It’s All About Books

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It’s all about books.. Well, at least books have an important role of my life. They form a way to escape reality; for me to enter a different world. A place where everything is possible, only limited by the imagination of its writer. Like someone famous once said: ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body‘.

I’ve been reading ever since I was three years old, devouring books by dozens at my hometown library. I continued reading all the way through high school, and later decided to study Spanish Language And Culture and read some more. A few years ago I started travelling, and that’s when the idea came up to start keeping track of the books I’ve read… Hence this blog It’s All About Books was born, with reviews of all the books I’ve been reading since November 2012.

Before I leave I would like to say that I’m always looking for new books to add to my TBR list, and I would love any recommendations you might think of. I’m trying to broaden my literary horizon, so I’m open to practically any literary genre… :)

Listing The Reading

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Below you can find a complete list of the books I’ve been reading since November 2012 in reading order… Some found at the library, others found on the internet and a few preciously owned by my own person. Please note that I’m in the process of improving my blog and reviews, and only reviews with link and rating are to be considered up-to-standard. I’m hoping to finish the improvements this month…

>>>For easy browsing, also check out the lists of reviews by
AUTHOR, RATING and TITLE.<<<

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One Day – by David Nicholls

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Title: One Day
Author: David Nicholls
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
First published: September 1st 2001
Finished reading: October 23rd 2014
Pages: 437
Rating 3,5

“You’re gorgeous, you old hag, and if I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of confidence. Either that or a scented candle.”

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I have to start with saying that with One Day being a contemporary/romance fiction novel, it’s not a book that I can enjoy easily. But since this novel by David Nicholls was originally a gift, I decided to read it anyway. I’m glad I decided to finally pick up my copy of One Day, as it definitely went far beyond my inicial expectations. The story is about Emma and Dexter who we follow during the span of twenty years. They meet for the first time on the night of their graduation, and develop a complicated relationship afterwards. Nicholls takes us to the July 15th of each year after that to see what happens to both of them on each anniversary. Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. Although the characters weren’t exactly to my liking, I did enjoy reading about the changes in perspective and friendship during the years, and Nicholls was able to put in some pretty big plot twists. Recommended to those who enjoy contemporary romance…

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When Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation, they form quite a remarkable pair: they are the living proof that opposites sometimes attract, especially when there is alcohol involved. Dexter seems to be the typical superficial pretty boy, but does the unthinkable and doesn’t flee Emma’s place in the morning. It’s not the romantic relationship Emma longs for, but it is the start of a friendship that will last for a long time.

We see Dexter rise to fame when he first starts travelling around the world and later becomes a TV presenter. The events that mark the first few years of Emma’s life are definitely not as glamorous. Instead of chasing her dreams of becoming a professional writer, she ends up working in a fast food restaurant. And while Emma is quite the feminist and forever alone, Dexter changes his girlfriends faster than his underwear. When his drug and alcohol abuse goes too far, even Emma cannot stand him anymore. He messed up with his job and girlfriend, and is forced to accept he is no longer ‘IT’. Emma is seeing a co-worker named Ian, and slowly takes over control of her life. She becomes a teacher, and keeps trying to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. When Emma realizes she is stuck in a dead relationship, she flees to Paris. And Dexter is freshly devorced with a daughter, desperate to see Emma and tell her how he really feels… But is he too late?

finalthoughts

I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, so I’ve left out quite a big chunk of the story in my summary. What I can say is that I enjoyed the various plot twists, and that the idea of following two people during all those years is without doubt interesting. Although I didn’t like the characters, I did enjoy reading about their development. It’s an interesting novel and recommended if you don’t mind a cliche situation or two. A nice contemporary romance read!

A Matter Of Honour – by Jeffrey Archer

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Title: A Matter Of Honour
Author: Jeffrey Archer
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Spy Thriller
First published: December 31st 1985
Finished reading: October 21st 2014
Pages: 439
Rating 3

“Adam took one hand off the handlebars and fingered the envelope in his inside pocket like a schoolboy the day before his birthday feeling the shape of a present in the hope of discovering some clue as to its contents.”

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This book was recommended to me by a friend who knows I like historical fiction and the thriller/mystery genre. And he was right: I always enjoy reading books set in the Europe of the last century, especially when they are related to WWI, WWII or the Cold War. In this case, A Matter of Honour is set during the Cold War and tells us about a lost Soviet treasure that can possibly give the Soviets the right to claim back one of the US states. Jeffrey Archer takes us on a journey through various European countries where the Soviets chase the man that supposedly is in the possession of the painting that holds the document. An interesting read and recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction and spy thrillers in general.

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When the Soviets find out the original painting wasn’t destroyed in a plane crash, all hell breaks loose. The document that is hidden inside that painting can force the Americans to sell one of their states, but the document is only valid for one more month… And they start a frantic search in order to find the painting that has been considered ‘lost’ since the Revolution. In the mean time in the UK, Adam Scott inherited an old envelope from his father. Inside, he finds a letter from the German Goering, promising his father something that has been deposited in a Swiss bank for him to pick up. As you can guess, it involves the exact same painting the Russians are looking for. As soon as he picks up his package, the KGB murder his girlfriend and start a manhunt to catch Adam… And soon everybody is looking for him in order to obtain the precious painting. Will Adam be able to escape death and finally restore his father’s honor?

finalthoughts

Even though it was an interesting read, I felt there was something missing to consider it as a pageturner. It was hard to stay focused at some points in the story and not every plot detail was as convincing as I would have hoped… The fact that Adam was able to continue the way he did, and that he had a lot of ‘luck’ in meeting just the right people seemed a bit unbelievable to me. Still, it is a nice read and I will try to read more of Archer‘s work in the future.

WWW Wednesdays: October 29th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

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theshamI’ve started reading The Dead Zone by Stephen King a while ago, but I’ve put it aside for now because it just couldn’t grasp me. Plus, I had some other books I had to read first (including a few ARC’s)… Right now I’m reading The Sham by Ellen Allen, a novel that is not convincing me either so far… But since I’m only about 50 pages into the story, my opinion still can go either way.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

702018121964071I’ve finished One Day by David Nicholls last week, and it was definitely an interesting novel. A full review will be up tomorrow latest. I’ve also managed to finish Elemental Rancor: A Chronicle Of Consequence by Charles Lominec yesterday, an ARC and sci-fi novel with a very impressive world building… I should be having a review up before the weekend.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

theelectI’m not sure, but it will be between the next ARC I have lined up or a book that I can fit both in the Bookish Bingo and Reading Through The Centuries challenge… The next ARC would be The Elect by Elle Todd, a very interesting story I’m looking forward to. As for the other option, my mind is going blank right now.

Teaser Tuesdays – October 28th: Elemental Rancor

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’m currently reading an ARC sent to me by its author Charles Lominec named Elemental Rancor: A Chronicle Of Consequence. I like the way he is able to build a quite unique fantasy world, but I do have some difficulties following the many creatures and different characters. I have to admit though I don’t have a lot of experience reading sci-fi… I’m about half way into the story, and until now this mythical world full with elemental powers is interesting enough to make me forget my problems with the confusing names and characters.

21964071“The sight made him think of the thousands of sailors that died last night. He thought about the families that would never see loved ones again, the merchant ships now vulnerable to pirates without the Imperial fleet to secure the ocean, the threat that Kurnsol and his allies presented to the Empire, and his duty to the Empire.”

 

What are you reading right now?

Reading Through The Centuries: A Reading Challenge

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The other day I was thinking about that lately I’ve been reading way too many books that have been published quite recently, thus neglecting classics and other earlier published work. To make sure I start reading ‘older’ books again, I’ve decided to make a challenge out of it: Reading Through The Centuries. I’m sure this has been done a million times before and I do not claim originality. It just seemed like an interesting way of keeping track of when the books I read are published, and hopefully I can add new dates to the list below before the end of the year.

This challenge basically is made to try and read books published before 2000. I’m going to set the goal to add at least 5 new dates by the end of December… And one of the books has to be published before 1930. I’ve made a full list of the books I’ve read since November 2012 and I will be adding my new reads to this list in this lovely shade of green.

>>> Last updated October 26th 2014 <<<

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Friday Finds – October 24th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during, in this case, the last two weeks and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Limited blogging and reading time means not a lot of new book discoveries, but below you can find some of my newest additions:

My finds:

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ARC: Hope’s Rebellion – by Jade Varden

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Title: Hope’s Rebellion
Author: Jade Varden
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy
First published: December 30th 2013
Finished reading: October 16th 2014
Pages: 169
Rating 4,5

“Drexi made it very clear that she thought allowing a machine to decide their futures was very silly. Rinna thought choosing by hair color was much, much worse.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly given to me by the author through Ethereal Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
(Guest Reviewer Program) ***

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When I first heard about Hope’s Rebellion, I wasn’t sure I would like the novel. It might have been the cover (I normally don’t like faces on a cover, especially when they are too photoshopped), it might have been the fact I needed a break from all those YA dystopian novels. But I’m glad I decided to read this ARC by Jade Varden anyway, as I absolutely loved the story. Unfortunately some of the characters and actions are close to becoming cliche at certain points (I hate love triangles!), but I did enjoy the various plot twists. I definitely didn’t see the ending coming! Hope’s Rebellion is in a way a criticism on the superficiality of deciding the future of children based on their looks. Being blonde myself, I could definitely relate to Rinna; I would have hated to live in Godenor (the dystopian world the story takes place) and being used as a ‘breading cow’ just because of the color of my hair. The other characters are easy to relate to as well, and I like that none of them are ‘perfect’. It’s an easy and entertaining read and definitely worth your time!

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When you are living in Godenor, your faith is sealed as soon as you are born based on something simple as the color of your hair. There are not a lot of blondes left in Godenor, and those few who are born with this precious gift are treated like kings and queens. Unfortunately, not everyone born with the golden hair wants the special treatment they receive. Rinna hates that people only stare at her golden locks and don’t  judge her for who she really is. She doesn’t want to be the next ‘breeding cow’ as she phrases it, and feels nothing but envy for her two not-so-fortunate friends. Drexi and Prelly have only escaped slavedom by accident and are now schooled to become useful members of the Godenor society. The teachers don’t feel Rinna needs the same education as her friends, as she is destined to become a Mother. Her role: giving birth to precious blonde babies. Rinna is desperately searching for a way to escape her faith…

Prelly and Drexi have their own problems. Prelly is incredibly shy and doesn’t believe she has any talents, while Drexi is in love with a boy she can never have. Only Mothers can have relationships, something Drexi will never be. And Wren is destined to become a soldier and future ‘mate’ of one of the golden girls. When they finally graduate fate is cruel and soon friendships are started to fade and a love triangle is born. There is a rebellion taking place, and while Drexi and Wren are trying to catch the rebel leader, Rinna has some secrets of her own…

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Hope’s Rebellion is without doubt worth reading if you like the YA dystopia genre. The plot twists, interesting characters and easy-to-read prose makes this novel a perfect read for a nice afternoon or evening off. It’s short, sweet and good, but be warned: don’t become too attached to the characters like I did!