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Category Archives: Books

My personal take on Charlene Harris’ Real Murders series

 

So I’ve just finished reading Charlaine Harris’ Real Murders.  Technically reading, anyway.  I don’t do much literal reading nowadays since I don’t have time for such luxury and my myopic eyes seem to be more myopic every time I visit my optometrist (which is an average of 2x a year, by the way). What I actually do is, I listen to audiobooks.  I found it pretty convenient since I am mostly out my house every day, anywisay. And it so just helps me be in the mood to do chores while washing dishes or sweeping the floor, or doing laundry. It helps me get through my most tedious and monotonous housework. When I’m out, I just connect my phone to my earbuds, popped them in my ear, open my audio book app, and I can listen to the current book I am into or connect it to my good ole reliable JBL Bluetooth speaker, up the volume, open my audio book app and press play when I’m at home.

Back to the book Real Murders. What immediately struck me while reading the book now was how inconvenient it was for Aurora to not have a mobile phone.   The book was written in the early 1990s and I just couldn’t help thinking about how useful a cell phone was, if Aurora Teagarden, the main character of the book (and the whole series) owned one. Well, that’s what popped into my mind whenever I “read” the parts where she saw a dead body, or a bloody hatchet or just whenever she needed to call for help. On the whole, Real Murders is a good murder mystery to read.  It also managed to keep me guessing on who amongst the Real Murders Club members was the actual murderer. This book also made references to real murders and true crimes (thus the title, Real Murders) which I previously didn’t have any interest in, and didn’t have any knowledge of; but thanks to this book, I actually learned some things real murders related. So I credit this book for additional knowledge and trivia now stored in my own “knowledge bank” because I rarely read non-fiction or textbooks (sad but true and a weakness of mine)  I find that they are almost always boring. So I just loved it when not only can I enjoy the pleasure of being transported to different worlds and different places, I can also learn some things during those “travels.”

My reason behind reading the Aurora Teagarden’s series is because it’s from Charlaine Harris.  She is one of my favorite authors. I am a Charlaine Harris fan.  I loved her Southern Vampires: Sookie Stackhouse series. I’ve read each one of them, novellas and all. I watched True Blood on HBO but they lost me somewhere between season 4 or 5.  Too many changes from the book and I absolutely prefer the twists and turns of the books most of the time to that of the tv show.And that was the end of my True Blood “affair.”   I found that most often than not,  I can’t appreciate the small or big screen version of books. I would always find that digressing from the original plots are always poor substitutes to the original stories.  Unless of course, the authors are the screenwriters of the stories. I don’t know why. It’s probably because when authors are screenwriters, they manage to bring their own unique stamps and their own way of telling their stories to the big screen that make the viewers who are readers of their books less disconnected.

Okay, back to Real Murders again. 😀  I love that the main character, Aurora Teagarden is a librarian.   My favorite hangout when I was still in school was the library so librarians to me are the cool people in my book world.:) 🙂 🙂 But there was one part of the book though where I find Aurora Teagarden stupid.  It was when she let her six-year-old half-brother go out of the house alone to get his baseball bat which he left outside when it was almost dark.  I mean, what kind of stupid who reads real murders, who has just been involved with a series of murder investigations (even if someone already confessed to said murders), who knows the real danger of murders and crimes–allow a six-year-old child go alone (and even hands a flashlight to him??!!) to find a baseball bat when it’s getting dark??? While I grant that that part of the book right there is the start of the climax of the story, some subtle alterations could have been made so as to not let Aurora act so stupidly especially since she was portrayed as a smart, well-read, murder savvy librarian.  Other than that, the book was enjoyable and entertaining.

I am currently on the first few pages of the second Aurora Teagarden series, A Bone To Pick. I just know that if it’s a Charlaine Harris book, I’ll never get disappointed.

Oh, by the way, I followed Ms. Charlaine Harris’ on Facebook and Twitter and she just had an update on the upcoming new tv series for the Aurora Teagarden in Lifetime network soon.  There was a date given but I forgot when.

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The Girl On The Train: Personal Review

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It has been so long since my last book review, or even write any post for that matter.  My laptop got broken for the longest time and I find that I didn’t feel like typing up long sentences on a tab or mobile phone.  And although my laptop hasn’t been replaced yet, I decided to make do with the family’s desktop.

So on to my thoughts on The Girl On The Train, a book written by Paula Hawkins. I’ve read lots, and I mean, LOTS of fiction books that came out last year and even early this year, and so far, I haven’t read any book yet that surpasses this book as the best.  I like that the one who’s telling the story is from a flawed, and less than perfect person.  This very flaw–her state of drunkenness and blackouts– are what makes the unfolding of the story more suspenseful. There was a point while I was reading the book that I was like, oh I know who the killer is and only to find out later on that I was totally off-base. So I quit guessing and just let myself enjoy reading the book allowing the story to sweep me off according to its own pace.

The Girl On The Train is definitely one good book to read.  I just love it.  So two thumbs up for Ms. Paula Hawkins. 🙂

My Mad Fat Diary

A young friend of mine recommended this tv series  My Mad Fat Diary and told me I would enjoy watching the show. And I did. He knew me pretty well, this friend of mine. We both loved the show.  I was pretty down, you see, after the Outlander midseason finale.

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My Mad Fat Diary is a British teenage comedy/drama and was probably intended for the teen population and the young adult (like my young friend) and not for a married woman in her late thirties. But I loved the show. I guess I’m just young at heart. Anyway, as someone who is used to watching American movies and tv shows and because English is just my third language, I had trouble understanding the first three minutes because of the British accent. But after that, I was hooked.
And also I just love their soundtracks. I’m going to search and download all the songs from the show.

And as always, I googled this tv series and found out that it was based on a book from Rae Earl’s diary My Fat Mad Teenage Diary. Sharon Rooney is just fantastic as Rae Earl. And Nico Mirallegro, well let’s just say that if I were still fifteen years younger  I’d migrate to the UK just to ask him out 😉

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The second season finale was so good I’m not sure I want to watch a third season where they will split up again and hook up with other people. I don’t think I would want a “TO BE CONTINUED” after that season 2 ending.

And because I loved the show so much I read the book My Fat Mad Teenage Diary. I know the story was based on actual events of the life of Rae Earl but I love the show better. The story was okay, I guess. But the abrupt ending left me hanging. It was like a story cut short before the climax and there was no resolution. I know it was a diary made into a book but I expected something at the end. I didn’t even realize it was the last page. It was like reading a suspense story and just before the good stuff, you discovered the last few pages were missing and nowhere to be found.  I know there is a book #2 out there but you know, I guess I just want some sort of resolution or ending in every book I read even if there’s going to be a sequel to the story.

Outlander: The TV Series

Let me start off by saying I am an Outlander book series fan for some couple of years already. In fact, way when the social network Friendster was popular, I wrote on my About Me column that Jamie Fraser was my ultimate crush.  So when I learned that an Outlander TV series was on the make, I was so excited. But it was a bit of a letdown when I learned that I can’t view it on tv since no cable company here in my country is going to air Outlander. But thanks to the internet I wasn’t overly worried on not being able to watch the show.

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I was able to get updates on the making of Outlander thru my fave author and creator of Jamie Fraser, Ms Diana Gabaldon’s Facebook page. And when I saw Sam Heughan as Jamie for the first time, OH MY GOD I almost swooned. He was the Jamie I have had in my head since I first read the book. The rest of the cast? Well,  I must confess I didn’t pay attention to them that much.

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photo credits to owner

             Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser( photo credits to owner)

I was able to view all the episodes via online streaming and I must say that the tv series did justice to the book. My once previous disinterest of the other cast from the series quickly turned into curiosity. Then admiration. I am ashamed now how I had disregarded the rest of the cast when they are the ones who, on the whole, made the Outlander tv series come alive. I mean,Sam Heughan’s presence as Jamie on the screen can only do so much but it is the supporting characters that made the show interesting and fun to watch.  It is impossible for me to ignore the performances of Graham Mctavish, Duncan Lacroix,  Grant O’Rourke, Stephen Walters, Bill Paterson and the rest of the highlanders cast. Caitriona Balfe is perfect as Claire too.

When I heard that Tobias Menzies was going to be Frank/Black Jack Randall I was pretty skeptical. I knew him only as Edmure Tully from Game of Thrones and I couldn’ t imagine him as anyone else. But lo and behold, Tobias Menzies totally owned Frank/Black Jack Randall. I am utterly amazed by his performances. He was so outstanding on the episode “Garrison Commander.” He made me hate Black Jack Randall yet made me feel in awe of him as an actor at the same time. I am forever his fan.  And I must confess that I am now crushing on him. Don’t get me wrong. I still love Jamie and still think Sam Heughan is hot and perfect for the role but it is Tobias Menzies that I look forward to watching on the show.

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      (photo credits to owner)

The second half of season one will be aired on April of 2015. This is six months of waiting for me. I guess I’ll just reread Outlander again. And this time, I now have faces to place on the characters of the book.

Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires

I was randomly scanning my e-library out of boredom and came across one of Rachel Caine’s books–the Morganville Vampire Book 1 Glass Houses.  I skimmed through the chapters to pass the time but soon found myself going back to Chapter 1 and reading it for real.  I got hooked.  And the next thing I know I was done with it and started reading Book 2 Dead Girls’ Dance.  Now I’m almost done reading the sixth book Carpe Corpus.

When I finish the whole Morganville Series, I’ll be writing about the whole lot.  But I have to say now that so far, I found the first book Glass Houses the best read of the MorganvilleVampire series but I’m still enjoying reading Book 6 though.  And even if it would get boring and boring(I hope not) when I get to the last remaining books of the series, I’d probably be reading it still because shameful as it is, I’m like a dog with a bone when it comes to reading books and their sequels.  I can’t stand not knowing how a story would finally and conclusively end.

The Hunger Games: movie vs. book

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I usually read the book first before seeing the story in live screen , but in Hunger Games, I did the reverse.  I liked the movie version and on my way out from the movie theatre I remembered thinking that I should read the book since the story from movies aren’t as good as getting the story from the book themselves.  So I read the book. I was delighted to find out that although the movie was a shortened version of the book, it followed the story—settings, how the character looks and even the description of how the Capitol fashion of Panem looked like—as closely as possible.  Or, perhaps my imagination while reading the book was already colored with what I saw from the movie that’s why I could no longer tell any difference from the book. The book however did provide details on the characters of the story and why they act a certain way.  The only difference the book and the movie has, as far as I can recall, was the absence of Madge Undersee, the character who actually gave the mockingjay pin to Katniss.  But not a big deal. However, the movie should have put an emphasis on the significance of the mockingjay in the story and in the coming sequels of The Hunger Games trilogy.

On the whole I can honestly say that the movie really did justice to the book.  I love both.  And I did finish reading the whole Hunger Games trilogy so next time when the coming sequel movies– Catching Fire and Mockingjay will hit the big screen, I’ll be ready.

Got fifty shades bored with Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James struck me as a mills and boonsy type of book where there is a superrich guy who fell in love with an ordinary girl but without the sexual content, history of abuse and all that. I used to like that kind of mills and boonsy stuff but it seemed that I’ve outgrown it already. I really did want to like the book since the descriptions of the characters were patterned after Twilight’s Edward and Bella sans all things vampire.  But sadly, I’ve outgrown those characters too.. The only interesting part were the sexual contents of the book but even those parts failed  to get my inner goddess unfurl for Christian which he no doubt did to the single women who made the book a best seller.

That’s only my humble take on Fifty. Who am I compared to the majority, right? So peace to all you Christian Grey lovers. I’m just a bookworm sharing an opinion. I’ve read the second book Fifty Shades Darker though and it was no better than the first one. what can I say, I’m a compulsive reader and i’ve got nothing to do now that i’m( temporarily) stuck at home these days.