Where do you find your books?

I won't even say it. I won't apologize for how long it's been since I've written. What I will say is I've moved across the country, twice, in two years. I've retired a guide dog and gotten another. I've gained and lost a job. Life has been turned topsy turvy in that length of time, and tons of changes have been going on. What has not changed, though, is the number of books I've read, and acquired. I just keep acquiring and acquiring. As I was acquiring last night and listening to book podcasts this morning, , it occurs to me that I needed to write a post on how I am acquiring these books, and where I'm hearing about them. I love books, as evidenced by my book_cuddler name, so here we go.
the first thing I have to let you know about is my discovery of book podcasts. I love podcasts and I love books, so you would think that it would click in my head that I would love book podcasts, right? Well it didn't until a few months ago. Then I discovered Books on the nightstand
and history, or rather more history, was born. I have even called in and been on the show a few times, just when they were doing caller shows, but still cool to hear myself on a podcast I listen to a lot.
then I discovered Bookrageous, Baby
that is just fun. It's a little longer than Books on the Nightstand, but it doesn't come out as often, either.
All of these folks are on twitter too so that has been fun to get to know them a bit using that social platform.
Just a note on twitter: Many many authors I either read or want to read are on twitter and you can follow them for more information. Authors I really enjoy reading are Lilith Saintcrow and Sherman Alexie.
Twitter is a huge source of book news for me. Not as huge as the book podcasts, but huge nevertheless.
Another great account I follow on twitter is Book Hoarders Anonymous
which is a fun book club.
And let me not forget Book Riot
which is fun for lists, passionate book talk, and everything books. The writers are fun and engaging, and who can resist?
another thing Twitter has which is fun to follow are hashtags. Basically they group like tweets into a stream that you can see on your twitter timeline. the #Fridayreads is a fun hashtag to see what people are reading in 140 characters or less. If you go to the Friday Reads hashtag on twitter, you can get more details there. And you are entered into free book drawings every week if you participate.
Yet another place I learn about new books is GoodReads
which is an amazing wealth of books. I can maintain my TBR pile there, (We don't have to mention I am many many thousands of books behind on cataloguing this, do I?), I can keep track of what I've read, and what I'm currently reading, since I have many on the go. I can see what my friends are reading, talk to them about books, recommend books to them, etc. I can also join groups like the Books on the night stand group where I can discuss everything books
which is just fantastic and fun.
Let us not forget NPR. I admit it here and now folks, I'm a huge NPR nut. Love it, can't get enough of it. NPR's books section
is a wonderful way to keep up with all things books and NPR. Their twitter feed and podcast are fantastic as well. Ditto to The Guardian books
which has a great podcast, too.
On to email groups, right?
there are many email groups out there. I am on a few that are fantastic. One is OnThePorchSwing, which is on Yahoo groups
they have monthly reading discussions if you want to, and just tons of chatter about the books we are reading, what we want to read, what we're looking forward to, etc. It's especially fun because there are international members so we get an international perspective. As an example, I have become enamored with Scandinavian literature, and there is a lady from the Netherlands who has given me some fantastic advice. It's all well and good to use Google but much more fun to talk to people from those countries to get their recommendations.
There are many more book groups to which I belong, and I might have to write a future post on how each helps me in a different way. If you look around, however, you can find groups on everything: Science Fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, etc. They are everywhere.
A note on email groups: they can be high traffic. I would recommend either using a filtering program to filter them to an individual folder, or alternatively, reading the daily digest messages as to not overwhelm your email box.
I also get emails from individual authors, and websites such as Penguin.
I am sure there are many book related resources I've missed. Can you think of a place you get spectacular book news? If so, where do you go? What do you get from that source? I can't wait to discuss this with you in the comments!

A Kiss Before the Apocolypse

I know it's been a while.
In my attempts to update, I give you one of the best books I've read this year.
There will be more very soon.
A Kiss Before the Apocalypse(Remy Chandler, #1)A
Kiss Before the Apocalypse
by Thomas E. Sniegoski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have to admit that this book isn't one I would normally pick up and read. But a book club I was involved in chose this book to read next month and I
had an audio copy that looked OK so off I went. This book is one of the best books I've read this year.

