Rapid Fire Reviews: Catching Up!

I’m not even sure when I finished some of these reads and I have quite a little back log to chat about soooo settle in and lets catch up, shall we?

Note: These reviews are 100% my own opinion and may contain spoilers.

The Chaos of Longing by K Y Robinson
Galley provided by Andrews McMeel Publishing for review via NetGalley

This is a short book of poetry centered around the may emotions experienced in a relationship and holy crap was it good! First of all, I absolutely love that there was a dedicated trigger warning included. My favorites in this collection were 14, You’ll Get Used to Me, Certain Men, and Naked Thoughts.
Naked Thoughts was 100% in. my. head. So raw and emotional and relatable. I absolutely loved this.

Ink & Water or How I Kicked Anorexia’s Ass  by Lacy J Davis, Jim Kettner
Galley provided for review via NetGalley

Definitely an interesting presentation of struggling with anorexia and over exercising. I loved the little details like having actual heart eyes when she was falling for someone. Other than that, I don’t have many thoughts left on this one. Not bad by any means. Not as memorable as other reads of late.

Kiss My Tiara

This was 100% dated but also kind of hilarious. It’s a self-help style book about finding your inner kick ass goddess and I loved that concept but it did have a lot of negative commentary I didn’t think belonged in something claiming to be “self help.” It definitely made me laugh out loud and at points it does have an empowering effect on how to just own being a woman.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

I finally read a Nicholas Sparks book! I had made a goal in August to read at least one of his books. He is my Mom’s absolute favorite author and she has constantly told me that I would like his books. Now I tried to read Two By Two, his most recent release, and it was incredibly boring. Also, the way it was laid out was annoying me. Some chapters would be in italics and others wouldn’t and I wasn’t sure what the point was and just found it to be super distracting.
Now! The Notebook I greatly enjoyed. One, it’s actually a fairly short read. Two, I loved that the edition we have had this whole Nicholas Sparks on Nicholas Sparks piece that gave some insight into his writing career in general and actual told more of the why behind The Notebook.
I have seen the movie (in addition to owning all of his books we also own all of the movie adaptations. We like collecting in this family.) and to be honest, though I love the cast, I never really loved the movie. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a nice enough sappy love story but I just never understood why it became evvvvvveryones go to. Personally, if we’re talking Nicholas Sparks movies, A Walk to Remember will take the cake every time for me, but I digress.
I liked the presentation of the story so much more in the book. Rather than starting with the someone is “sick” aspect, you get to just start in the story itself. I found it to be romantic on a higher level and even though I essentially knew what happened, I was still really enjoying every page. Oh! The end is also ambiguous rather than the finality of the movie ending.

I Love You, MIchael Collins by Lauren Barat-Logsted

Iiiiiii love this book! It is so adorable and the main character, a lovely little 10-year-old girl who just wants to talk to the least popular astronaut, is the best narrator you could have.
The book is written in letters from her to Michael Collins in the 60s when the US is about to launch people to the moon. If you’re unsure who Michael Collins is, he was the other guy with Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on that famous trip in which steps on the moon happened.
the story being told is one of a struggling but loving family and how the idea of space and the universe kind of took over everything at that time. I loved the way it was written and it felt like a child was telling the story. An incredibly smart child who is beyond her years, but a child just the same. I was sooooo distraught when her parents fought and kind of abandoned her momentarily. I was yelling at my book, “Who does that to a 10-year-old?” and I loved that she even states “But I’m 10! ” I just loved this book.
It’s a relatively new release and if you like middle grade reads, definitely go pick it up.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Five stars. All the stars. Read this. Right now.
If you find yourself sympathizing with immigrants who are being held up at airports or forced out of our country–read this. If you have even found yourself wondering how it must feel to come to our country and have to acclimate–read this. If you want to be heartbroken and inspired and lost in an excellent example of really good writing–read this. READ THIS>

The Truly Terrible Sweater My Grandmother Made For Me
The Yippy Yappy Yorkie in a Green Sweater
by Debbie Macomber

So! Since Mr. Sparks does not have a new release out currently, My Mom has been steadily working her way through Debbie Macomber’s catalog. She is currently in the midst of the Blossom Street series and guess what!? There were cure little picture books in there that take place in that little world. So I had to read them because I kind of love picture books. Plus, the illustrations on the Yorkie book were so freaking cute.
So. The sweater one, was for lack of a better word, dumb. It’s about a kid who gets a sweater from his grandmother he hates and all the ways he tries to get out of wearing it and then she says its special and poof he loves it. Eh. The illustrations weren’t great and the story was so overplayed.
The Yorkie book however! Adorable. The little puppy wears a sweater his owner made him (because knitting is an integral part of the Blossom Street series) and he loves to explore and he gets lost and they have to find him and he makes another cute little yorkie friend. It was just so cute and exactly the kind of story you love reading with kiddos. Plus the little puppies in sweaters were just cute overload.

