Tuesday, April 23, 2019

April 23, Top Ten Tuesday My First 10 Book Reviews

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  (First Ten) Books I Reviewed (These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too! Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

My first reviews are very painful to re-read. I was trying different forms. First, I was thinking about reviewing books only in Russian. Then I realized that it is difficult to do, so I tried dual language format, but it was taking so much time to make reviews similar in content so I stuck to English only. I was not reviewing much at the beginning as I did not read much, now I have more books read than I can possibly review.

1. The Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh - my review

        The Lonesome West is a cruel and dark comedy. The story of emotionally poor and morally
handicapped two brothers is based on a long trail of mutual crimes between them and abusive words. Neither Coleman nor Valene are able to yield and are deaf to each other's feelings.
      The priest, Father Welsh is making multiple fruitless attempts to bring the brothers together. But the grudge is deeply rooted in childhood and they are very efficient in hurting each other. Coleman and Valene are more often repulsive in their pettiness, sometimes are funny, but at times simple human sympathy towards them is appearing. Drunkenness, hopelessness and petty vindictiveness prevail in their lives and these all drag them to a downfall, push them to a tragic end.

2. Moonraker by Ian Fleming - my review

      The third novel by Ian Fleming reveals ongoing adventures of Secret Service agent 007. Buried in paperwork Bond is more than happy to escape and proceed with private investigation for M. of card fraud in one of the most famous clubs. This investigation is of most delicate matter for M. as the suspect is Sir Hugo Drax, the richest man in England, mysterious national hero. Drax started building “Moonracker”, nuclear missile, intended to defend England and its people on his own nickel. The eyes of the whole nation are on missile-building base and on Sir Hugo Drax himself, dis-featured by war scars, bestial and vulgar man. But everyone is ready to look over his obnoxious behavior and foul play for the greater goal that he is fulfilling with exceptional eager.

3. Dark places by Gillian Flynn - my review

Libby, the main protagonist, realistically estimates her chances in live and clearl
y sees the situation she is in. She does not want to work after 24 years living on money collected for her by good people. So how to survive when you are about to run out of money? Of cause try to sell you family’s murder story once again and get whatever money they give. Most luckily a group of amateur investigators turns out, who are more than happy to pay a round sum of money for Libby to face participants (and probable suspects) of the drama and for information she can get out of them. She meets her brother Ben in prison for the first time, but still has a feeling he is hiding something. What it can be but his reasons for killing? She also meets with her father, now homeless, but he does not seem to play any part in this drama. Through her investigation, she learns of her brother's secret girlfriend, as well as accusations against him for child molestation.

5. Dr. No by Ian Fleming - my review
   And again James Bond is here. After difficult and almost flubbed up mission Bond is spending quite a long time in a hospital recovering from poisonous wound inflicted by SMERSH agent Rosa Klebb, M. has decided to send Bond to Jamaica on “rest cure” with the task to investigate the disappearance of local agent and his secretary. Everybody believes that it was elopement; unlike them Bond has a different opinion and throws himself into investigation trying to prove M. that he does not need “rest cure”.
          All leads are pointing to the mysterious Dr. No, the owner of island Crab Key which is said to be dangerous and mortal place. There are a lot of unexplained facts about the island: disappearance of rare birds, strange death of two bird guardians, plane crash and mysterious vanishing of people who were dare enough to visit the island. While trying to gather all the facts together Bond realizes that he is being watched and survives a couple of assassinations. But all this does not throw any light on the situation, so 007 resolves to visit Crab Key to establish if there is a connection between Dr. No and agent’s disappearance.

6.  The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer - my review

      These books are absolutely enchanting. I would call it the biggest shocker this year. I have picked Cinder as a recommendation of participants of Popsugarreadingchalenge and was not waiting for anything special. But I actually loved the series. The main characters are strong and alive. Each new book brings additional members to the squad and every of them have a unique personality, strengths and weaknesses.
      Though it is a YA series it is not overloaded with love stories. We get the first introduction and get the idea who will date whom, but there is no lingering description of kisses, hugs and feelings altogether. Actually, there are even more friendship relationships in the books than love. Throughout the series the friends are split so many times that they need to learn how to work in different teams, overcome their fears and gain trust.
The story is quite original: re-telling of old fairy tales in new unexpected way.

7. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - my review

I extremely like the format of the books. First of all the cover is black and white, which gives them kind of retro look. Secondly, the pictures integrated in a story are a good and fresh move. In the first book Jacob discovers a lot of old photographs and I am as a reader able to see them too. In the 2nd and 3rd book the pictures are already part of the narration of what Jacob sees on his journey, they are not presented in a physical form in the story, but aim as additional description of people and places Jacob meets and visits during his quest. I would say that photos lost their appeal and are starting to be quite “unpeculiar” in 2nd and 3rd books.

8.  Hotel World by Ali Smith - my review 

I cannot remember a book recently which I was enjoying less than Hotel World. A book without story development, but only emotions and stream of conscience. I hope that all Ali Smith’s fans will ever forgive me, but I found this book utterly boring and unexciting. The anticipation of the story ranged from boring to frustrating. Some days I was forcing myself to get the book and continue reading. The Sara’s sister’s chapter was a total nightmare with 31 pages of unpunctuated stream of conscience writing. This was like I'd read poetry. The story stayed in the fog even though there are 5 main narrators. The only chapter that made any sense was chapter "Perfect". Here was at least some story and character development, some inner wishes and thought shared and some interaction between the characters.

9.  Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle - my review

     I've been meaning to read this for some time. I'm glad I finally did, but I wouldn't say I would recommend it to any of my friends. I found the stories generally interesting enough to keep reading, but I didn't fall in love with any characters, any settings, and any stories.
      This was a sweet Christmas read and set me in a proper winter mood. I also liked the cooperation of three authors and the fact that these stories are linked with each other and you recognize the characters as you read on.
      The book started off interesting and got progressively boring. The best stories are from Maureen Johnson and John Green. The last one seems like non-stop whining. I liked the development of the Jubilee story, lively staff and great weather description, but I did not like her judgments and how easy she is to persuade, but altogether the story was fun with many plot turns.
John Green's story kind of baffled me. I wanted to like this story more, but the main characters seem so irrational and sometimes stupid. Their idiotic actions and the twister game were the only thing that made the plot moving.
10.  Fortunately, the Milk... by Neil Gaiman - my review

Surprisingly I wanted to do a review on this book...
     This is a funny short book for children age under 10. I bought it for my nephew as a Christmas present and you know how it is with children books nowadays; you need to check the content by yourself; as I have already seen so many books with a lot of violence and sometimes really crappy plot that it can be not only disturbing for a child but dangerous. So I sat down to check the book and it was just magic. I was having a silly smile on my face the entire time I was reading it. I just loved the way it was written with all the plot twists and interconnection. It was brilliantly constructed, logical and funny. The illustrations by Riddell are so vivid and witty.


  1. I agree about The Lunar Chronicles. I put off reading CINDER for so long because the cover made it look way too sci-fi for me. Imagine my surprise when I totally loved the book and the whole series. It's a fun one!

    Happy TTT!

  2. The Lonesome West does sound like an interesting read.

    My TTT.

  3. Nice to read more about your blog and see your reviews!

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week: https://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2019/04/top-ten-tuesday-first-ten-books-i.html

  4. This has been a very interesting TTT, just seeing how people feel about their early reviewing days and whatnot. I love the idea of the holida wish we'd see more.

  5. The Lunar Chronicles was great! I didn't read it until last year, and I wish I would have read it sooner. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  6. I bought all the Lunar Chronicles books because the covers were oh so gorgeous! I read Cinder and then just never went back to the series. It is one I hope to finish soon.

    Tina @ As Told By Tina