A Hop, Skip, and a Jump Sunday, Jan 5 2014 

Hi Readers,

Obviously, no posts in June so we are going to post now… a little more than 6 months later. I’m going to keep changing my posts up until I find a style that suits me. Here’s to the one constant in life: Change. If you keep reading, you’ll find some tidbits here and there… maybe some spoilers…

7-4-13: Reviving Ophelia,  Mary Pipher, 4/5, “Most of what girls read in schools is written by men and about men. We need more stories of women who are strong, more examples of women in a variety of roles. History needs to include the history of women; psychology, the psychology of women; and literature, the writing of women.” (289)

→ It took me awhile to read this book, but once I finished it, I wished I owned it. I’ve read some reviews that call it biased. I’ve got to say–it is a book about girls/young women by a woman. I feel that if you’re going to call it biased because it doesn’t include the experiences of boys/young men, your argument wouldn’t really hold water with me because this particular book isn’t about the guys. What a concept?! In any event, I think this is definitely something every girl/young woman/woman should read simply because it does give some helpful insights. I wish I would have read this book sooner.

7-13-13: Bone River, Megan Chance, 4/5, “I heard those spirits again the night the river gave up its bones.” (9)

→ This book was a very different choice for me. I wouldn’t have usually chosen it… but one of my friends was reading it and he liked it… so I decided to give it a shot. The end result was shocking to me, but for some it might not be. I enjoyed reading it for multiple reasons–and let’s be honest I have a weakness for all things Native American. Leonie was a terrific character–and her chemistry with Daniel is destiny. Really good read.

7-30-13: Affliction, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5, “The only part of love that is blind is that first rush of endorphins and craziness; after that wears off, no one knows you as honestly, warts and all, as the people who love you, truly love you.” (297)

→ I really, really, really enjoyed reading the latest installment of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. There were a couple of books that made me question whether or not to keep reading… but if you’re 20 or more books into a series, I highly doubt you’d stop reading. There’s obviously something to the overall story that keeps me hooked. Old and new characters–they all help make this series something to remember. Anita Blake is definitely one of my favorite characters of all time.

8-9-13: He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, Jessica Valenti, 5/5, “Looking back, I realize that it could have been any of those thing, or nothing. Most likely, it was because I had a bit of a  potty mouth (shocking, I know), told dirty jokes, and was louder, more opinionated girl than some of my peers. I know better now, and realize that labeling girls ‘sluts’ is a pretty common silencing tactic. After all, there’s no better way to silence a woman than to call her a whore!” (10)

→ FINALLY! THANK YOU! Another book women should read! Valenti is so not joking when she writes that she goes into 50 double standards. It took me a while to read this one as well (simply because my sister delivered my nephew and, at present, nobody has much time to do anything other than anything baby related–but he’s so perfect… OOPS!) but that just means I was able to appreciate it a little bit more! If you’re a man, read it. If you’re a woman, read it.

9-25-13: Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum, 5/5, “She can never tell him what she started to say: that we come to love those who save us.” (445)

→ I couldn’t put this book down. I’d get angry because some parts and characters were just so disgusting, ie: The Holocaust wasn’t real, it was propaganda. Are you for real?! I couldn’t believe it. The fact that some people still deny that The Holocaust ever happened… long story short, just makes me sick. That being said, the progression of the plot interlaced with flashbacks was perfection. There was a reason for everything and elements came full circle by the very end of the novel. Incredibly enjoyable read… even if I did become livid at some points. 🙂

9-29-13: The Heretic’s Daughter, Kathleen Kent, 4/5, “And with every step I thought, I am my mother’s daughter, I am my mother’s daughter…” (322)

→ I actually started to read this while on a 20 minute break from reading Those Who Save Us. The only reason this wasn’t read by the next day was because I had chores to take care of around the house. Anyways… I’ve read a great deal of information about the Salem Witch Trials, but never anything about any specific person. I knew that things were difficult and, more than likely, strict, but I didn’t know that just a whisper could land somebody in front of a panel of judges. I wouldn’t have done well back then… I am definitely a woman of the now. The start of the book was kind of slow, but it sped up in the last 100/150 pages. A fiction, yes… but the imagination is a type of monster… and when facts might correlate with the imagination… the results are frightening. This would be a good read for anyone. I’m glad I finally followed through and read it.

