Monday 31 December 2012

December RAK Wrap Up

I signed up for RAK again this month, it being the season of giving and all, and I'm glad (as always) that I did! For anybody who doesn't know about it, RAK is hosted by Booksoulmates and runs every month. Basically you sign up with your wishlist and then the idea is that you choose someone at random and send them something from their wishlist, and if you're lucky, somebody picks you and sends you something! This month I both sent and received.

Victoria from Yeah, I Read it sent me Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, which I've already started and am loving, and I sent her The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, which I just finished and loved, so I hope that she loves it too!

I will definitely be signing up for RAK again in January!

I also need to mention a couple of other things that I got in December. Firstly lovely Ellie sent me this beautiful copy of The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald. She knows I have a lot of love for him, and this copy is just awesome!

I also got my The Broke & the Bookish Secret Santa parcel. I still don't know who it was from, as the card wasn't signed, but it was awesome! 

There was The Kingmaker's Daugher by Philippa Gregory and Looking for Alaska by John Green plus a pretty silver necklace for me, and then a copy of Jill Murphy's gorgeous Five Minutes Peace plus storybook CD for Benjamin! I sent a parcel to Sarah at Reader. Writer. Nerd. and you can see her big reveal here. I really hope they run this again next year as it was brilliant fun and I will definitely be participating! :-)

Sunday 30 December 2012

2012 End of Year Book Survey!

I love lists and statistics and anything thusly (yes, thusly) related, so I kind of thought I had to participate in the 3rd annual End of Year Book Survey, hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner. Pretty much the reason why I started this blog (which, by the way, will be TWO in January! How crazy is that?!) was because I have absolutely no capability to remember what I've read, and as this is still the case it's particularly fun for me to look back over my reviews and Goodreads to answer these questions!

1. Best Book You Read in 2012?
I read quite a few really good books this year, but I think my favourite probably has to be Let's Pretend This Never Happened: a Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson. It was just awesome and hilarious and I ended up passing it round to people I was with while I was reading it, so they could see what was making me laugh so much. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More but Didn't?
I think probably One Day by David Nicholls, although I did enjoy it. I just didn't adore it in the way I thought I would. I still have to see the film though. Oh, and there was So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson, which I really wanted to review because I had loads to say about it but never got around to it for one reason and another. I really love books about books, but this was just waaaaay too judgemental for me, and seriously Sara Nelson, who has one book to read on public transport and another to read at home just because they're worried what random strangers will think about them for reading the book they're reading at home? Weird.

3. Most Surprising (in a good way!) Book of 2012?
I think this has to be Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, of which I was expecting precisely nothing (because it's YA, and I have this awful immovable prejudice against YA. I am going to rectify it in 2013), but which turned out to be really great and fun and just generally awesome. Also The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings way back at the beginning of the year (which I again didn't get around to reviewing. I've really sucked this year!) which was just purely epic. And I still haven't seen the film of that either...

4. Book You Recommended to People Most in 2012?
Thinking about it, probably The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte because it was just SO MUCH AWESOME. So much so that I actually wrote two reviews of it, just because there was so much to say. 

5. Best Series You Discovered in 2012?
I don't know if it counts because I actually read the first couple at the very tail end of 2011, but I've read most of them this year, so the Fables series of graphic novels by Bill Willingham. The best series that I've legitimately discovered in 2012, though, is the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. While they weren't astoundingly brilliant, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night were both interesting and well worked out and I liked them. I need the third one now please. Thanks.

Oh! Final one, The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way (aka that guy from My Chemical Romance) and Gabriel Ba. Seriously seriously cool graphic novel series. There are only two at the moment, but there's meant to be a third appearing in the not too distant future. 

6. Favourite New Authors You Discovered in 2012?
Allegra Goodman is the big one I can think of off the top of my head. I randomly got The Cookbook Collector out of the library and literally fell in love with it. It's impossible to get hold of any of her others without paying full price for them, so I'm still waiting at the moment and hoping they'll turn up somehow by magic...Also Alison Bechdel (I read both Fun Home and Are You My Mother? this year), whose graphic novels are just amazing. And Catherynne M. Valente. The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making was just the right balance of fairytale, common sense and pure beauty and I can't wait for the next one!

7. Best Book That was Out of Your Comfort Zone or Was a New Genre for You?
Without a doubt Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I really don't read a lot of science fiction, and especially not much dystopian fiction but people kept talking about it and it was so. great. Again, I never reviewed it. I really must get better at this next year. I have a feeling there's something in my drafts folder, but that really doesn't count as it never actually made it onto the blog. 

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2012?
I know I read A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night both very quickly. Also The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie which I just finished and pretty much couldn't put down.

9. Book You read in 2012 that you are most likely to reread next year?
Probably either Let's Pretend This Never Happened, or Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan, which was brilliant.

10. Favourite Cover of a book you read in 2012?
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.
This book was just beautiful from start to finish, so the cover was pretty much just the icing on the cake!

11. Most Memorable Character in 2012?
I can't really think of anybody that memorable off the top of my head, although I will say that dude from Tenant whose name currently escapes me who thinks it's ok to go around whacking people over the head with his riding whip and then getting annoyed when they won't be friends and play nicely with him. He was hilarious.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book read in 2012?
Also The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making I think, or Ragnarok by A.S Byatt. Both are quite poetic and very relaxing to read.

13. Book that Had the Greatest Impact on you in 2012?
I really still haven't got over reading The Night Circus in 2011. I think that's the book that's had the biggest impact on me, ever probably. But if I had to pick one from 2012 I'd probably say Morgan Matson's Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, just because it's the dreaded YA and I absolutely loved it and it made me want to read much more in the genre, so well done Morgan Matson!

14. Book you can't believe you waited until 2012 to FINALLY read?
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. It's been on my radar since I was fourteen and on my TBR for about eight years, and I finally read it in November and it was great.

15. Favourite Quote from a Book read in 2012?
I don't really have one. I'm horrendous at writing quotes down or remembering them at all. I really need to address this!

16. Shortest & Longest Book read in 2012?
Longest was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and the shortest I don't know I'm afraid!

Skipping the next couple of questions as I don't have decent answers!

19. Favourite Book read in 2012 from an Author you'd read Previously?
Probably Peaches for Monsieur le Cure by Joanne Harris, sequel to Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes. I love Harris' books in general, and this one really delivered.

20. Best Book Read Based Solely on a Recommendation from Somebody Else?
Both Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch, and Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson were recommendations from other bloggers, for which I am massively grateful!!

Book Blogging/Reading life in 2012
1. New Favourite Blog You Discovered in 2012?
This will not come as a surprise to anybody at all, but it has absolutely got to be Devouring Texts. Laura is awesome and hilarious and so is her blog and if you're not already following it, I want to know why!
2. Favourite Review that you wrote in 2012?
Probably either Louisa May Alcott:The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen or Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel. Also it probably doesn't count as a review, but I really enjoyed writing my Best & Worst of Scarlett Thomas post for Alyce from At Home With Books.
5. Best Event That you Participated in?
I have to say that I really enjoyed the Bout of Books Readathon that I participated in while I was pregnant. It was brilliant and not at all stressful, which was great. For 2013 I plan to go out and get involved in some actual, real world literary events (starting with the Where's Wally 10K to raise money for the National Literacy Trust in March - sponsor me here) and I really want to go to a literature festival, having never been to one!
6. Best Moment of Book Blogging in 2012?
I have to say that this year has been the year that I really realised how amazing my book blogging friends are. Seriously special thanks to Ellie, Hanna and Laura who have been ridiculously supportive through good times, bad times and babies and have inundated me with brilliant post. You guys always make me feel better :-) I think 2013 should be the year to actually meet each other in person, especially since I pretty much drove past Laura's house the other day!
The other questions may or may not be the subject of entire posts of their own, if I get around to writing them ever! If you want something to compare this to, my answers from 2011 are here.

Saturday 29 December 2012

Telling Tales Challenge 2012 Giveaway Winners!

This year's Telling Tales Challenge is done guys! Next years' sign up post can be found here, and I'm very excited about it! I'm hosting on my own this year, as my sister Esther has way too much on with her graphics course to manage blogging at the moment!

But anyway, the purpose of this post is really to thank all you 2012 participants for all the reading and reviewing you've done this year - I know I've added a lot to my TBR as a result of this challenge, and I hope you'll join us again next year! I said previously that I'd be picking a random winner from the master review list, so I have, and that winner is...

