Adult · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Mystery

Kiersten’s Favorites: Pt 3

We had a bit of a rough night last night. After getting home from work I had to rush my dog to the emergency vet. To make a long story short, his arthritis was causing him a significant amount of pain. ūüė• Thankfully, he’s doing a bit better today now that his meds have kicked in. (I, however, am a tired mess, as I got up practically every hour to check on him and make sure he was okay.)

*yawns*

I could use some happiness today, so I am going to do another favorites post, as it’s been a while. (Feel free to check out Part 1 and Part 2.)

  1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier – I’ve been in love with¬†Rebecca¬†since I read it back in high school for summer reading. In a way, it reminds me of another favorite,¬†Jane¬†Eyre, in that it’s a filled with gothic themes of suspense, mystery, and romance. I used to have dreams about living in Manderlay.
  2. The Other Boelyn Girl by Philippa Gregory Р This book was the one that made me so obsessed with historical fiction throughout college. (Prior to that I assumed that historical fiction novels would be about as exciting as reading a history textbook.) The descriptive detail of the clothing (omg, the clothing!), the scenery, and the people of the court were enough to keep me hooked. Philippa Gregory really knows how to take history and really make it come to life.
  3. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – Seriously, who didn’t love this book? It’s short, but kept me interested from the very first page. It’s basically¬†Clue in book form.
  4. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – Part historical fiction, part dark mystery, this book has the whole package. It’s basically an updated, exotic version of Dracula with more history thrown in.

 

 

Blogging · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Uncategorized

Shelf Evolution

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While perusing my beloved bookshelves last night I noticed how many different kinds of books I’ve collected over the years. The majority of them are either fantasy or classic literature, but there’s a smattering of everything else mixed in. Some are books that I will continue to read over and over again; others I will probably never revisit, even though I enjoyed them at one time.

I love seeing diversity on a person’s bookshelves because it gives you a glimpse into how they’ve changed over time. My own shelves are a reflection of this.

I enjoyed the usual suspects as a young girl:¬†Dr. Seuss, Curious George, Amelia Bedelia,¬†The Berenstain Bears,¬†Fairy Tales (the Grimm brothers and Hans Christian Andersen), Roald Dahl…to name a few.

By late elementary/early middle school I was interested in mystery/horror type books. That was when I discovered¬†R.L. Stine’s¬†Fear Street series, Face on the Milk Carton,¬†and¬†Flowers in the Attic.¬†My mother was a fan of Sandra Brown and Mary Higgins Clark at the time, so I read whatever books were laying around the house. Middle school was also when I first discovered the¬†Harry Potter¬†books.

I didn’t really read much “young adult” in high school. Truthfully, I don’t even remember there being a YA section at the bookstore back then. (Wow, that sentence makes me sound like an old fart, doesn’t it?) There probably was one somewhere, but I never really looked for it. I had a more varied taste in literature by this time, which school probably influenced somewhat. That was when I started reading classic novels, Shakespeare, and Poe. I also read whatever the big sellers were at the time – James Patterson, Mitch Albom, Nicholas Sparks, and Dan Brown. (All of which make me cringe now.)

College was when my tastes started leaning towards what they are now. I fell in love with historical fiction and fantasy. (My exposure to fantasy had been limited prior to this. Had I discovered the genre earlier I believe I would have been hooked.) I rediscovered fairy tales and the modern re-tellings of them, which over the past 2-3 years has opened my eyes to the world of young adult literature. Authors like Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Terry Brooks, Sarah Maas, and Colleen Oakes have found their way onto my shelves and I know they won’t be leaving any time soon.

Some people keep the same tastes in books throughout their lives. Then there are people whose tastes are constantly changing. To me, it seems pretty indicative of what we are going through in our lives at the time. I used to read mysteries because I was bored with life and was looking for more thrill/excitement. Historical fiction helped teach me about the world during a time when I was looking for more culture. (I didn’t have the money to travel.) Now, with all the ups and down I’ve been experiencing the past few years, fantasy helps me escape from reality when it’s just too heavy.

