Category Archives: 80’s

Notes from the Upside Down – A Review

st.jpgSince one of my most favorite shows is Stranger Things, this was a must-read. Not to mention, I’ve been waiting on this book at the library since November 1st. As soon as season 2 hit Netflix, I went to find any reading material I could find on ST, and here we are.

This book is so in depth, it’s scary. I honestly wasn’t expecting so much detail, but I am glad it was there. I loved the first part where it talks about the Duffer Bros., how they came to be in the film/tv making art and the journey ST took before being snatched up by Netflix less than 24 hours after its pitch to the company.

This is a great book and one that I also want to buy the print copy of just to have in my collection and as a reference. It is well written and holds attention well for how it is written and its content.

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The Shining – 1977 First Edition

30420222_10155651093706848_7187476148029706030_oWhile I also got a first edition of Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Just After Sunset, and Full Dark, No Stars, this very first edition from 1977 of The Shining was my true prize. I almost cried when I saw it.

This past Saturday, there was a local arts festival called the Bloomin’ Festival.

Bloomin’ Festival is a two day juried arts festival (April 21-22 – 9am to 5pm both days) attracting thousands of visitors to the beautiful campus of St. Bernard Abbey and Prep School.  Located adjacent to the school is the world famous Ave Maria Grotto.  The picturesque landscape of stone cut buildings on the grounds of Alabama’s only Abbey provides a backdrop for the out-of-doors show.  More than 140 booths are filled with artists demonstrating and exhibiting their work.  The festival is the largest fundraiser annually for the operation and maintenance of the school.

It’s about an hour away from where I live and we go to this every year. In downtown Cullman, AL, there is a used bookstore called Deb’s Bookstore. They carry new and used books and it is like a literal Tardis. From the outside, it looks like it would be small, but as soon as you walk in, you’re surrounded by wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled end to end. They have an entire room dedicated to suspense, mystery, and thriller novels (my favorite) and a whole section on Stephen King (my ultimate favorite). I always go by the S. K. section in hopes to find first editions. I tend not to buy anything else because I usually use Thriftbooks or the Book Depository for my collection needs, but first editions are hard to come by and I don’t want to try to get the first editions from TB because I can’t physically see its condition. So, I went in at least hoping to find the first edition of IT. I had no luck. But, I did find Nightmares and DreamscapesFull Dark, No Stars, and Just After Sunset. Then, I look over and see The Shining. With such a cheesy looking cover, I was hoping and praying it was a first edition. And it was. I nearly cried. I spent $30 on all four of these books, but this was my true prize. The value to me is not a monetary one, but a look at how well books can hold up over time. This book is 40 years old. And it’s in amazing condition.

I look at this book on my shelf 10+ times a day and I just fill up with book nerd happiness. I can’t believe I found one and I don’t think I’ll get this lucky on another book for some time to come, but the happiness it brings me will keep me going until then.

Is there a certain book you’re aiming for? Do you have any neat “little” used bookstores close by?

White Fur – A Review

9780451497932What a great ride of a story. I am a big fan of the 80’s and New York, and especially books set in both of these settings. The story and writing pairs so well that it makes for a great and fast-paced read, one that fans of all genres would enjoy, but especially those who share the love of 80’s New York, like me.

*Original review posted on February 23rd, 2018*

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.**

Long Black Veil – A Review

9780451496331This book was most anticipated from the moment I saw and heard about it. I’m all for books that take place in the 80s, if only partially like this one. Flashback stories are intriguing to me, and they are easy to follow. This was one of those easy-to-follow flashback stories and it really helped the story. Flashbacks can make or break a book, and this one sure made it. I loved their characters and their growth, and this is certainly one thriller I can add to my favorite fiction list.

*Original review posted on January 16th, 2018*

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.**

Review: Ready Player One

Date Started: November 9th, 2016

Date Finished: November 19th, 2016

Overall rating: 4.9/5 Stars

The actual start date to this book should be somewhere in 2015. I can’t tell you how many times I had picked this up and put it down, simply for the fact that it starts out a tad slow. Now having read it, I could kick myself for letting it go unread all this time. As soon as I got past the first few chapters it was smooth sailing, and honestly the only reason it took me 10 days to read it is because of work and my video game hobby. I am in love with 80’s pop culture. I wasn’t born until the mid-90’s, but most of my favorite songs, movies, bands, and the like come from the 80’s time period.

Wade Watts, a high school senior in both the real and virtual world, lives with his aunt and her nasty boyfriend, where he is treated horridly and completely unhappy. Therefore, his uses the virtual reality that is the OASIS as his everyday escape, and he goes to his hiding place every day which is miles from his aunt’s trailer. Trailers, at this time, are very common. They are so common, that they are actually stacked on top of one another to save on space because of the state of the Earth’s decline. Every one (well, almost) is un-wealthy, and these ‘sky-trailers’ are about as affordable as housing gets. Wade actually got his hands on his Virtual Reality (VR) set through school when public students began to be allowed to attend school online. So, a little after he first got his VR set through school, 5 years prior to current time of the story in 2044, James Halliday (OASIS creator) passed away. Upon his passing, he left a video-will for the entire population stating that he had created a game within the game. 3 Easter eggs have been hidden throughout the very vast virtual world, which are found by opening 3 gates, which are opened by obtaining 3 keys. The prize? Whoever finds all 3 eggs first, inherits Halliday’s entire multi-billion dollar fortune and OASIS itself. He left the first riddle for everyone in his video-will, but for there to be any more clues revealed, one must locate the first key.

What you seek lies hidden in the trash on the deepest level of Daggorath.”

Pretty straight forward, right? That is, if you’ve ever played Dungeons & Dragons. This first riddle put the world in a frenzy over finding the keys to get the eggs. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a multi-billionaire? However, it took a whole 5 years before anyone found where the riddle was leading to.

This tale is one of friendship, love, hate, pride, and fun all throughout its entirety. Wade gets to meet his girl gunter (egg hunter) crush, eventually gets to meet face to face with her AND his best friend that he’s never met in person. They get to take down a huge evil corporation, who only wanted to win the prize so that their ownership of the VR game would allow them to make subscription fees present in an otherwise free-to-play realm. Greedy, greedy, greedy. Instead of making the world a little bit better and making world hunger less of an issue, let’s charge every one a monthly fee and further plummet the economy. Great idea. But what can you expect from those with already plenty of enough money that they don’t have to worry about themselves or their family going hungry. They’re only concerned with making their own bank accounts bigger. It’s always grand to see ‘government’ evil corporations get kicked in the teeth.

As soon as you pass those first 5 chapters, you’re golden. I sped through this book because I was so in love with it. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. I couldn’t hardly put it down. Please, if you love nerdy things, classic 80s games & movies, or anything 80’s really, pick up this book. My husband, who NEVER reads, loved this book. Mainly for all the 80’s and pop culture references and that it was about video games, but still. It’s amazing and the only reason I gave it a 4.9 and not a 5 was because it starts out slow. Don’t miss out on this one. Also: This is being made into a movie with the release year of 2018. AND THERE WILL BE A BOOK SEQUEL. Ernest Cline has posted several times, hinting that the title may be called Ready Player Two.