Challenged July

I was very happy more than a year ago when I managed to get myself on reading sprees with around twenty books per month. This year I was trying to get back to that pace. That was what last month reading challenge was all about.

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What I wanted was to make a change and what I ended up with is a change in attitude – I’m more aware of the rest of my life besides reading. This came out of universe conspiring against me last month.

Every aspect of my life had a little shakedown. Work, family, boyfriend, friends, weather, technology…

These are not the things I could have controlled. Even with all of these I gave it a try to make the best from my challenge.

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Here is how I did:

RL Bookclub assignments:

1# The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Book 1) by Douglas Adams

2# Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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Continuation of book series:

1# Night Broken (Mercy Thompson book 8) by Patricia Briggs  ✔

2# Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles book 7) by Kevin Hearne – NOT READ

3# A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry book 9) by Laurell K. Hamilton ✔

4# Red and Her Wolf (Kingdom series book 3) by Marie Hall – STARTED ON

5# The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus book 5) by Rick Riordan – STARTED ON

6#A Perfect Blood (The Hollows book 10) by Kim Harrison – NOT READ

7# Opal (Lux book 3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – NOT READ

I was amazed of how good it was to finish the two series I managed to read. I need to remember that feeling more.

Finishing books from June:

1# Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades book 2) by E.L. James

2# Les Contes de Grimm by Marc Girard

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I had issues with reading Fifty Shades Darker. I found it exhausting. And the mere thought of reading Les Contes de Grimm made me feel tired last month.

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Library Wild Card:

The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker

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Books I want to add to July reading:

Finishing Buffy and Angel graphic novels I have on my shelf

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Did not even get to reading Buffy and Angel graphic novels off my shelf!

Personal reading challenge – July 2015

1# Read three books that belong to a three different book series I already own! ✔

Two of the book series were in paperback edition and one was kindle.

2# Read all the books for the RL bookclub ✔

One small victory here!

3#Make time to read at least 50 pages every day – X

There were days when this was not possible. 

4#Read 15 or more books in July – X

Complete fail!

5#Finish a book series or bring it up to date ✔

One small victory here!

6#Make at least 5 book reviews for the blog – X

I managed to do four out of five.

7#Finish all the reading in progress books by the end of the month! -X

I even added more to the already big pile of reading in progress books!

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Monthly reading review – July 2015

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Monthly reading review – July 2015

This July I have read:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy( Book 1) by Douglas Adams ★★★
Night Broken (Mercy Thomson book 8) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad ★★
Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry book 9) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★
Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker ★★

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1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

This July I have read 5 books. I’m not happy with the amount but I am happy with the books I read.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in June? Any scenes or character that made a lasting impression?

The best book I read in July holds a tie between Night Broken and A Shiver of Light.

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

I have to say that the worst book of July for me was Bram Stoker’s Lair of the White Worm. Not only I did not enjoy the book but it also made me think less of the author as well.

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I had failed to do achieve my reading plan for July. I was very motivated for making it happen but in July some things beyond my control started to take my life for a spin. Only positive thing I can say for my plan is that I did all of the RL bookclub reading!

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

This is one of the things I feel good about for July reading. I managed to do get two book series up to date and one new series started!

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

I recommend going back to book series that make the reader feel good. For me this July those were Mercy Thompson series and last book from Merry Gentry series.

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I finished this month with six books I’m in the middle of reading!

Les Contes de Grimm by Marc Girard
Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades of Grey book 2) by E.L. James
Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus book 5) by Rick Riordan
Duchess War (Brothers Sinister book 1) by Courtney Milan
Red and Her Wolf (Kingdoms book 3) by Marie Hall

 

Lair of the White Worm – Book Review

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Finished reading

Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker

Expectation

From the author of famous Dracula comes this … By the info on the author included at the end of the book I managaed to rationalize the reasoning for this book – he was an obnoxious proper Englishman (I know he as from Ireland originaly) who worked as a producent for a theather and all those plays got to his head for this story read more like a script for how mechanical the scenes and characters seemed. Must not  forget that this was written after Dracula. I expected some cool ghotic horror story and maybe a little something to brag about I read a book by Bram Stoker that is not the Dracula…

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Summary

Plot revolves around a younger man named Adam Salton who comes to England to meet his old great-uncle for he seemes to be his only next to kin. Story is filled by many historical quirks and mentioning of older history of England soil – from before the times when Romans brought civilisation on British islands. What was most annoying for me to read were there dominance stare contests, which I later discovered were part of MESMERISM fad that was popular in 19. centuary England.

V0011094 A practictioner of Mesmerism using Animal Magnetism Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A practitioner of mesmerism using animal magnetism on a woman who responds with convulsions. Wood engraving.  Mesmer, Franz Anton 1734-1815. Wood engraving c.1845 Published:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

V0011094 A practictioner of Mesmerism using Animal Magnetism
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
http://wellcomeimages.org
A practitioner of mesmerism using animal magnetism
on a woman who responds with convulsions. Wood
engraving.
Mesmer, Franz Anton 1734-1815.
Wood engraving
c.1845 Published: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Group therapy using hypnosis - Date: 1863

Group therapy using hypnosis – Date: 1863

 

If you are still confussed here is another picture in which the hand motions of power weilding are shown as well.

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And also there is severe racist theme trought the book. It is directed towards the only black character fittingly named Oolanga. Characterisation of Oolanga and the way he is treated by other characters speaks volumes of the authors thoughts on black people and people from Africa in general.

Portrays of all three female characters were at times insulting to read. They get to be weak and need protection or evil and need killing.

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Conclusion

The plot was mechanical like it was written to be a script for a really bad play. I would not recommend this book for anyone looking for a good way to pass the time reading. Those with more morbid tastes in reading go right ahead!

And while you’re at it you might want to try this movie with the same title. The plot is a bit different but it seems as it was based upon this book

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A Shiver of Light – Book Review

Big-ShiverFinished reading

A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry book 9 ) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Expectation

I was kinda angsty about this book. It has been years since I’ve read the last one. Last book Divine Misdemeanors came out in 2009.  I was afraid I will not be able to pick off where the story ended five years ago. This proved not to be true!

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Summary

In the last book from five years ago, main character Merry is finally pregnant (the quest for her to get pregnant started in book one!) We also learn that by divine intervention she is having more than one baby by more than one father! I allways liked the totally different approach Sidhe and fey have on sexuality, nudity an privacy. Back when I first started reading this series I found it refreshing. I always thought that this series would have been a great anime series since the hair coloring, character outlooks in general and even character behaviours are on the quirky side.

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I really wouldn’t mind having one of these busts on my bookshelf!

This book drew me in and I was very quickly reminded why I loved this book series. I loved reading about Merry’s men, guards, loves and friends. The babies were intriguing. The post natal depression was a bit over the top though.

I cannot say this without the spoiler alert so here it goes:

ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG! SPOILER ALERT!

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 One of my favorite characters dies in this book. Sholto dies :(

He even gets one last happy goodbye. And everything is too good to be true. And he admits to being the  happiest he has ever hoped he can be….

There is a goodbye sex scene with his extra bits – which I find hot BTW!

…and than bam…..he gets killed…

It took three chapter for me to start believing he is really killed off….

Conclusion

I did not like how quick the ending was wrapped up. I would have liked to read it instead of getting the short version… This is the thing I disliked most about this author. These little fast wrap ups at the end of each book. I always feel like I’m missing something. It even gets me to look up some fanfiction just to get closure. I sometimes get inspired to write my own ending just to get it out of my system…

 

Heart of Darkness – Book Review

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Finished reading:

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Expectation

As one of the noted classics of modern literature I had some expectations from this book. The reason I read it is that it was a RL bookclub assignment. It is not something I would have chosen on my own.

Heart-of-DarknessSummary

I was reminded yet again of my inability to understand the differences that inspired people to treat those of different skin color as less. Trought the whole book I had a feeling that something was missing. The prose seemed sterile in the ascetic descritpitons Marlowe uses to conwey his story. I have missed to see the greatness in the character Kurtz. But I do see something intriguing in the character of Marlowe and the way he was driven to start his journey. I liked him a lot better before the character Kurtz was introduced.

If the story was written today it would have been filled to the brim with scenes of violence and gore. I have probably watched the movie Apocalypse Now when I was younger, but I have successfuly blocked that memory, I dislike war movies. War movies that show scenes of thoughtless acts of violence even more.

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Conclusion

I have a newfound appreciation for all the native people who live off the land whose lifestyle we call primitive. It takes more humanity than a modern man has, to live out there in the wild. Primitive need for power in the mind of an ordinary man can bloom into frightening things when men are forced to gaze into the abyss of their own being.

Night Broken – Book Review

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Finished reading:

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson book 8) by Patricia Briggs

Expectation

This is one of the urban fantasy book series with seriously well made characters. Mercy Thompson is one of the most believable female protagonists I have ever read. Reading any of her stories is a truly satisfying experience. I enjoyed all of her books and this one was no exception.

I like how even supernatural characters have to deal with some very mundane problems and Mercy kicks butt while she is at it. Her Coyote ancestry gives her just the right amount of mischief to lighten up the mood but does not distract from thriller plot in general.

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Summary

This time Mercy had a little extra trouble to add with all the supernatural baddies. Her werewolf mate’s ex-wife came to stay at their house. I admire Marcy for her courage and patience. Werewolves, shifters, ancient spirits, vampires and some silly humans too…

This is a tune to be played by Coyote Himself!

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Conclusion

Can hardly wait for the next book to see how plot results from this book ripple out into the next ones!

Personal reading challenge – Book list

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Here are some of the books I will be reading in July:

RL Bookclub assignments:

1# The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Book 1) by Douglas Adams

2# Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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Continuation of book series:

1# Night Broken (Mercy Thompson book 8) by Patricia Briggs

2# Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles book 7) by Kevin Hearne

3# A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry book 9) by Laurell K. Hamilton

4# Red and Her Wolf (Kingdom series book 3) by Marie Hall

5# The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus book 5) by Rick Riordan

6#A Perfect Blood (The Hollows book 10) by Kim Harrison

7# Opal (Lux book 3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

 

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Finishing books from June:

1# Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades book 2) by E.L. James

2# Les Contes de Grimm by Marc Girard

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Library Wild Card:

The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker

Books I want to add to July reading:

Finishing Buffy and Angel graphic novels I have on my shelf

Wish me luck!