Monday, September 28, 2015

The Seance by Heather Graham

Title: The Seance

Author: Heather Graham

Published: Mira, 2007

Pages: 377

Series: Book 6, Harrison Investigation

Summary: A chill falls over Christina Hardy's housewarming party when talk turns to a recent murder that has all the hallmarks of the so-called 'Interstate Killer' murders from fifteen years before. To lighten the mood, the guests drag out an old Ouija board for a little spooky fun -- and that's when things become truly terrifying.

Summoned by the Ouija board, the restless spirit of Beau Kidd, the lead detective -- and chief suspect -- on the original case, seeks Christina's help: the latest killing isn't a copycat crime, and he wants his name cleared. Back in the real world, cop-turned-writer Jed Braden is skeptical of Christina's ghostly encounters, but his police sources confirm all the intimate details of the case -- her otherworldly source is reliable, and the body count is growing. 
The spirits are right. The Interstate Killer is still out there, and Christina's life is hanging in the balance between this world and the next.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I always find Heather Graham's books to be enjoyable paranormal mysteries.  I generally read them when I want something of a lighter nature.

I felt like The Seance was a lot creepier than the previous books of Graham's I have read.  This one just had this extra chill factor and I really enjoyed it.  It made reading this book at night particularly scary.

In terms of the mystery I did manage to guess what was going on and who the killer was.  One thing I particularly enjoy is that Heather Graham incorporates a few red herrings throughout the book, but I managed to see through them.  Which is something I enjoy.

Overall, I really enjoy reading Heather Graham's mysteries.  They're good for a light mystery with paranormal elements.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

Title: Yoga Girl

Author: Rachel Brathen

Published: Touchstone, March 2015

Pages: 176

Summary: Whether she's practicing handstands on her stand-up paddleboard or teaching Downward-Facing Dog to the masses, Rachel Brathen, Instagram's @Yoga_Girl; has made it her mission to share inspirational messages with people from all corners of the world. In Yoga Girl, Brathen takes readers beyond her Instagram feed and shares her journey like never before, from her self-destructive teenage years in her hometown in Sweden to her adventures in the jungles of Costa Rica, and finally to the beautiful and bohemian life she's built through yoga and meditation in Aruba today. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I've been trying to get into yoga on and off for about seven or eight years but I always find it hard to stick to.  I think that one of my biggest reasons for this is not being in the right mind set and the other big reason was that I just hadn't found anything to inspire me.

I was recommended Yoga Girl as being a good book to get motivated and interested in Yoga practice.  So I decided to pick it up and give it a read.

There are so many colour photos in the book that show Rachel Brathen in various yoga poses and they all just look so good.  I felt like I wanted to head out to the beach and do some yoga myself. There are also a few recipes in the book that sound delicious.  I'll definitely be trying a couple of them at some point.

I feel that Rachel's story itself was very interesting and it showed that anybody from any background can do yoga and that everyone will discover it in their own way.

I think the only thing that I didn't like about the book was that the recipes and little pieces of wisdom were interspersed through the story of Rachel's life and how she got into yoga.  They just showed up on an opposite page to the story and most of the time, the story page ended in half a sentence so you had to flick over the page to finish either the sentence or paragraph and then go back to read the recipes or insights.

At the end of each chapter are a collection of yoga poses that are explained in a good amount of detail.  They're also accompanied by photographs that make it easy to follow the moves.

Overall, I did really enjoy Yoga Girl and I feel as though it was a good motivational booster for getting back into yoga.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Dexter in the Dark

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Published: Orion, 2008

Pages: 376

Series: Book 3, Dexter

Summary: May contain spoilers! In his work as a Miami crime scene investigator, Dexter Morgan is accustomed to seeing evil deeds...particulary because, on occasion, he rather enjoys committing them himself. Guided by his dark Passenger - the voice inside him that helps stalk his prey - he lives his outwardly normal life adhering to one simple rule: he only kills very bad people.

Dexter slides through life underected, working as a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, helping his fiancee raise her two adorable (if somewhat...unique) children, and always planning his next jaunt as Dexter the Dark Avenger under the light of the full moon.

But everything changes when Dexter is called to a gruesome double homicide. Dex realises he's dealing with someone a whole lot more sinister than he is and it sends the Dark Passenger into hiding. And when something scares your friendly neighbourhood serial killer, you know it's serious...
More used to inspiring fear then experiencing it, Dex must investigate, while simultaneously coping with is demanding family. If he's to save himself, and those around him, Dexter must pose questions he's never dared ask - where does evil come from, and does it hide inside everyone...?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: It has been a while since I read a Dexter book, but I have been thinking about picking this one up for a while now, so I did.  I was a little hesitant about this one, because a good friend of mine said that it wasn't a good book at all.  

I have to say that when I was reading the first chapter I was a little thrown because the writing style was kind of strange and I was a little tempted to put the book down to read at a later time.  However, I decided to carry on and once I got a few chapters in, I got used to the weird writing style.

Another thing I found while reading this book was that I found it hard to differentiate between the previous books and the tv series so I had to think hard about what had happened in books 1 and 2 as opposed to seasons 1 and 2 because there are some pretty big differences.  Really, in the future to remedy this, I just need to read the next book closer to this one rather than reading it in a year or two.

Overall, I felt like the book was an enjoyable and entertaining read and I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Alloy of Law

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Published: Gollancz, 2011

Pages: 327

Series: Book 4, Mistborn

Summary: Centuries after the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is on the verge of modernity - railroads, electric street lights, and skyscrapers. Waxillium Ladrian can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After 20 years in the dusty Roughs, in the city of Elendel, the new head of a noble house may need to keep his guns.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I wasn't entirely sure what The Alloy of Law is about, because I felt that with the original trilogy my enjoyment was taken away from it a little by already knowing quite a lot about the story so I decided to go into The Alloy of Law without really knowing much about the plot.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Alloy of Law as I felt like there was a bit of humour sprinkled into the story which I really enjoyed.  I thought that Wax and Wane were just really fascinating characters and I loved reading about their adventures.

It's hard to say too much about it, but I feel like this book was just really fun and so good.  It was a welcome change from the previous three novels.  It is quite a lot different from the previous three books, or the original trilogy.  It seems like those who love the original trilogy don't like this one as much, and well, because I wasn't overly in love with the original trilogy I found this one to be really good and refreshing.

I really loved reading The Alloy of Law, it was so interesting and I can't wait to read the next book in the series, which is released in October.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

Title: The Big Over Easy

Author: Jasper Fforde

Published: Penguin, 2006 (First published 2005)

Pages: 383

Series: Book 1, Nursery Crimes

Summary: Meet Inspector Jack Spratt, family man and head of the Nursery Crime Division. He’s investigating the murder of ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Dumpty, found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. Yes, the big egg is down, and all those brittle pieces sitting in the morgue point to foul play.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have been on a mystery kick the last couple of weeks so when I was reorganizing my shelves and found this one sitting there, I decided it was time to pick it up.  

I'm not sure if it was because of the cosy mysteries I had been reading or because this book is about nursery rhyme characters, but I found myself to be really surprised by the contents of this book.  I don't mind swearing and heavier content in books but I guess I just wasn't really expecting this book to have anything remotely dark.  Honestly, I thought this was just going to be a really light and fun read.

I had to put this book down for a while because I was finding it a little hard to read through.  It wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't something that I was enjoying and I just felt that I wasn't interested in it.  I sat it down to go back to it because I thought maybe I just wasn't feeling it because I wanted a cosy mystery which this wasn't.

There are a lot of nursery rhyme references in here and I quite enjoyed that aspect, and there were a few subtle references which I thought quite funny.  However, I did feel as though there were so many nursery rhyme references being jammed into the book that it started to detract from the story a little.

After picking the book up a second time after giving it a bit of a break, I went in feeling refreshed and unfortunately I kept finding that as I was trying to read the book my mind would start wandering and I would start drifting away from the book.

I carried on reading through the book because I was still a little curious about the mystery aspect.  I have to say, that I had guessed a little at how the story may play out and to be honest, I just didn't find it to be that exciting.

Unfortunately, The Big Over Easy was just not a book for me.  I just couldn't get interested in the characters who were trying to follow the mystery, and I found the mystery aspect to be unexciting to me.  I just really couldn't get into the story as I felt like the nursery rhyme aspect was everywhere but at the same time Jasper Fforde tried really hard to make it seem like a normal crime novel, which I just found to be jarring.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Published: Broadway Books, 2012

Pages: 372

Summary: It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

A world at stake. 
A quest for the ultimate prize. 
Are you ready?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have been interested in reading this book for a while after learning that it was riddled with 80s references.  I did however, feel like there were so many people raving about this book that I was a little worried that my expectations would be too high for how good the book actually was or wasn't.  That being said, I couldn't resist any longer and I decided it was time to pick up Ready Player One.

The book was really addictive and I was just really enjoying following Wade along with his quest to find the Easter Egg and the keys left behind by Halliday.  There were so many awesome references scattered in there that I absolutely really enjoyed it.  I personally, enjoy a lot of the movies, music and television shows from the 80s so was particularly excited to see them in the book.  While there were so many 80s references that were right in your face I also felt that there were some very subtle references to things thrown in there, that were really good.

While the book was really good and I was thoroughly enjoying it, I must admit that I had to put it down for a bit because things were getting pretty intense and I felt like I wasn't ready for whatever was going to happen.

There were a couple of small mysteries/ character reveals that I thought were quite interesting.  I did guess a couple of things about some of the characters which just meant that I wasn't surprised when they were revealed.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Ready Player One.  It was just such a fun and entertaining read.  There just isn't anything else to say about it really.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Title: The Wise Man's Fear

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Published: Gollancz, 2012

Pages: 994

Series: Book 2, The Kingkiller Chronicles

Summary: May contain spoilers! My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trehon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man's Fear, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's Road.
All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived...until Kvothe. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have had this book sitting on my shelf for quite a while, and like all of my books at the moment, the time has come for me to either read them or give them a new home.  I remember reading the first book a couple of years ago and I remember that I didn't find it as enjoyable or amazing as everyone else seemed to.  Anyway, I decided that it was time to pick up the second book in the series and I'm glad that I did.

I quite enjoyed the story of The Wise Man's Fear, it was really interesting.  There were so many different people that Kvothe was dealing with and he learned so many things, I found them to be fascinating.  I have to say however, that sometimes it felt like Kvothe spent too long with some people and I got a bit bored at those parts.

I feel as though it's kind of hard to say too much about this book because it's the second book in the series and really I just thought it was really intriguing and I feel as though I probably need to read the previous book again, and then this one again to find any hidden meanings in things.

I will say though, there were a few things I noticed that I'm really curious about.  There were just some things, which I don't want to go into too much detail about, that seem to be quite significant.

I definitely enjoyed reading The Wise Man's Fear and I'm looking forward to reading the third and final book in the series, whenever that may be.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the next book.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(Ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown

Title: Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

Author: Kelly Williams Brown

Published: Grand Central Publishing, 2013

Pages: 288

Summary: If you graduated from college but still feel like a student . . . if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store . . . if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean . . . it's OK. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Just because you don't feel like an adult doesn't mean you can't act like one. And it all begins with this funny, wise, and useful book. Based on Kelly Williams Brown's popular blog, ADULTING makes the scary, confusing "real world" approachable, manageable-and even conquerable. This guide will help you to navigate the stormy Sea of Adulthood so that you may find safe harbor in Not Running Out of Toilet Paper Bay, and along the way you will learn:

What to check for when renting a new apartment-Not just the nearby bars, but the faucets and stove, among other things.

When a busy person can find time to learn more about the world- It involves the intersection of NPR and hair-straightening.
How to avoid hooking up with anyone in your office -- Imagine your coworkers having plastic, featureless doll crotches. It helps.
The secret to finding a mechanic you love-Or, more realistically, one that will not rob you blind. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I originally purchased this book as a present for my sister but when it arrived in the mail box I decided to read it for myself to see what it was like and if I liked it enough then I would get my sister a copy too.

This book is aimed at people who have just finished up university or some other similar thing and are heading out into the world on their own.  I found the information to be a mixture of things that I already knew, things that were irrelevant to me and things that were interesting but not overly life changing.

I have to say that I did find there were a couple of things that I did disagree with , but really this book isn't exactly some kind of law book that I have to follow every piece of advice to the letter and so that was fine.  I have to say that the section I enjoyed the most was the section about food and what you should keep in your cupboards on hand.  There were also a couple of recipes that sounded really good so I will be trying them out in the near future.

Overall, I thought the book was interesting and there are a few pieces of information that I would refer to every now and again.  I would suggest this is a good book to read if you're just moving out on your own in the world.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

I have been seeing this around youtube a lot and I figured that it was time I did it because it looks fun and I like to talk about my unpopular opinions haha.  The original video can be found here.

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn't like.

This is a hard one, but I think I will go with the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.  I read the first book, and just could not get into it, it was awful.

2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love. 

With this one, I'm going to go with The Hollow by Jessica Verday.  I feel like that book wasn't received very well when it came out.  I have to say that I really enjoyed it though.

3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don't like. 

I feel like this is a really easy one to answer because I have so many.  Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Song of the Lioness Quartet are three that stick out in my mind right off the top of my head.

4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for. 

Anything contemporary.  I'm just really not that much of a fan of contemporary.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of Harry Potter as a character.  I just felt like he could be annoying at times.  I love the series but Harry is not one of my favourite characters.

6. A popular author that you can't seem to get into.

I have two for this.  The first is Diana Wynne Jones.  I loved Howl's Moving Castle, but every other book I have tried to read of hers, I just couldn't get into.  The second is Terry Pratchett.  I have tried on so many different occasions to read a novel by him but I just couldn't get into any of them.  I guess they're just not for me.

7. A popular book trope that you're tired of seeing. (examples "lost princess", corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)

The cheating husband.  I swear the last few books I have read, have all had cheating husbands in them and I am so sick of it.  I just find it strange that almost every husband in a book has to cheat.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

There are a lot of these.  Honestly, these days, any YA series that's popular.  I'm over YA and have just purged my shelves of almost every young adult book.  If you're wanting something more specific then I definitely don't have any intentions to read the City of Bones series.

The saying goes "The book is always better than the movie", but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?I would have to say, Bridge to Terabithia.  I just really enjoyed the movie so much.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August Wrap-Up

Surprisingly, August is over.

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

2. By Cook or by Crook by Maya Corrigan

3. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderon

4. Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett

5. The Martian by Andy Weir

6. Buffalo Cake and Indian Pudding by Dr A. W. Chase

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

8. Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown

9. Red Rain by R. L. Stine

10. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

11. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

12. The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

13. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

14. The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft

15. Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay

16. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

17. Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson

18. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

19. White Night by Jim Butcher

20. Small Favour by Jim Butcher

21. Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia by Brandon Sanderson

22. Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson

23. Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

24. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher