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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 23, 2018

ARC Review: The Tree by Na'Amen Gobert Tilahun

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1597808903/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=onderherose-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1597808903&linkId=d6cb0e05d4cc8dab690020d886058182
Please Note:  I received an advance copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.  Also, I am in the Amazon Affiliate program.  If you buy the book from the links on this page, I will get a small fee. This is a great way to support this blog (hint, hint).

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
In Corpiliu, an alternate dimension to our own, a darkness grows, devouring whole cities as it spreads. Robbed of her greatest power, separated from her siblings and thrown among people she does not trust, Lil, a ’dant from the city Zebub, must find a way to turn everything around, to trust in a power she knows nothing about.

Erik travels from San Francisco to Zebub, haunted by the ghost of his ex, still coming to terms with his true identity as a descendant of the gods, and unsure how to fight what seems to have no weakness. Pushing back against taboos meant to keep the true history of Corpiliu secret, he gains many enemies and few allies, and strange visions will make him question his own sanity.

Between Earth and Corpiliu, a war is developing on two fronts, one that might well mean the end of both dimensions. In The Tree, the dynamic follow-up to the exciting fantasy debut The Root, long-held secrets will be revealed, and long-trusted loyalties will be put to the test.


Review:
Ever since I met him at the Bay Area Book Festival, I have been a huge fan of this author, Na'amen Gobert Tilahun.  His books are  filled with so much creativity, diversity, and heart, that I am instantly drawn it.   The Tree is the next book in the complicated world that The Root introduced us to.   With it's dual settings of the San Francisco Bay area, and the city of Corpiliu on the world of Zebub, Na'amen manages to create characters in both worlds who were confused, complex, and ultimately courageous.  I was deeply invested in these characters and in this highly entertaining book.


What I Liked:
Settings:
It takes a great deal of effort to convincingly create one world, let alone two.  But the author achieves this by lots of wonderful details about each place. I can well imagine the characters careening through the streets of San Francisco rescuing civilians.  In Zebub, from the Forest to the living hive of Kandake, I felt immersed in these places. 

Characters: 
I really liked the characters from both worlds, particularly Erik from San Francisco, and Lil from Corpiliu.  Erik is still dealing with the death of his boyfriend, Daniel, while Lil is learning how to cope with the loss of her voice.  Each have lost their self-confidence and must find a way to get it back if they can ever hope to face the coming battle.

I also loved Melinda, the child with the ability to control dreams, and even the evil Holder Mayer who is corrupted with power and will do whatever it takes to maintain it. 

Diversity:
As with the first book, The Tree had a diverse cast of characters.  I loved the author showing all the various people with different sexualities, genders (and pronouns), family groups, ethnicities, and body types.  But this was not an exercise in checking diversity boxes.  These were well-rounded characters who each had distinct personalities, strengths and weaknesses.

Action:
The story is peppered with chases, epic battles, and escapes, creating a fast-paced story.  I like that these scenes do not always end up with the "good guys" triumphing, or coming out unscathed.  That would be boring as Hell!  Instead I really didn't know if favorite characters would live or die (or be horribly maimed).  
                        
via GIPHY

Story Arcs: 
The two anchors of the story, Erik from San Francisco, and Lil from Corpiliu, both have similar story lines.  Each must deal with anger, guilt, fear and regret in order to reach their power and full potentials.  But each one has different obstacles to overcome.  I found their stories very compelling.

I also enjoyed the dynamic between Hettie and her daughter, Dayida, two strong women who have enormous resentments and regrets.  Eventually, each begrudgingly begins to appreciate the other.  I liked that they did not break down into emotional puddles, but rather came to a mutual respect of each other.


What I Didn't Like:
Confusion:
As with the first book, I found some of the names and organizations so similar as to be confusing.  There is Reina in the San Francisco part of the story, and Riana and in the world of Zebub.  And my poor little mind kept mixing up the intentions of The Agency versus The Organization.   

                  
via GIPHY

Having said that, I can see that there was intention behind all of this.  San Francisco and Zebub are supposed to be mirror images of each other, after all.  And most big bureaucracy's missions blur with corruption, after they reach a certain size.   But, I still firmly wish there was a glossary of terms and names at the end of each book that I could reference.

I would highly recommend reading the first book, The Root, before reading The Tree.  I think if I had re-read The Root immediately before delving into The Tree, things would have been a lot more clear. 


                                                                      

Rating: 





Release Date:  January 23rd, 2018

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Publisher:  Night Shade Books

Page Length:  420 Pages

Source:  Edelweiss

Format:  E-Book

Recommendation:  If you love enjoy fast-paced action, with creative world-building, you will love this book.

 
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Monday, January 22, 2018

Bay Area Book Events #81


Due to the enormous size of this list, I only show events about four weeks in advance.  There is also a master calendar that has all listings.

Bookstores in this list may include:  
A Great Good Place For Books (Oakland) 
Barnes & Noble (various Bay Area Locations)
Books Inc. (various Bay Area Locations)
Book Passage (Corte Madera & San Francisco) 
Borderlands Books (San Francisco) 
Copperfield's Books (Various Locations) 
East Bay Booksellers (Oakland)   
Green Apple Books (San Francisco) 
Hicklebee's Children's Books (San Jose) 
Kepler's Books (Menlo Park)   
Mrs. Dalloway's (Berkeley) 
Orinda Books (Orinda)   
Pegasus Books (Berkeley & Oakland)   
Point Reyes Bookstore (Point Reyes) 
Rakestraw Books (Danville)
The Booksmith (San Francisco)
Town Center Books (Pleasanton)  

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.


Monday, January 22nd, at 7:00pm


Book:  Green
Author:  Sam Graham-Felsen
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415) 927-0960


Tuesday, January 23th, at  4:00pm

Pizza Party


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35520811-hilo-book-4?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Hilo Book 4:  Waking The Monsters
Author:  Judd Winnick
Location:  Copperfield's Books (Petaluma)
Address:  140 Kentucky Street, Petaluma
Tel:  (707)  762-0563


Thursday, January 25th, at 3:30pm



Book:  Dad and the Dinosaur
Author:  Gennifer Choldenko
Location:  Burlingame Public Library (Easton Branch)
Address:  1800 Easton Drive, Burlingame
Tel:  (650) 340-6180


Thursday, January 25th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35481848-sightwitch?ac=1&from_search=true



Book:  Zenith
Author:  Sasha Alsberg & Lindsey Cummings
Book:  Sightwitch
Author:  Susan Dennard
Location:  Books Inc., (Opera Plaza)
Address:  601 Van Ness, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 776-1111


Thursday, January 25th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33799449-brooding-ya-hero?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Brooding YA Hero
Author:  Carrie DiRisio
Location:  Kepler's Books
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Tel: (650) 324-4321


Friday, January 26th, at 7:00pm
YA NovCon Kickoff Panel:


Books & Authors:  I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Gretchen McNeil), The First To Know (Abigail Johnson),  Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity (Kristin Clark) A List of Cages (Robin Roe)Every Last Word (Tamara Ireland Stone)
Location: Books Inc. (Opera Plaza)
Address:  601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 776-1111
 

Saturday, January 27th, at 10am

The 4th Annual LumaCon

Comics Convention


For more information click Here
Location:  Lucchesi Center (Petaluma)
Address:  320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma
Tel:  (707) 763-9801


Saturday, January, 27th, at 1:00pm

YANovCon at Carlmont High School



Authors:  Kati Bartkowski, Kim Culbertson, Carrie DiRisio, Kristin Clark, Zetta Elliot, Tim Floreen, Lamar Giles, Hillary Homzie, Ellen Hopkins, Abigail Johnson, Stephanie Kuehn, Heidi Lang, Gretchen McNeil,  Greg Neri, Robin Roe, Meredith Russo, Dashka Slater, Andrew Smith, Tamara Ireland Stone, Jessica Taylor, Laurie Ann Thompson, Na'amen Gobert Tilahun,  Jeff Zentner

Location:  Carlmont High School, Belmont
Address:  1400 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont
Register Here


Sunday, January 28th, at 2:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31213256-the-tree?from_search=true

Book:  The Tree
Author:  Na'amen Gobert Tilahun
Location:  Borderlands Cafe
Address:  870 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 824-8203


Sunday, January 28th, at 4:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36510885-new-york?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  New York:  Stories
Author:  Terence Clarke
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415)  927-0960


Tuesday, January 30th, at 7:00pm
Publication Party:


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33815781-the-wedding-date?from_search=true

Book:  The Wedding Date
Author:  Jasmine Guillory
Location:  East Bay Books
Address:  5433 College Avenue, Oakland
Tel:  (510)  653-9965


Wednesday, January 31st, at 7:00pm


Book:  The Job Of The Wasp
Author:  Colin Winnette
Location:  East Bay Books
Address:  5433 College Avenue, Oakland
Tel:  (510)  653-9965


Thursday, February 1st, at 11:30am

Read It & Eat It:



Arrive at 11:30 AM for refreshments and mingling, lunch to be served at 12 PM.
Tickets are $15.00 for lunch only, $25.00 for lunch and book. Call the store or purchase tickets through the store's website.
Book:  Ginny Moon
Author:  Benjamin Ludwig
Location:  Towne Center Books
Address:  555 Main Street, Pleasanton
Tel:  (925) 846-8826


Friday, February 2nd, at 6:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35520811-hilo-book-4?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Hilo Book 4:  Waking The Monsters
Author:  Judd Winnick
Location:  Kepler's Books
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Tel: (650) 324-4321



Saturday, February 3rd, at 10:00am


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20454490-how-much-do-you-love-me?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  How Much Do You Love Me?
Author:  Paul Mark Tag
Location:  Barnes & Noble (San Jose)
Address:  3600 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose
Tel:  (408) 984-3495 


Saturday, February 3rd, at 3:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35082019-time-shards?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Time Shards
Authors:  David Fitzgerald & Dana Fredsti
Location:  Borderlands Cafe
Address:  870 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 824-8203


Monday, February 5th, at 7:00pm
Book Passage Presents:


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29906980-lincoln-in-the-bardo?ac=1&from_search=true


This is a ticketed event.  
Tickets are $40 (includes signed book).  Get tickets here

Book:  Lincoln on The Bardo
Author:  George Saunders
Location:  Dominican University (Angelico Hall)
Address:  20 Olive Avenue, San Rafael
Tel:  (415) 927-0960 (Book Passage)


Tuesday, February 6th, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36133904-stones?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Stones
Author:  Jeanie Kortum
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415) 927-0960


Tuesday, February 6th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34953104-hellbent?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Hellbent
Author:  Gregg Hurwitz 
Location:  Barnes & Noble (San Jose)
Address:  3600 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose
Tel:  (408) 984-3495


Tuesday, February 6th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33918883-before-i-let-go?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Before I Let Go
Author:  Marieke Nijkamp
Location:  Books Inc. (Alameda)
Address:  1344 Park Street, Alameda
Tel:  (510) 522-2226 


Tuesday, February 6th, at 7:00pm
In Conversation with Stephanie Garber


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34275232-the-hazel-wood?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Hazel Wood
Author:  Melissa Albert 
Location:  Kepler's Books
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Tel:  (650) 324-4321


Wednesday, February 7th, at 6:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35390279-the-night-child?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Night Child
Author:  Anna Quinn
Location:  Book Passage (Sausalito)
Address:  100 Bay Street, Sausalito
Tel:  (415) 339-1300


Wednesday, February 7th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33918883-before-i-let-go?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23197837-the-belles?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Before I Let Go
Author:  Marieke Nijkamp
Book:  The Belles
Author:  Dhonielle Clayton
Location:  Hicklebee's Children's Books
Address:  1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose
Tel:  (408) 292-8880


Wednesday, February 7th, at 7:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34953104-hellbent?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Hellbent
Author:  Gregg Hurwitz 
Location:  Books Inc. (Palo Alto)
Address:  855 El Camino Real #74, Palo Alto
Tel:  (650) 321-0600


Wednesday, February 7th, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36201367-shu-wei-s-revenge?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Shu Wei's Revenge
Author:  Jackson Fahnestock
Location:  Books Inc. (Opera Plaza)
Address:  601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 776-1111


Thursday, February 8th, at 4:00pm


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28954113-checked?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Checked
Author:  Cynthia Kadohata
Location:  Hicklebee's Children's Books
Address:  1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose
Tel:  (408) 292-8880 


Thursday, February 8th, at 7:00pm
In Conversation with Sabaa Tahir
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23197837-the-belles?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  The Belles
Author:  Dhonielle Clayton
Location:  Kepler's Books
Address:  1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
Tel:  (650) 324-4321


Friday, February 9th, at 7:00pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32333259-a-fiery-friendship?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Ages of Oz: A Fiery Friendship
Author:  Gabriel Gale
Location:  Hicklebee's Children's Books
Address:  1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose
Tel:  (408) 292-8880


Friday, February 9th, at 7:00pm
An Evening in Conversation


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36712357-the-clubhouse-thief?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23184738-tree-line?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  The Clubhouse Thief
Author:  James Janko
Book:  Tree Line
Author:  Judy Halebsky
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415)  927-0960 


Friday, February 9th, at 7:00pm
Release Party:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35069215-the-sea-before-us?from_search=true

Book:  The Sea Before Us
Author:  Sarah Sundin
Location:  Barnes & Noble (Antioch)
Address:  5709 Lone Tree Way, Antioch
Tel:  (925) 978-1031 

Saturday, February 10th, at 2:00pm
Fundraiser for Karam

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26146347-escape-from-aleppo?ac=1&from_search=true

Karam Foundation was founded in 2007 in Chicago — a small, non-profit organization determined to do big things. Karam means generosity in Arabic — our simple vision was to give what
was needed to those who needed it anywhere around the world. Ten years ago, we started with a food drive on the south-side of Chicago. Today, our impact expands across Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, building a better future for thousands of Syrian families.


