May TBR

What I plan to read this month 🙂

Share your TBR in the comments!

lonely hearts hotel

 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

By Heather O’Neill

Goodreads Blurb:

“With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans in love with each other since they can remember whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one’s origins. It might also take true love.

Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1910. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.

Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city’s underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes after years of searching and desperate poverty the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they’ll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.

With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O’Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.”

Outlander.jpg

Outlander

By Diana Gabaldon

Goodreads Blurb:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.”

The STonekeeper's curse

 

The Stonekeeper’s Curse
Book 2 of the Amulet series
Graphic Novel
By Kazu Kibuishi

Goodreads Blurb:

“In this thrilling sequel to AMULET #1: THE STONEKEEPER, Emily and her brother Navin head for Kanalis, a beautiful and mysterious city of waterfalls, where they hope to find the antidote for the poison that felled their mother. That cure lies in the eggs of a giant serpent atop Demon’s Head Mountain, but the kids’ archenemy, Trellis, is headed for the peak, too. A battle that will engulf all of Kanalis is looming. It’s up to Em to triumph over evil while controlling the amulet’s power . . . without losing herself!”

Illuminae

Illuminae

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Goodreads Blurb:

“This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.”

The Friday Night Knitting Club

 

The Friday Night Knitting Club

By Kate Jacobs

Goodreads Blurb:

“Once a week, an eclectic group of women comes together at a New York City yarn shop to work on their latest projects – and share the stories of their lives…

At the center of Walker and Daughter is the shop’s owner, Georgia, who is overwhelmed with juggling the store and single-handedly raising her teenage daughter. Happy to escape the demands of her life, she looks forward to her Friday Night Knitting Club, where she and her friends – Anita, Peri, Darwin, Lucie, and K.C. – exchange knitting tips, jokes, and their deepest secrets. But when the man who once broke Georgia’s heart suddenly shows up, demanding a role in their daughter’s life, her world is shattered.

Luckily, Georgia’s friends are there for encouragement, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they’ve created isn’t just a knitting club; its a sisterhood.”

April Reading Wrap Up

Books I read in April 🙂

library of souls

Library of Souls
by Ransom Riggs

“The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.”

My review for Library of Souls

 

murder by family

 

Murder By Family
By Kent Whitaker

Kent Whitaker’s story of how an unknown assailant opened fire on his entire family, killing his wife and teenaged son, and how his heart-wrenching decision to forgive begins a journey toward redemption and faith when he discovers that the one responsible for the attack is his other son.

My Review for Murder By Family

 

Turning

 

Turning

By Jessica J. Lee

At the age of 28, Jessica Lee–Canadian, Chinese, and British–finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is ostensibly there to write a thesis. And although that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. She is aware that this particular landscape is not without its own ghosts and history.

My Review for Turning

The Only Child

The Only Child

By Andrew Pyper

The #1 internationally bestselling author of The Demonologist radically reimagines the origins of gothic literature’s founding masterpieces—Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula—in a contemporary novel driven by relentless suspense and surprising emotion. This is the story of a man who may be the world’s one real-life monster, and the only woman who has a chance of finding him.”

My Review of The Only Child

 

Dragon Teeth

 

Dragon Teeth

By Michael Crichton

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition.  But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions.  With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

My Review for Dragon Teeth

A Tapestry of Tears

 

A Tapestry of Tears

by Gita V. Reddy

Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Click here for my review of A Tapestry of Tears

 

 

 

 

A Tapestry of Tears #SpoilerFreeBookReview

A Tapestry of Tears is a collection of beautiful yet heart-breaking short stories from India.

A Tapestry of Tears

“Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.”

Published 2016

The first story shares the same name as the book, A Tapestry of Tears. This story highlights a prevalent subject that I think many of us face which is the big question  – Should we choose love for our partner over family obligation?

Other stories talk about an elderly woman’s first day at an old age home, and the inner-struggle her family members have wondering if putting her in the home was the right thing to do. Reddy doesn’t shy away from big topics like terrorism, and discusses it’s impact in This Love Business. In Aalaya we are given a story about hope, family, perseverance, love, and hard work.

Division Into Two is another somber story about a tough women named Waseema, called Bibi by most, who lived through the violent Partition which divided Pakistan and India. Her brother, on his death bed, has sent his son Om to meet Waseema and beg for his forgiveness 53 years after he had betrayed her.

“…if a human being is divided with his body in one place and his heart in another, the sun of the parts does not make a whole”

The Empress’ New Gowns is a quirky story about two clothing designers coming to visit the Emperor, and end up teaching the Emperor and Empress a lesson on self-confidence.

