I have loved every minute of blogging. I am so happy to have found this passion and community! When I started Reading in the Wildwood, I never imagined it would grow into this. I’m so thankful and blessed! I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
With that being said, let’s move on to my exciting news! I’m rebranding! I’ve spent countless nights praying and planning, and now I feel like it’s time to take that leap. I love Reading in the Wildwood with all my heart, but it’s time to introduce the next chapter. I will now be blogging at Wildwood Reads! It’s still the same concept. I will still talk about my love of books and nature, but I have so many plans for the future! I hope you guys will join me in this new journey! Be sure to check out the new blog and subscribe. I have a ton of announcements coming your way! Starting today, all of my new content will be at Wildwood Reads. As always, thanks for the love and support!
I wanted to love The Devil All the Time. I tried so hard to love it, and I did in the beginning. However, things fell apart pretty quickly.
Set in 1960, Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a unique cast of characters. Willard Russell returned from World War II tormented by the carnage. But the hardest thing he will ever face is the death of his wife. He prays and offers sacrificial blood, but nothing calms the cancer. Then there’s Carl and Sandy Henderson who travel the country looking for models to feature in their deadly photographs. You can’t forget to mention the spider handling preacher and his sidekick who are running from the law. Finally, there’s Arvin, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up in the thick of it all.
The Devil All the Time starts well. It’s atmospheric and gritty. It has the promise of a great story. In the beginning I was hooked.
Unfortunately, the more I read the less interested I became. I could care less about most of the characters. I also thought Arvin would be more involved. He really didn’t become prominent until the end.
Basically, everything happened at the end. The pacing felt off and the payoff comes late. It just kept building and build. And frankly, I got bored. In the last few pages everything finally started to come together, but by that point I’d lost interest. I’m bummed that I didn’t like The Devil All the Time more. I had high hopes for it.
Stand By Me has always been one of my favorite Stephen King movies. There’s just something special about it. So I wanted to read The Body to see if I felt the same way. I did. It was so good. It’s definitely one of my favorite King stories now.
It’s 1960 in Castle Rock, Maine. When a boy from a nearby town goes missing, Gordie Lachance and his three friends set out on a quest to find his body. This coming of age story explores contrast between loneliness and friendship as the boys face life and death.
I loved The Body. I’m so glad that I finally made the time for it. It gives more depth into the mind of the main character. Years after the event, Gordie became a successful writer and The Body is his memoir. I’m impressed by King’s ability to create an entirely different tone from his own. There are glimpses of Kings style, but it truly feels like this was written by someone else.
While this is considered a coming of age story, it is overwhelmingly nostalgic. We get to see how the events in this story effected an adult Gordie. He shares the good memories along with the bad. King captured the feeling of a late summer day as a kid. I started to miss my own childhood friends.
The Body deserves a ton of love. It shows King’s talent. It’s out of usual style, but it’s wonderful nonetheless.
I’m happy to be back in Castle Rock. It’s been so long since I’ve read anything by Stephen King. So the first book I grabbed this year had to be Needful Things.
There’s a new store in Castle Rock. It has something for everyone. Literally. Anyone who enters finds the object of their dreams. In addition to payment, the proprietor, Leland Gaunt, requests that each person performs a “deed” on someone else from town. These deeds soon cause unrest in Castle Rock. Sheriff Alan Pangborn is the only one who begins to suspect the new shop owner.
My Thoughts on Needful Things
I don’t think Needful Things gets the hype it deserves. It was never on my radar until recently. I’m glad I picked it up. I almost liked it more than IT and I know I liked it more than Carrie. It had everything I need in a suspense novel. Plus, King brought back one of my favorite bad guys, Ace Merrill. He was the antagonist in The Body, which was adapted into the movie Stand By Me.
Needful Things is one of the most character driven stories that I’ve ever experienced. There is a lot of backstory and minute details that you have to pay attention to. I personally enjoy that, but if you enjoy plot driven stories it might drive you crazy.
There was a ton of miscommunication in this one. Basically, the whole climax was built on miscommunication with a little nudge from Leland Gaunt. He just set the wheels in motion and then watched the chaos unfold.
Lastly, the imagery at the end was amazing. It was spooky and thought provoking. I do think it wrapped up a little too easily for all the build up, but that was my only negative thought. I’m ready to move on to my next King title. Recommend a few in the comments!
When I started Reading in the Wildwood, I had no real working space. I worked mostly from my living room couch. I also didn’t have shelves. As you can imagine, that was a huge problem for an avid reader. I had books everywhere. It was getting out of hand. So this year my husband and I decided to turn one of our extra bedrooms into an office/book room.
That wasn’t as easy as it sounds. The bedroom we chose had some moisture damage, so we basically had to start from scratch. And by scratch, I mean we had to rip out all of the walls and the carpet. When we got the carpet ripped out we noticed that there was some damage to the subflooring as well. So, of course, that had to go. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we basically started from the ground up.
Right when we decided to do this my husband’s job started to pick up, which is a total blessing. However, he is the construction master of this marriage. I know nothing about it. I just wanted to get past this part, so that I could pick out paint colors. Luckily, my grandfather has a construction company. He came and put my floor and walls back together. Let me just tell you. That was a process, but we got through it.
After the Construction
So now the walls are painted and the flooring is down. This is where I come in. This is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s time to turn this room into my dream room.
Piece by Piece
My husband bought my this awesome antique roll top desk for Christmas(below). This was the first piece of furniture to go in this room. Now I’ve got a little recliner for reading in the corner of the room. It’s right next to a window with a beautiful view.
Slowly, the pieces are coming together. Last night we brought in my shelves and my books. I’m going to find some contact paper to wrap the white shelf in. It has some damage and since it’s not real wood I can’t paint it. But I think contact paper will work just fine.
Today, I’m organizing my shelves and getting everything into place. I still have a few more pieces of furniture that I need, but it will all come with time. I’m so ready to start decorating, and I’m ready to finally have the book room of my dreams. I’m so thankful and I’m definitely blessed. I can’t wait to share the finished book room with y’all!
The new dog walker is all anyone in Thornfield Estates can talk about. Her name is Jane and she is new to Birmingham, Alabama. None of her wealthy clients notice that jewelry and trinkets disappear after Jane’s arrival. That’s because no one notices Jane outside of her dog walking duty. That is until she meets Eddie Rochester. He is Thornfield Estates mysterious new widower. All Jane sees in Eddie is opportunity. An opportunity to enter the lifestyle of the wealthy and to finally have the protection she craves. However, only on thing stand in her way. The presence of Eddie’s wife Bea still haunts the home even after her mysterious disappearance.
My Thoughts on The Wife Upstairs
The Wife Upstairs is an imaginative retelling of Jane Eyre. Hawkins done a great job capturing the gothic feel of Jane Eyre in a modern setting. That in itself is impressive.
Hawkins also managed to make characters that were likable and loathable at the same time. Most of them were not great people, but their motives made sense. I knew that Jane was super manipulative, but I still wanted the situation to go her way. The juxtaposition of those two feelings really grasped my attention.
Lastly, the mystery was well thought out. It kept me guessing almost the entire time. And I lovedddd the plot twist. I never saw it coming. There had to be a tiny bit of suspension of belief at the end, but all-in-all I completely loved it.