Tuesday, August 11, 2009

mystery abounds!

I've been on a forensic mystery book kick lately. A favorite... Kathy Reichs. They're quick reads with interesting plot twists, and I feel as though I'm getting back to my roots when I read them. By roots I mean how I used to read mystery books one after the other. I'm craving something a bit different after I'm finished this next read, however.

Writer's night at the WC diner is still going on, although we've been deviating from writing. I'm suggesting a weekly writing prompt tomorrow as we sit with our greasy diner food and discuss our lives since we last saw each other(which usually amounts to at most a week).

Novel... is at a complete standstill. My inspiration has been a bit quirky lately, so I'm thinking of writing it out of order. It will be strange, but maybe the thought process will pick up later. Instead, I find myself writing fanfiction.

Until next time (which should be sooner than this!)...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Apparently I'm Bad at This Updating Thing.

As before, no more book reviews, although I've been reading like a fiend. I have to change the "what I'm reading" section, but I'm too distracted to do that right now. Just a quick rundown on some books I've read:

-the first two books in the L.A. Banks' Crimson Moon series. (I'm going to have to pick up the next few too!)
-the most recent Southern Vampires book by Charlaine Harris (and I have to wait for the next one, which bothers me. lol.
-When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. Hysterical!
-Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reich
-a couple of personal accounts of WW2 Concentration Camps.. and I'm currently reading a book on Mengele.

Going to the beach for a few days starting tomorrow. WC Writers group has been put on hiatus for a few weeks because some of us went to Vegas (obviously not me), and we'll resume next week I think. I've finally also gotten around to 1)starting to actually write my novel (even if it is just the prologue) and 2)starting to read Adrienne's novel, which I'm enamored with.

I'm sure I'll have a worthy book review soon, but it seems with moving and vacation and work that I have no time. I'll have to change that :)


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Still no book review, but I think I have other ramblings here...

I have completely finished I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. Phenomenal book, let me tell you. I just can't capture into words how brilliant a read this was for me. I even had to stop reading for a couple of weeks to let it all sink in completely. It was a book about family life and one man's struggles with it and the world tied together with such complexity it tore my heart out at some point and made me laugh hysterically at others. The amazing part is, that complexity wasn't daunting and it wasn't so bogged down by it... it read like a work of art, and I'm so damn happy I read it.

Whew.. okay, so there's my tentative review. I can't really say anymore about it.

Writer's night at the WC diner is still going on Wednesday nights (although sometimes I think we end up talking about political issues more than writing.. lol). Regardless, the girls (and boys *nudges Mike*) are great sounding boards for my ideas. I'm one of the few who can apparently sit down and actually write a preliminary synopsis and outline... my fear is that maybe that's all I can do. I fear a blank computer screen and I keep putting everything off... including the main character's complete story (so sue me, I need to know what exactly she did in her life.. lol).

I also have to start reading Adrienne's book soon. I do. I really am interested in her book on a primal level.. it's fantasy afterall. I'm just so hooked on some other books now (damn L.A. Banks and her Crimson Moon series!) that it's hard to get away and read something else. And of course Barnes and Noble never called me about the new Charlaine Harris book... I thought it came out in May. They have my phone number, since it's on hold there. Maybe I'll mosey on down there today to see what's up (and pick up the 2nd Crimson Moon novel.

For all you tv fans out there... True Blood starts this coming Sunday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I know I haven't done a book review for awhile... that's probably because I've been reading almost a 900 pager. I Know this Much is True by Wally Lamb is just... amazing. More on that later when I finally finish the 50 or so pages I have left (thank god for train rides).

And, of course, I've been working on (trying to) start a novel of my own. The idea is there, I just have to... write. Hah. Regardless, the West Chester writers group is officially starting their meetings again tonight (and I'm new!). Okay, so it's basically a bunch of friends sitting around talking about writing, actually writing, and the basics of agents, publishing, etc. I'm an inside source (haha) because I've talked to so many authors and dealt with so many publishers for the two years I worked at the Doylestown Bookshop.

