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The Loquacious Bibliophile

Confessions of a bibliophile and aspiring authoress

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Confessions of a Bibliophile

Book reviews! :)

{Confessions of a Bibliophile} Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Cinder11235712

 

Author ~ Marissa Meyer

Pages ~ 390 (hardcover)

Memorable Quotes ~  “Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?”

“Cinder twisted up her lips. “Do you think it could have a virus?”
“Maybe her programming was overwhelmed by Prince Kai’s uncanny hotness.”

Favorite Character ~  Obviously I love Cinder and Kai–you’re supposed to, you kinda have to–but my favorite might have to be Dr. Erland.

Summary ~  Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I Rate It ~ 5/5 Stars      ~*~   My Bookshelf Would Be Empty Without It

 

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WHY HAD I NOT READ THIS BOOK SOONER?!?!

Yes, it is a relatively new book, published in 2012, as well as being a YA book, and such things don’t tend to be on my radar so much.  Still, I’d been seeing pictures of this all over Instagram and sorta shrugged it off–until my friend Kayla suggested I read it them!

We all know the story, really, but it was put into a genre that I adore (SCI-FI!!!!!) and with some changes that I really appreciated.  The step-sisters aren’t entirely inhuman, for example, and you actually sort of care about at least one of them; and “mother” has more of a reason than she does in the Disney version to hate Cinderella.  There is a much more political aspect of this, and the consequences of the Prince not marrying Cinderella are much more terrible than they might have been in other versions.

I’m a sucker for a fairy-tale, or a re-telling of one, and this was a wonderful representation of such a book!
In fact, I wasn’t even finished with Cinder before I had ordered (BOUGHT!) all of the books in the series, as well as Marissa Meyer’s new book coming out next month (called Stars Above, full of prequels and such things, as well as a few other re-tellings in the setting, I believe)!  I spent $75 on books and I couldn’t have been happier with that decision–they should be coming today or tomorrow, and I plan on reading them all during a read-a-thon…but that’s more for another post!!  XD 

I gave it FIVE STARS, even though there were a few flaws; not like plot-holes or anything, and the characters were still all very good.  But it was her first book, something that I noticed a little bit here and there, mostly in the repeating of nervous ticks that seem to be rather universal for all of the characters and restating something that was said on the previous page.  And the ever-so-attractive prince has those typical attractive features–his hair was in his eyes, or nearly so, quite often, it seemed.  🙂

I can’t tell you when the last time I read a YA book was…maybe when I read The Outsiders for part of a book club?  But, of course, YA books can be good, and I’m so glad these books were what I wanted them to be–and more!

It’s funny to think that you can have a book from a cyborg’s POV and still have so much emotion.

If you haven’t read this book yet, and you love sci-fi or fairy-tales, you should do yourself a favor and pick it up!

~*~RaeAnne

{Confessions of a Bibliophile} So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish68354

Author ~ Douglas Adams

Pages ~  214 (paperback)

Memorable Quotes:  “‘It seemed to me,’ said Wonko the Sane, ‘that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.'”

Favorite Character:  Um, I’m not sure.  Something felt “off” about this book–even the characters I already know and love didn’t feel like themselves.

Summary:  Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth’s dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on. . . .

God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it’s light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new?

I Rate It:  2/5  Stars   ~*~  Not worth the papercut

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There was something missing from this book; something that I think I’ve identified…stay tuned.
It left me feeling disappointed and–dare I say–betrayed.

This is the fourth book in the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy “trilogy” and I adored all of the others up until this one.
The humor is of that witty, if dry, British sort that I so greatly enjoy; the characters are quirky and lovable; and with the galaxy as its setting there are always new places to explore and new beings to meet.

That is not the case with this book.

Sure, our main characters are…more or less the same.  You’ve still got Arthur Dent (a man in a bath robe who has been dragged all over the universe and can’t seem to find a good cuppa anywhere) and Ford Prefect, Arthur’s friend who just happens to be an alien from somewhere near Betelgeuse…Marvin only shows up in the last few pages of the book, which is a pity, because I’m fond of that android.

But Zaphod Beeblebrox (the alien with two heads and three arms who “owns” The Heart of Gold) is nowhere to be found, nor is Trillian, (supposedly the only other human left besides Arthur).
Zaphod has always been awfully close to my favorite character; he’s just funny.

Instead of those beloved characters, we’re given Fenchurch, Wonko the Sane, and the Rain God.
They are, most definitely, not the same by any stretch of the imagination.  Fenchurch is just a girl who seems to have lost something.  Wonko is, supposedly, one of the few sane people around.  And the Rain God is just a guy who drives around and complains about how much it rains–and claims that the rain follows him everywhere he goes.

Yes, the humor is still of that splendid British sort, but it didn’t seem as funny this time.

 

When you pick up one of these books, you want an adventure–the strange quest to find the answer to an even stranger question.  You want weird aliens, an amusing description of some out-of-this-world alcoholic beverages, and the grumblings of an unappreciated robot.

The love story of Arthur Dent wasn’t what I was really looking for…yet that’s the majority of the book.  And it’s only slightly interesting–it seems much less interesting than what is hinted at that Ford might be up to the entire time.

I think that there’s one big thing missing from this book.  The one thing that has made all of the other books wonderful.  Something that, when absent, just makes the story somewhat mundane.  I no longer want to read the other books because of this one–and that makes me sad.

The galaxy.  The entire galaxy is missing.  The space travel and all of the wonderful elements of that are gone, and when those are taken away, what’s left is rather boring.

 

*Sigh*  I wish that I had enjoyed this book more…but it really wasn’t worth the time I spent reading it.

 

~*~RaeAnne

 

{Confessions of a Bibliophile} Under The Dome by Stephen King

Under The Dome6320534

Author ~ Stephen King

Pages ~  1074 (hardcover)

Memorable Quotes :

“Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.”

“Sorrow for a wrong was better than nothing, Barbie supposed, but no amount of after-the-fact sorrow could ever atone for joy taken in destruction, whether it was burning ants or shooting prisoners.”

“They walked back into the world together, wearing the gift that had been given them: just life. Pity was not love, Barbie reflected…but if you were a child, giving clothes to someone who was naked had to be a step in the right direction.”

Favorite Character(s):  It’s hard to say, when there are so many.  But, weirdly, I was most intrigued by Junior Rennie.  I’m a fan of Dale Barbara, “Barbie”, too.  Oh–and Ollie Dinsmore!
The characters are so interesting in this book!

Summary (taken from the Goodreads page; I’m unsure how official it is.) :
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician’s assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn’t just short. It’s running out.

I Rate It:  4/5 Stars   ~*~ Now What Do I Do With My Life?

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I really enjoyed this book!  It took me half a year to read it, but life sorta happens, and it’s over 1,000 pages long…so….  🙂

It wasn’t the easiest read, I’ll admit; there are a lot of characters to try to keep track of.  (Less and less as time goes on…but that’s a different matter!  🙂  )

Be that as it may, I appreciate how short the “chapters” were; I always like that.  First of all, it was the perfect choice for the book when you’re switching from characters’ POV so often; secondly, it makes it a lot easier to just pick it up and read a few…but, of course, it sucks you in!  Still, it’s something I appreciate when I run across it.

Also…there were “chapters” from the perspective of a handful of animals; they were amusing and, of course, well-written.  Animals seem to have a part to play in…well, all of King’s books that I’ve read so far.  🙂
Obviously, in a “world” that’s cut off from the majority of the outside world, things are going to go south rather quickly.  There are numerous murders, a handful of suicides, at least one instance of rape, and just needless (though provoked and encouraged) acts of vandalism.

None of them were out of place.  There were people who found themselves under the Dome who really just had a perfect opportunity to let their crazy show.  The power-hungry people couldn’t have had a more ideal situation–they took advantage of it, as well as the people that were suffering because of it.
And, of course, they were written about in a compelling, if graphic, way.  You get to the point where you can’t put the book down–some of it feels a bit like watching a car crash or something; you know that whatever happens is going to be terrible, but you just can’t look away.

You get to know a lot about a character when you put them through hell, something that Mr. King wastes no time in doing; how they react to it, how they respond to the mounting pressure, and who they decide to side with…these are all very telling.

I’m a fan of sci-fi, so I appreciated the elements of it in this book and how they tied in with the different characters.  It wasn’t the best display of science fiction that I’ve seen, but it served as a decent explanation for the Dome–and, really, it was the Dome that was the biggest problem, not whoever was behind it.
Perhaps my biggest complaint about this book is the dialogue of the teenagers.  I’m a fan of Stephen King, and his dialogue isn’t something I have issues with often, but…I got the feeling that he wasn’t as confident writing the dialogue from them as he would be otherwise–which is understandable, considering his age vs. theirs.  To compensate, I feel like he was using words that people my age do say (dude, man…etc.) but not as frequently as they do there.  A few of the phrases seemed…outdated.  (The kids were also skaters, but I don’t think that’s explanation enough for it.)
But it was a good–if long–read!  The characters are compelling, and it keeps you guessing; though obviously the attempts to break through the Dome within the first few hundred pages aren’t going to work (that’s like trying to make you fear for the main character’s life in the first movie in a trilogy) but seeing those supposed solutions is interesting.

The ending…I can’t quite say that I predicted it–you never quite know what’s going to happen in this book–but I had a feeling about what would happen for the final climax, and what some of those consequences would be.
Still, the source of the Dome, and what’s done to be rid of it is interesting!

It was the first book I can remember binge-reading like that in way too long!  I got to the last 400 pages or so and simply couldn’t put it down–I was up until two in the morning, and that was a splendid thing!  I’ve missed that.

Stephen King is a fan of the what-if scenarios and…let’s just say I don’t want this to happen.

 

~*~RaeAnne

 

{Confessions of a Bibliophile} And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie

 

And Then There Were None181133

Author ~ Agatha Christie

Pages ~ 173

Memorable Quotes:  “Many homicidal lunatics are very quiet, unassuming people.  Delightful fellows.”

“Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.”

Favorite Character:  Phillip Lombard

Summary: First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
(Thanks to Goodreads!)

I Rate It:  5/5  Stars   ~*~  My bookshelf would be empty without it!

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I will admit right away that this is, so far, the only Agatha Christie book that I have read, though I have a handful of them in my bookcase waiting for me.

This being said, that can’t keep And Then There Were None from being one of my favorites.  I’ve re-read it, and would gladly do so probably a million more times!  I don’t usually re-read books, as there are just so many to read!  It’s absolutely wonderful; very well written and, as in all good mystery books, the ending is unexpected.

As you may be able to tell, this is a murder mystery.  It involves ten characters.  They are all asked (by someone named Owens) to go to this island, on which is a house.  None of those asked to go know each other, except for the married couple that are there as servants when everyone else arrives.  Obviously, this is all very queer.  But things get even stranger.  In all of the bedrooms, there is an old nursery rhyme.  You know how there are so many nursery rhymes or “children’s” songs that are really very inappropriate for children (or even adults)?  Well, this is one of those things. This is what it says:

Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;

One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;

One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;

One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;

One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;

A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law,

One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Indian boys going out to sea;

A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo;

A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun;

On got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Indian boy left all alone;

He went and hanged himself and then there were none.

Downright disturbing, isn’t it?  Nonetheless, it is the basis of the entire novel.  Also, in this strange house, there is a group of ten ceramic Indian figurines, sitting on a table.  As the group gathered for some tea and chatting, there was this strange voice, coming from none knew where.  It said the name of each guest, and then told of crimes they had committed (and done a very good job at keeping secret, too).  Murders; whether or not they seemed intentional.  Of course, everybody panicked.  Imagine, hearing something like that in front of a bunch of strangers (of course, being guilty doesn’t help) and then not knowing how the stranger that had invited you to get there in the first place could have begun to learn of it!  Very shortly after this, one of the group dies; poisoned by his drink.  It appears to be a suicide, even.  Sometime after this first death, someone sees that one of the figurines has vanished.  And then there were nine.  This, of course, repeats itself until there are none.
The gripping thing about this book is that you don’t know who has killed everyone!  You simply don’t know until the very end; literally the last couple of pages.  It’s not a typical mystery book or show when you can at least guess at it.  Well, of course you can guess, and as more die, then fewer choices you have…but even your best guess is wrong.  It would be annoying if it wasn’t so brilliant!  The book itself isn’t very long, but even if it were, I would have no trouble reading it quickly.  I will warn you that, once you start, you can’t stop; but you won’t want to, either, so it’s okay!

It’s really hard to write about this book without giving anything away!  😛  I’ll warn you now: Don’t get attached. You know what’s going to happen in the end, so try to keep your emotional attachment to all of the characters to a minimum.  None of them are very likable, though, so it won’t be as difficult as in other novels! xD

Happy reading, fellow bibliophiles!

~*~RaeAnne

{Confessions of a Bibliophile} Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca 27177688

Author ~ Daphne du Maurier

Pages ~  357 pages (hardback)

Memorable Quotes:  “‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

Favorite Character:  Hands down, Maximilian!  Ooooh, do I ever love that man!

Summary:
The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.
(Thanks to Goodreads!)

I Rate It: 5/5  Stars   ~*~  My bookshelf would be empty without it!

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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier was written in 1938–and the copy we have of it is just as old.  The darling book had been sitting in one of our numerous bookcases just waiting for me to pick it up, something that took me far too long to do.  Books that are physically old are just that much better; the smell is impossible to recreate, (though I’m curious about the candles I’ve seen that smell like it) even the feel of the pages is different.  Our copy had a few “neat” words underlined in pencil for the first few chapters, something that just makes me smile–I wonder why they were underlined and by whom.  But that’s besides the point.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!
(I try to keep away from spoiling things, but this book is old and so is the movie some people might be familiar with.  The movie, by the way, is wonderful in its own right!  🙂  )
There, that’s out of the way.  On with this post.

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
Quite an opening sentence, no?  I’m a sucker for good opening sentences–this is definitely one of them.  You’re immediately wondering at where Manderley is, what its significance might be, who is speaking, and why Manderley is only dreamt of.
Get used to wondering–this book keeps you wondering even after you’ve finished it.  The book is clearly in the first-person point of view; the reader never learns the name of the main character.  It’s to drive home a point, I believe–I’ll get to what that point is soon.

We soon become better acquainted with the girl whose point of view we see this world through, however; she’s a companion to a dreadful old lady (she’s bad enough that she needs to pay people to be around her) and young, she doesn’t have a great deal of money–and hence has clothes verging on shabby, definitely nothing that suits her well–and doesn’t think herself the most attractive of people.
One of her few possessions is a post-card of the famed Manderley; a grand estate owned by the widower Maximilian de Winter.  (A lovely name, isn’t it?)  Six months previously his wife had drowned while out boating by herself, something that she did often; but the weather was too bad that night and she’d made a mistake in even stepping foot in the boat.

The woman that she is the companion for is a bit more than a gossip–if anyone of any sort of status is present she feels it necessary to go speak to him or her.  This is how our unnamed character finds herself meeting Mr. de Winter; she makes a fool of herself, spilling things and feeling embarrassed both for herself as well as for the woman who clearly sees nothing wrong with being such a nuisance to people.  Maxim doesn’t ignore them, but isn’t the most pleased by their conversation; he’s a dark sort of fellow, but people forgive him for it–he’s never been quite the same since his wife, Rebecca de Winter, died.

One would never imagine how this meeting turns out.

Maxim is kind to her and apologizes for his rude behavior.  He wasn’t fond of the woman she worked for, but the girl without a name seems to interest him; they go out driving and he’s not the same, an expression that was in his eyes before seems to have gone.  He doesn’t seem quite so sad.
Things continue on this way for two weeks; they go driving, they meet for meals.  He either leaves behind or gives her a book of poetry, inside which is written “To Max,” and is signed by Rebecca in a fancy, flowing handwriting.  Max.  No one else calls him Max; it was a nickname only Rebecca used.
Our main character finds herself in tears one morning (after two weeks have passed), hating to leave with her American companion–and without being able to tell Maxim goodbye.
They end up meeting for a very hurried breakfast, at which Maxim casually asks her to marry him.  She thinks him cruel for asking her such a thing, sure that he was joking, but no such thing is true–he really is asking for her to marry him.  She would be Mrs. de Winter; Manderley–a place that’s talked about by so many people–would be hers….  Hardly knowing what she’s doing, and wondering if the only reason Maxim wants to marry her is because she seems to help him forget Rebecca, she accepts his proposal, packs up her few things and they’re married just like that.  No big ceremony or anything, and they have a quite honeymoon in Italy.

When they arrive at Manderley it isn’t long before the guests begin inviting themselves over; Maxim’s relatives, random people that have been there before–when the first Mrs. de Winters ran the place–and hope to get the newest bit of gossip about the family.
Along with the unwelcome visitors, there are a few members of the staff at Manderley–mostly a woman by the name of Mrs. Danvers–that are pains and make the new Mrs. de Winter’s life a bit miserable.

People don’t like her.  They compare her to Rebecca; she isn’t as pretty, she wasn’t born into the lifestyle she found herself thrown into and is always awkward because of it, she is just so very different.  The new Mrs. de Winter eventually begins to realize that Maxim is doing the same thing; always missing Rebecca and so unable to love her.
(This is why, I believe, we never learn her name.  And I think it’s brilliant!)
Mrs. Danvers in particular is dreadful about this; she hates her from the first and things don’t get better from there.

After months of awkward social gatherings and trying to get used to her life at Manderley, the second Mrs. de Winter decides that they should have a ball–the type that used to be hosted at Manderley when Rebecca was alive, the kind that people still talk and ask about every time she goes to visit.
It’s during–or, rather, before it’s even begun–this that everything begins to fall apart.

And it isn’t long before our new Mrs. de Winter learns that not everything is as it appeared to be in the death of Rebecca.
A boat is found at the bottom of the ocean–oddly enough, while the diver was trying to help another boat-full of people.
It turns out to be Rebecca’s boat.
…there’s a body in that boat.

Well, it had been a body; by that point, after six months, it’s just a skeleton.  But there are things in the cabin of the boat that the body was found in that show that it was Rebecca’s body; scraps of clothing, jewelry and the like.
Everyone is all confused and there’s so many people wanting to come and question those at Manderley, but in the middle of it all we have this moment of peace and quiet…well, minus the peace part.  Maxim, knowing that everything was going to blow up in his face soon, takes his wife aside and tells her everything.
He had hated Rebecca.  They were good actors, had everyone fooled that they couldn’t be happier in their marriage, that Rebecca was the sweetest person you could ever meet.  But Maxim knew that that wasn’t the case.
They weren’t happily married, either; but Maxim never really cared too much about the affairs she was having.  He didn’t love her and there was nothing he could do to stop her.
She hadn’t died in some boating accident–goodness, no, she was far too smart for that.
Maxim had never thought that he would be found out…but the boat had sunk too close to shore.
And yet, even in the way she died, Rebecca had the last laugh, as it turns out.

I’ll leave what’s left of the novel for you to read yourself.  The ending of the movie is quite a bit different than it is in the book–in an intriguing sort of way that couldn’t really be helped.  Makes me want to wait a handful of years and make another movie that’s a bit closer to the book.  🙂

It was a fantastic read!  Not super long, (our copy was 300 pages or so) though it took me a little while to read it; but I got to the point where I binge-read and that was, as always, lovely!  The language isn’t overly archaic or anything, but it doesn’t have the modern feel to it–which it shouldn’t, because it’s not.
There are other characters in the book that I didn’t mention at all that add so much to the book–they’re not “big” characters or anything, but they give you so much more of a sense as to what life at Manderley was like for Mr. and Mrs. de Winter.  The characters you do know well are splendid!  😀  (Though I have conflicting feelings about Maxim.  But a guy that always has a handkerchief ready for you when you start to cry–as women inevitably do–can’t be dreadful.  Right?)
It has the slightest bit of a period drama feel to it, but that might be because it’s 2015!  😀
It made me want to read other of du Maurier’s books–I’ve heard some of them are even a bit darker than this one….  🙂
The book itself was so very well written!  🙂  The descriptions of the beautiful places are even more breathtaking.  There are so many good quotes!  🙂

I highly recommend this book!  I want to read it again–and that’s not something I do frequently!  🙂  There are just so many books to read…but this one would be worth it!  😀

Happy page-turning!

~*~RaeAnne

Disney Princess Book Tag!!!!

Well, this promises to be stupendous!!  XD  Disney is one of my favorite things…ever!!  And this entire blog is devoted to books, so…yay!!!!

Before I get ahead of myself, I should say that I was tagged by my wonderful friend Kayla over at Caught Between the Pages!  Go check out her blog if YA fiction is something you enjoy…or just because she’s awesome and totally deserves more views!

Snow White ~  Name your favorite classic:

I read an awful lot of classics, so this isn’t an easy choice for me; but my gut feeling is A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens.  He’s one of my favorite authors (yes, I realize how nerdy that is!) and I enjoy all I’ve read by him, but this book….  It takes place during the French Revolution, a part of history that I happen to find quite interesting–it at least makes a good setting for a story.  An awful lot of needless violence is obviously a main part of the story, with the main characters being deeply affected by it.
This isn’t a feel-good book, or in any way light-hearted, but it is sooo good.  (I cried, but I loved it!)

Cinderella ~ Name a book that kept you reading past your bedtime

This book is one of the few that I have re-read!  🙂  For the most part, it takes place in a year long passed, occasionally bringing us back to what is the present of the main character, Paul Edgecombe.  He worked on Death Row, where all sorts of craziness is bound to happen.  (Because of the tiling on the floor, it was affectionately referred to as The Green Mile.)  The particular craziness of this (serially published–very smart!) novel is centered around one giant of a man named John Coffey, a man accused of the rape and murder of two young girls.  But there’s much more to this man than meets the eye.
There’s a supernatural/fantasy element to this book that I enjoy.  Once again, it made me cry, but I loved it enough to come back to it.
The movie is great, too!

Aurora ~ Name your favorite classic romance:

(I’m not copying you, Kayla–I just agree!)
I read this book for school, but it was a book I wanted to read at some point anyway.  It’s very well-written and witty and features some splendid characters.  I remember it being somewhat slow to start out with, but I got to one point and couldn’t stop reading.  Be careful who you fall for when reading this; you might be surprised with who they turn out to be.  🙂

Ariel ~ Name a book that’s about sacrifices and fighting for your dreams:  

Oh, there are millions of things I could say about this book.  I am such a huge fan of it–we did a unit study entirely based on this book for school, and I loved it!  As we all know, Frodo has to take the One Ring to Mordor to destroy it; he does this mostly for the sake of his beloved Shire and the people of Middle Earth.  There are so many characters that make tremendous sacrifices from the very beginning of this book.
The movies, obviously, are good as well–but they don’t really compare to this splendid, lovingly-written masterpiece by the exceedingly smart and imaginative J.R.R Tolkien.

Belle ~ Name a book with a smart, independent female character:

Could there be any other answer for this?  All of the March girls are smart and independent, but in their own wonderful, unique ways  🙂  I love Beth and Jo….  (Also, how cute is this book cover?!  It was so adorable that I bought the book, despite the fact that I could just read it for free from my Kindle.)
If you ever get the chance to go to Louisa May Alcott’s home, you should!

Jasmine ~ Name a book whose character challenges the social conventions of their world:

Anne is quirky and definitely not like the other girls she meets.  She really does challenge Matthew and Marilla, but they love her.  The movie is great; and this book cover was cute enough that, yes, I bought this one, too!  😀 ❤

Pocahontas ~ Name a book whose ending was a roller coaster of emotions:

Isn’t this entire book a roller coaster of emotions?

Like I mentioned before, the French Revolution is a major theme in this book; as is the idea of forgiveness.
The only advice I have for anyone wanting to read this book, watch the movie, or see it on stage…don’t get attached.  Well, try not to; you will anyway, and it will break your heart.

Mulan ~ Name a book featuring war or battles:

Finally, a modern book!!  It doesn’t need much explanation, either; who hasn’t heard of the books–or at least seen the movies?

Tiana ~ Name a book featuring a hardworking, self-made character:

I told you I love Charles Dickens, right?
Pip started out living with his sister and her husband (aptly named) Joe, a blacksmith.  His life is rough, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

(Here’s a lovely video of the attractive Dan Stevens reading a part of it!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfoWfr0SwJU)

Rapunzel ~ Name a book featuring an artist:

Okay, so, not an artist in the traditional artsy, painting like Rapunzel does sort of artist, but definitely an artist.  The main character, Paul Sheldon, is a writer.  Through a terrible accident, he meets his number one fan…who also happens to be a psychopath.  Don’t make fangirls angry….
This movie is good as well!

Merida ~ Name a book with a mother-daughter relationship:

It’s harder to come up with books with mother-daughter relationships in them!!  At least, out of the books I’ve read….  Even when they have them, they aren’t often too great.  I’ve noticed this is also a trend for Disney movies.  Interesting.  🙂

Anyway, this series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is one that I grew up on.  🙂 (As well as the TV show, despite all of the liberties it took.)  Sometimes I wish we lived in such simple times…but I am quite fond of modern conveniences.

Once again, if you ever have the chance to go to her home, do yourself the favor!  I was little at the time, but even now I’m only 5’3″, so I can appreciate the low counters in the kitchen and the like.  XD

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If you want to do this (it was great fun!) go for it–consider yourself tagged!  🙂

~*~RaeAnne

{Confessions of a Bibliophile} Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Out of the Silent Planet1237435

Author ~ C.S. Lewis

Pages ~  160 (paperback)

Memorable Quotes:  “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”

“And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back–if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that these are that day?”

Oooh, there are so very many good quotes!!  XD

Favorite Character:  Hmm…I do love Ransom, but I don’t know if he’s my favorite.  Favorites are difficult, and it’s been a while since I read this book!

Summary: In the first novel of C.S. Lewis’s classic science fiction trilogy, Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet’s treasures and plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there. Ransom discovers he has come from the ‘silent planet’ – Earth – whose tragic story is known throughout the universe…
(Thanks to Goodreads!)

I Rate It:  5/5  Stars   ~*~  My bookshelf would be empty without it!

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If you’re a brave soul who doesn’t mind a sometimes tricky read and is looking for a sci-fi adventure in book form, look no further!

This book starts out with an average Joe of a guy, though with a name like Ransom how average can he be? But by the rest of his description, a professor of philology at Cambridge, he seems just like a normal man. Certainly not the kind of man that would end up on the adventure he soon finds himself caught up in.

He’s traveling by foot (touring the English Midlands) and looking for a place to spend the night. He finds a place owned by a Professor Weston, and also sees an old schoolfellow by the name of Devine—a man whom he always disliked. The men had yet to notice him when he hears a struggle from somewhere nearby. Hurrying around to see what is wrong, Ransom finds the two men trying to force a young man (of a rather dull mind) into some sort of structure that was on the property. He intervenes and sends the boy back home to his mother–we had seen her earlier, for just a short while, worrying about her son and asking Ransom to fetch him from Weston’s property where he worked. Weston, a wickedly smart man, had some ulterior motives as he invited Ransom in for a drink.
The man ends up drugged and when he finally stirs again he finds himself in what he discovers to be a spherical sort of room. It has a large window in it from which he watches what took him a long time to figure out was space itself. Though he doesn’t know it yet, Ransom is headed towards the planet of Malacandra; on a very different trip than the one he had set out on prior to the beginning of this book.

It takes them quite some time to reach the planet, but he is by no means relieved when they finally do so. Weston and Devine have, apparently, discovered this creature that they seem to want to offer Ransom to; he had heard their plans, though, and has brought a knife along onto the planet and is planning to escape as soon as he can. As soon as they leave their ship, Ransom is confused by the obvious lodgings that he finds, but soon realizes that they are nothing more than structures built by his captors on a previous visit. One of the men has made the trip to gather up the bountiful gold on the planet; the other has another purpose that is far more philosophical.
The terrible creature that the men wanted to hand Ransom over to, a Sorn, is seen not long after arriving on Malacandra; it’s a terrifying creature that is impossibly tall. The man gets his chance to escape, though, and runs for hours. He observes that the mountains are incredibly tall and thin, as are the trees; everything is a different color than expected, but in a beautiful sort of way. Eventually he realizes that the force of gravity on this planet is far less than it is on Earth, which makes his trip a great deal easier.
He soon comes across another creature, this one being far kinder in appearance though still frightening. It’s a Hross; this creature is also tall, but unlike the previously encountered Sorn, it is furry and seems very gentle. It resembles something like an otter, really; with a “glossy coat, liquid eye, sweet breath and the whitest teeth.” In fact, it actually begins speaking to Ransom…in a language which he doesn’t speak. But he is quickly able to decipher what it is telling him (he is a professor of philology) and discovers that this thing’s name is Hyoi. He joins Hyoi’s village and lives there for several months; he learns all about Malacandra and the species that live there. In addition to the Seroni, there are also Eldila and Pfifltriggi (yes, that is what they’re called…gotta love C.S. Lewis!). And something called Oyarsa, which doesn’t make sense, but he apparently knows everything and has existed for a very long time.
Sadly, there is an accident, the details of which I shan’t go into—I don’t want to give it all away. But it results in Ransom going to find this above mentioned Oyarsa. The thought of doing so terrifies him, but what has happened has given him no choice.

It is a beautiful book full of breathtaking descriptions and things that I wish really did exist. The imagination of C.S. Lewis will never cease to astound me! And, even in all of the fiction, he mentions other religious type ideas that are interesting, too!

Happy reading, friends!

~*~RaeAnne

{Confessions of a Bibliophile} The Green Mile by Stephen King

The Green Mile22660791

Author ~ Stephen King

Pages ~  538 (paperback)

Memorable Quotes:  “Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not.” 

“I’m rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I’m tired of bein on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain. Not never havin no buddy to go on with or tell me where we’s comin from or goin to or why. I’m tired of people bein ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I’m tired of all the times I’ve wanted to help and couldn’t. I’m tired of bein in the dark. Mostly it’s the pain. There’s too much. If I could end it, I would. But I can’t.” 

Favorite Character:  John Coffey, of course!!

Summary: Set in the 1930s at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary’s death-row facility, The Green Mile is the riveting and tragic story of John Coffey, a giant, preternaturally gentle inmate condemned to death for the rape and murder of twin nine-year-old girls. It is a story narrated years later by Paul Edgecomb, the ward superintendent compelled to help every prisoner spend his last days peacefully and every man walk the green mile to execution with his humanity intact.

Edgecomb has sent seventy-eight inmates to their death with “old sparky,” but he’s never encountered one like Coffey — a man who wants to die, yet has the power to heal. And in this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecomb discovers the terrible truth about Coffey’s gift, a truth that challenges his most cherished beliefs — and ours.
(Thanks to Goodreads!)

I Rate It:  5/5  Stars   ~*~  My bookshelf would be empty without it!
(I actually bought this book and re-read about half of it on the way home on a road trip!  🙂  )

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Unlike what you might think when immediately hearing the name Stephen King, this novel wasn’t scary, at least not in a traditional sort of way.  Disturbing?  Slightly, but not frightening.

This novel is set in 1932 and told from a first-person point of view of the forty-ish year old man Paul Edgecombe, an officer in charge of the inmates on death row in the Cold Mountain Penitentiary.
Lovely occupation.  Or, at least, never a boring one.
It’s called “the green mile” because of the green tile on the floor of “death row”; it goes down the row of cells (there’s six of ’em, I think) and to a desk.  Go through a few more doors and you’ll get to the one with Old Sparky inside.
Old Sparky, by the way, is their affectionate name for the electric chair.

Paul works with a few other men, one of whom is a nasty kid named Percy.  I hate his guts.  The book is written so that you hate Percy more than you do murderers.  Awkward….
One day, the lovely fellow walks in shouting “Dead man walking!”–a term that no one with a real officer’s job would ever say, it must just be something he’s read in the dumb things he’s always carrying around with him.
Enter:  John Coffey.

A giant of an African American man–at over six feet tall.  He looks capable of doing anything, hurting anyone that he could want to, or at least you would think that from his size.
What’s he been convicted of?  The rape and murder of twin girls.  He was found holding their bloody, naked bodies; crying his heart out.
He said, “I tried to take it back, but it was too late.”
(Remember that line.  It’s important.)

I didn’t mention this earlier, but Paul’s got…well, a urinary infection.  In fact, he doesn’t shut up about it–even when it’s gone, he still brings it up.
One day, this inmate is saying that he desperately needs to talk to Paul.  In the time that John has been at Cold Mountain, he’s been nothing but cooperative.  He’s kind, as strange as that seems; not very smart, but given the time-period that’s not a surprise.  He knows how his name is spelled, but that’s about it.  (His last name, he says, is like the drink, but not spelled the same.)
He’s usually crying.  And he asked for there to be lights on at night; he’s afraid of the dark.
Paul, naturally, is hesitant when John insists he be closer than he should be with an inmate; going into the cell, at least when no one else is present to help if something goes wrong, isn’t wise.  But he went against his better judgement and went to see what John needed, anyway.
John simply touched Paul…and his infection was gone.  John started to cough–more like choke– and just when Paul thought something awful was happening, what looked like black bugs flew out of John’s mouth, turned white, and vanished.
It didn’t make sense, obviously, but there had been positive results–very unexpected and startling ones.
John only said “I helped it,” and proceeded to lie down on his bed and face the wall.

Why would he want to help?  He’d raped and murdered two little girls children, hadn’t he?

There’s a mouse in this story, one that comes up…very often.  His name, or the name that the inmate Delacroix gave to him, is Mr. Jingles.  He can do tricks; he fetches a spool and sleeps in a cigar box in Delacroix’s cell.  Delacroix loved that mouse more than life itself, it seemed.
Remember Percy?  Well, he decided that it would be fun to stomp on that mouse.
Guess who “helped it” then?

John helps other things, too, but I don’t want to give it all away.

I couldn’t put this book down.  I can’t think of anything more you can ask from a novel; it made me laugh (more than once), it grossed me out (just a bit), and it made me cry.

The movie adaptation is really great, too!  It stays quite close to the movie, and the casting is fantastic!  🙂

Happy reading!

~*~RaeAnne

{Confessions of a Bibliophile} As You Wish by Cary Elwes

As You Wish

 

Author ~  Cary Elwes and Joe Layden–with foreword by Rob Reiener21412202

Pages ~  259 (hardcover)

Favorite Part ~  I really enjoyed reading about the amount of work that went into the fencing scene between Inigo and Westley.  Reading about André the Giant was good, too.  Oh!  And the parts about Billy Crystal….

Summary ~ From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.
(Thanks, Goodreads!)

I Rate It:  5/5 Stars     ~*~    My Bookshelf Would be Empty Without It

 

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One of my goals for this year is to read 10 non-fiction books.  That wasn’t the case when I read this book sometime…over the summer, though.  Until this year, I haven’t make a point of picking up a non-fiction book; if it’s not on a subject that interests me, I won’t really enjoy reading it.  Even if it is a subject I enjoy, it takes a special, well-written book to keep my attention.
As You Wish, by Cary Elwes, was definitely that book.

If you’re at all a fan of The Princess Bride (specifically the movie, but if you’ve read the book I also assume you’ve watched the film) you will love this book!
I’m that geek that enjoys watching behind-the-scenes videos, and this book takes those a few steps further.
The hardback cover I have is 240-ish pages long, not including the index or epilogue, so it’s a fairly quick read, too.

It’s wittily written–I literally laughed out loud multiple times.  The book is mainly Cary’s thoughts and recalling the making of the movie, but there are many blurbs that are written by the other cast members/people involved.
Just like the movie, the book is incredibly sweet–you can tell that everyone really enjoyed making that movie.  The work that was put into it is incredible–I really enjoyed reading about the experiences that Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin had while working on that iconic duel.

I don’t want to sit here and go on and on about how adorable it was…but it really was.
Like I said, if you’re a fan of The Princess Bride–and who isn’t, that movie/book has something for everyone in it?!–this book is a must read!  If you’re like me, it’ll make you fall in love with the movie all over again.  🙂

I can also say with some confidence that it is part of what inspired me to try to read the book The Princess Bride again.  We tried to read it a few years ago and weren’t impressed with it, but I think I might appreciate the humor of it a bit more now and want to give it another shot!  Who knows?  Maybe it’ll be one of my favorites!  (You can expect a review of that one sometime this year!  It’s in my virtual TBR in 2016 pile!)

~*~RaeAnne

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