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Month: March 2020

Book Review: City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book Review: City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I don’t know why I decided to pick up City of Girls. Historical fiction isn’t one of my go-to genres. I don’t care all that much about fashion. I’ve never read anything by Elizabeth Gilbert. But something drew me to this book and I decided to give it a whirl because I was in the mood for something outside of my norm. Thankfully, I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading it. City of Girls was definitely delivered the “something different” I was craving.

“You must learn in life to take things more lightly, my dear. The world is always changing. Learn how to allow for it.”

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Book Review: Camelot by Giles Kristian

Book Review: Camelot by Giles Kristian

ARC provided by the publisher—Bantam Press—in exchange for an honest review.

Camelot by Giles Kristian

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 450 pages

Published: 14th May 2020 by Bantam Press


It is not easy to re-lit the fire of hope when everything feels bleak.

I’m a HUGE fan of The Warlord Chronicles trilogy by Bernard Cornwell and Lancelot by Giles Kristian himself; I consider these four books the holy grails of Arthurian retelling novels. I won’t lie, these books are so incredible that I have pretty much settled with the thoughts that there won’t be a better Arthurian novel than them, even if that book is a new novel written by either Bernard Cornwell or Giles Kristian. And I am very confident in this bold claim. But please don’t let this statement steer you into thinking that I wasn’t excited for Camelot. This follow-up sequel to Lancelot is one of my most anticipated books of 2020, and Giles Kristian was able to deliver another beautifully melancholic Arthurian retelling that I’m sure will captivate fans of Lancelot.

“There is still a flame and that flame can become a fire which will wake the gods.”

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Book Review: Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Book Review: Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

ARC provided by the publisher—Del Rey—in exchange for an honest review.

Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Founders Trilogy (Book #2 of 3)

Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 512 pages (US hardcover edition)

Published: 21st April 2020 by Jo Fletcher Books (UK) & Del Rey Books (US)


Shorefall is mind-bending great; Robert Jackson Bennett once again proved himself that he is a precious gift for the SFF genre.

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Book Review: Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology, #1)

Book Review: Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology, #1)


Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mythos is practically perfect in every way.

I’ve adored Greek mythology since I was a child. I’ve also always been utterly charmed by Stephen Fry. The combination of these two things was an absolute delight. Fry’s writing is a perfect marriage of class and sass, and he gives the original source material tremendous respect while never taking those sources or himself too seriously. Take this line, for instance:

“Gaia visited her daughter Mnemosyne, who was busy being unpronounceable.”

Isn’t that just the right mix of informative and snarky? And the amount of word origin Fry included in this book was absolutely perfect. I learned tons of fun facts to share with friends and family but was never inundated to the point of boredom.

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Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Book Review: Uncrowned (Cradle, #7) by Will Wight

Uncrowned by Will Wight

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Cradle (Book #7 of 12)

Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia

Pages: 336 pages

Published: 26th September 2019 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)


Uncrowned is filled with emotional weight, and it showcases my favorite duels in the series so far.

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Book Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid


One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

One True Loves wrecked me in the very best way. I loved Daisy Jones and The Six, but I wasn’t sure if any other books from Taylor Jenkins Reid would click with me, since I picked up the aforementioned book solely because it was about musicians. I am so very happy that I was wrong. There’s just something about the way Reid writes that entrances me. I don’t know what drew me to this particular book, because that cover looks like it houses a light, fluffy romance, which is exactly the opposite of what I’m currently craving in my reading life. While there is a lot of sweetness, there was nothing light and fluffy about this story, and I’m so very glad I read it.

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Book Review: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Book Review: The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

ARC provided by the publisher—Saga Press—in exchange for an honest review.

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Pages: 432 pages

Published: 25th February 2020 by Head of Zeus (UK) & 25th February 2020 by Saga Press (US)


Ken Liu is incredibly good at writing short stories.

I’ve been waiting for The Dandelion Dynasty to be completed for years now so I can binge read the epic fantasy series. During my waiting time, I have read The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and also some books Liu has translated: The Three-Body Problem and Death’s End by Cixin Liu. I loved them all; The Paper Menagerie, in particular, is one of the two best short stories I’ve ever read so far. The Hidden Girl and Other Stories is the second collection of short stories published by Ken Liu, and as expected, it’s another wonderful collection of stories. I think of this as something wondrous because I’m not even a fan of short stories; I avoid this format more than I avoid novellas. However, this is Ken Liu, and this collection goes to show how good he is at writing short stories. Just try reading the beautifully written two-page long preface; I highly doubt you’ll be able to resist reading this collection after reading this.

“As the author, I construct an artifact out of words, but the words are meaningless until they’re animated by the consciousness of the reader. The story is co-told by the author and the reader, and every story is incomplete until a reader comes a long and interprets it.”

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Book Review: Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain

Book Review: Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain


Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am not, nor have I ever been, a foodie. I wish I was. I wish I had a more adventurous palette that loved encountering new things. But alas, such is not my lot in life. However, I’ve always loved cooking shows and food-based travelogues for reasons that honestly elude me. I still remember watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations on the Travel Channel when I was in high school and losing myself in daydreams of exotic locales and finding my way off of their beaten paths and into locals-only areas. I thought Bourdain had one of the most fascinating jobs on the planet. Because of this, I was intrigued by his early life and decided to read my first ever foodie memoir about how he got started in the business.

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Book Review: The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

Book Review: The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I so wanted to like this book. I appreciate and respect it, but it left me cold.

The enslavement of African Americans in the United States and the horrific ways in which they were treated is one of the two most heinous sins (alongside our treatment of Native Americans) in our national past. I have never been able to fathom how people could treat others as less than human over such a minor difference as skin color. And the fact that these slave owners viewed themselves as good and kind and “Christian” is one of the most appalling and ludicrous things I’ve ever heard. The systematic oppression and abuse of any subset of humanity, whether they are set apart by gender or religion or sexuality or something as simple as a different pigmentation, is so opposed to the teachings of Jesus that I am baffled by how anyone who considers themselves to be one of His followers can possibly rationalize it.

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Book Review: The Fold (Threshold, #2) by Peter Clines

Book Review: The Fold (Threshold, #2) by Peter Clines

The Fold by Peter Clines (Narrated by Ray Porter)

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Threshold (Book 2)

Genre:  Science fiction, mystery, Lovecraftian horror

Published: 2nd June 2015 by Crown (US)


The Fold is yet another utterly absorbing and entertaining genre-bending novel by Peter Clines, which was impeccably narrated by Ray Porter.

I didn’t even realise that I’ve read the first book in the Threshold series, 14, almost exactly a year ago. It must be something related to this bizarre universe that Clines have created in his series of connected stand-alone novels which triggered such a coincidence. The Fold is the second book in the series, with a completely different story and new cast of characters in the same universe.

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