July 30, 2015

Austen in August


AUSTEN IN AUGUST is an annual event hosted by Roof Beam Reader. The goal of this event is to read as many of Jane Austen's works as possible, during the month of August. Biographies, audiobooks, spin-offs, re-reads also count. I'm so excited to participate in Austen in August, as I'm a great fan of Jane Austen and I always try to find reasons (although I don't really need them) to reread her novels. 

The book I'll try to read during the event are:

Original Works:
  • Mansfield Park. This is the only work of Jane Austen that I've read only a few times. Time to fix that!
  • Love and Friendship. I actually haven't read this one and it's about time.
Spin-offs

You can sign up here.

Thursday Quotables: Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth


Hello, everyone! Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. Every week we highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.


This week, I'll share with you the unsent letter of Darth Vader to Luke from the book Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth (2014) by John Moe. It's a book filled with pop culture reference and it's actually a very easy and quick read.  

DARTH VADER'S UNSENT LETTERS TO LUKE SKYWALKER AS FOUND IN HIS TRASHCAN

Dear Luke,

Hey Kiddo!

***

Dear Luke, 

We need to talk. I am your father.

Wow. That sounds so weird to actually say it! I have to admit that the role of father is not one that I have dedicated a great deal of time to. I'm sorry. 

It's just that work has been so crazy. The kind of particular work I'm involved in is really important, but unfortunately it means that I have to travel A LOT. And I have to kill a lot of 

***

Luke,

We've never met, but I'm a wealthy moisture baron and would very much like to come visit your moisture farm. It would be strictly to gather information about your moisture farming techniques and not a personal visit because, as I said, we are complete strangers. 

There is no ulterior motive to this visit and I would certainly not attempt to lovingly ruffle up your hair, or kill you in a fit of madness/pique, or blow up your planet. Those would be crazy things, after all! Those would be things that a really screwed-up person would do! Like things that someone who sort of accidentally stumbled into a life of evil would do. Not me! NOT ME! 

These are just a few of Darth's letters. What do you think that Vader should write to Luke? Do you agree with any of his ideas?

July 29, 2015

Review: The Diary of A Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield


Title: The Diary of A Provincial Lady

Author: E.M. Delafield

Publisher: Virago Press

Date of Publication: 1930

Number of Pages: 388

Summary

The Provincial Lady has a nice house, a nice husband (usually asleep behind The Times), and nice children. In fact, maintaining Niceness is the Provincial Lady’s goal in life—her raison d'être. She never raises her voice, rarely ventures outside Devon (why would she?), only occasionally allows herself to become vexed by the ongoing servant problem, and would be truly appalled by the confessional mode that has gripped the late 20th century. The Provincial Lady, after all, is part of what made Britain great.

Review

The Diary of A Provincial Lady offered just what the title promised: the diary of a lady that lives in the English countryside. So, as it was expected it's filled with domestic problems, social gatherings and questions about the raising of the children. And what a delightful read was this novel!

There are many books that describe great adventures or have crazy and quirky characters. But then again there are novels, like this one, that focus on the everyday life, with completely ordinary characters. To be honest, it was refreshing to read The Diary of A Provincial Lady. The days passed and the entries of the diary described the life of this family around 1930. Moreover, the way of life that was described mustn't be far from the truth, as the whole novel felt partially autobiographical.

The need of the lady to maintain an excellent image for her social circle is something prominent on this diary. She tries to impress her husband's employer, Lady Boxe, which has everything that the lady doesn't (vacation on the South of France, first-class tickets for the train in London, important friends). This is also the reason why one of the things that always make her feel better is when she can gossip Lady B with the other ladies of the neighbourhood, like the Vicar's wife.

As you've probably guessed this isn't a rich family. In fact, their financial situation is grave. In many instances, the lady has to contact the bank and she even has to deposit valuable jewellery to a pawnbroker. A legacy from Robert's late godfather helps them a little, but the lady has a small tendency towards consumerism (there is always a new hat to be bought). The problem becomes more apparent when they have to search for a new maid. No-one is willing to go to the countryside with such a small wage they can afford. Nevertheless, they miraculously make ends meet.

