Midu Reads



#35 Follow Friday with book bloggers: LILLELARA

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers. Meet a blogger behind the LILLELARA blog. If you're curious what the blog title means, keep on reading! 


Follow LILLELARA on BookLikes: http://lillelara.booklikes.com/



What are you reading right now? How do you like it?


I started Yoon Ha Lee´s Ninefox Gambit, a confusing military science fiction novel. Not sure what to think of it yet and not sure if I´m going to finish it. I just finished Kerry Greenwood´s Cocaine Blues  and this one annoyed the heck out of me. And then I´m still listening to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This book will never be my favorite Harry Potter, since Harry and Ron are not on speaking terms with each other for a considerable part of the novel. But the narration by Stephen Fry is brilliant as always and I like the darkness of the story. And the final chapters are so sad, gripping and amazing.


Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha LeeCocaine Blues - Kerry GreenwoodHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry




How did your book love begin?


I discovered my book love about 7 years ago at the age of 30, when I purchased my very first Kindle. Suddenly I started reading in earnest and instead of 5 books per year, I read 50 books per year. Whenever I had some time to spare, I spend it with a book (an e-book) in my hands. But don´t ask me what has happened back then to ignite the passion for reading in me. I simply don´t know.



Your blog name is “LILLELARA”. Can you tell us more about the phrase?


Lille and Lara were the names of two of my adorable cats. I have always been responsible for naming our cats and I´m giving them the most nonsensical names. There was Musch, one of Musch´s kittens I called Præstegård (the Danish word for a parsonage) and then I named Lille as well (lille means small in Danish). We got Lara from an animal shelter, I obviously didn´t get to name her. But in the spirit of giving cats stupid names, I always called her pimsiwimsi, or abbreviated pims. As you can see, there isn´t a deeper meaning behind my blogname.




We’ve spotted a book-to-movie tag on your blog. Is movie watching your second passion next to reading?


I haven´t done a lot of book-to-movie posts, but they are always a whole lot of fun to do. I love watching movies, even though I´m not watching as many movies (and series for that matter) as I used to. I recently watched the movie adaption of Jeff VanderMeer´s Annihilation. I really didn´t like the book, the movie however is mesmerizing and visually stunning. I highly recommend watching the movie instead of reading the book.


Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer 

The book cover vs the movie poster



You live in Germany but you’re blog is in English. Do you read books in those two languages? If so can you tell our readers how the language affects the book experience?


Unterleuten: Roman - Juli ZehI try to read books in the language they are originally written in, which in my case is doable for German, Danish and English books. Books tend to lose some of their magic when they are getting translated. Just thinking about Juli Zeh´s Unterleuten makes we wonder, how someone could possibly translate this book into another language without altering the meaning of certain sentences. It´s a joy to read books by skilled German authors, who have a grasp on the language and know how to construct a proper sentence. If an author doesn´t have this skill, German can be an incredibly stilted language and those books become a tedious reading experiences.


And this is exactly the reason, why I´m reading more books in English than in German. It´s incredibly hard to find well-written German books among the masses of poorly written ones and my reading taste doesn´t align with the general taste of my fellow countrymen. I was looking at a bestseller list today and almost half of the list were crime books, set in a specific German region (so called Regionalkrimis). And most of these books are incredibly bad and poorly written. 



How much time do you spend reading daily?


It depends on my spare time, the book that I´m reading and my general mind set. I´m reading at least an hour a day, but it can be much more than that.



Your bookshelf is full of different book genres. What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?


My favorite genre got to be science-fiction. I love learning about different cultures and technologies and how we sometimes can learn something about our own culture by reading a book set in a futuristic world. I have read some incredibly good books in this genre and I have so many more to explore. 


Besides science-fiction I´m reading almost anything. Classics, historical fiction, mysteries, psychological thrillers, literary fiction, non-fiction. I´m willing to give at least every genre a try. Even fantasy and romance, which are my least favorite genre.




Why reading is important to you?


Reading is incredibly relaxing and it is my way to reduce stress. I´m an introvert and I´m working in a job where I´m talking to people all day long. Being alone with a book after a long day at work is liberating and reading is something I´m doing for me and not for other people.



What are you three favorite book covers?


I love this specific Mary Stewart cover of Nine Coaches Waiting. Every time I look at it I want to sit in a cabriolet, driving through the mountains in France, heading towards an adventure of a lifetime.


The Penguin English Library editions are so pretty. They are all gorgeous, but my favorite is the edition of Far from the Madding Crowd.


And I really like the Patricia Highsmith covers by Virago, especially this one because of its simplicity:


Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas HardyDeep Water: A Virago Modern Classic (Virago Modern Classics) - Patricia Highsmith,Gillian Flynn



How do you choose your next book to read?


I´m one big mood reader. I choose my next book on a complete whim.



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?


Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Alexievich. It´s infuriating, harrowing, devastating, saddening and bloody fantastic.


Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future - Svetlana Alexievich,Anna Gunin,Arch Tait 



A book that changed your life?


My most dreaded question and I´m going to be a bore with this one. I can´t think of a book that has changed my life. I will name two books, however, that changed my reading life. Cloud Atlas and A Place of Greater Safety. These two books made me realize that there isn´t an English book out there that is too difficult to read.


Cloud Atlas - David MitchellA Place of Greater Safety - Hilary Mantel



A paper book or an e-book?


A couple of years ago I only read e-books, nowadays I prefer paper books. There is something satisfying in holding a physical book in your hands and to see the progress you are making.



Three titles for a sunny spring day?


Three books from different genres, all of them exciting and fun to read. Perfect for a sunny spring day:



Love Insurance - Earl Derr BiggersThe Moonspinners - Mary StewartThe Martian - Andy Weir



Favorite quote?


“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”

Albert Einstein


If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?


Red wine. I really like red wine. If someone could invent a non-alcoholic beverage with the same taste as a good red wine, I would be in heaven. But since this drink doesn´t exist, I´m drinking ordinary water on a workday and treat myself to a glass of wine on the weekend.



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)


My first shelf contains all of my Christie´s, my read non-fiction books and my Harry Potter books:


Picture Christie-Shelf

My classics shelf:


My read shelf:


And my TBR-Shelf:


Thank you!




Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:

#34 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Toni ->


You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!

How to add a book to your bookshelf on BookLikes?

Reblogged from BookLikes:


BookLikes is not only a blog platform but also your virtual bookshelf! Here are 3 tips on how to add a book to your Shelf on BookLikes.


1. Click the book covers

All book cover in the service are clickable. Thais means that once you click on the cover you'll see either a book pop up or you'll be moved to a book page. Both views have +Shelf and +Post options. 


The shelving on BookLikes is split into two parts: the quick shelving (via +Shelf button under each book cover) and the advanced shelving (via +Shelf advanced pop up)



If you wish to add a book to your bookshelf, just click the cover and +Shelf it! 


Where you can find the book covers to click?

 -  on your Dashboard (this is your book news feed where you see reviews and bookshelf updates from blog you follow on BookLikes)

 - on the Book Catalog page (this is a page where you can check what BL community is reading, searching and shelving

-  on the Reading List page (this is a page where you can view the reading lists created by BookLikers) 


2. Visit Blogs and repeat 1) click the book covers


Make sure to visit fellow bloggers on BookLikes! The blogs are full of reviews and recommended reading so it's really easy to find new books to shelve! As we mentioned above ALL book covers are clickable. This includes the book cover on the blogs and on the shelves. So when you read BookLikes blogs make sure to click the cover and you'll be moved to a book page where you can use +Shelf to add the title to your shelf. 


Murder by Death blog


Click +Shelf to view the reading status options


Where to find blogs?

 - on the Explore page (this is a page where you can check the most recent reviews published by BookLikes community, click the avatar or the review title to be moved to a blog)

- in the Discussion groups (this is a page where you can join the discussions or create yours, click the blog name or the avatar to be moved to a blog)


3. Use the search box and repeat 1) click the cover

Type in the title and author in the search box, click the book and +Shelf



If the book is not available, please use the ISBN number. If this won't help, consider adding the book manually - click the Add a new book and fill up the new book form.


