Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Feel Everyone Has Read But Me

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week is a freebie so I am going to do books I feel everyone else has read but me. Most of these are actually popular YA. I started reading more YA about 2 years ago so I am behind on keeping up with the super popular series. All the hype that popular books get does make me want to buy the book, but then I usually wait for the hype to die down before I read it. Half of these books I own myself, but haven't gotten around to reading them. What books do you feel like you are missing out on?  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Book Review: April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton

April Raintree
by Beatrice Culleton
Published: September 1, 2016
Original Publication: 1984
Publisher: HighWater Press
Source: NetGalley
Get It: Amazon  

An updated revised version of the novel In Search of April Raintree, written specifically for students in grades 9 through 12. Through her characterization of two young sisters who are removed from their family, the author poignantly illustrates the difficulties that many Aboriginal people face in maintaining a positive self-identity.

--> The Métis (/meɪˈtiː/; Canadian French: [meˈtsɪs]; Michif: [mɪˈtʃɪf]) are an indigenous people of North America. They developed as the mixed-race descendants of unions between, generally, First Nations women and French or British men, but over time there were more intermarriages within the group.

My Review:

* I will warn that the matter in this book may trigger some people. It contains rape, abuse, suicide and alcoholism. *

  April Raintree, originally published in 1984 is being republished in September of 2016. It is an adapted version of In Search of April Raintree for kids in high school. It follows the story of April and her younger sister Cheryl who are taken from their parents at a young age and put into foster care. They are sent to multiple families throughout their childhood and continues on until their early twenties. April's perspective is cynical compared to Cheryl's toward their heritage and life. While April tries to hide being Metis and trying to live a better lifestyle than the one they grew up with, Cheryl embraces her Metis and wants to improve the lives of their fellow people. While it is a story of a reality that many people should be aware of, the subject matter is incredibly heavy for those in high school and younger. It includes sad accounts of alcoholism, rape, and discrimination to the point of denying one's heritage. This is a story set in Canada and inspired from the author's own life, who was forced into foster care with her siblings. I feel this story can apply to the USA and Australia as well (to name a few), that many Natives have become suppressed by society. This is a story to educate people about the present Metis and Native American cultures and aware of the discrimination they face in our society. I believe the vocabulary and sentence structures in the novel are at a sufficient level for people that those who struggle with reading comprehension will not have difficulty. 

  The life that Culleton describes for the two sisters: from childhood, going to school, to college and work; make it easy for possible teenagers to be able to put themselves in the shoes of the Raintree sisters. I liked the duality of the two sisters: one more ethnically obvious that she is Metis and feeling a strong connection to that identity, and the lighter skinned sister who rejects her heritage, believing the racist stereotypes of the Native people that White people say. This story paints a great portrayal of the communities of the Metis and Native Americans today. The events in the novel portraying the vicious cycle of Indigenous people being stereotyped as alcoholics and not working, to wanting to prove that stereotype wrong,  to then being so succumbed by discrimination in some form that you start drinking to emotionally cope with it and then become addicted, to needing welfare to take care of your family, etc. This books open a lot of discussion on history and current events inside the classroom that I think needed. I think you have to be a robot to not be sympathetic or take something away from this novel. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Currently Loving: TV Shows

These are the shows I have been watching for the past couple months and loving. 
Re-watching The Office series with my husband at night.
Watching Arrow and PLL on Netflix (yes, we are behind).
Keeping up with Modern Family. I feel like this past season the writers were at their best. 
RIP to the wonderful Penny Dreadful. I have to watch the last two episodes tonight. Why was it cancelled?!

What shows have you been loving lately?
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of July-December 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab.
Publication: July 5, 2016 by Greenwillow Books.
Urban Fantasy + Divided City + Good vs Bad 

The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn.
Publication: August 2, 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers.
"Sometimes the greater good requires the smaller evil."
 Mystery + learning to trust yourself + missing people + Californian retreat.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson.
Publication: August 9, 2016 by Amistad. 
About the childhood innocence and the fondness of memories with your friends that makes you oblivious to the darker happenings of where you live and the people you love. 

