Tuesday, December 27, 2016

#CRAMATHON Challenge Completed

So my last post was about participating in #CRAMATHON

I actually completed it!

As a recap the challenge was:

1. Read a book under 200 pages
2. Read 2 books in 24 hours
3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live
4. Read a book you've been putting off/have been meaning to read for forever
5. A book with pictures
6. A graphic novel/manga
7. Read seven books total

So let's break it down:

1. Read a book under 200 pages

A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble - This book weighed in at a whopping 100 pages (as do all the books in this six book series)

2. Read 2 books in 24 hours

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
Congratulations, By the Way by George Saunders

3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer by Fredrik Backman - This took place in the mind of a man with Alzheimer's, but also the author is from Sweden so I assume it is set there.  Also, I cried.

4. Read a book you've been putting off/have been meaning to read for forever

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco - I'm counting this even though I didn't finish it.  I got a decent amount through and just hated it, which is unfortunate because I love Jack the Ripper and was really looking forward to this book

5. A book with pictures

Seuss-isms! by Dr. Seuss - I got this on vacation in Universal Studios in Florida over the summer and just got it it for this challenge!

6. A graphic novel/manga

Wolf's Rain Volume 1 by Keiko Nobumoto - I actually read volume 2 as well.  I've loved this anime for so long and just recently found the manga

7. Read seven books total

- A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble
- Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
- Congratulations, By the Way by George Saunders
- And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer by Fredrik Backman
- Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
- Seuss-isms by Dr. Seuss
- Wolf's Rain Volume 1 by Keiko Nobumoto

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

#Cramathon: A Challenge

If you know me at all, or have read previous blog posts about challenges I've partaken in, then you know I NEVER finish them.  Pretty sure the only reading challenge I've ever finished is my yearly Goodreads one.  BUT, this time I waited until I was partway through a challenge to post about it so maybe...

...just maybe....


Now, this challenge comes to be via Aprilius Maximus, a book vloger on YouTube:

This is her post for #CRAMATHON

I have pledged no specific books, but here is the challenge written out, in case you don't want to watch her video:

1. Read a book under 200 pages
2. Read 2 books in 24 hours
3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live
4. Read a book you've been putting off/have been meaning to read for forever
5. A book with pictures
6. A graphic novel/manga
7. Read seven books total

I have completed 2.5 of these 7 challenges so far

The challenge runs 12/17/16 at midnight through 12/23/16 at midnight

With any luck I will have another post up after Christmas (or possibly by the end of the week, but let's be real here) saying I finished the challenge and to name the books I read!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ten Books I've Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Ten Books I've Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately

I add to this list constantly and not even just on Goodreads, but for this post I will focus on my Goodreads List.

1.  The Long Walk by Brian Castner

2.  A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard

3.  Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

4.  Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

5.  When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

6.  The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

7.  The Univited by Cat Winters

8.  The Understory by Pamela Erens

9.  Redeployment by Phil Klay

10.  A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: Eleven Hours

Title:  Eleven Hours
Author:  Pamela Erens
Rating: 4/5


Lore arrives at the hospital alone—no husband, no partner, no friends. Her birth plan is explicit: she wants no fetal monitor, no IV, no epidural. Franckline, a nurse in the maternity ward—herself on the verge of showing—is patient with the young woman. She knows what it’s like to worry that something might go wrong, and she understands the distress when it does. She knows as well as anyone the severe challenge of childbirth, what it does to the mind and the body.

 Eleven Hours is the story of two soon-to-be mothers who, in the midst of a difficult labor, are forced to reckon with their pasts and re-create their futures. Lore must disentangle herself from a love triangle; Franckline must move beyond past traumas to accept the life that’s waiting for her. Pamela Erens moves seamlessly between their begrudging partnership and the memories evoked by so intense an experience: for Lore, of the father of her child and her former best friend; for Franckline, of the family in Haiti from which she’s exiled. At turns urgent and lyrical, Erens’s novel is a visceral portrait of childbirth, and a vivid rendering of the way we approach motherhood—with fear and joy, anguish and awe.


So, let's skip to the end first: GRAPHIC.  Like the level of those old videos you watched in health class.  Ugh *shudders*.

Things I liked most:

  • Frankline's backstory
  • The scene in the hallway when Lore sees the painting
  • Lore's baby's name: Soleil
Thins I liked least:
  • Whole book was one chapter
  • Very little dialogue
  • Those stupid pages that aren't even, but scalloped
  • The graphic birth scene
Overall I would recommend because of the character depth.  I think the point of this book is not to explore birth and children and motherhood, but to explore all of those little moments and decisions that get us to places we never expected to be.  So as a character study it was fantastic.  As a moving work of fiction, not so much.

