Monthly Archives: January 2015

January Updates

Posted 31 January, 2015 by Lianne in Website / 17 Comments

Well, here we are, start of a new year! Hope everyone had a lovely January and a good start to 2015. Also hope the weather hasn’t been as chilly or weird as it has been on my end. Anyway, here’s what has been going on at my blog this past month…

(not my gif, but that’s pretty much January in a nutshell, right?)

  1. Books reviewed this month include: Patricia A. McKillip’s The Riddle-Master Trilogy (at long last! review), Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham’s Mr. Kiss and Tell (review) and Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter (at long last (as well)! review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. I did read a few ARCs this month, but none of their reviews will be going live until next month. So please stay tuned! In the meantime, you can check out all of the ARCs that I recently read in this tag.
  3. Movies reviewed (though not necessarily watched this month) include: This is Where I Leave You (review), The Secret World of Arrietty (review), and My Neighbours the Yamadas (review).
  4. I participated in the following events this month:
    • Clean Your Reader: A January 2015 Reading Challenge (wrap-up post)
    • Book Tour for Heather Webb’s Rodin’s Lover (see post)
  5. I started a new feature on my blog called So You Want to Read… featuring recommendations of where to start if you’re interested in reading a particular author. My inaugural post featured fantasy author Patricia A. McKillip (see post). My aim is for these posts to go live sometime in the middle of the month (around the 15th and thereabouts). Let me know what you think of the feature! Hope you enjoy it 🙂
  6. And finally, the big one: I completed a domain change earlier this month (see post). Nice way to start a new year–new domain name, changes to the layout and some other associated elements to my blog. All of the updates are pretty much done, which is a relief.


And that’s about it from me this month! We’re really getting into 2015 now…Anyway, next month should be a bit exciting here on the blog: aside from the usual books read and discussed here, well, celebrations will be in order 😉 So please stay tuned! How was your January?

Clean Your Reader: a 2015 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up!

Posted 30 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Clean Your Reader hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm

So it’s the end of the month (more or less 😛 ) and I am here at the end of the Clean Your Reader hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm. It was a fun and laid back month to start going through some of the eBooks I accumulated from some of the many book sales I’ve seen the past year or two (or more :3).

Thus for part of the reading challenge I read the following 7 8 books:

  • Andrei Makine’s The Life of an Unknown Man (review)
  • Unfettered edited by Shawn Speakman (review)
  • Georgette Heyer’s The Masqueraders (review)
  • Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades (review)
  • Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub (review)
  • Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter (review)
  • Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Painted Girls (review)
  • Alice Munro’s Runaway (review)
  • Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract (review to be posted in February)

Of the seven I read, hands down Kalotay’s Russian Winter and Alice Munro’s Runaway were my favourites, but all of the books I read were very entertaining.

Thank you again to Kerry @ Entomology of a Bookworm for hosting this fantastic reading challenge! 🙂

Review: Runaway

Posted 29 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

By: Alice Munro
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

The incomparable Alice Munro’s bestselling and rapturously acclaimed Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships. In Munro’s hands, the people she writes about–women of all ages and circumstances, and their friends, lovers, parents, and children–become as vivid as our own neighbors. It is her miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own.

I finally got around to reading some of Alice Munro’s books last year and found that I love them so much, I couldn’t believe I didn’t get around to her books sooner. I still have her first collection, Selected Stories, on my shelf waiting to be read, but this book was on sale at Kobo Books late last year, I just had to pick it up 🙂

This book is part of the Clean Your Reader – Reading Challenge that I am participating in January 2015.

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Review: The Painted Girls

Posted 28 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Painted Girls
By: Cathy Marie Buchanan
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Paris, 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opera, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Emile Zola’ s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged 14. Meanwhile, Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Emile Abadie, must choose between honest labour and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde.

Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.” In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation—her survival, even—lies with the other.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a few years now–the premise sounded intriguing, I love historical fiction titles set in the Belle Epoque, and the author is Canadian 🙂 I bumped it up my to-read pile recently because someone–I forgot if it was on GoodReads or a blurb on the book–mentioned that Heather Webb’s Rodin’s Lover (review) felt akin to this book. Having loved Heather Webb’s latest novel, well, I just had to read this one soon after 😛

This book is part of the Clean Your Reader – Reading Challenge that I am participating in January 2015.

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Review: The Babylon Contingency

Posted 28 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Babylon Contingency
By: Clifford Longley
Format/Source: Paperback courtesy of the publishers via LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme

Investigating a burglary at an English country house, Detective Chief Inspector Robbie Peele comes face to face with one of the most mysterious objects in world archaeology, the Phaestos Disk–and with the Middle Eastern terrorist cell determined to steal it.

The vital clue is a long abandoned Muslim village in Crete, where a Victorian gentleman explorer witnessed horrors that were meant to be secret and recorded what he saw in coded diaries. Seeking the truth about the Phaestos Disk, Peele and his assistant, Sarah Shipton, are on the cusp of solving the mystery when they are caught in an ancient Egyptian burial chamber during an earthquake.

In the end Peele has to ask far harder questions than simply who committed the original burglary. The origins of the Phaestos Disk are inextricably bound up with the Middle East peace process in ways that frustrate and astound him.

The premise of this novel intrigued me, hence I requested a copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme in exchange for an honest review. This book was published on 27 November 2014.

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