Books, Wrap-Up

July 2017 – Reading Wrap Up

July was the month I went on holiday and that meant I got a lot of reading done. I’m going to talk about all the books I read in the order I read them in…

Let’s go!

travel south of france reading wrap up

Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor *****

#currentlyreading #books #prettybooks #bookcover #reading #bookblogger

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My favorite out of all the books I read. This was such an amazing book! The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is on its way over to me and I CANNOT WAIT!!!

Full review here.

Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier **

This book was very ‘meh’ for me. The start was promising but it just didn’t do it for me. I had heard that this book is hit or miss and that there are a lot of people who don’t like it at all. I turned out to be one of them…

Full review here.

Trigger Warning – Neil Gaiman ****

Have I done a full review for this book? I can’t remember. If I haven’t already, I’ll write one soon(ish). I read most of this book on the drive back home (which took us 11 hours, so lots of time to read) and I loved it.

It’s a short story collection and of course there were books that I liked better than others. I might have shrieked when I reached the Doctor Who one.

Lock and Mori – Heather W. Petty ***

I read this on a whim. It was fast and fun but not a lot happened really. I mean a lot happened but it didn’t feel like a lot happened. I’m not explaining this very well… am I?

I liked that there were some very heavy topics because some people lead hard lives. I liked that Heather W. Petty managed to maintain the core of Sherlock and Moriarty and didn’t change them completely.

I’m not sure if I want to pick up that other books in the series.. Maybe one day.

The Burial – Courtney Collins ***

Home from work Let's read!! #btat17 #currentlyreading @booktubeathon

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My first BookTubeAThon read. I got up a little earlier every morning to read this and finished it in three days. It was super interesting. I had never read anything set in Australia before and the main-character was great.

There were also some things I didn’t like but I’ll get into those when I do a full review.

Artemis – Andy Weir ***

I got an arc for Artemis from Netgalley and I was so excited because I LOVED The Martian. This was so much fun! It wasn’t as thrilling as The Martian (which stressed me out… a lot…djezes.) but it was funny and interesting and really, really fun.

There were some moments where it was very obvious that this was a man writing a female main character but hey.. I’m not complaining (too much).

Once again, full review coming soon.

And that’s it! Those are the books I read in July. Not bad, not bad at all. Let’s see if I can keep this tempo up in August as well.

Wish me luck!

Love

Ellen

Books, Wrap-Up

Top 5 books of 2016

Looking back on my reading year, I have A LOT of 4 star reads and not a lot of 5 stars. I’m not sure what that says about my reading exactly, maybe I just haven’t read the right books? But that sounds a little too negative. I’ve liked most of the books I’ve read and I even loved a couple. So I should consider this year a success. There, that’s what I’m going with!

I’ll do a separate post where I look back on the reading goals I set for myself at the beginning of 2016. Today, I want to show you my Top 5 books of 2016.

HHhH by Laurent Binet book

1) HhhH by Laurent Binet

This is one of the books I gave five stars to. It was so different from anything I had ever read. I honestly wish I could write like that. The amount of detail blew me away. I absolutely loved it!! (And I read it in Dutch! I rarely read anything in my mother tongue anymore but this made me want to pick up more books in my own language.)

grief is the thing with feathers max porter

2) Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

This is of two bookclub books on this list. It was my pick and even though not everyone in my bookclub shared my enthousiasm, I’m still glad to have read it. The language in this book is sublime. It’s a mix of poetry and prose. The four characters (five if you count the mother… I do) are so solid for such a small book and especially Crow is just perfect (is a vile and loathsome way). I was so proud of myself for not crying throughout the book and then I reached the last page and… yeah…

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3) City of Thieves by David Benioff

This was a four star read and even though I’m putting it on this list, I’m sticking with the rating I gave it. Then why put it on the list? This book has stayed with me. I first read a library copy, then I found it in a second hand bookstore while on holiday in the Peak District and I didn’t even have to think about it, I bought it immediately. Memories of this book keep popping up out of nowhere and that doesn’t happen very often. I’m not sure what it was exactly, maybe the characters (they’re brilliant), maybe the events and the way they were explained (also brilliant) but there’s something in this book… something amazing.

