Tag Archives: literature

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Silent Patient Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Silent Patient Edition

Helloooo! I just recently finished a book called The Silent Patient and, although I figured out the major twist before the grand reveal, I really enjoyed it! A thriller through and through, this book explores the effects of childhood trauma in an adult and what it means to be psychologically “killed”. Part detective story, part diary, and one hundred percent awesome, The Silent Patient was definitely worth the read.

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Alex Michaelides’ psychiatric facility thriller revolves around Theo, a psychotherapist, and Alicia, a patient who hasn’t uttered one word since killing her husband via multiple gunshots to the face. Theo transfers to the failing facility that Alicia is at with the intention of “rescuing” her. To do this, Theo begins to visit her estranged family and former business partners to gather a better understanding of who the mute Alicia really is.

In doing so, Theo learns of a troubled childhood and past that closely resembles his own family trauma in his youth. Then, things get especially interesting when Alicia bestows her diary onto Theo and we find out that in the days leading up to the murder she committed, she was being followed. Which begs the question if she really committed the murder at all.

Filled with multiple twists, turns, and Red Herrings, The Silent Patient was a fast read, because it was impossible to stop! I finished the three hundred twenty-five page book in two days and only wish that it could have been longer. If you are like me, then you enjoy trying to figure out the major plot twist before it happens. I revel in solving the mystery before it is revealed and my advice to those who will read it is to go with your gut instinct as soon as you start because, chances are, you are right!

I give this book a ten out of ten, no questions asked. It was one of the most unique thrillers that I’ve read in a good long while. The mental health aspect of it was fascinating and there was not one single character that I didn’t enjoy reading about. Give it a try, because you will not be disappointed. 😀

What is your favorite thriller? Do you like to try and solve the grand reveal while reading or watching a movie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Hidden Bodies Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Hidden Bodies Edition

Howdy! Last week, I completely devoured YOU by Caroline Kepnes. Starving for more, I had to grab the sequel to Joe Goldberg’s super stalker story and ended up reading Hidden Bodies in two days. As many will agree, the follow up was not as good as the gripping first one. But, it was written exactly the same as the first, hence, it was totally un-put-down-able. Let’s discuss:

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In Hidden Bodies, Joe Goldberg ditches gloomy New York for sunny LA. However, it wasn’t because he wanted to work on his tan. No, he just needed to seek revenge on the last girl that screwed him over. When Amy fled their relationship with a small fortune of rare books in tow, Joe used his uncanny ability to stalk his prey to find out that LA was her destination. So, he called it quits at Mooney’s, packed a duffel bag, and headed west.

Joe learned that Amy had hopes of becoming an actress but he also found that trying to locate his ex in LA was a lot harder than he initially thought. While on the prowl, he gets himself into more trouble and yet another relationship with an incredibly rich woman in the movie industry compliments of crashing an audition that Amy could have been at.

Once Joe begins his relationship with wealthy and older Love, the plot begins to get just the slightest bit far fetched. And by the slightest, I mean very. I enjoyed it, despite some of it reading like soft core porn. But, it just didn’t feel as creepy as its predecessor. Because of the too crazy to be true plot once finding Amy was completely abandoned, the overpowering sense of being watched and followed went out the window with it.

It was still a well written sequel and, because of that, it was a quick read although it was close to four hundred pages. But, I could have not read it and still been fine. However, I am not going to tell you to not read this book. At the end of the day, Joe Goldberg is hilarious. Yes, he’s an awful, sick, disgusting character and that’s putting it nicely. But, the Joeisms in Hidden Bodies were as rich as they were in YOU and you’ll be sure to get some good laughs in.

I am going to give Caroline Kepnes’s follow up a six out of ten. It was good, but not great. But, if you liked YOU, you’re not going to not like Hidden Bodies. Now, I am looking forward to the second season of the television show YOU to see if they incorporate any of this sequel into it!

