Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Review | The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

3.5 STARS ★ ★ ★ (½)

The Miserable Mill is book #4 out of 13 books in the book series: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

   The unfortunate ironic fate of Aunt Josephine left Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire without a guardian once again leaving Mr. Poe in charge of finding their NEXT closest living relative, which is located in Paltryville to live in the Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Once there they immediately spot a building shaped as an eyeball which made the children worried that somehow Count Olaf already found them but surely that isn't possible with them just arriving in town. When arriving at the mill they're told that they'll be working for their new guardian whose name was too long for anyone to pronounce so they were asked to just address him as Sir.

Sir order the 3 children to work hard labor in the lumbermill in order to live on site until they're of age. The place they're housed is windowless and also accompanied by a roomful of other adults that work for Sir in exchange for random coupons. That wasn't the only unfair treatment going on at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill the employees are giving a piece of gum to eat on their short lunch break then provided with dinner and that is their meals for the day. After one day being tripped by the foreman of the mill Flacutono, Klaus' glasses break, and he is sent to the towns optometrist Dr. Orwell to get them fixed. When Klaus comes back to the mill he acts weird such as calling Violet "Veronica" and not remembering what happened of course when Violet notices and brings it up to the others no one believes her that it has to be Count Olaf up to his normal schemes.

     Another good book by Mr. Lemony Snicket! This is the last book I had to read to watch the new Netflix series based off books 1-4 for season 1. I was excited to read this one especially since I haven't read it before and I wouldn't know what was going to happen as with my previous #1-3 book re-reads.

With all the books so far they've been fun and enjoyable to read. The characters introduced are always nice to get to know. The writing is still as good as it was in book #1-3. 

I like that Lemony Snicket keeps making small mentions of his past life it makes you wonder what all we'll learn in the future books.

Another literary reference is featured in this book being the optometrists name "Dr. (Georg)ina Orwell" after the author George Orwell. I'm enjoying trying to spot all these literary reference even if I don't always get them all.

I had a few notes while reading such as:

Why didn't the lumber workers just quit instead of accepting coupons for payment and gum for a meal?

Why don't the orphans just run away? I get they're young kids but it's better than almost dying in the hands of every "caretaker"

And at times I wondered was Sir and his work partner MORE than partners, if you get what I mean.

I am tempted to just keep on going with the book series but I think I'll wait until the next season is released on Netflix and read which ever books are covered that way I am refreshed.

Definitely recommend the book series to everyone who liked middle grade/teen books with dark humor and fun unfortunate adventures!  

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Book Review | The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket

3.5 STARS ★ ★ ★ (½)

The Wide Window is book #3 out of 13 books in the book series: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

  Despite Count Olaf's sneaky disguise it didn't fool the smart Baudelaire orphans and his plans were once again ruined but unfortunately for Uncle Monty he can't share the same joy as the children thanks to the slimy Count Olaf. Although the Count and his theater trope team escaped once again Mr. Poe wasted no time in finding the next closest living relative to care for the 3 Baudelaires, Aunt Josephine. Aunt Josephine is a eccentric widow woman who lives in a house overlooking a giant lake, Lake Lachrymose, despite having a fear of the lake after her husbands untimely death with some leeches. Along with her fear of the lake she also has phobias of pretty much everything, even real estate agents.

The children try to keep optimistic even with the unfortunate events that the Baudelaires have suffered since the death of their parents. One afternoon when the children and Aunt Josephine go down to the market to get some groceries to "cook" dinner and violet literally runs into a sailor named "Captain Sham" which she immediately recognizes him as Count Olaf with a fake wooden peg leg. Aunt Josephine being charmed by the monster in disguise shuts down the children's accusations that Captain Sham could possibly be Count Olaf. Olaf then pursues Aunt Josephine in hopes to get a hold of the Baudelaire children and their fortune.

