Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (31/03): Ten Books You Recently Added To Your To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Check out The Broke and the Bookish and other TTT lists!

Ten Books You Recently Added to Your TBR List!

Haha... coincidentally, I think most of my recent TBR list are books I've discovered through reading other TTT lists! And book blogger reviews. Let's see what interesting books I've recently added on Goodreads.

1. The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex by Gabrielle Williams. This was a surprise inclusion with the next book.

2. Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle. Recently won a proof of this (and above) from Allen & Unwin.

3. The Every series by Ellie Marney. Intrigued I didn't know about this series earlier.

4. Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O'Neill. Not sure where I've added this from but it does sound fascinating.

5. Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I think a natural addition following the below discovery :)

6. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This sounds so so good.

7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Always a sucker for stories based on fairy tales.

8. Timebound by Rysa Walker. Hmm... not sure where I discovered this but again another interesting one...

9. The Eye of Minds by James Dashner. Definitely from someone's TTT list.

10. The Witness by Nora Roberts. I haven't read a Nora Roberts in a long time. Not sure if this is any good but let me know if you've read it!

So... that's my Top Ten Tuesday list for this week. If you've read any of these, I'd like to hear your opinions on them! I'm looking forward to reading your TTT list too (and adding more to my TBR). My TBR has definitely grown faster than I can read! ...bookish problems...

Saturday, 28 March 2015

What happened in my last post?!

Oh-em-gee! What happened in my last post?! I must've been really tired. That's the only reason I can give for all the typos. Please forgive me?

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (24/03): Top Ten Books from my Childhood That I Would Like to Revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It's a fun way to make bookish lists and find out what others have on their lists as well!

Top Ten Books from my Childhood That I Would Like to Revisit 

It's late Monday night and while I probably would (and could) remember so many more, below is my list for this week. Unfortunately not 10 but do series count? 

1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levin. My favourite book. Ever.

2. Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene. I was OBSESSED with Nancy Drew. I think I read pretty much every book up to certain point. I had nearly every single book too.

3. Matilda by Roald Dahl. I felt such a strong affinity with Matilda, being the bookworm she is. A great character and a lovely children's book.

4. The BFG by Roald Dahl. Another great children's book. You know what, I probably probably every Roald Dahl book should be listed...

5. Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. The whole set is sitting on my shelf to read again one day.

6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I remember watching the tv series first and loving it so much I read the book. BUT... how am I only just discovering that this is series?! Ummm... while guess what just made my TBR!

7. The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson) by Rick Riordan. Admittedly, I read this post 'childhood'. But I haven't read the rest of the series and I did enjoy this so thinking of reading it again.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (17/03): Top Ten Books in my Autumn TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It's a really fun weekly list for all the list lovers (and book lovers) out there.

I'm super bummed I didn't get to do last week's TTT. I've been sick *sad face* and busy at work but I'm slow and steady getting back on my feet.

Top Ten Books in My Autumn TBR List

It's Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere! Loving this topic - time to dig into my Goodreads TBR and set some goals for Autumn.

1. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. I am currently reading this book. I wandered if this would therefore qualify for this list but I only just started it and it's already Autumn so... what the hay. This was a random buy. I walked past it sitting on a Dymocks shelf. I was instantly attracted by the cover, the title and the three little lines on the cover. Librarian spies? Alternate London? I had to buy it! It's only half filled my expectations so far. Look out for a review in the next month or so!

2. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I recently won a proof copy of this in an Allen & Unwin competition and I was so so so excited. I read Never Let Me Go a few years ago and I could not forget the beautiful writing prose of that book so I was super excited to get my hands on this. Unlike Never Let Me Go, The Buried Giant has more of a fantasy setting in a medieval England. This sounds more like my type of book than Never Let Me Go so, if it's written anything like Never Let Me Go, I'm in for a treat!

3. Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle. Another very recent Allen & Unwin competition, I'm excitedly waiting for the proof of this to arrive in the mail. Due to be released in June, this is Trinity's debut novel and I have a really good feeling about this. It sounds like we'll be taken on an emotional roller coaster as Lucy, the protagonist, deals with her brother's suicide and discovers life.

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I kept seeing this getting positive reviews and recommendations and just couldn't help but purchase it when Dymocks had a 2 YA books for $30 sale. Don't let me down!

5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This was the second book I bought in the 2 for $30 sale. I've been wanting to pick this up but have been waiting to buy a physical copy because of the pictures. I didn't think it would translate as well on my Kindle so I've always had it on the "to buy" list and now I finally have it :)

6. Rooms by Lauren Oliver. I've only read one of Lauren's books (my review of Before I Fall). I really enjoyed it so was intrigued into purchasing this Adult fiction of hers. It sounds interesting enough but I've read some mixed reviews so looking forward to reading this too.

7. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Gailbrath. Crime fiction was my first love when I use to obsess over Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon books. I've had this for a while but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. It would be interesting to see how J K Rowling fares in this very different world from Harry Potter. I've heard good things so looking forward to this!

8. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Another book that I've heard many many good things about. A random (well... not really) purchase. I have high expectations on this one!

9. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. Another book I've seen circulating the Book blogs and Booklr spheres recently. Sounds really intriguing and while I'm on a magic run, I thought I'd include this on the list.

10. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I bought this right after reading The Book Thief. Sometimes, don't you just like an author because of the way he/she writes? This has been sitting on my Kindle "shelf" for a very long time but I am looking forward to reading more of Markus's work.

Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to reading some of your TTT's as well (and maybe expanding my TBR even more o.O)

Friday, 6 March 2015

The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell

Cover from Goodreads
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human". Words like "provocative" and "compelling" will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

My thoughts:
This was another interesting book to review. The story transitions back and forth between the 'current time' (2059 - 2060) and the 'past' (2019). [Come to think of it, I have been reading a few books lately that use this writing style!] 

What I liked about The Sparrow was the storyline in general. It was sufficiently complex; and the description of Rakhat and the races that inhabit it was well written to the point that I could picture myself in this strange new world.

I also liked the characterization in the novel. The main character, Emilio, is interesting. His life, in all timeframes of the storyline, is complicated. He returns to Earth the lone survivor of the first expedition to Rakhat and, in the beginning, it feels like he is being harshly interrogated about what happened in Rakhat. We are given glimpses of what happens as the story advances but it all becomes crashingly clear towards the end of the book. For me, this is about Emilio's journey towards reconciliation with the demons that have plagued him and this is what makes this book compelling and heart-rendering. It isn't about Christianity, despite what some readers will think, and neither is it about the Jesuit Society wanting answers.

"'I had a dream last night,' he said quietly. 'I was on a road and there was no one with me. And in the dream I said, "I don't understand but I can learn if you will teach me." Do you suppose anyone was listening?'"

The other characters in the expedition to Rakhat are also likeable. They are all different but they blend well together and become good friends. And this is when I start about what I didn't like about The Sparrow... [minor spoiler alert - you may want to stop reading now]

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (03/03): Top Ten Books You Would Classify As All Time Favourite Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It's fun to do and interesting to read what other bloggers have to say as well! Join in the fun!

Top Ten Books You Would Classify as ALL TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS From the Past 5 Years

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is the most recent in this list. I loved how Erin Morgenstern wove the story around the characters and the circus. She also has a wonderful writing style that just makes you see, smell, hear and feel what she is writing, like you're right there. I wrote a review on this here.

2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman. I really enjoyed If I Stay and literally bought and read Where She Went straight after I finished it. I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. This book is from Adam's perspective and he really does have a lot of sadness, doubt and anguish. Gayle Forman does a great job portraying Adam's feelings. Gut-wrenchingly beautiful, is all I can say. I wrote a short review of this here.

3. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Despite the sad ending, this turned out to be nice surprise for me. This is the only book I've read of Lauren Oliver's so far and I loved it. Lauren is a beautiful writer but what I liked most about this book was the growth of the main character, Sam. She learns and matures so much each time she relives the day. My short review of this is here.

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I loved this book and the movie so much. This is such a beautiful, sad and eye-opening book by John Green. I look forward to reading more of his books! I wrote a mini review here.

5. The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton. Also known as The House at Riverton. This made me fall in love with Kate Morton's books. Her stories often involve flashbacks to the past and often ends with a little twist to the plot. I did not see the ending of The Shifting Fog. Expect some tears.

6. White Tiger by Kylie Chan. The first book of the Dark Heavens triology. This got me - hook, line and sinker - addicted with this series. Undoubtably, the first triology is the best of the three (to date). I love how Kylie Chan is able to weave Chinese mythology into a modern Hong Kong.

7. The Glass Painter's Daughter by Rachel Hore. This was a beautiful book! When I first started reading it, I couldn't help myself comparing it with Kate Morton's books. But The Glass Painter's Daughter stands up for itself. It's a largely about Fran uncovering her family's past and discovering herself in the process. There is a little romance in there as well but it luckily doesn't steal the show from the main storyline.

8. The Hunger Games triology by Suzanne Collins. This counts as 8, 9 and 10! I guess I heard about the movies before the books (yes, where have I been?!). I didn't like much of what I was hearing on the news back then. Stories where children kill each other to the death? What's this all about? But in the end, I caved and decided to pick up the first book. And I loved it so much I read all 3 books in a week. The blurbs on these books and the movies do not do justice to how good these are and the morales woven throughout the storyline.