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It's Monday What are you Reading (3)

 Monday, 31 May 2010

OMG Monday again! I'm having a week of waking up saying "heck it's my last Monday in the flat" etc. because this Friday I have to move out and go home for the summer. But never mind cos I've gotta get on with this post.

It's Monday What are Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through Books and Coffee where we all get together to share what we've read in the past week and what we intend to read this coming week. 

Books I read Last Week
Forget You by Jennifer Echol (Review Here)
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead (Review coming soon!)
The Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan (Review Vlog here
Paper Towns by John Green

Books I'm Currently Reading
The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell 

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
This is what my copy looks like - isn't it *gorgeous*?

Books I plan to read this Week
Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine 

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

I won't say too many books I that want to read this week as the two I'm already reading may take me a while and I have two exam on Wednesday and Thursday so reading *Should* be minimal (that doesn't mean it will be)

Also I shall make my plea again for *someone, ANYONE* to give me some feedback on my Plan for a Harry Potter Blog Party at the end of July (It's Harry's 30th bday dontcha know?). The original post explaining my idea is HERE and if I don't get any feedback or comments saying whether it's a good idea or not by Saturday 5th June I shall be abandoning the plan as there's no point me spending ages organising posts and a giveaway when no one is even looking at the posts. I'm sorry to whine and nag but I need someone besides just my best friend *waves at Jess* to tell me that it's worth going ahead with.

Ever Hopeful


Book Review - The Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan

 Sunday, 30 May 2010

Bonne Soir mes amies I have another vlog/review for you :)
Back on Tuesday I did my Teaser for the week from The Taste of Sorrow and loads of people commented on it so since I finished it the other day I thought I'd do a review vlog of it since my brain is still totally scrambled from lack of sleep. It's not a great review I'm afraid and the audio is out of sync with my face so it looks rather bizarre but I couldn't be bothered to re-film it. But my essential thoughts about the book are in there somewhere all jumbled up with the rambling lol *sigh*

Title: The Taste of Sorrow
Author: Jude Morgan
Date Read: 29/5/2010 AM
Source: Bought from Waterstones
Description: From an obscure country parsonage came the most extraordinary family of the nineteenth century. The Bronte sisters created a world in which we still live - the intense, passionate world of JANE EYRE and WUTHERING HEIGHTS; and the phenomenon of this strange explosion of genius remains as baffling now as it was to their Victorian contemporaries. In this panoramic novel we see with new insight the members of a uniquely close-knit family whose tight bonds are the instruments of both triumph and tragedy. Emily, the solitary who turns from the world to the greater temptations of the imagination: Anne, gentle and loyal, under whose quietude lies the harshest perception of the stifling life forced upon her: Branwell, the mercurial and self-destructive brother, meant to be king, unable to be a prince: and the brilliant, uncompromising, tormented Charlotte, longing for both love and independence, who establishes the family's name and learns its price. (From Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

To put things slightly clearer than the waffling in that video, I did enjoy the story and it was a rather emotional book about a very emotionally driven family and very interesting as I didn't know how much the lives of the Bronte sisters influenced their writing. 
I personally found the writing style a little bizarre at times but that could be just me, I still warmly recommend this to people who are fans of the Brontes and want an enjoyable and informative account of their lives with all the vivacity that fictionalisation can bring to the story.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Apologies for any incoherency I really ought to go to bed soon before I pass out on the computer. 
I hope my review is of some use to people (Oh yea and it *is* available in the US, I checked).

Ever Sleepy


In My Mailbox #10 Ze week of awesome!

 Saturday, 29 May 2010

Hello people of ze blogosphere! Tis (almost) Sunday and that means it's In My Mailbox time!!
I didn't get that many books this week BUT what I did get counts for more because they're just plain freaking awesome!!

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren which was inspired by a post from Alea @Pop Culture Junkie

I'm getting addicted to doing vlogs now that I've discovered how so I'm sorry to the folk who don't really like watching vlogs on blogs (hehe rhymes).

Books acquired this week
Forget You by Jennifer Echols (Received as part of the Book Tour organised by Dwayne of Girls without a Bookshelf) I've already read this (twice) and I've reviewed it Here although it is *ridiculously* long - I got a little overexcited methinks.
The Complete Illustrated Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead I've also finished this (very early this morning) and I'll be reviewing it soonish hopefully although it may just be a mess of shrieking about how I'm not going to be able to manage until December to read Last Sacrifice.

Last Minute Edit!!
I just literally 10 minutes ago bought three more books so I'll add them in here while it's still Sunday
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
An Ice Cold Grave by Charlain Harris
All Three were only £5!! God bless the beguiling wonderment that is The Works. Sometimes it's horrid for choice and other times like today it was overflowing with bounteous books! I was very peeved to see they had all of the Morganville Vampires books there as I could have saved myself a fair bit of money instead of buying them off Waterstones' website. Ah well tis done now.

So only those three *now six* this week and who knows whether I'll buy anything next week as it's my last week of university for the first year and I'm going home on Friday *happy dance* So if posts get a little disrupted from Thursday until Saturday it's because the parentals are around and I can't sit on my computer all day *sigh*

What's in *your* Mailbox this week?


Book Blogger Hop #2

 Friday, 28 May 2010

Cripes when did it get to Friday again?? I swear I have no clue as to what day of the week it is at any given time. But now it's that time again for the Hop!

