17 Aug 2018

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 #24


THE LATEST NEWS:

We have internet in the flat at last! Yay!! 

This means from now on I can blog whenever I'd like to and I'll post regularly again.

I hope all of you are well and your August has been going well so far!


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.


Here's the book I've started this week:
 
by Marty Ambrose


Synopsis:

A tragic death leads Claire Clairmont to be haunted by her past and the 'summer of 1816' she shared with Byron and Shelley in this first in an intriguing new historical trilogy.

1873, Florence. Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the 'haunted summer of 1816' Byron/Shelley circle, is living out her final years in genteel poverty, but the appearance of British tourist, William Michael Rossetti, brings hope that she may be able to sell some of her memorabilia to earn enough cash to support her and her niece/companion, Paula.

But Rossetti's presence in Florence heralds a cycle of events that links the summer of 1816 - when Claire conceived an ill-fated child with George Gordon, Lord Byron, when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and when four tempestuous lives came together - to a tragic death. As Claire begins to unravel the truth, she must go back to that summer of passion to discover the identity of her old
enemy.


 Book Beginning:

His letter came just at the point when I thought death was my only option.

 I knew from the very first line I'd like this book.


The Friday 56:

Trelawny had organized the whole thing and, supposedly, reached into the fire to grasp Shelley's heart for Mary to keep forever.

Did you know this little trivia about the Shelleys? Supposedly Mary kept Percy's heart after his death... A suitable keepsake for the writer of Frankenstein is it not? 


What is your current read? How is your week going?

Happy Reading!

8 Aug 2018

Book Haul

I usually do book haul posts in the weekends, but since we moved to our rented apartment on Saturday, I had no time to share with you all the new beauties I received/purchased. My posts are scarce these days because we don't have internet in the flat yet (that will change next Tuesday). I can't wait to be able to blog from the new place too!


Received as a Gift:

Last Firday was my brithday and my sweet boyfriend surprised me with two books:

Title: IT

Author: Stephen King


This book is huge. It's over 1300 pages long and will take some time to get through it but I can't wait to tackle it. We'd like to watch the new movie with David too, once I'm finished with the novel.



The other title I received from my beau is a Hungarian one, A Rudnay Gyilkosságok (Ambróczy Báró Estei #2) by Gyula Böszörményi. It's the second book in a detective series that is set in Budapest in the beginning of the 1900s. Unfortunately as far as I know it is not translated to English yet.



Purchased:

Even though my packing space was limited, I couldn't pass on the opportunity of buying at least one book in London.

Title: The Color Purple

Author: Alice Walker


I bought The Color Purple in the huge Waterstones near Piccadilly Circus. Now that's a place that is hard to leave after you entered... 




ARC:

Title: Time Crawlers

Author: Varun Sayal


I received this book from its author. It's a sci-fi short story collection, with stories from parallel universes. Sounds fascinating.





This is all for now, see you all again soon!

3 Aug 2018

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 #23


Hi Lovelies!

I'm sorry I didn't post in the past week, but I spent my well deserved freedom galavanting around London town. The holiday is over, but I'll write a recap for you in a few days' time so you'll be able to read in details what happened to me and David in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.

Until then, please enjoy this week's Friday post!


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 at last I have started reading this beauty (I know I'm waaay too late to the game):

by Ernest Cline


Synopsis:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.


Book Beginning:

Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest.

 Must have been a pretty big announcement.


The Firday 56:

The OASIS would ultimately change the way people around the world lived, worked, and communicated.

It seems like this virtual reality game becomes everyone's unhealthy obsession in this novel.


What is your current read?

Happy Friday!

23 Jul 2018

Review - The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Title: The Women in the Walls

Author: Amy Lukavics

Synopsis:

Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she and her best friend and cousin, Margaret, know the ancient hallways inside out. Or so they think . . .

When her beloved Aunt Penelope disappears while walking in the surrounding woods, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret, meanwhile, has been spending a LOT of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her mother's voice whispering from the walls.

Shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly and completely unravels. And then she begins hearing voices herself...

My Thoughts:

Welcome to the house in the middle of nowhere, where your dead loved ones speak to you through the walls. There's nothing creepy about it at all; they simply love you so much, they want you to join them. They suggest you could live happily ever after together behind the walls. You don't have much choice in the matter anyway they say, why wait? Not creepy at all...

The basic premise of this book is extremely disturbing. The whole haunted house trope gives me the chills in itself, but when the house and whatever power is hidden in it's structure gets into your head... well, that's even more unnerving. 

The Women in the Walls is a very atmospheric horror book. The claustrophobic feeling that the house as a setting generated in me helped me put myself in Lucy's place, helped me imagine what she was really going through. 

Most events in the book take place inside the house, the characters rarely venture outside and thanks to this seclusion a certain kind of sinister mood is created way before the nasty things start to happen.

