Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sunshine Blogger Award!

I was nominated for another blog award!!


This time for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I was nominated by Er from Literary Tea with ER. So thank you so much for thinking of me. I am constantly amazed that people actually like my dumb little blog!



So what is this award all about?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which they:
  • Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them.
  • Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  • Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post.
ER's Questions:

What is the one thing that you don’t like about Blogging?

I feel like everyone is so obsessed about getting ARCs! I don't really care that much about them. I actually would prefer to have egalleys because hardbacks copies just waste space on my shelves (especially if I don't like the book) because you are not supposed to sell them and I don't know what to do with them then. Also, selling arcs! I know this is not a lot of bloggers doing this, and it's people taking advantage of the system, but it effects all us bloggers and it just really sucks. Don't sell ARC, it tells you not to right on the cover!

Describe your reading nook.

What reading nook? I have a small apartment, so it's basically my couch or my bed.

Have you ever given a really bad rating to a book? How did you feel about it?

Yeah I have. I don't feel bad about it, because I am usually pretty diplomatic about it and I say what didn't work for me, and what type of reader I think it COULD work for. I recently gave a two star rating, and it was because the book was basically about incense and it made me sick to my stomach. Other people seemed to really love that book though, so it didn't make me feel bad. 

How do you juggle your responsibilities and commitments with blogging and reading?

hahaha, I don't!!

Would you rather party or read?

Read!

Which fictional character would you marry?

Hmm...this is actually a hard one for me to answer, does Luke Skywalker count?

What are the qualities that make a book stand-out?

Awesome world building, and three dimensional characters.

What would be the one question you would ask your favourite author? Name the author.

How do you write so many books?? Meg Cabot.

Suggest a book for your father.

My dad doesn't really read, so maybe the Robert Galbraith series.

Which character do you identify with the most?

Probably Lou from Jojo Moyes' Me Before You series. Mostly because in the first book she does not know what she is doing with her life. It was finally a character my own age, that felt the same way I did about the world. 

Give two pieces of advice to your future blogging self.

Stop freaking out about not posting so much & stop requesting so many books!

I Nominate:

Angelina & Brianna @ Fables Library
Paige @ Books and Belle
Tay & Missy @ Frayed Books

Totally understand if you just don't feel like actually answering these questions, or if you have already been nominated for this particular award. Just want to highlight all you blogs that I love!

My Questions:

  1. What book would you suggest to a stranger?
  2. You have shopping spree at your favorite book store, what do you buy?
  3. Why is your favorite author, your favorite? Feel free to name the author.
  4. What is one thing you would change about the blogging community?
  5. What is the thing you love the most about the blogging community?
  6. Why did you decide to start a book blog?
  7. What is the first book you can remember reading and loving?
  8. How many books are on your TBR?
  9. Okay, the controversial question -- dog-earing books, okay if they are your books that you bought with your own money? Or never okay?
  10. What are you thoughts on ebooks, audiobooks, physical books? Do you love all book mediums equally, or do you have a preference?
  11. What is your absolute favorite book? (It can be a series too) 
Shout out to all the blogs I mentioned above, be sure to go check them out!


Happy Reads Everyone!
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Bookish Thoughts: Do you Bookstagram?


Today on Bookish Thoughts I'm talking about Bookstagram. More specifically, I want to know if any of my fellow book lovers and book bloggers are a part of bookstagram. 


I think this is kind of a loaded question, because then I have to ask, but what do you consider Bookstagram? It is just specifically an instagram account where you post nothing but pretty photos of books? Or do you post a lot of book photos and the occasional personal post? I'm in the second camp. My twitter account and instagram accounts are a mix of my bookish love and my life outside of books. Honestly, I'm just too lazy to have to manage two different accounts. 

So, do I bookstagram? I would say that I do, but I pretty bad at it!

I really love Bookstagram, but I find it so difficult to be a person that works full time, is in a relationship and also runs a blog to also spend so much time creating content for yet another social media channel! Being good at this whole blogging thing takes a lot of work, and since I don't get paid to do this and this is for fun, sometimes if I don't feel like doing it I just won't! Hence why I've only written like 4 posts this month. I've just been real lazy. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I am totally not trying to discredit other bloggers that spend a lot of time creating content for all of their social media channels, you dudes are the real MVPs! I'm just really lazy, so sometimes I am too lazy to take pictures for my instagram. I do love the community on Bookstagram. Sometimes book twitter can be too dramatic and it's nice to just look through people's photos and click like 5,000 times. Confession time, sometimes I just don't even read the comments. I just go, "oooh...pretty books...LIKE!" I am sure there is drama on Bookstagram too, I just don't pay that much attention to it. 

