Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #125: Sea of Stars, by Amy A. Bartol

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

Sea of Stars 
(The Kricket Series, #2)
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
March 31, 2015
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, 
Science Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.

A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.

Why I'm waiting on this one!!

This is the second novel in a
newly-discovered series that sure
sounds exciting!
This book has everything, it seems --
fantasy, paranormal activity
coupled with romance,
and the story takes place on
a faraway planet!
Science fiction mixed with fantasy
is the perfect combination for
this longtime Trekkie!!

What do you think of my choice?
What fascinating book(s) are 
you longing for this week?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday # 124: Prudence, by Gail Carriger

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

(The Custard Protocol, #1)
Hardcover, 368 pages
March 17, 2015
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Steampunk,Urban Fantasy

From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes a new novel in the world of the Parasol Protectorate starring Prudence, the daughter of Alexia Tarabotti.

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances - names it "The Spotted Custard" and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

Why I'm waiting on this one!!

I keep saying that I want to read a
Steampunk novel, but just
haven't gotten around to
I simply have GOT to start somewhere!
And what better book to start
off with than this one, which promises
to have a lot of colorful action,
with an equally colorful, female,
kick-butt protagonist?
(There's something about her
that reminds me of Hermione Granger...)
Also, just LOOK at that GORGEOUS cover!
I WANT that entire outfit!!!!

What do you think of my choice?
What fascinating book(s) are 
you longing for this week?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observed in the United States

Wherever freedom and the right to exercise it are honored, so will be the memory of the great Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of the American civil rights movement, who was born on January 15, 1929, and was cruelly assassinated on April 4, 1968.   He followed the nonviolent example of Mahatma Ghandi, and, like him, ironically died a violent death.

Sadly, not every employer in the U.S. chooses to honor the memory of this unforgettable man.  He is indeed honored by those whose moral compass compels them to do so.

Dr. King's famous speech, "I Have a Dream", which he delivered at the 1963 Washington, D.C. Civil Rights March, rallied every citizen who truly believed in racial equality.

His stirring speeches have been gathered into several books, one of which I have listed here.  I have also listed a biography written by 'the reporter who became the unofficial chronicler of the civil rights movement', Marshall Frady.  Also included here is Dr. King's compelling account of the 1963 Birmingham campaign, Why We Can't Wait, as well as a recently-published book on Dr. King's last year of life.


 Martin Luther King, Jr., A Life
Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Penguin Group, USA
December 27, 2005
American History, Biography, Nonfiction
Politics, Social Justice

Book Synopsis

Marshall Frady, the reporter who became the unofficial chronicler of the civil rights movement, here re-creates the life and turbulent times of its inspirational leader. Deftly interweaving the story of King’s quest with a history of the African American struggle for equality, Frady offers fascinating insights into his subject’s magnetic character, with its mixture of piety and ambition. He explores the complexities of King’s relationships with other civil rights leaders, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover, who conducted a relentless vendetta against him. The result is a biography that conveys not just the facts of King’s life but the power of his legacy.

A Testament of Hope:
The Essential Writings and 
Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.
edited by James M. Washington
Trade Paperback, 736 pages
December 7, 1990
(first published 1986)
American History, Politics, Philosophy, 
Nonfiction, Social Justice

Book Synopsis

Here, in the only major one-volume collection of his writings, speeches, interviews, and autobiographical reflections, is Martin Luther
King Jr. on non-violence, social policy, integration, black nationalism, the ethics of love and hope,
and more.

Why We Can't Wait
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Beacon Press
January 11, 2011
(first published 1963)
American History, Politics, Philosophy,
Nonfiction, Social Justice

Amazon US/Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository

Book Synopsis

Often applauded as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by Fred Shuttlesworth, King, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action. King examines the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality. The book also includes the extraordinary “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which King wrote in April of 1963.

Death of a King: The Real Story of 
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last Year
(with David Ritz)
Hardcover, 288 pages
Little, Brown and Company
September 9, 2014
American History, Biography, 
Nonfiction, Politics, Social Justice

Book Synopsis

 A revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations -- denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few -- all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.

Smiley's Death of a King paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life -- one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.

Famous Dr. King Quotes
"I have a dream that my four little children
will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color
of their skin, but
by the content of their character."

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that."

"The ultimate measure of a man  is not
where he stands in moments
of comfort and convenience, but
where he stands at times of challenge
and controversy."

"Our lives begin to end the day
we become silent about things that matter."

"I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear."

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Online Links

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Shelf Candy Saturday #141: The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss


Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers!
It also provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
simply go HERE.

Today I'm comparing two covers 
for the same book!

The Name of the Wind
(The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)
Trade Paperback, 672 pages
June 12, 2008
Fantasy, Science Fantasy

My Thoughts About This Cover

Ever since I saw my very first Gollancz cover, I've been hooked! This publisher puts out absolutely gorgeous covers which never fail to catch my eye. It's a very rare occasion when I don't like one of them!

