Posted in books, writing

Tiny Navajo Writes: Top Five Book Festivals I’d Love to Visit

Hi guys! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! TTT was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Oh how I wish I could just see all the books and travel the whole world! So, this is going to be a fun theme for the day!

  1. Wigtown Book Festival. Ever since I read The Diary of a Bookseller, I have wanted to go to Wigtown, Scotland to see the Wigtown Book Festival. I wanted to see a place I had only read about, but knew existed, and knew that it would be one of my favourite places to visit.
  2. Jaipur Literary Festival. I loved India the few months that I lived there, and I would love to go back and visit some day. This would be an excellent reason to go and see more of India and to see what books would be there. I only visited a few bookstores while there, but I would love to go back and see more.
  3. Kanda Used Book Festival. I want to visit Japan so badly and to see that wonderful country and the Kanda Used Book Festival would be an excellent reason to go.

    The Kanda Used Book Festival is one of the largest annual events in the Jimbocho district of Kanda—renowned as a town of used and antique books. The organizers go further to claim it’s the largest event of its kind in the world.

  4. Hay Festival. This takes place in, and around, Hay-on-Wye, a small town that borders England and Wales. As you can probably clearly see, I just want to travel and read books and these festivals would be a good way to do that.
  5. Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Okay, and now I just want to visit the West Coast and see what it has to offer in the way of books. I just want to read all of the books and see what there is out in the world.

What book festivals would you like to visit and explore? What draws you to those particular places? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

*Published May 9, 2009*

guernseyI loved this book! I loved this book! I loved this book! So good! The reason why I actually picked this up though is because I had a Barnes & Noble gift card to spend and I had been meaning to read this for a while, so I bought. I am so glad that I did! But imagine my surprise when I later looked in my Nook app and found the ebook version of this. All well! If I ever lose my paperback, I have the ebook to be me satisfied. Now, onto the review!

This book is told through a series of letters and it’s one of my favorite ways to tell a story. For The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, the story is about the island of Guernsey and the Nazi occupation during World War II, their story is one told in many parts, but it creates a harmonious timeline and it’s so beautifully done.

Our main character, Juliet Ashton, is both a journalist and writer and is seeking the seed for her next book. When she receives a letter from a fellow book lover from Guernsey and they continue their correspondence, Juliet is drawn into his world – his life, his friends, their time occupied during World War II, their alibi built on a spur of the moment – and she realizes she might have found the material needed for her next book. As she starts to correspond with the other members of the Society and learns about their lives, she sets sail for Guernsey where she starts to develop her book and become a part of their lives. Juliet falls in love with the life of the island of Guernsey and the people that live there.

I loved this book! I had been meaning to read it for some time, but what really pushed me to read it is there is a Netflix original movie based on this book and I want to watch the movie; I have a rule though, need to read the book before I watch the movie. Now that I’ve read the book, I can watch the movie! WHOO!

I also loved that this was told in letters. I love writing letters and I love receiving and reading letters. When books are told in the form of letters exchanged, I love reading them. It feels more intimate and real to read, especially when the story deals with a real time period and seemingly real people. For me, this is one of the best ways to tell a historical fiction book.

What’s been your favorite book-to-film adaption? Why did you enjoy it? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: The Bookshop on the Corner

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊

*Published September 20, 2016*

bookshop on the cornerI have a small dream of someday owning my own second-hand bookstore, and every once in a while I’ll have the urge to read books about people (fictional or otherwise) who own their own second-hand bookstores. Sometimes they’re great, like The Diary of a Bookseller and sometimes they’re not so great. This is an instance of not so great…which sucks because it started so good! And yes, there will be spoiler talk at the end, but I really need to rant about this book.

Nina Redmond is our main character and she is a librarian that has the ability to pair people with the books they need. To find the perfect book for the perfect person is her passion and her job. At least it was until her system decided to close down all branches and converge into one huge super media center. Now out of a job, Nina has to find some way to not only provide a living for herself but to continue bringing books to people.

Nina decides to do what any sane person would do and buys a van that she turns into a bookmobile that she takes to the country where there is no library. Once in her new sleep village, she discovers that the people here have been craving books ever since their library closed. Once again, Nina is able to find books for those who desperately need it in their lives. She also discovers all that she’s been missing from her life as well. She makes friends, she discovers the beginnings of love, she sees life for what it should and could be.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I love it when a person goes out into the world to follow what their passion is and to do something with it. I’m doing that myself or at least working in that direction. But where it goes wrong for me in this book was the romance. Yes, the romance bothered me! GAH! It was going so well, then Nina decides to fall for a train conductor and that doesn’t end well, then it seems like she is going to be fine on her own. I would have loved to actually see Nina rely more on her friends from back in the city and her new friends in her village to support her than to see her do what seems a complete 180 and fall for her getting-a-divorce landlord! Yep, that’s right! She falls right into bed with her landlord who is currently getting a divorce. And it was so forced…I hated it. If the book hadn’t tried to make itself into a romance, but just about a woman who follows her dream of having a little bookshop to get the right book to the right person, it would have been one of the better books I have read. But it didn’t. Boo.