Robert, the husband, although he is mentioned all of the time, for me he was absent for his family. For example, he didn't deal at all with any of these financial problems. He just let his wife take care of them. He also didn't let any of the domestic problems bother him, as long as he had his Times.

The Diary of A Provincial Lady is a great read. The humour is dry and because of this the novel is a hit or miss. It worked for me and if you like this style of comedy then you're going to love it. Don't hesitate to give it a try!

So, my advice is...

Buy a new hat!       

July 27, 2015

The Reading Book Post, July 27th


Hello, everyone! The end of July is approaching and I can't believe we've already passed the middle of summer. I have to admit that this week I was the most distracted, a sign that perhaps I need some days off. At least, I hope that I'll get something close to vacations when my boyfriend visits at the end of the week. But, as every Monday, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The Not the Booker Prize longlist has just been announced. The list contains 70 titles in total and you can vote the two novels of your choice all the following week. From these 70 novels, only six will reach the shortlist. So, if you're interested follow the link in order to vote. 


  • So, the European Quidditch Championship (EQC) 2015 has been completed with France being the champion. In the final, which took place in Sarteano, Italy, France beat England with the score 90-50. 


  • The second issue of Archie's re-imagining is coming on August 19. The classic comic series was relaunched by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. Take a look at a couple of pages from the new issue.


  • Sad news for the literary world this week. Author E.L. Doctorow passed away at the age of 84. Some of his most popular and celebrated works are Ragtime, Billy Bathgate and The March


  • Have you read the Craft Sequence series? I haven't, but when I watched this fan-made book trailer of the second book of the series Two Serpents Rise I was really interested in doing so.


  • What do teachers what the children to read? The National Association for the Teaching of English and the Times Educational Supplement made a list which answers this question, based in the choices of 500 teachers. The list, for the most part, includes classic books and I'm glad that there are some of my own childhood's books there. Which were the books of your childhood?


  • Which YA novel would you be in? Take the quiz to find out! I got Looking for Alaska by John Green. What did you get?


July 25, 2015

Confession Saturday: Dear Gabriel Oak


Hello, everyone! Confession Saturday is a new weekly feature, in which we will have the chance to express our feelings towards certain characters. This time of the week we will choose one character and write to him/her about all the things we would like to say. We can explain why we like or dislike each character, which of his/her actions we don't understand and generally whatever comes to mind. 


New: I've just added a Linky Tool to Confession Saturday, be sure to leave your links there! You can submit your links throughout the whole week.


So, last week I went to the cinema and watched Far From the Madding Crowd the adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel. I had read it a couple of years ago and I had some pretty strong feelings about the protagonists. I could easily write a letter to Bathsheba Everdene, but it would be really unpleasant. She is the most irritating character I've come across in a novel. So, I'm writing a letter to Gabriel Oak instead.


Dear Gabriel Oak,

you are truly a rare man. I cannot help but admire your good qualities. You are hard-working, patient and loyal. But, you were unlucky to lose everything and also to fall in love with Bathsheba Everdene. 

I seriously don't know why you put up with her. I understand that after she rejected you, you gave up, but fate played an ugly game against you. Not only you find yourself as her employee but you were there to witness her flirt and fall in love with other men. And to make things worse she was asking your opinion as well. Of course, when she didn't like what she heard she drove you away. But still, you helped her, you saved her farm numerous times and tolerated everything without a single word of complaint. 

Although I'm seriously irritated with Bathsheba, I have to admit that you were the only one that truly suited her. Because you didn't want to have her as a possession and wanted to let her remain independent. 

You are an admirable man, a rough diamond to be precise.

Yours,
Aeriko
  

July 23, 2015

Thursday Quotables: The Diary of a Provincial Lady


Hello, everyone! Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. Every week we highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.


This week I chose a passage from a book that I'm reading for the funny books themed read. The novel is The Diary of a Provincial Lady (1930) and it's exactly that, the diary of a lady who lives in the country.

