Reading

The Gunslinger – Stephen King | A Book Review

The Gunslinger - Stephen King

Title: The Gunslinger

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Fantasy

About the book: It’s the first novel in a series called The Dark Tower.

First impressions: I’ve read King before, so I had high expectations. My edition included a foreword where King talked about writing, which I loved reading. To be honest, I didn’t know what was going on at first. Fortunately, the story got more interesting and less confusing.

Summary: The gunslinger, Roland, pursues the man in black across a desert. The latter has answers the former is seeking.

Characters: I liked getting to know Roland, especially learning more about his past. Near the end, the gunslinger catches up with the man in black who remains a mystery for most of the novel. Along the way, Roland meets others. Even though the conversations included unique slang I didn’t always understand, I enjoyed the interactions nonetheless.

Quote:

“What hurt you once will hurt you twice.”

Conflict: I found the plot moved at a slow pace.

Writing: It’s well written. I feel like this story and perhaps the series as a whole is quite particular in that you either love it, hate it, or don’t get it. I feel like I’m in the last camp. For most of the book, I felt lost more than anything.

I see some parallels to our real world, but other than that, a lot of the scenes went over my head.

Despite my ignorance, King still did a fine job with the description and dialogue.

Final thoughts: In my opinion, the ending might be the best part of the story. It answered questions and posed new ones for the next novel. That said, I probably won’t continue with this series.

I didn’t love it, but I’m sure there are individuals out there who would love The Gunslinger and all the other books. Besides, the first one isn’t too long.


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Reading

Plan Your Perfect Author Panel

Not long ago, I watched an author panel about genre blending. It got me thinking how awesome it’d be if I could gather all my favourite authors in the same room and listen to them talk about writing.

Here’s how I imagine my perfect panel:

Who would be there?

Pierce Brown, Stephen King, Sarah J. Maas, and Jodi Picoult. They’re my favourite storytellers as of right now.

Why these authors in particular?

In general, I love all of their work.

I enjoyed Brown’s Red Rising series, even though it shattered my already broken heart. So now I’m eagerly awaiting Iron Gold. In fact, IG is the first book I ever preordered. Also, Brown was in the genre blending panel, and his comments were spot on. The video is on YouTube for anyone interested.

King is king. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. This won’t be the last time, my friends. For some reason, I have this irrational fear I won’t like one of his novels. He still continues to surpass any and all expectations of mine. Carrie has a special place in my heart. The film adaption was not as good as the book but it wasn’t bad either.

I didn’t think I would like Throne of Glass by Maas as much as I did. The hype surrounding the books almost made me pass on it. I’m glad I didn’t.

Fortunately, I found and fell in love with House Rules. Then I proceeded to read all the Picoult novels I could get my hands on. Nineteen Minutes and The Pact stand out in my memory still to this day.

What will the panel be about?

To start, I’d want them to talk about their writing journey.

I even have questions prepared. When did you start writing? What made you become a writer? Why do you write? What’s a typical day in your life like? Where do you work? How do you write? What’s the easiest thing about your job? What is the hardest?

I’m a curious writer myself, so I like listening to other writers share their life stories.

Of course, if I could only ask one question, I’d have them answer this: what’s one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring writers?

Where would the panel take place? 

I wish more book events and conferences were held in the wonderful country of Canada. As much as I love the United States and hope to visit the United Kingdom one day, I can’t book a plane ticket without losing an arm or a leg. Probably both.

So, for obvious reasons, I’d want the panel to be held at a location near me. That way I could actually attend and keep all my limbs. In my dreams, I want to go to a Canadian book conference. Preferably downtown Toronto in a large building with awesome views of the skyline. Bonus points if it’s close to a hotel for those flying in from other countries with their two arms and legs.

When would the panel take place?

A weekend in the summer would be ideal. Or during autumn when the temperature is cool but not chilly. Then again, the panel will be inside an air conditioned room. But I’m all for having fun events take place outdoors. Beggars can’t be choosers, but planners can be picky, right?

Who should moderate?

