Reading Around the World: New York City- The Greatest City in the World

Reading Around the World: New York City- The Greatest City in the World


Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton cover

Humans of New York: Stories
by Brandon Stanton


Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: October 13th 2015
Rating: Everyone has a story to tell

“The great thing about New York is that if you sit in one place long enough, the whole world comes to you.” 

The Alienist  by Caleb Carr cover

The Alienist
by Caleb Carr


Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Dr. Laszlo Kreizler #1
Published: October 24th 2006
Rating: Definitly set in New York

“The defenders of decent society and the disciples of degeneracy are often the same people.”

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily #1) by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan cover

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares
 by Rachel Cohn and  David Levithan

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Dash and Lily #1
Release date: October 26th 2010
Rating: Full review of Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

“I was horribly bookish, to the point of coming right out and saying it, which I knew was not socially acceptable. I particularly loved the adjective bookish, which I found other people used about as often as ramrod or chum or teetotaler.” 

Bunheads by Sophie Flack cover

by Sophie Flack


Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: October 10th 2011
Rating: en pointe

“Just when you think you can't go on, somewhere a little light comes on.” 

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older cover

by Daniel José Older

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Shadowshaper #1
Published: June 30th 2015
Rating: A for out of the box plot element and potential

“Crazy. It was the same word María and Tía Rosa flung at Grandpa Lázaro. The same word anyone said when they didn't understand something. "Crazy" was a way to shut people up, disregard them entirely.”

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith cover

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith


Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: 1943
Rating: immersive

“The world was hers for the reading.” 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer  voer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer 


Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: April 4th 2006
Rating: I am shocked that I haven't read this

“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living.” 

Here Is New York by E.B. White cover

Here Is New York
by E.B. White


Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: January 1st 2000
Rating: This seems like an good guide to NY

“It can destroy an individual, or it can fulfill him, depending a good deal on luck. No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.” 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt cover

The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: October 22nd 2013
Rating: much hyped

“I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe.”

The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America by Russell Shorto  cover

The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America
by Russell Shorto 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: January 1st 2004)
Rating: The greatest city in the world

“Manhattan is where America began.” 

Do you have any NYC recommendations? 


Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't Because of Some Very Good Reasons

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't Because of Some Very Good Reasons
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the Awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the Awesome people over at The Broke and the Bookish.

 Series intimidate me. I mean I love when I read a book by a new to me author and they end up having a decent sized backlog.  But the prospect of starting a series...  What if it starts to suck and I have to rewrite the last three books in my head.  What if I get ten books into a series and then the author inexplicably doesn't write the last book that concludes the story line? Hello? A war was set up? *sobs Not that that has happened to me. I also have really strong feeling about deliberate plotting, character consistency, and theme development.  The feelings being is that there better be some.  

That being said I do have some series that I am itching to start...

I want every book ever with these covers.  Gimmee.

I want every book ever with these covers.  Gimmee.

Anne of Green Gables series
by L.M. Montgomery 

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: 1908

“It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

I should have already read this series. it pains me that I haven't. How do I even call myself a reader? I should have read this book at age seven.  Everything that I have defined myself by pretty much demands that I read this book. I don't know how I avoided it.  I think it might have been because the cover that my library had when I was a little was ugly. It makes me sad that when I read it now it might not have the magic of reading it as a child.  I am still going to read it this summer. Or listen to it, maybe. I downloaded the audiobook with Rachel McAdams.  That should do the trick.  And I need to watch the 80's miniseries.  And the new one.  #multipleinternationalflights

The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff cover

The Nevernight Chronicles
by Jay Kristoff 

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: August 9th 2016

“Too many books. Too few centuries.” 

I loved the Illuminae series but I haven't been able to get into this one yet.  I started it a couple of times but something didn't work.  I liked how it was written and I am interested in the premise.  I think that it is a case me of being moody and weird rather than the books fault. It might also have to do with the fact that I was reading it on the kindle rather than a physical copy.  There are a ton of footnotes and they don't show up right on the kindle.  I am going to give this one anther shot.

Given Duet by Mindy McGinnis cover


Given Duet
by Mindy McGinnis 

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: April 11th 2017

“To be aware of your own doom is no easy thing.”

I want to love Mindy McGinnis. She taps into feminism like nobody else right now and I respect that.  I have had some mixed results with some of her other stuff.  I am not deterred and shall try her fantasy offering.  I am a bit nervous because it has some terrible reviews. But whatever, reviews aren't the boss of me! She says while continually writing reviews.

Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud cover


Lockwood & Co.
by Jonathan Stroud 

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: August 29th 2013

“I wasn't pretty, but as my mother once said, prettiness wasn't my profession.” 

This is book club recommendation that I just haven't gotten around to.  I have spent two years hearing twelve year old gush over it. At least three of them have listed this as their favorite book ever. But they are twelve and sometimes their taste is questionable. I am not sure if their hype that makes me wary of getting my hopes up or just ratchets up my expectations to unreasonable levels. This is going to happen this summer.

The Queen's Thief by Megan Whalen Turner cover


The Queen's Thief
by Megan Whalen Turner 

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: December 27th 2005

“I didn't really care much about anything, so I guess I felt fine.” 

