Book Scoop August 10- August 17, 2018

August 17, 2018
Ball Lightning, Liu Cixin , Joel Martinsen, InToriLex
Ball Lightning
When Chen’s parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of mysterious natural phenomenon. His search takes him to stormy mountaintops, an experimental military weapons lab, and an old Soviet science station. The more he learns, the more he comes to realize that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier in particle physics. Although Chen’s quest provides a purpose for his lonely life, his reasons for chasing his elusive quarry come into conflict with soldiers and scientists who have motives of their own: a beautiful army major with an obsession with dangerous weaponry, and a physicist who has no place for ethical considerations in his single-minded pursuit of knowledge. 
A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua
A River of Stars, Vanessa Hua, InToriLex
A River of Stars
In a powerful debut novel about motherhood, immigration, and identity, a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California and stakes a claim to the American dream.

Holed up with other moms-to-be in a secret maternity home in Los Angeles, Scarlett Chen is far from her native China, where she worked in a factory job and fell in love with the owner, Boss Yeung. Now she's carrying his baby. Already married with three daughters, he's overjoyed because the doctors confirmed he will finally have the son he has always wanted. To ensure that his son has every advantage, he has shipped Scarlett off to give birth on American soil. U.S. citizenship will open doors for their little prince.

As Scarlett awaits the baby's arrival, she chokes down bitter medicinal stews and spars with her imperious housemates. The only one who fits in even less is Daisy, a spirited teenager and fellow unwed mother who is being kept apart from her American boyfriend.

Then a new sonogram of Scarlett's baby reveals the unexpected. Panicked, she escapes by hijacking a van--only to discover that she has a stowaway: Daisy, who intends to track down the father of her child. They flee to San Francisco's bustling Chinatown, where Scarlett will join countless immigrants desperately trying to seize their piece of the American dream. What Scarlett doesn't know is that her baby's father is not far behind her.

A River of Stars is an entertaining, wildly unpredictable adventure, told with empathy and wit. It's a vivid examination of home and belonging, and a moving portrayal of a woman determined to build her own future.
The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones #1) by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie 
The Raging Ones, (The Raging Ones #1), Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie, InToriLex
The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones, #1)
In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (Translator)
Flights, Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft, InToriLex
 A seventeenth-century Dutch anatomist discovers the Achilles tendon by dissecting his own amputated leg. Chopin's heart is carried back to Warsaw in secret by his adoring sister. A woman must return to her native Poland in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart, and a young man slowly descends into madness when his wife and child mysteriously vanish during a vacation and just as suddenly reappear. Through these brilliantly imagined characters and stories, interwoven with haunting, playful, and revelatory meditations, Flights explores what it means to be a traveler, a wanderer, a body in motion not only through space but through time. Where are you from? Where are you coming in from? Where are you going? we call to the traveler. Enchanting, unsettling, and wholly original, Flights is a master storyteller's answer.
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below

Review: If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar

August 14, 2018
If They Come for Us, Fatimah Asghar, InToriLex
Published By: One World on August 7, 2018
Format Read: ARC Edition (104 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ Own Voices/ Social Commentary
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
If They Come for Us
Poet and co-creator of the Emmy-nominated web series "Brown Girls" captures the experience of being a Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America, while exploring identity, violence, and healing.

In this powerful and imaginative debut poetry collection, Fatimah Asghar nakedly captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in America by braiding together personal and marginalized people's histories. After being orphaned as a young girl, Asghar grapples with coming-of-age as a woman without the guidance of a mother, questions of sexuality and race, and navigating a world that put a target on her back. Asghar's poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while exploring the many facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests in our relationships with friends and family, and in our own understanding of identity. Using experimental forms and a mix of lyrical and brash language, Asghar confronts her own understanding of identity and place and belonging.


Content Warning: Genocide, Rape, Domestic Abuse


Well written, hard hitting, these poems put me through a roller coaster of emotions.  The author explains how she has existed in a world pulled towards conflicting loyalties. Partition was the division of India into India and Pakistan, it caused at least 14 million to forcefully migrate to escape ethnic cleansings and retributive genocides. During this time 75,000 to 100,000 women were abducted and raped. The author explores the effects of Partition as well as how it has shaped her identity.  She is from nations that America has villianized and her oppression is described in a multitude of ways. The topics of poems range from descriptions of  the Partition to exploring her racism, gender norms, family and sexuality. Besides the serious topics some poems focused on funny ways that the author has assimilated.
"land that mispronounces my grief land that skins my other land that laughs when my people die & paints targets on my future children's faces land that steals and says mine."
The social commentary included descriptions of what America stands for and how it's hypocrisy infects our ability to exist. The author had poems in the form of crossword puzzles clues, grids of meaning and upside down paragraphs. The different formatting worked well and helped me to stay engaged. The author struggles to balance viewing her comfort in America as a betrayal to her past. . I emotionally connected with feelings of being pulled by multiple identities but never finding solace in one. I'm still thinking on the intimate ways the author comes to terms with her life and I will be reeling from reading it for a long time.
We know this from our nests-
                                      the bad men wanting to end us. Every Year
we call them something new:
                                      British. Sikhs. Hindus. Indians. Americans. Terrorists.
Recommended for Readers who
- enjoy poetry about identity and belonging
- can deal with reading about genocide and death
- want to reflect on how marginalized communities exist in America


Fatimah Asghar, If They Come for Us, InToriLexFatimah Asghar is a nationally touring poet, screenwriter, educator and performer. Her work has appeared in many journals, including POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed Reader, The Margins, The Offing, Academy of American Poets and many others. Her work has been featured on new outlets like PBS, NPR, Time, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, and others. In 2011 she created a spoken word poetry group in Bosnia and Herzegovina called REFLEKS while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-genocidal countries. She is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and a Kundiman Fellow. Her chapbook After came out on Yes Yes Books fall 2015. She is the writer and co-creator of Brown Girls, an Emmy-Nominated web series that highlights friendships between women of color. In 2017 she was awarded the Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
WEBSITE                     TWITTER

Review: The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

August 13, 2018
The Book of M, Peng Shephard, InToriLex. Book Review
Published By: Harper Audio on June 5, 2018
Format Read: Audio Book Edition (17 hours 6mins)
Genre: Adult/ Dystopia/ Sci-fi
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hoopla via Library
The Book of M
One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.


Content Warning: Graphic Violence


The Book of M was weird, memorable and engaging. The story will break your heart and shock you in ways your not expecting. In this world people begin to lose their shadows and then gradually lose all of their memories after. Ory and Max set out to find answers and ways to survive a constantly changing landscape. The authors does a great job of balancing multiple point of views while keeping the voices distinct and the plot moving. Ory and Max are characters you will happily cheer for along with the other characters they encounter while the world slips into chaos. Shadows randomly disappearing is bad enough but the shadow less are able to change their environments and threaten those who still have shadows. 
“No one escaped—either because they were someone who lost their shadow, or because they were someone who loved someone who lost their shadow.”
The book has a very strong start but towards the later half of the book the world building became too robust. I wanted to learn more about the characters we knew but some of that took a backseat to describing the threats and ways that people have adapted in this new world. The world building itself was great but their could have been less of it. The concept was weird but never in a way that required you to hold back disbelief. The audio book narrators were male and female, they did a great job conveying the feelings and emotion of characters through the dialogue. Ory and Max embark on a journey for answers, the hardships and bad times kept me in suspense about what their fate will be.
InToriLex, The Book of M
There is a lot of technical and anecdotal information about how memory works. But this served the story well as everyone was trying to figure out why people lost their shadows and how to stop it. Despite clunky pacing at times I still wanted to follow these characters and keep listening. There are a number of diverse characters in terms of race and sexual orientation because the story spans continents and states. I was impressed with the representation. The ending surprised me but was in line with how the book balanced realism with the fantasy of this imagined world. Readers will find  emotional depth and a story to remember.

Recommended for Readers who
- enjoy adult science fiction where every characters in jeopardy
- aren't thrown by multiple points of view
- can stomach graphic violence and traumatic physical and emotional pain


The Book of M, Peng Shephard
Peng was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she rode horses and trained in classical ballet. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, and has lived in Beijing, London, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. "The Book of M" is her first novel.

Sunday Post #17 August 12, 2018

August 12, 2018
Sunday Post is a Book Blog Meme hosted at the Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a post used to summarize what has happened on your blog for the past week, and preview what's next.


Book Scoop August 3- August 10, 2018 


Audiobook Review: The Book of M by Peng Shephard 

Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Review: If They Come For Us by  Fatimah Asghar

Book Scoop August 10- August 17, 2018


Sharp Objects, HBO, InToriLex
I was so happy to receive these promotional figurines for the TV Show Sharp Objects from HBO. Goodreads sent out an email offering to send them to readers who wanted it. I recently binged listened to the audio so I'm excited to see how the show adapts the rest of the story.#SharpObjects

Vox, Christina Dalcher, InToriLex

I decided to participate in #bookishwish on twitter. I only requested a few things but I was so happy someone was kind enough to send me Vox by Christina Dalcher (OUT August 21).


I was not able to post and read as much as I hoped because I spent a lot of this weekend visiting with friends and family. I don't always have the time or schedule to socialize so it was very relaxing and stress free just to participate in that this weekend.

#Currently Reading 

There There by Tommy Orange- I recently joined Scribd which has a huge selection of audiobooks, ebooks and magazines. I started to listen to There There on a whim and I have been really enjoying it. 

Temper by Nicky Drayden- I'm enjoying this South African fantasy where twins share vices and virtues between them. The writing style takes some getting used to, but I'm hoping to finish it in the next few days.

How did your reading go this week?

Book Scoop August 3- August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018
The Third Hotel, Laura van den Berg, InToriLex
The Third Hotel
 In Havana, Cuba, a widow tries to come to terms with her husband’s death―and the truth about their marriage―in Laura van den Berg’s surreal, mystifying story of psychological reflection and metaphysical mystery.

Shortly after Clare arrives in Havana, Cuba, to attend the annual Festival of New Latin American Cinema, she finds her husband, Richard, standing outside a museum. He’s wearing a white linen suit she’s never seen before, and he’s supposed to be dead. Grief-stricken and baffled, Clare tails Richard, a horror film scholar, through the newly tourist-filled streets of Havana, clocking his every move. As the distinction between reality and fantasy blurs, Clare finds grounding in memories of her childhood in Florida and of her marriage to Richard, revealing her role in his death and reappearance along the way.

Filled with subtle but striking meditations on grief, marriage, art, misogyny, and the loneliness of travel, The Third Hotel is a singular, propulsive, brilliantly shape-shifting novel from an inventive author at the height of her narrative powers. 
Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry
Heretics Anonymous, Katie Henry, InToriLex
Heretics Anonymous
Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.
If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
If You Leave Me, Crystal Hana Kim, InToriLex
If You Leave Me
 An emotionally riveting debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love—the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices they’re forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that continues to haunt us today

When the communist-backed army from the North invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. For a few hours each night, she escapes her family’s makeshift home and tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan.

Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn’t realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi—and is determined to marry her before joining the fight. But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come.
Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah
Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah, InToriLex
Before She Sleeps
 In modern, beautiful Green City, the capital of South West Asia, gender selection, war and disease have brought the ratio of men to women to alarmingly low levels. The government uses terror and technology to control its people, and women must take multiple husbands to have children as quickly as possible.

Yet there are women who resist, women who live in an underground collective and refuse to be part of the system. Secretly protected by the highest echelons of power, they emerge only at night, to provide to the rich and elite of Green City a type of commodity that nobody can buy: intimacy without sex. As it turns out, not even the most influential men can shield them from discovery and the dangers of ruthless punishment.  
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below

Review: Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

August 7, 2018
Suicide Club, Rachel Heng, InToriLex
Published By: Henry Holt and Co. on July 10, 2018
Format Read: ARC Edition (340 pages)
Genre: Adult/ Dystopia/ Sci-fi
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Publisher Request
Suicide Club
Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die.

But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.


Content Warning: Animal Death, Violence, Graphic Internal  Body Descriptions


Living forever in a future society that helps restore your body sounds like a utopia. But in this future world people have to meet certain standards to be given the treatments they need to love forever. This book builds character development flawlessly. I was rooting for the main character Lea despite some of her very unlikable traits. Lea is a lifer who at the age of 100 is trying to extend her life and hopefully be apart of The Third Wave that will begin making people immortal. A wrench is thrown into her world when her estranged father Kaito comes back into her life. The book is a character study of how Lea and Kaito come to terms with their shared past and choices they make for the future.

The Suicide Club that Lea and Kaito find themselves caught up in are a group of people who are against being unable to choose when and how to die. In the club we meet characters who shun technology gone wrong when a person doesn't receive the right treatments their body may be kept alive for decades beyond when they are brain dead. The world building could have been better, but while reading I intimately got to witness what love, regret, and freedom mean in this future world. I was excited to keep reading and interested in the surprising ways this society maintained control.
There is a cost to everything. This book examines if giving up unhealthy habits and creative pursuits  you love is worth immortality. There were some graphic descriptions of how a body can live healthily past 100, but nothing drawn out. Lea spends the book piecing herself together after realizing the hard choices she made in life. What kind of life can you make in a world where music, art and sugar are banned? I enjoyed this book and am happy it gave me so much to ponder about mortality, family and technology. 

Recommended for readers who:
- want to get sucked into great storytelling
- enjoy character study dystopia's
- want to think deeply about the consequences future technology can have on humanity

**I received an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Henry & Holt and Co.**


InToriLex, Suicide Club, Rachel Heng
Rachel Heng is a Singaporean novelist and short story writer.

Rachel was born and raised in Singapore. After graduating from Columbia University with a BA in Comparative Literature & Society, she spent several years working in private equity in London. She currently lives in Austin, where she is pursuing her MFA in Fiction and Screenwriting at UT Austin's Michener Center for Writers with the generous support of the James A. Michener Fellowship.TWITTER

Sunday Post #16 August 5, 2018

August 5, 2018
Sunday Post, InToriLex
Sunday Post is a Book Blog Meme hosted at the Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a post used to summarize what has happened on your blog for the past week, and preview what's next.


 Review: Every Watering Word by Tanya Manning-Yarde

Tagged: Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag 2018

Book Scoop July 27- August 3, 2018 

July 2018 Wrap Up & August TBR


Review: Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Audiobook Review: The Book of M by Peng Shephard 

Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Book Scoop August 3- August 10, 2018


Laura Shares Books to Read with Fat Main Characters Instead of Watching Insatiable

Bina Shares 12 WOC Reads for August 2018

JJ Explains What is #bookishwish all about? 


Trail of Lightning, Barracoon, When Elephants Fly, Thunderhead , InToriLex
Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse
When Elephants Fly by Nancy Richardson Fisher  (Won from Harlequin Teen)
OUT September 4, 2018

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman


I have been working really hard to get back on track with my reading and blogging this week. I'm happy I have been able to post and read a lot more than I have in the past few months.  I did buy a few books but wasn't pleasantly surprised to receive When Elephants Fly which deals with mental health issues and wasn't on my radar.

If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar (OUT August 7th)- A wonderful poetry collection about being a young Pakistini Muslim Women in contemporary America.

Temper by Nicky Drayden (OUT August 7)- An South African based fantasy where twins share vices and virtues. I'm really enjoying this book so far full of magic, oddities and humor.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn- After beginning to watch the HBO adaptation I've decided to listen to the audio book, so I can compare the two. This book follows Camille reporting on two murders of young children in her hometown, full of mystery and drama. I'm already half way through and patiently waiting for the mystery to unfold. 

How did your reading go this week?
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