Daily Bookish Challenges | Day Four

Create some book spine poetry!

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With some punctuation added:

An object of beauty–

RUN!

Deliver us from Evil!

The innocent man,

catching fire.

Angels & Demons

prey.

I love being the enemy.

 

It’s a little creepy, and it doesn’t QUITE make sense…but not half bad for a first try!

All the Light We Cannot See

Between the Goodreads Awards and National Book Awards, I’ve had quite a few new acclaimed reads get added to my list in the past month. Not only did Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See make both of those award nomination lists, but my book club is reading him for Wednesday’s meeting!

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I really thought I’d like this book–it was based on WWII, and it was one of those stories about two people in two different situations who would meet up in some kismet way because of the war. I love those type of stories, and I love historical fiction.

Unfortunately, Doerr’s writing structure just hit me in the wrong way right off the bat. The chapters are bang-bang-bang. You flip back and forth between Warner and Marie-Laure (along with a few others) so fast that you can hardly catch your breath, and I just never really felt settled into either person. And not only did you flip between characters, but you also flipped between time periods–not even a big time gap–only a few years, so it’s just really awkward.

The idea is good, but for me it was just a miss. I wanted much more from both the characters and the plot, and so much was missing that I felt lost. Very disappointing, since it’s been in the forefront so much lately.

Daily Bookish Challenges | Day Three

What are your favourite books to give as gifts?

This is a tough question, because I don’t typically give books as gifts. As much as I WANT to, and I do have some readers in my circle, I have very few who would rather have books than other gifts.

But, this year, I am giving some books. And I’m definitely not sharing them with you. Can’t give away the surprise, no?

I did, however, give my husband two books for his birthday:

41 by George W Bush

Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly

 

Ironically enough, the people in my life who I do sometimes buy books for lean more towards nonfiction than fiction–which is completely opposite from what I read, so buying books for them can be difficult! It is absolutely uncharted territory for me, and I must rely on reviews and suggestions, rather than my own knowledge.

Thank goodness for gift receipts…I’ve never been the most confident gift giver.

A Feast for Crows

Can I just tell you how excited I am for the next season of Game of Thrones? When last season ended, I could not remember what was going to come next. Even when I finished reading A Storm of Swords, I was left with a feeling of hesitation and fear, because so much happens in that book that surely nothing else could happen to top it. What else could possibly happen?

But, this is George RR Martin we are talking about. His brain never stops working, and his world never stops turning.

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I have a lot of thoughts on this one, so I’m going to continue with my list, as I have been doing:

  • Martin starts introducing a lot of random narrators in Feast. The chapter headings, aside from our most lead roles (Jaime, Cersei, Brienne), are not necessarily people’s names anymore, but descriptors. A narrator might only have one chapter, or they may have a different description each time. It gets a very confusing. Just give me their name so I know who the chapter is about. Be consistent! I’m not sure why he started doing this all of the sudden.
  • “Drowned God”–You get baptized by actually drowning the boys and then giving them CPR (breath of life). If they live, they are blessed and loved by God. Holy Shit.
  • I’ve always wondered if Syrio and Jaqen were the same man. Jaqen almost seemed to know Arya already, was so keen to help her, and so good at killing. Could Syrio have escaped Death and changed faces?
  • When this past season came out, I heard so much about Lady Stoneheart, and why didn’t we see her…but she is just now coming about at the end of this book. I didn’t even remember who she was when people were talking about her. She didn’t really fit into the storyline so soon after the Red Wedding, but I wonder if maybe we will see her in this next season. She’ll have to fit into Brienne’s questing, you’d think?

The biggest thing I’m struggling with, between the books and the show is the utter lack of Theon/Reek. For all anyone knows, up to this point, everyone thinks he is dead. Ramsey attacked him, and there was a brief mention of him being flayed, but no one has heard hide nor hair of him since. But in the show, we’ve already seen his torture. Asha stormed in, tried to rescue him. Ramsay even cleaned him up and used him to be Theon again. The timeline is completely off. I know I’m going to see him soon, but I can’t figure out why that plotline was sped up so much. It’s so out of place. His story is the one I have the hardest time grasping, for some reason.

I was talking to someone at the pub the other night, and they told me Martin based the series off the Wars of the Roses, which, now that I hear that, makes absolute sense. Why I had never realized that…I feel like an idiot now. It makes a lot of plot points much clearer. I really want to do more research into his writing process and where his world is based. Now that I’m rereading everything again it just all seems so familiar. I am completely in love with it all.

TreesofReverie December Readathon – Daily Challenge #1 – Introduction

Show or explain to us what your collection of books looks like. Do you have a specific way or order to how you like to keep your books?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am mildly obsessive about certain things. My reading habits are where I am the most compulsive, probably because it is the one thing in my life that has been the most constant.

My books HAVE to be arranged alphabetically by author, then title. There is no other way to do it, in my mind. They have always been this way, and they will remain this way. Every time I get a new book, it immediately gets shelved, and that can be a painstaking process sometimes, because everything has to get shifted–especially if that book is towards the beginning of the alphabet!

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There are a few exceptions to the alphabetic rule…but very few.

I have a To Be Read shelf now, but those books are also in order by author, of course.

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I also have pulled some “reference” and “miscellaneous” books out of the regular collection, mostly because they just didn’t fit into any real order and they were messing up the aesthetics…and most likely they are going to end up in a closet soon, because I’m running out of space in my two bookcases.

Do you have a moment in your life where your love of books and reading became significantly evident? Is there a particular thing, event or person that influenced your passion for books?

I don’t remember not reading. My love for books is more like breathing than an actual hobby. My mom told me once that when I was little, before Kindergarten, she came upstairs and found me sitting on the floor reading one of her romances. I looked at her and said, “Mommy, this book has people kissing, and they aren’t married. You shouldn’t read this.” I can remember sitting at the base of our giant bookshelves up there and just being surrounded by books, pulling them all off the shelves so I could look at them all.

What sort of book or world is your favourite to get lost in?

I love fantasy the most–but it has to be the kind of fantasy that is rooted in historical legend. Books like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. You know the kind I mean. The worlds that feel like you could almost step into it yourself.

I also really enjoy historical fiction based on real people, where the author has done extensive research. I want to be so transfixed that I feel like I am actually there, walking with the person.

What book/s would you recommend to others so that they could have a chance to get lost in your personal ‘bookish world’?

Any of the books I’ve already mentioned. The Thorn Birds, of course. The Secret GardenThe Slow Regard for Silent Things is another one of my more recent favorites, but they’d also need to read the rest of the Kingkiller Chronicles first.

 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

William Kamkwamba is one of those special people who, through lack of everything except sheer desperation and will, created something from the ground up that put his little village on the map.

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Malawi was torn apart by famine and disease when William was growing up. He experienced so much tragedy. It was hard to sit here, healthy, fed, and happy, while reading this book. I was continually frustrated, because I so wanted him to succeed, and life just keeps.beating.him.down.over.and.over.

William is SO smart. Could you imagine, not being able to go to school, and just picking up a couple of random books out of the library and figuring out the concept of electricity on your own without ever really seeing anything like it? I sure couldn’t. What he did was so awesome! He was in the middle of nowhere, and became an engineer. Here in the States, we have to go to Purdue to figure that stuff out!

This book is going to make you uncomfortable, upset, angry. You’ll probably cry. But, you know it has a good ending, because it’s nonfiction–and they wouldn’t give us a book about some kid who failed at building a windmill, right? Right.

Jokes aside, William’s story is pretty damn remarkable, and worth the read.

The Camelot Conspiracy

I am always on the fence on whether I should review a book I did not finish, and whether I should count it as “read.” And sometimes, I will even battle through a book just so that I could do those two things without guilt. Other times, it just isn’t worth it. There are other books to read, and today is my day off. After getting through half, it’s time to move on.

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But first, why didn’t I finish The Camelot Conspiracy? Mostly, it’s just not my genre. This is very much what I call a “husband” book. Honestly, the entire time it has been on the shelf, I’ve thought it was nonfiction. The cover looks like one of those political histories, or whatever you want to call them. So when I read the author’s note and was informed it was actually a novel, I was very surprised! I’m trying to make my rounds through all the books in our collection…even the ones that aren’t “mine,” so I can read a bit out of my comfort zone, and this one came up in my cycle.

It didn’t start terribly. It was actually a little interesting for the first 100 pages. However, there is a lot going on, and I don’t know a lot about the Bay of Pigs and the Cold War. It’s not a period of history that is of particular interest to me, so a lot of the historical figures, dates, landmarks, etc were pretty fuzzy. I probably need to freshen up on my research into that era before I try to read fiction about it.

There also were SO many chess pieces in this game to keep track of. This is a novel of conspiracy, after all, and it got very confusing, very fast. I think that’s what did it for me in the end. Once I got lost…I was done for, and it no longer held my attention.

One more note–the editing in this book is a mess, which drives me absolutely insane. The quotation marks are so very often misplaced that it is hard to tell who is talking or when a conversation starts and ends, and sometimes they are missing altogether. Stuff like that just makes me nuts.

So there you have it. I don’t like to give bad reviews often, but I just couldn’t get behind this one.

WWW Wednesday 12/3/2014

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What are you currently reading?

The Camelot Conspiracy by E. Duke Vincent

 

What did you just finish reading?

A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin

Breeder by KB Hoyle (This is an ARC and part of a blog tour, so the review won’t be posted until Dec. 10.)

I Grew My Boobs in China by Savannah Grace

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer

A Feast For Crows by George RR Martin

Favorite Series

I am absolutely loving my second read through of The Game of Thrones. The world of Westeros and beyond is completely fascinating and there is just so much depth to everything George RR Martin has written. It’s hard to believe this is fiction and fantasy instead of something out of our history books. I want it to be real. I expect to look at an old map and find the Seven Kingdoms somewhere. This is almost more of my legend than King Arthur and his court.

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Can you tell which ones I’ve gotten though? I’m a little hard on my paperbacks. These are going to be torn to shreds in a few years.

WWW Wednesday 11/26/2014

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What are you currently reading?

A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

I Grew My Boobs in China by Savannah Grace

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

First There Wasn’t, Then There Was by Troy Blackford

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Breeder by KB Hoyle (This is an ARC and part of a blog tour, so the review won’t be posted until Dec. 10)

The Camelot Conspiracy by E Duke Vincent

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba