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Top Ten Tuesday

17 Jan

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. For more info about the meme and how to participate, click here.

2013 Debuts

As I signed up for the 2013 debut challenge, I figured it would be a good thing to go through the list of debuts that was compiled for the challenge and I checked out everything that sounded good, this should be my top 10, I put them down chronologically because no way I can actually put them in a top ten order.

1. Level 2

2. Nobody But Us

3. The Ruining

4. When We Wake

5. OCD, The Dude and Me

6. Mila 2.0

7. How My Summer Went Up in Flames

8. The Summer I Became a Nerd

9. Parallel

10. All Our Yesterdays

Top Ten Tuesday

11 Jan

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. For more info about the meme and how to participate, click here.

Book resolutions for 2013

Being a bit late this became Top Ten Thursday but here’s my list:

1. Read 50 books.
I managed to go a bit over 50 last year so I can definitely do it again I hope.

2. Read the books mentioned in my books I resolve to read in 2013 list.
I did make that list so I should make it a resolution.

3. Read more of Atwood’s poetry.
It definitely needs more attention from me.

4. Write more reviews.
I’m too lazy most of the time to write actual reviews so I just give out the stars on Goodreads.

5. Put books away when I don’t like them.
I do this and I don’t do this, if a book is outside of my comfort zone I easily put it away but if it’s something I feel I should like I’m always afraid I might miss out on something.

6. Read  more adult fiction.
I read way too much YA but it’s so much fun! And such easy reads… I should read some actual grown-up reading besides the reading that I have to do because that doesn’t count.

7. Read some actual books instead of ebooks.
I got tons of books that are not ebooks that I still have to read, should get some of those out of the way.

8. Read a classic.
It’s been a while since I read a classic, definitely haven’t read one since I graduated so it’s time.

9. Take part in the Debut Author Challenge
I saw it before but wasn’t sure if I should do it but it’s always fun to discover new authors right so let’s do it!

10. Get these done!
Filling that 10th spot.

Top Ten Tuesday

2 Jan

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. For more info about the meme and how to participate, click here.

Books I resolve to read in 2013

1. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
I’ve been dragging this book out since forever, I really need to read it now. There are some other Atwood books I need reread and read but this one should really be finished.

2. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
I’ve heard so many good things about this book, I need to finally read it.

3. The Uglies – Scott Westerfield
I’ve been dragging this one along on my to read list for a long time now.

4. The Funny Thing Is… – Ellen Degeneres
For some reason I never finished this.

5. Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
Because I finally need to read this and the next one is coming out this year.

6. Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta
Because I only ever saw the movie for Looking for Alibrandi and I finally need to read some Melina Marchetta.

7. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
This has been in my to read next folder on my Kindle for a while, it’s time to finally tackle it.

8. This is Not A Test – Courtney Summers
Same reason as #8 really.

9. If I Stay – Gayle Forman
Another one I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

10. The Piano Man’s Daughter – Timothy Findley
I really need to get on with my Findley reading this year.

End of Year Book Survey 2012

1 Jan

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Hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)

General Fiction: A Dog’s Purpose & A Dog’s Journey
Non Fiction: Eating Animals
Dystoptian: Insurgent
YA: Sloppy Firsts & Second Helpings

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Thumped, I love McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series and the premise of the series is interesting but as much as I wanted to like it, these books just didn’t work for me. Come to think of it, maybe Penelope is a better choice here, I wanted to like it so much because it’s set in college but it absolutely didn’t work for me, badly written, uninteresting characters and just bad all around.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 

I guess I went into Between the Lines thinking I wouldn’t like it as much as I did, glad that I trusted friends’ reviews on Goodreads for this series!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?

I recommended Eating Animals to several friends I knew that would like it and I feel like I recommended the Wilfair books to people and if I didn’t, I’m doing it now because people need to read these!

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?

The Jessica Darling books because they’re so awesome and everything one wants in YA in my opinion, I’m glad I finally read these!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?

