Book review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Miller
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Source: Borrowed

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

It’s taken me a pretty long time to write this review because even a couple weeks after finishing Circe, I wasn’t quite sure what to say about it. This is a book that I actually took the time to read slowly (over five days, which is almost unheard of for me!) instead of marathoning. It wasn’t because I disliked it, but more because there was just so much over such a long time period that I had to take some time to let it soak in.

One thing that I should probably mention is that while I know the basics of Greek mythology, I was never really super into it. I had a brief phase when I was younger when I wanted to learn all about the gods and goddesses, but it didn’t last very long before I moved on to something else. While I don’t think that extensive knowledge of Greek mythology is required to enjoy this book, it probably helps. I still liked it a lot with what I knew, but I wonder if I could have liked it even more.

Beyond what I’ve just written, I’m not sure what else I can say about this book. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was extremely well-written and I was so impressed by the author’s ability to write a book like this. I think that I’ll probably read The Song of Achilles at some point, although I’ll wait until I’m in the right mood for it.

Have you read Circe? Do you like Greek mythology?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Let’s Talk About: My spam problem

Well, here’s a post that I never thought I’d make. I usually go through my spam once a day just to make sure that no real comments have been accidentally filtered out. And for months, I’ve just kind of been silently shaking my head as I delete comment after comment after comment. One day, though, the spam was out of control and I had to tell someone.

So I thought, “Who appreciates my sense of humor and also actually knows that I have a blog? Hmm… Daniel.” So I sent him a million pictures and screenshots (okay, it was maybe more like ten) with some commentary and he told me I should write a post about it! So I did! And, honestly, he deserves like 95% of the credit for this because he also had the foresight to screenshot the best of the snaps and send them back to me. In case you hadn’t noticed, he really is the best.

So, basically, all of these Australian car places think that I’m a porn blog.

I don’t know what I ever posted that makes me literally get hundreds of spam comments each week that refer to me as a porn blog, but it’s a thing that happens and it’s blowing my mind. I got 227 spam comments in one day just while I was at work.

“Me and my neighbor were just preparing sex”
Wow, thanks for letting me know.

Sometimes I get really exciting and wonderful quotes. Other times, they randomly replace words in well-known quotes with “porn” and “sex” and some magic happens. In this case…

“Oh, what a tangled porn we weave, when first we practice sex deceive.”

This is possibly the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

Sometimes I’m just like… is SELL MY CAR trying to proposition me because I’d rather not.

“i am having a look ahead sex touch you”

“definitely you are going sex a famous blogger”
Thank you for the words of encouragement.

And other times I’m like, “Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t gotten any weird sex spam comments all day!” and then I find out that I should have kept my mouth shut.

At least my porn style is perfect.

Do you check your spam comments? What’s the weirdest or funniest one you’ve found? Do you know why all these Australian car places think I’m a porn blog? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book review: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: 1959
Source: Purchased

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

A courtesan, a pilgrim, a princess, and a bullfighter. Hill House has surely never seen our like.

I bought this book shortly after I finished We Have Always Lived in the Castle. As usual, it took me a little while to actually get around to reading it, but my goodness, was it worth it. I don’t really do well with spooky things, as we’ve previously established, and I don’t tend to make great decisions about when to read spooky things, as we’ve also previously established. I read this book while alone in my friend’s house and I jumped at every tiny noise.

So, I put a sticky note in this book every time I freaked out. The comments I put on each sticky note range from “WHAT” to “OMG WHY” to “WHAT THE FUCK” to “oh GOD.” I also put a sticky note in this book every time I laughed or smiled, and there are almost as many of those stickies are there are spooky ones. I didn’t expect to have nearly this much fun with a horror novel, but I did.

I’m going to stop the review here to avoid accidentally spoiling anything. Four stars because I didn’t have trouble putting it down (it took me four days to read 182 pages), but I really love Shirley Jackson’s writing.

#mm18: don’t turn out the light

Have you read The Haunting of Hill House? What’s your favorite spooky book?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tag: The Literary Dinner Party

I saw this tag over at Serendipitous Reads forever ago, but only just finally finished it. I wasn’t tagged, but I had to get in on the fun. This was harder than I anticipated since I read a lot of YA and I am definitely not a young adult! I tried to not be a creepy adult inviting a bunch of children to my house for dinner, so here we are with a bunch of adult characters.

1. One character who can cook/likes to cook
Adrian Shin from The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo! He can make us some Korean-Brazilian fusion food and it will be amazing.

2. One character who has money to fund the party
I’m going with Connor Cobalt from the Addicted series. Connor has more money than he’ll ever know what to do with, so funding a big party sounds completely doable.

3. One character who might cause a scene
Theodora from The Haunting of Hill House. Theodora is super dramatic and she likes to be the center of attention. She’ll probably start shrieking about something mid-meal.

