Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Hot Zone Written by: Richard Preston

For those of you dedicated readers who have been reading this blog. You know as of late, I have read some rather disturbing and at times down right chilling books. Well, The Hot Zone written by: Richard Preston takes the cake. Where once I thought only fiction could really scare the hell out of me on a global scale Mr. Preston has managed to push me a bit further. This book is just as the book jacket claims. "A Terrifying True Story." The events and characters in this book are 100% real. Mr. Preston is merely telling us what happend. I had to google and research this book while reading it. A part of me was going "No, this can't be real, no way this really happened." It was something out of a Del Toro book, or another horror authors tale. I saw Contagion recently, and that left me chilled, but to learn that that could possibly happen, and what happend to those people was a mercy? Even the movie Outbreak the deaths of those people cannot compare to what Mr. Preston wrote about. What did he write about you may ask? Well he wrote about a few things, but basically a Virus. The Virus' tale begins and only gets scarier and scarier, not to add too much humor to this, but it reminded me of an episode of the Simpsons I saw a long time ago. The episode where Homer's kids Bart and Lisa are playing a classic child's hand game "Miss Mary Mack." Everytime the kids gets close to saying a curse word, they say something else, and Homer breaths a sigh of relief, but we know these kids will eventually tire of the small game, and actually take to cursing as most children do. Why is this similar? Well, you will have to read the book and see for yourself. Now imagine this. "It is a Virus that kills nine out of ten of its victims so quickly and gruesomely that even the bioharzard experts are terrified of it." I will give away what the Virus is simply because people should be aware of this virus and realize this is a very real very possible virus that could easily wipe out the human race. Ebola Zaire is the big scary one, the one that 9 out of 10 people will not survive. I wonder if Stephen King and Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, and other authors have read this book and used these concepts in their ideas. There are different strains of Ebola but they are so similar in how they kill you that I am certain my mind is trying to protect me from fully imagining it. I apologize by the way for not ending with the year with a Happy Christmas or Holiday tale. Oops!

I actually had a friend tell me to "Put the book down, and walk away!" The characters again are real in this story and at times I found myself staring in shock at how easily these viruses could escape and make it to the public. It only takes one idiot, and in this story you learned it was more than one idiot who made multiple mistakes that could have ended it all. One of the outbreaks with a strain of the Ebola virus even breaks out right near Washington DC. not in some far back time, but during the late 1980's! I also learned an outbreak of Ebola was also in the year 2007 not in the United States but in Africa and this is only because it was documented. This was an amazing book, it read like a report but added a few human twists, and really wanted to make you thinks "It's all over man! It's all over!" Thankfully since I'm writing this, it obviously wasn't. To add to my paranoia while reading this book I learned a team of scientists were told to see if the Bird Flu could be streghtened or mutate to kill the human populace, well they apparently did just that. Hurray! Why would you do that? When it is already true that nature can do this without our help. Anywho... Great book, and a good entry into wanting to learn more about the world and how it can kill you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lost December Written by: Richard Paul Evans

And, now, time, for.... another Christmas book! Well, where the last book I read by Mr. Richard Paul Evans was just utterly depressing and left me in a puddle of tears. Lost December thankfully did not leave me feeling so utterly depressed. It actually left me hopeful and a bit happy. I even used his other book as revenge against my mother in Law. (She gives me a lot of life lesson/depressing books. Amazing, but depressing)

 Lost December was in danger of becoming just that depressing, but the author seems to realize this is Christmas time so let's bring some joy into the tale. The story is short and quaint. It is a tale of the prodigal son who is lost and it is not entirely his own doing. He's not your typical son with a silver spoon in his mouth, there is more to him, but due to a few poor choices and even poorer friends he finds himself utterly destitute and without his best friend, his father. This was a cute read, it lacked a bit of detail, but the story itself flows and you find yourself as the reader seeing exactly where the main characters Luke life is going, but there's nothing you can do, but shake your head and pray he gets a second chance. I could easily see this movie becoming a Hallmark movie found on lifetime, but as far as a Christmas book goes this seems like it was just an excuse for a time setting. I enjoyed the story in the end, and there were quite a few characters I enjoyed, but overall the whole Christmas joy and story seemed a bit lacking. It was a decent book, but not one of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sellevision Written by: Augusten Burrough

Holy cow! I am just blushing and giggling over this book. I feel like running around, but I'm on my lunch break, and I'd look rather ridiculous doing so. Instead a review. The author really captured the lives of his characters. This book is a dark comedy, but compared to the books I have been reading it's positively beaming light. I'll never look at a home shopping show quite the same way again. Rarely have I ever watched an order from T.V. show, the jewerly is always so bright and gawdy, and the new highech machines so bizzar. The book is written very savy and quite funny. Somehow though, it never fully pushes the envelop. It sure nudges it every page, but then it will splash back and try again. Several times I laughed out loud, I could not stop thinking about the story and what was going to happen. The main cast Max Andrews, Peggy Jean Smythe, Leigh, Bebe, and Trish are just priceless. They were so incredibly real in their own ways, and each of their inner voices was unique in my mind. Sadly, very quickly I realized this book was going to have to end. I just wanted to keep watching, yes the book is written so well I felt like I was watching these people as if they really were on camera and not on the pages of the book. The back description of the book says.

"Darkly funny and gleefully mean-spirited, Sellevision explors greed, obsession and third-tier celebrity in the world of a fictional home-shopping network."

Yes, the Author does this and so much more. I only wish this book was longer so I could see the stories behind the stories. I needed a lighter book and this wasn't gooey, or too hallmark card, rather it was just plain and simply Shit happens.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Handmaid's Tale Written by: Margaret Atwood

Never before,...a moment please. Never before have I been so appalled and lured into a story with such passion as I was with this book. The story of Offred the main character in this book was maddening and had me fighting the story every step of the way. I actually found myself in the real world rebelling just to do so simply because in this tale Offred, whose name isn't actually her true name. This novel brings forth some of the darkest possible futures for our present and future society. The writing was so real, I felt like the author became her story rather then told it. I am not familiar with other works by Margaret Atwood, but it was just so real, and perfectly written. I kept wanting to tell myself none of this would ever be possible, but being a female myself and having seen how history has subjected women to such ways of life before, there was a nugget of doubt that grew as I read this book. It happened in the past to so many women, why could it not happen to the future of a once enlightened society? The fact she takes issues of today, the author I mean, and takes them to logical and disconcerting conclusions that I pray never become possible. I have not done this yet, but I am going to read what the book jacket says about this story only because I picked this book up almost a year ago and was so disgusted I wouldn't read it, but I picked it up finally and once I did I kept reading and could not stop even when I wanted to rip the pages from this book and burn them simply because I needed to rebel. I was disgusted with how easily some people just gave in, but would I rather submit than take the risk? The risk of what? Sometimes death is an actual freedom as we've learned throughout history. Here is what is written on the books jacket.

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...

