July 2017 @BookOfTheMonth Delivery: Reviews Of Dark Matter, Shrill and Final Girls

Book Of The Month July 2017 Reviews On Novels And Nonfiction

Book Of The Month is a subscription service that sends you one hardcover book per month out of five selections for a low monthly subscription fee. You can add 2 more titles to your monthly delivery for $9.99 each, and the price overall is very cheap for full-size hardcovers.

Book Of The Month is not paying me to promote their service. I just love it so much that I’ve turned my monthly deliveries into a feature on my blog 🙂 I do encourage you to try it though, because if you like hardcovers it’s a great deal.

You can use my referral link to sign up if you’re interested in trying it. You’ll get your first three months for just $9.99 each plus a cute tote. And I’ll get a free book when you join. Win, win!

My July selections for Book Of The Month were all pretty different from each other. Two were technically thrillers, but diametrically opposite in terms of what the genre can encompass. Dark Matter ended up being by far my favorite out of the three titles, and it’s definitely in my Top 5 Book Of The Month reads to date (idea for a new post once I’ve caught up with my BOTM reviews?). Shrill was funny and thought-provoking but felt like an anthology of articles more than anything, and I struggled with whether to give Final Girls 2 or 3 stars (before settling on 3). Read my reviews to find out why.

Links I Loved This Week – 10/08/17

Links I Loved This Week On Novels And Nonfiction

I won’t jinx myself and claim to be back to regular blogging after this week, but I’m in a pretty good groove and I have my posts for the next 2 weeks nearly complete, so it’s looking good.

Most impressive is that I was able to blog pretty consistently this week despite the fact that I spent Tuesday and Wednesday (mornings and evenings) trying to catch an abandoned domestic rabbit someone dumped in a park here in LA. I think most of you know I have a bunny, and I’m also pretty active in volunteering for a rabbit rescue organization here in LA. I heard of the poor stray rabbit through them.

For those of you who don’t know, domestic rabbits are a completely different species than wild rabbits, so the rabbits that we have as pets are thoroughly unsuited to living in the wild. They’ve devolved so that they are incredibly easy prey for predators out there compared to their wild rabbit cousins. It’s impressive that the poor bunny (only 2 months) lived for nearly a week out in the wild, but unfortunately his brother – who was dumped with him – wasn’t so lucky. We rescued one bunny at least though and he’s on his way hopefully to a safe and loving home.

Sometimes when current events are as horrible as they’ve been this week, it feels good to act on one small fixable thing in the world. I’ll get off my bunny lecturing podium and without further ado give you this week’s links.

Just Read: What Happened By Hillary Clinton

What Happened Review On Novels And Nonfiction

I’m no longer viscerally upset about the 2016 election because I’m a pragmatist – the kind of person who tries to take stock of changed circumstances as soon as possible and adjust their strategy to start again. Of course I’m saddened on a daily basis by some of the actions of the current administration (aren’t we all, or most of us at least), but I’ve let go of the frustration over Hillary’s loss. I think she’d agree that it’s a waste of time at this point. She seems like a pragmatist too and what’s done is done.

However, there’s always room to learn from past events, and I’ve been drawn to books about the election to try to dissect the mechanics of what caused Clinton’s loss. As soon as I heard her memoir on the election was coming out in September, I knew I wanted to read it right away. I didn’t know exactly what to expect having read most of her past memoirs (book list here). They are chock-full of information and expertly written but polished and restrained, very much written by a woman with an eye to a continued future in politics. I though that in What Happened she might let loose a little more, but I was so in love with how out there she is in this memoir that I can’t even fully convey it. I felt that in What Happened, I met the Hillary Clinton we all could glimpse behind the necessary political facade – or at least those of us who cared to look accurately.

10 October 2017 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To

10 October 2017 Book Releases I'm Looking Forward To On Novels And Nonfiction

I’m back to publishing a list of the book releases I’m most excited about on a monthly basis, after putting together a list spanning all three months and focusing on just nonfiction this past Summer.

For October 2017, I’ve picked 5 nonfiction and 5 fiction books that sound like good reads to me, based on my personal preference in topics and genres, as well as advance reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. You may notice that a few big-name titles coming out this month are absent from my list – like Dan Brown’s new Robert Langdon novel Origin and John Green’s new release Turtles All The Way Down. I also omitted the new Ron Chernow biography Grant, because as some of you may know, I really didn’t like his Hamilton biography.

Hopefully you find something here that catches your eye! I’ve indicated when titles are still available for request on Net Galley for the bloggers and reviewers out there.

Book Pairing: Elizabeth The Queen By Sally Bedell Smith And The Uncommon Reader By Alan Bennett

Book Pairing Of Elizabeth The Queen And The Uncommon Reader On Novels And Nonfiction

This post came about through one of those cases in which you read a book that leads you to another title, and then another. After reading Andrew Morton’s biography of Diana this summer (Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words), I realized that as much as Diana was an interesting and polarizing figure, what I really wanted was to learn more about the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

Maybe The Crown also had a little effect on this. It’s startling to watch a TV series set in the 40s and 50s (for Season 1 at least) and realize that the protagonist is still alive today and has lived through 9 decades of history, social change and economic upheavals. My research on biographies of the queen led me to Sally Bedell Smith’s book Elizabeth: The Queen, and when Bedell Smith mentioned Alan Bennett’s novella on the queen – The Uncommon Reader – I knew that I wanted to pick that up as well.

I’m planning more similar fiction to nonfiction book pairings in the future. Hope you enjoy this first take on a new feature on the blog!

Summer 2017 Wrap-Up (Links To All 29 Books Reviewed)

Summer 2017 Wrap-Up On Novels And Nonfiction

Summer 2017 was a bit stop and go for me as far as book blogging is concerned, but I’m still happy with the volume of reviews I put out. You can find the full list below divided by category and organized by the rating I gave to each title.

For the Fall, what I’m hoping is that I’m able to post review/release content consistently about twice a week, and add a Links I Loved This Week post to the mix as well if I have time. I’m planning on starting a new feature called Book Pairings in which I will review one fiction and one nonfiction pick that have some kind of connection to each other. I already have 2 specific topics planned.

I ended up reading a total of 26 books in Summer 2017 and reviewed 29 books (11 Nonfiction, 11 Contemporary Fiction, 6 Historical Fiction and 1 Classic). The discrepancy between read books and reviewed books comes both from titles I read before the start of Summer 2017 that I reviewed during the summer, and titles that I read during Summer 2017 but that I haven’t reviewed yet.

Books I read towards the end of Summer 2017 and that I plan to review soon include: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan and Elizabeth: The Queen by Sally Bedell Smith.

You can see my full Books Read and TBR lists on my Goodreads page!

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