Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lincoln and the Abolitionists:John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War


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I was given a copy of this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

Today's post is on Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War  by Fred Kaplan. It is 352 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is white with pictures of the different people that are discussed in this book on it. The intended reader is someone who is interested in American history and the people behind the myths. There is mild foul language, no sex, and violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- The acclaimed biographer, with a thought-provoking exploration of how Abraham Lincoln’s and John Quincy Adams’ experiences with slavery and race shaped their differing viewpoints, provides both perceptive insights into these two great presidents and a revealing perspective on race relations in modern America.
Lincoln, who in afterlife became mythologized as the Great Emancipator, was shaped by the values of the white America into which he was born. While he viewed slavery as a moral crime abhorrent to American principles, he disapproved of anti-slavery activists. Until the last year of his life, he advocated "voluntary deportation," concerned that free blacks in a white society would result in centuries of conflict. In 1861, he had reluctantly taken the nation to war to save it. While this devastating struggle would preserve the Union, it would also abolish slavery—creating the biracial democracy Lincoln feared. John Quincy Adams, forty years earlier, was convinced that only a civil war would end slavery and preserve the Union. An antislavery activist, he had concluded that a multiracial America was inevitable.
Lincoln and the Abolitionists, a frank look at Lincoln, "warts and all," provides an in-depth look at how these two presidents came to see the issues of slavery and race, and how that understanding shaped their perspectives. In a far-reaching historical narrative, Fred Kaplan offers a nuanced appreciation of both these great men and the events that have characterized race relations in America for more than a century—a legacy that continues to haunt us all.
The book has a colorful supporting cast from the relatively obscure Dorcas Allen, Moses Parsons, Violet Parsons, Theophilus Parsons, Phoebe Adams, John King, Charles Fenton Mercer, Phillip Doddridge, David Walker, Usher F. Linder, and H. Ford Douglas to Elijah Lovejoy, Francis Scott Key, William Channing, Wendell Phillips, and Rufus King. The cast includes Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln’s first vice president, and James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, the two presidents on either side of Lincoln. And it includes Abigail Adams, John Adams, Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and Frederick Douglass, who hold honored places in the American historical memory.
The subject of this book is slavery and racism, the paradox of Lincoln, our greatest president, as an antislavery moralist who believed in an exclusively white America; and Adams, our most brilliant statesman, as an antislavery activist who had no doubt that the United States would become a multiracial nation. It is as much about the present as the past.
 

Review- Another interesting yet hard read from Kaplan. In this book I learned a lot of abolitionists, more about John Q. Adams, and a little about Lincoln. Lincoln is not the real focus of this book and that does not hurt it all, surprisingly. His policies are talked about and why he was not an abolitionist was discussed but he is not the real focus of this book. Abolitionism is the real focus of this book and what it meant in its time. Why so many Americans were afraid of abolitionists and of abolition itself was explained over the course of the narrative. But Kaplan does get bogged down in the details. He wants to give as complete a picture as possible and the book does suffer for that in parts. The Civil War itself is talked in only sixty pages of this almost 400 page book and the notes are excellent if you want to do more personal research. A solid if exhausting read.

I give this book a Three out of Five stars.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Otomen volume 16


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 16 by Aya Kanno. It is the sixteenth in her Otomen series. It is 192 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the sixteenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first fifteenth volumes to understand the story. The cover is deep pink with Asuka and his mother on it looking at each other. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- At a school play, Asuka competes against his friends for the hand of Princess Kaguya- played by Ryo! While on stage, Asuka inevitably displays his otomen qualities while his anti-otomen mother is watching... is Asuka about to face the biggest crisis of his life?

Review- Asuka's mother is beginning to realized that her son is his own person and she does not like this person. She wants him to someone he is not no matter what that does to Asuka himself. In addition to all that she blames Ryo for Asuka acting this way. She begins to push Asuka and he is beginning to become who he was at the beginning of the manga and that scares him. But I'm really curious about how Asuka is going to handle things when his mother tries to break him and Ryo up. The manga ends with a cliffhanger and I cannot wait to see where it is going to go. Only two volumes left.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Vampire Hunter D; Message from Mars volume 1


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Today's post is on Vampire Hunter D; Message from Mars volume 1 by
Drawn to Mars by an ancient message from Cecile, a girl who could see the future, D arrives to find a colony that is little more than a blood farm. With Left Hand by his side, D sets out to cleanse Mars of the vampire scourge. 

Review- This volume sets up an interesting story with a mystery at the heart. Cecile summoned D to Mars to kill the Nobles that are living there and from what she says to kill her. She starts by telling him that she has always been able to see the future but even she could not have foreseen the Nobles or what would birth them. D and Left Hand are fighting their way to her as we read the message that she send D. We get to see some of the Nobles and their creatures. But this is just setting up the world for us. I look forward to the next volume to see what happens next. The art is amazing for this volume. It is so beautiful and the story is very fast paced. If you are not familiar with D and his world this is not the best place to start but if you are a fan then you need to pick this up.

I give this volume a five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I backed the kickstarter for the comic series.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Otomen volume 15


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 15 by Aya Kanno. It is the fifteenth in her Otomen series. It is 192 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the fifteenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first fourteen volumes to understand the story. The cover is yellow with a group Asuka's friends and his father on it. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

Review- Asuka's kendo rival Hajime Tonomine feels torn when his father declares him as his future successor. Will Tonomine give up his love of makeup in order to enter the world of politics? Or will his otomen pastime find a way to prevail?

Review- The first story is about Tonomine finally being honest with himself and his family. His family knows but unless he was willing to honest with them about what he wanted they expected him to follow in his father's footsteps. Of course in the end he chooses himself and the future that will make him the happiest. The last story is about Yamato and his desire to not be himself. He does not have a very good self opinion and he gets some work on that in this volume. But it ends with he realizing that he has a crush on Ryo and decides to go for it. So with only three volumes left I'm not sure what Kanno can do with that added story line but I will find out soon!

