Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story


29501267

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


7326819

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


18480425

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


6769060

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


23017947

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


22541790

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


6801648

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


23830990

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


28960086

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


6406103

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.