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Sunday, September 23, 2018

#BannedBookWeek2018


Hello Readers!!!!

This week starts one of my favorite, yet oh so controversial, weeks of the year... It's Banned Book Week! And why do I love this week so much? Simple, I love discussing, arguing, and debating people about why certain books should be banned. Spoiler alert, I don't think ANY book should be banned. I may not love every genre, I may not love every author, but I am HERE for the discussion around them. Let's also add this to the mix, we live in a ridiculously diversified world. There are so many stories out there not being told on a daily basis that when someone finally does tell a different story, people freak the fuck out. (Not even sorry for the language today.) 

Some of the top banned books this year have been requested to be, and actually removed from, classrooms, school libraries, public libraries, bookstores, YES they are coming for our capitalistic nature as a society because a book is THAT terrifying, groups have even requested books be removed from private homes and destroyed. 

I'm going to say this loudly and clearly, 

NO STORY IS WORTHY OF BEING DESTROYED!

No one is going to love and support everything that's out there, but none of these books deserves to be lit aflame or destroyed. 

The American Library Association (ALA) has comprised a list each year for the top most requested banned books. This year that list includes: 

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher
    Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie
    Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.
  3. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”
  4. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini
    This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”
  5. George written by Alex Gino
    Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.
  6. Sex is a Funny Word written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex educationand is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
    This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.
  8. The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas
    Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug useprofanity, and offensive language. (Police officers have also requested this book be removed from libraries due to the nature of the plot.)
  9. And Tango Makes Three written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
    Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.
  10. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.
Banning books, telling people what they can and cannot read, eliminates choice. It is a huge detriment to intelligence and education, and it implies that people cannot be held responsible for their own actions. As a kid growing up books had to be vetted for me, I had an over active imagination and some serious night terrors, but my parents didn't ban books; they either had to read them first or told me to wait if they didn't think I was ready. Eventually I was such a voracious reader they just let me use my own judgement. The books I read growing up, the ideas, values, stories, and experiences I was exposed to have helped to shape and mold me into the adult and reader I am today. I can't find a single reason to ban a book that doesn't have negative consequences or implications. 

Every story deserves to be out there, even the ones we don't agree with. 

Until next time readers, 

XoXo
BrainyHeroine


Sunday, September 2, 2018

"And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl." Sadie: A Review

Hey Readers, 

I am so ridiculously excited that it is FINALLY September! We're talking pumpkin spice lattes, we're talking cooler weather, and today we're talking Sadie by Courtney Summers. 


Let's go back in time for a beat yes? Yes. Back in May I was lucky to have gotten a copy of Sadie as an ARC. I had read the description and it sounded fun, and very much up my alley. I'd read Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber for the earlier this year and the mash up of podcast with novel was something I'd clearly been finding enjoyable. Y'all. I read this book in just about seven hours over the course of the weekend, with most of those hours being in one day. I couldn't stop. I tried to, I had things to take care of but damn it all this book demanded my attention. 




Sadie is the story of Sadie, West, and an entire small town. 

"Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. 

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late."


As I said this is a story told as a mash up of podcast and novel, but I found that I could hear the subtle differences in each characters voice during the podcast sections. I felt my heart racing when the story followed Sadie. I cried when Sadie talked about Mattie. With every page, with every turn of this story my emotions were racing, my attention could be grabbed by nothing else, and I'm pretty sure there were times where I flat out wasn't breathing. To say that this is one of my favorite novels of 2018 is an understatement. While I love reading, not every book so completely grabs me. 

I did find the ending to be frustrating, but I think that was the point. In the era of #MeToo, with girls going missing, being found dead, being found worse than that, the ending was frustrating. I won't spoil it; a rarity for me, but the emotional caliber of the story would get ruined if I spoiled. This book has stuck with me for months now, and I'm sure it will continue to be in my mind. I've wanted to loan my ARC to a few people, but I spoke about it so fiercely that one of them pre-ordered it mid conversation. Even now I'm teary, I'm frustrated, I got so angry reading parts of this novel. West got on my damn nerves and I sympathized wholeheartedly with May Beth; and I maybe went a little crazy on Instagram begging Courtney Summers and Wednesday Books to actually make a podcast out of this. Actually, then ended up doing just that. A whole dramatized podcast that started a few weeks ago. The Girls: Find Sadie can be listened too through whatever platform you find your podcasts on, I personally use Podcast Addict. (Not saying that I made it happen, but I love that it did happen.) 

I cannot fully explain or express why I loved this book so much. Maybe because I recognized my own anger inside Sadie? Because I've wanted my own justice for so long that following a fictional journey was somehow cathartic? Courtney Summers wrote an evocative novel, a beautiful, sad, angry, breathtaking novel. I cannot thank her enough for that. 

Sadie comes out September 4, 2018, available where you buy books, and needs to be on your Goodreads TBR as soon as possible. Preferably now. 

"You owe it to yourself to dig a little deeper. Don’t decide what you don’t have before you know what you do."

Until next time, 

XoXo
BrainyHeroine

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September TBR!!

Good Morning Readers!!

It is officially September which means it is officially time for a new TBR!!

To begin with....

My Book of the Month Subscription Box picks:

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE)

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

(I super love my BOTM Subscription and highly suggest y'all try it too! Click HERE for my referral link and we'll both get great things!)

More TBR's for September include...

To Kill a Kingdom
Jane Doe: A Novel
Always Watching
In My Own Words
The Watergate
Fruit of the Drunken Tree
Vox
Three Dark Crowns
One Dark Throne
Two Dark Reigns
The Thousandth Floor
The Dazzling Heights
The Towering Sky

And probably so many others!!!

XoXo

Until Next Time,
BrainyHeroine


Friday, August 31, 2018

August Book Round Up!!

Good Morning Readers!

August has FINALLY reached it's end, which means it's time for a book round up and then, later, a September TBR!!

So what did August look like bookishly? Like this...a whole lot of insomnia + lots of time off + lots of simultaneous reading + audiobooks

The Wildling Sisters
Still Lives
Social Creature
Black Rabbit Hall
Heart of Thorns
The Essex Serpent
The Dinner List
Ghosted
Sweet Little Lies
Dance of Thieves
Kiss of Deception
Heart of Betrayal
Beauty of Darkness
Every Single Secret
Under the Banner of Heaven
The Ghosts of the Orphanage
And I Darken
Now I Rise
Bright We Burn
Lies
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Believe Me
With You Always
I Will Never Leave You
Ginsburg Rules: A Collection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court Decisions
The Lullaby Girl
The Girl in the Moss
Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and The World's Most Famous Detective Writer

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Contemporary Classics: The First Books

Good Morning Readers,

The other day I rolled out my Contemporary Classics Project, and today I'm excited to give you the first FIVE classics I'll be revisiting for you!

Drum roll please.....

In no particular order we have.....

1. The Great Gatsby
2. Lolita
3. Pride and Prejiduce
4. Frankenstein
5. Moby Dick

All requested by readers over Social Media the past few days. I'm excited to get started on this! If you'd like to be a continued part of this series there are two ways to do so:

1. You can contribute financially by buying me a Coffee on ko-fi.com/brainyheroine


or

2. You can sign up for my emailing list and stay connected with me!

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Until next time,

XoXo
BrainyHeroine

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Believe Me, J.P. Delaney's Latest Will Blow Your Mind

Good Morning Readers, 

Today we're talking about J.P. Delaney's newest book, Believe Me

I loved The Girl Before, and found Delaney's writing to be delightfully twisty then, this novel is so much more; and to be truthful, Delaney's writing style has hit a new high with Believe Me. (YAY for authors KILLING IT with their sophomore novels!!!) 

"In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?"


There is so much here I'm just going to dive in. 

