Monthly Archives: October 2012

Teaser Tuesday (9): The Casual Vacancy

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

What I’m Currently Reading:

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling



Page 297:

“Up in the little white house that sat high above the town, Simon Price fretted and brooded. Days passed. The accusatory note had vanished from the message boards, but Simon remained paralyzed.”


Feature & Follow Friday (18)


Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Question:

What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book?

Answer:

The dreaded cliffhanger! I understand why authors use them – to buy their next book. What I really dislike is when the author ends with a crazy cliffhanger and takes two years to write the next book. It’s very frustrating and I have a tendency to lose interest if I have to wait too long to see what happens next. I don’t think the cliffhanger is really necessary. I have read many stand-alone books in a series and it doesn’t affect my decision to read the next book.

Throwback Thursday (17): Eleanor of Aquitaine

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.
It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.
You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

My Throwback Thursday:

Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life by Alison Weir
Originally released in 1999

Synopsis

Renowned in her time for being the most beautiful woman in Europe, the wife of two kings and mother of three, Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the great heroines of the Middle Ages. At a time when women were regarded as little more than chattel, Eleanor managed to defy convention as she exercised power in the political sphere and crucial influence over her husbands and sons. In the beautifully written biography, Alison Weir paints a vibrant portrait of this truly exceptional woman, and provides new insights into her intimate world. Eleanor of Aquitaine lived a long life of many contrasts, of splendor and desolation, power and peril, and in this stunning narrative, Weir captures the woman – and the queen – in all her glory. With astonishing historic detail, mesmerizing pageantry, and irresistible accounts of royal scandal and intrigue, she recreates not only a remarkable personality but a magnificent past era.

Eleanor, in my opinion, is the most amazing woman in world history. She was the Queen of France AND of England. She had incredible influence in world politics. Plus she led several rebellions against her own husband, Henry II. I read this biography a long time ago but it remains one of my favorites. Alison Weir’s biographies read like historical fiction and are so much fun to read. 


Review: Savages

Savages by Don Winslow
Published by Simon & Schuster
Released in 2010
301 pages
Crime Fiction

 

Synopsis
Part-time environmentalist and philanthropist, Ben and his ex-mercenary buddy Chon run a Laguna Beach-based marijuana operation reaping significant profits from their loyal clientele. In the past when their turf was challenged, Chon took care of eliminating the threat. But now they come up against something that they can’t handle – the Mexican Baja Cartel wants in, and sends them the message that a “no” is unacceptable. When they refuse to back down, the cartel escalates its threat, kidnapping Ophelia, the boys’ playmate and confidante. O’s abduction sets off a dizzying array of ingenious negotiations and gripping plot twists that will captivate readers eager to learn the costs of freedom and the price of one amazing high.
Savages is a fast-paced, sexy thrill-ride through the drug wars of southern California. It is violent and bloody, and a fantastic read. The story revolves around a trio of friends who care about nothing, except getting high and each other. It is amazing the lengths they will go to save another. They will literally sacrifice everything for each other.
The entire story revolves around Ben and Chon trying to save Ophelia from the Baja Cartel. Ben, Chon and O have great chemistry. I found it to be a unique love story based on action and not sentiment.  These characters are very flawed but have complete trust and loyalty to one another. Even though Ben, Chon and O have serious faults, you still like them and want them to win in the end.

Winslow succeeded in creating very unique and tough characters. O could have been a character that grated on your nerves that nails on a chalk board. However, her resilience and trust in “her boys” is admirable. Chon never knew he had any feelings for anyone until Ben and O are threatened. Ben’s transformation is the most disturbing of the three. He starts as pacifist, philanthropist and ends as a killer. I felt he paid the ultimate price for his lifestyle and his friends.

 

The dialogue was written incredibly well. Winslow didn’t bog down the story with a lot of description. It is mostly dialogue between the characters. He is able to maintain the story’s fast pace this way. You are not slowed down by any unnecessary details. I did enjoy Winslow’s little political diatribes throughout the book. He used Chon as his venting tool.
In no way, shape or form does Winslow romanticize the drug cartels. They are a nasty bunch of people. Lado is a soulless greedy bastard. No redeeming qualities at all. The bloodshed caused by the cartels is unfathomable. Winslow captured the incredible violence caused by the drug wars. It is sad and devastating.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a really fast read and I highly recommend it!
KinxsBookNookScore4

