Sunday Quotables

It always surprises me when I encounter other writers who do not read. I have a really hard time not looking at them like o_0. I mean, how can you write in your particular genre/area without knowing what is currently being published in that genre/area???

What are your thoughts on this topic fellow readers and writers? I would love to know what you think. Leave me a message in the comments below or feel free to email me. ๐Ÿ˜€

Following is a very insightful quote from a ridiculously successful writer:


Sunday Quotable_Stephen King quote

Happy Sunday! If you’re a writer…read!!!


Clarence Olgibee by Alan S. Kessler — A Review

29464607Clarence Olgibee byย Alan S. Kessler

RaeleighReads rating:ย Hot_Coffee_EmojiHot_Coffee_EmojiHot_Coffee_EmojiHot_Coffee_Emoji

Synopsis:ย In 1974, 17-year-old Jimmy Tate Sullivan watched his two friends bludgeon to death a black man. Sentenced to life for abetting the crime, Sullivan is initiated into a white- supremacist church by a fellow convict, once the best friend of an African-American teenager, Clarence Olgibee.

Shifting back to 1954, this family saga is about race, religion, and the powerful white men in a sleepy Midwestern town who plan a new world order Olgibee tries to escape.

Small choices have fateful consequencesโ€” in this life and the next. Olgibeeโ€™s choices lead him back to the two women he loved and an ultimate decision.

The terms like and dislike do not seem to apply here.

This is a very well-written indie book, though the writing style did take some getting used to. Mr. Kessler most certainly has a voice all his own.

For most of this book I could not connect with the main character, Clarence. His outlook on life, and his actions, were foreign and appalling to me. I think, perhaps, that was intentional. Kessler spares no character in this novel. The whole thing is overridden by a cloud of pessimism and disgust at the human condition, and most of all, a disgust with the racism that still pervades this country.

He shows us the worst of humanity — lying, cheating, degrading, using. No character was redeemable. They were all complicit in their own state of misery. Honestly, it’s left me feeling a bit hollow. I began this book with a pretty low opinion of most of human-kind, but after this book, I’m feeling a little hopeless. I need some puppies or unicorns.

Related image

There, that’s a little better.

Please don’t mistake me. I do not mean to make light of this book. In its pages, one can find very real parallels to today’s events even though its setting is back in 1954 and 1974. It is as though nothing has changed. It gives me an eerie, spider-crawling-up-my-spine feeling. White supremacist groups, racism, eugenics…those are just a few topics Mr. Kessler’s pen stabs into the page.

It really was quite a read! It has made me ashamed of humanity, aware of my own privelege in that I rarely, if ever, have to think about these things, and pumped up to do something that will change our world (starting with myself) for the better. This is a read I’m sure I will not soon forget.

The cover of my review copy looks like this:

clarence olgibee

I happen to prefer my cover to the one with the smudgy red background.ย ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ

N.B. I believe this book may have undergone some edits since I received my review copy, so please keep that in mind, and apologies for not getting this review out sooner.

#TopTenTuesday – 10 Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Ten Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

(submitted byย Brandyn @ Goingforgoldilocks)

Never say never…but if I have to, here are my picks:

1. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

Probably won’t touch this one again simply because it is so long, but it truly did have an impact on my life.

2. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), Felicia Day

This was the funniest! I wish I had time to read it again, but I have to manage that (my time) super carefully these days. Sad face!

3. The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George

OMG you guys! The tears from this one. I was a big blubbery baby at the end!

4. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Four Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan

Such a good book about books. Again, just don’t have the time to read it again. Maybe one day…

5. The Fold, Peter Clines

Yes!!!! Best. Science. Fiction. Book. I’ve. Ever. Read. (Granted, I haven’t read that many science fiction booksย ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ )

6. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown

No. Shame.


7. Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer

Probably wouldn’t read these now, but I really enjoyed them when they first came out. I know, I know…Bella, but I still loved them. ๐Ÿ˜›

These last three are throwbacks from my childhood. Who’s with me!? (May be revealing my age :/ )

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8. All of the Babysitter’s Club books. ๐Ÿ˜€

9. All of the American Girl Doll books. I had Kirsten! ๐Ÿ˜€

10. All of the Little House on the Prairie books. ๐Ÿ˜€

Okay, I may pick some of these back up if I ever have children. I remember no details, only feelings, and they are good ones. Squeee.

Please leave a link to your Top Ten Tuesday in the comments section below so I can check out your picks! ๐Ÿ˜€

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir — A Review

33359446A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

But you, Helene Aquilla, are no swift-burning spark. You are a torch against the night – if you dare to let yourself burn.

We pick up A Torch Against the Night where An Ember in the Ashes left off. Laia and Elias are running for their lives, the Commandant is up to her usual evil ways, and Laia’s brother is trapped inside Kauf prison.

Like all traditionally published YA novels, this was well-written and suspenseful, and it had me wanting to turn page after page even when I was exhausted. I really enjoyed the incorporation of the Tribes into the story, the relationship development between Elias and Laia, and the struggle that Helene, now Blood Shrike of the empire, goes through in trying to choose between her friend and her duty to the empire. Honestly, the development of Helene’s character in this book was in large part why this book rated so high with me.

However, there were a couple of story lines that did not feel complete to me, and I found that a bit surprising considering how many hands this went through prior to publication. I think this book may have tried to accomplish way too much in too few pages.

  • The love triangle from book one carries over, but it’s sketchy and thoughtlessly handled.
  • Not nearly enough time is spent explaining the world of the jinns and the Waiting Place, which I assume will play a large role in book three (or at least, I hope it does).
  • That twist at the end felt a little cheesy, but all right I’ll go with it.

Despite these issues, I still enjoyed it very much, and want to know what happens with Elias and Laia in book three.

I picked this book to fulfill the Read Harder Challenge #20, A Book with a Cover You Hate. I know why Tahir wanted to change the cover design, and I respect that reasoning. I just think the execution (specifically the single color and the Throne of Glass knock-off style) was poorly done.


Which one do you prefer?