Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula by Bram Stoker
(Kindle Edition)
Originally published in 1897, this masterpiece of horror and suspense was an instant bestseller, transcending generation, language, and culture to become one of the most perennially popular novels ever written. "Dracula" is the novel that introduced the fictional creature known as the vampire to millions. It is considered by many as the single most important work in the gothic vampire horror genre. "Dracula" while not the first appearance of the vampire in literature is certainly the work that is most readily identified with the vampire genre and has spawned countless imitations and references. The novel is set sometime in the late 19th century and begins by being told from the perspective of Jonathan Harker. Harker is a young English lawyer who is traveling to the castle of Count Dracula to perform some legal services for the Count. Harker upon meeting Count Dracula finds him a strange and eerie man and will soon learn his dark secret.

The plot everyone knows. Dracula is written in journal form - so you get the perspective of all the characters in the book and it seamlessly flowed from one characters entries to another’s. I sometimes find that some of the classics are tedious to read because of the language used and vastly different writing style, but this was not the case with Stoker's Dracula. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good read, classic fiction, or has seen the many movies! I still prefer the vampires that sparkle!

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
(Kindle Edition)
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

I so wanted to love this book, but I must say I was disappointed and confused.  I was touched by the lives of these little girls, especially Pecola who was abused both mentally and physically, and raped and impregnated by her own father.  Throughout the book Morrison gives you flashbacks into the characters life to help you understand why they think the way they do now. I found this style of writing confusing.  I thought the book would be all about Pecola and her struggle, although it was the opposite; Morrison spends more time telling the sad and tragic story of many characters throughout the book and I felt that there was a lot of the story about Pecola missing.

First Ride of the New Year

This past Sunday I went on my first ride of the New Year. I didn’t ride along with the brave MSR members last weekend on their first ride. I had all intentions on riding with them until I saw the thermometer… 25 degrees at 8:30 was too chilly for me, but after our chapter meeting the temperature was close to 50 degrees, they had a thrilling ride.

On my ride Sunday we stayed local and it was fairly warm (mid 50’s) until the sun disappeared behind the clouds... then it was a little chilly. It was wonderful getting my motorcycle out, now it’s not so dusty lol.

Bryan rode his motorcycle wearing his after surgery boot; he still had pins sticking out of three toes... true biker or just crazy?!

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
(Kindle Edition)
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human ... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

I came across Shiver by looking through the Best Books of 2009 list at GoodReads.  I LOVED this book and would read it over!  The story draws you in and will not let you go. You are engaged in the characters and you care about care about what happens to them.  I had to keep turning the pages and couldn’t put it down.   The chapters are told in alternating viewpoints of Sam and Grace; you get inside both of them and learn who they really are.  Now I have to wait until July to read Linger, the continuation of Shiver.

Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin


Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin
(Kindle Edition)
As one of America's preeminent comedic voices, George Carlin saw it all throughout his extraordinary fifty-year career and made fun of most of it. Last Words is the story of the man behind some of the most seminal comedy of the last half century, blending his signature acer-bic humor with never-before-told stories from his own life.  From the heights of stardom to the low points few knew about, Last Words is told with the same razor-sharp honesty that made Carlin one of the best loved comedians in American history.

I've been a fan of George Carlin for years.  When I was a child I use to sneak my dad’s George Carlin Class Clown album into my bedroom just to hear and laugh at the explicit lyrics!  I was ecstatic when I saw him perform in Colorado Springs, he was a brilliant comedian.  In Last Words Carlin tells of his painful days struggling with alcohol and drug abuse both himself and his wife. He also shows how difficult it was trying to be a father, husband, son, and performer on the road.  I had no idea he had experienced so many hard times in his life.  Last Words is filled with raw humor and pain, any fan will certainly appreciate this book, and you wouldn’t be disappointed.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold



The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
(Kindle Edition)
"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."

So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.

I watched the trailer for the movie The Lovely Bones and I became interested with the story and before seeing the movie I wanted to read the book.  Parts of The Lovely Bones were very interesting and then other parts seemed to drag on.  I was upset towards the ending of the book when Susie comes down from Heaven into Ruth’s body and instead of telling someone about who killed her or where her body is… she uses Ruth’s body to have sex, what a disappointment.  Not the worst book I've ever read, but not the best either, looking forward to seeing how the movie measures up.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
(Kindle Edition)
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.  Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why?  Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is one of the best books I’ve read, I loved this book and this is the first book I read on my Kindle.  My blogging friend Susie recommended to me when she received it from her daughter as a birthday gift.

Taking place in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 60’s, The Help follows its three main characters, a young white graduate who wants to write about southern help from the point of view of the help, and two black women who have been raising the children of and keeping the houses of white families most of their lives. The Help is one of those books that you don't want to end because you love the characters and you just want to keep following them and their lives to see what happens!

2009 Mileage

I started keeping track of my riding mileage in 2007 when I received my motorcycle endorsement and it’s time for me to add up my mileage from 2009. From January 09 – December 09 I rode only 3,993 miles… and at least 2,000 of those were from our Utah/Arizona trip…. I’m really disappointed!

Starting mileage: 12,784
Ending mileage: 16,777

Hopefully the weather will hold out for next weekend, the Mountain Shadow Riders are planning our first ride of the New Year, a short ride to Florence (CO). Bryan and I have already started talking about our next long haul… we’ve talked about Sturgis, maybe Montana; I would like to ride to Washington and Oregon. For now I can just hope that 2010 brings me great weather for riding!

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Published a year before her death at the age of thirty, Emily Brontë's only novel is set in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors. Depicting the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with an instinct for poetry and for the dark depths of human psychology.

I was really impressed and enjoyed it, even the darkest parts. With so many hateful characters, I became more irritated at each character’s selfishness and vindictiveness as the book went on and yet I constantly found myself finding goodness in them.  I’ll definitely read Wuthering Heights once again.