Top Ten New to Me Authors I Read in 2013

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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

1.  Stephen King

The Shining & Doctor Sleep

I finally gave in and read The Shining and I loved it.  Doctor Sleep was just as good.  Now I have to get myself another but this amazing author.

2.  Rita Leganski

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

The first book I read for the She Reads book club and it was amazing!

3.  Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train

Another She Reads selection.

4.  Matthew Quick

Silver Linings Playbook

I want to reread this- the mark of a very good book!

5.  Liane Moriarty

The Husband’s Secret

I can’t wait to read her new one.

6.  Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season

I just finished this a few days ago and I am already itching for the next in the series- hurry it up Ms. Shannon!

7.  Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

One of the first books I read in 2013- beautiful.

8.  Kathleen Tesaro

 The Perfume Collector

I loved the dual narrative.

9. Charlie Lovette

The Bookman’s Tale

I love books about people who love books.

10.  Alyson Richman

The Lost Wife

I thought the author did a wonderful job with this story.

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Doctor Sleep- a review

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Doctor Sleep

by Stephen King

published by Scribner

2013

Summary

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon. (from Goodreads)

My Review

As you know Doctor Sleep is King’s long awaited sequel to The Shining.  I was lucky enough to have read this book immediately after reading The Shining, so the story of Danny Torrance was fresh in my mind.  While The Shining scared me quite a bit, I am happy to say I was never as frightened while reading Doctor Sleep.  Other than that small difference, I enjoyed the sequel just as much as I did the first.  Doctor Sleep brings us back to Danny Torrance-now Dan- as a middle aged man who has struggled his entire life.  Just when he thinks he has hit rock bottom, literally and figuratively, he decides to make a change.  He stops drinking and drifting and settles down in a small New England town.  He works as a hospice care giver and has finally found some peace.  Then he meets a young girl, Abra Stone, who has the shining as well.  Together, they fight an evil that has set its sights on Abra.

This book was wonderful.  I love that King lets us know what happened to Dan.  It was wonderful to see him struggle through his problem and come out on the other side.  I loved the secondary characters and I thought the True Knot, the ancient beings that survive by killing youngsters with the shining, was a very bizarre twist. I especially loved the character of Rose the Hat.  When the story finally returns to the Overlook, King pulled all the loose ends together very nicely.  If you haven’t read The Shining in a very long time, it might help to do a quick reread, but I would definitely recommend Doctor Sleep.  Now I have to get myself some more King!!

Some great quotes from Doctor Sleep-

~“There came a time when you realized that moving on was pointless. That you took yourself with you wherever you went.”

~“Death was no less a miracle than birth.”

~“There’s nothing to be scared of.”
Instead of taking Charlie’s pulse – there was really no point – he took one of the old man’s hands in his. He saw Charlie’s wife pulling down a shade in the bedroom, wearing nothing but the slip of Belgian lace he’d bought her for their first anniversary; saw how the ponytail swung over one shoulder when she turned to look at him, her face lit in a smile that was all yes. He saw a Farmall tractor with a striped umbrella raised over the seat. He smelled bacon and heard Frank Sinatra singing ‘Come Fly with Me’ from a cracked Motorola radio sitting on a worktable littered with tools. He saw a hubcap full of rain reflecting a red barn. He tasted blueberries and gutted a deer and fished in some distant lake whose surface was dappled by steady autumn rain. He was sixty, dancing with his wife in the American Legion hall. He was thirty, splitting wood. He was five, wearing shorts and pulling a red wagon. Then the pictures blurred together, the way cards do when they’re shuffled in the hands of an expert, and the wind was blowing big snow down from the mountains, and in here was the silence and Azzie’s solemn watching eyes.” 
― Stephen KingDoctor Sleep

my rating

4.5 out of 5

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Bookish (& Not So Bookish) Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thought

is a weekly men hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.

1.  I can’t read – or do anything for that matter – if it is quiet.  I have music playing almost all the time, except later at night if someone puts on the TV.  I usually have on some sort of singer-songwriter station, or my old stand by of DMB.  Nothing too loud or annoying.  I am actually loving a little playlist of DMB, James Taylor,  Springsteen, and Mumford & Sons.

Dot To Dot Fesival Various venues, Bristol 23 ...

Dot To Dot Fesival Various venues, Bristol 23 May 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.  My husband is away- just for one night, but I still can’t sleep well without him here.  So now I am tired, have a headache, and he is in FLA.  Not fair.

3.  I read this great post over at Parajunkee about a perceived slow down in the blogging community.  The comments were really interesting.  What do you think?  I definitely have seen less reviews/more promotional posts out there.

4.  It has been a busy week for me.  We finally painted the dining room- a great color called “wine glass”- and it is all ready for company.  So is it terrible that I love the way it looks so much that I don’t want anyone to go in there?  Ever.  I yell at the dogs when they go in there.

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5.  We are settling into the cold weather here- had snow the other day, and I even ran yesterday when the wind chill was 15 degrees.  I think I was way more proud of myself for that than I should have been.  Shorter Days + colder weather = more hot tea.  I think I rather this equation- long days + warm weather = sangria.  I love to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea, but I really love the bask in the sun, read a book, and sip a fruity cocktail.

6.  I have an addictive personality.  I finally gave in and read a King novel (The Shining)- loved it so much that I read the sequel (Doctor Sleep)- then was about to grab another King book.  I made myself read something else- and of course I was totally disappointed.  Thankfully, the book I just stared is pretty good- and fast reading.  Do you get really into one author and just plow through their work?

7.  On a similar topic- I hate it when I see a book that I think looks really good, only to find out it’s like the 5th in a series.  I have picked up lots of books like this at the library, and of course they never have the first books in the series.  I have an awful feeling that I am missing out on some great books.

8.  I have two dogs- a chocolate and a yellow labrador.  If you know the breed, you know they always want to eat.  Always.  A vet once told me that a lab would never voluntary stop eating- they are the breed most likely to eat until their stomach bursts.  I can attest to this.  My yellow eats everything- rocks included, but not fruit or veggies.  The chocolate will eat everything- EVERYTHING- except for celery.  They eat in the morning and again in the evening.  I aim for 5 pm, but Jack (the chocolate) has begun begging incessantly until I feed him.  His begging is starting earlier and earlier every day.  He is bad.  I am a bad owner.

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9.  I just got a notice from the library that 2 books that I requested have come in!!  I put holds on We Need to Talk About Kevin and The End of The Affair– light reading?  Anyway, I think I should feel more guilty than I do about not reading the ARCs I have lined up.  Shouldn’t I?

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The Shining- (or how I scared myself to death)

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The Shining

by Stephen King

published by

Anchor Books

1977

Summary

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine.. (from Goodreads)

My Review

I have previously admitted on this blog that I am the World’s Biggest Wimp!  I am.  This began when I was about 6-7 years old.  My two older (read evil) sisters and lots of cousins had gone to see The Amityville Horror. 165px-Amityville_poster When they came home, we had a big sleepover in the living room, where my sister -the middle, and more evil of the two- proceeded to describe the entire movie to my young self.  From that point on, I have tried to watch horror movies, but wind up scaring myself so badly that I can’t sleep.  This has continued on into adulthood, and is the reason I don’t read horror novels, and have never read Stephen King.

I have seen movies based on his books, which I honestly found creepy, but not terrifying.  I watched Carrie, Cujo (I actually felt bad for the dog), and Christine- meh.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED Misery, Stand by Me, and The Shawshank Redemption.  So I was familiar with his work-sort of.  And I will admit-I saw The Shining numerous times, always a little creeped out, but very amused with Jack Nicholson’s acting.

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So, after turning the corner in age, I decided to try new things, and reading a King novel was one of them.  I was going to read The Stand, since it was highly recommended to me, but when I saw the size of it, I got real nervous and put it back.  I figured I would start with The Shining, since I knew the story and might not get that scared.  WRONG.

I admit it did help a bit, but I was pretty scared.  As I have said, I wouldn’t read it when I was home alone- or late at night.  All of the sudden, I kept all the lights on, and made my chocolate lab lay in the bathroom while I showered.  Because I was scared.

But what an amazing book!

