Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 4.29.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)


I decided to create my in-house weekend update meme and link up with others as I wanted the flexibility to explore being included in other weekly wrap-up type memes already out there. Feel free to recommend ones you like or participate in for me to try.

TODAY is Independent Bookstore Day and I will be at the Green Apple Book store on Clement which will be the 11th store I visit for the Book Quest. This is the first time I hit so many different bookstores in one month!

You can see all the great stores I have been to in the San Francisco bay area (here).


Author events:

Book Passage at the Embarcadero Ferry Building, San Francisco, hosted a meet up with author (youtuber), Connor Franta. I think I may have been the only 40-something year old (non chaperone) in line. Everyone attending the event had a quick photo shoot and "Hello" with Connor. He was a sweetie.

Note to Self
by Connor Franta
-Biography, Poetry, Photos
Amazon | Goodreads

Bookshop in West Portal, San Francisco hosted an intimate discussion with author, Megan Miranda. Quite special. Found out that her reading gravitates towards dark mystery fiction. Her favorite authors include Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Crichton and Tana French.

The Perfect Stranger
by Megan Miranda
-Mystery, Thriller, Coming of Age
Amazon | Goodreads

In my mailbox:

GOT some lovely letters. As April' letter writing month is wrapping up this weekend I have two more to go. It has been a successful run. And got three letters and two email responses.


From Owlcrate package (details & signup):
OwlCrate is a subscription service that sends you magical monthly boxes tailored to a chosen theme. Each OwlCrate will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish treats to help you get your nerd on. @owlcrate

APRIL Box includes:
theme: Head Over Heels
- Owlcrate spoiler card - I love how it is inspired by Murad Osmann's Follow Me To.
- Owlcrate button
- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
- Signed bookplate, letter and sticker from author
- Pride and Prejudice themed Fabric headband by Storiarts
- Anna and the French Kiss inspired tea from The Tea Spot
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda themed key chain by Bookworm Boutique
- Eleanor and Park themed vanilla candle created by Novelly Yours
- A Court of Thorns and Roses themed art print by Evie Bookish
- Book excerpt: Umberland by Wendy Spinale

The Upside of Unrequited
by Becky Albertalli
-LGBTQ, Romance, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.


AND watching: on Netflix

13 Reasons Why (2017)
tv series, season 1
Creator: Brian Yorkey
Based on book by: Jay Asher
Starring: Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro
-Drama, Mystery | imdb | my rating: 4

Follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.

IT is a slow telling. But does well in getting into the backstory of each of the characters involved.

Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
Creator: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Starring: Kyle MacLachlan
-Crime, Drama, Mystery | imdb | my rating: 5

An idiosyncratic FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks.

I ALREADY know who did it. But I wanted to re-watch this series knowing what I know. It was tough watching at first because of the cheesy way certain things came across. I am so spoiled with current day special effects and film styles.


* comment with your weekly update


Friday, April 28, 2017

Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet, Kristin Vayden

Block & Tackle
by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet & Kristin Vayden

Find out more about this book:
Amazon | Goodreads
Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA
iBooks | B&N

Just released: March 12, 2017
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Sports Romance
Rating (overall): 4

Football, hockey, and everything in between! Things are about to heat up on the ice and between the sheets. Each book is a fully fledged, standalone novel about forbidden love. What happens when you get your dream job and temptation is your ex-hockey-star boss? Or when the league’s top wide receiver has his eyes on you and he’s supposed to be just a client? Perhaps you find yourself in enemy territory because the woman you love is your best friend’s sister? Find out all the dirt in Block & Tackle, from Elise Faber, Kristin Vayden, and Stephanie Fournet.

Offsides by Elise Faber

Job title:
Executive Assistant for CEO of Prestige Media Group

Job description:
(1) Deal with a massive amount of emails.
(2) Schedule conference calls and meetings with top athletes and other hugely important people.
(3) Pick up dry cleaning and food, consult on tie selection, make dinner reservations, and book flights . . . basically act as a wife-on-steroids.
(4) THE IMPORTANT ONE: Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with Devon Scott—demanding boss, former NHL player, and all-around gorgeous specimen of the male persuasion.

