Category Archives: 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

0806_gone_425Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Mystery/Suspense

My final read of 2012 – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – is definitely a book to be added to my ever-growing list of “favorites”.  This book was a gift and, while I have seen the title show up in reading lists, bestseller lists, and all over GoodReads, I never took a moment to read the synopsis and decide for myself whether or not I should check it out.  I am incredibly thankful that someone gifted it to me, however, because this is a book that I just could not put down.

Before I read the Millennium trilogy, I never would have considered myself a Mystery/Suspense kind of girl.  My main memories of the Mystery genre from my bookstore days were ridiculous, never-ending series where cats solved crimes or titles that I considered more in the realm of  really terrible “Chick Lit” than a book of substance.  However, thanks to Stieg Larsson, I’ve thrown my old prejudice opinions out the window and am finding some novels that I really, truly love.

Gone Girl is the story of a missing woman (Amy, the wife) and the #1 suspect (Nick, her husband – of course).  Each chapter is told in either the POV of Amy or Nick, laying out both sides of the story/experience for the reader.  The characters are complicated inasmuch as it’s difficult to really love or hate either of them 100%.

Through the entries in Amy’s diary, the reader takes a short journey through the beginnings of her relationship with Nick – the meeting, the inside jokes, the early years of their marriage, but when both of them lose their careers in journalism and then move out of New York City, it appears that their marriage gets rockier and rockier.

From reading other reviews (very carefully avoiding any spoilers), I knew that there were going to be a lot of surprises and I can honestly say that I was not disappointed.  I had this nagging desire to find out what happened to Amy and whether or not Nick really did it.  Needless to say, I am very happy that I had this past week off from work; otherwise, I would have been pretty exhausted each day from staying up late, powering through as many pages as possible before finally succumbing to sleep.

In 2013, I will definitely be checking out Gillian Flynn’s other two novels, Dark Places and Sharp Objects.  If my excitement didn’t sell you on Gone Girl, a professionally written summary is included below:

Marriage can be a real killer.

   One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

   On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

   As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

   With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Check out Gone Girl on Amazon.

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Filed under 2012, American Author, Books, Favorites, Fiction, Gillian Flynn, Mystery, Women Writers

2012: The List of Books

Photo from todayfm.com

Photo from todayfm.com

Thanks to GoodReads.com (one of my favorite social networking websites), I totally embrace setting a goal of “x” number of books to read for the year.  And, also thanks to GoodReads.com, I can actually track my progress!  In 2011, I met my goal of 40 books for the year.  In comparison to a lot of other readers out there, this isn’t really all that impressive, but, as a slightly slower reader, I was ecstatic to hit the goal!

So, for 2012, I upped the ante.  When I set my goal, however, I did not know that my husband and I would trudge through the home buying process, close on a house, move, and then get to work on cleaning, painting, and miscellaneous other projects to make it “home”.  Now, I don’t know how many of my readers have purchased a house (a short sale at that), but it really consumes every ounce of your being.  SO.  I didn’t hit my goal.  I didn’t even meet my 2011 goal.  But that’s okay.  With everything that happened this year, I am still proud of the 36 books (novels, poetry, and graphic) that I completed.  I might just hit 37, too.  I’m currently reading Gone Girl and I totally cannot put it down!

My year-end lists also aid me in figuring out which books I failed to write about due to aforementioned crazy plus the holidays and work!

So, without further adieu, the list of the books that I read in 2012 (in no particular order)…

  1. Grandmother’s Secrets by Rosina-Fawiza Al-Rawi
  2. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  3. Slouching Toward Nirvana by Charles Bukowski
  4. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  5. Seamus Heaney – Selected Poems – 1966-1987
  6. Sarah: A Novel (Book One of the Canaan Trilogy) by Marek Halter
  7. The Maid and The Queen by Nancy Goldstone
  8. The Boleyn Inheritance (Tudor Court, #3) by Philippa Gregory
  9. Living Your Yoga by Judith Hans0n Lasater
  10. Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles #4) by Tess Gerritsen
  11. How to See Yourself As You Really Are by His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV
  12. Do It Herself by Joann Liebeler (a must-have for any lady buying a house!)
  13. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
  14. Defending Jacob by William Landay
  15. The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
  16. The Constant Princess (Tudor Court, #1) by Philippa Gregory
  17. Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell
  18. The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman
  19. Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates
  20. In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French
  21. The Anne Boleyn Collection: The Real Truth About The Tudors by Claire Ridgeway
  22. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (#1)  by J.K. Rowling
  23. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
  24. The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
  25. The Last Week: What The Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’ Final Days in Jerusalem by Marcus J. Borg
  26. The Covenant (Abram’s Daughters, #1) by Beverly Lewis
  27. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
  28. Kiyo’s Story: A Japanese-American Family’s Quest for the American Dream by Kiyo Sato
  29. Soiled Doves: Prostitution in the Early West by Anne Seagraves
  30. Katharine of Aragon: The Wives of Henry VIII (#2)  by Jean Plaidy
  31. The King’s Secret Matter (Tudor Saga, #4) by Jean Plaidy
  32. The Shadow of the Pomegranate (Tudor Saga, #3) by Jean Plaidy
  33. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  34. The Other Boleyn Girl (Tudor Court #2) by Philippa Gregory
  35. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
  36. Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family’s Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom by Yangzom Brauen

My goal for 2013 might be slightly lower than my 2012 goal, but I look forward to trying to read as much good literature as possible.  I have a few books lined up to kick off the year – Game of Thronesand The Hobbit.  If I’m feeling adventurous enough, I might FINALLY read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well.  Those books alone could take me all of 2013, however!

Are you setting any goals for yourself for 2013?  Did you set any for 2012?  If so, how did you do?

Oh, and one other goal that I have for 2013 – more consistent blog posting!!

Happy New Year and happy, happy reading!!

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Filed under 2012, Books

Remembering Maurice Sendak

If your childhood (or were involved in anyone else’s childhood) at any time over the past 45 years, you know who Maurice Sendak is.  Chances are his stories and illustrations have inspired your dreams, leant expression to your hopes and fears, or, at the very least, provided you with a very entertaining story to grow with and share.

Sendak passed away at age 83 after suffering a stroke.  Today is a sad day in the world of books, so in honor of his memory, I am compiling a list of some of the stories, obituaries, and opinion pieces from the web today.  His stories will definitely carry on and, without a doubt, our great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren will all still know his name.

Oh, please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!

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Filed under 2012, Children's Books, Maurice Sendak

Hello, hello!

Sorry – I’ve been MIA once again.  There are some things going on right now (exciting, happy things) that have been consuming my free time, mind, and energy, so I haven’t been able to dedicate enough time to my blog.  This makes me sad.  Luckily, right now I’m in the “sit, wait, and be patient” phase of the happy, exciting thing, so I need can funnel my energy back to where I truly love it to be – writing!

Now, for catching up…!  Hopefully I’ll be back to the routine of the daily postings this week.  For now, I’d like to share an interesting “find” of mine on Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/penguinbooksusa/

Lots of cute book-y pins on there!! Enjoy!

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Thank you for the Versatile Blogger Award!

Thank you to Stephanie at Misprinted Pages for nominating me for this award!  ALSO, I know that many months ago Becoming Madame nominated me, as well, only I didn’t discover until quite recently that there are some things that I’m supposed to do after being nominated.  So, my apologies for the obscene delay, Becoming Madame!

