IT – Stephen King



This book took me over three months to complete. Okay two and half months. Frankly, I am almost gave up a few times. Once I got to the 500 page mark though I was determined to finish it, even if it took the rest of the year.

It isn’t that I don’t like big books, if it has less than 400 pages I usually won’t even pick it up. I love The Stand and that has 1,152 pages (unabridged version). IT has 1,138. So you see, it wasn’t the length of the book that made this hard to read. Of course, it wasn’t the writing either. I love Stephen King’s writing style and do not find him to be wordy. He mentions in a little note to the Constant Reader in the beginning of the Stand that he has been accused of being wordy: “for a writer who has been accused over and over again of having diarrhea of the word processor”  I, personally, do not believe he has that at all. His stories are rich, engaging and I can’t imagine the unabridged version of The Stand nor have I read it. So, neither the page count nor the writing put me off from this story. It was just difficult to read.  I found it might have been because I watched the movie when I younger so I have this image of John Ritter playing one of the characters and one scene where little Eddie says “This is battery acid you slime”. I recently saw the re-make, not bad as far I could tell, and so had a little of that in my head as well. I think what it really came down to was I just didn’t care. I didn’t care if Pennywise won, or the kids did, or if the whole town went up in flames. Again, by absolutely no fault of Stephen King. I did finish it though, and certain scenes will stick with me, little Georgie and his boat, seven scared kids wandering in the sewer system fighting something they can not comprehend, the idea that there are somethings in this world that go beyond all reason.

This book was published in 1986. The book goes back and forth between 1958 and 1984. The children are 11 in 1958 when Bill Denbrough’s little brother, Georgie, is murdered by a thing in the sewer. The adults chalk up the strange murders that happen to the kids as the work of a serial killer perhaps, or childhood accidents, perhaps they run away. Bill and his six friends, know otherwise. Once they start to learn about the thing that lives in the sewers and comes out every 20 or so years to feed before going to sleep again, the thing starts trying to scare them away. It becomes a mummy for Ben, a leaper for for Eddie, Georgie’s ghost for Bill, a werewolf for Richie, two drowned boys for Stan, a bathroom of blood for Beverly. They decide it is time to kill it, for their peace of mind and for all the dead children. Even though they think they have accomplished it, they make a blood oath to come back if it the events start happening again.

As adults, they have all forgotten Derry Maine. When they receive a phone call from a long lost friend reminding of the oath, they come back. This time to finish what they started.

I will say the movies don’t do the book justice at all. There is no way Hollywood could capture some of the images in the book, the concepts or the internal monologues.

IT has the themes that have become a part of what we expect from Stephen King, horror of course, forces of good and evil and what people do when faced with the choices. Friendship, love, human condition, childhood trauma. Above all it is the playing of fears, it is the unknown and the unthinkable. It makes you shudder and wonder when you wake up at three am and look in the mirror. You think to yourself…is it true? Do we all float?



Rough Justice – Lisa Scottoline


So I have been reading Lisa Scottoline books for some time. I like her ethical-fiction books like Evey FIfteen Minutes and One Perfect Lie. I also like her Legal dramas, and especially like her Rosato and Associates Series. However, I have read them completely out of time line. I stared I think with Think Twice and have kind of skipped around since then. I do think it smart to read them in order, just because it does follow the lawyers that work at Rosato and Associates, so some of their back stories, family dramas, and personal lives make more sense if you start from the beginning. However, I haven’t found that by reading them out-of-order I’ve lost any quality from the books. I did list them in order down below, in case you want to read them all in order.

This one, Rough Justice, yet again follows Mary DiNunzio and Judy Carrier when they team with Marta Richter to defend a wealthy business man who is being tried for murder and are close to victory when something new comes out and people start getting shot at. It is a race against time and bullets, as the team separately try figuring out who wants them dead, if their client is really guilty, and what they can ethically do about it.

It is a fast paced, smart thriller that I think anyone who enjoys legal dramas, Lisa Scottoline, mystery and fiction would enjoy.

As promised – below is the list in order.

  • Everywhere that Mary went
  • Legal Tender
  • Rough Justice
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Moment of Truth
  • The Vendetta Defense
  • Courting Trouble
  • Dead Ringer
  • Killer Smile
  • Lady Killer
  • Think Twice



Sleeping Beauties – Stephen King and Owen King


Imagine a world without women in it. At first, it may just sound weird. It may not seem like that big of a deal. After some thought though, the realization that woman are the only ones that can reproduce, are usually the primary care givers of small children and generally, whether it is unspoken or not, organizers of the households. For any length of time, the lack of women in the world would make a very chaotic world. Now imagine, that instead of disappearing, the woman are all asleep, wrapped up in cocoons. When they are disturbed they turn violent and harm the person who disturbed them before going back into their cocooned sleep. This is the world that Stephen King and his son Owen King have created in Sleeping Beauties. 

The story takes place in a small town where, there is one woman who seems to be able to fall asleep and wake up without turning into a cocoon. Stephen and Owen weave a tale that sounds very believable while still being a fantastic fantasy. They create characters that are both lovable and despicable. They create unlikely connections within these characters and show how quickly things can go from weird to Armageddon. As usual, with Stephen King’s work, you are often left wondering, what would you do in this situation? How would your react? Who do you feel is right? Who is wrong? Or is anyone right or wrong?  And what would happen if it had been the other way around? What would happen if all the men disappeared?

This is a wonderful, deeply intricate tale of a world that could be if all woman somehow just ceased to exist and what that would may look like if all hope was balanced on one person. Or even, if all hope was lost. I suggest this book to anyone who loves Stephen or Owen King, mystery, fiction, horror, or fantasy novels. A very good book to end my 2017 book challenge.


Do these Count?

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I am not going to make my goal of 40 books. However, I did read a lot this year…I started books that I just couldn’t finish and I read a lot of short stories and poems. I wonder if they could count even though, they were only a page long in some cases. I thought I would list them and instead of giving a review – just a 1-5. 1 being don’t bother and 5, you should definitely read for yourself. In my completed section – I will just list the anthology that I read with the number of pieces. That will make three more books to before January 1st!

Short Stories 

“The Parable of the Prodigal Son” – The Bible  – 2

“The Story of an Hour” – Kate Chopin – 5

“The Lady with the Dog” – Anton Chekhov – 2

“Hills Like White Elephants” – Ernest Hemingway – 4

“A & P” – John Updike – 4

 “Paul’s Case” – Willa Cather – 5

“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” – Joyce Carol Oates – 4

“The Lesson” – Toni Cade Bambara – 3

“Saboteur” – Ha Jin – 4

 “Happy Endings” – Margaret Atwood – 4


“My Papa’s Waltz” – Theodore Roethke – 4

“Those Winter Sundays” – Robert Hayden – 4

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” – Robert Frost – 4

“Because I could not stop for Death” – Emily Dickinson  – 5

“I heard a Fly Buzz ~ when I died” – Emily Dickinson – 4

“Wild Nights–Wild Nights!” – Emily Dickinson – 3

“Acquainted with the Night” – Robert Frost – 3

“Out, Out~” – Robert Frost – 2

“The Road Not Taken”  – Robert Frost – 5 (re-read this one slowly – I promise it has a different meaning than you think)

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now” – A. E. Housman – 5


 Trifles – Susan Glaspell – 3

Sure Thing – David Ives – 2

Poof! – Lynn Nottage – 2

A Doll House – Henrik Ibsen – 5


One perfect lie – Lisa Scottoline


I love these kind of books – obviously. The mystery and intrigue keep me turning page after page until my eyes can’t see anymore. I usually finish them in a few days, neglecting  import things, like dishes.

In this book Chris Brennan is working as a high school teacher and coach. On paper, he looks like the perfect guy. However, Chris isn’t who he says he is. The story focuses around three kids, a loner, a rich kid, and a troubled teen all with their own secrets. There is a plot in place to cause some sort of destruction on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and Chris is at the center of it. Is he trying to help one of the kids do it? Is he trying to enlist one of them to help him? Or is he trying to prevent it? The reader is left wondering while lies and secrets come pouring in from all the families.

This novel, as I said, leaves you turning pages and wanting more. It is a fast paced, heart thumping novel and is a fine example of how wonderfully Lisa Scottoline weaves a story.

I would recommend to lovers of: Lisa Scottoline, Stephen King, Lisa Jackson…, mystery and fiction lovers as well thriller and suspense lovers.


Wonder – R.J. Palacio

My son was reading this book for school. He isn’t an active reader by any stretch. In fact, because of the time reading, forced reading and, I will admit, iPad generation that he is in, reading isn’t something he does voluntarily. There have been a few books that have grabbed his attention, The Weird School Series by Dan Gutman. The Dairy of  Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney. To some extent The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – but those books tend to be a bit too dense. So, when I come home and see him reading instead of playing on his iPad, I feel the whole Earth has stopped. I want to buy the author dinner. Of all the books my son has read, he has never asked me to read one. He will tell about the books, the characters, if he likes them or not. But he won’t come into my room and cry on my shoulder because of something that happened in the book. This book did all that…and more. My son read this book night and day and talked about it when he wasn’t reading. When he was finished, he asked me to read it and I was happy to. I wanted to know the story that gripped my son so tightly. I wanted to know more about the story that I am sure will be THAT book, that he refers to when asked which book was his favorite from childhood. I am so glad I read it.

This story is narrated by many different characters in the story. It follows the life of an extraordinary little boy named August. August was born with a birth defect, where his face is deformed. After years of surgeries and therapies, he is ready to go to a real school after being homeschooled by his mother. This would be a wonderful thing, if it wasn’t also the start of middle school. Middle school is, as some of us remember, quite the minefield. So if someone looks different, kids can be pretty mean about it. Some adults can be too, to be honest. Throughout this entire book though, you see August’s strength, his courage, his fears, his kindness, his compassion, his humor, and his desire to be just like everyone else. You see other kids compassion and kindness come out, because they know him. Because they have become friends with him and because he is who he is. You see a world you may not be privy to in your own life, and are able to feel for just a moment what it would be like in August’s shoes, or his parents, or his friends. There is one quote in this book that I think sums the entire thing up: “It’s like people you see sometimes, and you can’t imagine what it would be like to be that person, whether it’s somebody in a wheelchair or somebody who can’t talk. Only, I know that I am that person to other people.”

This kid knows he is differnt, he knows that when people see him they see his difference first, he knows people are thankful they don’t have it, or their kids don’t. Yet he is still so sweet, so caring, so brave, so beautiful. This book is a lesson in inner beauty and how, you may have won the genetic lottery on looks, but being kind is a choice, and being kind is much more beautiful than being born with pretty face.

I would recommend the book to everyone. Everyone should read this and everyone should have their kids read it. It was a beautifully told, wonderful story about love and friendship. Kindness and forgivness. About life and all the things that make us the same and the wonderful things that make us different.


The Girl who was taken – Charlie Donlea


This was one of those stories that had you second guessing every single character right to the very end. I was so sure the antagonist was five different people at any one time. The author would expertly feed the reader clues and false trails so that by the end…well you will just have to read the book.

This is a story of two missing girls. Both go missing the same night, both go to the same school and are the same age. One makes it home and the other doesn’t. As the story unfolds you get insight from the one of the missing girls sister, Livia and insight from one of the missing girls, Megan. As Livia searches and searches for answers to help find her missing sister, she ends up going down a dark road that brings up more questions that it answers. The man she thought responsible is dead, and the trail for any other suspect is cold. Until she recruits some unlikely helpers and starts to piece things together. The answers she finds may not be the ones that she is ready to hear.

This story takes a few twists and turns, it grips you and stays with you when you are unable to read it, and it has a lot of great medical detail that I always enjoy. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys fiction, mystery and suspense.