Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Traveling Thursdays: A Book Set Somewhere I Want to Visit - Greece and Egypt

Featured Image -- 266


This week I'm once again participating in Book Traveling Thursday!
"Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Catia from The Girl Who Read Too Much and Danielle's Book Blog. The idea of this group is check out the list of weekly themes for each month in this meme's Goodreads page and simply pick a book to match the theme! Once you've found a book, explore different covers of various editions for that book and make a post about it.  To find out more, you can check out our Goodreads group!

This week's theme is: "Plan your next vacation. Feature a book is set in a location on your travel bucket list." I had a difficult time choosing for this one, so I decided to cheat a little and feature two different books:
Cleopatra's Shadows by Emily Holleman - Setting: Egypt
Helen of Troy by Margaret George - Setting: Greece
I've been dying to visit both of these countries for years. There are so many things that I want to see in Greece, but in addition to that I just desperately want to visit the place that I studied intensely for four years of my life. To be in the same place where so many incredible historical figures lived... one day. I've also always wanted to visit Egypt! I've heard it is a really neat place to visit, not to mention the pyramids and other tombs I'd love to visit. I really hope to make it to both of these places.
(Review for Cleopatra's Shadows)
(Review for Helen of Troy)

Original Cover Design for Both:
Cleopatra's Shadows: Little, Brown and Company, 2015
Helen of Troy: Penguin Books, 2006
Other US Covers:

Helen of Troy
Cleopatra's Shadows

Favorite Covers:
It might be boring of me, but I think I'm just going to have to go with the original covers of these as my favorite:

Least Favorite Covers: 

The Italian edition of Cleopatra's Shadows isn't exactly a bad cover so much as I just don't think it fits the content of the book very well.
This Russian edition of Helen of Troy (right), however.... I'm just going to pass. It makes it look just a bit campy. 

What do you think of these covers? Do you have a favorite? Have you read these books?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released!

This week's upcoming book spotlight is:
That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

From Goodreads:

Set in a near-future world where the British Empire was preserved, not by the cost of blood and theft but by effort of repatriation and promises kept, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a novel of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history two centuries earlier. The imperial practice of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage like her mother before her, but before she does her duty, she'll have one summer incognito in a far corner of empire. In Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire's greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir apparent to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an unusual bond and maybe a one in a million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process —just like the first Queen Victoria. 

First off: that cover. So gorgeous. This books sounds so unique and I feel as though I really have no idea what to expect. It doesn't seem like something that I would normally be drawn to, but at the same time it just sounds amazing? I really don't know, but I do know that I'm really looking forward to it release!

What do you think about this upcoming release? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday: Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcet

First Chapter Tuesday is hosted every Tuesday by Diane over at Bibiophile by the Sea. This is meme in which bloggers share the first chapter of a book that they are currently reading or thinking about reading soon. Join the fun by making your own post and linking up over at Diane's blog, or simple check it out to find more new books to read!

I've had Even the Darkest Stars on my TBR for way too long now, so I am really hoping to get my hands on a copy and read it soon! All I'm hearing about this one are mountains, adventures, and an wonderfully unique premise. You can also find a synopsis over at Goodreads if this excerpt intrigues you! 

Even the Darkest Stars by  Heather Fawcett

Chapter One:

"I STRETCHED MY hands over the dragon eggs, focusing all my concentration on their indigo shells, and murmured the incantation. The air rippled and shimmered. 

I can do this. The thought was born of desperation rather than confidence. My fingers were frozen, my stomach growled, and my legs ached from hours sitting cross-legged. Behind me, the sheer slopes of Mount Azmiri, draped with cobweb clouds, rose to greet the gray sky. Beyond the narrow ledge I crouched on, the mountainside fell away as if hewn by an ax. The forest far below was hidden under waves of mist, with only a few treetops floating above the surface like skeletal ships. The wind stirred my hair and slid its long fingers down the collar of my chuba. I shivered. The faint light gathering over the eggs flickered and died." 

