Thursday, 18 December 2014

WWW Wednesday | 17.12.14


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Miz B over at ShouldBeReading.  If you'd like to join in here is what you need to do - answer these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you just finish reading?
What are you going to read next?

Once you're done, go and visit everyone else who is participating - simple :)

What are you currently reading?

It's a Christmas tradition that I read this each year, my Poppa love Dickens, and when we visited there I would always go into the library and sit and read this and Cricket on the Hearth.  This December I'm going to try and tackle all of his Christmas short stories - wish me luck - I have set myself the TBR of death for December.
What did you just finish reading?

This was a particularly hard read for me, my mother had EOAD, so I was quite emotional reading this.  But what a book!  I really did enjoy this.  I love that it was from Alice's POV, often it is how family members cope with a loved one having Alzheimer's Disease   I know this is an upcoming movie starring Julienne Moore as Alice, which it's safe to say I will have to wait until it comes out on DVD to watch.
What are you going to read next?

I've had this at home for a little while and haven't had the time to read it, but hopefully this weekend I can make time.  The Christmas #booktubeathon is running again and there is also the #cramathon which is overlapping that.  Fingerscrossed - because I don't think I'll get much reading done once Christmas hits.










So that's my WWW, what is yours?  Leave me a link in the comments so I can come visit you and see what you've been reading :)

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

Book Review | The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

The Things They CarriedThe Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an enthralling read, despite the contents. I'm not much for novels of war, but O'Brian is able to write a beautiful, lyrical tale that I wanted to read.  I listened to this on audio read by the author and then reread stories in print that I particularly enjoyed.  For me this was the best way to consume this story, I could immerse myself in it.  Listening to it was like having O'Brien and his characters over for a Sunday afternoon session, talking crap and lamenting the bad old days.

This managed to grab me from the start and while these are essentially short stories, they come together to paint a picture of Alpha Company and their time in Vietnam.  The opening story 'The Things They Carried', just, I still can't, it was beautiful.

"They shared the weight of memory.  They took up what others could no longer bear...They carried the land itself - Vietnam, the place, the soil -  a powdery orange-red dust that covered their boots and fatigues and faces."

That's not to say I loved all of this, I was frustrated by the senseless violence, the apathy towards other people, animals, the war. And I don't necessarily think this answered my questions about why the war happened, maybe I need a straight non-fiction book to tell me that.  Then again, I'm not sure it's something I can truly understand - there are some things that you have to experience first hand to fully understand.  It's given me a lot to think about and I know on a reread I'll discover more.

It is books like this that make me thankful that I'm slogging my way through the 1001 list.  Well worth the read, so much so that I would like to add it to my collection.


View all my reviews


Until next time, happy Reading.

C.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Book Review | Hot Rebel by Lynn Raye Harris

Hot Rebel (Hostile Operations Team #6)Hot Rebel by Lynn Raye Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A copy of this ebook was provided for me via Netgalley for review - in exchange for an honest review.

I loved that there was a lot more action in this book, plenty of suspense to keep the story moving.  The action is fast paced and having it set in Afghanistan (I want to say Afghanistan) makes it relevant to now.  I'm by no means an authority of women in the military, but it's always refreshing to see - even if Victoria is on the wrong side of it at the moment.  She's a kick arse character that can take care of bid'ness.  She's strong and I think Harris does well to portray that and her loyalty to family.  She'd do anything for her sister, even to the point that she puts her own life on hold.

Even though I liked Victoria and Nick together, and their scenes together were well done, I felt that the love side of things was quite rushed.  I would've been happy for a HEA without declarations of love, but that's just me.  I could quite possibly be become a cynical old biddy in my old age ;)

Nick was everything I like from my heroes - smart sexy and not too in your face alpha - he wants to take care of Victoria, but he also knows that she can take care of herself.  And I like how this seems to be a consistent character trait for Harris' heroes.

Overall, this was another fun foray into the world of HOT and I'm looking forward to reading more from the series in the future.  Again, this could be read as a standalone novel, but why would you want to miss out on the HOT fun!


View all my reviews

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Weekend Reads | 29 - 30 November

I've got nine books on the go at the moment, it would be great to say that I'm going to finish ALL of them - but it won't happen.  I've got a few errands to run, so I won't be able to just sit and read all weekend - more's the pity!  But, I'll settle for finishing these:





If I manage it, I will be one happy lady.

So what are you reading over the weekend?  Let me know!

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

Book Blogger Hop | 28th November - 8th December 2014


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

If you haven't participated before, here is what to do: 

On your blog, post the answer to the weekly question.  once you've done that, link up your post over on Coffee Addicted Writer and then check out everyone else's answers.

This week's question: Do you visit the same blogs each week or do you branch out and try to find new blogs?  Submitted by Elizabeth

Answer:  I tend visit the same blogs each week, usually when we both participate in the same meme.  But I also like to visit other blogs (or the same ones), this happens when I see that they've posted something new, or I may see a link from someone else via Twitter.  I do a lot of lurking.  One thing I always wish is that I had more time to comment/interact on blogs more.  Participating in NaBloPoMo this month has provided me with lots of lovely new blogs.


I hop you enjoy visiting all the other blogs today :) (yes I am a fan of bad puns)

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Not so current reading

Thankfully this isn't my actual TBR!!

I've always read more then one book at a time. I'm the kind of reader that gets excited by each new book that I get and has to start it RIGHT NOW!!  But lately, I'm thinking it's getting a little out of hand. Earlier today I had 16 books on my goodreads Currently Reading shelf. (I've since moved 7 of them back to my To Read shelf.

A couple of them I'd started in 2011 - I'd read 50 or so pages and gotten frustrated by a character or storyline. Another one had an inordinately large amount of bullet points. little things really, but I'd stopped reading, intending to pick it back up after I'd read another book, but never coming back to it.

So I decided I needed to get realistic with myself - most of them, I can't actually remember what I've read, so I'll need to read them from the start and I would really like to have all of the books on the list read by the end of the year.  I'm fine with having unfinished books on December 31st - but they need to be ones I've started in the week of Christmas/New Year.  More than likely I will get some books for Christmas - Maggie is such a good present giver.  PLEASE tell me I'm not the only one who receives presents from their fur babies ;)

What about you - are you able to read more than one book at a time?  Or is one your limit?  Let me know

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

Essay Review | Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America by Don Watson

Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and AmericaRabbit Syndrome: Australia and America by Don Watson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting comparative look at Australia & the US.  I went to an author talk for Watson's new book 'The Bush' on Tuesday evening and it was interesting to hear him mention some of his thoughts shared in these essays - that we as a nation tend to pretend that awful things didn't happen when European Settlers first arrived here.  That our history with the Indigenous peoples was a peaceful handover, instead of the massacre(s) that it really was. I'm looking forward to reading more from Watson, I bought The Bush on Tuesday night, but I'd also like to learn more about the history of Australia - the good and the bad.



View all my reviews

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

WWW Wednesday | 26.11.14



WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Miz B over at ShouldBeReading.  If you'd like to join in here is what you need to do - answer these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you just finish reading?
What are you going to read next?

Once you're done, go and visit everyone else who is participating - simple :)

What are you currently reading?

This is completely creeping me out, but it is a great read, (or listen in my case, I have this going in the car).  As the cover says, it's about our fictional Lewis & Alice.  I love all the little Alice tidbits that are popping up throughout the story.
 What did you just finish reading?

I liked this, it wasn't quite what I expected it to be, but really, I didn't know what to expect - literary werewolf fiction, who would've thought.
What are you going to read next?

This should be - what are you going to continue to read...because this has been on my currently reading pile all month so far.  And I need to finish it for the 8th Dec as this is when we are discussing it for Book Group.










I'm looking forward to finding out what everyone else has been reading or is about to :)

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Book Blogger Hop 21 | 27th November



The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

If you haven't participated before, here is what to do: 

On your blog, post the answer to the weekly question.  once you've done that, link up your post over on Coffee Addicted Writer and then check out everyone else's answers.

This weeks question: Do you have any advice for new bloggers?


  • I think the biggest thing is to be yourself.  
  • Blog about what interests you.  
  • Join a few weekly memes, they can be a great way to meet other bloggers


I'm in no way an authority on how to blog, I've been going for a number of years, but I still look at myself as a beginner.  I know I've improved from when I first started out, but I've got so much more to learn and improve!

That's it, I'm looking forward to hopping about and seeing what other advice everyone else has given.  Enjoy your weekend :)

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

WWW Wednesday | 12.11.2014


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Miz B over at ShouldBeReading.  If you'd like to join in here is what you need to do - answer these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you just finish reading?
What are you going to read next?

Once you're done, go and visit everyone else who is participating - simple :)

What are you currently reading?

I've still got a few on the go, I haven't actually done that much reading in the past week, but I started listening to The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.  Which I'm enjoying and finding it hard going, some of the stories are difficult to listen to.








What did you just finish reading?

After Tex by Sherryl Woods.  I was enjoying this so much when I first started it, but I didn't enjoy the second half as much, my full review is here










What are you going to read next?

I don't think I'm going to start anything new, I have too many books on the go at the moment and I really need to focus on finishing my book for book club, Ape House by Sara Gruen.  Our get together is coming up in a couple of weeks and I want to close out the year by actually reading the book!







Another week of reading is over!  As I said, I didn't get much done, hopefully the next week isn't so busy and I can read to my hearts content :)

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Unfinished Projects

I love crafting, I'll admit that sometimes the end results are less than perfect, but I don't mind.  For me, the main thing is to have fun.  I'm a terrible crafter really, because I have so many ideas and I'll buy fabric or wool for a new project before I finish the one I'm working on.

At the moment I've got a project I started a year ago, all it needs is some hand stitching and it's done, but do you think I can 'find the time'.

Close up of the fabric, as this was my first patchwork quilt, I started with a basic pattern.  Once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy to put together.

This is before I added the border and the backing, it is a cot quilt - although Willow is almost too big to use it as that now.

This is the next quilt I started making, once it's finished will be for my bed.  I was blocking out the pattern here, with help from Maggie.  I just need to add the backing to this, put it on the big embroidery machine and then edge it and it'll be finished!

Below is proof that I can finish a project - my peg apron :)  This is halfway through, this took around two hours to make all up.

The finished product - the instagram filter makes the green look neon which is why I put the other photo in.


Have you got any unfinished projects, or are you a super efficient crafter that gets all their projects completed?  Perhaps you've got some tips to share :)  I am planning on setting aside some time this Christmas to finish off a few more, I bought some beautiful fabric to make a couple of dresses and a bag so Maggie can put all her things in when she goes visiting.

Until next time, happy reading.

C.



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Lest We Forget



Blood swept lands and seas of red

The current installation by Paul Cummins, that is on display at the Tower of London, is to commemorate the 100 anniversary of World War One.  

(I've used images from a Google search, I'll switched them to ones that I'e taken later as I took the wrong USB to work with me.)

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Great British Book Haul



I may have bought a few books while I was on holidays...I haven't filmed a book haul in a few months, so this is the first of a couple coming up.

