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oblue

Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Currently reading

Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir
Amy Tan
The Gunslinger
Stephen King
Read, Write, Love at Seaside
Addison Cole
Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
Heather Harpham Kopp
The Silent Corner
Dean Koontz
Progress: 494/464 pages
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Progress: 50 %

Reading progress update: I've read 494 out of 464 pages.

The Silent Corner - Dean Koontz

I finally finished this so I can finally stop looking at this book. Here ends the tale of our dirty Harriet. I guess this is next phase Dean Koontz and I'm just going to pass on books two and three. This made absolutely no sense it was all over the place and I swear he reused a plot line for one of his older books and I'm too tired to look it up now but I'll post it in my full review. 

10 #mustread books coming our today, February 20, 2018

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Don't know what to read next? Have a look at a collection of today's new releases! +Shelf and read on! What's on your TBR shelf?

 

 

Blood of a Thousand Stars - Rhoda BellezaBlood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza  

YA Fantasy 

War tears the galaxy apart, power tests the limits of family, and violence gives way to freedom in this exhilarating sequel to Empress of a Thousand Skies.
Empress 
With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown.
Fugitive 
Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home.
Princess 
Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was.

read more »

Surprise Me

Surprise Me: A Novel - Sophie Kinsella

Meh. Annoyed that I didn't just wait for this one via the library. I decided to buy this instead of the new Michael Connelly (shakes head). Surprise Me sounded interesting which is why I got it. A married couple (Sylvie and Dan) are told they have more than 60 plus years to go after their health assessment freak out since they don't know what they are going to do with all that time together. Yeah I know, I would be happy, but these two have no common sense. They decide to surprise each other so that they have something to look forward to since they know each other so well. Well, Sylvie thinks she knows Dan very well, instead she founds out she doesn't know everything. We also get a total tone shift towards the second half of the book and it did not work at all. I honestly worried at one point maybe I was misreading things.

 

I wish I could have liked this one better. I just didn't gel with the main character Sylvie. I think if Kinsella had told the chapters in alternate POVs with Sylvie and Dan it would have worked better. I was more intrigued by him. And I honestly think that Kinsella tried to hand wave away too much stuff that was going on with Sylvie with her blaming Dan for being overprotective.

 

Sylvie is in a bubble and doesn't really want to accept most things around her. She keeps her hair long cause her late father loved it long. She thinks her husband is good and all, but was totally outshone by her awesome and handsome father. I seriously rolled my eyes the many times we had to read about how great/fantastic Sylvie's father was and how people flocked to him like he was the Piped Piper. The fact she didn't even see how things were going in her marriage and kept doing things that she knew was hurting her husband (like constantly showing their wedding DVD that barely featured them and instead featured her father) just got on my last nerves.

 

There is some chances for levity here and there. We have Sylvie and Dan going through the whole surprise me motions and I chuckled a few times. But honestly the whole book dragged. When we get a reveal I wasn't expecting, it just made the whole book go sideways. Things got too rushed for a resolution and I honestly don't think Sylvie learned much of anything really.

 

 

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Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Wow. So this is marked as a favorite, I have only read this one twice. It's a lot to sit through. At times you hope there is going to be a break or some sort of happy ending. Instead we get a book about consequences and things perhaps set in motion by something dark that wanted to ruin a happy family. I have to say that I do love most of King's earlier works. They tend to be more raw and real to me. Pet Sematary made me cry when I read it as a teen and it made me cry again this weekend.

 

When the Creed family (Louis, Rachel, Ellie, and Gage) move from Chicago to Maine, Louis is hoping that his new position and home will be the beginning of a new start for his family. Moving next to Jud and Nora Crandall, Louis feels like for the first time ever he has a father in his life. The two men become great friends and pass the time having beers together and talking about life and death. When Jud takes the family to a nearby pet cemetery, the first dark tidings start to come out and King gives warnings throughout about what is coming next for the Creed.

 

All of the characters in this one really work. You end up having sympathy and sadness for everyone that you read about. Most of the story really focuses on Louis since he is the one that is starting to be warned about what is coming next for his family. But the book shifts at times to Rachel and Jud.

 

The writing is so good in this one as is the flow. Some of the stories that Jud tells Louis feel a bit long, but all are important to get to the larger part of the story.

 

The setting of this one is Maine. I swear based on all the goings on in King's books, I have maybe unconsciously stayed away from that state. King has a way of describing the inhabitants and locations with such description you often at times feel as if you are walking with Louis across the deadfall to the "true" burial ground.

 

I think the saddest thing about this whole book is that if the family had been able to actually talk about death and what it means without Rachel reacting so badly to it, perhaps Louis wouldn't have done what he did throughout the book. He wanted to make things good for his little girl and then wanted to make things right for his family. At one point he just goes past the point of no return and you are just forced to read until the very end. I always wondered why King didn't refer to the Creed family again in any of his other Castle Rock books since they seemed to very close to Jerusalem's Lot and the location of Cujo based on remarks made in this book.

