shelves because it’s an absolute mess and I couldn’t be bothered to clean it. Hahaha

 

#1 is less of a shelf and more of a semi-organized pile that sits in my living room.

 

#2 is a shelf that runs along one side of my bedroom and holds a lot of hardcovers and books sent to me by publishers and authors for review.

 

 

 

#3 contains my Harry Potter collection, Doctor Who/Torchwood books, and some oversized hardcovers. The messy piles on top of the shelves are mostly review copies sent to me by publishers (which is why there are so many hardcovers).

 

 

#4 and my final contribution contains my C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, & Charles Dickens books. Also, my little Pop figurines from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Sherlock, Fantastic Beasts, and Doctor Who.

 

Thanks again for including me in the bloggers that you interview. I really enjoyed the experience! :)

 

Thank you!

*

 

Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below: 

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#45 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Celticlady's Reading Room

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers. Meet Kathleen, an avid reader and blogger behind the Celticlady's Reading Room blog. 

 

Follow Kathleen on BookLikes: http://kathleenkelly.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

I just started reading Rip Current by Amanda James. I just started it so it is hard to tell
 
 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I remember the See Spot Run books in school and I remember loving Black beauty.
 
kathleenkelly.booklikes.com
 
 

Why reading is important to you?

 

Reading has always been an escape for me but I love sharing my love of reading with others.
 
 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

Anything by B.A.Paris , The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir and too many to mention. I am a fan of historical fiction.
 
Bring Me Back: A Novel - B.A. ParisJane Seymour, the Haunted Queen (Six Tudor Queens) - Alison Weir
 
 
Your blog name indicates Irish roots. Does the Irish history influence your book picks?
 
I would have to say yes it does when I see a book's description and it takes place in Ireland  or it is an Irish author, I always take a look at it.
 
 
What’s your reading plan for 2018?
 
In past years I read 150 books a year but since I had open heart surgery in December, I have had to cut down on the reading, my mind has not been able to focus as much. They tell me that is temporary.
 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

I used to have two or three going at the same time but now it is usually one

 

Shelf

 

Do you review all books you read? How does your review process look like?

 

I usually do review all of the books as I participate in a few book tours. I really don't have a process, I finish a book and just write the review, pretty simple.

 

 

A library or a bookstore?

 

Since I review books, I get most of my reading material from author's or publishers so it is rare that I go to either.

 

 

Your Shelf presents various types of books. Do you have a favorite genre or you simply don’t limit yourself only to one?

 

I love a good psychological thriller and historical fiction
 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

I love all the covers...lol

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

I am comfortable with both.
 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

Usually whatever book I happen to be reading at the time
 

 

Favorite quote?

 

"Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes - Ella Wheeler Wilcox
 

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

I can't drink alcohol anymore but if I did it would be wine, now it is coffee or hot chocolate or iced tea, depending on the weather.

 
 
Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
 
I have bookcases all over the house!
 
Thank you!
 

*

Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below: 

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#44 Follow Friday with book bloggers: debbie krenzer

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Today we gonna meet Deb, a true book lover who has collected an impressive amount of 600 signed books on her shelves, not counting those without an autograph!

 

Follow debbiekrenzer http://debbiekrenzer.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading now and how do you like it?

 

I just finished reading “Jar of Hearts” by Jennifer Hillier (creepy and cray cray) and started on "Something in the Water by" Catherine Steadman, which I was so lucky to get before Reese Witherspoon named it her “book of the month” for June.  Everyone is going to want to read it now and as I’m about half way through, I understand why she did so.  It’s starts out with someone digging a grave and telling all about it.  Then it moves on to a couple who are about to be wed.  Starting out with this plot twist is killing me.  Who dies or gets killed?  It’s really good and I am enjoying it immensely. 

 

Jar of Hearts - Jennifer HillierSomething in the Water: The Gripping Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick! - Catherine Steadman

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover? 

