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Book Review: When You Lunch With the Emperor by Ludwig Bemelmans

Book Review: When you Lunch With the EmperorSummary

“Ludwig Bemelmans–legendary bon vivant and raconteur, and author of the Madeline stories as well as the surprise success of last year, Hotel Bemelmans–lived life like a character in a novel. Wherever Ludwig went and whatever he did–letting Parisian criminals baby-sit his daughter, getting caught with his toenails painted red by the Gestapo, or discovering the only restaurant with toilets in the Amazon Jungle–his escapades are guaranteed entertainment.

When You Lunch with the Emperor collects Bemelman’s work under the headings of Childhood, Work, and Play. Readers will enjoy their lunch with the Bemelmans!”

-From Amazon.com

 

Review

This was my traveling book that I took to Japan with me (so it got a nice bunch of miles) and I’m so glad that I brought it. It kept me company during the long flight there and during a long train ride in Japan on the way to visit the Great Buddha. It was so much fun to read a book about someone who traveled all over and had this incredible life, while being abroad.

First off, the story was fantastic. There was just so much going on and I had to keep reading to find out what disastrous thing happened next. Ludwig went through so much in his life and seeing it all recounted was just such an amazing story.

There was food talked about, different locations, traveling, high and low times in his life, and success and failure. It was so impressive to read because Ludwig just struggled and struggled, doing well and then failing but he never gave up. It was amazing to see his resilience.

I think the other thing that I loved was the fact that there were pictures now and then, drawn in the famous style that you see in Madeline. It was a surprise to be reading and reading and then suddenly get a page with pictures. It’s extremely rare in adult books and just added a little surprise to the book, which I loved.

This wasn’t exactly a difficult read. In total, I read it in a few days (it just seems longer because there was traveling in between).

When You Lunch With the Emperor is one of those books that is hard to review by talking about the story, because it’s technically nonfiction (as far as I’m aware there was nothing fantasy in the story). It’s an experience book, but it reads like an epic tale. I highly recommend reading it if you’re looking for something unique and different. This 100% fits the bill.

I’d give this book a 5 out of 5 teacups because I absolutely loved it!

Have you read it? What do you think?

rating 5 tea cups mlcwo

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Siren’s Call (A Rainshadow Novel) by Jayne Castle

Siren's Call by Jayne Castle Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Castle

Summary

In the mysterious world of Harmony, there are places filled with unexplored marvels. But Rainshadow Island isn’t about to give up its secrets…

In the alien catacombs of Rainshadow, there are creatures whose compelling songs lure the unwary to their death. That’s why Rafe Coppersmith, hired to clear out the catacombs for exploration, needs a music talent. He’s knows the perfect one, but she probably doesn’t want anything do with him…

Ella Morgan had once fallen hard and fast for Rafe, but then he disappeared for months…and he’s not about to tell her why. Ella, too, has secrets that only her dust bunny knows. She’s not just a music talent, she’s a Siren: a paranormal singer capable of singing men to sleep—or to their deaths.

But once on Rainshadow, Rafe and Ella will learn that surrendering to passion doesn’t come without risks—and fighting fire with fire only adds to the flame…”

-From back of book

Review

And I’ve done it again. This is the fourth book in the series I think…

I mean, you can kinda read it out of order, it does make sense, though there are questions. Of course….I LOVE to do this. Grab a good book and find out that it’s not the first book in the series. Click here to view Jayne Ann Krentz’s website and her page for her pen-name Jayne Castle and see which books are part of the Rainshadow Series.

But honestly, even though I hadn’t read the other books in the series, there weren’t that many questions which were kind of hanging there because I didn’t have previous knowledge. I mean, yes there definitely were things which didn’t add up or took me a little longer to figure out what was meant, and that was kind of annoying, but it is what you get for reading out of order.

Now, I will review this book as well as I can for reading it…out of order. >Violently smacks head against the book.<

Honestly, I did enjoy it quite a lot. It was well written and had an interesting storyline. I don’t think it was based on earth, as far as I could tell, but there were humans and other creatures as well. They kept referencing these Aliens and Alien technology so I’m thinking that they traveled to another world and had found stuff on the planet and stuff. But either way, it was a cool concept.

And while it was a fantasy book, it also did have romance in it. I don’t think this is classified as erotic literature at all though. There was definitely a little bit of sex, and it was kind of explicit, but I don’t think it was defined as erotic, so I’d just say it was a fantasy book with a smattering of…sex. Because of the sex though, I would classify it as an adult book, by far.

