Thursday, June 22, 2017

First Line Friday: David and Goliath Edition



Happy First Line Friday!

In the wake of VBS ending recently, I myself feel so invigorated after a fun but tiring week and am ready to confront some things head-on that need to be taken care of. I found this gem recently at a local Christian bookstore and am ready to get started. It is non-fiction, of course, relying on the David and Goliath narrative to help us conquer our own giants by "fixing our eyes on the size of our God, not the size of our giant(s)".

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"The king ducked his head, shuffled outside his tent, and stared at the far hill that lay just outside his war camp."

I'm sure, given the context, you can guess which king and war camp is being discussed.

Let me know what you think of the line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week.


If you want to join in on First Line Friday, let Carrie know!

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Thursday, June 8, 2017

First Line Friday: Chuck Klosterman Edition


Happy First Line Friday!

This week my line is from one of my most favorite authors who is not a historian. Shocker, right?? This author very much writes of the here and now...or sports/music/pop culture-related events within the last couple decades or so. Give or take. Really depends on the essay.

Chuck Klosterman is MY. FAVE. I absolutely love his humor and writing style; if you have not read anything by him, I definitely recommend starting now. He has written for SPIN, The A.V. Club, WaPo, GQ, and Grantland, among many others.

My line this week comes from:

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"What is the most villainous move on the market?"

If you are new to Chuck Klosterman, please allow me to make a few recommendations.

599 is by far my most favorite. Start here if you have never read anything else by him. I just lied to you, however, because 597 is actually tied for my most favorite. Both are excellent and I have read them multiple times. 6462010 was Klosterman's first foray into fiction and I loved it. He has another fictional work, 10373933, which I did not like nearly as well. If memory serves (and really, it doesn't. I had a baby almost four years ago and my memory is still shit), I really did not like the main character. I mean, you weren't supposed to, but I REALLY did not like him. I will probably have to revisit this one and see if my memories are correct. 6386555 is another one I do not feel as strongly about. I don't know why, and I probably need to reread it again, too. I really liked 690186 and 24476. I am also currently reading 27068734 and 33353952 in addition to Black Hat.

So, there you go. Several recommendations in one post. Choose one and enjoy. You're welcome.

Let me know what you think of the line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week.


If you want to join in on First Line Friday, let Carrie know!

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Cover Reveal: Hearts Are Like Balloons

Cover Reveal!

Hearts are Like Balloons 
by Candace Robinson


This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Jenny Zemanek from Seedlings Online (http://www.seedlingsonline.com/)

Hearts are Like Balloons
By Candace Robinson
Genre: Contemporary
Age category: upper Young Adult
Release Date: June 30, 2017

Blurb:
May Falkner’s past two years have been a rough road. When her father suddenly passes away, May needs to find a job to help out her mom and regain some control over her life. Working at the bookstore helps her heal, laugh, and hope again. It also leads her to cross paths with Nico Evitts, who begins as just a co-worker, but becomes so much more

When it all becomes perfect, because there is no perfect, life steps in to prove once again that it all can crash down harder than before. This is a story about finding yourself, love, and the things in life that are still here.

Hearts are like balloons. Sometimes they inflate… Sometimes they deflate…

You can find Hearts are Like Balloons on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34807723-hearts-are-like-balloons


About the Author:
Candace Robinson is just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. Her days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books. She live just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it's 30 degrees and the next it's 70 degrees! She resides with her husband and daughter.

You can find and contact Candace here:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

First Line Friday: Magna Carta Edition


Happy First Line Friday! It is also my first Friday of freedom, as school and teacher meetings/work days are also DUNZO. I am looking forward to making more progress on my own writing projects, but even more so to having a lot of awesome time with my baby girl. We have very busy summers filled with camps and museums and of course trips to the library.

This week's line is from a book I really like, by an author you may have seen me mention once or twice. 

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If you are either unsure what Magna Carta is or why it actually matters, definitely give this one a read. You might be surprised that what you thought you knew about this document is not entirely accurate. Jones does a fantastic job explaining the true meaning of it; you won't be disappointed.

"Eight hundred years after it was first granted beneath the trees of Runnymeade, by the fertile banks of the river Thames, the Magna Carta is more famous than ever. This is strange."

Just why it is strange is something you will have to find out for yourself!

Let me know what you think of this line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week.


If you want to join in on First Line Friday, let Carrie know!

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Monday, May 29, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there's a new topic and who doesn't love making lists? It's also a fun way to meet other book bloggers and find new books to add to that ever-unwieldy TBR list.

I am super excited about this one because it is all about future releases that I can't wait to get my hands on. Seriously, I am practically dying over here.


May 30: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books for the Second Half of 2017

While you will find a far shorter list than usual, I am so very psyched to read all four of them. Here they are, in order by release date.

Seriously. Dying.

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Publication Date: May 17th

I am kind of cheating a little with this one because it was actually just released here in the US, in what is still the first half of 2017. But you may know by now I tend to bend the rules a lot so, you're welcome. I know my fair share about Alfred the Great, but know much less about his children. Once again, my little Eleanor is lucky I discovered Eleanor of Aquitaine before Boudicca, or now Aethelflaed.



Publication Date: September 1st (UK)

(The author has informed me that while there is not yet a US date set, it will be released here eventually. In the meantime, he did also let me know that The Book Depository does FREE worldwide shipping, so...)

I always enjoy a good argument for whether or not Richard III ordered his nephews to be murdered. I used to unequivocally believe that yes he was the culprit. I still believe so, but now am much more open-minded about other possibilities. This book explores not the death of the princes, but the possible LIFE they might have had instead. What if they were not murdered at all, but managed to survive both the fall of the Plantagenets and rise of the Tudors?


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Publication Date: September 7th (UK), September 19th (US)

Duh.

My stomach does flip-flops just thinking about this one. I had to include both covers here, as I prefer the UK one (left) to the US one. I. CAN'T. WAIT. I am especially looking forward to it because there seems to be so much utter garbage popping up lately AGAIN about the so-called Templar caves and other rubbish. Hopefully people pick this one up to help them differentiate between fact and fiction.


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Publication date: August 15th (UK), November 1st (US)

I just stumbled across this one by accident and am so glad I did. While I have a pretty good knowledge base about Henry VII, I don't know nearly as much as I'd like to about his mother, father, and uncles - or any of his extended family.

What books are you most excited for? Let me know what you think of my choices and leave me a link to your TTT as well.

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Friday, May 26, 2017

First Line Friday - Bannockburn Edition



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Happy First Line Friday and last day of school!

I am super late in posting this, but here it is now, short and sweet and a line from a book about a battle fought in a country I love so dearly.

"2014 sees the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, one of the few events that genuinely changed the direction of Scotland's history. Its outcome was far from inevitable, indeed it was a remarkably unlikely victory."

Let me know what you think of this line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week.


Happy Reading!
Sarah

Thursday, May 18, 2017

First Line Friday - Picture Book Edition


Happy First Line Friday. I am so very excited for the book I am sharing this week, because though it is not about Eleanor of Aquitaine, it is about another Mighty Girl who I absolutely adore.

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Not only do I adore Ruth Bader Ginsburg - or Notorious RBG, as I like to call her - but here is a book that I can use to introduce her to my own Mighty Girl. Here is the first line(S):

"You could say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life has been one disagreement after another...Disagreement with creaky old ideas. With unfairness. With inequality. Ruth has disagreed, disapproved, and differed. She has objected. She has resisted. She has dissented. Disagreeable? No. Determined? Yes. This is how Ruth Bader Ginsburg changed her life - and ours."


Notorious RBG, please live forever.

Let me know what you think of this line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week.


Rachel - Bookworm Mama




Lauraine - Lauraine's Notes

Andi - Radiant Light


Robin - Robin's Nest


Kathleen - Kathleen Denly



Jeanette - CJaneReads


Molly - Molly's Cafinated Reads (Disclaimer: purposeful misspelling)

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Thursday, May 11, 2017

First Line Friday - YA Edition


Happy First Line Friday!

This week I am doing something waaaaaaay out of the ordinary - sharing a line from a fiction book, and a YA book no less!

I know, I know. Not my usual book. But I found this one to be very entertaining (though I did skim some parts that were too yucky for me. It is a horror/fairy-tail retelling mash-up after all. I can do without the trolls and billy goats. Yeesh.)

I received this book a few weeks ago from the author, Candace Robinson and participated in her cover-reveal last week. It is beautiful, by the way.

