Posted in Books

East of Eden

East of EdenEast of Eden by John Steinbeck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On a side note, this is the 100th book I’ve reviewed this year, and I’m incredibly thankful that such a title fell onto a novel that mattered so much to me.

This was my first fully engaged experience with Steinbeck, and I was completely blown away. His prose was lovely in the way a desert is lovely; sparse but absolutely breathtaking in a certain slant of light. Continue reading “East of Eden”

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And Then There Were None

And Then There Were NoneAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; 
One choked his little self and then there were Nine.
Nine little soldier boys sat up very late; 
One overslept himself and then there were Eight.
Eight little soldier boys traveling in Devon;
 One said he’d stay there and then there were Seven.
Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks; 
One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.
Six little soldier boys playing with a hive; 
A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five.
Five little soldier boys going in for law; 
One got into chancery and then there were Four.
Four little soldier boys going out to sea;
 A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.
Three little soldier boys walking in the Zoo;
 A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.
Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun;
 One got frizzled up and then there was One.
One little soldier boy left all alone; 
He went and hanged himself
And then there were None. Continue reading “And Then There Were None”

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The Halloween Tree

The Halloween TreeThe Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a perfect little book to help foster the Halloween spirit.

Ray Bradbury is a master of atmosphere. One of the most atmospheric Halloween books I’ve ever read is Something Wicked This Way Comes, and this tiny book spins just a compelling a spell. Bradbury just had an amazing grasp on what makes Halloween special. It’s a little dated, but in my opinion that just upped the nostalgia factor. Continue reading “The Halloween Tree”

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Posted in Books

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill HouseThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was so weird. The reason I picked up this book because it was billed as a classic of the horror genre. I went in expecting a haunted house story, but ended up watching someone go slowly insane. Yes, I did get a little of the haunted house I was hoping for around the middle of the book. However, as the novel drew to an end, Jackson presented the supernatural elements in such a way that the reader can’t be sure that those elements actually were supernatural, but could have instead been committed by someone with blood still pumping through their veins. Continue reading “The Haunting of Hill House”

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Posted in Books, Deep Thoughts

Banned Books Week

We the people of the United States of America have proclaimed for centuries that God has given us and the rest of humanity certain unalienable rights, rights that our forefathers outlined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and Bill of Rights. These rights include freedom of speech and press, but I believe that the freedom to read is an unspoken inclusion, one that our forefathers didn’t think to include because it seemed obvious. That’s my theory, anyway. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, it seems like a no-brainer that the freedom to read anything and everything, no matter who you are or where you live, is a freedom to be appreciated and protected. And yet, those who came to the New World in search of freedom started banning books before we were even a nation of our own. Continue reading “Banned Books Week”

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Posted in Books

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have a confession to make. I’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel. Why is this a big deal, you might be asking yourself if you have also never jumped on the Christie train. (Train? Get it? Because this entire book takes place on a train! *laughs forever at own joke*) Well, I’m a life-long bookworm, with a degree in English literature to prove it. And Agatha Christie is the unarguable queen of an entire genre. Did you now that Agatha Christie is the best selling novelist of all time, second only to the Bible and the works of Shakespeare in terms of sales? Because I sure didn’t. I knew that she was a big deal in the mystery genre, but bestselling novelist of all time? I was unaware. But I know now, and have now taken my first step to rectifying my oversight. Continue reading “Murder on the Orient Express”

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Posted in Books

My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues

My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot EnsuesMy Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came out of the womb with a passion for books. When I was a toddler, I didn’t sleep with my arms wrapped around a teddy bear; instead, I slept clutching a book. It didn’t matter what book. As long as there were words on the pages and the promise of a story between the covers, it was the book for me. I learned to read before I started Preschool, because I desperately wanted to be able to experience those stories for myself and on my own, even though I had a wonderful family full of people always willing to read to me. I memorized books before I could read them, reciting the lines I knew went with the pictures. So when the squiggles on the pages finally morphed into letters I could grasp and wrangle into words, I was beyond thrilled. Continue reading “My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues”

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The Resurrection of Joan Ashby

The Resurrection of Joan AshbyThe Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review can be found at both Booknest and Celestial Musings, as it made a huge impact on me, and I want to spread the word about this book as much as I can.

I honestly need more than five stars to give.

“She was no longer writing about tragedies that blew apart peoples lives, but about something else entirely: how dreams could keep hope alive and fresh.”

Getting this book was kind of a big deal for me. Okay, it was a really big deal. This was the first physical ARC I ever received. I’ll be honest: being asked to review this book made me feel kind of special, which was a large part of the reason I accepted it. When the book was delivered, I was tentatively excited, but I wasn’t going to hold my breath that it was going to be any good. And I wasn’t going to lie and say that it was amazing if it wasn’t, though I would’ve tried to soften the blow the best I could, because I hate to hurt anyone’s feelings, even if the author never read my review. But it turns out that I needn’t have worried. Continue reading “The Resurrection of Joan Ashby”

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Posted in Books

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in BrooklynA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perfect. Absolutely perfect. The only thing that could have improved my experience with this book would have been finding it fifteen years sooner. I wish twelve year-old me had known this book existed, and had been able to experience the life of Francie Nolan when we were closer to the same age. But even as an adult, I’ve found a kindred spirit in this scrappy little girl from Brooklyn, and watching her grow up and experience both heartaches and triumph was one of the most wonderful reading journeys I’ve ever embarked upon. Better late than never. Continue reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”

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