The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry

★★★★★ 5/5

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This haunting story centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he’s given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. – Goodreads

 

 

 


Fiction/Classic / Can be read easily, hard to put it down

It is hard to believe that I am just reading this book at 21 years old, especially since it was such a hit in some high school classes I always managed to avoid reading it – and wow, do I ever regret it!

The whole setting and idea of the society within this story is amazing enough, it is creative, manageable, and well structured. I loved hearing about the transitions children go through each year, and it was amazing to read this and have the citizens act so naturally with it because for their society it is all they know.

And then that’s when you have your twist. I do not want to spoil this book because it really is amazing and I suggest each and every one of you read it. The story really made me appreciate the good and the bad of what we experience in our lives and you get to explore your own morals and beliefs while you are held in suspense about the character’s choice of action.

"Life here is so orderly, so predictable - so painless. It's what they've
chosen."
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Top 3 of Summer 2017

As of today it is officially the first day of Fall which means we sadly have to say goodbye to Summer. I had an amazing summer, and also read some amazin books.

As of today, I have read 40 Books

I still have 3 more months of reading to go, but I wanted to share my top 3 favorite books that I read in the span from june – today. Honestly, this year I have read so many great books. Almost every review I’m throwing out 4 and 5 stars, but I just can’t help it, my reading list this year has been on fire. With careful consideration, here are my top 3 reads of the summer:

3. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (review here)

2. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom  (review here)

1. IT- Stephen King (review here)

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What were your favorite reads of the summer?

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (2017) by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

★★★★★ 5/5

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetThe essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist.
What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.
But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe. -Goodreads




Non-Fiction/Science – A heavy read, takes time and should be reread if truly interested in learning about astrophysics

I have done university courses in Astrophysics and this book is an excellent background. The first read through would definitely teach the reader about the history of our universe as it explores the birth of the universe, how stars and planets formed, dark matter and energy, the periodic table of elements, scientific laws, and many other topics. If you’re really passionate in learning from this book a slow read through with some notes or reading through it multiple times will ensure you have a good understanding of the main science involved with astrophysics.

It is hard to review such a technical book, it is definitely heavy science and this should be considered before reading. Neil DeGrasse Tyson also adds his sarcastic humor which will make you laugh while you learn about the universe.

"We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure 
itself out - and we have only just begun."
"The power and beauty of physical laws is that they apply everywhere. 
Whether or not you choose to believe in them."
"Yes, Einstein was a badass."
"With the power of vision, you miss nothing."
"We do not simply live in the universe. The universe lives within us."

September TBR

August was dedicated to reading IT by Stephen King even though I managed to get a couple more quick reads in before the month was over. For September, I am going to push my limits and try to conquer a few “shorter” reads and to at least get started with A Little Life. A few of these on my September TBR are a part of my 2017 must-reads I posted about earlier: you can read about that here

On this months TBR list is: Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
This is a book I have been wanting to read since highschool, I had the option to read this or The Hobbit for an English course and I chose The Hobbit. About 4 years later I am finally getting around to this read.

The Giver – Lois Lowry
I have seen this read all over my social media feeds and one of my friends is reading it now. I hope it is worth all the hype!

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
I snagged this book at a book fair for 2 dollars! I had no idea what this book was about or if it would be worth the read, but after buying it I started to see it pop up on my social media feeds which made me excited to read it!

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
– 
I have been wanting to read this book forever, but I wanted to wait until I had enough free time to really take my time and enjoy it. The concept is similar to the book The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch which I really enjoyed. Being 21 and just finishing university I really appreciate hearing about life experiences and advice from others. I will probably start this month with this read!

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
This book has been everywhere! I have only seen praise and excitement for this read. It is a bit longer of a book so I am not expecting to have it finished by the end of the month, but I am hoping to be well into it by then.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman (not pictured ebook)*
I have already started this one, but I only really use my ereader when I am doing cardio at the gym so ebooks take me a little longer to finish. I am already really enjoying this read I love the suspense and creative characters so far. 


Have you read any of these?

IT (1987) by Stephen King

UPDATE I have finally finished reading IT about a week before the movie premieres and I cannot contain my excitement.


★★★★★ 5/5

IMG_2834To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .
The adults, knowing better, knew nothing.Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.
  – Goodreads


Horror/Thriller/Fantasy – a lengthy read, but worth every word.

