Monday, July 28, 2014

Bookstore Spotlight: Leelanau Books

Leelanau Books is a small, independent bookstore in beautiful Leland, MI (also known as Fishtown). Leland is a picturesque tourist and fishing village on the shores of Lake Michigan, on the Leelanau peninsula. It's just up the road from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, called the most beautiful place in America not long ago by Good Morning America. Whether that's the case or not, it is beautiful there, and Leland is a great stop on the famous M22 route and a nice place to spend the day.

Leelanau Books is located on Main Street in the heart of the little shopping district, and is bright and airy. It's air conditioned (for those hot summer days) and they have a great selection of local Michigan books. They host a book club and offer 15% off the book of the month, and offer free shipping as well. There is also a patio in back with a nice area for relaxing.

There is also a cafe in the store now, called The Lil Leland Cafe, which serves coffee and sandwiches and various other items. The owner of the local Redheads Cafe, in nearby Lake Leelanau, decided to partner with the bookstore and you can now get a great coffee to go with your favorite book! I like the laid back feel of this place, and and it fits into the surrounding area so nicely. This is not a bookstore that will have everything under the sun, but they do have a good selection of the areas they cover, and of course they can order anything you might need.

Leelanau Books is a great destination if you're ever in the area.

Teaser Tuesday #30

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author.

"No, she won't; jusr act like me when you get home. And besides, you're the one who's all about taking risks lately. Wasn't it you who said, 'Mom's lying, too, so who cares?'"

The Originals by Cat PAtrick 

The Originals

I've already read and reviewed this one (review here) but it was a fun book and wanted to share another teaser from it. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunday Post #54

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Well we've been back from vacation and I'm ready to go again! I'm missing the up north breezes and spending evenings at the beach looking out over the water. Life is back to normal here and it was a pretty good week. I managed to get some pictures uploaded and did a Saturday Snapshot for the first time in a while. I'm having a lot of fun writing up my Bookstore Spotlight feature and will have another one this week. Keep those comments coming and let me know if you have a favorite bookstore too! 

I had a review last week for COYER and a couple more coming this week, so I'm pretty happy with that. I blew through a couple books this week- where did I find time to do that? They were pretty good - I'm on a roll with my books lately, hope that keeps up. What are you up to? 


Saturday Snapshot- vacation pics 
Review: The Originals - I really liked this story about three girls who are clones- but the outside world thinks they're one person. Fun read! 
Bookstore Spotlight: Brilliant Books - a great bookstore in Traverse City
Sunday Post #53 - Vacation Edition 


Tuesday: Bookstore Spotlight- Leelanau Books ( a little bookstore I found up north- very nice)
Teaser Tuesday # 30
Review: The Black Island (Tintin #7) - I'm reading the Tintin series again and having a blast  
Comic of the Week (new feature)- Avengers edition! 
Review: Through the Door by Jodi McIsaac


The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park

The Wild Dark Flowers (Rutherford Park #2) by Elizabeth Cooke 


Siren (Siren, #1) Illusive Avengers: The Legacy of Thanos 


The High Summer Readathon is in full swing, and while I didn't participate this year I enjoyed it last year and it's been fun to read the posts.

From The Editor's Desk: Penguin editor Wendy McCurdy discusses The Wild dark Flowers by Elizabeth Cooke (my current read) and what a great proposal it was. And the big news for me: a third Rutherford book is in the works. I'm in. 

Pamela Druckerman (author or Bringing Up Bebe) talks about the French way of buying books. I always enjoy reading her perspectives as an American living in Paris. Great piece. 

On the comics front, the Bronze Age Babies had some fun discussions this week, including Who's The Worst Avenger

The usual cosplay shenanigans over at Trolldens- here and here. And Star Trek! And I'm sure there's some awesome cosplay going on out at San Diego Comic con.

So how was your week?  

Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.

To participate in Saturday Snapshot post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a link to your post at Melinda's site. Photos can be old or new, and be any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes. How much detail you give is in the captions is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online. 

We spent the week before last up north on vacation in the Traverse City, MI area and I'm finally getting around to getting some pics up. Here's a little snapshot of our time  up there. 

Vacation Highlights

I decided to post some pictures from our vacation up north in Traverse City, MI last week. We spent a lot of time by the water, but we also took some fun day trips and spent some time in bookstores too. I'll post a few pics of the bookstores but for a more in depth look check out my Bookstore Spotlight feature, which I'll be posting more or less weekly for a while. You can find the first two here and here.

I hope you enjoy the pics!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: The Originals

The Originals

The Originals by Cat Patrick is an interesting story about 3 girls who are identical triplets... or at least they were. Lizzie, Ella and Betsey take turns going to school, and everyone else thinks they are the same person- Elizabeth Best. They split the day into sections and each of them has their assigned section. In actuality, the girls are clones- raised by their mother and hidden, so that the outside world thinks there is just a single mother and her daughter. The story is told from the perspective of Lizzie, and everything is going normally for the girls- they have their routine and their system down- until Lizzie starts to fall for Sean Kelly, the guy in her Creative Writing class.

Things get complicated when Sean asks Lizzie to lunch, and she realizes she can't make it because her sister Ella has that part of the day. You certainly don't want your sister going to lunch with your guy! The girls aren't allowed to date, but with Lizzie and Ella both having guys they're interested in, they begin to push back on this, and their mother soon relents- but with conditions the girls find unacceptable. Lizzie finds her budding relationship with Sean in jeopardy, and decides to take matters into her own hands. On top of that, she begins to suspect their mother is not what she seems- or has secrets to hide. When clues begin to emerge that there is more to their mother than meets the eye, they resolve to find out the truth and take their life back.

I liked this story a lot, it was compulsively readable for me and I finished it in a day. The plot seemed pretty farfetched in the beginning- I mean, how would this ever really work?- but I was pleasantly surprised, not only did it comes across as somewhat plausible, but the questions it raised as I was reading were actually fun to think about. How would something like this work? What happens when one girl falls for a guy, and the other two see him? And what exactly is the deal with their mother that she would put them through this? I wanted to know the answer to that. The writing is good, I'm a fan of Cat Patrick after this book and will look at her other books based on the strength of this one. While I suspect most seventeen year old girls in this situation would have rebelled or pushed back long ago, or at least been less tolerant of their mother, the story seemed pretty realistic to me, and I enjoyed reading about the high school situations they found themselves in. The girls each have distinct personalities, and Sean adds a nice touch to the story- for some reason he reminded me of Levi from Fangirl at times- I'm not sure why, since he's not really like Levi, but he's a nice guy in that vein.

This book was fun and I was sucked in from the get-go. I liked the three sisters and their dynamic- they can feel each others' distress, there is almost a telepathic connection between them- but the science fiction elements are pretty much limited to that. The story is mainly a coming of age story with a twist. The premise may seen a little silly but it's played straight and the writing makes it fun and compelling. I really liked how events come together and it gets a little tense at the end- but the ending is well done and touching. A very fun read.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bookstore Spotlight: Brilliant Books

Brilliant Books is an independent bookstore on Front St. in Traverse City, Michigan. They are located in the heart of the downtown shopping district- they've been there now for a few years and have really established a niche for themselves in the downtown area. From the moment you walk in it feels like you are entering a haven from the hustle and bustle outside. The store is peaceful and quiet, with hardwood floors and a large open area with couches and chairs to lounge in. It's one of those stores where they don't have everything- rather they try to carry the best of the genre as they put it- and of course they can order anything, if they don't have it. What they may not have in selection though they make up for in ambience- it just has a nice vibe to it, almost like a little coffeehouse shop.

Their children's section is quite good and very well stocked, and throughout the store are staff recommendations and helpful suggestions. My daughter was looking for the third book in the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer, and after visiting the bigger bookstore down the street and being told they would have more in a few days, we came here and they had several in stock.

Among the services they offer is a Book of the Month Club, where you fill out a short questionnaire about your reading preferences and they then send you (or a loved one- great gift idea) a book every month, based on your responses. If it's a book you already have or don't like, send it back and they'll send you something else. They also work with book clubs and if you register your club or reading group they will make sure to have copies in stock and members get 20% off. I think it would be great to meet here and discuss books

Brilliant Books calls themselves "Your Long Distance Local Bookstore", as they realize that a large part of their clientele are the tourists who flood Traverse City every summer. They want to keep in touch with their far flung customers and do not charge for shipping, which I think is nice. They've come a long way from their humble beginnings and you can read a little about their history here, including the little story of how they spent their first Christmas in business without any shelves! It's a great story and I hope Brilliant Books remains a vibrant part of Front St. for many years to come. Their website is here and their Facebook page here. Their FB page in particular is worth checking out, just to see which authors have dropped in and the other cool stuff they have going on.