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Thursday, June 21, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage @tomstandage @TantorAudio

AUTHOR: Tom Standage
NARRATOR: Sean Runnette
PUBLISHER: Tantor Media
PUBLICATION DATE: March 25, 2011 (first published 2005)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs and 38 mins
GENRE: History, Nonfiction, Food and Drink
ISBN: 9781452601496
Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the twenty-first century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Crescent and by 3000 B.C.E. was so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that it was used to pay wages. In ancient Greece, wine became the main export of her vast seaborne trade, helping spread Greek culture abroad. Spirits such as brandy and rum fueled the Age of Exploration, fortifying seamen on long voyages and oiling the pernicious slave trade. Although coffee originated in the Arab world, it stoked revolutionary thought in Europe during the Age of Reason, when coffeehouses became centers of intellectual exchange. And hundreds of years after the Chinese began drinking tea, it became especially popular in Britain, with far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. Finally, though carbonated drinks were invented in 18th-century Europe, they became a 20th-century phenomenon, and Coca-Cola in particular is the leading symbol of globalization.

For Tom Standage, each drink is a different kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture by which he demonstrates the intricate interplay of different civilizations. You may never look at your favorite beverage the same way again.

MY REVIEW:

What a neat way to look a history! I enjoyed learning how six key beverages (three alcoholic and three caffeinated) played a role throughout history. 

Aside from air, consumption of fluids is one of the most important necessities of life. Our bodies can withstand the absence of food for far longer than it can survive without fluids. This is why the earliest people settled near a freshwater source like a lake or stream, and the focus of this book is on how drinks (in particular: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola) have continued to have an important role throughout history.

Why these drinks, do you ask? The author explains that, just as it is possible to divide world history based on the use of different materials (such as the Stone Age or the Bronze Age), it can also be divided by the beverages that dominated certain periods in history.

This book was a fun and informative read. Unfortunately, many nonfiction history books are dry and boring but this most certainly was not! The section that I found most interesting was learning about beer in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Sean Runnette is a new-to-me narrator, and I enjoyed the tone of his voice. He was pleasant to listen to, and I'm glad that I chose listening to the audiobook instead of reading it. Here is a sample of the narration:



MY RATING:

3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it!

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

COYER Mini Challenge: Fairy Tale Scavenger Hunt #coyerfairytalehunt

This mini-challenge hosted by Kristen @ Book Monsters is part of the COYER Big Summer Birthday Bash.


Book Scavenger Hunt:
1. A book with fairies on the cover

2. Your favorite original fairy tale – Grim, Hans Christian Anderson or any really.
Oh, that's so hard to pick just one! I am going to pick this one from a German fairy tale book that I had growing up, which scarred me, LOL! It's about a boy would not stop sucking his thumbs, so they were cut off with giant scissors! There's even a picture of blood spurting from his thumbs. The name of the fairy tale is Die Geschichte vom Daumenlutscher, which is part of a volume of fairy tales called Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann. These are not the Disney sanitized versions of fairy tales!

3. Magical beverage that keeps you reading (coffee, tea, water.. etc)
To *keep* me reading, it would definitely be something to keep me alert so that would be coffee:

4. Lucky 7 – find a book with the word seven in the title

I listened to this one last year:


5. Favorite retelling

Again, so tough to narrow down to just one! I loved this one:



That was fun, Kristen! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Dark Side of the Laird by Eliza Knight @ElizaKnight @TantorAudio

SERIES: Highland Bound, Book #3
AUTHOR: Eliza Knight
NARRATORS: Arika Rapson and Antony Ferguson
PUBLISHER: Tantor Media
PUBLICATION DATE: August 18, 2014 (first published 2013)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 59 mins
GENRE: Romance/Historical, Science Fiction/Time Travel
ISBN: 9781494523091
When the damaged and tormented Emma first meets the equally broken Logan, they embark on a torrid affair that irrevocably changes their lives. Emma has sacrificed her entire being, and just when she thinks Logan is willing to do the same, he holds back. In order to keep her, Logan must gain permission to marry from the one man he's sought to avoid: his brother, the King. His appeal is denied, and Logan is sent to the dungeon. Fearing that her lover is dead, Emma decides once and for all that she must leave history where it belongs and return to the present. She and Logan have always been strongest when together, but now Emma must find the courage on her own to see her fate fulfilled-and Logan returned to her. Contains mature themes.

MY REVIEW:

This is the third installment in the Highland Bound series, and my favourite one thus far!

It's been five months now since Emma found herself travelling back in time to 1542, and she still is at Castle Gealach with Logan. Logan's secret brother and King came to the castle, and he has brought a bride for Logan...Lady Isabella. However, she is a Macdonald and there's no way that Logan would marry the niece of his enemy even if Emma wasn't in the picture! He vows to Emma that he will seek the King's permission to marry her.

Lots of trouble is brewing in this third book in the series, and it made for a fast pace! Someone is trying to harm Emma in the castle and, meanwhile, Logan is away on a minimum three-week journey to see the King and Emma is certain that he is in danger and is desperate to save him.

I so enjoy the dual point of view from both Emma and Logan. I've really grown to love these characters, and they have grown so much since the start of the series. I loved the ending and I'm looking forward to continuing on with the fourth book, Highlander's Touch.

Overall, I enjoy the narration of Arika Rapson (Emma) and Antony Ferguson (Logan). I am enjoying listening to this series in audio format. Here is a sample of the narration:



MY RATING:

4 stars!! I really enjoyed it, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy steamy historical/time travel romances.

This book qualifies as:

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé @metuiteme @SourcebooksFire

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.


Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: August 7, 2018
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 320 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Horror, Fantasy
ISBN: 9781492657071
Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity in this compelling ghost story about a former dancer whose grip on reality slips when she begins to think a dark entity is stalking her.

Something is wrong with Marianne.

It's not just that her parents have finally split up. Or that life hasn't been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She's losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her. And the only one who seems to believe her is the daughter of a local psychic.

But their first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing's rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. Whatever is haunting her, it wants everything she has--everything it's convinced she stole. Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it thinks it's owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

I love ghost stories! This one sounds like a good one. This is the debut novel for this Canadian author.


What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Summer TBR #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is:

My Summer TBR

Some of these are new releases, and others have just been on my TBR for a while! Here are some of the books that I hope to read while sitting outside or floating in the pool :)


by A.G. Howard
(Splintered, Book #3)

by Alex Flinn
(Kendra Chronicles, Book #3)

An Angel's Touch
by Heather Graham
(for Christmas in July)

Promise Me
by Richard Paul Evans
(for Christmas in July)

by Karen Marie Moning
(Fever, Book #1)

The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd

by Dan Simmons
(Seasons of Horror, Book #1)

The Resort
by Bentley Little

Dearest Ivie
by J.R. Ward
(Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book #15.5)

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
by Christopher Moore

Half-Brother
by Kenneth Oppel

Déjà Dead
by Kathy Reichs
(Temperance Brennan, Book #1)

Some Girls Bite
by Chloe Neill
(Chicagoland Vampires, Book #1)

Invisible Darkness: The Horrifying Case of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka
by Stephen Williams

On the Island
by Tracey Garvis Graves
(On the Island, Book #1)

Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury

The Nightmare Room
by Chris Sorensen
(The Messy Man, Book #1)

Born of Darkness
by Lara Adrian
(Hunter Legacy, Book #1)

Exhibit Alexandra
by Natasha Bell

The Flight Attendant
by Chris Bohjalian

Let Me Lie
by Clare Mackintosh

The Thief
by J.R. Ward
(Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book #16)


So, what books do you have on your Summer TBR? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sci-Fi Summer Read-a-Thon: Wrap-up Post #SciFiJune


This is my Wrap-up Post for the Sci-Fi Summer Read-a-Thon!

Well, I had good intentions!! I didn't read as much sci-fi as I had intended, but I had numerous library holds on Overdrive come through so my planned reads have been put on hold.

