Thursday, June 1, 2023

Meet Me at the Lake

Meet Me at the Lake
By Carly Fortune
Berkley, 2023. 322 pages. Romance

Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just 24 hours in her early twenties with the attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in Toronto where they made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn't. At 32, Fern's life doesn't look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern's back home, running her mother's Muskoka lakeside resort. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend's the manager, and Fern doesn't know where to begin. She needs a plan. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. But how could she possibly trust this expensive suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago? Will is hiding something, and Fern's not sure she wants to know what it is. Ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him? 

This sweet second chance romance in the vein of Emily Henry makes for the perfect summer read. Fortune sets a beautiful scene with the lakeside resort that provides the setting for most of the story. While Fern is reluctant to be back in Muskoka, the author describes the resort and landscape so vividly and lovingly, it’s difficult not to fall in love with the place. It’s also easy to fall in love with Fern and Will, their whirlwind day spent in Toronto juxtaposed with the present day in Muskoka paints a picture of two individuals naturally drawn to one another. There’s a lot of angst and distrust between the two, but the flashbacks to their first meeting really cement their connection and make them a couple to root for. Fern’s conflicting feelings about being back home while grappling with the death of her mother creates an emotional layer to this otherwise charming romance. Overall, this heartwarming romance is an engaging read that will appeal to lovers of Emily Henry and Christina Lauren. 

If you liked Meet Me at the Lake, you might also like: 

By Emily Henry
Berkley, 2023. 388 pages. Romance 

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college. Except, now, for reasons they're still not discussing, they don't. They broke up five months ago and still haven't told their best friends. Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group's yearly getaway for the last decade. Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale, and this is the last week they'll all have together in this place. They can't stand to break their friends' hearts, and so they'll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It's a flawless plan. How hard can it be to fake it for one week in front of those who know you best? 

By Christina Lauren
Gallery Books, 2019. 400 pages. Romance 

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion, she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas. Olive is determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren't affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there's a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo. Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is Olive doesn't mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

Historias Cortas Inspiradas en Sueños y Realidad

por Mayela Acuña Rojas-Hess
Xlibris, 2019. ESL

A veces vivimos momentos difíciles en nuestras vidas. Otras veces nos reímos de las circunstancias que se nos presentan. Y todos buscamos las respuestas al sentido de nuestra vida y quizás muchas de ellas las encontramos en nuestros sueños. Estos tres cuentos nos hablan de esos momentos que hemos vivido de una u otra forma. Sufrimos, nos reímos y soñamos.

Edición bilingüe.

Si le gusta «Bilingual Short Stories Based in Reality and Dreams» le recomendamos:

por Susana Chavez-Silverman
University of Wisconsin Press, 2010. Memoria

Una mujer que vive y se comunica en múltiples países, Susana Chávez-Silverman transmite su desplazamiento cultural y lingüístico de manera humorística, agridulce e incluso tangible en esta obra literaria verdaderamente bilingüe. Estas piezas meditativas y líricas combinan una confesión personal conmovedora, una observación diaria detallada y un impulso de memoria que cambia a lo largo del tiempo y entre los espacios geoculturales. El ingenioso y extravagante uso que hace la autora del espanglish, un idioma híbrido inglés-español, y su adaptación de la "crónica" confesional hacen que estas memorias sean convincentes y poderosas. «Killer Crónicas» confirma que no hay voz latina como la de Susana Chávez-Silverman. Incluye un capítulo que obtuvo el primer premio en el Concurso de Excelencia Literaria Chicana de la revista El Andar en la categoría de memorias personales.

Edición bilingüe.

Inglés para Restaurantes
por NPG Music
NPG Music/Kamms, 2006. 2 hr. ESL

Este recurso esencial para el aprendizaje de idiomas enseñará cómo comunicarse e interactuar con personas de hablando inglés en situaciones específicos.

Aprenda palabras y frases esenciales en inglés para mejorar inmediatamente la comunicación en la industria de restaurantes. Podrá encontrar un mejor trabajo, estar más seguro en el trabajo o avanzar en su trabajo actual. Especialmente para ti «Inglés para Restaurantes» está diseñado para el empleado que quiere aprender inglés para poder hablar y entender más en el trabajo.

Aprenderás palabras y frases esenciales para mejorar inmediatamente la comunicación con tu supervisor, tus compañeros de trabajo o clientes. Adquirirás las habilidades lingüísticas necesarias para sentirte más seguro y tener éxito en el trabajo. No se requieren conocimientos previos de inglés. Aprenda frases cortas y sencillas rápida y fácilmente. Usted y su familia disfrutarán de una vida mejor si aprenden Inglés en el Trabajo.


Etiquetas: Español, MEB, No Ficción, ESL, Audiolibro, Bilingüe, Memoria

What's Gotten Into You?

by Dan Levitt
Harper, 2023. 385 pages. Nonfiction
From the Big Bang to the creation of our Earth, and through the gradual evolution of organic matter to the state of our planet today, Dan Levitt writes an accessible history of how the building blocks that make us came to be. In the process, Levitt discusses ideas from astrophysics, geology, chemistry, botany, biology, and more.

This book takes on the big task of summarizing a variety of ideas ranging across a variety of scientific pursuits, all to answer the question: What are our foundational elements, and how do they work together? This is also one of the most accessible versions of this type of book that I've read. What I especially appreciated was that Levitt tackles the questions of not just how the elements that make up our bodies were formed (which many popular astrophysics books tackle), but also how they combined and evolved over time to create sustainable life. For that reason, the chapters on the discovery of photosynthesis, and how cells came to be, were the most interesting chapters to me. I also appreciated the stories of the scientists whose work led to what we understand about our world today. This is a great introduction to scientific principles that will appeal to anyone curious about the science behind the origin of life.

If You Like What's Gotten Into You? you might also like: 

by Harry Cliff
Doubleday, 2021. 385 pages. Nonfiction

Another accessible astrophysics book, particle physicist Harry Cliff parses the discovery of the various pieces of fundamental matter that create our universe by examining Carl Sagan's famous statement: "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." In order to do that, Cliff visits some of the most famous labs across the earth that focus on this research.

by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Scribner, 2022. 473 pages. Nonfiction

The discovery of cellsand the reframing of the human body as a cellular ecosystemannounced the birth of a new kind of medicine based on the therapeutic manipulations of cells. A hip fracture, a cardiac arrest, Alzheimer's, dementia, AIDS, pneumonia, lung cancer, kidney failure, arthritis, COVIDall could be viewed as the results of cells, or systems of cells, functioning abnormally. And all could be perceived as loci of cellular therapies. In The Song of the Cell, Mukherjee tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new treatments and new humans.

by David Quammen
Simon & Schuster, 2018. 461 pages. Nonfiction

Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life's history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature.


Saturday, May 27, 2023



by Alisha Emrich

Running Press Teens, 2023. 262 pages. Young Adult Fiction

Shy sixteen-year-old Ramona uses cosplay as a way to escape her shyness and feel seen, but when she emails her crush using her online persona, Rel, and he starts to fall for her, Ramona must decide whether to hide behind her character forever or take a chance and let her crush see the real her.

This is contemporary YA at its best. There is an interesting take on the love triangle, because Ramona's alter ego Rel becomes very present in the story. Ramona uses this alter ego as a shield at first, but then she feels like she is competing. With herself. The angst-filled back and forth between Ramona and Caleb is believable and the email banter that turns confessional between Rel and Caleb is poignant. This book takes the romance tropes and turns it into an opportunity to talk about social media, identity, and honesty.  This book is definitely for fans of Nicola Yoon and Kasie West. 


