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Columbus, OH, 43205

"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh. "Life is a great disappointment."


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Angie P

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt



Title: The Goldfinch

Author: Donna Tartt

Published: Published June 5th 2014 by Abacus (first published September 23rd 2013)

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Art

Format: Paperback

Notes: A substantial paperback at 864 pages. The cover is to die for. Gorgeous.

I think everyone has a book on their shelf that they want to read really badly but keep putting if off because it looks intimidating.  I have this problem often; I always want to choose the correct book at the correct time. The Goldfinch looks daunting because of how large it is and the fact that it's been highly regarded (Pulitzer Prize, hello.) You have to be in the correct frame of mind to take on a book like this because you want to appreciate it.

The Goldfinch

The novel begins with a slap in the face. There's a terrorist attack at an art museum in NYC and our main character, Theo, and his mother are inside wasting time before a meeting at school. There are many deaths--including an old man who restored furniture and antiques who gave him a ring and an address, and Theo's beloved mother. Amongst all the chaos, Theo and a redheaded girl named Pippa survive and a painting is stolen. The painting taken, hastily by Theo, is The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius; a tiny unassuming painting of a chained goldfinch which was a popular pet at the time.

Without family, Theo goes to live with his friend Andy's rich family for a while until his estranged father or distant grandparents can be contacted. He's incredibly sad and has no idea how to act around Andy's distant mother and entitled siblings.

Theo finds the address the man, later learned to be named Welty, gave him and spends time with Hobie, a man who worked with Welty and restores furniture. The little redheaded girl was Welty's daughter and Theo falls in love with her at a young age. She takes a very long time to heal from the wounds, and has very slight damage to her brain (nothing that causes concern later in life) and since Hobie cannot raise her (he isn't blood family), she is uprooted to live with her aunt in Texas. Hobie teaches Theo about the art or restoration and it is with Hobie (and Pippa) that Theo feels a sense of belonging. 

Out of the blue Theo's drug abusing alcoholic of a father arrives and claims him. They go to Las Vegas where Theo meets Boris. They drink, do drugs, go to school, and watch the slow descent of his father and his father's girlfriend. All the while, Theo hides and takes care of his beloved stolen painting. The painting is a constant stressor for him because he fears going to jail. There are newspaper articles about various paintings that were stolen from the museum at the time of the terrorist attack and they seem to be printed relentlessly as the years pass.

After a crazy chain of events, Theo ends up back in NYC and works for Hobie. At this point Theo is an adult and he gets himself into trouble. Drugs, lies, and the world of antique and art sales. This novel is for those who love character development with real-life believable characters. 

I absolutely loved this book and I'm so glad I made time to read it. Give it a chance and don't let the size intimidate you. Side note: this novel would be great to read over the upcoming holidays because it's a bit heavy and emotional; I definitely don't consider it a 'beach read'. 

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.

Angie P

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle : lafinduglobe



Title: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Author: Haruki Murakami

Published: Published September 1st 1998 by Vintage (first published 1994)

Genre: Surrealism

Format: Paperback

Notes: Hey, I finally used my own photo for the book cover image. Maybe I'll keep up with that!

It's so hard to describe a Murakami novel other than engrossing. If someone asks me what I'm reading (and it's a Murakami), I hand them the book to read the blurb on the back. That's how hard it is to explain!

With that said, there are so many goddamn questions I have regarding this! Most of my questions revolve around Kumiko and where she went (duh, Toru was asking the same thing!) and how she changed to the point where she couldn't ever see Toru again. How did her affairs change her? The woman on the phone in the beginning of the novel, and the woman in the dark hotel room 208...was that Kumiko?

What does the wind-up bird sound like? Anyone have a comparable sound bite?

Calling Murakami's writing surreal and dream-like is no understatement. He does it with finesse. I also always love his main characters--they're so painfully normal and he surrounds this type of character with a group of oddballs. This formula allows the main character to accomplish great things.

Also, how great was it to see Ushikawa make an appearance? We all know him well from 1Q84.

Great, just great.


Five Stars : lafinduglobe

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler.

Angie P

The Hypnotist : lafinduglobe


Title: The Hypnotist

Author: Lars Kepler

Published: Published June 21st 2011 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published January 1st 2009)

Genre: Crime/Murder, Mystery

Format: Paperback

Notes: Short chapters enhanced this novel to feel like a fast-paced mystery. 

This novel has been on my bookshelf for longer than I care to admit. I think all book lovers can relate, you buy books and it takes forever to get to them. 

This book is written by a Swedish literary couple under the name Lars Kepler.  Much in the same vein as Stieg Larsson, this is a fast-paced thriller.

The novel starts out with a boy, Josef, in critical condition with stab wounds all over his body. His family have all been murdered with the same method of attack. Detective Inspector Joona Linna has taken over the case and with the help of Erik, a hypnotist who doesn't practice anymore, they decide to hypnotize Josef to find out who attacked him and his family. From there it's a wild ride into the lives of all three of these characters.

There are more books to the series following Joona Linna and I think I'll read more!

Four Stars : lafinduglobe

Bulk Book Reviews : AKA, I've been slacking on writing.

Angie P

So, I've been keeping up with my reading but as far as having time to type book reviews, I've been slacking. I keep a book journal where I write down quotes and passages that I want to remember but I'm not sure that's something you'd like to see? Let me know.

Here's what I've been reading since May:

Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore

This novel was quite fun as it is about how a blue paint used by many well known artists, including Vincent van Gogh, who went mad because of it's magical properties. There's something really cool about using real life people from history and using them in fictional scenarios. Think of the movie Midnight In Paris directed by Woody Allen. One of the main characters, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, stole the show--he was hilarious!

Four Stars : lafinduglobe

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Rincewind is an inept wizard but he's trying his best. I quite enjoyed this novel so I am continuing with the series. Octarine (the color of magic) seems like an interesting color and I tried replicating it myself with colored pencils; it's described as being a neon yellowish-greenish-purple. The purple muddied it up so it must be magic if it doesn't look like mud in the books! This was a fun and quick read and it's also part of a 40-some book saga.

Four Stars : lafinduglobe

Tim & Eric's Zone Theory by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

I'm a pretty big fan of Tim & Eric so this was just hilarious. It's a self-help book using the 7 known zone planes of life (food, poems, health, love, business, family, and friendship) with the hope to achieve Zone Plane 8. 

Five Stars : lafinduglobe

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

This book was so good. It was interesting and scary and I finished feeling sad. Mass extinctions of any animal isn't easy to read about but the fact that humans are causing this current extinction event is quite unsettling. 

Five Stars : lafinduglobe

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Angie P

Station Eleven Book Cover : lafinduglobe


Title: Station Eleven

Author: Emily St. John Mandel

Published: September 9th 2014 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2014)

Genre: Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Post-Epidemic

Format: E-Book on my Amazon Kindle

Notes: Gorgeous cover and interesting take on the world ending.

Station Eleven centers around the world amidst a flu epidemic called the Georgia Flu. Flights carried the flu worldwide and because the incubation time was quick, the effects were devastating.

Now, with this premise alone, you'd probably relate it to dozens of post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels. What makes this book unique and a pleasure to read is that it centers around a famous celebrity, named Arthur Leander, and his ex-wives; Miranda was a comic book artist who created a series called Station Eleven and another wife of his named Elizabeth who had his only son. Arthur died on stage playing King Lear a few days before the Georgia Flu became an epidemic. As he collapsed on stage, a man named Jeevan tried to revive him and made an impression on a little girl named Kirsten who was a minor character in the play, King Lear. 

All of these characters, and more, experience the world ending and live in the new world after the virus fades away. The way they are all connected is incredibly impressive and the time hopping back and forth is seamless and easy to follow. 

Kirsten, the little child actress who worked briefly with Arthur Leander, is now with a group of people called the Traveling Symphony. They travel and perform Shakespeare in the midwest. Why are they performing Shakespeare?

"...Shakespeare had lived in a plague-ridden society with no electricity and so did the Traveling Symphony."

Being from the midwest myself, I found it pretty awesome that the book mentions places like Mackinaw City. I've camped in Mackinaw! Kirsten has a copy of Station Eleven that Arthur gave her and as an adult, when looking for supplies in homes and businesses, she keeps an eye out for paparazzi photos of Arthur in old magazines. She collects them because she associates her past life as one with Arthur Leander. She was only eight years old when the world ended and remembers more of Arthur than her own parents.

There's little settlements in the midwest that the symphony visits throughout their "tour" and on this particular leg of the tour, they get word of a prophet who's using force to collect wives and guns. As if traveling in the new world wasn't dangerous enough, now the symphony has to deal with running into the prophet. Who is this prophet? I'll leave that for you to learn. 

"No one ever thinks they're awful, even people who really actually are. It's some sort of survival mechanism."

Around the 50% mark of the book I was having difficulty staying interested. I found that I wasn't having a connection with any of the characters. I might blame that on just finishing 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami--that book was 1100 pages of character development. I stuck with this book and found it very satisfying. It picked up toward the 70% mark. Overall, it was very enjoyable and an interesting take on the end of the world.

Four Stars : lafinduglobe

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

Angie P

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami : lafinduglobe review




Title: 1Q84

Author: Haruki Murakami

Published: Published January 22nd 2013 by Vintage (first published 2010)

Genre: Surrealism

Format: Paperback for half and then I switched to a Kindle version.

Notes: 1157 pages LONG but worth it.


This book took me, what seemed like, forever. I read it along a few other books this year. Many people think the novel would be better if it was shorter but I disagree. I loved it! I really, really, love long drawn out character development. I blame this love on reading Stephen King at a young age. I started out with the paperback version of this book but as time went on, I switched to my Kindle to save space (and weight) in my bag. 

I've debated on providing character synopses but I've decided against it; there are plenty of online resources that provide in-depth plot breakdowns. As always, I suggest or (But in this case, AVclub gives 1Q84 a horrible grade...)

This book isn't for everyone, I don't even think it's for the majority of Murakami fans. He has other novels that are shorter and much more highly regarded. With that said, I haven't read anything of his (so far) that I didn't love. 

If you love long, surreal and dreamy books--this is for you. I fell in love with all the characters. I was rooting for Tengo and Aomame the entire time. I will say this: I wish I knew more about the history of the Little People. It'd be amazing if Murakami wrote a short story or essay describing them further. 

Five Stars : lafinduglobe

Paper Towns by John Green.

Angie P

Paper Towns by John Green : lafinduglobe



Title: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Published: Published September 22nd 2009 by Speak (first published October 1st 2008)

Genre: Young Adult

Format: Kindle 


Sigh. Just when I thought I'd like a John Green book ALL THE WAY THROUGH I get this bullshit. 

First off, if I could round it up to 3.5, I would. 

The first portion of this book was exciting and had the best dialogue out of all the other John Green books I've read thus far (TFIOS, Finding Alaska) but John Green always throws in things that are just too quirky to be believable: names (Margo Roth Spiegelman--how many times to we have to hear it?!), screen names (OMNICTARIAN96, ITWASAKIDNEYINFECTION, SACKCLOTHANDASHES, etc.), Traits about people (the second largest black santa collection?!)

Another thing I am really hating about John Green is the predictability of his characters. He really loves for the female to be adventurous, uninhibited, etc, etc. We saw this in Finding Alaska and now again in Paper Towns. I don't find this type of person cute.

"The rules of capitalization are so unfair to words in the middle of the sentence" --Margo. 

Hey Margo! If you were a real person, you'd grow up in a few years. It's a good thing 'college isn't for you' because giving random words in a sentence a capital letter isn't correct and won't go well.

Of course if there's a popular, adventurous and uninhibited female character, there has to be a nerdy dude pining after her. Enter, Quentin. A typical John Green character: studious, few friends but okay with it, good family, and predictable life. 

With all this said, it was a fast paced book for a good amount of it. A big chunk of it was even fun to read. But that ending.How any anyone be okay with the way it ends? 

No spoilers, of course...

3 Stars : lafinduglobe

Decker: Classified by Jamie Grefe and Tim Heidecker.

Angie P

Decker : lafinduglobe


Title: Decker: Classified

Author: Jamie Grefe, Tim Heidecker, and Gregg Turkington.

Published: Published February 3rd 2015 by Heidecker Publishing

Genre: Satire/Comedy, America & American War

Format: Kindle e-Book. 

Notes: Prepare yourself for patriotism. 


Here's what I know: 

  • Agent Decker is an American hero.
  • I am more patriotic because of this book and because of the internet series.
  • There is a lot wrong with America and our president is a pussy.
  • I do not sneer anywhere near enough throughout the day; Decker does.


A huge thank you to Tim Heidecker for being brave, humble, and bold enough to write this. America is tip-toeing around serious issues trying to "keep the peace" when in reality, we need a man like Agent Decker to put terrorists in their place. 

What was a huge surprise, but made me so thankful, is the Appendixes A&B at the end of the novel. Not only do you get an amazing tale of courage and wit--you also get two appendixes that will blow your mind and increase your intelligence. I used these Appendixes many times as reference while watching the news and reading various websites. 

This book is a tool you need for your everyday arsenal. #blessed 

Five Stars : lafinduglobe

The Troop by Nick Cutter.

Angie P

The Troop by Nick Cutter : lafinduglobe



Title: The Troop

Author: Nick Cutter

Published: Published July 22nd 2014 by Pocket Books (first published January 7th 2014)

Genre: Horror

Format: Paperback 

Notes: Prepare yourself for gore and scary situations. It's a blast!


Early 2014 I was listening to NPR and heard a long segment (no pun intended--you'll see) about this book. I immediately put it in my "to read" list on goodreads. I finally got around to purchasing the book (I had a giftcard to Barnes & Noble and figured it was the best time to do it) and am so glad I did! I love a good scary story and with Stephen King saying it scared the hell out of him, I knew I'd love it. 

This novel centers around a handful of scouts and their scoutmaster. Every year they do a weekend excursion on Flagstaff island where they camp, earn badges, and just have fun. This year is different though. A man arrives on their island by boat with a horrible affliction--super mutant worms!! From there, full on contagion and the troop is fighting to survive.

There's two things I really love about this book. One: you really delve into the psyche of each character. There's so much raw emotion and with them being young teens, there's a lot of naivety. Two: you get little glimpses on how eastern coast of the US is dealing with this contagion and those responsible for it. 

I was kept on my toes the entire time and that is not easy to do. The person I was rooting for didn't make it. But that's what makes a good book! What you are so used to seeing doesn't happen here! 

This book is close to perfect. I knock a star simply for killing my favorite character. I can be petty like that if I want. 

four stars : lafinduglobe

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

Angie P

Me Before You : lafinduglobe



Title: Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Published: Published December 31st 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books/ Viking

Genre: Romance, Coming Of Age.

Format: Kindle 

Notes: Keep tissues on hand for second half.


I was hesitant to read this, it didn't seem like something I'd enjoy just by reading the blurb.

I enjoyed it though! Louisa, the main character, wasn't annoying. I find so many female characters unrelatable. 

The story is about a man named Will who is a quadriplegic. He was a world-traveling businessman until he was hit by a motorcycle and forced to move back into his parent's home. Louisa is hired by his parents to be a day-sitter and to try to cheer up Will who is having a hard time adjusting to his new (impaired) life.

It took time for Louisa to get Will to open up. Once he did, they got along well and it became Louisa's job to get him to realize that life wasn't completely over. 

How does it end? Well, I won't say. There are moments of sadness but ultimately, I think everything came together nicely. 

Four Stars : lafinduglobe

Revival by Stephen King.

Angie P

Revival by Stephen King : lafinduglobe



Title: Revival

Author: Stephen King

Published: Published November 11th 2014 by Scribner

Genre: Horror, Religion/Religious Undertones

Format: Hardcover 


I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I was afraid there'd be a tad too much Christianity but, thankfully, there wasn't.

What Stephen King excels at is character development. I really came to enjoy both Jamie and Charlie. 

What is this book about? Well, it's about a kid named Jamie who witnesses his pastor denounce god after his wife and child were killed. That was a turning point for Jamie because his faith in God ended there. Charlie, the town's pastor, is also really interested in electricity. By interested, I mean obsessed. 

We see Jamie grow up, join bands and do heroin, and then get on the sober bandwagon. There is a period of years where Jamie and Charlie live separate lives...but they find their way back to each other. 

As aging adults, Jamie and Charlie embark on a journey using electricity to find out what happens in the afterlife and if God actually exists. 

I won't say anymore. Stephen King is still one of my all-time favorites. 4 stars because, you know, this isn't quite Sai King's best. It's no Dark Tower, The Stand, or even Joyland material.


Four Stars : lafinduglobe

More entries soon, I promise!

Angie P

I just wanted to write a little post saying that I haven't forgotten about this part of my blog! With school and work, reading hasn't been that heavy lately. I do have a few things to share though!

Kindle : lafinduglobe

I recently purchased and blogged about the new Kindle Voyage (and compared it to a Kindle Paperwhite.) Please check out that entry, here.

If you're a member of goodreads, the Goodreads Choice Awards are underway. I always look forward to these awards and get a lot of new book recommendations from it! Also, feel free to add me, here.

I will be sharing my 2015 reading list soon and reviewing 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami hopefully in the month of November, early December. I am also receiving Revival by Stephen King soon and will review that, too. 

Thank you to all who are following on bloglovin'. Please suggest anything that will make this blog better, or suggest a book! I really want more discussions to take place in the year 2015. 

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: & Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty.

Angie P

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes : lafinduglobe


Title: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: & Other Lessons from the Crematory

Author: Caitlin Doughty

Published: Published September 15th 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company

Genre: Memoir, Death Industry

Format: Hardcover 


Caitlin Doughty is a mortician, YouTuber, and runs The Order of The Good Death. She's around the same age as me (born in '83) and I was able to connect with her writing rather well. She is super funny, referenced Pogs and how important they were to her as a child, and doesn't sugarcoat anything when it comes to death, decomp, cremation and the funeral business. 

I very much agree with her viewpoints on death and I hope to see our culture move toward a less sacred viewpoint (in terms of religion) towards death and funerals. While I did bury my mother in a traditional way--embalming, casket, graveyard--I don't really care what happens to my own body. Put me on a mountain and let the animals eat me, IDGAF. Everyone deserves to choose what they want when it comes to not only death but end of life care and if they want to leave this planet with their mind in tact. 

While I did already know most of the information in this book, I did enjoy it and definitely recommend it to others who are not aware of what really happens in a funeral home. For that reason I knocked off a star. 

four stars : lafinduglobe

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Angie P

Eleanor & Park : lafinduglobe



Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published: Published February 26th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published April 12th 2012)

Genre: Young Adult, Romance.

Format: Kindle 

Notes: I would have really enjoyed this book if it came out when I was a teenager.


The buzz on goodreads about this book is what ultimately got me to read it. It has well over 100k reviews and an average rating of 4.2/5. I'll always give a book a chance if it has 4.0 or above in ratings. 

Like I said in my notes above, I would have been in love with this book when I was a teenager. It has a very cute love story between two outcasts. Eleanor is a poor girl with a bad home life and Park has a nice family but is head over heels in love with Eleanor. She's weird but Park can't get enough of her. They bond over comics and music on the bus and that escalates to sneaking out and spending time at Park's. 

The ending will hit you like a ton of bricks. It's realistic and sad. 

I will read Rainbow's other books. Her writing is nice and this book was a quick read. Perfect for reading at work, which is what I did. This book made me feel old. 

stars four : lafinduglobe

The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber.

Angie P

The Good Nurse : lafinduglobe

Title: The Good Nurse

Author: Charles Graeber

Published: Published July 29th 2014 by Twelve (first published April 15th 2013)

Genre: Crime, Non-Fiction, Serial Killers

Format: Paperback

Notes: Charlie Cullen's kills are thought to be in the multiple hundreds--he may be the most prolific serial killer in American history. 


This novel has been on my radar for quite some time but I held out for the paperback release. If I have a choice, I will always wait for the paperback. Paperbacks are just easier to hold while reading and you don't have to deal with the nasty dust jacket that hardcovers come with. 

Stephen King's hilarious review of this novel (found on goodreads) :

"You think Annie Wilkes was bad? Check out this chilling nonfiction account of Charlie Cullen, a friendly nurse who may have killed several -hundred patients before he was caught. Now, there’s a real cockadoodie brat.

This book kept my attention until the very last page. Charlie is such a damaged person--extremely depressed with multiple suicide attempts and institution stays, failed relationships and an overall loner. He was a good nurse that did bad things. He truly loved his occupation. His drug of choice for a while was digoxin and insulin but he used a multitude of others to hide his tracks, or at least confuse those who were to ever read his Pyxis print-outs. 

What blew my mind was how many hospitals he worked at and was "let go" but authorities were never really called. It seemed as if the hospitals would do anything to prevent a scandal--including looking the other way. Once detectives were on the case, they hospital still lied! They said that you can only recover 30 days worth of Pyxis medication print-outs but in reality, you can go back in time as far as you need. This lie alone kept Charlie on the streets for a long time. 

Detectives received help from Amy Laughlin (real name, Amy Ridgway), a nurse friend of Cullen's, and she acted as a CI by recording phone calls and wearing a wire. Here's a video of her on Katie Couric's show. She was incredibly brave and was what the detectives needed to charge Cullen.

No one really knows how many murders Cullen committed. Charlie himself doesn't know. He admitted to about 50 but those invested in the case think it's upwards to 400. This makes him the most prolific American serial killer of all time. 

Charles Cullen :
stars five : lafinduglobe

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

Angie P

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov



Title: Lolita

Author: Vladimir Nabokov

Published: Published March 13th 1989 by Vintage International (first published 1955)

Genre: Romance, Classics 

Format: Paperback

Notes: Go past the initial shock of the subject matter at hand and you'll see how beautiful the writing is. 


Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.” 

Like my note above said, you really have to go past the initial shock of the main character, Humbert Humbert, and his obsession for nymphettes. He wasn't from a different time and plainly spoke of how it was against the law and risky for him to feel this way. And yet, he was utterly in love with nymphettes and Lolita especially. Humbert wasn't just choosing to feel this way, it seemed to be a mental thing. He wasn't intentionally prowling young girls (he'd argue that it isn't his fault they frolicked everywhere), he was quite timid and for a large part of his life, he kept his distance. 

This book is separated into two parts. Part one explains his life and how he got to live with Lolita and her mother Charlotte Haze. Part two documents him and Lolita on the road, traveling non-stop, and their romantic interactions. Why are they on the road? I'll leave that for you to find out.

This book is an incredible piece of literature. The word usage, wow! I feel like everyone needs to read this just for that reason. I feel like I put this novel off for so long because a lot of reviews said it was a difficult piece of literature, and in reality, you just have to get used to the style. There's nothing hard about this book, so don't let it intimidate you!

And the rest is rust and stardust.” 


stars five

The Martian by Andy Weir.

Angie P





Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Published: February 11th 2014 by Crown

Genre: Science Fiction, Diary / Log  

Format: Kindle e-book

Notes: How beautiful is this cover? 

The book's blurb on both Goodreads and Amazon:

Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

This book is all encompassing because it shows how Earth is reacting to the situation. The media and NASA all play big parts in attempting to talk to and bring Watney home. Could you imagine a guy stuck on Mars? It would be a media frenzy. 

Despite the odds, Mark Watney stays semi-optimistic and he's absolutely hilarious. He's a smart guy, the crew's botanist, and is able to make repairs as things continually break. A good portion of this novel is written in "logs" that Watney writes. Here's a taste of his personality:

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.” 

“I can't wait till I have grandchildren. When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!” 

“The screen went black before I was out of the airlock. Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.” 

“I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.” 

“Fortunately, when you spend a lot of time in space, you learn how to shit in a bag.”

I'm not telling what happens so you might as well read this yourself. You will have fun reading this. And, it will make you think.  And please, read this before the film comes out. I really don't know how I feel about Matt Damon playing Mark. Ugh.


Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.

Angie P

Mr. Mercedes




Title: Mr. Mercedes

Author: Stephen King

Published: June 3rd 2014 by Scribner

Genre: Crime 

Format: Hardcover (pre-ordered.)






The official blurb:

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.

Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.


My favorite crime novels are ones that showcase the views of both the antagonist and protagonist. Stephen King is good at this. I don't have much else to say other than this was a good summer read and it kept me engaged until the last page.

  • Was it my favorite King novel? No, of course not.
  • Was it good? Yeah, it was. 
  • Is this the type of book I'd eagerly recommend to others? No, not really. It's lacking in the sense that it's not going to stay in my head for very long. Soon it will muddle with other books I read and I will not remember specifics. That's sort of the basis for what I consider "recommend worthy". With that said, it's damn engaging when you read it.

The Stranger by Albert Camus.

Angie P





Title: The Stranger

Author: Albert Camus

Published: Published March 28th 1989 by Vintage International (first published 1942)

Genre: Philosophy 

Format : Paperback (purchased at Half-Price Books)


This short novel is about a strange man (who remains unnamed) that kills another very nonchalantly. 

First his mother dies, then he dates a woman and becomes "friends" with a neighbor. With this neighbor, he is dragged into drama he shouldn't even know about and ends up killing a guy with a gun. We end up finding out how distant and non-emotional this character is through his jail-time and court experience. 

Sentence structure is very short and to the point. I liked that quite a bit. The story though, eh, I don't was what it was. 

This is one of those stories, like The Catcher in the Rye, that would appeal to high schoolers. It has that nihilistic feel.

Has anyone read this and really liked it? I'm failing to see the Nobel Prize quality in this.