Review: Fountain of Drowned Memories

The moment that I realized that Erik Hofstatter had released a short story, I found myself extremely excited. I have read some of his previous works, The Pariahs, and Moribund Tales, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. I had really high hopes for his latest work, Fountain of Drowned Memories and I was not disappointed, in fact I’ve actually read it four times since my initial read through.

From the moment that you start reading, it is clear that there is something wrong. It opens with the main character, Lorcan, a name that is unusual and that I love it. He finds himself staring stains, scared because they seem to be watching him and he has no idea where they came from, in fact, Lorcan doesn’t know much about anything.

Erik does an amazing job at keeping the reader guessing about what is really going on. Has this poor old man been captured? Tortured and forced to be in a small, dingy cell? Is it something more sinister or is it something completely unknown? Or is it something easily explained?

Well, I’m not going to tell you, I want you to read it and see for yourself!

I will tell you, that I am a very picky reader, but I absolutely loved Fountain of Drowned Memories. I managed to figured out what was really happening about ¾ of the way through, and even then it didn’t take away any of the enjoyment.

Without giving anything away, I loved the way that Erik was able to convey what people who deal with what Lorcan is going through, through his own eyes, putting a new perspective on the issue that people never really discuss.

Also, a quick side note, I love how Erik wrote Lorcan’s accent into the story, I could almost hear it in my head as I read an it added to the story’s emersion.

If you have a little free time, I highly recommend that you read it and check out his other works. I’ll add links to both below.

 

Happy Reading,

Canada’s Bookworm.

 

Fountain of Drowned Memories

Other Works

 

Be sure to follow Erik on his Twitter, website and Facebook for more!

1984: A Classic that speaks for itself

I feel like I should apologize for having fallen behind. Things have been extremely hetic, I co-produced a documentary about superhero films for college, a close family member passed away (R.I.P Aunt Karen), I’ve been looking for a job and last Monday, I finally graduated from college! But enough of that, here are my thoughts on George Orwell’s 1984.

I honestly don’t know how I got out of high school without reading 1984, but I’m glad that I finally got to it. For the (very) few who haven’t read it, 1984 follows Winston Smith as he deals with oppression in Oceania, where citizens are examined by the Party on a daily basis for every action they do, with Big Brother leading them.

People in Oceania are banned from being individuals abd Winston chooses to voise his opinions and displeasure in a diary. Eventually, he ends up in a relationship with Julia, a co-worker, and then ends up having the unwanted attention of the Opposition. I could tell you more, but you’ve either read it already, or will read it yourself.

Honestly, I didn’t love, nor did I hate this book, which makes me glad that I didn’t have to read it in school and probably a part of why it took so long to finish. I’m still glad that I read it though.

I did make a lot of connections between the book world and the world that we live in. Today, almost everything that you do online, or in public can be tracked. Webcams can be hacked, websites tracked, CCTV is becoming more and more common in cities and you can be tracked with the GPS on your phone. In addition to this, the NSA have their hands in everything and freedom of speech is getting less and less ‘free’. I really could go on forever about this, but I wont. This mirrors the book in the way that Big Brother always knows.

Its because of these similarities that I think the book is important. Why? Because it can serve as a cautionary tale, too much surveillence or a lack of choice makes for unhappy citizens and eventually rebellion.

I don’t really have too much to say about 1984, I think the book speaks pretty well for itself.

Stay tuned later this week when I review Erik Hofstatter’s short story, Fountain of Drowned Memories.

After that I’ll be reading The Martian by Andy Weir.

 

Happy Reading,

Canada’s Bookworm.

Baker’s Dozen

“Why would a dead girl lie? Answer: Because she can’t stand up”

Almost immediately after I finished reading The Way of Shadows, I started reading Jay Asher’s novel Thirteen Reasons Why. Oh boy that was a journey.

In all honesty, I finished it that night, in fact I’m writing this, that night. You won’t see this posted for a few days, it’s too soon after the last one, but I wanted to write this while it was fresh.  I’m going to get my thoughts out of the way before I get into the book itself, and trust me, I have a lot of thoughts!

