Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February 19, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s TTT topic is Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

It was a hard work to find those books)) I was taking into consideration only books translated into English. I am quite curious to see other lists, I guess mostly will be translated works.

1. The Last Quarter of the Moon by Chi Zijian- 181 ratings

      At the end of the twentieth-century an old woman sits among the birch trees and thinks back over her life, her loves, and the joys and tragedies that have befallen her family and her people. She is a member of the Evenki tribe who wander the remote forests of north-eastern China with their herds of reindeer, living in close sympathy with nature at its most beautiful and cruel. I loved this book, even though I was reading it for several months.

2. Thais of Athens by Ivan Efremov - 1,188 ratings

    Set in the era of Alexander the Great, the book tells a story of an Athenian hetaera Thais, whose fascinating image captured our hearts and minds. Her adventures, masterfully described by the author, hold your attention from the very first page and make you fall in love with the heroine.

3. The Waif of the "Cynthia" by André Laurie and Jules Verne - 107 ratings

 A novel about a young man's search for his identity leads him through Arctic exploration. Eric is a waif and adopted by a Norwegian family. He does not know anything about his family, country or heritage. One of my most favorite books from childhood. And though everything comes together too conveniently it is a great adventurous story about exploring Arctic.

5. The Hidden Light of Objects by Mai Al-Nakib - 194 ratings

    The language was very flowery and the headlines tell of war, unrest and religious clashes. But if you look beyond them you may see life in the Middle East – adolescent love, yearnings for independence, the fragility of marriage and life. Although her stories are accessible and easy to read, there is an undeniable depth.  
This is a short story collection and it was difficult to say if I loved it immensely or not.

6. Lou-lan by Yasushi Inoue - 10 ratings

      Lou-lan is a collection of stories by Inoue Yasushi. I realized that different editions of the book have different stories. Mine has eight. All of them are situated in ancient China.
     The Yasushi’s narration is really enchanting, though not easy. There are a lot of names and dates and footnotes. But I liked the way dry history comes to life with a colorful mythical touch, and random characters introductions whom we can empathize with.

7. Eight Children and a Truck by Anne-Cath. Vestly - 379 ratings

It was a lovely children's book, worthy of Lindgren. It was so fun, warm and moving. The whole book is full of kindness and sincerity. The huge family with limited financial resources find joy and pleasure and magic in the small, everyday things like a pirate party, painting the floor, going into the forest or riding in a tram. Even unpleasant and disagreeable people are not so bad when it comes to life tests.

8.  Asya / First Love by Ivan Turgenev - 580 ratings

     When I read two novellas Asya and First Love I was impressed by the ability of the author to create such dramatic, extraordinary stories and turn them into a masterpiece from a seemingly simple and straightforward situation. Turgenev's writing style is poetic and melancholic, I devoured every word and every sentence admiring his exceptional skill of using words. The magnificent and vivid descriptions of the people and places in the stories made them tangible and so familiar.

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Author: Mark Haddon
Original title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Pages: 272
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Format: Paperback
Genres: Contemporary

   The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.
My thoughts: 
     I just LOVED the theater adaptations of this book. I went to two performances in two different languages and loved it every time. Sad, heart-breaking story. However, the book was a complete torture. I was struggling for months and could not care less for Christopher. It bored me immensely and I do not know on what power I finished it. It does not mean that I am giving up on the author. On the contrary, I think that the Christopher's perspective did not sit with me well and I am looking forward to other books of Mark Haddon.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Post #37, Sping Warmth

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. 

Outside the Blog
      It is so warm outside during the day that it is difficult to believe that it is still February. But the nights remind me that winter is still here.
I have come to the cinema for the first time in this month; there are not many movies that interest me, and after watching the trailers I feel desperate - it seems there will be nothing worth seeing for some time.
So I watched Alita: Battle Angel and I really enjoyed the combination of action and visual composition. I am not an expert to discuss those types of movies in details, but it is definitely is a good one.

 Last on the Blog
  • On Monday I will review The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • On Tuesday I will publish Top Ten Tuesday
  • On Wednesday I will publish WWW Wednesday and Library Loot
  • On Thursday I will review The Sandman by Lars Kepler
  • On Friday I will publish Friday in Memes #2
  • On Saturday I will review Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  Newcomers on my Shelf
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Friday, February 15, 2019

February 15, Friday in Memes #1

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:
Have you ever thought about taking a break from blogging/Booktubing? If you have, how long was the break and what did you learn from it? (submitted by Danielle @ PoetryBooksYA)

My Answer:
I never wanted, but I took a long involuntary break. I was traveling and was not posting anything and then it was just difficult to get back. I had a huge pack of books to overview and I guess I was lazy, but in the end I could not stay any longer away from the blog.

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:
A convenience store is a world of sounds.
My 56:
When something was strange, everyone thought they had the right to come stomping in all over your life to figure out why. I found that arrogant and infuriating, not to mention a pain in the neck. Sometimes I even wanted to hit them with a shovel to shut them up, like I did that time in the elementary school.
Outline: This is the book about the woman who works in a convenience store and loves it. But in the modern society it is difficult to understand a person who is satisfied with a part-time low paid job. And every one was still trying to "cure" her. It is a quick read and a bit upsetting.

Wayward Pines by Blake Crouch and TV series

Author: Blake Crouch
Original title: Pines; Wayward; The Last Town
Edition Language: English
Series: Wayward Pines
Genres: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Format: Audio book
Read by: Paul Michael Garcia
Duration: 8h33m; 8h39m; 6h36m

Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase.  Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? 

My thoughts:
     I loved the series. The story was captivating and fast paced. The idea behind the series is great.
     The main point is to get into the book without knowing anything. Do not read any reviews and reaction. Even the indication the genre can be a spoiler. Just read the first book and you know for sure if you will like it or not.

Name: Wayward Pines
Year: 2015-2016
Creator: Chad Hodge
Cast: Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Matt Dillon
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Language: English
Country: USA
Time: 20 episodes

      I was looking forward to TV series even that I know the BIG TWIST, still I was sure I would enjoy it.
     First couple of series of the first season, I was a bit irritated as I did not know where the series are going and I did not like little omissions in the plot. Then I calmed down and thought: "Here it is a new twist to the series, it is going to be different with different characteristics and motivations". But for a long time I could not believe that nurse Pam is actually being on the good side! Can you just imagine my shock? There must be a catch! It is a pity, that the suspense that I felt in the movie was not so intense, and in the series it felt more as an evil town turned against proper Ethan Burke, and not so much of his fear of going mad. But altogether the first season was a solid part of a story.
     The second season made really angry and agitated. I actually hated how they twisted the story and it felt like another apocalyptic teen movie with the only difference: there was no "chosen one". Oh no, wait, there was - Jason. The beginning was abrupt and not logical (you guys get on the wagon and catch up later) - it felt like I started the season from the 2 episode, and every episode was about someone's death from the season 1. What was the point? What's the point to bring old characters in episode 2 and kill them in episode 3 -  just to connect the seasons? It really irritated me - the plot felt so raw, illogical and crumpled that I really wish I could un-watch this season. And I really hated how they handled Adam Hassler in the series. In the book he is a really dramatic figure and though he is not in the foreground, he is quite a strong and unique character. In the series, he is actually some kind of hysteric weirdo who did not wash for ages.
      So the second season hinted my enjoyment of Wayward Pines

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Six of Crows Series by Leigh Bardugo

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Original title: Six of Crows; Crooked Kingdom
Pages: 576; 672
Edition Language: Russian
Series: Six of Crows
Format: e-book
Genres: Fantasy, YA

       Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
      Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

My thoughts: 
    Overall, I'm rating this duology three stars which means that I quite enjoyed it but was not so involved. These books are 100% character driven with a cast of six unique and lovable anti-heroes. The world is easy to get into and the characters are quick to love. I highly appreciate that everyone was given an individual voice and that all six of them had different struggles, but ultimately, by working on a shared goal, managed to overcome them together.
      I loved the aspect of friendship and the romantic relationships were not so heavy and did not make me roll my eyes as it usually happens with YA. Nina and Matthias just won my heart. Also, I love the fact that Nina is fat and loves food and everyone loves her for it and she isn't shamed at all.
     And though it was a fast and captivating read I enjoyed more the character development than the heist itself.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

WWW Wednesday, February 13th

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? 

I am currently reading 2 books:

1. I have just started The 5th Wave
2. I am still reading The Taking of Pelham One Two Three by John Godey

I have finished:
1. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
2. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata 

I am planning to start with the following books:
1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert