Nov 07

Bookish Q&A: Stuck in the Middle

Blogging, Personal, Q&A 17

Helloooooo Bookworms!

I know you were incredibly disappointed that I didn’t quite finish my Bookish Q&A a while back, so I’m picking up where I left off. I can feel the excitement radiating through the internet. Tangible thrills, y’all.

22. Favorite genre: This is a tough question for a dabbler like myself. I do enjoy a bit of everything, but I think historical fiction elements tend to run through a lot of my favorites.
 
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did): I’m not one to think, “Man, I wish I read more self-help books” and then not read any self-help books. I don’t read self-help books because I just plain don’t wanna!
 
24. Favorite biography: I really dig memoirs as opposed to full on biographies. I like them funny, so Bossypants by Tina Fey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson are some of my super favorites (reviews).

mindy
25. Have you read a self-help book (and was it helpful)? Oh, number 25. You should see number 23. Actually, when I was in high school I did read a book on getting in touch with my own psychic powers. I’m even less psychic than Professor Trelawney, as it happens. Although I am uncannily good at guessing the sexes of unborn babies. I have a significantly better than 50/50 average.
 
26. Favorite cook book: My mother-in-law made me a cookbook for my bridal shower. It’s a binder that includes all the family recipes. It’s pretty much the only cookbook I use (well, that and the cookbook my sister-in-law used as her wedding favors, but there’s a lot of overlap there.) I’m not much of a cook, but I can make a mean apple crisp. Oh, and I’ve managed to perfect the cream caramels by sheer force of will. Candy is finicky, but I can do it… With a digital candy thermometer. And low humidity.
 
27. The most inspirational book you’ve read this year: I think I’m going to give it to Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (review). It made me feel good about humanity and gave me all the warm fuzzies.
 
28. Favorite reading snack: Is it weird that I don’t typically eat while I read? I mean, I love to eat (so, so much!) but I’m bad at multitasking when appendages are involved. I sometimes read while eating on my lunch breaks, I guess, but that’s not so much a snack as like “oh, I’m going to eat this soup now because I’m the kind of person who eats a lot of soup.”

You can bet I'd take pains to follow procedure.

You can bet I’d take pains to follow procedure.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience: Hmmm… I wouldn’t say the hype necessarily RUINED anything for me, but The Goldfinch (review) and We Were Liars (review) didn’t live up to my expectations. I didn’t hate them, they were just a bit of a let down, you know?

30. How often do you agree with the critics about a book? LOL! Ooooh critics. Um, pretty rarely, I think. Traditional critics tend to favor literary fiction of the stylistic variety… I’m much more a story/character reader, so I find a lot of critical darlings to be a snooze-fest. Plus, you know, I unabashedly love oodles of books that are NEVER going to win big impressive prizes. If I want to love a romantic series whose plots rely heavily on kidnapping and time travel, I’m going to do it with no apologies! (Seriously, there is SO MUCH kidnapping/captivity in the Outlander series. I don’t even care.)

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? Well, you know, I really love being an asshole, so… No really. I don’t like giving negative reviews, but I’m not going to lie and say I liked something if I didn’t.
 
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which would it be? Ooooh good question! Realistically, I stand the most chance of being able to read in Spanish as I studied the language in school, but since we’re playing hypotheticals here, I think it’d be nice to read in French.
 
33. Most intimidating book I’ve ever read: Speaking of French, I think Les Miserables is the most intimidating book I’ve ever read AND liked. Amazing.

gavroche  
34. Most intimidating book I’m to nervous to begin: I’m a whole lot of intimidated by The Count of Monte Cristo for some reason. I think it’s the sheer size of the thing, but I have a feeling it’s a book I’ll enjoy.

35. Favorite Poet: I don’t really like poetry as a general rule… Unless it’s Emily Dickinson. I love that crazy broad.
 
36. How many books do you generally have checked out of the library at a given time? Since I do the majority of my library-ing digitally, I typically only take out one book at a time.
 
37. How often do you return books to the library unread? Rarely. The whole one book at a time thing really helps with that.
 
38. Favorite fictional character: Good gracious, I feel you’ve asked me to choose a favorite child! I am far too attached to far too many fictional characters to answer this, I’m sorry!
 
39. Favorite fictional villain: Oooh tough call. I’m really quite fond of The Hound from the Song of Ice and Fire series.

thehoundWhew! These surveys are intense and I’m STILL not done. No worries, kids. You’ll see a part 3 one of these days, I promise. What about you, Bookworms? Pick a question, any question. I want to know your thoughts. 

