I am nothing.
Don’t you dare tell me that
I am capable of anything I put my mind to.
I am a failure and can’t do anything right.
I won’t believe you when you tell me that
I am unique and special.
I am pathetic and not worth anyone’s time.
I won’t listen when you tell me that
I am amazing and I sparkle with a bright internal fire.
I won’t hear you when you tell me that everything I think about myself is wrong.
I won’t listen to what you say.
(now read the poem bottom up)
It’s that time of year again!
Every year, I list what were my ten best reads throughout the year. I’ve read over seventy-five books so far this year, so only picking ten books is a hard task! However, I picked the books that really stood out for me or ones that really struck a chord.
As per usual, the books on the list had to be published within the year of 2018. All set? Okay, let’s go!
10 – Henry and Violet by Michelle Zink
This book is as lovely as a fairy tale. Telling the story of Henry and Violet as they sneak away from a school trip, this is less a tale of what will be than it is what could be. I loved how Zink made the characters her own, gave them new life and helped them live off of the page. More than that though, Zink takes the characters we know and makes them her own, putting so much heart into the story. This book touched my heart. Read my review here: https://jamiesonwolf.com/2018/05/17/henry-and-violet-by-michelle-zink-a-book-review/
9 – So This Is the End by Alexandra Franzen
This book surprised the heck out of me. What would happen if you could live just a little longer after you’ve died? This is just what happens to Nora who, though she has reached the end of her life, has never truly lived. I won’t tell you anymore than that, but I will say if you want to read a book that reaches into your heart and doesn’t let go, read this book!
8 – The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
I loved how innocently creepy this book was. It is a novel that brings to live real life ghost stories told around the camp fire. It warms your heart and makes you realize that some things we fear are ultimately human in nature. It is the story of Jake and his uncle Calvin and the ghost club that uncle Calvin starts. What Jake find out is that some ghosts are very real. SUCH an amazing book.
7- Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce
Set during World War II, Dear Mr. Bird tells the story of Emmeline Lake who takes a job writing for Women’s Friend magazine answering letters addressed to Dear Mrs. Bird. She’s not supposed to answer the more racy letters, but can’t help herself. Soon, she is in deep trouble and needs to find a way out. An absolutely amazing novel that packs quite the emotional punch. Has the feel of The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but stands on its own. It’s a stellar read.
6 – The Wish by Alex Brown
Alex Brown never fails to disappoint, and The Wish is no exception. Sam knows that he messed up with his wife Chrissy and his daughter Holly and will do whatever he can to make it right. Even if that means moving back to Tindledale. Jude has come back to Tindledale to run the antique shop. She’s Chrissy’s best friend and means to look after her and Chrissy’s daughter Holly. When Holly makes a wish, it changes everything. An absolutely heartwarming read that left me breathless and thankful for the love I have in my life. Even more than that, Alex Brown always manages to take chick lit beyond the genre of chick lit to create a truly beautiful experience. Read my review here:
5- The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller
I got this book when I saw the cover. Thankfully, the story contained within was just as amazing. Robert Weekes is a student of empirical philosophy, a branch of magic that teaches students to summon the wind, heal the injured and learn to fly. When Robert earns a scholarship to Radcliffe College, a women’s college for philosophers, Robert may have bitten off more than he can chew but soon, he joins others in the fight to save philosophy from those that want to destroy it completely. A brave and fantastical remaining of history, this book is pure pleasure!
4- How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
This book took my breath away. I love Matt Haig, but How to Stop Time just shone. This book tells the story of Tom Hazard who may look like an ordinary 41 year old, but he has actually been alive for centuries. He was told long ago that there was only one rule for people like him: don’t fall in love. When that happens, he wonders even though he’s been alive for a long time, when does he really start to live? A truly marvellous book and perfect in every way, part love story, part historical novel by all magical.
3- That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung
House hold lives. Those lives hold secrets. What if we were able to view those lives and those secrets in action? Told in a series of interconnected stories, Leung gives us the nostalgia of the 1970’s and fills it with so much quiet life that I couldn’t help but be charmed, moved and captivated by the short stories that make up this collection. I won’t tell you anything about the stories themselves, to do so would be a disservice. I merely ask you to open this book and read and be spellbound by a master of her craft.
2- The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
I loved everything about this book. What would you do if your uncle left you a treasure hunt of sorts after he passed away? This is just what happens to Miranda Brooks who, over time, became estranged from her uncle Billy. He has passed away and left her his bookstore, Prospero Books. He had always sent her on scavenger hunts when she was a child, but now he has one final scavenger hunt for her to go on. She will learn more about herself and about him and what keeps a family together. Thrilling in every sense of the word and just so much fun to read. Loved every word of this book!
1 – Of Echoes Born by ‘Nathan Burgoine
‘Nathan Burgoine has crafted a beautiful gem of a book. I was moved by this collection of short stories. Every one of them created a personal reaction in me. I’ve never read anything like it. Each of the stories is woven together in a tapestry of colour and the whole book just left me breathless. Indeed, I would stop for a moment when I finished each short story and reflect on the stories message and the superior craft of the writers words. This collection is magical realism at its finest. You know you are reading a book of fantasy stories, but somehow they feel so real, so true, that you think you’ll be walking down the street and meet one of the characters within. This is a wonderful gut punch of a collection that left me wowed. I had to read the book twice before I could even find the words for a book review, which you can read here.
That’s the round up! It took me forever to pick the list out and I hope you enjoyed reading about my top ten books of 2018. By all means, read all of these!
Until next year!
It’s the face cage that does it.
I dread the cage,
I am not afraid until then,
until it clicks into place
and my view of the world
is broken up by
thin white lines.
I’m told not to move,
not to move a muscle,
to stay perfectly still.
With my head immobile
inside of the cage,
the rest of my body
frozen into position
by a heavy lead vest,
it’s as if I am entering
some sort of futuristic coffin
when they wheel me in.
There are headphones
covering my ears
so that I can hear them
from inside the booth.
As the magnets spin around me,
they are looking within me,
trying to see the mystery within.
When they speak
I can hear them above the roar,
and it is as if I am hearing
the voice of God.
The last time I went,
someone had painted stars
within the tube.
I pretended that I was
at a very loud concert,
outside under the stars.
I could feel the grass
under my feet.
The same trick
never works twice.
This time, tonight,
I will pretend that I am
entering a portal,
a space time continuum,
that will take me to another world,
just for a moment,
a few lovely seconds.
the continuum is a noisy business,
space travel can be so loud,
but I will close my eyes.
A few tears will escape,
but the tears
will become jewels
in the new land
I will close my eyes
the stars will enfold me
like a blanket
and I will make a wish.
I will give my tears
over to the magic.
I will wait for the moment
when I am told
that it’s all over,
that I can go home
and he is waiting for me.
I will sleep easy
knowing that my wish
and that a few of the stars
have followed me home.
Every year for the holidays, I publish a holiday story for my readers and give it away for free. I mean, who doesn’t love free things, especially during the Holiday Season?
Well, this year is no different! My holiday read for this year is a special one: Mistletoe and Lemonade. Here’s a bit about the story:
In a prequel set more than a year before the events of Lust and Lemonade, we find the gang about to celebrate the Christmas season.
It’s not been an easy time for Blaine. Dumped by his boyfriend two days ago, he is trying to recover and wondering whether or not he will ever find love again. Then he is visited by Gabriel, part of the AngelMan service, and things begin to take a turn for the better.
Nancy goes to visit Nan and finds her house dark and devoid of cheer. She sees no point in celebrating the holidays with just her in the house and Blaine living on his own. Nancy decides to have a holiday sleepover and decorate her house. The holidays are for family after all.
Chuck is planning to sleep his way through the holidays at the new bathhouse that opened up, but when he learns that it’s closed for the holidays, he has no idea what he’s going to do. Ray, the proprietor, decides to teach him what really matters for the Christmas season.
Mike and William are having problems of their own. William purchased a couch so big that it fills up their lofts living room, leaving their Christmas tree on the balcony. He wanted a good deal, never mind that the couch was totally impractical for what they needed. When Mike leaves, William must decide what matters most: the things we love or the people that love us.
Poppy is beside herself. Connie has been surlier than normal. When Poppy finally asks her what is wrong, she learns that in Connie’s last relationship, she had grown close to her ex’s daughter Alexa. She hasn’t seen her for two years and misses her most at Christmas. Poppy vows to do whatever she can to reunite them.
Will Blaine and friends find their happily ever after on Christmas? With a little bit of magic, anything is possible…
You can download the story from SmashWords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/911759
It’s available in all kinds of different formats for all kinds of eReaders.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. It is my gift to all of you. I hope that your Holiday Season is filled with joy, happiness and a little bit of magic.
Every day is the same:
I work on holding myself together.
I wrap my body in found things:
elastic bands, string, a pleasing melody, Band-Aids, a well written line of text, the occasional staple.
These have built up over time,
to form a cocoon or a chrysalis,
that surrounds me.
Some days are better than others,
and I am able to go through the day without a care,
the cocoon around me able to withstand
the soft breeze of life,
and the ebbs and flow of my emotions.
everything that I am trying to hold in
finds its way out
and becomes an inferno that rises in me despite my care of the flame.
It bursts past the barriers of string and elastic bands,
scattering them to the wind.
It destroys something in me,
the chalice that holds the whole of me,
so that pieces of glass are littered like diamonds
in amongst the string and staples
and the occasional line of text.
I work at picking the pieces of myself
off of the floor,
adding more band aids, random pieces of string and elastic bands as I go.
I also pick up each piece of diamond glass,
no bigger than a grain of sand,
and look into their depths.
I see pieces of myself that make up the whole:
the sound of my laugher, my eyes that widen when I laugh, my thirst to live, to experience all that life has to offer me.
My light burns so brightly
and my body is capable of music.
This is a crescendo
and every moment is but a note that I can make.