December 10 -- Robert, this morning, complains of insufficient breakfast. Cannot feel that porridge, scrambled eggs, toast, marmalade, scones, brown bread, and coffee give adequate grounds for this, but I admit that porridge is slightly burnt. How impossible ever to encounter burnt porridge without recollections of Jane Eyre at Lowood School, say I parenthetically! This literary allusion not a success. Robert suggests ringing for Cook, and have greatest difficulty in persuading him that this course utterly disastrous.

The whole novel is filled with scenes like the above.


Have you read The Diary of a Provincial Lady? What do you think of this passage?

July 22, 2015

The Book Fangirling Blog Award and Liebster Award #2


Thank you so much, Carrie @ The Book Goddess for nominating me for The Book Fangirling Blog Award. It's much appreciated.

So, the rules for this award are:
  • Create a post to accept your award.
  • Add the blog award button into your post and put it on the side of your blog as a widget.
  • Answer the questions I have above.
  • Nominate between 5-10 book bloggers who you think also deserve this award.
  • Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees.
  • Link to me your post so I can see your answers.

Carrie's Questions

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I wanted to challenge myself with themed reads and I thought that it would be fun to share those reads with the world.

2.What is your favourite book so far of 2015 and why?
It's The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. At first, it left me numb but as the months go by I find myself thinking about it and it grew in me.

3. Have you ever done anything embarrassing while fangirling?
Not really. I'm generally a very reserved person. I might have giggled or laughed  when I was supposed not to, especially while working.

4. What was the book that got you into reading?
This is an easy question! The Lord of the Rings trilogy really got me into reading. I was reading books earlier than that, but at that point (I was around 10) I begun reading like crazy!

5. Who is/are your book boyfriend(s)?
This is a tough question because I can't put the whole list in a single post! You could say anyone of the Jane Austen gentlemen (except for Edmund Bertram), George Emerson from A Room With A View and there are of course my manga boyfriends, Tsuruga Ren from Skip Beat, Kei Takishima from Special A and Kou Tanaka from Ao Haru Ride.

My Questions

  1. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
  2. Do you really like a book that everybody else hates?
  3. For which author you're a complete fangirl?
  4. Which book you can't wait to be published?
  5. Which book would you reread any time?

My nominees

Liebster Award


Thank you so much, Hp20508 @ LiveLove&Explore for nominating for the Liebster Award! I already have made a similar post in the past, but I will answer your questions here :)

1. Favourite Book Author?
You can all guess my answer at this point. David Mitchell.

2. How do you overcome writer's block when it hits?
I continue to write. Even if I'm not satisfied with what I'm writing I try to go on and then edit it later.

3. What book inspired you the most?
I have read many books that got me thinking, but Women in Love is the one that I felt that influenced me the most.

4. What makes you smile?
An unexpected kindness or warm remark.

5. If you were on a desert island, what 3 items would you want with you?
My kindle, my music player and something to charge the previous two!

6. What is your biggest fear?
Probably death.

7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I can't really tell. I hope with a steady job and my own apartment.

8. What is your life goal?
To live a happy and full life.

9. What do you value most in life?
Love, for my family, friends and boyfriend.

10. What would you do today if you knew you could not fail?
Write a novel. It would actually be great if I finished one.

11. What's your favourite season of the year and why?
It's spring because I find the weather then the most pleasant. 



July 21, 2015

Review: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee


Title: Go Set A Watchman

Author: Harper Lee

Publisher: Harper Collins

Date of Publication: July 14, 2015

Number of Pages: 278

Summary

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch - 'Scout' - returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman and a world in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past - a journey that can be guided only by one's conscience.

Review

Should I even try to explain to you how hyped I was for this novel? Ever since I've heard that it would be published I couldn't really wait to get it on my hands and read it. Although I dreaded the possibility of being disappointed. But the urge to find out what happened to all those beloved characters was so strong and so I've finally got a copy and read it. And I wasn't disappointed, despite my high expectations!

