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Liz Loves Books

I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.

Rose Came Up with a Great Idea for a Challenge

Please follow the link and comment/like there.  She put a lot of work into it and it sounds really fun!

Challenge Withdrawal

Drea has a conversation about challenge withdrawal going on here:  http://dreasbookfetish.booklikes.com/post/670145/day-26-a-book-that-changed-your-opinion-about-something

When the 30 day book challenge is over, I know I am going to miss having the prompts to help me think and I will really miss seeing everyone’s responses.  Would any of you be interested in some type of ongoing challenge?


If so...


(Edited to add a couple of sites with ideas behind the pagebreak.)

read more »

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 30 - Favorite Book of All Time

Pride and Prejudice (Puffin Classics) - Linda M. Jennings, Linda Jennings, Jane Austen

I love everything about this book. I love the characters, the story, the way Jane Austen puts words together, the humor, the settings. Just everything.


I think what I love most, though, is the way both Lizzie and Darcy grow throughout the story.  Even now that I'm older, the changes they go through make me feel hopeful.

GR friend requests

Over the last few weeks I've received a number of friend requests from authors I don't know, none of whom write in the genres I read and none of whom have any friends in common with me. I've just been ignoring them.


Tonight I received 2 such requests with comments attached.  One said, "I am new to GoodReads, but you were on the top of the reviewers list. Since I am also an author, I thought I would add you. :)"


The second said, "I have heard you are a very prolific reviewer and would like to connect with you."


So, these folks are being sold the 1% list and are indiscriminately sending friend requests with canned comments.  I am far from prolific, all my reviews at GR (except a few I may have missed) now say, "This is a book," explain I can no longer review at GR and refer people here. My GR profile specifically tells authors sending friend requests in hope of reviews that they will be ignored and states I do not accept author submissions for review, ever. 


I don't like being sold.  I want my name removed from the list GRAmazon is selling.  I was hoping not to have to delete my account completely, though.  I still like to use it as a reference and for PMs.

Learning Curve by Adriana Hunter

Learning Curve - Adriana Hunter



As my quest to clean out my TBR continues, I have to wonder what the heck I was thinking and hope I didn't pay much for this "book."  The author can't decide if the heroine's name is Suzie or Susie. It's full of cliches and reads like a teenager wrote it.  The size 18 heroine considers herself an enormous hag. The hero is of course a gorgeous millionaire who can't find a semi-decent woman to date. There is unprotected sex. There is instalove. And it has taken me almost as long to type this as it did to read it.  


The grammar, spelling and punctuation are okay. Other than that, it has everything wrong with it that a BBW romance can have.

The Pregnancy Test by Erin McCarthy

The Pregnancy Test - Erin McCarthy

The Pregnancy Test - Erin McCarthy is a quick and mostly funny romance though it has its moments of angst.  I enjoyed it but I doubt I'd ever reread it.  The main drawback of the book for me were the too-frequent love scenes. They were written well enough but they aren't really used effectively to develop character or drive the plot so they sometimes feel gratuitous.  So, just okay to marginally good for me.

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 29 - A Book Everyone Hated but You Liked

Worth the Risk - Karen  Erickson The Man Who Risked It All - Michelle Reid

I haven't read a lot of the obvious often-hated books. I never bothered with The Da Vinci Code or Twilight or FSOG and I'm not planning on reading them. I think every bestseller is going to have a lot of detractors. I have to admit I am almost curious enough to read this Divergent trilogy that has caused such a ruckus. I won't though.


There are also some types of erotica I read that I know the majority of my book friend's would not care for. I did not review or shelve those on GR.  I am more inclined to at least shelve them here because I do want to keep track of them somewhere in addition to calibre.


I have read a few books that I loved that were soundly trounced on the Amazon romance forum that I enjoyed.  I've listed a couple above. I know I am much more "magic penis" tolerant and require less grovel in my romances than many readers.  As long as I get an indication of remorse I'm pretty tolerant.  I try to make that known when I'm recommending romances that are light on the grovel. There are other things a lot of people like that bug the heck out of me.  Chacun a son gout, n'est-ce pas?

