Thursday, April 25, 2019

Cool bookish tees...

Because who doesn't love a good Albus Dumbledore quote?

I also love this one!

And this one is just so true!

And now you know my weekend plans!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Frightening fun!

Welcome to the First Annual Haunted Forest Halloween Tour!
"Nobody has ever been eaten on one of our tours, and nobody ever will!"

Four years ago, an entire forest sprouted up out of nowhere, engulfing the town of Cromay, New Mexico, and killing hundreds of people. Rescue teams went into the forest to search for survivors and never returned. What lives in the forest now is an array of fanged and fierce nightmares come to life, the kind of creatures cryptozoologists love to study and crazy tourists love to view. That's why H.F. Enterprises installed a track and built reinforced trams to transport tourists of all ages through the monster-filled forest. And their safety record is impeccable. Until the first Halloween tour enters the forest. That's when everything goes horribly wrong.

This horror novel has everything you could possible want:  freakshow monsters that want to chomp everyone in sight, characters to root for...and against, a dark and eerie forest, explosions, bloody battles, that timeless fight of good vs. evil, supernatural suspense, and some great one-liners. Great literature it's not, but it is entertaining and scary good fun. (Good nightmare material, too.) 

Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 20, 2019


I love this clock:

(Does your day ever feel like this, or is it just me?)

I recently read a new favorite character in a new favorite series:

(I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs' mysteries some time in the near future. Or at least some time this year. Or next.)

I checked out some fun books from the library yesterday:

The Wild Lands by Paul Greci
Gone Too Deep by Katie Ruggle
Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano
Time to Die by Caroline Mitchell
Woman 99 by Greer Macallister
Seven Dead by J. Jefferson Farjeon

But I think I'm most excited to read this one: 

(Because I've heard it's really good.)

And last, but certainly not least....

Happy Easter!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Classic Play...

For several years now, I've been working my way through Shakespeare's plays, trying to read each and every one. (Boy are there a lot of them!) I'm getting close; I only have seven more to go. And one of those is Cymbeline. Which is why I picked it to read for Karen's Back to the Classics Challenge. It's not one of Shakespeare's plays that I was very familiar with, but after reading it, I think they should change the name of the play to Imogen, because I felt like it was more her story than her father's.

.....Alas, poor princess,
Thou divine Imogen, what thou endur'st.--
Betwixt a father by thy stepdame govern'd:
A mother hourly coining plots; a wooer
More hateful than the foul expulsion is
Of thy dear husband ... The heavens hold firm
The walls of thy dear honour; keep unshak'd
That temple, thy fair mind; that thou mayest stand
To enjoy thy banish'd lord and this great land.

So, here's my attempt at explaining the plot of this play. Be gets a little complicated. 

Cymbeline is the king of Britain. His two oldest sons were stolen away in their infancy, leaving him with Imogen, his only daughter, as his sole heir. He wants her to marry Cloten, the son of his second wife, who's now the queen. (And a very conniving one at that.) Instead, Imogen marries Posthumous Leonatus, a noble Roman soldier. Before the marriage is consummated, the king banishes Posthumous from Britain. Before Posthumous leaves, he gives Imogen a bracelet as a token of his love and she gives him a ring, promising to be faithful to him. 

Back in Rome, Posthumous brags about his beautiful and virtuous wife, so much so that his friend, Iachimo, bets him that he can easily seduce her. Posthumous agrees to the bet and off Iachimo goes to Britain to woo Imogen. But the princess refuses his advances. (Just as she's been refusing Cloten's.) Not wanting to lose his bet, Iachimo sneaks into Imogen's rooms at night and steals the bracelet from her arm as proof of her infidelity. When he sees the bracelet, Posthumous believes Iachimo's lies, gets all mad, and sends a letter to his servant, Pisano, ordering him to kill his wife. Pisano helps Imogen escape to Wales instead. There, she disguises herself as a boy named Fidele. While in disguise, she meets her two older brothers who don't know who she is....or that they are actually Cymbeline's sons. (It's another miraculous Shakespearean coincidence!)

Meanwhile, Cloten comes to Wales determined to kill Posthumous, have his way with Imogen, and then bring her back to Britain. Happily, he fails. Imogen never encounters him, but she does drink a potion which causes everyone around her to think she's dead even though she's not. Complicated, right? While all of this is happening, Rome prepares to invade Britain over unpaid tributes. This leads to war, which everyone participates in. In the end, Imogen's two brothers and her husband help Cymbeline defeat the Romans; Cloten is killed; Jupiter makes a brief appearance; Cymbeline and his two sons are brought back together; Iachimo is captured and admits his deceit; and Imogen's honor is restored and she and her penitent husband are reunited at last. Whew. What a play! 

Despite it's convoluted plot, I actually ended up liking this one. And if they ever perform it on a stage near me, I'm definitely going. And congrats if you actually made it to the end of this post!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bookshelf envy...

I wish my house had this many bookshelves...

Or a windowseat as lovely as this....

I'd even settle for a bedroom like this....

Happy Reading...and bookshelf dreaming!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Beast's Heart

For the longest time after the curse fell, I did not know if I was a beast who dreamed of being a man, or a man who dreamed he was a beast.

So begins Leife Shallcross's enchanting retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. Over the years, I've read many different versions of it. Robin McKinley's Beauty has long been my favorite, but this latest retelling is now a close second. Overall, The Beast's Heart sticks closely to the traditional story line. Where it differs is that it's told wholly from the Beast's point of view, and that's what I liked about it. Seeing him struggle to understand his curse, and despair of ever breaking it, made the story that much more poignant and endearing. And then he meets Isabeau, his 'Beauty', and the Beast begins to not only fall in love, but to hope.
I turned to stare at Isabeau. It was her. She was the key. Since she had arrived, the magic that held this place had started to weaken. First the birds and animals had begun to come back to the forest; now the seasons were returning to my garden. If this curse could be broken, she could do it. I didn't know how. ... But she was the key to the ending of this spell.
If you like fairy tale retellings, this is a good one. I liked Isabeau's two sisters, Marie and Claude. And I liked Isabeau. But most of all, I liked the Beast.

Happy Reading!

Similar read:  Hunted by Megan Spooner

Thursday, April 11, 2019

April's Bookish Art...

Charles Burton Barber -- Girl Reading With Pug, 1879
"When her mind was discomposed...a book was 
the opiate that lulled it to repose."
--Ann Radcliffe, The Romance of the Forest