Monthly Archives: March 2013

Website: March Updates + Links

Posted 28 March, 2013 by Lianne in Website / 2 Comments

It’s the end of March! Where has the time gone? Seemed like yesterday Lent was just beginning and now Easter weekend is upon us! (which also means my book-buying abstinence is ending, but that’s another story for another day…) It’s also been a bit of a busy month offline for me; things are winding down with finals coming up next month and then the whole thing will start again in May…but I digress…

Not my gif, as always, but =DDD So pretty ^^

  1. As always, I read a ton of books this month including Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Quantum Thief and Luigi Pirandello’s The Late Mattia Pascal. You can find the reviews for these books in the book review tag.
  2. What’s especially cool about this month is that I’ve been reading a lot of ARCs and galleys either through contests or from NetGalley. Be sure to keep an eye out on this blog next month as I have a few reviews of books that are coming out then. In the meantime, here’s what I reviewed:
  3. I also posted up my commentary review of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park over here which more or less marked the completion of my re-read of Jane Austen’s works! Of course, I could also do her incompleted/unpublished works at some point too…
  4. The March issue of Discourse Magazine is out! You can read a bit more about what I contributed for that issue over here
  5. It hit the web pretty hard the other week but as you know, Google Reader is going down in July. I’ve posted up a list of alternative readers if you’re still on the hunt for one.
  6. Finally, as you may have noticed, I also changed my header and colours over here on the blog, though it’s going to be changing again this weekend to coincide with Easter. It was lovely while it lasted ^_~

And of course, the following are interesting links that I’ve come across over the past month. I’m going to do something a little different this month and try to categorise my links a bit so that it’s easier to go through (no guarantees that I’ll keep doing this in future months but it’s worth a try for this month).

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Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 26 March, 2013 by Lianne in Meme / 32 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

Modified this week’s topic a wee bit, lol. I could go on and on with my recommendations (featuring the usual suspects, a.k.a. my favourite books ever) but decided to list the 10 books that came to mind first and that I read somewhat recently ^_~ It’s quite an eclectic mix so hopefully something for everyone?

In no particular order:

  1. The Smart Ones by Jennifer Close — My review’s not up for this novel yet (watch this blog next week as I’ll be posting my review before the release date!) but I finished reading my galley copy of this novel and absolutely heart it! Definitely worth checking out if you’re into novels about family drama and living at home in your 20s and 30s.
  2. Q by Evan Mandery (review) — Readers of this blog know how much I heart this novel. I first read it last year and loved everything about it: the time travel elements, the reflections on life and the pop culture references.
  3. Nada by Carmen Laforet (review) — I was just talking about this book in last week’s Flashback Friday. It’s such a moody and introspective novel about growing up and family during the Franco regime, it’s absolutely brilliant.
  4. Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva — My favourite espionage/thriller/suspense series, hands down. They’re quick-paced and intriguing (to the point that I can never put it down long enough when the suspense really kicks in) with a cast of awesome characters. Cannot recommend his books enough =D
  5. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (review) — I cannot believe it took me so long to get around to this novel, it’s such a rich, generational story about this one family set in Hungary and France on the eve of the Second World War.
  6. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (review) — Catherynne Valente has a very distinct and unique imagination and voice in fantasy. This book is probably my favourite from her, it’s whimsical and magical and introspective at the same time.
  7. The Long Price quartet by Daniel Abraham — I read the quartet (at long last) in January (Shadow and Betrayal (review) and The Price of War (review)) and absolutely loved them. They’re so rich and multi-faceted, I’m surprised it isn’t more popular in the fantasy community. I highly recommend this quartet if you’re into fantasy.
  8. Redshirts by John Scalzi (review) — I read this book some time ago (my first Scalzi novel!) and absolutely loved it =) It’s such a riot, playing with the familiar tropes we know from science fiction but there’s also this awesome twist to the story which made things even more interesting. And it’s funny. Definitely worth checking out if you’re into science fiction.
  9. Stony River by Tricia Dower (review) — I read this book last year and it’s just a fantastic character drama set in a sleepy town during the 1950s where everyone is not what they appear to be…a tour de force in looking at various relationships and dysfunctional families.
  10. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell — The list couldn’t be complete without a classic thrown in there ^_~ Wives and Daughters is a wonderful story (despite it being incomplete; the BBC adaptation did a wonderful job in concluding it) that’s quiet and poignant. Molly Gibson is such a sweet character and I grew to just love the characters in their own way.

And that’s my list for this week! What books did you feature on your TTT? Please leave your link, I’d love to read it! Happy Tuesday =)

Tolkien Reading Day!

Posted 25 March, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 3 Comments

It’s March 25th today, which means it’s Tolkien Reading Day!!! Here’s the description of what this day is all about:

Launched in 2003 Tolkien Reading Day event has sparked interest in reading and reading groups across several nations and ages, from primary schoolchildren to university students and library users of all ages. 25th March has significance to Tolkien’s readers, as it is the day of the Downfall of Sauron at the conclusion of the ‘War of the Ring’ in The Lord of the Rings.
more information about the event here

Looking at the Society’s site a bit further, I see that this year’s theme is “Tolkien’s Landscapes“, though it is also continuing to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit.

So, what am I going to be doing for this year’s Tolkien Reading Day? To be honest this is the first time I’m actually celebrating it (I’m such a bad Tolkien fan, I know *hangs head in shame* though to be fair the last week of March has always been a mad week in my calendar). I’ve read The Hobbit twice in the past year (will perhaps re-read it again before the second movie comes out at the end of the year! lol) so instead I’ve decided to go with The Silmarillion.

I suppose it’s a pretty ambitious choice (well, if anything, I’ll be starting to re-read it, lol) but I’ve been meaning to re-read this book for years now. I only read it once, the summer before ROTK came out in theatres, I believe (yikes, it’s been 10 years in that case x_x). I was still in high school at the time and my memory of most of the stories save for a few (the Creation story and the fall of Morgoth, the Two Trees, Beren & Luthien) are hazy so I’m really looking forward to re-reading this again and revisiting the early days of the Eldar. I think I might get more out of it this time around =)

What are you reading for Tolkien Reading Day? Have you ever celebrated it? Happy Monday!

(image source)

Review: Old City Hall

Posted 24 March, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Old City Hall (Detective Greene #1)
By: Robert Rotenberg
Format: Paperback; courtesy of the publisher & GoodReads First Reads programme

Kevin Brace, Canada’s most famous radio personality, stands in the doorway of his luxury condominium, hands covered in blood, and announces to his newspaper delivery man: “I killed her.” His wife lies dead in the bathtub, fatally stabbed. It would appear to be an open-and-shut case.

The trouble is, Brace refuses to talk to anyone—including his own lawyer—after muttering those incriminating words. With the discovery that the victim was actually a self-destructive alcoholic, the appearance of strange fingerprints at the crime scene, and a revealing courtroom cross-examination, the seemingly simple case takes on all the complexities of a hotly contested murder trial.

I received a copy of this novel thanks to the GoodReads First Reads program. What really drew me to this novel first and foremost was that it’s set in my city, which for me is pretty rare in the books that I read, let alone a crime/mystery novel. Plus, I was in the mood for a mystery novel for a change of pace so this was perfect. May contain spoilers ahead!

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Meme: Flashback Friday

Posted 22 March, 2013 by Lianne in Meme / 2 Comments

Flashback Friday is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasties, a little weekly tradition in which she picks a book from her reading past to highlight. If you’d like to join in, here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  • Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  • Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  • Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

Happy Friday! For this week’s FF, I chose a book published in 1945 from Spain:

By: Carmen Laforet

Eighteen-year-old Andrea moves to Barcelona to stay with relatives she has not seen in years while she pursues her dream of studying at university. Arriving in the dead of night she discovers not the independence she craves, but a crumbling apartment and an eccentric collection of misfits whose psychological ruin and violent behaviour echoes that of the recent civil war.

As the tension between the family members grows in claustrophobic intensity, Andrea finds comfort in a friendship with Ena, a girl from university whose gilded life only serves to highlight the squalor of Andrea’s own experiences. But what is the secret of the relationship between Ena and Andrea’s predatory uncle, Roman, and what future can lie ahead for Andrea in such a bizarre and disturbing world?

from Goodreads

I read this book for the first time last year (review) and just absolutely loved it. It’s moody and atmospheric, reminiscent of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind (commentary), but there’s a different feeling to it, almost stifling, really, probably because the author lived and published during Franco’s regime. Everything from the sentences to the family drama to the main character’s reflection about growing up were just wondering, I pretty much devoured this book from start to finish. (I also wish I wrote just as well as she did) It was hard not to divulge and analyse every single aspect of the novel, there was just so much to think about in this novel xD But I will say that I enjoy a good novel involving family dynamics/drama and this book certainly hit the bill with that.

As a side note, I really hope they translate her other books to English some day soon. I think she’s written over 8 novels or something but Nada remains the only novel to date that was translated into English (my Spanish, sadly to say, is limited to the occasional word here and there).

If you’re participating in this meme, be sure to link up over at Bookshelf Fantasties!