Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

Title: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Author: Fredrik Backman
Review: 5/5

Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

“Isn’t that the best of all life’s ages, an old man thinks as he looks at his grandchild, when a boy is just big enough to know how the world works but still young enough to refuse to accept it.”

Grandpa and Noah are sitting on a bench in a square that keeps getting smaller every day. The square is strange but also familiar, full of the odds and ends that have made up their lives: Grandpa’s work desk, the stuffed dragon that Grandpa once gave to Noah, the sweet-smelling hyacinths that Grandma loved to grow in her garden.

As they wait together on the bench, they tell jokes and discuss their shared love of mathematics. Grandpa recalls what it was like to fall in love with his wife, what it was like to lose her. She’s as real to him now as the first day he met her, but he dreads the day when he won’t remember her.

Sometimes Grandpa sits on the bench next to Ted, Noah’s father—Ted who never liked math, prefers writing and playing guitar, and has waited his entire life for his father to have time for him, to accept him. But in their love of Noah, they have found a common bond.

Grandpa, Grandma, Ted, and Noah all meet here, in this peculiar space that is growing dimmer and more confusing all the time. And here is where they will learn to say goodbye, the scent of hyacinths in the air, nothing to fear. This little book with a big message is certain to be treasured for generations to come.

Review:

This was the first book by Fredrik Backman that I've ever read (and since reading this I've only read one more of his novellas) and it was perfect.

Grandpa and Noah are the stars of this story and it's heartbreaking and heartwarming to see the two of them grow closer and further apart due to Grandpa's advancing Alzheimer's Disease.  There are little bits where Grandpa mixes Noah with his son, Noah's father, Ted and it's sad.

Personally, I have seen the affects of this disease on a family member and watch as she forgot her own children and grandchildren until she was gone.  This book was almost a soothing balm over that memory rather than being triggering.

The ending was also way out of left field, but utterly perfect.

Highly recommend!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday [#10]





Title:  Wild Embers
Author:  Nikita Gill
Release Date: November 16, 2017

Summary:

Nikita Gill's poetry has captured hearts and minds all over the world; her inspirational words have been shared hundreds of thousands of times online, been plastered across placards on international women's marches and even transformed into tattoos. This collection will showcase mostly unseen poetry and prose, delving into ideas about passion, identity, empowerment and femininity.



I have been following Nikita Gill on Instagram for a while, here are some samples:





Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday [#9]



If there were ever a book I couldn't wait for, this is it.

Andy Weir, author of AMAZING book The Martian, has finally written a  new book!


Title:  Artemis
Author:  Andy Weir
Release Date:  November 14, 2017

Summary:

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.


Who else is excited for the return of this author?


Friday, October 13, 2017

Spookathon 2017


Halloween is around the corner my friends!  

Therefore, a read-a-thon is in order and this one is hosted on booktube by the lovely BooksandLala.  Click here for the original challenge video.

Duration:  October 16th - October 22nd 2017
Challenges: See below along with what I will be reading


I've read this book before, actually a few times, but
it's time to read it again for this challenge!



The first book in the Shadow House Trilogy. How
can a book with the word "shadow" in the title
not be spooky? 
 



I don't know about you all, but I HATED the
basement as a kid.  I would always walk back up the stairs
sideways so I could see if anyone was following me.



I know this isn't a traditionally scary book, but people have something implanted in your brain?  Yeah, no thanks.
Also my copy is much more orange so it counts.



Second book in the Shadow House Trilogy.  The main
characters are trapped in the spooky estate named
"Shadow House"


What spooky books do you plan to read?!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Top Ten School-Required Reading Books that I Loved


I used to detest school reading, but then I hit my junior year in high school and everything changed.  Here are my ten favorites through high school and my undergraduate years


1.  Night - Elie Wiesel
2.  Beowulf - Seamus Heaney













3.  The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath













4.  The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton













5.  Ordinary People - Judith Guest













6.  Lord of the Flies - William Golding













7.  The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls













8.  Abandoned Prayers - Gregg Olsen













9.  The Guardian - Nicholas Sparks













10.  Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson













Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: 5/5

Summary:

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Review:

I love plays in written form and I love J.K. Rowling, could this book get any better?

To be honest, I'm not sure how to review this book.  The characters are brilliant, I adore Newt and I feel such pain for Credence.  I love how it's not only set in a different wizarding community than Harry Potter, but it's set in an era of the United States that is one of my favorites.

My least favorite part of this entire story is the scene where the Obscurus attacks the party and kills the [senator's?] son (I can't remember exactly who he was anymore).  I'm not sure why I didn't like that part, but I didn't.

On the other hand, my favorite part is every time Newt spends in his case.  I love how so many worlds and so many climates and so many creatures are in such an unassuming place.  It was beautifully described and I wanted to climb into the book and feel it all myself.





I know they're continuing the movies with this series, but I so wish J.K. Rowling would also continue the books.



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mini Review: Adulthood is a Myth

Title: Adulthood Is a Myth
Author: Sarah Andersen
Rating: 5/5

Summary:

Are you a special snowflake?

Do you enjoy networking to advance your career?

Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared?

Ugh. Please go away.

This book is for the rest of us. These comics document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas, and wondering when, exactly, this adulthood thing begins. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life.

Review:

Every time a new "scribble" comes out on Sarah Andersen's Facebook or Instagram I just love it.  This is a collection of many scribbles that have never been seen before and I read it in probably an hour.

The next book, Big Mushy Happy Lump, is now out and I cannot wait to pick up a copy.


For a taste here are some of her comics:

 



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Booktube-A-Thon Wrap-up

Stop the presses everyone! I actually participated in a read-a-thon and got through most of it!

Though I know I am not on Booktube, I watch many channels on there and decided to take part in the annual Booktube-A-Thon.  There were seven categories to read 7 books in seven days - I managed 6 of these!

Challenge 1 - Read a book with a person on the cover

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Rating 5/5











Challenge 2 - Read a hyped book

Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Rating: 5/5
Challenge fulfillment: This was so very hyped when it came out by every reviewer I know and I finally got to it - it was worth the hype









Challenge 3 - Finish a book in one day

Title: The Little Prince
Author:  Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry,
Rating: 5/5











Challenge 4 - Read a book about a character that is very different from you

Title: A Long Walk to Water
Author: Linda Sue Park
Rating: 5/5
Challenge fulfillment: I do no live in a war-torn country, am free to go to school, and have fresh water on demand









Challenge 5 - Finish a book completely outdoors

Title: Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies
Author: Greg Rucka
Rating: 4/5











Challenge 6 - Read a book you bought because of the cover


Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Rating: Unknown
This is the one I haven't finished, but isn't the cover beautiful? Currently buddy-reading it with Harleen from Little Bookworm Reviews









Challenge 7 - Read seven books

Title: Openly, Honestly
Author: Bill Konigsberg
Rating: 2/5
Loved the first book, but I think it's been too long since I read it so this novella just didn't do anything for me









Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Review: Baby Doll

Title:  Baby Doll
Author:  Hollie Overton
Rating: 5/5

Summary:

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.



Review:

I've had this on my TBR since before it came out last year.  I love psychological thrillers in most forms and have an odd obsession with [true] crime.  While this book was not based on a true story, it pulled a lot from the author's childhood as well as crimes we know of such as Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart.

Let me start by saying that I hate POV shifts.  If I hadn't wanted to read this so bad I would never have picked it up because of that.  Every chapter is a different narrator, shifting between Lily, her sister Abby, her mother Eve, and her captor Rick.  Somehow this worked though.

Lily was kept captive by Rick for 8 years and in that time had a daughter, Sky.  Now when I read that I wondered how this would differ from Room by Emma Donoghue (which I loved).  It's so different thought.  This book begins with Lily finding her freedom, and follows the treacherous path of fitting back into her broken family.

There were enough turns that I didn't see the ending coming for sure, and there was enough character depth that I wasn't aching for too much more.  The only thing I really wanted more of is how Sky, Lily's daughter, grew in the months after their escape.  The author touches on her heavily for the first half of the book, but then she falls by the wayside.

Excerpt:

     Lily had been so consumed with keeping Sky safe, with making sure that Rick was caught, that she hadn't had time to really take everything in.  But now, in the early-morning hours, Lily stood watching the sun as it began to make its way over the horizon.  Lily had missed thousands of sunrises, and now here she was, gazing at the glorious start of a brand-new day.  Bursts of golden yellow, burnt orange, and splashes of red all mingled together--a sunrise so picturesque that it couldn't possibly be real.  Below her, the city was coming to life.  Nurses huddled together outside sucking on their cigarettes.  Worried family members paced back and forth, talking on their cell phones.  But not a single one of them seemed to notice the unimaginable beauty unfolding around them.

     Pay attention, Lily thought.  All of this could be taken from them in an instant, and no one cared.  That's not true, Lily told herself.  I care.  There was nothing she cared about more than this sunrise, and then it struck her.  This wasn't a onetime thing.  Lily would see the sun rise again and again.  She had a lifetime of sunrises ahead of her.

     Lily pressed her forehead against the cool pane of glass and imagined sunbathing in the backyard until her skin turned golden brown.  In the spring, she would lace up her sneakers, and with the scorching sun beating down on her back, she would run until her lungs ached.  There were so many possibilities now.  She could do all those things and more.  She was free.