Monthly reading review – November 2017


Monthly reading review – November 2017

This November I have read:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery ★★★

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1) by Seanan McGuire ★★★★

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1) by Rick Riordan ★★★★

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf ★★★

Saga, Vol. 4 (Saga, #4)  by Brian K. Vaughan ★★★★

Saga, Vol. 5 (Saga, #5)  by Brian K. Vaughan ★★★★

Saga, Vol. 6 (Saga, #6)  by Brian K. Vaughan ★★★★★

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg ★★★


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

This November I’ve read eight books. This is a slight rise from last month and I am pleased with the amount. I just happen to have many books I want to read nearby and ready!

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

The best character this November is undoubtedly Ghüs. He is one of the characters from graphic novel series Saga. While not one of the main characters he is one of the characters that steals the show in most scenes he appears. He is a lovable bipedal seal-man who herds cattle resembling walruses on the planet Quietus. I’ve loved him in all the scenes he appears in but this last volume 6. he made me laugh out loud.


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

Mrs Dalloway has been a rather depressing influence this month and I had trouble shaking it off. The Elegance of the Hedgehog has been mostly pensive but the character of Paloma just rubbed me the wrong way and I felt irritated reading parts of the book from here perspective. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe I managed to enjoy from time to time and every time I did one thing or the other in the book made me angry.

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

The general plan was to read more and enjoy what I’m reading more. I read all the books for both book club reading groups and I’ve even read one ahead of time. Everything I read in between was quite enjoyable.

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

I was planning to read the last book from the Magnus Chase series but when I started with the introduction I realized there were some things from the Apollo series I did not start reading yet. So I went and started a new series with the The Hidden Oracle. I treat most of the Rick Riordan’s book series as a one big book serial. They mostly intertwine with characters and stories that build on the universe the author created. I have now another from the Apollo series and the Magnus Chase book three on the ready and hope to start them soon. Aside from that I did catch up on with the Saga graphic novel series and will be waiting on the next three volume omnibus that comes out next year in translation. Also I read the first book in the UF October Daye book series. While I liked it quite a bit it will have to wait for the opportunity to get the other books from the series.

Soo yea! With the exception of book club reading I was all into catching up and getting back into some good book series!


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

Getting back into reading the things I love has made me a happier person. I recommend enjoying more books and getting back to the characters we love since there are so many great book series out there. Rick Riordan and his characters will always have a place on my book shelf and I’m happy to recommend them to anyone! Saga is a wonderfully designed story in the form of a graphic novel. Some might find it a bit crude and it is intended for a bit more mature audiences. It tells some great stories and introduces some great characters for those willing to see them.



Final thoughts on November reading

I have posted three book reviews in November:

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1) by Seanan McGuire ★★★★ – REVIEW

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1) by Rick Riordan ★★★★ – REVIEW

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf ★★★ – REVIEW

I have been more productive in November than in the previous months. I hope I will continue with this pace. I have few happier books planned in December. The numbers are not going up for the books read but I am happy with the books I’ve read. Again I am reminded to enjoy books I own and have placed on my TBR long ago.



Mrs Dalloway – Book Review


Finished reading

Mrs Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf



This is my first book by Virginia Woolf. I did not look into what she wrote about. All I knew about her and her work was that she was a well respected British author. This was one of the books that came as a reading assignment for one of my book club groups. Getting into the book started with reading a bit on the author herself. Reading how she was manic depressive and she even committed suicide in 1941. did not give me any warm feelings about this book.



This is a rather short book ( around 150 pages depending on the edition ) written as a stream of consciousness storytelling. I was actually quite surprised how easily I could follow the stream of thoughts and jumps from one character to the next. Main character Mrs Dalloway is the center piece of the story as much a well thought flower arrangement would be on the dinner table of a very important evening. While all characters share a city they live in most are connected trough Mrs Dalloway. The character of Septimus shares an inner struggle with the main character even though they never really met or know each other. The contrast of the two brings out the tragedy and a cautious warning of the story.


Because the stream of thoughts and subjects intertwine and change so often this book needs more of readers attention. While it can be considered short, every word is chosen with care and carries a deeper meaning in the picture of London society after the First World War.

What should be noted with great respect is one of the first times that the topic of post traumatic stress was delivered in a brutally honest and painful way.  Also the carefree tone in which characters draw conclusions about the fates and lives of others is well pointed out.


This book extremely affected my mood while I was reading it. I kept returning to melancholy and depressing thoughts. Some of it was due to the PMS but some was the heavy tone of the book. I did not read it in time for the book club meeting and had finished a few days later. It made me think on the differences between Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as another written work set in the nineteen twenties. Only Fitzgerald had more glitter to it.





TBR Jar Draw November 2017


First a little update for those who don’t know what my TBR Jar Draw is about. Somewhere at the start of this year I have decided to try and read more of the books I already own. Out of my TBR (To Be Read) pile of books on Goodreads I have selected some of the books I own and wrote the titles on little pieces of paper each. Once I month I draw three titles from the jar and decide to read one of them. This gives me a reason to go trough my bookshelves and find the titles I might have overlooked or forgot about. Here is the link to the post from March that got me started –> TBR Jar Draw 

october tbr pano

Last month I squeezed two books for TBR Jar Draw. After finishing the book The Frog Prince in a rather short time I went and pulled another three titles which gave me Rosemary and Rue. My thoughts on The Frog Prince can be read HERE and my thoughts on Rosemary and Rue can be read HERE.

The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

# Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home (Broken Heart #4) by Michele Bardsley

# Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1)  by Joe Abercrombie

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:


1 # The Age of Odin (Pantheon #3) by James Lovegrove

This is the book my boyfriend owns. I bought it for him actually along with the rest from this series. Years back we did a few reading challenges among us and this is one of the books he chose for me to read. This was from when I first started writing this blog. You can find the link on the summary of our first challenge HERE. As you can see The Age of Odin is one of the books he choose for me that I did not read in the end. I still kept it on my TBR list on GR out of guilt. And now it’s come back to haunt me and make me think about some new challenging ideas for next year 🙂


2 # The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) by Philip Pullman

Woow this is embarrassing! The Golden Compass is the book from the second reading challenge my boyfriend and I did. Yet again it is one of the books from the challenge I did not read. You can check out how the second challenge my boyfriend and I made looked like HERE. To my defense I only bought this book last year at Interliber book fair in Zagreb. Another Jar Draw with snow on the cover makes up for a great themed reading up to December though.


3 # Master of Chains (Forgotten Realms: The Fighters, #1) by Jess Lebow

This book I got ages ago while I was a student and was more into Dungeons and Dragons roleplay. I was actually surprised to find out that I bought the first one since I did not look into it much when I got it. I have three books from this series. Lately I have been thinking about playing Dungeons and Dragons again. This might be a good way to get me in the mood.


While all the options above are solid for one reason or another I just might dive into a new book series with The Golden Compass. I am still undecided.

The Hidden Oracle – Book Review

Finished reading

The Hidden Oracle

(The Trials of Apollo, #1)

by Rick Riordan



At first I wanted to read the new book from the Magnus Chase book series The Ship of the Dead. But then while I was settling in for a comfortable afternoon of reading I started noticing how much what happened at the end of the book The Hammer of Thor is actually in sync with things that are happening in The Trials of Apollo book series. This left me with having to close the book and put it back on the shelf AND in its place I took The Hidden Oracle and started with a new book series. I planned reading it anyway and I’m even buying them along with Magnus Chase books. I was a bit more interested in Norse mythology. I fully intended to learn what was happening with the characters from The Heroes of Olympus book series from which I only got a few glimpses of Annabeth of since she is related to Magnus. The last line in The Hammer of Thor left me more than giddy! All hype aside The Hidden Oracle was kinda a means to an end – finally getting to reading the last Magnus Chase book and having  a grasp on all the subplots and many characters in this mythic universe.


