Tag Archives: fiction

The Silkworm

Well, I’ve done it! I have finally finished it! Before I get any further, i would like to specify that I didn’t have trouble reading this because of the book itself. It just happens to be a large book, which is how I like them, but I haven’t had the time to read like I used to when I was a high school student with very few responsibilities and a bad habit of caring more about what I was reading than what my teacher was teaching….holy run on sentence. Okay, let’s not do that again. Anyway, this is a review of The Silkworm, and I’m very excited to give it.

So the story starts off after some time has past from the events of Cuckoo’s Calling. Once again, there is a reason it’s called The Silkworm and you find the reasoning out quite early. Strike has been receiving some unwanted publicity from the Landry case, and some much need business. Robin is still by his side, but now with aspirations of her own (wanting to be trained to be a detective herself). It’s then that Leonora Quine walks in, sits down on his sofa and refuses to leave. Mrs. Quine is like a breath of fresh air compared to the well-dressed and well to do clients that have lately been gracing him with their presence. Unlike the business men looking for a leg up on their competition, or the spoiled housewives of unfaithful husbands, Mrs. Quine doesn’t want revenge or proof for her lawyers. In fact, Mrs. Quine doesn’t have a lawyer, she looks down right dumpy in her worn out and too big coat. She just wants her husband, ever so slightly known writer Owen Quine to come home. See Owen’s just wrote a book called Bombyx Mori (means Silkworm) and it has started the shit storm to end all shit storms in the literary community. To make matters worse, Owen has run off after sending it out to be published. Leonora just wants him to come home to her and their daughter, Orlando and she needs Strike to find him.

Of course this seems simple enough and as a reader I was left wondering what could possibly go wrong there. Well not really, Owen turning up dead is not shocking at all. In fact, you should really expect it as the reader and you pretty much do. However, that doesn’t detract from the story at all. Nothing is helped by the laundry list of suspects a mile long, including everyone who was shamed and had their dirty little secrets aired in the book. Unfortunately, the book passed so many hands, you really have no idea who could’ve done it, but the grisly way in which Owen dies leaves images I would never want to see come to film. However, the descriptive prowess of one Mr. Robert Galbraith leaves little of the body to the imagination. It is a horrific sight in my mind and I never even saw it. It also helps narrow the list to people who read the book by a certain date, but that list isn’t so small either. I spent huge chucks of this book guessing at the killer. I spent more and more time narrowing it down person by person, right along with Strike. The tension that builds when the wrong person is arrested for the crime is palpable in a room full of screaming sports fans, I was tense and harried and had nothing to do for it except keep reading and hope for the best. Strike knows the killer long before the reader/this reader. I narrowed my list down to three people, and to make things even more embarrassing, it was none of the three I had picked. The true killer blindsided me completely, but as I finally got to hear the full explanation Strike gave for the how and why…it seemed painfully obvious and I love that in a mystery.

There is great satisfaction reading the resolution of this story and I can’t wait to get my hands on A Career of Evil because I really can’t get enough of Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin. The team is wonderfully realistic. They aren’t always smooth and they don’t always agree with each other. Robin, though less experienced than Strike, never blindly follows what he says or believes everything that comes out of his mouth. This story explores their dynamic more than Cuckoo’s and I love the growth between the pair.All I really have to say is that I would definitely recommend this book. Anyway, it’s late and I should get to bed…or more likely my next book (The Giver, finally). Goodnight, guys and as always, thanks for reading.


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The Best of Megacon Cosplay

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June 1, 2016 · 8:02 PM

Zzzz…or My Favorite Bedtime Stories

Yay, we made it to the end guys! I hope you’re as excited as I am. Today, because it’s the end and this felt appropriate, we’re covering my favorite bed time stories growing up. Also, because I haven’t read any books that start with Z. I’ve got three books for you guys today, so let’s get to it.

1. Goodnight Moon:

GoodnightmoonThis one is a classic. I think everyone has at least heard of it once. Goodnight Moon is a book about a bunny who is going through her bedtime ritual of saying goodnight to everything in her room. The bunny says goodnight to her dollhouse, her kitten, her red balloon, etc. At the very end the bunny says goodnight to the moon and goes to sleep. I loved this book because there was something very calming about the ritual of saying goodnight to everything. As my grandmother read it to me, we would say goodnight with the bunny and as everything got dark and all the objects seemed to drift off to sleep together, I would find my eyes drooping as well. Even though the book is colorful with green walls and those crazy striped curtains, I was still calmed enough to drift off by the end of the book.

2. Where the Wild Things Are

where-the-wild-things-areThis was a weird little book about a boy named Max, who dons a wolf costume and wreaks havoc around his house so badly that he is sent to bed without supper. In his room and upset, he finds the place suddenly transforming into a jungle. He ends up sailing to a place inhabited by ferocious beats called ‘wild things’. After intimidating the creatures he is hailed as a king and spends his time running around and enjoying his new subjects. After a while though, Max decides to return home, though the wild things wish him to stay, and when he gets home he finds a hot meal waiting for him. This story was a lot of fun to read when I was younger, and I’ll admit I haven’t read it, or been read it, in a long time. But I still remember being fascinated by the wild things and jealous of the adventure Max went on. I wanted a wolf costume and to suddenly find myself sailing to a land of seemingly ferocious beasts. It was a really fun story, but I’ll admit, it did nothing to get me tired. I really just liked hearing it because it sent my imagination soaring, though that wasn’t the worst thing, as my musings would often turn into dreams without me noticing. I suspect, now that I’m older, that’s the only reason my grandmother continued to read it to me.

3. Corduroy

corduroyOh, this story still leaves me with so many emotions. I absolutely loved the little bear named Corduroy, who wanted nothing more than to be bought and loved by some small child. I used to always wish I could just pull him from the pages of his book and give him a home, imperfections and all.

Okay, so the plot follows Corduroy the teddy bear who sits on display in a department store. One day a little girl named Lisa comes in with her mother. Lisa spots Corduroy and wants to buy him, but her mother doesn’t want to spend money on him because a button is missing from his overalls. After they leave, and the store closes, Corduroy decides to go searching for the missing button himself. He ends up finding the furniture section and thinks one of the bed buttons is his missing button. He pulls and pulls on it, but fails to remove it, instead falling off the bed and making noise. The noise alerts the store security guard who finds Corduroy and puts him back in place. Corduroy is sad and thinks he’ll never have a home, but the next day Lisa returns. She has with her all the money from her piggy bank and uses it to buy Corduroy. At home she sews a button onto his overalls. The book ends with both expressing how they always wanted a friend and hugging. This story always made me feel so much. I was excited for Corduroy, then mad at the mother, then sad when the little teddy bear thought he’d never be bought. But when Lisa came back and took Corduroy home…well my heart was so full and happy every single time. I’d pull my own teddy bear close and hold it tight and promise to love it even if it gets ripped. I’d fall asleep still holding tight to my teddy, grateful for it and hoping he was as happy as Corduroy.

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Water for Elephants

I’m going to tell you right now, this is one of the only books I’ve ever reread just for the sheer joy of rereading it. I’m actually really excited to tell you guys about this book, so let’s get to it!
Water_for_elephantsThe book follows Jacob Jankowski, who at the beginning is a 93-year-ld man in a nursing home waiting for someone to take him to the circus. Through flashbacks, Jacob tells of his life leading up to him being in the nursing home. He was originally at Cornell studying to be a vet, like his father, however just before final exams he gets the new that his parents were killed in a car accident and they had mortgaged their house to pay for his schooling so it had been repossessed by the bank. Jacob suffers a breakdown and flees school just before graduation. He hops a train which turns out to be a the circus train of the Benzini Brothers. There he meets an old drunk named camel who takes him to the owner of the circus, Uncle Al (harsh and unapologetic), who only allows Jacob to stay on once he finds out he was training to be a vet. Jacob becomes responsible for the animals in the circus, including new elephant, Rosie who is believed to be useless until Jacob discovers (because he is a Polish American) that she only understands commands in Polish. While carrying for the horses he meets equestrian director August, and his beautiful wife Marlena. August alternates between being charming and abusive to everyone, but none so much as Rosie and Marlena. Nevertheless Jacob enters a guarded friendship with August, and slowly falls in love with Marlena. So August becomes suspicious of Jacob and Marlena’s relationship and beats both of them. Afterwards, Marlena leaves August and begins staying at a hotel when not preforming. Uncle Al calls upon Jacob and tells him that he needs both Marlena and August for his show, then threatens Jacob that his friends will be red lighted (thrown from the moving train as it passes by a trestle in the hopes that they will die or be seriously injured). The threat does not work as later when Jacob discovers that August has gone to see Marlena he goes to her to make sure she’s alright. As a result of the visit, Jacob and Marlena make love and then confess their love to each other. Marlena returns to the circus but refuses to let August near her, and finds out she’s pregnant. Uncle Al is furious with this and Jacob discovers one night while he was luckily away from his room, that his friends have indeed been red lighted. What follows is the climax of the story so I’ll tell no more.
What I loved most about this book was the delicious but of poet justice during the climax of this story. The characters are so real, there is a bit of humor, a bit of sadness, a bit of every emotion really. As I read I found myself becoming as emotionally attached to Rosie the elephant as I was to the rest of the characters. The story just unravels so smoothly and I honestly couldn’t think of anything to make it better. It is very rare for me to want to reread a story once I know how it all comes together, however, when I reread this one I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. There are these little moments the slip through the cracks of your mind when you’re reading a book, little insignificant moments that just help build character or something, but I was so pleasantly surprised to realize that I thoroughly enjoyed rediscovering those moments as well. This one gets a bit recommendation from me and I hope you all get the same enjoyment out of this book that I did. Also, just an afterthought, there is a movie which is pretty decent and I also enjoyed, check that out too if you’re feeling up to it.

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I had to reread this story for this challenge, and I’m not sure I feel the same way about it that I felt when I first read it. It’s probably because I’m older and I don’t see things the same way, but it’s still a pretty interesting story, so let’s begin.

vibesThe story follows a teen girl at an alternative high school, who wears clothes she makes out of trash and old cloth and such. Her name is Kristi and she can read peoples thoughts. All around her people are thinking she’s fat and gross, and to make matters worse, Gusty Peterson, who she’s had the hots for forever, always thinks sick when he looks at her. As a defense mechanism, Kristi hates everything and everyone except her cat Minnie Mouse. She wears tons of makeup, weird clothes and only hangs out with one guy, her friend Jacob who is always picturing her ginormous boobs in water. Kristi’s life pretty much consists of avoiding her workaholic mom, trying to ignore the thoughts of everyone around her, pretending she doesn’t like Gusty Peterson, complaining about everything, loving Minnie, and wishing after two years in Africa her dad would finally come back home. Then a new guy named Mallory comes to school, and a school project forces Kristi to work with Gusty, and finally her dad does actually come back and Kristi quickly learns that she doesn’t know nearly as much as she thought she did about what’s going on in other people’s minds.

When I first read this book I loved Kristi simply because she was weird and different and I felt a sort of outcast kinship with her. Reading it now, however, I realize Kristi was a huge bitch. She was terrible to her mom for no real reason, she was rude and not to mention oblivious to what was really going on with her only real friend. She was so busy assuming the worst from everyone she couldn’t see how wrong she really was. Not to mention half of the stuff that happens to her is her own fault. That being said, I did still manage to enjoy this book, and I’ll tell you why. People around her actually call her out on her crap, and as the story progresses Kristi, herself, admits she was wrong and tries to makes things better. The most salvageable thing about this book is that the main character admits her flaws and actually tries to grow and change. At the end of the day, what I like best about this story is that none of the characters are perfect and nobody is given a pass when they do something really wrong.

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