13 Little Blue Envelopes
The Last Little Blue Envelope
by Maureen Johnson

I feel like I’ve read Maureen Johnson before but I can’t figure out where. I picked up these books because it was suggested to me through oh, four different platforms as something I’d like. The first book was great! It was an adventure and the letters were interesting. The whole book is about these letters that show up from a now deceased relative and heavily suggest taking a real adventure that involves traveling through Europe in order to get the next letter.
Think Adventure Race with blue letters.
I though this was a good read. It was fun and only slightly predictable. The romance wasn’t awful. I loved the twist with the Roommate in London.
The follow-up companion read was not at all as enjoyable. I read it to get to the end but it was lackluster in comparison to the first.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

I devoured Roald Dahl books when I was a kid. They were my absolute favorite. I’ve read Matilda several times. I loved the Witches and the Twits. I just remember falling in love with the quirky characters and slightly darker aspect in each book. I went into my library looking for The Witches and ended up leaving with a stack of Dahl, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Somehow, though I know the story, I had never actually read this book. It did not disappoint. It made me laugh, it made me wince. I loved the Oompa’s songs. It was a great as expected. I actually liked the ending much more than either film version.
I have to say, I attempted to read the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, but it had a different tone to it and I really was not enjoying it so I chose to end my adventures with Charlie with the first book.

 

There!! That is my insane catch up on reviews! If you have made it this far, thank you! Also, I have a question for you! I just watched The Zookeeper’s Wife and found it fascinating. Is the book worth a read as well? Meaning, will it tell me more?

 

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Good Reads Goal Met!?

Whaaaattttt?! That’s right people! I have read 52 books this year and it’s only September.

That feels lovely. I feel like I’ve read some pretty great books thus far as well.

Since I have met my goal for 2017 as far as how many books I was looking to complete, I am starting on a whole new goal.

I still haven’t completed the reading challenges I had set up for myself to aid in reading 52 books and I’m not sure that I will, however, I am looking to diversify my reading more so there is that.

Ultimately though, I have been itching to rearrange my room but that is impossible with the number of books I have covering various surfaces. So! new goal is to focus my reading on the books stacked up allllll over this room of mine.

I have already purged any books I was no longer interested in and reorganized all these piles accordingly. I figure I can share a TBR as I hit each surface because HOLY CRAP there are a lot of books surrounding me.

This isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually quite nice but! I am constantly staring at the books wishing I could just read them all now so boom! I am. First surface stack we shall attack is the one on top of my totes of books. Oh yes, that’s right. I have so many books that I haven’t read kicking around my room that I had to fill totes with them and stack those because my bookshelves are over stuffed. SO! The books we are starting this adventure with are as follows:

  • I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz- Logsted currently reading
  • A String of Pearls
  • The trial by Franz Kafka
  • H is for Hawk by Hele Macdonald
  • Magonia re-read
  • Aerie sequel to Magonia
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes
  • The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
  • A Hero’s Throne by Ross Lawhead
  • The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead
  • American Street
  • Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling pseudo re-read since I’ve read HP as a whole but not this version
  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  • Seduction of a Proper Gentleman by Victoria Alexander
  • Prince Caspian by CS Lewis
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis
  • The silver Chair by CS Lewis
  • The Last Battle by CS Lewis
  • Healing Back Pain
  • Creating Health by Deepak Chopra
  • A Reliable Wife
  • Household Tips and Handy Hints
  • Stranger on the Train

Yup. Those are all the books stacked in just one little part of my room. Oh! Add to this the three graphic novels I have kicking around on my computer from NetGalley and the Once Upon a Book Club box I have had for frikkin months just sitting on my floor. Not a clue how long it will take me to get through these but! I do have a readathon to help me get started.

The #ISATRAT readathon starts up tomorrow for the week. The goals are super attainable. My favorite are to read 20 minutes every day and 10 pages a day. I should get through at least one book this way and that is a lovely thing.