What do you think? Would you keep reading this? (And feel free to join in and make your own post!) 
If you're enticed by this chapter, be sure to check out the full synopsis on Goodreads!

*Excerpt taken from the novel itself; I do not claim to own any part of the excerpt.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (spoiler-free!)

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. Thomas Dunne Books/Harper Voyager UK, 2017. Hardcover. 448 pages.

Where do I even begin writing a review for a book that I found to be simply flawless? Godsgrave is installment number two in Kristoff's Nevernight Chronicles, a trilogy that has only one more book to go. I'd been waiting for Godsgrave since I read the ARC of Nevernight last year in late June and completely fell in love with the world, characters, and writing style Kristoff created for this trilogy. Just as a preface before I fully dive in to this review: I'm going refrain from mentioning any specific plot points, largely because they could easily give away spoilers for Nevernight, and that's not something I want to do in case you are interested in this series and haven't yet read started the trilogy (my review for Nevernight can be found here!).

The first thing about this book that I loved before I even read the first page was a beautiful, in-depth character list found at the beginning of the book. It listed all of the important characters from the first book along with a brief-but-thorough description of who they are and what they did/what happened to them in Nevernight. It was so helpful.

 This book was truly brilliant. Kristoff's worldbuilding is once again filled to the brim with fascinating details and vivid descriptions. It is a wonderful blend of Ancient Rome and Old World Venice, which creates a truly exciting backdrop for the events of this book, while also maintaining an overarching sense of a historical setting that is wonderfully appealing.

Mia herself is such a fantastic character with so many things that I love about her. She's tough as hell, but at the same time... she's utterly human. She struggles just like the rest of us, and even though she seems like a tough shell that's impossible to crack, we reader are allowed to see that she still has doubts, uncertainties, and hard emotional struggles to deal with. However, she does possess a strong amount of confidence that grows throughout this book, although she is often knocked down a peg or two, which seems to keep both her character and the events of this book extremely realistic. Her confidence and ability to find strength in the hardest times is part of what is so enticing about her.

I also love Mister Kindly and Eclipse. They are perfect in every way, and I can't get enough of their additions to the dialogue. Mister Kindly feels like that inner voice that we all (well, I, at least) have and he is absolutely one of the best characters.

As much as I want to into depth about some of the other supporting characters, I'm going to refrain from doing so because the could be spoiler-y in general. However, I will say that new characters we meet are just as wonderfully crafted as Mia and every other character in Nevernight.

One of the best things about Kristoff's writing is you never know what's going to happen. I'm pretty sure that he just delights in throwing curveball after curveball to keep his readers--and his characters-- on their toes. Just when you think you know how something will work out, he does something completely contrary to whatever you're thinking and it blew my mind. Even if you're right about how something will work out overall, the way in which it gets to that point is absolutely crazy. If you want a crazy, intense, amazing ride--read this book. Oh, and there's blood. Lots and lots of blood. And yes, many figures in this book will indeed meet a dark, bloody end.

The last area I'd like to discuss is prose. Some people don't like Kristoff's narrative voice or his usage of footnotes in these books, but they are what make me love this book so so much. His voice is incredibly distinct and full of life -- it is witty, sarcastic, and wonderfully done. The footnotes only serve to further comment on and expand upon certain ideas or parts of the world, which only enhanced the worldbuilding.

Overall, absolutely five stars!

You might also like:
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Friday, September 15, 2017

Reading Recommendations: Books to Read If You Miss College/University

Books to Read If You Miss
  University Settings

Do you miss your university? Are you glad to be done with university days? Are you, perhaps, anticipating your upcoming university days? Even if you've never been to university, it's still fun to read about them! Today I've got some books that will take you right back to the college environment for you to reminisce. I hope that your university days weren't quite as dark as some of these were, but hey, it's a crazy time. So go forth and I hope enjoy my reading recommendations for books that take place in a college setting.  I've also subdivided this list into those I've read and those I haven't read, just to make it clear.

