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text 2017-07-20 13:26
#ReadingNOW: 10 Books From Your Shelves

We've peeked into your bookshelves and found some nice summer book picks!

 

And guess what, you can do a nice book hunt as well! If you're curious what titles other book bloggers are reading, all you should do is to choose the Book Catalog from the drop down menu and scroll down until the Currently reading section. Click the book covers to go to the book pages where you'll find other editions of the titles and the book reviews.

 

Oh my! Our TBR pile is getting bigger and bigger, luckily, the virtual bookshelf is endless :)

 

 

 

10 BOOKS FROM YOUR CURRENTLY READING SHELVES

 

 

So many books, such little time. is currently reading:

 

A High Mortality of Doves - Kate Ellis A High Mortality of Doves by Kate Ellis  

1919. The Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four terrible years of war, and now, just when the village is coming to terms with the loss of so many of its sons, the brutal murder of a young girl shatters its hard-won tranquillity.
Myrtle Bligh is found stabbed and left in woodland, her mouth slit to accommodate a dead dove, a bird of peace.
During the war Myrtle worked as a volunteer nurse with Flora Winsmore, the local doctor's daughter, caring for badly wounded soldiers at the nearby big house, Tarnhey Court.
When two more women are found murdered in identical circumstances, Inspector Albert Lincoln is sent up from London, a man not only wounded in war but damaged in peace by the death of his young son and his cold, loveless marriage... read more

 

 

Story of my success is currently reading:

 

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield  

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it.

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness... read more

 

 

Debbie's Spurts is currently reading:

 

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel (The Queen of the Tearling Book 3) - Erika JohansenThe Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen  

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies—including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable—she gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy—and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne... read more

 

 

~~ Elsbeth ❤❤❤ MM-Romance ~~ is currently reading:

 

Imago - N.R. Walker Imago by N.R. Walker  

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.
Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.
But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bow ties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.
Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books... read more

 

 

Reading For The Heck Of It is currently reading:

 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing: A Novel - Madeleine Thien Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien  

Master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations―those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story. Her quest will unveil how Kai, her enigmatic father, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming’s father, the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow, along with the violin prodigy Zhuli were forced to reimagine their artistic and private selves during China’s political campaigns and how their fates reverberate through the years with lasting consequences... read more

 

 

theguywhoreads is currently reading:

 

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger - Stephen King The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King  

A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake. Inspired in part by the Robert Browning narrative poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,”... read more

 

 

Familiar Diversions is currently reading:

 

No Longer Human, Volume 2 - Osamu Dazai,Usamaru Furuya No Longer Human, Volume 2 - Usamaru Furuya 

Furuya's adaptation of No Longer Human takes place nearly seventy years after Dazai's original. Set in modern day Tokyo, Dazai's tale details the life of a young man originally from a well-off family from Japan's far north. Yozo Oba is a troubled soul incapable of revealing his true self to others. A weak constitution and the lingering trauma from some abuse administered by a relative forces him to uphold a facade of hollow jocularity since high school. The series is composed of three parts, referred to in the novel as "memorandums," which chronicle the life of Oba from his teens to late twenties. The comic is narrated by the artist, Furuya himself playing the role originally held by the author Dazai, who makes appearances at the start of each volume. In many ways, it could be said that Furuya has traveled a path that may be similar to Dazai's. Maybe that is what led these two together after 100 years... read more

 

 

Bookish for life is currently reading:

 

American Gods - Neil Gaiman American Gods by Neil Gaiman  

A storm is coming . . . Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself. Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own... read more

 

 

BrokenTune is currently reading:

 

Queen Lucia - E.F. Benson,Wanda McCaddon Queen Lucia by E.F. Benson

England between the wars was a paradise of calm and leisure for the very, very rich. Into this enclave is born Mrs. Emmeline Lucas - La Lucia, as she is known - a woman determined to lead a life quite different from the subdued formality of her class.
With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, Lucia upends the greats of high society: the imperious Lady Ambermere and her equally imperious dog, Pug; the odious Piggy and Goosie Antrobus; the Christian Scientist Daisy Quantrock, with her penchant for the foreign; and all the rest of the small English town that the British rich call their country home. Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia brings culture, fine art, excitement, and intrigue into this cloistered realm
... read more

 

 

AUDIO BOOK JUNKIE is currently reading:

 

Ms. Bixby's Last Day - John David Anderson Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson  

Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind.Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan—more of a quest, really—to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves... read more

 

And what are you reading now?

 

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text 2017-07-18 20:09
[Guest post] How I became a travel writer

 

Summer time means travels! Have a look at the confessions of a debut travel author, Nicholas Kontis, who encourages readers to focus more on the local experiences and local people when traveling. Maybe this read will inspire you to hit the road and explore something amazing this summer!

 

*

A guest post by Nick Kontis

Follow Nicholas Kontis' blog on BookLikes HERE

Nick Kontis' author page on BookLikes is HERE

 

Being a child of Greek immigrant parents, it was important that I learned about my heritage. I was blessed to spend my childhood summers in Greece. I learned the meaning of family and of sharing. I slept on couches in spare rooms, hitched rides, and helped with the preparing of meals. I even learned to bake bread when I was 12 years old.

 

At age 24 I left my native San Francisco, and took a backpack and on what was to be a last trip to the Greek Islands before buckling down and becoming a productive American citizen.

 

On the island of Ios, I met Swen and Maria from Sweden. After many shots of the chalky Greek liquor Ouzo, I forfeited my return ticket home and traveled to Bangladesh and later all throughout the Indian subcontinent.

