2015/11/29

Book Haul: November

What! November is over! That. Is. Crazy.

It's been a good month. I've moved, again, and it's not long until my place is done now. I can't freaking wait!

We're moving into the last month of the year, and I can't wait for Christmas. In the meanwhile, here are some books! This months haul is especially beautiful, as I got whole stack of the Penguin English Library Classics!











I hope you all had a wonderful month!
ALL LINKS ARE AFFILIATE
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2015/11/28

Book Review:
The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales by Kirsty Logan

Title: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales
Author: Kirsty Logan
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 143
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
Twenty tales of lust and loss, featuring clockwork hearts, paper men, island circuses and a flooded world.


Review:
As a huge admirer of The Gracekeepers, I was really excited to read this book.

I think this is a solid collection of short stories. It has that witching and slightly dark feeling to it that I really enjoy, and it's my favorite element in fairy tales. The writing is lyrical and wonderful. Not all the stories have magical elements, but those that did were definitely my favorites.

The stories vary in theme and length, and there were some stories that I absolutely loved, that took me by surprise and I couldn't put down. However, there were quite a few I didn't find as appealing, but that's what you get with short story collection.

I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy fairytales, or if you just want to try some of Logan's work.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2015/11/27

2015/11/25

Book Review:
The Remains by Annie Freud

Title: The Remains
Author: Annie Freud
Published: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 96
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
A collection of poetry sprung from the author finding broken china in her garden.


Review:
After reading two of this author's poetry collection, I hereby resign my attempt to understand it.

This poetry simply isn't my cup of tea, because most of the time, I just don't get it. I feel about this what I often feel about modern art; I am baffled, confused and I need an explanation. But poetry to me shouldn't need an explanation, there should be something that all people can understand and connect with. This doesn't have that for me.

That being said, I enjoyed this more than I enjoyed her other collection. I really liked the pages with artwork on them and I even saw some of it's connection to the poems, which was nice.

Overall, this didn't make an impression on me. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're really into this kind of poetry.


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2015/11/24

Top 5: Books I Want To Read Because of the Cover IV

It's time to look at some more beautiful covers!

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

A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel


What is this book about? I have no idea, but boy does it look strange and intriguing.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang


Basically, I love this cover because these are some of my favorite flowers, and it took me ages to notice the meat in the picture. Fascinating!

Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson


I love the artwork on this cover, and the minute I saw it, I added it to my TBR. As far as I know this book is magical realism.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson


This cover is both hilarious and INSANE. This is a non fiction book and as it says on the cover: a funny book about horrible things.

The Lovebird by Natalie Brown


This is contemporary fiction and this cover is stunning! I love the colors and the flowers.


Ah, I want to read them right now!


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2015/11/23

Book Review:
The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Title: The Ghost Bride
Author: Yangsze Choo
Published: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 373
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
Set in colonial Malaya, Li Lan has few prospects. But one day, the prominent Lim family asks her to become their dead sons ghost bride; she will have a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price.


Review:
This book was pretty good. It's an enjoyable read and has some really fascinating elements to it. It actually turned out to be a lot different than I had imagined, but in a very good way.

I especially enjoyed the setting, the culture and the ghost world. I enjoyed the pacing of the plot and there were loads of interesting twists and turns. I also enjoyed a lot of the side-characters.

However, I felt a pretty big disconnect to the main character, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why. I also though the romance aspects were a bit dull, but that's probably just me.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and paranormal fiction.


You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can get the e-book on Amazon
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2015/11/22

Amazing Authors: Thomas Hardy

If you didn't know already, I have found out that I am quite into reading and watching a lot of sad stuff. There's just something about it that I find fascinating, especially when it comes to humans and how they deal with it. And who has a reputation for writing some really depressing literature? Thomas Hardy.


Signature:
Born/died: 02.06.1840 - 11.01.1928
Nationality: British
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Most Notable Work:
- Tess of the D'Urbervilles
- Far From the Madding Crowd

Along with Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite classical authors. It's only this last year that I first read his books; the first one I read was Tess of the D'Urbervilles, closely followed by Far From The Madding Crowd, both of which I love.

Hardy's books are at times impossibly sad, especially the story of Tess. It deals with themes of religion, class, marriage and education and how these things limit us and how it affect our happiness. There's also an element of randomness, how things sometimes simply just happen, and how it can send characters tumbling.

I also thoroughly enjoy some of Hardy's poetry, which come in a great variety of styles. These also deal a lot with disappointment, sadness and regret.

It sure does sound like all of this is bathed in depression, but that's what makes the happy points in his stories so wonderful.

It's because of authors like Hardy that I continue to read classics, because there's something universal to them; the human struggle is still the human struggle, despite what age you're in. It's always helps though, that it's set to the background of Victorian England, so he has that going for him as well.

Books I've Read

Books I Want To Read
Jude the Obscure is probably the one I'll read next, then The Woodlanders.

The Book To Start With

I would recommend starting with Far From the Madding Crowd, simply because I think it's the book that most people will enjoy and probably my favorite. It's the story of the very independent Batsheba Everdene, who inherits a large estate and whose life is complicated by three very different men. It's a wonderful story that offers many great and fascinating characters, all set to the backdrop of the English countryside.

(I would also recommend Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but it's much heavier on the sadness and especially religious themes. It deals a lot with with guilt and innocence, and I think it's a book that might not be for everyone. It's wonderful, in my opinion, but a bit more dull.)

The movie adaptation for Far From The Madding Crowd was also recently released, which I thoroughly enjoyed (I have written a Page vs. Screen on this, if you wish to read more about it).



Let me know if you've read anything by Hardy, or which book you want to read if you haven't!


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2015/11/21

2015/11/20

2015/11/19

Book Review:
Selected Poetry by Thomas Hardy

Title: Selected Poetry
Author: Thomas Hardy
Published: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 2009
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
A collection of poetry written by Thomas Hardy.


Review:
As you may know, I am a huge fan of Thomas Hardy, having loved a lot of his writing. I was really excited to read some of his poetry, and I found a lot of new favorites in this book, though of course, there were some that didn't appeal to me as much.

I must say, if you don't like things that are dark, sad and gloomy, this isn't for you. However, if you do, this is the collection to pick up, especially if you like a more classical style of poetry.

One of my favorite poems from this collection is The Haunter:

He does not think that I haunt here nightly
How shall I let him know
That whither his fancy sets him wandering
I, too, alertly go? -
Hover and hover a few feet from him
Just as I used to do
But cannot answer the words he lifts me -
Only listen thereto!

When I could answer he did not say them
When I could let him know
How I would like to join in his journeys
Seldom he wished to go
Now that he goes and wants me with him
More than he used to do
Never he sees my faithful phantom
Though he speaks thereto.

Yes, I companion him to placed
Only dreamers know
Where the shy hares print long paces
Where the night rooks go
Into old aisles where the past is all to him
Close as his shade can do
Always lacking the power to call to him
Never as I reach thereto!

What a good haunter I am, O tell him
Quickly make him know
If he but sigh since my loss befell him
Straight to his side I go
Tell him a faithful one is doing
All that love can do
Still that his path may be worth pursuing
And to bring peace thereto.
p. 86-87

Overall, a very enjoyable collection, with something for everyone, I should think. 


You can get this book at The Book Depository*
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2015/11/17

Top 5: Newly Discovered Authors

I discover new authors all the time, but I thought it was time to look at some authors that have really stood out to me lately.

By "new", I'm thinking authors I've discovered and loved during the last year or so, as I've discovered so many new which I absolutely loved that I just had to include!

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Let's just start with the Queen of Queens: Adichie. I've read two of her books now, and Americanah is one of my all time favorite books. I literally shove her books towards anyone who will listen. Her writing is extraordinary and the way she creates characters are out of this world.

Cathrynne M. Valente


This author has written the most wonderful series: the Fairyland series. It's a hybrid between Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. Valente creates wonderful, weird and fantastic worlds in these books.

Kirsty Logan


The Gracekeepers is the first book I read by Logan and it blew me away. Logan's writing is creative and a bit melancholy, and simply beautiful in my opinion.

V. E. Schwab


I've only read Vicious so far by this author, but it was really good. The story was enticing, a bit morbid and rather colorful. After reading this, I added almost all her books to my TBR, and I can't wait to read them.

Angela Carter


I've read two books by Carter this year: The Magic Toyshop and The Bloody Chamber. There's something really special about her writing, something dark, mysterious and extremely lyrical. I can't wait to read more from this author.


What are some of your newly discovered authors? I'd love to know!

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