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review 2017-02-25 08:52
Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations
Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations - Olivier Le Carrer

I saw this book in the bookshop and it was the perfect storm of "buy me":  Gorgeous cover, a title with Cursed in it, and content focused on the unusual. 

 

The cover is still gorgeous.  Cursed didn't mean exactly what I thought it meant, though it was still very interesting.  I flashed on the simplest definition: a hex conjured by really pissed off people.  The author used the word in the broader context: places that seem eternally destined for strife, challenges or difficulties; an area prone to high death rates, but because of geography as opposed to the wrath of an individual or group.  Still great stuff, just not quite as edgy.

 

The writing is good, but the editing was disappointing; in a book that was obviously so carefully put together, these word-order errors were jarring.  The author, La Carrer is unapologetically sarcastic at times, and not for humorous effect; I got my edginess, but not in the way I was expecting.  There are small touches of humor here and there, and the entry for Point Cook, Australia is hilarious; he makes it sound like the mecca for animals who are only here to kill you.

 

It's a quick, easy read and I learned a lot; I didn't feel like he chose run of the mill places on the map.  Amityville and Gaza aren't going to be new to anyone but for me at least, most of these were almost or completely new.  Kibera has almost completely squashed my desire to see the Maldives, but I'm now incredibly interested in seeing the Kasanka National Park (spoiler alert: it involves bats).

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text 2017-01-20 14:09
Friday Reads!
After Atlas (Planetfall Novel, A) - Emma Newman
Fool Me Once - Harlan Coben
A Portrait of Emily Price - Katherine Reay

So yet another busy weekend ahead. But these are my planned reads. I started After Atlas last night and really enjoyed it. 

 

Fool Me Once will scratch my itch to read thrillers especially after reading such a good one in Defending Jacob.  A Portrait of Emily Price just looks like an entertaining lighter read.

 

Winding down my January TBR and trying to get all my library books read before February. In February,  I will be reading only books I own. I'm looking forward to it as I realize I have quite a few good reads waiting for me. I want to see how many I can get read or donate to betterworldbooks. Dropped off another bag yesterday and I gotta say,  it feels good to get organized.

 

Hope you all have a great weekend! Happy reading! 

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review 2016-12-31 20:52
Atlas of Animal Adventures
Atlas of Animal Adventures: A collection of nature's most unmissable events, epic migrations and extraordinary behaviours - Rachel Williams,Emily Hawkins,Lucy Letherland

 

I’m not sure exactly how I feel about myself after reading this children’s book but I do know that I loved this book and highly recommend it. While reading it, I was overwhelmed with all the information that the authors packed inside its pages. I felt smarter by the time I finished reading it and I know that there is no way I will be able to remember everything that I have read but I also felt a bit dumb because I thought to myself, wow…. here I am a grown adult and I didn’t know half the information that I read. The information was educational, stimulating and compelling. I can’t tell you how many aahh moments I had while reading this book but I can tell you that I did become annoying to my husband as I kept interrupting him with tidbits of information as he tried to read his books. I am excited about this book, really excited to share this book with others because the material and facts that they presented was fascinating and interesting. I learned that:

 

• Puffins lay their eggs on sheer cliffs. To prevent their eggs from rolling off, their eggs are a cone-like shape.

• “If two queen bees hatch at the same time, they might fight to the death.”

• Orangutans are the only creature who have ever responded to being tickled.

• The male bird of paradise will sometimes make a display to attract a female that can last for hours.

• A platypus has venomous spurs on their hind legs, to defend themselves.

• Red kangaroos (Australia) lick their wrists to cool their blood vessels.

• The Bowerbirds fascinated me with their bowers of twigs. These birds are cousins to the birds of paradise. The male birds build a bower to impress the females (this is not a nest). They decorate this with anything that they can find in the wild (feathers, buttons, stones, anything colorful). The females then come by each of the bowers, as the males make noise and fluff themselves up to attract a female. The female picks whichever one she wants.

 

There is such great and interesting information on each species that the book chose to include in this book. Don’t get me started on hummingbirds and ants because I thought I had known a lot about these creatures but after reading this book, I still have plenty to learn!

 

This oversized book would make a perfect addition to anyone who enjoys learning about critters. I enjoyed the heavy cardstock paper that the book is written on and I loved how the book is laid out. Sectioned off into continents, then broken-down into individual species in that continent, this book is a gem! I loved all the small facts/information that were sprinkled out throughout the illustration as well as the main facts that accompanied each page. The illustrations were colorful and wonderfully done. The only drawback that I could see was that sometimes a few of the smaller texts/facts that were sprinkled throughout the book blended into the background and they were hard to read. Since this was such an excellent book, I’m not docking any stars for this small issue as I was willing and determined to overlook this issue. It’s a book that should not be overlooked! I loved it!

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text 2016-11-23 16:54
Extended Weekend Reads!
After Atlas (Planetfall Novel, A) - Emma Newman
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah
Rise of Empire - Michael J. Sullivan
Cress - Marissa Meyer

So this is an early edition of Friday reads because the long weekend is upon us.

 

Looking forward to starting After Atlas since I loved Planetfall so much! 

 

The Nightingale is so powerful.  I'm halfway through it at this point. It's beautifully written, unnerving and makes you think in a way good historical fiction should.

 

Rise of Empire is still good so far, I'm halfway through the first book in the compilation which I will review when I complete it.  

 

Across the Universe wound up boring me too much,  so I set it aside and decided to pick up Cress and  finish a series I have found reliably entertaining. 

 

I'm looking forward to the long weekend and spending time with my boyfriend, my family and friends. Hopefully squeezing in SOME reading in here and there.

 

Happy reading everyone and enjoy your weekend whether it be extended or not! :)

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review 2016-11-14 00:00
Striker: No Prisoners MC Book 1
Striker: No Prisoners MC Book 1 - Lilly Atlas 4.5 stars I can't seem to bring myself to give it the full five stars for some reason. Probably because I can't see myself rereading it and it's not the most unique MC story I've read. But I reeeally did enjoy it!

Lila was badass and Striker was surprisingly empathetic for such a rough biker bro. The way they played off each other was both amusing and relatable. I was pleased with the various threats and villains, though one of them will continue on through the next book and I really wish he had died painfully in this book.

A couple of editing errors, but not enough to annoy and distract from the story. Lots of sexy times and dirty talk, which wasn't overly graphic but damn steamy all the same.

Oh, I do have one complaint - Lila is estranged from her family and we get one scene where she calls her father. I would have liked a follow up to that. I think that after all we're told about her home life, a scene where she really sticks it to her father would have been great.

Overall this was a great story - especially for an MC story, which are hit or miss for me. If you're into MCs, add this one to your TBR shelf!

(Review posted from my phone, so I apologize for any typos!)
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