Books: Reading, Have Read, To Be Read

One of my new favorite bloggers Kim from Mermaid in a Manhole has made a few blog posts about books that I love, I am snagging her idea a bit and morphing it into one post.

Reading:

* The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho  – Deep book, I keep picking it up and sitting it down.  It’s good but heavy in spirituality.  Not my norm when it comes to reading.

* Born of Fire – Sherrilyn Kenyon – I’m mere pages from the end…I will finish it today.  I needed a quick & dirty book….I can eat up a Sci-Fi/Romance crossover in days….I started this one Sunday afternoon to sort of clear my mind!

* Stich N Bitch Nation – by Debbie Stoller – I’m not sure if I’m ready to try to follow a pattern yet, still a newbie at this…but dang this book makes me want to try.

Have Read: These are the books that I love, there are many I started and didn’t finish, or got to the end and couldn’t believe I wasted my time.

* Harry Potter series – by J.K. Rowling

* Twilight series – by Stephenie Meyer

* Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series – by Charlaine Harris

* Black Dagger Brotherhood series – by J.R. Ward (all except last, Lover Avenged, it’s sitting in my stack of to be reads!)

* Lovely Bones – by Alice Sebold

* The Time Traveller’s Wife , Her Fearful Symmetry – by Audrey Niffenger

* Mockingbird – by Sean Stewart

* Gargoyle – by Adam Davidson

Neverwhere , Stardust, American Gods – by Neil Gaiman

* Liquor , Lost Souls – Poppy Z. Brite

* Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat BooksNecklace of Kisses, Echo, The Hanged Man, Wasteland – by Francesca Lia Block

* Wicked Lovely , Ink Exchange – by Melissa Marr

* Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen – by Sarah Addison Allen

* The Book of Bright Ideas – Sandra Kring

* Chocolat – by Joanne Harris

* The Great Gatsby – by F. Scott Fitzgerald

* Catcher In The Rye, Franny & Zooey – J. D. Salinger

* Sellevison , Running With Scissors, Dry: A Memoir, Possible Side Effects, Magical Thinking: True Stories – by Augusten Burroughs

* A Million Little Pieces – by James Frey

* She’s Come Undone – by Wally Lamb

* White Oleander – Janet Fitch

* Practical Magic – by Alice Hoffman

* The Fever series – by Karen Marie Moning

* Slapstick – Kurt Vonnegut

* A Seperate Peace – by John Knowles

* Alas Babylon – Pat Frank

To Be Read:

* The Big Ass Book of Crafts – by Mark Montano

* The Rose Labyrinth – by Titania Hardie

* Anansi Boys – by Neil Gaiman

* Women of the Night – edited/compiled by Martin H. Greenberg    (this is a collection of short vampire stories by different authors incl. Neil Gaiman! I’ve read about 2 stories I want to read them all)

* Dead Girls, Dead Boys, Dead Things – Richard Calder

* Faerie Wars – Herbie Brennan

* Sense and Sensibility – by Jane Austen

* Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut (This is currently on my husband’s bedside table since I thought he’d like Vonnegut I bought this for him.  I was told it was a good place to start with his books, although I started with another.  I am looking forward to reading it after him)

*Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess (My husband came into our relationship owning this book.  He has always said it was a good read and once or twice I tried to pick it up and never got around to reading it.)

Of course I also have a Melting Pot Book Club book each month so I think my list is pretty hefty.  I also think a few of the series books I read might have new ones out.  We’ll see how long I stay on this list or stray.  I will try to update you to my progress.  🙂

As you can see I am heavy on the fantasy, vampire, goth and southern magic fiction.  Please feel free to suggest a book!

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Things That Make My Heart Flutter

Random Bits of Happy

*I’ve been pulling and reading about my Natal chart.  I am finding the information fascinating.  I’ve done this before but never gone through with the research of what it all means.  I do believe the planets affect our daily lives, the pulls as they move through the Universe, how could they NOT affect us?  If you are also interested there are many sites that offer free charts, or you can go here as I think Cafe Astrology has a great breakdown.  I also love to learn more about the signs by reading Mystic Medusa‘s blog on a daily basis.  She gives the most insite into people’s actions and their signs.  I love it!

