Author Archives: lydias

Top Ten Tuesday: Typographic Book Covers


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Every letter in the alphabet written in a highly stylized, medieval font filled with flowers and other thriving plants. To be perfectly honest, I generally prefer book covers that include some sort of picture on them over the ones that have a fancy typographic font and nothing else.

Pictures, drawings, and other visual representations of what a book might about play an important role in helping me decide what to read. Will it be romantic, scary, or thought-provoking? Should I have my box of tissues on standby? There’s so much you can tell from what is and isn’t included in this sort of cover.

As pretty as an individual font may be, it can never convey as much information about what to expect from a story in my experience.

I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who love typographic covers, though, so I look forward to reading your posts and/or comments about why you prefer them to other types of covers.

 

 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab book cover. It’s a typographic cover in black and gold.

1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

 

Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out by John Calipari book cover. It’s a typographic cover in black and blue against a white background.

2. Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out by John Calipari

 

Never Use Futura by Douglas Thomas book cover. Image on cover is typographic, white and red, and against a black background.

3. Never Use Futura by Douglas Thomas

 

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris book cover. Image on cover is typographic and looks like a child’s handwriting on a blackboard.

4. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

 

The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero book cover. Image on cover is typographic and each letter looks like a piece of a patchwork quilt.

5. The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero

 

Burned (Burned, #1) by Ellen Hopkin book cover. Image on cover is typographic and looks like the word “burned” has been burned into a sheet of white paper.

6.Burned (Burned, #1) by Ellen Hopkins

 

The View from Somewhere: Undoing the Myth of Journalistic Objectivity by Lewis Raven Wallace Book cover. Image on cover is typographic and shows each word of the title tilted from a different angle.

7. The View from Somewhere: Undoing the Myth of Journalistic Objectivity by Lewis Raven Wallace

 

Things We Didn't See Coming by Steven Amsterdam book cover. Image on cover is typographic and off-centre. The words are cut off halfway through so you have to read their second halves first.

8. Things We Didn’t See Coming by Steven Amsterdam

 

Oil: Anatomy of an Industry by Matthew Yeomans book cover. Image on cover is typographic and has the word oil written to look like blobs of spilled oil on a cream background.

9. Oil: Anatomy of an Industry by Matthew Yeomans

 

Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer book cover. Image on covers shows dozens of black spots in rows. Where there are no spots, a typographic version of the title is written.

10. Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer

Caution is a Virtue: A Review of Veiled Threats

Veiled Threats by Melissa Erin Jackson book cover. Image on cover shows two teens wearing tshirts and jeans smiling slightly as they lean up against each other. There is a light green circle glowing behind them. Title: Veiled Threats

Author: Erin Jackson

Publisher: Ringtail Press (Self-Published)

Publication Date: February 9, 2022

Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Contemporary

Length: 74 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

 

This is a short prequel story that takes place before Diabolical Sword, book 1 in The Charm Collector urban fantasy series.

Camila Fletcher has made a career out of finding missing people. Despite being a full-blooded human, she’s often contacted by members of the fae population hiding amongst mundanes. When a young fae girl asks for help finding her sister, Camila is thrust into an investigation that involves much more than one missing girl …

Review:

Content Warning: kidnapping of a human child, pregnancy, and one brief, mildly bloody scene that included a dead chicken. I will not discuss any of these topics in my review.

Critical thinking is just as important as any spell or weapon.

Camila was a warm and likeable protagonist. She was the sort of person I’d love to meet in real life because of how kind she was, although I’ll leave it up to other readers to discover all of the little things she did when she thought no one was looking that made her so endearing. I also appreciated how much common sense she had. She thought carefully about every move she made beforehand and always had a backup plan in case something went awry. There are plenty of fantasy stories out there about characters who rush into situations without thinking about what they’re doing, so it was nice to meet one who broke that mould.

It would have been nice to have a little more world building in this tale. While I wouldn’t expect it to go into as much detail about how The Collective operates or why some humans are aware of the magical societies that overlap human ones, it sure would have been helpful to have a little more information about these topics as I was getting to know Camila and her husband Nelson. As interested as I was in the characters and plot, there were a few times when I was confused about how the human and magical societies intersected and whether average folks were aware of the various non-human species walking amongst them.

