Episode 6: The Other Boleyn Girl with Stephanie Cortez and Ileana Garcia

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Meghan is joined by two new guests this week, Stephanie Cortez and Ileana Garcia. We read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and discussed our thoughts on 1500s clothing, movie adaptations, and whether or not British actors can pull off American accents. Ileana introduces a new aspect of the podcast going forward, what cocktail goes with this book?

For this book we agree that a good spiced Christmas wine with a Malbec is the drink choice for this book. See below for the past books and cocktails that go with them!

Books/Movies/Shows discussed in this podcast:

Blackpool 
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Harry Potter’s Butterbeer
Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
The Devil in the White City 
The Last Host Time

Past Books’ Cocktails:

Master and Commander: Dark and Stormy
Infected: a shot of Blue Curaçao and tequila
Silk: Absinthe
Boneshaker: Zombie
Waylander II: Homemade Mead
Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: Old Fashioned
The Other Boleyn Girl: Spiced Christmas wine 

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Ileana’s Instagram

Check out this episode!

Episode 5: Waylander II with Emily Bennett and Ollie Brady

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First, go check out our minisode as well! There’s a giveaway you can enter!

Giveaway ends June 10th, so get your entries in ASAP!

This week I am joined by Ollie Brady and Emily Bennett of Best Acquaintances! We discuss David Gemmell’s Waylander II and giggle through the entire episode while Ollie tries to explain why this book was important to 11-year-old Ollie, Emily reads the most ridiculous physical comedy scene in a fantasy book, and we all discuss female characters in fantasy novels.

Books Discussed:

Waylander II by David Gemmell
I Don’t Know Where You Know Me From by Judy Greer
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates
The Drenai Saga by David Gemmell

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Best Acquaintances’ Twitter | Best Acquaintances’ Facebook

Check out this episode!

Episode 4: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest with Marilag Angway and James DeBruicker

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Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or where ever you listen to podcasts:

iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play| Pocket Cast| RSS Feed

Mari and James join me again for episode 4 of the podcast, where we discuss Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Lots of talk of zombies and steampunk in this episode, as well as Mari and I making James feel old for making a Simpsons reference.

Books referenced in this episode:

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Jerusalem by Alan Moore
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Fables by Bill Willmingham

Read Mari’s Original Boneshaker Review

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads |
Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Mari’s Blog | James’s Instagram

Episode 3: Silk by Caitlin Kiernan with James DeBruicker and Marilag Angway

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Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or where ever you listen to podcasts:

iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play| Pocket Cast| RSS Feed

Word of the Day: Weird

For episode 3 I welcome two new guests, James DeBruicker and Marilag Angway! We discuss Silk by Caitlin Kiernan, which is a darker book than the previous two books on the show. The book brings about memories of 90s goth, a discussion of intent vs. impact, and how a book can be excellent, but light on plot.

Books Referenced in this episode:

Silk by Caitlin Kiernan
All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Party at the World’s End by James Curcio
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Jerusalem by Alan Moore
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Join by Steven Toutonighi

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads |
Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Mari’s Blog | James’s Instagram

7 Books in 7 Days

In order to clear my head from Infected, (see my last blog post about my latest podcast *ahem*), I binged through some library books I’ve had an ARC I thought I was excited about. (Spoiler: it was terrible.) So Below is 7 short summaries on the books I read this week!

Book 1: Heist Society by Ally Carter

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This was the first book I picked up after Infected, because for whatever reason, I didn’t feel like Ally Carter could steer me wrong. Well, I wasn’t wrong. If you haven’t read any of Ally Carter’s books, I recommend them all. The Embassy Row series isn’t my favorite, but I’ll talk about those in a minute. Katarina is a art thief who wants to get out of the family business, but after her father is accused of stealing a dangerous man’s artwork, she must return the artwork or watch her loved ones suffer. The sense of family (I also saw Fast and the Furious this past week so like, *FAMILY*) in the teen thieves is amazing. I just got the second ebook, and I’m excited to see where she goes next!

Book 2: All Fall Down by Ally Carter and Book 3: See How They Run by Ally Carter

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These are the darkest of Ally Carter’s books I’ve read. I have the third one ready to go for after I do some reading for my podcast, so I’ll have this series wrapped up soon! This book deals with a sixteen year old girl trying to decide if her mother was murdered or if she has actually broke mentally. Up until right before the reveal, I honestly didn’t know if the author went one way or the other. The second book adds a layer of mystery, which I’m not sure I care for, but it still focuses on if Grace has broken, especially after the reveal.

Book 4:  Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

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I am so glad I finally got to read this book! I have adored Anna Kendrick since she played the friend in Twilight, and it was a blast to hear about how she thinks back on those years positively….mostly because they paid the bills. Like everyone else who read this, I want to be her friend so much. But I doubt my weirdness will match yours…..though if you ever want to get coffee? Yes? Okay! No seriously, Anna Kendrick is an amazing actress, an amazing child actress, and is exactly as weird as she sounds on Twitter.

Book 5: Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

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I’m a little addicted to my public library’s overdrive account,  I’ll admit it. And seeing that this book was available with no hold? I picked it up instantly without knowing what it is. Turns out, this was the last autobiography Fisher wrote, and it was about her time on set making the first Star Wars. At least, that’s how it is marketed. About eighty percent of this book is about her relationship with Harrison Ford and what they did on set, and the last twenty is about her interactions with fans. Carrie was a treasure, and I am sure I’ll love her other autobiographies more than this one.

Book 6: I Don’t Know Where You Know Me From by Judy Greer

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This book is adorable. I bought it when it first came out, but I’ve come to learn that I prefer autobiographies in audiobook form if they’re read by the author. Judy Greer is one of my favorite actresses and has been forever. I don’t know why she doesn’t get star work, but I’m happy to see her when she pops up. What I didn’t realize is that she actually has a degree in acting, is married, and that’s she’s just as wonderful off screen as she is on screen. It’s a quick listen, and Hollywood: LET’S GET JUDY GREER A STAR ROLE.

Also her husband and her still have separate houses even after marrying and I kind of love this? It reminds me of my grandparents.

Book 7: Let’s Try This Again by Jordyn Woodtke 

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I haven’t read a book in so long that made me hate it from the first sentence, make a book I thought I hate seem good, and yet somehow I finished this book.
This book had so much slut shaming (though she states after using the word MULTIPLE TIMES how she hates the word and doesn’t want to use it….and then uses it again. multiple times.) I suppose we are to think that the MC is amazing and awesome and has always been and doesn’t care….but you do. Too much. And it’s because you are TWENTY-TWO.
I will never get the phrase “Picasso of Pussy” out of my head and I will never forgive her for it. Also if the “sex was so good I couldn’t describe it” well then…maybe you….and your “character”….aren’t actually writers? Because good lord the writing on this was terrible.
Also, the MC is supposed to be 22, and has “searched the East Coast for a writing job and none are perfect so let’s go out to the West Coast” just. You are 22. Also, then she “has enough experience to be a former boy band’s PA”? Yeah okay.

This book was not written well — it read like a bad teenage fan fiction book or a teenager’s faux diary. Seriously, do not recommend.

Also, Mom? Thank you for never feeling the need to be my friend before my mom. I am so glad our friendship is organic. And for probably slapping me if I ever called you a bitch.

Episode 2: Infected by Scott Sigler with Tim Lowe and Joe Schulman

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Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or where ever you listen to podcasts:

iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Play| Pocket Cast| RSS Feed

Word of the day: Gooey

For Episode 2 we discussed Tim’s recommendation, Infected by Scott Sigler. I apologize in advance as I fidgeted around the entire episode with the necklace from Surly-Ramics Etsy Store and didn’t realize it was picking up in the recording.

On top of the novel we discuss our vague survival plans for surviving the apocalypse, I Am Legend both book and movie, the author’s approach to modern day “publishing”, whether or not the guys would take Perry’s way if infected, and host Meghan goes on a mini rant about how everyone should be watching Buffy again.

Books referenced in this podcast episode:

Infected by Scott Sigler
Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
The Children of Hurin by J. R. R. Tolkien
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Buffy Season 8 by Joss Whedon

Find us on the web:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Email: judgingcoverspodcast@gmail.com

Find our host and guest(s):

Meghan’s Twitter | Tim’s Twitter

Check out this episode!

Book Podcast?

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I haven’t talked about this on my blog much at all, mostly because it’s been in the works for a month or two now? But as I am editing and gearing up to post my first episode, I need to announce it everywhere! I am hosting a new podcast called Judging Book Covers, which is a biweekly book club podcast where I’ll bring on two guests to read a book suggested by each guest and we’ll all discuss!

My first episode is on Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian, and I’m joined by two of my friends: Tim Lowe and Joe Schulman. Going forward I *think* it’ll auto connect to my wordpress, but we’ll see?

The Danny list

My Danny passed away. My mother gave this amazing eulogy.

Quantum Entanglement

For the almost 30 years that we’ve known him, he was “our Danny” to me and my girls. Even after he married my mother in 2004, he was still “our Danny” and it always felt awkward for me to call him a step-father or grandpa. He was a huge influence on me as a young adult, a young parent. I am eternally grateful for the life he shared with my mother and my family. image

The Danny-list

Thank you all for coming today to honor Danny Harris, a remarkable man, a devoted husband, father, brother, son, grandparent, uncle, cousin, and friend to many.

We watched Danny suffer through the last 2 years of his life and we saw the illness take away his ability to enjoy almost everything in his life that he loved to do. Yet even through this difficult time, Danny continued to live his life with the same…

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Book Review: Follow Me Back

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I originally chose this book due to a quick read of the synopsis, as well as my love for silly stories about celebrities falling in love with a fan in strange ways. Especially when they have a mystery twist.

