Showing posts from December, 2014

Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Happy New Year 2015

Happy 2015 to casual visitors of my site and those assiduous visitors along the year. Your support has made me appreciate writing for you all the more.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart and please keep on visiting. Hopefully there will be plenty of more things to say in the years to come.
May 2015 be a healthy, joyous, and prosperous year for you all!

Best Books I Read in 2014

The following is a compilation of the books I read and liked best in 2014.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (♦♦♦♦):  is a splendid example of a gothic novel; the sense of doom, of supernatural forces governing events permeates this timeless classic.
The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland (♦♦♦♦): the title couldn’t have been different; it pays homage not to a life but to the journey of a woman of modest beginnings who became extraordinary during the times and through suffering she endured…Since the book more or less started with a prophecy I was desperate to see it play out, so much so that when the book became serious […] I felt tempted to leave it aside. It was a history lesson let me tell you, and not the pretty kind. It was ugly and messy and plain terrifying.
Hannah’s Dream by Diane Hammond (♦♦♦♦½): is a book about an elephant and its relationship with its zoo keeper, but it’s also a story about love, loyalty, loss, growing old and infirm, being at odds with…

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (♦♦♦♦½)

Nicola Marter works at an art gallery in London that caters to Russian clients. A woman named Margaret visits the gallery to appraise a wooden bird that has been passed down in her family for three centuries. Margaret says that "The Firebird", as the artwork is known, was given to her ancestor by Empress Catherine the First, of Russia, but without any authentication document there's no way to be sure. When Nicola holds the bird in her hand, she gets a glimpse of the past and knows that the story is true, but how to prove it?
In the company of Rob McMorran, a gifted psychic and former flame, Nicola traces the steps that Anna (Jamieson) Moray, Margaret's ancestor, took from her childhood as a neighbor of Slains castle in Scotland, to her late teens as a member of a prominent family in St. Petersburg, and her occasional acquaintance with the Czarina.
The Firebird chronicles the life of Anna Mary, daughter of Sophia Paterson and John Moray whom we got to know in The Winter…

The Martian by Andy Weir (♦♦♦♦½)

Mark Watney is a botanist, mechanical engineer, and above all else an astronaut, who gets stranded on Mars, given for dead, when the crew of the Ares 3 is forced to evacuate the planet on Day 6 of the mission due to sustained gale force winds during a sand storm. Henceforth, Mark’s survival skills will be tested to the outmost.
I have been through different phases as a reader. In my teenage years I read science- fiction, among other genres. I outgrew my sci-fi years mostly due to lack of enough material to read in that genre, but I've broken the spell with The Martian by Andy Weir, thanks in part to Sarah @ Sarah's Book Shelves, who lured me to it based on her intriguing review. The Martian has been, by the way, named one the best books of 2014... And I bought a Kindle copy for a steal, so I had no excuse.
The Martian is hysterical, and addictive. It's so much nerdy fun that it should be a sin. The humor is reminiscent of Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstor…

Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin (♦♦♦♦)

Brenna Spector discovers only too late that her teen daughter Maya has been keeping secrets from her. Apparently she has found a community of friends online and has gotten dangerously close to one, making all sorts of personal confessions.
When Maya is humiliated at a sleepover and runs away in tears, her new-found friend is more than ready to rescue her. But who is this woman and what is she hiding? With the clock ticking, Brenna will get to the truth of her daughter’s disappearance, but… will it be too late?
I realized not so long ago, that I’m into three series so far: the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva, the Sharpe & Donovan series by Carla Neggers, and the Brenna Spector series by Alison Gaylin. I also read the first installment in the trilogy of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland, with the other two installments yet to follow, and I have a few other trilogies I want to get into.
Back to topic, Stay With Me is the third installment in the Brenna Spector series by Alison Gaylin,…