If you like Nerdcrush, you may like:

No Filter and Other Lies

by Crystal Maldonado

Holiday House, 2022. 326 pages. Young Adult Fiction

Twenty-one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, tons of followers on Instagram. Except it's all fake. Max is actually 17-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic, bisexual Puerto Rican teenager living in Bakersfield, California. While Kat's life is far from perfect, she thrives as Max: doling out advice, sharing beautiful photos, networking with famous influencers, even making a real friend in a follower named Elena. When one of Max's posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she's been stealing photos from, her worlds-- real and fake-- comes crashing down. Can she figure out a way to get herself out of the huge web of lies she's created without hurting the people she loves? Or is already too late?

What Happened to Goodbye

by Sarah Dessen

Viking Childrens Books, 2011. 402 pages. Young Adult Fiction

Following her parents' bitter divorce as she and her father move from town to town, seventeen-year-old Mclean reinvents herself at each school she attends until she is no longer sure she knows who she is or where she belongs.


Happy Every Afters

by Elise Bryant

Balzer and Bray, 2021. 378 pages. Young Adult Fiction

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She's rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she's a true leading lady is in her own writing--in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader. When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she's excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just ... gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she's ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa's stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming. But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline's list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about--including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She's well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?


Friday, May 26, 2023

Cinder & Glass

Cinder & Glass 
By Melissa De La Cruz 
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2022. 316 pages. Young Adult

1682. The king sends out an invitation to all the maidens in France: their presence is requested at a number of balls and events that will be held in honor of the dashing Prince Louis, who must choose a bride. While Cendrillon de Louvois was once the darling child of the king's favorite adviser, her father's death has turned her into the servant of her stepmother and cruel stepsisters--and at her own chateau, too! Cendrillon--now called Cinder--manages to evade her stepmother and attend the ball, where she catches the eye of the handsome Prince Louis and his younger brother Auguste. Even though Cendrillon has an immediate aversion to Louis, and a connection with Auguste, the only way to escape her stepmother is to compete with the other women at court for the Prince's hand. Soon, as Cendrillon grows closer to Auguste and dislikes the prince more and more, she will have to decide if she can bear losing the boy she loves in order to leave a life she hates.

As someone who loves to read Cinderella retellings more than any other book in the world, I would definitely recommend that you read this this one! I love that it's set in seventeenth century France, that almost all of the characters were inspired by historical figures, and all the historical French etiquette I learned while reading it.  French phrases were scattered throughout, and while it's not necessary to the development of the plot, you may want to keep a French dictionary or translator app handy!  The characters were all well-developed, and while many of the 'shocking reveals' were not-so-subtly hinted at many chapters in advance, I found this to be a comfortable retelling that was a worthwhile read.  I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next books in the series!

If you like Cinder & Glass, you might also like:
By Jennifer Donnelly
Scholastic Press, 2019. 342 pages. Young Adult

Isabelle is one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters, who cut off their toes in an attempt to fit into the glass slipper; but there is more to her story than a maimed foot, for the Marquis de la Chance is about to offer her a choice and the opportunity to change her fate--there will be blood and danger, but also the possibility of redemption and triumph, and most of all the chance to find her true self.

By Alethea Kontiss
Harcourt, 2012. 308 pages. Young Adult

When Sunday Woodcutter, the youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week, kisses an enchanted frog, he transforms back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland--a man Sunday's family despises.


Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Sunbearer Trials

The Sunbearer Trials 
By Aiden Thomas 
Feiwel and Friends, 2022. 405 pages. Young Adult 

Chosen to participate in The Sunbearer Trials, where the loser is sacrificed to refuel the Sun Stones, Teo, the 17-year-old trans son of Quetzal, the goddess of birds, must compete against more powerful and better trained opponents for fame, glory and his own survival. 

Part Hunger Games, part Mexican mythology, all epic fantasy. This book was such a fun ride! I really liked Teo’s journey of both self-discovery, and zero-to-hero. He’s a really likable, authentic character with a great support system. The worldbuilding seamlessly incorporated Mexican mythology and lore, and the story moved along at a relatively quick pace. The biggest downside is that this story ends with a “to be continued” ending. This is the first in a duology, and I have to know how everything pans out! 

If you liked The Sunbearer Trials, you might also like: 

By Tomi Adeyemi 
Henry Holt and Company, 2018. 531 pages. Young Adult 

Coming of age in a land where her magi mother was killed by the zealous king's guards along with other former wielders of magic, Zelie embarks on a journey alongside her brother and a fugitive princess to restore her people's magical abilities. 

By Tanaz Bhathena 
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2020. 374 pages. Young Adult 

Trained in warrior magic after the murder of her parents, a girl with a star-shaped birthmark is prophesied to be the downfall of a tyrant king, but the boy she falls in love with owes his loyalty to those hunting her. 


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

How to Be a Happier Parent


How to Be a Happier Parent

by KJ Dell'Antonia

2018. Nonfiction

An encouraging guide to helping parents find more happiness in their day-to-day family life, from the former lead editor of the New York Times' Motherlode blog.In all the writing and reporting KJ Dell'Antonia has done on families over the years, one topic keeps coming up again and again: parents crave a greater sense of happiness in their daily lives. In this optimistic, solution-packed book, KJ asks: How can we change our family life so that it is full of the joy we'd always hoped for? Drawing from the latest research and interviews with families, KJ discovers that it's possible to do more by doing less, and make our family life a refuge and pleasure, rather than another stress point in a hectic day. She focuses on nine common problem spots that cause parents the most grief, explores why they are hard, and offers small, doable, sometimes surprising steps you can take to make them better. Whether it's getting everyone out the door on time in the morning or making sure chores and homework get done without another battle, How to Be a Happier Parent shows that having a family isn't just about raising great kids and churning them out at destination: success. It's about experiencing joy—real joy, the kind you look back on, look forward to, and live for—along the way.

Finally, a self-help parenting book that doesn't sound 'preachy' or make you feel like a guilty parent! The author covers everything people find hard about parenting and provides advice based on factors such as your children's age. I'm so happy to have new ideas on how to be happier as a parent and to not feel alone in my struggles. I definitely recommend this to parents in all stages of parenthood. This book is available as on audiobook through Libby

If you like Home is How to Be a Happier Parent, you might also like...

by Jessica Grose

Mariner Books. 2022. 230 pages. Nonfiction

In this timely and necessary book, New York Times opinion writer Jessica Grose dismantles two hundred years of unrealistic parenting expectations and empowers today's mothers to make choices that actually serve themselves, their children, and their communities

by Ann Pleshette Murphy

Alfred A Knopf. 20024. 272 pages. Nonfiction

Motherhood is the ultimate transformation, a powerful and thrilling metamorphosis. Yet the vast majority of parenting books focus on the how-tos of baby and child care, not on the care or development of mothers. Ann Pleshette Murphy--the former editor of Parents magazine, current parenting contributor to Good Morning America, and herself the mother of two--looks at the emotional lives of mothers, at how we change and grow from the moment we get pregnant to the day we watch our kids graduate from high school. The 7 Stages of Motherhoodurges women to reflect on the seismic shifts they undergo at each stage of their children's lives and to focus on their own evolution. 


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Mad Honey

Mad Honey
By Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan
Ballantine Books, 2022. 452 pages. Fiction

Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father's beekeeping business. Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start. For just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Olivia's teenage son, Asher, falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can't help but fall for him, too. 

Then, one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But, she would be lying if she didn't acknowledge the flashes of his father's temper in him, and as the case unfolds, she realizes he's hidden more than he's shared with her. The courtroom drama makes for gripping reading; a reveal about Lily at the midway point adds another dimension to the case, and Olivia grapples with the possibility that her son could take after her ex-husband more than he does her.

Picoult's books are reliably engaging, poignant, heartbreaking and heartfelt; Mad Honey is no exception. One of the highlights is the richly complex setting that Picoult was able to create at Olivia's beekeeping farm. The language could almost be described as delicious, because Picoult's words seem to bring the sweet honey right off the page! Additionally, Picoult handles yet another hot-button issue with tact, compassion, care, and understanding. This book will completely surprise you and requires readers to have an open mind and an open heart. If you're looking for a lesson in compassion, while also following along with a devastatingly suspenseful murder trial, this book is for you.

If you like Mad Honey, you might also like:  

Hello Beautiful
By Ann Napolitano
The Dial Press, 2023. 387 pages. Fiction

William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him--so when he meets the spirited and ambitious Julia Padavano in his freshman year of college, it's as if the world has lit up around him. With Julia comes her family, as she and her three sisters are inseparable.
But then darkness from William's past surfaces, jeopardizing not only Julia's carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters' unshakeable devotion to one another. The result is a catastrophic family rift that changes their lives for generations. Will the loyalty that once rooted them be strong enough to draw them back together when it matters most?

Our Missing Hearts
By Celeste Ng
Penguin Press, 2022. 335 pages. Fiction

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. His mother Margaret, a Chinese American poet, left without a trace when he was nine years old. He doesn't know what happened to her--only that her books have been banned--and he resents that she cared more about her work than about him. Then one day, Bird receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, and soon he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of heroic librarians, and finally to New York City, where he will finally learn the truth about what happened to his mother, and what the future holds for them both.


Monday, May 15, 2023


por Angie Cruz
Brilliance Audio, 2021. 11 hr. 43 min. Ficción

Ana Canción, de quince años, nunca soñó con mudarse a Estados Unidos, como lo hicieron las niñas con las que creció en el campo dominicano. Pero cuando Juan Ruiz propone y promete llevarla a la ciudad de Nueva York, ella tiene que decir que sí. No importa que tenga el doble de su edad, que no haya amor entre ellos. Su matrimonio es una oportunidad para que toda su familia unida pueda eventualmente emigrar. Entonces, en el día de Año Nuevo de 1965, Ana deja todo lo que sabe y se convierte en Ana Ruiz, esposa confinada a un frío departamento en el sexto piso de un edificio en Washington Heights.

Solitaria y miserable, Ana trama un plan para escapar. Pero en la terminal de autobuses, César, el hermano menor de espíritu libre de Juan, la detiene y la convence de quedarse. A medida que la República Dominicana cae en la agitación política, Juan regresa para proteger los bienes de su familia, dejando a César para cuidar de Ana. De repente, Ana es libre de tomar clases de inglés en una iglesia local, recostarse en la playa de Coney Island, ver una película en el Radio City Music Hall, ir a bailar con César e imaginar la posiblidad de un tipo diferente de vida en Estados Unidos. Cuando Juan regrese, Ana debe decidir una vez más entre su corazón y su deber con su familia.

Si le gusta «Dominicana» le recomendamos:

El Inmortal
por Francisco Montaña Ibáñez
Dreamscape Media, LLC, 2021. 2 hr. 36 min. Ficción

Este libro narra dos historias de Bogotá. La de cinco hermanos colombianos que enfrentan la orfandad y la miseria con valentía. Y la de una niña huérfana que hará cualquier cosa para conocer al misterioso chico inmortal. El momento en que sus vidas se entrelazan jamás te dejará.

Los Demonios del Mar
por José Javier Esparza
Brilliance Audio, 2021. 18 hr. 46 min. Ficción

Año 844, los vikingos atacan las costas de España. Después de haber sometido Irlanda y media Inglaterra, asolar Francia y sojuzgar nada menos que París y Nantes, los normandos desembarcan en la Torre de Hércules, en La Coruña. En tierras gallegas serán derrotados por las huestes del reino de Asturias. Pasarán después a sangre y fuego Lisboa, Cádiz y Sevilla, pero también aquí terminarán vencidos por los ejércitos del emir Abderramán.

Todo ello en un tiempo en el que crecían los grandes monumentos en las faldas del Naranco, avanzaba la repoblación de Castilla, los cristianos intentaban la reconquista de León y el emirato de Córdoba vivía turbias intrigas políticas. En esta nueva novela, José Javier Esparza aborda este episodio fascinante de nuestra historia con una prosa tan bella como épica y desde el mayor rigor histórico. Una auténtica recreación de la España altomedieval.


Etiquetas: Español, MEB, Ficción, Libros de Audio, Jóven Adulto

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

By Brigid Kemmerer
Bloomsbury YA, 2019. 484 pages. Fantasy

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she's pulled into a magical world.

Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

This fast-paced Beauty and the Beast retelling was an enjoyable read. I appreciated the well-rounded characters, the vivid descriptions, and the likable female protagonist, who despite her disability, is strong and altruistic. She shows Rhen, the beast in the story, how to love and care for not just her but his own people.

I personally do not always enjoy books where the character is transported from our world to a parallel, fantasy world, but I didn't mind it so much in this retelling. I would recommend this one to anyone who is looking for a refreshing fairytale retelling with a hint of romance, action, and a kingdom (and king) to save.

If you like A Curse So Dark and Lonely you might also like:

Once Upon a Broken Heart
By Stephanie Garber
Flatiron Books, 2021. 416 pages. Fantasy

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings... until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy...

Daughter of the Pirate King
By Tricia Levenseller
Feiwel and Friends, 2017. 308 pages. Fantasy

A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling high seas tale.

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I've gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship. More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

In Daughter of the Pirate King, debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a gripping tale on the high seas.

To Kill a Kingdom
By Alexandra Christo
Feiwel & Friends, 2018. 344 pages. Fantasy

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


Monday, May 8, 2023

Finding Water

Finding Water: the art of perseverance 

By Julia Cameron 

Jeremy P. Tarcher 2006. 286 pages. Nonfiction

Outlines a twelve-week program for overcoming a creative block or otherwise working through dry periods in an artist's life, in a guide that covers such topics as staying focused, starting new projects, and finding inspiration.

This is a great book to read, especially if you stick to one chapter per week, and try to follow the writing prompts (called 'Divining Rods' in this book). The suggestions and encouragement that Cameron offers are so helpful, not only if you are struggling to write, but for overall mental health. In glancing at her other books, it seems like she encourages the same practices across all of them: 1. Morning Pages: three hand-written pages first thing in the morning. 2. Artist Dates: taking yourself on a 'date' once a week, just spending time with yourself and 3. A long walk at least once a week, but more often if possible. When I first started reading this, I followed all three, and while they're not always easy or possible to manage every week, I have stuck to the Morning Pages for four months now and it's made a wonderful difference to my life, and my ability to recognize and express my feelings. 

Cameron isn't shy about discussing her former alcoholism and how she still fights the temptation to drink, but she's persistent in her optimism and the helps she's developed to get her through the rough spots in her life. The layout of the book is very pleasing too, with interesting and thought-provoking quotes from famous authors, artists, actors etc. in the margins. I highly recommend this writing guide, or any of her others that might be appealing, as she has several that target certain areas of creativity and writing.  

If you like Finding Water, you might also like: 

By Natalie Goldberg
Shambhala 2010. 240 pages. Nonfiction

This new edition, which marks almost twenty years since the original book's publication, includes a new preface in which Goldberg expresses her trademark enthusiasm for writing practice, as well as a depth of appreciation for the process that has come with time and experience. Also included is an interview with the author in which she reflects on the relationship between Zen sitting practice and writing, the importance of place, and the power of memory.

By Stephen King
Scribner 2000. 288 pages. Nonfiction

"If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write." In 1999, Stephen King began to write about his craft -- and his life. By midyear, a widely reported accident jeopardized the survival of both. And in his months of recovery, the link between writing and living became more crucial than ever. Rarely has a book on writing been so clear, so useful, and so revealing. On Writing begins with a mesmerizing account of King's childhood and his uncannily early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, will afford readers a fresh and often very funny perspective on the formation of a writer. King next turns to the basic tools of his trade -- how to sharpen and multiply them through use, and how the writer must always have them close at hand. He takes the reader through crucial aspects of the writer's art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection. Serialized in the New Yorker to vivid acclaim, On Writing culminates with a profoundly moving account of how King's overwhelming need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower -- and entertain -- everyone who reads it.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Papá, ¡Tú Puedes!

Papá, ¡Tú Puedes!
por Javier Serrano Palacios
Brilliance Audio, 2019. 5 hr. 6 min. No Ficción

Ser padre es algo importantísimo. Y a la primera pregunta que surge inevitablemente, "¿Seré capaz?", responde este divertido audiolibro: claro que sí, hombre, podrás, con la ayuda del mejor manual de instrucciones, el que tienes en las manos. Y además no solo puedes, debes. "Reivindicar el derecho a encargarnos del niño, aunque seamos torpes al principio y nos dé pánico, es el primer paso para entrar en el apasionante mundo de la paternidad", dice su autor. ¡Adelante!

Este audiolibro es muy recomendable para madres primerizas, para que vean que bienintencionados son los hombres, y absolutamente imprescindible para padres primerizos. Consumir preferentemente antes de que nazca la criatura... y hacerlo con mucho humor.

Si le gusta « Papá, ¡tú puedes!» le recomendamos:

Guía Para Ser Buenos Padres De Hijos Adolescentes
por Fernando Alberca de Castro
Brilliance Audio, 2020. 5 hr. 42 min. No Ficción

En este audiolibro los padres encontrarán consejos prácticos y extremadamente útiles para ayudar a su hijo adolescente a sobrellevar la inseguridad que conlleva esa fase de la vida, a controlar la agresividad y canalizar la energía, a incentivar la voluntad y la capacidad de esfuerzo de modo que afiancen su autoestima y personalidad, a expresar adecuadamente las emociones, a madurar intelectual y emocionalmente y mejorar la conducta en la familia y en la escuela, entre otros. En treinta y ocho capítulos se repasan los aspectos más importantes de una etapa llena de encrucijadas.

Los padres tienen ante sí en esos pocos, pero cruciales años la valiosa oportunidad de transmitir las últimas grandes enseñanzas para sus hijos, las que les permitirán alcanzar una vida feliz, antes de que se alejen de casa para formar su propia familia. Los hijos, por su parte, están ante la última gran oportunidad de conocer de las personas más indicadas y próximas a ellos cómo es y cómo debería ser el camino a seguir. Ambos se distanciarán en mayor o menor medida tras la adolescencia, y lo que hagan durante ella y el modo en que la aprovechen, marcará la relación entre ellos para el resto de sus vidas.

En este audiolibro los padres de hijos adolescentes encontrar n consejos prácticos para ayudar a su hijo a sobrellevar la inseguridad, controlar la agresividad, aumentar la voluntad y la capacidad de esfuerzo, mejorar su autoestima y personalidad, expresar las emociones, madurar intelectual y emocionalmente, mejorar su conducta en la familia y en la escuela, aprendiendo a evitar los errores m s frecuentes de los padres de hoy y aprovechar esta etapa tan crucial en la vida de sus hijos.

Nuestros Hijos En La Red: 50 Cosas Que Debemos Saber Para Una Buena Prevención Digital
por Silvia Barrera
Brilliance Audio, 2020. 7 hr. 22 min. No Ficción

La creciente conectividad de los dispositivos móviles supone un riesgo para nuestros hijos. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook y WhatsApp son una realidad: los niños y las niñas se comunican a través de redes sociales, y cada vez desde edades más tempranas. Aunque se trata de un medio que no conocemos bien y que nos genera dudas y temores, no podemos vivir de espaldas a los avances tecnológicos. ¿A qué edad debemos comprar un móvil para nuestros hijos? ¿Es prudente publicar información sobre ellos en la red? ¿Debemos usar herramientas de control parental? ¿Son seguras las aplicaciones que descargan? Nuestros hijos en la red es una guía clara que nos enseña todo lo que los padres deben saber para ayudar a los hijos a navegar en la red con seguridad. Porque una buena prevención digital es una fuente de tranquilidad familiar.

Conoce los riesgos de Internet y enseña a tus hijos a evitarlos de la mano de una experta en ciberseguridad.

Inicios de sesión inesperados que te alertan de intentos de robo de cuenta de las redes sociales de tus hijos; mayores de edad y desconocidos que envían solicitudes de amistad a través de Facebook a las cuentas de los miembros más jóvenes de tu familia; cargos en tus tarjetas de crédito por compras de bienes o servicios que no has consumido provenientes de un juego online llamado Clash Royale... ¿Sabes cómo actuar ante estas situaciones?


Etiquetas: Español, MEB, No Ficción, Paternidad, Libros de Audio

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Love from Mecca to Medina

Love from Mecca to Medina 
By S.K. Ali 
Salaam Reads, 2022. 344 pages. Fiction 

Adam and Zayneb embark on the Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia, but as one wedge after another drives them apart while they make their way through rites in the holy city, Adam and Zayneb start to wonder if their meeting was just an oddity after all. 

This was such a sweet story about two people trying to navigate their new marriage long distance, take care of each other, and figuring out how to communicate amid tough situations and misunderstandings. I learned a lot about what this sacred pilgrimage could look like, and the expectations for going on the journey. Adam and Zayneb are charming characters and I really liked that the story alternated between perspectives. It definitely serves as a reminder that sharing our experiences and feelings is essential to a relationship. 

If you enjoyed LOVE FROM A TO Z, this is definitely something you’ll want to pick up because it’s the continuation of Adam and Zayneb’s story, although you don’t need to have read the previous book to enjoy this one. While this was marketed to young adults, this book feels more like New Adult fare to me because of the life situations the protagonists find themselves in. Overall, it was a very sweet story that I could easily recommend. 

If you liked Love from Mecca to Medina, you might also like: 

By Zoulfa Katouh 
Little, Brown and Company, 2022. 417 pages. Young Adult 

Eighteen-year-old Salama Kassab, a pharmacy student volunteering at the hospital in Homs, is desperate to find passage on a refugee boat for herself and her pregnant best friend, but first she must learn to see the events around her for what they are--not a war, but a revolution. 

By Uzma Jalaluddin 
Berkley, 2019. 351 pages. Fiction 

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her 100th marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. 


Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Gwendy's Final Task

Gwendy's Final Task
By Stephen King & Richard Chizmar
Cemetery Dance Publications, 2022. 412 pages. Fiction

When Gwendy Peterson was twelve, a mysterious stranger named Richard Farris gave her a mysterious box for safekeeping. It offered treats and vintage coins, but it was dangerous. Pushing any of its seven colored buttons promised death and destruction. Years later, the button box has entered Gwendy's life again. Now, evil forces seek to possess the button box and it is up to Senator Gwendy Peterson to keep it from all of them. At all costs. But where can you hide something from such powerful entities? 

This is the third and final book in King's Gwendy series and it did not disappoint. You don't need to have read the first two in order to fall in love with Gwendy's unwavering determination, but she's such a likeable character that I recommend not missing them! Gwendy's final task turns out to be a much bigger task than she anticipated, and she's not ready to face it at all, but she'll do it anyway. Gwendy is the most incredibly unassuming hero the world has ever seen.

If you like Gwendy's Final Task, you might also like:

Heart-Shaped Box
By Joe Hill
William Morrow, 2007. 376 pages. Fiction

Middle-aged rock star Judas Coyne collects morbid curios for fun, so doesn't think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner's ghost. Only after it arrives does Judas discover that the suit belonged to Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of one of Coyne's discarded groupies, and that the old man's ghost is a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter's suicide.

Home Before Dark
By Riley Sager
Dutton, 2020. 384 pages. Fiction

Twenty-five years after her father published the wildly popular nonfiction book based on her family's rushed exit from the haunted Victorian estate, Maggie inherits the house and begins renovations only to make a number of disturbing discoveries. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound-and dangerous-secrets hidden within its walls?