Reading Category Archive

Audiobook Review- White Cat by Holly Black

I’m jumping on Devourer’s Friday meme of reviewing audiobooks. Since I’ve started my hour+ drive to work and back, I’ve found that I can go through at least one book a week. That means, each Friday I can review the book I’ve finished during the week :)

*I have to admit, I have never been one to review books. Please note this is purely my opinion and I do not claim to be good at reviews. Thanks!

Earlier this week, I finished listening to Red Glove by Holly Black. A few weeks back I listened to the first in the series, White Cat.

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family.

You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Description taken from Goodreads.

Jesse Eisenburg reads brilliantly. I’m crossing my fingers he continues to read this series and that he chooses to read for other books because of the incredible work he does. It’s not always easy to find a reader who can make you forget you’re listening to someone read a book. Eisenburg does this. Each character’s voice is unique and consistent. Cassel’s monologues are never dull or too drawn out. And I adore the fact that I can tell that difference between Cassel’s thoughts and speech.

I love the world Holly Black has created. She only changed one small thing about our world, and I think it’s the simplicity that makes it work so well: gloves. Everyone in Black’s world has to wear gloves because of curse work- magic that is transmitted by touch. Place on top of this the con work Cassel does and the mob world he lives in- I’m addicted.

Both White Cat and Red Glove were incredible. I’m more than a bit bummed I have to wait until April 2012 for Black Heart to come out! I highly, highly suggest these books.

Tears of Writerly Sorrow

I haven’t cried while reading since “Where the Red Fern Grows” in elementary school, but “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” had me all sorts of teary.  I read some reviews of “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” and realize not everyone enjoyed it, but I loved the writing, characters, plot, the whole shebang.

After finishing the book and setting it on my nightstand, I curled up in bed and tried to sleep.  Eyes puffy and headache coming on, all I could think was, I want to write like that.  I want to move someone to tears and outright laughter.  I want to take people away to another world so that they can’t put the book down until they’ve reached the end.  My next thought was, I have so much more work to do! And that’s when the tears started again.

Ugh.

I laid there feeling all sorry for myself and as the first tear dripped down my nose, Pre jumped on my head.

Seriously.

She went to the side of the bed, aimed her little body, and jumped, landing with her sharp claws straight on my closed eye and forhead.

Cale thought it was hilarious.  I didn’t.  But, reality check!  Writing a novel isn’t about writing, it’s about rewriting.  Yes, I have a ridiculous amount of work still to do, but that’s the deal I’ve gotten myself into.

So, thanks Pre for jumping on my head and making me stop feeling all lousy.  Dogs are the best.

(As a side note, I realized today I have the habit of writing dialogue backwards.  Usually I know how the conversation will end, so I write that first and then go from there.  Is that weird? Hmm)

(And as another side note, I’m in the midst of putting together a crit group for YA fantasy – or something along those lines.  I have two wonderful ladies who are interested and there’s room for a couple more.  If you’re interested, let me know. :) )

Help!

I’m in need of some genuine advice.  What do you do when your library does not have a very good selection of books and you’re too poor to buy new ones?  I need something to read.

Maybe I just need to spend a day scouring the counties around mine for a better library.

****

Alright, I got some fabulous advice from my wonderful aunt and am feeling much better about the situation.  It’s time to go to the library again soon!  I will have to make a day of it.

As a GED instructor, it is frustrating to have students register for the class and then never come back.  It seems that once a person realizes how much work they have to put into getting their GED, it scares them away.  Cale and I talk around and around this problem at work and we never come up with any good solutions.  It is a discouraging issue to be confronted with.  So, while this problem is on my mind, here is my happiness tip.

Happiness Tip: learn something new.  Enjoy learning and relish the fact that your brain can soak up so many amazing things!  I don’t care what you learn or how you learn it, just learn something brand new that you never imagined knowing before.

Today, I learned…actually, I can’t think of anything I’ve learned today!  I guess my goal now for the evening is to learn something and get back to you all with what it is.

I Love To Read…

Cale reads.  He reads a lot.  He reads more books than I have ever known anyone to.  He pours through books like he’s drinking a glass of water in the desert.  And I don’t mean easy books.  I mean “The Secret History of MI6” that has 540 tiny words a page, for 752 pages (I counted).   And he is ridiculously excited to read “The Journal of Southern History” that’s published quarterly and is filled with scholarly journals.  He reads those like they’re candy and can’t get enough.  How on earth does he do it?

I love reading and I love stories, but I also love running, playing with my dogs, working, cleaning, etc. and it seems that a lot of the time I actually have to remind myself to finish books unless they’re powerfully captivating.  Is this a bad thing?  I sure hope not.

How do you guys make time to read all the books you want?

Books I’m Reading

Usually I stick to reading one book at a time, but currently I have five opened books by my bedside.

Putting Your Passion into Print by Eckstut and Sterry: This is one of the books Cale gave me for Christmas.  It’s a pretty thick book and has a lot of good info on the business of publishing.

The Elements of Style by Strunk/White/Kalman: Another of the books Cale gave me for Christmas.  I am finding this little book invaluable.  I’m not the best with the English language and this guide has already made a difference in my writing.  (I also really like that it’s illustrated!)

Just Beyond the Veil: Storieds of Death and Dying, Grief and Loss by Kate Anderson: This book was self published by a woman who works with my mother.  I have only  read the preface, but so far it seems like a wonderful guide for helping with grief.

The Wave by Susan Casey: Cale reads at least two books a week but I very rarely pay attention to his books because they usually aren’t my preferred genre.  I happened to read the introduction to this book and was immediately drawn in.  I guess this teaches me to step outside of my box of books to read.

The Long Run by Matt Long: I also got this one for Christmas, but from my sister’s boyfriend, Chris.  This is a very inspirational book about an endurance athlete/firefighters who was run over by a bus during a bike ride.  His eventual return to running and triathlons is detailed in this book.  I’ll keep this one on the top of my book shelf to look to when I’m having a hard time working out.

If anyone has any suggestions for other books I should read, send them my way!

As a note, Cale tends to read historical/factual books that are hundreds of pages long with very tiny print that I find very boring.  My comments above did not mean to imply that the books he reads are bad.