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2014 Book Purchases: April

I always start the draft for these monthly book purchase updates at the beginning of the month. It gives me a chance to look back over the previous month and encourage myself to do better.

I already feel that I’ve spent too much money on books this month – Sad, aren’t I? 🙂

I’m going to have to try harder. But I’m nervous about April because it is my birth month. I always find a way to indulge myself in April…

01-May-2014 Update: Yaaaay! I managed not to go over my $20 budget!!! 😀

Wind-Gone-MadBook: Wind Gone Mad
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Cost: $2.99
Format: Paperback
Date Purchased: 02-Apr-2014
Notes: Shits & Giggles, plus that cover! O_o

 

 

The Phoenix EndangeredBook: The Phoenix Endangered (The Enduring Flame #2)
Author: Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
Cost: $4.50
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 02-Apr-2014
Notes: Second in a series
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DNF Review: I Didn’t Ask to Be Born: (But I’m Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby

I Didn't Ask to Be Born

In this hilarious collection of observations, Cosby brings us more of his wonderful and wacky insights into the human condition that are sure to become classics. In the tradition of Fat Albert, I DIDN’T ASK TO BE BORN offers a host of new characters, including Peanut Armhouse and Old Mother Harold. Not since Mushmouth, Dumb Donald, Bucky and the Cosby Kids has there been such a memorable cast.

Over the past century few entertainers have achieved the legendary status of William H. Cosby Jr. His success spans five decades and virtually all media-remarkable accomplishments for a kid who emerged from humble beginnings in a Philly housing project.

In the tradition of his bestselling books, Fatherhood and Cosbyology, the doctor of comedy holds forth on everything from first love to the Bible. Bill Cosby may not have asked to be born, but we’re sure glad he was.

 

 

I grew up with Bill Cosby. From Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids to Picture Pages to The Cosby Show (and it’s spin-offs and revamps) are all a part of my life’s experience. I listened to his songs, I watched his stand up…I am partially a product of Bill Cosby’s influence.

So when I saw this book at the library… YONK! I grabbed.
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Review: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wizard of Oz

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Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival – will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?

 

 

 

I used to consider myself a Wizard of Oz expert. I’ve seen the 1939 movie a ton of times. I’ve seen the musical adaption movie The Wiz about a million times (Micheal Jackson, Diana Ross, Mabel King, Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor? YES, please). And then – just to put 10 on the 20 – I’m a theatre geek from waaaaaay back. I served as Technical Director and Lighting Designer (and I also danced in!) for the stage version of The Wiz. I used to know that script backwards and forwards. So you can’t fault me for thinking I knew my The Wizard of Oz.

Well, guess what? I did NOT know my Wizard of Oz!

I went into this read thinking I knew what was going to happen. I had the movies and the plays all circling in my head so I spent the entire read fighting with my memories and knowledge of the adapted works. The Wicked Witch that Dorothy kills is wearing silver shoes; the Good Witch that meets Dorothy upon her landing is NOT Glinda and she’s an old, weak witch about the size of the Munchkins; The Wicked Witch of the West has very little on-page time and Glinda doesn’t get page time til the very, very end. Like, Glinda didn’t even know Dorothy was in town til she came pounding on the Witch’s front gate. And those are just the initial big differences. There was just so much changed…
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March 2014 Library Haul

I stopped by the main branch of a local library recently. I really love going to this particular library because they have a permanent “bookstore” in a little niche in the hall.