You can see why I could barely bring myself to read this book, the cover is so odd in the fact it looks like it could be the cover of a fairy tale, or folk lore. How odd such a simple cover could contain so much vulgarity. I praise this book in its creativity and will probably purchase my own copy as it was a very...I don't know, but it was certainly something this book. I will also probably seek other works by Atwood. Also, I must yet again thank my husband for putting up with my mood changes due to a book, he is awesome.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fingersmith Written by: Sarah Waters

Communication, yes, it all comes down to communication, and being clear in your arguments. Fingersmith was a labyrinth that was so twisty and full of odd turns, and plans long in motion. The story is very daring and so twisted. I felt myself wanting to call out to these people to wish I were some book God and pick the characters up and right them properly. I have read a few Victorian books, and this book read like it was written from this time. The voices of the main characters was so distinct. Some may find themselves torn between the main female leads, or even with the lesser female characters. Perhaps some may even take pity on those the main characters use for their own profit. Also, the love that was displayed and the thoughts of the characters was heart breaking at times. Perhaps a queer kind of love as our author would write, but still love in a tarnished form, but with a little shine...maybe it can be pure again. After reading this book, I cannot say who was really right in all this, and who was wrong, so many factors over such a long period of time, and each side having their reasons for what they did. I enjoyed this book, the writing as I said felt like it was written during the era itself, and the author should be recognized for this. I could imagine the world of London and its countryside not nearly as romantic as most made it out to be, but rather dirty, polluted, and populated with so many poor and wretched souls. There is also a place in this book that is set in a mad house,and I loathe old fashioned institutions with all my being, to think what we would consider absolute torture now was common forms of care and the nurses who tended to these poor ladies and men were no more than sick, twisted, bullies, who for whatever reason were hired and able to indulge themselves fully. If you enjoy a good book that twists, and are not faint of heart, this book is so for you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

1225 Christmas Tree Lane Written by: Debbie Macomber A Cedar Cove Novel

Cedar Cove, well let's kick this Holiday seasons off right. The last time I read a Christmas/Holiday themed book, it left me so emotionally distraught that of course I had to share it with my mother in law (inside joke, I'll explain someday) So, now that I am blogging, I thought well, let's try again. My husband and I looked through the books at the store, and I happily found one. This book though, alas, I did not read the inside jacket well enough. Turns out this is the last book in an running series about the town known as Cedar Cove. Now, look at all those very cheesy and beautiful Holiday Cards you receive. The enchanting snow covered forests, the classic horse drawn sleighs, the houses covered in twinkling Christmas lights, and all that makes a family's holiday special. This book was basically all of this. Debbie Macomber wrote a very lovely story that from what I can tell incorporated all of her previous books characters and their stories tying up loose ends and wrapping it up with perfect paper, a pretty bow, and subtle love/Christmas note to her fans. I kept seeing how Christmas should be and celebrated by a community and individual families. The holidays should be special even if it's only two people together making their own traditions and living old ones. I warn you though future readers, this book is so sweet I found myself getting a toothache corny but true, it was absolutely cute. Since I haven't read the previous books the names and other stories other than the main one at times confused me. This is no fault of Debbie Macomber, but my own so I cannot penalize her. If you have ever watched the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" you know Warner Bros. and Disney worked together, but could not agree on a main character and thus was born Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit, and a few others. It seems this is what happened in the main plot, the author simply couldn't pick a favorite to write about as the central plot. So we introduce Beth Morehouse. The writing seemed a little young, but the author painted such a beautiful holiday scene, and I could follow the stories of all the characters that eventually I found myself wishing I could live in a town like Cedar Cove. So, I hope this kicks off everyone's holiday season, and I wish you much luck beginning the preparation for your special times. Now, back to our regular reading.

ps. There are a lot of dogs in this book and ten puppies! Trust me if you're a dog lover you'll fall in love.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Girl Who Played With Fire written by: Stieg Larsson

Where do I begin? This book to put it quite simply was...gripping. Lisabeth Salander is quite honestly an amazing woman. As far as main characters go she is just all around dynamic and kick butt, a real modern day kick ass take names kinda gal. After having read the first book in the series "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." I did not know where this story was going to go, after all Mr. Larsson had written a true masterpiece with his first book with Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. I am glad it did not end with that book though. This time though, the book had even more puzzles and layers to go through. All of the characters in this book lent something to the tale. The beginning was such a nice delight and very foreshadowing in its brightness and delight and then becomes darker until soon all hell breaks loose. We the readers learn more and more as he story goes and have insights to all the scenarios going on. However, that does not mean we will know the answers any faster. No, we're left scratching our heads and gripping the book flipping pages rapidly trying to figure out what the hell is going to happen. This book also shows a pattern, and made me so angry, infuriated actually at how the authorities who are supposed to serve and protect botch everything so royally. What is on paper is not always true as we've learned throughout history. I dare not give any of this book away, but the investigation and how the general public takes this news. The people who grace Salander's world whom are as close to friends are so fantastic themselves I enjoyed reading their stories and their venomous and quirky responses to the accusations brought against their friend. This book I would easily have stayed up all night reading. Every free moment I had, my hands found this book and I read as much as possible. I was delighted also to see Blomkvist in this tale, though not as central as a character this time, he played a very important role. I am very torn now as the book ends in such a way that I wish I could go to a book store now and begin reading the next book, but I shall refrain from doing so, best to enjoy this story before I delve further into this perverse world of Salander where those who should help screw you over and those who are expected to lie down and take their licks stand up in the most odd and at times very illegal ways sometimes with a gun, taser, keys, etc, or simply with a mac book, good reporting, and just plain old guts. Again a very gripping and fantastic story that will just have your head spinning and wishing you had a fraction of the main characters brains so you understood what the hell was going on. Cheers to Stieg Larsson

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Written by Stieg Larsson

Let met tell you all, I was very skeptical about this book before I began reading it, and only became more so as I was reading the beginning chapters. I had no clue where this story was going to go, and even more confused as two very distinct and seemingly unrelated tales were being brought before me. Since this story takes place in Sweden it was also quite foreign to me seeing as a lot of words and settings were not familiar to me. Then I kept reading, and like the main male character Mikael Blomkvist I was drawn further and further into the story and the layers upon layers of facts and mysteries that kept cropping up. The other characters too were confusing and everyone at some point seemed suspect in the over arching plot. The other main character Lisbeth Salander it also a big mystery that we learn a little bit about throughout the story. The characters themselves are pretty unique and special in their own ways and quite extraordinary together. They are totally different in both generation and social class, but their curious natures and convictions really bring them together. Mikael was a breath of fresh air and though a bit of a Tom cat he was a new age gentlemen with a boyish charm and a real mission. Salander has a mission of her own with her own codes and means to get her results. Though a bit crass and scary she thinks before she acts, and seeing how the world looks at her it is no wonder. The writing was very interesting too, it was so precise and very detailed, but flowed effortlessly. The pace of the book just kept me captivated and fully invested in the story. This story was by no means happy if anything the small plot points are quite dark and upsetting. The end leaves you wondering if anyone actually wins.  I highly enjoyed this book, and have the second one in my possession and wonder where this author is going with this dark technical world he has created.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Enchanted Again, More Erotic Bedtime Stories for Women. Written by Nancy Madore

The first glance, the meeting, romance, and eventually love, and a wonderful partnership, marriage if you will between two people. (or more if it works) A glorious tale for each couple as each gives something of themselves to the other and in doing so create something wholly unique for themselves. The outside world may not see this, or if they do they can not completely understand it, but each person recognizes what it is, some form of love. The first book by Nancy Madore called "Enchanted." was breathtaking for me. From beginning to the end the book itself created wonderful even delicious tales of passion and then partnerships that still were infused with the first embers of passion to create an everlasting fire.

