Book Review: The Last Human, by Zack Jordan

The Last Human, by Zack Jordan

The Last Human by Zack Jordan

Published by Del Rey on March 24, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 432

Source: Netgalley

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The last human in the universe must battle unfathomable alien intelligences—and confront the truth about humanity—in this ambitious, galaxy-spanning debut

“A good old-fashioned space opera in a thoroughly fresh package.”—Andy Weir, author of The Martian

“Big ideas and believable science amid a roller-coaster ride of aliens, AI, superintelligence, and the future of humanity.”—Dennis E. Taylor, author of We Are Legion

Most days, Sarya doesn’t feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy. Most days, she’s got other things on her mind. Like hiding her identity among the hundreds of alien species roaming the corridors of Watertower Station. Or making sure her adoptive mother doesn’t casually eviscerate one of their neighbors. Again.

And most days, she can almost accept that she’ll never know the truth—that she’ll never know why humanity was deemed too dangerous to exist. Or whether she really is—impossibly—the lone survivor of a species destroyed a millennium ago. That is, until an encounter with a bounty hunter and a miles-long kinetic projectile leaves her life and her perspective shattered.

Thrown into the universe at the helm of a stolen ship—with the dubious assistance of a rebellious spacesuit, an android death enthusiast on his sixtieth lifetime, and a ball of fluff with an IQ in the thousands—Sarya begins to uncover an impossible truth. What if humanity’s death and her own existence are simply two moves in a demented cosmic game, one played out by vast alien intellects? Stranger still, what if these mad gods are offering Sarya a seat at their table—and a second chance for humanity?

The Last Human is a sneakily brilliant, gleefully oddball space-opera debut—a masterful play on perspective, intelligence, and free will, wrapped in a rollicking journey through a strange and crowded galaxy.

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11 Books to Re-Read While You Stay at Home

11 books to re-read while you stay at home

We are living in a crazy time right now. As I write this, restaurants and retail stores are shutting their doors. Schools in my neighborhood have already closed and moved to online learning. And that’s just the beginning of all the precautions being taken due to the spread of COVID-19.

So my family and I (and I’m sure many of you!) are planning to spend most of our time at home for the next few weeks. I’d like to take this time to focus on living life with hubby and baby and enjoy the small day to day things that are usually taken for granted. And also to make the most of having spare time and enjoy an extra book (or two or three!).

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know I’m an avid re-reader. I enjoy picking up a book I know I’ve loved before for a variety of reasons, including comfort. There is just something about diving into a story when I know where it will take me that can be so soothing. And sometimes I even pick up new things along the way! Today I want to share some books that make that list for me. Although my TBR stack is about twenty feet tall, I just might take a dip back into one (or more) of these books in the upcoming weeks.

Ready to see the books?

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Book Review: The Holdout, by Graham Moore

The Holdout, by Graham Moore

The Holdout by Graham Moore

Published by Random House on February 18, 2020

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, thriller

Format & Length: hardcover, 336

Source: purchased

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In this twisty tale from Moore (The Sherlockian), the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game, young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.

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Book Review: The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Published by Doubleday on November 5, 2019

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy

Format & Length: e-book, 487

Source: library, purchased

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Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.

A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

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Book Review: The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind, by Jonah Berger

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind, by Jonah Berger

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger

Published by Simon & Schuster on March 10, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): nonfiction

Format & Length: e-book, 272

Source: Netgalley

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From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind.

Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Could there be a better way?

This book takes a different approach. Successful change agents know it’s not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it’s about being a catalyst. Catalysts remove roadblocks and reduce the barriers to change. Instead of asking, “How could I change someone’s mind?” they ask a different question: “Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?”

The Catalyst identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You’ll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs.

This book is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you’re trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst.

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5 Lighthearted Books to Read for Spring

5 lighthearted books to read for spring

With lengthening days and warmer weather, winter is starting to come to a close. As much as I love cozying up on those chilly winter days, I’m itching for the transition into spring and happy to see it on the horizon. And my reading life is ready for some change, too. I’ll always love a good mystery or thriller, but with this new season I’m eager for some lighthearted fun. But I want my lighthearted books to also have a bit of depth, a little something I can sink my teeth into while offering easy reading. If this sounds like the type of book you’re looking for, this is the list for you!

Ready to see the books?

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Book Review: The Atlantis Bloodline, by C.A. Gray

The Atlantis Bloodline, by C.A. Gray

The Atlantis Bloodline by C.A. Gray

Published by C.A. Gray on March 2, 2020

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 480

Source: author

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When sweet Ada Edwards meets the mysterious Kaison Hughes, lead singer of the biggest band in the world, she can’t understand what he sees in her. Despite everyone’s warnings about him, she’s rapidly falling in love. But it’s obvious he has a secret, and he’s not all he appears to be.

Kai’s life isn’t his own, and his fame isn’t the half of it. As a member of a secret organization known as the Elioud, descended from the Atlantean daughters of the Pleiades, he’s been commissioned with a task: to reintegrate the lost line of Maia into their ranks. It just so happens that Ada is the one they’ve been looking for. He doesn’t know what they intend to do to her, and he doesn’t care. All he wants is the prize for a successful mission: one unqualified wish, which he intends to spend on his beloved sister’s freedom.

There’s just one problem: Kai’s falling in love with Ada, too.

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February Reading Wrap Up

February 2020 Wrap UpOh February, where did you go? Time seems to flex between slow motion and supersonic speed these days, with my entire life revolving around a tiny person and his ever changing routines. Some days seem to last forever… and others go by in the blink of an eye. And when the end of the month comes into view, I wonder, what have I actually done this month?

This month, I completed six books, one of which was an audiobook reread of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that I started back in November! As much as I love a good audiobook, I don’t think that format is working for me right now. Short form listening is the best I can do these days. But I did like all of the books I read and found a new favorite!

Ready to see the wrap up?

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Book Review: You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Published by St. Martin’s Press on March 3, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller

Format & Length: paperback, 352

Source: publisher

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You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

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8 Nonfiction Books That Have Stuck With Me

8 Nonfiction Books That Have Stuck With Me

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that the majority of books I read are fiction. I just love a good story! But I do enjoy nonfiction, especially when it is well written or is about a subject I find to be particularly interesting.

Today I want to mention some nonfiction books that have stayed with me over time. There is some variety within this list, but it does show some patterns in my own reading taste, with a couple books focused on sleep and more memoirs than I first thought would make the cut.

Ready to see the list?

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