The Halloween Book Tag!

I’ve been looking for fun and creative holiday theme tags to do instead of my usual what I read blog. Scrolling on Google I came across this lovely tag created by https://imanadventurest.wordpress.com. It’s definitely a tag for fans of books who enjoy the holiday of Halloween.  Let’s get into this!

 

Favorite Scary Read for Halloween

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My favorite story to read during Halloween is Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow. I read this story for the first time in my 1101 Lit class and fell in love with it. The actual story, not the Tim Burton one, is actually more romance than horror, yet still this story gives me a few chills.

Scariest Book Cover, Like Ever

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There are many covers for this story, yet Dracula must have one of the scariest book covers out there. Dracula is one of the first horror stories I ever read.

 

If You Could Pick Any Author to go Trick or Treating With. Who Would You Pick?

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There are so many to choose from, yet I’ll have to go with R.L Stine. He’s the creator of the Goosebump series, so he’d be a lot of fun to hang out with on Halloween, Thanksgiving or even Christmas. My 2nd and third choice would be Rick Riordan and of course JK Rowling. They’re all magical authors.

 

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If You Could Dress Up as any Bookish Character for Halloween, who would you be?

Hmm…. Bilbo Baggins. I’m fascinated by Hobbit clothing. Plus I’m 4ft 9,  and have bushy, curly hair, so I easily look the part. Basically I’m a modern day Hobbit.

If you could find anything, from any book, in your trick or treat stash, what would you hope to find?

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Susan’s horn from  the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s an interesting piece that would look nice on my bookshelf.

In what fictional world would you like to go trick or treating?

Halloweentown for sure.

What book villain would you not like to meet alone in a dark alley on Halloween?

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I most definitely would not like to meet  Gollum from The Hobbit/ Lord of the Rings. He’s such a freaky character with a bizarre personality disorder. I’m horrible at solving riddles, so stay away from me please.

 

Would you rather dress up as a vampire, zombie, werewolf, or a shadowhunter?

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I’ll have to go with vampire. Vampires are mysterious creatures. They can appear to be human, yet they are so different. They have amazing abilities. If I need some blood I’d go to a blood bank and take some from time to time. Sure that would be considered stealing, but would it be any better if I attacked someone to drink blood from their neck? Nope.

 

Pick a candy( anyone) from Harry Potter to Put into your Stash.

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I would like to try a chocolate frog. I almost bought one at the Wizarding World attraction at Universal, but the price is too high.

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Nestle Crunch is my favorite chocolate bar. I have not had one in a while, so I’d like to get a few for this Halloween.  Once while visiting my grandparents as a boy the cashier of a gas station handed me one for free. Probably not a wise business move, yet it made my night.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this tag. Very spooky and book related. If you would like to take part in this tag do not be afraid. Here are a few of my WordPress friends that I invite to take part in this tag aswell. Get started soon, because Halloween is almost over. Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AKissAtMidnight

Abooknerd13

Adventuresinbibliophile

SociallyAwkwardbookworm

 

 

 

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This Savage Song- Victoria Schwab

In a city divided amongst monsters and men two worlds collide. On one side there is Kate Harker, a rebellious teenager who seeks to cause pain likewise to her father who  allows monsters to attack humans within his city while he plays the monster bounty hunter. Then there is August Flynn a light-hearted boy who means no harm, seeking to protect the innocent. The problem for August is that he’s really a monster who can devour souls when playing his violin. Recently Kate had been transferred into a new school. This was the sixth time she’d been kicked out of her previous schools. August is meant to spy on Kate, but once Kate figures out what he really is things go berserk.

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I believe this is the first novel by Victoria Schwab I’ve ever read. I will definitely be reading more of her creation in the future. This Savage Song brought a new spin into the usual dystopian world. Both Kate and August were complex characters. They showed their light and dark side at times. IMO Kate got less  attention earlier in the book, but I still was able to find a connection with her. My heart goes out to August. His character reminded me so much of Pinocchio’s story. August does not want to be the bad guy. August had no say on being a monster. He only wants to do what is right. On the other hand, Kate is thrilled to cause chaos. She tries so hard to be a villain, yet she’s clearly trying to seek love from her father which she may never get.

