Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 Book List Update!

We're already in May now, can you believe it?

I thought I'd update my list with short blurbs about the books I've already read, and let you know which ones I'm still working on.


1.  Paper Towns by John Green
 I really enjoyed this book, it was a cute story about a boy finding his friend who goes missing. Read my review here.

2. Mistwood by Leah Cypress
This book was very good as well. The ending took me by surprise (I love it when that happens).

3. Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire
 The first of the Maguire books I've read, and my favorite. Set in Russia (at the beginning of the 20th century I believe). I love how he interwove Russian folklore into the story.

4.  If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Very sad, but very good. It's about a girl whose entire family is in a car wreck, and as she lingers between life and death, she needs to make one of the hardest decisions of her life. Read my review here.

5. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (I know it's an oldie, but I don't think I've ever read it)
It was a cute story, but I found myself disliking Wilbur. He was so selfish throughout!

6. House of Wonder by Sarah Healy
A story about two twins, one with Autism and one who wants desperately to leave the hometown only to get drawn back to it, and their mother's abuse-laden past. A sad but good story.

7. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
 I did not care for this book at all. It was a chore to finish it. You can read my review here.

8. Asylum by Madeleine Roux (I'm branching out and trying another horror book)
This one was so creepy, but I did like it. Not one I could read at night, or in the house by myself though. Read my review here.

9. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Really interesting take on the Cinderella story. I enjoyed it, although I wish the ending was different.

10. Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire
A twist on the Snow White fairy tale. It was good, but I didn't like it as much as Confessions...

Still to read:
1. Phantastes by George Macdonald
2. The Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull

3. Extravagant Grace: God's Glory Displayed in Our Weaknesses by Barbara Duguid
4. Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins
5. 10% Happier by Dan Harris

6. Make Your Own Rules Diet by Tara Stiles
7. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

8. 30 Days to a Clutter-free Life by Ruth Soukup
9. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
10. The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman

11. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
12. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

13. Aurora Abroad by Karen Kiefer
14. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
15. Missing Sisters by Gregory Maguire

Thanks for reading my update! Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What are some other books you suggest I read? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

5 Rules I Broke to Start Journaling

Keeping a journal, they say, is one of the greatest tools for relaxation and creativity.  It gives you a place to organize your thoughts, to get all those nasty little doubt dirt bags out of your head so you can see how ridiculous they are, and where you can work on finding solutions for whatever problems you're facing. It's really a great tool.
My journals I'm working on filling.
 What  they don't tell you is how to get started.

Sure, they tell you some ideas, like choosing a time to write every day, and sticking to it, and other sorts of things like that.

But those never worked for me.

I have tried, possibly since I was ten years old (I don't remember), to keep a journal consistently. And the only thing I've been consistent about is failing. For years, I've had this pattern of writing every day for a few months, and then giving up and not writing for weeks, months, even a year or more.

Constant struggle.

For a while, I gave up. I figured journaling just wasn't for me, and why bother forcing myself to do it? After all, it's not like there's some most consistent journaling prize to be won. It's just a tool. If it doesn't serve you, it's not worth the bother.

Around the middle of January, I read a blog post over on The Write Practice about journaling and its benefits, and I decided to give it another try. And since then, I've been pretty consistent.

But I've discovered that the "rules" of journaling don't work for me.

I confess, these aren't the only rules of journaling. Maybe there are not even real "rules," but are just ones I tried to impose on myself. But I feel like a lot of advice about journaling starts somewhere with these ideas in mind, and if you're anything like me, they're not going to work for you.

1. "You must write at night (or at a set time)!"

I used to try faithfully to write every night before I went to bed. Problem is, though, I don't go to bed just to snuggle under my covers and muse about my day. I go to bed because my eyes are practically tripping over my eyelids. My psuedo-sleep-zombie-self grudges the time it takes me to put on hand lotion and lip balm, let alone write about how my day went.

It's a similar story when I wake up (except I'm usually not so zombie-fied then). When my alarm goes off, I'm bouncing right into my day. Who wants to slow down and write about stuff then?

