Thursday, 28 January 2016

Favourite Blog Posts

Following my month of retrospective looks at 2015, I've compiled a link list of my most popular blog posts of 2015, and a few which were my favourite to write for people to revisit.

100 Things I did this year
My favourite blog! A huge collection of all of my adventures that I had this year.

100 Best Books in the English Language
Mini reviews for the books that I've read on this list.

Being Undervalued
My rant regarding leaving my previous job.

Books About Dancing
I'm still desperately hoping to flesh out this list. If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them.

Books Before Marriage
Get to know me through the books that sum me up. Like the list? Put a ring on it.

Christmas Books
All the classics to read at Christmas time.

Job Jealousy
Sad blog, wishing I worked in publishing!

June Reviews - Revisiting Turkey
The Architects Apprentice, Birds Without Wings reviews that were both set in Turkey.

Man Booker Prediction
My shortlist prediction did really well, even though I was completely wrong!

November Novels
The Bone Clocks review.

September Reviews
All of the books I reviews with the Underground Bookclub

Secret Life of a Book Blogger
My first blogger tag game!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

December 2016 Reviews

Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
Wordsworth Classics 1811 hardback
School Library
I am semi-ashamed to say that I took this book from an unofficial book exchange at my boarding school. It was so many years ago that this hardback has been part of my collection and was just blindly absorbed onto my shelves. So I forgot that I stole it until I saw a notation on the front cover. Anyway, it took me a while to finally pick up this book, and as you can see by the rating, I loved it. As with Pride and Prejudice, my childhood knowledge of the story from the adaptation, was expanded, and whole swathes of the story were new and exciting. I loved reading this book and getting to know the base forms of the characters portrayed on screen. Some confusing elements of the plot were smoothed out, eg: Lucy Steele's little snippets are far more biting in the book, which admittedly would be hard to portray. It's definitely worth picking up an Austen, I am slowly working through the collection. Just four more to go! *adds collection to Amazon wish list*. I can't wait for the next one, probably Emma.

Read my review of Pride and Prejudice here.

The Mistress Contract
He & She
Serpent's Tail 2013 hardback
Internship Haul
The only reason this book gets a point at all is that I finished it. I had faith that it would get better. It didn't. I think the main problem is the protagonists are old, so there is a strange social barrier of a book about sex written by people who have such different views to people of my age group. On the other hand it was readable, I can't fault the writing, but the bone dry approach was its main down fall.
The couple write a contract for an exchange of income and household for mistress services and the book is all about the conversations they had about their relationship status. The book has been made into a play, and I wonder if that will have a more fictionalised element because the conversations gave so little insight into their lives, sexual or otherwise that it was almost entirely pointless.
Even the more interesting discussions about feminism and sexual preferences were titillatingly dealt with in conversations that meandered to no where, as most do, with neither partner changing their mind or challenging the other. One to abandon on the tube to disappoint someone else I think.

The Poet's Wives
David Park
Bloomsbury 2015 paperback
Internship Haul
Another book I will never finish. There is no particular reason why I lost interest in The Poet's Wives, just that I could see it stretching out in front of me and couldn't care less about the outcome. The concept is a three part book, written by the wives of three poets, two real and one fictional. Perhaps the final section ties everything up in a beautiful and poignant bow, but as far as I got it was looking pretty dire.
I actually got pretty far along with it though, the first two parts were fairly interesting, and it was very nicely written, showcasing Park's changing writing styles between characters. But I just gradually lost interest. If it's taking me three weeks or more to finish a book, I'm unlikely to finish it. I wouldn't recommend this as a must read, but it's an easy read, if anyone finishes it, let me know if it was worth it.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Reading Resolutions

1. Beat my last record of 35 books in 12 months. (May-May)

2. Read for at least an hour every day.

3. Read all of the unread books on my shelves.

4. Give away those books I'll never read again. Keepsakes get a box in the loft.

5. Join a library. DONE

I think those are fairly achievable. I don't want to set anything too mad and I'm very keen to beat my last record!

Other resolutions:

1. Lose 5kg.

2. Improve Cantonese to small talk level.

3. Place in a Ceroc competition.

Happy New Year everyone.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Christmas Haul

What did you all get for Christmas? Share your #ChristmasHaul on Twitter and let me know! I'm loving some of these titles and these will probably last until next year. I can't wait to start reading all of these, it was so hard to decide which one to open first, but I've decided on Sea of Poppies to start the New Year.

Lean in Sheryl Sandberg, and Nell Scovell

Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts

Armada - Ernest Cline

Lila - Marilynne Robertson

Box of Delights - John Masefield

Queen of Shadows -  Sarah J Maas

The Woman in Black and Other Stories - Susan Hill