Book Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding #HSReadingRedo

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First published: September 17, 1954 by Faber & Faber
Category: Classics, Fiction, Young Adult

Lord of the Flies was Book 6 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. All I know is that after this one I am reading a book for leisure before I pick up another book from my “homework” reading list. I need a classics break!

The following 28 second video will tell you all you need to know about Lord of the Flies. Thank you, Running Out of Pages for reminding me of this scene, it perfectly summed up my reading experience.

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Audiobook Review: Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

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Published: August 28, 2018 by Listening Library
Narrators: N’Jameh Camara, Jose Carrera, Dean Flanagan, Angel Romero, Toshi Widoff-Woodson, Mikelle Wright-Matos, Jacqueline Woodson
Length: 3 hours 50 minutes
Category: Realistic Fiction, Childrens, Young Adult

When I requested to read and review Harbor Me through Penguin Random House’s Volumes app I didn’t realize it was a middle grade book; BUT, don’t let that put you off from this story. It is for all ages; and would be a great book for families to read/listen to together. The content would spark discussions on topics such as bullying, grief, racism, classism, and immigration.

Author, Jacqueline Woodson, carefully crafted a story that addresses these major issues without forcing them into place; it was an authentic take on what is going on today and impresses upon our youth to talk more openly about their feelings and try to understand each other. We are all the same in that we want to feel that we belong. Even though the story is rather short, the character development was strong and you can’t help but feel for this group of children. I want to see them 20 years from now.Read More »

Book Review: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller #HSReadingRedo

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First published: February 10, 1949 by Viking Press
Category: Classics, Play, Theatre
Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1949), New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play (1949)

Death of a Salesman was Book 5 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; I can say I’ve done my homework but that’s about all. Reading it certainly felt like homework. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee #HSReadingRedo

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5 disco balls

First published: July 11, 1960 by J. B. Lippincott Co.
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction, Coming of age
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1961), Audie Award for Classic (2007), National Book Award Finalist for Fiction (1961), Alabama Author Award for Fiction (1961)

To Kill a Mockingbird was Book 4 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; I’ve reached the 50% mark!

How does one even review a book of this notoriety? In my honest opinion, you can’t: or I certainly can’t. All I can say is that I waited way too long to read this book. I think I took the easy way out in high school and watched the movie or read the Cliff Notes, but never dove right into this gem. Well, I can finally mark this Great American Read off my list! Phew.

Goodreads synopsis: 4.27 average rating
A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. 

Instead of reviewing, I thought I would share some TKAM fun facts and the like. Read More »

Book Review: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

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5 disco balls

Published: April 20, 2006 by Speak (first published 1967)
Category: Classics, Young Adult, Fiction

The Outsiders was Book 2 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; two down, six to go! Reading this in one day sure made up the time it took me to read Rebecca, phew. I am back on pace but still have Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck ahead so hope I give myself enough time to finish my overdue homework 😉

I don’t know what more to say than I should have read this for homework when I was a kid. I’ve missed out on this incredible story all these years! Never mind that this book was written by a teenager, Susan Eloise Hinton used her initials to hide the fact she was a female so male readers wouldn’t dismiss her. Knowing she was an impressionable youth herself blows my mind. The insight and care she had given to the character development is beyond 5 stars: beyond!Read More »

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier #HSReadingRedo

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edition published in 2006 by HarperCollins

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First published August 1938 by Doubleday Doran
Category: Classics, Mystery, Romantic Suspense, Gothic

Rebecca was Book 1 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list; one down, seven to go. This one took me much longer to read, clocking in at 8 days! I could have read two books in that time. Well no use crying about it now.

Let’s discuss why it took so long:Read More »

Audiobook Review: To All the Boys I Loved Before (Book #1) by Jenny Han, narrated by Laura Knight Keating

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Published: April 16, 2014 by Recorded Books, Inc.
Narrated by: Laura Knight Keating
Length: 8 hours 22 minutes
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults (2016), Lincoln Award Nominee (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2014)

Author Jenny Han is brilliant! She delivered a story reminiscent of Pretty in Pink. She’s the modern day John Hughes.

What a delight: a great read/listen for all ages. It made me want to relive my high school days and that is no small feat. Who wants to be a teenager again? Certainly not me; no way, no how. I don’t even want to remember the teenager I was – I like myself much more now – BUT, this book brought me back to that time and I can feel the butterflies in my stomach for youthful crushes as if it were yesterday. I found myself thinking who my fifteen year-old self would write letters to, and what I would have said. It would probably look a little like this: Read More »

Audiobook Review: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, narrated by Julia Whelan

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Narration:

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Published: July 10, 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 7 hours 14 minutes
Category: Literary Fiction, Contemporary

What did I just listen to? If it weren’t for narrator Julia Whelan I probably would have canned this one. (She was brilliant!) Well actually who am I kidding, no I wouldn’t. It was a book club pick and I don’t like showing up to book club unprepared so I would have suffered reading this one (thank goodness it was an audio instead).Read More »

Book Review: Lies by T.M. Logan

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Publish date: September 11, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Category: Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Crime

Joe is a loving husband and father: a grade school teacher, steady eddie type who doesn’t enjoy conflict. I feel he was rather frustrating in that he never gets mad enough (you will see what I mean). He and his son are driving home when they spot his wife’s car (Mel, who is supposed to be at work) pulling into a hotel. They of course follow her to surprise her. There he finds Mel meeting up with her best friend’s husband, Ben; who is in a mad state. After a scuffle with Joe, Ben goes missing. Guess who is the suspect?Read More »