“Does the phrase ‘the shining’ mean anything to you?” – Stephen King’s The Shining
In the spirit of October, Halloween, and all things scary, I decided it was a good time to read my second Stephen King novel, The Shining. This might surprise some of you, but I’ve never seen the movie version. I have seen clips of it over the years and can easily recognize Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance. I’ve been curious about the story for a long time but just recently added it to my TBR pile when I made it part of my 2018 book bucket list lineup. I read my first Stephen King book last year and decided October would be a good time to pick up another one.
I wanted something scary for Halloween…boy did I get my wish!
“He’d discovered that he liked houses. Maybe mostly because they were understandable. They could be calculated and drawn on paper. They did not leak if they were made watertight; they did not collapse if they were properly supported. Houses were fair, they gave you what you deserved. Which, unfortunately, was more than one could say about people.” – A Man Called Ove
While picking up a stack of books for work at the library, I happened to browse the fiction section on my way out. Okay, I made a hard right away from the exit because I’m a book addict who can’t not browse books if there are books to browse.
My eyes wandered over the books available to check out, scanning for familiar authors, genres, and titles on my TBR list before landing on one title in particular, A Man Called Ove.
I have been anxious to read Fredrik Backman for some time. Titles like A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry have been popping up in my Instagram feed for a while now, piquing my curiosity. I’ve heard Ove described by some as being among their favorite books and in their top-rated books, which only made me more curious.
Did I have a bag filled with books to be read for work? Yes. Did I have another stack of review copies to read at home? Yes. Did I hesitate to grab Ove off the shelf and bring it home? Nope!
Earlier this year I read The Wife Between Us, a collaboration by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. That book had a twist that wowed me like few other books ever have. It was a great example of what psychological thrillers should be – unpredictable, unputdownable, and unforgettable! When I saw that this duo has a new book coming out in 2019, I jumped at the chance to read it. I was excited, yet a little skeptical. Could they really pull off another great psychological suspense thriller?
“The idea was ridiculous and at the same time…tantalizing. Until now I’d only ever visited the world of stories, that world that held such fascination for me, in my imagination. But if there was a way of entering it for real…”- The Book Jumper
July was a great month. Not only has summer been in full swing with hot temps and blue skies, but I got to take a week-long summer vacay to visit some family in the scorching southwest. Vacation time for me usually equals reading time, so I was thrilled to catch up on some reads that I’ve been meaning to get to for some time. One of those reads was The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser.
I’ll be honest, I totally judged this book by its cover! I first saw this book in a bookstagram post. In case you’re not familiar with bookstagram, it’s a popular hashtag used on Instagram for book-related posts. I follow hundreds of bookstagram accounts, and I love checking out what others are reading. So when I saw a book titled The Book Jumper with cover art of a young woman standing on an open book and what appeared to be a book character rising out of the pages, I knew I had to check it out!
Well, July is in full swing and that “summer vacation” feeling is in the air! I stated in my last post that I often gravitate toward middle grade and young adult books in the summer. I chose The Borrowers as my July book bucket list pick for this very reason. I figured that I would probably be in the mood for something light and imaginative, and I have wanted to revisit this childhood favorite for some time. It seemed like the timing would be perfect, and it was.
I don’t often post reviews back to back, but today is the release day of Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel, and I just couldn’t wait to share my thoughts. This is going to be one of those posts where I date myself. I remember seeing Hocus Pocus in the theater when it released in July 1993 ~ 25 years ago! I saw it with my sister, brother, and friends. I was still a preteen, and I remember loving the movie. I laughed, I got nervous when Max lit the black flame candle, I screamed when Sarah Sanderson was found hiding in Dani’s bed, and I, like all other preteen girls, developed a tiny crush on Thackery Binx. For years, Disney fans have been begging for a sequel, but only if it includes the original cast, and I agree!
When I heard about the new book re-telling the original story with a new sequel included, I was excited yet a little hesitant, hoping that it wouldn’t ruin the original story and that the sequel would live up to my expectations. Well, the book releases today, and here is my review.
I am so glad that I was able to fit in my book bucket list pick for June. I have wanted to read The Diary of a Young Girl for years. I didn’t get the chance to read it in high school like so many others did. I’m not sure why we didn’t read it other than maybe because Schindler’s List had released and become a huge success. We watched that film, an excellent film by the way, instead of reading Anne Frank’s diary. I don’t think one story is better than the other. They are both true and both equally moving. I do think that The Diary of a Young Girl should continue to be taught in schools because it is told in such a pure voice and really puts the reader right in the middle of the war. We can study World War II all we want, but we’ll never hear a more authentic voice than that of a young Jewish girl in hiding. Anne’s story is something that touched my soul profoundly and something I will never forget. No review I write will ever be able to do this book justice, but I will try my best to summarize why it was such a moving read for me.
Last month I was fortunate enough to receive an advance reader copy of Emily Giffin’s latest novel All We Ever Wanted. Reading her newest book reminded me of why I am such a fan of her writing. I always feel like I’m right inside the story, experiencing everything alongside her characters. Her characters often find themselves in relatable situations, usually involving relationships – romantic relationships, forbidden relationships, unconventional relationships, friendships, family relationships, etc. So I think it’s safe to say that just about everyone can find something or someone to relate to in her books.
The big bummer of going back to school in ’14 was that my read for fun time went out the window. This means that I had a stack of Giffin’s novels on my shelf that were long overdue and calling my name. Reading All We Ever Wanted reignited my spark for Giffin’s true-to-life stories. Now that I’ve graduated and have read for fun time once again, I decided to get all caught up.
I vaguely recall watching a movie version of Gulliver’s Travels as a child that, I believe, starred Ted Danson as Lemuel Gulliver. What I remember from the film was a man journeying to different lands and encountering different kinds of creatures, including a land of miniature people followed by a land of giants. I always wanted to read the book the movie was based on, so I made it my book bucket list pick for April. I have always been drawn to fantasy stories, like The Chronicles of Narnia, and Gulliver seemed right up my alley.
I love New Year’s Eve/ Day! It is always so nice to get a fresh start. I often get the urge to clean and organize my house around the New Year holiday. This includes my bookshelves. I often rearrange them and round up a box of books to be donated to the library. I have a really hard time letting books go, so these are usually books that I finally read over the previous year and don’t feel that I will re-read them. Or they are books that served a purpose during certain periods of my life and are now no longer necessary. Cleaning out and rearranging my bookshelves always makes me anxious for new reads and nostalgic for some old reads, too. Here are my highlights from 2017 and my reading goals for 2018.