Enjoy!  Let me know if you've read any of these, tell me what you think.

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Book Review - The Lady in Red by Fayrene Preston

I found this in the swap box at work this week and was very excited, (see my earlier post here), but sadly it didn't quite live up to expectation.

                                 


It's about Cassidy Stuart, a journalist trying to work her way up the ladder at work.  Zach Bennett designs and manufactures toys at the company he started when he was younger.  Cassidy gets a tip that someone is going to steal and sell Zach's new video game...but if it's up to Zach, the only thing that's getting stolen is Cassidy's heart (I know - I should totes get a job writing blurbs!)

The basic premise of the story was fun, it's a case of mistaken identity the first time they meet,  Cassidy thinks she's meeting her source, Zach thinks she's a high class call girl.  It was pretty cute up until then, but I thought it was a little creepy when Zach finds out her name and address and then goes on to stalk her for the evening.  But it's all ok, because he likes her, wants to spend time with her and he's harmless!  She questions it, but then it's never mentioned again.  

That was probably my big issue with the book, I just didn't get the author deciding to treat stalking as a joke.  On the ick side, this was written in 1991 - apparently condoms weren't the 'in thing' at that stage, so there is the obligatory 'he emptied himself into her' line.  I hate that saying, it makes me cringe, I mean what is she, or anyone on the receiving end of some baby jam - a bin?  The other thing I didn't enjoy was the instalove. It drives me barmy, especially when it's not done well.  Reading this, it felt like the story was told over a week and at the end of it - declarations of love.  Can I get a WTF!?  I don't get it, lust sure, but love, not so much.  Maybe it's the cynic in me.

When we finally meet the source, Zach dubs him 'Deep Teddy Bear', which had me raising my eyebrows.  I don't know if it was the author trying to show us that Zach's a big kid, but it did make me laugh.

There were some funny quotes:

"He enjoyed mysteries.  He loved Christmas ornaments. He was enticed by ladies in red."

My fave by far was: "Zach, a man with dreams in his eyes and stuffed animals on his bed."

And I did love the creeper stuffed toys which kept multiplying every time Cassidy woke up.  She opens her eyes and there's a lion eyeballing her, another time it's a giraffe. 

It wasn't fantastic, I certainly wouldn't read it again, but it was a quick, easy read and I had fun with the cover and the tag line.  I gave it 2 stars.

Did you read anything fun over the weekend?

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Weekend Reads ~ 8 - 9th November

I've been pretty lax the last couple of months with my reading challenges, fingers crossed I'll finish them all by the end of the year. I really wanted to read 12 from each of the 1001 lists, that was my biggest goal for the year, I'm going to be reading them for years at this rate!   So far I'm doing better on the children's list.  I'll post an update on my reading challenges in the next week or so.  

But onto my weekend reads, I'm hoping to get Ape House & The Last Werewolf finished by Sunday night, I started both during the last Deweys readathon.  I also started listening to The Things They Carried, which is one from my 1001 list.  I'm hoping the physical book arrives this week, I'd love to reread some of book already. I'm almost finished another audio, City of Lost Souls, 5th book in The Mortal Instruments. Next up is Stone Mattress, the latest from Margaret Atwood, which is a collection of short stories.  And lastly, just for fun, The Lady in Red, a category romance I found in the swap box at work. 


Well that's my list of weekend reads, what are yours?

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Book Blogger Hop 7 - 13th November

Book Blogger Hop


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer

If you haven't participated before, here is what to do: 

On your blog, post the answer to the weekly question.  once you've done that, link up your post over on Coffee Addicted Writer and then check out everyone else's answers.

This week's question: Should book bloggers be doing more to support bookshops, rather than just give links to Amazon or Barnes & Noble as a place to buy the printed version of the books they read?

My answer:  For me, I tend to put links to Book Depository, because that is where I buy a lot of my books from.  I think it's up to personal preference as to where you buy your books, I may link to BD, but that doesn't mean you have to buy from them.  My local book shop doesn't have a great selection of romance novels, they'll certainly order them in for you, but the last time I tried to do that I was told it wouldn't be available for 6 months.  For me convenience and cost won out and I ordered it from BD, half the price and I got it within two weeks.  I guess in terms of independent bookshops, any purchases for them would be fantastic and steering other readers in their direction would be helpful.  But again, as a reader, you could go to your local book shop with a list of titles to buy.

What do you guys think?

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Book Review - After Tex by Sherryl Woods


This was on 9 discs, running for 10hrs and 25 min.  Narrated by Christina Traister.  3 Stars.

Blurb from Goodreads:  Megan O’Rourke’s beloved grandfather had always been determined to lure her out of New York and back to their ranch in Whispering Wind, Wyoming.  Now his will makes it impossible for her to refuse.  She’s named guardian of Tex’s daughter — a daughter Megan never knew about!

Jake Landers has also come home to Whispering Wind. After leaving years before under a cloud of suspicion, he’s returned to put down roots.  When he comes face-to-face with the woman who shares his troubled past, he hardly recognizes the driven powerhouse Megan has become.  Now she has big decisions to make — about life, love and where home really is.  Jake’s only too happy to help Megan rediscover their old dreams — and maybe this time, fulfil them forever.

This was fun to listen to, especially after the schmozzle of the last audio I listened to.  Megan is fun and sassy, I love when the H/H have that snarky, 'you drive me crazy, but I want to kiss you anyway' relationship.  I also think it's great that Megan didn't need Jake to fix her problems.  There's nothing worse when the hero comes along and fixes everything so the heroine can just sit down and not worry her pretty little head.  I get so frustrated when this happens, especially when the heroine has been so strong up to that point.

