Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality!

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 


-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Lamentation: A Novel (Jay Porter Series) - Joe Clifford



Sometimes what isn't said can be every bit as damning as what is.

- Chapter 7


Basically, this is a mystery thriller. Jay Porter is a smart guy who never got out of his small town. He had a great girl and had a baby with her, but his drug-addicted brother (Chris) always seems to cause him problems. He is now living alone and his former girlfriend and his 2-year old son live with a new guy. When Chris is arrested, Jay gets him released and realizes that there are dangerous lies and secrets in his town. Jay thought Chris was just being paranoid, but when the violence escalates, Jay realizes the danger is real.


I liked this book. Jay is a good guy and wants to do the right thing for his son, but he keeps getting in his own way. Sarcasm helps him get through difficulties, along with his close friends. He wants to do the right thing and find a way to help his brother, but it isn't always clear. The secret wasn't clear to me until near the end, but I have a feeling more related secrets still exist that weren't revealed in the book. I guess I would have to read more of the Jay Porter series to find out, but... I'm sorry Book, I'm just not that into you.


An interesting note, the author, Joe Clifford was a homeless junkie before he became a successful writer. His firsthand knowledge gives an interesting perspective into the lives of homeless drug addicts. The details are amazing but brutal and raw.


I read this book for the Fantasyland 6 space - book with a winter scene on the cover. The book has 202 pages, so that will add $3.00 to my bank.


On to my next roll...




Booklikes-opoly Fantasyland 6 read

Lamentation: A Novel (Jay Porter Series) - Joe Clifford

Wintry scene on the cover. This is my choice for Fantasyland 6: Climb The Matterhorn!


Booklikes-opoly status update

Bank: $43.00


May 16th

Finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (from the GO space)

320 pages (according to Amazon) = $3.00


Roll: 7

Landed on Fantasyland 6

Book: Lamentation by Joe Clifford





Bank: $40.00


May 7th

Finished Twilight Eyes

451 pages (according to Amazon) = $5.00


Roll: 6

Landed on GO, free read

Book: The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood




Bank: $35.00


April 24th

Finished Beastly Bones

305 pages = $3.00


Roll: 7

Landed on Paradise Pier (31)

Book: Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz



Bank: $32.00


April 19th



Bonus $10 from The better to see you, my dear

Nice Luck! Thanks!


Roll: 8 (doubles)

Landed on the Ring square

Roll again: 11

Landed on Chance (25)

Reading: Beastly Bones



Bank: $22.00


April 15th

Roll: 8

Landed on Chance (8)

Book: City of Ember, Graphic Novel

144 pages = $2.00



Bank: $20.00



Booklikes-opoly 5/16 roll






With a roll of 6, I landed on Fantasyland 6:



A book set in a Western European  Country or a book with a wintry scene on the cover.


I'm going to check my shelves for a wintry scene.....

The Handmaid's Tale - Review

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse, for some.

- Chapter 32


This is the story of Offred (of Fred). She is a handmaid in a society that has difficulty reproducing effectively. Fertile women are "given to" powerful men, in order to bear them children.


This is a scary and powerful tale. It isn't full of action and adventure, but a story told quietly, from Offred's point of view. We see glimpses of her life before, and into her current situation. The end was sort of abrupt and open-ended. But some things just aren't meant to be wrapped up in a bow. There is a great deal of emotion packed into this book and I'm glad I finally read it. People have been suggesting I read this book for years. So, when the series came out, I knew I had to read it before I watched. 


The scariest thing about this book is how subtle, gradual changes can lead to something so awful before you even know what's happening. One of the quotes in the book said things may not seem ordinary now, but after a time they become ordinary. I believe this is true, little changes add up and gradually become normal, and before you know it society is really messed up.


I choose this book when I landed on the GO space in Booklikes-opoly - giving me a free choice.

Reading progress update: I've listened 352 out of 762 minutes.

The Drawing of the Three (Dark Tower II) - Stephen King, Frank Muller


So far so good. I don't like the performance as much as the first one, he has a habit of almost hissing the ends of the words. But, I am enjoying the story more.


Crazy monsters, unexpected events, alternate dimensions, a doorway to another man's mind, and drug smuggling. Does it get any better than this?

It's about time...

The Gunslinger - Stephen King


I am a huge Stephen King fan (since I was a teenager), and I read every book he writes, except the Dark Tower series. I'm not sure why I never read this series, but I own all the books. So, I'm finally reading it, well.... because it's being made into a movie.


And actually, I decided to listen to the audiobooks. I'm in the middle of a couple of other books and I have reading to do for my classes. So, I figured the only way I will finish the series is if I listen when I can't read (while walking the dog, cleaning the house, or other things...)


This first book is interesting if a bit complex at times. The narrator is good, and I enjoyed the performance. It took me a while to get into the story because it was a bit all over the place. I started by reading the physical book, but I kept putting it off because it wasn't really grabbing me. When I saw the preview of the movie, I decided I needed to focus.


Once I finished the book, I appreciated the story more. It is a good beginning to the series, and I think as I read more, I will enjoy it more.



The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
"A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze."
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
"Ordinary is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary."

Two kids must save the world...

The Doom Machine - Mark Teague, Scholastic Inc.


