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 to be read 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… 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… So here it goes:

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Dusting Off The Shelf Read-A-Thon: Definitive Readinglist

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Emily at Books & Cleverness is hosting a Dusting Off The Shelf Read-A-Thon starting tomorrow (August 1st-15th) in which I’m going to participate. Make sure to check out her blog and post! It’s all about finally reading those poor neglected books that have been collecting dust for six months or more…I’ve listed the books I want to read below by the challenges she has set, and I will be posting updates with my progress about every three days or so.

  • CHALLENGE: Read a book set in the past.
  • The Known World by Edward P. Jones (about black slaves in the US; first published 2003)
  • CHALLENGE: Read at least 100 pages a day.
  • It’s not too much to be impossible, so I will definitely try to reach this goal!

Mini-Vacation Hiatus

Lomogram_2014-04-17_07-39-28-PM (1)My cat and I are saying goodbye for a few days! I will be going on a mini vacation with my hubby and I won’t be having ready access to internet. I should be back and running next Thursday (July 31st)…

I hope to finish some books (The Middle Passage and Throne Of Glass) while I’m gone, but as I’m going to visit some friends I don’t get to see often, I won’t promise anything. ;) I’m trying not to start new books, as I will be participating in the Dusting Off The Shelf Read-A-Thon that Emily at Books & Cleverness is hosting starting August 1st. I’m excited about finally reading some of those poor neglected books! Please check out her post and awesome blog.

See you all when I come back!

Testimony – by Anita Shreve

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Title: Testimony
Author: Anita Shreve
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction
First published: October 21st 2008
Finished reading: July 23rd 2014
Pages: 352
Rating 2,5

“I could go to jail, I could stand the humiliation, I could even let my father hit me if he wanted to, but I couldn’t bear to look into your eyes and see the tape running, I just couldn’t.”

A time bomb is about to go off in a small community. A tape is found where four members of the Avery Academy are involved in a sex scandal. The tape incriminates three 18 and 19 year old teenagers (two of them respected and one of them even a local) and shows they were together with a fourteen year old girl… The headmaster tries to maintain the disaster by keeping the news within the boarding school’s walls, but the news leaks out as the girl’s parents go to the police. Soon the boys, headmaster and the whole school are under attack, and the small town bulges under the weight of hundreds of reporters trying to get their exclusive.

Testimony is divided into many chapters in which perspective changes with every chapter. That way, Shreve introduces us to many characters and their testimonies of the events around the scandal. The amount of characters is sometimes confusing and the writing not that great, and it is clear is that some are only used to ‘fill’ the story. The main characters are Silas and his girlfriend Noelle, Rob, J. Dot and the headmaster Mike. Or at least those characters have some dept… On a side note, the way the fourteen year old girl who changed her name into Sienna is described and acts is actually quite irritating, and I couldn’t feel sorry for her at all. Which is strange for a supposedly victim of sexual assault. Or maybe things weren’t as she told everybody that happened, and she was lying to keep out of trouble…

The general story and message of Testimony is interesting. It shows us that a few hours of drunken actions can turn many lifes upside down. That a person has the power to change and destroy the future of others and that actions sometimes have terrible consequences. In short you could say the idea is there and it could have been a great novel. It’s just that the execution of that idea is done poorly. Some of the characters are actually quite flat and the writing lacked creativity and was at times even annoying. This book could have been so much more… If only written in a different way. Only recommended if you like boarding school scandals, a little bit of drama and don’t mind a somewhat shaky writing style and characters.

Liebster Award

liebster-awardLast week I was more than pleasantly surprised when I found out I was nominated for the Liebster Award by wonderful Elli at Wortmagieblog! Thank you again for nominating me and forgive me for my late reply; it took me some time translating everything to English….

The rules:

  1. Write a post featuring this award, add the award logo and make sure you don’t forget to thank the person who gave you the award. :)
  2. Answer the 10 questions.
  3. Make up your own 10 questions for others to answer.
  4. Tag and nominate 10 amazing bloggers that have under 200 followers. (Or under 1000 followers if you prefer.)
  5. Let those bloggers know that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award!

 

My answers to Elli’s questions:

1. What was your first concert?
To be honest I can’t really remember, but I’m almost sure it is some Dutch artist my parents took me to when I was little.

2. Have you been to an opera or ballet show? If you did, which one?
I don’t think I’ve ever been to an opera, but does Cirque Du Soleil count for a ballet show? I’ve also seen a Chinese dance show that I don’t remember the name of about two years ago.

3. Do you read the newspaper daily? (Online version also counts)
I don’t read newspapers daily, but I like to read them from time to time to keep informed about what is going on in the world. I’m just not organized enough to remember to do it every day…

4. What classics have you always wanted to read, but until now always pushed down your readinglist?
That’s probably anything Charles Dickens or any titles involving romance… I’m just not the romance kind of girl.