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney.
Republication: August 9, 2016 by Tom Duggan Books.
Fringes of Ireland + Five Misfits + Salvation + Shame + Funny

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
Publication: August 9, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books.
School of Assassins + Vengeance

The Graces by Laure Eve.
Publication: September 6, 2016 by Amulet Books.
Gorgeous Cover + Witches + The Craft + Buffy the Vampire Slayer + We Were Liars

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova.
Publication: September 6, 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire.
Brujas + Spells Gone Wrong + Importance of Family

The Reader by Traci Chee.
Publication: September 13, 2016 by Putnam.
Illiterate Society + Murdered Father + Survival

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.
Publication: September 20, 2016 by HarperTeen.
Triplets + One Crown = Battle Between Them

 Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews.
Publication: September 20, 2016 by Ace.
Kate Daniels + Roland Kidnapped + Bad Prophecies

Are any of these titles on your list? What releases are you the most excited for?
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Reasons Why I Love Barcelona

   So I lived in Barcelona for 3 years working on a Masters and interning. I loved living near the beach, how everyone read in the metro, and the vibrant culture of Spain and Catalunya. On Sunday afternoons my husband and I would lay on the top terrace of a local castle and read our books. I've had good memories from living there and it has definitely helped me shape into the person I am today. This list might be of interest to those who will travel there or places ex-patriots may not know about. Here are some things I found out while living there:

1. A great section of English novels in FNAC and Casa del Libre. These two are the mainstream bookstores that are found in other countries and cities, like our Barnes and Noble/Waterstones. There have popular books and some editions of classics. I regret not buying all the rubbery English Classic editions by Penguin when I was there. Apparently also in Laie there is a large English section, an independent bookstore on L'Eixample.  

2. One bookstore with new books that was entirely in English I frequented was Come In. They had a great selection of editions of classics and graphic novels I couldn't find in the larger bookstores. They also had popular board games in English, bilingual books, and a great selection of language learning books. 

Come In Bookshop:
C/ Balmes 129 bis (Nearest metro- Diagonal L3, L5)
(+34) 93 453 1204
Buy online at www.libreriainglesa.com

Come In English Bookshop Barcelona   Hibernian English Bookshop Barcelona

3. A bookstore I frequented even more as the secondhand and new bookstore: Hibernian Books. Each time I left I had a stack of at least 4 books with me. For super cheap. They also have some books in other languages. 

Hibernian Bookshop:
C/ Montseny 17 (Nearest metro – Fontana L3)
(+34) 932 174 796
Buy online at www.hibernian-books.com 

4. I loved that tons of commuters on the public train system were reading to pass the time. I got a lot of reading done on my journeys to class and work.  

5. Sant Jordi!!! This was one of my favorite holidays and my husband and I still celebrate it instead of Valentine's Day. On this day, April 23, Barcelona's main streets are ready for the Rose and Book Festival. There are tons of stalls where booksellers bring their books,all new and old. Saint George is the patron saint of Catalunya and is supposed to be the most romantic day. You can read up the legend and more traditions online. It is customary for the male partner to give the the woman a rose and for her to give a book in return. I usually get a book for my husband and one for myself as well. 


6. Libraries: Beautifully located libraries in ancient buildings of Barcelona. 
      +National Library of Catalonia


7. They don't charge you for overdue books. They have a point system for how many days late your book was and hen you reach a certain number you can't check anything out for 2 weeks. 

8. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is set in Barcelona. It's fun to go around and see what places inspired Zafon for the book. There is this guide that I read that goes location by location that is featured in the book: The Barcelona of Carlos Ruiz Zafon: a Guide by Sergi Doria. This sparked so much intrigue for me regarding old Barcelona, before the tourism. 

9. Barcelona has a rich history of being a hang out for artists and writers. A lot of the cafes where writers and artists frequented are still around. 
       +Bauma: opened in the 1940's.
     +Els Quatre Gats: originally open from 1897 to 1903, was a place of pilgrimage for artists. Picasso had his first solo exhibition there. It reopened in 1978,but it doesn't have the same bohemian charm it had before.  

10. George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. Orwell had stayed in Barcelona back-in-the-day and fought on the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War. He later wrote about his time in it. Almost all the locations referenced in the book still exist in Barcelona. This turbulent time is not taught very much in our schools in the US, unless there is a specific class on Spanish history. His experience in 1936 & 1937 may have influenced his later two famous novels, Nineteen Eighty-four and Animal Farm.