This book however, Enchanted again did not do that for me. Where the first was romantic and sweet, this was passionate and bitter. The stories though erotic at times felt more like a traditional fairy tale in it was telling a bittersweet or often times just bitter story. The women in these tales did not strike me as fair or trying to empower themselves and to create a wonderful relationship, but rather they were out to find something perfect and would not work for perfection over time but wanted instant gratification or really to just enjoy the hunt for love. These tales left me sad and pitying the women in these tales and the men. The relationship really did not have trust. One story did and I cherished the tale, and found myself wanting to pluck it out of the book and rescue it from its companion stories. If anything the book was more of a warning to women and perhaps men when it comes to relationships. This book felt so jaded, perhaps I am not cynical enough to appreciate the stories, but even if I was I did not find myself enchanted in fact I found myself thrown into ice cold water and forced to sit outside at night with no blanket wishing some warmth existed in the world. I wonder what the author was trying to say in this book, but for an erotic book it was just not my cup of tea. Rather it was bitter and cold mostly. Perhaps some people would enjoy this tale, but for me to not have trust or willing to build something with your partner honestly just does not seem to be love. I do not think I will read this book again anything erotic and sexy was washed out with the bitter messages, and it was just too harsh.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Practical Magic Written by: Alice Hoffman

For more than two hundred years the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in Town. That seems like a long time to fear a family especially one that helped so many of the towns people. Well, this is rare I read a book which I saw the movie based off of the book first. Usually it is the other way around, I will first read the book then see the movie. I was surprised, I actually enjoyed the book. The book was very different than the movie more a second or third cousin rather than the Practical Magic I saw as a young girl and recently as a young woman. This story was told very uniquely. It was similar in its writing as American Pastoral telling the future as it told the present story, but it did it in a few paragraphs rather than pages. The Owens women were delightful they were beautiful, sassy, mysterious, and all together unique and typical of the female sex. Each women had her own good and bad qualities and had both very selfish personalities, but also very compassionate personalities all in one. Forgive me for being so contradicting, but people are in themselves quite contradicting. It was very interesting how love came into play in this story for the youngest of the Owens women to the oldest, and how it affected them each in turn. The movie showed these women as actual witches with quite impressive powers. The Owens women in this book still have unusual abilities and an odd way about them especially their luck and some very odd garden growth, but they appear more as kitchen witches and women who know very well what to do with herbs and believe in old charms. As its title says "Practical Magic". The book was enjoyable it had its moments where I wished more was said, but a good story none the less, if you love the movie put it out of your mind while reading this book as many things were changed. But, give the book a chance you may like it more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Myths of The Norsemen Written by: Helen A. Guerber

Odin, Frigga, Thor, Tyr, Bragi, Idun, Niord, Frey, Freya, Uller, Forsei, Heimdall, Hermod, Vidar, Vali, The Norns, The Valkyrs, Hel, Aegir, Balder, Hoder, Loki, these are the Aesier or the Gods. The myths of the Norsemen was such an awesome book! I could not get enough of Odin and his companions. I learned so much about these God beings. Even the Giants, Dwarfs, Elves, and the sagas involving the mortals. It was so fascinating to learn about how the Norsemen defined themselves, and their beginnings.Also, to learn about the different worlds Midgard being the mortal world.  I kept making notes and really enjoyed what culture I discovered reading this book. Unlike the Celtic culture I was delighted to see that the Norsemen cared for their wives and that there were Gods who would bless happily married couples and want there to be love in a marriage. There was great honor and worship in the mortals who followed there Gods, but there was also the weak and evil. Even with the Gods they too like the Greek Gods did all they could to get out of unsavory deals they may have been forced to make. It was also interesting to learn that the Gods were not all immortal and relied upon another Immortal god to keep them young and strong. The book really went into detail to help you figure out how the Gods worked in the Scandinavian world especially with the days and seasons. I really found it fascinating how the old cultural ways of these people influenced so many saying and practices of today. This was a great book to learn a decent amount of the Norse Mythos. I hope to read more on the Norse culture and their heroes and Gods/Goddesses. Something that really was amazing is that these people had such faith in their culture and ways that the wooden posts on their homes would have generations of knowledge carved upon them as well as the stories of their Gods and heroes. When Christian and other world powers were forcing them from their native lands they took their wooden posts with them and sailed the seas. When they reached a port and body of water they would cast the wood into the sea and wherever it landed finally would be where they would make their new home regardless of the conditions. Quite remarkable that most of the tales and stories from these people are taken from these surviving posts.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Enchanted, Erotic Bedtime Stories for Women Written by: Nancy Madore

Erotic bedtime stories for Women. Well, this book was given to me, and needless to say I laughed at first. After all I had only ever read one other Exotic book before and it too was based off of a classic tale. The forward in the beginning also gave me pause and made me wonder what exactly it was I was going to be reading. This book however, was not based on just one tale, but many. There are 13 stories in all, and each one I really rather enjoyed. They are twists on classic stories that really do tell the story from a women's point of view, and how the story should have went in some cases were a woman able to control her own fairy tale. The book itself sends a message to empower women and to embrace themselves and their own sexual desires. And, while doing so to not be shameful of embracing either. I love how Nancy Madore kept telling women in her tales to not shy away from their desires. The stories were clever and rather witty. I found myself laughing and falling in love a few times. I do not know if I'll ever be able to tell these tales to children without a new outlook or smirk on my face when I do, but really the tales were so... enjoyable, arousing and yes quite tantalizing in its telling. I urge some of you to go out pick up this book hunker down for the evening and prepare yourself for some blush inducing bedtime tales.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force, Written by:Daniel Wallace

Star Wars, well, I must admit I am not a die hard fan of Star Wars, I find a lot of events, and even the technology contradicts itself, but it does add authenticity to the Star Wars universe since our own is just as contradicting. That being said, I do enjoy the movies the original and somewhat of the new. I did enjoy some Sith books, and even a few books on tape, mostly due to my husband, and inlaws. Well, the Jedi from what I have seen have not overly been explained in a lot of these movies and books. The Jedi Path though it was not by any means detailed was insightful. I felt like it was a guide to help you figure out what you wanted to know and gave you those terms to look up in other books. So it was a good reference book. I also enjoyed the little comments made by the "Jedi" The illistrations were pretty cool too. I do enjoy how it made mention of the other species and force users as well. I did not realize so many other creatures/planets used the Force. The book was an easy read, and for those of you who know the Star Wars Universe you may find yourself smirking and even laughing over what you know. After all this book is supposedly given to a youngling and studied/referenced until Knighthood. So It begins first in Yoda's hands and ends in Luke's. I am not giving away plot the book says so even before the first page. It was an enjoyable read, and I found myself asking my more Star Wars knowledgeable husband questions concerning the book and what it was making reference to. A good read if you want to further know the mysterious Jedi Order.
Ps. Happy Birthday to Stormy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Proven Guilty Book 8 Written by: Jim Butcher

