#BookReview: Osprey’s Cabin by Ben Fisk

Favorite of the year so far!

5 Stars!

A group of college kids head out to a cabin in the woods before graduation. Sounds familiar right? You could probably guess what is going to happen…but then you would be wrong.

Starts off like any other horror movie, but then takes a wild turn into unknown weirdness. The middle gets a little hairy, but worth pushing through to the end. Hopefully it will be followed up with a sequel.

#BookReview: Babylon Revisited and Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Read for school.

1 out of 5 Stars

I just do not care for F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I do not like the opening. I feel like we are starting in the middle of a conversation and I cannot make heads or tails of the part we do catch.

Even though we do not hear him order a drink, when he says “No, no more.” and the bartender replies, “You were going pretty strong a couple of years ago.” Fitzgerald is implying that Charlie was a big drinker back in the day. We also get the impression that this bar used to be the place to be for ex-pats, but it has now “gone back to the French” and is pretty much a dead zone.

The line about people in Prague not knowing him there, is implying that since he was last in Paris he has settled down quite a bit.

A little bit of sarcasm here, I love how we are supposed to differentiate between a room being American or the bar being French. Are the French so different that just by saying a room is French or American the general reader will be able to picture it perfectly? Do the French make different noises in the kitchen than Americans do? I understand languages are different, but that still does not tell me what “French noises from the kitchen,” means.

Why do we only get half of the conversation instead of the full thing?

If he is at his brother-in-laws house, why is Marion standoffish? She would be his sister. Why would he not say, he is going to bring “our” sister over from America?

#BookReview: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

1 out of 5 Stars

Did not finish it, but here is what I thought of it before I quit. Hank Rearden can be a jerk, but his family is a bunch of jackasses.

Orren Boyle is an idiot. Plus how can he appear on the scene from nowhere five years ago, but then a few paragraphs later state “We’ve been improving steel rails for generations…”

What is the point of Wesley Mouch? He doesn’t offer anything to the conversation. No one listens to what he is saying. Why is he there? What purpose are his comments serving aside from just having a third person there.

Don’t even get me started on the “rooftop bar” that is like a cellar and though it is on the rooftop, you have to go down a flight of stairs. And there are cracks in the building’s architecture that let in just enough light. Something is wrong there.

I quit when I got to the author calling a man “noble” for enduring a childhood of abuse. I struggled just to get through the measly 68 pages I did make it through and I’m done.

Book Goals for 2016

As of midnight on December 31st, I am no longer buying (or grabbing freebies) books for at least one year. I started this year off with a goal to read at least 65 books on my TBR list. I accomplished that and more, but also went from 2000ish to over 4000 books on that list. So my goal to put a small dent in it failed.

Next year my reading goal will be at least 100 and no more new purchases. Which is going to be hard because I have a small addiction to all the free ones I can find. Just before writing this, I thought I would go to Amazon and stock up on the freebies, and probably will again before the end of the year, and probably got close to 50 if not more. All free because I am a poor writer who can’t even afford a $0.99 book. Mind you this list does not include the hundred or so paper/hardback books that I own sitting on my shelves that I have also yet to read.

This means that I’m going to miss out on a lot of great books in the coming year. 😦 But I need to do something that is actually going to help shrink my never ending TBR list.

So if anyone knows of any good freebies that I should look into, speak now or forever hold your piece.

I AM FORBIDDING MYSELF FROM BUYING MORE BOOKS AFTER DEC. 31ST FOR A WHOLE YEAR!

#Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 4/5 Stars

Overview: Nick Carrowway moved in next door to a Jay Gatsby, someone no one really knows but more than happy to attend his parties. Daisy is Nick’s cousin with a secret, she loves Gatsby. Jay loves Daisy, but she is married to Tom Buchanan who has a married mistress. Nick narrates one summer they spent together, trying to connect or reconnect while hiding secrets. Until one day everything comes to a head and two end up dead.

Opinion: Had to read for a class first off. Secondly why?!?!? Before now, I had never read the book or seen the original movie. I have watched bits and pieces of the Leo DiCaprio version, but could never finish it (it just sucked) so I never knew how it ended. The ending sucks. In general the book seems more about Nick, Tom and Daisy than Jay Gatsby, so when D&T disappear and Nick is left dealing with Gatsby’s funeral alone it just feels unfinished. He didn’t need to die in the first place. He was more of a side character and did not commit the crime he died for. I just have a problem with the title misleading us, it says The Great Gatsby, but it is more like The Summer of Secrets.