One way that I try to participate in Bookstagram is by doing a monthly challenge. I did a few during the summer and I was posting a lot, and it was really fun! Then I took a break and just didn't post for a while. I like the challenges because they give me an idea for what to post, and if I don't like the topic for that day or don't have books that fit, I just won't post. I definitely need to do more of these or come up with a better way of motivating myself to post. Sometimes it is just too hard to think about what to do. Especially when there are some amazing bookstagram accounts out there, and I'm just like, "don't mind these shitty hardwood floors that definitely don't have crumbs on them..." 


So I want to know, do you bookstagram? What do you think having a bookstagram means? Why do you like bookstagram? Do you have a favorite bookstagram account? 

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

ARC Review: Rage of The Dragon King By J. Keller Ford

Rage of the Dragon King by J.Keller Ford
Publisher: Month9Books*
Release Date: October, 24th, 2017
Format: Egalley
Source: copy provided by publisher for review
My Rating: ★★

*I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
David and Charlotte paid their dues. They traveled to another realm, battled the Dragon King, recovered the all important magic key to the mage tunnels, and found the heir to the throne of Hirth, as promised. Now it's time to go home. There’s just one problem: the powerful crystals needed to activate the tunnels have been stolen…and David’s parents have mysteriously disappeared along with them. Guess who’s not going home to Havendale anytime soon.

Eric Hamden, squire extraordinaire, survived the poisonous knick of a shadowmorth’s blade, rescued the king of Hirth from the bowels of the dragon's lair, and confronted a heartbreaking betrayal that nearly got him killed. Still reeling from the news, Eric sets his sights on a daring rescue only to wind up in a prison of his own with David and Charlotte at his side. But rescues come in strange ways, and before they know it, the three end up in David's hometown of Havendale...and Eric gets a quick schooling in Modern Life 101. He'd rather fight a dragon.

With secrets, lies and betrayals meeting them at every turn, David, Charlotte and Eric soon discover that Havendale isn't the sanctuary they'd hoped for. Even their best-laid plans can't prepare them for the danger that stalks them. This time, no amount of magic or prayers can save them. War has been declared, and in the final battle, someone must make the ultimate sacrifice. Let the battle begin.
I will try not to post spoilers for this book, but since this is a sequel to In The Shadow of the Dragon King there may be spoilers for the first book. So if you don't want to be spoiled, go read the first book and then come back here later. 

I really enjoyed the first novel in J. Keller Ford's FallHollow series, so I was pretty excited when I got the opportunity to read an ARC of the sequel which is publishing at the end of this month!! I'm really excited to see where this series will go and I'm not spoiling anything, but the ending of this book is insane! Like seriously I read it on a long car ride and I started freaking out and my boyfriend was like, "What are you yelling about?" This ending, dude, this ending!!


I think what makes me like this series so much is the world building. I think Ford does an amazing job of building the fantasy world of Fallhollow. The way she writes it just makes me see it so clearly in my mind. What's different about this book is that the heroes actually spend a good chunk of their time back in David's hometown as they have to hide there to escape from their enemies. We didn't get a lot of the modern world that David and Charlotte come from in the last book, but I thought it was interesting to see how much it troubled Eric. It really fascinated me when he totally could not understand how drive-thrus work!

I really love the characters in this novel! David is kind of sarcastic jerk, which is why I love him. In the first book I was kind of wondering what Charlotte's purpose in being in the story was because she just didn't seem that fleshed out. We get a lot more about Charlotte in this book, and I think she might be my favorite character now. I love that when David tries to be all macho protective with her, she stands up to him. I probably would do the same, and it really made me start to like her more. She has a backbone, and she's not going to let anyone stand in her way.

I feel very conflicted about Eric though. He was my least favorite character in the first novel, and in this second novel I'm just not sure how I feel about him. Sure he is going through an existential crisis having just found out who his father is and having been lied to his whole life, so I get why he's so conflicted. I'm just curious as to if we will ever find out why he hates mages so much. It's like every other chapter he mentioned how awful they are. I think there is a piece missing from his history about that. I'm also conflicted about him because the book couldn't really exist without him. Both him and David play major roles and they have to work together to defeat the Dragon King!

So I'm not 100% sure if there is going to be another book, because there is an insane battle at the end of this book. I just feel like there is a little bit more to this series. Seriously when I finished it, I was like, "Wait, that's the end?!?" It's doesn't really end on a cliffhanger, but it ends with a few things that need to be addressed. So I do really want to see another book from Ford!

