Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: The Shining by Stephen King

Jack Torrence has been struggling lately, but he's ready to turn his life around and reconnect with is wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny. So he takes a job as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, which sits on a mountain in Colorado. Because of the harsh winters, they will be snowed in at the hotel for several months, but this will be the perfect time for Jack to focus on family and to finally finish the play he's been writing. The hotel has other plans.

The Shining is a classic Stephen King novel. Most people I know have seen the movie, but I actually have not. I will say that I spent the entire time picturing Jack Nicholson in the role of the father, but the storyline was all new to me. I loved it. There's a lot of supernatural stuff going on in the story, from Danny's ability to read other people's minds, to the many ghosts of the hotel. But there was plenty of realism to make it interesting, particularly around the relationship between Jack, Wendy and Danny. They're dealing with a lot of real, fairly common family issues. Unfortunately, they're dealing with them in the wrong setting!

I liked the way the story unfolded slowly. I think everyone knows Jack eventually loses his mind (given the publicity of the movie), but I had no idea how or why it would happen, and of course had no idea what would happen after that. The suspense built up from the beginning of the novel and continued to build each step of the way. There is some violence in the story, but it wasn't overly gory. I honestly think it would be worse to see it on screen than to read about it. I also found it more suspenseful than truly scary through most of the novel; the last few chapters are where it becomes more scary.

Overall, it was a great way to get into Stephen King novels. I've only read his memoir, On Writing, so it was fun to read one of his novels. I definitely plan to read more.

My Rating 5/5

This review was written based on a copy of The Shining that I borrowed from the library.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week in Review


Good morning. I hope you had time to do a lot of reading last week! I had a little time over the weekend as I traveled out of town for my brother's memorial service. But I haven't made as much progress in the books I'm reading as I would have liked. I think I'm at a point where the reading will pick up, though, so I'm sure I'll be starting something new very soon!

Reviews and Blog Posts
I got a couple reviews written last week, as well as a list of books that will soon be movies. I can't wait to see most of them!

Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
10 Books to Become Movies in 2015

I'm still reading The Shining by Stephen King in memory of my brother, who passed away earlier this month. It's a bit different than I was expecting but I'm enjoying it. It's getting very freaky at this point! I also started reading Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, which my son, who is 10, read recently. The next book in the series is available at the library now, so I'm sure he will start that one this week, and then I'll read it when I'm done with my other two books.

M, who is almost 8, is still reading Maleficent by Elizabeth Rudnick. She also re-read the two Al Yankovick books we have: When I Grow Up and My New Teacher and Me!

What are you reading this week? It's Monday! is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, so hop over there if you'd like to see what others are reading too. You can also check out the younger version of It's Monday!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

10 Books to Become Movies in 2015

I've recently seen several lists of books that are being made into movies in 2015. It seems there are a lot more than usual this year, or perhaps I just haven't noticed this trend in recent years. As I read through the many lists, I found 10 books that I've read (or am going to read soon).

All of these will be released in theaters in the next year or so, and I'm very excited to see just about all of them. If you haven't read the books yet, get to it before the movies come out!

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Serena by Ron Rash

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The Martian by Any Weir

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Room by Emma Donoghue

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Read my review

I haven't read and reviewed these last two yet, but they are my book club's February and March books, so I'll be reading them soon!

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

It all starts with kindergarten orientation. Madeline has been through it before and is ready for all the politics that go along with a group of moms who all think their kids are special. Celeste is frazzled and anxious about her very active twin boys starting kindergarten. And Jane, a young single mother who just moved to town, is worried that her son won't fit in with the other kids. These three women are all brought together because of their children, but there's a lot more to each of their stories.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is a novel about friendship, marriage, motherhood and all the little lies we tell each other every day. We get to see inside each of the three women's lives, the good, the bad and the ugly. Jane is sad and overly worried about her son, Ziggy. She has moved often and never feels comfortable enough to settle down. Madeline and Celeste befriend her and try to understand more about her past and her fears.

Madeline is dealing with a teenaged daughter who seems to like her stepmother more than her own mother. And she has to face that stepmother and her ex-husband far too often since their younger daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline's daughter with her second husband. Meanwhile, Celeste, who everyone thinks is perfect, is trying to cover up her serious marital problems.

I loved Big Little Lies, perhaps because it hasn't been long since I was a kindergarten mom. But it's also because of the characters and the way Moriarty writes. I've really enjoyed everything I've read of hers. She has a knack for creating characters who are realistic. No one is perfect; no one is completely flawed. The characters interact naturally with one another, and the storyline is engaging but not outrageous.

If you're looking for a suspenseful contemporary novel about family and friendship, I highly recommend Big Little Lies.

My Rating: 5/5

Readers guide for Big Little Lies

This review was written based on a copy of Big Little Lies that I purchased.