Tags

Halloween Creatures Book Tag

BOOO! Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely day of spooky celebrations and plenty of candy corn to go around. Today I’d like to celebrate with this Halloween Creatures Book Tag. Thanks so much to Theresa @ The Calico Books for tagging me!

Witch: A magical character or book.

How could I not mention one of my favorite books? The Hobbit is magical in so many senses of the word, from setting and characters to the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives me whenever I return to its faded pages.

Werewolf: The perfect book to read at night.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte has always struck me as the ideal book to read under the covers on a dark, stormy night. Is it the eerie setting? Cruel Heathcliff? Bronte’s lyrical writing? Or a combination of them all?

Frankenstein: A book that truly shocked you.

The existence of this book shocked me. I had no idea that my favorite movie and Michael Crichton’s brilliant book Jurassic Park was inspired by The Lost World, a 1912 novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, until I found it in a bookstore one day in Oxford.

The Devil: A dark, evil character.

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley is filled with complicated, ambiguous, surprising characters who may be considered a hero one minute and evil the next. I love a great character twist!

Grim Reaper: A character that should never have died.

I think Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling goes without explanation for this prompt. So sad!

Zombie: A book that made you hungry for more.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was the book that made me eager to read more classic literature. What would I be reading nowadays if not for my favorite genre?

Gargoyle: A character that you would protect at all costs.

I’m going to say Jim Burden from My Ántonia by Willa Cather, one of my favorite novels. Ántonia could definitely hold her own, but I’m not so sure about poor Jim…

Vampire: A book that sucked the life out of you.

I really enjoyed reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, but it took a long, long time. A few summers ago I read about a section a week for two months or so–splitting it up over the course of a summer definitely helped!

Ghost: A book that still haunts you.

Beloved by Toni Morrison is one of the most striking, unsettling, powerful, haunting books I have ever read. It’s a novel that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

Demon: A book that really scared you.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is hilarious and witty while simultaneously terrifying. What if society goes in this direction? What does our future look like? Huxley offers a frightening example.

Skeleton: A character you have a bone to pick with.

Emma by Jane Austen was such a tedious book to read because I found so many of the characters annoying. I think it might be worth rereading someday, but for now I’m fine just watching Clueless. 

Mummy: A book you would preserve through time.

I have a strange attachment to Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis. I read it for an essay in my AP United States History class during my junior year of high school and I adored it.

Creepy Doll: A cover too scary to look at.

Even the spine of The Shining by Stephen King is creepy. I remember finishing this book while staying overnight in a lodge on a mountain in January… definitely fit the mood of the book!

YOU! Since Halloween is today, I’m not quite sure if anyone will want to do this tag. But if you’d like to, definitely go for it! Happy Halloween!!

What are your answers to these prompts? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Advertisements
Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Surprised Me

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) focuses on books that surprised us– for better or worse. Although I think it’s intended to be interpreted as “books that surprised us with how much we ended up liking or disliking them,” I’ve decided to take the topic rather literally. Instead, I’ll be sharing ten books that literally surprised me with their twists, turns, and unexpected plots.

What are some books that have surprised you? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

Rapid Fire Book Tag

Got some tea and a snack or two? Buckle up, because this Rapid Fire Book Tag is a long one! Thanks so much to Heather @ Book and Words for tagging me!!

Question 1 : E-Book or Physical Book?

Physical book!! I can’t even remember the last time I read an ebook.

Question 2 : Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback!! They’re easier to hold, lighter to carry, fit easily on bookshelves, and you don’t have to worry about pesky dust jackets.

Question 3 : Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

Online shopping for the cheaper prices, but in-store book shopping for the overall experiences and lovely bookish smells.

Question 4 : Trilogies or Series?

Hmm…. this is a tough one! I think I’ll go with series to avoid the second-book slump that a lot of trilogies tend to have. (Except for Lord of the Rings because I absolutely love The Two Towers!)

Question 5 : Heroes or Villains?

Heroes!! I’m a sucker for an underdog story, though I do enjoy books with anti-heroes. My favorite anti-hero to mention is Victor from Vicious by V.E. Schwab. He’s such a complex, interesting character to read about because you never know what he’s going to do next.

