2017’s most memorable books

Hello, how are you today?

It’s the final Saturday of 2017 and this year has been such a thrill for me because of all the books I’ve read. So, let’s get into this short list of the books that I enjoyed or books that I cannot get out of mind to date!

  • Freshwater by Akwaeke EmeziAn extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” 

  • Rain Falls on Everyone by Clar Ni Chonghaile : Theo, a young Rwandan boy fleeing his country’s genocide, arrives in Dublin, penniless, alone and afraid. Still haunted by a traumatic memory in which his father committed a murderous act of violence, he struggles to find his place in the foreign city. Plagued by his past, Theo is gradually drawn deeper into the world of Dublin’s feared criminal gangs. But a chance encounter in a restaurant with Deirdre offers him a lifeline. Theo and Deirdre’s tender friendship is however soon threatened by tragedy. Can they confront their addictions to carve a future out of the catastrophe that engulfs both their lives?

  • Valdaar’s Fist (Best Epic Fantasy I’ve read this year and the author is amazing). Valdaar’s Fist. Forged by mortals. Enchanted by Drow. Wielded by a god. Lost by man. Or was it? A band of unlikely adventurers embark upon an epic quest in this first book in a four-part series, battling minotaurs, demons, orcs, and wraiths—and occasionally themselves. Surely they must prevail…because the very balance of power in the land requires it.
  • Poetry: Helium by Rudy FranciscoHelium is filled with work that is simultaneously personal and political, blending love poems, self-reflection, and biting cultural critique on class, race and gender into an unforgettable whole. Ultimately, Rudy’s work rises above the chaos to offer a fresh and positive perspective of shared humanity and beauty.

Helium by [Francisco, Rudy]

That’s it for now. What are your memorable reads this year?

Advertisements

Don’t get married until you’re single by Sam Opeche

Publisher: Matador/112 pages/ Nonfiction

I was drawn to be this book because of two things: the title and the fact that the title part reflection of my status.
The author’s writing is timely and full of insights into being single, dating and getting married. He shares his own life experiences and those of the people he has interacted with over the years on what it means to give your best version to another in any commitment.
This book is written in what feels like a narrator’s voice and I had to highlight chapters and make notes as I read through it on my eReader.

I’d recommend reading it in print version so you can always make notes or highlight key areas that inspire, thus making it easier for you to progress in keeping track of areas of improvement. Some highlights for me included:

Singleness is a thing to be pursued and not be avoided. You shouldn’t get married because you are alone or because you want something. If you get married because you are looking for something from someone, or because you are looking for someone to complete you, then you become a burden because you haven’t got anything to give.

I received an advanced digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review and I am glad that the publisher and NetGalley granted my wish because now I can approach my weaknesses with such clarity.

The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important because of how long you live, you are important because of how effective you live.- The late Dr. Myles Munroe

This book would make an awesome gift to friends who are single and gosh, how about in Kenya and some parts of Africa where people look at you and ask “when are you getting married?” as though you came with an expiry date!

Get the book on : Amazon

Also reviewed on: Netgalley

A Review of Love and Other Inconveniences by Rhea Arielle

Love and Other Inconveniences by Rhea Arielle

125 pages/ Poetry/RavenSeagull Publishing

About the book: This is an emotive journey through the stages and waves of love, heartache and self-discovery using short poetry to make sense of it all. The words written here are unfiltered thoughts from the heart, on themes that all vulnerable beings have experienced in their own way and timing.

My take on it:
I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my thoughts on the collection and I’d say the poems evoke feelings that any reader could relate to.

  • The author’s writing style is simple and her poems fluctuate between thoughts, reflections and at times offer a bit of resonance to them.
  • The collection is divided into three parts referred to as ‘acts’ here making it an easy read with each act building on a specific theme.

I suck at drawing or making sketches, but Jerell Drakes illustrations in this book made me think it’d be easy, for which I’d gladly admit it’s not.

I was particularly touched by this poem which I couldn’t stop rereading:

When you’ve lost
your place in this world
lay your crown
upon your head
for you’ve always been
your own kingdom.

Review rating: 3.5 stars

Review also posted on: Goodreads

Get a copy of the book on: Amazon

About the author:
Rhea Arielle was originally born in the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. She attended New York University and majored in Finance and currently lives in Maryland where she is pursuing her writing passion. She’s on Instagram too: rheaarielle

Rhea Arielle

Book Review: The Voice Inside by Brian Freeman

The Voice Inside by Brian Freeman

348 pages/ Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

About the book:


One cop’s lie has set a killer free.

Four years after serial killer Rudy Cutter was sent away for life, San Francisco homicide inspector Frost Easton uncovers a terrible lie: his closest friend planted false evidence to put Cutter behind bars. When he’s forced to reveal the truth, his sister’s killer is back on the streets.

Desperate to take Cutter down again, the detective finds a new ally in Eden Shay. She wrote a book about Cutter and knows more about him than anyone. And she’s terrified. Because for four years, Cutter has been nursing revenge day after stolen day.

Staying ahead of the game of a killer who’s determined to strike again is not going to be easy. Not when Frost is battling his own demons. Not when the game is becoming so personal. And not when the killer’s next move is unlike anything Frost expected.

My take on it:


I wouldn’t want to be Frost. I wouldn’t want to be neither Eden nor Rudy Cutter because both were downright evil and wicked to kill.
What I would however love is to look Mr. Freeman in the eye and say “that was one hell of a chase! You’ve practically got me to steer clear of 3:42 am!”

I did not look forward to any psychological twists when I requested to read this book off NetGalley.

  • I was intrigued by the title, the blurb and I was looking forward to taking a break from all the romance and poetry I’d been soaking up.
  • This book offers an uncanny pace because where I expected Frost to use his detection skills and hunt Rudy Cutter for the sick serial killer he was, Frost took time to reflect on his sister’s life and murder.
  • Frost’s actions went against the grain of my expectations and this made reading this book such a thrill.

If you’re looking for a psychological thriller laced with some action and a good detective on the hunt, then this would be right up your alley.

Verdict2615261526152615


I’m going with a four star review because the ending left me wanting more and knowing for sure that Tabby and Frost have unfinished business and I’d love to know how he’ll work his way through that one.

Reviewed on: NetGalley & Goodreads

Get a copy of the book on: Amazon

About the author:


Brian Freeman is a #1 Amazon bestselling author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride, Frost Easton, and Cab Bolton series.

His books have been sold in 46 countries and 20 languages. He is widely acclaimed for his “you are there” settings and his complex, engaging characters and twist-filled plots.
Check out his website for more: Brian Freeman Books .  Brian Freeman

Book Review: Drakon’s Past by N. J. Walters

Drakon's Past by N.J. Walters

As far as romance, drakons, dragons and ancient artifacts go, this story is definitely worth reading.

You have Nic, a drakon and wealthy businessman who gets a call from a dealer about some statue. He knows they are priceless and they have something to do with his kind and in the wrong hands, this being the Knights of the Dragon, then all shifters like him would be hunted and killed. What he doesn’t know is that the dealer, Mario, also made the offer to another ruthless man, Dent. When the owner of the statues, Constance, comes at Nic claiming that he kidnapped her sister, Abigail, to get her to give up the statue, then he knows things could get worse. He’ll walk into a trap but at what risk and why?

In the midst of all this, the author did stick to the notion of mates for ancients, and Nic discovers that Constance is his mate. There are people after them but then the greatest barrier is Nic’s inability to trust, not just everyone but any woman due to the greatest betrayal that scarred him for life.

The author’s writing style makes for an easy read. The action fast tracked the story making it an enjoyable read in one sitting. The author also threw in a twist to Nic’ story towards the end that I did not see coming, I relished it.

I know there are other drakons who are like brothers to Nic and inasmuch as I would love to read their story, I would love to read Oscar’s story more. I wonder what kind of bind he’s be in to call Nic and the other Drakons for help, now that would be a story! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book and all the thoughts and opinions are mine. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is into romance.

Also reviewed on: Goodreads

Expected release date: January 29th 2018

About the author:

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it. Check out her site: here

Poetry review: Concerto al-Quds by Adonis

This is my first encounter with Adonis’ work and I am grateful to NetGalley and the Publishers for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I do not believe that my words could do justice to the awakening this collection gave me. I know not of your religion as you read this, but have you ever read a Psalm or the Songs of Solomon? Better yet, have you ever read a hymn? If not, well, this is akin to that. It is raw, unapologetic, bitter, hopeful, challenging and it does not relent in painting what we are as humans.

What if we counted the skulls that tumbled and rolled (in your name) into history’s tunnels and coliseums?

It is what I’d call the feast of truth; you have a plate set before you, there are dishes arraigned and you sit with people like you, people you like and dislike, and await the guest of honor.

Is a woman’s dress part of her skin? I admit to a sip of alcohol in my question. Can Solomon speak to his cave. – Solomon’s cave

I could quote this collection, but then I’d be doing the author an injustice, because I’d only share bits and pieces that stuck with me and we know a reading experience is relative.
I’ll leave it at that because I might contradict myself in the next few sentences.

Buy a copy: On Amazon

Alluring Shifter Romance

Shifters+ Trouble+ Traps+ Romance= A very happy Dora!
Lure of Oblivion by Suzanne Wright333 pages, Romance/Fantasy.
Publication date: November 21, 2017
This started out with Gwen, a human, who witnessed an assault on a shifter called Andie. She refused to withdraw or alter her statement despite the pressure from the Sheriff and the Moores, who seem to be the richest people in town, ready to throw their money to get their son, Brandt out of trouble.
Zander and Bracken are shifters, wolves to be precise, and they are part of the Mercury Pack who happen to be staying at the motel to attend a will reading when Mr. Moore comes to threaten and buy off Gwen. They decide to stick around and see what they can do to help.
Gwen’s not buying it that easily and Zander’s wolf is not so trusting of Gwen either.
The two dance around each other you’d think they were in a ring waiting to see who would strike first, and if you’ve had your share of shifter novels then your guess is probably right, Zander makes the first move.

I loved this book because I love a shifter romance. I am not so big on vampires and werewolves but shifters; bears, wolves, cougars, tigers…I’m all in. I also loved the fact that the relationship between Zander and Gwen was all about giving and taking. It was not a whirlwind romance, but rather, one where they took time to get to trust the other person and that felt relatable.

I wonder, is there a story on Bracken, because the guy is to Zander, what Marlon is to Gwen!
I also found the complex relationship between Gwen and her father, Kenny Cogman, interesting. I did not expect it to play out as it did and that added to the confrontation with the Moores.
If you are lounging home this weekend and are looking for something wild, fast-paced, sweet and alluring to read, then this would be a great recommendation.
I did get a copy off NetGalley and that would not have swayed me to be as happy as I am with this book, well, because I am hopeless shifter romantic, wait…does that even exist?
 Get a copy on: Amazon
About the Author:
Suzanne Wright lives in England with her husband, two children (one angel, one demon), and her bulldog. When she’s not spending time with her family, she’s writing, reading, or doing her version of housework – sweeping the house with a look.Suzanne Wright
Check out her author page: here