51 of The Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature

It looks like it is turning out to be another busy week for me, but I just wanted to show you all (whoever is reading) this great Buzzfeed article I came across this morning – 51 of The Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature as suggested by the general public, I believe.

There’s something inexplicable about a really well written sentence that I love. The really good ones make me put a book down for a second to pause and enjoy them. This list covers everything from Russian Literature to Where The Wild Things Are to general YA books and Harry Potter (Dumbledore, of course) to American classics. It covers the whole field.

So take a break from your busy day to scroll through and see if any of these sentences give you that inexplicable happy feeling. Happy Wednesday!

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Writerly Quotes

I found this quote from Markus Zusak through my wanderings on tumblr, and I just love it because I always appreciate writers taking about writing, particularly when I know their work. The Book Thief was one of the more powerful books I’ve read recently, and I find it refreshing to know that Zusak struggles with writing, and always wants to improve what he’s done just like the rest of us.

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Happy Friday and keep warm everyone! I’m hoping to curl up at some point this weekend with a good book, a cup of tea and my computer and get some much needed reading and writing done.

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Operation: Book Nook

Hello everyone! I am writing from my brand new chair in my room and it is pretty exciting. Well, the chair itself isn’t new, but its location is. About a year ago I wrote about how the alcove off of my bedroom got turned into an office, and then last spring I reorganized my bookshelves. Well the sprucing up continues with a new book nook.

The desk that ended up in my now office was one that has floated around the family and from place to place for years. But all the while I had my desk from high school that was mainly being used as a place to put things that I wanted to keep but wouldn’t necessarily use all the time. So the random stuff kept on piling up and I would just ignore it as it got messier and messier. It was a vicious cycle. Well, over the weekend I finally did something about it.

For a while now, ever since I started in on my bookshelves, I’ve been meaning to give my old desk to my mom for her to use and to put a chair in its place to add some more cozy to my room. And that finally happened. There were many recycling bags involved, and I still need to go through an end table filled with random books, but I have a reading chair now :).

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I covered it with a throw I got for college to up the cozy factor, and I might replace the pillow it came with with a different throw pillow (also from college) depending on how comfortable it is in comparison. I also have my rug from college that would fit nicely in front of it – I love that I can reuse all this stuff again!

Today I also went out to Barnes and Nobles and bought a lap desk, which was something I’d been debating doing for a while. Now that I have a couple of options when it comes to places to work I think it will come in handy. It is black with polka dots on the bottom and pink elastic straps to hold papers secure, and I am using it right now. So far so good.

I seem to have fallen into an every other week posting schedule, but hopefully I can bring the posts back up to once a week. I do have some book reviews and other fun things planned so stay tuned!

But on a completely unrelated note, we seem to have fully entered into the holiday season. I always know that this happens right after Halloween (lets be honest, its before halloween a lot of the time), and every time it seems to throw me off. There were advent calendars today being sold at Barnes and Nobles, and when I went into CVS on Halloween to see if I could find a last minute witch hat (all the halloween stores were packed) I was greeted instead with Santa hats. On Halloween. Maybe I could have gone as Mrs. Claus.

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The Scent of Good Books

Happy Friday everyone! And happy October. It’s hard to believe its October, especially since I am just getting used to the fact that its not summer anymore. And Happy Mean Girls day (as a friend of mine reminded me this morning)!

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As usual I’ve been pretty busy lately, which has been good but it means I haven’t been keeping up with the blog as much I would like to. I do have a couple of posts and book reviews lined up, but today I am just going to leave you with a nerdy infographic about good book scents (the smell not the blog…) I’m not one for chemistry, but this is more about books and how cool they are. I bet when the chemicals in kindles begin to break down it doesn’t smell nearly as good!

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Double Book Review: Everyday and We Were Liars

Well, fall might be in full swing what with the cooler weather, the chunky sweaters that are starting to be pulled out of the closet again, and the pumpkin spice lattes, but today I am going to talk about Labor Day.

The end of the summer has been pretty hectic for me, and my blog has unfortunately gone on a bit of an impromptu hiatus, but I am glad to be back again and working on a more regular schedule. Anyway, my Labor Day weekend was great, filled with lots of good food, beach time, and relaxation in one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat in. Seriously, I would carry this thing around with me if I could. Many a good book was read and many a great nap was taken in this chair this summer.

My weekend started off with a three hour train ride, and a 20% off coupon at Barnes and Nobles, so I made a book stop on the way to work that Friday to get two books. I figured I didn’t have anything else planned for the train and I didn’t want to have a whole line up of tv shows to watch only to find out there was no wi-fi, so why not get some good reads.

