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Book 6 in the 2014 booklist: Storm Front, (Dresden Files Book 1), by Jim Butcher

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Storm Front, (Dresden Files Book 1), by Jim Butcher
Finished: February 18

Everyone has a comfort book or book series that they go back to whenever they need some familiarity. I have 2 such series, Harry Dresden and Harry Potter. I love Jim Butcher and the cast of characters he’s created in The Dresden Files series. The narrator helps too, James Marster is an amazing narrator for this series. I was in a little bit of a rut and needed some familiarity and pulled out the beginning of The Dresden Files again for a relisten. I remember hearing this book for the first time and how unsure I was of my ability to deal with the narrator’s obvious inexperience, but boy am I glad I stuck with it! This is perhaps my most favorite series of all time!

This book introduces you to Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, the only wizard in the yellow pages in Chicago and perhaps the world. Harry Dresden is an all around good guy, chivalrous to the end and a sucker for a damsel in distress.

In need of work to pay the rent, Harry leaps at the chance to help a distraught wife and the Lieutenant of Chicago PD with someone who violates the first law of magic; “Thouh shall not kill.”

The murders are gruesome and magically super charged. The question is not if Harry can solve the crime, but can he prevent himself from becoming the next victim??

If you can deal with Mr. Marsters inexperience and unfamiliarity with reading, this is a great book and the start of an awesome series.

I think starting here, I’ll start giving starred ratings. 1-5.
1 veing terrible, 3 being ambivalent and 5 being an all star must read book.

This book, I give 4 stars. The plot is good (although a bit cheesey), but the narration makes it hard to get in to the book.

I say give it a shot, and join the Dresden fan club.

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 5 from the 2014 Booklist: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Finished: February 6

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

This is book 2 in the series/trilogy I spoke about in this post .

The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan’s peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what’s ahead.

More Alek and Darren Sharp of course. 🙂

I really do love the Perspicacious loris… which I think doesn’t really show up until this book a lot.

When looking for some of my favorite quotes, I couldn’t find them.. other than “barking spiders” and using the word “daft” lol.

Oh, and I love Doctor Barlow, she’s always good for a laugh, intentionally or otherwise. 🙂

Thanks again to RO!

She’s always good at giving book suggestions! 🙂

TaTa for now,
Amanda Ellen

Book 4 from the 2014 Booklist: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Finished: February 4

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
**Edit**
Sorry to say, that if you want this book, you’ll have to do a search on Audible as it seems the version I purchased is no longer available.
Sorry!
-Amanda Ellen
****

This book is a guilty pleasure of mine. If you recall, back a few years ago Twilight was a big deal… and well, I really, really, really liked the Twilight series.

So much so, that I made note of the book Bella made many references to, in her plight between Edward and Jacob.

That was, you guessed it, Wuthering Heights.

I had it on my mental list of books to read, but never got around to it… always finding something else I knew would be funner to read.

Well, I’m glad I read this… because I really enjoyed it. It’s a hard book to read, because one, it’s really old, and 2, you really have to pay attention to what’s going on to follow the story.

I will now proceed to bombard this post with my favorite quotes:
“I wish you had sincerity enough to tell me whether Catherine would suffer greatly from his loss: the fear that she would restrains me. And there you see the distinction between our feelings: had he been in my place and I in his, though I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to gall, I never would have raised a hand against him. You may look incredulous, if you please! I never would have banished him from her society as long as she desired his. The moment her regard ceased, I could have torn his heart out, and drunk his blood! But, till then – if you don’t believe me, you don’t know me – till then, I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair of his head!” -Heathcliff

“You loved me-then what right had you to leave me? What right-answer me-for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart- you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.” ~Heathcliff”

“And I pray one prayer–I repeat it till my tongue stiffens–Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you–haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad! only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I CANNOT live without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul!” -Heathcliff

““It’s a rough journey, and a sad heart to travel it; and we must pass by Gimmerton Kirk, to go that journey! We’ve braved its ghosts often together, and dared each other to stand among the graves and ask them to come. But Heathcliff, if I dare you now, will you venture? If you do, I’ll keep you. I’ll not lie there by myself; they may bury me twelve feet deep, and throw the church down over me, but I won’t rest till you are with me. I never will!”
She paused, and resumed with a strange smile, “He’s considering-he’d rather I’d come to him! Find a way, then! not through that Kirkyard. You are slow! Be content, you always followed me!” Catherine

“I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung my out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he’s handsome, but because he’s more myself than I am. What ever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.’
Ere this speech ended, I became sensible of Heathcliff’s presence. Having noticed a slight movement, I turned my head, and saw him rise from the bench, and steal out noiselessly. He had listened till he heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him, and then he stayed to hear no further.” -Nelly

This is a love story, but these characters are so bad, horrible people… but you still have to awe the love they had for each other, and the lengths in which they went to try to make it work.

If you have the time and can follow closely, I suggest this book, it’s a great classic.

TaTa for Now,
Amanda Ellen

Book 2 from the 2014 Booklist: Don’t Scream by Wendy Corsi Staub

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Finished: January 15, 2014
Don’t Scream by Wendy Corsi

Don’t Tell A Soul. . .

In a remote, heavily wooded area near the Berkshires of Massachusetts, Rachel Lorant died on her birthday. But she didn’t die alone. That night, her four sorority sisters make a solemn, trembling pledge. They will never reveal what has just happened in those woods – ever. Instead, they will take their terrible secret to their graves.

Don’t Think About The Past. . .

Now, ten years later, their secret is coming back to haunt them as each receives a card in the mail from Rachel: “Happy Birthday to Me. xoxo R.” It’s clear that someone knows what happened that night. Someone is stalking them and sending mysterious, chilling gifts that only they can understand – deadly warnings of what is to come. For the sins of the past have come back with a vengeance, and a killer will see that they all pay in blood.

And Whatever You Do – Don’t Scream. . .

Brynn Costello has never felt such pure fear. She didn’t want any part in what happened so long ago, but now, the mother of two will do anything to stay alive and protect her family – even if it means matching wits with a killer she can’t see…a twisted psychopath who is closer than she thinks and who is saving her death for last.

I admit, I took horrible notes on this book, and my memory fails me slightly on the ending…
but do I remember some of the important parts.

This was an Audible sale book, and I remember when I read the above description that it was kind of a “I know What You Did Last Summer” type of thing.
Which is of course why I bought it… I was hoping it would be good and be a slasher type as well.

It did not disappoint, I was very pleased with the twist and turns this author threw at me, and I even have it on my books I will reread… because some of the scenes… the birthday party.. oh my!

HAHA, I really suggest that you grab this book if you want a little mystery, a little betrayal, and a whole lot of messed up…

It was a very good book.

TaTa for Now,
Amanda Ellen

Book 1 from the 2014 Book list: Doctor Sleep: A Novel by Stephen King

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Finished: January 8, 2014
Doctor Sleep: A Novel by Stephen King

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 12-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.

Wow, this book. I loved the Shining. I was over joyed when I found out there was another installment.

This was not what I was expecting, but I was not unpleasantly surprised. Little Danny is all grown up, and helping someone else with “The Shine”. 🙂

The True are really weird, and seriously creepy… but a good antagonist for this King book. I really think the Shining was probably better, but that’s because the eeriness and the ambience of the book was totally different, almost darker.

Dr. Sleep was a little less dark, but no means light hearted, I mean this is Stephen King after all.

I think if you can stomach The Shining, then Dr. Sleep is a logical next step, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

TaTa for Now,
Amanda Ellen

My 2013 end of year post, or year in review.

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

So, here’s my end of the year post for 2013. Yes, it’s almost 2 weeks into January, but I just now have the time to sit and write.
2013, perhaps one of my best years medically speaking, in a while. Only 1 surgery, and it was really relatively minor. Of course I probably have seen more doctors this year, but I believe the headaches may have been sorted out. I quit smoking, that was good..
I graduated from college with my bachelors degree, that was pretty cool. I started my masters program, sort of cool, sort of self inflicted pain? Lol
Let’s see, I’m still alive, I like that. 
2013 had its ups and downs, but all together, it wasn’t too bad. I read lots of good books this year, mainly the Dresden Files series and some book suggestions from RO .
I finished the 2013 booklist with a nice even number of 36, this averages out to 3 books a month. Not too bad given my current workload with my classes, but I’ll try to increase that number in 2014. 🙂
So, on to my goals for 2014…
1. I want to lose weight, inches, or whatever to put myself at a healthier place… I won’t disclose my weight, but it’s not acceptable anymore.
2. I want to reteach myself to eat 3 meals a day, not just 1. I have somewhere along the way, forgotten that a body needs 3 meals a day at the least… I want to get back to that.
3. I am reteaching myself braille. I learned it very briefly years ago, but forgot it since I never used it. I believe I’m older, wiser, and able to give it more time this go around and am giving it a shot. Taylor will also be a huge help with that.
4. I want to find a job. I have 2 degrees, a certificate of management skills, and working on my 3rd degree… I believe it’s time to be a productive citizen, and work for my money and pay taxes. Really I just want a routine, a reason to leave my house other than to get groceries or go to the doctor.
5. I want to be healthier, this probably ties in with the whole weight thing, but I don’t like visiting a whole slew of doctors every month… I want to be healthy and cut those doctor visits down.

Ok, so that’s my goals for 2014. Wonder if I’ll be able to get any of them, some of them, or all of them accomplished?
Please feel free to share your goals for 2014… I won’t call them resolutions, because resolutions fail more often than they succeed… by calling them “goals” I hope to give them a better chance. Now, I only need to get over this cold thing I have and I will and can start on goal number 1, the weight loss thing… excersise is first on my agenda to achieve that. Thanks to Taylor, I can track things because he bought me a scale that does weight and body fat percentage. This tool will make it easier to know if I’m losing the fat.
Anyways, that’s my end of the year post for 2013.
Here’s to a productive 2014!
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 36 in the 2013 Booklist: The Shining by Stephen King

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Finished: December 22
The Shining by Stephen King

This is a good book, not my favorite, but good.
Naturally, this is a reread for me, since I wanted Taylor to read it so we could read Doctor Sleep together.
We just started Doctor Sleep this afternoon, and so far it seems alright. It looks to be a longer one, so hopefully it will occupy us during our holiday travels. This book is just flat out creepy… that’s all I can say about that. Gave me chills both times I read it.
Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.
The book in this case is much, much, much better than the movie. Mr. King, you have the most horrible luck when transcribing your books to TV shows and movies. The most glaring examples being The Shining and “Under the Dome”.
My friend RO wrote about her experience with reading The Shining. In fact, this could almost be a reversal on the book suggestion, as I read The Shining before she did! 🙂
Anyways, the book at hand, is good. Like I said above, it’s not what one would call “marriage material” but it’s a Stephen King book, it had good chances of being decent. I liked the narrator for this, and wish he were around to narrate Doctor Sleep. I believe my favorite character in this was/is the chef… Dick Hallaran.
I suggest anyone who watched the movie “The Shining” to read the book for a better experieince with the characters.
Guess that’s it for this one… creeping ever closer to 40!
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 35 in the 2013 Booklist: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Finished: December 18
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Yes, this book was another suggestion from, RO
She knew I had read Gone Girl earlier this year and loved it!
In fact, that was book 6 of the year, back in February!
Wow, it seems like forever ago.
Anyways, I digress.
RO knew I enjoyed that book, and had read this book which was written by the same author, just prior to Gone Girl.
I vowed to give it a shot, added it to my book wishlist, and waited to have time to read a book on my own.
Well, school is over for the year, and I had a bit of free time, so I bought the book and decided to give it a spin. I started out listening to this while I wrapped Christmas presents, and made up a fleece blanket for my 2 year old niece….
and then I couldn’t stop listening!
Holy wow Batman, this was a good book!
In fact, I finished this book in 3 days!
I am in awe of this woman, she is perhaps, the most twisted, ill minded, seriously fucked up person to write a book aside from Stephen King.
I had my suspicions of “who did it” about half way through the book, but she kept me guessing myself through out!
Yes, I highly suggest both of the books I have read by this author, she’s absolutely, freakin amazing!

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.
NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful 13-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, she will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, well-crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

Super creepy, gave me chills!
In fact, I found myself almost relating to the main character, remembering when I thought those things about myself. Only I didn’t do something as cool as cut words, I just made straight lines…

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book34 in the 2013 Booklist: Mockingjay, The Final Book of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Finished: December 13
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
This book was sadly the final book in this trilogy! I loved this trilogy so much I would marry it!
RO and Ricardo, you guys out did yourself on the book suggestion this time!

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena live, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge….
Don’t read this post until you have read the first 2 books! 🙂
Poor Peeta, he made me extremely sad in this book, I actually cried!
I think this book covered any emotion I could express in the span of reading a book. Bravo Ms. Collins, Bravo!
I only wish that were more books, I want to escape and be the fly on the wall watching Catniss, Peeta, Gale…
Oh man, the characters!
I fell in love with this trilogy, it ranks with 50 Shades and the Dresden Files when it comes to my favorite series of books!
*swoon*
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 33 in the 2013 Booklist: Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2 by Suzanne Collins

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Finished: December 1
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

This was the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I honestly was not sure what to expect in this book, especially after the ending of the first book. I was not disappointed, this was a good book too. I’m still in love with Peeta though! 🙂

Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

That summary just doesn’t do the book justice, but I understand why it is so short, anymore and something might be revealed about the book. I will say that this book took many turns that I was not expecting, and it was good!
I have to suggest it, because I suggest the entire trilogy to anyone!

Go grab these books, they are soo good!
I especially like the narrator for these boooks, I am sure that’s she read a series I read before.
I believe she narrated a good portion of the Women’s Murder Club that is written by James Patterson.

That’s all for now,
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen