31 Aug 2014 Leave a comment
29 Aug 2014 Leave a comment
in Book Discussion, Uncategorized Tags: analysis, books, culture, entertainment, fiction, humor, images, language, lists, literature, memes, misc, miscellaneous, pictures, reading, seven deadly sins, visuals, writing
Who can resist a sinful reading meme?
GREED – What is your most inexpensive book?
-At the moment I believe this would be “Thirteenth Night” by Alan Gordon, bought from a library sale for either a quarter or fifty cents. Shakespeare, and Jesters running the world, and murderous mystery, oh my!
It seems strange that it’s the cheapest instead of most expensive work, which I am not sure about in my collection, but what springs to mind is “The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends” edited by Roman Coghlan. It’s gorgeous and out-of-print and I felt guilty, although I’m sure it wasn’t that much bought second-hand….but it made me feel a lot greedier than buying things at library sales!
WRATH – What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
-Definitely Alison Weir. I find her such a good source-finder, and her writing does have a wonderfully engaging quality so she’s fun to read, but then she goes and twists all the evidence around so her books always find people guilty or innocent depending on the current trend, and sometimes she even SAYS in there that this was a common thing with no meaning, but then she proceeds to find meaning in it anyway, and I’m sure it influences a lot of people, including my mother, and it is Frustrating. *glares*
GLUTTONY – What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
-I find this question rather bemusing as it has never occurred to me to have shame over rereading books…I get it over rewatching TV sometimes? I suppose the book I’ve probably read the most over the years is “The Ordinary Princess” by M.M. Kaye-it is my springtime book and one of the most delightful novellas ever, where the king’s advisers have committee meetings and the princess’s animal friends aren’t anthropomorphized at all. It’s also probably the one I’ve read to other people the most, so there’s that. And if that makes me a glutton, then so be it-NO SHAME! YOU SHOULD READ IT! In the springtime, at any rate…
SLOTH – What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
-This would be Otto von Bismarck’s autobiography in volumes which I started and found very amusing, but am too lazy to get back into. His iron fist allowed him to write too much without tiring his hand, apparently. Also Proust.
PRIDE – What book do you talk most about to sound like an intellectual reader?
-I really don’t think I do this outside of research papers. o.O I remember in high school I did it with having read “Ivanhoe” for fun and enjoyed it.
LUST – What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?
-Dark, curly/unruly hair of the longish variety and an accent, preferably Irish. Also, intense stares. Yeah. In males, specifically.
ENVY – What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
-WHY MUST I PICK? That’s just ridiculously hard. Which I suppose makes me very envious since I’d like people to just hand me a lot of books as gifts. I shall say that the rare, out-of-print Barbara Helen Berger books like “Animalia” and “When the Sun Rose” would be particularly special.
So, how about all the guilty readers out there? What are your seven deadly sins?
19 Aug 2014 7 Comments
in Book Discussion, Reviews Tags: analysis, book recs, books, fiction, Gail Carriger, georgette heyer, Harry Potter, lists, literature, misc, miscellaneous, Neil Gaiman, Philippa Gregory, recs, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, top tens, writing
This is a rendition of Top Ten Tuesday by the thebrokeandthebookish.wordpress.com. The prompt was books people keep telling you you must read, but I felt more comfortable listing works I’ve already read for that reason and liked rather than just passing on other recs or books you’ve probably heard the hype about already, anyhow. So, here goes:
Top Ten Books I Found Through Recs/Hype:
1. “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling
-My secret’s been that I actually put this down the first time I tried to read it and only picked them up again for the hype…only to get thoroughly into the fandom.
2. “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory
-This was lent to me by my mother, who firmly believes that Anne did probably engage in incest with George in order to beget an heir.
3. “The Great, Good Thing” by Roderick Townley
-A friend gifted me this work and I loved its meta style.
4. “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman
-I’m actually not a fan of most of Gaiman’s works, and the synopsis for this book is not something I normally go for, but somehow I really like this one.
5. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
-This one actually had to be recommended to me over years, simply because it’s so hard to explain and the title sounds boring to me, I think.
6. “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones
-One of my happiest author discoveries, I think this was actually thrust upon me by my little sister.
7. “Wee Free Men” by Terry Pratchet
-This is another big author whose works I largely don’t connect with, so I need recommendations to find the ones that I do really enjoy.
8. “Soulless” by Gail Carriger
(Full review here: http://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/soulless-the-parasol-protectorate-series-1/)
-This was another gift from a friend.
9. “Her Royal Spyness” by Rhys Bowen
(Full review here: http://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/her-royal-spyness/)
-A friend literally put this into my hands in a bookstore and I couldn’t put it down.
10. Georgette Heyer books
-This regency romance author I found because a close friend began a reading aloud marathon of them with me, and luckily she wrote enough for me to still be working through them. Examples are:
“The Grand Sophy”: (http://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/the-grand-sophy/)
“Black Sheep”: (http://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/regency-romances-best-bickering/)
and for mysteries-
“Behold, Here’s Poison”: (http://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/behold-heres-poison/)
Well, I guess that rather doubled as my reading secrets blog. So, what are your favorite books discovered through insistent recommendations?
16 Aug 2014 Leave a comment
in Book Discussion, Reviews Tags: Alexia Maccon, Alexia Tarabotti, analysis, Blameless, books, entertainment, fantasy, fiction, Gail Carriger, historical fiction, images, literature, pictures, review, reviews, romance, steampunk, The Parasol Protectorate, visuals, writing
Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate Series 3)
By: Gail Carriger
Orbit Books 2010
A steampunk historical romance review
On her own, Alexia finds herself facing down epic scandal, betrayal, and assassins wielding homicidal ladybugs. Needless to say, she responds by gathering loyal companions and traveling across Europe to find answers, be it from scientists, murderous vampires, or even the Holy Templars.
An involving, quick read, Blameless amps up the action and world-building. The supernatural machinations behind this plot lead to more twists and consequences for the Maccons’ set. From devious schemes and werewolf drunkenness on the home front to the strange and sinister philosophies of Europe, Carriger puts her characters through the wringer. The expansion of French and Italian culture continues to expand this fascinating paranormal world with Alexia’s spirited tourism and unexpected transports to lead the way.
The middle book, Blameless proves the least light-hearted, but brings a passion and a flawed reality to these characters that enhances them through the rest of the series. Like tea, a sip of the unsweetened stuff will make the properly served version taste even better.
15 Aug 2014 Leave a comment
in Book Discussion, Reviews Tags: Alexia Maccon, Alexia Tarabotti, analysis, books, Changeless, Conall Maccon, culture, entertainment, fantasy, fiction, Gail Carriger, historical fiction, humor, images, immortals, literature, pics, picturs, review, reviews, romance, steampunk, supernatural, The Parasol Protectorate, vampires, visuals, werewolves
Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate Series 2)
By: Gail Carriger
Orbit Books 2010
A steampunk historical romance review
Changeless sees the intrepid Alexia Tarabotti settled into a position of power, both as muhjah to the queen and Alpha of the Woolsey pack. So when immortals of all kinds suddenly begin to lose their powers on a wide scale, Conall Maccon runs off to tend to his old Scottish pack, and suspicious activity begins to follow Alexia around, she is naturally up to the task.
This sequel considerably broadens Carriger’s world in several directions, by introducing the rest of Conall’s werewolf pack, delving into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the Alpha’s move to London, taking readers to Scotland, and uncovering more details about this world’s intriguing rules and wherefores. The new characters are introduced and expanded without taking away from the original characters’ growth, the numerous mysteries facing Alexia keep the plot steaming along full-speed ahead, and this heroine performs her antics with such aplomb that I didn’t mind that some questions don’t get wrapped up until later books. Amazingly, the clothing details of bizarre hats and edgy attire attain even greater heights of distinction in this work.
In short, this is the vindicated and indomitable Alexia Maccon as everyone loves to see her, and the plot has enough going on to keep her busy and readers highly entertained. However, unlike Soulless, this book ends on an abrupt note that requires swift continuation into Blameless, so have it at the ready.
12 Aug 2014 2 Comments
This is a rendition of Top Ten Tuesday by the thebrokeandthebookish.wordpress.com. This week’s prompt was the top ten books you’re unsure you want to read through. This week was tricky, but there are some books with ???s after them in my mind and here they are:
Top Ten Books to Read or Not to Read?
1. “Gathering Blue” by Lois Lowry
-I loved “The Giver” and I’m not sure about it having sequels. I don’t think it needs sequels and I’m worried about delving into them, particularly so long after reading the first book and with the knowledge that I missed the sequels because their publisher shared my opinion that “The Giver” should stand on its own. On the other hand…well, there’s more! That everyone’s talking about! And that might be fun to revisit…I don’t know.
2. “The Time-Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
-I’ve heard so much about this and it has time-travel! And librarians! But whenever I actually have this book physically in my hands it just doesn’t call to me, it falls flat.
3. “Islands of Chaldea” by Diana Wynne Jones and her sister Ursula
-See, I love Diana Wynne Jones, and I have actually had one success with a book finished by another author, but…it’s just so dangerous! Especially now that Diana’s gone and it’s touted as her last work, and…it feels dangerous.
4. “Six Gun Snow White” by Catherynne M. Valente
-This book sounds beautiful and I love fairy tale retellings, but…confound it, I hate westerns! It’s a conundrum
5. “Return to the Hundred Acre Wood” by David Benedictus and Mark Burgess
-I love Winnie the Pooh. It’s hard to have Winnie the Pooh tales out there I haven’t read, I have all of A.A. Milne! Yet…that’s A.A. Milne. I find this new author thing suspicious. o.O
6. “The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Emma Thompson
-Same problem as above, although I’m not as attached to this rabbit and I do like Emma…
7. “I, Mona Lisa” by Jeanne Kalogridis
-I really enjoy this author and I have read other books by her, but for some reason this one, with the reference to such an iconic art piece just doesn’t hook me in. Messing with things that are too iconic just seems forced, overdone, or just like a poor idea so often…
-I began his works before and they are intriguing, but…they are so exhausting. And so hard to get back into once left. I just don’t know that I can keep going at all, even through the first volume…
9. “The Lunar Chronicles” by Marissa Meyer, particularly “Cress”
-Again, I love fairy tale retellings and I am particularly fond of Rapunzel. On the other hand, that makes me more prickly than ever about Rapunzel and particularly things that try to give fairy tales more excitement or draw them together have proved pitfalls before.
10. Books by Stephen Fry
-I love this man and find him all that Polonius imagined himself to be, but having tried one of his works and utterly failed to get into it, I am wary. Yet, I hear such interesting things and have every reason to believe them true…
This is nerve-wracking, dragging all my reading instincts and hesitations out into view. Any reassurances, confirmations, or warnings?
12 Aug 2014 1 Comment