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From the category archives:


The Last Werewolf

by Emma on August 26, 2011

in Books

I did not expect to finish this book this week. I’ve been moving, painting, working and last night I was up with a gross fever (boo!). But late last week the internet guy was over 2 hours late to showing up at my house to install the internet… and since I had not internet I just read that whole time…

Thanks for letting me vent a little. :)

Anyway, I’m not sure what I was expecting with this book but it was actually much more gritty and engaging than I typically expect from a fantasy/science fiction book. Plus werewolves are so trendy right now that I was expecting something a little more… um… entertaining and less philosophical. Not that it wasn’t entertaining, because it certainly was.

Written as a kind of diary from, yep-you guessed it, the last werewolf. Jake is over 200 years old, lonely and pretty much ready to leave this life when he finds out that he is the last of species. As a half-heartedly struggles to survive we learn more and more about what it’s like for him to undergo the change every month and what that forces him to do and be. Jake is a werewolf, and therefore he is a villain. He is quite a despicable character, he even despises what he is. And yet he keeps on living, which probably makes him an even worse person. But by the end of the book he has found a new reason to live, and as a reader I couldn’t help but cheer for his survival. How and author can get you to root for a villain is always really interesting to me. And Mr. Glen Duncan does just that.

So if you like werewolves, but are looking for something a little bit deeper than Twilight then you might want to check this book out. It’s a good read, if not a little bitter-sweet.

Have a great weekend! xo. Emma


This novel centers around two sisters and choronicles their lives from being ‘beautiful girls’ in Shanghai (they modeled for advertisements in the 30s and 40s) to their journey to being paper-wives in America.

I won’t lie, the sisters go through a lot of hard times and there are a number of tradgedies they are forced to weather together. The first half of the book feels like reading a series of sad events, they just don’t seem to have any luck! But watching them love and protect each other through it all makes it worth the read. Sister love really gets me all sentimental, I maybe cried a little during parts of this book.

This was the first book of Lisa See’s that I ever read, and I will definately be checking into her other novels, I think she does a wonderful job creating characters who you love despite their shortcomings and human flaws. Not to mention this novel leaves the reader at sort of cliff hanger (dang, I didn’t even know that when I started this book!) so now I have to go check out it’s follow up.

What have you been reading this month?

xo. Emma


Confession: I am a Twi-hard. It’s true. I read all the books (staying way past my usual ‘bedtime’ to finish some). And I’ve seen all the movies so far… not too sure about this next one. I mean, I’m going to see it. But I just don’t know how it’s going to go down. Tricky material for a movie. Could be cheesy.

Anyway, I had heard that the True Blood series was based on a book series. So I was curious. I’ve never seen True Blood (I don’t have any fancy t.v. channels like HBO or whatever) but I know it’s got vampires and love so it sounds within my interest field.

Interest field. Yeah, that’s probably not really a thing.

I thought I’d start with A Touch of Dead because it’s actually a collection of stories about the Sookie Stackhouse character, so I’d thought it would give me a chance to see if I liked it before committing to a whole novel. Whole-novel-commitment can be scary, you know? But after reading this I must say that I am interested to take up the whole series sometime!

This book reads almost like a little mystery novellas, but with vampires, fairies, werewolves and one ultra-southern vernacular protagonist. It was fun, and suspenseful at times. I have a feeling the novels are the highly addictive sort of beach reads that I really enjoy now and again. Guilty pleasure, and just a lot of fun.

So check it out. If you dare. And if you aren’t into vampires… well, I guess we can still be friends. :)

xo. Emma


Blood, Bones and Butter

by Emma on June 22, 2011

in Books

I think I first heard about Gabrielle Hamilton’s memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter from Entertainment Weekly. Yes, I read that.

I was intrigued by the cover, and by the fact that it’s written by a successful chef (and uh… I like food. Obviously). I know, I know, you should not necessarily judge a book by its cover. But after finishing this fantastic book I have to say, the cover really does fit the contents.

Hamilton is, like, so edgy. And funny. And interesting. With just the right amount of literary gloss and maybe just a pinch or two of (food) snobbery. Even if you are not interested in cooking this is a really fun memoir, Hamilton had such a fascinating life. After her parents divorced when she was a young adolescent she was left alone one summer at the family’s home and had to learn (quickly) how to provide for herself. She got a job, smoked cigarettes, shop lifted clothes and stole a few cars (which she always returned). Before she was even 18 she had already moved to NY and worked at a waitress (serving alcohol) and doing coke in her spare time.

Pretty gritty, huh?

It gets even better though, in my opinion, as you watch Hamilton grow into a (reluctant, at first) chef and eventually own her own successful restaurant and start a family. Her honesty and wit hold you to the very last page though, as she does not leave the reader with a tidy little happily-ever-after ending. She is still wrestling with marital issues and finding her place among her (Italian) in-laws even on the very last page of the book. This leaves a lot of questions the reader (or at least, uh, me) might have unanswered. But I found Hamilton’s voice and perspective truly refreshing, captivating and fun. (I’m sure she would roll her eyes at that last adjective. Ha!)

Loved it. The end.

xo. Emma