Friday 56: #80

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here is my contribution:

 

Silence fills the kitchen as we stare at each other. Here I feel the resentment I feared when I first planned my trip to Cuba, the unspoken censure that I’m not a real Cuban, that I’m a traitor to my people because my family left this country behind.

 

I’m a sucker for a pretty cover, and I love this one. Have you read this book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56, too.

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Quickie Book Review: Circe

Author: Madeline Miller

Published: April 2018, Hardback

Length: 394 pages

Genre: fiction, fantasy/mythology

Source: I bought it.

Stars: 4 1/2 Stars

 

Summary:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians.

“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.” –Madeline Miller, Circe

Like:

I love mythology. And anytime I can read a story based in mythology, I will do it. So, you know this book was at the top of my TBR pile. And Amazon in the week or so before its official release put it on sale for less than $3, so of course I bought it. And I am glad I did.  This is a story which seems to focus on what happens when female rage and power is contained. Circe is a potentially powerful witch and is angry, and this must be contained. It’s this rage and power that fuels her story and interactions with various gods and goddesses and humans that visit her island. And this is what Odysseus finds when he happens upon her island’s shore.

Not so much:

I really can’t think of anything as I write this. It has been a while since I read this.

What I’ll remember:

The cathartic power of reading this story. And that it’s nice to find someone else who sees Odysseus as the jerk he is.

Do I recommend it?:

Solid yes. This would be such a great thing to read in conjunction with The Odyssey. I enjoyed it so much that I plan on going back and reading The Song of Achilles soon. And I hope that Madeline Miller focuses a novel on Medea soon. That one is rage and power all out of control! I would love to read her take on how Medea’s rage and anger and shocking revenge came to be.

Here is a link to my Friday 56 Meme featuring Circe.

Have you read Circe? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading, y’all!

Quickie Book Review: The Essex Serpent

 Author: Sarah Perry

Published: Custom House paper back, 2018

Length: 416 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: #GoodReadsGiveaway

Stars: 4 Stars

 

 

Summary:

When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.

While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.

These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart—an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Like:

This book is like reading a big, juicy 19th century Gothic novel. And that, for me, is a good thing.It’s all about the clash between religion, science, and superstition. the clash between the Angle in the House and the New Woman.  And what historical fiction novel focused on the 19th century in Britain be without class system tension? And on top of all this it is a beautifully written book. I love all of this in the novel, but the main thing I love is the characters. I love Cora, who is the protagonist. She has survived a crappy, abusive marriage yet manages to come out of it interested in finding who she is and what she wants in this new chapter in her life. She is interested in the world and interested in finding a place for herself in it.

Not so much:

Dr. Luke. Such an unlikable character. Perry did a great job making him almost unbearable. I d have one small complaint. I just wish it was a bit more Gothic. Just a tad bit more unnerving moments like the incident with the girls in the classroom.

What I’ll remember:

As I mention above, this book is beautifully written. So, I’m taking away a couple of quotes that I love.

You cannot always keep yourself away from things that hurt you. We all wish we could, but we cannot: to live at all is to be bruised.

And this which seems to be the thesis of the story:

I think the whole village is haunted. Only–I think they’re haunting themselves.

And

Lately I’ve thought not even knowledge takes all the strangeness from the world.

Have you read The Essex Serpent? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

August 2018 Wrap-Up

Stats:

Total Books Read: 19

Number of Pages: 4,927

Written by Men: 2

Written by Women: 10

Diverse Authors: 1

Nonfiction: 0

Fiction: 19

Paperback: 1

Hardback: 0

eBooks/Kindle: 17

Library Books: 11

Audio books: 1

Rereads: 1

DNF:

Challenges to Date:

GoodReads: 128/75

BookRiot Read Harder 2017: 

Task 16: The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs, (Edward Gorey Illustrations)

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks:  0

#PopSugarReadingChallenge:

A Book About Time Travel: How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

A Book set in a Country that fascinates you: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Favorite Book:

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Good grief! Where did August go? Judging by the amount of books I read it just passed me by. How was your reading month? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave recommendations. Have a great September, y’all.

Friday 56, #79

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here’s my contribution:

From Save Me the Waltz: “In reality, there is no materialist like the artist, asking back from life the double and the wastage and the cost on what he puts out in emotional usury.”

 

 

 

I missed Zelda’s birthday in July, so I thought I’d do it for this Friday 56. Zelda is an interesting woman. If you haven’t read any of the biographies or the fiction written about her life, you might want to add one to your TBR.

Have you read Save Me the Waltz? If so, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below.  Happy reading!

July 2018 Wrap-Up

Stats:

Total Books Read: 16

Number of Pages: 5,803

Written by Men: 1

Written by Women: 15

Diverse Authors: 0

Nonfiction: 2

Fiction: 14

Paperback: 1

Hardback: 1

eBooks/Kindle: 13

Library Books: 8

Audio books: 1

Rereads: 0

Challenges to Date:

GoodReads: 109/75

BookRiot Read Harder 2017:

Task 2, A Book of True Crime:  I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Task 22, An Essay Anthology: Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin

Pop Sugar 2018 Reading Challenge:

True Crime:  I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

A Book with an Animal in the Title: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (A QBR is coming soon. #GoodReadsGiveaway)

Reading Women Challenge 2018:

A True Crime Book:  I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

An Essay Collection: Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin

A Short Story Collection: The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner & Other Stories by Terry Pratchett

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 

The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner & Other Stories by Terry Pratchett

Favorite Book:

ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Books Purchased/#BookHaul!:

 

 Bookish Posts:

Jane Austen: A Few of My Favorite Things

My Quickie Book Reviews:

QBR: Dead Girls

Across the Web:

I think this is what I wanted more of in Dead Girls.

I ran across this essay while reading about a story based on Lord Lucan’s disappearance. Click Here

Podcasts

Harry Potter!  A lovely analysis of the book series. Warning! It’s for an adult audience.

You Must Remember This is delving deep into the bookish, gossipy fun of Hollywood Babylon.

TV Shows

Sharp Objects on HBO. This is a rough show to watch, but it’s good. Here’s a link to a story about the show on Vulture.

I wanted to write more blog posts in July, but that just didn’t happen. fingers crossed for August.  Let me know how your July reading went in the comments below.

Happy Reading in August.

Friday 56, #78

It’s time for  Friday 56!  It’s a book meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

From Freda’s Voice The Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  (If you have to improvise, that’s okay.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky at Friday 56. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple!

Here’s my contribution:

“They sat there long enough that the room slowly filled. Families and farmers and lingering vacationers. Cecily was drunk, and she picked at the potpie she’d ordered, said it was too greasy. Yale offered her some of  his fish and chips, but she declined. When she ordered herself a third martini, Yale pointedly asked for more bread.”

This book came to me via my Quarterly book box in June 2018. This one seems to be all over blogs, Instagram, and You Tube as well as a bunch of to read lists. I had never heard of it, so obviously I’m not as on top of the book blogger world as I think I am. Have any of you read it? And, if so, what do you think? Does it live up to the hype? Let me know in the comments below. #TheGreatBelieversDonate

Happy Reading, y’all!