I give this volume Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Of Fire and Stars


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Today's post is on Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. It is 389 pages long and is published by Balzer + Bray. The cover is dark blue with the title in gold and two female figures on the bottom in the light blue. It is a stand alone novel. The intended reader is older young adult, likes fantasy, strong women, and same sex love stories. There is mild foul language, sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told from the third person close of the two main characters.

From the dust jacket- Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


Review- This is a very solid first novel. Good world building with interest characters and magic system. I guessed the villain very quickly but I did not read this for the villain. You read this book for Mare and Denna. Two young women who just want to find what they can offer the world. They find each other and over time go from friends to lovers, it felt very natural over the course of the book. There is a sex scene in this book, it is not very graphic but you know what is happening. Their love story is very important to the plot but everything else would have happened even if they had not fallen in love. The nations of the world fear magic users and Denna has a very powerful gift. Mare would still be dealing with not really having a place in her own home. They still would have worked together to stop a needless war. But the love story adds something special to the mix. It gives them something to really fight for and that saves the day in the end.

I give this volume a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Otomen volume 14


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 14 by Aya Kanno. It is the fourteenth in her Otomen series. It is 192 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the fourteenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first thirteen volumes to understand the story. The cover is pink with Yamato in the center looking like a cute girl that he is not. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book Asuka and Ryo join their friend Kitora on an adventure abroad to find the legendary delamezla flower! Meanwhile, things get complicated when Asuka encourages his cousin Kasuga to confess his feelings to his crush—especially when Asuka becomes involved in more ways than one...!

Review- Asuka and Ryo get to go on a trip together. But things get complicated when Kitora is rejected by a flower spirit that he wants to see. Juta's sister saves the day but still hates flowers. Asuka's cousin is leaving the plot for the time being and Asuka wants to help him confess to his crush before he goes. But Kasuga's crush is Jewel Sanhihana or rather Asuka pretending to be Jewel Sanhihana. Kasuga explains to Asuka that he believed Asuka was a girl when they were children and that when Kasuga discovered that Asuka was a boy, Kasuga doubted himself. They work their differences and Kasuga goes into the sunset happy. Only Four more volumes left.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now

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Today's post is on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now by Ryan North and Erica Henderson. It is the second collected volume of the Squirrel Girl comic book. It is 168 pages long and is published by Marvel. The cover has Doreen with the cover in half; one half is her student life with her friends, and the other her life with the New Avengers. The intended reader is someone who likes humor, puns, and great story lines. There is no foul language, no sex, and only comic violence in this comic book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- New series, New Avenger! With her unique combination of wit, empathy and squirrel powers, computer science student Doreen Green - aka the unbeatable Squirrel Girl - is all that stands between the Earth and total destruction. Well, Doreen plus her friends Tippy-Toe (a squirrel) and Nancy (a regular human with no powers). So, mainly Squirrel Girl. Then what hope does the Earth have if she gets hurled back in time to the 1960s and erased from history? At least Nancy will never forget her friend, but what invincible armored Avenger can she call on to help, through the magic of social media? Decades apart, can they avert doom, or will everything go wrong forever? Howard the Duck hopes not...he has an appointment for a crossover!

Review- I love the Squirrel Girl series so much. They are so much fun and Doreen is great! In this volume we get to meet her mother, save a brain from Hydra, defeat Doctor Doom, and have a crossover with Howard the Duck. With so much to love about this series it is hard to pick just one thing but I think that I love the friendship between Doreen and Nancy as my favorite. They just get each other and work so well together. Nancy helps Doreen to everything from defeat Doctor Doom to studying together. The stories in this volume are a lot of fun and Howard the Duck crossover worked. A crazy villain who wants to hunt the animal-human hybrids is kidnapping them with some help from Kraven the Hunter but when she wants to hunt Doreen too that is a step too far. A really fun and funny fight ensues and I cannot wait to read the next one.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this comic from my local library. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Great Rescue: American Heroes, an Iconic Ship, ad Saving Europe During WW1


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I was given this book by Harper Collins exchange for an honest review.

Today's post is on The Great Rescue: American Heroes, an Iconic Ship, ad Saving Europe During WW1 by Peter Hernon. It is 368 pages long including notes and is published by Harper Collins. The cover has a picture of theLeviathan on it. The intended reader is someone who is interested in naval history and World War 1. There is mild foul language, no sex, and descriptions of violence and the war. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Published in commemoration of the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, the story of the USS Leviathan, the legendary liner turned warship that ferried U.S. soldiers to Europe—a unique war history that offers a fresh, compelling look at this epic time.
When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, the new German luxury ocean liner SS Vaterland was interned in New York Harbor, where it remained docked for nearly three years—until the United States officially entered the fight to turn the tide of the war. Seized by authorities for the U.S. Navy once war was declared in April 2017, the liner was renamed the USS Leviathan by President Woodrow Wilson, and converted into an armed troop carrier that transported thousands of American Expeditionary Forces to the battlefields of France.
For German U-Boats hunting Allied ships in the treacherous waters of the Atlantic, no target was as prized as the Leviathan, carrying more than 10,000 Doughboys per crossing. But the Germans were not the only deadly force threatening the ship and its passengers. In 1918, a devastating influenza pandemic—the Spanish flu—spread throughout the globe, predominantly striking healthy young adults, including soldiers.
Peter Hernon tells the ship’s story across multiple voyages and through the experiences of a diverse cast of participants, including the ship’s captain, Henry Bryan; General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force; Congressman Royal Johnson, who voted against the war but enlisted once the resolution passed; Freddie Stowers, a young black South Carolinian whose heroism was ignored because of his race; Irvin Cobb, a star war reporter for the Saturday Evening Post; and Elizabeth Weaver, an army nurse who saw the war’s horrors firsthand; as well as a host of famous supporting characters, including a young Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Thoroughly researched, dramatic, and fast-paced, The Great Rescue is a unique look at the Great War and the diverse lives it touched.