You can also use the Shelve it feature which allows you shelve the books directly from Amazon book pages -- read more about the Shelve it feature HERE



You may also find these posts helpful:

Shelve it!

Favorite, Wishlist, Private -- additional shelving options for your books

What to do with a new book?

Book titles are tags - finds book reviews and book posts

6 tips for BookLikes newbies

BookLikes How to: book search tips

BookLikes How-to: How to Edit the Book Catalog

BookLikes How-to: Advanced Shelving Options

4 ways to give a shout out to a beloved title


Click HERE to read more tutorials about BookLikes features



Happy shelving!



March 2018 — A Wrap Up


Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on April 5, 2018.



Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

Creates a feeling of dread very nicely but doesn’t follow through.


The protag is made to look so smart in so many ways and yet her stupidity gets an old woman killed!


Barely anything happens in the book and it feels like a go-between for the first and third books in the series.


Almost everyone in Kira’s village is an asshole. I mean, yeah you would expect people to be less than lovely when they kick out the weak and crippled. But dude, such a society won’t even survive for two years let alone for how long these guys survived. How come I don’t know that? BECAUSE THE AUTHOR NEVER TOLD US THAT! Along with the size of the village, where it was located, how it formed etc. You name it and we won’t know it!


Oh and now I feel like docking another star off my rating because I just found out the story doesn’t continue in the next book! I was like, fine it has a sucky cliffhanger but we will know more. But we won’t because the next book isn’t about this village.


We are left stranded with a character who is already an outcast because she is handicapped physically and universally hated socially. She refuses to escape with her father who has come back from the dead to save her from the clutches of his murderer. She is going to attempt to make her village a better place. This is a village where children with any artistic talent (weaving, carving, singing) are taken away from their parents who are then murdered. The kids will be kept in servitude. Why are they taken and why does one of them feel as if his craft is being sponged out of his mind is never answered. Along with a gazillion other questions.


Okay, I need to read something else or I might kill somebody!




Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal

Okay, when you look at the book blurbs and the premise on which this series is based, it comes off as one unique concept. Think of the Austen women who can do household magic. Sounds good, right? It did to me too but the first book fell flat. I decided to give the second one a chance and reading it left me irritated! Here are some reasons why:



The protagonist annoyed me the most. She had the usual “I am so ugly” thing going for her. No matter how many times her husband assured her of her regard, anything that happened was enough to make her think he was going to dump her because she wasn’t pretty enough. She was also not a nice person and kinda racist. When asked by a Frenchman what quality set her own countrywomen (English) apart, she said nothing. To her, all women were insipid airheads who only cared about the latest fashion. Of course, she, herself, wasn’t one of those women! She is also quick to pass judgment on everybody she meets. The funny thing is she is almost never right. Then there was the whole pregnancy thing. It was bungled in the worst way possible. It is a delicate issue, especially when so many women out there can’t get pregnant. It should have been dealt with more sensitivity if nothing else. Her husband lied to her on numerous occasions and she blamed herself or took his side. Lastly, while it is okay for her to have different values, it’d have been better if they were more in sync with the outlandish values similar people might have had in those times. A father hitting his children to discipline them was the norm there. It just felt incongruous that she was so appalled by it. I guess the same could be said about her wanting to be recognized for her own work rather than her husband’s assistant. Maybe, I am projecting?



This guy annoyed the heck outta me. His wife barely knows anything about his past yet she is patient. She wants him to confide in her at the speed he’s comfortable with. Then he tells her he is taking her on a honeymoon to France. He dumps her in a small town in the middle of nowhere when they get there. And he lied to her because the honeymoon isn’t a honeymoon at all but a spy mission to keep Napolean from coming back from Elba. He sneaks off to meet women, — who for all Jane knows he is having an affair with — he isn’t there for her when she has lost her glamour powers due to the pregnancy, — which by the way he is at least partially responsible for — he is missing when she falls down unconscious, and he is rude to her when they are hired by someone to make a glamural just because she can’t do glamour — which is partly his fault too! The only thing that kept my dislike from becoming full-blown hatred was when he gave her due credit for rescuing his sorry ass from certain death!



The story was boooooring. I mean the plot was interesting but the time it took to get to the good parts just wasn’t worth reading. By the end, her husband had been captured by Napoleonic forces and she had to rescue him. I loved all the derring-do no matter how absurd it was because hey, you are reading a book where people can do magic. You’ve gotta be able to suspend your disbelief to some extent. Right? Also, I kind of have this theory that this book wouldn’t pass the Bechdel Test. Dunno if I am right; it is just the way it felt to me.


Okay, I had no idea I had been so pissed off! On the positive side, here is a funny:

(the guy had just eaten garlic) “We are in a field,” he said in heavily scented English.

Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook

The humor is done so well. The male lead has complete faith in his outrageously colored waistcoats will woo the lady. The heroine is capable of laughing at his silliness and hers.


Male Lead

Archimedes Fox is a good man who is willing to fight his manly instincts and accept the woman he loves is better at certain things than he’d ever be, including fighting off zombies, taking mechanical horses in a fight, running headlong into danger etc. He also does that without emasculating himself. He supports her when she needs it. He doesn’t undermine her authority in front of her crew because he knows he’d lose her in a second if he did. Moreover, he doesn’t seem to mind coming off as a clown if it would cement her reputation. He is completely okay with letting her be who she is and jumps into bar brawls with her. And, doesn’t force his attention on her but lets her make up her own damn mind.


Female Lead

She has literally fought tooth and nail to get where she is and won’t let anyone compromise that. Yet she is woman enough to appreciate everything Fox brings to the relationship. Yasmeen isn’t the angry bitch who loves to murder or picks fights just because she is sure to win — like genetically! She uses her head when a sword isn’t needed. She boards the airship of a misogynistic captain but doesn’t let him coax her into challenging him. She shows amazing restraint but not because she is helpless. Yasmeen also has a great sense of humor and doesn’t trust lightly.


I like that the author did her research on the historical situation at that time. Even though the story was rooted in an alternate history, it shows that she made all efforts to make it an authentic one. Yet the info dumps were unbearably boring to get through. Instead of clueing me into the politics of that time, they just showed off the author’s effort. Not a good thing!


One of the climactic events was that when the couple would get to their destination, Fox was going to be cut off from his emotions. There was a tower in that land that deadened the feelings of people with nanobots in their blood. The whole book was set up in a way to make us dread when that happened. What would Fox do? Would he try to kill Yasmeen? Could their relationship survive that? These were the kind of questions I had right after the tower was mentioned. The mystery was solved just few pages before the couple got there. And not in a good way. I learned the tower had long been out of function and there was never anything to be scared of.





Anyway, you know that thing where you have seen an object in movies, read about it, and yet have NO idea about what its called? And then you find out and go ohhhhh, so that’s what its called! That’s what happened:





Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Loved the humor and the gothic mystery but the romance felt too rushed — even for a romance! For a woman who claimed to not want to marry because she valued her freedom, whatsername gave it up too easily. The beginnings of Merripen and Win’s love can be seen in this book. Beatrix is a cutie! Leo behaved like an ass, which was surprising. I hope the other books are more in line with the second and third ones.






You’ll Understand When You’re Dead by Michele Bardsley

I don’t know what to say anymore! The series used to be so much fun but the recent books read like a novella even when they aren’t supposed to be one. Everything seems rushed; it felt like the author wanted to cram all the quirkiness in under 200 pages. Not a good experience at all.






Angel Catbird, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 by Margaret Atwood

Whether you’d love them or hate them depends on how you choose to see these comics. They are full of awful cliches, puns about cats, rats, bats, and birds, and the humor feels forced.


You could think that is deliberate on the author’s part, which will make the comic fun for you. However, you might think otherwise and that Ms. Atwood has no business writing a comic. In the preface, the author described herself as an award-winning author, which kinda pissed me off. Other than that, my reaction was somewhere in the middle of the two extremes mentioned above. I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing the series either.


