Archive for the ‘Sunday Salon’ Category
Argh…I just can’t seem to get into a book lately. I really can’t. I started reading Rival to the Queen by Carolly Erickson. I knew it was a risk. I hate anything to do with Robert Dudley because I just can’t stand him. Yet I decided to go with it anyway because I felt like reading something historical. Argh.
120 pages in, I couldn’t do it. First, well..it’s Robert Dudley. There’s nothing great about him. He’s not God’s gift to women. Lettie (main character) put him on a bloody pedestal and practically worshiped this SOB. FFS. This is the LAST thing I needed to read.
There’s nothing I hate more than having a main female character gush over the object of her desire and affection. It’s almost to the point where it’s gets repetitive, sickening, and really really silly. This is one of the main reasons why I hated Memoirs of a Geisha. Yes. I HATED the book. The Geisha wouldn’t shut up about her stupid Chairman and I felt like smacking her silly, and throwing her into the ocean for being a lovesick cow. Argh. I hate characters like that. I made a vow to myself if I came across another stupid character that behaved like that I wouldn’t read it from cover to cover. Once was enough for me.
To add more to the misery, Rival to the Queen has a bear baiting scene. I know that sort of sport was popular during that time but I really didn’t need to read about it. It had nothing to do with the plot and it was just a meeting place..of ALL PLACES in England you chose a bear baiting spot??? WTF?
So, sorry to say, I had to close this book and not finish it. It’s one of the rare moments but I can’t stomach this kind of thing. Definitely not what I was looking for in this book.
So those of you that have read of Rival to the Queen did you like it? or not?
Sad to say that I’m going through a reading rut. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I needed to take a reading break for a couple of days. I did earlier this week, and am starting to get back into the swing of things. I will have to warn you all ahead of time; once Call of Duty Black Ops comes out reading may take a dive. A real nose dive. I’ve been anticipating this game for quite a while now so I’m counting down the days until its’ release. However I’ll try and divide the time between reading and gaming.
Anyway! my progress on reading this week? I finished Paranormalcy and …despite all the raving reviews I was sort of “meh” about it. Not sure why. Perhaps it was Evie’s obsession with pink. I hate pink. The color makes me vomit. It blinds me like sunlight blinds vampires. I literally avoid any clothing or accessory that has that color when I go shopping. That is how much I detest the color. Plus Evie mentions it all the bloody time and I’m a thinking she’s a Barbie. Argh. I did go through the book though. I’ll be posting a review this week about it once I’m done getting that bloody color out of my head.
Now I’ll be working on The Haunted and Rival to the Queen. If pink is mentioned in there I’m going to scream. Until then, next week. Help yourself to some butter tarts.
Okay it seems I hardly got any reading done this week. Shame on me. I’m not sure what it is, I do go through phases were reading slows down a bit and I think that’s just my brain telling me to take a break from it all and just vegetate for a moment (ie; playing facebook games for an hour, watching youtube stuff for an hour until your brain starts to empty out). So..that’s what I’ve been doing, emptying my brain of all its’ content as it’s dangerously getting full (it might explode!)
Anyway I’ve been focusing on A Vicious Circle by Mike Carey (Felix Castor no 2). I’d have to say at the moment it’s exciting and I’m pleased with how far I’ve been reading this one. It’s been pretty good and I’m halfway done and it’s so much better than the first book (refer to my review of The Devil You Know).
Progress on Mockingjay has been slow. It’s not Gale anymore it’s bloody Peeta. Who the F is this cold blooded jackalope and what has he done with Peeta??? where was the Peeta that I knew and loved more than Katniss ever did??!!!! where the hell is he???? bring him back this instant! I’m nearing the end of this book and I’m dreading it. I already made my prediction and if I’m right I’m not going to be very happy with this book. You’ve been warned.
Okay! that’s it for now. I am going back to A Vicious Circle. It certainly fits into Halloween and the spooky rainy windy weather
Happy Halloween and here! have some chocolates!
I know, I know. You’ve probably heard enough about Mockingjay and is probably sick of hearing all about this book. This isn’t a review though, it’s just my first thoughts on the book. So if you’re sick of it, have a cookie and move on, but if you want to sit down and listen have some cake and have a seat (watch the kitty).