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I will have a full review up a some point this week, I hope (end of school year madness is upon us. There is no paperwork like end of the year paperwork. You know, on top of all the regular paperwork.)

Despite my own personal feelings about first person, and especially first person told in PRESENT tense (it bothers me), the story was very twisty and turny. That' a word, I promise. Then I was at nearly 90% wondering how it could possible end and boom, bolt of lightning, an ending I did not quite so coming. It is not a story for the faint of heart though, like myself who is not necessarily a horror fan, but someone who digs fairy tale retellings. Anyway, on to the line. Or paragraph. Whatevs. I do what I want.

"Overwhelmed with boredom, Vale stares down at his fingernails. He can only spend so much time tormenting those he encounters in the afterlife. After making them as miserable as possible, he finds himself needing to search for new prey."

Let me know what you think of this line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week for you.


Happy Reading!
Sarah

Thursday, May 4, 2017

First Line Friday: Eleanor Edition VI


There is no cover this week, because what I am reading is not a book. Instead, it is a collection of letters. Thanks to this amazing website from Columbia University, Epistolae: Medieval Women's Latin Letters, I now have a treasure trove of goodies - the surviving letters to and from Eleanor in both English AND Latin.

This week's line then comes from one of the many letters Eleanor dictated to the public, dated May 4th, 1199. Almost to the day, this is a letter written 818 years ago, and (for the most part) are the words of a woman I admire greatly:

"Eleanor, by the grace of God, queen of the Angles, duchess of Normandy and Aquitaine, countess of Anjou, to the archbishops, bishops, counts, viscounts, barons, justiciaries, provosts, and all her bailiffs and faithful, and to all the sons, present and future, of the holy mother Church, greetings."

Quite the intro, no?

Let me know what you think of this line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week for you.


Happy Reading!
Sarah

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cover Reveal: Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault


Hooray for beautiful covers!

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault

Today is the cover reveal for Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault by Candace Robinson. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Jenny @ Seedlings Design Studio: http://www.seedlingsonline.com/

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault
By Candace Robinson
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Horror
Age category: Upper YA
Release Date: May 16, 2017

Some see it...Some don't...

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline's best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing.  Perrie, along with her friend August, go on a pursuit to search for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with their disappearances?

You can find Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34511974-quinsey-wolfe-s-glass-vault

You can pre-order Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault here:
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Quinsey-Wolfes-Glass-Candace-Robinson-ebook/dp/B06XR44W6M/ 


About the Author:



Candace Robinson is just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. Her days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books. She lives just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it's 30 degrees and the next it's 70 degrees! She resides with her husband and daughter.

You can find and contact Candace here:


Monday, May 1, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature by The Broke and the Bookish that I LOVE because then I get to interact with other bloggers, even when our reading tastes vary wildly. This week's theme is right up my alley, because I am exactly that person who judges books by their covers. A lot. I know it is not very nice and all that, but sometimes a cover REALLY has to speak to me if it is a topic I am only mildly interested in.

May 2nd: Cover Theme Freebie: Literally anything about covers...top ten covers that scream Spring, ten books with ice cream on the cover, ten books with blue covers, etc.

Naturally, I will stick to what I know best, and that is the history of the UK - funny, isn't it, since I am exactly 0% Scottish, English, or Irish (and about 90% German with a dash of Swede thrown in for good measure). Also, let's not pretend I would be able to stick anywhere even close to ten. So, without further adieu, I present the top covers (in no particular order) that I desperately love from my most favorite topic, the history of the UK. No explanations, just rows and rows of beautiful covers.

55139 118001
10361524 55039
15811559 13152216
8474660 31086
23456467 1890910
1430474 2795523
25317189 15995080
12440845 29341703
6365134 2460042
29807075 24611571
27394452 1123100
29430787 29139385
17456975 12109227
530793 20821029

Just a note, I have read most of the books featured on this list. However, an endorsement of the cover does not necessarily mean an endorsement of the content. There are some beautiful covers that have really done me wrong and you would think I would stop judging them. But I don't.

And here is one more, just for good measure, coming in September:


Now, this is the UK cover, which I love infinitely more than the US one. So, looks like I will be doing a bit of shopping on Amazon.co.uk, won't I?

Let me know what you think of my cover choices and where I can find your list as well.
Happy Reading!
Sarah