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January 1, 2017 / Leslie

First Book of the Year 2017

Happy New Year!

And welcome to First Book of the Year hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Join us as we kick off another year of great reading.

A Favorite Genre

I was having trouble deciding which book I should choose to start the year when Ninth City Burning showed up in my mailbox a few days ago. Science fiction has always been a favorite genre, and since I’ve been in a bit of a reading/writing slump, this could be what I need. It’s post apocalyptic science fiction, and the description reminded me of Ender’s Game, a favorite of mine.

The little photo-bomber on my shoulder is my parrot, Jentrie, one of my reading and blogging buddies. He would ride around on my shoulder all day if I would let him!

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Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black

Centuries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut…

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy’s tactics are changing, and Earth’s defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.

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December 28, 2016 / Leslie

Good Morning Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

A Rapid Review

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Publisher: Random House Audio | August 2016
Format: Audio Download | 8½ hours | Rating: 4½ stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate

In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives?

What’s it about . . .

Augustine, an aging astronomer who has remained behind after an evacuation of an Arctic research station, and Mission Specialist Sullivan, an astronaut on the first manned flight to Jupiter, tell their stories in alternating points of view. When earth suddenly goes silent and all communication is lost, each begins to reflect on their lives, the choices they’ve made, and what comes next.

What did I think . . .

The story reminded me in some ways of Station Eleven: A quiet post-apocalyptic novel that begins with a crisis. Here we don’t know what happened other than all communication is lost. I liked this book for what it wasn’t: It’s not an action story, there are no wars, vampires, or zombies. It’s thoughtful, haunting, and at times beautiful.

I enjoyed the parallel stories of these two scientists that gave up their families for the work they loved. My only negative was the ending. I liked it, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. Ultimately, I wanted more.

It’s science fiction for the non-scifi reader. Don’t be swayed by the genre; give this one a try.

Audio production:
The audio was read by John H. Mayer and Hillary Huber. This was a very enjoyable and easy to listen to performance. The tension of not knowing why communication was lost and wondering if anyone is still out there continues to builds, and at the same time the narrators maintain a calm, even pace with soothing tones that propel the listener along to the conclusion.

Audio Sample:

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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December 26, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ December 26th

HolidayCardinal-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
It’s been a busy week with little time to read. I always end up waiting until the last few days to finish up my Christams shopping! I did manage to finish an audio book while making cookies.

A few new books arrived last week.

New Arrivals

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The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy from Harper.
In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari from Harper.
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner from Berkley.
Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women past and present.

Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman with a Box by Travis Langley and Katy Manning from Serena @ Savvy Verse & Wit. Thank you!
This fascinating in-depth academic study, edited by Travis Langley, contains 20 essays delving into the psychology behind the time-traveling Doctor in his many iterations, as well as his companions and his foes.

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December 25, 2016 / Leslie

Merry Christmas

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December 22, 2016 / Leslie

Giveaway Winner: Six Christmas Books

Thank you to everyone that stopped by to enter the giveaway. The winner was selected using random.org and has been notified by email.

Christmas Book Giveaway

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Winner: Cindy Burrell

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December 21, 2016 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Solstice

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Almost wordless: Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and when I begin my countdown to spring.

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December 20, 2016 / Leslie

First Chapter First Paragraph ~ Tuesday Intros

A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe

Gallery Books | October 2016 | Hardcover • eBook • Audio | 347 pages

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1st Paragraphs:
CHRISTMAS EVE 2015
It’s Christmas Eve and for the first time in longer than I can remember, I’m happy. A cold wind rattles the shutters outdoors, but inside a gentle fire crackles in my hearth, even as one burns in my heart, warming me with serenity and peace.

Peace, I roll the word around in my mouth. It feels as fresh and new as the soft flakes of snow falling outside my window. And as rare. I live on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, and I vividly remember the last time we saw snow. Peace. As a marine who’s seen more than my share of battles, it’s a word I do not take lightly.

What do you think? Based on this intro, would you read more?

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From Goodreads:

A wounded warrior and his younger brother discover the true meaning of Christmas in this timeless story of family bonds.

Giveaway:
Enter to win Lowcountry Christmas plus five other Christmas books by midnight tonight 12/20.
 


First Chapter Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. Join us by visiting Diane and linking your own First Chapter post or to find out what others plan to read this week.

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Source: Review copy from the publisher.
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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