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10 Last-Minute Ebook Gifts For Under $5

December 11, 2014 2 comments

It’s time for the second gift list here at Opinions of a Wolf (see the first, 10 Non-book Gifts for Book Lovers here).  I thought with Hanukkah next week and some holiday parties already happening that it would be interesting to provide a list of cheap ebooks.  Ebooks make great last-minute gifts, as you can purchase them literally on your phone on the way to the party and have them arrive in your recipient’s email with them none the wiser that you waited until the last minute.  Since you can schedule when the gift email arrives, no one needs to know that you scheduled it only 5 minutes ago.  Ebooks are also great because you can find them for very cheap but a reader who loves ebooks doesn’t care how much the ebook cost.  A book is a book is a book!  I’m not just going to tell you a list of cheap ebooks though.  I’m also going to give you a little reader’s advisory–tell you who the book would be best for.  Without further ado, here is the list, in order of cost from least to most.

For the lover of YA who enjoys a touch of fantasy:

A bunette wearing a white dress with blue embroidery gazes at a blue pixie. The book's title and author's name are on the cover in blue and white lettering.
Initiate by Tara Maya
$0
Dindi is about to undergo her people’s initiation test and ceremony that not only welcomes her to adulthood but also will determine whether or not she is a member of the Tavaedi.  The Tavaedi are a mix of religious leader, healer, and warrior who cast magic spells by dancing.  Since Dindi can see the pixies and other fae, she thinks she has a chance.  But no one in her clan has ever successfully become a Tavaedi.  Meanwhile, an exiled warrior, Kavio, is attempting to shed his old life and the haunting of his father’s wars and his mother’s powers.  But he slowly discovers a deadly plot that brings him directly to Dindi’s initiation ceremony.
This is a unique piece of YA fantasy set in a tribal world inspired by Polynesia.  The romance is light and slow-building, and the focus is primarily on growing up and becoming an adult.  See my full review here.

For the urban fantasy reader without a lot of time:

Woman with short hair in a red shirt in profile.
Cursed by S. A. Archer
$0
London works for hire doing investigations mostly for parahumans, and her best friend is a vampire who keeps hoping she’ll consent to being turned.  Her life isn’t run-of-the-mill, but it isn’t too bad either, until one day she gets Touched by a Sidhe and finds herself sucked into the Fey world bubbling just beneath the surface of the regular one.
This fast-paced novella is perfect for the reader without a lot of time who still wants to get some urban fantasy into their day.  See my full review here.

For the lover of the style of classic scifi:
A dime sits on a black background between the title and author name, both of which are on a marble background.
The Coin by Glen Cadigan
99 cents
When Richard’s physicist professor uncle dies tragically in a plane crash and leaves him his coin collection, he is shocked to find a brand-new dime from 2012.  The only thing is, it’s 1989.  A note from his uncle states that the coin is important.  Richard thinks the answer to the mystery might be in his uncle’s personal diaries he also left him, but he’s not a physicist and can’t decipher them.  As the year 2012 approaches, Richard increasingly wonders what the coin is all about.
This novella is a fun new take on the storytelling methods of classic scifi.  The science is strong enough to be interesting but not too challenging, and the result of the mystery is surprising.  See my full review here.

For zombie fans who enjoy a touch of romance:

Brain in a bowl.
Hungry For You by A. M. Harte
$2.50
A collection of zombie-themed short stories and poetry with the twist that they all have to do with romantic relationships in some way, shape, or form.
This short story collection is different and fun simultaneously.  It will appeal to zombie pans, particularly women.  See my full review here.

For the reader of lesbian romance who loves fairy tale retellings:

Girl's hair with flowers and ribbons braided into it.
Braided: A Lesbian Rapunzel by Elora Bishop
$2.99
A lesbian retelling of Rapunzel.  Gray, a witch’s daughter, visits Zelda every day.  The witch switched Gray’s fate into Zelda, so now Zelda is the one entwined with the spirit of the tree that the people worship.  She must live on the platform and every day lower her hair for people to tie ribbons and prayers into.  Gray feels horrible guilt over their switched fates, but she’s also falling in love with Zelda.
this is a fun retelling of Rapunzel, particularly if you’re looking for a non-heteronormative slant or enjoy a more magical feel.  Note that this is part of a series entitled Sappho’s Fables, which consists of lesbian retellings of fairy tales.  The novellas may be mixed and matched.  See my full review here.

For the reader of women’s fiction with an interest in Scotland:

cover_emotional geology
Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard
$2.99
Rose is a textile artist with bipolar disorder who for years found her medication dulled her ability to work.  After a stunning betrayal that landed her in a mental hospital, she has moved to a quiet, extraordinarily rural island in Scotland in an attempt to control her illness with as little medication as possible so she may still create her art.  Her life isn’t quite as quiet as she imagined it would be, though, with a warm neighbor, Shona, who introduces her to her brother, a teacher and poet.
This is an emotional, challenging, touching read for fans of contemporary fiction with a heart.  See my full review here.

For the horror fan:

Eyes behind a beaker.Gargoyles by Alan Nayes
$2.99
Amoreena is determined to be a doctor and help people.  She’s a hard-working, scholarship student on the pre-med track in her third year of college.  Unfortunately, her single mother just got diagnosed with metastatic cancer and lost her health insurance.  With no time for a job and no money for the bills, Amoreena is grateful when she is approached by a surrogacy clinic to be a surrogate for $50,000 with payments upon successful insemination and each trimester.  But after she’s successfully inseminated, Amoreena becomes increasingly concerned that something is not quite right with her baby.
If your horror fan loves Rosemary’s Baby and is particularly freaked out by evil pregnancies, they will love this book. See my full review here.

For the lover of noir and urban fantasy:

Man in a hat standing next to a Europeanish buildingOne Death at a Time by Thomas M. Hewlett
$2.99
Jack Strayhorn is a private eye and a member of Alcoholic’s Anonymous.  Only, he’s not an alcoholic, he’s one of the vampires who meet in a secret vampire group that exists under the umbrella of AA to learn how to control their urges and feed on humans without killing them.  He’s just returned to LA, his death site that he hasn’t been back to since he had to run in 1948 after becoming a vampire.  When his current missing person case shows up dead next to a Fae politician, Jack gets dragged into a mixed-up underworld of Faes, werewolves, drugs, and a group of vampires determined to rule the world.
This is a delightful mix of urban fantasy and noir and is a strong first entry for a new series.  See my full review here.

For the reader of thrillers and fans of Gone Girl:

Title against a foggy image of a man walking in the woodsI’ll Sleep When You’re Dead by E. A. Aymar
$3.03
Tom Starks has not been the same since his wife, Renee, was brutally murdered with a baseball bat in a parking lot.  He’s been struggling for the last three years to raise her daughter, who he adopted when he married Renee.  When Renee’s killer is released after a retrial finds insufficient evidence to hold him, Tom becomes obsessed with dealing out justice himself.
This is a unique thriller, with its choice to cast the opposite of a bad-ass in the role of the main character.  This grounds the typical revenge plot into reality, lends itself to more interesting, unique plot twists, and has the interesting aspect of a flawed, nearly anti-hero main character that the reader still roots for.  See my full review here.

For readers of multi-generational family dramas and GLBTQ lit:

Road during a rainstorm.The Value Of Rain by Brandon Shire
$4.99
Charles hasn’t been home since his mother and uncle sent him away to an insane asylum at the age of fourteen after he was found in the embrace of his first love–Robert.  Now, ten years later, his mother, Charlotte, is dying, and he comes back to take his revenge.
This is one of those genre-defying books.  Shire explores the devastating effects of prejudice, hate, secrets, and lies throughout family generations, and that is something that is simultaneously universal and tragic.  See my full review here.

I hope this list helps you find a read for yourself or a gift for another.  Feel free to ask questions about any of these books or ask for recommendations for books for particular recipients in the comments!

10 Non-book Gifts for Book Lovers

November 13, 2014 8 comments

With the holiday season almost upon us, I thought it might be fun to put together some helpful gift idea lists for you all.  First up is 10 Non-book Gifts for Book Lovers.

Maybe you have a reader in your life, but you’ve already picked out a couple of books for them and now are stumped.  Or maybe you just want a stocking stuffer, and your reader loves chunksters that don’t exactly fit in a stocking.  Or maybe your reader loves ebooks, and you want something physical to wrap along with a note about the impending ebooks they’re about to get.  If any of these are you, read on for some gift ideas, in no particular order!

six reading themed magnetsBook Lover Magnets
($5.67 plus shipping)
The perfect decoration for an office, dorm, or kitchen.  And maybe the recipient will even hang up the holiday card from you with one.  This shop also offers a cute bookworm magnet set, for the kawaii readers among your loved ones.

book page iphone casePassage From a Book Phone Case
($19 to $27, depending on type of phone, plus shipping)
The case in the picture features a passage from Frankenstein with the quote “Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful” highlighted.  Empowering and literary!  If Frankenstein isn’t your recipient’s style, there are many other classics to pick from, including Jane Eyre, Little Women, Dracula, and many more.

book locket made out of little womenMini Book Locket
($20.19 plus shipping)
Maybe your book lover also loves jewelery.  This mini replica of a book that doubles as a locket necklace is an adorable piece that will surely brighten up their day.  Other books are also available, including Les Miserables, Harry Potter, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

book quote pillow coversBook Quote Throw Pillow Cover
($16.99 plus shipping)
Give your book lover a book quote themed cover for their favorite snuggly throw pillow.  They’ll think of you every time they curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.  This cover’s quote is from Louisa May Alcott, “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” Other literary quotes are available too, however.

Handcrafted statue of JavertHandcrafted Literary Figurine
($48 plus shipping)
If you know a few of your book lover’s favorite books, you could get a handmade figurine of one of the characters.  This is Inspector Javert from Les Miserables.  Isn’t the detailing on him amazing?  This shop has many literary characters available, all in exquisite detail, and at a very reasonable price considering all that work!

Image of a clutchAuthor Names Clutch
($26.99 plus shipping)
For the more femme book lovers on your list, this clutch could be ideal.  It features over 200 author’s names in a beautiful font.  The shop also has clutches for all four Harry Potter houses, as well as clutches themed around individual works of literature.

image of a soy candleBook Themed Candle
($15 plus shipping)
A slightly tongue-in-cheek gift that is sure to make a candle-loving reader smile.  This candle is made of eco-friendly soy and is designed to smell like a bookstore, mixing the scents of timber, driftwood, hazelnut cappuccino, and leather.  Other bookish scents can be found, such as “old book smell” or scents based on literature, such as what the butterbeer from Harry Potter or Sherlock’s study might smell like.

fingerless glovesBook Excerpt Fingerless Gloves
($26.00 plus shipping)
If your reader is from a cold climate and works on computers a lot, some literary-themed fingerless gloves might be just the ticket.  They feature excerpts from well-loved classics, such as Sherlock Holmes, Picture of Dorian Gray, or Wuthering Heights.

image of a blue tshirtEntire Text of a Book Artistic Tshirt
($34.00 plus shipping)
If you know one of your recipient’s favorite books, you could get one of these awesome tshirts featuring the entire text of a book worked into an image that represents the book.  The one in the image above is The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe but many many more are available, and there are many color options as well.

go awayReading Themed Mug
($13 plus shipping)
No reader likes to be bothered when they’re reading.  Many readers sip a hot drink while they’re reading.  This mug both tells folks to leave them alone and gives them a mug to sip from.  It’s the ideal reading accessory.

