4 Following

My Reading Life

Bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Humanities student at NAU, mother of 2, artist, animal lover, voracious reader and lover of all things literary, introvert, believer in magic

Currently reading

Science In Context: Readings In The Sociology Of Science
Barry Barnes, David Edge
The Apothecary
Maile Meloy
The Key & the Flame
Claire M. Caterer
Fifty Shades of Grey
E.L. James
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
Cheryl Strayed
Beautiful Creatures
Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia
Pride and Prejudice
Margaret Drabble, Eloisa James, Jane Austen
Progress: 60/379 pages

Among Others

Among Others - Jo Walton "I thought, sitting there, that everything is magic. Using things connects them to you, being in the world connects you to the world, the sun streams down magic and people and animals and plants grow from sunlight and the world turns and everything is magic" (294).Everything IS magic, including this book. We are all connected to one another and the natural world and everything we do has consequences, so every single one of us holds power. Morwenna is the kind of girl I love. She is brave, smart, honest, a voracious reader (of mainly SF) -- she has no idea how very lovely she really is, which is refreshing. I don't really get on with people who KNOW how smart and beautiful and wonderful they are and never fail to make sure you know, too. Morwenna is the complete opposite -- plus, she believes in fairies and magic and loves books, libraries, and bookstores. Really, what's not to love? There are dozens and dozens of references to classic science fiction, which I'm not too familiar with, but I now want to dive into, so of course my to-read pile has grown much larger. This story reinforced my belief in magic and the power we all hold within ourselves to make the world a better place. So wonderful....

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

Insurgent  - Veronica Roth I give this 3.5 stars -- not as exciting as 'Divergent', but an interesting continuation of the story. Lots of repetition of feelings, thoughts, etc which made the book drag in some parts. I'm looking forward to the final book in the trilogy, as 'Insurgent' ends with many questions begging to be answered.

The Grimm Legacy

The Grimm Legacy - Polly Shulman Disappointing....Good idea, but not-so-good execution. The story has so much potential, but fell flat -- the author didn't make me believe in the magic, which pretty much ruined the story for me. The characters weren't fully developed, either. Sad that this wasn't what I was expecting....

The Tiger Rising

The Tiger Rising - Kate DiCamillo Beautiful story of friendship, love, loss, and hope.

The Twelve (Book Two of The Passage Trilogy): A Novel

The Twelve  - Justin Cronin 3.5 starsFast-paced thrill ride, although the ending was somewhat disappointing. I suppose it will be a year or two for the final book. I should have learned my lesson by now and never read a series or trilogy until all the books have been written and published....the waiting between books is too long!A piece of advice: Never, ever read this book and watch "True Blood" in the same 24-hour period -- you will have crazy, scary, awfully horrible nightmares....

The Magician King: A Novel

The Magician King (The Magicians #2) - Lev Grossman This was better than 'The Magicians' -- or maybe I'm different -- after all, it has been 3 years since reading the first book in the series. I enjoyed the thrill ride through magic and different worlds and Julia's story. Dark, glittering, magical. I hope there will be a third book coming soon....

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

Before I Go To Sleep - S.J.Watson Suspenseful, but not tightly-crafted novel -- I kept reading to find out what caused the amnesia, basically....

The Night Circus

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern Okay, I love magic. I didn't realize how much I've missed the Boy Who Lived until I read this. The atmosphere in this book is fantastic. I want to join Le Cirque des Reves and have some sort of mysterious talent to share with the world. Ahhh....alas, I can only dream....with my nose in a book.Morgenstern has created a world of mystery and delights. This isn't a tale of any ordinary circus -- I wasn't sure if I would care for this, since I don't really like normal circuses - the clowns freak me out and I don't like watching the elephants - they look so sad, but don't let the title fool you. This is a circus I was able to love.Not a piece of serious fiction or an example of magnificent writing, but who needs that all the time? Trust me - this is an escape into a magical world - you will be transported to a wonderful realm of love, illusion, and fascination....let the stories begin....

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - William Joyce, Joe Bluhm I came across this as I processed new books during my volunteer hours at the local library. I remember seeing the short animated film, which I loved, so I stopped doing what I had been doing and read this book. I thought about how stories reach us, how they speak to our innermost desires...how books and reading are magical and wonderful and how the act of reading changes us. What is it about books, stories, and reading that attracts humans? Are we simply attracted to stories because that is what we are -- stories? I was surprised to discover how much this short picture book had me thinking about the process of reading and the ways in which we fall in love with stories throughout our lives. Yeah, this book is that good. That powerful. That beautiful. Who says picture books are just for children?Watch the video, too -- it's not as great as the book, but it is pretty darn good.