Both of these ladies maintain very impressive blogs, so I’m beyond honored that they read and follow mine… and enjoy it enough to nominate me for this award.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The rules:

  • Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.  Misprinted Pages & Becoming Madame – check ’em out!
  • Share seven things about yourself (see below).
  • Pass this award along to 15 or 20.
  • Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

 

Seven factoids about me:

  1. I work for a publishing company (IDG Enterprise), though my day-to-day job has nothing to do with writing or editing, I contribute to one of our websites – ITworld.com – and will hopefully be doing so with more regularity in the not-so-distant future!
  2. I am a vegetarian.  I don’t like to eat anything that has had its own experiences.  I think too much about…. everything…. so, it’s really difficult for me to divorce my brain from what’s going into my stomach.
  3. Besides writing and reading, my most consistent love throughout my life has been CATS!  They’re wonderful, beautiful little creatures and I share my dwelling with three of their finest.
  4. I love the desert.  I find no natural setting more beautiful.
  5. I adore Sylvia Plath.  I love her oh-so-much that I have her signature tattooed on my back.  I am debating adding a 2nd Sylvia Plath inspired tattoo to my body in the future, as well.  Other literary tattoos on my body: one of the bunnies from Watership Down and COMING SOON a Charles Bukowksi bird drawing
  6. I refuse to kill insects.  We had an ant problem last year and, until I figured out some natural way to stop them from coming into the house, I swept them up into a dustpan and put them in the backyard.
  7. I’m attempting to write a zombie story that doesn’t suck.  Yes, I like zombies.  Yes, I am *obsessed* with The Walking Dead TV series and am going to even check out the graphic novels, despite the fact that I typically abhor graphic novels.

 

Awesome blogs that I love (in no particular order):

  1. Misprinted Pages 
  2. The Tudor Tutor
  3. Confessions of a Common Reader
  4. Bibliopirate
  5. Books and Bowel Movements
  6. Boston Book Bums
  7. Brightworm
  8. Becoming Madame
  9. No Charge Bookbunch
  10. Acid Free Pulp
  11. Sarah Over the Moon
  12. Book Addictions
  13. Book Club Babe
  14. History is made at night
  15. Fyrefly’s Book Blog
  16. A Soul’s Walk
  17. Reading through the BS

I’ll be making my “HEY! I love your blog!” comments over the weekend, but, in the meantime, I highly recommend scoping out all of the above blogs.  Most of them are book related, but there are a few in there that are not.  Expand your mind!  And thank you, again!

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Reading Goal for 2012

 

GoodReads.com is an amazing resource for all things book related.  You can organize your favorites, ones that you want to check out, track what you’re reading, as well as see what your friends are reading.  I really made the most of my account (their accounts are free) this past year.  For the first time ever, I was able to successfully track all of the titles that I read.

Each year, you’re also able to set a personal goal for the total number of books that you want to read over the next 365 days.  At the beginning of 2011, I had this insane idea that I could handle 100 books.  Halfway through the year, I rethought my goal and took it down to 40.  I’m happy to say that I read at least 40 books in 2011.  So, for 2012, I’m looking to read 45 and will continue to track my progress on GoodReads.com.

What are your personal reading goals for 2012?

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Filed under 2012, Books

Carpe Diem by Robert Frost

We’re very close to the kick-off of 2012, which will be another year full of great literature and poetry.  I hope that however, wherever, you’re celebrating this weekend that you have a wonderful (and safe!) time.  To bid adieu to 2011, and to sum up how we should approach each in 2012, here’s a poem by Robert Frost.

Carpe Diem

Age saw two quiet children
Go loving by at twilight,
He knew not whether homeward,
Or outward from the village,
Or (chimes were ringing) churchward,
He waited, (they were strangers)
Till they were out of hearing
To bid them both be happy.
“Be happy, happy, happy,
And seize the day of pleasure.”
The age-long theme is Age’s.
‘Twas Age imposed on poems
Their gather-roses burden
To warn against the danger
That overtaken lovers
From being overflooded
With happiness should have it.
And yet not know they have it.
But bid life seize the present?
It lives less in the present
Than in the future always,
And less in both together
Than in the past. The present
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing-
Too present to imagine.

Happy New Year!
Check out Robert Frost’s page on Amazon.

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Filed under 2012, Poetry, Robert Frost