Round-up of Books read in February

It’s the first time I’m doing this, but I think it’s a fairly good idea to summarize both my ratings and my thoughts regarding the books read during each month. The books here are the ones I FINISHED during the month of February. This does not necessarily mean that it’s the first time I have read said books.

So here they are, by the order (date) in which they were finished, that is, read by me ;p I keep my goodreads account as updated as I can. There are 9 of them in all. Not bad, considering I spent a week abroad this month too (I took some books with me ofc).

1. The Death Cure – James Dashner – Maze Runner #3

2 Stars – Whether it’s because these dystopic novels all seem to end up the same, or whether I expected something more, I’m not sure to be totally honest. Suffice it to say that I was kind of dissatisfied by the way the trilogy ended. Thomas’ relationship with Teresa was cloudy and unrealistic to say the least. His whole character left something to be desired, and not just because of the memory loss (gods how I hate that too-facile writer’s construct). Also, the last ‘scene’, reminiscent of Kevin Costner’s movie ‘Waterworld’ was too good to be true, not to mention simplistically explained.

The_Death_Cure2. Coraline – Neil Gaiman

4 stars – I just love Gaiman’s style. He does not write books ‘for kids’, HE IS one of them! Apart from that, his plot-lines are so full of different layers and psychological innuendos that even when they are aimed at children, you know that there are things only an adult will realize too. Each book is a real treasure. WE WANT MORE!

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3. The Lady of the Rivers – Philippa Gregory – The Cousin’s War #3

4 stars – Philippa Gregory’s recount of British history is mesmerizing. Weaving a coloured tapestry made up of real known historical events, mashed with the imagined account of individuals’ everyday emotions and passions, her writing-style is a very interesting blend of magical motives and the intricate psychology behind human nature.

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4. The White Princess – Philippa Gregory – The Cousin’s War #5

4 stars – I had purchased all the Cousin’s War books online, unfortunately they didn’t arrive all at the same time, so I ended up reading some books before others, and not in their intended sequence. This is not as bad as it sounds, since the narrator of each novel is different, so the plot-lines, though interlocking, still make sense no matter which sequence you read them in. That being said, like the rest of the series, I loved the political yet individualistic tribulations.

download (1)5. A Wheel of Stars – Laura Gilmour Bennet

3 stars – This wasn’t the first time I had read this novel, though quite some years had passed since I read it first. I took it with me during my trip to France as I knew I would be visiting various Cathar Castles, and since the novel takes us back to the Cathar crusade, I knew it would be quite interesting to read in that particular setting. That being said, the writing is ‘okeyish’, as are the characters, nothing more.

download (2)6. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

3 stars – I already wrote my own review of this novel in details https://ddmoonsong.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/the-unbecoming-of-mara-dyer-michelle-hodkin-book-review-spoilers/

download (3)7. The Evolution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

4 stars – Wrote a more in detail review of this one too here https://ddmoonsong.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/book-review-the-evolution-of-mara-dyer-michelle-hodkin/

download (4)8. The Retribution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

3 stars – And for this one too https://ddmoonsong.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/book-review-the-retribution-of-mara-dyer-michelle-hodkin/

157684099. Daughter of the Blood – Anne Bishop – The Black Jewels #1

3 stars – I had kind of forgotten this series, even though I had bought them ages ago. Was curious to see whether I would evaluate them differently now that I am older. The fact that unlike most books, the main character is not the narrator is very freshening. There are multiple narrators, all of whom revolve around the main ‘heroine’ however we only ever see her through other people’s eyes, and never actually hear her own narrative voice. This is very original, yet can be frustrating too!

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Anyways, there’s the haul! Next month will probably continue Bishop’s series, as well as a couple of more Philippa Gregory Books. Also have got a brand new copy of Gaiman’s ‘Good Omens’ waiting for me and calling to me sonorously from my sitting room table ^^ So much to look forward to! ❤

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Ennui and Boredom – Today’s Stream of Consciousness

Today is one of those days when I have absolutely no energy or interest in doing ANYTHING.

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I woke up, I got dressed, I came to work. I had coffee, I wrote two articles for my magazine, I sent a proposal to the Polish editor who’s compiling the tourist website about castles, and I researched a bit. I also proof-read some working documents and glowered at a couple of colleagues whom I don’t like. I got groped by the usual guy (don’t ask) and had a semi-serious shouting match with a Director about the issue of Spring hunting (which I’M TOTALLY SET AGAINST).

