Tag Archives: reading

When C&M Trains You.

Trains you in what? Pharmacy, of course you crack heads! (Speaking of crack heads, an interesting past week in the pharmacy, I caught one of our regulars stealing over the counter items. It’s a little obvious though when you swipe a whole shelf. So if you’re going to steal guys, don’t take the whole fucking shelf.)

Things are finally calming down a wee bit but the next couple of days I have to dedicate my evenings to writing a new technician training manual for the pharmacy. The new tech starts Friday. (I’ve been attempting to get this manual done since we got back from Nashville but with all the overtime since firing The Great Tampon Thief, I just couldn’t squeeze it in.) I’m going to make myself look really good as lead technician and be late that day. Samus has an appointment with a new vet we’ve seen in town for Ozzy. It’s just for her yearly things but she’s a very fearful dog so vet visits are always stressful for her and I both. The on-duty pharmacist knows of course so I’m sure it will be fine but first impressions and all.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on. I’ve finally been able to squeeze more reading in again and started Beyond Redemption which is so dark, it’s juicy. In the beginning of August, Ignited Moth and I begin a buddy read on A Plague of Giants. You’d think we did buddy reads more often but it only happens every couple of years. Probably should change that Ms. Moth. 😉

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Kissing Sin (Riley Jenson Guardian #2) – Book Review

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Published Date: January 30, 2007

Publishing Co.: Dell

Pages: 390

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Well….uhm…huh.

Riley Jenson is a vampire werewolf hybrid. Such is rare but possible. She wakes up in a research facility but doesn’t remember entering or much about her time there. She escapes with the help of some horse shapeshifters. Then, has sex with one of them. Of course, the cock is the same ratio no matter in horse or human form. I think this is supposed to be sexy but I personally find it creepy.

For much of the book, Riley is running for her life but either she’s thinking about sex while running or having sex each time she stops. Then the bad guys catch up and she has to battle her way free, but don’t worry because she’ll still be thinking about the sex. I very much get that in this world sex is an integral part of werewolf life but how the fuck does she even have time for anything else? And quite frankly, I’m no prude but I was tired of reading about the fucking every couple of chapters or less. None of the sex scenes were really all that sexy. Minimal foreplay and then right to the action, done in minutes. If I’m going to read some erotic scenes, please make it worth my time.

There wasn’t much to make me connect with the main character, Riley. I much preferred all the male characters to her. The world building was different even for an urban fantasy novel, lots of attempted cross-breeding and strange scientific creations. There could be a lot to this world but it’s unfortunately filled with lame sex. The last third of the book was definitely the best. Lots of action and no time for sex. If more of the book would have kept that premise, I might consider continuing the series (especially since I have picked up several used copies of the installments over the years), but as it stands, I don’t care enough about the main character to continue the crusade within this world. The next book promises lots of unwanted sex with dangerous men while she’s undercover and if the sex was lame with guys she liked, I can only imagine the snooze fest that would be awaiting me if I decided to torture myself and pick up the next volume.

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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – Book Review

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Published Date: February 13, 2007

Publishing Co.: Farrar Straus Giroux

Pages: 229

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

If you have a child in your life who just thinks that they have just the worst life, please have them read this book. Hell, if you know an adult who thinks that they’ve had it the worst, maybe throw this at them too. This isn’t to negate other people’s suffering but sometimes you just need a little perspective thrown at you to make you appreciate your life.

There are a decent amount of war stories recounted by people who lived through them. But, it’s not every day that you read about a child’s perspective of war, especially a child who was also a soldier in the war. It’s an almost unimaginable concept to consider, but consider it we must as it happens in every war.

When you think about how they did anything, literally anything, to survive, your mind most likely goes to things like, smuggling weapons and starving. It’s so much more than that. It’s being fed drugs to keep you fierce, it’s fueling the pain of losing your family with hate for your enemy, it’s shooting people at point blank range and slitting throats. It’s fucking brutal. It’s children being forced to be brutal in order to hopefully live one more day. It’s heartbreaking and I don’t even like kids that much.

It’s important to show the grim reality of war. It should not be taken lightly. Ever.

Ishmael’s struggle through the Sierra Leone civil war is gripping. So much so, that I was miffed about the abrupt ending. Yes, I can assume what must have happened next to young Ishmael but I want to hear it from him. I want to know how his life changed once he escaped the war for good.

The Brain Audit – Book Review

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Published Date: August 22, 2009

Publishing Co.: Psychotactics

Pages: 180

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Well yes, this isn’t my usual fair. It was a forced read by my boss. When your boss says, “Here read this and we’ll discuss it when you’re done,” you don’t really argue because there are far worse projects to take home from work and do on your own time.

