Lists & Recommendations

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Books Of 2019

LetsTalk12:17This year I have read some pretty amazing books, I have found quite a few new favorite authors, series and stand alone novels that I really want to share with everyone. At the point of writing this, I have read 103 books this year, a lot more than I thought I would. So it was difficult to narrow down my choices down to 5, but I did manage to keep this list under 10, so that’s good. Anyway, on to thee top books I read in 2019! P.S. my favorite book of 2019 is at the bottom of the list, as they say, “Last, but not least!”


Mort (Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am kind of mad it took me so long to read a book by Terry Pratchett. The sense of humor, characters, and world are so unique and fun. His take on the character of death is really interesting and I found that even though that this is a story about Death, I laughed a bunch. Mort is a really fun and interesting character as well, it is interesting to think about how a human would react to the situation and choices he was given. It really make you think. I really enjoyed this story and I will be continuing to read the death books within the Discworld series. I don’t really know what else to say because I loved this story and if you enjoy fantasy and a good laugh, I feel like you will really enjoy this.

View all my reviews


 

Red, White & Royal BlueRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me laugh, tear up, grunt in frustration, and even sing some Panic at the Disco. This was a really enjoyable novel that is in fantasy land, but also showcases the hard discussions that people sometimes have to make. I was rooting the entire time for our main characters and for reelection.

View all my reviews


 

Smashed: Junji Ito Story CollectionSmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.

TW: Suicide
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The Tea Dragon Society (Tea Dragon, #1)The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute graphic novel with a very sweet message to it. On top of the wonderfully cute story, the illustration style was beautiful and just perfect for this story. If you enjoy happy feeling, cute, and wholesome stories I feel like you would really enjoy this graphic novel. The only downside was I think it was kinda rushed and I would have loved to know more about the lessons and the society.
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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took.
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The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women WriteThe Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write by Sabrina Mahfouz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the wide array of perspectives that were present in this book. Not did the editor bring together a wonderful collection of writings, the writings were created by an assortment of women of different ages as well. I felt like that created a very interesting dynamic in the writing, but also illustrated that deep feelings can be felt at any age. I felt passion and many deep emotions while reading this book. All the writers are very talented. I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Islamic Tinder by Triska Hamid.

On top of the quality of writing, I also enjoyed that there were different forms of writing present; short stories, poetry, and plays as well.
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The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the title you can tell that this book deals with the very difficult topic of suicide. If any discussion of this topic is a trigger for you, I do not recommend you picking it up. If this is not a triggering topic, I highly suggest you read it.

Having personally dealt with a family member who has gone through this, I went into this book a bit worried that it would handle the topic badly. I was very pleasantly surprised that it handled not only the girls well, but also those left behind very well. I don’t really want to say much about the story itself, but I thought the writing was well done, the characters done well, and I was very much enthralled by the plot.
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The Colorado KidThe Colorado Kid by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say this work is very different from what King normally writes, but I enjoyed it so much. I think it was a combination of where I read this book and just the way it was presented. I feel like I will be thinking about The Colorado Kid trying to picture Stephenie today. Anyway, I am glad King look at those news clippings and thought of this story. It really is interesting and makes you think.
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Favorite Book of 2019!

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had read this sooner. The characters were fun, the story thought provoking in a way, and all around a great read I read within 3 days. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the works of the two authors, but also someone looking for an end of the world story with some interesting characters.

Update: as the end of 2019 has come to an end, I have realized that I have read this book two times this year and I often want to read it a third. It truly has a great friendship, a wonderfully inventive storyline, and great humor. This is my favorite book I have read in 2019.
View all my reviews


What was your favorite read or reads of 2019?

Do you have a book you think I should read next year?

Are any of these books on your list?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Holiday Reads

LetsTalk12:17

Hello and welcome to another blogmas post! I am excited to share some of my favorite Christmas / Holiday Reads. Some of these are very short, some are longer. Some of these are older and some of them are more recent. They are a little all over the place, so I hope you can find something fun to read!


