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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26893819-the-girls?from_search=true

Synopsis (From GoodReads):
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

Review:
When the book came out, the publicity for The Girls hinted at an inside look into a late 1960's cult (much like Charles Manson's "Family").  I was really interested in trying to understand why young teen girls would be involved with such a group.  But as I read The Girls, by Emma Cline, all I got was a depressing story of repeated victimization. It was a tough read that did not give me much insight.

What I Liked:
Setting:
I did feel that the author captured the essence of the 1960's, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Although I was a young kid, I remember that time well.  The young adults of the time were trying their best to be shocking to the adults.  Long hair, unwashed bodies, wild clothes, all of these were signals that people were rebelling against the norm of the times.  This book gets the feel of the time right.  

Evie is an outsider who is ripe for joining this new, perhaps dangerous, way of thinking.  The book shows how enticing the group must have been to Evie.  Everywhere they go, the girls in the group act invincible.  


What I Didn't Like:
Evie:
As much as I was rooting for Evie and understood how lost she was during her transition from child to adult, I didn't feel her character had any growth.  The book is told in flashbacks as an older Evie (possibly in her 40's or 50's?) recalls her involvement with a notorious 60's group who committed an horrific murder.  She herself did not participate in the crime that is the climax of the book.  But for a random incident, Evie considers if she would have followed through with what the others in her group did.  You never learn how Evie's life turned out or how she even feels about what happened with the group.

Normalization of Rape:
Throughout the book, as Evie recalls terrible moments of victimization, she doesn't seem to see these situations as abuse.  She doesn't seem to learn to be weary of the others in the group, even after she is abused.

Also, it was strange, and upsetting, reading about essentially rapes.  The older Evie reminisces about her fourteen-year old self being used by the much older men (and women) in the group for sexual pleasure.  This is rape.  But even as an adult, she doesn't see it that way.

The ending of the book goes on to mention further abuse as the normal course of one's life.  This left me angry and deflated that Evie didn't become stronger.  She just accepted that this was how life was.
 






Rating:  



Release Date:  June 14th, 2016

Genre:  General Fiction

Source: Public Library

Format:  Audio Book

Recommendation:   I cannot recommend this book.  The depictions of the rapes of a fourteen-year old as normal were too much for me.
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Monday, January 16, 2017

Bay Area Book Events #30

Due to the enormous size of this list, I only show events about four weeks in advance.  The master calendar will continue to show all the events I can find that are listed on each bookstore's site.

Bookstores in this list may include:  
Barnes & Noble (various Bay Area Locations)
Book Passage (Corte Madera & San Francisco)
The Booksmith (San Francisco)
Books Inc. (various Bay Area Locations)
Pegasus Books (Berkeley & Oakland)
Hicklebee's Children's Books (San Jose)
A Great Good Place For Books (Oakland)
Kepler's Books (Menlo Park) 

I am attempting to make this a one stop place to find book signings in the San Francisco Bay Area! I will mostly focus on YA books, but I will also include some general fiction if I think it will be of interest.  I do not list non-fiction books (There are simply too many events of those to list).  I think this is an extensive list, but there is always the possibility that I missed an event (Hey, I'm human). If you think there is an event that I should include, please leave me a note in the comments section. Thanks.

All  book graphics have links to GoodReads so you can check them out.

As always, it is a good idea to call the store a day or two before to confirm that the scheduled event is still on.  I have learned that these events change constantly.


January, 2017
 
Tuesday, January 17th, at 6:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30316148-the-old-man?from_search=true

Book:  The Old Man
Author:  Thomas Perry
Location:  Book Passage (San Francisco)
Address 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 835-1020 

Tuesday, January 17th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29938372-this-is-not-over?from_search=true

Book:  This Is Not Over
Author:  Holly Brown
Location:  Books Inc. (Alameda)
Address:  1344 Park Street, Alameda
Tel:  (510) 522-2226

Thursday, January 19th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25431238-the-portable-veblen?from_search=true


Book:  The Portable Velben
Author:  Elizabeth McKenzie
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Tel: (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909

Friday, January 20th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32737635-the-most-dangerous-place-on-earth?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Most Dangerous Place On Earth
Author:  Lindsey Lee Johnson
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Tel: (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909

Friday, January 20th, at 7:00pm


Book:  The Dark Room
Author:  Jonathan Moore
Location:  Books Inc., Opera Plaza
Address:  601 Van Ness, San Francisco
Tel: (415) 776-1111 




Friday, January 20th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21525970-willful-machines?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27414371-jess-chunk-and-the-road-trip-to-infinity?ac=1&from_search=true


Book:  Jess, Chunk, and The Road Trip To Infinity
Author:  Kristin Clark


Book:  Willful Machines
Author: Tim Floreen


Location:  Hicklebee's Children's Books
Address 1378 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose
Tel:  (408) 292-8880 

Monday, January 23rd, at 7:00pm

Book:  The Nowhere Man
Author:  Gregg Hurwitz

Location:  Barnes & Noble (San Jose)
Address:  3600 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Tel:  (408) 984-3495

Wednesday, January 25th, at 7:00pm

Book:  The Nowhere Man
Author:  Gregg Hurwitz
Location:  Books Inc., Palo Alto
Address:  855 El Camino Real #74, Palo Alto
Tel: (650) 321-0600

Thursday, January 26th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30652305-if-you-are-there?from_search=true

Book:  If You Are There
Author:  Susan Sherman
Location:  Books Inc., Palo Alto
Address:  855 El Camino Real #74, Palo Alto
Tel: (650) 321-0600

Thursday, January 26th, at 7:00pm


Book:  The You I've Never Known
Author:  Ellen Hopkins
Location:  A Great Good Place For Books
Address:  6120 LaSalle Avenue, Oakland
Tel:  (510) 339-8210

Friday, January 27th, at 7:00pm
YANovCon Kickoff Party

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20308537-the-game-of-love-and-death?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28958920-a-week-of-mondays?from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27779274-the-nerdy-and-the-dirty?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28259094-i-m-not-your-manic-pixie-dream-girl?ac=1&from_search=true

Authors:  B.T. Goddfred, Martha Brockenbrough,
Jessica Brody, Gretchen McNeil
Location:  Books Inc., Opera Plaza
Address:  601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco
Tel: (415) 776-1111

Saturday, January 28th at 1:00pm

YANovCon
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23633796-what-s-broken-between-us?ac=1&from_search=true
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28958920-a-week-of-mondays?from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22896551-none-of-the-above?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22466277-the-alex-crow?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20308537-the-game-of-love-and-death?from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25331997-saving-montgomery-sole?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27774725-the-smaller-evil?from_search=true

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28259094-i-m-not-your-manic-pixie-dream-girl?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18075234-challenger-deep?from_search=true

Location:  Millbrae Library
Address:  1 Library Avenue, Millbrae
More information at: http://www.booksinc.net/event/ya-novcon-millbrae-library 
 
Saturday, January 28th, at 2:00pm



Book:  Expect Deception
Author: JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
 
Book:  House Of Whispers
Author: Margaret Lucke
 
Book:  Murder Under The Bridge
Author:  Kate Raphael
 
Location:  Barnes & Noble, Corte Madera
Address:  313 Corte Madera Town Center
Tel:  (415) 927-9016
 
Saturday, January 28th, at 4:00pm



Book:  Santorini Ceasars
Author:  Jeffrey Siger
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Tel: (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909
 

 

Sunday, January 29th, at 4:00pm

Book:  News Of The World
Author:  Paulette Jiles
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Tel: (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909


Monday, January 30th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30652305-if-you-are-there?from_search=true

Book:  If You Are There
Author:  Susan Sherman

Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Tel: (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909

 
Tuesday, January 31st, at 7:00pm
YA Launch Party!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27883214-caraval?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Secret Of A Heart Note
Author: Stacey Lee
Book:  Caraval
Author:  Stephanie Garber

Location:  Kepler's Books
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA
Tel: (650) 324-4321 

Tuesday, January 31st, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29741905-the-fifth-petal?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  The Fifth Petal
Author:  Brunonia Barry
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Tel: (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909


Tuesday, January 31st, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27274383-fatal?from_search=true

Book:  Fatal
Author:  John LesCroart
Location:  Burlingame Public Library
Address:  480 Primrose Road, Burlingame, CA

Tuesday, January 31st at 7:30pm


Book:  Perfect Little World
Author:  Kevin Wilson
Location:  The BookSmith
Address:  1644 Haight Street, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 863-8688 


