FrighteninglyGoodRead · Halloween2017

A Month of Frighteningly Good Reads

I have big big plans for this month!

Tomorrow is finally October. The weather has become crisp and beautifully cool. The leaves are bursting into color. People have finally stopped saying asinine things like, “Lets go to the __________.” (Insert someplace outside, in the heat, with the bugs, where there is no where to read.)

FrightenlyGoodRead

October is my favorite month. I love the apples and the pumpkins and the fall clothes (hello long pants and sweaters and thank you for hiding my inability to tan so well!). I adore hot beverages and hot food. I relish in cooking again. And, no longer am I being judged because I am holed up inside in front of my window air conditioning unit reading a book. Now, I can sit inside in front of a nice fire and read my book. Totally acceptable Fall behavior.

But, I will not lie, Halloween is a big part of the reason I love October. Orange is my favorite color. I am completely and hopelessly addicted to candy. I love spooky and slightly scary things. Halloween is made for me. In fact, my almost 17 year old cat’s name is Halloween.

Here she is keeping me company while I read.  Inside my house.  All summer.  Right in front of the air conditioner.

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So, for October 2017 I am running a month long daily blogging adventure. Let’s celebrate Fall and Halloween! Everyday I will be posting a Frighteningly Good Read. I have a huge line up of books and I am including fiction, non-fiction (of course), juvenile, all ages, adult and graphic novels. If you need a Frighteningly Good Read, you will be able to find one here!

If you want to join me in this blog-venture or pop in and out throughout the month, please do! Just use the #FrighteninglyGoodRead and link back here to SilverButtonBooks (please). Also, make sure and comment below and I will add your blog!


Tell me, please!

Do you love Fall? Are you into Halloween? If you do, what is your favorite part?


 

Fantasy · series

The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen

I read The False Prince when it first came out in 2012. Then, I somehow missed The Runaway King when it was published. Every since then, I keep seeing the trilogy and feeling badly that I didn’t finish it. Just the other day I was wandering through my local book store and saw the trilogy and I decided I had to finish it.

Sometimes, reading a series back-to-back is a bit painful isn’t it? You get to the end of the adventure in one book and when you start the next book it feels… slow. This is probably due to the five minute break between story culmination and starting again when, really, you were supposed to wait a year or more deep in anticipation for that next adventure. I did have a bit of series fatigue at the beginning of the second and third book (I had to re-read the first one!) but that is my fault not the authors.

And the fatigue wasn’t due to the the author packing the first three chapters with backstory. She did an excellent job of weaving that information into the continuing story. Rather, it is that the end of each book was so fast and filled with action that it was like driving on the highway for three hours and then trying to go 35 mph again. It’s not slow it’s regular speed.

The Ascendance Trilogy is also difficult to review as a three-book package without spoilers. Spoilers are the devils work. I will say that this trilogy must be read in order and I don’t recommend reading the jacket description of the second and third book until you have finished The False Prince.

Why, you may ask? Well, Jennifer Nielsen puts a decent number of surprises and twists into each book. There were definitely times when I felt like I could guess what was going to happen next only to be genuinely surprised. Additionally, there were moments when I really didn’t like a character in each book only to have them do something unexpected and win me over again.

Here is a book commercial for The False Prince that says it all (which is, as you will note, not much). And, um, is this voice over done by Taylor Lautner or am I imagining things?


Check out the Video Here


Truthfully, I didn’t expect to like the second and third book very much. The False Prince was excellent but the other two received mixed reviews from other bloggers and on Goodreads. If I didn’t feel the guilt of a good Catholic with a job unfinished I might not have picked the series up again. I am so glad that I did!

The Ascendance Trilogy was thoroughly enjoyable. It was a fast paced read with great characters and lots of surprises. And, for myself, it means that every time I see The False Prince I don’t cringe internally because I didn’t finish the Trilogy!


Tell me, please!

Have you ever started a series, loved it, but just forgot / neglected to finish it?

Did you ever get back around to finishing it?

Uncategorized

NY Times by the Book Tag and a Book Tag Journey

I love book blogs. Sometimes, when I don’t write for a while that is because I am knee-deep in reading and enjoying the adventures of literature through the eyes of my fellow book bloggers.

