July 21, 2017

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Of course I held the key."

~ The Fifth of July by Kelly Simmons 

July 20, 2017

Tender Wings of Desire

"He looks like a vanilla biscuit." ~ 2%

I have my Twitter bookhearts to thank for bringing this novella to my attention. I immediately downloaded for comedy purposes. But to my surprise, the synopsis actually sounded okay. Lady Madeline Parker is perfectly happy with being a spinster all her life. She has no dreams to marry well. So of course she runs away from a loveless arranged marriage. Looking for anything but love, she runs into the arms of a handsome sailer named Harland.

I didn't have high hopes for a Colonel Sanders novella. But I was most disappointed not by the storyline or characters, but for the lack of fried chicken references! For goodness sakes—the title is Tender Wings of Desire. πŸ—£ THERE IS A BUCKET OF FRIED CHICKEN ON. THE. COVER! But nann mention of a chicken wing, thigh or breast in the whole book. I was really looking forward to reading some chicken love.

Title: Tender Wings of Desire
Author: Harland Sanders
Published: May 2017
Pages: 96
Edition: eBook
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book About Food
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€

July 19, 2017

The Story of Big Brother

So I can't get one season...πŸ—£ONE GOTDAMN SEASON of Big Brother US without racism, production interference and a highly manipulated cast of houseguests?

There was a time when my short-term goals were to compete for half of a million dollars on Big Brother. Every season I would download the long ass application, attempt to complete it and provide references. I even contacted previous HGs for tips.

But in most recent seasons, it has become apparent that casting has their own agenda. Still Big Brother.


July 16, 2017

Series Sunday: The Pain of Others

(Letty Dobesh Chronicles #1) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

My Series Sunday pick is The Pain of Others, the first novella in the Letty Dobesh Chronicles/Good Behavior series by Blake Crouch. Letty is a gorgeous petty thief fresh out of prison and back to her old tricks. Her first "adventure" is burglarizing suites at a luxury hotel in North Carolina. Just her luck, as she is leaving the last room of the day, she hears the unmistakeable sound of a key card in the door. EEK! She grabs her duffle bag full of stolen cash, minibar bottles, laptops and tablets to hide in the closet. What happens next changes her life. Letty overhears a hitman being contracted to murder a wife. Should she save a life or go about her business? Morality is put to the test.

"It was like the pain of others attracted her. Filled her up with this black joy." ~ pg. 36

What a joy it is to read a book that has been adapted to TV/film in a satisfying way. Good Behavior is a prime example of when an author is fully involved the process of adaptation. The short story and pilot episode are parallel until the final chapters. For those unfamiliar, the show was pitched to networks perfectly by the author: "Bonnie and Clyde from Bonnie's perspective." Well damn said! The producer and directors are also to thank for adapting 46 pages of novella into a pilot script. Letty Dobesh is now a character that has earned a spot in my mind. Easily one of my favorite fictional characters and grifters of all time.

Good Behavior is the complete collection of all three (3) Letty Dobesh novellas. After each novella, author Blake Crouch adds commentary about the show and additional content. I need my Letty fix so this is the perfect way to tide me over until season two. Bookhearts, I highly recommend this novella series and the television series (aired on TNT) starring Michelle Dockery. A shoutout to my bestie Damey for recommending I spend an entire weekend binge watching OnDemand. Color me hooked!

"...long days and nights to help us make ten hours of television about a meth-addicted grifter who meets a contract killer and discovers that he may actually be her path to redemption." ~ pg. 7

Stay tuned for my upcoming reviews of the other two (2) novellas in the Letty Dobesh Chronicles: Sunset Key and Grab.

Author: Blake Crouch
Published: January 2011
Pages: 46
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€

July 14, 2017

First Lines Friday: Oprah's Book Club Selection

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"He'd never been asked to wear a suit to a job interview. Never been told to bring along a copy of his resume. He hadn't even owned a resume until the previous week when he'd gone to the library on Thirty-fourth and Madison and a volunteer career counselor had written one for him, detailed his work history to suggest he was a man of grand accomplishments: farmer responsible for tilling land and growing healthy crops; street cleaner responsible for making sure the town of Limbe looked beautiful and pristine; dishwasher in Manhattan restaurant, in charge of ensuring patrons ate from clean and germ-free plates; livery cabdriver in the Bronx, responsible for taking passengers safely from place to place."

~ Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue 


July 12, 2017

Summer Breeze Reads

Today I am sharing some of my summer breeze reads. I gave up on my mission to save light reading for the summertime. It never works out. So instead I am pacing myself with reading both fun mindless books and serious page-turners.  
  • The Fifth of July ~ The title alone screams summer read! Island setting. An accident. Multiple points of view. Frightening questions. No easy answers. Color me hooked at the second chapter. No doubt this is my page-turner of the summer.
  • American Gods ~ Yes, I am still reading this thick ass book. I acknowledge it will take me months to finish at my current reading pace of a few pages here and there.
  • Behold the Dreamers ~ The 2008 financial crisis affects my coins to. this. day. I'm curious to see how, or if, an immigrant couple achieves the great American dream and if their employers recover from the worldwide financial collapse. This novel is the current selection for Oprah's Book Club so I am participating in the online group discussions as I read along.
  • Detective Cross ~ At less than 140 pages, this BOOKShot is the perfect-sized book to carry around. I can whip it out anytime I have a few minutes to spare. Plus the story features one of my favorite fictional characters of color.
  • The Perfect Find ~ I struggled to choose just one chick lit book to read this summer. Something with a little romance and LOL scenes. So many on my TBR but this one seemed like, well...the perfect find.

What are your summer breeze reads?


July 11, 2017

The Mango Season

"We don't do that here." ~ 4%

It has been seven years since protagonist Priya Rao visited home (India). She escaped arranged marriage by enrolling in a master's program in the United States and then conveniently found a job in Silicon Valley. But now Priya is out of excuses. So what better time to visit home than during mango season. While she was growing up, summer was all about ripe, sweet mangoes. Maybe the dripping juice will be a distraction from the news she dreads telling her family.

Priya is engaged to (gasp!) an American man. Her family will not approve. He is not Indian and certainly not Telugu Brahmin. In fact, they are all arranging her marriage to a nice Indian boy. Before it goes too far, Priya has to spill her secret. The best time to tell everyone is while making mango pickle with her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She has to choose love or family.

"Family never came in neat little packages with warranty signs on them." ~ 26%

As an American, I am not familiar with the traditions of marrying in the same caste or having a spouse chosen with no say in the matter. Here in the United States, it is quite common to mesh cultures. So I enjoyed reading this book about a culture so different from my own. I like how author Amulya Malladi explained the Indian culture and let readers see this world from our Americanized eyes.

No worries if you didn't read The Mango Season when it was first published in 2003. I didn't either. But you can fix that now by reading the recently published edition. Grab a sweet piece of fruit, preferably mango, and settle in for a good read on a hot sticky summer day.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: The Mango Season
Author: Amulya Malladi
Published: May 2017
Pages: 240
Edition: Galley
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€