The Uncommon Reader – Book Review

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Finished reading

The Uncommon Reader

by Alan Bennett

★★

Expectation

This book was a book club assignment. When it first came out I was not that impressed with it. It looked fancy and it was presented like a book lover book. But somehow I just was not interested enough to pick it up. What I liked about it now was the small size and page count.

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Summary

First of all the Croatian translation of this book was a bit special. The hardcover edition had covers of red velvet. The spacing and the letter size was very luxurious as well. I actually felt spoiled using the book marker ribbon that was a part of this book. It was amazingly practical. It is in all a very beautiful edition.

“Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting.”
― Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader

At first I wanted to make a list of all the books and the authors that the main character started her love of reading with. But soon it was obvious that there were too many of them and the list would be irrelevant. Reading is a personal activity and our choice of books should not be evaluated by anyone but ourselves.
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Conclusion

The authors background in play writing was obvious. Plot wise I would have preferred to see this book as a play. Other than that, the evolution of a reader was nicely depicted. I could summarize this book by a quote:

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Queen of Dragons – Book Review

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Finished reading

Queen of Dragons

(Drakon #3)

by Shana Abe

★★

Expectation

The first book of this series was something different from all the books I was reading at the time. It is historical romance, with all the ladies and lords and proper etiquette in England long past. Add fantastical elements dragons! The second book of the series got me hooked. It took me a while to get this book and continue the series. But immediately after I got it I started reading it. I was really in the mode for a book with dragons and romance.

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Summary

Again it took me by surprise the historical romance feel of the book. There are lots of mysterious plot holes in this this book. Some of them I’ve written of to the time it passed since I first read the first two books of the series. But as I got more into the book there were more of them. The author lets out lots of things without explaining too much. There is a backstory with dragon tribes. The complicated and rigid traditions. The coloring of the dragons in this book was intriguing for me. Maricara is a strong character and I kept wanting a happy ending for her.

“But this man…this powerful, lovely man was not afraid of her. He was also a beast, and an earl, which seemed to be something like a prince in this country, and he was not afraid. And he was tender, and he was strong, and he was drakon.”
― Shana Abe, Queen of Dragons

Sex scenes were scarce but steamy. I’ve developed an easy connection to these characters and want the next book! At first I thought the plot was slow and then it seemed that this book was just an episode in a longer saga.

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Conclusion

This book had me in suspenseful reading binge. I loved center characters. It was a book less about romance and more about intrigue and mystery. It made me feel like the build up from first two books is coming together finally. Rhys is a character I’m hopping to learn more about in the next book. I’m unsure when I’ll get the next book of the series.

New books August 2017

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After almost four months of abstaining from getting new books I’ve finally had some new additions to my collection. The guilt trip for the all time low amount of  reading has managed to settle down a bit since I’m working on finding my reading mojo again. To celebrate I ordered some new bookish delights. Around a month ago I had to storage two smaller bookshelves to make room for the actual furniture ( silly I know! Why would anyone need furniture when you can have bookshelves??? ) And now I’m overfilling the rest of the bookshelves once again…

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Much Ado About Vampires (Dark Ones #9) by Katie MacAlister

This book was actually a present my friends brought for me from their trip to Portugal. They made a great effort of finding a book in English for me and I will make an effort to read this silly book. I’ve read one of the books from this author before but I’m not sure which one since it got lost while I was moving from Shelfari (</3) to GR.  Might even read the Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing first.

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This one is actually for my boyfriend. Since the trailer for the upcoming movie came out I thought he would like it. I might read it too. Heard some really good reviews for it as well. As a child born in the eighties this is supposed to be the perfect novel.

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Shadow’s Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2)

by Kresley Cole

This is one of the urban fantasy series I read and collect. This one is part of a Dacians plot line which is the most interesting for me. I got frustrated since the format of the book I got is a bit different and bigger than the rest of the books I already have. Aaaand just realized I missed the sixteenth book of the series!

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Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark, #16) by Kresley Cole

So I just ordered this one from BD (Book Depository) It was really bugging me that I missed it.I think it was the cover that I’m not too pleased about. I had to….

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Queen of Dragons (Drakon #3) by Shana Abe

This book was what prompted me to buy this whole bookish goodies batch. I was in a mode for UF romance with dragons! I already started reading it an I’m halfway trough. I read first two books years ago and there was something about the historical England, Earls and dragons in particular. It has a really shiny cover design and its kinda cheesy. Right now cheesy works for me and I’m going with it!

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This would be all for a while. Need to get my hands on the book I already own and actually want to read.

A Wrinkle in Time – Book Review

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Finished reading

A Wrinkle in Time

(A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)

by Madeleine L’Engle

Expectation

For years now since I started to look at bookish lists on the Internet I would occasionally stumble upon this book. I’ve read some mixed reviews and when I saw it translated in Croatian I was even more intrigued. I’ve even managed to buy a copy of this book and the second book in the series sometime in the past year. When I was clearing out some of my bookshelves and taking down some stuff for storage I put both of those books in boxes since I did not think I was going to be reading them this soon. To my shocking surprise my RL book club decided to go with something light and short for the summer and picked A Wrinkle in Time. So I dug it up and started to read…

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Summary

What prompted my bookish friends to pick up this book was its status of a children’s classic AND the fact that next year there will be a movie based on it. Movie with Oprah, Chris Pine, Resse Whiterspoon and many others. It’s gonna be a blockbuster. But this is not the first time this book was made into movie. There was a TV movie in 2003. with Gregory Smith and there is even a recent graphic novel edition from 2010. Originally this book was first published in 1962. I was nicely surprised with mom of the story being declared a at home scientist. I thought that was impressive and progressive. What I found appealing was the positive simplicity of explaining science and learning.

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There is no easy way of putting this…I really DID NOT LIKE this book. What really did not sit well with me was the way how main character’s flaws were treated. It was more like go with whatever you feel at the time and don’t try to think before you scream your displeasure.

 

There were so many parts of this book that just felt wrong for me. Most of the time reading felt like experiencing life in a day of a schizophrenic child. The writing style was so dumb down it was just bad. There was one character whose only way of communicating was quoting wise sayings of others. While the wisdom it imparted on the story was wise indeed, the story as a whole felt chopped. I resent the fact that this is a fantastical story and had almost no descriptions. Main characters travel the universe and land on three planets where they meet fantastical creatures. There was something about this book that made it all bland experience.

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Most commentaries I’ve come across where regarding the authors religious implementations to the book. That way it was handled felt off and jumped out of the story. Part of what set me to not like this book is in the Croatian translation. Some names were mixed and the translator’s struggle with some word forms was obvious. And the cover is just off-putting…

Conclusion

In all honesty I’m not sure what set off such bad feel for this book but I’m feeling it anyway. I would have preferred if the book had more meat to it. My initial reaction was instant regret to buying it and wanted to get rid off it as soon as possible. This book is a mix of some really awesome things and ideas. The way it had all come across did not sit well with me and I’m left displeased after reading it all…

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La Dame aux Camélias – Book Review

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Finished reading

La Dame aux Camélias

by Alexandre Dumas fils, 

★★

Expectation

After a rather dry reading period I was pleasantly surprised to see this book as an assignment for my RL book club. It was a classic, a somewhat mysterious love theme AND it was not very long. It was an excellent book to get my reading mojo back on!

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Summary

For a mere 250+ pages book it sure gave me a headache. I took to reading it very slowly some thirty pages at a time. I loved the melancholy feel to this book. At times it was very dramatic and angsty but I enjoyed those parts as well. There was a noticeable difference between the writing style of this book and some modern novels I’ve been reading this year. The wording and wordsmithing was much appreciated.

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Our RL book club meeting was kinda loud and we poured our hearts into discussing the definition of love in the novel and the characters faults. As much I liked the book I did not see it as “greatest love story in the world”. What I learned about the book afterwards was very enlightening. The titular character was based on a real courtesan the author was in love with. I find it endearing and noteworthy how the author portrayed courtesans and their lives. As a person from twenty first century I can appreciate the effort to shed some light on lives of women about whom it was forbidden to talk about in polite society at the time. Needless to say this book was banned in the past. There were many points that were big on drama. There were passages I found it unnerving to read the martyr like behaviour from the leading characters.

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This book inspired many theater plays and movies. I did not know that the famous La Traviata was based on this book and it was interesting to see many move versions as well. There is even one with Greta Garbo and the never version where the role of Armand is portrayed by Colin Firth!

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Conclusion

Some parts of this book were thought provoking. I’m very glad to have read it. This book was a good choice for the return of my reading mojo! The book club discussion was great and very relaxing. I look forward to more books like this one!