Announcing the “Revival” Read Along!

ReviveMe2014

When King releases a new book, you pay attention. I  know when he released Mr. Mercedes a few months ago, folks who didn’t even read King picked it up and were pleasantly surprised at the story telling contain within. He is quite the story teller and that is the one thing I say over and over again to readers who are afraid to read his stuff. Granted, some of his stuff can be terrifying (IT, comes to mind) but many of his books are good stories and memorable characters. Good versus evil. I love it.

This year, fans get to gush over another book release! Revival hits the shelves on November 11th and I am SO there. Just in time for my holiday reading. I love to read something really good over Thanksgiving break and the anticipation of a big release is almost too much for me! Do I buy the Kindle version? The hard copy? Both? Ah, decisions.

The only thing better is getting to read it with others. Wanna join me?

Details:

-The read along begins on November 11, 2014 (release day!) and ends on November 30, 2014. Take longer if you need to but it’s Uncle Stevie! Chances are we will finish early.

-This read along will take place mostly on Twitter using the hashtag #ReviveMe2014. Use the hashtag to share your thoughts while reading. Search for that hashtag on Twitter to see what readers are saying.

-Since most of us have to buy the book on release day, this will be a “fly by the seat of your pants” read along without any structure! Just read, comment if you feel the need and enjoy it! A lot of us did this informally with Mr. Mercedes and it was fun to catch people on Twitter talking about the book.

Are you in? A good resource for you is this site! It’s his return to true horror. Be ready for it.

Sign-Ups

To sign-up, click on the green Mr. Linky below. It asks for blog URL but if you don’t have a blog, just use my URL. Anyone can sign-up.

Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes (Read-Along & Final Update – Part Three)

Something Wicked

Something Wicked This Way Comes
By Ray Bradbury
(Avon, Mass Market Paperback, 9780380729401, March 1998, 304pp.)

The Short of It:

The calliope music signals that the carnival has arrived, but the carnival itself is a host of horrors for the inhabitants of this small town.

The Rest of It:

I can sum this story up in just  a few words. Hallucinogenic, batshit craziness.

A couple of weeks ago we talked about part one and part two and today, I am happy to report that our read along is complete! Part three, titled, ‘Departures’ was both strange and welcome. It’s been a crazy ride. Bradbury’s imagination was all over the place and it was hard to work the reading into my other reading. It stuck out like a sore thumb.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, but like it? Not really. It’s not really the type of book you like. That said, I can’t imagine reading it at any other time of the year because the setting and time frame just beg to be read in the Fall. Yes, I think WHEN you read this is very important. It DOES put you in the mood for Halloween and out here in sunny, Southern California with our never-ending 85 degree temps, I need all the help I can get.

The book though, it’s very disjointed. Odd. Feels a little nightmarish. I had two read-alongers listen to the book on audio and they gave-up on it. I think it would be very hard to follow on audio and that’s a shame because listening to a spooky book is so much fun, usually. What was Bradbury trying to accomplish with this one? That is the question I keep asking myself. The first part really set the stage, but the middle section was very difficult to make sense of. I will say this, it came together at the end and I found the end notes very interesting.

Peril the Second

This book counts towards the R.I.P IX Challenge!

Did you know that Gene Kelly was the reason this book was written? Apparently, Bradbury was good friends with him and always wanted to work with him, so he pulled out some of his story ideas and Kelly decided that this story, would be great to adapt in some way. It never worked out, but Bradbury then took it and turned it into a novel which later became a movie after all.

I’ve never seen the movie version of this book but recently, on American Horror Story, a new character was introduced (Mordrake) who reminds me a lot of Mr. Dark. This season of AHS seems to be paying homage to classic horror movies like Halloween and the like, so seeing Mordrake  in the freak show background does make me think that maybe the movie of Something Wicked might be better than the book.

Have you read this book or seen the movie?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: A Sudden Light

A Sudden LightA Sudden Light
By Garth Stein
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781439187036, September 2014, 416pp.)

The Short of It:

It feels so good to pick-up a book and immediately know after just a few pages, that it’s going to be a good story.

The Rest of It:

My “book picker” is finely tuned this year. I’ve read some interesting and fun books and I have to say, that this year seems to be the year for atmospheric reads because I have read so many and used that word so many times to describe what I am reading that I think I may need to come up with a new word.