When She Woke

When She Woke - Hillary Jordan An interesting futuristic take on Hawthorne's 'Scarlet Letter'. The religious right have worked their way into the government and hold tremendous influence on U.S. citizens -- does this seem so futuristic? No, not really....many of the elements of this story are uncomfortably relevant today. The premise of the book is good, but the last half of the book feels rushed. Many times I thought, "Really?" Characters change too rapidly in order to move the plot along. Worth reading, however. The story did hold my attention until the end -- I just wish Jordan would have developed Hannah's character toward the end of the book as well as she did in the beginning, even if this would have meant a longer novel.

The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012

The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012: Including stories by John Berger, Wendell Berry, Anthony Doerr, Lauren Groff, Yi - Laura Furman, Karl Taro Greenfeld There a few favorites in this collection, but also a few I didn't care for -- one editor choosing 20 different stories from 20 different authors is a huge job -- maybe PEN should think about dividing this up next year....Favorites:'A Birth in the Woods' by Kevin Wilson'Naima' by Hisham Matar'Things Said or Done' by Ann Packer'East of the West' by Miroslav Penkov'Kindness" by Yiyun Lee'The Deep' by Anthony Doerr'The Woman Who Lived in the House' by Salvatore Scibona'Corrie' by Alice Munro

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story - Susan Hill Different than the film, of course. More interestingly spooky. An eerie, atmospheric ghost story.

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling This is definitely NOT Harry Potter - nor is this book appropriate for children. I did wish for some Potter magic, though, as I read....The class distinctions throughout 'The Casual Vacancy' are in-your-face. Gritty reality in all of its ugly truth is on every page of this book. (That's why I often wished for magic). I was pulled into the story, but I didn't care for most of the characters. The gossip, bitterness, betrayals, lies, and desperation within the story speaks truths about society. Rowling is harsh in her criticism of human weaknesses. The youth are the most hopeful. They are dragged into the messiness of life by the adults, but often figure out how to defend themselves. This is not a hopeful book by any means. It is raw and honest in its portrayal of modern civilization, exposing the ugliness that resides in us all at one time or another. I hope that Rowling continues writing for adults, but maybe next time she could add a little magic! And I still haven't given up hope on a grown-up Harry Potter/next- generation- at -Hogwarts story :)

The Sense of Wonder: Library Edition

The Sense of Wonder - Rachel Carson This book is meant to be read. The words need to be savored, which is hard to do in audiobook form. I'm still getting used to listening to books.....Rachel Carson pleads with adults to remember the sense of wonder we had as children and to share the natural world with the children in our lives. It doesn't matter if you know the name of every bird, tree, and animal you encounter--simply spend time with nature in the company of a child.

Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation

Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation (Audio) - Drew Westen, Anthony Heald An interesting read during the current 2012 campaign for president. I was more than halfway through when President Obama and Romney had their first debate. I wanted to pull my hair out with the mistakes Obama was making according to Westen. It's true -- you can see it wherever you look or listen these days -- we are motivated more by our emotions than our rationale during political campaigns. Democrats need to learn how to reach our emotions, which the Republicans have been doing for years. Westen raises compelling arguments/scenarios as to the lost elections of Gore and Kerry and how they could have been won (besides the fraud of the GOP....).The only drawback to listening is that I couldn't take notes as easily and the narrator's voice is annoying.

The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition 2009) (Vintage International)

The Road - Cormac McCarthy Fantastic. Nerve wracking. Heartbreaking. Soul-searching. Beautiful.McCarthy is a masterful storyteller. His use of language, while spare but creative, captured me from page one. The thought of a post-apocalyptic world frightens me...I don't know if it would be as horrible as the world left in this novel, but I imagine an ungoverned, every human for him- or herself world would be pretty ugly. I thought about hope while reading this and how humans are able to go on because of their intense belief in tomorrow being a better day. Yes, the man and his son were survivors and they hung onto a shred of hope - a belief in the ultimate goodness of the human race, despite their encounters to the contrary along the way. Their courage and love made the unbearable bearable.I don't know if I would be brave enough to survive a world such as this. I hope I never have to find out....