Tag Archives: books

Kresley Cole: Wicked Abyss

Or, is it possible that my love of reading is coming back?

The song You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ (the one from Top Gun) keeps playing in my head when I think of books and perfumes. 🙂 I mean, it’s true, I did. (lose that loving feeling)

I’m not sure how (although I have my thoughts on that) but I did.

wicked abyss

Well, hopefully it will slowly come back. I actually read the book from the title and I’m in the middle or reading another one.

I’m also using perfumes outside the 2 I kept in rotation. Baby steps. 😉

But to get back to the book.

I’m not going to go much into details. What struck me as a bit strange was the use of Abyssian’s powerful position to hurt Lila (psychologically) because he could and had the need to. Considering the atmosphere we live in now.

 

Ok, so he’s had a really tortured childhood and is not in the best psychological frame of mind to accept goodness but still, I couldn’t help but think of all the excuses made for such cases.

 

And before this turns into a critic, the story turned around and I felt happy with how Ms Cole resolved the whole situation.  I love strong female characters (even when I can’t understand where they are coming from) and a good love story can’t hurt. 😉

 

Btw, when I say a good love story I mean, steamy sex scenes. 😉 There is a reason after all why these romance novels (of any kind) are so popular. 😀

Oh, and yes, there is a love story in there as well. 😉

Lost in a sea of books

The other day I talked about how I’m behind times in the perfume world and news reach me (if they reach me) months after everyone else has heard them. 🙂

It seems that when it comes to books, I’m even worse.books1

These days, the only way I will hear about a good (new) book is if there is a movie being made out of it (and some of those aren’t really that good either).

I have a pool of authors I follow and read, whatever they publish, but adding to that pool is rather difficult.  Even when I find a book blogger I share tastes with, some of those reviews just don’t sound that appealing to me.

I also sometimes wonder how many people are actually intrigued enough by my reviews to read a book I found great…?

In the haystack that is the book world, finding your needle is very difficult. And the blurbs don’t help. The only reason I wanted to read World War Z was because I really liked the movie and thought the book must be better. Then I read the blurbs for the book and wasn’t very sure about my choice. Luckily, this time around, I decided to ignore them.

The thing is, that book is one of the best new books I’ve read in quite a while and I wouldn’t even know it existed unless for the movie.

That’s why I’m a bit sad now. How many more books like that are passing  me by because I don’t know where to look? Or who to trust?

Do you have a way of figuring out what books ought to be on your TBR pile? And how do you select from the pool of new authors those, whose books might be worth reading?

Or is it basically luck?

My book choices in 2013

Here is what my year looked liked when it came to reading. If you take a closer look, you will notice Harry Potter appearing several times (it was a stressful year) and you will also notice that of my 100 books in a year goal, I basically came 2/3 to the finish line (luckily that’s not how I run). 😉

I keep thinking that the fact that I read every day if I can (and I usually can, as I schedule my time in such manner), I would be able to get two books read in a week (on average) but no. Well, a part was really my fault because I got hooked on Vampire Diaries and while watching all 4 seasons in the time allotted to reading, no books were added to my list.

Generally though, I’m very happy with what I’ve read in 2013 and I highlighted my favorites.

Who knows, maybe next year is the year I hit 100. 😉

 

