Friday, September 8, 2017

📚WEEKEND READS 📚

     This weekend I'm keeping it really simple and just finishing up on the two reads that I have started earlier this week and depending on whatever I finish first I have just one other book and two short novella that would be a reread for me in preparation for two of my preorders that are coming in next week!! *internal scream* Let tell what I've been reading the week.
     Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young is the first book in her Dre Thomas series and is really starting to kick up, and in pure Pamela Samuels Young fashion it's too juicy and I love how none of her characters are morally just. Insurance agents buying out life insurance from terminally ill patients and making a killing (pun not intended lol) on their deaths. We have a man who is in the running for a very high profile job in Washington but has a very nasty secret and wife who is dying is threatening to out him. Our heroine is on the verge of making a very big mistake in her personal life and her love interest is no angel himself. There is also a recently disbarred lawyer who has just gotten into bed with a very pushy Mexican cartel member. His life, his brothers life and the life of his clueless wife are on the line.  I hope that wasn't too confusing but believe me there is so much going on that I can't wait for all these of theses storylines to converge and just make a huge mess!
     The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard is not what I thought it was going to be but I still have a 100 and some odd pages left and who knows where it can go but I'm still very open about it. Johnny Ribkins is a 78 year old man who has a special "talent" of being able to make maps of places,  and owes a big debt to a local mobster who he was working for. To pay on his debt Johnny has gone on a road trip to dig up and collect money he had hidden over the years all over the many places he has visited and have meant something to him throughout his life. And all the while he has a newly found niece in tow who also shows signs of having inherited a special "talent". Johnny and his niece Eloise are getting to know each other and he is letting he in on what being a Ribkins is all about. The self realization and personal growth that I see Johnny has he goes down memory lane with is niece is what is keeping the pages turning and as I said who know what the next 100 and some odd pages have in store.
     After I have finished one or both of the books that I have started this week, I want to reread the first book in the Shadowshaper series by Daniel Jose Older, as well as the two novellas that come afterwards, Ghost Girl in the Corner and Dead Light March before the second installment Shadowhouse Fall comes out next Tuesday! 

     I hope everyone out there is being safe and is getting themselves and their family members or at least checking on those who might be effected by Irma this weekend and this coming week up. 
  