The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new blogs that they may be missing out on! It happens every week from Friday-Monday and it's hosted by Jennifer @Crazy for Books 

So if you've found your way here via the Hop Welcome! *tips hat*
Please feel free to leave a comment anywhere you like.
I'm just dashing off to boil the kettle for some tea but I'll be back soon and no doubt tucked up in a corner with Dimitri (Spirit Bound Arrived this morning *dies*)

Ever Obsessed


Book Review - Forget You by Jennifer Echols

 Thursday, 27 May 2010

Tis here!! The Review that I've been promising since... erm well this morning...
Again muchos thanks to Dwayne of Girls without a Bookshelf for organising this UK arc Tour, I certainly wish there were more tours that UK bloggers could participate in or that the UK was just nearer to the US (that'd definitely make it easier for us Brits to get to BEA cos I know there's lots of bloggers who are seething with envy all this week :P)

So onto the review!!

Title: Forget You
Author: Jennifer Echols
Date Read: 26/5/2010 PM
Date re-read: 27/5/2010 AM *tongue in cheek*
Source: ARC tour

Description: There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. With her life about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. 

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people—suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug. (Taken from GoodReads)

Review: Now I shall do my best not to spoil anything but in my enthusiasm I may slip so I apologise in advance and if I do spot anything overtly spoilerish I'll flag it up ok?

First off it has to be said one of the most outstanding things about this book is the romance aspect, the romance scenes between Zoey and Doug are H-O-T! Dang it I mean it; when they're *not*just partaking in sexy, sarcastic banter their scenes together can reach *fan-yourself-frantically-whilst-reading* levels of sizzle. Yet these scenes are written so well and tastefully that it doesn't feel overtly explicit and dominate over the other aspects of the book which I really liked. The other more tender romantic moments are also fabulous and heart-meltingly sweet - it's not all about the parking y'know? (Parking= brilliant euphemistic term for getting hot 'n' heavy in a car).

Now I shall talk (at some length) about my most favourite aspect of the book - Doug Fox *wistful sigh* I'm a sucker for sarcastic, book-loving guys with unusual eye-colours so Doug has now most assuredly taken on of the top spots on my list of literary guys crushes alongside Alejandro (Perfect Chemistry), Shane (Morganville Vampires), Dimitri (Vampire Academy) and the clutch of men from Tamora Pierce's Tortall books whom I adore; Nawat, Numair, George & Neal. But I digress.
I loved how throughout the book we were learning new things about Doug that we never contemplated of him from Zoey's initial impression of him. He's got a lot of layers and while he's by no means perfect, he's still caring and responsible and adorably clueless about cars. I can easily forgive some of his actions because of how he makes up for them at a later date. Plus the fact that I would kill to see his unbelievably sexy "librarian" look makes him just a few points shy of perfection on the scale of Literary Male hotness in my eyes *daydreams....*

*Cough* So anyway moving onto Zoey - as a character I really liked her; she's smart, athletic, nice to basically everyone and is also pretty darn funny in her post-wreck incarnation - I got the impression that she was a cuss/sarcasm free goody-two-shoes before the incident, not that it lessens my opinion of her on the contrary I think I like her more because of it as she reminds me rather intriguingly of myself when I changed high schools back when I was 13. (Only for the cussing and sarcasm - I'm now a chronic potty-mouth which makes me rather scornful of my cute 'n' innocent self from 6 years ago)
The only point on which I shall whine about her is her continual insistence that "Brandon is my boyfriend" - I know she was going through a lot mentally and perhaps needed to cling to something that seemed stable but darn it I wanted to shake her silly for prattling on about that *tool* whenever she had Doug 'the Phoar Meister' Fox in front of her !!(My addition of the nickname- it seemed appropriate :P) What bugged me as well was that she *knew* what Brandon was like!! She'd spent the whole summer being his advice columnist on whether he should go out with one chick and then do her cousin or whatever, (lord how crude that sounds) so I couldn't fathom her blind faith that just because they were already friends he would magically change his spots for her and become a loyal, attentive boyfriend after one night of v. hurried intimacy which came pretty much out of nowhere. Phew that was a long sentence! But yeah apart from that I didn't have much to complain about Zoey - I like the gal.

Now brief thoughts on the secondary characters - Zoey's Dad = A grand prize a-hole who needed locking up in a loony bin himself. Zoey's Mum = seemed like she could have been a fairly cool person had she not been going through an extremely tough time mentally. Brandon = a daft git who really ought to keep it in his pants. Keke & Lila = pretty cute and likeable once you get past the slightly bizarre names. Mike = he sounded so adorable with all his blushing, the kind of guy I'd probably want to pinch his cheeks grandma-style just for being so darn cute.

On the plot itself, I really like the idea of Amnesia stories (Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is one of my fav YA books from last year) and it was really well written in Forget You, all the assumptions and mistakes made because Zoey didn't admit that she couldn't remember the night of the accident lead to some rather awkwardly funny scenes. The other side of the story looking at the issues with Zoey and her Mum was also really well-handled and overall the was a great balance between the serious issue surrounding her Mum, the romance with Doug, and the rather comedic element of her amnesia. The tone perfectly fit the story and the style of writing was just pulling you along with Zoey to figure out what the heck happened. Yea ok I figured out a few things about the plot ahead of time but that didn't stop me from enjoying it when Zoey found out for herself. The ending was wonderful without being overly slushy and cliche, there weren't loose ends left hanging although I desperately wish that Jennifer Echols would write another book about Zoey and Doug because they are so brilliant together.

