Books · reviews

WWW Wednesday 7th February 2018

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This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post here

I think this is my first for the year and I certainly wasn’t planning to write a blog today! After a busy start to the week (read tiring!) I’m now refreshed from watching an episode of a new tv favourite and happily sitting next to hubby while he’s taken over the tv for the cricket leaving me free to share –

What did you recently finish reading:

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, the second novel in The Giver quartet. I read the first in the series at the end of last year for my Future requirement in the When Are You Reading challenge and my interest was piqued. It was a short book which created another new dystopian world which ended with so much story left to tell. I’m so funny about YA dystopian books. I’m never a big fan but as soon as I see a movie or read a book and get just a bit of a taste I do want to find out as much as possible about the worlds the author creates. I was hoping to find out what happened next in Gathering Blue but instead was given a new world to discover. Sadly I wasn’t really taken with this book except for of course the ending which after a slow book again built pace and interest so yes I will read the third book, which from other reviews seems more well liked.

 

What are you currently reading:

For anyone who met me here last year I’m still reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, well it’s still sitting on my bed side table, not sure reading is an accurate description. I did read another chapter in the summer holidays but can’t imagine getting back to it again until perhaps the next summer holidays!

After Gathering Blue I thought I was going to get myself more thoroughly into My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier. I am loving the writing style of this book and want to read more but at the same time it’s not a complete page turner, hence I was happy enough yesterday to also start Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom which is my choice for this months bookclub. I have already made notes of a few gems I want to remember. I’m confident in my decision as Albom is a reliably good read.

I also started an audiobook this week for my 6hr plus round study trip – Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly. I’m enjoying it but getting frustrated each time the author introduces a new character narrator!

What do you think you’ll read next:

If I get through my current books it’ll be a true achievement! Next bookclub is The Bells by Richard Harvell but I have until March. I also have Tell Me I’m Here by Anne Deveson out from the library which I really want to get to having read Resilience by the same author.

 

Challenge Progress Tracker

 

1940-1959 – Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez,

The Future – Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

 

Any bloggers out there that can help me with spacing in my blogs? Ie between paragraphs I just can’t figure it out!

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blogging · Books

Woop Woop and Reading Challenges

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Thanks all!!

I also added a badge to my blog yesterday – no idea if I did it right but there is an image so that’s a good sign?? I’m joining the Aussie Author Challenge 2018 starting at the beginner wallaby level. Both Sheridan Jobbins and Deborah Hyde from yesterdays blog meet requirements meaning I have completed 2/3 reads. I may graduate myself to Wallaroo level.

Find out more here 🙂

I’m tempted to also include Deborah Hyde’s memoir in the When You Are Reading Challenge but I havn’t quite committed to that one yet….

I also found this cool Book Bingo for 2018 and Paul seems to be doing an interesting reading challenge too.

Since I’m dropping a number of links here I may as well add one more, spotlighting I *think* my favourite book reviewer Holly found at https://nutfreenerd.com/ . It is very scary to name a favourite when I like so many so please accept that this title is given on the spur of the moment without analysis! I’m quietly confident however that others will agree with me – she’s pretty awesome and wonderfully friendly too.

One of the things I love best about Holly’s blog is how pretty everything looks. She is a college student majoring in English (currently at Oxford!!) and gives great insight to some of the books she’s studied plus so many others! She regularly posts Top Ten Tuesdays, Feminist Fridays and great discussion pieces. It’s hard to know what I might like to ask Holly, she frequently does Q and A’s on her blog already. But Holly may I ask what one tip you would give for aspiring book reviewers? Does anyone else have book review tips or recommendations?

Finally a big shout to Aman for his response to my first ever spotlight found here, I loved learning more about you!

Hope you all have a lovely week 🙂

Books

When Are You Reading 2017 review

According to Goodreads I read 23 books this year and 8,807 pages.

2017

I officially completed the When Are You Reading Challenge, hooray!!

Challenge Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 – Kitty, My Rib by E.Jane Mall

1600-1699 – Silence by Shūsaku Endō

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, also An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney

1800-1899  The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

1900-1919 – Their Sacrifice: the brave and their Bibles by John Harris

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959 – The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve

1960-1979 – Exposure by Helen Dunmore

1980-1999 – Attachments by Rainbow Rowel

2000-Present – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Future – The Giver by Lois Lowry

 

Onwards and upwards in 2018!!

 

 

Books · reviews

WWW Wednesday 20th Septemeber

Sooooo before I explain what this is all about about I just have to share….

I FINISHED Silence!!!!!!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post.

To participate, and to see how others responded, click here

What did you recently finish reading:

Silence by Shūsaku Endō, I started reading this back in May and am so excited to have finally finished. I chose it to meet a requirement in my When Are You Reading Challenge, based on a review in my church magazine of the Martin Scorsese movie adaption but I just never got into it. I never clicked with the narrator/main character and found it a struggle to get through. I wish I could go back and start it again at a time when I could finish it in just a few sittings as I think that could have made a difference but then again maybe not.

From Goodreads – It is 1640 and Father Sebastian Rodrigues, an idealistic Jesuit priest, sets sale for Japan determined to help the brutally oppressed Christians there. He is also desperate to discover the truth about his former mentor, rumoured to have renounced his faith under torture. Rodrigues cannot believe the stories about a man he so revered, but as his journey takes him deeper into Japan and then into the hands of those who would crush his faith, he finds himself forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God….As empathetic as it is powerful, it is an astonishing exploration of faith and suffering and an award-winning classic. 

