New Books: September 2014

New Books - September 2014

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s what goodies I have managed to add to my bookshelf and Kindle recently:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley

The Wanderers by Cheryl Mahoney

The Little Village School by Gervase Phinn

Mortom by Erik Therme

I have another rather eclectic mix of new fiction this month. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was quickly read by my father and has now been passed on to me to try similarly The Little Village School was passed on to me by a family friend. I was contacted and kindly offered a review copy of mystery Mortom by the author which I happily accepted as I thought it sounded interesting. While I picked up copies of the children’s classic The Water-Babies and fantasy The Wanderers for free from Amazon UK. Cheryl Mahoney is a good book blogging friend of mine so I am excited to read her debut novel The Wanderers a fairy tale retelling.

Rebellion by Peter Ackroyd

Again I have only one new non-fiction this month. I received a review copy of Rebellion by Peter Ackroyd from Netgalley. Last year I read Tudors: The History of England Volume II by Peter Ackroyd which I found fascinating so I am interested to read Rebellion.

I am pleased I managed to keep my new acquisitions down to a reasonably small amount again this month and they were also all free.

Have you read any of these? What new books are you excited about?

Adaptations: August 2014

Adaptations

I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

As these adaptation update posts seem to be going down well I’ve decided to continue them in 2014. Here are the adaptations I watched during August:

R.I.P.D (2013)          Not Read          Film          Television
A supernatural action/comedy based on the comic book Rest In Peace Department created by Peter M Lenkov. Nick (Ryan Reynolds) and Roy (Jeff Bridges) are agents of the R.I.P department whose job it is to find and round-up undesirable spirits hiding and causing havoc in the world of the living. This was apparently a flop when it was released at the cinema last year. I don’t think it was anything particularly ground breaking but it was a bit of fun. Okay watch.

Hannibal (2014)          Not Read          TV Series          Television
The second series of psychological thriller based on the characters of Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. First shown here in the UK on Sky Living. A gripping and gory series that’s looks at the antics of Dr Hannibal Lecter before The Silence of the Lambs.  With excellent performances from Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne and Mads Mikkelsen. Warning with strong violence and gore this is not a show for everyone. Great watch.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)          Not Read          Film          Cinema
A action-packed superhero film set in space based on Guardians of the Galaxy created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning which is featured in Marvel Comics. A gang of extra-terrestrial misfits fighting and stealing their way around the galaxy in hopes of saving it from Ronan the Accuser. What’s not to like?! An exciting and fast paced film with great special effects and a cool soundtrack. I enjoyed this even more than I thought I would. Great watch.

Letters to Juliet (2010)          Not Read          Film          Television
A romantic drama inspired by the non-fiction Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman which looks at the phenomenon of people writing to Shakespeare’s romantic heroine Juliet. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) discovers a fifty year old unanswered love letter to Juliet whilst on holiday in Verona, Italy which takes her on a journey to discover the letter writer’s long lost love. This film had a beautiful setting and sweet performances from Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave. It whiled away one lazy Saturday afternoon. Okay watch.

August I thought was another interesting month of adaptations; even more so as I watched all these the last two weeks of the month after I returned from my holiday. They weren’t all great watches but they all entertained me one way or the other. I am little sad to see though that I had not read any of this month’s adaptations. Now I don’t seem to have any adaptations recorded so we will have to see what films I manage to watch in September for my next update.

What have you been watching?

Monthly Reflection: August 2014

August 2014

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are happy and well? August has been a very different month for me. The start of the month saw me setting off for a lovely two week holiday in France. I got to stay and visit some beautiful and historic places. The holiday didn’t leave me with a great amount of time for reading but the time I did have I devoted to longer fictions. I returned from my holiday to find my certificate for my course had arrived, I’m official passed, and my contract for my new job at a school just down the road had arrived too! With all that excitement here is what I managed to finish reading:

Fiction: 3          Non-Fiction: 1          Poetry: 0

My free time in the first week of my holiday in France was spent reading Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law by Michelle Granas* a fictional drama set in Warsaw, Poland; which I thought would be something a little different for me. A well written drama with an interesting political context. I was happily entertained reading this book for about a week. The characters, story and setting were pleasantly refreshing. Meanwhile for the whole holiday I continued dipping in and out  of the epic collection Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales* and by the end of holiday I had finished it! My 24th read off my Classics Club list. I started this collection back in February and by the beginning of my holiday I had read 60% meaning I read an impressive 40% during those two weeks which I am pretty pleased by. The short story format and the fairy tale theme seemed to suit the time I had spare when travelling or relaxing in the sun. After finishing Zaremba whilst still in France I was drawn very appropriately to the French classic The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas*. My 25th read off my Classics Club list. A sweeping romantic adventure following D’Artagnan and his friends during the reign of Louis XIII that I had trouble putting down and I thought was a perfect read for my second week of my French holiday. By the end of my holiday I was half way through The Three Musketeers and I finished it after having been home about a week which was quite nice as it prolonged that holiday feeling for me. It also means I am now officially half way to my goal of 50 books for The Classics Club.

