Monday, March 27, 2017

And Then There Were Nuns by Jane Christmas

If you've seen any of my Instagram stories, I spend a lot of time in the library on my days off writing and drinking coffee. On one such trip the table I was sitting near happened to be next to the stacks of religious books and the title of this one caught my eye (Agatha Christie fans, you know why).

This is a memoir about a woman who thinks she needs to follow this yearning she has to become a nun. She finally decides she needs to go and visit some convents and truly look into this path right around the same time her boyfriend proposes to her. I found this hilarious and totally engrossing right from the start. She visits four different places over the course of her journey and she details the real feelings and experiences she felt during this period in her life. 

While still in the library I started reading this book and by the time we left I was at chapter two and totally committed in following the path of this book. 

It's funny, it's serious, and it's the kind of memoir that totally draws you in, gives you a cup of tea, and settles you down for the ride. 

I'm not a religious person and I like how she gave information about some of the things she was writing about in such a way that you didn't feel silly for not knowing them. I was able to keep up and feel like I was experiencing what she experienced. 

I read this pretty fast over the span of two days. I love her writing style and I do believe she's written other books which I will be very happy to check out. I've always been curious about the lives of those who spend their time in religious orders and I enjoyed this look into that world.

Recommendation: If you are curious and are looking for a really good memoir about a life different then you're own, a life searching for something, or even a really good read, this is the book you should read.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates

I had no idea what to expect from this book. None what so ever. I grabbed this book because I was in the fiction section of the library and I came across these books by the author Joyce Carol Oates and the name sounded familiar (I still don't remember why because I hadn't read anything she had written before this book) so because I still had like three library books at home to read I decided to grab a short read of hers to satisfy my curiosity.

This book says it's about a guy named Quentin who has gotten into trouble molesting a minor and that he's a sexual psychopath. Who doesn't like a creepy story every once and a while. 

This book is actually written from the point of view of Quentin. It's a whole lot stranger and creepier then I thought it would be. I honestly don't know what else to really say about this book without giving away a lot of it. 

It makes you uncomfortable at times, it makes you worried that maybe you know someone who could be like this. It's just one of those books that more like and experience then it is a story. One of those books that takes you along and plops you down in the middle of things to just watch and listen and see what there is to see.

For all it's creepiness and strange and messed up bits I think it was very well written. I really do want to read more by this author. She is on my list. 

It's a very quick read and honestly, it was interesting for all that it was assaulting to the mind. I don't know why I didn't hate this book, but I didn't. I think it's because I can see the fun in writing something like this perhaps. I'm not sure.

Recommendation: For those who like reading really messed up stories that take you out of happy normal things and plants you down into the depths of really weird and messed up psychotic places. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Raisins and Almonds by Kerry Greenwood

Yes, I know. Another Phryne Fisher mystery.

This one was focused on saving a bookshop owner from being hanged for a murder she didn't commit. Phryne has a new lover and there is a lot of romance in this one but, there was also a look into the Jewish community that I found quite interesting. 

This was definitely a mystery that keeps you guessing. I had no idea whodunit by the end and I was a little surprised when it was finally solved, and in such a simple type of way. There was misdirection, stories upon stories, everything was shrouded in mystery but of course, Miss Fisher figured it out. 

You know if you've been reading my blog for any amount of time how much I love these books, and this one is a prime example of why. Some I love more than others, and this was one of them!

Recommendation: If you still don't know the greatness that is Miss Phryne Fisher (or haven't even seen the show on Netflix yet) then this is as good a place to start as any!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do by Meredith Maran

This was a random library find a couple weeks ago. I wasn't looking for anything like this but I found myself sitting at a table right next to the shelves of books on writing and as soon as I saw the title of this book I grabbed it up.

As someone who is searching for her meaning in life (which I am highly suspecting has to do with writing) this sounded like a perfect informative read for me.

I have this weird habit of forgetting who sings songs. I might remember the words, sometimes the title, but I almost always forget who is the one performing it. I tell you this because I apparently have that issue when it comes to authors too!

