Monthly Archives: December 2014


Website: December Updates

Posted 31 December, 2014 by Lianne in Website / 2 Comments


(not my gif)

I cannot believe we are at the end of another year! I hope everyone’s having a lovely December however you celebrate. For me, it’s lovely to be off from classes and getting ready to celebrate Christmas πŸ™‚ Despite of exams earlier this month, the blog was pretty busy, especially as I was trying to catch up with my book reviews before the year closes πŸ˜›

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  1. Books reviewed this month include: Grant Buday’s The Delusionist (review), Rainbow Rowell’s Landline (review) and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Tales from the Perilous Realm (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. I’ve only read one ARC this month, Elena Gorokhova’s Russian Tattoo (review). You can check out all of the ARCs that I recently read in this tag.
  3. Movies watched and reviewed include: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (review) and The Guardians of the Galaxy (review).
  4. I posted up my responses to the 5th annual end of the year book survey over here. Drop me a line if you’ve read any of the books I featured there or if you completed the survey yourself, I’d love to see how everyone’s year in reading went πŸ™‚
  5. I completed three year-long reading challenges this year (click on the links to view the wrap-up posts):

  6. On a final note, just another reminder that I am changing domains in January to eclectictales.com (should be within the week?). My understanding is that the changeover will be pretty immediate, but just in case the blog is down, please follow me on Twitter to get the latest updates. Shouldn’t be down too long, though it might be a while for me to get around to fixing broken urls and getting around to blogs as I’ll be a little busy in the first few days of the new year. Thanks for your patience and your support! πŸ™‚

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And that’s about it from me this month! Wising everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for 2015! If you’re celebrating outside of home, stay safe, and talk to you soon in the blogosphere πŸ™‚

Everything EspaΓ±a: a 2014 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Posted 30 December, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments


Everything EspaΓ±a: a 2014 Reading Challenge hosted by caffeinatedlife.net

And here we are, at the end of another year, and thus at the end of another one of the three reading challenges I participated in this year. Just a recap about the reading challenge I hosted: this challenge included any books set in Spain or originally written in Spanish by a Spaniard. All of the details about this challenge can be found in this post while the master list of reviews can be found here.

Levels (sorry, not feeling very creative coming up with these levels, lol; I’m pretty laxed about this):

  • 1 – 4 books β€” Tourist
  • 5 – 9 books β€” Frequent Traveller
  • 10+ books β€” Spain Is My Home

So what did I read? πŸ™‚

  • Dave Boling’s Guernica (set in Spain) — review
  • Idelfonso Falcones’ The Hand of Fatima (set in Spain) — review
  • Prosper Merimee’s Carmen (set in Spain) — review
  • Javier Cercas’ The Soldiers of Salamis (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Graham Greene’s Monsignor Quixote (set in Spain) — review
  • Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station (set in Spain) — review
  • Antonio Munoz Molina’s In the Night of Time (ARC; Spanish author; set in Spain) — DNF
  • Andrew Greeley’s The Archbishop in Andalucia (set in Spain) — review
  • Victor del Arbol’s The Sadness of the Samurai (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra (set in Spain) — reveiw
  • Antonio Hill’s The Good Suicides (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Stories by Foreign Authors: Spanishreview
  • Antonio Hill’s The Summer of Dead Toys (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Pedro CalderΓ³n de la Barca’s Life is a Dream (Spanish author) — review
  • The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Laurie Lee’s A Rose for Winter (travelogue set in Spain) — review
  • Julian Sanchez’s The Art Restorer (Spanish author; partly set in Spain) — review
  • Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s Marina (Spanish author; set in Spain) — review
  • Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account (partly set in Spain) — reviwe
  • Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Poems (Spanish poet) — review
  • Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Fencing Master (Spanish writer; set in Spain) — review

The only books I didn’t get around to reading to in my original list was Almunedas Grande’s The Forzen Heart and re-readng Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Alas, maybe next year πŸ™‚ Oh, and I ended up DNF’ing Antonio Munoz Molina’s In the Night of Time.

As a wrap for this reading challenge:
Favourite read? Difficult question as I loved many of them! – Zafon’s Marina, Greene’s Monsignor Quixote, Antonio Hill’s books, de la Barca’s Life is a Dream
Least favourite read? Falcones’ The Hand of Fatima was disappointing, especialy as I loved The Cathedral of the Sea πŸ™

And that’s about it! Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them? If you participated in this reading challenge, what was your favourite read?

A Year in Re-Reading: Wrap-Up

Posted 30 December, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments


A Year in Re-Reading: a 2014 Reading Challenge hosted by caffeinatedlife.net

And here we are, at the last of the wrap-ups for the reading challenges I participated in this past year. I used to be such a big re-reader but over the years that seems to diminish so this challenge was created in the hopes of at least revisiting some of the books I had read and either forgot or that I thoroughly enjoyed. The master list of reviews can be found in this post.

Levels (sorry, not feeling very creative coming up with these levels, lol; I’m pretty laxed about this):

  • 1 – 4 books — Occasional re-reader
  • 5 – 9 books — Re-reading pro!
  • 10+ books — Re-reading champ!

