Thursday, May 17, 2018

Silence of the Lambs

One of my top five favorite books of all time. This is probably the fifth or sixth time I've read this book and the first time I've done so by listening to the audiobook and I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable that was. It was narrated by Kathy Bates who did a wonderful job! FBI student lucks out when she is asked by Special Agent Crawford to do a special assignment for him; he wants her to go visit the infamous serial killer Hannibal Lector and get him to take a psychological survey to add to the database of known serial killers. Crawford would go himself but he's got his hands tied with Buffalo Bill, a serial killer that's been skinning his female victims. When Clarice goes to the maximum holding center to interview Hannibal she gets an unexpected gift from the madman himself, a tip about the Buffalo Bill. Suddenly Clarice finds herself in the middle of a serious investigation aided by Hannibal Lector. It's dark, twisted, thrilling, and a non-stop action ride. I think the movie is a GREAT adaptation of the book. Read this already!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

You Think It, I'll Say It

Sittenfeld, Curtis. You Think It, I'll Say It. 6 CDs. unabridged. Books on Tape. 2018. ISBN 9780525527794. 

New York Times bestselling novelist, Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep, American Wife), switches gears with her first short story collection. Comprised of ten compelling and unique stories, this audiobook will draw readers in with its deeply flawed and deeply human characters that aren't soon forgotten. From a newlyweds on their honeymoon, to an unhappy housewife, to a young volunteer, to married acquaintances; each short story explores the reader's assumptions and initial reactions and then flips the script. Sittenfeld humanizes the seemingly mundane every day lives of her characters, making them fallible and relate-able. Exquisitely narrated by Emily Rankin and Mark Deacon; their strong engaging voices perfectly capture the many different characters. Rankin especially inserts charm, cadence, and vulnerability into her characters; making them even more real and accessible. A superbly narrated, standout collection of short stories with mass appeal. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Small Country

Heartbreaking and powerful, this slim novel packs a powerful punch. It was an enlightening read about a horrific time. I am familiar with Rwanda and the genocide that happened there in the nineties but I was unfamiliar with the neighboring country of Burundi and the violence that erupted there around the same time. It's a coming of age story about a young boy who see the world changing around his very eyes and tries to make sense of the senseless violence. I can summarize it any more beautifully than the author: "Every day in our world, we hear the terms “migrants” and “refugees,” but we forget that behind these words, there are names, dreams, and voices. This novel is a long poem about one of those kids, from a distant conflict, who finds his own words to tell his name and his story. And I hope also that the readers can discover Burundi because this is one of the first novels to talk about this small and relatively unknown country."

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Pisces

File this under, holy smokes what in the hell did I just read?!?!? I am a sucker for bizarre novels and let me tell you, this one takes the freaking cake. For being so odd, it was superbly well written! The one second summary is that this is MERMAN. EROTICA. Yes, you read that correctly. Lucy is at a stopping point in her life. She's been dumped by her boyfriend of two plus years and her dissertation on Sappho is going nowhere. She's simply existing and it's not enough. After being picked up by the cops covered in donut crumbs and clothed only in her nighties, her older sister convinces her to come to California and house sit for the summer. Lucy reluctantly agrees to watch her gorgeous house, take care of the dog, and attend group therapy for women going through relationship crises. Therapy isn't helping much but the dog is. One night Lucy is sitting by the ocean when she spies the most gorgeous young man out for a swim. Every night they talk and things slowly gets sexual. When she finally discovers why he never comes out of the water she isn't even fazed. At this point she is so infatuated she doesn't even care that she's boning a merman. It escalates in absurdity and hilarity. What is love? Is it lust? Can you lust a merman? All burning questions. Do yourself a favor and read this gem!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know

This book was a damn treat! I feel like I'm in the Parks and Rec Book Club because I HAVE TO read all the books they write. I'm so glad Retta joined their ranks because this book is a roller coaster of amazing. There is some real heartfelt shit in there, but it's also so down to earth and funny. I straight up felt like she was my best friend after this. Each chapter is an essay about some aspect of her life; from her addiction to designer bags, her newfound love of Hockey, making it as a black female comedian, growing up poor, cutting loose in college, the joys of being lazy, her love of television, to her struggle of finding amazon sized footwear (girl we wear the same size, the struggle is real!), this entire book is funny and relatable. After reading this book I instantly had to follow her on all social media (what have I been doing with my damn life?) and I coaxed my boyfriend into getting me tickets to see Hamilton (well... he's gonna try to anyways). Retta waxes poetic about the Broadway play, Hamilton, and it was better than any theater review I've ever read. I love, love, love this book!! I'm including a picture from my book club when we discussed Aziz's book and I had Parks and Rec cookies made; I wish I still had that Donna Meagle cookie!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Red Queen

I haven't got invested in a young adult series in a while but I think I will definitely continue on with the Red Queen series. This is a new dystopian fantasy series that is inventive and unique enough to set itself apart from Hunger Games and Divergent (although there are some clear parallels) and yet remains cool enough to be added to those ranks. In Mare's world society is divided between the reds and the silvers. The silvers are the high class people who have special abilities to wield fire, read minds, control water, manipulate metals, and more. The reds are the lower caste, the ones who still bleed red, have no powers, and have been oppressed for decades. Mare's world is turned upside down when she is sent to work in the palace. She has lived in abject poverty her whole life and to see such prosperity and wealth is sickening to her. Mare is secretly rooting for the Red Dawn, a terrorist organization trying to overthrow the silvers and when she discovers that she has silver powers and red blood (a totally anomaly) she finds herself in a rare position to help others and overthrow the silvers once and for all. Engrossing and fun. I can't wait for the next in the series!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Red Dragon

It's been a few years since my last re-read and I was definitely due. The Hannibal Lector trilogy is literally one of my all time favorite series and it ALWAYS holds up. It's still just as amazing as the first time I read it. Thomas Harris is wonderful at getting in the minds of serial killers and making a wonderfully complex game of cat and mouse. Will Graham hasn't worked for the FBI in years. Not since he was almost fatally stabbed by Hannibal Lector, a sociopath who ate his victims. Will has a special skill set, one that has helped in track down more than a few serial killers, but all he want's is a break. Special Agent Jack Crawford won't let that happen though. There's a terrifying serial killer nicknamed the toothfairy and he's already killed two families. They need Will's insight to find and stop this madman before he kills his third family. And Will isn't sure he can do it on his own, he may need consult Hannibal to help get to the bottom of what is making the toothfairy tick. Dark, demented, and impossible to put down; this is always a must read!!