So Many Ideas… Wasted

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The name of my blog says it all… I love books and I’m kind of geeky. (Okay. I’m a lot geeky.) But in naming my blog ‘The Geeky Bibliophile’ I’ve managed to sub-consciously lock myself into talking mostly about books and a few things I like to get my geek on about—most of which has been devoted to The Walking Dead.

But I’m so much more than a geeky woman who loves to write reviews about the books I’ve read.

Over the past several months, I’ve attempted to write many posts about things that were neither geeky nor bookish. Every single time, I’ve managed to derail myself mid-post by seeking out a graphic that would best represent, visually, the topic I attempting to write about. It was a constant death knell. The distraction of looking for the perfect image invariably led to me giving up in frustration, and being so annoyed by it that I no longer felt like writing anything at all. It was a vicious cycle that repeated itself over and over again, and each time, I’d simply delete what I was writing rather than go back to it.

So many ideas… wasted. What a shame.

I’ve decided that—when the inspiration to write about a topic hits—I’m going to have to stop sabotaging myself. Finding the most perfect image in the world doesn’t matter one bit if I never finish what I’m writing, right?

Before I started writing this post, I came across a lovely styled stock photo I downloaded from Color U Bold. (The one I’ve used at the top of this post.) The mug states “I AM SO BLOGGING THIS”… well, how perfect is that? “This” can refer to anything under the sun. Problem solved! This is going to be my go-to image to use when nothing else satisfies me. It may not seem like a big deal, but trust me… this is huge step in decisiveness for me. I’m so picky about images—what I think will or won’t work—so being able to pick something to use as my go-to when nothing else suits is actually a very big deal for me.

The next thing I need to get comfortable with doing is speaking my mind without questioning how it will be received by those who read it. This has been my other major stumbling block. I have opinions just like everyone else does, but I’ve always been hesitant to share them—especially on a hot topic where people fiercely stand by their own personal thoughts and beliefs about it. I’ve been afraid to share my thoughts on these things because I didn’t want to put something out there that may bring about negative reactions or hostility.

But you know what? This is MY blog. My own little corner of the internet. TGB is my kingdom, and I am the Queen. If I want to speak my piece about something, this is the place to do it. I don’t worry about speaking my mind in my home, so why should I worry about it on my own blog?

I shouldn’t.

It’s good timing that I made the decision to write about whatever I want whenever I want to do it. Lately, I’ve requested and/or won advance review copies of books that deal with the issue of social justice.  One in particular has to do with an extremely hot topic—the Black Lives Matter movement.

I suppose this is sort-of a heads up for everyone who follows TGB. Prepare yourselves… this geeky reader is about to start speaking her mind about things!

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Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller #Review @SMillerBooks @WmMorrowBooks

Caroline: Little House, Revisited cover

When I was a little girl, I constantly read and reread the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read Little House in the Big Woods to my boys when they were small, and we used to watch the television series together quite often, as well. The Little House books have always held a special place in my heart.

Then I heard Caroline: Little House, Revisited was to be released; telling the story of the Ingalls family journey to Kansas through the eyes of Caroline. To say I was excited almost seems an understatement about how I felt when I heard the news, and I was beyond delighted when my advance copy arrived in the mail.

Many of the events that take place in the book will be familiar to Little House fans in this retelling. One notable difference is Miller’s use of a historically correct timeline, rather than the fictional one Wilder used. That might cause a bit of confusion for the casual Little House fan (if there is such a thing), but not so much that it detracts from the story, in my opinion.

The trip to Kansas certainly has darker overtones when viewed through Caroline’s perspective. Though she never speaks of it, she constantly worries about her unborn child, fearful that something will go wrong with the pregnancy. At other times, she dreads the thought of giving birth without a woman available to help her—thankfully, that wasn’t the case, but it was a very real possibility for her, and she was well aware of it.

The book also tells of the difficulties of traveling such a long distance in a wagon, something that I don’t recall being featured in Wilder’s story. Through Caroline, we get a good look at how rough it is: no bathing, no time to do laundry or mending, and the complete upheaval of any semblance to a normal routine. The thing that struck me most was Caroline’s frustration with preparing meals. Unused to cooking outdoors over an open fire, she is constantly unhappy with the end result, and feels ashamed to serve her family sub-standard meals. I’ve had a more than a few cooking mishaps over the years, and I could easily relate to her frustration about it.

Caroline: Little House, Revisited is a beautifully written story that I think will appeal to most fans of the Little House books. I loved the story and was thoroughly enjoyed the fresh perspective. By the time I reached the end, I found myself hoping that we could see more of the family’s travels through Caroline’s eyes. How wonderful that would be!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of William Morrow via Goodreads Giveaways.

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Author: Sarah Miller

Title: Caroline: Little House, Revisited

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published: September 19th, 2017 by William Morrow

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Book

A September Indie Next Pick

One of Refinery29’s Best Reads of September

In this novel authorized by the Little House Heritage Trust, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.

In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.

The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.

For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past

About the Author

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Sarah Miller (Photo Credit: © LaLonde Photography)

Sarah Miller began writing her first novel at the age of ten and has spent the last two decades working in libraries and bookstores. She is the author of two previous historical novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, and The Lost Crown. Her nonfiction debut, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, was hailed by the New York Times as “a historical version of Law & Order.” She lives in Michigan.

Photo via author’s website. Bio via Goodreads.

Charmed: A Thousand Deaths by Erica Schultz & Maria Sanapo #Review @DynamiteComics

Charmed: A Thousand Deaths cover

I was (and still am) a huge fan of Charmed. It was one of my must-see TV series back in the day. I loved watching the Charmed Ones battling demons, and trying to have somewhat normal lives in-between vanquishing evil and protecting innocents. It remains a favorite of mine, so I was excited to discover this graphic novel and couldn’t wait to see what sort of trouble was brewing for sisters.

The timeline of this story is set in season four of the series. Quick recap: Season three ended with the death of Prue (the oldest Halliwell sister). Without the Power of Three, the Charmed Ones are no more. In the beginning of season four, Piper and Phoebe discovered they have a younger half-sister named Paige Matthews—who is half-witch, half-whitelighter. The Power of Three is restored, and Paige’s ability to orb is very handy in a fight.

Charmed: A Thousand Deaths kicks off with an action sequence that will be all too familiar to fans of the show: the sisters working together to fight a demon in an alleyway. The tag-team use of powers mixed in with physical blows, the witty banter  between the sisters, and the overly confident speech of the demon—right before he’s vanquished—swept me back into the magical world of the Charmed Ones as if I’d never left. The story could easily have been an episode of the series. It flowed effortlessly, transitioning from the sisters trying to balance their lives and their magical duties, to a band of demons in the Underworld plotting their dastardly deeds and discussing how to do away with the sisters, and back again. I may have been reading comic panels and looking at illustrations, but in my mind, I could clearly see it all as if it had aired on TV. When I’m reading a novel or graphic novel that is based on a TV series, that’s exactly what I hope will happen.

The story is excellent, and the artwork is gorgeous. This is a great read for die-hard Charmed fans. And if you’ve never seen Charmed, but love stories involving magic and good versus evil? I’m willing to bet you’ll love it, too. Check it out!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment via Edelweiss.

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Authors: Erica Schultz, Maria Sanapo

Title: Charmed: A Thousand Deaths

Genre: Graphic Novel, Magical Realism

Published: October 24th, 2017 by Dynamite Entertainment

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the Book

Dynamite Entertainment is proud to continue the story of Phoebe, Piper, and Paige, television’s fan-favorite witches, in all-new adventures set within the official continuity of Charmed!

A dark force has set its sights on the art world of San Francisco, utilizing a gallery exhibit to feed souls to the underworld and unleash demons into our reality. Only the Power of Three, harnessed by the Halliwell sisters, can stop the madness!