Review- An interesting and quick read about one ship's effort to help with the war. The story starts with the war beginning and the Vaterland was stopped from going home to Germany, leaving the ship, the crew, and all the passengers stuck in America. So begins the years of war and change for the ship. From a new name the  Leviathan to a new purpose as the biggest troop ship in the American Navy, we travel with her and some of the people she took to and from Europe. With detailed notes from journals, interviews, and other first hand sources we learn the amazing history of this forgotten ship. Hernon touches briefly on the Spanish Flu and now I must get my hands on a book about it. I would recommend this book. 

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Otomen volume 13


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 13 by Aya Kanno. It is the thirteenth in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the thirteenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first twelve volumes to understand the story. The cover is blue with Ryo in the a boy's wig in the center looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Ryo ends up coaching a high school judo team, but women aren’t allowed at that school! She finds a way around this obstacle, but the real challenge comes when she finds herself facing off against...Asuka?!

Review- This volume is Ryo centered and it was a nice change of pace. She spends the volume both training a judo team but also thinking about her relationship with Asuka. Of course she is just so cute that one of the judo team members ends up falling for her but there is no one in her heart but Asuka. We do not see much of Asuka's mother or father. Ryo tells Asuka that she loves him and the final story for this volume ends with Asuka basically proposing to her. He is starting to think about his future and what he wants. That is not what his mother wants but he needs to get together and talk to her about it. Maybe that will be the final arc because we are getting close to being finished with this series. Only five volumes left.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Gilded Lily


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Today's post is on Gilded Lily by Delphone Dryden. It is the third in her Steam and Seduction series. It is 296 pages long and is published by Berkley Sensation. The cover has the two main characters looking very steampunky. The intended reader is someone who likes steampunk, romance, and fun time. There is mild foul language, sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told from third person close of the two main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- HIDDEN IDENTITIES, SCANDALOUS SECRETS…
DEADLY ATTRACTION.
Frederique Murcheson’s introduction into society hasn’t gone smoothly—some would even call it a disaster. Only Freddie considers her debut a success. Her scheme to become a makesmith has gone off flawlessly. The only thing that could upset her plans now would be if someone discovered that brilliant tinker Fred Merchant is, in fact, a lady in disguise.
Wooing a spoiled heiress is not exactly Barnabas Smith-Grenville’s idea of high espionage. However, considering his brother disappeared on the job, supposedly into the most iniquitous of opium dens, he cannot expect much better. At least the assignment will afford him time to search for his brother, whom he suspects is in spy-related trouble rather than a drug-addled haze.
But when Freddie proves to be both irresistible and the key to the answers he seeks, Barnabas finds himself not only entwined in a scandalous mystery involving lethal submersibles and deranged dirigibles, but also in a dangerous game of the heart…


Review- As the last in the Steam and Seduction series, this was a nice send off. The missing brother was found and innocent, Barnabas get someone to love, and Freddie gets to live her own life. That said the villain was not great and I wanted Freddie's father to have to really deal with that he has done. I found the love story between Freddie and Barnabas to be very believable. They both want someone to share their lives with and they found that in each other. the steampunk stuff was more in the background for this final novel than in the previous two but I am okay with that. I think that this story was more about stopping the technology from being used badly than the other novels so that made it take more of a background. A nice, solid ending.

I give this volume a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

God and Starbucks: An NBA Star Loses Everything, Starts Over, and Achieves Success


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Today's post is on God and Starbucks: An NBA Star Loses Everything, Starts Over, and Achieves Success by

Monday, June 26, 2017

Otomen volume 12


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 12 by Aya Kanno. It is the twelfth in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the eleventh volume in this series, you need to have read the first eleven volumes to understand the story. The cover is green turning yellow at the base with Kitora and his flowers on it. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Secretly taking a baking class for men, Asuka is relieved that there’s a safe haven where he doesn’t need to hide his girly side from his anti-otomen mother. But when she finds out that he’s been attending this class, things get set to explode!

Review-  We finish the hidden baking class for men in this volume and move into the meat which is Asuka's father is the baker. He has been watching over Asuka over the course of the whole series and but a villain has appeared and forced him out. Of course the villain is not really a bad guy and it all works out but we are left with why isn't Asuka's father living as a woman? The volume ends with a love poet at the school who is trying to not get caught by the school policies. I hope that we get back to Asuka's father and why he is not living the way that he wanted, especially since he left his family over it.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Afterward


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Today's post is on Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu. It is a stand alone novel. It is 308 pages long and is published by Roaring Brook Press. The cover is grey with a bicycle and a red balloon on it. The intended reader is young adults, someone interesting in could be all too real stories, and life after trauma stories. There is mild foul language, implied sex, and no violence in this book. The story is told from the first person perspectives of Caroline and Ethan. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- When eleven-year-old Dylan Anderson is kidnapped from Dove Lake, Texas, the search for him and his remarkable rescue make national headlines. Because when authorities find Dylan, they also find fifteen-year-old Ethan Jorgenson, who had gone for a bike ride four years earlier and had never been seen again.
Dylan's older sister, Caroline, can't help but wonder what happened to her brother, who isn't adjusting well to life back home. Since Dylan has nonverbal autism, he can't tell her, so there's only one person who knows the truth: Ethan. But Ethan isn't' sure how he can help Caroline when her is fighting traumatic memories of his own. Both Caroline and Ethan need a friend, however, and their best option just might be each other.

