Friday, June 12, 2015

European Reading Challenge 2015

This challenge is hosted by Rose City Reader, and runs from Janury 1st, 2015, to January 31st, 2016. I've attempted this challenge before, but things got in the way and I had trouble finishing it. Hopefully this year I'll be able to do a little better. The object is to read as many different books set in Europe as possible, but you're only allowed to read one book from each country. I'll be trying for the Five Star (Deluxe Entourage) goal, which is five or more books.

1- Small Island by Andrea Levy (England)
2- The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (Italy)


As a sort of late-in-the-year New Year's resolution, I've decided to attempt to reboot this blog. In the past, attempts at doing so have failed, but since it's summer I have much more time on my hands to not only read books, but review them as well. I've decided that, instead of only reviewing fantasy and historical fiction as I did before, I'll be reviewing books of all genres. I plan to update the book challenge page as soon as I'm able, and within the next few days, I will one again be posting reviews, beginning with Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto. After that, I'll do my best to post once a week, though that might slow down in the fall, when I have less time to read. Here's to hoping I can actually go through with my resolution this time.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Updates and Apologies

First of all, I'd like to apologize for my lack of blogging. Life has been very busy recently, and I've hardly had time to read, let alone blog about it. I'm hoping to find some more time, so with any luck, I'll be able to make a post once every week or so. I'll be catching up with the books I've been meaning to review, and then moving on to some new ones.

As for the reading challenges I was working on: I've updated them, and unfortunately, I didn't do quite so well as I would have liked. I'm giving the European Reading Challenge another go this year, and I'll make a post soon for that.

Fingers crossed that I can actually maintain a fairly regular blogging schedule this time around.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Four Month Reading Challenge 12

I'm very excited to get started on the next Four Month Challenge! As always, there are some wonderful categories, and I'm sure to make a dent in my TBR pile.

Alexander Averin2-001

5 Point Challenges
Read the second book in a series
Read a book with water on the cover
Read a book with a colour in the title
Read a book set in the 1900′s
Read a book whose author name begins with M (First or last)
10 Point Challenges
Read a book published during your birth year
Read a book with a door, lock or key on the cover
Read a book with a flower/flowers on the cover
Read a book with something ‘hot’ in the title (sun, fire, heat, etc)
Read a book whose author name begins with J (first name only)
15 Point Challenges
Read a book currently on a bestseller list - The Dinner by Herman Koch
Read a book that shows a woman from behind
Read a book with a moon or stars on the cover
Read a book with an adjective in the title - Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Read a book whose author name begins with J (last name only)
20 Point Challenges
Read any book in one weekend (Friday to Sunday)
Read a book with a child on the cover
Read a book with over 400 pages
Read a book with an animal on the cover
Read a book whose author name begins with A (first or last)

Total: 15 points

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures Review

Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, by Emma Straub, is the stunning story of a small-town Wisconson girl who travels to California to pusue her dream of being a movie star. Elsa Emerson's family owns the Cherry County Playhouse, and she's spent her life watching people on stage. She's long dreamed of leaving her tiny home for Los Angeles, but to do so, she must marry Gordon, another aspiring star. Once in Los Angeles, she's discovered by Irving Green, a successful Hollywood executive, who convinces her to dye her hair and change her name to Laura Lamont. This book tells the story of Laura's rise to - and fall from - fame, and her romance with Irving Green.

This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine who thought I'd like it. She said it was a bit like The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty. I was not disappointed by this book at all. It was exactly what I'd been looking for ever since I'd set down The Chaperone. This was a stunning book, wonderfully written. I was carried along with Laura's emotions, feeling the ups and downs of her life as I read. The relationships between the characters were very real, and didn't fall flat at all. I will definitely be waiting to read more by this author.

My Rating: 9/10

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm Back!

After a lengthy blog break, I am pleased to announce that I am back and will start reviewing books again very soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Hobbit Review

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien is the prelude to the Lord of the Rings series. It's the story of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who has lived a relatively quiet life, until the wizard Gandalf comes to his door. The adventurer in Bilbo agrees to travel with thirteen dwarves to their homeland to reclaim their treasure and their throne. Along the way, they have encounters with trolls, goblins, giant spiders, and wood elves. And at the very end of thier quest, Bilbo knows he must kill the dragon Smaug, who sits atop the dwarves' fortune.

I've been meaning to read this book for a while, seeing as the movie is out now. I'd never read any of the Lord of the Rings books or watched the movies, so I was kind of stepping into it blindly. The story started out a little slow, but I did enjoy the description of Bilbo's home. Once they left on their adventure, the story started to get a lot more interesting for me, and I found I could hardly put it down. There was such descrption there, and explanations for how everything worked and why things were the way they were. I loved the detail and description of the world. It felt very real, with lots of history that added to the detail.

I loved Bilbo, and I could feel how uncertain he was at first, and later, even after he'd proven himself to the dwarves, he still felt uncertain. He was not an infalliable hero. If anything, he was an unlikely hero. Anytime he saved someone or did something heroic, it wasn't to get glory. It was because it was the right thing to do. He was a wonderful character, and near the end of the book when all he wants is to go home, I felt that desire as well. I yearned for him to go home, and any author that can get me to feel what a character feels is a very good author indeed.

Altogether, it was a wonderfully constructed book. It was exactly what anyone could ask for in an adventure story, and it is definitely timeless. I can't wait to read more of J.R.R. Tolkien's work.

My Rating: 9/10