...and takes some with her afternoon tea as well.
These are all from my instagram account. As I do snapshot my reading habits quite a lot, I decided to make a little collection right here and to share them with you.
Never judge a Stephen King book by its cover. Or its publisher, for that matter.
I have started reading Stephen King when I was quite young, maybe even too young, I would say and I was lucky in a way because I only got my hands on one book that was so scary I could not finish it - Pet Sematary (I was fourteen..)
I always enjoyed his writing style, it was not too complicated, not too showy, not too simple, just what I was looking for. Joyland is a Stephen King book after a somewhat break from his novels for me, and I am glad I did not let myself be repelled by the terrible cover.
Alright. Let me say a few things to the esthetic part of this book. NO. This cover is the worst I have seen in a long time. The painting that is printed there is not even so bad - on its own. As a background, it just does not work. Then the font.. what is wrong with that? First thought is that it is a cheap detective story not even worth reading. That cannot be how you want to catch your reader's attention! Last thing about this.. the spine. Oh my dear sweet mother of Mary.. this novel has got the most ugly spine I have ever seen. Just google it. I cannot even find words.
The insides of the book. Well done, Stephen. As always, I was very lucky. This story was not as scary as some of his other pieces are, and I am grateful. I am scared very easily by words as my imagination spins out of control quite easily. The story took its time with the real action and there was a longer foreplay (let's say) than I usually expect but it was good, I liked the effect of it. The plot as a whole was well thought through. I had no idea what was going on with the mystery and detective part of the story, and who was the bad guy until the last few pages - I like that.
The only thing I did mind about the writing was that it had no chapters. It had parts divided by hearts (yes, by ♥) but that is not good enough for me. I need chapters so I can set boundaries for myself (one more chapter and we are going to sleep, OK? etc.) so this I found a bit annoying.. but I survived.
Very enjoyable story and now I want to read more Stephen King because it's been quite some time apart (if I do not count his book On Writing, of course).
I have read quite a few books this month but surprisingly did not take as many photos of books as I usually do.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
On Writing by Stephen King
Perfume by Patrick Süskind
This book took me a ridiculously long time to get to, partly because I didn't own it until about a week ago, I guess, partly because I simply didn't feel like reading John Green (how often does that happen, huh..)
When I read Paper Towns (after reading Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars) I was honestly a bit let down - but only because of my expectations after reading two novels I fell in love with. I felt the same with An Abundance of Katherines as I felt with Paper Towns.
"I don't think you can ever fill the empty space with the thing you lost. I don't think your missing pieces ever fit inside you again once they go missing."
I was happy to read the writing style of John Green. Personally, I think it is a very distinguishable one, and still one of the writing styles that never ever bore me. Although the storyline was terribly predictable, that is what life sometimes is, at least in your head. You imagine the best scenario of what could happen next - and sometimes it works out. I am glad I finally read this novel, and I enjoyed it quite a lot but I don't think I will be picking it up anytime soon. I will although put it on my shelf to complete my John Green collection. And perhaps one day, one day soon, I will go back to the story again.
A quick update of my life: I am currently staying in England and I will be here for six weeks. This is basically what books I am reading while in England. Yay!
Perfume by Patrick Süskind
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (super excited for this one!)
Celebrations by Maya Angelou
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
I found this tag on youtube where my favourite (possibly) booktuber did this and I kinda couldn't resist not participating. It looked like way too much fun for me to miss out on this. Let's get this started, shaaall we?
I) It's morning and a hint of sunshine is in the sky. What book has had a great start for you?
This would have to be The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I wasn't really sure whether or not I would like this book but I ended up loving it after a few pages in. I thoroughly loved the whole Millennium trilogy. I read the whole thing so fast!
II) You go outside with a good book in hand. What book do you choose?
Ever since I read Atonement in high school I was completely fascinated with the concept of the book. I even watched the movie about twenty times by now. Everything about this is so good. I read quite a few more novels of Ian McEwan but none of them particularly grew to my heart as Atonement did.
III) You decide to fetch an ice-cream to cool down. Name a chilled out/cool read.
