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text 2017-12-08 14:01
#19 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Wanda's Book Reviews

 

It's Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Wanda, a book lover who cherishes fantasy books and penguins! What? Read on to find out more!

 

Follow Wanda's blog on BookLikes: http://wandapedersen39.booklikes.com/

 

 

When did you discover that you’re a bookworm?

 

I guess I knew before I started school.  Our small town didn’t have kindergarten, so the June before we were to start Grade One, we had to go do some tests to see if we were ready to start school. I came home from those tests outraged because they hadn’t taught me to read!

 

How did your blogging adventure start?

 

I’m all about projects. When I turned 50, I started reading the NPR List of Science Fiction and Fantasy Finalists (https://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists). I decided to start a blog to keep myself on track. I discovered that I enjoyed the process and I have just kept on blogging about all of my reading.

 

 

You’ve completed your 2017 reading challenge!  Yay, congrats!  Reveal your secret—how did you read 250 books in one year?  It’s an amazing book total!

 

I don’t have as many demands on my time as other people. First off, I don’t have a spouse or children to take care of. But I also don’t own a TV and I don’t get the internet at home. I spend my workdays at a computer and don’t want to spend my evenings there too. I read, at least a little bit, every day.  If my friends cancel plans, I always have a book waiting for me at home. 

 

Wanda's reading chart month by month. Read more->

 

Wanda's reading challenges year by year. Read more->

 

 

You seem to be a fan of reading lists.  You’re reading the NPR sci-fi & fantasy list—can you tell us more about your favourite books in the genre?

 

I have always been a fan of fantasy and over the last couple of years I have discovered urban fantasy. I adore any books that have Fae/Fairy characters! I love the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, as well as their Kate Daniels and Innkeeper Chronicles series. I’m a big fan of Seanan McGuire, especially her October Daye and InCryptid series.  I’d have to include Patricia Briggs and her Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega books. Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. The Invisible Library series by Genevieve CogmanBen Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. Suzanne McLeod’s Spellcrackers.com series.  I’m all about the magic, vampires, werewolves, fae, all that fun stuff.

 

Your bookshelf is very organized with the thematic shelves and yearly challenges.  Does the shelf reflect your personality?

 

More that I’d actually like to admit! I don’t really believe in astrology, but I’m a Virgo and they are reputedly very organized, detail oriented, and practical. In Oriental astrology, I’m an Ox.  Ox people are workers—we work for fun.  Put those two together and I’m willing to work at being organized and efficient, even at my hobby of reading.  Also, I have so many books that I’ve read or want to read that I have to maintain good shelves, or I couldn’t find them.

 

Wanda's reviewed books bookshelf

 

What are your three favourite book covers?

 

Aren’t these three pretty?  I haven’t read them yet, but I will just because the covers are so gorgeous!

 

Wild Beauty - Anna-Marie McLemoreSweetpea - C.J. SkuseThe Gallery of Lost Species - Nina Berkhout

 

 

Which books are you most excited to recommend to your followers this winter?

 

In the year ahead, I’m looking forward exploring the work of Holly Black.  She has a new book coming out called The Cruel Prince. Another book I’m anticipating is An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. I’m also really excited to read Genevieve Cogman’s latest installment in the Invisible Library series, The Lost Plot

 

The Cruel Prince - Holly BlackAn Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret RogersonThe Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman

 

There are also two new offerings in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn and Macbeth by Jo Nesbø. There are so many exciting new books being published that it’s hard to choose. 

 

Dunbar (Hogarth Shakespeare) - Edward St. AubynMacbeth - Jo Nesbø

 

What’s your reading spot?  We’d love to see the photos.  

 

I usually read in my living room, in a recliner where I can put my feet up.  I have my trusty tray beside me for the cup of coffee or glass of wine necessary and I have my wonderful new blanket (but I have to be careful of it—it tends to put me right to sleep and I don’t get much reading done that way).

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

So far, I just read paper books. But I can see where an e-book reader would be handy.  One of these days I will have to learn how to deal with this technology!

 

Three titles for a boring social party?

 

If it’s boring, don’t linger there! Just head for home & your book nook!

 

A book that changed your life?

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg LarssonWould you believe that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson changed my life? I used to read a lot of books with my mom. We would both read them & discuss them, our own little book club. When she & my dad were killed in a car crash, I pretty much quit reading because I couldn’t talk books with her anymore.  It was ten years later when a coworker lent me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which I whipped through in 2 days) that I realized how much I missed reading. I lost a lot of reading time that I’m still making up for, but I am enjoying it even more now. Now I have BookLikes friends to discuss things with. 

 

Favourite quote?

 

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” - Mark Twain

 

 

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?

 

Jane Jameson, the children’s librarian turned vampire, from Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson series.  She has a snarky sense of humour, she owns a great bookstore, plus she has a great friend, another vampire called Dick Cheney, whose antics amuse me.  I’d love to attend the book club meetings at her store.

 

Shelfie time!  Please share your home library photos. 

 

I didn’t get a picture taken before I decorated for Christmas.  So you can also see my growing Christmas penguin colony!

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

#18 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Leigha's Little Library ->

#17 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Lost Girls Reviews -> 

#16 Follow Friday with book bloggers: OBSESSION WITH WORDS ->

#15 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Bookish thoughts!!! ->

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

 

See you next Friday! 

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review 2017-12-05 00:00
To the Duke, With Love: The Rakes of St. James
To the Duke, With Love: The Rakes of St. James - Amelia Grey Why are we at our best, when we are acting at our worst? Perhaps it's the thrill of the challenge. A knee jerk reaction to insecurity. Or maybe, we long to be accepted for who we really are and not who others want us to be. My favorite characters are ones that challenge my mind while conversing with my heart. Those are the one's that leave a lasting impressing on the soul. To the Duke With Love is what a love story should be. Not perfect, but true. Sloane and Loretta believe that they are unworthy of love, but long to help the people they care about find happiness. Ms. Grey has penned an insightful tale of sacrifice, love and happy endings. It takes a while to get there, but the trek is worth the wait.
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text 2017-11-26 14:24
Reading progress update: I've read 53%.
Turning the Page - Andrew Grey

So, the guy's name is Hans Erickson (with ck and o), he grew up in a place where apparently everyone was skiing and he even tried ski jumping. Surely that must be Denmark, right? Yeah, no.
This could probably work just fine with a search&replace throughout the book where Denmark is replaced with Sweden.
Seriously? That kind of research is not hard.  I mean, ski jumping in Denmark? I can't even....

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text 2017-11-26 12:31
Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
Turning the Page - Andrew Grey

She stabbed the catalog. "When a man has been an ass, he shall send flowers. It's like the twelfth commandment. The eleventh is 'don't be an ass.'"

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review 2017-11-10 01:55
Let's go fishing...
Ebb and Flow - Andrew Grey,Greg Tremblay

One man worships at the temple of the almighty dollar the other man worships in the house of god...both men were given sons...kind and gentle souls to nurture and guide in a world that can be less than kind...both men failed.

 

Neither man truly understands the value of what they have. Billy Ray is the son of a Baptist Minister...man who has raised him to believe that he is less than he is. He loves working on the water as a part of the crew of one of Mike Jensen's Apalachickola Fishing Tour boats (we met Mike in Setting the Hook, book 1 in this series) and he has hopes of captaining his own tour boat one day. But growing up in a home where he's been made to feel like he's not good enough, smart enough...just never quite enough hasn't done a lot for his confidence and he knows that having his parents...especially his father find out who he truly is...that he's gay, is something that can never happen if he doesn't want to lose their love.

 

Skippy was born in Boston. The son of a successful lawyer. He's spent his whole life trying to get his parents approval. Sent away to private schools at the age of 8. He's worked hard to get his father's attention...earning a law degree from Harvard he then joins his dad's law firm and becomes one of their top producing lawyers, all in an effort to get his father to notice him...to just tell him that he's proud of him. Dad knows he's gay but like everything else about his son he doesn't acknowledge it and he keeps his son busy too busy to have a life. 

 

Billy Ray and Skippy (and yes this is  a nickname) meet when Skippy is sent to Apalachickola, Florida to provide legal representation to a client. Skippy takes some time for vacation and hauls the rest of his 'gay family' back to the house that they rented on their last trip there (it's all in the first book). When Skippy and his friends go out on a fishing tour with Bubba and Billy Ray as their guides they once again invite their Florida friends back to enjoy the bounty of their day giving the two men a chance to get to know each other.

 

Billy Ray and Skippy may come from different worlds but as they get to better acquainted what they discover is that their lives really aren't worlds apart.

 

I loved Skippy and Billy Ray, in their own way each man was very different but at the heart of each of them was a kind and gentle soul that had never been shown the love it deserved. That each of them became someone who was capable of showing such kindness to other people in spite of the poisoned environments that they grew up in only showed that we are each the makers of our own destiny.  They could have chosen to be bitter, negative people emulating what they were raised with but they didn't. They chose to be their own person...someone who was good and kind and gave back to the world rather than taking from it. Exemplifying that you get back from this world what you give to it. 

 

We first met William and Mike, the owner's of Apalachickola Fishing Tours along with Bubba, Skippy's gay family in 'Setting the Hook' and I loved the strong secondary role that all played in this book. Series like this where I get new MCs in each book and they become secondary characters in subsequent stories so that we don't really have to say good-bye to anyone are like catnip for me...they leaving me purring and content by giving me something new and shiny that's been surrounded by a touch of the old and familiar. 

 

I first started this series on audio and quite honestly I was so enchanted with both the story and the narration that I decided to continue it this way. Once again Greg Tremblay has added depth to the emotions of the characters brought them to life as he shares their story with the listener. 

 

I wish I could say that I had some insider knowledge on this and that I knew for a certainty whose story we will get next in this series...sadly, I do not, but I do know that I am hopeful that we will see Alex, Skippy's assistant, as one of the MCs in the next story and dare we hope that he will find some happiness with one of Skippy's friends? I guess only time will tell.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Ebb and Flow' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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