Never Ever is about one of the toughest life events that too many of us face – divorce. It doesn’t just break up a family, it also breaks up friendships. I could relate to this one because my parents divorced when I was young, and now as an adult I have a few close friends who went through divorce/separation this year and it has caused big changes for our group of friends.

The other stories in this collection all tackle some of life’s toughest challenges. It’s amazing to realize that it doesn’t matter where you’re born, what religion you may follow, or how much money you have – we all face many of the same obstacles in life. We can choose to let them defeat us, or we can choose to find a way to thrive.

If you enjoy stories about family, hardships, life, and hope, I highly recommend you pick up A Tapestry of Tears. It’s available on Amazon.

Check out the author’s website: http://www.gitavreddy.com/

 

 

Book Recommendations for May 2017: Contemporary

Goodreads Group called Monthly Recommendations hosted by Youtubers Kayla Rayne and Trina from Between Chapters has picked Contemporary fiction as their theme for May!

Contemporary fiction is generally considered to be a real world setting with no fantasy or paranormal elements that takes place after World War II. It includes a variety of cross/sub-genres, such as:
-Romance
-Coming of Age
-Mystery
-Horror
-Humor
-Literary fiction

Here are my favourite Contemporary fiction novels:

small-great-things-hc-400w

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Goodreads Blurb:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?”

 

Click here to read my review of Small Great Things

truly-madly-guilty

 

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

“Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Click here for my review of Truly Madly Guilty

Fighting for Tara

 

Fighting For Tara by Sunanda J. Chatterlee

“Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.

Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’

Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth?

A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.”

Click here for my review of Fighting For Tara

Tranquility.jpg

 

Tranquility by Laurie Gardiner

Sometimes there’s a price to pay for doing the right thing.

Support worker Sarah Scott learns this the hard way when, soon after being transferred to Tranquility’s dementia unit, she uncovers a sinister secret. Doing the right thing could mean losing her job, and unemployment is not an option for the young, single mom.

Meanwhile, Sarah begins to question whether her newest resident, Edie, belongs in the nursing home’s locked unit. The feisty, Scottish woman certainly doesn’t act as though she has dementia. Sarah is determined to have her released, but her plans may be thwarted when Edie risks her own freedom to help uncover the secret. ”

Gone Girl

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Click here to read my review of Gone Girl

Secret Daughter.jpg

 

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Somer’s life is everything she imagined it would be — she’s newly married and has started her career as a physician in San Francisco — until she makes the devastating discovery she never will be able to have children.

The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn daughter’s life by giving her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life, and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again.

Asha, adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of these two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha’s journey of self-discovery leads her back to India.

Compulsively readable and deeply touching, SECRET DAUGHTER is a story of the unforeseen ways in which our choices and families affect our lives, and the indelible power of love in all its many forms.”

Left Neglected.jpg

 

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

“Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children – Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus.

Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources at Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled, over-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe.

A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam-packed life come to a screeching halt.

A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah relinquishes control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. Without the ability to even floss her own teeth, she struggles to find answers about her past and her uncertain future.

Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny – her new, true life – may in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.”

A SEcret Kept.jpg

 

A Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island–over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way.

By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.”

STill Alice.jpg

 

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life–and her relationship with her family and the world–forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest’s Ordinary People. “

Fantasy Book Bingo 2017

I’m really excited to have found out about the Fantasy Book Bingo. It’s a great way to encourage literacy, share and discover fantasy books and authors. I’ll be updating this page throughout the year.

Fantasy Book Bingo card below 😉

Find out more here: https://redd.it/62s73d

Fantasy Book Bingo 2017.jpg

My Progress:

  1. Any r/Fantasy Goodreads Group “Book of the Month”
  2. Graphic Novel or Audiobook
  3. Novel Featuring Time Travel – Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs √
  4. Fantasy Novel published in 2017
  5. An Author’s Debut Fantasy Novel
  6. Non-Fiction Fantasy Related Book
  7. Fantasy Novel on “To be read” list for over a year
  8. Award Winning Fantasy Novel
  9. Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic/Dying Earth
  10. r/Fantasy Big List 2016 Under-read/Under-rated
  11. Horror Novel
  12. Fantasy Novel featuring a Desert setting
  13. Re-use any r/Fantasy Bingo Square
  14. Self-published fantasy novel
  15. Fantasy Novel featuring non-human Protagonist – The Only Child by Andrew Pyper √
  16. Sequel: not the first book in the series
  17. Novel by an r/Fantasy AMA(Ask me anything) Author or Writer of the Day
  18. Fantasy of Manners
  19. Fantasy Novel Featuring Dragons
  20. New Weird
  21. Fantasy Novel Featuring Seafaring
  22. Steampunk
  23. Five Fantasy Short Stories
  24. Novel by an author from an r/Fantasy Author Appreciation Post
  25. Getting Too Old For This Crap: Fantasy Novel featuring an older (50+) Protagonist

Dragon Teeth #BookReview #SpoilerFree

Dragon TeethMichael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.
Goodreads Blurb

When HarperCollins sent me a complimentary Advance Reader’s E-Proof of Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton for review I was convinced that I wouldn’t enjoy it all that much. A book about Paleontology in the Wild West isn’t something I would have ever selected to read. By the end of the first chapter I was hooked.

Dragon Teeth is a thrilling historical fiction novel set in 1870’s, before the Wild West was “conquered”. After a terrible first year at Yale, William Johnson, a young man from Philadelphia and grandson of a Scottish immigrant, accepts a bet of $1,000 proposed by Harold Hannibal Marlin to go West on an expedition with Paleontologist Professor Marsh. The expedition was expected to be about 2.5 months long, but for William it ended up consuming a year of his life.

Professor Marsh’s arch rival is Professor Edward Drinker Cope. Marsh is a paranoid man who believes Cope is always spying on him. They are two Paleontologists competing in the strange new world of finding fossils, and naming undiscovered species of dinosaur.

William is given a list of supplies he’ll need, which include a knife, revolver, and rifle. That alone is enough to tell you that the next few months will be life-changing and life-threatening.

Some of the characters in Dragon Teeth were based on real people, and actual events.

Edward Drinker Cope was a “paleontologist who discovered approximately a thousand species of extinct vertebrates in the United States and led a revival of Lamarckian evolutionary theory, based largely on paleontological views.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Edward-Drinker-Cope

Othniel Charles Marsh “spent his entire career at Yale University (1866–99) as the first professor of vertebrate paleontology in the United States. In 1870 he organized the first Yale Scientific Expedition, which explored the Pliocene deposits (2.6–5.3 million years old) of Nebraska and the Miocene deposits (5.3–23 million years old) of northern Colorado.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Othniel-Charles-Marsh

Wyatt Earp was a “legendary frontiersman of the American West, who was an itinerant saloonkeeper, gambler, lawman, gunslinger, and confidence man.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Wyatt-Earp

Charles Hazelius Sternberg “was an American fossil collector and amateur paleontologist.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Hazelius_Sternberg

William Johnson, is an entirely fictitious character who undergoes a tremendous attitude change throughout the novel. There are themes of Greed vs Downfall, Betrayal, Heroism, Sacrifice, and Isolation. During a time when Americans were at war with Native Americans, before the Wild West was won, this novel was bound to be a page-turning thriller.

 

Also by Michael Crichton:

Westworld originalWestworld is an American science fiction–thriller media franchise. It began in 1973 with the release of the film Westworld, written and directed by Michael Crichton. It depicts a technologically advanced, Western-themed amusement park populated by androids that malfunction and begin killing the human visitors.

It was followed by the sequel film Futureworld (1976).

In 1980 there was a short-lived television series, Beyond Westworld. A new television series from HBO, based on the original film, debuted on October 2, 2016.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westworld

Jurassic Park book

 

Jurassic Park is a 1990 science fiction novel written by Michael Crichton, divided into seven sections (iterations). A cautionary tale about genetic engineering, it presents the collapse of an amusement park showcasing genetically recreated dinosaurs to illustrate the mathematical concept of chaos theory and its real world implications. A sequel titled The Lost World, also written by Crichton, was published in 1995. In 1997, both novels were re-published as a single book titled Michael Crichton’s Jurassic World, unrelated to the film of the same name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_Park_(novel)

 

 

For more info about Michael Crichton’s work visit http://www.michaelcrichton.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Child #bookreview #spoilerfree

The Only Child

The Only Child is a thrilling horror-mystery story weaved by bestselling Canadian author Andrew Pyper. Have you ever stopped to wonder if Hyde, Dracula, and Frankenstein were the same monster? What if that monster had a child?

When Lily was a child her mother was killed by a monster in an Alaskan cabin. Thirty years later Dr. Lily Dominick is the assistant Director of Forensic Psychiatry at a maximum security institution where her job is to interview “monsters”. Her next client to interview is an unnamed, lean, broad-chested man with a defined jawline, gray eyes, and a strange accent. After the strange interview Lily can’t shake the strange feeling that she somehow knows this man. He later claims that he is Michael, the 222 year old monster who inspired some of the most famous horror authors of our time: Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein; and Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.

The Only Child is a thriller from the first page to the last word. I didn’t want to put it down, and found myself reading in bed well past my bedtime. I loved how Lily traveled from Manhattan to Budapest, Geneva to London, Romania to Yukon, seeking to discover if Michael really is who he claims to be, and in the process she learns much more about herself than she ever could have imagined.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel are the old diary entries from Michael’s journals which provided insight into how he met Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Shelley, and Bram Stoker.

The strange sexual attraction Lily had to almost every man she met in the story was confusing. I’m guessing Pyper did this as a way to show how much she was deviating from her normal non-impulsive, controlling personality. But as a woman I found that annoyingly sexist. The love-interest trope was completely unnecessary in my opinion. When we met Lily she was a strong, independent, smart, successful woman, and then she became weak, dependent on Will. I didn’t quite appreciate her character “arc”, which wasn’t really an arc at all.

The horror Gothic feeling is there, simmering below the surface, covered in unnecessary tropes. It’s one of those instances where less is more. We needed less Michael being hunted, less father-daughter-incest thoughts, less romance, and more monster scariness. It’s not a bad book by any means. As a fan of classic horror stories, I loved the idea and concepts here. It just wasn’t one of the best I’ve read.

Expected publication date is May 23rd, 2017.

Other books by Andrew Pyper:

The Demonologist.jpg

“Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature, with special expertise in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Not that David is a believer—he sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when the mysterious Thin Woman arrives at his office and invites him to travel to Venice and witness a “phenomenon,” he turns her down. She leaves plane tickets and an address on his desk, advising David that her employer is not often disappointed.

That evening, David’s wife announces she is leaving him. With his life suddenly in shambles, he impulsively whisks his beloved twelve-year-old daughter, Tess, off to Venice after all. The girl has recently been stricken by the same melancholy moods David knows so well, and he hopes to cheer her up and distract them both from the troubles at home.”

Lost Girls.jpg

“Attorney Bartholomew Crane doesn’t belong in the small town of Murdoch. And the town of Murdoch doesn’t want him there. Even Crane’s client, a teacher accused of killing two girls, his own students, doesn’t seem to care if Crane gets him off or not. But Bartholomew Crane has come to Murdoch to try his first murder case — and he intends to win at all costs.

That is, until the case takes an unexpected turn. For as Crane begins to piece together a defense for his client, he finds himself being drawn into a bizarre legend at the heart of the town’s history — a legend that is slowly coming alive before his eyes.

Unnerved by visions he sees on Murdoch’s dark streets, by the ringing of a telephone down the deserted hallway of his hotel, Crane is beginning to suspect that what is happening to him is happening for a reason. And that the two lost girls of Murdoch may be intricately tied to the town’s shameful history … and to a dark episode in his own long-forgotten past.”

http://www.andrewpyper.com/

The publisher kindly sent me a complimentary advanced digital copy in return for an honest review.

For the #GilmoreGirls fan who doesn’t know what to read next…

rory reading

Thanks to Chrystal from Snowdrop Dreams for posting about the Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge. I had never heard of it until now!

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Here is the list in alphabetical order: https://www.buzzfeed.com/krystieyandoli/all-339-books-referenced-in-gilmore-girls?utm_term=.rp194RpVyR#.imgZA9Kd49

The Gilmore Girls Wiki Page has a complete list of books talked about or seen in every single episode. Choose a season, click on episode, then you’ll find the list of literature, music, and other trivia.

Here are the first few episodes 🙂

Season 1: Episode 1

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Stephen King (referenced by Lorelai to Sookie)
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir
  • The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
  • Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (Rory is seen holding this book)
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Season 1: Episode 2

  • Harry Potter
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
  • Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
  • David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
  • A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
  • Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens
  • Dostoevsky
  • Balzac
  • George Sand
  • Shakespeare

Season 1: Episode 3

  • Mencken’s Chrestomathy, by H.L. Mencken
  • My Life As Author And Editor by H.L. Mencken
  • Plato
  • Mark Twain (quoted by Rory, “Golf is a good walk spoiled”)
  • Peyton Place

Season 1: Episode 4

  • The Comedy of Errors, by William Shakespeare
  • The Oxford Shakespeare, by William Shakespeare (Rory is holding this book)
  • Richard III, by William Shakespeare
  • Also referenced: Shakespeare, Marlowe, wikipedia:Francis_Bacon Bacon, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Sonnet 116, Sonnet 126, Sonnet 145

 

 

Okay So Booksically #booktag #tagtuesday

I’m loving these book tags. 🙂

List of questions are below for easy copy/paste. Be sure to link your blog/video in comments!

1 – Tell us about your user/blog/channel name and your real name
My blog is called “Amanda’s Words” and my real name is Amanda Hartwick.

2 – Open Instagram search and chat about the first 3 images
the.imperfect.library posted a picture of a children’s book called Homegoing

molly_odette posted a picture of a big beautiful shawl she knit called Lucidity

wearethemurrays posted a picture of a her almost 40 weeks pregnant, pointing to her TV which is showing the mama giraffe who finally gave birth LOL

3 – Open YouTube and talk about the first 3 videos

The Beardy Adventures posted a video called “Last day of our beardy holiday & my new trousers

A Dash of Ash posted a video called “10 Fantasies I need to read”

Super Space Chick posted a video called “March Wrap Up”

4 – Your favorite song to listen to while reading/writing, and how many plays its got

I don’t normally listen to music while reading or writing…I also don’t have iTunes, or other players that keep track of # of plays. I basically only listen to music while driving in my van (radio), or to “Rock my Run” APP when I go for a walk or a jog.

5 – Favorite book on your shelf at the moment

Hmmmm…that’s a really hard question to answer for me. I can’t pick a favourite! You can’t make me!

6 – Favorite bookish thing you love using as a prop in your pictures/videos

I don’t really pay attention to props…I guess I need to up my photo taking game.

7 – 3 Books you are dying to re-read, but probably never will

It by Stephen King. One of my favourite authors, but I have an irrational fear of clowns.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I’ve wanted to read this one for as long as I can remember, however, I’ve heard some really mixed reviews, it’s really long, if I start a book I have to finish it, so it’s a commitment that I’m not sure I want to make.

Let’s Just Say it Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton. It’s on my Goodreads “To Be Read” list, but it has a really low average rating, 2.83, so not too sure on if I’ll ever get to that one.

8 – Amazing bookish finds (this can be books, bookish things, or bookish moments)

I found a first edition copy of Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King at a used book sale.

I’ve had the same KOBO for about 6 years now and it works great. Knock on wood.

Watching my kids become bookworms like me.

9 – Hottest author(s)/Author Crush

Veronica Roth

Ransom Riggs

Paula Hawkins

Gillian Flynn

John Green

 

★QUESTIONS
1 – Tell us about your user/blog/channel name and your real name
2 – Open Instagram search and chat about the first 3 images
3 – Open YouTube and talk about the first 3 videos
4 – Your favorite song to listen to while reading/writing, and how many plays its got
5 – Favorite book on your shelf at the moment
6 – Favorite bookish thing you love using as a prop in your pictures/videos
7 – 3 Books you are dying to re-read, but probably never will
8 – Amazing bookish finds (this can be books, bookish things, or bookish moments)
9 – Hottest author(s)/Author Crush

I like Big Books and I cannot lie #monthlyrecs

i like big books.jpg

The Monthly Recommendations Goodreads Group has chosen a theme for April 2017 and it’s …….. Big Books!

Here are some of my favourite tomes ♥

 

 

The eye of the world

 

 

The Eye of the World (Book One of The Wheel of Time series) by Robert Jordan. This tome has over 800 pages, and the following books in the series are all big beautiful books that require an enormous commitment, and likely note-taking, in order to follow along. It puts the “epic” in Epic Fantasy.

 

 

 

 

A Game of Thrones.jpg

The first novel of “A Song of Ice and Fire” series written by George R. R. Martin is A Game of Thrones. This 835 page Epic High Fantasy novel inspired the TV Show, Game of Thrones.

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.”

 

 

Winter_Cover

 

Winter is book four of “The Lunar Chronicles” written by Marissa Meyer. It has over 800 pages, however, it didn’t feel that big when I read it. Marissa writes fantastic stories that wrap you up in a fantastic world, with well-rounded, interesting characters, and a plot that keeps the pages turning fast.

 

 

 

 

 

harry_potter_and_the_goblet_of_fire

 

I cannot talk about big books without mentioning the Harry Potter series. The first few books aren’t tomes – but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a whopping 734 pages – quite large for a “middle grade” novel.

 

 

 

 

The Forgotten Garden.jpg

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.”

 

 

 

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Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Sometimes dead is better….When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son — and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth — more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

 

 

 

What are some of your favourite BIG BOOKS?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eye of the world.jpg