Luxury Apartments For Rent- Move In Today

The Graveyard Apartment: A NovelThe Graveyard Apartment: A Novel by Mariko Koike

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Right from the first page, this book just catches you attention!

Starts with an advertisement for a brand new apartment ready to see with affordable prices.

Families start moving in, and all is great…except for the graveyard that happens to be on three sides of this luxury building…(as if nothing seems odd about that).

The Kano family, who have had its set backs, hopes for a new start. They move into the apartment of their dreams, only to find out that all their neighbors are starting to move out…and fast.
The Basment seems to ward off all its residents…but who wants to go down anyway, the elevator is the only way down, no stairs, or anyway out if people get traped.

As the neighbors dwindle, the apartment starts to try to keep them in. Elevators get stuck, Windows won’t open, doors won’t budge. At last the Kano’s are left by themselves after trying to move…and the apartment will never Let them leave.

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Books around the web – Fantasy

Fantasy is a genre that uses magic and paranormal elements to build its story. The story is peopled with such beings as giants and fairies; Ghosts and wraiths; witches and vampires; trolls and elves, talking dogs, cats and mice – anything that is unbelievable. In fact, in a fantasy book most of the main characters do not exist except in the author’s mind, or in mythology, and humans are commonly in the minority.

Fantasy stands hand in hand with horror and science fiction and many stories do overlap these element. As a rule fantasy stands apart as there is no technology as we know it, and the spooky elements are not quite as macabre as full blown horror.

Because of the similarities between these three genres they are usually collectively known as Speculative Fiction. Other people also throw in dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history into the speculative Fiction umbrella as well. I can’t see the point myself – but this is becoming more common. I mean to say, yes I suppose you could have a flesh eating monster stalking the corridors of a spaceship eating all the elves – but it is rare – and if you know of such a book then let me know.

Fantasy isn’t bound by convention – it is utterly make believe – so the world and its inhabitants can be anything that enters the author’s mind. A tree gets in the way of a character’s progress? Then being fantasy the character can snap his fingers, or will have a fellow traveller to do it, and poof – the tree disappears. If this happened in the real world there would be so many forms to fill out that the character would just give up and go home. Magic is an extremely useful tool in fantasy.

So why would you read fantasy? Well, so much of reality is uninteresting and unexciting – it is lovely to slip into a fantasy book, where nothing is real, and let your imagination run free? Don’t get me wrong, life can certainly be grim for the fantasy characters – I mean the journey of the hobbit and friends in the Lord of the Rings was no picnic – and those orcs were quite revolting – but in the end and the sun came back and evil was apparently vanquished. In real life this does not always occur.

So if it is all made-up why should we read fantasy?

Alan Nicholas, self-described Attorney, avid reader, sometime writer thinks he has the answer in this long article: https://www.quora.com/Why-read-fantasy-books

He thinks fantasy readers are solely into escapism, its very reason for being is that nothing is real so it really is another time and another place and can’t possibly happen in our world. With science fiction there is an element of maybe it could happen – aliens could land – humans could go into space and live on other plants – so it is not pure escapism. Even horror can make you the reader stop and think, could this happen – could there be a Freddie Kruger out there coming to get you? When reading fantasy you know it is not true, and have a fair idea that a horrible troll is not going to come marching down the high street. Well I hope one won’t anyway.

So if your interest is piqued to try the Fantasy genre – here are some links to some recommended books:

Something for everyone – 100 fantasy books

Ten Must-Read Magical Books That Aren’t Harry Potter (although if you haven’t read the Harry Potter books – you should)

Fantasy books usually come in series – 30 of the best fantasy series of all time gives a plethora of fantasy reading ideas.

 

This post can also be found at Books and Musings from Downunder

The Worthless Book of Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me

Lies That Chelsea Handler Told MeLies That Chelsea Handler Told Me by Chelsea Handler

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Pure Crap.

People who actually think it’s funny to ruin a honeymoon, or tell a “friends” boyfriend that she sleeps around….probably are not a good a friend as You think they are.

To think that people think this is alright…runining lives and relationships, thinking it’s funny to write about, and joke around about it….what type of a world are we living in???? I feel sorry for the next generation, if this is what the world is coming too.

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The Last Quarrel: Episode 1

The Last Quarrel: Episode 1 (The Arbalester Trilogy, #1)The Last Quarrel: Episode 1 by Duncan Lay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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Maybe it’s me…but honestly, this book was not memorable.

The beginning grabbed me…but it lost me a long the way. Maybe because some the the “historical” aspects, didn’t seem quite historical enough, or maybe I just didn’t connect with the characters. The “bones” of the book were not too bad, which is why the 2 stars.

I will not be continuing with the series.

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Books I’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed Me A Fully Loaded Gift Card

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is what would we buy if someone gave us an unlimited gift card.

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A Game of Thrones: The 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One. Right now I have only bought the series as ebooks as I am waiting for the series to finish to buy it in paper form. But this is tempting

Media of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Deluxe Illustrated Edition Media of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Deluxe Illustrated Edition

Harry Potter Deluxe Illustrated Editions.  This series I do already own in hardback, but I am tempted to buy the illustrated books of this when it is available, though I doubt I’ll be able to afford this deluxe version.

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The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. I grew up reading the series and would love to have this edition on my shelves.

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5. Madonna in a Fur Coat was published in 1943, but has not been available in English until now.

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The Beast’s Garden. Beauty and the Beast retelling by Kate Forsyth. I am excited!

 

Everything by Ilona Andrews. They’re my new obsession.

There’s not a listing on Goodreads, but The Art of Michael Whelan (Signed Limited Edition) for $400. I will admire and lust over from afar. The cover is from Crown of Shadows, but he’s done plenty of other fantasy book illustrations.

Classics Challenge – July!

Classics

Wow, so hard to believe that it’s the end of July already!  Where did the month go?  Hope it was as full of good reads as our was😀.

July’s theme was A European classic (non-British).  Let’s see what Cocktail Phoenix thought first…

Cocktail Phoenix: For July’s task, a European, but non-British, classic, I wasn’t quite sure 157993what to pick up but all the French classics that came to mind seemed very large and I would have had to start them earlier to be able to finish for this month.

I can’t quite remember if I ever read The Little Prince in its entirety when I was young. I do remember an extract relating to the rose, but other than that… So after a bit of debating back and forth, I decided to just go with it and finally read it.

The writing style seemed very odd to me and the story in general left me with a bit of a question mark stamped across my face. But I can definitely understand the appeal of the story, especially when read to children as the ideas and morals portrayed are important ones – and they will most likely never lose their value considering how much time has passed since the book was written and our modern times, and the principle of what is essential is invisible to the eye still remains as true now as it was then.

Not my favourite classic, but I can appreciate the reasoning behind such a story.

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Serenity: For my non-British classic, I really wanted to go with Les Misérables since I started that last year and have been only sporadically working on it since.  BUT…life.  And 1400+ pages mixed with life was just a no-go this month.  So, instead I decided to 54479read Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.  And I loved it!  I actually did an audio for this one and the Narrator, Frederick Davidson, was phenomenal!  Except his girl’s voice, but honestly, the lone female in this novel didn’t speak much, so not a big deal.

The story itself was pure adventure.  It is a fun story without all the deeper things that sometimes get dragged into classics.   That’s not the say the characters didn’t have
depth…they did…but the story was just more about the adventure and fun of the journey than it really was about watching a character grow.  I would love to read this to my kids as it shows so many great examples of how to act and react to the things life throws at you, all with a dash of adventure and humor!

Every once in a while, Verne does get a little long winded on the travel descriptions, but other than that this is a nice, easy entry into Classics for any who are intimidated by them.

So, 5 charms for me as I just needed this dose of fun and lighthearted reading this month!

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In August we will return with a Modern Classic!  Until then, keep reading🙂

One Book – Two Views: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

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Review from Sally906:

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN is the first book in the fairyland series which is getting rave reviews across the world. However, I just didn’t get it, in fact I found it extremely difficult to get into the imaginative, but very odd, story and, importantly, none of the characters actually drew me in and demanded I stay. The closest character I came to like was the book-loving Wyvern called A-Through-L, and he was loquacious and boring.

Look, there was SO much going on in the story, often all at once, with lots of mentions of other past and future adventures being thrown into the mix every few paragraphs, making story was hard to track. Then on top of that there were lots of characters being thrown at me one after the other without me being given the chance to bond with any of them. But wait there’s more! The main problem was I didn’t even bond with the strange child who is the centre of the story, September. For me to really enjoy a story I need to have feelings about, or be able to relate to, the main character – even if it is a severe dislike – the character needs to evoke some sort of emotion from me. But author Catherynne M Valente aroused no emotions from me for September; in fact even September didn’t seem to care about what happened to September. So if the main character is apathetic to her own fate – why should I care whether she gets eaten by river monsters, or killed by a witch? Don’t get me wrong Valente obviously has superb mastery of the English language – but it was if she put so much effort into her words, and waxed lyrical about every little thing, that the story got lost amongst the descriptions. The world building was absolutely amazing – but then it was peopled with characters that remained as flat as the pages I was reading.

As I said, THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN has got rave reviews, so I am clearly in the minority here. It is listed for readers aged 10+, this stuns me as it would have to be a very advanced 10 year old who could read this. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone under the age of 15. A lot of this is to do with the style in which it is written, not the concept of adventures in fairyland.

I kept think of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz – all bizarre stories if you think about them logically, but full of wonderful characters and words which pull you in – not leave you leaping for the dictionary every few minutes. In fact there is even mention made of a wardrobe that connects you to other worlds, so the author must be familiar with these works. Her version of a magical adventure just didn’t work for me – but as I have already mentioned it as lots of good reviews from other readers – so just but not my cup of tea.

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Review from Lioness:

I’m always a fan of a good portal fantasy, where the protagonists start in our world and cross over to a world of fantasy, such as Chronicles of Narnia, Wizard of Oz, or one of my favorite books The Phantom Tollbooth.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (henceforth GWC) had the same of sort of fantastical adventure as The Phantom Tollbooth as September leaves her life for an adventure to Fairyland. She joins up with A-Through-L, aka “Ell”.  Ell is a wyverary, which is the offspring of a wyveryn and a library, and ended up being my favorite character.

GWC has a good sense of wordplay which made the book fun to read and I enjoyed the plot and how it all came together in the end. My only issue with GWC is I found it easy to put down, and I prefer when books make me want to keep reading.

I do plan to continue the series and look forward to reading the rest of the series, especially with the ending.

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July 5: Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. And it’s usually on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays. But I was  bit busy with the holiday and work and I really wanted to put a post together for this topic, our top ten books with under 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.

From Cocktail Phoenix:

Rising Calm (Rising Calm #1) by Haley Fisher by Haley Fisher (39 ratings)
I got this one for free from the author in exchange for an honest review about a year ago and I really enjoyed it.
The thing is that for the moment it is out of print (publisher taken over by a different company) and she is stuck on the sequel, which is a bit of a shame, but might be worth giving this a mention.

Way to Go by Alan Spence by Alan Spence (115 ratings)
I had to read this for a course at uni, and Alan Spence was the resident author at my uni at the time (I’m still gutted I never worked up the courage to burst into his office hours to ask him for an autograph haha). It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book but I thoroughly enjoyed the main character’s journey. It’s a story that revolves a lot around death, the different ways it is seen in various cultures and how it is celebrated (or not).

Spirit Legacy (The Gateway Trilogy, #1) by E.E. Holmes by E.E. Holmes (1152 ratings)
I picked this one up as a free Amazon deal and I was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out. The story is interesting and not quite as YA as most YA, i.e. less whining, which is preferable, for me anyway.

The Wishing Game by Patrick Redmond by Patrick Redmond (759 ratings)
I read this as a teenager when I stumbled across it by chance. I have to admit that I don’t remember much about the story, but I do remember that it did a great job at creeping me out more than once while reading it.

The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard (Coco Pinchard, #1) by Robert Bryndza by Robert Bryndza (1749 ratings)
Quirky, funny read.

From Serenity:

Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide by Elizabeth Wilhide (812 ratings)
This is a book where the main “character” is the house. It’s a lovely read that’s a bit strange, but I loved it!

From Lioness:

To Ride Hell’s Chasm by Janny Wurts by Janny Wurts (967 ratings)
She is a new author to me, but has been in the fantasy world for years. To Ride Hell’s Chasm is a standalone that was recommended to me as a good place to start. Standalone books in fantasy are a rarity and this did not disappoint. It took me a bit to get into, but I loved it. Her book Sorcerer’s Legacy has 489 ratings and I have heard good things about, but haven’t read yet.