 

4) Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Also a four star read and my second bookclub book. After discussing this book, I found out that some things annoyed me a bit about Cheryl. Not the book itself but her as a character. I know that most of the events in the book really happened and that she’s a real life person but there were little things that just bothered me. The reason it’s on this list is that this was the book that made me laugh out loud (several times), it made me want to keep reading (so I did..) and it was just a lot of fun. That’s important too! I’ve read a lot of heavy books this year (heavy in theme, not weight..) and sometimes I just needed something.. fun.. like this one. I’m just very glad to have read it.

 

5) Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut

Ah, my crème de la crème. This is THE book of 2016! I loved this book so very much. It’s so not what I would usually read but it carved its name into my soul and now I will never be able to let it go. My god, I loved this book. I loved the references Kurt made to himself, I loved the story, I loved the fact that most of it really happened and I love the fact that I loved it. This is truly amazing. I would recommend it to everyone who likes to read historical fiction (about WW II).

That’s it! My favorite books of 2016.
Next week is a start of a new year with new opportunities for new favorites.
And I can’t wait!!

What were your favorite books of 2016?
Which ones would you recommend?

Love

Ellen

Books, Review, Wrap-Up

Wrap up July – 2016

Hi!

Unlike many others, I’m actually glad that it’s August already. Because my husband is always super busy during the summer holidays (he’s a sound technician so summer festivals mean busy busy busy) so we’re taking some time of in September, which seems impossibly far away. Sitting at home and seeing everyone’s pictures of their travels is both fun and agony at the same time. Fun because I get to dream of travelling in September, agony because it’s only August the 3rd today which means I have to wait another month before I can get away.

Seeing as I don’t have time off work, I haven’t been able to read a lot in July. The Booktubeathon looked promising at first but ended up being a bit of a failure.

These are the books I read last month:

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson

7664334I was looking for something light and fluffy and that’s exactly what I got. Well, not 100% light because the main character in this book has recently lost her father and blames herself for his death… but it was leaning more towards the fluffy side.
There was a road-trip and we got awesome playlists which we could listen to while reading the book. Yup, I enjoyed it.

Full review here.

Siege and Storm | Ruin and Rising – Leigh Bardugo

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I did enjoy Shadow and Bone and wanted to continue the series. Siege and Storm didn’t really grab my attention at first but eventually I couldn’t put it down. When I finished it, I immediately picked up Ruin and Rising to keep on reading. It was a fun series and I do recommend it to anyone who loves a bit of fantasy.

Review Shadow and Bone

Review Siege and Storm & Ruin and Rising

Ragnarok – A.S. Byatt13632518

I love Loki. I really do. I think he’s a great character in the Marvel universe. So when I
found this book, I couldn’t wait to read more. Unfortunately, this book was not what I had expected it to be.. at all. I was ready for a story about a little girl during the Second World War but I got a lesson on Norse mythology. There were too many names and not enough pages to do all of them justice. I did enjoy the Loki parts and it was beautifully written but my mind wasn’t prepared for what I was reading.

Full review here.

And that’s it…
In August I want to try and read a few ARCs. Right now I’m in the middle of The Last One by Alexandra Oliva. It’s thrilling and fun so I’m sure you’ll hear more about it soon.

I also bought some classics which should arrive any day now. I’ll keep you in the loop when they do.

See you soon!

Love

Ellen

Wrap-Up

Wrap-up May – 2016

I have been working full-time since the 2nd of May and it has had the logical result when it comes to reading.
There hasn’t been much of it this month.

All the light we cannot see – Anthony Doerrf17a78417d7c4d0355b01d3f68ad1aa2

I was super excited for this book but it let me down.
Yes, the writing was pretty good. Yes, the story was interesting. But there was something missing.
The book just didn’t draw me in. I started reading it on my e-reader but I wasn’t as hooked as I thought I would be. So I switched to a paper (library) version, thinking that would solve my problem.. but no, it just didn’t work for me, unfortunately.
I know a lot of people love this book and it makes me a bit sad that I didn’t like it as much as others do but that’s life.
It makes for great discussion material, though ;).

