Wednesday, July 30, 2014

View from Page Thirty: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

It's been a while since I've done A View from Page Thirty, so I thought I would bring it back. And what better way to bring it back then with a new graphic and using the list of suggestions that you guys gave me during my reading slump post.

For those of you not familiar with this, A View from Page Thirty is a feature where I read thirty or so pages into a book and give you guys my first impression. Some books are great out of the gate, some take a little bit of warming up to. Some are just books that you know right away are going to be tough to read.

My general rule with books is that if I am not interested at all by around page thirty, I don't have to go on. There are too many books in this world for me to waste my time on something that I don't enjoy. But every book I start (barring some rare cases) get's thirty pages.

Hence was born A View from Page Thirty.

Today's book as I mentioned comes off of the reading slump post. I compiled all of the suggestions into a list of 65 books, which I am lovingly calling the slumplist, and I plan to look at them all. Of those 65 books I've already read 4, so only 61 more to go. I decided to start with Patrick Ness' The Knife of Never Letting Go. Four people, Hayley, Susan, Kritika, and Rockyriverteenlibrarian recommended it saying:

"It's the first in the Chaos Walking series, and it's really amazing. I've been recommending it to everyone since I read it in January." - Hayley

"The narration in the Ness series is a little hard to get used to at first, but don't let that dissuade you -- it's a great, unique YA series." - Susan

"I love both of those series! I'd recommend the audio for both of them as well - the narrators are excellent." - Kritika

I am going to go into detail on what happens in the first thirty pages. While it is nothing that isn't in the summary, if you consider that spoiler territory, jump down to my Final Verdict.

The Book: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Release Date: January 2008 
Publisher: Walker
Genres: YA, Dystopian, SciFi Fantasy
Series: Chaos Walking #1

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

The View From Page Thirty:
The book starts off with a first line that is quite intriguing, "The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say." From that I have learned that this is some sort of alternate Earth where dogs can talk I guess, and that this is going to be a book with annoying first person misspelled like the person thinks narration. Surprisingly both the first person and the 'yers' and 'thrus' stopped annoying me almost immediately because the story starts off right away.

Our narrator is Todd, the youngest boy in a city of men on the verge of becoming a man himself (he's 13 turning 14 in our years. Years in this world at 13 months so he keeps mentioning his 13th birthday, but I stopped and did the math). Todd explains through these 31 pages (first three chapters) that this is a new world of some kind where women and men went to colonize for maybe religious freedom (?). But once they arrived they got into a war with some sort of native people they call the Spackle who release some sort of chemical weapon that killed all the women. Todd was the last baby to be born before the women died. 

That right there would be interesting enough right? But remember that talking dog? Apparently when that happened it also warped reality into making every human and animal telekinetic. So Todd can think to his dog Manchee and Manchee can think back. They call this noise because there isn't really much control over it. Holy hell, is that a scary thought. I couldn't imagine being around people who can always hear my thoughts. No secrets, no privacy. But I guess it would be cool to talk to dogs and things...

Anyway, the story kicks off in the first chapter with Todd coming across silence. Something is there and it has no noise. He high-tales it back to town where since there are no secrets his adoptive fathers immediately know what's up. The last line I read in the selection was, 

"But all Ben says is, 'Oh, my God," real quite like, and then he says it again, 'Oh, my God," and then, without even moving or looking away, he says, "We have to get you outta here. we have to get you outta here right now."

What I am Loving:
I am really liking the pace of this. It is clipping right along and getting me into the action. At the same time, it is slowly revealing the rules of this world and not just telling me how it works. It's all show. I love that. I'm interested to find out more about their enemies and why all the women died off. And obviously what this silence is and why it is chasing him...

What I am Unsure Of:
I was unsure of the narration, with the colloquial speech patterns in the writing, but that grew on me quickly. I guess I am still unsure of my narrator Todd. Will I be able to connect with the 13 year old boy who is coming of age? I had a hard time of doing that when I read The Outsiders in my twenties (I loved it when I read it at 13 though). This isn't going to deter me from reading on though. I am very interested in this story.

Final Verdict:
Yeah I am totally reading on. I am really curious to see how the story unfolds and what the rules and limitations of this world are. It sounds like a different twist on the dystopian thing, rather than just the controlling government makes us do something strange that our main character is rebelling against. I want to know more and can't wait to continue on!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Authors We Own The Most Books Of

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Jamie owns:

*I realized in doing this that I don't own that many books of the same author!*

7 Megan McCafferty books -- I own the whole Jessica Darling series though at the moment my sister has a couple of those books plus Bumped and Thumped.

6 Jodi Picoult books -Hilarious because I've never read a single JP book! Someone gave me all of them except one which I picked up at a used book sale. (Have you read her? Where to start?)

Daisy owns:


16 J.K. Rowling books -- I own the whole Harry Potter series in English as well as in Dutch, The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo's Calling.

11 Jill Mansell books -- Jill Mansell is an insta-buy author for me, I love her books!

Julia owns:

21 Eloisa James books - I don't even know how I have so many! I have all of her series books, so there is 7 in the Desperate Duchessess, 4 in the Essex Sisters, all her fairy tale retellings and a bunch of short ebooks brings that total so high. But what can I say? I love her books!

18  Sherrilyn Kenyon, Johanna Lindsey and Julia Quinn books - So I had a tie for second according to Goodreads, and these numbers make a lot of sense. Kenyon has all of her Dark-Hunter books. I must have gotten to 16 before stopping (I know I have two of her non-DH series). There is way over 20 books in that series now, I just stopped buying them. With Johanna Lindsey, I started collecting her Mallory novels back when I just started to get into reading romance, so there are 11 or so of those. Then there are all the one off's of hers I have. I would go to library sales as a teen and pick up anything with her name on it, so this makes sense. Finally Julia Quinn, whose books I buy instantly for the most part. This one would be higher I think if my sister didn't take over the reigns in buying the most recent series. She's a romance author who I know is going to make me laugh. The 18 books of hers that I own are some of my favorites.

Tahleen owns:

11 Bill Bryson books -- A Walk in the Woods, At Home, The Mother Tongue, The Lost Continent, and Made in America are all the ones I own in print, while Shakespeare: The World as Stage, Notes from  Small Island, Neither Here Nor There, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and One Summer: America, 1927 are all the ones I own on audio CD. I am a big big fan. Love.

4 John Green books -- 5 if you count my two copies of Paper Towns, one in print and one on audio. The only one I don't have, actually, is Looking for Alaska, which I've read anyway. Oh, and I guess Let It Snow, which was written with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, and is also adorable.

Kimberly says:

9 Mary Higgins Clark books
7 Michael Crichton books

What are author's do you own the most books of? Also, I'd love to hear if you think you have the MOST of one author! Anyone have over Julia's 21??

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tahleen talks about the Three Pines series by Louise Penny

Most of you know I mostly review young adult literature on this blog, mostly because I am a young adult services librarian and need to keep up with what is being published, or at least be familiar with it. However, I also need to be familiar with adult titles, as I also work on the reference desk for adults. My favorite genre has got to be mystery, and I gravitate toward the cozy subgenre.

Enter Louise Penny. I had heard the Three Pines series was good, the first of which is titled Still Life, and I decided to try it out. It was a good decision.

The whole series has a coziness around it, despite the murder and underlying sense of dread threaded throughout the books. I love reading about the little village of Three Pines, with its quirky characters and homey feel. I want to eat at Olivier's Bistro, where one can order things like open-faced melted goat cheese and arugula sandwiches on warm baguette, red lentil and curried apple soup, and fresh-baked croissants with a café au lait, warm cider, or glass of wine. I want to browse through Myrna's Livres, Neufs et Usagés, and find some mysteries like this one on a well-worn shelf surrounded by comfy chairs. (Oh by the way, it's set in Quebec, Canada, hence the French.) I want to be friends with all the people in this town, a town of people who found their way here when they most needed to. Louise Penny is just wonderful with description and imagery, and I always just want to jump into this place.

And Chief Inspector Armand Gamache! I want him to be my grandpa. Though he is probably too young for that, but still. He is just the best, which makes that dread I talked about earlier all the more sinister. If you've read the first few books, you'll know. If not, watch out for Arnot.

I've only read the first three in the series, and I am so glad that I don't have to wait for most of them to be published. Each book gets deeper and deeper into conspiracy and sabotage, and I worry for the inspector.

I listened to the first book in the series, and  Ralph Cosham fits the tone of the books perfectly. It took me a little while to warm to his narration, but as I progressed through the book I knew he was perfect. I hear his voice now when I'm reading the print copies I take home from the library.

To sum it up, if you're a mystery fan, especially Agatha Christie, this series is for you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Daisy's Mini-Review of The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Title/Author: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, July 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.

You live and you remember.

Me, I live and I forget.

But now — now I am remembering.

For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led... and the love that she can’t let go.

So at first glance I thought this would be a paranormal read, but it's actually contemporary, which I was kinda glad to know about before I went in, because it's a bit of an adjustment in expectations.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a fast read, I breezed through it in a couple of hours and Katrina Leno's writing style made it easy for me to do this. It's interesting and I did want to know what was going on, but in the end I wasn't all that invested in the story. I really want to recommend another book if this is your kind of thing, but I'm afraid to spoil things for you, so if you do want to know, just tweet me and I'll tell you what book I'm talking about (@DBetweenpages).

There's a whole lof of confusion and a whole lot of stuff that is messed up and that I went WTF about, but it all adds up and I liked it. One thing I really liked was seeing how everybody else was handling Molly's blackouts (I don't really know what else to call them) and especially her sister, her sister is awesome.

I'm being cryptic, I know, but bottom line: I liked it, but it didn't blow me away, but it also took me no time at all to read it, so it was ok.

My rating: 3 stars

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Cocktail & Conversation -- Before The Summer Is Over I Want To...

Every other Thursday here at the Broke & The Bookish is A Cocktail & Conversation time. One of the TB&TB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends.

Tell me one thing on your summer bucket list or something you hope to do or accomplish before Summer 2014 ends! Also, what's one book you hope to read before the end of summer?

Jana says:

I want to edit the video of my European vacation from two years ago, and burn it to DVDs. I still haven't seen it, and want to re-live my dream vacation! It's just a daunting task, and I have no idea where to begin. Ummm. There's so many! I'm REALLY wanting to get to Atlantia by Ally Condie, though.

Bridget says:

We just moved so I want to organize all my books too!! We also need to buy at least one more bookshelf. So that's definitely a goal for us to accomplish before the end of the summer!

I would like to finish the available books of the GoT series before the end of the summer, but that's three LOOONG books so we'll see!

Daisy says:

I really want to accomplish convincing the boyfriend that we really need a cat in our lives and then actually getting one. One book I hope to read before the end of summer is A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin.

Jamie says:

I really, really want to go fishing before the summer ends. I haven't been fishing since I was little and I randomly decided one day I'd like to do it this summer so I told Will to which he probably added to his mental "Random Things My Wife Wants To Do" list.  I'd really like to read at least the 2nd and 3rd Harry Potter books before the summer ends. I read book 1 last year and I need to get back to trying to read this series. Review books and new books always seem to get in the way.

What about you, dear readers? What is one thing you want to accomplish before the summer ends? A book you want to read before the end of summer?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Ten Characters I'd Want On A Deserted Island With Me

 Jamie's Picks

1. Katniss from The Hunger Games series: We'd have food because she's a great hunter and can really think on her feet when faced with danger!

2. June from the Legend series: She is smart and pretty badass. She'd be a GREAT person to have around!

3. Perry from Under the Never Sky series: Perry is a fearless leader and has shown that he can provide for his tribe even in the most dire of circumstances! He's also a good hunter so he and Katniss would work well together! Plus he has some heightened senses which would be VERY useful!

Lori's Picks

4. Rhett Butler from Gone With The Wind: I think I could have a very good time with him on a deserted island. ;) He's really smart and would be a good conversationalist. He's also strong and knows how to survive. So I think we'd make out all right.

5. The Baudelaire Children from Lemony Snicket: Violet is really good at inventing things, so that would be a big help. Klaus has read a ton of books, so he'd know what we needed to do. Sunny has sharp teeth, which would possibly come in handy if we needed to cut something.

Julia's Picks:

6. Ruark from Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss: So call me romantic, but hell if I am not going to pick guys from romance novels for my list! I'd like to have fun on this desert island. I chose Ruark because of his varied background. I haven't read the book in a while, but I recall him breaking out of jail, being a pirate, rescuing the heroine and living for a bit on his own on a Caribbean island. Seems like he would be a great companion!

7. Jack Talent from Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan: This is the book I am reading right now. I think he would be a great asset to our island. He is a shifter so he can shift into things that can protect us. I think he is immortal, which is helpful. He's not much of a conversationalist though, but I think having the protection and his assistance would be great... or you know maybe he could shift into a boat and get us out of there (I don't think he can shift into a boat). Look out for this review though; so far this book is great!

8. Tarver from These Broken Stars: A non romance novel pick is Tarver. Since the majority of his book is him and the lead lady stranded in a strange land, I think he could help. He's got military training and survival skills galore. And he's smart.

9. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series: I was sitting her weighing pros and cons of bringing Harry when I realized my answer was staring me in the face. Hermione! She was always super good at magic, was raised a muggle so we would have stuff to talk about, and lived in the woods for a year. Maybe she has that magical tent with her?

10. Colin Bridgerton from The Bridgerton Novels by Julia Quinn: Finally, I want someone who can make me laugh on my island with me. I think Colin may have traveled at some point and maybe have fought somewhere, but I really can't say. I actually think he would be pretty useless at the island thing, but I would be entertained, which would help me from not going crazy.

Who would you want on a deserted island with YOU??

Monday, July 21, 2014

Books I Will (Probably) Never Read

Never say never, right?  I can accept "probably never" because things change.

I recently moved all of my stuff back to my parents' house.  The amount of books and other artifacts of my life have the upstairs of my parents' home nearly bursting at the seams.  At night I have nightmares about the room over the garage, which houses my books, collapsing from the weight.  There are books in suitcases and boxes and double stacked on shelves and on the floor.  I am looking at this as a good time to go through everything and finally get rid of a lifetime of accumulation...which has grown wild over the past eight years of storing this and that at my parents' because it just didn't fit in my current life.  I don't know how long I'll be living with my parents, but I would eventually like to not feel like I am living in a storage facility.

