Mad Librarian by Michael Guillebeau

Serenity, the MAD Librarian aka Lie-brarian, served me some Southern grit, charm, hope and tough as knuckles personality in this book.

MAD Librarian by Michael Guillebeau

When the library runs out of funds and Serenity, the Head Librarian, is on the verge of giving up, she stumbles upon some residual account with all the money she could need to keep the library doors open and she takes it. She thinks, why not rip off the same city that has been ripping her off for years and it’s all about the books and keeping her doors open to everyone.

I was drawn to this book by the title. I love books and librarians are the most resourceful people I know and to have one that’s “MAD”, well, that was reason enough to pique my interest.

I loved the bookish references and how there were opposing forces for Serenity from the beginning. The sexism did piss me off, especially when the Mayor is keen on Serenity’s views on his interior decor and hat instead of talking about finances, partnership and keeping the library open. I also fumed when they wouldn’t give her time to air her views during the council meeting, that was just downright mean.

Serenity is all about books and it was quite nerve wrecking that she had a husband who lived by the book. Joe’s decision to stick by the law was the one thing that hurt more in this and in a way, I am grateful that the author was realistic because well, at some point it was clear that Serenity could not have her cake and eat it.
The pace was even in the first seven chapters and after that it felt like a drum rolling downhill. There was a part where Serenity was talking to Joe about fighting a losing battle that I found to be as honest as she could ever get in the book,

…Now that I’ve been in the normal world for twenty years and should be some kind of pillar for the community, it seems all I do is smile and pretend and take crap. Even that’s not enough anymore.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s mad about books. You’d agree with the author that public libraries do need funding and I’d be lying if I said that I find myself hurting just a bit more when I visit the public library here in Kisumu, Kenya.

Given the pace, the quirkiness of the characters and the unraveling of the plot, I’d say that my rating’s a 3.5 stars we should introduce that point five rating option.

I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. It’s been a mad read and is there any way I could get to name a pet Faulkner?

Reviewed also on: Goodreads

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Book Review: In Search of Paradise by Annemarie Musawale

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I am not a huge fan of apocalypse because I exist in this happy-go-lucky place where I hope we’ll never come to a World War Z or The Walking Dead times.
In Search of Paradise by Annemarie Musawale142 pages/ $2.99 Get the ebook–> here
The story revolves around three main characters; Ben, Anders and Zawadi. It is told from two points in time, before an asteroid strikes earth causing chaos, great rifts and deaths and the immediate aftermath. Ben is Luo and a rugby player who is attracted to Anders when they first meet. He is also living a double life because he has a girlfriend yet he’s clearly gay. Anders lives in Mombasa with his aunt and sister-Zawadi. The dynamic in their relationship is that Anders is the one who wears his heart on his sleeve while Ben in clearly doing his best not to incur the wrath or hate from those who know him as Esther’s boyfriend.
The back and forth was a bit distracting to me but I understand the author was trying to give two dimensions to her story.

One thing is certain, the author started writing the story and somewhere in between she introduced lots of sub-themes that took away the pace, intrigue and mystery, from the story.
When the author introduced the Egyptian gods, Seth, Osiris and Isis- she had me asking myself “really?” This was also after they’d covered half the desert and somehow Anders was keeping watch and the next thing it was pitch black and Ben was now talking about ‘intel’ and acting like he was on Survivor? However, I might be reading too much into this because the introduction of the Egyptian gods and their story felt more like a mirror image of the relationship of the two lead characters. Seth is the god of chaos and Osiris is that of fertility and he also guards the realm of the afterlife hence he’s in-charge of resurrection. Then, there’s Isis, the goddess of magic and nature who is believed to have conceived Horus with her brother Osiris. Now, in the author’s story-there’s also Ben and Anders who are clearly not brothers but they are dating and one is the chaos to the calm of the other.

In conclusion, this jolted me out of my realm of genres, and the author’s writing has proven to me over time that she is anything but conventional.

PS: Hey, Anne, could we have a side conversation about the ending?

Review also posted on:
About the author
Annemarie is a full-time writer and ghostwriter, who never gets enough sleep and lives with her dog and her son – when he can spare the time. She has written several books in various genres. The overarching theme is relationships. All kinds. She loves feedback, tea, and fanfiction. Visit her blog: Child of Destiny

Book Review: Aphrodite’s Tears by Hannah Fielding

“You are my passion, agapi mou. And each time you reject me, dousing my fire, my desire, like the phoenix, rises from the ashes, stronger and more determined.”