I feel like this book is very important, its message is something that people really need to pay attention to, and as someone who suffers from mental health issues, well, this book hits close to home. Really close to home.  It deals with a lot, from guilt, to a bit of romance, sexual assault. The list goes on.

For myself, the message of this book is simple, everything, and I do mean everything, you do affects someone else so be careful, and if there’s someone you want to get to know, whether be it that you have a crush on them, or that you just think they might need a friend, do it! You could save a life.

I know this seems cliché but if Clay Jensen had just talked to Hannah Baker, and gotten to know her more than just the one conversation that they had, then maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t have killed herself. Oh right, I hadn’t told you that part yet. Well let’s get into then.

I should warn you. This is not a happy story.

Thirteen Reasons Why is about Hannah Baker, but at the same time it’s about everyone else who had an impact on her life. Hannah was a high school student, new to town when rumours started to fly and soon she found herself with a reputation and her life spiraling out of control.

I could apologize for spoiling the fact that she killed herself, except that it’s not really a spoiler, in fact it’s in the synopsis of the book.

I actually ended up taking a lot of notes for this book, mainly because I wanted to make all of the connections myself. And boy are there a lot.

Let’s start with the basics shall we?

In the book, we learn that Hannah killed herself two weeks prior to the book by taking pills. She sends out 7 tapes, to thirteen people who had a part in the events leading up to her death and gives them two rules.

  1. You must listen to the tapes
  2. You must pass the tapes on to the next person.

Breaking the rules results in a second set of tapes being released publicly and then everyone involved is outed.

Initially I thought this was a great idea, really to show who was responsible and to show that its not always just one person. On the other hand, Hannah kind of gives off the feeling of being superior, putting the blame on everyone else, when some of the issues could have been avoided if she’d stepped up. But one does need to realize that this is a teenager, one who is depressed enough to take her own life and so the blame lies in many places.

There will be spoilers below, so beware readers!

First, there’s Justin Foley. Justin was her first kiss, but he betrayed her, after the kiss he’d told his friends that she’d let him feel her up and of course like any high school, rumours flew and suddenly she had a bad reputation. Later, we find out that one of his friends rapes another student, Jessica. This is where things get a little dicey for me. Hannah witnesses this, hiding in a closet at a party, and yet she does nothing to stop it. One could say she’s just a kid, and that she was scared, possibly even a little drunk, but it was no excuse. It’s not perfectly clear, or it might have been and I missed it, but I’m certain the guilt of witnessing that, played a big role in her death.

The second person is Alex Standall, Alex was one of her first friends, along with Jessica, however soon he ditched both of them. He created a list that didn’t help her reputation. It was a Who’s Hot, Who’s Not list where he voted her as the ‘Best Ass in Freshman Class’, well many of the events following this wouldn’t have happened without this list. Hannah knew it was a joke but it still made an impact. Why? Because people thought it meant they had the right to touch her. Which no one has the right to touch anyone unless they say so. Remember kids, no means no. Anyway, while at a store buying a chocolate bar, a student came in, smacked her on her rear and proceeded to tell her that he was only playing and to relax, as if it makes it okay. In Hannah’s mind the list gave him permission to do so.

The third person was her former friend Jessica Davis, yes the same Jessica from above who was raped. See the theme here? Everything ends up in a circle. Jessica and Hanna were introduced by a teacher, and like Hannah, she was on the list, directly opposite for having the worst butt. That wasn’t the main problem though, there was a rumour that Hannah and Alex had gotten together, Jessica liked Alex and for obvious reasons this caused a problem and Jessica ended up hitting Hannah.

Then there was Tyler. Tyler was just a creep. He was the photographer for the yearbook and one day she found him outside her window taking pictures of her. Yes, he was a peeping tom. Before this, Hannah would sleep with her blinds open just enough to see outside when in bed, where she’d watch the stars or lightning. He took that from her, her safe place was no longer safe and she had her blinds shut from then on.

