A little “bundle o’ books” just went live… ;)

LOL! Okay yes, that title is corny, but it’s cute right? I couldn’t figure out whether to call them “early birds” or “late birds” since they missed Tuesday by a couple of days, so a bundle o’ books it is! *snort* Maybe I need more coffee. Today is reader question day, !!! and I have […]

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SONORA

Book Cover

A coming-of-age story set largely in the surreal desert-world of
Phoenix.

In this atmospheric debut, protagonist Ahlam’s identity crisis
is clear from the start—she’s the daughter of an Israeli woman and a
Palestinian refugee; a high school misfit; a dreamer of strangely prophetic
fever dreams. So when she meets Laura, a musician and rebel who seems to exist
outside their school’s social structure, it isn’t surprising that the two find
solace in each other. Ahlam and Laura fall into a close friendship, confiding
in one another about their broken home lives; discovering drugs and sex; and
meeting the enigmatic Dylan, an older artist from New York City. Meanwhile,
strange things are happening in the desert: mysterious blue lights occasionally
appear across the nighttime sky, spotted by some, including Ahlam’s father, and
an unexplained series of deaths and suicides spreads through the high school.
Fearing they might be next and haunted by the desert’s (and their own) secrets,
Ahlam and Laura follow Dylan to New York to pursue their dreams—Ahlam to become
a dancer, Laura to make music—but, drunk on the city’s intensity and Dylan’s
drug-fueled lifestyle, their lives quickly begin to spin out of control. Though
its New York portions can sometimes seem unfocused, the novel provides a
lyrical meditation on the confusion and awe of growing up that is made
beautifully strange by the desert’s haunting presence. Ahlam’s feelings of
isolation and inability to fit in—particularly when she’s with the magnetic,
confident, but flawed Laura—are also rendered in a way that’s both typical and
painfully, relatably fresh. But Assadi shines most in developing the intense,
almost destructive bond between the two girls that forms the emotional nucleus
of the book. Muses Ahlam, “I…felt her in the way that I moved, how over the
years I came to light my cigarettes just like her, between ring and middle
fingers, how I laughed or how my cash was always stuffed and disorganized in my
wallet, just like hers…I had brought her into my skin. I dreamed sometimes that
in the mirror was her face reflected back at me. Still, I don’t know where she
ended and I began.”

Lyrical, raw, and moving.

RECOUNTING

Book Cover

Sprawling bildungsroman—itself the first installment of a much
larger tetralogy—of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath in Catalonia by
Barcelona-born novelist Goytisolo.

The somewhat less-well-known
brother of the revered modernist Juan Goytisolo, the present author seems to
have undertaken the project of creating a Catalan version of Ulysses,
save that his story plays out over years rather than a single Dublin day. His
is the Barcelona of delicious fish dishes and the Sagrada Familia basilica, of
street vendors and intellectual cafes. His Catalonia is also a place of great
violence. The novel opens as “little Moors” bustle to the front lines and
fascists shave the heads of Communist girls in ugly retribution. In this
milieu, a boy named Raúl Ferrer Gaminde does his best to retain the naïve
innocence of childhood even as “the kids in town found a dead soldier, floating
in a quiet bend of the river, all tangled up in the brambles under the water,”
and so badly decomposed that no one could tell what side he was on. Raúl grows
up shy and a bit reflexive in a countryside household, among casks of wine and
voluble, colorful relatives, but then comes the time for him to leave for the
city, long since an outpost of Francoist Spain, a place of drag queens and
flamenco dancers, of smoky bars and parading soldiers, and there he becomes not
just a quietly bookish intellectual, but also a Communist and, worse still, a
writer. Goytisolo serves up pagelong paragraphs filled with enthusiasm and rich
detail; the translation ably captures the fluidity of his prose, though it
seems at times to wander in the no-man’s land between British and American
English (as when a pompous lieutenant is described with a certain naughty
c-word).

The story is long but engaging as the novel morphs into a
memorial to a humanist civilization under siege, its icons not just Joyce, but
also other modernists such as Proust and Hermann Broch. It holds up just fine
in such company.

Ellen DeGeneres Shares Hilarious Trump-Inspired Children’s Books

Ellen DeGeneres knows what the next bedtime story hits will be.

On Tuesday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the host discussed the news that Chelsea Clinton wrote a children’s book about inspiring women titled, She Persisted. In light of this fact, DeGeneres noted, President Donald Trump will also be releasing some books for kids.

The comedian presented some satirical titles inspired by the Trump administration, including The Cat In the Make America Great Again Hat, Oh, The Places You Won’t Go (Because Of The Travel Ban) and more.

Bedtime will never be the same.

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Emma Roberts Is Starting A Book Club, And You Can Be A Part Of It

Scream Queens” star Emma Roberts has started a book club called “Belletrist,” and you can get in on the fun! 

In her latest Instagram post about the project, Roberts explains that she’s “constantly posting what I’m reading and wanting to know what you’re reading!” So it only made sense for her to start a book club where she and her followers can read and discuss the latest literature together. 

The caption does not include logistics in terms of how to join, but you can head over to the Belletrist account, which is expected to announce the first book of the month on Thursday.

You can also check out Roberts’ previous book recommendations on her Instagram page. 

#currentlyreading & falling in love with #TheImpossibleLivesOfGretaWells

A post shared by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on Mar 6, 2017 at 7:25pm PST

☕️Reading + Fueling for tomorrow with my @DunkinDonuts Americano #RedCarpetReady #AwardShowPrep #Ad

A post shared by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on Feb 25, 2017 at 9:09am PST

Currently Reading: @leopoldinecore Currently Working: @aboutaboyd Special Trinkets: @jupiterlala

A post shared by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on Jan 24, 2017 at 3:23pm PST

Post Christmas dinner looks delicious! #currentlyreading @harborbookssgh

A post shared by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on Dec 26, 2016 at 3:19pm PST

Happy reading, bookworms! 

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Reader Confession – Jan’s “blurb catnip” is arranged marriages, amongst other things…

It’s reader confession time!! I love the whole “blurb catnip” subject ’cause we ALL have read those blurbs that just grab us and make us want to read it ASAP. Hence “catnip”. We go nuts over it just on the synopsis alone. But what IS it about the blurb, exactly? Do we tend to fall […]

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