Tag: fiction

The Old Man and the Sea

Author: Ernest Hemingway
Published: September 1, 1952
132 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed Hemingway’s power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Kim’s Review:

I enjoyed this book more than I expected. I haven’t read much Hemingway, but going to his house and seeing his influence all over Key West inspired me to give him another try. The Old Man and the Sea seems to be the most organized of his works that I’ve read. I like how Hemingway managed to give us an omniscient view of the old man and kid all while keeping the record of events clear and flowing. I was surprised at how similar to Steinbeck’s shorter works this book is. This book gave me anxiety like crazy! My rarely seen practical side came out and I found myself obsessing over tiny details.  I had no idea it would illicit that much emotion, but by the end, I was nearly in tears! This poor old man who struggles so hard to turn his fortunes around and fights so hard . . . and I can’t tell anymore because, spoilers! Overall, I love this book. Hemingway was a fascinating man and this book completely proves his worth as a great American author.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Here are some pictures from the Ernest Hemingway house and the polydactyl cats:

The story on the cats is here.

Ivan and Kim at the Hemingway house:

 

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

Author: Grady Hendrix
Published: September 18, 2018
336 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and Paperbacks from Hell.

In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success — but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania.

Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western – she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry’s meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris’s very soul.

This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It’s a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that’s darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine. A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul…where only a girl with a guitar can save us all.

Kim’s Review:

Grady Hendrix has a way of creating a metaphor for abstract ideas and then making those metaphors so realistic and takes them as far as they can go. He did it with My Best Friend’s Exorcism and he does it even better in We Sold Our Souls. And I learned so much about rock and metal while reading this! He throws in songs and bands and I had to keep stopping and going to iTunes to check them all out. I think I may be a closet metalhead . . . ok maybe not, but I can appreciate the life of a metalhead!

I like how I felt like I could still understand what Hendrix was trying to say. I’m not a rocker, I’m lucky to know who Metallica is, and I’m a shallow person who doesn’t always get the deeper meaning of things, but I got this book. I really love the look into this world and culture of rock bands and their fans. Kris is a believable character who, even tho she is completely different from me, I still got her. I think I identified with Melanie more than anyone else. She treats Koffin’s goodbye tour like I treat author signings . . . I love that kind of passion. Overall, I ended up liking this book way more than I thought I would. I did miss some of the more technical musical elements, but I enjoyed watching the conspiracy unfold. I absolutely recommend this to anyone who even remotely identifies as a musician or even a fan. And those who love conspiracies are gonna love it too!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

**BONUS**

Goodreads is giving away 100 kindle copies!  The giveaway ends at the end of November. Jessica just entered this giveaway!!!  The link for the giveaway is here.

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The Bookshop of Yesterdays

 

Author: Amy Meyerson
Published: June 12, 2018
368 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading.

Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric Uncle Billy’s bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda’s twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda’s life. She doesn’t hear from him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy–and one final scavenger hunt.

When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books–now as its owner–she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store’s shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy’s last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy’s past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda’s mother has kept hidden–and the terrible secret that tore her family apart.

Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lyrical story of family, love and the healing power of community. It’s a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become.

Kim’s Review:

I found this book at the Barnes and Noble 50% Book Haul. The cover is beautiful and the description sounded fascinating. I did like reading this book, which is why I gave 3 stars. The scavenger hunt that Billy sent Miranda on was interesting and I love the setting of a LA bookstore. I enjoyed hearing about trying to save the store and the love that each employee had for it and for books. Unfortunately, there were other problems that kept me from giving a higher score. The really sad part is that there wouldn’t have been a story had the characters actually acted like adults. I’m gonna steal something from another review because it perfectly sums up this book: “drama for drama’s sake.” Everyone acting like immature teenagers, treating everyone else like immature teenagers, not communicating, blaming everyone else, feeling sorry for themselves, caring only for themselves . . . and it got to the point where it was downright obnoxious!

If my mother treated me the way Suzy treats Miranda, then I’d have a problem too! And If I treated my mom the way Miranda treats Suzy, well then my mom would take me over her knee for another spanking! Jay and Miranda have nothing in common except for lust and I wanted her to break up with him from page 1! Billy was such an insane person (and not in the good way) that I doubt I would have liked him at all! I feel really bad for saying all that and feeling annoyed because I really wanted to love this book, but I just don’t! I really wouldn’t recommend it to many people, if any.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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