This book was a delight to read, especially this time of year with Halloween right around the corner! Halloween is my favorite holiday and now that I...moreThis book was a delight to read, especially this time of year with Halloween right around the corner! Halloween is my favorite holiday and now that I am past my months-long reading slump (huzzah!), I knew I was ready for a good, captivating, and spooky book to get me into the spirit of the season and boy did I ever pick a good one! The Monstrumologist was not only a spooky story, it was also an engaging tale of the human condition. I savored this book right down to the last page. Yancey has a gift for keeping his reader entertained through the entire ride. There was so much about this book that I liked but most of all I loved how flippin' gory it was! There was monster blood and pus and flesh eating and severed limbs and all of my favorite things! At times it was increasingly difficult to believe that this was a book aimed at young adult bibliophiles! This is because of the gore, yes, but more so of Yancey's elaborate yet eloquent, writing style. The novel is set in 1888 and much of the language and verbiage of the book reads as a novel of this era would. I feel like it could be over the heads of younger readers and would hesitate to recommend it to anyone in their early teens (and younger, of course).
I am not one to be easily scared by a book, especially a book about monsters. Ghosts? Yes. Demons? Oh hell yes. Monsters? Not so much. That being said, this book really spooked me out! I attribute this fact to Yancey's uncanny ability to world-build. The setting was very believable and realistic. If you are good at suspending your disbelief while reading, like I am, then you can really find yourself believing that monsters do exist!
The only complaint that I could have about this book is that it was a tad bit too long for me. I thought that some of the scenes were a little overdone and that maybe 50 or so pages could possibly have been shaved off. This is only book one of a trilogy and I am very excited to read the rest of this series! The next book is The Curse of the Wendigo which excites me more than the Anthropophagi that we were dealing with in this book; I'm a little more familiar with Wendigos from my days of Charmed watching! (The season one episode The Wendigo is my favorite episode of the entire series!)
If you are looking for a super spooky Halloween read then I can't recommend this one enough!(less)
The Silver Linings Playbook (in case you've been living under a rock for the past 6 months) is the journey of Pat Peoples after his release from a Bal...moreThe Silver Linings Playbook (in case you've been living under a rock for the past 6 months) is the journey of Pat Peoples after his release from a Baltimore Mental Institution. Pat is released after serving years for a violent crime that he has blocked from his memory. Pat returns home to New Jersey to a surly and withdraw father, an altered brother, a wife he is having “apart time” with, and a mother who is trying to hold this whole motley crew together with some hugs and crabby snacks. Pat is convinced that his life is a movie and that he is making his way to his happy ending, or his silver-lining, if you will. The novel is Pat's journey to re-self discovery and his true silver lining, even if it is not in the form that he thinks it will be.
The Hours is the story of three women in different eras living their life in one day. First we meet Virginia Woolf, yes, THE Virginia Woolf, on the mo...moreThe Hours is the story of three women in different eras living their life in one day. First we meet Virginia Woolf, yes, THE Virginia Woolf, on the morning that she begins writing Mrs. Dalloway. Next we meet Clarissa Vaughn living in the late 1990's New York City who is planning a party for her long-time friend, Richard, who is being honored with a distinguished literary award, and finally we meet Laura Brown who only wants to read Mrs. Dalloway and escape from her mundane housewife life in 1950's America. We journey on one day in the lives of each of these ladies much like we journey one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in the novel Mrs. Dalloway. In the end the three lives will interchange and all come together in an act of interconnectedness like no other.
I enjoyed this book. I hate to say it, but it really was a page turner. I had to know what was going to happen to ole' Mary. Even though I knew that s...moreI enjoyed this book. I hate to say it, but it really was a page turner. I had to know what was going to happen to ole' Mary. Even though I knew that she made it back home I had to know HOW she was going to do it because, honestly, I would never have thought she'd be able to. The story, though it is a fictionalized account of a true event, was very unbelievable and I think that Thom may have taken several liberties with his telling.
I did enjoy the heck out of this book. I'm not sure that anyone who is not from North Carolina would fully appreciate the full effect of the novel. Th...moreI did enjoy the heck out of this book. I'm not sure that anyone who is not from North Carolina would fully appreciate the full effect of the novel. The novel is basically a love story to the land that is Western NC. It is gorgeous and it is plentiful but it is also in danger. Being as beautiful as it is, naturally developers drool over it and yearn to slash and burn and build (mostly huge housing developments for the wealthy). The book was written in a short-storyesq style where each author got a chapter and had to go on what was previously written to finish out the story.
Anna Karenina is the story of two main characters- Anna Karenina and Konstantin Levin. Anna is married to Alexy Alexandrovitch who is stuffy and borin...moreAnna Karenina is the story of two main characters- Anna Karenina and Konstantin Levin. Anna is married to Alexy Alexandrovitch who is stuffy and boring and serious and old and she does not love him. Levin is a hard-working farmer who is, for some reason, in love with Kitty. Kitty is a bore and I do not care for her. Kitty is pretty sure that Alexy Vronsky is going to ask for her annoying little hand in marriage and just before this happens, Vronsky falls for Anna and suddenly- passionate affair! Anna gives up her status and her beloved son and becomes an outcast in order to be with Vronsky. Soon she becomes jealous and raging and crazy and convinced that he will leave her for another (now, where the hell would she get a crazy idea like that?!) so she (SPOILER ALERT, kinda) jumps in front of a train to make him sorry and to end the cray-cray life that she has been leading. Meanwhile, in Russia, Levin has finally found the courage to swoop in on a rejected Kitty and get her to agree to marry him or else become a spinster. They have their ups and downs as a couple but basically end up in happy ever after land with a baby on a farm.
So, like I said, the book was really just about normal people living normal lives. I may sound unappreciative, but actually, that was what made the book so great and Tolstoy was able to take these characters and make them real and tedious and borning like we all really are (except maybe Lady Gaga). They were relatable and honest and raw and I have read a lot of reviews where people say that they hate Anna and can't understand her motives, but Reader, I saw a lot of myself in Anna. I wouldn't normally admit that to just anyone, Reader, but I appreciate you and I trust you and so yeah, I am a lot like Anna. I can be a real hot-head and I can be jealous and I am immature and I am rash just like she was. I was able to see pieces of myself in almost every character, even Alexy Alexandrovitch. The characters were abundant, but they were all, even the smallest of small characters, well and perfectly formed. Tolstoy is a master of the characterization and for this, I was able to forgive the novel its length.
I liked the book. I did not love it and I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. However, there are some themes in the novel that I think many people, even today can relate to. Consider- what is the position of the lower class citizens? Do they deserve government assistance or are they to be shunned and used only as labor? What about women's rights? The hypocrisy of the men in this novel is astounding. Anna has one affair and is never to be forgiven yet almost every man (minus the endearing Levin) has affairs all throughout the novel. It was a tedious, but thought-provoking read and I am glad to be able to put this brick of a Russian masterpiece finally on my "read" shelf.(less)
This is the memoir told in Damien's (one of the West Memphis Three) own words from prison. This is a book to read if you want to get a sense of what a...moreThis is the memoir told in Damien's (one of the West Memphis Three) own words from prison. This is a book to read if you want to get a sense of what an unjust legal system does to it's victims. The book is not a great work of literature, it's not the best written, but it is exceedingly honest and heartbreaking. Hearing the case from soundbites on NPR and the nightly news was one thing, but hearing what it was like straight from the horses mouth will haunt your dreams. I can not recommend this book enough. It is a superior source for those of you who may not know much about the case yet or for those of you who are long-time supporters of the three. Whichever of those categories you fall under, pick up this one, you won't regret it, and I hope to see some of you become supporters soon!(less)