October 17, 2017

US vs. UK

The UK is my hometown glory but I live in the US. The US vs. UK bookish meme compares book covers published in the two countries. It has been a mighty long while since I had fun with this meme. Enjoy the battle of all the book covers below, bookhearts!

US (top) ~ UK (bottom)

  • The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat ~ Much as I like the homely feel of the US cover with green landscape surrounding a small downtown diner, the UK cover is so much better featuring the brown legs of the three (3) main characters I just wanted to reach out and hug. UK wins!
  • One of Us Is Lying ~ Even though the UK cover shows four people in a line-up stance, the US cover fits the story better of four (4) high school students questioned about a murder that happened in detention. Plus the font in the US cover resembles handwriting on the lined paper covering the characters' faces. US wins!
  • The Hate U Give ~ Hmmm, these covers are almost opposites; black and white pun intended? The US cover has a white background featuring a young black girl holding a sign. The UK cover has a black background with a side profile of a young black girl. I have to go with the cover that best represents the novel. The main character stood for a message she believed in. And she is sporting a cute afro. US wins!
  • The Stolen Marriage ~ The US cover seems so sad with a young lady looking out of a window on a heavy rain day. Actually, the UK cover could seem sad too with the a lady passenger traveling solo. I would be more likely to pick up the latter. UK wins!
  • But Then I Came Back ~ Oh, this is too easy. Beautiful 3D flowers with pink font or chunky yellow cursive font with two measly white flowers? C'mon now. US wins! 

Total: US 36; UK 36

If the book covers pique your interest, click the title for my review. Stay tuned for another US vs. UK meme soon to break this tie! In the meantime, which covers do you favour?


October 15, 2017

Series Sunday: The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

(The Supremes #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.

"Not knowing any better, I listened to what I was being told about myself and grew up convinced I was a little brown warrior." ~ 4%

My Series Sunday pick is The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, the first book in The Supremes series by Edward Kelsey Moore. Don't let the old school title or homely cover fool you. This is not a book about the Motown divas, Supremes. It is not about a small town diner. Dubbed the "Supremes" by high school friends in the summer of 1967, three black women have leaned on each other for four decades through best and worst times. But this year is a true test of their friendship and faith. Clarice is humiliated by a cheating husband. Barbara Jean is rocked by a youthful love affair. And Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life.

"We overlooked each other's flaws and treated each other well, even when we didn't deserve it." ~  12%

One thing is certain in their lives. Every Sunday, The Supremes are guaranteed to meet at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, the first black-owned business in downtown Plainview opened in the mid-1950s, for delicious food, juicy gossip, realistic banter and sometimes tears. These are funny, strong women with real shit happening. They are sassy with a bite of truth serum in their dialogue.

"We found out about Mama seeing ghosts at a Thanksgiving supper back in the 1970s."
 ~ 2%

Ghosts are mentioned very early on in the book. This was almost a deterrent for me. Something about ghosts and spirits doesn't bode well in my mind so I block them. I know they are real. I know they speak to some people. But if I think too long about ghosts, my head will hurt. However, I was not too bothered by the Mama ghost and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt ghost—who was good at picking out who was about to die. I don't think this story could've been told as well without their presence.

Book Clubs: you have to add this to your monthly selection. It will make for serious yet funny discussions. You are guaranteed to recognize yourself or a close friend in the lives of the Supremes.

Thanks to my Chickadee for recommending this feel-good-down-home novel!

Title: The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat
Author: Edward Kelsey Moore
Published: March 2013
Pages: 322
Edition: eBook
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€


October 13, 2017

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie. 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.

"Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down."

~ Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng 


October 12, 2017

Hidden Women

"There were no parades for Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Miriam Mann, Mary Jackson, Annie Easley, Christine Darden, or any of the other human computers." ~ pg. 74

It would be impossible to go into space without mathematicians. Like Katherine Johnson in 1962, we [black women] are used to being essential but unseen. In 1958, Miriam Mann became NASA's first black female engineer. Before that in 1949, Dorothy Vaughn became the first black manager there. These women literally made it possible for U.S. rockets and astronauts to go into space. This is no small feat. Add in the daily struggles of being a colored woman in a segregated world and the resistance experienced. The amazing result and work of these women is an important part of history that I am glad is being told.

"It was another thing entirely to ask for a black woman to do the job." ~ pg. 7

I recommend Hidden Women for young readers. This is an easy-to-follow history story perfect for Black History Month. It includes a timeline of events, glossary, further reading list, critical thinking questions and sources. There are pictures of Apollo 1, Centaur, astronauts and of course, the women. For my bookhearts with young children or in education, I highly suggest this book. Not only does it spotlight the three (3) women we have grown to appreciate but other less-known, second generation of black women who worked behind-the-scenes at NASA. They used their expertise to help the United States. We can all excel in math and science. We can also literally reach for the moon. Show young people that we are crucial to success.