Here are some pretty pictures though:









Infidel #1 by Pornsak Pichetshote

This was one scary comic book! I don’t yet know what is going on but I’m definitely going to find out.








Othermoon by Nina Berry

I skimmed through most of the book because it failed to hold my attention for longer than 2 minutes at a time! The heroine has the chosen one written all over her. Whether it is a power that she discovers and masters in less than 2 days or every other guy mooning after her, she IS the one. Her love interest decides to turn into an asshole in this book. He accuses her of cheating on him multiple times. Not fun at all!



So, this is what I did in March. What did you do?

#34 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Toni

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! 

Meet Toni, a book lover with a big virtual library and an amazing dream home bookshelves. Check them out! 


Follow Toni's blog: http://toniosborne.booklikes.com/


What are you reading right now? How do you like it? 


Cosega Search by Brandt Legg. I like it so far, only 1/3 into it.

Cosega Search - Brandt Legg 

How did your book love begin? 


I don't really remember books were always part of my life even as a toddler....so many many years ago.


Are you a book collector or a recommender? 


Neither. I am a reader and reviewer and give all the books I can...

According to your Shelf you’re read over 500 books! How much time do you spend reading daily? 
About 2 hours a day....actually the 500 books are only those added since I joined BookLikes. 

What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?
Mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, fiction and non-fiction. I can't honestly answer that question...maybe I love to be lost in the words....be transported wherever...

Why reading is important to you? 
Great pass time. I call the few hours my quality time....

Do you review every book you read? How does your review process look like? 
Yes I do, my process changes with the genre. A non-fiction will have more depth. The others I will usually have a short summary and my feeling: likes and what I don't. Rarely will I recommend books....

What are you three favorite book covers?
WOW, book covers that is a hard one but here are 3 books, I lately read:
The Terrorist Next Door (David Gold) - Sheldon SiegelThe Room on Rue Amélie - Kristin HarmelThe Good Liar - Catherine McKenzie

How do you choose your next book to read? Favorite authors, reading list, friends’ recommendations?
A bit of all: favorite authors, reading list, some recommendations but mostly I read books that are given to me by the author or through sites such as BookLikes, Goodreads, Librarythings, Netgalleys, Edelweiss. 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers? 
Historical fictions and non- fictions set during WW11 but I rarely do recommend books. See question #8 The Room on Rue Amelie for my one of them.
The Room on Rue Amélie - Kristin Harmel 

A book that changed your life?

A paper book or an e-book?
Mostly ebooks. 

Three titles for a sunny spring day? 
The Good Liar - Catherine McKenzieDark Waters (A Deborah Jones Crime Thriller) - J.B. TurnerThe Italian Wife - Kate Furnivall

Favorite quote? 
live for today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come
If you could pair a book with a meal, what would you cook to eat while reading your favorite title? 
Potato chips ....:)

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
Haha, its digital in real life but I all my books were paperbacks it would look like this:

Thank you! 



Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:


You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!


7 Science-Backed Ways Reading Makes You Healthy [Infographic]

Reblogged from BookLikes:


Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

- Joseph Addison


Reading is more than just a pleasure. Books make your life better. Reading challenges your mind and delights your soul. It keeps you well informed and entertain. If you lack the reading habit, make sure you overcome the reluctance and grab a book as the following infographic prepared by Global English Editing will prove reading can make your life longer, less stressful, full of dreams and social gatherings. 


Keep on reading! 



Source: https://geediting.com/7-science-backed-ways-reading-makes-healthy-infographic/

Source: http://geediting.com/7-science-backed-ways-reading-makes-healthy-infographic

#33 Follow Friday with book bloggers: KOMET

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! 

Meet Komet who loves history, literature, and art. You can follow Komet's blog on BookLikes: http://komet.booklikes.com



What are you reading right now? How is it?

Among the books I'm now reading is "OLD SOLDIER SAHIB" by Frank Richards.
Richards shares with the reader his experiences as a British soldier in the UK and overseas during the early 1900s.  (He would later return to the Army upon the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 and serve in France, where he made the acquaintance of Robert Graves, who later became a famous writer and poet.)

So far, I'm enjoying the book.

How did your book love begin?

I guess I've been reading books since time out of mind.  As a late Baby Boomer, I don't remember a time when I didn't read.  LOL.

According to your Shelf you’re read over 1200 books! WOW How much time do you spend reading daily?

I read every day - on average 4 to 5 hours daily.

Do you review every book you read? How does your review process look like?

I try to review all the books I've read.   In writing a review - whether it be for a book I did or did not like, I try to provide a general outline or summary of what the book was about without giving away any key elements of the story.    I am conscious that when I am writing a positive review, I want to, in effect, sell the book to the reader of my review.   I want the reader to go away from reading a positive review thinking to him/herself: "WOW!  This is a book I gotta check out."



What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

I enjoy reading historical fiction; biographies/memoirs/diaries, travel books, aviation books (I love airplanes), art books, historical mystery novels, and military history.

Each of these genres reflect the special interests that I have, many of which are rooted in history, literature, and art.

Why reading is important to you?

Reading is like breathing to me. I have a wide-ranging curiosity and interest in life. Living.  And I enjoy reading books that can take me across time, space, and all over the world. I've been fortunate to be able to travel overseas a bit: Canada, France, Mexico, the Caribbean, Italy, Brazil, and India.


Reviewed bookshelf

Your Planning-to-read shelf is…impressive! How do you choose your next book to read with 8K titles on your TBR list?

Frankly, I tend to choose my next book to read based on what's on my mind at the moment, usually after I've just finished reading a book.  For instance, if I've heard good things about a new novel (from a variety of sources - e.g. radio interviews and the NY Times Book Review)  that teases my curiosity, I'll give it a look-see on Amazon and see (if possible) if the novel is available in a local bookstore.   (I try to buy local when I can, because our neighborhood bookstores - especially here in the U.S. - need to be supported.)   That's how I ended up buying the Sarah Vaughan novel Anatomy of a Scandal, which I finished reading last night.  LOVED IT.


Anatomy of a Scandal: The brilliant, must-read novel of 2018 - Sarah VaughanA Man Called Ove: A Novel - Fredrik Backman


What’s the most surprising book you’ve ever read?

There's no one book with which I can answer the question. But A Man Called Ove was a pleasant surprise. A close friend gave it to me as a birthday present. I didn't think it would be good.   Thankfully, I was proven wrong.

What are you three favorite book covers?

Our Man In Washington - Roy HoopesBirds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs) - Jacqueline Winspear

A Strangeness in My Mind: A novel (Vintage International) - Orhan PamukLes Parisiennes - Anne Sebha


Your bookshelf is full of thematic and author named shelves. Are you an organized book hoarder?

I try to be an organized bibliophile.   I like to keep books in my library categorized on the basis of author and fiction/non-fiction.  Paperback and hardcover.

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

I am always excited to recommend ---

i) The Morland Dynasty Series of historical novels (35) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.   Terrific stuff.

ii) The Cazalet Chronicles Series of historical novels (5) by Elizabeth Jane Howard.  (She deserves more recognition.)

iii) The Narratives of Empire Series of historical novels (7) by Gore Vidal, whom I once had the pleasure of meeting.  And I strongly urge any reader to check out Vidal's essays, too.    He was a true master essayist.   The insights he provides on a wide range of subjects are always illuminating, and he can be really funny, too.  LOL.


The Homecoming - Cynthia Harrod-EaglesThe Light Years (Cazalet Chronicle) - Elizabeth Jane HowardBurr - Gore Vidal


A book that changed your life?

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn 


A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present - Howard Zinn 

A paper book or an e-book?

A paperback book (Mass Market Paperbacks, preferably)


Three titles for a sunny spring day?

A Seaside Affair by Fern Britton 
Women Who Blow on Knots by Ece Temelkuran 
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands by Jorge Amado
The Holiday Home by Fern Britton 
London Transports by Maeve Binchy 



A Seaside Affair - Fern BrittonWomen Who Blow on Knots - Ece Temelkuran

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands - Jorge Amado,Harriet de OnísThe Holiday Home - Fern BrittonLondon Transports - Maeve Binchy



Favorite quote?

