Monday, October 24, 2016

Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood

This post is way overdue. See, my avid reader book brain read this, took photos of it (for posting here and on Instagram) and then forgot about it. Totally. When I last posted about a Phryne Fisher mystery and I was linking up my previous reviews and I was kinda confused because I thought I was missing one and I was! It was this lovely book!

This was actually the second Phryne Fisher mystery I read, and I loved it. I'm pretty sure that this book was actually the basis of one of the episodes of the show that I've seen which was pretty cool. 

This book follows Phryne as she prepares for the Queen of the Flowers parade. Her adopted daughters are behaving a little strangely and the circus is in town. This mystery comes with handmaidens, an old fiddler/lover from her past and an old friend who has three elephants. It's a menagerie of strange and interesting and it'll take some turns down memory lane before it's all sorted out. The fashion, the lifestyle, the old time 20's feel is there in spades. It's got that mix of high society and low down crime all wrapped into one great book.

The biggest thing I love about these books is that they feel exactly like I'm watching the t.v. show. Every time I have to put the book down to go do something else, and I come back, it feels like I had just hit pause on the show and now I'm back. 

Recommendation: Each and every time I write about these books, I urge you to read them or at least watch the show. It's just a great series that is really just a treat for your mystery loving mind. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah

This is the newest Hercule Poirot novel by Sophie Hannah. This is the second one she has written and I didn't even know it existed! If it wasn't for some of you awesome people over on bookstagram that had snapped it up and photographed it, I would have totally missed this one!

Now, I love any and all Poirot stories. Doesn't matter if it's an Agatha Christie or by another authorized author like Sophie Hannah, I eat it up. This one I ate up so very fast as soon as I got it in my hands.

This one has all the hallmarks of an Agatha Christie. There's a strange cast of characters, over heard conversations, multiple mysteries inside of mysteries... all the good things we love from a Poirot.

I was a little disappointed though. I really liked it, but... it just wasn't the greatest. I felt like there could have been more Poirot. Like there could have been a lot more of him thinking, investigating, and doing his thing. I felt like too much was revealed by the side characters and not enough was ferreted out by the master.

That said, you need to read this. It was still such a good book. I am excited for the possibility of more from Sophie Hannah. I will never walk away from a Poirot mystery. It's just not possible. This one was good, but I think perhaps I'm picky when it comes to the famous Belgian detective.

Recommendation: If you somehow haven't read this yet but you are a fan of Poirot, then go and read it. Right now. Seriously.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner

Almost two years ago (I think?) I was working a lot and I felt like I wasn't making enough time for the things I wanted to do. I really wanted to know how some people can just do it all. I came across this book while exploring around Instagram and at the time I thought it was just the thing I was looking for.

I bought it on sale and then it waited on my shelf all this time. Things happened in life around that time that gave me more time then I knew what to do with so this book really wasn't necessary then. I almost gave it away but I kept it and I'm happy that I did.

I read this one recently, and I have to say, it did have some really good points. It definitely caused me to pause and think about the way I was treating myself and my needs. Nothing really earth shattering though, but good.

Now, if you are a wife and mother this book is totally for you, and that it was written with you in mind. Since I am neither of those things, it was harder for me to relate to some of the stories and anecdotes in the book, but I did get a general idea and spirit behind the messages. I did wish that the book could have possibly touched more on the working, late twenties/early thirties, childless women of the world who have hopes and dreams, but that's okay.

The other thing that was a little weird for me was how religious it got in a few places. I'm not really a religious person and some of it was a bit of a waste on me because I really couldn't connect with the material, but it wasn't a really big issue.

Recommendation: This is for the working wife and mother who needs to learn to give herself permission to have some me time. This is a great resource for you. For the rest of us, this isn't a bad piece of advice. You just have to be patient and take the gems of wisdom where they lie.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

This book was something else.

I picked this up at the library mainly because I saw it mentioned on twitter by a pretty fantastic author Victoria Schawb (her latest book This Savage Song I'm sure you've heard about). She said it was one of the best books she's read lately so of course, when I spotted it in the flesh, I took it home to read.

According to my library, this book is science fiction. Part of me agrees and part of me doesn't think this is like any science fiction I've read before. It feels a little more fantasy with some mystery to me, but what do I know!

It's hard to explain the story to you so I'm not going to try. It's more than what the cover says it is, but it's so hard to explain even that. I suggest you look this one up online if you are curious.

Right off the bat, the very first sentence had me hooked. I had to know what was going on, I had to know more, I needed to read the whole thing. You're thrown into a story, almost in the middle, and you are to just follow along, believing everything you are told as a fact. This book shows you a different look on the world, on life in general, and takes you on a journey of the strange and different. Of strange and different characters, with strange and different paths in life.

There's murder, violence, love, friendship, magic, gods, power, family... everything. There is everything.

Some of it was hard to read and I did skip over a couple pages here and there but it's so worth the read. It's so weird and different that reading it is a totally different experience. It's the kind of book that you enjoy reading, but that you come out the other side of not knowing if you really like it, if you know what I mean. I am so glad I read it, and I would totally recommend it, but its a little darker and tougher of a read than most.

Apparently this is the first book by this author and holy crap, that's one hell of a first book. The way it was finished leads me to hope that there may be a second book which would be totally great because I have so many questions!

Recommendation: Read this. Just... read it. Honestly, it's nuts and weird and strange and great all at the same time. Do yourself a favour and just read it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

I picked this up on a whim at the library because of the cover. I had no idea this book is actually well known and quite old. The library calls this a horror novel. It's weird and strange, I'll give you that, but I'm not sure it's really a horror.

This book is about a girl who lives with her sister and uncle in a big house. They live pretty much isolated from everyone because of something that happened to the family. There is a routine that the family lives by and when another distant family member comes to visit, it throws it all out of whack. I don't want to say more about it because I don't want to give anything away. It really is worth finding out for yourself.

This is the kind of story that you need to read more than once in order to fully appreciate the different aspects of the story. It was totally apparent that I had totally missed some pretty intense nuances of the story once I read the introduction. I made sure to save the introduction till the end because I knew it would talk about this old story and reveal some plot points that I didn't want to know ahead of time.