I’m not sure. Perhaps another writer. Maybe an agent or an editor. I don’t have anyone specific in mind.

I want to hear all about your dream author panel. Let me know in a comment down below or create your own blog post and get carried away like me. I won’t judge.

Thanks to Eventbrite for inspiring this post. They are a self-service ticketing platform that helps people find and plan events like book conferences or author panels.

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Reading

Completing The 30 Books Challenge

1. A book you love:

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

I love this book with all my heart. And I’m trying to make other people love it too.

2. A book you can’t forget:

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

My grade five teacher recommended it to me. Bless her for doing so.

3. A book that motivated you:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

King makes me want to be a better writer.

4. A book that made you think about life:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

It’s thought-provoking.

5. A book with a colour in its title:

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I adore Brown and his brain.

6. A book with a number in its title:

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

I had to read it for school, but I liked the modernized zombie tale.

7. A book everyone needs to read:

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Timeless classic. What more can I say?

8. A book that was recommended to you:

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

A good friend of mine made me pick this one up.

9. A book you didn’t expect to like as much as you did:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Because of the hype surrounding Maas and her work, I thought I wasn’t going to like her novels. But I enjoyed ToG so very much.

10. A book that made you cry:

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

It didn’t directly make me cry, but I was holding the book while I cried. Does that count?

11. A book that reminds you of your childhood:

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I was a naïve child.

12. A book you have reread or would reread:

Thirst No. 4 by Christopher Pike

I reread the fourth book prior to reading the fifth in order to jog my memory. The second read through was just as good, if not even better than the first.

13. A book that was turned into a movie:

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I read the book before I watched the movie. If you know me at all, you know I’m firmly in the camp that the book was obviously better.

14. A book you wish was turned into a movie or TV show:

The Escape by David Baldacci

This needs to be made into a movie.

15. A book you couldn’t put down:

Endgame: The Calling by James Frey

Action-packed fun.

16. A book that kept you up at night:

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I remember finishing the novel late at night and being blown away by the ending.

17. A book you travelled with:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

I carried the novel in my bag with a water bottle I didn’t close properly. Safe to say water and paper don’t mix unless you’re painting with watercolours.

18. A book you wanted to toss across the room:

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Because of how it ends.

19. A book you received as a gift:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

From my one and only older brother. Thanks.

20. A book you gave or would give as a gift:

The Elements of Style by E. B. White and William Strunk Jr.

I would give it as a gift, especially to someone who likes writing.

21. A book you think is underrated:

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

I don’t see or hear many people talk about Norris and her books.

22. A book that lived up to its hype:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I didn’t think it would, but it did.

23. A book that broke your heart:

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

It was my first Picoult novel. I’m happy to say it was not the last. I really felt for the characters in this one.

24. A book that restored your faith in humanity:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Young, awesome characters tend to restore my faith.

25. A book with a pretty cover:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

It’s my aesthetic.

26. A book that reminds you of summer:

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The novel takes place in the summer.

27. A book that brings back good memories:

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Technically it’s a play I performed with some of my best friends in high school.

28. A book that makes you happy:

Nevermore by James Patterson

I enjoyed the entire series.

29. A book you will never get tired of talking about:

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

I could go on and on about this gem.

30. A book you wish you wrote:

Carrie by Stephen King

If I had to be honest, I wish I wrote every novel King wrote. Carrie is no exception.


This post contains many affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy through them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Reading

Authors I Want To Meet

I want to meet almost every author but the ones below especially.

Pierce Brown

I would love to pick his brain over lunch or brunch. But I’ll settle for reading his books.

Jodi Picoult

Love her characters. Love her stories. She never ceases to amaze me. I don’t think I’ve ever correctly predicted the endings to any of her books.

Stephen King

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: King is King. He always will be.

Who do you want to meet?

Reading

Books Of The Month | August 2016

What better way to relax over the summer than to read a good book? Or ten.

What I Finished:

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

One phrase description:

A long but fast read.

Quote:

“It was amazing what humans could do.”

My general thoughts:

At first I thought I’d take forever to finish the novel because I’m a slow reader. It’s longer than I anticipated as well. But since I liked the characters and the pacing of the story, I got through the book pretty quickly by my standards. Even though the teenagers each had a unique power, there was also a downside or weakness to their abilities. I’m all for diversity, flawed human beings, and different people coming together for a common cause.

Joyland by Stephen KingJoyland by Stephen King

One phrase description:

A fun summer read.

Quote:

“But the mind defend itself as long as it can.”

My general thoughts:

King is king. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. King is king. I found myself falling in love with the story more and more. I desperately needed an escape from the real world while reading Joyland, and Stephen King didn’t let me down. I made a guess at who the murderer was, but guess what? I was way off. No surprise there. I didn’t see the ending coming. Not by a mile. And I’m perfectly okay with that.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

One phrase description:

A peculiar read.

Quote:

“But eventually, if I lived through this, I would have to face up to the decision I had made and the pain I had caused.”

My general thoughts:

I still love the characters, even more so the second time around. I felt like I got to know everyone better. That said I also enjoyed the new characters (humans and animals) that were introduced, even if they did have a minor role. The photographs didn’t disappoint either. Neither did the paper that the book was printed on. I like good quality paper. Let me be.

What I Want To Read Next Month:

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Why:

I’ve never read anything by J.K. Rowling, so it’s about time I did.

You’ll support me and this blog if you buy through my affiliate links, but you don’t have to.

Reading

Fav Books Mid-Year 2016

Déjà vu, much?

These are some of the books I’ve enjoyed reading so far:

On Writing, Sky Key, The Guilty, On Such A Full Sea

Can anyone tell me how 2016 is halfway over? Or should I say there’s still half a year to go?

Reading

Books Of The Month: January 2016

New year, new books!

Me and Early and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

One phrase description: The style stands out.

Quote:

The foundation of any good working relationship is trust.

My general thoughts: There was a lot more profanity in it than I expected. I know people say it’s funny and comedic, but I didn’t feel that way. Maybe it just didn’t appeal to my sense of humour. And I technically finished this book in December 2015. It was a nice way to round out the year.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

One phrase description: A mix of history and story.

Quote:

Our strength came from the collective…

My general thoughts: I liked the concept and premise more than I liked the writing.

On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King

One phrase description: You can never go wrong with reading about writing.

Quote:

All I ask is that you do as well as you can, and remember that, while to write adverbs is human, to write he said or she said is divine.

My general thoughts: King is King. He will always be King. I loved everything about it. Also, I can see myself rereading this book in the future. I can’t recommend it enough.

What’s coming up…

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Why: University.

Happy reading this 2016!

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Reading

Books That Have Changed Your Life

Obviously I don’t know which books have changed your life, but I know mine. It’s about time I start doing more book related posts and I might as well reflect on my life while I’m at it. Besides I am who I am today largely because of books.

By no means is this an exhaustive list or else we’d be here forever. Also why would anyone want to be on my blog for that long?

This intro sounded much better in my head.

Below are a few of many books that have changed my life…for the better, of course.

The Maze Runner (series) by James Dashner

Diversity and representation. Enough said. Dashner did a WICKED job with everything else as well if you know what I mean.

The Maze Runner (series)-James Dashner

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

It was a recommendation from a teacher. I think I was in grade five. Ten-year-old me loved it. I’d love to reread it in my retirement. The book did something to me. I can’t explain it. Sorry not sorry.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I had to read this for school, but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book whatsoever. Another story I would reread. I’m starting to think most of the books on this list are in my reread list. I didn’t realize I even had a list until now. Thanks goes to my subconscious mind.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The. Ending. Though.

Carrie by Stephen King

King is in a category of his own. So is Carrie.

House Rules/Nineteen Minutes/The Pact by Jodi Picoult

All her books are incredible and worth reading, but these ones, in particular, hit me the hardest. They’ll continue to stay with me.The Pact-Jodi Picoult

Don’t lie to me. I know books have changed your life as well.