Jij zegt het – Connie Palmen

jij zegt het connie palmenI want to mention this book because I spent a lot of time reading it, only to quit about halfway through. It tells the story of Ted Hughes and Syvlia Plath. You may or may not be aware of their tragic romance. In short, Ted Hughes got most of the blame after Sylvia Plath committed suicide. Connie Palmen wanted to give him a voice and show the readers the events through his eyes (or at least a possible look through his eyes, because really.. how do you know how someone felt, what he thought,… Writing about real people is difficult).
I could not get into this book at all. The writing annoyed me immensely. Worst of all were the plethora of adjectives. Every couple of sentences she would for example go: she came home to a silent, empty, dark, cold, abandoned house. And all I could think was “NO! Stop doing that. Find two, maybe three adjectives you like and leave the rest!”
That’s all I’m going to say about it. This book only exists in Dutch. If you want to, pick it up. I read this for my book club and others really enjoyed it. It even won the Libris Literary Price.

Grief is the thing with feathers – Max Portergrief is the thing with feathers max porter

I can’t say too much about this book yet because I read it as our next book club book. I will go into more detail after we have discussed it.
All I can tell you now is that I absolutely adored it. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read and I really, really, really hope that the others will like it as much as I do.

And that’s it…
I’m reading a lot of short books in June, just to get through some while only being able to read for short amounts of time.
If you have any recommendations for short book, do let me know!!

 

Love

Ellen

Wrap-Up

Wrap-up April – 2016

Today was my first day working my new job and man! does it feel good to be doing something useful again. Even though it was mostly my colleagues explaining things and not really working, it still feels like I accomplished something today. I’m already looking forward to the rest of my short week. (Thursday is Ascension and the firm is taking Friday off too)

But I’m here to tell you about the books I read in april.
Let’s go!

Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi (DNF)Reading Lolita in Tehran

I started reading this book for the bookclub I joined but didn’t have enough time to finish it. It turned out that other members of the bookclub either hadn’t finished it or finished it but didn’t like it. So I’m not upset about it and I didn’t continue reading it after bookclub-night. It the comments had been really positive, I might have continued on but it got a 2/10 from our group so I put it down.
If you want to read more, you can do so here.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling *****harry-potter-chamber-of-secrets-childrens-uk.jpg

There isn’t a lot to say here. I read the books before, but quite a while ago and am now rereading all of them in 2016. These are books that take no effort reading them at all. I fly through them and mostly pick them up when there’s nothing else I feel like reading.

Like the first book, I absolutely enjoyed the reread. There are so many details I forgot. Things that were not used in the movie but that really give the story some more dept.
On to the third!! Can’t wait to meet Sirius and Buckbeak again.

The Puppet Boy of Warsaw – Eva Wear ***84fc713bc57e8b5fe5fc6ab5e701a3bf

When I started reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised by the story. I thought it was well thought out and gave a realistic idea of the ghetto in Warsaw. But then I started to get frustrated by the writing. There was a lot of unnecessary repetition, like the writer lost track of story and forgot that she had actually used the same words only two sentences ago. It bothered me. The second part of the book felt a bit forced. So all in all not a succes for me. Hey, you win some, you lose some.. You can read my full review here.

The Summer Before The War – Helen Simonson

9780812993103_custom-81b6cd4fd0db5f2ea2087aa21ae510c427b8b7b7-s400-c85I asked for a proof copy of this book on Netgalley and was kindly sent one. The feeling I got from this book was a bit Downton Abbey-ish but with people like you and me, not so high up the society ladder… I liked the way the characters were written, the way a whole town was written (the characters felt life-like and I could imagine myself walking around in the town) and I would have finished this book and liked it, if I wasn’t such a complete idiot.. I forgot to check the expiration date of the file and when I was about halfway through, it was closed down. So I’ll have to keep an eye out for it in my library or the bookshop I usually go to.. Because I really want to know how it ends!
Because I didn’t finish it, I can’t give it a fair rating but I liked what I’ve read so far so I would recommend it. It has a bit of romance and a woman who stands up for herself with World War One as a background. So give it a read and let me know what you think.

And note to self: from now on you check the end dates in the reading files! 😉

And that’s it.. not the biggest list but a list none the less. I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done in May. I guess we’ll have to see how much time I’ll have and how tired I’ll be in the evening.

See you again soon!

Love

Ellen