Watched, Read, Loved: August 2017


Yay! It’s spring! (I am writing this up quickly in September). The weather has turned me into a positive, upbeat person for the time being. There is something to be said to drive to work and the sun is actually up when you get there, so I am pretty thankful. The saddest thing is naturally not being in the sun during the day, but it makes life worth it.

Life-wise, we went to the Modderfontein nature reserve for a friend’s birthday. It’s quite lovely, and as it is not the one I usually head to for a it-doesn’t-feel-like-the-city feel, it felt like a new place to see in the concrete jungle I live in. Had some amazing cupcakes too, which changed my life – like WOW.

I also watched the international Dota championships – like, I still don’t know how that happened. I hope to have actually played this game by next year to have a clue what is happening.

I also did a Parkrun – naturally the morning was chillier than all the rest, but I did one. I’d love to 1) make better time 2) remember my barcode and 3) get fitter. We are doing an international health challenge at work, starting the 27th of September, and the aim is 10 000 steps a day. It is scary because I don’t think I manage 2000 a day at this stage.

movies logo


Ghost (1990) – I really thoroughly enjoyed Ghost. The effects had me giggling, while the youth of Swayze and Demi Moore was really pretty to look at. Definitely one of the best Blindspots this year, though my selection has been pretty on point if I say so myself.

The intern3

The Intern (2015) – you can read my review here. The Intern is a heartwarming film with a great message, and I had a great time.

Ella Enchanted (2004) – I seemed to have had a lot of exposure to Anne Hathaway this month, but I’m not complaining as I really like both films. Hathaway is joined by Hugh Dancy, who has the most perfect face to play any form of a Prince. So handsome. This is a really fun movie, and I always enjoy it.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – yes, again. Don’t judge.

Sully poster

Sully (2016) – probably my favorite watch this month, Sully is inspirational and I was on the edge of my seat. Highly recommended.

Wild (2014) – Wild is a prime example why I don’t like real life adaptions. The lead character was uninspiring and selfish, and a track across the NST couldn’t convince me to root for her.

Mean Girls (2004) – Is Mean Girls the most quotable movie of all time? This movie is definitely one of my favorite films ever. It is relatable, accurate, hilarious and just so much fun.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them (2016) – I have a friend who was really outraged that I talked smack about this film. His attempt to convince me was to have me watch it at home in Bluray with 3D Glasses. I don’t have the heart to say that just because something is pretty to look at it means it is good, but it did improve on rewatch.



Stranger Things – the amounts of hearts I want to draw around this show. STRANGER THINGS IS EVERYTHING AND I NEED MORE NOW. The soundtrack, the premise, the whole I difference of it all, the miraculous amount of kids who can actually act. I was told by ten million people to watch Stranger Things, and now, after watching, my life is richer as a result. I need the second season now. Like NOW.


Game of Thrones Season 7 – I joined everyone and their grandma’s to watch the amazing penultimate season of Game of Thrones. I still need to do a recap of the last two episodes, which are some of the best this show as given us.


Vampire Diaries Season 7 and 8

Season 7 nearly sunk the show for me. The departure of Nina Dobrev proved to be a terrible blow to the show. The odd thing is that Season 7 started fine and halfway just lost the plot. It became so bad that Damon slipped in his number one ranking for me, and was replaced by Enzo. Even after being done with the show, Enzo remains as number one. I need to find it in me to review the last two seasons, but man, some things just can’t be forgiven, DAMON.



The Rise of Nine (Pittacus Lore)

I am steadily working my way through the Lorien Legacies series of Pittacus Lore. I am enjoying the Rise of Nine quite a bit, although I still find the battles way too frequent and drawn out.

The Gunslinger (Stephen King)

Finally, I am also trying to attempt to work my way through The Gunslinger. I really like Stephen King’s way – I’m not always sure whether his books are for me, the man is amazing with words. I was about 5 sentences in when I googled a word to check what it means, and that rarely happens for me. I’ll still have to see what the book is all about, and hope to finish at least the first one.

What have you been up to this month?

The Green Mile (Stephen King)


He was like a dose of white arsenic sprinkled into a wedding cake, and I think I knew he spelled disaster the start. He was an accident waiting to happen.

