November wrap-up

This was the year I finally decided to try and conquer NaNoWriMo but it just wasn’t in the cards. I ended up getting to 12,000 words which is a massive accomplishment for me since I’ve barely written in the past couple years. However, that was mostly in the first week and a half. I am going to keep plugging away at my (still nameless) novel.

I went to Milwaukee for a weekend and split my time between three of my best friends. It was amazing to catch up with them, we mainly just hung out and talked and I ran some errands at Milwaulkee-specific places. We had a lot of delicious coffee and a lot of good laughs. I decided to go in November so I could beat the snow and then my hometown ended up getting snow that weekend. So I succeeded, but not the way I thought I would.

I also went out to my college town for a what was going to be a day trip, but the three of us haven’t been together in close to three years so we ended up staying the night so we went to the hockey game against one of the teams in my hometown and then went downtown and I got to see some of my other friends and we checked out the new bar that opened up and then got a flat tire on the way back to the hotel. It was an adventure but we’re all safe and sound in our respective cities and houses now.

The night before Thanksgiving bits and pieces of my boss’s old band got together so I finally got to see what they sounded like and they sound amazing! Unfortunately when I went to record a bit my hand was over the speaker. Fail. So I have no proof, but I can remember it pretty well.

With that and obviously work and Netflix I only read one book this month and that was Finders Keepers. It was really good, but it did feel like a filler second book as many second books do. However, I was still curious to see what would happen next and it was very entertaining and I went straight to End of Watch, the third book in the series.

What was your favorite thing in November? Anything you’re excited for in December?

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Review: Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Going into Pet Sematary I actually had no idea what it was about. I mean, obviously I knew it was about a pet cemetery but I had no clue what made it special, why it was classified as horror etc. All I knew was it was Stephen King and so it was going to be about things beyond my wildest imagination. Except…. it wasn’t.

It starts off with the Creed family moving into an old house and there’s the old lovable neighbor (Jud) who knows everything about the town. Behind their house is a path which Jud says goes to the pet cemetery. Kids from around town have been coming to bury their pets for decades. It turns out there’s a cemetery past the one the kids use which brings things buried in it back to life. Dun Dun Dunnnn…….

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Quick rundown of the characters: Louis is the dad, Rachel is the mom and Gabe and Ellie are the children. Church is their cat.

The first half was amazing. I was constantly waiting for jump scares and eternally waiting for something new to happen. The characters were well developed and they were true to themselves. You got the perfect sense of premonition and some gore-filled scenes.  I had this impending sense of doom and it was fantastic. I thought Church was going to be the creepiest character in the book.

And then came the second part. There was a King Spoiler at the very end of the first half of the book. And I instantly knew exactly what was going to happen for the majority of the rest of the book. There were some bits I wasn’t expecting but I also wasn’t surprised when they happened. I knew when I was supposed to be scared and when I was supposed to be wondering how they’ll get out of this but instead I was just scolding Louis in my head.

King has this way of creating the most vile characters that will make your skin crawl. Rachel’s dad is one of them. He despises Louis, to the point he had offered to pay him to not marry his daughter. This actually strengthens their relationship, even though Rachel doesn’t know about it.

Basically I was disappointed when I look at the book in its entirety but it had some redeeming qualities.

In other news: I’m in the middle of my 10th King book!

What are some of your favorite horror books? Have you read Pet Sematary? What are your thoughts?

October Wrap-Up

October flew by faster than I could blink. I don’t even know how it happened. I feel as though so much has happened.

I had the first off both jobs so I literally started the month on the beach, reading a book. It was super windy and the water was a lot higher than I have ever seen before.

Another week there was a book festival. I went to see Laurie Halse Anderson speak about censorship and her life growing up. Later in the week I got to see Will Schwalbe talk about how books effected his life and his relationship with his mom. As he said  (paraphrased): Books are the second most important gift. The first is conversation about books.

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I got to go to pumpkin fest this year and it’s the first time I’ve ever been. It is basically a giant crafting fair and it’s so interesting seeing what everyone creates in their spare time. All I bought was a bar of blueberry lemon soap. I love buying homemade soap because it smells so good and it’s supporting people I actually meet. Then we raked leaves and basically just relaxed all weekend. My dad and I went to a tap house we’ve never even known about before.

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I only read three books this month:

Pet Semetary by Stephen King
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

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So… I’m Doing NaNoWriMo

I don’t know how well this is going to work out but I’m going to attempt to write a portal fantasy where the babysitter gets trapped in the world with the girl she’s babysitting.

This is going to be my first NaNoWriMo and I’m not nervous, not excited or scared or anything. I’m just interested. I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. I know it’s going to be so much more writing than I’m used to and I’ll probably clock a lot of screen time and writing will take over my life once again.

This is going to go badly for a number of reasons:

  1. I normally write a scene and that’s it. Or a short story. Or a chapter. And then stop.
  2. It will be my first thriller/ horror novel.
  3. I haven’t written anything outside of assignments, newspaper articles and blog posts in at least five years.
  4. I have so many time constraints. I can barely find time to read let alone write.
  5. I am gone two weekends visiting people. No writing will get done.

I also have a couple of things going for me though:

  1. I have had these characters in my head for the past seven years.
  2. I have a greater support system. There are so many other people I’ve meet in the blogging world that are doing it, so there’s a lot of people to sympathize with. Or none of us will log on for the entirety of November and it will be boring on social media so I won’t have a reason to go on.
  3. There are write-ins and things going on around my town. I went to the kick-off and everyone seems pretty nice…. and a lot more officially writer than I am.
  4. I will probably become obsessed with the book since my ideas are rolling around in my mind
  5. I decided to sign up so I have to see it through. My username is jkimexploring on the NaNoWriMo website.

Are you participating? Any tips for me? Any suggestions?

My Spooky Reads Recommendations: The Nightmare Corner

Last Saturday I shared a couple books other bloggers recommend horror books for this kind of year. Well, now that they’ve had their moment of glory it’s time for you to get more recommendations from me! As you all know I love spooky books but I’m going to try to narrow it down to my top four I’ve read this year.

Misery by Stephen King

First of all, if you thought I could do a recommendation post without King? I flew through this book. The stakes got higher and higher and more and more unpredictable. Annie and Paul were so well developed. There’s not much I can say about this one I didn’t already say in my review but it needed to be on the list. This is one of my top three Stephen King books.

The Breakdown by B. A. Paris

I was so skeptical when I was reading this because I love unreliable narrators… Except when it uses dementia as a reason. However, this was so well done I kept reading and reading and that conclusion! The characters were all over the place physically. They were bouncing from job to job and person to person but it was so easy to remember who was who. I have so many thoughts on this one but spoilers. I finished this one in a weekend and I instantly put Behind Closed Doors on my TBR.

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

This takes a new take on “Til death do we part.” A newly wed couple signs a pact to be a part of a secret society where there are set rules and set punishments if you break said rules. I saw the ending of this coming from miles away but the journey was like nothing I had ever read before. I’m definitely looking forward to more of her books.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

This is one of my top books this year. It made me think about how my life would be different if even one thing was changed. But in an amazing way! I am always so iffy about talking about this one because I went into it blind and that was part of why I loved it so much. So I’ll leave you with this: if you want a thriller/ sci-fi with a lesson this is it.

What are your favorite thrillers? Have you read any of these? Any more I should read?

Currently Reading

On this blog I talk a lot about what I’ve read, what I want to read, how I read, how I blog, my life etc. So many different topics and yet I can’t think of a single time I’m written a post about what I’m currently reading. As I’m strapped for time tonight due to work and life and craziness so I’m going to take some time to talk about the currently reading.

To give you a picture of how crazy my time right now is: I’m blogging, scrolling through instagram, planning my bookstagram photo for the day (at 10 pm) and drinking coffee because I still have half a book I want to finish before 9:30 am.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I started this one a couple weeks ago and was obsessed for all of a day. Then I started getting caught up on my buddy read and never quite picked it back up. However, I don’t want to DNF it because I have every intention in the world to pick it up as soon as I finish my other major current read which is….

The End of Your Life Bookclub by Will Schwalbe

This is the book I want to finish before 9:30 am (so basically when this post goes out) because I’m seeing the author today!! This one has been on my TBR for years, since it came out in 2012. I got my copy about a year ago and it’s been taunting me ever since. I’m getting so many recommendations through this plus life lessons about death and dying and editing and life. There is just so much to this book and that’s why it’s taken me quite a long time to get through it.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

I started out by reading this half an hour or a chapter a day and then I had a crazy week where it was literally work, work, sleep, blog, work, sleep and repeat. I keep saying this whenever I talk about it but there is a lot in here that both introverts and extroverts can take out. It talks about how introverts get overstimulated and we think better when we have quiet and I’ve noticed this more and more when I’m at work and it makes me prioritize my day better because I know when it’s going to be quieter. I know it’s kind of obvious but just hearing someone else talk about it makes me feel like it’s not just me.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss

This is my ‘when I feel like nerding out a bit more’ book. I’m not too worried about getting through this one, it’s just a book about how it’s okay to be nerdy about grammar and to point out mistakes and how grammar has changed over the years and it’s very interesting. It also talks about how British English and American English are different which I really like thinking about. They’re so similar yet so different.

What books are you guys reading? Can you read more than one? Do you have any tips for balancing them?

The Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you to Lorryn at Reading Parental for tagging me! This tag was originally created by Okoto Enigma.

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

Fun Facts

  1. I am way to nice when it comes to taking and switching shifts at work. Mainly because I don’t generally make plans until right before or they’re flexible but on days I have off I’m pretty much never in town.
  2. I continuously break book buying bans because of bargain books at Barnes & Noble and secondhand stores.
  3. I can never fully concentrate on movies and TV shows because it’s so easy to be doing other things. I’m currently watching the newer Beauty and the Beast while writing this out.

Lorryn’s Questions:

  • Is there one book you have read that you wish you never did? If not, what is your least favorite book?
    • I wish I hadn’t read Heart of Darkness. I DNF’d so many school books in high school and college but this wasn’t one of them. It should have been. I had no clue what was going on and the parts I did understand I didn’t like.
  • When did you become a reader? Was there anything going on in your life that helped push you towards books? Or have you just always been a book person?
    • I’ve pretty much always been a reader. My grandma used to take us to the story times at the library. My sister and I were always encouraged to read and when we were forced to read 20 min a night for school we all ended up reading longer. It was encouraged in my household.
  • If you could become apart of any fictional world where would you go and why?
    • Obviously the Harry Potter wizarding world. If I had to pick a different one I would say…. I don’t know. So many of my reads have really morbid worlds. Maybe the Mistborn world? I’ve only read the first one so I can’t really know for sure. Like the wizarding world this would only be fun if I was one of the people with a power.
  • What fictional couple or group of friends are you and your significant other/group of friends?
    • I am so bad at questions like this!! Why Lorryn?? Maybe Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour because we’re all just going after our dreams right now and lifting each other up.
  • What super popular book do you hate? Why?
    • So many…. I have an entire post here. Another one is Ramona Blue. I didn’t hate it but I just don’t see what the hype is.
  • If you could mash up two books into one which ones would you choose?
    • Again with the hard questions!! Book Thief meets Alice In Wonderland. Two classics and in my mind it’s kind of like Kindred. Someone falls down a rabbit hole and goes into the past and you see the past through a modern day person’s eye. I’m not that original. It’s okay.

My Questions to You:

  1. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life what would it be? (If you want a series it can only be one book in the series because I’m evil.)
  2. Are you a book hoarder or do you swear by the library?
  3. How many books have you DNF’d this year? What were your reasons?
  4. If you could move to one country, where would you move? Also what would be your dream job there?
  5. What book has been on your physical TBR the longest? Your goodreads one?

Who I’m nominating:

Anyone who wants to!! But here’s a couple anyway.
Danielle
Erica
Paige
Jasmine