Review- A tough but interesting read about surviving trauma. The different perspectives adds so much to the overall story. We are with Caroline and Ethan for a year afterward and go with them through some very hard things. From Ethan learning to be free again to Caroline's family falling apart in the aftermath of everything. Seeing things from Ethan's perspective then moving to Caroline as she thinking about the same things and how they affect her life helps make this story more relatable. My one problem is we never discover what, if anything, happened to Dylan. Even what happens to Ethan is only hinted at and maybe that is the best way to handle him but there is no closure about Dylan. But that is the only complaint that I have with the book. I think that Mathieu told a hard story very well and with great tact.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and The Birth of America


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Today's post is on The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and The Birth of America by Steven Johnson. It is 254 pages long and is published by Riverhead Books. The cover is red with cut outs that have different pictures in them. The intended reader is someone who is interested in natural history, scientific history, and history itself. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- The Invention of Air is a story of sweeping historical transformation, of genius and friendship, violence and world-changing ideas, that boldly recasts our understanding of the most significant events in our history.
It centers on the story of Joseph Priestley—scientist and minister, protégé of Benjamin Franklin, friend of Thomas Jefferson—an eighteenth-century radical thinker who played key roles in the invention of ecosystem science, the discovery of oxygen, the founding of the Unitarian church, and the intellectual development of the United States. Priestley represented a unique synthesis: by the 1780s, he had established himself as one of the world's most celebrated scientists, most prominent religious figures, and most outspoken political thinkers. Yet he would also have become one of the most hated men in all of his native England. When an angry mob burned down his house in Birmingham, Priestley and his family set sail for Pennsylvania.
In the nascent United States, Priestley hoped to find the freedom to bridge the disciplines that had governed his life, to find a quiet lab and a receptive pulpit. Once he arrived, as a result of his close relationships with the Founding Fathers—Jefferson credited Priestley as the man who prevented him from abandoning Christianity—Priestley found himself at the center of what would go down as one of the seminal debates in American history. And as Johnson brilliant charts, Priestley exerted profound if little-known influence on the shape and course of this great experiment in nation-building.

Review- Another interesting Johnson book about stuff I knew nothing about. Johnson follows Priestly from his childhood into the last minutes of his life and we get to see some very interesting things with him. Priestly gave so much to modern science that I had no idea about but even as I read it I was horrified by some of the experiments that he did but the only reason we can be horrified by the experiments if because he did them and discovered what exactly he was doing. Add in some of the most famous people of his time and you have a who's who is the 1700's. Johnson helps the modern reader to understand the hows and the whys of Priestley's time and how important it was that he be born at that time and in that place because if he was just a little off in either he would not have been the scientist he was. Very enjoyable and an excellent read. 

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Otomen volume 11


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 11 by Aya Kanno. It is the eleventh in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the tenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first nine volumes to understand the story. The cover is pink with Hajime Tonomine looking at the reader as he does a girl's makeup. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Asuka engages in a battle with Suzaki Oji to see who will get the most Valentine's Day chocolates! As Oji seduces girls left and right into giving him chocolates, Asuka wonders one thing--who will Ryo give her chocolates to?

Review- We finish with teacher obsessed with everyone acting like they are from the Warring States period by him learning the true samurai spirit, which is of course Asuka's otomen ways. Then we get into the Valentine battle. Ryo is the only girl who is immune to Oji's pheromone's. That makes Oji question everything and now he on the hunt for true love only. Because nothing is working Asuka's mother has come back to try and get everyone in line. Asuka is really stressed out in this volume because it is becoming harder and harder for him to have any place that is safe for him to be himself. But him and Ryo are going strong and I'm pulling for Asuka to make it out as himself.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Family Plot


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Today's post is on The Family Plot by Cherie Priest. It is 365 pages long and is published by TOR. The cover is dusk with a see through girl in the center. The intended reader is someone who likes haunted house stories, ghost stories, and southern Gothic at its best. There is foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told from the third person close of the main character Dahlia. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- music City Salvage is a family operation, owned and operated by Chuck Dutton: master stripper of doomed historic properties, and expert seller of all things old and crusty. But business is lean and times are tight, so he's thrilled when the aged and esteemed Augusta Withrow appears in his office, bearing an Offer he really ought to refuse. She has a massive family estate to unload- lock, stock, and barrel. For a check and a handshake, it's all his.
It's a big check. it's a firm handshake. And it's enough of a gold mine that he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project.
Dahlia preps a couple of trucks, takes a small crew, and they caravan down to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the ancient Withrow house is waiting- and so is a barn, a carriage house, and a small, overgrown cemetery that Augusta Withrow left out of the paperwork.
Augusta Withrow left out of lot of things.
The property is in unusually great shape for a condemned building. It's empty but it isn't abandoned. Something in the Withrow mansion is angry and lost. This is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever, and there's still plenty of room in the strange little family plot.

Review- Priest makes the haunted house story new again. We get creepy shadows, flickering lights, and rainstorms that never seem to end. We get a fittingly mysterious end. Priest does it all and makes it all work wonderfully. Dahlia is a smart and sympathetic heroine. She is recovering from a bad divorce, where she lost the house that she loved, and hates to tear down the Withrow home. But the ghosts in the house soon make that must more palatable. Add in some interesting side character, both with and without flesh, Dahlia has quite a ride on her hands. With some well placed scared for both Dahlia and reader, we have an excellent book to read on a stormy night; but read it with the windows closed.

I give this book s Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Otomen volume 10


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 10 by Aya Kanno. It is the ninth in her Otomen series. It is 208 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the tenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first nine volumes to understand the story. The cover is grey with Juta looking at the reader with Love Chick in the background. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- A potion at school causes all the guys to act manly and all the girls to act feminine! Suddenly, Asuka loses interest in all the girly hobbies he loves, and Ryo is working at a bakery? can anything break the spell they're under and turn them back to normal?

