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I love yoga, crossfit, and cats. My favorite authors growing up were Roald Dahl, Christopher Pike, Francine Pascal, and one of VC Andrews books. Poetry is cool too. I like Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, and Bukowski. I also own poetry by Elizabeth Bishop and anthologies by Garrison Keillor. I mainly read junk now. Thanks $0.99 Kindle deals.

Station Eleven book review

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

 

 

This book talks about maybe the 15 years before and the 15-20 years after the Georgian Flu annihilates 99% of the earth's inhabitants (well, at least around the Michigan-Chicago area). Sounds super exciting, right? Well, somehow, it's not when you read it.

You're following many different story lines that weave in and out of one another. The characters speak with the same "voice" though. Everyone is super classy and well-bred, it seems like. (which kept me at a distance from the book bc I'm super not-classy).

My main gripe is, for a dystopian book, where life has changed as we know it, the author writes better about the smaller scale issues? The regrets seem to be superficial or ... I dont know, a part of life that that everyone goes through but selfish, articulate people might describe it in a romantic way.

 


With a setting where only 1% of the population is around, I was kind of expecting exploration of larger themes. But I felt the paparazzi, a guy dating younger women bc he's famous during the pre-apocalypse was more pitiful and "sad" than what people were going through in the post-apocalypse (where your life is seriously in danger but I NEVER FELT LIKE THEIR LIFE WAS IN DANGER). Maybe that was the author's intention.

It comes off as shallow, pre-pretentious a little bit. The fantastic, little parts didn't translate to a fantastic, great whole. There was just a little heart and soul missing.

THE MARTIAN - short review

The Martian - Andy Weir

This guy gets stuck on Mars and endures one (predictable) catastrophe after another. It's like an almost humorous version of Apollo 13. Except the guy is by himself and on Mars. 

Con: sometimes the story got a little tedious and technical (for me).f

Savages.

Into That Forest - Louis Nowra

Hannah is a little spitfire. And Becky seems to prefer dresses over mud. So when the girls get lost from Hannah's parents during a storm (they're young when this happens, like 6 years old), they get adopted by these tigers (and not real tigers but tasmanian tigers). Hanna seems to be the first to lose her clothes and her speech but Becky seems to hold on to those human parts of her. The most memorable part of the book to me is their relationship. Even though these two kids are complete opposites, they've been bound by this experience.

 

 

There are not that many characters to worry about. You meet a Mr. Carson and an Ernie who show up the last 1/3 of the book. Then the tigers - Dave and Corrina. Last but not least, Becky and Hannah. 

 

There are so many THEMES to explore in this book. Man vs. Nature, Taming the Wild, What Makes us Human?, Brutality and the Gentleness of Nature, What Makes a Family? etc. 

 

This book has closure, so you find out what happens to everyone! No loose ends, I hate that!

Also, I'm not sure what age group this book is intended for. It's definitely graphic at times and there are some heavy topics. I wouldn't pass this out to elementary school kids but maybe appropriate for mature middle schoolers?

SPOILER ALERT!

Book Review - Bram Stoker's Dracula

Dracula - Bram Stoker

CAST

LUCY: tons of suitors, she's not "loose" or anything but seems very involved in getting married and flighty things
MINA: Lucy's BFF. She can type and write shorthand. Seems to be the smarter one of the two.
JONATHAN HARKER: Mina's fiancée/husband. Meeting up with Ct Dracula to help him sort out some housing.
DR VAN HELSING: Older guy who does science-y stuff but is also not afraid of using garlic and superstitions to get shi* done.
MORRIS: An American guy who tried to marry Lucy but wasn't The Chosen One. He carries a gun and Bram Stoker seems to be caricaturing Americans as hillbillies from Texas with this Morris character.
DR SEWARD: I think he works at a Mental Institution and he's watching this erratic patient named Renfield who likes to eat mice and flies. He seems to be a Van Helsing in training but takes a minute to believe in the superstitions.
Dr Godelming and the other guy: I don't know, one of them marries Lucy and the other is another one of her suitors? They are part of the "group" that chases after Dracula.

This book is entirely composed of letters and memorandums and diary entries from the characters. I read that this creates suspense in the reader. So when you watch Blair Witch or REC and you feel tense because you only know what the characters know ... well, Bram Stoker did it too.

PLOT (SPOILERS): Harker goes to Dracula's castle to sort out Dracula's housing affairs. Harker starts to get creeped out because Dracula is weird. He finally starts poking around the castle and sees three creepy vampire women. They try to get him but Dracula comes in and is like "not now, bitches". Harker is locked in the castle and pretty much sees Dracula crawling down the side of the castle. He writes all this down because he likes to document. Harker finally escapes.

Meanwhile Lucy is starting to sleepwalk while Mina is like "Where the freak is my fiancée?" And then Mina and Lucy are hanging out and Lucy starts to sleepwalk. Lucy coincidentally starts to get weaker and weaker. They finally call for Dr. Seward. He doesn't know wtf is going on. So he sends for Van Helsing. They do blood transfusions (like 4 freaking times, omg it drags). And then there's a lot of "Lucy is wonderful, poor Lucy!" etc etc. Anyways, Van Helsing starts to use superstitious stuff to "cure" Lucy and it works! But then Lucy's crazy mom gets rid of the garlic while the guys are away (at the asylum? checking on Renfeld) and Lucy regresses again. Finally Lucy just dies, along with her mom.