During the month I also finished one non-fiction book which is good for my goal of continuing to read more non-fiction in 2014. At the beginning of my holiday I picked up Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge* a Christian/faith non-fiction that looks at how women can reach their full potential in Jesus. I dipped in and out of this during my holiday but really got into once I had returned home and finished it off during the last week of August.

Pick of the Month: The Three Musketeers

And those are just the books I finished during August. It feels very odd not to be telling you “I was dipping in and out  of the epic collection Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales” but of course I’ve finished it! Once home to replace this I picked up Once Upon a Timepiece by Starr Wood a novel told through short stories looking at how one watch affects the lives of different people who possess it. It is different and I am enjoying it so far. I have continued to dip in and out of historical non-fiction The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport during the month. Not something I want to rush as there is a lot of information I didn’t know before to take in. Then right at the end of the month I started Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrim by Toby Clements a novel set during The War of the Roses but I don’t think I have read enough of it to comment on it just yet.

What did you read in August?

*My full thoughts on these books are still to be posted.

Challenge: R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX

RIP IX

(Art used for banners is the property of Abigail Larson)

Summer is drawing to an end and Autumn is creeping up on us which can only mean it is time for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX. The R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event is hosted by  Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings where participants are encouraged to read books and watch films that cover the broad categories of Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror and Supernatural. I always look forward to this event as the genres listed above are some of my favourites!

Books I could choose off my bookshelf:

Zombie: An Anthology of the Undead edited by Christopher Golden
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (All Souls trilogy)
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (All Souls trilogy)
Just After Sunset by Stephen King
Thinner by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)
The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R King
Demon Seed by Dean Koontz
Drood by Dan Simmons
Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart
The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart

Books I could choose off my Kindle:

The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Trouble in Mudbug by Jana Deleon (Ghost-in-Law Mystery)
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Dead Ends by Mel Hodgkinson
Call for the Dead by John Le Carré
Invisible by Lorena McCourtney (Ivy Malone Mystery)
The Mist on Bronte Moor by Aviva Orr
A Body in the Backyard by Elizabeth Spann Craig (A Myrtle Clover Mystery)
A Dyeing Shame by Elizabeth Spann Craig (A Myrtle Clover Mystery)
Progressive Dinner Deadly by Elizabeth Spann Craig (A Myrtle Clover Mystery)

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX runs from 1st September to 31st October 2014. I have signed up for Peril the Third level which means I am aiming to read at least one book for the event. I usually end up reading more than one book but I like the freedom this level gives me. I am look forward to seeing what I will end up reading.

Are you taking part in R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX?

The Classics Club: August Meme

August Meme

August brings another meme question for The Classics Club. With me being busy in July getting my portfolio ready for college and then going on holiday I missed July’s question. I am really glad I am back home just in time to do this month’s question as it is perfect for me!

I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

If you visit this blog regularly you will know I do a round-up post of the adaptations I’ve been watching every month. Adaptations of classic novels often feature in these posts as they can often be some of my favourite adaptations. I love to see the beautiful costumes and sets come to life on the big and small screen, and sometimes on the stage. I think it is nice to have read the novel before watching the adaptation but I don’t worry about it if I haven’t read the book yet I will still be happy to watch the adaptation. Often adaptations of classics can encourage me and I am sure others to read classic novels they had not considered reading before; either because they seemed daunting or simply because we had not heard of them before.

Some of my favourite film adaptations of classics include the beautiful Sense and Sensibility (1995) starring the wonderful Emma Thompson, the colourful and hilarious Much Ado About Nothing (1993) also starring the wonderful Emma Thompson, Baz Luhrmann’s stunning modern interpretation Romeo + Juliet (1996) starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and Alfred Hitchcock’s gothic Rebecca (1940) starring the legendary Laurence Olivier. There are many more I have enjoyed but these are the one’s that instantly came to mind.

I have also watched many TV adaptations of classics some of my favourites include the BBC’s gothic mini-series Bleak House (2005) starring Gillian Anderson and a great ensemble cast, the BBC’s beautiful and colourful mini-series Emma (2009) starring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller, ITV’s long running adaptations of Poirot starring the legendary David Suchet, and the BBC’s modern interpretation series Sherlock (2010-2014) starring the great partnership of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Again there are probably many more I have enjoyed but these are the one’s that instantly came to mind.

