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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: Jake, Lucid Dreamer by David J. Naiman

What an absolutely lovely and deftly crafted story this was! It was highly deceptive in its deliverables – a very poignant and masterfull-created journey through life, death, and the aftermath of both masquerading (for much of the book) as a lighthearted tale about unusual dreams and anger-management…

Jake lost his mother. Literally and figuratively. And he’s lost himself, trying to live every day as though this loss is (a) bearable, (b) not crushing him, and (c) not responsible for his reactions to everyone and everything around him. Naiman brings the anxiety, anguish, and angst of the loss of a parent into Technicolor focus with his descriptions of Jake and his gloriously unusual and beautifully eccentric dreams. He deals with bullies at school, his own maelstrom of anger and resentment toward his surviving family members, and his burgeoning feelings about a friend. Continue reading Book Review: Jake, Lucid Dreamer by David J. Naiman

Book Review Blurb: Bright Ruin by Vic James

Do NOT let the short review fool you – this was a HUGE story… Unfortunately, without giving spoilers for the series, it’s tough to turn the final book in a trilogy into a free-standing review though! Read my reviews of book one and book two, then read this one. And if you want to talk more about it shoot me a message or comment – I’d love to have someone to talk to about it and not worry about ruining the delight of the series!! Enjoy…

OH MY GOODNESS!! I LOVED this series, and while I’m sorry to see it end, am delighted at how it all came together AND at how the excessively talented Vic James managed to curtail any desire to drag things out (surely such desire must have been present – this is a gloriously imagined world and I too found it difficult to leave, and it wasn’t even my own!)… This was the perfect wrap up to a taut, beautifully-crafted series – there was high drama, a ton of action, and enough resolution to bring the story lines full-circle without feeling forced, drawn out, or over-done. The characters practically leapt off the pages, as did the action/adventure/drama/intrigue/duplicity. The world was marvelous, full of the perfect amount of detail to allow my imagination to engage vividly and actively, picturing everyone and everything surrounding the Equals and rebels in their struggle for control. This is an excellent trilogy and I hope James has plans for more in the future, because I thoroughly enjoy her writing…

My review copy was provided by NetGalley. Bright Ruin releases on October 9 – so you have time to catch up on the other two books if you haven’t already!

An Introduction to the School of Life Press

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to a new press offered by The School of Life. It is an original publication line, that hopes to change the world. I hope you enjoy learning about their upcoming titles and their mission!

The School of Life is a global organisation dedicated to developing emotional intelligence. They apply psychology, philosophy, and culture to everyday life. Headquartered in London, it operates around the globe with ten international branches (Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Istanbul, Melbourne, Paris, São Paulo, Seoul, Sydney, and Taipei). The School of Life is a rapidly growing global brand, with over three million YouTube subscribers, 285,000 Facebook followers, and 135,000 Twitter followers.

The School of Life Press brings together the thinking and ideas of the School of Life creative team under the direction of series editor, Alain de Botton. Their books share a coherent, curated message that speaks with one voice: calm, reassuring, and sane. The School of Life book division is devoted to developing emotional intelligence. Their series of books address issues such as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to achieve calm, and how better to understand and – where necessary – change the world. These ideas are delivered in beautiful, insightful, and entertaining books that share a coherent, curated message that speaks with one voice: calm, reassuring, and sane. The press is under the direction of de Botton, whose own books include How Proust Can Change Your Life, Religion for Atheists, and The Course of Love. Continue reading An Introduction to the School of Life Press

Book Review: Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction by Joshua Cohen

OK, I’ve been trying – and trying – but cannot grasp the purpose of this book, or find the energy to continue to read it. Ironic, considering the title/subject matter I know, but I can’t help it. I’ve more than given it the ol’ college try…

The concept is great, and there are moments of brilliance. BUT… (and yes, that’s a BIG “but”) The execution and organization are all over the place with this one. A vast majority of it feels like a political rant/ramble – in many ways, redolent of another one I had difficulty with recently, Fake by Kati Stevens. This new genre of “rant non-fiction” seems to be sprouting up under the guise of cultural criticism. Call me old-fashioned, but give me a good Chuck Klosterman anyday… Continue reading Book Review: Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction by Joshua Cohen

Guest Book Review: The Painter of Time (Audiobook Version) by Matthew O’Connell – Susan Fouche (Narrator)

Today I’m pleased to bring you a guest book review courtesy of my husband, also known as The Audiobook Guy. He spends a LOT of time in the car, and as a result audiobooks are his preferred format for “reading”. This title was a little outside of his wheelhouse, but when the opportunity to review it arose, he jumped at the chance to get back in the game. I hope you enjoy it – and perhaps we can convince him to share his audiobook thoughts with us again soon!

About the Book
Art can live forever… and it can even be brought back to life if cared for by a talented restorer with the right tools. And that’s just what Mackenzie Ferrara wants to do when she joins the team at NYC’s prestigious Cloisters in Matthew O’Connell’s highly acclaimed suspense novel, The Painter of Time, newly available in audiobook. Continue reading Guest Book Review: The Painter of Time (Audiobook Version) by Matthew O’Connell – Susan Fouche (Narrator)

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