I liked Megan and Jake, both together and as characters on their own.  Megan is smart, intelligent and knows what's what.  If it wasn't for his bad boy reputation, you'd think Jake was Whispering Winds, boy next door, he's always willing to give people a hand, which stems from his back story, he had it pretty tough as a child.  Woods really bought Whispering Winds to life, the characters were interesting and varied.  Many of the towns people were mentioned.

There were multiple story lines going on in the book, and while I did enjoy all of them to a certain extent, I think there were some that were only there as devices to move the story along.  For example, Barbara Sue and her abusive husband Lyle - I felt like it was there so the book would have a 'big bad', when there was enough going on with other main characters to not have be so prominent a story in the book.

Tess, through no fault of her own, was a character that I didn't love.  I understand she was a scared girl, alone again and very unsure of those around her, especially Megan.  But I got annoyed with some of the stunts she pulled, that said, she was a well written, believable character.  I'm getting so crotchety in my old age - pipe down kids - granny needs to sleep!!

There are two other things that I got frustrated while listening.  First the ranch, who was running it?  I know it's supposed to be fully functioning ranch and Megan had hands to run things, but beyond a couple of quick mention there was nothing.  I think it would've been good to have some sort of interaction between her and the foreman, even just to illustrate how much she had on her plate and because it was Tex's wish that she be more involved.  And for me, Megan setting her married friend, Peggy,  up for a little flirtation was distasteful.

I enjoyed the narration, Christina Traister has a great voice, it wasn't monotonous, which can ruin even a fantastic story.  There weren't accents as such, but each voice was easily recognisable and fit the character.  Overall, this was an enjoyable listen, and I'm looking forward to delving back into the town of  Whispering Winds with Angel Mine.

Have you read this series?  What did you think?  Or maybe you've read something else by Sherryl Woods, I'd love to know how her other books are.

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

WWW Wednesdays 5.11.2014


It's been a little while since I've participated in WWW, but it's a great way to share what I've been reading, along with visiting other blogs to find out what everybody else is reading - it's hell on my TBR, but so worth it!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Miz B over at ShouldBeReading.  If you'd like to join in here is what you need to do - answer these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you just finish reading?
What are you going to read next?

Once you're done, go and visit everyone else who is participating - simple :)

What are you currently reading? Ape House by Sara Gruen.  This is for book club, I'm not loving it so far, certainly not as much as I enjoyed Water for Elephants. But I'm interested enough to keep reading.








What did you just finish reading?  The Collector by John Fowles.  Absolutely loved it, I thought it was so well written.  I'm looking forward to trying some of his other books.



What are you going to read next?  I have far too many to choose from, but I'm hoping to read something from one of my reading challenges, I've slowed down on that reading, which is not great as it's almost the end of the year.  Maybe a classic?  I did just buy a beautiful copy of Dracula by Bram Stoker the other day.







Let me know what you're WWW Wednesday is.

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Book Cover Craziness

I'm a sucker for book covers or tag lines that are a little strange, have weird pictures or are just plain cheesy, it's one of my favourite things to look for.  Today I was not disappointed!  I found this in the swap box at work - how could I possibly resist?

A Red-Hot Kisser Who Liked to Play with Fire...

Zach Bennett loved a mystery, and he found the alluring seductress who'd invaded his sanctuary impossibly intriguing! Red was his favourite colour, and Cassidy Stuart glittered in a slinky red-sequined sheath that awakened his appetite for adventure ... and ignited a hunger for the lady herself.  Cassidy groaned when she realized she'd mistaken Zach, the enigmatic genius who'd made a fortune designing toys, for the secret contact who'd promised the young reporter a story that could make her career. When his addictive lips made her confess that Zach's company was under attack, and that she was trying to discover who was determined to betray him, Zach welcomed the lovely sleuth into his office - ad vowed to make her part of his life.  
Cassidy had sacrificed her childhood to raise her brother, yet she'd fallen for a man who still had his toys. Zach warned her he wouldn't play fair when he played to win her love. Could she learn to count on the hero who'd captured her soul?

I know Zach makes toys for a living, so the association is there,  but having them randomly on the cover screams bizarre.  I'm not sure how that conversation went, I imagine something like this...

"We need more weirdness on the cover!"  

"I know - lets add some stuffed toys, bitches love stuffed toys!"

Then add in his face, it's like he's unconscious, but not much that he can't grab her arse.  Maybe he's faking!  And good golly, the tag line...

     He wooed her with hot chocolate and cookies, and she had no choice but to surrender her heart...

I'm going to give it a read over the weekend, I've never heard of the author before, so whether I'll finish it remains to be seen, but I'm willing to give it a go.  It's got a 3.46 star rating on goodreads, so it can't be totally crap.

Have you read it?  Or do you have cheesy cover to share - let me know, I'm always on the look out for them :)

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

October Roundup


I can't believe we are already five days into November!  This year has gone so fast. Here is my list of books I read in October, some I loved and others...not so much.

Sweeter Than Sin by Shiloh Walker

This is the second full title in the Secrets & Shadows series, I enjoyed this more than the first one, while if did clear up a lot of the mystery from the novella and the first novel, there is still a lot to be found out in Madison.  I've loved the character Adam since he was introduced, I knew he was a damaged character, as man of Shiloh Walkers are.  An enjoyable read I gave it 4 stars.

