Category Archives: Reading

Motivational Monday: Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

By Mary Elizabeth Frye 

Do not stand at my grave and weep 
I am not there. I do not sleep. 
I am a thousand winds that blow. 
I am the diamond glints on snow. 
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. 
I am the gentle autumn rain. 
When you awaken in the morning’s hush 
I am the swift uplifting rush 
Of quiet birds in circled flight. 
I am the soft stars that shine at night. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry; 
I am not there. I did not die. 

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Tracklist Tuesday: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 

Photo credit: Goodreads
Photo credit: Goodreads

*Spoiler Alert!*

This mix highlights parts of Flynn’s novel Gone Girl, from the “twincest-y” relationship of Nick and Go to Amy’s vindictive and manipulative psychosis that eventually destroys her marriage.

Songs like Florence and the Machine’s “Kiss with a Fist,” “Desperate Measures” by Marianas Trench and “I Was a Fool” by Tegan and Sara explore the disintegrating and destructive relationship between Amy and Nick. While “Black Widow,” by Iggy Azalea, “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and “Decoy” by Paramore all detail Amy’s rich and enduring need to continue the life and lies she’s built herself on.

Later tracks like “Psychotic Girl” by The Black Keys and “Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t” by Brand New describe what’s left of Nick and Amy’s relationship after she’s forced to return to him and their forced relationship following her secret impregnation.

Overall, the music explores the intricacies of the story, leading the characters in the same circles they pursue in the text while highlighting the aspects that make Nick, Amy and Go so memorable.

Check out the full playlist here. 

Day 18: Favorite book-to-screen adaptation

Day 18
Day 18

Day 18: Favorite screen adaptations- The Great Gatsby, She’s the Man (Based off Twelfth Night), Macbeth ft. Patrick Stewart, and Romeo and Juliet ft. Claire Danes and Leo DiCaprio

I loved the adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Though it may not fit the plot to the letter, the similarities are striking and the presentation is ridiculously entertaining.

The versions of Macbeth and R &J are both highly symbolic and I really enjoyed the gritty and unique way they were produced.

Gatsby made the list purely because it was SO close to the book that I had almost no complaints. Other than the neglect for color symbolism, which was so apparent in the text, the movie followed the plot-line to the letter. I was impressed, entertained and fulfilled as a reader.

 

Update: 30-Day Book Selfie Challenge

Day 7
Day 7

Day 7: Book with the best male lead- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Day 8
Day 8

Day 8: book with the best supporting characters- The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Favorites include: Alice, Janet and Eliot

Day 9
Day 9

Day 9: the book you would recommend to anyone, ever- Sextrology by Starsky and Cox

By far the best, and most accurate, astrological account I’ve ever read. Continue reading Update: 30-Day Book Selfie Challenge

Babes, bombs and bullet holes: check out what I’ve been reading lately

I’ve had a lot of extra time to read lately, and I wanted to catch you all  up with some quick reviews of the texts I’ve finished.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson 

Photo credit: Creative Commons
Photo credit: Creative Commons

The second book in Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, this fast-paced novel covers the exploits of Bloomkvist and Salander and their various compatriots as they attempt to uncover a horrendous human-trafficking scandal.

The pacing of this novel was far superior to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Larsson spent the majority of Part One catching readers up with Salander in the aftermath of the Wennerström affair, placating them with some small conflicts in the beginning until the real bombs are dropped in the center and end sections.

Bombs? Absolutely. I won’t tell you when, but The Girl Who Played With Fire definitely reveals a huge shocker alongside the explanation of “All the Evil.”

This was my favorite of the Larsson trilogy. It was engaging, well-paced, vivid and, at points, shocking.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

Photo credit: Creative Commons
Photo credit: Creative Commons

The final installment of the Millennium Trilogy, regrettably, starts out slow. Finishing off the jaw-dropping cliffhanger from The Girl Who Played With Fire, this book spends too much of its first half stretching out details and dialogue that’s definitely not as interesting as the action and adventure of its predecessor.

However, once you make it to the end of Part Two a few new characters, and even some old favorites, return to make the story much more interesting. At points, it seemed like Larsson was struggling to round out the ending of book three by adding in Berger’s stalker scandal.

A common theme to all Larsson’s books is the empowerment and strength of women. Because of that over-arching archetype, Berger’s story fits, but it still feels forced.

Overall, the book did a decent job of wrapping up the trilogy, but it was clearly the weakest of the three.

Generation Kill by Evan Wright

Photo credit: Creative Commons
Photo credit: Creative Commons

This journalistic account of First Recon Marines written by former Rolling Stone journalist, Evan Wright, details the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Later adapted by HBO into a TV show, the account follows the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion from the view of Wright as he remained embedded with them for  two months.

The text is gritty, vivid, raunchy and haunting. Wright’s words transport the reader far from their comfort zone, challenging them to accept the truth behind the writing– a feat that should never be taken lightly.

Retelling instances of death, destruction, manipulation and ignorance, the book stays true to Lt. Nathaniel Fick’s words “Write this as you see it. I’m not here to stop you.”

The book is extremely well written, descriptive and unadulterated in its actuality.  There were several times when I had to put it down and take a break for a bit as the details can really weigh on you.

Read the book. Be prepared for some internal turmoil, but read it all the same.

I hope you enjoyed my mini reviews! Feel free to let me know how you feel in the comments below, and check out my profile on Goodreads! 

Write on!

See what your favorite celebs are reading and recommending on Twitter

BookVibe is a new website created by Parakweet that uses your Twitter handle to tell you what books the people you’re following are talking about.

Said to be “streets ahead of Amazon” by The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, this site processes the entirety of your Twitter feed into a singular list of reading recommendations.

The site offers a preview option, where you can insert your Twitter handle and see what your “Book Stream” would look like. By making an actual account, the user can create a reading list, explore what other celebrities and users are reading and see what’s trending.

BookVibe shows a general grade for each book out of five stars as well as the level of “social buzz,” or how much the book is being talked about. The trending option allows users to choose a week and see the top trending or top discussed books for that week.  The trending option also allows the user to narrow down the list by category, including genres like “Food & Wine,” “Romance” “Technology” and “Science Fiction.”

The site has great potential as long as its popularity continues to increase. The more celebrities that participate and add bookshelves, the more appeal the site will have. If people went crazy over celebrities with Twitter and Instagram, it’s fair to say BookVibe could have the same appeal.

You can like BookVibe on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

Give it a shot! Making an account is quick and takes very little commitment. It’s a small risk with a potentially large reward.