I have had this series on my TBR so long that I have forgotten not only who recommended it, I have also forgotten what attracted it to me. I mean besides the obvious: thief.  It is also a Newberry Honor book and that usually convinces me.  

Hattie by Kirby Larson cover


by Kirby Larson 

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: September 26th 2006

“I will have to rely on that painful teacher, experience.” 

I think this got on my TBR when I was looking for a more grown up version of Little House on the Prarie. 

The Others by Anne Bishop cover

The Others
by Anne Bishop

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: March 5th 2013

“It felt uncomfortable to lie to someone who was being kind. She hadn't known a lie could have a physical weight.” 

I read Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series. I think I chose it because someone said that it was an example a fantasy novel with a civilization lead by women.   It was well written but I sort of read it through my fingers  like I a watch a horror movie. This is supposed to be lighter. But it has vampires and and werewolves and who among us isn't over that? 

Katerina by Robin Bridges cover


by Robin Bridges 

Goodreads | Amazon
Published: January 10th 2012

“Such polite manners for an armed man who was kidnapping me. Danilo could take a few lessons from him.” 

This has so much potential to be terrible.  Russia, Tzars, fabulous fur hats... also vampires? It could be awesome. it could be a train wreck.  That is probably what has kept me from diving into this one.  

Leviathan  by Scott Westerfeld cover

by Scott Westerfeld 


Goodreads | Amazon
Published: October 6th 2009

“Maybe this was how you stayed sane in wartime: a handful of noble deeds amid the chaos. ” 

Steampunk! Which I theoretically love but don't read enough of. 

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  by Alexander McCall Smith cover

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith 


Goodreads | Amazon
Published: February 6th 2003

“I am just a tiny person in Africa, but there is a place for me, and for everybody, to sit down on this earth and touch it and call it their own.” 

I have been meaning to read these since high school. What has been holding me back?  It is the mystery thing. It isn't my favorite genre. And the fact that they seem like books for middle aged women. Now that I am a slightly more discerning reading I am also questioning whether or not a book about a black woman is best written by a white man.  Has anyone read these?  Are they good? Botswana really intrigues me.

How do you feel about series? Do you have a hard time starting them? Do you abandon them halfway through if they go downhill or do you hang onto the bitter end?


Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon cover

When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: May 30th 2017
Rating: Much adorableness

I had this book preordered from pretty much the moment that it was on sale.  A non-angsty book about two Indian-American teenagers whose parents have arranged for them to get married.  Oh, my God(s) I must have it! And for the most part, it lived up the intense inner hype.  This is the book version of the dopey look you get on your face when you think about someone that you are falling in love with.  Warm, funny, and full of heart. 

The book has an alternating third-person POV of Dimple and Rishi.  The obvious choice would have probably been to go with the first person for this conceit.  I am glad that Sandhya Menon did not choose to write the book that way because of all too often the voices of the two characters aren't distinct enough.  With both POV having a single voice the change in perspective is still there, but the book still has a cohesive narrative voice.  Very effective.

Dimple and Rishi were both funny, awkward, and incredibly relatable.  I loved them as a couple.  They have a lot in common, but they also have different internal speeds which are interesting to watch bounce off of one another.  Dimple is buzzing, intense, and ready to go all the time while Rishi is relaxed and smooth. Often when they say the wrong things to one another, it is because of this.  Dimple reacts and speaks before reflecting, and Rishi has thought it through so much that he forgets that he didn't say it out loud. I love how real that makes them feel.

This is our life. We get to decide the rules. We get to say what goes and what stays, what matters and what doesn’t.

There was a great balance between being Indian and having that be important to them and being two crazy kids falling in love.  One part of their story is never sacrificed for the other.  There is quite a bit of Hindi in the book. Most have to be gotten through context. I googled a lot of the words and looked up a cheat sheet to Indian clothing just because I like knowing exactly what is being talked about.

Dimple is pulled between her love and appreciation for her parents on one hand and her desire to figure out who she is on her own on the other.  Her frustration and outbursts are understandable but so is the closeness that she feels with her parents.

Rishi is an interesting character.  He has set his life up in a way that guarantees the path of least resistance.  At first, I thought that he was just sort of lazy and only interested in being comfortable all the time. But as the book goes on you see that he has trapped himself with his own idea of who he is and who he should be. I loved his journey of overcoming self-imposed limitations.

Let's not kid ourselves, though.  We are all here for the cute.  And, man, was this cute. The whole story was super sweet, but I never found it to be cheesy.  The weakest part was the plotting. Not much happened outside of Dimple and Rishi. Well, stuff happened, but I was always waiting for them to be alone together again.

I am wondering, as much as I loved this, if it would have been better set during the summer after college graduation rather than high school graduation.  Maybe it is the marriage thing (although that is talked about in term of being ten years away even in theory) but the story seems more about that step into adulthood than going off to college.  It didn't bother me as I was reading but it was something that I have been thinking about.

 When Dimple met Rishi is a great read for the summer. I smiled my way through it and will be looking for more from Sandhya Menon. 

From Goodreads:

The rom-com that everyone’s talking about! Eleanor & Park meets Bollywood in this hilarious and heartfelt novel about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.