1. Justin Cronin: The Passage

2. J. Rollins & R. Cantrell: The Blood Gospel

3. Chris Ashbrook: A Darker Gold

4. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl: Beautiful Creatures

5. Shannon Delaney: Weather Witch

6. Melissa Marr: Carnival of Souls

7. Julie Kagawa: The Eternity Cure

8. Steven Brust: Dragon

9. Steven Brust: Issola

10. Steven Brust: Dzur

11. Robert Masello: The Romanov Cross

12. Mia Thompson: Stalking Sapphire

13. James M. Tabor: Frozen Solid

14. Eloisa James: Desperate Duchesses

15. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

16. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

17. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

18. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

19. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

20. Kim Harisson: Once dead, twice shy

21. Stephanie Laurens: And then she fell

22. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

23. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

24. Dan Brown: Inferno

25. Claudia Dain: Daring a Duke

26. Sam Cabot: Blood of the Lamb

27. P. Briggs: River Marked

28. P. Briggs: Frost Burned

29. Kate Elliott: Cold Magic

30. Kate Elliott: Cold Steel

31. Kate Elliott: Cold Fire

32. James Rollins: The Eye of God

33. Kresley Cole: MacRieve

34. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

35. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

36. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

37. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

38. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

39. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

40. Cinda Williams Chima: The Enchanter Heir

41. Alex Connor: The Rembrandt Secret

42. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

43. John Oehler: Aphrodesia

44. Cristin Terrill: All Our Yesterdays

45. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

46. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

47. JK. Rawling: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

48. Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Naturals

49. Kresley Cole: Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles)

50. Lindsey Fairleigh & Lindsey Pogue: After The Ending (The Ending Series)

51. Nigel McCrery: Silent Witness

52. Lindsey Farleigh: Echo Prophecy (Echo Trilogy, #1)

53. J. Carson Black: The Survivors Club

54. Lizzy Ford: Cursed (Voodoo Nights, #1)

55. Lindsey Fairleigh & Lindsey Pogue: Into the Fire (The Ending Series #2)

56. Molly Harper: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf

57. Julianna Scott: The Holders

58. Lizzy Ford: Hear no Evil (Hidden Evil, #1)

59. Susan Isaacs: Compliments of a Friend

60. Sabrina Jeffries: When the Rogue Returns

61. Lisa Jackson: Sinister

62. Deb Marlowe: An Unexpected Encounter

63. Sarah Morgan: Sleigh Bells in the Snow

64. Veronica Roth: Divergent (Divergent series #1)

65. N.K. Jemisin: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

66. Isabella Bradford: A Wicked Pursuit

67. Scott Lynch: The Republic of Thieves

68. Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Naturals

I wish I could write

I think many voracious readers actually think this.

I love reading so much and my imagination works overtime (especially when I’m asleep or resting) so I can’t help but wonder if my imagined scenarios might make for a good reading.writing

It’s just that I am no writer. I neither have the knowledge nor the discipline (especially the discipline).

I do wish though that I could write about all these things I enjoy reading about so much. The romance, the thrilling stories, the paranormal characters, the post-apocalyptic society, the friendship, the bravery, the tragedy of personal traits…

There are so many things I enjoy reading about that fill me with enormous anticipation and happiness and that put a smile on my face. I often wish I could return the favor by doing the same.

It’s just, I am no novel writer.

I tend to express myself in short sentences and even explain things to people in short and (hopefully) concise speech. I hate long explanations, writing long essays or anything that requires more than several sentences to be communicated.

Basically, I’ll never make a good novel writer. I just I wish I could though…

What good is interesting imagination if it can’t be put into words…

Melissa Marr: Carnival of Souls

This was a recommendation on Feminine things blog one day when a discussion on YA books was on. I’m glad I read that post as I saw other books I should add to my ever-growing list of books TBR.

I somehow missed the fact that even though this is the first book in the series, no other books are out yet. I’m a bit unhappy because of that.

The book is a mix of YA, paranormal and romance all in one, so I was bound to love it.

“In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures—if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father—and every other witch there—fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it’s only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.”

As with all briefs, this one leaves many things unsaid. Like, the fact that women are treated as breeding partners in daimon marriages (not that that makes them partners actually), everyone has a secret to keep and pretty much power is dealt through these secrets, everyone is lying except Mallory it seems, carnivaland I sincerely hope as soon as she comes into knowledge (and her own powers), she’ll bring everyone down a peg or two (or a lot).

The problem is, the story is interesting and we are pulled in, only to have it end. Just as the story is heating up, there is the end and now you have to wait for book two.

Which I wouldn’t mind but by the time any book in a series comes out, I forget at least half of what went on in the previous book and I really don’t have either the time or the wish to re-read every series each time a book comes out.

