Curiousity Corner: Dracula by Bram Stoker

I’ve said this before – vampires are delicious. I may be paraphrasing. Now it’s no surprise that I would want to read this. It might just be my love for Gary Oldman, or my curiousity with all that good supernaturally stuff  that brought me here. Both, probably.

Since I saw the movie when I was much younger, I didn’t realize it was based off of a book. Though it’s actually one of my favourite movies (no matter how not great it was) so I’m going to make an exception and give it a read at some point. Dracula is supposed to be one of the original bloodsuckers…or as far as I know, at least one of them. I would like to see where Bram takes his imagination with this. I’m not sure if it was the same in the novel or something they changed in the film, but I liked the background that Dracula was given. I think it fit well with the story line. In the book, I just have to wonder if he’s just a lonely vampire wanting what everyone else has? Aww. Sad. Anybody have that problem with books and their movie selves?
Happy Halloween!

Xox,
Sasha

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Halloween Reads!

Halloween is just a few days away so I thought it’d be nice to list books that could/would/does get us all in the mood for this creepy holiday (and to be honest, my least favourite holiday from the bunch– I am the resident scaredy cat here…). * Note, I won’t be reviewing these books. Just naming some that I think are fun for the season.

First on my list is:

The Child Thief by BROM (I do have a review of this one from a while back).

This book makes the list because it’s a dark twist on a very mischievous character Peter Pan. I think that fits well enough with the season. Think of it as a nice blend of trick-or-treat and horror movies rolled into your favourite candy surprise.

Second:

One for the kids that’s pretty popular at work is:
Scaredy Squirrel prepares for Halloween by Mélanie Watt

It’s cute, fun, and prepares kids for Halloween! What’s not to like? I like this scaredy squirrel series because, as a scaredy… well I could have related very well to these books as a child.

Third:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This one also pretty much speaks for itself. I mean what’s not Halloween mood-ish about it? A boy lives in a graveyard and it raised by ghosts and stuff! If that doesn’t sound like a perfect spooky season read, I don’t know how to help you.

Fourth:

Another Neil Gaiman book, Coraline.

I’ll admit, I haven’t actually read the book… but the movie was pretty good and definitely something I think fits the Halloween criteria! Am I right or am I right?? Plus, how can Neil Gaiman NOT get on a list twice (look at Michelle’s list the other week!)?

Last one:

Let’s go with a classic —
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I think the title is enough of an explanation, no?
:)

What are your favourite Halloween Reads or Recommendations?
You probably noticed I didn’t suggest any horror stuff… well I stay true to my claim, I’m a scaredy cat… I don’t read horror. I barely watch horror movies haha.

Until Next Time!
Sam

Yay for New Books I’m Not Sure I Can Discuss Yet~

If the title confused you, I’m sorry!

I have to keep this short and I’m still waiting for an answer about whether or not I’m allowed to discuss the event in better detail… but! Here is what I will say:

Sarah and I just got back from the Random House of Canada Fall Preview 2013 and all I have to say is: I AM EXCITED. I haven’t been this excited for books in a long time. Got a few new reads (I started reading Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas on the ride home and I’m hooked! This is probably be my next book review~) and I can’t wait to talk about them!

Until next time!
I’m sorry this isn’t a really great post, but I don’t want to get in trouble for talking about stuff I might not be allowed too…

Sam

Comparing Authors/Series

Have you ever read a review or picked up a book that states something along the lines of: “The New [INSERT POPULAR BEST SELLING AUTHOR’S NAME HERE]!!”

This came along because I’m currently reading Samantha Shannon’s “The Bone Season” and some of you may know that she’s being compared to/called “the new J K Rowling”. But as I’m reading through this, that isn’t the case. The only thing right now that makes them similar is their publishing company and the fact that Shannon is set for a Seven book series.

Other than that, Shannon’s books have nothing to do with Harry Potter or J K Rowling. It’s a great way to get hype for a book, but as I’m reading it all I’m thinking about is what it’s being compared too.

Yeah…

I have a love hate relationship with these hype things. I love it because if I’m looking for a specific style or genre, going through lists that are “recommended because you read [insert title here]” or “if you liked [series name here], you’ll love this” saves me a lot of new book hunting time.