Question 6 : A book you want everyone to read?

If you branch out and read one book you wouldn’t normally read this summer, definitely read Sartoris by William Faulkner. This is possibly my favorite Faulkner book I’ve read so far, which surprised me because it isn’t one that’s usually discussed or read in English classes. It might not be as popular as The Sound and the Fury or As I Lay Dying, but in my opinion it is just as fascinating, poignant, well-written, and brilliant!

Question 7 : Recommend an underrated book?

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, look no further than Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This story about a woman who relives parts of her life over and over again in different ways is sure to have you on the edge of your seat!

Question 8 : The last book you finished?

Just this morning I finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It was SO SAD, but I enjoyed it much more than I initially thought I would.

Question 9 :The Last Book(s) You Bought?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Question 10 : Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Usually I’m pretty good about using actual bookmarks, but occasionally I do use receipts, sticky notes, and even string (!!) as placeholders.

Question 11 : Used Books: Yes or No?

YES!! I love used books because a) they’re cheap and b) sometimes they have fun notes and annotations from previous owners in them. Also, who can resist than old book smell?

Question 12 : Top Three Favourite Genres?

Right now my top three favorite genres are classic literature, fantasy, and science fiction.

Question 13 : Borrow or Buy?

Buy!! (As long as my wallet is able.)

Question 14 : Characters or Plot?

Characters!! In general I tend to find character-driven novels a lot more interesting and captivating than novels mostly motivated by plot. Part of me thinks this is because it can be really difficult to write a plot without holes and with a satisfying ending. William Faulkner, Willa Cather, Virginia Woolf, and Melina Marchetta are some writers who write excellent character-driven novels. 

Question 15 : Long or Short Books?

Long books!! There’s nothing like the feeling of finally finishing a tome after hours upon hours dedicated to reading. It’s so satisfying!

Question 16 : Long or Short Chapters?

Short!! I tend to read books with short chapters so much more quickly than books with long chapters because it’s easy to say, “Oh, just one more quick chapter before I go to bed…”

Question 17 : Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Question 18 : Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Laugh!! I usually try to avoid sad books (and movies!) at all costs. Who wants to be sad when they can read something that will make their day brighter?

Question 19 : Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Oooh, this is tough! Though I love reading books about fictional worlds (Harry Potter, LOTR, etc.), lately I’ve been reading many more books set in our world. I think some of the most interesting and captivating stories mix the two. For instance, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez takes place in our world but adds in magical elements from legends and myths that make it fantastical. 

Question 20 : Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Yes!! I love how much you can get done while listening to audio books– exercising, doing laundry, washing dishes, knitting, etc. My favorite audio books are ones narrated by the authors who wrote the books themselves, such as Neil Gaiman.

Question 21 : Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Yes, though I certainly won’t hold an ugly cover against a book if the content inside is amazing ❤

Question 22 : Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Book to movie adaptations! I’m the worst with staying up to date with TV series, so I would much rather watch a single movie and be in the know already.

Question 23 : A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

The Shining by Stephen King. I watched the movie before reading the book and was so disappointed to find that some of my favorite scenes aren’t even in the novel!

Question 24 : Series or Standalone’s?

Stand-alones!! I love reading classic literature, and most of the books in this genre are standalone.

Thanks again to Heather for tagging me!!

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish

5 Books to Read If You Like TWIN PEAKS

Recently I finished watching Twin Peaks, the American drama TV series that ran from 1990-91. Created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, Twin Peaks follows the mysterious events transpire in this small town after the murder of Laura Palmer, a local high school student. The best way I can describe this show is that it’s charmingly bizarre (meaning that it’s incredibly weird but in a good way). I loved this show (except for the horrible ending, which I just won’t talk about because AGH) and since I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it I thought I would turn my enthusiasm into a bookish post.

If you’re a fan of Twin Peaks, then you’ve come to the right place for some book recommendations! Here are five books I think you’ll enjoy if you like Twin Peaks (and vice versa):

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

If it’s the unexpectedly bizarre parts of Twin Peaks that you enjoyed most, then Far Far Away is the book for you. What’s more weird than a protagonist named Jeremy Johnson Johnson who can hear more voices than the average person, a talking ghost of Jacob Grimm, and a suspicious baker? It’s safe to say that I’ve never read anything quite like this entertaining, slightly twisted fairy tale retelling.

