Showing posts from January, 2015

#wintersrespite Update

So far I have been quite successful in completing three books, but they were books that I was in the midst of reading and two that were almost done.  Still not bad.  I hope to be equally successful in the coming days, but I am not going to put too much pressure on myself to get them done before Sunday.  Happy reading.

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
File size (Pages): 939 KB (104)
Published: 2010 (originally published 1843)
Challenges: e-book, Reading England, The Classics Club
Genre: Christmas, Classics, Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal

Description: The beloved holiday classic with illustrations by John Leech. A Christmas Carol is Dickens' haunting cautionary tale about Ebenezer Scrooge a miserly businessman who dismisses charity and holiday cheer with an icy "bah humbug!" One night Scrooge finds himself visited by the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley returned from the dead with a trio of spirits and a plea for his old friend Ebenezer to change his ways and open his heart to the true meaning of Christmas... before it's too late. (via

Thoughts: Probably due to the fact that I was reading other books, I wasn't as engaged with the book this time around as I was back in December 2013.  Nonetheless, the book was worth re-reading.

I did …

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis

Title: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (The Chronicles of Narnia #5)
Author: C.S. Lewis
Pages: 288
Published: 1994 (first published 1952)
Challenges: Finishing the Series, I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library, The Classics Club
Genre: Children's, Classics, Fantasy
Edition: Mass-Market Paperback
Source: Church Library

Description: Lucy and Edmund, with their dreadful cousin Eustace, get magically pulled into a painting of a ship at sea. That ship is theDawn Treader, and on board is Caspian, King of Narnia. He and his companions, including Reepicheep, the valiant warrior mouse, are searching for seven lost lords of Narnia, and their voyage will take them to the edge of the world. Their adventures include being captured by slave traders, a much-too-close encounter with a dragon, and visits to many enchanted islands, including the place where dreams come true. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: For some reason, I found this book to be difficult to get through.  Maybe it…

Daisy Miller - Henry James

Title: Daisy Miller
Author: Henry James
File size (Pages): 356 KB (128)
Published: 1987 (first published 1878)
Challenges: Back to the Classics, E-book, I Love LIbraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library, The Classics Club
Genre: Classics
Edition: E-book
Source: Public Library

Description: Travelling in Europe with her family, Daisy Miller, an exquistely beautiful young American woman, presents her fellow-countryman Winterbourne with a dilemma he cannot resolve. Is she deliberately flouting social conventions in the way she talks and acts, or is she simply ignorant of them? When she strikes up an intimate friendship with an urbane young Italian, her flat refusal to observe the codes of respectable behavior leaves her perilously exposed. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had heard about this book through a number of sources over the years, but it was Texts from Jane Eyre that prompted me to actually read the book and to give it a chance and see what it was about.

But for me, it fel…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan.19)

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

Books finished this week:
The Voyage of the Dawn TreaderA Christmas CarolBooks reviewed this week: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Horse and His Boy by C.S. LewisPrince Caspian by C.S. LewisThe Age of Innocenceby Edith WhartonHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingBooks I hope to finish this week: The MiniaturistThe Silver ChairThe Last BattleStation ElevenBooks I hope to work on this week: Fall on your KneesPioneer Girlwhatever catches my fancy

Mailbox Monday (January 19)

Mailbox Monday is a place for readers to share the books that came into their homes during the past week.  After being hosted at a number of blogs over the past few years, it has gone back to its home base, the aptly named, Mailbox Monday.

I received a couple of books from my family and also gift cards to ChaptersIndigo totaling $60, of which I purchased a paperback set of the Harry Potter books (I do have all the books, but not a complete set; in fact I have 3 different copies of The Goblet of Fire).