What books have been ruined by their ending for you? Why did it go so badly? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in author given, book reviews, books, ebook, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Competence

*Thank you to the author for this eARC*

Competence by Gail Carriger

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

competenceSo. Damn. GOOD!!! I love this latest installment of the Custard Protocol if because we get to see inside the head of a few other characters that have always been a bit off to the side.

In Competence, we follow the thought process of the twins, Primrose and Percival Tunstall. Mainly Primrose, as she struggles to come to terms with something that EVERYONE else can see; that Tasherit, our resident werelioness, is in love with her and wants her. Prim refuses to acknowledge this though, as she believes she wants to be married, have a family and kids. That is what she wants, a sense of stability, something normal that she didn’t really have growing up the child of a vampire queen.

As Prim starts to work through things, including the fact that she is more accepting of Tasherit while she is in lion form than when in human form, all of Prim’s family and friends help her realize there is more to it than that. All of her life, she has been seeking to uphold social expectations, get married to an upstanding man and raise a family. Prim has even been engaged several times and has had many beaus as well. She has felt nothing for these men and believes that is what is normal, that a loveless/romantic-less marriage is what is needed/normal. Yet, what Prim feels with she let’s Tasherit near her is completely new and different. And that isn’t normal, so she pushes Tasherit away as well as she can.

With all of this drama going on, there is also the mission given to the Spotted Custard to find this last hive of vampires in South America and possibly rescue/destroy them. Most likely rescue, but you never know with Alexia Maccon.

Overall, this book was great! I loved that it wasn’t a lot about the action, but a lot about the character development. We know that Prim, in previous books, is extremely organized and she loves everything that would be considered proper for her place in society. She also wants everyone to be in their proper place as well, but as a member of the Spotted Custard, no one really fits into a neat little box in Prim’s world.

With all of this though, we get to see Prim grow and change and accept that not everything will fit into neat little boxes, and sometimes you have to change your perspective if you want to find where you fit into the world. And if you have to change your perspective, the only person that will really notice is yourself. No one else really cares what you’re doing in your life, as long as you’re happy if they are your friends. And Prim’s friends are truly her friends and her family and they love to see her finally accepting herself and allowing herself to love.

What book are you looking forward to being published this year? Is it the next of a series, or the beginning of a new one? Or ever a new standalone? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book challenge, book reviews, books, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

♦ ♦ ◊ ◊ ◊

eat pray loveYeah…I don’t know what happened, I remember enjoying this book a lot more the first time that I read it. Granted, I was also going through a harder time the first time I read it, so that may have been why.

Eat, Pray, Love is a partial autobiography of Elizabeth Gilbert, a woman who thought she had everything she ever wanted in her life: a loving husband, a house in the suburb, a wonderful career. But as we start out on her journey of discovery, we see that she is deeply unhappy. And she isn’t sure as to why she is unhappy, she has all that she wants, right? Maybe not. For her, her life doesn’t feel fulfilled. Nothing is going well, she feels her marriage is a sham, her career unfilling, and everything else just isn’t going right in her life. She spirals into a deep depression and seeks to escape her life.

In doing so, she travels to three different places in the world to focus and entertain thoughts on how to find herself. She gets rid of her life as it is right now, has sold her furniture, and goes off to three different countries: Italy for pleasure, India for spirituality, and Bali for…balance(?).

Okay, honest opinion, here (granted, all of my opinions are honest, this is my blog). But I remember connecting to the author and her journey so much more the first time I read this book. I also read this book when I was going through a harder time in my life. Things weren’t looking their best and I wasn’t feeling my best either. Reading about travel and her descriptions of the places she went to helped me forget my own problems for a short time.

Now, though? I didn’t enjoy reading this book as much. Her writing seemed almost phony and fake like she was just writing to write. Yes, it is about her and her life, but when it comes to travel memoirs/autobiographies, I would think you would delve more into how you’re changing, and what is influencing you. And yes, she does do this, but it just doesn’t seem to click anymore.

Overall, I would say if you enjoy travel writing, you’ll enjoy this book. But if you’re here for Gilbert’s spiritual journey, you might want to find another book to read.

What books have rereading showed that they weren’t what you thought they were going to be? Comment below and let me know.

Posted in update

Tiny Navajo Update: New Orleans ALA

Okay, guys, I’m officially back from New Orleans and the American Library Association Conference that was held there, and it was AMAZING! I was there for 3 full days and 2 partial days. And for those 3 days, I did so much! I was surprised at how much there was to do as well as to see! There…was just so much!

So, the first thing that I was able to do in New Orleans was to eat. I was told by everyone that I need to eat all of the food while I was there. So, the first night I had gumbo, jambalaya, and crawdad etouffee. I discovered that I liked gumbo the most that night. Then the first day of the conference, I not only got to go to a graphic novel panel, I also got to see Michelle Obama speak, and oh my lord! Just listening to her made me wish I had paid more attention to when the Obama’s were in office. She talked about the memoir she’s writing as well as talking about, the books she’s reading, the power of libraries, and a lot of other things that I, sadly, don’t remember.

The second day of the conference, I was not able to wander the exhibit hall and FIND. ALL. THE. BOOKS.  Holy Moses, there was so many free books, and ARCs, and giveaways and everything else! I brought back at least 2 bags of books to read and review for a bit. So, no new books will need to be bought for a while, but for me, I will most likely still buy some books. I was also able to see an early showing of “the public,” a movie about public libraries and their interaction with homeless populations. It was superbly done and those of us there in the viewing were able to participate in a Q&A with Emilio Estevez, who created and starred in the movie. That was great!

The third day of the conference, I used that day to just wander around the exhibit hall and the job fair that was going on during the conference. It was interesting, and it helped me as well as I was able to better write my resume to libraries that are hiring. I was found a booth in the exhibit hall of Navajo jewelry designers. It was nice to see “cousins” there and be able to talk to them some as well. I was also able to find books for my mom as well, so good news all around.

The last day of the conference was also the day I had to leave to make it back home on time, I didn’t really go to the conference, but it was good. These past few days of being in a new place is always a fun thing for me, especially in a city where I have never been whatsoever. I especially loved being able to try all the food! I discovered that I love red beans and rice! With gator sausage! So good! I also discovered beignets, which are the best fluffy pastry covered in powdered sugar that I have ever eaten! I had them twice in one day and it was so good!!!

All in all, ALA was amazing, as was the city of New Orleans! I’m glad that I was able to go and visit that beautiful city and be able to experience all that ALA has to offer. I will hopefully be able to go again. And I’ll hopefully have pictures for you soon!

Talk to you all later,

Ashley

Posted in book reviews, books, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Voyage of the Basilisk

Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

voyage of the basiliskWe continue following Lady Trent through her formative years that lead to her to where she’s is now. We are following Lady Trent’s adventures six years after Eriga, her two-year-long voyage around the world on the Basilisk. In her world, Lady Trent’s reader may believe they know all that happened while she and her son and her friends were on the Basilisk, but this reveals the true story. And oh, boy! What a story it is!

Isabella, her son Jacob, Isabella’s friend and Jacob’s nurse Natalie, and her colleague Tom Wilker sail around the world, studying what dragons they come across while also doing other work for those that have sponsored the voyage as well. The come across deep sea dragons in the far north, to feather serpents in tropical isles, the possible younger sea dragon cousins that make their homes in the isles where Isabella marries a young woman in order to keep social taboos in order.

The Voyage of the Basilisk tackles lots of hard things and Isabella learns and grows from her mistakes. And she learns a lot more about dragons that she had ever bargained for, including what may have happened to an ancient Draconeon society and the dragons they may have been able to tame.

I love Lady Trent! I love dragons! I. Love. This. Series! I love Lady Trent and how she is becoming such a strong person and such a strong character. She grows with each book, she develops, and she still makes mistakes. She is not perfect. She is not a Mary Sue. She is a real person, and I would love to meet her!

What book series has made you want to live in that world? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in audiobooks, book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Listens: The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, read by Jim Dale

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

the night circusI absolutely LOVE this book! I love the audio for it even more. This is about my third or fourth time reading/listening to The Night Circus and I love it!

The circus arrives without warning. And it’s a circus unlike any other before. Instead of being a single tent with three rings, it is a circus full of multiple tents, each with their own attraction. And it is only open at night. The reason for this circus because there is a competition, a competition like none other; a competition that has gone for a very long time between two very different people. They seek to play through others each round, but they play to see whose method to magic is better.

Celia Bowen is considered a natural talent by her father, Hector Bowen, who teaches her how to rely only on herself for her magic and her abilities. Marco Alisdair, an orphan who is adopted by “Alexander,” is taught charms and spells, writings and symbols for his magic. The two know that they are meant for a competition, but nothing else when they are thrown together. Marco knows who Celia is, but Celia has no idea who Marco is. Once the circus starts up, the competition begins and tents full of magic and wonder pop up.