For starters, I did this on Audio and I have to say it enhanced my experience. Yes, I do A LOT of books on audio, that's how I get away with reading at work, but because of the stylized writing of Believe Me there really is another level added. Written from Claire's perspective, much of the story is told like a scene from a play or a movie, "interior, Kathrine Latham's Office," etc. which certainly helps the reader get inside Claire's head and gives you major Hitchcockian vibes. 

WHICH CAN BE SUPER CONFUSING! As much as I loved how twisty and sexy this story is I had to re-listen to conversations between characters and even whole chapters because the story is constantly moving at a pace that makes you think you're caught up, but you're actually behind. Not the worst thing in the world, and I still loved the book, there were just a handful of times where it felt as though the plot had changed and I missed something. I wasn't missing anything, the plot just jumps, frequently, and Claire's scenes are the only way you get to stay on track. 

Hands down this was a great follow up to The Girl Before and hands down you'll enjoy this novel, you'll just feel confused until the end and maybe a little turned on by a few of the scenes, and for the vanilla types just lean into it. 

Until next time, 

XoXo
BrainyHeroine

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Contemporary Classics Project

Good Morning Readers!

Guess who's working on a new project? Yup. Me! And to be honest it's one I've been mulling over for a while now.

My favorite books are classics, Frankenstein, Don Quixote, The Count of Monte Cristo, and so many people find these books impossible to read, or hard to comprehend. This baffles me, but it has inspired my newest project:

The Contemporary Classics Project

So what exactly is it? To put it simply, I'm going to be re-reading classic novels and finding their contemporaries in newer works. I'm also going to be presenting them with some background, interesting tidbits of history or fun backstories. Plus I'll be posting three to five books that have similar themes or aspects of the classics to give y'all a reading list you might actually enjoy finishing a little bit more than the summer reading lists from school. 

Classics aren't dead or expired, they aren't impossible, though they can be infuriating (I have a rather complicated history with Ulysses myself); Classics inspired so many styles of literature, so many storylines that readers today love. 

Until Next Time, 

XoXo
BrainyHeroine





Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Review Time: With You Always by Rena Olsen



Good Morning Readers!! 

Today we're talking about a book I just finished, the second by one of my favorite authors, 
With You Always by Rena Olsen; her first book is The Girl Before and she doesn't disappoint with her sophomore novel. Just a heads up, I will be spoiling the novel, so if that is going to bug you read the book first and come back tomorrow. Additionally, I listened to the Audible version of this book, because Brittany Pressley is amazing and I love listening to her; also, psycho thrillers are way more fun as audio books. 
Told in multiple parts and from the perspective of Julia, our gem of a leading lady, With You Always brings you in and then leaves you feeling trapped. (In a good way I swear!)  

"In the wake of a painful breakup and struggling to prove herself at work, Julia feels adrift. When Bryce blows into her life, he seems like the perfect anchor. Handsome, charming, secure, and confident, Bryce brings out the best in Julia, sweeping her off her feet with attention and affection while grounding her with his certainty and faith. Together they embark on a path guided by the principles of his family and their church, each step a paving stone leading to happily ever after.

But this is no fairy tale.
Step by step, one small concession leading to another, Julia is slowly isolated from her job, her friends, and her family, until she comes to find that her dream come true is a cage. Then one day everything changes...and Julia is faced with no choice but to find a way out" 


As the story begins Julia is relatable to every single woman in the world who has dated a terrible guy. Her fiance leaves her, after cheating on her multiple times, and she is seriously lacking in confidence. She has some great friends from college, a good to great relationship with her sister, nephews, and parents, and a domineering female boss that makes her feel inferior, though she's starting to make her mark at work. Julia feels disturbingly normal, and Bryce feels somehow planted. He just happens to be there when Julia is taking a break from work outside when the wind blows and scatters her papers, he just so happens to be at the bar she's at with her friends after she and Bryce have gone on a few dates. He's perfect with her nephews and parents, he even gets along with her sister's (probably soon to be EX) husband, and the only one who is skeptical is Julia's sister Kate. 