The premise: Remy Chandler is an angel, but not just any angel. He is a private investigator who never ages and can talk to animals— his black lab
Marlow is the perfect character— and he has a so-called in with the spiritual world. He can correspond with other angels, and even demons.

At the beginning of the story, Remy, is tailing a guy suspected of cheating on his wife. As Remy sits back with his fifth cup of coffee of the morning,
he hears a gun shot and runs into the hotel room to find the man has shot his lover and as Remy watches, shoots himself as well. Even though both have
been shot in the head, they refuse to die. Upon further investigation, he finds that nobody is dying, not even people who should. After speaking with
angels— both good and bad ones, Remy finds the Angel of Death is not doing his job and has taken over the body of a human. It is, then, Remy's job to
find this angel and bring him back and get him to do his job.

But as if this wasn't enough, the Apocolypse is coming, and Remy must stop it as well.

Lest you think this is a light-hearted romp through the supernatural, think again. Snagovski injects this story with humor, great amounts of sadness,
and action and adventure. We are taken on a roller coaster of emotions from the love Remy and his dying wife express for each other, the anger he has
towards the Angel of Death, and the fear of the up-coming apocolypse.

This is the first in a series and I was delighted to be able to get the other two in this series. if you want a book that has it all, I would recommend
you give this book a try. Private investigator angel he may be, but Remy Chandler is not one to be taken lightly.



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February: Push by Sapphire

An electrifying first novel that shocks by its language, its circumstances, and its brutal honesty, Push recounts a young black street-girl's horrendous
and redemptive journey through a Harlem inferno. For Precious Jones, 16 and pregnant with her father's child, miraculous hope appears and the world begins
to open up for her when a courageous, determined teacher bullies, cajoles, and inspires her to learn to read, to define her own feelings and set them down
in a diary.
This book is so much more than the description would have you believe. I can't say anything about this book that hasn't already been said or that would make it sound trite. this book, Precious, is just amazing... It is beyond words.

February: Company of Liars

Title: Company of Liars
Author: Karen Maitland
In this extraordinary novel, Karen Maitland delivers a dazzling reinterpretation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—an ingenious alchemy of history, mystery,
and powerful human drama. The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together
by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them. Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot,
the relic-seller who will become the group’s leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter
and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all—propelling these liars to a destiny
they never saw coming.
Company of Liars was an interesting book. I read it because the sequel, i believe, looked really good and I am anal about reading books in order. This was an OK read, I remember liking it enough, but the ending was one of those that just kind of fades out... It was like the author ran out of steam on it. It was a good book, though, just a little blah at the end.

February: the virgin Queen's Daughter

The Virgin Queen's Daughter The Virgin Queen's Daughter by Ella March Chase


Four out of five stars!

As captivating now as it was more than four centuries ago, the reign of Elizabeth I—with its scandal, intrigue, and resilience—has sparked the imaginations
of generations. In her sweeping historical debut, Ella March Chase explores a thrilling possibility: that the Tudor bloodline did not end with the Virgin
Queen.

Tucked away in the country estate of her beloved father, Lord Calverley, young Nell de Lacey feeds her hungry mind with philosophy, language, and studies
of science. Her mother, once a devoted lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s last wife, Katherine Parr, would rather her daughter stop dabbling in the grand
affairs of men and instead prepare for her eventual duties as a wife. She knows all too well what menace lurks in royal courts.

But Nell’s heart yearns for something more, and a chance meeting with Princess Elizabeth, then a prisoner of the Tower of London, pushes her closer toward
finding it. Now, years later, Nell’s chance arrives when she is summoned to serve as a lady-in-waiting to the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth. Nell is entranced
by the splendor and pageantry of royal life, unaware of the danger and deception that swirls around the monarch and her courtiers.

But a lingering rumor about nine unaccounted for months in the Virgin Queen’s past reignites when the flame-haired Nell—a mirror image of Her Majesty both
physically and intellectually—arrives at court. Quickly she catches the eye not only of the cunning Elizabeth, but of those who would see the queen fail.
With strong evidence to connect Elizabeth to her newest maid of honor and the politics of England in turmoil, the truth could send Nell and those she loves
to the Tower to join in the wretched fates of those who’ve gone before her.
I was captivated by this book from the start. It's an interesting premise, and I have another in the same genre here to read, but it's a boy this time in the next book. Good book and an interesting what-if? story.

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February: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1) Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay


4 of five stars!

Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep's clothing. He is handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules.
He s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami
police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own
style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened -- of himself or some other fiend.
You wouldn't think a book about a serial killer could be this fun or interesting, but Dexter really makes it so. I really enjoyed getting to know Dexter and getting inside his head, which is something I can't say about to many people, let alone serial killers. Interesting premise and a good start to the series!

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February: the Coven: Sweep #2

The Coven (Sweep, #2) The Coven by Cate Tiernan



Morgan's powers are stronger than she ever imagined. She has visions, she lights fires with her mind, and her spells work miracles. When her boyfriend Cal,
a member of the same coven, insists that witchcraft is in her blood, Morgan is confused. Her parents definitely aren't witches. They do seem to be keeping
something secret, though-something about Morgan's past.
this is like a soap opera which just happens to be Wiccan in nature, if you can call this true Wicca. The ending annoyed the heck out of me, but of course I've been sucked in and will continue to read.

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February: Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear



"She started as a maid in an aristocratic London household when she was thirteen. Her employer, Lady Rowan Compton, a suffragette, took the remarkably bright
youngster under her wing and became her patron, aided by Maurice Blanche, a friend often retained as an investigator by the elite of Europe. It was he
who first recognized Maisie's intuitive gifts and helped her to earn admission to prestigious Girton College at Cambridge where Maisie planned to complete
her education." "The outbreak of war changed everything. Maisie trained as a nurse, then left for France to serve at the Front, where she found - and lost
- an important part of herself." Ten years after the Armistice, in the spring of 1929, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator, one who has
learned that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something very different. In
the aftermath of the Great War, a former officer has founded a convalescent refuge for those grievously wounded, ex-soldiers too shattered to resume normal
life. It is a working farm known as The Retreat. When Fate brings Maisie a second case involving The Retreat she must confront the ghost that has haunted
her for over ten years.
As with so many mysteries, I found myself drawn in by the characters. the mystery itself was good, but the characters are really what made this book come alive for me. I will definitely be continuing this series very soon, and I think you should, too!

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February: the Lace Reader

The Lace Reader The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry


"Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator of The Lace Reader, hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in lace, and who have guarded a history of secrets going back generations, but the disappearance of two women brings Towner home to Salem and the truth about the death of her twin sister to light." The Lace Reader is a tale that spirals into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths in which the reader quickly finds it's nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction, but as Towner Whitney points out early on in the novel, "There are no accidents."
At first I really wasn't sure I would like this book. I found myself starting it, getting caught up in it, then stopping it and forgetting about it for a week. I probably stopped reading it two or three times before I finally finished it. I really liked the twist at the end and am surprised I missed it.. But it was an OK book. Nothing spectacular, but not bad, either. View all my reviews >>

February: Doomsday Book

title: Doomsday Book
Author: Connie Willis
Rating: 4/5 stars
Connie Willis labored five years on this story of a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives
mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications
as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion. The book, which won Hugo and Nebula Awards, draws upon Willis' understanding of the universalities
of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit.

I have to say at first I really didn't like this book. and overall I could have lived with out the futuristic stuff, but as I got into the book, I could
see why Willis used it and what it gives to the story. The historical details were great and the characters, even the annoying ones were well-drawn. Definitely
a must-read.