Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge: Reflection

Summer is officially over so I thought it high time to reflect on my Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge. Sadly I did not complete it but I did learn a few things. Here is the result.

Good as gold:- The Casual Vacancy by J. K Rowling

The Book is Better:- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

On the bandwagon:- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

Short and sweet:- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Actually want to read:- Jaws by Peter Benchley

Not from around here:- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In a friend zone:- The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Wheel of format:- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Past love:- Matilda by Roald Dahl

Armchair Traveler:- A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

 

First of all I spent way too much time on a book I really regret reading which was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, I really wish I had just stopped reading it because I did not enjoy it and wasted a great deal of my free time reading a book I found tiresome. This is a lesson I keep telling myself to learn from but sadly I don’t, maybe this time I will.

The second thing I learned was I hated having a reading list! I want to read these books eventually and I had options but I found myself regretting the choices and wanting to read other books which I did and so did not complete the challenge in the allotted time. I think from now on I will avoid challenges and just choose whatever I want to read when I want because I really did not enjoy the challenge. I loved choosing the books but not feeling like I had to read them.

However, doing the challenge has taken a few books off my enormous TBR list, so it wasn’t all bad.

 

What does everyone think of reading challenges? Yes or No? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy reading.

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Review)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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About the author

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Margaret Atwood born 18th November 1939 is a Canadian author, poet, essayist and literary critic. She has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books, books of poetry and children’s books. She has won the Giller Prize in Canada, Premio Mondello in Italy and the 2000 Booker Prize. She was also awarded the Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.

Blurb

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Review

This has been on my TBR pile for a very long time and this summer I put it on my reading challenge to make sure I read it. Now please bare with me on this review because I think it might prove controversial.

I did enjoy the book and found the idea of it rather terrifying at times but I must admit for me it did not have the WOW factor. The main reason for this I think is the way it was written, at times I found it frustrating how it kept flitting from past to present all the time. I would have much rather had more of the present rather than the past because I found the bits from the past broke the narrative up for me. I understand why Atwood did this but for me it really did not work.

I enjoyed the story and the concept was good and well thought out but I just can not understand what all the hype is about. I was left underwhelmed and wondering if I had read the same book as everyone else. However I was left wanting to know more at the end of the book so I am very pleased that I have purchased the sequel and will be starting to read it now, I just hope it will be a better read.

I liked the characters but I would have liked more from them, I just could not connect with them and I just felt frustrated and wanting more. I must admit this book took me a long time to read because some days I just could not be bothered with it and for me that is never a good sign and why I only gave the book 3 out of 5 Dragons. The reason it did not get lower was because I was left wanting more. However I do not think I will be reading this book again.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

Amazon

Kindle

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September Wrap Up

Ok everyone, I admit September for me was a complete and utter right off. I only reviewed one book and hardly blogged at all. Going back to work and trying to finish my final assignment for my diploma all became too overwhelming and I hardly read anything at all. This probably added to my stress because reading helps me unwind but sadly my brain just could not take in the words I was reading. October I am hoping for much better.

Books or should I say book that I read.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

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Pages: 101

Total pages this year: 11651

 

Friday Poetry

6/9:- Brian Patten

13/9:- Tolkien

20/9:- Robert Louis Stevenson

27/9:- Rachel Field

Mid Week Quote

4/9:- Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand

11/9:- Bede

18/9:- Sima Qian

26/9:- Phaedrus

 

Book Tags

Down the TBR Hole #15

ABC Book Challenge: H

Anticipated Releases Book tag

WWW Wednesday 

So that is my September wrap up, as you can see rather disappointing. Fingers crossed for a better October!

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The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

Happy Weekend Everyone!

This post is a little bit of a throw back.

Today my preordered book of The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen arrived and I must admit I am very excited. My regular readers will know that I had the privilege of reading this book and reviewing it on NetGalley a few months back and I loved the book so much I immediately preordered it. This at the moment is one of the best books I have read in 2019 and I can not wait for the next one in the series.

I know it sounds weird but I am planning on reading this book again very soon because when I read it a few months ago I could not put it down and flew through it and now I want to read it again and savour it a bit more. Is this just something that I do or do other people do the same?

Anyway if you love fantasy, murder mysteries and romance this is definitely the book for you. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you want to check out my review please click the link.

Purchase links

Book Depository

Waterstones

Amazon

Kindle

Happy Reading

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Down the TBR Hole #15

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

 

Time for another sort through the TBR list as I have added a few books recently so I should get rid of some as well.

