Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: Born Wicked

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

My thoughts:

I kept seeing this book around all over last year, and I always wanted to read it but then would forget about it. This year, when I was looking through my journal of books I want to read, I saw this one again and it reminded me. I am so happy to have rescued this from my TBR list! I really enjoyed it, so much more than I had imagined I would.

In this world that Spotswood has created, all women are suspect. They are watched closely for signs of witchery,  and taught about the evils of witchcraft. In this world, women can easily be witches, and witches need to be dealt with. Or so the Brotherhood wants everyone to believe. The prejudice of this world that Spotswood has imagined is very frightening, and makes the reader think, could this have become our reality, if history had been different?

Unfortunately for Cate, she and her two sisters really are witches, and their mother is dead. Cate is the oldest, and takes her job as protector of her two younger sisters extremely seriously. Her biggest fear is that they will be discovered as witches, and sent to the asylum, a prison ship, or even be killed. She feels that the best way to keep them all safe is to keep her sisters and herself home as much as possible, without too much outside interference. But the rules of her time dictate certain proprieties be observed. Their father hires a woman from the Sisterhood to become their governess - and Cate also has just a few weeks until she must declare whom she is marrying, or if she is joining the Sisterhood as well. Cate feels that this would be a disaster, for how would she hide her magic, especially as her powers are growing? Cate also has the ability most feared by the Brotherhood and the world, and this must be hidden from society at all costs.

Lucky for Cate, she has a very interested suitor for her hand in marriage. But is she having second thoughts about him? Has another caught her eye? And what is this about a prophecy? You will have to read to find out!

A Chilly Fort Wayne Morning





I had an opportunity to visit Fort Wayne, and I was super excited. For me, this was a big deal. I would drive down Jefferson by the now defunct base on my way to the city, nestled in a neighborhood of abandoned houses and truck yards. A fort that has been around since about 1860, and here it still stands, far longer than the more recently built homes around it. You can see a few barrack buildings from the road, and the rest is lost to view.  Great iron fences surround the grounds, and I always wanted to go behind the gates and see these buildings up close. It has personal meaning to me as well - when my father shipped off with the Marines to boot camp during the Vietnam War, he left from here.  I could just picture my young idealist father standing in the gym, waiting to leave his family and his home, anxious and nervous but wanting to serve his country.

The day we went it was raining, and I didn't want to take my actual camera. So it was iPhone to the rescue once again.

View from the hill overlooking the old barracks. I feel like this looks like it could be England!

My friend Hippy walking through the tunnel

The armory

The back of the old barrack. 

The fort now hosts many different events, including war reenactments and ghost hunts led by Metro Paranormal Investigations. This sounds terrifying, but I might just have to do it.  Restoration work has also been happening on the grounds, which is evident by the differences between a few of the buildings. Some are fallen in like the ones you see pictured here, while others are fully restored, and either open to visitors or being used as offices by those who work at the fort.

For more information, visit Fort Wayne's website. Or better yet, visit the fort itself! It is an amazing place to visit, and you will be glad you did. 

**originally posted on Detroit Magpie
*all content and photos property of me

Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, where we share what we are reading and see what others are reading as well.

Read Last Week:

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson: This book was ok - I liked it but I didn't go mad for it. 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke: Same with this book - I loved certain parts of it, but others were just so-so. 

Reading This Week:


Help for the Haunted by John Searles: I have been wanting to read this, and just got it in from the library. Belle from BookBelle also said that I would love it, and I believe her when she says that! I am excited to read this.

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood: I waited all week for this hold to come in and it never arrived. It looks like I am going to have to buy the kindle version so I can read it since I don't want to wait any longer. :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Random 5 Friday

Random 5 Friday is hosted by Nancy at Rural Journal
 1. I made no knead bread the other night, and I very pleased with the results! I think there is nothing more therapeutic and spiritual than baking bread.

2. My husband, brother, sister-in-law and I attended the huge Detroit Halloween party, Theatre Bizarre. It is six floors of halloween fun. My sister-in-law Chrissy and I went as ravens. We bought these cool masks from Sundries and Plunder on Etsy.

3. Last week I mentioned that I was rethinking my plan for my new degree. I had originally planned on getting a degree in Paralegal Studies. I did some soul searching, switched my major to Writing with a minor in Classical Studies, and now I feel much better. Before, I felt like I was wearing someone else's clothes. Now, I feel like everything fits just right, and I am so excited to begin!