It's not quite this bad, but it's close!
Photo found on Google Image Search for Book Avalanche

Aside from my clothes, my books are the biggest part of all of the clutter.  The simple solution is to ruthlessly go through my books and donate/trade/sell the ones I'm over.  I've attempted to do this in the past with moderate success.  That was before I had to try to live amongst the chaos.  I need to get real and get serious really fast.

This situation, combined with a post I read over at BookRiot about a very similar topic (the writer used the qualifier "good"), led me to think of the books I own that I know I will never read.  I can't say that any or all of these will wind up in my get rid of pile, but I think I can safely cross these off my list as possibilities...

1.  Ulysses by James Joyce.  I tried this one.  I read 10 or the 18 episodes.  I just don't feel the need to finish.  If I hadn't read the summary before listening to and following along with the text, I wouldn't have known what was going on.  I may eventually read the episodes focusing on his wife because I've heard they are beautiful.  But as for finishing the whole thing?  No thank you.  I love a book that challenges me to think harder or to contemplate my opinions.  I don't like a book that frustrates me and is difficult on purpose.

2.  The Illiad or The Odyssey by Homer.  I think I could eventually read one or the other, but I do not foresee myself reading both of them.  I already own The Odyssey, so I'll probably stick to that one.  I'm not huge on epic poetry, so I think I can let this one go.

3.  The Complete Works of Shakespeare.  I have a friend who would keel over if he saw this.  The man loves his Shakespeare.  I'm just not that into him.  I think his work is fantastic and I've enjoyed what I've read, but I just don't see myself ever voluntarily slogging through the history plays.  (OMG! I do love the dark lady poetry!)

4.  Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.  I read The Fountainhead as an undergrad.  I really enjoyed the story and the characters.  I called it a favorite for a couple of years.  It was a phase.  It was a phase that apparently a lot of people go through.  I can see it for what it was.  While I was never an Ayn Rand fanatic, I figured that I would read her other major novel at some point.  Nah...

5.  The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by John Gibbon.  I found a very lovely set of the unabridged version at an antique store a few years ago.  I am not going to get rid of these books because I searched long and hard for that set!  However, I just don't think I am going to read them.  And that is OK.

6.  Allegiant by Veronica Roth.  I sped through the first two novels in this series.  I was going back and forth between Nook, iPad, and my phone so that I didn't have to stop reading them.  Then I got to the third book and the narrative structure changed.  I've been told that there was a reason for it, but the change was a deal breaker for me.

7.  The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.  I read The Hobbit when I was in high school.  I really didn't like it.  Fantasy novels and stories just aren't my thing.  If I hadn't been Harry's age when they first started coming out, I probably never would have gotten into Harry Potter (blasphemy, I know!).  Anyway, my parents own the trilogy and it's in with my stuff, but I won't read them.  I haven't even seen the movies, except for the first one.  I fell asleep during my first attempt to watch it and I don't even remember what happened upon finally finishing the first movie.

8.  The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.  I just don't want to know.  I know that this book prompted the formation of the FDA and food handling standards.  But I just don't want to know.

9.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  I loved the early 90s movie.  I tried reading the book not too long ago and read the first half, but I couldn't get myself to finish the book.  I think it's partly because I'm an only child so I don't get the sister dynamic and because I thought the girls were just too good and nice.  I will probably eventually read this to a daughter, but it's not one I would ever pick up myself.

10.  Truman by David McCullough.  This book came in a boxed set with his biographies on John Adams and Teddy Roosevelt.  I'll read the other two in the set, but I just don't like Truman.  I am not a fan of some of the decisions he made while he was sitting president.  I'm not interested in learning more about him.  I am just not going to go there.  But I can't get rid of the book because it's a boxed set.

These are just some of the books I can cross off of my TBR list without a second thought.  It's very freeing.  I can't wait to see what others I can add.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 6/8 - 7/19

Daisy's Book Haul

So this will be a pretty epic haul for me as it spans a month and a half and I have been buying books...


-Going La La by Alexandra Potter: I really like Alexandra Potter's books and this sounds adorable.
-Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase: because OBVIOUSLY I need to know how the last of these three sisters wins her man.
-Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: OMG I ALREADY READ THIS AND IT WAS AMAZING!! And heartbreaking and just ALL THE FEELINGS. If you are interested, my raving review can be found here. I have series hangover.
-Brazen by Katherine Longshore: because Katherine Longshore's books are awesome and I needed to have this one in my life as well.

