Sunday Quotables

Has anyone been on any wild adventures this summer — literary or otherwise? I haven’t taken a vacation this year, but I have had my head stuck in books, which is kinda the same thing. Right?

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Sunday Quotable_keepreadingAdventure

Happy Sunday!

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The Architect’s Apprentice by Colin Garrow — A Review

25997243The Architect’s Apprentice by Colin Garrow

RaeleighReads rating:love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236

“A big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.” Thus is time, according to The Doctor. And, perhaps, according to Colin Garrow. 🙂

The Architect’s Apprentice is a wonderfully twisty little novel about time travel and family. But deeper than that, it’s about the consequences of one’s actions, and with time travel, actions can have serious consequences. Take a peek at the synopsis:

Forced to work for the dubious Savidge, eleven-year-old Tom Fennel is desperate to find his father. Distrustful of what he’s heard, he’s sure Savidge is involved. Meanwhile, books are vanishing from architect Martin Deacon’s library – books from the future. Enticed into the mysterious world of updrafts and secrets, Tom learns that finding his father is the least of his worries.

I loved the mystery in this novel and the twists that just kept on coming. Novels about time travel can be tricky, but this one is very well thought out and executed. I’m so pleased that it is part of a series because when I finished it, I literally yelled, “Noooo!” It was over far too soon for my liking.

Now, while the logistics of this novel were managed well, what I felt was lacking was a bit more description — of the world and of the time travel itself.

The setting, for the most part, is in London in 1630. Such a cool time period for this novel. I wish there had been even more description of the setting. I’m a sucker for those kinds of details.  Plus, not many people write adventure/time-travel novels set in this time period. It’s usually turn-of-the-century or present-day. It was really nice to see something a little different here, but I wish there had been even more.

I also wanted so badly to know how time traveling, or perhaps more accurately time slipping, worked. Spoilers! So, I won’t go on, but maybe those of you who have read it will understand my meaning. And for those of you who haven’t, aren’t you intrigued now!?

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If you like action/adventure novels that are a little more plodding in the beginning but really amp up toward the end, if you like time travel, if you’re interested in the 17th century, read this! Now, where is book two…

Happy reading loves!

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What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman — A Review

18373272What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

“I wanted love, but I also wanted freedom and adventure, and those two desires fought like angry obese sumo wrestlers in the dojo of my soul.”

I think the above quote pretty well sums up this book. Newman longed for freedom and adventure and probably a little bit of escape from her single-girl life in L.A., and she found those things by vacationing anytime she had free time.

My initial reaction was that this was clearly written by a witty, hilarious, fun-loving person that it might be fun to attend a boring dinner party with. The further I read though, the more irritated I became with Kristin-Adjacent, Newman’s name for herself when she was on her travels. Now, I’m all for carpe dieming the shiz out of life, but for me the behavior described on these trips was just so foreign to me. I’m shy, an introvert, and I would much rather read or write on a beach or in a quaint coffee shop while on vacation than go out and meet new people or party/drink a lot. That’s just not my idea of a good time. So, what I had here was a real disconnect with the author of this book.

To be sure, Newman describes a lot of zany, fun adventures that most people would probably be envious of. I’m just not one of them. For this reason, I was bored while reading most of this memoir, left wondering what was the point of it all? I loved hearing about the various locales she visited — Argentina, Columbia, Russia, Israel, New Zealand, etc., and the various lessons learned. I just got a little non-plussed about the constant descriptions of drunken hook-ups. Again, just not my idea of a good time. ZERO judgement about it. I know some people really love to go out and meet people. I’m an awkward home-body 🙂 .

Toward the end of the memoir Newman really shifted gears (because she was growing up, duh!), and the focus became much more about personal development and creating real and honest relationships with other people. That’s when I started to care a bit more. The last bit of the book is really tender and sweet, and I’m so happy that it ended the way it did.

I think people who are very into adventure and meeting new people/living vicariously through a clearly vivacious and fun-loving character will love this. It’s probably not a great book to read while on vacation lest it make your vacay pale in comparison.

I read this as part of the 2017 Read Harder Challenge. This memoir fulfills #8, “Read a travel memoir”.

2017 Read Harder Challenge Stats: 4/24

Happy reading!

In Lieu of a Review

Some of you guys have been reading for a while now, and some of you are brand new to my blog. Please just know, if you are reading this, I appreciate you.

Someone asked me awhile back why I was doing this? What did I get for it?

This person knew I was under a great deal of stress, and they assumed automatically that something that takes up so much of my time should be lucrative. Believe me, if I could get paid to read novels and write reviews of them, I’d be doing that! But I don’t get paid to do this. I do get copies of books, an item I value over many many others, but that doesn’t pay the bills!

So why do I do this? Why spend so much of my limited time engrossed in novels and anguishing over their reviews? Why? Because I LOVE books, literature, reading, the written word, authors, writers, characters, fictional worlds that I wish so hard were real.

I APPRECIATE the amount of time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, coffee (or tea), and mania that goes into creating these precious works of art.

I think authors, especially indie authors, deserve to have that time and effort recognized.

So what do I get out of it? The joy of finding a new favorite author — one I never would have discovered in a Barnes & Noble. (No offense meant to B&N — love that place!)

What do I get out of it? A myriad of world views that I never would have encountered otherwise.

What do I get out of it? Hope. Yes, you read that right. Hope.

Often times our world can seem so dreary, our options limited, our efforts ineffectual, and we may find ourselves screaming, “What is the point!?” These works, these bound bits of inspiration, represent a tenacity of spirit from people with unfettered creativity and a commendable work ethic. And I find that damn inspiring!

So, I will continue to read their works. And I will read them critically because that is just how I am wired. I will present the world with my opinions on these works and hopefully introduce, at least one person, to a brand new author who will open up a whole new world for them.

Do I sometimes get overwhelmed by this project I’ve taken on? Yes, and I’m going to try to be more honest with myself moving forward about what I can and cannot accomplish in a 24-hour day. I will falter. And I will fail. But I will keep doing this because I love it!

I guess what I’m trying to say is:

I’m back! Check for a brand new review next week!

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I'm_just_kidding emma stoneJK! I don’t have sponsors. Errrm, carry on!