Book Blogger Hop · Memes

Book Blogger Hop #1 (2-8 August)

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer, but I first saw it today on Ambi’s blog, Scaredy Engines End of Line Library.

I felt this was a pretty fun thing to do. Just answer a bookish question. I can do that!

This is kind of an appropriate question as today I picked up my second copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Earlier this year I finally got my own copy when I found a cheap mass market paperback of it in a charity shop. I had read and loved it years ago and was keen to re-read it (have not done so yet). But then, today, in another charity shop, I found a first edition hardcover! So I did not hesitate and decided to shell out that €1.25 they were asking for it. I now have two copies. I think I will keep them both.

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There are other books I have more than one copy of. I think we have 3 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the house. A normal adult edition, a Ravenclaw edition and my daughter has the illustrated edition in her room. She also has the illustrated edition of Chamber of Secrets, which I have an adult edition of.

I may have a two copies of some other books as well that I can’t think of right this second.

I don’t go out of my way generally to own more than one copy of a book though…

How about you? Do you own more than one copy of your favourite book? Or a random book? The same one or different editions?

Books · Down The TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole #5

I thought I would do another Down the TBR Hole, a very useful meme created by Lost In A Story.

Most of us bookish folk will end up with way too many books we have added as to-read on Goodreads. Try this for a solution!

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It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if feeling adventurous!) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: Keep or Go?

So, let’s have a look what we have…

The Books:

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)1. The Wrath and the Dawn (Renee Ahdieh)

I already have this one on my Kindle, but it has been for a while. I still plan on reading it though. I think this is one of those books I will enjoy,

Verdict: KEEP

Eerie2. Eerie (C M McCoy)

Described as a paranormal teen romance, I read the synopsis for this one and I don’t think this one is for me at all.

Verdict: GO

I Wish for You3. I Wish For You (Camilla Isley)

Hmm, this looks like chick-lit with a bit of magic thrown in. The story sounds kind of cute and I don’t have (m)any pink books…. Hmmm, is that reason enough? No… I don’t think I would be reaching for this anyt time soon.

Verdict: GO

The Color of Our Sky4. The Color of Our Sky (Amita Trasi)

This sounds like a heartbreaking story. I am not sure whether I will be quite in the mood for this any time soon. I will take it off my TBR for now. I can always put it back.

Verdict: GO

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1)5. Red Sister (Mark Lawrence)

Murderous nuns? Yes please. I think I will give this one a shot at some point. But then I do want this cover, cause I don’t like the other one. I’m superficial lilke that!

Verdict: KEEP

That’s another three gone! Wahey!

Books · Currently Reading

Currently Reading… Update #22

I seem to be well and truly back into the swing of things and have left the reading slump behind. So far I have been pretty pleased with the books I have read since the New Year. I just finished Murder in Bloomsbury, which was a tremendous amount of fun. I seem to be liking whodunnits at the moment.

Auel, Jean M - Earth's Children 1 The Clan of the Cave BearBut, I am moving away from the mysteries for the moment. I started re-reading The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel a few days ago. A buddy read on Goodreads prompted me to do so. I don’t need much of an excuse to be fair. It was one of my favourite books that I read in my late teens and it’s good to revisit it. I am only 60 pages in, but hopefully I will make some good progress over the weekend. There are buddy reads coming up for all of the books in the Earth’s Children series, but I am not sure I will read them all. I remember by book three I was getting a bit fed up with the main character. I have always loved the first two books though, so I am happy to re-read those.

Polk, William R - Crusade and JihadI have also just started reading Crusade and Jihad by William R Polk. I saw this on direct download on NetGalley and the synopsis sounded really interesting. It is a non-fiction book that looks at the history and present of the relationship between the Muslim world and not only the West, but also China and Russia; the global north as the author calls it. It sounds like a tremendously interesting read and since I have a keen interest in history and religion (even though I am not religious myself), I pressed that download button. I am about 5% in and I like the way it is written. It is not too academic. I feel like it is meant for everyone who wants to understand some of the world’s issues a bit better.

Over the weekend I want to concentrate on The Clan of the Cave Bear. I think I will take my time reading Crusade and Jihad to give myself time to really absorb the information it is imparting.

What are you reading?

Books · Currently Reading

‘Currently Reading’ Update #15

Stoker, Bram - DraculaI need to admit that I am quite proud of myself. I am currently reading the final two books on my October TBR and I am hoping I will finish both by the end of the month.

The first of those books is Dracula by Bram Stoker. I felt the week running up to Halloween would be the perfect time to read this classic. I am about 85 pages in and it has really surprised me so far. It’s far easier to read than I expected. It starts out so spooky and creepy! Halloween perfection!

Harris, Joanne - ChocolatThe final book on my October TBR is Chocolat by Joanne Harris. I have loved the movie for years, but I never got round to reading the book. Well, I picked up the book a couple of months ago and the movie always gave me an autumn feel, so felt it was perfect for October. So far I am loving it!