This Savage Song was a fantastic read. I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel

Serenity

Death is such an awkward thing to deal with. It truly comes like a thief in the night. Death is unexpected or even when we know it’s coming it still leaves us unsettled. Last Friday morning my Grandmother Irene passed away. Her death did not come as a surprise. She had been in and out of hospitals and rehab centers since August. We realized she would be leaving us, yet once it happens it still left us speechless.

It is so weird, almost spooky, to think that from now on I will never visit her home again. Both she and her husband aka my grandfather have left us. No more trips into town to see them from time to time. No more trips to visit them over the holidays. No more Klondike bars, or Reese’s Pieces waiting for us at the front door. No more discussing the good ole days with them, or hearing about my grandpa’s Navy days or going bike riding with him. No more trips to Steak N Shake. No more getting a high five from my grandmother as I walk toward her for a hug. Those are now only  pleasant memories.

My grandmother wasn’t the type to show her emotions. At times it was a struggle to understand her thoughts. Toward the final few years of her life she grew cold. She was a bit difficult to deal with. She wanted to remain alone and isolated from the outside world. She was always a stern woman, yet her love was still expressed. One thing I respected about her was that she was strong. She did not allow others to change her ways easily. She never wished for anyone to worry about her. I do not agree with all her opinions nor decisions, yet I know that she loved me and that is all that truly matters. The final few times I visited her she asked me about my novel, how it is going and such. She told me that she was proud of me and the man I am becoming. I’ll never forget that.

Lots of people fear death. Death can be frightening,  but I see it in a hasty manner. Death is what happens when a soul can no longer take on the world. The body is ready for rest in an eternal slumber. Death hears our worries. Death prepares us for the journey ahead. I’m thankful that both my grandfather and grandmother lived a long and prosperous life. They did not always get along on earth, but I’m sure they’re well together in heaven. I’m sad that they’re gone, but I’m more thankful for the time I had with them. They were a part of my life for almost a whole twenty two years. That is something to be joyful about. One of my best friends said it best,” The people you love will always be in your heart.”

 

How I Became a Reader Tag

So I’ve noticed this tag floating around the web and thought it would be pretty cool to get my experience of reading out there. I know it shocks everyone, but I love to read books! I find these  how I became a reader stories so encouraging, because those stories are similar to my own. Clearly I cannot remember exactly how I got into reading, yet reading books has been a part of my life for a very long time. As far as I can remember, I’ve always had a book within  my grasp. It all started within a small, local library.

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When I was young and fresh my mom would take my brother and me to a local library. This library was pretty small, yet it had an enormous amount of books. I remember that the children’s section was to the right, so I’d run over there like The Flash. I’d usually get about five to twenty books into a huge pile and bring them home to read. Not only did I get children books, yet I’d also get books on history and other subjects as I grew older. I liked, learning about wars and nation building etc. For weeks I’d find someplace within the house to sit and read over all the books I got. And I usually did read every single one of them. A couple series of books I enjoyed as a child were the Marc Brown’s Arthur and  Mary Pope Osborne Magic Tree House.

After Harry Potter ended( BUT NOW IT’S BACK!) I sort of turned away from reading. I was still reading, yet the burning desire to read was gone.  There are actually a few reasons as to why I’m such a  addicted reader again. Eventually I got my hands on The Book Thief in 2013. I fell in love with the story since I’ve always been a history buff. Around the same time, I started to watch BookTube. I’m a huge fan of certain BookTubers like katytasic, ReadsandDayDreams,  HailsHeartsNyc, ABookuptopia, JBookLover and of course EmmaBooks. Soon enough I became attach to different genres such as young adult or urban fantasy. Over the last four  years, I’ve probably purchased over 200 books off Amazon alone.  Today I own three book cases two of which are already full. I’m hoping to get another medium sized bookcase in the future, yet my room is kind of stuffed with all my other rubbish at the moment. I’ll find someway to magically create extra space when that time officially comes.

