Saturday, 29 May 2010

In My Mailbox #4

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. I only got two books this week. But they both sound really great.

I got My So Called Life by Joanna Nadin. This one came free with a magazine.

My So-called Life: The Tragically Normal Diary of Rachel RileyRachel Riley is the offspring of a depressingly unbroken home. Her mum and dad refuse to let her have a mobile phone, and have banned Ribena (too purple) and Eastenders (too common); her seven-year-old brother buys giant Des Lynam cut-outs and Will Young dolls from ebay and talks in Elvish; and the adopted dog eats her Pride and Prejudice boxed collection. It is time to change things. Rachel resolves that this year she will become tragic, literary and interesting - and will win the heart of Justin, the lead guitarist from Certain Death, along the way. Laugh-out-loud funny from beginning to end, this is a fresh new voice which will speak directly to teenagers everywhere. If Bridget Jones had kept a diary when she was a teenager, it is unlikely to have been this funny!
Also I got my first ever ARC, which is pretty cool. It's My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. I just started reading this today, and so far I really love it!

My Name is MemoryDaniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.
 Well, that's what I got this week, what did you get?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

East End Tales by Gilda O'Neill

East End Tales (Quick Reads)Gilda O'Neill was born in London's East End. Her nan had a pie and mash shop and her grandfather was a tug skipper. You might think Gilda's childhood was one of pub knees-ups and legendary criminals - but that is just half the story.
Inside East End Tales, Gilda reveals what the true East End was like - not the place of myth and legend. Stories of hardship and upheaval rub shoulders with those of kindness, pride, courage and humour.

The author has combined her own memories with those of other people who lived in the same area of London in the 1950s. I loved that the memories told in the book are about lives of ordinary people, and it really made me think about how much things have changed, and what we take for granted these days.
The book was really interesting and fun to read, also because the book is less than 100 pages long, I read it in one sitting. Reading this book reminded me of listening to my grandparents telling me stories of their youth. It has that nostalgic feel to it.
The only thing that did grate on me a bit is the way the author would write her own memories and then say something like "here is what a man said about that" followed by a quote. It just seemed a bit odd and I think she could have integrated the other people's stories a bit better.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Suddenly Sunday

Svea at Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Fog created this weekly event and invites anyone to join in and leave a link at her blog.

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog lately. It's not intentional, it's just there's always something else to do that takes priority I guess. Anyway, let's move on...

I have not had a very good week this week. Yesterday I found out that my bank card had been cloned and someone had stolen all of my money from my bank account!! The bank said that they should be able to reimburse me after they've done a full investigation, which could take weeks! In the mean time my account has been frozen and I can't pay anything in our out of my account. Also I'll have to open a new account which means ringing around every company that I pay bills to and letting them know that my payments might be delayed until this all gets sorted. Major stress that I do not need!

Apart from that, everything else is the same as usual, I have yet another essay to write this week, to be honest I'm beginning to wish I'd never opted to do this course, but it'll be worth it in the end.

On the book front I've read quite a few books lately, but there hasn't been anything special, they've actually all been a bit... meh...
I did find a trailer sort of thing for a book that I like the look of. It's called By Midnight and it's by Mia James. They have this cool little webpage set up where you can read the first chapter, and you can even enter to win a copy of the book (UK only). I'm not usually into vampire books, but this one looks a bit different, and after reading the first chapter I can't wait to read the full book! Check it out at:

Monday, 17 May 2010

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging by Louise Rennison

Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging: WITH "It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers!" (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Books 1 &2)Georgia Nicolson's in turmoil. Her cat, Angus (the size of a small labrador), is terrorizing the neighborhood. She went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive. And she's madly in love with Robbie the Sex God, who (sometimes) thinks she's too young for him. In these first two volumes in the hilarious #1 New York Times best-selling series, Georgia needs to change her life from Ergghhhlack to Fabbity-fab-fab!
Totally loved this book! I wish I had read it when I was a bit younger, but I still enjoyed it now.

The book is written in diary form, which is fun, but it does make everything a bit one-sided.
The story reminded me of my own teenage years. I could really relate to some of the things Georgia went through (I accidently shaved my eyebrows off when I was 14 too...). 

Very fun read and I really want to read the rest of the series.
Thanks to Ria for sending me this book!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Completed Challenge: 50 Books in 2010

Wow, I've surprised myself with this one. I've already read 50 books this year, and we're not even half way through it yet. Granted, some of the books I've counted were really short, but hey, they're still books. I guess my next goal is to aim for 100 books.

Here's what I've read so far:
1. Cold Cases by Charlotte Greig
2. Morgan's Woman by Iris Gower
3. Uncanny Stories by May Sinclair
4. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
5. Lily by Adele Geras
6. The World's Greatest Unsolved Crimes by Roger Boar and Nigel Blundell
7. Birthday Girl by Diane J. Wright
8. Gorilla Adventure by Willard Price
9. Illusion by Edmond Cheng
10. Tickets, Please by D.H. Lawrence
11. DEAD(ish) by Naomi Kramer
12. Red Riding Hood by Naomi Kramer
13. The Moonlight by Joyce Cary
14. Diary of a Hapless Househusband by Sam Holden
15. Mr. Icky/Porcelain and Pink by F. Scott Fitzgerald
16. Make a Joke and I Will Sigh and You Will Laugh and I Will Cry by Tony Trigilio
17. Some Kind of Hero by Donna Hay
18. Lead Me Home by L.K. Campbell
19. The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs
20. The Story of a Stuffed Elephant by Laura Lee Hope
21. Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
22. Going With Gabriel by Bryan Islip
23. Honeycote by Veronica Henry
24. Double Stitch by John Rolfe Gardiner
25. The Wild Knight and Other Poems by G.K. Chesterton
26. Serial Killers by Brian Innes
27. The Lost Kitty by Aunt Hattie
28. Decision Most Deadly by Mark Turnbull
29. The Fox Jumps Over The Parson's Gate by Randolph Caldecott
30. Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder
31. Mania by Craig Larsen
32. Montmorency by Eleanor Updale
33. The Cradle Snatcher by Tess Stimson
34. By Royal Command by Mary Hooper
35. Divas Don't Knit by Gil McNeil
36. Maggie and Other Stories by Stephen Crane
37. Touching The Sky by Susan Madison
38. I Like It Like That by Claire Calman
39. A Catch of Consequence by Diana Norman
40. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
41. Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer
42. A Step Too Far by Meg Hutchinson
43. Crazy In Love by Chrissie Manby
44. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
45. The Nation's Favourite Twentieth Century Poems
46. True Stories About Cats and Dogs by Eliza Lee Follen
47. The Cockatoo's Story by Anne Jane Cupples
48. A Necessary Evil by Alex Kava
49. EyeLeash by Jess C. Scott
50. Quantum Breach by Mark Powell

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little StrangerThe Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline - its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.
My thoughts: I really loved this book! Told from Dr. Faraday's point of view, the story tells of the Ayres family and their home, Hundreds Hall. Dr. Faraday loves the house and gradually he becomes more and more involved with Hundreds Hall and the Ayres family.
It's hard to tell what exactly is going on in the house, at first it seems like a ghost but as the story went on and madness crept into the house, I wasn't sure whether it was caused by the supernatural or the psychological elements. 
The story is a really good historical novel and I loved the descriptions of the house, even if it was a little creepy! Actually, I think this is one of those books that I'd like to live in, because I loved the house as much as Dr. Faraday did.
An extra thing that I liked about this book is that it's set in Warwickshire which is quite close to where I live. In fact at one stage in the story the two women visit Worcester, which is the city where I grew up. It was one of those moments when I was like "Ooh I know that place" lol, it just adds to my enjoyment of a story if I recognise the setting.

Monday, 3 May 2010

EyeLeash by Jess C. Scott

EyeLeash: A Blog NovelJade Ashton is a sassy virgin. In her private blog, she vents about "fitting in" a world where superficiality reigns supreme. Suddenly all logic flies out the window when she meets Novan: the former geek, who's morphed into a delicious songwriter-musician. They decide to be "friends-with-benefits". But it's Novan, with his poems and riddling passages on his own blog--which *isn't private*--that backs out. EyeLeash captures self-discovery in the 2000s, and showcases the colorful, intricate drama in two youths' relentless search for themselves--and what's really in their hearts.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I haven’t read a blog style book before, so that was interesting.

I could totally relate to Jade and I could really understand her dilemma about Novan, I loved the on-off nature of their almost relationship. Jade blogs a lot of her private thoughts and she also blogs MSN conversations and copies down Novan's blog posts too. In fact, when it comes to Novan I'd say her behaviour is verging on stalkerish.

My one negative comment is that there was a huge amount of sex talk in this book. I mean Jade totally obsessed over it, which I guess is the whole point of the novel. I could just about put up with her blog posts about masturbation (would someone seriously blog about that, even in private?), but the thing that I really didn’t get was the talk of orgies and stuff. Where does this girl live? It sounds like a pretty perverted town lol.

Overall, this was a fun read. Like I said, there is a LOT of sex talk, but no 'actual' sex (unless you count masturbation...), but it is a little bit awkward to read about in places. However, if you can get past that, then it's a fun and cute love story.

I read this book online for free at which is an awesome website that I just found out about yesterday.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

In My Mailbox #3

I got a huge haul of books this week. I went a bit crazy in the charity shops lol. (Click on a cover to go to the book's Goodreads page).

Code Name Mr Right The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1) The Cheerleader The Hitchhiker (Point) My Secret Admirer (Point - Horror) The Witch Hunter: A Crowner John Mystery (Crowner John, #8) Milly Molly Mandy Stories (Young Puffin Modern Classics) The Nightingale Gallery (The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelsan, #1) Bertie, May and Mrs Fish: Country Memories of Wartime Water (Ladybird leaders) Collins Bumper Play Book

I also got this one in a swap:

And this one arrived that I won from Ria at The Beaucoup Review. Thanks Ria!
Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging: WITH "It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers!" (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Books 1 &2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Monthly Round-Up April 2010

I haven't been blogging much in April, firstly I was having a few internet connection problems, secondly I've been catching up on a lot of reading. But I'm back now and have a whole heap of reviews to be posted through May.

I've slightly changed the format for my monthly round-up posts because before I was only listing books that I'd reviewed but from now on I'm also going to list everything I've read in the past month.

Books read in April:
Maggie and Other Stories by Stephen Crane
Touching The Sky by Susan Madison
I Like It Like That by Claire Calman
A Catch of Consequence by Diana Norman
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer
A Step Too Far by Meg Hutchinson
Crazy In Love by Chrissie Manby
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
The Nation's Favourite Twentieth Century Poems
True Stories About Cats and Dogs by Eliza Lee Follen
The Cockatoo's Story by Anne Jane Cupples
Total books read: 12
Books reviewed in April:
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Divas Don't Knit by Gil McNeil
By Royal Command by Mary Hooper
The Cradle Snatcher by Tess Stimson
Total books reviewed: 4
My favourite book this month was The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. I seriously could not put this book down until I'd finished it.
April Blog News
As I wasn't blogging much this month there isn't really any news. Although I did get some more blog awards.
What's coming in May?
Well, as you'll see if you look at what I've read this year, I have a huge backlog of reviews to catch up on. I have a few that are written and ready to post, but a lot of them are still in note form and need to be written properly.