19 Oct 2018

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 #28

Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56 are weekly memes hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda's Voice.

Rules: 

Book Beginnings: Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. 

The Friday 56: Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in you eReader. Find any sentence (not spoilery) and reflect on it if you want.
 
 This week I'm reading a Shakespeare retelling:

by Lisa Klein


Synopsis:

Albia has grown up with no knowledge of her mother or her father, the powerful Macbeth. Instead she knows the dark lure of the Wychelm Wood and the moors, where she's been raised by three strange sisters. It's only when the ambitious Macbeth seeks out the sisters to foretell his fate that Albia's life becomes tangled with the man who leaves nothing but bloodshed in his wake. She even falls in love with Fleance, Macbeth's rival for the throne. Yet when Albia learns that she has the second sight, she must decide whether to ignore the terrible future she foresees or to change it. Will she be able to save the man she loves from her murderous father? And can she forgive her parents their wrongs, or must she destroy them to save Scotland from tyranny?
 
 
 Book Beginning:

The nameless baby lay on the cold ground, wrapped in a woolen cloth.

A very simple introduction to our protagonist. After encountering her in this helpless state it will be interesting to see how she'll turn out to be a strong woman once grown (if the cover is any indication).


The Firday 56:

Then, out of the gray murk steps a deer as white as the moon. She gazes at me with glistening black eyes that seem almost human and inclines her head as if beckoning me. My desire to follow her is like a hunger for sweetness and rest and drink all at once. I wonder if I am dreaming, but the pain stabs my belly again. I feel something wet between my legs, and looking down I see blood on my thigh.

I wonder if the deer is a wandering spirit of someone.


Happy reading!

18 Oct 2018

Book? Movie? Both - Books I'm planning to read because I'm excited to see their adaptations to screen


The Haunting of Hill House 
by Shirley Jackson



I've already ordered the book because I saw there is a new Netflix series out that is based on this spooky story. I planned to read this Shirley Jackson novel anyway (I loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle) and what would be a better time to plunge in than autumn? 

I'll try to keep away from the show until the book arrives but no promises...



My Cousin Rachel
by Daphne du Maurier



I confess I'm a bit afraid of going into My Cousin Rachel, as Rebecca was surprisingly a disappointment for me. For some time I wasn't even sure I'd like to give Daphne du Maurier another chance but the trailer of this 2017 movie caught my eye. The premise appeals to me a lot, so I'll definitely pick this up and soon. 



Mortal Engines
(The Hungry City Chronicles #1)
by Philip Reeve



Both David and me want to see the film that's coming out in December so I have to make some preparations. It looks steampunk-y, it's futuristic and I bet it's a story full of adventure.




Is there an adaptation you're eager to watch these days? 

12 Oct 2018

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 #27


Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56 are weekly memes hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda's Voice.

Rules: 

Book Beginnings: Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. 

The Friday 56: Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in you eReader. Find any sentence (not spoilery) and reflect on it if you want.

This week I'm reading:

by Hester Fox


Synopsis:

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…


 
Book Beginning:

It was the Bishop boy who started it all.

Great first line. You instantaneously wonder what the boy triggered.


The Firday 56:

At home I always feel on edge, as if I were holding my breath, waiting for something to happen, and that's to say nothing of the torturous nights with their evil dreams and the footsteps and wailing. Here I can just be, and with Mr Barrett no less.

 Awww, the budding romance...


Happy reading!

11 Oct 2018

Review - Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal

Title: Time Crawlers

Author: Varun Sayal

Synopsis:

Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics, and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in this book which has six tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories.
 
1. Nark-astra, The Hell Weapon
The weapons he possesses make him the destroyer of worlds, and he burns for revenge. A high-tech take on ancient Indian mythology.
 
2. Death by Crowd
The dark desires of the masses; darknet websites fueled by a crypto-currency. What lurks in the background – an advanced artificial intelligence?

3. Genie
He rubbed a lamp alright, but what he got was the shock of his life. An entirely sci-fi take on the djinn myth.

4. Time Crawlers
There are individuals who existing in multiple time periods at once, and there are those who know about them….

5. Eclipse
No attacks, no blood-shed, yet there was an invasion and a conquest. Who are these shapeshifter aliens being hounded by an eclipse?

6. The Cave
The fate of an advanced imperial race hangs in balance as a dark celestial entity meets a legendary protector.

I received an ecopy of this book from its author in exchange of an honest review.

My Thoughts: 

I love sci-fi, you all know that, but I'm not a big fan of short stories. I'm more of a novel person usually. However, reading the Time Crawlers I wondered at the colourfulness that was its collection's own because of the fact it was a short story collection. The format gave the author a chance to introduce many of his fascinating ideas in a separated, yet somewhat interlinked fashion.

If you take a look at the synopsis, you'll see a short summary of each story. They are thought-provoking on their own, but once you read them you cannot help but look for the common points. So there are aliens on Earth, so they look like us. Did they come recently, or were they here before us? Can we be aliens without knowing it? Are they part of the government? Are they part of our mythologies? Are they here with malicious intent or to help? Do they own time?

You don't have to believe in aliens or believe what is stated on these pages to find this book fun to read. These are purely theoretical sci-fi tales that play around with 'what if' questions. How would humanity react in certain situations when their survival is at stake? What would a human wish if they had a chance to meet a djinn?

I loved the theories about time and how this species time crawlers can exist at more places and times simultaneously – the title story was one of my favourites. The high-tech gadgets were also interesting despite the fact that most of them were weapons of mass destruction. I wouldn't want them to be invented in real life but it was fascinating to read about them.

Death by Crowd is not a story for the faint-hearted and the saddest thing is, that was the most realistic one out of all the tales. I hope humanity won't come to that; paying to watch other people die live, but it's enough to look back to the Roman gladiator games to realize we've been there before...

I certainly recommend this little collection of absorbing ideas, I enjoyed reading it a lot.



1 Oct 2018

September Wrap-Up, October TBR


October is here!! *happy dance* 

The leaves are already changing colours outside and Halloween is a mere month away. This is my favourite time of the year (besides Christmas).

It's wonderful to live together with my other half and to have some routine in my life at last. I still miss the adventure I had in London sometimes, but I learned to appreciate what I have here and I think I made a good decision when I stayed at home.

September started with a challenge for me at the workplace, because I got promoted to an English/Spanish speaker agent, which means now I have to use my Spanish too sometimes. I've been learning the language since I was a teen but never really had to use it much, so now I have to grow up to the task. I'm watching some series in Spanish and will pick up some books written in Spanish too from now on to practice. Wish me luck!

September was a much better reading month for me than August had been, I finished 3 books (almost four, I got to the end of The Crucible today but that doesn't count because it is the 1st of October already, ugh). 

I'm hoping to be bewitched this October by my reading list. See what books I'm planning to read at the end of this post!


Here is a summary of September on Paradise Found:

I've finished three books:

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Blackmail, Sex and Lies by Kathryn McMaster My review

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows



Other posts on the blog in the month of September:

Review Claire's Last Secret by Marty Ambrose

Books Around The World #1



Weekly Memes:

WWW Wednesday (Sept 26)

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 (Sept 7, Sept 14



Plans for October:

 https://media2.giphy.com/media/rRp3WHP2qIQNi/giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bb1f4184731746c5917ff94 

I'd like to read the following books in October (in no particular order):


Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa M. Kline 


Time Crawlers by Varun Sayal

 What are you planning to read in October?

26 Sep 2018

WWW Wednesday #17

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words

WWW stands for three questions:
 
What are you currently reading?
 
by Arthur Miller 


Synopsis:

The place is Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, an enclave of rigid piety huddled on the edge of a wilderness. Its inhabitants believe unquestioningly in their own sanctity. But in Arthur Miller's edgy masterpiece, that very belief will have poisonous consequences when a vengeful teenager accuses a rival of witchcraft—and then when those accusations multiply to consume the entire village.
 
I'm reading The Crucible for the Timeless book club, The Lucy Preston Literary Society.


What did you recently finish reading?

by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows


Synopsis:

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

This was such a lovely book! I watched the movie as well, a review of both is on its way.


What do you think you'll read next?

by Varun Sayal


Synopsis:

Alien Invasion, Dark Artificial Intelligence, Time-Travel, High-Tech Mythology, Djinn Folklore, Telekinetics, and life-consuming Cosmic Entities are some major themes in this book which has six tightly-knit, fast-paced Sci-Fi stories.
 
This sci-fi short story collection with fascinating topics is going to be my next read.

Please share a link to your WWW post below!

21 Sep 2018

Review - Blackmail, Sex and Lies by Kathryn McMaster

Title: Blackmail, Sex and Lies

Author: Kathryn McMaster

Synopsis:

For 160 years, people have believed Madeleine Smith to have been guilty of murder. But was she? Could she have been innocent after all?

This Victorian murder mystery, based on a true story, takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, 1857. It explores the disastrous romance between the vivacious socialite, Madeleine Hamilton Smith, and her working class lover, Pierre Emile L’Angelier. 

After a two-year torrid, and forbidden relationship with L’Angelier, that takes place against her parents' wishes, the situation changes dramatically when William Minnoch enters the scene. This new man in Madeleine’s life is handsome, rich, and of her social class. He is also a man of whom her family approve.

Sadly, insane jealous rages and threats of blackmail are suddenly silenced by an untimely death. 


My Thoughts:

Blackmail, Sex and Lies is a Victorian true crime story. In the 1850s Madeleine Smith, upper-middle class resident of Glasgow was accused of poisoning her lover Emile L'Angelier to get rid of him so she can marry someone more suitable richer of her class. Emile was a working class man and the fact that a young lady of a higher class conducted a secret love affair with someone below her status made for a great scandal.

To be honest, the root of the story fascinated me the most, namely the poisoning. I only ever read about arsenic poisoning before, in We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson and I remember a line from that book stating that arsenic poisoning is a very painful way to die. Well, here in Blackmail, Sex and Lies it is described in a detailed manner why it is so.

Victorians were crazy people. They took arsenic to feel more lively, more energetic. They took it to have a more pleasing complexion as well. They knew it was poision, still they used it and reommended it to each other. Both Emile and Madeleine had arsenic in their possession for one reason or other, that's why it was possible either Madeline to poision Emile, or Emile to commit suicide/overdose.

I will state here that I absolutely hated the two main characters. Emile was a world class j*** and Madeline so naive it hurt to read. Their love letters of which the book includes quite a few are syrupy and repetitive.

BUT each time I got to the parts where speculations were made or the two sides' actions were described, I found myself interested again. The writing style fit the era, the wording and the spinning of the tale kept me involved. 

My opinion is kinda mixed about this book as you can see, but still I'm glad I learned more about this case.



 

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