Job performance:
Absolutely failing at number four.

Off Guard by Stephanie Fournet

Life couldn’t be better for Charlie Woodruff.

After a year of holding out, she’s finally landed the job she’s always wanted in the city of her dreams. An apartment she can afford and new friends at work make the transition easy.
When she meets a gorgeous stranger who makes her laugh and steals her breath, it seems like the icing on the cake...

Until Charlie discovers he’s a client.

Hutch Barlow — newly drafted wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders — looks like an avenging angel, hangs on her every word, and is completely off-limits. The trouble is he also refuses to take “no” for an answer.

And if she’s being honest, Charlie doesn’t want him to.

But seeing him means she could lose everything — including her heart.

Off Limits by Kristin Vayden

Everything about Ava screams off limits.
To want her is to invite disaster.
To pursue her is to risk my job.
To kiss her might cost me my best friend.
But all those risks seem small in light of the first problem.
She hates me.

To her I’m a sell out, choosing to advance my career rather than protect my biggest client.
Her brother.
And my best friend.
She hasn’t spoken to me in over a year, but that ends now.
Because I’m done with holding back.
To hell with the consequences.
Wish me luck . . .

My two-bits: (overall)

Lovely set of light shorty story romances with hot couples. Like the title suggests, the theme of block and tackle carry out and played with throughout each story in different ways.

The start of the couple interactions experience blocks mostly in regards to sports theme careers. Then the couples eventually tackle the problems... and each other ;-)


* review copy courtesy of tour

Thursday, April 27, 2017

BookSparks Book Club

BookSparks Book Club (details)

APRIL pick:

Cruel Beautiful World
by Caroline Leavitt
-Coming of Age, Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads | my review -coming

MAY pick: tba

Monday, April 24, 2017

How To Be Both by Ali Smith

How To Be Both
by Ali Smith

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2014
Publisher: Pantheon
Genre: Literary
Hardback: 384 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
Consider this moral conundrum for a moment, George's mother says to George who's sitting in the front passenger seat.

Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else. A true original, she is a one-of-a-kind literary sensation. Her novels consistently attract serious acclaim and discussion—and have won her a dedicated readership who are drawn again and again to the warmth, humanity and humor of her voice.

How to be both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a Renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real—and all life’s givens get given a second chance.

Who says stories reach everybody in the same order?
This novel can be read in two ways and this book provides you with both.
In half of all printed editions of the novel the narrative EYES comes before CAMERA.
In the other half of printed editions the narrative CAMERA precedes EYES.
The narratives are exactly the same in both versions, just in a different order.

The books are intentionally printed in two different ways, so that readers can randomly have different experiences reading the same text. So, depending on which edition you happen to receive, the book will be: EYES, CAMERA, or CAMERA, EYES. Enjoy the adventure.

My two-bits:

This is composed of two stories that make up one story that involve the world of art. Two different sections represent the past and the present with similarities and ties. But each have their set of characters that have perspectives of an artist and observer.

The running theme of two sides - things seen and unseen plays out throughout.

After discussion with my book group, I grew to appreciate this book better with an interest to re-read it.

Also, gained an interest in inspecting and looking at religious art a little more while at a museum.


* my copy starts off with George, the second version begins with Francescho

* part of Book Passage Literary Prize Book Group (here)


A Best Book of the Year: NPR, Financial Times

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Thousand Mornings

A Thousand Mornings
by Mary Oliver

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2012
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Poetry, Nature
Paperback: 96 pages
Rating: 5

In A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has come to define her life’s work, transporting us to the marshland and coastline of her beloved home, Provincetown, Massachusetts. Whether studying the leaves of a tree or mourning her treasured dog Percy, Oliver is open to the teachings contained in the smallest of moments and explores with startling clarity, humor, and kindness the mysteries of our daily experience.

My two-bits:

So beautiful!

Seeing the beauty in these nature themed poems was immediate.

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu