The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

The Vanished Birds

A Sci-Fi adventure.

Nia Imani travels through time. Years are like months for her, but not for the people she has loved and known. They age, they die, but not Nia. Solitary Nia.

But on one of her stops, she meets a boy that fell from the sky. The people in the area would just as soon see him gone. He doesn’t speak, just plays the flute that long ago Nia gave to a man.

When Nia leaves she takes the boy with her and together they travel the skies, each filling in the empty spots in each other’s life.  They become a family. But that is also threatened. The past wants the boy back and what will Nia do when it finds him?

Good Read.

NetGalley/ January 14th, 2020 by Del Rey Books



The Nobody People by Bob Proehl

The Nobody People

After decades in hiding, a group of outcasts with extraordinary abilities clashes with a world that is threatened by their power.

Great world-building in this tale! It has rather an X-Men feel to it. These are ordinary people that you wouldn’t look twice at. Nobodies. And yet not quite as ordinary as they seem.

They all have abilities. Emmeline was one of my favorites! Fahima was another. Ordinary people with extraordinary gifts. And with those gifts come the people who would use them or destroy them.

This time they will come together to fight the bigots, the small-minded, and the ones who fear what they can not understand. One of them tries to hold on to a shaky sort of peace while the others are ready to stand up and fight.

I see there will be a second in this Fantasy/Science Fiction book. The kids were really interesting and I’m sure this will be a hit with young adults!

NetGalley/  September 3rd, 2019 by Del Rey



Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Suicide Club

In this debut set in near future NYC—where lives last 300 years and the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming—Lea must choose between her estranged father and her chance to live forever.

Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die.

But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.

Even after reading the book, I don’t know much more than what is in the blurb. I felt the characters were stilted and there wasn’t enough back story on any of them or the time period.

None of the characters were enjoyable or relatable and I could not find a plot, so for me this was a no starter.

Netgalley/HenryHolt July 31,2018

The Book or The Movie?

Making news this month are all the books being made into movies! I wonder how many people read the books first and then see the film? Or how many people knew there was book before the film? Some of these have already been released  but they are on my list still.

The Martian

 The Martian by Andy Weir. Published in 2011.  Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.  Now he’s sure he will be the first person to die there. Left for dead by is crew with no way to signal Earth, things look grim. But Mark isn’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet.

The Film version starring Matt Damon was released Sept. 2015

Which one did you prefer? Was anything lost in translation for you?


The Circle

THE CIRCLE By Dave Eggers was published in 2013.

The book chronicles tech worker Mae Holland as she joins a powerful internet company which starts out as an incredibly rewarding experience, but as she works there longer things start to fall apart.  The Circle, a powerful technology company run by the so-called Three Wise Men.  Mae quickly climbs the company ladder, but is the Company really what it seems?

There were definitely tones of Huxley and Orwell in this one.  The film adaptation, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks has a release date of 2016.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

Published in 2011, this YA horror, dark fantasy book is a tale of a boy who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to  an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island.  The story is told through a combination of narrative and vernacular photographs from the personal archives of collectors listed by the author.  It seems with this book people either love it or hate it. I’ll leave you to make up your own mind about it.

As of now, the film adaptation, directed by Tim Burton, will be out in late September of 2016. Cast includes: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Alison Janney, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson and Ella Purnell.

The Silent Wife

The Silent Wife was published in 2013.

Having nothing left to lose changes everything. Todd and Jodi have been together for more than twenty years. They are both aware that their little world is in crisis, though neither is willing to admit it.

Todd is living  a dual existence, while Jodi is living in denial. When it becomes clear that their affluent Chicago lifestyle could disintegrate at any moment, Jodi understands that  everything is at stake. It is only now she will discover just how much she is truly capable of, and just how much she enjoys settling scores. It is a chilling look at the lengths that people will go to protect themselves.

I haven’t been able to squeeze much information about this one. So far all I can confirm is that Adrian Lyne is directing and Nicole Kidman is set to play Jodi. Release date is 2017.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Published in 2012.

Bernadette Fox is notorious. to her Microsoft guru husband she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to her fellow private school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15 year old Bee, she is a best friend and just Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears.  Bee sets out to find her using everything she can think of. Emails, correspondence, secret messages, what ever she can find out. 

There is a lot of humor along with a fascinating story of one womans retreat from the world.

Things are pretty tight lipped on this one and all I know is that Cate Blanchett is in talks to  star in the film version sometime in 2017.

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

Published in 2012 and promoted as a Romantic Novel.

If you’ve been anywhere on Social Media lately you can’t help but run across this one!

I thought it was going to be a soppy romance story of the genre I typically do not read! Shockingly, I was wrong! I know, I’m rarely ever wrong! Right?  I laughed, I cried, I didn’t want to  stop. Our main character, Lou, knows a lot of stuff. She knows she likes her job and she thinks she may not be in love with her boyfriend, Patrick. She lives a small life until she takes a job working for Will.

Will, knows that his motorcycle accident took a lot from him.Used to living large and taking everything to the extreme, he doesn’t think he can live the life he has been dealt. And he has a plan to take care of that. As a boss, he is moody, bossy and just a pain!

Lou is not giving in to the pity party and treats him just as she would any other guy. And somewhere along the way her feelings for him become more than just professional. Once she finds out what he has been planning she sets her own plans into motion, showing him that life can be different but still full and worth living.

The film is set for release in August of 2016. Director: Thea Sharrock The Cast: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin as Lou and Will.


The Books Behind the Oscars

The Books Behind 2016’s Big Oscar Films

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge

Michael Punke. Picador, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-250-07268-9
The film based on Punke’s 2002 book, directed by Alejandro Iñárritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, received a whopping 12 Oscar nominations, in categories including best actor, best adapted screenplay, best director, and best picture. Punke’s novel, set in 1823, is based on the story of the real-life trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass. Viciously mauled by a bear and abandoned by his men, Glass struggles to survive for one purpose: to exact revenge.


The Martian

The Martian

Andy Weir. Broadway, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-553-41802-6
Next up on the red carpet is The Martian, based on Andy Weir’s 2011 SF adventure. The film, which was directed by Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon, earned seven Oscar nominations, in categories including best actor, best adapted screenplay, and best picture. Here is another story of a man left for dead, but this time he’s on a different frontier: Mars. An American astronaut finds himself stranded and literally alone on a planet



Patricia Highsmith. Norton, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-393-35268-9
The late Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers on the Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, was no stranger to Oscar attention. Now one of her very-much-under-the-radar novels is behind the film Carol, the recipient of six nominations, in categories including best actress, best adapted screenplay, and best cinematography. This tale of romantic obsession, based on Highsmith’s own life, was originally published in 1952 as The Price of Salt. In it, a stage designer trapped in a dull job as saleswoman and a bored suburban housewife fall in love and set out across the United States.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

Michael Lewis. Norton, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-0-393-35315-0
Moving from a fictional tiny bad place to the very real big bad world of Wall Street is The Big Short, a bestseller first published by Norton in 2010 and written by Lewis—another author familiar with Oscar attention (The Blind Side, Moneyball). The film has earned four nominations, for best supporting actor, best adapted screenplay, best film editing, and best picture. In The Big Short, Lewis recounts the story of Wall Street players who foresaw the financial collapse of 2008, which was fueled by the spread of subprime mortgages.

The Danish Girl
David Ebershoff. Penguin, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-14-310839-9
Another unusual love story is at the core of The Danish Girl, whose film adaptation garnered four Oscar nominations in the categories of best actor, best supporting actress, best costume design, and best production design. Ebershoff’s novel, originally published in 2000, was a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction, and winner of the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In this portrait of a marriage, a question arises: What do you do when the person you love has to change? The Danish Girl is loosely based on the life of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history.

Emma Donoghue. LB/Back Bay, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-316-39134-4
When it was published in 2010, Donoghue’s Room was a New York Times Top Ten book and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. This year she’s been nominated for an Oscar for writing the screenplay based on the novel. Room received three other nominations as well: best actress, best director, and best picture. Room tells the story of a boy and his mother who are held in captivity. To five-year-old Jack, who narrates the book, the room where they’re held is his home and the only world he knows. To his mother, it is a prison.



Colm Tóibín. Scribner, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-1-5011-0647-7
Tóibín’s acclaimed 2009 novel tells the story of a young Irish immigrant forging a life in 1950’s Brooklyn. The film adaptation earned two Oscar nominations, for best adapted screenplay and best picture. In the novel, Eilis Lacey leaves her mother, sister, and everything she knows in the small town of Enniscorthy to travel to Brooklyn, where a priest has offered to sponsor her. She establishes a life and finds love, but devastating news from home shatters the promise of her future.


Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster, trade paper, $20, ISBN 978-1-5011-2762-5
Isaacson has a long list of accomplishments: he is the former CEO of the Aspen Institute, former chairman of CNN, former managing editor of Time, and the author of several books, including this biography of Steve Jobs, originally published just weeks after the master innovator died in 2011. Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet have both been nominated for Oscars for their roles in the film. Isaacson’s bestselling book is based on more than 40 interviews that he conducted with Jobs, as well as hundreds of interviews with friends, family, adversaries, and colleagues. What emerges is a portrait of the turbulent life of a driven, creative genius and revolutionary entrepreneur.


In Another Country: Selected Stories

David Constantine. Biblioasis, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-77196-017-5
British author Constantine has been widely published abroad for 30 years, but In Another Country is his North American debut. The story “45 Years” from the collection is the basis for the movie of the same name, for which Charlotte Rampling received a best actress nomination. The story focuses on a couple preparing to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. As the day draws near, the husband receives news that the body of his ex-girlfriend has been found, 50 years after she fell into an Alpine crevasse. The news profoundly affects his wife’s perspective on their long life and marriage together.



Bruce Cook. Grand Central, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-4555-6497-2
Cook’s 1977 biography of Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who broke the Hollywood blacklist, is the basis for the film that has earned a best actor nomination for Bryan Cranston. Trumbo was the screenwriter behind the blockbuster films Exodus, Roman Holiday, Spartacus, Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, and others. He was also the author of the 1939 antiwar novel Johnny Got His Gun. In the years between 1947 and 1960, Trumbo didn’t work at all—he was one of the “Hollywood 10” who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and was subsequently blacklisted

Superhighway by Alex Fayman

Superhighway is the thing we computer geeks/hackers call a dream come true. What a wild ride, zipping through the internet with Alex Fine.
When we meet Alex he is about to leave the orphanage he has lived in since the day the good Ms. Jenkins had received him as a newborn. Not knowing his parents, even his real name, if he has one.
Alex is a handsome and brilliant teenager ready to head off to college when things take a turn he could have never seen coming. The orphanage gets a computer lab. Late one night working alone in the lab, looking at hot cars and beaches, like a normal teenage boy, his monitor goes blank. Checking the power cord he finds it plugged in, so he unplugs the internet cable, intending to plug it back in, but all of a sudden he is actually in the internet. Zipping at amazing speeds, he tries to figure out what happened to him. He sees a red light, heads toward it and Poof he is on a beach looking at the same view he was last looking at on the computer back at the orphanage. And not in L.A. but Hawaii.
As we watch Alex try to come to terms with what is happening to him, we also watch him struggle with his conscience. With all of the information on the internet, he can instantly change peoples lives and fortunes. What would you do with access to the FBI,CIA and every bank in the world? I personally like what Alex did.
The age old question of just because you can do something, should you? But this is Science Fiction, so Alex and the rest of us must suspend reality and just go with the story.
Does he screw up? Of course, he’s a teenager. But he is a moral, human, and kind person and while his methods may be a bit in the gray area, his intentions are good.
One day he meets two other people like him in the net. He follows them home and meets someone who not only knows what he is doing, he also knows about Alex’s parents.
Will his quest for revenge end badly? You’ll have to read the book for that answer.
This book is one you will want to read in one sitting. And when you are done you’ll probably ask exactly what I did. Is the movie out yet???
Mr. Fayman has given us an excellent story and I hope Alex Fine will be around a long time in print and in film.


Born Lucid: Book 1 of the Born Lucid Series by Christopher C. Evans

Chris Trent, an archaeology student and activist is about to have his world changed forever. After the discovery of a “relic”, that has actually taken over his body, Chris is plunged into a world that confirms quite a few conspiracy theories for reality.
The story is well written and kept me engaged the entire time.
As the first book in the series Born Lucid is a definite keeper! You know you are reading a good book when you are still thinking about the possibilities and probabilities of what you read for the next few days.
Good Job on a first novel!

Born Lucid: Book 1 of the Born Lucid Series