#BookTubeAThon July 24-31 – Prize Pack Giveaway! Deadline July 21!

I love readathons – such a great way to motivate me to read more, and they are a fun way to connect with other bookworms. Connect with me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/Smitten4Fiction

HERE ARE THE 2017 READING CHALLENGES for BookTubeAThon July 24th – July 31st

The 2017 Reading Challenges:
1/ Read a book with a person on the cover
2/ Read a hyped book.
3/ Finish a book in one day.
4/ Read about a character that is very different from you.
5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.
6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.
7/ Read seven books.

MY TBR!
1. Read a book with a person on the cover + 4. Read about a character that is very different from you.
Remnant Population.jpgRemnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

People had always told Ofelia what to do; for once she was going to do what she wanted. She refused to get on the cryo ships, refused to leave the only world she could call home. And when they finally came for her, she hid, not that the authorities looked all that hard for one crazy old woman. Now Ofelia is alone, content to live with no more demands on her self or her time, the only remaining settler on an abandoned planet. The new settlers arrive. At first she fears they have come to reoccupy the settlement she has come to think of as hers – but they land far away. And as Ofelia secretly listens, they are slaughtered to the last child by stone-age aliens no one knew were there. Now it will be up to Ofelia to save the aliens from Earth’s wrath.

2. Read a hyped book + 6. Read a book you bought because of the cover.
The Edge of Everything.jpg

The Edge of Everythng by Jeff Giles

I’ve seen this one all over Booktube.

For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future.”

3. Finish a book in one day. + 5. Finish a book completely outdoors.
The Lightning Thief.jpg
The Lightning Thief (Graphic Novel)

By Rick Riordan

Mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking out of the pages of twelve-year-old Percy Jackson’s textbooks and into his life. And worse, Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now, he and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus.

Series creator Rick Riordan joins forces with some of the biggest names in the comic book industry to tell the story of a boy who must unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.”

I highly doubt I would be able to read 7 books in a week…unless I read children’s books LOL

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Subscribe to Penguin Platform (where the winner will be announced!): https://www.youtube.com/penguinplatform

Rules to enter Giveaway!!
1) Film a video sharing your Booktube-a-thon TBR pile!
2) Make sure to include your email address in the description of your video, this is how we will contact you if you win!
3) Leave a link to your video in the comment section of this video!
4) A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Penguin Platform’s channel!
5) You have until 11:59PM EST on July 21st 2017 to enter!
** OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! **
*If you don’t see your comment, don’t worry! YouTube sometimes marks them as spam, but I definitely still have it and just have to approve it 😀
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The Gunslinger by Stephen King #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

The Gunslinger

Book One of The Dark Tower series

Written By: Stephen King

2003 edition

First Chapter First Paragraph:

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

The desert was the apotheosis of all deserts, huge, standing to the sky for what looked like eternity in all directions. It was white and blinding and waterless and without feature save for the faint, cloudy haze of the mountains which sketched themselves on the horizon and the devil-grass which brought sweet dreams, nightmares, death. An occasional tombstone sign pointed the way, for once the drifted track that cut its way through the thick crust of alkali had been a highway. Coaches and buckas had followed it. The world had moved on since then. The world had emptied.”

*GASP* I just love the way Stephen King writes. Isn’t that a fantastic way to start a book? So excited to be reading this again. Can’t wait to watch the movie!

The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman #spoilerfree #bookreview #fantasybingo

The Books of MagicThe Books Of Magic: The Deluxe Edition

Written By: Neil Gaiman

Illustrated By: John Bolton, Charles Vess, Scott Hampton, Paul Johnson

Originally Published 1990, 1991 by DC Comics

Goodreads Blurb:

From Neil Gaiman, the bestselling novelist and creator of the world-renowned comics title The Sandman, comes a mesmerizing tale of the dangers and opportunities of youth, and its endless possibilities. Illustrated by four of comics’ most accomplished artists, John Bolton, Scott Hampton, Charles Vess and Paul Johnson, THE BOOKS OF MAGIC collects all four issues of the original
miniseries that introduced the character of Timothy Hunter and set the stage for his continuing adventures.