I have been mentioning this little book a lot lately, I know. But it is just so inspiring, calming and supporting that it felt wrong not to choose it for a chilled out/cool read.
IV) The sun gets trapped behind a cloud. How annoying. What book has annoyed you recently?
The Library of Unrequited Love. No thinking about this one. I bragged long enough about this book in my review so you can go read there what I thought. This book has a certain hype nowadays but there are very little reviews so it is a bit misleading. Well, hello there, disappointment.
V) Its later in the day and the sun has moved. Time to re-locate. What book has moved you?
This one was a quick choice as well. Norwegian Wood is my favourite from Murakami (along with Kafka on the Shore, and we will see how about the new one once somebody deigns to translate it /do you hear me, Rubin?/)
I love everything about Norwegian Wood. And.. that's it, basically.
VI) The day is almost over and it's been fantastic 'til the end. What book has amazed you to the finish?
Firstly, I thought Harry Potter series, c'mon! But then on the second thought, I was feeling it is too obvious and I decided to try a little harder than that. Which resulted in choosing Just Kids by Patti Smith. What a beautiful piece of writing. What a heart-breaking story. And it is real! Wow. I had way too many feelings reading it. Be careful, this one is a heart-breaker.
On a rainy day like this, all I want to do is curl up under a blanket and read with a cup of coffee in my hands. The sound of rain is very comforting for me and it soothes the soul. Also, my brain likes the trio: rain + a good book + a cup of coffee = eternal happiness.
I purchased Ian Banks' Espedair Street three days before he died of cancer and that made me even more emotional once it appeared in my mailbox. Race and Revolution is a non-fiction and I haven't read one of those for quite some time. Also, it was a bargain purchase, so yay! The book I am really excited about is If On a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino - it sounds so good!
The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland was an absolute impulsive purchase. It was in the 'new releases' section and I thought it looked good so I clicked put in my basket. From what I read, it sounds amazing, although it reminds me of The Night Circus a bit, hopefully it won't be the same kind of a story.
I am truly happy for having A Tale for the Time Being now. Plus, look at what edition I got! Woo.
Recently, I started getting a bit more into Neil Gaiman's work and I am loving it so far. I am currently reading Fragile Things and it is very enjoyable. I am a bit intimidated by American Gods, as I heard you really need to connect things in your brain, but I am excited to read it.
Happy Saturday, y'all. Make the best of it, meaning read as much as you can, drink lots of beverages (you need to stay hydrated, I heard) and don't forget to be kind.
I am a sucker for pretty covers, for books that catch my attention just by looking a certain way. I like my books looking good. Whether in my hand, on my bookshelves or in my bed, it is much more enjoyable reading if the book does not repel you.
I was honestly surprised at how little books there were in my house whose covers I truly enjoyed. I found a few, anyway.
The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey
What I really like about this cover is the way the illustration is made. Also, I usually prefer covers that have something to do with the story, and this one does. So beautiful. Oh, and the colors.
On Beauty - Zadie Smith
This one got me the moment I saw it. I love how the brown goes well with the purple/pink and I really really like how there are flowers in the name of the author.
Persuasion - Jane Austen
Not much to say about this one. I like these editions a lot!
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
This one (and the next one as well) is from the Puffin collection. There are ten of them, with different colors and designs, and they are books aimed at children.
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
This one is my top favourite from the Puffin ones. I simply adore the blue and the dogs and the trees.. everything.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J. K. Rowling
I am so glad I own this copy of the tales and not the other brown one. I find this one so beautiful and the other one so ugly. Blue blue blue!
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Two things about these editions - they are super cheap and they use beautiful paintings on the covers. This one is my favourite so far.
you were the best storyteller I ever encountered ever since I opened the first book of Harry Potter. You made me look forward to bed-time because bed-time meant late-night reading of all the adventures your characters went through.
You showed me that it was alright to wish for something more, for something extraordinary, for a world much bigger and much more magical than ours. You gave me this world and you let me get lost in it and experience everything I ever dreamt of as a little child. You gave me a place to go to when I felt lost, sad, terrified or when I felt as if I did not belong anywhere. You gave me a place where I felt safe and happy. A place I could call home.
Thanks to you I had amazing friends who taught me about bravery and cleverness and friendship and love. Friends who taught me the essentials of life. They helped me through bad times and accompanied me through the good ones. And most importantly, they never left me. I never felt alone.
For this I want to give you my biggest thanks. I think of you as my magical-world mom. I believe my life would not have been what it is without your existence and without your words. I cherish them in my heart. You made my childhood magical. You made me believe magic was real. You made me convinced that magic was not only a children's make-believe.
You are my role model and that is never going to change. I am looking forward to showing my future children the world of Hogwarts, taking them to King's Cross and telling them all about Hogsmeade. I am eager to show my children the world that meant so much to me. And still does.
I love picking your books up again and again and rereading everything. I am looking forward to picking them up at any age, whether 25 or 50.
For me, it never ends.
Words cannot express how grateful I am for all this,
"The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."
Basically, some titles I really enjoyed and loved, but did not review either because I did not feel like it or because I did not have the guts to do so.
After thinking about this, I decided to share few books I enjoyed the first time I have read them and enjoyed them the second time (even the third and fourth...), and will enjoy them when I read them again and again until the end of my time. Those are the books I truly love, think they have something in them that others perhaps do not, have a beautiful language, or plot, or characters, or all of these together. And therefore I keep coming back to them once in a while when I feel sad or happy or lost or when I am seeking that feeling of home.
"I protested vehemently and announced that I was never going to become anything but myself, that I was of the clan of Peter Pan and we did not grow up."
- Just Kids, Patti Smith
"Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting."
- Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie
"We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other."
- A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
"If I read our story backwards, it's about how I un-broke your heart, and then we were happy until one day, you forgot about me forever."
- The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Vol. I, HITRECORD & Joseph Gordon-Levitt
"Never is an awfully long time."
- Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie
"I didn't have much to say to anybody but kept to myself and my books. With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw it's fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy."
- Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami
"Love, for me, is something I find in books. I read a lot, it's comforting. You're never alone if you live surrounded by books."
There was a certain hype about this book for a few weeks, which was what made me want to find out what this book was about and buy it later on. I was thrilled to have it for two main reason - the theme of this book is a librarian and it is set in a library. Then the cover. I do not know on how many people out there the way a cover looks has an impact but when it comes to me.. oh boy. So when I first saw the cover of The Library of Unrequited Love, I fell in love. Plus when I read all the good things about it and read what the story was about, I was hooked.. only to be disappointed a few weeks later after reading it.
"I prefer the company of books. When I'm reading, I'm never alone, I have a conversation with the book. It can be very intimate."
I do not mean to put a completely bad light at this book, there were a few bits and pieces which I really enjoyed. These were mostly quotes I underlined.
What is going on in this book, basically, is that one morning a librarian finds a reader asleep in her library, a reader who was accidently locked up and involuntarily spent the night there. From start to end, it is one flow of the librarian's speech. She speaks about the system of putting books to their shelves, about history of libraries and about history in general and about this man called Martin, who comes to do his research to her library and who she really likes. I was not very happy about the soliloquy that was going on. I like descriptive parts in books that I read, I like having a chance to put the book down for a moment or just to take my eyes of it to sip my coffee. Not with this one, let me tell you. It is a one-sitting read. To me it felt like a waterfall of words and it quite annoyed me after about fifty pages in, in such a way that I imagined having to listen to this in real life and my head spinned. I would probably run away from this woman. And even the way she said things, the way she was talking about Napoleon one second and the next she was talking about Martin and then back to other part of history.
The 2.5 points I gave this book are for the lovely parts which I actually enjoyed and for the cover (with which the author has nothing to do but anyways..)
"Love life in ruins? Hate everyone? Despair over the state of the planet? Headache? Insomnia? Indigestion? Corns? I can tell you, there's nothing the library can't cure."
"You don't shut yourself up for ten hours a day to write, if everything is absolutely hunky-dory. Writing only happens when something's wrong. If everyone on earth was happy, they wouldn't write anything except recipes and postcards, and there wouldn't be any books, or literature, or libraries."
The most inspiring speech I ever encountered. Reading Neil Gaiman's books is a life-lasting experience of one kind but after reading his speech he had given at Philadelphia's University of the Arts in 2012 it felt similar to being struck by lightning (not that I would have any experience with lightning but you know what I mean..) and I will need a lot of time to recover. In the best way possible. I loved every word of it. I feel like there is still chance for us all. If you are any kind of an artist at all you should get your hands on this.
With the help of Chip Kidd, a graphic artist, the speech of Neil Gaiman is even more striking. The way this whole speech is printed is so pretty... I just want to marry this book.
"When I agreed to give this address, I started trying to think what the best advice I'd been given over the years was. And it came from Stephen King twenty years ago, at the height of the success of Sandman. I was writing a comic that people loved and were taking seriously. King had liked Sandman and my novel with Terry Pratchett, Goog Omens, and he saw the madness, the long signing lines, all that, and his advice was this: This is really great. You should enjoy it. And I didn't."
You can watch Neil Gaiman say the whole speech h e r e.
First off, I need to state that I watched the film before even acknowledging that there was a book. I did not enjoy the movie at all, even though I admit that Jennifer Lawrence performed well. Which is why it surprised me that when I went to a bookstore, I picked this book up with two other ones, instead of picking up some other title. It took me quite some time to brace myself and start reading The Silver Linings Playbook. When I did, however, I found myself really enjoying the story and the writing of Matthew Quick. With this book, the words are reasserted: the book is better than the film.
I will not go (that) deep into the storyline because I am sure there are still people who have not read the book (nor seen the film) and I will concetrate on my feelings about this book. From the beginning I was taking the side of being a bit sceptical about this (thanks to the experience I had with the film) and although I do not like to do so, I simply could not help it with this one. However, I was pleasantly surprised to like it very much. The development of characters was greatly done, the scenes vividly described so it felt as if I was watching it as a third person in the story. Although I did imagine the characters as the actors who starred in the film, I somehow managed to distant myself from these visions and let my imagination do the trick.
I made a few notes about Pat, the main character, while reading. He struck me as someone completely obsessed with his wife who was lost to him, although he would not accept that. He was so obsessed with her that at times I felt he lost touch with reality altogether - this one time when he realized that he was in the "bad place," as he calls it, for four years instead of a few months as he believed before. He did lose some parts of his memory, for instance Pat did not remember things that happened in the football season that he and his family took very seriously, he did not remember that Nikki (his wife) cheated on him and left him or that she divorced him and remarried. Up until the last part of the book, Pat was clinging to any chance, no matter how small and improbable, of him and Nikki having a happy ending. They did not have any of that, luckily, but Tiffany, who was a friend to Pat since he came back home from the "bad place," finally made him open his eyes and see the truth, no matter how much she must have hurt him to do so. I am not much of a fan of happy endings to be honest but I felt that this book deserved one, as throughout the whole story Pat keeps going on about a happy ending and silver linings and optimism. The ending somehow really touched me and I was happy Pat and Tiffany ended the way they did.
One aspect of this book that annoyed me a bit, though, was the football part. With my knowledge of football, I found the descriptive parts really boring and had no idea what I was reading. And there were quite a lot of these. But as they were part of the story, and fitted into the storyline in the overall view, I clenched my teeth and made my way through these parts without wanting to throw the book out of the window (those of you who read it might get the reference, toodoo...)
This graphic novel written by Tim Hamilton was a lovely change from reading classics in a classical way. I really enjoyed the graphic art and I didn't find it to be harming the original novel by Ray Bradbury (who actually authorized this adaptation).
I don't think I have to explain the plot of Fahrenheit 451. It is one of the books that everybody (who haven't lived in a cave for the past sixty years or so) knows of. What I really enjoyed the most is that it didn't really leave that much out - all the well-known quoted parts were there and every time I read one of those I was like "there you are, I was expecting to see you here!" When I read the reviews on goodreads, many of them weren't very good, but I, for myself, can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the story (the story is not as important as the graphic art in this adaptation, clearly) as well as the graphic art which got me right from the beginning.
Also, I discovered this beautiful blog some time ago, called Words Dance (click-through link) and they have some beautiful Fahrenheit 451 cards that are way too lovely to be ignored.