Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

WWW Wednesday: 16th August 2017

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

I’ve had this on my Kindle for so long. My sister recommended it back when I was going through my phase of reading things like The Hunger Games and the Divergent series. After hearing mixed feelings on it, I finally decided I would read it. I have to say that so far I love it, even if there are a few cliches here and there. At just 40% in I’m not really sure who is the good guy and who is the bad. Brimstone is not my favourite right now, that’s for certain.

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What did you recently finish reading?

The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad

This is another book that has been gathering dust in my room. I was actually looking for a different book when I came across it and I really wanted to read a paperback instead of a Kindle book this time around, so I read it. The editing in it is God awful, but it didn’t take away from the story at all. It was gripping and really kept my attention throughout and I read it pretty quickly.

The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

As I mentioned in my last WWW Wednesday, this was a book I had bought before ever reading the Roy Grace series by the same author. As soon as I see a ghost novel, I just have to have it! In some ways I felt it moved a little too fast but it was still entertaining and the ending wasn’t as predictable as I thought it would be. As soon as I finished it, I tweeted the author and asked him to write more horror, which he liked but didn’t respond to. Hopefully he does!

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

I’ve already mentioned wanting to read this in my last entry. This was the book I was actually looking for when I came across The Silent Girls, so I’ll have to dig it out because the film is getting ever closer!

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Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

WWW Wednesday: 2nd August 2017

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

I got this book before I started reading James’s Roy Grace crime series. I love a good ghost story but I’m only getting around to reading it now. Basically, this family of three moves into a large, dilapidated house in England’s countryside and immediately strange things start to happen. I read a similar story entitled The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert, which was enjoyable so I’m looking forward to seeing James’s take on the haunted English country mansion.

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What did you recently finish reading?

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar

This is a mystery that has always fascinated me, and like everyone else, I had my own theories on what happened to the nine hikers. Until I read this book, of course. I won’t give away Eichar’s theory because I think you need to read the book to understand it. While scientific evidence backs up his theory, however, this is a story that will never be officially solved so it will always remain a theory and open to speculation. Eichar has me convinced though, so I thoroughly recommend this book.

Under A Pole Star by Stef Penney

I hate saying this after romancing about Penney’s books so much here, but I was a little disappointed with this book. Mostly the ending. Obviously, I’m not going to give anything away, but I felt it left too many questions and it was quite anti-climactic. In my opinion, the story was longer than it needed to be and that a lot of the pages were just filler. Still, I enjoyed a lot of parts of it so I won’t shy away from her books as a result.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

I’ll admit as soon as I heard this was going to be a film starring Michael Fassbender, I immediately wanted to read the book. The story itself sounds fascinating, so it’s not like I’m forcing myself to read it. It was actually my intended next book but given the tonnes of shoe boxes I have full of books, I couldn’t find it!

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Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

Throwback Thursday: Grave Sight (Harper Connelly #1) by Charlaine Harris

Throwback Thursday is a book meme created by Renee (itsbooktalk) as a way to share your old favourites and reminisce about why you loved them so much.

This week I have chosen Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris, the first of a four-part series entitled Harper Connelly Mysteries.

Goodreads Synopsis

Harper Connelly has what you might call a strange job: she finds dead people. She can sense the final location of a person who’s passed, and share their very last moment. The way Harper sees it, she’s providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living – but she’s used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. Traveling with her step-brother Tolliver as manager and sometime-bodyguard, she’s become an expert at getting in, getting paid, and getting out fast. Because for the living it’s always urgent – even if the dead can wait forever.download (13)

Why I love this book

Unlike the Sookie Stackhouse series (True Blood), this series didn’t go on longer than it needed to. I actually found this book on my bookshelf with no clear idea of where I got it. I think my fiance’s dad gave it to me, but I can’t be sure. I was already a few into the Sookie Stackhouse series so I recognised Harris’s name.

The story was what drew me in. Harris seems to give her main protagonists an unusual ability that wouldn’t be considered the norm of what we come across in the real world, such as psychics and mediums. Sookie Stackhouse was a telepath, and Harper Connelly can find dead people and instantly discover how they died. Naturally her gift is met with scepticism, especially due to the fact that she requires payment for her services. We have this natural assumption that if you have to be paid for an otherworldly gift, you’re probably faking it.

I love Harper, and her step-brother Tolliver, who seems to attract women like magnets! Their bond really makes this book, and it was easy to relate to them as you discovered their less than desirable past. I couldn’t wait to tear through the rest of the series and I can assure you it doesn’t disappoint. This would make a fantastic TV series.

Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

Throwback Thursday: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Throwback Thursday is a book meme created by Renee (itsbooktalk) as a way to share your old favourites and reminisce about why you loved them so much.

This week I have chosen Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. I received this book as a gift from my fiance in 2012/13.

Goodreads Synopsis

As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child, thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me… 51e--ljGmeL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love–all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

Why I love this book

This book keeps you hooked from the start. You feel like you’re with Christine as she gradually pieces together what’s really going on in her life. She wakes up each morning to a man she doesn’t recognise and the only thing she has to cling to is the secret journal she is keeping, documenting each day before her mind resets. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough she doesn’t even know if the man claiming to be her husband is who he says he is.

In my opinion, you can either tell a complex story like this really well or really badly. Fortunately it’s the former in this situation. Watson does an excellent job at piecing together Christine’s life through simple means and the suspense builds as more and more secrets come to light. And I can safely say that the film does it justice.

Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

WWW Wednesday: 12th July 2017

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney

I buy Penney’s books without reading too much into the synopsis for the simple fact that I love her books. She just has this ability to keep you hooked from the first page and she writes stories that are so unique (at least to anything I’ve read). And of course her stories are always deep and breath-taking. I’m only about a fifth of the way through (it’s a long book!) but I’m enjoying it so far!