The Shining by Stephen King

I don’t think it’ll be a surprise to anyone that I’ve decided to include a Stephen King book in this list of recommendations. Not only are his books suspenseful and creepy like Twin Peaks, but they also tend to have a supernatural twist to them. It’s difficult to explain the kind of “otherworldly” elements in both Twin Peaks and The Shining (Is Jack Torrance being possessed by the hotel or is he just going insane?) which makes them a perfect pair.

The Woods by Harlan Coben

This murder mystery shares many parallels with Twin Peaks: the murders of teenagers, a woodsy setting, a protagonist called Cope (similar to Agent Cooper?), and a tangled web of characters that all have secrets of their own to look after. I read this while on a camping trip a few summers ago after my mom read it and absolutely loved it (on second thought, maybe a camping trip wasn’t the best place to read a murder mystery called The Woods…)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Although this young adult fantasy book might seem out-of-place on this list at a first glance, in actuality it is more similar to Twin Peaks than it seems on the surface. Like Twin Peaks, The Raven Boys takes place in a small town where most people know each other, involves people with “otherworldly” powers, and focuses on the stories of both high schoolers and adults. (Also, Ronan sort of reminds me of the moody James who always rides a motorcycle on Twin Peaks, although I definitely like Ronan more.)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

When I think about how I often describe Twin Peaks as being “charmingly bizarre,” the first book that comes to mind is Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Everything in this short novel is incredibly unexpected and told in a way that will keep you entranced until the very last page has been turned, similar to the captivating suspense of Twin Peaks.

I hope these recommendations are helpful! Are you a fan of Twin Peaks? What are your thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Mom’s Favorite Books

Happy Tuesday!! In the spirit of the Mother’s Day season, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is all about MOMS. Mothers are the real MVPs– I, for one, don’t know how I would have made it to this point in my life without mine. In honor of Mother’s Day I decided to have a little fun with this list by asking my mom to the best books she’s ever read. Without further ado, here are My Mom’s Top Ten Favorite Books!!!

What do you think of the books on this list? What are some of your mom’s favorite books? Do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Have any fun traditions? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

P.S. Shout out to my mom for actually doing this. You’re the best ❤

Books

THE SHINING by Stephen King | Review

12977531I had never really been interested in reading Stephen King’s thriller The Shining– that is, until I saw the movie adaptation and became fascinated by the twisted and suspenseful story. Eager to see what it would look like in writing, I immediately made it a goal of mine to read the novel as soon as possible. Though I was surprised by how different the novel was from what I had seen on-screen, I still enjoyed it immensely.

A major strength of this novel is King’s impressive attention to detail, particularly regarding the backgrounds and development of the characters. Over time you come to realize that the Torrance family’s past is much darker and more complicated than first expected. It was simultaneously fascinating and unsettling to learn how Jack thinks, how he justifies his erratic and dangerous behavior even when it becomes harmful to his family. My favorite character was by far Mr. Hallorann, the chef at the Overlook Hotel who shared Danny’s “shining” abilities. Not only is he one of the only logical, sane people in this story, but he is also an incredibly caring and brave person. I loved his relationship with Danny and the way he seemed to care about him as though the boy was his own son.

mv5by2i4ztnlmgutzgflys00ndi4lwixotetyta0ytfhntdmnzvixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntgzmzu5mdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_At this point Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 movie adaptation of The Shining has become so iconic that is can be difficult to separate the novel from the film. Both the book and the movie adaptation have their own advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to choose one over the other (so I won’t!). The book is obviously much more detailed in regard to the Torrance family’s background and further explains the extent of Jack and Wendy’s marital problems, Danny’s shining ability, and the financial desperation that prevents Jack from abandoning his job at the Overlook when circumstances take a turn for the worse. However, the downside to the incorporation of so many interesting details is that the pace of the plot slows down significantly, which is where the movie adaptation gains an advantage. Because fewer background details are shown on-screen, more time is dedicated to building as much suspense as possible and packing in the creepy punches. It seems as though most of the exciting action takes place in the last one hundred pages of the novel, meaning that the other five hundred or so pages could certainly use some more excitement.