I would have put it down (wimp) if the writing wasn’t so wonderful, and the story so compelling.

And I thought I knew the story from the film. No, no, no I did not.  There was so much more background and foreshadowing.  And the end!!  I looked at my husband, very pleased with myself and said “It ends differently than the movie.”  When he asked how, I told him to read it (he has voluntarily read maybe 3 books in the 20+ years I have known him).

So, I am not going to sum up the book- most people have either read it, saw the movie, or think they know what it is about.  All I can say is it is if you haven’t read it, it is so much better than you think it is.  Go out and get it and read it!  But not alone.  Or in the dark.  If I can do it, you certainly can.

So, what King book should I read next???

Bookish ( & Not So Bookish) Thoughts

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Bookish & Not So Bookish Thought is a weekly men hosted by Christine over at Bookishly Boisterous, where we post things that are on our minds.

1.  After having “house guests” who stayed for almost 2 1/2 years, we finally have the spare bedroom empty.  Almost immediately, I had hubby move a nice big desk and my computer-which had been jammed into the living room- into the empty room, and take a big cozy chair and ottoman from the basement and put it into the living room.  Now I have an AMAZINGLY wonderful reading spot, and an awesome office. More importunely, there is no guest room.

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2.  I just read an article on Book Riot about DNF’ing.  I have been realizing that ever since I started reviewing books on this blog- especially since I have been getting books from all over the place- this has become an issue for me.  And one I ma not proud of.  I used to pick my books very carefully, and I usually didn’t stop reading any of them.  It really bothers me when I read a review of a book I DNFed, and the reviewer really liked it.  I have an awful feeling that I just didn’t stick with it long enough.  On the other hand, there are SO many books out there-why stick with one that isn’t working for you?

3.  My son got hit first term grades.  He got a B- in Mandarin 3.  I gave him a talking to, the whole time thinking- damn, I bet that s#@t is hard!!  Sometimes not saying what you are really thinking is hard.  Take for example this evening.  My lovely 13 yr old doesn’t have school tomorrow, so her and her friends are making plans to hang out at one of their homes.  At night.  Doesn’t she realize that means I can’t have wine until she gets home???  Can’t she drive yet????

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4.  I finished The Shining (WOO HOO) and I loved it so much that when I saw Doctor Sleep in the no reserve shelf at the library the next day I grabbed it.  I am 3/4 of the way done and I am loving it- but I have to admit I am not as scared as I was with the first!  I think I need to take a break from King for a book or two though- I wont walk into a room with out the dog with me. And as you can see, he’s not much of a guard dog.  (should have named him Doctor Sleep)  Any suggestions though for my next King?

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5.  I want to start my holiday shopping soon- honestly I just wish I was done with it already.  Another little fun fact they dont tell you before you walk down the aisle- you will now have to shop for at least twice as many people.  And he will not help- even when he says he will.  Do I hear a bah, humbug?

6.  I have never taken part in World Book Night, and I was considering doing it this year. There are some good looking books- The Weird Sisters (great book), Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?– and some great YA- Code Name Verity, The Bridge to Terebithia, and The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower. Some of them are in large print, and I know of lots of women whose eyes are starting to go.  But the YA’s make me slightly uneasy- hanging around at some sports practices, trying to give things away to pre-teens.  People in my town would probably call the cops on me.

7.  It is a very warm and rainy day here.  Perfect to curl up in my new reading spot and relax all day.  On the other hand, I haven’t cleaned the house in over a week- a house with 2 labradors and 2 teens-gross.  Clean it is.

8.  I looked at the 10 day forecast for NJ- we will actually have snow next week.  What the f*#k is wrong with the weather lately???  Did I mention it is 65 degrees today?

9.  I might have to get my own Kindle after all(shudder).  I had been borrowing my daughter’s, but when Allegiant came out, she made a big stink about how I had “taken hers over with ALL my books”. (did I get the tone across?)  So, I said of course it is yours, I have plenty of books to read- I downloaded Allegiant and off she went.  A WEEK AGO.  What takes that long??  Read the damn book already.  Now she is making noise about “giving” her kindle to me-and getting a better one for Christmas.  My goodness.