A Sudden Light, is no exception. Fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell’s parents are on the outs. His father, Jones Riddell, takes him back to his family’s home which is infamously referred to as Riddell House. Situated on the edge of a forest and overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound, it’s massive and full of secrets. The Riddells of the past ran a timber company which produced quite a bit of wealth but Jones and his sister Serena want to sell the house and property so they can build their nest eggs elsewhere. Their only problem is convincing the grandfather, who is battling dementia, that selling the property is the right thing to do.

I really enjoyed this book. There is a slight supernatural element, a lot of family history and secrets, hidden rooms and well-drawn characters. The family dynamic is touching and Trevor is such a great kid. They are all so consumed by this house and what it stands for, that they often can’t see the forest for the trees. Pun intended. Nature lovers will find this book especially appealing because there is a conservation thread to the story that is skillfully woven in.

This book is a little different from The Art of Racing in the Rain, Stein’s runaway bestseller, but I really got caught-up in the story and look at that cover!

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Sunday Matters: Rest, Regroup, Reflect

Sunday Matters

Sundays are special. They’ve really become my favorite day of the week. Friday IS hard to beat. I mean, at the end of the week I am so drained that Friday is like a breath of fresh air, but Sunday is special. Usually my errands are taken care of. Usually I get to go to church and usually, we get together as a family, at least in the evening to spend some time together.

That said, I’ve re-structured my Sunday post a little bit. My goal is put the past week to rest and focus on what makes me happy.

Right Now:

Right now, I am enjoying my first cup of coffee and let me tell you, it is gooood. I’m also enjoying coconut Greek yogurt with sliced almonds, dark chocolate shavings and toasted coconut on top. It’s my new favorite breakfast. I love it. I will hit church and then it’s me on the couch with a book.

This Week:

Nothing much going on this week. The Teen’s drama competition is over so those rehearsals end and the ones for The 39 Steps pick-up again. Annie rehearsals continue as well. I really do love that my kids are involved in theater. It’s a lot of work but it always pays off.

Friday is Halloween and The Girl has a friend coming over for trick-or-treating and possible a sleep-over. She’s supposed to spend the night but there is talk of a cross-country meet the next day so I need to confirm. The Teen and his girlfriend may come over to carve pumpkins and watch a movie. Hasn’t been confirmed though.

Reading:

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
    • For a read-along and we are almost done!
  • Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
    • For book club. All about a hospital and how it managed during Hurricane Katrina.
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
    • Really, really different from what I thought it would be. It’s kind of good.
  • Driftwood by Elizabeth Dutton
    • Also very good. It grabbed me just a few pages in.
  • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
    • Took a break from it but I am back to it now.

Watching:

I finally got The Hub hooked on The Walking Dead. Still working on The Teen. He watches it, but claims that he is not into it. Yeah. Okay. Movie wise, I am lining up my horror flicks and trying to get them in but with The Girl around, it’s difficult.

Making:

I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes last night which will be enjoyed in lunches this week as well. Tonight, we will probably have turkey tacos.

Grateful for:

I am grateful for a lot these days. The roof over my head, my family, and that I was able to finally find a church that fits me.

Happy Thought For the Week:

This Friday I am announcing the details for #ReviveMe2014. Can you guess what it’s all about? REALLY looking forward to this.

Something Wicked Read-Along Update – Part Two

Something Wicked

A couple of weeks ago we talked about part one. We are now approaching the end of our read along. By today, 10/24, we should be wrapping-up part two, Chapters 25-44. This section is so bizarre and strange.

  • Continues to be very atmospheric but less so than part one.
  • What is up with the witch? The hot air balloon was a nice touch but strange and nightmarish.
  • Will & Jim continue to be too much alike. I like to refer to them as “Wim” because I have given up trying to tell them apart.
  • Will’s dad. We knew something was up with him but the whole thing with his hand… I can’t make sense of it.

On Twitter (#EnterTheRingmaster) one blogger wondered what Bradbury was on when he wrote the book. That’s a good question because part two seemed a little disjointed to me. You’ve got this crazy witch chasing the boys and the visuals he uses to tell that part of the story are so odd. Mr. Dark is still after the boys as well but he seems less of a threat than everyone else and virtually no time is spent AT the carnival. Another adult has been turned into a child, but for what purpose? Will’s father comes to their aid but it’s still questionable how he fits into all of this. I’ve spent the last day pondering what I’ve read but my thoughts are all jumbled up. Partly because of how this part was told. It’s a little chaotic. Pursuits and chases can be like that. I am anxious to see how this story ends.

Next up on the schedule?

  • Finish Section 3 (Chapters 45-54) by Friday, October 31st

If you wrote-up a post, just add the link in comments or feel free to comment away here or on Twitter using #EnterTheRingmaster as the hashtag.

Review: Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a SlaveTwelve Years a Slave
By Solomon Northup
(Graymalkin Media, Paperback, 9781631680021, February 2014, 248pp.)

The Short of It:

A true account of a free black man, kidnapped and forced into slavery.

The Rest of It:

While in Washington, D.C. on a business trip in the mid-1800′s, Solomon Northup was kidnapped and forced to be a slave for what became twelve long years. His story, as told to David Wilson, is shared here in this memoir.

Many of you may have seen the movie, which received several Oscar nods but as with most books made into movies, I am always interested in reading the book first, whenever possible so I have yet to see the movie myself. The book, although short, gives you just enough of the horrors of what he went through as a slave and it will make you angry. His relationships with the other slaves is the one saving grace. But the frustration over his situation is felt throughout his story and the worry and fear about his family is very compelling.

In one sense, it’s hard to believe that such a thing could happen and for so long, but his twelve years as a slave is riddled with pain, worry and fear over what will become of him. He encounters many slave owners during this time and although most of them are easy to anger and will stop at nothing when it comes to a delivering a good beating, there are others who treat their slaves as people, with the respect and dignity of an owner who appreciates hard work.

The story itself is very compelling and yes, unbelievable at times but the delivery of the story seemed a little formal to me. The language used to tell the story is very formal and dare I say it, somewhat cold and clinical. It’s as if this story was told to me at arm’s length, in a detached sort of way which of course took me out of the narrative many times. It’s very short, yet felt much longer than it should have. Perhaps the formality of it all added to this.

This was the September selection for my book club, chosen by me and of course that is the one meeting I had to miss due to back to school night, so I really don’t know what the others felt or how it compared to the movie. Will I see the movie? I had planned to prior to reading the book but now, I am not so sure.

Have you read the book or seen the movie? What did you think?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

The Sunday Salon: Gorgeous Weather

Sunday Salon

It’s a gorgeous day!! The sky is a bright blue, not a cloud to be seen and the sunlight is working its magic. The Girl took all the Halloween stuff out and put it up yesterday. I think there are only five houses in the neighborhood that put anything up this year. Now, I just need to get the candy!

It’s been a busy week but it’s over now. The Teen took the PSAT, The Girl got to cheer at the high school game, they both had rehearsals for both Annie and the drama competition next week in Temecula. Not to mention doctor’s appointments and flu shots and the Title 1 meeting I had to attend. Mid-week, something bit me and my entire body itched and burned (which is weird) for two days!! Yes, it might have been the flu shot but more likely, the bug bite. I have no idea really but I never want to experience it again.

To all of you who gave me some insight into Title 1, you were all correct and in our case, the program does not follow her into middle school. Our school is a target-based Title 1 participant which means that the students who need addition help, had to be determined within the first 30 days of school. To err on the safe side, she was added to the program. This means she gets one-on-one math assistance four times a week. A good thing, right?

What am I reading?

Along with other books, including our read along book, Something Wicked This Way Comes, I started this one:

Driftwood

 

It is really good so far. After just a few pages, I was hooked.

What am I cooking?

The dreaded question. At the moment, I am making lemon scones but later? Who knows? I sort of want The Hub to pick-up some stuff from the Mexican market (rotisserie chickens, fresh tortillas, etc.).  I haven’t told him this yet.

What am I watching?

Tonight, The Walking Dead. Today? I have a number of movies to choose from. Moonrise Kingdom? Notting Hill? The Abyss? I need to catch-up with some of the newer releases but when I have time, I tend to want to re-visit my favorite movies. Did you know that they already posted ABCs 25 Days of Christmas schedule? I am almost in the mood to pull out Christmas Vacation.

No one wants to hit church with me today. I took a look at one of the online services to see what I’d be missing and it looks like our normal pastor is not there today. Not sure if I will attend by myself. I do like to go as often as I can. I feel as if it prepares me for the week but I like people to go with me too. The Girl got home late from a birthday party last night and we were up past midnight waiting for The Teen to return from Fright Fest so we are all exhausted.

I know many of you feel the same way today! I saw a lot of read-a-thon posts yesterday. I hope you all had fun. What do you all have planned for today?

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