Happy Early Pub Day, Rebecca Rissman. Hidden Women: The African-American Mathematicians of NASA Who Helped America Win the Space Race will be available February 1, 2018.

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 my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Hidden Women: The African-American Mathematicians of NASA Who Helped America Win the Space Race
Author: Rebeca Rissman
Published: February 2018
Pages: 114
Edition: Galley
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€


October 11, 2017

Genuine Fraud

"The presentation of self in everyday life." ~ pg. 44

How many times can someone reinvent themselves? Plenty. Turns out all you need is skill, disguises, and a willingness to commit a murder, or two. Genuine Fraud focuses on two main characters. Imogen is a runaway heiress; Jule is a social chameleon. They form an intense friendship that is told chronologically backwards.

Orphan like Annie ✔︎
Temper like Jane Eyre ✔︎
Money hungry like Pip ✔︎
Talented like Mr. Ripley ✔︎
Criminally sexy like Letty ✔︎
Ambitious like Becky Sharp ✔︎

It has been a couple weeks and I still cannot summarize what I read in Genuine Fraud. I have no words other than author E. Lockhart did it again. I have the same WAYMENT-HUH-WHAT-JUST-HAPPENED feeling as when I finished her other novel, We Were Liars. I was a little bit more prepared this time because I know what E. Lockhart is capable of in her writing. Also I picked up early on that it was a modern version of The Talented Mr. Ripley and a sprinkling of other characters that I mention above. Sound twisted enough? It is!

Title: Genuine Fraud
Author: e. lockhart
Published: September 2017
Pages: 272
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€


October 10, 2017

The Changeling

"An apologetic mastermind." ~ pg. 205

A box of books stamped IMPROBABILIA and recurring dreams are all Apollo Kagwa's father left when he disappeared. Now that Apollo is a father himself, anxiety and parental obsession kicks in. The dreams return and his wife, Emma, starts acting weird. It becomes clear this is more than postpartum depression; something more troubling is going on. Before Apollo can seek help, Emma vanishes.

Desperate to find his missing wife and child, Apollo is taken through the underworld. This is where it turns WTF. He goes on a journey through a forgotten island, a graveyard, a forest, stomping grounds of immigrant legends and a place from his past. What a whirlwind of discovery!

"It's not a baby." ~ pg. 143

I love it when I get an aha! moment while reading a book. It is that feeling of figuring out what the fuck is going on after piecing together clues, characters and plot lines. This aha! moment kicked in rather late for me in The Changeling. I was not confused; the story was just really well-paced. Even though it is a retelling of a classic fairy tale, this novel is still thrilling as ever. High five, Victor Lavalle.

Thank goodness for the good judgment of my bookhearts. I wouldn't have looked twice at this novel had it not been for a good rating by Read in Colour. It is so not a genre I normally read. But there are some people that I trust their recommendations no matter what. Thus, I borrowed The Changeling from my public library and got to reading! Now it's your turn. TAG—you're it!

Title: The Changeling
Author: Victor Lavalle
Published: June 2017
Pages: 431
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: Popsugar—A Bestseller from a Genre I Don't Normally Read
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€


October 8, 2017

Series Sunday: Haunted

(Michael Bennett #10) 

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.

"I recognized the connections between the cases—drugs, young people, dealers with no conscience." ~ pg. 191

My Series Sunday pick is Haunted, the tenth book in the Michael Bennett series by James Patterson. Detectives need vacations too. He packs up the family and settles on a small town in Maine, based on a former partner's referral. But his vacation turns into work when local kids start disappearing and bodies turn up in the woods.

Oh, how I miss these Bennett kids in between books! And of course, wise old Father Seamus and the lovely Mary Catherine (which I gave a side-eye to in Haunted. I hope she isn't hiding something to be revealed later in the series.). This novel focuses on one of the kids in particular: Brian. He had been caught selling drugs. I guess all ten children cannot be picture-perfect. Breaks my fiction heart!

"It felt like I had a hole in my heart." ~ pg. 118

I am new to this co-author, James O. Born. What a good first impression! Some of the language was out-of-the-norm for a Patterson novel but it worked. The story still flowed. Instead of building up to suspense in his customary short chapters, there were quick jabs that came out of nowhere! This surprise element kept me turning the pages until I was finished reading.

I hope to read more of James O. Born's work in a future collaboration with good 'ole James Patterson. Must I wait months and months for the next book? This series just keeps getting better!

Title: Haunted
Author: James Patterson & James O. Born
Published: September 2017
Pages: 319
Edition: eBook
Challenge: Keeping Up with Patterson
Rating: πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€