It’s All About Books

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itsallaboutbooks2017

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… 🙂

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ARC REVIEW: The Echo Room – by Parker Peevyhouse

Title: The Echo Room
Author: Parker Peevyhouse
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
First published: September 11th 2018
Publisher: Tor Teen
Finished reading: August 3rd 2018
Pages: 320

“He’d known other empty places, knew how quickly they could fill with dread.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Tor Teen in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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When I first saw this book mentioned, I was immediately intrigued by both cover and blurb. There is just something about it that sounds dark and menacing; the promise of a very good dark thriller, especially with the potential amnesia angle. What I can say is that The Echo Room definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s one of those books that either works for you, or it doesn’t… And sadly I belong to the second group. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot to avoid ruining surprises, but let’s just say it’s more appropriate to call The Echo Room a science fiction read rather than a dark thriller. And I think I appreciated the whole idea behind this book a lot better than reading the actual story. There is no doubt that the author has thought up something really inventive and has come up with an original way to tell this story. Like the main characters, we are completely left in the dark about crucial information that would make it easier to understand what is really going on… While this can add a lot of intrigue when done right, I don’t think I actually appreciated this technique in The Echo Room. I mostly felt the story was too vague and strange to be actually able to connect to it. I wasn’t sure about the writing either, as the chapters just felt way too repetitive and didn’t manage to keep me interested. Like I said before, I understand the reason behind this repetition and I find the idea itself ingenious; I just didn’t enjoy actually reading it. I had problems with the main characters as well… Especially Rett came over as a bit whiny. Overall I thought The Echo Room was based on a very ingenious and inspiring idea, but unfortunately I liked the idea of this book a lot better than reading the actual story. This might just have been because The Echo Room simply isn’t for me, so if you are into science fiction and don’t mind repetition, you might just have a blast reading this one.

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When Rett wakes up on the floor of a cold and dark room, he doesn’t know where he is or how he got there. The worst part is that he is locked in… and he is not alone. A girl named Bryn is trapped in the room with him, and neither trusts the other. Instead of working together, they each try to find out what is really happening and how to get out… They realize they will have to work together if they ever want to escape, but can they really trust each other?

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If you like science fiction, are looking for something different and don’t mind repetition in the plot, you will probably enjoy The Echo Room a lot better than I did. I still really like the idea behind this story, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to enjoy actually reading it. Between the lack of crucial information, repetitive chapters and lack of connection to the story and characters I had a hard time making it to the final page, although things did improve later on. The story was just too strange and vague for me… But like I said before, the problem might just have been me.


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ARC REVIEW: The Tango War – by Mary Jo Conahay

Title: The Tango War
Author: Mary Jo McConahay
Genre: Non Fiction, History, War
First published: September 18th 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Finished reading: August 10th 2018
Pages: 336

“Each side closely shadowed the steps of the other, like dancers in a tango.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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My interest in this non fiction read was piqued for three reasons: I’m hugely interested in anything related to WWII, nobody ever talks about the role of Latin America during WWII and last but not least I have a special interest in history related to Latin America especially since I have settled down in Argentina. The Tango War is an eye-catching title and the cover stands out as well, but it is important to not forget this is a non fiction read first, entertaining thriller second. I don’t agree with the blurb that The Tango War can be read as a thriller, because the chapters lack cohesion for that. The chapters jump between countries and point of views of the war, which sometimes is necessary, but turns this book into a collection of essays rather than a single story. I also would have prefered to see more focus on the actual Latin American countries, instead of the clearly US influenced point of view of the different topics discussed. I don’t think I could call this non fiction read 100% neutral as a consequence, but that doesn’t take away that The Tango War was a thoroughly interesting read. There has never been much talk about the role of Latin America during WWII, most people instead focusing on Europe, the United States and Japan as the main contenders. It was fascinating to read about how various countries in Latin America had a big influence in the things that happened during the war. The focus isn’t solely on the years during WWII though, as many events both before and after are put in the spotlight as well. If you are interested in the topic and enjoy non fiction reads, The Tango War is just the book for you.

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There has never been enough focus on the fact that Latin America played a big role during WWII. Both sides have been fighting for the allegiance of the countries of Latin America even long before the war, knowing that their support will play a vital role. Each side is willing to play dirty, doing what is needed to win over the countries and get the support needed…

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If you enjoy reading non fiction historical texts and have an interest in the Second World War, The Tango War will without doubt interest you. It’s not the fastest read of the world and the essay-like chapters might slow you down, but this book shines the light upon a wide variety of topics related to the role of Latin America during the war. Would I have liked to see a more neutral point of view instead of a clearly US influenced perspective? Maybe. Would I have liked to see more of Latin America itself? Probably. But there is no doubt The Tango War is still a little goldmine of information.


