Thursday, June 20, 2013

More books

Hi!

So I've been reading but haven't really had time to post, so look for a long post from me this weekend. At least 7 books so far and more soon because I have off this weekend, woo!

xo,
Erin

Monday, June 3, 2013

Books 73-75

Hi there,

Got some more books for you! The last two took a decent amount of time to read and weren't necessarily all that great. A lot of times books are overhyped by the media. I tend to give those a wide range until something or someone draws me in, and that is what happened with these.

Book 73: Dead Ever After


Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Paranormal
Pages: 338
Series: Yes, 13 of 13
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library, but I own the rest of the series
Date Read: Sometime last week? Can't remember the exact day I finished it

3 stars
This is the last Sookie Stackhouse book. After Sookie revives Sam's life with the cluviel dor things have been a little crazy. Her relationship with Eric is up in the air and so is her partnership with Sam, who doesn't quite know how to handle being brought back from the dead. When Arlene approaches Sookie about getting her old job back, Sookie outright tells her no. After all, Arlene tried to murder Sookie, but soon it is Arlene that is murdered and Sookie being framed. Many of Sookie's old friends return for the final novel to help figure out who really did kill Arlene.

For the finale, Harris brings back many old favorites but it seems like an effort to just throw everyone back in. The plot isn't original either, with Sookie being framed for murder not seeming out of the ordinary. But of course it is always nice to come upon characters you enjoy reading about, even if the last few books have gone down a bit. And I do wish that she had ended up with a different guy, but oh well.

Book 74: The Book Thief


Author: Markus Zusak
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 550
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: June 1, 2013

3 stars
This is the story of Liesel, a little girl who is raised in Nazi Germany. She is brought to live with foster parents after her mother can no longer care for her and her brother, only to have him die on the way there. Liesel does not know how to read or write but she steals her first book at her brother's funeral, a book about grave digging. Her Papa teaches her how to read and soon she has begun to steal books. But Nazi Germany is a dangerous place and soon her family is harboring a Jew in their basement and their whole world is turned upside down.

First, let me start off by saying, this is not typically the type of book that I read. However, I kept being recommended this book and decided to try it, based on my own love of reading. Part of the problem was the narrator. The story was told by Death, viewing the world and the book thief. And of course, the book based on its time period is bound to be depressing.


Book 75: Gone Girl


Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 465
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: June 3, 2013

1 star
This is the story of Amy and Nick Dunne. On their 5th anniversary Amy goes missing in mysterious circumstances and Nick is the prime suspect. The last few years of their marriage had been hard. Both of them had lost their jobs, they were poor after previously living an affluent lifestyle, and they had moved back to Nick's home town to aid Nick's ailing parents. The story is told from Nick's perspective in the present day with Amy missing, and from the past through Amy's diary. But there are a lot of secrets and lies that both Amy and Nick are hiding.

I had such high hopes for this book. It was recommended to me by several people at work, though they told me that they had hated the ending. I hated the ending too, and the middle. Both Amy and Nick are really such horrible humans that it is difficult to like them at all. Oh well..

Now to figure out what to read next on my day off. I've got plenty of choices. I'm thinking something fun that I know I'll enjoy.

xo,
Erin

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Books 71 and 72!

Hi there!

Another book from last night and one today :) I'm on a roll, I even got to go strawberry picking with my family and am going to enjoy some quality time with my boyfriend tonight and I can't wait. But on to the books.

Book 71: Sweet Peril


Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 371
Series: Yes, book 2 of 3. Book 3 is not yet released
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library, but worth the purchase. I bought the first book.
Date read: May 25, 2013

4.5 stars
Anna Whitt is the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, who has begun to work for her father, polluting souls in order for them to avoid detection. Meanwhile, Kaidan Rowe, the son of the Duke of Lust and the boy she loves, is plaguing her mind. But when Anna hears a prophecy from the spirits, she must travel around the world with Kopano, son of the Duke of Wrath in order to recruit fellow Nephilim to their cause. But their freedom will not be won without a fight.

I loved this book. My sister and I both adored the first book and were anxious for the second one to be released and it did not disappoint. I don't know if there are two other literary characters whose separation hurts me so palpably. Kaidan and Anna, both Nephilim are forbidden to be together, but it doesn't mean that they love each other any less. I also liked the introduction of the new Nephilim as they begin to recruit for the war. I'm looking forward to the close of the trilogy!

Book 72: Walking Disaster


Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Romance
Pages: 433
Series: Yes, book 2 of 2
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library, but I bought book 1 on my nook
Date Read: May 26, 2013

4 stars
This is the story of Travis and Abby. Travis is the bad boy fighter who sleeps with girls with no intention of commitment, and Abby, or Pigeon as he calls her, is the one girl that wants nothing to do with him but yet can't seem to stay away.

Beautiful Disaster, the previous novel was the story told by Abby. This time Travis is the narrator, and though some parts feel the same, there is definitely a different feel because Travis is a lot more volatile than Abby is, so everything is a bit more dramatic. I enjoyed the epilogue but still thought that some more closure would have been nice because I didn't feel like some of the things mentioned fit with the rest of the story.

Now off to get in the shower and enjoy my evening :)
xo,
Erin

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Books 68-70!

Hi!

I had a wonderful day out with my mom, doing some scrub shopping and I just finished a really good book and I can now write a review about the two I read the other day. I've been so busy with work that it's been hard to find time to read, and when I'm not utterly exhausted. So it has been very nice :)

Book 68: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart


Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 332
Series: Yes, book 2 of 3. Book 3 is not yet released.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library

3.5 stars
I read the first book in this trilogy earlier this year. It is the late 1800s and Natalie and Jonathan are stuck in the middle of an unnatural series of events, possession of the living and reanimation of the dead. They must figure out the evil forces at work before it is too late while also trying to figure out their budding relationship.

This book was good, I enjoyed it and I am interested to read the conclusion, but it didn't draw me in and hold me there like some other books do. It was an easy read.

Book 69: Unremembered


Author: Jessica Brody
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 320
Series: Yes, 1 of 3, books 2 and 3 are not out yet.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library

3.5 stars
A girl is pulled from the water after a plane wreck. No one seems to know who she is, except for an alluring boy named Zen, who states that she is Seraphina, the girl that he loves and that bad people are after her and will try and require her at all costs.

When I saw that this was about a girl with amnesia, it was nothing like the book that I expected to read. The beginning of the book morphed into a very different but still quite intriguing tale. The book is science fiction, and the second half of the novel leave future books open to even more exploration of this topic as more is explored about Seraphina and Zen.

