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Quick Update

Just an FYI, I’m going to be absent for some time. My dad is getting sicker and I’m dealing with that, plus the normal isolation struggles. The blog is just too much for me to want to deal with right now. I miss you all. See you soon, hopefully.

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Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publisher: Broadway Books

Genre: thriller, mystery, suspense

Source: mom

Publication Date: April 22, 2014

On Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing in an apparent kidnapping. Nick reports the disappearance, but a series of clues combined with his odd behavior quickly point the police in his direction. Not only that, but Amy’s diary entries reveal a marriage gone wrong and her fear that her husband might kill her. Nick is determined to prove his innocence by conducting his own investigation, an investigation that goes shockingly off the rails as a horrifying discovery.

Wow. No, really, wow. I have never read a book where I so completely and utterly loathed both main characters before and yet still enjoyed the book. Maybe enjoyed is too strong a word. The book held me in its grasp and kept me turning the pages.

I have to admit, I went in knowing a good deal about the book. Between its popularity and the movie, I knew the twist and most of the climax. That actually made the first half of the book more interesting than it would have been, I think, because I completely despised the Amy that was presented in her diary entries. She was so fucking fake and I hated her. I actually liked what happened with her character in the second half of the book because she was real. I’m trying to be as circumspect as I can and not give any spoilers, which is hard, but there it is.

I never liked Nick at all. He was just a terrible person from start to finish. I did go back and forth from wanting to see him go down to getting his revenge to not wanting anyone to win. Which, I don’ t know if anyone did win. I wasn’t satisfied by the ending, though; I felt let down. But it fit the characters, so I can’t complain.

I guess I recommend it. This was really outside of my usual genre, and like I said, it was addictive. I can’t say I loved it, but I wanted to keep reading it to see what happened, and that’s the sign of a good book. So, yeah. If you like thrillers with terrible people, check this book out.

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weekly meme

WWW Wednesday April 8, 20920

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are asked three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m still not getting quite as much reading done as I thought I would. My days are still pretty full with work and writing. And, I have to admit, mindless scrolling online. I need to stop that last bit and actually focus on reading. I did it yesterday and got a good deal into my book, so that was good. Here’s hoping I keep it up today.

I finally got to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which as been on my TBR forever. I wasn’t really interested in reading it, but my mom lent it to me and I figured I should give it a try. It was challenging at first because I don’t like either Nick or Amy, but the more I read, the more impressed I became by Amy’s planning, and now I’m completely engrossed. It’s not a light read, but it sure is fun.

I started The Mapmaker’s Apprentice by C.J. Archer on Monday and haven’t listened to very much yet. While I’m sure I’ll like the story, the narrator changed from the first book and I don’t like her as much. Well, I like her for India, but not for any of the other characters. It’ll be a challenge to get used to.

Both The Watchmaker’s Daughter and Red, White, & Royal Blue were exactly the fun, fluffy reads I needed right now.

And speaking of light, fluffy reads…. Assassin’s Code by Jonathan Maberry will not be one of them. This is a reread and all I remember is there were sex slaves, rape, and other bad stuff. But, I loved the series and want to try and go back and put some pieces together that I missed the first time I read through.

What are you reading right now?

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Top 5 weekly wrap-up

Top 5 Things I’m Enjoying While in Isolation

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Book Worm. I’ve been in isolation for 24 days, all by myself since I live alone. Well. I guess not totally alone, because I do have two cats, both of whom are thrilled that I am home. But this has been tough, and I’m glad to have a chance to reflect on things that I’m enjoying.

Books

Of course, I could not start a list of things I’m enjoying without acknowledging books. They are my solace. I’ve revisited old favorites and I’m discovering new. And while I’m scheduling my days as such that I don’t exactly have a ton more time to read, I am reading more and I am enjoying the time very much.

Daily Phone Calls to my Family

I call my mom about three times a day, and it’s helping so much. Even with calling that much, we always have tons to talk about, and it really helps my mood.

Exercise

It’s killing me that I cannot get to the gym. I’ve been working so hard lifting weights the past couple years, and now I’m going to lose all the muscles I’ve built. But, I bought weights for home and I’m on YouTube all the time looking for new workouts. I really look forward to working out every morning (this morning not included!) and it helps my mood and focus a ton.

Writing

All year, I have been dying for more time to write, and now I have it. I started by scheduling two hours a day to write, but I’m finding that I’m spending a ton more time because I’m loving it so much. I was writing the sequel to my unpublished book, but an author suggested I stop and write something else. Luckily, I had another book lined up, so now I’m writing about pirates, a very old love, and I’m having so much fun. Writing is awesome!

The Untamed

I’m almost done with the Netflix show The Untamed, which makes me sad, but I plan to start it over once I’m done. It’s so good and so complicated that I missed a ton of stuff at the beginning. And while I’m dragging my feet on getting to the end because I don’t want it to end, it makes me so very happy when I watch it. It’s got what I love: men being vulnerable and open with other men, and I love each and every squishy moment. It’s fantastic.

Those are just five things that I’m enjoying while in isolation. Runner’s up include my cats, coffee, Phantom of the Opera and other musicals, and the internet.

What are some of the things you’re enjoying in isolation?

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The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer

Title: The Watchmaker’s Daugther

Author: C.J. Archer

Genre: fantasy, historical fiction

Source: library (Hoopla)

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

India Steel’s life has taken a turn for the worse. Her father is dead, her fickle fiancee has dumped her and stolen her watchmaking shop, and she’s about to be kicked out of the attic room she’s been staying in. Worse, no one will employ her, despite the fact her father has been training her for yeas. In fact, the other watchmakers seem frightened of her, for reasons she cannot fathom.

