Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Dream (Natalia Jaster )

Jaster, Natalia - Foolish Kingdoms 4 Dream

★★★★☆☆☆

Title: Dream (Foolish Kingdoms #4)
Author: Natalia Jaster
Genre: Fiction/YA/New Adult/Fantasy/Romance/LGBTQ+   Pages: 364
First published: 2019
Edition: Paperback, self-published

In the Kingdom of Winter, he’s a swaggering potioneer who hunts for wisdom—a brew that will shake the world.
It’s the only secret he craves.
Except for the one boy he can’t have.

I finally finished this series and as a whole it has been a disappointing experience. I loved the first book, but none of the other tree were that great.

In regard to this one, I enjoyed it enough, but I had quite a lot of issues with it. Lyrik as a character, most of the time, but I just did not like the way Nicu was written. The way he was portrayed did not marry well with what he was doing, especially regarding his storyline with Lyrik. This was a gay romance that could have been so good, but instead it just fell a little flat.

The writing was a bit iffy as well. I kind of felt like I was reading a first draft and with a bit of editing or changing the wording this would have been a much better read. The sentences did not really flow and the phrasing sometimes felt off.

It was nice to see all the characters from the previous books, but it did feel a little forced.

I enjoyed it enough to keep this series on my shelves for now, but I am a bit disappointed.

4 out of 7 stars

Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: ‘My Honest Face’ by Inhaler

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

MusicMonday

You know when you hear a song and you think, well that sounds a bit like… whatever. Well, I heard this song and thought it sounded a bit like early U2 and that the guy’s voice sounded like Bono. Well guess what, turns out the singer is Bono’s son. I think that is pretty amusing 🙂 The more I hear this song, the more I love it. It makes me want to do silly dancing (the best kind of dancing!).

I am really enjoying a lot of new bands at the moment, which gives me life 🙂

 

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

October 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

My month of reading started ok, but I read hardly anything in the latter part of the month. The long and the short of it is that I only read 5 books over October, but with one of them being Homer’s The Iliad, it still feels like an achievement. I have been listening to a lot of music and writing instead of reading and blogging in October. That trend is still going on a bit, so things may still be a bit quiet for a little while longer on my end. I am sure it will change again, but for now, I am just going with the flow and not worrying too much about it.

It was definitely quality over quantity in October and I am ok with that. I was able to strike two books I have been meaning to read forever off my TBR (The Iliad and The Handmaid’s Tale), which I am really happy about. I did not really read any of my Halloween reads that I had planned, but c’est la vie I guess.

Fingers crossed that my reading will pick up in November (it hasn’t yet!). I am not setting a TBR for November at all, so we will see how it goes.

Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's TaleBOOK OF THE MONTH

The Handmaid’s Tale is easily one of the best books I have read and I am so glad I finally got to it. Definitely one I want to read again in the future.

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Iliad (Homer)

Homer - The Iliad

★★★★★☆☆

Title: The Iliad
Author: Homer   Translator: Richmond Lattimore
Genre: Fiction/Classic/Mythology   Pages: 683 (Paperback Edition)
First published: 750 BC (appr date)
Edition: Audiobook via Audible, narrated by Charlton Griffin

The Iliad retells the events of the war between Greece and the city of Troy, focusing on Achilles’ quarrel with Agamemnon.

This is has been a journey and a half for sure, but I feel like I have achieved something now I have finally listened to The Iliad. This is probably the oldest book I will ever read and considering that, this is a truly epic story.

I am not sure whether I could have read it in its physical form, but as an audio book it was a magnificent listen. The narrator did a great job telling this tale about war and Gods. He struck the right tone.

There is an awful lot of killing people with spears and Gods interfering with the world of man. Objectively, I did not enjoy this as much as I thought I would, but I think that mainly had to do with the repetitive nature of the tale. It’s pretty much all battle all the way. Yet, I found myself pulled in and listening intently at times.

Reading The Iliad was on my bucketlist and I am so happy I have finally done so. I will pick myself up a physical copy when I see a truly beautiful one to celebrate this achievement!

I think this is such an iconic classic work of literature that it’s worth giving your time to. Considering this book is almost 3000 years old just blows my mind. So many of the sentiments really have not changed that much and it gives a great insight into the world at that time.

If you are considering reading The Iliad, just do it. I think listening to it on audio is a great help, though sometimes I wished I had a physical copy to read along as well. I do not think I quite took it all in, but it was definitely worth my time.

Take my rating with a pinch of salt, because it feels ridiculous to put a rating to a book like this.

5 out of 7 stars

Music · Music Monday

Music Monday: ‘Mother’ by The Amazons

Music Monday is hosted by Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek.

MusicMonday

It’s been a while since I did one of these. I have also been pretty absent from my blog recently. I have not been reading that much lately, partly because I have been listening to a lot of music instead, as that is my second obsession behind reading.

I have been to a couple of gigs in the last month and I was completely blown away by one of the bands I saw live. I liked them beforehand, but seeing them live was such a high that I now absolutely love these guys. The venue had a capacity of only about 250 and it was the sweatiest, hottest gig I have ever been to. They were freaking amazing!

That band was The Amazons, who I posted a song by a few months ago. They completely and utterly blew me away and that was one of the best gigs I have been to in my 25 years of gig-going (and that is saying something!). I was buzzing for days after – seriously!

So here’s a live version of one of the songs from their second album Future Dust, which came out in May this year. Epic live band. I can’t wait to see them again in the future (unfortunately probably not in such a small venue again *Sad face*).

I chose this live version of Mother, but it really does not do them justice. Honestly, if they ever play near you, go see them – you won’t regret it!

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)

Ness, Patrick - A Monster Calls

★★★★★★☆

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Fiction/young adult/magical realism   Pages: 237
First published: 2011
Edition: Paperback, published by Walker Books in 2015

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness wrote this book from Siobhan Dowd’s notes. The fact she died of cancer before she was able to complete this book makes it all the more poignant.

The story itself is pretty simple and it is pretty clear from the beginning what is going and what is going to happen. In regard to this story being told, that really does matter. In fact, it makes it all the more impactful and heartbreaking.

I really felt for Conor and I completely understood his thoughts and actions. He was such a real character. The monster from the title lifted this narrative from being ‘just another story’ about grief and pain.

I did cry and I tend to not like over-sentimental books, but I would not say this is a complete tearjerker. It had the balance just about right.

You have probably already read it (I feel like I was the only one who had not!), but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it.

6 out of 7 stars

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Corset (Laura Purcell)

Purcell, Laura - The Corset

★★★★★★☆

Title: The Corset
Author: Laura Purcell
Genre: Fiction/historical fiction/mystery   Pages: 392
First published: 2018
Edition: Hardback, published by Raven Books in 2018

When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

I simply adored the writing of this novel. Despite the fact that I read it at a time I had little space for reading in my day, I looked forward to returning to its pages.

This is a great example of a historical fiction novel that felt well thought out and researched without feeling forced. It is set in the Victorian era and is told from the perspective of two young women, one practically a slave in a mad dressmaker’s household, one a well-to-do 25-year-old spinster trying to find her way in life (and love).

The duel perspective worked very well and I thought both of them were very well done. I felt for the characters and was suitably appalled by the story woven in these pages.

I love how you are not quite sure what to think of seamstress Ruth, but how her harrowing story still pulls at the heart strings. The thread of Dorothea is slightly less strong in parts, but I absolutely loved her spirit.

I was not sure about the ending at first, but after having thought about it, I definitely think it was fitting.

If you enjoy a historical novel or even a mystery novel, I would highly recommend this book. I will be checking out this author’s other work.

6 out of 7 stars