Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Author: Neal Shusterman
Original title: Scythe 
Pages: 448
Edition Language: Russian
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Format: e-book
Genres: Fantasy
Goodreads

Blurb
     A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

My thoughts: 
     I read the synopsis of this and loved the idea. And I really, REALLY wanted to love this book. It’s so popular on Booktube, Goodreads, everywhere. I was sure it was going to be a good one.
It was such a boring and predictable book. I understand that an imaginary world is created in a dystopian fantasy, but even then, the set up needs to be worked out well with reasons and consequences. The writing was not impressive, the characters flat and predictable.
      All in all, it was an tiresome 450 pages story of some kind of weird apprenticeship. The utopia was full of unexplained, contradictory rules and setup. The action seems to be created for the sake of it and pushed in front of the reader to be taken for granted. I really did not know if I should give the series another chance or just DNF it, but I decided to read the second book and was hooked, it was much more interesting, which I did not expect, so defensively finishing up the series.
  Rating:  
    2/5  

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

They shoot the horses don't they? by Horace McCoy

Author:  Horace McCoy
Original title:  They shoot the horses don't they?
Pages: 288
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: e-book
Genres: Classics, Crime
Goodreads

 Blurb:         
       The marathon dance craze flourished during the 1930s, but the underside was a competition and violence unknown to most ballrooms—a dark side that Horace McCoy's classic American novel powerfully captures.

My thoughts: 
      I find this title in one of the "you should read before you die" lists and it perfectly suited one of the prompts in my #popsugarchallenge2019 - read a book with the question mark in the title. Was I expecting anything special? No, just another display of difficult life. But I was so surprised by this short novel. It is really short and very brutal, full of events and great array of the side character and snippets of the their lives, all these give us enough to see humanity at the bottom of desperation and despair.
      The entire novel takes place on the dance floor, which is also quite unique and fresh setting. I have a feeling that the contest, in many ways, is the falsity and illusion of the American Dream.
      I found this short work was beautifully assembled, although the prose is quite simple, the narrator gives insight into the events of the dance marathon and the character of Gloria, a negationist, who sees through the falsity of this marathon. I did not like the main female character though and found her terribly irritating. But still definitely recommended.
 Rating:  
    4/5  

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Middle Grade March Announcement and TBR 2020 - add some and ready


One of my favorite month long challenges is happening again. Middle Grade March is a month long readathon happening March 1-31. It will be hosted by Katie @ Life Between Words  and Krista from BooksAndJams.
Katie's Announcement Video
Krista's Announcement Video
Don't forget to use the hashtag #middlegrademarch

CHALLENGES (optional, of course):

1. A book with illustrations 
2. A book about books or stories 
3. A mystery 
4. A book set in another country 
5. A book to screen adaptation

  I do not read too many so I put up quite a big TBR list so I can choose from.

1. I want to check Serafina series by Robert Beatty: Serafina and the Black Cloak; Serafina and the Twisted Staff; Serafina and the Splintered Heart; Serafina and the Seven Stars. There are four books so far and quite chunky, so it will be good to start and see if it's any good. I do not have the 4th book, so my aim here is read at least first 3 that I have.

2. For challenge #2 I have not found a book that grabbed my attention.

3. For challenge #3 I have Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens. It is the first book in Murder Most Unladylike Mystery series, which has at least 9 more books. I am not sure about this one, as this book will be out of my comfort zone, I do not read many middle grade mysteries.

4. For challenge #4 I have Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. I would like to continue in the series as I loved the first book. So I hope it will be the same good.

5. For challenge #5 I am thinking about The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. There are 5 books in the series and I am not sure if I would like those books as a grown up. My nephew loved another series by Rick Riordan - Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, and I want to check this series before him, so I can be sure to recommend it or not.

Apart from the challenge prompt, I want to read below books which I have for a long time, but never picked up.
So altogether it is 10 mandatory books, which is quite ok. So I am quite hopeful that I will be able to read through many series during the month and find new favorites.

Friday, January 24, 2020

December 2019 Wrap up


Read books: 
read: 3/ listen: 0/ pages: 1373/ hours listened: 0
1. Macbeth by Jo Nesbø p.608 **
2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini p.445 ****
3. Sweet Revenge by Lynsay Sands p. 320 ***

Movie watched:
1. And Then There Were None (2015) *****
2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) **
3. Green Book (2018) ****
4. To the Bone (2017) ***
5. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) **
6. The Lost City of Z (2016) ****

2020 Goals

     This is quite a difficult task for me this year to set any type of goals as I was not consistent with my reading and blogging in 2019. I was thinking over my goals for more than a month, taking inspiration and ideas from other bloggers and booktubers; and here is the list of  my goals so far for 2020:
  • Read 52 books
  • Read 5 books by Russian authors
  • Read 3 books by Czech authors
  • Read 4 books by German authors
  • Read 20 books in 2020 list
  • Listen to 10 audiobooks 
  • Read 10 classics
  • Complete Read your Bookshelf Challenge
  • Complete Page challenge
  • Buy only 12 books during 2020
  • Participate in at least 3 readathons
  • Finish 4 series
Challenges I am Joining in 2020

1. This year I am setting my Goodreads goal to 52 books

2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Julie has read 1 book toward their goal of 52 books.

2. 2020 Pages Read Challenge
Goal is 24 000 pages
 
3. Read Your Bookshelf – Reading Challenge 2020
Goal is 12 books throughout the year.

4. Reading German Books in 2020
Goal is 4 book, 3 of which are in German.












That is basically it. I am still continuing with my Russian Literature, World of Literature, Booker Prize and Classics Club projects, which at the begging 2020 are the following:

Russian Literature: 9/30
World of Literature: 21/50
Booker Prize Project: 7
Classics Club: 9/50



Thursday, January 23, 2020

November 2019 Wrap up


Read books: 
read: 3/ listen: 0/ pages: 1161/ hours listened: 0
1. Mistress by James Patterson, David Ellis p.411 ***
2. Awful Auntie by David Walliams p.414 **
3. Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer p. 336 ****

Movie watched:
1. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) ****

To Be Continued Readathon 2020 and TBR

    A readathon for those series you need to finish

RULES AND INFORMATION
  •     The readathon will take place during the month of February 2020
  •     There are 15 prompts in total, distributed along 7 levels
  •     Complete the prompts of one level, to level up to the next one!
  •     There’s a WILD CARD that you can use once.
  •     The important thing is to HAVE FUN and ENJOY YOURSELF!
  •     One book = One prompt
  •     You don’t have to read them in order, but you will have to complete all the previous levels.
It seems that the readathon will be managed through Twitter, which I do not have, so I will just keep the progress to myself, anyway, I do not think I will surpass the second level.

THE PROMPTS

LEVEL 1: STAND ALONE
Top of the TBR Pile: the sequel you are Most Excited to get to.
The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden 
The Journey: is about the sequels we read along the way. Read a book in the Middle of a series
Knife (Harry Hole #12) by Jo Nesbø
The Grand Finale: Read the Last book in that series so you can finally boast about finishing it.
The King of Crows (The Diviners #4) by Libba Bray

LEVEL 2: SEQUEL
Read the book: There’s always a book being adapted or something getting adapted into a book! Read a sequel with Adaptation/Adapted and figure out how much they screwed that up...
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman
This Just In: fresh from the printing press, read a New Release!
WILD CARD 

LEVEL 3: TRILOGY
Catch-Up: This prompt is for that Popular Series everyone keeps going on about
Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
Hiatus: People are still waiting to see how it all pans out! Hopefully the author will get to it and release the rest of the series. Read a book in an Uncompleted Work (as of yet).
 In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French

LEVEL 4: ARC
Tangent: Stories don’t have to be linear! Read a Companion novel, a work in a Parallel world or a Prequel!
Welcome Home: Sometimes self-care is ignoring the unread books and getting back to what you know. Treat yourself to a Re-Read!

LEVEL 5: SERIES
I Like Them, Another: Read a book by your favourite author
Tale as Old as Time: Read the sequel that has the Oldest Publishing Date

LEVEL 6: SAGA
Hipster: Ah, the bittersweetness of loving an obscure book, but having no one to share our love! Read a Hidden Gem!
Procrastination: There’s always that pesky book, side-eyeing you from the shelf. Read a sequel that has been on your TBR the Longest, that you find Intimidating, or that you’ve simply been Putting Off for no good reason! (pick one)

LEVEL 7: MASTER OF THE TBR
I Bet You Thought You’d Seen The Last of Me: You thought you had this one in the bag! SIKE, there’s a new book on your TBR now! Read a book from a Previously Completed series!
Second Chance: Some things get better with age, like wine and cheese, and unlike most jokes from old sitcoms! Sometimes the Sequel is Better—read a book where you found the first/previous installment disappointing, but have heard good things of the follow-up

REMEMBER: Don’t have a book that fits a prompt? Use your WILD CARD! You can replace one of the prompts with any sequel you fancy