Review- We finish the story with the female teacher who wants to make Asuka and Ryo break up because Asuka is Asuka and not a jerk who treats his girlfriend badly. She discovers Asuka's otomen nature but because Asuka helped her overcome her self-acceptance issue she is going to keep it a secret. So continuing with make people be gender types plot in this volume we have a mad scientist who wants to be seen as a genius. So he makes a potion and tricks everyone with hypnosis. But because only the person can change themselves of course it does not stay. The last story is everyone cosplaying as feudal Japan. I am really enjoying this story arc because of the emphasis on self-acceptance. More romance and cuteness Ahead!

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sparrow Hill Road


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Today's post is on Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire. It is the first in her Ghost Stories. It is 312 pages long and is published by DAW. The cover is a sunset scene with a girl on a classic car but as you look down you see that the girl is fading out. The intended reader is someone who likes ghost stories and heroines who just won't die. There is mild foul language, mild sex, and violence in this novel. The story is told from the first person close of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.
It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.
They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.
You can’t kill what’s already dead.


Review-This is my second favorite thing from McGuire that I have read. World building is one of McGuire's strong points as a writer but she pulls out all the stops for this novel. Rose is on the run from the man who killed her but she also is trying to discover how she can stop him forever. We travel with Rose at different times and doing different things; from saving innocents from the man who killed her to helping new ghosts decide if they want to move on or not. We get some very interesting characters in this world of roads and ghost and magic. I hope that McGiure does more in this world because there is just so much to see and do here!

I give this novel a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I stole this book from my spouse's TBR pile.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple


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Today's post is on The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by





Monday, June 5, 2017

Otomen volume 9


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 9 by Aya Kanno. It is the ninth in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the ninth volume in this series, you need to have read the first eight volumes to understand the story. The cover a dark blue has Asuka holding a wooden sword and is looking at the reader with flowers blooming in the background. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- An anti-otomen campaign takes over the school! Asuka's cousin and campaign enforcer Kasuga Masamune starts hunting down boys who have even an ounce of girly traits in them--and his first target is...?!

Review- This whole volume is about a single story line. We get to see why Asuk'a cousin is going all out against him and all otomen. He misgendered Asuka when they were children and get his heart broken because of it.  Juta is being targeted because his story line notebook is discovered. But with some quick work by his friends and manga mentor, he is saved but just barely. But Ryo has come under the attention of one of the teacher's who only wants to ruin boys and men. She had her heart broken by a selfish boy and now she lives to manipulate the boys she teaches. But Asuka only has eyes for Ryo and makes the teacher angry. She is now planning his downfall. But will true love win over gender expectations or will Asuka fall before the campaign? 

I give this volume at Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Captain Marvel, Volume 1; Higher, Further, Faster, More


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Today's post is on Captain Marvel, Volume 1; Higher, Further, Faster, More by





Monday, May 29, 2017

Otomen volume 8


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 8 by Aya Kanno. It is the eighth in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the eighth volume in this series, you need to have read the first seven volumes to understand the story. The cover a dark blue has Asuka holding a very cute bento and is looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Ryo's grandfather becomes ill, so she decides to move to Fukuoka to take care of him. With Ryo transferring schools, does this mean that Asuka will have to bid farewell to his love…forever?

Review- So Ryo is moving because her grandfather is not well and she wants to take care of him.  Everyone wants to spends time with her before she is goes. After a bear scares them, Ryo tells Asuka that she loves him too. But it turns out that her grandfather is a secret otomen and discovers that Asuka is one too. Ryo and her grandfather move back and our two lovers are back together again.  Then we have story about Hajime maybe finding love himself. Then Asuka's mother comes back to make everyone fit into traditional Japanese gender roles. Of course Asuka is worried about how this is going to work out and his mother really is going overboard because if the teachers and students do not follow the new rules they are out of the school. More cuteness and self-acceptance ahead!

I give this volume a Five out Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly


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Today's post is on The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes. It is 396 pages long and is published by Dial Books. The cover is black with a pair of young girl's hands holding a book. The intended reader is someone who likes young adult fiction, is interested in cults, and horror stories. There is mild foul language, implied sex, and violence in this novel. The story is told from the first person close of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.
And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.
Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.


Review- This was a fast horror read. We start with Minnow waiting for the police as she has just beaten a man almost to death. She is very clearly in shock but the police just don't know what to do with her. Over the course of the book we move from Minnow's past to the present were she is in jail for the beating. This book does many things. It talks about the dangers of cults, the dangers of not questioning, and the dangers of being the one person who does. Minnow is a very sympathetic heroine who just wants to move on with her life but does not have the tools to do so. The horrors in this book are all too real if you know anything about cults and how they work. But Minnow just will not let the Prophet ruin her or her family and starts everything that ends and maybe saves more than herself. Interesting but scary read.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story


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Today's nonfiction is on The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story by Miriam C. Davis. It is 320 pages long and is published by Chicago Review Press. The cover is black and purple street view of New Orleans. The intended reader is someone who likes true crime, unsolved mysteries, and historical accounts. There is mild foul language, no sex, and descriptions of violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- From 1910 to 1919, New Orleans suffered at the hands of its very own Jack the Ripper–style killer. The story has been the subject of websites, short stories, novels, a graphic novel, and most recently the FX television series American Horror Story. But the full story of gruesome murders, sympathetic victims, accused innocents, public panic, the New Orleans Mafia, and a mysterious killer has never been written. Until now.
The Axeman repeatedly broke into the homes of Italian grocers in the dead of night, leaving his victims in a pool of blood. Iorlando Jordano, an innocent Italian grocer, and his teenaged son Frank were wrongly accused of one of those murders; corrupt officials convicted them with coerced testimony. Miriam C. Davis here expertly tells the story of the search for the Axeman and of the eventual exoneration of the innocent Jordanos. She proves that the person mostly widely suspected of being the Axeman was not the killer. She also shows what few have suspected—that the Axeman continued killing after leaving New Orleans in 1919.
Only thirty years after Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of Whitechapel, the Axeman of New Orleans held an American city hostage. This book tells that story.


