Friday, September 22, 2017

Spinning Pages (25): If the Witness Lied

Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 

This week on Spinning Pages takes into the mystery surrounding the death of the Fountain children's father as they try to piece together the truth and mend their relationships after all their losses. This book is incredible, not just because Caroline B. Cooney is one of my favorite authors because she so deftly weaves the mystery and turmoil the kids faced as their tragedies were exploited. 

It took a road trip and placing my music library on shuffle to find the perfect song for If the Witness Lied. I could not be happier to be pairing a book by a favorite author with a song by my favorite singer. 

The Storm by Garth Brooks-
She's drowning in emotions
And she cannot
Reach the shore
She's alive but
Can she survive the storm?

A broken jewel box dancer
Lies in pieces down the hall
She's finding out the answers
Don't change nothing at all
It's time that
She stopped searching
For who's to blame or
What went wrong
The only thing
For certain is he's gone
She's got to move on
As I mentioned in my review of Caroline B. Cooney's If the Witness Lied, this book is wrought with emotional tension as the three elder Fountain children attempt to discover the truth about what happened the day their father died. For me, this song fits perfect for the feelings of each of the children, with the exception of Tris as he's too young, and how that lose nearly broke them.

If you get a chance to listen to the song, do it!! I highly recommend this song because it's haunting and just really good. I really wish you could listen to the audio for it, but the only place you can is through Amazon and only a 30-second clip.

You can see just why Caroline B. Cooney's If the Witness Lied was such an incredible, and impossible to put down, book to read by checking out my review!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Non-Fiction Review: The Story Cure

The Story Cure: A Book Doctor's Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir by Dinty W. Moore, May 2, 2017. 224 pages. Published by Ten Speed Press. Source: Blogging for Books
A collection of cures for writer's block, plotting and characterization issues, and other ailments writers face when completing a novel or memoir, prescribed by the director of creative writing at Ohio University.
People want to write the book they know is inside of them, but they run into stumbling blocks that trouble everyone from beginners to seasoned writers. Drawing on his years of teaching at both the university level and at writing workshops across the country, Professor Dinty W. Moore dons his book-doctor hat to present an authoritative guide to curing the issues that truly plague writers at all levels. His hard-hitting handbook provides inspiring solutions for diagnoses such as character anemia, flat plot, and silent voice, and is peppered with flashes of Moore's signature wit and unique take on the writing life.

With the lack of Catholic books available for review lately, which saddens me, on Blogging for Books I have had to broaden my scope of books to try out. Which leads me to Dinty W. Moore's The Story Cure; it looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a chance.
  • I both liked and disliked this book, to be quite honest. On the one hand, he had some good advice for working out the kinks in one's story, I'll definitely be going back to some of the points in the future. Some of what he talks about. 'plot and structure' and 'your heart's story', had some good, commonsense advice for getting your story (whatever kind it may be) out of your head and onto paper. 
  • On the other hand, yes, I need an entirely new section for this part, I did not like how it was presented. While I could see why he used the language he did to illustrate what he was talking about, it at times just annoyed the daylights out of me. 
  • So, there is definitely a win-lose with the Story Cure. The win being that it has good information that can help you move forward in your writing by helping you to pinpoint the weak points in your novel. The lose, the presentation can be a little bothersome and dry in certain sections. 
Final Verdict: The Story Cure- Holds some commonsense advice for working through your story's problems. Though the format can be, well, a little dry sometimes. 

The Story Cure earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I Want to Read It (71): Pursuasion

I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

Persuasion by Jane Austen, October 6, 2011 (originally published 1817). 252 pages. Published by Penguin Classics. Source: Own.
 Written during Jane Austen's race against failing health, Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot, a woman who - at twenty-seven - is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years ago, she was persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. When Anne and Frederick meet again, he has acquired both, but still feels the sting of her rejection. A brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, Austen's last completed novel is also a movingly told love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.

I have owned a copy of Jane Austen's Persuasion for an embarrassingly long time. I am not even sure why I have not gotten around to reading it yet, other than a lack of time, because my sister says it's a good story. 

As it stands, I have thus far only read Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice. Hopefully, I will finally get around to reading it before the year is out. It sounds good, and I hate that it has sat on my TBR for years unread!!

If you've read it, if so, what did you think of it??? Should it be a high or low priority on my reading list?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Confessions of X

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, September 18, 2017

DNF Review: The Confessions of X

The Confessions of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe, January 26, 2016. 304 pages. Published by Thomas Nelson. Source: Publisher.
Before he became the sainted church father of Christianity, Augustine of Hippo began a love affair with a young woman whose name has been lost to history. They were together for over thirteen years, and she bore him a son. This is her story.

She met Augustine in Carthage when she was just seventeen years old. She was the daughter of a tile-layer. He was a student and the heir to a fortune. They fell in love, despite her lower station and Augustine’s dreams of greatness. Their passion was strong, but the only position in his life that was available to her was as his concubine. When Augustine’s ambition and family compelled him to disown his relationship with the her, X was thrust into a devastating reality as she was torn from her son and sent away to her native Africa.
First Sentence
There is a well in the courtyard where I sit that is not yet dry and at daybreak a young man in dark tunic comes to draw water.

Well, it seems that I have yet another book that I just could not get into. This will be really short because I just don't have much to say about it.

  • Sometimes, when I'm bored, I'll start reading through unsolicited books that arrive for review consideration. If I'm lucky, it'll turn out to be interesting enough to see through the end. Unfortunately, that was not the case with The Confessions of X

  • In theory, it could have been interesting to see what happened to the mysterious woman that St. Augustine loved before devoting himself to God and the church. Yet, it just was not something I could get into. The writing and storytelling were, to be blunt, really awkward and not captivating. I don't know, there was just something amiss with the way the writing flowed; it just felt weird and liked the sentences were oddly structured. More than the plot, it was the author's writing style that turned me away from delving further into the story. I even broke my reading rule and flipped through the book to see if the writing style improved in any way that would make me wish to give it another chance. 
  • As for the plot, I said above that the storytelling was not interesting enough to grab my attention. Personally, if you're going to write a book about some historical person, why not write about someone that's more known; sure an obscure person gives an author more leeway with telling the story howsoever they wish to bend it. Yet, writing about X just seemed a little grasping. 
Sidenote: Though if you want to read another confessions book, St. Augustine's The Confessions is brilliant!! 

Final Verdict: The Confessions of X- Awkward writing, made this a total no for me.

The Confessions of X earns
A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.


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