21 Feb 2017

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

This tag has been going around in the community for a while and although I wasn't tagged, I'm doing it anyway, because it sounds fun. 

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag was created by Nathan Hale and you can view the original video here.

Rules:

1. Pick any five books randomly (or not randomly, your choice)
2. The first name you see when you flip open the book on a random page will be the person who is the answer to the question.
3. Each book must answer two questions.

My book choices:



The results:

1. The first person to die:  

Claire

She would have been a valuable team member. Not a promising start...

2. Who is the person you trip to get away from the zombies?

Geillis Duncan




I can live with that. I do the team a favour with this otherwise horrible deed.

3. Who is the first person to turn into a zombie?

Achilles

And he kills us all. End of story. Duhh, we are not exactly lucky so far.

4. Who is the person that trips YOU to get away from the zombies?

Hector

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?



T.r.a.i.t.o.r. 
Hector is a favourite of mine. This hurts a lot.

5. Who is the idiot of the team?

Karou

I can't see this. What's going on?

6. Who is the “brains” of the team?

Izîl

He can certainly be brave if the situation calls for it, but is he clever as well? It would turn out.

7. Who is the team’s medic?

Atticus



Yes!! This sounds right.

8. Who is the weapons expert?

Dill

Do you have your slingshots ready, guys?

9. Who is the brawler?

Tristran



Good!
At least I would have someone to snuggle up to at night when we'd be on the road and hear the zombies shriek far away. I have a slight crush on him, okay? He can brawl as much as he wants.

10. Who is the Team Captain?

Tertius 

Not for long. I have the feeling he would become a victim long before we others would.

My reflections:

WE ARE DOOMED. It was nice knowing you, guys. The only reason maybe some of us have a chance is that Atticus is our medic. We would vote him Team Captain after Tertius dies and hope for the best.

What do you think of my zombie apocalypse team? Would you like to create yours? I tag everyone who reads this post, so go ahead! Leave your links and comments below :)

19 Feb 2017

Favourite first sentences

 I strongly believe first sentences can be the early indicators of one's future relationship with a book. 

Along with the cover this sentence makes the first impression on the reader and sets their reading mood, that's why writers usually try to come up with something memorable, something unique.

However, in my opinion sometimes a first sentence doesn't have to be anything out of the ordinary to grip one's attention. We are so different from each other and we go through many different phases; our life and mood, our feelings change all the time. 

Just like there are books we find at the right time during our life, there are first sentences too that effect us positively just because they pull the right strings at the right time in our souls.

There can be many different reasons why we call a first sentence our favourite. In this post I would like to show you some of my top book beginnings and give a little explanation why they are important to me.


1. "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."


The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

This is an unconventional fairy tale beginning and let me state here I don't like fairy tales much. Then why do I list this as a favourite first sentence? Because as I mentioned it is nothing like any other fairy tale start. No princes or princesses, no castles. Just a strange creature who lives in the ground. I think it was enough to win the readers' attention when the story wasn't as widely known as it is today and it still remains a fun first sentence.

2. "My sister Greta and I were having our portrait painted by our uncle Finn that afternoon because he knew he was dying."


Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

A shocking start to a superb novel about love, loss, grief and friendship. I love how this sentence represents both life and death and the importance of capturing certain moments in our lives.

3. "People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles."


Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

This is a first sentence I think one can truly appreciate after reading the book, but it is perfect to set the atmosphere. Fear is a keyword here. There is fear of merging and fear of the city, Los Angeles. This sentence brings a lot of questions with itself and hints that the book won't only focus on the protagonist but on a group of people, on a generation that has a choice to make.

4. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I don't think this one requires an explanation. I like the familiarity of it. There isn't a bookworm on the planet that doesn't know this first sentence.

5. "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." 


 Their Eyes were watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

 Zora Neale Hurston's beautifully poetic prose grips you in the very first sentence and doesn't let you go. Her mastery of the language is amazing. In her case it is not only the first sentence that is memorable but many others too.

 So these are some of my favourite beginnings. What are your favourite first sentences? Please, tell me in a comment below.

18 Feb 2017

Stacking the Shelves #3


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that makes it possible to share with other bookworms what books you added to your shelves physical or virtual during the week.

This week I received two physical copies through the post, both of them I ordered online:

Title: El Príncipe de la Niebla (The Prince of Mist)

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Synopsis:

In 1943, Max Carver's father a watchmaker and inventor decides to move his family to a small town on the coast, to an abandoned house that holds many secrets and stories of its own. Behind the house Max discovers an overgrown garden surrounded by a metal fence topped with a six-pointed star. In the centre is a large statue of a clown set in another six-pointed star.

As the family settles in they grow increasingly uneasy: Max’s sister Alicia has disturbing dreams while his other sister, Irina, hears voices whispering to her from an old wardrobe. With his new friend Roland, Max also discovers the wreck of a boat that sank many years ago in a terrible storm. Everyone on board perished except for one man - an engineer who built the lighthouse at the end of the beach.

As they learn more about the wreck, the chilling story of a legendary figure called the Prince of Mist begins to emerge...

The Prince of Mist is the first book in Carlos Ruiz Zafón's middle grade series called Niebla (means fog or mist in Spanish). I've decided to start this series because I absolutely adored The Shadow of the Wind find my review here and I think it's time for me to start reading in Spanish as well (I've done a language exam but I've still got a lot to learn).

The three books in the series:

Title: Joseph Severn A Life: The Rewards of Friendship

Author: Sue Brown



Joseph Severn was a painter and a very dear friend of John Keats. I have a personal little project in progress that is about discovering those people's life and work that gathered around Leigh Hunt in the 1810s and thus were part of the literary/art circle of the era. I have mentioned before on this blog before that I love the Romantics and this purchase is just another proof of that.






This is my haul for now. What books did you put your hands on this week?
And another question for today:
Have you ever read a book in a language that is not English and not your mother tongue?

16 Feb 2017

Book Travelling Thursday – A book that deserves more love

Book Travelling Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The girl who read too much and Danielle’s Book Blog.

Rules: 
  • Pick a book related to the weekly theme that is announced in the group's Goodreads page (if you want to join, click here) in the beginning of each month. 
  • Write a post in which you include pictures of the original cover, the cover from your country, your favorite cover and your least favorite cover.
  • Share the post in the creators' related post(s) or in the Goodreads group.
This week’s prompt is: There’s still more love to share… Choose a book that deserves more love.

My choice is:

The End of the Affair
by Graham Greene 

Everything is perfect about this book but I don't know many people who read it. This is an adult novel set during World War II that tells the story of a love affair in a very intresting fashion. 

The narrative structure in this book is everything. I have never seen anything like it, it is truly unique. The first half of the novel is narrated by the male protagonist, Bendrix, who tells us the story of his affair with Sarah, the wife of a friend, up to the point when it ended. 

Why did it end? Bendrix doesn't know the answer until one day he finally puts his hands on Sarah's diary. Her summary of the past events makes everything clear. All the while Bendrix believed he had been part of a love triangle but it turns out he was wrong. It wasn't Sarah's husband who took her away from him. It was someone who would forever be out of reach.

  • Above on the left you can see the cover of the first edition
  • I put my favourite cover in the middle. I think it is simple enough but it reflects the content of the novel.
  • And to give an example of an ugly copy, the last one is my Hungarian edition.

Let me show you another cover which I find very pretty but I don't understand:


This is what I would call a misleading cover because I don't find any connection between the story and the image that dominates this front cover. Maybe I just don't remember enough to make the connection but the cards seem so out of place here... Anyway, at least it looks nice.

 What book do you think deserves more love than it gets? Tell me in a comment below!

15 Feb 2017

WWW Wednesday #1

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words

WWW stands for three questions: 

1. What are you currently reading?

 The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle  #1)
by Peter V. Brett


Synopsis:

As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile. It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human members dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night. 

I think the beginning of this book bears some vague similarities with the movie called 'The Village' that I recently rewatched. Although here there are demons that try to attack the people each night, not porcupine-looking monsters. They just grow out of the ground after sunset. Kinda creepy. It is a thrilling read so far.

2. What did you recently finish reading?

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)
by Laini Taylor


Synopsis: 

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Read my review here.


3. What do you think you'll read next?

This is always a hard question because I'm a mood reader but what I'll most likely start pretty soon is:

The Cider House Rules
by John Irving


 Synopsis:

Homer Wells' odyssey begins among the apple orchards of rural Maine. As the oldest unadopted child at St Cloud's orphanage, he strikes up a profound and unusual friendship with Wilbur Larch, the orphanage's founder - a man of rare compassion and an addiction to ether. What he learns from Wilbur takes him from his early apprenticeship in the orphanage surgery, to an adult life running a cider-making factory and a strange relationship with the wife of his closest friend...

I have never read a John Irving novel before and I definitely want to start with this one because I've seen it everywhere and heard great things about it.


The questions are answered, my part is done here but I want to hear about you too!
What is it that you are currently reading, you've just finished and you're about to read?
Leave me links or answers in a comment below if you feel like to!

14 Feb 2017

Valentine's Day recommendations

 Since this is the day of love I thought I'd share 3 favourite relationships of mine: two literary and one popular culture related pair that I absolutely adore.  

Along with them let me recommend things to watch and listen to; in case you don't have much time to read today.

So here we go:


Couple No1:

Let's start with a classic from the 19th century...

Margaret and Mr. Thornton 
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell


Guys, seriously, forget Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy for a second and consider this adorable couple. Mr. Thornton is a mill-owner, seemingly cold and hard just like the industrial north but he is all heart inside. And Margaret, fierce Margaret, sweet as the flowery south; a truly determined and smart female protagonist. When they meet they are like fire and water. But do they tame each other eventually? Hell, yes. I guarantee your will cheer for them throughout the book.

In case you'd rather watch a series today:

Check out the 2004 mini-series featuring Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret and Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton.


Couple No2:

An LGBTQ romance

Maurice and Alec
Maurice by E. M. Forster

Goodreads

If you are more up to a M/M romance today pick up Maurice by E. M. Forster. I could go on and on about how much this book means to me, this was the first LGBTQ classic I ever read. 

Maurice is a young man who discovers he is attracted to men but of course it is not easy to digest this fact if you live in a world where you can be arrested if you get caught kissing a lad. There is so much struggle in this book but it promotes the importance of self-discovery along with the importance of finding someone to love and this really gripped me. Maurice has to go through a lot till he finds real attachment and when he does it surprises him what a green fellow can teach him about love.

If you'd rather watch the movie:

Have you ever seen a bad Merchant & Ivory production? Because I haven't. This 1987 film is not an exception it's pure joy to watch. Also, do you remember Inspector Lestrade from BBC Sherlock? Of course you do! Surprise, surprise: Rupert Graves plays young Alec in the movie:


Couple No3:

Okay, I will be a bit of a cheat here because my last pair is not in love with each other... or at least their love is not canon. This is also not a book pairing even if one in the pair is the protagonist of many books as well as a film/series and many audio adventures. So here comes a pairing that I ship but you can interpret their relationship however you want:

The Eighth Doctor and Charlotte Pollard
Doctor Who

Yes, Doctor Who is a TV series but it is much more than that. I'm brave enough to include this pairing here because Eight and Charley had many adventures together, all of them in audio form and believe me, audio adventures are so much like audio books!

India Fisher and Paul McGann aka Charley and the Doctor

I ship Charley and the Doctor in a romantic way because it is so obvious how much they care for each other. At one point the Doctor has to choose between Charley or the Universe's survival and he chooses Charley. Yes, wow. I love their banters and that Charley often tries and succeeds in saving the Doctor from himself. They are a real dynamic duo.


If you love Doctor Who but haven't discovered the audio adventures yet I recommend to start with the Eighth Doctor main range (The first adventure is called Storm Warning).

Goodreads


So these are my Valentine's Day recommendations for you.
Stay safe, read, relax, love and be loved.


Review - Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)

Author: Laini Taylor

Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis: Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

My Thoughts:

I know that everyone says the second book was as good as the first one but not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the second one quite a lot as well but it didn’t deliver the magical atmosphere of Daughter of Smoke and Bone somehow. That’s okay though because second books rarely outshine the first ones in a series and it was still a kick-ass fantasy sequel.

The setting was different and even though I missed Prague I saw why this change was necessary. We see a lot more of Eretz in this book, the world building intensifies – I even have a little map on the first pages of my copy… I love maps in books!

Along with the new scenery quite a few new characters were introduced too, some of whom will most likely play an important part in the endgame.

I wouldn’t say the majority of the sequel was overly action packed rather there was a lot of talk of strategy and politics that served to prepare us for what’s coming in the third book.

I liked the last 30 pages the most, since the story became extremely fast paced there and the ending was full of twists and turns. Even though I’m pretty bad at reading series – in finishing them to be exact – I will definitely pick up the final book, because I have to know what happens. 

 
 

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