One False Move by Harlan Coben

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Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors. I like both his stand alone books and his Myron Bolitar series. I came across the Bolitar series by accident so the OCD in me had to go back to read the whole series in order. And I am! This is the fifth in the series.

Myron Bolitar was a promising college athlete that was recruited by the Boston Celtics. During his first professional game he received an injury that ended his career. What does an injured athlete do? Become a sports agent. Along the way he collects a cast of unique characters that become his friends who help out each other in sticky situation.

Enter Brenda Slaughter. A college basketball star who is headed to the WNBA as long as her father (her ex agent) doesn’t screw it up. She offers Myron her contract if she can protect her from her father. That would be okay, but her father winds up dead! This leads Myron to the Slaughter’s family past, which includes disappearing parents, wealthy “connected” families and a suicide 20 years ago.

This book is the reason why I like Coben. He makes his characters flesh and blood in a short amount of pages. Sure, they’re flawed, but that what makes them real. The ending will make your jaw drop. Which is a great way to make the ending of a mystery!

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32 Books That Will Actually Change Your Life by Erin La Rosa

1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

 

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This heartbreaking memoir, written by Jean-Dominique Bauby, follows the life of a narcissistic editor turned ward of the hospital after a sudden stroke leaves him paralyzed and unable to communicate. It’ll make you realize how important the people in your life are, and how precious every moment really is. Did I mention you might weep through the whole thing?

2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Need a little more impetus in your life?

Read this philosophical novel, and Robert Pirsig will help you realize how important it is to actually care about what you’re doing. In other words, if you’re fixing a motorcycle, then really fix it. Don’t listen to music, or do something else simultaneously. Do what you need to do, and take pride in it.

3. Cat’s Cradle

 

Cat's Cradle

Of all the Vonnegut you could possibly read, this is the one that will raise the most questions — in a great way. Jonah, our narrator, wants to write a book about the inventor of the atomic bomb, Dr. Frank Hoenikker.

This book will make you question whether or not there should be a limit to the pursuit of knowledge. And it’ll get you to think about the power of weapons, and how even the most competent people can make mistakes with them. Plus, with all of that science comes the exploration of religion, or the futility of it, really.

4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

This book is special because it gives voice to a type of person that often isn’t written about in fiction. That narrator is a 15-year-old boy named Christopher John Francis Boone, and he’s a brilliant mathematician who also happens to suffer from a behavioral disorder. (Some say Asperger’s, others suggest autism, but author Mark Haddon is adamant that it’s not about any one specific disorder.) Either way, this will help you think about prejudices and preconceived notions.

5. One Hundred Years of Solitude

 

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Because it’s so wonderful to get sucked into the world of Macondo, it’s easy to forget that One Hundred Years of Solitude isn’t just a masterpiece of magical realism. It’s an allegory for colonialism, the human condition, and the political strife in Latin America.

6. Invisible Monsters

 

Invisible Monsters

Full disclosure: This book is disturbing. Like, a model gets shot in the face with a rifle and goes on a journey to find out who did it kinda disturbing. That being said, the writing and structure, much like the story, proves that nothing is ever as it seems. And ultimately, this is a lesson and exploration of what it is to really love someone.

7. White Oleander

 

White Oleander

Life will make or break you, and when Astrid’s mother is sent to prison for murdering a former lover, Astrid is put into foster care in Los Angeles. That’s enough to break anyone, but what we see is that she manages to survive, and relies on her inner strength to do that. (Inspirational much?!)

8. In Cold Blood

 

In Cold Blood

This nonfiction novel revolves around the murder of the Clutter family in 1959, and why the murderers, Perry and Dick, committed their crimes. Author Truman Capote leads us in without judgment, and in doing so lets us come up with our own conclusions about the penal system, justice, and the nature of violent crimes.

9. Middlesex

 

Middlesex

This stunning novel revolves around Calliope Stephanides (or Cal), and it’s a great read for anyone interested in gender and taking a closer look at how family and biology shape your identity.

10. Play It As It Lays

 

Play It As It Lays

Play It As It Lays is a story about Maria Wyeth, a Hollywood actress who has lost control of her life and identity. It’s a tragic read that will force you into deep self-reflection, as it exposes the fact that we live in a culture where nothing is quite good enough.

11. Ada, or Ardor

 

Ada, or Ardor

Don’t get me wrong, I love Lolita — it’s an absolutely perfect novel. But Ada, or Ardor is so much more complex. Amidst the romance plot of Van Veen and his cousin Ada is a larger theme on the nature of time — and how it can change everything and nothing.

12. Beloved

 

Beloved

Via npr.org

This suspenseful novel follows Sethe, who was freed from slavery but never really escapes her memories. It’s an unflinching look into the horrors of slavery, but even more than that, it will fill you with hope.

13. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Junior grew up on a Spokane Indian Reservation, but he’s also a budding cartoonist who dreams of getting off the rez. This book is funny, smart, and heartbreaking, but because of all that, it will make you question the idea of destiny.

14. Push

 

Push

You don’t know a thing about the power of redemption until you meet Precious Jones. This book is gut-wrenching and horrifying, but it will ultimately inspire anyone to feel like they can overcome the odds.

15. It

 

It

Granted, this is Stephen King, so it’s going to be a scary read. That being said, this story about a group of children being terrorized by some anonymous entity goes beyond surface-level horror. It opens up a dialogue about childhood trauma and the power of memory, as well as the unspoken ugliness that hides in small-town values.

16. Under the Banner of Heaven

 

Under the Banner of Heaven

The amazing part of Krakauer’s nonfiction novel is that while it’s incredibly comprehensive — encompassing the early foundation of the Mormon church to the present-day scandals — it’s also a complete page-turner. This book will make you question your own faith as it examines the faith of a relatively new religion.

17. Me Talk Pretty One Day

 

Me Talk Pretty One Day

David Sedaris is hilarious, period. But in Me Talk Pretty One Day he manages to weave all of his funny and true stories with the idea that humans have a problem with communication. His strange experiences with people will make you question how you communicate on a daily basis. (And he manages to pull it off with the reader barely noticing. How’s that for improved communication skills?!)

18. World War Z

 

World War Z

Yes, believe it or not, a book about zombies can change your life. That’s because it’s not just about eating brains, it looks at cultural divides, politics, war, and conflicts that seem petty once the fate of the world is at stake. It’s an eye-opener that just happens to also be filled with awesome zombies.

19. The Giver

 

The Giver

This book takes us into Jonas’ world, where there is no pain and everything is controlled. Until he turns 12, which is when he learns that there is pain, and fear, and passion, and emotions that he’s never experienced before.

Ultimately, this book has the gift of reminding you that life is pain, but that is what makes life so wonderful. We make choices that may be the wrong ones, but they give our life purpose.

20. The Fault in Our Stars

 

The Fault in Our Stars

Via npr.org

Warning: This book will make you weep and weep, until there’s no more weeping left to do and all you’re left with are the characters, story, and beautiful language that will inevitably inspire you to live life and really enjoy every moment.

21. A Brief History of Time

 

A Brief History of Time

Being that this is a book by Stephen Hawking, it isn’t the easiest in the world to read. That being said, it’s incredibly smart, and if you can manage to get past the first few chapters, you’ll start to see that the big message here is all about time, and that it has a clear direction. If anything, reading this book will make you feel a little closer to understanding the universe (i.e., it’ll make you smarter!).

22. Sophie’s World

 

Sophie's World

“Who are you?” and “Where does the world come from?” are the two questions that 14-year-old Sophie Amundsen is faced with. So begins this outline of Western philosophy set in a fictional story. It’s an incredibly accessible path to thinking about philosophy, and it sheds light on the importance of certain discoveries and advances in our society.

23. Crime and Punishment

 

Crime and Punishment

This is a heavy book, but it’s also an amazingly detailed look at the inner workings of the human mind and the repercussions of committing a crime.

24. Life of Pi

 

Life of Pi

Much as the book cover suggests, there’s a tiger, and this is the story of a young boy from India who’s stranded at sea in a lifeboat with said tiger. Yikes. Some people might mistakenly think that this is about religion, but what it’s really about is just that you should believe in something — whether that be God, the world, goodness, or yourself. The end message is that life is filled with possibilities, if you let it be.

25. Invisible Man

 

Invisible Man

The great thing about this book is that it seems like it’s about one unnamed protagonist dealing with race issues. But underneath all that, it’s about humankind, and how we’re all stumbling along, trying to find ourselves. This book will teach you that actions really do speak louder than words. And what’s true for you isn’t true for anyone else.

26. Joy of Cooking

 

Joy of Cooking

 

Coming from someone whose finest moments happen in front of a microwave, I can say that this book is a lot different than most cookbooks. The tone is conversational, and it’s filled with recipes, tutorials, and short pieces that actually convince you to try out some new things. Everyone should read this, because it will actually make cooking fun!

27. Catch-22

 

Catch-22

First of all, Catch-22 is just plain funny, and that makes it wonderful all on its own. But it’s also a really great read, because it skillfully points out the absurdity of war.

28. The Train

 

The Train

This novella is brief, but t manages to encompass the terror and horror of the Nazis invading a bucolic suburb in France. Our unlikely hero is Marcel Ferón, who has an affair after the invasion leaves him separated from his pregnant wife. It explores the idea of living in the moment and will make you question whether or not disassociating from your responsibilities is ever OK.

29. The Artist’s Way

 

The Artist's Way

The Artist’s Way is almost more of a course book than an actual book, but if you need to unlock your creative side, then this will do exactly that. By following the book, you are choosing to turn on your creativity.

30. The Beautiful & Damned

 

The Beautiful & Damned

More money, more problems. Or so it goes for the novel’s protagonist, Anthony Patch, and his wife, Gloria. This book deals with extreme wealth and the devastating effects alcoholism can have.

