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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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!

Dracula – by Bram Stoker

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Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Genre: Classics, Horror, Gothic
First published: August 17th 1879
Finished reading: July 21st 2014
Pages: 512
Rating 3,5

“But there are things old and new which must not be contemplated by men’s eye, because they know, or think they know, some things which other men have told them. Ah. it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all, and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.”

When I first started reading Dracula, I was like yes, yes, YES! The first part where we read the diary of Jonathan Harker and he meets Count Dracula in Transilvania is brilliant. But; and there comes the big but: when the scenes moved to Whitby the story slowed down drastically. The diaries of Mina and Lucy I found dreadfully close to boring… Luckily after a hundred pages or so the storytelling improved and the last part of the book sure is interesting. Nothing better than a good old-fashioned vampire hunt to spice up the story! Although the novel was published 135 years ago, the story wasn’t that difficult to follow and I have to say I definitely prefer Stoker’s version of Count Dracula over the ‘fake’ vampires books are based on nowadays. Go Count Dracula!

Jonathan Harker has to travel to Transylvania for business; he is asked to help Count Dracula buying a house in London. He doesn’t know Dracula is hiding a terrible secret, but slowly he makes some horrifying discoveries about what is really going on in the Count’s castle. Dracula doesn’t seem to eat, he is never around during the day and the castle seems deserted… And Jonathan soon realizes he is trapped within the castle. After an encounter with three very terrifying ladies, he is certain to know his days are numbered. But in the end somehow Jonathan makes it back to England anyway.

We meet the ladies Mina and Lucy, who are close friends, through their letters and diaries. Mina is the girlfriend and soon-to-be wife of Jonathan, and Lucy is being courted by three different men. Soon strange things start to happen in the small town they live and that goes under the name Whitby. First a ship crashed but was found to be unmanned… Then Lucy becomes ill and strange puncture marks are found on her neck. Lucy had already chosen her husband-to-be, but all three men are determined to help her fight her disease. They even ask for the help of the Dutch doctor Van Helsing, who turns out to be an expert in the curious and the unexplained. He soon has his theory but as it seems all help comes too late…

Poor Lucy became a victim of Count Dracula, and he is now trying to make himself comfortable living in a new country.  But the men are determined to fight this monster and soon start a true vampire chase weaponed with garlic, stakes and what more. They realize they have to put haste behind this search, because poor Mina is starting to have symptoms too… But the Count is fleeing England, and finding him isn’t as easy as it seems. Their hunt brings the group back to Transylvania, the home country of Dracula and the place the final battle will take place… Definitely recommended for those who love gothic classics and want to know how vampires originally were like.

Teaser Tuesdays – July 22nd: Throne Of Glass

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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 Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I just started it yesterday evening after finishing Dracula, so I cannot say much about it yet… Apart from the fact that this yet another book was randomly chosen from my TBR cup. I wasn’t going to read YA for a while, but since I’m trying not to cheat with the TBR cup choices, I will stick with this one. Below a quote taken from one of its pages:

throneofglass“Something wild and foreign issued a cry within her, shattering through the pain in her head, and thoughts of poppies and cages faded away.
She must do what was necessary to save the crown – and her future.”

 

What are you reading right now?

Review-a-thon: July 21th Halfway Update

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You might remember I’m doing a Review-A-Thon this month… In this post I will be checking on my process so far. In short I have to admit I still have a lot to do, especially with the reviews I still have to write. Oops! Hopefully I can get a few done within the next few days; I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

So these are my goals for the end of July for those who don’t remember:

  • Complete at least 6 reviews that haven’t been published yetUH OH… Not even one finished! Shame on me…
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  • Make a list of reviews by author, title and rating. ALMOST DONE!! Just one list left…
  • Find my post listing reviews by author here: Listing The Reading By Author
  • Find my post listing reviews by title here: Listing The Reading By Title
  • The complete list of reviews by rating is still pending, but you can already look them up clicking the different ratings in the Menu at the top. (Listing The Reading –> by Rating –> .. Star Rating)
  • Make a list of book blogs I regularly visit  DONE!!!
  • Find my post with an evergrowing list of amazing book blogs I’m following here: Recommended Book Blogs.