Books I've Read:

This is, hands down, one of my favorite books. Period. I love this book so much, and most people that read this book seem to adore it as well. Stoner is about a man named -- Stoner and his journey from a fresh college student to a seasond professor. 

Black Chalk
If you like your university experience a bit more.. tricky, then Black Chalk is a good fit. This is perfect for fans of The Secret History of If We Were Villains -- it's dark, full of suspense, and completely impossile to put down.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics
I hear people talk about Pessl's Night Film all the time, but the first book I read by Pessl was Special Topics in Calamity, a book that takes its own turn on the nviersity theme. 

The Secret History
Along with Stoner, this is easily pretty much my favorite book. It's a combination of everything I love: Classics, a boarding school-esque setting, intrigue, Classics, fascinating characters, dark mythic rituals, and, oh yeah, did I mention Classics? I love this book.

This particular book follows to young academic as they research the lives of some prominent poets, slowly discovering more and more about their potential love afair. There is so much academia charm in this book, and it also focuses a great deal on the Victorian era and other academic areas.

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
Lucky Jim
This was such an odd, quirky book aout a lecturer at an English University. I had a great time reading it, and it harks on many traditional university vibes.

Book I've Yet to Read:

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Brideshead Revisited
I confess that I don't know al that much about this book, other than the fact that I see and hear about it all the time and it sounds fantastic!

The Bellwether Revivals
As the synopsis states, "Part Secret History, part Brideshead Revisited for the 21st century, The Bellwether Revivals is a page-turning, romantic, eerie tale of genius and, possibly, madness; a stunning debut for fans of Sarah Waters, Donna Tartt, and Lauren Goff." Uhm, yes? Where do I sign up for this?

What are you favorite University-themed books?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

TBR Thursday: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

TBR Thursdays is hosted by Kim @ Kimberly Faye Reads! This feature was created with the intent of spotlighting a title from your shelf that you planning on reading in order to discuss why you want to read it, as well to discuss the book with others! If you'd like to join, feel free to use the banner created by Kimberley (or your own), and stop by her page to participate.

This week's TBR Thursday choice is Blood of Elves by Andrze SapkowskiI read The Last Wish last December and absolutely loved it, and I think I am now ready to step into the entire Witcher series. I am so excited to finally start Blood of Elves, which I hope to do so within the next week or so. 

Blood of Elves (The Witcher Book 2)Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #3)Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #3)
(a small sampling of the many covers for this book)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf.

Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.
As the threat of war hangs over the land and the child is hunted for her extraordinary powers, it will become Geralt's responsibility to protect them all - and the Witcher never accepts defeat.Blood of Elves is the first full-length Witcher novel, and the perfect follow up if you've read The Last Wish collection."

Are you interested in reading this book? What books are on your TBR?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released!

This week's upcoming book spotlight is:
The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017

From Goodreads:

The Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency #1)

"Even gods can be slain….

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.
This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil."

This sounds like it will be such an exciting and rich new high fantasy series, which I'm always ready for. I've heard that this is a Japanese-influenced fantasy world, which makes me even more excited to check this one out! I really haven't heard much else about this book, so I feel like I'll end up going into this one pretty blind. 

What do you think about this upcoming release? What are your anticipated upcoming releases?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Forgot I Wanted to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly book blog meme hosted by the lovely girls over at The Broke and the Bookish.

If you're a bookworm, then you are probably aware of a problem that all us have: having so many books to read that you simply forget about a lot of them. It's a true challenge, but at the same time it's exciting to realize that look, there are tons of books out there that you still want to read! I have a TBR shelf on Goodreads, but I don't keep a legitimate TBR list, so I just sort of have books floating loosely around in my head -- this is very dangerous, I do not recommend it -- and thus when I look at my Goodreads to-read, there are so many books that I forgot I wanted to read. Here are (only) ten of them!
(*all synopsis excerpts taken from Goodreads summaries*)

The Neverending Story
"The story begins with a lonely boy named Bastian and the strange book that draws him into the beautiful but doomed world of Fantastica. Only a human can save this enchanted place--by giving its ruler, the Childlike Empress, a new name. But the journey to her tower leads through lands of dragons, giants, monsters, and magic--and once Bastian begins his quest, he may never return. As he is drawn deeper into Fantastica, he must find the courage to face unspeakable foes and the mysteries of his own heart."

The Pelican Fables
"The provocative novel The Pelican Fables is a coming-of-age story about a young man who learns to confront his sexuality in a conservative all-boys prep school. Carter Moran is a handsome new faculty member at Melbourne Prep, the Melbourne Preparatory School for Boys. After obtaining his master's degree, Carter has accepted a one-year teaching position at Melbourne before he is to begin a fellowship at Harvard University. But amidst the conservatively charged atmosphere of the Melbourne School, Carter begins to come to terms with his sexual identity - an awakening made more difficult by the close relationship that develops between Carter and Adam Proffit, one of the school's most promising students whom Carter suspects may be secretly attracted to him. While Carter tries in earnest to keep his relationship with Adam at arm's length, this is complicated by Adam's increasingly bold advances."

The Book of Flying
"In Keith Miller's debut novel, our hero is Pico, a poet and librarian who is forbidden to pursue the girl of his dreams - for she has wings, and Pico does not. When he discovers an ancient letter in his library telling of the mythical Morning Town where the flightless may gain their wings, he sets off on a quest. It's a magical journey and coming-of-age story in which he meets a robber queen, a lonely minotaur, a cannibal, an immortal beauty, and a dream seller. Each has a story, and a lesson, for Pico - about learning to love, to persevere, and, of course, to fly. A gorgeously poetic tale of fantasy for adults, The Book of Flying is a beautiful modern fable and daring new take on the quest narrative."

In the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1)
"Secreted away in a garden, a lonely girl spins stories to warm a curious prince: peculiar feats and unspeakable fates that loop through each other and back again to meet in the tapestry of her voice. Inked on her eyelids, each twisting, tattooed tale is a piece in the puzzle of the girl's own hidden history." 

Da Vinci's Tiger
"The young and beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Ginevra longs to share her poetry and participate in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence but is trapped in an arranged marriage in a society dictated by men. The arrival of the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers. Bembo chooses Ginevra as his Platonic muse and commissions a portrait of her by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them, one Ginevra only begins to understand. In a rich and vivid world of exquisite art with a dangerous underbelly of deadly political feuds, Ginevra faces many challenges to discover her voice and artistic companionship—and to find love."

The Marlowe Papers
"On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now let Christopher Marlowe tell you the truth: that his 'death' was an elaborate ruse to avoid his being hanged for heresy; that he was spirited across the channel to live on in lonely exile, longing for his true love and pining for the damp streets of London; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford — one William Shakespeare." 

The Children's Book
"When Olive Wellwood’s oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive’s magical tales—she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends."

"Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. 

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive. 

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever."

The Goblin Emperor
"The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir."

Jamaica Inn
"Her mother's dying request takes Mary Yellan on a sad journey across the bleak moorland of Cornwall to reach Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. With the coachman's warning echoing in her memory, Mary arrives at a dismal place to find Patience a changed woman, cowering from her overbearing husband, Joss Merlyn. 

Affected by the Inn's brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her attention to reform her aunt, and unwillingly drawn into the dark deeds of Joss and his accomplices. And, as she struggles with events beyond her control, Mary is further thrown by her feelings for a man she dare not trust..."

What books have you forgotten are on your TBR? Have you ready any of these? Let me know!

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne. Hogarth Press, 2017. Hardcover. 582 pages. 

I've been struggling to write this review because I don't quite know how to adequately convey how much I enjoyed it and how truly brilliant it is, but here is my best attempt.

