Wednesday, July 17, 2019

WWW Wednesday and Library Loot, July 17

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.
Description: WWW Wednesday is a weekly event where you share answers Below questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

This month I am reading through my Russian and classics lists, that is why some of the books do not have an English translation.

I am currently reading 3 books:

1. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I have finished:
1. She Who Runs on the Waves by Aleksandr Grin
2. Jessie and Morgiana by Aleksandr Grin
3. Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman,  Dave McKean (Illustrator)

I am planning to start with the following book:
1. Engineer Garin and His Death Ray by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Hosted by: The Captive Reader and Silly Little Mischief
Description: Library Loot is a weekly event that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I got 2 books this week:
1.Engineer Garin and His Death Ray by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
2. Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman,  Dave McKean (Illustrator)
Crazy Hair I found somehow funny, but not particular entertaining.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

May 2019 Wrap up

Read books: 
read: 3/ listen: 0/ pages: 1909/ hours listened: 0 not counting books: 2
1. Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman,  Chris Riddell p. 124
2. 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson - DNFed p125/289
3. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore,  Kevin O'Neill p.192
4. Hitman, Vol. 1: A Rage in Arkham by Garth Ennis,  John McCrea (Illustrator) - DNFed
5. Can Doctor Proctor Save Christmas? by Jo Nesbø - DNFed
6. Madame Bovary  by Gustave Flaubert p.338 - my review
7. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith p.605
8. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith p.650

Movie watched:
1. Down Periscope (1996) ****
2. A Walk to Remember (2002) ****
3. Becoming Jane (2007) *****
4. Vanity Fair - TV Mini-Series (2018) *****
5. Cranford -  TV Series (2007–2010) ****
6. Bird Box (2018) ***
7. Hot Pursuit (2015) **
8. Strike -Season 1 - TV Series (2017– ) ****

Challenges overview:
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 37/52
2017 PopSugar Reading Challenge 20/40
Pages Read Challenge: 11129/24000
Audiobook Challenge: 5/15
Russian Literature: 3/30
World of Literature: 18/50
Booker Prize Project: 7
The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019: 11/20
Classics Club: 6/50

Monday, July 15, 2019

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Author: John Green
Original title: Looking for Alaska
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audio book
Read by: Jeff Woodman
Duration: 7h06m

Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up - and utterly fascinating. Miles Halter could not be more in love with her. But when tragedy strikes, Miles discovers the value and pain of living and loving unconditionally.
A vivid, passionate and intensely moving novel from internationally bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green.

My thoughts:
       Boring, it was so so terribly boring.
       I did not like the plot, I did not like the characters. Alaska was unbearable. She used her past as an excuse for her destructive behavior. Alaska’s friends enabled Alaska’s behavior because they didn’t stand up to her. In fact, they had destructive behavior that needed to be addressed as well. If a person is drinking too much, partying too hard, ignoring authority, breaking the rules, they have problems and those problems were not dealt well in this book.
      It's great if you loved the book, but I didn't. I found it pointless and shallow, too much smoking and drinking, to much talking and not telling. After Looking for Alaska, I read other John Green's books, and I liked some of them. It's sad that Looking for Alaska didn't work for me.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Post #48, Watch the Game

The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday fun, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme. 

Something new
      This week I was closely following The 2019 Summer Universiade in Milan. Mostly I was watching athletics and volleyball. It was quite spectacular and not a bit worse them Olympics.
      Another event, I am following is 2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League. So yesterday were semi-finals: Poland vs Russia (1:3) and United States vs. Brazil (3:2). And today is the final match for the gold medal between Russia and USA, which will be very exiting. The only problem is the time difference with US, so I will watch it rather late at night.
      Otherwise, it was quite a calm week. The weather changes rapidly and you can be freezing in the morning and sweating in the afternoon.
I have not been watching anything lately. There is a dead season in the cinemas and I do not have the mood for it, so reading it is)))

Last on the Blog 
Next on the Blog
  • On Monday I will review Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • On Tuesday I will publish May 2019 Wrap up
  • On Wednesday I will publish WWW Wednesday and Library Loot
  • On Thursday I will review Inkspell|Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
  • On Friday I will publish Friday in Memes #12
 Newcomers on my Shelf
I am not buying or taking any book this summer, in order to reduce my physical TBR)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Author: Kristin Hannah
Original title: The Great Alone
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audio book
Read by: Julia Whelan
Duration: 15h02m

   Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.
    Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
    Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown

My thoughts:
       This book was beautiful and devastating, I found myself so incredibly frustrated with the characters. Domestic violence, PTSD, coming of age story and it covers so many destinies and themes, and overall a pretty solid book, but...Kristin Hannah wrote 70% of a novel and then 30% of a soap opera.
      We get the story of Leni and her family. "The Great Alone" is set in the 1970s, and Leni’s father is a Vietnam War POW who suffers from nightmares and an explosive temper. It makes you wonder why he chooses to take his family to Alaska, which feels like the end of the world and where they definitely become as isolated as they can be.  So from this point the things are getting worse.  As the days creep toward winter, the main character’s father becomes increasingly paranoid. Instead of working with the townspeople to keep everyone alive through the winter, he suspects everyone and isolate his family from the rest of people even more. The relationships between the characters are so volatile, that they go from loving each other to abusing each other in seconds.
       Kristin Hannah brings the beauty and danger of Alaska to life and this is a great background for drama that is taking place. I love the nature descriptions. The small town is vivid and full of memorable characters. I liked Large Marge, but really hated the parents of Lani: absolutely worthless, selfish and spineless people, who did nothing for their child to have a childhood. They put their own petty arguments ahead of their child’s safety.
          So the first better part of the book was just excellent, but the end...  By the end, it was pure soap opera and over-the-top tragic. It spoiled the whole enjoyment of the book and left some unpleasant aftertaste. Still the first part was 5 star read!

Friday, July 12, 2019

July 12, Friday in Memes #11

The Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop's purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 
This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
     What do you like/dislike about self-published works? (submitted by Nicki @ Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea)
My Answer:
      I did not happen to read a single self-published book. Most probably because there are so many published works, that I do not go lokking for something else. But if I would com across one, I gladly read it and see for myself.

Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader. A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. 
The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

My Book Beginnings:
Towards the end of November, during a thaw, at nine o'clock one morning, a train on the Warsaw and Petersburg railway was approaching the latter city at full speed. The morning was so damp and misty that it was only with great difficulty that the day succeeded in breaking; and it was impossible to distinguish anything more that a few yards away from the carriage windows.
My 56:
"Oh, dear me, I assure you there is no need to stand on ceremony with him," the general explained hastily. "He is quite a child, not to say a pathetic-looking creature. He has fits of some sort, and has just arrived from Swizerland, straight from the station, dressed like a German and without a farthing in his pocket. I gave him twenty-five roubles to go on with, and am going to find him some easy place in one of the government offices. I should like you to ply him well with the victuals, my dears, for I should think he must be very hungry."
Outline: The beginning of the book is quite grey, there is only indication of the place, but the rest is so vague and blurry, indicating, I guess, the possibility of this story happening anytime and anywhere. The "56" extract is quite interesting, as it is probably the description of "the idiot" by someone of position and power. I can only compliment on general's compassion and intention to help.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Headhunters by Jo Nesbø

Author: Jo Nesbø
Original title: Hodejegerne
Pages: 224
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: paperback
Genres: crime

   Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II—and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft. But when he breaks into Greve’s apartment, he finds more than just the painting. And Clas Greve may turn out to be the worst thing that’s ever happened to Roger Brown.

My thoughts: 
    I am a Nesbo fan and so this book has to be read.
    It was a good beach or airline read. It pretty much relies on one plot twist; not one character is likeable, and there is no real character development.  It is a short novel and a quick read that is well plotted and has more than a few twists and turns, most of which I did not see coming. Most of which are plausible and worked, some did not and felt forced.
    I liked that Nesbo stepped away from the police procedural detective and choose this unexpected and unlikable character. The main character is a corporate headhunter who also happens to steal fine art in order to fund a lavish lifestyle. He has no proper training or former military background to survive in the mess he was caught up, just a  proud white-collar, used to office banquets and cocktail parties, thus the more enjoyable it was to follow him on this adventure.
     Overall, this is a fast-paced novel, with some truly clever bits of shock and surprise that will keep you entertained.