The Glass Castle – by Jeannette Walls

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Title: The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir, Contemporary
First published: 2005
Finished reading: July 14th 2014
Pages: 352
Rating 4,5

“But the positive thoughts would give away to negative thoughts, and the negative thoughts seemed to swoop into her mind the way a big flock of black crows takes over the landscape, sitting thick in the trees and on the fence rails and lawns, staring at you in ominous silence.”

I have been blessed with a lot of great reads lately, and The Glass Castle is one of them. I’m normally a bit hesitant when it comes to reading memoirs, mostly because it makes reading somewhat too personal and most memoirs are actually quite depressing. But I’m glad I picked up The Glass Castle anyway, because it was simply amazing. The life of Jeannette Walls and her brother and sisters is not an easy one to tell, and I admire her courage in deciding to tell her story. When you are reading The Glass Castle, you feel she isn’t holding back and shows us the moments of her life exactly as she experienced it. Sure, the story is depressing at some points, but it is also intriguing, moving and overall impressive. She tells us casually about some of the great difficulties she went through when she was growing up, and that actually makes you wonder how it REALLY would have been like growing up in a similar situation. A definite must read for non fiction lovers!

Jeannette Walls didn’t have what you call a normal childhood. Rex and Rose Mary Walls are not the typical parents and have different ideals than most people. During the first few years of Jeannette’s life they moved around continiously, living like nomads and enjoying the wilderness. They slept at places along the road and lived in small desert towns for small periods. When problems arose or things got out of hand, they would simple skedaddle, as Rex Walls used to say, and move on to the next destination. Rex was a brilliant and imaginative man with one big problem: alcohol. When sober, he was able to conquer the world and his four children admired him. Rex was their teacher and was able to teach them great life lessons, although the alcoholism left its negative mark on some of those lessons. Their mother Rose Mary was a free spirit who loved to paint and write, and didn’t believe in the practical things and necessities of life. That quality both learned her children to appreciate the beauties of life and condemned them to a difficult childhood…

When things got out of hand, they end up moving to the hometown of Rex Walls. After living with his parents for a while, they buy their own house. Although it is practically falling apart, Rex and Rose Mary don’t mind and do not bother to make many improvements. Rex is more interested in getting his next drink, and Rose Mary is still lost in her own world and her paintings… Jeannette and her brother and sisters are practically left to take care of themselves, and even then their parents are working against them. Soon the children are dreaming of leaving home and finding a better place to live… Because they realize the glass castle their father Rex promised them to build will never become a reality. The kids dream of New York, the city of many possibilities, and work hard to make that dream happen.

And even though her childhood was a difficult one full of challenges, Jeannette still describes her parents with a lot of affection. It shows that a family can be hold together for a long time with unconditional love, and that other mayor flaws are not as important as that same love. The story shows that both Jeannette and her brother and sisters try to help their parents improve their life, both when they are still children and when they are all grown up. Rex and Rose Mary have their own ideas of how quality of life is judged, and never want to alter the way they live. They don’t care about the material things in life, and are happy with the way things are, even if that means living on the street… A strong message in this material world where we cannot imagine living without phone, internet and computer, let alone running water and electricity. Like I said before: a definite must read!

Friday Finds – July 18th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered this week and added to my readinglist. I’m an ‘adding junkie‘ and my TBR list at Goodreads is already exploding, but I still love to find new potential treasures. This week has been quite busy and I’m finally almost up-to-date with recent reviews (a review of The Glass Castle will me posted later tonight)… I squeezed in some time for book hunting though and I found a few interesting ones; they are listed below.

My finds:

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TBR Cup

tbrcupI found this great idea of creating a TBR cup some time ago at littleonionwrites. It’s basically any cup, jar or whatever you can find that isn’t currently in use. Then write down the names of the books on your TBR pile on small papers and put them inside. Now you have your very own TBR cup! Easy peasy…

I made mine with an old mushroom jar I had cleaned previously and stored for future use. I then used foam and isolation tape to make it blend in with the rest of my interior decoration. (You notice I love black and white?) It worked out great because I can now leave the jar in plain sight and nobody will notice! I also folded the papers a few times so they don’t take up a lot of space, plus that way it’s easier take them out separated…

Once you’re done making yours, just take out a new paper every time you want to start reading a new book… And try not to cheat. ;) It sure gives you some surprises when reading!