And honestly? I like the idle thought Lore had about her and Julia (old girlfriend baby daddy cheated on Lore with) being together would be better than her and Asa (the baby daddy).

Friday, October 7, 2016

Halloween Read-A-Thon

I never do read-a-thons because it usually means I end up reading less than I normally would.  HOWEVER, I LOVE Halloween and I love scary books and movies and such!  So I'm doing this one!

Runs 10/10 thru Halloween!

Title:  The Hollow People
Author:  Brian Keaney

On the island of Tarnagar is an asylum where you can be locked up for dreaming. Dante works in the kitchen and Bea is the privileged daughter of doctors. When their worlds collide, they are forced to confront the extraordinary evil lurking behind Dr Sigmundus, the ruler of their nation.

Title:  A Monster Calls
Author:  Patrick Ness

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

Title:  I'm Not Scared
Author:  Niccolo Ammaniti

A sweltering heat wave hits a tiny village in Southern Italy, sending the adults to seek shelter, while their children bicycle freely throughout the countryside, playing games and getting into trouble. On a dare, nine-year-old Michele Amitrano enters an old, abandoned farmhouse, where he stumbles upon a secret so terrible that he can’t tell anybody. As the truth emerges, Michele learns that the horror in the creepy old house is closer to home than he ever imagined.

Title:  A Taste for Monsters
Author:  Matthew J. Kirby

IT’S LONDON 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital. Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain. When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares.

Title:  Baby Doll
Author:  Hollie Overton

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next...

...to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter...and to her captor.

Title:  The Funhouse
Author:  Dean Koontz

Once there was a girl who ran away and joined a traveling carnival. She married a man she grew to hate—and gave birth to a child she could never love. A child so monstrous that she killed it with her own hands…Twenty-five years later, Ellen Harper has a new life, a new husband, and two normal children—Joey loves monster movies, and Amy is about to graduate from high school. But their mother drowns her secret guilt in alcohol and prayer. The time has come for Amy and Joey to pay for her sins…

Because Amy is pregnant.

And the carnival is coming back to town.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (#7)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title:  Small Great Things
Author:  Jodi Picoult
Expected Publication:  October 11, 2016

Goodreads / Barnes & Noble


Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

I'll just sit here and "patiently" wait

Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: The Shining

Title:  The Shining
Author:  Stephen King
Rating:  5/5


Past horrors and evil lurk in Colorado's Overlook Hotel, threatening winter season caretakers Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy, and their young son, Danny. Gifted with the shining, a clairvoyant Danny must battle the darkest evil in the remote hotel in an attempt to save his family from its influence.


Holy hell this book.  Can I start off by saying it's not only the first book I've finished in well over a month, but the longest book I've read this year at 683 pages?

It was amazing!

I had seen the movie some months ago and was like "ehh, not sure why this is a classic horror movie, but that hedge maze was kinda cool."  Then I read the book and was like "why the hell did they put that stupid hedge maze in the movie?  These hedge animals are way creepy!"

Also, the twins:

Yeah, sorry, they don't exist in the book as something Danny ever sees.  But the dog man makes up for the creepy factor by far!

Also, the movie never went into exactly what "the shining" ability that Danny had exactly was.  In the book that's the main focus, obviously!  He would have a good career in ghost hunting with those abilities honestly, or as a human lie detector.

Only Stephen King can write 200 pages worth of background before a story really kicks off and keep me on the edge of my seat.  He also writes this in a way that follows usual human thought, which means it diverges unexpectedly into a character's thoughts or feelings with no warning.

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes horror books.  And if you've never read Stephen King before (like I hadn't) this is a great book to start with.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Books on my Fall To Be Read List

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

I forever have a million books on my TBR list!  But there are a few specific ones I'm looking forward to in the near future.

1.  Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

2.  Freedom: My Book of Firsts by Jaycee Dugard

3. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

4. Wicked by Gregory Maguire

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

6. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
7. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

8. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

9. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

10. Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Banned Book Week 2016

I LOVE banned book week!  I love that there are banned books.  Why?  Because that means we're all human and different and there is adversity that should be explored!

Now, I don't have time to do a read-a-thon of any type for it this year because my new job takes up all my time and brain power.  So, I have decided to highlight five of my favorite banned books I've read in the past.

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
Reasons for being banned:  Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Reasons for being banned:  Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons for being banned:  Offensive language; racism

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Reasons for being banned:  Occult/Satanism

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Reasons for being banned:  Language and sexual references

Happy reading!