Saturday, November 30, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #15

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review. 

I haven't done one of these in a while so here are some of the books that I have accumulated in the past month or so, mostly from thrift stores and yard sales. This is only one stack though. I'll have to post the second stack next week since I don't have the photos on this computer.

Thrift Store Finds


What have you added to your shelves recently? 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Finds #15

Friday Finds is a blog meme hosted over at Should Be Reading that highlights the books you found and added to your To Be Read list, whether you found them online or in a bookstore and etc. They are not necessarily books that you purchased!

[My to-read list on Goodreads is over 1000 currently so I've probably already added everything and just might be able to keep these lists to a minimum.]
Here are the books I'm showcasing for this week!
 What have you added to your to-read list lately?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Finds #14

Friday Finds is a blog meme hosted over at Should Be Reading that highlights the books you found and added to your To Be Read list, whether you found them online or in a bookstore and etc. They are not necessarily books that you purchased!

[My to-read list on Goodreads is over 1000 currently so I've probably already added everything and just might be able to keep these lists to a minimum.]
Here are the books I'm showcasing for this week!

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs
Sarah Faire and the House at the End of the World by Alex Giannini (Illustrated by Abigail Larson)
Rotters by Daniel Krause

I like that these are kind of spooky. I will have to add these to my October/Halloween reads list for 2014. :)

 What have you added to your to-read list lately?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Currently Reading

So I'm still not in the swing of blogging everyday and have been sidetracked with other goals.

I am trying to spend more time reading to catch up to my goal of reading 100 books for the year. I'm currently at 78.

I am reading

I've also been reading the Harry Potter Companion books today (because they are so small and will help with my reading goal)

J.K. Rowling
I'm not sure what's next though.

What are you reading?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Review: The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson

Ghost story

My Rating:


Four seekers have come to Hill House, a scary old abandoned mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar who had been looking for an honestly haunted house all his life; Theodora, a lovely and lighthearted girl there mostly on a lark; Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House; and Eleanor, a strange and lonely woman well acquainted with poltergeists and other psychic phenomena. At first their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and slamming doors. But Hill House is gathering up powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.
The Haunting Of Hill House is full of horror and mystification and a wit that mixes laughter with chills. Its publication in 1959 confirmed Shirley Jackson as a master at portraying the secret vagaries of the mind, and as a brilliant stylist capable of interjecting the conventions of horror with a psychological complexity not encountered since Henry James. "It is the character of Eleanor and Shirley Jackson's depiction of it that elevates The Haunting Of Hill House into the ranks of the great supernatural novels," Stephen King writes in the introduction to this exclusive Stephen King Horror Library edition. "Indeed, it seems to me that it and James's The Turn Of The Screw are the only two great novels of the supernatural in the last hundred years."


I first read this book in 6th grade but I can't remember much about it or if I even finished it. I loved ghost stories even then and perhaps it bored me then since I could get more thrill from an R.L. Stein or Christopher Pike book at that time.

I watched The Haunting when it came out (back when VHS was still a big thing) and I remembered the characters names at least and knew that it was based off of this book. I can say that the movie was one of my favorites for years since I've always had a thing for big, creepy old houses and ghost stories.

Now, re-reading the book seems a little... odd. I have the movie version stuck in my head so much that the book seems wrong. The characters (the main ones) are the same, as is the house (for the most part), and one or two scenes but otherwise, the movie didn't really follow the book at all. Instead, it drifted off into it's own little whirlwind of horror, which is admirable since if it had followed the book closely, no one would have wanted to see it. I hate to compare books to movies but with this one, I can't really help it. I was very disappointed in the ending because it didn't have any depth and turned out entirely unlike the movie and didn't even seem to have a bleak moment or climax.

As for the book on it's own: I wasn't particularly fond of the dialogue. The characters seemed to go on about the oddest things; as if they were old friends having a picnic in the park. Perhaps it was their way of making light of the situation but I couldn't help but think of them all as children. They could be talking about one thing and out of the blue, one of them would say something along the lines of, "I have red shoes." even though it didn't connect to anything they were saying.
I like cake. I changed a light bulb today. I want to go swimming. Giraffe tongues are a foot long.
Similarly, the 'arguments' were hard to discern because they came out of nowhere and were nothing I would really consider an argument at all. It was as if a 'negative force' was pitting them against each other, but the book never went into any dark strain of thought like that and never hinted at such.

So I can honestly say that if I hadn't previously had an inkling of the book and a predetermined opinion thanks to the film, I would have found this book to be quite lacking and boring. There were only two excerpts that I enjoyed and I guess those could be seen as the most climatic and 'paranormal'.
This was my 'Halloween' read for the year.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Counting Down

First of all, I'm quite surprised to see that my blog is still getting at least 50 views a day even though I haven't posted in a month! Thank you for your continued support!

So, I'm back! I know, I said that last month! But this time I mean it! My fiancé and I have moved into our house, settled in, and I have unpacked and shelved the books so that makes it official. All of my books are out of boxes and they (and I) are very happy about it!
Here is a picture of my shelves on their way to being somewhat organized. Please excuse the surrounding mess. I mostly just wanted to get the books out of boxes and off of the floor. I have two other shelves in the house as well. Yes, that is a life size cardboard cut out of Harry Potter up there. (And I made that big 3D '5' out of cardboard for my niece's upcoming birthday. I just need to decorate it.)
I posted this photo on my personal Facebook and all of my family and friends were surprised by the amount of books that I own. I've also had people online ask me how I afford all of my books so I'll let you in on the secret now.

I buy all of my books secondhand.
Shhh. Don't tell.
No, seriously. I practically NEVER buy a book new. It might be because there are no bookstores within an hours drive of where I live but, then again, I don't buy online either. The majority of my books came from thrift stores and library sales. I used to get about 10-20 really great books for less than $5 (and sometimes just a dollar or two) at one thrift store but they jacked up their prices to almost a dollar per book so I don't come home with as many anymore. On the other hand, my local library has a really big book sale twice a year that lasts for 5 days. The second to last day is always half-price day and the last day is always $3 bag day. I get the most books then. In my last post I mentioned that I got 90+ books for just $18. And they weren't all just random books to fill up bags. They were books that I either already wanted to read or thought I would really enjoy.
Anyway, I haven't been reading very much for the past few months. I just finished my Halloween read, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, this morning. I wrote a very rusty review for it on Goodreads that I will probably share here later.

I'm very behind on my '# of books read' goal for the year. I'm on 74 out of 100. With only about a month and a half left in the year, the easiest way to get anywhere closer to that number is by reading a bunch of small books. Is that cheating? I'm still reading, right? I'm not going to pretend that I read books just to reach a goal. If I don't reach it, that's okay. I can always 'cheat' some more and decrease my goal to 80 or 90 books for the year (via Goodreads, of course). I have a ton of children's and middle-grade books that I've wanted to get to this year anyway. I just can't believe that I read 70 books in the first 6 months of the year and only about 3 so far since then. I'll chalk (or is it chock?) it up to being so busy since June.

No matter. I'm counting down the days to starting over in 2014.