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

Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, and Silver Borne Friday, Oct 1 2010 

This entry will be a bit different than the others–I get to fit FIVE novels into one review! I found out about the Mercy Thompson series thanks to my roommate during sophomore second semester. I read through them so fast that I caught up with my then roomie and when she finished, I plowed through that one as well. So let’s see, five books, one entry. Pretty much, mini reviews for all. You will have to trust me in the amazingness that is the Mercy Thompson series. Patricia Briggs is a genius!

Moon Called
Meet Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson. Shifter and bad-ass extraordinaire. Oh, and she’s a mechanic. Friend to werewolves, the Fae, ghosts, and vampires. Hahaa, yes! So anyway, this novel was filled with action and an obvious underlying love triangle between three characters. Love Briggs’ characters–was so sad that Mac died. Enter Adam, the very well written Alpha male in a werewolf pack that lives next to Mercy. Lots of different kinds of tension–it was wonderful. I will give Moon Called a 4/4.5 out of 5. 🙂


Blood Bound

Vampire-centric. I would say hell yes, however, these vampire are nasty pieces of work. Mercy is back and this time she is helping her vampire friend, Stefan, with a vampire that is visiting from outside his Mistress’ seethe or coven. Only, things are definitely not as they appear. Let me put it this way, werewolves, vampires, and Fae all have a wonderful thing called politics, and if you think the politics of our world are messed up–you won’t know what to think of these. In any case, Mercy gets mixed up with a vampire that is not only a vampire, but also a wizard who is  a wee bit past crazy–so, in short, the thing is horrifying and downright extreme! This novel does some more exploration of an old relationship with Samuel and Mercy, and the blooming of something new with our heroine and Adam. Blood Bound gets 4/4.5 out 5.

Iron Kissed
In this installation, Mercy is dealing with the Fae. Those of magical folklore. Note to readers: Never say thank you to the Fae–they will take it as you are indebted to them and that will just allow them to play games with you. Games that will kill you. Catch my drift? Good. Now that we have that covered, Zee, Mercy’s Fae boss, needs her help to solve a murder on the Fae reservation. Then Zee gets accused of the murder which was totally bizarre. However, upon finding out who the real killer is, things begin to go south really fast for Mercy. The last few chapters were really hard to read because of the subject matter–rape–but it was handled well. There is conflict between Adam and Mercy because he has declared her his mate and she is not sure who she wants. I give Iron Kissed a 4/4.5 out of 5.                                    


Bone Crossed
Vampires and the Fae are all sorts of bad, but this time, Mercy is… well, I will say this nicely–up shit’s creek without a paddle. Stefan has been sent to Mercy really messed up as a warning that his Mistress is going to hurt Mercy for events that happened in  Blood Bound. An old friend of Mercy’s comes into the picture and in comes a vampire that is horrible, nasty, just all bad! Characters from B.B. return and bring issues full circle. Issues between Mercy and Adam have gotten much better, thank God. Samuel is sinking quicker and quicker into a desire to not live anymore, which for a werewolf, just does not happen. Anyway, loved Bone Crossed and it gets 4/4.5 out of 5.

Silver Borne

“I slid slowly down the wall, bringing him with me as his skin stretched and the bones moved. Watching a wolf change is not a beautiful thing.” (169)

So, so, so amazing! I am so lying if I say I am just a fan. Get ready, fan-girl squeal: Eeeeeeeeeee!!!!! I think this particular novel is my favorite so far. No dealings with vampires in this one and the fae are few, thankfully! Never thought I would change my mind when it came to vampires and werewolves–but for this series, I would sooo be a werewolf’s girlfriend. Now that you are probably eeked by me…

Samuel has gotten worse and it is so sad–buuut… things are looking way up for Samuel by the end of the novel. I typically would not give away the ending, but that is just one part of the ending–so relax. 😉 I really can’t wait for Briggs’ new installments. Ms. Briggs, please hurry!! Hmm… this time around Mercy has not really done anything to antagonize anyone. She just has something that the Fairy Queen wants. As usual, Briggs’ descriptions and her content have worked we together to make something AMAZING. Her characters are so alive and do not necessarily fit the stereotypes set down by society at large. I am enjoying the characters that are slowly but surely being added to the series and I can only imagine how huge the final installment will be–I mean, you can’t really just stop Mercy Thompson.

There’s so much action and a bit of romance for those of us who enjoy that 😉 😉 Briggs goes into more detail about the mate bond between Mercy and Adam which is oh-so-helpful when thinking about how Adam acts when he feels that something is wrong with Mercy. The pack bond he forged with her is also helpful. Love it!! I am giving Briggs’ Silver Borne a 4/4.5 out of 5. I love this series!

“In the increasingly crowded field of kick-ass supernatural heroines, Mercy stands out as one of the best.”–Locus

Heads Carolina, Tails California Friday, Sep 17 2010 

What I would not give for this entry to be a book review. Do you realize how many books I have in my possession–not including the huge pile that is an avalanche all on its own? School has taken up so much of my time and to be honest–I long for summer once again when I can go to work and come home and read. I’ve taken up knitting–it is so calming. I’ve completed two hats and can’t wait to begin making scarves.

My reason for writing this entry which has nothing to do with what I would truly love to be doing right now? I could not leave this untouched for another day. I became so accustomed to reading non-stop, writing a blog, and then starting up again. So, to those who read and those who comment: I appreciate your comments and discussion… and your patience. I will one day soon get another book review up. However, this is not even half of what I am up against:

ENG 203–Introduction to Drama.
We aren’t reading books so much as we are reading plays like “Oedipus Rex”, “Everyman”, “Lysistrata”, etc. The Greeks really knew how to stress SEX without saying it. Okay, that’s a lie. At one point in “Lysistrata”, the women declare they will not be “lifting their slippers to the ceiling” or “go on all fours.” Oh joy. I am currently writing a paper about King Oedipus and Oedipus complex–riveting, wouldn’t you say?

ENG 312–Literary Criticism.
Mostly collected works by Elizabeth Bishop and a custom-made course reader thanks to the Professor. Apparently, my views are incredibly Marxist and reader based. I guess I can agree if it means that I firmly believe how you interpret literature is based on your social location and experiences. No matter, recently read a short story called “The Burning House” by Anne Beattie–amazing. Read it. I could pick apart that story all day.

ENG 326–American Immigrant Experience.
Yep, you guessed it. It is a co-taught class for History and English. The professors banter back and forth–funny as hell. We read historical accounts, participate in lectures, and discuss what we are reading. Six or seven novels and a zillion articles. To be quite honest, the topic of immigration tends to be a very touchy topic. I do not understand why. We are a nation of immigrants. On another note, you could say I am a bit of a feminist. So, despite the fact that I’ve learned to respect various cultures, I became very sad when we had to read a short story about a young Chinese couple who were to be driven apart thanks to being Americanized–which really is so true–we expect everyone to act “American.” Whatever that is–I do not really know anymore. And now that I have gone somewhere on a tangent, let us return.

HIS 211–History of Latin American Civilizations.
The professor, my roommate and I have decided, looks exceedingly like a young Michael Caine. We are reading two books in that class and the sections are so ungodly long. The class lectures are fascinating and it is quite obvious the professor is passionate about the subject: Maya, Aztecs, Incas, etc., but this English major and History minor loves to read–just not texts that are so dense that you could put a knife through it.

SPN 101–Introduction to Spanish.
Hola! Me gusta mucho! I had taken three years in middle school and high school. However, upon being called stupid and lazy, I backed away from the language that I was so close to being fluent in and slowly but surely, it became dormant. Until now. I am staying up late and having fantastic conversations with one of my roommates, Amanda, and the second best part about having these conversations: they are  completely in Spanish! Hell yes!

~~

As much as I love school, (if I could be paid to go to school for the rest of my life, I probably would because I love to learn) I would love to get in a car with my travel buddy, Amanda, take some good music, a couple dozen books, my laptop, and plenty of money for gas and food, and just drive without a damn map. Get lost and just be at peace with a good book in my hands. Flip a coin and go. Escape into the novels that have become (almost) like home. Call me crazy, but I love talking to the characters and sharing in their adventures–but I guess I have to come back to reality sometime. Quite honestly, I do not  enjoy reality right now and a great big bubble of positive something would do me some good. By next week, I fully intend on having SOMETHING up…this two-week business is not okay with me.

To end on a positive note–I am thoroughly excited for my Fall TV shows and supposedly, they are making a show or a movie out of the Vampire Academy series. They will not be able to do Dimitri Belikov justice. haha

Books in my possession that I have not started yet: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs, Nefertiti by Michelle Moran, The Killing Game by Iris Johansen, and maybe three or four other books that are coming in. Oh to be able to write another entry. Until then…

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?

2010 Reading List Wednesday, May 19 2010 

So most people are saying ambitious, I’m saying this looks like fun. I’ve already begun to read some of these, and I’m sure the list will grow–I won’t be reading in any particular order–let’s go!

Single
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
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
The Vampire and the Virgin by Kerrelyn Sparks
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
The Amber Room by Steve Berry
The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
The Virgin Queen’s Daughter by Ella March Chase
The Devil’s Queen by Jeanne Kalogridis
The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis
The Queen’s Mistake by Diane Haeger
Mary Boleyn by Josephine Wilkinson
Catherine Howard by Lacey Baldwin Smith
Margaret Pole by Hazel Pierce
Lady Jane Grey by E.W. Ives
The Mistresses of Henry VIII by Kelly Hart
The Tudor Queens of England by David Loades
Jane Seymour by Elizabeth Norton
Six Wives by David Starkey
The Virgin’s Daughters by Jeane Westin

Series
Millenium Trilogy Series by Stieg Larsson (3)
Eve Duncan Series by Iris Johansen (9+)
Special Agent Pendergast Series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (10+)
Alex Delaware Series by Jonathan Kellerman (22+)
Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz (4)
Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs (5+)
Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian (7+)
Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton (17+)

I am currently reading David Starkey’s Six Wives. The collective stories of the wives of Henry Tudor VIII–Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.

Do you have any favorites?