Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Posted 21 March, 2018 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 1 Comment

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

  1. Is it April 27th yet?
  2. No, seriously, I’ve been so busy bouncing back and forth between work and school that last week I finally said no, I need to take care of myself too. Last weekend I had no shifts scheduled so I told myself no, I’m not picking up, I’m going to take it easy, I’m going to focus on my homework. Not sure if this is a good sign (in terms of awareness) or a bad sign (that I clearly don’t know what school-work balance is) but there you go. I’m close to losing my mind.
  3. Of course I say that I’m going to take care of myself and take it easy and then suddenly I’m not 100% okay over the weekend. It wasn’t full-blown not feeling weel but I wasn’t at my best, either. Of course that would happen when it did *rolls eyes*
  4. I’m also moving units again. It’s confusing for everyone, including myself, at this point and a lot of factors went into the move (again) but I think that’s it for now. No more moving around lol.
  5. Despite of the stress and whatnot, the no-spend is surprisingly holding. Yay me! 🙂
  6. Books I’m currently reading right now: I’m still slowly going through John English’s first volume on the life of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau (aka the superior Trudeau IMO), been too busy reading other nonfiction that’s school-related to focus my energies on this tome. I’ve started re-reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring (review) because I’ve been wanting to re-read LOTR for a long while now and with Tolkien Reading Day coming up this weekend, I figured why not?
  7. I finally read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express! That was quite the read, so glad I finally got around to it 🙂
  8. Despite my lack of reading as many new books, I have been doing a bit of re-reading. For example, I re-read Kate Clanchy’s poetry collection Samarkand (review) and William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (review). Always a wild ride, that play.
  9. How is it the remainder of the books on my TBR pile are all 500+ page tomes? lol. Kind of hard to pocket that for work, if you know what I mean…
  10. I’ve got “El Tango de Roxanne” stuck in my head thanks to the following program. Perfection *hearts* I must’ve watched it how many times and it just amazes me every time–their performance, their skill, the emotion:


And that’s it from me! Wishing everyone a lovely week 🙂

Review: The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Posted 9 March, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Flight of Gemma Hardy
By: Margot Livesey
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she’s found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant.

To Gemma’s delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma’s charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma’s standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma’s biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she’s never dreamed.

Set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and ’60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy—a captivating homage to Charlotte BrontĂ«’s Jane Eyre—is a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.

Two things piqued my interest in this novel: the fact that it was a sort of modern re-telling of Jane Eyre and the fact that it was set in Scotland and Iceland. I eventually picked up the eBook maybe two years ago but it did take me some time to get around to reading it. But I eventually did, lol.

Read More

Review: Someone to Love

Posted 7 March, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Someone to Love (The Westcotts #1)
By: Mary Balogh
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had…

Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…

Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.

I read a few of her books from the Survivors series and loved them. I ended up picking this book up in a sort of whim as it was on sale at the time, but given how much I enjoyed the other two books, I figured I would enjoy reading another book of hers 🙂

Read More

Review: Edgedancer

Posted 5 March, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5)
By: Brandon Sanderson
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

Three years ago, Lift asked a goddess to stop her from growing older–a wish she believed was granted. Now, in Edgedancer, the barely teenage nascent Knight Radiant finds that time stands still for no one. Although the young Azish emperor granted her safe haven from an executioner she knows only as Darkness, court life is suffocating the free-spirited Lift, who can’t help heading to Yeddaw when she hears the relentless Darkness is there hunting people like her with budding powers. The downtrodden in Yeddaw have no champion, and Lift knows she must seize this awesome responsibility.

I picked this book up because it was pretty cool that the novella got its own hardback. On the other hand I am woefully behind in The Stormlight Archives and still have the second book sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. But eh, I figured I can go ahead and read it, should be enough of a standalone to read.

Read More

Review: Iceland’s Bell

Posted 2 March, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Iceland’s Bell
By: HalldĂłr Laxness, Philip Roughton (Translator)
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Sometimes grim, sometimes uproarious, and always captivating, Iceland’s Bell by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness is at once an updating of the traditional Icelandic saga and a caustic social satire. At the close of the 17th century, Iceland is an oppressed Danish colony, suffering under extreme poverty, famine, and plague. A farmer and accused cord-thief named Jon Hreggvidsson makes a bawdy joke about the Danish king and soon after finds himself a fugitive charged with the murder of the king’s hangman.

In the years that follow, the hapless but resilient rogue Hreggvidsson becomes a pawn entangled in political and personal conflicts playing out on a far grander scale. Chief among these is the star-crossed love affair between Snaefridur, known as “Iceland’s Sun,” a beautiful, headstrong young noblewoman, and Arnas Arnaeus, the king’s antiquarian, an aristocrat whose worldly manner conceals a fierce devotion to his downtrodden countrymen. As their personal struggle plays itself out on an international stage, Iceland’s Bell creates a Dickensian canvas of heroism and venality, violence and tragedy, charged with narrative enchantment on every page.

I had been eyeing a book or two from HalldĂłr Laxness for a long time but it wasn’t until I travelled to Iceland last year and seeing his books everywhere that I decided to pick a book of his up. I decided to go with this book because of its expansive scope of 17th century Iceland and its ties to the Danish kingdom at the time (Denmark being the other place I went to last year). So here we are 🙂

Read More