Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Good Girl's Guide to Being a D*ck
by Alexandra Reinworth

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 192
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Stop worrying about being nicer, calmer, or more patient. Be a d*ck.

For author Alexandra Reinwarth, it all began when she told off a toxic friend. Realizing this person was making her life miserable, she ditched her. This one small act of rebellion sparked a huge change in the way Alexandra forever dealt with social guilt about everything.

THE GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO BEING A D*CK will teach you how to embrace your inner asshole, guiding you through who and what to get rid of from your life, stop worrying about what others think and how the seemingly small things in life can have a huge impact on the quality of your everyday living. You'll learn how to embrace your own needs and desires to live the life you've always wanted. 

For any woman who has felt that familiar agony of saying "no"--this book is for you.

Kritters Thoughts:  I love reading these short and little sort of gift books.  They are fun quick reads with some good little tid bits that are worth writing down to reflect on over and over again.  

At a time with the Me Too movement and feminism making headlines, it was nice to read a book that encourages women to be forward and up front.  I liked how the book spoke on the different relationships women have and how to apply these lessons in different ways to each type of relationship and how things can be different in each type.  

This is one of those books that I recommend getting as a gift.  I think it would be a great book for those who just headed to college and may be out on their own and making somewhat adult decisions for the first time and may need a little assertiveness when doing so.  There were of course a few moments where I may have rolled my eyes a bit or things got repetitive, but overall the message was right on point.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Grand Central Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Starlet and the Spy
by Ji-Min Lee

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 192
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  February 1954. Although the Korean War armistice was signed a year ago, most citizens of Seoul still battle to return to some semblance of normalcy. Conditions are dismal. Children beg for food, and orphanages are teeming. Alice J. Kim, a Korean translator and typist for the American forces still sanctioned in the city, yearns for the life she used to live before her country was torn apart.

Then Alice’s boss makes an announcement—the American movie star Marilyn Monroe will be visiting Korea on a four-day USO tour, and Alice has been chosen as her translator. Though intrigued, Alice has few expectations of the job—what could she and a beautiful actress at the peak of her fame possibly have to talk about? Yet the Marilyn she meets, while just as dazzling and sensual as Alice expected, is also surprisingly approachable.

As Marilyn’s visit unfolds, Alice is forced into a reckoning with her own painful past. Moving and mesmerizing, The Starlet and the Spy is a beautiful portrayal of unexpected kinship between two very different women, and of the surprising connections that can change, or even save, a life.

Kritters Thoughts:  Alice J Kim is living in a post war Korea and although it has been a year since it has ended, she and everyone else is still trying to figure out the new normal and how life will eventually look for them.  While she is working at a job as an interpreter she gets an interesting opportunity to help with the visit of Marilyn Monroe and the interactions between these women was fun to imagine!

Although I didn't completely love this book, it was the parts that took before Marilyn's visit that I just couldn't get into.  I wanted the book to focus more on Marilyn's visit and her interactions with Alice and the people of Korea.  It felt as though the book was advertised this way, but didn't end up being the true focus of the book.  

The writing was enjoyable in the book and the characters were full and great to read, so I would read another by this author.  This one just didn't live up to what I wanted it to be.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Book Expo.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Every Gift Matters
by Carrie Morgridge

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
Pages: 184
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Charitable giving is on the rise in America. Despite the lingering effects of the economic downturn, Americans continue to give generously of their time, talent, and money – more than $335 billion in 2013, a 4.4% increase from 2011. What’s more, the bulk of that charitable giving – 72% – came not from large foundations or corporations, but from individuals making small gifts. For those with passion for a cause and a generous spirit, it’s vitally important that they leverage their gift in the right way in order to have the greatest impact possible.

In her first book Every Gift Matters Carrie Morgridge shares inspiring stories of powerful gifts in action showing readers how to turn the act of giving into a vehicle for positive change. Drawing on 15 years of experience supporting causes that align with her passions through gifts, Morgridge demonstrates how a smart strategy, high expectations, a deep network, and hands-on personal involvement will ensure that one’s gift is compounded over time to have the biggest impact possible.

“Each person and every gift can make a difference,” writes Morgridge. “Whoever you are, no matter how much or how little you have, your gift matters. The smallest, seemingly unimportant, donation can transform a life. And the best news is that giving transforms two lives: the one who receives and the one who gives.”

Through her role as Vice President of The Morgridge Family Foundation, Morgridge has learned what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to giving. She argues that in order to ensure meaningful and lasting change, a gift must be more than simply a grant of money. The giver must assess whether the program is the right fit, work hand-in-hand with the key leaders on strategy, develop a plan for making the endeavor sustainable, and ensure that their gift can be leveraged to have a bigger impact on the community. By sharing real-life stories of how this hands-on approach to giving has transformed lives – including her own – Morgridge inspires others to believe that they can also make a difference in their community, no matter the size of their gift.

Kritters Thoughts:  As the head of a corporate giving program at the company that I work at, I was extremely interested in reading this book and getting a perspective on giving that I had never experienced - and I did!

Carrie Morgridge is blessed to be from a family that has a foundation and can make donations big and small that make an impact.  She and her family make an effort to make their donations matter, no matter the size.  I wanted to study how they decide to make the gift they do and then I loved reading and learning about the follow up and how that matters just as much as choosing where the money should go.

This book was simple and just want I wanted to read to learn more about charitable giving.  

As a note, if you are looking to give personally, this book also had tips about personal donations, that just isn't why I picked it up.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 36 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Passengers
by John Marrs

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  You're riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, "You are going to die." 

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, "Which of these people should we save?...And who should we kill first?"

Kritters Thoughts:  Self driving cars are about to become the norm in England and the government has taken measures to have self driving cars make the best decisions for its occupants.  Until one day when someone is able to hack into the system and takes hostage an assortment of passengers and those who thought they were in charge must make some decisions.

This felt on the cusp of a dystopian, but also close to real life and I loved it for this.  I loved how this could be reality in no time and how we all need to question the technology that we allow into our lives and how much it knows.  This book made me question how much my technology knows about me and my patterns and can possibly predict things about me!  I don't know that I could do do a self driving car, the lack of control of a vehicle wouldn't work for me!

The other lesson that was interesting was who gets to make decisions - should those who decide be only ones in power or have money, technology or fate.  This book had a great debate about decision making and I really enjoyed thinking about that after the book.  

The twists were fantastic and perfectly timed.  I loved how the clues were revealed at just the right time and even in the end a twist and a turn to make you question it all!

I loved this book and would love to read more of its kind!

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Back home and back to reality with a crazy work schedule and busy weekends!

 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Latte Factor by David Bach
An Unorthodox Match by Naomi Ragen

Currently Reading:
Forgotten Bones by Vivian Barz

Next on the TBR pile:
The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Best of Crimes
by KC Maher

Publisher: RedDoor Publishing
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  One afternoon in a leafy New York City suburb, Walter Mitchell walks into the local police station and turns himself in for kidnapping thirteen-year-old Amanda Jonette, his daughter’s best friend. The police chief tells him to go home – no one wants to prosecute. But Walter refuses, and is finally arrested and charged.

This is a novel about a man who is faced with temptation but does not succumb; the extraordinary relationship that develops between he and his beloved, and the bond between these two bright, lost individuals as the painful inevitability of the end draws near.

Kritters Thoughts:  I was hooked from the synopsis when I received the pitch for this book, but the book didn't live up to the synopsis one bit and instead went down a really weird and awkward path that I just couldn't enjoy.  I don't love to read and review books that I don't enjoy, so I will keep this one short and simple.  

Walter Mitchell is your average guy in an average marriage with a semi average daughter.  When his daughter becomes close to another girl her age - Amanda Jonette he also becomes weirdly close.  Many times throughout the book, I had to remind myself how young Amanda was and how weird Walter's actions and thoughts were towards this girl.  I often didn't feel as though their interactions were true or honest and I think this is what bothered me the most.  It all just felt icky and weird and not entertaining like I like my fiction.

This is one of those rare times where I don't know if I would read this author again, I would have to both be convinced by the synopsis and maybe even read reviews before I read the book.  

Rating: not such a good idea

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Smith Publicity.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Black Nowhere
by Reece Hirsch

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 311
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Special Agent Lisa Tanchik is the best at taking down cybercriminals. So when the FBI discovers a multibillion-dollar black market online, she’s tasked with finding the creator and bringing him to justice. Donning one of her many digital disguises, Tanchik goes undercover into the network.
Brilliant college student Nate Fallon started his site as an idealistic experiment. But his platform has made illegal trade not only more efficient—but also more dangerous. Now the FBI aren’t the only ones out to get him. As profits soar, a criminal organization casts its monstrous gaze on Fallon, and danger leaps from cyberspace into reality.
Feeling pressure from both sides of the law, Fallon is forced to make a decision with shattering consequences. Can Agent Tanchik find Fallon before his dangerous infrastructure falls into the wrong hands?

Kritters Thoughts:  Agent Lisa Tanchik is not your typical FBI agent and is still trying to make her place in the bureau with her unique skills and aptitude with all things related with the Dark Web.   After work she stumbles upon a website that happens to be the eBay for drugs, guns and all things questionable, she decides to talk to her boss to see if this is something worth pursuing, she ends up on an interagency task force where she must be a team player but also pursue her leads as she feels she must.  

I absolutely adored this book.  It was so fast paced and interesting with a new set of criminals in our technologically abled world.  I work at a technology company and I just kept of the smart people we employ under our roof and all the things that they can do with their skills, it blows my mind!  I loved that the agent that is at the center of the story wasn't typical and then our suspect wasn't typical either, reminded me that anyone can do bad things and anyone can have skills whether they fit the mold or not.  

I was excited to find out after I finished this book that it was labeled as book number one in a series, because I would love so many more books with Agent Lisa Tanchik at the center.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel 

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 39 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Little Bird Publicity  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Copyright 2010 Kritters Ramblings.

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