Posts Categorized: Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

May 18, 2015 Books, Meme 2

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I’m reading! I’m reading! I’m really reading!

Bout of Books had the desired effect for me. I read all week. Some days it was only 60 some pages, but I read every day and by Saturday, I had finished not one, but two books and was over halfway through two more. All in all, I call that success.

Final tally:

Books finished: 2
Pages read: 722
Finished: Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson, Rutabage the Adventure Chef Volume 1 by Eric  Colossal

I can’t wait to tell you more about Pirate Hunters. It’s the perfect summer book! Rutabaga was so much fun. Act of God is just exactly what I was looking for and Comfort Me with Apples is just that. A comfort read. Reading is back on track. Let’s just hope it stays that way!

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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Audiobook: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

May 15, 2015 Book Reviews, Books 1 ★★★★

Audiobook: The Buried Giant by Kazuo IshiguroThe Buried Giant
by kazuo ishiguro
Narrator: david horovitch
Length: 11 hours 48 minutes
Published by Random House Audio
on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 317
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
You've long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it's time now to think on it anew. There's a journey we must go on, and no more delay..."

The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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You guys, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve never read a book by Ishiguro, prior to The Buried Giant. It’s not that they haven’t appealed to me either; it’s that he intimidated me. To me, he’s up there with Atwood, Auster, Murakami, and Eugenides. And lots of others. So, yeah, I’ve steered clear of Ishiguro.

Until now.

The Buried Giant pushed all the Must-Read-Buttons.

  • The writing is impeccable. Even during the slow parts, the writing was gorgeous and atmospheric.
  • The many themes: memory, love, betrayal, forgiveness, religion, loyalty. The facing of reality. And they are all dealt with so richly and with compassion.
  • The characters and their story. Axl and Beatrice, an elderly couple living just after the time of King Arthur, are struggling with memory and acceptance. In their village, they are outcast from the rest of the villagers and missing their son. One day, they decide to leave to go visit their son, whom they miss very much. They know something is wrong, something is very off, and the hope they can find out what it is along the way. There is a mist, covering the land, and it is affecting memory.
  • The supporting characters are just as interesting. A knight, a foreigner, an orphan. A dragon. Some devious monks. Pixies. And the mist. That dangerous mist.
  • It’s such a serene story. It puts you in mind of a fairy tale or a fable. That feeling of magic, lying over everything, is prevalent.
  • The feelings. I could feel Axl and Beatrice’s pain, love, confusion, everything. I came to love them and hated to leave them at the end of the book.
  • The ending. It was…not what I expected and I love it when a book can surprise me.
  • The reader. David Horovitch. His voice was the perfect match for the book and his accent lovely.

I knew reviewing this book properly was beyond my skills, but I hope I have conveyed just how much I loved this book. It was a surprise, a lovely surprise, and I hope I can find more from Ishiguro soon.

Som favorite quotes:

But then again I wonder if what we feel in our hearts today isn’t like these raindrops still falling on us from the soaked leaves above, even though the sky itself long stopped raining. I’m wondering if without our memories, there’s nothing for it but for our love to fade and die.

But God will know the slow tread of an old couple’s love for each other, and understand how black shadows make part of its whole.

When it was too late for rescue, it was still early enough for revenge.

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Bout of Books 13: Master Post

May 11, 2015 Books 2

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Day 1 – Bookish Survey

1. How do you organize your shelves?

Ha! I don’t. New books get stuck where ever they will fit. It’s really quite sad.

2. What is one of your favorite book that’s not in one of your favorite genres?

Don’t read many westerns, but I absolutely adore Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

3. What is the last 5 star book you read?

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. So so so so so SO good.

4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon?

The one I finish first.

5. What book do you recommend the most?

Hmmmm…..Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman maybe? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith? Still trying to get Andi to read The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon!

Number of pages read today: 61
Total number of pages: 61
Books Completed :  None :(

DAY TWO

Number of pages read today: 64
Total number of pages: 128
Books Completed : Still none….

DAY THREE

Number of pages read today: 96
Total number of pages: 224
Books Completed : Ugh. None.

DAY FOUR

Number of pages read today: 67
Total number of pages: 291
Books Completed : Zero. Big, fat zero.

DAY FIVE

Number of pages read today: 64
Total number of pages: 355
Books Completed : Don’t even ask me.

DAY SIX

Number of pages read today: 300
Total number of pages: 655
Books Completed : Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson, Rutabage the Adventure Chef Volume 1 by Eric  Colossal

DAY SEVEN

Number of pages read today: 67
Total number of pages: 722
Books Completed : Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson, Rutabage the Adventure Chef Volume 1 by Eric  Colossal


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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

May 11, 2015 Books, Meme 2

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I’m still not reading anything, yet. I gave myself a break yesterday, but now, today, I have a stack of books for Bout of Books 13! Yay! And I am ready to break this slump.

I setting myself the goal of finishing 4 books this week. Here’s my list of books to try to get to this week:

The Summer Book by Jove Jansson
The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley
A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr
Jamaica Dreams by Rosemarie Robotham
The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
The Graveyard Book, the Graphic Novel, Volumes 1 and 2 by Neil Gaiman
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Rutabaga: The Adventure Chef, Volume 1 by Eric Colossal
Batman Unwrapped: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder
Afterbirth by by Elisa Albert
On Beauty by by Elaine Scarry
It’s What I Do: A Photographers Life in Love and War by Lynsey Addario
Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson

That should be enough to get me started, right? Wish me luck.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey

May 6, 2015 Books 8 ★★★★★

Girl in the Dark by Anna LyndseyGirl in the Dark
by Anna Lyndsey
Narrator: Hannah Curtis
Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
Published by Random House Audio
on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Autobiography, Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
five-stars
A gorgeous memoir of an unthinkable life: a young woman writes of the sensitivity to light that has forced her to live in darkness, and of the love that has saved her.

“Something is afoot within me that I do not understand, the breaking of a contract that I thought could not be broken, a slow perverting of my substance.”

Anna was living a normal life. She was ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. But then she started to develop worrying symptoms: her face felt like it was burning whenever she was in front of the computer. Soon this progressed to an intolerance of fluorescent light, then of sunlight itself. The reaction soon spread to her entire body. Now, when her symptoms are at their worst, she must spend months on end in a blacked-out room, losing herself in audio books and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission she can venture cautiously out at dawn and dusk, into a world that, from the perspective of her normally cloistered existence, is filled with remarkable beauty.

And throughout there is her relationship with Pete. In many ways he is Anna’s savior, offering her shelter from the light in his home. But she cannot enjoy a normal life with him, cannot go out in the day, and even making love is uniquely awkward. Anna asks herself “By continuing to occupy this lovely man while giving him neither children nor a public companion nor a welcoming home—do I do wrong?” With gorgeous, lyrical prose, Anna brings us into the dark with her, a place from which we emerge to see love, and the world, anew.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Imagine a world that is dark. So dark that light doesn’t even shine through the cracks. No glimmer of light through the blinds. No shimmer beneath the door. Complete. Total. Black.

This is the life Anna Lyndsey lives every day.

Burns? Burns like the worst kind of sunburn. Burns like someone is holding a flame-thrower to my head.

Anna has an extremely rare and terrible form of photo-sensitivity. At her worst, she stays in complete darkness. At her best, she is able to go out after dusk or before daybreak to take a walk. Sunlight, indoor light, computer light; all of it burns her skin. This means no reading, no television, no work, no cooking, nothing. Nothing. Nothing. And the pain can be unbearable.

How she shares her journey through this debilitating illness is nothing short of beautiful. Her prose is clear and captivating. Reading (or in this case, listening) to her story and how she has made it through is nothing short of inspiring. Being invited to witness her private thoughts on her life and her feelings throughout (is she being selfish, living with the man who loves her, but can’t have her as a normal companion? Does she want to live out her life this way? How does she keep her sanity?) feels like a privilege.

You guys. This book. I mean, this book. You guys. Seriously. It feels kind of horrible to say I loved it, but I loved it. This is the first book I’ve listened to that was narrated by Hannah Curtis and I hope it isn’t the last. Her narration was perfect. As I’m discovering, I love memoirs in audio and this one is no exception.

Highly recommended.

Favorite quotes:

Friendship plants itself as a small unobtrusive seed; over time, it grows thick roots that wrap around your heart. When a love affair ends, the tree is torn out quickly, the operation painful but clean. Friendship withers quietly, there is always hope of revival. Only after time has passed do you recognise that it is dead, and you are left, for years afterwards, pulling dry brown fibres from your chest.

My ears become my conduit to the world. In the darkness I listen—to thrillers, to detective novels, to romances; to family sagas, potboilers and historical novels; to ghost stories and classic fiction and chick lit; to bonkbusters and history books. I listen to good books and bad books, great books and terrible books; I do not discriminate. Steadily, hour after hour, in the darkness I consume them all.

Most of the time, I do not want to die. But I would like to have the means of death within my grasp. I want to feel the luxury of choice, to know the answer to “How do I bear this?” need not always be “Endure.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

May 4, 2015 Books, Meme 7

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Look familiar? It should! It is exactly what I was reading LAST week. AND the week before that. I hope I can finish at least one of them this week. I’m afraid if I don’t, I’m really heading into a mega slump.

Oh wait. I forgot I added Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larsen to the mix last week. Because 3 books aren’t enough. No wonder I can’t finish anything….

Up next, well, there are lots of things. I’d really like to get started on It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario (Kim has me dying to read it) and The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. I’m such a sucker for a book with books on the cover.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

Oh, and May the Fourth be with you!!! 😀

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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Monthly Wrap Up – April 2015

May 2, 2015 Books, Monthly Wrap Up 4

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Thank Goodness for the Readathon y’all. Without it, I wouldn’t have had half these stories. Yay Readathon!!! So, this month I read:

48. Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin
49. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, read by David Horovitch
50. Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey, read by Hannah Curtis
51. Rat Queens, Issue 10 by Kurtis Wiebe
52. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, read by Humphrey Bower
53. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, read by Jo Myddleton
54. Capture Creatures, Issue 3 by Frank Gibson
55. The Fade Out, Issue 5 by Ed Brubaker
56. A Card from Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp
57. Wild’s End, Issue 1 by Dan Abnett
58. Wild’s End, Issue 2 by Dan Abnett
59. Wild’s End, Issue 3 by Dan Abnett
60. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
61. Wild’s End, Issue 4 by Dan Abnett
62. Wild’s End, Issue 5 by Dan Abnett
63. Wild’s End, Issue 6 by Dan Abnett
64. Lumberjanes, Issue 13 by Noelle Stevenson
65. Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell

Favorite is, hands down, Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Sure, I’ve seen her drawings on the internet, but had no idea of the brain behind them. Wow. All I can say is Wow. And I’ll be reading this again. And again. And again. Girl in the Dark was absolutely fantastic as well. I listened to The Yellow Wallpaper three times prior to our readathon readalong and each time it just got creepier. That was a lot of fun.

Here’s hoping May is just as fun.

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

April 27, 2015 Books, Meme 6

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still carrying a bit of a reading hangover this Monday! Isn’t it delightful? I can’t remember the last time I was able to read some much in one weekend.

Now that it’s the week again, I’m back to the books I was reading before the Readathon. I started The Long Walk on a lark, after hearing it compared, however vaguely, to The Hunger Games. Stephen King doing dystopian? YES PLEASE.

With my free trial to Scripd, I decided to try Ron Rash’s Something Rich and Strange on audio mainly because it was the first audiobook recommended to me. And wow, y’all. Rash is blowing me away.

The Wind is Not a River is also a Scripd recommendation. I’m not very far into it and I’m not exactly what I would CALL into it, but I’m going to give it a few more chapters. The back and forth between points of view are throwing me a bit, I think.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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April 25, 2015 – Readathon

April 25, 2015 Books 24

I’ll be over at the Readathon blog, hosting for a couple hours, then I’ll be back here to share in the reading.

OPENING MEME

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

North Carolina, where it is expected to rain QUITE a bit today. Yay!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

All the comics!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Hmm….I think I’m going to make ice cream later. Probably that.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I love collective nouns. My favorite is A Parliament of Owls.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

One thing? So far, I haven’t panicked. This is a good thing.

HOUR 124 UPDATE:

Stories started: The Wind is Not a River by Brian Peyton. Capture Creatures Issue 3 by Frank Gibson. The Fade Out Issue 5 by Ed Brubaker. Lumberjanes Issue 13 by Noelle Stevenson. A Card from Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp. Wild’s End Issues 1-6 by Dan Abnett. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell.

Stories finished: 11.

Finished: Capture Creatures Issue 3 by Frank Gibson. The Fade Out Issue 5 by Ed Brubaker. Lumberjanes Issue 13 by Noelle Stevenson. A Card from Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp. Wild’s End Issues 1-6 by Dan Abnett. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.

Pages read:

Snacks: Cadbury Chocolate Easter Eggs (I can’t believe we still have some). Banana. Cereal. Ham sandwich on GF bread and chips. Popcorn. Apple. Snickers Fun Size (x4). A NASTY spinach and cheese GF pizza because the Mississippi Roast wasn’t done until 10:30 PM. I had some at 11.

End of Event Meme

Which hour was most daunting for you?

17, which is midnight my time. It gets me every year. I wish I could just skip it.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Comics are great for breathers between books. And Hyperbole and a Half was fantastic. Very hard to put down.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I have a few ideas.

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

The co-hosts were completely awesome. We could not have done it without them. And the cheer captains were excellent.

How many books did you read?

9 comics and 2 books.

What were the names of the books you read?

Capture Creatures Issue 3 by Frank Gibson. The Fade Out Issue 5 by Ed Brubaker. Lumberjanes Issue 13 by Noelle Stevenson. A Card from Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp. Wild’s End Issues 1-6 by Dan Abnett. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.

Which book did you enjoy most?

Hyperbole and a Half was a complete surprise. Was not expecting it to be so amazing.

Which did you enjoy least?

Probably A Card from Angela Carter. Despite its short length, it moved slow. Not the best choice for a readathon.

If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

Get a better leader! Don’t worry, I have a couple ideas of how to make it better next time.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I’ll be there with bells on. Organizing, co-hosting, cheering, reading; the whole nine yards.

 

 

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