OK, rant over. 🙂

I don’t blame Ms Marr for this  particular problem – all I can is, urge the writers I find interesting and want to read more from, to please write faster. 🙂

 

100 books in a year

I wasn’t really sure I was going to participate in another 100 books in a year challenge in 2012 as I knew  my year wouldn’t be conducive to much reading. Turns out I did pretty well (still didn’t achieve the 100 though).

And as the challenge I usually participate in doesn’t include non-fiction books, I didn’t register for it but kept a list for myself.

You can see I listed some stories and novellas as well – anything to get the number as high as possible and re-reading HP helped as well as I read it fast (and it helps with stress too). So, with little cheating with the novellas, I actually got the list to a higher number this year (it was 81 in 2011).

Here is the list:

1. PC & Kristen Cast: Destined

2. Kresley Cole: Lothaire

3. Sabrina Jeffries: To Wed a Wild Lord

4. Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games

5. Suzanne Collins: Catching Fire

6. Suzanne Collins: Mockingjay

7. Lois M. Bujold: Cryoburn

8. Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora

9. Amanda Hocking: The Hollowland

10. M.J. Rose: The Book of Lost Fragrances

11. Trish Milburn: The White Witch

12. Veronica Blade: Something Witchy This Way Comes

13. S.K.S. Perry: Darkside

14. Matthew Reilly: Scarecrow Returns

15. Stephanie Laurens: The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae

16. Stephanie Laurens: In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster

17. Sabrina Jeffries: A Lady Never Surrenders (The Hellions of Halstead Hall)

18. Linda Mooney: Captive Surrender

19. Julie Kagawa: The Immortal Rules

20. Marilee Brothers: The Moonstone series, Moonstone

21. Marilee Brothers: The Moonstone series, Moonrise

22. Marilee Brothers: The Moonstone series, Moon Spun

23. J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

24.  J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

25.  J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

26. J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

27. J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

28. J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

29. J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

30. Rachel Hawkins: Hex Hall

31. Rachel Hawkins: Hex Hall, Demonglass

32. Rachel Hawkins: Hex Hall, Spell Bound

33. Gwenda Bond: Blackwood

34. Scott Lynch: Red Seas Under Red Skies

35. Denyse Beaulieu: The Perfume Lover

36. Marilee Brothers: The Moonstone series, Moon Shadow

37. Amanda Hocking: My Blood Approves

38. Amanda Hocking: My Blood Approves, Fate

39. Amanda Hocking: My Blood Approves, Flutter

40. Amanda Hocking: My Blood Approves, Wisdom

41. James Rollins: Bloodline

42. Sherylin Kenyon: Chronicles of Nick, Invincible

43. Trish Milburn: Bane

44. Kresley Cole: Demon from the Dark

45. Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice

46. Kresley Cole: Lothaire

48. Elizabeth Peters: Crocodile on the Sandbank

49. Elizabeth Peters: Curse of the Pharaohs

50. Elizabeth Peters: The Mummy Case

51.Elizabeth Peters: Lion in the Valley

52. Gail Carriger: Soulless

53. Gail Carriger: Changeless

54. Gail Carriger: Blameless

55. Patricia Briggs: Alpha and Omega

56. Patricia Briggs: Cry Wolf

57. Patricia Briggs: Hunting Groung

58. Patricia Briggs: Fair Game

59. Tess Gerritsen: John Doe (Rizzoli and Isles series), story

60.  J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

61.  J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

62. Alyssa Harad: Coming to my Senses

63. J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

64. J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

65. Stephanie Laurens: Lady Risks All

66. Shayne Leighton: Of Light and Darkness

67. Temple Matthews: The New Kid

68. Kresley Cole: The Poison Princess

69. Kim Harrison: Pale Demon

70. Kresley Cole: Shadow’s Claim

71. Kim Newman: Anno Dracula

72. Natania Barron: Pilgrim of the Sky

73. James Rollins: City of Screams (novella)

74. Kim Harrison: A Perfect Blood

75. JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

76. Cassandra Clare: City of Bones

77. Cassandra Clare: The City of Ashes

78. Liesel Schwartz: The Conspiracy of Alchemists

79. Heather Graham: Keeper of the Night

80. James Rollins: Tracker (a short story)

81. Sacvan Bercovitch: The American Jeremiad

82. Perry Miller: Errand into the Wilderness

83. Cassandra Clare: City of Glass

84. Roja Dove: The Essence of Perfume

How I review

I guess I should have written this long time ago and not after three years of writing a blog (I still can’t believe it’s been so long).
But now at least I can look back and explain how I do it. If you had asked me in the beginning how I decide what to write, I don’t think I could have given a meaningful answer.

This post has mostly been prompted by the stuff happening in the book bloggers community that I managed to almost completely miss but that has been brought to my attention by this post.

So basically this is about books but is also valid for perfumes.

  • Most of the stuff I read is the books I bought. I probably should mention that in my reviews because if I think a book worth reading, I will buy it.
  • This is where NetGalley comes in – I get a lot of books for free from there. So far I only reviewed 12 of the 40 I received. Those are the ones that caught my attention amid everything else that I can choose from (and believe me, I can choose from quite a lot).
  • I don’t have a problem with not finishing a book. There are many out there I won’t have time to read so I don’t get worked up because I stopped reading a book that didn’t interest me. This also means if I reviewed it (even if not in the best of ways), I find it good enough to be read (before everything else I can choose from).
  • This brings me to the fact that I could put in action my own style of grading the books. There would only be 3 categories: Had to start reading sth else in the middle of the book as it didn’t really hold my attention, Read it without stopping for something else, and Had to force myself to go to sleep because I couldn’t stop reading
  • As my library (valid for perfumes as well) is rather large, the fact that I haven’t yet reviewed something I received for free doesn’t mean I didn’t find it interesting or good (but it could mean that), it probably means it wasn’t yet time for it to catch my attention – sometimes I’m in the mood for particular things and the rest lingers
  • I believe in being nice and polite to people – so if I don’t like something, I probably won’t get nasty about it, but then again, the topic probably won’t come up unless I’m provoked
  • Lately, my tolerance for YA adult novels is diminishing and by that I mean, I look for more than a new type of story
  • I also believe authors shouldn’t get all worked up over bad reviews – does everyone you meet in real life like you!? Why should then every review be a good one? Not to mention the fact that literary geniuses are rare.
  • I don’t believe my book reviews are typical – I don’t find it necessary to repeat the basics of the story (as that can be found everywhere), so I just try and go with things I enjoyed about a book (I just wish I was more in the habit of making notes while reading a book)
  • I’ll finish this list by saying I am always up for reading a genre I haven’t yet – one of those being steampunk novels (I look forward to reading my first one)

And to end with some of my thoughts on reading:

  • Have you ever noticed how everyone in novels speaks without problems? Usually all the sentences are correct from beginning to end without any hitches. I never talk like that. Then again, it might just be mine particular problem with forming and pronouncing sentences perfectly at all times.
  • The other thing I noticed from my favourite books, but it also seems books that are usually most loved,  and on top of lists, feature difficult, tragic situations where there is a lot of suffering for the main character – Is it just me, or does that sound very Matrix to you too? It wouldn’t be believable or good enough if there wasn’t suffering in it to balance the happiness?

Summer swimming among books

Hello everyone – I’m finally back! 🙂 Well, I’ve been back for a week now though it already feels more like I never left. I would never have guessed how much work can suddenly appear the moment I return from my vacation… Besides, it wasn’t possible for me to write last week – I had to do something about my blonde hair before returning here (sun and the sea do turn me into a blonde each year). So, now I’m a redhead again and have a little bit of time to share my summer memories.
I managed to read more books than I thought I would, but less than I wanted to. Around 12-13. Not sure at the moment. I have to say that James Rollins and R.E. Feist head the list of my top reads lately. I love them both, especially Rollins because you can actually learn a lot from his books. And it’s all fun. 🙂 I highly recommend it to all who read Dan Brown and thought: “Oh, I’d like some more of this!” or “This is awful, I expected so much more!”. James Rollins is so much more and in somewhat the same manner. Do give him a try. 🙂

Some of the more memorable days this summer was a visit to Jablanac, a town nobody really cares much about because the ferry will take to the island of Rab from there, so everyone just goes on. We spent a lovely afternoon there, taking a stroll and visiting one of the more famous coves in Croatia: Zavratnica. I didn’t know there was a sunken ship there (you might see some contours on the photo).

