Reading Stephen King – September 2019

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to become more familiar with works by different authors by featuring a different author every month (see A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge). I thought the best way to start my Fall reading is with some Stephen King books. I have only ever read his novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which was fantastic. I was looking forward to joining the millions of readers that love Stephen King.

0671024256.01.LZZZZZZZTitle: On Writing
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Memoir, Writing
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 288
Format Read: Audiobook & Book
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app & Library book sale
Date finished reading:  September 6, 2019

Goodreads Description: “Long live the King,” hailed “Entertainment Weekly” upon the publication of Stephen King’s “On Writing.” Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999 — and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, “On Writing” will empower and entertain everyone who reads it — fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

christineTitle: Christine
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: April 29, 1983
Pages: 503
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: September 14, 2019

Goodreads Description: Just Another Lovers’ Triangle, Right?

It was love at first sight. From the moment seventeen-year-old Arnie Cunningham saw Christine, he knew he would do anything to possess her.

Arnie’s best friend, Dennis, distrusts her—immediately.

Arnie’s teen-queen girlfriend, Leigh, fears her the moment she senses her power.

Arnie’s parents, teachers, and enemies soon learn what happens when you cross her.

Because Christine is no lady. She is Stephen King’s ultimate, blackly evil vehicle of terror…

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

apt pupilTitle: Apt Pupil 
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Viking Press
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 179
Format Read: Ebook
Standalone or series: Part of Different Seasons short story collection
Where I got the book: Amazon Kindle
Date finished reading: September 15, 2019

Goodreads Description: Todd Bowden is an apt pupil. Good grades, good family, a paper route. But he is about to meet a different kind of teacher: Mr. Dussander. Todd knows all about Dussander’s dark past. The torture. The death. The decades-old manhunt Dussander has escaped to this day. Yet Todd doesn’t want to turn him in. Todd wants to know more. Much more. He is about to learn the real meaning of power—and the seductive lure of evil.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ 

38926465._SY475_Title: The Body
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Viking Press
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 80
Format Read: Ebook/Audiobook
Standalone or series: Part of Different Seasons short story collection
Where I got the book: Amazon Kindle
Date finished reading: September 21, 2019

Goodreads Description: It’s 1960 in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. Ray Brower, a boy from a nearby town, has disappeared, and twelve-year-old Gordie Lachance and his three friends set out on a quest to find his body along the railroad tracks. During the course of their journey, Gordie, Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp, and Vern Tessio come to terms with death and the harsh truths of growing up in a small factory town that doesn’t offer much in the way of a future.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

shiningTitle: The Shining 
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: January 28, 1977
Pages: 659
Format Read: Ebook
Standalone or series: Series Book #1
Where I got the book: Amazon Kindle
Date finished reading: September 30, 2019

Goodreads Description: Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

My Review: As an introduction to Stephen King, I think this month went really well. I do not read many horror novels, so I was nervous on how I would handle reading Stephen King, hence why I started with his nonfiction memoir On Writing. However, much to my surprise I really enjoyed reading Stephen King from his memoir to his short stories to his full length novels.

First, let me say that his memoir is fantastic and should be read even if you are not a Stephen King fan. I am not just saying that because he mentions DePere, Wisconsin, a town I lived in for 3 1/2 years. Half of this book is a memoir about Stephen King’s life and the other half provides his writing tips and conversations he has had about writing. On Writing gives you a glimpse into King’s childhood. He also discusses his addiction to alcohol and his recovery after being struck by a car. That event in his life occurred during the writing of this book and almost killed him. For the most part, I absolutely loved this book. I guess the only thing that started to make me a bit uncomfortable was how many times King mentions the full name of the individual who was driving the car that struck him. Frankly, that individual was not sufficiently punished by the judicial system, and so maybe King mentions him repeatedly in his book out of the bitterness of this situation, which is justified, but still made me feel uncomfortable.

After reading, On Writing, I was ready to dive into his works of fiction. I listened to Christine on audiobook. When I was on my lunch break, I would read his short story from the Different Seasons collection called Apt Pupil. I actually thought this was a good pairing, because it helped me establish why I loved Christine but did not like Apt Pupil very much. Christine was an absolute thrill ride (pun maybe intended). Apt Pupil really dragged for me. While they both had very violent scenes, I found those scenes much more tolerable in Christine than I did in Apt Pupil. The characters in Apt Pupil were just so sick and twisted. I can also say to myself that those were humans doing those acts of violence in Apt Pupil, where as in Christine much of the violence is done by a car (an object). I also really enjoyed the telling of Christine through a narrator (Dennis).

The Body was also told through a narrator, Gordy, and was a good next short story to read, as it was far less disturbing than Apt Pupil. I feel horrible writing this, but this style of literature made a much better movie. If you haven’t seen Stand By Me, you should. It is a great adaptation of this story. I found it a little confusion in the reading of The Body to understand if the narrator was in the past or the present. That could also be because I listened to it on audio instead of reading my physical copy. However, the experiences and conversations between the four friends, Gordy, Chris, Teddy, and Vern, as they go in search of a dead body, were wonderfully told – entertaining and at times funny.

To end my month of reading Stephen King, I finally read The Shining and no it is not like the Jack Nicholson movie (though I admit I love the movie too). This was a great conclusion, as I absolutely loved this book. It was my favorite for sure. It had characters I cared about, fantastical elements (a possessed murder house & people who have a special ability called the shine), and intense, scary moments that made it hard to read but at the same time made it hard to stop reading. Also, Dick Halloran, you rock my world! I can’t help but be tempted to read King’s follow-up novel called Doctor Sleep, but I am nervous that he changes the characters enough (especially Danny) that I won’t enjoy it.

