Tag Archives: Books

The Unleashing

I have just finished readingΒ The UnleashingΒ which is Book One in the Call of Crows series by Shelly Laurenston. I have not read any of Shelly’s other publications so this was a new author for me too. I got this book through my local library’s Overdrive account.

the unleashing

I was drawn to the book not just because of the cover (hehe), but also because I have always enjoyed Norse mythology and was very intrigued by the idea of the Norse clans in a modern setting.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It was full of very strong female characters, I read a review that said they were not believable… I am guessing that reviewer was male because I have absolutely met women like that πŸ™‚ I am a sucker for fiction that displays women in a strong light. I like it even more when they do not swoon at the first glimpse of abs. The story centers around the journey of Kera and her growth and discoveries about herself and her world. She’s strong, doesn’t take crap and the main love of her life is a pit bull she rescued off the street after it had been dumped for dead after being used in a dog fight ring… who wouldn’t love this girl?! Obviously I am totally biased as soon as a rescue dog became involved. My dream would be to buy a ranch where abused dogs are rehabilitated and given a second chance so I was hooked as soon as I read this part.

I liked the character of Ludvig as well, wasn’t sure I would at first, but he definitely grows on you. In fact all the characters do. It can get a little chaotic trying to keep them straight as there are a lot of characters running about, but it is not too bad.

I didn’t realise that the book was part of a series when I chose to read it which is a bummer because I will have to search for book two as my library does not have it. The end was a definite cliffhanger and I wasn’t expecting the book to end there. Just all of a sudden people were making statements and overtures and I was thinking to myself ‘huh, that’s weird, this is wrap up talk, but there’s so much more plot to work… oh it’s finished…’Β the wrap up was a little to abrupt for me, but I think I felt that way too because I wasn’t ready for it to end.

Goodreads says there are two more books in the series. I would definitely like to check them out. I just like giving fair warning to anyone interested in reading that they might be committing to a series hahaha.

What are you all reading?

Advertisements

The Beauty of Darkness

The Beauty of Darkness is book 3 in The Remnant Chronicles saga and is my book number 2 for 52 books in 52 weeks.I talked about the second book in a recent post and was looking forward to reading the final installment. I will be as vague as possible, but some might consider what I will write slight spoilers πŸ™‚

This was a thick book at 679 pages, so if you are someone who cannot commit to long books you might struggle, but I don’t mind them personally and I felt it was worth the read. When the story is good I don’t generally notice how long it is. Plus I was already two books in, I wasn’t about to stop now πŸ™‚

book-the-beauty-of-darkness

Love the cover art for this series!!!

There was this really interesting message through this whole story that I felt repeated over and over again through different storylines and that was that ‘no one is too great to fall’. This is SUCH a true message in day to day life for every person as well as in this book and I think that is why I appreciated it. It also shows how those that fall respond, do they become desperate and cruel or evil, or do they have an inner strength and sense of self that sustains them through the harshest of times. Let’s not mince words, these characters went through some hellish ordeals, particularly the female protagonist Lia. From a waited on princess to someone’s prisoner covered in filth and blood wearing a hessian sack, Lia’s resolve never faulted and her inner strength and leadership qualities just grew. Everything was taken from her and she didn’t crumble. This is a great book for young women to read for this message alone.

The other thing I liked about Lia and some of the other main characters is that they often didn’t make the popular choice. They were not afraid to make the difficult choice that would be immensely harder and possibly end in death because ultimately it was the right thing to do and could save many lives. Too often you read books where people throw the lives of thousands out to dry in the name of love and whilst I understand that being an impossible choice I do get frustrated by the sheer amount of these type of novels – like the Fallen series for example (not that I didn’t enjoy it – you can tell here and here).

Relationships were so interesting in this book. To be honest it didn’t end the way I wished it had. The ending I wanted wouldn’t be the popular version, but to me it was more realistic and I cannot say much more about how I felt about this without spoiling things so I will stop here.

I was a fan of the overall ending and was definitely a fan of many of the messages in the book. I was a particular fan of the women in this book. There is a strength to the women in this book that you cannot help but admire. Seriously SUCH a great read for young women today.


52 books in 52 weeks is back!

Wayyyy back in 2014 as one of my New Year’s goals I decided to undertake a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge (52b52w). Though I am a librarian and surrounded by books everyday I found that I rarely had time to read anymore. As it was my favourite past time I decided to find a way to get it back into my life.

My chill out time used to include a cup of tea a couple of smokes and a good read. Last year on Feb 15 I decided to put the gaspers down for good, in one more month it will be a year since my last cigarette. To be honest giving up smoking after a decade of doing it has made me probably the most proud of myself I have ever been, even more than graduating after 4 years of Uni haha. However, it did mean that I avoided reading. I realised that when I read I would sometimes crave so I stopped, this means I did not read much in 2016. Thankfully I am now over this phase and am ready to get back into reading big time!

So I thought I would start with book 2 and 3 in the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. I have been waiting to read these since I read the first book in the series The Kiss of Deception in November 2015. I really enjoyed the first installment and couldn’t wait to get into the second. However, knowing the cliffhanger I was left at the end of the first I decided to wait until both books came out so I could read them one after the other. LOVE me some binge reading!

So my first read for this year is The Heart of Betrayal book #2 in the Remnant Chronicles series.

heart-of-betrayal

I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was very well written.

This second installment was written in a different manner and you were able to see the story from more points of view. Whilst I loved the first book and the fact you didn’t know who was who until the final curtain call this book felt like a step forward. It felt more adult. The development of the characters in this book was wonderful, often coming from witnessing or being subjected to brutal incidents.

I loved Lia’s development through this book. She really came into her own and I love her backbone. I really liked how I could see her love of the people and her gift growing, her sense of self was in constant development throughout this book.

This ended almost exactly the way I wanted. I have an idea of where I would like the next installment to go, but I feel it is unlikely the ending I will get.

I have already started on the third book and so far it is exciting too πŸ™‚

Library lovers day in Australia is fast approaching on the 14 February. In support I am currently borrowing all of my books from the library and sharing them on my instagram with the hashtag #librarylove Feel free to do the same πŸ™‚

library-lovers-day


52 Books in 52 Weeks – Harry Potter cont…

Fair warning… it’s all about Harry Potter πŸ™‚

41. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets

I won’t lie, the movie of this book is my least favourite in the series. Having now read the book I think the movie cheated it. There was so much more depth in a variety of characters that was erased from the film.

I really enjoyed this second book. Loved that Dobby threw Lucius down some stairs at the end and that the flying car was an actual character that was self-aware and had feelings and went wild in the forest. I also liked that nearly headless Nick was a much bigger character in the book than I expected having seen the film first.

I do love the relationships in this book and if I were in need of a family I would wish with all my heart that the Weasley’s were real and looking to adopt!

Great book, can’t wait for the next one πŸ™‚

42. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

Harry-Potter-And-The-Prisoner-Of-Azkaban_novelI am loving how my appreciation of this series is getting deeper as I go on. At this point I am pretty much tearing through these books.

I love Ron attempting to use the phone and very much wish that was in the movie. I also found the character of Crookshanks very interesting, in the film he is just a cat, but in the books he is so much more.

Sirius and Lupin were some of my favourite characters from the films and Lupin was definitely my favourite Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher, so I am glad that my love for them was only made bigger by reading the actual book πŸ™‚

43. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Goblet_of_FireOh Cedric, Cedric. He was such a good and wonderful person. Sorry, it’s all just so much more real when you are reading the book, you feel like you really got to know him and then… well… all the feels.

I love the Weasley’s rocking up through the fireplace and the Dursley’s just not know knowing what to do about it hahaha.

I did feel like a lot of the descriptions of Krum were quite negative, maybe it is just me, but that’s how I was left feeling about him which I think was unfair because there is nothing wrong with him.

There was more Dobby in this book, I was kind of surprised by that because Dobby didn’t show up at all really between the Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows. Poor Dobby. I actually really liked him as a character in the book. Hermione trying to save all the house elves that don’t want to be saved gave me a giggle too.

44. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-coverI have so many evilish feelings and thoughts about Umbridge. She really is the Antichrist! What a truly evil woman.

I have noticed (maybe because I know what is coming from the movies) that Rowling has little hints in earlier books of things to come which is pretty awesome. It certainly shows that she had this whole story and world planned out completely.

Fred + George Weasley Forever! Those boys are something else and I just love it!

