Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Blogger Hop - March 1-7

The Book Blogger Hop has moved to the Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.  I hope you are able to join me.

This week, Billy asks:

You're going on a long train ride. What books will you bring to read?

If I were going on a long train ride, I would probably bring War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Booking Through Thursday - Current Events

This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:

One of those quick, easy questions that I ask periodically because the answer is always changing:
What are you reading right now? (And, is it good? Would you recommend it? How did you choose it?)

I am reading a number of books at the present time, but one of the books that I am reading is War & Peace.  I didn't actually choose to read it at the present time, as I joined up a readalong for the book.  I would recommend it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WWW Wednesdays (Feb. 27)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you'll be reading next?

1) What are you currently reading?
• Outlander
• Titanic: Voices from the disaster
• Crime and Punishment
• War and Peace
• The Whole Truth

• HP and the Order of the Phoenix

2)What did you recently finish reading?
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (review)
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (review)

3) What do you think you'll be reading next?
The Giver by Lois Lowry

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Musing Mondays (Mar. 25)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

Describe one of your reading habits.

One of my reading habits is to listen to one of the many podcasts that I subscribe to as I read.  I don't know why I do it, but I think that I partly do it to block out the stuff that is going on around me and to just concentrate on what I am reading for however long I am listening to the podcast.  I started the practice of listening to music while I was reading or studying back in high school and for some reason it helps me concentrate on what I am reading.

Till next week.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading (Feb. 25)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

What I have reviewed this week:
1) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (review)
2) Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (review)

What I am planning on reading this week:
• Order of the Phoenix
• Crime and Punishment
• War and Peace
• The Whole Truth

• Titanic: Voices from the disaster

What's up next:
The Giver by Lois Lowry (I know I said that I would read it last week)

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Pages: 435
Published: 2002 (originally published 1813)
Genre: Classic, Fiction
Challenges: Classics Club, Pride & Prejudice bicentenary Challenge
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description:  When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life. (via

Thoughts:  I quite enjoyed the book and liked how the miniseries incorporated so much of the book into the miniseries.   Sure this is my favourite Austen book and yes, I have compared each one to this book, but there is something to be said for Austen sort of rebuking the way husbands were acquired by those in certain classes at that time, of course in her own way.  I can't really say what I liked about the book because there was so much that I did like about the book.  Its honestly one of those books that there is so much that one likes about the book that you really cannot pinpoint what you liked the most.

Bottom line:  Recommended for those that haven't tried her or who have read her other later books, but    would like to give her another chance.  I would also recommend the book to those that have read her earlier books.  And I would also recommend it to those that need a lighter read, but is still considered to be a classic.

Rating:  5/5

Pages for 2013: 3136

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

Title: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Pages: 389
Published: 2012 (originally published 1937)
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Challenges: 2013 TBR Pile Challenge, Classics Club
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal library

Description: Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon… (via

Thoughts: Before I give my actual thoughts of the book, I have to confess something.  The cover that I am showing here isn't the one that I read from.  I lost that particular copy of the book and am not sure where that particular copy has ended, so I bought a new copy of the book and I am basing my stats on the new copy, not the old one.

Overall, I thought it was pretty decent and because I read it while listening to an audio version of the book, I was able to catch most of what I had somehow skipped over the first time I read it (I quit reading about 3/4 of the way through).  I did find the story a tad boring at times and while I liked the visuals that the movie gave to the first third of the book (yes, I am planning on seeing the next two Hobbit movies), as it gave me a sense of place, I did find that for the most part it was rather dull and thought that the ending was a bit of a cop out, but maybe I will think better of the ending later on.

I suppose it didn't help that I read the book at the end of the day and maybe I couldn't enjoy it as much as I probably could have.  I did enjoy the book, but it just felt that it was more of a chore than an enjoyable read.

Bottom line:  I would recommend this book to those that enjoy fantasy fiction and have enjoyed the Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin.  I think I will tackle the three books in LOTR series at some point, but I need a bit of a break and maybe once I have finished those books, I will have a different view of the book.

Rating:  3.5/5

Pages for 2013:  2701

Sunday Salon - A good reading week

This was a good reading week.  While last week was also a good reading week, this was also a good reading week, as I managed to finish two books within 24 hours of each other.  I haven't written the reviews of the two books, but I am hoping to get them up later today.

It was also a good week for my reading because I was thinking about what else I wanted to read and yearning to read the books that I have on hand was strong.  And I think that my reading slump is over, at least for the time being.  And it was just a good week in general, as I was able to get myself into more of a normal routine and I am hoping that I can establish more of a normal routine in the coming weeks (seems that I am becoming more and more a creature of habit).  Maybe it was the fact that there are signs of spring coming (while trees aren't budding yet, there are signs that trees are about to come out with the slightly warmer weather and the fact that I have seen tree pollen things coming out and the grass seeming less mossy).

I am hoping that you all have a relaxing Sunday, however you may spend it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Blogger Hop - Feb. 22-28

The Book Blogger Hop has moved to the Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.  This is my first time doing the hop since the move and I hope you can join myself and others in the hop.

Anyways, Billy asks this week (yes, shock, a male book blogger): 

Which do you prefer most: a printed book or an e-reader?
 While I really like the portability of an reader and the fact that one can read really large books on an 
e-reader without making one's wrist sore and can put a lot of books on an e-reader, I have to say that there is nothing like a printed book, technically an e-reader is a printed book, but understanding the context of the question and personally I prefer a book printed on paper, but I am starting to prefer using my e-reader.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mailbox Monday - February 18

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their homes during the past week. Mailbox Monday, for February, is being hosted by Unabridged Chick.

A little over a week ago, I went to the bookstore a picked up a couple of titles, but like all my purchases, who knows when I will get around to reading them.


Musing Monday (Feb. 18)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

Tell us what you are reading right now.

At the moment I am reading a number of classics.  They aren't short by any chance but are all over 300 pages.  I am finding The Hobbit the one that I seemingly the least interested in, although the reader that I am listening to for Crime and Punishment isn't exactly me feel enthralled with the book either (the reader has a rather thick eastern European accent).

Even though it is a long book, I am really enjoying War and Peace and liking the fact that each of parts within the books are fairly short and are only about 100 pages. I know some of you may be intimidated by the length of the book, but I think its a book that can clearly be tackled.  And the chapters within each part are only a few pages long.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading (Feb. 18)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

What I have reviewed this week:
1) Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (review)
2) The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (review)

What I am planning on reading this week:
• Order of the Phoenix
• The Hobbit
• Crime and Punishment
• Pride and Prejudice
• War and Peace
• The Whole Truth

What's up next:
The Giver by Lois Lowry

Sunday Salon - Trying to get back in the groove

The last month and a half has been somewhat difficult for me and if you follow me either through my Facebook account or through my main Twitter account, you probably know this.  But in any case, I think that I am slowly turning around.  And one may ask why I may think this.  Well, the last few days, I have been reading for several hours and feeling as though it isn't a chore.  I think also going out for dinner several nights last week helped, as it got me out of the house on those evenings.  Part of the reason that I hadn't been "feeling" like myself is that I refused to go and spend money either on books or fatty, processed food and trying to work through my emotional stuff by not going to things that I consider a crutch.  And despite what one of my friends said, I wasn't trying to do to much by not going to those things that made me feel good for a moment and then made me feel lousy later on.  Even though I am not a great follower of Oprah, there is some truth in what she once said about going to things that made us feel better and then made us feel lousy later and not dealing with the emotional things that initially made us feel the way we did and sweeping it under the carpet as though it didn't exist.  But I think it was also due to the fact that I didn't really get a decent sleep until recently and I find that unless I have had a decent sleep, I am going to be more likely not to react to things properly.

But in any case, whatever it was, it seems to have passed and I am starting to feel like myself again and the things that I enjoy are no longer a chore and I am starting to want to not let things go and catch up on things.

I hope you have a restful Sunday, whatever that may look like.

1) Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (review)
2) The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (review)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag - Alan Bradley

Title: The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag
Author: Alan Bradley
Pages: 368
Published: 2010
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Challenges: 2013 TBR Pile Challenge
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce didn’t intend to investigate another murder — but then, Rupert Porson didn’t intend to die. When the master puppeteer’s van breaks down in the village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is front and centre to help Rupert and his charming assistant, Nialla, put together a performance in the local church to help pay the repair bill. But even as the newcomers set up camp and set the stage for Jack and the Beanstalk, there are signs that something just isn’t right: Nialla’s strange bruises and solitary cries in the churchyard, Rupert’s unexplained disappearances and a violent argument with his BBC producer, the disturbing atmosphere at Culverhouse Farm, and the peculiar goings-on in nearby Gibbet Wood — where young Robin Ingleby was found hanging just five years before.

It’s enough to set Flavia’s detective instincts tingling and her chemistry lab humming. What are Rupert and Nialla trying to hide? Why are Grace and Gordon Ingleby, Robin’s still-grieving parents, acting so strangely? And what does Mad Meg mean when she says the Devil has come back to Gibbet Wood? Then it’s showtime for Porson’s Puppets at St. Tancred’s — but as Nialla plays Mother Goose, Rupert’s goose gets cooked as the victim of an electrocution that is too perfectly planned to be an accident. Someone had set the stage for murder.

Putting down her sister-punishing experiments and picking up her trusty bicycle, Gladys, Flavia uncovers long-buried secrets of Bishop’s Lacey, the seemingly idyllic village that is nevertheless home to a madwoman living in its woods, a prisoner-of-war with a soft spot for the English countryside, and two childless parents with a devastating secret. While the local police do their best to keep up with Flavia in solving Rupert’s murder, his killer may pull Flavia in way over her head, to a startling discovery that reveals the chemical composition of vengeance. (via

Thoughts: I enjoyed this one, but probably not as much as I liked the first book. Maybe it was the fact that the book seemed to take awhile for the action in the book to start up and seemed to be a bit dry for a bit.  Oh, it wasn't that I wasn't intrigued with how the book was going to play out, it was just that since the first book the action was rather quick from the get-go, that I was expecting the action to start right away.  Flavia of course was up to her regular schemes and sometimes I wonder if her father should have kept a closer eye on her and what she was doing and whenever her mom was mentioned, I was curious if there was anything more that would lead us to know if Harriet is still alive, which I think she still is, and if she really is Flavia's mom, I still wonder if she is.  Overall, the book was good and well written and makes me want to see a movie version of the books come to the screen.

Bottom line: Recommend the book to those that have read the first book, as a number of the characters that are mentioned are introduced in the first book, even though it could be read as a stand-alone.

Rating: 4/5

Pages for 2013: 2312

Friday, February 8, 2013

Call the Midwife - Jennifer Worth

Title: Call the Midwife: a true story of the East End in the 1950s
Author: Jennifer Worth
Pages: 376
Published: 2008 (first published 2002)
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, Biography
Challenges: Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: Life in London's docklands in the 1950s was tough. The brothels of Cable Street, the Kray brothers and gang warfare, the meths drinkers in the bombsites - this was the world that Jennifer Worth entered when she became a midwife at the age of twenty-two. Babies were born in slum conditions, often with no running water.

Jennifer Worth describes the romance and beauty of the great port of London, the bug-infested tenements, the spectre of disease, the sense of community and the incredible resilience of women who bore more than ten children. Funny, disturbing and moving, Call the Midwife brings to life a world that has now changed beyond measure. (via

Thoughts: I really quite enjoyed this book, although it took me quite a while to get going, but once I was able to get on a role with book, I didn't want to put the book down and I really didn't want it to end.  True I had watched the first season (series if you live across the pond) and was the initial reason as to why I picked up the book, but it was worth it.  The writing was really well done and the imagery of the neighbourhood in which Mrs. Worth worked in was amazing and made one feel as though you were going into those homes as she attended the births of these children, while they lived in what we would deem to be squalor, into families that wanted them and loved them.

Bottom line: I would recommend this book probably to most individuals, but especially those that are nurses and have interest in the subject of midwifery.  I would also recommend the book to those that have seen the show.

Rating:  4.725/5

Pages for 2013: 1944

Sunday, February 3, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Feb. 4)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

What I have reviewed this week:

What I am planning on reading this week:

• Order of the Phoenix
• Call of the Midwife
• Pride & Prejudice

• The Whole Truth
• Definetely not Mr. Darcy
• The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
• Silver Sparrow
and a few others...

What's up next:
Nothing at the moment...
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