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Stacking The Shelves #53 – August 11th

Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

One of my goals this year has been to read more books of international authors, either translated or (if I can read in the language) in its original language. I like diversity in my books, not just books with a different setting, but also books that might portray a different perspective. I’ve been doing pretty well reading authors from non-Engish speaking (as a first language) countries this year, but still I couldn’t resist adding more titles. The first is actually book number two of a series I started earlier this year, both a thriller and historical fiction set during WWII. I’m curious how things will continue! Plus, it’s another German flag for my authors around the world map. I also picked up The Passion According To Carmela and added an Argentinian flag to my map… Although in a way I should read this one in Spanish instead. Oh well… The Cuban setting sounds fascinating by the way.

# NETGALLEY ARC #

Click on the summaries below to go to the Goodreads page… 

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YVO’S SHORTIES #36: Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops & Click’d

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around again two different genres… A non fiction book about books I’ve been wanting to pick up for a while and a MG read I decided to pick up on a whim.


Title: Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops
(Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops #1)
Author: Jen Campbell

Genre: Non Fiction, Humor, Books About Books
First published: March 27th 2012
Publisher: Constable
Finished reading: July 30th 2018
Pages: 128

“CUSTOMER: I read a book in the sixties. I don’t remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?”


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I love books about books and after reading The Bookshop Book by the same author back in 2016, I added Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops to my wishlist. It took me longer than expected to actually get, but this was just the right book at the right time for me. This is the perfect book to use as a gift for anyone working in a bookshop or library, or any booklover in general for that matter! Fun, entertaining and full of weird situations that will make both your eyebrows raise and wonder what those customers were thinking when they opened the door to the bookshop that day… But at least it has given us this book to brighten up our day. I like how Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops is divided into three different parts, with the last part being little anecdotes from bookshops around the world. It’s good to know there are weird customers out there in every little corner of the world… Although I’m not sure I would still want to work in a bookshop now. (Just kidding; I would still love to!) Remember this title if you are looking for something fun to gift to a bookish friend.


Title: Click’d
(Codegirls #1)
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
First published: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Finished reading: July 30th 2018
Pages: 304

“Because I have three best friends.” She pointed to each in turn. “And I don’t need to click with anyone else but you guys.”


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I absolutely loved Every Last Word when I read it back in 2016, so when I was browsing my books the other day and Click’d popped up, I decided to pick it up on a whim hoping to add another favorite to the list. I didn’t realize it was a Middle Grade read before I started it, but I don’t think this has influenced my opinion in a significant way since it’s not the first time I’ve read and loved a MG read. Somehow, Click’d didn’t stand out in the way Every Last Word did, and I ended up feeling slightly disappointed. Click’d wasn’t a bad read and I really liked the idea behind this story, but overall I found the story to be rather bland. The plot has that geeky feel with two of the main characters creating an app/game and the whole progress of coding and dealing with bugs in the code plays a big role throughout the story. The other main theme is friendship, which could work really well, but there were just too many cliches for me involved. I don’t mind a cliche or two, but if there are just too many piling up it starts to get annoying and less interesting. Overall, I think Click’d lacks the little something extra that could have made this story into something wonderful. It’s not bad and without doubt a superfast read, but not the new favorite I was hoping for. The younger half of the MG age group might enjoy the story better though.


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Magical Readathon: O.W.L. Edition – Update Post

The other day I posted about joining the Magical Readathon: O.W.L. Edition here, a readathon and Harry Potter inspired challenge created and hosted by Book Roast back in April. I’m late to the party, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited; especially since I’m planning to do the N.E.W.T.s either next month or in October as well!

I’ve decided to do a separate update post so I can track my progress in one place… I’ve still not decided on my fictional career after Hogwarts, but since I’m a Ravenclaw all knowledge is welcome I guess. 😉 I’m planning on passing at least eight O.W.L.s out of the twelve, so I can pick my N.E.W.T.s more freely in the next challenge.

Since the original readathon went from April 2nd till April 29th, only books finished between August 2nd and August 29th will count for this challenge.

My TBR for the readathon (some of the titles might be changed later on; for Charms I was originally going to read Hero At The Fall, but I saw that I needed it for a N.E.W.T. so I’m saving it for next month). Those that are check-marked I have managed to pass already.