 

Moving on, I manage to tread lightly all throughout India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali, Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti and then finally back to California.

 

Without a job prospect in sight, I ended up creating one. I started the first travel agency in the U.S. specializing in discount around the world airfares. I was the Lonely Planet guidebooks of travel agencies catering to backpackers. I actually sought out world travelers finding them in various locales of San Francisco. I turned them into productive sellers of around the world airfares. Productive travel agents.

 

I never left the travel industry. In a field where people scoffed and said that I wouldn’t make a dime,  I did extremely well.

 

Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis  Now, as a travel journalist, I wrote my first book on the timely subject matter of experiential travel titled, Going Local Experiences and Encounters on the Road.

 

Ever since the birth of Airbnb, immersing into local society and the buzz word, "sharing economy," came to fruition. Today's modern day explorers seek a better understanding of people. Going Local details how to implement a local point of learning from local cultures.

 

 

With the assistance of technology, never before has it been so easy to stay in someone's home, share a meal, hitch a ride, and to be guided by a local to gain greater wisdom from a society.

 

"Going Local" delves into the rise in peer-to-peer travel and shows how to use meal sharing apps, and other ways in which a nation's food and cuisine is a glance into a nation's culture.

 

Other subject matter includes: how a trip around the world is a life-changing experience, moving out of your comfort zone and living abroad, why it is of the utmost importance to practice responsible travel, along with choosing responsible tour operators to guide you, volunteering and why we all should give at least a small portion of our journeys to help others.

 

With keynote talks with travel visionaries, icons and explorers in the field of travel, including Tony Wheeler, Richard Bangs, Rick Steves, Don George, Judith Fein, James Dorsey, Tim Leffel, Dr. Harald Goodwin, David Noyes, Andrew Zimmern, Eric Wolf, Larissa & Michael Milne, Tomislav Perko, Tamara Lowe.

 

The great Lonely Planet guidebook founder Tony Wheeler, gives the cover endorsement stating:

 

“Many people - Mark Twain included - have noted how travel is a certain cure for bigotry and narrow-mindedness. I hope Nick’s book may help persuade people to take the treatment.”

 

As some of my luminary travel author colleagues have reminded me, travel books are a breed of their own and not interesting to most readers.

 

The average American reads fewer than two books a year and a paltry 38% of Americans have passports. So there aren't many travel books that are robust blockbusters. Expect slow and steady, not a mad rush.

*

 

Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis You can find the book on BookLikes here: Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road by Nicholas Kontis  

 

The author is also willing to e-mail a PDF copy in exchange for a review.

If you're interested, please leave a comment below.

 

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review 2017-07-17 00:14
Fun to the Very End
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

Yes, I do recommend this book. I love the funny things that happen and the wordsmithing. She uses a large vocabulary and there are moments that just make you laugh out loud. 

 

Just want a fun cozy mystery? This one is for you. 

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text 2017-07-16 21:51
Another Update....Lord of the Rings
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

I tried to click on the CD-ROM's icon to open it. A gray box popped up, saying, "Please enter the unbreakable top secret password."

"That's definitely Tad's sense of humor," I said. "In case we had any doubt which CD-ROM was his."

"I tried everything I could think of," Michael said. "Including all the Greek words I know."....

"I don't have to guess," I said. "that writing just told me. That's not Greek, it's Elvish."

....

"Or maybe Elven; I forget which is correct. It's been years. Ever read Tolkien?"

"Yes, but as you said, it's been years," he said. 

"remember the scene where they kept trying to guess the password to the door of Moria, and realized that it was right there in the inscription--'Speak friend and enter'?"

 

Page 211 of "Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos" by Donna Andrews

 

I loved this quote and it was another that I read out loud to my middle who loves "The Lord of the Rings" and was tickled over a quote from a "Psych" book that she read where that was the stupidest password...password. 

 

She and Michael are working together to find out who killed Benson. He seems to have made a lot of enemies and many of them were in the area or close by. Tony, another crafter, is known for stealing other people's work and saying they developed along parallel lines, but his work is shoddy and poorly done. He had seen Meg showing a flamingo to her mother's friend at another fair and decided to make one, too and then compare to her work. Because his work is unoriginal and shoddy he is able to sell for less and people think they are getting something. 

 

I so enjoy these stories. So much happening and so many eccentric characters. 

 

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text 2017-07-14 23:28
Update: First Murder by Chapter 15
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

I love how Donna Andrews books are able to be read out of order because she doesn't just dump a murder victim on us, she gives us time to meet the characters and learn some back story. 

 

There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in her book. In Chapter 15, we are introduced to a new character, a deputy sheriff who comes from a big city in OH. You see in the small town of Yorktown, VA most everyone is related to everyone else. This big city deputy is from "Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, no Canton." Now I am curious is the in there just for Ohio readers or does it change like some songs do to other areas? I wonder this because it was funny to find a person from my neck of the woods (I am from near Cincinnati and have been to the other places frequently). 

 

In another moment, she gives some great history lessons on the Revolutionary War. For instance why you don't walk barefoot on VA battlefields (cacti). 

 

My all time favorite moment was when Michael and Meg go to the Cannoneers Camp and beg them to stop blasting the cannon all night long. As they discussed why they were doing it, the one man says it is to please Madame Van Steuben. Meg explains that in history, Von Steuben was the Prussian general brought over by Washington to get the men into better fighting shape so they could win the war. Then she explains to Michael that they are referring to this mother. The men are terrified thinking that they have offended the son of the woman footing their bill, but he laughs and loves the description. 

 

As I laughed out loud to this my daughter decided she needed to get into this book, too! 

 

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