Sundown Rundown – August, 2018

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Hello, my awesome booknerds!

It is the end of August and this is the Sundown Rundown. The sun is setting a little earlier each day with Fall’s arrival. Leaves are already changing. And I’m sure you’ve hear the brake release of those big yellow buses as a sign that school has begun again.

This is also the time for everything pumpkin!

Pumpkin

So, here’s where I tell about what I’ve read and you have a chance to catch up on any reviews you might’ve missed this month. I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to everything I wanted to read this month, though there were some pretty good ones. Life hit me with a little bit of extra stress. I’m hoping to get back in gear in September.

 

House of Dark Shadows

House of Dark Shadows

Author: Robert Liparulo

The Kings move into a new house and there’s a very strong chance they aren’t getting out. Doors leading to different points in time. Creepy footprints. The house has a mind of its own. How logn will the King’s last?

 

Watcher in the Woods - Scholastic

Watcher in the Woods

Author: Robert Liparulo

Mom’s missing. An assassin tries to steal the Dreamhouse Kings’ house. The townspeople try evict them and they must hurry if they hope to solve this house and save mom.

 

Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

The crazy and witty style with wisdom and enlightening storytelling of mythos that lead up to the end of the world. Ragnarok. From grand schemes to incredible origins, even the Norse Gods have life stories to tell.

 

Willow

Willow

Author: V. C. Andrews

Willow pretends to be a grad student as she searches for her mother and is suddenly thrown into the middle of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And secrets, which is currency for these people. Soon enough, she is getting sucked into the glitz and glam. Can she stay on course to get close to her mother, or will she become forever enamored by wealth and gossip.

Bazaar of Bad Dreams

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Author: Stephen King

A collection of the strange, dark, and creepy. All the beautiful and morbid things the King is. From a story about a people-eating car to a bad kid that’s responsible for the death of people to the apocalypse to a kindle that’s somehow connected to the Dark Tower. Peruse carefully.

 

CD Secrets of Foxworth

Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth

Author: V. C. Andrews

Decades after Flowers in the Attic, the diary of Christopher Dollanganger is discovered and becomes the obsession of a teenage girl. Soon, she finds herself relating to the eldest Dollanganger child more than she likes.

 

CD Echoes of Dollanganger

Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger

Author: V. C. Andrews

After divulging the diary to her boyfriend, Kristin’s dark obsession becomes their obsession. The further they read the more disturbing they becomes, breaching the same lines as the Dollanganger children did.

 

Thebes

Thebes of the Hundred GatesThebes of the Hundred Gates

Author: Robert Silverberg

Time travel back to Ancient Egypt. Edward must find two missing teammates that got lost and must do so before the allure of the grand city of Thebes—a place he’s studied and always dreamt of seeing—traps him forever.

 

Favorite Book this Month: I’d read and heard many people say that Norse Mythology wasn’t their favorite novel by Gaiman. It wasn’t his typical style, like with American Gods and The Ocean at the end of the Lane, but it was still beautiful and fantastical. The stories were all independent but led up to an explosive end where everything came to together. I really enjoyed this book.

 

Least Favorite Book This Month: This one is a double doozy. I could not get down with Christopher’s Diary. I was majorly creeped out and disturbed. More so, there were aspects of the storyline that just wasn’t believable for me.

 

Until next month!!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

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Mighty Gods? Maybe…Not. (Norse Mythology – A Book Review)

Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

Norse Mythology

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt Half bolt

 

Having been long inspired by mythology, Neil Gaiman has come up with a collection of retellings through his own unique (and crazy) point of view of Norse mythology and, yes, this includes the great Ragnarok-the end of the world.

With cameos from Odin, Thor, Loki and even Sif, Gaiman’s humor and powerful storytelling takes flight. Thor’s hammer goes missing. The gods trick the giants. And Loki continuously talks his way out of death.

 

First off, I’m a regular geek-out over Neil Gaiman. The man is a pleasant kind of crazy. I also LOVED his V/O in Lucifer, though it took me the entire episode to figure it the eff out. He’s a phenomenal writer with an untouchable talent. I swear he gives birth to the kind of stories that become legendary star constellations…then again, maybe I’m just fangirling. *shrug*

 

This book didn’t compare to American Gods or The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but it was still amazing. Starting off with an informative introduction and ending with a glossary specifically to help with further understanding, this book was rather fulfilling and enjoyable to my yearning for mythology. I love mythology. Usually, I’m quite attached to Greek myths, so this was a great change-up.

Also, the glimmering, gold on black cover of Thor’s powerful hammer is breathtaking. Just saying. I fondled the cover with glee.

From the creation of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, to the end of the gods’ world-Ragnarok, there was both humor and seriousness. Most of all, it was magical. With dwarves and large wolves. I was so enthralled. I think the wolf-son of Loki-was actually my favorite character. What can I say? I’m a dog person.

Norse Mythology

I loved the imagery of Asgard, the world of the gods and the description set up alongside it. Gaiman has this way of explaining and showing and describing, and all of these things that make the images move in your mind, so that it’s easy to understand, yet in depth and smooth like the ocean. Cheesy way to describe it? Maybe. But, I like it and it’s suitable. He’s a real genius and it shouldn’t have taken 20 years just to read his work.

What really caught my eye was the way all of the stories tied together for an epic ending. I won’t give anything away, except to say that there’s a lot of blood and loss and rebirth. Simply wonderful. The gods were certainly not the ones we all know and love out of Thor.

Norse Mythology

Nope. Thor actually red hair. And Loki isn’t even Thor’s brother. He’d Odin’s brother. Might I add that Thor is basically the Kelso of the group. LOL. Not even kidding. It’s hilarious. Loki is basically Hyde, who gets away with shit by blaming somebody else. (If you haven’t watch That 70’s Show then go do it.)

Norse Mythology

AND THE GODS ARE SOME REAL JERKS. LOL. I was stunned by this. Granted, I figured there’d be selfishness and possibly some incest and weird family love, but whoa! They also brought all of the tragedy and mishaps upon themselves with their paranoia.

 

Overall

I fun and delightful read with many surprises. Doesn’t feel educational and partially because it’s not, though it is. Worth a read if you enjoy Gaiman and if you haven’t read any of his work yet, start with one of his novels to a feel and then read this one.

 

 

Quotables

“Now he understood magic. Now the world was his to control.” (p. 22)

“When something goes wrong, the first thing I always think is, it is Loki’s fault. It saves a lot of time.” (Thor, p. 52)

Norse Mythology

“That was the thing about Loki. You resented him even when you were at your most grateful, and you were grateful to him even when you hated him most.” (p. 67)

“Listen and you will learn.” (p. 269)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? The Heat of the Moment by Asia.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

It’s A Pond, No, It’s An Ocean (The Ocean At The End Of The Lane – A Book Review)

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2013

Ocean at the End of the Lane

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Attending a funeral, a man comes back to the remnants of his childhood home and then is drawn to the house at the end of the lane where he sits at the edge of a pond. This pond is special. It isn’t a pond at all, but a a sea…an ocean. That’s what Lettie Hempstock called it and she was right. She, her mother and her grandmother, women who were mysterious and mystical had more than once told him how they came there across this ocean. That there was a world there beyond his wildest dreams and worst nightmares past it.

As the narrator sits there, he begins to remember when he nearly choked in his sleep from a coin being lodged in his throat, and an Opal miner turned up dead, and how his friend, Lettie, who promised to protect him, had to defeat a supernatural creature that came in the form of Ursula Monkton, the new housekeeper/babysitter that came from another world and was taking over his home. There was something magical and frightening in that memory, down at the end the end of the lane. As he recall every minute detail he relives a world that shouldn’t have made any sense, but it did. And as quickly as he remembered, he forgot.

I do not know how to express how much I’ve come to love Neil Gaiman and his magic. Having read American Gods, I was ready to read his other works wherever I could find it. Down at the bottom of a dusty box, in the stockroom of the bookstore, Ocean At The End Of The Lane stared up at me like a beacon and I was so excited. I can still recall jumping up and down faster than the speed of light and getting to set it on the back counter so that I could buy it on payday.

Excited

Gaiman’s riveting detail still surprises me to no end. It’s so beautiful and frightening in a single breath. The storytelling comes from a unique standpoint as well.

As I read, I became enchanted and amazed by the world that was created just between two houses. This story didn’t take place across a large setting like a country or a town. There was no road trip. More so, the world seemed so much larger than just these two places, in the memory of one man. I can’t pinpoint it precisely, except to say that I was deeply reminded of The Spiderwick Chronicles and the harrowing adventures in the small series. This was like the grown-up, more intense version.

Ocean at the end of the Lane - Spiderwick

 

One of the most important elements (to me anyway) that I’ve come to notice in Gaiman’s books, the ones that I’ve read so far, is the great detail he gives to the moon. It is such a magical and fantastical being, though it’s so far away and, maybe it’s just me, but we can’t help but want to reach out and touch or let it swallow us whole in its beautiful, pale light or even just talk to it because it’s such a great listener. I’m taken over by a bout of warmth and fuzziness with how Gaiman writes about the moon and that it’s more than just a rock in the sky. It gives light in the dark, shining a way home.

Moon

While I was deeply enveloped in the magic of the book and I do believe it was all magic, there is a question to be posed. Was this memory all in the narrator’s imagination? Was this how he coped with serious events that rocked his life, like for example, the man’s death that he and his father discovered? After all, this book takes place in the narrator’s memory and people remember things differently from other people.

 

This book was phenomenal. If only I had enough words to describe how extraordinary Gaiman’s storytelling is. All I can say is, you have to read it for yourself.

 

Quotables:

“Can’t drink the water from the sea, can you? Too salty. Like drinking life’s blood.” (Grandma Hempstock, p. 7)

“Small children believe themselves to be gods, or some of them do, and then can only be satisfied when the rest of the world goes along with their way of seeing.” (narrator, p. 51)

“Adult stories never made sense, and they were so slow to start. They made me feel like there were secrets, Masonic, mythic secrets, to adulthood.” (narrator, p. 53)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Runaway by Thriving Ivory. 
Twitter: @CheshireKat_92

Goodreads: Kat J. 

It’s a God’s World (American Gods – A Book Review)

American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2001

AG - bustle

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Shadow Moon is released from prison a couple of days early due to losing his wife and best friend in a car accident. With nothing left for him in his hometown of Eagle Point, Indiana he accepts a job from the grifter, Mr. Wednesday, not questioning anything so long as he doesn’t have to kill anybody.

“You work for me. You protect me. You help me. You transport me from place to place…In the unlikely event of my death, you will hold my vigil…” (p. 47)

Things get strange quickly. He starts having dreams of a man with a white buffalo’s head. A leprechaun teaches him some new coin tricks. But, for Shadow it doesn’t feel so strange. His encounters with gods do not faze him so much as does his dead wife who comes to visit him on occasion.

Shadow drives across the U.S. with Mr. Wednesday to talk to people or rather, gods, about a coming storm, a war and it’s between new gods and old gods. From a museum to a funeral home to a small town where nothing bad happens ever, Shadow is meeting all sorts of Gods, like Easter and Horus.

Simply put, this story is phenomenal from the first page to the very last. The intertwining of mythologies with the modern age, which is always changing, creates a brand new magic all its own. Over and over again I found myself saying, “What the eff?”, but in such a good way. I haven’t been so surprised or educated by such originality in years. My brain was completely blown out of my skull.

For those who are lovers of mythology, and epic detail similar to Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, this is most certainly for you. The imagery pulled me into this book just like the movie The Pagemaster.

Pagemaster - buzzfeed

Books like this remind me of why it is that I write. They evoke more than just emotions or relatability. They pull me into a whole new world. I’m definitely going back and rereading this again sometime. I still feel like there’s so much more I don’t know that happened within the book and that makes me even happier.

Now, the show adapted from the book started on April 30th, 2017 and if you haven’t read the book it’ll be confusing at first. The show is an instant attention grabber. And Ricky Whittle (The 100) as Shadow? *faints*

Shadow Moon

I can’t wait to see who comes in to portray Sam Black Crow. She’s is my favorite character. She’s got a lot of spunk and is one of the few normal friends that Shadow happens upon.

AG - tublr

Tune in to Starz on Sunday at 9PM if you are ready for this.

 

NEW!

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the book. If you consider excerpts/quotes to be spoilers then do not read any further.

 

Wednesday looked at him with amusement and something else—irritation perhaps. Or pride. “Why don’t you argue?” asked Wednesday. “Why don’t you exclaim that it’s all impossible? Why the hell do you just do what I say and take it all so fucking calmly?” (p. 433)

Definitely a question I asked during this whole book.

 

“What the hell? We’ll always have Peru ,” he said, under his breath, as Sam walked away from him. “And El Paso. We’ll always have that.” (p.729)

 

“Hey, Sweeney,” said Shadow, breathless, “why are we fighting?”

“For the joy of it,” said Sweeney, sober now, or at least no longer visibly drunk. “For the sheer unholy fucken delight of it. Can’t you feel the joy in your own veins, rising like the sap in the springtime?” (p. 55)

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Today’s song? Don’t Fear the Reaper, version by Denmark and Winter.