So when we get brought into Bryce's life, with his "parents" the Reverend and Nancy, the church life and culture, I was getting some Scientology vibes. (I also picked up on the drug thing as soon as "The Gathering" was described the first time.) Everything about Bryce felt fake, especially compared to how real Julia felt. Their relationship, the dynamic, you know from the synopsis what's going to happen, but I wasn't anticipating HOW it happened. 

Like I said this story is told in parts, and I liked that. We start off with a large cast of characters as well, and as each part is told references to other characters start dying down, I flat out forgot about a couple of them by the end, not that they weren't well written, just that the story had so completely focused on Julia and Bryce by that point that I started feeling Julia's isolation as I listened. It's brilliant. 

I do wish that the bits and pieces of Bryce's back story that we got were larger. There are some flashback scenes that happen, giving us clues as to why Bryce was so enthralled with the Reverend, why Bryce left his home and changed his name from Bruce to Bryce, and sure, he killed an abusive jackass to save his mother and sister, but I wanted more from Bryce. Hell, I want more from Reverend and Nancy. Like a whole book of their backstory, how many people in their church are abusive assholes, the whole nine. I want more info on the school, I want to know what the hell happens in that punishment closet, can these characters have a spin off? Can we be told their story and have Julia and Bryce be background characters? They're so addicting!! 

One thing I wasn't expecting was the foreshadowing or outright explanation of the ending. About halfway through the book, when we're getting used to the narrator telling us about Bryce's back story, we start hearing about a dead man in a tub, about him being held down by a woman, and it's written in such a way you think it has something to do with something "Bruce" did, or maybe even something Nancy did, that woman is shady as hell, when in reality, it's Julia killing Bryce. 

All in all, this novel was every single bit as compelling as The Girl Before. I couldn't finish it fast enough, and I want more. I'm excited to see what comes next from Rena Olsen, because hands down I will always be here, ready to read or listen. 

Until Next Time! 

XoXo
BrainyHeroine

P.S. Rena Olsen's first novel is also how I found J.P. Delaney, who's second book I'm currently listening too. Sooooo you'll get that review by the end of the week I'm sure. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

#BirthdayBookHaul

Hey Readers,

I've been dreading this currently birthday, first one minus both parents + massive kidney infection = 27. Soooo... I bought books. Because of course books? Of course books. They are distraction makers, the perfect gift, great for every occasion, and can you really have to many? Tsundoku implies that you can't, and I'm going with that.


So what did I pick? A delightful combination of non-fiction, a series that is still hot a few years later, and the newest audio pick by one of my favorite authors.


Let's start with the best selling series that I (shockingly) haven't read yet.


Folks, I've never read The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. 




Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter are the four primary books that make up the Lunar Chronicles. 


The Lunar Chronicles are futuristic re-tellings of classic fairy tales. In CINDER, a teenage cyborg (half human, half machine) must deal with a wicked stepmother,start a rebellion against the evil Queen Levana, and decide how she feels about a handsome prince. As the series continues, Cinder forges alliances with Scarlet, a spaceship pilot who is determined to solve the mystery of a missing loved one — with the help of a magnetic street fighter named Wolf; Cress, a computer hacker who is imprisoned by Queen Levana; and Winter, a princess who's in love with a commoner, and who discovers that Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress may hold the key to saving her kingdom — and the world. (Also, check out Marissa Meyer's site on the books, it is beautiful!) 


Last year, after the death of my father, I was super into fairy tale re-tellings; this series had been on my radar for a while, but something just hadn't clicked for me. Then recently the first book was on sale for Kindle for $2.99 and just like that I bought the core four books. There are two novellas that I'll probably add to my collection soon, Fairest, which falls between Cress and Winter, and Stars Above, which follows the series after Winter. 


Onward! To the Non-Fiction section!!! 


I love non-fiction, but I don't always make it a priority. So for year 27 of my life I want to read 27 non-fiction titles simply because they fascinate me. Not because they're popular, or "I should have read them" but because they're un-put-down-able. 


