Tag Archives: Dark Matter

Book Club Reflection: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

6 Nov

I’ve been looking forward to our group discussion of Dark Matter since I read it. Apparently, not everyone was as thrilled with this title as I was. Some really disliked it and there were others who loved it as much as I did. Some said it read more like a screenplay than a book as if Crouch knew it would be adapted for television. A few complained that the middle dragged while he was going through door after door.

The premise required a solid suspension of belief. It reminded me of The Flash a bit because of the other ‘Earths’ that Jason visited. There was a lot jammed into this book and it left some of us wondering more about dark matter. A few people recommended two books, We Have No Idea by Jorge Cham and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The different worlds showed infinite possibilities and how profound the Butterfly Effect can be.

We started to wonder about our own lives and the different versions we might find. Something beyond our control, like a decision a parent made, could produce a drastically different world. It might not be any relation to you, but that decision could mean you were never born. While there are big decisions in a person’s life that make you wonder, it’s probably the small ones that make large differences. Jason went looking for happiness because he missed it. But the happiest Jason pined after the success he could have had. Everyone lives with regret. For Jason, family was the right choice, but that doesn’t mean it is for everyone.

We had a lot of questions about the box. Jason sees himself at some point. Does that mean there are infinite numbers of every person who’s entered the box somewhere in the box? Is there a doppelganger of Jason 2 wandering around in there? What about the other people who went into the box and never came out? Are they in there, too? In a way, all of the Jasons that return are deserving of Daniela and Charlie. Jason2 is the only one who’s not.

When the plot first switched to Daniela and we see her welcome ‘Jason’ home, it’s not obvious that it’s Jason2. Some of us thought life was continuing like there was a reality split somewhere else and in one version, Jason had come home with no run-in. We wondered if the Daniela in Jason2’s world was happier. Maybe her career and being an artist was her best path. It seemed odd that she completely stopped being an artist to be a mother of one son. We thought she could have kept it up a bit at least.

We wondered about the world Charlie would create for them to live in. Would it be unpopulated? Similar to their own? They were leaving with nothing and taking only memories with them. It reminded us of immigrant stories around the turn of the century. It must have been terrifying.

We’ll be meeting again just after Thanksgiving so I better get reading quickly! Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Advertisements

Challenge Update, October 2018

1 Nov

I finally got the rebuilding month I was waiting for! It was a long time coming, to be sure, but it came and I’m feeling slightly more optimistic about meeting my reading goals for the year. It’s a rebuilding month. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in October:

Bel Canto//Ann Patchett (4)
Artemis//Andy Weir (4)
The Girl in the Spider’s Web//David Langercrantz (4)
Dark Matter//Blake Crouch (5)
A Night to Remember//Walter Lord (4)
A Column of Fire//Ken Follett (4)

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to report six books read! It feels great, really. I had so many books partially finished and now I feel this is a fair representation of how much reading I did in October. On to November!

When Are You Reading? Challenge

8/12
One more down! A Column of Fire was my 1500s book for the challenge. I’m in the middle of two more (1700s and 1800s) and I’ll start on my 1600s read soon. I’m feeling good about this one, I think I’ll knock it out of the park this year!

Goodreads Challenge

41/55
Only four books behind now! I’ll take it this time. I’ll have to really start reading soon but until school’s over (November 13th) I can’t think like that. So soon…

Book of the Month

Yet again, a book club selection won me over this month. I think that’s the third month in a row. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch had me laying in bed more than is probably healthy for my back. I wanted to know what happened so badly! Glad this one was introduced to me.

Added to my TBR

The numbers are creeping up as my book clubs make their selections for the next season. I’m up 4 this month to 92. I’m sure I’ll bring it down again.

  • Old School by Tobias Wolff. No idea what I’m getting into here. Wolff sounds familiar, should I be scared or excited?
  • The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Langercrantz. How could I stop after that last one? I can’t wait to see what Lizbeth does next!
  • Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. Again, no idea here. I like going into books blind.
  • Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani. This looks very different from a lot of the books we read for the club so I’m curious to see how our group reacts to it.
  • Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay. I’ve heard so much about Gay and I’m excited to see what I think of her writing! Woop!
  • Dodgers by Bill Beverly. I’m thinking either draft dodgers or baseball here. I’m hoping both.
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman. No idea, again. However, the cover looks familiar. Maybe I’ve seen it in stores. Or maybe another book has a similar cover? I’m unsure but still excited.

Personal Challenge

I used these monthly posts to keep myself accountable to my personal goals for 2017 and I’m excited to do that again this year. You all were so supportive before.

  • Graduate and keep my 4.0- Final is coming up and it’s looking good so far!
  • Travel to Europe with my husband- I shouldn’t be dreaming of our next trip, but I am already…
  • Complete a 2018 Weather Blanket- Yep, I’m really behind. I think a re-watch of GoT is in order. That will give me plenty of knitting time!

