December 8, 2015 · 6:07 pm
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us to name authors that we discovered during 2015. Here’s my list.
- Sally Kilpatrick
- Becky Albertalli
- Mark Lawrence
- Peter Clines
- Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- Julianna Baggott
- Katherine Heiney
- Lance Rubin
November 17, 2015 · 2:18 pm
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us our ten favorite quotes from books we’ve read this year.
- “One cannot increase one’s talent—that comes with the package—but it is possible to keep talent from shrinking.” — Stephen King, The Bizarre of Bad Dreams
- “Sometimes the story we’re telling the world isn’t half as endearing as the one that lives inside us.” — Donald Miller, Scary Close
- “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” — Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
- “Now all we have to worry about is all the other books, and, of course, life, which is huge and complicated and will not warn you before it hurts you.” — Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warnings
- “Some memories are realities and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.” — Wila Cather, My Antonia
- “Every night it’s the same… I have supper in my red dish and drinking water in my yellow dish… Tonight I think I’ll have my supper in the yellow dish and my drinking water in the red dish. Life is too short not to live it up a little!” — Charles M. Schultz, The Complete Peanuts, Volume 8.
- “Man, I wish God wasn’t starting to shake us up like this. Wouldn’t it just be easier to care about stuff like dinnerware, golf, school uniforms, and getting to that new resturant that just opened?” — Lisa Samson, Quaker Summer
- “This is why magic is worse even than quantum physics. Because, while both spit in the eye of common sense, I’ve never yet had a Higgs bosun turn up and try to have a conversation with me.” — Ben Aaronovich, Whispers Underground
- “I remember back when the only ‘Google’ was the sound a guy made when you punched him in the throat.” — Daniel Friedman, Don’t Ever Get Old
- “And reading this way – with no deadline, no agenda – she remembered why she loved literature so much. It was like fucking a new man and knowing that he had made other women come, but that when she came it would be an unshareable, untranslatable pleasure. She opened herself up to her books, and the words got inside her and fucked her senseless.” — Emily Maguire, Taming the Beast
November 10, 2015 · 11:58 pm
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us to look at the books we’re looking forward to seeing adapted for the screen. I’m going to break my list down a bit (because I can).
Books I’m Looking Forward To Seeing Adapted.
1. American Gods
3. Mockingjay, Part 2
4. The Man in the High Castle
5. Child 44
Books That Have Been Adapted But I Haven’t Seen Yet
1. Gone Girl
2. Dark Places
3. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and Battle of the Five Armies
4. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl
5. Every Secret Thing
November 3, 2015 · 3:39 pm
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us which debut authors we’re looking forward to reading their sophomore book or story.
If this had come up a few weeks ago, at the top of my list would have been Sally Kilpatrick. However, Sally’s sophomore novel Bittersweet Creek was released in stores last week and I’ve already read it. It’s fantastic — even better than her first novel and I highly recommend it.
As for the rest, here we go.
- Rebecca Albertalli
- Paula Hawkins
- Lance Rubin
- Tommy Walluch
So, it’s only four. But I look forward to seeing what others recommend today and maybe finding a few new books and authors to sample.
October 27, 2015 · 9:00 am
Time again for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish). This week it’s a Halloween-themed freebie. So, I thought I’d look at the top ten memorable stories by the master of horror, Stephen King.
- Cujo. The second novel by Stephen King I read, this one offers scares a-plenty. The tragedy of the family dog who goes insane due to rabies and becomes a lethal killing machine held my attention and just wouldn’t let go. White knuckle, scary good. I listened to this one on audio book a few years ago to see if it can still frighten me. It did. I refuse to see the movie version because I figure it will either a)not hold up to the pictures created in my head or b)it will and scare my pants off.
- Pet Semetary. And maybe not for the reasons you think. Yes, the concept of things coming back from the dead and being not quite right is disturbing. But for my money, the scariest moment of the book is the flashback to the youngest son running out in front of a semi. King paints a vivid picture of a father’s desperation to save his son and it’s arguably his most unforgettable passage.
- Misery. If you’ve only seen the movie, you’ve really not experienced this one. Yes, Annie does horrible things to Paul in the movie, but it’s nothing like being there in the bed with Paul as she does these things. Again, it’s a case of my imagination creating a far more vivid picture than any movie ever could.
- Bag of Bones. King just finds a different gear when it comes to writers facing demons or haunts. This one is no exception. The story of a haunted writer ushered in a second renaissance for King. If you haven’t read it, you should.
- The Shining. King’s story of one man’s descent into madness. It starts off slowly, building and building until everything just shatters. The final fate of Jack Torrance in the book is both horrifying and heartbreaking.
- The Library Policeman. Part of King’s Four Past Midnight collection, this one is scary if you’ve ever had an overdue library book.
- The Mangler. It’s a short story by King and while it may not be in his upper pantheon, it still unnerved me. I think part of it was that it was better related to me over a campfire by a youth group leader.
- The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass. From the beginning, we know the romance between Roland and Susan Delgado is doomed to tragedy. What we don’t know is just how tragic is can be. This flashback novel fills in the details, giving us a glimpse at the young Roland and his romance with Susan Delgado. King invests us in the romance and the characters, making her death have that much greater an impact on you once you get there. I may have cried a bit reading the section when she meets her fate.
- It. King’s mammoth novel is one that I loved when I read it and still love to this day. I read it in a few days, confined to bed with a stomach bug. Maybe this helped ratchet up the horror a bit. Honestly, I’ve seen the mini-series and it can’t hold a candle to just how good this book is.
- Gerald’s Game. While not considered a classic King novel, this one still held my attention when I first read it. Two consenting adults (husband and wife) are spicing up their love life a bit when he dies, leaving her handcuffed to the bed. What follows as she works to escape is utterly memorable and horrifying.
October 13, 2015 · 3:44 pm
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks us to ponder which authors we’d like to see collaborate on a book. Here’s my list.
- Stephen King and Joe Hill. This father/son combination would either be the greatest thing since sliced bread or completely unreadable. But it’d be fun to find out.
- Garrison Keillor and Mark Twain. Two American humorists and two of my favorites. I’d love to see what they could come up with.
- Robert Holmes and Steven Moffat. My favorite classic Doctor Who writer with my favorite modern Doctor Who writer. Both have shown the ability to take the ordinary and make it scary. I can only imagine what they’d do if they teamed up.
- Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I believe somewhere in heaven, these two are already working on a book together.
- Raymond Chandler and Michael Connelly. I think the mystery fans of the world would lose their collective minds over this.
- Charles de Lint and Jim Butcher. I love their urban fantasy and can only imagine what a collaboration would be like. Like King and Hill, it’d either be great or a complete trainwreck.
- Sarah Dessen and Sarah Ockler. If only because I love a good teen angst novel while running. These two write great teenage angst novels with believable characters and I think their two styles would dovetail well.
- Robert Whitlow and John Grisham. They both write legal thrillers (or have in the past). I think they would be great together.
- Brandon Sanderson and George R.R. Martin. If only because I think Sanderson would get Martin to finish the next installment of A Song of Ice and Fire sooner rather than later.
- Laura Lippman and Elizabeth George. Like others in the list, this could either be wonderful or colossally bad. But I’d still love to to see it.
October 6, 2015 · 1:40 pm
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) asks an intriguing question. What are the Top Ten Bookish Things You Wish You Could Quit (Or Have Quit).
As usual, my responses will be varied.
Bookish Things I’ve Quit
- Dean Koontz novels. Because of the proximity of his last name, Koontz’s novels were often near Stephen King novels in the bookstore and/or library. My parents shared one of his books with me in high school and I really enjoyed it. And for a while I read more of Koontz and would read his new novels as they were published. Which led to my reason for giving up Koontz — every time I read a new novel of his, it felt like I’d read it before. It’s not that his novels are all the same, but they all feel the same when I’m reading them. So, I eventually stopped reading him and haven’t picked up anything he’s done lately. It probably helped that I didn’t care for the Odd Thomas series.
- Expecting the movie/tv version to be as good as the book. This one is a difficult one for any bibliophile and it’s been especially difficult for me. And while I probably haven’t completely divested myself of this habit, I hope I’ve mellowed a bit on it. I realized that books only have the budget of my imagination and that there may be things in the novel that pique my interest but won’t necessarily translate well to the screen or make into the screenplay. And that’s OK. I’ve accepted it and tried to stop complaining too much. (Side note: This helped me enjoy watching The Martian. It also cropped up when I caught a few minutes of Pet Semetary on cable last week and was reminded that I didn’t like that adaptation because one sequence from the movie barely scratched the surface of how riveting, horrifying and memorable it was in the novel.)
