Friday, July 10, 2015

Five on Friday #3 July Haul

Five books I've purchased/received lately...
 Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - I've read this already... will put in thoughts later
 Lexicon - Max Barry - This sounded like a really interesting read.
 Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. With the changes to marriage equality laws in America and hopefully happening here in Australia soon, I thought it would be timely to read something a bit more diverse.
The Martian - Andy Weir... This is amazing so far. Am reading it slowly on purpose because I want to enjoy it. I so far thing all the hype is worth it
We are all completely beside ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler... They talked about this book on ABC's book club last year and it piqued my interest. I know the twist but I still think it'll be worth it.

Happy Reading

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tag Tuesdays #2 The Book Title Tag

This was a tag from You Tube I saw and seeing as how my reading challenges were all about titles this year I thought it was a good idea to do a tag about titles too! You can see the original tag video from Rachel Reads here

Pick a book title that resonates with these questions:

1. Title that's the story of your life. The Girl with All the Gifts (by M.R. Carey) Ha ha, just joking! My real answer is The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A handbook for Girl Geeks (by Sam Maggs)

I am such a geek girl, I love it all. I have so many doo-dads around my house that are geeky references. In fact our entire wedding was full of pop culture references - Our order of ceremonies said "Don't Panic" in giant letters across the front!

2. Title that describes your perfect weekend - Everyday (by David Levithan)
 I want everyday to be the weekend. Need I say more?

3. Title of an adventure you'd like to go on - The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente
 How much fun does that sound? Maybe not if I had to build the ship but I'd go along with the girl who made it!
4. Title you want to name your child - Ms Marvel (by Willow G. Wilson)
 Cause why not?

5. Title of your ideal job - Sorta Like a Rockstar (Matthew Quick)
 If I could live like a rockstar without the fame and the having to perform bit it would be pretty sweet. Just travel the world and go to parties, sorta like a rockstar!

6. Title of a place you'd like to visit - The Sky is Everywhere (by Jandy Nelson)
 I love looking at the stars, I'd love to travel to see the northern lights one day. Or be out at sea when the water reflects the sky, that would be amazing. 

7. Title of your love life - P.S. I Love You (by Celia Ahern)
   Not much explanation needed here.

8. Questions you ask yourself - What If? (by Randall Munroe)
 I ask this all too often, I need to stop doing that... what if I cant? See I'm doing it again.

9. Title of a kingdom you want to rule OR name - Mosquitoland (by David Arnold)
The mozzies(mosquitoes) in Australia in the summer are a horrible, if I could rule them I would be the most beloved person there ever was.

10. Title you'd name your band. The Lost and the Found (by Cat Clarke)
That sounds like a pretty cool pop rock band to me. I'd buy their album!

This was heaps of fun. If you'd like to play along leave your answers below or leave a link to your video/blog post.

Happy Reading

Monday Musings (July 6)

Monday Musings is a meme hosted by A Daily Rhythm. If you join in head over there to leave your link!

I'm currently reading - Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie. It's my first Agatha Christie adventure and I'm really intrigued so far.

So I started the #ayearathon a few days early because I can't read at all the last two days. I've read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. It wasn't as good a Gone Girl but it was just as dark and creepy. I like the way Gillian Flynn approaches characters, I found her character studies in this book fascinating. I want to say a lot more about this but fear it will spoil things for you so I won't go on.
Trigger Warning: The main character suffers mental illness.

Next up I think I'll read.... not sure yet. But I'm thinking maybe The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. It's been sitting on my shelf a little too long...

Happy Reading

Friday, July 3, 2015

#AYEARATHON TBR - Agatha Christie Mystery Month

I really enjoyed the Bout of Books read-a-thon but it is so long until the next one so I've been looking around for one that occurs more often. I found #ayearathon which looks like so much fun. It's a group on Goodreads that run a read-a-thon the first full week of every month and there is always a different theme.

July's theme is Agatha Christie Mystery month. At first I thought I would have trouble with the theme because I'm not a Mystery reader, but once I looked through my bookshelf I found quite a few mystery books (or at least mystery hybrids) that I can read during the week.

I felt like I should read at least one Agatha Christie novel but don't have any, and then the other day at work I stumbled across one in the in bookshelf at work. It was meant to be! So I'm going to read Five Little Pigs which is one of her Hercule Poirot novels. It's nice and short so should fit in well for a read-a-thon.

Next the group voted on an author/series they'd like to read as a group (other than Chrsitie) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock books were selected. So it's a perfect chance for me to pick up the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, which is a collection of short stories. Could there be anything better for a read-a-thon? 

Next up I have a few options and I'll see what I feel like as the week goes on.
- The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
- The Shifting Fog - Kate Morton
- Crossbones - Kathy Reichs
- Fool Moon - Jim Butcher (Which I've requested at the library but not sure when it will come in)

So the fun stars Mon 6th of July and runs till Sun 12th. If you want to check it out all the information is at the #ayearathon group page on Goodreads. I'm looking forward to it!

Happy Reading

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Five on Friday #2 School Books

Today's topic is School Books l Loved. I read some really great books at school, it really was where I picked up my reading bug. Some were dry or boring and we're made especially excruciating because we were being made to read them.  Others opened my eyes to great stories and worlds I had no clue about. I learned a lot and am glad I was made to read these books!

Somewhere around the corner by Jackie French
This book is about a modern teenager who gets sent back in time and lives with a family during the depression. I found it interesting to compare the way we live today with the everyday life of the 1920s.

Tomorrow When The War Began by James Marsden
This book is the ultimate 'What if?' question, what would happen if Australia was invaded?  Being a teenager in Australia, war seems like we'll never have to worry about, so I enjoyed reading the story of these group of teenagers who are faced with just that, and wondering what I would do in a similar situation.
Elli: A Coming of Age in the Holocaust by Elli Friedman. Up until year ten I lived a pretty sheltered life. When I read this beautiful memoir about Elli, a Jewish girl who survived the Holocuast my eyes were opened. I had learned about war, and knew it was horrible, but there was a lot in this book that was completely new to me.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. I still haven't decided if this is completely romantic or utterly tragic, but I am a sucker for this story.

Z for Zachariah by Robert O'Brien. This is the story of a girl who is the lone survivor or a nuclear  holocaust. She's surviving on her own until one day the last man on earth shows up. This is going to be a movie soon and I can't wait to see it.

I'm noticing a theme about all these books, they put me into a position where I had to wonder what I would do in that situation, and I think I learned something, not only about the world but about myself.

What books did you read and love when you were at school?
Happy Reading

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Favourite books 2015.... so far

These are my 10 favourite reads so far this year. (I've excluded re-reads & graphic novels)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tuesday Tag #1 How I Read

There are a heap of tags out there! I've found lots of great new books by reading/watching tag videos and posts so I thought I would dedicated some Tuesdays to answering some of these. Hopefully you can get some ideas for books to read too.

I saw this tag over at Pan Alchemist's blog so head on over there to check out her answers too. 

"How I read" Tag
1) How do you find out about new books to read?
A combination of book tube, blogs, good reads and seeing what's being promoted by my favourite bookstores.  Because I'm doing a few challenges I also look up books based on titles that fit into the challenges and find new and interesting books that way.

The latest book I found was The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke.It's about a girl who's sister went missing when she was younger and is now coming home. Can't wait to check it out.

 2) How did you get into reading?
School. I'm a bit of a nerd and I really loved school. I tried really hard at school so in primary school that meant reading lots of books from the book bin which got me started. In later primary there was the Baby Sitters club! Oh how I loved them... lol. Then in high school I had some great English teachers who picked some great books for us to read and study and that cemented my love of reading. 

3) How has your taste in books changed since you've got older?
I've always been a pretty wide reader, so not really.

4) How often do you buy books?
I try not to buy too many. I'll buy a book when I find it on sale or at a good price. Books can be very expensive in Australia so I try not to buy too many, plus I have limited space on my bookshelf. I do buy a book at least once a month for my book club though.

5) How did you get into booktubing? (Blogging)
I haven't stared booktubing.... yet. I've been thinking about it but I'm a bit shy and there can be a lot of hate out there on Youtube. I used to have a blog to share all my crafting endeavours so I am familiar with blogging, and thought this would be a nicer way for me to share my thoughts. If you have a blog or a blog recommendation let me know in the comments!

6) How do you react when you don't like the end of a book?
I can't say this happens all that much. I guess if I don't like the ending I'll quickly forget about the book and there fore how it ended.

7) How often have you taken a sneaky look at the back page of a book to see if it's a happy ending?
Nope. I like that feeling of racing towards the last page to find out what happens. Why would I want to spoil it for myself.

8) How many people are you going to tag, and who are they?
If you would like to play along please do! And leave a link down below so I can see your answers. 

Happy Reading

Monday Musings (June 29)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by A Daily Rhythm that asks you to answer a question from a list of prompts. I decided to answer a few :)

I am currently reading... The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey. It's not quite what I expected but it's pretty good.

Up next I think I'll read...Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I am in need of some romantic contemporary very soon. I think this will fit the bill perfectly.

I bought the following books in the past week... My birthday came early!! My husband gave me two books (3 weeks early) He's so nice! I got The Martian by Andy Weir (yay!) and Lexicon by Max Barry.

I can't wait to get a copy of... Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. It's not long till the sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird" comes out. I need to re-read the original very soon.

Would love to know what you've been reading and what you're looking forward to.
Happy Reading

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Five on Friday #1

Today's topic is 5 books I'm looking forward to reading

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
    The book that everyone's been talking about, I picked it up not that long ago and hope to get to it soon.
  2. The Martian - Andy Weir
    Am hoping to get this for my Birthday (I've nagged my husband about it so I hope he gets the hint!) I really want to read this before the movie comes out, and before I accidentally see a trailer for it.
  3. What Alice Forgot - Lianne Moriarty
    I loved The Husband's Secret so bought 2 Lianne Moriarty books for Mum for mothers day, she's finished this one so has passed it onto me. She liked it so I hope I do too
  4. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
    I am in desperate need for some fun and romance, and I've heard great things about this book. Plus I need to read it before it's due back at the Library
  5. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
    Technically a Re-Read, but am really looking forward to rediscovering this beautiful book before the sequel is released... not long to go now!