Because I’m trying to be good, I only bought 6 books (hardback). The good part is that I only spent $6.00!! Yep, $1 per book.

march 2014 library haul

This haul is especially important to me because I found a copy of Illusion by Paula Volsky. I first read Illusion as an adventurous library user years and years ago. I read it but it really haunted me – I can’t say I enjoyed the read but I did enjoy the book. If that makes any sense. It was a haunting book and situation to me – Illusion is an Alternate Historical Fantasy, based off of the French Revolution. It follows a young noble girl as she deals with survival in the midst of the destruction of her entire world.
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2014 Book Purchases: February (totally busted)

Well, it looks as if I totally busted my book budget this month. I can’t accept the blame, I blame Flights of Fantasy and my public library system. THEY [FoF] are the ones who forced me to read Gardens of the Moon and THEY [my library system] are the ones who somehow don’t have even a single copy of the damn Malazan Book of the Fallen series in the whole system!! So each book borrow is coming from out of the area (same state, different county systems) meaning they all take a month or more to arrive!

So there’s no way the blame falls on me. ^.^
 
 
Howl's Moving CastleBook: Howl’s Moving Castle
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Cost: $6.47
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Purchased: 04-Feb-2014
Notes: First in a series
 

 
Dark Lord of DerkholmBook: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Derkholm #1)
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Cost: $4.15
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 07-Feb-2014
Notes: First in a series but I own book 2
 
 
Ice CrownBook: Ice Crown
Author: Andre Norton
Cost: $4.94
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 12-Feb-2014
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Review: Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon

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The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order–an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.

There are no words. I just don’t have the words to describe this enough to get out a review.

I don’t have the words to express my relationship with Gardens of the Moon.

I am…my mind is BLOWN.

It’s genius.

It’s intimidating. The sheer scope of what was going on is amazing. There’s so much going on and I don’t know what to even say. The world is so textured and layered.

There are ten books in this series. O_O

I went through a gamut of emotions – the emotional roller-coaster had me strapped down and didn’t let me off until the end.

The sheer…magnitude of the book was on the scale of what I [previously] would have thought to be impossible.

During my reading of this book I felt confused, I felt astounded, tired, irritated, exhilarated, exhausted, engaged, exasperated, drugged, emotionally traumatized…and totally at Erikson’s mercy.

O_o
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Update: Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon

Bled dry by warfare, the vast Malazan empire simmers with discontent. Sergeant Whiskeyjack’s Bridgeburners and surviving sorceress Tattersail wanted to mourn the dead of Pale. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, holds out, Empress Lasseen’s ambition knows no bounds, and the gods intend to intervene.


Current location: 372/494 (75%)

So, I’ve been reading this book.

It’s part of a ten book series that has an additional only God knows how many more books attached. I’d never planned to read this series for that reason alone. When I told my husband I was reading a ten book series he told me that I was “getting hosed.” But the group chose it as a book of the month and I said I’d give it a chance. Took a month to get here from the library…I should have known it was gonna be trouble then.
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Mini- Review: Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

Crazy Sexy Diet

On the heels of Kris Carr’s best-selling cancer survival guidebooks and her acclaimed TLC documentary comes her new journey into a realm vital to anyone’s health. Infused with her signature sass, wit and advice-from-the-trenches style, Crazy Sexy Diet is a beautifully illustrated resource that puts you on the fast track to vibrant health, happiness and a great ass!

Along with help from her posse of experts, Carr lays out the fundamentals of her Crazy Sexy Diet: a low-glycemic, vegetarian program that emphasizes balancing the pH of the body with lush whole and raw foods, nourishing organic green drinks, and scrumptious smoothies. Plus, she shares the steps of her own twenty-one-day cleanse, and simple but delectable sample recipes.

In ten chapters with titles such as, “pHabulous,” “Coffee, Cupcakes and Cocktails,” “Make Juice Not War,” and “God-Pod Glow,” Carr empowers readers to move from a state of constant bodily damage control to one of renewal and repair. In addition to debunking common diet myths and sharing vital tips on detoxifying our bodies and psyches—advice that draws both on her personal experience as a cancer survivor and that of experts—she provides helpful hints on natural personal care, how to stretch a dollar, navigate the grocery store, eating well on the run, and working through the inevitable pangs and cravings for your old not-so-healthy life.