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for 2018, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 24-October-2018

24 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Maybe I won’t get back to The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl as soon as I’d hoped. A girl can dream, right?
I’m SO CLOSE to finishing A Column of Fire by Ken Follett! It feels really amazing to be so close after so long. I think passengers in my car will appreciate not having the massive audiobook case in the seat!
I’m 25% through Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and I think I can push forward pretty quickly with it. It’s a fun book and every time I think it’s going to get dull, something changes that and I’m intrigued again.
I’m close to finishing A Night to Remember by Walker Lord as well. I love everything Titanic and this one has been fun to explore because it’s written before the wreck was found and things that were ‘known’ at the time have been disproved.
I’m enjoying Not Me by Michael Lavigne and trying to figure out what’s going on. I can tell there’s a big secret I’m not privy to but I can’t figure out what it could be. I like being kept guessing a little but I hope it doesn’t become any more than this.

Recently finished: After doing so well the past two weeks, it’s caught up with me. Nothing new this week. I think that will change again next week and I’ll finish the month strong! At least I can hope so.

I posted my review of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch on Thursday. Thanks to the many of you who came back to check that out! I gave it 5/5 stars.

Reading Next: The plan is still for That Night by Chevy Stevens. I should easily be able to start it this week. Stevens is my maiden name so I feel attached to this writer!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (5/5)

18 Oct

I somehow missed the hype of this book when it came out. I knew it got some good reviews but it was never on my radar. Man, do I regret that. This book blew me away. I’m so glad my book club picked it. I must have missed it due to a class in one book club because they were all shocked I was just getting to it. I’m so glad I’m in two!

Cover image via Goodreads

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Summary from Goodreads:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

At first, I didn’t like this book. I was having flashbacks to The Maze Runner and the frustration I felt when the main character had no idea what was going on and he was getting no answers. But as soon as Jason figured out what was going on, I was in. I finished this book in three days and that’s no easy feat for me now with how busy my life is. I stayed in bed a lot on my days off, napping and reading this book. It blew me away. It was very original and yet it used something familiar enough that I could understand it. I wish I was still reading it. Fair warning, it’s hard to not have spoilers in this review so continue reading at your own risk.

I loved Jason. He was very realistic and yet he was so smart that it was unimaginable. I loved the relationship with him and Daniela. I thought he was really resourceful. Overall, it was really great. The ‘other Jasons’ were fun, too. I wish that had some more screen time.

Daniela was my favorite character. I loved her as a wife and mother and I loved the other versions of her we met. She was creative and fun and still very much the same person. I thought the way she acted at the end was believable and it showed how strong her relationship with Jason was.

While none of the things in this book have happened to me, I understand Jason’s’ dedication to his wife. I love my husband with an odd ferocity and I can understand why he was willing to go to such extreme circumstances to make sure she was safe. I’m not sure I understood the lottery he was willing to set up. I’ll never be in that circumstance so I guess I never have to.

Blake Crouch
Image via Twitter

I liked Amanda and Jason trying to navigate the box best. It was fun to see the strange worlds they ended up in and how the navigated them and got out. It was a fun adventure and it led well to the final adventures of the book. I understand why it was necessary, too, but the fun was the best part.

I didn’t like being kept in the dark for the first 100 pages. I was frustrated and might have put the book down. Crouch’s writing was quick and easy to read, which kept me going forward, but I hate not knowing something critical when the narrator also doesn’t know. It seems like the writer isn’t sure what he’s doing yet but in this case, Crouch had a very good idea!

Jason’s love for Daniela obviously drove the book. If he hadn’t been so driven and dedicated to getting back to Daniela and Charlie, he might have stayed in the other world. Success, riches, and intelligence didn’t mean anything if he didn’t have Daniela and Charlie to share it with. Even successful Jason wanted the happy family.

Writer’s Takeaway: Crouch’s short sentences kept me reading fast. The long chapters and short chapter interchanged kept me guessing. I loved the way he paced this novel, though I wish it had been a little faster earlier on. It was a really fun and quick read, something I haven’t enjoyed in a while.

Really run and enjoyable, Five out of Five Stars

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch | Ellie’s Reviews
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch | The Owl on the Bookshelf
#BookReview – Dark Matter by Blake Crouch #BuddyRead | Secret Library Book Blog
Dark Matter | Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch | For Winter Nights

WWW Wednesday, 17-October-2018

17 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: It might be optimistic, but I think I can return to The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl soon! I’ve only got one more book standing in my way. The future is at hand!
Unsurprisingly, I’m still working through A Column of Fire by Ken Follett. I’m getting close now, only a normal-length audiobook to go!
I’m moving slowly through Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson but I think this will be faster than some of my other ebooks. It’s a lot shorter than I thought it would be, honestly. I double checked four times that I didn’t have the abridged version!
I began listening to A Night to Remember by Walker Lord on my phone. I love everything Titanic and I’m honestly surprised I didn’t have this on my radar earlier than I did. It’s a short one and I expect I’ll fly through it.
I began Not Me by Michael Lavigne on Friday. Not too far into it yet but I’ve had such a good run of print books that I’m optimistic that this one will go fast. too!