The books I received was Emma by Alexander McCall Smith (part of the Austen project; got this from my sister; seems we like giving each other Jane Austen bookish things; I gave her Jane Austen Cover to Cover) and Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood from my parents.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Pages: 766
Published: 2003
Challenges: Chunkster, Finishing the Series, Harry Re-Read
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected . . . (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: If there was a book in the Harry Potter series that I have difficult with, it would have to be the fifth book. The reason is that I didn't enjoy his moping about and felt that it distracted from the fact that it introduced elements that become important for the final two books.

There were times I would dread opening up the book and there were times that I felt the book dragged at time…

Mr. Miracle - Debbie Macomber

Title: Mr. Miracle
Author: Debbie Macomber
Pages: 256
Published: 2014
Challenges: I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library
Genre: Christmas, Romance
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Public Library

Description: Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store.

After trying to make it on her own, Addie has returned home to Tacoma for the holidays, but this time she plans to stay for good, enrolling in the local community college to earn her degree. What she doesn’t plan to do is run into Erich Simmons.

Addie and her next-door neighbor, Erich, are like night and day. Growing up, he was popular and outgoing while she was rebellious and headstrong, and he never missed an opportunity to tease her. Now she intends to a…

The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton

Title: The Age of Innocence
Author: Edith Wharton
File Size (Pages): 1.5 MB (210)
Published: 2012 (first published 1920)
Challenges: Back to the Classics, Classics Club, E-Book, Eclectic Reader
Genre: Classics
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal

Description: The Age of Innocenceis the haunting story of the struggle between love and duty in Gilded Age New York told through the eyes of Newland Archer and his betrothed, May Welland. A young lawyer on the rise, Newland Archer needs only a society wife to solidify his position, but finds himself torn after he meets and falls deeply in love with May’s disgraced cousin, the Countess Olenska. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: This was a book I had wanted to read for sometime and had also borrowed from the library the film that was directed by Martin Socrsese.  

I was a little disappointed with the story itself, in that I felt that the characters were superficial and therefore did not really care for the characters nor did I feel any sort of sympathy for t…

Sunday Salon - My Top 10 of 2014

I have delayed this by a couple of weeks for a number of reasons. First reason, I did the Annual Book Survey a couple of weeks ago and secondly, I was busy with family last weekend and by the time I remembered to post, it was almost Monday and I was feeling under the weather. I am doing this without a list at hand and pointing darts and hoping that I get them somewhat right.  So starting from Number 10, here is my Top 10 reads of 2014:

10.  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - I know some of you are going to read through the review and see a 5/5 at the bottom of the review, but the reason it gets this spot is because it was a re-read.  I did love Dickens' use of symbolism and language in the book and did say that Dickens was my literary boyfriend.  Still love the book.

9. Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch - I approached this book with apprehension as I had mixed feelings about The Dinner when I read it during the summer of 2013, but there was something about this …

Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis

Title: Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia #4)
Author: C.S. Lewis
Pages: 240
Published: 2001 (first published 1951)
Challenges: Finishing the Series, I Love Libraries, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library, The Classics Club
Genre: Children's Classic, Fantasy
Edition: Mass-Market Paperback
Source: Library

Description: The Pevensie siblings travel back to Narnia to help a prince denied his rightful throne as he gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king. But in the end, it is a battle of honor between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I enjoyed this one much more than The Horse and His Boy in part due to the fact that story was less fantastical, but more a bit more based in "reality".  I think it also helped that the Pevensie siblings (Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) made an appearance for a good portion of the book and that there was a definable good vs. evil story.  