Happy B-lated Halloween to all of you! I could not wait to log onto a computer and tell you about the latest book I have had the pleasure of listening to! I am so happy that these books are unabridged. That way I get every juicy little detail right down to the smart ass jokes Bob the Skull tells to the whitty Relgious banter between Harry and Michael. Book 8 in the Harry Dresden series titled Proven Guilty, written by Jim Butcher, and read by James Marsters. Was just fabulous! I had started listening to this book a few weeks ago on a road trip, but it being such a long book had to wait to finish it on this latest trip to VT, now the splitting of the trips proved even better. The first half of this book takes place in a more populated area Chicago of course, but also in a setting that is dear in my heart. I will not tell you what venue exactly, but for those of you who appreciate badges, long lines, and small glimpses of a nerd hero you will totaly appreciate this. The plot was very technical as always and I found myself wishing I had a hat to grab onto and chew just to contain my excitement. My husband who was driving I also caught having shocked faces and sudden gasps at what was occuring. Harry did not dissapoint, neither did some other very loved characters. This book was not exactly fast pace but rather gathered more intensity as it went along. Of course there were a dozen or so things coming for Harry at every angle.

Of course you will probably be frustrated at how human and thick skulled everyone is, but that makes it all the more real in a very non-fiction book. The second part of the book was listened to, and this could not have been more perfect! On the way to VT during a snow storm! I was shocked October and that much snow, but it only added to the perfect setting that Mr. Butcher was already describing, the characters find themselves in a not so very good place. Want a hint? Bob the skull is promised by Harry he will not take him with him, but rather bring him home before they set off on their quest. The story is amazing and so many questions are becoming clearer, but not the answers. A new big question has been asked, and another one answered. Friends stay true and yet something is very off.

I simply want to know more about Mouse, and what is going on with this oh so special Dog and of course Mr. the cat. I also found myself sitting on the side of the road the book having concluded going... what next? This book really picked up some new trials for Harry to face, and I really want to know again, what next? So, I cannot wait until the holidays are here, yes more driving, but more Harry Copperfield Blackstone Dresden too.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Night Circus written by: Erin Morgenstern

Not to be over dramatic but  The Night Circus was truly mesmerizing and magical! “The Circus arrives without warning.” Indeed. I was somewhat afraid I would be influenced by other books and circus tales, but this book had its own feel to it. Old, and timeless is what this story was to me. It was told in such a way I found myself flustered and trying to understand how these timelines fit and why they were told in the order they were. I swear I felt myself seeing the circus and smelling popcorn and caramel apples. In fact I had to make popcorn a few times while reading this book. It was a complex tale, and the circus itself was so well done I really wish I could see this for myself. My imagination felt like it was on overtime while reading this book trying to picture everything that was described to me, and my mind would construct what the pages and words told me, but then I would deconstruct it and make it better. I found myself not wanting the book to end, trying to prolong each chapter so as not to reach the end when the story must end. Alas, the story itself was not all grand performances and standing applauds. Erin Morgenstern wrote a wonderful story, and I feel like she could write many more just about the characters she introduced even briefly each felt like they had a bigger more important story to be told, and we were only given a glimpse and not even behind the curtain. I dare not give any of the plot away, but I was also slightly saddened over the lack or true love in the main characters yes, there was love, but somehow it felt hollow at times. There was something missing, and perhaps it was intentional if that was the case then I tip my bowler to the author and wrap a red scarf about my neck this instant. If it wasn’t intentional well, all is forgiven as I enjoyed the circus and the ideas and concepts behind it. I do not think I have read a book quite like this.I greatly enjoyed how the author tipped her hat to the Circus fans, as though we fans are merely spectators we too are a part of the story. I loved how she appreciated the Circus fans. I almost wonder if that was a thank you to her future readers. I'd like to think so. There are similar stories I could mention even circus ones, but I do not wish to steal away from the Night Circus or “Le cirque des Reves” This book could be for all ages, though I think each generation would take something from the book in their own way as would each reader. I think I will read this again and hopefully my imagination can see the grand sights even better than the first time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The celts The people who came out of the darkness Written by Gerhard Herm

Well, If I thought House of Leaves was a tough book to digest, I picked a book on just as difficult of level, but in an entirely different way. I just finished reading “The Celts” “The people who Came out of The Darkness” Written by: Gerhard Herm. This book was a history book that’s what it very much read like. 50000BC to 1210AD. Is quite a bit to digest in a little less than a month. The beginning alone left my head spinning and my tongue tied. Have any of you studied Etruscans, Latin, Gaelic, Welsh, German, Celt, etc… well this book was obviously full of names, cities, places, all using very similar words, and at times so very different. Plus, names family names changed as time went on and then would change again. I tried to pronounce a lot of the words out loud to better memorize what I was reading, I sounded as if I had cotton and rocks in my mouth while I gurgled Scotch, really it was not pretty. Still, I was confused also by Roman names as there were so many Julius Cesar’s, or those with similar names and campaigns across the Celtic world. Which, after reading this book I realized, the Celts not exactly the type of people who have one homeland, rather they were a nomadic folk who set up home wherever they felt. This book is set up in series to define the Celts. First the actual people who emerged from Darkness and believed in this rule “The right lay in their arms: to the brave belong all things.” Really, that says a lot about who the Celtic people were. Then it moves on to the Roman Nightmare which though the chapter end the nightmare itself in history never really ended for these people. Battles are fought over and over, kings are made and then fall. Then the author writes of the Heirs of Alexander and the Celts plus how the Great Alexander perceived these people. The books also brings us throughout the world and where the Celts traveled. GermanyIrelandGreeceItalyRomeEgypt, etc… These people though they lived so many places where a word of mouth type of folk and kept their tales and history this way adapting them though time. Their religious beliefs also are told though for whatever reason Rome decided to annihilate the Druids practices as much as they could and not allow them to practice their religion. The Celts themselves were berserkers/head hunters. But, that was only a piece of whom they were. They were also a race who learned escapism very early on in such a way that it was also their blessing and their downfall. Yes they were numerous and everywhere, but each Celt would bow to no other and so Rome constantly caused brothers, cousins, kings, to go up against one another. Yes, they would fight, but they would not fight together, and they would die. I would have liked to have better understood more of the religious side as well as the actual family side with a Celt. There seems to be a very big piece missing on the average Celtic life. Such as the women, elderly, and children. They are mentioned in the book, and old descriptions are drawn upon, but for the most part this piece of the Celt is in shadows or not there at all. I found myself cheering the Celts on throughout their battles and integration, but I also felt like I was missing pieces throughout the whole book. And, this book was very very detailed. I would have liked to have better to understand the Celtic Gods, but seeing as there were 164 plus I can understand how that would be difficult. The book also touched upon Atlantis, something that it says maybe can’t be scoffed at like in olden times, and speaks about the worlds geography and the changes that occurred. I rather enjoyed this book, and while reading saw some specials on Celtic people, or TV shows mention the head hunters, who were also great artists and even had mass production in business. If you are looking for a book to tell a story, well this isn’t exactly the book for you, but if you are looking for a book to give you an idea of where to look to find a story and have more of a non-fiction eye that draws upon history and archeologist findings then this book is for you. It even goes with The Celtic people still surviving and ending with the tales of King Arthur, and how this Kings tale draws upon ancient Celtic beliefs and legends. I think I would read this book again I have sticky notes all over it and inside it will make yourself feel like an investigator.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

American Pastoral: Written by Philip Roth

Well... I faced another challenge with this book. At times I found myself so appalled so drawn in, and then so bored... This book won the Pulitzer Prize. I can completely understand why. It is a very in your face this is life type of book. It is not a work of ghosts, zombies, magic, or anything really supernatural just the American spirit in its basic, beautiful, and horrendous form. One of the reviews given was by the San Francisco Chronicle they said "At once expansive and painstakingly detailed....(I agree with the painstakingly detailed line.) The pages of American Pastoral crackle with the electricity and zest of a first rate mind at work." Really I found the author to just keep going with his thoughts just words after words after words... I became so bored with his explanations and descriptions that I longed for Stephen Kings long drawn out explanations. I did not feel these long run on sentences in both thought and voice helped the plot or story at all. If anything it kind of withered the impact his tale was making. The main character is a real tragedy the book shows that bad things just happen to good people and vice versa. At first I found myself falling in love with this book, and its first narrator. Then I found myself confused as it seemed like a lot of this was imagined and then no.. it was actually the plot happening. Even at the end the main character thinks something profound has happened, well it did, but not in the way he pictured it. Some of the scenes in the book, okay a lot got me thinking and by the end I really did not like any of these main characters they just became more gruesome and beat down as the years went on. I found myself wishing I could just smack every one of them across the back of the head and go "Snap out of it!" There is a character that does this in the book, but even he has his own huge issues to obviously deal with. Overall I am not a huge fan of this book I can see the message and the acute detail the author weaves his tale with, but overall I was not a big fan at all. I sure talked about the book though with my husband, and it even made me wonder "can anyone raise a decent family, or live a decent life?" Or do the fates just keep weaving their webs in like ancient cultures and keep moving our strings for the worlds amusement?" I will not say don't read this book, but if you can really buckle down and handle loooooong I mean it long rambles. Then by all means there are some original aspects to this book that travel throughout the years in a such a way. Especially if you are from NJ.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Heartwishes written by: Jude Deveraux

Well lovely readers, this was fast. I must say after having read so many real,  raw, and quite shocking books. My mind needed a break so I ran out in search of a book that would teach me nothing and not overly have an impact on my thinking concerning life and the human condition. Well, I found all that in Heartwishes. I had trouble finding such a book so many titles and descriptions are “shocking! Unique! Deadly! A life changing experience!” Okay, maybe not that bad, but a lot were very similar in their themes and seriousness, and I was searching for escapism. Heartwishes is not a romance novel in the traditional sense, but it was a love story none the less. Though the author I felt focused on certain things more and didn’t really give a lot of detail or enough dialogue to certain events. Whole stories about other people were going on that only had a passing mention. Never the less I could see the world she created in any small town, and throughout the book thinking.. “I could live in a small town where people know one another, and settle down.” It reminded me of the Peach Keeper which I read over the summer in how quaint and lovable everyone was. I almost found myself going okay when is the shoe going to drop in this book? I mean c’mon they all get along! Maybe some gruesome serial killer will come and ruin it all until the brave men or crafty women of the town can combat this evil But, no it was a story a simple one time story that I found myself laughing at, smiling, and even groaning because I know people who are so like these characters. I must mention one particular scene where a certain Mother in the book demands she be given a shot of tequila not one but two! Then her husband joins in and they continue drinking their wine. They remain pleasant, but that shot takes all the edge off in their life. Which, in my life I have to say I can totally see happening with a certain special lady I know. Overall this book was good, some scenes could have been longer and some shorter, but the way the author bringing the past and present together and the love the main characters have for their certain someone’s/passions is very refreshing. I feel good about the world once more. So what does this mean? It was a happy pill, in a book, which quite frankly sometimes we all just need.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

House of Leaves By: Mark z. Danielewski

My apologies for taking so long to write another book review. I have just come back from a journey that has at times made me feel terrified, paranoid, anxious, and even caused me a person who can sleep anytime, anywhere, in any state sleepless for quite a few nights. All of this was caused by the very thing that I have come to love. A book. Never before has a book so captured, confused, and just plain scared the hell out of me. I read the inside cover of this book before reading it and thought. Huh, that sounds unique. Okay… then I read the opening, and looked at a few of the pictures before the book begins. Odd, but okay….then it just went downhill from there. I am not scared of the dark most of the times, put me in a scary basement or in a middle of nowhere forgotten ghost town, or dark corridor in an abandoned mental hospital (don’t ask) then yes I am going to be a little (a lot) afraid. The house I am currently living in I was afraid of when we first moved in, it was bigger than I was used to, and so empty! Had I read this book when we had first moved into our house… I don’t think I would have survived. I admit I have an overactive imagination, but this book just got to me. It just sucked you in, and by doing so sucked the light around you in. I felt sunny days growing darker and ever darker every time I opened this book. Then I would find myself dazing out reading the book, trying to re-read sentences and foot notes. The book is like a text book, I had to double check a few times to make sure I hadn’t picked up some English text for college. Then, one night I could not sleep I woke up in a cold sweat, I felt like the walls were darkening growing smaller. I saw the book on my dresser and went… ok. Am I going mad like so many mentioned in that book? I had to prevent myself from calling my friend who had loaned me this book from asking if they had personally finished this book, or if they had bought it and never finished, or read it? I didn’t, and luckily the next day I learned my husband’s co-worker had in fact read the very book I was talking about, and well he was still sane. So I kept reading. I found myself wanting to watch happy sunny movies during night, and trying to not read this book at night or in my House. In case somehow the words would wind some eerie spell around my own home. The book itself is so distorting where you can usually find a character or general theme to latch onto while reading and following those certain threads, this book there was no set thread to follow because each person’s story led to pure bedlam and a not so happy story. I cannot give much away about this tale because discovering what is going on is more than half the fun. I read quite a few pages twice and flipped through a lot even researched some of what they were talking about to get a better understanding. Needless to say it was a very long and again DARK journey. I will say this book was fascinating, I kept seeing it in the real world pieces lurking here and there and kept mentioning it to friends. My friend who gave me the book told me to have a flashlight I made sure my phone was charged and I had my little light. The book I am speaking of is Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. I really did enjoy the story and it really was an oddity and an incredibly long story. I am not sure I understood what happened at the very end of one of the characters tales, Johnny, but I do know he was disturbing and horrific in his tales, but in such a way I really liked them. As for the rest of the characters you will just have to read. I don’t think I would ever read this book again, I think the first time is what really sucks you in after you survive I think it’s like a roller coaster it’s never going to be nearly as scary as that first drop and upside down turn. So, I hope you check this book out and read every page I mean every page.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Barell Fever By David Sedaris Stories and Essays

