When books traumatize you instead of entertain you

I thought of this a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have the drive to actually write it up and post it. However, something happened today that made me think of it again. Also, my sister basically forced me to write something yesterday and it has all my writing juices flowing. I guess it’s about time I used my blog for something other than SLS; although, I’m told it’s perfectly fine that my blog is only that.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a book by one of my favorite authors. The synopsis had me intrigued and I couldn’t wait to dive into it. That feeling was very short lived. I had a hard time reading it and it made me anxious. I thought at first that I was simply in one of my moods, but it became increasingly clear that it was the book. It only took about a hundred pages before I finally realized why.

It was the premise and ultimately the bad guy. It brought back a time in my life that still manages to haunt me to this day. I decided to keep reading, but the more I did it, the more anxious I became. I started leaving the book at home, rather than taking it to read during lunch. On Saturday mornings, when I’m normally excited to get a few pages in, I glanced at it and then walked away. It wasn’t until today that I decided to pick up another book. It was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a book that didn’t make me want to crawl out of my skin.

It does trouble me, though. Part of me wants to read it. I want to face those demons head on and exorcise them. But is that really the way to do it? Do I really want to go through that just for a story? I’ve done it before. I read a book called Sharp Objects, and even though I knew it was traumatizing me, I ended up finishing it. It’s the first book that I ever truly felt like flinging across the room when I was finished. I’m not even happy that I read it, to be honest.

It’s hard for me to leave a book unfinished. I’ve only abandoned a few books in my life and it’s hard to know if I’m making the right decision. Do I keep traumatizing myself in the hopes that some part of that hell will be put to rest? Or do I let it go?

I’m interested to know what you think, since we are a writing community. Do you read books that traumatize you, or do you move on to other things?

I’d love to hear from you!

The end of a saga, for now

I don’t know why I always feel the need to follow some sort of prompt.  I know in the beginning, it helped bring people to my site through the host, but I think I just ended up getting used to it.  I think it also became a not very helpful crutch, especially when I have something I want to just get out, but for some reason I feel like I can’t unless I can attach it to a prompt floating around out there.  Not that there aren’t plenty, and not that I couldn’t have found one today, but it’s late and I honestly just have something to say, you know?

When I had surgery in December of 2016, I watched a lot of TV.  It got to the point where I was starting to see reruns and I was getting very bored.  I ended up picking up a book that I had no idea would bring me all the way here.  The book I picked up was the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.  Do you realize that there are over 5,000 pages in the five books that are currently out?  I realized it pretty early on, but I had done something similar in the past and I just knew I could do this.

I had no idea it would take me a year and a half!  I couldn’t even pick up another book because I was so into that world (when I could actually find the time to read).  I actually did end up reading a fellow blogger’s book, but that only took me a single day, so it wasn’t much of an investment, although the story was great.

There’s just something about coming to the end of the book that feels almost surreal and forlorn.  When you make it to the end of five books in a series that isn’t even finished yet; it’s devastating.  Not only that, we have to wait until, I don’t know, 2019? before we get another one.

I do love the series and I’m planning to finish it, but I was on Goodreads after posting my successfully finished book, and I started reading some reviews.  I don’t know what it is about two or three star reviews that just suck you into the madness.  People can be downright cruel.  Also, why is it that reviewers feel the need to rewrite the book?  Anyway, for all of that, I did read some things that made me wonder if there was a reason it took me so damn long to finish.  The reviews for the last two books were all about how the story slowed down and didn’t progress very much.

I will admit that I had a really hard time finishing book five and I realized last night it was because I was bored!  I was so captivated by the story and so determined to finish those damn books that I didn’t even realize that the reason I had a hard time picking it up each day, or each week was because it wasn’t holding my interest.

However, the last fifty pages were reminiscent of the first three books, so I’m holding out hope that the next book will move along in a more direct way than books four and five.

I’m not so good at reviews, but I just wanted to throw it out there.  I finished all five books and I can now look for other things to read.

Until next time, my friend!

Teaser Tuesday – The Good Guy

I’m not sure how I’ve found the time to read, but I have and I decided to share with all of you.  I actually just finished this book over the weekend and I have to tell you that Dean Koontz does not disappoint.

The Good Guy

I used to read books for the stories.  I still do, but since I started writing, I also notice writing style and story composition.  I consider Koontz to be in a league of his own.  I’ll be reading along and suddenly he writes prose so beautiful that I have to stop and read it again.  It fits the story, but somehow it doesn’t at the same time.  I also managed to look up five or six words that I didn’t know.  I always feel pretentious when I use a “big” word, but he manages to fit them in so smoothly that you think you’ve always read those words.

I always wonder how anyone can write from the perspective of the killer, but Koontz makes it seem so easy.  He is also a master at creeping me out.  Anyway, The Good Guy is yet another Dean Koontz novel that I highly recommend.

The teaser is from page 249.  I hope you enjoy.

“Sorrow is not a raven perched persistently above a chamber door.  Sorrow is a thing with teeth, and while in time it retreats, it comes back at the whisper of its name.”


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday – Blackbirds

I’m still making my way through the audio book from last week and loving every second of it.  So, this week will be a teaser from a book I read a few years ago.  I think I’ve said this before, but I really enjoy going through the list of books I’ve read on Goodreads.  I know it’s not an all-inclusive list of everything I’ve read in my lifetime, but it’s a pretty good one.

The one that flashed out at me was Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig.  As you know, I sometimes follow his flash fiction challenge and one day I realized I hadn’t read anything he’d written.   I’m happy I decided to pick this one up.  I enjoyed the story immensely, and I especially loved how Wendig told it in such a fascinating way.  I love strong female characters, even if strong means something a little different in this one.  Miriam didn’t always make the choices I would have made, but she’s a survivor and that I could relate to on many levels.

12944651

This is the first book in a series, but it’s a good one.  I read them all in about a month or less and I would highly recommend all three.  Granted, I realize it isn’t for everyone, but if you like it gritty, dark and tell-it-like-it-is humor with quite a bit of cussing, then you should totally go for it.

I pulled the quote from Goodreads since I don’t have the book handy.  I hope you enjoy!

“Way she sees it, people fall into one of two categories: those who think their death is imminent, and those who figure they have long, healthy lives ahead of them. Nobody ever thinks it’s somewhere in-between.”


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday – Mr. Mercedes

Remember the last time I was talking about how I never have time to read?  I think I finally found a solution.  I’m not sure if it will entirely replace reading in my life, but at least it’s filling in the gap for now.

I discovered Audible and listening to books rather than reading them.  Do you realize how many hours we waste just driving?  My drive is a half hour each way to work and sometimes longer depending on traffic.  Now I can fill that time with words and stories rather than getting pissed off at idiotic drivers.  I also realized it was something to do while I crochet rather than trying to “watch” television.  I’m not so good that I can’t watch my hands, so I realized I was missing a lot while I was busy crocheting.

It is rather expensive, but if it’s something I will use, I will consider it worth it.  Besides, the first book is free, so why not give it a try?

The first book I downloaded was Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.  I’m enjoying King’s writing style (as usual) and the chilling look into the killer’s mind.  I’m not very far into it, but it is exciting and intense and I can’t wait to get into my car every morning so I can listen to it.

18775247

Since I don’t have page numbers to go by, I will let you know that this quote comes from the tale end of Chapter 14.  I hope you enjoy!

“What he knows now is that guilt isn’t the only reason people commit suicide.  Sometimes you can just get bored with afternoon TV.”


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday – Serafina and the Black Cloak

As I’ve mentioned, my son recommended this book to me.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s nice to read something different for a change; something you wouldn’t necessarily pick up on your own.  But, I really had no choice.  My son was so excited about this book and wanted to share the experience with me so much that I just had to pick it up.  And I’m not sorry I did.

23507745

Serafina is a lovable character and I can’t get enough of her untamable spirit.  I’m only about half way through, but I’m really enjoying the story.

When I looked up Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty on Goodreads, I noticed (“Serafina #1”) next to the title.  Do you know what that mean?  That means it isn’t the only Serafina story!  I’m wondering if my son knows that?  I’m thinking I need to tell him, but that just means I will need to make a trip to the bookstore.  *Sigh

My quote is from Page 71.  I hope you enjoy!

“As soon as they were gone, she climbed down and checked the area to the right of the fireplace to make sure she’d be able to find the concealed door if she ever needed it.  A concealed door could be a very useful thing to a girl of her particular occupation.”


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesday – Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

 

Have you ever sifted through your Goodreads list?  I didn’t start doing it until I was determined to follow Teaser Tuesday every week.  And as much as I want to read way more than I am right now, I’m enjoying the trip down memory lane and sifting through the amazing books I’ve had the opportunity to read.

Santa Olivia (Santa Olivia, #1)

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey is no exception.  I love the world Carey created and the story she told of a somewhat super hero.  Loup Garron is one of those characters you fall in love with and have a hard time letting go of when the book ends.  It was a little slow in places, but overall, it was a fantastic read and I highly recommend it.

For my Teaser, I had to turn to Goodreads and I’m using one of only two quotes posted there – the other one was only one very short sentence.  I should apologize, but I’m not going to because it really paints a picture of the book and what you’ll find in it.  I hope you enjoy!

“Hear, hear.’ Sister Martha hoisted her water glass. ‘Let the rigid stick of self-righteousness be dislodged from her very uptight ass.’
Father Ramon coughed.
‘A-fucking-men,’ Loup supplied helpfully.”
Jacqueline Carey, Santa Olivia

 


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!