Monthly Archives: October 2016


October Updates

Posted 31 October, 2016 by Lianne in Website / 4 Comments

Ahhh, and with that autumn is in full swing (minus the one week we had a few weeks ago where we back at mid-20s degree Celcius–so weird =S ). Here’s what has been going on at my blog during the month of October:

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  1. Books reviewed this month include: Maria Rainer Rilke’s The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (review), Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway (review), and Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. Two ARCs was reviewed this month: Thomas Keneally’s Napoleon’s Last Island (review) and Garth Nix’s Goldenhand (review). You can check out all of the ARCs I’ve read and reviewed to date in this tag.
  3. For this month’s So You Want to Read…, I recommended books by Neil Gaiman (in time for Hallowe’en 😉 ). You can check out that post over here. For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
  4. My birthday was earlier this month! To celebrate that, I hosted a wee book giveaway. Thank you again to everyone who greeted me and who entered the giveaway, and congrats again to Kate! 🙂

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And that’s about it from me for the month of October! Wishing you all a wonderful week and a fantastic November ahead (meanwhile whoo! You know what that means for November…NaNoWriMo and Sci-Fi Month!) 🙂

Review: Dreams of Distant Shores

Posted 28 October, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Dreams of Distant Shores
By: Patricia A. McKillip
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Featuring three brand-new stories and an original introduction by Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn.

Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of her newest work, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Within these pages you will find a youthful artist possessed by both his painting and his muse and seductive travelers from the sea enrapturing distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life, and two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.

Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will find much to delight them; those lucky enough to be discovering her work will find much to enchant them.

Yay, another new book from Patricia A. McKillip! As many of you may know, I’m a big fan of her books, so I was delighted to learn that she was releasing another collection of short stories this 2016 and just couldn’t resist pre-ordering it xD

I have to say, this latest batch of short stories is very much in keeping with her latest trend of storytelling a la Kingfisher (review) whereby most of these tales are set in our world but with magical and fantastical elements or happenings. I admit, I much prefer her earlier stories that are set wholly in a fantastical world of its own rather than in our world, but that’s a personal preference, and it doesn’t stop the stories contained within this volume from being rather interesting. I reckon I may have to re-read a few of them again to truly grasp some of the nuances of the story, but the stories that stuck out for me the most were “The Gorgon in the Cupboard” and “Something Rich and Strange”, probably because they were the longer pieces included in this book and thus had more time to develop (both the stories and the characters).

What is nice about this collection is that a short essay was included at the end of the book in which she talks about her writing process a bit and how she approaches writing fantasy novels. For readers big on fantasy novels or writers of the genre, it’s an essay definitely worth checking out and reflecting on.

If you’re a new reader to Patricia A. McKillip’s books and you want to read her short stories, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book, I’d probably recommend her early collection Harrowing the Dragon (review). Nonetheless it’s another excellent volume from Patricia A. McKillip and a volume I’ll likely revisit as I anticipate her next book!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Learn more about the author on Wikipedia || Purchase a copy from the Book Depository

Review: The Poetry of Rilke

Posted 27 October, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Poetry of Rilke
By: Rainer Maria Rilke
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

For the past twenty-five years, North Point Press has been working with Edward Snow, “Rilke’s best contemporary translator” (Brian Phillips, The New Republic), to bring into English Rilke’s major poetic works. The Poetry of Rilke—the single most comprehensive volume of Rilke’s German poetry ever to be published in English—is the culmination of this effort. With more than two hundred and fifty selected poems by Rilke, including complete translations of the Sonnets to Orpheus and the Duino Elegies, The Poetry of Rilke spans the arc of Rilke’s work, from the breakthrough poems of The Book of Hours to the visionary masterpieces written only weeks before his death. This landmark bilingual edition also contains all of Snow’s commentaries on Rilke, as well as an important new introduction by the award-winning poet Adam Zagajewski. The Poetry of Rilke will stand as the authoritative single-volume translation of Rilke into English for years to come.

Okay, I’m on a bit of a reading spree with Rainer Maria Rilke. I read his only fictional title, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge (review), earlier this year and absolutely adored it, and it prompted me to finally check out his poetry. I’m thankful that an edition such as this exists; I always enjoy reading poetry and plays in the bilingual format (the original on the left, the translated English on the right). Sure, I only know like, a handful of words in German, but it’s still cool.

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Review: Cygnet

Posted 26 October, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Cygnet
By: Patricia A. McKillip
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

In the realm of fantasy, one name stands out from the crowd. For many years, Patricia A. McKillip has charmed readers with her “unique brand of prose magic” (Locus). Now, for the first time in one volume, she offers two of her classic tales-The Sorceress and the Cygnet and The Cygnet and the Firebird-which delve into the fate of the Ro family and an otherworld rich in myth and mayhem, magic and adventure.

And here we are, the last Patricia A. McKillip book sitting on my TBR pile as of April 2016. I like that they bound the two books into one volume so one can enjoy reading both books without break 🙂 I had meant to read this book over the winter but it ended up getting bumped into the spring season but anyway, I finally read it, hurray 🙂

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Review: Fragile Things

Posted 25 October, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Fragile Things
By: Neil Gaiman
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night. . . .

In a Hugo Award–winning story, a great detective must solve a most unsettling royal murder in a strangely altered Victorian England. . . .

Two teenage boys crash a party and meet the girls of their dreams—and nightmares. . . .

These marvelous creations and more showcase the unparalleled invention and storytelling brilliance—as well as the terrifyingly dark and entertaining sense of humor—of the incomparable Neil Gaiman. By turns delightful, disturbing, and diverting, Fragile Things is a gift of literary enchantment from one of the most original writers of our time.

At long last I’ve picked up one of Neil Gaiman’s short stories collection; I had been eyeing them for some time, especially as I’ve been reading a lot of short story collections in the past year. I’ve enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s full-length works, whether they be novels or graphic novels, so I was also curious to see how he fared with shorter works.

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