Deacon by Kristen Ashley

The fourth book in this series, I haven't read any of the others so far, and not reading them in order doesn't affect the story.  Deacon what can I say...a very silent, strong type alpha male.  I loved that this wasn't instalove, the tension built up over years.  I have a secret wish to run off to Colorado or Montana and this book played right into that.  I really liked that Cassidy didn't need a man to fix her problems, she is more than capable of doing it herself. This was lots of fun to read, although there were a few points that made me raise my eyebrows, for such an alpha man there were a few things that happen during smexy times that I didn't feel was believable to the character, but overall I could let that slide.  A solid 3.5 stars that I bumped up to 4 on Goodreads.

Empower by Jessica Shirvington
I'm glad I finished this series, but I had a few issues with it in general, I'm still not over Violets selfishness, her immaturity, although she has grown up a lot in the last book.  I enjoyed visiting characters that weren't in the last book and I'm glad with how it ended, I plan on doing a full review of this series, because I read them one after the other, I find it hard to separate the stories out.  3 stars.

It's been ages since I have read a Shelley Laurenston book and I can't for the life of me work out why.  I loved the Magnus Pack series, so I delved into three of the Pride series and wasn't disappointed.  Her characters are so sassy, there's a lot of humour, many laughs and hello smexy, smexy times.  These never fail to make me laugh, often to the point of asthma or scaring the crap out of my dog.

Bite Me is about Livy (honey badger) and Vic (bear/white tiger), she keeps sneaking into Vic's house and eating his honey, it wouldn't be such an issue if she's stop tearing holes in the walls to get inside.  The honey badger clan is know as one of the craziest, they like to steal things and party hard, where as Vic is much more laid back, which is the bear side of him, but wake up the kitty and damn are you in for some action!  This was my favourite of the three.  5 stars.

The Mane Event is a two novella bind up.  Christmas Pride is Dez (human) and Mace (lion) story, they were best friends as kids and finally meet up again.  She's a NYPD Detective now and Mace is a retired Navy SEAL.  This was a fun read, it's interesting to see the human aspect come into it, as most of the time the H/H are shifters.  I love Dez, she's a fun character, she knows how to get things done and Mace, lovely, lovely Mace.  So naughty.  

Brendon (lion) and Ronnie (wolf) are the H/H of  Shaw's Tail.  He's a hotel owner and their story runs on from the first novella.  Brendan is seriously injured and Ronnie is the one who nurses him back to health.  4 stars.

Bear Meets Girl is Lou (bear) and Marcella (tiger) story, she works for the FPU (feline protection unit) and is also a professional hockey player.  Lou works with Dez, after recently being outed as an under cover police officer.  He's taking time to adjust, (apparently bears don't like change).  They're thrown together because of there's someone in the human world who likes to big game hunt...using shifters.  I love that we get to revisit characters from previous books, Dez of course frature sin this one and there are some hilarious scenes between her a Lou where it comes out that she now watches Animal Planet to get tips on how to deal with her husband and new family.

The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith

This is my first foray into J.K. Rowling, I love Cormoran, and I'm looking forward to reading the next in this series.  I enjoy British police procedurals, although often the ones I read are a little more graphic, (think Mark Billingham).  Overall, I liked the writing style, I thought Strike and Robin worked well together they make a good team, although there were a couple of points I wanted to shake her and remind her 'he's your boss, not your BFF or boyfriend' - he doesn't own you an explanation.  I thought the characters were well developed and the story while a little slow and repetitive at times kept my interest.  There is a little twist at the end.  A solid whodunnit. 3 stars.

Pawn by Aimee Carter

The first in a trilogy, because that's what you do in YA these days it seems.  This is a dystopian tale that centres on Kitty, (Katniss Everdeen she isn't!)  While she is capable, she is quite passive a character, she mostly goes along with what happens, I didn't dislike her, I just wish she had a little more spine.  I enjoyed this enough that I'll read the next book when it comes out, I think she will become a stronger character in future.  I thought this had a interesting premise.  You are ranked on your ability to perform duties, the higher your number the better off you'll be once you become an adult.  I'm also happy to report this didn't have a love triangle at its center and I'm hoping it stays that way.  What it did have was some fairly predictable back characters, the friend who's a little slutty, and I really wish they would just stop with that.  Be original, why not have a cast of strong, likeable characters.  The loveable boyfriend 3 stars.

The Collector by John Fowles

So creepy, so well written.  This is the story of Fred and Miranda.  He kidnaps her and keeps her in a purpose built cellar in his house.  He just wants her to love him, she would rather escape. This was claustrophobic to read,  I enjoyed the first half more than the second -  the book is in two parts, the first being from Feds POV and the second from Miranda's.  I think I was a little frustrated by Miranda's character, I didn't connect with her completely.  And as weird as it sounds it wasn't as enjoyable to read her side of the story, which is told in a diary.  She's very whiny and I know I wouldn't be this fantastic wonder woman if I was in the same situation, but she was so unlikeable.  I went into this no knowing anything and I think that made for a more enjoyable read.  4 stars.

Let it Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green & Lauren Myracle
I really wish I'd read this all at once, I think I would've enjoyed it more.  I enjoyed the first to novellas enough, but I just couldn't get into the third, I started it I don't know how many times before I finally finished it.  What I did love about this books was that all the stories are interconnected.  Which makes sense, they all happen over one night.   A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. (Blurb taken from goodreads).   3 stars.

The Lightkeeper by Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs is not for me.  This is the second book of hers I've read and I've come to the conclusion it's safer for everyone if I never read one of her books again.  This gave me so much rage.  I didn't relate to either of the characters, the conflict felt like it was there for conflicts sake.  I know it needed to be there at the start, but throughout the whole book?  Not so much.  The one thing I did like was when Mary covered the whole house in flowers, lace and chintz to piss Jesse off, that was funny, but then she ruined it my having Mary go snoop into personal things and BOUNDARIES people boundaries!  1 star.

Covet by J.R. Ward

I haven't read any of the BDB, I've been meaning to, the series has been reccomened to me by numerous people and I enjoy this enough that I'd like to continue the Fallen Angel series and start the BDB.  I'm assuming there will be seven books in this series - there are 7 deadly sins after all.  The start of this was a little confusing, it was a huge info dump of characters, plot set up and I was a little confused as to whether this was Jim's story or Vin & Marie-Terese's.  I liked the H/H enough, I was rooting for them to get their HEA, and thanks in part to Jim they do.  Jim is an interesting character, you learn little snippets of his life before you meet him working on the construction of Vin's huge mansion.  There were a few cameos from the BDB, which I didn't get obviously, but for me I didn't feel like I missed out by not reading the other series first.  Once I got through the initial part of the book I was hooked, looking forward to continuing the series and finding more out about Jim. 3 stars.

I managed to read a bit of everything in October, I've got quite a bit to get through in November, I need to try finish off some on my challenge books.  And I'll being doing an update post in the next few days about how they're all going.

Let me know what you read in October, or let me know what you thought about the books I read, I'm always up for a chat about books :)

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Bookshop love - NaBloPoMo 2

If you're anything like me, no matter where you are on holiday you will find the local bookstore/ library.  I just love exploring these places. So I took myself off for a very quick visit to Matilda Bookshop in the Adelaide Hills. It's a beautiful little store in the main street of Stirling.  They sell a wide range of books, I was on the hunt for a cloth bound Penguin Classics version of Persuasion by Jane Austen.  Alas, they didn't have one, but I did find a beautiful embossed, leather bound copy of Dracula by Bram Stoker.

This copy in published by Barnes & Noble, who did have a beautiful copy of Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility, but I want to hold out for the Penguin edition.  I don't think I've read it before, (I've seen countless movie adaptations), but I'm really looking forward to reading it.  I also bought Snakes & Earrings by Hitomi Kaneharo I've never heard of her before, she is a Japanese author.  It's an award winning cult classic, so I'm interested in seeing what it's all about, from the blurb I'm getting body modification, love triangles and tragedy.  I love finding a book you know nothing about and just going for it.  Sometimes it makes for the best reading.  Here are the beautiful books.


And seriously...how cute is that bookmark.



I didn't have enough time to visit Chapter Two bookshop, which is just behind Matilda, but they have a great secondhand selection and you can always find a gem or two there.

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

NaBloPoMo - Day 1

blogroll

I'm not much of a writer, I know they say everyone has a novel in them, but good ideas don't a novel make!  So NaNoWriMo is out for me - sad, but true. With this in mind, I am going to participate in NaBloPoMo.  Each day in November, I'll be posting on the blog, I read about it a couple of days ago and thought it would be fun, I've said it before, but I'd love to post more and being prompted each day to write something could be the push I need. It's hosted by BlogHer and they have a link up post where you can add your details each day, which I think is fantastic - perfect for discovering new people and exciting blogs.

I'm not going to be posting anything different from what I usually do, so expect a month of books, food, photos and other delightful bits.  One thing I should've thought of was writing the first couple of days in advance - I've taken myself off for a weekend away and didn't bring my list of ideas, so if I'm lucky I'll get to finish my book and I can review it.

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Dewey's 24hr Readathon - Opening Meme



So it's an hour until the readathon fun begins and over on Dewey's blog they've posted this get to know you meme, so here it goes!

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? 
Australia. Land of TimTams, Milo and Vegemite. 
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Half Bad and Gone Girl. Both of which I've started. 
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Pineapple M&Ms. So tasty :)
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I work in a library & have a small addiction to books. Okay, who am I kidding...it's the opposite of small, but I'm ok with that.  I've got my snuggle buddy Maggie, who's too cute for her own good, ( which comes in handy for when she eats my books :/). 
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  
I'm going to try concentrate on reading more tweeting less, last time I didn't get much read - I was too busy chatting!  That being said, part of the fun of a readathon is finding people who love reading as much as you do!  This is only my second Dewey's readathon, so mostly I just want to have fun. Feel free to share tips or ideas, I can always use more.
So there you have it!  I'm settling in, hopefully I can make it all the way through :) I'll be tweeting from @cataluna6 come and say hi!
And for the Readathon Wrap Up!!
I was happy with what I managed to read over the weekend:
Pawn by Aimee Carter: 123 pages
The Collector by John Fowles: 111 pages
Let it Snow: The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle: 138 pages
Ape House by Sara Gruen: 106 
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan: 10 chapters
So it was a grand total of 545 pages (432 technically, as Pawn was finished as part of Octobathon, as I managed to again forget that this actually started on Saturday night in Australia).
The first three have been on my currently reading list for some time, in particular Let it Snow, which I started in a previous readathon at the beginning of the year.  It's was just so satisfying to finally finish them!  I also started two new books, Ape House is for my book club and The Last Werewolf I'd been meaning to read for the longest time and I left my iPod at work so I couldn't finish the audio I'd already started, hence my borrowing an audio from oneclick.

Also, here is my wrap up video if you're interested:

How did you go if you joined in - let me know!
Until next time, happy reading :)
C.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Dewey's 24hr Readathon - 18th October, 2014


Another readathon is here and I almost missed it.  I discovered this on Wednesday and quickly signed up.  I'm not really prepared in any way, shape or form, but I'm going to read or fall asleep trying!  I'm not going to have a set TBR, I've got a couple of books I'd like to start, but whether I do is another matter.  I also have quite a few on the go at the moment that I'd really like to finish, (I'm looking at you Half Bad!), one from a previous readathon that I need to read already, (I'm still looking at you Half Bad, but now I'm eyeballing Gone Girl too).