Lauren Oliver because her writing style is awesome and I finally read Delirum in 2012. Alysia Gray Painter as well because her writing style is quite different from everything else that is out there (as are her books!), she has a wonderful way with words.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

There’s not really a book that I read that is completely applicable but I usually don’t read German books (because I’m so used to reading in English) so I’m going with Zuckerguss by my friend Anica Schriever. If you’re into chicklit and read German, definitely pick up this one! Other than this one maybe Eating Animals because I usually don’t read non-fiction. Well, I do but that’s for my research so I’m not counting that.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

I thought it was a toss between Insurgent and Pandemonium but seems like the latter one, read that in one day.

9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:

Insurgent, will most likely reread this before the next one comes out.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?

The Discenchantments cover is so pretty!

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11. Most memorable character in 2012? 

Jessica Darling

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?

The Atwood fan in me wants to say I’m Starved for You and Choke Collar because everything she writes is amazing but I have to mention Lauren Oliver as well because her prose is outstanding and beautiful.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 

Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffran Foer, it opened my eyes about vegetarianism even more.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 

The whole Jessica Darling series.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 

I never highlight on my Kindle but while reading my last book of 2012, I just had to highlight this passage from Charlotte Sometimes:

Where you some particular person because people recognized you as that?

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 

Longest Insurgent by Veronica Roth with 525 pages
ShortestFoundation by Ann Aguire with 32 pages

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I don’t really remember actually… I’m going with Insurgent here I guess. I have a feeling there was something else but I can’t remember!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

I think Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie, they just work so well together.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously

So I don’t put down Insurgent again here, let’s go with I’m Starved for You and Choke Collar by Margaret Atwood.

20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I think that would be Between the Lines

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 

I’m not really active in the scene besides hanging around Goodreads, should become more active in 2013.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 

I don’t write that many reviews so I’m going with this one I wrote for Wit & Fancy about the Wilfair books.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

NA

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

NA

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)

NA

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?

NA

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

NA

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

NA

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Alysia Gray Painter’s blog related to the Wilfair books (and not only that) is a cool one to hang around.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I set myself the goal of reading 50 books, ending up with 56 new ones and 4 re-reads and 2 not finished.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?

I really need to get on with my reading of Timothy Findley. Also (re) read some Atwood. A must in 2013 or I can’t get ahead with my thesis.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?

Divergent #3 – Veronica Roth
Requiem – Lauren Oliver
Moppet Shop – Margaret Atwood
Through the Ever Night – Veronica Rossi
Fairwil – Alysia Gray Painter
Scandal – Lauren Kunze
Size 12 is the New Black – Meg Cabot
Horde – Ann Aguire
Raven – Lauren Oliver
Prodigy – Marie Lu

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?

Read Atwood and Findley.
Read 50 books.
Write more about books.

Review of Swimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone

11 Aug

Thanks to Netgalley, Penguin Group USA and Viking USA for an arc to review!

I set out reading Swimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone expecting a completely different book than it turned out to be. What I expected was a light summer read set in Italy. Well, it was set in Italy and parts of the book take place in Italy but it’s far from what I expected.

Swimming to Elba deals with two girls, Anna and Francesca, who are best friends and live in the industrial town Piombino. They’re 13 years old and it’s the summer before they start high school. The girls look like complete opposites, Anna with dark curls and Francesca with straight blond hair, but they live their lives as if they are one and have done so ever since they were little kids. This will change once the start high school because Anna is the smart one of the two and she’ll attend a different high school than Francesca. However the girls are convinced they will remain best friends and are set on enjoying their last summer before venturing into this new life. It is this summer they have discovered the impact they and their bodies have on others so they start using their looks and newly discovered sexuality to tease boys and men around their town. Both their families are far from perfect, Francesca’s father Enrico beats his wife Rosa regularly, and does the same thing to Francesca especially because he doesn’t like his daughter showing of her body and getting involved with boys. Anna’s father works at the local steel factory but when he gets fired he starts to get involved in criminal activities and disappears from their family several times. The girls find support in each other and their friendship and always dream of getting away from their town, one of their dreams to get away is to swim to Elba, the luxurious island glistening in the sun, which they can see from their side of the beach. They also dream about getting older and finally being able to take part in the enticing adult and night life of their town, which includes parties, drugs and being able to get around on a Vespa when they turn 14.