Review-  This is a true crime book written by a historian. Davis comes into this story without any preconceptions, she just tells the story of the Axeman of New Orleans. She does not say who the Axeman was or even who she thinks he was. The story is very twisted with lots of confusion, bad police, and no leads. Davis tried her best to untwist the threads of this story and help the reader understand what happen almost 100 years ago. That said at the end of the book I have no idea who did these horrible murders. It can be a little dry reading but the over all narrative is very interesting.

I give this book Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Otomen volume 7


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 7 by Aya Kanno. It is the seventh in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the seventh volume in this series, you need to have read the first six volumes to understand the story. The cover a dark blue has Asuka and Roy being cute and looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Asuka's friend Juta needs to keep his identity as renowned shojo author Jewel Sachihana a secret, so why is he agreeing to do an autograph session?! The answer may lie with a letter from a certain fan...

Review- Continuing with the back of the book blurb trend with this series, the blurb is just one of the stories in the volume. We finish the story about the band that the last volume ended with, the we have a ghost story that is cute and not scary at all, then Juta's story, then at last we get more cute drama between Asuka and Ryo. So this volume as some great side character development with Juta and he gets some resolution about his first love. Asuka is feeling very uncertain about Ryo, so Juta decides to help them by spread a rumor that Asuka is going to America. But we get a cliffhanger because Ryo is moving! More cuteness and drama ahead!

I give volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Once Upon a Kiss


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Today's post is on Once Upon a Kiss by Jayne Fresina. It is the first in her Book Club Belles Society. It is 401 pages long and is published by Sourcebook. The cover is green with the heroine and hero on top in a state of déshabille. The intended reader is someone who likes historical romances and mild retellings. There is mild foul language, sex, and no violence in this book. The story is told from the third person close of the two main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- The Perfect Hero
When handsome, mysterious Darius wainwright stroll into town, the Book Club Belles are instantly smitten with his brooding good looks and prideful demeanor. It's as is he walked out of the pages of their favorite new novel, a scandalous romance called Pride and Prejudice. But Justine Penny can't understand why her fellow Belles are starry-eyes in the newcomer's arrogant presence- surely a wicked Wickham would be infinitely more fun...
An Unlikely Leading Lady
Justina is the opposite of Darius's ideal woman- not that he's looking for romance. But when he discovers her stealing apples from his uncle's orchard, he can't resist his own thieving impulse. A stolen kiss from the mischievous Miss Penny leaves Darius wanting much, much more. If it's a dashing villain she desires, Darius is more than willing to play the part...


Review- An indifferent sort-of retelling of P&P. I wanted to have a really good time with this novel but in the end it was just meh. The blurb is also not right. Darius never tries to be more villainy to get Justina. He does act much more like Darcy than Wickham. Now that said we do have sex between them before they are married but that is part of this kind of romance novel. There is lots of set up for future novels but I will not be reading any of them. There is nothing really wrong with this book but it was just very meh for me.

I give this a Three out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Otomen volume 6


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 6 by Aya Kanno. It is the sixth in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the sixth volume in this series, you need to have read the first five volumes to understand the story. The cover a dark blue has Asuka in the center with flowers and ribbons with bows around him looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Having Girly Hobbies Doesn't Make You Less Manly! Asuka's protégé Yamato has fallen in love with a girl and needs help winning her over. He pleads with Asuka to go on a practice date with him--and play the role of the girl! Practice makes perfect, but will that be the case for Yamato?

Review- Like all the previous volumes we get more than just one story in this volume. We finish the beauty samurai arc with Asuka and Hajime both stop doing it because their manager wants them to do strange things, like starring in a movie. Then we get Yamato trying to a cool guy to impress this girl who just happens to be one of Juta's younger sisters. Of course we get all kinds of humorous trouble and Asuka getting to look at very cute things. The younger sister instead is falling for the third otomen in the series, Kitora but trouble is there before the love can even begin because she hates flowers! I like this volume with all the  extra time given to the newer characters but I want more Ryo, just like Asuka. She is really not in this volume and I missed her. Still fun volume and a very cute series.

I give this volume a Five out Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ms. Marvel, Volume 2: Generation Why


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Today's post is on Ms. Marvel, Volume 2: Generation Why by





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What If I'm an Atheist?: A teen's Guide to Exploring a Life Without Religion


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Today's Nonfiction post is on What If I'm an Atheist?: A teen's Guide to Exploring a Life Without Religion by David Seidman. It is 256 pages long and is published by Simon Pulse. The cover is like a blackboard with everything written in chalk on it. The intended reader is a teenager or people wanting to learn about atheism. There is no foul language, no sexuality, and no violence in this book.

From the back of the book- Can you have guidance without God? This thoughtful, one-of-a-kind guide offers answers to all of your questions about atheism and nonbelief.
Have you ever wondered what religion and belief means for your life? Maybe you believe in nothing at all. Does that mean you're an atheist? What does atheism even mean? Regardless of the religious background you grew up with, it's natural to question what you believe--or what you don't. Establishing your views about religion and spirituality is part of becoming an individual, but outside pressures can make it tough to know what is right for you.
What If I'm an Athiest? offers a thoughtful exploration of how atheism or the absence of religion can impact your life. From discussing the practical significance of holidays to offering conversation starters and tips, this guide is an invaluable resource about religion, spirituality, and the lack thereof.
This compassionate, nonjudgmental guide includes peer interviews featuring both religious and atheist teens and provides a safe space to find answers to the questions you may not want ask out loud, so you can decide what you believe--or don't--for yourself.