Starting with these six... (please note I'm utterly enthralled with serial killers, history, and the absurd realities of real life.)



The first book on this list is Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox. I have loved Sherlock Holmes for as long as I can remember. I was a kid watching the Bazzle Rathobone movies with my dad, listening to the audio tapes, reading the stories, watching every new movie and show, Holmes, Mycroft, Watson, they are some of my favorite literary men. Imagine my excitement when I found out about this book! I instantly wanted to get it for my father, so I got it for myself and I'm going to read it for him, and for me. 

"In 1908, a wealthy woman was brutally murdered in her Glasgow home. The police found a convenient suspect in Oscar Slater--an immigrant Jewish cardsharp-- who, despite his obvious innocence, was tried, convicted, and consigned to life at hard labor in a brutal Scottish prison. Conan Doyle, already world famous as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was outraged by this injustice and became obsessed with this case. Using the methods of his most famous character, he scoured trial transcripts, newspaper accounts, and eyewitness statements, meticulously noting myriad holes, inconsistencies, and outright fabrications by police and prosecutors. Finally, in 1927, his work won Slater's freedom." 



Book 2 on my list is I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara with Foreword by Gillian Flynn and Afterward by Patton Oswalt. Naturally like the rest of the world I've been fascinated with not only this book, but with the story of it's creation. The research, the passion, and the heartbreak that went into this book blew me away. The podcast about it didn't hurt either. I'd highly suggest listening to it before reading the book, 3 episodes of information and insight certainly add a flavor to the book. 

"I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer."



Book 3 is Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. I have always been super obsessed with serial killers, they are a fascinating breed of human. And when the Netflix show came about my mother caught my bug and we had a wonderful shared joy of murderers. This one I'm reading for her. 

"Discover the classic, behind-the-scenes chronicle of John E. Douglas’ twenty-five-year career in the FBI Investigative Support Unit, where he used psychological profiling to delve into the minds of the country’s most notorious serial killers and criminals—the basis for the upcoming Netflix original series.

In chilling detail, the legendary Mindhunter takes us behind the scenes of some of his most gruesome, fascinating, and challenging cases—and into the darkest recesses of our worst nightmares.

During his twenty-five year career with the Investigative Support Unit, Special Agent John Douglas became a legendary figure in law enforcement, pursuing some of the most notorious and sadistic serial killers of our time: the man who hunted prostitutes for sport in the woods of Alaska, the Atlanta child murderer, and Seattle's Green River killer, the case that nearly cost Douglas his life."



Book four was brought to my attention through my friend Jessica, who often gifts me books she's read. This one she told me about when we were discussing cult podcasts. Of which there are many and most are wonderful. Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer hands down has to be one of the weirdest books I've read. I got it for my Kindle but had to buy the paperback because I almost broke said Kindle. I'm about half way through, and apparently there is a shift in the narrative or writing that I'm told makes it feel like a whole new book. I'm excited.

"Jon Krakauer’s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. In Under The Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, he shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders. At the core of his book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this "divinely inspired" crime, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, and unyielding faith. Along the way, he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest-growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief."


Something else I happen to be obsessed with is The Nixon Era... Mainly because as a history major I clung to a few things that made American history interesting to me, and also because this is an oddly parallel time to Nixon's, which is making some bizarre things weirdly make sense. While I own most Nixon biographies and have read pretty much everything there is on the subject, mostly for funsies, I've never done much digging into the actual Watergate, an entire building full of secrets. I'm changing that right now. 

The Watergate: Inside America's Most Infamous Address by Joseph Rodota. 

"Since its opening in 1965, the Watergate complex has been one of Washington's chicest addresses, a home to power brokers from both political parties and the epicenter of a scandal that brought down a president. In The Watergate, writer and political consultant Joseph Rodota paints a vivid portrait of this landmark and the movers and shakers who have lived there." 


