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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Teaser Tuesdays – September 30th: Black Roses

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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!)

The book I’m currently reading is Black Roses by Jane Thynne. This book has been on my TBR pile for waaay to long now, and I finally came around picking it up. I’ve just started it today, so I cannot say much about it yet… But I’m looking forward to reading it!

blackroses“She looked at things, not in the clinical, indiscriminate way that a camera might, but scanning for incongruity. Already, as an actress, she was used to observing human tics and behaviours, but now she was being asked to remember aspects that might otherwise have escaped her entirely.”

What are you reading right now?

ARC: The Dance Of The Spirits – by Catherine Aerie

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Title: The Dance Of The Spirits
Author: Catherine Aerie
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
First published: September 22nd 2013
Finished reading: September 23rd 2014
Pages: 338
Rating 4,5

“Little King was not just a dog. He was part of Jasmine’s childhood; he was a little brother, a dear faithful friend, and an indiscriminate companion to all the humans in the Garden Of Melody, whether they were noble or humble, whether they were rich or poor.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Catherine Aerie! ***

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When I was first contacted about The Dance Of The Spirits and read the description, I immediately knew I would enjoy this book. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I love reading about foreign cultures and war stories. This novel by Catherine Aerie about forbidden love set during the Korean war in the 1950s is right up my alley. I have to admit I didn’t remember much of the details about the Korean war, but it wasn’t a problem when reading The Dance Of The Spirits. Catherine Aerie was able to both refresh my memory on the facts of the Korean war and at the same time tell the rather tragic love story involving an American soldier and a Chinese surgeon. There is a perfect balance between the historical facts and the fiction, and the prose itself is beautifully written. All in all a perfect read and highly enjoyable!

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The Chinese Jasmine Young grew up in a wealthy family, but as her mother dies she is forced to leave her house and family. She was studying medicine at the time, and struggles to pay her debts. But soon she has other things to worry about, as the Korean war starts to affect the daily life as she knows it. Mao and his communism are spreading, and soon she is shipped off to war in order to save the honor of her family… Jasmine was told she wouldn’t be in direct danger and would be working as a surgeon to pay her depts to her country. Unfortunately she has problems adapting to the communist way of thinking and she soon offends the people in charge at the camp. She is then send off to a far more dangerous site with the excuse they need an English speaking doctor… And then her life changes forever.

US Lieutenant Wesley Palm is sent to the Korean war to free the country of communism, but he is more worried about getting his buddies and himself out of this mess alive. He fights bravely and suffers some great losses. One day fate decides Jasmine and Wesley have to meet… And even though Jasmine is the enemy, he cannot kill this ‘innocent’ Chinese woman. He lets her go, but against all odds they meet again… After surviving horrible battles, freezing winters and the brutality of war in general. Even though their love is forbidden, they find a way to be together… Only to be taken apart again. But the love never died, and something else is growing inside Jasmine. Will they survive the war? Will they ever meet again?

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Catherine Aerie really managed to dazzle me with her story about the forbidden love between an American soldier and a Chinese surgeon. Its historical facts about the Korean War mixed with fiction form a perfect balance and the prose is beautiful. So many great quotes! I simply loved reading The Dance Of The Spirits, and if you enjoy reading historical fiction, I’m sure you would as well. Definitely recommended!

Winter TBR Wrap Up

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This June 17th I posted my Winter TBR with all the books that I wanted to read during the cold winter months. Now that Spring has come with that all those lovely Spring days, flowers and kayaking, it is time to look back and see what has come of the Winter TBR. Have I actually read all those books on the list? Did I like them? Which ones do I still have to buy and/or read?

Ithenameofthewind‘ve managed to read six out of the ten books on my Winter TBR, which is not too bad if you take into account I haven’t looked much at this list since I posted it. It’s actually close to seven books, because I’m going to read Black Roses as soon as I finish the book I’m currently reading… On to a list with the titles, link and rating:

mountainsI have copies of the following three books, but I still haven’t read them. Black Roses is next on my list, and I will start reading this novel by Jane Thynne as soon as I finish Mr. Mercedes. I really don’t understand why I still haven’t read And The Mountains Echoed yet; I know I will love this book, but I guess I just haven’t blackrosesbeen in the right mood to truly appreciate it. Shatter Me doesn’t attract me as much as before, and to be honest I don’t think I will read this one any time soon…

  • And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Black Roses by Jane Thynne

I still didn’t buy a copy of Winter In Madrid and probably won’t any time soon. It’s not that I’m not interested in the book; I just have way to many books on my TBR pile already to keep buying new ones.