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

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Nov 06

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK is a saucy minx)

Audio Books, Mystery 23

Howdy Bookworms!

It will come as no surprise to my regular readers that I don’t typically go in for thrillers and mysteries. I do, however, go in for all things JK Rowling. If I didn’t know that Robert Galbraith was JK Rowling incognito, the odds of me ever picking up The Cuckoo’s Calling were nil. Luckily, someone leaked Robert Galbraith’s identity, and I’m confirmed in my suspicions that JK Rowling can write anything. I’m also confirmed in my suspicions that my library’s selection of digital audio books is completely awesome.

thecuckoo'scallingThe Cuckoo’s Calling begins by introducing a down-on-his-luck private detective named Cormoran Strike. After having his leg blown off in Afghanistan, he left his military career behind and went out on his own to decidedly disappointing effect. He’s just split up with his emotional roller coaster of a fiance and he owes money to just about everyone and their mom. It’s almost cliche, really, but somehow it stays out of of kitschy place. Just as Strike is on the verge of complete collapse, he’s visited by the distraught brother of a recently deceased supermodel. Though Lula Landry’s death has been ruled a suicide by the police, John Bristow begs Strike to investigate the case. He simply doesn’t believe his adoptive sister jumped to her death from her apartment balcony. He thinks foul play must be involved.

I can’t help but think that Rowling’s own fame influenced the way she portrayed the paparazzi-hounded Lula Landry. I imagine press coverage has died down a bit since Harry Potter has been a (mostly) a closed book in recent years, but I think that insight was helpful in imagining what super A-list celebrities deal with on a daily basis.

I should probably dabble in thrillers more often, because I found this book quite a lot of fun. Dark and twisty characters, mysterious motives, scandals, and a lovely variety of English accents? (Did I mention the narrator was brilliant?) What’s not to love? A colorful cast of quirky characters and varying degrees of dastardly behaviors made The Cuckoo’s Calling a winner for me. It also made me happy that I’m not obscenely wealthy and constantly photographed. I would TOTALLY end up on the cover of a tabloid picking a wedgie… Or my nose. Siiigh.

Talk to me, Bookworms! If you were a celebrity, what embarrassing situation would you most likely be caught in?

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

 

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Nov 04

Literary Love Connection: The Brooding and The Obsessive

Literary Love Connection 16

Hello Bookworms and Welcome to Literary Love Connection!

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Today’s Bachelorette is Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (review). Scarlett enjoys being admired, flouting social mores, and romantic espionage. She spends her free time ruminating on her beauty and obsessing over The One That Got Away And Ended Up With A Much Better Wife Despite Being A Giant Weenie.

 Today’s Bachelor is Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (review). Heathcliff enjoys brooding, nefarious plotting, and revenge. He spends his free time acquiring wealth in order to shame those who have hurt him and obsessing over The One That Got Away Because She Was Shallow And Lived Miserably Ever After.

Date Takes Place at a Ball in Atlanta, Mid-Waltz.

Scarlett: Most of my beaux have proposed by this point in the evening. I hear you have a large estate?

Heathcliff: I was adopted into a wealthy family but treated like a peasant. I’ve since acquired a vast amount of wealth, and used it to torment those who once persecuted me.

Scarlett: I do admire a man with gumption. Not as much as I admire Ashley, but he’s been damaged goods since the war. Can you BELIEVE he chose that dowdy Melanie over me?

Heathcliff: Don’t speak to me of thwarted love! Why, my Catherine. Whatever our two souls were made of, hers and mine were the same. And yet! I had no name or fortune to offer her and she spurned me. Now it’s naught but misery, MISERY, I tell you!

Scarlett: Misery? Well, I’ll think about that tomorrow. But this money you have. Do you think you’d be interested in investing in a gorgeous plantation? My father was Irish, I don’t suppose it would matter that much if my new husband were to be a Brit.

Heathcliff: Damn you, woman! I did not offer you marriage!

Scarlett: Fiddle dee dee! You can’t resist this.

Heathcliff: Take your damnable bustle elsewhere, witch! And by elsewhere, I mean to my carriage. Let us away!

llcscarheath

 

Yes, Bookworms. Scarcliff just happened. SorryNotSorry. Are there any other fictional characters you’d like to see hooked up? Tell me about it in the comments!

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

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Nov 03

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

Historical Fiction, World War II 17

Ahoy Bookworms!