Rounding out my non-fiction picks, and quite possibly the one I'm most excited about is My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I was never big into politics, but there were moments when I'd be watching the news or C-Span and hold my breath until I heard her name called, or see her walk across the platform. Recently I read a collection of her decisions, and even during my undergrad her discussion surrounding Roe v. Wade was inspiring. Mainly because it made me think. I will always appreciate anything that makes me think. Also, there is an amazing documentary about her that has recently killed in the movie circuit, and On the Basis of Sex comes out in December, so I'd better get reading! Side note, please anticipate me to be fully rocking my Notorious RBG shirt and collar necklace at said movie!! 

"The first book from Ruth Bader Ginsburg since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993—a witty, engaging, serious, and playful collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had a powerful and enduring influence on law, women’s rights, and popular culture.

My Own Words offers Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book’s sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. Justice Ginsburg has written an introduction to the book, and Hartnett and Williams introduce each chapter, giving biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential women."


My last pick is the newest book by J.P. Delaney, Believe Me, this one is a true treat for my earholes as it's on Audible. I absolutely loved The Girl Before and am crazy excited for this one. I'll give it some personalized love once I've listened, and will tell you all about both books, because they are so incredibly twisty! 

Until Next Time, 

XoXo
BrainyHeroine

Monday, August 13, 2018

Innocent, or Indecent?

Hello Readers!

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be publishing reviews on some of my favorite books I've read this year. Many will be ARC's, some coming out soon, some already published, all will be books I think everyone should read. Starting with...

Indecent by Corrine Sullivan.

Wednesday Books
304 Pages
Published 3.6.18

Indecent is the debut novel from Corinne Sullivan. Smart and sexy, Indecent tells the story of Imogene Abney, a twenty something teacher's assistant who begins a salacious and illicit affair with one of her students: Adam Kipling. Adam is the classically handsome, privileged, and much younger than Imogene, boy next door student at the Vandenberg School for Boys. All to quickly Imogene is swept up in the affair, and finds her self caught in a dangerous world of lust, love, obsession, and one where victimhood and blame get redefined.






Corinne Sullivan Studied English with a creative writing concentration at Boston College, where she graduated in 2014. She then received her MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College in 2016. Her stories have appeared in Night Train, Knee Jerk, and Pithead Chapel, among other publications. Indecent is her debut novel.







Review:

I received my copy of Indecent January of this year. It was a quick and steamy read that I was thankful didn't just feel like a genderbent Lolita. No, this novel has something else. Imogene feels familiar somehow; Ms. Sullivan doesn't do her the disservice of writing her with an immature voice however, instead she is written innocently only to have her unfold throughout the story. She's boy crazy, like any girl in high school who grew up in a small town. She's idealistic, and hedonistic. The woman knows the power of the flesh and the potential enjoyment of that flesh. In many ways her mental age remains that 16 year old who maybe wasn't that cute in high school, but grew up to be beautiful. That being said Imogene is one of the most slapable characters I've ever encountered. There were times her actions just truly didn't make sense, and irrational doesn't even begin to describe them. Ms. Sullivan wrote a truly passionate book, but it is also a bit on the batshit side. I loved reading it, mainly because it was such a good distraction from my life at the time. It is impossible to say that this book is flawless, no book is, but Indecent will become a great beach read with a narrator that is horny and unreliable. It's great! There were times I threw this book down because of the self destructive actions of Imogene, there were times I was simply laughing out loud, and since I didn't know what to expect going into this story, as it isn't my usual genre, I am forever glad to have read it. Additionally, after reading Indecent, I was in a much better place to enjoy Tampa by Alissa Nuttig; a story that genuinely feels like Imogene's story ten or so years from now.

Until next time,

XoXo
BrainyHeroine

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Girl From Our Moon, or, The Author From Instagram!!!


Hello Readers, 

Sorry it's been a bit. I've been busy reading, working, and dealing with grief. (Sorry to be blunt, but it's all I've got.) 

On the fun side of things, I'm planning a whole slew of updated posts with some of my favorite ARCs that I've been sent this year; some have been released, some are up and coming, all are wonderful. 

One of the first titles I'd like to introduce to you is The Girl From Our Moon by Miss Rebecca A. Bishop. Miss Bishop is an author I met on Instagram who was offering to let followers read her title for free in exchange for reviews. Clearly I hopped on board, and while I promise not to give anything away, I will say that this book is different in a way that I am not usually a fan of. 

Her writing style is similar to Helen Oyeyemi, meaning that it is lyrical, and would make for a killer audiobook. While I love Ms. Oyeyemi's work reading it often gives me a migraine; she is simply an author I have to listen too or miss out on. I was enchanted by Miss Bishop's work, and further excited that the lyrical prose was easily consumable and highly original. 

The Girl From Our Moon is the first book in a trilogy, with book two Oscillation coming out in September of this year. (Hint. Hint. HINT!! Now is the PERFECT time to request this gem from Miss Bishop!) 



Books are available for next 3 months free of charge from @thegirlfromourmoon
on Instagram in English.

Synopsis - 


The universe’s 1st law “ask and it is given” is supposed to keep a fair balance between good and evil on Planet Earth. But neighbouring planets Venus and Mars are at battle for dominance, and over the generations demons from Mars have corrupted Earth.

Earth’s guardian angels live on Venus and they frequently visit to help humans in need, but only if humans first imagine or pray for the help.  Venus’ Angels are in harmony, and its nature is colourful and idealistic. But one comical presence that is gossiped throughout the galaxy, is stirring the pot. Angel Luna a rebel, isn’t shy of breaking the laws, to put Earth’s species first.
Her life is a performance of exciting swagger, only she can make trees blush, demons cower in fear and play with an Arch Angels temperament. But every action has a consequence. She has an unusual teenage rite of passage to share with you, warning you will cringe and you will gasp, you couldn’t expect an alien exhibitionist to live like a human without being recognised. This is a treasury tale of science and the spiritual walking hand in hand, to evolve Earth.

Luna’s charming college professor, a vegan environmentalist wants London to evolve in an eco-friendly direction. Luna who has a duty of compassion for Earth harmonises with his ideas, and Starling finds himself madly falling in taboo love with his student.

Her scientific secret could make Starling’s dreams come true, and help Earth survive against global warming. But first, can Luna convince him she is really an Angel? Or will he hand her over to evil government men and let the doctor label her insane?



Now, as compelling as I found The Girl From Our Moon I did have a few issues. 

1. This story doesn't feel finished. Granted, it is book one in a trilogy but it still feels as if there will be world building in the books to come which I am not a huge fan of. However that does increase my desire to continue reading the series. I'm left with questions that I want answers too, I'm left on an edge that is prompting that need for MORE. Which is nice. 

2. The prose is lyrical and the concept is unique, which makes this novel feel extremely ambitious and I am crossing my fingers SO HARD that Miss Bishop doesn't lose steam. 

3. Miss Bishop is currently in the process of shopping the novels around. Which is amazing, but also a lot of work. So I'm hoping that this series doesn't get lost among publishing houses and left to the way side for a significant amount of time. Personally, I am a voracious reader and I tend to get impatient with authors who take to long to put out novels. *cough* *cough* Patrick Rothfuss *cough* *cough*

When all is said and done, Miss Bishop truly delivers something passionate and new. I cannot thank her enough for the opportunity to read her work. 

To learn more about Miss Bishop and her novels check her out on Instagram HERE or check out her site HERE

Until next time, 

XoXo
BrainyHeroine

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Museum of Mysteries: Blog Tour, Excerpt, and Review!!

 

Cassiopeia Vitt takes center stage in this exciting novella from New York Times bestsellers M.J. Rose and Steve Berry. THE MUSEUM OF MYSTERIES is now available! Check out the tour below, and pick up your copy of THE MUSEUM OF MYSTERIES today!

 

THE MUSEUM OF MYSTERIES Synopsis:

In the French mountain village of Eze, Cassiopeia visits an old friend who owns and operates the fabled Museum of Mysteries, a secretive place of the odd and arcane. When a robbery occurs at the museum, Cassiopeia gives chase to the thief and is plunged into a firestorm.

Through a mix of modern day intrigue and ancient alchemy, Cassiopeia is propelled back and forth through time, the inexplicable journeys leading her into a hotly contested French presidential election. Both candidates harbor secrets they would prefer to keep quiet, but an ancient potion could make that impossible. With intrigue that begins in southern France and ends in a chase across the streets of Paris, this magical, fast-paced, hold-your-breath thriller is all you’ve come to expect from M.J. Rose and Steve Berry.

 

Grab your copy of THE MUSEUM OF MYSTERIES here!

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | GooglePlay | Kobo

       

Add it to your Goodreads Now!


EXCERPT: 


My visit today had a dual purpose since Nicodème had told me that he’d acquired some exquisite 15th century tiles that he thought might be perfect for one of the buildings. He’d helped me many times over the years with the castle. I appreciated his interest as his suggestions were always on target.
What is this?” I had asked, pointing to the wooden box on the counter before Hildick-Smith arrived. “It looks like something my father would have loved.
He would have. The box itself is medieval, probably 13th century. But what’s inside dates back much further. It’s filled with ancient potions used by healers.
Witches,” I’d whispered.
The wise women had always interested me—maligned by men who didn’t understand their talents, sexuality, or intelligence. Not witches. Merely observant experts in the healing arts, which had far more to do with chemistry than magic. I’d borrowed a few books from Nicodème’s shelves over the years about the dark arts and its various practitioners. What was the most common charge form the time? As a ghost, they appeared and disappeared.
Just like Hildick-Smith.
What was happening here? That wooden box? Elixers?
This could be a most important item,” Nicodème had said to Hildick-Smith, touching the lid of the intriguing box.
I heard you acquired it a few years ago. So I came to see if you would sell it to me.
I’m afraid not.
I’ll double what you paid for it.
It is not for sale.
A moment later Peter Hildick-Smith drew a gun, took the box, and fled the shop.
Now he was gone.


     
Steve Berry & MJ Rose’s THE MUSEUM OF MYSTERIES – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
July 18th
Book Junkie Reviews – Excerpt
Literature Goals – Review & Excerpt
July 19th
Clarissa Reads It All – Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt
July 20th
Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
July 21st
Ginreads – Review & Excerpt
Simply Crystal – Review & Excerpt
July 22nd
Wild and Wonderful Reads – Review & Excerpt
July 23rd
Puja Mohan – Review
July 24th
Rachel Loren’s Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt
July 25th
Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt
CJR the Brit – Review
KDRBCK – Review & Excerpt
July 26th
Forward Writes – Review
July 27th
Jax's Book Magic – Excerpt
Shelf_Life – Review
    About Steve Berry: STEVE BERRY is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of fourteen Cotton Malone novels and four stand-alones. He has 23 million books in print, translated into 40 languages. With his wife, Elizabeth, he is the founder of History Matters, which is dedicated to historical preservation. He serves on the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and was a founding member of International Thriller Writers, formerly serving as its co-president.  

Website | Facebook



About M. J. Rose New York Times bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Please visit her blog, Museum of Mysteries at http://www.mjrose.com/blog/ Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com Rose lives in Connecticut with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield.

Website | Facebook


MY REVIEW!!! 

I have loved these two authors separately for years now; so getting to read a joint work of theirs was an amazing experience! This novella takes you right into the middle of the story from the first lines, and Cassiopeia is a heroine that any modern girl can relate too. I so desperately want this landscape and Museum to be real, and I so desperately want to lose myself among its exhibits. I was swept away by the writing, and this is an easy one day read that doesn't need much background given. Additionally, I would like to thank the authors for their dedication to this history; the research, the meticulous and careful writing, the originality of the story, and most importantly, for the Kings.