My books of 2012 – Part Four: Young adult fantasy

Part One – Biography/Autobiography

Part Two – Non-fiction

Part Three – Historical Fiction

City of Stars (Stravaganza #2) – Mary Hoffman

250026“Georgia would love nothing more than to rise horses every day and avoid her annoying stepbrother at all costs. But she could never have guessed that a tiny, antique winged horse figurine would be the key to her escape to another world and another time. When Georgia arrives in a sixteenth-century city called Remora, she is plunged into a dangerous and treacherous world of horse-racing, family honour and deadly rivalry. And there, as a new Stravagante, Georgia will have a dramatic and extraordinary role to play…” – GoodReads

4 stars

City of Flowers (Stravaganza #3) – Mary Hoffman

295107“Everything changes for Sky when he finds a perfume bottle that whiskes him away to the city of Giglia, an ancient city similar to Florence. This may be the beautiful City of Flowers, but things that seems beautiful might also be deadly. As a new Stravagante – someone who can travel through space and time with the help of a talisman – Sky finds himself caught up in a deadly feud between Giglia’s two ruling families. Now, the Stravaganti must do all they can to avoid further bloodshed as politics, conspiracy and espionage unfold.” – GoodReads

3 stars

City of Secrets (Stravaganza #4) – Mary Hoffman

3169710“When Matt turns seventeen, he is shocked by how drawn he is to an old leather-bound book — especially since he is dyslexic and has never liked to read. But the book turns out to be far more powerful than Matt could have imagined. It is his talisman, an object that allows him to stravagate through time and place to a country called Talia. There, Matt arrives at Padavia University, where he meets other Stravaganti — including Luciano, who is in great danger after killing the head of the powerful di Chimici family in a duel. Together, Matt, Luciano and Arianna, a duchessa in disguise as a boy, must fight the di Chimici family before they make a terrifying breakthrough into our modern world….” – GoodReads

4 stars

City of Ships (Stravaganza #5) – Mary Hoffman

6671653“The new instalment in the critically acclaimed Stravaganza series transports readers to a world much like our own — but where magic and piracy come to life in the Italian town of Classe. The new Stravagante is Isabel, a visitor from our world who befriends Flavia, a successful female merchant of spices, silks, and tapestries. But Flavia soon finds herself an outcast and a pirate, while Isabel learns that Classe is under threat of attack by the fierce Gate people. What can she do to help save the city?
Fans of fantasy and historical fiction alike who have flocked to the Stravaganza series will welcome this action-packed adventure, which can be read alone or as a companion to the previous novels.” – GoodReads

4 stars

I like the Stravaganza series. It shows young people in a miserable life who find their purpose. Not all books are great though, especially the third one was a disappointment. Sky just wasn’t well developed.

Divergent (Divergent #1) – Veronica Roth

13335037“In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.” – GoodReads

Winner of a 2011 GoodReads Choice Award

4 stars

Insurgent (Divergent #2) – Veronica Roth

11735983“One choice can transform you–or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves–and herself–while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.” – GoodReads

Winner of a 2012 GoodReads Choice Award

4 stars

 

This is a great series (as shown by the GoodReads awards both books have won). It’s the story of how you can change the life that may seem predestined for you. You decide how your life turns out.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

9460487“A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive” – GoodReads

3 stars

This book was a disappointment. I had high hopes because it was recommended by Jen over at Epbot. Most of the books I’ve read because she recommended them I have loved, this one not so much. I found the story lacking and the pictures more a gimmick than crucial to the story.

Die For Me (Revenants #1) – Amy Plum

9462812“In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.” – GoodReads

5 stars

This was a very good read, set beautifully in Paris. It tells the story of two young people in love getting caught in a centuries-old war.

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) – Cynthia Hand

7488244“In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . 

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.” – GoodReads

5 stars

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) – Cynthia Hand

11563110“For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn’t prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.” – GoodReads

4 stars

A great series, engaging and a quick read. I couldn’t put it down.

Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld

24770“Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.” – GoodReads

4 stars

Pretties (Uglies #2) – Scott Westerfeld

24768“Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.” – GoodReads

4 stars

A series set in a dystopian world where all teens get plastic surgery on their sixteenth birthday to be turned into a Pretty. Tally runs away on the night before her surgery and discovers the bad side of the world she wanted so badly to be a part of.

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) – Susan Ee

11500217“It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.” – GoodReads

4 stars

I really liked reading this book, especially the banter between Penryn and Raffe (I’m a big fan of witty writing, as my love of Joss Whedon shows).

Untraceable (The Nature of Grace #1) – S.R. Johannes

12731861“16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.” – GoodReads

3 stars

This was not a bad read, but not a great one either. I did like that I could not predict the twists and turns, but the book could use an editor.

Winter’s Awakening: The Metahumans Emerge (Winter’s Saga) – Karen Luellen

12828201“Assumptions: I am a normal human being. I’m an average fifteen-year-old. I have always lived here, and I always will. This year will be like every other. But I’ll soon find out… none of these assumptions are true.” – GoodReads

2 stars

This was… eh. The book desperately needs an editor, and the religious aspect was too obvious.

The Trouble With Spells (Of Witches and Warlocks #1) – Lacey Weatherford

7507845“Portia Mullins had always lived the life of a normal teenager, up until her sixteenth birthday. She is then informed by her grandma that she is actually a witch who is a descendant of a long line of witches and warlocks. After overcoming her disbelief she finds that being a member of the coven comes with one great perk in the form of the school’s handsome bad boy, Vance Mangum. Vance and Portia have an immediate connection as a budding romance begins, only to be threatened by turbulent skies on the horizon as Vance’s checkered past rears its ugly head to haunt them. Portia is forced to use her untried powers in defense of everything she loves in a desperate attempt to hold on to the one thing that really matters in her life.” – GoodReads

3 stars

This took some time to get through, and the fact that I have no intention to read the rest in the series does not bode well for how much I liked this book.

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles #1) – Suzanne Collins

262430“When eleven-year-old Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment, he hurtles into the dark Underland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats—but the fragile peace is about to fall apart.

Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. He just wants to find his way home. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland’s uncertain future, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life. Little does he know his quest will change him and the Underland forever.

Rich in suspense and brimming with adventure, Suzanne Collin’s debut marked a thrilling new talent, and introduced a character no young reader will ever forget.” – GoodReads

5 stars

Great book! Suzanne Collins really is a good writer. If you enjoyed reading The Hunger Games, you should check this one out. The story is not as dark (no kids fighting to the death) but just as well told.

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) – Orson Scott Card

375802“In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.” – GoodReads

5 stars

A sci-fi classic that I finally got around to reading, and I am very happy I did. Ender’s Game is a great book, very intriguing and I cannot wait to read the next book.

Hourglass – Myra McEntire

9182478“For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?” – GoodReads

3 stars

This was an okay read, not great but not bad either.

My books of 2012 – Part Three: Historical fiction

Part One – Biography/Autobiography

Part Two – Non-fiction

Wolf of the Plains (Conqueror #1) – Conn Iggulden

1265656“He was born Temujin, the son of a khan, raised in a clan of hunters migrating across the rugged steppe. Temujin’s young life was shaped by a series of brutal acts: the betrayal of his father by a neighboring tribe and the abandonment of his entire family, cruelly left to die on the harsh plain. But Temujin endured—and from that moment on, he was driven by a singular fury: to survive in the face of death, to kill before being killed, and to conquer enemies who could come without warning from beyond the horizon.” – GoodReads

5 stars

Genghis: Lord of the Bow (Conqueror #2) – Conn Iggulden

8296109“He came from over the horizon, a single Mongol warrior surrounded by his brothers, sons, and fellow tribesmen. With each battle his legend grew and the ranks of his horsemen swelled, as did his ambition. For centuries, primitive tribes had warred with one another. Now, under Genghis Khan, they have united as one nation, setting their sights on a common enemy: the great, slumbering walled empire of the Chin.” – GoodReads

4 stars

 

Genghis: Bones of the Hills (Conqueror #3) – Conn Iggulden

8296110“A boy was abandoned in the wilderness by his tribe — but he did not die. As those Iggulden admirers who have read Wolf of the Plains and Lords of the Bow will know, this luckless boy has grown into one of the most feared and powerful figures in history, Genghis Khan. He has persuaded the tribes that had been tearing each other to pieces to ignore their differences and unite under his leadership to battle their oldest enemies. Under his ruthless (and ferociously inspired) leadership, a mighty nation has been forged. But this is only the beginning of his struggles: Khan sends out emissaries, but they are tortured and killed. He attempts to open trade routes; his efforts are met with violent rebuff. Soon, the Mongolian army is stretched to the furthest corners of Khan’s realm, and destruction looms.” – GoodReads

4 stars

I’ll review all three at once, as they are part of the same series. The first two books I really enjoyed. I think they give a good insight into Genghis Khan (I know it’s fiction, but fiction with a lot of research behind it). From the third book on it became harder to get through them. It starts to be a bit of the same all the time. I will probably finish the series as there is only one more book, and I do recommend it.

My Books Of 2012 – Part Two: Non-fiction

Part One – Autobiography/Biography

 

The Book of Business Awesome: How Engaging Your Customers and Employees Can Make Your Business Thrive – Scott Stratten

13838876“UnAwesome is UnAcceptable.”The Book of Business Awesome” is designed as two short books put together–one read from the front and the other read from the back when flipped over. Covering key business concepts related to marketing, branding, human resources, public relations, social media, and customer service, “The Book of Business Awesome” includes case studies of successful businesses that gained exposure through being awesome and effective. This book provides actionable tools enabling readers to apply the concepts immediately to their own businesses. The flip side of the book, “The Book of Business UnAwesome,” shares the train-wreck stories of unsuccessful businesses and showcases what not to do. Key concepts include the power of peripheral referrals and how to create content for your “third circle” Explains how to re-recruit your employees and re-court your customers.” – GoodReads

4 stars

This book was a gift from Erik Fisher (thank you!) and a great read. Scott shows how to successfully run your social media as a business through examples of businesses doing it well and business doing it really, really bad.

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength – Laurie Helgoe

49322Are you an introvert? Psychologist and introvert Laurie Helgoe reveals that more than half of all Americans are. Introverts gain energy and power through reflection and solitude. Our culture, however, is geared toward the extrovert. The pressure to enjoy parties, chatter, and interactions can lead people to think that an inward orientation is a problem instead of an opportunity.

Helgoe shows that the exact opposite is true: Introverts can capitalize on this inner source of power.” – GoodReads

4 stars

I read a couple of books about introverts this year and, to be honest, don’t remember much from this one. The book below however…

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

8520610Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.” – GoodReads

5 stars

This book is amazing! If you’re an introvert, you should read it. If you’re an extravert, you should read it. It shows the differences between the two, what each group is good at, and where their weaknesses lie. It supports this all with scientific studies and stories from real-life people. It also makes very clear that not everything is black or white. Everyone is unique and is somewhere on the introvert-extravert spectrum.

Also check out the YouTube video versions of this book.

The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever – Alan Sepinwall

16137527“A mob boss in therapy. An experimental, violent prison unit. The death of an American city, as seen through a complex police investigation. A lawless frontier town trying to talk its way into the United States. A corrupt cop who rules his precinct like a warlord. The survivors of a plane crash trying to make sense of their disturbing new island home. A high school girl by day, monster fighter by night. A spy who never sleeps. A space odyssey inspired by 9/11. An embattled high school football coach. A polished ad exec with a secret. A chemistry teacher turned drug lord.

These are the subjects of 12 shows that started a revolution in TV drama:The Sopranos. Oz. The Wire. Deadwood. The Shield. Lost. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 24. Battlestar Galactica. Friday Night Lights. Mad Men. Breaking Bad.

These 12 shows, and the many more they made possible, ushered in a new golden age of television — one that made people take the medium more seriously than ever before. Alan Sepinwall became a TV critic right before this creative revolution began, was there to chronicle this incredible moment in pop culture history, and along the way “changed the nature of television criticism,” according to Slate. The Revolution Was Televised is the story of these 12 shows, as told by Sepinwall and the people who made them, including David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, Vince Gilligan and more.” – GoodReads

4 stars

I love television. I think television offers more of a chance to tell a story than a movie, because you can develop a character or a plot line over time. This was a great read. It showed how some of my favorite shows (Lost, Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights) changed the TV landscape. Some chapters I had to skip because they discussed shows I still plan to watch (The Sopranos is high on my list).

My Books of 2012 – Part One: Biography/Autobiography

At the start of 2012 I bought a Kindle Touch, and this led me to read a lot of books (for me) this year. What follows is an overview (split up over several posts because it would get really long otherwise).
For each book I’ll give the summary as found on GoodReads, followed by the rating I gave it when I finished the book and my thoughts on it.

Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs

“From the author of the bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, this is the exclusive biography of Steve Jobs.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years–as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues–Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.” – GoodReads

5 stars

This was a must-read for me, and I think it should be for most everybody. It gives a very good overview of the man Steve Jobs, and the work he has done.

Mud, Sweat and Tears – Bear Grylls

Mud, Sweat and Tears“Bear Grylls is a man who has always loved adventure. After leaving school, he spent months hiking in the Himalayas as he considered joining the Indian Army. Upon his return to England after a change of heart, he passed SAS selection and served with 21 SAS for three years. During this time, he broke his back in several places in a free-fall parachuting accident and it was questionable whether he would ever walk again. However, after months of rehabilitation, focusing always on his childhood dream of climbing Everest, he slowly became strong enough to attempt the ultimate ascent of the world’s highest peak. At 7.22 a.m. on 26 May 1998, Bear entered the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest Briton to have successfully climbed Everest and returned alive. He was only twenty-three years old and this was only the beginning of his extreme adventures…Known and admired by millions – whether from his prime-time TV adventures, as a bestselling author or as a world-class motivational speaker – Bear has been there and done it all. Now, for the first time and in his own words, this is the story of his action-packed life” – GoodReads

4 stars

I love watching Bear Grylls on television but at first was a bit apprehensive about his writing ability. I shouldn’t have been. This was a great easy read. It was fascinating to read about the life of a man who didn’t take the ordinary road.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson

12868761“For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.” – GoodReads

Winner of a 2012 GoodReads Choice Award

5 stars

I love reading The Bloggess but had been putting off reading the book, mainly because of the price ($18 for the Kindle version where the paperback was less than half that). I ended up buying it for myself as a birthday gift and am really happy I did. Jenny Lawson has lived a strange life, and shares those stories in her characteristic humorous way.

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain – Portia de Rossi

9219901“Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.” – GoodReads

5 stars

I have had several close friends struggle with anorexia, and while I always try my hardest to support them and be there for them it is hard to understand what they are struggling with. Portia de Rossi does a great job of telling us the story of how she became anorexic and what was going on in her mind. This is a must-read.

My Heart Is an Idiot – Davy Rothbart

13166633“Davy Rothbart is looking for love in all the wrong places. Constantly. He falls helplessly in love with pretty much every girl he meets—and rarely is the feeling reciprocated. Time after time, he hops in a car and tears across half of America with his heart on his sleeve. He’s continually coming up with outrageous schemes, which he always manages to pull off. Well, almost always. But even when things don’t work out, Rothbart finds meaning and humor in every moment. Whether it’s humiliating a scammer who takes money from aspiring writers or playing harmless (but side-splitting) goofs on his deaf mother, nothing and no one is off-limits.
But as much as Rothbart is a tragically lovable, irresistibly brokenhearted hero, it’s his prose that’s the star of the book. In the tradition of David Sedaris and Sloane Crosley but going places very much his own, his essays show how things that are seemingly so wrong can be so, so right.” – GoodReads

5 stars

A short but sweet read that I could definitely relate to. Bittersweet memories, sudden adventures,…

Stories from a Teacher – Jonathan Flores

15728378“In 2008, Jonathan Flores surprised his students as the youngest, most energetic teacher they’d ever seen. After only four years, Mr. Flores turned in his resignation, and his students all showed up to find out why. But instead of describing a single moment that made him quit, he told them his stories – each one, an insane memory from his teaching career.

As the world demands ‘superhero’ teachers, Flores shares experiences (from hilarious to heartbreaking) to reveal that teachers aren’t invincible – and that they need help.” – GoodReads

5 stars

This was a great read that reminded me of the great teachers that make class fun and inspirational. The only thing that bothered me was that for a book written by an English teacher there were a lot of spelling errors and typos.

Things Go Wrong For Me – Rodney Lacroix

perf6.690x9.610.indd“Things Go Wrong For Me (when life hands you lemons, add vodka) is a memoir of sorts, a roadmap of Rodney Lacroix’s haywire life thus far. From his childhood, through the raising of his own kids, to his vasectomy and post-divorce world … this book is more than just a culmination of outrageous stories woven into a cohesive narrative, it’s a testament for the ‘little guy.’” – GoodReads

 

2 stars

I thought this book would be similar to My Heart is an Idiot, but I did not enjoy this book at all. I can definitely see the audience it has, but Rodney’s humor and mine don’t jive.