Author: Gail Honeyman
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 12-23, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
The only way to survive is to open your heart.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine or is she? For me she was not. I have heard many rave about this one and wanted to see what it was about. It appears that I am in the minority when I say that Eleanor Oliphant was not for me. Despite her rough childhood, I did not connect with the character. It was a very difficult childhood that no one should go through. I was just curious enough to want to know what was going to happen and then we have that unexpected ending. I can’t discuss it as it would involve spoilers. I don’t really know what I think of this one other than it was a big miss for me.
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Published: September 1, 1952
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
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.
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:
Author: Grady Hendrix
Published: September 18, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
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.
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!
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.