Month: January 2014

If there was one book you could make sure nobody ever read again … what would it be? And why? – BTT

I’m not the kind of person who doesn’t “hate” many things. There are many books I find boring, but few that I truly hate or dislike. Here’s a run down of books that are just not for me:

  • Wuthering Heights – The only classic on the list. I like Anne and Jane, but this work by Emily grated on me no end. Ugh. Hated the characters so much. I don’t find Heathcliff attractive and wish he and Cathy fell off the moor.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey series – Those precious hours of my life that I will never get back.
  • Most of the Twilight series – I don’t enjoy the message this sends at all. Similar to the above
  • Mists of Avalon – A book I tried to read and finish three times, but I still could not do it. Blah. I know some people like this a lot, but I don’t like Marion Zimmer Bradley’s style at all.

What are some books that you didn’t like?

Young adult books writers like John Green are the reason I still read young adult and children’s literature. When reading this book, I found it sweet. I mean this as big compliment as I rarely find books sweet and endearing to this degree. I even want to find a partner who is sweet as the characters to each other in the book. There is a loving thread that goes through the friendships, the romance, and the parental-child relationships of the book.

This book is extremely popular at the moment, and I can see why. I don’t find it mawkish or maudlin. I like that both the protagonists have physical disabilities. I like that they deal with things realistically. I find Green writes teenagers that believable and true.

Aside from the characters, I loved the interlude in Amsterdam. I remember that city fondly and would go back.

I look forward to seeing how they adapt the movie.

“And in freedom, most people find sin.”

Read January 19, 2014.

Sunday Salon

Hello, everyone! It’s been a busy time for me, both with work and personally. I have been recovering from this cough that I’ve had for a month. It was very cold earlier in the month, but we had a milder week. Still, I’ve felt a touch of the January blues with my work load and personal responsibilities.

Today, I am going to read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

Yesterday, I went on my first run in about 5-6 weeks. It felt good, but the last 1km of the 6km was a bit tiring! I hope to get back to shape for my first 10km race in two months time. I started swimming lessons which were really difficult for me. I didn’t go this week, but I really hope I get proficient soon as I want to become at least decent at it.

In book news, I read Georgette Heyer’s The Talisman Ring over a week ago. It was average and had some nice Heyer moments, but nothing worth a blog post.

This week, I watched Netflix’s Norwegian-American comedy show “Lilyhammer” based on a friend’s recommendation. It is quite funny and I enjoy watching a foreign show with a touch of American influence. Sometimes, it was a bit too violent and dark more than funny, but still entertaining.

How is your January shaping up?

This post reviews both the original UK “House of Cards” trilogy and season one of the American (2013) version.

House of Cards Trilogy (1990-1995)

The first series in this trilogy is a perfect miniseries. Francis Urquhart as played by Ian Richardson is one of the best antihero characters on TV. He is perfectly smooth, Machiavellian, and yet rootable for me. It is simply amazing how he played this part. It’s pitch perfect and nothing is wasted in the first series. I definitely think the first series is one of my favourite mini series ever and Urquhart is one of the most interesting TV characters.

Continue reading →

This is a tale of a couple who circumnavigate the globe without flying in a plane. I picked up this book because I I really liked Stevenson’s prose. He appears more than once in the Best American Travel Writing series. His sense of humour seems closely aligned to mine. It’s sometimes dry, often observant and understated

The way he describes horrible travel conditions is hilarious, even when it shouldn’t be. I love travel as much as Stevenson does, but is is quite awful yet wonderful all at once. At the same time, the book offers some intelligent observations about cultures and above all else, transportation and means of travel.

While this book was written about seven years ago, the discussion about the airline industry and flying is still relevant. Flying sucks, and like Stevenson, I much prefer trains or even boats. He also has criticism against cruises in general. All of this inspires me that if I had the means, I would do a similar travel voyage around the world with as few flights as possible.

Read January 5, 2014.

An analysis of books consumed in 2013. This year, I read 68 new books with a total of 19800 pages.

Memorable Books from this year: This is not a definitive list by any means:

Longest Book: Game of Thrones with 811 pages.

Most Challenging Books: Walden by Henry David Thoreau

New-to-me Authors I look forward to reading more: Robin Sloan, David Mitchell, John Green

Classics Club update: I’m up to 17 books now, and I am quite behind.

Most Read Author: Georgette Heyer and Neil Gaiman.

Poetry: None! Sad.

Month Read the Most: August

Total number of books read: 68 out of projected modest goal of 65.

2013: 68
2012: 65
2011: 50
2010: 67
2009: 20
2008: 83
2007: 52
2006: 61
2005: 83
2004: 71
2005: 66
2002: 66

2014 Reading Goals:

As I am spending less time online and more time in the real world, I have decided to simplify my reading goals a little bit more. As much as I enjoy joining reading challenges, I am going to make one definitive list of goals I’d like to accomplish and review it at the end of year.

  1. Read 70 books – This is simple enough as I have been reading in the high 60s ever year, but I would like to push myself a bit more. I think the most I ever read as 83 at one point. As I have a lot of hobbies already, I don’t think I’ll be a hundred books a year kind of girl anytime soon.
  2. Focus on the Classics Club – I am running behind on the challenge so will aim to read 5-10 from my list.
  3. One French language book – At least one French language is good enough for me.
  4. One Poetry book – One does not sound like a lot, but since I did not even manage one in 2013, it’s a good way to start.
  5. Read more from my cookbook collection – I have a lot of lovely cookbooks, many of which I can actually read as well as try out. I should read and review them more.
  6. Continue reading more nonfiction – I’m quite proud of the amount of nonfiction I’ve read this year.
  7. Read things out loud more – I wish to speak slower, more clearly, and enjoy the joy of reading out loud again.
  8. Authors to read more of because of series an and other reasons: George R. R. Martin, J. K. Rowling, and a slew of other classic authors

Finally, a complete list of books for 2013 which can all by accessed via the 2013 Books tag: Continue reading →