Book:  Escape From Aleppo
Author:  N.H. Senzai
Location:  Laurel Book Store
Address:  1423 Broadway, Oakland
Tel:  (510) 452-9232


Sunday, February 11th, at 4:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32333259-a-fiery-friendship?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Ages of Oz: A Fiery Friendship
Author:  Gabriel Gale
Location:  Books Inc. (Burlingame)
Address:  1375 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame
Tel: (650) 685-4914


Monday, February 12th, at 11:00am
Poetry Circle:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23213841-why-poetry?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Why Poetry
Author:  Matthew Zapruder
Location:  Orinda Books
Address:  276 Village Square, Orinda
Tel:  (925) 254-7606

Monday, February 12th, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33555224-thunderhead?from_search=true
 
Book:  Thunderhead
Author:  Neal Shusterman
Location:  Copperfield's Books
Address:  140 Kentucky Street, Petaluma
Tel:  (707)   762-0563


Monday, February 12th, at 7:00pm


Book:  How To Stop Time
Author:  Matt Haig
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415)  927-0960 

Tuesday, February 13th, at 11:00am
Literary Luncheon:

Tickets : $12 (Includes lunch with wine).  
Please call the store to make a reservation.

Book:  How To Stop Time
Author:  Matt Haig
Location:  Orinda Books
Address:  276 Village Square, Orinda
Tel:  (925) 254-7606

Tuesday, February 13th, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35574989-song-of-a-captive-bird?from_search=true
Traditional Persian bites and beverages will be served.
Book:  Song of a Captive Bird
Author:  Jasmin Darznik
Location:  Book Passage (Corte Madera)
Address:  51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Tel:  (415)  927-0960

Tuesday, February 13th, at 7:00pm

Book:  How To Stop Time
Author:  Matt Haig
Location:  Rakestraw Books
Address:  3 Railroad Avenue, Danville
Location:  (925) 837-7337

Tuesday, February 13th, at 7:30pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35056886-winter-kept-us-warm?from_search=true

Book: Winter Kept Us Warm
Author:  Anne Raeff
Location:  Green Apple Books on the Park
Address:  1231 9th Avenue, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 742-5833


Tuesday, February 13th, at 7:00pm
In Conversation with S.J. Kincaid

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33652251-the-empress?from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33555224-thunderhead?from_search=true

Book:  Thunderhead
Author:  Neal Shusterman
Book:  The Empress
Author:  S.J. Kincaid
Location:  Books Inc. (Opera Plaza)
Address:  601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Tel:  (415)  776-1111 

Thursday, February 15th, at 7:00pm



Book:  Everything Here Is Beautiful
Author:  Mira T. Lee
Book:  Winter Kept Us Warm
Author:  Anne Raeff
Location:  Books Inc. (Palo Alto)
Address:  855 El Camino Real #74, Palo Alto
Tel:  (650) 321-6069 

Thursday, February 15th, at 7:00pm
Burlingame Public Library Presents:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33919162-close-enough-for-the-angels?ac=1&from_search=true

Book:  Close Enough For The Angels
Author:  Paul Madonna
Location:  Burlingame Public Library
Address:  480 Primrose Road, Burlingame
Tel:  (650) 558-7400 

Thursday, February 15th, at 7:30pm

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35574989-song-of-a-captive-bird?from_search=true

Book:  Song of a Captive Bird
Author:  Jasmin Darznik
Location:  The Booksmith
Address:  1644 Haight Street, San Francisco
Tel:  (415) 863-8688


Saturday, February 17th, at 2:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35520811-hilo-book-4?ac=1&from_search=true
Book:  Hilo Book 4:  Waking The Monsters
Author:  Judd Winnick

Location:  Books Inc. (Palo Alto)
Address:  855 El Camino Real #74, Palo Alto
Tel:  (650) 321-6069

Monday, March 19th, at 7:00pm
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34912895-the-great-alone?ac=1&from_search=true
Tickets ($29.45 includes signed copy of the book).
 Get your tickets here
 I would highly recommend getting your tickets early, as I am certain this will sell out quickly.

Book:  The Great Alone
Author:  Kristin Hannah
Location:  Books Inc. (Opera Plaza)
Address:  601 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Tel:  (415)  776-1111
 
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MsArdychan has read 5 books toward her goal of 120 books.
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