This novella has a wry, subtle sense of humour that I truly enjoyed. One of the best examples of it that I can share in this review without giving away too many spoilers had to do with Camila’s suspicious reaction to a handsome and mysterious teenage boy who had won the hearts of many of the other students at his high school. She knew immediately that there was something strange about him, and she wasn’t shy about voicing her opinions of the romantic feelings he stirred up in teenagers. That’s really all I can say about that interaction, but it made me chuckle and want to read more.

Veiled Threats piqued my curiosity.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Least Favourite Chore and Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Person dusting a glass light fixture and a mirror. Dusting and sweeping are my least favourite chores. There is no carpet in my apartment, so these two chores sort of meld together.

Due to my environmental allergies, cleaning up dust often makes me cough and sneeze which can stir up more dust in a never-ending cycle of airway irritation and puffs of dust floating away.

This is the kind of housework that has no scope for the imagination in it. I can dance to music or listen to an audiobook while washing dishes, folding laundry, or even scrubbing a tub.

Dusting, though, requires such precise movements to ensure that I get every last irritating little mote of it that I struggle to make it amusing in any way.

This is also one of those chores that never ends.

I can hand wash a load of dishes or fold a load of laundry and see visual evidence that I’ve done good work and that it’s finished now.

Dust settles everywhere all of the time. You might think you’ve swept up the last of it only to find yet another corner of the house that needs attention. Everyone is shedding skin cells and hair right this minute that will soon clump up and create more dust bunnies.

It’s such a minor problem to have in life, and yet I still wish I could skip this chore forever.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2022 To-Read List


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Two ripe apples and some apple leaves lying on an opened book that is itself sitting on a wooden bench or table of some sort. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while might remember how short my seasonal to-read lists generally are since I rely so heavily on what the Toronto Public Library has to offer and prefer to be a mood reader instead of sticking to a strict schedule.

Well, this autumn is going to break that trend.

I’ve found nine books I’m excited to read that have either recently been released or are scheduled to be published later on this fall.That may be a record for me for these types of posts. Ha!

If you’ve read any of them or have them on your TBR lists, let’s talk.

 

 

Our Shadows Have Claws by Amparo Ortiz (Editor) and Yamile Saied Méndez book cover. Image on cover shows a cartoon drawing of red lobster claws tearing at a blue sheet of paper (or possibly half-frozen water?)

Our Shadows Have Claws by Amparo Ortiz (Editor) and Yamile Saied Méndez

Why I Want to Read It: Halloween is sneaking up on us quickly, and monster stories are the perfect thing to read in preparation for it if you ask me.

 

Meet Me in Mumbai by Sabina Khan book cover. Image on cover shows drawing of the heads of two Indian women facing away from each other as well as the ghostly face of a woman who is looking at neither of them.

Meet Me in Mumbai by Sabina Khan

Why I Want to Read It: I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and I have several relatives who were transracially adopted. There aren’t a lot of books out there that touch on both of these topics, so I’m pretty curious about this one.

 

Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman book cover. Image on cover shows a person with a white sheet wrapped thigh ly around their head like they’re a ghost. There are two vague eyeholes cut out of the sheet, but you can’t see the person’s face.

Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman

Publication Date: Today!

Why I Want to Read It: Actually, I’m not sure if I do. The thought of taking a pill that allows you to see ghosts piqued my interest, but I don’t know if this will be too scary of a read for me. I will keep it on my TBR for now as I decide.

 

Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese book cover. Image on cover shows red roses with their green leaves and thorns against a black background.

Hester by Laurie Lico Albanese

Publication Date: October 4

Why I Want to Read It: This is the first retelling of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter I’ve ever seen. (If you’re a fan of retellings and know of other books like this, please speak up!) I am thrilled to finally experience this tale from Hester’s perspective.

 

They Were Here Before Us by Eric Larocca book cover. Image on cover shows a stained glass image of a robin eating a large beetle while standing on a tree branch.

They Were Here Before Us by Eric Larocca

Publication Date: October 25

Why I Want to Read It: The blurb is actually pretty vague at the moment, but the words “horror” and “novella” in it have caught my attention. This could be a fun and spooky Halloween read for sure.

