My Brief Thoughts on Horten’s Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure, By Lissa Evans

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This was a fantastic book. It’s the second, and last, in the Stuart Horten series and it just seems to close off everything pretty neatly. Lissa still manages to keep the pace she made with the first book, of having Stuart and his friend April (plus a few others now) solving a series of clues and puzzles in order to reach their end goal and make sure that Stuart’s Great-Uncle Tony’s inventions do not be taken away, or in this case have the opportunity to give them away.

The thing that Lissa does best is making the puzzles, each one is different and unique, and not too complex that causes both the characters, and even the readers, to wonder just how the hell could it be solved. Simply put while this is a book for kids, Lissa doesn’t dumb it down, she writes her characters realistically and it does feel like what happens to them is believable.

If you like reading stories from the younger crowd, I recommend checking out this series. They’re both a very quick read despite their page length and can easily be completed within a day by the most experienced reader. Of course, start with the first one and work your way from there. There is a shift from the realistic to the magical between the two books, but that doesn’t change much at all, it actually helps propel Stuart’s story.

That’s all for now, take care, peeps.

My Brief thoughts on Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury

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Alright, I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time. So, you can say my expectations were hyped up just a bit. Therefore I was a little but disappointed in the book. Not a lot, though. This book has all of Ray’s charm: the poetic prose, diving into childhood, reflections of the past, but I just felt like there could have been…more. Still, I really liked this story, the way Ray paints Green Town in 1928 makes me wish I was actually there, despite that one shouldn’t romanticize about the past, in this case it can be allowed because of the way Ray wrote it. My two favorite scenes are when Doug, Tom and their Father were looking for wild berries, and when Doug does everything in his power to get a new pair of tennis shoes for the summer.

I got this strong feeling that I will revisit it, and I want to read its sequel, if I can find a copy because Green Town is so damn interesting, I want to see what happened in 1929. Ray crafted a wonderful tale here, there’s no doubt from me about that, and I’m glad I had a chance to read it.

I do recommend it for fans of Ray, or who like a little fantasy-ish feeling sprinkled in their tale.

Take care, peeps.

My brief thoughts on Stoner, by John Williams

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I’d wished I read this book when I heard about it four years ago.

I also hope that a professor out there is teaching this book to their class.

This is one of those stories that takes a deep look into a person, to watch as the years roll on and how as time goes by, they manage to get up each morning and face what the day may bring, while accepting the responsibilities for the choices that they made (or should have made but didn’t).

This book dishes out so many things: it’s entertaining, yet it’s saddening; it can induce anger, yet smooths out that anger as soon as it may reach a boiling point; it’s hopeful, but sometimes it will break ones own heart. It doesn’t hold back.

And Stoner feels real, because we see, page by page, how he has to fight every day, and how he manages to dig deep within himself to stay strong so he does not lose himself. Even the other characters, those who are for him, and those who are against him, they too have their reasons and they feel real.

This book is probably one of the best character driven novels I’ve read. So much so it’s bumped off a book on my top ten list, and that’s hard to do.

I recommend it.

Take care, peeps.

HOW TO FAIL AS A WRITER

phasersandspells:

If you don’t want to be a writer, follow these steps, especially if you’re trying to be one. If you don’t do any of these, then keep going.

Originally posted on Carrie Cuinn:

1. GIVE UP IN DESPAIR, AND STOP WRITING. FOREVER. PERMANENTLY.

2. Or, keep writing but:

  • Stop trying to improve. Focus on racking up publication credits, or sales, or reprints, rather than whether this story is noticeably better than the last one.
  • Refuse to listen when your writing is criticized, regardless of the quality or thoroughness of the critique or review. Only listen to your fans, the people who tell you how great you are, and suspect — quietly, to yourself, or loud and indignantly to your loved ones — that your critics just didn’t “understand” what you were “going for”.
  • Stop sending your writing out for feedback (either to alpha/beta readers before you consider it done, or publishers afterward).
  • Stop trying new things, whether it’s different genres, different styles, different markets, or different character types.
  • Complain, constantly, that your work isn’t selling enough. Post on social media that people you know, your friends and family…

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Kickstarter: Save the Sci Fi: The Next Generation! by Singularity&Co.

Okay guys, like seriously guys, these people are already kind of doing what I wanna do. They have a bookstore (in Brooklyn) in which they do sell old paperback Sci-Fi novels. In this Kickstarter, they just want to rescue out of print books and turn them into e-books to save them. So please, send some money their way or at least spread the word.

 

 

Another Year, Another Haul

Hello, everyone! So, Christmas has come and gone, and so has Boxing Day, so if you’ve been here for some time then you know what that means! It’s time for my yearly book haul.

What happens is this: each year for Christmas I ask for gift cards, more importantly Chapters gift cards. I do buy books throughout the year, but it’s during Boxing Day where I can get about twice the amount that I usually get. The reason is that I can get 30% off all hardcovers and because I’m a part of their reward system I get an extra 10% which kind of covers the tax. So, that said, since my birthday is about almost a month earlier, if I ask for gift cards then, and get more in December, then Boxing Day is my favorite day of the year.

So, after the jump, I’ll begin the (long) list of books, complete with their summaries. I may not comment on why I bought them this year, but at least you’ll get a sense of what I managed to snag.

 

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