Yaffe, David - Reckless DaughterI am reading a third book at the moment, which is Reckless Daughter by David Yaffe. This is a biography of musician Joni Mitchell. I love music and I requested this to read via NetGalley. I have not taken much time to read it yet, but so far it is a pretty interesting read. There is so much I did not know about her. The other two books are my priority, so I am going a bit slower with this one.

Overall, my reading month has been pretty good quantity-wise, but as I will get into in my October wrap-up in a week or so’s time, there were a lot of books that were ok, but I did not love. I have a feeling I may end up loving all of the ones I am currently reading!

 

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Pegasus Secret/De Pegasus-Connectie (Gregg Loomis)

Loomis, Gregg - The Pegasus Secret

★★☆☆☆☆☆

Title: De Pegasus-Connectie (Original title: The Pegasus Secret)
Author: Gregg Loomis (Translator: Hanneke Nutbey)
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Thriller
First published: 2005
Edition: Paperback, published by Karakter Uitgevers BV in 2006

I was determined to finish this book. It was not bad enough to stop reading it, but I found it hard going. The story is a re-hash of the stuff that Dan Brown tends to do. I did not mind that so much, as I remember quite enjoying the Da Vinci Code. In this case, the main character Langdon Reilly stumbles across a hidden map in a copy of a 17th century religious painting after his sister and nephew are killed. A chase ensues.

At no point did I feel thrilled or excited by this book. It felt stale for some reason. And there were annoying little mistakes in it that bothered me, but may not bother others. For instance, the author suggests you can travel from the UK to France just with a driving licence as ID. Well, you can not. You need a passport or a European identification card. The United Kingdom is not part of the Schengen agreement that allows travel without such travel documents. And there were a couple of other things that did not quite work. I would have thought an editor would have flagged these things up!

Now, I was reading a Dutch translation of the book, and I was reminded why I do not tend to read books translated from English. I felt like I was quite often second-guessing the translation, because at times it felt awkward, or badly phrased. I wonder how much of my opinion of this book has been based on the translation. But then, the plot remains the same and the plot was just not good enough for me. I do not read thrillers or mysteries very often, but when I do, I want to feel like I am on the edge of my seat and I just did not feel that at all.

This one will go the guest library as it is lacking in Dutch books anyway.

2 out of 7 stars

 

 

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ( J K Rowling)

Rowling, J K - #1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

★★★★★☆☆

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Author: J K Rowling
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Middle Grade
First published: 1997
Edition: Paperback, published in 1998 by Bloomsbury

2018 update (★★★★★☆☆)
Listening to this book twice (courtesy of our daughter) over the course of a two-week holiday during long car rides I started noticing some annoying things in this book. The fact that rules for Quidditch absolutely make no sense for instance. Also, the bit behind the trapdoor seem badly designed, etc. Still a wonderful book though and I love how much my six-year-old daughter is into it now.

2017 review (★★★★★★☆)
I finally decided to re-read the Harry Potter series. I read it only once before, this particuarly one almost twenty years ago, so it was about time.

I enjoyed Philosopher’s Stone a lot this time around. This is such an incredibly charming book. The characters are wonderful, the story is pure magic and it is simply a phenomenon of its time. So many people grew up loving this series that is hard not be a little bit biased.

The one thing that bugs me about this first book in the series is that if Dumbledore is so clever, how does he not realise how oddly his teachers are behaving? Surely he would have noticed and investigated? And how does he let Snape get away with behaving like a spoiled brat in general and being so petty? I just do not get it and seriously, it annoys me a little…

Apart from that, this is a wonderful book and I am sure my daughter will love reading it in a few years’ time.

I am looking forward to re-reading the rest soon.

6 out of 7 stars

 

 

 

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Choice (Edith Eger)

★★★★★★★

Title: The Choice
Author: Dr Edith Eva Eger
Genre: Non-Fiction / Biography / Psychology
First published: 7 September 2017 by Penguin Random House UK
Edition: E-book, courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

I knew from the start this book would touch me. I generally avoid books about WWII and concentrations camps, their horrors too much for me to contemplate. Yet, I felt compelled to read this book. The reason being that from the description I gathered this was about a woman who had survived and gone on to use her strength to help others with their trauma.

No, this was not an easy read. When she takes us into Auschwitz and tells us about the horrors she had seen and experienced there, my heart shrank in compassion and shame that humanity can be so cruel. But I also felt her courage and that of her sister, of the hardships and mental strength they must have had to survive when it may have been easier to give up.

I realised that being liberated from a prison does not mean the prison is gone. It can live on inside us. Dr Eger’s story of finally recognising and battling the prison in her mind is incredibly brave. I greatly respect and admire her for using her strength and harrowing experiences to help others deal with the prisons they had created for themselves, whatever the reason. She helps without judging.

Yes, this books tells of a survivor’s story, but it tells so much more about the strength and power that lives inside all of us and that we can help ourselves with the right guidance.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to everyone, whether you are struggling with your own demons or not.

7 out of 7 stars