Timothy Hunter could be the most powerful magician in the world, but does he really want to be? Guided through the magical world starting at the begining of time by a group of DC Universe magicians, often refered to as the Trenchcoat Brigade (John Constantine, Phantom Stranger, Mister E, and Doctor Occult), they attempt to aid Timothy in his decision whether or not to embrace his gift. However, by the time Timothy makes a choice, it may have already been made for him.”

This edition has all four books:
Book I: The Invisible Labyrith
Book II: The Shadow World
Book III: The Land Of Summer’s Twilight
Book IV: The Road To Nowhere

trenchcoat brigade.jpgThe “Trenchcoat Brigade” (Constantine, Doctor Occult, Mister E, and an unnamed stranger) take twelve year old Timothy Hunter on the most amazing journey to the past and future.

 

“It is up to the four of us to ensure that he chooses his path correctly”.

Timothy first travels to “the void” where he sees angels and archangels. Here he learns that people kill what they fear. John Constantine then takes Timothy on a plane to New York where Timothy meets Boston Brand. Boston warns Timothy that people are looking for him. Boston Brand is quite an interesting character who takes control of the minds of random people a few times throughout the story in order to warn Timothy of danger. Mister Fate, AKA Doctor Fate, AKA Kent Nelson, also visits Timothy to warn him that there is now a price on his head. Nelson pleads Constantine to find sanctuary.

Timothy continues on his journey with his other guides, meeting more interesting characters, is chased by a witch who owns a house with legs, and in the end must choose either an exciting, but dangerous life with magic, or a less exciting, but safer life of science.

I’ve only read one other graphic novel that I can remember, so I’m afraid I can’t offer an weighted opinion. The art was fantastic, very dark DC comic feeling. The Books Of Magic reminded me of A Christmas Carol with appearances by fate, fairies, and witches. I did find it quite strange that Timothy is a young teen who wears glasses, has a pet owl and is learning about magic…remind you of anyone? I’m all for authors taking an idea and running with it, and J.K. Rowling certainly did create an entire world that had nothing in common with Gaiman’s world that I could tell, but Harry Potter and Timothy Hunter sure have a lot in common. Perhaps she hasn’t even read The Books Of Magic and it’s a huge coincidence. Neil Gaiman has written about it on his blog if you’d like to see his opinion.

I gave it three stars on Goodreads because I did like the characters, the worlds were creative, the art was beautiful, but the plot was predictable for me and I feel like there could have been a bit more detail into the Trenchcoat Brigade’s motivations.

 

The Essex Serpent Book Review – Spoiler Free

The Essex Serpent is a slow, seductive, mysterious, historical literary fiction novel set in the Victorian era.

The Essex Serpent

 

The Essex Serpent

By Sarah Perry

Published 2016

The Essex Serpent #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

This tale begins on New Year’s Eve. A drunk man wanders to the edge of Blackwater estuary, flirting with the idea of going for a dip, he suddenly catches a glimpse of “something vast, hunched, grimly covered over with rough and lapping scales” (page 5). He is later found dead, with his head turned 180 degrees.

Time is marked by the tide,
Time is served in jail,
Time can be wasted and lost,
Time is money,
Time passes no matter how we try to stop it.

“In a Circle Line carriage, Westbound, fitful lights showed The Times had nothing happy to report, and in the aisle a bag spilled damaged fruit. There was the scent of rain on raincoats, and among the passengers, sunk in his upturned collar, Dr. Luke Garrett was reciting the parts of the human heart.” (page 13) Dr. Garrett, a 32 year old man with short stature and a lopsided gait, is traveling to the funeral of his patient, Michael Seaborne, who died from cancer of the throat. Mr. Seaborne’s wife, Cora, is our main character. She is a tall, strong, not slender, gray-eyed, independent woman who does not mourn for her abusive husband. While Mr. Seaborne was ill many nurses walked out on him, one claiming he was the devil. With Mr. Seaborne dead, Cora has been born again, and is free to pursue her passion for science. Their eleven year old son Francis has some odd characteristics, and I suspect he is on the Autism spectrum. Francis has had the same nanny since birth, a thirty three year old woman named Martha.