 

I started reading while very young.  I remember one of my earlier books was “Magic Elizabeth”  by Norma Kassirer published in 1966.  (Yes, I looked this up to find author’s name.  I was so surprised to find it on Goodreads.  All I remembered was the name of the book and that it was a brown book with a picture of a doll on the front.)  I also read V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic series); Little House on the Prairie books, a lot of the Bobbsey Twins books and whatever basically I could get my hands on.  I remember every time we would get those Scholastic Book Fair brochures with the new books sitting down with my mother and showing her the many books I had marked.  Of course, I didn’t get all the ones that I wanted, but I was happy with what I did get.

 

During the 1980’s and 1990’s I was working, married and raising kids.  However, that didn’t stop me from reading, although it wasn’t as much as I liked.  I read Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins, Sophie Kinsella, Jen Lancaster, and others.  I couldn’t wait for their new books to come out!  Of course, I had to wait for the paperback edition as I could not see paying for a hardcover that I would finish in just a few days.  I simply did not have that kind of money back then.

 

In 2008, I retired from a 22 year career in the natural gas industry.  Alas, my industry had been desecrated by the likes of Enron, Dynegy and others and the jobs were few and far between.  Plus, I was considered old by then.  Had I been a male though, I’m sure my career would have went further. 

 

After I retired, I was pretty bored and started reading again.  This time though, I was buying the hard covers and I went to many, many author signings at my local independent bookstore, Murder By the Book.  I have over 600 hard covers signed by authors to show for these years.  I enjoyed meeting the authors and talking with them, discovering where, why and how they wrote their books.

 

Unfortunately, the trek to MBTB was 28 miles one way going to downtown Houston.  My night vision kept getting worse and my anxiety levels of driving in traffic (something that I spent 2 to 3 hours a day sitting in) was getting to me.

 

In 2013 I found Net Galley.  This was a godsend for me.  Free books just for reading and saying what I thought of those books?  I could certainly do that and have done so since that time.  It also cut down on my finances and allowed me to read even more books.

 

debbiekrenzer.booklikes.com

 


Why reading is important to you? 

 

I love to read!!  I love being someplace else while just sitting in my chair or lounging back in my adjustable bed (purchased just so I could sit up in bed and read)  and shutting out the rest of the world.  You can learn so many things and live vicariously through the characters.  Reading has definitely added to my trivia knowledge! 

 


Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers? 

 

I love to promote any book that makes me feel something.  Whether it’s a racing heartbeat or tears of joy or sympathy.  I especially love to recommend books that are well written and leave me wanting more.

 

Three books that come to mind?  Ugh, that’s hard.  However, one certainly made it to my mind first.  That would be Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  The story was remarkable made only that much more so due to the fact it was based off a true story/event that was going on in our country.

 

I think the second book I would recommend would be a true story written by Anthony Ray Hinton, a prison inmate on death row, which I saw was recently picked up by Oprah for her book club.  The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, for me, was an excellent 5 star read.

 

My third choice is a series written by Justin Cronin, a professor at Rice University, “The Passage ” series which is about vampires.  However, they are not the main characters in most of the books.  It’s also a dystopian novel which I definitely  loved about it.

 

Before We Were Yours - Lisa WingateThe Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row - Anthony Ray HintonThe Passage - Justin Cronin

 


Your book reviews are often for ARC and new releases/upcoming titles. How do you manage to keep a track and keep on reading the new titles? 

 

Spreadsheets.  The only way I can keep track.  I’m a sucker for a good blurb.  I always request more books than I can read and it sometimes gets me into trouble.  During 2017, I was sick for quite a while and had requested all these books.  I have been behind ever since.  I’m trying as best as I can to stay up to date by skipping a lot of books that I should have read.  Ugh!  I just hate that.  I feel bad for the author as well as Net Galley for this happening.  However, I have decided that one day, I will go back and read those books I missed.  I know I missed some really good ones and it kills me knowing they are just sitting on my Kindle.

 


Your short bio says you like Netflix. Is movie watching your second passion next to the reading? 

 

Netflix.   OMG, what a wonderful thing!!  I don’t binge as much as I like due to my being behind on reading, but there are some days when I say WTH and I binge.  I watched Gilmore Girls nonstop for like 4 or 5 days.  All the seasons including the newer one that was just recently released.  You really can’t help yourself.  I mean the next episode is just sitting there waiting for you.  Why wouldn’t you watch another and another and another.  HA!!

