I can't do normal... I've tried. Stephen King and John Steinbeck are my heroes. 

Topical Poem

Reblogged from BrokenTune :
First Fig (1918)
This describes my current week beautifully. I hope you all are having a good week, too.

Un Lun Dun

Un Lun Dun - China MiƩville

I am going to start with the positive. My first China Miéville book. Love his writing. I really do. I cannot wait to read The City & The City, which is the real Miéville book that I am waiting to read but wasn't at my bookstore. Love that he tries different genres of fiction in his writing. I really admire that. And, his sense of imagination is incredible. How he thought up all those things and names and ideas... I dunno. Amazing.

All that being said, I chose his YA novel because they are usually easy to get into or at least with me, I am able to get through them better even if they are not that great. It kills me to say it but even though I really like his writing style... YA is definitely not his strong suite. It was not the fast fun read that I thought it was going to be. It was not a fast read for me at all. Things were a lot more in-depth. It was almost like a Lord of the Rings, OMG I should be taking notes, type of book. Well, not to that extreme but heading in that direction.


It took a while to really get into the main story. I would say, if you are going to read it, to give it at least 150 pages, maybe even more. It sort of drags at the start but it is almost needed in order to understand the rest of the story more fully. Not going to give any spoilers but Hemi is my favorite character. Love him!



The next book I pick up is definitely going to be The City & City. Cannot wait.

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling

This, of course, is a re-read. Or rather, it's a re-re-re-re-read. Actually, I've lost count of how many times I've read this book. But, It has new covers so I must buy them all.


The book is magic. Every time I read it, it reminds me of why I am an avid reader. I love everything about this book. The characters, the setting, the world and the whole story. It's a pure joy to read.

When I hear them talking all about their criticisms, or literary shortcomings, or the blah blah blah, but really, what does that mean? And do I care.. NO. Real readers want to know, will I love reading this book. And, if you even moderately like fantasy and magical universes and good verses evil type of stories, then you will love this book. I love reading this book and I guess there is really nothing more to say.

The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain, Guy Cardwell, John Seelye

Mark Twain writes the best first person narrative voice I have ever read. He's so witty that I caught myself laughing out loud several times. It's a good thing nobody else was around because I probably would have been committed.


The story itself is one of those 'too good to be true' type of old tale stories. Very charming and endearing. It has the same type of quality as the movie Forrest Gump. You can't help but love Huck Finn's oddball, free-spirited, eccentric character.


But I'm not going to lie. The first half was difficult to get through. And even thought I enjoy his writing style, I just could not get into it. I loved Huck and was rooting for Jim but I really felt that there was no real purpose to some of the events or maybe they just dragged out a little too long. I essentially forced myself to continue reading. That's why I only gave it 3 1/2 stars. If I had to base it solely on the last half, it would be a full 5 star book.


I was aware going into of the use of a certain derogatory racist term in the book. I understand it was used to make a point and it was true to the time period of when the book was written and ..blah blah blah... I understand, but I was just not prepared to how much this word was used. I guess I had a hard time wrapping my head around a culture that just so freely used the term.


This is one of those books that are just so culturally relevant, especially in North America, that everyone should at least read once. I'm glad I did.


Truthwitch - Susan Dennard

It's very hard for me to star rate this book. I've been going back and forth between 3 or 4 stars. I really enjoyed the book BUT I just have that feeling that the next book in the series may be so much better. I wish there was a 'let me wait and see how this plays out' rating.   


I was slow getting into it. The world building was a little bit confusing... and come to think of it, I'm still kind of confused. I'm a little in the dark about how the whole magical world works with the different kind of witches (truthwitch, treadwitch, bloodwitch, windwitch, etc.) and how they all relate to the Cahr Awen thingy and what the Original Wells are suppose to represent. Also, I'm not sure exactly where the different Kingdoms/territory (?!?) are situated in relation to one another. Maybe a map would have helped. But, that didn't get in the way of me being able to comprehend and really enjoying the book. 


I LOVED that the story centers around two female protagonist and the concept of true friendships and loyalty. It's not a Romeo and Juliette type of, star-crossed lovers story that you find in so many YA fantasy novels that makes me want to puke. While there is sort of a little bit of that mixed in, it's not the main focus of the story. It's really about two witches growing up in a cruel world, trying to find their place in a unstable society on the brink of war and their bond to each other. 


Also, not a big fan of the cover. But, that is a minor detail.  


It was really refreshing to read a book where both main characters were kick ass females who are willing to take on the world together. No cat fights, not jealous, no fighting over some guy, just true female friendship.




Ten Days in a Mad-house

Ten Days in a Mad-House - Nellie Bly

Hat's off to you, Nellie Bly. My new hero. 


For the sake of a story, she faked insanity and she got herself admitted into an insane asylum then wrote an exposé on the Blackwell's Island women's asylum in New York. Not knowing how, or if, she or anybody else would be able to get her out. And all this before women even had the right to vote. Blows my mind. Girls got guts. 



The story was published in a series of articles for Joseph Pulitzer's New York Newspaper The World in the late 1800s (Yes, dude who the Pulitzer Prize is named after) and then later in novel form. I can't help but think about what an exciting time it must have been to read newspapers in New York. This must have been the golden age of journalism. Really, it's investigative journalism at it's best. Nellie Bly could teach a thing or two to all those reporters who now write crappy commentary reports on the latest episodes of the Kardashian's. Well written journalism like this is a hard thing to come by these days. Or maybe I'm just reading the wrong websites, I dunno?!? 


The story is compelling, eye opening and horrifying all at the same time. The abuse of power and the conditions that these women suffered makes me think about how people who can do little for themselves are treated by others in society. What does that say for humanity? Has anything changed in the 21st century? It's a very thought provoking read. It's a must read. 


Wow, I'm still amazed by the story. It will be one that haunts me for a long time. 

She also wrote Around the World in Seventy-Two Day, also for The World, which wasinspired by Jules Verne Around the World in Eighty Days. I have never read Jules Verne in my life but I am definitely going to pick it up and then read Nellie Bly's account of her attempt to match it.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice (Alma Evergreens) - Jane Austen

This is another one of those books that makes me feel like I am a little left out of the cool kids club. Like, maybe I should re-read the book. Am I missing something? I know people profess their undying love for this book, and it is a literary classic ... and I should be head over heals in love too. And, I may get a lot of hate for this but I thought it was a little ridiculous. I know, I am supposed to love it... but I don't.



Who uses the word vexation in a conversation? Really? Did they use those words in everyday conversation in England in the 19th century? I'm not quite sure about that.

The whole plot is essentially about five sisters trying to marry well. And by marry well, I mean, trying to find a rich husband to take care of you. That is basically the main objective of the characters in the book. I understand that I have to look at it through the lenses of the values of the time but lets be real. What was supposed to be so scandalous, wasn't really that big of a deal. I am sure there was a lot more stuff going on in that period. Any the way they handled it... no. I can't even go there.



I guess I have a hard time relating to the characters or their objectives. Jane Austin was a novelist herself, a working woman of sorts, and her characters have no profession or ambitions at all. Well, other than to marry rich men. All the characters essentially just waited around to get married and went for walks. I guess what I am trying to say is that I prefer main characters with some real grit to them. I want my heroine to be a real heroine and not to wait for some guy to save the day. 

In the modern era, I feel like this would have just been an episode on As The World Turns or some other soap opera. Don't get me wrong, I love a good soap operas. But they are what they are...


My real ambitions are to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies then see the movie. Just thought I should read the original first.

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1)

The Alchemyst - Michael Scott, Erik Singer

It's somewhere around a 2 and 3/4 star book.


Ever since I seen the cover of this book I wanted to read it. I have always had an interest in alchemy, philosophy and mythology and stories with those elements. I also adore the cover. It is beautiful.But, reading the reviews I was some what put off. Then I read it anyways. I don't know why but just had too.


