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Showing posts from 2015

Top Reads of 2015

2015 has only a few hours left to live before he opens the path to 2016 and I wanted to share today my favourite reads of 2015, alongside some honourable mentions.

Reading Challenge // 12 Classics To Read In 2016

As in my previous post where I told you about the 12 books I wanna read next year, in today’s one it’s all about the 12 classics I would love to get to in 2016.

Reading Challenge // 12 Books To Read In 2016

Every year it’s the same old story. I take a look at my bookshelves and realize how many book I wanted to read but couldn’t thanks to lack of time… I wonder where is McGonagall when you most need her to give you a time-turner.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (No Spoilers)

Cinder , Scarlet , Cress and Winter are the titles in the Lunar Chronicles, a four-book sci-fi/fantasy series written by Marissa Meyer. Each book entails a new take on very well-known fairytales; namely, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. Although each book focuses primarily on one character, the series is one epic story. One of the greatest things about it is that Meyer set it in a futuristic world where humans, androids and cyborgs coexist. For obvious reasons I’ll be giving you general information about it and what I liked or disliked in a vaguely way in order to avoid spoilers because nobody likes them – and with good reason.

Are We Ready For Books, Or Are Books Ready For Us?

I ask you today, are we ready for a book or it’s a book ready for us? It may seem like a stupid thing to ask but think about it. The same book, the same words, the same reader and yet, sometimes, a different outcome depending on the moment the book was read. The way I see it, both the readers and the book hold the power. There is a balance between them. A book has the power to bewitch us but for that to happen, it needs to fall into our laps at the right moment in time.

Book Review // Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice  by Jane Austen { Goodreads } Published by Penguin Books in 2012 Hardcover edition; 416 pages { BookDepository } Pride and Prejudice is the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy and how first impressions aren’t always what they seem to be. As most of you might know – and I’m pretty sure you will be sick of hearing the same thing again and again – I tried reading Pride and Prejudice when I was 14. I bought the book on a whim back when I didn’t care much about how good translations of books were and certainly when I didn’t read entirely in English. I got to page 50 and stopped reading. I tried it twice. I just couldn’t. It didn’t catch my attention. The story didn’t click and so the book was forgotten. And now, 10 years later, I’ve read the book because of University and needless to say, I highly enjoyed it.

Currently #2

A long time has passed since I last did my first currently post (10 months I believe) but I thought fitting to write another one.  Although my days are spent being more worried about Uni work than anything else, I decided to spend this week finishing Winter by Marissa Meyer and the rest of the Little Black Classics I own. Suitably enough, I have 7 LBC left to read it and it’s my intention to do so, one each day. It doesn’t take a lot of time to go through them and they will be a nice distraction between study hours, I think, as well as will be the poetry collection by Frost. Winter , on the other hand, will be my companion before going to sleep.

Book Haul # 8

“I’m gonna go into the bookshop but just to browse. I don’t intend to buy anything”, said no reader ever. I just can’t help myself. I have a problem but it is okay because it’s mine only – well, and also my parents’ and sisters’, who are going to be one day buried under all the books... but that isn’t really a horrible fate now, I think :P

Book Review // Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein  by Mary Shelley { Goodreads } Published by Penguin in 2012 Paperback edition; 269 pages { BookDepository } Frankenstein follows Victor Frankenstein and his obsession with creating life; something he actually achieves by using different bodies of the dead. I went into this book presumably knowing it all thanks to its very presence in our culture and the many film/TV adaptations. But as it turned out I didn’t know a thing. I mean, yes, the story is there but it is so much more that I thought it will be.

November 2015

November seemed to go on forever and I’m glad is over. To give you an idea, it feels as if most of the fun things I did didn’t happen in November but a long time ago.

Vintage Classics: Brontë Series

Maybe you don’t know this about me but I collect different edition of Jane Eyre and when I learnt that Vintage was releasing the new Brontë series I just couldn’t say no. 

Book Review // The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories  by Angela Carter { Goodreads } Published by Penguin Classics in 2015 75th Anniversary paperback edition; 162 pages { BookDepository } The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories is a collection of short stories by Angela Carter in which she gave new life to some of the most famous fairytales, mainly Beauty & The Beast .

Book Review // The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman's Daughter  by Megan Shepherd { Goodreads } Published by Harper Voyager in 2013 Paperback edition; 360 pages { BookDepository } Juliet Moreau’s life changed forever when her father was involved in a heated scandal regarding “medical” experiments and she was cast out of society alongside her mother. Now she works as a maid but one night, everything changes again and she learns that her father is indeed alive and lives and works on a remote island. Juliet decides to travel to that island and prove that the accusations were wrong. On her journey, Montgomery, her father’s young assistant – a boy she knew when she was little – accompanies her and while on the ship, they pick up a shipwreck survivor, Edward, another young man. When they arrive on the island, something isn’t quite right and Juliet is mortified to learn her father has been working on several experiments vivisecting animals to make them look and behave like humans.

Book Review // The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Awakening  by Kate Chopin { Goodreads } Published by Vintage in 2011 Paperback edition; 221 pages { BookDepository } Edna Pontellier is a 28 year-old woman, married and with two children. However, she isn’t happy and when she falls in love with a man called Robert, who she met during her summer vacation, something changes within her; something awakens. I was introduced to Kate Chopin last year when I had to study her for my North American Literature course and although we read another text by her I already knew I was going to have to read The Awakening this year for my Gender & Literature course. All my attention, while reading this, was on gender and what the author had to say about what it is expected in a “good woman”.

What To Read Next...

When you have a mahoosive TBR just like mine – although I know I will always be reading which means my TBR will never cease to exist  – sometimes deciding what to pick up next can be quite a task.

Book Haul # 7

Today I wanted to show you all the books I've been accumulating during the past two months and a half. Some of them were new releases I was very excited for; others are books that have been on my radar for a while and I finally decided to bring them home with me and others are books from authors I've read and wanted to dive into more of their works - Woolf for instance. There is also a mix of so many genres and I wish I could read them all at once and it's a pity I can't.

Book Review // Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty  by Rosamund Hodge { Goodreads } Published by Balzer + Bray in 2014 Hardcover edition; 342 pages { BookDepository } Nyx Triskelion’s homeland has been ruled for over centuries by a monster by the name Ignifex. Thanks to her father and the bargain he struck with the demon she has been betrothed to him her whole life. And now, with 17 years old is time for the marriage to happen. She is to seduce him, to gain his trust and kill him in order to free the kingdom. However, when the time comes Ignifex is not exactly what Nyx was expecting. Beauty and the Beast mixed with Greek mythology? I’m in! What could go wrong? Everything, apparently. When I learnt about this book I got it immediately. I’m a sucker for Greek mythology and the premise of it being linked to the well known fairytale was enough for me. Yet, what it looked like a promising debut, turned out to be just that: promising but nothing more. I’m confused and mad.

October 2015

October was… paradoxical. University started at the beginning of the month and I was so ready for it. I’m still ready for it and I’m loving every second but I’m drowned in work and I don’t even wanna think how my levels of stress will be in the next couple of months if they’re pretty bad right now. At least I’m enjoying what I’m doing so that’s okay, I guess. The clocks have gone backwards and although autumn is my favourite season of the year, I dread the darkness. I feel the days are slipping away from my hands and it doesn’t help me de-stress. I go to my classes in the afternoon and it’s a bit daunting to leave the house when it’s already pitch black and I would rather be home, warm and on my pyjamas.

Fall Time Cozy Book Tag

I can’t remember the last time I sit down to write a tag but the lovely Olivia over at Olivia’s Catastrophe – check her out because she’s awesome and very sweet – tagged me this one and since it’s autumn I thought ‘why not?’ The tag was originally created by Sam at Novels and Nonsense , who is one of my favourite booktubers. Let's get on with the questions, shall we?

Book Review // Unnatural Creatures. Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman

Unnatural Creatures. Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman { Goodreads } Published by HarperCollins in 2013 Paperback edition; 462 pages { BookDepository } Unnatural Creatures is an anthology, collected by Neil Gaiman, which holds 16 short stories about peculiar and fantastical creatures from werewolves and griffins to mermaids or even snake-speaking girls that only have place in our imagination.

Why I'm No Longer Using A Rating System

For a while I have kept reading blog posts or watching videos regarding rating systems and why it brings pressure onto our reviews and I thought about throwing in my two cents and talk you through my decision of not using a rating system anymore here on my blog. I will still use it on Goodreads but I don’t post fully reviews on there so there’s that. Rating is useful; that much is true. It gives us base to organize our thoughts around a number. However, I found the main problem to be that ratings are a personal thing. Stars or whatever form you use, concerning the reader who is giving them, can mean differently. 3 stars for instance, are rather controversial. According to Goodreads – and me – it means you liked the book. However, there are loads of people out there who wouldn’t read a book with a 3 star rating.

Book Review // Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg

Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg { Goodreads } Published by Jonathan Cape in 2015 Hardback edition; 304 pages { BookDepository } The day before her daughter’s wedding, tragedy strikes June’s life. Flames consume her house and with it, her daughter and soon to be son-in-law, her ex-husband and her boyfriend. She’s the only survivor and unable to cope with the pain, she leaves the town and everything behind and finds herself in a motel room, trapped by her past.

Book Review // Once Upon A Time by Marina Warner

Once Upon A Time  by Marina Warner { Goodreads } Published by Oxford University Press in 2014 Hardback edition; 201 pages { BookDepository } Non-fiction is way out of my comfort zone, not because I don’t like it but because I feel is like reading a text-book and for that, I have Uni already. Yet, I was very much intrigued by this. I’m getting into fairytales lately and I’ve heard of Marina Warner before since she’s supposed to be prominent figure in this department. I have no idea how to review a non-fiction book and therefore, I’m just gonna tell you below the issues it addresses and how I liked it.

Book Review // Westwood by Stella Gibbons

Westwood  by Stella Gibbons { Goodreads } Published by Vintage Classics in 2011 Paperback edition; 464 pages { BookDepository } Meet Margaret Steggles, a plain bookish English girl who isn’t already married and whose mother doesn’t think will ever be. You see, she is not the type of girl who attracts men. Hilda, her best friend, on the other hand is quite popular among the male population. One day Margaret founds a ration book and famous writer Gerard Challis enters both their lives. Stella Gibbons was a one hit type of author even though she wrote quite a few novels. Her first one, Cold Comfort Farm , was an absolute success but her other works didn’t meet the same fate. This was a bit devastating for Gibbons whose novel Westwood was apparently the work she was more proud of.

My Required University Reads

Book Review // The Chimes by Anna Smaill

The Chimes  by Anna Smaill { Goodreads } Published by Sceptre in 2015 Hardback edition; 304 pages { BookDepository } The Chimes takes us to a dystopian London where the written word has been destroyed and people are incapable of creating new memories due to a gigantic musical instrument which gives name to this novel. When the Man Booker Longlist was announced, The Chimes was one of the first titles to catch my eye especially since the author later announced she had written this book to be targeted at YA readers; however, her editors believed the story could be enjoyed by a wider audience and, fortunately, they publicized it as literary fiction. I’m not entirely positive The Chimes could have made an impact seen as YA because it’s not the typical example of that particular genre. Or maybe I’ve never come across something similar.