Scaring Away the Sunday Scaries (27)

“Every book changes you in some way, whether it’s your perspective on the world or how you define yourself in relation to the world.” 

-Mindy Mejia, Everything You Want Me to Be

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The Book Blogger Test

#coldopenbecausenoonenominatedme

The Book Blogger Test

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog
  2. Answer the ten questions asked on this post
  3. Nominate at least five people to do it also
  4. Let your nominees know you nominated them

Describe your perfect reading spot.

I normally read before bed, which is the comfiest place I can think of. However, I usually end up falling asleep and losing my place. I would totally read in my car on the way to work (like the man in front of me the other morning who was reading the newspaper in rush hour traffic), but I have higher standards when it comes to whether or not I’m staying in my lane, and paying attention to my surroundings while I’m in the drivers seat.

Tell us three book confessions

Saturday night live+Kristin Wig

  1. I like Game of Thrones the TV show better than Game of Thrones the book.
  2. I read more books on my Kindle than actual books. #bargainbinbitch
  3. I once had a book slump last 7 years.

When was the last time you cried during a book?

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon gave me so many feels, and then that one scene in Voyager… (you know the one!)

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How many books are on your bedside table?

 

What’s your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading?

BBQ Ribs.  (Just kidding.) Probably popcorn.

Name three books you would recommend to everyone

You mean besides Harry Potter???

The Book Thief, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, and The Nightingale.

Show us a picture of your favorite bookcase on a bookshelf

I couldn’t find a picture of a bookcase on top of a bookshelf so here’s one I really liked:

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Describe how much books mean to you in just three words

Escape from reality. 🙂

My Nominees: Everyone who feels like it. 

Top Five Wednesday: Books Featuring Witches

So there is a topic later this month about paranormal creatures, but 1. witches aren’t creatures and 2. they deserve their own topic. These can be “witch books” or books that happen to feature witches as characters, whether they are main characters or side characters. 

As much as I would like to point out that the Harry Potter series is about witches and wizards, I feel like that is blatantly obvious. If you don’t know what HP is about by now, just carry on with your joyless life. Also see, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I wonder what that one’s about?

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

a discovery of witches - deborah harkness

This book has quickly become one of my favorites. Witches, vampires, demons… what more could you want in a spooky Halloween read? Okay, maybe a little more spook and a little less romance, but you get the idea.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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I’m sure everyone read this book in school, and if you didn’t, then I suggest it. Despite the puritanical language, I found it to be a very fast paced read. The scariest thing about this book is it’s basis in true events. Real people, real hysteria, real deaths. You obviously have the option of watching the film (On Netflix), but this is a BOOK BLOG so read it first.

Bras and Broomsticks by Sara Mlynowski

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Bras and Broomsticks is a middle-grade, coming-of-age story about a girl just trying to survive high school, puberty, and finding out she has magical powers. Creep factor is definitely at a zero, this book is more Sabrina Spellman than Macbeth. This is a fun, lighthearted read that will keep you chuckling til the very end.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

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“Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.”

While I haven’t read this book myself, I HAVE watched the show. And it’s hilarious, and spellbinding, and I want all of these characters to be my friends. Except Quentin. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the book, but I obviously plan on reading it anyway because when has a bad review ever deterred me before?

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

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This is another “mixed-reviews” book that I haven’t personally read yet. But I love the premise.

Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie’s grandmother’s abandoned home near Salem, she can’t refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest–to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge. As the pieces of Deliverance’s harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem’s dark past then she could have ever imagined.

The Nope Book Tag

Sup homies. I’ve seen this tag around the bookiverse and thought I’d do it. No, I wasn’t tagged by anyone. I’m sorry, did you think I was popular? You are mistaken. #StabCaesar

1. NOPE. Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought Allegiant by Veronica Roth was absolute garbage. If you haven’t read this series and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read the rest of my answer.

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When an author kills off the main character, there is usually a reason for it. It usually makes sense. The plot cannot move along or be resolved until it happens. Harry Potter had to die in order to kill Lord Voldemort. Ned Stark had to die in order to set Westeros on a one way path to destruction. Jon Snow had to die in order to be freed of his Night’s Watch vows, among other reasons. Tris Pryor had to die because…. wait. I can’t think of a reason. BYE.

2. NOPE. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy. 

Juliette from the Shatter Me series. What a helpless, insecure, annoying, cliché-ridden, Mary Sue. I would have tolerated it had she grown into her character and become more sure of herself as the book went on, but that didn’t happen. Also, 20 points from Hufflepuff for oogling the enemy.

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3. NOPE. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE. after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore. 

I read the first 20 pages or so of Fifty Shades of Grey, and gave up. And by gave up, I clearly mean: threw my book out the window into a lake.

4. NOPE. Popular pairing: A “ship” you don’t support.

Tessa and Jem from the Infernal Devices. “Ermagerd, Tessa has two true loves and can be with both of them.” Shhhhhh, quiet time. Nothing against Jem, I just shoved his drug addicted butt into the friendzone the first chance I got. After they got together I was like

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5. NOPE. Plot twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like. 

I am a very perceptive person, so I tend to see plot twists coming from a mile away. I don’t want to give anything away, but Everything You Want Me to Be COMPLETELY threw me. I spent half the book thinking the murderer was someone else, and it ended up being someone I wrote off right away. This is not a nope, but a WHAAAAAT. I didn’t see that coming.

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6. NOPE. Protagonist action/decision: A character decision that made you shake your head NOPE. 

Sixteen year-old VIRGIN Jennifer Cloud, in the novel The Shoes Come First, sleeps with a man she has known for a total of 5 minutes because “he was hot.” #BYEFELICIA

7. NOPE. Genre: A genre you will never read.

Erotica. Sex is fine if it’s part of a relationship, but if that is all the book is about… I’ll pass.

8. NOPE. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition

None. Why would I pass up a book in any form?????

9. NOPE. Trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE. 

Love triangles, insta-love, bad boy goes good, the Mary Sue, miscommunication, romanticizing abuse… I could go on for days. Good thing I already made a brief post about this.

10. NOPE. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read. 

I will never read Twilight. Period. Over my dead, or undead, body.

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11. NOPE. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

Information dumping. Please do not tell me everything there is to know about your dystopian society in the first 20 pages. 1) I will not retain any of this information. 2) I will spend the rest of the book confused about who, what, where, when, and most importantly, WHY.

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12. NOPE. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

Christian Grey, for obvious reasons.

13. NOPE. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say NOPE. 

Fifty Shades of Grey.

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14. NOPE. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

Bellatrix LeStrange. I think she’s the scariest Potter villain, hands down. She’s also one of my favorite villains of all time.

15. NOPE. Death: A character death that still haunts you.

Fred Weasley deserved better.

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16. NOPE. Author: An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.

Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read one book of his and even that was too much.

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United States of Books: Illinois

Week thirteen of the United States of Books coming your way! Here’s the road map; every Friday I will bring you book recommendations from each of the fifty nifty United States. Anyone else remember that song from elementary school? We’re just going to follow that order.

Good morning, Illinois!


Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

27833670.jpg“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

21996.jpgErik Larson’s gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.

Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his “World’s Fair Hotel” just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.

The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

16131077.jpgHarper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He’s the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.

Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth . . .

The Shining Girls is a masterful twist on the serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing heroine in pursuit of a deadly criminal.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

139253.jpgAcclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous–it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.

 

 

Native Son by Richard Wright

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Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.

Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

It by Stephen King

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Etc, etc, etc…. (Seriously, there are so many good books set in Illinois.)


Next week, Indiana!