Since Michelle did say that fantasy qualified for the challenge since fantasy/sci-fi are often intertwined, I did manage to read some books that met the criteria.

I finished three books:

Dark Side of the Laird
by Eliza Knight
(Highland Bound, Book #3)
This is a sci-fi/time travel romance.

The Journey
by Kathryn Lasky
(Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #2)
This is fantasy.
[read-aloud to my daughter]

Unearthly
by Cynthia Hand
(Unearthly, Book #1)
This is fantasy.


Still reading:




A Dangerous Path
by Erin Hunter
(Warriors, Book #5)
This is fantasy.

Hallowed
by Cynthia Hand
(Unearthly, Book #2)
This is fantasy.

The Rescue
by Kathryn Lasky
(Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #3)
This is fantasy.
[read-aloud to my daughter]

Thanks again to Michelle at Seasons of Reading for hosting!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


I'm reading: 

Something from the library. I had to ditch my reading plans because I just had to continue this series after finishing the first book!

TITLE: Hallowed
SERIES: Unearthly, Book #2
AUTHOR: Cynthia Hand
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
PUBLICATION DATE: December 26, 2012
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 403 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780061996191
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

Not only am I a first generation Canadian, but immigration is my profession. 

PUBLISHER: Caitlin Press
PUBLICATION DATE: February 7, 2017
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 216 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781987915341
Edited by Miriam Matejova, Wherever I Find Myself is a diverse collection of stories about the joys and struggles of immigrant women living in Canada. Often bringing with them the shadow of war and the guilt of leaving, the women in this new anthology expose their emotional pain but also their gratitude for being able to call Canada home. Their stories paint touching and charming portraits of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, bureaucratic hurdles, attempts to navigate unfamiliar landscapes, and a desire to be accepted despite differences in accent, skin colour, or taste in food. Together they form a mosaic of emotions and world-views that underline the immigrant condition for women.

A yellow dress with ruffles, a kind Grade 1 teacher with a surname that’s difficult to spell, cockroaches in the bathroom, the contempt of strangers, and Whitney Houston on the radio–a Filipino woman recalls her experience as a six-year-old immigrant in a ghetto in Mississauga in the 80s. Browsing through a Polish fashion magazine at a European deli, a woman sees herself in an alternative universe of what her life might have been had she never immigrated to Canada. A same-sex couple moves from Minnesota to Ontario to find refuge for their love, but first they must drive a seventeen-foot truck through a blizzard and make it through the frustrating net of Canadian bureaucracy. In search of her origins, a Jewish woman travels to her birthplace in Passau, Germany. There, among rows of European picturesque houses and foreign tombstones of a Jewish cemetery, she finds no memories, only the shadow of Hitler and the ghosts of her parents.

Through these stories of courage, aloneness, and hope, new and established writers reach out to both immigrants and those whose families long ago ceased to identify with the immigrant label. Through their struggles and, at times, endearingly critical looks at Canada, they remind us that many of our perceived divisions are nothing but artificial creations of mind and that all of us are past, current, or potential immigrants.

I completed a nine-week course with a group of people, which featured DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. The book is a lot to digest, and I'm still reading it in chunks.

TITLE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 1992
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 314 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-Help
ISBN: 9780310585909
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

Something from the library. I really enjoy this author, and I find him to be very inspirational!

AUTHOR: Joel Osteen
PUBLISHER: FaithWords
PUBLICATION DATE: October 24, 2017
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 304 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781455534326
The same God that leads you through green pastures guides you through the valleys. #1 New York Times bestselling author Joel Osteen shares how God uses the darkness in life for good.

All of us at some time encounter dark places that we don't understand: a loss, a sickness, a divorce, a child who breaks our heart. It's easy to get discouraged, give up on our dreams, and just settle there. We may not realize it, but when we feel buried in dark places, we are being blessed. God is using those experiences to help us grow, because we cannot reach our highest potential if we're standing in the light all the time. With Blessed in the Darkness, you will learn how to draw closer to God and trust Him when life doesn't make sense.

If we will go through the valley trusting, believing, and knowing that God is still in control, then we will come to the table that is already prepared for us, where our cup runs over.

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter. We are loving this series! It just gets better and better!

TITLE: A Dangerous Path
SERIES: Warriors, Book #5
AUTHOR: Erin Hunter
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
PUBLICATION DATE: March 17, 2015 (first published 2004)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 368 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780062367006
Join the legion of fans who have made Erin Hunter's Warriors series a #1 national bestseller--with new editions featuring a striking new look! More thrilling fantasy, fierce warrior cats, and epic adventures await in Warriors #5: A Dangerous Path.

ShadowClan has chosen Tigerclaw as their new leader, and Fireheart fears that this old enemy still harbors dark plans for vengeance on his former Clan. A mysterious threat has invaded the forest, placing every cat's life in peril. And Fireheart's beloved leader has turned her back on their warrior ancestors. Fireheart can't help but wonder if she's right--has StarClan abandoned them forever?

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter.

TITLE: The Rescue
SERIES: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #3
AUTHOR: Kathryn Lasky
PUBLISHER: Scholastic, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: January 1, 2004 (first published 2003)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 198 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780439405591
Ever since Soren was kidnapped and taken to the St. Aegolius School for Orphaned Owls, he has longed to see his sister, Eglantine, again. Now Eglantine is back in Soren's life, but she's been through an ordeal too terrible for words. And Ezylryb, Soren's mentor, has disappeared. Deep within Soren's gizzard, something more powerful than knowledge tells him there's a connection between these mysterious events.

In order to rescue Ezylryb, Soren must embark upon a perilous quest. It will bring him face-to-face with a force more dangerous than anything the rulers of St. Aggie's could have devised-and a truth that threatens to destroy the owl kingdom.

I'm listening to:

Something from the library on Overdrive. This hold finally came through!

SERIES: Flavia de Luce, Book #1
AUTHOR: Alan Bradley
NARRATOR: Jayne Entwistle
PUBLISHER: Books on Tape
PUBLICATION DATE: May 5, 2009 
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 53 mins
GENRE: Mystery, Historical Fiction
ISBN: 9781415964491
It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

I just finished:

TITLE: Unearthly
SERIES: Unearthly, Book #1
AUTHOR: Cynthia Hand
PUBLISHER: Egmont Books (UK)
PUBLICATION DATE: May 1, 2011
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 435 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9781405259644
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

TITLE: The Journey
SERIES: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book #2
AUTHOR: Kathryn Lasky
PUBLISHER: Scholastic, Inc.
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1, 2003 
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 242 pages
GENRE: Young Adult
ISBN: 9780439405584

It began as a dream. A quest for the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, a mythical place where each night an order of owls rises to perform noble deeds. There Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, and Digger hope to find inspiration to fight the evil that dwells in the owl kingdom.

The journey is long and harrowing. When Soren and his friends finally arrive at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, they will be tested in ways they never dreamed and face challenges they never imagined. If they can learn from their leaders and from one another, they will soon become true Ga'hoolian owls-honest and brave, wise and true.


SERIES: Amelia Peabody, Book #1
NARRATOR: Barbara Rosenblat
PUBLISHER: Recorded Books
PUBLICATION DATE: July 29, 2004 (first published 1975)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 51 mins
GENRE: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Northern Africa/Egypt
ISBN: 9781402577260
Amelia Peabody, 32-year-old Victorian gentlewoman, inherited two things from her father: a considerable fortune and an unbendable will. The first was indispensable in allowing her to indulge in her life's passion: Egyptology. Without the second, the mummy's curse would have made corpses of them all. Promptly upon her father's death, Amelia takes ship for Cairo. But her companion, Miss Pritchett, succumbs to typhoid in Rome -- weak minded female that she is. That's just when an unexpected distraction drops, more or less, at Amelia's feet. What happens next makes for a delicious mystery and pyramids of fun.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!
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