The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

6881206 (1)The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger (2010)

40 pages

Goodreads Summary: First serialised in the Guardian, The Night Bookmobile tells the story of a young woman who one night encounters a mysterious disappearing mobile library that happens to stock every book she has ever read. Seeing her history and her most intimate self in this library, she embarks on a search for the bookmobile. Over time, her search turns into an obsession as she longs to be reunited with her own collection and her memories.

I was on a bit of a graphic novel reading streak since no novels were grabbing my interest. This is one I’ve had on my radar for a while and I finally picked it up.  I love the idea of the bookmobile and the unique twist of it being stocked with every book you’ve ever read.  There are so many books I read before I started keeping track and now I don’t remember what they are.  So I’d love to have it all documented there. Continue reading

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Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock

381102Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock (1991)

Series: Griffin & Sabine Trilogy #1

46 pages

Goodreads Summary: It all started with a mysterious and seemingly innocent postcard, but from that point nothing was to remain the same in the life of Griffin Moss, a quiet, solitary artist living in London. His logical, methodical world was suddenly turned upside down by a strangely exotic woman living on a tropical island thousands of miles away. Who is Sabine? How can she “see” what Griffin is painting when they have never met? Is she a long-lost twin? A clairvoyant? Or a malevolent angel? Are we witnessing the flowering of a magical relationship or a descent into madness?

This stunning visual novel unfolds in a series of postcards and letters, all brilliantly illustrated with whimsical designs, bizarre creatures, and darkly imagined landscapes. Inside the book, Griffin and Sabine’s letters are to be found nestling in their envelopes, permitting the reader to examine the intimate correspondence of these inexplicably linked strangers. This truly innovative novel combines a strangely fascinating story with lush artwork in an altogether original format.

I heard this book mentioned on an episode of the podcast Books on the Nightstand and immediately knew I had to pick it up.  It’s written in letters and postcards and the front and back of the postcards is shown, so there are some beautiful illustrations.  The pictures are also referenced in the letters at times so it’s nice to have that added component. Continue reading

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47 Ronin by Stan Sakai

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47 Ronin by Stan Sakai (2012-2013)

5 volumes
32 pages
Goodreads Summary: Japan’s enduring national legend comes to comics! The tale of the 47 Ronin and their epic mission to avenge their wronged master epitomizes the samurai code of honor, and creators Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai have done justice to their story! Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated, this collection of the acclaimed miniseries recounts this sweeping saga of honor and violence in all its grandeur. Opening with the tragic incident that sealed the fate of Lord Asano, 47 Ronin follows a dedicated group of Asano’s vassals on their years-long path of vengeance!

One of the taglines for this book is “to know this story is to know Japan.”  It is a great story which illustrates a lot about Japanese culture and the sense of honor of the people, especially the samurai.  When their master is wrongfully killed, all of his samurai begin plotting revenge, even though this will mean years of planning, separation from their family, and ultimately death. Continue reading

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The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley

FlaviaThe Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley (2014)

Series: Flavia de Luce #6

310 pages
Goodreads Summary: On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear.

Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd…

Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test.

Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself.

Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office – and making spectacular use of Harriet’s beloved Gypsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit – Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer.

I absolutely love the Flavia de Luce series and couldn’t wait until this book came out. I think this might be my favorite of all the series.  The previous book ended on a cliffhanger with Flavia’s father saying they’d found her mother.  I wasn’t sure if she was still alive or if that meant they’d found her body. Continue reading

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The Everything Hinduism Book by Kenneth Schouler & Susai Anthony

HinduismThe Everything Hinduism Book by Kenneth Schouler & Susai Anthony (2009)

271 pages

Goodreads Summary: Yoga. Karma. Reincarnation. Most Americans are familiar with a few basic ideas of Hinduism, but are unfamiliar with the big picture. This beginner s guide covers the major Hindu thinkers and their philosophies as well as the dharma, the moral way of life that Hindus practice. In a straightforward style, the authors explain the philosophy, gods, texts, and traditions of the world s third-largest religion, including: the power of karma; Yoga as a path to God; the authority of the Vedas; the development of Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism; the legacy of Mohandas Gandhi; Hinduism in popular culture; and more. This guide is stimulating reading for westerners who want to learn the basics of this ancient and mystic religion.

As I mentioned in a previous post, after I went to India I became really interested in not only the culture and life there, but also about Hinduism and the various religions. So I stopped at my library in search of some books to inform me and teach me the basics. This book is basically like Hinduism for Dummies as it was quite simple, to the point, and easy to read.

Continue reading

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From the Mating Dance to the Cosmic Dance by Swami Sivananda Radha

Cosmic DanceFrom the Mating Dance to the Cosmic Dance: Sex, Love, and Marriage from a Yogic Perspective by Swami Sivananda Radha (1994)

181 pages

Goodreads Summary: What part do love and marriage play in the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment? Do the bonds of love, sex, and marriage preclude achieving spiritual liberation? In a daring and ground-breaking book, Swami Radha addresses many of the fundamental questions of relationships. She invites readers to inquire into the purpose of life and to explore the mating dance, often mistaken for love, as well as the cosmic dance—that ultimate potential that is available to anyone willing to go in search of it.

With the accumulated wisdom of years of doing spiritual practice and leading workshops with individuals and couples, she illuminates a path for those seeking a purpose and direction in life. Ultimately, she says, the path of spiritual evolution must be traveled alone, and the intimacy of love, sex and marriage can profoundly affect the journey’s progress. With an approach that is pragmatic and down-to-earth, Swami Radha discusses how intimate relationships can further one’s efforts to attain a higher, cosmic consciousness or, conversely, impede the struggle.

I saw this book on the shelf at my local library and it sounded so interesting I just had to check it out.  Since returning from India I’ve become interested more in Hinduism and yoga and how ancient spiritual principles relate to ordinary life.  There aren’t many books about spirituality and relationships or sex so when I come across one, I like to read it and broaden my perspectives. Continue reading

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March 2014 Monthly Reading Summary

Total Books: 25
Adult Full-Length Novels: 2
Picture Books: 5
Graphic Novels: 7
Non-Fiction: 7
Total Pages: 2,879
Male Authors: 15
Female Authors: 9
Male & Female Authors: 1
International Authors: 11
New Authors: 21
Favorite Book(s): The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, Archetype, Griffin & Sabine

Total Pages to Date: 6,546
Total Books to Date: 48

Once again I’ve read a lot of books but not many of them were full-length novels. At the end of February I said I wanted to read more novels and I did read 2 this month, which is one more than last month, so that’s moving in the right direction!

This month I read a lot of short books, graphic novels, and even some children’s books. I got a lot of books read from my TBR which I knew would be quick and easy because that’s what I needed at the time. Maybe after this month I’ll transition into even more fiction in April.  I’ve also started catching up on all my reviews so that’s another goal I have for next month.

How was your March in reading?  Did you meet your reading goals?  What would you like to read more of in April?

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Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat

Five Point SomeoneFive Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat

271 pages

Goodreads Summary: Set in IIT, in the early ’90s, Five Point Someone portrays the lives of the protagonist Hari and his two friends Ryan and Alok. It explores the darker side of IIT, one in which students- having worked for years to make it into the institute-struggle to maintain their grades, keep their friends and have some kind of life outside studies.

Funny, dark and non-stop, Five Point Someone is the story of three friends whose measly five-point something GPAs come in the way of everything-their friendship, their love life, their future. Will they make it?

While I was in India I was looking for books by Indian authors about everyday life in modern India.  My boyfriend’s brother is an avid reader and we were able to discuss books and share recommendations.  He suggested I read this book and even bought me a copy to read while I was there. Continue reading

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Mara by Brian Wood

Mara1Mara2Mara3
Mara4Mara5Mara6

Mara by Brian Wood (2012-2013)

Series: Mara #1-#6

32 pages

Goodreads Summary: Young Mara Prince is at the top of the world, a global celebrity in a culture that prizes physical achievement above all else. After she manifests supernatural abilities on live TV, she becomes famous all over again but for the worst reasons.

Integrating themes of superpowers, celebrity worship, corporate power, feminism, and political brinksmanship, Mara takes a classic genre to new places.

The plot of this book is what really drew me to it. I was curious to see how the story would play out and what the main message was behind the events of the story.  It’s a very unique story in that the celebrities are athletes instead of movie stars.  Young children attend sport camps at a young age in the hopes of growing up to be like Mara Prince. Continue reading

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Velvet by Ed Brubaker

Velvet by Ed Brubaker (2013, 2014)

32 pages

Series: Velvet (#1-3)

Goodreads Summary: When the world’s best secret agent is killed, Velvet Templeton, the Personal Assistant to the Director of the Agency, is drawn off her desk and back into the field for the first time in nearly 20 years… and is immediately caught in a web of mystery, murder and high-octane action.

I absolutely adore books (and movies) about spies and espionage so this series is perfect for me.  Released in short little installments, it tells the story of a woman named Velvet Templeton.  At first she seems to simply be a personal assistant, but we soon learn she has a secret past as she sets out to find out what happened to her friend, a secret agent who is killed. Continue reading

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