Okay, now, here is a book that I had to push through and yet at the same time it was the same as (forgive the waaaay overused comparison) some horrific accident and I just could not look away. The book itself is not a story, but rather a bunch of short stories and essays. The stories themselves at times I found myself shaking in fear, disgust, and utter disbelief. Mostly because I found myself thinking.. No way, that would never happen, and then pausing to say well… looking at the news and internet news a lot of similar stories I could totally see happening. I’m not sure what David Sedaris was trying to tell the world when he wrote this book, but the critics on the book say he “finds humor in the blackest of scenarios.”  “shrewd, wickedly funny… one of America’s most prickly, and most delicious, young comic talents.” I wonder if I just have the wrong sense of humor to understand the humor in this book. I really don’t fine the stories funny, rather I found myself trying to laugh instead of bursting out in horrified tears at a few of these short stories and what goes through these characters minds as each reveals their tale. I will say the author really, I mean really knew how to make his tale as graphic and real in such a short amount of pages. The internal voices of the characters painted a picture of cheap plastic America, rotted linoleum floors, greenish yellow skin, dirty finger nails, burnt out apartment buildings, desolate oil streaked garages, packed overflowing oil stained garages…and he did not use these descriptions, but just reading and seeing what his characters went through and what they were doing I just saw these images. The tales themselves could become full length real life movies, or be some poor slobs lot in life. Really, this book was like the classic Aristocrat joke without the punch line at the end… was it for me? Not really, would I read it again? Probably not, could I not stop telling my husband about the stories? No, I just had to share the stories because they were just so.. physically existing.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dead Beat written by: Jim Butcher

The Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher is one of my favorites, it’s so technical and detailed you can’t help but see and understand what world Mr. Butcher is trying to draw you into. I used to read the books, but soon discovered Mr. James Marsters read the unabridged versions of the books. I listened to the ones I had already read and fell in love. Mr. Marsters voice is just captivating and blends perfectly with the Dresden books. I recently finished listening to “Dead Beat” book 7 in the series. This book was fantastic! Every time I think I have figured out what is going to happen and what the choices the main character has made something changes or something from the past comes to the present throwing a monkey wrench in everything. Mr. Butcher continues to take his old stories and incorporate them into the present story layering event upon event. I Love the main character Harry Copperfield Blackstone Dresden. He’s such an ass with his humor and second rate accessories. It is another supernatural series, but unlike the other series I read the human/mortal world is still mostly blind to the supernatural and fights at every event to not see what is right in front of their faces. The way Harry lives in both the supernatural world and the mortal world is quite amusing, seeing as Wizards do not do well around electronics or anything that’s modern such as a microwave, toaster, and fates forbid a computer! I love the other characters who have been introduced over time as well, this latest book I just have to say I love the character “Butters.” After having seen the show SouthPark and falling in love with Butters in the show and then listening to this book and getting to know the Jim Butcher’s “Butters” I have to say, they’re both similar and oh so charming. Of course the other characters I have come to love are still there as are the ones I loathe and fear. Still for as graphic and at times just darn depressing this story has the same sarcastic dark/light humor that makes you just love the Harry Character. You feel as if you are standing by the side lines rooting for him the entire way. I am not saying the main character is without flaws he’s quite flawed, but it is his flaws that make him so real and relatable to. Of course at times you want to smack him upside the head and go "What were you thinking?!" Overall I cannot wait to hear the next book and listen to Marsters voice tell Butcher’s tale word by word in such a way you have to keep listening and be drawn further and further into the story until before you know it, the book has concluded and you’re hearing “You have just listened to…” Wishing you could pop the next book in. I am almost scared to hear/see what will happen to Harry in the future this series does not scream "And they all lived happily ever after." Still, this series has a special place with me as it is the only series I listen to.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Water for Elephants by Sara Guen

Stupendous! Magical! Heart wrenching! Just mystifying.. and downright depressing. I say this a lot about books in one way or a another. But, Water for Elephants was just spellbinding. The story begins in such a way I found myself going wait what that’s the opening scene well where do we go from here? And then you are brought to the main character he’s no longer a strong young lad as you see him on the cover of the book (My friend’s mother lent me her book which has the movie cover not the original) but, as a frail man caught in a system that can break so many of our living seniors. The story itself the one about the circus was dark and foreboding, quite realistic showing how hard times were during the era this book took place. I am impressed with how authors research the topics they choose to write about, especially when it comes to fiction. To finish a book and learn so much of this was true is always a mixed blessing. The characters themselves seem so real and everyone who has ever been to a circus or fair will automatically be able to relate to this story and see in their minds eyes the scenes the author creates and even smell what is wafting throughout the story. The incredible thing about this book though I found was the shifting between the story of the young man and the present day old man. It was so bizarre to be in the young world during prohibition and the depression and then be thrown back into the modern era where though there is no depression this character was happier in his own past. It was like you were jerked back into reality and then hypnotized back into the past story. Not to mention when having to put the book down realizing there really is no sounds of the circus or smell of cotton candy and caramel apples. I loved this book, I do not want to be all preachy, but it also I hope shows young readers why it’s cruel to keep changing things on old people to rip them from what they’ve known what they’ve worked for their entire lives and then deposit them in a place where workers come and go, Drs medicate instead of talking to understand why these older patients are struggling or upset(I am not saying all places are like this, but a lot of the time our solution is take a pill and deal) If people took a moment and spoke to their elders they may learn about the past their story and become enchanted by it and learn a thing or two rather than just thinking their elders are old news. Yes! They are! But, they were there when events that are books now were real! The book has villains and heroes and those who can be neither because of the world they are trapped in. I wish I could spill so much about this plot and how much I admired the story in itself. From the ticket sales person, the hard manual labor guys, cake faced clowns, to the glitzy glam performers both humans and animals alike. It just flowed so well and kept you going and progressed in a grand way. It opens with a bang and ends in a melody. I have not seen the movie, but I am tempted to now just to see the colors of the movie and know how gritty and plastered over everything was in that day. I am glad I got to know my Great Grandmother and Nanny they both left me with some of their stories, and I wish they were around to compare and contrast this book, because they were there. If you read this book read the authors notes at the ends it will only add to the story.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Diary A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk.

Okay, now I read a lot of different kinds of books and some of them I find quite disturbing even upsetting at times. I am by no means a genius and some books manage to plum puzzle me. Diary by Chuck Palahniuk, shocked, confused, and horrified me. This tale hit a little close to home because it talks about a woman who just waits for her next drink to dull the pain. No, I don't drink to dull any pain, and I am not saying I can relate to the main character in all ways, but I sometimes fear the events she faces being a young woman, married, and having my future ahead of me. When you're young the future seems so far away, but when you're an " young adult." You have to make decisions and you don't overly think "what if this is the wrong decision." No, that happens as you are older, and really no one knows if they have made the right decision until that decision leads them down the wrong wretched road and they are questioning their past decisions and realizing crap, nothing I can do now to change those decisions. This book was maddening and dizzy there was so much going on and I felt like clues were being dropped throughout the story that stood out like florescent puzzle pieces; only those pieces did not reveal anything until nearly the end. The main character I can almost sympathize for her, but at the same time there were all the red flags in her life. I will have to say and hope this does not give the plot away that the story was a cruel version of "The lottery." A short story that if you have read it you will understand it is not a happy tale, and utilitarianism in the extreme. This book took it a few steps further and played God with so many lives. I did not overly enjoy any of the characters in this book they did not seem wholly believable and they were so dingy and raw. The characters also were so abstract and barely had a face. The ending is clever enough though. The story only would work in the setting the author created anywhere else would never have worked. Perhaps I do not enjoy the main/lesser characters because I have seen people behave in similar ways. Anyway, I can appreciate the story and tale told, but I found this book just a tad too far out there and raw for me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Help written by: Kathryn Stockett

