Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Stars 3/5
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
(I chose this book cover because I liked it best!)
A mind twist is how I would describe this book. It is not my favorite book from Neil Gaiman but I did enjoy it. It is a coming of age sort of story but not aimed towards children due to the sexual content and nudity. I really liked the twisty nature of this story but think the ending was a bit too much. One second he remembers and the next it is gone. At the end of the book, I believe that not only did the unnamed male protagonist get a horrible ending but Lettie just got chopped out entirely. Neil Gaiman said he wrote this for his wife Amanda.... I would take the message to her as... the future is uncertain. 

Happy Holidays

From My Desk To Yours... Happy Holidays!

In The Year 2889

Stars 3/5
In The Year 2889 by Jules Verne (Michael)
I have to say it must of been the works of Jules Verne's son Michael because the writing style is most definitely different. The story is an author's interpretation of what the future will be like in the year 2889. I feel that his imagination was lacking and could of been a little more creative. The reason I only gave this work 3 stars is because of the male protagonist's primitive interaction with his wife and her stereotypical responses of a Victorian age woman. It makes me wonder if people from that period ever thought that women would change in the future. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Christmas Carol

Stars 4/5
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Performed by Tim Curry
What a wonderful story to listen to on Christmas Eve! I listened to the audio book featuring Tim Curry and loved it! He has an amazing voice that brought all the characters to life. I would recommend this is everyone. Even if you know the story, it never gets old.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Anne of Green Gables

Stars 4/5
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Carrots! What a wonderful story. I have read this many time throughout the years and still love it. I have red hair & freckles and can relate. A coming of age book set it the turn of the century. An orphan girl finds a new family, love, friendship and dreams that she never thought would ever come true. I would definitely recommend it to all ages.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Canterville Ghost

Stars 4/5
The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
I really liked this short story by Oscar Wilde. It was very unique in that the ghost played a variety of roles with touches of humor. Written in Victorian England, this tale stands the test of time and fits well even in modern day. I loved the craziness of the Americans and that they introduced products throughout the story as if a commercial. The only thing I didn't like was that the author left out a critical part of the story in which Sir Simon, aka The Canterville Ghost, and Virginia went behind the panel into the unknown. We will never really know what happened.

To Build A Fire

Stars 4/5
To Build A Fire by Jack London
Mother Nature does not fool around. Even the smallest of things could prove impossible in the bitter cold. This story was set in the far north where temps can drop to 75 below. Arrogance is a trait you may want to leave at home. I would recommend this short story to everyone especially as a winter read. 

Rip Van Winkle

Stars 4/5
Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
This story always makes me laugh. It seems this to be a "man's dream" to rid himself of a naggy wife and be lazy. "He got his yoke out of the neck of matrimony."  I always thought it was sad about the dog though. A wonderful tale I would recommend to everyone who wants to sleep through life! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Three Questions

Stars 3/5
Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy
I have read this short story a few times in my life but wanted to revisit it and do a quick review. This story baffles me in a way. It was published in 1885 and to me, it seems like common sense but it makes me wonder who the intended audience for this work was? I know there have been a few children's books written and inspired by the story but I am curious and wonder if there was a need for this lesson among adults? I know he was a Russian writer and also wonder if his demographics influenced this story?

The Nightingale and The Rose

Stars 4/5
The Nightingale and The Rose by Oscar Wilde
I do enjoy the works of Oscar Wilde and really enjoyed this short story. A young student is searching for a red rose to give to the woman he loves so that she would love him in return and dance the night away with him but there is no red roses in the garden. A nightingale sacrifices everything for love. A wonderful tale that I would recommend to all. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Stars 3/5
The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
As I read this short story, my mind pictured a black & white 1930's film in my head =) I enjoy the writing style of Hemingway but the story itself made me feel little empathy towards the main character. As he lay dying, all I could think about was how he had brought it all on himself. Not saying that he deserved to die but that his regrets and deception were of his own making. Karma is a B**** fits this story perfectly!

Man from the South

Stars 4/5
Man from the South by Roald Dahl
What a fun short story to read! A story about a crazy bet involving a very good lighter, a Cadillac and a man's little finger! I have to say this story did make me laugh. Very silly and makes you take note... not to bet things on vacation! 

The Tell-Tale Heart

Stars 4/5
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
I have always enjoyed Edgar Allan Poe's work. This story, like most of his work, is hauntingly brilliant. How the mind controls and plays tricks. Is it real or just in the mind? A story about a man needing to escape the eye of an elderly man, his actions and the plague that infected his mind as a result. A wonderful short story that I would recommend to everyone who loves the macabre.

The Happy Prince

Stars 3/5
The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde
This short story was about friendship between a bird and a statue. A wonderful tale of doing good and sacrificing yourself for others. I wish the ending would of been better and not so religious in nature but I understand that it was written long ago. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Witch's Boy

Stars 4/5
The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill
A wonderful coming of age story. A boy that shouldn't of survived. A wolf that found him. A girl negatively influenced by magic and a world full of it. I really enjoyed this story. It was a fast paced read. Fun and Exciting! I would recommend this book to everyone.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Dead House

Stars 3/5
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
This book had an unique story line. A girl suffering from DID or Multiple Personality Disorder her whole life and was living two lives with no sleep ever - a day girl and a night girl leaving cute little notes to each other and having unrealistic goals of one day actually spending time together as separate people. Also the friends in the book added to this lunacy. I guess the creepy part was the "demon possession" but I was creeping out with the craziness. The story was set up like journal, video, psychiatrist notes and random writings found which I thought was the part that kept me reading.  I would recommend this book but I need to say that DID is no joke. It is very rare and I have seen thousands claim to suffer from this disorder online making fun and calling their multiple personalities "head mates" which I believe is very wrong. This disorder should not be romanticized because it destroys lives.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Afternoon of The Elves

Stars 4/5
Afternoon of The Elves by Janet Taylor Lisle
What a wonderful story of magical realism. A book about two girls that become friends over an Elven Village and the pursuit of seeing an Elf. A fun quick read full of hope, imagination, magic and growing up. I really enjoyed this unique story line and would recommend it to everyone. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Odd & The Frost Giants

Stars 4/5
Odd & The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
What a wonderful short story. I really enjoyed this book. A tale about Odd and his adventure to help the Gods from the Frost Giant. Just like all Neil Gaiman books, the characters are very likable and the story is fast paced and remarkable. A coming of age book that I would recommend to all. 

Liesl & Po

Stars 4/5
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
What a magical story! I really enjoyed this book. It was a sort of twisted Cinderella/Pandora's Box-Style tale that included a nasty stepmother, a box of magic, a young love interest and friendships even crossing over to the land of the dead. This was a fun read and the only thing I would of wished for that was not included was more about Mo's sister. I would recommend this book to all ages. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Soul of an Octopus

Stars 3/5
The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
I did like learning more about Octopus in all of it's wonder with lots of emotion but of course the things that I didn't like is the fact that the Octopuses were in the aquarium and that the author knew that her friend was a heavy smoker but encouraged her to place her hand in the water to touch Octavia which was right after Athena died so suddenly. I think of that as a bit careless honestly. The book was informative with humor and sadness. 

The Ballroom

Stars 4/5
The Ballroom by Anna Hope
What a wonderful work of historical fiction. A story about a man and woman that meet in an asylum and how their lives cross... across the floor of a beautiful ballroom. I really enjoyed this book. At times I felt like I had seen a film like it before but then it would twist as to keep me wanting more. So what you think will happen may or may not. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves historical fiction stories, love, romance, splashes of taboo thoughts for that era and even tears.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Veteran's Day!

Thanks to All Veterans!

I have been away for a bit but now I have returned. More to post Tomorrow! 

CongratZ Donald Trump

CongratZ to Donald J. Trump
45th President of The United States of America

During this time, we all need to remember to be nice to one another regardless who you voted for. Remember we are all human beings with feelings!
Never Fear Change!

Monday, November 7, 2016

The View From The Cheap Seats

Stars 4/5
The View From The Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
#NonFictionNovember2016
This book is a collection of speeches, reviews, introductions and ect. I really enjoyed this book. It was a window to peek through to one of my favorite authors. I liked reading his ideas, inspirations and thoughts on many different topics and stories. I loved reading most about his time writing about Bod in the Graveyard Book. I still hope he writes another book about this graveyard. I would love to find out if Bod ever goes back or was he buried there? I would recommend this book to everyone especially if you are a Gaiman fan. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Devil in The White City

Stars 3/5
The Devil in The White City by Erik Larson
#NonFictionNovember2016
I can't say that I haven't done my research on H. H. Holmes in the past because I have but this book did reveal a few odds and ends that were new to me. The book kinda felt to me like two books in one. One being about the history surrounding the fair and the other of Holmes so if you are just interested in one or the other, best to find a not so comprehensive book. I thought the story was good but did wish to read more of the magical side of things with the fair.

The Hidden Life of Trees

Stars 5/5
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
#NonFictionNovember2016
I really enjoyed this book! It was a true eye opener in regards to how trees interact with other trees, animals, insects, fungi and humans. It has not been long ago pets were considered objects as trees are now. It makes me wonder with all these studies if things will change for them. I do hope so. It is very interesting to know how trees think, feel, communicate and even protect themselves. I would really recommend this book to everyone especially vegetarians. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Dark and Hollow Places

Stars 3/5
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
This was the final book of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series and I did enjoy the series. A dystopian world filled with the undead and the living trying to survive. I did enjoy Anna's character best of all. She was a survivor and strong minded in comparison to her sister Gabi and Mary from the first book. The love interest was nice but I have to confess that I was hoping for Anna to become immune. Very nice ending to a very nice series. I would recommend it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

October Wrap Up 2016

October Reading Wrap Up!
25 Books Read!
Where Are They Buried by Tod Benoit
Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
You by Caroline Kepnes
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
Doll Bones by Holly Black
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello
I Hate Fairyland by Skottie Young
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
A House At The Bottom Of The Lake by Josh Malerman

A House At The Bottom Of A Lake

Stars 5/5
A House At The Bottom Of A Lake by Josh Malerman
Oh how I really liked this book! What a unique story line! Two 17 yr olds go on a date in a canoe and find a house at the bottom of a lake. I am not going to go into much more than that other than to say it is a whirl wind creepy adventure. A great read for Halloween Night! I do hope this gets made into a film. I would love to see it on the big screen as well as in my head! So Imaginative and Creative! Lots of spooky in such a short book. 

Happy Halloween!

I wanted to wish Everyone a Very Spooky & Happy Halloween!

The Dead-Tossed Waves

Stars 3/5
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
**SPOILER ALERT**
I do enjoy this creative dystopian environment. Very creative and imaginative. The story is similar to the first book except this is Mary's daughter and her story but there are many similarities.  Two guys in love with one girl and she is an angsty teenager with her temper tantrums. I was glad to see that Mary from the first book had grew up and finally realized her selfishness and total disregard for everyone that was around her. I am going to continue on reading the last book to find out how this ends.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Forest of Hands & Teeth

Stars 3/5
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
**SPOILER ALERT**
What an amazingly selfish girl! Seems she could careless how many die so she can get to the ocean. She basically walked all over everyone she ever loved or cared about just to get there. When she finally wakes up to find herself there, does she run to search for her brother that risked his life for her... oh no, she had to check out the ocean and take a swim. I feel sorry and sad for everyone that came in contact with this girl and I find myself hoping that she not only gets bit by the zombies but that she suffers for a long time realizing what she has done and how she easily dismissed love and human life. Very unique story line with a female protagonist you want to hate.  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Crooked Kingdom

Stars 3/5
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
**SPOILER ALERT**
I am going to be honest and say that when Matthias died, I put the book down and didn't want to read the rest but I did. To me, this was like Fred Weasley dying in Harry Potter, a useless death that was not needed at all unless there will be a third book in which he will rise from the grave. The book was going along great until his death. It was then so rushed and angering that Nina didn't do more to help him and that her emotions would change so quick when Kaz started to speak of the money. To me, that was unrealistic and made Nina look heartless and unloving. It all makes me wonder. Did Leigh Bardugo just kill off Matthias because it is somewhere written in Writing Fiction 101 - "You must kill off one of the supporting characters" or will he be brought back as a surprise in future books? I am sorry about the low rating but to me the death of Matthias was useless. I feel sad that this book was such a great adventure but the end ruined it all for me.

