Wednesday, June 7, 2017

New Boy

31706250From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring comes the fifth installment in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, a modern retelling of Othello set in a suburban schoolyard

Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, a diplomat's son, Osei Kokote, knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day so he's lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can't stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players - teachers and pupils alike - will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970's suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi, Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

  I had such high hopes for this book. I love a good old fashioned retelling and so was really excited to get a chance to review this. I was disappointed though. Maybe it was because I am not that familiar with the story as I thought I was. But either or, I didn't enjoy it. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I felt like I couldn't really connect to the characters as much as I wanted to.  That's just a personal preference.
Overall it was okay but nothing to wow. 
I received this book for review through Blogging for Books. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Inkblots

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of SeeingThe captivating, untold story of Hermann Rorschach and his famous inkblot test, which has shaped our view of human personality and become a fixture in popular culture

In 1917, working alone in a remote Swiss asylum, psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach devised an experiment to probe the human mind. For years he had grappled with the theories of Freud and Jung while also absorbing the aesthetic of a new generation of modern artists. He had come to believe that who we are is less a matter of what we say, as Freud thought, than what we see.

Rorschach himself was a visual artist, and his test, a set of ten carefully designed inkblots, quickly made its way to America, where it took on a life of its own. Co-opted by the military after Pearl Harbor, it was a fixture at the Nuremberg trials and in the jungles of Vietnam. It became an advertising staple, a cliché in Hollywood and journalism, and an inspiration to everyone from Andy Warhol to Jay-Z. The test was also given to millions of defendants, job applicants, parents in custody battles, workers applying for jobs, and people suffering from mental illness—or simply trying to understand themselves better. And it is still used today.

Damion Searls draws on unpublished letters and diaries, and a cache of previously unknown interviews with Rorschach’s family, friends, and colleagues, to tell the unlikely story of the test’s creation, its controversial reinvention, and its remarkable endurance—and what it all reveals about the power of perception. Elegant and original, The Inkblots shines a light on the twentieth century’s most visionary synthesis of art and science.

This is a short and sweet book that gave a good  history of the creator of the inkblots and how they started.
How doctors started to use them and trust the results.
I received this book for review. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown

30901606From storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages
Carefully selected by the creative minds at The Moth, and adapted to the page to preserve the raw energy of live storytelling, All These Wonders features voices both familiar and new. Alongside Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer, readers will encounter: an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, an Afghan refugee learning how much her father sacrificed to save their family, a hip-hop star coming to terms with being a one-hit wonder, a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill s secret army during World War II, and more.
High-school student and neuroscientist alike, the storytellers share their ventures into uncharted territory and how their lives were changed indelibly by what they discovered there. With passion, and humor, they encourage us all to be more open, vulnerable, and alive."
I loved this book. It felt like each person was sitting there with you, having coffee and telling you their story. I love hearing peoples stories and this book let me hear from all sorts of people that I never would have met, never would have heard their stories. I loved it.
I received this book for review.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Amazing Animal Fact Postcards

han                                                        Based on Maja Säfström's delightful book The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts, this collection of 50 collectible postcards is the perfect way for animal lovers and art lovers to share and collect Maja's charming illustrations.

Housed in a keepsake box and arranged, much like a recipe box or card catalog, in tabbed sections (air, forest, sea, etc) this posctard box lets the user share all the curious knowledge and amazing artwork that makes Maja's book so special. From the Otters (they hold hands when they sleep in the water so they don't float away from each other!) to the elephant (mother elephant pregnanices last two years!) each postcard presents a unique look at the animal kingdom that will delight and astound. 50 postcards; 25 designs repeating, printed on toothy uncoated stock, with the animal's biological classifcation on the back.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I got these, but after I opened it, I was surprised. These are the most beautiful postcards I have ever seen, I want to paint a set to keep for myself. Very well made and a good mix of animals, I defiantly recommend it.
I received this for review from blogging for books.

Amazon Link:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Girl in Pieces

29236380Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

I at first wasn't to sure about this book, did I really want to read a book about cutting? Did I really want to read a book about so many depressing things? The answer: no. But I read it anyways and I am so glad I did. This book goes over so many hard places of mental illness and self harm showing you the hard reality of it. That for me is always a hard thing to read, I don't do self harm but so many people do and I want to understand them better. This wont be the first or the last book I read about this or a like subject.
I received this book for review through blogging for books.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Glorious Heresies

24515225One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight . . .

Biting, moving and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland's twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family.

This wasn't my cup of tea, wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. The story jumped around between different people so often I was confused all the time about who I was reading about. If I was reading this all at once it might have been easier to get through but I couldn't and stopped half way through because every time i went to read it i was annoyed.
I received this book for review.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Book of Esther

26895153What if an empire of Jewish warriors that really existed in the Middle Ages had never fallen—and was the only thing standing between Hitler and his conquest of Russia? 

Eastern Europe, August 1942. The Khazar kaganate, an isolated nation of Turkic warrior Jews, lies between the Pontus Euxinus (the Black Sea) and the Khazar Sea (the Caspian). It also happens to lie between a belligerent nation to the west that the Khazars call Germania—and a city the rest of the world calls Stalingrad.

After years of Jewish refugees streaming across the border from Europa, fleeing the war, Germania launches its siege of Khazaria. Only Esther, the daughter of the nation’s chief policy adviser, sees the ominous implications of Germania's disregard for Jewish lives. Only she realizes that this isn’t just another war but an existential threat. After witnessing the enemy warplanes’ first foray into sovereign Khazar territory, Esther knows she must fight for her country. But as the elder daughter in a traditional home, her urgent question is how.

Before daybreak one fateful morning, she embarks on a perilous journey across the open steppe. She seeks a fabled village of Kabbalists who may hold the key to her destiny: their rumored ability to change her into a man so that she may convince her entire nation to join in the fight for its very existence against an enemy like none Khazaria has ever faced before.

The Book of Esther
 is a profound saga of war, technology, mysticism, power, and faith. This novel—simultaneously a steampunk Joan of Arc and a genre-bending tale of a counterfactual Jewish state by a writer who invents worlds “out of Calvino or Borges” (The New Yorker)—is a stunning achievement. Reminiscent of Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and Philip Roth’s The Plot Against AmericaThe Book of Esther reaffirms Barton’s place as one of her generation’s most gifted storytellers.

 I felt like this was going to be a very great book, but it feel a little flat. There was so many problems that never got solve and you never get to hear the answer to. Overall I liked the story line, but it feel flat for me.
I received this book for review from blogging for books.