Back to the Challenge

A while ago, I started to read books based on these categories; thought it was high time I updated a few.  See purple for updates: 

A BOOK THAT WAS BANNED AT SOME POINT  – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

A BOOK PUBLISHED THIS YEAR – Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallace 

  A BOOK YOU CAN FINISH IN A DAY – These Things Hidden  by Heather Gudenkauf

A BOOK YOU PREVIOUSLY ABANDONED – Autobiography of Malcom X by Alex haley 


A BOOK YOU’VE BEEN MEANING TO READ – The Raven Boys by Maggie Striefvater


A BOOK YOU’VE ALREADY READ AT LEAST ONCE – Twilight (my go to when I need to escape reality) 



A BOOK PUBLISHED BEFORE YOU WERE BORN- You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt



The Year in Review

Can you believe it’s almost the end of 2016!  Although it seems the world has been put off its axis (politics/war/deaths); FIP had a great reading year. I feel like I broke away from my norms and reinvented my reading style. I learned so much about other people and learned to ponder about my own life.

Two books that impacted my thinking: 

The Autobiography of Malcom X by Alex Haley

You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt

A few books that had great stories to tell: 

The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker

When We Collided by Emery Lord

A Man Called Ove by F. Backman

And for a complete list and ratings please visit my goodreads page.



(Let me know if the link doesn’t work)

So what have you read this year? The best the worst?




Book-Vending Machine Dispenses Suspense

I need a break from all this doom gloom election talk. Here’s something fun for your Friday.

Link: https://wordpress.com/post/aforkinmypage.wordpress.com/679

Earlier this year, Stephen Fowler, owner of The Monkey’s Paw used-book store in Toronto, had an idea.

He wanted a creative way to offload his more ill-favored books — “old and unusual” all, as the store’s motto goes — that went further than a $1 bin by the register.

It came in a conversation with his wife: a vending machine.

“Originally, I thought maybe we would just have a refrigerator box and paint it to look like a vending machine,” he tells NPR, “and put a skinny assistant of mine inside and have him drop books out when people put a coin in.”

But then he was hanging out with a friend, Craig Small, who runs an animation studio in Toronto.

“I mentioned the idea to him, and he said, ‘Forget it! Let’s just build one!’ ”

So they did, and for the past few weeks that machine has been up and running. The “Biblio-Mat” is about the size of a refrigerator and painted vintage pistachio green with chrome accents. On the front, in old-style lettering, it reads: “Every book a surprise. No two alike. Collect all 112 million titles.”

Watch the Biblio-Mat in action in this video from Craig Small.

Though he’s not making much money off the Biblio-Mat, Fowler says it’s a great way to entertain customers — especially kids.

“One kid I can think of in particular — a very intense, physical little boy, not what you would necessarily consider the bookish type — he got a weird, local history book about Hamilton, Ontario,” he says. “And apparently he’s been carrying it around his house, you know, asking his mom, ‘Did you see where I left my Hamilton book?’

“It’s like it completely reinjects the mystery into these old printed artifacts.”

Fowler says the machine reinforces something he’s learned in the book trade: People are always looking for meaning.

“People have a deep need to think the thing is actually being picked for them,” he says. “Yesterday a young woman got a book out of the machine — 12 Hardest Shots in Golf, or something like that — and she was not very impressed. But then she said, ‘I know exactly who I’m giving this to for Christmas.’ ”



Book Review: The Six of Crows Duology

Book 1: Six of Crows 

Goodreads Summary: 

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Book 2: The Crooked Kingdom 

Goodreads Summary: 

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.


FIP Review:

Rarely will you see me give a book 5 stars – but this one (begrudgingly) deserves it.
I picked up this series on a whim; discounted price on the audiobook of Six of Crows.


I’m glad I did.

Story: Good, fast paced story keeps you alert and interested. Fairly predictable with some unpredictable twists along the way. Above average ending; not all loose ends were tied up and not everyone got their happy endings – to me this was more realistic and rougher than most YA books which tend to coddle.

Characters: Personally I felt like this was the highlight of the book. All the characters; secondary and main characters alike – grow on you. Their triumphs and pitfalls become yours.

Overall unexpectedly enjoyed the books.


About the Author

Leigh Bardugo is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band. Her new book, Six of Crows, arrives fall 2015.


National Book Award Longlists for Fiction and Nonfiction

The lists are out!

Which ones have you read or heard about and which ones are you going to read now that they are potential award winners?


Chris Bachelder, The Throwback Special, W.W. Norton & Company




Garth Greenwell, What Belongs to You, Farrar, Straus and Giroux




Adam Haslett, Imagine Me Gone, Little, Brown and Company




Paulette Jiles, News of the World, William Morrow / HarperCollinsPublishers




Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs, Viking Books / Penguin Random House




Elizabeth McKenzie, The Portable Veblen, Penguin Press / Penguin Random House




Lydia Millet, Sweet Lamb of Heaven, W.W. Norton & Company




Brad Watson, Miss Jane, W.W. Norton & Company




Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad, Doubleday / Penguin Random House




Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn, Amistad / HarperCollinsPublishers








Andrew J. Bacevich, America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, Random House / Penguin Random House




Patricia Bell-Scott, The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice, Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House








Adam Cohen, Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck, Penguin Press / Penguin Random House




Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, The New Press




Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Nation Books




Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, Harvard University Press




Cathy O’Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, Crown / Penguin Random House




Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt




Manisha Sinha, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, Yale University Press




Heather Ann Thompson, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, Pantheon / Penguin Random House