The elderly Paul Edgecombe is living in a retirement village, making the days go by writing his extraordinary life story of the head prison warden on the Green Mile, the execution row in the Cold Mountain penitentiary. Paul’s job is basic, but not simple at all – to keep men and women destined to die in a few months as calm as possible.

The wardens on the Green Mile generally get along quite well. Paul is friends with Brutus “Brutal” Howell, nicknamed for his size, Dean Stanton and Harry Terwillinger. Paul and his wife are quite close with Head Warden Hal Moores and his wife Melinda as well.

The only exception to the general pleasant work environment is Percy Whitmore, who only has a job because of his connections. Percy is cruel, childish and immature, and loves to throw his connections into everyone’s face. He is the least liked by everyone, and they are all mystified as to why he would even want to work on the Mile in the first place.

Percy starts adding to his bad record with the arrival of Eduard Delacroix, sentenced to death for multiple murders. Del accidentally brushes Percy’s manhood when he stumbles, and Percy is too much of an eejit to realise that it was an innocent occurrence. From thereon he delights in making Del’s life as horrible as possible, as if the mere fact that the man is sentenced to death by electrocution is not enough punishment.

Another inmate arrives, a gigantic black man named John Coffey. John is sentenced to death for the rape and murder of the Detterick twins, but Paul is especially stunned from the start, because John is simple minded and seems constantly in agony.

The next inmate to arrive is by far the most difficult of the lot. “Wild Bill” Wharton is a man in his young twenties, also sentenced to death for murder. He prefers to be called Billy the Kid, and rejoices in the havoc he creates. Upon arrival he nearly strangles Dean Stanton while Percy watches, immobilized by fear. Brutus saves Dean but Percy now has to live with an increased derision from his work colleagues, and he just becomes more unpleasant. Wild Bill takes multiple trips into the infirmary soon after his arrival, each time promising to behave afterwards and then just reverting to his old manners shortly thereafter.

Paul is suffering from a painful UTI, and after the incident from Wild Bill’s arrival, John Coffey urgently wants to help him. Paul is scared to let John touch him, but something amazing and magical happens – the moment Paul is touched by John, his infection disappears and he is as good as new. Paul is stunned by the miracle but refrains from telling anyone, correctly assuming they would judge him insane.

As if the Mile wasn’t already packed, Paul Edgecombe is soon the host for another strange inmate, the mouse everyone christens Mr. Jingles. Mr. Jingles is soon the entertainment of the block, and he takes a special liking to Eduard Delacroix. Percy, who wouldn’t notice something amazing if it kicks him in the eye, immediately hates Mr. Jingles and when the mouse takes up residence in Del’s cell block, Percy swears that he will somehow kill Mr. Jingles.

Paul’s misgivings of John’s guilt increases and he decides he has to investigate. He hits some walls, people unwilling to put effort into a closed case, mostly because John is black and they are blinded by racial prejudice. Paul, who isn’t blinded at all, investigates and soon realises the thought involved in the abduction, rape and murder of the Detterick twins far outstrips John’s mental capacity.

Meanwhile, Melinda Moores declining health is a great source of worry to the Paul and his wife. She is diagnosed with a brain tumour and her behaviour rapidly declines and she is soon bedridden. Paul knows that John may be able to heal her, and devises a plan with his trusted friends, and also gets ideas to keep Percy in the dark about the fact that they want to sneak John Coffey out of prison. Will Paul, Dean, Harry and Brutus be able to sneak the massive John Coffey out of the Green Mile, and get him back without detection? How will they keep the wretched Percy in the dark? Will Percy eventually get Mr. Jingles? Is John Coffey really the rapist he was convicted to be, and if not, who killed the innocent two girls so brutally?

Rating: 8/10

You might remember how much I enjoyed the film adaption of this book, and I am happy to say that the book is now rightfully now also a favourite. The movie stayed loyal to the book, and we all know how much I like that.

The Green Mile is just an extraordinary story told by an excellent author. This is my second King novel (the first was Carrie), and I liked this one more. King presents a story that seems interesting but normal, and he introduces the paranormal with such skill that it never seems strange or unbelievable.

