Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mailbox Monday - January 28


Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their homes during the past week. Mailbox Monday, for January, is being hosted by Lori's Reading Corner.

This past week, I got two books; one that I had ordered myself and one that I received as a gift.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan. 28)

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) Persuasion by Jane Austen (review)

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

What's up next:
Probably The Giver, but that doesn't have to be read until sometime next month.

Sunday Salon - It's been a while

I honestly don't know how to start my Sunday Salon post this week, as I have been quite busy this past weekend and it honestly feels like a whirlwind.  Oh it was a good whirlwind, spending time with my friends and family, but it still feels as though I can't get my head on straight.  I had a post planned out for this weekend, but for some reason I couldn't get myself to write it.

This past week was pretty good, as I managed to get back to a place where I could feel comfortable reading again (I was in a bit of a funk when it came to reading in weeks after Christmas break) and therefore comfortable in my own skin.  But whatever it was, it affected my reading mojo.  It wasn't that I didn't want to read,  its just that I couldn't get myself to read anything that had substance and could only read stuff that would consider to be lighter than my normal fare.

And as I know, I will go through fits and starts throughout the year in regards to my reading. Hope you all have good week.

1) Blizzard of Glass by Sally M. Walker (review)
2) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (review)
3) The Chronicles of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes, Matthew Sturgis (review)
4) Persuasion by Jane Austen (review)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Persuasion - Jane Austen

Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
Pages: 250
Published: 2003 (originally 1818)
Genre: Classics

Challenges: The Classics Bookclub
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: At twenty-seven, Anne Elliot is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she had been persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. What happens when they encounter each other again is movingly told in Jane Austen’s last completed novel. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, Persuasion is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all, it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: This is a re-read for me and I think I enjoyed it a little better than I did the first time around, but my thoughts about this re-read are very similar to that of my first reading of the book.  Sure Austen writes as deeply as she does in her earlier books, I think that she either rushed the ending of the book due to illness or maybe somebody she knew wrote the final chapter, because it seemed as though she was wanting write more about evolution of the relationship between Anne and Wentworth, as the book just kinda ends and leaves the reader hanging.  There doesn't really seem to be any sort of resolution, as there are in a number of her books and the final chapter is relatively short compared to the previous 3 chapters in the book, which are quite lengthy and detailed.  Also Austen's other works that were published prior to her death are all about 300+ pages long, with Northanger and Persuasion being some of her shortest works.

Bottom line:  I would recommend this book to those that are Austen fans, not those that are starting to read her books.  The book is very detailed and the lightness that is in her first three novels (Emma, P&P and S&S) just isn't there, but you can see the maturity of Austen as a writer and she is equally as effective.

Rating: 3.8/5

Pages for 2013: 1568

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Booking Through Thursday - Soundtrack

This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:

Do you ever try to pair music with the book you’re reading? Play the movie soundtrack while reading the original book? Find mood music that fits with your story?

Very rarely do I do I pair music with what I am reading; usually I will listen to one of the many podcasts that I subscribe to.  I may listen to a podcast on books or a history podcast or even a podcast of a sports radio show.  Sometimes I will listen to music, but that is unusual.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon - Starting Post

I have done this readathon before and I have always looked forward to this one every time I have done it. And this year is no exception.  The readathon by Michelle (The True Book Addict) through Seasons of Reading.

Due to the fact that its my birthday week, I don't know how much I will be able to get done, especially during the weekend, when I would get a lot of reading done.  But that isn't going to dissuade me from getting reading done, as there will probably be a lot of time read when I am not engaged in other activities.  But who knows...

Here is the list of books that I plan to tackle:
• The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
• Persuasion
• Pride & Prejudice
• War & Peace
• The Whole Truth
• HP and the Order of the Phoenix
• Definitely not Mr. Darcy

Time will only tell how much I will get done.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Musing Mondays (Jan. 21)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

• Tell us what you are reading right now

Right now I am reading a bunch of books.  I just started reading the second book in the Flavia de Luce series, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's  Bag.   I haven't read much but its just as good as the first book in the series so far.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan.21)

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:
• Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (review)
• The Chronicles of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes & Matthew Sturgis (review)

What I am planning on reading this week:
• Order of the Phoenix
• Persuasion
• Pride & Prejudice

