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review 2018-03-20 08:36
Short Stories of the Normal In An Extraordinary Way.
The Lottery and Other Stories - Shirley Jackson

Before, I did mention I enjoyed reading short stories. There aren't many books with short stories today and for a long time, I heard about The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, which is one of the reasons why I had been looking high and low for this collection. There are 24 short stories altogether and to my amazement, I really enjoyed reading all of them.

 

The Lottery and Other Stories is divided into 5 parts and to its own theme. Here's a short summary for each of these stories:-

 

The Intoxicated - When a drunk meets the daughter of the host of the party. The Daemon Lover - A girl looking for her future husband on her wedding day. Like Mother Used to Make - A man cooks dinner for his guest only to be thrown out of his house. Trial By Combat - A woman's apartment been robbed by another tenant. The Villager - A woman pretend to be a buyer of things. My Life With R.H. Macy - A man works in Macys. The Witch - A man tells a story of a scary witch to a child in gruesome details. The Renegade - When an owner's dog kills a farmers chicken. After You, My Dear Alphonse - A game played between two children. Charles - A boy shares his school days with his parents about a naughty student. Afternoon in Linen - A grandmother proud of his grand daughter of a poem she wrote. Flower Garden - A wife who fell in love with a cottage meets the new owner that the neighbors do not want to be friends with. Dorothy and My Grandmother and The Sailors- A trip to a town only to avoid sailors. Colloquy - A patient shares her problems with a doctor. Elizabeth - A day of a literary agent. A Fine Old Firm - A meeting of new neighbors. The Dummy - One night show of a ventriloquist. Seven Types of Ambiguity - A couple going into a bookstore to buy books. Come Dance With Me In Ireland - When three women shown kindness to an Irish old man. Of Course - Greeting a new neighbor. Pillars of Salt An experience trip to New York to remember by a couple. Men With Their Big Shoes - When an expected married wife gets a different view about husbands from a caretaker. The Tooth - When a married woman goes on a trip to New York to extract a tooth with devastating change. The Lottery - A lottery that is held with unexpected results.

 

There is a small poem as a companion to The Daemon Loverwhich can be read at the end of the book. This is my first time reading a Shirley Jackson book without any expectations. I never thought I would be amazed by her writing, let alone magnetize by her way of story telling. There is some thing about her writings that really makes an interesting read. These stories, some doesn't have an ending. Its like a pick out of the blue chapter from some where. Its plot isn't interesting but by way of reading, its something else. I followed to each of their own and to each of them, they are all good (for me any way). Usually I won't enjoy a short story if it lingers in the end but this is an exception for me because, its just the way she writes that I like about. I had invested in her other books (bought almost all of them I think) and I can't wait to read them all. The Lottery and Other Stories is a book picking up because of its writing but yes, it may not be anyone's cup of tea but still, I would highly recommend it for its weirdness, twist and unexpected spin of tales of the normal that makes it quite extraordinary.

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review 2017-10-08 16:01
Letters Found in Books - A Young Adult Love Story
Words in Deep Blue - Cath Crowley

When I read Words in Deep Blue, why I pick it up because of its setting, the concept and of course, the blurb. Then, there is the title. In no time, I took my time to finish reading it and I love every thing about it. Although towards the end I felt it was short for me, I almost felt the right emotions might play it out right if only it was strong at the end but it wasn't. In every thing, I thoroughly enjoy the excerpts of in-between letters within the pages as it was written through the view of two protagonist best friends. Its quite a typical character-driven about two best friends who love each other but never admit and some where along the way, some thing happens and lost and found their way back. And every thing about it is how the people they meet finally put them together and love found their way. But what really set this book that won me over are the written letters, they are the true main strong points of this book.

 

For me, this is some thing I would recommend to any true book lovers out there. Its beautiful, its poetic and its one that connects lost souls in a world that people believe in materialism rather than passion. I wish I could say more about it but pick this up if you love a book about books, lost loves that later found and what we lose will eventually be found from someone close to us with certainty and commitment.

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review 2017-10-02 15:18
A Modern Day Fable of the Bizarre and of the Weird That's Truly A Wonder
Tales of Falling and Flying - Ben Loory

Modern day fables isn't some thing that is easy to write. The thing about writing such short stories it takes a lot of imagination to turn some thing that is like a fairy tale to some thing that suits the current modern day genre. But Tales of Falling and Flying some how, found its unique voice. And with that, I am glad that I pick up this book and read it in 2 days.

 

From the first short story 'The Dodo', I was in a good way speechless that this story got me thinking. There's a reflection in this story that touches on human nature, even though the story is about a dodo bird who thinks is a dodo bird but actually is a chicken since dodo birds are dead but deep down inside, its a dodo bird. Did I get you confuse? Maybe, but if you read it (in which I won't reveal much here), the metaphor is much deeper here. This is how Ben Loory found his mark as a writer. He writes what he wants to write. He writes about sad tales, love stories, science fiction with a touch of humor and even fantasy. He writes about animals that talks and do weird things. He writes about people that do weird things. In short - these are weird stories and its not a bad thing. It is his way that I love so much about it, that brings fresh new voices in the writing genre and I doubt there is anyone out there that really knows how to write a good modern day fable stories none other than him.

 

If not for a few stories which I do find it not to my liking, I would have given this a 5 rating but with 40 short stories in this book, 4 rating is what I would give plus I would recommend anyone who likes modern day fable tales or some thing that is weird.

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review 2017-09-25 13:09
The End of the First Arc of the Prythian Saga!
A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas

Trilogies is a tricky thing to write. When I first started reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, I have no expectations as I know its a start of a series from an acclaimed author of Throne of Glass. As I had heard its a rendition of Beauty and the Beast young adult fantasy style, it was more of a surprise of how it was written. I was hooked and I wanted more. A year later the released of A Court of Mist and Fury changes every thing I learned in reading - it was one of the rarest books that I would give 5 out of 5 star. It was a read unlike any thing before and from there, not only I wanted more - I just can't wait. It was reported that the 3rd book would be the finale then and this year after a long wait, I had finally read A Court of Wings and Ruin, the war I have been waiting for and to its end, it is the trilogy that ends as the first arc of the Prythian series.

 

There is so much I want to talk about but where to begin. For one, its the flow. Its fast, is good and for each chapter it opens up much better than the previous. There is much excitement and suspense that really works well inside. And then of course, the description of the action sequence is well done. It really brings the battle out of the page (for me) that really is what the characters are created. There is depth now for some characters, more side-romance that were crafted well, I felt the pain from Lucien of the unrequited love he had knowing his mate is Elain that still not yet embrace him. Characters that were briefly mention are now more known of their motivation and what are their motives. I felt how Morrigan having to reveal who she really is and it was well-written on that part, I do felt the pain her. Almost some back stories, the immortals and more were quick to a point that it works. My only dislike was the forced scenes between Rhysand and Feyre when they want to make love, which felt disconnected and then towards the end epilogue of the chapter. The rest played out well.

 

I am happy that this ends the first arc of the story (like Star Wars played out the prequel trilogy and the main trilogy) that really ends with a satisfying feeling. I was teary of what I thought might happened but if it did (which I will not reveal), it might make a big impact. I do hope next year when the next release will be as good as this but until then, I am glad that I finally finished this and it's a 4.5 out of 5 star for me.

 

NOTE - I know I started reading in early August but I actually took off reading much faster in late August. My fault for taking such a long time to finished)

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review 2017-09-01 12:27
A Classic Meant To Be Read By Everyone.
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

There are books that are recommended its a must read before we die. Flowers for Algernon is one of those books everyone should read. When I pick this up, I never thought it would change the way I view how people are in their own state through a perspective of intelligence. This truly change my way of seeing things now.

 

Written in a journal format, we read progress reports of one Charlie Gordon. He's exceptionally low intelligent person, who works as a cleaner in a bakery shop. As the story unfolds, we learn much about the people he meet along the way - Dr. Strauss and Prof. Nemur, whom is in charge of the experimental surgery; Alice Kinnian, a teacher for special kids who is the love of his life and Algernon, the mouse that is so smart became his one and only friend to Charlie. As months went by, we see changes in his behavior and personality and soon, Algernon starts to deteriorate. So does Charlie.

 

Its a journey reading this classic, one I never thought can be so uplifting but sad as well. I know what it means to be intelligent and on a certain level as well but for what is on the upside, there is always a downside to it. This book shows it really well in reality. It does makes a point of how people are today. The plot is well crafted and easy to follow. The writing is well thought of and we can read the changes of the report as if its truly real written by Charlie himself. And then, there are parts that pointed how people are (selfish, egoistic, pessimism) and Charlie isn't. It was so well-developed, even the characters are to be remembered. While for me, it is sad as I read it and towards the end, it ends with a heartfelt feeling of kismet and we can never outrun fate. For me, its the meaning that is well-research for this book. Its also a book of realization.

 

I know this review might be slightly off, but I just can't seem to find the right words for it. But I do want to say that everyone should read this book.

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