What were your thoughts on YOU or Hidden Bodies? How did you feel about the TV show of YOU? I want to hear from all of YOU, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hosting A Book Club

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Hosting A Book Club

Hosting a book club can be an exciting new venture. It provides you with an opportunity to discuss books that you have genuinely enjoyed reading with others. You can put across your own understanding and analysis of the book and also open your mind to new ideas by listening to others’ comprehension, thoughts, and feelings. It’s also a great way to meet people with similar interests to you. You can form bonds with a whole new friendship group! But hosting a book club is by no means a simple feat. It entails a whole lot more than simply sitting around a table with a copy of a book and talking. You will need to prepare and put a fair amount of thought into ensuring that your book club really stands out from the rest.

Setting Up:

Setting up is, perhaps, the most time consuming process of hosting a book club. You will need to draw up some sort of guest list, set a date and time, and set a place where everyone will meet. Generally speaking, it’s best to communicate with participants throughout this process. What best suits you may not best suit the majority. You may have to be a little flexible and lenient to get the ball rolling.

Nominating Books:

Choosing the book that you are all going to read can be relatively difficult. Attendees are likely to have different tastes and preferences, but emphasize the fact that a book club is a great opportunity for people to introduce themselves to new authors, genres, and forms of literature. Engaging with something unfamiliar could help people become exposed to something that they actually love but would have never tried themselves.

Creating a Comfortable Setting:

If you are meeting in a public space, try to make sure that it is comfortable and appropriate. If you are hosting at home, make sure that there are sufficient seats for all attendees and that the room doesn’t feel cramped with a bunch of bodies. Consider lighting – you don’t want it to be too bright or too dark.

Background Music:

You don’t want music blaring while you’re trying to hold a conversation about Edgar Allan Poe’s assonance. But, it is a good idea to have some sort of quiet background noise. Quiet music can make people feel a little more comfortable in any social setting. This tends to be why bars, restaurants, and cafes all have a quiet soundtrack playing at all times. You can find plenty of royalty free music to use at https://stockmusic.net/royalty-free-music/. Make up some sort of playlist that can be looped so you’re not having to play DJ throughout the event.

Provide Snacks and Refreshments:

You may want to consider providing snacks and refreshments or requesting that people bring their own. Rumbling stomachs and thirst can detract from people’s experience, so keep everyone full, quenched, and content. Make sure you’re aware of allergies or special diets ahead of time.

There is a lot more than one might think when it comes to running a book club! The above areas are just a few to consider. Hopefully, they will help to make your book club memorable and enjoyable for all involved.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Lil Red’s Book Club: An Innocent Client Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: An Innocent Client Edition

Hii everyone! This past week I finished up a riveting courtroom drama called An Innocent Client. I love me a good courtroom film or book just as much as the next guy and this one was one hundred percent decent. It wasn’t the best or most shocking grand reveal, by far, but it was still a pleasant read and it was very easy for me to continue to turn the pages. I finished the three hundred and sixty pager in two days! Let’s discuss:

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Scott Pratt’s debut novel revolved around criminal defense lawyer, Joe Dilliard, who wished for one thing and one thing only on his birthday: an innocent client. Sick of defending the low lifes who everyone knew darn well that they committed horrific crimes, he wanted someone who he truly felt was innocent. And, he felt that way about his latest client, a waitress at a men’s club named Angel Christian.

Angel is beautiful and mild mannered and Joe couldn’t imagine her hurting a fly let alone committing a murder. He is making the big bucks off of her case and begins doing everything in his power to clear her name. All the while, he deals with a drug addicted sister, a stalker, and his clients who he continues to visit in jail. Each one being more colorful than the next.

I enjoyed all of the subplots in this book, because it felt like a different story with every chapter and that made me want to continue reading as soon as I finished one. However, this book definitely contains a lot of trigger warnings in terms of violence and sex crimes and I wouldn’t recommend it to those who are sensitive to that.

Like I mentioned earlier, the grand reveal was good but it didn’t blow me away. But, it was crafted really well and it was a smart trick that the writer had up his sleeve and I appreciated that. I’m going to give this book a six out of ten. I did like reading it, for the most part, but some of it was very hard to get through. An Innocent Client had a great pace and Joe Dilliard was a likeable leading character. Sometimes courtroom dramas read like an instruction manual and this one was approachable enough that I finished it in two days!