Doug Hutchinson was such a perfect Percy Whitmore that I can say that movie Percy is more deplorable than book Percy, and book Percy was so HATEFUL.

The book is long but fortunately not boring. It takes some time reading, but recommended to King fans and Green Mile movie lovers!

Have you read the Green Mile? What did you think?

Movie Review: Carrie (2013)


Based on the Stephen King novel, Carrie tells the story about a seventeen year old girl, Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) who lives with her very scary religious fantasist of a mother (played excellently by Julianne Moore).

Carrie is removed from society, shunned on the basis of the rules her mother enforces on her. She has no friends, wears clothes that don’t fit into modern society, and has no clue to what it even feels like to be normal. She doesn’t want this, but it is hard to rebel against a mother who locks you in a small closet for hours if you disobey her.

Carrie’s miserable life becomes worse when she gets her first period after gym class in the showers. The teenage girls lose their heads and follow the orders of Chris (Portia Doubleday), the school bully, and starts throwing Carrie with tampons. The coach (Judy Greer) shows up and help Carrie recover some dignity and modesty, and no one notices the one light explode in the showers, or no one thinks much of it.

Carrie is punished by her mother for having her first period and spends some time in the closet, and when the door gets a crack in Carrie seems to become aware that she has some form of magic ability, and the following day she starts researching what it might be, trying to ignore the ridiculing she is subjected to.

Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde), one of the tampon throwers is feeling horrible about herself. She doesn’t know what came over her, because she really isn’t such a bad girl. Coach punishes the girls by giving them rigorous training as punishment, and everyone but Chris does it, and when she yells at the girls to side with her, not even Sue does it because they know how wrong they were. Chris is expelled from school and banned from Prom, and vows revenge on everyone, including Carrie.

Sue is still feeling horrible about what she did and decides that Carrie deserves one normal, happy night, to go to prom with a handsome guy. Sue convinces her boyfriend Tommy (Anse lElgort) to take Carrie, and he is reluctant, but agrees to do so because Sue is beating herself up horribly about it. Tommy asks and Carrie naturally thinks it is a trap, but she is convinced eventually by Tommy that his offer is sincere.

Back at home, Carrie’s mom freaks out, sure that Tommy wants to defile her daughter. Carrie’s powers has now progressed immensely, and through her telekinesis she starts controlling her mother, and says that she will go to prom.

Prom night arrives, with Chris planning revenge, and Carrie unaware of it. Will Carrie be able to survive yet another embarrassment at school? What will she do to Chris when she is thrown with pig’s blood? Is Carrie, already unstable, capable of controlling her powers under such strain?

Rating: 7/10

I watched this movie to see how the adaption went since I read the iconic King novel sometime last year. I thought that it was rather decently done, and although there were some minor details that were changed, it didn’t deduct from the whole story.

I really pitied Carrie. This girl had so much against her, and that particular horror in the shower would have cracked any girl. She had no support at home and her mother was a lunatic, and she had no friends to even help her. Her eventual revenge on the school felt like justice and especially on Chris – who might just make it into the famed hall of asses of all time. Moretz did well as Carrie and I think it might be the first time where she didn’t irritate me senseless. I didn’t catch anything of her characteristic snottiness in this movie and she seemed genuinely unstable as Carrie is supposed to be.

I do think that Chris could have been better developed. The movie didn’t really show how awful, cruel and spoiled she is. Also, I thought the movie Sue Snell was better than the book version – she is somewhat condescendingly written I’ve perceived.

Ansel Elgort is really a very cute guy deservedly on the rise. He was perfect as Tommy – capturing the high school popular jock who isn’t a bad kid (a bit of a moron, but not bad) and on the way to becoming a good man.

Recommendation: not too much guts and gore to put you off bacon for weeks, so you can watch it for some horror street cred.

Movie Review: The Green Mile (1999)

The green mile

Paul Edgecomb: “They usually call death row the Last Mile, but we called ours the Green Mile, because the floor was the color of faded limes. We had the electric chair then. Old Sparky, we called it. I’ve lived a lot of years, Ellie, but 1935 takes the prize. That was the year I had the worst urinary infection of my life. That was also the year of John Coffey and the two dead girls”


It’s 1999, and an elderly Paul Edgecomb lives in a nursing home in Louisiana. He is very popular with his fellow home members and with the staff. He takes walks during the day, going somewhere specific each time.

One night, Paul and his elderly friends are watching the movie Top Hat. His friend Elaine notices he is distressed and when she asks Paul what the matter is, he tells her the film reminds him of a time when he was in charge of death row inmates at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary in 1935.

Paul (Tom Hanks) thinks back to 1935, where he is working with his fellow prison guards Brutus “Brutal” Howell (David Morse), Harry Terwillinger (Jeffrey DeMunn), Dean Stanton (Barry Pepper) and Percy Whitmore (Doug Hutchinson). Paul, Brutus, Harry and Dean get along fine, but they dislike Percy who is childish and cruel and who only works in the ward because of family connections and his wish to see someone die on the electric chair.

John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) arrives at the prison. He is huge and intimidating but his despite his size he is shy, soft spoken, very innocent and kind. Coffey is convicted for raping and killing two young sisters but his guilt is immediately questionable.

Coffey and Paul

John Coffey:  “Do you leave a light on after bedtime? Because I get a little scared in the dark sometimes. If it’s a strange place.”

Paul is suffering from an UTI and he is in extreme pain all the time. One morning, after an excruciating urinating session, Paul is determined to go to the doctor, much to his wife’s relief. Before he is able to do that, Coffey supernaturally cures Paul. Paul is shocked by this immense power. He comes to the conclusion that Coffey can cure the wife of Warden Hal Moores (James Cromwell), who is dying of a brain tumour. They manage to sneak Coffey out of prison by putting Percy into the isolation room, something he richly deserves for the part he played in the botched execution of Eduard Delacroix (Michael Jeter), another inmate that got the taste of Percy’s cruelty a bit too often. Delacroix gives the Mile some entertainment by forming a bond with a Mouse and teaching it tricks. Delacroix is distraught when Percy kills it, but Coffey makes it alive again by his spectacular powers.

“Wild Bill” Wharton (Sam Rockwell), a psychopathic inmate is scheduled for arrival at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Coffey warns Paul of him, and he is proven to be correct when Wharton attacks the guards seconds after entering the building. They restrain him, but it is the first of many incidents involving Wharton. He is sent into isolation a few times, but he gets himself into trouble constantly. He touches Coffey and with his powers Coffey sees that it is Wharton who raped and killed the girls he is being sent to execution for. Coffey “releases” the tumour he took from Mrs. Moores (Patricia Clarkson) into Percy, making him kill Wharton and then lapse into a catatonic state.

Paul knows that nothing he can do will save Coffey’s life because they have no hard evidence. He asks Coffey what to do and Coffey’s answer surprises him. Coffey says that he wants to die, that living in such a hateful world is too much for him and that he is tired of it all. Coffey gets his execution, and the wardens have a difficult time controlling their emotions.

Back in 1999, Paul tells Elaine that he has lived such a long life because of Coffey curing his UTI, somehow giving him more life as well. He shows Elaine Delacroix mouse, who is still living years later because Coffey had restored him to full health as well. He tells Elaine that he knows he will die someday, but thinks his long life is punishment because he didn’t save Coffey back in 1935.

 Rating: 8.5/10

While visiting Zoë, I casually mentioned (now I realize in great error) that I’ve never seen The Green Mile. Cue Zoë grasping for breath, shocked and a bit teary eyed. So we sat down to watch it.

I went in mostly blind. I knew something about death row and some sadist and that it is based on a Stephen King novel, but that was it. People love this movie so I knew it had a chance to be really good, but I have to say I was expecting violence and swearing and generally not my type of thing.


It was AMAZING. Like laugh out of your tummy amazing, be sad and angry (that FUCKING TOOL PERCY WETMORE) and confused. It was so good I wanted to re-watch it again and I can say that I definitely will.


The tool, Percy Whitmore

I have to say I thought the movie could have worked just as well without the supernatural element but there was just enough in it to make it interesting without making it completely unrealistic. The supernatural element is thrown upon the watcher, so suddenly; it comes as a massive surprise. That there was well done because I just sat there thinking this is a strangely nice story about death row and then it was like BAM, HELLO SUPERPOWERS. The story was excellently developed and clear and I never felt that the movie was too long – an exceptional for feat for a three hour film. I also thought the uniforms were so beautifully cut and done – it made every officer just look that much more authoritative (except that tool Percy Whitmore). I found Coffey’s execution one of the most emotional scenes I have ever witnessed. It was wrenching to experience everyone’s pain and how no one wanted Coffey to die at the end.

The cast

I’ve always thought that Tom Hanks is an exceptional actor and he just showed it constantly in here. He did an amazing job as Paul Edgecomb and how he was someone in power who actually thought about the repercussions of his job and was determined to do it with dignity. He was most powerful when he showed how he would always treat inmates with dignity, especially John Coffey, and always inexplicably Wild Bill. I loved how he realised when it was time to send someone to isolation and when it could be prevented.

The portrayal Michael Clarke Duncan gives as John Coffey is too good for me to put into words. He really looked huge, especially when compared to Brutus, but he was a gentle giant. Even from the start I couldn’t get how he murdered those two blonde girls. I found him so sad. Coffey was a huge, hulking figure that didn’t wear any shoes. He was so tender-hearted about everything and I found it endearing how he called Edgecomb “boss”. He also just knew Percy Whitmore was a cruel, vile man that had absolutely no redeeming qualities in him and THAT I loved.

Brutus “Brutal” Howell



This guy was way too entertaining as well. I liked that how he, despite his size, was the person after Edgecomb who treated the inmates with the most respect and that he was the clear leader after Edgecomb. His friendship with Edgecomb and the entertaining they found in a lot of things together in prison was so sweet and funny.

Another mention on excellent acting should be given to Sam Rockwell who played the psychotic murdered “Wild Bill” Wharton. He freaked the hell out of me and I have to say that so many of the laughs I got out of here came from him. That scene where he spits the chocolate in Brutus’s face was hilarious and I admired the hell out of Brutus for not losing his temper there and then.

Okay, the last have to say about the characters involves Percy Whitmore, played by Doug Hutchinson. He is, without a doubt, in the most hated characters list ever (if there isn’t such a list, there should be). He is on the same level as Umbridge, who is on the very top of the list. I felt such animosity towards him. Were it possible, I would have climbed through the screen to kick him. He is everything I despise in some men – men who love to beat down on people either smaller or in lesser positions than them, men who are cruel and enjoy brutality and men who love throwing their connections around. In fairness to Hutchinson, he played the part perfectly and was just as well cast as the rest of the group.

I obviously really liked this and would recommend it to just about everyone. It is an excellent story without a lot of violence and it is gripping from the start.

Have you seen it? What did you think?


Book challenge: Progress part 3

Happy Wednesday everyone! Guess who is going on study leave again from tomorrow? ME! I will be posting, but just not as much as usual.

Here is my book challenge progress so far – one of the reasons I do these posts is to keep track… it is really hard to remember everything!

Here is my completed reading list so far:

  1. Chasing Fire- Nora Roberts
  2. The Search- Nora Roberts
  3. Hidden Star- Nora Roberts
  4. Fallen Star- Nora Roberts
  5. Captive star- Nora Roberts
  6. Richelle Mead – Bloodlines
  7. Richelle Mead – The Golden Lily
  8. Richelle Mead – The Fiery Heart
  9. Nicholas Sparks – The Guardian
  10. Stephen King – Carrie
  11. Lewis Carrol – Alice in Wonderland
  12. Nora Roberts – Montana Sky
  13. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  14. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  15. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  16. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  17. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  18. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  19. JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  20. Nora Roberts – High Noon
  21. Nora Roberts – Carolina Moon

Currently reading:

Nora Roberts –Tribute

Planning to read:

Susan Collins: Hunger Games

Susan Collins: Catching Fire

Susan Collins: Mockingjay

Stephen King: The Green Mile

Lewis Carrol – Through the Looking Glass

JK Rowling: The Casual Vacancy

Marian Keyes: The Mystery of Mercy Close

Khaled Hosseini: A thousand splendid suns

Richelle Mead: Vampire Academy (Books 1-7)

Nora Roberts: Three Sisters Trilogy

Let me know if you have other good books I should try!

Weekend books

When my laptop broke this weekend, I knew I would have to catch up on my reading, seeing as there were no other distractions. So, in between the major Poker playing that took over everything, and studying, I finished two books. Sunday were especially made for reading, with its rainy weather.

Carrie (Stephen King)

Book 8/100

I started reading the book after my good friend recommend I start reading some Stephen King. See, I had mistakenly believed that Stephen King only wrote horrors (and I don’t read horrors). I was so surprised and shocked when I read the book! Basically, it is about a young girl, Carrie White, who has frightening power and not the stability to deal with it. Raised by her fanatical Christian mother, Carrie is an outcast at school. Her telekinetic abilities are activated when her first menstrual cycle begins, in front of her school mates. Bullied and humiliated at school, and terrorised at home, she finds the power comforting and soon starts to use it to protect herself against her mother. Susan Snell, a girl who was involved with Carrie’s humiliation, soothes her conscience by getting her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom, thinking if such a popular guy asks the outcast, Carrie will be accepted by everyone, and her horrors would be forgotten. Chris Hargensen, one of the school’s most atrocious girls, decides that she needs to embarrass Carrie even further; not knowing the power her victim is capable of. At the prom, she throws pig blood on Carrie, and the girl finally cracks. She sets fire to the gymnasium with her power, killing most of her classmates. She walks through town, steadily destroying everything, with a final destination: her mother. Her fanatical mother believes she should kill Carrie, and when she is arrives at home, she critically injures her daughter. Carrie kills her mom, fleeing the house, and finally dies with Susan Snell sitting with her.

Rating: 7/10

What a mesmerising book! Stephen King is an obvious genius. The book gripped me. I enjoyed the style of the book – jumping between reports, interviews and the true story. I felt like true justice was served when Chris Hargensen died, as she was the worst bully I had read about in a while. The next Stephen King book I will read is the Green Mile (I first want a hardback copy of it). I suspect I will love it just as much.

Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carrol)

Book 9/100

For someone who reads everything she can find, it is surprising and strange that I had never read one of the greatest fairy tales of all time. If I had read Alice in Wonderland as a child, it would probably be right with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings for me (in the thoroughly-addicted-to-it section). Now, I think it is a good book, exceptionally written, and very strange. A few times I wondered whether Lewis Carrol went on a drug-induced writing spree, because like I said, the tale is STRANGE. I found myself thinking of the similar writing styles between this book and the Hobbit. I am not sure if I am the only one who noticed it, but to me it was like reading different books by the same writer (obviously it wasn’t written by the same person). I would rate this book a 6.5/10 – truly fantastic, but I am a bit old for it now.

I can’t believe that I am done with a tenth of the challenge. I still have to blog about a few of the books I have already read as part of it and that will take me past the 10 book mark. It is fun to track how many books I read in a year, and find new reads and authors.

What did you read this weekend?

Book challenge: Progress

Since February (when I started my 100 books challenge) I have read quite a bit. Although it has mainly been the type of books I traditionally read, I have started on some new genres as well. If you have ideas to what I should be reading, please feel free to drop suggestions in the comments.

Here is my completed reading list so far:

Chasing Fire – Nora Roberts

The Search- Nora Roberts

Hidden Star- Nora Roberts

Fallen Star- Nora Roberts

Captive star- Nora Roberts

Bloodlines – Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily- Richelle Mead

The Fiery Heart- Richelle Mead

Nicholas Sparks – The Guardian

Books I am busy reading right now:

Nicholas Sparks – The Lucky one

Stephen King – Carrie

Lewis Carrol – Alice in Wonderland

Books I am planning to read:

Susan Collins: Hunger Games

Susan Collins: Catching Fire

Susan Collins: Mockingjay

 Harry Potter (Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-blood Prince, Deathly Hallows)

JK Rowling: The Casual Vacancy

Marian Keyes: The Mystery of Mercy Close

Khaled Hosseini: A thousand splendid suns

Don’t you just love books?