Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Posted 12 September, 2018 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 0 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.).

  1. School’s back! It’s okay…so far. Not terribly freaked out compared to my bridging programme and that orientation from the other university that I was accepted to before Ryerson offered me admission (now THOSE were massive information dumps designed to petrify), but then again these are early days. I reckon things are going to pick up soon enough (Edit: Well, it’s sort of starting too, but at least I’m not as panicked as last year) but for now it’s okay, it’s good to be back at some kind of university setting.
  2. So August was hella busy for me. Work was insane because we’re so short-staffed and it’s summer so many people went on vacation; worked overtime and how many days straight…
  3. …and then I played hard, lol. The latter half of the month was littered with social events: get-togethers, meet-up with friends, a retirement party for some nurses on the other unit I used to work at, another potluck at my home unit…It was crazy, but it was fun. Never thought myself to be a social butterfly but after working all those shifts, yeah, I just want to sit down and chat lol.
  4. So now it’s back to finding a balance between school and work. I’m bummed that my availability is cut in half (not that it stopped me from picking up a shift tomorrow; FAIL) and of course that means that my pay is substantially lower than what it used to be but on the flip side I don’t want to make the same mistake I did at the end of my bridging programme where when I wasn’t at school I was at work and that nearly broke my brain ;_; So yes, trying to find that balance (and sticking to it!)
  5. Books I’m currently reading: I started reading Carolyn Ives Gilman’s Dark Orbit as my transit reading, lol. I’m also reading Francis Fukuyama’s Identity: the Demand and Dignity of the Politics of Resentment, which has been really interesting so far. Oh, and some of W.H. Auden’s poems on the side 🙂 He seems like an autumn-y read to me.
  6. Even though I haven’t been reading as often as I used to, I have pre-ordered a number of new books recently (including what will be my brother’s birthday gift to me, lol (this has been a regular practice for the last few years now lol)) which is pretty exciting. Should however curb back on the spending again since my hours aren’t as much as it used to be and I should try and catch up a bit with my TBR pile…
  7. Curious as I am, I don’t pick up any books about the 45th President of the United States. I did however pick up Bob Woodward’s Fear as, well, it’s written by Bob Woodward. I may actually start reading a bit of it tonight (should I dare).
  8. I caved and bought this knapsack last month. I love it, cannot wait to use it on my next trip 🙂 (I’m still using my Anello knapsack, by the way; I’m just using it for school, which is perfect because it’s quite spacious)
  9. But despite of the busy-ness, I finally released my third poetry collection, With Quiet Ardency! It’s been a long time coming…More info about the book here on my blog in another week or so and it should be available on Amazon, the Book Depository, etc. in a few weeks but in the meantime you can pick up a copy on Lulu.com 🙂
  10. So many book-to-television adaptations coming out soon! For example, Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend (A+ for using Max Richter’s music in the second half):

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And that’s it from me! How’s your September going? 🙂

Review: The Unwomanly Face of War

Posted 10 September, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Unwomanly Face of War
By: Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

The unforgettable oral history of Soviet women’s experiences in the Second World War from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, The Unwomanly Face of War is Svetlana Alexievich’s collection of stories from Soviet women who lived through the Second World War: on the front lines, on the home front, and in occupied territories. As Alexievich gives voice to women who are absent from official narratives – captains, sergeants, nurses, snipers, pilots – she shows us a new version of the war we’re so familiar with, creating an extraordinary
alternative history from their private stories.

Published in 1985 in Russia, The Unwomanly Face of War was Alexievich’s first book and a huge bestseller in the Soviet Union, establishing her as a brilliantly revolutionary writer.

Svetlana Alexievich has been on my wish-to-read list ever since I heard she had won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her specialisation is oral history in major Soviet events, and I was quite intrigued when I heard that this particular book was published in English a few years ago.

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Books: Summer Wrap-Up [2018 edition]

Posted 7 September, 2018 by Lianne in Lists / 1 Comment

I can’t believe it’s already September! Seems like yesterday summer was just rolling in and I had just finished classes, lol. Anyway, as with every year, here’s some of my favourite boks read between the first week of June and today. Moreso than last year I haven’t read as much as I used to; I’ve been busy at work and meeting up with people and trying to work on other projects. But I did read whenever I can.

In no particular order:

  • The remainder of the Bridgerton books by Julia Quinn (see author tag) — Okay, I was purposely putting off finishing the series because I never want it to end, lol. But it was fun to finally get around to the younger Bridgerton siblings’ stories and romances and just hang out with the Bridgerton clan as a whole 🙂
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (review) — Neil Gaiman’s books never disappoint and I was happy to finally read the last of his full-length novels that I haven’t read. I love how he draws on other mythologies and legends, and evokes that sense of wonder and mystery in his stories.
  • Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (review) — Okay, I didn’t rate it as amazing-AMAZING but it was the perfect summer read; had me glued to the page figuring out what happened to the plane and who amongst the cast of characters had a hand in events.
  • Still Water by Amy Stuart (review) — I loved her debut novel Still Mine (review) so I was excited to read the follow-up. It did not disappoint, adding more questions to the characters we already know and delving deeper into their survival and their sorrows.
  • The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich (review to follow) — I cannot stress how important this book is and the stories that Svetlana Alexievich was able to record and collect from the Soviet women who served during the war.



And that’s my list! What were some of your favourite reads this summer (or winter, depending on where you are in the world)? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Interested in any of them?

August Updates

Posted 31 August, 2018 by Lianne in Website / 1 Comment

So, how was everyone’s August? Mine was hella busy (more about it next month when I post my Bookish & Not-So-Bookish Thoughts). Fun fact: I was planning on posting recaps of my time in Portugal but I’ve just been so busy, I haven’t actually sat down with enough patience to sift through the photos. Oops. Fingers crossed I do get around to posting about it next month 🙂 In the meantime here’s what has been going on here at the blog for the month of August:

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  1. Books reviewed recently: Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall (review), Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys (review), and Curtis Sittenfield’s Eligible (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
  2. Read and reviewed one advanced reading copy (wow, first one in ages!): Amy Stuart’s Still Water (review. You can read all of the ARCs I read in the past over at this tag.
  3. Reviewed two movies in the last two months: The Death of Stalin (review) and Crazy Rich Asians (review). You can check out all of the past movies I’ve watched and reviewed in this tag.

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And that’s about it, lol! Well, it’s back to the grind (working the long weekend, and then back to school starting Tuesday). Wishing everyone a lovely start of September! 🙂

Review: The Ludwig Conspiracy

Posted 29 August, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Ludwig Conspiracy
By: Oliver Pötzsch
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

In 1886, Ludwig II, the fairytale king of Bavaria, was deposed after being declared insane by doctors who had never met him. He died mysteriously soon thereafter, his eccentric and beautiful castles his only legacy.

When an encoded diary by one of Ludwig’s confidants falls into the hands of rare book dealer Steven Lukas, he soon realizes that the diary may bring him more misery than money. Others want the diary as well—and they will kill to get it. Believing the diary to contain the secret truth behind Ludwig’s death, Steven and the detective Sara Lengfeld go on the run, investigating each of Ludwig’s three famous castles for clues. Just what in the diary could be so explosive that Ludwig’s deranged modern-day followers will do whatever it takes to keep it hidden?

I’ve been meaning to read something by Oliver Pötzsch for ages. I ended up picking up this book partly because it was on sale but also because it was a standalone and I wasn’t in the mood to pick up a series at the time.

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