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Quote of the Day

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“Because naming things humanizes them. And once you humanize something, you are essentially recognizing its existence.”
Laura Thalassa, Pestilence

Quote of the Day

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“The greatest products of architecture are less the works of individuals than of society; rather the offspring of a nation’s effort, than the inspired flash of a man of genius...”
― Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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He always thinks because I’m reading, I’m not doing anything. There is no greater plague to an introvert than the extroverted.
~ Pierce Brown, Golden Son

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“In my multifold years of life, I have learned that most people get along as best they can. They don’t intend to hurt anyone. It is merely a terrible by-product of surviving.”
Lisa Wingate, Before We Were Yours

Quote of the Day

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It's hard to put into words what sometime you pick up in the ether, the quiet, cruel nuances of not belonging—the subtle cues that tell you to not risk anything, to find your people and just stay put.

Becoming
~~Michelle Obama

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“Greedy can be bought, timid can be frightened, smart can be persuaded, but the zealots are immune to money, fear, or reason”
― Ilona Andrews, Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)

Review: Red Rising Trilogy

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Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy is a roller-coaster ride of action-packed space opera that kept me gasping and guessing right up until the last page.

About what would happen next (I was usually wrong).
About who would live to fight another day.
About whether I’d survive the next round of heart palpitations to finish the story.

These books ripped my heart to shreds and stomped all over the pieces a few times. But as a trilogy, they soared with intricate plots, flat-out amazing world building — that expanded with each book, and a hellaciously satisfying ending. The characters were diverse and often offbeat, with fascinating histories and a continuously evolving social dynamic that drove many plots.

This is rollicking sci-fi epic at its best, augmented with the excellent social and political commentary and philosophical introspection I expect in dystopian drama. If that whets your appetite for literary adventure, I hope you’ll let me tell you more about each book below. Minimal sp…

Quote of the Day

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Life goes on, and in the going, reveals itself. Quit being so impatient.

Feverborn
~~Karen Marie Moning

Quote of the Day

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Violence is a tool. It is meant to shock. To change. Instead, they normalize and celebrate it. And create a culture of exploitation where they are so entitled to sex and power that when they are told no, they pull a sword and do as they like.
~ Pierce Brown, Morning Star

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“You learned appreciation when people proved your worth by spending time with you instead of money on you.”
Hailey Edwards, How to Claim an Undead Soul (The Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy #2)

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He had been told by several people that he drank too much coffee, that it wasn’t good for him. As far as he was concerned, those people were just jealous and cranky because they didn’t drink enough coffee.
A Killer's Mind by Mike Omer

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“He looks up at me with his night-colored eyes, beautiful and terrible all at once. “For a moment,” he says, “I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.”
I make a face at him. “And what made you decide it wasn’t?”
He grins up at me. “They missed.”
Holly Black, The Wicked King

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She’s with me now. Anchoring me among these predators. Without her I could face my enemies, but I would not hold on to so much of myself. I would be darker. More wrathful. I count my blessings that I have people like her to which I can tether my spirit. Otherwise I fear it would run away from me.
~ Pierce Brown, Morning Star

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“When I create works of art, I do it because it is part of me and I must create. But afterward, when the work is done, I hope that it’ll speak to people, that it’ll open up their hearts or their minds. That cannot happen if the art is buried for safekeeping.”
― Nalini Singh, Archangel's Heart

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I sucked in a deep breath and moved faster, following the enchanted thread, tugging it, my desire for what we'd find on the other end becoming intemperate. I could only imagine why Callis would be enthralled with this city — how he thought he was going to make it his own, build a castle where the supernatural dripped with the rain and bebopped alongside the pentatonic scales. A spiritual nexus that drew the willing and beguiled the mundane. It was no wonder descendants of so many of the Great European witching families had ended up here. New Orleans was a place you wanted to be born from and die in. Even I, who'd been drained of magic for centuries, could feel her alluring whisper begging me to stay. 

The Cities of the Dead
~~Alys Arden

Quote of the Day

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“Ruth,” a thin, raspy voice calls from another room in the house, “who’s at the door?” 
Did he miss the part where we broke into their home? 
Ruth’s gaze stays on Pestilence for a long time, moving from his bow and quiver to his crown, before settling on his face.
“I believe it’s one of the Four Horsemen, dear.” Her eyes flick to me. “And he’s brought with him a lady friend.” 
Laura Thalassa, Pestilence

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Since reluctantly stepping into public life, I've been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an "angry black woman." I've wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most — is it "angry" or "black" or "woman"?

Becoming
~~Michelle Obama

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The night I met him, I sat spellbound at a reading my friend had dragged me to, his words softening the ground of me, so that when he looked up, those brown eyes could tunnel all the way through.
~ Lauren Groff, Florida

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“There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Quote of the Day

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When Jada tossed her the spear, Barrons watched it fly end over end through the air, measured Jada a long moment and nodded.

"So it's ours again," Enyo said, catching and sheathing it in her waistband in a fluid movement. "Does that mean we've lost Mac?"

"No," Barrons said, dangerously soft. "I've lost many things. Mac will never be one of them."

Feversong
~~Karen Marie Moning

Quote of the Day

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Words are a weapon stronger than he knows. And songs are even greater. The words wake the mind. The melody wakes the heart.
~Pierce Brown, Red Rising

Quote of the Day

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“You got to the BAU because they didn’t want you anywhere else. So get over the size of your penis or your bed-wetting issue or whatever it is you’re compensating for, and man up. If you want me to back you up, you’ll have to keep up with me. And I move fast.”
A Killer's Mind by Mike Omer

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.” ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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I thought once that gods are the opposite of death, but I see now they are more dead than anything, for they are unchanging, and can hold nothing in their hands.
~ Madeline Miller,
Circe,

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If Cadogan was Gryffindor, all bravery and guts, Dumas was Ravenclaw, all intellect and cleverness. I liked being clever, and I liked clever people, so we were a good fit.
Wild Hunger
~~Chloe Neill

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With reluctance, I leave behind the stuffed animals from my bed. I leave slippers and books and favorite baubles. I step out of my second life the same way I stepped out of my first, holding too few things and with great uncertainty about what will happen next.
Holly Black, The Cruel Prince

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“Don’t look at me like that,” said Ruza.

“Like what?”

“Like I’m a beautiful book you’re about to open and plunder with your greedy mad eyes.”
~ Laini Taylor,
Strange the Dreamer

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What no one tells you is that when someone you love dies, you lose them twice. Once to death, the second time to acceptance, and you don't walk that long, dark passage between the two alone. Grief takes every shuffling, unwilling step with you, offering a seductive bouquet of memories that can only blossom south of sanity. You can stay there, nose buried in the petals of the past. Spend enough time with ghosts, you become one. 

Burned
~~Karen Marie Moning

Quote of the Day

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It follows there are two ways for the nature and use of human power to change. One is that an order might issue from the palace, a command unto the people saying “It is thus.” But the other, the more certain, the more inevitable, is that those thousand thousand points of light should each send a new message. When the people change, the palace cannot hold.
~ Naomi Alderman, The Power

Review: Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares

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The dream chooses the dreamer,
not the other way around. Strange the Dreamer tells the story of Lazlo Strange, a young orphan boy in a faraway land who dreams of magic.

Lazlo is obsessed with Weep, a mythical, Unseen city that has become “lost” because everyone has forgotten it. He remembers the exact moment when the city’s real name and history disappeared from the minds of everyone around him, so he knows what others no longer believe – that magic exists, because only magic could erase Weep from the world.

Lazlo also knows that fairy tales are real. And his dreams are magic. What he never foresees is how much the life he dreams for himself will become a magical fairy tale.

Quote of the Day

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Pestilence clicks his tongue, and his horse is off.

I’m riding with one of the horsemen of the apocalypse.

Holy shit.

I’ve now got front row seats to the end of the world.

Laura Thalassa, Pestilence

Quote of the Day

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...suddenly Simon is standing next to me.

"Stop smelling good," I snap at him. Just look at him, standing there smelling all good and stuff like he owns the place.

Easy Kisses
~~Kristen Proby

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I am more comfortable with the before-ness or the after-ness of life. I am happier dissecting the past or dreading the future. I really have no proficiency at simply experiencing the present.
~ Louise Erdrich,
Future Home of the Living God

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“They’d been afloat now without food, water, shelter, or sleep for over forty hours. Of the 1,196 crew members who’d set sail from Guam three days earlier, probably no more than 600 were still alive. In the previous twenty-four hours alone, at least 200 had likely slipped beneath the waves or been victims of shark attack. Since the sinking, each boy had been floating through the hours asking himself the same hard question: Will I live, or do I quit?”

In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
by Doug Stanton

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I keep everything hidden because there's nothing about my true self that anyone likes. I'm not difficult, Sebastian. I'm the easiest person around. I don't belong, and I spend all my time pretending I do. Sometimes I get weary of it, and that makes me angry.

The Countess Conspiracy
~~Courtney Milan

Review: Florida by Lauren Groff

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Florida is a collection of masterfully written short stories about modern uncertainty and anxiety — the uneasy feeling that everything might fall apart with no warning at any minute. Eleven stories are narrated by female characters who don’t seem to have much in common except existential angst, which many readers can probably relate to, and a strong connection to the state of Florida.

This is literary fiction that hooked me not with action-packed plots, but with deep-dish servings of the southern psyche, framed by the orchestral chorus of cicadas, stalked by repitilan menace, and fanned by the sway of Spanish moss in sprawling oaks.

And because the language of Florida is in turns as lush and threatening and seductive as the ecosystem that infuses these stories, I’d like to share a few photos from one of my favorite northern Florida photographers to illustrate my review.

Quote of the Day

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“I think you’ve been reading too many novels.”

Allie raised her head from the pillow. “This from the woman who can quote the entire Outlander series verbatim.”

“Only certain lines,” Sarah demurred. “Maybe the occasional paragraph.”

~ Lisa Clark O’Neill, Admit One (Sweetwater #2)

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He knows he's a good guy because he goes to church. It doesn't matter how he treats people. It doesn't matter if he's cruel. He's a God-fearing man, so he's good. I swallow my anger down with my wine.

Jane Doe
~Victoria Helen Stone

Quote of the Day

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He showed me his scars, and in return he let me pretend that I had none.
~ Madeline Miller,
Circe

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“It was actually pretty common for women not to scream or call the cops in rape cases I prosecuted,” Roe said, “at least partly because women aren’t wired to react that way. We are socialized to be likeable and not to create friction. We are brought up to be nice. Women are supposed to resolve problems without making a scene—to make bad things go away as if they never happened.”

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer


Quote of the Day

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"Sometimes love is disguised as something evil. Something horrible."

"Yes. It is."

"So when you find true love, that makes your heart swell and comforts you, that makes you feel safe and protected, you fight for it, Simon. You fight."

"She said she needs time to think."

"Give it to her, but then you go after her and you fight for her. Nothing in this world will be more worth it."

"I know."

Easy Kisses
~~Kristen Proby

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Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.
~ Laini Taylor, Muse of Nightmares

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‘Which way to the north-east air-raid shelter from here?’ she asked anxiously. ‘I get so muddled in the smoke.’

Maddie pointed: ‘Straight line across the grass. Easy peasy if you’re brave enough — like finding Neverland, “Second to the right, and then straight on till morning.”’

Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein

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Where does a man go when there are no more corners to turn, when he's running out of hope, out of luck, out of time?
In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
by Doug Stanton

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“Booze is universal, it brings people together, and a lot of times it results in the creation of more people. What could be more magical than something that does all that?”
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge,
Paul Krueger

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“How do you know if you can really trust someone?” I finally ask.

Noah raises his eyebrows and takes a sip of his drink.

Then he looks into my eyes and the expression in his is so earnest I feel like he’s answering from a deeply personal place.

“If you need to ask that question, then you probably already know the answer,” he says.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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"I made up my mind because we fit," he said, reaching out  to take my hand, to squeeze it. "You make me better, and I like to think I do the same for you."

I thought of the awkward human, then vampire, I'd been, and the slightly less awkward vampire I was becoming. "It's just--you were very unexpected."

"That's because you'd only explored one half of yourself, Sentinel. I merely gave you the chance to blossom. To be the person you were always meant to become."

Tears rushed into my eyes, and I knuckled them away. "Damn it, Ethan. How do you come up with things like that?"

"I keep a notebook."

Blood Games
~~Chloe Neill

Quote of the Day

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As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her....
A daughter without her mother is a woman broken. It is a loss that turns to arthritis and settles deep into her bones.
― Kristin Hannah, Summer Island