I am mostly out of the loop on other people reactions and comments of Rick Riordan’s book series until I finish reading them. This way I avoid spoilers since I usually don’t get to buy the books as soon as they come out. For all those who are not familiar with these books a few sentences of caution: Starting with the Percy Jackson book series the author has created the intricate collection of book series and characters who live in the same world and sometimes appear and visit each other. Percy has five books and two heartbreaking movies – heartbreaking since the plot was so messed up and different than the books in the first movie that they barely managed to scrape up enough ties and make a second movie. After the Percy Jackson five books series comes The Heroes of Olympus book series that introduces the Roman deities to the  original Greek ones. Somewhere along those lines is a separate trilogy Kane Chronicles that deals with Egyptian mythology. There are a few short stories and novellas where Percy and Anabeth meet Carter and Sadie. Otherwise the Kane Chronicles are not mentioned much. After Heroes of Olympus comes Magnus Chase book series and shortly after the first Magnus book come in The Trials of Apollo.

Now after that not so short introduction let’s get down to the actual book The Hidden Oracle. I had certain issues with grasping the character of Apollo. The plot was very easy to follow and the scenes were easy to imagine. Rick Riordan has a way of making scenes in his books easy to picture as a movie or a TV series scenes. The introductory “Fall of Apollo” was a great start of the book. Making the beautiful god Apollo mortal acne troubled teen was a punishment indeed.

I like how the story of this book builds on the books and characters from the previous books. Apollo is a likable character but I found Meg very interesting as well. I hopped along on getting to know more details on some historical figures and learning about the new bad guys.

Some might consider this next part a spoiler so be aware that I will bring out some characters from other books that drop by in The Hidden Oracle.

Reading about fan favorites like Nico and Percy and even Chiron was great. It gave me a serious craving to watch the Percy movies again even though they seriously suck in comparison to the books. Don’t get me wrong movies are kinda okay for someone who did not read the books and I can even enjoy them but thinking on how much better they could have been chafes a little…

While reading The Heroes of Olympus I grew rather fond of the character Leo Valdez and I was glad to see him come back to the story center.


I was a tad bit apprehensive about reading this book since I’ve grown quite fond of Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase book series. The witty banter and the slightly sarcastic humor was there but the appeal that Percy and Magnus hold for me was not really there for some reason. I liked this book and will continue with the storyline and the next book but I still love Magnus and Percy better!

New Books November


Only three weeks after my trip to Essen Spiel I visited a book fair Interliber in Zagreb. At Essen Spiel I bought many games and one graphic novel String Theory (Wayward volume 1) by Jim Zub and Steve Cummings. This time since it was a BOOK FAIR after all I went and bought some books I planned, some I did not plan and some I just had to have. On the picture above is my Interliber loot! I am sorry for the bad quality of the photo. This year I was a bit more controled by my budget and have bought eight books in total. I managed to snag a nice amount of bookmarkers 🙂

Here are the books I got:


Cable, Vol. 1: Put Svjetlosti

(Cable, Volume I #97-100)

by David Tischman

This was bought as a gift for my boyfriend. It is a Croatian translation. Cable from the Marvel Universe is a villain  from the Deadpool storyline. The English title is Cable, Vol. 1: The Shining Path (Cable Volume I #97-100).

Saga, #2

(Saga, #4, #5 and #6)

by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)

I had waited a whole year for this one. I’ve decided to own Saga in Croatian edition by the publisher Fibra. It has been a few years since I’ve read the first three in English. conveniently Croatian edition is a really chubby compilation that collects three volumes by six chapters each in one big hardcover package. I’ve bought the first compilation earlier this year and now I’ve finally gotten the new one at Interliber. The publisher decided to release them once a year at Interliber in these chubby hardcover editions. They are quite heavy!

expanse pano

Leviathan Wakes  (The Expanse #1)


Caliban’s War (The Expanse #2)

by James S.A. Corey

I have been trying to decide on this series for over a year now. Usually I don’t buy Croatian translations since there is a problem with publisher not finishing translating the series. I decided to trust this small Croatian publisher Hangar 7 to keep translating the rest of the series. They decided to keep the original English edition cover and I like that. It was a big step for me.

amy pano

The Hundred Secret Senses


Saving Fish from Drowning

by Amy Tan

These two books were bought as a gift for the mother of my boyfriend. I was looking for a something for her and these had the melancholy historical vibe that the woman likes. I got them on sale for an excellent bargain price I hope she likes them.

riordan pano

The Ship of the Dead

(Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3)


The Dark Prophecy

(The Trials of Apollo #2)

by Rick Riordan

I actually agreed to order these after Christmas. I asked around with the sellers that sold books in English and none of them had it. Until I came across one of the seller booth that were just making room for the books that just arrived…As soon as I saw them I had to have them. What I loved about them is that they were exact same hardcover edition as the others I already have. I binged! I’m already halfway trough Apollo Trials first book so I can continue with these two! It’s very motivating!


Rosemary and Rue – Book Review


Finished reading

Rosemary and Rue

(October Daye, #1)

by Seanan McGuire



This book caught my eye when it first came out over seven years ago. The title alone drew me in for some reason and the author was someone I heard good things about and wanted to try out. I did not seek it out right away and some years have passed until it caught my attention again. When I saw it on sale I grabbed it and bought it. Only when it came up on my TBR Jar Draw did I finally got to reading it. While knowing I will enjoy it I was also apprehensive about diving into another urban fantasy book series that I will have to find rooms on my shelves for. So far there are over ten books out already…



For me this book was very easy to get into from the start. Lots of things happened right from the beginning but the pure enjoyment of a good urban fantasy book series made me dive right in without much problems. At first I kept thinking how the story progressed like watching a TV series.

I had issues with grasping the measure of the main character October “Toby” Daye. She is so many things at once and her complexity amazed me at first. The character has history and many layers starting from origins and family all trough profession and infamy among other characters.

“I’ve never liked being looked at like I was a hero. I always wind up letting someone down. Sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes the only person who gets hurt is me.”
― Seanan McGuire, Rosemary and Rue

I found that most fantastical characters in the book were well represented as quirky and at the same time dangerous fairy creatures. Even though most of the characters were deadly in their own right they were kinda endearing as well.

15202586_10155055511129026_8115242602276247248_nMy cat Cicero after her exploration of the all nooks and crannies our attic had to offer

Author has channeled her love of cats in many ways trough the book. With cats being well represented as they are in reality; there were a few fantastic cat like creatures as well that enriched the story.

And this may come as a possible spoiler but while the main character remained blissfully unaware of one cat in particular being in love with her – the love interest for one of the many books after this one for me was more than obvious.


The story came to a bit of a dramatic ending toward the end and that is the reason I gave it four stars instead of five. I truly enjoyed this book and was pleasantly surprised by the main heroine. While I hope to get the next books soon It will probably have to wait for a bit until I finish at least one of the ongoing urban fantasy series I follow.


Trip to Essen Spiel 2017


This year for the very first time I have made the 1600 km trip to Essen Germany for the annual Essen Spiel fair. For the better part of the year we were putting money away to make the best of the trip and come back with our bags full of games. There were eight of us and we rented a van. The seventeen hour drive from Osijek, Croatia to Essen, Germany was an adventure on its own.


Veni, Vidi, Vici!

The fair lasted for four days but we were there only for first two. As it turned out this year Essen Spiel set new records in the number of exhibitors and visitors. As the boardgaming community grows so does its industry. There were a little over one thousand new board games (including numerous first translation editions in German, French and some other languages) to buy and see in over six big halls.

We were there on a shopping spree and shopping we did! This is the picture of our FIRST day loot before we stored it away in the back of our van tetris style.


I got my most wanted new bookish game this year – EX LIBRIS by Renegade Game Studios. There was a hold up on the customs from China with the games for some of the publishers including Renegade Games Studios. For the whole first day there were only some few demo games available. The games for sale including my pre-ordered Ex Libris arrived little after noon on Friday day two of the fair. I remember being happy for games actually arriving and finally getting the one I wanted.


We spent whole of two days at the fair walking around and buying games. It was busy and hectic with people and noise. With all the games both used and new there were sellers of old and used books and some new gaming books as well. Among all the games we bought I managed to sneak in one graphic novel I love. I did a review two years ago when I first read it and if you are interested you can read it HERE.


We also visited The Dice Tower show and it was just great feeling the energy of the crowds. Next year we hope to go again and enjoy the whole four day experience! Until next year here is the picture of the games my boyfriend and I brought home with us!