Book Blogger Confession Tag

I ran across this fun tag game @bookidote! Feel free to jump in and do it yourself! The rules: answer the bookish questions, then tag people (optional) to spread the fun!

When I start a book, I try to finish it. Quitting can become a habit before you know it. But I’ll skip out on a book if it has content that causes me stress. Or if I just try and try and can’t bring myself to keep reading because
it’s
so
dry.
That’s the case with The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

The Shannara series had been in my peripheral vision for a while, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I tracked down the first book and boy, was it a GREAT cure for insomnia.

It reads almost like a mirror image of Lord of the Rings, but slower. Most of it was telling me what the characters did, “this character said this, asked this question,” without actually letting the action play out.

All in all, this book is still on my to-read list if I ever get around to it again. One day. Maybe. If I’m having trouble sleeping and want to catch a few Z’s.

If a book could hug you like your best friend, it would be Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell (no, I won’t shut up about how much I love this book, can’t stop me).

I understand and respect the need for hard-hitting literature, tackling topics that should be addressed.

But there is just as much need for books like this where you read it with a BIG SMILE on your face and you want nothing more than to curl up between the pages. Not to sound “cliche” but it restores your faith in humanity.

It shows diversity as NORMAL, not something that constantly needs to be a source of conflict. It indulges in all those yummy good stuffs that make life wonderful, i.e. pumpkin cheesecake, fudge, crisp autumn air, fuzzy sweaters, and the comfort of your best friend by your side through thick and thin.

Honestly, I won’t shut up Pumpkinheads. It was a much needed dose of hope and light in a slew of literature where character deaths and trauma seem to be the norm now.

Continue reading “Book Blogger Confession Tag”

Pick Me Up Monday: The Starless Sea

SUMMARY

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood.

Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.


PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2019


This book.

Oh, THIS BOOK.

I was thoroughly enthralled with Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, swept away on a dizzying, swirling, spinning display of carnival magic. How do you follow that? How do you conjure that kaleidoscope of glorious enchantment for Project #2?

Ever since then, I’ve been waiting. Patiently and not-so-patiently in equal measure. Masterpieces cannot be rushed. But at long last!!!! It’s time to be swept away on Morgenstern’s tidal wave of illusions once more, bewitched by her prose and the images she weaves together like brightly colored ribbons.


What whimsical read are you looking forward to for the dreary winter months? Let me know in the comments!

this post contains Amazon Affiliate links

Librarian’s Bookshelf: Gunslinger Girl

The wide open plains of the desert and a girl with her guns. Gunslinger Girl is a wild romp of an adventure with plenty of western swagger and girls you don’t want to mess with.

REVIEW

Serendipity is on the run. Her father is an angry, violent man and the world affords no mercy either, especially for a female. In a futuristic, apocalyptic West, her hometown is a harsh and unforgiving place. Every capable body is needed to bear children and keep the community running, leaving Serendipity with a target on her back.

So, she makes a break for it, to the den of iniquity known as Cessation. She’s been warned about it all her life, what a hellish place it is. A “good girl” would never set foot there. And that makes it the perfect place for Serendipity to disappear, to cover her tracks in case her father comes after her and decides to drag her back home, wedding her to the first man who glances her way.

When Serendipity reaches Cessation, it’s a bittersweet revelation – she has more freedom and more opportunities, especially with the pretty pair of guns at her hips, but there are some ugly happenings behind the curtain. Maybe her father was right all along. Has she simply traded one hellscape for another?

What I liked about this book:

Girls don’t mess around

A decent portion of the cast is female and none of them pull their punches.

Serendipity is proficient with the six-shooters her mother gave her.

The Big Boss of Cessation, Miss Selene, is notorious for her merciless, no nonsense business manner. She rules Cessation with an iron grip and anyone who wrongs her faces the firing squad. Literally.

These are women who grit their teeth and draw blood. They don’t hesitate to kick, bite, shoot, or kill. Whatever it takes to be the one left standing.

Action, Action, Action

From the first page, the pace stays fairly upbeat and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The shows Serendipity took part in could get a tad long-winded. Otherwise, there were twists and turns that left you wondering who was biding their time to stab you in the back and who was the good guy – if they even exist in this dog-eat-dog world.

Rated: PG-13 for violence and discussions of sex

Are you a fan of westerns? Are you a traditional western fan? Or are you willing to dabble in the spin off genres, i.e. sci-fi? Let me know in the comments!

this post contains Amazon affiliate links

Pick Me Up Monday: Winterwood

Summary

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.


PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2019


Halloween might be over but there will always be room on the shelf for another witchy read! What atmospheric, spine-tingling books have you read this year? Let me know in the comments!

Note: this post contains Amazon Affiliate links

Freebies!

Who doesn’t love some free fiction?

I’ve been itching to share this gem of a discovery with you! Check out Read Me A Story, Inc., operated by bookstore owner, Robert Topp. In his free time, he has dedicated this monumental resource to making children’s literature 100% accessible to kids, as well as any age demographic who wishes to indulge in some excellent storytelling.

Every story available can be printed, read online, or, for those who might not like to/have trouble with reading, they can listen to the audio version.

Head over here to browse a selection of 144 stories to read online.

Or head over here to search 44 titles that you can read AND listen to.

There is also a list of recommended reading resources for children’s literature that includes: African-American books, Latino books, and summer reading lists for various grade levels.

Some of the stories are classics, written by Louisa May Alcott and Mark Twain, while others are more recent, like There are Witches on this Planet, where outer space planet exploration collides with folk tale character, Baba Yaga. If that doesn’t make the most stubborn, uninterested reader a teeny tiny eensy weensy bit curious, I don’t know what would.


Do you have any free literature resources that you squirrel away to indulge in? Hit up the comments section and tell me all about them!