Jean Louise returns to Maycomb, only to find it different from before. The faces of the people are the same, but she observes different attitudes. Even the town itself is changing, with new buildings. Go away the old buildings said. There is no place for you here. You are not wanted. We have secrets. Now this is a feeling a little familiar to me and everyone who happens to live away from their hometown. When you return you always observe the differences and you get lost in nostalgia and childhood memories.

But Go Set A Watchman isn't only about Scout's nostalgia. It's her journey towards the discovery of her own mind, her own conscience. And this is the reason why eventually I didn't mind the portrayal of Atticus in this novel. Yes, he is definitely racist, but he still believes that everybody should be treated by the law the same way, These views are the ones that passed down to Jean Louise and these views are what Jean Louise's generation will establish in the south at some point. I won't lie that he was the Atticus that I'd love to see, but he was definitely the Atticus the novel needed.

Another interesting character in Go Set A Watchman is Dr. Jack Finch, the younger brother of Atticus. He is the one that tries to make Scout understand what is going on, but his way of explaining helps her come to her own conclusions. His part in the story is crucial. One thing that I didn't like about this novel is the small part in the story of characters like Jem, Calpurnia, and Dill. I'd like to see more of them and find out what happened to them all those years.

It would be unfair to compare Go Set A Watchman with To Kill A Mockingbird. Keep in mind that the first one is a manuscript, not a fully edited novel like the latter. But I found it more mature, maybe because we witnessed the story through the eyes of an adult protagonist and not a child. I like to think of both of those books as a part of a single work, which in fact, were created as one.

Well, all in all, while reading this novel I had some pretty intense feelings. I was even crying in the end. The last three chapters are really powerful. I highly recommend Go Set A Watchman to all those who loved To Kill A Mockingbird. You will discover other sides of these beloved characters.

So, my advice is...

I need a watchman to lead me around and declare what he seeth every hour on the hour.     


July 20, 2015

The Reading Book Post, July 20th


Hello, everyone! Summer has really got to me and my mind is constantly thinking about the sea, the beach and the sun. But, as every Monday, let's take a look on what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2015 was awarded to Sarah Hilary for her novel Someone Else's Skin. This was the author debut crime novel.

  • So, a new Sherlock Holmes novel will be published. Written by Bonnie MacBird, Art in the Blood is due on October 6, 2015. But, you can read right now an exclusive excerpt. Another novel to expect in the fall! 


  • Not only Sherlock Holmes returns but the Star Wars franchise has a new book. Aftermath is written by Chuck Wendig and will be published on September 4, 2015. The story will take place after the events of The Return of the Jedi and will connect the original trilogy with the forthcoming A Force Awakens. There is also a small passage available

  • London's Young Adult Literature Convention is taking place these days. Watch Patrick Ness read an extract from his new novel. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is coming on August 27, 2015.

  • As the voting period for the Hugo Awards is approaching, George R. R. Martin urges all the science fiction fans to participate. He underlines that this year's is one of the most controversial processes in the award's history. The deadline for the voting is on July 31, 2015.


  • The 2015 London Literature Festival will highlight Herman Melville and his classic novel Moby Dick.  A live reading of the well-known novel will be held in 160 ten-minute readings by actors, writers, and comedians.




  • If Your life Were A Western Novel, What Would Your Story Be? Take the quiz to find out! I got Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What did you get?


July 18, 2015

Confession Saturday: Dear Lola


Hello, everyone! Confession Saturday is a new weekly feature, in which we will have the chance to express our feelings towards certain characters. This time of the week we will choose one character and write to him/her about all the things we would like to say. We can explain why we like or dislike each character, which of his/her actions we don't understand and generally whatever comes to mind. 


New: I've just added a Linky Tool to Confession Saturday, be sure to leave your links there!


After reading Anna and the French Kiss I remained in the mood for romance, so I continued with the series. This week's letter will be to Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door (2011). 



Dear Lola,

stop being such a drama queen! The only thing that justifies your behaviour is the uncertainty that your biological parents give you. 

I can't believe you're holding a grudge against your first love. Ok, I understand that he hurt your feelings, but you're neither the first one nor the last that has been rejected. In reality, he didn't even reject you and you would have known if you'd just taken the time to talk to him. 

Max isn't the right one for you. It's not just the age difference, which for me is a no (at least in that age), it's the fact that both your situations and your sets of mind are totally different. It's hard to realise it, but it never ends well. 

But, what I really really want to say to you is that the thing you have about costumes really gets on my nerves. I understand a certain eccentricity, but the full costumes you are wearing hide the real you. I believe that the reason why you do it is that you are afraid of letting people know who you are and this is your first line of defence. If you don't let people near you, how can you expect them to understand you?

Yours,
Aeriko

July 16, 2015

Thursday Quotables: Go Set A Watchman


Hello, everyone! Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. Every week we highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.



This week's passage comes from none other than the much anticipated Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, which was published a few days ago. I will only put a small passage here because I don't really want to spoil it. I'll just say that I'm so happy to encounter all those beloved characters again!

Atticus raised his eyebrows in warning. He watched his daughter's daemon rise and dominate her: her eyebrows, like his, were lifted, the heavy-lidded eyes beneath them grew round, and one corner of her mouth was raised dangerously. When she looked thus, only God and Robert Browning knew what she was likely to say.

Sounds like Scout, doesn't it?

Have you grabbed a copy of Go Set A Watchman yet? What are your first thoughts about it?

July 15, 2015

Review: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole


Title: A Confederacy of Dunces

Author: John Kennedy Toole

Publisher: Grove Press

Date of Publication: 1980

Number of Pages: 416


Summary

"A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs."

Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole's tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. ("Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.") But Ignatius's quiet life of tyrannizing his mother and writing his endless comparative history screeches to a halt when he is almost arrested by the overeager Patrolman Mancuso--who mistakes him for a vagrant--and then involved in a car accident with his tipsy mother behind the wheel. One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, Ignatius is out pounding the pavement in search of a job.

Review

If the funny books themed read has a classic book, then this is A Confederacy of Dunces. It's a very famous novel, often described as the funniest book ever written. But, the circumstances of its publication are also well-known. I won't hide that before I started reading it I had been very hyped about it. Maybe this is the reason why I ended up disappointed.

The central plot of the novel revolves around Ignatius Jacques Reilly, who is forced by his mother to search for a job. But, there are numerous others subplots that in one way or another depend upon Ignatius' actions. These actions caused several turmoils and chaos and I was actually frustrated that in the end Ignatius managed to get away with them. I also felt that some of these subplots, like the one with Miss Trixie and Mrs. Levy, were unnecessary and didn't offer anything to the story. When I came upon these, I felt the urge to just pass those pages.

Ignatius is not a likeable character, but I'm not sure that he was ever intended to be one. He is a medievalist, who doesn't actually enjoy anything, constantly criticises society and has very firm notions. He is thirty years old, but he doesn't have a job. He's not even trying to get one. His mother tries to motivate him, but her endeavours are in vain. In his job interviews, it's like he's trying not to make a good impression. I felt that he was settled in a situation where his mother provided him everything and he was taking advantage of it. Actually, this happened in every situation he was involved and I was surprised how easily all the characters were deceived by him. Personally, I agreed with Myrna Minkoff, his sort of ex-girlfriend, who insisted that he needed human contact and a sexual relationship. But for me, the fact that he caused me such strong emotions is a sign of the effectiveness of Toole's writing.

Is this the funniest story ever written? I wouldn't say so. The absurdity of the situations and the quirky characters were indeed funny. But in the end A Confederacy of Dunces was more a tiring and boring read for me, rather than a humorous one. The good parts were thrown aside by the fact that I didn't care about the characters and the story.

A Confederacy of Dunces was a disappointing read for me. My expectations were pretty high and I'm sad that I almost thought about dropping it. Although I feel this way about this novel, I'd urge you to take a chance with it, as this is a book that either you'll love it or you'll hate it. 

So, my advice is...

Spin Fortuna's Wheel with Ignatius!  

July 13, 2015

The Reading Book Post, July 13th


Hello, everyone! This has been a rough week for Greece, but I'm trying to remain optimistic. But, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous days. 

  • The 2014 Shirley Jackson Awards were announced a few days ago. Among the winners are Jeff VanderMeer for his novel Annihilation and Daryl Gregory for his novella We Are All Completely Fine.


  • Tomorrow is the day! The publication of Go Set A Watchman is only a day away and in Harper Lee's hometown they are already celebrating. But there are also many concerns about the book since Atticus Finch is portrayed a racist. I won't hide that this comes as a shock for me! Finally, Harper Lee's lawyer Tonja Carter has hinted that there might be another unpublished manuscript of the famous author. 

  •  Joss Whedon's next project will be a comic series called Twist. The series will be a Victorian thriller and will be published by Dark Horse Comics. It is to be expected in six issues, but there isn't yet a release date.


  • So, John Green has given some advice on love and life to the readers of Seventeen magazine. The Q&A is featured in August's issue, which was released on July 7th.

  • Dark Horse Comics has announced that The Legend of Korra will continue as a new comic series. The comic will be created by Michael Dante DiMartino and it will pick up from where the show left off.

  • In Charles Dickens's literary magazine All Year Round were published many anonymous poems and short stories. But a recently discovered collection of the author's magazine, includes Dickens's own notes. In these notes, we learn that some anonymous pieces belong to authors such as Elizabeth Gaskell, Lewis Carroll and Wilkie Collins.


  • What genre would your romance take place in? Take the quiz to find out and let me know! I got mystery :) 


July 11, 2015

Confession Saturday: Dear Scout



Hello, everyone! Confession Saturday is a new weekly feature, in which we will have the chance to express our feelings towards certain characters. This time of the week we will choose one character and write to him/her about all the things we would like to say. We can explain why we like or dislike each character, which of his/her actions we don't understand and generally whatever comes to mind. 

Thank you so much for all of your positive reactions and feedback the first week of Confession Saturday. This week I'm writing a letter to Scout Jean Louise Finch, from the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I won't lie that I'm excited for the publication of To Set A Watchman which is now only a few days away.

New: I've just added a Linky Tool to Confession Saturday, be sure to leave your links there!


Dear Scout,

You were just a little child when this story happened. I didn't expect you to understand the things the way you did and I'm sincerely surprised about that!

I like the fact that you were a tomboy and expressed yourself freely. Growing up with an older brother can be tough, especially when he begins to exclude you from his games. Jem was no different than that. But the games you did play were fun! Ok, I have to admit that you didn't act a lot like a girl, but I was the same as you were at that age. Of course, you should have kept your temper, even though you were right. You were defending yourself and your father, but hitting the other person isn't always the solution.

It must have been really lonely to grow up without a mother, but Atticus was doing his best. He taught you not to be racist, to be honest and see every human being equal. It was only natural that you couldn't understand at your age the gravity of the situation your father found himself into. I hope that in the future you understood why he did it. In fact, Atticus was a great dad. He set an excellent example and I have high hopes that Jem followed his steps. 

Boo Radley was a unique case. At first, the games you played with the boys were insensitive. Boo was always watching you, even protecting you. You managed to create a weird relationship with him, a man that was out of the society for so long. In the end you acted the right way. Well done, Scout!  

I can't wait to meet your older self. I'd like to see how all of this influenced your way of thinking. It was a rough situation for a 9-year-old and I'd like to find out how all of this sunk in. I hope your relationship with Atticus remained the same.

Yours,
Aeriko





July 10, 2015

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Date of Publication: December 2010

Number of Pages: 372

Summary

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Review

Lately, I've been in the mood for romance. So I've read some romance novels, both historical and contemporary, and I've watched romantic comedies and a couple of shoujo anime. I've had this series of books in my mind for quite a while and now I thought that it was the perfect chance to finally read Anna and the French Kiss. Indeed, it suited wonderfully my current mood.

I love the setting of this novel. Anna and the French Kiss obviously takes place in Paris. This city is by default romantic. As my trip there is the most recent one I made, I liked that I was able to mentally create the image of the streets, bridges and buildings that were described. But, even if I hadn't seen the Pantheon or Notre Damme with my own eyes the descriptions were so great and detailed that it would be easy to imagine them. During one scene, the protagonists visit the bookshop Shakespeare & Co. THAT'S THE BEST BOOKSHOP I've ever been to! Well, the setting was a big Yes for me.

The story was beautiful and swoon-worthy, although at times I felt that it was a little cliche. The friend who is secretly in love with the protagonist or the false rumours going on are things that are common. But I liked the pace the romance was developing. It didn't come easy, although both of them felt the same way. The obstacles they had to face were various and complex and by the end of the story both of them had learnt something. 

Anna was a very likeable character, I felt that I could be friends with her. At times, I felt that her complaints were unrealistic. I understand that she was sent away from home, but she was in Paris in a top private school. Even if her father did it for himself, he still offered her a great opportunity. But I can't deny that in the end she realised what her faults were and I felt that she was wiser than the beginning and I liked her even more for that. The one thing I can't get over is that although she was a movie aficionado and her favourite director was Sofia Coppola, she wasn't aware that Paris is a top city for the cinema lovers. Étienne was just the way a male protagonist should be. He was funny, witty, emotional and faulty. If he wasn't that insecure the romance would surely move much quicker. I loved his devotion he showed to his mother. It felt strange though that he just had to have an English accent. The author explains that he was raised in Britain and it's a perfectly fine reason for it, but I think that I'd love for him to have a French accent.

Anna and the French Kiss was a really cute and sweet read. I cared enough for the characters, in order to feel anxious and worry about them, laugh with them and feel relieved. I would recommend it to those who want to read something romantic and feel nice.

So my advice is...

Fall in love in the City of Lights! 

July 9, 2015

Cover Characteristic: Cups


This meme is hosted by Sugar & Snark.

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favourite covers with that characteristic.

This week's characteristic is cups. So, here are my picks:




The title of this book is huge, but the cover is really funny. I like this cut-out gentleman figure.


4. Why We Broke Up (2011) by Daniel Handler


I have to admit that I like teacups and the colour red. How could I possibly not fall in love with this cover?


3. Longbourn (2013) by Jo Baker


Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the maids? I couldn't miss this one!


2. Black Butler Vol. 1 (2007) by Yana Toboso


The previous entry had a maid, now it's only natural that I'd choose a cover with a butler. What better cover than this one?


1. Love, Rosie (2004) by Cecilia Ahern


I absolutely love this cover. The colours are amazing and the drawing is beautiful. It just makes me want to pick up and start reading it right away! 


Thursday Quotables: Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair


Hello, everyone! Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. Every week we highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.


This week I'm going to share with a beautiful love poem from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924) by Pablo Neruda. A couple of days ago I finished reading Anna and the French Kiss and in this novel Etienne gives a book of Neruda's poetry to Anna. The Chilean poet has always been a favourite of mine, so I read this collection for yet another time.

In My Sky At Twilight

In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colours are the way I love them.
You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips
and in your life my infinite dreams live.

The lamp of my soul dyes your feet,
My sour wine is sweeter on your lips,
oh reaper of my evening song,
how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!

You are mine, mine, I go shouting it to the afternoon's
wind, and the wind hauls on my widowed voice.
Huntress of the depths of my eyes, your plunder
stills your nocturnal regard as though it were water.

You are taken in the net of my music, my love,
and my nets of music are wide as the sky.
My soul is born on the shore of your eyes of mourning.
In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begins. 


Have you read Pablo Neruda? Which is your favourite poem of his?

July 7, 2015

Review: Napalm & Silly Putty by George Carlin


Title: Napalm & Silly Putty

Author: George Carlin

Publisher: Hachette Books

Date of Publication: January 2001

Number of Pages: 269

Summary

He's the inventor of Past-Tense TV (featuring "Got Smart," "Father Knew Best," and "It Was Left to Beaver"); the tireless crusader for such charities as the Center for Research into the Heebie Jeebies, Children of Parents with Bad Teeth, and the State Hospital for Those Who Felt All Right About a Year Ago; founder of the George Carlin Book Club (top titles: "How to Act Laid-Back During a Grease Fire," "Fill Your Life with Croutons," and "The Meaning of Corn"); and the only social commentator with the guts to point out that "the day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life."

Yes, George Carlin is back with more of what he does better than any other comic today: uproarious observations, laser-targeted crankiness, linguistic legerdemain, and inspired weirdness. ("If the shoe fits, get another just like it." "When you sneeze, all the numbers in your head go up by one") Napalm & Silly Putty is just what his fans have been waiting for—another generous helping of notions, nonsense, assertions, assumptions, mockery, merriment, silliness, sarcasm, and, to be sure, plenty of disturbing references and toxic alienation. George wouldn't have it any other way.

Review

George Carlin was a legendary comedian. Even before I started getting into stand-up comedy, which was actually pretty recently, I was aware of him. So when I started reading this book I was curious to find out what it would be like. Would his writing style be similar to the way he talked in his lives? Would his jokes be equally funny when they were written down and not performed? These were a few of my questions and I was delighted to find out the result. 

Carlin in Napalm & Silly Putty had a great variety of themes that he explored, many of them very typical of him, like the government, religion and death. The chapters didn't have a thematical connection most of the times but throughout the book there were several chapters with Short Takes and The Evening News. From these, Short Takes were my absolute favourite ones that included short jokes, many times one-line long. 

The writing style was unique. It resembled the way that Carlin talked, so almost all of the time I imagined him talking. Maybe I should try listening to the audio version of the book. But reading the jokes didn't take any of my enjoyment away, I was constantly laughing out loud. Besides, Carlin had this very characteristic way of expressing himself and he maintained it as it was, with all the profanities and the satirical comments.

What I really liked about this comedy is the truth that it depicts. George Carlin in this book commented the wrongs of our society, without holding anything back. The observations concerning our everyday lives revealed so many absurdities that it's impossible not to laugh. I was surprised, but Napalm & Silly Putty was one of the most thought-provoking books I've read this period. Like this following quote, People add extra words when they want things to sound more important than they really are. Every page contained truths that left an impression on me. 

All in all, Napalm & Silly Putty is an excellent read for the comedy lovers. In fact, I would urge everybody to get familiar with Carlin's work. It's funny, but stimulating at the same time. Before closing my review, I would like to share an anecdote with you. A few days after I finished this book I had to travel by plane. There are three chapters in this book talking about the airline announcements. When the plane was ready to take off and the flight attendants were demonstrating the safety instructions I couldn't keep myself from laughing on my own. Like almost all of the time. I think I will never listen to those instructions with a straight face ever again. 

So, my advice is...


July 6, 2015

The Reading Book Post, July 6th


Hello, everyone! I'm so happy that you liked Confession Saturday and I hope that next week our group will be bigger. But, let's take a look on what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The Desmond Elliot Prize 2015 was awarded to Claire Fuller for her novel Our Endless Numbered Days. Meanwhile, the shortlist for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year was annonced. Among the nominees are The Land Where Lemons Grow, A Journey to Russia and  Indonesia Etc: Exploring the Improbable Nation.


  • Stephen King has released an exclusive audiobook edition of his short story Drunken Fireworks. He narrates the story himself. Drunken Fireworks will be included in the collection The Bazzar of  Bad Dreams which is due out in November.

  • The publication of Go Set A Watchman is only a few days away. But last week was made public that the manuscript was discovered in 2011 and not in 2014 that was the official story.

  • Parent by Day. Hero by Night. This is the new direction that Jessica Drew has taken. She appears in the cover for Spider-Womam #1 pregnant. The new issues will be available in October.

  • Scribd announced that it cuts down the number of romance and erotica titles available. Caused by the high demand of these genres the online service is facing an unsustainable cost. 

  • Summer is here and many of us take our reading to the beach. Learn how to protect your e-reader from the sun, surf and sand. Also, seven authors reveal what book will they read this summer.

  • You know my love for folklore, so this week's quiz is all about it. Which monster from folklore are you? I got the Troll. Which one did you get?    


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