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What did you recently finish reading?

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

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See my review here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

There are too many books I want to read next, most of which I’ve already mentioned here. And yet I still want to buy more and more books!

Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

Teaser Tuesday: Under A Pole Star by Stef Penney

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Purple Booker where you share what you’re reading at the moment and hopefully entice others to read it too. The instructions are as follows:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

I just started reading this book yesterday so I can’t tease very much, and to top it off I can’t exactly flip to a random page because I’m reading it on Kindle! If there’s a way of doing this, please let me know. Anyway, so far I’m enjoying this. I buy Penney’s books without even reading the synopsis because I love her books.

‘She learns that women are not expected or encouraged to ask questions of their lecturers. The men, down at the front, can engage them in conversation – one might call it banter – but the exchanges don’t quite carry up to the back of the theatre.’

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Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

Review: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Goodreads Synopsis

Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind–and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Lovers at school, the two young women now perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin, where a journalist named Melissa spots their potential. Drawn into Melissa’s orbit, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband. Private property, Frances believes, is a cultural evil–and Nick, a bored actor who never quite lived up to his potential, looks like patriarchy made flesh. But however amusing their flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy neither of them expect.As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally even with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.51KAGMZ0wwL

My Thoughts

To start off, I want to disclose that I am from Dublin where this book was set. From the first page I couldn’t help but cringe at how un-Irish the characters were. Of course this takes place on the rich/well-off side of Dublin, but I’ve met enough people from that general area and I wouldn’t classify any of them as being like the characters in this book. Frances and her best friend/ex-lover Bobbi have such deep conversations every minute of everyday, neither of them switch off, I just got the sense that too much research went into these interactions. None of the characters are even likeable. I couldn’t empathise with Frances because she was too fake, apparently trying her best to keep people at a distance but just coming off as rude.

Bobbi I can safely say should be classed as the worst friend in the world. While Frances wasn’t my favourite (no one in the book was), Bobbi really treated her like dirt, even going so far as to physically shush her when Frances seemed finally ready to open up. Who honestly treats someone like that? And don’t get me started on Melissa and Nick, an artsy couple from Monkstown who sleep in separate beds and cheat on each other to keep their relationship interesting. Again, just fake.

One line that really annoyed me, and maybe it’s just because I’m not from the fancy side of Dublin, but at one point Frances’s mother tells her “it was a far cry from Monkstown that you were brought up”, and where was Frances brought up? Sandymount. Let me tell you that Sandymount is just as rich as Monkstown and practically next door to it. I get the impression that Rooney has never stepped outside the bubble of the Dublin 4  area other than to go to the airport.

Don’t get me wrong, Rooney is a fantastic writer, which is why I’m giving this book at least two stars, but the plot was just too unbelievable to be good, with characters who have jumped straight out of a philosophy book. If you’re not from Ireland and you read this book, please don’t assume that’s what we Dublin folk are like, because we’re not!

2 out of 5

Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

Throwback Thursday: The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel

Throwback Thursday is a book meme created by Renee (itsbooktalk) as a way to share your old favourites and reminisce about why you loved them so much.

This week I have chosen The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel. Some of you may already know that I’m a believer in the paranormal, so naturally I was drawn to this book.

Goodreads Synopsis

West Virginia, 1966. For thirteen months the town of Point Pleasant is gripped by a real-life nightmare that culminates in a tragedy that makes headlines around the world. Strange occurrences and sightings, including a bizarre winged apparition that becomes known as the Mothman, trouble this ordinary American community. Mysterious lights are seen moving across the sky. Domestic animals are found slaughtered and mutilated. And journalist John Keel, arriving to investigate the freakish events, soon finds himself an integral part of an eerie and unfathomable mystery…411T5PDBW3L

Why I love this book

Well for one thing, it’s paranormal! And it’s supposed to be true. I say ‘supposed’ because I know not everyone is a believer. And even believers may have trouble wrapping their heads around this cluster of mysteries that happened in a tiny town in the sixties. Like Skinwalker Ranch, there was no main phenomena in this story. Sure the book is called The Mothman Prophecies, but the Mothman itself isn’t the main topic of thebook. Even if you’re not a believer, this book is fascinating. Keel is an excellent writer and investigator and I feel he doesn’t force the reader to believe in these events as fact, instead he leaves it up to you to decide.

Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lying Game

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that you’re eagerly anticipating.

I usually do WWW Wednesday but I’m still reading the same book I was last week, which either means the book is long and/or not that enjoyable (it’s the latter, but just barely). Anyway, I thought I’d give this meme a try.

For my first WoW I have chosen The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. Now I’ll be honest, I didn’t particularly enjoy her first two books but her synopsis’ just have a way of pulling me in so I’m hopeful that she’ll surprise me with a good one. They weren’t awful per se, her characters just need a bit of work.cover-image-the-lying-game.jpg

Publication Date: 25th July

From Goodreads:

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

Posted in Books, Literature, Reading

Teaser Tuesday: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (7/4/17)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Purple Booker where you share what you’re reading at the moment and hopefully entice others to read it too. The instructions are as follows:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday is apparently taking a break so I thought I’d give this meme a try!

51KAGMZ0wwLI’m very slow at reading this book and I’m still on the fence about it, in some ways it’s good but I look at it from an Irish girl point of view (this book is also about an Irish girl) and I just can’t relate to the main protagonist, but that’s just me! I’m halfway through it now so there must be something that’s keeping my attention.

“I fixated on perceived wrongs Nick had done to me, callous things he had said or implied, so that I could hate him and therefore justify the intensity of my feelings for him as pure hatred. But I recognised that the only thing he had done to hurt me was to withdraw his affection, which he had every right to do.”