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Posts tagged ‘books’

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

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I don’t typically like celebrity books and I don’t read much in the way of memoirs or comedy books. However, Ron Swanson is one of my all time favorite TV characters and I pretty much love everything about Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. So, I broke my literary fiction trend and picked up this celebrity memoir at Book Expo this year. Read more

Book Beer Pairing: The Shepherd’s Hut – Tim Winton

Grab a strong one, you’re going to need it!

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May Monthly Recap

pile-of-booksIt’s time for our May monthly recap – a few days late since I was away at Book Expo for the last several days. Find out which books were favorites and which were duds for the month of May. We’ll end our wrap up with a glimpse of what’s coming out in June.  Read more

The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat

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It’s not often that a book leaves me with such conflicting feelings. This debut by Boston author Nafkote Tamirat is a coming of age story set in Boston and an unnamed tropical island. It’s the sort of book that left me with many questions and a mix of reactions. Here’s my review… Read more

Shakespeare Retold: Macbeth Jo Nesbo

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Book Worm has been reading through the Hogwarth Shakespeare retelling series. Next up for her is a modern-day retelling of Macbeth by master of suspense/thrillers, Jo Nesbo. The book comes out today in the US. Check out her review and let us know what you think. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: Territory of Light Yuko Tsushima

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I’ve got admit that I’ve been in somewhat of a reading slump which is why we’ve had fewer posts over the last month. I’m not sure if the reading slump has to do with not finding much appealing or due to a crazy work schedule. I’ve spent the last week listening (I had previously read it) to the audiobook for Ready Player One (because Wheaton’s narration is awesome) and getting irritated by how much it differs from the movie (the book is better). Book Worm, however has been plowing ahead with her reading and is bringing you her latest review of a book that sounds right up my alley. Check out her review. Read more

Challenge update: March Madness

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Only two more days to complete your brackets for the challenge! If you do not complete your bracket before Thursday March 15 in the morning, you will be locked out of the challenge. See instructions in earlier posts and on our challenge page.

UPDATE: You may now begin reading as soon as you have completed and submitted your bracket. Once I see your submission on the CBS site, you may start reading.  So if you finish your bracket early, you’ll get a leg up on the competition. Granted we won’t know the final 4 #16 spots until end of day tomorrow.

Good luck everyone! And send me a message if you need any help getting started.

Bookish March Madness 2018

It’s time to join our challenge! Books have been nominated, rated, and ranked and our book bracket is complete. Now we are just waiting on the basketball teams which will be announced on selection Sunday, March 11, 2018. Books on the book bracket will be paired with basketball teams  of the same rank. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to to do participate.  Read more

March Madness Reading Challenge

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We need your help! We’ll be hosting a March Madness reading challenge where books get paired with basketball teams and we need your help to rank the books that will go into each of our brackets. If you have 10 minutes, please go to our survey and vote on the books for the challenge. You can also join in on the challenge to earn the chance to win a box of bookish prizes.

The survey takes about 10 minutes and includes rating 68 books on a 5-point Likert scale. Everyone who completes the survey will be offered the opportunity to win a $15 Amazon gift card for helping out. I will warn you that this survey will be bad for your TBR. I added quite a few books to mine!

Click here to take the survey.

You can read more about the challenge on our challenge page here. I will be posting the list of participants on the challenge page in the next few days so if you want to join and don’t see your name on the list, drop a comment on that page saying you want to play and where you will be posting your updates (on the blog, on your own blog, or on List) and I’ll add you.

Non 1001 Book Review: The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

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The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
Published in: 2018
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★★★
Find it here: The Toy Makers

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

Synopsis from Goodreads: Do you remember when you believed in magic?

The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open!

It is 1917, and London has spent years in the shadow of the First World War. In the heart of Mayfair, though, there is a place of hope. A place where children’s dreams can come true, where the impossible becomes possible – that place is Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium.

For years Papa Jack has created and sold his famous magical toys: hobby horses, patchwork dogs and bears that seem alive, toy boxes bigger on the inside than out, ‘instant trees’ that sprout from boxes, tin soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Now his sons, Kaspar and Emil, are just old enough to join the family trade. Into this family comes a young Cathy Wray – homeless and vulnerable. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own. But Cathy is about to discover that while all toy shops are places of wonder, only one is truly magical…

Book Worm’s Thoughts: From the opening line I was hooked and transported to a world where Christmas is still a magical time and children can loose themselves in the wonders of a toy store.

Having read and loved The Night Circus, I can confirm that this book has that same kind of feel. The descriptions of the Emporium, and the magic weaved by the toymakers, made me wish I lived in a world where such a store was possible. Yet, while the public face of the store is one of magic, in private sibling rivalry and jealousy threatens to rip the family and the store apart.

For those who think this is a simple children’s story of magic, be warned that the story gets very dark. The inside of the Emporium may be magical to start it with it but it doesn’t protect those inside from the horrors of the real world. Papa Jack manages to survive in pre-war Russia living by the simple maxim of remembering everyone was once a child and played with toys. However, it is harder to keep this magic in mind when faced with the horrors of WW1. The novel tackles the first World War, describes how so many of the young men who went to fight never returned home, and highlights how the war changed those who did survive.

This book also covers several important issues including the right of soldiers to choose which wars to fight, the treatment of immigrants, the importance of understanding and communication, and what makes something truly alive.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who enjoyed The Night Circus and those who want to believe in magic toy shops and the power of toys to save a soul.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: The Toy Makers

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