February

Thursday, February 2nd,at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29331726-magic-flute?ac=1&from_search=true
 
  Book:  Magic Flute
Author:  Patricia Minger
Location:  Books Inc., Alameda
Address:  1344 Park Street, Alameda
Tel: (510) 522-2226 

Friday, February 3rd, at 7:00pm
YA Night at Kepler's

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26836910-the-diabolic?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28114396-ever-the-hunted?from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28498236-boy-robot?ac=1&from_search=true


Book:  The Diabolic
Author:  S.J. Kincaid
Book:  Boy Robot
Author:  Simon Curtis
Book:  Ever The Hunted
Author:  Erin Summerill
Location:  Kepler's Books
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA
Tel: (650) 324-4321    
 
Monday, February 6th, at 6:00pm
In Conversation with Veronica Rossi

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27883214-caraval?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23430471-riders?ac=1&from_search=true
 
Book:  Caraval
Author:  Stephanie Garber
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Tel: (415) 927-0960 or (800) 999-7909
 
 
 
Monday, February 6th, at 6:00pm
In Conversation with Veronica Rossi

 
Book:  Bright Midnight
Author:  Chris Formant
Location:  Book Passage San Francisco
Address:  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 835-1020 
 
Tuesday, February 7th, at 7:00pm
Launch Party
Book:  The Dressmaker's Dowry
Author:  Meredith Jaeger
Location:  Books Inc., Opera Plaza
Address:  601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco
Tel: (415) 776-1111
 
Wednesday, February 8th, at 7:00pm
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28763240-at-the-edge-of-the-universe?ac=1&from_search=true
 
Book:  At The Edge Of The Universe
Author:  Shaun David Hutchinson
Location:  A Great Good Place For Books
Address:  6120 LaSalle Avenue, Oakland
Tel:  (510) 339-8210  
 
Thursday, February 9th, at 7:00pm
 
Book:  Primrose Courier
Author:  David Lee
Location:  Books Inc. Mountain View
Address:  301 Castro Street, Mountain View
Tel:  (650) 428-1234 
 
Thursday, February 9th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28965131-behind-her-eyes?from_search=true

Book:  Behind Her Eyes
Author:  Sarah Pinborough
Location:  Books Inc. The Marina
Address:  2251 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 931-3633 
 
 Thursday, February 9th, at 7:00pm
 Women Of Color Author Panel
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33380610-the-meteorologist-in-me?ac=1&from_search=true
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32673261-thou-shalt-kill?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19640455-the-code-switch?from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30004597-in-the-know?from_search=true
 
Book: In The Know: Setting Up Your Child For The Stem World
Author:  CaT Bobino 
 
Book:  The Meteorologist In Me
Author:  Brittney Shipp
 
Book:  The Code Switch
Author:  Yvetta Franklin
 
Book:  Thou Shalt Kill
Author:  Marietta Harris
 
Location:  Books Inc. Alameda
Address:  1344 Park Street, Alameda
Tel:  (510) 522-2226 
 
Friday, February 10th, at 7:00pm
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405006-all-our-wrong-todays?ac=1&from_search=true
 
Book:  All Our Wrong Todays
Author:  Elan Mastai
Location:  Books Inc. Alameda
Address:  1344 Park Street, Alameda
Tel:  (510) 522-2226

Saturday, February 11th, at 4:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30758191-the-bellman?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Bellman
Author:  Heidi Barnes
Location:  Book Passage (Sausalito)
Address:  100 Bay Street, Sausalito
Tel:  (800) 999-7909

Monday, February 13th,  at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30753698-the-impossible-fortress?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Impossible Fortress
Author:  Jason Rekulak
Location:  Books Inc., Palo Alto
Address 855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Tel: (650) 321-0600
 
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2017 Reading Challenge

MsArdychan has read 2 books toward her goal of 180 books.
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MsArdychan's bookshelf: read

The Hummingbird's Daughter
Joseph Anton: A Memoir
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
The Help
The Fry Chronicles
A Clash of Kings
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
A Game of Thrones
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay
The Giver
Savvy
The Red Pyramid
Anne of Green Gables
The Complete Novels
Slam!
Slam
Hatchet
Scorpions


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