4. I am looking forward to Saturday morning, and visiting Eastern Market in Detroit. My favorite time to go is in the fall, with the air crisp, the fall harvest overflowing on the tables, and the bright oranges and reds of the autumn flowers on display. 

5.  I am so happy that soup season is fully upon us! I made a root vegetable, sugar snap pea, and white bean soup last Sunday, which turned out amazing! It was warm, hearty, filling and spicy, and I could eat it again right now! It was perfect for a chilly evening.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Review: The Dream Thieves

Title:The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Source: Personal Collection

Goodreads Summary:

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. 

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. 

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

My thoughts:

I was eagerly anticipating the release of this book, having absolutely loved The Raven Boys. I enjoyed this one as well, although not quite as much as the first. I did really love it though! It was just a bit more..mystical, with a lot of Ronan and not enough Adam or Noah or Blue for me.

This book centers on Ronan, and his family. Ronan has a secret, which he shares only with his father, and one surprise person. We learn why he is at Aglionby, what happened to his dad, about his mother and his brothers, and mostly about him.

Weaved within Ronan's story, we still have all the major players, dancing around their story lines, waiting their turns while Ronan takes the spotlight. Blue is sorting our her feelings and emotions, kissing in particular, while Gansey continues his search for the Welsh King he is obsessed with finding. Adam is Adam, poor and perfect (as Buttercup would say- and I agree), and Noah just plain breaks my heart. We also learn more about the Grey Man, who is frightening but also vulnerable as well.  But Ronan is for sure the star of this book, which I guess is why he is on the cover.

The Dream Thieves was very mystical and fey, with dream thieves and dream worlds, and dream people you think are real. I really really liked it, and I think it is a wonderful follow up to the Raven Boys. Now I have to wait all over again, for the next one!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review: Doctor Sleep

Title: Doctor Sleep
Author: Stephen King
Source: Personal Collection

Goodreads Summary:

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

My thoughts:

I tiptoed up to this book cautiously, for  two reasons. The first is, The Shining is so spectacularly amazing, how can there possibly be a sequel that compares to it, and the second more obvious reason, is that it will probably scare my socks off.  I don't know how I ever doubted the master of horror's abilities, but he definitely delivered in this book - there is no reason to fear this sequel. And I was right - this book certainly instilled fear and inspired nightmares. But of course, isn't that the reason you would reason a King book? For me, yes, yes it is, but it is still smart to proceed with caution, right? When you get a tattoo you know it is going to hurt, but you still want it.

While reading this book, I was reminded almost immediately of the thing that terrified me the most in The Shining - the woman in room 217, Mrs. Massey. When I read The Shining, she made me afraid to go into the bathroom, or pull back the shower curtain; in Doctor Sleep, we are reminded of her by a young Danny Torrance, and again, she made me a little afraid of bathrooms, especially if you have to get up in the middle of the night. I know this for a fact. Everyone I talked to had a different "scariest part" - my brother and his best friend were both freaked out by the "redrum" parts - and I feel badly about this, since I am positive I used to say it all the time to both of them, while moving my finger like in the movie. (Sorry guys) Others cited the moving topiaries, others the bartender. Whatever the flavor, we all agreed that The Shining was splendidly horrific. Doctor Sleep is a little different. It's not as in your face, except for a few places. It has its moments, but mostly you are just genuinely horrified by what could happen. At least this was the case for me.

We are reunited with Danny Torrance as an adult. Has he survived the terrors of that winter at the Overlook Hotel unscathed? Mmm not so much. And he is creating his own moments as an adult - one especially becomes the defining moment of his adulthood, the one thing he is trying to get past but can't get out of his head. He has some new ghosts now, blowing around in his mind.

The villains this time are not confined to a hotel and its grounds - they instead roam free over the country, in RV's,  motor homes, Winnebago's, and campers. Honestly, I won't look at someone driving one the same way again. Or at least, I might think twice. They call themselves the True Knot, and they are some crazy scary freaks. Their leader, Rose the Hat, is smart and wily, and psychotic and selfish. Interesting note here - Rose the Hat and her crew have dumped their actual legal names, which they call their rube names, and go by nicknames. Like pirates or vikings. And Danny has an alter ego as well, just in a different way. I just thought it was interesting too since in Joyland, King also refers to people not in the game as rubes.

We also meet Abra Stone, a magical young girl who has the shining, like Danny - or Dan as he is called in this book. Her powers are huge, and are attractive to the True Knot, for their own awful reasons. I don't want to give much of anything away, there is just so much story in this book, all the characters have their own thread, until the moment they start to intertwine, and the plot picks up its pace, running through the pages, with reader following like a rabbit after a carrot. There are surprises, revelations, and an ending that will blow your mind.

 I absolutely loved this book, and King remains one of my favorite authors of all time.

Top Ten Tuesday - Character Names I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
There are so many names in literature/books that I love! It was hard to narrow it down actually.
Here they are, in no particular order:
1.  Primrose Everdeen 
2.  Scout Finch - To Kill a Mockingbird
3. Lyra Belaqua - The Golden Compass
4. Boo Radley - To Kill a Mockingbird
5. Brom Bones - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
6. Alaska Young- Looking for Alaska
7. Zuzana - Daughter of Smoke and Bone, etc.
8. Katie Scarlett O'Hara - Gone With the Wind
9. Blue Sargent - The Raven Boys
10. Jem Carstairs - Infernal Devices Series

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, where we share what we are reading and see what others are reading as well.

Read Last Week:

Winds of Salem by Melissa de la cruz: This was pretty good - I liked it much more than I liked the second book. 

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood: One good thing about being the last to read a book, is that I know I can get the second one right away. I loved this book, much more than I had anticipated! I will be getting the second one ASAP!

Reading This Week:


Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood: I am posting this as a hopeful book - hopefully it comes in this week from the library!

My Daylight Monsters by Sarah Dalton: I won this from a member giveaway though Librarything. It sounds really good!

The Pumpkin Man by John Everson: Because it is almost Halloween!! 

Not many - I was so busy with some things I needed to do to go back to school, and preparing for Theatre Bizarre, which was Saturday, to do much of anything else. This week though I hope to get caught up!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Random 5 Friday

Random 5 Friday is hosted by Nancy at Rural Journal

1. We have had some lovely autumn days, and my husband and I took advantage. We first picked the apples from our apple tree. There are tons! We only picked half the apples so far. The good ones we kept, the ones we can't eat we are giving to the deer that live nearby. Mavis also helped me out with how to store apples for the winter!

2. This is the little stray cat I am currently feeding. I am totally in love with her. I have named her Rosie, since she hangs out and eats near my rose bushes. It's also a cheery name, and she needs one. She has such a great outgoing personality and is so sweet and loving.

3.  Billy and I also went to the apple orchard to look for our pumpkins. We had fun traipsing through the orchards, eating apples, drinking cider, and devouring cinnamon doughnuts.

4.  My friend had a psychic night. I had a great time, hanging out with my friends, discussing our readings. The psychic, a friend of a friend, is so intuitive about people, and one of the nicest people ever.

5.  I had a disastourous day on campus yesterday. I am rethinking my decision, not about going back to school, but maybe this particular program. I have been doing some soul searching y'all!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Books Forced to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Throughout my life, there have been many books I have been forced to read, whether in high school, by my parents, college, other family members and now book club. While most of the time I have enjoyed them all, with the exception of one I can think of right off the top of my head, there are a few standouts. 

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving: My Uncle Mike suggested I read this, and I am glad I listened. This has become one of my all time favorite books.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot: One year while I was kid, this series showed up in my stocking. I read them all and loved them all. Although I did learn a lot about animal medicine at a young age! Lol.

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy: This was a gift from my dad - I even skipped school to finish it. I loved it so much, and now Conroy is an all time fave of mine.

Beloved by Toni Morrison: I read this in college in a lit class, and it was so powerful, sad, and intense. I am so glad I had to read it.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: I read this in a different lit class in college, and my professor did such a wonderful job teaching us about this book. It was so sad, so much more so than I had known. 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: Again, college lit. I loved this book, and became a big old Bronte fan.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I love him. Love him. Thanks high school English teacher!!

A 1000 Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: A friend of mine had to force me to read both of these. I knew they would break my heart, and they did, but it was worth it. 

 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: One of the best books ever. Thanks again, high school English teacher!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, where we share what we are reading and see what others are reading as well.

Read Last Week:


I took out two of the big players on my TBR list, and they were awesome!!

Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: Loved loved loved. So good. Review Thursday.

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: Omg, so amazing, so scary!! I loved it, and didn't want to finish it but had to keep reading! Review Wednesday.

Reading this Week:

I guess I have a witch theme this week!

Winds of Salem by Melissa de la cruz: The third installment in the witches of east end series, and we go back in time to the salem witch trials!

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood: I have heard good things about this, we shall see. 

Posts last week:

I was a busy bee!