While caring for Mr. Seaborne, Dr. Garrett has fallen in love with Cora. She thinks of him as a friend, but doesn’t return his romantic feelings. She travels to Colchester with Martha and Francis for some peace and quiet. Martha and Cora meet Thomas Taylor, who tells them a story about the earthquake that shook the Essex Serpent from it’s hiding place. They run into Charles and Katherine Ambrose who were also visiting Colchester. Charles was once a colleague of Cora’s late husband, Michael.

Charles tells Cora about the Essex Serpent while enjoying pastries at a café. “Three hundred years ago or thereabouts a dragon took up residence in Henham, twenty miles northwest of here. Ask at the library and they’ll show you the leaflets they nailed up round the town: eyewitness accounts from farmers, and a picture of some kind of leviathan with wings of leather and a toothy grin. It used to lie about basking in the sunshine and snapping its beak (its beak, mind you!), and no one thought much of it until a boy got his leg broken. It vanished soon after, but the rumors never did. Every time crops failed or the sun eclipsed, or there was a plague of toads, someone somewhere would see the beast down on the riverbank, or lurking on the village green. And listen: it’s back!” Charles then tells Cora about the man who had washed up on shore New Year’s Day with a broken neck. This convinces Cora she must go to Aldwinter and search for the serpent in hopes that she can make a great scientific discovery. Katherine suggests Cora meet up with the Ransome family while in Aldwinter.

William Ransome is a reverend, married to Stella, and they have three children named Joanna, John, and James. Will does not believe in Darwin, or the Essex Serpent, and tries to convince Cora and all other believers in town that there is nothing to be a afraid of.

Henry Banks believes his lost rowing boat is a result of the Essex Serpent. His daughter Naomi Banks is friends with Will’s daughter Joanna.

One of the most interesting characters is Mr. Cracknell, who lives on the edge of the marsh. During the past three years he has lost his wife, sister, and his son. He has witnessed some strange happenings and also blames them on the serpent.

In April Cora, Martha, and Francis move to Aldwinter, which enables Cora to become quite good friends with Will and his family. As Will and Cora strengthen their relationship everything else falls apart.

The Essex Serpent may be a slow-burning story, but you’ll be on the edge of your seat trying to figure out if there really is a monster terrorizing the small town.

 

As soon as I finished the book I wanted to go back and start it all over again. (In fact, I did go back and re-read the first 100 pages). This is a story in which you’ll see something new each time you read it. Sarah Perry developed authentic friendships that change with time and circumstance. I highly recommend you give this one a read – I have a funny feeling that it will be picked up and made into a movie. Such a great story about good vs evil, love, family, lust, loyalty, guilt, fear, and how time creates the ebb and flow changing everything in its wake.

The Essex Serpent #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

The Essex SerpentThe Essex Serpent

Written By Sarah Perry

First Chapter, First Paragraph

“A young man walks down by the banks of the Blackwater under the full cold moon. He’s been drinking the old year down to the dregs, until his eyes grew sore and his stomach turned, and he was tired of the bright lights and bustle. “I’ll just go down to the water”, he said, and kissed the nearest cheek:  “I’ll be back before the chimes.” Now he looks east to the turning tide, out to the estuary slow and dark, and the white gulls gleaming on the waves.”

Currently Reading #FridayReads

I’m thoroughly enjoying The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. The wonderful Simon from “Savidge Reads” has been recommending this book for as long as I’ve been watching his Youtube videos. When I discovered my local library didn’t have a copy, I asked them to order one, and they did! I’m on page 191, and loving the characters and story. I’m not exactly sure where it’s leading, which is quite exciting. I feel like there might be some twist coming that I simply cannot begin to guess.