Things take a turn for the worse however when Francesca realizes that she is in love with Anna, when she confesses her feelings, the first wedge in their friendship is created and soon after they fall out of touch completely when Anna falls in love with her brother’s friend Mattia, who is much older than she is. Both girls keep thinking about each other of and on though and both girls keep dreaming of escaping the worker’s apartments in Via Stalingrado and Piombino. Anna and Francesca soon start growing up way too fast, experiencing things they are not ready for yet. Anna by getting involved with Mattia and engaging in a sexual relationship and Francesca eventually by having to drop out of school and help out at home and by trying to follow her dreams of becoming famous and getting away, which has her ending up working in the sex industry.

Besides Anna and Francesca we also get the bleak stories of their parents, Anna’s brother Alessio and their friends and other people living in Piombino. Nobody seems to be really happy and everybody has to deal with their own problems.

The novel is written in a marvelous style, Avallone really transports you to the locations the novel takes place in with a lot of detail, while reading you can imagine every place in your head as watching a movie and in my opinion, if an author can do that in a way it doesn’t get repetitive or feel forced, they really know their craft. Even if you have never been to Italy and don’t know a single thing about the country, you will love the style of writing because it takes you to that wonderful country. If you know the country very well, you’ll be fascinated by all the things you recognize while reading; and if you only know the more glamorous parts of Italy, it will be quite a change to see this other part of the country.

I really liked the juxtaposing of Elba, the paradise where everything seems to be better to the girls from Via Stalingrado, and Piombino with its industrial bleakness. Elba is a symbol for all the dreams the girls, and probably other people in Piombino have, a whole other world, only a ferry ride away yet still so far away.

Swimming to Elba definitely leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling at certain points and while it only gets worse in that sense towards the end, the ending of the novel itself gives a bit of hope, hope that maybe it is possible to escape the life most people seem to be living in Piombino, maybe it is possible to make something of yourself and just maybe these girls will end up doing just that, maybe they’ll even do that because they experienced so many things in that one year, and grew up so fast.

To come back to the first sentence of my review, I’m glad that this novel was not what I expected it to be, I’m glad it was not just a summer read because while not an uplifting holiday read that you can read without really thinking, and while being a book that can make you uncomfortable at times, this is a novel you shouldn’t miss out on. It’s an outstanding coming of age story of two girls that are unsympathetic at times yet at other times you feel immensely sad for them and what they are going through. Moreover, the prose is simply astounding and I’ll be looking forward to reading more by Silvia Avallone.

Review of UR by Stephen King

1 Aug

URUR by Stephen King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I liked the premise of this novella but I didn’t like the execution of it all too much. There are some interesting ideas raised but they are not dealt with extensively which is too bad but understandable because it’s a short novella.

The characters were all flat and definitely didn’t click with me and the style of writing was in no way appealing to me unfortunately.

View all my reviews

Review of Eating Animals

29 Jul

Eating AnimalsEating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing book, very difficult to read at times because of the particular topic. It’s very well written and researched and Jonathan Safran Foer lets people from all areas that come in play when it comes to eating animals. He never tries to come across as better than people who aren’t vegetarians, it’s simply informing about any things that are of concern when it comes to this topic and whether you are a vegetarian/vegan or you eat meat every day, people should be better informed about where their food comes from.

It was an especially interesting read because he included his own decision and decision making to become a vegetarian as well. Especially I have recently made the same decision it was interesting to read about his process and motives. The book only made me feel stronger about the decision I made to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. I definitely recommend it to everybody who wants to know more about the topic!

I admire Jonathan Safran Foer for writing this book in the way he did, touching and informative and he never tries to tell people what to do and that his lifestyle is the best one.

View all my reviews