Review- This is a good book for anyone who wants to learn more about atheism in general. It is written for young adults but the language is accessible for most readers. Seidman lays out what an atheist is and what that can mean. He discusses more than just atheists. He covers agnosticism and what the differences between the two are. Seidman does many things in this book from talking about what it could mean if the teen comes out as an atheist to what happens if you find religion after being an atheist. This was a generally positive book about atheism but it is positive about religion too. It really just wants to give information to those seeking it without judging or condemning the choices of others.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Otomen volume 5


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 5 by Aya Kanno. It is the fifth in her Otomen series. It is 192 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the fifth volume in this series, you need to have read the first four volumes to understand the story. The cover has Asuka and Kitora with flowers blooming all around them looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Ryo is chosen to participate in a contest where flower arrangement and tea ceremony skills are tested--but she sucks at those things! To top things off, the previous champion wants Asuka for herself! Does Ryo have a fighting chance?

Review-  The blurb goes over the first story in this volume. We get a little bit of a fight over Asuka but he knows his own mind and he loves Ryo. No other girl is going to turn his head. Ryo does win the contest, the hearts of her friends and even the heart of the previous champion. The middle story is about Juta continuing to try and hide what he does for living. He is up for an award from other shojo mangakas. Of course Asuka is there attending the awards and he wants to meet his favorite author. Last story is about Asuka and Hajime becoming the beauty samurai again and it looks like they are going to be doing this as a long-term paying gig. But someone wants to know who the beauty samurai under their masks. We get some fun character development, more moon-ing over Ryo from Asuka, and just more humor. With this volume ending as a cliff-hanger I cannot wait to read what is going to happen next.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Rest of Is Just Live Here


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Today's post  is on The Rest of Is Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. It is 343 pages long and published by Walker Books. The cover is dark blue with different character in a lighter blue. The intended reader is young adult and has geeky humor. There is some mild foul language, mild sexuality, and no violence in this book. The story is told from the first person close of the main character, Mike. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- What if you aren’t the Chosen One?
The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?
What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.
Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.
Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions...


Review- This was a really fun book about the normal kids who live in the universe of Buffy and the like. They are not the chosen ones or even their friends. They are just the kids in the background just trying to not get killed by whatever end-of-the-world is happening this week. Mike is trying to not melt down from his OCD as his family tries to do life too. With his unrequited love for his best friend, his other best friend maybe getting a boyfriend, and all the disasters around him, he still gets things done.The best part of the book was the beginning of the chapters had what was going on with the special kids. The blurbs are not very long but they made me laugh and remember the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her like. Ness does talk about some serious subjects and they are bearable because of the chosen stuff in the background. A fun book.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary, and Eisenhower's campaign for Peace


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Today's Nonfiction post is on Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary, and Eisenhower's campaign for Peace by Alex von Tunzelmann. It is 560 pages long including notes. The cover is black and white with different pictures dealing with the content of the book. The intended reader is someone interested in the Middle East post World War 2 and Eisenhower. There is foul language, talk of sex, and violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Over sixteen extraordinary days in October and November 1956, the twin crises of Suez and Hungary pushed the world to the brink of a nuclear conflict and what many at the time were calling World War III. Blood & Sand is a revelatory new history of these dramatic events, for the first time setting both crises in the context of the global Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the treacherous power politics of imperialism and oil.
Blood & Sand tells this story hour by hour through a fascinating international cast of characters including Gamal Abdel Nasser, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Anthony Eden, Christian Pineau, Nikita Khrushchev, Imre Nagy and David Ben-Gurion. It is a tale of conspiracy and revolutions; spies and terrorists; kidnappings and assassination plots; the fall of the British Empire and rise of American hegemony. Blood & Sand is essential to our understanding of the modern Middle East and resonates strikingly with the problems of oil control, religious fundamentalism and international unity that face the world today.


Review- I wanted to be engaged with this book. I wanted to learn some new things about a president that I do not know much about but this book was a very slow and boring read. It is about the beginning of the Middle East as we have it today and it should have been interesting. Instead the writing is very slow, with lots of details that do not really add to the overall story, just slow it down. The notes are good and give pointers about where to go next if you want to do more research but after this book I do not.

I give this book a Two out of Five stars. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review by Harper Collins.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Otomen volume 4


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 4 by Aya Kanno. It is the fourth in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. You need to have read the first three volumes to understand the story. The cover is light blue with the main and his 'rival' on it looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- With Ryo's birthday around the corner, Asuka's all aflutter making preparations for the festivities. Best-laid plans tend to go awry, however...especially when Ryo already has plans with another man! Asuka Masamune is a guy who loves girly things--sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Ryo Miyakozuka, on the other hand, is a girl who can't sew or bake a cake to save her life. Asuka finds himself drawn to Ryo, but she likes only the manliest of men! Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to the girl that he's falling for?

Review- So we get Ryo's birthday, a new character, and summer break in this volume. Ryo's dad wants to do something special for her on her birthday this year and he asks Asuka to help him. So they go to a lot of very feminine places which Asuka loves but he has to hold back his otomen ways in front  of Ryo's dad. It is very cute and funny. Then we meet an otomen who loves flowers. He is fighting his otomen ways but Asuka helps him be more open with it. Then at last we get to the summer beach trip but disaster for Asuka junior who needs his helps so that his uncle's shop can stay open. So much funny and cute stuff happen in this volume. Asuka is still working on getting Ryo to see that he really likes her. Ryo is cute if a little dense but it just adds to her charm. I cannot wait to read the next volume.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Faith: Hollywood and Vine


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Today's post is on Faith: Hollywood and Vine by Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Marguerite Sauvage, and Andrew Dalhouse. It is the first in the Faith comic series. It is 123 pages long and is published by Valiant. The cover is blue with Faith sitting on power lines as she writes on her laptop. The intended reader is someone who likes comic books, interesting heroines, and superhero stories. There is no mild foul language, no sex, and voilence in this book. The story is told from first person close of the main character Faith. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Valiant's most demanded hero steps out of Harbinger and into an all-new miniseries adventure!
Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert - a psionically gifted "psiot" discovered by the Harbinger Foundation - has always aspired to greatness. But now this once ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she's always known she can be - complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues, and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws into her harms way! Well, at least she thought it would When she's not typing up listicles about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels' own leading superhero - the sky-soaring Zephyr!
But flying solo is going to be tougher than she ever thought when Zephyr uncovers a deep-rooted alien conspiracy. Two-bit burglars and car thieves are one thing, but when the world needs a hero to stave off an full-blown extraterrestrial invasion, will Faith find herself in over her head or ready for her biggest challenge yet?