     Continuing my re-read to prepare myself for the new Netflix series of A Series of Unfortunate Events this is the last book I read of the series back in 2014 which I remember more of the film version with the great performance by Meryl Streep as Aunt Josephine.

I enjoyed this one like I have all of the books so far! It seemed a little less eventful than previous books but maybe that is just my imagination, but it was still good! These books are just fun for all ages I think.

As with the previous book there was quite a few literary references one specifically being the Hurricane being called Hurricane Herman after the author of Moby-Dick, Herman Melville.
I had mixed feelings about Aunt Josephine, I wanted to think she meant well but she came off as very selfish at times, so I cant say I cared too much for her. Another thing that is a bit annoying is that Mr. Poe still don't believe the children when they say someone is Count Olaf, you think after being right as many times as they have that he would believe them but nope. When Mr. Poe finally realized that Captain Sham was actually a sham I thought he was getting more stern and was going to actually attempt to stop him but that didn't happen.

I can't wait to read the next book: The Miserable Mill, as I haven't read it before!

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Book Review | The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

3.5 STARS ★ ★ ★ (½)

The Reptile Room is book #2 out of 13 books in the book series: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

   After the close curtain call with Count Olaf the three Baudelaire orphans made it out of his care alive but now Count Olaf and his theater trope fugitives are on the run and promise to seek revenge next time he gets a hold of the Baudelaire children. Now that Count Olaf has been seen for the monster that he really is Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are then sent to live with the next closest living relative, Montgomery Montgomery, aka "Uncle Monty" who is a unique man and is a renowned herpetologist who collects unique reptiles.

 The Baudelaire orphans immediately take a liking to their new caretaker and become fascinated by the many snakes in the "Reptile Room." Uncle Monty lets the children know that they're to try to learn as much as possible about snakes because once his new assistant arrives they'll be off to Peru to look for and study snakes. Unfortunately, for the unfortunate orphans when the new assistant, Stephano, arrives the children recognize him as none other than Count Olaf in disguise. The problem is that no one but the children seem to see that it is Count Olaf through his transparent disguise and no one really believes them. Now that Count Olaf is back to seek revenge from the orphans for ruining his previous plans it is up to the children to figure out what he plans on doing and how to stop him once again.

      The Reptile Room was another fun and quick read that will definitely make you want to continue the series!

I think in this book Count Olaf's dark humor got to shine a bit more which I could see why the movie adaptation mixed it with regular comedy. I really liked the whole aspect of The Reptile Room it was different than book one and it was nice to see the orphans happy, even if not for long.

I thought the reptiles were uniquely made up. The Incredibly Deadly Viper and I specifically thought the Virginian Wolfsnake was a great little literary reference that was nice to catch in a series targeted for younger audiences.

"This snake should never, ever be allowed to be in the vicinity of a typewriter."

Another literary reference that I liked was when Sunny was asked to do something and said "Ackroid" which was then translated into "Roger" which I immediately got that it was a direct reference to one of Agatha Christie's mystery novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Brilliant! Introduce them to the Queen of Mystery as soon as possible!

I think that the dialogue between Violet and Klaus can sometimes get a bit cheesy but as I said in my previous review for book #1 these are books to be taken lightly and to enjoy. 

I also am starting to see a moral of the story pattern going on as the story progresses which is always a plus to see in books, especially in middle grade/teen books.

I definitely will be continuing the series so look forward to my reviews! :)

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Book Review | The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

3.5 STARS ★ ★ ★ (½)

The Bad Beginning is book #1 out of 13 books in the book series: A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.

   Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are just your average children. The 14 year old Violet has a love for inventing things, 12 year old Klaus has a love for reading, and the baby sibling Sunny had a love for biting things. Their life was normal until one unfortunate event happened that changed their lives forever, both of their parents died in a terrible house fire leaving the three children homeless orphans. Mr. Poe who had an uncontrollable cough was their parents banker and was put in charge of seeing where the children went to live after their parents death as well as the large Baudelaire fortune. The three were required to be sent to live with their nearest relative which was Count Olaf, who is a mean man with one eyebrow and terrible acting skills who plans on doing whatever it takes to get a hold of the Baudelaire fortune left to them by their parents. Despite the fortune being untouchable until Violet is of age, Count Olaf devises a plan with the help of his theater trope to get the fortune.

     This book was a re-read for me in preparation for the new Netflix series!

I read the book about 3 years ago after picking the whole hardcover series for a great price. When I first read it I enjoyed it, since then my taste has change but it was still an enjoyable read for me. I like that the author makes Violet the inventor and Klaus the reader, not saying that guys can't be readers obviously but most authors probably would've been more stereotypical and give the boy the inventor role and the girl the reader role.

 I also enjoyed the writing style and pacing of the book. Also I liked the fact that the book includes dictionary example sentences in case the reader may not know a meaning of the word, and even with me being 23 there was some words I didn't know so it was helpful!

The book was definitely darker than I remembered, which don't bother me, it just surprised me how evil Count Olaf was. I guess I got the comedic movie version of Count Olaf with Jim Carrey in my head. Although he had some humor in the book it was definitely dark humor not Jim Carrey funny.

It was definitely a light read, what I call a filler read, nothing to take serious just a fun, quick, and enjoyable book. :)

P.S. I will be re-reading the other 2 books in the series as well as book #4 for the first time since season 1 of the Netflix series is based on the first 4 books.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tag Tuesday | The Rapid Fire Book Tag

Rapid Fire Book Tag


1. E-Book or physical book?

2. Paperback or hardback?

3. Online or in-store book shopping?

4. Trilogies or series?

5. Heroes or villains?
Either one is fine with me I don't care.

6. A book you want everyone to read?
Harry Potter

7. Recommend an underrated book?
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

8. The last book you finished?
The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

9. The last book you bought?
Ready Player One for .50cents

10. Weirdest thing you've used as a bookmark?
My dogs tail, don't worry no Cheagle was harmed in the process.

11. Used books: Yes or no?
98% of the books I own are used books, so yes.

12. Top three favorite genres?
For now Middle Grade, Young Adult, Paranormal fantasy?

13. Borrow or buy?

14. Characters or plot?

15. Long or short books?

16. Long or short chapters?

17. Name the first three books you think of...
Bunnicula, Rebecca, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 

18. Books that makes you laugh or cry?
I don't cry often but re-reading books #1-3 & #4 of  A Series of Unfortunate Events have been making me smile.

19. Our world or fictional worlds?
Our world

20. Audiobooks: Yes or no?

21. Do you ever judge a book by its cover?
I judge book covers but I hardly buy or read something just because of its cover.

22. Book to movie or book to TV adaptations?
Book to movie

23. A movie or TV-show you preferred to its book?
Almost all

24. Series or standalone's?

Tag originally created by GirlReading:

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tag Tuesday: The Reading Habits Book Tag

Reading Habits Book Tag:

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
On the couch 98% of the time the other 2% in the bed, I fall asleep if I am in the bed too long.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I use bookmarks unconventionally. I collect them when I can get them free from my public library and I only use them every once in awhile to place where ever I plan to stop reading for the day. (usually every 100 pages)

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?
I like to finish whatever page I am on, or stop at the end of a chapter if the chapter ends mid page.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
Only occasional breaks to drink some water.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
Neither, reading in silence only with no distractions.

6. One book at a time or several at once?
One book at a time kind of guy.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?
At home only. When I do go anywhere its because I have something to do so I have no time for reading while out.

8. Reading out lout or silently in your head?
Silently, but I occasionally mouth the words I read. 

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
Not anymore but I use to unintentionally when I was in a hurry or excited to find out what happened next but after getting spoilers a few times I stopped.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I baby my books like no other.

11. Do you write in your books?
NO. However, I do keep my reading journal and a pencil nearby for notes or quotes though.

