Tag Archives: It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Monday Memes

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila at One Person’s Journey through a World of Books.

KEY:
E– E-book Challenge
G – 2012 Genre Challenge
BFF – Bookie Friends’ Favourites Challenge
BL – Bucket List Challenge
S – Off The Shelf Challenge
AZ – A-Z Challenge
C – Classics Challenge
R – Review for author or publisher
K – Reading for Kindle Klub Book Group

Robyn Young – Insurrection (R)
I’ll be reviewing the sequel when it comes out too! Looking forward to them both immensely. I’ve only just started this one and it’s over 600 pages to it, but it looks great! I adore historical fiction, and one set in Scotland is an added bonus, because that’s where I live!

~***~

Cover Crazy

Jane Austen – Emma
Anna Sewell – Black Beauty
Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden
All from the Penguin Threads collection

What I love:
The very fact that the covers are stitched (well, the original design was anyway) speaks to both my stitchy side and my bibliophilic leanings. They are such beautifully crafted covers that anyone would love to have them in their collection.

~***~

Musing Mondays


Hosted by Should Be Reading

Have you ever found a book out of the blue, read it, and then had it be surprisingly good — one that stuck with you for years?
If so, what book was it?

Yes! For me it was The Stand by Stephen King. I’ve mentioned this book countless times before as it’s one of my all-time favourites, so I won’t rave about it again in case I bore you all rigid! I’d never even heard of it and I’d only ever read Carrie by King (and love it), so when I came across this massive chunk of a book at over 1000 pages in hardback, I thought, “Well, let’s give it a try, shall we?”

Two days later I emerged from that book with my mind blown!

I remember very well it was the Saturday morning I came across it, bought it, and started reading it. I finished it late on the Sunday afternoon. I was fortunate I had done my homework on the Friday night, or I would have been in a heap of trouble on Monday!

I must have read it at least a dozen times since then and it always has the same effect on me. I love it completely!

Monday Memes

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila at One Person’s Journey through a World of Books.

KEY:
E– E-book Challenge
G – 2012 Genre Challenge
BFF – Bookie Friends’ Favourites Challenge
BL – Bucket List Challenge
S – Off The Shelf Challenge
AZ – A-Z Challenge
C – Classics Challenge
R – Review for author or publisher
K – Reading for Kindle Klub Book Group

Thomas Hoover – Caribbee (E)
I’m about 3/4s of the way through this and I’m enjoying it immensely.

Georgette Heyer – Regency Buck
Borrowed this from a colleague – so far, so good.

~***~

Cover Crazy

Around the World in 80 Days
From the Earth to the Moon
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
- All by Jules Verne

What I love:
What’s not to love about these gorgeous covers? Looking at them, you get a real feel for the contents of Verne’s wonderful tales, and the vintage look of them speaks of the time in which they were written. Truly, these classic novels deserve such stunning covers. Everything from the colours to the composition, to the style of cover art and typeface just screams class and is just so beautiful to look at I could cry right now because I do not have these versions on my bookshelves. I shall have to remedy that situation as soon as possible!

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Musing Mondays


Hosted by Should Be Reading

Would you choose to review a book if its description sounded interesting but the cover was terrible?

Short answer – yes. I’ve reviewed hundreds of books over the years and some of them had truly dreadful covers. Some of the contents matched the awful cover art (“art” being a very kind description in some cases!), but others have been wonderful.

Even looking at the books in my permanent collection – the earlier Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett have, in my opinion, hideous covers – ugly, bulbous characters sprawling across the cover bearing little-to-no resemblance to the characters on the pages, with garish colours to add to the offence. However, the contents of those books are wonderful – some of my favourite books of all time come from that very series. If I had let myself be put off by the covers, I would have missed out on so much enjoyment.

In general, a pretty, unusual or striking cover will tempt me to pick up a book and at least read the blurb to see if it might appeal to me, but sometimes the ugly ducklings turn out to be swans too.

Monday Memes

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

Hosted by Sheila at One Person’s Journey through a World of Books.

KEY:
E– E-book Challenge
G – 2012 Genre Challenge
BFF – Bookie Friends’ Favourites Challenge
BL – Bucket List Challenge
S – Off The Shelf Challenge
AZ – A-Z Challenge
C – Classics Challenge
R – Review for author or publisher
K – Reading for Kindle Klub Book Group

Lew Wallace – Ben-Hur (K/C)
I’ll be starting this e-book this week and reading it for discussion with the rest of Kindle Klub this month…

Georgette Heyer – Regency Buck
I’ve borrowed this one from a colleague. Stephen Fry once mentioned on a TV programme that The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer was one of his favourite books, and I resolved I would give it a try. My colleague offered to loan me this one as she’s just finished reading it, so I couldn’t refuse! I’ll get to the other one another time and see if I agree with Mr Fry!

