“A room without books is like a body without a soul”- Marcus Tullius Cicero.

To Live Forever

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To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis

by Andra Watkins

published by Word Hermit Press

2014

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary

Explorer Meriwether Lewis has been stuck in Nowhere since his mysterious death nearly two centuries ago. His last hope for redemption is helping nine-year-old Emmaline Cagney flee her madame mother in New Orleans and find her father in Nashville. To get there, Merry must cross his own grave along the Natchez Trace, where he duels the corrupt Judge, an old foe who has his own despicable plans for Em.

My Review

A mixture of historical fiction and magical realism, To Live Forever is an amazing novel from Andra Watkins.  Merry is trapped on Earth after his death on the Natchez Trace, the historical path that extend over 440 miles, from Natchz to Nashville.  He is haunted by his failures in life and his legacy.  He has tried multiple time to free himself from “Nowhere”, and now he has only one more chance to redeem is soul.  To do do, he has agreed to help 9 year old Emmaline escape the evil Judge Wilkinson, another ghostly figure, who has murdered her mother and wants to keep Emmaline for his own.  They set out from New Orleans and travel the Natches Trace to get Emmaline to her father in Nashville. Along they way, they encounter a host of historical characters, lending a feeling of magic to the story.

To add to this amazing story, author Andra Watkins actually walked all 444 miles of the Natchez Trace recently.  read more about her walk her-http://andrawatkins.com

My rating

5 out 0f 5

 

More about the author-

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Andra Watkins is a native of Tennessee, but is lucky to call Charleston, South Carolina, home for 23 years. She is the author of ‘To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis” (coming March, 2014) as well as short stories and her blog athttp://www.andrawatkins.com.

 

 

Top Ten Characters That Shouldn’t Have Died!!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. It’s awesome. Every Tuesday, the lovely ladies over there give us book bloggers wonderful and fun topics to create our lists! Check out what others have posted by going over there!

http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com

This week’s topic is-

Top Ten Characters that X- you pick!

I picked my top ten characters that I didn’t want to die, but did anyway.

1., 2. & 3.

Albus Dumbledore, Sirius, and Fred Weasly from Harry Potter.

Enough said

4.Beth March from Little Women

Contracts scarlet fever after nursing a sick family back to heath.

5.  John Coffey from The Green Mile

God’s vessel condemned to die for a crime he did not commit.

6.  Ned Stark from A Game of Thrones

The first in a long line of great characters George R.R. Martin has killed off.

7. & 8.  Mama & Papa Meminger from The Book Thief

I knew from early on that Rudy probably died, but to take these two also just seemed cruel.

9.  Primrose Everdeen from Mockinjay

Honestly did not see that one coming at all.

10.  Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web

Broke my 8 year old heart.

 

Bookish (& not so bookish) Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.  Head over there and check it out!

1.  I finally (after three days laid low with a migraine) headed out for a run this morning.  I run in a park that just happens to be right next to the library.  Strangely enough, my car (all on it’s own) turned into the library before I got to the park.  Three books and three miles later, I am a happy lady.

2.  Tomorrow is Good Friday, and is our family’s tradition, we will be coloring eggs.  Every year the kids fight more and more over who got to color the most freakin eggs.  So this year, I hard boiled 60 eggs.  Ha.  Let’s see them fight now.

(These will be my eggs for the egg hunt.)

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3.  It was 80 degrees a few days ago.  Then it SNOWED on Tuesday.  My daffodils were little frozen balls of yellow.  If we thought winter was a bitch, it looks like it’s big sister Spring is going to be just as bad.

4.  I saw the trailer for Gone Girl and got the chills.  I can’t wait.  You can see it on Book Riot.

5.  I went to see Cabaret with Alan Cumming last week and I can honestly say it was the best thing I have seen on a stage, and I was a theater major.  Although Wicked is a very close 2nd, this was amazing.  If any of you are planning to come to NYC for the BEA this year, these two shows are the best you can possibly do.

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6.  I don’t know how you read this and don’t laugh out loud.  Poor bastard.  Seriously, burst right out laughing.  I’m most likely going to hell.  Must have sucked waking up and realizing you were still alive.  And his roomates said they hadn’t been doing strong enough drugs to explain why he did it.

7.  I am off to continue this Glee marathon my daughter and I have been on- it is seriously cutting into my reading time, but how many times do you get to bond with your 14 year old daughter???

Wishing everyone a good holiday!

The Green Mile

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The Green Mile

by Stephen King

published by Signet

1996

Summary

Set in the 1930s at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary’s death-row facility, The Green Mile is the riveting and tragic story of John Coffey, a giant, preternaturally gentle inmate condemned to death for the rape and murder of twin nine-year-old girls. It is a story narrated years later by Paul Edgecomb, the ward superintendent compelled to help every prisoner spend his last days peacefully and every man walk the green mile to execution with his humanity intact.

Edgecomb has sent seventy-eight inmates to their death with “old sparky,” but he’s never encountered one like Coffey — a man who wants to die, yet has the power to heal. And in this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecomb discovers the terrible truth about Coffey’s gift, a truth that challenges his most cherished beliefs — and ours.

Originally published in 1996 in six self-contained monthly installments, The Green Mile is an astonishingly rich and complex novel that delivers over and over again.

My Review

After I finished The Stand, I wanted very badly to read another King immediately, and this book was recommended by quite a few people.  Well, THANK YOU!  If you are one of the many readers I have heard from latterly, that have wanted to read King, but aren’t fans of horror-this is the King book for you.

The Green Mile is the amazing story of of Paul Edgcombe, a prison guard in charge of death row in Cold Mountain Penitentiary.  Though set in one of the worse place imaginable, King gives us a story about goodness, kindness, and love.  I had to slow myself down from reading too quickly, so I could enjoy and absorb the story.  I hope I am wrong, but I doubt I will ever find another character like Paul Edgcome.  I actually made my husband PPV the movie the minute I finished reading the book, though in hindsight, maybe not the best idea, as I was exhausted the nest day.  He felt bad for me, since I cried for the last half hour while reading the book!

If you have read tis- please tell me your thoughts

If you haven’t-go get it, read it, then come back and share.

 

My rating

5 out of 5

 

Some awesome quotes-

“Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not.”

 

“Sometimes there is absolutely no difference at all between salvation and damnation.”

 

“It’s strange how pain marks our faces, and makes us look like family.”

 

“We have once again succeeded in destroying what we could not create.”

 

“I’m rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I’m tired of bein on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain. Not never havin no buddy to go on with or tell me where we’s comin from or goin to or why. I’m tired of people bein ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I’m tired of all the times I’ve wanted to help and couldn’t. I’m tired of bein in the dark. Mostly it’s the pain. There’s too much. If I could end it, I would. But I can’t.”

 

Currently Reading- the She Reads April Book Club Selection

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  I was so happy to see that the She Reads April Book Club selection is The Storied Life of A.J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin!

Head over there to reads some great reviews and keep a look out for my review soon.

In the spirit of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books-and booksellers-that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds. 

On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island-from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thoughts

is a weekly meme hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.  Head over there and check it out!

1.  Spring is here!  I began running outside again (not pretty to see) and I made up a new playlist, which is pretty awesome.  It includes the oldie “Bat out of Hell” by Meatloaf.  As I was listening to it this morning, all I could think of was Stu Redman, from The Stand.  That would be the perfect song to play, as he is leaving Boulder and Frannie on his way out west.  And yes- I have too much time on my hands.

2.  She Reads announced that its April Book Club selection is The Storied Life of A.J Fikry, which excited me very much.  I requested it a while ago at my library, but had no luck so far, so I downloaded it from Amazon onto my iPad.  Within 5 hours, I got an email from the library that it was in.  Life’s a bitch.

3.  BookRiot ran a great article On The Perils of Feeling Dumb While Reading.  This has definitely happened to me- more than once.

4.  I grabbed the first Harry Potter while I waited for above mentioned book from library.  It was- so nice.  I missed the whole HP world so much, it was very difficult to not immediately pick up the next (then the next) book.

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5.  I am SO excited to go see Cabaret at Studio 54- with Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams this SUnday afternoon.  He is one of my FAV actors and I am sure he will be an amazing MC!

Here is a link to him singing Wilkommen.  

I tried to put the little you tube screen, like I have seen so many savvy bloggers do- then I realized I don’t know how to do that.

6.  I have been watching Glee since it started (even though this year was pretty meh).  My daughter (14) was home sick, and asked if we could watch a few episodes from the beginning.  Wow- this show was pretty amazing in the beginning. If you have a chance, watch some of the early episodes-though it is so sad to see Finn.

7.  The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is not good for my health.  I am over 40-I can’t stay up so late.  But he is SO DAMN FUNNY.

8.  I finished The Green Mile last week and I loved it.  I am hoping to get the review posted within the week, but until then, know this- you should read it.

9.  This sucks.1924725_10152377522211757_398497141_n

10.  What’s going on with you??  Please leave a comment- I love hearing from you!

The Obituary Writer

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The Obituary Writer

by Anne Hood

published 2013

W.W. Norton  & Co.

Summary

On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, an uncompromising young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie O, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between Claire and Vivien will change the life of one of them in unexpected and extraordinary ways. Part literary mystery and part love story, The Obituary Writer examines expectations of marriage and love, the roles of wives and mothers, and the emotions of grief, regret, and hope.

My Review

The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood was a well written story that  just didn’t really pull me in.  The idea of writing a different, yet meaningful obituary really interested me, and I honestly wish there had been more of a focus on that, and how Vivien hid her own grief, from losing her lover, by helping others with their grief. Instead, she keeps her hopes alive that her lover is wandering around somewhere for all these years with amnesia.  When the story shifted to Claire in 1960, the flow changed too much.  At first, Claire seemed like a typical bored housewife.  Then, she is the daring woman carrying on an illicit affair.  When her husband catches on, she stays with him, despite his increasing verbal abuse.  I wanted to shake her so hard at times and just have her wake up.    I wanted to like this book, and both main characters, more than I did.

rating

3 out of 5


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