ABC Book Challenge ✰ L

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

✰ Memorable books starting with L ✰

1) Lightless by C.A. Higgins

2) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

3) Lord of the Flies by William Golding

4) A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

✰ Books on my TBR starting with L ✰

1) Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent

2) The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

3) The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel by Jeanne Mackin

4) The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers by Kerri Turner

5) The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

6) Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright

7) The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

8) Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

9) The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

10) The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks

11) Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James

12) Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton.


Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless – mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky 12-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Will Patton. At first I really didn’t like his voice at all and missed Campbell Scott’s voice. But as I started getting into it I got used to his gruffness and thought it actually worked really well with some of the members of the True Knot and with Billy Freeman.

I thought Dan’s character as an adult was spot on for what would become of his life in the aftermath of the traumatic events of the Overlook Hotel. Also, the way he wrote his recovery from alcoholism was so well written and so believable that (besides King saying it himself in the Author’s Note) I looked it up and King knows from experience! I did not know that Stephen King was a recovering alcoholic.



Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday December 18: Winter 2018 TBR

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

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

December 18: Winter 2018 TBR

1) Doctor Sleep by Stephen King; Narrated by Will Patton.

2) Sisters of the Fire by Kim Wilkins. I just received an ARC of this book and want to read it asap.

3) The World of All Souls: A Complete Guide to A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and the Book of Life. This is for Christmas break since this book is too big to commute with.

4) Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden; Narrated by Kathleen Gati. I am going to listen to The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower on Audible to refresh my memory before The Winter of the Witch is released.

I am going to stop here since I am sure the rest will depend on my mood. I just plan to listen to a lot of audiobooks and read from the TBR piles I got at Book Con and NYCC.

ABC Book Challenge ✰ J and K

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

✰ Memorable books starting with J ✰

I have not read many books beginning with J.

1) Jedi Academy Trilogy: Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
2) Jedi Academy Trilogy: Dark Apprentice by Kevin J. Anderson
3) Jedi Academy Trilogy: Champions of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson

✰ Books on my TBR starting with J ✰

1) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Thandie Newton (Narrator)
2) Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
3) June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
4) Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

✰ Memorable books starting with K ✰

I have never read a book starting with K!

That can change.

✰ Books on my TBR starting with K ✰

1) Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley

2) Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

You can see why I combined these two letters.

Book Review: Harry Potter and History (Wiley Pop Culture and History) by Nancy R. Reagin


A guide to the history behind the world of Harry Potter just in time for the last Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part II)

Harry Potter lives in a world that is both magical and historical. Hogwarts pupils ride an old-fashioned steam train to school, notes are taken on parchment with quill pens, and Muggle legends come to life in the form of werewolves, witches, and magical spells. This book is the first to explore the real history in which Harry’s world is rooted.

Did you know that bezoars and mandrakes were fashionable luxury items for centuries? Find out how Europeans first developed the potions, spells, and charms taught at Hogwarts, from Avada Kedavra to love charms. Learn how the European prosecution of witches led to the Statute of Secrecy, meet the real Nicholas Flamel, see how the Malfoys stack up against Muggle English aristocrats, and compare the history of the wizarding world to real-life history.

Gives you the historical backdrop to Harry Potter’s world Covers topics ranging from how real British boarding schools compare to Hogwarts to how parchment, quills, and scrolls used in the wizarding world were made Includes a timeline comparing the history of the wizarding world to Muggle “real” history

Filled with fascinating facts and background, Harry Potter and History is an essential companion for every Harry Potter fan.

I had this on my TBR for a few years and decided to read it for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter. I have been on a Harry Potter kick for most of the year. I did a “reread” by listening to the audiobooks and Harry Potter: A History of Magic. I also went to the exhibit at The New York Historical Society. And I started listening to the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.

I have stated before that reading non-fiction and reading history is not my cup of tea (I prefer watching shows about history), but I have read Twilight and History, also edited by Nancy R. Reagin, and I liked that.

Before I get into all the cool new things I learned from these essays I have a bone to pick with Susan Hall in her essay “Marx, Magic, and Muggles: Class Conflict in Harry Potter’s World.” On page 288 she compares the Gaunt family with the Durbeyfield family from Tess of the D’Urbervilles. While I totally agree with the comparisons between the two families she COMPLETELYdescribes the plot of Tess of the D’Urbervilles INACCURATELY! Tess is not “seduced” by Alec D’Urberville. She was raped. She doesn’t hang for the murder of her “lover”. He raped her! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, SUSAN HALL!?