Recommend: Yes

#Musical Monday Review #22 Fiddler on the Roof

Overview: A Jewish family living in a poor village, just trying to live their lives. Tavye, the patriarch has five girls to we’d and give a dowry to but he just sells milk and delivers it with a lame horse and trailer. The oldest daughter is able to marry the man she loves, while a Yente tries to fix the younger girls up with eligible bachelors. They rebel their suitors and break tradition, a very powerful thing Tavye holds very dear. All while fearing the Czar doesn’t invade their little Russian town.

Opinion: I first watched this in high school, and instantly fell in love with it. Tavye is such a great dad, wanting the best for his daughters as long as it follows tradition. He is also funny! I respect the traditional dances but to an uncultured high schooler, his shimmying (can’t believe that’s an actual word) during my favorite song, “Rich Man” is hilarious.

It’s not just the dancing that he does that is funny, but some things he says or the way he says it. I particularly enjoy his questioning of God, without actually questioning his existence. It’s something I’ve always been told not to do. If you believe in God, you can’t question his actions…or in-actions.

Another favorite song is “Matchmaker.” It is the Yente’s job to find husband’s for girls. However this Yente has a problem of making matches the girls don’t like. The girls go from wanting her to find them a match to not being in a big hurry.

Tzeital, the eldest daughter, reminds me so much of Barbara Streisand. However i find the middle daughter’s voice sounds clearer.

Comedy aside, I see the tragedy of losing special traditions and tearing a family apart as the result. My family has always been close but never as close or held many traditions as those of any faith let alone the Jewish faith.

I love the choreography of the Russian dancers during “L’chaim To Life.”

#Musical Monday Top 50 Musthaves in My #Writing playlist Pt. 1

Ok I know it’s #Musical Monday, but I am running on no sleep (can’t sleep for some reason) and it’s hot and humid out, which is making me cranky and sweaty :(. So I’ve decided to do a rundown of my top 50 songs I can’t live without or write without. I’m not going to have a video link for all 50 (that’s insane) but I will send a link to the older, more obscure or just really killer ones. These of course are in no particular order.

1. Alanis Morresette “You Oughta Know”

2. Bon Jovi “Living on a Prayer”

3. Linkin Park “Papercut”

4. Nickelback “How You Remind Me” (yes I listen to Nickelback and love them!)

5. Madonna “This Used to be my Playground”

6. (Movie Cast) Chicago “Cell Block Tango”

7. Bob Marley “Buffalo Soldier”

8.  Barry Manilow “Weekend in New England”

9. Elvis Presley “Wooden Heart”

10. Old Crow Medicine Show “Wagon Wheel”

11. Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall”

12. REO Speedwagon “Heard it From a Friend”

13. Pearl Jam “Last Kiss”

14. Matchbox 20 “Bed of Lies”

15. 5 for Fighting “Drops of Jupiter”

16. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”

17. Rick Astley “Never Going to Give You Up”

18. Korn “Twisted Transistor”

19. Melissa Etheridge “I’m the Only One” (ultimate breakup song!)

20. Poison “Fallen Angel”

21. Sylvia “Nobody”

22. ICP (AKA Insane Clown Posse) Piggie Pie

23. Serj Tankian “Lie Lie Lie”

24. The Eagles “Hotel California

25. Pentatonix “Wizard of Ahhs”

To be Continued…

May #WrapUp

CLTBRChallenge15 and GoodReads Book Challenge Progress- 21 of 65 and 30 of 65 books read. I really need to start reading books from my TBR pile again! But I have the next Night School preordered and an ARC of RSVP From Heaven to read as well. I am a failure at diving into my long list of TBR.

May books:

Night School: Resistance

Pines non-CLTBR

Wayward non-CLTBR

The Last Town non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 6 non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 7 non-CLTBR

My Camp NanoWrimo book, #LoveandDrugs has been sent off to a Beta Reader (no word back yet). If there is anyone interested in Beta Reading it, I would happily send you a copy for honest feedback!

lad

I continued #Musical Monday Reviews and will continue them into May. Sanctuary Edits is still open for new clients. Sadly I think my guest post author has backed out, but if anyone else would like to step up send me a message and we can talk. Any topic you would like, I don’t mind. Also still taking author interviews!

As you saw there have been some posts from my creative writing class and I’ll continue to post them. I have also posted my poems and there may be more in the future…I’m not sure as I don’t write them that often.

#Musical Monday Review #14: Oklahoma!