11-21-13: Reconstructing Amelia, Kimberly McCreight, 5/5, “‘I want you to know… you were never a mistake, Amelia. You were the best thing that ever happened to me. You always will be.'” (380)

→ I don’t usually cry after reading a story. I might present strong feelings about one of the characters or events… but I wept after reading Reconstructing Amelia. The cruelty that people (especially girls and women) bestow unto others is… I don’t know… Tragic? Horrifying? Disappointing? So many different ways to put it. The fact is, we spend more time causing pain to others than trying to give them an ounce of happiness. That being said, overall, this was a fantastic read… so well written. It was a bit slow for me at the beginning, but when  it finally got going, I couldn’t put the book down. Reconstructing Amelia is what I call a “take a chance” book (not usually something I’d read, but generally very glad I did).

11-23-13: Shutdown, Laurell K. Hamilton, 5/5, “‘I am not an abuse victim, Ellen. I’m not a victim at all. I own my sexuality in every sense, and I top some of the men in my life. It’s not just me on the receiving end of the rough.'” (20)

→ It was super awesome to read this simply because it is another Anita Blake book. That being said, I really enjoyed Shutdown because it explained more of the dynamics of a polyamorous relationship… and trying to explain it to someone who has no idea about it at all… well, probably (obviously) incredibly awkward. It is refreshing to see Richard finally come into who he is… and I’m very happy to see that Anita and Micah are still going strong. Very quick read and can’t wait for what LKH brings us next!

So needless to say, I did not get to read everything I wanted to… but things CHANGE a lot when a baby comes into your life. Presently, I’m reading two books. I wanted to finish them before NYE, but that just wasn’t going to happen. That being said, Happy New Year. My hope is that 2014 will be kind to you.

Always,
Nolaleigh

Why Can’t I? Thursday, May 30 2013 

Hi Readers,

Any ideas as to what this post could possibly be about?

Oh, I don’t know. Let’s think about this…

I would love to post every single time I finish a book… but that is just not going to happen. For one reason or another I just can’t do it. Hell, I can’t post once a month. Maybe it isn’t “can’t…” I don’t know. Not a clue. Either way… you’re reading this post for some reason, and me? I am posting this out of some off sense of obligation. Without further ado, here is what I’ve read since January 1, 2013, (spoilers might be involved):

1-15-13: Blood Noir, Laurell K. Hamilton, 3/5, “Sometimes it’s not the light in a person you fall in love with, but the dark. Sometimes it’s not the optimist you need, but another pessimist to walk beside you and know, absolutely know, that the sound in the dark is a monster, and it really is as bad as you think. “

1-31-13: Skin Trade, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5, “I’m a Christian, but if God is truly a God of love, then why would he have a private torture chamber where he put people that he was suppose to love and forgive to punish forever? If you actually read the Bible, the idea of hell like in the  movies and  most books was invented by a writer. Dante’s Inferno was ripped off by the Church to give people something to ba afraid of…”

2-14-13: Flirt, Laurell K. Hamilton, 3/5, “I put power into the words, all the power I had, and willed it to work.” (149)

2-19-13: Bullet, Laurell K. Hamilton, 3/5, “I’d more likely be staring into a pair of my own dark brown, and I can see that everytime I look in a mirror. I’m not fond enough of my own eyes to want to see them in someone else’s face.” (356)

2-24-13: Lost in Time, Melissa de la Cruz, 4/5, “The battle was finished.” (328)

2-28-13: Gates of Paradise, Melissa de la Cruz, 4/5, “Sometimes love means letting go.” (332)

3-3-13: Last Sacrifice, Richelle Mead, 3/5, “‘Just because we want something doesn’t mean it’s right.'” (452)

3-12-13: Hit List, Laurell K. Hamilton, 5/5, “‘Tell that to the BTK killer,’ I said. ‘He was a churchgoer, raised two kids, married, and resisted the urge to kill for decades. He was a person, but he was a monster, too.'”

3-21-13: Kiss the Dead, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5, “I’m beginning to try and wrap my head around the thought that no one gets to hurt the people I love, not even another man that I love.” (359)

3-22-13: The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon’s Court, Michelle Moran, 4/5, “He smiles widely. ‘As accomplished as any Hapsburg archduchess should be.'” (12)

3-26-13: Cleopatra’s Daughter, Michelle Moran, 4/5, “He brushed his lips against my ear. ‘A brave young woman who has always fought for what was right, even when it was unpopular. A woman who can’t return to the land of her birth, but is welcome to cross the seas and rebuild Alexandria in mine. And a woman who has suffered enough in Rome and deserves happiness for a change. Will you come to Mauretania and be my queen?'”

4-8-13: Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, Natalie Goldberg, 4/5, “Writing practice brings us back to the uniqueness of our own minds and an acceptance of it. We all have wild dreams, fantasies, and ordinary thoughts. Let us to feel the texture of them and not be afraid of them.Writing is still the wildest thing I know.”

