#5onFriday

I have been in a weird kind of head space since the stay at home orders hit here in the U.S. & haven’t felt much like writing. I think the fog has finally lifted as I have been jotting down all kinds of ideas the past few days for blog posts & I hope I’m back on track. One of my random thoughts was a sort of “top 5” type post, but I didn’t want to really to be specifically a “top 5, ” so #5onFriday”was born.

What is #5onFriday?

Basically, post 5 random things at 5:00PM (your time) on Friday that you did, read, watched, played, etc. Since Friday night is the beginning of the weekend, and pre-quarantine, people would go out to dinner, bars, or just hang out with friends, I thought this might be a good way for others to find ideas for things to do, games to play, shows or movies to watch. You can post 5 outdoor things you did this week. Or 5 movies you watched with your kids. Or the last 5 books you read. Or 5 new recipes you want to cook this week. Or your 5 favorite video games to play. Pretty much whatever you want.

My #5onFriday

This week for my #5onFriday, I decided to highlight some of my fellow WP bloggers that have been following me for quite a while now & providing great content. So, for some Friday night blog reading, check out these blogs….

  1. The Restless Wild: Liz is an outdoor photography & adventure blogger. She runs, she bikes, she rock climbs. All kinds of outdoor adventures.
  2. Diary of The Mad Katter: Katrina’s blog focuses on her life journey through anxiety & depression.
  3. The Curious Atheist: Rebekah is a former Lutheran turned atheist blogging about life, religion & human origin.
  4. Gamers United GG Blog: Luna has gaming blog full of reviews & all sorts of wonderfully geeky things to enjoy!
  5. Roof Beam Reader: A.W. Burgess’ blog is about “a writer & his reading.” Right now, his “Nevada Covid Diaries” posts are worth a read.

February 2020 Wrap Up

Well, I certainly bit off more then I could chew this month. I read so much more than I usually do in a month & got a bit behind in my reviews. So, I decided to change my book reviews up a bit where I will do mini reviews of the books I’m knocking out from my to-read list as a monthly wrap-up & full reviews of an ARC (advanced reading copy) or new release.

Insomnia by Stephen King

⭐⭐⭐

Lifelong Derry resident Ralph Roberts has been suffering from horrible insomnia ever since his wife passed. Every night he falls asleep only to wake up earlier & earlier as the days progress. Eventually, Ralph starts seeing some really weird shit around the town that at first he attributes to hallucinations from lack of sleep. From colorful stringy things streaming off the top of people’s heads, auras & strange little bald men running around town, Ralph is convinced he is slowly going crazy. But when his lady friend Lois confides she’s seeing some weird things around town too, Ralph realizes there is more to his hallucinations then just insomnia.

Insomnia is a brick of a book. While not as epic as IT or The Stand, it’s a true King novel…long. And a bit too long I think, there are definitely some really slow parts. But just as you’re about to add it to your “did not finish” list, it picks right back up again. However, I do not recommend this to a new King reader. As it takes place in Derry, home of IT & there are several tie-ins to The Dark Tower series, I recommend Insomnia for the seasoned King reader. This was my second read through, however, this time I’ve read it in chronological order of release & after reading The Gunslinger. It makes so much more sense now & is no longer the weird & trippy King book I didn’t like.

Anathema by Megg Jensen

⭐⭐

Anathema is the story of a slave girl, Raychel, who has lived in isolation from the outside world for as long as she can remember. She lives in a room of her master’s home with 30 other female slaves, including her best friend, Ivy. The female slaves are forever branded to their master on their fifteenth birthday during a ceremony when their master’s symbol is burned into the back of their necks. Anathema begins on the morning to Raychel’s fifteenth birthday, when Raychel awakens to find Ivy missing, and a mysterious token left on her pillow. The tokens that have been left behind every time a slave girl has been kidnapped from her master’s home. As the story escalates from a missing slave to a fantastical world filled with magic & prophets, it is also a story about desperation & a fight for freedom.

I really, really wanted to like this book. The story itself was pretty good, but I thought it was so incredibly rushed. The Kindle version is only 206 pages. This was a story that deserved to be more fleshed out & the characters given more development. I wanted so much more from this story than what I got. I wasn’t expecting George RR Martin level of detail, but I felt like there was so much missing. In all fairness, if you’re looking for fast fantasy read, this will be right up your alley.

The Sound of Rain by Gregg Olsen

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I came across The Sound of Rain when I discovered all the free Prime e-books on my Kindle Fire. As I can “rent” 10 books at a time, and I’ve had a few sitting there TBR for about 2 years now, I decided it’s time to work my way through this list. And this book was a trip. I started it one night before bed, & quickly finished it up the next evening.

The main character, Nicole Foster, is a disgraced former homicide detective. From the very beginning, we are brought into her story at her rock bottom. Nicole has a crippling gambling addiction that has left her jobless, homeless & begging her sister for help. As she wanders the streets, she revisits the case that started her spiral out of control, the murder of three-year-old Kelsey Chase. A faulty investigation of the murder that led to Nicole & her partner being fired from the police force left so many unanswered questions that Nicole obsesses over. When Nicole has a chance encounter with Kelsey’s grieving father, she sees a path to redemption.

The book was a wild ride. At times, Nicole is a victim of circumstance & you feel bad for her. At others, you question her choices & can’t stand her. I could not put this book down & had to know what the hell was going to happen next. *Semi-Spoiler Alert* The ending was insane & not quite believable, but it was a crazy story from beginning to end.

When I Was You by Minka Kent

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I discovered When I Was You when I signed up for Amazon’s First Reads program for Prime members (highly recommend & is seperate from the Prime Reading library.) I was immediately hooked after I read the synopsis. This was another incredibly fast & intense read.

Brienne Dougray is a recluse, barely leaving the house after surviving a brutal assault. Brienne suffers from debilitating migraines & memory loss since she was attacked & heavily relies on the handsome doctor renting a room in her home to cope. As Brienne continues along a path of recovery, her world is turned upside down when she receives a letter in the mail regarding the new apartment leased in her name. Confused, Brienne begins a bit of an investigation where she discovers another woman has completely taken over her identity, from her hair & clothes to impersonating her on social media. Brienne is forced to step out of her comfort zone to try to reclaim her life.

While it was a bit predictable at times, the story was fast paced & had enough twists & turns that kept you guessing if your predictions were right. They usually were, but it was well-written & executed well enough that it’s worth the read. Honestly, I read enough mystery/thrillers that it really isn’t hard to figure out most of them, but as long as the journey along the way keeps me entertained, I forgive predictable moments & minor plot holes.

Book Review: The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde

The End of the Ocean: A Novel by Maja Lunde

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The End of the Ocean tells the story of the impact of climate change through the perspective of two narrators, Signe in 2017 & David & his daughter, Lou, in 2041. Signe grows up in a lovely glacial village in Norway, where she learns environmental activism from her father, putting her at odds with her mother & several others in her village. Signe has spent her entire life protesting environmental causes & returns to her home village in 2017, when she learns that the glaciers are being harvested for “glacier ice cubes” sold to the rich elite around the world. Furious that someone from her own village would destroy the glacier, Signe creates a plan of protest that takes her to France in her sailboat.

The second storyline follows David & Lou in 2041 in France. Climate change has caused widespread droughts & famine all over the world. By this time, it has 5 years since the last rainfall & wildfires are breaking out causing David, his wife Anna, & their 2 children, Lou & August to flee their home. Amid the chaos fleeing the ravaging fires, David & Lou become separated from Anna & August. However, they have a plan to meet at a refugee camp. David & Lou arrive at an overcrowded camp that lacks fundamental resources. While waiting for Anna & August to arrive, David & Lou fill their days with searching the neighboring houses to relieve the boredom of the camp life. It is during these daily searches that they come upon a sailboat, tying the two stories together. While Signe was on a mission to save the planet, David & Lou are trying to survive it. Signe thinks she fails in her mission, but her actions have a huge impact on David & Lou’s fight for survival.

What I Loved: Excellent writing & the alternating story lines keep the story well-paced. Both the characters, Signe & David, are each flawed in their own ways & are relatable.

What I Didn’t: I didn’t want it to end. I desperately want to know what happens next.

Climate change is an important issue our society is facing & this story reveals the devastating impact that is our near future. The End of the Ocean is thought-provoking, terrifying & a must read.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.


View all my reviews

WWW Wednesday 1-29-2020

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words. However, I read slow AF compared to most other book bloggers, so I probably won’t be posting weekly updates. This will be more of a monthly post or whenever I finish my current book.

The three questions to answer are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I decided to try reading two books at a time. I figured it would be easiest with one non-fiction & one fiction. I’m not doing well with the whole 2 books at once. I’ve realized I’m a book monogamist (or monobiblist, a word Evil Husband just made up.)

My fiction read is Insomnia by Stephen King. I have been working through King’s bibliography in order from his first book, Carrie & rotating about 4-5 books in between. Some are rereads a few times over, which is awesome because I find new things that I never realized connected when I first read. I had considered reading the Dark Tower books in the chronological order of release, but have decided to save them until I am caught up. I am really enjoying Insomnia so far.

Helter Skelter has been on my TBR literally forever. I’m a true crime junkie & Helter Skelter is a must read. Sad to say though, it has been put on the back burner over the past few months. But not because it isn’t fascinating or interesting… it’s all me. I would have finished it months ago if it were the only book I was reading. The great part about picking up a non-fiction book after a while is there isn’t a crazy plot you have to recall or characters or their motivations. It’s mostly facts, so it’s east to pick up right where you left off.

What did you recently finish reading?

I have yet to write a review on this book. So, I will not say much about it for now other than I highly recommend it & was a 4/5 star rating for me. Stay tuned for a full review!

What do you think you’ll read next?

As I have a designated “to read next” shelf on Goodreads, I know exactly what I’ll be reading next. I plan out my next 5 reads based on either what I own, genre, King book, Prime reading & other e-books or ARCs I have. My next book to read is Anathema, which I think I got for free through Book Bub (a great source for free & discounted e-books.)

Anathema is the first novel in the Cloud Prophet Trilogy & is about a slave girl who becomes a beacon of freedom & hope. I’ve had this book in my Kindle library for quite some time, so I’m excited to finally read it.

What are you currently reading?

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Book Covers

Another weekly Top Ten Tuesday post courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a book cover freebie post where you pick ten book covers that you find well, whatever you want… the prettiest, weirdest, interesting ,etc. Personally, I’m just choosing some of my favorite books covers of the specific book editions I have picked up over the past few years.

If you have read any of my other posts about books and reading, you may have picked up on the fact that I may be a book hoarder. We are at spreadsheet level for keeping track & last I checked, we have over 500 books in our collection. I hit up my local libraries used book stores pretty regularly & have come across some great finds. Some of these I have not read yet, but they are among my favorite covers.

My Ten Favorite Book Covers:

  1. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #1)
  2. Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
  3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs
  5. S by Kōji Suzuki (Ring #5)
  6. The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
  7. The Regulators by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King)
  8. Desperation by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King)
  9. This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong
  10. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer

To be honest, I really like all of the book covers in the Sookie Stackhouse series, so I really picked just one. But, my all time favorite book covers are the Bachman books because they form one complete picture together.

What are your favorite book covers?

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