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A book and an album

by Emma on March 11, 2011

in Books

Hello friends. As you know, I like to review books I've been reading. And I thought this week it might be fun to share a new album I've been listening to as well. Just to spice things up…


My cousin gave me this book a few weeks after Christmas, he's sweet. Thanks Griffin!

Anyway, this book centers around a young adolescent magician. We watch him discover that magic does exist in a sort of underground world that non-magicians are unaware of (nod to Harry Potter). He attends a special school to learn how to use magic, makes friends, graduates and then goes on an adventure in another world (big nod to Narnia).

First I should warn you-this book is NOT for young readers. There is swearing and some…um… well, sex scenes in the book. It's nothing too racy but I would not recommend this as a good read for parents to share with their kids.

I absolutely adored the first 2/3 of this book. I loved learning about the world of magic along with the protagonist, and I particularly thought the author does an amazing job of describing the world when characters turn into animals. Which happens a few times, and is quite fascinating.

But what about the last 1/3 of the book, Emma? Well… it gets a little lame if you ask me. The characters get into a sort of love triangle and there's a lot of self pity and hurt feels that are just sort of annoying to read about. It's just a little too much. That being said, I still really liked this book. Will I read the others in this series? Maybe.


In case you haven't heard-a new Bright Eyes album is out. I've been listening to him since I was in high school, so in some ways his music reminds me of growing up. Certain bands or certain albums usually remind me of specific eras in my life as I tend to listen to an album nonstop for a month or two and then move on. Does anyone else do this?

So if you like Bright Eyes then you won't be disappointed by this latest album, it is classic Connor Oberst nostalgia. If you were hoping for an album that is better than (or just as good as) Cassadaga or I'm Wide Awake it's Morning…. well, this just isn't it. Sorry.

Just my opinion.

What have you been reading or listening to lately?

xo. Emma


Fee March 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

That’s just what I thought about the Bright Eyes album… And I know this costantly listening to one album thing… Maybe not a month, but a few weeks :) !

Nikki March 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I totally get hooked on new music when I fall in love with it. I’ve been known to listen to the same album for weeks on end. Such a great feeling, I’ll have to check out the new Bright Eyes, haven’t heard it yet.
Also, I made cupcakes yesterday and thought of your blog :)

Nicole O March 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I agree with you on the Bright Eyes album! Good, not the best. But I do have to admit that I haven’t been able to get Shell Games out of my head for the past week!

Becky March 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I definitely have music eras, especially from high school. The Used reminds me of freshman year, Jack’s Mannequin sophomore, and Manchester Orchestra, Damien Rice, and Tegan & Sara pretty much defined my senior year.

Morgan Renee March 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I’m waiting on buying that Bright Eyes album til I have more money plus I still really love Lifted and can listen to it in the meantime. People constantly make fun of me for still liking Conor Oberst but whatever. That album totally put me to bed every night in high school.

Alexa March 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Emma, I always enjoy your book reviews and am adding this one to my wish list!

Mandy March 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm

The first 2/3 of that book does sound really good (I’m a huge Harry Potter fan). It’s so disappointing when the author can’t wrap it all up well, though, especially after you’ve been a dedicated reader for all that time.
I just finished reading Ellen Baker’s book “Keeping the House,” and I was really disappointed. I’m just starting “The Shadow of the Win” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and I have high hopes for this one.
My latest music loves are on a mix CD my hubby made for me (I blogged the list here: The only Bright Eyes album I have is “Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground,” and I really love it. I’ll have to check out the new one, too.

Mandy March 11, 2011 at 9:55 pm
vanessa ruff March 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm

im in love with the new bright eyes and i also love magicians so that book is on my list. i love a blog where theres food and advice on good books

sara March 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

yay i love book reviews! good to hear your perspective. i haven’t read the magicians yet but my husband (who loved harry potter) said the magicians was the worst book he’s ever read…he didn’t even make it to the last 1/3rd. other people seem to love it so i’m torn whether to read it or not…?

emily jean March 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

I am loving the new Adele and Lykke Li records….
Perfect end-of-a-crappy-winter-relationship tunes:)

Laura March 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I do the same thing with my music! I have all these different CDs I made and listened to on repeat back in the day – now all those songs remind me of those specific eras and seasons of my life. Bright Eyes definitely filled out a big chunk of my high school days too – I’ll have to give his new stuff a try!

Bekka March 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I’m listening to the Avett Brothers…one of my favorites lately. I want to start the Hunger Games series soon.

Brittani May 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I love your blog, and I love your taste in books. Every time I read a book you write about on your blog, I love it. Thank you for that.

Lauren June 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I just finished The Magicians, and I’d have to agree with you about the last 1/3 of the book – all of the sudden the characters start to make choices that seem to be out of sync with their previous motivations and actions. That said, it seems like the author thought “Oh gosh, I just rushed them through 4 years of school, let’s get to the REAL magic-y stuff now!” – it sort of gave me whiplash.