The Metamorphosis

Every once in a while I will read something that leaves me blinking. “What the fuck did I just read?!”

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Metamorphosis is one of those stories. I wasn’t prepared for it, either. Kafka’s “masterpiece” was smack dab in the middle of the short story collection I’m working through, and I got to it right before vacation.

If you haven’t read Kafka’s Metamorphosis yet–be prepared for wacky. I’m not sure if he was dreaming, or just stoned out of his ever loving mind. The main character is a guy that wakes up as a dung beetle.

Yes. You read that correctly.

A dung beetle.

His family basically closets him away, takes on boarders to cover the salary he made, and goes on feeding and caring for him. Um, hello? You have a giant cockroach living in your house, and you just go on assuming it is your brother. Okkkkkkkk……

 

As you can guess, I wasn’t a fan of this one. Yuck.

Rosemary’s Baby

It has been a little while since I’ve read a book that really gives me the heebeejeebees, but Ira Levin sure sent shivers down my spine with Rosemary’s Baby.

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I knew this was going to be a creepy one, just based on the movie clips I’ve seen, but holy damn the suspense in this book is so well written. I was a little skeptical about it at first, just because I don’t generally like books written in this time period, but I think that added to the uneasiness I felt while reading.

From the very beginning of the story, you know that something is very very wrong. Even though the couple is moving to what should be a much nicer apartment, you can’t help but screaming noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

I think we read too many books, guys. What do you think?

NAH!

Rosemary’s Baby is a classic horror story that is often referenced in pop culture, so I’m glad I’ll finally understand the references. I can see where a lot of modern thriller writers have pulled inspiration from. I probably won’t read the second book, though. I think it needs to end here.

 

Fulfills PopSugar #10:  A mystery or thriller

Seeker

Somewhere between the old world and the new, there’s a powerful magic that allows people who are wiser than most to travel beyond the normal world. These people are known as the Seekers, and they have been around for centuries, descending from the Druids. The magic is guarded by a strange triad known as The Dreads. The laws they hold are sacred…or at least they used to be.

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Unfortunately, in Arwen Elys Dayton’s new book, Seeker, modern selfishness has caught up to the remaining clan of Seekers, and things aren’t as they used to be. The legends are still there, much like our tales of chivalry in King Arthur’s Round Table. But what has happened to those sacred laws to make things go so awry?

This book is going to be immensely popular when it releases in February, I can tell you that right now. I’ve already heard people talking about the ARC, and every review I’ve seen has been a positive one.

Mine is also positive–though I did think the story lost a bit of strength in the middle. I think that’s just a mental block of mine though, because I always struggle a bit with the mixture of old world magic and guns. Add a cell phone in there and I just get really confused. I feel like this story should take place in 1315…not 2015 (or later).

But, other than that, I loved it. I shipped Quin and Shinobu from the very beginning. Get out of here John. No one wants you. And can I please have a whipsword for my birthday? Please please please?

Make sure you pick this up next month. I am not going to be surprised at all to see all of Booklr posting about it soon.

 

Received ARC for free from NetGalley

Fulfills PopSugar #11:  A book with a one-word title

72HR Read-A-Thon|Day One: Saturday, January 24

Create some book spine poetry!

These are always fun because they are such brain teasers. Most of my book titles are statements (comes with having so many Tom Clancys and John Grishams, I fear), so there are very few verbs! The poem that came out today is very militant, but interesting! It was also very precarious, balancing on such a small base!!

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Here’s the poem written out:

The red badge of courage:

Debt of honor.

The wise man’s fear–

Desperation.

RED RABBIT.

The summons,

the kill order.

The last Templar–

a feast for Crows.

72HR Read-A-Thon | TBR List & Reading Goals

The Lovely Sara over at Trees of Reverie is hosting a readathon this weekend, just in time for the 24 hour Readathon Day tomorrow. I’ve got a lot to do this weekend to get ready for our vacation, along with 3 hours of yoga (!!!!), but there’s going to be plenty of reading in there too.

I haven’t set a page goal, because I have so much going on, but I’d like to get through at least 2 books, maybe three, along with the normal shorts that I read on Fridays. Here’s what’s on the list:

My normal reading from James Joyce Dubliners and Short Story Fiction that I have planned today.

Books on the upcoming list:

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

 

I’ll also be doing the Daily Bookish Challenges that Sara posts, and I’ll probably be reading in some of the sprints that Becki posts too. You can always follow along on Twitter and Tumblr, you know I’m always active on those two sites during these events! Tomorrow is going to be a big reading day for the whole Booklr community, I can’t wait!

The Great Zoo of China

If you didn’t know this already, I am a big Michael Crichton fan. We own several of his books, so I’ve been working my way through them, and the ones that I read are completely thrilling. Prey and Next and OF COURSE Jurassic Park. I mean, he basically wrote the book on dinosaurs, right? Fiction anyway.

