Exerpts – Nightwoods

“What good does the world do you?  That was the question that Luce had asked herself for three years, and the answer she had arrived at was simple.  A distressingly large portion of the world doesn’t do you any good whatsoever.  In fact, it does you bad.  Casts static between your ears, drowns out who you truly are.”  p.24

“…the week before Labor Day became its own tiny season of gloom, like a hundred Sunday nights crowded together.”  p.88

“Daylight blared gritty through the opened door and cast a vampire-killing trapezoid onto the nineteenth-century wood floor, the splintery puncheons hip-wide and wrist-thick, cut from trees nearly two hundred years ago and made to last.  Still bearing adze marks from bearded pioneer ancetors.  The festive stale odors of spilled drinks and tobacco smoke soaked so deep into the thick boards that some archaeologist with sharp instruments could scrape down the layersof wood and identify McCallum’s Scotch spilled by some horseback trader in the days of the Cherokee Nation.  Might as well put up a sign: serving high times for two centuries.  p.99

“Across the lake, mounds of pale grey and silver clouds rose in convincing mountain shapes so high into the sky that Stubblefield became confused about what was heaven and what was landscape.  Have to be in Tibet to validate some of those upper peaks.”  p.100

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A Look Back at 2016 in Books

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Yes, it’s that time again.  A little reflection on the past year in books.  I did not write here nearly as much as I would have liked, but such is life.

This survey comes from The Perpetual Page Turner.

reading-stats-2016-1024x278-768x209Number of books you read: 19
Number of re-reads: 1.5
Genre you read the most from: historical fiction

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1) Best book you read:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
2) Book you were exited about and thought you were going to love, but didn’t:  Cinder by Marissa Meyer
3) Most surprising (in a good or a bad way) book you read:  The Bad Lands by Benjamin Percy.  This book sounded so promising, but just sucked it up big time.  Awful.
4) Book you pushed the most people to read:  I don’t really push people to read books, but I did recommend the Outlander series to a few.
5) Best series you started:  n/a
Best sequel:  The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
Best series ender:  n/a
6) Favorite new author you discovered:  Charles Frazier
7) Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:  Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.  I don’t usually read too much nonfiction, but I really enjoyed this quick read.
8) Most action-packed, thrilling, unputdownable book:  I wouldn’t say that any of my reads were action-packed, but if I had to choose, The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon would probably be my most “unputdownable.”
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9) Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to re-read next year:  Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
10) Favorite book cover:  Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
11) Most memorable character:  Marie-Laure from All the Light We Cannot See
12) Most beautifully written book:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  This one is modern literature at its best.  Just lovely.
13) Most thought-provoking/life-changing book:  Although I technically didn’t finish reading it in 2016, I loved You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero.
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14) Book you can’t believe you waited until 2016 to finally read:  Meh, none of my books were really on my to-read list for that long.  Besides, I’m never really caught up on what’s popular/on the best-seller lists.
15) Favorite passage or quote:  “Lovely, the way the sky works.  The constellations and planets and moons.  Enough reassurance to assure us of the probable continuation of the universe, but not so repetitive as to become boring during the limited span we have to watch it all spin around.”  p.371 Thirteen Moons
16) Shortest book:  A Plague of Zombies by Diana Gabaldon (94 pages)
Longest book:  The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (1,443 pages)
17) Book that shocked you the most:  The Outlander series has become a blur in my mind, but I know that there were some shockers in The Fiery Cross and A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
18) OTP of the year (one true pairing):  Oh, Jamie and Claire, for sure.  The most loving, badass couple ever.


19) Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:  Cousins Ian Murray and William Ransom from the Outlander series
20) Favorite book from an author you’ve read previously:  The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
21) Best book you read based solely on someone’s recommendation:  Bossypants by Tina Fey.  I’ll be honest, I don’t really care about or for Tina Fey, but there was some funny stuff in this one.
22) Newest fictional crush: James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser is still up there at No. 1.
23) Best 2016 debut you read:  n/a
24) Best worldbuilding/most vivid book you read:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
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25) Book that was the most fun to read:  Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
26) Book that made you cry or tear up:  n/a
27) Hidden gem of the year:  Meh, none were really hidden gem worthy.
28) Book that crushed your soul:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
29) Most unique book:  Cinder by Marissa Meyers.  I classify this as unique, but just barely.  I like the futuresque approach to Cinderella, but the author could have done so much more.
30) Book that made you the most mad:  An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Season 2…FINALLY!

 

Outlander Season 2 Marketing Shoot

I don’t have Starz, so I have been waiting impatiently since April (really, since February when the damn trailer came out) to watch season 2 of Outlander.  I cannot describe how psyched I am to go to Target this afternoon to pick up my copy!

No more drooling over photos and teaser videos – I will actually be able to watch all the episodes!  Over and over and over and….

Also, I am happy to report that I have finally finished all eight books in the Outlander series.  It has been a strange couple of weeks since I read the last page of WiMOHB.  I feel like I lost a family member.  What a world Herself has created.  So many characters, so many feels…I miss it already.  As much as I am tempted to reread, I also feel like I am ready to move on to new books and series.  It is comforting though, to know that Jamie and Claire are sitting on my bookshelf if needed.  Thank you Diana Gabaldon!  Looking forward to book 9!

Outlander Season One Withdrawal

The showhole is real, my friends. I only have one more episode of Outlander season one to watch before….well, nothing.  Even when season two comes out this spring, I will have to continue waiting since I don’t have access to Starz.  This is majorly bumming me out.

At first I was unsure about watching the series.  I didn’t think that the actors could possibly measure up to my expectations (classic case of Harry Potter-itis).  Fifteen episodes later, I am so glad I gave the series a chance.  Excellent acting, accurate portrayals and storyline, phenomenal scenery, and absolutely gorgeous costumes.  Plus, you know, Sam Heughan isn’t hard on the eyes and ears by any means.

Once I watch that last episode later this week, I suppose I will have to cling to my books.  This is usually the way over and through hard times.  At least I know that Jamie and Claire will be waiting for me.

p.s.  If you have not read the Outlander series and still think Mr. Darcy is hot stuff, you need to meet James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser ASAP.

My Top Ten of 2014

My top ten list of stuff I enjoyed in 2014, bookish and otherwise.

1) Best Stand-Alone Book:  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

2) Best Series: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

3) Favorite Protagonist(s): Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and Tyrion Lannister from ASOIF

4) Favorite Antagonist: Jaime Lannister from ASOIF (is he bad, good?  Love to love/hate him)

5) Favorite Quote From a Book: “”Love is an element.” An element. Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.” —Daughter of Smoke and Bone

6) Favorite new band: Boy and Bear

7) Song(s) on repeat: Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde and All of the Stars by Ed Sheeran

8) Favorite Movie(s): The Fault in Our Stars ❤ ❤ and Divergent

9) Favorite T.V. Show (I really don’t watch t.v. but rather Netflix…): New Girl

10) Most Addictive Website: Pinterest

New Year’s Eve 2014

I have never been a big fan of New Year’s Eve.  Though it is usually viewed as a holiday of reflection, hope, fun, and looking forward, I find it to always be lackluster and a bit disappointing.  I usually find myself alone, whether literally or mentally, and a negative mood is usually my only semblance of a companion.  Here are a few reflections…read them if you will, otherwise have a happy New Year’s Eve doing something more productive and joyful. Continue reading