A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott

A Merry Christmas and Other Christmas Stories

A very short 148 pages of family focused christmas story, which for me is the focus of the holidays. I love spending time with my family, catching up with them and just hanging out. This collection of stories is very similar and feels so warm and welcoming, I fall into these stories every single year.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

Now, I am always in the mood to read or watch The Chamber of Secrets or Harry Potter in general. This book in particular makes such a wonderful show of Christmas and I just love the idea of visiting the castle over winter break, running around while the other students are at home. It just seems so magical and fun.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot, #20)

Another short classic of a story, sitting at only 192 pages. This festive themed mystery is one that pulls you into it right away. When I read it, I read it in nearly one sitting. It would have been one if I didn’t need to go somewhere. But, I love Agatha Christie’s writing and this does not disappoint.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

This is a fun twist on the life of Dickens and the development of A Christmas Carol. I really loved the use of actual facts twisted into the fiction making this feel tangible. I really recommend this one.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Letters from Father Christmas

It is no secret that I love the works oof J.R.R. Tolkien, this one is is no different. How this 111 novella/collection of letters came into being is such an adorable one. These letters fun, quick, and just heartfelt. This is a really great read for Christmas Eve, you will fly through these letters quicker than you think you will.

T’was the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Account of the Visit from St. Nicholas

I cannot make this list without mentioning this wonderful poem. It is short, sweet, and magical. I feel like this is always a wonderful one to read on Christmas Eve no matter your age.


What is your go to Christmas or Holiday read?

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Books I Loved with Love

Recs

Happy Valentines day to those who celebrate and happy Thursday to those who do not. Since today is my posting day and I do love a good romance in a book from time to time I thought I would share some of them with you. Now, I know that not everyone is going to agree with my choices, but the great thing about books is that there are so many that everyone can find the ones they enjoy. Now, on to the books I love with love!

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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman-

The Rules of Magic
This books revolves around a family curse where only bad things happen when you find the person you fall in love with. It is the prequel to Practical Magic and I absolutely loved the various relationships in this book. While I was heart broken quite a few times it was wonderful seeing some of the characters find love.


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon-

When Dimple Met Rishi

This book was so adorable and so cute. I read it in a single day, that is how much I liked this book. I also loved how the relationship started in this book because I can relate to it on some level with my boyfriend. In addition, I felt like I learned a lot while reading it too.


 

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry-

The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1)

This book really had me smiling at multiple points. The relationship in this starts in such a funny way, but seems to genuine. While they have their share of drama and things working against them I enjoyed it a ton.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion-

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)

I fell in love with this book. I found it funny, cute, and I not only enjoyed the romance in this book, but I really liked the friendship and honesty inside of it as well.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli-

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)

I feel like at this point this entire book is me just gushing how much I enjoy all of these books, but this book was adorable, but a mystery as well. I highly suggest this book. It is cute, has great characters, and it is just adorable and wonderful.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott-

Little WomenThis book is a classic I am just in love with. I love the relationship and love felt within their family, Jo and her man, and Meg and her husband. I just really enjoy all of the relationships that blossom in this book and in this series.

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What book romance do you just love? What did you think of my choices? Are there any books you would ad?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Megan Mullally Book Recommendations

ListsSince I was young I have been a fan go Megan Mullally. I remember sitting up late at night and watching her on Will and Grace and loving her funny character. I have seen many interviews of her throughout the years but since the release of her book with her husband Nick Offerman I have been seeing a lot more. One I saw in particular made me adore her even more.

She was on USA Today and did a book specific talk with Nick. You can find the video online here.  I watched the entire interview and I did not realize that she was an avid reader and kept a list of books she adored on her phone. As a book nerd I can relate to having one of those.

In the interview she was asked what books would you recommend and she pulled out her phone and read off a list that she loved and Nick even commented on enjoying quite a few of them. I thought it would be fun to share the ones from her list that I am interested in reading.

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Stoner by John Williams

Stoner

I found this one interesting because this seems like a wonderfully heart breaking book. I feel like it would be beautifully written and I would be very connected to the main character. I would feel empathy for him and want only his happiness while his like takes some turns.

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman

I feel like this book would be an interesting read that looks into gossip and how it could be dangerous. I also want to know what happens with the milkman because the description just tells you the main character just has a “encounter”.

We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed

We Begin Our Ascent

This books seems like it is about a couple with a bright future that take a turn that no one expected. For some reason I enjoy reading these types of stories not because I want to see successful people fail, but to remind myself that anything is possible and things don’t always look as they appear. I find myself thinking that this book could represent that from the description.

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Flights

I have found that over the years I have not read a lot of translated books, and while this list is filled with them, this one sounded really amazing. I find it hard to put into words what this book is about. It seems almost mythological and whimsical, but also has a deep story to tell.

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While this is not the complete list of books that she recommends, please go watch the interview, it is a great list of books to try. I find that reading books that people I admire read helps me find gems that I would not have found on my own. I am hoping that this idea translates well from my friends and family members, but also to those I have watched as a fan for some time.

Have you ever read a favorite book of a celebrity?

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Fall Books 2018

RecsSince the start of September, I have been wanting to share my favorite books I love to read in the fall. This time of the year I start to read more and hide away inside as the weather gets colder. The following books I think are perfect to read this time of year.

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Little Women and Other Novels by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women and Other Novels

If you have been reading my blog for any time at all you will know that I love the Little Women series by Louisa May Alcott. Reading this series is like going home for me. It is cozy, warm, and full of love.

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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

While this novel is something I only read a few months ago, it has become one I really enjoy and I see myself rereading. When I was younger I would rewatch the movie adaptation of this novel a bunch of times in the fall so I see this as a perfect Fall read. Also, if you watched the movie, this is actually very different, but very good.

DividerLying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Lying in Wait

Lying in Wait is such an atmospheric novel, it is creepy, dark, and almost cold. It is a wonderful thriller. Liz Nugent has easily become one of my favorite authors when it comes to thrillers. Her writing style is very refreshing and different than others of her genera. If you want to know more about this specific book I write a review you can find here:REVIEW | Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent.

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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House is one of my favorite, if not my favorite horror novels. It is more psychological and leaves a lot of the monsters and surprises to your own imagination. I feel like that makes this novel so much more impactful. This is another novel that is atmospheric, you feel the story starting light and airy like Summer and it slowly morphs into something else. Just like Summer turns into Fall.

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The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

The Witches: Salem, 1692

While this is a non-fiction account of the events of the Salem witch trials, I think it is best to read in the Fall. The reason I see this is because I find that I always want to read more about dark periods of history this time of the year. I am not sure why, but I think it is because the days are getting darker and I want to read more intense reads. I will point out that this nonfictions read like a novel, it is not just a list of facts strung together. I think it is perfect for those who want to read more nonfiction, but tend to become bored or bogged down by these types of books.

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Classic Literature

Recs

So if you have seen my most recent Week in Review, A Week in Review | July 9th – July 15th, you will know that I have been reading, and enjoying, Anna Karenina. I have been wanting to read this large classic for what seems like years and I finally had enjoy guts to take on this 1000+ page Russian Classic. Now with reading this it had me thinking a lot about classics and why I like them. For me I find them more “domestic”, they talk more about home life or about individuals. There is less of a major plot element and it is character driven. Also, I love history and I love reading a book from another period because it really give you a look into the lives of those who live there. These are the books that were popular, this is what people read in their free time if they had any.

So I thought, hey why don’t I share some of my favorite classics? So here I am today to share my 5 favorite classics.

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A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet

I really do love any of the Sherlock novels and short stories I have read. I love how not only does this give a peak into the time period, but it also takes a bit of a look at human nature and really makes you think, “Wow, are we really this predictable?” Also, who is not down to read a murder mystery?


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange

So, this book is a weird one. It is more of a modern classic and is so vile that it was actually outlawed in multiple countries. Trigger warnings: rape, violence, language, and more that I cannot remember. The reason why I like it is because it make you think about the fact that we see individuals who do these horrible things as monsters, but we cannot forget they are human. I feel that sometimes when we say someone is a monster that we also forget they are an evil human, we need to remember that someone of the same species is capable of doing this horrible things. In some way I feel saying someone is a monster allows us to compartmentalize this behavior as something that cannot happen in the human world, but it does. I hope that makes sense.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women

Now back onto a more happy novel/series is Little Women, this is my all time favorite book and series. I loved this family since I was a young, young girl. It taught me that it was okay to love books and learning, it was also to do things that were “not lady like”. It also showed  me that war broke up families, but hope kept them together. It taught me about death in a respectful and unthreatening way. It is so odd to have a book that taught you so much, but at the time you don’t really notice it. At the time it was just me following a family through their lives.


The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Woman in White

I loved that this book seemed to be a ghost story, but also told a story of love and honesty. While this book is over 600 pages I few through this, but a fun way to read this is to read it like when it was originally published as a serialized book in a news paper. Due to this interesting way of publication there are many cliff hangers and a lot of action when though you are following someones live. I was gripped from the start of the book until the end.


The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray

This is a very short classic that not only teaches you about morals and perception, it is also a bit of a scary story. Since originally reading this I have read it a few times and each time I find more symbolism than the last. The writing is blunt, but beautiful.

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What is your favorite classic?

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Stephen King

Recs

So I have never done a recommendation post and I thought I would give it a try. This post is going to be sharing my favorite Stephen King novels and maybe help steer you in the right direction. If you don’t know already Stephen King has A TON of books out and is still writing. In fact he came out with a new book this month, 2 this year. So with such a large collection it is hard to find a place to start. So I am hoping that this might help you if you are interested in his books, but are lost on where to begin.

Bag of Bones (Standalone)

Bag of Bones

Four years after the sudden death of his wife, forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan is still grieving. Unable to write, and plagued by vivid nightmares set at the western Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs, Mike reluctantly returns to the lakeside getaway. There, he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, whose vindictive purpose is to take his three-year-old granddaughter, Kyra, away from her widowed young mother, Mattie. As Mike is drawn into Mattie and Kyra’s struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations and escalating terrors. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

It is no secret that King is one of our most mesmerizing storytellers. In Bag of Bones, he proves to be one of our most moving as well. -goodreads

This was the first Stephen King book I ever read and I stand by it even after reading more than 10 of his books. It paranormal in essence, but also the story itself has a ton of backstory that is explained. I found myself loving the “history” behind the story. It also has characters that you find yourself really caring about and invested. I would start with this one if you either like domestic thrillers or ghost stories in general. 

11/22/63 (Standalone)

11/22/63

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful. -goodreads.com

This is great if you like historical fiction. While it is a retelling of historical events like many historical fiction novels, it has a Stephen King twist. Loving history I read/listened to this book quickly. I listened to parts, the audiobook is done very well, and read others. I felt that it was a great mixture of historical and science fiction. It also had a few parts that made me reflect a bit on society and human nature a bit. I would start here if you like historical fiction or science fiction. 

Mr. Mercedes (Trilogy) 

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1)

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with two new, unusual allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. -goodreads.com

This trilogy is another great place to start. After reading a bit of his work you can see that overall his story always have a sinister and not so human twist, but he has different types of writing. Some that focus on humanity (thriller like) and others that focus a lot on the paranormal (ghost and monster like). This trilogy is more a human focused and I would recommend starting here if you really like thrillers or mysteries.

The Shining (Duology) 

The Shining

This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel’s past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrence family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary Stanley Kubrick — featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson –The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia. -goodreads.com

Now The Shining for me is “classic” Stephen King. I don’t mean classic in the way that it is one of his first published works, but rather that it has a little bit of everything that he has to offer. Especially more so since it has in the more recent years been expanded more on.  It is creepy, has both his humanity style and his paranormal style. This for me is one of my favorite stories I have read for him. I may be a little bit biased because when I was little I was obsessed with the 6 hour TV version of this, but I think it is a great story and a good way to test to see if you like his work. Overall, I would say that if you want a sample of his work it is good to read this. Divider

I hope that some of you find this post helpful and interesting. I had a lot of fun going through my collection and picking a few of his books that I thought were good starts. Aren’t you glad I did not recommend It as a place to start? If you have anymore questions or idea please let me know I would be more than happy to hear.

Have you read Stephen King? What book was your favorite by him?

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Lists & Recommendations

Book Recommendations | Mother’s Day Edition

Recs

In honor of mothers day I wanted to share some of my mothers favorite books. She is the individual who shared their love of reading and books and shaped my love of books. I thought this was a fitting way to honor my mom and maybe give my readers some books you might add to your TBR. Also, this is in a particular order my mom listed her list from most loved to less loved, but they are all very much loved. Divider

Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally

Schindler's List

In the shadow of Auschwitz, a flamboyant German industrialist grew into a living legend to the Jews of Cracow. He was a womaniser, a heavy drinker and a bon viveur, but to them he became a saviour. This is the extraordinary story of Oskar Schindler, who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland and who was transformed by the war into a man with a mission, a compassionate angel of mercy. -goodreads.com

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the Red Fern Grows

For fans of Old Yeller and Shiloh, Where the Red Fern Grows is a beloved classic that captures the powerful bond between man and man’s best friend. This special edition includes new material, including a note to readers from Newbery Medal winner and Printz Honor winner Clare Vanderpool, a letter from Wilson Rawls to aspiring writers, original jacket artwork, and more.

Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It’s true that times are tough, but together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.

Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair. -goodread.com

Boy in the Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences. -goodreads.com

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Running with Scissors

The true story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock-therapy machine could provide entertainment.

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor’s bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock- therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy’s survival under the most extraordinary circumstances. -goodreads.com

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

A Million Little Pieces

Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, this is a story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation as it has never been told before. It is also the introduction of a bold and talented literary voice.
Before considering reading this book, please see the BookBrowse note on the book jacket/review page.

BookBrowse Note: January 9th 2006: An article in the Smoking Gun claimed that James Frey (author of A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard) fabricated key parts of his books. They cited police records, court documents and interviews with law enforcement agents which belie a number of Frey’s claims regarding criminal charges against him, jail terms and his fugitive status.

In an interview with the Smoking Gun, Frey admitted that he had ’embellished central details’ in A Million Little Pieces and backtracked on claims he made in the book.

January 26th 2006. Frey’s publisher stated that while it initially stood by him, after further questioning of the author, the house has “sadly come to the realization that a number of facts have been altered and incidents embellished.” It will be adding a a publisher’s note and author’s note to all future editions of A Million Little Pieces. -goodreads.com

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?” -goodreads.com

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Eleanor Roosevelt (Introduction) ,B.M. Mooyaart-Doubleday (Translator)

The Diary of a Young Girl

Contemporary / British English It is 1942 in Holland and the Germans have invaded. All Jewish people are frightened for their lives, so the Frank family hide. Life is dangerous but they hope for the best – until they are finally discovered. Anne Frank was a real person, and this is her diary. -goodreads.com

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I hope you enjoyed learning about a few of my mom’s favorite books. Have a wonderful day!

Have you read any of these? Would you read any of these?

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Lists & Recommendations

My Top Horror Reads

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With all of this talk of creepy, spooky, and horror this month I thought I would share some of my favorite horror books to help get everyone get into the spirit.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

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Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .

In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?

The Shining by Stephen King

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Terrible events occur at an isolated hotel in the off season, when a small boy with psychic powers struggles to hold his own against the forces of evil that are driving his father insane. Reissue.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

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Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his word processor.

Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonans’ isolated summer home.

He finds his beloved Yankee town familiar on its surface, but much changed underneath — held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here — and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

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The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die Hunts the Killer Who Shouldn’t Exist

The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own.

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He’s the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.

Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth . . .

The Shining Girls is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal.


 

What is your favorite Horror book?

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