Book 70: Daughter of Smoke and Bone


Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 418
Series: Yes, book 1 of 3. Book 3 is not yet released.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library

4.5 stars
This is the story of Karou, a girl with blue hair that grows out of her head that way, strange tattoos of eyes on her palm, and an errand girl for monsters. Black handprints appeared on Brimstone's shop, the place where Karou grew up and considers her home, filled with the creatures she thinks of as family. But his handprint is not the only one, and soon Karou is separated from her family and comes face to face with Akiva, the angel that she sees as her enemy but yet still feels drawn to. She learns that the seraphs and the chimera have been fighting an age old battle for thousands of years. However, when Akiva discovers who Karou is, it will change everything.

This book was a slow burn, it took me a little bit to get into it, but once I did it was something that I couldn't put down. I don't know why, but I had been reluctant to read it even though I had heard only good things about it, and I really enjoyed it. I love Karou and Akiva's tale and can't wait to dive back in with the next book that I already requested from the library.

And now I think it is time for me to start another book. It is my weekend off and I plan to take advantage of it ;)

xo,
Erin

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2 more books

I have two more books to review, but that won't come tonight. I have work at 7 tomorrow so I need to get to bed, but reviews to come soon :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I read a book today! Books 66 and 67

Well, hello there! Long time no see. It's been pretty much impossible for me to read as of late because I started my new job and have had to adjust to a new schedule. Also I was in a phase where I just wasn't feeling like reading. I know now that I'm quite a bit behind but I just figure that I'll read when I can and see how many books I get done. I did read one a few weeks ago but never got around to posting about it, and I read another tonight on my day off.

Book 66: Too Scared to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood



Author: Dr. Lenore Terr
Genre: Psychology, Non-fiction
Pages: 384
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library

4 stars

A fascinating read about psychic trauma in children. Children are considered by most people to be resilient in times of stress and trauma, however, evidence and examples show that their early experiences greatly influence their later lives.

Book 67: 



Author: Emily Murdoch
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 256
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: May 1, 2013

3.5 stars
This is the story of Carey, a 14-year-old girl who lives in the woods with her selectively mute younger sister Jenessa after her mother abandoned them, until her father comes for her. Carey's mother, an abusive addict had kidnapped her and hid her in the woods when she was little. This is the story of their adjustment and learning how to let others in.

I thought the premise of the kidnapping and Nessa's mutism was very interesting, but there were a few things that bothered me. I didn't feel much tie to Carey's character, she felt very blunted to me. Also I felt that there were a lot of loose ends that were not concluded with no evidence of a sequel which was kind of irritating. Otherwise, it was a simple and interesting read.

Now, maybe some more reading now that I'm back in the zone and don't have to work until tomorrow night!
xo,
Erin

Monday, March 25, 2013

Book 65

Day 85

Back on the reading train, not doing much else while I'm sick. First time reading in my new bed and it is really nice to be able to just stretch out, cuddle up with my animals, and read a book. 300 books to go! Damn that sounds like a lot haha.

Book 65: Sever


Author: Lauren DeStefano
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 371
Series: Yes, book 3 of 3
Purchased or borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: March 25, 2013

3 stars
This is the closing novel in the Chemical Garden trilogy. The world is now a place where a virus kills women at age 20 and men by age 25. Women are abducted and sold into polygamous marriages or prostitution. Many of the marriages hope to produce children as their population doesn't live very long. The only other people are the first generations, those that were genetically created to prevent sickness and disease and it was their children and grandchildren that began dying off. Rhine was captured and sold into marriage with three other women to Linden, the son of Vaughn a wealthy scientist who is trying to find a cure for the virus. Rhine has a twin brother named Rowan that she is trying to find for most of the book with the help of Linden and her fellow sister wife Cecily. The twins have heterochromia, a mutation with two different color irises that leads Vaughn to believe that their scientist parents had a plan for their future. Vaughn is twisted by his love for his son and his effort to succeed that he will go to every length, including harming his son and those that he cares about. 

I think the notion of a deadly time bomb virus is very interesting and it is easy to see how love and the hope for a cure through science could warp someone's mind into doing some of the twisted things that Vaughn sees as necessary. However, I didn't feel particularly attached to the characters besides Cecily. For me I think that Rhine seemed emotionless to me, even when she was showing emotion. She always seemed to be surface level. I really enjoyed the first novel, Wither, but feel that the trilogy has gone down a bit since then.

Maybe a bit more reading of a new book then off to bed. 
xo,
Erin

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Back, again, books 61-64

So, I've been slacking. That is for sure. I'm quite a bit behind, but not so far that I can't make it up. There have been a number of things that have helped to put me behind schedule. First it was my several illnesses, then my trip to Florida, and then it was my boyfriend's spring break, and now here we are and I'm sick again. But I do want to be able to do this even though it is definitely harder than I thought it would be, and harder than it seemed to me in the beginning. Lately I just haven't felt like reading, sometimes you want that solitary time, and other times all you want is to spend some time with people you love and do things other than sitting down and reading a book. That is where I've been lately. I'm finally back and writing about the books that I did read while in Florida. I will be back on the reading grind starting tomorrow!

Book 61: The Sword in the Stone

Author: T.H. White
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy, Classics
Series: Yes, book 1 of 5
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library

3.5 stars
This is the classic story of the young King Arthur, known for most of the story as Wart. It tells of his adventures with Kay, Merlin, and Robin Hood, as well as dangerous encounters with Madam Mim and animals ready to eat him.

I was initially drawn to this story because of the beloved Disney classic. However, I am aware that many of Disney's movies are not told true to the originals so I was interested to see how this one would match up. I enjoyed Wart's adventures and thought surprisingly that the Disney version worked well, as the book was a bit long winded and near the end felt as if it was dragging on. Though I really did enjoy Wart and Kay's adventures with Robin Wood, known to many as Robin Hood. It was an interesting story crossover that I felt worked.


Book 62: Unravel Me


Author: Tahereh Mafi
Pages: 461
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Series: Yes, book 2 of 3. Book 3 is not yet released.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library

3 stars
Juliette was born with the ability to kill using only her touch. Unfortunately this keeps her from creating bonds with others, so she feels very isolated and alone. There are only two people that can touch her, Adam, the man she loves who is suddenly acting very odd after finding out that this ability to touch her drains him, and Warner, the leader of the Reestablishments son who is not a good person but still deeply cares for Juliette. They have all come to Omega Point, a home for people with gifts as they prepare to fight back to try and regain the world from the Reestablishment.

This books is basically about Juliette's decision between two men, the one she loves but touching her hurts him, and the one she is drawn to despite all he has done. I think that an important quality in a book is relatable characters. Juliette did not feel relatable. In fact, she came off as sulky, whining and a bit irritating. I understand that she is in a very tough spot, but it still did not make me like her more.

Book 63: The Runaway King


Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: Yes, book 2 of 3. Book 3 is not yet released.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library

4 stars
Only weeks after Jaron has taken the throne an assassination attempt by a former friend and rumblings of war force Jaron into hiding as the only way to save Carthya. Hiding is a bit different for Jaron as he masquerades as a thief in order to get in with the pirates who still have a price on his head after failing to kill him four years ago, and who plan to help his enemy with his tidings for war. Jaron hopes to persuade them to fight for him, but he is in a very dangerous position as many people want him dead, even those that may seem friendly.

This was a very good second installment in this trilogy. I loved the first book and in my opinion the middle book is always challenging as it is generally coming off a well received first installment and must set up for the ending in the third book. This book was good and I enjoyed the characters and change of scenery but at times it definitely felt like it was mainly there to lead into book three.


Book 64: Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How they Shape our Capacity to Love


Author: Dr. Robert Karen
Pages: 512
Genre: Psychology
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library

4 stars
The parent-child bond is one of the most important relationships in life and one that goes on to shape our future. Dr. Karen examines important aspects of attachment, such as how the theory was developed as well as important characteristics and questions that relate to it.

This book was very important as attachment is a guiding and pervasive characteristic throughout life. I found this reading especially interesting as child psychology is my field of choice and their emotional development is key when seeing problems in a child. It read a little dry at times but I feel that he tried to make the information interesting and accessible to all.

And now it is time for bed and to get rid of this sickness!

xo,
Erin

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book 60

Day 66

Like I said yesterday, I quite enjoy reading books that have been or will be made into movies. Through Goodreads I have discovered some new books, many from movies I have already seen and did not realize were based upon books. I enjoy the comparison, and this one did not disappoint.

Book 60: War Horse


Author: Michael Morpurgo
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 165
Series: Yes, book 1 of 2 but it is not necessary to read both
Purchased or borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: March 6, 2013

3.5 stars
This is the story of the horse Joey, told from his perspective. He is bought at an auction by Albert's father and becomes a farm horse until he is sold to the war effort and becomes a strong and valiant war horse with many adventures. Albert meanwhile joins the army in an effort to find his way back to Joey.

I thought that this was an enjoyable short story. I love horses and this movie so I liked reading it. The movie stayed relatively true to the book which I always prefer. However, I think in the case of this story because the narrator was a horse, it was a bit easier to feel the emotions of the story in the movie. I think it was an interesting choice to use the horse as the narrator, although he is obviously the primary focus of the novel.

I think I'm going to head to bed now relatively early because tomorrow is a busy day. I have lunch plans, will be hitting the gym and have to do all manner of errands before we leave for Florida on Friday! Hopefully I'll be able to get a lot of reading done then, I've already packed my books ;)

xo,
Erin

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Books 57 and 58 reviews and book 59

Day 65

Busy and tiring day today, but I know I need to get these written. I finished two books yesterday and one today. Today I also went to the doctors, the library, to pick up food, and to the gym and now my head is aching and all I wish to do is sleep, so now to the reviews.

Book 57: The Island of Dr. Moreau


Author: H.G. Wells
Genre: Classics, Science Fiction
Pages: 209
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: March 4, 2013

3 stars

Edward Prendick is shipwrecked when he is picked up by a boat full of strange animals and saved by a man named Montgomery. Montgomery is returning to a remote island with the animals and a peculiarly disfigured gentleman. Once on the island he meets Dr. Moreau, a man who left England to continue the strange experiments that had left him an outcast in the first place. Prendick is soon fighting for his life against the island's strange inhabitants.

I decided to read this book after I read The Madman's Daughter which was based upon this novel. The book was interesting and there were some plot ties to the other book which made it interesting to read. It was a quick and easy read, though definitely a bit out there with its subject matter but intriguing nonetheless.


Book 58: Princess of the Silver Woods

Author: Jessica Day George
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Series: Yes, book 3 of 3
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library through Marina
Date Read: March 4, 2013

4 stars

This is the final installment in the trilogy about the dancing princess. Princess Petunia is the youngest of twelve sisters and until she was seven she was forced to dance every night in the Kingdom Under Stone. Now Petunia is on her way to visit a kindly grandmotherly figure when her carriage is accosted by bandits and soon Petunia finds that both the grandmother, and the bandit and Earl, Oliver are not who they appear to be. The girls are dragged back into the Kingdom Under Stone in the evil effort to enact a decades old curse and with the help of Oliver as well as others they just might be able to win.

So I've read the other two books in this series and was definitely looking forward to reading this book and I enjoyed it. It takes on the tales of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood with a new twist. The book is full of magic, danger, secrets, and love so it is an enjoyable mixture and an easy read. I liked reading the tale of the dancing princesses, and have read something similar previously with the book Entwined which I loved.


Book 59: Stardust


Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 333
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: March 5, 2013

3.5 stars

Tristran, a young man of half-fairy parentage and hopelessly in love decides to cross the Wall to fairy-land and bring back a fallen star for his love. It turns out that the star is an injured and hot tempered woman who is less than pleased that Tristran has decided to keep her captive. They begin to make their way back to Wall but encounter many adventures and dangers on their way, many from others who are determined to get the star for themselves.

I found a list on Goodreads about books that were turned into movies. I love the movie Stardust and surprisingly had not heard that it was based off a popular book. The author, Neil Gaiman is a popular one, and I read one of his books early on in this challenge and did not particularly enjoy it. The opposite was true here. I think it is hard when I read a book and then end up comparing the movie to it, which is generally why I try to read the book first and keep that as the forefront in my mind. But that was not the case here and I ended up generally comparing the book and the movie. In some ways the book was better, there were more adventures and things were well described. Surprisingly though, there were a lot of ways in which the movie was actually better. The love story was told more in depth as well as the adventures, and I enjoyed the ending a lot more in the movie than I did in the book.

Now, time for sleep. Hopefully if there is snow tomorrow I'll be snuggled up inside reading to catch up! :)

xo,
Erin

I'm back! Books 57 and 58

Well, I'm back and am working on catching up! Two books down today but it is now nearly four am and I have some things to do tomorrow and need to rest! So reviews to come tomorrow afternoon :)

xo,
Erin

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book 56

Day 57

Well, so I'm a little behind. I'm okay with not being super far ahead as long as I just keep up with things. According to my goodreads page it says I'm on track though. I had an eventful day Sunday where I went out to dinner, to the movies and furniture shopping with my dad. I have been reading this book that I finally finished today for a few days now and finally finished it. The trip to Florida should help me catch back up!

Book 56: The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrist's notebook

Author: Dr. Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz
Genre: Non Fiction, Psychology
Pages: 288
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 27, 2013

4 stars
What happens when a young brain is traumatized and how does it recover? This is the question that Dr. Perry tries to answer throughout his career as a child psychiatrist. This book tells the story of children that are genocide survivors, murder witnesses, kidnapped teenagers, neglect, and physical and sexual abuse. Dr. Perry and his team help them with some seemingly unconventional methods in order to allow the children to improve physically, emotionally, and of course mentally through proper brain development.

