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review 2018-03-18 05:12
The Uncommon Reader
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett

A short novella on the joys, growth and enlightenment reading can bring, even to the most enlightened, at any time in life.  It's also an accurate portrayal of the consuming obsession reading can become (truth, as we all well know).  


Layered atop this testimony of the power of the word is another accurate portrayal of the divide that exists between those who read and those that don't.  Those who don't read should be forced to read this book, so that they know just how stupid they are relative to those that do.  When empathy for others and a focus on inner reflection over sartorial splendour are confused with senility and deterioration ... well at least senility is honourable; nothing honourable about ignorance.  But boy, do the readers get their revenge at the end - few books I've read ended with a better closing line.


My only complaint about this wonderful, brilliant little book is the author's conclusion that the natural outgrowth of reading must be to write.  This conceit leaves a rather large ding in my enjoyment of the book.  So is his assertion that to merely read is to be merely a spectator.  Both are flagrantly wrong, although how an author could naturally fall into such a self-supporting perspective is obvious.  Most readers will read their entire lives without every having a moment's urge to write, and I'd bet quite a few, like myself, often read and then go out and do.  I mean, I can't be the only person who's propped a book about knot tying in the crook of a tree, simultaneously reading about how to tie a knot, while actually trying to tie said knot, am I?


If you share either of my complaints, don't let it stop you from reading this book given the opportunity.  It's worth the small aggravations and disagreements to experience this charming, thoughtful and beautifully written novella.  


One final note:  Being Queen would suck.  There are not enough books and private libraries in all the holdings of the British monarchy that would make referring always to oneself in the neutral third person worth it.  If one had to constantly refer to oneself as one, one would send oneself's own head to the chopping block.  Ho-ly hell.

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review 2018-03-14 20:06
A Cactus in the Valley - Olivia Bennett

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.


This was an amazing book. I haven’t read a YA book this deep and emotional in a while.


First off, I loved the dual points of view. It allowed me to really get into the minds of both Terra and Wyatt and feel what they felt.


I also really loved the flashbacks. They were incredibly well done and were spaced perfectly throughout the novel. You learned more about the characters gradually, as opposed to being info-dumped with backstory. The author did a good job paralleling the flashbacks. I enjoyed seeing the connections between their stories.


The writing style of the book was really beautiful. The descriptions were phenomenal. The author writes with such an ease. Two of my favorite lines (which also show the parallels) were “My name is Terra Lombardi, and I am a shooting star falling from the heavens” (24) and “My name is Wyatt Hartman, and I am a meteor crashing from the skies” (44).


The subject matter can be heavy and very mature at times, but it was all handled appropriately. Sometimes authors will throw in things like rape and abuse as a plot device, without doing the matter justice. This book did not do that and I really appreciated that.


Overall, this is a powerful story about survival and facing your inner demons.

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text 2018-03-12 04:49
Reading progress update: I've read 54 out of 390 pages.
A Cactus in the Valley - Olivia Bennett
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text 2018-03-03 22:15
Coming Soon - Pretty As A Peach








Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and pull up a porch swing…we’re heading back down to Whynot, NC! PRETTY AS A PEACH, the fourth installment of Juliette Poe’s Sex & Sweet Tea series, is coming March 15. Juliette Poe is the sweet and sassy alter ego of New York Times Bestselling Author Sawyer Bennett.


What readers are saying about the Sex & Sweet Tea series:

➜ This series just makes me smile.
➜ I love the small-town premise – adorable and refreshing.
➜ Love this town! Love these people!


#preorder Pretty as a Peach (Sex & Sweet Tea, Book #4):

✦ Amazon: http://amzn.to/2D4qU22
✦ B&N: http://bit.ly/2rhtEmI
✦ iBooks: http://apple.co/2q2qzuu
✦ Google Play: http://bit.ly/2q2xZ0J
✦ Kobo: http://bit.ly/2qT6dRy


Get updates from Juliette Poe, including new release alerts, sales, and more: http://juliettepoe.com/signup/





Mainer Farms is steeped in family history, but it’s also deep in debt from the effects of the ever-changing farming industry. Not about to let his family’s legacy go under, Colt Mancinkus is willing to do anything he can to save the farm. 


