Showing posts with label liz jensen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label liz jensen. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (41)


Welcome back, wordy friends!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorite new-to-me words from The Uninvited by Liz Jensen.  
All definitions from Dictionary.com.

1. eiderdown. "Meteorologists confirmed that a conjunction of volcanic eruptions near Iceland and Japan had dimmed the stratosphere, stifling Europe with an eiderdown of ash."  

noun
1. down, or soft feathers, from the breast of the female eider duck.
2. a heavy quilt or comforter, especially one filled with eiderdown.
3. a warm, lightweight knitted or woven fabric of wool, cotton, or man-made fibers, napped on one or both sides, used for sleepwear, infant's clothing, etc.

I actually came across this word in one of Small Fry's books recently too.  Basically, a specific type of blanket.

2. subsidence. "Subsidence has skewed the gravestones so that barely any stand at right angles."

noun
This is a noun form of the verb "subside", one meaning of which is "to sink to a low or lower level."

When I first read this, I thought it has something to do with the word "subsidize" just based on the look of the word...but never occurred to me that it was linked with "subside", which is pretty easy to figure out.

3. bladderwrack. "Twenty or thirty of them are coming into view, shoaling by the black stone, naked or in rags, with clumps of salty bladderwrack on their heads and wet ribbons of seaweed or strings of bones around their necks."
noun
any of several seaweeds of the genera Fucus and Ascophyllumesp F. vesiculosusthat grow in the intertidal regions of rocky shores and have branched brown fronds with air bladders.

Super fun word for seaweed!  Nice!

What are your new words this week?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (40)


Welcome back, wordy friends!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorite new-to-me words from some of my recent reads.  
All definitions from Dictionary.com.

1. apostasy. "He was, to put it lightly, a disillusioned RKC instructor, well on his way to total apostasy."  (from The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne)  

noun
a total desertion of or departure from one's religion, principles, party, cause, etc.

I knew this was sometimes used as a religious term, but I didn't understand how it fit in this context...now I do!

2. solipsism. "The entire trip takes us nearly an hour, and Jane distracts me from my solipsism by telling me an involved story about her creepy, sexist landlord."  (from Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose)

noun
1. (in philosophy) the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.
2. extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

For some reason, I thought this word meant laziness or sleepiness, just based on the way it sounded.

3. glossolalia. "'You'll hear snatches of speech, but it's pretty minimal.'  'Glossolalia?'"  (from The Uninvited by Liz Jensen)
noun
incomprehensible speech in an imaginary language, sometimes occurring in a trance state, an episode of religious ecstasy, or schizophrenia.

Totally new word for me, and a fun one to pronounce at that!

What are your new words this week?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (19)



Welcome back, wordy friends!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorites new-to-me words from some of my recent reads. All definitions from Dictionary.com.


1. ziggurat. "As we skirt the vast orange ziggurat of Sainsbury's, a man behind the wheel of a huge lorry waves his arms angrily, as if to sweep us out of his line of vision."  (from The Uninvited by Liz Jensen)

noun
(among the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians) a temple of Sumerian origin in the form of a pyramidal tower, consisting of a number of stories and having about the outside a broad ascent winding round the structure, presenting the appearance of a series of terraces.

I believe the author was trying to convey how maze-like and confusing the area was.

2. internecine. "The internecine commenter strife fails to make me feel any better about the post, so I turn back to my final duties for the day."  (from Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose)

adjective
1. of or pertaining to conflict or struggle within a group: an internecine feud among proxy holders.
2. mutually destructive.
3. characterized by great slaughter; deadly.

The character was referring to a battle going on between commenters on her blog post.

3. duiker. "Over her shoulder was slung a rough bag, made from the hide of a duiker."  (from White Dog Fell From The Sky by Eleanor Morse)

noun
any of several small African antelopes of the Cephalophus, Sylvicapra,  and related genera, the males andoften the females having short, spikelike horns: some are endangered.

There's your African zoology lesson for the day!

What are your new words this week?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (14)



Welcome back, wordy friends!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorites new-to-me words, from some of my recent reads. All definitions from Dictionary.com.


1. pillion. "A big BSA cycle with jacked handlebars suddenly roared past him in the passing lane, a kid in a T-shirt driving, a girl in a red cloth jacket and huge mirror-lensed sunglasses riding pillion behind him."  (from 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King)

noun
1a pad or cushion attached behind a saddle, especially as a seat for a woman.
2. a pad, cushion, saddle, or the like, used as a passenger seat on a bicycle, motor scooter, etc.
3. a passenger's saddle or seat behind the driver's seat on a motorcycle.

2. inchoate. "At some point, though, they all told me of having reached a spiritual dead end; a feeling, at once inchoate and oppressive, that they'd been cut off from themselves." (from Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama)

adjective
1not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary.
2. just begun; incipient.
3. not organized; lacking order: an inchoate mass of ideas on the subject.

3. pyrrhic. "I allow myself the relaxation of watching the final part of a documentary on BBC World about Napoleon's pyrrhic victory over Moscow in 1812." (from The Uninvited by Liz Jensen)

adjective
1consisting of two short or unaccented syllables.
2. composed of or pertaining to pyrrhics.

I am guessing this last word is meant to convey that Napoleon's victory was swift and decisive...yes?

What are your new words this week?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

December 2012 in Review

Ah, December...thanks to Amazon $$ as Christmas gifts, it's the one month of the year where I make it rain (with book purchases, that is).
Liz Lemon grabbed that money and went straight to B+N.
Now that I have shelves chock-full of new and exciting reading material, I hope to have lots of equally new and exciting reviews for you soon!

Let's review December, shall we?  Let's start with my most and least fave books of the month.  The favorite was REALLY HARD to choose, I read a lot of good stuff this month:

December 2012 Favorite: Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
December 2012 Least Favorite: Matched by Ally Condie

Annnnnd let's review the rest of my reading month.