What are your favourite adaptations of classics?

Monthly Reflection: July 2014

July 2014

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are happy and well? July started as a busy month for me but then I handed in my college portfolio and did my review the first week which was a huge relief. Then I was busy for another week after that finishing off the term with my placement school and sorting out my car MOT, insurance and breakdown cover; but after that I found myself with whole lot of time on my hands which is a real novelty for me! So I decided to spend the second half of July catching up on my sleep, reading and blogging. Here is what I managed to finish in that time:

Fiction: 4          Non-Fiction: 2          Poetry: 0

Right at the beginning of the month I finished reading A Lifetime Burning by Linda Gillard which I had started reading in June but I was so busy I had less time to throw myself into till July. I don’t generally read a great deal of chick lit or women’s literature but I make an exception for Gillard’s work. I just love all the detail and history Gillard puts into her family dramas which is topped off with a beautiful writing style and A Lifetime Burning was no exception to that. Next I went for a completely different choice; picking up the fantasy comedy The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett the first book in Pratchett’s epic Discworld series. This was a re-read for me as I originally read The Colour of Magic many years ago now. I loved going back to where it all began giving myself the chance to hear well loved jokes again and to spot some extra detail which meant I found my re-read just as enjoyable if not more so.

Next with the free time I now found myself with I decided to throw myself into the intrigue of the Tudor court with Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle*. I heard positive things about Fremantle from other bloggers but this is the first novel I have read by her. Sisters of Treason was a moving, detailed and well written look into the lives of Katherine and Mary Grey. I was lost in the glamour, intrigue and fear of it all right to the end. Still having plenty of time on my hands I decided to throw myself into A Storm of Swords book 1 by George R R Martin* the third instalment of Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. I finished watching the fourth series of the TV adaptation Game of Thrones in June. The wait for the fifth series next year will be just too long so reading this helped me to get my fix of Westeros and give me lots of extra detail, characters and intrigue.

During the month I also finished two non-fiction book which is good for my goal of continuing to read more non-fiction in 2014. In June I started reading Overwhelmed by Perry Noble a Christian/faith non-fiction which again with that month being so busy I didn’t finish till July. I was drawn to Overwhelmed because I was myself feeling rather overwhelmed with all the college work I was doing. A friendly and concise look at how God supports us through stressful and worrying times which I got some real comfort from. Then near the end of the month I picked up The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience by Stormie Omartian* another Christian/faith non-fiction which is exactly what it says in the title. A short and simple look at seven themes over seven days that we can use in our prayer to make us stronger humans and Christians. This is the second book I have read by Omartian this year and I have another, Choose Love, on my Kindle which I am really looking forward to reading too.

*My full thoughts on these books are still to be posted.

Picks of the Month: A Lifetime Burning and Sisters of Treason

And those are just the books I finished during July. Through out the month I have continued to dip in and out of the epic collection Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales for which this month I’ve made good progress but still a long way to go! I have also been dipping in and out of historical non-fiction The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. Near the end of the month I started reading Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law by Michelle Granas a fictional drama set in Warsaw, Poland; something a little different for me but I am enjoying it so far.

What did you read in July?

New Books: July 2014

New Books - July 2014

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s what goodies I have managed to add my Kindle recently:

Heartstones by Kate Glanville

Queen of Hearts, Volume II by Colleen Oakes

Across Great Divides by Monique Roy

Hope’s Rebellion by Jade Varden

The Marriage Game by Alison Weir

I have a really eclectic mix of new fiction this month. I received free review copies of fantasy Queen of Hearts, Volume II and historical fiction The Marriage Game from Netgalley. I read Queen of Hearts, Volume I earlier this year and really enjoyed it so I am really pleased to have got hold of volume two. I was contacted and kindly offered review copies of historical fiction Across Great Divides and dystopian young adult Hope’s Rebellion by the authors which I happily accepted as I thought they both sounded interesting. While I picked up a copy of Heartstones for free from Amazon UK.

Choose Love by Stormie Omartian

In contrast to June I have only one new non-fiction this month. I received a review copy of Christian non-fiction Choose Love from Netgalley. I read The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian earlier this year so I am interested to read Omartian’s new book.

I am pleased I managed to keep my new acquisitions down to a reasonably small amount again this month. They were also all free and digital so no money or physical space used. I am particularly excited about reading Queen of Hearts, Volume II as I want to know what happens next!

Have you read any of these? What new books are you excited about?