Oct 24

Bookish Q&A: Because You Wanted to Know More, Right?

Q&A 17

Howdy Bookworms!
Today’s post is brought to you by the incomparable Sarah from Sarah Says Read. She completed this survey and I decided that it was necessary for me to do the same, except I got lazy and only completed a portion of it. Rest assured that I’ll eventually finish the project. I really like interviewing myself. Ready???
1. Favorite childhood book: It’s tough to remember having a favorite book as a kid. I mean, are we talking picture books? Chapter books? Adolescent books? Childhood can be long and complicated. I remember there being some purple book with an owl on it that was my favorite as a wee one. I have absolutely no idea what it was called or who wrote it. So, uh, my favorite childhood book was “that one purple book with an owl.” Good enough? Good. Let’s carry on…
2. What are you reading right now? Right now, I’m reading ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King for The Fellowship of the Worms. I’m not scared… yet…
3. What books do you have on request at the library? I’m not sure. Let me go and check (please hold as I clickety click on over…) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.
4. Bad book habit: I tend to get waaaaaaaaaay too emotionally involved with fictional characters. I’ve been listening to audio book versions of the Outlander Series (because I wanted to relive it, natch. Swooning over Jamie Fraser never ever gets old) and I find myself tensing and getting upset as things happen to the characters. I know exactly how things turn out, but it stresses me anyway. I’m the same way with Harry Potter re-visits. Actually, if a book doesn’t get me overly involved with the lives of the characters, I probably don’t much care for it.
fictionalcharacterdeath
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? I actually managed to get ‘Salem’s Lot from the library. It was pure luck that it came available in time for the readalong.
6. Do you have an e-reader? Indeed! I have two, actually. I use my Kindle Paperwhite (OMG how I love it!) for the majority of my reading. The backlight makes my world go round. I kept my old Kindle, though, and I use that as a loaner so family and friends can enjoy some of my digital copies of books. That’s the drawback to digital reading, I think. Difficult lendibility.
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I have recently discovered that I can read several books at one (maximum of three). They must, however, all be in different formats. I can have a Kindle book, a physical book, and an audio book all going at once, but not multiple books in the same format. My brain would explode.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? I read a LOT more. I mean, I always read a fair amount, but I’m chewing through 100 books a year. It’s pretty crazy, actually. I’ll also admit that I stress about reading more than I used to. I like having things to tell y’all about. If I’m not reading ALL THE THINGS I worry I’ll run out of material. Really, though, my Bookworms are so cool, you probably wouldn’t mind if I wrote limericks. Now that I think about it, maybe I should be writing more limericks… As odes to fictional characters. Mmmm Jamie Fraser, there are so very many things that rhyme with “red”!
heylassie

Swoon

9. Least favorite book you read this year: Oooh. I don’t love being negative, but since you asked, survey. I listened to the audio version of Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman. I didn’t even like it enough to blog about it. I couldn’t decide if it was an intentional ripoff of Wuthering Heights or simply an ode to the classic, but since I didn’t care for Wuthering Heights either (review), it did nothing for me.
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year: Holy cats, it is SO hard for me to pick favorites! I’m going to go with my (mostly arbitrary) Goodreads ratings and list out my 5-star books thus far. (Again, the arbitrary-ness of my star ratings cannot be overstated.) Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend (review), Ready Player One (review), Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (review-ish), Headhunters on My Doorstep (review), Slammerkin (review), I Am Livia (review), Frog Music (review), The Chaperone (review).
11. How often do you read outside of your comfort zone? Oooh tough question. I am a fairly eclectic reader, so it’s hard to define my comfort zone. I certainly have some books I consider comfort fiction, but that’s certainly not all that I read. I guess I really push it to the “there’s a good chance I’ll hate this” limit once a month or so?
12. What is your reading comfort zone? When I feel the need to read something comforting, I tend to choose Southern Fried Fiction. Fannie Flagg, Beth Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen- these ladies always make me feel better about the state of the universe.
13. Can you read on the bus? I can, but I’m not in the habit of riding the bus. Living out in the boondocks, as I do, makes public transit inconvenient at best.
14. Favorite place to read: My bed. Perhaps not my favorite activity that takes place in the bed, but it’s up there on the list. (Top of the list is sleeping, you filthy minded Bookworms, you!)
A Katie asleep in her natural habitat. Note penguin PJs and obnoxious husband wielding cell phone...

Wake sleeping Katies at your own peril. Photograph sleeping Katies also at your own peril.