Short Stories from the Harmless Series by Melissa Schroeder

Yesterday I I made an effort to clear out some short works that were near the bottom of my TBR. Among them I had a couple of books composed of short stories from Melissa Schroeder's Harmless series that I downloaded from Amazon but are now only available on Ms. Schroeder' s website. (I tried to find them on Amazon and Google play and came up with Stephen Sondheim's Look, I Made a Hat instead. I thought that was funny so I used it as a place holder.)


The four short stories are: A Little Harmless Surprise, A Little Harmless Fling, A Little Harmless Kalikimaka, and A Little Harmless Gift.  If you've read at least half of the series, they are enjoyable little love scenes with a bit of bdsm and in one case menage thrown in. If you have not read the series they are still sexy little love scenes but at least one of them will be confusing.


I can't link to them but they were fun to read. I'd probably give them 3.5 - 4 stars.  

No Dress Required by Cari Quinn

No Dress Required  - Cari Quinn

No Dress Required: Love Required (Entangled: Flirts) - Cari Quinn is really just two nicely written love scenes and some set up for them. It's a short, sexy, fun read. It's a best-friend's-big-brother romance, and if you like those, it's a good way to get a quick fix. 

Bare it All by Lori Foster

Bare It All  - Lori Foster

This ended up being more suspense than romance and it felt like it took forever to read. I think my problem with it is that there is very little wooing. The main couple is either working on things related to the suspense plot or having sex.  The suspense plot is much better in this book than it was in the first book but the romance didn't engage me. I will probably read the third book in the series but not any time soon.

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 28 - Favorite Title of a Book

Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond - Hans Holzer Ghosts - Noel Hynd Ghosts - Henrik Ibsen Ghost Story - Peter Straub The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton - Edith Wharton, Laszlo Kubinyi Ghosts In Irish Houses - James Reynolds

Apparently my favorite title is, "Ghosts."


This is the only title I have repeated in 3 different books, one of which ( Ghosts - Noel Hynd) I've purchased 3 times*.  And I am only talking about paper books here. I haven't even glanced at my kindle collection for it.


Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond - Hans Holzer  is a massive tome full of hundreds of allegedly true ghost stories.  


Ghosts - Noel Hynd is a very good horror novel. Noel Hynd writes Christian fiction now.  This is definitely not Christian fiction, but I would say it is embued with Mr. Hynd's faith and is a surprisingly uplifting horror novel. After purchasing and reading it once, a few years later I picked up in a bookstore, thought the blurb sounded great and got home with it only to discover I'd already bought and read it. And then a couple of years later, I did that again. I still own all 3 copies.


The Ibsen, Ghosts (Dover Thrift Editions) - Henrik Ibsen  is an artefact from my acting class and amateur theater days. I like Ibsen okay but I'm not a huge fan.


Then there are the dozens of books I own with the word ghost somewhere in the title. I put a few up top but I don't feel like listing them all.


And none of these are the book I'm using for my day 31 - Favorite Book that Scared the Snot Out of You on Halloween. 


 *Booklikes originally let me add this book to the top three time but when I retrieved this post this morning to edit and post to my blog, it was only there once.

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 30 - Most Surprising Plot Twist or Ending

Cashelmara - Susan Howatch

I was a very young, sheltered and naive 29 year old when I read Cashelmara - Susan Howatch.  I had no idea it was loosely based on the lives of Edwards I, II and III, nor did I know anything about those kings' lives. I was going through a family saga phase. I remember I chose my books partially based on weight during that phase. At 700+ pages, Cashelmara was kind of a lightweight.  Plotwise, however, it was gobsmacking.  I am much less innocent now and I know quite a bit more about the Edwards, but the surprises in this book still sucker punch me when I think about them.  

Page break ppl, page-f***ing-break

Reblogged from Drea's Book Fetish:

That is all

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 26 - A Book that Made You Change Your Opinion about Something

I've been experiencing some embarrassment while I've tried to come up with an answer for today's challenge as I really could not think of any books that fit.  I concluded I must not be challenging myself at all. I've been pretty unhappy with myself over that.  But I also have a lot of books from different sides of issues including some real hot button stuff and I feel like I am open to new ideas. So tonight I tried to figure out what I'm doing and I think I did.  


I believe I've mentioned before that I tend to read in phases.  Usually I become interested in a subject or genre I haven't read previously and I immerse myself in it. As a result, I don't often have an opinion to be changed when I start out. Instead I read as many different authors or experts as I can for that subject or genre and gradually form my opinion.  And then once I'm satisfied, I move on to a new subject.  I almost never go back to a subject once I'm "done" with it. So I do think I challenge myself in a way, but it would certainly be good for me to subject my opinions to new information and some scrutiny.


I have 10 bookshelves double stacked with books plus more e-books than I will admit to (but I am approaching a 5th decimal place though of course I haven't read most of them) and then there have been many library books and books borrowed from friends and books I once owned and gave away.


I cannot think of a single book that changed my opinion on any matter that wasn't trivial. And every single book I have read has contributed to my opinion on something.  So I am going to wimp out and pass on this.  And maybe return to a few of my previous phases and see if there are some new books that will challenge and maybe even change some of my old opinions.

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 25 - A Character Who You Can Relate to the Most

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  - J.K. Rowling

Fuck it.


I've spent the last 25 days trying to figure out how to post about Luna Lovegood without posting about a Harry Potter book. I give up.  The closest I could come up with was using Fox Mulder from a licensed X-Files comic and that doesn't really work very well.  I think Fox Mulder is probably too rational and grounded for me to identify with. Besides, I want to use the character I really do relate to.


But Luna ... I don't just want to believe; I do believe. There are crumpled-horn snorcacks and nargles. There are mermaids and yetis and ghosts and fairies.  I was often accused by my teachers of being too "dreamy" and I admit the world in my head is usually more fascinating to me than the world around me.  I even share Luna' s fashion sense. My mom wasn't dead when I was a kid but she was not with us a lot.  My dad was a bit of a crustaceans both of my parents were oddballs.  Unlike Luna I do have an older sister, but everything else about her just felt, well, like reading about my witch doppelganger.


Luna first appears in Goblet of Fire but only briefly. When she showed up as a fleshed-out character in Order of the Phoenix I was so happy to meet a character I could really identify with. And I love her to little bits. :)


As an aside, I ship Neville/Luna. It's my only non-canon ship.

30 Day Book Challenge, Day 24 - A Book You Wish Everyone Would Read

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - Michael Pollan Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss - Pam Johnson-Bennett

I am not much of a book evangelist.  I don’t like having books shoved at me and I tend to not read the book when that happens.  For that reason, I usually only recommend books when someone asks for recommendations.  There are a couple of books I have to stop myself from suggesting to almost everyone I know.  Both of them are books that changed my life for the better and I can’t help wanting everyone to benefit from them. 

The first, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto - Michael Pollan contains information I already knew but Michael Pollan presents it in a way that made it finally sink in.  It can be summed up in three simple but profound sentences:

Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.

That’s it.  But that is so much more difficult than it sounds like it would be.  Pollan makes it all make sense.

The second,  Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat--Not a Sour Puss - Pam Johnson-Bennett, I am recommending not just to cat lovers, but to everyone.  I worry I’m going to insult people by saying this, but I know a lot of people who think cats are dogs that purr.  I thought that most of my life as well.  Not consciously, of course but it was hanging there in the back of my mind.  But in reality they are so different in the way they view the world and their fellow cats and their human companions and above all, their territories that treating them like dogs does nothing but bring misery to both the human and the cats.  While there are other cat books that are almost as good, I believe Pam Johnson’s is the best.