I almost forgot to do my July goals! Also I’m excited to say that I’ve been hired to be the receptionist at an addiction counseling clinic. Due to this awesome life development I’m going to take it easy on my goals so that I’m not overwhelming myself. Here are my goals:

  • Post 6 days a week still, but not to feel disappointed if I miss a day here and there because of my new job.
  • Get to 4,000 followers. I’m at about 3,500 right now so I’m not too far off!
  • Read at least a book a week, but shoot for two, while keeping in mind my first goal.

So there we have it! My goals for July. What are your goals this month? Let me know in the comments.

If right now I had to make the decision to read books from one author for the rest of my life, I’d pick J.R.R. Tolkien.

Why him and not J.K. Rowling, since I love Harry Potter so much? Because he has a ton of books under his belt and he’s built an entire universe based around Middle Earth. He has languages, religions, and histories. I could get lost in his world for the rest of my life and still not know all the mysteries.

The Lord Of The Rings is one of my favorite series, right behind Harry Potter, and the story give me everything. It’s beautiful, it’s sad, and it’s terrifying. The characters are amazing and so lovable, and lets not forget that in a time of men being the heroes, Tolkien had Éowyn slay the Witch King. I adore the lives he’s created in his work, they inspire me.

A lot of people don’t realize how deep the roots for The Lord Of The Rings are. There’s The Silmarillion, the histories, The Hobbit, and many other wonderful works. Tolkien wrote poetry and children’s books. He was an extraordinarily talented and versatile writer, I would not be lacking in reading material.

Tolkien also wrote a version of Beowulf that I’ve been trying to get my hands on for a few years. I could get it online but I’d like to get it second hand to support local businesses. I had a coworker tell me how awesome it was and I’ve been dying to get my hands on it ever since.

If you had to pick one author to read for the rest of your life who would it be? Let me know in the comments.

Have you ever become attached to a couple in a book? A couple that you shipped so hard that your heart would be broken if something happened to them? This is my top 5 favorite lovebirds!

5. Alana and Marko (Saga)

I love Alana and Marko. They are a beautiful forbidden love story, like a super badass Romeo & Juliet. They travel the Galaxy to save each other and their daughter, all the while fighting bad guys and struggling to survive. They’re hard not to love, even though Alana can be really annoying and Marko can be too soft. They are a good thing and I admire their love for each other. Not to mention, they are amazing parents.

4. Geralt and Yennefer (The Witcher)

I love Geralt and Yennefer for the exact opposite reason I love Alana and Marko. Geralt and Yennefer are complicated, and they don’t understand their love for each other the way Alana and Marko do. But, even though they struggle with their feeling they always try to help one another in the end. Geralt will risk everything for her, and he is her sweet spot. They represent the difficulties of love, and how scary it can be to have someone as your weakness.

3. Éowyn and Faramir (The Lord of The Rings)

These two are the kind of love that happens on accident. Éowyn is depressed and pining over Aragorn when she meets Faramir. He pulls her out of her slump and they fall in love. I wish this had been covered properly in the movies because it is really beautiful.

In the darkest of times, often love is what pulls you through. This couple embodies that sentiment so well. They need each other and find each other at the perfect time. They are the necessary love. The kind of love that can only come from the atrocities of war.

2. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley (Harry Potter)

They are relationship goals! They fit like a puzzle! Mrs. Weasley is explosive and over protective, while Mr. Weasley is calm and playful. They are like wine and chocolate, complimentary. Together they are the perfect leaders for their many children, and they are successful in love and parenting.

This is the couple I try to emulate. They have their flaws but their love is always in sync.

Damien and Jack (House of Night)

These two personify young love, and how sweet/bittersweet it can be. They fall head over heels for each other. Jack is the sweetest guy and Damien is so smart, they make a great couple. Every time they appear together I smile. I can remember the sweet feeling of high school love. I’m still with my high school sweetheart, and they make my heart flutter in remembrance. They take the cake for book romances. They endure so much, but their love never dies.

Do you have a favorite book couple? Let me know in the comments.

Percy is the most relatable character that I think Riordan has written. He’s successful due to dumb luck a lot, he’s constantly confused, and he really didn’t ask for the challenges he’s been given. I find myself being able to put myself in his shoes a lot.

I took one of those quizzes, like the Buzzfeed quizzes, and as it turns out I would be a child of Poseidon. That’s why I think I can relate to Percy so much, he’d be my half brother in that universe. I see a lot of myself in Percy, and growing up it was great to have a character that felt like me. I read these in middle school or early high school, I can’t exactly remember, and Percy was always my favorite.

I find solace next to the ocean, I grew up about 15 minutes away from the Pacific, and it’s always been a big part of my life. I learned how to swim when I was about three, and I’ve loved water ever since. There’s something about it that’s freeing. Granted, I do most of my swimming in the river or lake and not the ocean, because the ocean is dangerous around here, but I love water nonetheless.

If I could have Percy’s powers I’d take them in a heartbeat, his are coolest in my opinion. He can heal in the water, breathe underwater, and communicate with sea creatures. Percy is like a cool Aquaman. I’d totally be happy to be the daughter of Poseidon and wield the powers of the ocean.

Have you read Percy Jackson? Who do you think would be your Greek god/goddess parent? Let me know in the comments!

From the author of World War Z comes a frightening new book with scary new monsters. In Devolution, Brooks tackles Bigfoot.

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now. The journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing—and too earth-shattering in its implications—to be forgotten. In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it. Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and, inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that. 

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity. 

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before.

(Description from Amazon)

When I saw that Max Brooks was writing a new novel I was so excited, because I loved World War Z. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

The key difference between this book and World War Z (WWZ) is that the story is primarily told from one perspective while WWZ is told from multiple. I liked how the one perspective made this novel feel personal, as opposed to an entirely historical text.

But, don’t get me wrong. This book has a ton of factual and historical knowledge of primates in it to help create a realistic Bigfoot. Brooks makes the legend believable. There are snippets from books on apes and “interviews” with experts in the field. I like how that is mixed in with Katie’s journal entries. In the book you read a section of her journal, then it is broken down using the factual evidence of primates, this makes it feel like you’re reading an actual case file.

My main issue was that this book isn’t that scary. I was hoping for WWZ levels of scary, but this book didn’t deliver that. I will place some of the blame on myself though. I’m from the Pacific Northwest, right in the hub of Bigfoot. I used to go Bigfoot hunting on the weekends with my brother and dad, maybe I’m just not afraid of Bigfoot because I’ve been so desensitized to it.

This book is more stomach turning than scary in my opinion. There were parts that were scary strictly because of violent gorey death. It made me anxious because it forced me to imagine dying a horrible death. The Bigfoot themselves are something I have imagined since I was a small child, and the only thing I find frightening about them is that they’re capable of ripping me in half or popping my head off. The legend of Bigfoot is very much alive and constantly speculated about, so to me it was just another way of imagining that they could be real.

Fun fact: I worked at Ripley’s Believe It or Not on the Newport Bayfront, and they had a huge wax Bigfoot standing in the entry way. I had buttons to make him growl and I also had to brush his hair once a day.

Isn’t he cute?

Back to the review. One thing I really loved was that the novel expertly captured the essence of the Pacific Northwest. From the landscape,

“These trees are happy. Yes, I said it. Why wouldn’t they be, in this rich, soft, rain-washed soil. A few with light, speckled bark and golden, falling leaves. They mix in among the tall, powerful pines. Some with their silver-bottom needles or the flatter, softer kind that brushed gently against me as I walked by. Comforting columns that hold up the sky, taller than anything in L.A., including those skinny wavy palms that hurt my neck to look up at.”

To the culture,

““Black hole sun…,” singing above the rush of water, “won’t you come, and wash away the rain…” He was scrubbing away, head bouncing to his own rhythm.”

If you’re unfamiliar with Black Hole Sun, it’s a song by the grunge band Soundgarden. Grunge was huge in Seattle in the 90’s.

I just love that Brooks captured the atmosphere of my home so well. It made me believe that Brooks put in a ton of research and wanted the novel to be as authentic as possible.

I will make one final point, this book has a lot to say about human nature and how primitive it can be. One quote really stands out,

“Adversity introduces us to ourselves.”

We as humans don’t know who we are until we are in a life or death situation. You don’t know if you’ll kill to protect yourself or if you’ll run. This book explores that question in depth, and it is a survivors tale like none other.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I think this book is 4.5 stars, but Goodreads and Amazon don’t accept half stars so I’m bumping it up to 5.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book for yourself follow this link. I will get a portion of the profit at no extra cost to you. My blog thanks you.

Have you heard of Bigfoot? Or are they called something else where you’re from? Let me know in the comments.

I’m currently reading this one, but haven’t quite finished. This thorough review from Renee Reviews should hold you over until I can get my thoughts out there. – Sav

Author: Max Brooks Publication Date: June 16, 2020Genre: Suspense, Horror, Fiction, ThrillerFormat: HardcoverFind it on: Amazon, Goodreads Synopsis …

Review: “Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre”

Alice and Her Bookshelf does a good job of breaking down and reviewing this novel. But don’t take my word for it, read the review for yourself – Sav

My rating 4.5/5 Iris is desperate to leave her job as a dollmaker, desperate for life filled with happiness and excitement. She meets Louis, a …

Review: The Doll Factory – Elizabeth Macneal