Skreeps - 9 ft. tall alien spiders from the planet Skreepia. They land on Earth to obtain a "special item" from the ooman bings. They capture Jack, his Uncle Bud, Isadora, her mother (a scientist), and the town cop and his son. Uncle Bud has created a device that looks like a refrigerator but has the ability to create holes in space & time. The Skreeps want it so they can take over more planets, including Earth.


This story is aimed at kids ages 9-12. It is a bit scary because the Skreeps are huge spiders (and well...yuck). The Skreeps fight each other constantly and threaten the kids and their families. Isadora is a great character, smart, logical, and willing to do whatever it takes to test a theory. Jack is a juvenile delinquent who can fix any car, and it turns out spaceships too. I liked the way the two of them worked together and/or fought throughout the story. Isadora is always smarter and braver, but Jack is clever in his own ways.


There is a lot of talk about time and moving outside time and always being somewhere. It gets a little confusing, but I don't think the author expected his audience to understand it, just accept it. Some kids are good at that.


The Skreeps are constantly trying to prove themselves better than each other, and the constant bickering leads to some funny scenes. The story includes an evil queen, rebels, heroes, pirates, prophets and prophecies, surprising monsters, and enough twists and turns to delight any sci-fi fan.


Teague is very creative and has written a wonderfully entertaining story. The giant spiders (Skreeps) are seriously creepy at times and may be too much for sensitive readers.

Bout of Books 19 Readathon Update




Today's challenge is Share Your Shelfie.


So, I decided to take a picture of the books on my nightstand. There are many, many more books all over my house, but this is where I am right now, so...



My stats as of today:


# of Books Finished: 1

The Doom Machine by Mark Teague


# of Pages Read: 450


Currently Reading:

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Drawing of the Three: Dark Tower Book 2 by Stephen King (audiobook)




Bout of Books


Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Graphic Memoir of Growing up in Iran

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - Marjane Satrapi, Mattias Ripa, Blake Ferris



Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.


I love that this is told from Satrapi's point of view. It allows us to see a child's perspective of life during a revolution. There are vast differences between her home life and public life. We see how it feels for her to witness protests, hear her parents' worries, deal with loss, and try to decide who she is in the middle of all of this.


The story is touching and sad and also hopeful. I read this for my grad school multicultural literature class. I just found out that it is also an option for my daughter for summer reading this year. I'm going to encourage her to read it. :)

Bout of Books 19 - May 8th Update

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy - Nikki Loftin




 The challenge for today was 


Share a book cover where illustrations are part of the typography of the title


I chose The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin.






My stats as of today:


# of Books Read: 0


# of Pages Read: 340


Currently Reading:

The Doom Machine by Mark Teague

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood


If you are interested in participating, you can still sign up today!


Bout of Books


Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team





Booklikes-opoly 5/7 roll








So... I landed on GO, which is a free space - read any book! Now I just have to decide which one. Oooh I know. I'm going to read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I have been meaning to read this one for a while, and now it's a series on HULU. So, I must read the book first!

Twilight Eyes - review

Twilight Eyes - Dean Koontz


When one day ends, the next begins, for in this infinite universe there is no final conclusion to anything, definitely not to hope.

Chapter 1 - The Carnival


You travel light when you're wanted for murder. The only heavy things you carry are memories, fear, and loneliness.

Chapter 4 - Goblin Dreams



I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Slim, has a psychic skill. But, he can't move things with his mind, heal people, or read minds. He sees the demon hiding inside people. And not metaphorically. He calls them Goblins and they can shape-shift into normal looking human beings. And no one else can see the goblin side when they are disguised as humans. Slim knows they are evil and delight in causing suffering, but that is all he knows. Oh, and he is good at killing them. Of course, once they're dead, they return to human form, so no one would believe him even if he told them. He finds sanctuary in carnivals and the people there accept him as a drifter. But the Sombra Brothers Carnival changes his life.


 I liked getting to know Slim and all the carnies. I felt for him, being so alone and not trusting that anyone else would understand what he sees. He wants to stop the death he feels coming but doesn't always know how. Rya is an interesting character, even more so once you understand her backstory.


There are two parts to the book. The first part ends with a twist that really shocked me. The plot moved along quickly and there was a lot of excitement. There were more than a few times that I stayed up late reading this one. 


I read this for Booklikes-opoly - Paradise Pier 31.


Cute Chapter Book for Kids

Night of the Living Worms: A Speed Bump & Slingshot Misadventure - Dave Coverly, Dave Coverly




This is a cute book that kids are sure to love. It is a 2017-18 Sunshine State Young Reader's Award (SSYRA) nominated book for grades 3-5. I'm sure even our most reluctant readers will read this one. We ask our students in grades 4 and 5 to read at least three nominated books each year. Then they are able to vote for their favorite.

Currently reading

The Drawing of the Three (Dark Tower II)
Stephen King, Frank Muller
Progress: 648/762 minutes
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel
Firoozeh Dumas
A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness, Jim Kay

Read 2017

The Bronze Key
Hate List
The Fireman
Island of Legends
Island of Shipwrecks
Island of Graves

Reading is my Escape's favorite books »

2017 Reading Challenge

Reading is my Escape has read 6 books toward her goal of 100 books.

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