This might seem on the outside like a simple, boring read about sales, but it’s more than that. It’s an in depth look at how people decide when and why to purchase your product or service. It shined a spotlight on thinking that I know I do myself when considering a purchase, but never really thought about other people coming to that decision in almost the exact same way.

One read through will have your brain popping with new ideas on how to make your customers happier, more confident and consistently returning to you. In turn, growing your business at a faster rate than you would have otherwise.

If you run a business, are ranked higher in a company or want to get in good with the boss, take the hour or so it takes to read this and flip your business model in a new and exciting direction.

Or don’t and keep putzing along with low sales.

City of Lies (Poison War #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: July 3, 2018

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 560

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Fuck. Yes.

One of my favorite reads of 2018 thus far.

I’m so bubbled over with excitement that I don’t even know where to begin with this review. I guess with honesty. For about 75% of this book I was convinced it was going to be a 4 star read. Nothing wrong with that at all, but the last 25% really sent me over that edge.

If epic fantasy is your preferred genre, as it is mine, then you know that a very high percentage of the plots in the genre involve war or some type of battle between good and evil. Even as a fan of such, sometimes it gets to be too repetitive. Usually when that happens, I’ll just switch up genres for a bit. Or if I’m lucky, I’ll find a book that flips the paradigm around a bit.

City of Lies is that lucky find. While it is about the opening of a war that has been undetected by the city involved until it’s too late, the story is encased in the city under siege. Much like the characters, you can’t escape the danger, lies and deceit around every alley corner in the city that may become your tomb. It is this atmosphere that sucks you in from the beginning. It’s a murder mystery wrapped in healthy helpings of fantasy.

The Chancellor and his proofer (tester for poison) are murdered in the very beginning by the very thing the proofer is supposed to save the Chancellor from. Poison. A poison that no one can determine the source of or provide an antidote. The reign moves down the line to his nephew, Tain, who has his own proofer best friend, Jovan. This is the way of honor for Jovan’s family, protecting the ruling family from quiet murder. His older sister, Kalina, was supposed to be the next proofer but her poor health sidelined her from her destiny. Her little brother Jovan took up the family mantle, despite his eccentricities and obsessive compulsive disorder. A move that stung her deeply but she continued to find ways to make herself useful despite her disabilities.

Before Tain, Jovan and Kalina can recover from the murder of their uncles, the city is under siege from an undefined foe. They are thrust into the roles they’ve prepared for their whole lives but never really thought would come. Together, they try to survive assassination attempts and determine what the enemy wants. But not knowing who the enemy is, handicaps their control of the situation.

You don’t fully understand the beauty of the world building until the last 25% of the book as well. While trying to absorb this new world, I was quite busy being choked up about things happening to the characters. It was then that I realized just how much I loved this book.

Go read it or I’ll sneak into your house and poison your whole family.

July? WTF.

How did we get here already? And why the hell is it so fucking hot?

I only finished (actually am still technically working on) three out of the four books I planned to read in June. Life just won’t slow down right now. We fired one of the technicians at work so it’s been busier, mostly because one of the pharmacists has also been on vacation since this happened. We were going to hire another technician anyway but now we just need to do it a little sooner.

What did previous technician get fired for your wondering? Well, among many things over the years, the final straw was stealing over the counter stuff. Tampons, sunscreen, sun tanning lotion. Stupid shit. Now they’ve earned the monikor, The Great Tampon Thief.

You might be wondering, Were they poor? Could they really not afford these things? The answer is no. Financially, they were just fine. Either it was the thrill or they thought the company owned them these things or a combination of the two.

Besides being extra busy, the atmosphere in the pharmacy is much better. They brought a black cloud to hang over the workplace every day. They will not be missed.

So what can we expect from C&M in July? 

Not much of fucking anything. Maybe cleaning up some reading and hopefully going to back to being free to read whatever I want. I feel like reading some non-fiction here soon. My brain craves knowledge.

Oh I might bake something this week. Doesn’t happen enough anymore so that’s exciting.

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The Book of the Unwinding – Book Review

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Publishing Date: June 26, 2018

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 300

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Witches of New Orleans #2

My review of the first book The King of Bones and Ashes.

I received this copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Suffers from second book syndrome. It just doesn’t live up to the first but it’s not a bad read either. In fact, I’m certain I’ll still read book #3 when it comes out.

Four months after the events of book one, we’re given a view of how life has changed for our witches. Some for the better, others not so much and yet others still trying to find themselves in the aftermath.

The focus of the first half of the book is trying to free Alice from the Dreaming Road before she disappears forever. This was an incredibly slow build up with some things that really needed to be explained further. There’s some talk about a certain kind of destiny that isn’t fully examined. Perhaps it’s supposed to be self explanatory, but for someone not into ‘destiny’ talk, it leaves a decent size gap in the world building.

The second half of the book was kind of a cluster fuck of events. How did our new villain become a major player? One minute they were sterile and unable to do anything, the next they’re clearly here to fuck everyone’s shit up. How did this come to be? I’m still not sure. In some instances, the characters go into detailed flashbacks of past events, but current happenings are skipped over completely and almost left to the reader’s imagination of how they transpired.

Despite these complaints, I still love the characters. I’m still interested in what is going to happen to them and where all this drama will lead. Just please J.D. Horn, fill in some gaps for us.

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper – Book Review

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Published Date: September 20, 2016

Publishing Co.: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 343

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I wandered across this book while browsing the shelves at the store. Honestly, all my other choices were out of stock but, I decided I would pick it up on a whim and see how it went. There are a million things you can do with a Jack the Ripper story and we’d just see where this went.

Good lord did this girl try to beat me over the head with how intelligent her boy toy was. Show me, don’t tell me. I’ll decide for myself if he comes off as even remotely smart. (He eventually does when allowed to talk for himself.) While we’re at it, stop telling me how good you are at resisting his charms when you’re clearly smitten from the very beginning. Let’s just make a promise not to lie to each other, okay?

Other than that, I did enjoy the main character, Audrey Rose. I always like a rebellious woman who decides to say, “Fuck your social norms.” I liked Thomas Cresswell even more as a strong male character encouraging said girl’s fiery personality and curiosity. Of course sparks will ignite between the two while they are elbow deep in cadavers. Nothing is more attractive than someone who can handle a bone saw like an expert.

Unfortunately, I figured out the identity of the Ripper early in the book. I had hoped they were just a red herring and I’d have a complete surprise towards the end, but I didn’t. No matter though, I still enjoyed the story. I don’t know that I would go out of my way to pick up the second book but if I wandered across it, much like the first, I may decide to read it.

2018 in Review Thus Far

Whoa! How did that happen? It’s already half way through 2018. I thought it a good point to stop and assess how the year has gone thus far in the reading department.

My bookish resolutions for the year were to knock down two lists; continuing series I’ve already started and reading more stand alone novels.

Stand alones: 3%

Series to Continue: 20%

Clearly, there is work to be done there.

On my Goodreads yearly challenge I’m at 34/70. (48%)

For June, I have a few ARCs to finish before I attack those lists once again. I was approved by Tor/Forge for two ARCs and want to get in good with them since they’re one of my favorite publishers. Plus, I had another Goodreads friend as that I read their book and I picked it up a couple of months ago so I might as well try it while I’m in extreme review mode.

ARCs:

American Hippo – Book Review (complete)

City of Lies

The Book of Unwinding  (I received an ARC of the first book, my review here.)

Goodreads friend’s book: A Darker Shade of Sorcery

That’s a whole month of reading nothing but ebooks. I’ll probably go crazy on physical books once July rolls around.

Check these pretty covers though:

 

American Hippo – Book Review

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Published Date: May 22, 2018

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 256

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

River of Teeth

Imagine 1800s America, where instead of horses, cowboys and outlaws rode hippos. Oh yes, sweet gentle fiends, hippopotami. The most dangerous creature in Africa is intentionally brought to the United States as an alternative meat source during a meat shortage. But Americans always take things one step further, and now they’re also used as mounts. Of course, someone always has to fuck something up and there manages to be a massive hippo escape from a ranch. Now there are feral hippos that rule the rivers and marshes. Blood thirty, angry hippos.

In this novella we are introduced to a host of outlaws, hired for a high paid, high danger job. To rid a dam of the feral hippos. Doing so will release the dangerous feral hippos into the South, spreading their death and destruction even further. Jobs never go as planned, someone always wants the death dealing hippos to stay right where they are.

Taste of Marrow

The surviving characters from the first novella continue their adventures in this one. Adelia has given birth after kidnapping Hero. Houndstooth is obsessively searching for Hero, not quite convinced that they’re even alive. Archie is waiting for her handsome U.S. Marshal to show up after not hearing from him at their arranged rendezvous spot.

Adelia’s newborn is stolen during a surprise attack while her and Hero are traveling. She’s being forced to meet with a mysterious person who arranged her child’s kidnapping, to see what they intend for her and the child. Probably not the smartest idea for the mystery person, Adelia is an infamous assassin. Hero is helping her despite the fact that she stabbed them, and they’re a poison and explosives expert. Archie is a notorious pick pocket and scam artist, and Houndstooth is your general bad ass and they’re hot on Adelia and Hero’s trail.

There are a couple short stories at the end that cover Archie meeting her U.S. Marshal for the first time and how Houndstooth’s hippo Ruby got her gold-plated tusks.

I loved everything about these novellas. The characters, the world-building, the plot lines. You name it, it kicked all the ass. Most importantly, major kudos to the author for including a non-binary person. It was a perspective to get used to but only because we are a gender obsessed world. It was further proof that content of character is far more important that one’s gender.