Monthly Archives: August 2009

Books: Summer TBR List Update VI

Posted 4 August, 2009 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

  • Greg Keyes’s The Born Queen
  • The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (N)
  • Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy of Four
  • Elizabeth Gaskall’s Wives and Daughters
  • The Complete Works of John Keats

Woot, Li has successfully managed to dwindle her TBR list from a whopping 20+ books down to four! 😀 Or maybe three seeing as I’m currently reading Wives and Daughters (which is quite enjoyable; I watched the BBC adaptation some time ago and it was all sorts of wonderful) and I’ll be bringing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to Ottawa with me next month 🙂

The last couple of books on my list have been highly enjoyable; it’s funny that a lot of them took place in the early 20th century—I Served the King of England, The City of Shadows, The Angel’s Game, Winter in Madrid. I guess I really am just drawn to that period of history 😀

I really should watch myself the next time I go to the bookstore—seeing as my TBR list is small and my move to Ottawa is very close, I mustn’t buy too many books that I leave with a massive pile behind, lol. I actually plan on doing a bit of re-reading this month so that should keep me busy and away from the bookstore, lmao. But anyways…

Review: Winter in Madrid

Posted 4 August, 2009 by Li in Books / 1 Comment

Winter in Madrid
By: C.J. Sansom

The Spanish Civil War is over and Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, while the Germans continue their relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war. Harry Brett, a traumatised veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service, has been sent to gain the confidence of old schoolfriend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman. Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile Sandys girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged in a secret mission of her own to find her former lover Bernie Pipera passionate Communist in the International Brigadeswho vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama. In a vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, Winter in Madrid is an intimate and compelling tale which offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding, and the profound impact of impossible choices.

I came across this book while trying out a new website for book recommendations (What Should I Read Next?); I typed in The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This book was either the first or second recommendation from the list. I looked it up on Indigo and Amazon; the premise sounded really interesting and since my TBR list was getting smaller and smaller by the day, I decided to pick it up next. I’m glad I did 🙂

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Review: The Angel’s Game

Posted 4 August, 2009 by Li in Books / 0 Comments

The Angel’s Game
By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed-a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

When I found out that another of Zafon’s books was coming out, I became really excited as I had enjoyed his previous book, The Shadow of the Wind (which easily became one of my favourite books ever). At first I told myself that I would wait for it to come out on paperback (to match my other book) but after seeing it everywhere, I succumbed and bought the hardcover (for a good price, I might add) *blushes*

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Meme: Teaser Tuesdays

Posted 3 August, 2009 by Li in Meme / 8 Comments

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page
– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
– Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Should Be Reading

My teaser for this week: “Mr. Gibson finished reading it; and began to think of it in his own mind. ‘Who would have thought the lad had been so poetical; but, to be sure, there’s a “Shakespeare” in the surgery library: I’ll take it away and put “Johnson’s Dictionary instead…'” – p. 64, Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. I’ve finally started gotten around to reading it (it’s a pretty thick paperback…and I have the mass bound paperback version by Penguin), having seen the BBC version (couldn’t help myself) so I’m looking forward to reading it 😀

Review: Sepulchre

Posted 3 August, 2009 by Li in Books / 2 Comments

By: Kate Mosse

I’ve been meaning to post up this review for the past few months but for some reason I didn’t get around to it *blushes* But here I am doing it now 🙂

In 1891, young Léonie Vernier and her brother Anatole arrive in the beautiful town of Rennes-les-Bains, in southwest France. They’ve come at the invitation of their widowed aunt, whose mountain estate, Domain de la Cade, is famous in the region. But it soon becomes clear that their aunt Isolde—and the Domain—are not what Léonie had imagined. The villagers claim that Isolde’s late husband died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre high on the mountainside. A book from the Domain’s cavernous library describes the strange tarot pack that mysteriously disappeared following the uncle’s death. But while Léonie delves deeper into the ancient mysteries of the Domain, a different evil stalks her family—one which may explain why Léonie and Anatole were invited to the sinister Domain in the first place.

More than a century later, Meredith Martin, an American graduate student, arrives in France to study the life of Claude Debussy, the nineteenth century French composer. In Rennes-les-Bains, Meredith checks into a grand old hotel—the Domain de la Cade. Something about the hotel feels eerily familiar, and strange dreams and visions begin to haunt Meredith’s waking hours. A chance encounter leads her to a pack of tarot cards painted by Léonie Vernier, which may hold the key to this twenty-first century American’s fate . . . just as they did to the fate of Léonie Vernier more than a century earlier.

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