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So when I started reading The Great Zoo of China, and a crocodile expert gets invited to this brand new mysterious “Disneylandesque” park in China…of course my radar is going off like crazy. I’m practically screaming, “WE DID THIS ALREADY!!!!!!!”

And then the author goes and freaking references Jurassic Park. HELLO. How much more obvious can you get? We know your book is exactly like Michael Crichton’s. Please, give me something different.

Ok. So, there is something different, and awesome and fun about this book. I can’t really tell you what is different, because that will give away the surprise. And, I enjoyed the book…because it is reaaaaally similar to Michael Crichton…obviously. Any fans of his are going to enjoy this book too. You’re just going to be yelling the whole time because, well, you’ve seen this movie already.

Matthew Reilly’s book is for sure a page turner, and is full of action. The main character is a kick ass female too, which is always a plus. Even though it’s a familiar plot line, I still recommend it. It was a fun read, and I really liked the twist on an old favorite.

 

Disclaimer:  Received for free from NetGalley

Fulfills PopSugar #13: A book set in a different country

WWW Wednesday 1/21/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Iliad by Homer

Pearl Harbor:  FDR Leads the Nation Into War by Steven Gillon

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Some Kind of Wonderful by Barbara Freethy

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

 

We are going on vacation beginning late next week, so depending on the timeline/how quickly I’m reading/internet connection/etc…my blogging may be sporadic for a bit. Please be patient with me. I’ll be back to normal after the second week of February!

Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation Into War

Are you guys tired of me whining about reading my husband’s books yet? Because I am. Why am I still torturing myself (and you)?

Yeah, I don’t know either.

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In all honesty, Steven Gillon’s account of Pearl Harbor wasn’t bad. It was quite informative. My version of the battle on December 7 comes from that Ben Affleck movie (mmmm Josh Hartnett. Whatever happened to him?). You don’t see much of the President’s side of things, but it makes FDR look like a stoic teddy bear. My teddy bear image of him is furthered by seeing him in Annie, wheeling across the lawn with Eleanor by his side.

Come to find out, he was NOTHING like either of those movie depictions. Turns out he was actually kind of a disloyal jackass.

Anyway, it was interesting to read everything that happened in the moments after the Japanese strike–how hard information was to get, how secretive everything was, how the President and his staff handled it all. The book was a little dry, it definitely wasn’t super exciting or action-filled, but it’s not meant to be. It also wasn’t very long–under 200 pages. This isn’t a full bio of FDR, just an in-depth look at the days surrounding the attack. It’s just long enough to really give you the nitty gritty of that piece of history.

The Gargoyle

Some books trail just at the edge of my memory. Pieces of their plots or familiar characters are remembered when I read other stories, or I think about them when I’m having a conversation about a similar subject. The Gargoyle is one of those books for me. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately–it sits at eye level on one of my shelves, and so it’s been peaking out at me. It’s also one of those books that encompasses so much legend that hints of it are everywhere. I knew I was going to have to read it again soon, and I am so glad I did. I forgot just how amazing it was.

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At its core, The Gargoyle is a very realistic, detailed story about a burn victim. This isn’t come Hollywood version, though, where the person is horrifically burned, then walks out of the hospital scarred, but pain free in a week or so. The healing process in this book is excruciating, lengthy, and frustrating.

That is only the base of the story–in between the lines are other tales, as told by the narrator’s caregiver, a mysterious woman who comes into his life out of the past. This is where the legends come in. Medieval German Catholicism is heavy here, predating Luther. I may not be Catholic, but as I am fascinated by Western Medieval history…I can’t get far without finding the lore of Catholicism interesting as well. There is also Japanese, Norse, and Italian mythology wrapped up in Marianne Engel’s stories–especially Dante’s version of Hell.

Andrew Davidson is a genius, an artist. The Gargoyle is so well constructed that you’ll find yourself lost in the best possible manner. How often do you read a book with a nameless narrator, who is the main character, and come out on the other side completely transfixed? I could read this all over again right now and be completely happy.

But, alas, it goes back on the shelf for now…

Landline

I might be the last person in the nerd world to read Rainbow Rowell’s Landline, but I finally got a hold of it this week, just in time to need a cheer up book!

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Rowell is one of the few authors I have come across who does both YA and Adult Fiction extremely well. I was immediately drawn into the story and romance of Georgie and Neal. Their love story was just so relatable and real. Anyone who has been married or long term committed relationship will feel exactly what this couple feels as they struggle with the very real pain of that one really big fight.

I will admit it took me a little bit to realize the secret of the phone. I was a bit confused at first, but…so was Georgie. It makes me wonder what my husband will be like in 15 years, and what it would be like for 15-year-from-now-me to call now-R. How much different will we both be?

I’m glad I was able to fit this book in. It was the exact refresher that I needed after such a hard read this week. Landline only took me a few hours last night, so it was quick, too. Of course, I was flipping pages so fast because I was completely absorbed. The rest of Rainbow Rowell’s collection better find its way onto my shelf SOON. I have a need!

 

Fulfills PopSugar #39:  A book with magic