 

Friday Fun! (November: Maine Holiday and Thanksgiving)

December 4, 2013 Leave a comment
Oceanside coast of the island in Maine we stayed on.

Oceanside coast of the island in Maine we stayed on.

Hello my lovely readers!

Sorry for the delay in November’s post.  I was away for the last week of November on vacation, and I knew it would be the best part of the month to talk about, so I didn’t want to preschedule a post. 🙂

My partner and I both had the last week of November off.  He usually gets the entire week off for the holiday, and I took an extra three days off on top of the normal Thanksgiving days (day of and day after Thanksgiving).  We split our vacation between a trip to Portland, Maine and a trip to vacation to see my dad and brother and his wife and kids.

For those of you who are not from the US and don’t know, November in Maine is *cold*.  It’s officially the off-season.  This meant we got to go on the cheap but it also meant it was cold  We’re both from northern climates though (Vermont and Michigan), so we dealt well.  Portland, Maine is a happening, hip small city.  It holds 1/3 of the entire population of Maine.  We stayed on an island off the coast of Portland, which meant we had to take the ferry in and out of the city each day.  Originally our intention was to rent bicycles and bike around the island one day, but it was too cold one of the days and there was snow the other (and the bike rental place didn’t have snow-friendly bikes), so we went into Portland both days.  The cabin we stayed in had a hot tub, fire place, and one of those showers that takes up the entire bathroom.  So we got to hot tub in the snow, which was an entirely new experience to me, and I clearly loved!

While in Portland, we went to the International Cryptozoology Museum, which is a delightful museum run by the world expert on Bigfoot.  I’m more of a sea monster girl myself, but we still got our picture with Bigfoot.  We also hit up the Shipyard Brewing Company and got lots of free samples and got to see the bottling and brewing process.  I was surprised to learn that Shipyard was started by an immigrant to the US from the UK.  We also went to an official Cabot store.  Cabot is an American cooperative of New York and New England dairy farms.  They have amazing dairy products.

Vegan satay from Green Elephant

Vegan satay from Green Elephant

For food, we visited the original Otto Pizza.  The pizza at the original branch is approximately 100% more delicious than the pizza at the new branches down here in Boston.  They also had Magic Hat on tap, which floored me! We also did something special for each of our dietary preferences (I’m veg and my partner is omni).  We went to Duck Fat for my partner to get poutine made in duck fat.   I couldn’t eat anything at the restaurant because literally everything was friend in duck fat, but I did have a delicious locally brewed beer.  For me, we went to the Green Elephant, a vegetarian Thai restaurant that was positively reviewed in VegNews magazine.  Their bathrooms were literal saunas, and I for once got to have satay for an app! (Made from seitan). But our favorite place in Portland was an Irish pub named Ri Ra on the waterfront.  Their menu catered perfectly to both of our dietary needs, with a house-made white bean veggie burger for me and a perfectly cooked medium burger for my partner.  We liked them so much we went twice.  (The second night I had mac and cheese made with Irish cheddar and my bf had Maine steamers).  Incredibly reasonably priced with fireplaces and a wonderful staff, I wish it was closer to us!

After Maine, we drove up to New Hampshire to visit my family for Thanksgiving.  The day of Thanksgiving was just my dad, his dog, and my partner and I, since my brother and sister-in-law were hosting her parents for the holiday.  My bf made the turkey (under the direction of my dad), my dad made veggie stuffing and gravy, and I made 3 bean chili (for my main course and their sides).  We had untraditional alcoholic smoothies for dessert.  It was delicious!  The next day, we visited my brother and his family and gave my nephews and niece their Christmas presents.  They range in age from 2 to 6, so that was obviously a delight.

The vacation was amazing and just what we needed!  And when we got back, we immediately got our tree and set it up, because in only three weeks we’re off on a cross-country trek to visit my partner’s family for the holidays.

Happy holidays all!

 

Friday Fun! (Happy Thanksgiving!)

November 23, 2011 12 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  For once I’m actually writing this a couple of days ahead of time, because it is American Thanksgiving this weekend, and I’m going to be one busy lady.  My dad is coming down from Vermont to spend a few days with me in my lovely city of Boston.  I’m looking forward to the quality time.  It’s something that’s hard to come by when you live in a different state from your parent.  I’m also excited for him to see me looking far healthier than the last time he was here, which was almost a year ago!

There will probably not be anything particularly traditional about our Thanksgiving, since I’m a vegetarian, and there’s only two of us.  We may go out. We may order in. We may make tacos.  Who knows.  We will, however, definitely be drinking beer and watching the game.  We are traditional Americans in THAT regard. 😉

Once he heads back for home I’ll be doing the laundry, getting in some quality gym time, and finally getting started on editing zombies.  I’m aiming for a release date toward the end of January and am excited about this book.  Whereas the Tova Gallagher series is a just for fun romance novella lite, zombies is all about the feminist scifi and horror writer inside me.  It’s a different kind of excitement.  A more serious one.

I do want to take a moment to ask you all to seriously consider avoiding the crass consumerism that is Black Friday sales this weekend if at all possible.  I understand money is tight, trust me, I do, but all you have to do is youtube some videos of the types of mobs that happen to see how disgusting this obsession with stuff can be.  Spend your long weekend with loved ones, whether related by blood or by choice.  Get outside.  Go for a hike. Read a book. Go to the library!  Just don’t spend your precious hours off obsessed with stuff.  As Tyler Durden says, you don’t own your stuff.  Your stuff owns you.

Happy weekend all!

Friday Fun! (Holiday Book Swap Time!)

November 18, 2011 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  Can you believe next week is Thanksgiving already?  Time flies!  I had a cold this week, so I only was healthy enough to make it to the gym once.  Sadness!  But I did track my calories to make sure this wouldn’t cause a slump, and I’m seeing my trainer tomorrow.

Santas holding boxes.I’m not a huge holiday person, but one of the things that I do enjoy is the various secret santa/book swap events that happen in the month of December for book bloggers.  I had a lovely time participating last year, so I was stoked to see the information go up.  In fact, I’m participating in two different ones this year.

First up is the one I did last year Book Blogger Holiday Swap.  Alas, the deadline for that one was November 11th, so it’s too late for any of you to sign up. But!  I already got my information for my swap partner.  I can’t wait to raid the used book cellar in Harvard and challenge myself to find awesome presents for her.

Santa peeking from behind tree.Next is a swap that Amy let me know about–A Broke and Bookish Secret Santa.  Apparently she participated last year and had a blast.  I visited Broke and Bookish’s blog and enjoyed it, so I signed up!  The deadline to sign up for this one is TODAY, so get on that ya’ll!

You guys don’t even know how excited I am to get not one but TWO packages of books in the mail this year!  There’s just something extra-nice about unwrapping books from a stranger who just so happens to be a fellow book lover.

Happy weekends all!

Hey Ya’ll!!

April 27, 2011 1 comment

I just wanted to write up a quick post to tell you that

I AM GOING TO BE ON VACATION FOR A WEEK!!!!!

Until Wednesday to be exact.  Granted, it’s a staycation, but it’s my first holiday from work since when I graduated from undergrad.  I know, I know.  Anyway, if I feel so inclined I might post before then, but don’t count on it. I am, after all, planning on being out and about taking my lovely city of Boston by storm.  Also possibly sleeping periodically.  Maybe.

Eh, who am I kidding, I rarely sleep!!  But there will definitely be sake involved.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2010 2 comments

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!!  I hope you all have had blessed falls and are enjoying glorious foods today.  As for myself, I’ll be spending the day reading and trying out new recipes, as I have to work tomorrow and so couldn’t travel anywhere.  But I am truly grateful for all that I have.  Including the wonderful sense of community on this blog.