Book Scoop May 12- May 20, 2017

May 20, 2017
Book Scoop, InToriLex
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Lovecraft Country
The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two year old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned Atticus’s great grandmother—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of one black family, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.


Best Short Story Collections to Read Now 
The World to Come
These ten stories ring with voices belonging to--among others--English Arctic explorers in one of history's most nightmarish expeditions, a young contemporary American negotiating the shockingly underreported hazards of our crude-oil trains, eighteenth-century French balloonists inventing manned flight, and two mid-nineteenth-century housewives trying to forge a connection despite their isolation on the frontier of settlement. In each case the personal is the political as these characters face everything from the emotional pitfalls of everyday life to historic catastrophes on a global scale. In his fifth collection, Shepard makes each of these wildly various worlds his own, and never before has he delineated anything like them so powerfully.


 Did I miss anything in the book world this week?

Waiting on Wednesday Issue #13: Warcross (WarCross #1) by Marie Lu

May 17, 2017
InToriLex, Waiting on Wednesday, Weekly Feature
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted at Breaking the SpineIt spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Warcross, Marie Lu, Waiting on Wednesday, InToriLex
Warcross (Warcross, #1)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
I have only read the Legend Series by Marie Lu, but I enjoyed all of the action and intrigue that made the series good. I'm excited to read about a young female spy hacker and waiting to see how technology will help the story along. Marie Lu has always to included  diverse characters in her books and I'm sure this new series will feature more. 
What are You Anxiously Waiting On?


I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.


Monday Musings: Black Non-Compliance 5/15/17

May 15, 2017


Yesterday was Mother's day and I was happy to spend it with my Grandmother, Mom and many aunts that helped raise me. Seeing family always brings some perspective and humbles me to keep trying my best in everything that I do. While I was able to tackle a fair amount of reading this weekend, I'm still not back to the reading pace that I like. After spending months just grappling with a government that is actively trying to erode civil rights, I'm still trying to balance civic engagement with everything else.


I don't know when Congress, the Republican Leadership or Americans will reach their breaking point with this administration. But the firing of FBI Director James Comey followed by the President admitting that he fired him to stop the Russian Investigation aimed at his campaign should be the final straw. Country before party is how democracy works and I worry the more we allow Trump to go unchecked the further we get from deomocracy. Please continue to call your Senators and demand an independent special prosecutor to maintain the integrity of the Russian Investigation.

Black Non-Compliance Punishable by Death

Jordan Edwards is the latest victim of a scared white man with a gun reacting out of fear. The officer has been charged with murder but it is more surprising than assuring. Officer's who have killed in the past, have enjoyed administrative leave and the ability to return to work.

When the Supreme Court justified shooting someone running away, in Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (under the Fourth Amendment, when a law enforcement officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, he or she may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless "the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others") this gave police officers the explanation they needed to justify shooting black men who don't comply. 

Unfortunately most of the United States see's a black male as a threat,  the Willie Horton effect continues to plague our society and overcrowd our prisons. The FBI reported this year that law enforcement has been infiltrated by white supremacists. Private prisons has made it profitable to criminalize and lock up brown and black bodies. Jordan Edwards was a fifteen year old victim of racism, and we shouldn't call it something more palatable. By continuing to rationalize the casualty's of racism, we ignore the human costs. There will be more victims and we must fight for racial equity, remembering that for most non-compliance to racism and authority will have far less grave consequences.



Book Scoop May 5- May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017
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Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 
 In these dark times, remember to watch what our President does not what he says!


Smart, warm, uplifting, the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open her heart.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever—if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.


We Love You, Charlie Freeman
The Freeman family--Charles, Laurel, and their daughters, teenage Charlotte and nine-year-old Callie--have been invited to the Toneybee Institute to participate in a research experiment. They will live in an apartment on campus with Charlie, a young chimp abandoned by his mother. The Freemans were selected because they know sign language; they are supposed to teach it to Charlie and welcome him as a member of their family. But when Charlotte discovers the truth about the institute’s history of questionable studies, the secrets of the past invade the present in devious ways.

