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.

Favorite Book Store

There’s a place here in Indy that I’ve been wanting to tell you guys about for awhile, so when I saw Favorite Book Store on Tee’s list, I basically jumped up and down. This isn’t a review blog, but here’s my chance to share MY PLACE!

I have two big passions in my life:  BOOKS, of course, and food culture. Beer is a HUGE part of that second one. My husband and I are big time microbrew drinkers, and seek out local breweries wherever we go. So when I found out that there was someone opening up a book store slash brewery two minutes from my office. UM WHAT?!?!?!?!?! I am THERE.

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And guys. This place does NOT disappoint. The beer is awesome. The people are awesome. The front shop is stocked with used books of all sorts of genres. Last week, I found a mint condition Harry Potter #6. Hardback. I mean, come on. The back of house, where the really good stuff is is full of wooden tables and chairs where you can talk to anyone and everyone–conversation is highly encouraged.

They have a huge social calendar, which is available on their website. For me–that means bookclub, every Monday night. You’ve heard me talk about it here. We have a different theme every week, and it rotates. Lit, Sci-Fi, YA, and Non-Fiction. Our Upcoming books are: Night Circus (YA), Orange is the New Black (NonFic), Dorian Gray (Lit), Jurassic Park (Sci-Fi). Our group is quickly becoming friends, and the discussion is always lively.

They also have Tabletop Tuesday, Trivia Wednesday, and live music on most other nights. They also do a lot of after hours game nights. Just this weekend, they had people in to play Cards Against Humanity, which I was bummed to miss! It’s one of my favorites!

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The beer board from a few weeks ago. This varies a bit week to week.

The Brewmaster is starting to play around with his beer, and is changing taps every Friday, so make sure you get in and taste what he’s got. Right now he has a 200 IBU concoction that blew my mind. For someone who likes to be kicked in the head, this did not disappoint! I hear rumors of a chocolate milk stout this Friday…yummmmmmmmm…

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Smaug Grog Red IPA

 

Oh! I almost forgot, they do have food! They have terrific grilled cheeses filled with local products. They get their meats from Smoking Goose, and I can tell you, everything I’ve had is just delicious. The sandwiches come with homemade chips out of Broad Ripple.My favorite thing to get is the Frankenstein platter, which is a cheeseboard covered with cheeses and meats and olives and breads and holy crap is it good.

Can you tell that I love this place? If you are in Indy, especially on the north side, make sure to head their direction. This is the perfect place to let your geekiness shine. Everyone in the joint is welcoming and happy.

It IS a little out of the way, but worth the winding road to get there. You can find them behind the Bob Evan’s at 96th and 69. Come have a beer!

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.