Courtney Crimsen wasn’t a friend, but Hannah used her to help her catch Tyler. Courtney pretends to be nice but in reality is a pretty good backstabber. While at Hannah’s she looks in her drawer, no big deal right? Well she uses this when she invites Hannah to a party. How so? Well she tells everyone that Hannah has sex toys in her drawer. More rumours start of course.

Marcus Cooley paid for her phone number through a Valentine’s Day survey at school, the kind where you fill it out and it tells you who your top matches in the school are. I actually remember doing these in school. They planned to meet at Rosie’s Diner for a date, he ends up 30 minutes late and then proceeds to wedge her between himself and a wall, grabbing at her thigh before she’s able to get rid of him. He calls her a tease and leaves. What a guy…

Zach Dempsey shows up after Marcus leaves, apologizes and then pays for her milkshake. Later Hannah tells of him taking her complements in class, something that a teacher came up with. Everyone in her class were receiving notes except her and she catches him taking them. The compliments that she would have received were her hope. By taking these he took her hope away from her.

Ryan Shaver also stole from her, he made friends with her while at poetry nights, and later proceeded to steal her poetry for the school paper. This was read in class, the same day that she added a note to the teacher saying she wanted to kill herself. No one seemed to care and no one understood her poem either.

Clay Jensen…Clay is important. Other than Hannah, he’s the main character. The entire book is his experience through the tapes. He also doesn’t belong on the list in the way that you’d think. Clay did nothing wrong, Hannah even says so. He just simply was someone that she liked but didn’t get the chance to get to know. He also liked Hannah, but again didn’t get to know her because he wanted her to be the person he hoped she was, and not the person people said she was. While at a party they finally spoke, they got a long very well and he knew the rumours were just rumours. At one point they end up kissing. She thinks of her first kiss with Justin though and panics, because Justin ruined their first kiss and she thought she was adding to her bad reputation and Clay left because he didn’t know how to help. Clay’s sadness over her death is felt throughout the book, he keeps asking what he did to be on the list until finally she tells him that it was nothing. I was actually really glad for this because I really liked Clay as a character and didn’t want to see that he was really a bad person.

Jenny Kurtz is the next person. She offers to drive Hannah home from the party where Jessica is raped. Unfortunately, Jenny has been drinking and crashes her car into a stop sign. No one is hurt at that point, later though, an elderly man drives past, because there’s no stop sign he hits a kid and they end up dying. Jenny had refused to call 911 after her accident, if she had, the death may not have occurred. Hannah called 911 later to report it, just to find out about the secondary accident. The day of the student’s funeral, Hannah began thinking of her own death.

Then there’s Bryce Walker, now you may have noticed a theme of sexual assault in this book, and well I’m sorry to say it doesn’t stop here. Bryce, after the party where Jenny has her accident, is in a hot tub with a friend, Hannah joins them and Bryce proceeds to assault her. The problem I have with this though, is that Hannah never said no, she didn’t fight him, and she let it happen. One might not call it assault at this point, but she had just given up.

The last person on the tapes is, in my opinion, the most disappointing, and a situation I can relate to. I’ve struggled with mental health for a very long time, and one would assume that when you talk to people about it, and I mean professionals, they would want to help you. In my case my doctor took the knowledge of me having depression and told me to read a book…Which already wasn’t helping…but like myself, Hannah told someone she was struggling, she went to her teacher, and guidance counselor, Mr. Porter, who doesn’t really help, he tells her to confront her problems or move on. It is then that she makes the final decision to kill herself and leaves in a rush. Instead of following her, realizing that something was wrong, he didn’t follow. He failed her, like so many professionals fail people in the real world.

This was a story of blackmail, of a troubled student who couldn’t get the help that she needs, someone who was overwhelmed by the people who did her wrong and who treated her badly, someone who was let down by the very people who were in a position to help.

The really sad part? Stuff like this happens every day, and that’s why I think this book is a good lesson to everyone.

