The Book Diva's Reads

I'm an avid, if not fanatical, reader. My blog provides basic reviews for a basic reader. My family calls me a book geek, I prefer book diva.

— feeling nerd
I want them all and I'm not going back to school!

11 back to school accessories all book lovers must have

Reblogged from BookLikes:
— feeling nerd


Holiday adventures? Checked. Sunburn? Checked. Sand on a carpet, in your bed, in a bag? Checked. Screams on a roller-coaster? Checked. Crazy photos? Checked. Completed TBR pile? Checked in 50%. Packed school bag? Not yet. 


Farewell holidays, welcome new school year. But worry not my friends - here we come with a helping hand! These 11 accessories will help you stay in the bookish mood in school setting. Stay strong and read on. 



1. These bookish pencils with your favorite book quotes will help you stay in a good shape outside your reading room.


via Etsy



2. These cool bookmarks will show exactly how you feel about the passage!?!


via Kate Spade



3. These socks are simply too cool not to have them during the semester!


via ModCloth



4. This blouse will end up all rumors about your super powers. Isn't that obvious?



via Human



5. This punk rock authors tote bag is a badass in schoolbags and it's a #MUSTHAVE!


via Out of Print



6. With this lunch box, you'll have a minute or two to finish up a chapter. Perfect!


via Zazzle



7. This personalized travel mug is a perfect wake up cup for commuters. Reading & drinking coffee -- can you imagine a better morning? 


via Picture In A Dream on Etsy



8. This watch will remind you that there's aways good time for a book. 



found on Ebay



9. These lovely notebooks will give you plenty of space for your notes, comments, quotes, and your homework - if you find an empty page (yeah, wishful thinking).


via Book Lover Gifts


And for your deepest literary thoughts, use this marvelous leather journals. 


 found on Book Lover Gifts and AliExpress



10. Even the biggest hard core reader needs to stay in touch with real people (oh man, seriously?). This charging dock will charge not only your phone but also your mindset. "May the Force be with you." 


via Rich Neeley Designs on Etsy



11. These sticky notes will show you way back to the highlighted passages and favorite quotes. 


via Amazon



This sticky notes set allows you to mark a book page with an appropriate emoticon, and you'll feel like on BookLikes again - how cool is that! :D 


 via Amazon


10 idioms about books - a perfect lexicon for a book lover

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:








Book Review: FIRST FROST by Sarah Addison Allen


Book Review: BROKEN BONDS by Karen Harper

#bookreview #NetGalley

Reblogged from Ann's Book Blog:

I'm definitely doing this challenge next year (may be one of the easier ones I participate in all year).


Book 356: FIVE DAYS LEFT Review

Five Days Left

Five Days Left - Julie Lawson Timmer 4.5 star read

Imagine you only have five days left to say goodbye to a loved one. Now imagine two different families in this situation. One family resides in Michigan and includes two foster-parents and a young boy about to be returned to his biological mother after a year. The other family resides in Texas and consists of an adoptive couple, their adopted daughter, and the adoptive mother's adoptive parents. The Texas family is dealing with a progressive and degenerative neurological disorder and the mother, although only 42 years of age, is contemplating suicide rather than giving into this horrible disease process. These two scenarios provide the foundation of the story Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer.

Mara Nichols is a young, urban professional residing in Texas. She's at the peak of her career as an attorney. Her husband, Tom, is a physician with a thriving practice. Tom and Mara have been together for more than twenty years. They adopted their daughter, Lakshmi, as an infant from India and are now the proud parents of a kindergartner. Regrettably their lives were given a major twist when Mara was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease or HD four years ago. Since that initial diagnosis, Mara has suffered from a host of HD symptoms, including short term memory loss, balance and gait issues, bladder control, mood swings, and more. She has been forced to take early retirement from her beloved career as an attorney and partner in a law firm, can no longer drive due to motor control issues, and is scared beyond belief that she is unwittingly forcing her family to suffer along with her as HD destroys who she is as a person. Mara's one saving grace is her online link to a forum for adoptive, foster, and step parents. It is in this forum that she can voice her parenting issues without question or judgment. It is here that she finds friendship with MotorCity, also known as Scott Coffman.

Scott Coffman is an English teacher at an inner city Detroit middle school. Scott also coaches basketball at his school and considers himself fortunate to have met some outstanding talent, including Brayden Jackson, his foster-son's older brother. He and his wife have been trying to get pregnant for years through IVF. Now that their lives are focused on a slightly hyperactive, mild behaviorally challenged seven-year-old boy, there's less stress about getting pregnant so of course they actually get pregnant with their last round of IVF. Scott's wife isn't exactly eager for their year of fostering to be over, but she is eager to have some time alone with her husband before their biological child is born. Scott is torn between wanting what is best for his son Curtis (when did he stop thinking of him as a foster child but as his child) and wanting to keep him to ensure he has everything a child deserves: a clean home, three meals a day, clean clothes, and involved parents.

I've got to admit that I put off reading Five Days Left simply because I thought the story was going to be depressing and morbid. It isn't. Don't get me wrong, it is sad. I don't think you can read about someone with a degenerative life-threatening disease and a child being raised in filth without basic amenities like running water by a drug-addicted mother without it being sad. But Ms. Timmer has also provided glimpses of hope amidst the sadness. Mara's story is sad and heart-wrenching, but the love her family and friends have for her and one another is uplifting. It was incredibly disturbing to read about Mara's decline due to HD (there's one incident in the grocery store and another in the elementary school that had me taking a break just to dry my eyes). I was just as torn as Scott when Curtis's biological mother decides to take him back days before he was scheduled to leave the Coffmans. What made it worse was he wasn't even given the opportunity to say goodbye.

Five Days Left is told in alternating voices of Mara and Scott. Although the action takes place over the course of five days, there's a lot jammed into those days. Yes, you'll probably need to have a box of tissues handy when you read this story, but sadness isn't the only thing you'll remember about this story. Five Days Left focuses on love and the families we make as a result of that love. Some of those families are built with blood ties, and others are built through adoption, fostering, step-parenting, and friendship. I found Five Days Left to be a remarkable story with realistic characters and scenarios. Five Days Left is simply an amazing story and I know this review probably doesn't do it justice, so if you're going to take anything away from my thoughts take this . . . you should definitely read Five Days Left.


Deceived - Irene Hannon 3.5 star read

Three years ago Kate Marshall's life was turned upside down. A routine father-son fishing trip turned into a nightmare when Kate's husband was found dead and her four-year-old son was presumed to have drowned. Kate left upstate New York for St. Louis, Missouri. She has begun to build a new life until a chance encounter in the mall has her questioning everything. Kate is sure the young boy she saw on an escalator at a local mall is her son. The police don't find her story plausible so she hires a private investigator. Although Connor Sullivan isn't quite sure what to believe, he agrees to take the case on a provisional basis. What he finds out is even more shocking than the original incident that claimed the life of Kate's husband. Can Connor find the truth and return Kate's son before more tragedy occurs?

Deceived is the third book in the Private Justice series by Irene Hannon. I found this to be a fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable read. Deceived is a clean, inspirational, romantic-suspense read. As with previous books in this series, we get the opportunity to read about ordinary people of faith in extraordinary circumstances. Connor Sullivan is a great investigator, but he doesn't have the faith that his co-workers have until he is able to truly see faith in action through Kate's life. It is always uplifting to read about characters that place their belief at the forefront of their lives versus the backburner . . . at least it is for this reader. I enjoyed the interaction between Connor and Kate. It was fascinating to read about a woman overcoming her grief and building a life where she goes out of her way to help others overcome their problems. Ms. Hannon provides the reader with strong men and strong women that become even stronger when they work together. Yes you know when you start reading this book that it is going to be a HEA (happy-ever-after), but not in the more traditional sense because these characters still have issues to work out and through but they do so together. Ms. Hannon's stories are crafted with the just the right amount of suspense and romance to make for a wholly enjoyable and intriguing read from beginning to end. If you enjoy inspirational fiction, romantic suspense, or are just looking for a good read, then I can definitely recommend Deceived.

Wise Blood

Wise Blood - Flannery O'Connor 3.5 star read

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes - Zondervan Publishing 2.5 star read

Dead Simple

Dead Simple - Peter James 3.5 star read

It's Michael Harrison's stag night. He and four of his friends are on a pub crawl. Although Michael has promised his fiancée not to get too drunk, he's having a good time and feeling virtually no pain. The only thing missing is his best friend, Mark, but Mark was out of town on business and his plane back home to Brighton has been grounded by fog. Just when things are really starting to heat up, Michael's friends take their revenge on him for all of his stag night pranks against him and put him in a coffin in a grave. Their intention is to make him sweat a little and come back in a few hours and dig him up. As they're driving off they are in a horrible car accident. Three die on impact and the fourth has suffered severe injuries and is comatose. Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. Grace has been asked by a friend and co-worker to help out on Michael’s disappearance. Can they find Michael before his upcoming nuptials or before he dies of lack of oxygen or worse?

Dead Simple is the first in the Roy Grace series by Peter James. Grace is not your average police officer. He is relatively young to be a detective superintendent and was on a fast track until a defense attorney mocks him for his belief in the paranormal, specifically the use of psychics on his cases. Grace is thirty-nine years old and has been grieving the disappearance of his wife Sandy for nine years. He refuses to have her legally declared dead because he still holds out hope that she'll be found. Grace's abilities as an outstanding police officer are admired by most and it is precisely due to this admiration that his friend and co-worker Glenn Branson that he is called in on Michael Harrison's disappearance. Roy doesn't quite believe Michael's best-friend and best man Mark Warren when he says he had no idea what his friends were up to on that night, he had only planned a pub crawl. Although Michael's fiancée Ashley appears to be distraught over his disappearance, there's something about her manner that has Roy wondering about her as well.

