Friday, July 28, 2017

All Lady July - Book Review: "In the Shadow of Lakecrest" by Elizabeth Blackwell

While reading this book, especially the first half, all I could think was "Oh yeah, I know this book. Except it was called Rebecca. And Lakecrest was called Manderley and it was way better written than this". 

This is a little harsh (though not unfair) because you could reach the moon if you stacked all of the books that have this basis premise on top of each other: poor girl meets rich but mysterious man, whirlwind romance, quick marriage, he brings to his ancesteral home, family is mysterious and unwelcoming and then the mysteries of his sordid past unravel.

As the book went on it came into it's own a little bit more, but noone of it was reinventing the wheel. However it's a pretty short, fast read so if you want a little escapism this isn't the worst way to go. I think it's like, 276 pages?

I read this for my work book club so I will have to think of something more constructive to say for our meeting :)


Monday, July 24, 2017

All Lady July - Female Author Word Search

Let's ease ourselves back into the work week with something just for fun.

G W U M I N B Z U W O O L F A 
N H U X U L O O H U R S T O N 
I A X E U N L S A P G H L L D 
L R R M C E R T N H C E L Y C 
W T E Y G I W O C I E N I U G 
O O Q N F O R P S T K H V X O 
R N A E O N E T S U A C H F A 
J R A D T E M R D Q V X I H T 
T E R C T N C G J M I H Y D E 
T E V H L T O U K A I J F Q S 
O E P C A Q L R D H C V A N H 
C L L O O U T N B G G K A D N 
L Z A E L M Z I J U Z T S N C 
A W J X U L W V Z G N C V O G 
I N J L I R L T B Y O Z Z S N 


Thursday, July 20, 2017

All Lady July Book Review: "98 Reasons for Being" by Clare Dudman

I'm honestly so meh about this book it's kind of hard to write a review about it.


*An excuse to use an X-Files GIF almost makes up for it*

Our story takes place in an insane asylum in 19th century Germany. A young woman is brought in who refuses to eat, sleep or speak in a few weeks. Dr Hoffmann is the very caring doctor who runs the asylum and he takes a particular interest in Hannah. There are side stories about a few of the other patients and the people who work at the asylum (spoiler alert, not many of them are good folks. Some of then are actually very not good folks.) The doctor uses his therapy time with Hannah to exercise some of his own demons as well because his home life isn't great. And he also wrote a book of like, cautionary kids poems that are apparently famous in real life that I've never heard of?

Here's some of the things that didn't work for me:

-Switching character perspectives within the chapers
-Having the side story characters be more interesting than the main characters
-I found myself not really caring how it ended because I wasn't invested in the characters

Just because I didn't like this book doesn't mean that you might not like this book (it's got a lot of good reviews on goodreads, so many I'm just some barbarian, who knows?) Cover is fun though!


Monday, July 17, 2017

All Lady July Book Review: "Things We Lost in the Fire" by Mariana Enriquez

When I met up with Julianne a few weeks ago she HIGHLY suggested this book, she also said Shannon (formerly of River City Reading) also loved it. I trust both of these ladies taste in books so I picked this one up from the library last week.

I couldn't stop reading this book. When I wasn't reading this book, I wanted to be reading this book.

Karen Russell is my short story go to, but when if you want something that skews a little more to the horror side of the weird short story genre then I can not point you to this book fast enough.

All(ish) of these spooky stories take place in Argentina, and some of that countries' complicated history plays into some stories, but if you don't know anything about Argentina you're still going to be fine. (All of my Argentine history comes from the musical "Evita"  but I like that musical considerably less know that I grew up and realized Peron basically through open the doors for escaping Nazis and laid down the god damn welcome mat. ANYWAY, rant over). 

The stories are short, maybe 10-15 pages at the longest but they feel complete, not like some short stories when you feel like maybe a page or two got left out somewhere and your book is faulty.  A lot of the stories deal with people's strange experiences after a personally traumatic event which is interesting. A few of the stories address the issue of poverty and drug use which I think is interesting. And at least one of them has really great, creepy, religious undertones which is boss. And a haunted house or two, naturally.

If you want some books that scratch that itch of tense, interesting and downright spooky I can't think of a better book to recommend. 4 outta 5!


Friday, July 14, 2017

All Lady July 2017 - The Shopping Post

Oh these darn shopping posts, they are so fun to do but I always just end up wanting to BUY ALL THE THINGS! All of these posts, of course, celebrate ladies of lit or things that ladies who love lit might love for themselves! Click on the pictures for the link to where you can purchase these fine items!