-Assassin's Apprentice
-Royal Assassins
-Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb: which has the WRONG COVER @#(%&)&! GRRRRRR! I actually own TWO copies of the wrong cover because it's second hand and people can't be bothered to put the book up with the cover that is actually the cover of the book they will be sending you and just LOTS OF FRUSTRATION. So I've been dying to read this series but I don't really like the new covers they're doing and am trying to hunt down a copy of the right cover for Assassin's Quest as we speak... *sigh*

-Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan: I crave fluffly contemporaries in the summer and this sounds like it has fluff potential.
-New Beginnings by Victoria Schwab: every since she stole my heart with The Near Witch, I've been hoarding Victoria Schwab's books without actually reading them, but I do intend to! This sounds really cute!
-Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard: same goes for Mandy Hubbard, and I'm always the girl who wonders 'what if', and a what if you could get a chance at a do-over of a failed relationship sounds like my kind of book.
-Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: so I keep hearing people rave about this book and I want in on the action. And I survived reading (and watching) The Fault in Our Stars, so I think I might be able to handle this as well now.
-The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: this book is amazing. And I already owned a paperback copy, but as my boyfriend is reading it, which is awesome, and he is not so gentle with my books as I'd like him to be, which is less awesome, I decided it was time to get the gorgeous hardcover for myself. So nobodoby but me is allowed to touch this. Ever.

-A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall: so this was a gift from Debby @ Snuggly Oranges who is awesome and had an extra copy of this, it sounds super cute!
-Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard: I've heard AMAZING things about this book and when I came across it in the bookstore I just had to buy it because HELLO fantasy novel with dragons!
-The Thousand Names by Django Wexler: this also sounds like a fantasy novel that will be right up my alley and I'm always looking for that next series to get lost in.
-Malice by John Gwynne: it is epic fantasy and I have been eyeing this since it was released so when I got an e-mail saying the price had gone down I just clicked BUY and the rest is history.

And I would also list all the awesome egalleys I received for review, but we're leaving to have dinner over at the boyfriend's parents' and I simply don't have the time, but they include The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (which I've read and very much enjoyed), Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White and A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin by Sophie Jordan, so I'm one very happy girl!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jamie Reviews: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Published: July 8, 2014 - St. Martin's Press
How I Got This Book: Borrowed from a friend who snagged it at ALAMW!
Why I Read This Book: I loved Eleanor & Park and Fangirl and basically Rainbow is on auto-buy for me!
Rating: 4.5 stars

Add it to your to-be-read-list! // Buy it!

Annnnd Rainbow knocks it out of the park once again for me! I read this in JANUARY and I still cannot stop thinking about it. Rainbow is supremely talented when it comes to writing about love and relationships with these nuances that just make your heart want to burst. All her books have been VERY different in portraying love in is many stages and forms but all of them do something within me.

Landline delves deep into a marriage on the brink of absolute failure with a main character, Georgie, who seemingly doesn't even realize it until she kind of steps backs and looks at it. They've just gotten so far away from each other that they might as well be living on different planets. When Georgie doesn't go with them for Christmas because of work, she realizes this might have been the last straw for Neal. Sure that she's ruined it beyond the point of return Georgie finds a way, and this sounds corny but I swear Rainbow makes it WORK, to communicate with PAST Neal. Hint hint: that pretty landline on the cover isn't just for decoration.

What I loved about Landline is that it's not just a story about a marriage going wrong but it's a story of falling in love all over again. It's easy to take love forgranted, which Georgie really does, and what does one do in the face of losing it? It's not like Georgie fell out of love with him. She still LOVES him. I loved watching Georgie reflect on her and Neal's relationship and getting to experience it in a new way through communicating with past Neal...the Neal she first met and then dated.

Landline is poignant and thought-provoking (seriously, I've been thinking about my own marriage and even friendships after reading this) and it proves why Rainbow Rowell is one of my all time favorite authors. Her writing is just TO DIE FOR and all the intricacies and nuances of love in all its messy glory just really resonate -- even if you aren't married.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Julia Reviews The Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss

Title/Author: The Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss (part of the Rogues anthology)
Publisher/Year Published:  2014 by Batnam
How I got this book: The Library
Why I read this book: My cowoker said it was good :)
Rating: 4.5 stars

I started reading The Kingkiller Chronicles about three years ago at the insistence of one of my friends who wanted a female opinion on the first book. He said I would like it because there was some romance in it (my predominant genre), but honestly I liked it way more for the fantasy. Rothfuss' world is so unique. I love the world building here and I can't get enough details. So far there are only two books out in the main series (The Name of the Wind and A Wise Man's Fear respectively), with a spin off type character-centric prequel book coming this fall. But we have another cool glimpse into the everyday workings of the world with this newest entry, The Lightning Tree.

The Lightning Tree focuses on Bast, a sidekick of sorts to our hero. It literally just follows what he does throughout his day, which I kind of really enjoyed. We got to see a little bit more of how his brain works and how he can use his Fae skills to manipulate and trick the world around him. 

Mixed in this light day are some serious concepts. There are few more details given in the world, but more importantly we get to see what Bast is capable of on his own without Kote to hover or, you know, be the main character. I liked that. 

I had some problems with it, though. Primarily since Bast is Fae he sleeps around a bit... which you know more power to him I guess, but it's like three in a day man? It's just icky and at points a little manipulative. But I guess that explores his character more and shows just what he does to get his end goal. 

Personally a funny story I had around this one was my coworker mentioned something to me after he read it of something in this story changing the way he saw the whole series. So I read with a careful eye. I talked to him today about it and he had no idea what the hell I was talking about. Talk about a sadness... maybe I dreamed it... who knows.

So, is it worth a read? Yes, if you are a fan of the series. It's quick and fun (ish) and just a nice glimpse into the psyche of Bast. The series is great, by the way. I eagerly await the next installment, hopefully due out sometime this decade. :)

I still have this anthology out from the library. Has anyone read any of the other stories from it? Which are ones I should not miss? 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Daisy's Top Ten Favourite TV Shows

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!

So this week instead of talking about books, we're talking about our favourite movies or tv shows. I'm going to focus on TV shows, because let's just face it, I can be found staring at the TV for hours at a time if one of these shows is on.

I have binge-watched the 3 seasons of this show in about 3 months. And it only took me that long because I caught up to the airings and had to wait along with the rest of you for the next episode to be on TV. I LOVE this show. It is awesome. Zoe is awesome, though the portrayal of GPs isn't completely accurate in my opinion (I'm training to be one, but maybe it's just different here in Holland?), but it's still entertainment and also: WADE! I cannot deal with all my feelings. This show made me cry at the end of season 2. If you watch the show, you'll know what I mean.

This is such a guilty pleasure for me! I love watching this show, though sometimes I get frustrated when things aren't revealed cause I just want to knoooooooowwwww.

I've been addicted to this show ever since I first saw it when season 3 was airing. I think we've now had cycle 20 and I'm still glued to the TV when it comes on. I watch it together with one of my best friends and it is awesome (our boyfriends don't appreciate it that much though ;) ).

OMG THIS SHOW!! Also: THE BOOKS! If I ever had an obsession, this world and the characters that George R.R. Martin has created is it. Kelly, Kimberly and I have a chat on our phones going about this :)

This show is SO good! I love Sheldon and Leonard, I even have a shirt with lines from Sheldon and a rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock shirt. I think this show is hilarious.

I'm so sad that this show ended because it was just amazing, I loved seeing the transformation Betty went through while staying through to herself, and it was just funny and OMG I NEED A MOVIE OR SOMETHING.

I love this show even though sometimes it's just slow and it feels like they'll never get to the point, but then I love it again and all's well in the world. Also, everything is better when Hook is involved. Seriously.

OMG, I haven't seen the third season yet, but OMG I just need to convince my boyfriend to watch it with me because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!! This series is seriously addictive.

I used to watch this show ALL the time, I was obsessed with witches and everything even remotely witchy and yes to so much girl power in a show!

Buffy is another show I watched religiously as a kid. Buffy is still one of the coolest girls I know, and also this show made nerd girls cool and it has Giles who is also awesome. And now I want to watch the whole thing again.

So those are 10 of my favourite TV shows, what about you? I feel like I forgot one, but I can't remember, so let me know what you're watching and what I should start watching because UGH it's summer and everything but Pretty Little Liars is on break and I need something new to watch!! So recommendations?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Movies You Didn't Know Were Books, Part III: Horror Edition

Hi there, everyone. I think it's time for another roundup of movies you didn't know were books, don't you? I've recently discovered some good ones, this time all in the horror genre. But first, make sure you check out the first two posts in this series here and here.

1. The Birds, based on The Birds by Daphne du Maurier.


Yep, that famous Alfred Hitchcock movie was based on a novella by the one and only Daphne du Maurier, whom you might know better as the author of the classic novel Rebecca. This pretty much blew my mind. Also, have you seen The Birds? It's nuts.

2. Rosemary's Baby, based on Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

Another famous horror movie based on a book by an apparently famous horror author. I only recently discovered Ira Levin wrote horror books, including this one. I guess he also read a sequel, which was not as well received because... well, just don't read it if you like the first one. I read the synopsis and it's pretty weird.

While we're on Ira Levin...

3. The Stepford Wives, based on The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin


There's also The Stepford Wives, first made into a movie in 1975, then again in 2004, which is the one I know. Man, look at that first movie poster though, huh? Creepy. The Nicole Kidman one looks kind of dumb next to it. I haven't seen or read any of these, but I feel like "Stepford wife" has become part of popular culture and people refer to it regardless of their knowledge of its origin. So, good job Ira Levin.

4. Psycho, based on Psycho by Robert Bloch

Back to Hitchcock! Psycho is based on a novel by Robert Bloch, first published in 1959.

I'm sure there are a ton of other books that were made into movies. What are some of your favorites or hidden gems?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Our Blogging Confessions

Julia Confesses...

1. Reviewing ARCs makes me anxious – Review books are awesome. Free books and early releases? So much fun in theory, but when I start to see lots of requests or books start to pile up, it starts to make me anxious about reading them all and getting a review for them. I’ve dealt with it by scaling back on the requests and not feeling guilty if I have to turn some down. It’s awesome and fun to be able to review things early, but with great power comes great responsibility ;)

2. Our Bookish Deals posts are the hardest thing ever to do – Searching for bargains is fun, but sometimes it’s hard to find good books to highlight. Then once I have four I like, having to gather all the required information takes so long! That’s why they are every other week (or this summer once a month so far). But I do it for you guys! So hopefully you can save a few pennies while reading awesome books.    

3. I always want to comment more on my posts... but end up not. I do go back and read comments to my post, and I've gotten better at commenting, but I still think I could do better at this. I love talking to you guys and getting you all involved with whats going on in my reviews. I want to do this more... and better :)

4. I have always wanted to do a vlog but have no idea how it would be interesting at all. Seriously I think it would be so cool to do videos, but books don't lend themselves to a youtube style format in my opinion. Here is a cool movie clip... but nope just kidding its a book. So you get to see my face. I really want to try this one day, but I confess, I haven't because it seems really hard to make entertaining.

Jamie Confesses...

5. There are some days where I seriously despise writing reviews. I just want my brain to spit out all the things I think about the book and then for the review to write itself. I also feel really inadequate when writing them and also I seriously sit there and wonder if anyone reads them anymore.

6. My Netgalley ratio is EMBARRASSING! No seriously, I bet mine is worse than you. I told a friend what it was the other day and they LAUGHED SO HARD and said WOWWW. I forget about the things on my Kindle to be honest. And a lot of my bad ratio is due to me not being able to restrain myself when I first got on Netgalley. PUNISHED FOR OLD MISTAKES. Now I'm better at limiting myself on Netgalley but I'm still trying to fix my ratio because of what I did before.

7. I cut down the list of book blogs I read regularly & I feel guilty: I still will stop by other blogs that maybe aren't IN my Feedly reader via social media and such but I had to significantly cut my list down because I honestly got too overwhelmed with trying to keep up and found myself not WANTING to read that many book blogs. I need balance in my reader. I have so many other interests and the book blogging section was just OVERFLOWING. I feel mega guilt but I have to chose what makes me happiest not do something because of guilt.

8. Sometimes I feel like blogging dictates what I read: Blogging has been really good for me because it opened me up to things I would have NEVER picked up before. But now I feel like I've started reading heavily the same things because I get them for review and just try to fit in OTHER kinds of reads when I can. I don't like that and I'm working to change it. I'm happy with what I'm reading but I want to have balance.

9. More often than I'd like to admit, I write my posts the night before and forget to REALLY proofread (like I do a quick once over for glaring things) and then will find mistakes and quickly try to fix them hoping nobody saw (but I know people did): Seriously. I need to stop being so lazy and just proofread it real good. But I am so TIRED when I'm doing a post at night.

10. I feel overwhelmed by the amount of books I've bought and what I get for review since I started blogging 4 years ago: Seriously, I find myself really anxious over it. I want them but I'm like this is just NOT GOOD to have so many books I'm not going to be able to get to. SHELF ANXIETY. It's real.

Tell us your deepest, darkest blogging confessions!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

the problem with travel books and wanderlust

I am, and will always been, in love with traveling. Insatiable Wanderlust. Some times all it takes is a quick weekend trip away from everything. Most of the time though, I'm daydreaming of all the other
countries, as well as other states right here in the US, that I want to see.

Unfortunately, I am also a very broke college graduate with rent to pay and a wedding to plan.  I don't exactly have an abundance of time or money.

Luckily I do have an escape, BOOKS. I can take a road trip cross country, learning about new landmarks along with the characters, and revisiting ones that I've been to before. I can travel to different countries that I've dreamed of visiting for well... ever.

I especially like the books that have me sitting with my phone or laptop next to me so that I can google places and facts to learn more. I can know random details, or fun stories of traditions and culture without ever having been there.

Sadly the "without ever having been there", is the kicker. Traveling via book is fantastic, but sometimes it only serves to make me want to jump on the next plane to a new country. I just get in my car and start driving.

So you tell me. Am I just the weird one here? Or are there others like me? Please comment below! Where do you want to go? What are your favorite travel books?? Can't wait to see your replies!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Paula Reviews We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Published in 1921
Rating: 4 stars
How I got it: Found a copy at a local book store!

Hey all!

So this summer I made a mini goal of tackling books that have been on my shelf/list for more than a year. Whether they are super long (The Historian) or not quite genre's I'm interested in anymore (White Oleander) or in this case- hard to find and kind of intimidating.

