Book Scoop September 1- September 15, 2017

September 15, 2017
Book Scoop, Book News, InToriLex, Man Booker 2017
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories

Happy GreenPeace Day!!!

HEADLINES

Autumn
~Amazon~ 
Fusing Keatsian mists and mellow fruitfulness with the vitality, the immediacy and the colour-hit of Pop Art (via a bit of very contemporary skulduggery and skull-diggery), Autumn is a witty excavation of the present by the past. The novel is a stripped-branches take on popular culture and a meditation, in a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, what harvest means.

Autumn is the first installment in Ali Smith's novel quartet Seasonal: four standalone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are), exploring what time is, how we experience it, and the recurring markers in the shapes our lives take and in our ways with narrative.

From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories, and a story about ageing and time and love and stories themselves.


LINKS TO CLICK

Same Kind of Different as Me
~Amazon~
Meet Denver, a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s; a man who escaped, hopping a train to wander, homeless, for eighteen years on the streets of Dallas, Texas. No longer a slave, Denver's life was still hopeless—until God moved. First came a godly woman who prayed, listened, and obeyed. And then came her husband, Ron, an international arts dealer at home in a world of Armani-suited millionaires. And then they all came together.

But slavery takes many forms. Deborah discovers that she has cancer. In the face of possible death, she charges her husband to rescue Denver. Who will be saved, and who will be lost? What is the future for these unlikely three? What is God doing?

Same Kind of Different As Me is the emotional tale of their story: a telling of pain and laughter, doubt and tears, dug out between the bondages of this earth and the free possibility of heaven. No reader or listener will ever forget it.
Future Home of the Living God
~Amazon~
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.

Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.

There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.

A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.


SHORT STORIES

Henosis by N. K. Jemisin
Egg Laying Queen by Kristen Arnett

Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below.
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The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

September 14, 2017
The Punch Escrow, Tal M. Klein, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Geek & Sundry on July 25, 2017
Format Read: ARC Edition (319 pages)
Genre: Science-Fiction/ Thriller/ Humor
Series: Standalone
Source: Giveaway Win
Rating: FOUR STARS
The Punch Escrow
~Amazon~
It's the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We've genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure... Arrival... Delight!

Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday twenty-second century guy. He spends his days training artificial intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980's new wave—an extremely obscure genre, and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he's accidentally duplicated while teleporting.

Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

I didn't know what to expect from a futuristic hard sci-fi thriller. However I was pleasantly surprised with the good pacing and humor. It is hard to find books that bend genre's in a workable way but this book  did. The protagonist Joel's sarcasm and relatable reactions to things balanced out a book that included foot notes on futuristic world history.  The world building was fantastic, because every time I wondered how that would actually work, it would be followed by an explanation. The world building read well because the writing was good, it never read like filler or rushed exposition.
The characters in this book include a multi-faceted travel agent, Yoel (Joel's double), an ancient cult leader and a mad scientist. The characters were realistic and flowed together and apart nicely. Joel's epic journey to find himself  and survive the people who each want to use him for his own agenda included action, banter and romance. Hard scif-fi does not have to be boring, this book tells a human story in a future world where humans can upgrade themselves into something else entirely.
"Even if I were capable of gauging my state of mind objectively, I could only determine such things in retrospect."
The short cliff hanger and song titled chapters kept me engaged and made me wish this was a trilogy. I liked the book so much I was able to read a chapter that was left on the editing room floor (thanks Mr. Klein). The use of footnotes was done sparingly, but it would have helped the whole book stay in line with it's hard sci-fi know it all feel, if the author used them throughout. I don't know what the future of teleportation will be, but this gave some really cool imagery and ideas of how it could work. I would recommend this to fans of awesome hard sci-fi thrillers with humor and heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tal M. Klein, author and musician, was born in Israel, grew up in New York, and currently lives in the Detroit area with his wife and two daughters. When she was five years old, his daughter Iris wrote a book called I'm a Bunch of Dinosaurs that went on to become one of the most successful children's book projects on Kickstarter --something that Tal explained to Iris by telling her, "your book made lots of kids happy." Iris then asked Tal, "Daddy, why don't you write a book that makes lots of grownups happy?" Tal mulled this over for a few years, and eventually wrote his first book, The Punch Escrow. It won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Science Fiction publishing contest, and was the first book published on Legendary Entertainment's Geek & Sundry imprint. The film rights for The Punch Escrow have been acquired by Lionsgate. James Bobin (Flight of The Conchords, The Muppets) has been attached to adapt and direct.  Twitter
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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