I don't know how to describe this story, really. It's strange, but so compelling. It kept me glued to the page and I had no idea what would happen next. I got so into it I almost missed my bus!

I'm totally bummed I found this by accident and I hadn't heard about it before. If you have heard of this and haven't read it yet, I really suggest that you do. It's pretty darn interesting.

Recommendation: For the lovers of a good story. It's not too scary, I promise!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

This book was a random find at the library. I was looking for another book when the spine caught my eye and of course, it makes reference to Sherlock Holmes, so I had to read it!

The Sherlockian is two different stories wrapped into one. One story is about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle during the end of 1901, the period of time just before he decided to resurrect Sherlock Holmes from the grave. Conan Doyle kept diaries throughout his life but the diary covering this period of time went missing after his death, and with it, explanations as to why he resurrected Sherlock. 

The other story is about literary researcher Harry White who after being inducted into The Baker Street Irregulars (the Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society) during the present day must solve a murder of a fellow member who claims to have found the missing diary that has been missing all these years. 

The author alternates between each story as the book progresses, but I feel like this way the stories got condensed too much. I wanted more from them. I think that each story could have been so much more on its own. I kind of found myself getting bored in parts because one story was progressing a lot slower than the other. 

The whole thing left me with so many questions. I wanted more. 

The other issue I had with this book was that I feel like it didn't ring true. There was so much going on that just fell flat for me. I know this book was a work of fiction, and although there were little bits and pieces of fact in the stories, most of it was just pure fiction. Still, actions some of the characters took, their attitudes, how things progressed, I don't know. It just didn't ring true. 

Recommendation: This one is way down on the list for me. I would say it's a miss, but if you enjoy stories about Sherlock Holmes and his wonderful creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, then perhaps you may still want to read this. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

This was a short story that was originally part of an anthology. You may recognize the name of the author as the one who wrote the book Gone Girl (among other novels)

Thing is, I want to like her work. I really do. There's something that just ruins it for me. The beginning starts off great, her writing really sucks me in, then the ending kills it for me. Every time.

The Grownup was a hell of a story. It starts off quickly, pulls you in, and totally takes over your attention. Then.... it falls flat. Utterly flat. I think maybe it's because I feel like her stories just don't ring true and you can tell. Like something is off. It just didn't thrill me.

The story was about a woman, a con artist working a bit of a weird scam where she is pretending to be a medium. She meets a woman with a weird family and a weird house. Things don't go the way she plans.

I went into this with no reservations, totally ignoring my feelings about her other work, but it still let me down. I feel like she could have done so much more with this story than she did. Glad I picked this up at the library!

Recommendation: If you like her writing, this one is for you. If you've never read anything else she's written, pick this up. Its a super short read but you'll know if you want to read more of her longer works by the end of this one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Crack in the Lens by Steve Hockensmith

Okay, you know I've been ranting and raving about these books since I discovered them but lately, my feelings have changed.

This book has the brothers heading back to San Marcos to solve the murder of Old Red's fiancee from years before. The boys don't get the sweetest welcome and a whole bunch of bad things happen in their pursuit of the truth. There are old friends, old enemies, and trouble around every turn.

The first book was great. You can read all about it here. The second one was pretty good and my thoughts are here. The third was just okay and my review is here. This one....

It's just not quite the same. There was a lot less fun, less humor, and a lot more destruction then before. There was so much stumbling around of the characters that it just all feel into place, albeit awkwardly. The deduction portion of these books that I had loved just seemed to be missing here.

At first I was a little sad that there was so few of these books written but not anymore. I am okay that there was only a few, and I don't think I'm going to be reading the last of them. These books are turning out to be more violent then I really like without needing it to happen.

I wasn't super happy about the ending either, I really wouldn't have written it this way. I didn't even really like how the title was so connected to the core of the story. It was just a little too obvious for me.

Recommendation: If anything, read the first one, and the second one. Those are gems. This one kinda wasn't.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

This is the first book in the Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood. 

I've talked about another other one of these great books here and if I can keep getting my hands on them I will keep talking about them!

In case you didn't know, there has been a t.v. show based on this lovely series of novels, and let me tell you, the show is just as amazing as the books! Honestly, I feel like reading the book is like watching an episode of the show. Every time I have to put the book down to get on with life, it feels like I just hit pause on the show. 

This one is great. Perfect introduction into the characters too. I know of all the main ones because of the TV show but the introduction of them in the stories was perfect. If you've seen the show then you'll find a couple differences between the introductions to the characters in the book, but honestly, I love them both.

It's just the perfect 1920's style mysteries set in Australia. It's got the clothes, the company, the mystery, and the experience of the 20's that just make this book and this series great. 

Cocaine Blues follows Phryne as she heads to Australia to investigate the daughter of a family friend. She finds herself immersed in the drug world and in the company of strange characters. She meets some new people who will become her close friends in the books to come. 

This is a short read, but well worth every second. Perfect introduction into the world of Miss Fisher. She is a younger, more stylish, and a more diva fantastic version of Miss Marple. 

Recommendation: If you love mysteries, novels about the 20's, and a really good story, then this is for you! This whole series is for you! Also, the show is great. And it's on Netflix!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

He Drank, and Saw the Spider by Alex Bledsoe

This was pretty cool. It's the fifth book in a series following a "sword jockey" named Eddie LaCrosse in a fantasy type historical world. He is kind of like a private eye in a sense who finds himself solving mysteries.

This book starts off with Eddie trying to save a man from being mauled to death by a bear. He doesn't manage to save the man, but he does manage to save the baby the man was carrying. He takes the baby, drops her off with a family in a nearby town, and then moves on with his life. Or so he thinks. 16 years later, he finds his way back to this town an older man with his girlfriend, and searches out the girl. Just in time to help save her again.

What really drew me in to this book at first was the title. What an interesting title! I was dying to know what that meant, and what the context was. Well, thankfully this book explained! The only thing was, it was repeated a whole bunch of times, which kind of drove me nuts. It's like when movies say the name of the movie in the movie, which is cool, but when they repeat it a whole bunch of times, it's just too much.

