Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

Wicked WondersWicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: The Scott O’Dell award-winning author of The Green Glass Sea returns with her second collection: a new decade of lyrical stories with vintage flair.

Inside of these critically-acclaimed tales are memorable characters who are smart, subversive, and singular. A rebellious child identifies with wicked Maleficent instead of Sleeping Beauty. Best friends Anna and Corry share a last melancholy morning before emigration to another planet. A prep-school girl requires more than mere luck to win at dice with a faerie. Ladies who lunch keeping dividing that one last bite of dessert in the paradox of female politeness.

Whether on a habitat on Mars or in a boardinghouse in London, discover Ellen Klages’ wicked, wondrous adventures full of brazenness, wit, empathy, and courage.

 

My Musings: If you think short stories are not for you, read this book.

From the first page I was instantly immersed in the magical and vibrant worlds of Wicked Wonders. The author has this amazing talent of writing short stories that leave you with enough closure to feel satisfied, but also include an intriguing enough premise to have you musing and daydreaming about the stories for weeks on end! Only a master storyteller could make glimpses of other worlds feel so complete.

I also really enjoyed the end chapters, where the author explained why she writes short fiction and the included blurb about her inspiration for each short story in the collection. I wish more books did this as it was so interesting to read about.

Overall this is great collection from an award winning author, and while not every story includes magic, every story is magical.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One DayMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first foray into the world of David Sedaris was “Exploring Diabetes with Owls”, which is arguably one of his lowest rated books. I, however enjoyed it, and when I saw a kindle daily deal of all his books I decided to grab a bunch. I figured if I enjoyed his low rated book than subsequently his older books would only get better and better for me.

And it seems like my random haul paid off because I really loved this book. I feel like reading this in public would be a great idea for shy people who want more social interaction because strangers will undoubtedly go up to you to ask what has you laughing so loudly.

While at times the writing feels a little overly embellished, for the most part I adored this collection of stories and essays that mostly focused on David’s attempts to learn the french language and his holidays in France. It was hilarious and I can’t tell if it has made me more or less likely to try to attempt learning that language myself in the future.

Overall fun read, loved the bite sized chapters and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dry and slightly dark humour. 4.5/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

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Big Kid Books | The Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol

The Unprotected: A NovelThe Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lyrical and poignant, this novel follows Lara as she goes from “anti-kids” to “ try-anything- for-one”. The novel explores what happens when everything you have ever wanted turns out to be nothing like what you expected.

The gradual build up was so well done, it shows how easy it is to get to the extreme end of postpartum depression. I think that there are aspects to this story that every mother can relate to.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

How Not to Hate Your Husband After KidsHow Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you only ever read one self-help book let it be this one. It’s almost a five for one deal in that the author has painstakingly researched and ferreted out the best of the best in various areas of psychology that is vital for a healthy marriage.

I think that many, if not most women can relate to the cover image of this book. The harried, flustered mother just trying to get by day by day with as much sanity as she started with, while her frustratingly nonchalant husband casually lives life by the seat of his pants. Probably because he has what we don’t…a wife looking out for everything!

I loved how thorough this book was. Everything that could be affecting a marriage was included in here, from chore distribution to sex life and date nights (or lack thereof), to child discipline to anger issues and ostrich syndrome (hiding your head under the sand). There really are so many moving parts in a marriage, and so many seemingly small things that can make a huge difference. I loved that they were all addressed in a very genuine and thoughtful manner.

The author was so honest in this book, I was very impressed. I think that honesty is what made this book impossible to put down. You can’t help but trust in her genuine desire to fix her marriage. That raw desire for improvement seeps off of the page and you find your own ember for change and happiness reignited.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy (This would also make a great baby shower gift!)

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

Stuff I've Been Feeling LatelyStuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.”

Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track. Alicia decided to self publish this effort after leaving her publishing house. She views this book as her “independence” and official separation from that venture. She also drew the front and back cover herself. Alicia is a contributing writer for many blogs and news outlets, including the Huffington Post and multiple Gannett Publications. She writes regularly on drug addiction and how it directly affects families. Because of this, she has chosen to donate 100% of royalties to the Willow Tree Center in New Jersey.

My Musings:I loved how unique this book of poems was. Anyone that has ever dealt with grief and self-doubt will get a lot from this. The idea of setting each poem to a song was brilliant. Of course it worked a lot better for me when I was actually familiar with the song. For this reason I think it would be a cool idea if the book came with a cd of its playlist, or if in the audio version the poems song played after each poem.

There are many books that I have loved, but few that felt like they were written just for me. The writing was beautiful without being flowery, raw without being harsh. The author feels like a kindred spirit. These poems make me want to cry and smile at the same time. Alicia Cook is a master in the balancing act of bittersweet prose.

The only thing that was a little disappointing for me was that the black-out poetry in the second half of the book was not visible at all in my advance reader copy. I know this is not an issue in the finished work so I won’t take off a star for that. I am just sad that I couldn’t fully experience this book of poetry, but even just the first half of the book was worth five stars to me.

This is poetry for everyone. Well done Ms.Cook.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah’s Scribbles) by Sarah Andersen

Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah's Scribbles, #2)Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Big Mushy Happy Lump is another entertaining offering from Sarah Andersen. While it lacks a tiny bit of the magic that was found in Adulthood Is a Myth, I still got a lot of enjoyment out of this book. Many of the comics included were laugh out loud funny, and you will still find yourself showing everyone you know the farcical stories that anyone can relate to. Great read, bring on the next one!

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Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Celaena Sardothien, heroine of the New York Times bestselling series, rises from the ashes to burn even brighter than before.


Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak-but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

In this USA Today bestselling third book in the New York Times bestselling series, Sarah J. Maas again delivers the epic fantasy, heart-stopping pace, and heady romance that have won her readers the world over.

My Musings: Third times a charm I suppose, because Heir of Fire has been my favourite book in this series so far. What a vast improvement over the first two! The change of scenery was great and the introduction of new characters was a breath of fresh air.

Although as interesting as the new characters were I didn’t really need to have multiple chapters told in their perspective. I am not really a fan of multiple narratives, because you always end up having a favourite. In this book Celaena was my favourite character by far, so when the book jumped around to all these different people, some of whom I didn’t care for at all… It felt as though I was just “doing my time” until I could get back to the story I really wanted.

On their own each of the characters could easily be the star of their own great book. But when you shove so many narratives (even good ones) into one novel…it gets to feel a bit cramped and cluttered. I understand why the author did it, but its just not a writing style that I am a fan of. However despite my grumbling I did enjoy this book a lot, and as long as the title character gets the most “page time” I will happily continue with this series.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Pst For those that hate love triangles, there are none in this installment!

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