A review of all the books I read in the month of December. Continue reading
I recently finished Kristin Blake’s new book 40 Ways to Travel Better: Your Complete Guide to Maximize Time, Money, and Energy.
Today I thought I would share an amazing experience I had with all of you: As a Mogul President for Colorado State University, I was given the opportunity of receiving an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of Johanna Hartford’s debut novel, The Ivory Rite, before it came out on September 26! I was able to read it and post my review for you all and talk to the author personally, which is something I never imagined being able to do in a million years. I strongly urge you to read my review below and check out this novel for yourself, because it confronts big picture issues we deal with today like female empowerment and equality, which should be important to everyone (female or not).
And another bites the dust (just kidding because I really enjoyed this one!). I know, I know, another mystery…what is wrong with me?! I’m kind of on a bit of a mystery-streak right now but thats okay, they’re great. I started and finished Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris, yesterday in two sittings. I have to give a little shoutout to my sister-in-law and mother for giving me yet another book I thoroughly enjoyed and obviously couldn’t put down. It gave my Easter weekend the perfect ending touch of staying up late, reading my book, and eating all the little chocolate eggs that were leftover (not even sorry).
The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica, was a fast-paced, thriller novel that I was recommended to read. Since it was spring break, I had the time of day to sit down and actually get into it (without worrying about school assignments, upcoming tests, or being so tired I fall asleep reading). This was a great, quick read that tempts me to read more of Kubica in the very near future.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson, was absolutely amazing! I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery, suspense, thrill, and gripping characters. I would rate this book a 9/10–I couldn’t get enough of it. When I wasn’t reading, I felt guilty and constantly thought about the book. It has been a longggg time since I’ve had this kind of reaction and I couldn’t be more thankful to have read it.
Catch Me, by Lisa Gardner, was one of the better books I’ve read in a long time (thanks Mom for the recommendation!). I love mystery books, and after struggling to write one of my own, I appreciate them so much more now. There is nothing quite like figuring out a mystery in your head, solving it, and then trying to leave no trail along the way (or at least not an obvious one for your character to follow that for some reason the other characters couldn’t). Its a pain, to say the least.
Nanowrimo season is upon us! Yay! (Or are you past all the excitement that comes with it by now haha? Don’t worry I’ve been there!)
Last year, starting at 12 a.m. on November 1st, thousands of writers across the world started a challenge only few can complete—writing a novel in 30 days. And I was one of them.
Its National Book Lovers Day–yay! So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to praise those who wrote some of my favorite books and exactly what it has meant to me. Reading has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have my mom (and these authors) to thank for that, without whom my days would be boring and not full of vividly hallucinating while staring at slivers of trees.
When I was in first grade, I went to the school library to check out the first Harry Potter book. As a little girl, the library was like being on another planet, and everywhere I turned I was looking up in awe at all the books I had yet to read. It was honest-to-god like Belle in Beauty and the Beast minus the beast. So when I was told the book was “too advanced” for my imaginative little mind, I went home defeated. Little did I know, my mom would not hear of it. She dragged me down to the public library where I could get as many (and ANY) books I wanted. To this day, I don’t know where I would be if my mom hadn’t gotten me that first Harry Potter book.
Shortly after, reading became my life. I engulfed myself in books every day, every spare minute I had, and the rest is history.
Of course, J.K. Rowling leads my list, for my childhood favorites but also mine now. Harry Potter opened my mind to fantasy and magic in such an imaginative way. I strongly look up to her creating a whole new world for us all to indulge in and this led me to writing my own fantasy novels (which also may be about magical lands). It is a series I can reread over and over without getting bored of.
I have to say James Patterson is who really got me into writing–more so than Harry Potter even. His Maximum Ride series blew me away (literally!). Although his writing is a little simplistic for my taste now, he gave me an undying need to write, to get words down on the paper, and to forget about everything else for a little while. He gave me an escape (and also 60 pages of a story I wrote in sixth grade) and theres nothing else I could have asked for from him.
Henry David Thoreau
As I’ve studied more and more American literature through school, I have completely fallen in love with it. I obsessed over Walden for weeks during my last school year and I have HDT to thank for that. His writing is stunning–but really he and his life is. I have found my obsession for reading as he had for writing and specifically “living deliberately”. He is a classic author time and time again.
Yes, she may be dark and twisty, but she is a fantastic writer. Her words (which it doesn’t take too many at that) make the reader feel something–it is moving. I would love to be able to create that kind of depth inside my readers, which is what captivated me from the very start. Analyzing her writing and poetry really got me into descriptive, dark scenes and imagery with my own writing, which is great for any kind of writing really.
Edgar Allan Poe
I had read some of Poe before in high school, but what really made me love him was “The Cask of Amontillado”. It is creepy, suspenseful, dark. But his writing is amazing to be able to do all of that with more anticipation than I’ve known in some scary movies. For his words to shake a person like his do, I believe it to be inspiring. Poe has given me the gift of suspense and using it to kill off the characters I don’t like (and most are based off real-life people haha).
Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books which makes Charlotte Bronte one of my favorite authors. Although we had deadlines in school for how much we had to read each week, I was far above and beyond that. I fell in love with the love story, which I have very high standards for, and didn’t look back. Brontes writing, although extensive at times, led me to expand my plot, my characters, and my relationships. She gave me the push to start reading more classics, which is almost all of what I read now.
Daphne Du Maurier
I have to say that she is my favorite author attributing to my all-time favorite book–Rebecca, which was written in 1938. For an author to never go out of print decades later is stirring. I strongly believe it should be a classic. Her intricate, mystery story is what brought out my own mystery writing, with depth and secrets and complexity. Du Maurier is a remarkable writer with a remarkable mind, and I’m shocked she is so underrated. I have her to thank for my love of books that are love stories, fictional, and don’t involve a vampire and werewolf (thank god). She has motivated me to write many of my own stories that are even written in her time as well, which is difficult, but worth the challenge.
These authors have done so much for me–as for reading and my own writing. They have inspired me in different genres, different writing styles, and different mindsets. I fell in love with reading and I don’t think I can ever fall out of it. You can almost always find me with a book in my hand and its them I have to thank for it.