She has won a book of her choice from the Book Depository and has until next Friday to email me before a new winner is chosen.
There were a few people who read a huge amount for the challenge, and who informed me that they'd completed their challenges, so I decided to pick another winner. The second winner is...
Who has won her choice of either The Annotated Hans Anderson or The Annotated Brothers Grimm! These are gorgeous books and I hope that whichever she chooses she loves as much as I do :-)
Once again, thanks for making the challenge a lot of fun this year! See you in 2013!

Friday 21 December 2012

2013 Essay Reading Challenge

This is (probably) the last challenge I'm going to sign up for for next year. I've just finished reading Moranthology and I know that's more columns than essays but still, I really loved it and I've wanted to do more of the reading of essays for a loooong time, so there we go. I'm only signing up to read 10, and I'll read more if I get around to it! 

For more information and to sign up go here. So far I've absolutely no idea what I'll be reading, but I'm sure I'll find some stuff!

Thursday 20 December 2012

2013 Graphic Novel Challenge

This is my favourite challenge, and although I'm trying to participate in new challenges in 2013, this has to be the exception to the rule. It's the only challenge I've completed both of the past two years and there are some slight changes to the rules for 2013 which make it even more exciting. Also, a huge reason for participating in this is that it gives me a brilliant excuse to buy graphic novels, and yes, I know I'm on a book buying ban next year, but it's not as impressive if I succeed if I don't give myself temptations to overcome, right?

Anyway, so far there's not a button for this yet, but the post about it is here

I'm going to go for level 1, which is to read 12 books, 1 per month. I probably could sign up for level 2 (24), but I don't want to give myself too much to do bearing in mind I'll still have a lot of Benji looking after to do! I am however going to attempt the Advanced level of gameplay. This means that I have to read a graphic novel from each of the following categories, and should fit in nicely with my constant efforts to broaden my reading!

The Categories:
1. Manga - whichever volume of the Deathnote series it was that I got up to... Will need to consult with my sister on this!
2. Superhero - Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
3.Classic Adaptation - The Rhyme of the Modern Mariner
4. Memoir - Maus by Art Spiegelman
5. Fantasy - Castle Waiting by Linda Medley & Jane Yolen
6. Translated from a Foreign Language - Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
7. A Single - Issue Comic Book
8. Science-Fiction
9. Crime or Mystery
10. Fairytale or Mythology - Fables Volume 8: Wolves by Bill Willingham
11. Children's Books
12. Anthology 

These are just to start me off, I'll fill in the rest of the blanks as the year progresses!

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Reading YA...

I've been saying for a while (pretty much all year, really) that I want to read more YA fiction. In pursuit of that aim, I've found a list, which is a pretty great list to be honest. The original list (with pretty pictures and things) can be found here, but I'm going to reproduce it here with annotations of what I've read, got, and plan to read. This post will probably be really boring to everybody who isn't me. You have been warned.

Titles in bold are ones I own, struckthrough means I've read it.
  1. Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
  2. The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  5. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
  6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
  7. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
  8. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  9. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  11. The Giver Series by Lois Lowry (The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son)
  12. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams
  13. The Outsiders by S.E Hinton
  14. Anne of Green Gables Series by L.M Montgomery
  15. His Dark Materials Series by Phillip Pullman
  16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  17. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  18. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  19. Divergent Series by Veronica Roth (Divergent, Insurgent)
  20. Paper Towns by John Green
  21. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire)
  22. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  23. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  24. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  25. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
  26. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  27. Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
  28. Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras)
  29. The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess)
  30. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  31. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  32. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants Series by Ann Brasheres (The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls in Pants, Forever in Blue)
  33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  34. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
  35. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  36. Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
  37. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  38. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  39. Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice)
  40. Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen)
  41. Dune by Frank Herbert
  42. Discworld/Tiffany Aching Series by Terry Pratchett
  43. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  44. The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper (Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, Silver on the Tree)
  45. Graceling Series by Kristin Cashore (Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue)
  46. Forever.. by Judy Blume
  47. Earthsea Series by Ursula K. LeGuin (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, The Other Wind)
  48. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr)
  49. The Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot
  50. Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce (Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant)
  51. Treasure Island by R.L Stephenson
  52. Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver (Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem)
  53. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  54. Hush, Hush Saga by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush, Crescendo, Silence, Finale)
  55. Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  56. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  57. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing)
  58. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  59. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  60. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  61. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  62. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
  63. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle
  64. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
  65. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud (The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, Ptolemy's Gate)
  66. Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, The Indigo Spell)
  67. Fallen Series by Lauren Kate (Fallen, Torment, Passion, Rapture)
  68. House of Night Series by P.C & Kristin Cast (Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted, Burned, Awakened, Destined, Hidden)
  69. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  70. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
  71. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  72. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  73. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  74. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure)
  75. If I Stay by Gale Forman
  76. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
  77. Crank Series by Ellen Hopkins (Crank, Glass, Fallout)
  78. Matched Series by Ally Condie (Matched, Crossed, Reached)
  79. Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter (I'd Tell You I Love You, But then I'd Have to Kill You, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover, Only the Good Spy Young, Out of Sight, Out of Time)
  80. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  81. Daughter of the Lioness/Tricksters Series by Tamora Pierce (Trickster's Choice, Trickster's Queen)
  82. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  83. The Immortals Series by Tamora Pierce (Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, Emperor Mage, The Realms of the Gods)
  84. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede (Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, Talking to Dragons)
  85. Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men)
  86. Circle of Magic Series by Tamora Pierce (Sandry's Book, Tris's Book, Daja's Book, Briar's Book)
  87. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  88. Feed by M.T Anderson
  89. Weetzie Bat Series by Francesca Lia Block
  90. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  91. Confessions of Georgia Nicholson Series by Louise Rennison (Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, It's Ok, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers, Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas, Dancing in my Nuddy Pants, And That's When It Fell Off In My Hand, Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers, Startled by his Furry Shorts, Luuurve is a Many Trousered Thing, Stop in the Name of Pants!, Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me?)
  92. Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld (Leviathan, Behemoth, Goliath)
  93. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  94. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Dianna Wynne Jones
  95. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
  96. Gone Series by Michael Grant (Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear)
  97. Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver, Linger, Forever)
  98. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
  99. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  100. Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy-Tacy, Betsy- Tacy and Tib, Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, Heaven to Betsy, Betsy in Spite of Herself, Betsy Was a Junior, Betsy and Joe, Betsy and the Great World, Betsy's Wedding)

    Not on the list but deserving of an honourable mention

    Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

So since I have quite a few of these already I'm going to try to read my way through the list. This isn't something I'm putting a time limit on, but there's quite a lot on it that I want to read so hopefully I'll get through it in less than five years! :-p 

Monday 17 December 2012

Wishlist Challenge 2013

So, another challenge! This is only my third challenge for next year (not including my own!), so I think I'm still doing well with my limiting my challenges for 2013 thing. The Wishlist Challenge is hosted by Uniflame Creates, and you can sign up for it here. The rules are as follows:

1. The challenge runs from January 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013.

2. You are to read 12 books from your current wishlist. If you don’t have a list anywhere, write down books that you are eager to read, that you don’t own yet, and choose 12 books off that list.

3. If you can’t find a book that’s on your wishlist (your library doesn’t have it, or you don’t want/can’t buy it) then you can use another book. But: you are not allowed to include any NEWLY added books for this challenge. So, whatever your list is now, that’s it. I.e. you can’t read amazing things about a book on someone else’s blog, decide you want to read it, then read it for the Wishlist Challenge. The opposite is true: you want to read something for the Wishlist Challenge, so you go to your wishlist, find a book that was on that wishlist before January 1st, 2013, and read it for the challenge.

4. You can overlap with other challenges, as long as you read books that were on your wishlist before January 1st, 2013.

5. Sign up here by leaving a comment with a link to your announcement post for this challenge.

6. When you’ve read your 12 books, come back here and leave a comment with a link to your final post about the challenge. Make sure you’ve done this by January 15th, 2014.

Because of my book buying ban, I've been checking out which books I can get from the library, so my list is as follows:

  1. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
  2. Intuition by Allegra Goodman
  3. NW by Zadie Smith
  4. The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer
  5. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  7. Blankets by Craig Thompson
  8. The House That Groaned by Karrie Fransmen
  9. Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
  10. The Library Book by Alan Bennett
  11. Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher
  12. Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
I won't assign months as it will depend pretty much on what comes into the library first! Excited though!!

Friday 14 December 2012

Mini Reviews: Moranthology and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

I've been reading quite a bit lately. And when I say a lot, what I really mean is acquiring a lot of books and very very slowly reading them. Moranthology took me two weeks to finish, despite all of the Caitlin love that I have going on. There were a load of quotes that I wanted to talk about but I returned it to the library without making a note of them anywhere. Cos I'm a genius, obviously. I've seen some mixed reviews of it, and while it was definitely no How to Be a Woman, I really enjoyed it. My favourite essay was the one about libraries - I'm sure those who have read it will know exactly the one I'm talking about - where she talks about how libraries are totally essential to not only the intelligence but also the self-esteem of people, especially teenagers. I also giggled a lot at the columns that were her bedtime discussions with her husband, because hilarity. They kind of reminded me of the bit that I adored in Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened, where she has a conversation with her husband using the cat as the method of communication. Both Lawson and Moran make me laugh in public. A lot. So basically, I read Moranthology and my love of Caitlin remains undiminished and I am ALL THE JEALOUS of Laura for having a signed copy!

The other book I've finished in the past couple of weeks is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, which has been on my TBR for literally about ten years. People are forever and always talking about it in America, where it seems to be a teen rite of passage much similar to my reading of things like Catcher in the Rye and I Capture the Castle. This one I did remember to write down the quotes I liked - I've decided I really must keep my notebook to hand while reading - but basically it was just great. I loved the way that it was told through both words and pictures, like an amalgamation of a standard novel and a graphic novel. Because it had a teen protagonist, the drawings made it feel more real to me. Essentially it's the story of what happens to the main character, Junior, when he decides to transfer from the school on the rez to the local white school; full of high achieving, rich white kids who basically look down on him because he's an Indian, but it isn't really as focused as all that. He flits from what's going on in his family, to how his relationship with his best friend Rowdy is affected by the move, to the changes in the way the kids at school relate to him, really easily. I can't currently find my notebook (of course), so I guess I'll just add the quotes in whenever it turns up! I'm really glad to have finally read this, as it was definitely as good as everybody said it was. My major problem with a lot of YA is that it can be quite shallow and not really about too much, and while The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian reads as easily as something that isn't about much, there are a huge number of themes - racism, alcoholism, abuse to name a few - underlying it. 

So yay for awesome books and kind of half-assed reviews. They were both library books too, so that's pretty cool as I feel like I'm already starting to get myself disciplined for the ban of book buying for next year. I may slightly have bought a fair amount of books in December as well, but that's for another post! 

Saturday 8 December 2012

2013 Translation Challenge

I know I said I wasn't doing many challenges in 2013, but I saw this and just had to sign up. I've been wanting to read more translated literature for a really long time and I need something to inspire me to do it! In all fairness, this is only the third challenge I've signed up for, and one is the one I'm hosting,so. 

The translation challenge is hosted by Ellie at Curiosity Killed the Bookworm, and all you have to do is read one translated book a month. Because I like listing books, I have a list of some of the books I'd like to get to. 

  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
  • The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
  • Veronika Decides to Die by Paolo Coelho
  • Grimm's Fairytales by Jacob & Willhelm Grimm
There's a few to get me started, and the bonus is that I own all of them except two so that's good! 

Friday 7 December 2012

Book Sale!

I know how much you guys love a book sale, so I thought I'd spread the word. Next March I am doing a 10k run (or more likely a walk at the rate I'm currently training but still!) in aid of the National Literacy Trust. As part of the registration you get a free Where's Wally outfit and it's going to be great. For more info on it, go here and if you want to sponsor me for my pain you can do so here.

The main point of this post really, though, was to tell you all that to raise money for this, I'm selling some of my books. There is a list here. I'm charging 50p (approximately 80 cents) a book plus postage - if you're interested in buying one (or some), just email me at thetangledwebweweave (at) gmail (dot) com and we'll work it out! It will probably need to be payment via paypal but if that's a problem just let me know. Please help me out and spread the word! :-)

Thursday 6 December 2012

2013: A Year of Reading Edith Nesbit

My first 'year of reading' (Noel Streatfeild in 2011) went really well. This year (Louisa May Alcott) didn't go so well, so I'm hoping that 2013 (the year of reading Edith Nesbit), will be better. As with the others, I was vaguely aware that Edith (or E.) Nesbit had written for adults as well as for children, but I was unaware of the extent to which she had written for both. Next year I'm hoping to explore a lot more of her work! 