• The Whole Truth
• Definetely not Mr. Darcy
• The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag

What's up next:
No clue, as I have a bunch to read this coming week.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era - Jessica Fellowes, Matthew Sturgis

Title: The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era
Authors: Jessica Fellowes, Matthew Sturgis
Pages: 320
Published: 2012
Genre: Non-fiction
Challenges: None
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, carefully pieced together at the heart and hearth of the ancestral home of the Crawleys, takes us deeper into the story of every important member of the Downton estate.This lavish, entirely new book focuses on each character individually, examining their motivations, their actions, and the inspirations behind them. An evocative combination of story, history, and behind-the-scenes drama, it will bring fans even closer to the secret, beating heart of the house. (via

Thoughts: It was an fairly easy read and I was able to get through it during the course of an evening. I enjoyed reading about the motivations of the various characters that have appeared in the show.  I also liked the beautiful photos that accompany each character.  While there were a few spoilers to people who in North America who had received it for Christmas and hadn't seen the show.  Love the little tidbits that accompany each character.

Bottom line: If you enjoy Downton Abbey, you will probably enjoy this as well, as it provides insight to a lot of the characters, both up and down, that appear on the series, without divulging too much about what happens during season 3.  There are also quotes from people who worked in service.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pages for 2013: 1318

Friday, January 18, 2013

Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

Title: Anna Karenina
Author: Leo Tolstoy (translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)
Pages: 838
Published: 2004 (first published 1871)
Genre: Classiscs, Fiction
Challenges: The Classics Club, Embarrassment of Riches, Off the Shelf,
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. (via

Thoughts: This book is a book that I have wanted to read for quite sometime (almost 10 years) and I finally got through it.  While it took me a while to get through, it was well worth getting through.  True by the end I just wanted it read and completed and realized that I could have finished this book much quicker than I went through it.  I can see why this book is venerated and cherished by friends of mine who have read the book in the past and this definitely a book that is probably going to be re-read.  The only complaint I have with the book is that the book is more about Levin than Anna and it seemed that Tolstoy enjoyed writing that aspect of the book than writing about Anna, who seems to be more of a secondary character.  And yes, when I think of Anna, I think of somebody who maybe is in the vain of Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary on Downton Abbey) than Kiera Knightly, who seems a little too waffish to be Anna.  If there is a complaint about the book its that Part 8 seemed to be a little too drawn out and could have easily been at least half of the length that it was.  Highly recommended.

Bottom line: If you enjoy reading long classics and have read book like Les Miserables, The Count of Monte Cristo, et al, you will find this a breeze.  Just a warning, Tolstoy tends to be long on exposition in places in the book.  And I would recommend getting a good translation of the book.

Rating:  3.725/5

Pages for 2013: 998

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan.14)

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:
Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 by Susan M. Walker (review)

What I am planning on reading this week:
• Order of the Phoenix
• Persuasion
• Pride & Prejudice
• Anna Karenina
• The Whole Truth

I am hoping this week is better than last week and I can get some decent reading done.

Musing Mondays (Jan.14)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

Describe one of my reading habits.

I have many reading habits and one of them is that I really like to read while I am watching sporting events.  One reason that I like to read during sporting events is because its a fairly easy thing to do while I watch the game.  I find that its harder to read during one of the many TV shows that I watch on a regular basis. I should mention that I am reading while I am watching a game on TV, not at the venue itself.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 - Sally M. Walker

Title: Blizzard of Glass: the Halifax Explosion of 1917
Author: Sally M. Walker
Pages: 160
Published: 2011
Genre: Children's Literature, Canadian History
Challenges: None
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: December 6, 1917, started like any other day in Halifax.  Women made breakfast, men went to work, children got ready for school.  But everything stopped shortly before nine o'clock that morning, when two ships collided in Halifax Harbour.  One of the ships was loaded with munitions for the troops fighting in Europe; the other was preparing to collet medical supplies for the war's victims.

The resulting disaster was the largest man-made explosion until the detonation of the atomic bomb in 1945.  The blast flattened large areas of Halifax and the town across the harbor, Dartmouth.  It killed nearly two thousand people. As if that wasn't devastating enough, a blizzard hit the next day on the area and slowing much-needed relief efforts.

This harrowing story of tragedy and recovery reveals the extraordinary strength and determination of a community in one of its darkest hours. (via inside flap of book)

Thoughts:  For the past 20 years, I have had an interest in the Halifax Explosion after visiting an exhibit there at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (I think I also saw some artifacts from the Titanic on display) and immediately gained an interest on the topic and when Heritage Canada put out a series of minutes that included the Halifax Explosion, my interest was piqued and everytime I see something in regards to the Halifax explosion.  While the contribution that was made by American doctors and nurses is the most notable, these contributions were also significant:

• the state of Maine sent 5 train cars filled with supplies and 10,000 wool blankets
• the Massachusetts Automobile Club sent ten trucks
• schoolchildren in St. John, N.B. donated 10,000 pieces of children's clothing
• a Red Cross train from New York carried mattresses, blankets, food, and clothes
• one shipment of clothing from the United States contained a small surprise in the pocket of every outfit
• the USS Old Colony was prepared as a temporary hospital in Halifax Harbour

I liked that it focused on five different families that lived in the area and who were all affected by the explosion.  And its nice to note that every year since 1971 Boston lights a Christmas tree in Boston Common that is a gift of thanks from Nova Scotia to the people of Massachusetts.

Bottom line:  This is a good introductory book to the Halifax Explosion for anybody who wishes to learn more about this particular event.  Recommended for those kids who are in grades 5-8 and have an interest in learning more about Canadian history or for those that want to be introduced to the topic.

Rating:  4/5

Pages for 2013: 160

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Booking Through Thursday - Gifts

Book Through Thursday asks this week:

Do you like to give books as gifts?

Yes, I do like to give books as gifts, provided I can find something for them.  The reason being is that I like to do one-stop shopping and by giving them books, this can be accomplished.

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

As some of you are aware, the 28th of this month is the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice, but then there are some of you who do read this blog on a regular basis that aren't aware of that fact.  But in any case, it is going to be a momentous occasion, as it is probably Jane Austen's best known work.

And to celebrate this momentous occasion, Austenprose is hosting a challenge to celebrate the bicentenary anniversary.  And you probably guessed it, I will be joining them in watching and reading items that are spun off of this very well known book.

Of course there is the mini-series that was released almost twenty years ago and the movie that was released about 10 years ago.  But there are other items that have been released since the mini-series was released 20 years ago (still love the shirt scene and can't watch the kiss at the end).  And maybe the mini-series was the reason for many of these things being released within the last 20 years.

So here is what I plan on reading and viewing during the coming year for this particular challenge:

Pride & Prejudice (1813)
• Pride & Prejudice A&E/BBC mini-series (1995)
• Defiantly not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos (2011)
• Bridget Jones's Diary movie (2001)
• Bridget Jones's Diary: The Edge of Reason (2004)
• Becoming Jane (2007)
• The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

I realize that the vast majority of the items listed are films, but honestly I am reading enough as it is for the coming year.  And based on what I have listed above, I will be at the Disciple level (5-8 selections), at the very least.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bout-of-Books 6.0 Goals (1/7-1/13)

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

The beginning of the year means many things to me, but it also means the beginning of tackling the number of reading goals that I have set out for myself.  And this is such a way to tackle them as close to the beginning of the year as possible.

My goals for this week are:
• complete this past week's reading for my Persuasion readalong
• to start reading War & Peace for a year long readalong
• get more of Pride & Prejudice completed (its the 200th anniversary of the publication of the book)
• to complete Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 
and • to get more of Anna Karenina completed.

Hopefully I can finish all the stated goals.  I hope to update my blog each evening before I go to bed.

Musing Mondays (Jan.7)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

• Tell us what book(s) you bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s)

I recently bought my mom Quiet by Susan Cain for Christmas because she and I had had a good conversation in regards to the book back in October.  She almost bought it a few times, but didn't.  I also bought a book on knitting stitches for my sister because she likes to knit in addition to the book on Hockey Night in Canada that I got for my dad; these last two were also Christmas gifts.  I also purchased the latest Flavia de Luce book (I'm afraid of shadows) because I like the series and have bought the other books in paperback; so I continued the trend.  I also bought an e-copy of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones because they were inexpensive and I had gotten a gift card from my sister for Christmas.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan.7)

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 have I reviewed this week:

What I am planning on reading this week:
• Order of the Phoenix
• Persuasion
• Pride & Prejudice
• Anna Karenina
• The Whole Truth

Should be a decent week with Bout of Books coming up this week.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Classics Club Readathon Starting Post

To start off, I don't know how much reading I will get done today, as I will be fairly preoccupied for probably most of it, but I will join in for as much as I am able to do so, with most of it being probably in the evening and early morning hours.