One of my favorite things about reading, particularly when I read historical fiction, is learning new things. I mean, you THINK you know all there is to know about WWII and its aftermath and BAM. Something new. Did you have any idea that enough Australian women married British service members to necessitate a post-war trip hauling 650+ war brides to England in an aircraft carrier? And that was just ONE of the ships. Thank you, Jojo Moyes, for teaching me these things. *And thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a complimentary copy of The Ship of Brides for review consideration.*

shipofbridesThe Ship of Brides focuses on four Australian war brides who are making the pilgrimage to England aboard the Victoria. Everyone on board (brides and crew) are held to strict behavioral standards. Let’s face it, attempting to keep hundreds of young brides who haven’t seen their husbands in ages (and who likely didn’t know them all that well to begin with) AND hundreds of young sailors who just finished fighting a war to keep their hands off each other was going to require some discipline, you know?

Margaret, Frances, Avice, and Jean end up being bunk mates. Margaret is enormously pregnant and facing a new life on a new continent with a husband she barely knows, AND motherhood. Jean is all of 16 years old. She’s flippant, flirty, and a bit of a party gal. Avice is an uber snob from a fancy schmancy family. She spends her time looking down her nose at everyone and making me want to smack her. Frances was a nurse during the war and has a past full of SECRETS, I tell you! These four are stuck together on a boat, sharing a tiny room, in equatorial heat for SIX WEEKS. I’ll let you imagine that cesspool for a minute and then try to figure out just how well they all got along, mkay?

So, you know I love Jojo Moyes. I’ve read and enjoyed Me Before You (review), The Girl You Left Behind (review), Silver Bay (review), and One Plus One (review). I liked The Ship of Brides overall… It’s just that my Jojo Moyes standards are SO HIGH. The book started out kind of slowly for me and I found it dragged a bit. Then all the juicy tidbits were stuffed into the last few pages. It’s a great story, I just thought the pacing could have been better. Still, if you like historical fiction, WWII, or Jojo Moyes, you should DEFINITELY check this out!

Talk to me Bookworms. Since this book takes place on a boat, why NOT talk about cruises? Have any of you been? Do you recommend them? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Maybe I’ll hoard the cash and buy a cruise.*

 

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Nov 01

It’s TOTES Time for a GIVEAWAY!

Giveaways 7

Howdy Howdy, Bookworms!

It’s that time again! The Literary Blog Hop (hosted by the lovely Judith of Leeswames’ Blog) is upon us and I have some AWESOME free stuff for you to win… If you live in the US. (Sorry, internationals, shipping is evil. Next time I promise I’ll do an international giveaway, k? There are still tons of international giveaways in the blog hop though, so be sure to scroll down and do some clicking!)

literarybloghopnovember14

On offer today is this SWEET tote bag featuring the cutest penguin on the internet! You’ll also get a *very* gently used hardcover copy of Anthony Breznican’s novel Brutal Youth (review). Are you excited?! I know I am!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Check out all the other giveaways HERE!

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self (N. Am.)
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  17. The Emerald City Book Review
  18. Wensend
  1. Laurie Here
  2. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  3. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  4. I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  5. Lost Generation Reader
  6. Books Speak Volumes
  7. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  8. Books on the Table (US)
  9. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  10. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  11. Words And Peace (US)
  12. Booklover Book Reviews
  13. Inside the Secret World of Allison Bruning (US)

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

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Oct 31

‘Salem’s Lot: The Fellowship of the Worms is Traumatized by Stephen King

Book Club, Vampires 11

Happy Halloween, grim grinning Bookworms!

Halloween Katoo

The penguin wanted to come in costume.

I am super stoked today! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I LOVE handing out candy to the oodles of Trick-Or-Treaters who come through our neighborhood. Today is extra super spooktacular because OMG THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE WORMS! This month we tackled a classic Stephen King tome, ‘Salem’s Lot. WARNING: We will be discussing the WHOLE book. This will no doubt include SPOILERS. If you did not read the book and would like to participate, pick up a copy of ‘Salem’s Lot and give it a read. This post will be here waiting for you when you finish. Now that the particulars are out of the way, I’ll remind you of the premise here. I’ll pose questions in bold and answer them in regular type.  If you don’t want your opinions influenced by my rantings, stick to the bold first. Feel free to answer them in the comments, or if you’re so inclined, leave a comment linking to your review of ‘Salem’s Lot on your own blog! I fully encourage shameless self promotion, so if you’ve reviewed this don’t hesitate to get your link on.

 1. Was this book as frightening as you anticipated?

No! I have been such a chicken about Stephen King for so long I fully expected to need to use my penguin nightlight on the regular. I found the book rather soporific, actually, it took me longer to read than usual because I kept conking out. At first I thought I’d just been desensitized by The Walking Dead but then I remembered I’d been watching the show before I read World War Z (review) and The Passage (review) and they BOTH scared the pants off me. I mean, they didn’t scare me as much as books about ghosts and evil spirits would have (I don’t believe in vampires and zombies. The others? Let’s just say I’m a bit on the terrified eccentric side.) Still. I was surprised by my relative lack of fright while reading this.

2. Did you have any nightmares while reading ‘Salem’s Lot?'salem's lot

I’m happy to report I had but one nightmare during the reading of this book, in which a childhood friend who is currently living in Europe was killed under suspicious circumstances. I’m not entirely sure I can attribute it to the book at all, as I don’t believe vampires were involved in her demise, but whatever. (Don’t worry, I emailed her about the dream just in case I’m psychic and told her to be careful. I’m sure she loved that. Right, Mary?)

 3. What’s your favorite part of vampire lore that was incorporated into ‘Salem’s Lot?

The piece of vampire lore that makes me feel better about the whole thing is that you HAVE to invite them into your home for them to get to you. Depending on the novel, this invitation clause isn’t always in play, but I feel safer when it is. I know they have hypnotic eyeballs or whatever, but shoot. I don’t even answer the door for my incredibly nice neighbors delivering holiday decorating prizes.

4. Young Mark Petrie’s parents dismiss the warnings from Ben, Dr. Cody, and Father Callahan as hokum. How long do you think it would take YOU to believe a vampire apocalypse was taking place? If this weird crew showed up at your house, how would you react?

I’m a chicken. Have I mentioned that?  I think I’d have a hard time dismissing a doctor, writer, priest, AND my own child, but I mean, a vampire infestation is a tough story to swallow. King described the town feeling super creepy and evil, and people kept going missing… I think given the circumstances I might be persuaded. Although, if face-to-face with Barlow, I’m afraid my cross might stop glowing too. Yikes!

5. Alright Bookworms, what’s the overall verdict on this one? What did you think, all-in-all?

I know this sounds ridiculous coming from ME of all people, but I was disappointed that this book didn’t frighten me! I mean, Stephen King, yo! I had EXPECTATIONS! I enjoyed it on the whole except for one thing. The copy of the book I got from the library tacked a bunch of deleted scenes onto the end of my copy… Only, I didn’t realize what they were at first. I mean, I thought everything ended at the epilogue, but then there was all this extra stuff and I got confused about the timeline of events. If I discount the confusion toward the end, though, it was certainly a Halloween appropriate read, and I should probably be grateful I was still able to sleep!

If you’ve reviewed ‘Salem’s Lot on your own blog or have tackled the discussion questions, please link up! I’m all kinds of interested in what y’all thought!

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

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Oct 30

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Audio Books, Fantasy, Frightening 31

Greetings Bookworms!

I love this time of year. Autumn and pumpkins and baked goods and Halloween? Fall as a season is clearly a conspiracy of the universe to distract us mere mortals from the fact that WINTER IS COMING. (Thanks a lot, Ned Stark!) It’s a wonderful time of year to curl up with a book (or ten) and a nice warm cup of something nice and warm. (Cider? Cocoa? Coffee? Tea? Insert your beverage of choice.) Some books just go better with the season than others, though, and Neil Gaiman is a force to be reckoned with.

theoceanattheendofthelaneI recently finished listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane as an audio book. It was narrated by Neil Gaiman himself. Holy crap, you guys! The man’s voice is so delicious I may never physically read another one of his novels. I just want to listen to Neil Gaiman read me bedtime stories. I swear that’s not as creepy as it sounds…

The Ocean at the End of the Lane begins with a middle-aged man returning to his hometown to attend a funeral. He is mysteriously drawn to a farm at the end of the road on which he once lived and is suddenly inundated with memories.

Forty years ago when our narrator was a 7-year-old boy, a boarder who was living in his home committed suicide. The suicide set off a chain of events both supernatural and unbelievable. The man begins to remember his friendship with the mysterious and remarkable Lettie Hempstock and her curious mother and grandmother.

I want to say Neil Gaiman is the master of this sort of speculative, supernatural, dreamlike fiction, but that seems wrong. Gaiman’s work is so unique that it’s practically a genre unto itself. Every time I finish one of his books, I feel like I’m waking up from a bizarre dream, equal parts nightmare and fantasy. If that description appeals to you in the slightest, go find the nearest Gaiman novel and start reading.

Tell me, Bookworms. Do you often remember your dreams? I find that mine are odd, vivid, and typically anxious. I’m wondering if that’s normal or if I’ve got more problems than I imagined. 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I can only hope it won’t present itself as a coin stuck in my throat in the middle of the night…*

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Oct 28

Trick Or Treat! (Top Ten Tuesday)

Top Ten Tuesday 27

Hello BOOkworms!