The Essex Serpent

Back Blurb:

“London, 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was an unhappy one. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space, she leaves for coastal Essex, accompanied by her eleven-year-old son and his nanny. Once there, they hear rumors that after nearly three hundred years, the mythical Essex Serpent, a fearsome creature that once roamed the marshes, has returned. When a young man is mysteriously killed on New Year’s Eve, the community’s dread transforms to terror. Eager to investigate, Cora is introduced to parish vicar William Ransome. As they attempt to discover the truth, these seeming opposites find themselves inexorably drawn together in an intense relationship that will change them in ways entirely unexpected.”

I’m also reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix aloud to my kids. We read one chapter before bed. I like to think my kids are quite impressed with my skills attempting to mimic the accents of the movie characters. HAHA!

Harry Potter and the order of the phoenixBlurb on Goodreads:  “Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…

Suspense, secrets and thrilling action from the pen of J.K. Rowling ensure an electrifying adventure that is impossible to put down. ”

 

 

 

Once I finish The Essex Serpent I’ll be starting Little Deaths by Emma Flint.

Little DeathsBlurb on Goodreads: “It’s 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone—a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress—wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy’s body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.’s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth.

As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth’s life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth’s little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman—and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children’s lives.

Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete’s interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there’s something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance—or is there something more sinister at play?

Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbot, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.“

Fantastic Beasts #SpoilerFree #BookReview

Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them.jpg

Photo from Goodreads

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

Written By: J.K. Rowling

Illustrations by Minalima

Published 2016

This enchanting tale begins in Europe, 1926. We then meet Newt Scamander, the chaser of truth, as he arrives New York. He claims he came to New York to buy an Appaloosa Puffskeins. We later find out he’s really there so he can bring Frank the Thunderbird home to Arizona. Newt stumbles across a crowd who are watching Mary Lou Barebone’s lecture about how we should be fearful of magic, and the wizards who are all around us. She has three adopted children: Credence, Chastity, and Modesty. I like the creative naming of the children, their meanings being the complete opposite of what Mary Lou Barebone is;

Credence: belief as to the truth of something

Chastity: the state of being pure

Modesty: being humble, free from vanity

As Newt is watching Mary Lou, he’s being watched by Tina Goldstein. She works for the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). She spies the latch of Newt’s case opening on its own, and suspects he is entering America with dangerous magical creatures. She’s recently lost her auror status at MACUSA, and is intent on finding out exactly what Newt is up to in hopes that she can regain her status.

MACUSA are concerned with the dangerous magical activity that’s been going on in the city, and are also extremely worried about an evil wizard named Grindelwald. Percival Graves, who also works for MACUSA, suspects it’s the work of an Obscura, which is an unstable, uncontrollable dark force that busts out of a witch or wizard who has been trying to suppress their magical abilities. Percival’s been secretly pushing Credence to try and figure out where the obscura is.

A Niffler escapes from Newt’s case and they set off on a wild goose chase, running into Jacob Kowalski who was on his way to the bank in order to inquire about a loan so he can open his own bakery.

Newt carries a briefcase which, like the TARDIS, is much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. In this case Newt carries extraordinary creatures:

Niffler

Occamy

Thunderbird

Graphorns

Fwooper

Bowtruckle

Mooncalf

Nundu

Diricawl

Erumpent

Swooping Evil

Swooping_Evil_concept_art.png

Demiguise

Newt’s case is accidentally switched with Jacob’s case when they run into each other. He tracks Jacob down, and discovers many magical creatures escaped from the case while he was separated from it. Jacob, agrees to help Newt find his missing creatures. Tina hunts Newt down, suspecting him of breaking magical law, thinking if she can land a big arrest she may be able to regain her auror status. She thinks it’s one of his creatures that have been wreaking havoc on the city, so she agrees to help him find his creatures and recruits her sister Queenie (my favourite character, she can read minds).