- Reading all the Doctor Who/Star Trek novels that are published. I love a good tie-in novel. They’re the chewing gum of books for me and can be a pleasant palate cleanser. But as the years have gone along, I’ve become a bit more selective in the ones I read. Part of it is that there are simply so many tie-in books published for my two favorite shows that I don’t necessarily have the time or funds to read them all. And part of it is that some of the Trek novels have created their own canon beyond the end of the series and movies and I’m hopelessly behind on them.
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September 22, 2015 · 2:43 pm
It’s time again for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish). This week, we’re looking at our fall TBR list.
As with all things, this could change as I get distracted by new and shiny books.
- A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George
- Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
- The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
- Make Me by Lee Child
- X by Sue Grafton
- The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence Block
- Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation by Gary Russell
- The Crossing by Michael Connelly
- The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
- A Crown of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas
September 8, 2015 · 2:34 pm
Time again for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish). This week, we’re looking at the series that have published their final volume but I haven’t finished reading yet (and would like to finish).
- The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I’m not proud to admit I haven’t read all of Gaiman’s graphic novel series, The Sandman. I probably should because I enjoy everything else Gaiman writes.
- Fables by Bill Willingham. This one just published its final issue and I can now look forward to catching up.
- The Chronicles of Dune by Frank Herbert. Love the original and have read the first three installments. Honestly, I’ve heard from a lot of people that the last two aren’t that good and that’s kind of kept me from finishing.
- Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries by Agatha Christie. Part of this is simply because Christie was so prolific in her writing. I’ve read a few but there are many more I probably could read.
- The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I loved the first two installments and just need to find time to read the third.
- Pure trilogy by Joanna Baggott. Read the first installment this year and really liked it. Haven’t read the next two in the trilogy, though they’re on the TBR list.
- Alan Gregory series by Stephen White. I’ve read most of the beginning and the ending to the series. But there are still a few in the middle I skipped. I may have to go back and try them.
- Sin City by Frank Miller. I’ve read a couple of these but not the entire run.
- The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz. I read the first two volumes of the complete run of the classic comic strip but haven’t read any more. I need to get back to these because I really like Peanuts.
- Wool by Hugh Howey. Not sure what’s kept me from going back to this one. Probably all the other shiny new books that keep distracting me.
September 1, 2015 · 1:48 pm
Time again for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic is looking at those characters we didn’t “click” with.
- America Singer from The Selection. This one could read pretty much any character from this book. I couldn’t stand any of them!
- Edward Cullen from Twilight. I liked the first third of Twilight when Bella was allowed to be an interesting character. It’s one Edward shows up and we got all insta-love that things go downhill. Honestly, Buffy couldn’t have staked this guy soon enough for me!
- Odd Thomas from the Dean Koontz novels. Honestly, every time I read Dean Koontz I get a feeling of “deja vu” — even if it’s a new book. It’s one reason I’ve not picked up many of his books recently. His Odd Thomas novels are another.
- Alice Bell from Alice in Zombieland. I know a lot of people love these books, but they didn’t do much for me. I think part of it is that I didn’t care much for the lead character.
- Amelia and Joshua from Afterlife. She’s a ghost, he’s a mortal. So, of course, they fall in love because….um…well, I’ not quite sure why. I was torn about which of these two to include so I went with both.
- Grizzly from The Amazing Spider-Man. My favorite superhero has a rich gallery of villains he faces. And the he’s got some villains who were one-offs (or should have been) that leave you scratching your head and going, huh?!? The Grizzly is one of them. It’s a guy in a bear suit who…well, I’m not quite sure what else. But it’s really, really silly.
- All the characters in Those Girls.
- Diana Bishop from A Discovery of Witches. One of the bigger Mary Sue novels I’ve ever read.
- All the characters in Lucifer’s Hammer. So, an asteroid is coming to destroy the Earth. Never have I rooted for the asteroid as much as I did here.
- Lily Wilder from I Take You. Lily is getting married in a week but that doesn’t stop her from alienating her mother-in-law-to-be, flirting with every guy she meets and cheating on her finacee. I can see what the author was trying to do, but I honestly came to care less and less for Lily as the novel went on and she became more and more selfish.