BTW I have a big ole list of reviews to get posted too and I’m thinking I’ll try to do one a week going forward at least to catch up.

See you then!

Bout of Books 20!

Bout of Books begins today! Here is where I shall update on my progress! 🙂 Yay readathon!

Day 1:

Challenge: Introduce yourself in six words

Stressed, Blessed, and list making obsessed.

Yeah, that’ll work. I have to return Nerve to my library today, so I will not be reading that this week. I am starting the readathon with a re-read of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Day 2:
I chose not to read The Scarlet Letter again. I read all of the introduction things and found myself just not in the mood.

I also DNF Outline because it was just so many words without going anywhere.

I did listen to about 7 short stories courtesy of Masters of Fiction on Audible. Sinbad by Kurt Vonnegut was my favorite.

Day 3:
Picked up Nicholas Sparks (Finally!). I started Two by Two and understand why Mom loves him so much. His writing is easy to read and still entertaining and intriguing.

Day 4:
I went into my library and ended up distracted by a gorgeous book, The Bedlam Stacks, and started that right away.

Day 5:
OHMyGoodness! What a hella busy week it/s been. Finally Friday! I went to my happy place (the library) after work and got a stack of books I’m excited to dive into. I read a little of Two By Two and a little of The Bedlam Stacks so far.

I’ve been listening to The Butterfly Effect by Jon Ronson and it is crazy fascinating.

Now that it’s the weekend, albeit a busy one ( wedding and a birthday to celebrate), I should be able to get some more reading in. I just made myself a giant TBR for the month of September and I feel gooood about it. Plus, I am seriously enjoying audiobooks while rolling to my stores lately.

Day 6 & 7:

I completed The Butterfly Effect which was fantastic. It’s about the Porn industry but in a more behind the scenes how this little thing effected that little thing and so on.

I also listened to a whole mess of Podcasts but I honestly did not read much except to choose not to read a couple books.

So…TBR was reduced by my DNF books more than anything else. Ahhh well.

 

Rapid Fire Review: The Alice Network

Let’s get this out-of-the-way right now because I have some things to say.

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

I have never returned anything late to my library. If I can’t renew it, I’ll just bring it back and get back in line to borrow it again. I was halfway through this book on the day it was due back. I wanted to know what the answers to the never-ending questions were. I was interested. And, I had been 50th in line to get the damn thing so I figured I could swing a 25 cent late fee to finish it up.

I should have just brought it back and grabbed another book. However, then! You would not have the pleasure of reading my review which I will say right now, is not a positive one. So, if you don’t want to hear why I did not enjoy this book then scoot. If you doooo want to hear it–here we go.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
This novel is told in two alternating perspectives. The first, is Charlie in 1947 and the second is Eve in 1915. The book takes place in France. And if you haven’t figured it out from the dates given, Eve’s narration is during WWI and Charlie;s from just after WWII.

Now the synopsis for this book was amazing. Female spies during the World Wars, Really!?! I mean, from a historical standpoint, that has the potential to be the most interesting story. You don’t hear about the women who spied on the Germans anywhere near as the Turncoats or the men who fought the Germans. To say I was pumped to read this book is an understatement. And then, I actually read it.

Charlie St. Cloud is 20 years old. She is from an affluent family. And she has found herself unwed and pregnant in 1947. Charlie is fucking annoying and I quickly disliked her. Oh and I have reasons!

First of all, she is incredibly naïve(true to someone of her age) but, believes she knows more than anyone else. The author gave her a talent with numbers but I’m honestly not sure why as all she ever did with it was argue checks at restaurants. She abandons her mother without so much as a note to go on a search for her missing cousin Rose. Now, her mother and father are sending her away to a center to have her “Little Problem” taken care of.

Let’s just pause right there. For the majority of Charlie’s story, she refers to her pregnancy as her “Little Problem.” REALLY!? I mean, sure she can be scared and not sure about it but why, if your parents are such an issue for you would you adopt the name they are using for the situation. Especially since you randomly decide to keep this baby and then still go on calling her Little Problem. Not sure any child wants to brought into the world being known as the “problem.: UGH!

Charlie herself is sooooo self loathing that anytime she is given a moment to describe herself she tears herself down. Not one time does she refer to herself in a positive manner except to say that she is good with numbers and quick-witted. Not to mention the umber of times she refers to HERSELF as a whore. OMG. That drove me insane.

She did sleep with a lot of boys at her school. She is unwed and pregnant. She does not know who the father is. Does that mean you should continue calling yourself a whore over and over and over. And I do mean, over and over because it is in her narrative CONSTANTLY.

Now, I did like that the women in this novel were sexual however, I could have done with something that made sense. I mean, a woman can be sexual without her grieving (Charlie) or trying to gain information (Eve). A woman does not have to throw herself on every attractive male because she’s previously had sex (Charlie) and is therefore no longer worthy of more. Yeah.

While I’m on that topic. Finn is a Scottish solider who is essentially Eve’s assistant. During Charlie’s search for her cousin Rose, she stalks locates Eve and they end up on this convoluted search together with Finn as Eve is not able to drive or do much more than bitch due to her injuries and age (ohhhh we’ll get to her in a minute). Finn is a brooding character and for one whole chapter he thwarts Charlie’s suuuuuuuper forward advances. I mean, she literally has a sip of liquor and then jumps on him saying he can have her since she’s already stuck with her problem. Yeah, cause that’s attractive. Not to mention, he is quite a bit older than Charlie. I’m no stickler for age differences but it’s just weird to have a romance between these two IMO.

Which leads to the thing I was most annoyed with and the moment I actually considered just giving up on the book as a whole.

Without having the label for it, Finn suffers from PTSD, much like Charlie’s brother did when he committed suicide (oh yeah! there’s a little bit of everything thrown into this just shy of 500 pages mess). Finn’s PTSD causes him to go into blind rages. In particular, in the scene where Charlie finally finds out what happened to her cousin Rose (Spoiler alert: Nazis killed her and bonus! the same guy Eve hates is involved! How convenient.) Finn is brought back to his own time as a solider and is taken by emotion and then, has one of these rages. During this, he is beating on a particularly racist dick that was sitting at another table (possibly working at the café they were at. I’m not even sure at this point) and Charlie is trying to stop him. And! He punches her in the face.

Let’ me say that again, Finn PUNCHES Charlie in the face. Then he runs away all ashamed of his behavior and obviously to calm down. What does she do? She goes after him, strokes his face, and then jumps on him.She jumps on him. Because if a man punches me in the face my reaction is to have sex with him. In a car no less.

I already did not like Charlie, at this point, I just gave up on all hope of her story arc going anywhere I cared about. Not to mention, this is a little over halfway through the book and we’ve solved the mystery we set out to. THERE WERE STILL 100 PAGES LEFT.

Let’s move on to Eve, shall we?

Eve is an English woman. She is multi-lingual. Super smart. And has a stutter. She had trouble finding work and wants to find a way to fight in this crazy war in 1915. So boom! She gets recruited as a spy and popped into a café where she works for Rene this really smarmy profiteer.

All of the narrative that is from Eve’s perspective save the very end of the book is in 1915 and it is used as a response to whatever behavior she has displayed in the Charlie narrated 1947 chapters. Confused, yet?

So Eve is a spitfire and her chapters were far more interesting than Charlie’s because come on, she was a spy! Infinitely more interesting than anything going on in the Charlie chapters. In fact, had this novel been just the Eve tale, I think it would have been a better novel all around. Not sure it would have garnered much more rating wise from me but I may have enjoyed it more.

Don’t get me wrong though, I have issues with her too. Really, I have issues with the depiction of women in this entire story.

In this case, Eve as a spy is placed as a server in the café that Rene owns. He forces his authority and connection to the Germans on her and they end up in a sexual relationship. In the course of the relationship, she gains intel and shares it through the network. In the end, when he figures out she must be a spy (there is an arrest that happens that leads to this assumption) he attempts to gain information he can trade for his life (because you know, Nazi’s aren’t known for being understanding) by torturing Eve and breaking all of her fingers. Which is why the old battle-axe in the 1947 narratives has “claw like hands.”
I said I don’t like the depiction of women in this story, correct? There are three women talked about the most in this novel. Eve-our spy and battle axe; Charlie-our naïve 20 something; and Rose Charlie’s lost cousin.

All three of these women end up pregnant at some point in their tale.
Eve as a result of the sexual relationship she is in with Rene has an at home abortion.
Charlie as a result of her response to grieving her brother’s suicide is going to have a clinical abortion but ends up keeping her baby.
Rose as a result of a loving relationship also keeps her baby.

