When books traumatize you instead of entertain you

I thought of this a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have the drive to actually write it up and post it. However, something happened today that made me think of it again. Also, my sister basically forced me to write something yesterday and it has all my writing juices flowing. I guess it’s about time I used my blog for something other than SLS; although, I’m told it’s perfectly fine that my blog is only that.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a book by one of my favorite authors. The synopsis had me intrigued and I couldn’t wait to dive into it. That feeling was very short lived. I had a hard time reading it and it made me anxious. I thought at first that I was simply in one of my moods, but it became increasingly clear that it was the book. It only took about a hundred pages before I finally realized why.

It was the premise and ultimately the bad guy. It brought back a time in my life that still manages to haunt me to this day. I decided to keep reading, but the more I did it, the more anxious I became. I started leaving the book at home, rather than taking it to read during lunch. On Saturday mornings, when I’m normally excited to get a few pages in, I glanced at it and then walked away. It wasn’t until today that I decided to pick up another book. It was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a book that didn’t make me want to crawl out of my skin.

It does trouble me, though. Part of me wants to read it. I want to face those demons head on and exorcise them. But is that really the way to do it? Do I really want to go through that just for a story? I’ve done it before. I read a book called Sharp Objects, and even though I knew it was traumatizing me, I ended up finishing it. It’s the first book that I ever truly felt like flinging across the room when I was finished. I’m not even happy that I read it, to be honest.

It’s hard for me to leave a book unfinished. I’ve only abandoned a few books in my life and it’s hard to know if I’m making the right decision. Do I keep traumatizing myself in the hopes that some part of that hell will be put to rest? Or do I let it go?

I’m interested to know what you think, since we are a writing community. Do you read books that traumatize you, or do you move on to other things?

I’d love to hear from you!

The end of a saga, for now

I don’t know why I always feel the need to follow some sort of prompt.  I know in the beginning, it helped bring people to my site through the host, but I think I just ended up getting used to it.  I think it also became a not very helpful crutch, especially when I have something I want to just get out, but for some reason I feel like I can’t unless I can attach it to a prompt floating around out there.  Not that there aren’t plenty, and not that I couldn’t have found one today, but it’s late and I honestly just have something to say, you know?

When I had surgery in December of 2016, I watched a lot of TV.  It got to the point where I was starting to see reruns and I was getting very bored.  I ended up picking up a book that I had no idea would bring me all the way here.  The book I picked up was the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.  Do you realize that there are over 5,000 pages in the five books that are currently out?  I realized it pretty early on, but I had done something similar in the past and I just knew I could do this.

I had no idea it would take me a year and a half!  I couldn’t even pick up another book because I was so into that world (when I could actually find the time to read).  I actually did end up reading a fellow blogger’s book, but that only took me a single day, so it wasn’t much of an investment, although the story was great.

There’s just something about coming to the end of the book that feels almost surreal and forlorn.  When you make it to the end of five books in a series that isn’t even finished yet; it’s devastating.  Not only that, we have to wait until, I don’t know, 2019? before we get another one.

I do love the series and I’m planning to finish it, but I was on Goodreads after posting my successfully finished book, and I started reading some reviews.  I don’t know what it is about two or three star reviews that just suck you into the madness.  People can be downright cruel.  Also, why is it that reviewers feel the need to rewrite the book?  Anyway, for all of that, I did read some things that made me wonder if there was a reason it took me so damn long to finish.  The reviews for the last two books were all about how the story slowed down and didn’t progress very much.

I will admit that I had a really hard time finishing book five and I realized last night it was because I was bored!  I was so captivated by the story and so determined to finish those damn books that I didn’t even realize that the reason I had a hard time picking it up each day, or each week was because it wasn’t holding my interest.

However, the last fifty pages were reminiscent of the first three books, so I’m holding out hope that the next book will move along in a more direct way than books four and five.

I’m not so good at reviews, but I just wanted to throw it out there.  I finished all five books and I can now look for other things to read.