Review- I had so much fun with this volume. I really like Faith. She is open to the world and she wants to embrace it. Faith has moved from being with a group of superheroes to working mostly on her own. She still has contact with some of her friends but she is pulling all the work herself. She has a secret identity and a normal job. But she does go out and stop the bad things from happening at night. She discovers that people are going missing and they are like her. So off we go with Faith as she uncovers what is going on and tries to keep her life together at the same time. I cannot wait to read the next one.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this volume from my local library. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Otomen volume 3


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 3 by Aya Kanno. It is the second in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. You need to have read the first two volumes to understand the story. The cover is light blue with the main and his love interest on it looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Asuka takes Ryo to an amusement park where he plans to confess his feelings to her. Too bad all the rides Ryo wants to go on frighten Asuka! Can he overcome his fear for the sake of love?

Review- We have several stories going on in this volume and they all add to the world/ character building. From Asuka and Ryo working together at a daycare and Asuka dreaming about them being married and parents. We get to go on a date with them and of course everything goes wrong. One is about Juta and Asuka trying to get to know him because all the girls that Juta flirts with think that he has a girlfriend. Juta is protecting his secret about being a manga-ka with Asuka and Ryo as his characters. We find out that Juta is supporting his ten sisters with this writing. And Asuka discovers a friend in the manly world of Kendo, who sees Asuka as his sworn enemy. Asuka is getting more open about his Otomen ways but he still fears letting his mother down. That said I like where the story is going and it so sweet my teeth hurt but I love it!

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Ruin and Rising


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Today's post is on Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. It is the third on her Grisha trilogy. It is 417 pages long and is published by Henry Holt and company. The cover is red with a palace on bottom and a phoenix on top. The intended reader is someone who has read the first two volumes. There is mild foul language, implied sex, and violence in this novel. The story is told from the first person perspective of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.


Review- This is a very good finish to an excellent trilogy. It looks like Alina and company are in a bad place but Alina has learned very well from the Darkling. She quickly takes control and gets the story back on track. She does worry more about why she wants to get the third amplifer and that does add something to her character. But the real point to me was Alina and Mal choosing each other no matter what the cost. Of course it is not that easy. Everything gets burned to the ground but I was very happy with the ending. I am glad that Bardugo is not done with this world because there is so much that we do not get to see but I will when I read Six of Crows.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Labyrinths: Emma Jung, Her Marriage to Carl, and the Early Years of Psychoanalysis


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Today's nonfiction post is on Labyrinths: Emma Jung, Her Marriage to Carl, and the Early Years of Psychoanalysis by Catrine Clay. It is 394 pages long including notes. The cover is a picture of Emma with Carl only half in it. The intended reader is someone who is interested in Emma Jung and her life. There is no foul language, talk of sex, and no violence in this book.

From the back of the book- A sensational, eye-opening account of Emma Jung’s complex marriage to Carl Gustav Jung and the hitherto unknown role she played in the early years of the psychoanalytic movement.
Clever and ambitious, Emma Jung yearned to study the natural sciences at the University of Zurich. But the strict rules of proper Swiss society at the beginning of the twentieth century dictated that a woman of Emma’s stature—one of the richest heiresses in Switzerland—travel to Paris to "finish" her education, to prepare for marriage to a suitable man.
Engaged to the son of one of her father’s wealthy business colleagues, Emma’s conventional and predictable life was upended when she met Carl Jung. The son of a penniless pastor working as an assistant physician in an insane asylum, Jung dazzled Emma with his intelligence, confidence, and good looks. More important, he offered her freedom from the confines of a traditional haute-bourgeois life. But Emma did not know that Jung’s charisma masked a dark interior—fostered by a strange, isolated childhood and the sexual abuse he’d suffered as a boy—as well as a compulsive philandering that would threaten their marriage.
Using letters, family interviews, and rich, never-before-published archival material, Catrine Clay illuminates the Jungs’ unorthodox marriage and explores how it shaped—and was shaped by—the scandalous new movement of psychoanalysis. Most important, Clay reveals how Carl Jung could never have achieved what he did without Emma supporting him through his private torments. The Emma that emerges in the pages of Labyrinths is a strong, brilliant woman, who, with her husband’s encouragement, becomes a successful analyst in her own right.


Review- When I started reading this book the only thing I knew about Emma Jung was that she was married to Carl but I do not have a good understanding of this complex woman and the driving forces in her life. We follow Emma over the course of her whole life but we spend the most time with her in the years of her marriage to Carl Jung. She was the woman behind the man and Emma did more for Carl than just be a wife, housekeeper, and mother. She was the steady center to his life. But Emma learned from Carl too and she became a talented and knowledgeable analysis herself. Clay does not hold back from the less than wonderful details about their life together. Carl was unstable and that affected Emma but she had to be the strong one and the faithful one. Carl was so busy being Carl Jung that he never really understood what Emma gave him. But in the end Emma found her own way in life and I think that she was happy with her life in the end.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review by Harper Collins.