October Reads

Futurama Bender Jack-o-lantern

T and I mad a Bender jack-o-lantern!

Happy Halloween readers, ghouls, and ghosties! I hope you’ve all had a spook-tacular month! Not much to report on this end. The month sped by, it’s getting cold and windy… OH, but I started taking a yoga class! I’ve only gone twice because of a cold that camped out in my lungs for a few weeks, but I really like it (the yoga, not the sickness)! I’m taking the class at the Himalayan Institute, which is housed in this old mansion just a few blocks from my apartment. It’s so charming! I also started my Great Harry Potter Re-Read this month and am absolutely loving it! I’m so glad I decided to take the time to re-read this series.

Now on to the books! Continue reading

The Great Harry Potter Re-Read: Books 1-3

HP ReRead 123

Happy Friday! I posted last week that, since I don’t have any books I have to review until January, I’m going to take advantage of the downtime to re-read the entire Harry Potter series. Since I started last Wednesday, I have read the first three books and gotten nearly halfway through the fourth book. My original intention was to write about each book individually, doing one HP post a week, but I would also like to be blogging fairly close to my real-time reading. Since the first three books were such quick reads, I’m just going to keep things simple and write about them all in one post. Continue reading

Ten Characters with Names that Rock

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you’ve all had a delightful start to your week. This is actually the last day of my work week (I work weekends), and it’s made even better by being Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I love a good bookish list, and this week I’m excited to pick my top ten favorite/most unusual character names. Um, can I just make all of them be from Harry Potter? Because JKR has a talent for coming up with the best, weirdest, most lovable character names. No? Okay, I’ll try to spread the love around a little bit. (By that, I mean I’ll only pick four names from HP.) Continue reading

Book Review: Beloved by Toni Morrison

Book Review: Beloved by Toni MorrisonBELOVED
by Toni Morrison

Fiction
Vintage; 1987
Paperback; 324 pages
Source: Purchased

I’m not quite sure how to talk about this book. It’s been sitting on my shelf for over a year, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “yeah, I’ll read that next,” only to guiltily pull something else from my shelf when the time came. It’s no secret that I’ve felt intimidated by the work of this Nobel laureate. Everyone has told me that yes, Morrison’s books are complex and layered, but even if you don’t catch 100% of the references, they’re amazing stories and not difficult to read.

I finally got up the nerve to read Beloved for Banned Books Week. (Yes, that was almost a month ago, but I’m having as much trouble figuring out what to say about this book as I had trying to pick it up.) I really struggled with it at first. For the first 50 pages or so, I felt confused and disoriented. I wondered whether it would get “better,” easier, and it did. It took a while, but I finally settled into a world that Morrison evokes really powerfully. And I loved it. Continue reading

The Great Harry Potter Re-Read

Harry Potter ReRead 1
Howdy readers! I’m embarking on a super exciting project that I have been wanting to do for a long time… re-read all of the Harry Potter books in a row! We all know HP is pretty much the greatest thing ever, but it’s been a few years since I’ve fully read any of the books, and I don’t think I have ever read the whole series straight through since the seventh book came out. I’ve been craving a big re-read for months, but I haven’t had time because of review obligations. But it just so happens that after finishing We Are Water last week, I don’t have to read ANYTHING for review until January! (Actually, I do have one book, but it will only take a few hours to read.)

Continue reading

Totally Rad Required Reading

Happy Tuesday meadowlarks! I hope your week is going swimmingly. I’ve been fighting off a cold, which is why the blog was a bit quiet last week. I’m bouncing back now, and I’m psyched about today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic! This week the folks at The Broke and the Bookish ask bloggers to list the top ten books we have been “forced” to read.

Since I’ve never belonged to a book club, this list is going to be 90% books I was required to read for various school classes. Although I disliked a lot of the books I had to read for high school English, there are some books that I really valued reading in a classroom setting. With the help of some great teachers, required reading has sometimes sparked my imagination, taught me interesting things, and exposed me to books I never would have read otherwise. Discussing books in classes has also helped me get much more out of them than I would have if I had read them on my own. Continue reading

Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

Book Review: Burial Rights by Hannah KentTHE CUCKOO’S CALLING
by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

Fiction: Crime/Detective
Mulholland Books; April 30, 2013
Hardcover; 455 pages
Source: Purchased

As most of you surely know by now, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I read The Casual Vacancy when it came out last year, and although it wasn’t my cup of tea, I thought it was a strong piece of literary fiction. When Rowling’s authorship of The Cuckoo’s Calling was revealed over the summer, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. I love me some JKR, but crime novels aren’t really my thing. In the end, curiosity won out and I picked up a copy. I finally read it in the last few weeks, and it restored all of my Rowling love that was lacking after TCV. It even made me interested in crime fiction!

Cormoran Strike’s life is kind of falling apart. His private investigator business is failing, he can’t get his office’s landlord off his back about overdue rent, his amputated leg may be getting infected, and he has split up with his fiance, moved out of her swanky apartment, and is now effectively homeless. Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

Book Review: Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
SONGS OF WILLOW FROST
by Jamie Ford

Fiction
Ballantine; Sept. 10, 2012
Hardcover; 304 pages
Source: TLC Book Tours

It’s an exciting day at the Sacred Heart Orphanage; this is the day that all the boys get to celebrate their birthday. To make the day special, the boys are taken to see a movie and given some money to buy themselves a treat. In Depression-era Seattle, this is no small occasion.

At the movie, a beautiful Asian American woman comes onto the screen and 12-year-old William comes to an impossible realization — that this actress, Willow Frost, is his mother. He has dim memories of his mother, who he hasn’t seen in more than five years, since she was carried nearly lifeless from their apartment. He is told by a nun that she entered an asylum and never left, but he is certain Willow Frost is really his mother, Liu Song. Continue reading

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

Hey, I read The Hunger Games trilogy! Okay, by “read,” I mean, “partially read but mostly listened to on audiobook.” I know I’m totally behind the curve on this, but can I be a massive hipster and brag that I read the first book before it was popular? No?

Well anyway, I read the first book maybe a year after it came out, when I was on summer vacation after my first year of college. I enjoyed it but not enough to go out of my way to read the next two books when they came out. And then, a few years later, everyone went batshit over the series, and I was just too cool to jump on the trend. (Like I said, hipster.) Also, there were other things I wanted to read, you know? Continue reading

Quotable Friday: from Burial Rites

“Those who are not being dragged to their deaths cannot understand how the heart grows hard and sharp, until it is a nest of rocks with only an empty egg in it. I am barren; nothing will grow from me anymore. I am the dead fish drying in the cold air. I am the dead bird on the shore. I am dry, I am not certain I will bleed when they drag me out to meet the axe. No, I am still warm, my blood still howls in my veins like the wind itself, and it shakes the empty nest and asks where all the birds have gone, where have they gone?”

— Burial Rites by Hannah Kent