1. Name and blog: Melissa W. @ Jayne's Books
2. Snacks and Beverages of choice: whatever I have on hand
3. Where are you reading from today?  From BC, Canada
4. What your goals for today?  To get my reading from Persuasion for a read-a-long for this week completed, to get a bit more of Anna Karenina completed and to get Pride & Prejudice started.
5. What book(s) are you planning on reading? Persuasion, Anna Karenina, and Pride & Prejudice
6. Are you excited? Right now, I am tired and a bit stiff from skiing yesterday....

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Booking Through Thursday - Resolved

Booking Through Thursday asks this week:

Any reading resolutions for the new year? Reading more? (Reading less?) Reading better books? Bigger books? More series? More relaxing books?

I have a couple of resolutions for this year: read 65 books this year (read this amount in 2012) and read War & Peace.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon is coming!

A Winter's Respite 
Mon. Jan 21 at 12 a.m. 
Sun. Jan 27 at 11:59 pm
Central Standard Time
Hosted by Michelle of The True Book Addict at Seasons of Reading. Sign-up here

Ready? Here's the info. . .

Of course, like most read-a-thons, the books read must be novels or novellas, adult or young adult are fine, and you can read children's books too (as long as you do read some novels too). You DO NOT have to participate the entire week. Join in when you can, start in the middle, end early...whatever works best for your schedule. As long as you sign in at the sign-in post and do some kind of wrap up post, you're in for the big giveaway at the end. As with my previous read-a-thons, it will be a week of relaxed reading during which we can personally challenge ourselves and whittle away those ever looming TBR piles/shelves/libraries. I hope you will join me!

I will not be hosting any mini-challenges, as we learned from my last two read-a-thons, focusing on the reading rocks. However, if anyone else would like to host a mini-challenge, you are more than welcome. We will have a few scheduled Twitter chats again (and perhaps some more reading sprints).

Our twitter hashtag is #WintersRespite

Sign up in the linky at the sign up page. You do not have to do a post now, unless you want to help spread the word (hint, hint...) If you don't have a blog, use Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads. Having a blog is not required. Be sure to grab the button at the top of this post. (Don't forget that this is just the sign-up linky. There will be starting line sign-in and wrap-up linkies during the read-a-thon and doing both is required to be eligible for the giveaway).
If you are wondering, I didn't type that; just copied it, but nonetheless, I am joining up and I hope that some of my followers will as well.  I don't know how much I will be able to get done, as that coincides with my birthday weekend, but I will do what I can.

Fall into Reading 2012 - Wrap up post

I realize that this is late, but with the Christmas season, I got a bit lazy about a month prior to Christmas and with me traveling around the end of fall and the beginning of winter, it was just a little more hectic than usual.

As I look at the books I wanted to complete during this year's  Fall into Reading, I realize that I completed every single one of them.  Of course it helped that two of them were for my book club and one was for a readalong, but nonetheless, I was able to finish all of them this time around.

I even finished one of the books that was on my probable list as well, Taming of the Shrew, and read a number of books that weren't on the list of three and ended up finishing Les Miserables a few days after Fall into Reading 2012 finished (I went to the movie opening day).  I am looking forward to Spring Reading Thing 2013.

The Classics Club - January Meme: Question #6

This month, The Classics Club asks:

What is the best book you’ve read so far for The Classics Club — and why?

The best book that I have read so far for The Classics Club would probably have to be Les Miserables.  The reason being that its my favourite, so far, is because just the depth of the book and I honestly really enjoyed reading the story.  There were so many elements of the book that I enjoyed, except when I thought that Hugo was going on a tangent, and the characters were for the most part enjoyable to read about and I just really liked the storyline.

You can find my review here:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...