The Seasonal Booklist

Scarlet Reader

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Hello, fellow book hoarders,

I don’t know about you, but where I am, we moved into autumn pretty fast and then into winter even faster. It’s snowed already. And yes, I’m one of those people that doesn’t enjoy snow or the cold. Just as much as there are people who are done with summer as soon as it begins there are also people out there who are done with winter before it even begins, even if the population of that group is just me. LOL.

The fast changes in the seasons here made me think of this booklist. Below are four books, each representing a season, from my opinion of course, and a bonus to represent change. Now, I do consider this a list, not a tag because I have a Thanksgiving feast tag planned this month, but if you want to use this as a tag go for it.

 

Spring:

Dumplin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Goodreads       Barnes & Noble          Amazon

 

Summer:

The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty

Goodreads       Barnes & Noble          Amazon

 

Autumn:

Gone With the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell
Gone With the Wind

Goodreads

Goodreads       Barnes & Noble          Amazon

 

Winter:

Lovely, Dark and Deep
Author: Amy McNamara
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

 

Goodreads       Barnes & Noble          Amazon

 

Bonus:

And here’s a book that brings I believe expresses and shows great change much like the seasons do or are, in their own right, life-changing.

We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
We All Looked Up

Simon and Schuster

Goodreads       Barnes & Noble          Amazon

Which book has changed your life? I know, there are so many! It was hard for me to choose one. No choice is ever wrong. It can be whatever one has inspired in any way.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? A book recommendation? Let’s chat in the comments below!

The Back-To-School Book Tag

Scarlet Reader

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Fall has begun and those long yellow rockets are moseying down the streets again and toting off tiny humans to fill their brains with a little thing called knowledge that in some cases just seeps out of their ears. Not going to lie, I didn’t pay much attention in school, yet I magically passed with some great grades. I always had my nose in a book, and no, not a textbook. LOL. I must’ve learned something.

So, this is a book tag for back to school. Some subjects you loved and some you dread and possibly some you slept through. Here is a book tag to commemorate those days!

Let’s get started!


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The class that taught you one of the most complicated and ever-changing languages on the planet. I still suck at it-both writing it and speaking it. LOL. But hey, it’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and I’m all right with that. It also helped me discover just how much love Shakespeare and Gothic literature and other genres and that I want to write.

What is a favorite classic or book poetry of yours?

Stargazing at Noon
Author: Amanda Torroni
Scarlet Reader

Amazon

I haven’t read it yet, but I have such high hopes that it’s the one I’m choosing. I can’t wait to read it.


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Somehow letters and shapes found their way into this subject. This is worse than English in my opinion.

A book with a number or shape (freaking Geometry. Smh.) in the title.

The Darkest Star
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Scarlet Reader

Macmillian

A star is totally a shape. I’m also super excited for the next book in the series: The Burning Shadow that’s coming out next month.


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I loved all the sciences, especially Astronomy. They were an adventure for my creative brain, something I could really use later on. And, I do to this day when I write, creating worlds or manipulating them into what I see in my imagination. I can take this very real and solid fact and turn it into magic. I love it.

What is a Science Fiction or Dystopian book or series that swept you away?

The Dark Tower series
Author: Stephen King
Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Currently in the middle of this one. It’s been pretty wild and having just finished the fourth book and now consider myself hooked on it. It’s pretty dense but that’s the King-man for you. Full of detail, sarcasm, and immense storytelling that will swallow you whole.


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History was majorly touch-and-go for me. Sometimes I was enthralled and sometimes I wanted to sleep, which is why I sat in the back.

What’s a historical book you enjoyed? How about a book that you both loved and hated?

The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Scarlet Reader

Simon & Schuster

I went with the historical book. It’s not often that I get swept up in a historical book, but The Last Magician really swept me away and if I can promote it I will. With magic and danger and the cusp of romance and secrecy and betrayal who could ask for more!?

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As a bookworm and a person who just does not athlete well (No, I’m serious. I will more than likely hurt myself than be a valuable teammate), this was not a class for me.

What’s an action-packed book that made you sweat?

Wicked
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Scarlet Reader

Amazon

From some kickass moments of kicking fae ass to some seriously steamy moments, I was always out of breath.


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I loved art…though I can’t draw to save my life. I’m a big lover of covers, not because I think they solely decide whether I will read the book or not, but because graphic designers put in as much work into those covers as authors do their books. So, praise to the cover artists!

What is a book with an unbelievably, astounding, gorgeous, can’t look away cover?

Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Scarlet Reader

Amazon

There are so many books with unforgettable covers, but if I have to choose one, I’m going with this one because it really just made me swoon and fall in love. I love books. I love the way this book and every one them in the series captures the traditional, old fashion, and ancient cover of a book well-kept through history. The colors are vibrant and correlate with the story so beautifully. It just truly gives my sense some overload and nostalgia in the way a library does and that’s the point.


 

Never an easy class to sit through and more often than not showed you the most uncomfortable things about life and the many ways you can die. Awesome!

Name a sad book that just made your stomach sink.

Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Book two of the Red Queen Quartet. After reading it, I couldn’t start the next book for close to three months I was such a mess. That ending…getting me a teared up just thinking about it.

Bonus one? (Because honestly, who can choose just one all the time?): We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. I still get teary-eyed sometimes when I hear ‘Landslide’ by Stevie Nicks because it reminds me of specific parts of the book.


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These days, colleges love if you can get even just a little bilingual. Most of them want two or more years of study. I took three years of Spanish and then some more during my college years. It was pretty fun.

What’s a diverse or otherworldly book you enjoyed?

Undertow
Author: Micheal Buckley
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Giving those Aquaman vibes, I didn’t expect to get pulled into a world of the sea fighting the land and in Coney Island no less. Now I just need to get the other two books!


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It’s not a club I joined. I was a choir girl for 7 years. My voice is shot now, but I still sing terribly in the car and the shower. The drama club and other arts are such a staple and keep creativity alive and it’s very sad how underestimated and underfunded they are these days.

What’s a romance that pulled you in and wrapped you around its little finger?

Paper Princess
Author: Erin Watt
Paper Princess - amazon

Amazon

This one of many. I wanted to mix it up a little so that you know I do many  MANY favorites. LOL. This was an intense, contemporary book that didn’t hold back. Left me holding my breath a few times not only because it could get super-steamy but because it could get me shook up pretty hard. Some of the things that happened were c-r-a-z-y! So wild! I would be hopelessly addicted if it were a TV show.


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The class that was meant to help prepare you for life after high school with a variety of things from cooking to sewing to complex paperwork. Personally, I believe it needs to be a full year class, not just a quarter semester. You taught me how to pay a mortgage for a house I’ll probably never own because it’s more expensive than I can earn at the moment and how to pay taxes, which was such a confusing mess. However, I did learn to be braver and risk-taking by taking up my teacher’s dare to eat a vinegar-soaked pig’s foot. And hey, I am a fantastic seamstress and can cook some pretty good brownies. Woohoo?

What book left you with mixed feelings or confusion afterward?

Actually, I just finished one recently.

Night Shift
Author: Charlaine Harris
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

I just…struggled. LOL. I had high hopes and they just fizzled and disappeared the way rain does after a downpour in the middle of summer.


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The course that you take with your gym teacher who just reads from the manual which you can do at home. But you get credit, so you might as well if only to make sure that you won’t be that person who doesn’t nearly run over the person on the sidewalk during the driving test.

What book drove you out of your comfort zone?

The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher

Princess Diarist - goodreads

Now, I put this up here not because it was because of some theme or dirtiness n the books. It’s because I don’t typically get into memoirs or any non-fiction really. Just not for me usually. But, I am a major fan of the princess. She’s one of my idols. So, I wanted to read about one of the biggest breakout moments of her life: Star Wars.


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Study Hall: It was the one period in the day you could sleep. Of course, I was the person that did all my work because I did not want to lug books home. Just nope. I also got to go to the library which, like any bookworm, is my happy place.

What’s a book you didn’t expect to enjoy but did?

Twilight
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

No joke. It was middle school and everybody was carrying it around and talking about it and I didn’t get what was so appealing because I’m a Buffy girl. My vampires didn’t sparkle. They were sarcastic and soulless (except for two) and they got dusted. But, these ones sparkled and a strange introvert fell in love with one and it was rainy and I was like…”Wha?”. I did a thing I don’t do too often. I fell into the trend. Now, I didn’t become as obsessed as many others did, but I did nit-pick because of the mythos of vampires and werewolves. LOL. The story itself was beautiful, and in a way, tragic. I think I’ll reread them at some point.


And a couple of college courses too…

 

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One of the best subjects ever, but that may be because the results can be pretty horrifying and the magic is out of this world. Plus, the way these stories came into being and how they come from a stem of truth is mindblowing. I get super geeky and ecstatic with mythology and I mean all kinds.

A fantasy book that stems from mythology that you couldn’t get enough of.

American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
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Bustle

This will always be one of those ones that is at the top of my list. Through and through, this book is just laced with the gods and stories we know not to mention the new gods we don’t even think about.


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Not. My. Favorite. Subject. At. All. Complex with so much masculinity. Sheesh. However, putting the Pavlov effect in motion can be hysterical. And, I’m also fascinated with dreams. I guess it’s trying to decipher everything else that’s just not up my alley. That and the idea of analyzing myself is shudder-worthy. I don’t hate the subject, but it’s just not for me. Book, however? YESSSS.

A thriller that had you jumping out of your seat.

Wake
Author: Lisa McMann
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Thriller can be touch and go because it all depends on what keeps you clinging to the edge of your seat. I have a fascination with dreams and in this book, a girl can get sucked into people’s dreams. Something deadly is going on and she must figure it out before people, or possibly herself, end up dead.


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Understanding the history of women and men, and venus and mars, and learning about sexuality can be overwhelming, but so useful in real life. The world is evolving and we as the human race are a major part of it. Learning the history and continuing to live in the history being made today is eye-opening and exciting. No longer should anyone fe afraid to be anything or anyone other than themselves.

An LGBTQ book or one with LGBTQ involvement that you love and/or it inspired you.

All Soul’s Trilogy
Author: Deborah Harkness
Scarlet Reader
Pretty Sassy Cool

Sexuality isn’t something that is of concern in this trilogy I’ve realized. It’s more important to love and be loved and just be who you are than anything else and those themes are so strong and I’m so in love with this series!


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I was never one to get up on stage in front of a lot of people. I loved EVERYTHING behind it from designing sets to hands-on building them to make-up and costume. Some of these classes I didn’t get the chance to take, but those that I did were so much fun.

What’s a play that you would recommend people to read?

The Cherry Orchard
Author: Anton Chekov
Scarlet Reader

Bloomsbury Publishing

Okay, so I love A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and definitely recommend it, but to reach outside that one I went with a Russian play. I enjoy Russian Literature so much and this entwined family, romance, desperation, and romance.


 

If you could go to any school, what one would you choose? ANY. SCHOOL.

Me? Not going to lie, I would’ve wanted to go to either Sunnydale High or Beacon Hills High. I live for the “Will I die by some mysterious supernatural cause?” kind of day. Keeps life interesting. LOL. And I probably would’ve gone to UC Sunnydale for further education. That or Whitmore College (The Vampire Diaries).

 

 

For this book tag I’m tagging:

Bibliomedico

A Little Haze Book Blog

What Rebecca’s Read

The Book Raven

A Court of Coffee and Books

 

I haven’t tagged some blogs in a while and miss being in contact with them! So I hope you guys take up the call! It’ll be fuuuun! Just don’t forget to tag me in it because I want to see your results! If you have additional courses to add that’s cool too! And if you weren’t tagged and want to do it then go for it!

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? What subject do (or did) you love in high school or college? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Weaving Across Europe (Shadow of Night – A Book Review)

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Published: 2012

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for witchy time-tampering and tinkering.

 

In every ending there is a new beginning.

Diana and Matthew’s timewalk to Elizabethan London is a success. There, they meet more of Matthew’s friends and family, including his father who isn’t alive in their time. While the two move across England searching for a witch that can help Diana reach her full potential as a witch, they also discover they have a shot at seeing the Book of Life in its entirety.

They are quickly drawn into the world of the past, the historian in Diana living in a dream come true while Matthew tries to fix things he didn’t during this time. Caught up in the times, the two must be careful, for their actions may have consequences in the future. And where there is shadow there is light.

 

The All Souls Trilogy is a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is book 2 of 3.

 

This story only gets better and better! I’m not much of a history buff, but this time travel was amazing! Harkness didn’t spare a single detail. I was utterly beguiled by the scenery and magic. It was so beautiful! From the dangerous encounters to all of the magic to the true love and endearing family, I am just so here for it. Meeting Phillipe, Matthew’s father, and Gallowglass, his nephew, was among my favorite! For vampires, they’re so lively and their loyalty was unyielding. Such admirable characters once again.

Side Note: They’re terrible at keeping secret that they’re from the future. LOL.

There were so many new characters! I was so excited. There were also some familiar ones like Christopher Marlowe, who by the way was an utter douchebag. Brilliant mind! Evil little snit. Many others of history made a cameo and it was so beautiful interwoven with this magical story.

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Matthew and Diana’s love still has me mesmerized. It’s complicated and tail-spinning and surprising. They’re unconventional and there’s the struggle of finding equal partnership as well as being able to let each other into each other’s lives. Of course, there were times I shook my head because they could get super lovey-dovey and it would come off strong and maybe a little cheesy. Diana and Matthew are such strong characters and put a lot of faith in one another. The obstacles they face in this book are mainly themselves and allowing themselves to open up and not let their faults get in the way of how they feel and to accept and move past these faults. My emotions were a-stirrin’.

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Overall

This trilogy has dragged me in further and further. Just complex and original. As such an avid lover of the paranormal, I’d started to wonder if I’d read and seen everything magic had to offer. This trilogy still blows me out of the water! Harkness’s way with words is poetic and filled with splendor. Also, I’ve caught the sneak peeks of season 2 of A Discovery of Witches on Twitter and I am so effing EXCITED!!!! I recommend all of it; the show and the books.

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Quotables:

“Giving a woman your whole life is meaningless without giving her your whole heart as well. You should pay more attention to the conclusion of that love token, not just the beginning.” (Phillipe to Matthew, p. 113)

“Mark me well, Diana: Lives will be lost because of your love for my son. Some will sacrifice themselves. Others will die because someone must, and it will be for you to decide if it is you or them or someone you love…” (Phillipe to Diana, p. 160)

“Whoever could have imagined that the lost Book of Life would stink to high heaven of death?” (p. 462)

“After all my searching, I discover that I am who I always was: Matthew de Clermont. Husband. Father. Vampire. And I am here for only one reason: To make a difference.” (Matthew to Diana, p. 469)

“Nightmares are like Master Harriot’s star glass. They are a trick of the light, one that makes something distant seem closer and larger than it really is.” (Matthew to Jack, p. 552)

 

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Way Down We Go by Kaleo.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

 

 

At the Brink (The Last Magician – A Book Review)

The Last Magician (The Last Magician #1)
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Simon & Schuster

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated M for magic tricks and sneaky cons that’ll make Chris Angel weak in the knees.

 

Stop the Magician.

Steal the book.

Save the future.

In modern-day New York, Esta has an affinity for time. It’s a special, Mageus talent, an old magic which has been dying. Since she was a little girl she’s been trained in the art of being a thief. Now, to save magic from going extinct, she’ll go back to the age of prohibition to find a special book that could help destroy the Brink—a barrier that keeps all Mageus from leaving Manhattan. It destroys their powers and them.

Just when she begins to get her foothold in this era of ruthless old gangs and high societies bent on destroying magic, Harte Darrigan sweeps in, making her mission more complicated. She has no choice but to betray those in the past to save the future, but the longer she stays, the more she questions everything.

 

First things first. I don’t know how to explain it, so don’t ask, but while reading this, I got some MAJOR Harry Potter vibes. From the immersive and enamoring detail to the incredible chemistry between characters, it’s all I could think. Now, a lot of those who’ve read The Diviner’s series agree that this is similar. Sadly, that isn’t a series that I’ve read, but I still say I’m getting the vibes of epic-ness just like I got from Harry Potter.

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The characters are EVERYTHING. Maxwell does such a splendid job of bouncing between her characters and she left me clamoring after all of them. There wasn’t a single character that I hated…well, not true, but those were villainous characters that are meant to feel my scorn and wrath. Esta and Darrigan though! So much push and pull that makes my pulse quicken like a hummingbird at a colorful and beautiful smelling flower. They’re stubborn and passionate characters that push and pull and by the end I just want them to be together. Hell, at their very first meeting it’s all I want. They’re stressing me out, but I love it!

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Tenor

The other characters are given so much life. They’re more than just side characters. I love that so much! Everyone is important. It’s just incredible the way she built them and I fell even more in love because of all of the diversity among them. So much independence and

The setting of Manhattan was such a unique place to choose. Maxwell took the creation of a setting-a world-to a different dimension. Not only by the depth of place(s) but by the time period too. She time traveled, making the setting even more vibrant and intense. Here is Esta, a girl of modern day, in the past of Manhattan. I’m not one for typical historical fictions, but this is anything but typical.

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The twists and betrayals were wild. Just when I thought there might be a sprinkle of trust between two people BAM nope. My hopes rose every time and I’m not even ashamed of it. I know, thieves never trust thieves, but I couldn’t help it.

There is so much about this book and I could go on and on! But you know what? Just read it! There’s betrayal. Complicated feelings. Intense action. Consequences of using magic, and it’s eye-opening.

 

Overall

I wasn’t sure about this book when I started it. The cover is gorgeous and I love how it ties in with the book. The description was curious. So I took a shot. I’m SO glad I did. Phenomenal. The incredible mix of history and magic is just breathtaking and the ending…it’ll leave you speechless. Up on the favorites shelf, you go.

 

Quotables:

“Steal me the night, girl.” (Dolph to Esta, p. 136)

“Desperation and fear could make anyone do nearly anything, and sometimes a single sacrifice was necessary to save many.” (p. 261)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Stand By Me by KI Theory.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

The Lost & Found Princess (Daughter of Egypt – A Book Review)

Daughter of Egypt
Author: Constance O’Banyon
Published: 2008

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated R for rebellion against love because no one should choose who you love but you.

 

From the winding alleys of Rome to the shimmering dune of the Egyptian desert.

As a child, Thalia lived on the streets, always on the run, trying to survive. Then she’s swept away to Egypt, adopted by a royal family and it became all she ever knew. Breaching her eighteenth birthday, her mother is trying to help her find a suitor, but none of them move Thalia’s heart.

Ona night of a suitor’s ball, Thalia is kidnapped by a man deemed the Destroyer. A heartless killer and commander of men. She’s told that she’s the lost princess of a country that desperately needs her rule. He then vows to protect and love her, but she’s too stunned to understand and wishes nothing more than to go home to Egypt. As she comes to know who she is meant to be, her heart changes for her people and for the man who’s been sworn to her.

 

I’ve told you just how much I love ancient Egypt, right? It’s one of my favorite eras to study in history from the religion system to how they farm to their royalty to the architecture. I love it all!! Even the mummification process. That being said, the imagery and attention to details on that front were simple and warm. Lots of love.

I’m not one for typical lush romances. Really not, but I was pulled to this one. Thalia is a rebel and a young woman that follows only her heart and instincts. My kind of girl. She doesn’t bow down to anyone, but she does open her heart and that’s special. She didn’t cave like some damsel. Ashtyn is definitely her perfect match. The moment they connected it was blazing hot. He wasn’t just some piece of muscle. He was earnest, yet determined. He proved he was the one for Thalia. That development during their journey was so great. Loads of drama. I loved it.

Breakfast at Tifaany's

I loved the cameo by Cleopatra and Antony so much. It was like getting to see one of my favorite celebrities. So wicked. All of the glam and air of the ruler was epic! It also etched this book into a very real part of history.

 

Overall

There was a lack of intensity for me when it came to character interactions. I loved the chemistry, but my breath didn’t hitch or halt. Lip-biting was a no. It was nice but didn’t get me there. Great action and a beautiful romance, but only a one-time read for me.

 

Quotables:

“Danger was stalking her, waiting for her to become careless.” (p. 34)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.   

 

P. S. Song today? Rock Bottom by Hailee Steinfeld ft. DNCE

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

 

 

From the Page to the Screen – A Book List

Hello, my epic and awesome bookworms!

How’s hangin’?

I’m good. The weather has been up and down. Rainy and snowy (which sucks). It’s supposed to be spring! I’ve discovered that I’m really into the trend of cacti. Don’t know why. Well, actually, it may relate to me being as prickly as a cactus. Kidding!And I’m on my sixth bag of jelly beans, but I can’t help it! The Sweet Tart Jellies are sooooo good. They do that thing where they rub my tongue raw, though.

Anyway, I have the monthly book list! This time I went with one that could stir up debate: the best book turned movie. There are a lot of favorites out there. I took some time to get some and have compiled a list. You be the judge!

Bridge to Terabithia
Author: Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia

“It really captured all of the creativity and imagination that the characters have.”

-Kat J.

Bridge to Terabithia

Harry Potter
Author: J.K. Rowling

HP

“It was pretty close to the books and created real magic.”

-Kya Y.

Harry Potter

Gone with the Wind
Author: Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind

“I love historical fiction and this really did well in capturing Scarlet O’Hara. The length of the movie compared to the book was perfect.”

-Susan C.

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The Time Machine
Author: H.G. Wells

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“I love time travel sci-fi. The movie was really good in showing how the hero slowly turned into the villain with each time travel. It’s also gotten me into Dr. Who.”

-Jeff C.

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Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants

“A truly magical story. Kept close to the book.”

-Delena T.

Water for Elephants

Twilight
Author: Stephanie Meyer

Twilight - Open Book Society

“I loved how well the intensity of the emotions of the characters were captured. Edward was perfect.”

-Rae R.

Twilight

The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman

Princess Bride - The Housework Can Wait

“Just, yes. Definitely the best.”

-Becca B.

Princess Bride

Cat in the Hat
Author: Dr. Seuss

Cat in the Hat

-Bernard F.

Cat in the Hat

The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry

The Giver

“It wasn’t perfect, but they did a good job capturing the vibe.”

-Cierra M.

The Giver

Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie

“It did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Opal and her relationships.”

-Alice T.

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Have a book that you believe was made into a great movie? Tell me in the comments below!

More to come soon…

–K.

Find me:

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Lights. Camera. Flickers. (The Girls in the Picture – A Book Review)

The Girls in the Picture
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Published: Jan. 16th, 2018 (ARC)

Girls in the Picture - Scarlet Reader

 

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

1 of 25

A memory of a different time, a different color, a different door…

Before there were movies and television shows there were the silent films and the talkies. It was the beginning of film. At the forefront of this revolution from theatre to black and white there was Mary Pickford and Frances Marion, friends and feminist duo. These two ladies were much more than that; they were innovators and artists in a time when the world was considered no place for a woman to work, a man’s world.

With all of this fame came the struggles that tested their relationship, their sisterhood. Through the abuse of men, heartbreak, loss, there were times that they nearly lost each other as well as themselves. During a time of war both across the world and in the industry, these strong women held on to their dreams, gaining fame and respect, earning their places in Hollywood history among the first women to earn Academy Awards for their extraordinary talent: Frances for her screenwriting and Mary for her acting.

This book is a part of my New Year’s Resolution to read from 25 authors I haven’t read from before. This marks 1 of 25. I’m very excited about this being numero uno, too. I received ARC from Random House Publishing. It was delivered to our store and I was grateful to receive a copy. Truly.

I remember when The Swans of Fifth Avenue came out and I really wanted to read it. I haven’t had a chance to yet, but I am ecstatic to have read The Girls in the Picture. I love movies. I love my television shows. I love film. Casablanca is one of my favorite romances, but so is A Walk to Remember. To get a wonderful vision of the birth of film was breathtaking for me. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t ooohhhing and aaaahhhing at the glamorous parts or gasping at some of the horrifying moments that took place behind the camera as well as in front of it. Melanie wrote about a subject that I’m in love and utterly passionate with. It made me very happy to read this historical novel. It wasn’t typical whatsoever.

It wasn’t just with the time period that I followed the lovely Mary Pickford and Frances Marion through, but the language that guided their story and swept me away, like Dorothy to Oz. Oh, I was in such a wispy dream. In the midst of reading this book I was looking up the adventures of Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks on YouTube and there they were in black and white. It was very interesting. Each character was so wonderfully written. I had a clear vision of all of them.

girls in the picture

There wasn’t a detail amiss as I went through the years with these women. I do have to say, my favorite part was when Frances had no idea where to put her first Academy Award so she used it as a doorstop. It was so normal and simple. I imagine there are special shelves for such awards and for Frances it was on the floor, keeping her doors from closing. At least it had a use. LOL.

Even more, I learned an incredible amount about what it meant to work in the entertainment industry at this time in history. You acted, edited and cut your own work. It was never just one job. You did everything to help make a flicker or silent movie. And all of the make-up one had to wear? One might as well have been wearing a mask. Dialogue didn’t hit the screen until moviegoers started to read lips and that’s when Frances got her true beginning, her niche and  it was like watching a real star being born and seeing it’s twinkle turn into a bright shine. As the girl with curls, Mary Pickford gained notoriety by using her shine in front of the camera. The love of the people gave her life and all of this? The entire journey? It left my heart tingling. I have been inspired.

The feminism of this book was powerful. Frances and Mary strived and worked hard to achieve their success at a time when they were expected to be baby-makers and home caretakers and not much more. The business of Hollywood is no joke. There’s so much chaos and dirt underneath the glitz and glam of shiny stars. If you’ve been reading the headlines lately, you know what I mean. #MeToo and the amazing solidarity shown at the Golden Globes is a powerful movement. I hope it moves forward to help women and many others who have been treated unfairly to gain equality. Both of the women in the book struggled against men in power to be treated with respect and to prove that they could handle whatever stood in their way.

girls in the Picture

This is such a beautiful book. I loved it very much as you can tell. I don’t have any bones to pick. It’s certainly a must-read. The book comes out on Jan. 16th, 2018. That’s less than a week, folks. Go get a copy ASAP.

Quotables:

“Then I looked up at the stars. They were so close they looked as if, with one poke of my finger, they might scatter, like brilliant billiard balls.” (Francis, p. 81)

“I was one of them. The only woman swimming upstream up a river of men.” (Frances, p. 207)

“When you’re older, looking at your younger self is like at a promise you couldn’t keep. But still, you look, you marvel. You remember.” (Mary, p. 228)

“The sins you do two by two, you pay for one by one.” (doctor, p. 316)

“Before the nightmare, there was paradise.” (Frances, p. 339)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? This Is What Makes Us Girls by Lana Del Rey

 

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