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Currently Reading: The Woodcutter

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The Woodcutter on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

I have to share this book, The Woodcutter by Kate Danley. I’m just passed halfway and I’m going to be so sad when this book ends. It is such an intriguing and engaging read! Maybe it’s just me but the story and characters here are so fresh! As soon as I start reading, I’m pulled in and I just want to continue reading nonstop. Of course, I have to stop on and off to go do other things but that is beside the point.

The story is refreshing and mysterious and a bit chilly even! I love how the main hero is called simply “The Woodcutter”. The name is so simple and yet I feel there is a great mystery behind him. I can’t wait to find out. Then there is this character that is called “The Gentleman” and “The Queen”. There are many fairy tale characters in the story and were cleverly intertwined into the plot.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.

The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.

But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.

Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

 

Seriously, if you want to read something different but just as good, give this a try. If you’ve read it, let me know what you think. I seriously love it so far!

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Book: The Uncanny Valley: Tales from a Lost Town (Kindle Edition)

Once in a while you find a book that is so much better than you think. And it was free. Even better right? Amazon always has a selection of free kindle books and that was how I found this gem, The Uncanny Valley: Tales from a Lost Town, by Gregory Miller. It is now $0.99 but still a great price.

Originally, I thought it was a kid’s book and got it for my daughter. When I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I was way more engrossed than I thought possible. I got goosebumps reading the notes from the author at the end of the book. So don’t skip that part. It is a short read, just 141 pages and comprised of 33 letters / stories from the citizens of Uncanny Valley. Some stories stood out more than others and are enough to get the little hairs on the back of your neck standing straight up. There were a few that made me chuckled and laugh out loud. LOL They were that good. Those stories probably weren’t meant to be funny but I couldn’t help it.

Here is the description:

The Uncanny Valley…

“…is a macabre serenade to a small town that may or may not exist, peopled with alive and dead denizens who wander about the hills and houses with creepy fluidity. Told by individual inhabitants, the stories recount tales of disappearing dead deer, enchanted gardens, invisible killer dogs, and rattlesnakes that fall from the sky; each contribution adds to a composite portrait that skitters between eerie, ghoulish, and poignant. Miller is a master storyteller, clearly delighting in his mischievous creations.”

Thirty-Three Tales.
Thirty-Three Tellers.
One Lost Town.

If you want to read a great short book that will wake you up, try this. Two thumbs up!

If you get a chance to read this, let me know what you think.

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“the good earth”

some weeks ago i was at the local library browsing. i came to a shelf of hardcover books and just happen to noticed that there was this tiny paperback book in that small line of shelf. out of curiousity, i pulled the book out to see what it was. that book was “the good earth”. for some reason, i was about to put it back and then “BING!” that title sounded familiar…ah, it was on my to be read list some months ago when i somehow stumbled upon the great reviews of it on amazon. i was reading reviews for “empress orchid” (which i love!) and you know how you just keep clicking links…

i read the back just to be sure and sure enough, it was THE book that was written more than half a century ago by the acclaimed pearl s. buck. even though i was only half way through the “last empress” book (sequel to “empress orchid”), i started reading this right away. it was great! it’s simple yet complicated – i really felt for the characters. i also love how, inside the book in the middle, there were photos of the pear buck and captions from the motion picture. i was only done with the preface when i jumped to the photos and captions. i have to admit that a few particular lines from the captions almost turned me off. the only reason being that i wasn’t sure if i can handled reading something like that. unfortunately, i already read those lines. that night and many nights after i couldn’t stop imagining and playing those lines in my head. it was depressing…made more so because i’m a mother and i love kids. i even told james about it. he was shocked too! if you’ve read the book, you’ll know what i’m referring to. needless to say, i didn’t let that deter me and finished the book that weekend. it was sad and you knew what was coming but it was mesmerizing!

the things i love about it:

1) the loyalty shown to wang lung’s single parent. nowadays, you’ll be lucky to see even a fraction of that.

2) o-lan’s undeniably respect to her husband, even when he was not treating her well.

3) the father-in-law’s (unspoken) feelings for his daughter-in-law

4) the day in and day out work that they do

5) wang lung determination to keep his land even when they were starving

6) the flow of the story

even when wang lung turned out the way he did, i was sad to see the last page of the book. i just found out that pear s. buck wrote 2 sequels to “the good earth” that i have not hunt down. the 2nd is about wang lung’s youngest son and the third about his grandson. from the description, it sounds like it’ll come full circle with the son(s) not wanting to be farmers and the grandson who does. i can’t say for sure until i read them.

on a side note, i finally finished “the last empress” which took more motivation than i thought. “empress orchid” flow more easily and was a much better read. right after that we rented “the karate kid” and the sceneries of china are so beautiful! there was a short scene with the forbidden city too! and mt. wudang…so majestical! even if you that is not your typical movie, those scenes are worth the price of the rental! it looks just awesome on blu-ray.

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empress orchid

many years ago i watched “lover of the last empress“. it was based (loosely?) on the life of empress dowager tzu hsi starring chingmy yau, tony leung, and yu rong-guang. it was quite an unforgettable film as it was not the usual funny, light chingmy fare. there were some dark and disturbing scenes. :(

a few days ago i saw “empress orchid” sitting at the library and from reading the preview, it was another take on the same empress. i picked it up and finished it today. it was a great read and i love anchee min’s beautiful descriptions of the palaces and the forbidden city! it was so intriguing! i mean power shifts back and forth and heads roll at a moment’s notice…you never know what’s going to happen.

the book is of course, different from the movie and i realized everything is not facts but it still makes for a wonderful read. gaining a bit of chinese history doesn’t hurt too. :D

it also made me think of how hard it must be to be someone so powerful. i can’t wait to read the finale to this book, “the last empress”. it’s on request at the local library. :)