Friday, October 28, 2016

#NonFictionNovember2016 Books!

#NonFictionNovember2016
4 Challenges!
New > The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben & The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Controversial > The Witches Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff & The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
Important > Empire of Imagination by Michael Witwer & The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
Fascinating > The View From The Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman & The Oregon Trail by Rinker Bunk

These are my picks for the upcoming #NonFictionNovember2016 Read-a-Thon!
I picked 2 books for each challenge because I am trying to clear these off my TBR =) Plus one just isn't enough LOL!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

COMING SOON!

A House At The Bottom Of A Lake by Josh Malerman
Release Date Oct 31 2016

* I am so excited for this novella release! *
The book is supposed to be about two 17 yr olds on a date and they decide to canoe across the lake and they find this house. They go into the water and find the door open, so they explore the house. "Just because a house is empty, doesn’t mean nobody’s home."
Amazon Link .... HERE!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Six of Crows

Stars 5/5
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
An awesome adventure. Unique characters. Exciting story line. 
I really loved this story. Very well written and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. Very hard to put down and even though it is a chunky book, I read through it in a day. A very comprehensive story with new worlds, languages, cultures and diversity. I loved the characters and warmed up to them very quick. I can not wait to read the sequel "Crooked Kingdom"! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

YaY Spooktober Reads Done!

It is official! I have read all the books for the Spooktober event YAY! It has been lots of fun. I was in two Read-a-Thons in October and I have finished them both up with time to spare! I will be continuing my spooky reads for the rest of the month. Happy Spooky Reading Everyone!

I Hate Fairyland #1

Stars 5/5
I Hate Fairyland by Skottie Young
This is a graphic novel series about a little girl named Gertrude that falls down a hole and lands in Fairyland. She wants to go home and so she is given a guide and a map to find the key to open the door to her world. This is her adventure! Very fun and fast read. I am definitely going to be reading the rest that I have in this series. Colorful illustrations and lots of sarcasm! Lots of death so be warned. 

The Memory Box

Stars 1/5
Spoiler Alert!
I was disappointed with this book from the beginning. I thought the story line sounded unique but right away I lost interest. When Caroline first googled herself and found out about her sister then ran off through the house to find a newspaper was the exact moment I knew this was not going to be good. Being a so called writer or anyone that has used a computer would right away know the time and date is located on the bottom right hand of the screen on every pc and all the vomit references was just too much. I just wanted to scream "get on with it" the whole book. It was so drawn out. Honestly, I had to choke it down and found myself wishing it would just end. I never leave a book half read but I wondered if this would be my first. The ending was bad. I am sorry there was just no closure at all to this book. The only good thing I can say about this book was the cover is nice and I am glad it is over. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Secret of Platform 13

Stars 5/5
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
This was one book that became a favorite that I read with my daughter when she was young. It is a wonderful book to read year round but especially during October! The story is about a Prince that is trapped in this world and the door to his world only opens every nine years. When he first came to this world, he was only a baby and has no memory of where he is from or who his parents are or that he is royalty. His parents wait and when the door opens, send in a group of rescuers to bring the Prince home. No spoilers but you will go on an adventure of who's who and hurry hurry hurry! I would recommend this book to everyone young and old! 
Note - This is the book that many question whether J. K. Rowling kinda snagged up some ideas for Harry Potter. Many things are similar including names and story line. Eva Ibbotson passed away in 2010 and I hope she rests in peace.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

We Have Always Lived in The Castle

Stars 3/5
We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
I have wanted to read this story for a very long time now and glad that I finally got to it. It is a book about a little girl, her sister and uncle that were the only survivors of a poisoning that killed the rest of their family. The older sister, Constance, who loved to cook was accused of the crime but was not convicted and she hid in the house away from people in her town because they believed she killed them all. No spoilers! I have read a few novels from Shirley Jackson and I must say that as they are a bit disturbing and twisted, they are more mental illness than spooky or horror. I ended up giving this book 3 stars because it was a bit of a slow read in my opinion. I was half way into the book before even finding out anything about the family members.

Friday, October 21, 2016

YaY I Finished #Spookathon Reads!

I finished up early on my #Spookathon reads for this October! I really enjoyed this event and have posted reviews here on my blog, Facebook and of course on Goodreads. I am still finishing up a few books I have left for the Spooktober event. Lots of Reading! I love it! <3

Dark Matter

Stars 3/5
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
This is a story about a physicist named Jason who decided 15 yrs ago to stay with the woman he loved because she was pregnant instead of following his dream job. Until one night when he is kidnapped and thrown into another life. This book had a very unique story line which was refreshing. I really enjoyed the adventures Jason went on and I also kinda wish I knew what ended up happening to Ashley. I liked the nice pace the book kept through out and it was a fun read. I think the end kinda put me off a bit thus only 3 stars. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a mystery with scientific flare!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cleaning Up My Ebooks!

Cleaning Day!
Today is a rainy day so I am cleaning up my ebook's folder because it is long overdue! It is a horrible mess. I have recently moved from a kindle to a tablet and the e-reader I am using is epubs not mobi so I think I am going to need to convert as I go. Thank goodness for Calibre! I am also listening to Dark Matter by Blake Crouch audio book as I work so it is going faster it seems. Of course, I will post my review when I finish. Have a Wonderful Day! HuggZ <3

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Stars 3/5
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
This is a story about how vampires plague the world so much so that the government built Coldtowns to house the vampires and the infected. A young girl, Tanna, helps save an old vampire and her one friend that was not killed at a party they went to and set out for Coldtown because they were infected. I wish I could rate this story as parts because in the first part of the book I was having fun and captivated by the fast pace story line and would of got 4 stars but then as the book came towards the end, I could foresee a bad ending. I was really disappointed at the ending of this book. It started with Tanna's sister coming to Coldtown and how that was rushed and didn't even make sense. I know this is written for a younger audience but it is so predictable and even absurd. The ending of this book would be 1 star. I really wanted to love this story =(

Dark Places

Stars 4/5
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This is a story about a girl that survived almost her whole family being murdered when she was 7 years old and she testified against her brother claiming he was the murderer. She grew up being shoved from family member to family member because she was violent and rebellious even to the point of killing her aunt's dog. She lived on the charity money that people sent in because she was the little angel that survived but as she grew older, the money ran out and she wasn't in the lime light anymore. To make a few bucks, she started making appearances with this Murder Club, that was obsessed with her case and thought her bother was innocent. She was forced to relive it all and she wondered if she was right in what she thought she remembered. That is all I am going to say so no spoilers! I really liked this story and I loved the fact that I hated the main character Libby at the beginning of the book. Wondering how many people who have been survivors live off charity and feel that it is owed to them. As the story went along, Libby changes and my thoughts of her did as well. I really like how that happened. Books that do that are always high up on my list. Love the writing style and would recommend it to all. 

The Night Circus

Stars 5/5
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This has to be the most magical books I have read in a very long time. It is about a circus that comes to town at night, while you sleep and when you wake you are amazed to see the huge tents. It only opens at night and everyone floods from your town to the field to wait and as the sun sets, the lights come on and the wonder fills all your senses. The book is full of everything! Love, romance, comedy, violence, hate, pain, competition, amazement, fantasy, dreams, ghosts and so much more, This is one of those books that you just have to read to understand the extent of it. This story will trap and pull you into this enchanted world. I love this book! I never wanted this to end and I will be rereading this year after year. I do hope their is another Night Circus one day. I hope to explore the tents with Bailey and find out what happened next! I am a Reveur!

The Black Cat

Stars 5/5
The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe
This is a creepy short story about a man and his relationship with alcohol and how it affects his relationship with his pet cat. This is one of those stories that is fun to read as well as listen to in an audio book. I have heard some really spooky versions through the years. I love Poe's writing as I am sure most do. My bedroom has a Poe/Hogwarts theme so I enjoy reading his work year round but especially during October and Halloween!