"... our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."  -- President John F. Kennedy


If you could meet a writer, who would it be?

John le Carré

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)



Thank you! 



Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:


You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!

Shelve it!

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Art by Sara Maceti via source


As many of you have noticed the search box is not working properly at the moment. So sorry for this situation! Our team is working on bringing back the search function and the amz.com book links. 


The ISBN and ASIN search is under review and therefore finding a specific book edition may be difficult at the moment. The search of title + author should be working fine.


If you're experiencing issues finding the right book on BookLikes, please mail Kate@booklikes.com and we'll help right away. 


You can also use the Shelve it feature to add the books to your bookshelf directly from Amazon bookstore. At the moment, the Shelve it! works only with Amazon.co.uk but the feature will increase its range to amazon.com shortly. 



How to use Shelve it? 


Log into BookLikes and go to your Shelf (main menu -> Shelf). Drag the Shelve it! icon into your browser's bookmark. 



Go to amazon.co.uk and search the books.

When on the book page click Shelve it! on the bookmark and the book will be opened on BookLikes -- you can add it to your shelf or write a review on your BL blog. 



And it's here! Ready to be +Shelved or +Posted. 


Happy shelving! 



#32 Follow Friday with book bloggers: So it goes

Reblogged from BookLikes:


Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet Ella, a newbie blogger with an impressive library and an avid reader of many different book genres. 


Follow Ella's "So it goes." blog on BookLikes: http://ellamc.booklikes.com/



What are you reading right now? How do you like it?


I’m very slowly reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski  in a group read led by the author. I’m loving it and it’s very hard to stop myself at the points he covers, but I want to get input from the author, so I’m going very slowly. At his pace I’m not sure we’ll ever finish, but I’m determined to stick with his reading schedule.


On my own I’m currently reading In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, a memoir by Tom Malmquist. He’s a Swedish writer, so it’s in translation, but it’s incredibly sad. It’s basically about a man who suddenly loses his pregnant wife and is left with a baby. Sounds as sad as it is, but it’s also very good. Then again, I tend to fall in love with many good books as I read them. We’ll see in a year how I really feel about it.


House of Leaves - Mark Z. DanielewskiIn Every Moment We Are Still Alive - Tom Malmquist,Henning KochWe're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True - Gabrielle Union


Also listening to We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union  (read by the author.) I can already tell it’s an uneven book, but it’s very fun. She reads conversationally and it’s a bit like sitting down with a girlfriend to catch up on all the gossip.



When have you discovered you’re a book lover?


Very early in my life. I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. I loved to read as a kid and family lore about my reading ability gets more incredible as I get older. I’ve been told I read in nursery school, but who knows? By the time I can remember, we had a big tree in the backyard. I climbed it with a book and stayed there all day. Nobody ever found me. I read every single Hardy Boys book from that tree, as well as the entire Little House series, Anne of Green Gables and many more.



You’ve mentioned you’re new to blogging. How do you like it so far?


I love the BookLikes community. I don’t really know how to review. (I keep meaning to read some articles about doing it), but I like to talk about the books. I hope I’ll remember a lot more of the books I read if I do it this way. My goal in joining BookLikes was to find a replacement for Goodreads, but it turns out to be so much more. I do find myself with an ever-growing TBR list, but that’s not a bad thing.




You’re blog name is "So it goes." Can you tell us more about that quote and why have you chosen it for your blog name?


The phrase “so it goes” appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five 100-plus (maybe 106?) times. It appears every time there is a death. (Lots of death in a wartime novel.) He does it comically, tragically, every way you can imagine. By the end it conveyed to me both the randomness and inevitability of death extremely well, not to mention both the stupidity and extra meaning given to the act of dying in a war (like people have much choice about it.)


While the book is about war, I think the lesson can work for life too. We never know when death is coming, but we know it will eventually come. It’s not trivial, but it’s constant. If I was a better person, I’d tell you I think about it and it changes my reactions to humanity, but that would be a lie. For many years I thought I’d get a tattoo of it, but I’ve changed my mind about that. So when BookLikes asked me for a name for my blog, it was the obvious choice.



Why reading is important to you?


It teaches me about life. It also keeps my very easily agitated mind calm. It gives me a sense of perspective and allows me to learn more about the full experience of being human. At its best it stimulates me to think in a way I’d not previously imagined. I think that’s why books read as a teen or young adult leave such a huge impression. At its most basic, it means I don’t turn on the TV for many months at a time and I learn vocabulary words, if not always how to pronounce them. I find myself asking “is that how you pronounce it” fairly often because I’ve only ever read the word rather than heard it in speech.



What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?


It’s funny. I never really think I have a favorite genre. But when I started to catalog my books or use book websites, I learned that I do, in fact, have favorites. It turns out most of my favorite books live in a few categories: mystery, espionage, “literary” whatever that means, dystopian and fantasy. Also “realistic fiction.” So that covers almost everything, I guess. In college I was told I “read like a man” -- which I guess meant I didn’t always read what we’ve now call “chick lit” but I’ve read a lot of that through the years too, and I can’t bring myself to get rid of my boxed set of Ya-Ya Sisterhood books.


Why I like them is harder. I love spies. When I was little (in my tree), I read Harriet the Spy and followed neighbors around, carefully noting what they bought at the grocer and whatever I saw them doing. Only in later years did I learn everyone knew what I was doing, if not always why. When my sister explained that I was crazy and read it in a book, they just didn’t care!


I’m not all that genre-specific beyond my espionage needs. All of these are ways to live in a world that I’ll never actually inhabit, but that’s what books always are.


Reading challenge page->



How do you choose your next book to read?



If it comes in at the library and I’ve put it on hold, I read it before it’s due. Only this year have I decided I must read the books I own and unless I’m planning to reread or loan, move ‘em out! I own literally thousands of books, which is way too many for my smallish home. Weirdly, that means I’m picking up a lot of books I have copies of that I actually hope to dislike. That’s insane, but true. I’ve already given a few away this year, and I always have a box filling up for donation. The problem is that I try to only buy books I hope to love, so the process doesn’t work as well as I planned.



What are you three favorite book covers?


Argh - This is an impossible question! I really love the basic Penguin original style, but I’m constantly replacing my old copies of things with the fancy new covers they now make. Here are a few I’ve purchased recently:


This copy of Paul Auster’s famous New York Trilogy  makes me happy. The best part of this is the back cover though.


The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster,Luc Sante,Art Spiegelman


I love these Vintage Classics covers. Here’s War and Peace for an example. They have quotes on the back covers and are beautiful.

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy,Larissa Volokhonsky,Richard Pevear 


And I just paid way more for a copy of this one because I loved the cover so much. Gorgeous! Whole cover attached.


The Master and Margarita: 50th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) - Mikhail Bulgakov,Christopher Conn Askew,Richard Pevear,Larissa Volokhonsky,Boris Fishman 



You’ve read over 70 books in so far, I mean in 2018 - WOW! What’s your reading goal for 2018?


It started as 30, so I could make sure I met it. I think I changed it too 100, but I’m honestly not trying to meet any goal beyond keeping track. I’d guessed I read somewhere around 200 books a year, but when I looked at my library list from last year (the USA keeps track of what we borrow,) it was closer to 500. As I looked at the list, I’d read a lot of what I borrowed, and I won’t tell you how many I bought.


I don’t speed read or skim. I do take tons of notes in margins or on paper. I just read fast. I’ve had many years of practice. I took a test once that told me I could read War and Peace in 12 hours. That seemed crazy to me. Recently I’ve been borrowing the audio from the library even if I have the physical novel handy. Audio is too slow, even at a high speed (I get pages ahead and tune it out,) but it’s a great way to “read” when I’m driving, cleaning or doing anything that doesn’t require my full attention. Now if only I could figure out a way to read when I’m supposed to be listening to other people!



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?


Argh! Everyone should read what they want, when they carve out the time!  But I’ve picked up a few books from this series, so I’ll add a warning and give you some titles. WARNING: I liked it, but your mileage may vary!


I adore David Foster Wallace, and while I know Infinite Jest isn’t everyone’s cuppa, I’ll recommend his nonfiction, specifically A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again  . The book is worth the cost for the title essay alone. That essay finds David Foster Wallace, a socially-awkward introvert genius and hero of the American Literary Media Hype Machine, stuck on a cruise ship for a glossy American magazine. He also goes to a State Fair in this book (Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All,) sent by Harper’s Magazine, who called it “pure cocaine” - or at least I wrote that in my margin notes. He’s empathetic, kind, aware, wickedly funny, has a great BS detection system, writes detail beautifully and well - he was worth the hype.


The Secret History by Donna Tartt 


Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby 

Another great nonfiction book, but this one is about books and all of the things books are about. Hornby writes like you’re talking to a good friend, and his nonfiction is better, in my opinion, than his fiction. (Though I’ll never learn. I keep buying his fiction.)


A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again - David Foster WallaceThe Secret History - Donna TarttTen Years in the Tub - Nick Hornby



Do you read one or several books at a time?


Several. Usually I have one essay or short story collection on my ereader, which fits nicely in my briefcase or purse, one audiobook on my phone and one physical “big book” in some sort of process which usually takes me a while because I can get a bit obsessive about looking things up and taking notes.



How much time do you spend reading daily?


Embarrassingly, I think I probably read about 8-10 hours a day. This is because I don’t sleep much. My best friend remarked, years ago, that it was unfair for me to have sleep trouble because I spent my sleeping time becoming “well read.” She’s still upset about this and we’re in our fifties now!


A paper book or an e-book?


I prefer physical, and I like to wait for the paperback copy. If I love a book, I buy the paperback copy even if I own the e-book. I’m weird like that.


Three titles for a desert island?


Infinite Jest  (purely because I think you could read it 100 times and find new things every time. Also, it’s time-consuming!)


Eloise: The Ultimate Edition  (this is cheating because the first four ‘real’ Eloise books are all in it.)


And probably the complete Shakespeare, because if I’m stuck on a desert island, I may as well read all those plays I “should” read.


Infinite Jest - David Foster WallaceEloise: The Ultimate Edition - Kay Thompson,Hilary KnightWilliam Shakespeare: The Complete Works - William Shakespeare



Favorite quote?


“I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.”
― J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey


If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?


Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh or Bernard Sampson from the ten-book series by Len Deighton. I simply cannot choose between the two.



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)


They are coming! Stay tuned! Leave a comment and we're notify you they're online!


Shelfies are here :)


Ella wrote: Shelfies following from home as soon as I get there -- or maybe we’ll have to do without, which would be sad because people would be very heartened to see my horrendously disorganized boxes, piles and other mess. (I seriously have books on my kitchen counter.)


Thank you! 



Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:



You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!


Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles – March Edition


Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 12, 2018.






The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

Find my review here







Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Review here




Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 My review





Dune by Frank Herbert

FirstSecondThird, and Fourth parts.





All Flesh Is Grass by Clifford D. Simak

The review







The Chameleon’s Shadow by Minette Walters

I love reading books by this author because they portray human interaction in all its forms. They bring out what most of us would prefer that it remained hidden the darkest corners of her hearts. The stories show how people are capable of kindness in the unlikeliest of situations. But they also show what we’d do when we think no one is watching. With issues like the mistreatment of transgenderschild rape, and oppression of women, these stories hit you like a sledgehammer. You realize there is nothing fictional about her fiction. This story is no different. It deals with the fragmentation of a person’s psyche after returning home from a war. War breaks something inside you, no matter which side you are on.







Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

Really fun book!





The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

I don’t remember much about this one but the fact that it makes fun of everything that has become cliché in epic fantasy.








Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Sedaris books are funny af.







How Gods Bleed by Shane Porteous

An old review:


Loved this book!
the book is about people belonging to a city that is the first line of defense for humans. If the werewolves ever tried to take over the human empire, this would be where the first battle would take place. Naturally, the people living in such a place have to be extraordinary-always alert and ready to defend. Add to that a king who would do anything to ensure his people’s survival and warriors who worship him. Could it be more awesome?Yes, it can. The king not only wants to win every war, he also plans to make the werewolves fear him and his warriors. The tricks and maneuvers that the king uses to instill fear in the werewolves are just.. wow! Then there is Cada Varl- the coolest immortal you’ll ever read about. He’s the best and yet he never gloats but just goes on being his rockin’ self! And of course, the 6 Helluvan warriors (poor 7th best warrior) were just that..one helluva adventure!





Zombie Killa by Jason Z. Christie

I got this book for free from Making Connections to read and review:
I started the book and almost gave up right then. Not only did it start slow-but then Shaun of the Dead did too-it also had a lot of jargon and big nerdy words that I couldn’t get at all. And the first mention of Router wasn’t all that, either. Then the book picked up its pace and proved me wrong. Zombies, Pirates, Ninjas, Nerds, Smart-mouthed women..the story had everything! And it was exactly the right length. The humor was just my type and despite some (okay, many) references that I didn’t get, I loved it! Zombie fans, you just can’t miss this one!

Oh, I almost forgot “F**k you, High-C!”

#31 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Broken Tune

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet BT, known and Broken Tune on BookLikes, a moody readers who's not afraid of exploring new literary lands! 


Follow Broken Tune on BookLikes: http://BrokenTune.booklikes.com



What are you reading now? How is it?


I usually read several books at a time, all appealing to different moods or interests. At the moment I am enjoying I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong, which is a buddy read with our Flat Book Society. I have also started two biographies – one of Arthur Conan Doyle and one of Phyllis Bottome. I am not sure, yet, what to make of the ACD biography as it seems to be brushing over his biography rather than investigate it, but the Bottome biography is very interesting. It appears that Bottome is yet another author that had an extraordinary life but who has been largely forgotten.


The Flat Book Society Book Club



When have you discovered you’re a book lover?


Very early on. My mother and grandmother have always had books around the house and some of my favourite early memories are of bedtime stories and falling out with my cousin when we couldn’t agree on which book my gran should read to us when we stayed at her house for weekends or holidays. To this day, I cannot stand Heidi (my cousin’s favourite choice), but still love The Count of Monte Christo and anything by Jules Verne.

As you can tell, my gran and my mom did not believe in restricting storytime to children’s books, and I am glad they didn’t.



In your bio you write “I'm an eclectic reader”, can you tell us more about your reading preferences?


I like the word “preference”. If there is anything I have learned from being around the Booklikes community, it is that there is not really any genre that I will not try. For example, I used to think that I do not enjoy books labeled as “Horror” because I can’t stand descriptions of gore or gratuitous violence, but then Char inspired me to try a few different authors, and I actually became a fan of one of them - Michael McDowell. (Seriously, check him out!)


So, while my preferences are now less defined by genre, and my reading is more diverse or eclectic in that respect, I prefer books that are intellectually engaging, that are plot driven, and that work magic with their use of language. And to keep things a little more contradictory, I like psychological plots but don’t like popular thrillers, and I like classic mysteries but don’t like books that try to copy classic mysteries.




How did your blogging adventure start?


It started mostly by curiosity. A couple of RL friends had sent me an invite to join GR some years ago, so I did. While my RL friends left it again quite quickly, I was intrigued by the facility to have a space to share thoughts on books with others.


The real joy of blogging came, however, when finding Booklikes. It was so much easier to compose and expand on thoughts about books and all sorts of other topics over here. And the Booklikes community is just fabulous – so welcoming and encouraging to share ideas and events, recipes, travel, and posts on random other topics. 



Why reading is important to you?


Reading is important to me because I love exploring – whether it is new places, new ideas, cultures, different times, ... whatever the topic I will find something that catches my interest. Books are a fabulous way to explore the world within and around us. I mean, I love travel, too, but with books you can also travel through time, and to galaxies far, far away, and of course, there is fiction, too. ;)


Apart from a thirst for exploring, I also love that reading can completely change your state of mind – it can calm you down, and it can rile you up. It can offer an escape from your day’s events and it can draw you more into the world and motivate you to engage with other people. There really is something to be said for the idea that books are “uniquely portable magic”.



How do you decide what to read next? I’ve spotted you take part in numerous reading projects, like The Suffrage Movement, Sherlock Holmes buddy read, Reading Agatha Christie


I am a huge mood reader. While I do have some set reading lists this year in order to chop down Mt. TBR and have a few reading projects going with the Suffragettes, Sherlock Holmes, and the ongoing challenge to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels, most of my day to day reading is decided on which mood I am in and which book appeals most.

The problem with this is that it can take a while to choose a book. I can literally stand in front of my shelves or stare at my kindle for quite some time before a book speaks to me.



What are you three favorite book covers?


That’s a tough one. I am way too easily swayed by gorgeous book covers. I don’t think I have favourite book covers, tho. Last December, I read Gladys Mitchell’s Murder in the Snow  and I had to leave the book on my currently reading shelf for a couple of days after I finished it because I loved the cover so much. I am also very partial to the covers of Gilded Needles and A is for Arsenic, which may also be partly due my loving the books themselves just as much as the covers.

There is just something very pleasing about the simplicity of the covers.


Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery - Gladys MitchellA is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup



We’ve spotted the 2018 Mt. TBR Project. What’s your reading plan for this year?


There isn’t that much of a plan. A plan doesn’t really work for me because my reading depends on my mood so much. However, I needed to do something about the stacks and stacks of physical books that I have at home. The book collection has long exceeded my shelf space, so some of them will need to go.

That’s why I decided to try and focus on reading the books I already have at home this year. I tried this a few years ago, and it helped to keep my physical shelves under some control. Last year, I decided to have a year of free reading and book buying...and I ended up with way too many books.


So, the Mt. TBR Project had to make a come-back this January. I can pick any of the books off the stacks, read them in any order, but the goal is to read them all by the end of the year...and not buy more than I read in the process.


Reading list: BrokenTune's 2018 Mt. TBR



You’re reviewed over 600 books on BookLikes. What’s your book review process?


It really depends on the book. It appears that I find it easier to write reviews for books that I did not like, while the books I love are the most difficult to write about because I know I will never do them any justice in a review.

I mostly make notes while I read that will remind me of quotes and ideas and thoughts that occurred while I read the book. Then it will usually take me a few days to gather my thoughts together for a review. I type the review, post it, and instantly remember another two or three things that I would have loved to write about... So it goes.


Reviewed Shelf



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?


I find recommendations very difficult because it really depends on who the recommendation is made to and what I know of the likes and dislikes of the reader.

However, I do find it exciting when I get to recommend books that are important to me or that have had a big impact on me. So, I am always thrilled when people try a book by Ali Smith or Ruth Ozeki or even one of the lesser-known travel writers like Ella Maillart.

With every recommendation, however, there is also some anxiety that accompanies the excitement – Will they like the book? Will they not like the book and wonder why I recommended it?


Recommending a book is just not that easy.




Do your read one or several books at a time?


Several. Always. I usually have a selection of different formats and different topics that I can pick up to respond to whichever mood I might be in.



How much time do you spend reading daily?


I probably read about 2 hours a day on average. If I travel with work, I read a lot more. There is nothing I like better than to read while being stuck on a train or a plane. And of course, the weather and time of year also have an influence on the time I spend with books. I hardly ever switch on the tv, so if the weather is “dreich”, a good local word, and I don’t have be somewhere I’ll turn to a book.



A paper book or an e-book?


Both! And let’s not forget audiobooks! I love all formats of books, but not all books will work in all formats. I prefer paper for non-fiction, but ebooks or audiobooks for fiction.



Three titles for a desert island?


Well, how long am I stuck on the island for? If it is for a long time, I may want to pack something practical such a survival guide by Bear Grylls... I am kidding. I have no interest in that, and his books generally aren’t long enough to be of use on a desert island.


I’d have to take The Count of Monte Cristo, because it is long and features an escape from an island. I’d also take a book by Ayn Rand, either The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, because, again, they are excessively long and that might be the only circumstance that I would actually read them.

Lastly, I would take something like Ovid’s Metamorphoses  or one of Homer’s books that can be read over and over and will still offer something new to be discovered.



Metamorphoses - Denis Feeney,Ovid,David Raeburn


Favorite quote?


Oh, so many... Let’s go with this one:


‘Right! Let’s do some good!’ she said, to the universe at large.


Terry Pratchett - Maskerade




If you could meet one author, who would it be?


Oh, this is a tricky one, too. If we are narrowing this down to living authors that I have not met yet but would like to, I would have to say Ruth Ozeki or Stephen Fry.



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)



Thank you! 


Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:
#30 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jodi's Classroom Favorites ->


You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!


10 books by female authors recommended by book bloggers

Reblogged from BookLikes:


There's no better way of celebrating the International Women's Day than reading books written by female authors. We've looked through the book catalog, your posts and reviews, and women writers tag, and picked 10 great titles written by woman recommended by BookLikes community of book bloggers.


What's your favorite title written by female author? Share your suggestions in the comment section below! Happy reading!


Tell The Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka BruntTell The Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt  

There is only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen year old June Elbus, and that's her uncle, the renowned painter, Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June's world is turned upside down. But Finn's death brings a surprise acquaintance into June's life-someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.


Book review: My real-life book club is indulging in a year of reading young adult literature, and this is our March selection. I am also using it to fulfill the “book about grief” selection for my 2018 PopSugar Challenge and the entry for B in my Female Authors A to Z challenge. What a great portrayal of life in all its messiness! If you’ve lived through some family rifts or somehow found yourself further away from a sibling that you ever believed possible, you will find something to hang onto in this novel. The relationships were realistic, not melodramatic or overdone... keep on reading on Wanda's Book Reviews blog



Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi AdeyemiChildren of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi  

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy.


Reading in progress note: Wow. The action is not letting up at all. I don't know how this is going to end but am watching between my fingers that Zelie and her brother Tzain make it out okay. The writing and world building are so freaking fantastic. I can picture each character and setting in my mind. I am just craving some art though. This book practically sings for a graphic novel adaptation... keep on reading on Obsidian Blue blog



Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste NgLittle Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng  

From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.


Book review: ...this will be my book of the year. A high-octane literary tale of the highest order, Celeste Ng tackles heady topics like racism and classism and morality and societal rebellion in smart, tactful strikes. Like the best literary fiction, this one unfurls slowly while keeping the reader totally engaged. I read this one in two sittings, my mouth agape and my hair on fire... keep on reading on Cody's Bookshelf blog



Anything Is Possible - Elizabeth StroutAnything Is Possible - Elizabeth Strout  

Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author's celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.


Book review:It is a melancholy book, and getting a little too caught up in the stories and reading them all in two sittings got to me a little. But it is also a book full of compassion and understanding for its characters (most, though not all, of the protagonists are compassionate and understanding people themselves), of human connection and love, of wisdom about what makes people tick. It is very well-written and got me quickly invested in the characters and their situations... keep on reading on Merle blog


What We Lose: A Novel - Zinzi ClemmonsWhat We Lose: A Novel - Zinzi Clemmons  

From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age--a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country

Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother's childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor--someone, or something, to love


Book review: I wasn’t quite sure what I was reading when I read this novel, was this a work of fiction or a memoir? The main character was personally reflecting upon her own life, the death of her mother and the aftereffects. As I read, I also had a hard time understanding some of the chapters as they didn’t feel connected to the storyline and they seemed to come out of nowhere. I have mixed feeling about this novel as I thought the storyline was good but... keep on reading on My Never Ending List blog


The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore - Kim FuThe Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore - Kim Fu  

For the girls at Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Bursting with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore follows Nita, Andee, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan through--and far beyond--this fateful trip. We see the survivors through the successes and failures, loves and heartbreaks of their teen and adult years, and we come to understand how a tragedy can alter the lives it touches in innumerable ways.


