What explains our current obsession with selfies? In I Love My Selfie noted cultural critic Ilan Stavans explores the selfie's historical and cultural roots by discussing everything from Greek mythology and Shakespeare to Andy Warhol, James Franco, and Pope Francis. He sees selfies as tools people use to disguise or present themselves as spontaneous and casual. This collaboration includes a portfolio of fifty autoportraits by the artist ADÁL; he and Stavans use them as a way to question the notion of the self and to engage with artists, celebrities, technology, identity, and politics. Provocative and engaging, I Love My Selfie will change the way readers think about this unavoidable phenomenon of twenty-first-century life. ~Goodreads Blurb
This is definitely an interesting take on Selfies and their place within our culture. Though it reads like a dissertation, and can seem overwhelming in parts, author Ilans Stavans’ skill as a writer comes through and seeks to illuminate what he sees as the role of selfies, not only in the present world but beyond that. I enjoyed the ability of someone in an educational field to not just simplify the selfie-drive as pure vanity or hubris. Too often media tells the public that to take a selfie is to proclaim yourself better than the world, instead of the view that I took from Stavans’ book, that we are simply capture what we would like our life to look like.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Duke University Press Books in exchange for honest feedback*
"Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!"
As England enters World War II's dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to shutter the church's choir in the absence of men and instead 'carry on singing'. Resurrecting themselves as "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir", the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives. ~Goodreads Blurb
This is a lovely and cozy read to break open this spring. First time author Jennifer Ryan, has decided to take an interesting trope (The women left behind) and use their own voices to tell their stories. The entire story is told through letters and journals, that advance the story while providing different viewpoints and giving the reader a break from each storyline. There is a sort of ease that come from familiar storylines and this is apparent in Ryan’s first go. With a bit of intrigue, some spies, and a bit of black market dealings, Ryan has created an English village not far from the Channel.
Though some readers have pointed out that rarely would whole conversations be repeated verbatim in an authentic journal, I feel that it didn’t detract from the story. As a design choice I think it fit, and if anything a story without these conversations may have been very dull indeed. There are several select tropes and familiar arches that make this the cozy read that it is. There is a reason that these tropes are used often, and that is because the familiarity of them is comforting.
*This book was provided by BloggingForBooks and Crown Publishing Group in exchange for honest feedback*
Investigative team Blake and Avery find themselves entangled in a case involving political conflicts, personal vendettas, and England s first celebrity chef.
London, 1842. Captain William Avery is persuaded to investigate a mysterious and horrible death at the Reform, London s newest and grandest gentleman s club a death the club is desperate to hush up. What he soon discovers is a web of rivalries and hatreds, both personal and political, simmering behind the club s handsome facade. At the center is its resident genius, Alexis Soyer, the Napoleon of food, a chef whose culinary brilliance is matched only by his talent for self-publicity.
But Avery is distracted, for where is his mentor and partner in crime Jeremiah Blake? And what if this first death is only a dress rehearsal for something far more sinister?
Drawn in by the cover and held in by the writing, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was in fact the third in a series. Though the first book seems to have been set in India, this one is held in Victorian-ish London and I really enjoyed it. It stood very well on the strength of its own writing and was able to get away with the few leaning bits that it did have. As someone who loves a good food story and a decent mystery, I found M.J. Carter’s book a great thrill. There are a few characters that I really didn’t connect to and I believe that may be do to my lack of previous knowledge rather than a blight on Carter’s writing.
That all being said and I must say I did enjoy the story once I was able to immerse myself, I have to admit that I found that there was quite a lot of detail that I didn’t need. It reminded me of Dickens and some of the other authors of that time period who were being paid by the word. I understand that the author must have put considerable amounts of research into her story and it seemed as if she pushed all of it into this story. I love finding out little bits and things the author has come across in their research but I think there were definitely times when I could have used less in order to speed things along. I’m looking forward to going back and adding the first two of the series to my TBR list, and would recommend this to fans of the genre and Carter’s following.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam in exchange for honest feedback*
February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy.
Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark...
Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings. ~Goodreads Blurb
A sneaky book, though in a rather good way. You start out thinking that this is going to be your standard family epic story with a bit of historical drama thrown in for good measure. In a lovely twist you end up with a historical mystery infused with a supernatural twist that adds to the story instead of detracting or distracting from the story line.
With plenty of viewpoints to look at the story, author Susan Meissner keeps shifting around showing new facets of the story. Though it can be a might confusing at first, if one sticks with it, the finished story is a fascinating thing. I wasn't at all sure that I would enjoy it at first because i was looking for more historic fiction rather than another supernatural story. The way Meissner used the supernatural aspect of it, actually made it all the better for me and I am looking forward to buying a hard copy for my collection when it comes out.
*This eBook was provided in exchange for honest feedback by NetGalley and Berkley Books*
Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.
She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling.
In 2061, a young scientist invents a time machine to fix a tragedy in his past. But his good intentions turn catastrophic when an early test reveals something unexpected: the end of the world.
A desperate plan is formed. Recruit three heroes, ordinary humans capable of extraordinary things, and change the future.
Safa Patel is an elite police officer, on duty when Downing Street comes under terrorist attack. As armed men storm through the breach, she dispatches them all.
'Mad' Harry Madden is a legend of the Second World War. Not only did he complete an impossible mission—to plant charges on a heavily defended submarine base—but he also escaped with his life.
Ben Ryder is just an insurance investigator. But as a young man he witnessed a gang assaulting a woman and her child. He went to their rescue, and killed all five.
Can these three heroes, extracted from their timelines at the point of death, save the world?~Goodreads Blurb
With great promise, comes great responsibility. Well, not really but it can’t hurt to put a bit of pressure on an author. A book of this size has a promise of some world building and to have a lot going on. Instead readers are given some back story, and then pages upon pages about one character’s depression. While I would expect there to be some underlying trauma from finding out you’re dead and have to move on, the “woe is me” attitude wore thin very quickly. Honestly, Safa had more reason to break than Ben Ryder. I expected this story to be about these three great heroes making a difference, even after death. I would almost recommend a name change to “Ben Ryder: I’m Not a Soldier.”
Coupling the highlighting of Ben ryder’s character with Safa’s character makeup, annoyed me to no-end. She is described as the perfect woman, and in almost every instance men are drawn to her. She gets taken advantage of by her boss, and then in a matter of weeks, the author has her trying to seduce a guy better. Harry, a man extracted from the furthest point, could easily have been replaced by a robot sidekick for all the real growth the character has. No one has the training to be able to automatically adjust to moving years into the future or the past. It had the potential to be a great book but unless something drastically improves the next one, I don’t think this will be a series to promote.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and 47North in exchange for honest feedback*
Freelance Editor & Reviewer