Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 16 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

I read the following books a few months ago but lol, this batch of mini-book reviews just getting pushed further and further down the schedule. Oops xD Anyway, this batch is another poetry edition so yay! 🙂 Included in this batch are:


Memories Unwound
By: Ruby Dahl
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Memories Unwound is a collection of free verse poems and prose that tap into the thoughts, feelings and ideas of the author. Each piece aims to go beyond just words and reveal an emotion; love, pain or happiness and by the end of it, the prospect of attaining solace. The author uses ‘memories’ as a title to emphasise that it is universally relatable – as readers should find at least one (or more) piece(s) that reminds them of a previous experience that they have had/ emotion that they have felt, hence becoming a ‘memory’ that is unwound in this book.

Each piece aims to fuel the realisation of sentiments that fabricate our very being, and by the end of the book readers are shown the possibility of hope, redemption, closing ‘old chapters’ and moving on to make new memories.

I kept seeing this book whenever I’m browsing on Amazon so I decided to read some of her poems over at Instagram before picking up a copy. Anyway it’s a great collection of poems. I actually read this some time ago before compiling these reviews so whilst no particular poems come to mind that stood out, I nonetheless enjoyed it and will keep a lookout for her future work.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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Review: The Ice Dragon

Posted 13 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Ice Dragon
By: George R.R. Martin
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child–and the ice dragon who loved her–could save her world from utter destruction.

Okay, after watching season 7 of Game of Thrones, I had to pick up this book 😛

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Review: Stray Bullets

Posted 12 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Stray Bullets (Detective Greene #3)
By: Robert Rotenberg
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

When a young boy is caught in the deadly crossfire of a downtown gun battle, the city is thrown into spasms of shock. The press makes the killing front-page news. The outraged public demands action. The devastated family needs answers. In this tense climate of anger and grief, Homicide Detective Ari Greene makes a high-profile arrest.

But did he get the wrong person? Brilliant defense lawyer Nancy Parish thinks so. Despite the tidal wave of evidence against her client, she’s convinced he’s innocent. Never content with easy answers, Greene and his protégé Daniel Kennicott pursue the truth as the man they have charged with first-degree murder is put on trial for his life.

In Stray Bullets, bestselling author Robert Rotenberg returns with his compelling mix of insider knowledge, brilliantly drawn characters, and high courtroom drama. In Rotenberg’s world, nothing is certain until the last clue falls into place.

Stray Bullets is the only novel to date (well, at the time that I read it; his latest novel, The Heart of the City, came out last month) from Robert Rotenberg’s bibliography that I haven’t read. I was quite delighted that they decided to release it in mass market paperback (not sure why the first two weren’t so far, but anyway) so I was able to read it during my break at work.

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Review: 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution

Posted 11 October, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution is a collection of literary responses to one of the most cataclysmic events in modern world history, which exposes the immense conflictedness and doubt, conviction and hope, pessimism and optimism which political events provoked among contemporary writers – sometimes at the same time, even in the same person. This dazzling panorama of thought, language and form includes work by authors who are already well known to the English-speaking world (Bulgakov, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Mayakovsky), as well as others, whose work we have the pleasure of encountering here for the very first time in English. Edited by Boris Dralyuk, the acclaimed translator of Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry (also published by Pushkin Press), 1917 includes works by some of the best Russian writers – some already famous in the English-speaking world, some published here for the very first time. It is an anthology for everyone: those who are coming to Russian literature for the first time, those who are already experienced students of it, and those who simply want to know how it felt to live through this extreme period in history.

I snatched this book up a few months ago whilst parusing at Book City with friends. Of course anything written by Russian authors would catch my attention, and I thought this was an interesting collection because the works featured here are specifically from the time of the Revolution so there’s that first-hand reaction and creativity stemming from that period. What is also pretty cool about this collection is that it includes works from writers who are not well-known to the English-speaking world: Alexey Kraysky, Zinaida Gippius, Yefim Zozulya. Some authors ring faint bells in my head from my days in grad school and was researching Soviet Russian authors for my own research, but thankfully this collection includes a brief biography about the author prior to their work.

Having said that, I wouldn’t personally recommend this book for those readers approaching Russian literature for the first time (see this post if you’re looking for recommendations there). Unless you’re interested this period of Soviet/Russian history, the works featured here tend to be on the dry side. Again, a personal preference, but it talks a lot about the engineering of a new society, the engineering of a new man, the mechanics of life, the march onward with progress (and trust me, the early years of the Revolution really focused on machines, it feels a bit devoid after a bit, but hey, they loved it). From a historian’s standpoint it’s intriguing because it definitely reflects the ideas that they’re pursuing at the time and the abolition of the old order, but if you’re picking this up for leisurely reading, you may want to consider starting somewhere else instead.

Nonetheless I like the idea of this book being available, the concept is great and is a valuable resource especially for students of Soviet/Russian history and literature.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Order this book from the Book Depository

Movie: Wonder Woman (2017)

Posted 10 October, 2017 by Lianne in Entertainment / 6 Comments

When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

source

So I’ve been excited to watch this movie for some time but I waited until I got the blu-ray…then I waited some more until my birthday the other week to finally watch it, lol.

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