~***~

Cover Crazy

Hosted by The Book Worms

What I love:
I just love the highly stylised illustration which is mostly taken up by the sea with the ship just peeking out from behind a rising wave on the horizon. The muted colours are beautiful and work well with the stark black silhouettes of the birds, the ship, and the lone figure on the prow. For once I love that the title is front and foremost, enclosed in a bold circle with a plain font, and the author’s name almost sinking into the water.

Synopsis:

Citizens of our beloved Democratic Republic of North Korea! Imagine the life of an orphan boy plucked from nowhere to be trained as a tunnel assassin, a kidnapper, a spy.

He has no father but the State, no sweetheart but Sun Moon, the greatest opera star who ever lived, whose face is tattooed on his chest.

Imagine he lives in our very own country, a model of exemplary Communism. A nation that is the envy of the world, especially the Americans. Where the only stories people need to hear are those blasting out of loudspeakers to the glory of our dear Leader, Kim Jong il.

Dry your eyes now, comrades! Prepare to hear the Greatest North Korean Love Story Ever Told.

~***~

Musing Mondays


Hosted by Should Be Reading

When you walk into a bookstore — any bookstore — what’s the first section you head toward (what draws you)?

I always go to bookstores with a specific purchase in mind, so I head straight to the department where I think it will be shelved. I’m afraid I rarely shop in bookstores because I can usually get books cheaper online or at non-genre-divided discount shops like The Works or one of the pound shops, but if I have book vouchers to spend, I go straight to the book shop (usually Waterstones, as it’s the biggest one we have in Aberdeen) with my Most Wanted list, and search appropriately.

Monday Memes

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

Hosted by Sheila at One Person’s Journey through a World of Books.

KEY:
E– E-book Challenge
G – 2012 Genre Challenge
BFF – Bookie Friends’ Favourites Challenge
BL – Bucket List Challenge
S – Off The Shelf Challenge
AZ – A-Z Challenge
C – Classics Challenge
R – Review for author or publisher
K – Reading for Kindle Klub Book Group

Charles Dickens – Great Expectations (E/BL/C)
Till now, I’ve only ever read A Christmas Carol, as I confess I was a little afraid of reading Dickens. However, I am finding this a surprisingly humourous read and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Let’s just say I now have great expectations of this novel. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist the pun! *shame* I’ll be reading this for quite some time as it’s a long one…

Terry Pratchett – Snuff (Discworld 39) (S)
I’ve been a massive fan of the Discworld novels since the early 90s when I discovered them whilst on holiday in the Lake District. I’m only a short way into this latest book, but I already love it. For a start, it’s a Vimes novel, so you just know it’s going to be good; and he’s out of his comfort zone, so you know it’s going to be pretty great actually!

~***~

Cover Crazy

Hosted by The Book Worms

What I Love:
The stark clarity of the pink and white on black. The melding of the two images to be come one, so you can’t see one without the other. The sheer cleverness of the optical illusion caused by the back of the nude woman becoming the face of a man in profile. I also love that the title and author’s name are unobtrusively located in an upper corner where they will not detract from the design (although I’d prefer if the title were larger than the name).

Synopsis:

For thirty years, since the publication of his first novel AMERICANA Don DeLillo has lived in the skin of our times. He has found a voice for the forgotten souls who haunt the fringes of our culture and for its larger-than-life, real-life figures. Thrice-married film director Rey Robles informs Lauren, his much younger wife, that he’s going for a drive — and proceeds to travel all the way from the New England coast to the Manhattan apartment of his first wife, where he shoots himself. Now Lauren is left alone…or perhaps not, as she welcomes a stranger into the house — an eerie, gifted individual she calls “Mr. Tuttle”. This odd man, who often speaks in Rey’s voice or Lauren’s, and who knows both intimate moments of their past life and things that haven’t yet happened, seems to defy time and to deepen the mystery of human perception. This is Don DeLillo’s stunning exploration of the idiosyncrasies that simultaneously isolate and bind us, as he enters the essential space of human encounter.

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Musing Mondays

Hosted by Should Be Reading

1. Do you read books that are part of a series?
2. Do you collect all the books in the series before starting?
3. What if the series is brand new, and the only book that’s been published so far is Book one?
4. As subsequent books in the series are published, do you go back and re-read the preceding books?

1. Yes, I am an avid reader of several series, all of which reside in my “permanent collection”. The main bulk of that collection is taken up by:

  • The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
  • The Women of the Otherworld series by Keeley Armstrong
  • The Logan McRae series by Stuart MacBride
  • The Romans series by Simon Scarrow
  • The Cousins’ War series by Philippa Gregory

2. No, I tend to read them as they are published. In the case of the Discworld and Romans novels, I came to the series part way through, so I started at the beginning and caught up with them.

3. I’m quite often unaware that a first book in a series is the start of a series until afterwards. For example, I recently read Sisters Red and Cinder, both of which are first in their respective series, but did not realise it until I reached the end. I am no more or less likely to continue reading a series after reading the first. Even in the cases where I know a book is from a series, I do not buy them all at once in case I find I do not enjoy one of them and I waste my hard-earned money. I’d rather take things one step at a time and be sure I like the books before committing to the sequels, then I can stop if I get bored with them and not feel like I’ve been ripped off too much.

4. No, I don’t tend to. I don’t reread many books any more. I used to reread books all the time, but now most of my books are passed on to others when I’m done (apart from the aforementioned permanent collection). However, I only keep those books I feel I may want to reread at some point in the future.

Monday Memes

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

Hosted by Sheila at One Person’s Journey through a World of Books.

KEY:
E– E-book Challenge
G – 2012 Genre Challenge
BFF – Bookie Friends’ Favourites Challenge
BL – Bucket List Challenge
S – Off The Shelf Challenge
AZ – A-Z Challenge
C – Classics Challenge
R – Review for author or publisher
K – Reading for Kindle Klub Book Group

Charles Dickens – Great Expectations (E/BL/C)
Till now, I’ve only ever read A Christmas Carol, as I confess I was a little afraid of reading Dickens. However, I am finding this a surprisingly humourous read and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Let’s just say I now have great expectations of this novel. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist the pun! *shame* I’ll be reading this for quite some time as it’s a long one…

Terry Pratchett – Snuff (Discworld 39) (S)
I’ve been a massive fan of the Discworld novels since the early 90s when I discovered them whilst on holiday in the Lake District. I’m only a short way into this latest book, but I already love it. For a start, it’s a Vimes novel, so you just know it’s going to be good; and he’s out of his comfort zone, so you know it’s going to be pretty great actually!

~***~

Cover Crazy

Hosted by The Book Worms

What I love:
The usual suspects: Black, white, red, silhouettes. These things always grab my attention, but I also love how the branches of the tree reach out and show branches of the story. It’s very clever in the placement of the title and author’s name too – one of the uppermost branches where they are unobtrusive, but set without the encircling branch, so it’s crystal clear.

Synopsis:

On the very morning Willie Upton slinks home to Templeton, New York (after a calamitous affair with her archeology professor), the 50-foot-long body of a monster floats from the depths of the town’s lake. This unsettling coincidence sets the stage for one of the most original debut novels since The Time Traveler’s Wife. With a clue to the mysterious identity of her father in hand, Willie turns her research skills to unearthing the secrets of the town in letters and pictures (which, “reproduced” in the book along with increasingly complete family trees, lend an air of historical authenticity). Lauren Groff’s endearingly feisty characters imbue the story with enough intrigue to keep readers up long past bedtime, and reading groups will find much to discuss in its themes of “monsters,” both in our towns and our families.

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Musing Mondays

Hosted by Should Be Reading

What is the last book that you learned something from? What book was it, and what did it teach you?

Goodness! I don’t usually think of books in terms of what they can teach me. I’m a pleasure reader, so I read whatever I think will entertain me in some way, wether it’s by being pure escapism or making me think, but I never really choose books on a basis of what they might teach me. So ,other than text books while at school or college, I can’t think of a single book that jumps out at me.

No, that’s not strictly true. There is one book that I always say I’d want with me if I were stranded on an island somewhere, as it is not only a cracking read (and quite a good length too, so it would keep me going for a while) but is also packed with surprising survival tips. That book is Savages by Shirley Conran. I guess it has taught me all kinds of little things like digging a drainage ditch around your camp that runs downhill, so that your shelter won’t be washed away, and capturing a rat to test out any foodstuffs before you eat them yourself. So, I guess I’ll give that one an honourable mention.

Monday Memes

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

Hosted by Sheila at One Person’s Journey through a World of Books.

KEY:
E– E-book Challenge
G – 2012 Genre Challenge
BFF – Bookie Friends’ Favourites Challenge
BL – Bucket List Challenge
S – Off The Shelf Challenge
AZ – A-Z Challenge
C – Classics Challenge
R – Review for author or publisher
K – Reading for Kindle Klub Book Group

Charlaine Harris – Dead Reckoning
The eleventh book in the Southern Vampires (aka True Blood) series. The series went a little off the boil in some of the more recent books, but this one seems to be bringing things back on track. I’m certainly enjoying it a great deal! Harris’s style is very easy to read and her characters are a lot of fun. Borrowed from the library.

Charles Dickens – Great Expectations (E/BL/C)
Till now, I’ve only ever read A Christmas Carol, as I confess I was a little afraid of reading Dickens. However, I am finding this a surprisingly humourous read and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Let’s just say I now have great expectations of this novel. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist the pun! *shame*

~***~

Cover Crazy

Hosted by The Book Worms

What I love:
Again with the mostly monochrome and sharp images! This time we have a classy grey brickwork background and ornate window, with a black chandelier. The only touch of colour is in the candle flames and roses, both of which are pink. And check those cute little black bats. And the classy, slightly Gothic font for the title. Isn’t it just gorgeous? It’s actually the second in a series, so I’m going to have to look at both, as well as the new one which will be out later this year.

Synopsis:

Jane Boyle married her prince charming and moved into his upper east side castle – but she didn’t get her fairy-tale ending

It’s hard to live happily ever after when you discover your demanding and controlling mother-in-law is literally a witch, determined to steal the magical powers you didn’t even know you had. Jane narrowly avoided Lynne Doran’s clutches when she escaped on her wedding day, and has been hiding out in New York City. But she can’t hide forever.

When Jane learns of the one thing Lynne wants most, she sets out to provide it, hoping her good turn will persuade her mother-in-law to stop hunting her. Unfortunately, Jane’s daring plan will send her right back into the witches’ den – the Doran clan’s multistory town house on Park Avenue. But thanks to a tricky spell, blond architect Jane will be transformed into Ella, a dark beauty with a whole new look . . . and all of Jane’s budding powers. Though the stakes are life or death, nobody said ‘Ella’ couldn’t have a little fun along the way, too.

~***~

Musing Mondays

Hosted by Should Be Reading

What is your favorite romantic book –or book that includes a love story? (an adult romance, young adult, kids’ story, anything)

To be honest, I’ve never really been a fan of romances – I tend to find them very difficult to get into as a) the relationships are idealistically unrealistic, and b) the language used tends towards the gushy and/or cringeworthy. I avoid erotica for the same reason.

I’d guess my favourite romantic relationship from a book is the one between Stu Redman and Fran Goldsmith in The Stand by Stephen King. They’re both very “real”, and as neither of them is an angsty teenager, they have a more realistic view of the problems a relationship can face and they really go through the wringer, coping with petty jealousies, fear of abandonment, anger at each other’s actions and the shared grief of potential loss.

I’ve read the book so many times now that they feel like old friends, almost like family, and I love them both.

Monday Memes

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila at One Person’s Journey through a World of Books.

KEY:
E– E-book Challenge
G – 2012 Genre Challenge
BFF – Bookie Friends’ Favourites Challenge
BL – Bucket List Challenge
S – Off The Shelf Challenge
AZ – A-Z Challenge
C – Classics Challenge
R – Review for author or publisher
K – Reading for Kindle Klub Book Group

Jenn Ashworth - Cold Light (R)
I’m only a few chapters into this one, but so far so good. Leaps back and forth between two timelines very effectively. I’m enjoying both the teen and adult versions of the characters, and there’s an undercurrent of very dark humour which appeals to me a great deal.

Catherine Cooper - The Golden Acorn (E/K)
Again, only a few chapters in, but it’s fairly decent so far. A bit of myth and magic for the children’s fantasy market. There’s the inevitable Harry Potter comparison (young boy who is the subject of a prophecy; magic; mythical creatures, etc), but I like the inclusion of Celtic mythology and Druidism used here.

~***~

Cover Crazy

Hosted by The Book Worms

What I love:
The starkness of the white on black contrasted by the delicately elegant curlicues of what looks like a wrought iron gate is rather beautiful, don’t you think? And I love how the author’s name is held in place by two of the fat little cherubs so that it, along with the title, becomes part of the gate. To me, a gate like this represents either an entrance to something mysterious, or a forbidding warning that the contents are not for everyone’s eyes…

Synopsis:

London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary ‘thief taker,’ a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.

On Charles’s latest case, he’ll need all the assistance he can get.

To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and Tulkinghorn wants Charles to – discreetly – find and stop whoever is responsible.

But what starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As he cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, Charles can only be aided so far by Maddox. The old man shows signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named.

Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, Tom-All-Alone’s (aka The Solitary House) is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind.

~***~

Musing Mondays

Hosted by Should Be Reading

Did you do any reading in lieu of watching the football game, yesterday, or were you foregoing reading to watch the game? If you read a book (or books) what did you choose?

I assume the intended reference is to the Superbowl, rather than the Chelsea/Manchester United footie match? Hubby was watching the Chelsea match on the computer in the background, but I’m afraid we don’t “do” the Superbowl in our house, seeing as how we’re in the UK and I’ve never watched gridiron football in my life!

Anyway, I didn’t get any reading done through the day. I very rarely do. It was a regular Sunday for us – grocery shopping and family time – so I spent most of the day playing with Xander, doing stuff on the computer and cooking (we had Bolognese for tea and I like to make it from scratch – delicious!).

I read a few chapters of Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth in bed before going to sleep, but that was it. Not much of a literary answer this week!