The Help… Is being compared to many books and many stories, but what really jumps out at me is it’s being called “This generations To Kill A Mockingbird” I read this in a magazine, and saw they were making a movie of “The Help” the way commercials described it, it looked like a comedy, but to be compared to “To Kill A Mockingbird” told me there is no way this is a comedy. I actually loath when people say “It’s this generations so and so...” I find that if something is so great and it influences a generation then why can’t the same thing influence generations yet to come and present generations? And, many great books still do. So, I can’t say this book is this generations “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Because, this generation still reads and learns from To Kill A Mockingbird in and out of schools presently.  I saw the author similar to the Author of the previous mentioned book was also white, and had grown up in the South. Well, I thought I have to read this book, because it’s stirring up people and about to be made into a movie. Well, I am glad I did. Yes there are similarities, but like anyone growing up during this time, the stories are different and yet the same. I used to listen to my Great Grandmother speak, and then my Grandparents speak about times when they were young and even my parents views created vivid stories for me. I read To Kill a Mockingbird both as a child and later on in school. I found the book greatly depressing, but educational. It is interesting that a woman in this current age would write about a time in the 1960’s when so much was occurring. Similar to the Author of To Kill A Mockingbird to write in the late 1950’s releasing her book in 1960 about a few years during the great depression when the rights of many were still so screwed up in the South and just looking at a person the wrong way could get you killed. However, the same could be said about “The Color Purple, Raisin in the Sun” and many more books during the years. I found myself reading The Help and yes at times I was angry, sad, and uplifted. The story is not told by just one character, but told by three amazing women. The story progresses so well, and I found myself screaming at the book at times “No, Don’t!” “What!?” “What next!?” The chapters would end on a cliffhanger and I found myself remembering the movie Scream 3 (please don’t kill me for this comparison) During a scene in scream 3 the actors are at the Fax machine receiving faxes from the murderer/killer and it cuts off before they all find out who the Killer is going to grant mercy to. They all scream in agitation and anticipation…well that’s how I felt. I had to keep reading this book even though yes, it was depressing. I love history and many events in this book though didn't happen exactly when the author put them in (they amend this in the notes at the end of the book) it worked quite well with the story itself. Some may say the characters are too stereotypical, but during the times people were forced to be stereotypes, and many hid behind those to keep the real people hidden and safe. The way the community interacted both in front of one another and behind closed doors really was amazing, and the way the children were brought in also broke my heart. They friendships and relationships created, bent, and broken really made you think. I enjoyed this book immensely I won’t say it was my generations or this generations To Kill A Mockingbird I think this book was powerful enough to stand on its own and not be compared. It may not make everyone happy and it may upset many others, but when this happens I always remember a story Billy Joel shared with the general public. (I cannot say this story is true, but I always enjoyed it) The Pope hated and complained about his song as did the entire church “Only the Good Die Young” well Mr. Billy Joel wrote the Pope a thank you letter stating he could complain about his music publicly anytime. Record sales went through the roof apparently. Read The Help and you’ll understand why I make this comparison, if people are told “don’t read that, it’s trash, horrible, I can’t believe this….” I think it makes something even more popular, maybe not in the right way, but I think The Help personally is a good book, and I’ll probably read it again.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Fall: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

What can I say about “The Fall” Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan have stunned, amazed, and impressed me once again. Now, for those of you who have seen Pans Labyrinth, Blade II, Hell Boy 1 & 2, you are familiar with Del Toro’s style of directing and creating. Perhaps it is because of these movies I can picture what he writes all the better, but I think even without having his visual creations as reference I would still be able to see everything Chuck Hogan and Del Toro have created in part two of this Trilogy. NYC is so familiar now to me, at least its underbelly is familiar to me. The first book “The Strain” scared me, and as I said in my review of it “I’m so glad I knew this was a story” But, part two of the trilogy left me just as impressed, the book this time however greatly disturbed me. The creatures the authors bring about in this are not exactly unique, but impressive in their inhumanity vs. humanity both in the villains and survivors of this tale. I say survivor, because in the world these two writers have created there is no real room left for the magnificent white knight the world has long since made those figures impossible, instead we have our average folk just fighting for all their worth. They are not really living, but just getting by day to night, night to day. The Fall is properly titled because that what this book is, and I’ll not give away plot as usual, but I must say reading this book in the light amongst people only helped a little, perhaps reading it by oneself in a brightly lit room encased in concrete and a lead door may have made me feel more secure as the problem the characters face are both inner and outside forces messing with them every step of the way. The human psyche and heart after all can only endure so much is what we have been told, and yes people do crack but in this book you are amazed at what you can live/ survive though. Then again look at the world we actually live in and maybe this work of fiction is not so far off. I loved the Fall and eagerly await the conclusion of this trilogy hoping to answer questions I have, and yes to be scared and disturbed once more.  I have to ask myself can this series have a happy ending.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Barefoot Elin Hilderbrand

Picture a beautiful hot day in New England then enter three women that could be any three women.

 This book is written that most women I feel in their 20’s would feel like they are getting peak into their possible futures. Those in their 30’s and older can truly appreciate this book and relate to the archetypes; career woman, the mother, and the house wife all very common roles in life for women. It is interesting because once upon of time I thought mothers were all matronly, wore floppy hats, tended their gardens, had various craft projects, cooked meals, and minded their children. That has obviously changed over time, but I see a lot of young women doing these tasks and loving them. This book is written quite well and I am not quite sure how to explain the way it captures the life of these women on one particular summer. Though, I’m warning you ladies and men. At several points they say “wow they’re ancient, old, and way too old.” The oldest woman is 32! Now, I must say as I approach 30 I do not find it to be old especially compared to quite a few young 20 year olds.  I have to laugh at the younger 20 year olds in this book because I find myself relating to being in my mid 20’s and being smack dap in the middle of these characters ages relating to the young characters and to the older ones since I find myself approaching some of these life moments. The story itself shows that just because you’re out of your 20’s doesn’t mean you are old and wise. People are still growing and learning and trying to make sense of the world and their lives. There are points I felt very frustrated by the characters, but in a good way they felt so real, and the way they each touched their lives was very inspiring. The plot is not overly new, but the way it’s presented is rather fresh and the Josh character is very refreshing and could be the boy/man of many girls/ladies dreams. Overall, it is a great read on a summer sunny day out in the yard or on a sandy sunny beach. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Neverwhere: Neil Gaiman

Have any of you ever seen or read Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass? I sadly have not had the pleasure of reading the Alice books, but I have seen Disney’s version, and several other live action movies. I must say Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere book makes me think of the White Rabbit. I can just picture Mr. Gaiman having that White Rabbit lure Alice or, us as the readers into his world he has altered and then created. This book starts off normal enough for a Neil Gaiman book that is. Then Mr. Gaiman who reminds me of the White Rabbit throws us down that damn hole slaps us around a bit, and hurls us smack dab into madness. At times you think you’ve got a handle on the world, and then you are lost. Sad thing is there’s a main character who is the one who is being forced into the dark world Mr. Gaiman has created. It’s dark, dangerous, and forgotten by anyone who truly matters. The characters are enjoyable they’re written just enough to get you to know and enjoy them to an extent. Alas, sometimes I find Mr. Gaiman doesn’t give us enough about his characters to really make us understand them, but just enough to care for them. I will say this though every page lures you further into his world and makes you wonder which world really matters. The main character is a nice fellow who really should have just kept walking, but as Neo learned in the Matrix there’s really no going back. My only real complaint is as I have seen in the past the story does not fully conclude similar to past books I have read by Neil Gaiman. Other than that the story really brings you in and has you feel many emotions especially concerning those who are part of the Neverwhere world.  I have never been to London but after reading this I feel I know a bit about the old city… at least it’s subways and sewers that is.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Peach Keeper Sarah Addison Allen

Okay, for all of you out there picture the person whose always been there for you, no matter what you know that person is there for you. A bond of friendship that just lasts regardless of time, events, neglect, and life. Perhaps once you hesitated in picking up that phone, but then they just appeared and made it all right. Now add a dash of mystery and some rich upper class and a fallen family who have a dymanic trait that can't be smothered. The Peach Keeper made me value all the friendships I have and even the ones I no longer have. It's a great story that I had to read twice just because it was a good story it left you happy and fullfilled, it was a one time novel no second needed in a world of so many series, it told a story it had you escape the world and transported you to the two main characters lifes and their side backup characters just end with a smile. This book may not be some great life changing book that has some big message, but it's a great story that really again makes you treasure what you have and again even lost. It also shows us it's never too late to revive and make a new everlasting bond.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pride & Prejudice Hidden Lusts by Mitzi Szereto

Okay Recently I read Jayne Austin's Pride & Prejudice and really I quite enjoyed it. The timeless whit and humor were rather refresing in the less eloquent smash your face in the plot style of today. Then again, that's rather harsh there are a lot of writers of today who write quite well, but Ausin was just light with heavy topics of the time. Now, this book, is an X rated book that I was laughing through the entire time. I don't know if it was actually good, or more just fascinating in how this author interpreted Austin's book and scraped away all that was proper and set off dynamite revealing the very scandelous and sexual nature of every character in the book. Scenes were just utterly ridiculous and so off the wall a few times I caught myself going .."really?! No one notices this?!" It was a fun read I don't know if I would call it for everyone, but for those of you who enjoy the laugh at the very nature of humans when it comes to their sexual natures would probably find this very amusing and oddly delicous. I for one will never look at these classic characters quite in the same light, but each story has it's place amongst society, and if you want to read and go "Oh My gosh! No they didn't!?" This book is probably for you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Have you ever read a book that instantly you thought to yourself..."I am so glad this is just a story?" and yet you would find yourself becoming increasingly scared or even terrified at what was befalling the characters in the book? This is what "The Strain" was to me. I found myself instantly sucked into this story don't let the typical is it just another end of world monster book disuade you from reading this, it was sooo amazing. Every page made me think I was gaining a larger piece of the stories puzzle that perhaps the next page I would finally understand what was going on and how these characters may just succeed where fate obviously wished them to fail. Del Toro and Hogan are just amazing in their writing style and plot they put together. The characters you really can understand what is going through their minds by both their internal dialogue and their actions seen from others. There were a few times I had to stop reading and look around just to make sure the world was still here and the light was still on. Really a great horrific very modern read  it grabs from both the past, present, and shows us an entirely too scary future that would terrify any generation.

Oh and it's a Trilogy! Which for once I am A okay with! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The book of Rachel By Joel Gross

A few weeks ago I read a book that my friend Jacie lent me... I wasn't expecting what I read. If you are expecting the typical historical romance novel following the beautiful heroine who somehow beats backs the trial of time and love...well this sooo isn't that book. This book follows a Jewish family through the ages beginning in the year 1484 in Spain. For those of you who study history you know this is a bad time for the Jewish populace. For those of you who don't it is during the Spanish Inquisition. Not only does it follow the family, but this book also follows an amazing diamond which manages to carry on the main character(s) families story. This family is really spectacular in how it creates a tradition from something so profoundly horrifying and beautiful. I hesitate to give anything of the plot away but it ends in the year 1979. I probably felt every emotion while reading this book its a wonderful way to bring non-fiction and fiction into a perfect blend though there is a lot of discord in these stories and its definetely not for the faint of heart. However, for those of you wishing to have a bit of history in your life as well as a spectacuar story this book is definetely for you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hit List by: Laurell K. Hamilton

kay, I've been reading these books faithfully for over ten years now...Hell, I've had my husband and gf's friends become jealous of the fictional male characters we've been in love with for years. I've pleaded with friends to keep reading to say "they get better I swear it's not over after Obsidian Butterfly, she builds character, please keep reading."..I've told people "it's not just about sex..." Well, okay I'm done, if you want to give up on this series go ahead I can't I'm too invested in the characters that I've grown up with, and learned to love over the years. I think to properly sum up this book you really need to read it and the series to really see what has happened here... Picture a Kevin Smith movie...all talk little action but there's whitty humor jokes of lesser taste and some really amusing moments...Kevin Smith has claimed he's a lazy director, he'd love to just have Ben Afflex and someone else talking about something action pack occuring rather than having to direct said action packed scene...well Laurell has done that with her writing,she's become lazy her book did a lot of "This we've got to do this and this is going to happen!" Well, NOTHING HAPPENED! Hit List when it first was announced it was said this book would be a book that the gauntlet would be thrown down and picked up. St. Louis would become a battle Ground Anita and her men/team/ friends so to speak, versus the Mother of all Darkness and her ancient team...well this book was soooo not what was promised instead let's do what the books have been doing forever and mainly since Micah.. Picture if you will :Overweight bulky racistsexist cop whose all big and painful stereotype, he hates Anita because why? Well turns out the Anita character is petite big boobed and cute! Plus she knows how to shoot a gun, kick ass, and give anyone shit who dishes it out to her. NO FRIGGEN WAY! We've only known this since the first friggen book?Why must we hear the same description of Anita and characters we already know over and over again 20 books we've got it. And, if a character is minor and only in one scene I don't know the bulk, hair cut, dyed eyebrows, rippling muscles, or even boob size! Oh and guess what Spoiler alert Edward aka Ted is also in the book and guess what people...he has a cold blooded stare! What really? We've only known that since the first book too....really!? So turns out someone or something is murdering supernaturals not the first time and Anita and Ted are on the case...guess what she's away from her men, but somehow finds a few men that like her instantly and thus her powers can somewhat be controlled but not to the extent she needs to yet again have sex with a stranger!  Anita protests like she ALWAYS does and then more talk talk talk talk talk occurs... at least when it was about sex in the books SOMETHING happened! Laurell Keeps throwing men into the books, men do not equal more plot. I love Anita still, really I do, I love most of the men alas most of the new ones I can't even remember their names since she keeps adding them every book... I'll keep reading the series but in all honesty I can no longer call Anita my Hero and this series my favorite something bad happened and I can't stand multiple books whose endings are just pure cop-outs in the end. 

There I said it and it's a lot politer than what I originally thought...