Tag Archives: Reading

Summer vacation is over

And autumn seems to already be here…

When I looked back on my vacation, I realized I really did get enough rest and I enjoyed my time off. Even when the weather turned cold and windy. The books occupied my time while I waited for the sun’s return.

I’m not sure if you can see it in this picture, but the wind “bura” was blowing and there is a white fog over the sea.

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But then, when the wind and the rain stopped, it became possible to catch pictures of sun through the trees.DSC_0043

Most of my vacation was spent in Smokvica, we just traveled for the last few days to southern Dalmatia to watch  Maraton lađa – a famous event in that part of Croatia where teams compete on the river Neretva in rowing old-fashioned boats native to that region. For 22,5km! That is more than 2,5 hours of rowing.

But before the main event, we were lucky to have dinner at a place that features this sunset in front of it. DSC_0053

And views like this one:DSC_0056

In order to get to the start of the race boats are organized for tourists that first take you for a swim and a lunch and then to the start of the race.

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And here go the teams – there were 34 of them.DSC_0064

This is what cheering from the boat looks like. 🙂

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And now I’m back in Zagreb, just so you don’t think my hair always looks that disheveled, I have a fresh hairstyle.

(that will probably be disheveled in 2 days time) 😀DSC_0078

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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

Quick bookish reviews

I don’t think my thoughts on each of them would suffice for a post, so I’ll just talk about them all together.

James Rollins: The Eye of God

Reading a James Rollins novel is always a thrilling ride. The fact that he can take legends or rumours and turn them into a credible alternative that is always a bit scary to ponder but unbelievably believable (couldn’t find a better phrase, sorry) – is what makes his novels always my top choice once they are released.eye of god

Basically, an action-packed, thrilling ride through the world with interesting bits of history thrown in for a possible alternative view on what we think we know.

Which is why I’m leaving you with this quote I found a bit scary to ponder:

“Could that be possible? Could Plato have been right all along: that we are blind to the true reality around us, that all we know is nothing more than the flickering shadow on a cave wall?

 

John Oehler: Aphrodesia

I admit, thinking that there might be a true aphrodisiac in any form is scary. Seems I’m reading books with scary ideas in them. 😉

The book is full of interesting tidbits from the perfume industry which I found fascinating (loved the part where IFRA is criticised).Aphro-cover-209x300

I also loved the idea on which the story is based and the difference a minute thing can make. What I had a problem with was the main character Eric. As he seems to lack much of a character. It seems like his nose and perfume ability is his only defining quality. He certainly doesn’t seem to have read a crime novel in his life because it was kind of obvious who was behind his perfume disgrace/fall (well, I had 2 people on the list but it became clear rather quickly that one of them didn’t do it).

It might just be me, as far as I can tell, nobody else had a problem with Eric. But he’s such a bad read  of people’s characters, it’s tragi-comic and basically, in my opinion he came off as a bit stupid for real life (one outside perfumery).

That said, how cool is forensic perfumery?! Love that!

 

Alex Connor: The Rembrandt Secrettherembrandtsecret

Another novel with an interesting crime twist. Turns out I either read too much crime novels in life or writers no longer try to hide who the killer is.

I admit, I expected it to be more of an art crime thriller when it’s actually an art crime novel. The only thrilling part of it was learning that Rembrandt was a bad person and that a character in the novel wears Bal a Versailles.

Even though the letters this novel revolves around are fiction for the story of the book, the fact that the woman who wrote them existed and suffered at Rembrandt’s actions remains true.

I can’t say I was excited after reading this book but I did enjoy it a lot and will definitely pick up the other thrillers by A. Connor. I got  a bit hooked on the art history you can learn about reading this. 🙂

 

Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays

I’ve kept the best for last. 😉

Now, this book has really amazed me. This won’t sound nice but it was better than I expected when I started reading it. It’s an intricate YA story of time-travel, power-hungry people and friendship.

The great part? You really need to think through some parts where time travel is involved. 😀

The story switches from the perspectives of the future characters come to the past and the present people who, it won’t take you long to realize, are the same. This doesn’t even qualify as a spoiler.AOY-Cover-Hi-Res

I don’t want to mention what exactly it’s about because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But you can probably guess if the future characters returned to the past, it is because of something that needs to be changed in the past.

This was just so well written, I enjoyed it a lot. Even though Marina in the present day is a bit of a self-centred teenager. 🙂

But the fact that  my heart beat faster at some points, and then constricted at others, and kept me awake when I should have been sleeping… Those are clear signs how good I found it.

The best thing? It’s not part of a series! Finally! 🙂

Cinda Williams Chima: The Enchanter Heir

I’m back in the YA universe it seems. I was re-reading HP this summer and now I read The Enchanter Heir so it seems my feet are firmly back on the YA road. Ok, I’ve been reading some other stuff but nothing as much as these.

I admit I almost stopped reading this book, since in the beginning I had a problem getting into the story. A new world with different types of let’s call them “gifted” people with their words for everything and no explanation forthcoming for a while. It all got explained eventually and it’s possible other readers might not have this particular problem as it seems there are other books in the series.

Unlucky for me though, those books are single ones. This one isn’t. So I’m back to my standard pet peeve. I really hate it when a good book ends up nowhere and you have to wait for the sequel which never comes out in a month.

What’s wrong with writing a longer book?! I mean, I know what’s wrong with that – you only get paid for the one book then. But that is not a question for this post.

Of course I wouldn’t get so upset over it if I didn’t enjoy the book so much.enchanter

“They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre-the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a network that hunts the undead. 

Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life-and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions. 

Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Nightshade, bringing tensions between the groups to a head.

Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid increasing concern that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again.”

Emma and Jonah are really well done characters. Sometimes I wonder with so many YA novels out there, if the writers have a hard time making their characters become singularly different. These two are. I just wish I got further in their story than I did. 😦

Once you get into the story and understand who is who, it gets very interesting. There are some lethal political games being played in the background (which will hopefully be explained in the next book), the Thorn Hill survivors turn out to be freaks but not because of their strange abilities, but because of the characters. I mean this in the best possible way. I like freaky people. 🙂

I loved the fact that such a prominent role is given to music. I can’t wait to read how it will all unravel in the next book…

 

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