4-9-13: The King’s Concubine: A Novel of Alice Perrers, Anne O’Brien, 4/5, “‘It is important for a woman to have the duplicity to make good use of whatever gifts she might have, however valueless they might seem… You have to have the inner strength to pursue your goal, and not care how many enemies you make along the road. It is not easy.'”

4-16-13: The Last Nude, Ellis Avery, 4/5, “She looked up at me then as if I were a dream she was having, and that’s when I thought it: I can do whatever I want to her.” (287)

4-18-13: Wintergirls, Laurie Halse Anderson, 5/5, “She wipes a snowflake off my cheek. ‘You’re not dead, but you’re not alive either. You’re a wintergirl, Lia-Lia, caught in between the worlds. You’re a ghost with a beating heart. Soon you’ll cross the border and be with me. I’m so stoked. I miss you wicked.'” (196)

4-25-13: Daddy Love, Joyce Carol Oates, 3/5, “Of every one hundred children perhaps one interested Daddy Love in the depths of his soul. Of every two hundred children perhaps one excited him.” (53)

5-2-13: The Vanishers, Heidi Julavits, 3/5, “Blame is the cord you can never sever, the viscous umbilical you can swipe at with you hands, but there it will be always ghostily hover, connecting you to monsters exactly as pitiful and needy and flawed as yourself.” (278)

5-23-13: God is Not One, Stephen R. Prothero, 5/5, Click here to read my review!

5-23-13: Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, 5/5, “Each clue was hidden in a spot where I’d cheated on Amy. She’d used the treasure hunt to take me on a tour of all my infidelities.” (226)

5-26-13: Frost Burned, Patricia Briggs, 4/5, “I was going to have to come up with a rank for myself besides Alpha’s mate. In the pack, I was just Mercy- but if ten more people called me the Alpha’s mate, I was going to hit someone. It sounded like a chess move.” (316)

I love Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. Damn near addictive. Michelle Moran is truly fantastic! The authors that I keep returning to… they know their stuff. Wintergirls broke my heart. The quotes at the end are my favorite lines–just fyi.

Daddy Love and Wintergirls… they were difficult to read. That is probably the point, but after reading them, I felt angry. And I’m not going to lie… a part of me still isn’t over it.

In other news, I feel like a majority of 2011’s Reading List is going to be… cancelled? Yes, cancelled. I’m just not into the titles now like I was when I first found them. That being said, I am finished with 2010’s Reading List–even God is Not One by Stephen R. Prothero. I’ve been reading it since January–it is fairly intensive on some portions, so I decided to take it slow.

So, it is the end of May… and this entry has been five months in the making. Here’s to attempting another entry similar to this in June. Or maybe we’ll all wait until December…

Always,
Nolaleigh

2012: Rewind & Survive Monday, Dec 31 2012 

Hi Readers,

I think I am possibly the least consistent blogger on here. I think I will try to be better about that next year. It occurred to me earlier that I haven’t posted a book review since June of 2011. 😦

That being said, here is a rewind back to 2011 for any books I’ve read. Keep in mind, (Date, Title, Author, Rating):

6-13-11: The Laughing Corpse, Laurell K. Hamilton, 5/5

6-16-11: Circus of the Damned, Laurell K. Hamilton, 5/5

7-24-11: The Lunatic Cafe, Laurell K. Hamilton, 5/5

7-24-11: Bloody Bones, Laurell K. Hamilton, 5/5

7-25-11: The Killing Dance, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5

Then school began and I had a change of reading material:

Sept. 2011: The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan, 4/5

Oct. 2011: Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, Alison Weir, 5/5

Oct. 2011: The Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath, 3/5

Winter break came and I didn’t read at all. At all. So sad. But I wrote and wrote like a mad person due to my senior thesis. Anyway…

2-15-12: Morrigan’s Cross, Nora Roberts, 3/5

Apr. 2012: Burnt Offerings, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5

And then I graduated. I’ve been reading like crazy to make up for lost time (except for the occasional gap where I was busy with one thing or another):

5-20-12: Dance of the Gods, Nora Roberts, 3/5

5-24-12: Valley of Silence, Nora Roberts, 3/5

5-28-12: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson, 5/5

Jul. 2012: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank, 4/5

8-31-12: Blue Moon, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5

9-8-12: Obsidian Butterfly, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5

9-14-12: Narcissus in Chains, Laurell K. Hamilton, 3/5

9-18-12: Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution, Michelle Moran, 4/5

9-22-12: Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen, 3/5

9-24-12: Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris, 3/5

10-2-12: Cerulean Sins, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5

10-15-12: Incubus Dreams, Laurell K. Hamilton, 3/5

10-17-12: Micah, Laurell K. Hamilton, 2/5

10-18-12: Danse Macabre, Laurell K. Hamilton, 3/5

11-17-12: The Harlequin, Laurell K. Hamilton, 4/5

11-22-12: Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James, 3/5

11-24-12: Fifty Shades Darker, E.L. James, 3/5

11-25-12: Fifty Shades Freed, E.L. James, 3/5

12-25-12: The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson, 5/5

12-31-12: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Stieg Larsson, 5/5
(the final five chapters were AMAZING.)

