Sometimes your circle decreases in size, but increases in value.
Month: January 2016
6:40 A.M. – Kuwait
Quote of the Week
Thank GOD for people that remain kind even when the world is not kind with them.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
I have now read all three of Gillian Flynn’s books and sometimes I can’t help but wonder what happened to her while growing up? 🙂 She’s probably the master of dark mysteries.
So in Dark Places, when Libby Day was seven years old, her mother and two sisters were murdered and his brother, Ben Day, was blamed for killing them and so he was jailed and sentenced to life imprisonment. More than twenty years later, Libby will reconnect with the people involved that night the murders happened.
Gillian Flynn is definitely a very talented writer and she knows very well how to create tortured souls and crazy women. The opening sentence in the book hooked me right away:
“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.”
Then not far from it comes this:
“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”
Ms. Flynn is one of my favorite authors/writers since I’ve read Gone Girl. All of her novels are great and quite dark in different ways but I really enjoy them and in Dark Places I liked how the uncertainty of it made the story and characters turned out so well.
So for people looking for dark themes — lies, secrets, devil worship, desperation — read this. And all of Gillian Flynn’s books. You will never be disappointed.
“The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty – we all have it.”
“Worries find you easily enough without inviting them.”
“It’s a good enough life for me… can’t imagine wanting anything different.”
“I appreciate a straightforward apology the way a tone-deaf person enjoys a fine piece of music.”
“There were a lot of people who deserved a lesson, deserved to really understand, that nothing came easy, that most things were going to go sour.”
Rating : 5/5 stars
Quote of the Week
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The first time I started reading Station Eleven, I closed and returned it back to my shelf when I reached page 3. I tried it again a few days back and I’m glad I persisted.
The story loops around the past and the present and then back again. The very skillful plotting of Station Eleven gave way to knowing each character more and what the characters think of the others. It’s how these characters are related that made this book really interesting for me (and no zombie in sight!). Their stories fit together perfectly and it’s really fascinating to see them all fall into place.
This is an amazing read that I finished it asking myself do people ever realize life while they live it? Hmmm…
Station Eleven may have started in darkness but it ended with a beam of hope.
“Hell is the absence of the people you long for.”
“Survival is insufficient.”
“The more you remember, the more you’ve lost.”
“First we only want to be seen, but once we’re seen, that’s not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.”
“The beauty of this world where almost everyone was gone. If hell is other people, what is a world with almost no people in it?”
Rating : 5/5 stars
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
This novel spans the 80-year life of Rachel Kalama, who was born in Honolulu where when she was seven, she was taken away from her family and lived most of her life in involuntary exile on Moloka’i as a leper. In this island where lives are supposed to end, Rachel’s life begins.
I enjoyed Rachel’s character and everyone else’s in this book. Rachel refuses to let her condition get in the way of a life well-lived. Seeing her grow up with leprosy along with her new-found family and friends made it an interesting read though I teared up here and there.
Alan Brennert evidently researched quite well since a lot of historical facts intertwines with the story which gave me a snapshot of Hawaii in the past.
Given its rich history and well-developed characters, this story will stay with me for a long time.
Favorite quotes: “There’s only one disadvantage, really, to having two mothers… You know twice the love… but you grieve twice as much.”
“With wonder and a growing absence of fear she realized, I am more than I was an hour ago.”
“But there was still a bottomless hole inside her, and she began to think that there always would be.”
“I’ve come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or death….is the true measure of the Divine within us.”
“Fear is good. In the right degree it prevents us from making fools of ourselves. But in the wrong measure it prevents us from fully living. Fear is our boon companion but never our master.”
Rating : 5/5 stars
Quote of the Week
My Top 5 Reads of 2015
I had a wonderful reading adventure in 2015 and I managed to read 55 books! And so today, in no particular order, I would like to share the top 5 most memorable, most entertaining, most touching and most awesome books I have read:
1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
This is the story of Louis Zamperini, a young and promising Olympic runner from Torrance, California and served as a bomber crew in the Pacific during the second World War.
As a bombardier, Louie was in-charge of locating the targets while in flight. He and his crewmates had terrifying experiences during their missions until one day, they had to fly in the crippled plane Green Hornet in order to save their friends. The plane went down in the Pacific and only three of them survived thus where the real story started.
What Louis went through as the plane went down in the Pacific and as a POW would have broken other people but not him. He remained “unbroken” to the very end.
This is an amazing story and very well-written. I highly, highly recommend it to everyone!
2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I read this while I was vacationing in Vietnam and it was really the perfect time and place to read this book. It was recommended to me by one of my friends in Goodreads and bought it right away when I saw it in the bookstore. I’m not a big fan of fantasy novels but I definitely enjoyed this.
The Night Circus is about magic, love, desire & imagination. The main story is about two magicians, Marco & Celia, who were committed by their guardians to a mysterious competition designed to end in death.
The circus known as Le Cirque de Reves felt so real and alive, it makes you feel you are there in that magical world.
This is a real page-turner and yes, I definitely recommend it to everyone, old and young! 🙂
3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I think everyone knows the plot of this book already so I don’t have to bother describing and yes, it’s one of my top reads this year! I love Amy! Funny and smart bitch! Haha!
This is the kind of book that’s nearly impossible to put down. I enjoyed every page of it and surprisingly, I liked the movie, too! I’m no fan of movies based on books because I’m often disappointed in them (except for LOTR) but in the case of Gone Girl, it was okay.
So if you haven’t read this yet, read it. It’s twisted & disturbing but irresistible.
4. Stoner by John Williams
Stoner is a plain and realistic human drama. Nothing much happensin the story and it lacks that “excitement” most people look for in a book nowadays BUT it is so deep, significant, captivating, saddening & depressing as hell.
This is not a big, life-changing kind of book but it might be a good reminder to everyone that people are important and that your contribution to the world doesn’t have to be something huge, it just have to be relevant and meaningful.
5. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
I have only read two epic fantasy books, The Lord of the Rings (of course!) and this! I regret that I didn’t read this right away. This is just so awesome! The many different plots will keep you want to read more, not to mention the multiple POVs. George R.R. Martin was so adept in giving life to all the characters and for me, the direwolves are the coolest! 🙂
I’m quite surprised at how much I love this book, really! That feeling while you read this book is just different, I don’t know, like you’re transported to another world, excellently made world! I just love this book to pieces! A Clash of Kings? Yes, please.
Honorable mentions go to:
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
How about you? What are your favorites this year? Any recommendations? I’d be glad to hear from you!
Happy new year homo sapiens!!!