ABC Book Challenge ✰ C

Continuing this challenge I saw at these blogs: Purple Manatees, and The Bibliophagist.

✰ Memorable books starting with C ✰

1) The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
2) Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3) Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
4) The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
5-7) (The Infernal Devices trilogy) Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

✰ Books on my TBR starting with C ✰

1) Carrie by Stephen King
2) The Cuckoo’s Calling by RobertGalbraith
3) Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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ABC Book Challenge ✰ B

I saw this challenge at Purple Manatees, and The Bibliophagist, and I want to join in too!

✰ Memorable books starting with B ✰

1) The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
2) The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
3) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
4) The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
5) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

✰ Books on my TBR starting with B ✰

1) Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
2) The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
3) Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
4) Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Top Ten Tuesday November 6: Backlist Books I Want to Read

op Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

November 6: Backlist Books I Want to Read

According to this site:
publishing industry definitions for frontlist vs. backlist books: Though timelines differ for different publishers, a book is considered “frontlist” from when it is newly released into the marketplace until it on the bricks and mortar or virtual bookstore shelves six months or so. A backlist title is a book that has typically been on sale for 6 months to a year.

I also found this interesting: The Beginner’s Guide to the Backlist.

Well, more than 6 months old will really make this a long, long list. I plan to do another post about my TBR piles. I have picked up so, so, so many books from conventions over that years, not mention books I buy on a whim but wait years to read. It will be hard to narrow it down for this list.

Top Ten Backlist Books I Want to Read

1) Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
2) The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
3) Caraval by Stephanie Garber
4) Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
5) Year Zero by Rob Reid
6) Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
7) His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
8) Illuminae: The Illuminae Files – 01, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
9) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
10) Siracusa by Delia Ephron

ABC Book Challenge ✰ A

I saw this challenge at Purple Manatees, and The Bibliophagist, and I want to join in too!

✰ Memorable books starting with A ✰

  1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  2. Anna and the Swallow Man, by Gavriel Savit
  3. Ahsoka, by E.K. Johnston, Narrated by Ashley Eckstein
  4. Alive, by Scott Sigler

✰ Books on my TBR starting with A ✰

  1. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
  2. After On: A Novel of Silicon Valley by Rob Reid
  3. Alone by Scott Sigler
  4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Book Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, narrated by Kate Mulgrew

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Don’t slow down

Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn’t tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. Mile by mile, the journey across the highway of Charlie’s twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.

And then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble…and finds her way, inevitably, to Charlie.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie’s unmitigated evil is all grown up and desperate to forget.

But Charlie Manx hasn’t stopped thinking about the exceptional Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won’t slow down until he’s taken his revenge. He’s after something very special—something Vic can never replace.

As a life-and-death battle of wills builds—her magic pitted against his—Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all…or die trying…

So I had this whole plan to fill my October reading/listening list with scary, gothic, horror-thriller stories for Halloween. I didn’t make it far and now the season is over. But I did choose well because what a crazy story! It is one of the best supernatural thrillers that I have read. I have read Hill’s other book Horns, and I think NOS4A2 might be more fraked up.

It was full of adventure and suspense. It got my heart racing and feeling really nervous for the fate of the characters I liked. I did feel like the ending did drag on a touch (which is why I deducted a point from my rating) because I was bit like, “oh, we’re not there yet?” However, the ending was very fitting and the opening for a sequel is there. Which scares me to no end. So mission accomplished.

It’s also a good mom story because it takes the saying “I will go to the ends of the earth to find you” to a whole new level. Hell hath no fury like a mother scorn.

Kate Mulgrew’s performance is phenomenal! The way she does Manx’s voice sends shivers down my spine. I think her voice has changed a bit since Star Trek: Voyager and the deep, raspiness was such an asset to her narration.

I loved the geeky references to Batman, Harry Potter, and others, as well as the nod to Horns when the Treehouse of the Mind is mentioned. All that geeky stuff made me gleeful.

While there is a lot of suspense, and some really disturbing, f-ed up situations, there was some humor too. It might have been Mulgrew’s delivery, but this one part in particular that made me laugh out loud was in Chapter 65 (page 377 in the paperback) when Charlie Manx says, “You will quit right this instant or I am leaving you by the side of the road. There is no reason for you to take out your failures on the handsome interior of my car.”

I ended up buying the paperback too because there are illustrations in it that are, of course, missing from the audiobook.

Lastly, there was a chapter at the end when Joe Hill talks about the story, his family and his inspirations and I liked when he said we all live in two worlds: The Real World and our own Thoughts. Ideas are thoughts made into realty through song (or any art form). I never thought about it that way before, but it’s true.

That is what music, books, movies, paintings, sculpture, etc. are. You think of it in your mind and it exists in your inscape… and then it becomes real and others can see, hear, and feel it too.

4 out of 5 Bikes.

Top Ten Tuesday: October 30: Halloween/Creepy Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

October 30: Halloween/Creepy Freebie

I don’t read a lot of horror or thrillers so this list will be short. These stories either gave me a chill or made me think how sick the world can be.

Creepiest books I’ve read:

1) Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn

2) Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelly

3) The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan. Her short story “Bougainvillea” from Zombies Vs Unicorns is set in the same universe.

4) NOS4A2, by Joe Hill
I am currently listening to this audiobook as my October/Halloween creep fest.
I thought about adding Horns to the list, but my memory of it is more from the movie, which felt more like a dark comedy. I recently got the audiobook of Horns.

5) Poe is a master of creepiness. My favorites are: “The Cask of Amontillado”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and “The Pit and the Pendulum”.

6) I Am Legend (and other stories) by Richard Matheson. I don’t remember much about the short stories, but reading over my review I did like them.

This is kind of sad. Maybe by next year I will have more to add to this list.

Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley, Narrated by B. J. Harrison

Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley, Narrated by B. J. Harrison; 8 hours 19 minutes.

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It is the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein! It also October and I decided to read some ghoulish stories.

I first read Frankenstein almost 20 years ago when I was in high school.

So back then I was a bit bored by the writing. I still was at times because Shelly would go on a bit with some descriptions, and listening to Harrison’s soothing voice would allow me to doze off.

I do think this time around though that I appreciated the prose more and found some passages quite poetic. I do love that Mary Shelly was a woman ahead of her time to write such a deep, philosophical, science fiction story.

I am so used to the adaptations of Frankenstein that I forgot that in the original story it is never outright said how he makes the Creature. It’s not the digging up bodies and using lightening method we’re used to. It’s implied that Frankenstein made the body from scratch. Also, and maybe I fell asleep during that part, he is also never called Doctor Victor Frankenstein. Did he get his P.H.D.?

The reason that this story still stands today is because the philosophy and themes in the story are timeless. We’re a blank slate and what shapes us is nature and nurture together. Also, take responsibility for your actions. I am looking at you, Victor.

4 out of 5 Lightening Bolts

I just want to give a shout out to my two favorite adaptations:
– Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein, which is still hysterically funny.
– Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, where Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated their roles each night as Frankenstein and the Creature.