Posted in Answer a question

32 Women Writers On The Life-Changing Books They Read In Their 20s

I found an article online (link is listed at the bottom of this article). There is one book on this whole list that I’ve read and it wasn’t out in my 20s. There is another one on here that I’ve heard of and I’m a little interested in reading. However, I’ve not heard of most of the books on this list. I’ll have to do some more digging into some of these books before I go out and purchase them or borrow them from my local library. What do you think of the books on this list….?

Everything that Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Motley Crue
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lord
Remembering the Flight: Twenty Poems by Forough Farrokhzad
The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor by Patricia Williams
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills for Anxiety Workbook by Alexander Chapman, Kim L. Gratz, Matthew T. Tull, Terrence M. Keane
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur
Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers
The Lover by Margeurite Duras
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathon Lethem
Saga Series by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
Corregidora by Gayl Jones
Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Valley Fever by Katherine Taylor
Like Life by Lorrie Moore
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
Valencia by Michelle Tea
Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Dollmaker by Harriette Arnow
Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe
White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty
Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore

Posted in Literature

5 Recommendations for Ravenclaw’s

Are you a Ravenclaw or do you consider yourself a Ravenclaw? The following 5 books are suggestions, from me, for people from the house of Rowena Ravenclaw. Each books is from a different genre to appeal to different tastes.

Synopsis: After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin outside an abandoned, crumbling mansion, young programmers Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic.

But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company that eventually outshines Apple, Google, and Microsoft combined.

Years later, Billy is a failure, beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. He decides to set it up in the abandoned mansion they worked near all those years ago. But something about Nellie isn’t right—and the reconstruction of the mansion is plagued by accidental deaths. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.

{Good for people who like science fiction or a thriller.}

Synopsis: “Ten . . .”
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious “U. N. Owen.”

“Nine . . .”
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.

“Eight . . .”
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.

“Seven . . .”
Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?

{Good for people who like a good mystery or even possibly for horror fans.}

Synopsis: The haunting tale of a family that moves into a new house and finds that someone — or something — does NOT want them there.Olivia is curious about the people moving into 16 Olcott Place. The last family there moved out in the dead of night, and the new family, the Donahues, has no idea why. Olivia becomes fast friends with Janie Donahue . . . so she’s there at the house when the first of the letters arrives:–I am the Sentry of Glennon Heights. Long ago I claimed 16 Olcott Place as levy for my guardianship. The walls will not tolerate your trespass. The ceilings will bleed and the windows will shatter. If you do not cease your intrusion, the rooms will soon smell of corpses.–Who is the Sentry? And why does the Sentry want the Donahues out of the house badly enough to kill? As Olivia and Janie explore the house, they find a number of sinister secrets . . . and as they explore their town, they find a hidden history that the Sentry wants to remain hidden forever. You can lock the doors. You can close the windows. But you can’t keep the Sentry out. . .

{Good for people who like horror or something from the thriller/suspense genre.}

Synopsis: An ancient society of witches and a hipster technological startup go to war in order to prevent the world from tearing itself apart. To further complicate things, each of the groups’ most promising followers (Patricia, a brilliant witch and Laurence, an engineering “wunderkind”) may just be in love with each other.

As the battle between magic and science wages in San Francisco against the backdrop of international chaos, Laurence and Patricia are forced to choose sides. But their choices will determine the fate of the planet and all mankind.

In a fashion unique to Charlie Jane Anders, All the Birds in the Sky offers a humorous and, at times, heart-breaking exploration of growing up extraordinary in a world filled with cruelty, scientific ingenuity, and magic.

{Good for people who like science fiction, magic and romance.}

Synopsis: When Mordecai Tremaine arrives at the country retreat of one Benedict Grame on Christmas Eve, he discovers that the revelries are in full swing in the sleepy village of Sherbroome―but so too are tensions amongst the assortment of guests.

When midnight strikes, the partygoers discover that presents aren’t the only things nestled under the tree…there’s a dead body too. A dead body that bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas. With the snow falling and suspicions flying, it’s up to Mordecai to sniff out the culprit―and prevent anyone else from getting murder for Christmas.