*During cold weather there is nothing I love more than loads of pillows and my fluffy down comforter!  I love to pull the covers up to right under my arms, have a cup of hot tea or cocoa on the bedside table and have stacks of magazines, a good book or a girlie movie ready for me to devour.  This is my idea of a perfect Sunday.  If I am reading then I also like to have the radio on (XM Sirus) on the Chill Electronica station or New Age station.  These channels set the calm mood of the day and with lit candles it’s all about sinking into the indulgence of a weekend!

*Revisiting pages from books that I loved last year!  I had a wire storage unit that was fairly deep and 3 crates high full of books and it collapsed.  The plastic pieces that held the storage crates together literally snapped from the weight of all the books I had on the shelves.  It’s time to look for a real bookcase that will fit in the small corner….but until then I made due with some storage that can properly hold the weight of all the books and sorted through all my books from the past few years.  I also went through and tried to pick books to take to consignment.  Such a hard task for a book lover but I did manage to get a stack of about 15 books that I will be taking up to Black Sheep, a nearby consignment book shop.  While going through my stacks I found the book Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, a book about a love that spans through many reincarnations and always ends with one half of the couple badly burned by fire.  The story is heartbreaking, lovely and actually tells about 5 or 6 seperate love stories that all are the same two souls finding each other over and over again.  If you haven’t read it I highly recommend it (warning: not for faint of heart, I chose this book for my book club last year and some of the women had a REALLY hard time reading about the burns.  I only mentioned it because the scenes are pretty graphic, but the love makes up for it all). 

Quick Mentions:

*The Alchemist, I’m enjoying the heck out of this read currently.  * A new pink 2010 planner for my purse/desk it makes me happy just seeing it.  * New music that I snagged after reading 2009 best of lists for best albums and not knowing of the band.  There were a few really great ones I missed (Girls, White Denim, Phoenix….all equally for of win!).  *Boots over jeans. *Photo shoots thought out for really cool outfits…I love layering clothes. *The video for Paramore – Brick by Boring Brick it’s a fairytale set to music full of butterflies and fairies!  I love it!

What wonderful thing is making you smile from the top of your head to the tips of your toes?

Books: Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry

Audrey Niffenegger’s second novel is a ghost story that reads almost like a fairy tale.  Twin sisters Julia and Valentina are left their estranged Aunt’s London flat with the instructions that they have to live there for 1 year and their Mother, their Aunt’s twin sister, mustnt step foot in the flat.  The sisters are spoiled 20 year olds living in Chicago with Mom & Dad looking for the next thing to try and this seems like the perfect adventure.  This is their chance to grow up, and for one sister, she thinks it’s her chance to seperate slowly from her clingy, bossy twin. 

The relationship between the twins is strained with only Valentina feeling the strain as Julia the bossy twin decides their every move and every fashion choice.  They dress alike, they sleep in the same bed, they eat the same meals.  The character’s in their new flat slowly seperate the thoughts between the twins.  Aunt Elspeth is a ghost in their flat and makes herself known to the twins.  Elspeth’s lover Robert lives downstairs and starts an odd relationship with Valentina that makes Elspeth jealous and the upstairs shut in Martin gains relief from his OCD’s in befriending Julia. 

The relationships are well developed and thought out and the Historic Highgate Cemetery that the building overlooks even seems to be it’s own character in the book.  The book is told from many perspectives and the most interesting perspective seems to be when told from that of the ghost of Aunt Elspeth.  Manipulative in person, I believe she magnifies that quality as a ghost trapped in her flat. 

A beautifully haunting tale that I think most people with an open mind to spirits will enjoy.  You won’t think of ghosts in the same way. 

Four out of five milky white ghost like butterflies.

Book: The Monster of Florence

MoF

The Monster of Florence - by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi

This book was not exactly what I thought it would be.  As a non-fiction book about a serial killer in Italy I thought it would be extremely interesting and would take me to the end of the story where a killer was revealed.  Instead it goes deeply into history of Italy and of the way cases are handled in Italy.  If you are looking for an answer….there is none.  If you are interested in getting hooked on a story and then never finding out the end…this book is for you.  An unsolved crime that spanned from the 1960’s until the late 80’s resulting in 16 deaths and many many suspects being held with no evidence.  Apparently speculation is enough to get you put in prison for up to a year with no charges.  And writing a book about the crimes while dissing the police effort is enough to get you put in the slammer and thought of as a suspect. 

This book frustrated me and was put down MANY times.  If I wasn’t reading it for book club I would have probably not finished it and when I did finish it I was angry at the result.  I think that is what Douglas Preston wanted though, he was frustrated as an American thriller author of fiction when he became intangled and then a suspect because he was pulled into the real life mystery.  I think he wanted us as the reader to be frustrated as well.  Mr. Preston you succeeded in the frustration and the anger at the Italian legal system.  Yes, it’s messy and nothing appears to be based on facts.  It puts the point across that should I travel to Italy I should stay out of trouble at all costs! 

I give the book 2 1/2 out of 5 butterflies.  A lot of the history not relating to the crimes could easily have been left out, it felt heavy and uneeded to get the point across.

Books: New reviews on their way

i am in the midst of an exciting reading frenzy!  A non-fiction gripping story about a serial killer in Italy and a fiction about a two sisters that are left a house when a long lost Aunt passes…the catch is that they have to move into it for a year before they can sell it.  They move from Chicago to London and move into a house that sits overlooking a cemetary of famous deceased and learn there’s a lot more to the house than thought.

See why I am excited!  I haven’t even gotten to the fiction book because the non-fiction is SO good!  I almost forgot to mention that the fiction is written by Audrey Niffenegger the same genius author behind The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Here are the links if you would like to follow along.

The Monster of Florence - by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi

The Monster of Florence - by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi

Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry

Books: A Review

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Mockingbird by Sean Stewart was referred via a blog entry by the ever magical Verhext and the book was a perfect summer endding read.  The story is about a woman who’s Mother has passed and has left to her visits from her Mother’s personal Gods.  Taking place in Houston, TX this tale is  magical realism revolving around prophecy, pregnancy and voodoo.  It was a wonderfully vivid read about having magic in your life, even unwanted magic that can tear apart or bring together a family in mysterious ways. 

While I am tempted to go read every Sean Stewart book out there, I am instead adding him to a list of authors I like and will return to him at a later date and will instead go back to the original blog entry and see what other gems I might find.  Verhext put together quite a reading list and while I love her blog I think I also love her reading habits and will poke about her entry until I discover another enchanted author.

Things That Make My Heart Flutter

Random Bits of Happy

Cell Phone LOVE via Retro_Rae
Cell Phone LOVE via Retro_Rae

* Random text messages of LOVE!  I love it when my husband sends me messages that make my soul beam.   He knows just what to say and when to say it!

Me & Stormtroopers
Me & Stormtroopers

* Rollerderby with friends.  One of my girlfriends is on the team (GO DEATHSTAR!!!) and I love meeting up with friends to cheer her on and scream until I have no voice!  Of course it’s even better when she invites Stormtroopers to join us!

via U2005

via U2005

* The excitement before going to a concert!  We are taking tomorrow off to drive down to see Depeche Mode and the excitement I have over seeing one of my all time favorite bands is crazy!  I can’t wait to hear them live, I hear their show is no fluff, just them but the energy is unreal.  *squee*

Dreamfever

Dreamfever

* Books.  One of my favorite guilty pleasure authors came out with a new book in the series that I’ve been reading.  Karen Marie Moning and book number 4 – Dreamfever (The Fever Series) it’s romance but also mystery & sci-fi in the same book.  It’s about a girl that travels to Ireland to track down her sister’s murderer and ends up entangled in paranormal including ancient secrets, vampires, assorted Fae.  I devoured the book in just 3 days and wish the last book in the series was ready to be released!