So Long 2013

newyear2014

I have not posted anything in a month of Sundays. The last part of 2013 has kicked my ass and the collective asses of those near and dear to me. So instead of year end summaries and reflections I think I mostly I am going to admit defeat on 2013 and move on.

Over the next few day look for 2014 challenges, ways to meet goals, some memes and some new focuses to get me back on track. Also the WVRedReads awesome Holiday card photos which are reflective of reading this year, albeit in a different genre.

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Mrs. Poe: Wordy Wednesday

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Mrs. Poe

Title: Mrs. Poe Author: Lynn Cullen
Publisher: Gallery Books 4star
Publication Date: 2013 Genre: Historical Fiction

Why Picked: NetGalley; Adoration of all Things Poe
First Line:

“When given bad news, most women of my station can afford to slump onto their divans, their china cups slipping from their fingers to the carpet, their hair falling prettily from its pins, their fourteen starched petticoats compacting with a plush crunch.”


Summary:

A vivid and compelling novel about a woman who becomes entangled in an affair with Edgar Allan Poe—at the same time she becomes the unwilling confidante of his much-younger wife. It is 1845, and Frances Osgood is desperately trying to make a living as a writer in New York; not an easy task for a woman—especially one with two children and a philandering portrait painter as her husband. As Frances tries to sell her work, she finds that editors are only interested in writing similar to that of the new renegade literary sensation Edgar Allan Poe, whose poem, “The Raven” has struck a public nerve. She meets the handsome and mysterious Poe at a literary party, and the two have an immediate connection. Poe wants Frances to meet with his wife since she claims to be an admirer of her poems, and Frances is curious to see the woman whom Edgar married. As Frances spends more and more time with the intriguing couple, her intense attraction for Edgar brings her into dangerous territory. And Mrs. Poe, who acts like an innocent child, is actually more manipulative and threatening than she appears. As Frances and Edgar’s passionate affair escalates, Frances must decide whether she can walk away before it’s too late… Set amidst the fascinating world of New York’s literati, this smart and sexy novel offers a unique view into the life of one of history’s most unforgettable literary figures. [1]

Review:

I used to judge HBO historical shows likeRome and Deadwood by how many times an episode made me look up information on Wikipedia. The general rule was the more, the better. If this is applied here Mrs. Poe is a fine tale. I spent as much time researching the characters and the setting as I did the reading the story. I searched Wikipedia for secondary characters, like Horace Greeley, Rufus Wilmot Griswold and Elizabeth F. Ellet to name a few. And then there were the locations. I am a born New Yorker so I was so interested in the places of the story as well. But enough of my strange obsession with historical minutia, what of the story?

A small caveat, I adore Poe. As anyone who has been reading my blog for any amount of time knows I really, really adore Poe. So this review may be tainted by that. Much like my recent enjoyment of the movie The Raven which combined my love for Poe and my love for John Cusack. That said I found the story to be very slow to start. I opened it in my Nook a number of times and then found other things to read. However, as it was Netgalley book I feel obligated to press on and I am glad I did. The story of the relationship between Poe and Frances Sargent Osgood and his Virginia unfolded in a most interesting way. I find historical novels such as this fascinating if the author is able, as Cullen was, to draw me in and make me believe the actions of the characters are realistic both for the time frame but also for their humanness. There are certain people/authors who believe that because people live in different times they were different emotionally as humans. One of the most popular of these myths is the ever present “People had many children because so many died young. Therefore they did not love them as much as we do now.” I find things such as this difficult to believe and therefore difficult to read. I was glad to see Cullen able to make her characters believable as people regardless of time period.

Also I loved the mystery, without giving it away I love the fact that it addressed some of the strange mysteries surrounding Poe’s life and death. I love the fact that I was mildly surprised by the ending which rarely happens to me. This may, in fact, be why I am not a huge mystery fan. I love the fact that I am still, weeks later, mulling over the “facts” that surround the relationship between Edgar and Frances as well as between Frances and Virginia. And I envy the mid-1800s their salons. I want to be Margaret Fuller or Anne Lynch when I grow up.

