Monthly Archives: January 2016

Review: The Viceroys

Posted 18 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Viceroys
By: Federico de Roberto
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

A classic of Sicilian Literature, first published in 1894

The Viceroys tells the story of three generations of the aristocratic Uzeda princes of Francalanza. De Roberto portrays a world undergoing fundamental change, where the family must try every means in order to hold onto their power and position. Through this drama, a portrait of a complete society is carefully drawn as it discards the old ways and stumbles into an uncertain future. At every level the stains of corruption and decay taints lives, and hope. A lost literary classic, comparable to Lampedusa’s The Leopard, The Viceroys is an important novel that still resonates with a contemporary readership.

I requested an eARC of this book as I’m always excited to check out more classic Italian literature. This is indeed a lost literary classic in that it’s not as well known as Lampedusa’s The Leopard (which I have yet to read) and Manzoni’s The Betrothed (sitting on my TBR queue right now). So I was curious. This book will be available on 19 January 2016.

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Review: Mariana

Posted 12 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

By: Susanna Kearsley
Format/Source: Paperback; was a birthday gift

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.

As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.

Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past…until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.

I read this book years ago when it was given to me as a birthday gift. It was my first Susanna Kearsley novel, but I believe I didn’t review it at the time because I was in grad school and travelling back and forth between cities. I decided to revisit it recently as I read a number of her books that were sitting on my TBR queue last year πŸ™‚ The following contains spoilers (as I will be talking a lot about my first time reading this book & the ending)!

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Review: The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

Posted 11 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 8 Comments

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland #3)
By: Catherynne M. Valente
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

September misses Fairyland and her friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. She longs to leave the routines of home and embark on a new adventure. Little does she know that this time, she will be spirited away to the moon, reunited with her friends, and find herself faced with saving Fairyland from a moon-Yeti with great and mysterious powers.

I always seem to be a year or two behind in getting around to reading the next installment to the Fairyland books, lol. So here we are, third book in the Fairyland series. I loved the first book and really liked the second one (see author tag) so I was looking forward to this third book especially with such a title!

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Review: The Concert Ticket

Posted 8 January, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Concert Ticket
By: Olga Grushin
Format/Source: Trade paperback; my purchase

Anna is on her way home from work on a cold winter’s day when she sees a crowd queuing at a kiosk. Though a queue is not an unusual sight in a Russian city, this appears different. There’s a rumour that famous exiled composer Selinksy is returning to conduct his last symphony for one night only – and this kiosk is selling tickets. The acquisition of tickets to this concert becomes an obsession in Anna’s small family. Her husband, a tuba player in a state band, sees the ticket as a way of embarking on an illicit affair. Their son thinks going to the concert will help him flee to the West on Selinksy’s coattails. And Anna? She secretly hopes the ticket will make her husband love her again.

The Concert Ticket is a heartbreaking novel about the secret, profound longings at the heart of a family struggling in a time of great repression.

I read her second novel last year, The Dream Life of Sukhanov (review), and absolutely loved it, so I was really happy when I purchased a copy of her first novel (also known as The Line). I do note that this is not the book cover I have; my edition has more blue but is just as stunning.

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Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Posted 6 January, 2016 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 16 Comments

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

Posting this a few hours earlier than usual because I’ll be leaving early tomorrow morning for a workshop (related to point #2, but anyway)…

  1. Happy New Year! How was everyone’s Christmas & holiday season? I hope everyone had a wonderful time with their loved ones and that things weren’t too stressful leading up to it πŸ™‚ My Christmas & New Year was pretty quiet, though I am still recovering from a food coma as on top of the two holidays we also celebrated two birthdays xD *thud* But they were a lot of fun and all around lovely (and the freezing cold winter weather didn’t hit until just before the new year). There’s still the matter of meeting up with my best friends, which I wasn’t able to do before Christmas, but it’ll have to wait until point #2 is through…
  2. So I suppose I should properly recap what’s been happening to me over the month of December. I didn’t really delve much into it because to be honest I didn’t want to jinx myself (I can get pretty superstitious when it comes to these things, lol) but I finished the final course to my nursing programme (thank goodness!!!) and have been studying for my licensure exam that I will be taking next week x_x So this is me right now BIG TIME:

    (Again, not my gif but thank you whoever made this)
  3. Speaking of Christmas holidays and everything, I spent another lovely Christmas season re-watching The Lord of the Rings, haha (well, mostly anyways; our viewing of ROTK was interrupted by some visitor dropping by, so we’re watching that later in the week). It’s a nicely tradition, it still hits me with all of the feels and it’s funny watching it with my family. We were debating whether to marathon through the three Hobbit movies as well but in the end we got lazy and opted to watch the third movie extended edition (which was much better than the theatrical; there were a lot of cut scenes that should’ve stayed in the theatrical cut).
  4. On a sort-of related note, how was everyone’s Boxing Day/shopping post-Christmas? lol. I want to say I wasn’t bad, aside from pre-ordering a bunch of stuff (see point #8), but I think I did splurge a bit more than I meant to. Oops. Oh well, yay books and movies that came my way πŸ™‚
  5. I plugged this song in my first post of the year last week but I really like this song right now:

    Ludovico Einaudi also apparently came out with a new album back in October and I loves it. Too late/too lazy to add a postscript to last week’s entry but it’s a great album nonetheless. Love this song right now:

  6. Sort-of resolutions for 2016. We’ll see how this goes? πŸ™‚
  7. Books I am currently reading: Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (sort of took a break reading this book sometime before Christmas; luckily I stopped at the beginning of a new tale), The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, and Terry Pratchett’s The Truth (I need something to offset the madness happening offline).
  8. So my book-buying ban started on January 1st. I’m suriving so far, probably because I’m more focused on studying at the moment and I’ve got plenty of books on my TBR pile to read in the meantime besides I preordered all the books I wanted for the next two-three months πŸ™‚ Like last year I’ll be ending this found of the book-buying ban on Easter Sunday, give me a breather, and then start the process all over again. We’ll see how this goes, lol.
  9. There’ll Be No Winds Of Winter Before Game Of Thrones Season 6. I saw this post the day it was published on my Twitter feed and I can’t say I’m surprised, I wasn’t expecting it at all this year. I do feel for him, working on such a pressured deadline sucks and being a writer isn’t easy (gosh, I said last year I’d churn out a final draft for my WIP. Did. Not. Happen.). On the other hand it was pretty naive of him to think the show wouldn’t catch up to him; alarm bells were already ringing when series 3 rolled in and the sixth book was nowhere near publication…But anyway. There’s that. Can’t say I’m terribly hyped anyhow *has plenty of other books and series to read and look forward to anyhow*
  10. And before I forget, this lovely news article appeared on my Twitter feed on New Year’s Eve: This Raccoon Who Stole A Doughnut In Toronto Is Your Inspiration For 2016 πŸ˜› On a side note, the raccoons seem to be out in full force last year (never forget: #DeadRaccoonTO. I live in a strange city)…


And that’s about it from me! Not quite ten this month, but anyway…How are you recovering from the Christmas/New Year season? How’s the first week of 2016 treating you? Have a wonderful weekend and a great January! πŸ™‚