The photo of Jablanac harbor:

Entry to Zavratnica:

The contours of the ship:

Leaving island of Pag for mainland (on the ferry):

That’s it from me today. No perfume related thoughts – they are to come later in the week (thoughts on Boadicea line).

Btw, since I returned it feels like I lost my ability to differentiate between smells properly. Is it possible beacuse I rested my nose for almost 3 weeks, it will take some exercising it now?

New author discovery

I haven’t been writing much about books lately (not having enough time to actually read them) but I finished one from a new author (new for me, haven’t read anything of his before yesterday) and I am happy. 🙂 With the book, with the fact that there are more and with discovery. I am talking about James Rollins and Map of bones. I don’t know how many of you read Dan Brown and were interested, but in my opinion this is better. This one revolves around the 3 Magi (the ones who visited Christ) their bones, secret societies, lost gospels and all other interesting facts and ideas we are never going to know for sure. M-state gold (anyone heard of that before?) features prominently and I actually learned a lot. If you’re into thrillers, I highly recommend this.

And it came around the time there has been a lot of religious debate in my life – usually with friends. Do you believe that when the time is right, you get/find the information you are looking for? That seems to happen to me a lot. And the final word by Mr. Rollins at the end of the book is from Matthew: Seek, and you shall find. Well, couldn’t be more true if you ask me. This book has opened some new horizons for me, I just have to find the time to go explore them (several books are mentioned and I plan on getting my hands on them). 🙂 The only problem I face a chronic lack of time, but hey, who needs sleep? 😉

I have the second in the Sigma series (by Rollins) at home, so soon I hope I’ll be able to share my happiness over another of his books.

Picture by: digital.friscolibrary.com

New book series discoveries

I’ve been starting to get a bit anxious, even though my free time has dwindled to almost non-existing, I didn’t have anything new reading-wise to look forward to. Sure, I have dozens of unread books at home but since they are already mine and I’m not in the mood for most of them, I was looking for something new and interesting in the manner of Kresley Cole and Kim Harrison. And just in time, here come Lilith Saintcrow and Charlaine Harris. LS name came to my attention after reading about her on Keri Arthur’s site and browsing Amazon for similar books to those I usually read, and I am very happy I ordered the first book in her Dante Valentine series (Working for the Devil) and although I only started, I can tell I’m going to enjoy this one. 🙂 The only problem, I have to wait now for the sequels to come (after I order them today). And yes, she is actually working for the Devil.

It seems I’m a bit late to Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series and I wouldn’t have ventured even now if my colleague hadn’t borrowed me the first 4 books in the series to read. And I was asking him how come he was reading that because I thought they were children’s books? Which is stupid I know, because first, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and secondly I also read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. But the cover for Harris’s books just made me think they are not something I might be interested in – just check the cover and the heroine’s name is Sookie (it sounds like a little girl to me, but I’m wrong on that account) :
Anyway, it seems I was wrong about that one – I started reading it just to see if it’s interesting.
I like it and the series already already progressed to book 9, so I’m set for some time to come. Btw, I do that a lot – read more than one book at the same time. At almost any point in time, there are at least two books I started and am reading according to how I feel at the moment. Currently, it’s 3, the two I just described, and Sharing knife trilogy by L.M. Bujold. 🙂

And it seems that there’s actually a TV series True Blood made after the books. Hmmm, I do have to read the books first before going to watch them though. There is absolutely no pleasure doing it the other way.

%d bloggers like this: