Archives for December 2015

Belinda’s Book Nook Book Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead


Title: Soundless
Author: Richelle Mead
Copyright: November 10, 2015
Genre:  fantasy, YA fairytale and folklore adaptations
Format: book  Pages: 266

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

My Thoughts:

The Lure: I heard about this book on BookTube and wanted to check it out for myself. No reviews were made yet, so I was able to go into this with only my own expectations.  The idea of incorporating Chinese folklore to shape this story was very appealing to me. I studied Japanese arts and Literature in college and since I was young something mystical has drawn me to Asian folklore in general. Another thing that drew me to this book was the idea of having a predominantly deaf set of characters. I wanted to see how the author would deliver this information.

The book: Let’s face it, the cover is gorgeous. I like the beautiful colors, typography and the strength the cover model portrays on the cover. I typically remove the dustjacket off of the books while I read so as not to damage them, but I actually kept this one on so that I could see pretty every time I sat down to read. It was a very short book with only 266 pages but I think the author delivered a great story in such a short framework.

The characters: I really enjoyed reading about the main character, Fei and was drawn to her work as an apprentice to capture the daily events  with her paint brush. Her love of her craft was inspiring and her strength throughout the book was also a pleasure to witness. Li Wei, the handsome miner was also fun to follow and their on and off banter, made for a slow romance to be realized. I enjoyed the intertwining of the folklore to shape the existence of these people and how it shaped their beliefs and behavior.

Pacing: I felt like this author did a great job with the pacing of this book. It was a fairly short book. If I had one wish I would like more elaboration on the folklore that was brought in more strongly towards the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and found that I breezed through it very quickly.  I would give it 4 1/2 butterflies because I really enjoyed the story and I found the inclusion of the folklore refreshing. Particularly with a book market that likes to reuse the same story over and over again. A true breath of fresh air this one was for me.


Happy reading my friends!


Tea Time Tuesday: It’s all Green Today with a side of News!


Hello!  Wow, it is so dark and gray outside, that it  looks like rain or a major snow storm is upon us. Thankfully none of the above. Just gray and gloomy.  But oh so perfect for tea time.

Today, I chose a Green tea I bought from Wenham teahouse last spring. It’s called Cherry blossom Green tea. I steeped it about 3 minutes and headed up to my nook for a look at last Sunday’s newspapers. The tea is so soothing while I take in the current events.

I used have a Boston Globe subsription and then it began to be too much so I now purchase them a couple times a month. I also enjoy the New York Times so I bought both this past Sunday. What I do is pick out what sections I like and read them bit by bit throughout the week. Some weeks, I am a success and other weeks I get caught up and only one or two articles get read.

I tend not to to watch news on the television, because 90% is about death and morbid and I have young children in the house. I like reading news so that I can focus on integrity verses the onslaught of   sensationalism that is dominating our daily news channels. I also subscribe to The Washington Post on my Kindle and read a bit each day.  I enjoy the interactive elements in their articles. Another online resource I read is The Christian Science Monitor. I first must say I am a bit biased since I worked there for many years. But the quality and integrity of the reporting is top of the line.

I am going to go finish my tea and read another article before I head out to pick up my boys.

Hope you grabbed a cup of tea today!


Ebook deals


As many of you may know, I love books and I enjoy them via multiple platforms (paperbooks, audiobooks and ebooks). So I am always on the hunt for great ebook deals pretty regularly and thought I would share the treasures I found yesterday for my Kindle.

The first book is called Where Women are Kings by Christie Watson. I had never heard of this book or author but the cover and price caught my eye so I took a look at the description:

“Elijah, seven years old, has a history of disruptive behaviour. His adoptive mother Nikki believes that she and her husband Obi are strong enough to accept his difficulties – and that her being white will not affect her ability to raise a black son.

Deborah, Elijah’s birth mother, is ever present, and her love for her son is a constant reminder for Nikki of something she’s not part of, that she’s never had.”

It sounds like an emotional ride but worth checking out for $1.99.

The second book, “The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton has been on my wish list for some time and when I saw it for $1.99 I did a little happy dance. I have been hearing about this book all over booktube and would like to see if it lives up to the hype. This book is about:

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…”

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Since my reading que is full for the remainder of the year, I will add them to my list for next.

Right now, is  a great time to find great bargains on ebooks on Amazon. So do check it out, you never know what hidden gem you will find.

Happy reading!


Tea Time Tuesday!


Hello Everyone! Happy holidays! Today is a perfect time to start a new blog series, Tea Time Tuesday (3Ts). The weather outside is gray and cold and the perfect weather for tea. I am a confessed tea addict for sure and since I share many of my loves on this blog, I thought I might as well share this one too.

Yesterday, while shopping at TJ Maxx, I found this tea mug that captured two of my loves (reading and tea) and had to have it. I think people in the store thought I was a crazy lady because I picked it up quickly and did a little happy dance with a squeal. It’s like the tea goddess placed it there just for me!

Today I am having it with a few of my favorite seasonal cookies from Trader Joes.  The tea I am drinking is a new one from Teavana. It is called, “Maharaja Chai Oolong.


Maharaja Chai Oolong:

The rich, heady spices of India mingle with the royal splendor of oolong tea in this blend inspired by the legendary Spice Route. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, carob and cardamom lead the sensory journey that begins with the first aroma of this robust chai. (caffeine is 1-15mg)

I like Oolong tea which is a native tea from China. I usually have it with a splash of milk and honey. Masala Chai is my favorite tea and it’s origin is India. I love the blend of spices in it.  So this Maharaja Chai Oolong tea is a nice blend of both. There is a nice strong cinnamon taste, that is present in Oprah’s chai at Starbucks.


I hope you’re having cup of tea today! I”ll be back next week with another Tea Time Tuesday.



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