Growing up, I never knew anyone else who liked to read or at least enjoyed reading books as much as I do. Being homeschooled, I spent a majority of my childhood alone. Spending so many hours at the hospital during my treatments, I’ve read hundreds of books to pass the time. Not much has changed today except I now get to blog about books, so that is good lol. When I read a book I feel as if I’m entering a different life. It’s like I get to escape reality for a bit.  I put on the character’s shoes and face challenges more daring and adventurous.  The Golden Trio became my best friends. I became a Lost Boy. I would walk inside my parents wardrobe as if I were about to enter Narnia for reals. Hogwarts or Camp Half Blood became my home. Reading will always be important to me. It’s what lead me to becoming an author. It’s silly, yet amazing how reading a book can shape a person into what career path or lifestyle they have. It brings so many people together. In some ways, we become a minuscule part of the character, because a character is really the opinion of an actual person or idea known to his or her author. The other day, I was thinking about the old pirate term” a dead man tells no tales.” That is certainly false.

 So that is how I became a reader. This tag was very fun, so I hope you take some time and share your reasons as to why you became a reader as well. Go on, we know you want too!

A Monster Calls- Patrick Ness

Have you ever read a book that completely surprised you? Like it seem like something completely different when first opening the book? That is what happen when I read A Monster Calls.  A Monster Call is not a frightening book. Well in some ways it may spook its reader, yet that is not what it is meant to do. A Monster Calls is a work of low fantasy. This beautiful story is about a thirteen year old boy named Coner. Coner’s entire world has been flipped upside down when his mother becomes very sick. Coner has a hard time coming to grips with his reality. Suddenly a tree like monster enters his world and helps Coner figure out how to handle his sadness by telling him some tales.

The story is set in modern day England. It’s centered around a thirteen year old boy named Coner O Malley whose life is at its darkest point. Coner continues to have nightmares the ones with darkness, wind, and screaming. He’s having a difficult time dealing with his mother’s terminal cancer. It’s breaking him. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, he starts to hear an eerie voice. The voice is coming from outside his bedroom window. While peaking out his window he sees a gigantic monster which looks like a tree, yet has the body of a man. This monster has lived for many years and was summoned to tell Coner three important stories, but Coner must also tell the monster a story of his own.

Coner and this monster usually speak to each other around 12:07AM. The stories gravitates  on different issues human’s face. Soon enough the monster learns about Coner’s mother. We also learn that Coner’s father is normally never around and his grandmother is not very nice. Bullies at school constantly mock Coner. Coner has also become the black sheep among his peers. As the story continues Coner’s mother’s illness grows worse.

The monsters interesting tales have an affect on Coner’s life. While being told the 2nd story Coner sabotages his grandmother’s home. From the third story Coner wallops  Harry the school bully. Coner pleads that he’s not the one committing these acts, yet no one else can see the monster.

This moment leads us to Coner’s story. In this gripping chapter, Coner lets loose. Coner has come to the reality that his mother is not going to make it. In his story he fights to hold his mother from falling, yet he fails to do so. The monster convinces Coner that there is only one thing he must do. Coner must accept his mother’s death and the changes that lay ahead. Soon at 12:07AM his mother dies.

An amazing point to this novel is that the original author and founder of this story actually died from terminal cancer. Patrick Ness finished A Monster Call for his dear friend  Siobhan  Dowd. Perhaps she saw the monster too. A Monster Calls beautufiul illistrations were the work of  Jim Kay.

I recommend this story to anyone who is either dealing with the loss of a loved one or someone who might be dealing with terminal cancer. Death seems frightening,  yet it is a part of life. We should actually treat death like seeing an old friend. Someday we will all cross that river.

 

 

Esther- How God Works Silently in Our Lives

This passed week I have been studying the book of  Esther. I’m looking to study certain aspects of the Bible one on one instead of just scrolling along. As Christian’s we should have a firm understanding of scripture and how God  can perform many miracles. The book of Esther is from the Old Testament. An interesting fact from the book of Esther is that God is never mentioned.  In addition, I also have a cousin named Esther which is cool.  It covers the life of Esther who was a Jewish Queen in the time of the Achaemenid Empire which was the very first Persian Empire.  The Jewish holiday of Purim is a celebration of what occurred from the book of Esther. Likewise to most stories from the Bible the Jewish people are a small fish in a huge ocean, struggling to overcome their rulers and other powerful nations around them that seek to destroy them.