15. What is your policy on book lending? I’ve loosened up on this a lot over the years. Since I started blogging I find myself in possession of a lot more books. If I wasn’t cool with lending them out and sending them into circulation, I’d be buried.
16. Do you dog-ear your books? I don’t have super strong opinions about dog-earring. Sometimes I do, but not if I have a bookmark on hand. I’ve got a lot of fun bookmarks, so I don’t do a lot of page bending these days.
17. Do you write notes on the margins of your books? Nope. I don’t know why, I don’t have any particular objection to margin notes, I’ve just never done it. If I feel the need to take notes, I usually open a draft of a future blog and jot down really useful comments like “WTF?!” or “This better not be the twist!”
18. Do you break/crack the spines? Oh yeah. Sometimes it can’t be avoided. I mean, have you ever read a chunkster? I challenge you to get through some of those bad boys WITHOUT cracking the spine.
19. What is your favorite language to read? Dothraki. Just kidding. I only read English. I’m depressingly mono-lingual.
20. What makes you love a book? Oh that’s a tough one. I saw a discussion on River City Reading that talked about three types of readers: those who read for language style, those who read for the plot, and those who read for characters. I can confidently say that language ranks the lowest on my list. I like a prettily constructed sentence as much as the next girl, but that’s not what blows my skirt up. What makes me love a book is a combination of fun plots and great characters.
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? I really like to individualize my recommendations based on who is asking me. I will demand that virtually everyone on planet earth read Harry Potter and Outlander, but I do like to take into consideration what the seeker likes, you know?
Alright, I’m throwing in the towel on this survey, for now anyway. Any of you gorgeous bookworms care to tackle some of these questions? 
*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

Divider

Oct 23

The Night Garden by Lisa Van Allen

Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Flowers, Romance 17

Greetings Bookworms!

The weather is changing and it’s making me miss my flowers already. I still have mums out, but it’s not the saaaaaaaame. Shortly after having to pull out my summer annuals, I was perusing NetGalley (a dangerous pastime under the best of circumstances) and ran across The Night Garden by Lisa Van Allen. I saw comparisons to Sarah Addison Allen and Alice Hoffman and simply could not help myself. *I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration. May I be stricken with a wicked case poison ivy if I lie in the following review.*

The Night Garden by Lisa Van AllenIs there anything better than an enchanted garden? Lisa Van Allen draws a gorgeous picture of pastoral upstate New York. Pennywort Farms boasts a lovely garden maze that seems to be imbued with magical properties that give visitors clarity on their problems. A little magical realism never hurt anyone! More likely to hurt someone is the beautiful and enigmatic Olivia Pennywort.

Olivia has SECRETS. Despite welcoming boarders into her farm as a matter of course, Olivia keeps everyone at arm’s distance. Her decision to remain aloof becomes more difficult when her childhood friend and adolescent flame Sam Van Winkle comes back to town. The two are (of course) drawn to each other, but there are some significant barriers (and histamines) standing in the way of their happy ending.

You guys, I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down, and I stayed up far too late to finish it. On a work night. Thank heaven for coffee, AMIGRIGHT? Magical realism can be very hit or miss for me, but the combination of love story, garden-y goodness, and mystical whimsy hit all the right notes. I particularly liked some of the weird science/magic fusion elements that went on. I don’t want to spoil it all for you, but if you’re at all interested, take a trip into The Night Garden!

Talk to me, Bookworms. The Night Garden spends a lot of time talking about the garden maze’s ability to provide visitors with clarity on their problems. What helps you work out your dilemmas? Asking for a friend…

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

Divider

Oct 21

Animal Crackers in my Books: An Idiosyncratic Lit List

Idiosyncratic Lit List 23

What does the fox say, Bookworms?

I know, I just went there. You’re welcome to chastise me in the comments. It’s occurred to me recently that a lot of the books I’ve read have animals in their titles. They may or may not have anything at all to do with the animals mentioned, but you know how much I like listing. I didn’t want to trouble myself with content when I could play with titles. I’m sure you understand. Without further ado let’s get to it!

idiosyncraticlitlist

1. Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood: This is one of my favorite Atwood novels. Truly, of her non-dystopian work, this probably tops my list. And it just so happens to have an animal in the title, though it’s really not about cats. Who could ask for anything more?

2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen: There actually IS an elephant in this novel who plays a very prominent role. Actually, there are quite a few animals in this novel, seeing as it focuses on an almost-veterinarian working in a circus. Still. An elephant who likes to drink is a winner in my book. Rosie’s a bit of a tippler.