Be sure to check out the Thirteen Reasons Why website, where you can actually listen to the tapes.

http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.com/

 

 

 

Twists, Turns and Adventure! Oh My!

I am so excited to finally be able to write this entry, and let me warn you now there WILL be spoilers so reader beware!

When I first announced that I was going to try to read 100 books in a year, I asked my friends and family through Facebook, what books they’d suggest. One such friend, suggested Brent Weeks’ The Night Angel Trilogy. Thank you Cameron. THANKY YOU!

Mr. Weeks, I doubt that you will EVER read this, but if you do, I just want you to know that this book is amazing, seriously, the last time that I loved a book this much it was when I was 12 and reading The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for the first time. You sir, have me hooked.

It may have taken me what seemed like forever to read, but I picked up the first in the trilogy, The Way of Shadows, and fell in love. Yeah it took me over a month to read, but hey, life got busy. When I did have the time to read, I found it incredibly difficult to put down.

This book was just amazing. It is long, its dark, its brilliant! There were twists, turns, some very unexpected moments and all of the action and fighting one could want, with just a hint of romance. It was just perfection.

But what’s it about? Well, I’ll tell you! The Way of Shadows follows the journey of Azoth, an orphan living in the Warrens of Cenaria City.  When we first meet him, he’s trying to steal money in order to pay his dues to the Black Dragon Guild’s Guild Fist, Rat. If you can’t pay, you get beaten, pretty brutal.

One night when he’s trying to get enough money for his dues he overhears a confrontation between the best assassin in the city, known as a wetboy, Durzo Blint, and several enemies. Blint catches Azoth and quickly makes sure that Azoth won’t say a word about what he’s seen.

Following this, Azoth’s friend Jarl (remember him, he’s important later!) gives him money that he’s saved to become Blint’s apprentice. As you might imagine this doesn’t bode well for Jarl, and later their other friend Doll Girl is affected as well. I won’t go into detail from here but just know this.

Azoth does become Blint’s apprentice and spends 10 years training with him, abandoning his life as an orphan and learning all about how to kill, about fighting and poisons. He quickly stops being Azoth, and becomes Kylar Stern. As Kylar, he befriends Logan Gyre, the son of a duke, who also becomes important.

Unfortunately for Azoth, as he trains he seems to lack a talent, which is his magical ability.

I could tell you how he finds his talent, because oh boy does he find it, but that’ll take the fun out of reading it for yourself.

Below, however, you will find the spoilers I spoke of. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know!

First off, near the end of the book there was a total, ‘holy twist Batman!’ moment. Actually there were a few of these. The first comes when Blint, while trying to antagonize Azoth enough to have him kill him, claims to have been the person to beat and mutilate Elene (Doll Girl), and holy crap, does that ever get Azoth into kill mode. During the epilogue, however, Azoth does ask Elene if Blint did indeed cause her scars. She denies it. It was always Rat.

I’d be lying if I said that this part threw me for a loop. It drove me crazy! How on earth could your mentor be the reasoning for your love interests scarring and turn his back on you? Well it all makes sense if you read it, but it just makes you go “Oh my gosh, what just happened? Why?” I love it.

Secondly, one of the main antagonists in this book is Roth, Roth is in the beginning of the book, one of Rat’s bigs, basically a henchman doing his dirty work. Well, its revealed that the adult Roth? Yeah, he’s not Roth my fellow bookworms, nope, he is Rat! The very boy that Azoth thought he’d killed.

I found myself incredibly sad near the end of the book, I honestly thought Azoth was going to die, which technically he did, however he’s given the choice to return to the land of the living. There are going to be unknown consequences, but he chooses to live as the Night Angel, and in doing so also chooses Elene.

They now must flee to safety, as Roth(Rat)’s army did succeed in taking the castle and the city. I assume this is where we pick up in book two.

If any of my readers EVER have the chance to pick up this trilogy and give it a read, I hope you do. I truly loved this book and I’m sure I’ll love the rest of the trilogy as well.

Check out Brent Weeks’ website brentweeks.com and  his twitter @BrentWeeks!

For now, though, I must move on in my book reading journey. Stay tuned for the next book that I’m reading: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

If you’re not already following my reading journey, be sure to check out my Facebook page Canada’s Bookworm and my twitter @SarahJonasson.

 

Happy Reading,

Canada’s Bookworm

 

 

 

Where do I go from here?

First off, I’m clearly awful at keeping up with posting. From today on, there’s going to be at least one post a week.

So this week is the last of my 7 weeks off of school. You might be thinking “7 weeks? Why would you take 7 weeks off?” So here’s the thing. I am a college student, in my final semester at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario studying television broadcasting and communications media. My program requires that you do an internship, which is great, there’s nothing better than getting the experience needed to further your career, sure most people don’t get paid for it, but hey, it’s something.

Internships can take place any time after your first two semesters, but traditionally people do theirs during the final semester. I say traditionally, because I didn’t do that. During the summer between my second and third year, I was hired by the college as a newsroom assistant, where I actually did very little in the way of news, instead I was responsible for helping teach summer students how to edit, how to use gear and I also shot a bunch of how-to videos for the available equipment.

Mid-way through the summer, I was told by our program coordinator that I could use the job AS my internship. So not only would I have it out of the way, I would also get paid for it. I loved doing my job and going to work was NEVER something I dreaded, which was strange because every other job that I have had in the past, I hated going to. In fact, there was one job that before going in for the day I’d just cry in my car because it was just awful. I won’t tell you where it was, but just know that I was a cashier.

So back on track, I know I kind of went off topic there. In December I had knee surgery, and when it came time to pick my classes for my final semester, my options were, for the first 7 weeks, be in class and then the second 7 weeks, be doing an internship, or in my case be out in the real world. The other option was the opposite, 7 weeks of internship and then 7 weeks of classes. Initially I had planned to do the first 7 weeks of classes and then just find a job, however because of my knee surgery, I wasn’t cleared to drive and so I chose to use the first 7 weeks as my recovery time.

I will be back in school very shortly and then will have just over a month before I’m done for good. This absolutely terrifies me! Why? Because I have no idea where to go from here. All my experience in the film and television industry, are in school. I don’t even know where to start. I want nothing more than to be a PA, whether it’s on set or in an office, but I have no clue how to get there. I know I could volunteer, which is great, and I want to, but I also need to work and be paid for it.

I’m also terrified because back in 2014 I graduated from university with a degree in film studies, and I could not get hired for anything in the field. So really, I’m just scared that I’ve spent all this time, all this money on something that I love doing, and won’t be able to do the jobs I’m trained for. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation, there are thousands of students who will graduate this year and think “What now?”

So, I begin my search for jobs early, hoping someone will see my potential. If you’re in the same situation, I wish you the best of luck. I believe in you, so you should believe in yourself.

Two Years

Two years, it’s been two very long years and it still hurts like it was yesterday. I can remember everything you’d done for me, from having your door always open and feeding all of us kids (one can of chicken noodle soup for six kids, I still can’t eat it to this day!), to including me in family trips and girl’s night out even though my parents couldn’t afford it and really neither could you.

You always made sure I was involved, and when the kids at school bullied me, you were there telling me to keep my chin up and prove them wrong.  You came over and had coffee with my mom, even though it took you 5 years to finally tell her that you didn’t actually like coffee and finally switched to tea.

When Nicole had her surgeries you let me be there, let me visit daily, sit in on her tutoring sessions and even push her around in her wheelchair, I do apologize for being her reason of anxiety on hills…

If I wasn’t at home, I was always at your place, even after my family and I moved away you made sure Nicole and I kept in touch. Because of you, I’ve had her as my best friend for 20 years.

You were always there for me, even when you were having a hard time and you always were a second mom to me.

Now, exactly two years since you’ve left, I write this as I cry. You left us way too soon, we still needed you but we’re glad you’re no longer hurting. I can remember every moment of that day, the sounds and the smell of the hospital. All the tubes, where all the furniture in the room was.

I remember holding your hands, and you looking up at me, you looked lost, confused and scared and all I could say was “hi mom.” I didn’t know what else to say, what was appropriate and what wasn’t.  All I wanted was a hug from you and you to say everything would be okay. We knew you were leaving us, even worse was that it was your 50th birthday.

Two years later and it hurts just as much, if not more, because not long after you were gone I realized that my last words to you would be “hi mom,” I never actually said goodbye and I feel so guilty that I didn’t. What I wouldn’t give to hear you sing Buddy Wasisname’s ‘Sarah’ again like you used too.

I found out later from Nicole that you’d planned to take me to Dundern Castle the following summer. I’d never been and I’d always wanted to go. I still haven’t gone, mainly because that was going to be our trip. I think I’ll go this summer.

I miss you mom, so, so much and this was so hard to write, I haven’t cried so much in so long.

Lyndsay, Nicole and Miranda are doing amazing. Lyndsay is raising Wesley to be a great little man, Miranda is doing great in school, and Nicole, she’s about to be a mom herself and I know she’ll make you proud. If it hurts me this much, I can’t imagine how much it hurts them, but they’re making it out in the world on their own.

My eyes are blurry and I can barely see, so I’m going to end this here. I just want you to know mom, that even two years later, I miss you just as much and I know that it won’t go away. It feels like just yesterday we were all together with you singing that stupid song to me.

I know you weren’t mine by blood, but you raised me as much as mine did. I miss you so much mom.

I truly hope that when the time comes, I can be half the mom you were.

Happy birthday, we love you. We miss you. I wish you could come back.

Clandestine Tales

It seemed to take forever, but I’ve finally finished reading the first book on my list. Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen as very interesting, starting all the way back to the creation of the much talk about Area 51. It goes beyond the myths and the legends of aliens and takes a close look at the technology that has been developed on the site.

As a lover of history, Jacobsen’s book gave me into a place that otherwise I only had some knowledge and that was based on alien conspiracies. Something that I found to be particularly interesting and admittedly my favourite part the book, was the insight into

operation_crossroads_-_able_001

Able, detonated on July 1, 1946

the nuclear testing at Bikini Atol, which is a part of the Republic of Marshal Islands.

The first series of tests began here in 1946 under the code name Operation Crossroads. They were testing to see how naval ships withstood a nuclear blast. The first of the bombs was detonated at 520 feet above the target. I ended up going online and researching more about this because I found it to be so interesting.

Jacobsen also takes a lot of time explaining the development and tests of the Lockheed U-2 which was created at the base in order to achieve a high altitude

lok_u-2

The Lockheed U2 in 1955

of flight than anyone else. Also, a very interesting read and worth looking into more if you’re into that kind of thing.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, I had a little trouble getting into it, normally I wouldn’t have an issue but it made it hard to push through this one. The book is full of secrets, many, that even though I had researched Area 51 in the past, I hadn’t known. Other than the overuse of the word clandestine, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the base and hope to find more books on the topic, and maybe even read more from Annie Jacobsen herself.

Now I’m on to my next conquest, The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks.

 

Feeding my Addiction

The first step in overcoming an addiction, is admitting you have a problem. Well, contrary to my mother’s belief, I don’t have a problem, I am just a bookworm.

If you’re reading my blog, you’ll know that I’ve challenged myself to read 100 books, that I had never read, in one year. Well, I’ve always been a reader, and I’m always up for a challenge. Initially, when I made the decision to do this challenge, I posted on my personal Facebook, asking friends and relatives for suggestions.

Boy, were there ever suggestions. From the ridiculous (Rainbow Fish and Clifford) to books that I had been wanting to read anyway (Goldfinch for one), I have plenty of book suggestions to last me a while.