Dead Simple is part thriller, part suspense, part police procedural, and a great read. Roy Grace is a quirky but likeable character and wholly believable as a police officer. His interaction with friends and coworkers adds to his likeability quotient and adds to the reader's understanding of Grace the man and Grace the police officer. This seemingly simple case of a missing man becomes anything but simple as the story evolves. Just when you think you know who is doing what and why, Mr. James throws in a nice plot twist and you're off in a completely new direction. There are bad guys and even worse guys in this story and they provide the perfect foil for Grace and his abilities. All of the action in the story takes place over a span of five days, a fast-paced, suspense-filled five days. Does Grace find the bad guy(s) in the end? Is Michael still alive? What was the motive behind Michael's "abduction?” You know I'm not going to reveal those types of details; you have to read this delightfully twisted story for yourself to find out. One thing I can tell you is that I'll be reading more of the Roy Grace series by Mr. James because I'm totally hooked.

Strong Darkness

Strong Darkness - Jon Land 3.5 star read

Strong men are usually referred to as a take-charge kind-of-guy, macho (in a good way), or a man's man. Strong women are not viewed so kindly and are generally called arrogant, demanding, bitches, or worse. Caitlin Strong doesn't care about the terminology used; she is a strong-willed, take-no-prisoners type of person that knows right from wrong, a formidable law officer, and she doesn't apologize for anything she does. Caitlin knows that life may not be all black-and-white, but she has a strong sense of justice and a duty to right any perceived wrongs. This quickly becomes evident when she uses a John Deere front loader to nudge a group of protesters at a funeral into a trench.

Strong Darkness is the sixth book in the Caitlin Strong series but the first one that I've read. Even though this was a new-to-me series, I was able to follow the characters and the plot without any difficulty. Mr. Land has this amazing ability to weave historical elements with contemporary themes into a highly plausible and enjoyable read. I wasn't quite sure how the storyline from 1883 with Judge Roy Bean and Caitlin's great-grandfather was going to play out, but it does play an integral role in the story. Past and present serial killers targeting the same types of women sounded a bit far-fetched, but again it works. It may sound trite to say that Strong Darkness was an engrossing read, but it captured my attention from the first page to the very last. I liked Caitlin Strong and admired her sense of justice and willingness to fight for what is right. Caitlin isn't perfect and it is her flaws, such as her quick temper, that made her into such a likeable, if not admirable, character to me. I enjoyed her interactions with her significant other, Cort Wesley Masters, her friend and guardian angel, Colonel Guillermo Paz, and even her boss, Captain Tepper.

Strong Darkness is more than just a thriller with good guys versus bad guys; it is a contemporary thriller with a historical component and a bad guy that's downright evil. Did I enjoy reading Strong Darkness? Yes! I loved the characters (good and bad), the action, and the storylines. How can you not like a story that includes a Chinese terrorist threat using technology, Judge Roy Bean, a college student in New England, a past and present serial killer in Texas, did I mention Judge Roy Bean, and a kick-ass heroine? Do the good guys win? If so, at what cost? Well I could tell you, but I'll just say this . . . read the book! Don't like reading books from a series? Don't worry, you can pick up this book and not feel you're missing too much from previous books in the series. Of course you should probably read all of the books in the series just to flesh out all of the background information. I can't wait to read all six books back-to-back.

Innocent Prey

Innocent Prey - Maggie Shayne 3.5 star read

Rachel de Luca and Mason Brown are back and in prime form in Innocent Prey. Mason is asked to look into the disappearance of a judge's blind daughter, Stevie, and keep it off-the-record. Mason enlists Rachel's assistance on the case because she adds a little something extra with her NFP (not-f***ing-psychic) abilities. The more they dig into Stevie's disappearance, the more they feel this is an abduction that has possible ties to the abduction last year of Rachel's assistant. Before they know it, this case isn't just the abduction of one young girl but of nine girls and all ties lead back to the judge.

Innocent Prey is the third installment in the de Luca and Brown series by Maggie Shayne. Rachel is in a no-holds-barred frame of mind and speaks her mind with no fear of the consequences. She's also finally adapting to the idea that her vision is here to stay. What she isn't adapting to is the possibility that she may have psychic tendencies, such as the ability to read emotions, and gain information from a simple touch. Her refusal to accept these abilities as being from the psychic spectrum gives rise to new nomenclature, NFP. In addition to Rachel's forceful attitude, this story shows the progression of Rachel and Mason's relationship. Both are afraid to use the L-word, but it quickly becomes clear that they do love one another.

I found Innocent Prey to be a fast-paced and enjoyable read. I particularly liked Ms. Shayne's inclusion of pop culture references and Rachel's snarky sense of humor. Innocent Prey is a great addition to the de Luca and Brown series and combines romance, suspense, the paranormal, humor, and family drama into one great story. If you haven't read any of the books in this series, you'll definitely want to read them all: Sleep With the Lights On (Brown and de Luca #1), Dream of Danger (Brown and de Luca #1.5), and Wake to Darkness (Brown and de Luca #2). I've enjoyed reading this series and I'm looking forward to Deadly Obsession (Brown and de Luca #4) scheduled for release later this year.