The Heart's Invisible Furies is amazing, and I enjoyed this book more than I've enjoyed a book in a long time. I can't even remember the last time I truly loved and connected with a character as much as I did with our narrator, Cyril Avery. The Heart's Invisible Furies follows most of Cyril Avery's life, from youth to old age, and within that time period he undergoes a vast array of experiences, both positive and downright devastating. Cyril is a gay man born in conservative Ireland, and this backdrop sets up the basic backdrops for Cyril's life: the modern history of the LGBTQ movement, the IRA and terrorist events, and Ireland's own personal and social history.

Cyril's story is told in seven year increments, which actually seemed to work out really well for the pacing. This is a fairly hefty book, so I felt that this was a good breakdown to keep the story going and not end up lingering too long at any given time. This also worked well to capture an overall look at the biggest moments in his life. There isn't a lot of outright happy moments in Cyril's life, and it's his calm perspective and how he deals with many of these struggles that makes him quite so endearing. He's a rather logical man and is not overly prone to strong emotions, which it truly makes for a fascinating story.

The characters introduced throughout this book are so perfectly human that I had a hard time believing this book wasn't a true story. There is no strictly good or strictly bad person, but instead they are all incredibly messy and make plenty of mistakes. I loved how much this book let me delve into the mind of Cyril and also view the actions of others from his own point of view.

As mentioned, The Heart's Invisible Furies is really not a very uplifting book, as there really aren't that many positive things that happen. Fortunately, the narration and much of the dialogue is written in this wonderfully dry, witty voice that brings so much character and light to this book. I mean, this book had me literally laughing out loud at many points, even when it wasn't exactly a 'laughing' moment. I love this kind of humor, and it was such a flawless, effortless act on Boyne's part.

This might be a large book, but it flows so incredibly well. I breezed through this book without even realizing how much I was reading, which just goes to show how polished Boyne's prose is. I've only ever read one other book by Boyne, This House is Haunted, but this book makes me want to pick up everything he's ever written and hope that they are even half as good as this book. The Heart's Invisible Furies is beautifully written, powerful, and a must-read.

Overall, this is a five star book. Hands down. Maybe even more. This is easily one of the best books I've read this year, and I cannot recommend it enough to everyone!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Reading Recommendations: Back to School-Themed Subject Pairings

Back to School Book Picks

September is here, and many people have either already started school or are starting soon (unless you, like me, graduated from college and are now aimlessly wandering the world...), so I decided to take that as inspiration for today's book recommendations. I've paired some books that go well with each a few generic subjects, so take a look and let me know what books you would recommend for each subject!


War and PeaceLord of the Silver Bow (Troy, #1)Anna and the Swallow Man
Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical AthensThe Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy: How could I not include War and Peace? Russian fiction as its finest, this book will transport you back to the nineteenth century Russia with Tolstoy leading the way.

Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell: Need some historical fiction set in the ancient world with a touch of military and mythology? David Gemmell's Troy series will definitely help expand that area.

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit: There are endless WWII books, but I found this particular one to seem rather unique. Savit's book takes place in 1939 Poland and follows Anna, a young girl who is on her own after her father is taken by the Germans; she ends up meeting and traveling with a man who calls himself the Swallow Man, and the rest is up for you to discover. (Review)

Courtesans and Fishcakes by James Davidson: I felt like I should include some nonfiction, so I decided to go with something a little different. Courestans and Fishcakes discusses the common luxuries and passions that claimed the interest of many Athenian citizens.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory: I love Tudor history, which means I love Tudor historical fiction. Somehow, I haven't gotten tired of the endless number of Anne Boleyn/Henry VIII/etc. books; I just enjoy them too much. You really can't go wrong with Philippa Gregory, ether (except for maybe Wideacre... that ones leaves me wondering). And for the record, I think Natalie Dormer in The Tudors is the best Anne Boleyn, just so we're clear.


