I loved the beginning but about the monster, but it was hardly a part of the story. I also liked the ghost, and the memories of her best friend in col...moreI loved the beginning but about the monster, but it was hardly a part of the story. I also liked the ghost, and the memories of her best friend in college. I didn't find myself particularly interested in her ancestors, or most of what happened once she got back to town. Lauren Groff is a great writer, but the plot elements just weren't to my style. (less)
Whimsical and interesting short stories, but they can be a little much to take in one sitting. I enjoyed the rather dark, Some Zombie Contingency Plan...moreWhimsical and interesting short stories, but they can be a little much to take in one sitting. I enjoyed the rather dark, Some Zombie Contingency Plans and The Faery Handbag very much. Catskin was enjoyable but disturbing, and reminded me of old fairytales such as Ruth Manning Sanders 'A Book Of Cats and Creatures.' I didn't end up reading them all, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had more time to read the book and could have spaced out the stories more. She is a great author but her stories can be very vivid and strange. I recently read one of her other collections and I found that spacing out the reading a lot more really helped. I do find that with other short story collections too.(less)
An enjoyable and whimsical collection of stories. Some are very dark, such as the title story. Some are very imaginative and wonderful, one I think I...moreAn enjoyable and whimsical collection of stories. Some are very dark, such as the title story. Some are very imaginative and wonderful, one I think I felt tried a little too hard. All in all very good, but I find it hard to read them all in one sitting, it would be more enjoyable to read just one and come back to it later. (less)
Don't be fooled by the everyday sounding name of this story, it is wonderful, imaginative and well worth reading! Reading it was definitely a highligh...moreDon't be fooled by the everyday sounding name of this story, it is wonderful, imaginative and well worth reading! Reading it was definitely a highlight of my day!(less)
White is For Witching is a story told from many viewpoints by many characters, but mostly it is the story of Miranda Silver. Her disappearance is an open secret throughout the story, that begins with her disappearance and then goes back in time, recalling through her point of view and that of others that knew and loved her, the circumstances that led to it.
This is a story that interweaves dark magical legends with human frailty, to create a lushly written and very engrossing narrative. I finished it in three days, barely able to put it down, except when my eyes got too tired. All of the characters intrigued me, each being unique, and feeling like a real person to me. Many of them had those fascinating little quirks you find in people that are so enchanting. The house itself was a character, which was very interesting. It sounds a bit silly to say it, but believe me, it really works in the story!
Miranda suffers from an illness called Pika, which is passed on through the female line of her family. It is a hunger to eat items that are not food. Therefore, she craves things like plastic, dirt and chalk. Chalk is her especial favourite. Her addiction to these foods forms an important part of this dark and moody narrative.
I really can't talk too much about the plot, because there are so many things you should discover for yourself. Helen Oyeyemi is a truly talented author, and this book was a true delight to read!
I can't find a website for Helen, but here is a short bio in her own words from the White Is For Witching webpage:
"I grew up in Deptford, South-East London, where the Elizabethan poet Christopher Marlowe was stabbed to death in a pub. There was also a church with a very detailed carving called 'The Valley of the Dry Bones' by the master carver Grinling Gibbons. There were also plague pits, and a tree that could be used to summon the shade of John Evelyn (around and around and 'John Evelyn' ninety-nine times). I've always liked stories, but best of all are the ones about battles undertaken out of ordinary sight - battles all the scarier and all the fiercer because only the people fighting them understand what's at stake: The Snow Queen, and also Marianne Dreams, about a girl who finds it harder and harder to wake from sleep as the sense of menace in her dreams increases...
I love Emily Dickinson's writing. She said her poems were songs caused by fear. I like Dracula because the first time I read it it took away my courage to fall asleep for a whole week. And its different narrators made me think about monstrosity and wonder what it could mean. I liked The Golem too, because it asks what a person does when they discover themselves to be a monster.
In 2006 I graduated from university, and that summer I did some volunteering in South Africa, where I caught flu and spent a lot of time in a dark-ish room with no Internet, feverishly rereading Dracula. After all that I began to write this book. I hope you like it.
I just finished reading The Night Circus last night (Wednesday), after getting it from the library on Tuesday. I was totally hooked from beginning 'til end. I have not been so entranced by a book in years, probably since Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Travellers's wife.
Even from what I had already heard and read, this book managed to surpass my expectations. The story is wonderful, with magic and forbidden romance, and the use of two different narratives running parallel was very well done. Of the two narratives, one starts several years later than the first, leaving us wondering what has happened in the meantime, but of course, all is eventually revealed. I found this a fresh and interesting way to write the story.
The prose is lush and beautiful. The descriptions of the circus are wonderful, keeping you intrigued. When I read books, I often find myself disappointed in the descriptions, feeling that the writer has built a place up to be something more than it is. It's hard to explain, but say an author describes a place as truly divine or magical and then their prose fails to really evoke this, it is hard not to feel cheated. but Erin Morgenstern's imagination is truly breathtaking, the circus feels a perfect evocative whole, none of the elements jar or seem misplaced. It is an amazing whole, the kind of magical circus I always dreamed to visiting, but that has never existed in real life.
This book is an amazing flight of fantasy, and has already made it's way into my heart and list of favourite books! A must read!(less)