June 28, 2020

Halfway Through: A Midyear Recap and a Few Shenanigans (2020 Edition)

Hello sweeties,

I've fallen into the habit of doing a midyear recap/check since 2018, so here's my 2020 one. In far-more-than-typical leap-year guise, these have been hard times for everyone - or well, at least the last four months have. But for me, this was also a time of accomplishments and catching up with things. So here's what I've been up to since January...

June 24, 2020

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #18 Sean Ferrell, Natalie Lund, Andrea Contos


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL. But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read,  I might as well give you the short version 😉. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

June 16, 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Do You Tag Authors in Your (Overall) Positive Reviews? How Do You Feel About Authors Not Acknowledging Them or Opting Out?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:


First off - as of today, this isn't a new topic, though it was when I submitted this question to Heidi a whole bunch of months ago (I had even thought of using it for a personal post before I sent it to her, but I couldn't make the time back then). For instance, Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books did a brilliant discussion post about it last August. But since the title had already been incorporated in the TMST list when she did, oops, well, here we go. I did add a second question to the main one though, so I'm hoping to bring a fresh angle to the topic at hand.

June 12, 2020

Nova Ren Suma: "A Room Away from the Wolves"

Title: A Room Away from the Wolves  [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Nova Ren Suma [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Contemporary with a Twist, Afterlife, Thriller/Mystery
Year: 2018
Age: 14+
Stars: 4.5/5
Pros: Quiet but mesmerising story that will both tug at your heart and make you wonder. Exquisite prose.
Cons: Full of mysteries that mostly remain unexplained (though this is part of the book's charm). There's at least one detail that doesn't fit the overall scheme.
WARNING! Domestic violence (off-page). Physical bullying. Touches upon suicidal thoughts, underage drinking and drugs.
Will appeal to: Those who appreciate an eerie, bittersweet tale with more questions than answers.

Blurb: Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother. Eight years later, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with dark, magical secrets. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave... (Amazon excerpt)

Review: Nova Ren Suma is not only a master at writing magical realism, but also at populating her books with girls you won't forget - imperfect, often openly flawed girls you can't but love and feel like protecting, because they're victims as well. This is the story of one of them.


This is one of those quiet books where not much happens, but what does slowly enthralls you, only to ultimately punch you in the gut. At its center, an ordinary girl who made some ordinary mistakes and paid too high a price, a magical mansion (with a resident ghost) that is both asylum and prison, and a supporting cast of young women full of secrets and quirks. Oh, and New York of course - not in its glamorous incarnation, but at its most intimate. Despite us landing in the middle of a magical realism scene in the very first, chronologically displaced chapter, when we go back at the start of Bina's journey, it's a slow progression of hints and half reveals, filtered by someone who is, for all purposes, an unreliable narrator - and very much in denial. But here's the thing - the truth is slippery here, and the reader, too, ends up pretending not to see (or getting too mesmerised by Suma's story and writing to be able to). There's enough of a contemporary setting and enough interactions out of Catherine's House to prevent not only Bina, but even us, to get the right perspective about what's going on. I chalk it up to the mansion creating its own reality bubble, inside which (and, it turns out, it's a big "inside") the magical and the mundane can coexist, and a truce - if fragile and showing its weak spots if you know how to look - can be maintained. [...]

June 09, 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday: What Do You Love About Summer?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:


First off...before those of you who know me well wonder why I'm writing this post at all: I don't love summer. In fact, the older I get, the more I loathe it, in a sense. Summer physically tires me. I can't stand the heat. My legs cramp and hurt. That's enough reason to hate it.
BUT...I'm not a complete monster 😜. There are a few nice things to be said for summer, despite the physical misery it bestows upon me:

  • it's the only season in which I can be absolutely sure I won't get sick (given my penchant for catching nasty cold/laryngitis combos);
  • my boss leaves for three weeks and I can blog and read and tweet at work to my heart's content, while tailor-made reruns of my radio shows are airing without him even noticing (and I assure you, he deserves that and more);
  • it's so easy and comfy to get dressed...No layers of clothes. No throat-preserving scarfs (that I wear 9 months a year). Oh, the freedom!

June 07, 2020

Tooting Your Trumpet #12

Some people toot their own trumpet. I mean to toot yours. On the first Sunday of every month, I'm sharing your posts, your sites, anything interesting I stumble upon during my internet vagrancies. This month on TYT...
  • MY EXPERIENCES WITH PURE OCD (a post on Emily's blog Paperback Princess)
  • READ INDIE FORWARD (a pay-it-forward initiative to support independent bookstores by Sourcebooks)
  • WITCHPIN (a book by Joshua Winning)
Please note: all the graphics featured in these posts are property of the blog/site owners, and are only used in association with their blog/site links.