I liked the characters, I liked the story, I liked the world they live in, and I want to read more. The characters were colorful and interesting, and I found the story quite compelling.

Even so, I don't think I am going to be running back to the library to pick up another one but I will be adding this series to my ever growing list to read. I will read more about Eddie LaCrosse and his adventures at some point for sure!

I hate rating books out of 5 but I think if I had to rate this one, I would give it a 3.75/5. I liked it, but... there was something missing. Still, it was good!

Recommendation: Fans of fantasy, of other worlds, of live saving missions, and funny but real sounding characters, this is for you!

The puppy got involved in my photo shoot again. He always wants to be the center of attention!

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Black Dove by Steve Hockensmith

This is the third book in the Holmes on the Range series. I've written about the first one here and the second one here.

So far I have been utterly in love with these books. This one though, I didn't love quite as much. Don't get me wrong: its great. I am more than happy that I've read it, and I will continue on with the series. My mixed feelings haven't swayed me that far. It's just... this book left me wanting.

The Black Dove is set in Chinatown and it involves a lot of the same characters from the previous novel. The Amlingmeyer brothers are still on the hunt for a job with some private detectives when they come across an old friend who ends up dead and they need to solve the murder.

This book runs over the course of about a day and a half. There's a whole new cast of characters (and a couple of old ones) that find the brothers heading into trouble without a whole lot of planning or direction. Old Red sniffs out clues and gets to detecting in the way of Sherlock Holmes as he's done since book one, and Big Red stands by to render aide whenever necessary.

It was fun and exciting like the other ones, but it wasn't the same. I think it was possibly because the situations they found themselves in were so crazy and slapped together that it lost plausibility for me. The ending was quite unexpected though, and that redeemed it a bit for me.

Recommendation: Overall, not a bad book, but if you were interested in this series, then I would recommend that you don't start with this one. Read the first two before this one for sure. Then you will know what I really love this series.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Thanks to the wonders of Instagram and Twitter I have discovered some pretty cool authors before I've even had the pleasure of reading their work. Victoria Schwab was one of them. I had heard of her before I found her online, but I didn't really look into her books.

A couple months ago I picked up another one of her books, but recently, I had been keeping an eye on the upcoming release of this book. When it came out, I made a trip shortly after it's release to pick it up and I didn't put it down till I had finished.

I loved this book. It didn't feel at all like a teen novel to me. Yes, it's about a girl and a boy who are still of high school age. It's about good, evil, monsters, and the troubles of the world. It's dark and exciting, and it draws you into a whole other reality. It's great.

It was a little more violent then I thought it would be, but it didn't bother me. I wasn't really sure what I was expecting but I will say I wasn't disappointed. The characters felt wise and more mature then their age. I had no problems getting into the story.

As for the monsters, they were pretty darn interesting. I love an interesting monster. Perfect amount of cause and effect in this book, that's for sure.

At the time I read it I thought it could make a really cool movie and I am super happy to hear that I'm not the only one as it's now being made into a movie! I couldn't be more excited!

Since finishing this book I have found myself needing to collect her other works. I have two others on my shelf and two others coming in the mail. I just think she is a great person and a great author and one I am happy to support! (pretty darn inspirational too!)

Recommendation: This is for the strange, the dark, the lover of monsters. This is a story about a boy and a girl and how their lives will change everything. This is a book that needs to be read.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

This is the third in the Cormoran Strike mysteries by Robert Galbraith (otherwise known as J.K. Rowling).

I enjoy these books. The mysteries are great, they are always so different then the last, and I can never figure them out before the end, which I love. This one all about Cormoran's past when someone sends his partner Robin Ellacott a severed leg to the office. He must delve in deep to catch someone from his past before they can do any more damage to anyone, including Robin.

The one thing that does bug me about these books is that it takes me what feels like forever to finish them! I don't know what it is, but I can't read these quickly. I've tried too. Doesn't happen. It's something about her writing that takes me so much longer to get through. That's a good thing in a way, but when the TBR is a mile long and you wish you could simultaneously read 4 books at once, it is kind of a pain.

There better be a new one and it better be soon because the ending has left me with so many questions and I seriously need answered. Not about the mystery, but about the main characters and their lives. J.K. Rowling creates such an awesome story with such complex and interesting characters that you just can't get enough of.

Recommendation: If you read the first two, read this. If you haven't read any of these books yet, please please please do. They are made for the lovers of stories and the lovers of a good mystery.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

On the Wrong Track by Steve Hockensmith

This is the second book in the Holmes on the Range mysteries by Steve Hockensmith. This series follows two brothers nicknamed Old Red and Big Red who are living out in the wild west in 1893.

This book finds the brothers in search of work, preferably of the detecting variety. They stumble into work protecting the Pacific Express train from robbers. Sounds easy, but when a dead body pops up, they find themselves stuck on a train with a murderer. There are more twists and turns on the rails that anyone could have foreseen. Old Red really gets his time to shine "detectifying".

These books are full of slang, old time style talk, and old west ways. This book in particular made me laugh out loud quite a few times. It was just great. Perfect combo of humor, mystery, and story that kept me riveted to my seat. I had such a hard time putting it down, and I devoured it pretty quickly. I've already taken the next one out of the library and it's up next after I finish my current read.

I love these books. On my favorites list for sure!

Recommendation: For the lovers of funny, old time, western style, Holmes type mysteries. You seriously need these in your life!

For your viewing pleasure, here are some outtakes! My dog Indy was just dying to model apparently, so I gave in and let him do his thing!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry Greenwood

I cannot explain how excited I was to find this book at the library. Well, that I was able to find any books in this series at the library.

Let me explain: If you enjoy watching murder mystery type t.v. shows on Netflix (or on actual t.v.) you may have come across a show called Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. The show (and books) follow the activities and cases of a female detective by the name of the Honorable Phryne Fisher living in Australia in the late 1920's.

She may be an aristocrat but that doesn't mean she doesn't have a heart of gold. She's got style, panache, and killer smarts. She dresses like a diva but has been known to wear pants, and even carry a little gun when needed. She's progressive for her time, seeing no need in getting married, and she has a lover or two on the side.

There's a whole side cast of characters that help her out in all her cases, mostly people she's rescued in some way or another. There's Dot her companion, Bert and Cec who do odd jobs and run a taxi, and Detective Jack Robinson who is always there for her when she needs him.

As a lover of the t.v. show I was absolutely delighted to find out that reading one of the books feels exactly like I was watching a show. Every time I had to put the book down, it felt like I was pushing pause on an episode of the show. Can I just say I am totally in love!?

This book was actually book #17 in the series. This book finds Phryne investigating both an apparent suicide of a man on the beach and a missing child. There's lost treasure, strange people, a seance, and a heatwave kicking up its heels. Somehow she manages it all with the flair that I've come to love from the show.

I'm not going to lie, I will be writing about each and every one of these books that I can get my hands on at the library, or in general! They are just fabulous!

Recommendation: If you love murder mysteries with a 1920's Australian/English vibe following a fantastic aristocrat, then do not walk, run to your local library and grab these. You will not be disappointed. Also: watch the show on Netflix. Please. Just do it. You will love it!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

In the Shadows of Paris by Claude Izner

I grabbed this one at random at the library mostly due to the title. Once I saw the cover though, I had to read it. It's just so pretty.

Turns out this is the fifth book in a series featuring one of the main characters Victor Legris, a book seller. It's written by two sisters who go by the pen name Claude Izner. This book is about the bookseller who solves crimes occasionally, and when people start dying, he and his protege step in and help solve the mystery.

Let me start off by saying there are 71 footnotes in this book. 71. It feels like there's one on every page and I found that quite annoying. These notes reference language translations. literary references, historical references etc. that I really could have done with out. If you have to explain something after you've said it, maybe you shouldn't have said it?

This one was so hard to get into that I almost gave up twice before I was even 50 pages in. The authors switch characters so fast, and with little warning, that I had to keep going back when they finally gave people names to try and figure out who was who. Right at the beginning they go back in time to an event that, in my opinion didn't even link up the way they thought it would later on. It just seemed like extra information that maybe we could have done without.

Once the characters were fleshed out, I found myself drawn to them. That was the reason I finished the book. I really wanted to know what would happen to them, specifically one of the criminal characters. By the end though, the one criminal character had such a flat ending to his story that it just bugged me.

The whole thing just felt over complicated for nothing. It was just so mediocre in my opinion. I don't think I'll be picking up any of the other ones in the future.

Recommendation: If you are familiar with the history relating to Paris then perhaps this is for you? If you like footnotes and historical fiction that ties back into real places and events, then maybe this is for you? If you are a casual mystery reader, perhaps give this one a pass.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith

This book is about two cowboy brothers living out in Montana in 1893. One brother is obsessed with the stories about the great Sherlock Holmes, and even fancies himself a bit of a sleuth. The other brother is the narrator of this fine tale and the two of them find themselves in the perfect position to investigate a murder in the style of their favorite detective. 

It's written in true wild west type of fashion complete with terms and speech patterns right out of the old days. It's heavy on the ranching story lines and lingo that go with it. I loved every second of it. So much so that I couldn't put it down even though the day I read it I had a killer headache. Nothing was going to stop me!

The characters are great, the story was great, I had no complaints with this book at all. I didn't think that linking up the wild west and Sherlock Holmes could be this good! I am happy to report that it totally works and it's totally awesome! 

The mystery itself was hard, I didn't know a darn thing till the very end. I love it when that happens!

This one is the first of 6 I believe, following these two brothers. I came across this one by accident at the library and the title totally pulled me in. I've already taken out the second book from the library and it's going to be my next read. 

Recommendation: This is a western mystery. If that is something you might enjoy, please give this a read. Also, if you like the work of Sherlock Holmes and you would enjoy reading a fictitious case of a cowboy inspired by him, then you must read this!

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Years ago I watched The Da Vinci Code movie and I enjoyed it. I knew it was a book, but back then I was so involved in reading mysteries that it never really occurred to me to read it.

I found it used at a thrift store a little while ago so I grabbed it up and gave it a go. I read it all in about three hours I think, then I spent the rest of my day off watching the movies (The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons). 

I liked the story. It was interesting and it kept my attention. The writing was good, and I didn't find myself skimming over pages either. It's an easy read, not too complicated, not too intense. 

There was quite a few things that happened in the book that I didn't remember. I found out later it was because it wasn't in the movie. I feel like they passed over some parts in the movie that I would have liked included. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil anything and I'm sure most of you have heard of this movie/book before. 

I know some people hate this book because of the topic, but if the topic appeals to you, then this is worth the read. I think the book is better than the movie. Hands down. There's so much more going on, and the ending is different, but I liked it better that way. 

Recommendation: If you liked the movie, if you're interested in the story, give it a read. The book is better and the writing is good. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

You may have heard of this movie (like I did) and had no idea it was a book, or maybe you knew and were keeping it a secret. I don't know. But I do know that I've read the book, watched the movie, and I have some thoughts.

It's a story about a family who's father passes away and they have to spend a week locked into the family home together. It's told from the point of view of one of the sons and it details the hilarity and troubles of life. I won't say anymore, but it's a dark and funny movie that I enjoyed.

I saw the movie first and I liked it. It made me laugh. Helps that I really enjoy most of the actors in the movie too. My only wish was to change the ending, I wanted more. I always want more.

The book was good too but it was different in a lot of places from the movie. Surprisingly, I prefer the movie to the book. The book had some graphic descriptions of things in it that weren't in the movie, and I'm kinda glad about that (although it was still funny) In the odd place or two the book was better than the movie, but overall movie is better than the book.

In the back of the book, there was an excerpt of another book by the same author and I noticed there was a lot of similarities between the main characters. The author seems to like writing these men who are useless creatures who are not worthy of redemption, but at the same time pardoning all their faults and letting them off the hook. In the book version This Is Where I Leave You, the main character is quite a bit more pathetic than he is in the movie, and honestly, I am so much happier with the movie.

Recommendation: This was a pretty cool movie. I really liked it. The book, well it's okay. I would watch the movie first though if you're thinking about reading the book.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

This came across my radar online a couple times and since I had heard of the author before I decided to give it a try.

This book is a compilation of letters and replies from the online advice column Dear Sugar from The Rumpus. It's full of advice about life, love, and loss. Some of the letters are new and never before seen and they are placed into sections. 

Cheryl Strayed does not hide one little thing when she responds to these letters. She is real, raw, and downright honest with her words. Some of it was hard to read and I found myself needing to step away for a little while and continue it later. I took my time with this book because so much of it was necessary. 

Her writing style is unmistakable. She hits so close to home with everything she writes. She showed me myself on the page, tore me down, then gave me back all the hope I needed. I couldn't be more grateful that her work is out there and that she herself exists.  

Recommendation: This may not be easy to read all the way through at once, but I think it's necessary. Very necessary. You will feel better for the experience. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King

If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, then I hope you've heard of the books by Laurie R. King where she writes about the famous detective from the point of view of a woman who comes into his life by the name of Mary Russell.

These books are GOLD, people! They are great! I love them so darn much. This one is the first one in the series and it covers their first case and how they met. It's a bit of a slow story progression, but it's still really interesting. Mary Russell is young and figuring out her place in the world when she meets Sherlock and a friendship blooms.

I felt like I was reading about the Sherlock Holmes we all know and love and I can't wait to read them all. I think there's quite a few actually. I really love the idea of a female counterpart and I think it just brings new flavor into the story. There is a big age difference between them, but I still think it works.

The investigations are the same as ever, the cases are as odd and as tough as ever, and the feel is pure Sherlock Holmes.

Recommendation: For the lovers of all things Sherlock Holmes. You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The BFG by Roald Dahl

If you haven't read this yet, or at least heard of the amazingness that is Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, among others!) then please let this book be a lovely introduction to his work.

This book is short, sweet, and all types of great. As a child I read the odd book or two of his, but I was reading at a higher level pretty quickly and I think that's why I may have missed out on quite a few great children's classics. I think I did read it as a child, but I can't remember so when I found a set of Roald Dahl's books on sale, I grabbed it up.

The reason I'm talking about this book today is because it's coming out as a movie very soon and I am excited!! I'm making my boyfriend read the book too before we go and see it. I have high hopes for the movie and I cannot wait to see it because I'm sure I'm going to love it!

Recommendation: Read this, go see the movie, enjoy the greatness! You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

This book caught my eye on Instagram and I adored the cover. I know this is technically a kids book, but some of the best so often are.

I really liked the idea behind the story. It's about a young girl who's baby brother gets kidnapped by crows and taken into the impassable wilderness outside of town and she must go in to find her brother with the help of a friend from school. 

Yes, like others, I thought of Labyrinth too (girl rescuing her baby brother from a magical creature anyone?) but it also reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia, both I really enjoyed. 

There are cool talking creatures, interesting characters, and a whole new world to explore in this book. Turns out its the first of a trilogy and I'm excited to read the other two. 

I kind of thought that this book could have been about teenagers and it still would have worked without any issues. There was also a lot more war and battles than I typically see in these kinds of books for children, but I didn't mind it. Only other odd thing was the family dynamic. It seemed a little weird to me, but I guess it had to be because then the story wouldn't have worked itself out in the same way and I can get behind that. I won't say more because I don't want to give any spoilers.

It was good. The pictures were really cool, the story was an easy read, and I liked it. I have already bought the next two and I'm going to read and review those too.

I read some reviews on Goodreads that complained about the beginning and its references to a hipster Portland and such, but the rest of the story is so much more then that. Don't let that kind of silliness distract you from a great story since that stuff is not what the book is really about.

Recommendation: If you enjoyed Narnia and the Labyrinth, give this a try. It's pretty darn good. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Daisies for Innocence by Bailey Cattrell

This is the first in a new series called the Enchanted Garden Mysteries by author Bailey Cattrell. It was published at the beginning of this year.

I found through a little bit of investigation that this author has published another series called the Magical Bakery Mysteries under the name Bailey Cates, the Home Crafting Mysteries series under the name Cricket McRae, and a book called Shotgun Moon under the name K. C. McRae.

This book is about a woman who runs a custom perfume and scent store with a lovely garden outside. She can help people with scent and her talents seem almost supernatural. Her employee turns up dead and it's up to her to solve the mystery once she becomes a suspect.

Right off the bat this book looks like one of those easy, pun filled, mysteries that take like no time at all to read, but that you'll enjoy in passing
. Honestly, I think it was much more then that. Yes, the cover is full of terrible puns, but the story wasn't and although it was a light read, it was still deeper and more interesting then some other books of this nature.

The story has such a magical feel to it and I loved it. There was a lot of bits about plants, perfumes, and the teachings relating to scents and symbolism that I really enjoyed. I think that the background story line could really go somewhere in these books.

I can't wait for more books in this series. I wanted more from this author so that's how I figured out about her other series under other pen names and I've already ordered the first in the Magical Bakery Mysteries!

Recommendation: Read this if you like reading mysteries or books with a magical slant about plants and aromatherapy. I think you'll be happily surprised.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Joanne Fluke: The Hannah Swensen series

I have been reading this series for years now. These mysteries are focused around the main character Hannah Swensen who is a baker living in a small town. She owns a cookie shop and with the help of her sisters, one of the two main men in her life, and her awesome detective skills, she solves mysteries. Quite often she even manages to find the bodies herself! Every book is full of recipes for delicious baked goods, even some other great dishes, that are mentioned in the story. As such, each murder mystery is named for a key baked good that features in the mystery.

I own a good chunk of the series as e-books. I tend to read them in the middle of the night when I can't sleep on my phone or my e-reader. They are fairly easy reads that aren't overly complicated and because of that I prefer to get them from the library or on my e-reader. 

I find these books to be rather light, they tend to follow the same kind of formula, with a lot of the same characters. I don't mind this though, because even though they are pretty simple, I don't tend to figure out the end before its over which is something I look for in a good mystery. I don't want to be able to solve it early. There`s a lot of repetition as far as things go with the characters, but the author stays true to them, they never come off feeling fake. 

I guess they've made one into a made-for-TV-movie... no interest in watching it. At all. I saw the cast, and it doesn't make any sense. 

These are fun little reads that make your mouth water with delicious recipes. 

Recommendation: Perfect for the lover of sweet treats and light mysteries. 

If you were wondering which of her books are in my e-book library, here they are (in no particular order):

  • Cherry Cheesecake Murder
  • Blueberry Muffin Murder
  • Apple Turnover Murder
  • Fudge Cupcake Murder
  • Peach Cobbler Murder
  • Chocolate Chip Murder
  • Key Lime Pie Murder
  • Cream Puff Murder
  • Red Velvet Cupcake Murder
  • Cinnamon Roll Murder
  • Sugar Cookie Murder
  • Candy Cane Murder
  • Plum Pudding Murder
  • Gingerbread Cookie Murder
  • Carrot Cake Murder
  • Devil`s Food Cake Murder

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg

This is the second book by Natalie Goldberg that I have had the pleasure of reading. The True Secret of Writing is the follow up type of book to her book Writing Down the Bones (you can read my thoughts on that book here)

This book focuses more on her zen training and the zen style writing boot camps that she holds. She shares all there is to know about her boot camps, even sharing a schedule she's used at one of them so the reader can get a real feel of her zen writing boot camps for themselves. 

As usual, this book is chock full of wisdom and anecdotes all geared to succeeding and inspiring others to write. It's a beautiful guidebook just waiting to kick start anyone's writing. It's hard to explain why I love her writing so much without sitting down and quoting you whole pages of her magical words. They are like pearls of wisdom on the page that just send a tingle down my spine and makes me feel like I can pick up my pen and move mountains. 

It took me quite a long time to read this book mainly because I needed frequent pauses to to savor it and let the knowledge sink in. Since completing it the first time I`ve picked it up again numerous times to flip through when in need of inspiration. 

I loved her tales of her own writing path. She discusses different ways she's written, things she's done to write, and everything in between. I read Writing Down the Bones first, of course, but I did not find even one instance of repetitiveness between the two, even though the subject matter is so very similar. Both are equally important and both are equally great. 

Recommendation: This book is a definite must read for any writer. It's truly a staple on my bookshelf. If something happened to my copy, this is a book I would have to replace. I am so much better for having read this book.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Sandman by Lars Kepler

So this book is the fourth book in a series by a Swedish couple who use the pen name Lars Kepler. They are named Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and are both published authors on their own.

When I heard about this series that follows Detective Inspector Joona Linna, it was said that Lars Kepler was the next Stieg Larsson (the author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books) and I was excited because I loved those books.

The Sandman was a creepy, mildly shocking thriller. It wasn't really too heavy on the mystery side, it was more about catching the person they already knew did it. There was a lot of bits that were on the scary, in-your-face, psychological side and I don`t know how I feel about that. As far as it being like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books... I don`t really think so.

The chapters were super short and it was a fairly easy read. I`m not really sure how I feel about the characters either. They were odd to me, and I found it hard to identify with them. I liked it, but I didn't like it that much. I`m glad it was a library book though, and that I didn't take the plunge and buy it.  I don`t really think I`ll be reading any more of these books either. Just not my style.

Recommendation: If you like creepy psychological thrillers, then you will like this.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I picked this book up used years ago because everyone was talking about it and I figured some day I would give it a try even though it wasn't really my type of read. I am a mystery lover to the core but I've been branching out a lot lately and I am enjoying myself.

I did not quite know what to expect with this book. I didn't watch the movie at all so all I knew was what was written on the back. Right off the bad, I was surprised but delighted at how the book was set up. I love that it was in sections and it was set up in little stories of her memories.

I liked the way she just told us her story and let it all out there. Of course, she is a great writer and I have been picking up some of her other works when I find them (like Big Magic which everyone needs to read. Read my thoughts about it here) and I think she's such an interesting person.

This book was really great. I loved the rawness about it. It left me wanting more and I found it to be really inspiring in unexpected ways. I didn't want to put it down either. There's so much about the lives of others that really moves us and I really do enjoy true stories like this.

She does touch on her beliefs quite a bit but I even enjoyed that part too. Differences between our lives and the lives of others are just as great as the similarities. I have definitely not experienced the same things that she has, but I could still identify with her story.

This is going to be a book that I will be rereading for sure in the future. I would like to see the movie too at some point.

Recommendation: Give this a try. It's good, it'll make you feel things, and .you'll like it.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

The Book of Life is the third and final book in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.

If you've read the other two or heard about this trilogy before then you will know it's about a witch and a vampire who are trying to save the future of their races. There is so much more then that but I don't want to spoil anything accidentally. You can read my reviews on the first book here and the second book here 

This book is the culmination of their journey through time to finish what they started. It's detailed and interesting. There is never a dull moment. Like the other books I had a hard time putting this one down until the end. I find that the characters are well developed and believable. The witch and vampire love story aspect has been done many times but I wasn't disappointed.

This one got weird reviews on Goodreads. In my opinion it was just as good as the other two. The ending for me was perhaps a little simple, that perhaps the overall mission ended a little easily but I still enjoyed the book.

I find myself left wanting more. I know this is the last one in the trilogy, but I still would like to know more about the characters and their life after the end of the book. I have so many questions!

Recommendation: If you haven't yet read any of the novels in this trilogy then you really should! They are very good.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May Wrap Up!

It has been FOREVER since I've done a monthly wrap up of the books I've read. Why, you ask? Because I almost always forget what day it is. I end up missing the end/beginning of the next month so often that I remember like 5 days into the new month and that's just way too late.

In the month of May this year I read a total of 7 books. Four were from library and three were from my own collection. I decided super last minute to make a post about it at all so my photos were done rather quickly. (I snapped the ones of the library books on my way out this morning as I was going to the library after work today).

