Monthly Archives: June 2012

Quotes

I am an avid collector of quotes. I love reading something and have it immediately stand out, immediately connect with me. And I thought that I might share some of my favourites with you all.

Personal

From Cybele’s Secret by Juliet Marillier:

If a man truly loves… he gives no heed to what others may think. His heart has no room for that, for it is filled to the brim with the unutterable truth of his feelings.

From George R.R. Martin:

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

From Frankenstein (1994), spoken by the Creature:

I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine, and rage the likes of which you would not believe.

Study Related

From Edwin Chatwin, about those who study literature and history (my two majors!):

For what was literature after all but the study of idlers who read for amusement, and history but one great field of cram, of reliance on misery, and of dodging?

From Neil Gaiman, on librarians:

Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.

Do you have any favourite quotes? I’m always interested in finding more!

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A sad moment…

I just bought a book.

Normally, this is a good thing. I love buying books, or (more to the point) having books. I have a bedroom largely comprised of bed and books… I have three (reasonably large) plastic boxes full of books that I don’t currently have room for. That’s a lot of books!

But this time, the purchase of a new book is leaving me feeling a little bit sad. Why, you may ask?

I haven’t bought a book for three months.

Three months ago I made this post in which I stated that I would not buy another book until I had read every single one of the 30 books I had just bought, or until the next Juliet Marillier book came out.

Well, I still haven’t read those thirty books… (Though I did manage to read 21 of them!) But I just pre-ordered the newest Juliet Marillier – it is launched Australia-wide on July 1st.

Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be more excited about Shadowfell! It’s just the kind of dark adventure young-adult fantasy I love to read, and a Juliet Marillier work as well! That’s almost a guarantee I’ll love it! I’m just a little sad at the thought of breaking my three month streak. I was feeling quite proud of myself! There were many, many books I wanted to buy over these last three months, and I resisted them all! Very proud. 😀

But at least I know that Shadowfell will look pretty on my shelf. (I have the perfect spot for it!)

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And I learnt something about self-restraint over these last three months. There have been quite a few books that I was sure I needed wanted only to look at them again a few days/weeks later and realise that I don’t really need want them after all… There’s definitely something to be said about a waiting a few days before making a purchase…

Though that doesn’t mean that I’m not looking forward to hitting up some bookstores now that my dry spell is over. Because I am. Those bookstores will not know what hit them! 😀

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This.

This makes me happy in so many ways. 😀

Lord of the Rings remix by POGO

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Book Review: Century of Sand by Christopher Ruz

Century of Sand

Richard and Ana are on the run.

As a young soldier, Richard led a rebellion that installed the King’s sociopathic Magician as the new regent. Now, after forty years of watching his comrades vanish into the dungeons of Stonebridge Castle, Richard has fled the kingdom with his mute daughter in tow, escaping into the desert wastes where magic still boils in the clouds and demons walk the dunes inside the bodies of men.

The Magician isn’t far behind, and he’s brought a pet: the Culling, an undead stitched-together tracking dog with a taste for blood. But Richard has his own weapon, stolen from the Magician himself: the calcified heart of a demon, which he hopes to trade back to its original owner in exchange for sanctuary. What he doesn’t know is that his daughter, Ana, is far more valuable than the stone. She was the last piece in the Magician’s grand weapon, and he’ll tear the desert in half to get her back…

Century of Sand is a 120,000 word novel, and the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy that follows Richard and Ana as they chase down legends and battle to stay one step ahead of the Magician. Murderous warlords, a priest with a dark past, and creatures torn from Richard’s nightmares lie between him and salvation.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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May Short Reviews

 Featured this month:

  • Beauty Sleep – Cameron Dokey
  • Snow – Tracy Lynn
  • The Crimson Thread – Suzanne Weyn
  • Belle – Cameron Dokey
  • Wild Orchid – Cameron Dokey
  • Golden – Cameron Dokey
  • The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis

May was very much a month for young adult fairy tale retellings, some of which I really enjoyed and others of which I was not very fond. It was a small month reading-wise, mostly because of university assignments and far too many social commitments. Add a little bit of Christian philosophising and you have my month in books! Hope you enjoy this month’s reviews!