Crazy Sexy Diet is a must for anyone who seeks to be a confident and sexy wellness warrior.

Crazy Sexy tips for optimal health:
Flood your body with alkaline nutrients * Flush stored waste products and chemicals * Reduce or eliminate animal products * *Dump sugar, you’re sweet enough * Go gluten-free *Shake your booty * Wrangle the monkeys in your mind and turn down the stress * Install healthy boundaries so you don’t burn out * Kill your television and Detox your In Box (Facebook too!) * Take fun seriously * Build a wellness posse support system *Be a “prevention is hot” cheerleader!

I’m constantly working on me. My lifestyle, my exercise habits, my diet.

I picked up Crazy Sexy Diet from my library. I was looking for a book (with recipes and meal plans) that I could use to adjust my diet.

I am not rating this book because I was expecting something different and I stopped reading it once I realized it was not what I wanted.

My Expectations:
A book that discussed the importance of whole foods with an emphasis on vegetables.
Balanced meal plans and recipes that contained vegetables as well as protein.
21 Day Juice Cleanse

What I got:
A book that discussed the importance of becoming a Vegan (preferred) or vegetarian.
A book with very few recipes and (from what I saw) no meal plans.
A lot of discussion about pH balancing the body.
21 Day Juice Cleanse

While I was not exactly excited about this book once I realized it wasn’t what I expected, I still planned to read it in its entirety. But I didn’t. I stopped somewhere after chapter two.

Why?
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Emotional Re-Reads: Jacqueline Carey & Jenny Crusie

For some strange reason I had the urge to do a quick re-read of the last two books of the Imriel Cycle of Kushiel’s Legacy and Bet Me this week.

My God! I’d forgotten how…powerful these books are (to me, at least). I didn’t count them as a true “re-read” because I am skipping whole sections and chapters…but I have been reading large sections of these books.

kushiels justiceOne of the strange things about this particular re-reading combination is…the wildly different emotions that these books evoke. Kushiel’s Justice and Kushiel’s Mercy (“Kushiel”) are…narrated by a emotionally damaged main character while Bet Me has a couple of different POV changes with the primary MC being a sarcastic person who isn’t completely self-aware.
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Review: Silver May Tarnish (Witch World Series 2: High Hallack Cycle #10) by Andre Norton & Lyn McConchie

silver may tarnish

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The Dales of Andre Norton’s Witch World have endured wars, natural disasters, the predations of strange creatures, and treachery. None loves the land as well as Lorcan, orphaned at birth, who has sought his birthright for as long as he can remember. Exiled from his native land when it was invaded by Alizon, he spent his youth in Paltendale where he was treated as an outsider, especially by Hogeth, an heir of that dale, who resented Lorcan’s presence when both were still young men.

When he came of age, Lorcan left to seek his own destiny. Since then, he has fought valiantly to rid the Dales of the Alizon invaders, but not even his efforts can prevent the deaths of many people, and the destruction of many keeps and garths. The war now over, he has survived, but so have those who would plunder the lands of the survivors. And among the plundering bandits is his nemesis from Paltendale, now more bitter and determined to vanquish Lorcan.

During his travels Lorcan has joined with five blank shields, who, fighting together for common cause, become his boon companions. Then he meets a young noble lass, from a dale known as Honeycoombe for its beekeeping. Her dale has been decimated by the war, but with Lorcan and his band, she will try to rebuild a home where they all can live in peace. Lorcan feels that he might at last find happiness with the valiant fair maiden. But Hogeth now leads marauders across the dales, destroying what they cannot rightfully have, and there will be no peace in the dales until Lorcan and Hogeth settle their old, bitter score.

This isn’t going to be the best review ever. I’ve read the book too many times. I love this book and this series too much.

This book is several books into the Witch World series but it is a stand alone. While it can be read without prior knowledge of the Witch World…Norton writes with the assumption that you know what she’s talking about.
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