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Follow Me Back

By A. V. Geiger

Published Date: June 2017

Format: ebook ARC
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Romance
Ratingmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 4/5 Moose

Synopsis

Synopsis taken from Netgalley:

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts Follow Me Back is the  first book of a new duology. Written for the online generation this thriller  will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murder at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Characters

Tessa Hart: An agoraphobic  18 year old, whoose lif has become all about her twitter world.

Eric Thorn: A famous singer who has become paranoid since another singer has been killed by an obsessed fan.

Rants, Raves, and General Thoughts

I’ll admit, I submitted for this advanced reader copy because I might have been watching It Follows on Netflix. I was a little disappointed that this isn’t a weird ghost/demon story, but it still was right up my alley. I secretly kind of love books where celebrities genuinely fall in love with one of their fans in some way.

I also tend to really love epistolary novels….which this isn’t entirely. It’s a good combination of pros and documents. I found Tessa to be incredibly relatable, even without not knowing what caused her paranoia until much later in the book. The author also doesn’t try to sell her as a drop dead gorgeous girl who is just slightly flawed — she feels real.

This book also makes me as a Twitter user feel wonderfully uncomfortable. I have never randomly confessed my love to a celebrity….I honestly am more likely to yell at a corporation I feel has wronged me. But still, I do see the people that respond, saying anything to see if they’ll get a reaction. And I will like/retweet things people say….especially authors.

This book is well written and fairly straight forward, though it has a nice twist. I found I related with Tessa’s anxieties, and that they were written with just enough tension but not over the top at all.

Final Thoughts

I don’t find too many young adult thrillers that are great — Harlan Coben has a great miniseries worth checking out ahem — and I would also recommend A.V. Geiger. I have started following her on Wattpad too! Though I doubt the sequel to this book will be published there. And be advised — this book has a cliffhanger ending. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

….oh I have to wait a year? REALLY? Sigh.

Book Review: Ensnared

I received this advanced readers copy by Netgalley, in exchange for an unbiased review.

I initially picked this book out as the cover is beautifully done, and the concept of a futuristic, sci-fi Beauty and the Beast sounded wonderfully fun.

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Ensnared

By Rita Stradling

Publish Date: Dec. 2017

Format: ebook ARC
Genre: New Adult, Retelling, Romance, Sci-Fi
Ratingmoose-mdmoose-mdmoose-md 3.25/Moose

Synopsis

Alainn is the youngest daughter of Connor, a brilliant robot creator with a massive gambling problem. When his newest creation, an AI made to look like Alainn named Rose, isn’t ready for the man who commissioned her, Lorrcan. In order to keep her father out of jail, given his massive gambling debt and fraud, Alainn agree to Rose’s plan to pretend to be the robot until it is ready.

But instead of the life of servitude and living in a tower, Alainn finds her life to be very different than originally imagined.

Characters

Alainn – the “Beauty” of the story

Lorrcan – the “Beast” of the story

Connor and Colby – Alainn’s father and brother

Rose, Rosebud, and Rosette – AIs of the world

Rants, Raves and General Thoughts

Initial thoughts: Great retelling idea (especially given the renewed love for Beauty and the Beast) and thank god it’s not a retelling of Alice in Wonderland because aren’t we all sick of those yet? Plus the cover is GORGEOUS. 

After looking at the reviews on Goodreads: Maybe I made a mistake with this book, oh dear.

I’ll admit, looking at the reviews caused me to look at this book with an unfortunate biased at first. I thought I was going to DNR this book, especially as I was concerned it might take a 50 Shades of Grey fake BDSM turn. Thankfully, it doesn’t. The “Beauty” and “Beast” are loose terms, and thankfully the author doesn’t describe Alainn’s beauty in great depth. In fact….I don’t know if Alainn is given much of a physical description. But it works well.

This is a fairly light read that could do with another edit or two (particularly in the beginning.) The story is a little predictable in some manner — who the bad guy is going to be at least, but as for the reasoning, it was a shock for me. I feel Alainn and Lorrcan’s back story could have more punch — there’s a lot of hinting at bad, but the actual background stories happen fairly late in the book. At one point “Mrs. Miller” is interviewed for Alainn’s character, but I had no connection at to who she was or why it was important.

I loved the monkeys and want a robot cleaning monkey.

The book could use some more world building — why are all the jobs done by robots? How does anyone make money? And this would help build up some of my issues with the book. Also more character building of her father and brother — I didn’t understand the latter’s personality until 75% of the way into the book.

I found the romance believable, and while Lorccan is dealing with some serious anxiety and phobias and can we please get him a damn therapist, he didn’t seem to be a controlling asshole. I mean, he’s fucked up and needs some help asap. But he’s also not the one keeping Alainn/Rose/Jade in the house.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed it, and it’s a light quick read. I hope the final has more world building, allowing for the plot to breathe more. And I’ll keep up with the author and THANK YOU for not being an Alice in Wonderland retelling.