Book review: This book reminded me of my years working at a camp for disabled children. I loved this book. This book was very intriguing... keep on reading Heather's Book Blog



The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air) - Holly Black  

ude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.

Book review: This book got so much hype and I must say the hype is well deserved, in my opinion. I really enjoyed this book and everything about it.  It is well written, fast paced and fun, thrilling roller-coaster ride. I loved the world that Holly Black has created, an awesome mix of faerie land with yet a touch of the modern world as we know it. We get a great deal of fairie and its daily life which at times does not seem so different than ours. School, work, politics and the daily grind is the same in fairie as it would be here. Just a bit different and with different views on life, mortal or fae... keep on reading on SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews



A Treacherous Curse - Deanna RaybournA Treacherous Curse - Deanna Raybourn

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.


Book review:I love Veronica Speedwell.  Her character is almost everything I admire in a person, with the exceptions of her penchants for collecting butterflies, necessitating her killing them, and her need to verbalise her sexual liberty.  This isn't hypocrisy on my part; I think it's distasteful when men make their sexual needs topics of casual conversation, and it's no less so when a woman does it.  Boundaries.  Good fences make good neighbours and all that. But these are very minor niggles.  Everything else about Veronica is excellent and Stoker doesn't suck either... keep on reading on Murder by Death blog



An Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret RogersonAn Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret Rogerson  

Isobel is an artistic prodigy with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.


Book review: This was stunning. Not just a good read. A new favourite. Reminds me of the first time I picked up Holly Black's Tithe, or Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely. Gamechanging, fresh and classic at the same time. Excellent, lush worldbuilding. Compelling, surprising characters. A story that twists and yet... keep on reading on YA Fantasy - K.A. Wiggins blog


The Chalk Man - C.J. TudorThe Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor  

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself?

Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?


Book review: First, I must say this novel has the potential of becoming a good screen psychological thriller. I was held captive once I began reading.  This story is intense and gripping.  Nothing is what it seems and with all its twists and turns, stopping at the end of a chapter wasn't an option. Tudor didn't skimp on the characterization... keep on reading on My Reviews My Words blog


What's your recommended female author book? 



Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles–February Edition


Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 6, 2018.






Magno Girl by Joe Canzano

An old review:


What I Thought:


the book was about a female superhero…but the book was not from the superhero’s POV but the guy dating her!


some of the jokes and situations were too funny and silly — I loved them! — but the jokes did get tiring at the end


I enjoyed every conversation that Magno Girl had with her mother. They were all laugh out loud funny! It also made sense that Sandra would use the issues that Magno Girl had as a curse.


All kinds of discrimination were made fun of and I liked how the author made us see the silliness when it comes to advertising, pregnancy etc. but the MCs continuously joked about the short stature of one of the villains.


The character of the teenage girl who became increasingly vapid was fun to read about but her curse was made into such a big deal and then it was solved just like that!

Legalman was my favorite character — he would find a reason to sue you even if it killed him you!


I do not know what it was but I kept wanting to put the book away and could not gobble it in one go. I kept wanting to enjoy it and get hooked but that didn’t happen. That is why, I am rating it 2.5 rather than 3 stars. However, if you want to try something unusual and funny, Magno Girl is a good idea!






Botanicaust by Tam Linsey


Another old review:


What I liked:


the concept this story was based on was really interesting and it didn’t disappoint, as I read ahead

the cover--suited!

all three races, if they can be called that, were as different as day and night but the most advanced ones-I forget what they’re called- were the scariest!

the author did research and it showed-I loved the part about telomerase and the chloroplasts, as well as the part about Ripening.

the ending wasn’t impractical-it was quite realistic

I sort of threw a tantrum when one of the little girls was taken by the cannibals-I’m pretty sure we’ll see her again, if there’s going to be a sequel but still!


What I didn’t like:


the whole people turning into cannibals part wasn’t too well-thought. If plants will grow in one place, surely people will work to grow them elsewhere.


If you want to read about photosynthesizing people, cannibals and an apocalyptic world, give this one a try-it doesn’t disappoint!






Eona by Alison Goodman


Epic YA fantasy that is fun, not just about winning the boy, and about an imperfect protag. She also happens to have powers that have been denied to women of that world ever since the beginning of time. This series broke tradition in another way i.e. by not being a trilogy but was instead a duology! I devoured it and then reached for the second one. Recommending it recently to a friend made me realize that its magic remained in place!





World War Z by Max Brooks


Huh, so I did write a review for this one back when I read it:


This book is all kinds of good. I love the scope of the book since it gives you a global perspective of a zombie apocalypse. It also follows the progression of the zombie infection as it spread universally. Moreover, it sketches a situation that has its roots based on reality, when talking about the aftermath of the infection.


An addendum:

Looking at the world today, I think it wouldn’t be remiss if I objected that the two countries to start a nuclear war would be Pakistan and India. The rest of the world presents us with more likely candidates!






The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


People have called it verbose and boring. But I found the writing lyrical and the magic of love…well magical! The book made quite an impression on me.





Zombie Nights by Tom Lichtenberg


An old review:


This is a highly entertaining short story and instantly made me want to start reading other books by the same author. The author didn’t waste time in describing things that weren’t important to the story and I loved how he was able to let us feel how dangerous the bad guys/bullies were, even while laughing at them. All I’m saying is I want more!





Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist


Another one:


Okay, so I want to rate this book 4 stars but what stopped me was my pet peeve-unnecessary details involving characters who weren’t important to the story. Other than that, the book is amazing for several reasons:

the vampire is a little girl (almost)-who wouldn’t want to read about that, right?
the vampire kills and there’s no covering that up-no sexy smooth talking vegetarians here.

you connect with both the kids intensely-when Oskar gets bullied, I wanted to go save him.

the violence and the sadness and the loneliness just gets to you..chokes you up and keeps you reading.

be warned, you WILL need Teddy Bears if you want to get through this book with the least bit of depression

the ending..well it takes the cake!


I haven’t seen the movie yet (any version)and will add to my review once I do.





Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost


This one too:


Loved this book!!

The story opened in the perfect way.

I loved every bit of the action and of course, it had one of my most favorite things in it-a kick ass, smart-mouthed heroine.

I did not like Bones right away. But gradually, he became awesomer and more awesome.
Another thing which always tips the scales for me is good humor and this book had that down pat.

I also loved Spades and would want to read more about him and meet Ian.

There was no one big bad wolf until the very end and I liked that–it made the story more interesting.

Oh and I hated the mom’s guts like I was supposed to.

It was only the too-typical ending that kept me from rating this book 4 stars.


Onward to the next one!


So, I’ve read that the Heart-Shaped Herb from Black Panther is being labeled a lily. I disagree because it looks more like Ipomoea pes-caprae, which is a member of Convolvulaceae and not Liliaceae.

Picture 1 

Picture 2


Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles–January Edition



Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 3, 2018.






The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross


I don't much remember what went on in this book, except there being a plot to replace the Queen with an automaton clone. Must have made an impression on me because I rated it 4 stars on GR. Oh, and the covers in the series are beautiful! I recently and reviewed the second book in this series.





Must Love Hellhounds by Various Authors




GR tells me that I loved most of the stories from this anthology. Must have been a good collection. I remember trying it out because it also included a story by Ilona Andrews -- a favorite author couple of mine.





Frostbite by David Wellington


If you don't yet know that an awesome vampire series by David Wellington's exists, then you haven't been paying attention. Like the Laura Caxton series, this one is creepy AF. My GR review tells me I recommend it to:


                         people who like werewolves without the romance and cheesiness


I loved it and I don't even like horror much! Here, let my gushing adoration convince you that you need to try Wellington's books.




Stray by Rachel Vincent


When I first read it, one of the most annoying things about this series was its heroine. She was a whiny, selfish brat who didn't care about the consequences of her action. One of the best things about it, as I continued to plod along, is how she changed! By the end of the series, the events have transformed her into the alpha her father always knew her to be. If that doesn't float your boat, maybe stay for all the violence and the gore? Oh, and did I mention that the series is complete? You can binge read it!





The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan


Maybe I have a soft spot for tortured, lonely werewolves or maybe it's something else. Either way, I just completed this series. While the first had impressed me, the second and third fell short. All I'm saying is that even with the cliffhanger at the end of the first one, it can easily be read as a standalone.






Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


I have had much to say about the second book in this series on this blog. All good things, I promise. Therefore, it won't come as a surprise that I loved the first one, as well! The ending blew me away even when I have become so jaded about last-minute twists that change everything. Check this one out!





He was a Hero, He Shouldn't have Died by Kenneth Mugi


If you asked me to describe this book in a word, I'd probably say weird. But wait, this is what I said in my review:


I got this book for free, in exchange for an honest review from Making Connections. Get your copy here.


This book is very different from the plethora of Paranormal novels out there- it turns the idea of Dorian Gray’s picture on its head.


What I really liked about it was that the touch of fantasy/paranormal elements didn’t overwhelm Kasumi’s story.

Another thing to like was that if the new edited version had any errors, I couldn’t find them.


There is enough humor to balance the darkness in the story.


I would have liked to see more of Morgan but watching Kasumi grow into her powers would be exciting too.


Hoping that there are some fight scenes in the next book!


This book isn’t for everybody but if you’d like to read something unique, give this one a whirl.




The Gods Among Us by D.C. Belton

An old read, an old review:


The author was kind enough to give me a free review copy.

You know those books that you just don't wanna put down? Not because there's something exciting happening in the story or it is a good story...not only that but mostly because the writing flows and the story is being told so smoothly that you just read on and on. This book was such a book.


The parts I loved the most began when Pallas is aboard the ship and meets the crew. Their humor, lightheartedness and loyalty towards each other made them lovable.

I also liked that we're set up to hate Elena in the beginning of the story but we find out she has more depth and understands political intrigue much better than her younger sisters give her credit for.


Othello, I feared and hated just like I was supposed to. Even when I laughed at his antics, I wasn't less creeped out by him!




About the gods and their machinations: a) I'm not yet sure if they're actually deities and not humans who know what opposable thumbs are, b) they just don't care whose life they ruin, do they? Even Pallas who claims not to believe in gods & goddesses can't escape their schemes!


Pallas keeps mentioning how her father must miss her and I couldn't shake the feeling that there's something wrong there. Poor Pallas!


What would have made the book even better was a little more world building, maybe? Or a map, so we could understand what this world is like even better.




Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Lovely, fun at times and sad at other times, quirky as heck read. I liked it, maybe you would too?


Well, those were my faves from the past years. You can also find reviews of books from 2018 that stuck with me. 

#30 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jodi's Classroom Favorites

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet Jodi, a lovely reader, who spreads book love among children. Keep on reading! 


Follow Jodi's blog on BookLikes:  Jodi's Classroom Favorites - http://jodislackey.booklikes.com/



How did your book love begin?


My love of reading truly began when I was in fifth grade with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling . After that, I was hooked! Reading became my favorite past time, and still is today!


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré 


How did your blogging adventure start?


My blogging adventure began as a classroom assignment (Hi Mrs. Gilmore!). I am currently enrolled in the Elementary Education program at the University of Montevallo. The goal of the assignment was to allow future teachers to become familiar with online resources for finding books to use for lesson planning. I have thoroughly enjoyed this assignment, and will continue to use BookLikes because of it.



In your short bio you write “A collection of my favorite picture, short story, and chapter books that I hope to house in my classroom library” Can you tell us more about your profession?


I am currently employed at a preschool, and I am preparing to become an Elementary Educator. BookLikes has allowed me to find wonderful books that I have already implemented while teaching!



How do you encourage children to read books? In your book reviews your include tips on how to use the titles during the lessons which is really great! 


I think the best way to encourage children to read is by making it a meaningful experience for them! By providing real life connections and experiences, children are likely to retain the information they have read. Hopefully this will inspire them to seek more opportunities to do so on their own. I also think that children learn so much from what adults model. I recommend that anyone trying to encourage young readers to devour more literature should do so themselves!



Reviewed Shelf



What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?


I love to listen to stories being told, so my favorite genre is fairy tales! I love how lavish and detailed these stories tend to be. I have discovered so many spins on classic fairy tales as well. It is always exciting to have a fresh perspective on and old topic. My most recent discovery is Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood!


Interstellar Cinderella - Deborah Underwood,Meg Hunt 


What are you three favorite book covers?


My favorite book covers include: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs Illustrated by Ron Barrett, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Let Me Finish Illustrated by Isabel Roxas; They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to reading - I often do!


Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. SeussCloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Judi Barrett,Ron BarrettLet Me Finish! - Minh Lê,Isabel Roxas



How much time do you spend reading?


I am constantly reading! Whether I am reading for class, reading for pleasure, or reading to my students, I am immersed in text. I might be late to the party, but I just finished Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. It is phenomenal!


Turtles All the Way Down - John GreenThe Book with No Pictures - B.J. Novak 


Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers? 


I am so excited for readers to discover The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak. Young readers love to have them read aloud to them, as it provides an excellent time to poke fun at adult



Do you read one or several books at a time?


I tend to stick with one book at a time. By brain is too busy to consume more than that!



What’s your reading goal for 2018? 


I want to read 100 new children’s books this year, especially those titles that celebrate diversity!


A paper book or an e-book?


Paper - for sure.


Three titles for a desert island? 


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Holes by Louis Sachar, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. RowlingHoles - Louis SacharThe Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman


Favorite quote? 


It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.

What is essential is invisible to the eye.

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery


If you could meet one author, who would it be?


I would love to meet J.K. Rowling. I grew up with Harry, and he was a friend to me when I had none. I would love to thank her for providing me with that experience!


Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)




Thank you!


Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:


You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!


Book titles are tags - finds book reviews and book posts

Reblogged from BookLikes:


Writing book reviews is great and very important -- it's the reader's way of expression the view about the book and recommending (or not) the title. But what about other ways of describing your bookish experiences? 


As much as the book reviews, we also love reading updates, book quotes, and other posts that pop up on our BookLikes Dashboard.


On BookLikes book titles work as tags.


If you wish to look through all kind of posts about a given title, type the book title in the book search box and choose TAGS. 


The book title tag search will show you ALL posts about a given book, and not only the book reviews. 



This is also a great way of discovering who else on BookLikes is reading the book you're enjoying.


If you wish to know the person behind the blog post/review better, hover over the avatar and you'll view the following information:


1. Blog name - click to go to a blog page and Follow (in the right upper corner of the blog page)

2. Number of books on BookLikes shelves

3. Number of followings and followers on BookLikes

4. Compare books - click to see if your reading preferences are similar.

4. Currently reading - the book cover is the book the person is reading right now. 



You may also want to read:

BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization is back

6 tips for BookLikes newbies

Blogging about books - additional blog post options


What to write on your book blog next?

6 ways to blog about books


Happy reading! 

Currently reading

Saving the Sammi
Frank Tuttle
My Cousin Rachel
Daphne du Maurier
Progress: 36%
Dracula Audiobook (Timeless Classics)
Bram Stoker
Hellblazer n. 3
Jamie Delano, John Ridgway
Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show (Smart Pop series)
Yellow Blue Tibia
Adam Roberts
The Bone Season
Samantha Shannon
Her Fearful Symmetry
Audrey Niffenegger

Midu’s quotes

Goodreads Quotes

Midu's bookshelf: read

Kingdom Come
3 of 5 stars
tagged: graphic-novel, read-in-2015, and 1997
A Mere Formality
4 of 5 stars
tagged: missing-shelf, read-in-2015, shorts, singles, and 2008
3 of 5 stars
tagged: premissing, uk-author, 2006, read-in-2015, serial-killers-and-other...
Dark Blood
1 of 5 stars
tagged: missing-shelf, 2014, abuse, read-in-2015, series, and middlers