Dracula: The Graphic NovelHag-SeedIthaca: A Novel of Homer's Odyssey
Miranda and CalibanIf We Were VillainsThe Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1)

Dracula: The Graphic Novel by : First read Dracula by Bram Stoker... then check out the graphic noel version!

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwod: Hag-Seed is a great complement to reading Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

Ithaca by Patrick Dillon: A retelling of the Odyssey from the point of view of Odysseus' son, Telemachus. It wasn't the best book I've read, but it's definitely a fun alternative story.

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey: Another companion for "The Tempest!"

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio: If you still can't get enough Shakespeare complements, then why not read about some Shakespeare-obsessed college students? There is plenty of bard talk to go around for all.

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd: And finally, how about an H.G. Wells inspired book? The Madman's Daughter takes the idea from The Island of Dr. Moreau and really runs with it; I loved this one!


The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of CancerSeven Brief Lessons on PhysicsMoonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee: This is a biography on cancer and I felt that the emphasis on the scientific aspect of this disease worked well for this subject. It's brilliant, truly, and I promise that there is so much more than merely science.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlos Rovelli: I took AP Physics in high school. Why? I'm still not sure. I passed, somehow, but it's safe to say that I don't mix all that well with physics, so I found this little book to be extremely accessible and interesting. Definitely recommend it for those interested in knowing te basics of physics in enjoyable book format!

Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer: This book is more of a psychological science focus on the art of memory. This particular book tells the story of Foer's forray into training for the U.S. Memory Championship -- yes, that's a thing.

The Sky is not the Limit by Neil DeGrasse Tyson: This might have a stronger focus on Neil DeGrasse Tyson, but the astronomy/astrophysics background was fascinating!

Current Affairs

The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s StoryThe Hate U GiveBetween the World and Me
The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in NigeriaPit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon

The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo lee: North Korea has been in the news quite a bit lately, so why not take the time ot check out the story of a North Korean defector? This book was absolutely crazy, and Lee's entire story is just captivating. Highly recommended.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: As one of th emost timely releases of this year, The Hate U Give is a great book for some insight into the Black Lives Matter movement ad the general issues that this country still has with racism.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: Another book with similar ideas to The Hate U Give, and another equally important one.

The Chibok Girls by Helon Habila: The devastating kidnapping of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram was a huge news piece that continues to be relevant as some girls have been returned. This book accounts for the entire situation in great detail.

Pit Bull by Bronwen Dickey: This covers an issue taht has been going on for a while, but I do feel like I've seen a lot more about it lately. People seem to believe in the notion that pit bulls are naturally aggressive, evil dogs, and that simply is not the case. Any dog can be aggressive, and some dogs may have more of an inclination, but not every pit bull is dangerous. In fact, most aren't. A lot of this depends ont he owner and how the dog is taken care of. I could go on for days about this issue, but suffice to say I am a huge advocate of pit bulls and I hate how horrible they are viewed and treated by those who do not believe that they are equal to other dogs.

World Literature

Funny BoyQ&ABrick Lane
The Hungry TideNorwegian WoodThe Vegetarian

Funny Boy by Shyam Seladurai: Selvadurai is a Sri Lankan Canadian novelist, and Funny Boy follows the life of a young boy who struggles with his homosexuality and racism within Sri Lanka.

Q&A by Vikas Swarup: Ever heard of a movie caled Slumdog Millionaire? Well this is the book that movie was adapted from!

Brick Lane by Monica Ali: This follows two Bangladeshi sisters, one of which remained in Bangladesh, while the other married and moved to England. This focuses on the different forms of their marraige, as well as how the sister in England adjusts to life in a new a coutnry.

The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh: This follows an Indian American marine biologist who travels to India in the hopes of studying marine life in the Sundarbans.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami: Japanese author Murakami delivers yet another fantastic book. You really can't go wrong with Murakami.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang: The main character, Yeong-he, decides to give up eating meat, and the effects on her family and those surrounding her ends up turning into quite an ordeal. Han Kang is a South Korean author.

Have you read any of these? What books would you choose for these subjects?