I am going to approach it a little differently this time, it's early to bed and I'm going to set an alarm for 11:30pm and then I'll be fresh to start reading, so I'll have a few hours under my belt; hopefully that'll help keep me going for the whole 24hrs.  And as much fun as it was last time, I'm taking a break from the cheering - I'll do a final update on how I went, but I'm not going to do a lot of updates on the blog, I do want to participate in a couple of challenges and chat's on twitter, but for the most part I want to read.

What about you - are you participating in Dewey's this time around?  Got any tips to share?  Feel free to comment below.

Until after the readathon, happy reading :)

C.

Friday, 18 July 2014

He's a Bad Boy by Lisa Jackson

He's a Bad Boy (Mavericks #1)He's a Bad Boy by Lisa Jackson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this book at the moment, I had a bit of a rocky start with the beginning. 

I didn't buy Rachelle (our heroine), being ok with wet hugs just after being assaulted.  I was also laughing at her amazing first time, where she soared all sorts of magical heights - several times - with our resident bad boy Jackson Moore, (our hero).  I it was kinda a dick move on his part to keep going, even though he felt bad about 'taking advantage' of Rachelle.

I quite like both of the main characters, both likable enough, I was a little annoyed that Jackson felt the need to over exaggerate all the other negative aspects of the other characters, namely Roy Fitzpatrick - local asshat and our number one bad guy at start of the story.  All his friends are similarly painted, none of Roy's friends have any redeeming qualities, even when we meet them 12 years later.  This aspect of the story didn't feel real to me.  I felt like Jackson wanted me to know these were the bad guys and so she made a list of things asshats do and made sure they had all those traits.  I don't like being told how to feel about a character, I like to make up my own mind and I'm sure I would've come to the conclusion that they were not nice.

Overall, this was pretty predictable,  I had an idea of who the killer was and I was on the money. That being said I did enjoy listening to it once I got past my issues, plus I always have such fun listening to these older Harlequin Loveswept titles.  Would I read it again.  No.  But would I read the other three titles in the series.  Yes.



View all my reviews


Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Wow.  Just wow.  This kinda blew me away.  My first book for the Writers of Colour group on Goodreads and we are off to a cracking start.  I thought it was well written, I loved the humor and pop culture references, (although I didn't get all of them).  I bonded with Oscar, Junior and Lola, I cared about the characters and I wanted them to be okay.  I really enjoyed the magical realism aspects of the story, the theory of Fuku and the rich history that the family had.

My only negative - and it's entirely a fault of mine - is that I don't speak fluent Spanish, so some of the story was lost on me, and sometimes that pulled me out of the story.  I have a basic knowledge of Spanish and was able to understand parts, but most of it went over my head.  Further proof that I need to start learning it again!

What this book has pushed me to do is look into history outside my normal sphere, I know next to nothing about the Dominican Republic, and I often think being so isolated from the rest of the world (I'm in Australia), we don't learn about much about the world outside of our little bubble, it wasn't on the school curriculum and English was the language that most people spoke, at least when I was at school; that of course is changing as more immigrants arrive here.  But generally I was taught a little Australian history, but the majority was English History.  The first time I went to Europe it became glaringly obvious just how sheltered we are, a tour guide that we had in Italy spoke five languages.  Five.  Not all of them fluently, but enough to get by and I'm not saying everyone in Australia only speaks English, but we don't feel the need to learn other languages, unless we have that particular background.

My audio request of this arrive before the print copy, and it was great to listen to.  Lin-Mauel Miranda was the narrator, he was brilliant, it was like being there with Junior and I got more out of the Spanish language when it was being read to me, rather than me reading it off the page.  The story was truly bought to life.

Definitely not my last Junot Diaz book. Have you read this, lets chat!

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.



View all my reviews

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Lyon? Oui s'il vous plaît!

I am beyond excited at the moment - I get to go to the 2014 World Library Conference in August, which this year is in Lyon, France.  This will be the second conference I've gotten to attend and it's always so rewarding to meet people just as excited and enthused about libraries as I am!  Sometimes I find that being so isolated from other libraries/librarians can make it hard to get the creative juices flowing - sure you can email, chat on the phone, but there really is no comparison to being in a room filled with people that have great ideas about the next stage in library service.

At the last conference there was a chance to network with other librarians, workshop ideas at how to ensure the future of libraries.  Creative ideas on how to market libraries, how to get users into the library and more importantly, how to get them to keep coming back.  From what I've seen of the program so far, there will be an opportunity to discuss these issues, along with lots of new ideas.  I really am looking forward to it.

I will also have a chance see Lyon in all its beauty, I don't know a lot about the city, a little more than what I found out where the conference was going to be, (thank you research skillz).  I'm looking forward to seeing old Lyon and taking a stroll around the city where they used to weave silk, there are also a number of museums and galleries that I can visit.  I going to try, (third times the charm, I'm sure), and visit Monet's Garden in Giverney, I've been lucky to see the product of his inspiration, but I'd love it if I could see the real thing.

And I will also get to see my lovely, lovely family in London, I don't get to see them very often, so it will be grand to see them all again - and in person!  Group hugs will be the first order of bid'ness!  As always with my holidays, I will probably take it fairly casual, there are so many places I'd love to visit, but I don't have enough time, so I'll see what I can and hope that it's not too long before I get over that side of the world again.

Do you have a favorite place to visit?  I've got the month of August to explore, with maybe a day in Brussels, two or three in Barcelona, a week in Lyon and two weeks in the UK.  So if you think there is something awesome I should see let me know!  I'd love to chat holidays or if you have a question about the conference or libraries in general, let me know :)

Until next time, happy reading.

C.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Check it out - What's in my library bag today? #3



I cannot believe it is already June!  The year - almost half over and I'm not quite sure where all of it's gone.  Good thing I've got some awesome things from the library to help me take my mind off it.





I've been seeing Saga pop up a lot on the interwebs lately, so I decided to check it out.  Beyond the basics, (intergalactic space war, lovers on the run), I  know nothing.  I'm going to start this on the weekend and I'm looking forward to it.  From what I've seen the illustration are beautiful and I've been a fan of Brian K. Vaughan ever since I read Pride of Baghdad.


I first saw Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire on the blog Estella's Revenge, Andi was raving about them and since I tend to read similar things and she loved them I thought I'd give them a go.
She also loved Saga, so I'm two for two!  I think it's going to be an interesting read, and hopefully a different take on the post apocalyptic world which is very popular at the moment, (and also one of my favorite genres).  I love the idea of hybrid animal/people.






And lastly - The Walking Dead, I didn't realise it had been so long since I'd picked up the graphic novels and I've got about 10 volumes to catch up on now.  I read Vol. 11 last night - Fear the Hunters.  it wasn't until I was a few pages in that I worked out that I'd read it already, but it was a good reintroduction to the series and I'm keen to power read through the rest of the series.  I like that the tv show and the GN are different enough in storyline, but still keep it interesting, I am looking forward to seeing how they both progress and where the characters are going. 




Well that's it for my library stash, I'll no doubt have another bagful soon, I can't help myself, especially when I keep seeing all the new lovelies.

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

WWW Wednesday - 21st May



It's the week after Bout of Books has finished and I have to admit, since Sunday night, I haven't picked my book back up!  So tonight, I think I'm going to sit down and relax and read a few chapters.
WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Miz B over at ShouldBeReading.  If you'd like to join in here is what you need to do - answer these three questions:
* What are you currently reading?
* What did you just finish reading?
* What are you going to read next?
Then go and check out what everyone else who is participating is reading - I recommend you visit with pen at the ready, I always come away with new books to add to my Mt. TBR!

What are you currently reading?

On the last day of the readathon I started Half Bad by Sally Green, I've been itching to begin this and I'm so glad I did, I'm 90 pages in and loving it!  It's an interesting take on the witch genre, it's not so much about the magic, but more the politics surrounding the characters.  The main character Nathan is a half code - his mother was a white witch (good), his father a black witch (bad).  So he has to struggle constantly with everyone, including members of his family, telling him that he's 'bad'.  There is a lot of set up for Nathans character, which I'm loving, I really feel like I'm getting to know him.  The story is building up to Nathans 17th birthday, which is when witches come of age and receive three gifts.  I'm looking forward to where the story is taking me.


I'm also listening to Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.  It is so much fun, this is my first book by her.  While I'm listening to it I totally immersed - I need to keep reminding myself that it's set in 1999, it feels like a contemporary read.  I own her other two novels so I think I'll read them in the next couple of months as well.  I am loving the characters, and the back and forth between Beth and Jennifer reminds me of a friend I email with, so I'm connecting to the characters that way.  And I love Lincoln, his character is doing borderline creeper things, but I can't help it, he's adorable!  I'm enjoying it so much that I'm going to end up buying a print copy as well.


What did you just finish reading?

 The 100 by Kass Morgan.  I just loved this, it opens on a spaceship a few centuries into the future, there was an apocalyptic event on Earth and a number of ships fled to space.  But the ships are breaking down and they need to see if Earth is habitable again - so who do they send?  A crack team of scientists?  Military convoy?  Ah no, they send 100 teenaged criminals, who's only other future is death on their 18th birthday.  This is told from multiple points of view, with the focus on Clarke, who was studying to be a doctor.  Wells, who betrayed Clarke and did something so that he'd be sent with Clarke to Earth.  Bellamy, who's sister is also being sent.  And Glass, who manages to escape off the ship before it leaves on its mission.  This wasn't too heavy on the sci-fi side of things, despite being on a ship, I think because there is more of a focus on the characters rediscovering earth.  They don't have laser beams or any advanced technology   I am waiting for the sequel, which should be out in September.  I am also looking forward to seeing the tv series.

What are you going to read next?

 I placed a hold for Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, I've heard lots of good things about this on twitter and booktube and I loved Pride of Baghdad, so it's a no brainer for me.  All I know is that there is an intergalactic space war and the two main characters, from two different species have just had a baby together.  Beyond that I don't know anything, but I'm excited to find out!  


I also have Under a Graveyard sky by John  Ringo, I've never read anything by him, this one is about a family who has to put their Zombie Action Plan it to motion - which is to set sail on the ocean to avoid the hoards of zombies!  It'll be interesting how sci-fi this book is, I don't tend to read a lot of it, but zombies - I love me some zombies!

And lastly, Norwegian by Night, which is the story of 82 year old Sheldon Horowitz, an ex-marine who is struggling with his past.  He's recently moved to Oslo to live with his grand daughter and her husband.  He witnesses the murder of a woman and then rescues/kidnaps her 6 year old son.  On the run from a Balkan gang and the Norwegian police the two form a bond despite not being able to speak the same language.  I originally heard of this on The First Tuesday Book Club and everyone was quite impressed, it sounds like an interesting premise for a book.
 



So that's my reading week so far, have you read any of these?  Let me know what you think.  Want to read something with me?  I like the idea of a buddy read - let me know!

Until next time, happy reading :)

C.

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