Bottom line: I …

The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis

Title: The Horse and His Boy (The Chronicles of Narnia #3)
Author: C.S. Lewis
Pages: 241
Published: 1994 (first published 1954)
Challenges: Back to the Classics, Finishing the Series, I Love Libraries, Official TBR, Readers to the Rescue, Snagged @ the Library, The Classics Club
Genre: Children's, Classic, Fantasy
Edition: Mass-Market Paperback
Source: Library

Description: Narnia... where some horses talk, where treachery is brewing, where destiny awaits. On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about the book, as I had great expectations of the book and found it to be ho-hum.  I was unable to find a rhythm with the book and just couldn't get into the novel itself.  It felt more like a separate story than the ot…

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis

Title: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #2)
Author: C.S. Lewis
Pages: 206
Published: 1994 (first published 1950)
Challenges: Classics Club, Finishing the Series, I Love Libraries, Readers to the  Rescue, Snagged @ the Library
Genre: Classic, Children's, Fantasy
Edition: Mass-Market Paperback
Source: Library

Description: When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are sent to stay with a kind professor who lives in the country, they can hardly imagine the extraordinary adventure that awaits them.

It all begins one rainy summer day when the children explore the professor's rambling old house. When they come across a room with an old wardrobe in the corner, Lucy immediately opens the door and gets inside. To her amazement, she suddenly finds herself standing in the clearing of a wood on a winter after-noon, with snowflakes falling through the air. Lucy has found Narnia, a magical land of fauns and centaurs, nymphs and talking animals -- and the beautiful but e…

Winter 2015 Mini-Bloggiesta Sign up

Its time for the Winter Mini-Bloggiesta!

This came in time, as I have a bunch of stuff that I need to catch up with and I am also recovering from a sore throat from last week.

Here is what I need to do:

• catch up on book reviews as much as possible

• post my best of 2014 list

• update the side bar area (may add in a blogs I follow feature).

2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

This year,  the Historical Fiction Challenge is being hosted at Passages to the Past.

Here are the Reading Challenge details:

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:
Everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish)Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review)Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, etc.)During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels: 

20th century Reader - 2 books
Victorian Reader - 5 books
Renaissance Reader - 10 books
Medieval - 15 books
Ancient History - 25 books
Prehistoric - 50+ books

I am going to aim for An…

A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon Sign up #wintersrespite

When I saw this come across either my Facebook or Twitter feed, I knew it was that time again.  I am really looking forward to this.
The readathon is fairly simple: just read.  You don't have to read a book with any theme to it, but can read whatever you chose to.  You can find out more information and sign up at Seasons of Reading.
Here are the books that I aim to work on during that week:
• Station Eleven • The Miniaturist • Fall on your Knees  • Pioneer Girl • Ella Enchanted • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

#boutofbooks - Day 5

Busy couple of days of reading.  On Thursday and Friday, I worked on Harry Potter and was able to finish it yesterday (Friday).  I also started Daisy Miller.  Don't know how much I'll get done today, but I am hoping to complete it and possibly start The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Happy reading.

#boutofbooks - Day 3

I knew that I wouldn't have a lot of time to read yesterday (according to what I would normally expect), but I still managed to work on Harry Potter and should be able to complete it sometime today and hopefully work on another book.

#boutofbooks - Day 2

Like Monday, I didn't read too much on Tuesday, but I was able to get a bunch of Harry Potter done.  I am hoping that I will be able to get a little more done (and also get to bed earlier), but only time will tell.

Happy reading.

#boutofbooks - Day 1

Didn't really read too much today, as I had stuff I had to deal with personally.   But I did manage to finish Mr. Miracle and work a bit on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I probably won't get much done tomorrow, as I am planning on going to see Unbroken tomorrow night, but I hope to read a bit more of Harry Potter.

Sunday Salon - 5th Annual End of Year Book Survey – 2014 Edition!

Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner has done her End of Year Book Survey and while this is a little late, I am doing this nonetheless.

So here we go...

Best of Reading in 20141. Best Book You Read In 2014?

• The Children Act by Ian McEwan

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

• The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

• The Martianby Andy Weir

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

I don't know if I pushed anybody to read a book and they read it in the end, but I did push Burial Rites towards the end of the year and I hope that those who I "pushed" to read it did read it.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

I don't generally read series, but the best one that I read was the Boxer & Saints series.  The best series that I started was The Chronicles of Narnia, which I started in December.…