Cozy Mystery Series Featuring BOOKS!

Cozy Mystery Series Featuring BOOKS!

Sometimes you need to read a book that you know will make you smile and be happy at the end of it, you know? Well, for all you bookies that like to read to books that have a heavy emphasis on books, I got a recommendation for you.

Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile Mystery series is one of my favorites. Currently I am on book four, Murder Under Cover, and waiting for five and six to get their papery selves to my branch so I can check them out. There are a lot of really fun traits about this series that make it such a joy to read.

The main character, Brooklyn, is a book restorer who lives in a picturesque San Francisco, California. She’s very good at her job and always gets to work on really neat and interesting books. But besides being my hero in regards to book restoration/binding she is a quirky and sarcastic character that is fun to read. Sure, she can be a little whiny at times, but I can’t honestly blame her. I would be whiny too if people kept showing up dead around me. But moving along. . .

Some other great aspects about this series are the supporting characters. Brooklyn’s main squeeze, Derek, is a dashing British spy type that is, for the most part, a believable human being (I mean if I wanted really believable human beings I would not be reading these). Her best friend is an over-the-top fashionista artist that balances out Brooklyn’s mellower and laid back personality. And then there are her parents. Honestly, these parents are too funny and weird and I just can’t help but love them.

Next, there is the main mystery of each book. The mysteries are believable if a tad bit weird because who woulda thunk that the book world was such a violent and dangerous place? But hey, that’s why there is the suspension of disbelief, right? Anyways, the mysteries are intriguing and interesting, and I’ve only been able to guess the bad guy once; which is good, because a book whose mystery is so simple that you figure it out before you’re halfway done is just boring and a let-down.

The setting of the book, which I briefly mentioned above, is also just lovely to read. Carlisle does a great job of writing enough detail about the various settings and attaching just the right about of emotion to it as well. It adds up to books with settings that make you want go visit there ASAP.

Okay, last characteristic I want to mention, then I promise to stop typing. The fact that everything about these books is centered on books or the book world! Bookworm paradise, yes? But more than that for someone who has no experience with bookbinding or book restoration, this series has been a nice introduction to that whole side of the book world.  But, obviously, don’t take the books at their word in regards to accuracy (No offense, Ms. Carlisle.)

So, if you’re in the mood for a cozy mystery series check this out and tell me what you think!

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Emily Dickenson Poem Analysis

A reading of a classic Dickinson poem Emily Dickinson (1830-86) wrote many poems about death. She also wrote often, and insightfully, about depression, and ‘It was not Death, for I stood up’ is a powerful evocation of what it feels like to be gripped and paralysed by this debilitating emotion. Below is the poem, along […]

via A Short Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s ‘It was not Death, for I stood up’ — Interesting Literature

Thoughts on “Wintersong” by S. Jae-Jones

Thoughts on “Wintersong” by S. Jae-Jones

Long time no write (again), my faithful readers! Today, I will be talking about a recent release, “Wintersong” by S. Jae-Jones. I want to premise this with the following: if you have ever seen the 1986 movie, The Labyrinth, with David Bowie, this book will make you think of that movie. However, do not let your opinion of the movie cloud or color your willingness to read this book.

A bit more about the book: It’s a goblin king story that is set in a Germany (I’m assuming this since everybody in the book kept talking in German); the time-period … was, I’m guessing, somewhere in the 1800s. I couldn’t ever quite put my finger on it, though a good portion of my brain was looking for period markers or indicators whilst I was devouring this book. The main character, Liesel, is heroine for any child that kind of has the middle-child syndrome (even though she is not a middle child). She suffers and is also proud of being the one in her family that takes care of her younger siblings. Sure, she has a mother and a father, but she somehow has become the primary care-taker of her siblings. The other main character, The Goblin King, is a mean sprite that still manages to generate a lot of empathy from the reader, and Liesel as well. But those are just the main characters. The supporting characters are also very lovable (and annoying). And they have some great moments of growth and ache within Liesel and the Goblin King’s narrative.

The main appeal of this book for me was the very active role that music played in it. Music was more than just a nicely painted scene in the book, but a character. It was a piece of Liesel that was an integral to her being as her arms and legs were. It was also a part of The Goblin King’s identity. It was a part of the identity of all the characters really. It was the line of connection between every single character in the book. This level of integration made the book seem that much more magical. It was magic to see the power of music over everybody’s soul and their decisions.

So, if you love music and you love a GOOD love story (did I forget to mention it was also a love story?), check this out!

Thoughts on “People I Want to Punch in the Throat” by Jen Mann

Thoughts on “People I Want to Punch in the Throat” by Jen Mann

What an amazingly fun read! I loved this book so much! I needed a pick-me-up over this last month and this book was the perfect medicine for my ailments.

Some things I just want to throw out there as a “warning” though. The first thing is there is a LOT of curse words. So, if this is a book trait you are not particularly fond of, I actually would not pick up this book. Second, it is very anecdotal. For some readers, this is not their cup of tea (for instance, Bad Feminist was not my cup of tea and that was ANECDOTAL, but that another issue for another day [and side note – y’all should still give it a go if you haven’t read it]).

Those are two things that I have found bother people about some books (myself included), so I wanted them out there before I go on. Granted, I don’t want to establish a bias, but I like being warned about things and I like to extend such courtesy to others as well.

Here is a quick summary about the book: It starts off with the author talking about how she met her husband, and then continues on following her life, and that of her family, as they move from a fast-paced environment to a suburb in Kanas. Once they get to the suburbs all types of weirdness (don’t worry she makes it funny) ensues.

Now, the main characteristic that drew me in with this book was the way she describes everything about her life. Sure, she is self-deprecating, but man she is BRUTAL to those around her. But it’s not a nasty meanness. It’s an honest, I’m-gonna-call-you-on-your-bullshit kind of brutality. And my god …. she is so funny. And if you’re of camp SARCASM FOR LIFE then you will L-O-V-E this book.

Okay, that’s the meat of want to say about this book. If you need some PG-13 giggles in your life check it out and have a great time!

If you have already read this book, let me know what your favorite story was!

Review: “We Have Always Lived In The Castle” by Shirley Jackson

Review: “We Have Always Lived In The Castle” by Shirley Jackson

What an exquisite piece of literature. This book evoked so many feelings from the very beginning. Our narrator, Mary Katherine Blackwood is so loveably dark and superstitious, that I can fully understand why some readers may consider her an unreliable narrator. But I believe the contrary.

I believe that Mary Katherine is a reliable narrator and that she sees truths that other people ignore. Sure, her use of “magic” as a means to try and control her environment seems silly, but I like her. I admire her. There is a strength to this young girl (she’s only eighteen); a strength and willingness to act, weird though the action she chooses to take may seem the reader. She is also strong because she does not allow herself to be affected by the outside world. Maybe at one time she did, but since then she has built safeguards around herself. These safeguards make her seemingly impervious to the rude villagers she must expose herself to on a weekly basis. Moving on from though.

I’ve heard it said about this book that it is a modern gothic romance. There are a few elements of the book that allow it to be placed, very generally, in the gothic romance genre. There is the castle itself. The setting must be dark and brooding and as much a living character as the people characters. There is the bad, bad man. Cousin Charles fits the bill quite nicely (evil, evil man). Then, there is the damsel in distress. Well, no, that’s not right. There is the silly female who allows herself to be trapped. Constance is rather silly. These elements are typical of the gothic romance genre, and though they do allow for the book to be lumped in with others, I don’t think it’s a perfect fit.

But this book is dark, so applying the word gothic is very appropriate. But it’s dark in that it shows how incredibly ugly people can be towards those that have misconceptions placed upon them by a third party (like the media). The people of the village are ugly to Mary Katherine and Constance because of a tragic incident in the Blackwood house six years ago that Constance is blamed for. Mary Katherine and Constance rarely leave the house (Mary Katherine only leaves because they need food) because of this. But when given the chance, the ugly villagers wreck havoc on the girls.

From this information it would seem that the girls never leave because they don’t want to deal with the animosity. And maybe, to an extent this is true – this is probably why they initially never left. But the girls love their home; they love their life. They are happy, well Mary Katherine is, happy with the way things are. Constance has moments of doubt, and I never quite figured out where they stem from, but she is happy, too. People simply don’t leave them alone. They pester them and they are rude to them, even though these two girls have never done anything wrong to these ugly people. And when tragedy strikes again, these two strong, but silly, women pick up their lives and continue on. Happier than ever.