 


Your BookLikes shelf reveals books in many different genres: mystery, fantasy, thriller, chick lit. How do you pick a next book to read - according to your TBR list, your mood, publishing dates? 

 

Picking books.  Of course, the first prerogative is if I like the author, I will request that book without even reading the blurb.  They are tried and true and I know I can’t go wrong.  I also receive a lot of emails from places like Shelf Awareness, Book Reporter, Book Riot, Epic Reads First, Read it First (which is where I was turned on to Julia Keller’s “A Killing in the Hills” – one of the first books I found from emails.) and many other sites.  Of course, now I can’t tell you which site recommended or even told me about the books today.

 

Covers of books are also a red arrow for me saying “pick me, pick me”.  I also used to get recommendations from friends in the early part of my retirement.  I got hooked on the “Twilight” series after it was recommended that way.  I read that series in less than a week.  I tore through those pages.  Then I discovered YA through that series and went on to read “Hunger Games” and “Divergent”.  Anymore, I am telling friends what to read since I usually get them before they come out.

 

As to genre, I was mostly mystery and suspense, some horror and of course, chick lit before I found Net Galley.  Then I discovered a whole new set of genres and I took advantage of that factor.  I like to move around genre’s.  I can’t just keep reading murder and suspense novels – that can be morbid after a while and I read other genres to alleviate all that.  Women’s fiction or chick lit is usually my go to after so many murder books. 

 

I find that if I like the description given for the book, I will give it a chance.  Of course, it helps that the pricing is good for me.  I doubt that I would read so many books or genres if I didn’t have that factor.

 

It is also based on my mood.  A lot of times I have started a book and found that I just wasn’t in the mood for it.  So, I will put it aside and go back to it.  Unfortunately, there are times that when I do go back to them, I realize it just wasn’t my mood that was putting me off.  However, that is definitely not the norm.

 

I also have to go by publishing dates in order to stay current.  My spreadsheets list the name of the book, date published, author and number of pages.  A lot of times, I will use that number of pages to knock out a lot of the shorter books and then gleefully sit back and read the longer ones that usually stay with me longer.

 

Reviewed Shelf

 


Do you read one book or several at a time? 

 

I usually read one book at a time.  However, there are times when I do have actual ARC’s and may be away from them or away from my Kindle and have to go back and forth.  If I’m somewhere out and I don’t have my current book, I will start another one.  I can usually be found reading at any number of places near my home that have outdoor patios (in good weather) or a nice quiet bar.  And, of course, I am always reading while eating.  I never leave the house without my Kindle.  It used to be my Ipad, but that thing was really weighing down on my purses.  I like the fact that with Kindle I can totally get lost in a book.  With the Ipad, I was always getting some kind of news or email alert or Words with Friends telling me it was my turn to play.  It was definitely worth it to me to buy the Kindle which is less cumbersome and fits a lot better in my purse.

 


A library or a bookstore? 

 

Well as to library, the only times I go there is to drop off books for donations.  I have donated a LOT of books over the years as I used to frequent the sales by one of these bookstores that was selling hard covers for $1.00.  You can bet I bought a lot of books at those prices.

 

As to bookstores, I have already stated how I attended book signings at MBTB.  I do try to keep them in mind and order a few books a year that I really liked or wanted with the author’s signature.  There is also a bookstore, BookPeople, in Austin that I have ordered signed books from.

 


We’ve read you love attending book signing events. How many signed books can we find on your bookshelf? 

 

Over  600 books in my front room (basically most of the books in there) that should be a dining room, however, I made it a library.  I am enclosing pictures of my library wherein I have added a musical theme to keep up with that media.  I also have many items I’ve received from authors on my shelves.

 


What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Three favorite book covers?  Well, I can tell you two right off the top of my head.  I have a framed 20 x 30 marketing poster from MBTB of Lisa Unger’s book “Heartbroken” that is signed and dated by her in my bedroom that matches the colors of my bedroom perfectly.  And, unfortunately sum up the demise of my marriage.  Of course, that’s my secret that no one knows.

