Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review - Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School)

* Read via NetGalley for review

4 gnomes out of 5 gnomes

This book was so much fun. I like its fairy tale setting and all the princesses, ogres, trolls, and villains within this world.

Gilly is an awesome character. I like the whole daughter of the cobbler that lives in a shoe fairy tale. Her wide range of friends also makes for a very intriguing tale. It’s understandable why Gilly does what she does but the reform school does lead to some very interesting times.

The reform school run by the evil stepmother is pretty genius. These villains have to prove themselves and take care of the students who for the most part really don’t want to be there.

Magic and mystery abound and I know I was surprised by the ending.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sentence Sneak Peek - Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School)

Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School) by Jen Calonita

The first sentence from each chapter of Flunked, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

* Read via NetGalley for review

Sometimes spying on low-level royals can be so boring.”

After a mega score like that dragon’s tooth comb, I always head home.”

Let me go, Olaf!”

So this is what the stepmonster looks like.”

Pete and Olaf are gone.”


Thanks to a new hallway that appears  when we leave class, we make it to the stables in no time.”

As soon as the key turns in my dorm-room door, my eyes fly open.”

Good morning, class.”

Jax pushes me forward.”

Headmistress Flora feels the need to hand-deliver me to Madame Cleo’s detention the next day after classes, and I soon find myself standing in front of an oversized metal double door.”

Good morning, Fairy Tale Reform School!”

I’ll never see my siblings again.”

Ah, Miss Gillian.”

There she is!”

“Miss Gillian Cobbler—Your parents will be arriving to pick you up in the FTRS lobby Friday at 1 p.m. sharp!

When I sneak into the ballroom with Maxine a few hours later, I momentarily panic.”

I thought you were smarter, Cobbler,” Jocelyn says icily and flicks her annoying black cape so it billows out behind her.”

It took almost a week for the FTRS crew to clean up the mess left behind by Alva.”

Friday, March 27, 2015

Weekend Read - Talon

I want to read Talon so I can be ready to enjoy the second book when it’s released towards the end of April. I've had the book waiting on my kindle since its release date and I love dragons so here's hoping I like this book.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This week

Hi to anybody who checks out Bibliognome. I haven’t really been feeling well since Friday but I at least made it to work today so the posts should start up again soon. :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Question of the Week - Have you tried reading any new comic books lately?

This series is awesome so far. Having Gwen be the one to have been bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter makes for a refreshing/great take on the character. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bibliognome Interviews: Wendy Katz, Project Director and Editor of Lost Writers of the Plains

Today I'm happy to interview Wendy Katz, Project Director and Editor of this very interesting project called Lost Writers of the Plains.

What inspired you to start this project?

I was chatting with the novelist Timothy Schaffert (who teaches at the University of Nebraska, as do I –that’s how I know him). He knows the archives at Prairie Schooner better than most, having worked for the journal, and we got to talking about the idea of "Lost Writers." He had found Ervin Krause a couple of years ago and published a collection of Krause’s short stories, and it inspired me to start digging through the
archives of Prairie Schooner.  I had a lot of criteria: I wanted authors whose lives and work were affected by the Plains; I wanted them to come from different parts of the Plains (we got South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, Iowa and some parts in between as well as Nebraska); I wanted their work to represent different styles (a play, poetry, fiction, essay etc); I wanted the authors themselves to represent different types of examples of why some writers are forgotten (so for example, educated white women are Lost Writers in great numbers, because for most of the 20th century, so many women subordinated their careers to husbands and families, but I didn’t want all the authors to represent this concept), and last but most importantly, I wanted writers whose writing (as well as their personal stories) still held interest for today’s readers.

Do you plan to talk about/remember more lost writers in the future?

There are certainly authors who we were not able to include who deserve a shot at being remembered. Prairie Schooner has a regular “from the Archives” feature on their website that highlights some of them. An editor could put together an interesting collection of just the “pulp fiction” writers who published in Prairie Schooner. I’m sure that anyone who did some digging in the archives of other literary journals (there was one called “Hinterland”—people did not apologize for being from out of the way places!) in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas would find a similar situation of writers who from various circumstances never achieved the recognition they deserved. African American women published verse and other writings in The Ivy Leaf Magazine starting in the 1920s; it would be another interesting source of material.
But I personally am not planning any new work on writers in the near future. My next project is on the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition of 1898 in Omaha!

What do you think was the most interesting fact discovered about the writers?

