Category: Books

100 Word Book Review – 11/22/63 by Stephen King

11/22/63 by Stephen King

This book intrigued me when it first came out but the resent series based on the book inspired me to get a copy and ready it.  I really loved this book.  I love the mixing of time travel with historical facts and the amount of research King did is truly staggering.  It is full of suspense and action and has, to my thinking, one of the greatest love stories King’s ever written.  You can’t go back.  You can’t change the past.  It’s better to just keep moving forward.  Such good lessons.  I highly recommend reading this one if you can.

I went a little quote happy with this one so there’s a ton of quotes.  It was just a darn good book.

A broken piece of moon hung in the sky. Away from its glow, the stars had never seemed so bright or close.

Humans were built to look back; that’s why we have that swivel joint in our necks.

Did people even approach him as he went about the job of pouring grain alcohol onto the coals of rage at the back of his brain?

“Like the moon and the stars, cuz. Like the moon and the stars.”

I remember watching the full moon rise silently over the trees on one of those evenings, and how it beat a silver avenue across the water while the reflection of my canoe hung below me like a drowned twin. A loon cried somewhere, and was answered by a pal or a mate. Soon others joined the conversation. I shipped my paddle and just sat there three hundred yards out from shore, watching the moon and listening to the loons converse. I remember thinking if there was a heaven somewhere and it wasn’t like this, then I didn’t want to go.

Coincidences happen, but I’ve come to believe they are actually quite rare. Something is at work, okay? Somewhere in the universe (or behind it), a great machine is ticking and turning its fabulous gears.

But it was more than a smile; his face was transformed with the happiness that’s reserved for those who are finally allowed to reach all the way up.

She filled a large amount of space in a very nice way, and my eye hadn’t been the only one following the pleasant sway of her progress in the print dress, but really, that was it.

She punched my arm playfully—a big-sister kind of punch.

You know how, when you’re out at night and you see the edge of a cloud light up a bright gold, you know the moon is going to come out in a second or two? That was the feeling I had right then, standing among the gently swaying crepe streamers in the Denholm gymnasium.

I came up. She came with me. She went out, then came back into my arms. We danced under the lights. Dancing is life.

It was kissing, but it was more than kissing. It was like eating when you’ve been hungry or drinking when you’ve been thirsty.

Smalltown folks are rarely mean folks.

Home is watching the moon rise over the open, sleeping land and having someone you can call to the window, so you can look together.

I tried to-to tell myself all that doesn’t matter, that l-l-love conquers all, except it doesn’t. It doesn’t conquer lies.”

Thank you for showing me how good things can be. Please don’t say goodbye.

What convinced me was the thought of Sadie. I loved her and she loved me—at least she had—and I’d thrown that away to come here to this shitty street.

As I reached for the phone, it rang. I picked it up and said—with complete certainty: “Hello, Sadie. Hello, honey.”

Besides, she’s probably fine. You’re the one with the problem. More than just one, actually, and it was a long time before I fell asleep.

“But!” De Mohrenschildt raised a lecturely finger.

Mostly what I thought about was Sadie. And Sadie. And Sadie.

My car radio, now working again, broadcast nothing but a heaping dish of doom as I chased my headlights down Highway 77.

That’s how things look from the future. To people in the valley (the dark valley) of the present, they look different.

“You can be anything, do anything, just say you’ll stay. And that you still love me.” “Sadie . . . I never stopped.”

Sadie could be vulnerable, and Sadie could be clumsy, but Sadie could also be very, very brave. How I loved her.

For the first time I thought he seemed furtive and nervous, actually looking around at his exterior surroundings instead of at the spooky furniture deep in his head.

I might find reasons to keep on waiting. The best one was beside me in this bed: long, lovely, and smoothly naked. Maybe she was just another trap laid

‘If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples.’

“Also, I’m angry. I know life is hard, I think everyone knows that in their hearts, but why does it have to be cruel, as well? Why does it have to bite?”

For me the comedy highlight was that goddamned dancing horse.

She had put her hair up and secured it with a glittery clip.

I kept seeing her in the glow of the footlights. The red dress. The graceful curve of her neck.

That night in Sadie’s bed was the best of my life—not because it closed the door on John Clayton, but because it opened the door on us again.

Then I couldn’t wait to get back here and jump into bed with you. That wasn’t about love just now, Jake. That was about burning.” I said nothing. Sometimes there’s nothing to say.

Sadie looked at me questioningly in the twilight. “I just wanted to tell you something,” I said. “I wanted to tell you you’re the best damned thing that ever happened to me.” She laughed and hugged me. “Ditto, kind sir.” We kissed a long time, and might have kissed longer but for the dry clapping sound on our right. Mr. Kenopensky was applauding.

Ain’t the moon purty?” It was bigtime purty. We looked at it awhile without speaking, and I thought about the job I had to do.

It was long. I was tortured by what-ifs, should-have-beens, and thoughts of Sadie. Those were the worst. The missing her and wanting her went so deep it felt like physical sickness.

I sat up and embraced her without even thinking about it. She hugged me back, as hard as she could. Then I kissed her, tasting her reality—the mingled flavors of tobacco and Avon. The lipstick was fainter; in her nervousness, she had nibbled most of it away. I smelled her shampoo, her deodorant, and the oily funk of tension-sweat beneath it. Most of all I touched her: hip and breast and the scarred furrow of her cheek. She was there.

But I believe in love, you know; love is a uniquely portable magic.

I won’t call a cab; I intend to walk the whole way, under the stars. I guess I want to say goodbye. Hearts don’t really break. If only they could.

But the net is a double-edged sword. For every thing you find that’s of comfort—like discovering that the woman you loved survived her crazy ex-husband—there are two with the power to hurt.

To the loving eye, even smallpox scars are beautiful.

I can no longer travel in time, and I certainly can’t read minds, but I know what she’s thinking, just the same. I hear that name in my dreams.

She takes my hand like a woman in a dream. She is in a dream, and so am I. Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief . . . but brevity makes sweetness, doesn’t it? Yes, I think so. Because when the time is gone, you can never get it back.

100 Word Book Review – The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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100 Word Book Review – I’ve read The Road once before and I loved it as much the second time through.  Though it’s a post-apocalyptic tale of a father and son on the road, it reads to me like it could be set in the old west.  It’s bleak, it’s terrifying and that’s what makes it so gosh darn good, in my opinion. You feel the desperation and terror the two characters feel as they travel down the road. As depressing as it is, I think I’m starting to consider The Road as one of my favorite books and will, no doubt, read it again.

Favorite Quotes:

He knew only that the child was his warrant.  He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.

Then they set out along the blacktop in the gun-metal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.

Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever.

This the day to shape the days upon.

When he went back to the fire he knelt and smoothed her hair as she slept and he said if he were God he would have made the world just so and no different.

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100 Word Book Review – Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
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100 Word Book Review – Reading this book was like reading an alternate universe version of the To Kill A Mockingbird.  This makes sense since this book is essentially the first draft of that classic novel.  I’m not going to weigh in on whether or not this book should have been published because I don’t think we’ll ever know the full story behind that.  I will say that To Kill A Mockingbird is a much better book.  While this one has glimpses and flashes of Mockingbird, it’s not nearly as good.  There are some touch and truthful passages and I am glad I’ve read it.

Favorite Quotes:

If you did not want much, there was plenty.

She was easy to look at and easy to be with most of the time, but she was in no sense of the word an easy person.

Love’s the only thing in this world that is unequivocal.

The one thing she liked most about Henry Clinton was that he let her be silent when she wanted to be. She did not have to entertain him.

Time stopped, shifted, and went lazily in reverse.

They…found the rest of the morning lying emptily before them.

She looked up at the sky. “You can almost reach up an touch it, it’s so close.”

“Anybody with eyes that good was up to no good.”

“Don’t you study about other folks’ business till you take care of your own.”

She touched yesterday cautiously, then withdrew.

It was not because this was where your life began.  It was because this was where people were born and born and born until finally the result was you, drinking a coke in the Jitney Jungle.
Now she was aware of a sharp apartness, a separation…

Now we are both lonely, for entirely different reasons, but it feels the same, doesn’t it?

“Remember this also: it’s always easy to look back and see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are.  If you can master that trick, you’ll get along.”

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100 Word Book Review – To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird br Harper Lee
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100 Word Book Review – I was extremely tempted to write the word ‘perfection’ 100 times to review this book.  To me, reading this book is the equivalent of falling asleep in your own bed after a long day of work. It’s like visiting with old friends who know you so well. I loved every page of this book and was glad to read it again after so many years. I don’t think I can say much more than has already been said about this novel except to say, “Perfection.” I read this before diving into Go Set A Watchmen which is my current read.

Favorite quotes:

Shoulder up, I reeled around to face Boo Radley and his bloody fangs; instead, I saw dill ringing the bell with all his might in atticus’ face.
The moon was setting and the lattice-work shadows were fading into fuzzy nothingness.
Jem waved my words away as if fanning gnats.
Soft tafata-like sounds and muffled scurrying sounds filled me with helpless  dread.
I watched the spark of fresh adventure leave his eyes.
“‘s what everybody at school says.”
“From now on it’ll be everybody less one-“
Talking to francis gave me the sensation of settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean.
“Looks like he’d be proud of it,” I said.
“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents,” said Miss Maudie.
“Whatever she says to you, it’s not your job to let her make you mad.”
“Jem’s got the look-arounds,” an affliction Calpernia said all boys caught at his age.
“I ain’t cynical, Miss Alexandra. Tellin’ the truth’s not cynical.”
“The way you tell it, it is.”
Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.
I came to the conclusion that people were jus peculiar, I withdrew from them, and never thought about them until I was forced to.
“Hiya, Boo,” I said
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