So what did I read? πŸ™‚

  • Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Goreview
  • Andrew M. Greeley’s The Bishop Goes to the Universityreview
  • Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Roadreview
  • Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kingsreview
  • Mini-reviews for:
    • Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
    • Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle
    • Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection
    • Dante’s Inferno
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaperreview
  • Frank Herbert’s Dunereview
  • Winifred Watson’s Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Dayreview
  • Lev Grossman’s The Magiciansreview
  • Sarah Waters’ The Little Strangerreview
  • Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlinreview
  • Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Fencing Masterreview
  • Mini-reviews for:
    • Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Poems
    • Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
    • Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth
    • S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep
    • Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca
    • Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations
    • Jane Austen’s Persuasion
    • Pope Benedict XVI’s The Infancy Narratives
    • J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

And that’s a wrap! πŸ™‚ Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them? If you participated in this reading challenge, what was your favourite read?

2014 Shakespeare Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Posted 30 December, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments


2014 Shakespeare Reading Challenge hosted by caffeinatedlife.net

And here we are, at the end of another year, and thus at the end of one of the three reading challenges I participated in this year. Just a recap about the reading challenge I hosted: the idea was to read William Shakespeare’s original plays and/or sonnets. The master list containing details about the challenge can be found in this post and the master list of reviews over here.

Levels (sorry, not feeling very creative coming up with these levels, lol; I’m pretty laxed about this):

  • 1 – 4 plays β€” Occasional theatre-goer
  • 5 – 9 plays β€” Frequent theatre-goer
  • 10 – 12 plays β€” Regular theatre-goer

So what did I read? πŸ™‚

So, having read all of my these plays this year, what was my favourite? Julius Caesar, though Othello comes close in all of the feels it evoked. What was my least favourite? The Taming of the Shrew for WTF reasons, but Cymbeline comes close for boredom factors.

And that’s a wrap! πŸ™‚

Have you read any of these plays? If so, what did you think of them? If you participated in this reading challenge, what was your favourite work by Shakespeare that you read?

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 30 December, 2014 by Lianne in Meme / 16 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 Goals/Resolutions For 2015 — bookish, blogging or otherwise!

Gosh, well, this has been quite an intereseting year for me, both reading & blogging wise (lots of books read! New bloggers I’ve chatted with here! Changes here on the site! Events I’ve participated in!) as well as offline (closer to finishing my programme!). Looking back at my resolutions at the start of the year, I think I did pretty good, though it’s clear that some resolutions will be carrying over for 2015.


(image source)

In no particular order:

  1. Buy less — Yeah, I failed spectacularly on the book-buying ban front this year πŸ˜› Let’s try that again next year, shall we? (pre-orders aside, of course πŸ˜‰ )
  2. Re-read more — I made some headway this year with the re-reading challenge I hosted. I’m not hosting it again next year partly because of my domain change in the coming week, but I shall continue with the re-reading.
  3. Slow down on the reading — Still working on that…
  4. Get through some of the big classics this year — Another reason #1 needs to go into effect 110%: I sort of pushed the classics aside this year (which is weird because they do prompt a lot more reaction out of me and I do enjoy writing posts on the classics I read (see tag)). I mean, I did focus a lot on Shakespeare this year, but I didn’t read as much on the prose side. So, Middlemarch (amongst other titles) is entering its 4th year on my to-read pile untouched (oops)…
  5. Request less ARCs/participate on book tours & reading challenges — Much as I enjoy participatin in these events and reading upcoming books and discovering new writers and books, the “mild” pressure (as I told another blogger) coupled with the need to reach deadlines isn’t as fun. Plus, I want to focus on my TBR pile this year and the classics more.
  6. Reorganise the bookshelves — Another reason why points #1 and #2 need to go into effect: I’m pretty much out of room here. I have done every Tetris move I can do to make space for my books, but I need to start going through the shelves and see if there are books I won’t keep or re-read ever or didn’t enjoy, etc. *le gasp, I know, but it must be done*
  7. Get back to comments/blog hop a little sooner — I was notoriously bad at this this year, wasn’t I? You may have noticed I got back to some comments from August within the last week *blushes* Part of it is also because my blogging schedule has posts lined up every day so it’s quite a number to get back to, but I really need to set aside some time to just comment back to avoid the backlog. Sorry about that.
  8. Read more poetry — I think it was around the time I bought T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Other Poems (review) that I realised I need to read more poetry. So yeah, bring it on, 2015 πŸ™‚

Not going to post my non-bookish and non-blogging goals, but I do have a few writing-related goals for 2015:

  1. Finish editing my completed writing projects drafts — Yeah, there’s this one project that I’ve edited a few times last year, but I’m still not too happy with it. I reckon one very careful edit will clear everything up and hammer the details down once and for all (so that I can ponder the next step, please!)
  2. Keep to a writing schedule — They say to write everyday, but I’m a bit more of a mood writer; there are days I write a lot, and days I don’t write at all. I should keep to some kind of loose schedule, especially if I’m ever to properly finish some of these projects…
  3. Anyone in need of a freelance writer? — I had to ask πŸ˜›

And that’s my list of resolutions for 2015! What are your goals for the new year? Happy New Year!

A final note

Just a final reminder that I’m changing domains sometime this week/next week. Please follow me on Twitter if you don’t want to miss the changeover. Thanks!