Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TTT: Top Bookish Things I'd Like to Own

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: Top Ten Bookish Things I'd Like to Own (besides books).
1.  Literary tights - so cute!

2.  Bathtub book caddy

3.  Book-shaped pillows, perfect for my future reading nook!

4.  Jane Austen temporary tattoos - how fun!!

5.  Cute mini bookshelf necklace


6.  Alice in Wonderland Scarf (I actually already own this thanks to a wonderful friend who bought this for me as a Christmas present)!

7.  Literary Lites...I have some of these in blue for our bathroom but I want more!

8.  Holden Caulfield Thinks You're a Phony t-shirt!

9.  These Harry Potter rings would make adorable presents!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Latest Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Summary Blurb:
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.  The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.

My Blabberings:
I'm not normally much of a thriller fan (especially when it actually gets downright scary in parts) but I really loved this book!  I rooted for the main character, the side characters were quirky and added dimension to the story, and I was on gnawing my hand off due to anxiety-inducing scenes.

I would probably classify Night Film as a multimedia literary thriller - strange concept, no?  I loved the little newspaper clippings and fictional webpage screenshots peppered throughout the novel.  It made it easier to suspend my disbelief and get swallowed into this gritty world created by Pessl.

Another aspect of this book that struck me is the parallel between Scott McGrath and Stieg Larsson's Mikael Blomkvist.  Both are investigative journalists that have been recently disgraced.  Both are seeking redemption by investigating the very thing that caused their disgrace.  I almost cringe to point out this similarity because the books are so different overall.  I wonder, is this typical thriller trope?  I don't read enough thrillers to really recognize if this is a common protagonist used in this genre.

ANYWAYS, went on a bit of a tangent, but the overall takeaway I want to impart is: this book is awesome!!  Even if you don't particularly like thrillers, I would recommend that you give Night Film a shot.

5/5 stars

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TTT: Top Ten Most Unique Books

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: Top Ten Most Unique Books I've Read

1.  The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - it's not too often that you get to read about a priest in space :)

2.  Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner - YA/historical fiction/sci-fi book with tiny illustrations, love it!

3.  Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - a hilarious tale of the Armageddon.

4.  Room by Emma Donoghue - disturbing account of an abduction narrated by the abductee/abductor's young son.

5.  The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - a modern story of a troubled young woman who uses the Victorian language of flowers to communicate with those around her.

6.  To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Wills - part time-traveling sci-fi, part mystery, part romance, part Victorian comedy...fully amazing!

7.  The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender - a tale of a girl who can taste emotions in her food!

8.  Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - a nesting doll of interconnected stories that take place throughout the past and the future.

9.  The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly - historical fiction/fantasy/fairytale book about a book!

10.  Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward - a co-authored murder mystery where the others alternate chapters and take jabs at each other in their writing.  Quirky and hilarious!

I love this week's topic and can't wait to see everyone's unique book lists!

Monday, April 7, 2014

In Honor of National Poetry Month, Part Two

Since it's National Poetry Month so I thought I'd add a few posts to the good ol' blog sharing some of my favorite poems! 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

In Honor of National Poetry Month: My Favorite Poet

Since it's National Poetry Month so I thought I'd add a few posts to the good ol' blog sharing some of my favorite poems! This one is from my most favorite poet, E.E. Cummings.

    in)Spring a someone will lie(glued
among familiar things newly which are
transferred with dusk)wondering why this star
does not fall into his mind
throughout ignorant disappearing me
hurling vastness of love(sometimes in Spring
somewhere between what is and what may be
unknown most secret i will breathe such crude
perfection as divides by timelessness
that heartbeat)
    mightily forgetting all
which will forget him(emptying our soul
of emptiness)priming at every pore
a deathless life with magic until peace
outthunders silence
    And(night climbs the air
--No Thanks (1935)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Towering TBR

Image: Parada Creations
This segment on the blog came about because my desire to read new books vastly outstrips my ability to dwindle down my TBR list...oh, to have more free time!  Anyways, these are some new additions to the good ol' TBR that are all over the place!

Look at Me by Jennifer Egan...A thriller with interwoven storylines about identity and image.

The Plantagenets by Dan Jones...Highly regarded and I've been wanting to read some historical fiction about this reigning family.

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick..."entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love."

Perfect by Rachel Joyce...a quirky-sounding novel about when 2 seconds were added to time.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl...loved her book Night Film so I can't wait to read her first novel.