But… still… I kinda feel jaded. I don’t know why. Like a blank canvas or a yellowed leaf – totally uninterested in anything and everything.

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WTF seriously – is it because I totally loathe the narrator of the book I’m currently reading or what? Talking about Margaret Beaufort from Philippa Gregory’s ‘The Red Queen’ here. Now that’s a hateful bitch. What’s more I keep asking myself, how can a writer really capture the unreliable and irritating narration of someone so obviously misguided and twisted, while at the same time presenting a plausible and entertaining novel? Yesterday I watched the last Narnia movie ‘Voyage of the Dawn Trader’. For those of you who have read, and remember, the book – it is narrated by Eustace Pevensie, the damnably smart-ass and totally obtuse cousin of the four boys and girls we love and miss. Of course, half-way or so through the book, Eustace starts becoming a reasonably ok bloke, but up until that point, I’m sure every one of the novel’s readers absolutely hated the brat. And yet, the story-line and characters came through perfectly, even though it was obvious that the narrator was an unreliable one.

What’s the trick? Will I ever be able to do that?

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*sigh*

A Rant about Expectations

‘A man will always promise more than he can really do, to a woman he does not understand’- so writes Philippa Gregory in the introduction to ‘The White Queen’, describing not just King Henry VII, but, in reality, all men.

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And what man understands any woman? No – such a being does not exist. Are all men therefore doomed to break their word? Looking back at past experiences, I am sorry to say that I think it’s true. All men end up breaking their word, because all men tend to promise more than they can realistically give, to a woman they love or one they want to bed, or one they want to impress. They promise and promise and promise, and I believe they do mean to stay true to their word, at least when they give it. However, reality is different, it intrudes upon you, and what one promises one day, could be very hard to do the next. Most men, unfortunately, take the easy path instead of the hard one, telling themselves that they will do better by you next time, and that in any case, you will never discover that they have not kept their word ‘just this once”.

Or am I being too pessimistic? Is Philippa Gregory wrong? Am I putting all men in one basket too easily?

Or are all women doomed always to search for that one man who will not break his word, just as men are always doomed to strive to keep their word, with no success?

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Is the fault in men, who should not promise what they cannot give? Or with women, who take everything at face value?

And then I ask myself, is expecting someone to be truthful so unrealistic after all? It’s not as if you are putting someone ‘on a pedestal’ just because you suppose they will keep their word, as they should, is it?

In the end, should we just endure the inevitable then, and just… accept it and move on each time?

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2015 – What shall I read next?

I keep seeing book-lists and challenges for 2015, mainly people promise themselves to read books by author with diverse ethnic origins, autobiographies, historical tomes or disadvantaged individuals. I thought about doing my own list, but it seemed pointless to wrap myself up in cellophane and limit myself so much, especially when I already know that there are a number of books waiting on the shelf, freshly bought, which I have not read yet.

So, instead of making a list of books I ‘SHOULD’ read, I’m making one listing the books I am sure I WILL ACTUALLY read.

1. The Blood Knight – Greg Keyes – right now I’m finishing ‘The Charnel Prince’, which is the second book of the quartet ‘The Kingdom of Thorn and Bone’. It will be finished by tomorrow at the latest, so this is what comes after.

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2. The Born Queen – Greg Keyes – Quartet book number 4

3. Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett – bought this last weekend and I can’t wait to start it.

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4. Stardust – Neil Gaiman – it’s been a long time in coming, bought it last weekend as well ❤

5. The Silmarillion – J. R. R. Tolkien – I know, I know, but better late then never right?

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6. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn – I already read this in 2012, but after watching the movie I MUST re-read it again 🙂

7. The White Queen – Philippa Gregory – some time ago I came across a tiny bookshop which sells really cheap secondhand books, it hardly had anything I liked, and then I discovered a treasure trove of Gregory’s books. I had already devoured The Wideacre Trilogy and the Tudor series ages ago, so I bought the first 5 novels which make up the Cousin War series. Still gotta get the last one, published in 2014. The next 4 novels are the other books in the series.

8. The Red Queen – PG

9. The Lady of the Rivers -PG

10. The Kingmaker’s Daughter – PG

11. The White Princess – PG

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12. Prince Lestat – Anne Rice – I’m currently waiting for this one to come out in paperback.

I’m guessing that will take care of the first two/three months of the year for sure. After that… who knows? Bookdepository is my oyster ;p

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