The Wonders

Circuses never held the fascination for me that they do for so many people. I’m not sure why–maybe because I was always “the weird one” or maybe because I’m more observant than most–I was always able to see beyond the sparkle and flash. Sure, I loved seeing the exotic animals, but they were in such tiny cages. And the elephants absolutely filled the tents.

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Because of this, I now love reading about the “backstage” of circuses, and seeing what really happens–even if fictionalized. The Night Circus is one of those really wonderful stores, and Paddy O’Reilly’s The Wonders is a similar, though modernized version.

Fans of Erin Morgenstern are going to love this book. O’Reilly spins a tale of 3 “Wonders”–modern day sideshow freaks, who in today’s society become celebrities. One is a medical phenomenon, one a medical miracle, and the third is a supreme body modification artist.

At first, I thought the story a little far-fetched. I’d never go pay that much money to go see The Wonders myself. But, then..I’m also not the average rube. In our reality-TV addicted society–this story is probably exactly what would happen.

I will say that the treatment of disabled advocacy groups in this book left a bad taste in my mouth. I understand the point that was being made–but I do think the author wobbles on a very fine tightrope where this subject is concerned.

Overall, this was a very good vacation read. It was entertaining, and something I could pick up and put down easily, without forgetting what was going on. The book was just released this week, so be sure to look for it if you are a fan of circuses, or something just a little bit different.

 

Disclaimer:  This ARC was provided to me via NetGalley.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I’ve touted my love of horror on this blog before:  Stephen King, Joe Hill, Thomas Harris. I did not expect to find it when I picked up Ray Bradbury, but I sure did. Something Wicked This Way Comes is old school horror at it’s finest.

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Set in quiet, classic little town, Bradbury’s novel is creepy from the very beginning. We have two young best friends, with birthdays at midnight on Halloween. A storm is coming quick, so says the lightning rod salesman, got to prepare!

Except that storm isn’t thunder and lightening. It’s a circus that comes in the middle of the night–which made me want to don my black and scarlet. Unfortunately, this isn’t Morgenstern’s circus, but something much more sinister.

There is a lot of philosophy in Bradbury’s book–most of it surrounding the concept of Death. The moral of this story is all about how you live your life, saving each moment in time. Death is nothing, an idealistic myth we’ve created so we don’t have to think about now.

It was interesting to read this immediately after reading Blackford’s book, because they were so closely related. I unintentionally gave myself a course in mortality philosophy. Funny how that works out sometimes, huh? And now I’m going to go play a little more George RR Martin’s game.

The Night Circus

Sometimes I will find a book that takes my breath away, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was one of those books. I read a majority of this all in one day–I was completely immersed in it and could not put it down.

The Night Circus

For lack of a better word, this book is absolutely magical. You will find yourself in a dreamlike world where you can picture everything that is happening in clear detail. I could smell the apples, and hear the calliope music. It was just perfectly written. I wanted to live in that black and white life, wear the gowns, feel the snow in the Ice Garden. I especially wanted to wander in Widget’s story tent and smell the bottles. I that one was my favorite. I’m a memory girl.

By the end of this book, I was turning pages so fast to find out what was going to happen that I’m surprised my eyes didn’t fall out. No disappointment here. Every bit of this story was fantastically drawing.

Go out and buy this one. Trust me, you will want it on your shelf. You will need to read it, put it back, and later glance up, see it, and reread it again. I know I will. Some day, I will want that dream again.