I read and reviewed 7 books (click links for my reviews):
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Blackout by Mira Grant
Bluff by Lenore Skomal
The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
Matched by Ally Condie
The Intercept by Dick Wolf

I did a full review of one past read:
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I also posted 4 mini reviews of past reads:
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

And I posted 5 new Small Fry Saturdays!
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Merry Christmas, Ollie! by Olivier Dunrea
Santa Claus The World's Number One Toy Expert by Marla Frazee
Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star by Petr Horacek
Jingle All The Way by Tom Shay-Zapien

In addition to all that, I signed up for a ridiculous number of 2013 reading challenges, declared my favorite books of 2012, shared my Christmas book haul, and announced my new domain name (which I'll admit, makes me feel like a certified baller.  Balla?  Baller?  I don't know, whatevs).

Also, the blog has only been up since August, but I already have over 100 posts!  YEAH BOIIII.

Now, in keeping with my new resolutions, I'm working on coming up with some new post ideas, and trying to make sure I keep up with my crazy reading challenges.  Happy January, all!

What's your first read of 2013?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday (11)



Welcome back, wordy friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorites new-to-me words, all from The Uninvited by Liz Jensen. All definitions from Dictionary.com.


1. mesmeric. "The mesmeric second hand of his watch has a role to play here." 

adjective
1. produced by mesmerism; hypnotic.
2. compelling; fascinating.

(I recognized the root in mesmerizing, but had never seen the word in this form.)

2. cochineal. "They'll raid shops for tins, dig for bugs, mill about in their cochineal uniforms until they get discarded or fall apart and they are stinking and dressed in rags and eating insects.

noun
a red dye prepared from the dried bodies of the females of the cochineal insect.

(The uniforms in the novel are bright red.)

3. cagouled. "I glance up: a bulky cagouled figure is standing on the broad concrete walkway above us
."
from "cagoule", noun
a lightweight usually knee-length type of anorak.

(Apparently this word is French in origin.)

What are your new words this week?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review: The Uninvited by Liz Jensen



Title: The Uninvited
Author: Liz Jensen
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review

Plot Summary from Goodreads:

A seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious? As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioral patterns and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics. Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behavior of his beloved stepson, Freddy. But when Hesketh's Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career, and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father. Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo.

My Review:

I requested this ARC from NetGalley because the description instantly grabbed me.  Hello, that first line?  Terrifying.  I think we can all agree that the idea of child-as-villain is extremely creepy (think The Omen, The Grudge, The Ring...gah).  What would make an otherwise innocent seven-year-old do something so random and horrific?  Do I need to clear all the sharp objects out of my house?  I had to find out.

The beginning of the book only served to heighten this intrigue.  It starts off by describing the event above, with the girl killing her grandmother.  Then it jumps to Hesketh Lock, our protagonist, who is investigating corporate sabotage cases in Taiwan.  The disconnect is huge between these two subjects, but it left me glued to the book until I could find out the relation between them.

Let's talk for a minute about Hesketh.  What a distinctive choice of narrator!  It took me a little while to get used to his manner of speaking.  Living with Asperger's, Hesketh has a very "materialistic" view of the world.  He sees and focuses on physical things, rather than the complicated thoughts or emotions behind them.  This means he often describes things rather abruptly (maybe even callously), but this is a result of his disorder, rather than a conscious choice in thinking.  (Also, this leads to some unintentionally humorous quotes:
"Is she beautiful?  Most of my male colleagues think so, emphatically.  They also claim to like her 'as a person.'")

Jensen did a great job fleshing out his character, and this alone adds so much to the story.  Plus, Hesketh's materialistic POV puts him in a unique position to deal with the pandemic of child violence without letting extreme emotion get in the way.  As becomes evident in the novel, almost no one else connected with the story is able to do that.  And for good darn reason--hello, a bunch of possessed third graders are killing their families!  It's freaking disturbing!!

So, how does it all wrap up?  No spoilers here, but I thought the ending walked some fine lines.  A fine line between being thoughtful or preachy.  A fine line between being abrupt or perfectly placed.  I took a few days to let it sink in, and I've decided that overall, Jensen walked those tightropes well and gave the book a solid finish.  She obviously had a message that she was trying to convey at the end, and she managed to do it without taking away from the hard-hitting impact of the rest of the plot. Timing-wise, I do think it was a tad abrupt--the novel suddenly jumps forward several weeks, and then wraps up in a few pages, which is a tough leap after a story that was otherwise so evenly paced.  But the content was good, and it wrapped things up while also leaving you with a lot of questions to ponder.

I've seen several people place this in the "horror" genre on Goodreads, but I think "dystopian" is far more appropriate.  Yes, there are some terrifying events in this book, but they are more thought-provoking than horrific, much of the time.  If you can handle some violent scenes, this is an absorbing read that's worth the creep-factor.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday (8)



Word Nerd Time!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorites new-to-me words from some of my recent reads. All definitions from Dictionary.com.


1. susurrating. "The mangled lips parted in a last, susurrating pulse of air." (from 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King)

noun (susurration)
a soft murmur; whisper.

2. laity. "Morale was even worse among the laity, black folks like Angela, Shirley, and Mona, the three women I'd met at the rally." (from Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama)

noun
1. the body of religious worshipers, as distinguished from the clergy.
2. the people outside of a particular profession, as distinguished from those belonging to it.

3. fabulate. "The impulse to fabulate is a natural response to a confusing and contradictory world." (from The Uninvited by Liz Jensen)
verb
1. to tell invented stories; create fables or stories filled with fantasy.
2. to relate an event as a fable.

What are your new words this week?

 
Imagination Designs