Book 62: Last Summer – Michael Thomas Ford

Ford, Michael Thomas - Last SummerI’m so glad the guy I’m seeing loaned this to me (even if it did throw off my schedule a bit) and I was even happier to find out that I have a Jane Austen fan-fiction novel on my shelf he wrote, Jane Bites Back. I was hesitant to read it with the whole vampire thing, but I’m looking forward to it now I’ve read this one!

I’m confused (and sad) about why there aren’t more reviews of this awesome novel on Goodreads! On the other hand, I’m glad that there aren’t that many reviews because people would idiot responses (including gifs) about it and then I’d just be grumpy. Not only did I love this book because of Ford’s incredibly witty and hilarious one-liners, but I enjoyed it because of how many of the books he listed/referenced that I’ve read. From Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Maupin’s Tales of the City, I’ve clearly earned my “gay-card,” according to some of the characters.

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30 x 30: #30 – Visit Alie in VA

2014 10-17 Virginia is for FriendsI was able to squeeze the 18th list item into an incredibly busy weekend. We flew down to Virginia for a wedding this past weekend and we were so close to where my BFF from growing up, Alie, lives and I knew I had to see her. This was one of the two I thought might happen AFTER my birthday, but squeezing it in made it happen BEFORE!

Alie has lived in Virginia for longer than I’ve lived in Boston and I just haven’t had the money to get down to visit her. We’ve seen each other a couple of times since high school, most recently for our 10 year reunion last year, but we talk everyday and it was good to see where she lived. I no longer fear that she lives in the middle of a war zone in a rundown building with hoodlums running around. (Seeing really goes a long way for alleviating those worries.

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Book 56: The Girl With No Shadow (Chocolat #2) – Joanne Harris

Harris, Joanne - The Girl with No ShadowAs I said in my response to Chocolat, I had no idea there were sequels and I’m so glad I decided to read them. I haven’t started the third, Peaches for Father Frances, but I’m excited to start it soon.

Harris takes the story of Vianne and Anouk we followed in Chocolat and expands the age-old battle between good and evil. Instead of the church, this time Vianne and Anouk, now Yanne and Annie, are battling evil itself and magic takes an even more prominent role in this story than in the first. And I was glad she did! She writes about magic in such a way as to make it beautifully common.

“It took me a little longer to recognize these things as magic. Like all children reared on stories, I’d expected fireworks: magic wands and broomstick rides. The real magic of my mother’s books seemed so dull, so fustily academic, with its silly incantations and its pompous old men, that it hardly counted as magic at all.” (67)

Beautifully common, might sound like an oxymoron or an insult, but it’s not. Harris’ writes about it so matter of fact and sets it up that way in this novel, common usage versus evil usage, that you can’t help but appreciate the beauty of the magic she chooses to write about.

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30 x 30: #9 – Get up solely to see the sunrise and watch the sunset on the same day

2014 09-13 Sunrise SelfieI love the sunrise, but I rarely get up JUST to see the sunrise, so I knew this would go on my list from the beginning. There’s something so peaceful about the sunrise and when you think about how there are so many more people who see the sunset than the sunrise, it’s a bit of a treat to see one.

As soon as I found out I was going to spend three days in Acadia I knew that it would be an excellent place to see the sunrise and I was NOT wrong! After we were up there, I found out that Acadia, and specifically Cadillac Mountain, is, according to them, the first place the sun hits on the east coast and it certainly felt like it. Although we were freezing (it was in the 40s), it was definitely worth getting up and if you’re EVER up there you should check it out.

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Book 52: Chocolat (Chocolat #1) – Joanne Harris

Harris, Joanne - ChocolatThis book has been on my to-be-read shelf for so long it took quite a while to trace where and when I bought it! I apparently picked it up way back in October 2012 when I helped out at the Somerville Public Library book sale! I’m glad I grabbed a copy. I own a copy of the film, but for some reason I never realized they adapted it from a novel!

Add in that when random.org selected it as my next book and I prepared to read it I found out it was a trilogy, my mind was BLOWN! I was a little grumpy at first, because I had a plan worked out to read more of my to-be-read shelf and was trying really hard not to add more in between the books, but I do love a good trilogy! I plan to read two and three, The Girl With No Shadow and Peaches for Father Francis, in the next few weeks and am VERY excited about them!

Now on to the story and my response!

CRWM #01: From Russia with Love

CRWM01As promised, here is Episode 1 (the real first episode) of Come Read With Me! My guest on this episode is my good friend Caroline and we discuss Ian Flemming’s From Russia with Love, which I reviewed WAY back in February, which was also when we recorded this!

In the episode we discuss anything and everything from our first experiences with Bond to a distracted few minutes of ogling Sean Connery (the promised picture is below) and discussing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career. And I find out about Caroline’s adorable first library card!

Download it here: CRWM #01 (Right click and “save as.”)

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Book 47: Confessions from a Coffee Shop – T. B. Markinson

Markinson, T. B. - Confessions from a Coffee ShopAnd she’s back! Now don’t get me wrong, Markinson (TBM)’s last novel, Marionette, wasn’t bad and was excellently written, it just wasn’t for me. However, Confessions from a Coffee Shop harkens back to A Woman Lost in humor and fun! I flew through this and couldn’t help but smile the entire time I read this novel. I received a copy from the author and received no compensation for my response. If this review sounds at ALL interesting you should request a preview copy from her here.

I said above that TBM is back and the reason I say that is because she’s return to what she knows and what I can assume is a comfort zone for her. I don’t fault her one bit for stretching her writing muscles in her second novel, but I’m so glad she returned to her strengths!

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