Why I Almost Never DNF a Book

I’ve only quit before finishing three books in my adult life.

The first was Gulliver’s Travels. I realized about halfway through that not only was I not enjoying it, I had no idea what was going on. It’s a satire, and I didn’t have a historical context for it, so I was lost. Tossed it aside and didn’t look back.

The second was A Tale of Two Cities. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Dickens, but this book sounded so intriguing that I picked it up anyway. Again, I got halfway through and realized I didn’t have a clue what I was going on, or even who the characters were. This was after like, a month, by the way. I put it down intending to finish it later, but never came back to it. Maybe in my retirement or something.

The last was Anna Karenina. After reading 50 pages of Russian agriculture and never even meeting Anna yet, I decided 800 pages was not worth it. I watched the movie instead.

And that’s it. Only three. I almost never give up on a book. I’ll read it to the end even if I’m not really enjoying it very much. Why? Continue reading

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The Great American Read Recap

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Last night PBS launched a new mini-series called The Great American Read. They have compiled a list of the 100 most popular books in America, and over the course of the summer have asked viewers to vote for their favorite. The winner will be crowned Americas Favorite Book. The 2-hour launch was last night, and they touched on all 100 books. They featured some books over others, interviewing celebrities and authors about their favorite books.

Here are some of the books they featured:

  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Harry Potter
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Outsiders
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • The Color Purple
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Dune
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Invisible Man
  • Bless Me, Ultima
  • Tales of the City
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Great Gatsby

I loved listening to people talk about why they love a book and how it impacted their lives, sometimes in huge ways. Because of the show I’ve added several books to my tbr, and I’m itching to re-read a few that I might not have completely understood in my younger years! Continue reading

Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

6437061Series: Inheritance Trilogy
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆


Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.


I didn’t really care for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but I think most of the things I didn’t like were personal preference, rather than a problem with the book.

Continue reading

The Great American Read

TGAR_logo_multi

This week I stumbled on an ad for a new show: The Great American Read on PBS. It airs this week on Tuesday, and I’m so excited! They’ve picked 100 favorite books, and assembled a bunch of mini-documentaries about the books, why we love books, and how authors write books. Then we get to vote to choose America’s favorite book! YAY!

Based on the preview, the list looks like it has a lot of variety, from classics to very new, YA, kids, adult, science fiction, fantasy, a little bit of everything. I’m really looking forward to whatever the show has to tell us about these books, listening to favorite authors talk about their favorites, and (of course) casting my own vote!

Here. Watch the preview.

Continue reading

Must-Haves for a 5-Star Book

It’s a rare thing, that 5-Star book. They only come around a couple of times a year, if we’re lucky. I know I’ve had years where I didn’t read any. So what makes those books so special? Is it a certain je ne sais quoi, or can you define it?

For me, personally, it’s a little of both. My favorite books, for the most part, have very little in common with each other. They’re from a variety of genres in different styles. A lot of times if you asked me what made them so special I would be at a loss for words. They just … are. But there are definitely some characteristics that a book must have in order for me to love it that much.

Note that this is my list, not a universal one.


Must-Haves

Outstanding Writing

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I’m discovering that I’m a bit of a literature snob. High-quality writing is important to me. That’s not to say I can’t enjoy a book with flaws, but if I’m in any way distracted by the writing style I probably won’t give it 5 stars. Continue reading

Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completley Fine by Gail Honeyman

31434883Genre: Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.


Oh wow. Eleanor Oliphant was completely heart-wrenching, yet profoundly heart-warming. I loved it, and I loved Eleanor. Continue reading

One Year Blogoversary

blogoversary

Oh my gosh! It’s been one year!!!!

I can’t believe it. So many great things have happened to me in the last year, and this blog is definitely one of them. When I started I figured I might meet one or two people to chat with, maybe get 100 followers eventually. Instead I have been completely blown away by this community.

Instead of talking about myself and my blog, I want to say thank you to those of you who take the time to read my ramblings thrice a week. To say thanks to the people who read, like, and especially who comment. I have loved getting to know you all, and getting the chance to finally TALK ABOUT BOOKS! Those of you who have other readers in your life just can’t possibly understand the struggle.

So to say thanks I wanted to give a shout-out to some of my favorite bloggers that I’ve met over the past year. If you’re not following them already, give them some love and hop over to their sites! Continue reading