Book Haul: July

Summer is in full swing, and it's time for another book haul.

July was good, but hot. I cannot deal with temperatures over 20 celsius, so summer is not my favourite season. In the beginning of the month, I went to my grandfathers cabin on the west coast, and it was a really nice little mini vacation. I got to read loads, which was great.

We're moving into August now, and the more autumnal months, which makes me very happy. Anyways, here are the books I got in July!

I hope you've all had a great month! Do let me know if you've read any of these, or if you're particularly excited about a book you've gotten this summer!


Book Review:
Touch by Natalia Jaster

Title: Touch
Author: Natalia Jaster
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 237
Rating: 3/5

A copy of this book was provided by the author. This does not influence my review.

This is the story of Eros; Love has never loved, but when the Fates send her off to a frostbitten, forsaken town, she crosses paths with a human named Andrew who can do something no mortals are supposed to: he can see her.

I quite enjoyed this book, and it took me a little by surprise, to be honest.

As you may know, romance is not my favourite genre. I think this story lends something new though, at least something I've never read before. It's fast-paced, it's funny and the mythology aspects are great. I especially enjoyed the main character in this book, especially that she's a bit mischievous. This book is also quite well written, and I will definitely be keeping my eye on this author.

I'm not a huge fan of erotic scenes, because I so often find them awkward when they're supposed to be romantic and all that jazz, so those were not my favourites in this. There are also parts of the story that are a bit cliché, and there is a bit of instalove and a love triangle in this, and though there is a reason for it, I didn't love it. I sort of wished this whole story would dig even deeper, and there were some parts of the mythology I found unexplained.

That being said, I think this book is perfect for people who love romance novels, so I would highly recommend it if that's your jam!

You can get this book on Amazon.
You can read more about it on Goodreads.

PS: This book is meant for mature young adults and adults in general, as it contains explicit content. 


Top 5: Books I Want to Read Because of the Cover III

It has occurred to me that I will never run out of Top 5 lists to make, because if I can't think of anything, I can just do one of these! There are so many gorgeous books out there, and they keep drawing me in.

You can check out the other parts here: Part I and Part II.

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

I actually got this one for Christmas last year, and it is so gorgeous. I really like the simplicity of the colours. This is a science fiction book about time travel, and I can't wait to read it.

The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester

This cover is just so striking! This is a historical fiction novel about a mysterious disappearance, that eventually leads the main character to a place called The Hourglass Factory.

Snow in May: Stories by Kseniya Melnik

I have been drooling over this gorgeous cover for what feels like forever. This is a short story collection set in Russia, which I think sounds really interesting.

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

I just love the colours and the creepiness of this artwork. This is a western historical fiction book about a girl who dresses like a boy to find out who killed her father and the location of a hidden gold mine.

The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

I just love the illustrations on this cover. The story is about a woman who gains independence by becoming a boxer, which I think sounds amazing.

So many gorgeous books!



Book Review:
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Title: Oliver Twist
Author: Charles Dickens
Published: 1835
Language: English
Pages: 531
Rating: 3/5

Set in Victorian England, Oliver Twist is the tale of a starving orphan, caught between the forces of good and evil.

I find this a bit difficult to review, but I will do my best.

I had very high expectations for this and I was a bit let down. I was really into it when I got started, but there were parts in the middle that I found such an effort to get through. The ending was pretty good, but I almost feel like it ended too well. The story is so sad in parts, and yet everything ties up neatly at the end: all good people are rewarded, all bad people punished, and you can sort of tell halfway through the story that this kid everything revolves around is going to be just fine.

I loved some of the characters, and yet there were others that evoked no feelings with me. Oliver was by far my favourite character, he's just so loveable (maybe even a bit too loveable...).

All this aside, I'm really happy I read this book. I understand it's merit and though I didn't fall in love with this book, I am very glad I read it. I will definitely pick up some more Dickens at some point.

I would recommend this if you want to try some Dickens, but this is a long and sometimes slow book, so be prepared.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads


On My Shelf VI

It's time for yet another On My Shelf. This is the sixth one in this series, and you can check out the others here.

My shelves are an absolute mess these days, so I counted to the best of my abilities, and found these books to show you:

7 and 20

This is a collection of short stories and is a book I have yet to read. I bought this last time I was in London, purely because of this gorgeous cover.

4 and 12

This is the fourth book in the Fairyland series, of which I have now read two. But I will definitely get to this soon, as this is one of my favourite series of all time. Can't wait to get around to this one.

1 and 17

Have I ever told you I keep getting sucked in by beautiful covers? Sigh.

10 and 10

A book I have read and loved. This is apocalyptic fiction that follows a theatre crew before and after the end of the world. This also has a gorgeous green spine.

1 and 4

This is a book by the wonderful Persephone books, and is one of their most famous classics. Though I love the grey covers these usually come in, I really like these ones too. The quality of Persephone books are excellent. I have yet to read this one as well.

All right, time to give you some numbers if you want to do this:

2 and 7
9 and 18
2 and 9
4 and 1
8 and 8



Book Review:
The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

Title: The Magic Toyshop
Author: Angela Carter
Published: 1967
Language: English
Pages: 224
Rating: 4/5

Melanie is a young girl at the edge of womanhood, dancing through her garden in her mothers wedding dress in the moonlight. But the sky comes crashing down the next morning when she is forced to leave her comfortable and familiar life to go live with her Uncle, a London toymaker.

This was a whimsical and beautiful little story.

Though it took me a while to get into, I quite enjoyed reading this. The characters are vivid, fascinating and they feel real. The story is dark and magical, and the atmosphere is extraordinary. There are a lot of disturbing things in here that caught me quite by surprise.

The writing style is by far the best part of this book. It definitely makes me want to read more of Carters work.

That being said, this book is maybe a wee bit too cryptic for me, and I'm not sure I caught everything, and I really made an effort, so that's saying something.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark and twisted stories.

You can get this gorgeous book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads



Book Review:
The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness

Title: The Ask and The Answer
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 553
Rating: 4/5

This is the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. You can read my review of the first book; The Knife of Never Letting Go.

As this is the second book in a series, this review will contain spoilers.

Having failed at fleeing the army that's been chasing them, Todd and Viola find themselves wounded and beaten in the hands of their worst enemy, in the middle of the city he is currently forming into New Prentisstown.

I finally got around to continuing this trilogy! Though it's been a while since I read the first one, I had no problems jumping back into the story.

I really enjoyed this book, though it's not quite as action packed as the first one. There's a lot more of psychological stuff in this one, and we get to know the characters more. I especially liked reading about The Mayor and how twisted his view of the world is. I also really love how the main characters have depth, that not everything is all black and white.

The only issue I have with this is that it is a little bit repetitive, and there's this slight hint of a love triangle, and we all know how much I hate those. I'm really excited to read the final book in this though, because it ended on quite the cliffhanger!

I would wholeheartedly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys dystopian science fiction that will break your heart.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads


Book Review:
The Man With The Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi

Title: The Man With The Compound Eyes:
Author: Wu Ming-Yi
Translated by: Darryl Sterk (original language: Taiwanese)
Published: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5

On the island Wayo Wayo, every second son must be sacrificed to the Sea God the day he turns fifteen. Atile'i is a second son, but determined to defy destiny and become the first to survive.

Alice Shih is determined to die. Having lost her lover and her son, she sees no reason to continue living. But her plan is interrupted when a huge wave comes crashing in, bringing a certain young boy with it.

To me, this was like a breath of fresh air. I very much enjoyed this book.

The characters and the different settings are what appealed to me most. I loved reading about the main characters. The only reason this is not a five star rating is because I found two of the side characters to be uninteresting. They both have a few pages each at the end, and at that point, I only wanted to read about those I'd already come to love.

The setting of this is vivid and I love the culture of the people. I also really enjoyed the magical realism aspects of this, where you question what's real and what's not.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys magical realism. It's so good!

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads


Top 5:
Man Booker Prize Winning Books I Want To Read

After having done a Top 5 on books longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and books shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, it's time to look at the books I want to read that actually won the award.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Set in Japan during the second world war, this is a tale of impossible love. I've heard so many wonderful things about this one, and I do own it, so all I need to do is pick it up.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

This book is a beast, but I feel like it would be worth the effort. As far as I know, this is set in New Zealand in 1866, but that's all I want to know. I think it would be good to go in somewhat blind.

Wolf Hall by Dame Hilary Mantel

This is the first book in the Thomas Cromwell trilogy. It's set in 1520's England, and tells a story inside the Tudor court. I love that kind of stuff.

The Blind Assasin by Margaret Atwood 

I have yet to read a Margaret Atwood book, and I think I might start with this one. It's a mystery novel set in Canada and it's supposed to be pretty epic.

The Famished Road by Ben Okri

This is full of magical realism and African culture. The main character is a spirit child, one who lives between life and death. Sounds creepy and fascinating. It's also good to try and read authors from other continents, so I definitely want to give this a go.

Let me know if you've read any of these and what you thought!

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