That’s all I’ll say about the book for now, but there are so many other wonderful comments and insights to be made about this book. Jackson writes beautifully; so beautifully that you can’t help but finish the book.

Review: “The Accident Season” by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Review: “The Accident Season” by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

I took a really long time to read this book. Way too long (literally the entire month of October. This fact is ironic, but thou will only get the irony if thou has read the book. So, if thou is curious now, thou should, most definitely, go read this book).

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There, I said it for you.

Anywho …. This book was … enchanting; whimsically enthralling; hauntingly beautiful; modern folklore to twist the mind around. It was all of these things and still very, very REAL and RAW. It blurs the lines between using a piece of the plot as a metaphor and this piece simply being a very real part of the story.

So, this whole “Accident Season” happens to this family once a year. Therefore, once a year the Morris family wears several layers of clothes, clumsy/doofus – proofs their house (think of it like baby-proofing, but to an extreme), and basically tries very, very hard to not trip, fall, or scrape anything.  Of course, this only barely keeps them out of the local hospital on a regular basis. But wait! Who makes up the Morris family? (I’m so glad you asked!)

The Morris family is made up of four high school teenagers and their way cool artist mama. Alice is the oldest and more resistant to the belief in the “accident season.” Cara and her step-brother (but not really) Sam are the youngest and blame everything that happens during this time on the accident season. And then there is their friend Bea, a rendition of the wild child, but more earthy. Bea is the same age as Cara and Sam and, technically, not related, but still enough apart of the family that she gets affected by the weird juju as well. Oh, and Elsie. [But I’m not explaining her because I am evil and want you to read this book *cackling laughter*.]

Now that we know who this karfuful is all about, time to give you a wee bit about the book. The book follows this family through their current accident season, “‘One of the worst.'”  A hospital visit has already happened and there is an eerie mystery going on as well that Cara is determined to figure out. As the book goes on these teenagers are doing teenager-y things (meaning doing things that are most definitely going to get them hurt), but they are being mirrored by fairy-ish changeling creatures.

It is this relationship between the changelings and Alice, Cara, Sam, and Bea that gives this book a folklore feel that pulls you in. Doyle, gives you hints at the beginnings and slowly begins to give you more and more, but it’s never enough so you keep reading and falling in love with this achingly real and magical characters. Then, when you reach the end …

bam

That’s all I’m saying about the ending. But, as if this AHMAZING review *cough, cough, rambling, cough* has not already enticed you to immediately go out and buy this book, there is one more thing. It has a wonderfully grown up lyrical poem/chant/song/prayer (you make the final decision.)

accident-season-poem

 

Series Burn Out

Series Burn Out

Hi all! Been a while (I know). But something popped into my head recently and I feel the need to write about it, so here I am!

But before I got to that I want to give y’all a reason why I haven’t been writing. Ready for this? HARRY FRIGGIN’ POTTER.

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I have never read the series before and decided while I was reading The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series that I was going to undertake the journey that is Harry Potter.

Now, the key phrase to focus on in the above sentence is “while I reading.” See, and please let me know if I am isolated in this position, but sometimes I just get tired of reading a series. It has nothing to do with the series itself (not usually anyways), but more to do with struggle to commit. But this tiredness leads to me wistfully looking at the 1 1/2 ft. high pile of un-read books that I have calling to me like a siren on my bed stand. This peeking, however, then causes me to feel guilty because I have already committed to the series, but here I am cheating on it with my evil eyes. But at the same time, I want to read my other books. So… then I stop reading the series and read other things. 😦 You see my struggle? my sadness?

And though I am ashamed to admit it, I have done this with the Harry Potter series as well (I know, for shame!). I was starting Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry pulled a dumb move on the train to Hogwarts and I was annoyed with him I stopped reading the book for a week. And read two different books in that time.

But I am starting to read it again. But, reading it again is besides the point, you know? It’s the fact that I betrayed Potter. That I couldn’t stick with him when he was being annoying that bothers me. I’m a terrible fan! *Cue crying.* But, I am making it up to him now by being completely committed to the series. And I mean the ENTIRE series. I’m reading all the other books – Quidditch Through the Ages, The Tales of Beedle and Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, etc. – when I finally turn that final page in The Deathly Hollows. 

Whelp. Anyways… Have y’all ever gone through series burn out? Let me know!