Darby Culhane is the new farmer in Whynot, North Carolina, and she’s proving to be quite the forbidden temptation for Colt. Darby isn’t looking for anything but a fresh start, and she’s got it all figured out. Get settled in? Check. Apply for the rural county grant? Check. Confrontation with the steaming mad, smoking hot local farmer? Well, that wasn’t on the agenda. 


As pretty as she is sweet, Colt can’t help but be drawn to Darby’s…peaches. No really, she’s a peach farmer. Get that mind out of the gutter, and get on down to the farm to see what happens when circumstances force Colt and Darby to team up. They may just find that the peach trees aren’t the only things in bloom.


** All of the books in the Sex & Sweet Tea series can be read as standalones, but if you’d like to see where it all began, download Ain’t He Precious? (Sex & Sweet Tea, Book #1) for #FREE: http://juliettepoe.com/bookstore/aint-he-precious/**



#prettyasapeach #sexandsweettea #enemiestolovers #comingsoon #juliettepoe







Head back down to Whynot, NC! PRETTY AS A PEACH by Juliette Poe (Sawyer Bennett’s sweet & sassy alter ego) doesn’t release until March 15, but we’ve got your chance to get this fun enemies-to-lovers romance before it releases!




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review 2018-02-22 23:00
City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett
City of Miracles (The Divine Cities) - Robert Jackson Bennett

STOP right here!  If you haven’t read the first two books in Robert Jackson Bennett’s The Divine Cities series yet, add them to the top of your list!  You don’t know what you’re missing!  City of Miracles just won’t read the same without having read the City of Stairs and City of Blades.


Shara Komayd is a legend, one who has received a vast number of death threats.  As a former covert agent and then the Prime Minister, Shara battled gods and enemies, wreaking great changes in the world.  Shara cleaned house at Parliament before she herself was given the boot.  During her heyday, Shara had a lot of help from her friends!  One of the most memorable of those is Sigrud je Harkvaldsson, a great brute of a man (think Viking).  Shara rescued Sigrud from prison and he worked with her and protected her every step of the way.  Then there is General Mulaghesh who shined so brightly in those battles.  She is brilliant, damaged and IMHO, a great hero in her own right.  I love these characters and I’m invested!     


In City of Blades, hell hath no fury like Sigrud je Harkvaldsson!  Still haunted by the death of a loved one and the revenge he took thereafter, Sigrud has lived in hiding now for 13 years.  He’s moved from job to job, keeping a low profile.  (Well…as low a profile as he can manage, you know…being Viking-like and all!)  Ever-faithful to his comrade-in-arms Shara Komayd, he knows that one day she will clear his name and summon him to her side once again.  Yet when he finally has news of Shara, it’s only to learn that she has been assassinated, and even though he is a wanted man, he knows it’s time to come out of hiding.  He must find out who killed Shara and take revenge.  He also finds himself thinking of her adopted daughter, Tatyana Komayd, wondering what will become of her.  He has only seen her once in her life but she’s the one thing he has left of his closest friend.   


Vengeance is the name of the game when it comes to Sigrud but he is still so likeable.  His revenge always seems to be for all the right reasons and this man could star in his own action movie.  He also oozes a heart of gold for those he loves.  His uncanny lack of aging is a mystery to him and us.  During his investigations, Sigrud discovers the fact that Shara still harbored some secrets at the end of her life leaving him with more questions than answers.  Look out, he’s about to open a whole new can of worms about the Divine!   


RJB chose to shift the focus to another character in each book which was a great tool and kept the series very interesting.  I’m not sure which he thought would turn out to be the most popular character but I know who mine is.  General Mulaghesh took the prize hands down in City of Blades.  This is a very well-rounded series, full of mystery, suspense, action and just plain good storytelling! 


Robert Jackson Bennett has become one of my favorite authors with his amazing The Divine Cities series.  I am really curious to check out some of his earlier books and I highly recommend you read this series!


I want to thank the publisher (Crown Publishing) for providing me with the ARC through NetGalley for an honest review.

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