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The first book I got was Everyday by David Levitan. I first saw this book at BEA in 2012 when I went with my NYU program, where it was being released as a galley. After reading the back of the book on its display board I got in the hugely long line to receive a signed copy, but not long after that we were told that they were out of copies. Boo.

So I swore to myself that I would get it in stores, but I didn’t see it for many months, and then when I did I was always getting other books, and I can be bad about reading all the books I buy if I buy more than one at a time. I didn’t want Everyday to be a book I bought on a binge and then never read, so never bought it. But then I did buy it and read it and it is amazing!

Everyday follows the story of A, a sixteen year old who wakes up every morning in someone else’s body, never the same one twice. Right off the bat I was interested in the story, since it is such a unique plot, and I really wanted to see how Levithan pulled this off. But one day A falls in love with a girl and everything changes.

That is pretty much the sappiest sounding recap, but it is a really great story. There is this person who has literally never had any kind of continuity in his life (A doesn’t really have a gender but I am going to say his for the sake of the review) until he meets Rhiannon. I found A to be a very convincing character despite (and because of) his unrealistic situation. He has literally experienced every type of sixteen year old – boy, girl, gay, straight, smart, dumb, jock etc. etc. etc. He has had all these different identities, but never experienced one of his own.

Levithan also does that thing where the author inserts overarching truths about life into the story. While these overarching truths can be well written, I have found that I can be a little wary of them sometimes, since it seems like the author is speaking beyond the character and it can take me out of the story a little bit. Either that or it can be cliched. All in all it can be a tricky thing to pull off. But I thought that Levitan succeeded with his little over arching truths, because of the broad range of experience A has had. Of course he would develop these beliefs about life, love, purpose etc. after everything that he has been through and all that he has seen. To me his observations were well done and on point.

Everyday can be a tricky story to talk about since it is so unconventional in its subject and the way it is plotted, but I really loved it, and if anyone else has read it and feels the way I do, or has different thoughts, please reply in the comment section below and we can continue the conversation. 🙂

The second book that I read over Labor Day Weekend, since Everyday took me about a day to read, was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – another really unique, addicting read. I had seen the book around in stores, and the more I saw it the more I figured I should give it a read.

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We Were Liars is about the Sinclairs, a prominent New England family, who spends their summers on a private island off the coast of Cape Cod near Martha’s Vineyard. Cadence Sinclair Easton and her cousins, the Liars, always spend their summers together on the island, each family with its own house, and its own problems. We Were Liars focuses on “Summer 15”, and what happened then as the patriarchy of the family begins to fall apart.

We Were Liars is another book that is hard to review. It reminded me of Gone Girl in a way in that either you know what is happening in the book or you are trying to piece it together, and there is a definitive moment in the story when that role switches from one to the other. So I don’t want to give too much away, but again I really recommend this book.

The setting of the island played a big role in the story, since that was always what brought the family together, and i thought Lockhart did a really good job of getting the feel of the island paradise down, but also the sense of claustrophobia that comes with it. After all it is just these four families living on the island together. There is also a definite dark streak that runs through the narrative. Lockhart has a very unique, poetic way of telling the story which really grabbed me as a reader, but also made me doubt how reliable Cadence was as a narrator.

Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away again, but I really recommend this book as well. It was another 24 hour read for me, but it felt like it stayed with me much longer than that.

What did you all do over Labor Day weekend? Read any good books? Have any thoughts about these two? Let me know, and enjoy fall! I have yet to have a pumpkin spice latte – my theory is it can stay summer as long as I don’t get one, right? That’s definitely how it works…

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I Changed my Mind About Bitterblue

Helloo! I have been pretty busy non-stop for the past few weeks with babysitting, editing, and going down to PA for a friend’s wedding (which I still can’t believe happened) so this blog hasn’t been updated for a bit.

But today I am excited to be back an talking about a book I read earlier in the summer (after this I will finally be caught up with reviews so that’s exciting).

A few summers ago I read Graceling by Kristin Cashore and it’s companion novel, Fire, both of which were amazing. I also read Bitterblue, the sequel to Graceling, but I decided I didn’t like it, and I never ended up finishing it.

12680907Over the summer I’ve been rereading a few things, including Graceling and Fire, so I decided to give Bitterblue another chance. And I ended up loving it!

The first time I tried reading it, I didn’t have a lot of time to read so I would only read a few pages at a time before falling asleep, and I ended up losing track of the plot. I think that has a lot to do with my first impressions of the book. But this time I read it during my vacation time and I devoured the book in my favorite reading chair over the course of a few days and it was great!

If you haven’t read the first two books, I recommend doing that before reading this review because there will be some SPOILERS.

Bitterblue starts years after Graceling. Bitterblue is a young adult now in charge of her own kingdom that is still working to recover from King Leck’s tyrannical rule. Bitterblue, tired of signing papers in her tower with her team of advisors, decides to get to know her city on her own. When she sneaks out at night she finds a crazy cast of characters and many unanswered questions, like why is the city in such a state of disarray, and what are the majestic bridges leading nowhere? So she sets out to find out the answers to these questions on her own.

There are a lot of subplots to this story that don’t come together until the end, which may have had to do with why I lost track of the story on the first read, but I was really able to enjoy the structure of the book on the second round.

I also really liked Bitterblue’s court life and the way it was portrayed in Cashore’s world. I’ve always enjoyed court novels, probably has to do with all the Tamora Pierce books I’ve read. Court novels just lend themselves so well to intrigue, secrets, and gossip, which Bitterblue (the book, not the character) thrives on. It was also interesting to see Katsa and Po from an outsider’s point of view. During Graceling I thought they were super cute, but there were times during Bitterblue where they got a little clingy I thought. Bitterblue also has a closer relationship to Po, which makes sense since they are cousins, and becomes intimidated by Katsa at different points in the story, which is also understandable. Katsa is a force to be reckoned with. I really liked the way Po cared for Bitterblue, and it was nice to see another perspective of him beyond the mysterious character that he is portrayed as in Graceling.

The minor characters of the story are also well portrayed, and while I like Saf and Bitterblue’s relationship, I could also see her doing well in a relationship with Gidon. I’m not usually one to create my own ships for characters that aren’t cannon (other than Neville and Luna in HP – they BELONG together!), but I did like how Bitterblue and Gidon get along. She always felt comfortable with him, which was important considering everything else that was going on in her life. But she does well with Saf too, and I can see them getting along well in the future beyond the end of the book. Thoughts?

There are many puzzles and riddles throughout the book as Bitterblue tries to figure out what’s going on which made for a good read. There was a lot going on but the pace moved along well, and the story was always pushing forward.

I also liked the way Bitterblue tied the two previous books together, especially towards the end. It also painted a strong picture of Leck, even though he died two books ago. He remained a strong character throughout the three books without having too much “screen time”, which made for an interesting read.

Anyone else read Bitterblue out there? What are your thoughts?

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Ruin and Rising: A Great Ending

Hello everyone and happy Friday! And welcome to my 99th post!! I have been pretty busy these past couple of weeks between going to camp, babysitting, and editing which has been great! I love keeping busy but I also haven’t had much time to blog recently so I am making up for that today.

Other than Harry Potter, I don’t think I’ve ever actually bought a book on the day that it came out, but I started reading the Grisha series at the perfect time for the third book release back in June (still playing catch up a bit), and I was able to get it on its release date, which was pretty exciting. 🙂 I am sad that this review took me so long to get to, but I am really excited to finally talk about it and hear what anyone else thought about this final installment or the series in general. Leave your comments below!

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I must say I was a bit apprehensive about this book before reading it because I have read many trilogies where the third book isn’t as good as the first or second, and I really did not want that to happen with this series. But I can safely say that that was not the case with Ruin and Rising. At all. So don’t worry. It was amazing.

Many of the things that I enjoyed about Ruin and Rising were continuations of what I have already talked about in my last two reviews, so I won’t go in to as much detail with this review, but it was an amazing book and everyone should read it. The characters were complex, sarcastic, and real. The Darkling continued to be terrifying in his complexly enticing way, the Russian fantasy world setting continued to spellbound, and the action in the book kept me reading, even if the pacing was different from the previous two books.  Also if anyone hasn’t read the series be warned that there will be spoilers although I will try to keep them at a minimum. But feel free to check out my thoughts on the first or second books.

Ruin and Rising picks up shortly after Siege and Storm with Alina living underground as Ravka’s current patron saint, a life that has been touched on in the previous two books, but has never been fully explored until now. She is weak and broken after the events of the second book, but she is still on a mission to beat The Darkling by collecting Morozova’s third amplifier. 

Alina is also not the same character she was in the first or second books. After her stand off with The Darkling at the end of Siege and Storm she is much darker, and works to regain the power that she had before she was broken down, and find power that she never had (hence the Rising). She and The Darkling are now more similar than ever, and The Darkling is more powerful than before, which furthers the Mal/Darkling/Nikolai debacle which was about so much more than a love triangle. (thank you!)

I have a lot of feelings about the ending of this book that I would love to talk about here, but I don’t want to give too much away, which is why this review is on the shorter side. While I was reading avidly throughout the entire story, it was really the last couple of chapters that really got me going. Plot twists tend to do that. So if anyone has thoughts – good, bad, or ugly – on the series, the characters, the ending leave them below and we can talk! 

Also I am so excited to announce that this is my 99th blog post! I can’t believe I’ve made it this far, and I have loved blogging for the past 2 years (my gosh, that’s a long time…) Well, on to 100!

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