 

 

I also have framed the cover of Amber Brock’s book “A Fine Ambition” in a plastic frame that I painted to match that beautiful dress on the cover, shadowed with black cardstock.

 

I also have several other book posters from MBTB that are located throughout my home with two in my library.

 

 

For my number 3 cover, I am going to say it’s a toss-up because I am including all their covers.  First, I would say Carolyn Haines, the Sarah Booth Delaney books which always have the word “Bones” in the title and absolutely wonderful covers.  And the second would be Mary Kay Andrews.  All her beach reads have awesome covers and she is VERY special to me as she was my very first author signing.  I was on a beach family reunion with my roommate’s family in Duck, North Carolina in this awesome house that rents for $15,000 a week in Corolla, North Carolina.  There were like 26 of us there ranging in ages from 2 to 60 and I could not get anyone to go with me.  Nevertheless, I went alone.  It was also special for MKA because she had just found out that she got some special award for her book “Summer Rental” back in 2011.  She had just flown in from Houston to attend the Duck signing and I was upset because I had like 5 books of hers at home in Houston.  HA!!

 


A paper book or an e-book?

 

I addressed my love of my Kindle in question number 7.  However, I did not address paper book.  I’m spoiled.  I love e-books!  They are so easy to read and you can have all of them with you at once.  With the paper books, you only have one with you.  There is also finding space for them.  Together I have over 1000 books in my house.  The signed ones are in my library and then I have a glass doored bookcase in my family room and 3 bookcases in my bedroom.  Thankfully, my roommate gave me the master!  HA!!  At one time, I had more than that and did the right thing and donated them to my local library. 

 


Three titles for a holiday break? 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?  For me, that would certainly be beach reads and picking “A” title would be like asking me “who is your favorite kid?”  It just would not be fair.  I am just going to have to name authors for this question.  Those would be, of course, Mary Kay Andrews, and Mary Alice Monroe, Elin Hildebrand, Nancy Thayer, Mariah Stewart, Viola Shipman, Amy E. Reichert, Fiona Davis, Jill Mansell, oh I could go on forever.

 


Favorite quote? 

 

I have many favorite quotes and I keep them on my Ipad on my Notes app.  I will just say this one that was the latest that said something to me. 

“You are most critical of the flaws in others that you have in yourself” “The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go” by Amy E. Reichert. 

 

And now, I am going to add this one

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life” by Virginia Woolf. 

This quote definitely spoke to me as I tend to stay at home too much.

 


If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading? 

 

I don’t usually drink when I’m reading.  However, when I do drink it’s either a margarita, Makers Mark and Diet Coke or a nice pinot noir or grigio depending on the weather.

 


Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

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New release: Author interview with Ken Goldstein & "From Nothing" Review Copies

 

We're happy to introduce you Ken Goldstein. Author of This Is Rage, Endless Encores, and From Nothing; and entrepreneur, adviser and a chairman at ThriftBooks & Good Men Project.

 

Ken talked with us about his brand new business suspense novel From Nothing, writing plans and inspirations. Read our interview to get to know the author better. 

 

For those of you who'd like to request a review copy of Ken's newest title From Nothing, please sign up. The author will send a signed paperback to five lucky bloggers. Good luck! 

 

 

 

What are you reading now Ken? 

 

I’m getting ready for a service project in Cape Town, South Africa, where I will be working with entrepreneurs, so I’m reading Kasinomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them. It’s a fascinating portrait of storefront marketplace dynamics, common-sense marketing and the role of human connectivity in commerce. I just finished Dan Rather’s What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, which I think is a must-read for all Americans given the turmoil of our times. Next up for me is David Mamet’s Chicago: A Novel of Prohibition, which I’ll probably read crossing the Atlantic.

 

Kasinomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them - Vivien AlcockWhat Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism - Dan Rather,Elliot KirschnerChicago: A Novel - David Mamet

 

 

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also how does an entrepreneur become a writer?

 

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness - Ken GoldsteinThe truth is, it’s the opposite: I’m a writer who became a business guy and then later returned to writing with my first novel This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness. The first decade of my career was all about writing, including being part of some of the first real storytelling efforts in computer games. As my career evolved, I found that my business skills became more valuable to the companies where I was involved, and so I eventually stopped writing to focus on company leadership. After many years absent from my place at the keyboard, I returned to my original passion for words about eight years ago, and now I split my time between writing and advising highly creative companies.

 

 

Was there one event that inspired your decision to become a writer?

 

I think it’s like anything else: You try to do something out of curiosity, and people tell you they like your work and want more, so you feel compelled to study your craft. Reading was pretty much my whole life as a kid, and writers to me were the superheroes who delivered justice in the form of philosophical thought bombs and sometimes really clever jokes.

 

I wrote a few plays prior to college that seemed to catch on, and people would tell me they couldn’t wait for my next one, so I sat down and tried to do it again. I discovered that if I read and wrote every day, I would get better at it, and as I got better at it, I became obsessed with wanting to become really good at it. That’s when I discovered that writing is more process than arrival, and as such, it’s an inexhaustible channel for passion. I thought I was obsessed with the craft as a very young person. Now I’m truly obsessed, and it remains something I can do for the rest of my life and never stop learning or improving.

 

 

You’re a busy man being an adviser, entrepreneur, mentor and a leader in many of your projects. I can imagine that your life experiences helped you a lot in writing your books as all of your titles give a reader a look behind the curtain of how corporate business operates in America. Or was it on the contrary and the knowledge disturbed your fictional story to emerge? 

 

The advice most writing teachers pound into you – write what you know – carries a lot of truth. Yet there’s a piece of advice that I think is even more profound. One of your challenges and opportunities as a writer is to take your readers to places they might not otherwise get to visit. Not a lot of people get to sit in on a corporate board meeting. Not a lot of people have daily access to captains of industry. A lot of what people think about the business world is wrong, because the people writing the stories haven’t been in the right rooms to impose a layer of authenticity on the everyday absurdities of wealth, power and the enormous struggles below the surface. When I realized I had that access as well as the ability to make it interesting to people who love fiction, I saw a unique opportunity I could pursue. Making it real and making it a good story require a reasonably unique approach to the material, and I decided I would put my all into trying to pull off that challenge.

 

 

Your third and the newest title will be released June 12th 2018. Please tell our readers more about From Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption

 

It’s truly the most personal of my three novels. From Nothing is certainly born in the From Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption - Ken Goldstein  business world, but it traverses to my deep love of music, and from there attempts a meditation at what in our lives matter and what we are willing to do to realize the core truth of ourselves.

 

It takes readers behind the scenes of the tech world, behind the scenes of the classic rock music world; but in the end it’s the life story of one man, Victor Selo, trying to make sense of the choices he has made and still needs to make to put the earliest turmoil of his life behind him. Victor wants to grow – needs to grow – but he can’t help but keep getting in his own way when faced with the extraordinary pressure of high-stakes decision-making.

 

No matter how many times he learns the lesson – that we discover ourselves in the creativity of beginning anew – he is torn by the traps of outward pressures and enticements. He has to learn with absolute certainty that beginning “from nothing” is not a punishment, but a gift of discovery.

 

 

 

Your previous book Endless Encores is a guide book on how to succeed in business. Does it correspond to the success in the publishing world as well? 

 

There is an enormous paradox in that question. I know a lot about marketing and have been reasonably successful at it over the years, but marketing yourself as a writer is a much trickier proposition. I can work with a team of professionals to build an omniscient value proposition in a product line and fund its success by measuring the analytics in various tactical investments, but my sense is that in storytelling, people need to find the voices that move them much more organically, through friendship and word of mouth.

 

Endless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits - Ken GoldsteinAll of the basic principles in Endless Encores: Repeating Success Through People, Products, and Profits apply, but the core proposition of Endless Encores is that there is no success without failure; succumbing to copy a previous success is the plight of the one-hit wonder, and no one gets to predict their successes and failures. Add the notion of art to that premise and you enter a realm where success is almost exclusively in the control of the audience.

 

 

What are your writing plans? Do you actually have any at this point, right before the release of your third book, or will you start making plans once it's out? 