  • Winter In Madrid by C.J. Sansom

Friday Finds – September 26th

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39955200-5d5b-488f-a38b-e63ac71b175dFRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. But before I share this week’s finds, first some happy kitty news! The three kittens are six weeks old now and too cute! I’m going to keep the grey one myself… I’m still 671b305d-3c0f-4510-81ce-dcbc49a60817struggling with names, I was thinking of something related to wild animals, but I could only come up with Puma… (Any ideas?) The white one is being adopted by my little niece (and is named Sienna); the one with the grey blob on her head also has a loving home waiting for her already. But for now they still have a few weeks left with their mother. :D

 

On to the bookish part of my post… You can find a selection of my newest additions below:

My finds:

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WWW Wednesdays – September 24th

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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?

hpandtheprisonerofazkabanI’m about to finish Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban by mrmercedesJ.K. Rowling and I’ve started reading Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King as well. The third HP book is of course a reread, and I can tell you it’s great to step back into the wizard world and read about the adventures of the boy who lived! I’m loving every second of it. Stephen King is one of my preferred horror/thriller genre authors, and until now he delivers with Mr. Mercedes.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

thedanceofthespiritsI finished The Dance Of The Spirits yesterday, and I have yet to write a full review. What I can say for now is that Catherine Aerie really managed to dazzle me with her story about lost love set during the Korean war. Its historical facts mixed with fiction form a perfect balance. It makes this novel a highly enjoyable read and just what I needed to take a break from all those YA dystopian novels I’ve been reading lately.

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

blackdivinefallEither Divine Fall by Kathryn Knight (ARC) or Black Roses by Jane Thynne depending on my mood. It’s either reading yet another YA fantasy story or an historical fiction novel set in Hitler’s Germany of the thirties… I’m placing my bets on Black Roses for now.

City Of Bones – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City Of Bones
(The Mortal Instruments Series #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
First published: 2007
Finished reading: September 20th 2014
Pages: 485
Rating 4

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.”

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Somehow I feel like I’m about the last person on earth to have finished reading City Of Bones. Cassandra Clare is a very popular YA author, and I don’t now why I have been putting off reading one of her books for so long. I guess I was afraid of the hype around her work and the mixed reviews out there… But now I’ve read the first book of The Mortal Instruments series, I can see why she is so popular. While City Of Bones might not have the perfect prose, the story itself just worked for me. And although the start was a bit slow, I was sucked into the story soon enough. It was hard to lay the book down and I probably could have finished this book days before I did if it weren’t for non-reading activities. Sure, the actions of Clary, Jace and especially Isabelle were annoying sometimes, as was the prose. But I just couldn’t get enough of it anyway; the story itself is highly entertaining. To give an indication of how much I enjoyed this book: immediately after finishing City Of Bones, I went and got book number two, three and four as well. I will be reading the next three books in The Mortal Instruments series VERY soon…

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When Clary entered the Pandemonium Club with her friend Simon, she thought she was having a great time. But things change drastically when she witnesses a murder. The worst part: the killers with strange markings on their bodies cannot be seen by others… Soon her world as she knows it turns upside down as her mother is attacked by demons and she is let to the Institute where some of the so-called Shadowhunters live. It turns out she has ‘the sight’ and she isn’t just another ‘mundane'; unfortunately her memory seems to be blocked and she cannot remember anything that will help her understanding her past.

Her mother wasn’t just another normal human being as she thought, and her father turns out to be someone completely unexpected. The leader of the bad guys, Valentine, is not dead as they all thought and he is looking for a cup Clary’s mother has hidden from him to build himself a new army. The Shadowhunters are trying to stop Valentine, but Valentine is holding her mother as a hostage, and has some very interesting secrets of his own to reveal… Will Clary discover the truth and save the world by preventing Valentine’s rise to power?

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I have to admit the characters of The Mortal Instruments series bare a lot of similarities to those in the Harry Potter series. Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Draco and even Voldemort; they all sound similar to the characters in City Of Bones. I myself wasn’t as bothered with that as some others, but it does make you wonder about the originality of Clare‘s story. The overkill in similes did affect my reading pleasure, and I know that a lot of people have had similar problems with this. I don’t mind the use of similes as long as they are used properly and not too often. Unfortunately Clare seems to think similes are as necessary in life as air and water… Still, I think the storyline in general makes up for those annoyances, and I’m definitely going to read the rest of this series. It is an entertaining read as long as you don’t expect too much of the prose itself.

Top Ten Tuesday – September 23rd: Books On My Spring TBR

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The Broke And The Bookish presents us every week a new top ten with a different theme. And this Tuesday’s theme is the Top Ten Books On My Fall Spring TBR list. Since I live in Argentina and the seasons are different here, I made a little alteration so the list will fit in with the current season I will be enjoying. (Spring is my favorite season! :D ) I tried to put together a varied list with a lot of different genres and themes:

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