Even though my preferences have changed over the years, one thing has always remained constant: Books have been there for me, as a friend and form of therapy when I’ve needed it. Sometimes, even when I don’t realize I need it.

~~~

How have your book preferences changed over the years? 

Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Fiction

The Ultimate Harry Potter Book Tag

Did someone say Harry Potter book tag!? SIGN ME UP. ūüėÄ

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1) Favorite book?  As much as I love all of the books, Deathly Hallows and Order of the Phoenix have always been my favorites. I felt like both of these books really exhibited the difficulties that Harry had to endure and reached a higher level of maturity than the other books did.

2) Least favourite book? Probably Chamber of Secrets. There is nothing wrong with this book, but compared to the rest of the series this one falls to the bottom of my list.

3) Favourite movie? Order of the Phoenix. I loved getting to see Harry and Sirius’ relationship on screen.

4) Least favourite movie? The Goblet of Fire. There was so much missing from this movie. The whole thing revolved around the Tri-Wizard tournament and basically left out all of the other details of that year.

5) Favourite quote? ‚ÄúHappiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.‚ÄĚ -Albus Dumbledore

6) Favourite Weasley?¬†Oh I love the Weasleys! They’re like the perfect close-knit, quirky family. Mr. Weasley is my favorite of the bunch. I love his fascination with simple muggle objects.

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7) Favourite female character? Hermione! She is one of my favorite book characters of all time. Period.

8) Favourite villain. I don’t usually think of favorites in terms of villainous characters, but if I had to pick one I guess I’d say Bellatrix.

9) Favourite male character?¬†Aside from Harry (because he’s a given), I’m going to have to say Neville.

10) Favourite professor? Hagrid!

11) Would you rather A) wash Snape‚Äôs hair or B) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself? Oooh that’s a tough one. I’m going with B) though. As annoying as Lockhart was, Snape would probably find a million reasons to give someone detention for touching his hair.

12) Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) an angry Molly? Molly. Bellatrix was freaking crazy.

13) Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying Car?¬†Hogwarts Express. As much fun as the flying Ford Anglia might be, I imagine you wouldn’t get the real Hogwarts student experience without riding the train.

14) Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath? Umm, eww to both of these. I guess the first one?

15) Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt? A hippogriff.

16) Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies? Dumbledore. I was actually quite disappointed with the way that he was portrayed in the movies vs. the books.

17) Is there a movie you preferred to the book? Nope.

18) Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore? Neither? As mentioned above, I was actually disappointed with movie Dumbledore. In the books he was portrayed a wise, yet quirky man. I felt like the first movie Dumbledore was too soft spoken and grandfatherly, while the second was a bit too intense.

19) Your top thing (person or event) that wasn‚Äôt in the movie that you wanted there the most?¬†S.P.E.W! I loved Hermione’s efforts to liberate the house elves and the fact that Dobby kept stealing all the hates she made for them. Heh.

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20) If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be? Goblet of Fire. I would make it a two part movie to incorporate more of the story that was missing from the original.

21) Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of? Gryffindor

22) Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore? Ravenclaw

23) Which class would be your favorite? Care of Magical Creatures!

24) Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?¬†That’s a tough one, there are so many awesome spells. I imagine Accio would come in pretty handy though. You’d never misplace things again!

25) Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with? Hermione because we have a lot in common.

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26) If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be? The invisibility cloak. It’d be perfect for when I want everyone to leave me alone.

27) Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change? Not that I can think of.

28) Favourite Marauder? Moony. He was a fun character. I wish he had been present in more of the later books.

29) If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?¬†Dobby! I still bawl whenever I re-read his death scene. ūüė•

 

30) Hallows or Horcruxes?¬†Hallows. If the only way to gain immortality is to split your soul in seven pieces, I think I’ll pass. Sounds pretty awful.

~~~

Alright muggles, feel free to take part if you love Harry Potter as much as I do! 

Adult · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Middle Grade · Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2017 (So Far) 

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Happy Tuesday! This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is Favorite Reads of 2017. It feels a little weird filling this out already because I don’t feel like I’ve read all that much yet, but I’ll give it a shot anyway…

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  2. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (re-read)
  5. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  6. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (re-read)
  7. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  8. Stars by Colleen Oakes
  9. Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrande
  10. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier (currently re-reading)
Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Fiction · Young Adult

A Very Magical Anniversary

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. If you read my blog regularly you know that I’ve already¬†mentioned¬†(at least a dozen times) how much I adore the Harry Potter series. When I first discovered the series, back when I was a wee little 11-12 year old, I didn’t realize how much it would impact me, even years later as an adult.

There are a ton of articles/posts floating around the internet today in honor of Harry’s anniversary. Of all the ones I’ve read so far, I think my favorite is¬†this¬†one from Goodreads. I loved getting to read how the books have impacted other people, children and adults alike.

12193635_10102187063150135_5997014251368101636_n(“It’s Levi-O-sa, not Levio-SA!”)

Here’s to J.K. Rowling and the little bit of magic she has brought into all of our lives.

Adult · Books · Classics · Favorites · Fiction

On Gothic Literature

Despite the fact that I haven’t been reading much of it lately, I adore gothic literature. I developed a taste for gothic suspense and gothic romance novels back in high school when I was introduced to Charlotte Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier. For those unfamiliar with gothic fiction, it is a sub-genre of literature that typically combines elements of horror, suspense, death and romance. It originated in eighteenth century England and influenced similar literary styles throughout other parts of Europe and America. Gothic novels commonly feature dark settings, such as mysterious castles, dungeons, mansions, and graveyards. Sometimes they incorporate aspects of the supernatural, like ghosts, but this is not always necessary.

One of my favorite aspects of gothic literature (aside from the creepy settings) is the psychological mind fuck that usually accompanies it. Authors of this type of literature know how to combine what are often viewed as “negative” human emotions (such as terror, dread, and doubt) and combine it with romanticism to create one pleasurably disturbing experience for the reader. (I am now sitting here wondering what this says about ¬†me as a human being. It’s probably best not to open that can of worms…)

There are so many amazing classic and modern gothic novels out there. If you are new to this genre, you may want to introduce yourself by starting with a few of these:

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

~~~

Do you like gothic literature? What are some of your favorite gothic novels? 

 

Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Favorites · Fiction

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

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Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far. I’ve seen this tag pop up on several blogs the past few days, so I thought I would join in on the fun since I don’t have any new reviews to share yet. As usual, feel free to take part if you would like.

  • Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017¬†–¬†A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah Maas is definitely my favorite so far this year. (After how much I’ve been gushing over the series, I’m sure you’re shocked to hear that.)

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  • Best Sequel of 2017 So Far¬†– I guess I’m going to go with¬†A Court of Wings and Ruin, given that it’s the only sequel I’ve read this year that’s actually been released in 2017.
  • New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To –¬†Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m not sure how this will hold up, given that it’s been pieced together from Tolkien’s unpublished manuscripts, but I love Tolkien and I am excited to check this out.

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  • Most Anticipated Release of of the Second Half of 2017 –¬†War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes. I have been waiting for this book to come out for two years now. The suspense is killing me.
  • Biggest Disappointment¬†–¬†The End of Oz by Danielle Paige. This definitely wasn’t the series finale that I was hoping for.
  • Biggest Surprise¬†–¬†Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
  • Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)¬†–¬†Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This wasn’t a new release, but it was my first book by Novik and I was quite impressed.
  • Favorite New Character¬†– Rhysand *drools*
  • Book That Made You Cry¬†–¬†The Graveyard Book¬†by Neil Gaiman. I always cry at the end.
  • Book That Made You Happy¬†–¬†The Graveyard Book! It was a re-read and even though it makes me cry, I love that book so much. ‚̧

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  • Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year¬†–¬†Beauty and the Beast!
  • Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year¬†– They weren’t exactly reviews, but I think I had the most fun writing my “Favorites” posts. I love getting to talk about my favorite books with people. (Kiersten‚Äôs Favorites: Pt 1,¬†Kiersten‚Äôs Favorites: Pt 2)
  • Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought/Received This Year¬†– Honestly, I have no idea.
  • Books You Need to Read By the End of the Year¬†–¬†ALL THE BOOKS! ūüėÄ