I think that like many people I have an unconscious assumption that the past was a less diverse, less complex place than the present. Obviously that’s not true, people in the past are no different than we are, but it’s easy to think that way because our access to the past is filtered and selective. Researching the Lost Writers helps remind me of all that we don’t hear about or think about when we think about the 1920s, 1930s, 1950s—unwed mothers, and the excitement of royalty checks, Cosmopolitan clubs in Nebraska with students from around the world (including ones whose relatives had been killed by bandits), about poets driving around town and hanging out the Friday fish fry, about the unromantic (and romantic) side of small towns—just the general messiness of a past that doesn’t fit our preconceptions.
Perhaps one ‘fact’ that surprised me might be that Darryl Zanuck (born in Wahoo, NE), founder of 20th Century Fox movie studios, was an important connection for so many Nebraskans to the movies.

I love how interactive the website is, what’s your favorite part of it all?

I’m glad you found the features on the website absorbing! I really like being able to have the experts or commentators ‘speak’ to me while I’m reading. It somehow makes the experience more intimate. If you download the ebook (you need to have an iPad, or an Apple computer; the ibook is available for free on iTunes), it’s even more striking—you open the cover of the ebook, and Kwame Dawes, the editor of Prairie Schooner, starts talking to you.

Do you think people will be surprised by the lives of these writers?

I hope they will be surprised by a sense of connection with them and an awareness of how much chance, and events far beyond the individual writer’s control, affects destiny. It’s striking, I think, how much the obstacles and challenges and desires of writers (and readers) today are still the same.

What is the most important thing that you want people to take away from this project?

I hope they may find a new author to read! Not everyone may love all the authors in this project—we deliberately tried to include different styles—but whether it is Krause’s compelling stories of life on the Plains, or Zolley Lerner’s evocation of a loving family blindsided by a child’s independence, or Faye Lewis’ evocation of how hard it was for
women to build communities on the frontier, or—well, I hope people find a good read!

Is there anything else you want people to know?

If anyone has questions or wants to comment on Lost Writers, they are invited to do so. My email is wkatz2@unl.edu.

Good writers live and write everywhere—I think we live in a wonderful moment when the internet, and bloggers, as well as projects like Lost Writers keep old and new writing alive and well.

You can download the book via iBooks,   

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mini Movie Review - Cinderella

The movie itself is beautiful, not to mention Prince Charming (those blue eyes, wow, very nice. :) )

My sister and I did find a couple of places funny that were not meant to be aka a certain garden scene (I mean why does a full grown man have a giant swing in his private garden...)

The evil stepmother is very well cast and has the best wardrobe. I like that they gave a lot more feeling to this character but she’s still delightfully evil.

It’s easy to tell it’s a Disney movie with the amount of parents that drop dead. Plus the friendly animals are still there too (even though real mice are a heck of a lot more creepy than cartoon mice.)

The story keeps most of what you would expect from the original. I wish there had been more of the original music included. There are plenty of great moments though.

It was good but it’s also a movie I’m not sure really was screaming out to be live action. Saying all this though, the fairy godmother scene and the whole ballroom scene were pretty darn perfect.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Top 5 Sundays - Top TBR Books!

This feature was thought up by the awesome Larissa & Friends’ Bookish Life

1 - Write a post listing your TOP 5 choices within the theme I chose (or was chosen on a poll) for the week.
2 - Mention this Blog on the post and link back to it.
3 - Feel free to use the Features image
4 - After you've finished your post, add your link (of the post, not your blog's main page) to the Mr.Linky at the end of that week's post.
5 – If you don’t have a blog to post, just leave your list in the comments =)    

Top TBR Books!

These are all books that I’ve been meaning to read and I’m excited to read all of them.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weekend Read - Shadow Scale

*Read via the publisher for review.

The first chapter of this book really threw me off a little but now I’m getting back into the story and world and things are really getting good.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review - A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

5 out of 5 gnomes

Wow, this book is one crazy ride. There is some truly epic storytelling throughout. Each London is unique and leaves you wanting to know more about it.

Kell and his Antari magic are so intriguing, plus his many sided coat sounds so freaking cool. He has his share of troubles and has no idea where he really came from. The whole Antari magic is really interesting and makes you wonder if there are more of them out there.

Then there’s Lila a wanna be pirate/already a thief. I think I’ve guessed her secret and can’t wait to see if I’m right. Her attitude makes for quite the counterpoint to Kell. Her and Kell have some crazy chemistry so I foresee them either being best friends eventually or an awesome couple.

The whole elaborate world and characters just draws you in. The world building is so intense that each London really feels like its own character in the story.

There are plenty more answers that I’m eagerly waiting to discover. The story and the magic in this book are both refreshing and make for an addictive read.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sentence Sneak Peek - A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

The first sentence from each chapter of A Darker Shade of Magic, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

*Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

“Kell wore a very peculiar coat.”

“Between one stride and the next, dreary Windsor became elegant St. James.”

“The Stone’s Throw was an odd little tavern.”


“Even at night, the river shone red.”

“He found them in the courtyard, taking a late tea under the cloudless night and the fall canopy of trees.”

“Lila Bard lived by a simple rule: if a thing was worth having, it was worth taking.”

“The Sea King wasn’t nearly as impressive as the name suggested.”

“Barron was standing on the steps of the Stone’s Throw, staring absently toward the docks when Lila strolled up, the top hat and the map both tucked under her arm.”

“Perhaps it should be a masquerade instead.”

“Kell stepped through the door in the world and shivered.”

The whip cracked through the air, the forked end splitting open the skin of the boy’s back.

“Astrid beckoned.”

“Kell should have stopped at one drink.”

“The silver jingled in Lila’s pocket as she made her way back to the Stone’s Throw.”

7 Naresk Vas.

“Lila trailed the group of thugs through the winding London streets, waiting for them to go their separate ways.”

“Kell could hear the footsteps, first one set and then two and then three—or maybe the third was just the pumping of his heart—as he raced through the alleys and side streets.”

“Kell couldn’t stop the blood.”

“A London away, the city bells struck eight.”

“Lila hummed as she made her way back to the Stone’s Throw.”

“When Kell came to, he was tied to a bed.”

“It took Lila the better part of an hour to hack, slash, and saw herself free.”

“Lila could have simply gone down into the belly of the Stone’s Throw, but she owed Barron enough already—he wouldn’t take her coin, either because he thought she needed it or because it wasn’t hers to begin with—and she needed the fresh air to clear her head.”

“Kell had been standing on the bridge, leaning against the rail and trying to make sense of how and why he’d been set up—the false letter, the humble plea, the compelled cutthroats—when he caught the scent of magic on the air.”

“Lila was soaked to the bone.”

“Kell woke up in Lila’s bed for the second time that night.”

“The rain had ended and left the streets dreary and damp, but despite the wet ground and the October chill, London was beginning to drag itself awake.”

“Barron woke to a noise.”

“Red London welcomed Kell home as if nothing were wrong.”

Aldus Fletcher was not an honest man.”

“Kell could feel the stone in Lila’s pocket as they walked.”

“It had been no ordinary fire.”

Booth was beginning to fall apart.”

“Kell and Lila made their way to the docks, invisible to passersby.”

“For all the digging he’d done through the ruins of the Ruby Fields, Kell had failed to notice the alley where he’d been attacked—and where he’d left two bodies behind—only hours before.”

“Fletcher’s shop was built like a maze, arranged in a way that only the snake himself would understand.”

“Kell had only an instant to arrange his features, to force panic into composure, before the guards were there, five in all, filling up the room with movement and noise.”

“Parrish and Gen milled around the festival, helmets in one hand and mugs of wine in the other.”

“The palace rose like a second sun over the Isle as the day’s light sank low behind it, haloing it’s edges with gold.”

“Colors blossomed over Kell’s head, blurs of red and gold and rich dark blue.”

“Lila ascended the palace stairs, the half-cloak of her new coat billowing behind her.”

“Kell spat blood onto Rhy’s lovely inlaid floor, marring the intricate pattern.”

“It happened so fast, the pendant moving at the same time as the blade.”

“The London Sanctuary sat at a bend in the river near the edge of the city, a stone structure with the simple elegance of a temple and an air just as reverent.”

“The room went deathly still.”

“The palace was in a state of upheaval.”

“Lila’s black boots landed on the pale street.”

“Let me pass,” said Kell.”

“The first thing Kell saw when he stepped into White London was Lila brandishing two knives, both of them bloody.”

“A cloud of black smoke hung in the air of the white throne room, a patch of night against the pale backdrop.”

“The White London fortress rose in a column of sharp light out of the shadowed stone courtyard.”

“Athos was laughing.”

“Lila’s back hit the pillar hard.”

“Kell shivered, the strange calm settling over him again.”

“Across Red London, the bodies fell.”

“Kell opened his eyes and saw stars.”

“Red London took shape around Kell, heavy with night.”

“Come in.”

“I could try and take you back,” Kell was saying.