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  • Mini Reviews: Back to Hogwarts!

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them By Newt Scamander I needed a little magic in my day… and this did the trick! I absolutely loved Eddie Redmayne’s narration as Newt Scamander in the updated version of Fantastic Beasts!! The sound effects were spot on, as well. The accompanying book was wonderful, and I really enjoyed the new ink illustrations by Tomic. There was a lot of subtle humor throughout that kept me entertained! Nifflers are still my favorite of course!! 😉 Audiobook Performance: ★★★★★ The Hogwarts Collection By J.K. Rowling I loved this Pottermore collection! It re-wet my appetite for the magic of the Wizarding World all over again…

  • Book Review: Queen of Shadows

    Queen of Shadows By Sarah J. Maas Released: 2015   Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume. Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire-for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past… She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return. Celaena’s…

  • Book Review: The Song of Achilles

    The Song of Achilles By Madeline Miller Released: 2011   Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy,…

  • Book Review: “There Are Things I Want You to Know” About Stieg Larsson and Me

    “There Are Things I Want You to Know” About Stieg Larsson and Me By Eva Gabrielsson Released: 2011   Here is the real inside story—not the one about the Stieg Larsson phenomenon, but rather the love story of a man and a woman whose lives came to be guided by politics and love, coffee and activism, writing and friendship. Only one person in the world knows that story well enough to tell it with authority. Her name is Eva Gabrielsson. Eva Gabrielsson and Stieg Larsson shared everything, starting when they were both eighteen until his untimely death thirty-two years later at the age of fifty. In “There Are Things I…

  • Mini Reviews: Roald Dahl Favorites

    Fantastic Mr Fox By Roald Dahl My first introduction to Mr. Fox occurred while heading up to 15,000ft sitting on the floor of a puddle-jumper, wondering when in hell I decided jumping out of an airplane might be the bravest or stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I was psyching myself out that in mere moments the door would open and I would die. …OR as the plan was, I would freefall for 60 seconds prior to my parachute successfully opening, float over Lake Taupo, and safely land back on solid ground with everything intact—including my sanity. While still in that situation (mentally and physically), I was…

  • Mini Reviews: 3-Star Streak

    The Serpent’s Secret By Sayantani DasGupta A fun middle grade adventure featuring a bull-headed 12-year-old female protagonist, Kiranmala. I really enjoyed the introduction to Bengali folklore as I am not familiar. I liked the world-building of the Kingdom Beyond Seven Oceans and Thirteen Rivers full of vibrant colors, magic, and shifting maps. I really enjoyed the comic relief of Tuntuni (the talking bird). However, I didn’t connect well with the first person writing or the gibberish rhymes of the rakkhosh (demons), but the latter could be a lack of exposure to Bengali tales? I appreciated the character development of Kiranmala as I don’t think I would have finished the book…

  • Mini Reviews: Nonfiction February

    Heist: The Oddball Crew Behind the $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft By Jeff Diamant A quick entertaining read filled with eye-popping gasps, headshakes, chuckles, and “OMG LOL” moments. However, this was all due to the facts and not the writing, which was journalistic vs. the legal thriller writings of Grisham or Connelly. The first half of the book is the crime and spending, where the second half is the arrests and aftermath. I recommend for anyone interested in a superficial installment of “Dumb Crook History” but not those looking for an intense behind-the-scenes crime and punshment novel based on a true story. The Ascent of Gravity By Marcus Chown I…