Thursday, July 30, 2015

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

I came across this book in the reference section under writing. Immediately it called out to me. I snapped it up and I am so darn glad I did.

This book is an inspiration to new writers and old writers alike to write. She talks about the how-to's the why and the just do's to get any writers hand moving across that paper (or key board). She writes like she's sitting in a coffee shop across from you tell you stories, but at the same time lifting you up and inspiring you again and again.

I loved this book immensely. It was a great introduction into the writing of this author. She is such a huge inspiration and her words are just so amazing. This book was non stop wisdom. Every page is a new blast of inspiration and advice.

Every writer needs to have this book on their shelves to refer to at any time. There's no question why this book is a best seller.

Her methods are simple but effective. She does go into a little bit of detail with regards to her Zen practices and how they have helped her, along with the lessons they have taught her. I found it really interesting which is why I've also read another one of her books The True Secret of Writing which covers more of that including the writing workshops she's held and the methods she teaches them. Don't worry, the review on that book is coming soon!

I can dive into this book on any page at any time and feel revived and inspired. I am cherishing my copy, that's for sure.

Recommendation: Attention all writers, aspiring writers, and those thinking of writing: You need this book. It's a must. A serious must. Don't question it, just read it!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

My first knowledge of Sylvia Plath was on a teen show quite a few years ago. The guy was making fun of a girl for being emotional and broody and he referred to The Bell Jar. It's still the first thing I think of when this book comes to mind. This show (possibly the same episode) was also when I learned of Jane Austen and her works.

Since then I have learned that Sylvia Plath was a brilliant writer and poet. I am familiar with her life story, and although it's not the happiest, it's still very important.

The Bell Jar is a classic. Sylvia Plath wrote a tale of a woman's life dealing with depression and mental illness. Some of the events in this book actually mirror her own life and it is said it was semi-autobiographical. She originally published this book under a pseudonym.

This is a haunting tale, but it's an important read. It gives you a look inside the mind of someone dealing with depression. It's really hard to describe this book. It's powerful and emotional and will leave you with mixed feelings.

I would say that I am happy to have read it. I can understand Sylvia Plath and our draw to her like a moth to a flame. She was a beautiful writer, and a beautiful person. Her work was very important and it deserves to be appreciated.

Recommendation: Go look up this author and her work. If you can handle it, then please, read it. It is a classic and deserves to be read. Take it for what it is. I consider it a gem in my collection.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Brida by Paulo Coelho

This is the second Paulo Coelho book that I've read.

I chose this read because it's about a girl who is searching for magic. She wants to be a witch and she goes searching for answers. Along the way she meets different people who teach her different ways of finding what she was searching for. 

I've always been interested in magic and stories about it get my attention. This story does touch on magic and such but its not the paranormal read you might think. It talks about spirituality and the search for it. 

As usual, this book is full of metaphors and underlying themes that tell us so much more than just a story. This book involves the search for soulmates, for connection, and for belonging. It's so much more than a story about a girl who is searching for magic. It involves spirituality and so much more. 

I really enjoyed this nook. The ending was a bit weird for me. It didn't really sync up in the way that I had hoped it would, but it didn't take too much away from the story for me. I still think its worth the read. 

I have hopes to get my hands on every one of his books. There's just so much wisdom in each one that they are definitely worth reading. 

Recommendation: I recommend this one, especially for those interested in magic, in soulmates, and in finding yourself. His words are well worth the experience. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I'm a bit of a dunce when it comes to other genres besides mystery. Don't get me wrong I enjoy other genres; but I couldn't really tell you the stand out authors, the hidden gems, even the most popular series (besides the obvious). Of course I had no idea who Neil Gaiman was or even that he wrote the book that one of my many favorite movies was based on until recently.

A couple years ago (when I was working for Blockbuster before it closed) I came across the movie Stardust. It had some actors I recognized and because of my free movie rentals I pounced on it. Happily I found it was so much more than that. It was awesome!

Stardust is a funny, inventive fairy tale story. It was about love and the lengths we go to for the sake of it. The ending was lovely and the characters were smart and interesting. Not quite like any other story of that nature that I've seen. There are fairies, unicorns, witches, fallen stars, royalty, pirates, clouds, and magic candles. It's really a page turner!

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when I discovered there was a book. As soon as I got my hands on it I was in love. 

The book is an easy read but it is not void of greatness. It is lovely. I think I read it in about 3 hours. It's full of detail and the story unfolded almost the exact same way as the movie. There was a couple ways in which the movie was a total change from the book but honestly, it didn't bother me because I think I liked most of the choices that were made in the movie. For one, the ending was different in the book but it was not quite as happy as the ending in the movie.  Either way, it was wonderful. It'll make more sense if you've watched the movie and read the book. Both I highly recommend doing. 

Recommendation: This book is a must read. The movie features wonderful performances (especially from a pirate played by Robert DeNiro) Read the book and watch the movie. You won't regret either. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Wrap Up and Thoughts on Set TBR's

During the month of June I decided to follow set To Be Read list of books. I chose 12 books from different genres and areas of my collection. I picked books by authors I know and love and some I planned to read to expand my literary horizons.

I managed to get through 9 of the 12 books from the chosen pile. I didn't let myself read anything else that wasn't in my pile, (well execpt for a couple ebooks I read on my phone in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep) even though I picked up a couple pretty awesome novels during the month. 

It was a little hard, I'm not going to lie. Two of the books that I didn't get to/finish were quite long and I found it a little hard to keep going at times. 

See, a lot of the books I read are quick reads for me. They take me only a couple hours, and many I read in one sitting. When it comes to a longer book (think anything from the Game of Thrones series) I get a little distracted. I don't mean to, but I do. I like things to be easy I guess. It doesn't mean I don't want to read them, because I do, I just tend to put them down often in favour of another read and I pick them up again later.

Well, I burned through a lot of the "easier" reads early on in the month and by the end I wasn't really feeling much like reading them.

That feeling spiralled out, and I didn't end up finishing the book challenge I was so diligently doing for the month. I didn't take photos for my bookstagram at all, really. Not to mention I have about 40 different book tags to do, and I haven't been posting as many reviews as I had planned either. 

I've decided I don't like the idea of a set TBR list, so I think from now on I may set myself goals in terms of how many I want to read in a month, and less about which ones that I'm going to read. As well, I should be posting reviews again more regularly. 

 Books read in June:
  • Letters to a Young Poet- Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Pirate King- Laurie R. King
  • Stardust- Neil Gaiman
  • Death of Yesterday- M.C, Beaton
  • Dragon Keeper- Robin Hobb
  • The Pigeon Pie Mystery- Julia Stuart
  • Devil Bones- Kathy Reichs
  • The Cuckoo's Calling- Robert Galbraith
  • Wild- Cheryl Strayed