the reading chronicles

A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.

The Complete, Unofficial History of the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History - Jim Piazza

The Academy Awards invites us to share in the celebration of 86 years of best actors, actresses, directors, cinematographers, costume designers, and more, plus the greatest films in movie-making history. All of the winners and the losers of Hollywood's prestigious award ceremony are covered here in detail, together with all of the glamour and gossip that is the Oscars®.

Written by film experts Jim Piazza and Gail Kinn, who are sought out by the media every year for their insider knowledge of movies and Hollywood, The Academy Awards is both a handy reference and a detailed history of the annual event. Organized by year, beginning with the very first awards given in 1927, The Academy Awards presents in each chapter a complete and fun-to-read overview of the ceremony, including highlights of the most memorable moments (and outfits!) of the evening. Piazza and Kinn also provide details and little-known facts about award winners for best picture, best actor and actress, best supporting actor and actress, and honorary awards, plus a complete list of nominees in every category.

Packed with more than 500 photographs from the ceremonies and red carpet, as well as stills from the movies themselves, this unauthorized book delivers what fans want most: all the facts, enhanced by juicy commentary and pictures galore. [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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SPOILER ALERT!

Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn

Brooklyn - Colm Tóibín

Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking, Colm Tóibín's sixth novel, Brooklyn, is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself.

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, she cannot find a job in the miserable Irish economy. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America--to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood "just like Ireland"--she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, a blond Italian from a big family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. He takes Eilis to Coney Island and Ebbets Field, and home to dinner in the two-room apartment he shares with his brothers and parents. He talks of having children who are Dodgers fans. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

By far Tóibín's most instantly engaging and emotionally resonant novel, Brooklyn will make readers fall in love with his gorgeous writing and spellbinding characters.
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Matthew FitzSimmons's The Short Drop

The Short Drop - Matthew FitzSimmons

A decade ago, fourteen-year-old Suzanne Lombard, the daughter of Benjamin Lombard—then a senator, now a powerful vice president running for the presidency—disappeared in the most sensational missing-person case in the nation’s history. Still unsolved, the mystery remains a national obsession.

 

For legendary hacker and marine Gibson Vaughn, the case is personal—Suzanne Lombard had been like a sister to him. On the tenth anniversary of her disappearance, the former head of Benjamin Lombard’s security asks for Gibson’s help in a covert investigation of the case, with new evidence in hand.

 

Haunted by tragic memories, he jumps at the chance to uncover what happened all those years ago. Using his military and technical prowess, he soon discovers multiple conspiracies surrounding the Lombard family—and he encounters powerful, ruthless political players who will do anything to silence him and his team. With new information surfacing that could threaten Lombard’s bid for the presidency, Gibson must stay one step ahead as he navigates a dangerous web to get to the truth. [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Sue Klebold's A Mother's Reckoning

A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy - Sue Klebold, Andrew Solomon

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.
 
For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?
 
These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.
 
Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.
 
All author profits from the book will be donated to research and to charitable organizations focusing on mental health issues.
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me

Shatter Me  - Tahereh Mafi

"You can't touch me," I whisper.

I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.

He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.


No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Ransom Rigg's Library of Souls

Library of Souls - Ransom Riggs

A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Diane Chamberlain's The Midwife's Confession

The Midwife's Confession - Diane Chamberlain

Dear Anna,
What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry...

 

The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle - her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family - described a woman who embraced life.


Yet there was so much they didn't know.


With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives; and the life of a desperate stranger with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit. [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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William Gay's The Long Home

The Long Home - William Gay

In a literary voice that is both original and powerfully unsettling, William Gay tells the story of Nathan Winer, a young and headstrong Tennessee carpenter who lost his father years ago to a human evil that is greater — and closer at hand — than any the boy can imagine.

It is also the story of Amber Rose, a beautiful young woman forced to live beneath that evil, who recognizes even as a child that Nathan is her first and last chance at escape. And it is the story of William Tell Oliver, a solitary old man who watches the growing evil from the dark woods and adds to his own weathered guilt by failing to do anything about it. Set in rural Tennessee in the 1940s, The Long Home haunts the reader with its sense of solitude, longing, and the deliverance that is always just out of reach, and brings to mind the greatest writers of the American South — Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, Cormac McCarthy.
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Maggie Stiefvater's Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Alexandre Dumas (fils)'s Camille/The Lady of the Camellias

Camille - Toril Moi, Alexandre Dumas-fils

Marguerite Gautier is the most beautiful, brazen—and expensive—courtesan in all of Paris. Despite being ill with consumption, she lives a glittering, moneyed life of nonstop parties and aristocratic balls and savors every day as if it were her last.

Into her life comes Armand Duval. Young, handsome, and recklessly headstrong, he is hopelessly in love with Marguerite, but not nearly rich enough. Yet Armand is Marguerite’s first true love, and against her better judgment, she throws away her upper-class lifestyle for him. But as intense as their love for each other is, it challenges a reality that cannot be denied.…
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys' house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can't quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys' of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks' time? Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine... [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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SPOILER ALERT!

Victoria Aveyard's Glass Sword

Glass Sword (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever? [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho

American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis

Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated, intelligent. He works by day on Wall Street earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. His nights he spends in ways we cannot begin to fathom. He is twenty-six years old and living his own American Dream. [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Judith Guest's Ordinary People

Ordinary People - Judith Guest

The Jarrets are a typical American family. Calvin is a determined, successful provider and Beth an organized, efficient wife. They had two sons, Conrad and Buck, but now they have one. In this memorable, moving novel, Judith Guest takes the reader into their lives to share their misunderstandings, pain...and ultimate healing. [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Maggie Stiefvater's The Dream Thieves

The Dream Thieves - Maggie Stiefvater

If you could steal things from dreams, what would you take?

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

Of The Raven Boys, Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Maggie Stiefvater's can't-put-it-down paranormal adventure will leave you clamoring for book two." Now the second book is here, with the same wild imagination, dark romance, and heart-stopping twists that only Maggie Stiefvater can conjure.
[ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen

Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart ... [ synopsis from goodreads ]

 

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Currently reading

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, Norman Denny
Progress: 495/1232pages
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Progress: 509/1024pages