Author: Ransom Riggs | Publication Date: June 7, 2011 | Rating: 4-stars!
What a wonderful time this was! I decided to read this book as part of my Unread Shelf Project 2018 – basically I am working backwards through my virtual GR ‘to be read’ list and picking one book per month to read off the backlist. I added this book to my tbr in November of 2015. I have no excuse really for not getting to it before now. Sometimes I do end up avoiding hyped books subconsciously; it’s a problem. I did attempt to watch the movie adaptation of this book but didn’t make it through.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this! I listened to the audio in conjuncture with also reading a hard copy so I moved through it really, really fast. I loved the unique storyline and the characters. Jacob, our MC, is so funny – I laughed out loud several times in regards to his dialogue or observations. Another aspect of this I really enjoyed was the use of so many antique (ahem, creepy) photographs that tie right in to the storyline. I have never seen that done in quite this way before and it was really refreshing. I am sure I am probably one of the very few middle grade readers left on the planet to not have read this one, so I am beyond the moon to be crossing it off my list. There are two other books in this trilogy and initially I was thinking I would stop with this one, but after completing it, I do think I will move on with the series. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, middle grade read – it was quite an adventure!
So, I mentioned a while back a bit about my Unread Shelf Project – just a quick update, the first book I selected for that official project was ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote, which I had added to my tbr in October of 2015. I am currently reading that and absolutely loving it. I had read this book in high school, or shortly after high school, but really didn’t remember anything about it besides that it is a classic true crime narrative. I am so glad that I am rereading it because Capote’s writing is just so brilliant and I don’t think I was really able to appreciate that the first time around since I was so young. Now, as an old goat, I can really take my time and enjoy the dramatic way he constructs this horrific American crime.
Next up for this project is a book I added to my tbr in December of 2015: The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This is a fairly well loved post-apocalyptic novel that I am actually buddy reading with some friends from Bookstagram; so really looking forward to that! As luck with have it, my copy arrived in the mail today, so I should be starting it this week!
What are some books you are looking forward to checking off your tbr? I want to know! Leave a comment below or reach out to me through my contact links.
Publication Date: July 14, 2016
3-Stars: I will get this out of the way up front – I listened to the Audio version of this book. The narrator…let’s just say, her style wasn’t my favorite as far as narration goes. This being said, I’m not sure how much that ended up affecting my ultimate rating for the book but I wanted to be sure to point it out.
I went into this book completely blind, I had heard a little buzz about it through social media, but really had no idea what it was about. I was completely surprised by the fact that the action kicked off so quickly. There were quite a few twists and turns, places where I thought I had it figured out, moments of revelation, etc., but overall it was pretty bland for me. It was a good book but I really had no feelings for it after it was over. It was a thing that happened, it kept me occupied, told me a little tale and then…that’s it. I did not enjoy any of the characters at all – I actually believe one of my mid-book status update comments was, ‘every character in this book is an asshole’ – so yeah. Bottom line, it was good, it didn’t blow me away but it was good. Average.
In other, much more exciting news, I pre-ordered my copy of Stephen King’s newest novel, The Outsider, which will be released on May 22nd!!! Raise the flag, I am so excited to add a new, gorgeous King hardback to my bookshelves. Check out the cover below – very creepy and cool!
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, I thought it may be a good time to work on some year-end wrap-up posts. In book news this year, I discovered audiobooks. One reason I had never considered audiobooks a viable option for me was the price, they are really expensive! However, due to a bookish forum I am a part of on Facebook (specifically the Owlcrate subscribers forum) I discovered the Overdrive app which allows me to loan audiobooks from my local library for free! What a revelation.
How does it work? It is so simple! I browse their electronic library, check-out the book I want and download it directly to my phone on loan for 14 days. Now I can listen to books while walking my dog, driving to and from work and cleaning around the house. Having made this discovery has really enhanced the number of books I can get through per year and has truly become a staple of my every day life.
One of my favorite books that I have read this year was actually my 2nd audiobook – The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (the pen name of the beloved J.K. Rowling – yes, that J.K. Rowling). Originally published in 2013, this gritty crime novel introduces us to the gruff and brilliant detective, Cormoran Strike and is the first book in a currently four book series.
As an audiobook the narrator they chose was wonderful; absolutely perfect for this story. I hope he continues on as narrator for the rest of the series. The story itself was right up my alley. I love characters like Cormoran – gritty and flawed yet super intelligent, humble and genuine. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Cormoran and his accidental assistant, Robin. I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow as the series continues. The mystery was very strong – it never let up and the police procedural aspect with which Cormoran went about his investigation was spot on, I felt. I will definitely be continuing with this series! Well done, JK!