I feel like A LOT was missed out from the book to the film and that makes me sad. For starters in the film didn’t Bellatrix “kill” Neville’s parents rather than just drive them batty? Why? St Mungo’s isn’t even shown in the films which means we never see loopy Lockhart again. Harry felt a lot of angst around the fact that Hermione and Ron were made prefects and he wasn’t, I thought it was great they were made prefects and interesting that this was not in the film.

45. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling

coverI think this was my favourite book so far. The back story into Voldemort was colourful, clever, well-rounded and very informative without giving too much away.The book is FAR better than the movie and I feel as though I have a much greater understanding of Voldemort now.

The way the characters are developed through this series is very well orchestrated and I can only applaud Rowling’s brain for that. Every character is so well thought out and carefully built and true to their nature in the way that they react and interact within the story.

Every chapter with adventures using the Half-Blood Prince’s potions book was fascinating and Harry’s internal thoughts and emotions whilst the story unravels are fascinating. Definitely my favourite so far!

46. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Deathly_Hallows

Nooooo….. it can’t be the last one already! I have read these way too fast!

I can certainly understand why they split this into 2 films, there is an immense amount that occurs in this book. In the final book of this wondrous and now quite beloved (for me anyway) series Rowling brilliantly and tear-jerkingly ties up all the little fragments she has planted over the years throughout the books. This final volume is an absolute triumph and this along with the Half-Blood Prince are absolutely 2 of the best junior fiction novels I have EVER read.

I laughed and shed tears reading this book. A favourite part was hearing Fred and George Weasley on the radio station ‘Pottermore’ hosted by Lee Jordan, I literally laughed out loud during this part of the book. I can’t for the life of me imagine why they wouldn’t have included this part in the first Deathly Hallows film instead of just watching them camp for the majority of it.

I adore how intricately interwoven this series is, the story of which spans literally two generations (more if you include the Dumbledore back story). I know I have mentioned my adoration of the effort that has gone into the characters, but honestly I don’t feel I can state enough how impressed I was with the development of the characters. Harry and Ginny’s relationship was so well done in the books, I really feel it suffered in the films (emotion fueled teenage looks non-withstanding).

Also the end fight scene in this was SO much better than the film. I always liked the film’s final fight, but the book’s was amazing!

I do truly wish I could have experienced the series without having seen the movies, but let’s face it there are so many spoilers around it wouldn’t have mattered. What does matter is that I have finally read them and loved them and now I won’t cause shock by saying “I haven’t actually read Harry Potter”

 

I couldn’t believe it when I was reading these books and the last book almost coincided with the passing of Alan Rickman. I was so very sad to hear of his passing, he was a spectacularly talented man and I am a big fan of his work

What are you guys reading???


Book spine poetry

I decided to try my hand at book spine poetry. Here is my first attempt:

My first attempt...

My first attempt…

Then a friend at work decided to challenge me to do a haiku. Sheesh… okay, here is my attempt at a haiku. Just saying, this one was much harder than I anticipated.

haiku 1

The third book title is “hidden”… irony???

Next I have been challenged to create some rhyming verse. Man, see what comes of randomly trying a new hobby? Hahaha.

In good news though, I posted the first pic to my FB page and 2 different schools are looking at putting together a teacher competition, how cool is that?!

What do you think? Are you into this whole book spine poetry thing?


52 Books in 52 Weeks – June

Here it is, the June post πŸ™‚ Like I said for May it has been a pretty busy time of late and remember I also discovered Netflix recently, so I have not been as good a reader as I normally am hahaha. But I am happy to say I am still ahead of schedule for my reading this year… just.

I know I normally do at least 4 books, but with everything else going on at the moment and some of the changes I have been making to my life I haven’t had as much time to get through the books. I also find myself with several books half read at present because I am the type of person that puts myself through that perverse torture. Two of them are bios, one is really heavy and the other couldn’t be more opposite, but both are interesting. I am trying to get through those asap. I am also working on another Book vs. Movie post because people seemed to enjoy my last one.

31. TheΒ Lie – C.L. Taylor

the lieInterestingly I came across this book completely by accident, I was teaching one of our casuals how to use BorrowBox and as part of that I logged into my account and we went through how to browse for, preview and borrow and item and this happened to be the item. Afterwards I was kind of intrigued and decided to read it.

