Monday, May 8, 2023

The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

If memory serves me correctly, I first read The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell in middle school for an English class as a required reading assignment. I enjoyed reading this classic, short story at the time, but had forgotten the ending of this story all these decades later. 

So, I was thrilled to stumble upon the free audio version of The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell on YouTube last week. I promptly listened to it and enjoyed the storyline and ending once again! The Most Dangerous Game has a captivating storyline and I can understand why it was given the O. Henry Award.

If you enjoy classic, suspense/action adventure type of stories, then The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell is most definitely the read for you!

I've added the edition of The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell I listened to on YouTube as I enjoyed the narrator for this short story.

Below is the plot summary for The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, which I discovered on Amazon's website:
“The Most Dangerous Game”, also published as “The Hounds of Zaroff”, is a story by Richard Connell, first published in Collier’s on January 19, 1924. The story features a big-game hunter from New York City who falls off a yacht and swims to what seems to be an abandoned and isolated island in the Caribbean, where he is hunted by a Russian aristocrat. The story is inspired by the big-game hunting safaris in Africa and South America that were particularly fashionable among wealthy Americans in the 1920s. The story has been adapted numerous times, most notably as the 1932 RKO Pictures film The Most Dangerous Game, starring Joel McCrea and Leslie Banks, and for a 1943 episode of the CBS Radio series Suspense, starring Orson Welles. It has been called the “most popular short story ever written in English.” Upon its publication, it won the O. Henry Award.
I am giving The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, May 7, 2023

The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin


The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is a very short story I read years ago for either a high school English class or college English class. I enjoyed reading it back then and am happy that I recently rediscovered The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin again last month.

Above is the FREE audio edition of The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin I listened to on YouTube. It's roughly 6.5 minutes in length, so if you're up to listening to a short story originally published in Vogue magazine in 1894, check it out as it is a lovely period piece that is well worth a listen.

I am giving The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, May 6, 2023

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

 I've read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman twice in college in the 1990s for two different English classes. I enjoyed reading this story back then very much. 

Honestly, I hadn't thought about The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in years until a booktuber I follow on YouTube had uploaded a review of it on his YouTube Channel last month. It was then I decided to reread The Yellow Wallpaper.

Lucky me, I was able to find and listen to the unabridged audio version of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman on YouTube for FREE. I find YouTube to be a wonderful resource for free unabridged audiobooks, especially the classics. (However, plenty of more contemporary works may be found as audiobooks for free on YouTube as well.)

I enjoyed rediscovering The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman! The Yellow Wallpaper is a classic, feminist, 'semi autobiographical' short story written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1890 and eventually published in the January issue of The New England Magazine in 1892.

The gist of this short story is a young woman who is a wife and new mother is suffering from postpartum depression shortly after giving birth. Her husband is a doctor and he prescribes complete bed rest in the country where she will overcome the issue according to her husband. The husband claims to know what is best for his wife as he is a doctor after all... Let's just say this theory blows up in his face.

The idea that women were treated the way they were in the late 1800s by the medical professionals is appalling. Women's health was not taken seriously by medical professionals and this short story exemplifies this... Reading The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is almost like reading a horror story of sorts.

Read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman to glean the full details. This short story makes for interesting reading.

Below is the plot summary for The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman I discovered on Goodreads:
Diagnosed by her physician husband with a “temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency” after the birth of her child, a woman is urged to rest for the summer in an old colonial mansion. Forbidden from doing work of any kind, she spends her days in the house’s former nursery, with its barred windows, scratched floor, and peeling yellow wallpaper.

In a private journal, the woman records her growing obsession with the “horrid” wallpaper. Its strange pattern mutates in the moonlight, revealing what appears to be a human figure in the design. With nothing else to occupy her mind, the woman resolves to unlock the mystery of the wallpaper. Her quest, however, leads not to the truth, but into the darkest depths of madness.

A condemnation of the patriarchy, The Yellow Wallpaper explores with terrifying economy the oppression, grave misunderstanding, and willful dismissal of women in late nineteenth-century society.
I am giving The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, May 5, 2023

The In and Out Book Tag...

I discovered 'The In and Out Book Tag...' from blogger
Lark Writes...on books and life. This book tag was a fun distraction to add to my blog. Enjoy!

Reading the Last Page First: IN
(I don't so this as much as I use to when I was younger, but it is sometimes fun to read the last page of a book.)

Enemies to Lovers:  IN
(Sure if it works for the storyline and is well done.)

Dream Sequences:  IN
(Intriguing concept if done right.)

Love Triangles:  IN
(Love triangles can work very well in romance novels.) 

Cracked Spines:  OUT
(I'm NOT a fan of cracked spines!)

Back to My Small Town:  IN
(Why not?)

No Paragraph Breaks: OUT
(I like paragraph breaks.)

Multi-generational Sagas:  IN
(These are fun if well written.)

Monsters are Regular People: IN
(Again this concept is good in paranormal romance, fantasy, etc. novels.)

Re-reading: IN
(I do enjoy rereading books I liked reading the first time around.)

Artificial Intelligence: OUT
(Generally AI is not my go to sort of read.)

Drop Caps: IN
(Drop Caps are a nice touch.) 

Happy Endings: IN
(Why not?))

Plot Points that Only Converge at the End: IN
(Yes, please!! I don't like cliffhanger endings!!)

Detailed Fantasy Systems: OUT
(Generally, this is not my thing.)

Classic Fantasy Races: OUT
(Generally, this is not my thing.)

Unreliable Narrators: IN
(This can make for fun reading.)

Evil Protagonists: IN
(This is kind of a fun concept to have an evil protagonist!!)

The Chosen One: IN
(I'm not opposed to the idea of 'The Chosen One' in books.)

When the Protagonist Dies: IN
(Only if works for the storyline.)

Really Long Chapters: IN
(I prefer shorter chapters, but can handle longer chapters if the storyline is good)

French Flaps: IN
(These are a nice touch inside paperback books.)

Deckled Edges: IN
(Deckled edges look beautiful!)

Signed Copies by the Author: IN
(Yes, most definitely!!)

Dog-earing Pages: OUT
(I use bookmarks... preferably the magnetic kind.)

Chapter Titles Instead of Numbers: IN
(Numbered or titled chapters are fine either way for me.)

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Throwback Thursday - Book Reviews I Enjoyed Writing!!

Below are ten book reviews that I have enjoyed writing over the years. Many of the books provided a lot of information to ponder and/or discuss in my review. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

I've watched the 1953 movie version of 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, but I never realized the movie was based on the novel of the same name and written by Anita Loos.

I happened to come across the unabridged audio version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos for FREE on YouTube recently and decided to listen to it. It seems like one can find many classic novels in audiobook form to listen to for FREE on YouTube.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos is a definite period piece and is considered a 'comic novel'. It is written as a series of diary entries, which I found fun. According to Wikipedia, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos was first serialized in Harper's Magazine during the spring and summer of 1925. I also learned from Wikipedia that in November 1925, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos was republished by Boni and Liveright in book form and it became the second bestselling novel of 1926.

So, what did I think of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos? It was a fun, easy peasy read. I enjoyed listening to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and found the narrator to be delightful! Yes, this novel was funny throughout. However, at times, I felt some of the lexicon to be rather repetitive at times. I would recommend this book if you want to read a bestselling 'comic novel' written during the 1920s!

Below is the plot summary for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos I discovered on Chirp's website:
One of the most popular novels released in the 1920s on the hedonistic Jazz Age, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was declared the great American novel by Edith Wharton. Told from the point of view of a blonde flapper named Lorelei in the form of her diary, this novel follows her adventures around the world in search of a gentleman companion who can elevate her position within society. As Lorelei cycles through multiple men, she discovers things about herself and the way that she lives her life in retrospection—while also chronicling her changing moods and petty disputes with her brunette companion, Dorothy. Hilarious and a true classic, this revered novel transcends decades and continues to be relatable in this day and age.
I am giving Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday - The First 10 Books I Randomly Grabbed from My Shelf


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Top Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1. Queenie by Michael Korda - Wow, this is a blast from the past! I read the paperback edition of this novel during my sophomore year in high school. I had an English teacher that loved reading books and promoted reading books to her students. As an assignment, we had to read a 500+ page book and write a review of the book we read for her class. The book could be from any genre as long it was 500+ pages!! I selected Queenie based on the paperback's cover and book summary on the back cover. I remember really liking this novel at the time, but much of the plot details escape me now many decades later.

By the way, I gave away the paperback edition of Queenie to another high school classmate. I ended up purchasing a remaindered hardback copy of Queenie hoping to reread it again. I still haven't made time for a reread of Queenie.... Maybe some day I'll reread it.

2. Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones - I haven't read this novel yet, but I have read two other novels written by Tayari Jones. I attended the Bay Area Book Festival in 2019, where I heard Tayari Jones speak at this wonderful annual book festival. I was able to have her sign my used hardback edition of Leaving Atlanta.

3. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli - This paperback novel was given to me in 2010 by one of college professors who I am still in contact with decades later after college. Stargirl was my 1st experience with anything written by Jerry Spinelli and I've become hooked by his writing ever since. I loved reading Stargirl. I even read the follow up novel, Love, Stargirl, which I also enjoyed reading as well. My college professor and I still discuss books to this day.

4. The Scent of God by Beryl Singleton Bissell - I read this memoir prior to 2012 and really loved it a lot at the time. Reading about other people's lives can be very interesting.

5. In My Own Key by Liona Boyd - Quite frankly, I'd never heard of classical guitarist, Liona Boyd, before 1999. It wasn't until I attended Book Expo America (a book trade show) at the LA Convention Center in May 1999 for work (I worked at a college bookstore at the time). Liona Boyd had recently written and published her memoir, In My Own Key, and was signing hardback copies of her memoir at Book Expo America... So, I decided to grab a copy of her memoir and have her sign a copy for me. I read Liona Boyd's memoir, but wasn't impressed with her writing... Boyd's excessively flowery language used in describing her life, along with her flare for the dramatics were very off putting. Liona Boyd's writing style was just too darn distracting and if she simply used less flowery language and stuck to the facts regarding her life, it would have been an interesting and fascinating read.

6. Furry Logic by Matin Durrani - This is a science book about the physics of animal life and is sitting on my book shelf waiting to be read. I received it from a Bookcrosser, who was kind enough to send this book my way.

7. Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford - I bought this novel at The Dollar Tree for a dollar before the pandemic hit. I've yet to read it. It sounds like a great read, so hopefully I'll read it soon.

8. The Mothers by Brit Bennett - This novel is still sitting in my 'to be read' pile. I bought this book based on its summary and great reviews I've read about it. Hopefully, I will read The Mothers sooner rather than later.

9. Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice by Mark J. Plotkin Ph.D. - Back in my college days, I enrolled in an upper division biology course and took the easiest upper division science course I could find to satisfy my upper division science requirement. I completed a medicinal plant course that ended up being rather interesting when all was said and done. 

The professor for this course had mentioned we would receive extra credit by attending an in person author event/book signing at a Barnes & Noble book store for ethnobotanist, Mark J. Plotkin Ph.D. and his new book titled, Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice. I decided to attend the event because the Barnes & Noble bookstore was close enough to where I lived, so why not receive extra credit points for attending this author event? 

I'd never heard of Mark J. Plotkin Ph.D. before. I found him to be an engaging and passionate speaker about his time spent in the Amazon rainforest doing research as an ethnobotanist. I bought and read his book and loved it! Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice is one of my all time favorite books ever written. I also think that attending this event back in late 1993 or early 1994 may have been the 1st author event/book signing event I ever attended.

10. Godshot by Chelsea Bieker - This novel is still sitting in my 'to be read' pile. I bought this book based on its summary. Hopefully, I will read it sooner rather than later.