Monthly Archives: July 2014

Review: The Sea Sisters

Posted 23 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Sea Sisters
By: Lucy Clarke
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Two sisters, one life-changing journey…

There are some currents in the relationship between sisters that run so dark and so deep, it’s better for the people swimming on the surface never to know what’s beneath . . .

Katie’s carefully structured world is shattered by the news that her headstrong younger sister, Mia, has been found dead in Bali – and the police claim it was suicide.

With only the entries of Mia’s travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister’s life, and – page by page, country by country – begins to uncover the mystery surrounding her death.

What she discovers changes everything. But will her search for the truth push their sisterly bond – and Katie – to breaking point?

The Sea Sisters is a compelling story of the enduring connection between sisters

This book (published as Swimming at Night in North America) has been on my want-to-read list for some time now but after reading the author’s second novel, A Single Breath (review) recently prompted me to order a copy of this book ASAP. The premise sounded really interesting–a mystery, a look into the relationship between these two particular sisters–and I thought that this too would be an excellent summer read.

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Review: Gone Girl

Posted 22 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 10 Comments

Gone Girl
By: Gillian Flynn
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Okay, you guys know of my aversion of reading books that are super hyped up and popular amongst readers at the moment, right? Nonetheless I was somewhat curious about this book + people have recommended it to me (thanks, cuz!) + an movie adaptation directed by David Lynch is coming out this autumn:

So yes, I finally got around to picking up the book and reading it for myself what everyone was talking about 😉 Contains spoilers ahead!

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Review: Marina

Posted 21 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 9 Comments

By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts. . . .

His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings.

When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

Yeeeeeeesssss, at last I have the latest Zafon novel in my hands! I’ve been eyeing this book for so long, waiting for the publishers to translate it (to the point that I was wondering whether I should learn Spanish; it was taking so long =P). But it was finally translated and released and I pre-ordered it as soon as I saw it pop up on Chapters Indigo =P

This book is part of the Everything Espana Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

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Ramblings: World Cup 2014

Posted 18 July, 2014 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 2 Comments

You knew this was coming 😉 (sort of) Guys, how is it that the World Cup for 2014 is already over? Seemed like yesterday it just started! Granted, I’m sure many of you are relieved that you don’t have to sleep super late anymore and get up super early for the matches, and we can all go about with our lives again without scheduling our daily tasks around the matches, but nonetheless it was a lot of fun. So just to wrap up some final thoughts about the tournament…

gif source

My German boys finally did it! They won the World Cup, the fourth star on their jerseys. Weltmeister! You can only imagine my flailings on Sunday when Mario Goetz scored at the 113th minute with that beautiful goal (and equally beautiful assist from Andre Schuerrle <3 ). I think I mentioned it in a Bookish & Not-So-Bookish post that I’ve been following the Germans more or less since 2006 and yeah, it’s just been such a journey. Despite of the disappointments leading up to the tournament (Marco Reus, namely, having gotten injured just before the tournament ;_;), I’m so happy that it was this team that won: Klose, Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Podolski, they guys around since 2006…All the feels, you guys, all the feels.

So, following a bit like what the guys at The Guardian did, just summing up some of my favourite moments from the tournament 🙂


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Review: Italian Ways

Posted 17 July, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo
By: Tim Parks
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Tim Parks’s books on Italy have been hailed as “so vivid, so packed with delectable details, [they] serve as a more than decent substitute for the real thing” (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, in his first Italian travelogue in a decade, he delivers a charming and funny portrait of Italian ways by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy.

Parks begins as any traveler might: “A train is a train is a train, isn’t it?” But soon he turns his novelist’s eye to the details, and as he journeys through majestic Milano Centrale station or on the newest high-speed rail line, he delivers a uniquely insightful portrait of Italy. Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italians—conductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrants—Parks captures what makes Italian life distinctive: an obsession with speed but an acceptance of slower, older ways; a blind eye toward brutal architecture amid grand monuments; and an undying love of a good argument and the perfect cappuccino.

Italian Ways also explores how trains helped build Italy and how their development reflects Italians’ sense of themselves from Garibaldi to Mussolini to Berlusconi and beyond. Most of all, Italian Ways is an entertaining attempt to capture the essence of modern Italy. As Parks writes, “To see the country by train is to consider the crux of the essential Italian dilemma: Is Italy part of the modern world, or not?

I found out about this book sometime ago, my curiosity solidified by Christine’s review. I love travelogues and yet for some reason I never got around to reading one solely set in Italy. That’s probably because I spent quite a bit of time there a few years ago, but still, it’s interesting to read about other people’s adventures in the country.

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