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 1

Day 1: Your favourite book

So we’re finally here, at the end of this 30 day challenge – and it’s taken me more than 30 days!

This has actually been a very interesting challenge for to do, and I loved the experience of having to delve further into why I like this book and not another. What makes a favourite scene? A favourite title? I think that my answers say a lot about me, and sometime I’m going to have to look over them again, and find out just what that is! Until then though… here’s the answer to the last challenge.

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

Heart’s Blood was published at the end of 2009, and I’ve already read it at least three times. I am the first acknowledge that it wouldn’t be the best book out of every one that has been published. But ever since I first finished it, Heart’s Blood has been my favourite.

It is the book that feels in every way as if it was written just for me, with amazing characters and a storyline that kept me entertained the whole way through. Of course, it’s a Juliet Marillier novel, and I love her writing. The way she writes can leave me feeling as if I am in the story, walking alongside the main characters as they face trials, and learn about themselves, and each other.

This is such a hard book to describe. Though Marillier herself does pretty well on her website:

Heart’s Blood is a love story, a ghost story, a family saga, a story about people overcoming their difficulties, and a little slice of Irish history, as well as a homage to a favourite fairy tale.

And that’s just scraping the surface!

Heart’s Blood focuses on Caitrin, an orphaned young woman who is fleeing her own dark past when she comes upon the mysterious Whistling Tor. The locals talk of madness, a haunted forest, and a cursed castle. They tell Caitrin of Anluan, their deformed and incompetent leader, locked away in the castle on the hill, and they warn her to stay away. But when a job is offered, Caitrin makes her way up to Whistling Tor and finds herself immersed in secrets. Surrounded by the strange household and the temperamental Anluan, Caitrin embarks on a journey to discover the secret behind the curse on the castle, and the strange host hiding within the forest.

Caitrin is a fantastic character, vastly independent and yet insecure at the same time. Strong, but no so strong as to dominate the story and the other characters. Again, (and naturally!) Juliet Marillier describes Caitrin brilliantly as

“a character who starts her journey with a lot of uncertainty and learns not only to appreciate her own good qualities but also to show several other characters that despite their mistakes they are fine people, worthy of love.”

This is a fantastic story, from every viewpoint, and one that I will happily re-read again and again. I know it’s not the kind of story that everyone would enjoy, but would definitely recommend Heart’s Blood to anyone who likes fairy tales, mystery romance, historical fiction or fantasy! This is an adventure not to be missed!

 

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 2

Day 2: Least favourite book

First things first, I don’t hate this book. As a rule, I don’t hate any books and always try to find at least one redeeming feature about each book I read. But I was so disappointed by this book that it kind of is my least favourite. There is so much that could have been done, so many ways the plot could have been covered… And it just didn’t get there for me. This book is my least favourite because it didn’t fulfil the promise of its summary.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

I’ve actually read this book twice. Once, because I loved the idea of it, and the second time because I refused to believe that I hadn’t enjoyed it. Surely, I thought, it must be better! With a plot so brilliant, how could I not have enjoyed The Picture of Dorian Gray? So I re-read it. And I realised what it is I don’t like about Oscar Wilde’s novel.

There are actually some parts of this novel that I love. I love the premise of it, the whole idea of a painting growing older (and more ‘evil’) while its subject remains unchanged. And if it had been published as a novella, it would have been one of my favourite stories. Therein lies the problem. Short as it is (229 pages), I think Dorian Gray would have done much better even shorter. The storyline would have been so much more powerful if the more rambling and descriptive aspects of Wilde’s writing had been cut out.

To be honest, I skimmed a large portion of the novel when I re-read it earlier this year. Wilde had such a tendency to philosophise and debate that I was losing interest in what is an amazingly interesting story, caught up in the tedium of his descriptions of Dorian’s vanity and arrogance (see Chapter XI, the one I all-but skipped). Perhaps I’m being rather harsh, but I really did have such high hopes for this novel.

And I really did enjoy many aspects of it. I just wished that those aspects had been the whole thing.

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