Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Rating: ★★★ | 9 hrs. 8 min. | Horror | Harper Audio | Release Date: 5/13/14

From To All The Boys I've Loved Before to Crazy Rich Asians 2018 was the year more book adaptations skyrocketed into the pop culture zeitgeist. Bird Box came on the scene at the end of the year with the popular Netflix film that spawned its own memes and challenges.

Bird Box is a 20 Minutes Into The Future post-apocalypse story where people see something outside that makes them murderous. The book begins with Malorie and two 4-year-olds leaving an empty house and getting into a boat to head down the river blindfolded. Flashbacks from four years earlier are interspersed, showing how the panic started and how Malorie got to the house.

The tension builds as we learn how Malorie and her housemates have to suddenly navigate a world blindfolded. I liked the survivalist aspects of this book, I’ve kind of gotten into books that make me wonder how long I could survive on the canned food in my house.

What was missing for me was character development. It’s revealed early on there were once other people in the house where meet Malorie but they all felt like blank slates, I couldn't tell any of them apart or what their purpose was. I don’t read much horror so I don’t know if plot over character is a convention of the genre or that is just this book.

The audiobook was done by Cassandra Campbell, I've enjoyed her in the past but this wasn't my favorite performance of hers. It felt muted and didn't fully bring me into the story.

I have watched some of the Netflix movie and I enjoyed it so much better than the book.  Sandra Bullock is great and the movie fleshes out the motivations and creates connections between the characters in a way the book never did. 

The guy who wrote Bird Box's Netflix adaptation is also writing the Leigh Bardugo Netflix series and I can’t wait to see what he does with it.  He seems to have the ability to capture the spirit of a book without making it literal.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

End of The Year/Christmas Book Haul

It's been a while since I've done a book haul so here are the newest books decking my shelves !

Books Received For Christmas

  • Unmask Me If You Can by Shana Galen
  • Made Out of Stars by Meera Lee Patel
  • Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Gift Card/Sale Purchases

  • A Conjuring of Light by V.E Schwab
  • A Recipe For A Perfect Christmas - move over Hallmark this is one of my favorite Lifetime Christmas movies.
  • Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
  • China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
  • All The Light We Cannot See  by Anthony Doerr


  • Bad Blood by Jon Carreyrou
  • Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Books and Sensibility By The Numbers 2018 !

It's that time of the year again! All year long we track our reading and reviewing habits so we can crunch the numbers and pull some stats.

Here are some additional breakdowns

  • 34% Audio Review Copies 
  • 24% Public Library
  • 20%
  •  8%
  • 7% Barnes and Noble
  • 5% Fountain Bookstore
  •  2%
  • 19% Macmillan
  • 18% HarperCollins
  • 16% Simon and Schuster
  • 16% Penguin
  • 11% Hachette/Hachette Audio
  •  5% Random House
  •  3% Harlequin
  •  3% Candlewick
  •  3% Disney Worldwide
  •  2%  Amazon Publishing
  •  2%  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  •  2% Scholastic

  • 59% YA Fiction/Non-Fiction
  • 24% Adult Fiction
  • 17% Adult Memoir/Non-fiction
Other Stats
  • 40% of audiobooks narrated by  narrators of color
  • 49% 2018 Frontlist Titles
2017 vs. 2018
We reviewed 40% more book this year and our average rating is still at a solid 3.6. The format numbers are the same but it is worth noting that   Kat and I "hybrid-read" several books where we did them both in print and on audio.

I'm not surprised to see our non-YA numbers increase as we've both been exploring more genres this year, particularly nonfiction. I know there are a ton of narrative non-fiction titles I want to get to in 2019.

The diversity numbers line up with what we've done previously. This is probably the first year we've been able to say the books reviewed included transgender, lesbian and asexual characters.

Finally, Scribd is back on the scene as a resource for books. I stopped using Scribd after I realized it was skipping chapters on audio and I wasn't a fan of the limited reading, but once they reverted back to "unlimited" it seemed to find a solid place in my reading line-up.


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