So instead I just write whenever I feel like it. Some days it's soon after I get up, some days it's an hour or two before I go to sleep, but usually it's in the afternoon. But never a set time. I write when I feel like it.

2. "Find a quiet place to reflect..."

While I do tend to write in my bedroom, most of the time it is not quiet at my house. And I don't like to sit in silence and ponder. I find I focus better and reflect better if I have some music playing. Granted, most of the time it's something soft like Baroque or Celtic music, but there's almost always some sort of background noise.

3. "Give yourself plenty of time to write"

I set a timer for five minutes. When it goes off, I finish my last line or two and move on. I find this helps me to get out what I need to get out, rather than staring at the page wondering what I should write. I only have a limited amount of time, so if I'm going to get it done, it's going to be now.

4. "Focus on your day, your feelings"

I write about whatever I please. Feelings, day, what I have to do next week...whatever I want to go on that page goes there. Sometimes it's a prayer, sometimes it's a list of stuff I got done that I'm so proud of myself for doing (is it bragging if I'm telling myself how awesome I am?).

Honestly, I don't follow grammar or even spelling or any other basic rules of writing. I write in leetspeak, fragments, whatever. I wonder if I'll be able to read what I wrote in ten years, if the ink hasn't faded by then. Write how you feel comfortable writing, how you can best get out what you need to express.

5. "Write every day"

I do write probably 90% of the days since I started, but honestly, if I don't feel like writing one day, I won't. I went away overnight a  few weeks ago, and I didn't bother bringing my journal. I don't think I wrote in it when I got back home either. Journaling is a tool to help you. It's not a do-or-die ritual.

To be honest, maybe I'm just a rebel. Sometimes I don't even follow my own way of journaling (like sometimes I don't listen to music, I didn't today). Basically, when it comes to keeping a journal, find what works for you. And if you find journaling is not to your taste, then don't bother. Find something else that you enjoy doing that helps you to relax and get your thoughts in order.

I do urge you to at least give it a try. Play around with the suggestions you've heard or read. Get a really awesome notebook and pen, or write on a computer. Whatever works for you. You could even try typing some notes on your cell phone. Give it a few days, and see if it's something you'd enjoy, and if it's not, don't waste your time on it.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review: Asylum

If you've been reading my posts for a while, you may remember that I mentioned not liking horror books. After reading and enjoying both Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City, I decided to give horror books another shot.

Which brings us to today's review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux.

Daniel Crawford is excited to spend six weeks at a summer college program in New Hampshire. A self-proclaimed psychology buff, he can't wait to attend a program where he won't be the only one fascinated by it. Add to that the fact that the regular dorms are closed, and the students will instead be staying in Brookline, an old dorm that used to be a psychiatric hospital.

Curious to know more about the building and its past, Dan and two other students decide to sneak down into the locked-off old wing to explore. But things take a turn for the weird when Daniel starts dreaming about what they've discovered down there. There may be a good reason the residents of the town want Brookline torn down...

Although I really enjoyed it, this book was a little too creepy for me. I want to finish the series, but I definitely won't be reading it at night.

The story is very good, the plot intriguing, the characters engaging. I thought Dan and his two friends he meets at the program, Abby and Jordan, made a very good team. They kept me engaged in the book, which moved at a fast pace but not rushed (except at the very end).

I loved how this book made use of old photos from actual psych wards, although they did add to the creepy factor. It helped the book come alive.

There was some swearing, but not a ton. The ending felt a little rushed, probably because there was so much build up to it, and then the actual reveal and "final battle" was over in a few pages. It was a good ending, but it felt like it needed a little more to make it completely satisfying.

If you're not into creepy books, you may not care for this one, but otherwise I recommend
it, even if you're not a big fan of horror.

You can buy Asylum* on Amazon in print, audiobook, or Kindle format.

 *This is an associate link, meaning if you purchase through it I get a referral fee but it costs the same as if you had just gone and ordered it through Amazon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review: Summer Sisters

I'd never read anything by Judy Blume before picking up this book. I've heard of her, and that she is a fantastic children's author, so I thought I'd check this book out.

