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Two Book Tuesday

I am on the strangest non-fiction kick lately… No real idea why, maybe it’s because I’m back in school and looking to learn lots of new things, but I’m reading TWO non-fiction titles at the same time AND sharing them both with you on this Two Book Tuesday!

Who am I and what have I done with myself?

Thanks to my bookselling sister, I got my hands on a copy of The Parasitic Mind by Gad Saad.

A recurring argument between my brother and I revolves around the question “what the heck happened to common sense?” with me asking “why aren’t people questioning this?” and him basically saying “it’s easier for people to let someone else think for them.”

Which lead me to The Parasitic Mind. I’ve only just begun, but the writing is excellent and well-planned, explaining how bad ideas spread through the masses in a way that is interesting, rather than eye-rollingly boring.

As with Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus and my desire to read just about everything she’s written, I’m very interested in Gad Saad’s other titles as well!

So far, Girl, Wash Your Face is more a biography than inspirational title, though author Rachel Hollis does have some really great nuggets of advice like the following…

“You become who you surround yourself with. You become what you consume. If you find yourself in a slump, or feel as though you’re living in a negative space, take a good, hard look at who or what you see every day.”

Each chapter shares a story from her life and, at the end, wraps everything up into a handful of simple steps for the reader to follow.

At the end of the day, Rachel’s message is that women need to put themselves at the TOP of their priority list. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone or anything else?

What’s the last inspirational book you read?
Did anything specific stay with you afterwards?

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Two Book Tuesday

I continue to struggle with some writer’s block in regards to blogging, but I have hope that it’ll work it’s way out of my system. It strange but it seems as if the more my brain works, the less ability I have to put thoughts into writing.

I’ve only just begun listening to The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd, but a chapter in and I’m already interested in where the story will go…

I first learned about indigo dye by way of Japanese indigo, or aizome, a number of years ago and found the topic to be absolutely fascinating!

What is really cool about The Indigo Girl is how such a young woman was able to use both her intellect and the resources around her to make an impact on history. Being a “northern girl,” it’s only been in recent years that I’ve taken an interest in biographical material on Southerners other than major historical figures or entities.

From what I’ve learned, what’s left of Eliza Lucas’ writings are a highly detailed look into the life of an elite colonial woman. I would love to get my hands on a reproduction of her letters. ❤

Eliza Lucas’ story is sure to be a good one and I look forward to sharing my thoughts in a full-length review as soon as I’m finished with it, lol.

I swear that I’m going to read Wesley the Owl even if it kills me to do it!

Truly, I’ve been trying to sit down and crack this book open since I added it to my July TBR list and it just keeps slipping away from me.

Owls are one of my favorite birds of prey and I’m really looking forward to reading about Stacey O’Brien’s life with baby barn owl Wesley. Y’all cross your fingers that I can actually read it sometime soon!

blog · book review · review

Two Book Tuesday

I’m sitting here, enjoying the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, waiting for my coffee to finish brewing and thinking about the books for today. It’s the kind of morning where you could easily have slept in, or pulled yourself from that comfy place under the covers and enjoy the sun coming up on a new day.

Tuesday just might be my favorite day of the week.

But you’re not here to listen to me go on and on about days of the week, lol, you’re here for the books! Rather than including a book I’m reading and one I’m about to read, this Two Book Tuesday is about two books that I am reading. They’re a little behind from their original TBR month, but life has conspired to keep me from my ‘4 books a month’ goal, lol.

I hope you enjoy my rambling about two really good books!

Now that I have a computer again, I can spend money during the Steam Summer Sales, lol. One of the games I purchased was the Windows version of one of my favorite PS4 games, Final Fantasy XV.

Between fighting zombies in 7 Days to Die and the Covenant in Halo: Reach, I started a brand new game in Final Fantasy XV and it felt a little like coming home, which is the best way to tell if the game was good for you. 🙂

The Dawn of the Future begins near the end of the game, but before the final battle and epilogue.

We get to see Ardyn as the healer king and his tense relationship with his brother Somnus, learn more about Niflheim and it’s people, and we get to see Luna in her wedding dress, yay!

I’ve really only taken a nibble of this book, but I’m already hoping for a happy ending.

Oh, and the artwork is absolutely breathtaking! There are images of characters both known and unknown, illustrations of events past and future, and towards the back of the book a collection of promotional pictures.

I’m half-listening and half-reading Undetected by Dee Henderson, lol.

Purchased as a title from Kindle, I decided to try out the Audible Whispersync function. Basically, you get to listen to someone reading you the book while it follows along by highlighting the words being spoken.

So far, it’s a pretty fun book.

I really enjoy the camaraderie the captain and crew of the USS Nevada have for each other and the rivalry they have with the blue crew, with whom they share joint custody of the submarine.

It’s fun and believable and really helps to show the family that these crews become to one another whilst aboard their ship.

This bit made me laugh out loud when I read it…

We’re going to snuggle with the Seawolf. Let’s remind them who’s the better boat.

Mark Bishop captains the USS Nevada, spending months at sea before coming ashore to watch another captain take the submarine out before he gets to return to her. Mark desperately wants to find a wife that he can build a relationship with, honor as God requires, and love for the rest of his days. But he’s still not 100% over the death of his first wife and it’s made him skittish to try his hand at dating again. He’s looking for serious and isn’t sure he’s going to find it.

And Gina Grey? Well, she’s a wicked smart woman who dreams of being married before she’s thirty. After a bad break-up, she moves out west to be with her brother, to work, and hopefully to find the man of her dreams. She’s been praying for the right man to come into her life and maybe, just maybe that man is the one she meets when he’s buying ice cream after returning to shore.

These two are super cute together, their love for God and for each other is refreshing to see and I look forward to reading more of Dee Henderson’s works in the future.

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Two Book Tuesday

I’ve mostly been taking a break from the internet these last few weeks. It’s so disheartening to hear about how bad the world is and I just needed a break. Just taking time to sit and enjoy the quiet peace of a chair in the sun and some knitting.

After I finish studying for my trigonometry class in the evenings I’ve been re-playing the Mass Effect trilogy of games on my PS3. I’m pleased to say that I have successfully completed a hardcore play through of the first game AND got the platinum trophy for game two… just mopping up trophies left and right, lol.

And, I know it’s what you’re here for, so here’s what I’ve been reading…

This comic follows Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on one of their early missions to find the source of a distress beacon. They crash land on a planet still fighting the civil war that destroyed their civilization and are quickly drawn into the plotting of each side.

It’s an interesting story, you get to see Palpatine’s machinations in both Anakin’s life and the day-to-day happenings of the Jedi temple… and yeah, it’s pretty insidious (no pun intended, lol).

If you like the Star Wars franchise or either of these two main characters, then I would certainly say that this comic is a good one for you to read.

The cover of The Trouble with Hating You immediately caught my eye in the newsletter I’d received. A moment later and my brain caught up with the title and I knew that I would absolutely have to get my hands on this book!

From the description, it sounds like author Sajni Patel has come up with a witty, enemies to lovers, office romance and I can’t wait to read it. 😀

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Two Book Tuesday

Still dealing with the Covid-19 craziness. Even though I’m blessed to be allowed to continue working during this time, I can feel mental exhaustion creeping in. So, I’ve been diving into various fictional worlds as a means of escape… it’s also a free vacation, in it’s own way.

The Elven King’s Blade is actually a web-based serial title, written by X. Aratare (or RaytheReign).

Ciaran has been fighting an unknown wasting disease his entire life, a disease which took the life of his mother, and has resigned himself to an early death. He decides to travel to a family-owned cabin with his pet fox, Twig, who adopted him when he was a young boy and has never left his side.

What he finds in the small, country town is proof that he didn’t hallucinate the black riders he and his mother fought and that there is more to the world than he ever imagined. After saving Elven King Aethaden’s life and discovering what he really is, Ciaran decides to follow his destiny and go to the elven realm to fight the ‘forces of evil’ there.