 

I find that the last phase of writing a book, final editing and proofing, is less arduous on the creative mind than the earlier phases of composition and revision, which for me has meant a time of hunger for innovation. Over the last year, I have put that energy to work on a new novel, become increasingly focused on developing the story, characters and thematic elements I want to explore. That early work is now on the shelf fermenting into the wine hopefully it will someday become. I know what the next book is about; I just don’t know the timetable for delivering it or all the side paths that will intersect the arc.

 

 

All of your fiction books are business suspense fiction. Do you consider changing the genre or will you follow the writing path? 

 

I’m not sure. My next book is definitely in the business suspense fiction genre. I think my voice is strong there and as yet not exhausted. Might I kick myself out of my comfort zone and try something else? I’m not ruling it out. There are lots of things I’d like to write about, but only a few I feel I know well enough to deliver on authenticity.

 

Whatever I write, I just want to be certain there is more to the story and characters than the material on the surface. I want to encourage people to think about the issues and circumstances of these characters’ lives as they apply to the complexity of the world around us. That’s my keen interest: driving a dialogue of comparable situations that might cause readers to rethink some of their most pressing personal decisions as their lives intersect with others.

 

 

Please tell us about your day and your writing habits. Do you write every day, and for how long? And how do you combine your “day job” with writing?

 

I get asked this a lot and I have to admit I am the absolute worst person to ask. I have tried everything imaginable to create a discipline in my life around my writing time and my not-writing time. Nothing works for me. I usually have to force myself to focus on tuning out everything that is not writing in order to write. Because I have a number of business interests, I have a smorgasbord of opportunities to procrastinate on silent time at the keyboard. Then the muse will sing, the mood will hit me and I’ll knock out 4,000 words. The next day I may cough up a sentence, the next day I may edit the four thousand words. If I were better at this, I could tell you when a book will be done, but I am just awful at it and I don’t seem to get any better.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and genres? Have they influenced you and in what way?

 

I have written at length about Tom Wolfe, who recently passed away. His work (both non-fiction and fiction) taught me what a story should be. The entire notion of New Journalism and the social novel were to me a call to emerging voices to write about stuff that matters. There’s a glass-encased picture of Shakespeare on my desk because if you want to learn how dialogue and poetry create voice in epic storytelling, the Bard is the high-water mark. I love everything that Anne Lamott writes because she embodies the notion of heart. Kurt Andersen is perpetually brilliant, particularly at weaving irony into the complex human problems we all face. Many forms of thoughtful humor built from observation resonate for me, and rounding out the list would be Mark Twain (honesty), Charles Dickens (serialization), Samuel Beckett (isolation), Lenny Bruce (courage) and George Carlin (originality). I also seem to read almost everything written about The Beatles and the sport of professional baseball, looking for clues in both for the perfection of craft.

 

If you, or any of your readers would like to learn any more about me please feel free to visit my site: http://kengoldsteinauthor.com/.

 

Ken Goldstein books on BookLikes: 

(click the book covers to add to your bookshelf)

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness - Ken GoldsteinEndless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits - Ken GoldsteinFrom Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption - Ken Goldstein

#43 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Rendezvous With A Romance

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Heather, an avid reader who loves romance stories.

 

Follow Friday Rendezvous With A Romance on BookLikes  http://rendezvouswitharomance.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

 

I just finished Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn  and started The Snow White Bride by Claire Delacroix. I loved Laird of the Black Isle and it is too soon to tell about The Snow White Bride.

 

Laird of the Black Isle - Paula Quinn   

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

I was in middle school when I picked up my first romance novel, but it wasn’t until I was teaching that I became a voracious reader. It became my escape and has kept me sane.

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

It keeps me sane. It is the thing I do that keeps me happy and helps me get through rough school years.

 

Rendezvous With A Romance

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

This is hard to answer, but here goes. If someone were to ask me to recommend must read books, the list would include:

 

Bec McMaster's Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1), Monica McCarty's The Chief   (Highland Guard #1), Sherrilyn Kenyon Born of Night  (The League #1), Christine Feehan's Shadow Rider   (Shadow Rider #1), Christine Feehan's Bound Together  (Sea Haven #6), Karen Marie Moning's Shadowfever  (Fever #5), Nalini Singh's Archangel's Blade   (Guild Hunter #4), Jeanine Frost's Destined for an Early Grave   (Night Huntress #4) and At Grave's End  (Night Huntress #3), Sherrilyn Kenyon's Styxx  (Dark-Hunter #22...

 

I really could go on and on. There are so many books that are absolute must-reads, in my opinion.

 

Kiss of Steel - Bec McMasterThe Chief - Monica McCartyBorn of Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Shadow Rider (The Shadow Series) - Christine FeehanBound Together (A Sea Haven Novel) - Christine FeehanShadowfever - Karen Marie Moning

Archangel's Blade - Nalini SinghDestined for an Early Grave  - Jeaniene FrostStyxx - Sherrilyn Kenyon

 

 

 

Your short bio says: “I love supporting and promoting my favorite authors and promoting my favorite authors.” How do you do that?

 

Through my blog and being part of some of my favorite authors’ reading teams. Every book I read I review on various sites, Goodreads, BookLikes, Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles. I also post on various social media platforms. Any way I can get the word out about the books I read, I do. That is how I support my favorite authors.

 

 

How do you find new books to read?

 

Goodreads and Amazon mostly, and a few publishing companies will send me books to consider. That is definitely where I have expanded the types of romances I read the most.

 

 

You’re an English and creative writing teacher. How do you encourage kids and your students to read more?

 

I don’t hide that I like to read, if they see I like to read then they start asking questions. I also have books in the classroom and anytime someone says they wish they could like reading but haven’t found anything they can stick with I just start asking questions about what they like. What sort of movies and TV shows do they like? Do they like fantasy, sci-fi, spies, horror, etc. and I go from there and recommend an author or a book that fits those interests. 

 

 

Your blog name says all about your favorite book genre - romance. Do you switch between the genres or are you loyal to your favorite reading path?

 

I’m definitely loyal to romance. But from there, there are so many sub genres: paranormal, historical, contemporary, Regency, Medieval, cowboy romances, small town romances, Steampunk, etc.

 

 

Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

One at a time for sure

 

Reviewed Shelf

 

 

  1. Your BookLikes Shelf presents over 800 read titles! How much time do you spend reading?
  2. Every free moment I can. I do not have kids, so when I come home from work I like to curve up with my dogs and read. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t leave the house without a book just in case I find myself somewhere waiting.

 

 

A library or a bookstore?

 

Bookstore

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster, Luck Is No Lady by Amy Sandas  , and I Knew You Were Trouble by Soraya Lane

 

Kiss of Steel - Bec McMasterLuck Is No Lady (Fallen Ladies) - Amy SandasI Knew You Were Trouble - Soraya Lane

 

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Both, I like to rotate between the two. I’ll read eBooks for a while and then switch to paperback to rest my eyes for a time.

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

 

This one is hard because I read whatever I have on hand that I have purchased or have received from NetGalley/publishers at the time of the holiday. So three books I plan on reading over the summer break I just started include: A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand, Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Torched by Donna Grant

 

 

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

Pride and Prejudice (the English teacher inside of me peaking through with this one):

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

(1.1-2).

Favorite book, one of many of the favorite lines from it.

 

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

Either a glass of wine or hot chocolate, depending on how I’m feeling.

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

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#42 Follow Friday with book bloggers: KatiEllenReads

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Kati a booktuber with a crave for a lemonade and YA reads. 

 

Follow KatiEllenReads: http://katiellenreads.booklikes.com/

 

 

1. What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

I've nearly finished The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz  . It's reminded me why I really enjoyed her Blue Blood Vampire series. The story is written with multiple view points so something is always happening. It's historical fiction with magic, she's blended the world's brilliantly.

 

 

 

2. When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

I loved reading as a kid but then kind of fell out of it. Harry Potter got me reading again, but it wasn't till my late teens I really discovered how much I love books. I stumbled across The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce and that was it, I think if I hadn't of found those I may not have kept reading.