Key scenes in the movie are not in the book. I know this is opposite of what I usually tend to complain about when it comes to movie adaptations (more often it bothers me when movie adaptations leave out details from books) but I think this is because in this case I watched the movie before reading the book. This might be an unfair complaint to make, but I’m going to say it anyways because it nevertheless impacted my opinion of the novel. I eagerly waited to read about the creepy twin girls, Wendy reading the utter nonsense that Jack had been typing on his typewriter, and the climactic chase between Jack and Danny in the maze. The plot of the novel was fine the way it was and made sense with the story it told; however, part of  me couldn’t help but feel disappointed that I wouldn’t get to read Stephen King’s description of Jack’s cold, icy face as he sat by the maze, defeated.

Overall, Stephen King’s The Shining is a standout thriller in its attention to detail and incorporation of family dynamics, human nature, and the perspective of a child into a twisted, creepy story. Whether or not you’ve seen the movie adaptation or are a fan of thrillers in general, The Shining is one book that you must add to your TBR list!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Definitely!

What are your thoughts on The Shining, either the book or the movie (or both)? Have you read the sequel? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,
HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish Had A Faster Pace

foodie-facts-about-me-20

Happy Tuesday!! Have you ever wished that a story would pick up the speed just a little bit? (Or maybe a lot?) If so, you’re not alone! In this week’s installment of Top Ten Tuesday I’m sharing ten books that I wish had a faster pace. While I do love slow-burning novels driven by character development, it can never hurt to have an exciting plot to keep readers on their toes!

stiletto-33

stiletto-34

stiletto-35

stiletto-36

stiletto-37

stiletto-38

stiletto-39

stiletto-40

stiletto-41

stiletto-42

Do you ever wish that certain books were more fast-paced? What do you think of the books on my list? Any recommendations for fast-paced books? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Monthly Wrap-Up

JANUARY 2017 | Wrap-Up

june-2016-6

Welcome to my first monthly wrap-up of 2017! Take a gander at what I’ve been up to so far this year!

thank-you-14

In January I read a total of 5 books:

  1. How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  2. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  3. The Girls by Emma Cline
  4. The Shining by Stephen King
  5. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I was not expecting to name Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey as my favorite book of the month (especially since I randomly bought it on a whim at a bookstore), yet how could I not? It’s all I’ve been able to think about since first reading this beautiful collection of poetry. Certain poems have me returning to reread them time and time again, a sure sign that this book deserves all of the praise it has received and more. I highly recommend it, even if you don’t usually read poetry!

thank-you-15

My dad and I started off the New Year by carrying on one of my favorite traditions: hiking on New Year’s Day. To me, the experience of spending the day outdoors surrounded by fresh snowfall and the smell of the forest is the ultimate way to feel grounded and refreshed going into the new year. We also went hiking again later on in the month and actually slept over in a cozy lodge at the base of the mountain. It was such a fun weekend!

Besides hiking and spending time with friends, I spent most of my winter break working at the local Child Advocacy Center where I was an intern over the summer. Of course, I also spent a fair amount of time blogging and reading, too!

Then came the end of winter break and the beginning of the new semester. I’m really excited for the classes I’ll be taking over the next few months and all of the fun events that will be happening soon. (If you’re interested, my new classes are Approaches to Literature and Culture, Renaissance Poetry, Logic, and Latin American History and Culture.)

thank-you-16

Since the new semester has officially started, my blogging time has just about dwindled down to being nonexistent. I’ve been writing posts non-stop over winter break in an effort to schedule as many in advance as possible– I should be all set until around late March!

Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:

How was your month of January? What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2017? Have you made any progress with your New Year’s resolutions? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2016 But Didn’t Get To

foodie-facts-about-me-16

Happy Tuesday! I hope you’re all doing well after the holiday season. I know that I always feel a bit blue, but Top Ten Tuesday never fails to cheer me up. This week I’ll be sharing the Top Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2016 But Didn’t Get To. My list of books was so long that it was actually kind of difficult to narrow it down… but I managed!

top-ten-tuesday_-22

top-ten-tuesday_-23

top-ten-tuesday_-24

top-ten-tuesday_-25

top-ten-tuesday_-26

top-ten-tuesday_-27

top-ten-tuesday_-28

top-ten-tuesday_-29

top-ten-tuesday_-30

top-ten-tuesday_-31

What are some books that you meant to read in 2016 but never got around to? What do you think of the books I mentioned? Which one of these should I put at the top of my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Movies, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Movies I’ve Watched This Semester (So Far!)

foodie-facts-about-me-7Happy Tuesday! November is now halfway over, which means two exciting things: Christmas is getting closer, and TOMORROW IS MY BIRTHDAY! I’ll be turning twenty, which makes me simultaneously excited and terrified. I feel so old! 

Since this week’s topic is a movie freebie, I thought I would share the Top Ten Movies I’ve Watched This Semester (So Far). Because I’m indecisive and don’t have the heart to rank these fabulous films, these are simply listed in the order that I watched them.

2016-05-06-1462517504-9179513-civilwarpic

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

Months after it had left the theaters for good, I finally got around to watching this movie! Captain America is my favorite Avenger, and this movie did not disappoint. I loved incorporation of numerous Avengers and the info we gained about Bucky’s past. Two thumbs up for sure!

jurassic_park-2

JURASSIC PARK

Even though this was my second time watching this movie, I couldn’t help but add it to this list. It’s one of my all-time favorites!

a-knights-tale

A KNIGHT’S TALE

Chaucer? Jousting? Heath Ledger? An awesome soundtrack? This movie is the definition of entertaining. If any of these qualities capture your attention, definitely check this movie out!

1279544676175667271

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA

I had never even heard of this movie before watching it; needless to say, I was completely taken by surprise. If I had to describe it to someone I would say that it’s a combination between The Goonies, a Scooby-Doo mystery, and a Chinese action film. It might sound eclectic (because it is), but trust me: you won’t be able to stop watching! (Or laughing!)

flashdance_showpage

FLASHDANCE

This is one of my mom’s favorite movies from when she was growing up. It might be cheesy and have the most abrupt ending ever, but I couldn’t help but  love the premise overall! It’s also a really progressive movie for its time in terms of topics discussed.

nightmare-on-elm-street-2010-logo

NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

I cannot tell you how much I loved this movie! It’s achieves the perfect balance between scary and cheesy and hilarious. Besides, it was fun to watch the first movie that Johnny Depp was ever in.

uninvited01

THE UNINVITED

My roommate insisted that we watch this movie, and I’m so glad she did! It’s more of a suspenseful thriller than a horror film, but the mind-boggling twist at the end is totally worth it. Be prepared to be thinking about this one for days!

5529_tn

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI

Considered to be the first example of a horror film, this German silent film blew my expectations out of the water. I had never seen a silent film before and was a little skeptical about how long it would hold my attention, but I honestly couldn’t peel my eyes away from the screen. Dark, suspenseful, and very entertaining, this film is a must-see during the spooky season!

halloweentownkeystoneskey_artpsddeltaallh1801296_x_72084105-624x337

HALLOWEENTOWN

I’ll be honest: I had never seen a Halloweentown movie before this Halloween (Gasp! I know!), but it’s safe to say that I’m now hooked! This movie is fun and adorable and I can’t wait to see the others in the series.

shining_quad_final_dated-920x690

THE SHINING

THIS MOVIE. People have been telling me to watch this movie for YEARS, and I can’t believe that I didn’t follow their advice and watch it sooner. I love everything about this movie: it’s suspenseful plot, the way there are countless questions left unanswered at the end, and how you never know what’s going to happen next. If you’ve never seen this movie before, I HIGHLY recommend it!

As you can probably tell, I’ve been in quite a Halloween mood this semester! I’ve been trying my best to catch up with all of the classic and popular Halloween films that I haven’t seen before.

What are some great movies that you’ve watched lately? What do you think of the ones on my list? What should I watch next? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY