April Mania Haul

April Mania Haul is all of the books I purchased in April, not including the dreaded e-book. But this month I didn’t want to go too YA Fiction, I wanted to mix in some African American Fiction, Classics, Mystery, Fantasy,  IR Romance/Mystery, and some Paranormal fiction. Which basically shows I brought books at random, because those genres have nothing to do with each other. However, I did fantastic when it comes to my monthly book budget that I, regretfully, never usually follow. The titles I got were:

I got some of the titles from my local book store, Black Sheep Books in Jacksonville, Fl, and the others I got from Amazon. As you can see I got 24 books for $62.40(!) and yes, I know, 62 bucks is the same price as certain people’s water bill, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation of a guaranteed odyssey; plus paying $62+ dollars is a lot cheaper than a time machine (which does not currently exist, sorry Doc) and a ticket to Gatlin or Dorset.

All Books are not represented

Where To Start (Non-Reader’s)

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Reading is something I used to regard with disgust and absolute horror, but I was a serious movie and television show fan. I watched Dawson’s Creek (still do actually), Supernatural, The Office, Friends, etc. and movies I watched absolutely everything, from From Dusk Till’ Dawn (George Clooney with that tattoo is hard not to watch) to Hot Fuzz (You’re a doctor deal with it!) but I could never quite bring myself to actually enjoy a book. That is until I had to find a book for school and discovered that books are just subtitled movies with no sound, well minus the movie pictures.

So, if you’re a movie lover you should start off reading novel that have been turned in to books, or movies that turned into books. Don’t limit yourself, and stay clear of classics unless you really are interested in reading them because some stories are just boring. Start off with novels that are exciting, entertaining and super fun to read. Pick a genre that you enjoy and find books that reflect that theme.

These are some of my genre suggestions (which of course you don’t have to try) for Non-Reader’s to start:

  • Humor – Sometimes the words in books don’t seem as overwhelming when the author has hilarious characters, dialogue’s, and perspectives.
  • Graphic Novels – There is true beauty in graphic novels because they’re, usually, short and have pictures to go with the story. Another plus is that most graphic novels are filled with dialogue not just perspective writing.
  • YA Fiction – YA Fiction is one of those hit or miss genre’s when it pertains to reading. So try a book out and see if you like it, try something that was a movie like The Princess Diaries Series,The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series, (although it wasn’t good) Twilight Series, The Chronicles of Narnia Series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, etc. 
  • Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi (short books) – If you’re all about watching movie that have to do with alternate universes, supernatural beings, or a land of witches and unicorns, you need to read short novels like this.
  • Romance – Romance was a genre I got into accidently, I picked up I Thee Wed by Amanda Quickand I never looked back. For a new reader to truly enjoy romance they need to find their sub-romance genre, because if you’re a contemporary you most likely don’t want to read an historical.

I would stay clear of certain genre’s as a new reader, but do not eliminate them all as a whole. Here are some of the stay-away genre’s I suggest:

  • Classics – Classics just aren’t for everyone, some only read them, other avoid it like the plague, but it’s really about what you prefer. My advice is to try a classical novel and see if you enjoy it.
  • Boring Non-Fiction – I’m not a fan of non-fiction because I want to leave the world when I read not stay in it.
  • Long Books – The first book I tried to read was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and quickly realized my mistake was +700 pages. So choose your books carefully and looking at the page number because it is a factor in your decisions when selecting a title.
  • Hardcore Literature – Hardcore Literature is stuff like Ayn Rand writes. It’s deep, complex and oh so tiring to read. Wait until you’ve mastered reading novels that before you start reading novels that are so complex it’s got you seeing out your ass. Just hold off on this for a very long time.
  • Most Poetry – Some poetry is fun and easy to read like Dr. Seuss, but others are just maddening, although good, like Walt Whitman and Charles Bukowski. But try it out before you completely discount it thinking it’s too hard.

While this list may work for some people, it may be not be as successful with others. This is the reason why you have to experiment and not be afraid to open your mind up to the endless possibilities of reading. And to find specific titles that you might find interesting to convert to bookism I suggest Goodreads.com. It’s a fantastic website that I’ve been a member of since forever so go join! My profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3095876-codie-papageorgiou

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The Cold Blue Blood (A Berger and Mitry Mystery ) by David Handler

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4 ½ out of 5 Stars

★★★★ / ★★★★★ 


Mitch is a widower with an obsession with sweet foods and old films, but being a movie critic what else is he supposed to do (?). Knowing Mitch is battling depression Lacy, his boss, sends him to an historic rich version of Pleasantville, or is it more Hot Fuzz? While he’s in Dorset he meets Des, a black female lieutenant in an all-white male monopoly service with a love for art, after a couple of murders in the little quiet island Big Sister. As the victims list grows so does the suspect list and a couple of attempted murders, and the question remains who can you trust who can’t you?

Pros :
o Handler’s Characters – The characters in this novel where very unique and likable. Mitch was not a sexy guy with the physique of a Greek god, he was real and just your average Joe. His personality was becoming and he was easy to like with his sadness, but also with his progression to become happy again. Des was a wonderful character with a quirky sense of humor, and a boatload of closed off feelings that women feel like they cannot express when in a position such as hers; also her obsession with cat’s was very funny also. The people in the town were very believable, and unlikable…in a good way.

o The murders – Although that may sound peculiar, the murders where very real (well as real as I get from TV shows) and the suspects where really tricky. I didn’t know who did it until a good portion of the way through the book.

o Careers – I haven’t read many books with the professions of these characters, so that was pretty cool.

o Progression – For me this novel never had a dull moment, it was loaded with soft mystery and interesting plot development.

Cons :
o Grammar – I’m not going to lie and say that I’m a grammar queen, I mess up all the time, but those who do care should know it probably won’t make it to editor heaven.

o I felt like the ending was a tad bit rushed.
My Reaction:

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Overall The Cold Blue Blood is a splendid novel with remarkable characters, and writing that keeps you entertained until the end.
Buy it: The Cold Blue Blood by David Handler 

El Cheapo: How To Save Money On Books

Being an avid book reader I am constantly trying to reduce my monthly cost I shell out for books. After about five years I came up with a selection of websites and book stores that keep my pockets from being bare. So I thought why not share my amazing (my words) system for buying books with people.

Where to Buy:

  1. Library – Sometimes the library will have books out that have prices on them usually ranging from $.25 to free; you can also ask the librarian if they have any books that they are giving away because of wear and tear, or that are for resale.
  2. Book stores – Places like Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, and Black Sheep Books, have novels that are in a sale pile. These arebooks they are marking down for whatever reason, and if you search you may come up with a book you actually want.
  3. Goodwill, Second Hand Store – I have found many novels inside of the Goodwill for outrageously cheap prices. Just like the two above places you have to really look to find good books, but it’s very worth it to save money.
  4. eBay, Amazon, B&N, ETC. – Online stores (B&N is online and in store) will have new books and used books, most paperback used books will run you $.01 + 3.99 for shipping (since amazon was smart enough to not offer prime for non amazon products). But sometimes novels will be more expensive considering what you are trying to purchase; for example new releases do not normally come in used so you’ll have to buy the new…or wait until the hype is over.
  5. Garage Sales – Now this is not the most ideal option but it does come in handy when you’re desperate. Most reasonable garage sellers will have books out for about a quarter or a nickel.
  6. Goodreads and Wattpad, etc. – Reading books by the chapter (as Pepper Pace did for a few of her novels) can be done for free on certain websites.

Not only did I find places to buy books, but I also found the best books to buy to save money.

What to Buy:

  1. Series – Buying series is an amazing thing. You can get used box sets at online bookstores for very cheap. I bought the box set of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for $.50 at amazon (not including shipping). Series are amazing money savers.
  2. Volumes – Sometimes authors, similar books, or series will be in one whole volume. While this is not ideal for some readers, myself included, it is a huge money saver.
  3. Format – Depending on the novel you want to read hardback can be more expensive than paperback, or a certain edition can cost more. Try and make sure that the format and edition chosen is the cheapest in the pack.
  4. e-books – Although I am completely against e-books, and their current monopoly over the reading world, I have to say they are a serious money saver. e-books can be bought at cheap prices without the expensive cost of shipping that comes with physical books. Now that you no longer have to buy the device that comes along with e-readers you can just download the book on apps.  Kindle, iBooks, Nook, etc. can be used to read e-books (depending on where you buy the book). Also those buying sites have free books.
  5. Lots – Now, the only website I’ve seen lots has been eBay, and a lot is basically an array of novels by a) a specific author, b) authors in the same genre and c) novels that will appear in the same genre. This is amazing for people looking to save and actually explore new novels; actually it’d be like a mystery box filled with unknown plots and characters, so you should definitely take advantage of it.

So, for those who are tired of spending a serious amount of money on books, I hope this helps the El Cheapo in all of you.

The Missing (FBI Physics #1) by Shiloh Walker

 

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The Missing (FBI Physics, #1) by Shiloh Walker

3 stars ★★★ (out of 5)

Taige was born with a gift that allows her to help children that are going to be, or have been kidnapped. She lives with her uncle, Leon who hates the ground she walks on and thinks she’s a demon spawn. But sadly Taige is no stranger to feeling out of place being biracial and living in Alabama (Or was it Florida?), or at least this was true until she meets Cullen. Cullen saves Taige from getting raped one night and from that day on they’re together…until Cullen’s mother gets brutally murdered and he blames Taige. So, twelve years later Cullen needs Taige’s help to find his daughter has been abducted.

My reaction to the book:

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This novel had so much potential! It just makes me sad that a novel with a good plot, storyline, and characters, turn out to have such a mediocre execution. Perhaps the story needed to be longer, and less focused on Taige’s love for Cullen and more about the mystery aspect of the novel. I really don’t know, but I’m very disappointed.  

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 Pros:
☺ Taige is an interesting character that has a strong personality which is easy to love.
☺ The plot is very intoxicating, and different from other novels I have read.
☺ Another thing that was good about the novel was the beginning relationship off Cullen and Taige.

Cons:
☹ I figured out who the killer was on page 174, and there are 300+ pages
☹ The entire novel seemed rushed and distorted in some places.
☹ Not enough was explained about Taige’s gifts, the dreams, why the hell Rose never really helped Taige.
☹ Cullen was an ass…end of story.

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I cannot honestly say there was anything remarkable about this novel, it was really just blah. I had high hopes for it though, it had a different plot and theme but it didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t a true mystery because the villain was so obvious, but it wasn’t really a romance, or was it? I have no true feelings toward this novel. Was it great: no. Was it bad: no. It was just okay.

Buy:  The Missing by Shiloh Walker, Book 1