The Girl Who Would Be King by Kelly Thompson by Kelly Thompson (1,420 ratings)
This one also started a bit slow, but got better and better as it went on. It features two young woman who are the latest in a long line of rival women with powers. One good, one bad. I loved it.

Pacific Rim The Official Movie Novelization by Alex Irvine by Alex Irvine (1,511 ratings)
In case you weren’t sure if I was a nerd. This book took the story of Pacific Rim and brought in the backstory of the characters and world. I cannot wait for the sequel.

Once Upon a Marquess (The Worth Saga #1) by Courtney Milan by Courtney Milan (1,556 ratings)
This may be lowly rated because it only came out last fall. It is the first in a new romance series by Courtney Milan. The goodreads summary for the series has seven full-length novels planned with covers and titles for all of them. I enjoyed the first one and am looking forward to and impatient for the rest of the series.

Book Charmers 2016 Mt. TBR Second Half Plans

Today we reveal our picks for the rest of the year!

Sally906:

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This one I didn’t get around to – but still plan to read so will go into my 6 books for the second half:
An Ordinary Epidemic by Amanda Hickie An Ordinary Epidemic by Amanda Hickie – Written by an Australian author and set in Sydney Australia this looks at one family and how they protect themselves against an epidemic that is killing thousands.

The remaining five are:
City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn
Evangeline Starke is a widow – her husband husband Gabriel suddnely die when the Lusitania sank. Five years later, beginning to embrace life again, Evie is shocked to receive a mysterious—and recent—photograph of Gabriel alive and well in the Middle East.

Brownies and Broomsticks (A Magical Bakery Mystery, #1) by Bailey Cates Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates – Katie Lightfoot is asked by her grandparents – Lucy and Ben to join them when they open a bakery in Savannah’s quaint downtown district, Doesn’t take Katie long to see that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren’t just tasty—Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells! Then a curmudgeonly customer is murdered outside the Honeybee Bakery, and Uncle Ben becomes the prime suspect.

A Vintage Murder (A Wine Lover's Mystery, #4) by Michele Scott A Vintage Murder by Michele Scott – Nikki and her boss-turned-boyfriend came to Australia to visit the Hahndorf Winery, but it seems they’ve also walked onto a movie set. And when lead actress Lucy Swanson is found dead in her trailer, bitten by a poisonous snake, Nikki must comb the vineyards of the valley to catch a killer with a venomous streak before she’s struck herself!

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by Josephine Leslie – I loved the TV series – and the movie – and was delighted to learn there was a book that that came first – recently widowed Lucy Muir insists on moving into the very cheap Gull Cottage in the quaint seaside village of Whitecliff, despite multiple warnings that the house is haunted.

Woof at the Door (Call of the Wilde #1) by Laura Morrigan Woof at the Door by Laura Morrigan – Animal behaviorist Grace Wilde keeps her ability to psychically communicate with furry and feathered critters under wraps. But when a Doberman turns out to be the only witness to a crime, Grace will have to let the cat out of the bag in order to catch a killer. Only Grace can get the information out of him. The problem is, how will Grace tell the investigating police officer that it’s the dog who’s giving her the information without spilling her big secret or sounding crazy?

Cocktail Phoenix:

For the second half of the year, I’m going to start by trying to actually read at least one or two of the books I neglected in the first half of the year.

Other than that, these are the six books I chose for July-December 2016:

Shopaholic and Sister (Shopaholic, #4) by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella – It is actually somewhat ridiculous how long this book (and most of the series really) has been sitting on my shelf, unread. It is high time I change that!

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) by Patrick Ness
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – I received this for World Book Night 2013 from a friend and I still haven’t read it. Even before she offered me the book, I’ve been told numerous times to read it, so here goes. I put it on the list in hopes of finally reading it this year.

Gone (Gone, #1) by Michael Grant
Gone by Michael Grant – Another one that has been sitting around for quite a while and deserves to finally be read. Especially since I keep hearing good things about the series.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1) by Ransom Riggs
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I’m ashamed to say that I won this book in a giveaway, an actual paperback copy, and I still haven’t read it!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Ever since I saw the movie I’ve wanted to read the book. About time I actually do what I say hehe.

Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock, #2) by Faith Hunter
Blood Cross by Faith Hunter – I read the first book quite a while ago but never continued the series despite the fact that I really quite liked the characters and the story. Now is the time to continue!

Lioness:

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The Heart of Myrial – I picked it up randomly as a teenager because it had a dragon on the cover.

The Gray Wolf Throne – Continuing the Seven Realms series this year. I’m not sure if I’ll get to the fourth book, but I’m making sure I read this one.

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water – Another non-fiction that has been sitting on my shelf for a while.

The Winner’s Kiss and The Last Mortal Bond – I’m pairing these two since I have the same comments. I read the middle book of the trilogy in our first half and loved it so I’m looking forward to finishing up both series.

Mastiff – I skipped over this one for a reason. I chose Shatterglass in the first half as part of my Tamora Pierce reread. Right now I have one more Emelan book (Battle Magic) before moving to her Tortall universe. Mastiff is the most recent published and I’ve never read any of the Provost’s Dog trilogy it belongs to so they will be last on my reread list. But before getting there I have to read 16 books. But finishing that reread was one of my big 2016 reading goals so I’m committed to it.

The Heart of Myrial by Maggie Furey The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms, #3) by Cinda Williams Chima Cadillac Desert The American West and Its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) by Marie Rutkoski The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #3) by Brian Staveley Mastiff (Beka Cooper, #3) by Tamora Pierce

Serenity:
Again, I’ve broken them up by twos.

Religion/personal growth:
The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

Homeschooling:
Love the Journey: Homeschooling: Principles to Practices
For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School

Fiction:
Beauty
The Tale of Despereaux

 

Sunset Park – Santino Hassell

Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2)Sunset Park by Santino Hassell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reesiereads here — Going to try this new thing where I post more of my reviews here. I am not the greatest at writing these in eloquence but I write from the heart, usually with a lot of emotion for how the book affected me personally.


Loved this second book in the Five Burroughs series! I just adore David & Raymond, even though I wanted to knock their heads together so many times! The tension when these two wouldn’t communicate made me pull out a few hairs but I hung in there because this writer is so good, I knew he wouldn’t disappoint me in the end. Despite their crazy crossed wires, I do love the dialogue that takes place throughout this book. These characters and their lives are so real, so authentic. All of my senses felt what was happening in this book, as if I were watching it all go down in front of me, an observer hanging back a few feet from these guys as they lived their lives. That is terrific writing right there.

I love Raymond, like everyone else who meets him but I have to say, David is incredibly endearing to me. Maybe it’s because I could relate to a lot of his feelings, his anxieties over an uncertain future with Raymond, always choosing the wrong person to be with an ending up hurt (did that many times before I met my husband), his OCD and need to control things, his OVER THINKING! Ugh, I over think so much. I have the same need to know why and how and what will be the result of any given decision I make and it drives me batty. (When typing out reviews, I over think what I’m saying. I’m trying not to do that right now!) Raymond is the perfect complement to David’s over thinking tendencies. We need people like Raymond to keep our heads anchored and to give our brains a break. And Raymond needs someone sweet and loving and attentive (totally swooned every time David would fiddle with Ray’s clothes!) like David to remind him that he is good people and he is so much more than his job and financial status!

Even though this is a Raymond thought, it resonates so deeply with me: “At this point, I was afraid to find out the answers to those questions, but that wouldn’t stop me from trying. Masochism was legit.” Preach, Raymond!

The cuddles in this were off the charts adorable and even steamy in their sweetness. I’m telling you, Santino Hassell has a GIFT when it comes to setting a scene, whether it is smut (oh yes, he is GOOD with the smut) or playful affection. I just wanted to hop on into a cuddle session with David & Raymond. Hey, Ray’s bi so he might be okay with that, right?! LOL.

There is a lot of heart and a lot of humor in this book, along with some hot sexytimes. The Grindr stuff was both hilarious and sexxxy. Oh, I do love a good sexting scene! Especially if it leads to real contact. The sex itself, tho. *pants and fans self* The phrase “panty melter” comes to mind…

Can’t wait to get to the next book in this series. It’s waiting for me. I’ll be re-reading 5b many, many times, I suspect. Rated

~ reesiesig

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