Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 17 April 2019

My reading is much better at the moment, so yay!

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WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you will read next?

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What am I currently reading?

I am currently 270 pages (of 797) into Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan. This is the tenth book in The Wheel of Time series, which is apparently being turned into a TV show at the end of the year (an apprehensive ‘yay!’ is appropriate here). It’s a re-read, which makes it a pretty easy read. I am also reading Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon. Although I am not feeling as slumpy as I have been, I still feel like reading lighter books, so picked this one off my shelves. I have been reading this one in bed, as Crossroads is so unwieldy! I am only about 30 pages in and I am not sure so far. Not the biggest fan of the writing style, but maybe I will get used to it.

What did I recently finish reading?

Since last week I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, which enjoyed but did not love (5/7 stars), Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen, which was fascinating (6/7 stars) and Adulthood is a Myth (Sarah Andersen), a comic book, which I loved (6/7 stars). I am pretty pleased with that.

What do I think I will read next? 

Watkins, Sarah-Beth - The Tragic Daughters of Charles I

Well, I will definitely start reading The Tragic Daughters of Charles I by Sarah-Beth Watkins in the next week. This is my third biography by this author and so far I have liked them a lot. They are informative and interesting without being too dry. I expect more of the same.

Apart from that I will probably mood read.

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Books · Reviews

Comic Book Thoughts: Adulthood is a Myth (Sarah Anderson)

Andersen, Sarah - Adulthood is a Myth

★★★★★★☆

Title: Adulthood is a Myth
Author: Sarah Andersen
Genre: Graphic Novel /Comic  Pages: 108
First published: 2016
Edition: Paperback, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing in 2016

This collection of comics is so much fun and not to mention familiar!

I am not a classic introvert (anymore), but I do tend to be on that side of the fence. There were just so many of these 1-page comics that I went “Yup”, nodding my head quite furiously. I turned 40 recently and no, I still don’t feel like a ‘proper’ adult. I still behave like an idiot in awkward social situations. The only difference is that I am pretty good blagging it these days. And I have a daughter I have to pretend to be responsible for…

The art style is simple, but supercute!

I think most of us adulting folk will enjoy this, especially if you are on the introvert side. So many of these anecdotes will be familiar to you. It is the kind of comic that you will want to gift to all your friends (if you choose to have any!).

Simply a joy!

6 out of 7 stars

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Dutch Girl (Robert Matzen)

Matzen, Robert - Dutch Girl

★★★★★★☆

Title: Dutch Girl
Author: Robert Matzen
Genre: Non-Fiction / Biography / History  Pages: 400
First published: 15 April 2019 by GoodKnight Books
Edition: ARC e-book, courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher

According to her son, Luca Dotti, “The war made my mother who she was.” Audrey Hepburn’s war included participation in the Dutch Resistance, working as a doctor’s assistant during the “Bridge Too Far” battle of Arnhem, the brutal execution of her uncle, and the ordeal of the Hunger Winter of 1944. She also had to contend with the fact that her father was a Nazi agent and her mother was pro-Nazi for the first two years of the occupation.  

I started out wanting to read this book because an interest in Audrey Hepburn and her connection to The Netherlands, where I was born and now live again, but this book was so much more than a biography.

Besides finding out more about an icon, this book tells the story of a war, of a small area, in a country I grew up in. Of course much time was spent on WWII in school. I remember being moved and touched by documentaries about the war shown during history lessons, the images of stacks of dead people, the horrors of concentration camps are still burnt into my heart, as they should be. In a way, this was a different kind of WWII story. It still brought the horrors of war home, but from the perspective of a small area and the people that lived there.

Through Audrey’s story and the story of her family, we find out what life was life for everyone living through the war; the suffering, the uncertainty, the fear, the hunger.

It all paints a picture of the girl Audrey was and the woman she was to become. Robert Matzen did a great job piecing the facts together with a bit of artistic licence here and there. I think this book is very well written and very coherently tells of a complicated time in history and the effects it had on people. I particularly found Audrey’s mother Ella fascinating character.

This book reiterates the fact that although I do not like reading WWII based fiction, I do really appreciate a well written non-fiction book on the subject and this one showed a different perspective from any other book I have read on WWII. This is not so much a biography as a historical portrait of Arnhem and Velp during the war.

Highly recommended if you are interested in either Audrey Hepburn or WWII.

6 out of 7 stars

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 14 April 2019

READING

I am pretty sure I am finally coming out of my slump, which was mainly managed by reading YA and romance books – it does work to keep it on the lighter side in times like these!

Matzen, Robert - Dutch GirlI am currently reading Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen, which is out tomorrow (and I hope to finish it tomorrow!). It is basically a biography of Audrey Hepburn during WWII in The Netherlands and so far I really love this book. It interweaves Audrey’s story with the story of the war in the particular area where she lived so well. Although I grew up in The Netherlands and lots of time was spent on WWII in history classes, this is teaching me new things and being focussed on a small, but important area during the war makes it very in depth and interesting. It’s a very human tale of war and how war affects a person, and how it affects everyone. I am 74% in and so far I am impressed with the research and the writing of this biography. Absolutely fascinating and I am learning so much about Audrey Hepburn and what she had been through.

I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater yesterday. This is the third book in The Raven Cycle and I enjoyed it, if not quite as much as the first two books. I plan on reading the final book, The Raven King, in May.

I did start Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan a week or so ago, and after I finish Dutch Girl I will dedicate more time to that one in the coming week.

OTHER STUFF

I had a nice meal out in the village with some friends last night, which was good fun! Caught up on all the gossip (and let me tell you there was some, though none involving me of course). I dyed my hair ginger yesterday and a couple of people thought that was (and I quote) ‘so you’. I have no idea what that means. They said the same thing when I rocked up in my dungarees the other day. I swear, I live in a such a rural community that any expression of self is deemed as quirky. Well, just let me be quirky then! I have no problem being the oddball.

My daughter’s spring holidays start on Good Friday, so she will be off for two weeks. I am not sure whether that will have a positive or negative influence on my reading!

My Irish Cob mare Freda  is showing no sign of thinking about foaling anytime soon. The foal has been very active and Freda is looking well, so hopefully everything is still going as it should. The farrier is coming this week to do her and Pippin’s hooves.

And poo, I have to do my taxes 😦

Apart from that, we are taking it easy this week, I hope! I would really like to be able to read a ton if I can.

 

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Maggie Stiefvater)

Stiefvater, Maggie - The Raven Cycle 3 Blue Lily, Lily Blue

★★★★★☆☆

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fiction / YA / Paranormal    Pages: 389
First published: 2014
Edition: Paperback, published by Scholastic in 2014

Certainties can unravel.
Visions can mislead.
And friends can betray.
The trick with found things is how easily they can be lost …

It took me a surprising amount of time to get into this third book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle. The first half of the book felt slow and a little rudderless in my unpopular opinion. The second half did make up for that, but I did not enjoy it quite as much as the previous two books for some reason..

What did not change was Maggie’s writing style, which is a joy to read. I like the dry wit it tilts towards every now and then. Those are the bits that made me smile throughout this novel. I also still love the strength of the bonds that tie our four (or five) friends together, as well as Blue and her 300 Fox Way family. I also really liked the way our villains in this instalment were written.

The plot advancement felt a bit stilted in places and did not flow as well for me.

Overall, I just enjoyed it a bit less than I had hoped. However, as a series so far I would thoroughly recommend it.

5 out of 7 stars

 

Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Thursday, 11 April 2019

09.13 – I haven’t done one of these in a while. Mainly because I have not been reading that much, but I want to cram quite a bit of reading time in today, so here we go.

I have taken my daughter to school and just had my morning coffee and breakfast. Now I can slot in 45 minutes of reading before I need to get my lazy arse off the sofa to do some work. I am reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater this morning. I am currently on page 164 and I will try and read as uch as I can until 10 o’clock.

190411 lily

09.57 – I will stop here, on page 218 as it is the beginning of a new chapter (28) and chapter 27 ended on a cliffhanger. Perfect!

To be honest, I have been having a rougher time than I expected with this book. It hasn’t been grabbing me like The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves did. I am hoping the second half of the book will do better for me. So far, I would give it five out of seven stars, I think. I still love the characters, but it just feels like so far nothing much has happened. I feel quite removed from it.

Right, let me go and do some stuff I need to do and hopefully I will have a bit of time to read before I have to pick up my girl from school.

11.30 – Ok, took some time grooming Freda and grazing the ponies for a bit. Freda’s baby was moving about quite a bit. I wonder when she will foal. Could be this month, or next month. We don’t know. She turned out to be pregnant already when we got her. Surprise foal….

Anyway, I am supposed to ready the cottage for new Airbnb guests arriving tomorrow, but I am feeling just a tad lazy and wanted to read a bit more, so that’s what I did. I am now about to start chapter 31 on page 244. I have read about 80 pages so far this morning. That is ok going for me at the moment. I will try and make it 100 before I have to pick up Ro from school. So off I go!

12.30 – Did not quite manage 100 pages this morning. I stopped at page 260, the end of chapter 32. I have to go out in a bit (I am having lunch right now), and I won’t continue reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue until at least late afternoon. I am taking my Kindle on my walkabout, so I may have a chance to read some of Dutch Girl instead. I keep meaning to get on with that one, as it’s out on the 15th. I will keep you posted!

14.55 – I have read about 9% of Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen whilst out and having to wait for something. It’s an account of Audrey Hepburn’s life before and during WWII in The Netherlands. So far, I think it is very interesting. Audrey Hepburn is a fascinating icon. I remember seeing a TV interview with her on Dutch television. It must have been towards the end of her life and she was such an interesting person that when I saw this book on NetGalley, I immediately requested it. So far I am really glad I did. I never knew anything about her family background or the fact that her parents were nazi sympathisers that met Hitler in the 1930s. It also briefly goes over the German invasion of The Netherlands, which is a much needed refresher of the history of my country seen through the eyes of a foreigner.

I had a spare five minutes and read another chapter of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, which I am much more into now that I was when I started reading today.

18.00 – So I got to 27% in Dutch Girl. I am really enjoying that one so far. So much WWII details that I did not know about, that doesn’t centre on the usual themes. It makes for a really interesting read.

I read quite a bit today and I am trying to decide whether to continue with Blue Lily, Lily Blue or make some headway in Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan… Decisions, decisions…

20.30 – I started reading a bit of Crossroads of Twilight. My aim is to read 50 pages of that, but somehow I doubt I will get there today! I keep getting distracted from that one, so maybe I should pick Blue Lily back up again instead. I already knew Crossroads of Twilight is not the strongest in this series, but it is the final weaker book, so it’s all go from here on out.

22.55 – So tired. Already in bed. Will try and read another chapter or two of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, but my eyes will soon fall shut, I fear!

Night night for now. It was a good reading day 💕

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 10 April 2019

I am feeling a little less slumpy this week (Yay!), but I am not out of the woods yet. I have mostly being doing moodreading, but I have a couple of ARCs coming up and doing a buddy read, so it’s more required reading (in the best possible way) for the next few weeks. I hope that’s a good thing.


WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you will read next?

***

What am I currently reading?

The History of Bees (Maja Lunde) is still on pause, but I hope to get back to it later this month. I am still not quite in the mood for it.  Instead I have started Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, the third book in the Raven Cycle. Reading YA works for me at the moment. However, I have also started Crossoads of Twilight, the 10th book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. That one is a bit of a monster at just under 800 pages, but it does read away quite easily. Finally, I am reading Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen, which is a biography about Audrey Hepburn’s time in The Netherlands during WWII. That one is coming out on 15 April, so I definitely want to have read it by then.

Jaster, Natalia - Foolish Kingdoms 1 TrickWhat did I recently finish reading?

The only book I finished this past week is Trick by Natalia Jaster. I really enjoyed it and have ordered the rest in the series.

 

Watkins, Sarah-Beth - The Tragic Daughters of Charles IWhat do I think I will read next?

I have enough books on the go at the moment. The only other book I need to read before the end of the month is The Tragic Daughters of Charles I by Sarah-Beth Watkins, which is out on 26 April. I have read a couple of Sarah-Beth Watkins’ historical biographies and so far I have really enjoyed them, so I hope this one won’t be any different.