Also, on the same page is another inaccuracy she made when she said the Weasleys spend money they don’t have on extravagant trips. They won that trip to Egypt! Did you even read the books?

Now that I got that off my chest, and sorry for the use of the F word but I feel in this issue it was justified, onto the rest of the review which is positive.

There were topics that I already had learned about from Harry Potter: A History of Magic, such as potions and witch-hunts, but this collection goes more into topics of class conflict, politics & government, women’s civil rights, aristocracy, boarding schools, and werewolves.

I learned more about the Spanish Inquisition in this book than I did when I was in school.

One essay also goes into why most spells are in Latin and goes into the origins of the Unforgivable Curses and the term “hocus pocus.” Which I found fascinating.

A few other cool things I learned:
– There really were secret magic schools!
– There was an Emperor who was not of nobel birth named Severus.
– Lupin’s werewolf affliction is an analogy for HIV/AIDS.

Some of the essays dragged on a bit and I found myself skimming sometimes. At one point I put the book down completely to listen to The Shining. The good thing about that is that there is no plot to this book to remember. You can easily pick it up and pick whichever essay you feel like reading about.

It’s a good read for anyone who is really interested in history and is a die hard Harry Potter fan.

4 out of 5 O.W.L.S.


Reading Goals for 2019

I saw this on Purple Manatees and thought it was a good idea.

It’s just a number
I am not going to put a number on how many books I want to read/listen to. I do put a number on Goodreads (this year was 20 and maybe for next I will put 30), but I don’t want to be married to a number goal.

Dwindle the piles
What I do want to do is definitely read my TBR Book Con pile before going to Book Con in June.


365 days of audiobooks

I want to listen to an audiobook each day of the year. I know somedays will be hard because I will be tired, but on days like those even a 15-30 minute short story will do. I’ll take a screen-cap of my starting days/hours/minutes count and then build it up each day of the year. And I have plenty of books waiting to be listened to on my Audible app.

Support your local library

To save money and support the wonderful NYPL I want to borrow more, especially when it comes to books that are part of a series. I have started a few series and just not finished them because I often don’t have the extra funds to spend nor do I have the room to keep them. Then because I get attached it becomes hard for me to weed my shelves to make room. To solve this problem – I will go to the library!


All that shouldn’t be too hard, right?  Wish me luck!

ABC Book Challenge ✰ I

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

✰ Memorable books starting with I ✰

1) I Am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson

2) Iron Gold by Pierce Brown


✰ Books on my TBR starting with I ✰

1) I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

2) I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

3) I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

4) In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

5) The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

6) The Italian Matchmaker by Santa Montefiore

The Shining by Stephen King, Narrated by Campbell Scott


Listening Length: 15 hours and 56 minutes

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

The Shining certainly lived up to the hype. I became afraid of the dark, and I even jumped in my seat on the bus when the passenger next to me adjusted his position in his seat.

This is the first King novel I have ever read/listen to. I have read/listened to a couple of novels by his son Joe Hill, and I can see their similarities with their prose. I liked the way King describes the settings and actions. I bookmarked a few favorite parts.

The pacing and character development was just right and so engaging. It is very hard to put it down. I jumped, gasped and groaned in reaction.

Campbell Scott’s narration was excellent. Without overly changing his voice too much he made it easy to distinguish the characters and when Jack is possessed at the end, the insanity in his voice is chilling.

Some Favorite Quotes:
Chapter 8: The mountains did not forgive many mistakes.

Chapter 33: (about the woman in 217) Like some malevolent clockwork toy she had been wound up and set in motion by Danny’s own mind… and his own.

Chapter 43: All the hotel’s era were together tonight now, all but the current one, the Torrance era.

5 out of 5 Roque Mallets.

I think most people have seen the movie by Kubrick, but that does not do the story justice. It missed the point and changed the essence of the characters. Danny is an intelligent boy and the movie dumbs him down, especially with his imaginary friend, Tony.

Jack Torrance being played by Jack Nicholson makes him seem like he was always a sinister, crazy man when he is more of a tragic character that gets manipulated by the Hotel.

The movie is great on it’s own and I will still watch it when I see it on TV. However, it is not a great adaptation of the book.


ABC Book Challenge ✰ H

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

✰ Memorable books starting with ✰ H

1) Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
2) Harry Potter: A History of Magic by Ben Davies
3) Horns, by Joe Hill
4) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

✰ Books on my TBR starting with ✰ H

1) Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare
2) How to Hang a Witch by AdrianaMather
3) Haunting the Deep by AdrianaMather
4) Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
5) His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik