Wrap Up

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Another month has flown by.  Here are my stats:

Books Read/Listened to: 12

Books I DNF’ed: 1

5 crown reads: 5

4 crown reads: 5

3.5 crown reads: 1

2.5 crown reads: 1

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 6

This was another great reading month for me.  I was able to read a lot of books and there was a nice mix of books that were my own as well as those that I read from the library.  I had several non-fiction books this month and that is an accomplishment for me.  I did cave a bit and purchased some books because my favorite site was having a President’s Day sale.  I still added $1 in the jar for ever book read!

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Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by:Leah Remini

Troublemaker

Ever since this book came out, I wanted to get my hands on it and read it.  I put myself on the waitlist at my local library for the e-book edition and it finally came in.  I have always found myself to be interested in people who have found themselves to be a part of and then break away from “organized, cultish religions”.

I am going to assume that we all were surprised that Tom Cruise, the “celebrity face of Scientology” jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch while proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes.  It was very unusual for a Scientologist to behave in this way.  Leah Remini talks very openly and honestly on her views of this situation and her feelings about Tom’s role in the “church”.

I love Leah Remini as a female actress and her snarky personality just adds to her appeal.  Her book is her story about growing up in Scientology and her realization about what the organization really was.  When she finally was able to separate herself from the “church”, she was able to see its’ flaws.  The story is written in her voice and if you are a fan, you know what I am referring to when I say that.

This was an interesting look into her world and what she had to go through.  I will probably look into reading more material from others who have broken free from Scientology, but this was a great place to start.

I gave it 4 crowns.

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The Cake Therapist by: Judith Fertig

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Book #9 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

I absolutely love this cover and the design of the paperback edition of this book.  It has beautiful French flaps with decorative edges; the end pages are covered in pictures of cakes and the pages have deckled edges.

Ok, enough about my obsession with the design of this book.  The story is about a baker, Claire, that moves from NY to Millcreek Valley an opens up her own bakery in the middle of this wedding planning town.  She specializes in being able to “see” what flavor each customer is bringing to the table with them.  In other words, she can your feelings and back story and out them into a flavor profile.  She utilizes her talent to create delicious and perfectly crafted cakes for each person.  The employers of her bakery have their own back story and they are examined briefly throughout the story.

This was a much anticipated read for me and I was not disappointed.  I liked the writing style and the storyline and I am thrilled that there will be a sequel out in June of this year.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

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Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by: Lucy Knisley

Relish

This graphic novel is written/created by one of my new favorite author/artists.  I can’t wait to get my hand on all of the other graphic novels that she has written.  Lucy is an artist that grew up around food and the cultures of cities that involve food.  She is the epitome of a foodie.  The story was amazing and her illustrations are perfect.  The colors and images are gorgeous and I am now obsessed.

Growing up in Brooklyn during the time when food and food culture started to blossom, Lucy describes her life living with her mother who is a caterer and her father who loved delicious food.  Lucy is an artist but she also understood at an early age that food is an art form as well.  As she moves and travels to other locations, the memories that stay with her involve the food she experienced in each place.  I loved it.

I gave this 5 crowns!

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In the Woods by: Tana French

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I seem to be finding more and more books and authors through watching videos on BookTube.  This is a series called the Dublin Murder Squad and I love murder mystery stories and TV shows.  I was interested in this series because I always read James Patterson’s Woman’s Murder Club and was looking for something different.

This book was definitely different.  If you have ever read any James Patterson books, you know that they are quick reads and have a large font with short chapter.  This book was the exact opposite of that.  The chapters were long and the font is extremely small.  It took a while for me to get through it for those reasons.  I did think that it had a slow start but once it picked up, I couldn’t put it down and had to know the outcome.

The writing style was beautiful.  It was descriptive and I really loved the language used.  This follows 3 main detectives from this squad as they investigate the murder of a 12 year old girl that was found at the site of an archeological dig that will lead to a new motorway in town.  There is an outstanding case that involves the disappearance of two young children back in the 80’s in the same woods where this young girl was found.

It was a good read and I will pick up the next in the series but I will not marathon this series because I feel that it will be too much.

I gave this book 3 1/2 crowns.

Seconds by: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Nathan Fairbairn (Colorist)

seconds

I have read a graphic novel since I read Archie Comics from the supermarket when I was a kid.  I’m not sure if those really count as graphic novels.  I have always been adamant about not reading graphic novels because they weren’t my type of genre.  I was watching Booktube videos and they were talking about this particular graphic novel.  It caught my interest because it involved a restaurant and if you know me, you know I am a foodie at heart.

This was an adorable story about Katie who owned and worked at a restaurant and wanted to open another restaurant.  She comes across a note that states that if she writes down something that she wants to redo and eats this tiny mushroom, that she can redo that event.  Predictably, once she does it the first time, she can’t seem to stop herself.  This causes, as you can imagine, a chain of events that changes her life.

The illustrations are adorable and the coloring is stunning.  I enjoyed the story and the images and finished this book in less than a day.  It was a fun read.  I gave it 4 crowns.

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THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED Pre-Order Event

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New books are amazing. New books that come with free gifts are even better!

Debut Young Adult author Kerry Kletter is giving you just that! Pre-order THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED on or before March 14th, 2016 and you’ll get a signed poster and bookmark! Supplies are limited to 50 sets, and ship ONLY in the US.

Getting your free poster and bookmark is as easy as 1..2..3..4..

  1. Go to whatever book seller you like and pre-order THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED (links below in case you need them!)
  2. Screen shot your reciept!
  3. E-mail that reciept to meandmyshelf(at)gmail(dot)com  ATTN: TFTSD Pre-Order
  4. 4. Fill out THIS FORM so Kerry knows where to send your goodies!

Direct Link to form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fIJfMFoVysjIYhQ2-Kk5veSQ3xdxv7A_OWUPkx12quc/viewform

**please make sure to LINK the form

Synopsis:

Cassie O’Malley has spent her whole life trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically. It’s been two-and-a-half years since her mother dumped Cassie in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, she enrolls in college, ready to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

 

But as she struggles to find her way forward, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is the truth? And more important, whose life must she save?

 

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself,  The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

 

Book links:

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/First-Time-She-Drowned/dp/0399171037/ref=sr_1_1_twi_har_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451592733&sr=8-1&keywords=kerry+kletter

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-first-time-she-drowned-kerry-kletter/1122187349?ean=9780399171031

INDIEBOUND: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780399171031?aff=yainterrobang

PRAISE:

Blurbs: “Beautiful and passionate . . . [Kletter is] a writer of great distinction and infinite promise.” —Pat Conroy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad “A lovely and haunting keep-you-up-all-night heart-wrencher that is both beautiful and raw, painful and uplifting. An incredible read.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places “Sentence by sentence . . . one of the most lyrical novels I’ve ever read. Haunting and exquisite.” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

The First Time She Drowned is an exquisite and masterful dive, a brave exploration into the complexities of family, and the saving grace of friendship. Kletter’s writing is hypnotic, her characters alive, her story tragic, beautiful, hopeful. Simply put, this book is stunning.” —David Arnold, critically acclaimed author of Mosquitoland

Author Photo For The First Time She Drowned

AUTHOR BIO:

Kerry Kletter has had a lifelong passion for story. She holds a degree in literature and has an extensive background in theater, having appeared in film, television, and onstage. When not writing, Kerry can be found surfing, running, working with animals, or singing loudly in her car while stuck in LA traffic. A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Kerry now lives in Santa Monica, California, with her partner, screenwriter David Zorn. The First Time She Drowned is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @kkletter.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/kkletter

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/kkletter/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/k.kletter

AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://www.kerrykletter.com/

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Wildflower by: Drew Barrymore

Wildflower

I am a big fan of Drew Barrymore.  She is an amazing actress, entrepreneur and woman.  I was excited to read about her life from when she was a small child growing up in the industry to her views and life now.  By no means did she live a normal life.  She was emancipated at a very young age and found herself living on her own and struggling to figure out exactly how to do that.  She created a family for herself through coworkers and neighbors.  It is not the way a child should have to grow up but for Drew, it worked.

From the onset, she states that this book is not a memoir but rather recollections of memories about her life.  Although it was interesting, I found the writing to be incredibly choppy and not up to par with her acting abilities.  She flip flops in time throughout the entire book and it drove me crazy.  In one chapter, she was a young child actress starting out and the next chapter is about the birth of her first child.  Then she is a teen and then the mother of two.  Back and forth, back and forth without any consistency.

It made for a quick read but it was frustrating.  I give this book 2 1/2 crowns.

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