>> Last updated August 14th 2018 <<

O.W.L.s passed
# Astronomy, Defense Against The Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Muggle Studies, Charms, Arithmancy, History Of Magic

Currently reading for O.W.L.
# Ancient Runes, Herbology

 

LIST OF SUBJECTS AND PROMPTS

1. Ancient Runes: Read A Book With a Symbol On The Cover CURRENTLY READING: The Mysterious Affair At Styles
2. Arithmancy: Read A Book With A Number On The Cover/Title FINISHED 12/08: The 7 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle
3. Astronomy: Read a Science Fiction Novel FINISHED 03/08: The Echo Room
4. Care of Magical Creatures: Read A Book That includes magical creatures or features one on the cover: Uprooted
5. Charms: Read A Fantasy Book FINISHED 11/08: Every Heart A Doorway
6. Defense Against The Dark Arts: Book about / featuring secret societies/clubs FINISHED 07/08: The Masked City
7. Divination: Read A Book Featuring Prophecies: The Crown Of Embers
8. Herbology: Read a book with a nature-related word in the title CURRENTLY READING: Rivers Of London
9. History of Magic: Read a historical fiction FINISHED 13/08: The Impossible Girl
10. Muggle Studies: Read a muggle non-fiction book FINISHED 10/08: The Tango War
11. Potions: Read a book about/ with alchemy: Ink And Bone
12. Transfiguration: Read a book that deals with shapeshifting or something of the sort or a book with a cat on the cover FINISHED 09/08: Harry Potter Y El Prisonero De Azkaban


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WWW Wednesdays #182 – August 8th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m still buddy reading The 7 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton with Nicki @ Secret Library… We’ve been taking things slow as to fully savour this little masterpiece… WHAT A BOOK!! This is definitely going to appear on my list of 2018 favorites. I’ve also picked up The Tango War by Mary Jo McConahay, a non fiction WWII book about the role of Latin America in WWII. I’m not really far into it, but so far it’s interesting. And last but not least, I’ve started another Spanish reread of the Harry Potter series! The third book is one of my favorites and I’m looking forward to spend more time with Sirius and Lupin. Harry Potter Y El Prisionero De Azkaban it is!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. It’s Okay To Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort (DNF 66%, 0 stars) REVIEW 16/08
I like reading memoirs every once in a while and when I saw It’s Okay To Laugh being compared to the memoirs of Jenny Lawson, I just HAD to get a copy. Fierce and hysterically funny? Sign me up for that! Sadly, I’m feeling kind of cheated now I have picked it up… Because there is no way It’s Okay To Laugh bares any similarities with the work of that author. Both the writing style and tone were just off for me, and it felt rather repetitive and almost nagging to me.

2. The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse (2/5 stars) REVIEW 13/08
If you like science fiction, are looking for something different and don’t mind repetition in the plot, you will probably enjoy The Echo Room a lot better than I did. I still really like the idea behind this story, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to enjoy actually reading it. Between the lack of crucial information, repetitive chapters and lack of connection to the story and characters I had a hard time making it to the final page, although things did improve later on. The story was just too strange and vague for me… But like I said before, the problem might just have been me.

3. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 16/08
Britt-Marie Was Here is already the fourth book I’ve picked up, and this story has only reconfirmed my love for his stories. Fredrik Backman is a true master in creating unique and flawed characters that you cannot help falling in love with. It was so great seeing more of Britt-Marie! Basically, I loved every single minute of this book, and while nothing can beat Ove, both My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry and Britt-Marie Was Here currently share a second place on my list of Backman favorites.

4. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman (3/5 stars) REVIEW 19/08
I admit I wasn’t completely convinced by the first book when I read it last year, mostly because the whole just felt a bit too chaotic and too many different elements trying to be squeezed into one story. I picked up the sequel anyway, both because I was curious to see how things would continue and because it fitted the Magical Readathon challenge… While things did improve and the story seemed to be more coherent, I still wish more focus would have been on the Library. There is a lot going on, we have werewolves, dragons, fae and magic, the story is partly set in Venice… But somehow the spark is missing? The whole thing actually felt a bit dull and rather slow-paced for a story about magical creatures and a plot to start a war that might destroy an alternate world or two.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

As I’m still reading Evelyn Hardcastle, I’ve been posponing other thriller read as to not confuse the two plots. I’m hoping to pick up the NG ARCs The Confession by Jo Spain and Truth And Lies by Caroline Mitchell some time soon though, because the publish dates are coming closer… I also need to read the ARC The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang soon. My newest TBR jar pick is still An Officer And A Spy by Robert Harris.


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Teaser Tuesdays #183 – August 7th: The Masked City

TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. 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!)

One of the books I’m currently reading is The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman. I read the first book last year and while it had some interesting elements, the plot as a whole was a tad too chaotic for me. But with the Magical Readathon on the line, I decided to give the sequel a go anyway. So far things are going better than expected.

My teaser (11%):

“She felt a burning across her shoulders as the Library brand on her skin flared in response, and drew herself up straight in her seat with a little sniff. She hoped she hadn’t been staring like a gawping idiot.”

What are you reading right now?


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