3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (review): There’s a dog in this book! He’s dead though, so don’t get too excited. A good book with a fascinating protagonist.

4. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (review): This book, you guys! I know, I know, I rave about it ALL THE TIME. But it’s still super fantastic. And really not about wolves, except maybe metaphorically. Who cares, though? There’s a really awesome teapot!

5. Frog Music by Emma Donogue (review): It’s a rare book indeed that can combine historical fiction, cross dressing, prostitution, and hunting frogs. Just another reason Emma Donoghue is the coolest.

animalcrackers1

6. Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan: Among the things I learned from this book? What a C-Pap mask is, and the side effects of an enlarged prostate. Neither of these have anything to do with the story, of course, though that was plenty interesting too. If I can get a good story and trivia out of a book, it’s a big win.

7. Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls: So you think you want to be a cowboy/cowgirl? Read this real-life novel and you might re-think that. They NEVER wash their jeans. Ever.

8. Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson (review): Not a monkey to be found on Monkey Beach. Canada is too cold for that sort of thing. Lots of interesting discussion of fish grease though.

9. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris: There are all sorts of animals in this book! Animals that talk and do offensive things using offensive language. It is, in a word, glorious.

animalcrackers

 

Alright Bookworms, I’m SURE I’ve missed BUNCHES of animal titles. Help me fill in the blanks, here!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I’ll use it to buy animal crackers because they sound delicious right about now.*

Divider

Oct 20

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H Winters

Audio Books, Classics, Humor 19

Yo Ho Ho, Bookworms!

If I were to write up a personal ad, I would list some of my “likes” as Jane Austen, pirate lingo, audio books, and penguins. Obviously penguins. Because my library rocks my world, I was able to obtain an audio copy of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H Winters. It’s the Austen story you remember with a steampunk twist… And man-eating sea creatures, naturally.

senseandsensibilityandseamonstersElinor and Marianne Dashwood are, as in the original Sense and Sensibility , lovely girls of extremely modest fortune thanks to their greedy brother and his nasty wife. Of course, in this version of the story, the Dashwood patriarch was taken out by a sea beast. For some reason, all the creatures in the ocean are now PISSED at humanity and seek ways of destroying it at all costs. Because why not? Thanks to their want of fortune, the very worthy Dashwood ladies are not much favored in their search for suitable husbands (despite Elinor’s MAD SKILLS at carving driftwood.) Heartbreak happens. Healing happens. PENGUIN THEMED WEDDINGS happen.

It’s probably only because I listened to Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (review) in fairly rapid succession (as opposed to the gap of several years between when I read the originals), but it occurs to me that perhaps Ms. Austen had her heart broken by a cad whose name began with a “W.” Wickham, Willoughby… That can’t be a coincidence can it?

This book had the funniest descriptions of an evil ocean ever. I mean, “great burbling salt cauldrons of death”?! That is glorious. Truly though, the absolute best thing about this book was Colonel Brandon with a squid face. Sure, there were sexual innuendos, endless creative descriptions of a treacherous sea, an underwater colony, and glorified pirates absconding with native women to keep as wives, but giving Colonel Brandon tentacles was a stroke of pure genius.

If you’re an Austen purist, you’ll probably hate this book every bit as much as you’d hate Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesIf, though, you don’t consider Ms. Austen’s work beyond the realm of satire, you should definitely give these books a try. They are so much fun!

Talk to me Bookworms! What are some of the “likes” you’d put in YOUR personal ad? (You can tell how long it’s been since I’ve been in the dating game, because I’m pretty sure “personal ads” as such no longer exist. Pretend it’s Match-Harmony-Cupid-Face or whatever.)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

Divider

Oct 17

Six Degrees of Separation: 1984

Six Degrees of Separation 11

How goes it, Bookworms?

I’m pretty excited today, because I’m jumping back into one of the coolest memes in the book blogosphere. That’s right. The Six Degrees of Separation meme (hosted by Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman) chose 1984 as their jump-off point this month, and, well, I couldn’t NOT participate. Big Brother would be displeased. (I fear Big Brother! Truly, I do. Especially the reality show. I don’t get it.)

sixdegrees11. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (review): I don’t have to have GOOD reasons to link books together, do I? I borrowed my college roommate’s copy of 1984 and it had one large blue eye on the cover of it. I just don’t read that many books that feature eyeballs as cover art. It made an impression. Thus my decision to link to The Bluest Eye

2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (review): My reasoning here is twofold. First, The Bluest Eye is an intense discussion of the difficulties of life faced by African American women… And incest. Much like The Color Purple. Seriously heartbreaking stories, the both of them. Also, though, they’ve got colors in their titles. It makes me think of my reading rainbow. I love that rainbow… Siiigh. Speaking of rainbows…

3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (review): Man, do I love Rainbow Rowell, and not only because her name is FABULOUS. Her books are fabulous, too. Attachments was her first novel, and I feel like it doesn’t get enough love. It’s the sweetest little novel about a couple who falls in love through mild internet stalking. Swoon. Also, the leading man in Attachments is named Lincoln, which leads me to…

sixdegrees1984

4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith: I don’t know what it is about putting historical figures and/or classic literary characters into bizzaro situations that makes me so happy, but oh it does! I don’t find it irreverent, I find it wonderful. Well, it’s also irreverent, but I love it. Hence, I’m brought to the next book on my list…

5. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H Winters (review): I loved the crap out of this book. It was just so innovative. I mean, sea monsters?! Steampunk underground cities? Swarthy pirates right and left? I couldn’t help myself. One of my favorite elements of this book was that a lot of the respectable wives of the respectable gents were actually kidnapped natives from deserted islands. A fitting metaphor for certain arranged marriages, no? The culinary delights provided by some of these former island princesses put me in mind of the lovely fare J Maarten Troost encountered on his travels through the South Pacific which leads me to…

6. Headhunters on My Doorstep by J Maarten Troost (review): J Maarten Troost has adventures so you don’t have to. This book had me laughing so many times, I just can’t help but demand that people pick up some Troost. Next time you think it’s a good idea to move to an equatorial atoll, think again. It’s a wild ride, y’all. Gooooood times.

6degreesnew

 

And there you have it! Dystopian England to the equatorial atolls of the South Pacific in 6 easy steps! Have I mentioned I love this meme?!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

Divider

Oct 16

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Fairy Tales, Historical Fiction 26

Bookworms, Bookworms, let down your hair!

I’m eeeeeeeevil and have locked you in a tower and forced you to grow your hair to unimaginable lengths that don’t occur in nature and now I want to use it as a rope, damnit! Heck yes, y’all, I just finished reading Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, a re-telling of Rapunzel. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration through NetGalley. May I be locked in a tower if this review is untrue.*

bittergreensBitter Greens begins with a note about how the folk tale Rapunzel originally surfaced in Italy but its best known published version appeared in France. What follows is Forsyth’s imagining of how the tale managed to travel. It gives a fictionalized account of the life of the French author, Charlotte-Rose de la Force as well as a creative interpretation of Rapunzel’s origin story.

Charlotte-Rose was a courtier in Louis XIV’s lavish and fickle court. After a series of scandals, Charlotte-Rose is, for all intents and purposes, disposed of in a poverty ridden convent. Out of sight, out of mind, no? Her greatest love was writing, but even that is denied to her inside the cloisters. It certainly doesn’t help anything that Charlotte-Rose was raised a Huguenot and was forced to convert to Catholicism… And then, you know, unceremoniously dumped in a convent. Bad form, Louis.

In any case, Charlotte-Rose is in a bit of a pickle, but comes to befriend Sœur Seraphina who comes to teach her the glories of gardening and shares her stories. What story do you think she starts with?! Why, a young maiden locked in a tower with a ginormous length of hair, of course!

Fairy tale retellings can be a bit hit or miss for me, but Bitter Greens was a big hit. It had all my favorite historical fiction elements; I felt like I was IN these times. And there was plague. MUAHAHAHAHA! Really though, the best part of this novel from my perspective was that the witch got a fantastically developed back story. I like my villains to have depth, and Selena Leonelli was one complex lady. If you like historical fiction, fairy tales, and interwoven storylines, Bitter Greens is your book, y’all!

Alright Bookworms, let’s talk villains! Who’s your favorite fairy tale villain? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will NOT be using it on hair extensions, because at the moment, long hair seems incredibly over-rated.*

Divider

Oct 14

I Want to Go To There: Top Ten Tuesday

Uncategorized 36

G’day Bookworms!

It’s Tuesday again and today I’ve got an especially fun list to treat you with. The ladies of The Broke and the Bookish have challenged us to list places we’d like to visit (fictional or otherwise) because books got us utterly hooked on the locales. Pack your bags, Bookworms, we’re going on an adventure! (My photoshop skills suuuuuuuck. But you’re welcome.)