Murder for Christmas is a festive mystery for the holiday season: mulled wine, mince pies… and murder.

{Good for people who like mystery or anyone who is a fan of Agatha Christie.}

Posted in horror, Literature

“Strange Weather” by Joe Hill

I let my hubby pick out a book for me from the “TBR” jar and this is what he picked. Strange Weather is a collection of short stories, all written by New York Times Bestselling Author Joe Hill. Snapshot will have you rooting for the main character, Loaded will have you wishing that that never actually happens, Aloft is like something you might see in an episode of Rod Sterling’s Twilight Zone and Rain is like something from an Agatha Christie novel. But the one thing they all have in common is that they are all going to have a little bit of horror in them.

Synopsis: A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill.

“One of America’s finest horror writers” (Time magazine), Joe Hill has been hailed among legendary talents such as Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, and Jonathan Lethem. In Strange Weather, this “compelling chronicler of human nature’s continual war between good and evil,” (Providence Journal-Bulletin) who “pushes genre conventions to new extremes” (New York Times Book Review) deftly expose the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of everyday life.

“Snapshot” is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by “The Phoenician,” a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap.

A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in “Aloft.”

On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. “Rain” explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world.

In “Loaded,” a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning.

Masterfully exploring classic literary themes through the prism of the supernatural, Strange Weather is a stellar collection from an artist who is “quite simply the best horror writer of our generation” (Michael Koryta).

Posted in Literature

5 Recommendations for Hufflepuff’s

Are you a Hufflepuffor do you consider yourself a Hufflepuff? The following 5 books are suggestions, from me, for people from the house of Helga Hufflepuff. Each books is from a different genre to appeal to different tastes.

Synopsis: After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and on to living her life. In the displaced persons camp where she is staying, Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor who she just might be falling for, despite her feelings for someone else. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future.

What the Night Sings is a book from the heart, of the heart, and to the heart. Vesper Stamper’s Gerta will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her story is one of hope and redemption and life–a blessing to the world.” –Deborah Heiligman, award-winning author of Charles and Emma and Vincent and Theo

{Good for people who like a coming-of-age story or a story about surviving.}

Synopsis: In the year 2125, a mission to not only explore the universe but to colonize other planets has been sent out. A group of mating pairs in cryostats as well as a small team to pilot the ship are also sent out. The group in cryostats is awakened to find that the pilots are missing, and there are no records saved since leaving Earth. Now three generations into the new colony, Cayden Wayne has emerged as one of the top crewmen and has to deal not only with the Biotas, the native inhabitants on the planet, but the Kamolians as well, a warrior race with universal domination as their only goal.

The first in a series of books that will follow Cayden and his team of friends as they explore the universe as well as try to figure out what happened during the missing time after leaving Earth.

{Good for people who like science fiction with a side of a budding romance.}

Synopsis: It is 1962, and Elisa Esposito―mute her whole life, orphaned as a child―is struggling with her humdrum existence as a janitor working the graveyard shift at Baltimore’s Occam Aerospace Research Center. Were it not for Zelda, a protective coworker, and Giles, her loving neighbor, she doesn’t know how she’d make it through the day.

Then, one fateful night, she sees something she was never meant to see, the Center’s most sensitive asset ever: an amphibious man, captured in the Amazon, to be studied for Cold War advancements. The creature is terrifying but also magnificent, capable of language and of understanding emotions…and Elisa can’t keep away. Using sign language, the two learn to communicate. Soon, affection turns into love, and the creature becomes Elisa’s sole reason to live.

But outside forces are pressing in. Richard Strickland, the obsessed soldier who tracked the asset through the Amazon, wants nothing more than to dissect it before the Russians get a chance to steal it. Elisa has no choice but to risk everything to save her beloved. With the help of Zelda and Giles, Elisa hatches a plan to break out the creature. But Strickland is on to them. And the Russians are, indeed, coming.

Developed from the ground up as a bold two-tiered release―one story interpreted by two artists in the independent mediums of literature and film―The Shape of Water is unlike anything you’ve ever read or seen.

{Good for people who like romance and possibly fiction.}

Synopsis: A gripping murder mystery set in the 1930s in the real town of Warrensburg, Missouri. The characters and plot are fictional, but they seem as real as your own neighbors – except for the murder the police chief must solve.

{Good for people who like a good murder mystery or classic “whodunit”.}

Synopsis: In Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic, twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

{Good for people who like fiction about values and virtues.}

Posted in Answer a question

Books with questions?

Do you ever read books that have questions in the back of it? They’re more than likely for book club discussions or for classroom discussions (or both) to help aide in discussions after the reader(s) have finished reading. How often do you read books that have these questions or discussion guides in the back? Do you ever use these questions at school or in your book club discussions?

I have (or have read) books that have these discussion guides in the back. Now, I’m not in school anymore and I’m not part of a book club either. So, I’ve always skipped out on going over the discussion guide in the back because I don’t really have anyone to discuss it with unfortunately.

I don’t read these books very often….just occasionally. If the book I pick up has one in the back, then so be it. But I don’t pick them up intentionally. If that’s the only version of that book there is, then I will take.

Posted in Fun

Magical Activities

Bloomsbury has a list of Harry Potter related activities to help keep your child busy this summer while they’re not in school (link provided below). Some of them look pretty fun and I’m an adult. They have an assortment of different activities from coloring to word searches to designing a sock for Dobby and so on. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you should check it out!

Posted in Literature

5 Recommendations for Gryffindor’s

Are you a Gryffindor or do you consider yourself a Gryffindor? The following 5 books are suggestions, from me, for people from the house of Godric Gryffindor. Each books is from a different genre to appeal to different tastes.

Synopsis: At the tail-end of the Civil War, the United States was in the grip of an internal struggle many thought it would never see the end of. Moral and political struggles gave way to violence, gunpowder and bloodshed filling the landscape. The struggle found was mirrored in the life of Willis Reed, a young soldier torn between his duty to his family and to the love of his life. In his adventure, set in the state of Arkansas, which was so hotly contested in the war, can he choose what is right and make it out with his life?

{This would be good for people who like a western or historical fiction.}

Synopsis: When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can’t help but think there’s more to her dad’s disappearance than she’s being told.

She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.

The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.

{This would be good for people who like dark fantasy.}

Synopsis: We were so young when it all happened. Just 13-years-old, making the most of the long, hot, lazy days of summer, thinking we had the world at our feet. That was us – me, Fat Bobby, Jim and Tara – the four members of the Outsiders’ Club.

The day we found a burnt-out car in the woods was the day everything changed. Cold, hard cash in the front seat and a body in the trunk… it started out as a mystery we were desperate to solve.

Then, the Collector arrived. He knew we had found his secret. And suddenly, our summer of innocence turned into the stuff of nightmares.

Nothing would ever be the same again…

{Good for people who like horror.}

Synopsis: The monster in Conor’s backyard is not the one he’s been expecting — the one from the nightmare he’s had every night since his mother started her treatments. This monster is ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

{Good for people who like monster fiction or coming-of-age stories.}

Synopsis: My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally―as the bait.

{Good for people who like paranormal romance.}

Posted in Literature, romance, young adult

“Invinsible Ghosts” by Robyn Schneider

I finished this one over the weekend. I let my hubby pick this from the “TBR” jar this time around and this was the one that he drew. This book is probably better suited for the young adult crowd. I’m not saying this book is bad or anything. It’s just that if you’re an adult, you might find that this book has too much “teenage angst” going on. Some people are okay with that, others may not like that. If you are a teenager, you might like this book more. This book is equal parts romance and coming-of-age story.

Synopsis: Rose Asher believes in ghosts. She should, since she has one for a best friend: Logan, her annoying, Netflix-addicted brother, who is forever stuck at fifteen. But Rose is growing up, and when an old friend moves back to Laguna Canyon and appears in her drama class, things get complicated.

Rose watches as Jamie Aldridge easily rejoins their former friends–a group of magnificently silly theater nerds–while avoiding Rose so intently that it must be deliberate.