It was pretty different and you were reading the story in a dual timeline which for the most part actually wasn’t confusing so kudos to the writer on that. As the cover states there was definitely some ‘dark and creepy’ going on and if a friend every asks me to go to Nepal on a whim I will think twice πŸ™‚

The vast changes in people some might say stretched the imagination a bit, but I actually didn’t feel that way at all, this is possibly because I have personally had a friend go from best friend of 11 years to completely withdrawn from me overnight because her fiance didn’t like me so obviously I find it more believeable. I guess I felt that this story was a good example of how much the influences of others can change someone even when they have a strong sense of self and to be honest when someone does get involved in a cult that is generally what happens, a complete personality overhaul overnight. Quite sad really.

The stand out character for me was Al, I really liked her and thought she was a great character. Emma/Jane was pretty good too and I really liked her boyfriend, he was lovely πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed it so if you are looking for a creepy mystery then check this book out.

 

32. Evil Librarian – Michelle Knudsen

evil librarianMy friend the YA Librarian handed me this book and suggested I give it a read. I later found out she was using me as a guinea pig to decide if she was going to read it haha sneaky, sneaky.

The best friend (Annie) of our main character Cynthia falls in immediate love with the new Librarian Mr. Gabriel and he is pretty handsome so at first Cyn understands her unrequited love, but then she starts to feel that something is quite off about Mr. Gabriel and she suspects that he is in fact a demon.

There is some swearing in it that does seem really random, not because the situation they are in doesn’t call for swearing, but because it doesn’t fit with the rest of the book’s tone. The other thing that bothered me a little was the main character, (I try not to include spoilers so I will be very vague) I wasn’t into her personality swings from meek to ferocious, they just seemed odd at times.

Overall, this is a really funny book and will be amusing for both adults and young adults.

 

 

 


Books, Book Buying and Life in General

I have been on a little hiatus, between work, house stuff, baby stuff and being sick I have not been spending a lot of time on here. I have been keeping up with my reader though so do not fear I did not completely abandon you.

I went to a seminar last week and whilst on the train I was amazed to notice that I was the only person in the train carriage reading a print item. Halfway to the city another lady got on the train and I saw her pull out a book. I have no clue why I was so happy to find a comrade in print reading, but I was. I was reading My Booky Wook by Russell Brand where he talks about his time trying to cure his sex addiction, it is very well written, that man has a great way with words.Β Then I saw what she was reading and started giggling, she was reading 50 Shades of Grey hahaha could two books be more opposite?!

The seminar was at the State Library and was awesome, whilst there I visited the bookshop and low and behold because I was attending the seminar I got a discount – woohoo. Then I discovered the range of books they had redone the covers for and had to buy this, a) I wanted to read the book and b) It was too funny not too.

picture of dorian gray

Then this week I went book buying, all day. Which sounds like so much fun until you realise that you are basically standing for a minimum of 8 hours and reading/looking at books that aren’t always that interesting and aren’t for you hahaha. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this gem:

poo at work

That made my day, I laughed so much. Why does this exist? Actually, you know what? I am not going to question it, I am just going to be really happy about it.

Then I was looking for a general information book on STDs… don’t worry guys it was for the reference collection πŸ™‚ Whilst looking I came across this:

bonk book

Really not what I was looking for, but completely amusing non the less πŸ™‚

So I asked for some help finding a more appropriate book and they sent me to the “Relationships” section. Well wasn’t that an interesting journey… apparently the kind of books that reside in this section include titles such as, “50 ways to spice up your sex life”, “How to add kink to your relationship” and “The encyclopedia of sex toys”. This last book was big, I couldn’t believe it could possibly all be about sex toys so me and the lady I was buying with opened it to a random page where I made the mistake of saying out loud, “What the hell is that? It looks like a coffee pot with a dildo on top!” closely followed by, “Is this so you can have your coffee and your orgasm too?” We both cracked up.

After forcing myself to attend book buying and some other training when I wasn’t feeling so hot I felt like I hit the wall, my head was smashing. It was like being on the edge of a migraine permanently, I went to see the doctor to discover I have infected sinuses… YAY! So now here I am writing to you from my sick bed hahaha apparently to find time to write I needed to get ill.

I have been making great use of my new toy Netflix (thanks Mr. T.) when not in bed I can currently be found nursing my sinuses on the couch and binge watching Arrow or the Vampire Diaries πŸ™‚