Book: The Night Circus

nightcircus-erinmorgensternIt’s been awhile since I’ve done a book review (one year to be exact), but I just finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern… I know I’m a little late to the game since this book was released in 2011, but I can truly say it’s one of my favorite books.

I absolutely loved it.

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

Reading The Night Circus was like stepping into the world of Le Cirque des Rêves, each page had me spellbound, anxious to see what happened next… or exactly what had just happened. I found the non-linear writing style to be a perfect compliment to the dreamlike world in which the story takes place, often giving glimpses of events before revealing how or why.

The Night Circus is a story about two illusionists, Marco and Celia, who were bound together long before they ever met in a mysterious competition for which the circus serves as the venue. The circus makes it way around the world as the lives of Marco and Celia become more and more intertwined with that of the circus. The whole experience comes to life on each page, and at times it felt like I could look up and discover myself lost in the Cloud Maze or wandering through the Ice Garden.

Almost all of the characters were enchanting in their own ways, and I found myself invested in each of their lives as the narrative weaves across the nearly thirty years in which the main plot takes place. The ending felt a little forced, but it didn’t detract from the incredibly rich and surreal world I felt as though I’d been living in all day.

Wonderful book that I’d highly recommend!

#18: Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

via popcrunchboom.wordpress.com

Last week I officially completed #18: Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. In fact, I read 52 books in 45 weeks, placing me 7 weeks shy of the full year time limit! If you’re interested, you can see the complete list of 52 books on the original post.


My Favorite Books of 2011

(image via UNL blog)

For my 52 in 52 project, I read a32 books in 2011. The following five were my favorite of those 32… (Books are in the order I read them, not order of preference.)

  1. The Summer We Read Gatsby, Danielle Ganek
  2. The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
  3. The Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau
  4. A Trick of the Light, Louise Penny
  5. Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History, Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell

I ‘ve ready several great books already and have more lined up for 2012 that I can’t wait to get started on (or finish in some cases)!

What were your favorite books of 2011? Any in particular you are looking forward to in 2012?


Book: Bruno, Chief of Police

I don’t write a lot of book reviews, but I really enjoyed Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker.  Walker’s quirky Chief Bruno and a band of  characters from his small town of Saint Denis introduce his little peaceful corner of the Preigord in the Dordogne.  That peace is broken, however, as the math teacher’s elderly Algerian father (and star rugby player’s grandfather) is found brutally murdered with a swatstika carved into his chest.

The book is unusually light for such heavy material, and I found that I could have happily followed the country policemen along wherever he might have taken me.  Bruno seemed a sort of superhero in his small town that made ever me, a self-proclaimed city girl, want to move to the French countryside… or at least visit.

I’m happy that despite my reluctance to begin the series I finally did.  I’m so happy I have the second book, The Dark Vineyard, already lined up next.

February Goals

(image via Wikimedia Commons)

We haven’t even made it through January yet and I’m already chomping at the bit to get February’s goals on the books!! Once I post the results of my month, I think you’ll understand why I’m so excited, but here we go for February goals:

  1. Read 4 books (must stay on track for 52 in 52!)
  2. Finish funding my Moving Fund (most likely will need it next month)
  3. Begin full inventory of items (in order to aid my minimalization efforts)
  4. Continue writing in my gratitude journal (see why in my 2012 goals)
  5. Practice French 15 minutes a day
  6. Complete 10 days of absolutely no spending! (As seen on my 30 before 30 list… more about this later)

I almost feel like I’m adding a *little* too much to my plate this month, but want to give it a shot now that I have all this newfound free time (bye bye coffee shop!)

How are you continuing your 2012 goals?