I understand why it may be important to just talk about the struggles a women who found herself pregnant in the 40’s had. However, was it necessary for everyone to have that struggle. Additionally, did Rose and Charlie’s lives have to parallel to the point that both have disapproving parents, both end up leaving home behind, and they each name their children after each other.

Additionaly, in the case of Eve and Charlie, they are depcited as using sex or being forced to use sex and then that being the way they view sex going forward. There is no growth there.

There is also this underlying theme in each characters existence of guilt.
Eve is convinced by Rene during the torture session that she gave up her friend and fellow spy and blames herself for her friends imprisonment and ultimately her death (which is caused by a disease).
Charlie believes that she should have been able to save both her brother and Rose. Her brother commits suicide after coming home from WWII and Rose, as previously stated, is shot by Nazi’s.
Finn carries around guilt due to his service duties of clearing out concentration camps.
The recruiting Captain is guilty for ever putting Eve in her situation.
Everyone is all guilty all the time. Everything is their fault and they internalize all of it. It’s unhealthy and overused throughout the book.

Let’s talk about that Captain for a minute. So The Alice Network is a network of female spies during the world wars. Mr. Captain man recruits them, collects their intel, and gives them orders. He poses as their Uncle in the grand cover story they all have in which they are all related in some way or servants or whatever. Now this Captain is of course handsome because somehow the women all describe themselves as ugly but the men are all dashing and handsome (Even the profiteering sleezeball!) and he and Eve are in love. No, they are. I mean, that’s what is thrown in the middle of a chapter when Eve is struggling to continue sleeping with Rene. That she is in love with the Captain. Oh OH Oh  annnnd turns out he is in love with her too!

Now, he has a wife and children but when Eve seduces him, he ends up sleeping with her. He has apparently, always loved her since they met and when he eventually passes away leaves most of his estate to her (despite having children?). This felt 100% unnecessary. It was like the thought process was, “Shit, I need to explain why Eve has money but never works. I know! The Captain loves her and he’ll leave her lots of money in the end. Boom!”

The culmination of this entire story is the revenge Eve would like to have on Rene for alllllll the crap he put her through, forcing her to turn in her friends, and the whole breaking her hands thing. conveniently, the man behind Rose’s death is , you guessed it, Rene. So! These two women go off and hunt him down to confront him. He’s still sleazy. We still don’t like him. What happens to him isn’t surprising in the end. You know it’s coming. I did like the addition of Charlie leaving a photo of him surrounded by Nazi’s because Nazis are bad and no one likes Nazis.

I gave the book 2 stars on Good Reads and I’ll tell you why. There is an author’s note at the end of the book that explains all of the historical elements in the book and how they tie in. That is the best written, most interesting, and best part of the entire book. For that, and the recommended reading list, I give two stars.

Otherwise, no. Not my favorite. The only shining spot on finishing this read is that I can check off a box on the bingo card I’m completing for my local library. Now, to pay my late fee and move on to something else. Oy.

Rapid Fire Review: Anne of Green Gables

I have loved Anne of Green Gables since the first time I read the simple introduction of Anne Shirley, with an E, please.
I don’t remember if I saw the PBS movie with Meagan Fallows first or read the book first. I do know that after becoming quite obsessed with the movie, my aunt purchased the entire series for me and I devoured it in the span of a couple of months.
I love Anne. I love her so much. She was talkative and curious and imaginative and that is and was very much me. So when I saw that NetGalley had a graphic novel of this beautiful story available, I quickly requested it.

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. Thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for an advanced copy of this novel. 

Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel
Adapted by Mariah Marsden
Illustrated by Brenna Thummler

Being that this is a graphic novel, let’s talk about the art, shall we? The style is line drawing and simple. Simple and beautiful. Green Gables looks as it’s described when you read the full novel. I loved the colors used for the landscape. The only thing I was a little bummed about was Anne herself.

I always imagined Anne as pretty, freckles and red-headed, but pretty. Diana was more beautiful but they were both pretty in their own right. In this graphic novel, Anne is incredibly plain and Diana isn’t much better. I wanted a little more beauty given to them. Gilbert was just as handsome as ever.

The story itself is like all of the best bits condensed into a one sitting read. I loved Mrs. Lynde, she was depicted perfectly peeking out of her windows watching Anne’s arrival to Green Gables. As I said, I really loved the way Green Gables was illustrated and Mathew and Marilla were perfection.

I audibly exclaimed “CARPET BAG” when I saw her bag. I remember being so interested in her bag when I was young and loving that it was a beautiful and somehow far too old for a 12-year-old. It also always made me thing of Mary Poppins so I was happy to see it featured in at least one pane of this adaptation.

I’m so glad that Anne’s obsession with puffed sleeves was included. She thinks of them as regal and important and far more beautiful than she deserves. It’s one of the sweetest moments in the book when Matthew goes to find a dress for Anne for Christmas and she finally gets to have her puffed sleeves.

I would love to see this continued into the Avonlea years, specifically the moments of Gilbert and Anne. In this particular novel, I would have liked a little more of the interaction Anne has with her friends but it was most certainly represented so you understood that she was loyal and loving to her people.

This is coming out on October 24, 2017 so if you have any love for Anne or want to introduce this classic to someone who may not want to read the original yet. Start them on this graphic novel.

 

TV: Big Little Lies

I read Big Little Lies at least a year ago and absolutely devoured it. It was just so well done and well written and I loved every single page, every word. So good! I was pumped when I heard it was being turned into a tv show. And then it said HBO and I was bummed because we have never subscribed to the channel but it keeps getting so many fun shows!

So when my cable company changed and thus the lineup of channels changed–I decided I was an adult that pays her bills and why not splurge on some super fast internet and channels I’d love to have. THUS- I have access to HBO. WHAT? I know.

So, this weekend I declared a binge weekend. Movies, tv, books. Relaxation happy Erika central.

I have only watched one episode as of right now, and the casting is ON POINT. I love it. and it feels like the book. It’s what I saw when I was reading it. I’m alllllll over it. Here’s hoping it continues in this fashion.

Now I am getting myself a bowl of ice cream and curling up to continue my binging because I can. 😉

Don’t forget to do you whenever possible. Because it is the best thing for you.

Bout of Books #20

Yup! Another readathon is coming up and right on time for my giant stack of “really want to read these in August” books!

New to Bout of Books? Here you go:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Now! TBR time!

Let’s talk the week of the readathon first. This particular week is a happily busy one so I’d like very much to be relaxing with a book each day (in other words: PERFECT TIMING). It is what we merchandisers call “seasonal changeover” week. I am clearing out Graduation to put up Halloween! Woop Woop! This means I get a good amount of hours and I travel around most of the week,
This week also includes Dog Duty while the Sister takes the Niece off to see Mr. Shawn Mendez as a last hurrah before she starts her Sophomore year of High School (WHAT?!!!). So I shall be trapped in someone else’s home which usually means I get lost in books and tv while trading off chasing the pups with The Momma.
And! More book related, the 26th is turn in day for the Adult Reading Bingo at my local library. So, I havvvvvve to get some reading in!

SO! My TBR for this week and the rest of this month is as follows (Oh and totally a large list, I know) :

  • Kiss My Tiara by Susan Jane Gilman
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Re-read)
  • Outline by Rachel Cusk
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • I Love You, Michael Collins
  • Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
  • A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Not to mention I would like to read a couple e books because holy crap do I have a lot on my Kindle I haven’t actually read but was so excited to acquire.

So! there we go! Who else is bout of booksing next week? Goooood Luck!

Good with Words

I have been a writer my whole life.

I know, that sounds like something you say. “Oh! of course, I’ve allllllways been a writer. Comes naturally!” ((Note: I totally said this in one of those put on wannabe British accents in my head))
Really though, I have been a writer my whole life.

When I was young, I would make up stories about my stuffed animals or the posters on my sister’s wall.
As part of a project at school when I was maybe 8 or 9, my Dad took me to a couple of cemeteries and I wrote stories about what happened to some of the people there based solely on their headstone or plaque. I enjoyed it so much, it became one of our things.
In school, I always loved the assignments that included essays or get creative in them.

On my own, I filled books with my daily journals. Another book was for my random pieces of stories, a lot of them based on dreams I’d had. Yet another was for my poetry.

I’m fairly certain that poetry itself saved my life.

I was not a happy teenager. I laughed a lot and I loved to have fun but I was not happy. Not even slightly. I was ashamed of my own coping methods. I was afraid of being abandoned by my friends (a common theme in my chosen group of friends). I was not a good student so I was constantly stressed that I was letting my parents and their notion that I was a smart kid down. I was not a happy teenager.
So I wrote. I wrote all the time. In classes, on the bus, at the dinner table, in bed. All the time.

It was my way out. Writing has always helped me organize my thoughts. It’s why I loved the notion of blogs. (I started my first at 15 on Diaryland). You get to organize your thoughts and let out whatever you want to and HEY! you may connect with someone else too.

So when I say I have been a writer my whole life, it is sincere.

I used to dream about writing books or being paid to actual share my poetry.

For a good decade I was actively working on a book about my dating experiences.

I am good with words. Sometimes, I feel that I am better in writing. I mean, seriously, if you’ve had a conversation with me you’d totally get that.

I’m not caught up in the dream anymore and I’ve recently been thinking about pulling out the old binders and the slew of spiral notebooks and just reading them again. Seeing what’s there.

I feel like it could be an adventure. There are things I’ve written that I read back and can’t place in a time line at all. Things I read and I go, hold up, who wrote that?

I’m sure the adventure of going through my writing means I’ll be sharing because I never did have a problem with sharing it.

I have always been a writer so why not write and come by it honestly.

 

 

Rapid Fire Reviews: Let’s Catch Up!

Books. Books. Books!!

I think I read all four of these in July but as I’m not sure, we’ll just call this a catch up of reviews.

Note: These reviews are 100 % my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
HOLY FUCK! This was one hell of a ride. I mean, this haunts you the way Gone Girl does. You are reading and suddenly in the middle of this insane story that can’t possible be going the way you think it is.

This is trigger after trigger after trigger. The story centers around a horrific sexual assault and it is discussed extensively throughout the story. In great detail due to the basis that a psychologist is working on retriving memories a drug cocktail took from the victim.

This book will disgust you and intrigue you and confuse you and by the end you are thoroughly impressed by the writer’s ability to weave the fucked up web they weave.

ALSO! The move rights for this have already been sold! Kind of excited to see if it holds up to the book.

Such a good read but I stress–sooooo many triggers in this.

Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner
I have no idea why it took me so long to read this. One of my favorite movies is In Her Shoes so I’ve been interested in reading Jennifer Weiner since that came out. This was fluffy yet somehow empowering in that vein of “chick lit” we all know and love. I really enjoyed it but, if it wasn’t that I’d already acquired it’s sequel, I’m not sure I would continue with Cannie’s story. She was a wee bit annoying.

Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny
OK! Truth time! I get recommendations from everywhere. This particular recommendation was made by one (super famous hobbit) Dominic Monaghan. Ummm, I love him. Like, I think he is the most adorable man ever. Did you see The Wild? OMG I love that show-I so hope it magically comes back because watching him gush over animals is my favorite. ANYWAY. I follow him on Instagram because super adorable man who posts super interesting things including book recommendations.
Because who better to suggest a fantasy read then a freakin’ hobbit, right?
So! On to this book, the story is really interesting. It’s about a man who wakes up with no real memory and discovers he’s kind of royalty in this alternate world, Amber.
This book is the first of 10 in the series. There was a lot of world building and sort of back story so I finished it confused but kind of intrigued to continue. Not sure yet. I may pick up the next one since one of the local libraries has the whole thing. We shall see.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
This is my first foray into the “cozy mysteries” genre and let me just say; it was fun! I adore the main character: 34th in line to the throne and hilarious, Georgie. I liked that it was an actual mystery- I wasn’t sure who had done the crime or not. I wasn’t sure if the dapper man who shows up was a catch or crook. I loved it. I also enjoy that there is a woman who is sexual and in an inner circle of well to do people. And! A gay couple! I will definitely continue with this series.

 

 

August with Nicholas Sparks

Hello and Happy August!

This month, there is a theme to my reading. Mr. Nicholas Sparks!

Why do you ask? Well, here’s the thing. My Mom is quite the reader and she discovered Mr. Sparks way back when Message in a Bottle came out. She has read every, single book. She owns every movie adaptation. He is her absolute favorite.

Somehow. I have never read one of his books. I have seen all of the adaptations. Mom claims I will love his books. And since we do own them all. And it just so happens that August is Mom’s birthday month. I am going to read Nicholas Sparks for the month of August.

I’m not sure that I’ll only read him but I would like to attempt to read a few at the very least.

I am starting with Two by Two and A Walk to Remember.

Leave  a comment with which of his books you think I should pick up this month?