16111907_1354673531252297_795485771_nMy aunt had seen my status and asked if I wanted a box of books that she had lying around, the majority of which were Robert Ludlum novels. How could I say no?  So here I am now with 21 additional books that I could potentially use for my challenge. I was ecstatic. My mother on the other hand, wasn’t so pleased.

Why you ask? Well, probably because I have around 150-200 books in boxes in my closet, 100 in our garage loft and 50 on my bookshelf. Let’s just say, she was very happy when I moved on to e-books. My room has always been a mess, why? My books, I don’t have nearly enough shelves for them all and just started piling them up wherever I could.

I normally have a book with me everywhere I go, and more often than not I’m even reading during meals. For years this also was a sore point for my mother, but now that she’s on her phone during meals this is less of an issue. Of course these days, the books I usually have on hand are now e-books. I still much prefer a book in hand.

Sure, e-books are great, I love being able to have hundreds of books on me at all times, but there’s just something about having a physical book. For me, I love the smell of a book, old or new is the best smell, and the feel of a page and the sound of the page turning, is the best.

This may seem weird, but my absolute favourite thing about having a physical book however is the size. The bigger the book, the happier I am. Why? Well its simple. I can follow my progress based on the size. When you start a book, the right side of the book seems to be huge, the more you read it, the smaller the right side gets and the bigger the left gets. I’m not exactly sure why I love this so much, but it gives me a lot of satisfaction to see the left become bigger and the right smaller.

Even though I have a book as an e-book, I’m still going to make sure I have a hard copy. Eventually, I’d like to have my own library in my future apartment/house.

Books could definitely be considered an addiction, but it’s one that I’m proud of.

Why I Read and the Hunt for the Elusive Book

Way back when I was in public school,  I was going through a lot, well who am I kidding, I still am, but not the point. The point is, at 6 or 7 years old and onward, I was going through so many things, from bullying to being a sexual abuse survivor and losing the friends I thought that I had. That’s a lot for a kid to take. Eventually, this all led to today where I have depression.

I had an excellent coping mechanism however. Books. Books are my escape, as I’m sure it is for many others.

Through book, I can travel to faraway lands, go on journeys, watch characters grow and face troubles that more often than not were more problematic than my own. In fact, until I was 8 years old, I was convinced that my job when I grew up was going to be to follow Frodo and the Fellowship across Middle Earth to destroy the ring. Obviously that couldn’t happen.

I also just enjoy reading overall.

Books make me happy and that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Sure it sounds boring but hey, it is what it is. I’m sure it sounds cliché and all.

Moving on though, today I found myself on one doozy of a mission. Back when I was 11 or 12, one of my best friends would lend me books she thought that I’d enjoy. She leant me one book that I really enjoyed and was part of a series. For whatever reason I only got to read the first one and I wanted to read the rest as part of my 100 book challenge.

Do you think she or I could remember the name of it? If you said no, you would be correct. I could vaguely remember the cover and a bit of the plot.

Some weird guy on the colourful cover who takes in this kid to teach him magic.

Yup, that’s all I had to go on. I Googled just that, and repeatedly came up with nothing, as you can imagine, I was frustrated and it became more of a “I want to know just because it’s bugging me now” kind of thing.

Eventually I ended up on GoodReads.com going through lists of books for young adults in the 90s and early 2000s.

244572

Charmed Life, book one in the  Chrestomanci series.

It was there, about nine pages into my third list. Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series book one Charmed Life. It’s ridiculous the amount of relief I had just because I found it. I kind of had the cover right, there was a weird man on it, it just wasn’t as colorful as I remembered. I’d also forgotten the top hat.

My biggest mistake is the book that I thought came out in the 90s, originated in 77. No wonder I couldn’t find it. I may need to re-read the first one if I’m going to take on the others, of course if I do, the first one will not count towards the 100.

All in all, it took me about 4 hours to find it. It was worth it in my mind.

Anyway, that’s all for today I just wanted you to know why I read and how I wasted spent four hours trying to track down a book.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post about Annie Jacobsen’s Area 51 An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base.