Book stats: July Edition!

Books you read: 13

5 stars: Oh my! 8 of them!
1 stars: none – apparently I’m a generous reviewer!
DNF? Still not giving up on any book but ungracefully dragging few along for a while now :/
Genres: I mostly sticked with historical romance this month with some CR, manga, YA and even a bit of Persian poetry!

1. Were you happy with the amount you read?
I started out with a whole series of 7 books in first twelve days of July then had to tone it down a bit. I’m generally OK with the amount but will try to diversify a bit more in the future

2. If you had a 5 star read, what was it and why?
I dug deep into historical romances this month and I really loved Desperate Duchesses series so much I rated the whole series with 5 stars (all seven books)
Also I got to reread a favorite from a year ago and loved it even more than the first time I read it so I had to rate it 5 stars as well

3. If you had a 1 or 2 star read, what was it and why?
I had two 2 star reads this month. The first one rated so poorly because I just could get not into it properly. It was The Garden of Heaven: Poems of Hafiz by Khwāje Shamse Din Mohammad Hāfez-e Shirāzi
It’s a poetic translation from Persian and I felt the verses were somehow wrong in English. Themes were also distant to me and I lacked the historical background for many references involved.
Second low rated read was Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades: Book 1) by by E. L. James. My expectations were not met with this book and I was put off by how some themes were presented. I was most disappointed by the character of Christian Grey – I still don’t see what the fuss is about…

4. Any new book boyfriends?
Not boyfriends but many intriguing Dukes!

5. Any new jerks?
There was this awful bookstore keeper in The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke: Book 1) by Julia Quinn. He is the proprietor of GENTELMEN ONLY bookstore and was so rude about dispatching a lady from his bookstore that he got punched in the nose! Serves him right!

6. Did you start any new series?
Started 4 series! One I read trough all the published books. Second I will not be continuing. Third I’m thinking about continuing but not sure at the moment. And the last one I will be continuing when I find time.

7. Did you find any new authors that you loved?
Eloisa James – I love her writing style!

8. Any book you would recommend?
Desperate Duchesses series by Eloisa James for those who wish to meet some interesting Dukes and Duchesses
and Bully (Fall Away Book 1) by Penelope Douglas as a really good YA drama series.



JULY 31.

31) The book that reminds you of someone special

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

This is one of the rare books that has been preceded with iPad app and Academy Award–winning animated short film.

YES you understood correctly first there was a short movie and then came the book!

It is a book for dreamers and book lovers.


It is best described as an “allegory about the curative powers of story”.

The book was inspired by William Morris, children’s books publisher at HarperCollins and Joyce’s mentor. Joyce wrote a story about a man who gives his life to books when he was on an airplane flight to visit Morris. Joyce read the story to Morris, who died a few days after that.

Here is a link for the much praised short movie

I read this book and had to gift it to someone special who is as much of a dreamer and has imagination with similar curative powers.




JULY 30.


30) Lucky Dip -you pick


In Nordic mythology, Loki, Loptr, or Hveðrungr is a god or jötunn (or both).

In last few years his popularity grew after Tom Hiddleston took the role of Loki in Thor movie.

He is present in many literary versions some old and some new. One of the oldest presentations of Loki are part of poems in Poetic Edda and myths in Prose Edda.

Loki has sired few children. Three upon a giantess named Angerboða. Váli (or Áli) and Narfi were Loki’s sons by his wife Sigyn, who was a giant goddess of Ásgarð. Sleipnir’s birth is a bit strange since Loki was his *mother*! Loki transformed himself into a mare (female horse) in order to distract a stallion named Svaðilfari, which belonged to a certain giant. The stallion impregnated Loki, and the eight-legged Sleipnir was the result.

In poem Lokasena which is pretty much about gods hurling insults at each other there are few interesting parts involving Loki. At one point during the exchanges, Óðinn accuses Loki of spending eight years in the form of a woman on earth serving as a milkmaid to a troll or giant to whom he, in his female form, bore children. As insults go this one is rather colorfull indeed.

He is a Trickster god and most times he is portrayed like a perfect person to blame for all that goes wrong in Norse mythology.


JULY 29.


29) Favorite likable villian


She is a villian that appears in The Mortal Instruments series.

According to the lore in the books she is a Greater Demon who is credited as the mother of all warlocks and the “first of all demons.” Lilith is described as beautiful, except that she has black snakes protruding from her otherwise hollow eye sockets. She has long, shining black hair. Her shape is slim and lovely, and her skin white.

I like her attitude and how she is portrayed. There are not many respectable female vilians out there IMO.

Here’s a quote that made me love her character:

” Lilith looked at him, shaking her head slowly, her dark hair swirling around her like smoke. “I am the oldest of demons,” she said. “I am not a man. I have no male pride for you to trick me with, and I am not interested in single combat. That is entirely a weakness of your sex, not mine. I am a woman, I will use any weapon and all weapons to get what I want.” ”
pg 259.

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments book 4 ) by Cassandra Clare



JULY 28.


28) Favorite animal character

Blackjack is a black pegasus that turns out as an animal companion for Percy Jackson trough Rick Riordan’s book series about Greek and Roman demigods.

Blackjack made his first appearance in Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson series book 2) and has been reappearing in the books ever since.

For those who are not familiar with the series you need to know that the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has 5 books and is continued in The Heroes of Olympus series for which book 5 is coming out October 7, 2014.


It is a mythical creature rather than an animal.The name Pegasus (plural Pegasi) comes from the Greek word for spring. Legend tells how the first Pegasus sprang from the neck of the Gorgon slain by the demigod Perseus. He was the son of the Gorgon and Poseidon, and wherever his hoof struck the ground, a spring flowed. The Pegasus flew to Olympus and brought thunderbolts to Zeus.

Pegasi are winged horses. They have been known to come in a variety of colors from brown, to white, to black, and even mixed colors (ex: brown and white). They are named after the original Pegasus. They are his offspring.



JULY 27.

27) For National Parents Day- The best worst parents in fiction

blueeyed boy

Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris

This is a dark and intricately plotted tale of a poisonously dysfunctional family. Reading this book felt a bit like being stuck in asylum.

“Once there was a widow with three sons, and their names were Black, Brown and Blue. Black was the eldest; moody and aggressive. Brown was the middle child, timid and dull. But Blue was his mother’s favorite. And he was a murderer.”

The mother of the story is a proud widow who has to raise three sons on her own. Her expectations from her sons lead to tragedy on so many levels. Every son has a different color of cloths he is supposed to wear.


As raising children goes some of the parenting solutions mother in the story employs are shudder worthy. There is food poisoning – intentional or not is debatable, some other punishments involving food, corporal punishment with cables, stress on presenting the children as special to other people for the purpose of rising above suburban mediocrity, ever present guilt trips,…

The story is written from the perspective of one of the sons. The story is crazy and it will have you running in circles to figure out what’s real and what’s not.


JULY 26.

26) The novel you wish you’d written


So Many Books by Gabriel Zaid

Ok, so it’s not a novel, as in work of fiction, but actually literary criticism on book industry from the turn of the century. The reason I wish I had written it is connected to the fact that I have a masters degree in Information sciences and this books represents for me the enthusiasm of someone who considers the book industry area which one is interested professionally and passionately.

While reading this book I remembered how much I enjoyed going to college and learning. I do miss it. This book is about dreamers and professionals. It is one of the ultimate reading materials for anyone who dare call himself book lover.

Here are some quotes from the book that show how timeless the ideas from this book truly are.


“What does it matter how cultivated and up-to-date we are, or how many thousands of books we’ve read? What matters is how we feel, how we see, what we do after reading; whether the street and the clouds and the existence of others mean anything to us; whether reading makes us, physically, more alive.”
Gabriel Zaid, So Many Books




JULY 25.

25) A book that is your guilty pleasure


Dartmouth Cobras series by Bianca Sommerland

Yes it is another book series!

I got the first book as a Kindle freebie and loved it. It was one of those books you find by using search words such as: free kindle erotica, free kindle romance, free kindle menage.

It started out as a porn seeking adventure and now I’m even interested in hockey – I’m not a sports fan of any kind. In short this is a story about a hockey team called Dartmouth Cobras whose players have one thing in common – they all into S&M scene. The main coach is the owner of a private club which most players are members of. They are a  team who participate in playoffs and want to win the cup one day. There’s even a team listing in the books.

Then I went and bought a Kindle edition boxset of the first three book. Because I’m still not completely into spending money on e-books and I prefer buying paper books so this was a nice way to tell myself I’m saving money with the boxset edition

After that I bought book four


While I’m peeking out on buying the book five

I see the book six has come out!

I like how author made her promo page for the books.

A word to the wise:

This is a book about S&M ( and it is nothing like that fluffy Fifty Shades of Grey books).

In this book there are things which many will find provoking and even distasteful.

There is hardcore BDSM, polyamorous relationships, group sex, kinky sex, bisexuals who aren’t afraid to show it, some really daring characters


JULY 24.


24) A book that reminds you of an English teacher

Abstinence Teacher
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

The reason this book reminds me of my high school English teacher is the similarities I see between her and the main character of this book. Both are very caring in what they do and think of well being of others a great deal.

This is what I like to refer as a *vanilla book*. By that I mean a contemporary real life based book – no supernatural, no kinky business – ALL PLAIN STUFF THAT CAN HAPPEN TO ANY OF US AT SOME POINT IN OUR LIVES.

Main character of the book is Ruth Ramsey who is the high school human sexuality teacher whose openness is not appreciated by all her students—or their parents. This book illuminates the powerful emotions that run beneath the placid surface of modern American family life, and explores the complicated spiritual and sexual lives of ordinary people.

It also touches to some issues that I figured I feel rather strongly about.

I will not start on the issues I have with organized religion for the sake of ones who might stumble on my blog and read it – it would be a frustrated rant filled with negative comments.

I think the author did a fine job at writing about this topic.






JULY 23.

23) Favorite novel with exotic background


Kushiel’s Dart (Kushiel’s Legacy book 1) by Jacqueline Carey

A Novel of Passion, Magic and Betrayal

The story takes place in a land which is geographically very much like the world we live in.

What is so exotic is the people and how they live in a world the author imagined. The place where the story starts is called Terre D’Ange and its inhabitants are descendants of angels. The people are called D’Angelines. Their country’s credo is:

Love as thou wilt.

Terre d’Ange is divided into seven provinces, each with a companion as its patron deity. Cassiel, who eschewed mortal love and never fully rejected the One God, is the only companion without a province. The Cassiline Brotherhood, however, follows the ways and philosophy of Cassiel and have a prominent role in d’Angeline society. Naamah (patron Goddess of the Night Court) is the patron of Namarre, Anael of L’Agnace, Azza of Azzalle, Shemhazai of Siovale, Camael of Camlach, Eisheth of Eisande, and Kushiel of Kusheth.

This would be Kushiel

I like how author imagined her characters and their view on life. Main characters go on epic adventures and those adventures have just the right amount of aspects that are familiar to our real world but just enough exotic details to make the readers want to experience more alongside with main characters.


Main characters embark on an epic journey and it turns the series into a real adventuring saga – the whole series has nine books total which are divided into three trilogies.

First three books are centered on the character of Phèdre nó Delaunay – a character that inspired many a fan.

“Whip us ’till we’re on the floor, we’ll turn around and ask for more, we’re Phèdre’s Boys!
We like to hurt, we like to bleed, daily floggings do we need, we’re Phèdre’s Boys!
Man or woman, we don’t care, give us twins we’ll take the pair! We’re Phèdre’s Boys!
…But just because we let you beat us, doesn’t mean you can defeat us, we’re Phèdre’s Boys!”
― Jacqueline Carey

Second and third trilogy continue in same manner as the first. These are captivating intriguing books that will amaze the reader and make him blush.


I find the background to the story to be quite exotic!