May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

I love Teaser Tuesdays! Yay! Haha. 
I gave up on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It was silly. Like not the funny silly to me, just a bit of a waste of time, especially since I’m working so much now, my reading time is really special. I will probably give it another go sometime, but…i don’t know. It didn’t seem all so amazing to me, 
Anyways : )

Right now I’m reading Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding. I love Bridget. She’s a goofball that makes all the mistakes I worry about making, but she manages somehow or another to fix them. Gotta love a heroine like that!

“I looked at Jude, dumbstruck. She wouldn’t. She wouldn’t expect me to walk down the aisle dressed as a sofa while Mark Darcy sat with Rebecca, would she?”

11:30 am Oh my bloody God and fuck. Sharon and I have just got back to our hut to find our padlock was open and our rucksacks have gone missing. Definitely left it locked but they must have broken in. Fortunately we had our passports and not all the stuff was actually in the bags, but our air tickets and traveler’s checks appear to be no longer there. Shazzer’s card is not working after Bangkok with all the shopping etc. We only have $38 between us and the flight to London from Bangkok is on Tuesday and we are hundreds of miles away on an island.”

Okay, I cheated a bit. : ) It is too long, but I couldn’t help it!
Happy Tuesday!

Posted May 29, 2012 by Ellen in the canon talks, Uncategorized / 4 Comments
Tags: , ,

May 28, 2012

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

I don’t know if I have mentioned before how much I love Janet Evanovich’s novels! Any time I have a bad day or need some silliness, I pick up a Stephanie Plum novel and it makes my whole day better : ) Ms. Evanovich has written several novels, mostly along the same tone and themes of the Stephanie Plum series. The latest one I came across was Wicked Appetite.

Synopsis from

Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more.

My mom and I listened to this book on tape on our way to a graduation ceremony a few hours away and we could not stop laughing. It made even the enormous amounts of traffic bearable! Evanovich took the same elements in storytelling she uses in the Stephanie Plum series to begin a new romantic comedy series. It is almost a retold fairy tale with angel-like figures, mishaps with magic, and amazing cupcakes. I know Evanovich’s second book in the series, Wicked Business, is coming out soon (I can’t wait!). You know you want to try it…. 😉

Ten Reasons You Should Read Wicked Appetite:
1. Hot guys. 
2. A glutton speaking gibbitygook.
3. The funniest evil characters you will ever meet.
5. Lizzy’s cat.
6. Carl (Read it. You’ll know what I mean!).
7. great setting in Salem, Mass.
8. Mishaps with magic (see #2).
9. The Spook Patrol
10. You’ll want to read it again when you’re done. : )
Happy Memorial Day!

Posted May 28, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , ,

May 27, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Classics: “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

Mostly, William Faulkner is just a name to many students, including a lot of English majors in my college (sad, huh?) Honestly, I have to include myself among those students. Only one of my many literature classes has actually included Faulkner on the syllabus. My favorite class from last semester, American Gothic, included a short story by Faulkner for our section on the Southern Gothic.

A Rose For Emily is easily one of the creepiest short stories I have ever read. The story tells of a lady, Miss Emily, who holds the position of the town’s oddity. Placed back in the 1920s, A Rose relates the townspeople’s  fascination with Miss Emily’s goings on. There is a noticeable difference in class, and a resentment because of it. Miss Emily has a servant working for her, and a big house that resists the changes of time. The townspeople, observing her throughout all her life, are merciless in their commentary. However, you have to agree – they have a point. Something isn’t right at Miss Emily’s house, especially after her father passed away. And what happened to that suitor of hers?

Five Reasons You Should Read A Rose For Emily
1. You will never think about big old Southern mansions the same way again.
2. Racist and class tensions common within the era.
3. How to get out of your taxes in the 1920s ; )
4. It’s the high point of the Southern Gothic literature (for me)
5. You’ll never look at rat poison the same way again.

Honestly, this was my favorite short story of the semester. I even wrote my final on it! It is amazing.

Check out the book on Amazon here 🙂

Posted May 27, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , , ,

May 24, 2012

“Overbite” by Meg Cabot

You guys know how this goes. You get a book and think, “Yea, I think I know how this on goes, but let’s try it anyway”. I had the same expectations for Meg Cabot’s Overbite, the second in her Insatiable series, but to be honest, this story blew me away.

Synopsis (from the book cover):

     Meena Harper has a special gift, but it’s only now that anyone’s ever appreciated it. The Palatine Guard – a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican – has hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. With Meena’s ability to predict how everyone she meets will die, the Palatine finally has a chance against the undead.
     Sure, her ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, the son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames. Now Meena’s sworn off vampires for good…at least until she can prove her theory that just because they’ve lost their souls doesn’t mean demons have lost the ability to love. 
     Meena knows convincing her co-workers – including her partner, uber-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf – that vampires can be redeemed won’t be easy…especially when a deadly new thrust seems to be endangering not just the lives of the Palatine, but Meena’s friends and family as well.
     But Meena isn’t the Palatine’s only hope. Father Henrique – aka Padre Caliente – New York City’s youngest, most charming priest, has also been assigned to the case. 
     So why doesn’t Meena – or Alaric – trust him? 
     As she begins unraveling the truth, Meena finds her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare…and temptations she never even imagined impossible to resist.
     This time, Meena may finally have bitten off more than she can chew.

Cabot’s first novel of the series, Insatiable, focuses more on Meena’s relationship with Lucien, but in the space between books, their relationship ended, and we meet Meena again attempting to live a new life in a new apartment, away from the memories.

[little tiny baby SPOILER…just in case!]
The love triangle within the story was amazing. I thought I knew exactly who Meena would end up with (she doesn’t pick, exactly, and I really enjoyed how Cabot set that up), but the story’s twists in the climax completely stunned me! (No, I won’t tell you what happened! =] )

I really liked the main character. Meena’s psychic ability to see people’s deaths is not her defining personality trait, as it is for so many of the heroines of paranormal novels. She was an Everygirl, someone I could identify with.

Ahhh, I really want to talk about the climax, but I can’t! I want you guys to read it for yourselves and tell me what you think. I promise – you’ll love it 🙂

Check out Meg Cabot’s amazing novel Overbite on Amazon.
Happy Thursday 🙂

Posted May 24, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

May 23, 2012

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading: Overbite by Meg Cabot 
Recently Finished: Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich (everyone should read her…seriously)
Reading Next?!: One Day by David Nicholls 
To be honest, I’m halfway through One Day, which is why it is taking me so long to finish Overbite. I love it! I saw the movie first (sorry! I didn’t know it was a book), but my boyfriend found the book for me and it’s so amazing. So much more in depth about the characters, but especially about the two main characters and their backgrounds.
I could go on for a while ; )
Visit the original WWW Wednesday here 🙂

Posted May 23, 2012 by Ellen in the canon talks, Uncategorized, WWW Wednesday / 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Inspired by the amazing blog Should Be Reading, here is my contribution to Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Overbite by Meg Cabot

“There was no magic. And this wasn’t a dream. This was real.”
“Now she was the trapped one. She heard the elevators close behind her with a ding.”

page 151

Happy Tuesday! 🙂

Posted May 22, 2012 by Ellen in the canon talks, Uncategorized / 5 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

May 22, 2012

Favorite! The Dresden Files

About a year ago a good friend of mine invited me over to explore her bookshelves. During the school year I can’t make it to the library as often, so I often raid my friends’ libraries : ) Her shelves were full of fantasy and paranormal novels, a genre I had never really read much of, but I liked Star Trek and The X-Files, so I thought, hey, why not! She pulled out three books from The Dresden Files and handed them over.

Harry Dresden is such a smarmy, insolent yet witty character I couldn’t help but love him. His sidekick Bob, a smartass spirit living inside of a skull, only adds to the attractiveness of the story. Honestly, The Dresden Files is a grown up Harry Potter to me, and that is exactly why I loved it.

I especially loved how Jim Butcher used magical tradition in Harry’s work. The summoning circle, the shield bracelet – all items I would assume every wizard detective had handy in his backpack. Nothing about Harry is ordinary or expected, except possibly that he has a cat, who, like all the other personalities in the story, takes no flak from Harry or anyone else.

The entire series explores all of the fairy tale creatures from vampires and werewolves to fairies (called the Sidhe in the story) but Butcher doesn’t necessarily follow the traditional fairy tale cliches, which makes the stories much more interesting.

Butcher continues throughout the series a few different story lines – the history of Harry’s family as well as Harry’s interactions with the White Council, the ruling wizarding body responsible for keeping the magical folk in line. They especially don’t like Harry Dresden, partly because he “rents out” his powers as a wizard doing detective work and partly because of his history (read them to see!)

Ten Reasons You Should Read The Dresden Files:
1. Best sidekick ever!
2. A medical examiner named Butters.
3. Great fight scenes, especially in the books concerning the vampire story line.
4. We all need a grumpy, sarcastic yet lovable wizard in our lives.
5. Karrin Murphy (the NYPD Special Investigations dectective)
6. Another reason to love magic!
7. Strong male narrator POV
8. Well thought-out character history and personalities, fully developed three-dimensional characters
9. Chilling murder and mystery cases (seriously. I am a chicken when it comes to the horror department, but some of his cases…shivers).

Seriously. Check it out. You’ll love them. 

Posted May 22, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

May 20, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Classics: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson is a bit of a creepy lady. Her stories, ranging from the chilling The Haunting of Hill House to the short story The Lottery (which I believe everyone should read). I wanted to talk about my favorite Shirley Jackson work We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I was recently reintroduced to the story after my American Gothic class last semester and fell in love with it all over again.

Synopsis (from the back of the book):


Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods – until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible nigh. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiousity and hostility of the villagers. Their days pass in happy isolation until cousin Charles appears. Only Merricat can see the danger, and she must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp.

(using the Penguin Books edition)

This novel epitomizes the unreliable narrator. The entire story is seen through the eyes of young Merricat Blackwood, a young lady who has been extremely affected by the death of her entire family, save a half-crazy/senile uncle and an older sister. Merricat’s mental state, however, is obviously not completely stable. At eighteen years, Merricat acts like a twelve year old. Her sole companion besides her remaining family members is a cat named Jonas and their occupation is cleaning the old house and burying their treasures away in the ground.

Merricat loves routine. She goes into town every Thursday to collect the groceries, run errands, etc, and she likes it that way. However, when the estranged cousin Charles appears and begins to change things in Merricat’s way of life. Charles essentially moves into the house, believing that he, as the surviving male cousin, should be treated as the man of the house. Merricat doesn’t agree.

For the first half of the novel, the underlying question of whodunit is irresistible. I sped through the first couple of chapters so quickly to uncover who on earth committed all of those ghastly murders. I didn’t suspect Constance, as the rest of the town had – her manner is much too pleasing, especially the way she acts with her senile old uncle. But who would do such an act?

I hope you’ll read it to find out ; )

Posted May 20, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: , , ,

May 19, 2012

Reading Diary: Autobiography of Mark Twain

Holy schmoly, this book is huge. Have you seen this book? I could use it as a weight…

Anyways. 🙂
So far I have pretty much just skimmed the first few chapters and the UC Press’s acknowledgments/findings/etc. My favorite so far is the pictures.

I feel photos in biographies are completely and utterly necessary. How else can you fully experience what the focus of the biography experienced, saw what they did? It also allows the reader to see the subject more fully, like how they interact with people, their facial expressions and body language. Clemens’s images remind me something of Albert Einstein or Back to the Future guy. Fluffy white hair, giant mustache and a mischievous air about the somewhat tall, proud man in the images. He had no problem letting his personality shine through, from the image with his cowboy hat on in the backyard to a later photo shoot of him reading the paper in his bed (I wonder how that one came about….)

There is also a photograph of Samuel Clemens posed with Helen Keller from 1895. I wonder how they knew each other. What did they think of one another? Two of the greatest minds of the age and I never realized they had met.

I can’t wait to read more of this giant book (I can’t get over how big it is!). Unfortunately, my shift ran long so I didn’t get around to the reading I had planned for today but hopefully I can get some reading done tonight!

Posted May 19, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Tags: ,

May 17, 2012

About Me

So you know my name is Ellen, but I figure you deserve to know a bit more!

My parents read me every story under the sun when I was a child; in fact, half of our pets are named after storybook characters!

I am an amateur photographer. I prefer black and white film, but I wouldn’t say no to a digital camera. =] I don’t have a lot of time to tinker with my camera during the semester, but I’m hoping to get out there armed with my camera this summer.

I am a Starbucks addict.

My grandpa bought me my first Harry Potter novel. He is the one that really inspired me to read.

I am an amateur wino and a wannabe foodie, but I am just as happy with a Big Mac (my mom is going to be worried about my eating habits when she reads this… )

I’m a fourth year lit student. Even though I am asked “What are you going to do with that degree?” all too often, I am so happy I went with English Literature as my major. I love reading and I love seeing what others decipher from the same text I read.

My favorite Shakespeare play is The Taming of the Shrew.

I love to organize and clean.

I could easily watch The Office for hours on end.

The library is my favorite place. It’s filled with books! For free! It’s my favorite place to spend time.

I’m so excited about this blog, I hope you all enjoy it! Since this is my first venture into the world of blogging, I ask your patience while I learn.
<3 E

Posted May 17, 2012 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments