Got an upcoming trip? Travel for work? Need something to listen to while you clean?
Have no fear, AUDIBLE is here.
I've used audible for a few years now and I love it. I download the books on tape for my students. I also download books to get through any long drives I have to take. Here is my list of ten books that I have adored to listen to! They vary from romance to YA Fiction.
10. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
**Currently listening to this gem and loving it. If you're a mom or a writer this one is for you!
9. On Writing by Stephen King
8. Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
6. Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire
5. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
4. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
3. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I'm writing this blog post because my stomach hurts. No, I didn't eat too much ice-cream, which is usually the case. The discomfort in my abdomen exists because that is what a good book does. It takes words and shoves them into me so hard that they begin to literally tear my intestines to shreds. I was hesitant at the beginning, because I wasn't sure If I was going to be able to buy into the plot. It was a little predictable at times and the the premise a little strange. Then Colleen Hoover did something great, she made me fall in love with the characters. I always tell my author friends, make people fall in love with your characters and you can do whatever you want. There was something so incredibly sweet about Owen. The problem I have with some novels I have read lately is that the male characters are just floating heads. There development isn't needed, because they are simply there to be in love with the female character. That is boring! This isn't insta-love. Confess isn't insta anything. It has that slow build that is needed in a good novel for readers to become attached. Going in you should know that you have to let down some walls. If you are the kind of person that like ultra realistic situations in your fiction, then this novel isn't for you. Personally, I loved it.
My stomach hurts and it isn't going to stop hurting anytime soon. Or my heart for that matter. Like always, I know it's a good novel if I re-read the last few pages in denial, pretending that I haven't really finished the book. I did this with Confess...twice.
The art work is unbelievably awesome in my opinion as well. The juxtaposition between the two mediums brings something realistic to some of the silly parts, like how Owen's initials are OMG. I really did like the fact that the cat's name is Owen for some reason. Owen-cat. Hehe.
My favorite part is that my editor, Chelsea, told me that the confessions in the novel are real, from people who submitted them to the author.
One of them reads, "Sometimes I wonder if being dead would be easier than being his mother," which tugged at the heartstrings.
In the words of Auburn, "I'm not sure if i'm more fascinated by the confessions, the art, or the fact that I feel like I can relate to everything here."
xoxo -- Emily
The Books That Find Us at Just the Right Time by: Emily Hansen
A friend and I were discussing books at dinner. By dinner I mean pino grigio and breakfast food at the local diner, because we are twenty-six and our mothers aren't here to scold us. We discussed all the books that have found us at just the right time in our lives. "Harry Potter" was the first on the list as it always should be. The people that don't like "Harry Potter" are usually the people who haven't read the books. Like all things in life, it is much easier to make fun of something and trivialize it when you truly don't understand it. We were both eleven when we started reading the seven-book life changing series. In some ways the magical world of "Harry Potter" allowed us to grow into free thinkers and explorers of our own right. Then there is "Twilight" and although we both admitted that the credit and merit we give to those books is not based on the writing, we acknowledged that there is something that captivates you in the love story. Without looking at the flaws, you can allow yourself to get lost in their total all consuming obsession. That's what it is after all, a Romeo and Juliet, immature-kind-of-love. However, my friend had broken her neck the summer she read the books and needed those words to help her think of something other than the brace that she was forced to wear. I was living in Chicago and was navigating my first years of college. I was failing classes and cheating on boyfriends. I was not being the person I wanted to be and somehow reading about silly sparkly vampires took me back into the world of reading. It took me back home.
Some years later, I am now twenty-six. I am living in another city, smaller, but still unknown. I am now balancing living physically on my own, but still being mentally attached to another, my fiancé. I am a teacher in an urban school district and I am teaching children who don't quite understand how to express what they need. I may not be hiking a trail, but I am hiking, and that leads me to "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. I sat at Panera Bread and cried thick-hot-embarrassing tears over this novel. I re-read lines and savored the words. Cheryl was alone among her family, amid her friends, and her husband after the death of her mother. Being best friends with my own mother this resonated with me deeply. I am away from my mom right now and that hurts on a level that I would rather ignore than face head on. Shoving it aside lets the ache burn small, but facing it head on would create a fire that I am not sure anyone would have the ability to extinguish. After losing her mother and a few years of bad decisions Cheryl sets off on the PCP, The Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed writes, "If I had to draw a map of those four-plus years to illustrate the time between the day of my mother's death and the day I began my hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, the map would be a confusion of lines in all direction, like a crackling Fourth of July sparkler with Minnesota at the its inevitable center." You can see why I think of the words like a glass of whiskey lemonade on the hottest day of summer. They cool me down with how lovely they are, before stinging me with their realness and honesty.
Every week I come home & sit in my room, thinking, "What the hell am I doing?" at least once. I left my friends, my family, and my home to teach children who don't care. This is not true. They care a lot, but you would be surprised at the thoughts that will creep in when the silence becomes deafening. I love my space, my small sanctuary, my not forever, but will do for now home. However, teaching children in poverty and teaching in general is not easy. There is a "duh" that belongs in here somewhere, but that is for another essay and another time. Throughout the novel Strayed discusses her feet, how she knew the journey would be hard, but she hadn't accounted for the wrong size of her shoes. One toenail at a time, she started to lose entire nails. This seems like an inconsequential part of the novel, but it stayed with me. How, even though she was losing bits of herself, she was still finding even more essential pieces to the puzzle. On the outside she was battered, but on the inside, patch-by-patch, she was becoming whole. In my life right now I am definitely shedding parts of myself, skin that I thought that I needed, but maybe it is to gain something so much more important. There is no going back on this path now. There is no turning around. I will make it to the end of the trail, even if I have to sacrifice some bits and pieces along the way. A mountain looks different depending on when and where you are looking at it, the ridges change and bend, but the journey is essentially the same. You either make it or you don’t. I could say this has been easy, but that would be a lie. Instead I will say that it has been “Wild” and I’ve found everything I needed even if it wasn’t what I was looking for.
Cinder & Scarlet:
I just finished Cinder and I was pleasantly surprised. When I first read the plot I was hesitant. Androids seemed a little too heavy on the sci-fi. Don't get me wrong, I love Haven and just watched the mini series Ascension. I'm into sci-fi, but I can only take so much.
Cinder did not cross my thresh-hold. It was wonderfully written, brilliantly imaginative, and had great characters. I'm a character girl and if you create great characters, I will be putty in your palm. It is a very loose fairy tale to say the least.
It is worth the read.
Books I haven't been thrilled about in 2015..."The Paper Magician" (slow/tangled plot) & "The Immortal Circus." While both had potential, somewhere in the middle I lost interest.
I'm reading Scarlet and I can't wait to finish.
Sometimes I'm a book addict. I hoard a multitude of books, and I start them all, but then I don't finish them. When I do this I have to make a cut off. No more new books till I finish those that I've started.
I have to complete John Green's "Looking For Alaska." I have to finish reading "The Monstrumologist," that I started for inspiration on a particularly gory scene in "Grimm and White." I was given "A Discovery of Witches" last Christmas, so yes that one is over do. I'm also teaching/reading "Unbroken" with my English 1 class, so I of course have to complete that as well. I like reading at a similar pace as my class so that I don't get bored of the material.
I love teaching, but certain days I want to stay in my bed and let the words keep me forever (=
I'm reading Sherman Alexie's, "The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." So far I'm enjoying the honest, but almost lyrical language he uses. The voice could be that way because of the young narrator, Junior, who has a few health issues and a sort of innocence despite his socio-economic situation. He lives on an Indian Reservation with his family, but realizes that if he doesn’t get out of the environment where alcoholism and abuse run rampant, he will die. I can’t wait to finish it. Okay, yes it sounds sad, which it is, but it is also really good.
What I have read by Sherman Alexie, besides lots of his poetry, is the article “Why the Best Kids Books are Written in Blood.” I think I originally read about it in Megan Stielstra’s amazing novel “Once I was Cool.” Okay there is too much awesome in this tiny paragraph. It might explode.
You have to first read “Why Kids Books are Written in Blood,” and then when you are done and primed for awesomness, mosey over to the book store and buy, “Once I Was Cool.” I will do a full review on that wonderful novel of essays soon.
Here's the link to Alexie’s article:
It’s wonderful, but don’t take my word. CLICK> CLICK> CLICK
Since this is my first post about books, I'll admit something...dark...and a little tragic. I'm a twihard or rather I was at one time. I liked Twilight. I waited in the lines for the books at the age of 21 and I on occasion was jealous of that fumbling idiot, Bella. Was it the literary equivalent of "The Great Gatsby?" No, that's like saying that Chili's and Applebee's are fine dining establishments. But you know what I do enjoy the shrimp tacos at Chili's kind of how I liked imagining that I was a glittery vampire who lived forever and actually had a car with a radio (yes, my car has no radio, but that's a tale for a different time). I have come to the conclusion that Twilight got a bad rap for being so popular. And it might have been that the writing is not all to great, but my point is that you should not pass something by simply because of its status on the best seller list. Then I would have never picked up...
"A Fault In our Stars" by John Green
Everyone in my young adult fiction class raved about this book by John Green. Which tweaked something in my brain to think it was probably kind of stupid. I had read "Will Grayson Will Grayson," which I enjoyed, but did not find rave worthy material. I like young adult fiction that doesn't remind me that I have grown out of the actual age group that it is intended for. "The Fault in Our Stars," however is more about human beings in general that it is about a specific age group.
We've all heard of don't judge a book by its cover, but also don't judge a book by its popularity. (Negative or Positive) The novel is a boy meets girl book, but there is a few additions that shake the plot up. First of all the boy, Augustus is in remission while Hazel, our heroine, is terminal. When they meet at a support group and Hazel admits to Augustus that her only wish is meeting the author of her most beloved book and an adventure unfolds.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book.
“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
“I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”
---You will laugh, cry, and cry some more. So go. Read it. NOW! (=