As I would like to be a child psychologist, I thought the topic of childhood trauma was very interesting. Children are thought to be very resilient and that they can easily get through challenging times such as these but that simply is not the case if proper attachment bonds and brain growth is not developed. That is why many of these children had problems and their cases were brought up to Dr. Perry. I wish he had had a bit more about the children themselves in each chapter, I felt a lot of it was told merely to relate back to the science, which was described in a way that felt slightly condescending. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the success stories of many the children and applauded the inclusion of cases of trauma where the child was not helped. Rarely do authors show cases where things don't work, and it is important to note that even with the best intentions, some things can be very difficult to overcome. One thing that did really bother me was the last chapter. The last chapter felt like it was merely a place for the author to rant about the injustices of the world and that pretty much everything needed to be changed and it was kind of annoying. Other than that, it was interesting material with some useful ideas for my future work.

Now off to sleep, and more reading tomorrow for sure because I just started a really interesting book!

xo,
Erin

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book 55

Day 54

So obviously my lead is almost gone at this point. Being sick did not help AT ALL. I finally went to the doctors yesterday after I just wasn't getting better and they told me that I had the wonderful combination of an upper respiratory infection, a sinus infection, a bacterial infection, and pink eye, super exciting! I've been resting for a while now just because I was still continuously sick and now that I'm finally beginning to feel better, in large part due to the antibiotics I am sure, I am finally starting to feel a bit better. This next week I need to knock out a bunch of books because I'll be heading to Disney World and to see my family in Florida on the 8th and I can't wait. I'm sure that the long drive there and back will help as well. Now I'm finally ready to write the review for the book that I read two days ago, sickness has a good way of sucking everything out of you so that even little things become a huge chore.

Book 55: Dirty

Author: Megan Hart
Genre: Romance, Adult Fiction
Pages: 425
Series: Yes, book 1 of 1.5. There is a short 33 page ebook.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 21, 2013

3.5 stars
Elle and Dan meet in an adult candy store. They bump into each other a few times and begin hanging out, although Elle refuses to call it dating as she does not date. But as she slowly becomes more attached to Dan she begins to let him as well as others in. He learns more about her family life and her past relationships that have shaped who she is today and why she avoids committing to someone.

Okay, so first off this book was totally misleading. From the title, the cover, and the beginning of the novel, you think that this is going to be very romantic and sexual, but that is not necessarily the case. In the beginning, the way Elle is described is basically as a cold and unfeeling slut. Dan begins to slowly crack open this facade and the reasoning behind Elle's action and so the book becomes much more than it seems. I think I would have liked this more if I knew what I was getting into. I was looking for a light and fluffy romance, but the content got heavy and hit a little too close to home for comfort. In fact about halfway through where I could see where things were going regarding Elle's past, I wanted to stop but it felt like watching a train wreck. You know you should stop looking at it but you just can't tear your eyes away. At that point I was already so far in that I really just had to finish the book and so I did.

I'm part of the way through another book that I started yesterday but I think I'm just going to try and get a good night's rest because I'm finally feeling a bit better and I have a daddy-daughter date planned for tomorrow that I'm looking forward to.

xo,
Erin

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book 53 review and Book 54

Day 53

Still sick, still miserable. All I have been doing the last few days is watching the Walking Dead, resting, and reading a little bit while coughing a lottt. I hate it and really just want to be better but medicine doesn't seem to be doing all that much.

Book 53: Prodigy

Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Series: Yes, book 2 of 3. Book 3 is not yet released
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 19, 2013

3 stars
The world is changed. After the floods, the people of the Eastern U.S. swarmed the West looking for shelter and the country divided into the West becoming the Republic and the East becoming the Colonies constantly fighting for land. Day and June are from the Republic, Day its most wanted criminal and June a young but brilliant military officer, but this all changes when they meet in the first book, titled Legend. In this novel, Day and June are on the run from the Republic and join the Patriots, a rebel organization that wants them to sacrifice and assassinate the new Elector, the head of the government. June is sent in to act as a decoy by earning his trust while Day's popularity is used to the Patriots' advantage, but some things just don't seem to add up and it their job to figure things out before it is too late.

Okay, so I mostly liked the characters in this book, but the entrance of two other possible romantic interests, making it a four square relationship problem just annoyed me. I also docked a bunch from my rating for the ending alone. It was one of the worst endings I've ever read, it was just bad. I'm curious as to where it will go from here there, so we shall see with the final book in the trilogy.

Book 54: Crash


Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Series: Yes, book 1 of 2. Book 2 comes out October 8th.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library (good thing too because it is so little for a hardback!)
Date Read: February 20, 2013

3.5 stars
Jules lives with her family over the pizza restaurant. Her life is filled with a vision of a crash that has yet to occur, where she sees nine body bags. In one of the bags she sees the face of Sawyer, the boy she loves but is forbidden to see because he is the son of their rival pizzeria and their families hate each other. But Jules can't let the boy she loves die and tries to figure out what she can do to save him.

So this book was a VERY fast read, like an hourish for me. I sped through it. I mean, it is kind of hard to make things about a vision very interesting because most of the plot is building up for something that everyone knows is going to happen. The family rivalry was kind of a weird and seemingly unrealistic side plot until you get more into the story. But the ending was definitely interesting and I'm curious to see where the author will take Jules and Sawyer next time. One thing that did bother me about the author's writing was Jules' lists, where she would list top 5 things. They just seemed kind of unnecessary for the writing.

Now, really time for more sleep and recovery I hope.
xo,
Erin

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book 53

Is Prodigy..review to come tomorrow. I'm still sick and need some rest, also my computer isn't working because something is wrong with my power cord :/

Xo,
Erin

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book 52

Day 49

I'm back! After a lovely weekend in Salisbury with my boyfriend I have returned home and begun to read again. The book that I'm writing about today I actually finished on Friday but didn't have time to post about it before I drove down. I'm about three quarters of the way through another book but I'm getting sick (again, my immune system must be shitty) and am going to rest instead so I can power through a few books tomorrow.

Book 52: Every Day

Author: David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 324
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 15, 2013

2 stars
Every day A wakes up in a different body with no warning of who or where he is. This has been happening as long as he remembers. The only qualifications are that the body be the same age as him, gender is irrelevant. A tries to not get attached, avoid notice and to not interfere with anyone's lives. That is until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets his girlfriend Rhiannon. He begins to fall for her, and does not abide by his rules because he finally has found someone who he wants to be with. A struggles to find a way to be with her, to separate her from her relationship with Justin, and determine if he can stay with her. A subplot deals with Nathan, a host that remembers that A has possessed him and begins spreading the news that he was possessed by the devil. Each chapter also deals to some extent with each of A's hosts and their problems.

I thought the premise of this book was really interesting, but it did not live up to my expectations for it. It was definitely hard to sympathize with A considering that once he meets and falls for Rhiannon he cares little for his hosts and their own lives, routinely screwing things up for them. A is supposed to be genderless, but to me the character always read as a he. He expected that Rhiannon should care for him and act the same in any of his bodies, including continuing their romantic relationship when A was in the body of a female host. It really bothered me that the character didn't seem understanding of that hang up, or that he thought that they could continue to be together while he continued to possess others' bodies even though it was evident that Rhiannon was beginning to realize that they could never have a real relationship. There were just several qualities about A that really bothered me and made it difficult for me to really like this book.

Time for more rest, and then the rest of the week I need to start banging out books :)

xo,
Erin

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Books 50 and 51

Day 44

Still trying to recover from being sick. Yesterday I made my first venture outside the house in a few days to do some errands as I had finally begun to feel better, only to become completely exhausted. So it was back to resting for me. The past few weeks I've been reading a bit slower than I would normally like, even though I'm still ahead of the game but I feel the need to pick up the pace a little.

Book 50: Lolita



Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Genre: Classics
Pages: 309
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 13, 2013

2 stars
Lolita is the story of Humbert Humbert's obsessive passion for the 12-year-old nymphet Dolores Haze, who he calls Lolita. Nymphets are young girls between the ages of 9 and 14 that possess certain qualities such a small firm body, high cheekbones and a childish smile. Humbert's childhood love died when they were 13 and since then he has been drawn to the nymphets. After a failed first marriage, Humbert arrives at the Haze residence where he is to stay as a lodger. It is there where he meets his Lolita and falls in love with. After also learning of her mother's love for him, he decides to marry her in an effort to stay close to her, now effectively becoming Lolita's father figure. He becomes possessive and controlling of Lolita determined to keep her for his own.

So, this book was weird. There's no other real way to describe it. The author tries to get the reader to see Humbert in a more positive light, but his character is an unreliable narrator and it became difficult for me to see him as anything more than a pervert and a rapist. The book was told in two parts, and I enjoyed the first part but the second part for me just seemed to drag on and not really be closely related to the plot at hand that was presented in the beginning. I also felt like the prose itself was particularly wordy, with run-on sentence and superfluous word usage which made getting through the book very slow going. The wording felt distracting to me. I suppose it is challenging to make a story of an old man's obsession for a child appealing, but I could not handle it.


Book 51: The False Prince


Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 342
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 3. Book 2 will be released on March 1st (yay!)
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 13, 2013

5 stars
To unify the kingdom of Carthya a nobleman named Connor divises a plan to install an impersonator of the king's long-lost son Jaron on the throne. Jaron went missing after being attacked at sea by pirates and presumed dead. Four orphans collected from orphanages for their resemblances to Prince Jaron are forced to compete for the role, or die because they know too much of Connor's plan. Sage is defiant but clever, characteristics that were prized in Jaron. He must hope that those qualities will help him to win the role of prince, but as Sage and the others move into the palace layers of lies begin to unfold until a shocking truth is revealed that will change everything. 

Trying to hold back my gushing..but I feel it will be hard. I LOVED this book! It was wonderful. It has been a little bit since I have stayed up this late truly because I could not put the book down and not to just try and finish it. The author did a splendid job with her writing and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed the ending. I can't wait to read book 2, I would definitely recommend this!

Now, since it is actually 5am, good grief, I need to sleep as my Dad will be waking up in like 10 minutes haha :)

xo,
Erin

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Books 48 and 49

Day 42:

So I got a little lazy yesterday and was too tired and sick to write about my book when it was done, so I'll write about it now, as well as the one I finished today. I began another book and am currently in the middle of it, but it's 3am and I probably won't finish it until tomorrow. I'm finally feeling a bit better which helps a lot. It's really hard to make yourself read when really all you want to do is sleep and rest. I know that I need to read during the week though because I don't usually have time on the weekends, the exact opposite of most other people in the world I'm sure.

Book 48: Janie Face to Face



Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Pages: 352
Series: Yes, 5 of 5
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 10, 2013

3 stars
This is the conclusion to the Janie series, about a girl who realizes that she was kidnapped after seeing her own face on a missing child ad on a milk carton. Her real name was Jennie and she was abducted from a mall by a woman named Hannah who then decided to pass her off as her own child and dump her on her parents. The girl now known as Janie was raised unsuspectingly by the Johnsons, and now in this novel the little girl has grown up and is now 20 years old. She has had a difficult time trying to incorporate both of her families and become herself away from the kidnapping. This becomes even more challenge as they find out that a famous author is making a true crime story about her kidnapping. But then comes happy news, Janie is getting married to the boy next door, but hidden in the background still is Hannah, who is ready to spoil it and take back everything she believes is hers.

So, it has been a longgg time since I started reading the books in this series. Sometimes it is nice to come back to old characters that you've enjoyed, while other times you realize it has just been too long. In this novel's case, it was kind of nice, but it felt a little under done. I think that I wouldn't have noticed the writing nearly as much when I was younger than I do now. It was a nice conclusion to the series, but it just felt like it took too long for the author to make this choice, and then once she did, it wasn't great.


Book 49: The Madman's Daughter



Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Horror (this book falls under a lot of genres and makes it difficult to categorize)
Pages: 432
Series: Yes, book 1 of 3 (books 2 and 3 aren't yet released, and this book is a new release)
Date Read: February 11, 2013

4 stars
Juliet Moreau is a 16 year old girl who is having a tough life in London after the disgrace and departure of her father six years earlier, an acclaimed surgeon who was accused of conducting gruesome experiments. She suspects him dead, but then finds his assistant Montgomery alive in London and that he has been continuing his experiments on a remote tropical island and is determined to go back with him. She travels with Montgomery and a castaway named Edward, both of whom she feels drawn to, only to arrive to see the true depths her father has gone to in the name of science. He has experimented on animals so that they now resemble, speak, and behave like humans, but now one of them has gone rogue and has begun killing the others. Juliet knows she needs to end the experiments and escape, but who will she trust and how will she make it out of this madness?

This book, based on the novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau (which I just added to my to read list) was a fascinating departure of historical fiction as well as the lack of boundaries regarding scientific ethics. It seemed such a fascinating concept to me, and so different from other things that I have read. I find it difficult to describe, but I really liked this book. After reading, it seemed to me that this novel would be a stand alone title, only do I come to find that it will be a trilogy. The next book will be based on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which will be interesting though because I read it for this challenge already.

Now back to book 50 for a little bit before I go to bed :)

xo,
Erin

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book 47

Day 40:

I had a great time in College Park, but ended up coming back a little earlier in the weekend so I had some time to read tonight. I am unfortunately still sick and my cough makes me sound like a seal. I finished one book tonight, started a second one only to decide that it wasn't worth continuing. I found the book at B&N and it seemed kind of interesting so I thought I would try it, but it wasn't my thing. You never know unless you try, and sometimes I find some amazing reads.