277 pages/ Fiction/ Contemporary Romance

Release date: January 25. 2018 . Pre-order on: Amazon UK

Book’s blurbIn ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Heracles was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams. Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her. Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both?

My Take on it:

Oriel is an archaeologist and her decision to respond to a job advert takes her to Greece, the island of Helios, and being on such a beautiful island brings back memories of an encounter with a mystery man she’d had one night. It’s been ten years and she’s never stopped thinking about that night and the man.

She is ushered into this world and she is eager to start diving for ancient artifacts and history except the one she’d be working for happens to be the man she’d met and loved that night. Ten years…a lot can happen in that time and Damian stirs the passion in her but she’s got a lot to deal with. He has a scar that runs from his face to his chest. Unlike Oriel, Damian is relentless in his pursuit of the woman he loves and cannot stop thinking about. He is also aware that his past, the dark secrets of his family, murder of his brother and his personality stand in the way of their love.

I loved the playful banter between Oriel and Damian. This book was filled with references to Greek Mythology and the stories of the gods.

When Oriel thinks about her feelings and being with Damian at some point she thinks that, “what was happening to her was worthy of a romantic novel,” and she’s right about that! 🙂

Damian decides to give Oriel time to come to the realization that she is in love with him and they share more than passion. It’s a difficult thing for him but he acknowledges: “It’s funny how sometimes the people you’d take a bullet for are the ones behind the trigger.”

What I love most about the author’s romance novels is her take on the setting. She does not just write about a place, she takes you through every rock, every plain, every home, the food, music and the people. Having read the Andalucian Nights Trilogy and loved it, I was looking forward to an adventure when I received a copy of this book from the author, instead I got carried away to Helios and enjoyed every bit of it.

I have neither been to Greece nor do I speak Greek but when Damian constantly refers to Oriel as agapi mou I instantly felt the love he had for her.

As I was reading about the island and the team’s diving all I could think of was something serene as these pictures: (I got them off stocksnap.io and they are of Santorini and Crete but don’t the blue waters make you want to dive in?)

crete greece sea view ocean Santorini sunset greece amazing

However, there is a uniqueness to the author’s portrayal of her heroines. In the books I’ve read, she begins their stories with a journey. Her heroines often travel from one country to another and in doing so they awaken their exploration of the places and people they encounter.

Though the story revolves around Damian and Oriel, she did introduce strong characters in the book who in their own way contributed to the story of the two leads.

I do wish you’d be swept away by this book as I was. I promise you, she’ll not only serve you a story, but she’ll give you passion, desire, and while I’m at it…food. Yes, the food and the fruits mentioned here made me feel as though I’d never eaten anything exotic in my life!

About the author:

Hannah FieldingHANNAH FIELDING is a multi-award winning romance author who was born and grew up in Alexandria, Egypt. She has written six novels: Aphrodite’s Tears; Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy (the Andalucían Nights Trilogy); The Echoes of Love and Burning Embers. She is a member of the association for Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her website and blog can be found at www.hannahfielding.net

Book Review: This is Not For Us- And all the things they tell you

There is a certain subtlety to Arushi Singh’s poems, they do not politely knock on the door of your conscience and wait to be ushered in, they make themselves at home.

This is Not For Us by Arushi Singh

This collection opens with Syria and you are at war, with the world, with humanity but you also grieve and it’s the desolation that carries you through onto the next poem and before you know it, you find yourself listening to #mentoo.

I am not talking about listening with your ears, but with your understanding and questioning the opinions you’ve held over the years on abuse, harassment, loss and trauma.

I can’t say me too; and that is part of the problem.
It happens to men too.
#mentoo

Unfeminine resonated with me, so did Never Argue with a Spoon because if there’s one thing that in most cases hinders the progress of humanity it’s got to be policies and bureaucracy.
I came across this book on Amazon as I was looking for some poetry books and decided to read it. It’s a good collection of thirty-six poems or so that do pack a punch and for a start, it’s a great read and I do hope to read more of the author’s works in the future.

Details

You can get a copy from Amazon today at: $5.99 click here

Read the review too on: Goodreads

About the Author

Arushi Singh

Arushi is a poet and literature student from Delhi, India. She has written two poetry collections- “Deviant:The Obscenity of truth”, and “This is Not For Us- And all the things they tell you”. For more visit her website: http://arushisingh.com/ or her author page on: Goodreads

Reading and Writing updates for this month

It’s NanoWrimo time and I have written 5,000 words so far. I have let the editor in me win so much so that I cannot go through 500 words without chopping off some words 😦

How’s your writing coming along? Are you participating in NanoWrimo too?

Well, when it comes to reading, I have ventured forth into fantasy, thrillers, crime fiction and a bit of YA this month. I’m more into Literary Fiction and sometimes Historical Fiction but this sudden shift of interest has me asking questions about the influence seasons have on readers.

 

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November #TBR

I read The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie in two days simply because there’s this warlord called Bethod, a barbarian, who has unleashed war on the lands and his out to rule all the lands. If there’s one thing that stood out for me was how savage and vicious the fights were in this book. If you’re into epic fantasy then you should try 527 pages of this book!

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Loved this book!

I also just finished reading Cold Fire by Dean Koontz. It’s either the second or third title by the author that I’ve devoured. In 421 pages, we meet Jim Ironheart who knows when death will strike and he rushes in any situation he’s compelled so as to save lives. A chance encounter with a reporter, Holly Thorne, leads Jim down memory lane, and in an attempt to unravel the mystery that’s Jim Ironheart, Holly finds herself at the threshold and you cannot help but hang on for the wild ride.

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I was spooked and thrilled by this book!

My next read is The Dark Volume by G.W.Dahlquist and at this rate I don’t see myself successfully writing 50,000 words but whatever I do write, it’s going to be worth something.

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10 Things a Husband needs from his Wife by Erin Smalley

A wonderful and understanding companion of a book for Christians.
10 Things a Husband Needs from His Wife: Everyday Ways to Show Him Love by [Smalley, Erin]
Anyone who is married would learn and relate to a thing or two in reading this book. The author’s tone is friendly and light and she shares her personal experiences and struggles and also adds some other couples experiences to bring out a point.
I found the questions for reflection and weekly challenges very interesting and who knows maybe this would come in handy for my married friends.
I also found her take on leadership at home interesting because she interpreted submission in a different light than most Christians and what stood out for me was that you’ve got to work on your relationship daily.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review and it’s been a great reading and reflecting experience.
Reviewed also on: Goodreads
Get a copy today from: Amazon

Investigating with Harry Bosch

Hi, I’m a fan of Michael Connelly’s books, are you?

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I’ve just finished reading The Brass Verdict and it felt good seeing Bosch back in action with his uncanny ability to play suspects to his advantage.

What had me with this book was the opening:

Everybody lies.

Cops lie. Lawyers lie. Witnesses lie. The Victims lie.

A trial is a contest of lies.

Those first three lines reminded me of Yo Gotti’s hit Women lie Men Lie featuring Lil Wayne. The hook goes something like this “women lie, men lie, women lie, men lie, women lie, men lie, numbers don’t lie.” 

It also brought up awesome memories of the TV Show Numb3rs which I loved, until, they cancelled it. I loved the character, Prof. Charlie Eppes and his fascination for solving anything related to numbers. (It could also do with the little known fact that I suck at Math)

And I digress, but now, let’s get back to the book. We are introduced to Mickey Halley,  who gets the call that he’ll be taking over another lawyer’s practice after the man’s found dead. Mickey knew the lawyer. They’d worked some cases back and he’s not looking to get back in the game that fast, but when a high profile case is involved, he finds himself doing just that. He also has Detective Harry Bosch, the FBI and a some bigwigs in the court system watching his every move.

Frankly speaking, if I were Mickey, I would have just let it go and said I was not ready to take up an entire practice, but I’m not. I also know nothing about the legal system in America, being that I’m Kenyan and in my country, a whole lot of people are clearly in violation of the law.

I loved the pace because you have two leads who are coming back to the fold and so, you don’t want to rush things and at the same time, you don’t want things to crawl.

It’s been a while since a read a book by Michael Connelly and I enjoyed this one. I am looking forward to reading The Closers next, however now that we are talking my ultimate go-to, let’s get some action, kick up the adrenaline, Connelly book has got to be “The Poet.”

What’s yours?