Maya Angelou Gives me the Feels

I wanted to start February off with a re-reading of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. But wait, it gets worse. Instead of reading the physical book, I decided that it would be lovely to listen to the audio book narrated by Ms. Angelou herself. While I greatly enjoyed this epic story conveyed by one of the most eloquent speakers I’ve ever encountered, I can’t seem to move past the book. It was such an amazing experience that I felt like I was learning the story for the first time. Now I want to keep returning to the world of young Marguerite. Even if you have read the book before, or even multiple times, I urge everyone to try the audio book. Unfortunately for me, my library only has the first and last of Angelou’s memoirs on audio. The several in between are only available in physical and e-book form. While it may seem silly to not continue, I have decided that I want to invest in her books in both physical and audio form. It might take me awhile to obtain them all – have you guys noticed how expensive audio books can be? – however, the listening experience just cannot be beat. And now for what I’d like to say to Maya Angelou – Thank You. Thank you for sharing your stories with the world. You have taught me so much over the years. Your writing has introduced me to poetry that I actually enjoy, to the joy of memoirs when I thought I hated nonfiction, to the delight of seeing myself in a work written by someone else, and most importantly, to the miraculous journey of experiencing life through the eyes of someone different than me. Now, even after you have passed on, you have challenged my dislike of audio books and given me a brand new way to experience the wide world of literature. Trust that you will love on in all your reader’s hearts.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

  1. All morning I struggled to find time to blog about a book I finished in February. Unfortunately, our insanely gorgeous hotel wreaks havoc on cell signal so I was thwarted at every turn. Just to catch you up, my best friend won a Disney Land vacation and we chose my birthday weekend to redeem our prize. Knowing that no one can spin a narrative as well as good ol Walt, I figured I could find some things in the park to write about instead. And I was not wrong. The bright scenery, interactive staff, and smiling park goers made everything seem noteworthy. I took a ton of pics but will only share a few at the moment.     MICKEY! Enough said. But as much as I love Disney what could be good as reading Alice in Wonderland? How about the Mad Hatter and Alice singing Bon Jovi covers? That’s right readers, you know you are in.    More on Disney later, I promise! 

January Reads

I thought that I would start sharing images of the books I read each month. Here is a look at what I finished in January. I’ve also included my Good Reads rating. Please note that a three star rating for me means a good solid book. Four stars means it is incredible and is a candidate for a re-read. Five star ratings are those books that are perfectly satisfying for me, I wouldn’t change anything. Also keep in mind that I rate my books based on how much I enjoy them, both the reading experience and the reflections afterwards. My ratings are not intended to indicate the skill of the various authors.  

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Birthday Gifts Round One

Every year around my birthday, I remind my friends and family that gift cards truly are the best present for me. Of course I want a new book, but I can’t, in good conscience, expect anyone to know which ones I already have. So here is the first of my birthday book card hauls – courtesy of my Bestie’s parents.  

 
This title came from a BookTube video by author Jen Campbell. If you aren’t familiar with her you should look her up ASAP. She lists this as one of her favorite childhood books. Increasing the appeal is the fact that after reading The Book Thief, I am particularly preoccupied with narratives based during the Nazi regime. 

 
Speaking of the Nazi regime, Erik Larson wrote another great book called In the Garden of Beasts, set in 1930s Germany. It was so good in fact, that I’ll sign up for anything he writes. This one covers a serial killer in Chicago during the World Fair.

  
Lastly, I purchased this classic that doesn’t need any introduction. This will be my first time reading this essay and I plan on blogging my thoughts. I have the suspicion that I am in the exact place in my life to fully appreciate the subject matter. 

A great big Thank You to the Conways for the birthday gift card and your unfailing support. 

Bookish Valentine

Just wanted to share my awesome Valentine’s gift from this year which included two bookish items. First off, I have to admit that I am loving the adult coloring book craze. And Harry Potter? Bring it on! My second lovely gift is a coffee/tea mug covered in great first lines from literature. I’m feeling a little spoiled. While it is always the thought that counts, there is a special feeling when one sees in their present that the giver really knows them. And in my cases – accepts their kooky book obsession! πŸ’•

  

Ghost Stories

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I am always up to hear a good ghost story. Even as a child, my favorite form of entertainment was to share a spooky narrative around a camp fire, or in the case of the harsh West Virginia winters, among some lit candles during a snowstorm power outage. But what is it that draws us to frightening tales? I think it has to do something with the idea that we can flirt with our fears, indulge our superstitions, and let go of our modern logical thinking, all why remaining perfectly safe in our twenty-first century homes. When asked if I believe in ghost, I always shy away from talking about it. While having quite the love affair with science and logic, I also find that being frightened of a ghostly narratives is one of the most delicious experiences I’ve ever encountered. So what is the point of discussing the subject? Just because I might truly believe in the periodic table more than Jacob Marley does not mean that I need to remind myself. There is no point on concentrating Β on my actual beliefs about an afterlife, when there is so much more fun to be had by playing along. Below are a few titles that I’ve enjoyed reading in 2015, thanks to an author recommendation on Β The Readers, one of my favorite bookish podcasts. You might recognize one of the titles from the movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. I encourage you to check them Β out if you get the chance. And if you want to see how an actual book blog is conducted, please check out the brilliant Simon Savidge who introduced me to Susan Hill during a podcast. Β https://savidgereads.wordpress.com/