4. One character who is funny/amusing
Hazel from Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. Hazel is hilarious and weird and she’ll make sure the party is fun.

5. One character who is super social/popular
Georgie Watkins from Walk of Shame is a really cute, really friendly socialite who just wants to make people happy. Georgie is such a ray of sunshine. She’d brighten up any party.

6. One villain
I have to go with my old standby, Victor Vale from Vicious. There would never be a dull moment with Victor in the house.

7. One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic
It would be impossible for me to go with any couple other than Joshua Templeman and Lucy Hutton from The Hating Game. I’m creepy, but I really just want to see them interact and witness their banter firsthand.

8. One hero/heroine
Can I go with anyone other than Mia Corvere? She’s not really a heroine in the strict sense of the word, but she could totally save the day if she needed to.

9. One underappreciated character
Could I possibly go with anyone other than Holland Vosijk? I’ll never let him leave. I’ll just insist that he move into my guest room where nothing bad can ever happen to him ever again.

10. One character of your own choosing
Lady Jane Grey from My Lady Jane. Who is possibly more fitting for a literary dinner party than a book character who also loves to read?

How I Think It’ll Go Down
Adrian and Georgie show up early to get everything set up. The rest of the characters slowly trickle in. Holland shows up a little late because he was caught up in a different world and honestly I’m just amazed that he showed up at all. Hazel brings up some strange conversational topic and Connor keeps up with her like a pro. Josh and Lucy are bantering like crazy at the other end of the table. Halfway through dinner, Theodora starts screaming that someone’s trying to poison her. Is it Mia or Victor or is she making it up? The world may never know. Jane is over all of this drama, but is thankful that at least she doesn’t have to deal with anybody turning into an animal today. She occasionally pipes up from the corner to connect the current topic of conversation to a book she’s read.

I wasn’t tagged in this one, so I’m not going to tag anyone else, but please feel free to tag yourself! If you decide to do the tag, please link back to me so I can see your answers!! And let me know what you think of my answers in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books by my favorite authors that I still haven’t read

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is books by my favorite authors that I still haven’t read, and this was a little tricky! Honestly, I can be a little obsessive about things, so usually I’ll read everything my favorite authors have ever written within a fairly short amount of time. But anyway, here we go!

Jenn Bennett —

I love Jenn Bennett and I’ve read all of her YA books, but I haven’t read her Arcadia Bell series. It’s coming up soon on my TBR. Maybe this winter.

Kindling the Moon | Summoning the Night | Binding the Shadows | Banishing the Dark

R.S. Grey —

R.S. Grey is the queen of romantic comedies and I have absolutely adored almost everything of hers that I’ve read. I’ve made pretty good progress on reading all of her books, but I’ve still got several left.

The Duet | With This Heart | The Design | Settling the Score | Out of BoundsA Place in the Sun

Jay Kristoff —

I loved Nevernight and Godsgrave, but I haven’t read Jay Kristoff’s The Lotus Wars series yet.

Stormdancer | Kinslayer | Endsinger

Sarah Dessen —

Sarah Dessen has been one of my favorite authors since I was in middle school! I stopped reading her books for a little while, but I’ve recently started back up. Here are a few of her books that I’ve missed.

Lock and Key | Along for the Ride | Once and for All

Shaun David Hutchinson —

I have only read a couple of his books, but I loved both of them. I definitely have “read everything Shaun David Hutchinson has ever written” on my bookish bucket list.

At the Edge of the Universe | The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza | fml

Tana French —

I’ve only read a few books by Tana French, but I think I’m officially a fan. I would like to eventually get caught up on everything that she’s written. Here are three books I’ve missed.

The Likeness | Broken Harbour | The Trespasser

Morgan Matson —

I’m almost caught up on reading everything Morgan Matson has ever written, but I have two books left!

Second Chance Summer | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

David Levithan —

I seem to read David Levithan’s books in waves. I read a bunch of them in college and a bunch of them a couple years ago, and nothing since. There are a few books of his that I need to read. Here are three.

Boy Meets Boy | Hold Me Closer | The Realm of Possibility

Christina Lauren —

Christina Lauren have become one of my favorite author duos this year, but I have a lot of catching up to do! I could do a whole Top Ten Tuesday of all the Christina Lauren books I need to read, so I’ll stick with two series here.

Beautiful Bastard | Wild Seasons

Maggie Stiefvater —

I marathoned the whole Raven Boys series earlier this year, but I haven’t read anything else by Maggie Stiefvater yet!

Shiver | Linger | Forever | Sinner | The Scorpio Races | All the Crooked Saints

Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link and I’ll check out your post! Have you read any of these books? What are some books by your favorite authors that you haven’t read yet? Let’s talk in the comments!