What books are you looking forward to reading?
Happy Reading

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Musings (June 15)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by A Daily Rhythm that asks you to answer a question from a list of prompts. You can visit the post here. I decided to answer a few :)

I am currently reading... Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I've just got one word - amazing! Need to finish writing this post so I can get back to it asap.

Up next I think I'll read...The Girl with all the Gifts - It's my bookclub book for this month so I need to get on that.

I bought the following books in the past week... In Dymocks I found a box set of the first three Throne of Glass novels and may have convinced my husband to buy it for my Birthday. Which feeds into the next prompt

I wish I could read..., but ....  I want to read Throne of Glass but can't because it's not my Birthday for another month!!

I can't wait to get a copy of... The Martian by Andy Weir. The trailer for the movie adaptation just came out and my husband wants to go see it so I need to read the book before I see any spoilers.

Would love to know what you've been reading and what you're looking forward to.
Happy Reading

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Thoughts on Stars

Generally speaking we give books a star rating out of five. And I think this has some problems.
It is so hard to rate a book like To Kill a Mockingbird against something like Fangirl. They are both great books but in completely different ways. As far as I'm concerned they are both 5/5 books because I enjoyed them both so much. But when I am awarding my 5 stars, I just can't give 5 stars to Fangirl because when it comes down to it, it doesn't come close to the greatness of To Kill a Mockingbird. They just aren't in the same league.

I know that there are half stars too, but goodreads doesn't allow for this so you have to decide between 4 or 5 stars. And when it comes down to it A LOT of books are going to be rounded up from 3.5 and down from 4.5 to fit into that 4 star category. So it's hard to see a difference between all the 4 star books.

I think a book can be 5 stars in it's genre or for it's purpose and not be a truly five star book in the grand scheme of all books. Literature is so hard to rate against chick lit. Really a book can be a better book as a whole, but get less stars because I didn't enjoy it as much. It doesn't seem right. 

I look back at some of the books I have given star ratings to several years ago and I think to myself, "How on earth did I rate that book a 5 star book?" But I guess at the time I loved it and hadn't read as widely then, or was into a different style then. Do I change the rating based on what I think now? 

I think I need to decide how I'm going to rate my books and just go from there, but I don't feel like I've found the right system yet. What system do you use?

Here are some questions for you...
How you you rate books? 
Do you wish there was another ratings system?
Do you change your mind about ratings? 
Would you like another way to rate things?
Do you think about whether books will stand the test of time when rating them?
Do you take into account classic 5 star books when rating the latest releases?
Any other thoughts?
I would love to hear from you


May Wrap Up

The start of the month went swimmingly! I read so much in the lead up to and during Bout of Books 13.0. But then I hit a super slump... I kept reading but the book I was reading really felt like a chore. I've finished that now and feel a bit more enthused about the book I'm reading now :)

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
Sufficient Grace - Amy Espeseth
We Were Liars - E.Lockhart
Horseradish - Lemony Snicket
Tales from Outer Suburbia - Shaun Tan
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews
The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe (Scott Pilgrim #5) - Bryan Lee O'Malley
Locke & Key (Vol.1 to 6) - Joe Hill

Total of 14 - which is pretty good. I can't believe I feel like I haven't been reading enough, this is heaps!!
I've written about a lot of these books during Bout of Books so I won't repeat my thoughts here but I will mention some of the other books I read this month.

Fangirl was amazing. I loved it so much, I can see why everyone is talking about it so much. I could really relate to the characters, I was engaged with their story, I kept turning the pages. This book had everything I needed for a really great read.
I wasn't so interested in the Simon Snow fan fiction. It was written well and would have been interesting as a book on it's own, but I felt like it took me away from the characters too much.
This book is 5 stars in it's niche (fun, easy to read, YA contemporary, romantic comedy) but 4 stars overall.

Sufficient Grace was interesting, it reminded me a lot of Montana 1948 which I read in high school. It was a story about two girls who live in rural america and their struggles. It was really well written, the descriptions were poetic and the scene was set beautifully. It was an slow book and emotional, but in a subtle kind of way. I enjoyed this for what it was.... but the blurb had one of my pet peeves, where it tells you a plot point that doesn't occur until 3/4s of the way through the book. (And in this case it wasn't even entirely correct!)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane was a bit of a struggle. I read the first half and was really enjoying it but then I hit a slump and struggled with the rest of it. I'm not sure if it was the book or if it was just me but I just wanted to be done with it. The images and events were fascinating, I liked the use of magic and how unique it was. I could appreciate this but couldn't enjoy it. Don't let my review put you off though, I'll give Neil Gaiman another go when I'm in a better reading mood.

Locke & Key was the best! I'm only new to graphic novels but this series was really enjoyable.  I said 'wow' out loud at least once every book, the story and art was amazing. I'm sold on the graphic novel concept now!

I'm halfway through the audio book of Shiver by Maggie Steifvater, hopefully will finish it in June.

Hope you had a good reading month. If you have any recomendations for something fun to read let me know.
Happy Reading