It’s Tuesday my little darlings, and you know what that means! We’re going to do some listing! The crew at The Broke and the Bookish have challenged the blogosphere to list books that get them in the Halloween Spirit. It’s been WELL established that I’m a weenie when it comes to scary books, but as it happens, I’ve managed to collect a handful of titles over the years. They’re mostly vampire and zombie novels, as I can only handle the extremely fictional, but it should be fun nonetheless. Ready?

TTT TrickorTreat

1. The Passage by Justin Cronin (review): It starts out slow, but this book packs a whole lot of heebie jeebies! It’s like vampires meet zombies meet abject terror. Honestly, I’m still a little creeped out by shopping malls…

2. World War Z by Max Brooks (review): Ooooh boy. I think I had more nightmares while reading this book than any other, ever. Totally worth it though. Zombies!

3. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (review): Neil Gaiman is the master of creepy atmosphere without hitting nightmare territory. I could have chosen any number of his books, but I think Neverwhere is my favorite so far. You should read it!

4. Feed by Mira Grant (review): Zombies plus blogging plus pop culture references equeals amazing. That’s some highly scientific literary math for you right there.

5. Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates (review): I rarely read books about scary things that ACTUALLY exist. I picked this up based on the title. I did not get zombies. I got a psycho killer instead. Eeep!

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6. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: This is a super creepy travel vampire mystery. That’s totally a genre. Seriously though, it has a lovely dovetail with the next book on my list!

7. Dracula by Bram Stoker (review): The original vampire novel! I feel like it would be silly to go into more detail here, I mean, it’s friggin Dracula!

8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (review): Atmosphere with a capital A! Find me a creepier house than Manderley, I dare you!

9. The Stand by Stephen King (review): I don’t care if it’s not one of his more monster-centric books, this is CHILLING. If you’re already panicking about Ebola, though, you might want to enjoy this one with some Xanax or something.

10. ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King: Have you read it yet?! We’re going to discuss this bad boy on HALLOWEEN with the Fellowship of the Worms, and you KNOW that’s going to be a good time.

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Chime in Bookworms, what are some of your favorite Halloween spirit books?!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will use it to purchase ALL THE GARLIC to keep the vampires at bay.*

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Oct 27

Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

Coming of Age 19

Greetings Bookworms!

Remember high school? I was an angsty teenager and I wouldn’t consider high school my “glory days” by any means. (Have I mentioned the ginormously baggy pants I used to wear?) That said, even when I was in high school, I managed to have fun sometimes. Sure I was rather morose and had questionable taste in cosmetics (I legit glued craft glitter to my eyelids using chapstick), but I certainly didn’t suffer any major trauma. Maybe that’s why Anthony Breznican’s novel Brutal Youth hit me like a ton of bricks. *I received a complimentary copy of this book in conjunction with a blog tour coordinated by Be Books Consulting.*

Brutal Youth CoverBrutal Youth focuses on the lives of three freshman enrolled in a troubled working class Catholic high school. The school has a long standing policy of hazing where the senior class torments the freshmen. Think Dazed and Confused, minus the bell-bottoms and the good-natured untertones. It’s intense.

Peter Davidek finds himself thrown in the tumult of St. Michaels and soon strikes up a friendship with fellow freshmen Noah Stein and Lorelei Paskal. The trio clings together in order to survive. With a culture of systemic bullying and corrupt leadership St. Michael’s is more like the seventh level of hell than the haven of godliness to which the devout parents imagined they were sending their children.

Bullying is such a hot topic these days. Though Brutal Youth was set in the 90s, I was shocked at the idea that a high school would condone any type of a hazing ritual, let alone a full year of cruelty. It’s a work of fiction, but there’s a disturbing truth about it as well. The environment in St. Michael’s is a psychological war zone, the strain of which puts friendships, love, and faith to the test.

Brutal Youth is not an easy read, but it is worthwhile. Of course, if you have kids about to start high school and don’t want to turn into a paranoid mess you should probably hold off on reading this one. (My mom used to watch 20/20 and become convinced that I was into a new dangerous fad every Friday night. She seemed to overlook the fact that I spent so much time in my bedroom brooding over boys who didn’t like me. Where would I have found the TIME for such illicit activities?) If, however, you don’t mind walking on the dark side, Brutal Youth gives you humanity in all its twisted broken glory.

Talk to me Bookworms. What’s the last truly disturbing book you read?

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

 

 

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Oct 24

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

Q&A 23

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.
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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? 
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