5. Name three items that you carry with you every day (excluding keys, wallet and phone)!
That would be lip balm, my glasses and either chewing gum or sweets (having low blood pressure sucks!).

6. Is there a poem you have liked for years? If there is, which one?
I’ve been a Victoriano Cremer fan ever since I wrote my thesis about poetry after the Spanish Civil War, and a poem called Los Caminos Del Amor is one of my favorites.

7. If you could choose a supernatural ability, which one would you choose?
I would definitely choose either flying or teleporting. That way I can travel the world without having to pay for expensive train/bus/flight tickets.

8. Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf? Why?
Definitely vampire. I would prefer being undead all the time and not having to go through all those painful werewolf transformations. Plus, vampires can change into bats and fly, which is pretty cool.

9. Which book do you read over and over again?
I haven’t re-read a book in a long time, but the last series I’ve read various times are The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Brave New World is also on the re-read list.

10. With which famous deceased person would you like to go for a drink?
Hmm that is a very difficult one, especially because I think fame is just superficial and I don’t really care about the special status. It would probably be someone that made a big impact on history; like Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King for example. 

 

I had some hard time thinking of my own questions, but here they are:

1.  Which do you prefer: an e-book or an actual book?
2.  What would be your dream travel destination?
3.  What is your favorite music?
4.  If you could have unlimited access to money, where in the world would you live?
5.  What is your biggest fear?
6.  If one of the three senses had to be taken away, which would you choose: sight, speech or hearing? Why?
7.  What would you say is your best quality?
8.  What is your favorite food when reading?
9.  I you could choose in which time you could live, would you choose the past, present or future? Why?
10.  Are you right or left handed?

 

Ok, so it was REALLY hard to nominate just 10 blogs for the Liebster Award, especially with so many amazing blogs and bloggers out there. If I nominated you below, I think you and your blog are pretty awesome! But it doesn’t mean your blog is any less amazing if I couldn’t nominate you… So on with the list:

Please don’t feel obligated to participate if you don’t want to! I just wanted to share the book love… I will be looking forward to the answers of those who decide to participate. :D And Elli, thanks again for nominating me! Please forgive me for any bad German translation. ;)

WWW Wednesdays – July 23rd

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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?

throneofglassI’m currently reading Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I wasn’t going to read YA for a while, but since I’ve set a goal for myself to use the TBR cup to randomly draw the next read for at least what’s left of this month, I’m sticking with this title. I’m not that far away yet in the story, but until now it is definitely promising!

 

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

testimonyJust as I started reading Throne Of Glass, I realized I had some books waiting to be returned next week, and I decided to read Testimony by Anita Shreve first. It is not a book I would normally read, and I thought the writing was a bit poor and lacking creativity. The overall story makes you wonder about the facts described, the lies and the consequences… I will be writing a review shortly.

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

5848Like I said above, I have some books waiting to be returned next week, so I will read The Middle Passage by V.S. Naipaul next. It is a non fiction travel story which gives us a portrait of Trinidad and four Caribbean societies. It’s not my typical read, but the book sounds interesting enough to not want to give it back unread.

 

Daily Prophet: Quidditch World Cup Final – by J.K. Rowling

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Title: Daily Prophet: Quidditch World Cup Final (@ Pottermore)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Short Stories, YA, Magic, Fantasy
First published: July 8th 2014
Finished reading: July 17th 2014
Pages: 3
Rating 4

“So what are they hiding? Is the Chosen One embroiled in fresh mysteries that will one day explode upon us all, plunging us into a new age of terror and mayhem?”

I’ve been a big fan of the Harry Potter series ever since the first book came out, and I must have read the series at least a dozen times and in three different languages… And I’ve seen all of the movies as well. So when I found out J.K. Rowling has written a short story under the name of Rita Skeeter at Pottermore, I knew I just HAD to check it out. I even made a new Pottermore account for it and all. The short story is ment as a little glimpse into the future of the main characters where we learn more about different relationships that have developed since the last book. I enjoyed reading it, but mostly it just left me wanting for more. I honestly hope Rowling wrote this as a little teaser to excite the fans about a possible sequel. I know I would be running to the store if such sequel would be published, and I won’t be the only one… Although for now the only thing we can do is wait and see. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

The short story is written in the form of a newspaper article under the title ‘Dumbledore’s Army Reunites At Quidditch World Cup Final’. It is written by Rita Skeeter, who we all know as a gossip expert who loves to create rumors about Harry Potter and his friends. And that is exactly what she did in this short article. And besides gossips, she also leaves room open for a possible new threat and adventure for Harry Potter and the Dumbledore’s Army… I mean, what other thing can be the meaning of the lines I quoted at the beginning of this post?

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If you love the Harry Potter series like I do, make sure to also check out this article. It is another article of the Daily Prophet with a full transcript of the Quidditch Word Cup Final… Posted July 11th and written by Ginny Potter and Rita Skeeter. There is a lot of new information about the members of the Dumbledore’s Army to be found!