I am 16 (Sometimes in my Reader Life): Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday
Each week The Broke and the Bookish will post a new Top Ten list that one or more of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

So I am sure that a lot of bloggers might pick this topic but as I have written before in my Thoughts on a Thursday, I read YA because first of all it is some great writing. But also because it is the place The Girl and I meet and talk. So here are just some of the books I would recommend to people who ask why I Read YA.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

The Girl Who Series … by Catherynne M. Valente

“When you are born,” the golem said softly, “your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk, and crusty things, and dirt, and fear, and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in awhile, you have to scrub it up and get the works going, or else you’ll never be brave again.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

“She did not know yet how sometimes people keep parts of themselves hidden and secret, sometimes wicked and unkind parts, but often brave or wild or colorful parts, cunning or powerful or even marvelous, beautiful parts, just locked up away at the bottom of their hearts. They do this because they are afraid of the world and of being stared at, or relied upon to do feats of bravery or boldness. And all of those brave and wild and cunning and marvelous and beautiful parts they hid away and left in the dark to grow strange mushrooms—and yes, sometimes those wicked and unkind parts, too—end up in their shadow.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

“I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“I can’t talk about our love story, so I will talk about math. I am not a mathematician, but I know this: There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a Bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Chime

Chime by Franny Billingsley

“I’ve confessed to everything and I’s liked to be hanged.
Now, if you please”
― Franny Billingsley, Chime

“Guess what it is that turns plants to coal.
Pressure.
Guess what it is that turns limestone to marble.
Pressure.
Guess what it is that turns Briony’s heart to stone.
Pressure.
Pressure is uncomfortable, but so are the gallows. Keep your secrets, wolfgirl. Dance your fists with Eldric’s, snatch lightning from the gods. Howl at the moon, at the blood-red moon. Let your mouth be a cavern of stars.”
― Franny Billingsley, Chime

Graceling

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) by Kristin Cashore

“How absurd it was that in all seven kingdoms, the weakest and most vulnerable of people – girls, women – went unarmed and were taught nothing of fighting, while the strong were trained to the highest reaches of their skill.”
― Kristin Cashore, Graceling

“Mercy was more frightening than murder, because it was harder.”
― Kristin Cashore, Graceling

Stardust Publisher: Harper Perennial

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

“He wondered how it could have taken him so long to realize he cared for her, and he told her so, and she called him an idiot, and he declared that it was the finest thing that ever a man had been called.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

“You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and… What I’m trying to say, Tristan is… I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I’d know it for myself. My heart… It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it’s trying to escape because it doesn’t belong to me any more. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange – no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

“That’s what i love about poetry. The more abstract, the better. The stuff were your not sure what the poets talking about. You may have an idea, but you cant be sure. Not a hundred percent. Each word, specifically chosen, could have a million different meanings. Is it a stand-in ―a symbol for another idea? Does it fit into a larger, more hidden, metaphor?
…I hated poetry until someone showed me how to appreciate it. He told me to see poetry as a puzzle. Its up to the reader to decipher the code, or the words, based on everything they know about life and emotions.”
― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

“I guess that’s the point of it all. No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same”
― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

Shine

Shine by Lauren Myracle

“It’s unfair how the kids who are starving for attention tended to be so annoying that people had no inclination to give it to them.”
― Lauren Myracle, Shine

“Even so, I was proud of myself for taking action at all. I didn’t hide or run away or pretend the ugliness didn’t happen. I stood up and said something that was true. I said it out loud, and by doing so, I was standing up for lots of people, not just me.”
― Lauren Myracle, Shine

Ask the Passengers

Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

“Look, this is a loan. I don’t know if love is something I will run out of one day. I don’t know if I should be giving it all to you guys or not. Today, I feel like maybe I should have kept some for myself for days when no one else loves me.”
― A.S. King, Ask The Passengers

“All those people who are chained here thinking that their reputations matter and this little shit matters are so freaking shortsighted. Dude, what matters is that you’re happy. What matters is your future. What matters is that we get out of here in one piece. What matters is finding the truth of our own lives, not caring about what other people think is the truth of us.”
― A.S. King, Ask The Passengers

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Edition Original) by Chbosky, Stephen [Paperback(1999£©]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

“I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“It’s much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can’t just sit their and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things. I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. And I’m going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn’t do or what they didn’t know. I don’t know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It’s just different. Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Before I Fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”
― Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall

“I wonder if it’s ever really possible to know the truth about someone else, or if the best we can do is just stumble into each other, heads down, hoping to avoid collision. I…wonder how many people are clutching secrets like little fists, little rocks sitting in the pits of their stomachs. All of them, maybe.”
― Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall

It’s Monday. What Are You Reading? (11/18/13)

monday

So I have learned the hard way never to take anything for granted. The Girl was rushed to the hospital last week. She had emergency surgery on Tuesday morning. One would think that all that time in the hospital I would have read a lot, but most I just sat and fretted. The good news it that the doctor tells us that her pain should no longer be an issue. She is home and recovering well. And we are looking forward to her being able to do the things she loves again so very soon.

This week I am reading/listening to:

Practical Magic Codex Born: (Magic Ex Libris: Book Two) The Summer I Turned Pretty The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
This Week: Finished This Week: 20 This Week: Finished This Week: 160
Last Week: 262 Last Week: Not started Last Week: 101 Last Week: 46
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel  Un Lun Dun
The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel
 Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, Book 3)
This Week: 28. The Duke of Roxburghe’s library (Audio) This Week: Page 61  This Week: 64  This Week: 189
Last Week: Not started Last Week: Page 42  Last Week: 58  Last Week: 160

In the Queue:

Naked in Death (In Death, Book 1) Living With Evil Seraphina Obsidian (A Lux Novel)

Hit Me Baby One More Time: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday
Each week The Broke and the Bookish will post a new Top Ten list that at least one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

Oh sequels and series, I have such a love hate relationship with you. The stories I want to go on stop and the ones I want to stop go on. Thanks to this weeks Top Ten I had to decide which one were really the “Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get My Hands On”

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)
I can’t even talk about how much I love these books. Even though I am forever having to say to other people, “Yes there are angels but really, really give it a chance.”

 lairofdreamsfull  

 Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)
Evie O’Neill and the New York Subway, Sequeeee!

  
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3)
I hated the ending of the last book, mostly because this one was not yet released.

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Children
Hollow City (Miss Peregrine, #2)
The first one was creepy and enchanting. Can’t wait to see where this one will go.

Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15)
This one is so far out there is not even a link to buy it. Sad puppy face since I will then have to wait to get it on audio.

Unhinged: Splintered Book Two
Unhinged (Splintered, #2)
Oh, covers you get me every time.

Fables Vol. 19: Snow White

Fables, Vol. 19: Snow White (Fables, #19)
Yup, these can just keep coming.

Wildwood Imperium: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book III
Wildwood Imperium (Wildwood Chronicles, #3)
Judge my fairy tale hipster all you like, I love these.

The Sandman: Overture #2
The Sandman: Overture #2
Well, tell me any of you are the least surprised.


The Magician’s Land (The Magicians #3)
No cover! But finally a release date. July 29, 2014. And a summary.

Over at the Frankenstein place: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday
Each week The Broke and the Bookish will post a new Top Ten list that at least one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

For Hallowe’en the topic was a pick one. “This week was all about the creepy –whether or not you chose Top Ten Books To Read During Halloween or Top Ten Creepiest Covers!” Since I have done Top Ten to Read I decided to go with Creepiest Covers.

The Replacements – YA Weird
The Replacement

It – Creepy Clowns
It

I am Legend – Terrifying Vampires
I am Legend (S.F. Masterworks)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Creepy Oddities
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

We Need TO Talk About Kevin – Scary Children
We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lord of The Flies – Classic Creepy
By William Golding: Lord of the Flies (Perigee) Fourty-First (41th) Edition

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Childhood Scary
Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark

The Action Bible – WTF? Scary
The Action Bible

Books of Blood – Gory Fest Scary
Books of Blood

Night Shift – Short Story Scary

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