What is your favorite courtroom drama? What is your favorite genre to read? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: YOU Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: YOU Edition

Hi! A handful of months ago, the Lifetime series, YOU, turned into a phenomenon once the premiere season was added on to Netflix. I absolutely jumped on the bandwagon and enjoyed the smart, sexy, and oh so creepy episodes staring a Mister Penn Badgley as the super stalker Joe Goldberg. I admit that I was caught up in all of the excitement of chit chatting about it with friends in person and on Facebook that I didn’t even know the show was derived from a book! Shame on me.

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Book Depository Image

Usually, I always prefer to read the book before watching the show or movie that it’s based on. But, when it came to YOU, I did things backwards. I finished the book a week or so ago and I enjoyed it even more than the TV series, which is pretty common. However, I will say that the show did an excellent job of keeping close to the book, minus a few liberties and I definitely appreciated that.

YOU tells the sickening saga between obsessive Joe and oblivious Beck, a customer who he met one time at his book store. The book is told completely from Joe’s point of view, which was really interesting. If you watched the show, you know he was a total creepazoid. But, reading all of his perverted and violent thoughts as he narrates his story created a bone chilling sense of disturbia.

Desperate to get close to Beck, Joe plants himself in just the right places to run into her or just watch her from a distance. As he discovers more about his dream girl and falls deeper into his obsession, he is willing to eliminate or do anything that stands in his way of the relationship he so desperately wants.

Set in bustling New York City, such a highly populated location, you can literally feel the spine tingling sense that somebody is watching you through the massive crowd. Joe locked his sights in on Beck and through master manipulation and deception hones in on the girl of his dreams, which becomes a nightmare for her.

YOU was a book that I could not put down, which surprised me, because none of the characters are particularly likeable. Joe was a psychopath, Beck was a downright horrible person despite Joe’s fantasizing about her, and all of Beck’s friends were nightmares in their own right. But, the story line and the expert writing of Caroline Kepnes was so intense that none of this mattered. Because the story was told by Joe, you got an intimate peak into his twisted brain and it felt impossible to not keep turning the page to find out what he was going to do next.

I rate YOU with a ten out of ten. It was delightfully reminiscent of one of my favorite books, The Collector, but it still felt original and fresh. It was horror and suspense and it really tuned into the modern world of cyberstalking gone horribly wrong. I have the sequel on hold at the library and cannot wait to get it so I can see how Joe works himself out of the dilemmas that he created in YOU as well as all of the creepiness to come!

Did you watch or read YOU? What were your thoughts about the book or series? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Perfect Liar Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Perfect Liar Edition

Hello! Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but it comes and goes in waves. Sometimes, I read ravenously and devour three books in one week. Other times, I can go a month without sinking my teeth into a new book while preferring the background noise of a movie before falling asleep. Right now, I am in a nonstop reading mode and have enjoyed a few page turners which includes The Perfect Liar.

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I pretty much exclusively read horror and thriller/mystery books. I love suspense and secrets and a well done who done it. The Perfect Liar definitely fell into the suspense category with the basic plot being the unraveling of big secrets between husband and wife, Max and Susannah, which began to reveal itself after ominous notes were left on their door.

The book shifted in perspective between Max, a self made artist and Susannah, a widow and stay at home mom from her previous marriage. I prefer books that are told from multiple points of view, because it keeps the pages turning as you want to read all different sides to the story once one character reveals something. Despite an uninspired story line in The Perfect Liar, it was an easy read because of the perspective change in each little chapter.

I can’t say that I would recommend this book because I genuinely enjoyed it. However, I would recommend it if you just want something to fill up some free time. I didn’t hate the characters, but I didn’t like them, either. And, in comparison to some of the other family secret based books out there, The Perfect Liar left a lot to be desired. I like when I don’t see the surprise in the book coming and, if you read this one closely enough, you can definitely figure it out on your own without the grand reveal.

I am going to give The Perfect Liar a five out of ten. This is more because I was able to finish it within two afternoons and it was insanely readable. But, if you’re looking for a book with more substance to it, then I would skip over this one, for sure.

What is the last book that you have read? What book are you working on reading now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Gift Ideas Inspired By Nature

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Gift Ideas Inspired By Nature

When it comes to giving gifts, you can choose to head to a department store and you are sure to get something beautiful and thoughtful. But, sometimes, it’s great to give something a little more meaningful and likely to be treasured and used for longer. When people say natural gifts, it can conjure up all sorts of images and ideas, but if you know someone who cares about the environment, prefers natural products, or has a bit of a hippy heart, then these gifts will be perfect for them. This has the extra bonus of supporting some smaller businesses, too.

“My favorite things often have a story behind them and are usually handmade or discovered at a flea market.”Amy Sedaris

Handmade soaps:

You will often find with handmade soaps that these are home-based businesses with one person behind the whole range. If you have allergies or your skin doesn’t love some ingredients from mass producers, you’re likely to be able to use these. They are usually 100% organic, packed with pure essential oils, and smell fantastic.

Felt booties:

Slippers or boots handmade from 100% wool, and natural rubber. From farm to foot is a great ethos to live by. Usually made in part by hand and part by machine, you know you’re going to get a lovely product with a lot of care and attention to detail.

Cold water essential oil diffuser:

An essential oil diffuser will disperse gorgeous scents all over the home. You can choose different fragrances depending on what mood you are trying to create. To create a calming environment, especially when someone is feeling run down, use lemon. Lavender is perfect for soothing anxiety and aiding sleep. Cinnamon helps concentration and creates a warm atmosphere. Use Peppermint for brainstorming and boosting energy and Rosemary to help you recall information and ward off headaches.

Metal straws:

Many places have banned single-use plastics and are pushing to only have plastic straws for those who really need them. But, sometimes, sipping a cold drink with a straw is a particular type of bliss. Get your friend (and yourself) a pack of metal straws to do your share in waste reduction.

And, speaking of waste reduction, it is almost impossible to cook a meal without having some waste produced. If your friend doesn’t already compost, now might be the perfect time to start. You could gift them with a large composter for in the garden or a smaller more portable one for the kitchen. A compost pail will help your friend reduce their carbon footprint considerably. Many pails come with charcoal filters, which will help trap and control the odors that are often associated with composting. Once the compost is created, it can be used to grow herbs and more veggies.

Plants are great gifting options, too. Not every eco-friendly person is great at taking care of plants, though. So bear that in mind and perhaps opt for something that is easy to look after. Succulents are very popular right now, have a gorgeous effect on their surroundings, and are easy to care for. Air plants are also wildly popular with people who simply can’t seem to keep anything alive. Tillandsias as they are known, require no soil, and can grow simply by being hot glued to an object. All they need is a mist of water once a week or so.

Solid deodorant:

Ditch the roll-on or spray deodorant for something a little more earth-friendly. You can pick up a pot of solid deodorant made from skin loving ingredients that work hard all day to prevent you from sweating and work just as well as anything you’ll buy in store.

Great tea:

A good cup of tea at the right time can change your life. There are many, many brands of tea but you could spend some extra time looking for handmade teas that have a benefit to the local area or the makers directly. This is a double whammy, as you can also choose a beverage that has health benefits like aiding digestion, heart health, or calming teas. Gift loose leaves with a reusable tea bag for maximum eco-friendliness.

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

If your recipient is looking to increase their knowledge in all the ways that they can have a positive impact on the planet, then you should take a look at some of the best books around at the moment. Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste, by Bea Johnson is a great choice. This Changes Everything – Capitalism vs. Climate is written by Naomi Klein and talks environment and the ‘free market.’ Or, some inspirational literature like Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, or Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed.

When it comes to giving gifts, the thought far outweighs the price that has been paid. So get your friend or family member something that will mean a great deal to them while being kind to the world.

Featured Image By: Vladimir Proskurovskiy on Unsplash