Friday, March 24, 2017

Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Biography by Zena Alkayat

Library of Luminaries:
Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Biography

by Zena Alkayat
illustrated by Nina Cosford

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Biography, Art
Hardback: 128 pages
Rating: 5

Library of Luminaries series:
Jane Austen
Coco Chanel
Frida Kahlo
Virginia Woolf

First sentence(s):
"i paint myself because i am so often alone, because i am the subject i know best." -Frida Kahlo

Step into the world of one of history's most celebrated artists and feminist icons: Frida Kahlo. This beautifully illustrated biography is full of colorful details that illuminate the woman behind the artwork, including excerpts from Kahlo's personal letters and diaries on her childhood dreams of becoming a doctor, the accident that changed the course of her life, and her love affairs with famous artists. Featuring handwritten text alongside lovely illustrations in a charming case with foil stamping and debossed details, Library of Luminaries: Frida Kahlo provides a captivating window into the vibrant life, work, and creative vision of the beloved Mexican artist.


My two-bits:

This is a gem of a book with colorful whimsical illustrations presenting Frida Kahlo's life. The text is brief and basic which was a great quick way to learn about Frida.

Not really a part of the baby book or children's genre.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The Vegetarian
by Han Kang

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2016
Publisher: Hogarth
Genre: Literary
Hardback: 192 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
Before my wife turned vegetarian, I'd always thought of her as completely unremarkable in every way.

A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul

Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself.

Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.

My two-bits:

I found this to be a surreal read with some colorful artsy scenes and stark medical depicted images.

Themes of body image, oppression of women, dreams and freedom run throughout.

One of those books where I am not quite sure I like it but agree that it is written well.


* part of Tournament of Books 2017 (here)

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

* part of Korean Book Challenge (here)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - 3.22.17

Waiting on Wednesday
hosted by Breaking the Spine
Spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


I'm waiting for...

A Ring of Truth
(A Henrietta and Inspector Clive Novel, #2)
by Michelle Cox
-Historical, Mystery
Release date: April 4, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

In this second book of the series, Henrietta and Clive delightfully rewrite Pride and Prejudice―with a hint of mystery!

Newly engaged, Clive and Henrietta now begin the difficult task of meeting each other’s family. “Difficult” because Clive has neglected to tell Henrietta that he is in fact the heir to the Howard estate and fortune, and Henrietta has just discovered that her mother has been hiding secrets about her past as well. When Clive brings Henrietta to the family estate to meet his parents, they are less than enthused about his impoverished intended. Left alone in this extravagant new world when Clive returns to the city, Henrietta finds herself more at home with the servants than his family, much to the disapproval of Mrs. Howard―and soon gets caught up in the disappearance of an elderly servant’s ring, not realizing that in doing so she has become part of a bigger, darker plot.

As Clive and Henrietta attempt to discover the truth in the two very different worlds unraveling around them, they both begin to wonder: Are they meant for each other after all?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Winners for March

Here are the winners for giveaways that
ended March 19, 2017

Thanks to all contestants!


Piper Perish
by Kayla Cagan
Amazon | Goodreads | Giveaway

Winner: Danielle

AND as I have two review copies, I decided to give them to the runner-up contestants:

Winner: Sophia Rose

Winner: Midnight Cowgirl


* I will email winners for mailing addresses within two weeks.
Winners, feel free to contact me with your info if you don't get my email
or if you are just too darn excited and want to let me know -- like NOW ;-D

* contest policy

* if not this time, maybe next time

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post - 3.18.17

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews (details)
Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer (details)


Author event and Bought:

Book Passage of San Francisco hosted an author event with Mohsin Hamid to celebrate the release of his latest, Exit West, which is a timely story of immigrants. Loved the readings (more than one passage) and the Q&A was enlightening on thoughts of migration and the world of fiction vs. reality.

Exit West
by Mohsin Hamid
Amazon | Goodreads

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.

Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

For Review:

Fighting to Breathe
(Shooting Stars #1)
by Aurora Rose Reynolds
-New Adult, Romance
courtesy of Romance Read-of-the-Month Club -Thanks!
BarnesNoble | Goodreads


THANKS to MAD of MAD Writes (and Reads) for sending me a surprise package of goodies! A couple of these are perfect for my Foodie Read challenge ;-)

Mrs. Lee & Mrs. Gray by Dorothy Love - Amazon | Goodreads
Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers Amazon | Goodreads
Cinco de Mayhem by Ann Myers Amazon | Goodreads
Museum postcards and notebook (tea party theme)

AND watched: in theatre

Bad Rap (2016)
Director: Salima Koroma
Starring: Dumbfounded (Jonathan Park), Awkwafina (Nora Lum), Rekstizzy (David Lee), Lyricks (Richard Lee)
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5

Four Asian-American rappers run into tough obstacles as they try to make it big in Hip Hop, a genre rooted in black culture.

PART of CAAMFest 2017 (Celebrating Asian American Film, Music and Food - here) I was treated to a Q&A with Salima Koroma (Director), Jaeki Cho (Co-producer), Awkwafina, Rekstizzy and Lyricks after the film showing. AND there were live performances from the three rappers present.

The film did well in presenting the Asian American experience in the Hip Hop world. Unfortunately, there is a small audience for these performers and they remain unknown to the mainstream. It's films like these that help introduce these artists to the world.

Meet Awkwafina...

Current Giveaway Offers

Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet & Kristin Vayden
(signup here)

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan
(signup here)


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently
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