PEACE ✌

Friday, September 1, 2017

SEPTEMBER TBR

     Since last month wasn't a total bust, lets get into these books that I have set up for September, the start of my favorite two seasons fall and winter. I believe I have a good mix of books here and I'm happy to share here what I'm hoping to read. There's a ton of books that I have picked out just so I can give myself some flex, but there are four books that some recent releases that I really want to get to this month. I even passed on my BOTM club subscription just so I can make sure to get to most if not all of these wonderful books read. Lets get it. I'll start with the books that I actually have in my possession.    
    The first book on my TBR (using that phrase loosely) is Orange🔸the complete collection vol. 2 is the second and final Orange manga by Ichigo Takano. I love reading a manga or a comic in between reads it helps give my mind a break while still giving me the feels for these characters and the story itself.
     I'm kind of tossing up two books my Ms. Octavia E. Butler to read this month, I have Wild Seed and Parable of the Sower  to choose from. I have started them both but not sure which to continue first. It's kinda hard but I think I just need to sit my ass down somewhere and see, but the way I'm feeling now, Wild Seed  is winning out.
     When I was innocently in the library, just trying to turn in some my daughters books I happened to stroll pass the audiobook section (which is on the other side of the library, I'm not sure how I managed to get there lol) and I found two audiobooks of books that I already had and wanted to get to. Finding Amos by J.D. Mason, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, and Bernice McFadden, I believe this is short story collections about a man named Amos and the lives he has touched. Honestly I'm not sure. I also got Dark Dreams which is a collection of horror and suspense stories told by black writers, some of which include Zane, Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes and more. This one I'm really excited to get to, secretly I want it to be just as good as Creepin', which is another a short story collection of horror and suspense.
  Two other library books that I have picked up (on a totally different trip) to the library were The Changeling by Victor LaValle and The Prey of Gods and Nicky Drayden. I have heard nothing but good things about Victor LaValle's books since it has come out but I'm slightly hesitant only because I didn't care for his short story The Ballad of Black Tom but I like how this book sounds. Nicky Draydens newest book The Prey of Gods  has one of the most visually haunting covers that I have seen and once again, I've heard nothing but good things from my Goodreads friends.
   Last but certainly not least is Who Fears Death book 1 by Nnedi Okorafor. I had read and loved Book of the Phoenix last month so I just have to go ahead and finish this one out strong. I want to get this book off my TBR shelf before her new book Akata Warrior comes out in October.
    Listed below are my pre-ordered books that I have on the way and I'm PUMPED to read!!! *internal scream*
     The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard isn't a pre-order but it should be in my hands tomorrow and it sounds like something right up my alley. A black family with odd super powers And the main character Johnny owes money to his Mob boss? I'm interested.
     Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke comes out the 12th of September as does Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jose Older, which is the second book in the Shadowshaper series. Might have to reread the 1st book and the two novellas that go before this book just because. *Kanye shrug*
     The last book that I have coming in on the 26th of September and it's Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and his son Owen King. I've never read an Owen King book but the premise behind this book sounds different and I'm all ears. 
    Let me know what books you are interested in that are coming out in September or books that you plan on reading in the month of September. And if you want to do a buddy read of sorts hit me up. Let me know down below and I'll hit you up. Also if I didn't thank you for visiting before, thanks for visiting.

PEACE ✌


And now some music...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

AUGUST WRAP UP!

    This month was not the best when it came to reading but I still read and I got things completed. And I think I have come to the realization that I am not a very good TBR reader, it makes it feel too much of a chore for me and then the rebel inside is telling me NO Arlene don't do it, don't read what you have already set out, read what you want! Join the Dark Side, we have cookies! So yeah.... I read 10 books and 2 short stories and I enjoyed everything so without further ado...


City of Bones- ⭐⭐⭐.5 
     The first in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Claire and while I really like the TV show I'm not sure how I feel about the books just yet, I think after I read the second book (which was on my TBR but didn't get to) I might feel differently about the books, but the first one was just okay. I loved Magnus Bane and Simon. But Clary was kind of whiney and a bit annoying. I found her to be the same way in season one of the TV show. But I still liked it better (the show I mean). So I will continue with the books, but not as fast as I would have had I loved it more.
New Boy-⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
     REVIEW This book was so good!!!! I loved it. It definitely rang true from Othello (from what I can remember) and I was so lucky that my library came through and had it, my husband was my hero and went and brought it for me the next day. I just couldn't get over it and I still flash back to it. If you read my review (link above) you'll see that I did have some minor issues with the book, but nothing to really deter me from loving it the way that I did. I think this book was the main reason why I went a little ham on my book haul (see previous post) and got many of her books. 
Orange-⭐⭐⭐⭐
      I haven't read a manga in a long time and since SkinnyGirlFatHair highly suggested it I just had to give it a try and I'm glad I did. It was such a good read. At first I was taking it in same doses since it's such a large volume, but once I had started it and really started to get into the story I just had to finish it in two sittings. I have the second volume and definitely plan on reading it next month. It's a story with a time traveling letter to save a friend from suicide . It was touching and heartwarming. I'm glad I picked it up.

Pleasantville- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
     Book 2 in the Jay Porter series starts off and centers around a group of girls who have been taken and killed and all the while the race for mayor in Pleasantville is one the way and when one of the candidates' team mates is accused of being the killer, Jay is placed in a position where he has to step in and help. Not only is this person rep on the line, but Jay livelihood is also at stake. While for me this was a slow starter once it got going it really got good and I finished it in a days time. 
My Soul to Take-⭐⭐⭐
     Book 4 in the African Immortals series was kind of a let down. While I still love this series as a whole this book was just okay/a little boring to me. It was written beautifully but then it was almost overly wordy. I wanted more from the end of this series. Will be rereading this series though and will gladly recommend it to people. The ending wasn't everything that I thought it would be. The growth in the characters and the progress of the story was NOT what I was expecting and I say that in good way. I love how deep this story goes I love the progression of the characters from books 2 to 3, but from 4 I wanted more.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-⭐⭐⭐⭐
     This was such a cute story. I enjoyed it very much. I loved the voice of Mr. Wonka and Charlie and Grandpa Joe it was awesome. I love to watch the movies that this book inspired and you can clearly see where the two movies got their inspirations when it comes to how Mr. Wonka talks and interacts with his guest. I know that one thing that I loved the most was the fact that the songs from the movie with Johnny Depp came right from this book and a lot of the famously funny lines from Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka came right from this book as well. When I saw that, I knew immediately that this book was going to be everything to me. And so I gave it 4 stars, I can see now why this is such a classic and why people of all ages love it. 


Dying for Revenge-⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
     OMFG book 3 in the Gideon series did not disappoint. This one took place months after the second book ended Gideon is once again on the run/on the hunt for the lady from Detroit. And this chick is not going to let him go until he is dead. So in this installment she has enlisted the help of a husband/wife assassin team to take of her little problem. What I loved about this one was the husband/wife team. Listening to the audiobooks is the part of reading these books and I loved that the wife's part was narrated by the same woman who does the Eve Dallas books, and one I realized who it was I was completely on board. It was sooooo good. 
The Book of Phoenix-⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
     HOLY SHIT BALLS This was great!!! And I mean absolutely a wonderful rich read. It even got me a little teary in the end. I realized when I had made my TBR list for the month that I was starting with the second one in the Who Fears Death series and had to quickly backtrack before I got too into the second book. I was so drawn into the whole story right from jump and it moves so quickly. You start off with this old man who goes out to I've his wife some space and he finds himself in this cave with old computers and one of the computers links up with his communicator and he finds a long list of titles, many he can't read until he finds on in a long lost language, English, and is then read The Book Of Phoenix. And so the story begins.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator- ⭐⭐⭐ 
     When I got the email from my library telling me that they had the second book in the Charlie Bucket series available I just had to see what would happen after he, Mr. Wonka, and Grandpa flew straight into the air at the end of the first book. And I'm sorry to say that I was not as pleased as I was with the first book. This book took a complete left from the first book. There were space stations and alien encounters. I wasn't here for the second book it was too wonky for me and while it might be the best thing since sliced bread for a child, for me it left a nasty taste in my mouth.

Holiday in Death- ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5  
     Book 7 in the In Death series. It was such a nice turn from what I had been reading to just dive into a good old 2056 murder mystery. And this one, as the title indicates, takes place during the Christmas time, *que music* It's the most wonderful time of the year *kills music*. Santa it seems is killing off beautiful women looking for love this X-mas season and leaving lyrics to the 12 days of Christmas along the way. I don't know about you, but I love Christmas and I can probably read a Christmas book anytime of the year. With the combination of Eve Dallas, the tough NY Cop, Peabody, her trusty and funny aide and all the other usually suspects It was a no brainer for me to rate this book 4.5 stars. I think the only thing that I keep taking off for is the bad sex scenes, I don't like them. But Peabody takes the cake for me. I love her so. 
Midnight in Death⭐⭐⭐⭐
     This is book 7.5 in the In Death series and it's a short less than 100 page novella that literally takes place not but a couple of hours after Holiday in Death has completed. Another Christmas themed story? Don't mind if I do. David Palmer a vicious serial killer has escaped from his prison cell after three years and is now after all the people who put him there. Eve, with the help of Roarke, is on the hunt for Palmer before he comes after anyone else. 
The Dispatcher⭐⭐⭐⭐
     This is a short story that I had gotten the audiobook for free of a long while back, and I decided to take a chance on it. This is my first John Scalzi book and I've heard many good things about his writing so I took a shot. Coming in at 128 pages this novella/short story was actually really good. I loved the concepts of the whole "Dispatcher". I thought it was a fresh idea, and I really liked the characters. The audio book was read by Zachary Quinto and I thought he did an excellent job on the story. Tony Valdez is a dispatcher and describing that it kind of a hard concept but in a way they help people, save lives in fact so they can come back. Now I know that sounds crazy, but when you read the novella it'll make sense. Here is a bit from the book explaining about death and what happens to you, 
“If you die of natural causes, you’re dead. If you commit suicide, you’re dead. If you accidentally fall down an elevator shaft or drop a radio in your bathwater, you’re dead. But if someone pushes you down that elevator shaft or drops that radio into your tub? You come back. Nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand.”
     Like I said, I thought the concept of the story was very good, the dialog was sharp the story wasn't hard to follow or understand. The parts about God and her existence was great, I like the conversations that came from it. The narration was great and I highly suggest you get the audio and now I might just pick up something else by Mr. Scalzi.

     So with all in all, it might NOT have been the best reading month for me, not sticking to my original list, but I did get to finish 2 series that have been on my TBR for a while, so I'll give myself that one. And I got one of my newly favorite/extremely interesting authors to retweet my tweet about how awesome I thought her book was (whole time trying to fangirl to hard lol)

     Alright y'all, that's it for me, until next time. Hit me up down below if you have read any of these books and let me know what was your favorite and least favorite read of this month. 

PEACE✌

Friday, August 25, 2017

AUGUST BOOK HAUL (video style) 📚



     Here's a video of my book haul for this month. I figured I would try something different in way of presentation. I might continue to do my book hauls like this. Who knows? Could be.

     I hope you enjoy and as always if you have read any of the books I have mentioned in the video let me know down below about them and what you thought.

PEACE ✌

Friday, August 11, 2017

BOOK → TV NEWS

     Two of my favorite Sci-Fi writers are finally getting some TV love. And I am here for both of them and I have high hopes yes, but at the same time I don't want to get myself too pumped and be let down but I'm going to live in this great news and spread the joy that it is with you, dear reader.
FULL TOR.COM ARTICLE HERE
     Ava DuVernay, as you can see from the screen shot of the article here, is set to bring Dawn book one in the Xenogenesis Trilogy by Octavia E. Butler to a television screen near you very soon. I had read the Xenogenesis Trilogy earlier this year and at first I wasn't sure if I had enjoyed the series but after finishing all three and sitting back and reflecting on it. I can honestly say that it was one of the most interesting and thought out brilliant concepts in a science fiction and I loved it. I highly recommend it by the way.  And now to see it come to life on my TV screen. Ahhhh!

FULL EW.COM ARTICLE HERE
    Earlier last week/late last month we also received news that Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death series is also getting turned into a television show on HBO and George RR Martin is going to be an executive producer. The Book of Phoenix (book #0.1) and Who Fears Death are some of the last books by Dr. Okorafor that I have yet to read, but if it is anything like I think it is and with the assistance of Mr. Martin, I have no doubt that THIS SERIES IS GOING TO BE FANTASTIC.

     No lie I'm having a serious blerd moment here #blackgirlmagic #afrofuturistic.


     Side note: Two other series have just made the jump from book to screen and I plan on watching are:

1. Mr. Mercedes based off the Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King is said to air on Audience, an AT&T channel. You can check out my review for the first book here. Great series, I would recommend it, especially the second book Finders Keepers.

2. Also, The Cuckoo's Calling, by the lovely J.K. Rowling is soon to premiere on BBC One August 27th at 9 pm. The show is called Strike after the main character Cormoran Strike. 

What a time to be alive.