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it! I was glad to read another reviewer found it started slow, for me by the time it got a bit more interesting I was already too far over it.

Another reason I struggled with this book was although a christian I’m not catholic and so concepts of confession and symbolism of images is not as important to me and somewhat rubbed the wrong way.

Most reviews however were highly positive and this page on quotes from the book is impressive.

 

Now I don’t actually have much more to say :p

 

The other adult book I finished recently was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell which I LOVED.

What are you currently reading:

Still reading text books and not much else!

What do you think you’ll read next:

I’ve got Truly, Madly, Deeply by Lianne Moriarty lying around for when I feel on top of my study. I’d also like to find a book from the 1500’s to keep on track with my challenge – any suggestions?

 

Challenge Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 

1600-1699 – Silence by Shūsaku Endō

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney

1800-1899  The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – Exposure by Helen Dunmore

1980-1999 – Attachments by Rainbow Rowel

2000-Present – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Future 

Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday 14th June

I’m back!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s fun and simple, you just have to answer the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next? You can also join by answering and linking your blog post back on Sam’s post.

What are you currently reading:

On the back burners Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and Silence by Shūsaku Endō

What did you recently finish reading:

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (book #3 in the Outlander series) – this book was my long weekend, handed in a big assignment treat. And what a treat it was. There were a few things I was perhaps a bit disappointed in but overall I just love the passion between Jamie and Claire and all the adventures they manage to find themselves in and the characters they surround themselves with. I was just mostly disappointed with how the Jenny/Laoghaire/Claire issue was resolved. Diana amazed me with her plot creativity

I also finished  The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton somewhat recently after a mammoth effort – the thing about audio books is you don’t know how big they are (page wise) when choosing and this one was a 700 pager!

What do you think you’ll read next:

The Messenger by Markus Zusak, our next bookclub book. I’m pretty keen to get into Outlander #4 too!

Plus

Which children’s book I liked:

Graeme Base’s Little Bug Books very cute, cool opening flaps and my 4 year old loved finding the bug!

 

 

I’ve also made some progress on the When are you reading Challenge

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 

1600-1699 – in progress….Silence

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

1800-1899  The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – Exposure by Helen Dunmore

1980-1999 

2000-Present – (big little lies?)

The Future 

Books · Uncategorized

WWW Wednesday 15th Feb

I’m back! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in her comments for others to look at. Got back into some reading this week and here is my update:

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Finished reading: Exposure by Helen Dunmore and about time too. Chose this as my book club pick and the girls are all due at my place next Wednesday! I enjoyed this book set during the cold war in England. The author explored so much in what was a somewhat slow paced book packed however with increasing tension, it really was fantastically written. One quote I particularly like was ‘The children a phalanx around their mother’.

To prove its worth here is a snapshot of a much better review than above paragraph from FictionFans Book Reviews:

It’s almost impossible to write a short blurb for this one that doesn’t make it sound as if it’s a spy thriller, and in many ways it is. But mostly what it is is a set of brilliant character studies showing the impact of this event on the lives of all those involved…. it’s an entirely credible portrayal of a fictionalised version of the Cambridge spy ring and its association with homosexuality, at that period of the 1950s and early ’60s still a crime, and enough to destroy a man’s career and even life, if exposed….The writing is excellent, quickly building up a tense atmosphere of secrecy and suspicion. The book is written in third person, allowing the reader to get inside the head of each of the major characters in turn. …But what really makes this book stand out from the crowd is the inclusion of Simon’s wife and family.

I would definitely like to read another Helen Dunmore book in the future.

Currently reading: I started Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert but found her ‘voice’ annoying me so not sure if I’ll stick with it. I enjoyed Eat, Love, Pray but did find it flawed – pretentiousness of the author is already grating on me. Not to mention I’m feeling pretty dismal about my marriage at the moment….

Reading next: If I’m feeling like working on the marriage thing I might try Wild at Heart and Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge but I think I’m more likely to get into Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, a Christmas gift. I was also reminded I still have Constance Hall’s book, might just return that one. In addition I believe I’ve found the next title for my When Are You Reading Challenge from the movie review in my church magazine, stay tuned!

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Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 

1600-1699 – coming….

1700-1799 – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

1800-1899  

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – Exposure by Helen Dunmore

1980-1999 

2000-Present 

The Future 

 

 

Books · Uncategorized

When are you reading – The Pillars of the Earth

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Ahhh summer holidays, while the kids may drive me crazy at least I can indulge in my books. My family (finally) had holidays this week including 3 nights away with some friends in a caravan park. As always my priority on holidays (other than ensuring my kids are having a fun time) is to read, read, read – my poor friends, hope they weren’t expecting me to socialise! Thus I managed this week to finish Ken Follett’s masterpiece The Pillars of the Earth and make progress with the When are you reading? challenge by Sam.

I’ve found it hard to rate this book because although I really liked the characters, their flaws, triumphs and adventures, overall I just didn’t love it. I did love getting an insight into English history particularly the roles of churches, earls, kings and the impact on peasants. I also really appreciated how Prior Phillips faith was portrayed. In fact there was nothing really I disliked about it but nonetheless my rating is only 3.5 out of 5. I devoured this authors Century trilogy a few years ago but think my craving for more of his writing is now satisfied….would still be interested in seeing the movie though!

Progress Tracker

Pre 1500 – The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

1500-1599 

1600-1699 

1700-1799 –Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

1800-1899  

1900-1919

1920-1939 – The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

1940-1959

1960-1979 – In progress … Exposure

1980-1999 

2000-Present 

The Future