 Interesting article here <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/spain/catalonia/barcelona/articles/George-Orwells-Barcelona/>

   What are some bookish aspects you love in another city you have lived in? Foreign or local. 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish! Each week, a new topic is put into place and bloggers share their top ten accordingly. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Book Review: The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

The Little Bookshop on the Seine
by Rebecca Raisin
Series: The Little Paris Collection, Book 1; The Little Bookshop, Book 2
Publication Date: October 16, 2015
Publisher: Carina UK
Source: NetGalley
Own It: Amazon / BD

Le Vie En Rose
Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months! And saying yes is a no-brainer – after all, what kind of a romantic would turn down a trip to Paris…for Christmas?
Even if it does mean leaving the irresistible Ridge Warner behind, Sarah’s sure she’s in for the holiday of a lifetime – complete with all the books she can read!
Imagining days wandering around Shakespeare & Co, munching on croissants, sipping café au laits and watching the snow fall on the Champs-Élysées Sarah boards the plane.
But will her dream of a Parisian Happily-Ever-After come true? Or will Sarah realise that the dream of a Christmas fairytale in the city of love isn’t quite as rosy in reality…

My Review:

I am finally finished with this book! I have to say I couldn't read it in one sitting because it was just dripping with sweetness and perfection. This is any bookworm-with-a-travel-bug's dream book. In fact, opening my own bookstore in an old building in central Paris is my dream. It was too sweet and too sentimental at times. The extravagant descriptions of discovering Paris, the bibliophile's take on the bookstore and books, and Sarah's small-town naivete. I can't take large doses of that, but when I did I definitely enjoyed it. The relationship dynamic with Sarah and Ridge was realistic: one partner a workaholic and expects the other to wait on them while the other partner is getting tired of waiting and wanting to live their life,wondering if they will always be second to work. I think a lot of people would relate to that story arc. All the friendships and relationships in this book were realistic. The side characters were great. Each one helped Sarah realize what she wanted and they were given some depth. This is definitely a cozy, feel-good book. Overall it was just a fun read that I think bibliophiles will love. 

+Setting: in an old bookstore in Paris
+Relationships Sarah has
+The way in which it was specifically written for bookworms
-Overly sweet with the descriptions and events
-/+ Everything was perfect about the book... almost too perfect...

Favorite Quote:
"Travelling has a way of peeling back the layers of a person, leaving you exposed." TJ said, picking right back up where we left off, "When you're alone, miles away from all you know and love, that's when you find out who you really are." 
Thursday, June 2, 2016

What I've Read: May 2016 Wrap-Up

Books I Finished

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen. 3.5/5 Stars.
-This was an entertaining graphic novel. I love the artwork, but the dialogue and references had me puzzled a bit. Not completely great, but I am interested in how things play out in the 2nd volume.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. 3/5 Stars.
-This was my least favorite read of the month. I thought it would have more to do with the background story, but was really just a contemporary novel with added shenanigans. Which goes along with the point of it being about normal kids (the rest of us) and how they'd react to what goes on around them. It was finny in parts and in other parts the writing didn't click with me. However, one great quality about this novel is how it deals with Mikey's struggle with OCD. I loved how it was brought up and how it was realistically dealt with in the novel. 

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. 4/5 Stars.

You by Caroline Kepnes. 3.5/5 Stars.

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur. 5/5 Stars.
-My favorite read of the month! Loved this so much! It is creatively inspiring as well. Everyone should read it! 

Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker. 4/5 Stars.
-I was pleasantly surprised by Mary-Louise's writing! For me, the writing wasn't the best, but I feel you kind of get to see how her brain works when you read it. Her life seems charged of events and people as well. Which made me question what the heck I am doing with mine.


Here are some ideas for BEACH READS this summer!

Currently Reading

June Plans

From June 5-19 I will participate in the TomeTopple hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. For this I will have the TBR of Beautiful Creatures and and the graphic novel ODY-C. After that I will see what I feel like reading. I have a library book to read first: Jackaby. After that I have 2 ARCs I would like to get through. That is a TBR of 5 books and I don't expect to read more than that now I am back home after visiting my parents'.