There is no denying this is the best book I have ever read. I am usually picky about long books, but this book required every detail and was executed perfectly. I never wanted it to end.

The main characters being the seven kids; Bill, Ben, Beverly, Eddie, Mike, Richie, and Stan. My favorites were definitely Bill and Eddie, my least favorite being Richie (Beep, Beep).

Stephen King’s writing style is just as enjoyable as the story itself, I loved how gracefully he transitioned from the present setting to the memories. The aspect of the adults remembering everything slowly instead of all at once and presenting this as memories added to the suspense and the foreshadowing.

What makes Stephen King so amazing is that he has all these creative ideas and a wild imagination and he can really create a visual image that is equally as amazing as it is terrifying.

Of course, I can’t say too much because I want to keep my reviews spoiler free, but EVERYONE has to read this masterpiece. I am going to watch the old film before the movie release on September 8th!

"I'm doing the Mashed Potatoes all over it and I got a broken arm!"
"In nightmares we can think the worst. That's what they're for, I guess."
"There was blood ... blood everywhere ... and her father didn't see it."

 

August Book Haul

Still trying to figure out my book haul banner, any tips?

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I found all of these at a secondhand store, 6 books for 14 dollars!! I am all about those thrift finds.

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

Shadow of the Hegemon – Orson Scott Card

Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood

A Walk to Remember – Nicholas Sparks

The War of The Worlds – H.G. Wells

Hatchet – Gary Paulson

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) by Oscar Wilde

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.” -Goodreads


Classics/Fiction/Horror – can be read in a few days

Written in Old English language, this read was not only entertaining for the story, the brilliant quotes worded beautifully are reason enough to give this book a try. Lord Henry had many wise words about life, I couldn’t even pick a favorite quote.

I was tempted to give it 4 stars, however there was a stretch in the book where I was very confused and missed a significant amount of time. I was still able to understand the general plot of the story, but it did impact my rating of the book. I’m sure if I reread this book I would be able to appreciate it much more.

REGARDLESS – IT IS A MASTERPIECE. 

I definitely had the homosexual vibe from Basil which contributed to the controversy over this book.

In the book Basil keeps emphasizing that he feels he have put too much of himself into the portrait he painted of Dorian, this could be Oscar Wilde’s metaphor for how he has put much of himself into this book when he references that each character is semi autobiographical

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.”

"Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul."
"Youth is one thing worth having."
"Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the
caveman had known had to laugh, History would have been different."

 

 

 

A Man Called Ove (2012) by Fredrik Backman

★★★★☆ 4/5

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. -Goodreads


Fiction/ <500 Pages / Can be read in about a week 

This book was on the top of my TBR for a very long time, you can imagine my disappointment when I started this book and I didn’t think it was for me – but, I was very wrong.

Ove comes off as a bitter old man, however readers get to learn about what has happened throughout his life and how he feels, and it really influences you to be more open minded when perceiving Ove.

There was such great character development and I fell in love with the story very quickly. One minute I would be crying and the next I would be laughing out loud.

This read was great because it reminds the reader that everyone has a history which has shaped them into who they are today. Ove’s actions and perceptions are heavily based upon the influence of the important people he had in his life.

"Ove feels an instinctive skepticism towards all people taller than one 
eighty-five; the blood can't quite make it all the way up to the brain."

"And she was colour. All the colour he had."

The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald

★★★★☆ 4/5

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After the war, the mysterious Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire pursues wealth, riches and the lady he lost to another man with stoic determination. When Gatsby finally does reunite with Daisy Buchanan, tragic events are set in motion. Told through the eyes of his detached and omnipresent neighbor and friend, Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald’s succinct and powerful prose hints at the destruction and tragedy that awaits. – Goodreads

 


Classics / Fiction / <200 pages / Can be read in a day

You have probably seen this book all over your social feeds, and the hype is well deserved. I loved the story and I loved the writing. However, I could not give it 5 stars because I found the ending happened so quickly.

I wish I had read this long before now, it is a great read and I will definitely be reading more of his work.

The main story is clear and interesting, however I found I need to re-read it to understand more of the relationships and personal conflicts occurring in this book. I was so interested in Gatsby I ignored Nick and I would like to try again in order to understand him.

"'I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool- that's the best thing a girl can be 
in this world, a beautiful little fool.'"