Overview: Life in Oklahoma territory is simple, and the biggest enjoyment are parties called box socials. Everyone in town is going and Curly has come to ask his reluctant sweetheart to go with him. She refuses, and ends up going with Jud her hired hand. As everything is spread out, everyone stops at Laurey and Aunt Eller’s place for a little rest and clean up before going on to the box social. The girls go inside to change into their dancing dresses and gossip, while the boys feed and water their horses. Jealously appears as another woman starts hanging on to Curly, but Laurey puts on a brave face, saying it’s no big deal. At the dance there is an auction to raise money to build a school house, the items for sale are basket dinners the girls put together. Jud and Curly get into a war over Laurey’s basket causing Curly to sell everything he has in order to win. Curly succeeded, but Jud was still bound and determined to take Laurey no matter what. After confronting Laurey, Jud is fired and vows revenge. She runs to Curly, who proposes marriage. After the wedding, Jud sets fire to some hay bales and tries to start a knife fight but ends up dying. They ride off in the morning sun on a train for their honeymoon.

Opinion: These two are the most stubborn people ever! Laurey seems to push him away because she enjoys it, but deep down loves him. She also acts a little childish and selfish. Curly’s only mean to her, because that’s how she treats him and has him all confused. Aunt Eller is awesome! She is a tough cookie and don’t cross her at a party.

Ado Annie. Aside from being a bit ditzy, anybody notice she’s a bit of a hussie. It is implied that she sleeps around because she can’t say no to men. She is a bit of an unconventional character, because usually you don’t see a character like that in shows from back in the day. It wasn’t that she was a complete slut, but she certainly wasn’t the prim and proper girl you would expect.

Kind of creepy that Curly tries to lure Jud into committing suicide. Jud may have been a little crazy but serenading him into thinking it would be better for him to die is a bit drastic.

One scene I have yet to understand, is the Saloon dream sequence. She seems to age a bit and is happy with Curly but then he disappears and she is stuck with Jud. We know Jud is a scoundrel but it almost implies if she doesn’t choose Jud she will become a saloon girl. Then it seems if she chooses him, he’ll cheat on her. When Curly reappears, if Laurey doesn’t pick Jud, he’ll kill Curly and take her by force. I’m just not sure what exactly is going on there.

Favorite song would have to be “Kansas City.” The choreography is light and playful, the lyrics talk about how far they have come and find it amazing. Makes us think about everything we have now compared to then. Plus I’m a little bias, Will had just come from my home state.

My Book Facts

The hardest book To read:

The hardest book for me to read, is actually a series. The Sleeping Beauty series by Ann Rice. That series puts 50 Shades of Gray to shame and I was able to drag myself through the first book but didn’t make it halfway through the second before I called it quits.

A book I haven’t read yet but should have:

I have my own religious issues. I have made it my mission to read the bible, and have started it but keep putting it off. It is one book I feel I should read and should have read a long time ago.

c

Books I hated having to read in school, but I loved once I grew up:

Can’t say I have any of these yet. I have done well staying away from books I hated in school. That list would include two books: Lord of the Flies and To Kill A Mockingbird. I do not have any plans to reread these.

A book I should have read sooner:

Aside from the Bible, I would have to go with Lolita. Very interesting and wish I had read it when I was younger, give me a chance to love it longer than the 5 years and counting.

b

Books I read at least once a year:

I don’t usually read a certain book once a year. If the mood strikes for a certain reread, then I will but it doesn’t usually happen yearly. However, I have read the 50 Shades series once a year for two or three years now.

5

Books I should never have read:

That again goes to the Sleeping Beauty series. It just freaked me out and I cannot look at Disney’s Sleeping Beauty the same way.

My favorite books as a child:

The Dear America Series. Diaries from girls of different time periods expressing what their lives were like. I loved every one I could get my hands on. Another favorite was Love from Your Friend, Hannah by Mindy Warshaw Skolsky about a girl writing to FDR and becoming a penpal with him. I ended up writing a letter to Former President Clinton and George W. Bush. With all of my moving around I’m not sure what happened to the letter from Clinton, but I do still have GWB’s as well as a picture of him and his wife that was sent along with it.

1

Series that should have went further:

Harry Potter. A series that brought the world together could go one to fill in little details about Harry’s life after the War. How did everyone cope? Did they all get over it or are some still haunted? The ending J.K. provided was nice but so much could still be done.

2

Books that should not have been made into movies:

Twilight probably shouldn’t have been made into movies. While I loved the books and was overjoyed when the movies did come out, I think a lot was not transferred to the big screen and they kind of turned four good books into a bit of a mockery. Still love both the books and movies but hate comparing the two. I prefer to judge them separately.

3

Books that sucked me in:

Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades…pretty much any book I find, I get sucked into at some point. Even if I end up not liking it.

How about you? Did you have a book that was hard to read, or one you read over-and-over again? I would love to hear what your book facts are. Let me know!