31. Prodigal Summer

 

Prodigal Summer

In this book, we meet three different characters whose stories eventually intertwine. It all takes place in southern Appalachia and deals with their relationships toward the balance of nature around them. It will make you question your own relationship with evolution, and put into perspective what a small part of that we really are. The novel also explores the ideas of life and death, love, and the importance of the community around you.

32. Never Let Me Go

 

Never Let Me Go

There’s nothing easy about reading Never Let Me Go, because it has an honesty that will make you question so many things. Like the social alienation of specific groups of people, and the painful fact that love can be lost or missed, all because of timing. It’s beautiful, haunting, and complex. Did I also mention it’s science fiction? Yeah, go read this.

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

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I have a confession to tell. When I first started reading again, I was reading fluff. For fun. Which I think is okay because I was reading for my own pleasure. But sometimes, you want to read something that has weathered through time. Also, the new movie version of The Great Gatsby was coming out and I have a strict rule to read the book before the movie. (That may be due to OCD or a snobbish attitude that the book is always better).

So I was making plans with my friend Cora to go see the movie. That put me on time limit to read it. So I did!

The Great Gatsby has been called to Great American Novel. It is one of the few novels that Fitzgerald ever publish. And I loved every minute of it.

It is the story of Jay Gatsby, who lives in Long Island after the war. He is very wealthy and doesn’t mind showing it to all around him. His life is filled with great parties every night, with guests he doesn’t even know. The party’s are filled with an excess of debauchery, gin and sex. But the rich are not ashamed of their behavior.

The story is narrated by Nick who is renting the house next to Gatsby mansion. One night he goes to Gatsby manor, (no one is really ever invited to these parties) ,and he meets a cast of characters including Tom and Daisy Buchanan. What follows is a summer of debauchery, excess, lies, affairs, where no one is really who they think or say they are.

In the end Fitzgerald leaves us a taste of what real friendship is, and how hard it is to fall in love, and what you think is real ,really isn’t.

I loved the book! My friend says that she re reads it often and I can see why. (With my memory loss I can’t remember if I read this before. My friends say yes, but my high school teacher said no) I would recommend it.

On a side note, with the new Common Core Curriculum, they don’t do much novels in high school. (Don’t even get me started!) so some districts are doing The Great Gatsby in 8th or 9th grade. I disagree with that. Just because a student has the ability to read a book doesn’t mean that it is appropriate. A book like this should be taught in a 11th or 12th grade where it can be appreciated. (My personal opinion and since this is my blog, I can do that! Lol)

By the way, I never did get to see the movie, but I have a dinner date with Cora to finally see it! I’ll let you know what I think!

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

1. When someone asks you what your favorite book is and expects you to pick just one.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

2. When someone interrupts your reading.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

Because, really, a book is basically a Do Not Disturb sign.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

3. When the movie version of a book gets everything wrong.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

4. And completely ruins your mental images of characters.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

5. When someone you like tells you they don’t like to read.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

6. When you forget to eat or sleep because a book is so good.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

7. When your favorite character dies.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

And you pretend they’re still alive but it’s just not the same.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

8. When a book you love gets a harsh review.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

9. When an author stops writing mid-series.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

10. When someone spoils the ending of a book.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

Or worse, the ending of an entire series.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

11. When you walk into a bookstore.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

12. When you lend someone a book and get it back in terrible condition.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

13. Or never get it back at all.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

14. When you finish a book and have to wait a year for the sequel.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

15. When a book makes you cry hysterically in public and everyone thinks you’re crazy.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

16. When no one gets your obscure literary reference.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

17. When someone says you read too much.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

Because you know there’s no such thing as too many books.

17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

http://www.buzzfeed.com/harpercollins/17-problems-only-book-lovers-will-understand-9npd

Honeymoon by James Paterson

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I was watching an interview with James Patterson on The Today Show. He stated the Honeymoon was one of his favorite books that he had written. Now I wasn’t sure if I might have read it per stroke or not but since he was releasing a sequel, I thought I better re read it.

I am a huge James Patterson fan and have been for a long time. The plot is good, just a little bit kinky, and his style is to write short chapters, so you can always read it if you are on the road. (I’m a little OCD, so if I start a chapter, then I have to finish it in the same sitting. Oh, like you can?)

This is the story of Nora Sinclair who is desired by every man that she comes in contact with. She has a great interior decorating business and is never in need of wealthy clients. The only thing is that they end up dying. Usually in gruesome after dinner sessions.

Enter FBI agent John O’Hara who goes undercover to look into murders. Or does he? There are so many twists and turns in this book you will never be board. But not so many twists that you won’t be able to keep track of the plot.

This is a fast, quick read, perfect for a vacation or a beach weekend. Sometimes it reminded me of a Lifetime movie, but hey, who doesn’t like a Lifetime movie as a guilty pleasure.

I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading the sequel Second Honeymoon.