It will be a challenge, as I'm not buying books this year, but I already own three so I'm planning to start with a bit of re-reading! There is a complete list of her work here, and I'm starting with an old old favourite, The Railway Children. I may also use it as an excuse to rewatch the awesome film with Bernard Cribbens and Jenny Agutter. Then I'll follow up with The Story of the Treasure Seekers and Five Children and It. I hope to read the books in both of these series' as well, as I don't think I've ever read all of them. For those who don't know, and so that I can keep track these are:

  • The Story of the Treasure Seekers, The Wouldbegoods, and The New Treasure Seekers
  • Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet
Then I'll go from there depending on what I can borrow from the library and other people of my acquaintance! I have also just ordered a copy of Magic and the Magician: E Nesbit and Her Children's Books by Noel Streatfeild. This is a book I tried to get hold of in 2011 but failed, so I feel like in a way 2011 is facilitating 2013, and vice versa :-) It's also the last book I'm buying before my ban kicks in!

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Telling Tales Challenge Sign Up

This is my sign up post for my own challenge. Last year I had ridiculously high expectations and pretty much entirely failed. This year I'm going to be slightly more conservative. I'm going to go for the Troll under the Bridge level and aim for five books. The list may change but currently I aim to read:
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • Till We Have Faces by C.S Lewis
  • Fables Vol. 8: Wolves by Bill Willingham
  • Fables Vol. 9: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham
  • Fables Vol. 10: The Good Prince by Bill Willingham
I'm also aiming for the same level in the Queen of the Silver Screen category, and my list so far is as follows:
  • Mirror, Mirror/ Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Jacob & Willem Grimm
  • Red Riding Hood/ Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley- Cartwright
  • Beastly/ Beastly by Alex Flinn
  • Alice in Wonderland/ Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • Oz the Great and Powerful/ The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Monday 3 December 2012

Announcing: The Telling Tales Challenge 2013!!

Hello fellow lovers of all things fairytales! I've loved hosting this challenge in 2012, so I'm proud to announce that the Telling Tales Challenge will be back in 2013! If you participated in 2012 and want to again, we'll be glad to have you, ditto if you didn't, or if (like me) you signed up and then spectacularly failed in your aims! 

Here are the rules:
  • The challenge runs from January 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013. You can sign up at any point throughout the year. 
  • Again, any genre counts as long as it is in some way related to fairytale and/or mythology. Once again, if you are unsure, as long as you can make an argument for its' inclusion, it counts! 
  • Re-reads count, and you are more than welcome to overlap books with other challenges. 
  • Please leave me your email address in the comments if you want to participate (I promise not to harrass you, it's just so that people get a reminder every now and again about the monthly link ups, and also so I can contact you for competitions etc). 
  • Please link up your reviews every month in the posts which will go up on this blog. 
  • In your sign up post, please indicate the level you aim to complete. You are entirely welcome to change this as the year progresses. You can make your lists beforehand, or as you go. Whichever you prefer! 
  • When you sign up, please leave the link to your sign up post, rather than just to your blog in general. 
  • You don't have to have a blog to participate - you can review on Goodreads, Amazon, wherever, just let me know where you will be reviewing! 
That's it! 

The levels are as follows: 

Pixie - read 2 books
Troll under the Bridge - read 5 books
Princess - read 10 books
Prince Charming - read 15 books
Evil Queen - read 20 books
Dragon - read 30 books
King/Queen of the Silver Screen - read any number of books and watch the film adaptations. 

It would also be great to spread the word a little about other fairytale challenges and blogs or website based around the theme, so if you have any feel free to let me know and I'll add them in here. So far the only challenge I've found is the Fairytales Retold Challenge. Then there's Sur la Lune Fairytales Blog which is great for upcoming releases of books and movies. That's pretty much it for now! 

If you'd like some inspiration on where to begin, the list of books read for the challenge in 2012 is here

So that's it. Sign up using the linky and leave your email address in the comments! 

The Telling Tales Challenge December Link Up!

This is finally it - the last link up of the year! I hope you've all enjoyed this as much as I have! Like I've mentioned previously, I will be entering everybody who has reviews on the master list into a draw to win a book of their choice from the Book Depository. I'll announce the winner at the end of the month, and there will also be a special prize for somebody! Because I'm clearly insane, I want to get caught up on reviews for this challenge in December, which means I need to write SEVEN reviews, so I need to get on it! Feel free to link any reviews you've forgotten to add to the relevant month! 

Because I'm crazy, I will be hosting this challenge again next year as a simplified version ( I think we got a bit carried away with categories this year!) so watch this space! :-) 

Hope you've all enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed hosting.