This particular one immediately captivated me. It's just perfect in every way! The whole scene is mysterious, yet compelling. The forest surrounding and framing the wizard of the story seems to be protecting and sheltering him as he slowly walks into it. The vines and branches, done in a beautifully ornate style somewhat reminiscent of Art Nouveau, also frame the wizard, heightening his importance. This makes him very compelling as well, and motivates the reader to pick up this book and read it. 

The wizard is placed against a totally white background, which also serves to place the focus totally on him. This is the one thing I don't completely like about the cover, though. I think that the background should be very lightly tinted. On the other hand, perhaps the cover artist had the intention of showing the wizard surrounded by brilliant light, which would thus suggest that he's a good wizard.

The font used for the title and author's name is a classical one. I love the leafy vines growing out of the "W" in the word "Wind"; they echo those running along the sides of the cover.

The color scheme is also perfect; the artist has hit upon just the right colors to catch the viewer's eye. In  short, when I purchase this book, as I undoubtedly will, it will be the one with this cover!

I have not been able to locate any information about the highly talented artist, so I'll have to wait until I own  this book to see who this person is.....


The Name of the Wind
(The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)
Trade Paperback, 672 pages
DAW Trade
April 7, 2009
Fantasy, Science Fantasy

Incredibly, this cover doesn't appeal that much to me, even though it's predominantly blue, and this happens to be my favorite color. (Just take a look all over this blog!) 

The overall design of this cover is just not original or creative at all. Honestly, I feel that I've seen images very similar to this one many times before. The stormy sky and tall prairie grass don't really suggest wind to the viewer. Besides, the wizard is calmly walking along, apparently unconcerned about the weather. Or perhaps he has paused briefly to watch the approach of the storm.

The font used is very elegant, but it's totally unrelated to the cover image. Given the lack of movement in the scene depicted, it could have at least been made to suggest wind.

In short, I find this second cover to be totally uninspiring, and it would actually not compel me to buy the book, as the Gollancz cover does.

The Amazon US reader does provide the name of this artist. He is listed, simply, as "Donato". When I did a Google search, I found the name "Donato Giancola", and then visited his website. He certainly has a very impressive portfolio there. His style is very realistic. However, this particular cover just doesn't do much for me at all.

Donato's website can be accessed HERE.


What do you think of my 
choice this week?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Book Lover's Den #15: On Scaling Mount TBR (Part II), and Hugging Beloved Books

Welcome to my Friday feature!

In each weekly post, I explore 
my thoughts on several 
book-related topics.

My husband and I are currently in the process of moving, so I now have no choice but to put some of my books in storage, as there are far too many to take to our new dwelling. Therefore, I've been frantically going through my shelves, to see which books I might be able to part with, and which ones I will not let go for even a HUGE amount of money (going into the millions, believe me). Surprisingly, I have found quite a few books that I definitely know I won't be interested in reading -- ever! I don't know how these managed to make it into my collection, but perhaps my reading tastes have somehow shifted with the years, and I haven't even been aware of it! Interesting, as well as funny....

Now I have to select which books I want near me, in the new condo. These are books which I am very, very interested in reading, either because of exciting plots or fascinating subject matter (in the case of nonfiction). I am therefore telling myself that, if they remain close to me, I will be reading them very soon. Of course, this is typically what bookworms tell themselves, as they lovingly -- and yet with some despair -- scan their shelves of unread

In addition to those books that I want to read as soon as I get the chance, there are other, highly treasured volumes I have indeed read, but love them so much I can't bear to put them in storage! So, even though I've already read these books, I desperately NEED to have them close by, just for the sake of picking them up from time to time, lovingly leafing through their pages, and then giving them a fierce hug before tenderly returning them to their shelves with a contented sigh.....

These are some of my most treasured volumes, in the category of "Books Read One or More Times, and Loved Forevermore!":

1.   The Twilight Saga - Stephenie Meyer
2.   Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
3.   The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
4.   The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
5.   The Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
6.   Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
7.   Sunshine and Shadow - Sharon and Tom Curtis
8.   Tryst - Elswyth Thane
9.   Night Magic - Charlotte Vale Allen
10. My Name Is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok 

Below are some of the books that I will do my very best to read in the coming year. These are in addition to the ones listed in "The Book Lover's Den #14", posted last Friday. Of course, as with the previous list, I may not necessarily read these books in the order given.   

1.   I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
2.   City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
3.   City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare
4.   City of Glass - Cassandra Clare
5.   City of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare
6.   City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare
7.   City of Heavenly Fire - Cassandra Clare
8.   Drawing the Light from Within - Judith Cornell
9.   Art and Visual Perception - Rudolf Arnheim
10. The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
11. Nuno - Carlos Aleman
12. Alienated - Melissa Landers 
13. Spock: The Fire and the Rose - David R. George III
14. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
15. Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
16. The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley
17. Through A Glass Darkly - Karleen Koen
18. The White Queen - Philippa Gregory
19. The Silver Chalice - Thomas B. Costain
20. Lonely Planets - David Grinspoon 

What do you think of my two lists?
Have you read any of 
these books?
If so, what did you think 
of them?