If you’re at all interested in web-serials, then I would suggest checking this title out.

This book was suggested to me by a co-worker at the library. She is very well-read and had only just started reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo.

I am familiar with Bardugo’s young adult works, but hadn’t heard about this venture into adult fiction.

As an urban fantasy title, I am expecting it to be darker than my usual fare, but am excited to hop into the world she’s created. 🙂

book review · challenges · review

Two Book Tuesday

This month’s post is pretty much themed around the O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon I’m participating in during the month of April. I’ve been enjoying going back to books and series’ that I remember liking in the past, as well as venturing way outside of my comfort genres and reading things like straight up romance *gasp*!

Okay, confession time… I haven’t had the chance to really get into this book. Shame on me, but I spent most of my free time sewing up a face mask to wear out-and-about.

Altered Heart follows Mick Matranga as he works to rid his city of the lowest scum out there. Along the way, he discovers his mate, one Rio Hardin, a human-turned-werewolf about the experience his first shift.

I’m pretty sure this is my first time reading Kate Steele, so here’s hoping it’s a good first introduction, lol.

By the title alone, The Perfect Wife by Gina Fields doesn’t sound like something I’d enjoy, but it comes highly suggested by my mother and she has great taste in books, so we shall see.

My mom says that it’s just a “really great story without a lot of extra stuff to clog up the plot” and “one the nicest romances I have ever read”.

I’m looking forward to reading this, even though it’s kind of short, lol.

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Two Book Tuesday

I’ve been waffling between super busy and insanely apathetic this last month. I’ve struggled with a lack of interest in getting things done and my reading goals suffered because of it… but I managed to re-arrange my living space, make progress on a knitting project, and read just a few things, including a non-fiction title that’s been on my “to read list” since 2012!

I first became interested in Nathaniel Fick’s story by watching HBO’s Generation Kill, a show inspired by the book a journalist, Evan Wright, wrote about his time embedded with Marines during the first phase of the Iraq War.

It says a lot about his character, that the reason Nathaniel Fick joined the Marines was because they didn’t say how great they were, but asked instead if he could be great enough to join them. They challenge applicants to be better than even they think they can be and, if they succeed, they will embody the values held by the Marine Corp and will become “The few, the proud, the Marines.” (no pun intended)

“You need discipline most, when it’s hardest to muster.”
― Nathaniel Fick

I listened to the audio version of this book, which is read by Nathaniel Fick, and while the narration is sometimes bland, the content more than makes up for those few moments. It is particularly enthralling to hear a Marine’s thoughts as he makes the decision to join up, goes through various levels of training, and finally goes to war following the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

While serving, Nathaniel Fick’s core objective was to take care of the men under him. I think we hear more about the abuses of power, than about those individuals who truly care to make a difference in the lives of the people they lead… and that’s terribly sad. It is an honor to lead others, be it on the battlefield or in the office, and those in positions of power should take care to remember that.

“Complex ideas must be made simple,
or they’ll remain ideas and never be put into action.”
― Nathaniel Fick

Having heard his story through his own words, I can only that the world could use more men like Nathaniel Fick.

On a recent trip to Nashville, I was able to get my hands on a copy of The Radium Girls at a used bookstore, yay!

This nonfiction title is about when radium was first discovered and how, as the new thing, we didn’t really understand the side effects it could have. The Radium Girls is about the women who worked in radium-dial factories and the serious effects this dangerous element had on them.

Can’t wait to crack this one open!

Do you enjoy reading biographies? Why or why not?
What about nonfiction in general?
Let me know what your favorite genres are in the comments!

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Two Book Tuesday

It has been notoriously difficult to get my hands on the books I really wanted to read this month. I’ve had a title requested at Barnes & Noble for nearly 4 weeks with no delivery date in sight, hunted down three books at local libraries only to have them checked out mere hours before my arrival, and just had pretty bad luck all around.

Once I finally found a handful of books to read, I sat myself down and started Bob by Wendy Moss.

Honestly, Bob feels like a story I might have read when I was a child. There is a sense of nostalgia and childlike wonder and belief in the imaginary that brought me back to my early years as a reader.

It was such fun remembering along with Livy and discovering where Bob came from.

The second title for Two Book Tuesday is Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat. It has been on my TBR for an absolute age and I’m going to read it, even if it kills me! (spoiler: it probably won’t)

I’ve heard that it’s about a prince who is betrayed by his brother and sent as a slave to serve the prince of another country with whom tensions are high.

It sounded interesting and it’s been suggested to me a number of times, so we’ll see what the verdict is once I get into it.

What do you think of these two books?
Do you think I’ll be captivated by Captive Prince?
Let me know in the comments!

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Two Book Tuesday

Two Book Tuesdays are getting a facelift… With a new graphic for these posts, tons of books I can’t wait to share with you, and a whole year in which to do so, things are looking up for Two Book Tuesday!

Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Read by Robert Petkoff

I purchased a copy of Less by Andrew Sean Greer and didn’t really know what to expect from it other than it had a cover that made me want to read it.

Fast forward three weeks and I still hadn’t cracked that paperback open!  Instead, I went online to my library’s Libby catalog (through Over Drive) and checked it out there, figuring that if I didn’t have time to sit and read then I could listen while accomplishing other tasks.  This proved to be the correct choice and I managed to listen to Less in about two weeks.

Robert Petkoff’s performance was exceptional. He was able to make me feel pity and exasperation and joy for the situations Arthur Less continually found himself going through. In the end, I was quite happy to see where Arthur’s adventures took him, even if it was in the most roundabout of ways.

Hadrian’s Wall
by Adrian Goldsworthy

Hadrian’s Wall by Adrian Goldsworthy is a nonfiction title I came across while browsing the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble bookstore. I have always been curious about the Roman occupation of the British Isles (I even wrote a short paper about it in school!) and I figured that this title would be of interest.

I had other things on my mind (and in my basket), so it was another two months before I was able to get my hands on Hadrian’s Wall.

I am so looking forward to cracking this book open because it is one of my absolute favorite times (and locations) in history!

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Two Book Tuesday

I decided to do something a little different for this Two Book Tuesday and talk about two scary books that I’ve read recently that sent shivers down my spine and made me want to turn on all the lights in the house.

First we have Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward.  A young adult horror title with a slightly dystopian feel to it, Bleeding Earth has a pretty original idea for an apocalypse where the earth literally starts to bleed and growing hair and bones.  Throughout the story, we follow Lea as she navigates trying to maintain a normal life in spite of the encroaching blood while hoping that her girlfriend will be strong enough to go public (going against her father in doing so).

Even though it has its problems (with plot and actually ANSWERING WHY THE EARTH BLEEDS TO BEGIN WITH), I absolutely could not put this book down.  It was just… viscerally disturbing and nauseatingly descriptive.  Every single time that the blood is described, I wanted to gag, and when they introduced the hair and bones I actually had to close the book for a minute and just breathe.

This book is gross.  It truly is horrific in both atmosphere and the behavior of the people trapped in a world they believe to be ending.  I rated this 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads and suggest you read it if you like Young Adult or being spooked. 👻

Book two is Down by Ally Blue and is one of fifteen titles that I purchased at the 2017 Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention.  I was lucky enough to meet Ally Blue in person and goofy enough to gush about which of her books that I ADORED!  Over the course of the discussion, she mentioned that she had just finished her first ever horror title and would I like to purchase it?

Now, I am not a huge follower of the horror genre, but I do love Ally’s writing style and honestly, how do you say no to an author who is sitting right in front of you?  I am thankful that I didn’t.  I bought that book and then sat on it for months…  Months that I could have spent reading this!  At any time!

Down is a horrific take on the mermaid mythos that has a distinctly science fiction twist and a smidgen romance.