Van Helsing seems to know what is really going on and is like, "Trust me guys. You're going to wanna come to Lucy's tomb and check this out." And so the guys do and they see a creepy woman (Lucy) walking around in the cemetery. I think they also find a swaddling baby that we presume the creepy woman (Lucy) was going to eat. Van Helsing convinces them to open up Lucy's tomb, and they do, and there's no Lucy. The guys aren't convinced of what Van Helsing is suggesting ... saying that there's body snatching or graverobbers. So later, they open her tomb again and Lucy IS there and she basically looks pretty hot. So they end up killing Lucy.

And later on, some of the guys walk in on Mina feeding off Dracula. It's a pretty wtf moment. They somehow get rid of Dracula. Van Helsing is finally like, "Guys, we gotta kill Dracula." They agree and start to track down Dracula's boxes of earth (his caskets?). They track down all of them (there's like 50 or something) except ONE. Van Helsing renders these 49 caskets useless by sticking a communion wafer in them. But they're still missing that one casket. They're like "Fu*k, we're so close."

Van Helsing starts to hypnotizes Mina and they figure out Dracula's on a boat because she is like "I can hear lapping water". Mina uses some Sherlock Holmes reasoning to figure out what river Dracula is probably on. So the group splits up in 3 teams and chase Dracula (Mina and Helsing go by horse, 2 of them go by boat, and I think the other two go by horse/train? IDK).

At the end, Van Helsing is with Mina and keeps her contained in a circle with communion wafers (bc she's turning into a vampire or to protect her from Dracula if he comes by? Both? IDK). Van Helsing and Mina are close to Dracula's castle. Van Helsing sees some caskets and, why not, opens them up. The vampire women come out and tempt him (and freak out the horses). But Helsing finds his courage to kill them (I guess this is the whole god/temptation battle). And then Mina and Helsing see Harker and the other 3 guys chasing after gypsies who have Dracula's last casket ("box of earth"). Mina gives us a great play by play. The sun is about to set but the brave dudes knock over the casket and open it up. They see Dracula and behead/stab him. Mina sees a look of momentary peace come over Dracula's face. Morris ends up dying. Mina's vampire-ism goes away. Everyone lives happily ever after. Oh, except Renfield. He died earlier on at the asylum.

 

The first and last part of the book are pretty good. It's just the middle drags on and on and on (egs. I feel like Bram Stoker copied and pasted Lucy's transfusions. I was like, seriously, another one? Just die already.). Also, this book is pretty dated so there's a lot of "women shouldn't be doing that" and "we should let Mina rest because her poor womanly frame cant handle all of this excitement", etc.

I listened to this on audiobook. $0.99, Im not complaining.

What is up with women writing books that involve spanking?

Big Girl Panties - Stephanie Evanovich

This was not horrible. Or realistic. It's well worth $1.99 I paid for it but don't you dare spend more than $4.99!

 

Holly is a widow. She seems to have led a fairly unremarkable life until she meets celebrity sports trainer Logan on an airplane. Logan accidentally flew coach and had to sit next to, ugh, a fat girl. But Holly and Logan strike up a conversation and in a rare moment of benevolence, Logan offers to fit her in his busy schedule and become her trainer.

 

Holly shows up to all the workouts, and Logan is super impressed with her workout ethic! But whenever Logan starts to get to the root of Holly's problems, she verbally spars with Logan to misdirect the conversation. However, Logan is much smarter than that (he has a Masters degree), and they start to form a very good friendship.

 

Logan's main celebrity he trains (Chase) has a wife Amanda who takes Holly under her wing. Holy feels out of place in their world but, at the same time, she feels like she's coming alive again by getting out of the rut she's been in.

 

Logan has always dated tall, blond skinny chicks. And Holly is red-haired and will never grace the pages of Vickie's Secret. CAN THEY MAKE IT WORK OMG IDK HOW IT ENDS.

i vant to suck your blood
i vant to suck your blood
Dracula - Bram Stoker

I am so annoyed with Bram Stoker's Dracula! If I have to hear about Lucy getting one more blood transfusion. Or if I have to hear about how beautiful she is or how Mina loves her one more time ... omg. 

 

Can I just appreciate this book solely for its place in history without having to read it? Because I feel like reading it is making me not like the book at all. 

 

But I laughed at this quote ... "just as a woman does". 

 

The moment we were alone in the carriage he gave way to a regular fit of hysterics. He has denied to me since that it was hysterics, and insisted that it was only his sense of humor asserting itself under very terrible conditions. He laughed till he cried, and I had to draw down the blinds lest any one should see us and misjudge. And then he cried, till he laughed again, and laughed and cried together, just as a woman does. I tried to be stern with him, as one is to a woman under the circumstances, but it had no effect. Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous strength or weakness! 

 

 

Happy 450th to Billy Shakes!