August 29, 2017
Book Review, F.C. Yee, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, InToriLexPublished By: Amulet Books on August 8, 2017
Format Read: Advanced Readers Copy (310 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy/Mythology
Series:  Standalone
Source: Shelf Awareness Giveaway
Rating: FOUR POINT FIVE STARS
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
~Amazon~
The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo's every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

This book was so much fun to read. If I'm speaking in terms of dinner courses, this reads like fried ice cream. The characters are likeable and the humor is memorable. Genie Lo is a formidable force who tries to fight monsters from hell, while crafting herself into a competitive college student. Her character is head strong in a brutish but relateable way. I could only imagine how I would react to learning I have super powers. Quentin is a friend who is full of surprises and a great guide for Genie about how to navigate this new life that crosses worldly dimensions. It was a pleasure to read about a female protagonist who was unapologetically bad ass.
"I'm going to rip his balls off and shove them in his eye sockets."
The author does a great job of describing characters and developing them quickly. The only criticism I have of this short but satisfying book is a lack of world building. The book did fit in action, humor, Chinese mythology and even some romance. But I really wanted to learn more about the leaders and major players described in caring for Heaven and Hell. The pacing was great and every detail helped move the story and kept my face stuck to the book. I liked the focus on the Asian Community and their unique experiences.There are far too few books that focus on marginalized communities, and this was a great one.

This books ending made me hopeful for more action packed adventures where characters cross Heaven and Hell. The mythology described never read like exposition but was presented well as integral part of Genies adventures. The powers and action described stretched my imagination in ways like never before. I would recommend this to fans of Young Adult action packed fantasy, featuring diverse characters. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

F.C. Yee is currently the author of THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO. He will hopefully be the author of more YA books in the future.

Twitter
Website
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Book Scoop August 18- August 25, 2017

August 25, 2017
InToriLex, Book Scoop, Weekly Feature, Book News
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & A Short Story

HEADLINES

Beyonce Will Release a $300 Coffee Table Book

The President's Arts and Humanities Committee Resigns 

Native American Literature's Living Con Job

New Book Will Profile Women Who Shaped Trump 

LINKS TO CLICK

Existential Reading List  
Memoirs of a Polar Bear
~Amazon~ 
Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers―who happen to be polar bears.

Three generations (grandmother, mother, son) of polar bears are famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany: they are polar bears who move in human society, stars of the ring and of the literary world. In chapter one, the grandmother matriarch in the Soviet Union accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography. In chapter two, Tosca, her daughter (born in Canada, where her mother had emigrated) moves to the DDR and takes a job in the circus. Her son―the last of their line―is Knut, born in chapter three in a Leipzig zoo but raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo, until his keeper, Matthias, is taken away...

Happy or sad, each bear writes a story, enjoying both celebrity and “the intimacy of being alone with my pen.”
Fiction and Non Fiction For Every State

Author's Side Hustle

Great TV Shows and Books to Read Post  
The Sound of Things Falling
~Amazon~ 
Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed not only as one of South America’s greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia.

In the city of Bogotá, Antonio Yammara reads an article about a hippo that had escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article transports Antonio back to when the war between Escobar’s Medellín cartel and government forces played out violently in Colombia’s streets and in the skies above.

Back then, Antonio witnessed a friend’s murder, an event that haunts him still. As he investigates, he discovers the many ways in which his own life and his friend’s family have been shaped by his country’s recent violent past. His journey leads him all the way back to the 1960s and a world on the brink of change: a time before narco-trafficking trapped a whole generation in a living nightmare.

Vásquez is “one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature,” according to Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and The Sound of Things Falling is his most personal, most contemporary novel to date, a masterpiece that takes his writing—and will take his literary star—even higher. 

FEATURED SHORT STORY

Rhymes with Feral” by Alex Higley  
 Did I miss anything in the Book World this week?
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Bitch Planet, Vol 2: President Bitch by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma (artist), Valentine De Landro (artist)

August 24, 2017
Bitch Planet Vol 2: President Bitch, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma, Valentine De Landro, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Image Comics on June 6, 2017
Format Read:  Paperback Edition (144 pages)
Genre: Feminism/ Sci-fi / Comic
Series: Book Two of Bitch Planet
Source: Purchased
Rating: FIVE STARS
Bitch Planet, Vol. 2: President Bitch
~Amazon~ 
Eisner Award-nominated writer KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel) and VALENTINE DE LANDRO (X-Factor) follow up on the success of EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE with the second installment of their highly acclaimed and fiercely unapologetic BITCH PLANET. A few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman's failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords results in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. But what happened on Earth that this new world order came to pass in the first place? Return to the grim corridors of Auxiliary Compliance Outpost #2, to uncover the first clues to the history of the world as we know it…and meet PRESIDENT BITCH.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

I was overjoyed to pick up with the characters in this series. This volume explained more about how Bitch Planet came to be, although there are still pieces to that puzzle missing. We catch up with the characters on Bitch Planet who are still trying to find ways to use their participation in the upcoming Megaton games as a form of rebellion. However in this issue we learn more about the horrors of male power being revered and unchecked at the costs of young girls. There are a slew of new characters being introduced but not a lot of character development to accompany them. Despite that this was was an enjoyable volume because we finally see the seeds of revolution spreading.
This is one of my favorite ongoing comics right now because it deals with identity as being a trait of who you are, rather than something that defines your humanity. The pages of these comics touch on many different kinds of diversity. There is a important scene meant to shadow the murder of Tamir Rice that was included to highlight how deadly authority can be. The ads were included at the end of some volumes to highlight the many ways that woman conform and hide while sacrificing their happiness.

We finally got to meet President Bitch who did not disappoint, demonstrating her commitment to the cause and unwavering courage. I'm excited to see how the rebellion will be rolled out in the next volume. This was a wonderful continuation of a not so unfamiliar future, and I can't wait to read more.

Reviews in Series
Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine (Bitch Planet #1-5) by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma (Artist), Robert Wilson (Artist)  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelly Sue DeConnick has written for Image Comics, Boom, Oni, Humanoids, Dark Horse, IDW, DC, Vertigo, and Marvel. Today, she is best known for surprise hits like Carol Danvers' rebranding as Captain Marvel and the Eisner-nominated mythological western, PRETTY DEADLY; the latter was co-created with artist Emma Ríos. DeConnick's most recent venture, the sci-fi kidney-punch called BITCH PLANET, co-created with Valentine De Landro, launched to rave reviews in December 2014. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Matt Fraction, and their two children.
Twitter

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a jarful of moonlight by Nazanin Mirsadeghi

August 21, 2017
InToriLex, a jarful of moonlight, Nazanin Mirsadeghi, poetry, Book Review
Published By: Bahar Books on February 13, 2017
Format Read: Paperback Edition (72 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ Nonfiction
Series:  Standalone
Source: Publisher Request
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE STARS
a jarful of moonlight
~Amazon~
This is a series of short love poems.

VERDICT: 

 

 

 

REVIEW:

This was a wonderful short collection of poetry. The author is able to succinctly summarize and explain emotions through her work.
I love you with all my being
but loving you
is not my being. 
The author's creative use of words and expressions aren't easily described. The style reminds me of other prominent Poets such as Rupi Kaur andNayyirah Waheed. I wish the volume was longer to experience more of the author's voice. I hoped to read more about the authors experience as a immigrant. The immigrant experience was alluded to but not fleshed out.
the pain
you received as a gift
wrapped in a shiny paper
that said, I love you!,
you re-gifted to me
carefully wrapped in a shinier paper
that said, I love you more!
I would recommend this to readers who enjoy short stanza  poems. The author explores healing, grief, relationships and writing throughout this volume. I will read more writing by this author in the future. I expect with time the author's talent will expand and and develop further.

I received a copy of this book from Bahar Books in exchange for an honest review.

 
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Monday Musings:"Recent Racism" 8/21/17

IntoriLex, Monday Musings, Recent Racism  

LIFE LATELY 

I've been doing a lot of soul searching and transitioning between positions at work. The current US administration has given me the motivation I need to fight against it's racist and detrimental policies. No one is going to make the world better alone, and we all have to figure out how we can help. I've been writing again and slowly catching up on the towering books I need to read. Thank you readers for your comments and encouragement on Twitter when I feel like my blogging isn't even meeting my own expectations.

I wasn't able to make it to the Counter Protest that happened in Boston this weekend. But I was proud so many came out to stand against white supremacist spewing hate. We can show that racist beliefs can't be tolerated and we need to. No one should feel like they can stay out of politics. The heavy cost of apathy became clear after the election.

"Recent Racism"

I've learned and adapted to the racist reality that I live in my entire life. I have had upsetting experiences of being talked to like I was sub-human. That's why it was such a shock to see people surprised that Nazi's would run over a young woman standing up against racism with a car. Heather Heyer's mom has urged that we take righteous action going forward.

America's history has never not included racism and the subjugation of another. Racism is as American as apple-pie, pretending that it's a unthinkable monster being unearthed does nothing to change that. 

I hope that as more people become engaged we keep the momentum going. White supremacist groups have been a threat and taking down monuments that honor them is a small step toward change. Racism thrives when people ignore it, now is the time to stand up against it in all of it's awful forms.

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Book Scoop August 12- August 18, 2017

August 18, 2017
Book News, InToriLex, Links, Short Stories
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 

HEADLINES 

2017 Hugo Award Winners Announced

~Amazon~
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

Texas School Official Removed After

Writing White Supremacist Book

Chinese Novelist Arrested for Murder

Hillary Clinton's Pastor Plagiarizes in New Book

LINKS TO CLICK

12 of the Best Women in Sports Books

~Amazon~
In this candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, Olympic medalist Amanda Beard reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.
At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and left with two silvers and a gold medal. She competed in three more Olympic games, winning a total of seven medals, and enjoyed a lucrative modeling career on the side. At one point, she was the most downloaded female athlete on the Internet.
Yet despite her astonishing career and sex-symbol status, Amanda felt unworthy of all her success. Unaware that she was suffering from clinical depression, she hid the pain beneath a megawatt smile. With no other outlet for her feelings besides the pool, Amanda expressed her emotions through self-destructive behavior. In her late teens and twenties, she became bulimic, abused drugs and alcohol, and started cutting herself.
Her low self-esteem led to toxic relationships with high-profile men in the sports world. No one, not even her own parents and friends, knew about the turmoil she was going through. Only when she met her future husband, who discovered her cutting herself, did Amanda realize she needed help.
Through her renewed faith in herself; the love of her family; and finally the birth of her baby boy, Blaise, Amanda has transformed her life. In these pages, she speaks frankly about her struggles with depression, the pressures to be thin, and the unhealthy relationships she confused for love. In the Water They Can’t See You Cry is a raw, compelling story of a woman who gained the strength to live as bravely out of the water as she did in it.

FEATURED SHORT STORIES

Pirate Librarians by Danielle Evans

An Evening Out by Garth Greenwell

Did I miss anything in the Book World this week?
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