Year: 2015

Book Blogger guilt

Being a book blogger is awesome, but not all the time. I’ve found that along with the receiving free books, and the excitement of getting books before they are released to the peasants of the public, getting to participate in blog tours (and knowing that authors actually know you exist!), there can be a lot of guilt. Last month for example, I committed to writing a post about ebooks, and in return for this post $40 was to be donated in my name to Books for Africa. I did not write that post. Poor children in Africa did not get that donation, and I feel terrible about it. I did have a good excuse (what with my father being gravely ill – He is back in hospital unfortunately), but I still feel terrible about it. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. So I have decided to list all the things that make me feel like a guilt factory when it comes to blogging, and how I avoid dissolving into a puddle of …

Book Review – Lirael by Garth Nix

This is the second book in The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix (sometimes referred to as the Abhorsen series), if you haven’t read the first book in the series, Sabriel, you can check out my review here (if you like. No pressure). As with most of my reviews of sequels, this one will be short and will contain no spoilers of Sabriel or Lirael. What’s it about: Sensible girls, less sensible boys, Necromancy, and sassy talking animals. So the first book in the series, Sabriel, is about a young girl who is the daughter of the Abhorsen (Big Daddy Necromancer). When her father goes missing, she must travel through the Old Kingdom, which is full of dead things that want to eat your face, to find him. And the fact that Sabriel is one of the most sensible protagonists I’ve ever encountered, just makes this book lovely to read. So what about Lirael? Lirael is the story of two separate characters, about 14 years after Sabriel. The story of Lirael starts off with poor …

Book Review: Railsea by China Mieville

 “People have wanted to narrate since first we banged rocks together & wondered about fire. There’ll be tellings as long as there are any of us here, until the stars disappear one by one like turned-out lights.” What’s it about? Basically, it’s a retelling of Moby Dick, but instead of a whale, we have a giant carnivorous mole rat, and instead of a ship, we have a train. Sounds awesome? That’s because it is. This is one of China Mieville’s works that is more suited to a younger audience, but this guy can really write for any age. “As long as humanity has rolled on the railsea, the rigours & vigours & bloody triggers of the underground have been legendary.” What did I think? It’s completely brilliant. Go read it now. I’ve never read a more cleverly written book in my life. This was just brilliant. It has a non-traditional sentence structure that reads a bit like poetry. I actually found myself only reading this book home alone because the writing was just so wonderful …

Five beautiful editions of Alice in Wonderland

There are so many beautiful editions of Alice in Wonderland out there and sadly, I don’t have them all (life is so unfair!). But I thought I would share five of my favourites with you because they are so pretty. The Penguin Clothbound Editon The Penguin Clothbound editions are all beautiful and fairly inexpensive, and the Alice in Wonderland one has flamingos! Who doesn’t love flamingos? Anyone? Didn’t think so. You can find it here. The Barnes and Noble Leatherbound edition (well, one of them. There are about five different versions) I have at least three different B&N leatherbound editions of Alice in Wonderland, but this one is probably my favourite, mainly because Alice is sitting on a throne like a boss. You can find this beauty here. The Camille-Rose Garcia illustrated edition This edition is so gorgeous. It has some of the most beautifully vibrant illustrations. I received this one as a gift, and I was actually surprised by how bright and beautiful it is. I now want her versions of Snow White and Cinderella. …

A long overdue book haul.

Hello, dearest ones. As you all know I have been off thesis-ing. I have also had my father almost dying from septic shock because a damn surgeon doesn’t know how to wash their hands properly, thrown into the mix (he’s totally fine by the way). Anyway, it’s been chaos here in Tina-land. BUT some good things have also happened, I have been offered a job, but it does mean extending out my PhD so I can get a bunch of experiments done before the next grant round. So that means that my thesis writing has become a little less frantic, and hopefully that will mean I will actually be able to read something other than scientific journals. There just really aren’t enough dragons in scientific journals. Anyway… Book haul! First up is the riffle paper version of Alice in Wonderland. It this looks familiar, it’s because it sort of matches the Puffin in Bloom books (it’s not the same size, but similar otherwise). Getting this in the mail was so exciting because I pre-ordered it …

Happy Halloween and Recommendation of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Happy Halloween, to those of you lucky enough to live in countries that celebrate Halloween, and condolences to those who don’t (like myself). It’s not Monday, but I’m here with a recommendation all the same. So I decided to take a brief break from dying (I’m being a tad overdramatic but I have had a flu-like thing for like 7 weeks now and it’s getting a bit ridiculous) and writing about cancer and the immune system to mention one of my favourite horror classics, The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill. Firstly, I love female horror writers, and I believe Susan Hill is known as one of the best horror writers around. This is the only one of her books I’ve read but I really enjoyed it and it’s pretty creepy. “For I see that then I was still all in a state of innocence, but that innocence, once lost, is lost forever.” The Woman in Black is the story of a young lawyer sent to sort out the estate of a woman after she …

Book Review: Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

So just a quick review for this one. This book was released last halloween I believe, but I really enjoyed it, and thought it deserved a mention again this year. What’s it about: A haunted Orsk store (fictional equivalent of Ikea). When strange things start happening at their work, they decide to spend the night…. it does not end well. What I thought: I really enjoyed this book! There is something about it that gives it a zombieland (but with ghosts instead of zombies) vibe. It’s a really fun horror read. Having had my first trip to Ikea only recently, and having to miss my lunch plans because I was “trapped” in the store and couldn’t get out, I felt that this book perfectly captured that trapped feeling. I loved the store manager character, Basil. If Moss from The IT Crowd managed an Ikea, I think he would a a bit like Basil. The best thing about this book is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a really fun book. And it’s quite …

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Sorry I have been completely absent of late. I am currently writing up my PhD thesis. It’s been taking up pretty much all of my time. One might say I’ve been sciencing the shit out of things. On to the review. I’ve been meaning to read this for a really long time, but I finally got around to it and I loved it. What’s it about: An astronaut is left alone on Mars when his team leaves him for dead (whoops!). He has to try to survive alone on Mars until he can be rescued. What I thought: This book is so entertaining. Everyone I know who has read this all say the same thing: they read it in one sitting. It is absolutely impossible to put down. I though the format in which this book was written both worked and didn’t at the same time. Mark Watney (astronaut left on Mars)’s perspective is written in the format of his log. It works in one way because it’s absolutely hilarious. I found the whole end …

Recom-Monday-Tions – Alice in Wonderland

Hello everyone. Sorry that I have been so absent, but I’m just super busy writing my PhD thesis. This is one of those books that everyone read as a child, but few have read when they are a bit older. If that describes you, you really should give it a re-read. And if you haven’t read it at all, then you really really need to do that right now. Right this second. Off you go. “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” I also thoroughly recommend this edition, which the wonderful Alison from readaroundtherosie sent me for my birthday. It is one of the Classics Reimagined collection. And it is so beautiful! you can find this one here.

September Wrap Up + Book Haul

Hello everyone and welcome to October! In September I didn’t get as much reading done as I would have liked, but as I mentioned in my previous post, I have started writing my PhD thesis, so it’s unlikely I will be getting a lot of reading or posting done for the next few months. Probably the most exciting thing here this month was that I got to release the official teaser for the third book in The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon in Bloomsbury’s The Mime Order blog tour. I could not believe I was chosen for such an honour! Read the teaser post here Also, the giveaway winner has been drawn and contacted! Read and Reviewed: I read only four books this month, but they were all pretty damn good. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – Review – 4 stars The Humans by Matt Haig – Review – 4 stars The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins – Review – 4.5 stars Only Ever Yours by Louise …