As more and more tents appear, and the longer the circus runs, Celia and Marco start to fall headlong in love, the tents start to become more than attractions, they become declarations of love between the two. And the longer the circus runs, with no end of the competition in sight, the harder it becomes for Celia and Marco to keep going, to keep the competition going. Their lives are no longer the only ones that are affected by the competition at this point, the lives of all those who love the circus, who live in the circus, and those who just see the circus once, are affected.

I just love this book! I lovelovelove this book! I love the writing, I love the narration, I love the setting and the magic and the circus itself. I quite honestly wish I could live in this book and go to this circus. It sounds absolutely amazing, and I love the way it’s described and I love the magic!

The narration is also one of my favorites. Jim Dale, the narrator for the American version of Harry Potter does amazing with this. I love the way he pulls you in, the inflections of voice and the different voices he assigns to everyone. Yes, it is one person talking, but he is able to change his voice in such a way for EVERYONE,  that you start to forget that there is only one person narrating. For me, that’s when you know you have an excellent narrator when you forget there is one person doing the narration.

What audiobook pulls you in? Why did it pull you in? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book challenge, book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

a darker shade of magicMagic? Check. London? Check. Dimension traveling? Double and triple check! I love this book, and I had heard a lot of it before I read it, but reading it is so much better than what everyone was talking about! Oh, my goodness! So much better!

Have you ever wanted to travel to the exact same city you live in, but in a different dimension? Well, in this book, a select few people, two to be exact, are able to travel to their sister cities in different dimensions. These people are called Antari; they have a unique ability to use magic easily. Officially Kell, an Antari who is raised in Red London, his home, where magic is still common, is the Ambassador from the Maresh Empire to the White London, and Grey London. Unofficially, he is a smuggler of small items for those that wish to have a small taste of a world they would never be able to visit otherwise.

Trouble starts to for Kell when he smuggles something back to Red London that he should have never taken, something that should not exist. As he struggles to make his way away from Red London, he is attacked. He makes his way to Grey London to lose those that are following him, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a pickpocket with dreams of owning her own ship. Things get even more complicated as she steals from him the item that got him into trouble in the first place. As things start to unravel even further, Kell realizes that the only way to stop things from dissolving further is to take the item back to its London, a London that has been lost to time and magic, Black London.

I absolutely loved this book and the two main characters, Kell and Lila, and their interactions with each other. Kell, who never really had to worry about what to eat or what to do but doesn’t know his past, and Lila, who wishes to own a ship and not depend on anyone for anything. Their friendship starts off roughly, with her stealing from him and then him essentially tying her to her bedroom wall, they make it work despite their differences. And I love that Lila makes it very clear that she wants this adventure, despite the fact that she may lose her life, but it is her life and her decision what she gets to do with it. I just love everything about this book and I can’t wait to read the next one!

What characters have left an impression on you? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

the invisible libraryI love libraries, I love dragons, I love books, I love languages, and I love magic! This is such a wonderful amalgamation of all the things I love and I can’t wait to keep reading this series. I actually need to own this series for my own library! Now, onto the review!

The Invisible Library starts out with our main character Irene “taking” a book for The Library, her place of employment, the hub for the many worlds, where they collection important works of fiction that could influence different worlds and the worlds where these books come from. Not usually the best introduction, but for those of us who collect books and see the point of view that “saving books” is of utmost importance, this is a great introduction.

For her next mission, Irene is sent to a different form of London in order to find a very specific version of Grimm’s fairytales. An assistant by the name of Kai is also fobbed onto her, to her reluctance. In this version of London, there is extreme chaos energy and the book they are to retrieve has already been stolen…lovely. As Irene and Kai struggle to find out where the book has walked off to, how to find it, and who they can trust in this version of London, things start to go wrong, especially once an infamous Librarian proves to be more than legend and seeks the book as well.

As Irene, Kai, and the friends they’ve made this in world chase after the book, all while trying to figure why everyone else wants the book. Irene just wants to do her job…and everyone else making it harder and harder to do. But she must do this, she must retrieve the book she was sent for, else it’s not just her job and reputation that’s on the line; it’s life, the world, and the Library as she knows it.

I loved this book and the magic and everything else in it. If I could be a librarian at The Library, I totally would. I would love to be a spy, traveling to different worlds, looking for rare and different versions of all the books! Let me live here! The world Genevieve Cogman created with this book and hopefully the next in this series is amazing. I love the fact that their magic, in The Library, is the Language. Simple, but in such a way as to get things to obey you. And I love that, as far as we know, the mission of The Library is to save the books of the worlds. Not save the world mind you, but save the books. Save the stories, save the ideas of that world. I love it, and I can’t wait to keep reading these books!

Have you ever read a book where you wanted to jump right in and live there? What was it and what world would you live in? Comment below and let me know!