So in summary this was a simply fabulous read which I devoured in a few hours and then proceeded to re-read later that evening (You would too- believe me). It made me laugh, tingle, fume and sigh all within the short space of 250ish pages which is testament to how brilliant Jennifer Echols is and I will definitely be waiting impatiently to buy my own copy of Forget You when it's released on July 20th.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!!! :D

Other reviews from the tour:
Asamum from Asamum Reads

Whew! That's taken me a while to write out! Apologies for how *ridiculously* long it is - once I get started it's darn hard to stop rambling! Oh if you want to see how dorky I was yesterday when the book arrived check out the vlog I did here I look bloody shattered but sense didn't stop me jumping in front of the webcam when I was *that* excited. I am an idiot.

Ever nerdy


Booking Through Thursday - Bedside

Halloooo!! Sorry for the slightly odd greeting I'm just not used to being up so early - I mean it's still before noon!! (no really I've been sleeping in waaay too late recently)
Anyways decided that since this weeks BTT topic is nice and easy and won't ramble off into the monster post that last week's was I'll get it done before I head off for my exam *yippee*

"What books do you have next to your bed right now? How about other places in the house? What are you reading?"

So glad you asked. Well currently on my bedside table there is the ARC of Forget You by Jennifer Echols which I re-read last night and read for the first time earlier that afternoon (yes I read it twice in one day- I had to make sure it was as marvellous as I thought) and you can be expecting the review of it later today although *that* post could turn out quite lengthy as I may start gushing about my favourite part of the book. Where was I? Oh yea bedside table - the other book currently sat by my bed is the book I was reading before Forget You arrived yesterday which is the one I used for my Teaser Tuesday this week - The Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan (check out the teaser Here)

I did have another book on the bedside table but since I haven't touched it since I got back to uni after Easter I relegated it to the top bookshelf where all the other unread books live but it has lots of company so I don't think it's lonely up there- oh the book is a biography of Katherine Howard (the ill-fated 5th wife of Henry VIII) written by Joanna Denny. It's not that I didn't like the book but I wasn't really in the mood for non-fiction, I'll get back to it before the summer's out.

I don't really have books scattered around my flat at the moment because I share it with 3 other people (2 agreeable, one whom I won't spew my diatribe about right now- I want to keep this post clean) so my room is where my books live; most are on the top shelf and stacked up fairly high but there are some in a basket underneath my bed which are the books I've read and there's also one lone book sat near me on the desk - Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, which is a gorgeous blue leather hardback with a wonderful old book smell that I might take in my bag later when I head up to campus for a  bit of reading either before or after the exam.

Since I've already mentioned the book I'm currently reading above I shall now end this post. It will be rather interesting to see how many books other people have piled up by their beds considering that my pile is rather small.

Have a nice Thursday Folks


Vlog of Random and *squee* - Forget You arc Tour

 Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A few weeks ago I signed up to join a UK arc tour of Forget You by Jennifer Echols (whom I've heard fabulous things about) which was organised by Dwayne of Girls Without a Bookshelf and I believe I was third in the list to receive it. This morning a wondrous thing happened which shall be more thoroughly explained in the vlog below (warning: contains a person of bedraggled appearance and hyperactive disposition despite her under-caffeinated state) Enjoy!

So there you have sleepy random English girl getting way more excited than a 19-yr-old really should.
I shall hopefully have my review done by Saturday so I can pass the book onto the next lucky recipient!
I'm now thoroughly tempted to do a Waiting on Wednesday post on Forget You *ponders* hmm...

Ever musingly


Teaser Tuesdays #3

 Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Happy Tuesday Folks! I have another teaser for y'all!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do the following!

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share the title and author as well so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!
My Teaser
"Charlotte throws down her pen. 'Pooh, Tabby, I was just in the middle of a duel.' " pg 93 of The Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan

A glimpse into the very fertile imagination of the young Charlotte Bronte for you there :)

What Teasers does everyone else have to offer today?


It's Monday What are you Reading (2)

 Monday, 24 May 2010

Good grief is it really Monday again?? Sometimes I swear I'm going to sleep on Wednesday and then I wake up to find it's Sunday or something similarly ridiculous. Anywho you're probably wanting to know what books I've read this past week eh? Well without Further ado here we go!

It's Monday What are you reading? Is a bookish meme hosted by Sheila from One Person's Journey through Books and Coffee where we gather together to share what we read this past week and what we're planning to read this week.

Books I read Last Week
Company of Liars by Karen Maitland (Review Here)
Pride by Rachel Vincent
A Memoir of Jane Austen by James Austen-Leigh
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The High King by Lloyd Alexander

I also finished listening to an audiobook of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I had a few days when I had no inclination to read dead-tree books so listening to the audiobook before bed was quite relaxing.

Books I'm Currently Reading
Last night I started The Taste of Sorrows by Jude Morgan which is the fictionalised story of the Bronte family and all the woe they suffered (and boy did they suffer!) I'm currently 77 pages in and enjoying it a fair bit although I don't know whether I might have benefitted by reading up more about the family before I started because it would have prevented any confusion I might feel at some point.

