Friday, March 27, 2015

Arrrrrgh!!! I've come down with readers block!!!

Help!!!! I just want to read again!!!

I started to keep a journal on another site sometime in 2006 or so... I basically used it as an online diary that some friends and a few people with similar interests followed. I didn't always post faithfully everyday, but I posted weekly. After awhile, I started noticing I was posting more and more about books! Books that I read, books that were recommended to me, lists of books that I wanted. I was also an active member of Bookcrossing then, so that may explain the posts. But, life got in the way.

Fast forward a few years, and I've neglected the journal. Facebook has all my attention, everyday. But even on Facebook, my time is spent in book groups. I can't help it. I love books. I am an addict. So, of course curiosity gets me one day and I find I still remember my password to my journal. It felt like visiting an old friend! But- all my old friends from the site were no longer active. What was the point of continuing to journal if no one is there to share it with you??? Then, life got in the way.

A few months ago, I found Netgalley. What a joy, challenge and major disappointment Netgalley can be! You become a member, find some titles you may be interested in, request an advanced reading copy from the publisher, and hope you are chosen to review the title. Waiting to hear back from the publishers at first was torture! The first email I received from one of the publishers was an approval! I was elated! How easy was this?! Free books in exchange for an honest review. I can do this!!! So, I linked my Goodreads account, Twitter, and dusted off the ole journal and got it started again. Then I said to myself, why am I going to to continue posting on this site, when I'm the only one who sees it? I know! I'll start a blog on an actual blog site! And so I did. I call it The Readers Block because my vision for this blog is to create a place where readers can come to find their next read, to get suggestions and to break out of the dreaded Readers Block that sometimes hits all avid readers (You may call it "the slump"). It's not as easy as I thought it would be, because I need to FIND those people and have an interesting enough blog going to get them to want to follow. So yeah, for someone who wants it to be more than just a hobby, blogging is work!  Netgalley is also work. I learned that soon enough too, once the rejections started coming in. I am turned down more often than accepted right now because my blog doesn't have 500 or more followers. What??? Okay, challenge accepted. I'll find a way and get it done, one post, one review, at a time.

But guess what? I have been hit with readers block. This March has been a horrible month for a lot of my online reader friends, myself included. I just can't find the time to sit down to read, or keep my attention focused when I do find the time. I seem to want to spend all my time finding new books to read or talking about books I've read, but I can't get myself interested in any of the books I have started since the beginning of the month. Ugh. So, until I can get back into my reading rhythm, I'm just going to try and build up this blog and seek out new titles and authors. Thank the powers that be for Book Blogs and Goodreads!!! Although, Goodreads can keep you in a slump as well as get you out with all those giveaways!!! What do you do to get out of the slump???

Monday, March 16, 2015

Currently reading: The Casquette Girls, Alys Arden

So I have read one other book between my last review post and now, but some recent  health issues have kept me from getting my thoughts together about it so I'll review that book another time. Right now I'm concentrating on regulating my blood sugar levels and finding time to read for enjoyment, as I have no ARC's on deck.  So, see you in a few days!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Oh the thinks that you'll think!!!

Today is the 111th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.  To celebrate, Barnes and Noble will host #ReadAcrossAmerica events featuring The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Oh the Places You 'll Go! tonight at 7pm. Check with your local B&N to see if they are participating.

If you can't get to one of the events, celebrate on your own! Just pick your favorite book and read to your children, your grandchildren, or just for your own enjoyment. You're never too old for Dr. Seuss!!!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Most Anticipated Books of 2015... According to me.

To be totally honest, my most anticipated book release of 2015 turned into the most disappointing announcement of 2015. And it's only March. =(  However, just because I can't have Winds of Winter yet, it doesn't mean I don't have anything to look forward to! I'm starting with March because, well, it's March!

  •   The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf, March 3)   The Romans have long since departed and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But, at least, the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased. Axl and Beatrice, a couple of elderly Britons, decide that now is the time, finally, for them to set off across this troubled land of mist and rain to find the son they have not seen for years, the son they can scarcely remember. They know they will face many hazards—some strange and otherworldly—but they cannot foresee how their journey will reveal to them the dark and forgotten corners of their love for each other. Nor can they foresee that they will be joined on their journey by a Saxon warrior, his orphan charge, and a knight—each of them, like Axl and Beatrice, lost in some way to his own past, but drawn inexorably toward the comfort, and the burden, of the fullness of a life’s memories.

    Sometimes savage, sometimes mysterious, always intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade tells a luminous story about the act of forgetting and the power of memory, a resonant tale of love, vengeance, and war.
  •  Heretic by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Harper, March 24)   Continuing her journey from a deeply religious Islamic upbringing to a post at Harvard, the brilliant, charismatic and controversial New York Times and Globe and Mail #1 bestselling author of Infidel and Nomad makes a powerful plea for a Muslim Reformation as the only way to end the horrors of terrorism, sectarian warfare and the repression of women and minorities.Today, she argues, the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims can be divided into a minority of extremists, a majority of observant but peaceable Muslims and a few dissidents who risk their lives by questioning their own religion. But there is only one Islam and, as Hirsi Ali shows, there is no denying that some of its key teachings—not least the duty to wage holy war—are incompatible with the values of a free society.
    For centuries it has seemed as if Islam is immune to change. But Hirsi Ali has come to believe that a Muslim Reformation—a revision of Islamic doctrine aimed at reconciling the religion with modernity—is now at hand, and may even have begun. The Arab Spring may now seem like a political failure. But its challenge to traditional authority revealed a new readiness—not least by Muslim women—to think freely and to speak out.
    Courageously challenging the jihadists, she identifies five key amendments to Islamic doctrine that Muslims have to make to bring their religion out of the seventh century and into the twenty-first. And she calls on the Western world to end its appeasement of the Islamists. “Islam is not a religion of peace,” she writes. It is the Muslim reformers who need our backing, not the opponents of free speech.
    Interweaving her own experiences, historical analogies and powerful examples from contemporary Muslim societies and cultures, Heretic is not a call to arms, but a passionate plea for peaceful change and a new era of global toleration. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders, with jihadists killing thousands from Nigeria to Syria to Pakistan, this book offers an answer to what is fast becoming the world’s number one problem.
  •  The Shadow of the Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto (Penguin, March24)                                 Fatima Bhutto’s stunning debut novel chronicles the lives of five young people trying to live and love in a world on fire. Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border.Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. Sikandar is exhausted by Mina’s instability and by the pall of grief that has enveloped his family. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined.
    The youngest of the three leaves for town on a motorbike. An idealist, Hayat holds strong to his deathbed promise to their father—to free Mir Ali from oppressors. Seated behind him is a beautiful, fragile girl whose life and thoughts are overwhelmed by the war that has enveloped the place of her birth.
    Three hours later their day will end in devastating circumstances.
    In this beautifully observed novel, individuals are pushed to make terrible choices. And as the events of this single morning unfold, one woman is at the center of it all.
  •  The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige (Harper, March 31)  In this sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, who is good—and who is actually Wicked?My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
    After a tornado swept through my trailer park, I ended up in Oz.
    But it wasn't like the Oz I knew from books and movies. Dorothy had returned, but she was now a ruthless dictator. Glinda could no longer be called the Good Witch. And the Wicked Witches who were left? They'd joined forces as the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and they wanted to recruit me.
    My mission?
    Kill Dorothy.
    Except my job as assassin didn't work out as planned. Dorothy is still alive. The Order has vanished. And the home I couldn't wait to leave behind might be in danger.
    Somehow, across a twisted and divided land, I have to find the Order, protect the true ruler of Oz, take Dorothy and her henchmen down—and try to figure out what I'm really doing here.

  • God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (Knopf, April 21)  the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment—weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult.

    At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.”

    A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.

  •  The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker (St.Martins Press, May 19)   The Scarlet Gospels takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker's most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D'Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes faces off against his formidable, and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Barker devotees have been waiting for The Scarlet Gospels with bated breath for years, and it's everything they've begged for and more. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by the epic, visionary tale that is The Scarlet Gospels. Barker's horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?

  •   Finders Keepers by Stephen King (June 2)    A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far—a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes.

    “Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

    Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

    Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.
    A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far—a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes.
  •  Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (July 14)
    An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.
    Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.
    Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.
    Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

  • November-
    • The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (November 3rd)  A collection of short stories written since Full Dark No Stars...
    I know there are quite a few more good, possibly great books coming out this year, but these are my top picks.  I'm sure I'll be addingto this list along the way.