I’m about 137 pages into the book and so far, it’s not what I thought it would be. Here I was, all excited, (even counting down the queue of people in line on twitter) and I have the book in my hands and started reading it. Hrm. My excitement and hype just died. I’m not sure why. It’s off to a bit of a slow start but it’s slowly building momentum. Katniss is even growing on me (I stated that I didn’t really like her as much, I was Team Peeta all the way) (still am in fact).
You know who bugs me?
Gale; I don’t like you. Why? I don’t know but somewhere deep down inside of me you just scream “loser”. Your attempt so far at being a badass isn’t working and it’s making me dislike you more. Not to mention the fact that I think you’re a total homewrecker between Peeta and Katniss. They belong together and you’re just a bloody third wheel. On top of that, I still fail to see what Katniss sees in you? is it because you’re a total pushover and she can step on you and you’ll still lay in a puddle face down so she can step on you some more? argh go away, I really don’t like reading about you.
Perhaps he is the reason why Mockingjay isn’t doing so well with me.
Or…perhaps it’s because a great wonderful trilogy is about to come to an end and I don’t want it to.
Okay! thoughts? concerns? more dessert?
Reading has gone to a slow halt. (Damn you hockey. Damn you.) Then my social life decides to take over. I don’t like it when that happens. Not that I mind being out with friends. However when there’s books needing to be read and distractions are happening right left and center, it starts to get annoying. Then I start developing dangerous tics and then I evolve into this big red eyed man-eating dragon (I say man-eating because it’s usually the hombre that starts all these distractions!).
Anyway! Saturday I went to a library book sale! and I did manage to buy myself a large paper bag filled with books. It’s not a bad result, only that I wish I could go today (however social life is in the way and I must attend to that first.) So, while I was examining the shelves for anything that might have caught my eye I suddenly zoom in on a book which I’ve been curious to read for a while. Yet when I picked it up, it says in big bold letters: “ADVANCED READERS COPY”. Hrm.
Here’s what got me “hrmming”.
It’s taboo to sell ARC’s. I know it. Most of you should know and shame on you if you don’t *smacks hands with a wooden pointer* *that hurt didn’t it? good*. So now I’m wondering..does this taboo rule apply to libraries?
The book clearly reads: ‘Not for sale’ however, the proceeds do go to a good cause (the improvement of libraries). Should we as good book bloggers even donate these ARC’s to the library when they’re selling them once we turn around to read the next ARC?
Think about it. Let me know.
It certainly has!!!!! I haven’t posted a real proper post for The Sunday Salon in a while! so what have I been up to lately?
Reading, naturally, lately I’ve picked up Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. So far, it’s certainly a different novel and it’s NOTHING of what I expected it to be. However I’m still at that point where I’m thinking; “So what’s the big deal about this book that everyone’s been raving about” and I’m more than halfway through the novel. Is it because it’s so different from other books out there? hrm. Do I like the book: so far, yes, it’s interesting. However it’s not “oh wow omg omg omg”. Yet.
I finally picked up Mockingjay from the library!!!!! am excited to get that one started soon, among other books that are piling up here at a rather alarming rate. I think it’s time to become anti social and say “no” everytime a friend wants to do something.
Anyway! what to expect from me this week:
A review on the book: The Book of Unholy Mischief by Ella Newmark (goes live tomorrow)
and several more reviews of books such as; The Dead Boys and The Secret Life of Josephine. No guarantees! but I’ll try and post those up as well!
Anyhow! that’s really what I’ve been upto and what I plan to do. Now I’m going to try and finish Incarceron and from then on…well I’m not sure. It’s always hard to decide which book to read next isn’t it?
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadian Book Bloggers!!!!!
Thea is a Jewish slave, who is under the thumb of Lepida Pollia – who’s an ambitious cruel socialite. Arius is a gladiator, known as Arius the Barbarian. He catches the eye of both Thea and Lepida but ultimately falls for Thea. After finding out their romance, Lepida does what she can to separate them, leading to their separation. Thea bounces back on her feet after several hardships and becomes a well known singer for Roman aristocrats. She attracts the eye of Emperor Domitian and becomes his mistress. Lepida isn’t far behind in her plotting, filled with jealousy and hate towards Thea, but all Thea wants is her life with Arius back, and to be away from the Domitian and his games.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a very good historical fiction This is one of the best I’ve read so far. There is lots of fighting action (gladiator fights), romance, and lots of drama. Just the way I like it in historical fiction. However, what I love about this book is, that it moved me in many ways. The emotions in this book was like a roller coaster. You were happy one minute, the next you were sad, and then you were boiling in rage (usually because Lepida is such a …witch..to say the least). The plot was well done and well written. It’s been broken into several point of views of different characters so you get to see the story in different angles which is certainly nice to see and adds more to the book.
The characters in this novel were excellent. The chemistry between potential pairings were really well done and well written. Of all the characters, I liked Thea and Vix. Marcus also held a soft spot for me too. I was glad Thea wasn’t written out as a damsel in distress type of heroine. I noticed as the story progressed, she became stronger and I admired her even more for standing up to Domitian and to not to give in to what he wants. What I also enjoyed reading was, every female in this book had their strengths (and of course weaknesses) but their strengths were much more prominent and focused in the book.
Vix made me laugh, because although he was a brat, he had the best insults and comebacks I have ever read. I liked how he wasn’t afraid of Lepida, even though she had the means to get back at him and potentially kill him.
I hated Lepida. Oh wow did I ever hate her. I’ve hated some characters in the past but Lepida wins all the medals for being villain of the year. She’s scheming, cruel, nasty, evil, vile, all the names you can think of that are negative. In fact, Calpurnia sums it up by saying that she’s “the most criminal wife in Rome”. Calpurnia actually calls her several colorful names which I enjoyed reading and laughing at. (Lepida gets what’s due to her in time so reading the book and seeing her fall is quite a treat).
The only criticism I find in this book is it shifts from first person to third person quickly and I’m not sure why it’s been done this way. It’s a little strange but it’s not enough to distract the reader from reading and enjoying the story. Some readers might find that a little irksome – however it didn’t bother me.
So far, I think this is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read in 2010. It’ll be hard to top this one off. Fans of Ancient Rome will love this novel and will become attached to this story as I am. I think this book is definitely a keeper. From the historical note at the end, there maybe another story coming featuring some characters from Mistress of Rome. I can hardly wait to see the next one if it does come out!
I give it a 10 out of 10.
Lord Loss is the first in the Demonata series by Darren Shan. It is the story of a boy named Grubbs Grady, whose life is turned upside down when he encounters demons tearing his family to shreds (literally). Living with his Uncle Dervish, he soon finds out who these demons really are and what they have against Grubbs and his family.
Without really giving anything away as it is a short novel, this one really did blow me away in the beginning. When I read the first forty pages into this book I didn’t realize how bloody and gory it was going to be. It was pretty graphically violent and I was wondering to myself if I really did pick up a young adult book. Anyway, if you can read through it, I really did like how the demons were described. They were very different and it read like something out of either the short stories of HP Lovecraft, or out of just a very wild imagination. It was good though as it made the demons seem more evil looking, macabre, and scary. I found it a little hard to picture them at first, but Darren Shan made such wonderful descriptions that it was if these things could only come from nightmares (and they do get really creepy once you finally pictured them).
The storyline is really good and it’s short, and to the point which makes it a fast and engaging read. The characters are few so it’s very easy to keep track of them, although the story centralizes on Grubbs. The character names in this book are rather strange and odd (Grubbs and Dervish to name a few examples) but it adds more quirkiness to the book and it makes it a different read. Although the names are funny and strange, I find them much better than the names you find in other young adult novels that seem to name their characters names that celebrities would give their kids (rather stupid names too). The names just seem to fit this novel more.
The only criticism I can find in this novel is towards the end, where Grubs can “suddenly” do things he could never do. I found it as an easy way out of finishing the book and a little too convenient. Everything ended just a little too quickly and the ending, well, all I ask is: “how did he wake up??!!!!” leave me with asking more from this series. Also, please note, this book is not for those that aren’t into gore. Coarse language may be an issue to some, I expected it, and it does add a bit more realism to Grubb’s character (since when did teenagers never swear in real life?)
Overall, a fast engaging read, with creepy descriptions of demons, and enough action to get you to read the rest of the series of The Demonata. This is a great beginning of what seems like a great series.
I give it a 9 out of 10.
I know I’m rather late in discovering Jean Plaidy. I heard about her since I was a kid, and my mom used to read her books (and even reread them whenever she could). It wasn’t until just now that I decided to give the famous Jean Plaidy a try. I now understand what’s so good about her books, and why mom always reread them when she had the chance. They are hard to find though, as I had to do an interlibrary loan on this one that I’ve just finished reading.
Uneasy Lies the Head is the first in the Tudor Saga (ah! how I love reading about the Tudors and it’s been a while since I’ve had my usual “Tudor fix”). It features Henry the VII (mostly) and his reign. Although not all of the story is in his point of view, he does play the central figure and towards the end, it leads upto Henry the VIII.
I have to say, I enjoyed reading this book. At first, it was a little hard for me to get into, as the plot did not grasp at my attention, and there is a slight confusion to all the names being thrown out to you as a reader. Hence why there are detailed family trees in the beginning for your reference. After getting the characters straightened out the plot gets more intriguing and the Tudor court suddenly comes to life. Albeit, not as dashing and charming as you might find in Henry the Eighth’s court, but that’s because his father was a penny pincher. The glamour isn’t there yet, but the intrigue definitely is, and so is the constant plotting to get rid of the Tudors from the English throne.
I really liked the detail and effort Plaidy had put into this novel to made it as historically accurate as possible without really compromising anything. She breathed life into each of the characters so there’s flesh and feeling to them and not just two dimensional things that don’t develop at all, or are just there to take up a page or two. Her writing style is a little different, it’s certainly more descriptive and sets the right moods and tones for the reader. The dialogue is all right and well written, and adds personality to the characters in the book. It was nice to see Katherine and Arthur again albeit for a very short period of time. She gained my sympathy towards the end of the novel for sure.
I also enjoyed how Henry the VII was so worried about these pretenders to the throne, and how he was always on the edge of his seat to defend it. Also, the outcome of the Princes of the Tower was interesting and well written here. What I didn’t really like about this story? Henry was a bit too cold, almost lifeless and void of any real human emotion. He was like a robot. Also, his wife Elizabeth was mentioned but not as much as I hoped. I actually wanted to hear more about the story of both of them and how they got along in their marriage. However on a lighter note, it was nice to see Henry the Eighth, same as usual, arrogant as ever. It’s nice to see some things that don’t change in every Tudor novel I have come across.
Overall, a must read for Tudor fans everywhere. It sets the setting for Henry the Eighth and his court and keeps you wanting more to read.
I give it an 8 out of 10.
Kanada by Eva Wiseman is the story of a young girl named Jutka, who dreams of going to Canada, where her cousin lives. She currently lives in Hungary during World War II, where, being a Jewish girl, she undergoes a lot of hatred, her friends (and potential romantic interest) turn against her, and school used to be fun until she was forced to leave. Eventually, Jutka gets deported to Auschwitz and ironically, gets put to work in “Kanada”, a storehouse which housed belongings of the dead. When liberation arrives things are still immensely difficult for her and throughout the novel, you follow Jutka through her pain as she dreams about better times and places; especially her dream to go to Canada.
It is very sad to see the world through Jutka’s eyes, especially when she gets separated from her friends and has to stay home as she’s banned from attending school. The hatred from some of the characters just makes you want to seethe in anger at how horribly they’ve treated Jutka and her family. It almost wants you to jump in and throttle these people. It’s very well written in the first person point of view, and Jutka is portrayed as just a normal teenage girl with friends and family she loves with the world turning upside down in a matter of months. The book is somewhat divided into several parts so you go through various stages of her life. It is tragic to read, naturally, yet the chapters are short and detail and the narration is clear and concise. Reading this book won’t take long as it is very interesting, and you want to know the outcomes of some of the people she knew and the fate of Jutka herself.
What I thought was interesting to see is the sudden maturity and development of Jutka the moment she enters the camp and the sudden losses she encounters. I admired her for her struggle to survive, and her ability to speak up when others stayed silent. Throughout the book she constantly dreams, especially dreams of Canada and living there. I believe those dreams were the key to her survival, and they kept her hope alive among the pain and suffering of those around her and the constant threat of death over her shoulder.
I was afraid of what she was planning to do with the rest of her life, but when she came right down to her choice, I was happy for her and agreed with it. I suppose the only problem I have with this book is the outcome of Tamas. He was horrible to Jutka and thought he should have been left to rot. However, that’s just my opinion. I enjoyed the ending. Unlike some of the Holocaust fiction I have read in the past, this one leaves a glimmer of hope for her, albeit bittersweet. The reader can only hope for the best for Jutka.
Overall, it was a good read. It shows a great deal of strength in the face of hopelessness and suffering. We can definitely learn a lot from Jutka and what she’s been through.
I give it a 9 out of 10.