 

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukheerjee book cover. Image on cover shows golden and cream cells of various shapes and sizes floating on a navy blue background.

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human by Siddhartha Mukheerjee

Publication Date: October 25

Why I Want to Read It: I’ve read many books about the history of medicine, but I haven’t read anything in-depth about how we discovered that cells exist. This could be fascinating.

 

To Each This World by Julie E Czerneda book cover. Image on cover shows planets and moons floating through a blue night sky.

To Each This World by Julie E Czerneda

Publication Date: November 1

Why I Want to Read It: I love reading science fiction stories about humans being put into cryosleep and sent off to find new habitable worlds. It’s such a fascinating topic.

 

 

Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering by Margaret Atwood (Editor) book cover. The cover has yet to be revealed, so this is a red placeholder with white text.

Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering by Margaret Atwood (Editor)

Publication Date: November 1

Why I Want to Read It: Each chapter of this novel about a diverse group of neighbours bonding together during a Covid-19 shutdown was written by a different author. Yes, Margaret Atwood wrote one of the chapters. I’m hoping it will capture that moment in history well. Fingers crossed.

 

The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama book cover. Image on cover is a photo of her smiling, crossing her arms in a hug, and wearing a white and tan sweater.

The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

Publication Date: November 15

Why I Want to Read It: I really enjoyed reading her memoir “Becoming.” She’s a good storyteller, so I look forward to hearing what she has to say about hope and perseverance in hard times in this book.

 

Dreaming of Happily Ever After: A Review of Somewhere in Time

Somewhere in Time by Fizza Younis book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of a sun and stars superimposed on an actual photo of the night sky that has a few hazy clouds (or maybe galaxies?) floating through it. Title: Somewhere in Time

Author: Fizza Younis

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: October 31, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical

Length: 34 pages

Source: I received a free copy from the author.

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb:

It’s a fairy tale retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty, set between the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries, the story has a darker paranormal twist, and no happily-ever-after within sight. But what the future holds for our beloved characters, Aurora and Prince Phillip, is yet to be determined.

Review:

Content Warning: mafia, murder, suicide, and a brief mention of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Get ready for a wild ride.

This tale was a delightful mixture of topics I’d never think to include in the same storyline like the mafia, the Covid-19 pandemic, and Sleeping Beauty. I admire authors who are willing to take risks like this with their writing. It makes for an exciting reading experience for those of us who are well-versed in the fantasy genre and who can be difficult to surprise. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for what Ms. Younis writes next, although I won’t try to guess where her vivid and playful imagination might wander.

Fairy tales don’t have to explain everything, of course, but I found myself wishing this one had gone into more details about how the magic works in this world. For example, the reason why Aurora fell into her deep sleep never made sense to me. I could accept the magical veil that protected her and her stately home while she slept, but it sure would have been nice to know why this spell existed in the first place and under what conditions she might wake up. There were so many other changes to the classic Sleeping Beauty story in this retelling that I didn’t think I should make any assumptions about who or what might have caused these magical events. If the author had been clearer about this, I would have happily chosen a higher rating.

The ending made me yearn for more. I wanted to know how Aurora adjusted to the world after her long nap and what she was planning to do with the rest of her life. Given that this was a fairy tale, though, it did make sense to stop at that moment. Princesses have nearly always been traditionally been described as living happily ever after, and I’m hoping the same can be said about heiresses who wake up in the modern world. Who knows? Maybe we’ll someday get a sequel and find out for sure.

Somewhere in Time kept me guessing until the final sentence.

 

Rooting Out Evil: A Review of Secrets of the Under Market

Title: Secrets of the Under Market Author: Krysten Harlow Publisher: Self-Published Publication Date: May 4, 2021 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary Length: 73 pages Source: I received a free copy from the author. Rating: 3 Stars Blurb: Mortal Instruments meets Hellboy in this riveting urban fantasy series that is a prequel to the Visions… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Plot Line You Love to Read/Watch and Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews. Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year. I so badly wanted to pick about a dozen different answers for this topic, but I will follow the rules and stick to one. My all-time… Read More