There are parts of Fantastic Beasts which are quite comical. But at its heart it’s an enchanting, adventurous, dark, page-turning mystery. You don’t need to read, or know about Harry Potter in order to be able to enjoy this story.

Happy Reading!

 

 

Outlander: Spoiler Free Book Review

Outlander is Diana Gabaldon’s debut historical fiction, romance, adventure, Sci-Fi, fantasy novel published in June 1991. It’s the first book in a series that has also produced novellas, graphic novel, spin-off book series, and a tv show (the first two seasons can be found on Netflix).

“In a remarkable debut – vigorous, eloquent, and wholly original – Diana Gabaldon fuses a wry modern sensibility with the drama and passion of the eighteenth century, and vividly brings to life a heroine whose journey through time forces her to make an agonizing and fateful choice.” (part of the book cover blurb)

 

It’s 1945 in Scotland, and many are celebrating the end of the war. Claire, a royal army nurse, is off on a second honeymoon with her husband Frank, a history professor. They’ve been married for seven years, but have spent the majority of those years apart due to the war.

Claire and Frank witness a strange moonlit dance at a stone circle. The next day Claire returns to the site in order to fetch some flowers she spied the previous day. While doing so she hears a buzzing noise coming from the stone. As she lays her hands on it she is transported two hundred years into the past.

Moonlit stone circle.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The past is a very different country, boiling with rumors of the Jacobite Pretender’s Rising, beset with ignorance and superstition, ravaged by pestilence and disease. Alone where no lady should be alone, and far from the familiar comforts of her other life, Claire’s usual resourcefulness is tested to the limit. The merciless English garrison captain so feared by others bears a disturbing resemblance to the husband she has just left behind. Her own odd appearance and even odder behavior expose her to accusations of witchcraft. And the strands of a political intrigue she doesn’t understand threaten to ensnare her at every turn” (part of the book cover blurb)

Jamie Fraser.jpg

From IMDB

A group of Scottish warriors save her from being raped. In this group of Highlanders is Jamie, a tall, broad, muscular,  fetching young warrior with blazing red hair and sky blue eyes. Believing she may be a spy, the Scots take her with them back to Castle Leoch. When Claire sees a castle that was nothing but remnants the last time she saw it, now at it’s best, she realizes she was most likely in the 18th Century.

Castle-leoch-still-1.jpg

Outlander Wiki page

Claire plots her escape, so she can find the magical stones which can take her back to 1945. As she gathers info, waiting for the perfect moment, she is forced to marry Jamie in order to keep her from harm. Jamie takes to calling her Sassenach – which means “Englishman” or “Outlander”. Their marriage gives them permission to admit to the love they have had for each other since they first met.

Jamie and Claire marriage.jpg

IMDB

“Claire is forced to choose between the future she has left and the past she now inhabits. And, having been plunged into an adventure that is at once unimaginably bizarre and unmistakably real, she learns an unforgettable lesson: that a man’s instinct to protect the woman he loves is as old as time.”

At 627 pages, with small lettering, Outlander is quite a lengthy novel packed with big themes; love, lust, trust, infidelity, sexual harassment, rape, domestic abuse, war, and adventure highlighting the fact that there are always good and evil people, no matter what time period we find ourselves in.

