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

Snakes and Ladders - Update #8

 

Next roll:

 

 

 

 

 

1. Author is a woman - Grump by Liesl Shurtliff

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K - What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

16. Genre: fantasy - The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

21. Set in Europe - The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

28. Written between 1900 and 1999 - The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

35. Had been adapted as a movie - Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

43. Characters involved in the law - The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver

48. A book you acquired in February 2019 - By a Spider's Thread by Laura Lippman

 

Landed on:

 

55. Is more than 500 pages long

 

 

It took me a while to find one that fits this category that is over 500 pages but not over 800. I didn't want to read something too long because I'll never finish this game. (I know I can read a different book and only roll one die, but I'm being a little strict on myself about finding a book that fits.) I finally decided on Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld.

 

 

 

 

 

By a Spider's Thread

By a Spider's Thread (Tess Monaghan #8) - Laura Lippman

Audience: Adult

Format: Kindle/Owned

 

They were in one of the "I" states when Zeke told Isaac he had to ride in the trunk for a little while.

- first sentence

 

I purchased this book in February and I don't remember why. Maybe I saw a review I liked or maybe it was on sale and sounded good to me. Anyway, the Snakes and Ladders square called for a book I acquired in February and I didn't have many options. So, even though this is not the first book in the Tess Monaghan series and I don't think I read any of the others, I decided to go with it.

 

Tess is an interesting, relatable character and even though I don't know her background or what she has been through, I enjoyed this book. Tess is a PI and her client is an orthodox Jewish man (Mark) whose wife (Natalie) and three children have disappeared. But, it looks like Natalie left of her own volition, and took the children. Mark says there were no problems in their marriage and there was no reason for Natalie to leave. But, after looking into things, Tess realizes that there is more to it, and Mark isn't telling her the whole truth.

 

I spent most of the book trying to figure out why Natalie would leave her husband and go off with Zeke. He's an asshole and he is horrible to her children, especially Isaac. Who would put up with that? But I guess she has romanticized their relationship and thinks things will eventually get better. The main question I had was will she eventually put her children first?

 

Snakes and Ladders - Update #7

 

 

 

 

 

1. Author is a woman - Grump by Liesl Shurtliff

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K - What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

16. Genre: fantasy - The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

21. Set in Europe - The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

28. Written between 1900 and 1999 - The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

35. Had been adapted as a movie - Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

43. Characters involved in the law - The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver

 

Landed on:

 

48. A book you acquired in February 2019.

 

I thought this would be easy until I checked. I only bought two books in February 2019 (go figure). I only realized later I probably could have chosen a library book I borrowed in February - oh well. So, I chose By A Spider's Thread by Laura Lippman.

 

Btw, did anyone else notice I close I was to that snake again?? I am having unbelievable luck in this game.

The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge - Jeffery Deaver

Audience: Adult

Format: Hardcover/Owned

 

 

Is it safe?

- first sentence

 

No surprise - it's not safe. At least not for the couple picking up their diamond ring. This is a Lincoln Rhyme novel after all, so there will be plenty of what you might call "unsafe" situations.

 

Nothing surprising here. This is a well-written crime story with a few twists I didn't see coming. I recently read the first Lincoln Rhyme book and this is the 14th, so things have changed a lot. In the first book, Lincoln consults with the NYPD for the first time while he is considering how to end his life. In this one, Lincoln and Amelia are married, he is a well-known consultant, and he gets around in his wheelchair. The killer in this book is obsessed with diamonds or with engaged couples. We aren't exactly sure at first.

 

I enjoyed the book and might read another Lincoln Rhyme novel in the future, but there are so many books out there with new ideas and my tbr is overflowing...

 

I read this for Snakes & Ladders space #43 Characters involved in the law.

 

 

T4 - by Ann Clare LeZotte

T4: A Novel - Ann Clare LeZotte

Audience: Grade 6 & Up

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

 

 

Hear the voice of the poet!

I see the past, future, and present.

I am Deaf, but I have heard

The beauty of song

 

And I wish to share it with

Young Readers.

A poem can be simple,

About a cat or a red

Wheelbarrow.

 

Or it can illuminate the lives

Of people who lived, loved,

And died. You can make

People think or feel

 

For other people, if you

Write poetry. In T4, the facts

About history are true, and

My characters tell the story.

 

- first page

 

During World War II, the Nazi's Action T4 program called for the euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people. Paula, a thirteen-year-old deaf girl, fled from her home, and her family, and went into hiding in order to survive.

 

This is a moving account of one little girl's survival told through beautiful, unflinching language. I loved this book and highly recommend it to young readers. It's a short book and a great introduction to the novel in verse format.

 

 

Jellaby - The Lost Monster

Jellaby: The Lost Monster - Kean Soo

Audience: Grades 4-8

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

 

I picked up this book because the cover was cute, but I didn't really expect much from it. Well, I can say I was pleasantly surprised. Portia is a bright ten-year-old girl who is trying to adjust to life without her father. She is feeling pretty lonely because she doesn't have friends at school and her mom is acting distant. Then she finds a shy, sweet, and quite large purple monster in the woods behind her house.

 

The illustrations are done in black, white, and shades of purple with red accents. Jellaby is purple with red stripes and Portia's hair bow is red. Portia's friend, Jason loves carrots and so there are spots of orange too (like Jason's shirt).

 

The story is charming; I loved Portia, Jellaby, and even Jason. Jellaby is a monster with a heart of gold and this story will touch readers of all ages. 

 

Highly Recommended. I am borrowing the second book tomorrow. :)

 

 

Snakes and Ladders Update #6

Next roll:

 

 

 

 

 

1. Author is a woman - Grump by Liesl Shurtliff

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K - What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

16. Genre: fantasy - The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

21. Set in Europe - The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

28. Written between 1900 and 1999 - The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

35. Had been adapted as a movie - Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

 

Landed on:

 

43. Characters involved in the law

 

For this one, I am reading The Cutting Edge by Jeffrey Deaver. It's another Lincoln Rhyme story. I read the first of the series (The Bone Collector) for space #28. I guess I can see how he changed over the years.

 

I'm slowly plodding along...

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River - Dennis Lehane

Audience: Adult

Format: Owned/Kindle

 

 

When Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus were kids, their fathers worked together at the Coleman Candy plant and carried the stench of warm chocolate back home with them.

-first sentence

 

I've had this book on my tbr since 2016 and I finally got around to reading it thanks to Snakes & Ladders. :) I landed on space #35. Has been adapted as a movie.

 

The book starts with the boys during childhood and sets up the story of Dave's abduction. Then we fast forward 20-something years and see the boys as adults with wives, children, and careers. The suspense builds gradually and the sequence of events that leads to the unfortunate conclusion of the story involves a great deal of coincidence and bad luck.

 

I watched the movie a couple of days after I finished the book and I loved it. They did a great job with the adaptation and only changed insignificant things. I highly recommend this book (and the movie) to fans of suspense dramas.

 

As I said, I read this for Snakes and Ladders and also for the Goodreads HA Mount TBR challenge. 

 

 

Fathomless - audiobook

Fathomless - Greig Beck, Sean Mangan

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned

 

 

CARCHARODON MEGALODON
The largest and most fearsome predator to have ever existed on our planet. Rumors of its existence in our modern oceans have persisted for centuries. Now, in a new adventure, the rumors explode into brutal and terrifying reality.

 

I enjoyed this one. Cate and her fellow scientists, along with a Russian billionaire, and two crew explore an undiscovered cave, hoping to find a new species. They are underground in a small submarine and are attacked by a giant shark - Carcharodon megalodon. Believe it or not, after that, things get worse. Will they manage to escape the underground nightmare, and is the Carcharodon megalodon truly contained in that cave?

 

It took nearly 50% of the book for the action to get started, but once it did, I couldn't stop listening. The claustrophobic feeling of the sub is magnified by the atmosphere of the underground cave and the fact that we know there is a traitor on board. And what's not to love about a giant killer shark. :)

 

A couple of things bothered me about this book. First, the author used the word "leant" and people seemed to be leaning a lot. Second, we saw through the shark's pov, but only for a short time in the middle of the book, and then never again. Lastly, I was bothered that this giant shark that could easily eat half a whale with one bite would ever bother eating humans. It seems as if a person would be like a crumb compared with the whale. Why would a shark that size chase and eat a bunch of people, when it could easily kill something larger and be satisfied for a week or more?

 

Anyway, a fun giant killer shark story. Now I have to get around to reading Meg.

Snakes and Ladders Update #5

 

Next roll:

 

 

 

 

1. Author is a woman - Grump by Liesl Shurtliff

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K - What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

16. Genre: fantasy - The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

21. Set in Europe - The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

28. Written between 1900 and 1999 - The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

 

Landed on:

 

35. Has been adapted as a movie. I haven't decided yet between Mystic River and The Darkest Minds

 

I think I would enjoy Darkest Minds more but I don't know if I want to start another series right now...

Funny thing is two books I read recently were both made into movies.

 

BTW, I am so lucky to just miss that snake on #34....

 

The Bone Collector

The Bone Collector  - Jeffery Deaver

Audience: Adult

Format: Kindle/Owned

 

 

She wanted only to sleep.

- first sentence

 

So, this is the original Lincoln Rhyme novel - the first in a long series. I have read others, but I don't remember reading this one. I chose this book because I needed a book written between 1900-1999 for Snakes & Ladders. Finding one on my tbr was a bit harder than I thought but I managed.

 

Lincoln Rhyme is not particularly likable, even when you take into consideration that he is a paraplegic (and is entitled to be a bit angry). Meeting Amelia Sachs was interesting and I liked seeing how her relationship with Lincoln developed. The story is good, though not particularly original - serial killer taunts the police as he kidnaps and sets up elaborate murders scenes; sometimes the would-be victims are rescued, sometimes not. The killer's identity is a bit of a surprise so that part is good.

 

Overall, good story and I'm glad I read it. I will have to watch the movie again now.

 

I read this for Snakes & Ladders space #28. Written between 1900 and 1999 (it was published in 1998).

Reading progress update: I've listened 660 out of 901 minutes.

Fathomless - Greig Beck, Sean Mangan

 

I'm really enjoying this book, but there is one thing that is driving me crazy:

 

Every time I hear the narrator say the word "leant" instead of "leaned." I get that this is the word the author used, but I just don't understand why. I'm not sure if the word is used more often than usual in this book or if I'm just attuned to it. But every time I hear it, I just cringe (and think "leaned" in my head). It was driving me so nuts that I looked online to see if there is a reason to use "leant" instead of "leaned." There isn't. "Leant" is an older form of the word "leaned" and isn't used much in modern language. Modern grammar rules say either word works, but "leaned" is the more appropriate choice unless the book is a period piece and the author is trying to match the language with the time period.

 

So, I ask you Mr. Beck, "WHY???" 

 

The book takes place in modern times - there is no reason to use the word "leant." At least if I was reading instead of listening, I could change the word in my head.

 

Oh, and just now, he used the word leaned - why the change?? I was hoping it would continue for the rest of the book, but it seems like it was a one-time thing. :(

 

Btw, even spell check hates that word, it keeps asking me to correct it to leaned. *rolls eyes*

 

Anyway, thanks for listening to my rant. 

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain - John Boyne

Audience: Grades 6 & up

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

 

 

Although Pierrot Fischer's father didn't die in the Great War, his mother, Emilie, always maintained it was the war that killed him.

- first sentence

 

So, I picked up this book because the cover reminded me of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas which was very emotional and tragic and which I loved. I was so excited when I realized it was the same author.