I have been intimidated by We for awhile because it is the foundation block of my favorite genre: dystopian literature. And I'm not talking about contemporary dystopian stories like The Hunger Games (which don't get me wrong - I love a lot) but he was threatened by communist Russia for writing this kind of literature. People claimed that this book predicted Stalinism. It has been claimed that this book inspired 1984 and Brave New World. I've been putting this book off for awhile. What if I didn't understand it? What if I didn't like it?

The premise:
After a Two Hundred Year War society, One State, has been rebuilt under the guidance of the Great Benefactor. Humans are no longer people they are numbers. The main character, D-503, is the main builder of the spaceship Integral to bring the order of One State to other planets. Every minute of a person's life is planned out by the Table of Hours. 

D-503 is happy and blissful with his life until he meets I-330. She doesn't play the rules. At home she doesn't wear her uniform and drinks alcohol (which has been banned). He would hate her and report her if he didn't find her so interesting. As D-503 gets to know I-330 more he begins to develop.... an imagination....

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't perfect- there were a lot of things that I wish had more details or development. Sometimes the writing was choppy and hard to follow (although- that could be the translation and not the original). There were a few times where I had to pause and go "wait what just happened?"

But besides those things- This book was a great read. It had some terrifying ideas, like imagination being treated as a sickness or any crime (even not reporting for work without a sick note) being punished with public execution... 
I found it really exciting to know the history of the book and see how this truly was a scary predictor of Stalinist Russia (the history geek in me was quite happy). I also could see how some of my favorite books were inspired by this book. 

If you are looking for a book that's a bit of a challenge but has some interesting history behind it- I would definitely recommend this one! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday -- Tahleen and Lori's Favorite Classics

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see the list of future topics click here.

Tahleen says:

1.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee--My pick is TKAM because it is just one of those really great comfort reads for me, and what better time to read it than the summer? Plus I've got the audio narrated by Sissy Spacek, which I can just throw in my car whenever I want. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte--I read this one in seventh grade for the first time, and even though it took me a while, I loved it. I actually read this because I read about the big twist in a different book, and it sounded good. I was right!

3.  Emma by Jane Austen--I've read almost every Austen book thanks to a Jane Austen class in college (which was awesome, by the way), and this is my favorite. I love how flawed yet lovable Emma is, and the romance is my favorite. Plus, this was the basis for the movie Clueless. (Team Josh.)

4.  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery--This remains one of my favorite books to this day. I wanted to be friends with Anne when I was growing up, and I would name different parts of my yard like Anne does. Plus, who doesn't love the Gilbert/Anne romance? I remember buying this book at the book fair in third grade and then deciding it looked too long. Then I decided to read the Great Illustrated Classic, and I remember thinking I didn't want Anne's adventures to end. So I dug out the unabridged copy and started over!

Lori says:

5.  Catch-22 by Joseph Heller--People either love or hate this book.  I think a lot of it has to do with whether they are able to follow the various strings of the plot.  This novel is full of memorable characters--even the secondary and tertiary characters are supremely entertaining.  It truly exhibits the madness of war and of blindly following orders.  I laughed and cried and applauded.  

6.  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck--This novel hold a special place for me.  Steinbeck does a great job of setting the scene in Oklahoma and I think it helps explain why Oklahoma is the way it is--it never recovered from the Depression.  That said, the Joads' journey west to California is heartbreakingly entertaining.  It's hard to believe that this stuff actually happened, but it definitely did.  This one talks about the resilience of people and says a lot about the strength of women within the family.

7.  A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway--This was my first experience with Hemingway.  I really enjoy the story of this novel.  I haven't done a close reading of it--which means I really need to soon--but I can't help but get caught up in the story.  There are moments of action that make you catch your breathe and there a moments of happiness that also make you catch your breath.  Definitely need to re-read soon!

8.  The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway--This was the third Hemingway novel that I ever read.  I love reading about the 1920s ex-pat scene and this perfectly fit the bill!  It made me want to run away from home and travel around Europe.  Like The Great Gatsby, this novel also explores the emptiness of life except following ex-pats living in Europe!  It has some interesting characters.  I like how Hemingway weaves in his own experiences into his novels.  They make for a rich reading experience.

9.  East of Eden by John Steinbeck--I love this book!  Steinbeck retells the story of Genesis in this novel and also weaves in his own family's history.  He creates an overwhelming sense of place and extremely deep characters that touch your lives and wriggle their way into your mind.  Lee is one such character.  He's stayed with me for over four years.  I am partway through a re-read of this novel and am very much looking forward to picking it up again.

10.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain--I'm honestly kind of surprised that I included this novel.  I had a horrible experience in a single-author course as a junior in college and haven't been able to pick up any Twain since.  But this novel is a perfect satire!  It points out the hypocrisies in human nature.  As an outsider living within society, Huck cuts through the bs, which makes him the perfect narrator.  It's a truly American story.  And I think I can finally read it again.

These are our favorites.  What are yours?

Related Posts with Thumbnails