Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Happy release: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

No Good Deed
by Kara Connolly
-Fantasy, YA
Release date: July 18, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

Fans of Dorothy Must Die will love this reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.

Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.

Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?

Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Happy Release: Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa Adams

Darcy in Wonderland
by Alexa Adams
-Mashup, Jane Austen theme
Release date: July 15, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

Twinkle, twinkle, amber cross!
For a chain, it’s at a loss.
Heavy links or simple loop,
Do not dunk it in your soup.

The worlds of beloved authors collide as Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jane Austen’s immortal hero, finds himself thrust into the topsy-turvey world of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland.

Many years have passed since Elizabeth Bennet became mistress of Pemberley, and the Darcys’ six children are a testament to their enduring love. As the eldest prepare to enter the world, the youngest, Alice, makes sure that life at Pemberley never grows dull. She stands out as the most intrepid of the brood, and while beloved by all the family and staff, her curious mind and penchant for mischief often proves rather inconveniencing. Never is this truer than when her father follows her down a mysterious rabbit hole, disrupting his orderly world in ways never before imagined. A treat for the young and the old, Darcy in Wonderland is both an adventure and an homage to two of literatures greatest minds.

Excerpt: Chapter One: A Troll and a Rabbit

“Papa! Papa! The most wondrous thing has happened!”

Fitzwilliam Darcy stifled the indulgent smile threatening his lips. “Alice, please recall our many conversations on manners.”

The little girl who had so unceremoniously burst into his office instantly checked her advance, freezing in place like a statue. Slowly she began to move, creeping her way backwards until she was again outside the door, upon the frame of which she knocked.

The smile could no longer be retained. “Can I help you, Alice?”

She returned it with one full of mischief. “How can you know it is me, Papa?”

Bennet, who sat on the opposite side of the massive mahogany desk, a mirror image of his father at the same age, rolled his eyes. “What is wrong with that child?” he muttered, incurring a quelling glance from his father.

“I can see you, my dear. The door is open. You may come in.”

“No, I cannot. There is a troll guarding a drawbridge, and one must have a password if one wishes to proceed,” she explained.

(more excerpt here)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 7.15.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

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


Infinite Jest
by David Foster Wallace
Amazon | Goodreads

MANY references to this book has caused me to finally pick this up. This is another chunky book over a thousand pages.

The Essex Serpent
by Sarah Perry
-Historical, Literary
Amazon | Goodreads

IMPULSE buy due to the description and this blurb...

“An irresistible new novel…the most delightful heroine since Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice…By the end, The Essex Serpent identifies a mystery far greater than some creature ‘from the illuminated margins of a manuscript’: friendship.” -Washington Post

AND watched: in theatre

A Ghost Story (2017)
Director/Writer: David Lowery
Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara
-Drama, Fantasy, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.

HEE hee hee. I see a ghost.

This screening included director, David Lowery, for a Q&A session. He told us that inspiration for the film stemmed from wanting to create something using the guy in a bed sheet ghost imagery.

The movie was a beautiful and sad ghost story. Loved its comment on life and death.

Chocolate pie.

BTW: for the duration of the release there is a special A Ghost Story pop-up store in New York City. READ more about it (here)

Moscow Never Sleeps (2017)
Director/Writer: Johnny O'Reilly
Starring: Anastasiya Shalonko, Yuriy Stoyanov, Aleksey Serebryakov, Lyubov Aksyonova, Mikhail Efremov
-Drama, Russia | imdb | my rating: 4

The volatile intersections of contemporary Moscow and the intimate lives of five people.

SNIPPETS of the contemporary scene in Moscow gave a general sense of the place and people not unlike the stereotypical depressing portrayals we are familiar with.

We were treated with a Q&A with the director, Johnny O'Reilly. Being Irish, his main goal was to introduce and celebrate the Moscow he came to know and love.


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


Friday, July 14, 2017

A Contrary Wind by Lona Manning

A Contrary Wind
by Lona Manning

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: January 2017
Publisher: self
Genre: Romance, Jane Austen, Retelling
Paperback: 351 pages
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
"Fanny," cried Tom Bertram, from the other table, "We want your services."

Fanny Price, niece to Sir Thomas Bertram of Mansfield Park, is an intelligent but timid girl from a poor family, who is grateful for the advantages of education and breeding conferred upon her as result of growing up with her wealthier cousins.

But the cruelty of her Aunt Norris, together with a broken heart, compel Fanny to run away from Mansfield Park and find employment as a governess.

Far away from everything she ever knew and the one man she loves, will Fanny grow in fortitude and independence? Will a new suitor help her to forget? Or will a reckless decision threaten to destroy her own life and the lives of those she holds most dear?

This variation of Jane Austen’s novel includes all the familiar characters from Mansfield Park, as well as some new acquaintances. There are some mature scenes.

My two-bits:

I enjoyed this variation on Mansfield Park. The different take and new characters fit well. The new characters portrayed other happenings during that time period especially in relation to the naval world.

The familiar characters were presented equally well.

The general vibe of the story was Jane Austen-like and had me engaged. The familiar Fanny anxieties and the dislike for the Crawford manipulations came through just right.

Definitely a novel with Jane Austen drama to be read with tea and scones.


* review copy courtesy of author

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

Woman No. 17
by Edan Lepucki
narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Hogarth
Genre: Art, Women's Fiction
Hardback: 320
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
It was summer, the heat had arrived harsh and bright, bleaching the sidewalks and choking the flowers before they had a chance to wilt.

High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. Left alone with her children, she’s going to need a hand taking care of her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In response to a Craigslist ad, S arrives, a magnetic young artist who will live in the secluded guest house out back, care for Lady’s toddler, Devin, and keep a watchful eye on her older, teenage son, Seth. S performs her day job beautifully, quickly drawing the entire family into her orbit, and becoming a confidante for Lady.

But in the heat of the summer, S’s connection to Lady’s older son takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. And as Lady and S move closer to one another, the glossy veneer of Lady’s privileged life begins to crack, threatening to expose old secrets that she has been keeping from her family. Meanwhile, S is protecting secrets of her own, about her real motivation for taking the job. S and Lady are both playing a careful game, and every move they make endangers the things they hold most dear.

My two-bits:

Another one of those novels that include unlikable characters left and right. But, the story managed to keep me interested despite knowing the general downward path. The curiosity of how far will it go was the draw.

Liked the concept of life imitating art and pushing its limits.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of BookSparks Reading Challenge, Summer (here)

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