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How I Find Books to Read

Warning: RANT.

You’ll notice that the book discussion books this week are a little more expensive than I normally post. It’s not my fault. I’ve been having a very hard time finding good bargains this week and those books that I posted truly looked great. I think I’ve narrowed down the problem. It’s not all that narrow either.

In searching for Urban fantasy, I keep coming across books labeled, “Reverse Harem such and such.” Such and such might say, “Fantasy” or “Romance” or “Paranormal.” REVERSE WHAT??? Okay, I didn’t like harem stories when they weren’t reversed. I’m not even positive that I know what that means. I do know that I never appreciated a male hero who was a womanizer. If he happened to have a harem, I wasn’t likely to be reading the books. I don’t even like love triangles. I am pretty darn sure I don’t need harems in my reading, reverse or otherwise. Furthermore, there is NOTHING “romantic” about a harem. Nothing. No matter which direction it runs. These books cannot possibly be urban fantasy, but they are all over the place. Apparently I spent too much time on a page with a Reverse Harem because the next time I went to Amazon, the entire row of “Recommended for you” was…GAH!!!!!!

I can’t FIND the urban fantasy because these titles are in the way!!! I even tried to turn recommendations off. I looked for that little button that says “This recommendation doesn’t fit” or whatever it says. Bummer. I SPENT EVEN MORE TIME ON THE HAREM PAGE. Now, I’m scared to go back to Amazon at all! What if they stop advertising the echo spy device that has been at the top of the page since forever…and have…NO. IT DOES NOT BEAR THINKING ABOUT. Can someone go to Amazon for me and make sure that the echo is still there?

I have searched high and low, I promise you. I was certain I had escaped the harem. I found this blurb. It had nothing to do with harems…well, I didn’t think it did:

Third line of the blurb is “Falling in love with Hale and Zander. It wasn’t supposed to happen.”

I’m thinking love triangle, but I read the blurb through to the end and the last line was thus:

“But Hale and Zander, along with their friends, Baxter and Colten, have their own opinion when it comes to Carly and they have every intention of turning up the heat and forcing their way into her life.”

ALL OF THEM? I guess the first two guys didn’t present enough of a problem.

*headdesk*

My other pet peeve lately is: “The Main Heroine must work with the (insert FBI, CIA, Police, Chief of Police) who is annoying (but hot) to solve the case.” Well, the “annoying” part is dead on. If you’re going to use a cliche (heroines often fall for agents of the law), you don’t have to go overboard and tell us how good-looking the guy is, how “hot” he is or even how annoying he is. If you must do so, don’t use the word “hot.” Be more clever or more subtle because “hot” conveys the impression that instead of reading about a competent, attractive and worthwhile person, I’ll be stuck reading about a cardboard character with the depth and heroism of a Chippendale dancer.

In perusing other blurbs, I would just like to say: There is NOTHING. NOT. ONE. THING. sexy about stalking. NOTHING.

AND FOR THE LOVE OF…why is EVERY SINGLE guy/gal “hiding a secret” that could change everything? WHY? Can’t they just kick some demons around, not fight with the love interest, and not be “hot” and just have an adventure??? You know, not all of us are hiding a huge secret. We don’t have “When she learns the truth, it could change everything.” Some of us are just kick-ass dragons and we don’t need mysterious pasts with some lame secret that usually turns out to be “his power had never been seen in the world before and he had to keep it hidden because no one would like him/her if they knew.” Because of course, everyone really wants to be the one with special powers even though he/she pretends to be ashamed of this dark secret.

Cliffhanger endings: No. Please. I know we need to sell books, but if I see the word cliffhanger in any review, even a 5 star review, I WILL NOT READ THE BOOK. Even if it is free. My reading time is limited and precious to me. I want a complete story. A few odds and ends that aren’t quite wrapped up is one thing, but a cliffhanger is a “No Deal.”

Last, but not least: A lot of us aren’t 18 and suddenly finding out we aren’t who we think we are. We are NOT ALL SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES who were adopted out because Mom/Dad was this important magical someone and they had to hide us from the world. Some of us are just dragons and shouldn’t be messed with. And that’s okay. We don’t all have to be a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE who is about to discover we are way more than meets the human eye. We just need to kick some bad guys around, and we don’t need to be shocked and surprised when we see a scale, a fairy wing or whatever. Really. Just pick up the sword and get moving.

Where are all the good bargain books hiding??? WHERE???

Posted: January 7, 2018

Book Discussion: Pinned Post Week 2

Sometimes I come across books and I think, Oh, Tibet would like this one. Or I wonder if Benjamin has read this? This is one of those weeks. I came across two books that just seemed like good fits. Here they are!

Before We Were Yours –One of those mysteries woven through time with a dark past.

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

The Rise and Fall of the D.O.D.O …a captivating and complex near-future thriller combining history, science, magic, mystery, intrigue, and adventure that questions the very foundations of the modern world.

When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money.

Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world “jams” the “frequencies” used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why.

And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O. —gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.

And here’s one that I own that will be a big hit with all the foodies on this blog!

Coulter’s A Slice of Life Cookbook This is a Companion Cookbook to A Slice of Life by Margaret Lake:

This cookbook is not for the faint of heart. These recipes were passed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters and sons. They are not guaranteed gluten-free, salt-free and definitely not fat free or even low fat.

I can tell you having taste-tested the recipes myself (and made some adjustments from the original recipes given to me by friends and family), I found them all to be delicious. I don’t eat spicy and other people had to taste test those recipes, but that’s me. You’ll have to try them for yourself.

I’ve read A Slice of Life–it’s very cute and heartwarming. The cookbook is spinoff on the idea of the many cultures/people that you might meet while riding a bus.

Posted: January 7, 2018