12. Who do you tag?
Anyone who actually views this and who hasn't already done the tag! :)

Book tag originally created by TheBookJazz:

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thriftbookish's 2016 Reading Statistics & 2017 Goals!

It's that time of year, the beginning of another year! The time for blogs and BookTube to flood the inter web with reading statistics and the new year bookish goals.

At the beginning of the 2016 year I made simple goals:

1.) To read a total of 30 books or complete my best friend AngelErin's Genre Challenge, well... I failed at the Genre Challenge, sorry Erin I tried, however the good news is I completed my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 30 books! In fact I actually surpassed it by 10 books reading a total of 40 books! Compared to my previous reading years that's a great improvement! How did I do it you may ask?
Well the answer is simple...

I read. I made the time to read and I read. I told myself that I was going to make some time to read regardless of what was going on in my life. It started off a little rocky but picked up as the year progressed and got even better after making a revised goal inspired by Richard at Richard's Book Nook where he started a #Read100 Challenge for himself where he basically challenged himself to read 100 pages before getting on the internet. I loved the idea but for my life schedule I didn't feel the read before any internet would work out well for me, but, I did love the idea of simply reading 100 pages a day it seemed feasible and ended up working nicely for me I think! So around March I changed my goal to either:

2.) #Read100 Challenge


3.) Read 1 book of the week (just in case life got busy) and between the two it turned out to be success!

Now onto the fun stuff,  2016 Reading Statistics!

According to the chart above from Goodreads 'My Year in Books 2016' I read 40 books, equaling out to 14,350 pages, with an average book length of 359 pages.

Out of the 40 books:

(18) books were rated 5 stars
(11) books were rated  4 stars
(8) books were rated 3 stars
(2) books were rated 2 stars
(1) book was rated 1 stars

As you can tell I was pretty generous with 5 stars this year! You can also tell that I had a fairly good reading year with only one 1 star book.

In the graph above you can see that I read a total of 21 more books than 2015, which I am happy about.

More impressive to me than the amount of books I read is the amount of pages I read in 2016 compared to 2015, I more than doubled the amount of pages I read!

I also had a goal to read more books I owned but unfortunately I don't think it counts if you keep buying new ones then reading the new ones, so with that goal I FAILED.

Bookish Highlights: The discovery of Anne Rice's books! I always enjoyed the Interview with the Vampire movie with the famous Brad Pitt & Tom Cruise, so I followed Anne Rice on Facebook for about 2 years (she's very social on there), so finally at the beginning of 2016 I read the book Interview with the Vampire and fell in love with Anne Rice's writing. Well after loving her first book I started my own #YearOfAnneRice where I basically attempted to read as much of her novels as I could, specifically finish her most popular series The Vampire Chronicles, which after reading around 14 books by her she has easily became my favorite author of 2016 and maybe even for all time who knows! Her writing is almost poetic, so detailed, and the way her writing transforms the world and characters and brings them to life are like no other author that I have read so far! Reading her books has taught me that there are many more genres and great authors waiting to be discovered.

BookTube Hightlights: The discovery of Steve Donoghue's channel. One of the best additions to the BookTube community to date:

2017 Reading Goals:

1.) I set my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge to 45 books which I think is reasonable for me.
2.) I want to continue with either the at least 1 book a week goal or the #Read100 goal.
3.) I would also like to venture out into new genres as I still consider myself a "reading noobie" 
4.) To actually try harder at buying less books and reading some of the 1,500+ books I own.
5.) Connect with more readers.

Blog Goals:

1.) Post at least 1 book review a week.
2.) Post at least 1 other bookish post i.e a tag or something.
3.) Improve my writing skills.
4.) Make more creative content.
5.) Connect with more bloggers.

Disclaimer: Although I set goals and keep statistics in the end it is just for fun and my overall goal is to read and have a platform where I can talk about the books I read.  

Thanks for coming to my blog and be sure to follow me and don't hesitate to talk! :)