 

This book is in my top five favorite of King's works. In order of my favorite it is:

1. Bag of Bones (last book I read with my dad and holds a place in my heart because of that)
2. Desperation
3. The Drawing of the Three
4. Lisey's Story
5. Pet Sematary

 

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Dune Messiah

Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert

I can honestly say that this will be the last book I read in the Dune series. I have been warned after the next one it just gets even more convoluted. That's a shame. I really loved the story-telling in the first book, but this one made barely any sense and there was very little dialogue. You just keep reading what someone was thinking, what they were doing, and the machinations at the court. I started to skim towards the end. The last couple of pages were the most exciting in the whole tale.

 

Dune Messiah takes place 12 years after the last book. We have Paul Atreides as the new Emperor, married to Princess Irulan. Paul and Irulan are married in name only though. He is still with Chani, and though they have been together this whole time, she has not gotten pregnant. The Bene Gesserit, Spacing Guild, and Tleilaxu decide to put pressure on Irulan to help them with dethroning Paul since she still desires to have a child with him.

 

Honestly you would think that the above would make the book more interesting, it does not. It doesn't help that due to Paul and his ability to know all things/sense all things he already knows there is a conspiracy against him and he even knows what Irulan has been up to. So it's just people wandering around trying to make chess moves against each other while holding up a sign saying "I am so going to get you this round."

The characters were very flat in this one. Alia is Paul's right hand or something. I don't even know. We focus on her and her emotions a lot in this book and I was not a fan. We hear about Jessica a lot, but she's not heard from at all. Paul claims to love Chani, but it felt very flat to me. We also have a ghola of Duncan Idaho. I still don't get why he accepted it since you know, trap and all, but just go with it.

 

The writing was not that great and the flow was awful. Everything felt like it was taking a thousand years. The setting of Dune didn't seem as awe-inspiring as it did in the first book. I really felt like I needed a chart to understand how everyone was connected/not connected to each other.

 

 

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Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Probably one of the saddest endings in King's work IMHO. Revival still is the scariest. Pet Semetary doesn't pull any punches. You get the sense something drove this family to it's end, but also you feel frustrated because Louis wouldn't listen. Nice tie ins to Cujo, Salem's Lot, and the other Bangor books. I'm in the mood to reread Needful Things and The Dark Half now. The Dark Half is a book that sticks with you since that character is referred to in two other King works and you find out about his bad end. 

Reading progress update: I've read 55%.

Pet Sematary - Stephen King

I forgot how dark this book was. There really is no happy ending here. Just things spiraling from.wlrse to worse things. I do wonder if King will ever have a sequel to this one or refer to the characters in his other books?

 

We have Louis and Just doing what they can to prevent Ellie from realizing her cat Church has died. Jud tells the story of the other burial ground past the Pet Semetary where burying anything that is not a dead pet seems to bring nothing but terrible things. We also have references to a Wendigo here and it reminds me a bit of "Bag of Bones."

D is for Deadbeat

Reblogged from Obsidian Blue:
D Is For Deadbeat - Sue Grafton

I thought this one was bit more complicated than it needed to be. Even re-reading this year's later, a lot doesn't gel together very well. We do get more information on Kinsey and others. I just think it was too rushed as a whole to be really enjoyable.

 

The fourth novel finds Kinsey in a quandry. She is hired to deliver a cashier's check, but the check to her bounces. She tracks down the man who hired her and realizes that he also lied to her about his name and past. When he turns up dead, she accepts money from his estranged daughter to find out if he was murdered or not. 

 

Diving into this one, we find out that there are plenty of people who wanted Kinsey's client dead. I think my disconnect was why Kinsey even cared. At times she hides things she knows from the man's daughter and goes that she was feeling protective. This is after she finds out he beat one woman, was responsible for the deaths of five people, and just was generally it sounded like unpleasant.

 

The writing was okay. My big gripe was the reveal at the end didn't work for me at all. I think Grafton wanted to add some shock value where none was needed. The flow was bumpy in this too. Probably because Kinsey kept traipsing from Santa Teresa to a town nearby. 

 

There's some movement with Kinsey and Jonah. By since I know how that turns out, I don't much care. 

 

The ending was a but of a letdown. All is revealed, and in the end, I didn't think justice was really served, even if Kinsey did. 

Reading progress update: I've read 5%.

Pet Sematary - Stephen King

Wow took way too long to post a update. Be on GR for the day posting updates.

 

I'm supposed to go to the movies, but feeling under the weather so think I'm going to cancel and stay home in bed til I feel better. I don't think I'll enjoy sitting for a movie if I have to keep running to the bathroom after 20 minutes.

 

Laying in bed with black out curtains and blinds closed helps set the mood. I only read Pet Semetary once and it scared the crap out of me as a kid. Here we go. 

Bookstagram Saturday

Reading progress update: I've read 331 out of 331 pages.

Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert

Ehhh not that great. This was not as gripping as the first book to me at all until the very end.

 

I don't see me continuing this series. The second book was way too light on dialogue and even plot. If I think too hard about things I just want to sigh and mumble plot holes. 

Reading progress update: I've read 99 out of 331 pages.

Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert

Feel guilty for staying this, but not feeling this one. It's so boring. It's been 12 years since the first book and the Bene Gesserits are still trying to take out Paul and force Irulan to help.

TBR Thursday: Bringing it Back

I decided to start doing TBR Thursday again. With things going on right now I want to immerse myself in positive things. Wishing you all peace in your hearts and minds right now.

Bought (2):

 

Read, Write, Love at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 1) by [Cole, Addison]The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by [King, Stephen]

Total cost was $0.00 since the first book I bought it for free via Amazon Kindle. The second book I bought a while ago and have no idea how much I paid for it via Barnes and Noble.  

 

Borrow (5):

 

Cover image for Where the Past BeginsCover image for Pet Sematary[More detail about this title is available][More detail about this title is available]

[More detail about this title is available]

 

Holds (14):

 

[More detail about this title is available][More detail about this title is available][More detail about this title is available][More detail about this title is available]

[More detail about this title is available][More detail about this title is available]Cover image for The Three-Body ProblemCover image for First Grave on the Right

Cover image for Broken HarborCover image for The Darkest MindsCover image for Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely FineCover image for Renegades

Cover image for The Drawing of the ThreeCover image for Men Explain Things to Me

 

Total TBR: 21 books.

 

Not great, but not as bad as it could be. If I had not finished a ton of books I bought this past week I would be in worse shape. 

 

Do you all have some books you are looking forward to read in the next few days/week?

 

TBR Thursday is the brainchild of my partner in crime, Moonlight Reader. 

Happy Valentine's Day Boolikers!

Happy days to you all and I wish you good reading times ahead.

 

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This Will Be My Undoing

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America - Morgan Jerkins

Sigh. I don't know what to say. This collection of essays is very good. Jerkins goes into the highs and lows of being a black woman in America. She goes into what it means to be a black woman while on travel (Russia and Japan). She goes into being a black woman trying to be successful, but still treated like she's from another world since many black men out there don't know what to do with a black woman who is out there being a success and doesn't have time for their foolishness. 

 

Jerkins goes into the cycles of black women in America. When you are just a kid and realize that your hair is going to take a lot of your time/sanity to deal with since you get treated a certain way if your nice is "ethnic." How she felt being one of the smartest girls in her school and how that caused backlash among other black girls. 


From there she goes into going to Princeton college and finding herself un-dateable. I had the opposite problem when I went to the University of Pittsburgh. I just used to lie and tell people I was in a relationship to be left alone. I was focused on finishing undergraduate and that was it. When I did get into graduate school was when I went and found a dude who wasn't worth anything. I am still mad that I loaned this boy (seriously he was such a child) money and he had the nerve to act like I was not being a "good" black woman since I refused to cook for him after coming home from an internship and classes. A few years ago he sent me a Facebook friend request. I was never so happy to block someone in my life.

 

A lot of Jerkins essays though go in unexpected ways. Her essay about Michelle Obama actually made me sad and mad. I still cannot believe how much Michelle Obama was attacked by the media and conservatives out there.  I don't blame her for not running for office in 2020. I would be sitting on a beach and just drinking all the wine. 

 

Another essay I loved was the one Jerkins wrote about how powerful Beyonce is to black women out there and how her latest album, Lemonade, touched a lot of us in many ways. You start to think you are the only one out there struggling with things, because as black women we are taught to keep our pain inside. Keep on walking, stay strong, don't ask for help, etc. Constantly being on guard to make sure you speak "right" around mixed groups, to not be the "angry black woman" so people can dismiss your points is exhausting as hell. 

 

Though I gave this four stars, I still marked it as a favorite. The only reason why I gave this four stars is that in some of the essays, Jerkins jumps around a lot that can get a bit confusing if you don't have context for some of the things she is talking about. Though I liked her essay on "Black Girl Magic" she goes into what the movement was about, how some people attacked it, and then a personal subject about a medical procedure she decided to undergo. It was a bit crowded in there for me in that chapter. I would have liked it if it was broken up. 

 

I also just liked the "How to Survive: A Manifesto on Paranoia and Peace" was not for me. I liked "How to be Docile" much better since she uses similar writing styles in both essays. 

 

I have never heard of Jerkins before, but am going to go out and take a look at some of her writing as soon as possible. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America - Morgan Jerkins

Wow. What a very good read! I may not agree with all things in this collection of essays, but Jerkins got me thinking which is never a bad thing. This starts off slow and it tends to jump around (essays) but there were some essays I found quite powerful which were: Monkeys Like You, A Lotus for Michelle, Black Girl Magic, Human, Not Black, and Who Will Write Us?

 

I wanted to finish this before I see Black Panther tomorrow night. I can't explain to my friends who are not POC how excited and joyful this movie makes me. It's like going out to a big block party. I have friends who I have not talked to in a long time who are meeting up for dinner first. We are dressing to the nines. And we will be living and breathing Wakanda for two hours. My aunt said to me the last time she remembers this many black people watching something that was almost solely black actors and actresses is when Roots came out. That was in 1977 (I was not alive at that time).