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Posts by Book Worm

Non 1001 Book Review: The Evening Road by Laird Hunt

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While I’m away on vacation, Book Worm has been busy reading and reviewing books for all of us. We’ll be posting several of those reviews in the next few weeks. This week, Book Worm reviews The Evening Road by Laird Hunt. Keep reading to see what she thought. Read more

The Sunshine Blogger Award

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Veronica of The Thousand Book Project nominated us for the Sunshine Blogger Award! To be perfectly honest, we don’t normally respond to these (although we appreciate the sentiment) because they can clutter up the blog and we have so many book reviews we try to squeeze in.  However, we’re making a decision to respond to one of these per year (thanks in no small part to us both being consumed by Infinite Jest and having fewer book reviews to post in the last month). Thank you to Veronica for thinking of us. You should check out her blog if you aren’t following it already. We love her blog.

The rules of the award are: 1) Thank the person who nominated you, 2) answer 11 questions posed by the person who nominated you, and 3) nominate 11 bloggers to receive the award.
We love Veronica’s questions so without further ado here are the questions and our answers:

1. If you could meet one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
BW: Margaret Atwood the woman is a genius.
Jen: David Foster Wallace. I have s many questions.
2. Do you hoard books or do you buy/borrow, read, and then let them go?
BW: I am a buy, borrow and let them go type of reader. Only books I really love get to stay on the book shelf once read.
Jen: I buy/borrow too many books to hold on to all of them. Like Book Worm, I only keep the books I either envision rereading or that I want to save for my daughter when she grows up. The rest go into my Little Free Library.
3. Do your books look read when you’re done with them or do you keep them in pristine condition?
BW: My books definitely look read!
Jen: Pristine condition. I’m ridiculous with the books I read. I don’t bend the covers, don’t dog ear pages, and when I’m not reading them, I place them between heavy items so the covers don’t get wrinkles.
4. If you couldn’t use your phone for a day, would you panic or would you feel free?
BW: One day I would be fine…I think.
Jen: Free. I use my phone way too much but I’d like the freedom of leaving it behind for the day.
5. Could you live without social media?
BW: Yes
Jen: No. I am constantly on social media. I have instagram, Litsy, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads accounts. I grew up in both England and Costa Rica and my social media accounts are how I stay in touch with my international friends.
6. If you could recommend one tv show for people to watch, what would it be and why?
BW: Nashville. I love the stories and the music and Deacon Claybourne is sooo hot.
Jen: The Wire. It’s smart, realistic, and all-around the best tv show I have ever watched. I’ve heard it described by some as a visual novel due to its amazing dialogue and brilliantly written scripts.
7. If an author, or other artist, makes a comment you don’t agree with, does it change how you feel about their work?
BW: I would like to say no but have never encountered this situation.
Jen: I think it depends on the comment. I don’t have to agree with authors to enjoy their work but if they came out with something really sexist/racist/homophobic, it would probably change how much I would want to buy future novels.
8. Sweet or salty?
BW: both together I adore sweet and salty popcorn.
Jen: Sweet.
9. Romance or adventure?
BW: both.
Jen: Adventure. Romance is my least favorite genre.
10. Breakfast for breakfast or breakfast for dinner?
BW: breakfast for breakfast.
Jen: I’d rather have dinner or lunch for breakfast. I’m not a big breakfast person. I love coffee but I don’t love other traditional breakfast foods (eggs, cereal, pancakes, etc).
11. If you could pick one person to narrate every audiobook, who would it be?
BW: I have never listened to an audio book and don’t really intend to, so no comment.
Jen: Neil Gaiman. I’d listen to him narrate a phone book.

We are not going to officially nominate any other bloggers to answer questions but we would like to mention a few blogs that we think you should check out and deserve all the awards (in addition to Veronica’s blog mentioned above). We follow and love quite a few blogs but here are a few of our very favorites:

BookerTalk
Naomi from Consumed by Ink
The Book Stop

A little blog of books

What I think about when I think about reading 

Any blogger who would like to participate in answer questions, feel free to join with the following questions:

  1. Favorite place to read?
  2. Ebook or paper book?
  3. Which book character would you most like to meet and why?
  4. Have you ever seen a film that was better than the book, which film and why?
  5. Which fictional place do you most want to visit.
  6. Tea or coffee?
  7. Who is your author crush?
  8. Literary pet peeves?
  9. What do you do when you’re not reading?
  10. First book that made you cry?
  11. Last book you bailed on?

Non 1001 Book Review: White Tears Hari Kunzru

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We’re starting off the month with a book that gets a rare 5-star rating. Book Worm reviews White Tears by Hari Kunzru. Keep reading to see what she thought. Read more

March Monthly Recap

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Time for our March 2017 monthly recap. Find out which books were favorites and which were duds. We’ll end our wrap up with a a list of books due out this month and a glimpse of our upcoming content. We also want to hear from you so let us know what you read this month and what you look forward to reading in April and the rest of 2017.

Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Lonely Hearts Hotel Heather O’Neill

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After a few weeks focused on wrapping up our winter challenge and setting up the spring challenge, we have finally got back in the groove of reviewing books again. Book Worm and I have been consumed by both challenges and reading through Infinite Jest which is tons of fun but impacting all our other reading. Book Worm is leading us off with a review of The Lonely Hearts Hotel, a book that others either seem to love or hate. Which side do you think you will fall into? Check out BW’s review.  Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Devil’s Prayer Luke Gracias

Looking for a thrilling escapist read? Book Worm may have the book for you. Check out her review of The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias. One reviewer calls it a “faustian tale on steroids.”  Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Terranauts by Boyle

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The Terranauts by T.C Boyle
Published in: 2016
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★.5
Find it here: The Terranauts

This ARC was provided by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: A powerful, affecting and hilarious deep-dive into human behavior in an intimate and epic story of science, society, sex, and survival, set in the early 1990s, from one of the greatest American novelists today.

It is 1994, and in the desert near Tillman, Arizona, forty miles from Tucson, a grand experiment involving the future of humanity is underway. As climate change threatens the earth, eight scientists, four men and four women dubbed the “Terranauts,” have been selected to live under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. Their sealed, three-acre compound comprises five biomes—rainforest, savanna, desert, ocean and marsh—and enough wildlife, water, and vegetation to sustain them.

Closely monitored by an all-seeing Mission Control, this New Eden is the brainchild of eco-visionary Jeremiah Reed, aka G.C.—“God the Creator”—for whom the project is both an adventure in scientific discovery and a momentous publicity stunt. In addition to their roles as medics, farmers, biologists, and survivalists, his young, strapping Terranauts must impress watchful visitors and a skeptical media curious to see if E2’s environment will somehow be compromised, forcing the Ecosphere’s seal to be broken—and ending the mission in failure. As the Terranauts face increased scrutiny and a host of disasters, both natural and of their own making, their mantra: “Nothing in, nothing out,” becomes a dangerously ferocious rallying cry.

Told through three distinct narrators—Dawn Chapman, the mission’s pretty young ecologist; Linda Ryu, her bitter, scheming best friend passed over for E2; and Ramsay Roothorp, E2’s sexually irrepressible Wildman—The Terranauts brings to life an electrifying, pressured world in which connected lives are uncontrollably pushed to the breaking point. With characteristic humor and acerbic wit, T. C. Boyle indelibly inhabits the perspectives of the various players in this survivalist game, probing their motivations and illuminating their integrity and fragility to illustrate the inherent fallibility of human nature itself. Read more

Read Around the World: South Africa

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Our next stop in our world tour of literature is South Africa. Join us as we explore some of what South Africa has to offer in terms of literature and find out which book we selected. We hope you will help us in generating a comprehensive list of South African literature for our readers. Scroll down to the bottom to check out a slide show of photos from beautiful South Africa, courtesy of my friend Oliver and his travels. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: Heartless Marissa Meyer

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Do you love a good retelling? This may be the book for you. Check out Book Worm’s review of Marissa Meyer’s latest retelling. This time she takes on Alice in Wonderland.  Read more

The One Memory of Flora Banks Emily Barr

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The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
Published in: 2017
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: The One Memory of Flora Banks

This ARC was provided by Penguin Random House (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

Book Worm’s Thoughts: I was intrigued by the premise of this story about girl who has no short term memory and it was an interesting read. I really liked Flora’s character and her coping mechanisms, which seemed very realistic. There were other parts of the book, however, that just felt completely unrealistic given what we are told about Flora’s family background. Don’t get me wrong, certain things needed to happen for the story to occur, but I think a less dramatic action than travelling to the Arctic alone would have been both more in keeping with the back story and more believable for the reader.

I did enjoy  the slow build up. Since Flora can remember nothing outside of kissing Drake, she constantly needs to remind herself, and hence the reader, what has actually happened to her. There are actually several hidden clues throughout the narrative that show us that things are not exactly as Flora remembers them. We, the reader, can work out the clues, but Flora herself has no idea. These reminders also mean that a lot of the actual narrative is repetitive as Flora consults her notebook, her hands, her arms, and her phone to remember who she is, where she is, and why she is there. The repetition is not a bad thing because it immerses the reader in what it is like to be Flora.

Flora is a great character who comes across as a mix between a vunerable 10 year old and a 17 year-old who is desperately trying to be an adult. She swings between these two ends of the spectrum, at times desperate for her parents and at other times desperate to be herself. I generally liked the secondary characters, however,  all too nice (with the exception of one) and as such there was no feeling of tension. There are sad situations and hints of complicated family relationships and issues around guilt.

Overall, this is a gentle read which ends on a message of hope and has the potential for a follow up book. I think it would be great to see what happens to Flora and the people around her.

Who would like this? The target audience is YA and I would say this would appeal to girls in the younger teen range due to its gentle feeling and lack of sex and violence. For the adults amon,g us I would recommend this to those with an interest with memory loss and coping mechanisms as well as family dynamics and the effects of guilt.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: The One Memory of Flora Banks

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think?