 

Again, this book takes place (mostly) during World War II, and again it follows a young boy. The boy is actually half German and half French. It starts off with him living in Paris with his parents and next door to his best friend (who just happens to be Jewish). When his parents die, he is shipped to an orphanage and later sent to live with his aunt who just happens to be a housekeeper in the home of a powerful German.

 

It is important to remember that he is a young, impressionable seven-year-old boy who is desperate for a father figure. He goes through some serious changes over the 9 years the book covers and some of them are quite disturbing.

 

Overall, I liked the book. I think it's important that readers be aware of the truth behind the story and to know that the boy does some awful things. He is indoctrinated at a young age into the Nazi movement, lavished with the attention he craved and led to believe that he was in the right. But, part of him knew what he was doing was wrong and that is important too. Younger readers might have a harder time understanding the meaning of the story. That's why I recommend it to grades 6 and up (and maybe a parent should read it and discuss it with them).

 

To me, this wasn't nearly as powerful as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but it was still good - not great, but good.

 

I read it for Snakes & Ladders space #21, set in Europe.

The Running Man - audiobook

The Running Man - Stephen King, Richard Bachman, Kevin Kenerly

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned

 

 

She was squinting at the thermometer in the white light coming through the window.

- first sentence

 

I am a huge Stephen King fan since I was a teenager but it has been a while since I read some of his books. Lately, I started listening to the audio versions of his older books and it is quite fun to revisit them in a different format.

 

First, I have to say that if you are listening to the audio, and haven't read the book before, skip the author's note. It's not part of the story, and you can listen to it at the end. Otherwise, you will hear a spoiler that reveals the end of the story. :(

 

I enjoyed listening to this and am going to watch the movie this weekend just for fun and to see the differences. I do know that Ben Richards (in the book) is not built like Schwarzenegger. Most times, it's listening to his gut, his brains, or just plain luck that keeps him alive.

 

 

Snakes and Ladders Update #4

 

My next roll is:

 

 

 

 

 

1. Author is a woman - Grump by Liesl Shurtliff

9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K - What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

16. Genre: fantasy - The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham

21. Set in Europe - The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne (I finished and will write the review tomorrow.)

 

Landed on:

 

28. Written between 1900 and 1999 - Not sure what I'm reading yet but there are plenty of options.

The Last Gargoyle

The Last Gargoyle (Goyle, Guardian #1) - Paul Durham

Audience: Middle Grade

Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

 

 

My earliest memory is of a crib, a darkened room, and three shadows slipping through the doorway with bad intentions.

- first sentence

 

This is such a charming book with fun characters and an exciting story. The story includes Grotesques, Bone Masons, Netherkin, Shadow Men, and the Boneless King. It has danger, mystery, good & evil, and suspense. I really liked it.

 

Penhallow is a gargoyle but he wants you to call him a grotesque. He protects his building and his wards from evil. When he loses his two best friends and faces a new enemy, he feels completely alone, until Viola turns up on his roof.

 

I loved Penhallow and Viola's relationship. They are cute together and she is stronger than she seems. I also enjoyed Penhallow's way of looking at the world and talking. He calls college students, "practice adults". Here is the definition from Penhallow's glossary:

 

Practice Adults:

Nocturnal creatures who seem to serve no useful purpose other than to keep taverns and pizza delivery people in business.

 

I highly recommend this book to middle-grade readers who enjoy dark fantasy with a touch of humor.

 

I read this for Snakes and Ladders space #16. Genre: fantasy.

I'm also using it for the Goodreads HA a to z challenge. :)

 

 

 

Currently reading

Afterworlds
Scott Westerfeld
Different Seasons
Stephen King

Reading is my Escape's Read 2018 book montage

Unwind
The Man in the Iron Mask
Truly Madly Guilty
The Reptile Room
The Wide Window
UnWholly
The Miserable Mill
The Austere Academy
UnSouled
The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend
The Ersatz Elevator
The Vile Village
The Hostile Hospital
UnDivided
The Nerdy Dozen
The Carnivorous Carnival
The Iron Giant
Awkward
Brave
The Slippery Slope


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