 

 

3. You’re mainly a booktuber now although we can spot some reviews published on your blog some time ago. Why have you chosen to become a booktuber?

 

I'd done Booktube before but wasn't that consistent with it. I feel with Booktube I can be more expressive, passionate and silly, I find it hard to write my personality into a book review. Plus working full time I never really had the time to just sit and write a review, although filming and editing is just as hard but I find the time. 

 

katiellenreads.booklikes.com

 

 

4. How different is talking about books from writing about books?

 

Like I said above it's all about my personality. You'll see me lose my train of thought, ramble on or get stupidly excited. Whereas with writing I feel like I need to sound more professional. On the flip side, because it takes me longer to write a review I would probably say more about the book. 

 

Kati's Shelf

 

 

5. Why reading is important to you?

 

Such a hard question!! I just love it. The same as watching an amazing film or TV series, I love being sucked into that world. Seeing how it all develops and expands. I can't imagine sitting on my lunch break or train to and from work without a book in my bag.

 

 

6. Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

Ones that get me passionate. Recently I've been raving about the Sin Eaters Daughter, that book had me gasping out loud and making some very embarrassing faces I'm sure on my train, but I was totally hooked. If a book has me reacting out loud that's a book I can't wait to recommend. Another books I'm nuts about is the Half Bad Trilogy. It was the first male lead book I'd read after HP, it was completely unexpected and amazing. I cried so much in the last few chapters of the final book. I'm really looking forward to reading her latest release The Smoke Thieves.

 

 

 

7. How do you find new books to read?

 

I've found a lot of books via Amazon, it's recommendations from what I've bought. But recently Instagram and Goodreads. Sometimes I'm not even sure how I stumble across new book, but somehow I do. 
 
 
 

8. Your bookshelf reveals your passion for YA and fantasy reads? Do you switch between the genres or do you follow you favorite reading path?

 

At the start if the year I try and pick a real mix of books to keep my interest going. That way when it comes to each month I've got some variety to pick from. I try to reread at least one book/series from when I was younger, I like to revisit the books I loved or ones I might not have fully understood 10+ years ago. 

 

 

9. What’s the most surprising book you’ve ever read?

 

Probably the Half Bad trilogy. I never expected that level of emotion from a male lead book. It got me really emotionally invested, not just between the war between the black and white witches but with Nathans personal anguish. The relationship between him and Gab is possibly the best thing I've ever read, Nathan is just a ball of anger and pain and Gab will do absolutely anything for him, no hesitation. Second to that, Peter Pan. I'd read a lot of reviews about the book but I actually found it a creepy, I want to revisit it again though to see if my view on it has changed. (two separate photos)
 

 

 

10. Do you read one book or several at a time?

 

When I was younger I used to swap between three books every week. Somehow I kept the stories all straight and everything made sense. Prior to the job I'm at now I would have a book at work and one at home. Currently I'm just reading one at a time. But I find it easy to read multiple books. 

 

 

11. A library or a bookstore?

 

Always a bookstore. My high school library was brilliant, but when I went to college it was all educational books and that really deflated me. I think I've only ever been to my local library once and that was for an essay at college. 

 

 

12. What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Do you understand how hard of a question that is?!?! There are way too many to pick from, I won't lie I'm a cover addict. The three I've gone for are ones I'm currently in love with. 

 

 

13. A paper book or an e-book?

 

Always and forever paperback. I do own a kindle, because I'm slowly running out of room. Plus it's great for holidays and books I'm uncertain I'll like but want to give ago. 
 

 

14. Three titles for a holiday break?

 

Any of the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown, they're so fast paced. Such a guilty pleasure read for me, I love history. Stardust by Neil Gaiman, it's far too short but it's so beautiful. Finally The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Oh my goodness this book!!

 

 

 

15. Favorite quote?

 

I actually don't think I really have one. I don't know how people have them. I wish I did though.

 

 

16. If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

I'm so boring I drink a lot of water!! But the wear has been so sunny of late so let's say a cocktail!! Lately I'm a lover of raspberry gin and lemonade.

 

 

17. Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

My bookshelves will never be complete. I'm always removing and reorganisating them. These are my favourite two bookcases.

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below: 

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