The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith...this looks like a fun read :) 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Miscellany: Ramblings About Blogs

Hey folks!  The Monday Miscellany segment on the blog is where I take off my reader glasses and share some non-bookish musings.  This week is semi-bookish in that I wanted to discuss other book blogs.

I've found that in my years as a blogger, the percentage of YA books I've read has been continuously increasing.  Meaning, I'm definitely reading a lot more YA than I would if I weren't a blogger.  This is largely due to the numerous book blogs I follow that heavily (or completely) focus on YA fiction.  In general, there seems to be more YA book blogs than adult fiction book blogs out there in the blogosphere...am I wrong about this?

Now, there's nothing wrong with YA in the least but I have a personal preference for literary fiction and somehow I've deviated from my preferences.  Anyways, I've hit a bit of a breaking point and really want to redirect my focus to adult literary fiction (of course, with smidgens of fantasy, nonfiction, and YA sprinkled throughout).  One of my favorite aspects about blogging is finding great book recommendations.  So, it follows that if I want to redirect my reading back to literary fiction, I need to find some adult fiction book blogs where I can gather recommended reads!  Therefore, I'm asking you, my fellow bloggers and readers, if you have any blogs to recommend.

One of my favorite places to find adult fiction recommendations is the Books on the Nightstand podcast...what about you folks? Also, please feel free to shamelessly self-promote! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Towering TBR: Magic, Coming-of-Age, & Books About Writing

Image: Parada Creations
This segment on the blog came about because my desire to read new books vastly outstrips my ability to dwindle down my TBR list...oh, to have more free time!  Anyways, these are some new additions to the good ol' TBR that are all over the place!

The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman...this coming-of-age story has been on a lot of top books lists!

City of Thieves by David Benioff...deemed a thrilling coming-of-age WWII story!

The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia A. McKillip...a magical book by one of the best fantasy writers out there!

 Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro...an interesting memoir about living as a writer.

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer...this sounds amazing!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Latest Review: The Rosie Project

Summary Blurb:
An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.


My Blabberings:
I really loved this unique and nerd-tastic romantic comedy!  This book was definitely a page turner, the atypical characters compelled me to find out what quirky thing would come out of their mouths.  My connection with both Rosie and Don was immediate - I loved these two misfits!  Don made me smile with his misunderstanding of people and Rosie was tough but vulnerable too. The Rosie Project was unlike most chick-lit books I've read thanks to the strength of the main characters.

This book helps the reader realize that sometimes, even with heavy preparation, we don't know what we want.  Recommended?  Absolutely!  Why should you read it?  Characters that you will be rooting for on the edge of your couch and laugh-out-loud funny to boot!  If you liked the movie "Stranger Than Fiction" or enjoy watching "The Big Bang Theory" you will like The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

4/5 stars

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TTT: Top Ten Things on My Bookish Bucket List

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: Top Ten Things on My Bookish Bucket List

1.  Read the chunkster Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace!

2.  Keep my book collection culled to only absolute favorites.  I have a lot of unread books on my shelves that I need to get through so I can determine if they're keepers or not!

3.  To go with above, read more books that I own.

4.  Finish The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  This is a veeeerry long book that I got maybe 200 pages in and slowly lost steam.  I really liked what I was reading, the story just hadn't sucked me in yet.  I hope to pick this back up and finish it soon!

5. I originally made a resolution this year to read 100 books in 2014, but I would love to read above and beyond this because my TBR is outta control!

6.  Read all of J.D. Salinger's published works.  I'm pretty sure I've only read Franny and Zooey and The Catcher in the Rye (I cannot for the life of me remember if I've read some of his short stories or not).  Also, I wouldn't mind re-reading Franny and Zooey to see how I like it as an adult.

7. Get into the habit of adding more nonfiction in to the mix.  I used to read more non-fiction before blogging...I need to get back into the habit.

8.  Finish all of the series that I've started (and liked).  If I read the first book right away and the others aren't published for years later, I tend to forget about the series (except The Kingkiller Chronicles of course)!
Yes, this series has been spoiled for me (inevitable) but I still want to finish it!

9.  Have organized Goodreads shelves.  One of these days when I have extra time (snort!) I would love to organize my TBR list on Goodreads.  I'm hoping that it will make the number of books listed seem less daunting :)

10.  Try and do a better job of reviewing right after I finish a book.  I find that the quality of my reviews are much better if I do this!