I dislike it because I tend to have high expectations for the book after. Then… 60 percent of the time, it just doesn’t compare.

Don’t get me wrong though, because the books I pick up are still a great/good read! But… you just can’t compare two or more different authors/books series against each other. Everything you read or watch or listen to should stand on it’s own and not be compared to something it has nothing to do with.

Sure there might be a familiar aspect between whatever it is you’re subconsciously comparing but I think we should get into the habit of not doing that. I think we (or maybe this is just me) would enjoy some reads better if we weren’t constantly comparing it to things you know? I mean, how can you compare different styles of writing anyway? or different worlds of fiction? They’re meant to be different for a reason…

Am I rambling here/not making any sense?

What do you think?
Do you get caught up on the own comparing thing?

Let me know!
Until next time
Sam

The Seldom Diaries: Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

 

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Hemingway’s Girl
Erika Robuck
Published by New American Library
September 2012
Paperback
Historical fiction/Romance/Contemporary/Literary fiction
352 pages

 

In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match…and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer Ernest Hemingway and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway.

When Mariella is hired as a maid by Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline, she enters a rarefield world of lavish celebrity-filled dinner parties and elaborate off-island excursions. As she becomes caught up in the tensions and excesses of the Hemingway household, the attentions of the larger-than-life writer become a dangerous temptation…even as reliable Gavin draws her back  to what matters most. Will she cross an invisible line with the volatile Hemingway or find a wayto claim her own dreams? As a massive hurricane bears down on Key West, Mariella faces some harsh truths- and possibility of losing everything she loves.

… … …

((I loved this book, but the summary was a total pain to rewrite. Was it just me, or does it seem crazy long? Anyway…))

I like a good love triangle, don’t you? They might get a little dicey, but it doesn’t make it any less juicier. I’ve noticed that they always seem to be between the centre piece or in other words, the suspecting undecisive little chick-a-dee, that really nice loveable guy, and the problematic bad boy with a secret heart of gold. In this case, Erika Robuck tossed them all in a blender. The results were very interesting.

Robuck begins the novel with an older Mariella and her son, Jake. Son, you say? Naturally, I had to use the detective skills that I don’t have to read on and figure out which other point of the triangle this Jake belonged to. Especially if our main character’s intense reaction at the news of Hemingway’s demise was anything to go by. Color me intrigued.

The book reverts back to years earlier. Mariella’s relationship with her mother is strained at the death of her father. Her mother, Eva, still grieving at the loss and her two younger sisters who depend on her in more ways than one. Mariella doesn’t seem to get her own time to grieve, really. She’s got to be the strong one, trying to figure out how the family is going to pay of debts and put food on the table. Which is saddening, yet extremely admirable. Luckily, putting an almost stop on her bets at boxing matches, she swings a job working as the Hemingways’ maid.

Now I usually have favourites in these things. Whether it be Gavin’s sweet caring nature. Or Hemingway’s unnecessary complicatedness. I found myself cheering for both contenders, though I suppose Hemingway having already been married was just too sleazy. And throughout the book, it seems to be the same thought ringing in Mariella’s mind when she considers the writer’s actions towards herself and others.

Devastation erupts when she believes Gavin to be dead when the hurricane hits. I think even I might’ve cried. ((I cry over everything…) Thoooough when we discover that things aren’t exactly as they seem, it’s clear who Mariella’s choice was. Gavin and Hemingway are good sports throughout.

I believe I mentioned the badboy with the heart of gold?

This is me trying not to give the ending away. I think I failed.

Erika Robuck did a terrific job. Hemingway’s Girl already has a nice & cozy spot on my shelf. Amazeballs.

Xox,
Sasha

 

Words for Dessert: Diary By Chuck Palahniuk

Words for Dessert is my little home for Book Reviews. :)

Diary
Chuck Palahniuk
Anchor, 2004
Trade Paperback
262 Pages
A Genre that can only be described as Palahniuk’s flavor…
Dark Humor/Mystery/Suspense/Contemporary

Misty Wilmot has had it. Once a promising young artist, she’s now stuck on an island ruined by tourism, drinking too much and working as a waitress in a hotel. Her husband, a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt, but that doesn’t stop his clients from threatening Misty with lawsuits over a series of vile messages they’ve found on the walls of houses he remodeled.

