Friday, August 2, 2019

August 2, Friday in Memes #24

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:
      Do you own more than one copy of a book? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
My Answer:
      I am not guilty of this "bookish sin". Unfortunately, I do not have enough space for books and there is no point to keep a couple of copies of the same book, I just choose the prettiest edition and leave it on the shelves. The only exceptions are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Tales of Belkin by Alexander Pushkin, which I have in English and Czech, and Russian and German languages respectively for language learning purposes.

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:
 ‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
‘It’s so dreadful to be poor!’ sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
My 56:
There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.
Outline: I must confess that the writing does not do anything to me. The 56 extract is a bit sad and knowing the story of Beth, I can see that the author started to prepare us to the sad events straight from the beginning of the book.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Final Diagnosis| Strong Medicine| The Evening News by Arthur Hailey

Author: Arthur Hailey
Original title: The Final Diagnosis
Pages: 164
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: hardcover
Genres: fiction
Goodreads

Blurb:    
   A look at the workings of a modern day hospital through the lens of the pathologists department.

  My thoughts: 
    I simply love this one. Unable to put down the book. Once you are into it, you are hooked. I read this book multiple times and always find it impactful.
      The duration of the story is short, but the author manages to give a life history of all the main characters. It is fast paced with extremely interesting characters thrown into realistic episodes. The descriptions are so vivid one can actually visualise things happening in front of your eyes.
       A story  is told through the perspective of a pathology lab. We don't quite value pathologists enough, always reserving our praise for the kind physicians and fancy surgeons. Of course, a lot of things changed from the times the novel was written, everything is computerized and faster, but if skip the outdated facility, you can see the work that is done and the importance of it for the functionality of the hospital in general.
Rating:  
    4/5  

Author: Arthur Hailey 
Original title: Strong Medicine
Pages: 265
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: hardcover
Genres: fiction

Blurb:    
   Miracle drugs save lives and ease suffering, but for profit-motivated companies, the miracle is the money they generate...at any cost.  Billions of dollars in profits will make men and women do many things--lie, cheat, even kill.  now one beautiful woman will be caught in the cross fire between ethics and profits.

  My thoughts: 
    First of all, this book took forever to read, because of the way it was written. The writing is passive and too many years are covered. You can easily recognize the well-rounded characters and lots of inside info that Hailey is so good at.  I have read, that Hailey writes from some experience, after medical issues of his own, and also throws in plenty of brand names and current events to keep this topical.
     Secondly, the main character is absolutely unbelievable: too many ups and downs in the life of Celia Jordan and in frequent succession. She is too perfect and I had a hard time believing her decisions and actions to be realistic for a person at the top of the ladder.
     Overall, it was a really long and dull read, trying to cover so many topics that you lose the connection to the main characters and the plot. 
Rating:  
    2/5  

Author: Arthur Hailey
Original title: The Evening News
Pages: 543
Edition Language: Russian
Series: no
Format: hardcover
Genres: fiction

Blurb:    
   This passionate, terrifying drama takes us behind the scenes of a great television network faced with mortal dangers and moral challenges as it collides with a smaller but equally potent force--the most feared terrorist group in the Americas.

  My thoughts: 
    I've read most of Arthur Hailey novels before this one, and this is by far the worst one. The only reason I finished it was because I wanted to tick it off the list. Most of it is just mindless ramble, with little content focused on the workings of the news network.  I did not care about any of the characters. The action sequences and who solved the problems seemed ridiculous and forced.  
Rating:  
    2/5  

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

WWW Wednesday and Library Loot, July 31

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 1 book:

1. Engineer Garin and His Death Ray by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy

I have finished:
1. Scarlet Sails by Aleksandr Grin
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
4. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

I am planning to start with the following book:
1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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 no books from the library this week.


Monday, July 29, 2019

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Author: Liane Moriarty
Original title: What Alice Forgot
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audio book
Read by: Caroline Lee
Duration: 15h34m
Goodreads

Blurb:
    Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

My thoughts:
       Alice has a fall at the gym and loses her memory of the last 10 years. I really enjoyed how the story was told through Alice's eyes as I learned how she has changed and also the people around her as she pieces the events of the last 10 years together. She remembers the people around her and their situations as they were 10 years ago and given little clues which creates the mystery of how the events of their lives have changed and shaped into who they are today.
    This fiction covers a broad array of topics, including divorce, death, infertility and a complete breakdown of the family unit. Actually, I liked how the infertility topic was dealt with. I never questioned this issue and had a vague idea what women are going through. In the book I saw a scary picture of obsession that shapes your life in all aspects starting with your sexual life and finishing with your perсeption of the world itself, splitting it into two militant camps. Very complicated and disturbing topic.
      The whole "Alice situation" made me think a lot, how we give in to the flow of time and get lost in everyday life, getting far and far away from us - young and purposeful, ambitious and full of great plans. It is not that we are pathetic nowadays, but how life changes and how it shapes up our demands and expectations. The main challenge here is to look at yourself with your younger eyes and say truly if you are happy with what you see. So those kind of questions were popping up in my mind, while I listen to this book, which is a very nice and funny read with a lot of dramatic turns, but still quite enjoyable.
Rating: 
         4/5 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Post #50, Crazy Weather

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. 

 Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb Nance at Readerbuzz. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together-at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones-and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. See below for how to join the Salon.
   



Something new
      This week the weather was playing tricks again, we had thunderstorms 3 days in a row, all the time, day and night... I do not remember such weather in the mountains, usually there are one-two thunderstorms during a season not more.
      I did not like participating in Reading Rush 2019 readalong, but there was so much fuss about it, so I wanted to try. When it is too much information and community involvement it is not so good for reading. I was checking the site and news, and watch my favourite booktubers, then I was checking challenges and was upset that I cannot produce such nice content and photos. It is not what I search in reading challenges. So I guess next year I will not bother. I did finish a couple of books though, but I did not post too much on the blog, unfortunately.

Last on the Blog 
Next on the Blog
  • On Monday I will review What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  • On Wednesday I will publish WWW Wednesday and Library Loot
  • On Thursday I will review 3 books by by Arthur Hailey
  • On Friday I will publish Friday in Memes #13

I am currently reading 1 book:
1. Engineer Garin and His Death Ray by Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy

I have finished:
1. Scarlet Sails by Aleksandr Grin
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
4. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott
 Newcomers on my Shelf
I am not buying or taking any book this summer, in order to reduce my physical TBR)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Author: John Green 
Original title: The Fault in Our Star
Pages: 456
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Format: paperbook
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads

Blurb:    
   Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
     Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.


My thoughts: 
    The story centers around a young girl named Hazel, she is suffering from terminal cancer. Hazel meets a boy named Augustus, he also has cancer. The connection between these two main characters is wonderful. They grasp the meaning of death and are yet still fearful of it, they know they will eventually die but then so does everyone.  Hazel and Gus are actually great characters, I really liked them and I liked their conversations. John Green does have a way with dialogue, that is where his strength lies.
There is only one thing in this world shittier than biting it from cancer when you are sixteen, and that's having a kid who bites it from cancer.
     I cried like a baby while reading it and gave it 4 starts. I though realized the point of the book and generally I do not like tearjerkers.  It just was very obvious from chapter one that there was one purpose, and one purpose only to this plot. To be sad. Take away the emotional aspect, and there really isn't a lot left. It was about cancer, so you knew it would be sad. There were no twists, no mystery, nothing out of the ordinary. Even if you just really love tearjerkers, there are many other sad books out there that are written to provoke more emotion. But there was nothing creative about the story. I do not like cancer being exploited for entertainment and profit... but still...this book hit me hard on an emotional level.
 Rating:  
    4/5 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

June 2019 Wrap up

Read books: 
read: 13/ listen: 0/ pages: 4899/ hours listened: 0
1. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus p. 336 ***
2. The Wicked King by Holly Black p. 448  ***
3. Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbø p. 256  ***
4. Scythe by Neal Shusterman p.448 **
5. The Captain's Daughter by Alexander Pushkin p.138  ****
6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline p. 480 ***
7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff p. 602 ****
8. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab p. 256 **
9. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman,  Meagan Spooner p. 384 ****
10. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips p. 432 **
11. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire p. 224 **
12. Квест by Boris Akunin p. 656  ***
13. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer p. 239  ***

Movie watched:
1. Ready Player One (2018) re-watch ***
2. Echelon Conspiracy (2009) re-watch **
3. Men in Black: International (2019) **
4. Happy!  Season 2 - TV Series (2017–2019) ****

Challenges overview:
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 40/52
2017 PopSugar Reading Challenge 30/50
Pages Read Challenge: 16028/24000
Audiobook Challenge: 5/15
Russian Literature: 4/30
World of Literature: 18/50
Booker Prize Project: 7
The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019: 12/20
Classics Club: 7/50