Recently finished: I finished two again! The first was The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz which was a phone audio. I was happy to wrap it up on my way home from school. It was a very satisfying ending for me and set up well for another one in the series! I gave it Four out of Five Stars and posted my review yesterday, check it out.
The second was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch which I flew through. I was skeptical for about the first 100 pages and then finished it in less than 24 hours. I’m yawning as I type this because I sacrificed a lot of sleep for this book. So worth it. A full Five out of Five Stars and my review will be up tomorrow.

I also posted my review of Artemis by Andy Weir last Friday. It wasn’t The Martian, but it was good. I’ll expect good things from Weir in the future. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: It seems too optimistic to think about finishing yet another book this week. If I do, it will probably be an eaudiobook and next will probably be That Night by Chevy Stevens. This book haunted me for a while before I found it on clearance when a Barnes and Nobel closed and decided to buy it. We’ll see how it goes.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 10-October-2018

10 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I see The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl sitting on my bedside table every night. I want to finish it soon. Let’s see if I can.
I’m still in love with A Column of Fire by Ken Follett. The separate plots and characters are coming together now and it’s been so cool to see everything work together toward what I’m assuming will be an amazing ending. I don’t want this to end!
I made great progress with The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz this week and should finish it up really soon! I’m enjoying this as much as the original trilogy and I hope Lagercrantz keeps it going.
Since I finished Artemis, I was able to start Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I hope I can sprint through this one as quickly! I’m on a hot reading streak lately.
I working on Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as my ebook now. This will fulfill yet another time period for my When Are You Reading? Challenge which means I’m in the middle of three books to finish that off! Let’s just hope I can polish them off before the end of the year.

Recently finished: I wrapped up Bel Canto by Ann Patchett during lunch last week. The ending had me a little puddle of emotions that was not ready to jump into four straight interviews. I think the movie will make me cry. This will be a good one. My review went up yesterday so please go check that out!
I spent most of Saturday in bed resting and reading Artemis by Andy Weir. It was a quick read, much like The Martian and I enjoyed it. My review will be up tomorrow. It felt good to get through a book so fast!

I posted my review of The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert on Monday and them promptly went to my book club on the book that evening. Look for the book club reflection coming soon. It was an interesting book to put it lightly. To be honest, I really disliked it!

Reading Next: Another book club read to block me from reading Poe! I’ll be starting Not Me by Michael Lavigne next. I’m not sure how we came to select this one as there’s not much about it on our library site and it looks like it won’t be one I can audiobook. Darn.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 3-October-2018

3 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’ve continued to make progress on Bel Canto by Ann Patchett but I’d really like to wrap it up soon. I’ve been reading this one since I was in Europe in July and I’d love to put it to rest and move on to another book.
I’m still waiting on The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl and finishing up some book club picks in the meantime. I’ll get back to it, but it might not be until November or so.
I finished the first half of A Column of Fire by Ken Follett and am still deeply in love. I want to finish this one, but I want it to drag at the same time.
With my husband working a lot, I’m home alone and doing chores a lot of the time so I’ve been able to make great progress with The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz. I think Lagercrantz has been a good pick to follow Larsson so far. We’ll see if I keep feeling that way, but so far I’m a fan.
I started Artemis by Andy Weir and I’m trying to rush through. I want to get this one finished and go to the discussion but I need to read another book club pick for a group I’m already committed to. I have too many book club problems.

Recently finished: I finished The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert over the weekend. I’m not sure how I felt about this one. Let’s just say I’m glad I have a book club meeting surrounding this book because I’m not really sure what happened in the last third of it and I was so upset by the sudden ending that I don’t want to Google it to find out. I think I’ll skip this author in the future, though. It was not my thing at all.

Reading Next: I have another book club obligation that I need to get to and that’s Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I think it will be a great Halloween read so I hope I can get to it soon. The meeting isn’t until the end of the month so I’m hopeful I can start it soon, it looks good!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 18-October-2017

18 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Currently reading: I’ve been able to read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison only one more lunch time so I haven’t moved much in it. So far I like it but I think I’m still coming to the main plot. I know this is a short read so I hope i can get through it pretty quickly.
So far, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles is really great. I wish I had more energy before bed to read it becaue I think it’s one I could lose myself in. Too bad school reading and workouts have me falling asleep without getting many pages in.
Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks has been good so far. I wanted to listen to music on my half marathon this weekend but I should have given myself time to listen to this one! I’m about halfway through but I keep thinking I could be farther into it.

Recently finished: Nothing! I recently started all three of my books so there’s no surprise to me that I don’t have anything on this list this week. I’m working on finishing something for next week but we’ll see what life has planned.

Reading Next: My next book club pick will be Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I’ll start this as soon as I finish Civility which I hope is sooner rather than later.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!