The power of this shattering novel resides in Greenidge’s undeniable storytelling talents. What appears to be a story of mothers and daughters, of sisterhood put to the test, of adolescent love and grown-up misconduct, and of history’s long reach, becomes a provocative and compelling exploration of America’s failure to find a language to talk about race.

Best Books to Truly Understand Mexico
Among Strange Victims
Rodrigo likes his vacant lot, its resident chicken, and being left alone. But when passivity finds him accidentally married to Cecilia, he trades Mexico City for the sun-bleached desolation of his hometown and domestic life with Cecilia for the debauched company of a poet, a philosopher, and Micaela, whose allure includes the promise of time travel. Earthy, playful, and sly, Among Strange Victims is a psychedelic ode to the pleasures of not measuring up.


“Together” by Jess Arndt
  "Meanwhile" by Sasha Fletcher
“Miss Snowfall” by Sofia Samatar

 Did I miss anything in the book world this week?

Waiting on Wednesday Issue #12: The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes

May 10, 2017
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted at Breaking the SpineIt spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Arsonist
Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen.

 Pepper Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school. And Ava Dreyman—the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall—is unlike anyone you’ve met before.

When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life—and death—than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers. 

OUT AUGUST 22, 2017
I am so excited for this new book by Stephanie Oakes. I absolutely loved the The Sacred Lives of Minnow Bly, so I have very high expectations. Usually I'm not interested in Young Adult Mysteries because I find them to be too predictable. But I trust this author's talent, and the reviews I've read all point to this being great.

What are You Anxiously Waiting On?


Stephanie Oakes is a teacher and YA author from Washington State. Her debut novel, THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY (Dial/Penguin, June 9, 2015), about a girl who escapes from a religious commune only to find herself at the center of a murder investigation, is based on the Grimm fairy tale, "The Handless Maiden."

THE ARSONIST, her second YA mystery through Dial/Penguin, is scheduled for publication in 2017. 


Book Scoop April 28- May 5, 2017

May 5, 2017
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Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 
The Story of My Teeth
I was born in Pachuca, the Beautiful Windy City, with four premature teeth and my body completely covered in a very fine coat of fuzz. But I'm grateful for that inauspicious start because ugliness, as my other uncle, Eurípides López Sánchez, was given to saying, is character forming.

Highway is a late-in-life world traveler, yarn spinner, collector, and legendary auctioneer. His most precious possessions are the teeth of the "notorious infamous" like Plato, Petrarch, and Virginia Woolf. Written in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory, Teeth is an elegant, witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli's own literary influences.



Signature's Best Books of May 2017
Men Without Women: Stories
 A dazzling new collection of short stories--the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic.


Did I miss anything in the book world this week?

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings (Illustrations), Damian Duffy (Adapted by)

Boko Review, Kindred, Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings, Damian Dufffy, 2017 Read, InToriLexPublished By: Abrams Books on January 10, 2017
Format Read: ARC Edition (240 pages)
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Time Travel/ Sci-fi
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Giveaway Win
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century.

Butler’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed work tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and inexplicably transported from her home in 1970s California to the pre–Civil War South. As she time-travels between worlds, one in which she is a free woman and one where she is part of her own complicated familial history on a southern plantation, she becomes frighteningly entangled in the lives of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of Dana’s own ancestors, and the many people who are enslaved by him.

Held up as an essential work in feminist, science-fiction, and fantasy genres, and a cornerstone of the Afrofuturism movement, there are over 500,000 copies of Kindred in print. The intersectionality of race, history, and the treatment of women addressed within the original work remain critical topics in contemporary dialogue, both in the classroom and in the public sphere.

Frightening, compelling, and richly imagined, Kindred offers an unflinching look at our complicated social history, transformed by the graphic novel format into a visually stunning work for a new generation of readers.



I did not read the book, this graphic novel was adapted from first. I can't speak to any differences or similarities to the original novel. I can speak to the horror show of slavery, eloquently described with nuance throughout these pages. Slavery is apart of American History that most American's would rather forget. But this graphic novel makes you face the ugliness without kid gloves. I had to take breaks while reading because human beings being systematically oppressed, beaten, abused and mentally degraded brought to mind far too many examples of how minorities in America are being treated today. We have come a long way since slavery but the dregs and institutions that created it, persist in oppressing Black Americans through mass incarceration and police brutality.
 "Slavery was a long slow process of dulling."
I was uncomfortable reading it, but happy there are no sappy story lines or helpful white saviors. Everyone in this novel has a role to play in racism. Even Dana and her white husband realize the far lasting consequences slavery has on a person's humanity. Dana is forced to travel through time whenever her white ancestor Rufus puts himself in danger. She helps him because her very existence depends on his survival. While the premise seems fantastical, helping people in power who don't have your best interest in mind is how large segments of America live.
"In his grief, Rufus seemed almost to want death. But he was afraid of dying alone."
Throughout Dana's experience back in time with her Ancestors she shatters all of the myths we tell ourselves to make slavery more palatable. She has to face how much of slavery can not be rationalized and the brutality of everyone involved. . It is a detrimental practice to strip human beings of power and ask them to be grateful for the experience. This graphic novel is a great reminder that not talking about a reality doesn't change it, race relations will continue to suffer while people can with a straight face say they don't see color. I would recommend this to everyone because you have to understand the nature of racism to grapple with how to change it.


Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.

Waiting on Wednesday Issue #11: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland

May 3, 2017
Waiting on Wednesday, Weekly Feature, InToriLex
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted at Breaking the SpineIt spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
The Rise and Fall of the D.O.D.O, Neal Stephenson, Nicole Galland, William Morrow
From bestselling author Neal Stephenson and critically acclaimed historical and contemporary commercial novelist Nicole Galland comes a captivating and complex near-future thriller combining history, science, magic, mystery, intrigue, and adventure that questions the very foundations of the modern world. When Melisande Stokes, an expert in linguistics and languages, accidently meets military intelligence operator Tristan Lyons in a hallway at Harvard University, it is the beginning of a chain of events that will alter their lives and human history itself. The young man from a shadowy government entity approaches Mel, a low-level faculty member, with an incredible offer. The only condition: she must sign a nondisclosure agreement in return for the rather large sum of money.

Tristan needs Mel to translate some very old documents, which, if authentic, are earth-shattering. They prove that magic actually existed and was practiced for centuries. But the arrival of the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment weakened its power and endangered its practitioners. Magic stopped working altogether in 1851, at the time of the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace—the world’s fair celebrating the rise of industrial technology and commerce. Something about the modern world "jams" the "frequencies" used by magic, and it’s up to Tristan to find out why.

And so the Department of Diachronic Operations—D.O.D.O. —gets cracking on its real mission: to develop a device that can bring magic back, and send Diachronic Operatives back in time to keep it alive . . . and meddle with a little history at the same time. But while Tristan and his expanding operation master the science and build the technology, they overlook the mercurial—and treacherous—nature of the human heart.

Written with the genius, complexity, and innovation that characterize all of Neal Stephenson’s work and steeped with the down-to-earth warmth and humor of Nicole Galland’s storytelling style, this exciting and vividly realized work of science fiction will make you believe in the impossible, and take you to places—and times—beyond imagining.
OUT JUNE 13, 2017
All of the reviews I've Read of this has focused on how it's as thrilling and engaging as Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I read Snow Crash during my commute in law school, I would miss my stop to get off, when I was reading it because I couldn't put it down. Mr. Stephenson is the only fiction author I've read who has made history engaging. This latest thriller set in the future and involving time travel sounds like something I would write, and I'm excited!!

What are You Anxiously Waiting On?


Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Nicole Galland's newest offering, STEPDOG, is her first contemporary story, after five historical novels (all published by HarperCollins or its imprints): The Fool's Tale; I, Iago; Revenge of the Rose; Godiva; and Crossed: A Tale of the Fourth Crusade. With a collective of six other authors (including Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear) she co-authored the Mongoliad Trilogy (published by 47N). With actress/director Chelsea McCarthy she is the co-creator of Shakespeare for the Masses at the Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, and writes a tongue-in-cheek column for the Martha's Vineyard Times.  Website
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