Victoria Leonard, Vix for short, is reserved and comes from a blue-collar family. She has nothing in common with wild Caitlin Somers, whose family is well-to-do although her parents are divorced. So Vix is surprised when she is invited to spend the summer after sixth grade with Caitlin at her dad's house on Martha's Vineyard.

The girls quickly form a bond, and the summer trip becomes a tradition as they grow from adolescents into young women. As they weather the storms of growing up together, will their struggles to figure out their futures pull them together or apart...

I was really disappointed with this book. I really liked the idea of the plot, but I feel it devolved from a book about friendship to being more about sex. There were scenes I skipped because it was too explicit for me. The amount of profanity is also atrocious.

The story itself read like it was supposed to be for girls 11-16, but the amount of lewd behavior and profanity suggested it was for adults. I'm not sure who this book was written for.

I had a hard time liking the characters. Caitlin comes off as selfish and manipulative, while Vix is a pushover. My favorite character was actually Caitlin's step-mom Abby: I felt like she was trying to do the right thing, even if sometimes she went about it the wrong way. Caitlin's brother Sharky also intrigued me. I feel like he was a better character than either of the girls, but we don't get to see him much in the book.

This novel was written back in 1998, so I'm hoping Ms. Blume has come a long way from this sort of thing. I'll debate about whether trying one of her other books. If you're considering reading some of her work, I recommend skipping this one.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review: Paper Towns

This is one of the books from my first library haul of the year (I'm a little behind getting the reviews up).

Basically, Quentin Jacobsen (Q for short) has been in love with his neighbor Margo for a long time. Having grown up together, the two have drifted apart somewhere along the way, until now in their senior year, graduation in sight, they don't even speak that much, and their social circles are vastly different.

All the more surprising for Q when Margo comes banging on his window in the middle of the night, and drags him along as her getaway driver in a series of escapades. Although he spends half the night wondering if they really should be doing all these things, Q is starting to hope for something again between him and Margo, at the very least friendship...

When she disappears the next day.

Her parents, used to her constant running away and faced with the fact that she is eighteen and a legal adult, throw their hands up and are done with her. But Q begins the search for her, relentlessly trying to piece together the trail of vague clues she's left, trying to figure out what happened to his friend, and why she left.

Although this book wasn't quite what I expected, it was a rather good story. Some of the jokes were too crude for my taste, and there was quite a bit of swearing in the book, but the story itself was rather interesting.

Some of the friendship dynamics in the book didn't really work for me. I kept asking myself, "Why is this girl friends with her after she did that?" and similar questions. After some of the things which some of the characters did, I don't think it was very realistic that the people they hurt would remain good friends with them.

Although I was a little disappointed with how John Green ended the book, I still really enjoyed it. Q's search to find his friend took him on another journey to find himself that I could really relate to. All in all, it was a really good coming of age tale, and one I recommend if you like those kinds of books.

If you prefer just to get your own copy, instead of borrowing from the library, you can get Paper Towns* on Amazon in print, audiobook, or Kindle format.

 *This is an associate link, meaning if you purchase through it I get a referral fee but it costs the same as if you had just gone and ordered it through Amazon.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Review: If I Stay

Like I mentioned in my library haul, I wasn't quite sure what to think of this book when I first got it out of the library. I didn't even know what it was about, I had just heard it was a good book.

If I Stay starts on a typical snow day in Oregon. Because Mia and her little brother Teddy have off from school, as well as her father who is a middle school teacher, her mother decides to call out as well. The whole family having the day off, they decide to go visit friends, family, and maybe do a little shopping while they're at it.

Piling into the car, the family chooses their music choices and heads out onto the road.

Only to get into a horrific car crash not long after.

Their parents are dead on impact. Teddy is severely hurt and Mia is in critical as well as in a coma. Now Mia needs to decide whether she still wants to live, or whether she's going to give up and move on to be with her parents...

I admit, I almost didn't finish this book. After the violent car crash, I put the book down and didn't read it for a few days (it didn't help that, at the time, we were getting quite a bit of snow here, so then all I could think about was car crashes).

But after a little bit, I rallied my courage, and picked it up again. And I'm glad I did, because whole it is in a way an extremely heartbreaking book, it is also rather beautiful.

The format, mostly told from Mia's point of view as she lies comatose, is interesting as it switches between present day in the hospital and the past. The entire story takes place over a period of about 24 hours, but Gayle Forman brings in pieces of Mia's middle school years and well as earlier in high school.

As Mia is fighting her battle to decide whether to live or die, it made me think of all the decisions we have to make in our lives.

There is quite a bit of profanity in this book. It would have been just as good without it. There was also something about Mia's boyfriend which I didn't like. I felt like the author did a very good job portraying Mia and her feelings though. She was someone I was rooting for the entire book long.

I just learned there's a sequel as well! Another book for me to add to my list

If you prefer just to get your own copy, instead of borrowing from the library, you can get If I Stay *on Amazon in print, audiobook, or Kindle format.

 *This is an associate link, meaning if you purchase through it I get a referral fee but it costs the same as if you had just gone and ordered it through Amazon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why Don't You Quit?

Getting discouraged when you're trying to write is common. It's common whenever you're trying to do anything which is awesome.

But I've asked myself that question over and over when I've felt especially like what I was doing didn't matter any more: "Why don't you quit?"

Why do you keep writing?

What's keeping you from giving up?

You've probably asked yourself the same questions, whether about writing or about something else you're trying to do. Why bother trying, when it's so hard?

So why don't I quit? Why do I keep writing? What's keeping me from giving up?

I keep writing because I have a story to share, several stories that keep bubbling themselves up inside me like hot springs.

 I don't quit because I know, no matter how crazy it may sound, I have something important to tell the world.

And the fact that someone, somewhere, needs to hear what I have to say, even if it's only one person, keeps me from giving up.

Helping that one person is important enough to keep writing.

I'm writing specifically about writing, but if you're striving towards something else, just replace writing with whatever it is you're working for, because the same thing applies.

No one writes like you do.

Your writing springs from something inside you that refuses to be silenced.

Your writing can change the world.

People go on and on about not getting discouraged, how you shouldn't ever feel like you want to give up, but I think that's nonsense. Allow yourself to feel it. Embrace the fact that, sometimes, like anyone who does something amazing, you want to give up.

But don't give up.

There's a world of difference between feeling discouraged and giving up. Galaxies between wanting to quit and actually walking away from it.

Instead, find out why. Why can't you quit? Why are you still writing? What's keeping you from walking away from your dreams?

Because when you know your why, why you continue to do something which at times you hate doing, it's so much easier not to quit next time you're discouraged. And let's be honest, there's going to come hundreds of more times when you want to tear up the notebook and burn it.

So why don't you quit?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 2015 Library Haul!

Okay, so I went to the library and got out a couple more books. Sometimes I feel bad for going to the library, instead of buying the books, because I know how hard the authors and everyone else involved must have worked on them, and it doesn't feel quite fair that I'm reading them for free.

But the truth is, I don't often reread books, and I don't have a lot of space for them (not to mention owning shelves on shelves of books is something that would definitely stress me out).

As I mentioned before, I also like to get books out of the library to try an author I've never read before and see if I like his or her style.

So I justify borrowing library books because that's what they're there for anyway, and if I really, really like a book and plan on reading it again, I can purchase it on kindle. So if you struggle with thoughts and guilt like that as well, I encourage you to be at ease about it. It's better you read a book from the library, decide you love it, and then go buy it rather than buy it, hate it, and end up tossing the book and wasting your money.

Okay, enough of that stuff, here's what I got out this haul!

 Paper Towns by John Green

Again, I'm trying out books by authors I've never read. I heard about this book through Amazon's Omnivoracious newsletter (I believe in was in a top list of something).

The title intrigued me (although I originally miswrote it down as "Paper Towels"). I really get what they say about coming up with an awesome title, because a lot of times, that's what grabs me in.