Until next time, my friend!

SoCS – Picking Different Genres

Isn’t it strange how time has a way of changing things?  I suppose “time” isn’t really the culprit; it’s life and your experiences and all the things that happen during that time.  When my hubby and I moved into our new house in December, I was so excited to finally clear out my storage unit and have all my “things” around me that had been stored away for so long.  The things I was most excited about were my books.

I couldn’t wait to open up those boxes and start putting those books on the shelf, but when I started doing it, I realized that many of the books didn’t hold any appeal for me now.  I’m not much of a hoarder, so I made the almost immediate decision to get rid of those books I was no longer interested in.  In some cases, I was able to give them away, but a great majority of them went to the used book store I sometimes frequent.

The saddest part about it is that my bookshelf is rather bare at this point.  Not only did I start to pick different types of books in the last few years, but I also went through a very short phase where I bought some ebooks.  I realized quickly enough that I was more of an actual book person – there are books I own on iBooks and Kindle that I really wish I had in hard copy.

The reason I’m thinking about all of this is because I was so excited for our friend, Linda, and her new book, that I went out and bought it last week and am currently reading it.  I realized pretty quickly that this would have been just my type of book about ten years ago, but the genre is not something I would gravitate towards now.

All that being said, I’m thoroughly enjoying it and almost didn’t make it down here to post my SoCS because I’m pretty sure I can finish that today if I really put my mind to it.   It’s so much fun to see a fellow blogger having success with a book release and it gives me hope that I can one day put my head down and write a full length book of my own.

I’m also realizing that, even though I’m picking different types of books now, it’s fun to read a book that brings back the nostalgia of the genres I used to read.  Perhaps I should keep my choices more open and not limit myself to specific types of genres.  You never know, you just might find the “gold” you were searching for and didn’t even realize it!

Happy Saturday everyone and happy reading!

Stream of Consciousness Saturday  is hosted by Linda G Hill.  Today’s prompt is “ick“.


JustJoJan Day 12 – Books and Romance

I’m not sure when I started reading romance novels, but I was youngish.  Don’t worry.  They were pretty “vanilla” romance novels.  I moved on to more “hardcore” romance novels in my twenties and then, I’m not sure when or why it happened really, but one day I realized I just didn’t enjoy them anymore.

I was going through all my books that have been in storage for three years, and ended up making a huge pile of books to give away.  I also made a list of books I realized I don’t have but actually need and want.  I guess I don’t actually need them… but in a way I really do.

There’s just something about seeing a full bookcase, isn’t there?  I don’t walk downstairs very often, but I did yesterday, and I ended up doing a double-take at the books on the shelf.  I love books and reading.  It gives me a tingly feeling just thinking about it.

I definitely need to make more time to read.

I’m just realizing that some of these Just Jot It January posts are like SoCS for me.  I honestly went into this one thinking it was going to be about romance and love and having that tingly, butterfly feeling for my Fiance (still), but then books sort of took over the day and I’m not sure I can turn it around at this point.

I do think that romance novels warped my idea of love as a kid.  It’s not that they were all lighthearted and fluffy, but they made it seem like love was something that I don’t think it actually is.  I’m also starting to realize that many of the novels I read were actually more about abuse rather than love.  Isn’t that sad?

I read Fifty Shades of Grey and the only reason I finished the whole series was because I wanted to see if Ana would come to her senses and leave Christian.  That isn’t love, folks, and it drives me nuts that they are marketing the movies as a love story.  I’m also remembering a “love” story I read once about a guy who kidnaps a woman he “loves”, rapes her repeatedly and she ends up “falling in love” with him.  Now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t even believe I thought that was good!  Granted, I was in my teens and sadly, abuse is what I knew.

Anyway, this post is going downhill pretty fast.

I’m not saying all romance novels are about abuse or that they are all bad.  I’ve read some really good ones that I would probably read again.  But, I’ve found new reading passions and I’ve finally found that person who walks beside me every day and makes each day that much brighter because he is a part of it.

Just Jot It January is hosted by Linda G. Hill.  Today’s prompt, warning, is brought to us by Tessa at Always a Writer.


SoCS – A Novel Idea

As many of you know, we’ve been in the process of selling our townhouse and buying a house that is bigger and fits our needs better.  I honestly came to dislike so many things about the process, but the biggest one was showing our townhouse.  It is so weird to think that strangers are walking through your house.  It also became difficult to figure out where to go sometimes.  You can’t always go to a restaurant and eat, but there just aren’t that many places to hang out for an hour or two.

One night, it was just me and my youngest son and I had the novel idea to go to the library.  It was quiet and I was able to get in some good reading time.  I also made the amazing discovery that my son loves to read.  (I already knew it, but it was startlingly clear once it became an actual “thing”)

We’ve been to the library many times since to hand in books and check out new ones.  For the most part, Andru was checking out Manga, but on our last trip to the library, he realized that the series he was reading didn’t have any new books.  He walked over there for a few minutes, but then he was back with me.  I was so surprised when he said he wanted to check out a “real” book.

So, I asked him what kind of books he wanted to read and we discovered that we have the same taste in books.  I found a book I thought he’d like and then we talked about books all the way home.  At one point he turned to me and said, “Mom, I had no idea you had so many books.”

I was shocked.  “Don’t you remember my book case at the house when I lived there?”

“Well, yeah, but I didn’t realize they were yours.”  (I don’t think those were his exact words, but pretty close.)

I told him I was the girl who always had a book in her hand when I was his age.  I walked home from school reading a book; I sat at my locker and read books before school and in between classes; I lost sleep reading books.

He admitted he did the same things and we laughed and shared a pretty special moment in the car.  It’s always fun to realize you share something in common with your kids.  Adelle and Jaxon love music and we share that love with each other.  Andru likes music too, but not in the same way as the other two, so it was fun to realize I can now share my books and my love of books with my son.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “novel.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!” Feel free to click the link and join us in our stream of consciousness writing.


Teaser Tuesday – Frankenstein City of Night

City of Night (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #2)

My advice for reading this series is that you should have all three of them on hand so you can just pick up the next one when you’re done. Luckily, I did, so I was able to move onto the second one as soon as I finished the first one.

I really love the build-up in this series. The chapters are really short and each one deals with a different character, so there is plenty of suspense. I also love quite a few of  the characters, even the ones who are basically throw-aways.

As always, Dean Koontz is masterful and keeps me hooked. Frankenstein City of Night has definitely not disappointed. If you like gruesome, you’ll really like the second one even better than the first.

The teaser today comes from page 65. I hope you enjoy.

“Among even the most controlled of slaves there simmers a desire – even if not a capacity – to rebel. Therefore, some of these slaves of Victor’s, all enemies of humanity, might in their hopelessness find the will and the fortitude to betray him in small ways.”

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Feel free to click the link and join in the reading fun.

Teaser Tuesday – Frankenstein Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)

It’s been a while since I posted a teaser, mainly because I kept picking long books that took me a while to read. I would love to say I read a book a week, but that’s just not doable for me with my life right now. I pretty much read on the train ride to and from work, which is some pretty good reading time, but not always quite enough to get through a book in one week.

I’m back at it again, though, with Dean Koontz. This time, it wasn’t my fault, I swear! I was reading the last book and had every intention of reading a different author, but a friend on the train told me this Koontz series was really good and I just happened to have all the books in my shelf at home.

Of course, I picked up Frankenstein – Prodigal Son and haven’t been disappointed. I honestly can’t fathom why there are so many Koontz haters out there. I think he’s brilliant. I think every author is going to have some things that are better than others, but I don’t think one not so good work is cause to hate on his writing. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me.

The book is typical Koontz with all the tension and violence you would expect. I also read that this is a direct sequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but I have to admit I haven’t read it. I’m thinking perhaps I should now that I’m reading this one.