Then, a chance meeting with the mysterious Matthew Glass changes her luck. Glass is looking for a watchmaker he met in America five years ago. He hires India to help him find the mysterious Chronos. India is thrilled, until her suspicions are aroused by a newspaper article about the Dark Rider, an American outlaw who’s in London. Has India thrown her lot in with an outlaw? Or is there more to this story than appears. And what is so special about the watch Glass wants fixed, one that glows purple and seems to revive him of a mysterious illness?

This is a very fun read. India is a great heroine. She’s strong and smart and, at the same time, awkward and unsure of her place in the world. I like her confidence in her watchmaking skills and her curiosity about the world. She’s outspoken without being brash or rude, and stands up for herself without hesitation.

Matthew Glass was a great character, too. He’s mysterious and funny. You want to know more about him just as much as India does, and can get frustrated by his secretiveness. But is chemistry with India is great and I loved when he’d flirt with her, leaving her bewildered as to what was going on. There were several very heated scenes that left me wanting more.

I think that, overall, this was a good introduction to this word. The overarching mystery isn’t solved and will continue into the next book, but there are smaller mysteries that are unveiled, mostly the ones that would have prevented a further relationship between India and Glass’s gang. I loved all the characters and how much they cared for each other and Glass. I liked that India was an open, warmhearted woman and Glass was, too. He has a gruff exterior, but a heart of gold.

I would definitely recommend this book. It’s not particularly deep nor complicated, but it’s entertaining with a great cast of characters. It’s the perfect book for these troubled times.

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Review: King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry

Title: King of Plagues

Author: Jonathan Maberry

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: thriller, plagues, action, suspense, adult

Source: shelf

Publication Date: 2011

After a catastrophic bombing of a London hospital, Joe Ledger comes out of his grief vacation to investigate. It is quickly determined that the bombing is the work of the Seven Kings, a shadowy organization that led by the Goddess , whose purpose is to spread discord around the world. Now, they have released a weaponized version of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, and the Department of Military Science must scramble all their resources to take them down.

I cannot believe I almost got rid of this book. I did a massive unhaul last year, and I almost got rid of this book, and that was ridiculous. I love this book. It’s so incredibly good. Jonathan Maberry is such a good writer.

Let’s start with Joe Ledger. Joe is a smart ass, confident, a little arrogant, He’s very good at his job, which is to lead Echo Team, a group of elite men and women who fight all the strange stuff the world puts out. What I love about Joe is that he’s deeply vulnerable, not afraid to admit when he’s scared or upset or, in this book, grieving. He’s a very real character and I couldn’t love him more.

The Seven Kings organization is terrifying. We’re brought into it through Sebastian Gault, one of the villains in the first novel, Patient Zero. Here, Gault is damaged, bruised, and reeling and oh so very ready to take revenge on the world. He’s quickly drawn into the mystique of the Seven Kings and falls into adoring worship of the Goddess, a woman named Eris.

And then there’s my favorite character, Toys. Toys is Gault’s assistant, the power behind the throne, which is a trope I love. He’s ruthless and heartless, but inconveniently starts growing something like a conscious during this book and becomes conflicted. He alone can see that the Goddess is just an aging woman who wants to destroy for destruction sake, but he can’t break the bonds he has with Gault.

The book is a very fast read. Maberry writes incredibly short chapters that entice you to keep reading, and I tore through it in a couple of days. I thought that right now this book would be too heavy, but it turns out to be just what I needed: an action packed, suspenseful thriller with great characters and a twisting plot that kept me reading.

If you like action, suspense thrillers with great character, yes, read this book. But, before you read this, go back to where it all started with Patient Zero.

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weekly wrap-up

WWW Wednesday April 1, 2020

Hey y’all. It’s Wednesday, and I am down in the dumps. I was watching the news last night and, out of nowhere, they announced that the schools in my county are closed for the rest of the year. Yes, we’re still doing distance learning and, yes, I’ll see at least some of my kids through that on my computer screen, but that’s it. No more going to school. In addition to being upset about that, I’m also upset about the way it was handled. They should have told the teachers and staff before it was announced on the news. I’m really angry about the way I found out. Also, I was/am trying to find a job closer to my parents for next year. If I succeed, I’ll never see my students in person again. I’ll never see my former students in person again. I’ll never get to say goodbye.

So, yeah. I’m a little down right now. But, onto the post.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are asked three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Right now, I’m reading 3 books, but WordPress is acting up again, so I can’t post all three pictures. I’m reading Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston, a reread to get me through this difficult time. I’m also reading The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer, an author I discovered last year who quickly became a favorite. Finally, I’m reading Joe Ledger: Special Ops by Joanthan Maberry, one of four Joe Ledger books I have bought this last week. This one is a collection of short stories set among the novels.

I just finished two books: The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry and Starcrossed by Allie Therin. I loved both books with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. I actually reread The King of Plagues because I think there’s a mistake in it and I’ve been wanting to ask the author about it since the book came out in 2011. Now that he’s doing weekly Q&As on Facebook, I figured this was the time.

Honestly, I have no idea. Gone Girl is on top of my TBR pile, but I don’t know if I’ll read that or something else. I do have three more Joe Ledger books coming, so it might be one of those.

What are you reading this week?