I know there aren’t explanations and the usual chit-chat, but I thought I would share anyways. Oh! And some of the dates are spelled out or just in number formation–that’s because I didn’t write down when I finished it. 😦

On a side note, I’ve been keeping track of what I read by going into Goodreads. It is really helpful and I’ve been able to document almost every book I’ve read since I was 9-years-old. In any case, perhaps you’re wondering if there’s a list for 2013–the answer is yes & no. I want to finish the lists from 2010 and 2011, but there aren’t any news lists–just perhaps some new books. Catch ya later–

Always,

Nolaleigh

Low Red Moon Sunday, Jun 5 2011 

Hi Readers,

If my memory serves me correctly, this is the first posting for the 2011 Reading List, whoop whoop! I’ve decided to make minor changes to my book reviews as of now. You might notice, you might not. Either way, if you read my blog, I hope you enjoy what you find and that it might be a little helpful. So, here goes…

Ivy Devlin’s Low Red Moon is about a young woman named Avery who can’t remember the night her parents were murdered. Strange events begin to take place and she wonders if she is losing her mind. Interestingly enough, she falls for Ben,  the new guy in town who can’t remember that particular night either. It is a race to regain her memories and stand against the evils clouding the town.

I was covered in blood when the police found me. Head to toe: in my hair, on my eyelashes, in the skin between my toes. Dried so deep into my clothes they were taken away and I never saw them again.
(Pg. 1)

Small note: This quote makes me think of the show, Dexter… when he remembers who killed his mother and you get the full visual of his mother’s murder. The amount of blood in the show is cringe inducing, but a good show nonetheless. Anyway…

Worth note, the word “moon” is written in red every single time it is on a page. Seeing a red word makes me think of auto-correct in Microsoft Word. It took a while to get used to it–but the concept is original, at least to my knowledge.

My only complaint: By the very beginning we have a Twilight-esque novel. I mean, there are no vampires, but we have werewolves in place of the Cullens. In the middle of a BFE town. And I kid you not, almost word for word, Avery and Ben have the same discussion about being 17-years-old and for how long–almost EXACTLY like Bella and Edward. WHY? And the bond mate issue–seeing someone and being bonded immediately. At least Avery has a reason to be upset! I won’t even finish that thought, I think you get the idea.

Ivy Devlin’s Low Red Moon is my favorite new paranormal romance! Lyrical and engrossing, with a heroine we can all relate to and a sexy, mysterious new boy who’s a total fox–I mean, wolf!
— Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times–bestselling author of the Blue Bloods series

For the age group it is written for, very good book. I would recommend it to girls in high school. So, keeping in mind this book is geared towards Young Adults, I give Low Red Moon a 3.5/4 out of 5. The only major problem I had with this story is the huge  similarity to Twilight.

Until next time.

❤ Nolaleigh

Hello, 2011 Saturday, Jan 1 2011 

Hi Readers, or Reader,

I don’t know who  reads this, but if you do, I hope you are enjoying what you find. As luck would have it, my family and I are at the library because it is only place we are allowed to use the internet. Long story… and not productive to my blog by any means. So, I am currently reading Angelology by Danielle Trussoni as previously mentioned–slow, but really good. Despite this, my family does not exactly encourage productivity. I don’t mind because I never get to see them… but I wonder if I will finish the books I checked out in time. In the hope of picking myself up out of a rut, I bring you the Reading List of 2011. I feel that this list is fairly  different than 2010–not only more manageable, but also the tones and themes presented in each novel. So… you know the drill, want more information about a book? Click on the title and you’ll be directed to Amazon!!

Reading List 2011

**Annexed by Sharon Dogar
**Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex
Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Juliet by Anne Fortier
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher
Room by Emma Donoghue
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
**The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank (this is the only link that will direct you to Barnes and Noble.com)
The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult
The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy
Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lauren Kate’s Fallen Series
                Fallen
                Torment
                Passion (to be released June 2011)
                Rapture (to be released Spring 2012)

I’m really excited to read these! Any title that has an asterisk by it will need to be bought at some point. My birthday is in March… so maybe then? We’ll see. In any case, welcome to a new year with new beginnings and adventures.

Many well wishes,
Nolaleigh