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

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The Laughing Corpse Monday, Jun 13 2011 

Hi Readers,

It has been a year, maybe a little more or less since I’ve read Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series. It is unfortunate because she is a great writer and her novels really pull the audience in. I’m not sure why I stopped reading… other than my school work… BUT, I’m back now and so is Anita in The Laughing Corpse:

Messy, Dolph had called it. A master of understatement. Blood was everywhere, splattered over the white walls like someone had taken a can of paint and thrown it. There was an off-white couch with brown and gold patterened flowers on it. Most of the couch was hidden under a sheet. The sheet was crimson. A bright square of afternoon sunlight came through the clean, sparkling windows. The sunlight made the blood cherry-red, shiny. (Pg. 18)

Trust me, I was being gracious by posting that particular quote. Hamilton does have a way with words. 🙂 I really can’t wait to read her other works, and more specifically, the ever-growing Anita Blake series. I kind of wonder how much Anita resembles Ms. Hamilton; her picture on the back-cover fits the image I get when I’m reading about Anita.

I love Anita. I love Jean-Claude. I absolutely adore Hamilton’s other characters… but Anita and Jean-Claude… Their dialogue was awesome in The Laughing Corpse. I’m serious! Ask my mum… I scared the crap out of her one evening around 1 am because I was laughing so hard. I’ve been restraining myself from going and finding out what is in store for them in the future books… and I’m not a fan of being someone’s servant, but I am rooting for these two. Then again, if the relationship “works” between any vampire character and the mortal woman, I root for it… ANYWAY… These two characters are so well drawn out; in the first book, Guilty Pleasures, I really liked them bickering and overt “lusting” as Anita calls it, but here, I love it. I was all antsy waiting for Jean-Claude to show up–and he didn’t disappoint.

So, a little bit about the second novel in the Anita Blake series. This time, Anita has been asked to raise a corpse for a client with deviant preferences. Ms. Blake soon learns the more powerful a person is, the more their monster within surfaces. Whether she’s defying a vampire’s rights over her life, or a voodoo grandma with a bad rep, she does it amazingly well. Sarcasm in full swing, Anita Blake kicks ass and asks for names later. Which in all truth, makes this series…

Monstrously entertaining.
— Publisher’s Weekly

The plot was hella intriguing. I’d be getting ready to put the book down for the evening, and then BAM!, something would happen. I’d sit up in bed, “Say what?!” Aaand keep reading. On a side note, I don’t necessarily want to get involved, but researching voodoo would be pretty cool.

As soon as I can, I hope to pick up another book from the Anita Blake series. I mean, every time I finish one of these books, I become a bigger fan of Hamilton and this series. So, I am giving The Laughing Corpse a 4.5/5 out of 5. I was thoroughly entertained and can’t wait to pick up the next novel!

Until next time.

❤ Nolaleigh

Just A Little Bit Wednesday, Oct 20 2010 

Hello Readers!

 I thought I might let you in on what has been going on with my 2010 Reading List and a little bit about me… just a little bit. Here goes…

I have removed a certain number of the titles I had on the list. For a couple of reasons I might add–this way nobody can spit thorns in my direction. There were just too many titles to get through. It was a wonderful thought–read over 150 books in a year or less. Granted, I am still reading most of them–I just took away about 50 titles, maybe a couple more. I had too much of a topic that I love reading about in small doses, namely European royalty. Also, I started reading Nefertiti, but I have to return it–have to read other books, so I’ll be returning to Egypt one day. 🙂 In any case, that is what’s going on there.

New news with me–I am in the process of making a 2011 Reading List. It is very short and reasonable. The books for 2011 seem to have a theme so that should be fun to play with and see where it takes me. I would like it if I could finish it by the end of 2011, that is how short it is. I am giving my 2010 list a little over a year to be done, however, starting Summer 2011, I’ll probably be mixing up the lists just a bit. I will release the 2011 list in the new year. However, I suppose if you want a sneak peek, you could always ask–ya know? 😉

My original list can be found here, 2010 Reading List. My revised list goes as follows:

Anything that is crossed out, I have finished reading and reviewed by October 19, 2010.
** Indicates that it is currently on hold and what is to come within the next month

Singles
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen R. Prothero
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Series
Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
                The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
                The Girl Who Played with Fire
                The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Eve Duncan Saga by Iris Johansen
                The Face of Deception
                The Killing Game
                The Search
                Body of Lies
                Blind Alley
                Countdown
                Stalemate
                Quicksand
                Blood Game
                Eight Days to Live
Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz
                Blue Bloods
                Masquerade
                Revelations
                The Van Alen Legacy
                Misguided Angel
Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
                Moon Called
                Blood Bound
                Iron Kissed
                Bone Crossed
                Silver Borne
                River Marked
Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series
 by Laurell K. Hamilton
                Guilty Pleasures
                **The Laughing Corpse
                Circus of the Damned
                The Lunatic Cafe
                Bloody Bones
                The Killing Dance
                Burnt Offerings
                Blue Moon
                Obsidian Butterfly
                Narcissus in Chains
                Cerulean Sins
                Incubus Dreams
                Micah
                Danse Macabre
                The Harlequin
                Blood Noir
                Skin Trade
                Flirt
                Bullet
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
                Vampire Academy
                Frostbite
                **Shadow Kiss
                Blood Promise
                Spirit Bound
                Last Sacrifice
Vampire Kisses Series by Ellen Schreiber
                Vampire Kisses
                **Kissing Coffins
                **Vampireville
                Dance with a Vampire
                The Coffin Club
                Royal Blood
                Love Bites

Happy Reading!

Fifteen Books Thursday, Aug 19 2010 

For my fifteenth entry, I’d like to suggest fifteen books that I have read and loved. They might be from way back in grade school to recently read. I’d suggest them as gifts depending on age and preferences of the receiver.

1. The Dear America Series by Various Authors.
There is something so very personal about reading a diary. Add that to historical fiction, and I am pulled in. I have a couple of favorites and began reading this series when I was in 4th grade and continue to read them every now and then. With a beautiful hard cover and satin ribbon for a page marker, it makes a perfect Christmas Gift.

2. The Royal Diaries by Various Authors.
This series is a spin-off of The Dear America series. I would say this is more of a birthday gift. I discovered this series in 5th grade when I discovered my first book about Elizabeth I of England–of Tudor fame. 🙂

3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
I do not care how old you are, almost everyone I have met has read this series and connected with one or more of the characters. If you ask my roommate, Amanda, what she thinks, you will get a long rant about the crappiness of the 7th book. Feel free to click here to view her blog. Apart from that, this series is wonderful and have been with me through some of the hardest times in my life.

4. Night by Elie Wiesel.
This is probably one of the most phenomenal stories I have ever read. I read it in my sophomore year of high school and could not put it down. I have read it multiple times since then, and everytime, I love it more.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
It is Jane Austen! Probably one of my all-time favorite love stories. I read it in 7th grade and loved it!

6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
Ah! The story of lovers who have a severe problem with giving each other whiplash. I read this particular novel in 8th grade and found that the characters could easily be diagnosed with some form of mood disorder or another. Great for picking apart character development.

7. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.
My mama gave this book to me. I was a bit unsure about reading it because… well, I don’t rightly know why I was… just was. In any case, Albom’s writing style really pulls you in and allows you to do what few books do today–think.

8. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
Same with this novel. I really enjoy reading Albom’s stories. Fantastic author.

9. The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory.
Love the book, like the movie. Books will almost always be better than the movie. Gregory really gives her characters room to grow and evolve. Very impressive.

10. Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende.
I truly loved reading this novel! So amazing. Check out my blog entry for Allende’s Island Beneath the Sea here.

11. Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz.
If you have not already guessed, I love vampire books. Melissa de la Cruz is refreshing because she brings all these new ideas about vampires to the forefront.

12. Skin Deep by Lois Ruby.
I was in 8th grade when I read this book. The story of a girl who is love with a boy who becomes a skin head. Dramatic story, and the topic was handled well. Especially it being a book for younger readers.

13. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
 One of the most amazing love stories–EVER! Granted, it is kind of like Thornbirds and being able to be with someone who is promised to God. Anyway, was very apprehensive going into it and came out loving it.

14. Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton.
Just started this series and already I love it to death. No pun intended. Hamilton’s writing and content is probably for older teens rather than Twilighters… but no matter… Still really, really good.

15. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs.
Well… you can ask one of my friend’s from school, completely addicting. You put one down and want to pick up the next one. Love, love, loove the main character and her main man. 🙂 Another book with vampires and werewolves. 🙂 🙂

Do you have any books that you would suggest?