Gabaldon did a fantastic job conveying the Scottish accent in the dialogue. I could clearly picture every character’s appearance and voice. Her writing is positively splendid. I often found myself reading aloud, attempting to imitate accents. The words nicely slip off your tongue. I didn’t notice any awkward sentences (something I am guilty of doing at times and hence notice in other people’s writing). Here is a passage that I found quite striking:

“There was a feeling, not sudden, but complete, as though I had been given a small object to hold unseen in my hands. Precious as opal, smooth as jade, weighty as a river stone, more fragile than a bird’s egg. Infinitely still, live as the root of Creation. Not a gift, but a trust. Fiercely to cherish, softly to guard. The words spoke themselves and disappeared into the groined shadows of the roof.”

hugh munroOne of my favourite characters has quite a small part, and I wish we got to know more of him. Hugh Munro is an interesting man with a “jack-o-lantern” grin, orange-brown leathery skin, and bright blue eyes. His broad shoulders are off balance with one higher than the other, and he speaks sign language because he had his tongue cut out. He can also write Latin, as he was once a school teacher. I mean – doesn’t he just sound fascinating!? I could read an entire novel about his life.

There were some strange fantastical moments thrown in to this story which I feel weren’t necessary such as Claire seeing the Loch Ness “waterhorse”. I also had a really hard time getting over the fact that Jamie beat Claire and somehow she’s to blame. The fact that he hit her violates the oath he took at their wedding that he would protect her until his last drop of blood. I could write an entire blog post on this topic…in fact, in University I wrote an entire research report for an Anthropology class about domestic violence in Medieval England. But that discussion is for another place, another time. 😉

The TV show follows the novel pretty closely, with some liberties taken from parts of the plot, and the ending was slightly altered. The casting director chose quite well for Jamie’s part, he is exactly as I had imagined in my mind. I had imagined Claire to look and speak differently, and at first I didn’t like the Claire in the TV show, but within a few episodes she grew on me.

I recommend both the book and the TV show to anyone who enjoys an adventurous story, filled with love, war, and sex (at times graphic).  ***warning*** There are many scenes of graphic violence, including flogging, injuries, and rape.

Wyrd Sisters Spoiler-Free Book Review

wyrd sisters

Wyrd Sisters (Discworld #6) by Terry Pratchett

Originally published: 1988

A magical/paranormal, science fiction fantasy comedy, inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear.

Goodreads blurb:

Kingdoms wobble, crowns topple and knives flash on the magical Discworld as the statutory three witches meddle in royal politics. The wyrd sisters battle against frightful odds to put the rightful king on the throne. At least, that’s what they think…

I chose to read this book because it was the r/fantasy Goodreads Group book of the month for May (which satisfies one of my Fantasy Bingo squares).

1st paragraph: Wyrd Sisters #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

Characters:

Nanny Ogg

Granny Esme Weatherwax: most highly regarded witch

Magrat Garlick: junior witch

DEATH

Verence the Fool

Tom John

Takes place in Lancre, within Discworld. Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax agreed to Magrat’s proposition and they form a coven. King Verence, Monarch of Lancre is dead, and replaced by Duke Felmet and his wife, the horrible Lady Felmet. The three witches see how horrible this new king is, and try to dethrone him. While watching the theater the witches are reminded that words can be powerful – and hatch their plan, which includes altering time itself.

The banter between the witches was quite amusing, and I did laugh out loud quite a few times. The first half of the story is a little slow – but the second half makes up for it. It’s been many years since I’ve read Macbeth or Hamlet, so a lot of the jokes whizzed right over my head. In fact, I found the first half of the book confusing – so much so that I went back to the start and re-read it more slowly. I know many readers love Pratchett and his Discworld stories and it’s highly rated on Goodreads, however it’s a 3 star read for me…maybe even 2.5 star. This may be due to the fact that it’s the first book I’ve read from this world, perhaps I need a little background on the characters before jumping in. I’m willing to go back and read some previous novels, and maybe some newer releases as well.

Have you read any Terry Pratchett? What did you think?

#FirstChapterFirstParagraph Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

“It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance. Mrs. Baird’s was like a thousand other Highland bed-and-breakfast establishments in 1945; clean and quiet, with fading floral wallpaper, gleaming floors, and a coin-operated hot-water geyser in the lavatory. Mrs. Baird herself was squat and easygoing, and made no objection to Frank lining her tiny rose-sprigged parlor with the dozens of books and papers with which he always traveled.”