 

1. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

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It was first serialised in the Merry’s Museum magazine between July and August in 1869 and consisted of only six chapters. For the finished product, however, Alcott continued the story from the chapter “Six Years Afterwards” and so it ended up with nineteen chapters in all. The book revolves around Polly Milton, the old-fashioned girl who titles the story. Polly visits her wealthy friend Fanny Shaw in the city and is overwhelmed by the fashionable and urban life they live–but also left out because of her “countrified” manners and outdated clothes.

 

 

I love Little Women, Jo’s Boys and Little Wives and I would love to read more of Alcott’s work so this stays on the list.

KEEP

 

2. Can you Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

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Alice Vavasor cannot decide whether to marry her ambitious but violent cousin George or the upright and gentlemanly John Grey – and finds herself accepting and rejecting each of them in turn.

Increasingly confused about her own feelings and unable to forgive herself for such vacillation, her situation is contrasted with that of her friend Lady Glencora – forced to marry the rising politician Plantagenet Palliser in order to prevent the worthless Burgo Fitzgerald from wasting her vast fortune.

In asking his readers to pardon Alice for her transgression of the Victorian moral code, Trollope created a telling and wide-ranging account of the social world of his day.

To be honest I have a lot of Trollope on my TBR list so I think I will remove this one incase my TBR list becomes mainly books by Trollope as he did write a lot of books.

GO

 

3. Jonny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett

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Sell the cemetery?

Over their dead bodies . . .

Not many people can see the dead (not many would want to). Twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell can. And he’s got bad news for them: the council want to sell the cemetery as a building site. But the dead have learnt a thing or two from Johnny. They’re not going to take it lying down . . . especially since it’s Halloween tomorrow.

Besides, they’re beginning to find that life is a lot more fun than it was when they were . . . well . . . alive. Particularly if they break a few rules . . .

 

 

Well it is a Terry Pratchett book so it stays put and that is final.

KEEP

 

4. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

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Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy’s first major literary success, and it edited with an introduction and notes by Rosemarie Morgan and Shannon Russell in Penguin Classics.

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in the fictional county of Wessex, Hardy’s novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.

I own several copies of this book because I just cannot resist pretty book covers so I really should read it.

KEEP

 

5. Lady Susan/ The Watsons/ Sanditon by Jane Austen

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Together, these three works – one novel unpublished in her lifetime and two unfinished fragments – reveal Jane Austen’s development as a great artist.

Lady Susan, with its wicked, beautiful, intelligent and energetic heroine, is a sparkling melodrama which takes its tone from the outspoken and robust eighteen century. Written later, and probably abandoned after her father’s death, The Watsons is a tantalizing and highly delightful story whose vitality and optimism centre on the marital prospects of the Watson sisters in a small provincial town. Sanditon, Jane Austen’s last fiction, is set in a seaside town and its themes concern the new speculative consumer society and foreshadow the great social upheavals of the Industrial Revolution.

This is the only book I have not read by Austen so it will stay on the list as well.

KEEP

 

Just five books today and only one off the list but that does mean the TBR is one book shorter. I know, I know I must try harder. Next time I will do ten books I promise.

Happy Reading.

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New Books: 15/09/2019

Hello everyone!

I thought I would share with you all the books I have bought so far in September because I have not updated you all on my purchases recently and the number is growing at an alarming rate. Two of the books were the damaged ones and I have just recently received the replacement copies.

 

New Books

 

Classical Archaeology Edited by Susan E. Alcock and Robin Osborne

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Latin for Dummies by Clifford A. Hull, Steven R. Perkins and Tracy Barr

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Handbook for Classical Research by David M. Schaps

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Too Much To Know by Ann M. Blair

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Collins Latin Dictionary and Grammer

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Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis by J. K. Rowling

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The Poems of Catullus by Gaius Valerius Catullus

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Andromache, Hecuba, Trojan Women by Euripides

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On Chapel Sands: My Mother and other Missing Persons by Laura Cumming

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

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As you can see a lot of books so far this month. Most of these are either for my new challenge or my new course starting next month, you can probably guess which ones I have bought for fun reading.

Please drop me a comment if you have read any of these.

Happy Reading

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A New Challenge

Hello my fellow Book Dragons

I thought I would tell you all about my new challenge. This challenge is entirely self inflicted and I came up with the idea after doing a few free courses on the Open University.

My challenge is to translate and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone from Latin to English. So I am in fact reading Harry Potter et Philosophi Lapis.

I am very much a beginner in Latin so I will be using a great deal of this.

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So far I have almost finished the first page and I am beginning to pick up pace, after the first sentence took me just over an hour! I am really enjoying it so far, so fingers crossed I get to the end. Who knows I might read the entire series in Latin.

So that is my challenge.

Happy reading

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