Reveal: November Muse Monthly

img_0702

It’s that time of the month where I have received my much anticipated Muse Monthly book subscription. Once again, it did not disappoint. The book looks really interesting and the tea looks delicious.

I love the packaging. It’s like opening a Christmas present! Here is what I received!

img_0708

Mortifications By Derek Palacio

Derek Palacio’s stunning, mythic novel marks the arrival of a fresh voice and a new chapter in the history of 21st century Cuban-American literature.

In 1980, a rural Cuban family is torn apart during the Mariel Boatlift. Uxbal Encarnación—father, husband, political insurgent—refuses to leave behind the revolutionary ideals and lush tomato farms of his sun-soaked homeland. His wife Soledad takes young Isabel and Ulises hostage and flees with them to America, leaving behind Uxbal for the promise of a better life. But instead of settling with fellow Cuban immigrants in Miami’s familiar heat, Soledad pushes further north into the stark, wintry landscape of Hartford, Connecticut. There, in the long shadow of their estranged patriarch, now just a distant memory, the exiled mother and her children begin a process of growth and transformation.

Each struggles and flourishes in their own way: Isabel, spiritually hungry and desperate for higher purpose, finds herself tethered to death and the dying in uncanny ways. Ulises is bookish and awkwardly tall, like his father, whose memory haunts and shapes the boy’s thoughts and desires. Presiding over them both is Soledad. Once consumed by her love for her husband, she begins a tempestuous new relationship with a Dutch tobacco farmer. But just as the Encarnacións begin to cultivate their strange new way of life, Cuba calls them back. Uxbal is alive, and waiting.

Breathtaking, soulful, and profound, The Mortifications is an intoxicating family saga and a timely, urgent expression of longing for one’s true homeland.

Wight Tea Company: Sage Rose White Tea

I love white teas and I cannot wait to start brewing it. Yum! Yum!
img_0704img_0705

It was another fun and great month of Muse Monthly!

kendal-12

Review: The Gentleman

The Gentleman
Written by Forrest Leo
Published by Penguin Press on August 16, 2016
287 pages
Received from Muse Monthly Subscription

27876766Synopsis:

When Lionel Savage, a popular poet in Victorian London, learns from his butler that they’re broke, he marries the beautiful Vivien Lancaster for her money, only to find that his muse has abandoned him.

Distraught and contemplating suicide, Savage accidentally conjures the Devil — the polite “Gentleman” of the title — who appears at one of the society parties Savage abhors. The two hit it off: the Devil talks about his home, where he employs Dante as a gardener; Savage lends him a volume of Tennyson. But when the party’s over and Vivien has disappeared, the poet concludes in horror that he must have inadvertently sold his wife to the dark lord.

Newly in love with Vivien,  Savage plans a rescue mission to Hell that includes Simmons, the butler; Tompkins, the bookseller; Ashley Lancaster, swashbuckling Buddhist; Will Kensington, inventor of a flying machine; and Savage’s spirited kid sister, Lizzie, freshly booted from boarding school for a “dalliance.” Throughout, his cousin’s quibbling footnotes to the text push the story into comedy nirvana.

Lionel and his friends encounter trapdoors, duels, anarchist-fearing bobbies, the social pressure of not knowing enough about art history, and the poisonous wit of his poetical archenemy. Fresh, action-packed and very, very funny, The Gentleman is a giddy farce that recalls the masterful confections of P.G. Wodehouse and Hergé’s beautifully detailed Tintin adventures.

The Gentleman is a fun, quirky book that I’m not likely to forget anytime soon. The characters are full of life and wit. I was chuckling all the way through it. I really enjoyed the structure of the book; especially the use of the footnote. Mr. Leo’s use of Lionel’s “cousin” brought out some very funny anecdotes. While reading this book, you can’t take anything too seriously.

First, Lionel is a real piece of work. He thinks he is a poet and he definitely  acts like one. He is so melodramatic and self-absorbed. You just roll your eyes over any of his behavior. His melodrama brings so much humor to the story. He tries to find poetic inspiration in everything he sees which at certain points is truly eye-rolling. His little journey to find his wife reminds me of a madcap treasure hunt with so many kooky twists and turns.

Probably my favorite part of this book is cousin Hubert Lancaster. I loved the use of his footnotes. It made for a fun and unique read. In most books, you would just glance over the footnote. However, Mr. Leo uses the footnote as a literary device to challenge the narrator’s story. If you just glance over these footnotes, you will be missing a quite of few witty quips.

I will also commend Mr. Leo on writing some strong female characters. Lizzie and , even Vivien, are fun, strong, and will not stand in the shadow of a man. They are independent and intelligent. There is nothing “vapid” about these women. You will see their struggle trying to be relevant in a very man’s world. I really loved how the men were completely whipped by these amazing ladies.

If you’re in the mood for a fun, witty, madcap journey, then this book is for you. It is quite the page-turner and it’s something you will not forget.

4bookrating

Reveal: Muse Monthly

muse_monthly_vector_logo2

I’m so excited to be getting my first box of Muse Monthly! Muse Monthly is a monthly subscription service where I receive a wonderful new book, some amazing tea and lots of other bookish goodies. I’ve received several book subscriptions, but Muse Monthly is my favorite by far!

Here is what I got in my October box. Beware it is pretty damn amazing!

img_0610

First, here is the box! I love their logo; so clean and simple!

I can’t decide! Should I show everything first or piece by piece? Such a hard question! I think I will keep everyone in suspense and show bit by bit; as I rub my evil hands together. When I opened my box, this is what I saw:

 

I wonder what’s inside!!

img_0612

img_0611

OOHHH! Looks like a Shakespeare themed box! Let’s look further…

img_0613

img_0614

When I finally dug further and found the book, I was totally blown away! And here’s why!

img_0615

It’s Margaret Atwood’s new release: Hag-Seed! Plus a signature card to put inside the book. How Muse Monthly was able to get this amazing book and the goodies inside is beyond me; but I love it!!

Here’s the complete box:

  • Soy Candle: Tempest (very fitting)
  • Teapigs: Morning Glory
  • Shakespeare Card
  • Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
  • Ms. Atwood’s Signature card
  • Bookmarks

img_0616

What do you think of this amazing box?!

kendal-12