Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I hope you get lots of cute trick-or-treaters tonight!

P.S. Kitten Bandit is by Emily Martin.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

If Jack's In Love by Stephen Wetta

If Jack's In Love is a suspenseful coming-of-age story about a 12-year-old boy named Jack, taking place in 1967. Jack has had the fortune to be born a Witcher, the town's least favorite family. His dad is unemployed and his brother is a stoner. No matter how well Jack does in school or behaves himself people only think of him as low-class.

Jack makes an unlikely friend in Mr. Gladstein who has his own label: Jew. Mr. Gladstein relives his own youth as Jack tries to make Myra his girlfriend. Jack desperately wishes Myra could forget which house he lives in and see him for the person he is. The odds are against Jack since his brother has an ongoing grudge match with Myra's brother, which only worsens when her brother goes missing.

I love a good coming-of-age story and this book did not disappoint. It had a pleasing proportion of mystery, young love, drama, humor, heartbreak, and suspense, with a pinch of magic. This is Stephen Wetta's first novel and I hope he writes more!

P.S. This book counts as my Book With an Emotion in the Title for the What's In a Name Challenge.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Andrew's Brain by E.L. Doctorow

Andrew's Brain is a quirky story told by an unreliable narrator. Andrew is a cognitive scientist, so if you're a fan of the brain you will like reading all of his brainy thoughts. My favorite was:

How can I think about my brain when it's my brain doing the thinking? So is this brain pretending to be me thinking about it? I can't trust anyone these days, least of all myself. I am a mysteriously generated consciousness, and no comfort to me that it's one of billions.

Still interested?

Andrew's Brain is Andrew talking to his psychiatrist about how he unintentionally brings catastrophe to everyone he's been close to in life. The book is pretty short which was just the right length for me not to lose interest or get frustrated with the style of writing. I liked it more than City of God but not as much as Homer & Langley.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I've wanted to read this book for a long time just because of the cover. So eery and magical! When I received it as an Early Reviewer I told my book club about it and they wanted to read it too. Score!

Judging the book by the cover, I thought it would be a dark and scary tale. However, it's actually a YA novel that I would label Science Fiction, which sparked a little debate in my book club. One said no, it's fantasy. One thought it could be called Historical Fiction. Whatever you would like to call it, we all agreed it was a good story.

It begins with 16 year old Jacob sharing how he loves his grandfather because of all the great stories and photos he shares with Jacob from when he was a kid at Miss Peregrine's Home. Unfortunately it isn't long before Jacob finds his grandfather dying in the forest. His grandfather's dying words are pretty cryptic, but it becomes clear to Jacob that he needs to go to Wales to see Miss Peregrine's Home. What he discovers there reveals that what he knew of his grandfather was only a fraction of his peculiar life.

My favorite part of the book is how the author used unaltered vintage photographs to illustrate the story. I think of the author as a very creative person to find photos first and then create a story with them. A few times it felt like he was adding a detail just so he could share a photo, but overall the photos were an asset.

I definitely see myself reading the sequel, Hollow City, which comes out in January. All but one member of my book club agreed they would be doing the same. I'll also be loaning this book to my nephew because he's a WWII buff and this book puts a little twist on one of the battles.

P.S. This book counts as Historical Mystery for my Eclectic Readers Challenge.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

I read Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich on a friend's recommendation. She insisted I borrow it because it reminded her of Harry Potter. It was no Harry Potter but it was still fun to read.

This book is actually second in a series but the author filled me in on what I missed from the first book without any issues. This story is about Lizzy Tucker, a pastry chef from Salem, Massachusetts who is partnered with Diesel, a hot magical dude who has to protect her. Their mission is to get the Luxuria Stone, "an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust." However, Dielsel's cousin Gerwulf and a scary lady named Anarchy are also trying to get the stone which causes hijinks on the way.

It was an easy read but a little too easy for my taste. I've already forgotten most of the story.

P.S. This book counts as my Urban Fantasy genre for the Eclectic Reader Challenge.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

guess we're ready for Halloween

Corey surprised me the other day. He bought this costume, dressed up Stellaluna, took a picture, and texted it to me while I was at school. Cuteness overload!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October Reading

October is my month to read horror or fantasy stories to get me in the Halloween spirit. First I read Beloved by Toni Morrison. It's a ghost story but it made me think more about racism than the occult. Both are scary. Here's what else I'm going to try to read this month:

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz - for my Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge, also there is a new t.v. show on Lifetime based on this book that I want to watch

Cell by Stephen King - zombie story, to read with the Stephen King group on LibraryThing

The Walking Dead, Vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman - can't wait for the show to start again Sunday!

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling - this has been on my shelf for 5 years!

and my book club is reading A Good Fall by Ha Jin (not scary).

P.S. The cover of Haunted Horror was designed by Lee Elias.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

affordable care act blah blah

Today a coworker was mouthing off about Obama and ObamaCare and since I'm tired of listening to others share their opinions loudly I decided to finally share my own.

Her biggest fear, she says, is if we had government healthcare.

The example she gave of why that would be so terrible is how her private insurance has failed her.

Umm. Debate over?

P.S. I got this picture from Private Arts.