niennie

twenty-something. girly girl. teacher. puppy-enthusiast.


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39 & 40

39:  In Love with Nowhere by Ezra White

I knew that it was going to happen sometime soon… The last six or so books I read were SO incredibly fabulous, I couldn’t believe my luck.  I knew that sooner or later I’d find a book I really didn’t like very much but pushed through anyway.  I started and abandoned two books before this one, and considered abandoning this one when I was about 75% of the way through it because it just kind of lost my interest.  But I wasn’t lazy and I finished it.

I like the premise of the story.  The idea is that a famous author has fallen into a severe drug and alcoholic addiction.  In order to get clean and revive his career, his agent sends him to a remote cabin in the woods, leaving him completely alone to face his demons.  The author has access to a blog to write about his experiences coming off the drugs.  All the time he can’t tell if the creepy writing on the walls and the shadowy figures are real or his hallucinating imagination as he goes through withdrawal.  It reminded me a little of the new Evil Dead movie, except without the evil dead and all that.  Yeah.  So really it was just that 30-second blip of the movie where it was similar.

Anyway, I just wasn’t really into the book, it was supposed to be a thriller but I wasn’t really thrilled, and the ending was fucking weird and I didn’t feel like it fit the rest of the book.  All in all, I think the book just didn’t live up to my brain’s idea of what the story should have been like… and I wouldn’t recommend anyone waste their time on this.

 

40:  The Chocolate Money by Ashley Prentice Norton

Luckily, this book did not disappoint me.  As a side note, I started this book this morning in bed (right after finishing #39) and finished it about half an hour ago.  I love reading an entire book in a day!

The book is told from the perspective of Bettina, whose mother (Babs) is rich beyond all belief as she inherited a fortune from a famous chocolate company.  Babs is, to put it nicely, bat shit crazy and not a very good mother.  She exposes her daughter to her sexual exploits, insults her openly, and generally treats the girl like a convenient plaything instead of a child.  Regardless, Bettina’s experiences are rather interesting to read about.  Half of the novel takes place when Bettina is shipped off to a very pristine boarding school.  I don’t know why this surprised me, but it did.  Not in a bad way.  The ending of this book was so fitting, and the dinner with her uncle!  I won’t say anymore.  Just wow.  I loved it.

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36, 37, 38

36: Angel of Brooklyn by Janette Jenkins

An Englishman on vacation in America in the early 1940’s meets, falls in love with, and marries a shop girl (Beatrice) from Coney Island.  They move to England together and the novel tells the story of Beatrice’s life – flashbacks to her childhood with a morbid father who is obsessed with taxidermy, her time in Coney Island and the progression of selling post cards to (gasp) being a nude model on a postcard, and her at home alone in England while her new husband fights in WWII.  I really fell into this book, in such a way that there would be times where I’d sit up at the end of a chapter and almost forget where I was.  This is one of those books that does not necessarily have a happy ending, although I felt the end was fitting.  I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

 

37: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

A young adult novel that I read in a day.  The story is about a teen girl who writes a love letter to her crushes when she wants to fall out of love with them.  She keeps them in a hatbox in her room, and somehow they end up delivered to their (un)intended recipients – one of whom is her older sister’s ex-boyfriend.  Oh yeah – he’s also her next door neighbor!  The girl tries to brush it all under the carpet by pretending to date another one of the letter receivers… Lies, chaos, and other high school juiciness ensue.  Although the story is kind of too-perfect, made for a movie kind of a plot, I did really enjoy it.  The ending however was left COMPLETELY wide open, so if you are the kind of person who likes a book that wraps everything up neatly… Well, this one doesn’t.  I have no problem imagining in my head what I would have liked to happen after the story is over.  Anyway, the book was cute and an easy read.

 

38: The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground by Michael Harris

A memoir by an American soldier on the Eniwetok Island where the US government was doing hydrogen bomb tests and experiments during the 1950s.  I am kind of fascinated by this part of history, because it just seems so crazy that people didn’t know how terribly the radiation from these bombs affected people, animals, and the earth.  Harris spent a year on the island and never went swimming once… Why?  Because the first time he was about to go into the lagoon, he spotted a fish in the water with three eyes.  To me, this book was incredibly interesting.  I could NOT put it down and stayed up late to finish it (the notable part of that statement is that I was able to stay up without falling asleep).  

The negative reviews the book received on Amazon stated that the book wasn’t factual enough, that the author changed the names of people, and there wasn’t much information about the h-bomb tests.  Yes, this may be true, but it is a memoir, and Harris was trying to protect the identities of his colleagues.  Also, the interesting part to me is the lives of the people there, and the affects things had on them: the soldier whose toenails glowed in the dark from the radiation, the man who sent coral and seashells back to his wife at home and she displayed them in flowerpots, later saying that the coral killed all of the plants, and that the officials on the island denied the fact that there was any radioactive fallout from the bomb tests at all.  Or that goggles to protect the soldier’s eyes during these tests were not seen as imperative to their safety (just cover your eyes with your arm, they were told), and the requisition was swapped out so that an officer could get new furniture for his island abode instead.

Anyway, I highly recommend this book.  It was a little scary at times, but I learned so much, and it was a pretty easy read considering the topic (sciency science science).


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DP: An Odd Trio

Wednesday’s To-Do List:

– go to spin class
– make boyfriend’s lunch
– feed the cat
– start pulled pork in the crock pot
– wash sheets
– remember the wet beach towel on the bathroom floor and add that to the laundry pile
– make broccoli & kale soup
– pack bowl of broccoli soup for lunch
– meet boyfriend at work for lunch
– return home to a pile of dirty dishes in sink; wash dishes
– remake bed
– clean the litter box
– take out trash
– get the mail
– unload dishwasher
– tidy the house
– relax


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33, 34, 35

I should have read at least 36 books by now but I downloaded Red Herring and 7 Little Words on my Kindle and the free games stole my reading time for a few days. Anyways, these last 3 that I read were fabulous.

33 – Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

This book was so much FUN! I went into it thinking it was a YA novel (..??) but I really think I was mistaken. Regardless, it reminded me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail but with less taunting Frenchmen and more dragons. Many more dragons. I don’t know where to begin to describe this book, so I won’t, but I will say this. I don’t like reading sequels or series of anything – usually after book one I will pretend a series is done, make up a fine ending in my brain, and go on with my life. It has to be a very special case for me to seek out the next book… and this is one that I will do that with! Right there, that should speak for itself.

34 – The Family Trap by Joanne Phillips

Kind of a fluffy read by my standards, but I enjoyed the story. The novel opens with the main character’s 16-yr-old daughter giving birth to a baby fathered by a 31 year old. Although not yet married, the two are together. At this time, the main character finds out that she herself is pregnant… by her fiance, who desperately does NOT want children. Oh, and by the way, they’re getting married in a week. What is a woman to do? I won’t ruin any of the story just in case ;). This book sucked me in and I tore through it in about a day and a half.

35 – Zombie, Inc. by Chris Dougherty

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK!!!!!! If you’re a fan of zombie fiction, or even if you’re not, I HIGHLY recommend this one. It takes place post-zombie apocalypse, where the 5 United States of America have been rebuilding their lives. A huge corporation called Zombie, Inc. has helped to develop products and services (thus creating many jobs) to help consumers cope with their post-apocalyptic lives. They have home defense systems such as yard-zombies, electric fences, and spikes to help deflect both zombie attacks and human burglars. However, like any modern-day corporation, there is some corruption and dishonesty… You should read the novel and find out all of the deadly (undeadly?) secrets!