Tag Archives: Stephen King

Summer Catch Up

23 Aug

I am very disappointed in myself for neglecting my blog.  I love writing this blog, love reading, and love sharing what I’ve read with others.  Still, life got the best of me and I just…stopped.

To kick-start my return as a blook bogger, I’ve decided to post a brief paragraph about each book I’ve read since I vanished.

Enchantment, by Orson Scott Card
E
nchantment, by Orson Scott Card

This is a very intelligent book!  I love novels that take fairy tales and adapt them (I’m very slowly writing my own version), and that is what this book does.  However, this pulls from Russian and Jewish folklore as well as the original versions of fairy tales.  I had to stop reading a few times and look up the stories that Card seems to expect me to already know.  Thank goodness for Wikipedia!  Because I wasn’t smart enough, this was a slow read.  There’s magic, romance, philosophy, history, and action.  When I got to the romance and action, I zoomed through it.  I’m very glad I read this book because it gave legitimacy to the genres that I enjoy.  It’s smart and fun, and it made me think!

Full Dark, No Stars, by Stephen King

Book Cover

Since it’s King’s newest book, I read this collection of novellas.  I’ve read all of his novels, but only randomly choose to read the short stories and novels.  I don’t really know how to describe my impression of the stories in Full Dark, No Stars.  If I said that it’s darker than his usual stuff, someone would undoubtedly point out that this is the guy who once wrote about a guy committing suicide by sticking his hand down a garbage disposal (Firestarter, I think?  I can’t get that image out of my mind!).  This is more realistically dark.  Rape, murder and relationships gone wrong are common themes.  There are still supernatural aspects, and I enjoyed the whole book.  To me, the title is very fitting and it reveals another facet of Stephen King’s world.

book coverMarry the Man Today, by Linda Needham

Of course there are romantic paperbacks on this list!  I just finished this book, and as historical romance goes, I’m usually not much of a critic.  So imagine my surprise when I realized that this book just didn’t do it for me.  The characters fell flat, the drama was always lacking something, and there didn’t seem to be any passion between heroine Elizabeth and Earl Blackstone.  There were cutesy moments but nothing much more than that.  I’ll be seeking out some new romance novels soon to make up for the disappointment!

Five Best Books Made into a Movie

25 May
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I’m very excited to participate in this meme created by Cassandra at Indie Reader Houston.  Each week, there is a new topic, and I’ll be making a Top Five list.  This week’s list: Five Best Books Made into a Movie

1) Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding I wanted to start things out with a movie that I absolutely loved!  I actually wasn’t a huge fan of the book; it seemed a little strange to me.  Of course, I read the book after falling in love with the movie and I know that makes a big difference.  Still, great for the Top Five.  A decent book and an awesome movie!

2) Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson My first ever favorite book, I’ve read this more times than I can count.  The movie was cute, but misses the point completely.  Paterson is so good at describing the way the characters feel, and creating world that feels magical amidst a child’s lonely background.  It’s on the list because of the book, not because of the movie.

3) The Green Mile, by Stephen King I have to include Steve King on my list.  I’m a huge fan of all of his writing, and he has a ton of movies out!  To stay true to the list, I chose one that was based on his book (versus a novella) and was excellent in its own right. 

4)The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins Yes, this isn’t actually a movie yet.  Still, I’m looking forward to this movie and have been following the casting since it was announced.  The things that make the books so great can’t be translated to the big screen, but I’m hoping to see my favorite characters and the vivid settings illustrated beautifully!

5) The Princess Bride, by William Goldman  Who doesn’t love this cult classic movie?  And this is a book that is just as lovable for different reasons.  I feel like this is a great ending to the top five because the book and the movie share the spotlight together so well! 

Honorable Mentions
I would like to make a shoutout to two books that don’t qualify for this list.

  • The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King I’ve been closely following the proposed movie/series adaptation of these books.  I love this series, and would love to see it in a movie (if done correctly).  However,I have my doubts that it will actually happen, especially with news like this
  • Why won’t anyone make a movie about The Amber Chronicles, by Roger Zelzany?  I fell in love with this world when I was in college, and there is so much potential for making a movie.  There isn’t even a Sci Fi mini series.  I wish someone would make this happen!

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel, by David Wroblewski

30 Apr
“Life was a swarm of accidents waiting in the treetops, descending upon any living thing that passed, ready to eat them alive.  You swam in a river of chance and coincidence.  You clung to the happiest accident–the rest you let float by.”

Edgar Sawtelle book coverI’m embarrassed to say this book took me forever to read. I didn’t dislike it, and it was well-written. It made me sad, though. I was afraid to become too invested in the story and the characters.  Occasionally, something good would happen, and I could whizz through a few chapters.  For example, Edgar met a man named Harry.  This was by far my favorite part of the book.  Upon fearing an ending to this section, I put the book away for a few weeks before I could bring myself to keep reading.

Edgar Sawtelle is an endearing character.  He was mute from the moment he was born, for no discernible reason.  Still, he grows up happily in rural Wisconsin with his parents, his dog Almondine, and a thriving dog breeding business.  The Sawtelle Dogs are renowned for their unique abilities, with almost a mysterious quality to them throughout the novel. 

Edgar’s life takes a dramatic turn, however, when his uncle Claude returns home.  With a nod to Hamlet, Edgar’s story is somewhat creepy, adventurous, and sad.  Througout it all, the characters maintain a very human quality–Even the dogs!

This book isn’t for everyone.  I prefer a story with a bit of the supernatural, but despite that, it has a very realistic quality.  It merges topics and genres smoothly to a somewhat ambiguous result.  Although it has Oprah and Stephen King’s praise, I’m going to give it three and a half out of five stars.  Deeply appreciated, but not really the escape it’s sometimes called.  Hamlet is, after all, a tragedy. 

 

The Passage, By Justin Cronin

22 Oct

“You should have seen it.  The way they swoop down from the trees.  We really should have seen that coming.”

Recently, a facebook advertisement was kind enough to inform me that while Justin Cronin was on Good Morning America talking about his book The Passage, Stephen King called in to congratulate him on such a great book. Being the dedicated King fan that I am, I had to check it out.

The Passage is written in several parts, following several hundred of years of Post-Apocalyptic history. It begins with several story lines that all come together at a government research facility studying the effects of a virus that seems to give eternal life, give or take a few nasty side effects. As these things often do, the “experiments” get out of hand and seven scary creatures escape into the world. This marks the creation of a new world where light is the key to survival and very few actually make it.

Fast forward a hundred years later and the remaining survivors have created their own society.  The “virals” are held back with constant light.  Things are still dangerous though, and they are about to change once again, thanks to a little girl who has been there since the beginning.

I’m sad to say that I was disappointed. In fact, it took me quite a while to get through this book. The beginning started out slow. Eventually things picked up, and right as I was getting really interested, that part ended. I think I was really put off by the fast forwarding in the middle of the book, into what felt like a completely different novel. It took some getting used to. That being said, I think I can see why King would be really into it. Cronin created a complete world, full of detail and mixed into reality. As a fan of Post-Apocalyptic fiction, I appreciated the explanation of a brand new government structure. There’s also a great scene in Las Vegas that got my imagination stirring.

I only recently learned that this is the beginning of an intended trilogy. Learning that, I still don’t know what to think of the ending. Three out of Five stars, which is disappointing because I was really excited about this novel.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

25 Jul

The release of Mockingjay, the third in The Hunger Games Trilogy, is one month from today!  In anticipation of this release (I can barely wait), I’m rereading the first book this weekend.  It’s a really fast read!

The Hunger Games Cover“Peeta looks me right in the eye and gives my hand what I think is meant to be a reassuring squeeze.  ‘Oh well,’ I think.  ‘There will be twenty-four of us.  Odds are someone else will kill him before I do.’ “

Katniss lives in a future America, now called Panem, which is divided into 12 districts surrounding the Capitol that rules them all.  Because of a past failed attempt at revolution, the Capitol rules with a vicious iron fist.  Every year, as a reminder of the Capitol’s strength, each district gives up two children, a boy and a girl, to participate in The Hunger Games.  Winning The Games means much-needed food and riches, but the winner survive by killing off the competition.  Katniss knows what is at stake when she volunteers to represent her district.  She knows how to hunt and how to watch her tongue, but she also needs strategy if she is going to get out alive.

This novel fits my somewhat obscure love of post-apocolyptic, dystopian literature.  I just love reading about different versions of our future world at its worst.  Sounds creepy, and yes, this book is just that.  I had crazy dreams about survival for a month after staying up one night reading.  I love how so much of the story happens in Kat’s head.  She’s sixteen years old; because of her life, she has maturity beyond her years.  Still, the reader can’t forget that she’s young and naive in many ways.

Of course there is action and violence in the arena.  There’s also a political battle simmering under the surface, and a coming-of-age story told under the most undesirable of circumstances.

My absolute favorite book is The Long Walk by Stephen King.  This book has all that good stuff that King’s book provides.  Since it’s a Young Adult fiction, it’s much easier and faster to read.  Also, it starts the trilogy so the fun isn’t over when the book ends.

Second in the trilogy is Catching Fire.  You have to immediately seek this out when you finish the first!  Five Stars for sure 🙂