Books I might read Next
Well since I only actually read one of the three books I intended to read last week I shall repeat the intention to read them both this week.

Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

All the Things we Didn't Say by Sara Shepard

And if it arrives before the end of this week I shall most *definitely* be reading this

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
*SQUEEE!!!* I ordered the US hardback off The Book Depository and I'm hoping it will arrive very soon!!! God I want to read it sooo bad!!! *does jig of joy*

So anyway those are the books that I've read/reading/might-read-in-the-near-future although the last section is subject to change according to my moods, I will likely read more than just those three books since I have a stupid number of TBR books with me at Uni (Seriously check out the vlog I did showing my collection a couple of weeks ago Over here

But that's all for now folks, What are *you* reading this fine Monday??


In My Mailbox #9 Finally it's right on time!

 Sunday, 23 May 2010

Since it is now 10 past midnight over here in good old Blighty I'll chuck my IMM post up now before I go snooze.

I have another vlog for you this week enjoy!

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren which was inspired by a post from Alea @Pop Culture Junkie

Books Mentioned in Vlog
A Memoir of Jane Austen by James Austen-Leigh
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Pride by Rachel Vincent
Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Paper Towns by John Green
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Also if I could have your attention for a little longer...
I have done a vlog post Here!! which I would really appreciate people having a look at and giving me some feedback on as it's vital to a Blog event I'm planning for July and I would love to get other bloggers involved. But if folk think it's lame then please tell me and I'll cease to pester y'all *grin*

So that's what I got in *my* Mailbox this week. What did You get??



 Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bet that got your attention eh?

Well today I had an epiphany of sorts, this morning while perusing the new posts on my google reader (as one does when one follows a lot of blogs) I came across Carla of The Crooked Shelf's post on Harry Potter which got me thinking about how much I love the books and what an impact they've had on my life since I basically grew up with the series.

As any self-respecting Potter nerd knows Harry was born on 31st July 1980 which means that if he was actually a real person (god knows I wished he was cos then I may have actually been able to go to Hogwarts when I turned 11 - that was a sad year :P) this July would be his 30th birthday. And I thought that since we may not get any new books, or at least not for a while, why not have a big birthday bash for Harry?

Now follows my vlog explaining the idea for the "Potter Party" and my request of the Potter-loving bloggers.

Should anyone want to get involved please leave me a comment, shoot me an email, send a carrier pigeon, whatever please let me know as I would *love* it if we could make this a big event on the blogosphere.

Muchos thanks


Book Blogger Hop #1

 Friday, 21 May 2010

It's Friday and I thought what better way to improve my networking skills (which are rather poor) than by joining in with the Book Blogger Hop!

The Book Blogger Hop is Hosted by Jennifer @Crazy for Books
The Hop is a great way for bloggers to find new blogs and meet new people and it's a weekly event from Friday-Monday

Three New Blogs I've found this week!

Hello to anyone who stops by my blog and thanks! :)


Book Review - Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

 Thursday, 20 May 2010

Good Evening dear folk!
Another review vlog for you now, I apologise for it's rambling long-windedness in advance.

Title: Company of Liars
Author: Karen Maitland
Date Read: 18/5/2010
Genre: Historical Fiction
Description: The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them. 

Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot, the relic-seller who will become the group’s leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all—propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw coming. (Taken from Goodreads)

Sum up in a Sentence: A brilliantly fast-paced medieval tale full of quirky characters with hidden intentions.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5! Highly Recommended!

There you have it folks. I know that my reviews still need a *lot* of work so any feedback on them would be greatly appreciated.


Booking through Thursday - Useful

"What's the most useful book you've ever read and why?"
For more Booking through Thursday posts check out the blog here

I'll confess that for a moment after reading what this week's question was about I was thoroughly stumped. I mean I don't read a lot of non-fiction unless all the grammar and verb books that I have for my language studies count so I was pretty stuck for a clue on what could be the most useful book I've ever read.

Another good question is what would actually make a book "useful"? Is it when you've learnt something from it which you didn't know before or is it when it contains things you can actually put into practice?
Because in the case of the first reason I can name two books that I've read in the past 24 hours which mention facts which I didn't know before and they were fiction books.

These may be rather wooly examples but it's what my still sleepy brain can pull together (I *shouldn't* be sleepy since it's nearly 3pm over here but the book I'm about to mention keep me up rather late).
In John Green's An Abundance of Katherines in amongst the footnotes - which were totally awesome I weirdly love footnotes - there was a very interesting mnemonic which could help someone if they felt the inclination to memorise the first 99 numbers of Pi (It's footnote no. 33 at the bottom of pg 63 & 64). Most people wouldn't find that useful, I myself have no urge at this moment to reel off the digits of Pi but I thought it quite a quirky mnemonic and it has the potential to be very useful to a select few people. Even if the book as a whole is not useful to everyone who reads it, it should still be acknowledged as having some use aside from the entertainment & enjoyment factor which is the principle reason for people to read a fiction book.

My second example of a book which has the potential to be useful in the fact-providing quarter is probably quite a surprising one. Pride by Rachel Vincent is not usually the type of book where you'd expect to find useful information but if you happened to tune out your high school biology classes when you studied genetics there is a, albeit very brief and simplistically put, explanation of how people end up with a certain eye colour (Ok I *did* already know about dominant and recessive alleles  but for people who maybe didn't know about how someone whose parents both have brown eyes could end up with blue eyes the explanation is actually quite useful).

So those are my rather pitiful examples of Fiction books which are useful in certain ways to certain people but  on the point of non-fiction books which tend to be the ones which contain information we can actually put into practice thinking of one book which is more useful than the rest I've ever read even part of, is really quite difficult. Some people would say that cookbooks are very useful because obviously you're making what the book is describing but despite the fact I own several cookbooks I rarely use them because I'm not much of a cook so those books are therefore not very useful to me except if I want to make myself feel very hungry by looking at the pictures.

Another type of book which I have read which is considerably more useful to me are those self-help writing books which suggest characterisation tips, methods to help with plotting and world-building, editing and publishing advice etc. Although I wouldn't like to try and copy exactly the methods given in one particular book I do find these books useful in sparking the old grey matter into finding the methods that work for *me*. Now I don't talk about my writing very much since it never really gets far past planning (I can plan and plot for England but never really seem to finish any stories) but since my favourite genres are fantasy, historical fiction and YA realism those are the areas where my story ideas would end up in and although I haven't as yet read any books which give tips on writing YA or historical fiction I have read the rather helpful book by Orson Scott Card called How to Write Science-Fiction and Fantasy (link goes to the Goodreads page for the book). I know Card is primarily a Sci-Fi author but I found the sections on Fantasy World building to be very useful and some of the other methods he talked about gave me much food for thought. So despite the fact that my writing is currently rather pitiful I do find writing advice books to be some of the most useful non-fiction books I own.

Finally to talk about the book(s) which I find to be universally useful although there's no way in hell I'll ever read all of one. A Dictionary. No joke I think dictionaries are the most useful books on the planet - I find myself distracted whenever I look through my French Dictionary for one particular word as I always find at least 5 other words that I didn't know and thought to be freaking awesome. If I owned a proper English Dictionary I would probably be flicking through it for brilliantly interesting words whenever I could as I'm one of those people who find obscure and weird words really cool (Yes Nerd am I). I wish sometimes I spoke more languages so I could have the excuse of needing more language dictionaries to look through when I wanted to know how to say a particular word in Japanese for instance. Maybe in the future once I have my own house and library (I must have one or I will never be satisfied) I shall try and teach myself some more languages and build up a collection of dictionaries to pore over whenever I felt the urge.

So there you go, my *very* rambling thoughts on useful books. Lord knows if it makes sense to anyone other than myself but it was really fun to think about. If anyone has opinions on what books they find to be useful do leave me a comment below :)

Now I must go do some work as my afternoon is disappearing.


Teaser Tuesdays #2

 Tuesday, 18 May 2010

I think I neglected to do this last week because I was between books and technically I am again today (my current read is non-fiction and I didn't want to bore people) so I'll do my teaser from the book I just finished very late last night/ very early this morning depending on how you slice it :P

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do the following;
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
5. Share the title and author too so the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they want

My Teaser

"Stay back - one step closer and he's had it."
Even in his fury Rodrigo could see that the man was not bluffing.
Pg 108 of Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

Intrigued yet?

I'll hopefully be able to get a review done for this soonish (like after my exam on Saturday) as it was a very good book and I'm glad I finally went back to it after ignoring it for 7 months. Now I can move on to Karen's new book The Owl Killers which is another medieval story *Yay!!*

So what Teasers do other folk have to share today?


It's Monday What are you Reading? (1!!)

 Monday, 17 May 2010

This week I'm going to be joining a new meme and I decided on the It's Monday What are you Reading? meme which is hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a world of Books

Here we go!

Books Finished Last Week:
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (Review Here)

Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander

The Birds and other Stories by Daphne du Maurier

Fade Out (Morganville Vampires #7) by Rachel Caine

Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Books Reviewed Last Week:
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson - Vlog Review Here

Looking for Alaska by John Green - Written Review Here

Books Currently Reading:
Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
I've had this lingering about for months partly read so I decided to go back to it the other day. It's still as awesome as I found it before - I just got distracted the first time around, but not this time!!

Books Coming Up:
I'm always a bit of a mood reader so these choices could change.

All the Things we didn't Say by Sara Shepard
It's an ER book I won off LibraryThing and I've been meaning to read and review it to appease the Almighty Algorithm (which controls who wins what books)

Kiss of Death (MV #8) by Rachel Caine

The High King by Lloyd Alexander
I'm doing a group read of the Chronicles of Prydain and I'm behind reading the last book which is this one.

Ooooh *Pretty, Pretty SHINY!!* Sorry about the overdose of cover images they're just all so funky ;-)
That's my week of reading sorted so it'll be interesting to see what everyone else has got planned.

Ciao for now


Book Review - The Adoration of Jenna Fox

 Sunday, 16 May 2010

Evening all, lookee what I've got for ya! A vlog review!!!

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Date read: 11/5/2010 (UK date)
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5 (see funky new rating system box over in the sidebar)

My thoughts in vloggy form!!

Hope you enjoyed the vlog and it wasn't too rambling for you (I know I say the word "interesting" like a bazillion times - I need a thesaurus ) I'm thinking of doing a vlog post soon about one of my favourite authors and it might become a bit of a feature for me to gush about why I think certain authors are fabulous and recommend them to people so I shall start a-planning on that and see what I come up with :)

So toodles to y'all


In My Mailbox #8 Haha! Tis early this week!

 Saturday, 15 May 2010

Heellooo there!
I thought since my Saturday night was rather devoid of activity (I am a terrible student for not going out and drinking most nights but then I've always been a tad odd :P) that I'd get my In My Mailbox post done early after my tardiness last week. Very meagre haul this week with being a hermit and hardly leaving the flat because of work but I'd thought I'd do a vlog for the heck of it. So Enjoy!

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren which was inspired by a post from Alea @Pop Culture Junkie

Book acquired this week:
Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Blurb from the book:
Elizabeth!!!! Look at this note!! Over here!!! On the Fridge!!!!!!!! Hope you're feeling better. If you're dead, ring me. I'm at an emergency meeting of the poetry club. I want to make you a special lemon souffle. The recipe is in the bottom draw - you're welcome to begin it anytime. (And see if you can think of a slogan for Raspberry-flavoured cat food) Love - your thoughtful and considerate Mum. PS: Have you heard anything from Celia yet?

I really love Jaclyn Moriarty's writing style so I'm really looking forward to reading this soon (I've already read a bit of it).

So What did *you* get this week?


Reading Habits

 Thursday, 13 May 2010

Ok, Ok I know I said I was going to bed but I just saw this posted on YA Addict and thought I had to do it as well cos I'm a sucker for memes :P

Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack?
Hmm I think most of the time I don't eat around my books because with my mind occupied the chances of me dropping crumbs into the pages are pretty high and it's terribly awkward to try and get the crumbs out of the binding once they've gotten stuck - believe me I've tried it.

What is your favourite drink while reading?
Tea!! I am a full-blown addict and I'm forever holding onto my book with one hand whilst sipping at my tea with the other (it is an acquired skill to turn the pages whilst holding a book with one hand). If I don't want the caffeine rush - which is the case when I'm reading in bed, which is nearly all the time- I love drinking hot fruit squash or Vimto (I have no idea what squash translates as in the US I'm afraid) it's nice and warm without it making me feel really awake.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
Egads!! Writing!! In Books!! *faints* I could never bring myself to write in my fiction books, in the books I may have to study at uni I can manage so long as it's in pencil but I would actually die if someone wrote *in pen* in any book I owned. Ugh the mere thought of it fills me with dread *shudders*

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ear? Laying the book flat open?
Up until recently I would rarely use a bookmark as I could remember what page number I was on fairly easily. But in the last year or so I've started using bookmarks more as I have some really pretty ones and I thought it a shame to just keep them in the drawer. I actually shout at people who dog ear books (seriously I scolded a friend of my sister's for doing it once) and people who lay it flat... *fingers twitch towards DoomStick* let's just say I have a less than good opinion of them as they are destroying the binding of their books by doing that.

Fiction, non-fiction or Both?
Fiction mostly, I do read the odd non-fiction book but it will normally be of a historical nature or something random that I read on a whim. Fiction and in particular *fantasy* books are perhaps the only thing keeping me on the good side of insanity (yes I do mean that - there is a bad side) and provide an escape from all the chaos that life throws at me. Some days I don't want to face responsibility so I bury myself in another world and live vicariously through amazing characters for several hours until *sigh* I must return to the real world, which in my opinion can really suck sometimes.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I'm an end-of-chapter gal - if I got told to put my book down mid-chapter I'd weedle and plead to be allowed to read "just to the end of this chapter, promise". Of course I'd carry on reading for another 10 chapters or even finish the book cos I'm never one for listening to folk who tell me to stop reading (Sorry Parentals )

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
I may jest about tossing the book across the room if a cliffhanger particularly riles me up (I'm looking at you Rachel Caine) but I have never actually done it... yet. I have slapped a book against my legs in frustration but no book of mine has had flying lessons to date.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
To the best of my knowledge I haven't specifically looked up a word as a result of seeing it in a book I've read. I may see strange words and ponder their meaning but I wouldn't want to purposefully put down the book to hunt up a dictionary for one word.

What are you currently reading?
Alas I am between books at the moment although I do have several books which I have started and put aside for a while so I some point I may get back to those.

What is the last book you bought?
Erm I think that will be Julius by Daphne du Maurier last week. I haven't bought any books this week which is shocking so I may change that tomorrow when I'm out in town as a treat to myself for finishing my essay and my speaking exams :P

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
I *can* read more than one book at a time but they may have to be different genres as I would probably get confused if I was switching between two fantasy books or whatever. But on the whole I prefer to read one at a time and considering how quickly I read I move on from one book to another in a short space of time.

Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
I do indeed, while I'm at university I tend to do my reading in bed before I go to sleep, which does often result in serious disruption to my sleeping pattern when a book is so engrossing that I stay up until 4/5am to finish it in one sitting (Yes I am utterly mad). When I'm at home I'll either read in bed or on the floor with my back against the radiator which is lovely in the winter as I stay all toasty and warm. I also like reading in the car (when I'm not driving obv) as I'm one of those lucky people who rarely gets carsick so it's a fab way to spend long and boring car journeys.

Do you prefer series books or stand-alones?
Gah well as much as I love following a set of characters over a series I do like not having to be obliged to buy a ruck of books potentially over many years to get my next-book-in-series fix which is what you get with Stand-alones. I do have a *lot* more series books than I do stand-alones so I think I probably prefer the series as I am just too addicted to certain characters to ever let them go.

Is there a specific book or author  you find yourself  recommending over and over?
Hmm I don't often find myself in a position in real life where I'm recommending books to people unless it's to my sister. To her I've pimped out Nicholas Sparks and Sarah Dessen with a fair degree of success one day I hope to shove The Hunger Games trilogy onto her. To my best friend *waves at Jess* I ordered her to read Tamora Pierce books as I absolutely *adore* that woman and the sheer number of fantasy books she's written mean that you can follow some of the most amazing characters ever IMO over years and years! Alas I don't have many real life friends who read anywhere near as much as I do (my flatmate thinks I'm completely barking with how much I manage to read) so I rarely get chance to rave about the awesome books I've read recently - that's what the internet is for!!! :D

How do you organise your books? (by genre, title, author's last name etc)
Well since I'm away from home I have two libraries of sorts, my Uni collection (which incidentally I vlogged about here if you want to see) is organised by height for the most part although there are several stacks on top cos my shelf isn't big enough for all my books. Any books I've read get put in a box under my bed until I get chance to go home. At home it's a totally different system. In my book cupboard there are two shelves dedicated to Fantasy books which is organised by author's last name, a shelf of Vampire books (I have that many they have their own shelf although it's being encroached upon by the normal Fantasy stuff), a shelf of non-fiction which are not really organised in any particular way, a shelf of teen fiction with a good dollop of Famous Five books and Anthony Horowitz, and a shelf with general fiction, classics and historical non-fiction. I also have separate set of shelves which I'm currently using to house my TBR books although I've had to double stack my Gossip Girl/It Girl books in front as they've been ousted from the Teen Shelf due to spatial issues *CoughIHaveTooManyBooksCough* Most of the shelves are full so heaven only knows where I'm going to put the 80+ books I have with me at university....

There, that's me as a reader summarised rather neatly methinks.
If you do this meme yourself do leave a link in the comments I'm always nosy to read other people's responses ;-)
Now I really am going to bed


Book Review - Looking for Alaska

 Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Egads a Book review!! I know some folk may have fell out their chairs since I'm notoriously bad at posting reviews (it's because I really suck at writing them) but since I spent aaaages doing my quasi-reviews for my LibraryThing thread I thought I'd go nuts and post one of them up on here!

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Date Read: 2/5/2010 (5/2/2010 for the US folk)
Description (Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Miles Halter's adolescence has been one long nonevent - no challenge, no girls, no mischief, and no real friends. Seeking what Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps," he leaves Florida for a boarding school in Birmingham, AL. His roommate, Chip, is a dirt-poor genius scholarship student with a Napoleon complex who lives to one-up the school's rich preppies. Chip's best friend is Alaska Young, with whom Miles and every other male in her orbit falls instantly in love. She is literate, articulate, and beautiful, and she exhibits a reckless combination of adventurous and self-destructive behavior. She and Chip teach Miles to drink, smoke, and plot elaborate pranks. Alaska's story unfolds in all-night bull sessions, and the depth of her unhappiness becomes obvious.

My Review: Although I had heard of John Green before I wasn't all that fussed about having a look at his books that is until I discovered the Youtube channel that he and his brother Hank have called The Vlogbrothers which is not only rather informative but crazy funny and nerdy (seriously check it out).
So after wasting a large chunk of time watching loads of their videos I was suddenly struck with the urge to get hold of one of John's books and have a read - luckily while I was in Oxford at the end of April I found a copy in the Oxfam bookshop *all hail the awesome*. I read it all on the train back to Aber and I was like WOW!
It's basically a coming-of-age story which is jam-packed with humour, quirkiness and all the obsessive energy that accompanies first love. Miles has transferred to the boarding school his father went to for his high school years. He's never really had proper friends, preferring to find comfort in the last words of famous people so when he arrives at Culver Creek he's very much surprised to find people who befriend him and completely change his perspective on life. The most vibrant impact on his life is Alaska Young, the zany outrageous girl who quickly steals Miles' heart even though she already has a boyfriend.
There's also a raw shock of emotion in the middle of the story which is ominously hinted at in the chapter headers but still completely unexpected and the rest of the story is spent recovering from what happens and working out *why* it happened.
Considering that the book is only 260 pages long it packs quite a punch and can really make you think about what affects people's choices and why we do certain things. Miles, the Colonel and Alaska are all wonderfully vivid characters and totally original and you can really feel for all of them as they go through their individual struggles.
This book was a joy to read and I'll definitely be buying copies of his other books in the near future.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5!

So there you have it folks, if you think my reviews are as suckish as I think they are then do tell me and I shall try my darnedest to write them better.
If you want to read a really *awesome* review of Looking for Alaska then I direct you to Adele of Persnickety Snark who said it better than I could ever hope to *wistful sigh*

Anyhow I need to get me some sleep as I have exams and an essay to finish tomorrow *le gasp* so Toodles!


In My Mailbox #7 Late but not *too* Late

 Monday, 10 May 2010

I know it's Monday but I had a cricket game yesterday and so wasn't able to get my IMM post up and that's why I'm doing it now!

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi @The Story Siren which was inspired by a post by Alea @Pop Culture Junkie

There's no vlog this week cos every bleeding time I try and record it my webcam has a special moment and the sound ends up out of sync with the video and it looks ridiculous So I'll just try and get a photo of last week's books.

Books in Photo:
Julius - Daphne du Maurier
The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong
The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E. Pearson
Kiss of Death - Rachel Caine
Fade Out - Rachel Caine
Carpe Corpus - Rachel Caine
Lord of Misrule - Rachel Caine
Classical Mythology

Quite a light week really, the Morganville books were ordered off Waterstones as they were having an online deal where all Morganville books were £3.50 each! The Reckoning and The Adoration of Jenna Fox were ordered off Amazon... because I felt like it and I wanted to read the third Darkest Powers books as I really like that series (I finished it this morning and really enjoyed it). Julius and the book on Classical mythology were bought from the Oxfam bookshop as they looked intriguing and were both really cheap - under £5 for the two!! Julius adds to my collection of du Maurier books which has grown nicely over the past few months.

I'm not expecting to get many or any books this weeks as the exams are creeping ever closer and my stress levels are high so that is why I'm not posting all that frequently. I also realise that I'm *very* lax with book reviews which I apologise for but I'm pretty terrible at writing helpful reviews and there are lots of bloggers who can explain what was awesome about a book *much* better than I can, so unless people demand a review of a particular book (I'm going to try and sort out a tabbed page showing my reading list for the year so far) I shall probably not post many reviews although I know that is basically the point of a book blog. In the meantime for anyone who's interested in my garbled ramblings about the books I read This link and this link go to the two threads on LibraryThing's 75 Book Challenge where I record my reading. I haven't updated the reviews for the books I've read so far in May but I'm hoping to do it soonish.

Again apologies for the lateness and general lack of book reviews on the blog I'm still rather shaky at this and I'm working on it - bring on the summer when I have bucket-loads of free time!!


Books, Books and more Books!! Random Vlog!!

 Monday, 3 May 2010

Evening all, this is a somewhat random post (which was planned) to show the vlog I recorded last night which is me doing a very rapid look through all the non-academic books I have on my shelf at University. There are a *lot* so apologies for the general blurriness of any covers but my webcam isn't exactly high spec so focussing is not it's strong point.
Most of the books I have here are unread (since I take home the read ones in the holidays and bring back more! Or as often happens, I *buy* more books :P) and with only a month of the term left to go it's unlikely that I'll get many of these books read - that's going to be my summer challenge to read as many of the classic books I've bought recently as I can.

So without further ado here is the vlog!!

List of Books with me at University
Castle of Llyr - Lloyd Alexander
Taran Wanderer - Lloyd Alexander
The High King - Lloyd Alexander
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
The Selected Letters- Jane Austen
The Complete Novels - Jane Austen
Villette - Charlotte Bronte
Shirley - Charlotte Bronte
The Selected Works of the Bronte Sisters - Charlotte, Emily & Anne Bronte
A lost Lady - Willa Cather
The Falcons of Montabard - Elizabeth Chadwick
Shields of Pride - Elizabeth Chadwick
The Greatest Knight - Elizabeth Chadwick
Shadows and Strongholds - Elizabeth Chadwick
The Time of Singing - Elizabeth Chadwick
The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie
Taken at the Flood - Agatha Christie
The Splendour Falls - Rosemary Clement-Moore
The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
The Shadows of Sherlock Holmes - David Stuart Davies
The Lost World & other stories - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Memories and Adventures - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Valley of Fear - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
His Last Bow - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Le Pion blanc de Presages (Belgariad) - David Eddings
Silas Marner - George Eliot
Mill on the Floss - George Eliot
The Life of Charlotte Bronte - Elizabeth Gaskell
Ruth - Elizabeth Gaskell
Wives and Daughters - Elizabeth Gaskell
Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
Looking for Alaska - John Green
Alex Rider; Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz
Ash - Malinda Lo
The Owl Killers - Karen Maitland
Company of Liars - Karen Maitland
The Collected Stories - Katherine Mansfield
A Clash of Kings - George R.R. Martin
The Flight of the Falcon - Daphne du Maurier
The Parasites - Daphne du Maurier
The Birds & other stories - Daphne du Maurier
Frenchman's Creek - Daphne du Maurier
Spindle's End - Robin Mckinley
The Taste of Sorrow - Jude Morgan
Becoming Bindy Mackenzie - Jaclyn Moriarty
Dreaming of Amelia - Jaclyn Moriarty
The Knife of Never Letting go - Patrick Ness
Eragon - Christopher Paolini
Les Royaumes du Nord - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter et l'ecole des sorciers - J.K. Rowling
Dissolution - C.J. Sanson
All the Things we didn't say - Sara Shepard
The Return: Shadow Souls - L.J. Smith
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - R.L. Stevenson
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Vanity Fair - William Thackeray
The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters
Brethren - Robyn Young
The Angel's Game - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

*takes deep breath* And.... that's the lot! Sheesh it's insane, there's no way in hell that I'm listing all of the books when I come to showing all the books I have at home nosiree!
Any Questions or suggestions of what I should maybe read next please leave me a comment :D



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