Recently, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Thrice Read, and they had featured a tag called, “New York Times by the Book Tag.” While I was intrigued by the title (and the fab post, check it out here) I couldn’t figure out why it was called The New York Times by the Book Tag. The originator of the tag is Marie Berg and there is a youtube link but the video is lost. So, I started backtracking through the different blogs that tagged each other. I started with Thrice Read who was found the tag on Beth’s blog Reading Every Night. Beth was tagged by Jessica at Pour Over Pages. Jessica was tagged by Lois from Lois Reads Books. Lois was tagged by Reg from She Latitude. Now, Reg had tagged a couple of other people but you can only go so far down the rabbit hole. Reg was tagged by Lauren at Wonderless Reviews. And Lauren was tagged by Louise at Genie Reads. Louise was tagged by Michelle at Book Adventures. Now, I don’t know where Michelle’s New York Times post went so I decided this was the end of my journey. Whew!

Now I have five new book blogs to follow, an avalanche of books to add to my TBR and an overwhelming need to tell everyone to drop what they are doing and read Pierce Brown right now (so many bloggers cited his books as ones they meant to read). If I were you I would check out all these fantastic blogs – many of them also include how they organize their books shelves, some with pictures!


New York Times by the Book Tag

What Book is On Your Nightstand Now?

make aheadThe Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen. It gives me delicious dreams.

 

 

 

 

What was the Last Truly Great Book You Read?

messy

Messy, The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford is the book I just cannot stop recommending. I love this book and I have become very annoying to those around me by quoting it.

 

 

 

 

If You Could Meet Any Author – Dead or Alive – Who Would it Be? And What Would You Want to Know?

Truthfully, I do not want to meet any authors. What if I met the author of my favorite book series and I despised him / her? What if she was a horrible excuse for a human being? I feel the same way about actors. I just want to enjoy the books and movies.

What Books Might We Be Surprised to Find On Your Shelf?

I have a ton of reference books on my shelves. But, now that I am looking, I have an alarming number of books about code breaking and ciphering. Huh. I don’t even know Morse Code.

How do you Organize Your Personal Library?

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In this past year I purchased all of these wonderful bookshelves from Ikea. I try to keep my books in groups (like with like, series books all together) but I do have one whole bookshelf reserved for TBR and one for all my favorite books.

I am actually waiting for a nice cold weekend to pull them all off and reorganize them. After reading everyone else’s style I have some fantastic ideas.

What Books Have you Always Meant to Read But Haven’t Gotten Around to Yet?

All the major works of Shakespeare. I’m embarrassed that I haven’t actually read any of his great plays.

Disappointed, Overrated, Just Not Good: What Book Did you Feel Like you are Supposed to Like but Didn’t?

I’m on the edge of skipping this one because I don’t like to give negative reviews but this one isn’t a negative review so much as a I-didn’t-like-it-as-much-as-everyone-else book.

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People claimed that this book changed their lives. I think that is the part that really bothered me. Kathryn Stockett was “shining a light” on something that I felt like everyone knew about and she didn’t do it as well as I would have liked. However, if this book did change your world view then that is good news and I want to encourage you to dig deeper. Perhaps reading about minority issues from a minority author would be a good place to start.

 

 

What Kind of Stories are You Drawn to? Any you Stay Clear of?

I am definitely drawn to stories where everyone gets what is coming to them. I think that is how I keep ending up in the YA and Children’s section. I also enjoy Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Non-Fiction and Fantasy.

I steer clear of books intending to make you cry. You know the ones.

If You Could Require the President to Read One Book,

What Would It Be?

So many books are on this list. I thought about tomes written about compassion, works of minority authors, immigrant stories, history books, maybe some basic science books. But, I have very little to no faith that someone else is capable of changing his mind.  I am going to have to say a nice Children’s Thesaurus.

What Do You Plan to Read Next?

shadowI am wrapping up The Ascendence Trilogy with The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen.

 

 

 

 

 


And there you have it! The New York Times by the Book Tag and a wandering journey through the history of the tag. If anyone knows why it is called this, let me know!

nonfiction

Non-Fiction Friday #5: Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

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menexplainWhenever I come across an author or a concept that I haven’t heard before I like to read a book about it. Recently, a group of people were talking about “mansplaining” – which I thought was a very funny way of describing what all women have experienced at least once.  Mansplaining is a person (usually a man) explaining things to another (usually a woman) in a condescending or patronizing manner. This is the classic, “I had a kidney stone so I know exactly what it is like to be pregnant,” comment. I know, I know. I am way behind (years) on this but I blame my refusal to use Twitter until this year.

Mansplaining lead me to Rebecca Solnit‘s Men Explaining Things to Me. While she is credited with creating the idea of mansplaining she explains in the book that she did not come up with the word. Also, she has doubt about the term and doesn’t use it much herself.

I must back up for a moment and say I never sought out any feminist writing or took a woman’s study class in college. It never occurred to me that people would view me differently simply because I was a woman. I also rarely kept up with national or international news or I would have known that I my experience and mindset was not typical.

Which leads me back to Men Explain Things to Me. I am so glad that I read it now and not when I was under my youthful disillusionment of gender equality or during the misguided years where I thought I had no more or less to fear from the world than my brother. I know that 17 year old me would not have taken this book as seriously as I do now that I have spent time in a world that does not see me as a person but rather as a women.

This short book starts with a very funny anecdote but throughout its 159 pages it marches through deep waters of inequality between men and women. The second of the seven essays, The Longest War, was very difficult for me to read as it centers around the rape crisis in our world. But, things which are difficult to read but are written with a purpose always spurn me into action.

There were two things I really appreciated about this book. First, the author eloquently uses her depth of knowledge on the subject of gender inequality to explain how seeing women as inferior (or men as superior) has created a plethora of problems for our world. I had several mind-blown, eyes-wide-open, aha! moments reading these essays. Second, she frequently acknowledges that not all men and women fit neatly into one category or another. This, I felt, gave her writing as much credibility as her knowledge bank.

I am of the opinion that everyone should read this book. If you find yourself scoffing and dismissing the things presented by the author then I can only wonder – are you part of the problem or just not yet part of the world?


Tell me, please!

Have you read this book or others by Rebecca Solnit?

Do you agree or disagree with her opinions?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Five Tuesday: Top 5 Modern Classics

Usually when I participate in a Top Ten Tuesday I follow the Broke and the Bookish. This week their theme is Top Ten Books You Struggled to Get Through (or Didn’t get through at all) and for me, this list would be nothing but books I hated.  I tried to come up with books that I started and struggled with but then adored but I couldn’t really come up with enough to make a list. Still, check out that participants when you get a chance because some of the lists are amazing.

So, instead, I wanted to try the Top Five Tuesday from Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Her theme is Top 5 Modern Classics and you should check out her list. For my purposes I am including books that were published after 1980 (the “modern” part) and that I think everyone should read (the “classic” part) So, here we go in no particular order!


bridgetjones

#1 Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, 1996.

I know what you must be thinking, really? But, think about it. This cute little story was the beginning of the chick lit movement which has evolved into booksellers finally understanding that women buy books – lots of books – and that we enjoy a variety of offerings (not just chick lit!). The book itself might be a piece of delightful fluff (I loved it) but it was a turning point for getting women published at a more competitive rate and that makes it a modern classic in my book.

handmaid

#2 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, 1985. This is the modern marriage of A Scarlet Letter and Canterbury Tales. The fact that this book continues to be “rediscovered” every few years – and is soon to be a major motion picture – is a clear indication of a modern classic for me.

 

 

 

poinsonwoodbible#3 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, 1998.

A white Christian man takes his family to post-colonial Africa and they are totally unprepared for anything. Watching the Father unsuccessfully attempt to change the Congo and the people to match his ideals would make this an important book. But when you consider that the story is told from the perspectives of the Mother and the four daughters, the book is given important social and gender commentary that takes a beautifully told story and makes it a modern classic.

 

thecolorpurple

 

#4 The Color Purple by Alice Walker, 1982

I don’t think this one needs any explanation. Frankly, I was shocked to find that it was published in 1982 as I had just considered it a plain-old classic.

 

 

 

harrypotter#5 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, 1997.

Every time.

 

 

 


Tell me, please!

Do you agree with my choices? Do you have any to add?