Book 47: The Catcher in the Rye


Author: J.D. Salinger
Genre: Classics
Pages: 214
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 9, 2013

3 stars

This book is about Holden Caulfield, a 16-year-old who gets kicked out of his third school because he has failed nearly everything. He leaves the school and is too afraid of his parents' reactions to his flunking out to return home early, so he wanders around New York City trying to pass the time until he is expected home a few days later. The story basically progresses in this manner talking of his experiences in the city.

The reviews of this book seemed to be all over the place. Some people loved it, while others hated it. To me it was just mediocre. I think it might have been because there was something about Holden that fundamentally bothered me, especially with the way he talked. The book was written in what felt like a stream of consciousness style where every single thought he had, no matter how relevant was recorded even though Holden was telling the story from a future point in time. Most of the thoughts were really not relevant to the  plot and so it felt like he was going around in a giant tangent. However, you can also see that the narrator is becoming very aimless and depressed and is not sure what to do about it. The writing though was clear and it was a pretty fast read for a classic.

xo,
Erin

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book 46

Day 38

Here I am at the end of another week, and I am still sick. My throat is sore that I have been pretty miserable and much more concerned with getting some rest and getting better than reading late into the night. So last night I decided to go to bed instead of finishing my book and I'm choosing to do the same tonight even though I'm about halfway through my second book. I just don't think I can make it and I have a big weekend ahead of me celebrating my Little's birthday. I'm hoping I can power through the sickness that seems to be getting everyone down this time of year.

Book 46: Ender's Game


Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 324
Series: Yes, 1 of 4 as well as a companion series
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 7, 2013

4 stars
Ender Wiggin is six-years-old when he is taken from his family to attend Battle School, an elite training academy for children in the efforts against the aliens in the next Bugger War. Ender is an exceptionally bright child and a brilliant strategist and commander. He moves quickly up the ranks and is promoted earlier than any child before him, but yet he retains his humanity even as they leave him isolated from others. The ending was just downright shocking.

I first heard of this book many moons ago when I read an excerpt in the seventh grade. Back then, I did not like it but I heard that there was a movie coming out and I wanted to give the whole book a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. I found that I really enjoyed the book. You could truly experience the heavy weight that they were putting on Ender's shoulders to command their troops when he was such a young boy. I'm not big on surprises as a general rule, mainly because I am usually too impatient to handle them, but the ending to this book was a definite surprise. I think this was primarily because I didn't think that that was how the author would handle things, but it definitely made them more interesting. I am kind of intrigued to see where the other books in this series will take him.

Now time for more rest.
xo,
Erin

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Books 44 and 45

Day 36

Unfortunately it is now that time of year when everyone is getting sick. It caught me today, I've been sick to my stomach, sneezing, and have a sore throat and a nasty cough. Most of the day was therefore spent resting, and a little time in the evening was spent reading. I've been trying to buckle down to get some of these books turned back into the library. The books I read today are both very different but I was feeling a little genre separation today.

Book 44: Boundless


Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Series: Yes, book 3 of 3
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 5, 2013

3 stars
I'm not even sure how to describe this book properly but Clara Gardner is a Triplare, a rare being born from an the angel Michael who is her father and a half-angel mother. She experiences visions, many of which involve her fellow Triplare friend Christian who believes that they are destined to be together. She has pushed away Tucker, the human boy she loves in the effort to give him a normal life. Clara, Christian, and their angel-blood friend Angela move to California to attend Stanford University and begin seeing visions where they are put in grave danger.

I enjoyed the previous two books, but something really bothered me about this trilogy as a whole. The books did not seem to have a cohesive plot, considering that it was a three part series and they didn't seem to connect very well across book lines. I also really did not like Tucker with Clara and so it was hard for me to deal with that when it was so obvious to me that Christian was the right one for her. And in the end, the other comes up with a convenient way to change Clara's reasoning that just annoyed me. It's hard to love a book when you really don't like one of the characters.

Book 45: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change


Author: Stephen R. Covey
Genre: Non Fiction, Self Help
Pages: 319
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library (but if you really want to work on the lessons this book teaches then I would recommend buying a copy)
Date Read: February 5, 2013

3.5 stars
This book aimed to explain and teach exactly what the title says, 7 habits of personal change towards interdependency. The seven habits are in two areas, private and public victories. The habits towards private victories are being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first. The habits for public victories are thinking win/win, seeking first to understand and then to be understood, and to synergize. The seventh habit is sharpening the saw, by preserving the four dimensions of your nature which are physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional.

This book was a little slow to begin with, and it took me a while to get into. I actually read through the introduction and the first two habits before taking a break from the book. But after that I went into it with a new mindset, and was able to gain some interesting understanding from this book. I really liked the lessons that I teaches, but I was a little put off by the author's writing style. I liked that he used examples from his own life, but the way the writing was styled did not seem like the best way of organization. I think that he could have reworked things to make it easier to read. I was also a bit put off by large passages of quotations from others. Although these can be used to support one's own ideas, they should generally not be placed directly into a book and should be paraphrased instead. However, I hope implement some of the lessons I learned in this book towards my own personal change.

Now it's time to work on recovering from this illness.

xo,
Erin

Monday, February 4, 2013

Book 43

Day 35

Today I got back from an amazing long weekend at Salisbury where I had a great time and very little time for reading. Once I got back though I knew I needed to get started again because I have a bunch of books due back to the library shortly so I decided to go with a quick read.

Though it was made a little more challenging by this..where Winnie decided to lay on top of the book as I was trying to read.



Book 43: Through the Ever Night


Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 341
Series: Yes, Book 2 of 3. Book 3 has yet to be released.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: February 4, 2013

3.5 stars
This is the second book in this trilogy, followed by Under the Never Sky. The book takes turns telling the story from both Perry and Aria's perspectives. Perry is an Outsider, a young Blood Lord that lives on the land and tries to protect his people from the Aether storms in the sky that are now becoming a continual uncontrollable danger. Aria was raised a Dweller, people that stayed in pods and avoided everything about the outside world. She is actually half-Outsider as well as she possesses an extra sensory gift (she is an Aud) like others in the outside world. Together they fight to find a way to protect each other and the people they are responsible for to get them to a place called the Still Blue, where there are no storms, as well as the ability to blend their differing backgrounds so that they can truly be together.

So this was a relaxing read, but it took me a little bit to get into the story because I didn't remember much about the first book. I did enjoy it but it has been a while since I read it, and I hate when that happens and the author doesn't find a concrete way to tie the new book to the others in the series. That and the slightly odd premise of the Aether, which is not explained all that well, are my reasons for only a medium rating. Otherwise it was an easy and enjoyable read. 

xo,
Erin

Friday, February 1, 2013

Book 42

Day 32:

Well, I was in College Park for most of the day and then was busy this evening prepping for Super Bowl food and preparing for my trip to Salisbury this weekend. So again, I will not be able to read this weekend, or next weekend, as I will be celebrating my Little in the sorority, Emily's birthday in College Park. But I did find a little time today to work on the book I began yesterday.