While I was more than happy with the terrifying setting, unfortuantely I cannot say I was fully satisfied with this book. The characters were a bit shallow, they could have been designed with more care. They lacked details, they were mostly endowed with one or two characteristics... all in all they were very two dimensional. On the top of that Lucy's cousin Margret was very unlikable – at least to me –, which was a problem because all Lucy's actions in the second half of the novel were driven by the love for her cousin. The few glimpses I'd got of Margaret before she started to go bonkers didn't convince me she was the best of best friends. It was really hard to see what Lucy loved about her, at least that's how I felt.

It was also strange that the girls had lived on the estate for 17 years and they didn't discover their surroundings (at some point they found something in the forest they didn't know was there but obviously had been there since they were born...) 

I loved the pacing on the last 20-30 pages, the plot became very dense there, one horrifying thing happened after the other and I couldn't wait to know how the dark adventure would end. The ending was somewhat surprising but I absolutely liked it!

As you can see I had mixed feelings about The Women in the Walls, but it was still fun. I don't regret that I picked it up.



21 Jul 2018

Mini Reviews - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Hold Your Own

Title: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Author: Edward Albee

Synopsis:

When middle-aged Martha and her husband George are joined by the younger Nick and Honey for late-night drinks after a party, the stage is set for a night of drunken recriminations and revelations. Battle-lines are drawn as Martha and George drag their guests into their own private hell of a marriage.


My Thoughts:

I wanted to like this play so much but I had an eww feeling about it. The main couple, Martha and George live in a dangerous, abusive relationship (I'm talking about mostly verbal abuse but it is suggested in one of the scenes that George may kill Martha someday). One night after a party they invite a young couple to their home, Nick and Honey, who are basically forced to glimpse into the dark well that is George and Martha's marriage.

All the characters are drunk during the happenings and they keep playing games that reveal personal information about both couples. The games are childish, just like the choice of words often are in this drama, but both the games and the words point towards the secret that is unveiled at the end of the play. It's supposed to be a twist but if you pay attention, you can guess it way before it is brought to the surface.

I'm seeking high and low for 20th century American plays that appeal to me, unfortunately Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? didn't make it to the list.





Title: Hold Your Own

Author: Kate Tempest 

Synopsis:

Kate Tempest, winner of the Ted Hughes Prize for Brand New Ancients and widely regarded as the UK's leading spoken word poet, has produced a new poem-sequence of electrifying power. Based on the myth of the blind prophet Tiresias, Hold Your Own is a riveting tale of youth and experience, sex and love, wealth and poverty, community and alienation. Walking in the forest one morning, a young man disturbs two copulating snakes - and is punished by the goddess Hera, who turns him into a woman. This is only the beginning of his journey . . . Weaving elements of classical myth, autobiography and social commentary, Tempest uses the story of the gender-switching, clairvoyant Tiresias to create four sequences of poems: 'childhood', 'manhood', 'womanhood' and 'blind profit'. The result is a rhythmically hypnotic tour de force - and a hugely ambitious leap forward for one of the UK's most talented and compelling young writers. 

My Thoughts:

Wow, just wow. If only you could see how many poems I marked in this collection! Many of the poems were very relatable to me. I liked how ancient and modern voices and settings were mixed, how Teiresias's story was stretched as far as our day.

Kate Tempest pondered upon thoughts and theories like:
  • Life is a memory, everything happened before
  • There are different stages of us, we change all the time and who we are today is not the same person who we were 10 years ago
  • Sometimes there is no point in differentiating between man and/or woman, after all in the end we are all humans
I recommend this little poetry book to those who like gender studies and enjoy good verse.



20 Jul 2018

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 #22


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.
 
 
Behold my new current read:
 
(The River That Flows Two Ways #1) 
by E. Thomas Joseph


Synopsis:

In 1777, Captain Isaac Pearson joined the British Army when he believed the Colonial Rebellion would be dispatched with effortless haste. Taking a few American lives was an agreeable price for the pampered aristocrat who believed his actions in the conflict would afford him honor and glory. Yet, the path Captain Pearson rode was neither honorable or glorious and the price he would pay was beyond his imaginable fortunes.

Time is the enemy of all, the hunter of the hunters whom no measures of tenacity or weaponry can defeat. Yet, in the early days of America’s war for independence Phantom Regiments, ruthless shadow units, British Redcoats, American militia and crazed me of the occult race to acquire a mysterious Iroquoian artifact which offers the capacity to defeat time. Set in New York’s Hudson Valley, the contest for time will marshal tragic desperation and horrific ends. Winter Eternal, uncovered from layers of dust, deep within the archives of America’s Untold History are the tales of the soldiers and the citizens who sell their souls to pursue the mysterious Native talisman, the Kahontsi Ehnita; the Giver of Life…A revolutionary war has begun. 
 
 
Book Beginning:
 
The northeastern wilderness had already begun its winter rest.
 
A fitting start considering what the title of the book is.
 

The Friday 56:

Emily shook her head and teasingly asked, "Are there any presents for me?"
Taken off his guard, Dedrick instantly realized he simply did not consider bringing his wife home a gift. 
 
He takes trips to the city often and on virtually every occasion he comes home with a souvenir. Awkwardly, he did his best to think on his feet, "Yes, of course, you think I wouldn't? Your present is my presence."

That is an awkward situation for sure and the guy's answer is not just a little bit arrogant... I'm not sure if I'll like this character.


What are you reading right now?

Enjoy your Friday!

18 Jul 2018

Ten Books I'd Pack for a Desert Island


Sorry, I couldn't resisit the gif...

Katherine from I Wish I Lived in a Library gave me the idea to write a post like this at last. 

I don't think any bookworm would find this question easy. I'm also sure this list changes for everyone with time. The choices depend on what period of our lives we are living when the question is asked.

I'd probably choose 5 books I've read and loved and 5 from my to-read list, just to have the excitement of discovery when all hope seems to be lost (I don't even know if I'd be able to survive on a desert island alone, haha...)


The ones I've read already:

of William Shakespeare


Is it cheating because this big volume involves all his plays? I hope not, it's one book after all.

I definitely couldn't live without Shakespeare.

I know and love many of his plays, but then again there are quite a few I haven't read yet. I believe I could gain some courage out of his words and in a way this book would help me survive the misadventure I'd find myself in.

by Harper Lee


If I'd be alone on the island, I could use an imaginable family to comfort me. The Finches would be my first choice without the shadow of a doubt.

by Madeline Miller


The Greek setting lives so vividly in my memory, I adored the descriptions of places in this beautiful novel. I think this book would help me see the positive aspects of being on a beautiful island.

by Mary Shelley


We all need a touch of gothic sometimes. I'm sure I would feel for the Creature even more, being abandoned on a desert island, being completely alone.

by Neil Gaiman


Just to have a fairy tale with me as well. Stardust is my favourite Gaiman book.


Books I haven't read yet:

by John Steinbeck



As I mentioned before I can't wait to read this novel. I enjoyed Of Mice and Men a lot and I have a thing for family sagas. I also love Steinbeck's writing style it's not dense at all, he is very easy to read.

by George R.R. Martin


Yes, I know it's not written yet. Maybe it never will be. However, the desert island situation is not real either so I'm allowed to say I'd take this book, right?

OR 
by George Eliot


Ever since I've read Daniel Deronda I want to read more from George Eliot. Her writing is extremely intelligent and she portrays the society of the time expertly.

by Andrew Motion


This book is HUGE. On the island I'd have all the time in the world to sit down and read it at last. Keats is my baby, he'll always be...

by Betty Smith


I heard wonderful things about this coming of age story. I feel like everyone has read it already and I'm missing out on something. I'd like to read this very soon so, probably I'd take it with me to the island.

That's it, Lovelies, 10 books altogether that I'd be happy to have with me if I were stranded on an island. I hope you enjoyed this post, please share with me what you'd pick in a similar siutiation!

Happy Reading!

15 Jul 2018

Weekend Wrap-up #12

The Sunday post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you have received.


We received amazing news this week: my boyfriend David got a job!! That means me and him can move in together very soon. We are currently looking for a place to rent and once we find something, we are good to start our life together for real this time.

In the past week I finished reading Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca, see the link to my review below! At the moment I'm reading The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics, I'm hoping to finish this atmospheric horror novel by tomorrow. I'm also in the middle of Uneasy Lies the Head by Jane Plaidy, which is the first instalment in her Tudor Saga.


Recent posts on the blog:



Saturday: Review Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that makes it possible to share with other bookworms what books you added to your shelves physical or virtual during the week.

Physical Book: 


 Title: The Underground Railroad

Author: Colson Whitehead

Goodreads

This book has won so many awards it's crazy. This is another title that I found because of the tv show Timeless (I've stopped counting how many awesome books it has introduced me to so far). The Underground Railroad is an actual railroad in this story, that runs beneath the ground. Amazing idea! If the execution is good too, this novel will probably blow my mind.







ARCs:

Title: The Colonel and the Bee

Author: Patrick Canning


Patrick Canning was kind enough to send me a copy of his novel, The Colonel and the Bee. The story is set in Victorian times and it follows an odd pair: an explorer and an acrobat. They go on a journey together in a hot air balloon and all the while they are chasing a criminal who is seeking a precious figurine called The Blue Star Sphinx.

I love books in which the characters go on a great adventure. I'm very curious about this one.





Title: Aaru (The Aaru Cycle Book #1)

Author: David Meredith


Another book that I received straight from its author. It's a dystopian sci-fi novel in which people's mind get uploaded to a computer after they die. It's kind of like a cyber paradise, except there are dark corners in this futuristic Eden. 

I'm sure this novel deals with numerous questions that are extremely relevant in this computerized world we live in...





 
Please leave  link to your weekend post below so I can go and visit your blog. 

Happy Sunday!

 

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