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March Madness Challenge Update

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Despite the fact that my bracket is essentially a sinking ship with no chance of being saved, I figured I’d post an update for those of you still in the running. After one week of the tournament we’ve had two rounds of play and the next round starts tomorrow. Here is what has happened so far and a list of the participants who are currently at the top. Read more

March Madness Reading Challenge: Last chance!

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Last chance to join our reading challenge where books will be paired with basketball teams and participants can earn points for predictions and reading. The winner will get a $100 book depository gift card and a box of bookish goodies for a total prize worth approximately $200.

You have 2 hours to sign up and complete a bracket. The full instructions are on our challenge page. You will need to fill out your CBS bracket for our pool before noon EDT. Here are the books/teams that will be playing today:

Princeton (The Sun is Also a Star) vs. Notre Dame (Another Brooklyn)
UNC-Wilm (The Return) vs. UVA (News of the World)
Winthrop (Take it as  Compliment) vs Butler The Mothers
SD st (The Red Queen) vs. Gonzaga (Hidden Figures)
Bucknell (The Undoing Project) vs. WVU (The Fishermen)
ETSU (The Regional Office is Under Attack) vs. Florida (Lab Girl)
MTSU (Black Wave) vs. Minnesota (The Refugees)
Vanderbilt (The Girls) vs. NW (Underground Airlines)
Xavier (Here comes the Sun) vs. Maryland (The Small Backs of Children)
MSM (My Best Friend’s Exorcism) vs. Villanova (Born a Crime)
VCU (My Name is Leon) vs. St Mary’s (Grief is the Thing with Feathers)
UVM (Sudden Death)  vs. Purdue (To the Bright Edge of the World)
FGCU (Sweetbitter) vs. Florida State (Lilac Girls)
Virginia Tech. (Atomic Weight of Love) vs. Wisconsin (The Fireman)
UND (First Love) vs. Arizona (Between the World and Me)
Nevada (Stamped from the Beginning) vs. Iowa State (The Essex Serpent

Participants: You may start your reading today! When you have finished a book post the link to your review in the comments section of the challenge page or if you are on Litsy, post your review with #marchmadness and tag me (JenP) Good luck all.

 

 

Two more days to join our challenge!

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Two more days left to sign up for and fill out your bracket for our March Madness reading challenge! We hope you join in because no only can you win a great bookish prize but the challenge is a lot of fun.

What is the challenge? We have linked books (nominated and voted on by you, our readers) to college basketball teams in the tournament. You get to fill out a bracket and root for your favorite teams or books. You get points by making the right predictions and reading strategically.

Our brackets are live and need to be filled out before the start of basketball games on March 16. You can find all the details along with links to the CBS bracket pool and our book bracket on the challenge page.

Sign up today if you want to join us!

 

Join our March Madness Reading Challenge

Book bracketOur books have been ranked and our book brackets are ready. On Sunday night when the basketball team rankings will be released it will be time to fill out your bracket and play along. Want to join the challenge? Here’s what you have to do… Read more

Judge a Book by its Cover

Welcome to a new feature we’ll be adding that is all about judging a book by its cover. I’m probably being a bit of a jerk to add this feature and fully showcasing my inner book snob but sometimes the snark needs an outlet. Plus I’m at home sick again because my house is a putrid petri dish of kindergarten-created germs.

While lying in bed hacking up a lung, I just so happened to stumble across this fabulous book cover. I laughed hysterically which promptly turned to wheezing thanks to my current plague/infection. Here for your viewing pleasure, the next great literary masterpiece for your consideration — available on sale for only 99 cents:

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This fantastic cover says it all. This motorcycle-riding brown bear clearly becomes smitten with this beefcake who for some strange reason is standing half-dressed in the moonlight. Does this mystery man typically wander around in the moonlight, without a shirt, looking for adventure and hoping against hope that he will strike the fancy of a biker bear? Does he know that he just so happens to be standing in front of this giant bear of his dreams?

Without looking it up, what do you think this book is about? I admittedly looked at the synopsis and it’s just as good as the cover. You can read the synopsis on Amazon (and snag it for yourself. I kid you not, it gets almost 5 stars)

2017 March Madness Reading Challenge

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We had such a good time last year with our March Madness challenge that we are hosting it again this year. We hope you join in. If you want to join, send in your book nomination by March 5th. Here’s how it will work… 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? 

Non 1001 Book Review: The Power Naomi Alderman

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In less than two weeks, we’ll be starting our winter reading challenge. Our challenge page is currently up and in the next 5 days we’ll be updating the page with our official game board. If you want to join in for a fun chutes and ladders based reading game, sign up in the comments on this page and send me your TBR list. In the meantime, we’ll continue with our regular book reviews and features. Book Worm read a book she would like to recommend to our readers: The Power by Naomi Alderman. Here’s her review… Read more

Five books for today

Here are five books that are well suited for today (now please excuse me while I go cry in a corner)… Read more

Our Man Booker 2016 Longlist Musings

Those of you who have been following our blog know that we’ve been doing a shadow panel for the Man Booker longlist books. Our 5 judges (myself included) have been reading through the longlist and tomorrow we will be making our predictions for which books we think will make the shortlist. However, before we get to the shortlist, we wanted to share some of our thoughts about the longlist books. Want to know which author we’d like to have dinner with, which cover we liked best, which book gave us nightmares? Keep reading to find out.

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