WWW Wednesday – May 17

WWWWednesday

 

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and was formerly hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is open for anyone to participate, even without a blog you can comment on Sam’s post with your own answers. It is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Victoria

“I know that I am young, but I am ready for the great responsibility that lies before me.”

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. This book has been very much a happy accident for me. I snagged it haphazardly from a shelf on my way into the library to have something to read while my daughter played. This story is about the reign of Queen Victoria of England and so far it has been wonderful.

Dangerous Dreams by Mike Rhynard. This book was given to me as an eARC by NetGalley. I was very excited to get it as the story of the lost colony of Roanoke is fascinating to me. It is pretty much the only piece of American history that I find interesting. However, the story is falling flat. So much useless detail and the dialogue is never ending and dull. Probably going to DNF this one.

What did you recently finish reading?

TheHauntingOfAshburnHouse

LIGHT THE CANDLE
YOUR FAMILY
IS STILL
DEAD

The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates. I don’t pick up a horror novel often but when I do I like it to scare the dickens out of me. This one sure delivered on that. Even thinking about it now, a week after I finished reading it, I’m looking over my shoulder shuddering. Now that is effective horror.

What do you think you’ll read next?

“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

Golden Son by Pierce Brown. I read the first novel in this trilogy, Red Rising, not too awful long ago and was thrilled by it. Lately I’ve had an itch to continue the trilogy so hopefully I can get a copy of this book soon. Brown’s writing was riveting in Red Rising and his attention to detail and depth of story impressed me. Hopefully Golden Son lives up to expectations.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a link to your WWW Wednesday in the comments. Happy Wednesday!

Top Ten Tuesday: Mothers in Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is in honor of Mother’s Day which was this past weekend. It can be about moms in literature, mother/daughter/son relationships, books to buy your mom, worst mothers in literature, or pretty much anything else to do with moms that you have seen in a book.

  • Mother’s Death that Broke my Heart
    aconquringoflightIn the conclusion to Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy we get to know much more about Kell’s “adoptive” mother. Every passage about her made me like her more and she genuinely cared about both her biological son Rhy and adoptive son Kell. When she was so horribly and senselessly murdered it broke my heart. I suppose I can understand how it helped to urge Rhy to do and be what he needed to but it was definitely a tough section to get through.

 

  •     Terrible Mother
    heartlessIn Heartless by Marissa Meyer we are introduced to the mother of the Queen of Hearts. Throughout the entire book the only thing she cares about is marrying her daughter to the king to improve their social standing and reputation. The woman did not care one iota about what her daughter wanted until it was too late. Insufferable mother.

 

  • The Absent Mother

Here we have books that feature the absent mother. Each use the common trope of the mother not being in the picture. For the most part that figure has passed on and her death or absence is commonly brought up to further the story or give the leading character a push in plot. While I certainly did not enjoy Cinder as well as the other books listed I feel that the feature of the Absent Mother is very important to the ongoing story in that series.
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

  • The Loving Mother
    thewhitequeen
    I find it rather distressing how difficult it was to find a book I’d read that featured a loving mother. Why isn’t that more of a thing? Why is the absent or terrible mother so often featured? I suppose it gives the main characters fuel in the literary fire but I still find it disturbing. In The White Queen by Philippa Gregory we have two mothers who are loving and care for their children albeit in perhaps unconventional ways. Both the lovely Queen and her own mother love their children and do their best by them. I’d like to see more of that in literature.

 

  • The Bereft Mother
    thewitchfinderssister
    In The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown we have a maternal topic that, for many, is very difficult to talk about. We have mother who has lost a child. Our main character, Alice, despite trying was never able to carry a child to term. Part of the story features the painful loss of a child she had been carrying. I feel like especially around Mother’s Day this is an important topic to bring up. Many woman want so badly to be a mother but have found themselves unable to produce a child. That has to be a horrific kind of pain and these women need to be mentioned and remembered as well.

 

Well, not to end on a downer but there are my Top Ten Tuesday’s books that include mothers. I hope you all have a fabulous week and please feel free to leave your TTT post link in comments. Happy reading!

Goodreads Monday – May 15

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Page Turner. To participate, you choose a random book from your TBR Goodreads section and decide whether or not that book is going to stay on your TBR or be removed. Pretty simple, right? Let’s get to it.

 

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

The instant New York Times bestselling novel…

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resistor murdered in the failed July, 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First, Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naïve Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resistor’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship
From Goodreads


I added this one to my TBR just a few months ago. There was a giveaway going on and, though I have yet to win one, I entered it. I can never seem to resist. This book would have pulled me in a decade ago but now it just doesn’t sound appealing. Going through the reviews most people seem over the moon about it but I think, at least for me, it is going to get the axe. While WWII is certainly a major event in our history which needs to be remembered and never repeated, reading about it for fiction and entertainment’s sake just feels off to me.

My vote- Axed

The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates

TheHauntingOfAshburnHouse

I’ll admit it, horror is not often my genre. In the last year I’ve read three horror/thriller books including this one. Just three. Why? I like to sleep at night. Something about this book pulled at me, though. I ran across it while browsing Goodreads a few months ago and it kept popping up in the back of my mind. In the last couple of weeks I’ve tried to pick up a dozen other books and just couldn’t get into them. My mind was begging to read this one. I finally gave in and I must say that this book is different from most of the others I have read of the same genre.

The story begins with Adrienne and her fluffy, slightly overweight cat Wolfgang. An elderly relative of Adrienne’s had recently passed away and she has been left her great-aunt Edith’s property including her home, Ashburn House. Addy doesn’t remember having a great aunt or any relatives at all, for that matter. Sadly though, she is down on her luck and being left a furnished, paid off house is a windfall. Using the last of her cash, she takes a cab to the house she is determined to make into a home without ever seeing it or the town that it is a part of. Desperation and potential homelessness can make you do some silly things.

The house is everything you’d expect out of a setting for a horror story. Set back into the woods, old, spotty electricity, and no phone line.

Alright folks, moment of confession here. I’m honestly having trouble writing this. My desk is against a wall with a stairwell behind me and I keep spinning my chair around expecting something creepy and horrible to be behind me or some nightmare creature to be hanging down from the skylight. I have given myself such a bad case of the willies. It’s terrible. I’m such a wuss. Moving on…

As Addy and Wolf settle into the old Ashburn house they start to notice some strange things about the place. First, it has absolutely no mirrors anywhere on the property. Where a mirror would normally hang there are cryptic messages carved into the walls warning against them. She finds further messages carved into the dining table and door to the attic.

LIGHT THE CANDLE
YOUR FAMILY
IS STILL
DEAD

Wanting to find out more about the mysterious Edith and the people that once lived in the house, Addy discretely asks questions to the people in town. An older fellow, whose father was once the local police chief, tells Addy the story of Edith and her family. In the early 1900s young Edith and her mother, father, aunt, and uncle all resided at Ashburn. They were a very well off family and often went into town. After the locals hadn’t seen or heard from the family in a few days some of them went out to the house to investigate. There they found a blood bath. The family, save Edith, had been horrifically slaughtered. According to the tale, their blood painted the walls and pieces of them were scattered throughout the house. Little Edith was found as the lone survivor, locked away from the mess but was cleared of the crime being only eight and physically unable to cause the carnage.

The story that follows this revelation to Addy is one of nightmares. She slowly begins to discover the reason for the cryptic messages carved around her new home as well as locating an old grave on the property. Adrienne and the fluffy Wolfgang are isolated in the woods and their horrors are just beginning.

As much as this story scared me I still very much enjoyed it. The pacing was well managed and terrible little details were dropped at just the right moment. I physically gasped a few times and nearly hurled the book across the room once or twice when a passage particularly startled me. If you at all enjoy a good horror novel I would definitely recommend this one. Also, for those of you wondering, the cat lives. I doubt I could have said anything kind about the book if he hadn’t. Never kill the cat!

IS IT FRIDAY
LIGHT THE
CANDLE

Thank you, followers!

 

Look at Ron Swanson. That man is celebrating something and so am I. This morning I hit 150 followers! I just wanted to give a quick shout out to all of you wonderful folks in appreciation. When I started this blog it was purely for my own entertainment as a way to record my thoughts on what I had read to go back and peruse later. Since I became active on twitter in the reading community and joined in the discussions on other blogs I have met and interacted with so many wonderful people. I just wanted you all to know that I see you and appreciate each and every one of you. Here’s to you!

 

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WWW Wednesday – May 10

WWWWednesday

 

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and was formerly hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is open for anyone to participate, even without a blog you can comment on Sam’s post with your own answers. It is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? 

TheHauntingOfAshburnHouse

The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates

Only one thing is certain: Ashburn’s dead are not at rest.
I have been wanting to get my hands on this book for months but couldn’t find it for a reasonable price or even on inter-library loan. I finally gave in and used the last of a Christmas gift card to purchase it. So far it has given me nightmares and made me not want to take the dog out at night. I think that is good praise for a horror/thriller, don’t you?

What did you recently finish reading?

ACourtofWingsandWuin

“It is a new world, and we must decide how we are to end this old one and begin it anew.”

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas. I’m going to white girl out on you and just say that “I can’t even.” Read the review, I’m still too frustrated to talk about it rationally without going on an hour long rant. Tempting as that may be I won’t subject you to it here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

11250317

“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. A book written about the ancient mythological hero Achilles? Don’t mind if I do! Achilles as a historical figure is not one to garner sympathy or affection so I’m very curious to see how Miller would have us connect with the hero.

that_s_all_folks__by_surrimugge-d6rfav1

Thanks for joining me for this week’s WWW Wednesday. As always, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments or have a chat with me about one of these books. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things on Our Reading Wish List

This is my second foray into the Top Ten Tuesday meme, my first being last week’s Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Covers. This week’s theme is Ten Things on Our Reading Wish List. The meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. From that site you can also see all of the other Top Ten Tuesday posts that have been submitted. I just shuffled through them myself and found several excellent posts. Go check them out!

 

  1. Less Sex Shaming – This is one where I feel that art imitates life. When characters in books do the horizontal tango they either end up madly in love or it’s rape. If it is rape or the rare casual encounter the character always seem to feel that they have to hide it or lie about it. They are the victim or they are labeled as whorish. They are expected to be ashamed of either what was done to them or what they have done.
  2. Real Characters – “Why, Amanda, what do you mean by that?” I hear you say. Well, I mean characters that are organic and change as the story fleshes out. I’ve recently read too many books where the character changes only to further the plot line. Their choices and actions don’t feel real because they have altered from the character previously presented to us without any definitive reason besides convenience. The most glaring example in my mind is Tamlin from A Court of Wings and Ruin. His actions were convenient and little more.
  3. Strong Women- Pardon me, excuse me, I have a bone to pick. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just picking up the wrong books. But, it seems to me that when a female character is made as a strong character it is usually directly because of a man. She was lost and found love and now she is strong. She was weak and was guided by a man back to the light. She was indecisive and a male mentor nudged her toward the right choices. Why can’t she be strong by herself? Why does she need a partner need to make her strong?
    post2
  4. Cultural Diversity- This one should be a given. I doubt I even have to explain. GIVE ME CHARACTERS FROM DIFFERENT CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS. /end shout
  5. Everyman- The more I read the more I notice that main characters come mostly from one of two backgrounds. The first is when they are dirt poor, starving, and far below the poverty line and are brought higher in the world during the course of the story. The second example is when the character already leads a charmed life as they are among the ruling class or hierarchy such as a royal. Where is the relatable character? Where is the Everyman?

 

I’m choosing not to do a full ten today because these five are my biggest issues with literature and by adding in five more that are only minor or occasionally aggravating would lessen their importance. If you have read a book you feel represents one of my five please leave it’s title or link in the comments, I’d love to hear about it! You may also feel free to leave a link to your own Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks for reading!