TTT travel

1. Hogwarts from The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling- located somewhere in Scotland (more on this later), the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry is where I feel I belong. I’d be a Ravenclaw and spend my time solving riddles and chatting up the Grey Lady. Pass the pumpkin juice, would you?

katiechang

I’ve got an owl, y’all!

2. Elmwood Springs, MO from Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven (and others) by Fannie Flagg- Ooooh Fannie Flagg! She created the sweetest small town in the history of EVER in Elmwood Springs, Missouri. It’s practically Stars Hollow, only, you know, south.

3. Neverland from Peter and Wendy by JM Barrie (review)- Oh I’d go to Neverland alright. And I’d join the dang pirates because Peter Pan is actually a complete jerk. Wendy stays home and does housekeeping and goes on approximately ZERO adventures. Ugh.

KatieHook

Arrrrrr!

4. Mary Poppins’ chalk painting from Mary Poppins by PL Travers (review)- The movie version of this scene is significantly more whimsical, but I’d accept the book version gladly as well. A jolly holiday indeed!

katiepoppins

Four guesses as to why this is my favorite scene in the movie.

5. Wonderland from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll- I have but one goal in mind. I want to attend a tea party with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. I have every intention of avoiding any and all royalty.

katiealice

A very merry un-birthday to me!

6. Oz from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum- So there’s a lot of upheaval and chaos and craziness, but I wouldn’t mind a jaunty trip down the Yellow Brick Road.

katiegale

There’s no place like home.

7. Scotland- I want to go to Scotland and it’s all Diana Gabaldon’s fault! It’s the only non-fictional locale on my list, but ooooh I want to visit so badly! On a short study abroad to London in college, I tasted Irn Bru and didn’t hate it. AND, because I’m a nutcase I’ve been re-listening to the Outlander books on audio, so my inner monologue currently sports a Scottish brogue. I would like to see all the things and frolic through the heather. Frolicking rules. (Alright so maybe it’s not ALL Diana Gabaldon’s fault… I was in a production of Brigadoon in high school, too. My travel dreams are swathed in tartan plaid.)

katiefraser

It’s cool. Hubs and I have an arrangement. If I fall back in time and meet a super hot Scotsman, he’s free to pursue the Hollywood starlet of his choosing.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Where have you wanted to travel, thanks to a book? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

Divider

Oct 13

Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson

Coming of Age, Psychological 7

Greetings Bookworms!

You may have noticed over the past month or so that I’ve been on a little bit of a Native American author kick. Since it’s been such an awesome ride so far, when I was contacted by Open Road Media to check out Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson, I jumped at the offer. *I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration. This in no way reflects opinions expressed on the novel.*

monkeybeachMonkey Beach centers on a Native American family in British Columbia. (I can still say Native American when referring to native peoples who reside in what is now Canada, right? I mean, the US kind of bogarted the term “American” despite the fact that there are TWO FULL CONTINENTS who have a claim on it.)

20 year old Lisamarie Hill had a crazy childhood. She finds herself reliving her life’s journey in a speedboat while she travels to meet her parents in the place her brother Jimmy went missing (and is presumed drowned.) The Haisla community Lisa hails from has seen its own share of trials including alcoholism, poverty, domestic violence. and untimely deaths. Lisa’s own predicament is complicated by the fact that she deals not only in the physical world, but the spiritual world as well. She doesn’t understand her “gift” and struggles to reconcile Haisla traditions with contemporary Canadian life.

This book was pretty intense. I mean, what IS IT with the Native American authors bringing the pain? Travelling back and forth between Lisa’s past and present was a bit jarring, but I think it stylistically served to demonstrate how scattered Lisa is feeling while reeling from yet another potential loss. Robinson also has some mad skills with describing scenery. I felt like I could see the beaches and channels and forests described in this novel. Plus the cuisine? I mean, I can’t say that I’m aching to try oolichan grease, but you’ve got to respect a writer who can describe fish grease, soapberry foam, and the intricacies of blueberry picking and make it INTERESTING. Respect.

If you’re looking for a book to break your heart and teach you more than you ever really wanted to know about fish grease, Monkey Beach is where it’s at!

Talk to me Bookworms! What’s the last gut-wrenching book you tackled?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

Divider

Oct 10

The Bird Is the Word (An Idiosyncratic Lit List)

Idiosyncratic Lit List 30

Tweet tweet, Bookworms!

It feels like there’s something missing in my life, and that something is a nonsensical book list. In the spirit of doing things just for the heck of it, I’ve compiled a list of books for y’all today that include birds in the title. Because why the heck not?

idiosyncraticlitlist

 1. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (review 1, review 2)- Fake Spoiler Alert: It’s not about a bird. Well, not a literal bird anyway. It’s about Jesuits in space. And aliens. It’s awesome.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- Fake Spoiler Alert: It’s not about killing mockingbirds, much to the chagrin of every cat meme on the internet. It’s actually about civil rights and non scummy lawyers and neighborhood weirdos.

3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (review)- Okay, you guys, this book ACTUALLY has a bird in it. Ha! I’m lying again. It does have a portrait of a bird, though, and the greatest ne’er-do-well to grace the pages of modern literature. BORIS, I love you.

4. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (review)- Man, I am good at picking books with birds in the title that have very little to do with birds, aren’t I? The only owl to appear in this book is taxidermy, but you guys, it’s a DAVID SEDARIS book and therefore hilarious and wonderful.

5. A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin- Dark wings, dark words, kids. Ravens are the cool birds in Westeros, what with their message carrying and all, but crows like to hang out and pick at carrion, too. And, let’s face it, there’s a lot of carrion to be picking at in Westeros by book 4, you know what I’m saying?

bird1

6. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (review)- You didn’t really think I was going to make a list dedicated to birds and not list a book about penguins did you? Silly, silly bookworms! This is among my all time favorite whimsical children’s books. I sent my “nephew” a copy. When he was 3. And unable to read. I just get REALLY EXCITED about books.

7. A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg (review)- I love Fannie Flagg, some books more than others. This wasn’t my favorite of hers, but you know. I like Christmas. I like books with birds in the title.

8. Leonardo’s Swans by Karen Essex- I love me some hist-ART-ical fiction, and this book went back to the Italian Renaissance to get inside the lives of some of DaVinci’s subjects.

9. Wild Swans by Jung Chang- Swans again? Heck yes! This book is AMAZING and it’s about the lives and journeys of three women in China. It’s intense and true and you should read it and learn things. It’s non-fiction and worth all the brain power.

10. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood- A crake is a bird, y’all. A dude who calls himself “Crake” after an extinct bird in the future and goes on to mastermind a new race of sentient beings while bringing about the destruction of humanity is a mad scientist. Subtle distinction.

bird2

 

I’m sure I’ve missed many a bird. What are your favorite books with birds in the title, Bookworms? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I’ll use it to feed the birds. Tuppence a bag, you say?*

Sorry, I had to.

Sorry, I had to.

Divider

Oct 09

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Contemporary Fiction, Friendship 20

Hi ho, Bookworms!

If you’re anything like me, you accumulate books faster than you can read them. I don’t suppose it helps that I enter giveaways on other blogs, but I have a severe weakness for free books. A few months ago I won a copy of Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen from Bookalicious Mama and it taunted me from my bedside table with its pretty cover mercilessly. I finally got around to reading it, and I’m SO GLAD I did!

lost lakeOur heroine Kate recently “woke up” from mourning the loss of her husband. She’s been going through the motions for a solid year and has only just managed to muster the will to participate in life again. While clearing out some detritus to prepare for a move, Kate and her daughter Devin (a budding fashionista, with an eccentric sense of style) find an old post card reminding Kate of the summer she spent at her great aunt’s cabin resort, Lost Lake.

Kate’s re-awakening came with a healthy dose of “carpe diem” so she loads Devin into the car and sets off for rural Georgia to seek out some R&R in the serene environment. Kate’s Aunt Eby is thrilled to see her long lost niece, but Lost Lake is on the verge of closing up shop. Eby, Kate, and a few regular guests set out to make Lost Lake’s final summer one to remember. A little romance, a little magic, and a healthy dash of Southern fried fun make Lost Lake a wonderful escape.

This book is utterly charming and heartwarming. Sarah Addison Allen puts together a cast of quirky characters that can’t be beat (and you know how much I LOVE quirky characters, especially when some of them are cranky old women. It makes my inner Mildred positively gleeful.) I read this tasty morsel in a single day. If you need a little escape from reality, Lost Lake is as refreshing as a cold glass of sweet tea.

Tell me, dear Bookworms. Do you enjoy books that offer an escape?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will use it to take a flipping vacation!*

Divider