The writing was good, the sentences being a little more challenging than regular romance book and books like this, so it kept me interested as well. Also a lot of the characters kept you curious as well, interested to see who would kill who and who the bad people were, though you didn’t know until the end. I didn’t really like though that the main characters didn’t really develop, in my view. I like to see some type of character development, even if it is just the character letting a secret out that they don’t like to share and showing another side of themselves, but there wasn’t really any of that in this book. Now this of course doesn’t bother most people, so this complaint is something more personal, but with the summary, it made it seem like there was some big secret which was kept. And it wasn’t as big as it was made out to be which was kind of annoying. All of this suspense for nothing.

But, overall it was a decent book. I’m not sure if I’ll bother to read the first book, but maybe if I have some time.

Happy Reading!

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Best Books of 2015 – Gift Giving Made Easy

The holiday season is in full swing and people are writing lists, and checking them twice. As with everything the best gift has to be a book! Everyone loves books, and if they aren’t too keen on words there are beautiful picture books – ok that might be for children – but there are plenty of books full of images and few words for those who don’t like to read (what is wrong with them?).

 

Best books 2015 book covers

But walk into a bookstore and the sheer number of books is overwhelming. Where do you go? What book? What department?

Well, as in other years, the helpful elves over at NPR have compiled their list of BEST BOOKS of 2015 (sends shivers down your spine!!!). Busy? You can listen to the report. And there are loads to choose from. Based on books read and loved by NPR staff and critics there are over 260 books that have made it here. But the sheer genius is they have created filters so you can streamline the list and tailor make the selections for what you want to read your lucky recipient. And choose a few for yourself.

You are welcome!

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Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole

“Watch your six, Reaper, I’m on the hunt.”
A rasping chuckle. -Your Death awaits.-

-Page 368

Poison Princess cover Summary

“22 Arcana cards. 22 Chosen Teens. Let the cards fall where they may.

Sixteen-year-old Evie Greene’s horrific hallucinations predicted the apocalypse, and the end of the world brought her all sorts of new powers. With the earth scorched and few survivors, Evie teams up with handsome and dangerous Jack Deveaux in a race to find answers. They discover that that an ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens have been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side… “

-From Kresley Cole’s website.

Review

Okay, this is just going to be an absolutely love fest. Because this book was absolutely fantastic! It was nothing like any of the other YA books I have read and it was just so well written. I will start off by saying that this is definitely an older YA book because of certain themes as well as some of the violent content. There are no curse words, and the few curse words that are used, Cole cleverly changes up so that she switches letters around to make the word something different. If you know the word then you’ll know what it should be, but if you don’t, it will just look like some made up curse word, which is extremely clever.

The violence in the book is a little graphic at times. Especially when it jumps to the present day. How the story is set up is that the main character, Evangeline, is telling the story to someone who welcomes her into the home and by the end of the story, the past has been told and her arriving in the home is the present and that is where the book ends to set up for the next book in the series. Parts of the themes in the book, especially the guy who she is telling the story to in the present, is extremely creepy and pulled on some nasty themes. There are a lot of implications of rape, though nothing happens. A younger reader wouldn’t completely get that but as an older reader, you know exactly what is being implied. Then the guy who she is telling the story to, think of like one of the creepier episodes of Criminal Minds (I hope most people know this show) and think of how twisted they get with dungeons and torture. That is kind what the guy is like, so it gets a little brutal.

Now the rest of the story is just lots of apocalypse stuff. Something happens, called The Flash, and everything goes to shit, essentially. You’re never clear exactly what The Flash was, but you’re told it was a solar flare, though it’s never clear exactly what caused it, and leaves questions to be answered later on in the series. Out in the world, there are some horrible people, and some nasty themes brought up again. Mentions of cannibalism as well as the enslavement of women too. It seems like during The Flash, when most people were killed, a lot of them were women, so women were scarce, so they were wanted by slavers and stuff. Younger readers would just think that women were special though older readers would know exactly what was going on.

The two main characters, Evangeline and Jackson, are traveling together and it follows them from when they met before The Flash to surviving together after it. There is some great character development between the two of them and a lot of advances as well as steps back too, though I did sometimes want to smack Jackson so damn hard. There was definitely some sexual undertones going on, sometimes a little more prevalent, so you can definitely say that there is a romance theme to the book, but it is by no means a major theme in the book at all.

I also really like the fact that this is called The Arcana Chronicles. I have never once read a book about the Arcana cards. I have once seen an anime about the Arcana cards, Arcana Famiglia and it was really good, but besides that I have not seen anything about these cards and this was totally awesome!

Overall this was a fantastic book and I definitely do recommend it. I can’t read the second and third book for a little bit as I have to wait for my next school break, so I’ll have to wait for the new year, and until then it’s going to kill me, this wait.

But until then, definitely check this series out and enjoy it!

Happy Reading!