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A Note & Top 10 Tuesday: Books I’ve Picked Up On a Whim

Hello lovely bookish friends –

I am so happy to be back with you after an impromptu week’s absence, and so look forward to catching up on all that I’ve missed in the following days. It’s truly in being away from something that you realize just how meaningful it is, as they say. I am so grateful for this amazing community and thank you, so much. (more…)

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Top 10 Tuesday: The DC (Political Junkie) Edition

Hi everyone!

Thank you to The Broke and Bookish for the inspiration and for hosting “Top Ten Tuesdays” since 2010! This week’s prompt: Top Ten Websites I Love That Aren’t About Books (suggestions: favorite food/travel/craft/fitness blogs I follow, websites I visit daily, fun websites I waste a lot of time on etc.)

My post this week is dedicated to my (American) hometown: DC (REPRESENT!), where I’ve lived since moving to the US at the age of 11. (more…)

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And After Many Days – A Personal and Political Story of Nigeria

afterdaysAnd After Many Days by Jowhor Ile
First published on February 16, 2016
Crown Publishing
Source: from publisher via Blogging for Books
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“During the rainy season of 1995, in the bustling town of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, one family’s life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seventeen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son. As they grapple with the sudden loss of their darling boy, they embark on a painful and moving journey of immense power which changes their lives forever and shatters the fragile ecosystem of their once ordered family. Ajie, the youngest sibling, is burdened with the guilt of having seen Paul last and convinced that his vanished brother was betrayed long ago. But his search for the truth uncovers hidden family secrets and reawakens old, long forgotten ghosts as rumours of police brutality, oil shortages, and frenzied student protests serve as a backdrop to his pursuit.” Source: Penguin Random House.

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Review

1995. The Political.
Nigeria has asserted its independence from Britain 35 years ago, but the devastating aftermath still resonates through all fronts of the post-colonial struggle. The militarized government (overturned and replaced in coups multiple times) executes human-rights activists it labels dissidents (BBC News). University students take to the streets in protest as reports of police brutality percolate the toxic atmosphere. (more…)

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Blogger Recognition Award

I was nominated for The Blogger’s Recognition Award by Poppy – many thanks for the nomination! Poppy’s Best of Books is a great blog that covers a wide array of fiction, with thoughtful and honest reviews – please check it out when you have a moment!


THE RULES:

  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

HOW Books Reenchanted GOT STARTED:

This year has been a revelation for me re: books. In retrospect, my activities of the past few years – mainly, joining GoodReads, and through it, becoming a habitual reader – all seem to lead up to 2016. And, the first few months of this year explain the story of this blog. 2016 is:

  • the year I ‘discovered’ I could make new friends on GR (I’m a dinosaur with social media stuff, I only ever ‘friended’ people online whom I knew in real life… before this January, when I began reaching out on GR and found such a wonderful community of bookish people that now extends to the blogosphere)
  • the year I read my first “newly released” book EVER (Girl through Glass by Sari Wilson) and got hooked (addicted, even, it seems like most of what I read now is a new release)
  • the year I won my first ARC on a goodreads giveway, and realized ARCs were a thing. Of course, as soon as this realization took hold, I had to get more. So I signed up for the Reading Room, Netgalley, Edelweiss, and Blogging for Books (I’ve gotten so many free books already, I can’t believe I never knew this world existed before)

So, this blog got started when I realized (1) I could widen my bookish community and get to know people outside of GR, and (2) I would have even greater chances of getting free books (Blogging for Books, for example, requires one to, well, blog in order to receive copies).


ADVICE TO NEW BLOGGERS:

I’m pretty new to blogging myself (less than 2 months), but what I’ve learned so far from other bloggers is:

(1) interacting with others is key! Ok, so I mainly started this blog to get free books. But the reason I’ve fallen in love with blogging is all about the interaction. There is something to having an audience (even if it’s just perceived, if not many read these posts). Something about writing ‘out in public’ that invites me to think more carefully about how I phrase things, that writers may call “finding one’s voice”. Just as important, this audience is other people – who I would probably not otherwise meet in ‘real life’, people from all over the world with such different reading lists and experiences. There is so much to learn here. And, if that isn’t enough, if you want a successful blog, imho, you definitely can’t take your readers for granted! Interact: Visit other blogs, like others’ posts, comment, reply to comments on your own blog, take part in discussions and tags, participate in blogging “memes”.

(2) promotion on other social media platforms is important if you’re looking to interact with non-book-bloggers – thank you to Read Diverse Books for this excellent advice on 8 Lessons Learned from First Three Months of Blogging, which I still have to implement. Like I said, I’m a social media dinosaur so Twitter is alien territory. I do know at this point 99% of those who visit my blog are other book bloggers, so I look forward to taking this advice myself to broaden my audience.


MY NOMINEES:

If you have already received the award, or if you do not wish to participate, please feel free to ignore this nomination 🙂


Thanks so much Poppy for this nomination! Had a lot of fun writing this post!

And thank you everyone for reading 🙂

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Top 5 Wednesday – Authors I’d Like to Meet

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme hosted by @ThoughtsOnTomes; the related GR group may be found here: Goodreads T5W. This week’s topic: Authors You’d Want To Meet at Book Expo America & Bookcon.

I’m modifying this a bit and thinking instead of Authors I’d Want to Meet. I’ve only ever met one author – last night, I attended a release-day talk by Don DeLillo about his new book, Zero K (post coming tomorrow! Many, many thanks to Cover2CoverMom for inspiring me to go!!!) I haven’t thought much (at all) about this question before because it never occurred to me I could meet authors in person (? right?).

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Hauntingly Penetrating Stories – Dinosaurs on Other Planets by Danielle McLaughlin

dinosaursDinosaurs on Other Planets: Stories by Danielle McLaughlin
Published in the US on August 9th 2016 (UK in 2015)
Penguin Random House
Source: ARC from Random House via Netgalley
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“In a raw seacoast cabin, a young woman watches her boyfriend go out with his brother, late one night, on a mysterious job she realizes she isn’t supposed to know about. A man gets a call at work from his sister-in-law, saying that his wife and his daughter never made it to nursery school that day. A mother learns that her teenage daughter has told a teacher about problems in her parents’ marriage that were meant to be private—problems the mother herself tries to ignore. McLaughlin conveys these characters so vividly that readers will feel they are experiencing real life. Often the stories turn on a single, fantastic moment of clarity—after which nothing can be the same.” Source: Penguin Random House

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Review

I had the privilege of traveling to Ireland just over a month ago. Alas, when I returned, as these things go, my Netgalley request for Dinosaurs on Other Planets, a beautiful debut short-story collection by a budding Irish author, was approved. Having just spent a few days imbibing the soulful atmosphere of Dublin and the melancholy of the fertile but sparsely inhabited countryside of County Cork, I was especially appreciative of McLaughlin’s portrait of Ireland in transition. (more…)

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(Another) Mathematician’s Lament – How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form

A Mamathlamentthematician’s Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form by Paul Lockhart
Published April 1, 2009
Bellevue Literary Press
Source: I bought it
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“A brilliant research mathematician who has devoted his career to teaching kids reveals math to be creative and beautiful and rejects standard anxiety-producing teaching methods. Witty and accessible, Paul Lockhart’s controversial approach will provoke spirited debate among educators and parents alike and it will alter the way we think about math forever.” Source: Bellevue Literary Press

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As a mathematics teacher and long-time student of mathematics, I was overjoyed when I came across this book. Finally, I thought, an ode to the profound beauty and elegance of this most precise and direct human languages. And, hopefully, an expose on the state of mathematics education, and a plea to change course, maybe even some practical suggestions on how we may begin to do this.  (more…)

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Anticipating May 2016 – New Book Releases, Fiction & Non-Fiction

Hi everyone! It’s that very exciting time of the month – the end! Which is thrilling of course because it means May is almost here, bringing with it a wealth of NEW BOOKS to swoon over and be enchanted by and hopefully fall in love with.

Here’s my most-anticipated list – 4 I’m still eagerly awaiting (on pre-order), and 4 I’ve had the privilege to read & that I highly recommend. Each list is in order of publication.

What are *you* looking forward to reading this month? I would love to know!!! Please leave a note in the comments if you wouldn’t mind sharing 🙂

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Poignant, If Overly Romantic, Exploration of Hope and Protest – Sunil Yapa’s Your Heart is a Muscle

heartYour Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa
Published January 12, 2016
Little, Brown and Company
Source: I bought it
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“The Flamethrowers meets Let the Great World Spin in this electrifying debut novel set amid the heated conflict of Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests. In this raw and breathtaking novel, Yapa marries a deep rage with a deep humanity. In doing so he casts an unflinching eye on the nature and limits of compassion, and the heartbreaking difference between what is right and what is possible.” Source: Hachette Book Group

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Review

1999 WTO protests.
People around the world live in abject poverty. The mentally ill are out on the streets. Children are starving. Big Pharma is creating monopolies of health. American corn subsidies are impoverishing agricultural nations. The US is shoving hormone treated beef down the throats of unwilling Europeans, under the guise of ‘free trade’. Workers are being exploited. Terrible injustice permeates human existence.

But, there is hope: “He heard them saying in the streets, ‘Another world is possible,’ and beneath his ribs broken and healed and twice broken and healed and thrice broken and healed, he shuddered and thought, God help us. We are mad with hope. Here we come.” And, for those who come together in such displays of hopeful protest, their collective action and standing together is how “they hold the fear in their mouths and transform it into gold”…

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Top Ten Tuesday – Bookworm Delights

Thank you to The Broke and Bookish for the inspiration and for hosting “Top Ten Tuesdays” since 2010! This week’s prompt: Top Ten Bookworm Delights, inspired by this post by Jamie.

There are so many ways in which bookish experiences reenchant my world daily, and so many reasons to be grateful re: books-in-my-life. Here are some highlights, in no particular order: (more…)