Yet when the two of them unexpectedly cross paths, Rose learns that Jamie has a secret of his own and finds that it’s becoming harder to choose between the boy who makes her feel alive and the brother she isn’t ready to lose.

“In a world full of real ghosts, how does one ever learn to let go? Schneider will make you laugh and cry and fall in love as you find out.” -Julie Buxbaum, author of Tell Me Three Things

“Schneider’s characters shine in this romance, strapped with quirky, nerdy obsessions that many teens will relate to, and supported by realistic voices.” -ALA Booklist

Posted in fantasy, horror, Literature, science fiction, thriller/suspense

Some new literature from Medeleine Roux…

Below looks like some new literature that has already come out or is fixing to come out in the near future. I don’t know how any of this slipped under my radar but this will give me some new books to add to my personal library.

This comes out in August 17th and from the looks of it, I might have to have a copy of this.

Synopsis: The Ganymede facility is a fresh start. At least that’s what Senna tells herself when she arrives to take part in a cutting-edge scientific treatment in which participants have traumatic memories erased.

And Senna has reasons for wanting to escape her past.

But almost as soon as the treatment begins, Senna finds more than just her traumatic memories disappearing. She hardly recognizes her new life or herself. Even though the cure might justify the side effects of the process, Senna knows that something isn’t right. As the side effects worsen, she will need to band together with the other participants to unravel the mystery of her present and save her future.

Nest up is this one…..expected publication of this book is March 1st of next year. *sigh* We have to wait nearly a year for this? The book sounds too interesting to wait that long. I also love the design of the book cover.

Synopsis: No matter how different best friends Adelle and Connie are, one thing they’ve always had in common is their love of a little-known gothic romance novel called Moira. So when the girls are tempted by a mysterious stranger to enter the world of the book, they hardly suspect it will work. But suddenly they are in the world of Moira, living among characters they’ve obsessed about for years.

Except…all is not how they remembered it. The world has been turned upside down: The lavish balls and star-crossed love affairs are now interlaced with unspeakable horrors. The girls realize that something dark is lurking behind their foray into fiction—and they will have to rewrite their own arcs if they hope to escape this nightmare with their lives.

It looks like one book of hers has slipped past me. I don’t know how but I may have to run and get this from my local bookstore. *sigh* Too many books and not enough free time to read them….

Synopsis: Rosalyn Devar is on the run from her famous family, the bioengineering job she’s come to hate, and her messed-up life. She’s run all the way to outer space, where she’s taken a position as a “space janitor,” cleaning up ill-fated research expeditions. But no matter how far she goes, Rosalyn can’t escape herself. After too many mistakes on the job, she’s given one last chance: take care of salvaging the Brigantine, a research vessel that has gone dark, with all crew aboard thought dead.

But the Brigantine’s crew are very much alive–if not entirely human. Now Rosalyn is trapped on board, alone with a crew infected by a mysterious parasitic alien. The captain, Edison Aries, seems to still maintain some control over himself and the crew, but he won’t be able to keep fighting much longer. Rosalyn and Edison must find a way to stop the parasite’s onslaught…or it may take over the entire human race.

Posted in Answer a question

Read for the first time…?

What is a book that you could read again for the very first time? Why?

I read this book recently but I wish I could read it again and again and again. I just love that the main character isn’t an avid reader at the beginning of the book but she becomes an avid reader by the time the book ends. She uses reading as a means of escape from World War II and shares that with others over the course of the book.

I love the Harry Potter series and would love to read it all over again for the very first time, especially the third book as that one is my favorite one in the series. There were times that I remember staying up late to read. I stayed up way past my bed time, there were times I didn’t have work the next day and there were times I did. But I was too interested in the series at the time to care about loosing the sleep.

The Inheritance Cycle written by Christopher Paolini is a series that I would like to read again. I actually enjoyed this series and read it as each book was being released. I remember when they announced that this was going to be turned into a four book series after it was initially stated that this was suppose to be a trilogy. On one hand I could understand but at the same time I wanted answers ’cause I wanted to know what happened to everyone by the end. Also, they did a movie based on Eragon and I wouldn’t mind if they would remake the movie.