Suddenly, though, Misty finds her artistic talent returning as she begins a period of compulsive painting. Inspired but confused by this burst of creativity, she soon finds herself a pawn in a larger conspiracy that threatens to cost hundreds of lives. What unfolds is a dark, hilarious story from America’s most inventive nihilist, and Palahniuk’s most impressive work to date.
GoodReads Summary

I first read this book back in 2005 or 2006 when I was 15 years old, again in 2008, and I recently skimmed through it trying to remember if I enjoyed it or not. While it’s not my favourite, it’ll always hold a special place in my heart.

“Can You Feel This?”

I did.

This book with its angst filled existential nihilistic narrator is the one that introduced me to Chuck Palahniuk’s style of storytelling (not Fight Club?! I know…). This was also the first book I chose for myself (and not forced upon in school) outside of the Teen/YA genre (and I’ve had a hard time looking back since).

Diary can be a hard read for new comers to this genre/Palahniuk’s writing… or at least, I found it a little hard but at the same time, it’s still a quick read with only 262 pages. This book stirred quite a bit of an internal struggle for me. There were some points (graphic in gore-y disturbing details and imagery) that made me want to put the book down and take a breather and at the same time push through because I needed to know more. I think that’s just how Palahniuk works though, it’s a little fascinating how his dark tales can affect you.

I was really interested in the art and history aspect of this novel because it was brought into the story in such a strange and kind of freaky way. Misty Wilmot’s struggles and suffering really put me on edge and as the story unravels… well… without revealing anything I can only say, it’s seriously messed up. And I can understand why Palahniuk uses his character’s talent for art and personal struggles to his advantage. Most artists (successful or not) use their darker thoughts and struggles as inspiration for their art as well as an outlet to let go of these demons. It was clever.

The book also has a few moments that caught me off guard leaning forward on the edge of my seat with my mind screaming “WHAT?!”

I smile just thinking about it. Ahh… Good times.

This was the first book that gave me the whole “What the hell did I just read” reaction and I’m quite happy for it. I’d definitely recommend it for someone who wants to step into a new genre. I can’t guarantee that it’ll be everyone’s cup of tea but all the same, still an enjoyable read.

My 15 year old me would have probably rated this book a 5 out of 5. But nowwww…. I think I’d rate it a 4. Why? Well I’m still a squeamish person and some of those visuals I could have lived without haha. Petty… I know.

Have you read this book or any of Chuck Palahniuk’s books/shorts? What did you think?
Any recommendations (of his writing or writing similar to his style/genre) to give me? (Other Palahniuk flavors I’ve read are Fight Club, Choke, Tell-All, and Guts.)

Until Next Time~!
Sam

Setting the Path to Our New Adventure

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Like any quest, it starts with an idea, then a goal is set, plans are made, and a fellowship is born.

(I know. I know. I’m being a little cheesy here but bare with me… these things happen when I’m lacking sleep and got a few too many bars of chocolate into my system.)

Joining the Book Blogging community seems like a great place to start our search for good books and new friends and so here we are. I’m sitting in the dark typing away, when really, I should be heading to sleep because I have work in the morning. But hey, the former insomniac in me is protesting any further delay for this (re)launch and I know if I want to get any good sleep tonight, this has to get done!

You can expect some nonsense here, it happens when any combination of the five of us come together, especially in public, sometimes it can be downright insane and occasionally face-palm-I-don’t-know-these-people worthy (take this as a warning, and don’t say we didn’t ever tell you).

Besides our craziness, you can expect us to be joining in on the book memes floating around in the community and maybe start our own! We hope to be more active on here as everyone as been assigned a different day (Hello, I’m your Monday). If you’re interested in Guest Blogging just drop us a line and I’ll be sure to get back to you!

All of us here love to share, inspire and just generally be silly together and we want to be able to do that with you! Soooo, we hope you’ll stick around and share your experiences, inspire and be silly with us too! Over time, we hope to get to know you like you’ll get to know us :)

See you around~!
Sam