Sunday, January 21, 2018

Blog All About It Challenge

Blog All About It 2018
Blogging Prompt Challenge (details)
hosted by The Herd Presents
January to December 2018

Each month there's a different prompt that you can interpret as you'd like then create a blog post around it.

I like how this challenge is open to interpretation and flexible on timing.

The Prompts:

January-- Winter
February-- Red
March-- Favorite Scent
April-- Art
May-- Organize
June-- Growl
July-- Spirit
August-- Beginning
September-- Escape
October-- Trees
November-- Truth
December-- Shine/Sparkle

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 1.20.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)


Current happy things:

1. Watching commercials directed by Wes Anderson on YouTube
2. Road trip
3. Crab feed event



Booksmith in San Francisco hosted an event with Leni Zumas featuring her new book, Red Clocks. It is a dystopia that is in keeping with current women's issues, in particular, personhood amendment. Leni mentioned that Virginia Woolf's The Waves was a source of inspiration in regards to names selected for characters in the book.

Red Clocks
by Leni Zumas
-Dystopia, Feminism
Amazon | Goodreads

I also picked up the February book for Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here), The Dry by Jane Harper. The Jane Austen Notes & Quotes has illustrations, quotes and blank lined pages for journaling. AND could not resist the book pins of Sense & Sensibility and The Handmaid's Tale created by Jane Mount.

Fire and Fury
Inside the Trump White House
by Michael Wolff
-Non-fiction, Politics
Amazon | Goodreads

YUP. Got on the hype train. It has trumped the tbr pile and is taking up my current reading time.

For Review:

A Different Kind of Evil
by Andrew Wilson
-Historical, Mystery, Agatha Christie
Release date: March 13, 2018
courtesy of publisher -Thanks!
Amazon | Goodreads

CURIOUS to see how Agatha Christie plays a role in this one.

AND watched: on DVD

Big Little Lies (2017)
tv series
Creator: David E. Kelley
Based on book by: Liane Moriarty
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern
-Crime, Drama, Mystery | imdb | my rating: 5

The apparently perfect lives of three mothers of first graders unravel to the point of murder.

JUST as good as the book. Its various awards are well deserved.

Home Again (2017)
Director/Writer: Hallie Meyers-Shyer
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Michael Sheen, Candice Bergen
-Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

Life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her.

CUTE single mom fantasy flick.

Director: Sarah Gavron
Writer: Abi Morgan
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter
-Biography, Drama, History | imdb | my rating: 5

The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.

THIS women's herstory film is reminder of how the vote is precious.

AND watched: in theatre

In The Fade (2017)
Aus dem Nichts (original title)
Director/Screenplay: Fatih Akin
Writers: Hark Bohm (author) (co-writer)
Stars: Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto, Numan Acar
-Crime, Drama, Germany | imdb | my rating: 5

Katja's life collapses after the death of her husband and son in a bomb attack. After a time of mourning and injustice, Katja seeks revenge.

SAD but something to think about these days.

The Post (2017)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer
Stars: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson
-Biography, Drama, History | imdb | my rating: 5

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.

BIT of history learned with stellar actors.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently


Friday, January 19, 2018

The Scent of Rain by Anne Montgomery

The Scent of Rain
by Anne Montgomery

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Treehouse Publishing Group
Genre: Social & Family Issues, YA
Paperback: 386
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
Rose Madsen couldn’t risk staying out much longer. She still felt the paddle blows—what her mother called “appropriate corrective measures”—from the last time she’d disappeared for too long.

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl--Rose--running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father's age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

My two-bits:

This is a peek into a Fundamentalist Mormon community that exposes the unsavory side. Different perspectives are presented with its cast of characters. The two main young adult characters spark an eventual change with their youth and strength.

This story generates thoughts on cults and their leaders.


* review copy courtesy of author

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

Mrs. Fletcher
by Tom Perrotta

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Hardback: 320
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
It was a long drive and Eve cried most of the way home, because the big day hadn't gone the way she'd hoped, not that big days ever did.

From the bestselling author of The Leftovers and Little Children comes a penetrating and hilarious new novel about sex, love, and identity on the frontlines of America’s culture wars.

Eve Fletcher is trying to figure out what comes next. A forty-six-year-old divorcee whose beloved only child has just left for college, Eve is struggling to adjust to her empty nest when one night her phone lights up with a text message. Sent from an anonymous number, the mysterious sender tells Eve, “U R my MILF!” Over the months that follow, that message comes to obsess Eve. While leading her all-too-placid life—serving as Executive Director of the local senior center by day and taking a community college course on Gender and Society at night—Eve can’t curtail her own interest in a porn website called, which features the erotic exploits of ordinary, middle-aged women like herself. Before long, Eve’s online fixations begin to spill over into real life, revealing new romantic possibilities that threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence.

Meanwhile, miles away at the state college, Eve’s son Brendan—a jock and aspiring frat boy—discovers that his new campus isn’t nearly as welcoming to his hard-partying lifestyle as he had imagined. Only a few weeks into his freshman year, Brendan is floundering in a college environment that challenges his white-dude privilege and shames him for his outmoded, chauvinistic ideas of sex. As the New England autumn turns cold, both mother and son find themselves enmeshed in morally fraught situations that come to a head on one fateful November night.

Sharp, witty, and provocative, Mrs. Fletcher is a timeless examination of sexuality, identity, parenthood, and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they’re no longer sure of who they are or where they belong.

My two-bits:

Interesting look at a single mother's empty nester experience.

A sort of coming of age story for both mother and son during the next phase in their lives.

Sex and sexuality are topics explored.


New York Times bestseller

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tournament of Books 2018

Morning News Tournament of Books
Rooster Award for best fiction
14th edition
sponsored by Field Notes and Powell's
details | daily -not yet available

Each weekday in March, starting March 7, 2018, two of the books below will be read and considered by one of our judges (also listed below). One book from the “match” will be chosen to advance, with the judge required to explain in detail how he or she came to their decision. Then the judge’s decision is evaluated first by our official commentators, then by you, the Rooster fan, wherein you politely and respectfully describe how your heart was broken and your mind inflamed by such erroneous arrogance. And the next day we do it all over again.

I am always excited to see the announcement of the shortlist for this annual tournament. So far, I read one last year and some are already in my tbr pile. Per usual, I plan to read as many as I can before the March event.

The Shortlist:

The Animators
by Kayla Rae Whitaker
-Contemporary, Art, Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

The Book of Joan
by Lidia Yuknavitch
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Dear Cyborgs
by Eugene Lim
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

The End of Eddy
by Édouard Louis
- LGBTQ, France
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Exit West
by Mohsin Hamid
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: 4

Fever Dream
by Samanta Schweblin
-Horror, Thriller
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Goodbye, Vitamin
by Rachel Khong
-Humor, Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

by Emily Ruskovich
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

The Idiot
by Elif Batuman
-Historical, Coming of Age, Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Lincoln in the Bardo
by George Saunders
-Literary, Historical
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Lucky Boy
by Shanthi Sekaran
-Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Manhattan Beach
by Jennifer Egan
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

by Min Jin Lee
-Historical, Japan, Korea
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Savage Theories
by Pola Oloixarac
-Humor, Spain
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Sing, Unburied, Sing
by Jesmyn Ward
-Literary, African American
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

So Much Blue
by Percival Everett
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

Stephen Florida
by Gabe Habash
-Literary, Coming of Age, Sports (wrestling)
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

White Tears
by Hari Kunzru
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: tba

And the winner is…

revealed in April

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Images from: Lovelytocu