Simple but high impact!

Book Page Flower Terrarium Pendant Necklace. One of a kind.

Books combined with a plant I don't have to actually take care of? Yes please!

Button-Eyed Mug, Unique Coffee Mug, Illustrated Mug, Cute Mug, Gifts for Him, Gifts for Her, Movie Mug, Film Mug, Fantasy Mug

Don't let an alternate family with button eyes keep you down Coraline!

As You Wish Quote Hand Embroidered Hoop Art, Princess Bride Art Romantic Gifts Under 50 for Her, Hand Stitched Nerd Wife Gifts

That embarrassing moment when the Dread Pirate Roberts is actually your BFF Westley.
(Spoiler alert, but that book is like 30 years old so....)

Reading is Revolt Racerback Tank Top-- Readers for Change, Protest shirt, Feminist, Reader, Book shirt, Bookish, Literary shirt, Bibliophile

Want want want. Want want. Want want. WANT.

Jane Austen Mug, Jane Austen Heroines Ceramic Mug, Literary Gift, Bookworm for Her, Pride and Prejudice, Bookish, Book Lover Gift

This is obviously a tea mug not a coffee mug.

William Shakespeare Tote Bag. Shakespeare Tote Bag. Shakespeare Quote. Book Bag. Bookish Tote Bag. Book Tote Bag. Book Lover Gifts. Reader

You might be like, uh Wesley that is from Shakespeare, from McB. And Shakespeare is a dude. And you are correct but this line is spoken by one of the weird sisters and I love them AND it's one of my favorite lines of all of Shakespeare and I make the rules SO IT'S IN. And I want this thing desperately bad.

Wonder Woman Inspired "Daughter of Themyscira" Women's Tank Top

If you love yourself some Wonder Woman but want something different from the Double W's, this is a good option!

Monday, July 10, 2017

All Lady July 2017- "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is a kinda, not really book review.

When I was recently at a great indie bookstore, finally getting to meet Julianne of Outlandish Lit fame, my hands wandered over this book. It was a book I'd heard a lot of good things about but I was confused because this. thing. is. tiny. My copy is 48 pages. I picked it up and brought it home and read it in a very short sitting by my sisters pool.

It's wonderful. It's so worth a read. It's already made me more conscious of the things I say and how and why I say them.I'm trying to pass it around to as many ladies as I can. My work friend Maggie has already read it and it's with my Mom currently.

But, it's basically a TED talk that the author gave.

So, please feel free to pick up the book, but maybe start with the TED talk. Just think of it as the audiobook version with bonus visuals :)

We should all be feminists TED talk 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

All Lady July 2017 - Books that are authored by women that are "on deck" for my TBR

(All Lady July will be a ghost of it's normal glorious self this year, but it's too fun and too good of a cause to not do it at all! So thanks for being here!)

Oh the TBR shelf, a place where books go to languish. However, I organize my books in such a way that I have an "on deck" stack, books that I anticipate will be something I will want to read next. Of course always subject to change -  a readers prerogative. So here are some of the books that I anticipate reading soon (or "soon", realistically) that are authored by women. -All synopsis from goodreads.


This ARC is on my coffee table waiting for me as a part of Amy's Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…


I have actually checked this one out from t he library and had to return it because I hadn't gotten to it in time. Oh those damn due dates. Will try again soon!

Novelist Clare Dudman, whose work has earned comparisons to Andrea Barrett and Barry Lopez, is that rare kind of author who can bring history dramatically to life. Here she conjures up the revolutionary nineteenth-century German physician Heinrich Hoffmann (best known today for his book of children's rhymes, Shockheaded Peter, or Struwwelpeter) as he struggles to cure an inhabitant of Frankfurt's Jewish ghetto who hasn't spoken, slept, or eaten in weeks. As the secrets hidden in the girl's mind are exposed, Dr. Hoffmann also begins to uncover his own buried truths and, in the end, discovers his real reasons for being.


I know, you guys are shocked. A super specific nonfiction book. So unlike me. /sarcasm font/

Discover the tantalizing true stories behind your favorite colors.
For example: Cleopatra used saffron—a source of the color yellow—for seduction. Extracted from an Afghan mine, the blue “ultramarine” paint used by Michelangelo was so expensive he couldn’t afford to buy it himself. Since ancient times, carmine red—still found in lipsticks and Cherry Coke today—has come from the blood of insects.


This one is a little hyped and I think the premise isn't as unique as it probably wants to think that it is but I'm still a pinch intrigued.

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Anyone read any of these?