Category Archives: Mostly About Reading

13 of the most terrifying books published

Hey there, word lovers!

Since Hallowe’en is fast approaching, I thought this might be of interest to you. I found this list that was compiled by a library. They call it 13 Most Terrifying Books of All Time.

  1. Pet Sematary – by Stephen King
  2. The Island of Dr. Moreau – by H.G. Wells
  3. The Cask of Amontillado – by Edgar Allen Poe
  4. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – by Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. The Turn of the Screw – by Henry James
  6. Frankenstein – by Mary Shelley
  7. The Exorcist – by William Peter Blatty
  8. Something Wicked This Way Comes – by Ray Bradbury
  9. Silence of the Lambs – by Thomas Harris
  10. Hell House – by Richard Matheson
  11. Rosemary’s Baby – by Ira Levin
  12. Dracula – by Bram Stoker
  13. House of Leaves – by Mark Z. Danielewski

I will not read: #1 – Pet Sematary; #7 – The Exorcist (saw the movie years ago and that was enough!); #11 – Rosemary’s Baby.

I have read: #2 – Island of Dr. Moreau; #5 – The Turn of the Screw; #12 – Dracula (only in the daytime) – and they weren’t all that scary to me then. Well, except Dracula – which I enjoyed – although it kind of spooked me.

I plan to read: #6 – Frankenstein; #4 – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Since I sometimes can be easily spooked, being a very visual reader (and I don’t like being haunted by the visuals), the others I’m not sure about: #3 – The Cask of Amontillado; #8 – Something Wicked This Way Comes; #9 – Silence of the Lambs; #10 – Hell House; #13 – House of Leaves.

What do you advise? Which ones have you read, and what did you think of them? Which ones would you suggest I avoid?

Stay safe and well. Thanks for reading … and Happy Musings!

Books Banned in 2021

Book banning has been a thing for a very long time, since the late 18th century, in fact. And it continues.

Here is a list of 21 of the most commonly banned books this year.

  1. George – by Alex Gino
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You – by Abram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
  3. All American Boys – by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  4. Speak – by Laurie Halse Anderson
  5. Something Happened in Our Town: a Child’s Story About Racial Injustice – by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird – by Harper Lee
  7. Of Mice and Men – by John Steinbeck
  8. The Bluest Eye – by Toni Morrison
  9. The Hate U Give – by Angie Thomas
  10. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out – by Susan Kuklin
  11. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo – by Jill Twiss
  12. Sex is a Funny Word: a Book About Bodies, Feelings, and You – by Cory Silverberg
  13. Prince and Knight – by Daniel Haack
  14. I Am Jazz – by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
  15. The Handmaid’s Tale – by Margaret Atwood
  16. Drama – by Raina Telgemeier
  17. The Harry Potter series – by J.K. Rowling
  18. And Tango Makes Three – by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
  19. The Captain Underpants series – by Dav Pilkey
  20. Thirteen Reasons Why – by Jay Asheri
  21. This One Summer – by Mariko Tamaki

How many of these have you read? I’ve only read the seven books I have in bold print.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

More brief book reviews: Our House is on Fire – by Malena Ernman; The City in the Middle of the Night – by Charlie Jane Anders; Big Burn – by Lesley Choyce; The Stationery Shop – by Marjan Kamali

These are brief reviews of four more of the books I’ve read in the 52BookClub challenge and the Indigo reading challenge.

Title: Our House is on Fire: scenes of a family and a planet in crisis

Author: by Malena & Beta Ernman, Svante & Greta Thunberg

Published: March 5, 2020

The climate change is a big deal – as in, CRISIS – and this Swedish family, specifically 15-year-old Greta, has made more of the planet’s population aware of the seriousness of it in the recent past – and ongoing.

This book is written mainly by her mother and is in scenes rather than chapters. Readers are taken through the past few years so that we get to know Greta, her family, and her cause. Her passion for saving our planet is real, the crisis is real, the need for change is real. There is not much time left to make a positive and effective difference.
I read this book for the Indigo 2021 challenge and used it for the prompt “a book about helping the e
nvironment.”

 

Title: The City in the Middle of the Night

Author: Charlie Jane Anders

Published: February 12, 2019

This is one of the strangest books I have ever read — and I had to finish it! It’s a story about a planet that’s dying, a society with strict, regimented rules and traditions, and a rebel named Sophie who is their unrealized way to change. This is a story to get pulled into and when it ends it leaves you wishing for more.
I chose this book for the Indigo reading challen
ge, prompt “A book by a trans* or nonbinary author.”

 

 

Title: Big Burn

Author: Lesley Choyce

Published: May, 1995

Although this little book was written in 1995, it is still valid today with regard to pollution of soil, water and air, and the ill effects that has on wildlife and human health.
Two teenagers meet and become great friends, while taking on a big business that is polluting the environment. Both their families have been deeply affected by the secrets and underhandedness of the companies they had b
een involved with, and it is time to do something about it.

I used this book for the 52BooksClub challenge, prompt #52 – featuring the environment.”

 

Title: The Stationery Shop

Author: Marjan Kamali

Published: April 6, 2021

This is such a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of young love in Iran during a politically tumultuous time in 1953. Teenagers Roya and Bahman are deeply in love but his mother fiercely disapproves, although Roya does what she can to please her. The day they are going to start a life together everything changes for them.
This story takes the reader through the early days of their relationship, and then decades later to an emotional ending and surprising twist. Excellent!
Included is a section Topics and Questions for Discussion. I used this book for the 52BookClub reading challenge, prompt #11 – “Book with discussion questions inside.”

 

Perhaps you have enjoyed one or more of the above books. If so, any comments on them?

Thanks for reading, and … now get lost in a good book! 🙂

 

More from the reading challenges. Have you read any of these books?

Hi there!

With all the things that draw my attention, and as a family caregiver, I fell behind again! I am still reading, but more slowly, so I haven’t as many books to list here as I had hoped to have read by now. I also found that I am changing some around on my reading challenge lists, but since they are of my own choosing I can do that. Because it makes my lists not quite accurate for posting here, from now on I will combine them into one list for you to read. The books below are quite a variety.

  1. The Stationery Shop – by Marjan Kamali
  2. 6 Week Money Challenge – by Steve Repak
  3. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting – by Darlene Foster
  4. Life of Pi – by Yann Martel
  5. Eat Pray Love – by Elizabeth Gilbert
  6. The Fault in Our Stars – by John Green
  7. Grandma Says – by Cindy Day
  8. Country of the Heart – by Barbara Wersba
  9. The Black Kids – by Christina Hammonds Reed
  10. The Happiest Man on Earth – by Eddie Jaku
  11. Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden – by Jessica Walliser
  12. A Tale of Two Cities – by Charles Dickens
  13. Into Thin Air: a personal account of the Mount Everest Disaster – by Jon Krakauer
  14. Cyrano – by Edmond Rostad; Geraldine McCaughrean

I currently have eight other books in various stages of being read.

Two questions for you this time: Have you read any of the above? Do you usually have more than one book on the go at once?

Thanks for reading … And Sharing! Do Come back for more!

 

4 new brief book reviews: The Tale of Despereaux – Kate DiCamillo; Someone To Watch Over Me – Jill Churchill; The Pursuit of Happyness – Chris Gardner; White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo

Reading is my go-to thing, more than ever. Although I’m painting on Thursdays again I’m keeping up my close relationship with books. Here I’m continuing to tell you about the books I’ve read for the reading challenges. Perhaps you have read some of them.

Title: The Tale of Despereaux

Author: Kate DiCamillo

Published: September 9, 2008

This is the four-part sweet story of a teeny, tiny mouse – Despereaux – who fell in love with a human princess. Because of that, and not repenting of it, he was condemned to the castle dungeon where rats lived and mice died. Despereaux proved to be clever and brave, not only for himself but for the princess who was in danger. Enjoyable black and white illustrations.
In the 52books challenge, I used it for prompt “author with a 9-letter last name,” but it could also fit four other prompts.

Title: Someone To Watch Over Me

Author: Jill Churchill

Published: September 3, 2002

I read this book for an extra challenge prompt (author or character with a floral name) for 52booksclub, and found it to be quite enjoyable. A brother and sister – Robert and Lily Brewster – who were once wealthy, now lived in their uncle’s mansion after the Crash of 1929. Robert finds a man’s mummified body in the old icehouse, and soon after that another man’s body was found in the woods. New to the community, the Brewsters tried to help the police chief solve the mysteries.


Title: The Pursuit of Happyness

Author: Chris Gardner

Published: October 24, 2006

Having seen the movie starring Will Smith, I was pleased to have found the book. I used it for the 52BooksClub reading challenge, prompt #31 – Book that shares a similar title to another book. (The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy)
Chris Gardner lived through an unenviable childhood of poverty and abuse, shuttled from one family to another. His mother was the person he most loved, but who was not always able to be there for or with him. It was she who planted in him the desire to succeed in life, and the belief that he could succeed in a big way. This is his story of how that transpired, and it is told in an open, honest, raw way, foul language and questionable behaviour included. It is a true rags-to-riches story, and the promise of a boy-to-man to always be there for his future children.


Title: White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Author: Robin DiAngelo

Published: June 26, 2018

This is a difficult book for me to review as it is told from the viewpoint of someone who teaches others how to define and expose racism that seems to be in everyone, and how to recognize it. She then explains ways to deal with it in oneself and when noticing it in others. It is rather like a textbook in content and presentation, but still is interesting, educational, and helpful.

I chose this book for the Indigo reading challenge for prompt “A book to build your antiracist reading list.”

So… have you? Read any of these, I mean? Or maybe they are on your TBR list? What are your thoughts?

Thanks for stopping in, and … Happy Reading! 🙂

4 Brief Book Reviews: Reagandoodle and Little Buddy – Sandi Swiridoff; Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt; The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek – Kim Michele Richardson; My Sister the Moon – Sue Harrison

Wow! This past week went quickly and I realized I hadn’t posted another set of reviews for you. So, here it is.

Title: Reagandoodle and Little Buddy: The True Story of a Labradoodle and His Toddler Best Friend

Author: Sandi Swiridoff

Published: October 2, 2018

I chose this book for the 52Bookclub challenge, prompt “featuring adoption.”

This is such a fun story, a serious story but told from the voice of the dog which makes it quite enjoyable. The main focus of this true story is fostering and adoption – fostering Little Buddy and other children, and including the adoption of Reagandoodle, a labradoodle. It is gorgeously illustrated with photography of the boy and dog together in many situations, in matching outfits. Fun, sweet, a forever friendship.
“A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to help support children in foster care.”

Title: Angela’s Ashes

Author: Frank McCourt

Published: November 30, 1999

This is a raw, truthful, very revealing memoir set mainly in Ireland. The poverty the author lived through in his childhood was ghastly and painful to read about, and the fact that he survived at all is amazing. He tells of the extremes of poverty and the negligence of his alcoholic father who failed to provide for his family even when he’d manage to land a job for a few weeks. His mother suffered greatly, several of his siblings died, he himself almost succumbed to typhoid. Even with all this, the story is such a good read by a man who was brave enough to share it.

I used this book for The 52Bookclub challenge for two prompts – “Related to the word “fire””, and for the club’s March mini-challenge prompt “Set in Ireland.”

Title: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Author: Kim Michele Richardson

Published: May 7, 2019

This is such a good book written from facts – as in book women and blue-skinned families of Kentucky. In this fictional account, a young woman and her father, both of the generational line of blue people, live in poverty as did many families in the hills of Kentucky. We read how blue people were feared and treated with prejudice, but were kind and gentle themselves. The blue lady is a book woman who rides her feisty mule to remote homes, schools, and small communities to deliver library books for loan. Her work is difficult and dangerous, but she loves it, although her life and safety are threatened. She feels ashamed of her blue skin and expects to never have a home and family of her own. Sad, bad, and surprising things happen, all making this a fabulous story. There is an author’s note at the end which provides further information of interest.

I chose this book for The 52BookClub challenge for the May mini-challenge, prompt “a book published in spring – any year.”

Title: My Sister The Moon

Author: Sue Harrison

Published: February 13, 1992

This is the second book in the Ivory Carver series, a saga based in prehistoric Alaska. In this story the second generation is featured, the children of the main characters in the first book, and focuses mainly on Kiin (pronounced keen) who is an unwanted daughter. She is strong in spirit, brave in character, and sharp in mind – and has to be in order to survive the abuse and hatred of her father and brother. It is not her fault that she, and not her brother, was the firstborn, but beliefs and superstitions make her life extremely hard.
This is a difficult story to read at times, but it is so well researched and written that it is a totally believable historical fiction. The characters were invented, but the history surrounding them was not.
I am eager to read book three.

I used this book for the 52bookclub challenge, prompt #48 – “a cover with a woman facing away”; and for the Indigo 2021 reading challenge, prompt “a book to help you escape to another world.” (in this case it is the prehistoric world)

Have you read any of the above books yet?

Thanks for reading, and … Blessings on your day! 🙂

Book Review: 6 Week Money Challenge for your personal finances – by Steve Repak, CFP

Having written a review of Steve Repak’s first book, Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money, I was asked if I would review this one. I’ve sent an apology to the author for taking far too long to do so; I got overwhelmed with life stuff. But here is my review of this great little book.

Title: 6 Week Money Challenge for your personal finances

Author: Steve Repak, CFP

Published: 2016

This beautifully published little 5″ x 7″ book packs a big wallop. It is attractively presented with a hard cover and an attached lime green ribbon bookmark.

Steve Repak, a Certified Financial Planner, is the author of the very helpful Dollars and Uncommon Sense: Basic Training For Your Money – which I also reviewed.

In this book, his purpose is to help people wisely and responsibly manage their personal finances. The book is designed to take the reader through 6 weeks, giving valuable information and challenging the reader to break old/bad money habits and to begin practicing new good behaviours to carry them forward.

As a Christian, Mr. Repak based this step-by-step program on biblical principles, and even if the reader is not a Christian the advice given works for anyone needing it.
After the Foreword written by Boyd Bailey, CEO of Ministry Ventures and author, is an introduction with a few questions to answer and sections to prepare you – The Inspiration Behind This Book, How to Use This Book, What You Will Learn in This Book, Are You Ready For a Challenge?

Each week’s reading is divided into parts. Beginning with a scripture, the author then proceeds to tell you some things that are helpful and interesting, follows with a few questions to consider, and continues with great teaching, examples, personal experiences stories, and encouragement.

Week 1: The Biblical Foundations of a Solid Financial Future
Week 2: Spending
Week 3: Debt and Credit
Week 4: Savings and Investments
Week 5: Estate Planning Documents and Insurance
Week 6: Review (here he goes back to the theme of each previous week’s reading and gives extra challenges.)
Resources – suggestions to help you set up your finances
About the Author

This is a must-have book if you want to set your finances in order.
I included this book in my reading for the 52bookclub for prompt “an educational read.” Well suited!

 

Have you ever found this type of book helpful?

Thanks for Reading, and … Blessings on your day! 🙂