Cover Reveal: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Omens by Kelley Armstrong
Expected Release: August 2013


Synopsis:

Twenty-four year old Olivia Taylor has the perfect life. the only daughter of wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiance, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia find herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?! (16)

 
Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey.
Here’s what I’m reading this week:

 
Savages by Don Winslow

 

Synopsis

 

Part-time environmentalist and philanthropist Ben and his ex-mercenary buddy Chon run a Laguna Beach-based marijuana operation, reaping significant profits from their loyal clientele. In the past when their turf was challenged, Chon took care of eliminating the threat. But now they may have come up against something that they can’t handle – the Mexican Baja Cartel wants in, and sends them the message that a “no” is unacceptable. When they refuse to back down, the cartel escalates its threats, kidnapping Ophelia, the boys’ playmate and confidante. O’s abduction sets off a dizzying array of ingenious negotiations and gripping plot twists that will captivate readers eager to learn the costs of freedom and the price of one amazing high.
 
I’m reading this for my October Book Club. It should be a fun read.
 
I’m, also, still plowing through The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling.



Stacking the Shelves (12)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

This week I purchased from the Norman Public Library Fall Book Sale:

The Thief Taker by Janet Gleeson
Shopgirl by Steve Martin
Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
The Final Solution by Michael Chabon
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Plus I bought seven children’s books and all together I only spent $15.00! Quite the deal! Always check out your local library sales because you can find some amazing deals.


Feature & Follow Friday (17): Kinx’s Book Nook



Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be 

followed.
Featured Blog: Kinx’s Book Nook
That’s Me!!

When did you start blogging

May 2012

What is your favorite part of book blogging?

For me, writing a great review for a wonderful book and sharing it with my fellow book lovers. I really love getting comments that people liked my review and are now putting that book on the TBR list.

What is your favorite book(s)?

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
What has been the best thing that has happened to you because of book blogging?

I would have to say meeting some amazing people in the book community. I’ve met authors and fellow bloggers that have introduced to me books that I would never have considered reading. I really love the independent authors and helping them promote their books. Everyone is so supportive. I have yet to encounter any nasty bullies or negative feedback. It’s all been a wonderful experience so far!

Question: When you step out of your USUAL genre what do you like to read? Best books in that genre.

Answer: I would say nonfiction, specifically memoirs. My favorite is Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. It is one of the few times that I laughed and cried at the same time. It is an amazing story. 






Throwback Thursday (16): The Spy Who Loved Me

 
Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.
It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.
You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

My Throwback Thursday:

The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond #9)


By Ian Fleming


Originally published in 1962


Synopsis:

“He was about six feet tall, slim and fit. The eyes in the lean, slightly tanned face were a very clear grey-blue and as they observed the men they were cold and watchful. His good looks had a dangerous, almost cruel quality that had frightened me. But now, I knew he could smile, I thought his face exciting, in a way no face had ever excited me before…”

Vivienne Michel is in trouble. Trying to escape her tangled past, she has run away to the American backwoods, winding up at the Dream Pines Motor Court. A far cry from the privileged world she was born to, the motel is also the destination of two hardened killers – the perverse Sol Horror and the deadly Sluggsy Morant. When a coolly charismatic Englishman turns up, Viv, in terrible danger, is not just hopeful, but fascinated. Because he is James Bond, 007: the man she hopes will save her, the spy she hopes will love her…

Why do I love this book?


This is my favorite of all the Ian Fleming’s books even though it was not well received by critics or loyal Bond fans. The entire book is from the woman’s perspective which is completely different than any other Bond book. Ian Fleming’s intent was “to write a cautionary tale about Bond, to put the record straight in the minds particularly of younger readers…the experiment has obviously gone very much awry.” However, not everyone hated this book. Esther Howard, from The Spectator, said that “Surprisingly Ian Fleming’s new book is a romantic one and ,except for some early sex in England (rather well done, this) only just as nasty as is needed to show how absolutely thrilling it is for… the narrator to be rescued from both death and worse – than by a he-man like James Bond. Myself, I like the Daphne du Maurier touch and prefer it this way but I doubt his real fans will.”


The book is completely different from the movie.  In fact, they have completely different storylines and characters. I didn’t like the movie at all. Roger Moore, in my opinion, is a horrible Bond.

Blog Tour: The Chupacabra

The Chupacabra: A Borderline Crazy Tale of Coyotes, Cash & Cartels
Written by Stephen Randel
Published by Knuckleball Press
Released on August 19, 2012
233 pages
Dark Comedy

Synopsis:

 

He is called El Barquero. He makes his trade along the border, smuggling guns and killing without remorse. As he faces his one last mission, his perfect plan is unwittingly foiled by Avery, a paranoid loner obsessed with global conspiracy theories who spends most of his time crafting absurd and threatening letters to anyone who offends him. That means pretty much everyone.

 

What unfolds is a laugh out dark comedy of madcap adventure stretching from Austin to the West Texas border featuring a lunatic band of civilian militia, a group of bingo-crazed elderly ladies (one packing a pistol nearly as long as her arm), a murderous and double-crossing cartel boss, a burned –out hippy, and a crotchety retired doctor and his pugnacious bulldog. Read it to believe it.

What a wild ride!! If you like Coen Brothers films, you will enjoy this book. All of the characters are larger than life and hilarious. Stephen Randel jumps around a lot with a lot of different characters, so you have to stay on your toes to keep up. But believe me, it’s worth it!

 

Most of the book is comedy. However, the dark aspect comes from El Barquero, who is a nasty piece of work. He is a serious sociopath who has no conscience at all. He kills for his convenience and it is a little bit disturbing. He has no redeeming qualities. He is a very bad man. El Barquero is looking to double cross one of the Mexican Cartels which is a very bad idea. Randel gives the reader a good feel on how bad it is in Mexico. The Mexican Cartels have taken over the drug trade from the Columbians and Randel gives you somewhat of a lesson how the takeover took place. It’s pretty interesting.

 

Now we get to the crazy part of the book and that would be Avery, STRAC-BOM (Southwest Texas Revolutionary Armed Confederate Border Operations Militia), and Aunt Pearl.  Avery is a different breed o’ cat! His paranoia and schizophrenic tendencies keeps the reader very entertained. STRAC-BOM is a wacky group of militia wannabes led by General X-Ray. His militia is armed with old shotguns and slingshots in hopes of tracking down illegal aliens. Instead of finding illegal aliens, El Barquero finds them and all hell breaks loose. Now Aunt Pearl is a pistol-packin’ little old lady that doesn’t take crap from anyone. She is mad as hell all the time, especially if her Bingo Night is messed with. Her intervention is a riot to read!

 

There are so many different characters and plotlines in this book and I wasn’t sure how Randel was going to bring it all together. In the end, he created a wonderful climax that brought all the craziness under one roof. All characters are hilarious (except for El Barquero) and unique. You will laugh your pants off at some of their escapades. 

KinxsBookNookScore4
About the author:
Stephen Randel, CFA, was born in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University. Steve now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and their two rescue dogs.
Steve is a natural storyteller with a background as a financial services executive specializing in fiduciary liability, institutional consulting, and as a public speaker. His passions include cooking, college football, international travel, and English soccer. Unfortunately, he’s a long-suffering Queen’s Park Rangers supporter. Oh, well, maybe this is the year.
His favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, and Ferrol Sams. One of these is not like the others.Website
Amazon

For more tour dates:

October 15th @Lectus
October 16th @Kinx’s Book Nook
October 17th @Four A’s & a D.
October 18th @Reese’s Reviews
October 20th @The Sisters’ Tale
October 21st @Wanted Readers
October 23rd @Devoted Mommy of 3
October 25th @I Read a Book Once … 
October 26th @Lynelle Clark Aspired Writer
October 27th @For the Love of Film and Novels
October 28th @Love, Literature, Art, and Reason
October 29th @The Book Barn
October 30th @Penny Lane Writes
October 31st @Every Free Chance Book Reviews
October 31st @Celtic Lady’s Reviews
November 1st @Book and Swoons
November 2nd @my name is: Sage
November 4th @Fictitious Musings
November 4th @Sarcasm and Lemons
November 5th @Turning the Pages

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October Selection

Categories

Currently Reading

Kendal's bookshelf: currently-reading


goodreads.com

TBR

Kendal's to-read book montage

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
Where Are the Dinos?
Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Cold Blooded
Bristol House
My Notorious Life: A Novel
Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind
Long Live the King
To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Bad News for a Ghost
The Next Pendragon
Caroline Bingley
My Beloved World
Royal Mistress
My Dear Sophy
The Wild Girl
To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started
Hades: Lord of the Dead
The Man Who Loved Jane Austen


Kendal's favorite books »

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