If you love fantasy and books about evil dragons this one is for you! I also think if you are a fan of the Elder Scrolls video game series you will like this one. 

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: The Windfall by Diksha Basu

The Windfall By Diksha Basu
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Release Date: June 27th, 2017
Format: Hardback, 295 pages
Source: Blogging For Books*
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all.

The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters.
There is this phrase in America, "Keeping up with the Joneses" and I think it basically is a capitalist ideal to just keep on buying more stuff and better stuff than your neighbor. It's a lot about caring what other people think about you and showing your wealth. Well...imagine my total lack of surprise that this is also a thing that exists in India with the wealthy. The Windfall by Diksha Basu is a satire book that really pokes fun at this idea. She really shows you just how ridiculous it all is, and it made for a really enjoyable read!

So this book is a satire and a lot of reviewers have praised it for it's laugh out loud hilarious content. I liked this book and thought it was really enjoyable, but didn't think it was quite as hilarious as everyone said. Maybe it's an age thing, or maybe it was a cultural thing. There were some funny parts, but I didn't find myself laughing out loud in public like other reviewers have mentioned. 

I have a hard time finding good adult novels to read unless they are genre fiction (fantasy/scifi) but this one I really liked! I want to find some more contemporary adult novels like this. I felt like I could relate to these characters and understand them pretty well, even though I am much younger and come from a different culture. 

I really enjoyed reading about India through this book and learning all the little cultural things that I wouldn't have experienced if this book was set somewhere else. There were a few things I had to actually look up. Like when Mrs. Ray reflected on her widowhood and mentioned that she broke her bangles and stopped wearing vermillion in her hair. I had NO idea what this meant, but a quick google search cleared it up. Little things like that in books are really interesting to me. I think it really makes the setting more rounded and makes me understand where this story takes place and who these characters are. 

I think Basu wrote some seriously interesting, if not seriously flawed characters in this book. I felt for poor Mrs.Jha having to put up with her ridiculous husband who cared too much about what the neighbors thought, and she was just like, "Why??" I think she might have been my favorite character in this book, because she was the only rational one!

This was a really enjoyable read, and I definitely want to watch out for any more books that Basu writes. If you want to read more adult contemporary but don't know where to start, I think this is a good book to start with. 

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Monday, October 2, 2017

Deanna Listens: The Thrilling Adventure Hour


Deanna Listens is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. This month I am talking about The Thrilling Adventure Hour!


So I totally thought that I already featured this podcast for Deanna Listens, and I had to go back through my archive multiple times to be 100% sure that I actually haven't. I did mention them briefly in a post during audio month to promote story-based podcasts, but I didn't really fully feature them as one of my favorite podcasts to listen to. So now I am finally talking about this delightful podcast.

So the thrilling adventure hour is such a cool podcast. It's no longer running, but at one point it was a live podcast that performed in LA in the style of old time radio. I love the concept so much. They have a run of a few different stories that rotate in the episodes. There is Beyond Belief -- about two rich, alcoholic mediums Frank and Sadie Doyle, performed by Paul F. Thompkins and Paget Brewer. This is the very first episode of the podcast and it had me all in right away. There is also Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars! Marc Evan Jackson voices the main lead about a marshal running around Mars with a Martian companion. The theme song is amazing!! There is also Captain Laserbeam, a superhero that saves his city with help from his adventurekateers (AKA small children). John DiMaggio is Captain Laserbeam and man that dude can do any voice! These aren't the only recurring segments, but I feel like these are the top three and the most notable to point out. 

You may recognize a lot of the voices that are in this podcast, there are a lot of great voice actors and comedians that may sound familiar to you that participated in this podcast. The podcast was later brought into the fold of the Nerdist Industries podcast family, so you can check them out there or through apple podcasts. I know I have been slowly trying to listen through the archive.

I don't think you need to start at the beginning with this podcast, but I think it helps. Since this is a podcast done a little differently I am not going to pull at favorite episodes. But I will say that I think the Frank and Sadie Doyle episodes are my favorites. Thompkins and Brewster are just so good together! Every time I listen to this podcast I can't help but smile. I don't listen to a lot story-based podcasts, but if that is something you are interested in I highly recommend this one.

Got a great podcast you love? Give me a recommendation in the comments. No serious, please help, I'm running out of podcasts to listen to!

Happy Reads Everyone!
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Sunday, October 1, 2017

September Wrap-Up


Holy crap, how is it time for my monthly wrap up already? Seriously, how it it October? Here on the East coast this past week went back to hot weather for a couple days and then all of sudden it was fall weather. Which I was pretty excited about, but not fully prepared for. Now I am, but then it's going to be back in the low 80s next weekend!

I posted about the same in September as I did in August, which it not bad. I had a few more reviews in September, which I think is good. I still am a little behind in reviews, and I'm trying to finish a few books so that I can start reading all my sci-fi books that I want to feature for this year's Sci-fi Month, more on that later!

DEANNA LISTENS


For my podcast feature this month I talked about BookRiot's Get Booked

DEANNA PLAYS


In my second official post for Deanna Plays I talked about why I liked Mass Effect Andromeda even though it is not a perfect game. 

BOOKS I REVIEWED





FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
What books did you read and review this past month? I am hoping to read more for October, but you all know how that goes!


Happy Reads Everyone!
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review: Startup By Doree Shafrir

Startup by Doree Shafrir
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: April 25th, 2017
Format: ebook, 305 pages
Source: Kindle
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon  B&N  TBD
While Silicon Valley likes to think of itself as the epicenter of the tech universe, New York attracts its fair share of ambitious entrepreneurs determined to make their mark. Among them are Mack McAllister, the it-boy visionary of the moment trying to take his app to the next level; Isabel, a social media ninja working for him a bit too closely; and Katya, an ambitious Russian emigre journalist desperate for a scoop. When a scandal erupts in the lower Manhattan loft building where all three work, they quickly discover just how small a world the Big Apple's tech community can be.
I normally have a hard time with adult novels, but I am slowly starting to find a few hidden gems that I actually enjoy. Startup by Doree Shafrir was one of those books I generally really enjoyed and could not put down!

Startup is mostly about tech culture and startup company culture, but it's also a lot about how women have to navigate these fields. I like that the author gave us three different women through Katya, Isabel and Sabrina. Katya is kind of this cold, unfeeling journalist, Isabel is a little flighty and it seems like no one really takes her serious, and Sabrina is a tired working mom that is exhausted because her spouse is USELESS when it comes to helping her with the kids. These three all come together because Isabel is thrust into a sexting scandal with her boss Mack McAllister, who Sabrina also works for, and Katya is trying to unearth a story on it.

One thing that annoyed me about this novel, and it's an annoyance I have with a lot of adult novels, is that again it's another novel that seems to say, "look how terrible your life would be if you were married and have kids!" I know that's not the author's intention, and I believe she is just trying to show us that Sabrina and Dan just don't have a good marriage, but it really annoyed me. Dan is actually the worst, and basically makes Sabrina do everything when it comes to childcare. Early on in the novel we get Dan's side of the story through Katya (he's her boss), when Sabrina is asking if he can help her out because the Nanny is sick and he says to Katya,
"Unlike her, I actually have work to do during the day, I can't just, like, drop everything because the nanny's not feeling well. I don't even know why she's bothering to ask."
What an asshole! He acts like whatever he does for work all day is more important than what Sabrina does and makes it seem like his career is way more important. It made me so angry! It's like he's saying it's her job to take care of the kids, and I have more important things to do. It irked me so much!

To be fair all of the men characters in this novel are just terrible, it's not just Dan. Mack, the one at the center is a self-centered jerk that just thinks everything he says is the most amazing thing ever! These tech startup people actually believe that what they are doing is going to really change the world. I couldn't help but roll my eyes, which I think is exactly the reaction us readers are supposed to have. I already talked about Dan, but trust me he gets worse. Katya's boyfriend isn't the worst of the bunch, but he's just kinda unmemorable. I think the only male character I liked was Isabel's new boyfriend, and he's a kinda two-dimensional character that is just in the background. He's only in a few scenes, but he does seem like the least douch-y of the bunch.

So I guess it seems like I really disliked this novel, but that's not true. I generally enjoyed reading it and I couldn't stop because I just had to know what was going to happen. It was really interesting to see how these three women dealt with this scandal they were all in the middle of. I think this book deals a lot about toxic masculinity and how women have to navigate it in the workplace. What I found the most interesting was that I felt like I could relate to Sabrina the most, even though I am a millennial like Katya. Her feelings on what some people think about the workplace kind of align with my own.

I'm not 100% happy with how the book ends. It ends with a lot questions unanswered. I think the reader is supposed to make up their mind about what happens next, which is fine, but I think I just wanted a little more from it.

If you are a fan of Silicon Valley, I think you will enjoy this one. If you are looking for a good adult contemporary I would suggest this too. I just want to stress that it is an adult novel, and there are very adult themes in it, so if that's something you are not into you might want to pass on this one.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Happy Reads Everyone!
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