The teaser today is coming from page 210 paragraph 4:

“He may not have sufficient fortitude to reach that special door, let alone to confront the busier world beyond. But his despondency has recently advanced to desperation, and the reckless action that is the whip of desperation may lash into him a kind of courage.”

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Feel free to click the link and read other posts or join in the fun and post your own teaser.

Teaser Tuesday – From the Corner of His Eye

From the Corner of His Eye

Another Dean Koontz novel for me and I’m not sad about that at all. The only thing I’m realizing is that I should probably pick shorter books if I’m ever going to reach my goal of reading 50 books this year. (If I’m really truthful with myself, I will realize that 50 probably isn’t going to happen, but I’m well on my way to reading more books this year than I ever have, so yay!)

I’m not far enough into this book yet to really get a feeling for what is happening or what is going to happen, but as always, Koontz spins a masterful tale, including a holy-shit villain that came out of nowhere and knocked my socks off.

Without further ado, the teaser for today comes from page 35 of From The Corner of His Eye.

“The beetle-green Pontiac waited in the driveway, with a shine that tempted nature to throw around some bad weather. Joey always kept a spotless car, and he probably wouldn’t have had time to earn a living if he had resided in some shine-spoiling climate rather than in southern California.”

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Feel free to click the link and read other posts or join in the reading fun!

Teaser Tuesday – Dreamcatcher

I started Dreamcatcher by Stephen King about a week ago and to be honest, I almost stopped reading it. Every time I read it, I just felt kind of icky and realized it was the book. I’m not one for gross, necessarily, especially when talking about alien infestations and such. I should have known what I was getting into when I read the cover, but I figured it would be a new thing for me; and it definitely is.

I made it almost 300 hundred pages before I decided to put it down; but then I thought, I’ve made it 300 pages! – which is almost an entire book. That’s a lot of investment just to put it down and move on. So, I decided to keep reading. I’m happy I did. I’m about halfway in and much more invested in it since it’s turned into… well, I’m not sure I should give that part away. Just know that if you can get past the creepy grossness (I know! I know! It’s Stephen King…) you will find a very well thought out story that is most likely going to go places I can’t even begin to imagine!

My teaser is from page 59.

Shoot now! part of him cried – it was the Jonesy from the other side of the accident, the whole Jonesy. That one had spoken more frequently in the last month or so, as he began to approach some mythical state which people who had never been hit by a car blithely referred to as “total recovery,” but he had never spoken as loudly as he did now.”

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along, so feel free to click the link and share your teasers with us!

Teaser Tuesday – By The Light Of The Moon

I think I’m addicted to Dean Koontz. Maybe it’s just me, but when I read his words, I’m simply in awe of how he puts them all together and manages to tell an intense and satisfying story. He does all those things right that we so often find in writing guideline books/blogs. He doesn’t bash you over the head with too much information all at once – he sprinkles it in a bit over time but still keeps you engaged by his description of a hamburger joint of all things. I find his writing compelling and it often shows me how I want to write. Mostly, I just sit and only wish I could write as good as he does.

I suppose if I had a truckload of books that I’d written and published, perhaps I would be that good too. Who knows. What I do believe is that practice makes better and better over time, so maybe I should stop fidgeting on the sidelines and jump into the game. Maybe…

On to the Teaser! Today’s book is “By the Light of the Moon.” I’m intrigued and can’t wait to find out what the hell is going on. It’s another of his books that I don’t want to put down. You can find this particular teaser on page 50 of the paperback that was published in 2002.

“He seemed to avoid such directness not solely because of his severe psychological disorder, and not merely because he was pathologically shy. Sometimes, in a fanciful moment, Dylan could almost believe that Shep’s withdrawal from the world, beginning in early childhood, had occurred when he had discovered that he could read the secrets of anyone’s soul by what was written in the eyes… and had been unable to bear what he saw.”

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Feel free to click the link and join in.