I have heard from other readers, that Stephen King’s writing it too simplistic. It may be simplistic, but I think he creates magic with his words – simple or not. He makes you scared of things you never thought you would be scared of and uses important topics as themes in his stories, like bullying, alcoholism and friendship. “Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant, did you ever notice that?” (from The Body) I avoided Stephen King for so long, because I just did not think I would enjoy his type of horror (or the horror genre in general). I was wrong though and am glad I finally read his works. I will definitely be reading more.

My Overall Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Have you ever read Stephen King? If so, what are your favorites?

Advertisements

Completed 24in48 Readathon – July 2019

24in48_v2-03_full-color

Congratulations to all those who participated in the 24in48 Readathon over this past weekend! How did y’all do?  I actually managed to clock 24 hours of reading, which was far behind my goal for the weekend. Here are my readathon stats:

Finished Reads:

  • The Road to Dribbling by Bill Bryson – audiobook
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Part 3 only for a IRL readalong) – book
  • Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama – audiobook

Reads Started but not Finished during Readathon:

  • The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins – book/ebook
  • Ireland by Frank Delaney – audiobook

Pages Read:

I read a total of exactly 900 pages.

Reading Time:

20190722_084533

Social Media Updates:

I posted many updates on social media regarding this readathon:

Thank you so much to the lovely 24in48 Readathon hosts! You all are amazing! I had such a fun weekend and can’t wait until the next one!

Summer Reading – 2019

Summer is almost here! I will be continuing to read for my Reading the Classics Challenge and my 2019 Focus on Authors Challenge. Titles are mostly based on giveaways, book club picks, and books set in Ireland, as I get ready to travel there in August. What are y’all reading this summer? Any read you are most looking forward to? Here is my list:

Book Club Reads

  • The Plague by Albert Camus
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Tigerman by Nick Harkaway
  • Recollections of Things to Come by Elena Garro

NetGalley Reads

  • Once Upon a Bad Boy by Melonie Johnson
  • A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell
  • The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins
  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  • The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
  • How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul; Maria Russo

Readalongs

  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck

2019 Focus on Authors

  • Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
  • Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  • Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson

Other

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand- audiobook
  • The Children by David Halberstam – audiobook
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama – audiobook/book
  • Made for This by Jennie Allen – audiobook
  • The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy – audiobook/ebook
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt – audiobook
  • The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – audiobook
  • The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein – audiobook
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – book
  • 1916: The Easter Rising by Tim Pat Coogan – ebook

24 Hour Readathon – Goals

readrat

It’s that time!!!! Time for the semi-annual Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon!!!! Check back on Saturday, April 6th to see my progress. This is officially my 6th time participating. Here are some questions to help me prep and set goals for this round.

Are you participating for the whole 24 hours? I really wish I could participate for the whole 24 hours. Unfortunately, I will be hosting a garage sale that morning as part of our community yard sale. It is my opportunity to Marie Kondo my house, so I can’t pass this up. I am hoping to still read during slow moments or have the Harry Potter Book 4 audiobook blaring on our outdoor speakers. I also don’t believe that I’ll be able to stay up all night as I will have a late night on Friday. We are taking my mother-in-law to: A Night with Margaret Atwood. Super excited for this! So I believe my ultimate goal will be to read for: 15 hours.

What is on your TBR pile for the Readathon? I always make sure I have a lot of options, because I never know what I’ll be in the mood for. Here are the books I believe I will finish:

Here are some other books I may start or continue reading:

What snacks am I looking forward to? Since I’m going to have an early morning with last minute prepping for the garage sale, I plan on making a 6am run to Billy’s Donuts. It is a donut shop that just opened up in my neighborhood, so I am happy to finally support a new business, which in turn will support my readathon goals (or at least my hunger). I am always up for donuts and kolaches!

20190403_221340

My Readathon TBR Pile

Anyone else participating in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon? If so, what will you be reading and snacking on? Also, I’ll be happy to cheer you on if you are participating.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – March 13, 2019

www

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I am finishing up my Winter Reading List this month but am no where near completing everything on that list. Hopefully I will have better luck with my upcoming Spring Reading List. I am also making my way through some David McCullough reads. (See my 2019 A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge).

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

#HPBuddyRead Readalong: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
IRL Great Books Book Club:  The Odyssey by Homer (translated by Emily Wilson) – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
NetGalley ARC: The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Focus on Authors Reading Challenge: The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦

*Click on the titles for my reviews. A full review of all David McCullough reads this month will be posted at the end of the month.*

Reading Next

Have you read anything by the author David McCullough? If so, what do you think of his writing? What are y’all reading now? Please post your WWW links below in the comments if I haven’t already visited them.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – February 27, 2019

www

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I am making some progress on my Winter Reading List my Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reads. (See my 2019 A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge).

Currently Reading

I am really close to finishing Americanah, so I should have my Adichie review up in the next couple of days!

Finished Reading

The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam – audiobook & book =
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Say Nothing by Patrick Raddon Keefe – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

*Click on the titles for my review.*

Reading Next

I’ve really enjoyed reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie this month and highly recommend reading her! What are y’all reading now? Please post your WWW links below in the comments if I haven’t already visited them.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – February 6, 2019

www

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

I am making some progress on my Winter Reading List. I just finished my month of reading Zadie Smith and have now moved on to reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (See my 2019 A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge).

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

On Beauty by Zadie Smith – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – audiobook = ♦ ♦
The Silent Patient
 by Alex Michaelides – ARC book = ♦ ♦ ♦

*Click on the titles for my reviews. I will have a full review of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie books at the end of February. *

Reading Next

Have you read anything by the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? If so, what do you think of her writing? What are y’all reading now? Please post your WWW links below in the comments if I haven’t already visited them.

HAPPY READING!!!