I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Book Review: Standing Still

Standing Still: A Novel Standing Still: A Novel by Kelly Simmons

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a very quick-paced, yet very very good book. I have actually met Kelly as a bookshop event coordinator, and just picked up the book while visiting and she was doing a signing. I remember when she first came in with the book in hardcover going "I have to read this someday." Well, now I have and I'm glad I did.

The reason why I decided to read the book was because of the main character, Claire, suffers from panic disorder, a term I myself am quite familiar with. The plot, a mother who insists a kidnapper take her instead of her daughter, also seemed very interesting. Now, after reading, I'm very glad I did.

This review might sound a bit short, but I'm the type of reviewer who hates giving away any plot points. The main urge for the review was to let Kelly know that I enjoyed the book and that I'm glad that Claire found her "home" (or that's what I call it, anyway). It's uplfting for anyone who suffers from any form of mental illness.

Thank you.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book Review: Patient Zero

Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel by Jonathan Maberry

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm a girl of varying tastes, as you can very well see by my book selection choices. I read anything from horror to fantasy to chick-lit, to classic literature. The one thing I never choose to read, however, is any of that "government agency" or "action" books. If it's written by Tom Clancy, it will not be on my shelf.

The reason, or reasons, that I picked Patient Zero to read was 1) it may have involved police and government agencies, but it involved ZOMBIES and 2) being the event coordinator for a local independent bookstore, I've met Jonathan personally and every time I see him enjoy a great dialogue about books and the latest project he's working on.

So... months after getting an advanced copy signed by Jonathan, I read the book...

Let me tell you... I couldn't put it down. Regardless of the secret government agency angle (which, by the way, I was completely sucked into for one of the first times in my life), the characters were so well fleshed out that I felt for them... I felt terror when they did, and the enormity of the whole situation (because believe me, I don't want to give any of the plot away to you), hits like a ton of bricks. You need to keep reading to find out what happens, and yet you're so attached to the characters that sometimes the book's reality makes you want to stop and keep them all safe.

That being said, the book keeps you on your toes. There are definitely some extreme plot twists and enough action to keep the reader engaged throughout. And as evil villians go (and sidekicks for that matter), Patient Zero definitely has what it takes. Patient Zero A Joe Ledger NovelJonathan Maberry

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Book Review: Geek Love

Geek Love: A Novel Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book tells the story of the Binewski family, a strange, genetically altered family of circus freaks, and is narrated by Olympia (Oly) Binewski, the bald humback albino dwarf... the one that was thought of as too un-unique to have an "act" of her own. With her siblings, Arturo, or Arty the Aqua Boy, the siamese twins Electra and Iphigenia (Elly and Ilphy) who play beautiful piano duets, and Fortunato (or Chick, as everyone calls him), Oly rounds out a cast of this make-shift, rag-tag family of, well, freaks.

If you've gotten past that description and still want to read the book, then that's a great sign. I must say, however, that the reader beware. This isn't a light-hearted novel about spending time being a circus freak. It's a genuine descent into the happy, yet sad and desolate world of what family is, what family means, and also the intense war and jealousy that reigns supreme within the Binewskis.

Arty himself is the epitomy of the dark side to this novel. Oly, the teller of the story...the reader of the words, is a gentle soul whose love is apparent throughout the entire novel. Arty is her (almost) complete antithesis, as he worms his way up the hierarchy of the family, dispensing his rules, challenging those who question him, and yet doing it all "for the family".

Another theme which runs throughout the book is the question of what is normal and what is a freak. Interestingly enough (as I don't want to give away too much of the plot), Arty again is the focus of this push-pull norm vs freak relationship. He, as are all the Binewskis, is proud of being abnormal. He's proud of being a freak. To me, however, this comes into question later on in the novel, when it becomes apparent that maybe it's a lonely world.

The one drawback to the book is the seemingly random placement of the "present day" chapters in the book. Don't get me wrong, I adored Oly's telling of her watching her daughter Miranda, but sometimes the placement of the chapters seemed a bit awkward. I don't necessarily want to give any of this story away, so I won't. It binds the reason for the book together and even the reason it is written.

If you're still intrigued, please pick up a copy. Beware of what I told you, as it delves into much darker places such as cultism, taking away free will, and even incest, to a degree. Even with all of this, however, this book made me FEEL.

And remember... no one is normal.

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