I’d hate to see her PMSing

“Should your naughty new neighbors resist your suggestions, invite them over to see your new media room. The fact that it doubles as a torture chamber should encourage them to toe the line!”

-Josie Brown, The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook


Killer quote, don’t you think?

Each chapter starts out with a lovely assassin tidbit.  It fit the book perfectly.

The first chapter had me questioning if I was going to enjoy the book.  It didn’t flow right to me, so I had trouble focusing on it.  Once past the first chapter, I was enjoying the book and trying to figure out the twists and turns.  It got kind of stressful when I realized I didn’t know who was actually on what team, despite my thinking ahead, but that was quickly resolved.  From there on out, it was an enjoyable read once more.

The story is told from Donna’s POV.  Donna, housewife turned assassin, wife turned lover turned wife turned lover turned lover?  Just go with it.  She’s complicated and human, but that just makes the book come alive more to the reader.

This is book one of the series.  I’m not sucked in the series, but if I happen to chance upon more in the series, I’d read them.


The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook by Josie Brown

BN link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/housewife-assassins-handbook-josie-brown/1101133270?ean=2940012412539

Goodread link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11393698-the-housewife-assassin-s-handbook

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Life’s little echoes

“Everything that’s worth having is some trouble…”

-L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea


Could truer words be spoken?  The story might be fictional, but the words are true.

After the catastrophe of Dracula, I needed more mental fun fluff.  I enjoyed the first book in this series, Anne of Green Gables, that I had already downloads several more books in the series when I found them for free.  Anne of Avonlea is the second book in the series.  It is a delightfully written as the first.

It’s an easy read.  Some stuff is predictable, other stuff leaves you wondering what is going to happen next.  It’s interesting to see Anne growing up, still getting into some mischief, but also witnessing Davy getting into his own.  She understands but doesn’t.  Her eyes are slowly opening to adulthood, but she is still a child, whimiscal and fun.  You see love developing through Anne’s eyes, though her mind isn’t consciously aware of romance for herself yet.

I love this book.  I kept this on my iPad mini to reread when the mood strikes.  It’s fun, lighthearted, entertaining.  I hope my children discover this series while they are young instead of in their 30s such as myself.  This is on my favorites shelf permanently.


Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery

(Book 2 of Anne of Green Gables series)

Barnes & Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/anne-of-avonlea?store=allproducts&keyword=anne+of+avonlea

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77390.Anne_of_Avonlea

This book bit the dust

“The world seems full of good men, even if there are monsters in it.”

-Bram Stoker, Dracula


Let me be up front about my reasoning in choosing this book.  I LOVE the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  By love, I mean I watch it EVERY TIME I find it on tv, I have it recorded on DVR so I can watch it any time I want, and I own the DVD that I have been known to play over and over.  My husband and children groan over it now.  Yes, I am well aware it is cheesy, but I love it.  It makes me happy to relax and just watch this movie.  I completely zone out and typically pick up on new things I hadn’t noticed before.

I decided I wanted to understand more of the characters’ backgrounds to get more out of the movie because apparently I’m insane.  I came across a free iBook copy of Dracula and since it is the Halloween season, I thought it was appropriate to start with it and learn more of Mina Harker’s background.

As with any book/movie relation, I knew there would be some differences. I expected more than usual since the movie wasn’t based on this particular book alone.  I did expect there to be more in common than Mina.

Let me just say I was ticked off when I finished the book.  I was bored the first 300 pages.  I get why they had to occur, but good grief we could have summarized.  I was interested somewhat for about 100 pages, and then even that died to the point I was at the last chapter and had to push myself through it.

Only to get mad at the ending.  SERIOUSLY?

It is a classic and from that perspective, I am glad I read it.  It did give me Mina’s background story, but the ending doesn’t match with the movie in the least, which I didn’t expect.  I’d suffered through the whole book looking for a connection that just didn’t exist.

This book will not land among my favorites and I highly doubt I’ll ever read it again, but I am proud that I read it.  It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but I am glad to delete it off my reader.


Dracula by Bram Stoker

Barnes & Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dracula-bram-stoker/1116610564?ean=9781593081140

Costly secrets

“They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demned elusive Pimpernel”
–Sir Percy Blakeney, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
 

I love this quote.  It fits the character, Sir Percy, PERFECTLY.  Dern him, I couldn’t help but to love this “inane fop”.
 
Honestly, I delayed reading this book, and I mean DELAYEDDDDDDDDDDD.  I just didn’t see how a book with a type of bread in the title could be good.  I know, I know–1) Don’t just a book by it’s cover, and 2) GET SOME GLASSES.  Pimpernel is a type of flower, NOT pumpernickel bread.  Go me.  Anyways, I was trying to decide if I was finally going to read this book to hush my friend and her ” you must read this” when she hasn’t read my book yet (ahem, hint hint) and another classic when I read the comments on Goodreads.  Apparently, this book is the rough basis for Batman, which I love, well, the 70’s BAM!  SLAP!  BOOM! Batman.  I was immediately intrigued and decided to appease my friend.  It was a decision I have not regretted.
 
The story resolves around Sir Percy and Lady Marguerite Blakeney in England in 1792.  These two each have their secrets and are divided as a couple, though society wouldn’t know.  As the story develops, you learn with Marguerite just how costly secrets can be a marriage and a family. 
 
The killing of aristocrats by the French is central to the story, so there is a bit of history to be learned through this story as well (double bonus).  You don’t have to experience the blood and gore, but that bit of history is touched upon throughout the book through various characters.  You “see” a part of the story from different view points, which adds to the story and character development as well as causes you to love Sir Percy even more.
 
I honestly want to own this book now.  I have kept in on my iPad so I can reread it as desired.  I recently finished it and already want to read it again.  This is an AMAZING book.  Everyone should read it.  I wish I had read it sooner, and I cannot wait to share this book with my children.

All in all, LOVE it.

 
 

It’s truly a tragedy

Et tu? – Julius Caeser by William Shakespeare


 

I enjoyed A Midsummer’s Night Dream so much, I opted to read Julius Caesar fairly soon afterwards.  This.was.painful.

Then, apparently to increase my torture, I listened to the free audiobook version.  It was bound to be better.  It had Kelsey Grammer in it, for pete’s sake.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  TORTURE.

Thus, I have learned while I like Shakespeare’s comedies, I do not particularly care for Shakespeare’s tragedies.  To my former literature professors, I tried.  I really did. 

The book was easier to follow that the audiobook.  At least in the book, you could follow who was speaking, whereas in the audiobook, it was just noise.  Other than Richard Dreyfuss and Kelsey Grammer, I couldn’t tell you who was speaking when.  I was impatiently waiting for both the book and the audiobook to end, but I made myself finish them. 

I still consider it a historic piece of literature, just not one I’m going to re-read willingly at any point.  EVER.  I’m proud of myself for starting and finishing both versions, especially after I had finished and disliked the first.

With that being said, that shouldn’t stop someone else from reading this.  There are others out there who love this story.  I’m just not in that fandom, which on some level I think is a tragedy.  Shakespeare was a great writer, but I think I might stick to his comedies more.

Unless another free ibook or audiobook appears.  Then I freely admit I’ll be suckered in again.


 

William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

Source: Audiobook Sync
Format: MP3 Audiobook

2:04:18

2 parts

Performers:

Bonnie Bedelia – Calphurnia

John de Lancie – Cassius

Richard Dreyfuss – Marc Antony

Harold Gould – Caesar

Kelsey Grammer – Murellus

Stacy Keach – Marcus Brutus

JoBeth Williams – Portia

Paul Winfield et al…

The Hiding Place

“Corrie, if people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love! We must find the way, you and I, no matter how long it takes.”–Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place


It’s apparently history month for me.  I’ve listened to another history book without intending to, and of course I didn’t pay attention to the cover.  Just as a FYI, I just downloaded 2 more free audiobooks from AudioSync.  They, too, are history books about WWII.

The Hiding Place is Corrie ten Boom’s experience in WWII.  She transformed from a watchmaker to a hero, a survivor, and an evangelist.  She helped save Jews via the underground, she survived Hitler’s camps, and she’s lived to tell her tale to others, helping herself and them find forgiveness.

This woman is amazing.  I haven’t been through a fraction of what she has endured, and yet it is my faith that falters at times.  I am in awe of her faith and perseverance.  She has survived literal HELL ON EARTH and still remains faithful to God and upbeat and optimistic.  I’m willing to bet most people get ill over a bad look, a cross word, or a bad driver.  She SURVIVED HELL and has a better outlook that us.

There is so much to learn from her.  We each need to learn this lesson in life, me included.  Her autobiography is a must read for everyone.  This story is a history lesson, a faith lesson that can be applied to all (to have faith even if you don’t believe in her God), a humanity lesson.

I just cannot get over all she accomplished.  She is very right, you know.  People are taught to hate, which means they can be taught to love.  We should all be trying to find the way to love others and ourselves instead of hating and tearing each other down.

Four little letters, yet we find them so difficult.  L O V E.

Read this book.  You won’t regret it.


The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, and Elizabeth Sherrill
Narrator: Bernadette Dunne
Format: MP3 Audiobook
Publisher: christianaudio
Source: Audio Sync
8 parts, 15 chapters
9 hours 23 minutes 50 seconds

 

I’d Tell You I Love You…

“Everything in that room is beautiful and refined and reminds us that we don’t just have to be spies — we have to be ladies.”  — I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls Series, Book 1) by Ally Carter


Story of my life.  Everything around me is beautiful and refined, and I struggle to feel and behave like a lady.  I hate sitting with my legs crossed.  Thunder thighs don’t help much there.  I hate high heeled shoes.  This is better phrased by “I hate shoes.”  I feel funny dressed up and honestly rarely have a good reason to dress up anyways.

I’m expected to be a lady.  I try to be around strangers, but once you break through one of my barriers, you get to see the crude humor, sarcastic wit, often pessimistic view of the world me.  I’m not sure how I’m going to raise my daughters to be ladies when even I find the thought depressing, stiffling, and “un-fun”.  Yet, I’ll train them in the art of “ladyness”, or at least in the art of “faking ladyness”, because that is what women do.  Well, that and spy, gossip, etc.  Oh wait…

I decided to listen to I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls Series, Book 1) after 3 serious, heart-heavy audio books.  About three-fourths of the way through it, I had the thought of I was listening to a spy version of Cluess meets Mean Girls.  Once the thought was planted, it refused to go away.  Despite that nagging thought, it was a good, light-hearted “read” that was needed after the previous audiobooks.

What girl doesn’t spy?  What girl doesn’t try to break the “bro code”?  Heck, I’m in my 30s and I still do both.  I’m a woman and I’m nosy.  I’ve been told those two facts go hand in hand.  All I missed out of this was going to a secret spy school for girls.  Drats, that would have been fun.

I enjoyed this book.  It’s not one I’d seek out to read now that I’ve listened to it, but it is one I enjoyed and would read if it magically feel in my lap or on my iPhone.  It made the day enjoyable as I issued email after email.  I think “tweens” would enjoy this book, and for that reason alone, I’m glad I listened.  It has boys, mystery, and girls kicking butt.  What tween girl wouldn’t love this!

I’d tell you more, but then I’d have to kill you.  😉

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/id-tell-you-i-love-you-but-then-id-have-to-kill-you-ally-carter/1100327447?ean=9781423100041

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girl Series, Book 1) by Ally Carter
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Format: MP3 Audiobook
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Source: Audiobook Sync
6 parts, 29 chapters
6 hours 51 minutes 6 seconds