But besides the curious title and the interesting cover, I got a first hand recommendation. When I was checking it out of the library, the clerk said it was her favorite book ever. And considering she works in a library, I suppose she's read quite a few books to be able to judge (unless she got sick of books from staring at them all day, which sounds impossible to me).

 If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I really can't remember why I wanted to read this book now. I think I heard about it through Omnivoracious, but honestly I'm not sure. It was on my list of books to read, so I decided to get it out this month.

Looking at the cover, it sounds and appears to be very intriguing. After reading the back cover, though, it sounds like a rather depressing book.

I'm not sure if I would've gotten it out if I'd read more of what it was about online first. But since I have checked it out, I'll give it a go and see if it's something that interests me. I usually like books with a happy ending, and honestly this book doesn't sound like it will have one. I'll read the first few chapters though, and see what I think.

Mistwood by Leah Cypress

This was another book I heard was very good (and again, I think it was through Omnivoracious, but it was another one that had been on my list for a while, so I can't remember for sure where I heard about it).

I've heard Leah Cypress is a good author, but I've never read any of her work before. If any of you have, were there any of her books that you really loved?

The cover really intrigues me. I think it's very pretty and mysterious at the same time. And the title is interesting too. When I read the back cover, it immediately sounded like the type of book I love. I'll probably read this very soon.

Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire

So I didn't realize until I got this out that it was written by the author of Wicked. I've never read Wicked, but I've heard enough of the story to know it sounds really neat (I put that book on my list for this year, along with some other books by Maguire). I really like the cover of this book too. It looks very whimsical and fun.

It's set in Russia, and that intrigues me because I haven't read many stories that take place in Russia before.  From reading the blurb inside the front cover, it sounds like it might be similar to Howl's Moving Castle  by Diana Wynne Jones, which I really enjoyed.

That's all I got out for this month. If you read my 2015 book list, though, you know there's many more book hauls to come (and honestly, they're probably all be library hauls, as I'm checking out a bunch of authors I've never read before). I hoped you enjoyed it!

Have you read any of these books? How did you like them? What other books would you recommend I read? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Book List for 2015!

All right, so it's a new year, and it's time to read a whole bunch of books! I've been massing a list, and here it is if you're interested:

1.  Paper Towns by John Green
2. Mistwood by Leah Cypress
3. Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire
4.  If I Stay by Gayle Forman
5. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (I know it's an oldie, but I don't think I've ever read it)

6. House of Wonder by Sarah Healy
7. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
8. Asylum by Madeleine Roux (I'm branching out and trying another horror book)
9. Phantastes by George Macdonald (one of my favorite authors, he wrote The Princess and the Goblins)
10. The Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull

11. Extravagant Grace: God's Glory Displayed in Our Weaknesses by Barbara Duguid
12. Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins
13. 10% Happier by Dan Harris
14. Make Your Own Rules Diet by Tara Stiles
15. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

16. 30 Days to a Clutter-free Life by Ruth Soukup
17. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
18. The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
19. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
20. Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

21. Aurora Abroad by Karen Kiefer (I've already read this and loved it, I want to read it again this year)
22. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
23. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
24. Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire
25. Missing Sisters by Gregory Maguire

As you can see, there's a big variety here. Some are children's books, some are non-fiction, and some are YA. I like a lot of different types of books (honestly, there aren't many genres I don't like), but I often stick with YA fantasy, so I decided to branch out this year and make sure I get some other types of books in as well.

I'm going to read as many as I can of these. Granted, I doubt these will be the only books I read for 2015 (and I may find that I don't like some of them and don't finish them). But for now I'll be working off this list, and see how it goes. A lot of these I'll probably do reviews on, so I'll let you know what I think of at least some of them. Thanks for reading!

What books are on your list to read this year? Any suggestions for me to add to mine? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review: The Spiritglass Charade

This book is the sequel to The Clockwork Scarab (check out my review of it HERE), so if you haven't read that book, you might want to check it out first, unless you don't care about spoilers.

As this is a sequel, it kind of necessitates spoilers for the first book.

The Spiritglass Charade starts up where the other book left off pretty much. The villain who was killing the girls, known as the Ankh, is supposed to be dead, but even after more than a month has passed, Mina isn't so sure of that. Before she can ponder that thought too much, though, she and Evaline are summoned before Princess Alix, who not only wants to thank them for their service before in foiling the plans of the Ankh, but also has a new request of them.

It seems a dear friend of the Princess, Willa Ashton, convinced her missing brother is still alive, has starting seeing mediums in order to contact her dead mother and discover her brother's whereabouts. Worried that it's a ploy to either strip Willa of her fortune, or drive her insane, Princess Alix asks the girls to investigate.

As they prepare to visit Willa and attend one of the seances, Mina is confident that she can point out exactly what tricks the charlatan is using. After attending, though, Evaline is not so sure that there isn't something more than tricks going on, especially when she learns that the vampires have returned.

And of course, they still have Dylan Eckhert to help find his way back to his time period, not to mention Pix and Inspector Grayling to contend with...

This was an amazing read, and an excellent sequel to the first book. I really enjoyed the character development. With the vampires and spiritualism, the book did take a creepier turn than The Clockwork Scarab.

Again, my biggest problem with the book was the amount of swearing in it (not a ton, but as I've mentioned before, I'm not a fan). There was also a creepy incident with the object called a spiritglass which I'm not sure was necessary.

I do recommend it, though, if you like historical steampunk type books (and of course, if you loved The Clockwork Scarab, you don't need me to tell you to go check it out).

I got it out of the library, but if you already know you want to own the book, you can find The Spiritglass Charade* on Amazon in print, audiobook, or Kindle format.

 *This is an associate link, meaning if you purchase through it I get a referral fee but it costs the same as if you had just gone and ordered it through Amazon.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: Hollow City

After reading the first book in this series, I knew I had to get the second one out. (If you want to read my review on Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, just click HERE. Don't worry; I'll be here when you get back).

Like his first book, Ransom Riggs uses vintage photographs to help him tell the story (a feature I consider rather freaky and pretty awesome at the same time). Hollow City is a continuation of the story from the first book.

I got it out from a digital library on my kindle (thus the kind of shiny photo of the cover, I discovered how hard it is to take a good picture of a book cover when you're reading it from your kindle).

Because it is a continuation of Miss Peregrine, I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up spilling some spoilers for the first book. So if you haven't read it yet and care about such things, I recommend reading Miss Peregrine first and then coming back to the review...

Okay, are they gone yet? Let's get into the book.

So if you remember at the end of Miss Peregrine, Jacob and the rest of the gang were on their way to the mainland, in search of another ymbryne to help Miss Peregrine get out of her bird form.  Hollow City describes their search for other loops and the other ymbrynes, their continued battles with the wights and hollowgasts, all while trying not to draw too much attention to themselves. And throughout all this, Jacob is still trying to figure out how to use his skill in seeing the hollows and learning how to fight them...

I really liked this book as well, and thought it was a rather good sequel to Miss Peregrine. I didn't like it quite as much as the first book (maybe because I already knew what the format was, and the newness of the vintage photos as part of the story wore off a little for me?). It was a little shorter, or felt a little shorter, so of course I wanted a longer book. I thought it was very well done, though, and again I was rather surprised when it was over (what? no way I read it all already...).

One thing I did really like was that there was less swearing in this book (I think it was maybe five words, maybe). Some of you probably don't care about things like that, but for those who don't like swearing, I figured you might like to know.

I didn't see the ending coming at all, which was another feature in its favor. I don't know about you, but I hate it when I can predict the ending two chapters into the book. Hollow City, though, was awesome enough to provide a realistic ending (when I looked back at the clues, it all made sense) while keeping the twist/shock factor alive.

It was a great book, and I'm eagerly awaiting the third one.

And I just realized these books are considered horror. Maybe I'm getting into that genre after all.

If you prefer just to get your own copy, instead of borrowing from the library, you can get Hollow City* on Amazon in print, audiobook, or Kindle format.

 *This is an associate link, meaning if you purchase through it I get a referral fee but it costs the same as if you had just gone and ordered it through Amazon.