 

In the beginning, the Acheamenid king was Xerxes the first. Xerxes was having this feast. He was said to be in high spirits, mostly since he was drinking a lot of wine. Many times Xerxes is mentioned drinking heavily. He comes across as boastful King who likes to party, and a man with little common sense.  While in high spirits he ordered his queen  Vashti to appear before him and his guest. He wished to display her  beauty, but when asked to follow her king’s commands she refused to be at the party.  King Xerxe’s  was puzzled and very upset by her decision, so he asked his wise men what he should do. He also created a decree that all Persian men should be masters of their home. Anyways The wise men understood  that word would spread like jelly on a piece of toast about Queen Vashti’s refusal which would cause  commoner wife’s to rebuke their husbands, so the wise guys decided she must be punished. Soon Queen Vashti was killed, leaving the drunkard Persian King searching for a new bride.

A little while later King Xerxes was once again in high spirit which must be the old phrase for” he’s feeling the buzz.” He decides to hold a beauty pageant   sort of like Miss. Universe to find his new bride/Queen. This is where Esther and her Uncle  Mordechai enter the story. Esther hides  her identity and wins the competition, becoming King Xerxes new bride. Xerxe becomes  so obsessed  with Esther that soon enough Esther becomes the new Queen of Persia. Around this time Mordechai over heard a conversation where two men or more were plotting to murder the king. Mordechai tells Esther, so Esther goes on to tell the king and end this devious plot.  At this point comes the villain of the story and his name was Haman.

Haman is a dissented   of the ancient Canaanites, so likewise to Queen Esther he’s not Persian.  The Persian King gives Haman a promotion which makes him a very important official, so Haman becomes conceited about his new role. Basically he wants everyone to bow down to him and praise his name. On the other hand, Mordechai does not allow Haman to boss him around which makes Haman very unhappy. Haman goes on to get permission from the king to create a decree to  kill all of the Jewish people. To decide what day this purge of the Jewish people will begin Haman rolls a dice. I guess the game of Monopoly was much more vicious in those days. The dice shows that eleven months later on the 13th of Adar all the Jews shall die.  After completing this scheme, King Xerxe and Haman go have a drink and gloat over what is ahead.

 

At this point, Esther and Mordechai are the Jewish people’s last hope at surviving, so they created a plan. Esther would go to the Persian King and reveal her true identity  to him. She would also ask him to  reverse the decree and save her people. The problem here is that asking the king for anything without a royal decree is against Persian law and may lead to death.  King Xerxe tells Esther that perhaps her redemption may arrive in another matter. Later in the day, Mordechai tells Esther that this maybe the reason why she  had become queen in this moment of time. Esther’s bravery shows as she goes to the king and tells him ” If I perish, I perish.” this was like her Patrick Henry” Give me Liberty or give me Death.” moment.

At this point in the story, Esther’s power begins to grow. Esther holds a few banquets for the king and his officials. We all know by now that KIng Xerxe’s loves to find ways to drink more wine. He just cannot help himself and neither could Haman. On his way home from the banquet Haman is high in spirit aka feeling the buzz. He notices Mordechai walking down the street. Again Haman’s anger toward Mordechai grows. Haman orders that a huge stake be placed in the city for Mordechai to be  impaled on in the morning. As things turned for the worst God enters the picture.

The same night that the banquet was held King Xerxe’s cannot sleep, so he has the royal Chronicles read to him.  As he’s being read too he hears how Mordechai saved his life somehow forgetting this event earlier on. I’m guessing his short memory had to do with his love of alcohol, but that is only my opinion.  In the morning Haman arrives, asking the king when Mordechai will be slayed, but the Persian King tells Haman that Mordechai should live and be praised in a huge celebration.

Once again Esther holds a 2nd banquet. At this banquet, Esther reminds the Persian king that she is Jewish and that Haman created a decree to murder all the Jewish people. Again the king is in high spirits. Out of rage Xerxe’s has Haman impaled on a stake. This was both disturbing, yet humorous.  Still Haman’s decree was still in place, so they had to find some way to veto that rubbish. Esther and her uncle create a new plan to reverse the decree, because lets face it this king is pretty gullible.  Mordechai and the king agree to revamp this decree, allowing the Jewish people to fight for their lives and survive this purge. Mordechai now becomes the 2nd highest official to the king.

The decree day arrives and the Jewish people get a mighty victory over those who seek to destroy them. Mordechai and Esther create the holiday known as Purim to celebrate this moment.

 

The book of Esther to me is showing us how God still does His thing even when He’s not being mentioned. The Jewish people were in danger and God  came to their rescue  as always. God took Esther, a common young woman, and transformed her into one of the most important women of her age. Even when we’re not thinking about God, He’s always thinking about us. Think about something cool that may have happen in your life this week or last week. Maybe it was only a coincidence or maybe it was the Lord? Think about that for a few moments.

 

 

 

Suicide Squad- Entertaining, yes?

First of all, happy Halloween! October has finally arrived, so enjoy your month of scaring everyone and eating candy until the stomach begins to bleed.  Ok not that much candy, but please do enjoy. How many other days are adults allowed to frighten children? It’s wrong, but fun!

  Recently I watched DC Comic/WB’s Suicide Squad. Basically Suicide Squad is a group of villains saving the day instead of the superhero’s. I think Batman deserves a break once and a while. This film was directed by David Ayers and a few major stars for this film were Will Smith( Deadshot), Jared Leto(The Joker),  Viola Davis( Amanda Waller), and of course Margot Robbie( Harley Quinn) Ben Affleck( The Caped Crusader) also had a cameo appearance.

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After the Man of Steel’s death,  intelligence operative Amanda Waller created a group of anti hero’s( make that  highly dangerous criminals) called  Task Force X. The group consist of a hitman named Deadshot,  former Arkham Asylum psychiatrist Harley Quinn, pyrokinitic ex gangster  El Diablo, an Australian  thief called Boomerang, man beast Killer Croc,  and an assassin named Slipknot. They’re put under the care of  colonel Rick Flag to take part in highly dangerous missions.  If they do not go along with orders a nano chip bomb placed within their necks will explode. The choice is pretty clear. Follow orders or die.

Rick Flag’s girlfriend was also suppose to be a part of Task Force X, but the evil witch called Enchantress had other plans. Enchantress takes full control of  Dr. Juan Moone’s body. Enchantress transforms many in Midway City into her own monster like pawns. She also brings her brother  Incubus in for support. How did they not see this coming? This leads to sending Special Task Force X into Midway City to defeat Enchantress and Incubus. No problem right?

Overall I did like Suicide Squad considering I know a few details about the characters. This film is pure entertainment. Likewise to Superman vs Batman There little to no story within this film. Basically we get to see the anti-heros doing their thing, causing chaos along the way. Some major details about the villain’s were within this film, yet I did not feel attach to them. I feel as if DC is far behind Marvel, because Marvel has been ahead of them for a long time. Superman and Batman are two of the greatest super heros ever, yet DC cannot go without mentioning them in every film. Being a fan of DC Comics, I know they have some epic characters to choose from, so I wish DC would put the spotlight on those guys more which they sort of did with the Suicide Squad. At least CW DC Comic TV series such as The Flash, or  Green Arrow know what they’re doing.

I thought Jared Leto did well as the Joker although the way he’s portrayed in this film is different. In some ways he reminded me of Jack Nicholson’s Joker, yet with a more hipster theme. IMO cartoon Joker  beats all of these actors who try to portray this psychotic clown. I thought Will Smith was alright as Deadshot. Viola Davis did a pretty good job. Margot Robbie was the best of all. She portrayed Harley Quinn the way she should be. Beautiful, yet crazy. Still I miss seeing Harley and The Joker in their normal clown attire. I love how she calls em pudding. In this film they both love each other dearly. I’ve always thought that Harley Quinn was madly in love with Mr. J but he’s sort of only using her for his own good. Love can make us do some crazy things. I hope they  do create a second Suicide Squad, because there is so much good they can do with this storyline.  Oh well I can always create some fan fiction until it happens.

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