Slaughterhouse-Five–Kurt Vonnegut

I’m notorious for not liking classics at this point, yes? 

This one also joins the 3-star club. 

I’m also notorious for just blindly walking into a book instead of reading the dust jacket. 

Let me tell you what I thought this book was about.

Based off the title alone I thought this was about five people who survived some sort of grisly event in a slaughterhouse. My mind immediately thought: Holocaust. Because this just LOOKS like a book my friend would suggest and he always suggests Holocaust books to me because he likes to devastate my soul at least once a year. 

All I remember from this book is that I get a twitch from the sentence “So it goes.” now. 

What is this book actually about? 

The Holocaust. And the Dresden bombings. And so, so much more. Like alien abductions. 

The timeline goes back and forth and up and down and the main character Billy has PTSD and he gets married and has kids and travels back in time and yes. That’s the book. 

I read this back in January 2018 because I wanted to start the year off with a classic. I didn’t fully believe this was going to be about something so dreary. I’m always getting tricked into reading about the Holocaust. 

Even by me.

Go figure I start the year off with an event I hate reading in books because I’ve visited the Dachau concentration camp and my soul wants to throw up every time I think about it. 

And the books title is because it’s about POWs being held in a slaughterhouse…labeled ‘Slaughterhouse Five’. 

So I wasn’t totally off. 

Constant vigilance.

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City of Thieves–David Benioff

My best friend is a dickhole. I pick him up from his house one day and he hands this book to me and says, “Read it, you’ll love it!”

Naturally, when he says this to me I’m skeptical because the last book he told me to read was Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Great writing, great book, circumstances in the book make me rage and feel disgusted. Therefore I hate my best friend.

So when he tells me that this book is wonderful too, my eyebrow goes up immediately.

Here’s what I have to say to Ryan after reading this book:

Fuck you. Fuck you for handing this to me. Fuck you for telling me I would love it. Fuck you for forgetting that it was about the Holocaust. And mainly, fuck you for forgetting that I have declared a ban on all Holocaust books for the unforeseeable future because they make me feel horrible right down to my bones and I don’t recover for weeks.

Immensely tiny compared to what they went through, but I’m an empathic person. I really do feel that sort of thing in my soul and it imprints on it forever.

Now that I’m done cursing Ryan, I’ll tell you about the book.

It’s about two men who are set on a quest in the midst of all the ugly and the danger, they are sent on a quest to find eggs for some higher ups daughters wedding cake. It was very well written, beautiful story, horrific parts (naturally) and the ending…oh my god the ending. Was so beautiful I can’t even begin to appreciate the mark it has left on my insides.

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Lamb: Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal–Christopher Moore

Fuck this book.

 I’m not saying this because it has likely been demeaned “blasphemous” a thousand times: I’m saying this because the ending was brutal. It’s no Spoiler Alert that Jesus dies, but the rest of what happened afterward was complete and utter horseshit!

 In general I liked this book, it was quirky and fun to read and in it’s own weird way gave me some Bible history. And the stuff that was added in was excellent.

 Who knew that Christ was training to be a monk with ninja tendencies?

 I’m looking forward to reading more of his work, it was well written and interesting.

Unlike this post, which is so friggin dry. Sorry, I’m sleepy, I’m not giving this book enough credit, but it deserves it.

Constant vigilance.

The Greenies–Myra Paperny

This book was a lovely surprise on my reading list! As you know, I have my books in order of how I want to read them on my book shelf so that I’m not overwhelmed with too much of the same writer, genre or too many heavy books in a row. (Literally heavy, I mean. My poor hands just aren’t what they use to be.)

The Greenies was something that I had picked up at a library book sale and thought that it would be good to read after Jeffrey Deavers book since that book was heavy and this one is pretty thin. I figured I would whip through it and it would be great.

I failed to read the back of the book when I started it and found that I was in the middle of a Holocaust book.

They didn’t describe much of the Holocaust, it was all about how the people from the concentration camps came over to Canada and the process of trying to fit in with the locals. Most of it consisted of never being allowed to talk about what they went through at all, ever, because it would be upsetting to them. (Note that this is fiction based on the immigrants from the camps. Not actual stories from people.)

It was really well written, nothing to graphic or anything, and Myra told their story in a sweet way that left you thinking. I really liked it just because of the one character that was outspoken and didn’t want to hide her past.

I’m not 100% sure that I liked the way it ended, it was kind of abrupt, but oh well. The rest of the book was pretty great.

Monday Morning

After a weekend of trying to be handy and helpful (ie. Helping with Christmas-type things.) and failing because I’m a selfish person who likes her time alone and finds everything grating after doing it for more than a half hour in any store, I turned to reading as my solace.

If you have me on your Good Reads (or if you’ve been diligently counting as we’ve gone along here.) then you will know that I’m on my 75th book this year. (A nod to Charlaine Harris in particular for having so many interesting books for me to read.)

I thought that for my last book of the year, because I will inevitably get busier with the holidays and the sheer amount of family that I have, I would pick a big one and a classic. Also, a book that I borrowed from someone else so that before I move I can give it back so I’m not a thief.

This also led me to a surprise on my bookshelf: That I had already thought of this months ago when I was trying to reorganize things so that I was reading heavy books instead of the light ones for the move.

Thus bringing me to the mammoth: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Borrowed from my sister: check. Heavy as all hell: check. (838 pages.) Classic: Check.

This book is brutal! I generally love books like this, Jane Austen, sign me up! But what in the hell is Tolstoy doing to me?! The first thing I notice about this book is that the print is small and the names are big. AND everyone goes by 18 different names. AND they are all princes. AND he goes on and on about things like farming for 20 pages.

Needless to say this book is killing me. It gave me a migraine on Sunday and I slept for three hours.

I figure the only way to get through this book is to make goals. The goals are thus:

1) Read at least 100 pages a day. (I mean, I do have a job and whatnot, so this is becoming a little far-fetched, but I think I can make it to at least 60 pages on an off day.)

2) Try not to die while reading this book. Ie. Eat, drink, sleep.

3)Take breaks. (This might help with the migraine and my sanity.)

4)Visit the outside world. Yes this goes with the take breaks and trying not to die, but I need to get out of the house into fresh air or this book will kill me.

5)Start drinking heavily while reading it. My liver won’t thank me, but at least this book will be funny.

And THAT kids, is how I plan on reading the driest classic I’ve ever come across.

300 pages in and it’s already sent me on a rant. Yikes. 500 more to go.

Constant vigilance.

The Inquisition–Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh

I love history. I especially enjoy it when there’s blood and mayhem. I’m a sick person, I know this. But it’s only because I can disassociate from it all that I can read about the nitty gritty that is the worlds stories.

(Which is really bizarre because I just read a book about fake characters that really bothered me. And yet, the inquisitions don’t bug me.)

I like learning about the early inquisitions and where they all started, but by the time I got to the Spanish one and all the witch trials it got repetitive from other things I’ve read or heard and I skimmed the rest of the book.

If you are looking to learn more or you are just getting started with reading about these trials, then this is definitely a good book. Straight-forward and interesting.

London:A History–A.N. Wilson

When I was eighteen I went through a phase of buying books about the U.K. so I could brush up for my trip. I figured if I knew about the cities and everything I would be more fascinated by what was around me.

   Like Oh! This is William Wallaces monument! (Found a picture of that the other day and completely forgot what it was.) Mostly the things I remember from my trip to England, Scotland and Ireland are the negative things that happened and (this may surprise you) the Harry Potter sites that I was lucky enough to see. 

This book is one of the books that I bought on a rampage. It is little enough that I could’ve read it on a plane and if it was boring enough I would have ditched it on the plane.

It’s clearly all about London, a city which I adore and would like to live in someday, and it gives a good, and brief, history of it. But I guess I’m not much of a history buff anymore, or maybe this book was just a bit bland, but I skimmed through the stories. I think I’m becoming really morbid from reading all those mysteries and true crime stories because I would skim until I found some blood and guts.

           London was a good, short, read but I think that writers should remember that people like to read books and be entertained. I know it was basically a history book, but there’s no reason for it to read like a textbook. (I use to read my history textbook like it was a real book and it was less bland.)

        I have to give the writer credit though, they had all their dates and facts right and I learned a bit from this book.