Book 42: 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology


Authors: Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and Barry L. Beyerstein
Genre: Psychology, Nonfiction
Pages: 258
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library through Marina
Date Read: February 2, 2013

4 stars
This book's purpose was in the name, to debunk popular psychology myths, such as opposites attract and that some people are left-brained while others are right-brained. Unfortunately many people believe these myths as they spread through word of mouth and inaccurate media portrayals. This book thoroughly explains each myth, how it is often portrayed and why people might choose to believe it. Then they take the flip side and describe and cite the scientific research that has disproved these commonly held beliefs. I did know a lot of them, which is apparently a good indication for my Psychology degree as the book states that many people in the field even believe these to some extent. The book was informative and described the psychology jargon in a way that was easy to read for someone who is not in the psychology field, but it did read a bit dry.

Now, it's time for some rest because I have a three hour drive ahead of me in the morning. And as it is now after 2am,
Happy 21st Birthday Little!! :)

xo,
Erin

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Month 1 is Done!

1 month down, 11 months to go! Today brings an end to the month of January where I read 41 books! I'm ahead of the game and still feeling good about my challenge.

Some things I've learned so far:
1. Read things you're interested in. This is a daunting task and I need to stay motivated to keep at it by only reading books that I'm interested in.
2. But that doesn't mean you only need to stay with easy to read books or books in my genre. Stray from your genre a little.
3. Take recommendations from friends, that might help you discover books you never would have read before.
4. If you don't want to read that day, then don't. Reading is something I enjoy and I want to keep it that way and do not want to turn it into something that I am forcing myself to do.
5. Borrowing from the library sometimes saves me SO much money on books!

I'm in the middle of book 42 now but I'm tired and have a full day tomorrow so I'm going to crash early instead of staying up to finish it. But I think things are going well so far :)

xo,
Erin


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book 41

Day 30:

Today was a day full of reading and relaxation. I've been having pretty bad headaches lately and have been feeling very drained so it was nice for me to just chill out on my bed and read.

Book 41: Everbound


Author: Brodi Ashton
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 358
Series: Yes, Book 2 of 3, book 3 has yet to be released
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: January 30, 2013

4 stars
Last year Nikki was taken to the Everneath, a place for the Everliving, immortal beings that feed off human emotions. Nikki was Cole's sacrifice and he fed off of her for 100 years, only 6 months on the Surface in her own time. The only thing that kept Nikki sane was her tie to her boyfriend Jack. Now she must return to the Everneath with Cole and fight for the love she has lost, while Cole continues to fight for her heart.

This author has a thing for cliffhanging endings, something I am very much not a fan of! I understand the idea of keeping readers in suspense and guessing over the long wait for the next book, but this ending just pissed me off! I enjoyed the rest of the book and the challenges they had to face in the Everneath. To me it seemed that the series was over, but then he threw a major curve ball and it just made me so mad. But I liked the book. The writing was clear and engaging and it was easy to read.

I wasn't feeling much like reading tonight, so I'm going to take tonight off.

xo,
Erin

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book 40

Day 29:

Today I realized the possible downfall of this challenge, besides the obvious of course haha. Reading has always been something I have loved and most of the time it has never felt like an obligation or a chore. I knew that there were some days when I would need a break from reading. After last night and that long book, I felt that the obligation of finishing it and getting it back to the library in time was more than reading that book for the enjoyment of it. I took most of the day away from it, had another doctors appointment, did some shopping, watched tv, and only then was I okay with reading something for a little while. I definitely needed something newer, light and easier to read and that was what I chose. No classics or psychology heavy books for me tonight.

Book  40: The Archived



Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 321
Series: Yes, this is book 1 of 2. This book only came out a week ago and the second one should not be released for a while.
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library (first one to read it :) )
Date Read: January 29, 2013

3 stars
There are three layers: the Outer, the world that most people know; the Narrows, an in-between place; and the Archives, which consists of the Library, the place where the Histories are stored. Histories are the bodies of the dead that contain the history of their life. The Histories don't always stay asleep though. Sometimes they escape to the Narrows, and it is the Keepers job to return them, and occasionally they escape into the world and then it is a job for a pair, the Crew to bring them back. Mackenzie is a Keeper dealing with the loss of both her grandfather, who passed on her job, and her little brother when her family relocates to an apartment in the Coronado Hotel. There she meets Wes, a fellow Keeper. But something is not right. There are more Histories than usual in her territory and there is some suspicious altering of memories from deaths that had occurred in the hotel long ago. As Mac tries to figure things out she gets even more embroiled in the plot to take down the Archives.

The premise of this book was interesting to me, the idea of the dead being stored on shelves in a library, and the effort to keep them out of the living world. I don't think I felt much depth in the characters though and so I wasn't that invested in things. I wanted to know who was doing things, but I wanted to know a lot sooner and it felt a little drug out. It has potential and I will probably read on to see what's next for this series as it was a fast read. To me it seemed as if it could be a stand alone novel so I was curious to see that it was going to be a series. Guess I'll have to wait and find out.

I found some more books on Goodreads to add to my list, and am now going to crash instead of starting another book because my head is still hurting.

xo,
Erin

Book 39

Day 27:

Well, my procrastination reared its ugly head yesterday. The book I started yesterday and finished today was large, and due back to the library today with no possible renewals. I also had a doctors appointment and errands to run, so I cut it a little close on time. It is nearly 3am and I only just finished, but as long as it is in before they open it will not be late ;)

Scooter and the book!

Book 39: A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire



Author: George R. R. Martin
Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy
Pages: 674
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 5
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library
Date Read: January 28, 2013

3.5 stars
I had high hopes for this book as it is has been heralded as a wonderful fantasy series and tv show. I was interested in the tv show and of course felt the need to read the book first. It tells the story of a game of thrones, told by eight different narrators. King Robert and his evil queen Cersei Lannister come to visit his old boyhood friend Lord Eddard (Ned) Stark and ask him to be the Hand of the King as the previous one, Stark's own brother-in-law had died (been murdered really). Though he does not want the position he has to go, bringing his two daughters Sansa and Arya with him, and leaving three sons and his wife Cat behind, his heir Robb, the littlest Ricken, and Bran, an 8-year-old climber who had been crippled from a fall. He sends his bastard son Jon to protect the realm at the Wall. All of his children possess a direwolf, a wolf twice the size of a normal wolf and the Stark family symbol. They were found beside their dead mother and were taken as a sign. Each wolf is bonded very closely with its child. Thus it begins with Ned trying to figure out who killed Lord Arryn and maimed his son. Unfortunately, the plot is much more complicated than that and the Lannisters much more devious. Meanwhile, over the Wall, Dany, the heir of the murdered former king with the blood of the dragon begins to make her way to reclaim her throne.

If the plot is hard to understand now, it was even more difficult to read, specifically in the beginning when all of the characters were being introduced. With so many narrators it was difficult to keep the plot connected. I enjoyed the characters and each of their stories, but for me it was the writing that I felt was this book's downfall. The writing was VERY longwinded and took me ages to get through and I am a fast and steady reader. His prose was often superfluous and I just felt like it drug on at times and I just wanted to know what happened and have it be done with. Also, I know it was to be expected but the sheer amount of incest, scheming and fighting did not add up in its favor, at least in the way it was portrayed. I'm not sure at this point if I will chose to read the other books, which is sad because I do like the characters but I think at this point I might rather just chance watching the tv show instead. A sad day when I chose the film version over the original.

xo,
Erin

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book 38 - and some cool news!

Day 27:

Today was another reading filled day, and surprise of surprise I managed a regular sleep schedule! Hopefully this will continue. I also had a very exciting experience related to the book that I read and will recount it a little later on.

Book 38: The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients



Author: Dr. Irvin D. Yalom
Genre: Psychology
Pages: 268
Series: No, but the author of several other books
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library through Marina
Date Read: January 27, 2013

4 stars
I liked this book by Dr. Yalom, a famed psychoanalyst, a lot better than his previous book that I read a few days ago. It was written later in his life and reflects his growth. The book is broken up into five sections: the nature of the therapist-patient relationship, from process to content, issues that arise in the everyday conduct of therapy, the use of dreams, and the hazards and privileges of being a therapist. It can read a bit choppy as most chapters are relatively short because each contains a different insight and examples from his time as a therapist, but this was acknowledged in the introduction due to the sheer nature of the novel. I found it very helpful, and actually plan to purchase this book for myself because it had so many great tips and things that I could really learn from as I proceed to become a therapist myself.

I was struck by a question regarding therapist self-disclosure, a personal interest of mine, when reading this book. It was a burning question in that I had to stop reading and pick up my computer as I had decided to email him in the hope of answering my question. I figured that if I received a response at all, that it would take a long time, perhaps weeks. Much to my surprise and excitement, Dr. Yalom emailed me back just FIVE minutes later and started a dialogue to my question that would expand over a few other emails. It was a very neat experience for me and I was very happy to hear from him and his response to my question :)

I began reading a very fat book today, nearly 700 pages. It's interesting but slow going and I'm only 250 pages in and it is due to the library tomorrow, so I'll have to be speedy about it then, but for now I shall rest.

xo,
Erin

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book 37

Day 26:

No snowboarding today, the conditions were just too chancy to risk it, but I still had a very lovely relaxing day and evening. I was still in a very intellectual mood today and continued to want to read psychology related books. I'm not sure if it is because now most of my friends have started back to school and new classes with new opportunities to learn. I may not have always loved some of the rigors of school, but I always loved learning. For me reading is a form of learning, and I'm learning a lot.

Book 37: A Shining Affliction: A Story of Harm and Healing in Psychotherapy


Author: Dr. Annie G. Rogers
Genre: Psychology, Nonfiction
Pages: 336
Series: No
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library through Marina
Date Read: January 26, 2013

4.5 stars
I loved this book! It was a story of a young female psychotherapist, Annie Rogers, who is doing her clinical internship at a school for disturbed children in Chicago. While there she meets a  troubled young boy named Ben who was abandoned by his mother, and then removed from his first foster family after they left him in the house during a fire as an infant. But Annie has problems of her own, painful and forgotten memories from her childhood and her parents, several personas in her head, as well as a difficult and strained relationship with her own therapist. It is eventually this relationship that causes her own breakdown and hospitalization. After a two month stay and finding a new psychoanalyst, Blumenfeld, she begins to deal with her own feelings related to her father and mother's sexual abuse and her therapist's abandonment. She returns to Ben, and they begin to heal together through play encounters with both learning and growing from the other, in that a child who was though to be untreatable has developed a mutual attachment bond with someone.

This book was uncommonly rewarding and fascinating for me to read. First, her interactions with Ben were my favorite part of the book. I love children and want to work with similar cases and their play interactions and the things it told Annie were really interesting. The reader is also able to see Annie dig herself out of her own hole and become the person that she was meant to be. Her therapists never focused on clinical diagnoses but merely got to know the whole person, which is something I hope to do myself. And due to my own experiences I always enjoy reading about people who have gained success in the psychological field after struggling with their own problems. The only thing that annoyed be about this book was occasionally when she described her own neuroses, the language was difficult to understand and felt a little superfluous. Otherwise, it was a breeze to read, well-written but readable, which to me is the best kind of book.

I started another psychology related book tonight but I think I'm going to break for sleep early tonight because I think I need it and finish it tomorrow. Funny how early for me is 1am haha. I also need to tackle a very fat book that is due in two days and has no renewals, eek!

xo,
Erin

Friday, January 25, 2013

Book 36

Day 25:

Today was a snow day, which for me after a failed eye doctor appointment due to a large power outage meant staying in snuggled up in my bed with my animals, reading. I went to the library again, and finally I'm making a little headway with the number of books I have checked out in that the number is nearly 20, hah! It is funny to think of but it is actually progress for me. Recently there have been several new releases to trilogies I have been reading and instead of devouring those and finishing them quickly and easily I opted to tackle one of my psychology books today. Like I have said in the past, I was a psychology major and want to go to school to be a clinical psychologist. I have found several intriguing books about psychology in general, psychotherapy, and my personal fascination and clinical interest, depression. There are currently six other psychology related books in my to read pile still.

Book 26: Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy


Author: Dr. Irvin D. Yalom
Genre: Psychology
Pages: 304
Series: No, although he is the author of several psychology related books and I have another one written by him in my pile
Purchased or Borrowed: Borrowed from the library through Marina
Date Read: January 25, 2013

2 stars
This book is written by a famed psychotherapist and tells ten tales of patients each dealing with different dilemmas. The patients though are not the true focus of this book, but the therapist himself as he deals with some shocking countertransference issues. Countertransference is an occurrence in psychology when a helper projects their own unresolved issues onto their client, which may interfere with the helping if left unresolved. Some cases of this were his sexualization of patients as well as the notion that he should turn away an obese woman because her form disgusted him. In the beginning before she began to lose weight, he wouldn't touch her or even look her in the eyes, and this woman noticed his behavior. I thought it was surprising and slightly unethical that he decided to deal with these issues of countertransference by taking on clients that provoked them, instead of dealing with his own issues outside of therapy. Many of the stories were interesting if a little long winded, sometimes I felt like he drug out the writing and the tale, and I did not like the man. I had such high hopes for this book and unfortunately they did not pan out. I originally thought to rate this as a 3 star book and as I began writing my review I realized that it had a lot more venom in it that a typically 3 star review would have, and that there were several things about this book that really irked me.

But now no more reading tonight as I have plans tomorrow, possibly snowboarding but we shall see how the roads go.

xo,
Erin