It's actually an okay book. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It is an easy read with more potential than it's actual realization. The story line is okay, it's not the most suspenseful though. There is no inner vs outer conflict. The struggle doesn't seem real in the story.


The main issue is that it lacked characterization. There was no attachment for me to any of the characters. The were all flat and you never get to really know any of them to actually care about them. I also found the relationship between the twins to be really...odd. However, I do not know what it's like to be a twin so maybe that's what it's like.... dunno. I also expected more out of Nicholas Flamel. I wanted his character to be more wise and sage-like. I mean, he's like 900 years old after all. But, he just turned out to be goofy with a dash of douchebag mixed in.


Even after all that being said, I may continue with the series too. It lacked emotional involvement for me but I didn't mind the story line. So, I think it will be nice to read the rest of the series while I'm at the beach this summer.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them - J.K. Rowling

This is written as Harry Potter's own textbook for Hogwarts. Obviously, it's J.K. Rowling writing as a character from Harry's world. It serves more as a reference to readers of the Magical Creatures in the series.

The movie that is coming out by the same name in November of this year (2016) is based on some of the creatures referenced in this book. I do believe the main character in the movie is actually the "author" of this book, Newt Scamander... And, I cannot begin to describe how excited I am after watching the trailer. The movie is basically the reason I read the book. view here


It's a super fast read. As in, it took less than an hour and half. It's a cute little fun companion to the series. It reads like a encyclopedia so it's not super exciting but it's nice to try and remember all the magical creatures from the Harry Potter books. I think it's profits goes to charity of some kind.


It also made me want to re-read the series which I plan to begin very soon!


An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines - John Green

WARNING... This book contains math equations with graphs and stuff... Which, of course, I simply just skipped over because I don't care about theorem, graphs or predicting outcomes which I know to be impossible because life doesn't fit into a math equation. And math is boring. Useful but boring... Okay, I'm done my rant.


There is a part of me that just soooo wishes I loved John Green's novels as much as everyone else. But, meh, I just sort of like him. That's all. And, if I was being honest, I liked Papertowns much better.


From reading his novels, you can tell John Green is smart and witty and well read but sometimes I feel like that over takes the story line a little too much. It is not that this story is 'uneventful' but nothing really major happens. It's almost like a reality TV episode. It's entertaining but you sometimes get bored and want to do other stuff instead.

Half Wild

Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy) - Sally Green

I read this book in less than 2 days (which also includes me having a life and going to work).


I loved every minute of it. And I'm not afraid to say it.

-read more-


Carrie - Stephen King

    I always recommend this book to any one who has never read any Stephen King. Its a good starter novel into King's work.  Not too long. The book doesn't weight 20 lbs. Not a lot of freaky supernatural. And well, it's a little gory but just at the end. It's a great read.



The Dark Days Club

The Dark Days Club (A Lady Helen Novel) - Alison Goodman

This book is so well written, and even though it seemed to take me an eternity to read, I enjoyed every moment. I would describe this book a cross breed between half historical fiction and half steampunk.


My feelings while reading were somewhat all over the place. I loved and hated most of the characters at some point during the novel, sometimes at the same time. There were moments that I wanted to shake and scream at some of them, "why are you doing this?" Was never able to actually foresee any of the events that were about to unfold - which is a big plus with me.


I can't say that this book is for everyone. You have to like a certain type of genre to really enjoy this book. I would pick and chose who I recommend this book to but I would definitely recommend to myself. And, I would definitely read another novel by Alison Goodman. 

The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go  - Patrick Ness

  The first two chapters were brutal to get through. I had picked up this book and put it down on several occasions before I actually read it. It did get much better after that. Having read 'The Gunslinger' by Stephen ruined this book for me. It has almost the same premise and flow. There were a lot of unnecessary sentences and repeating of same sentences but just worded differently. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a YA novel, not Stephen King.

  The plot is somewhat unique and drives the story forward. It keeps your interest. I would have like the story a lot more if it was not for the ending. I was expecting to be left with the feeling of 'WTF' but in only left with a 'seriously, that's the ending' feeling.

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Currently reading

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories by Stephen King