The books marked with a * are the ones that will have reviews coming soon! I think this month was a pretty good literary month and I am ready for June!

From the library I read:

Daisies for Innocence by Bailey Cattrell *
The Sandman by Lars Kepler *
Robert B. Parker's Kickback by Ace Atkins
Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton

From my collection I read:

Wildwood by Colin Meloy*
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper*
The BFG by Roald Dahl *

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

This is the second book in the Cormoran Strike series by J. K. Rowling aka Robert Galbraith.

These novels are the perfect mix of utter messed up bit and touching bits that balance everything out. Her writing is perfect (as always) and The Silkworm was very hard to put down. I spend the better part of a day lounging around my house finishing the book.

This book is about private detective Cormoran Strike who is investigating a missing person case only to have it turn into murder. I found the mystery to be hard, as in I couldn't figure it out at all before the end. I did find a few red herrings that succeeded in throwing me off though, which I love. I love to be always guessing. I loved the character development of Robin Ellacott and Cormoran Strike. I find them totally easy to relate to and I am very excited to read what happens next.

I will say that I kind of enjoyed this mystery better than the first one, but her writing style is just so awesome that I find myself drawn in no matter what the story is about. I think these books to deserve all the praise they get.

Recommendation: For fans of J.K. Rowling's writing and for all mystery lovers out there, this one is for you.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dead Cold by Louise Penny

I cannot stop talking about these books. Fair warning: I'm going to write about each and every one in this series. Sorry, but I can't help it. They are just so darn good! And Canadian!

Louise Penny's characters draw you in, and it doesn't matter if they are good people or bad. She shows the flaws in everyone that really goes deep into human nature. You really can't help but identify and feel for her characters.

This book also involves the town of Three Pines. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she wrote more than one book about the town and their super interesting cast of characters. Nothing feels stale or over done about these books either. Its a new murder and a new mystery each time.

In this book, a very disliked socialite is murdered and there seems to be a lot of unanswered questions in her past. I had no idea how it was going to turn out and I was quite surprised. As well, there is a lot of backstory in this one about Inspector Gamache and what has happened in his career that keeps coming back to haunt him.

I loved every page of this one. Louise Penny opens doors within the reader and its more than just reading a book, it's an all around experience.

Recommendation: If you enjoy mysteries and great writing, this is definitely the book for you!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Kilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. Montgomery

One of my absolute favorite authors is Lucy Maud Montgomery, and has been since I was a little girl. Her writing is just amazing and special. You may know of her as the author of Anne of Green Gables or Emily of New Moon.

I picked this one up used (as her lesser known books are harder to snap up) and was super happy to add it to my collection. This book is a love story. It's a sweet old time courting story that is so different from the love stories of today. It's about a guy who falls in love with a girl who is mute. He must work hard to win her heart.

As always the writing was descriptive and detailed but in such a way it's like each sentence is a gem on its own. It's beautiful and lovely, and totally great. It was simple and the ending worked out exactly how I had hoped. Yes, I can admit that the story is a little silly on the surface but I enjoyed every second of it.

I am really not a fan of love stories or romances at all, but this one was good. It's really different and old fashioned.

Recommendation: If you love the writing style of L.M.M, or if you are a fan of beautiful romances, then this one is definitely for you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Death of a Policeman by M.C. Beaton

I have already covered my overall thoughts on this large series in a previous post (you can find it here) but I felt like I needed to write about this one specifically because its one that's worth mentioning.

I found this mystery to have a little more going on that some of the other ones. I found it to be a little more fun and different then her usual ones. The ending was quite surprising and I did not expect anything in the slightest.

One thing you need to know about Hamish Macbeth is that he likes his little village policeman post. He does not want a promotion even though he is responsible for solving most of the crimes. He is always at war with Detective Chief Inspector Blair who would really love to see him fired, but things take on a new turn in this one. There's a bit of intrigue, a bit of murder, a bit of suspense, and a bit of humor. I really enjoyed this one.

I am singling out this one in specific because if I had to recommend just one, it would be this one. It stayed on my mind for quite a while after I read it, and I think it might just be one I need to re-read!

Recommendation: If you were interested in good, easy to read
mysteries, grab this one. I do believe you will enjoy it!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

I didn't read this book as a child and I seriously wish I had. It is such an interesting and surprising read!

I had no idea how it was going to go and it ended up being a really surprising experience.

In case you haven't heard of this book before, its a children's book, like age 11 and up. It's a classic and it won the Newberry Medal in 1963.

It's about a girl, her brother, and a friend who go on a journey together after meeting this stranger. It delves into the idea of time and space and it's chock full of metaphors and super cool ideas. All I can say without giving things away is that you really won't expect what happens.

I really enjoyed this book. And its part of a quintet. I do wish the book was longer and a little more detailed but that would be my only issue. It most certainly is a hidden gem and a book that I think everyone should read at least once. Also: I can't help staring at this cover!

Recommendation: Read this. Doesn't matter how old you are or what you are into, I think you should read this at least once. It needs to be experienced.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I thought I had read this one in school, but after reading it now I'm not so sure.

This is one of those books that we were all supposed to read as a child/teen. It won the Newberry Medal in 1990. Many consider this one a classic.

First off, I found the idea interesting. I liked the idea of community with no pain, war, or fear. Everyone knows what they are going to do. Every decision is made for you, but everyone is happy. The idea of a community that actually works this way is so strange that I am drawn to the story.

Of course someone needs to know what the world really is full of, and that is the job given to the main character Jonas.

What I didn't really like was the end of the story. I felt really let down. It was left so open ended that it just rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like it colored what I got out of the story and my memories of it. Not a terrible read at all though, I just didn't like the end.

Recommendation: If you found the story behind Divergent interesting, I think you would like this. Can't promise you'll love the ending though.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

M. C. Beaton: The Hamish Macbeth series

I adore these books. They are truly delightful simple reads that might be quick and easy, but are not short on entertainment.

This series follows fictional Scottish police man Hamish Macbeth who simply wishes to be left alone in his small station, walking his beat, and avoiding promotion. Of course it's not quite as simple as that because there is always a murder or two cropping up and he is the one to solve them. 

Hamish is fair, honest, and good. He's a small village man who operates a little differently than most in stories that we read, but it just makes him all the more interesting.  The village is full of funny and interesting characters. Quite often I find myself laughing at loud at some of the antics in these stories. There's a bit of underlying love story elements that follow through the books, but for the most part, these can be read out of order which is bound to be the case for most readers because there are quite a few of these novels!

I have loved these from the first read and I cannot foresee a time when I won't still love them.  I don't tend to buy them unless I can get them second hand or as an e-book because they are quick reads for me (they only take me a couple hours) but if I can get my hands on a copy I can keep for a good price, then I am all over it! So far I only have these ones in paper copies, and a few more as e-books!

Recommendation: Treat yo'self! These are fast, easy, tasty treats for your mystery loving mind! 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

I read this in one sitting as I often do and I have to say it was not what I was expecting. Having said that, I'm not even sure what I was really expecting.

It's a novel of pure betrayal and murder. It's written in slang and you can't help but read it in the voices of the characters. This novel is a classic, and as such, I really wanted to read it.

It's not like my usual reads. It's the kind of book that makes you witness something but leaves you on the side lines with a confusion as to how to feel. My usual reads pull you in, cuddles you up with a warm drink and a blanket, and tells you a story. This was not that kind of book.

It's a good murder mystery, its written in such a way that you'll not forget it very quick that's for sure, and its got an ending that I don't think many people would have chosen if it had been up to them. I wouldn't have ended it the way it ended. I understand the choice, but it still got to me. 

I know this has been quite a vague review, but since this is a classic, I don't want to go into too much depth because it is a short book and I am afraid of giving away too much.

I have not seen any of the movie adaptations that have been made either. I would like to though. 

Recommendation: It's a classic murder mystery and deserves to be read and appreciated. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

I've owned this book for quite a while and I've always counted it among one of my favorites. It might actually be one of the first books I read about writing.

A funny thing happened when I sat down to write my review of this book. I couldn't remember a thing about it. I drew a huge blank. If you had mentioned the title and shown me the book, I would have told you I loved it and that it was one of my favorites, but the details? I couldn't remember. I had even forgot who wrote it which is amazing to me because Anne Lamott is great.

Anne Lamott is a writer who inspires me. I follow her on twitter, and I see quotes of hers all over the place online. I even copy and write out her words in my journals all the time, making sure I pay attention. Somehow I completely forgot this gem of a book was hers. 

This book is an honest and serious look at writing. Anne Lamott
doesn't sugar coat it, doesn't beat around the bush, just tells you like it is. When it comes to writing, she lays it out in a beautiful way with words that are pure gold. It's anecdotal, full of writing tips and bits of her life. It's beautiful and great in all the ways books like these always are. I loved it.

To me, she's the voice I need inside my head speaking to me day after day, telling me to get my act together and write. No doubt that is the very reason I forgot about this book was because I didn't want to get my act together, it was easier to forget. 

That being said, I need to reread this book again very soon. I should never have ignored or forgot her words in the first place, but my devious lazy mind took over, as it so often does.

Recommendation: Pick this up, all aspiring writers. You are hurting yourself passing this one by.  I really cannot explain why this book is so impressive, you just need to read it for yourself. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This was my first foray into the writing of Elizabeth Gilbert and I was not disappointed. Of course I am aware of her because of Eat Pray Love, but (even though I own a copy of that book somewhere) I still haven't read it yet.

This book crossed my radar on twitter and after seeing a photo of the cover I had to look into it. It's a book about creativity and living the creative life. Elizabeth Gilbert gives her take on writing and living creatively and she does it in the most refreshingly honest manner. She is just such a down to earth person that tells it like it is and I am so grateful for that. It's part instruction manual, part story time, and part inspirational blanket. It's a book that will spark your creative flame and welcome you into a world of others trying to do what you do.

I loved every bit of this book. Some of her ideas were new and so interesting that I often find myself thinking about them at random times. I don't want to spoil it, but shes got some pretty cool thoughts about where ideas come from, and I think everyone should read it.

 This book is definitely among my most favorite books, and I know that I will be re-reading it in part, or in whole, over and over again for the years to come. Actually, I already have. It's been sitting on my nightstand for about a week now and I keep picking it up to look it over again. I even joined a group on Goodreads just because they were going to read this book this year and I wanted to know what they thought/make myself have an excuse to read it again.

I think I could honestly highlight and quote the whole book if I let myself, there's just so much useful and true wisdom inside. She may give out some tough love with her words, but they are so very necessary. 

Recommendation: This is so very necessary and helpful to anyone looking to live the creative life, especially as a writer. You will not be disappointed in this lovely book. Pick it up and cherish it like I have. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

This is one of those books that has been around quite a long time. If you've watched the movie Sister Act 2 with Whoopie Goldberg and Lauryn Hill then you will know that Whoopie told Lauryn to read the book.

It's a series of letters written by Rainer Maria Rilke who was a poet. The man writing to him was asking Rainer to look at his work and to give him advice on writing. There are no letters from the point of view of the man who wrote to Rainer, only the letters that the man received from Rainer. 

The reference that I have seen often when this book has been mentioned is what Rainer says about writing. I am paraphrasing here, but he says that if you look inside yourself and ask yourself "must I write?" and if the answer is anything but a resounding yes, then you should just walk away. If the answer is yes, then you must write. 

His point of view is very interesting, and the book is full of wonderful quotes about life and writing. He focuses on details of the self and of using whats around us in our work. 

It's not a easy read even though it is very short and comprises 11 letters that Rainer wrote. His thoughts are esoteric and at times a little difficult to follow. 

The beauty of it is, Rainer was being completely candid and open with his thoughts and feelings during this period of time. It was like reading some one's journal. I found it quite interesting. 

Recommendation: Pick this up if you are interested in writing, or even following your dreams. It's so full of wisdom that I think it's worth having around to pick up again and again because I'm sure you'll come across something new each time.