Looking at the list of authors who were sharing their experiences in this book didn't overly thrill me. I think out of 20 I knew/could recognize the names of about 6 of them. As I was reading though, it hit me how many I had heard of, how many I did know, and how much I did know about their work!

This was pretty darn interesting. I am back at the library today as I write this and I am going to be going back to that section and I am going to be looking for more books like this. I love reading about people's lives and why they do what they do (especially when it comes to writing).

To say I learned a lot wouldn't really be true. So much of their advice I had heard before (whether or not I want to listen is a whole other story). What I did learn though was how they feel about their work and how they came about their successes. It's almost reassuring to know that it wasn't easy. Misery loves company after all!

This was an easy read, something that might feel repetitive after the first 10 or so, but I'd advise reading them all. Each person's story is different and unique and I think they all have gems of wisdom to impart.

Recommendation: For the readers who love the process and for the writers who are just starting (or have been writing for years) This was a good read for sure!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, but I tend to want to read a book badly around the time I hear it's being made into a movie, because 9 times out of 10 I intend the see the movie. I also prefer to read a book before seeing it's movie because I feel like I should appreciate the original work of art before seeing the movie version. This can prove to be quite annoying for my fiancée because that means I miss seeing movies he would like to watch too in theatres as, in true bookworm fashion, I tend to be reading 3 books at once and sometimes cannot get to finishing the book in time.

I had heard mixed reviews about this book and I wasn't going to read this at first, but the movie trailer looked really cool so I had to see what the fuss was about. 

I liked this book. I thought the characters were really interesting, I thought that the story kept my attention, and although I might have gone a different route in some places, it was pretty great. The world that the author created is one I haven't really seen before and I really do want to know more. 

I haven't gotten a hold of any of the other books yet, and I think it's because I wasn't super jazzed about the ending of this one. Something about it just made me need to step back and pause before I read any more. Probably going to snap them up after watching the movie. That's usually how it goes. 

I haven't seen the movie yet although I really do intend to see it at some point. This book wasn't at all what I was expecting but it's good that it wasn't. It was a fun and different read. 

Recommendation: I'm not sure why people didn't like it but I'd suggest you not listen to them and read it for yourself. It's not what I expected but I liked it and you might just like it too! 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

This was not the book for me.

I hate books and movies who's sole purpose is to tell you a story that will make you cry. I hate it. I have enough to cry about in my own life, I don't need books to do it too. 

I grabbed this because, again, it was being made into a movie and because I was trying to review and read books that were more mainstream and a different genre/type then my usual read. I was trying to broaden my horizons. What I got from that was a a big pile of tissues and a book hangover that drove me nuts. 

The writing was good. I will admit that even though I hated the story. I think I hate the story so much because it was told well. If it had been a badly written sad story then I might not have been bothered by it so much.

I think it's pretty obvious that I don't recommend this book unless you like sad stories that will make you bawl your eyes out. And I won't be reading anymore by this author. Or any more books like this no matter how much I want to broaden my horizons. 

Oh, and I really, really don't want to see the movie. Nope, nope, nope!

Recommendation: Not for the curious, only for those who feel the need to torture themselves with terribly sad stories. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

A few years back I was reading a lot of thrillers to the point where I think might have almost ruined thrillers for myself. They tend to be rather repetitive in their storylines and I've been finding myself underwhelmed quite often by the new ones.

I got the chance to buy this book as an e-book at a really great deal so I had to give it a chance.

I was afraid that was going to happen this time with this book. I was about half way into it when I was getting bored thinking it was repetitive and stereotypical but... It totally redeemed itself by the end. 

This book is about two women, both dealing with their lives the best they can. One loses their husband and the other rejoices by the loss of someone who hurt them badly. Their stories intertwine and there's a whole lot of mystery and intrigue that comes. I want to say more but I'm afraid that I might unleash a spoiler which I really don't want to do. Check this out on your favorite book site if you want to know more. 

I didn't know where this book was going, but I'm really glad I stuck it out to the end. It took a lot of twists and turns I wasn't expecting, and I definitely felt like it grabbed my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat. This is one thriller that actually thrilled me.

Recommendation: Must read for all fans of thrillers. You won't be disappointed.