December 31, 2016

Reading Report 2016


Happy New Year, everyone!

2016 has come to an end, so this is the perfect season to look back to all of the books I've read this past year. As you'll find out in this infographic, manga have dominated my reading list, while the majority of the books I read were written by female authors. How was your reading year, and what are your plans for the future?


December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Christmas quote How the Grinch stole Christmas Dr. Seuss

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope that you spend this day among the people you love the most! 🎄


December 19, 2016

The Reading Book Post, December 19th


Hello, everyone! Christmas is just a few days and I can't wait! I imagine the presents and all of the gingerbread cookies I'm going to consume! Unfortunately, it isn't snowing in my area although I'm still hoping for white Christmas. Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • Can't get enough of the Red Rising trilogy? Well, I have great news for you: Pierce Brown is releasing a new book that will continue the story of the popular books. In fact, Iron Gold launched a brand new trilogy set in the same galaxy as Red Rising. You can now preview the cover of Iron Gold, as well as learn more about its plot. 


  • BOOK TRAILER ALERT! By now, you all know my love for those small videos, so here is the chance to eatch another one. This time you can watch the book trailer for All Our Wrong Todays, by Elan Mastai. Alongside the trailer, you can read the first 8 chapters of the novel.


  • Hearts in Suspension is officially out. Stephen King with 10 other -out of the 13- essay authors for this collection gathered to launch this brand new book. In Hearts in Suspension the authors describe their experiences at the University of Maine during the '70s. 


  • We were all shocked by the Orlando mass shooting on 12 June. The comic book author Marc Andreyko suggested and created an anthology that would benefit the victims. The anthology is called Love is Love and it featured work from the decumentarian Morgan Spurlock, the actor Matt Bomer, and comedians Patton Oswalt and Taran Killam, among others.


  • Have you ever wondered how come the princesses are usually so hopeless towards danger? Well, a mom gave a slight transformation to her daughter's Disney princess book and the message is really empowering!


  • I love when shows have plenty of literary references. Here is a list of all the literary references on Younger. Maybe I should binge-watch it!


  • There are times when you are reading a new book you've picked up and you are so engrossed by it that you can't put it down. But there are some times that you notice something strange with the text. Yes, I'm talking about those typos that can happen to all of us! Here is a list of typos found on first editions of some well-known and popular novels.


  • Can You Match the Christmas Quote to the Book? Take the quiz to find out! This quiz just reminded me of some wonderful Christmas reads, like My True Love Gave Me, which I might just start re-reading it now that I'm thinking about it!


December 12, 2016

The Reading Book Post, December 12th


Hello, everyone! I'm in such a Christmas mood these past few days that I'm always thinking about the gingerbread cookies, and the tree, and all the decorations. Of course, some Christmas-y books couldn't miss from my reading list, but would you recommend to me a specific one that I simply have to read? Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • Sara Baume was awarded the Faber Memorial prize for fiction for her novel Spill Simmer Falter Wither. It's noteworthy that this was her debut novel. 


  • Bob Dylan didn't attend the Nobel Prize ceremony, although he has finally accepted the great honour. His speech was delivered by the US ambassador. Furthermore, Stephen King, the king of horror, has defended the musician's win of the Nobel Prize in literature. He went as fas as to call all of those who complain sour grapes.


  • Another great author joins the protest against the Chinese president Xi Jinping for his treatment of the writers, which includes detainment, imprisonment, and censorship. China has the highest number of imprisoned authors in the world! Salman Rushdie has joined JM Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, and Neil Gaiman, among other 120 writers and activists. 


  • The end of 2016 is near and it's no surprise that all sort of list will shortly begin to appear. Amazon has revealed the 2016's Top-Selling New Releases. Of course, it's no surprise that JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child topped up the list!


  • Stephenie Meyer has a new book and this time it's an adult novel. The book is called The Chemist and it has just hit the shelves. If you haven't yet decided whether to give this a try you can read a small excerpt from it.


  • H.G. Wells is definitely a great and influential writer. But, what if I told you that he is making a comeback 70 years after his death? A lost ghost story of the author has recently been discovered among his many manuscripts. The story is called The Haunted Ceiling and it was printed for the very first time!


  • We might already feel the winds of winter, but the George R.R. Martin's book with the same name has yet to be released. Moreover, the fantasy writer declared that this instalment of the series will definitely not be "a happy feel-good" one. I really can't tell if I'm eager or I dread to read it!


  • Which Fictional World Would You Be Born Into? Take the quiz to find out! I got Middle Earth to no-one's surprise, if I might add! What did you get?


November 28, 2016

The Reading Book Post, November 28th


Hello, everyone! It's the end of November and, let's face it, there is one thing that we are all expecting. I'm talking about Christmas, and to be honest, I can't wait! I've already decorated (but just a little) my home, and it's about time I began my season reading. Do you have any recommendations for me? Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The shortlist for the Costa book awards 2016 was announced and women authors dominated it. More specifically, 14 out of the 20 nominees were female authors in overall five categories. 


  • Nowadays, audiobooks are part of all of the bookworms' lives. But when was the first audiobook recorded? A collector in Canada has recently discovered one of the first audiobooks that ever existed. It's a recording from 1935 of the novella by Joseph Conrad, called Typhoon.


  • This is amazing! The new Marvel's U.S. Avengers #1 has variant covers and its state has its own superhero! Which superhero matches your state (I'm super jealous)? 

  • Fidel Castro passed away a few days back. But the Cuban revolutionary had developped relationships good, bad, and...fictional with many prominent literary figures.


  • Which Literary Character Is Your Angsty Twin? Take the quiz to find out. I got Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, which one did you get?


  • So, every once in a while the book quotes featured on the side of The Reading Armchair change. If you want to see all of the existing book quotes, and some that have yet to appered on the blog you visit the pinterest board where I upload all of them!


November 21, 2016

The Reading Book Post, November 21st

The Reading Book Post

Hello, everyone! Recently I've been lucky enough to read some amazing comics and novels (Deadpool v. Gambit and Ico: Castle in the Mist). I promise that during the next days reviews for both of them are coming. In the meantime, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The 2016 Guardian Clildren's Fiction Prize was awarded to Alex Wheatle for his novel Crongton Knights. Moreover, Philippe Sands was given the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction for his book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

  • Furthermore, the winners of the National Book Awards 2016 have become public. Colson Whitehead won for his novel The Underground Railroad in the fiction category, while Ibram X. Kendi won in the Nonfiction category for his book Stamped from the Begenning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. The award for Young People's Literature was given to John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Artist) for their book March: Book Three and the award for poetry was givel to Daniel Borzutzky for his poem collection The Performance of Becoming Human.

  • One of the most interesting awards each year are definitely the Bad Sex in Literature awards. This year's shortlist for this not-so-prestigious awards have become known


  • Anna Kendrick's book has recently been released and I can't wait to read it. Until then, you can listen to the actress herself reading an excerpt from Scrappy Little Nobody.


  • I have great news for all the fans of science fiction! Stranger in a Strange Land, the classic sci-fi novel by Robert Heinlein will be adapted into a TV series by Syfy.


  • Do you love Anne of Green Gable? Do you, by any chance, like Rachel McAddams? Well, there is a new audiobook of the 1908 classic read by the famous actress. You can listen to an excerpt of the upcoming audiobook, which will be up for sale tomorrow.


  • We love them! We read their books again and again! But, authors also have a favourite novel. See which novels are among the favourites of some of the most famous authors!


  • Which Inspirational C. S. Lewis Quote Do You Need to Get Through the Day? Take the quiz to find out! I got You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream, how about you?


November 19, 2016

Guest Post: How Research Shaped my Work, by Andrew Joyce

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank Konstantinafor allowing me to be here today to promote my latest, Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage I write about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in my fact-based tale of fiction were real people and I use their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.

Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader—and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, we can get down to what I really came here to talk about: the research that goes into writing an historical novel or an action/adventure novel that uses an historical event as a backdrop.

I want to say that I learned the hard way how important proper research is. But it wasn’t really that hard of a lesson. In my first book, which takes place in the last half of the 19th century, I made two mistakes. I had the date of an event off by one year and I had my hero loading the wrong caliber cartridge into his Winchester rifle. I would have gone blissfully throughout life not knowing how I had erred if not for my astute fans. Both mistakes were quickly pointed out to me in reviews of the book. One guy said he would have given me five stars if not for the wrong caliber bullet mistake. I had to settle for only four stars. Lesson learned!

Before I get into telling you about the year-long research I did for Yellow Hair, I’d like to tell you how I researched my second and third books and describe what that research entailed.

My second book was a western and the protagonist was a woman. The research took about three months. I had to know everything from women’s undergarments of the late 19th century to prison conditions for women in those days. (I sent my heroine to jail.) That kind of research was easy. Thank God for the internet. But then I had to do some real research. Molly (my protagonist) built up her cattle ranch to one of the largest in Montana, but she and her neighbors had nowhere to sell their beef. So Molly decided to drive her and her neighbors’ cattle to Abilene where she could get a good price. She put together the second largest herd on record (12,000 head) and took off for Abilene.

That’s when I had to really go to work. I wanted my readers to taste the dust on the trail. I wanted them to feel the cold water at river crossing. I wanted them to know about the dangers of the trail, from rustlers to Indians to cattle stampedes.

This is how I learned about all those things and more. First of all, I found old movies that were authentic in nature. I watched them to get a feel for the trail. Then I read books by great authors who had written about cattle drives to soak up even more of the atmosphere of a cattle drive. That was all well and good, but it still did not put me in the long days of breathing dust and being always fearful of a stampede.

That’s when I went looking for diaries written by real cowboys while they were on the trail. After that, I found obscure self-published books written by those cowboys. Then it was onto newspaper articles written at the time about large cattle drives. That’s how I had Molly herd the second largest cattle drive. I discovered that the largest was 15,000 head, driven from Texas to California in 1882.

My next book took place in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897. Here new elements were added such as wolves and the extreme weather as adversaries. Dogsledding was also involved. I have seen snow only three times in my life and I have never dogsledded. I knew even less about wolves. I had to learn about those things. I had no idea what it was like to travel across a wilderness on a dogsled at seventy degrees below zero. I also had to acquire knowledge about the dogs themselves, especially the lead dog. I learned about all that by doing the same things I did for my second book. The old diaries were the most helpful. As to the gold rush, there was plenty of material in the form of self-published books by some of the participants. Some were never even published, but I found copies of the manuscripts in the archives of universities and historical societies. Again, newspaper stories printed at the time were very useful. Concerning wolves . . . I read everything I could get my hands on about wolves—their habits, the pack hierarchy, the alpha male, and the different jobs or tasks the males and females have while hunting.

Now we come to Yellow Hair. As I mentioned above, the book is about the Sioux Nation from 1805 to 1890. I had to know both points of view, the white man’s and the Sioux’s. Getting to know the whites’ take on things was easy. There are many, many books (non-fiction) that were written at the time. I even found a book written by Custer detailing his strategy for wiping out the Sioux entirely. That was hard reading. And, again, there were universities and historical societies whose archives were a great help.

As to the Sioux’s point of view, there are a few books that were dictated to newspapermen years later by the Indians that took part in the various battles that I weave into my story. I found a lot of material from Native American participants of the Little Big Horn, written twenty to thirty years after the fact.
But I wanted to immerse myself in the Sioux culture and I wanted to give them dignity by using their language wherever possible. I also wanted to introduce them by their Sioux names. So, I had to learn the Lakota language. And that wasn’t easy. There is a consortium that will teach you, but they wanted only serious students. You have to know a smattering of the language before they will even deign tolet you in. I had to take a test to prove that I knew some Lakota. I failed the first time and had to go back to my Lakota dictionary and do some more studying. I got in on my second try.

I’m running out of space, so I reckon I’ll wrap it up. I hope I’ve given you a little insight into the research process. It’s time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. But it is also a blast. Every new discovery is like finding the motherlode.

The three books I alluded to above are:

I would like to thank Konstantina once again for having me over and you good folks for tuning in.


Andrew Joyce


AUTHOR BIO

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.


Find Yellow Hair and connect with Andrew Joyce at the following links:








I would like to thank Andrew Joyce for this very interesting and insightful guest post on researching before writing a historical novel. I hope that you all check out his novel Yellow Hair!

November 14, 2016

The Reading Book Post, November 14th


Hello, everyone! It's almost winter and I'm so happy because I can finally enjoy my time under a warm blanket with a cup of tea by my side and a good book. It's definitely the best! Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • Lisa Gorton is sharing the Prime Minister's Literary Award 2016 with Charlotte Wood. Gorton was awarded the prize for her novel The Life of Houses, while Wood for her novel The Natural Way of Things. Furthermore, the Goldsmiths prize for books was given to Mike McCormack for his single sentence novel, Solar Bones.


  • The saddest news of the week was of course the passing of Leonard Cohen at the age of 82. Many artists paid tribute to the great poet and songwriter, but I particularly found touching the words that George R.R. Marting wrote on his personal blog


  • A never before seen poem written by Anne Frank has recently been descovered. The poem is 12 lines long, it's penned by Anne Frank and was discovered in a friendship book of the older sister of Anne's best friend. How much I'd love to read it!


  • Love Tangled? A new book set between the movie and the short film Tangled Ever After is set to be published. The author of the middle-grade novel will be Leila Howland, who had previously written the Nantucket Blue.

  • It seems like the end of the Outlander series is near. Ok, don't panic just yet as there will be two more instalments in the series. The author, Diane Gabaldon, revealed that the story will be completed in the 10th novel.  

  •  Looking for some bookish accessories to wear this season? I believe that these literary tights will be the piece of clothing that every bookworm should have in her closet! I'm definitely getting one of these!


  • Which YA Book Villain Are You? Take the quiz to find out. I got President Snow from The Hunger Games, which one did you get?


November 5, 2016

Weeckies: The End of the Party, by Graham Greene



Hello, everyone! It's time for another Weeckies, or The weekly short story! So, this week's short story is The End of the Party written by Graham Greene in 1929. I have read it from the collection Twenty-One Stories, but you can also read it online for free from Classic Short Stories.


This short story turned out to be far more creepy than I originally expected it to be! Graham Greene is a master at conveying all those hidden feelings that are hard to express. In this story, more particularly, he does this with excellent craftsmanship. 

The story revolves around two twins, Peter and Francis Morton. They are both invited to a birthday party of a girl, although Francis doesn't want to go no matter what. Peter is overprotective and tries to convince their nurse that Francis shouldn't go to the party, and later, when everything has failed, that he shouldn't participate in the game of hide and seek. It turns out that Francis is terribly afraid of the dark, and each year at this party, they play a game of hide and seek in the dark. This year though Peter seeks for his brother, in order to make the darkness a little more bearable with his presence. But when the lights go back on terror spreads through everyone.

The End of the Party is indeed a very dark short story. From the very beginning we feel that something is going to happen. The intensity is building with every excuse that Francis tries to find and the final doom comes without a single violent scene. It's there, you know that Francis goes through something terrible although you never lose hope that he will eventually cope with it, and then everything is gone. Just like that. I was genuinely shocked by the end of this story!

Francis is an anxious boy. He can't tell to his mother that he doesn't want to go to this party, although he struggles really hard to deal with this fact. He is also very dependent on Peter. From the very first paragraph we learn that those two are identical twins and go as far as feel that they are the same person. Maybe twins are really like that. Maybe they do think alike, and feel alike, or even sense where each other is. But for me Peter is the most tragic person of this story! He tries to protect Francis, and ultimately his act is the one that causes the final incident. 

I highly recommend The End of the Party. It's a short story that best describes the psychological horror of a 9 year old boy. 


Have you read any of Graham Greene's short stories? What did you think about the End of the Party? Which one would you recommend to me?  

October 31, 2016

The Spooky Reading Book Post, October 31st


Spooky Halloween, everyone! Strange and creepy creatures walk outside tonight...Beware!

  • Sally Timms and the other members of the paranormal club visit the Slade House, in order to uncover its secret. None of them is ever seen again!


  • A young scientist named Victor gives life to a creature, doomed to be feared and alone for eternity. Frankenstein's monster is coming to seek revenge!


  • Count Dracula has left his castle!!! BEWARE! Count Dracula has left his castle! He'll come by the sea...


  • Louis Creed is ready to bury his son's cat at the Pet Sematary. Please, you have to stop him! Don't wake the dead! It won't end well...


  • The students of a random class in the future Republic of Greater East Asia are forced to kill each other. Who will be the sole survivor of this Battle Royale?


  • The "Other Mother" and "Other Father" of Coraline try to trap her in their world. Don't open the hidden doors of your houses, it's dangerous!




  • Gregor Samsa woke up today not quite as himself...He felt rather buggy! The Metamorphosis was real!


  • Giurescu has awaken with the help of Isla Haupstein! Will Hellboy set things right?


  • "The Tooth Fairy" has already killed a whole family in Alabama, and another one in Georgia. Will Dr. Hannibal Lecter help the police catch the serial killer?


This is it for today! As you've noticed this is more a horror books recommendation list, rather than the typical Reading Book Post. It will be back to normal next week!


October 29, 2016

Review: Utopia, by Thomas More




Title: Utopia

Author: Thomas More

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Date of Publication: March 2nd, 2010 (first published in 1516)

Number of Pages: 176





Summary

In Utopia, More paints a vision of the customs and practices of a distant island, but Utopia means 'no place' and his narrator's name, Hythlodaeus, translates as 'dispenser of nonsense'. This fantastical tale masks what is a serious and subversive analysis of the failings of More's society. Advocating instead a world in which there is religious tolerance, provision for the aged, and state ownership of land, Utopia has been variously claimed as a Catholic tract or an argument for communism and it still invites each generation to make its own interpretation.

Review

Utopia is probably one of the most demanding books I’ve ever read. Not only the writing style of Thomas More is so specific, but this particular novel challenged my own ideas. Anyway, Utopia was always one of those books that have been sitting on my to-be-read list for years, and I did mean to actually read it. I finally got to read it due to the ClassicsClub Spin #13. I won’t hide though that I wasn’t too thrilled with my luck with this spin. So, I reluctantly read it, and even more reluctantly I’m reviewing it.

Utopia literally means “a place that doesn’t exist” although today this is a word with an entirely different meaning. So when Thomas More is describing the distant land of Utopia he is talking about a civilization that doesn’t exist. And can’t exist, if I might add. Anyway, let’s take things from the very beginning. Thomas More travelled abroad and in this particular travel a friend of his acquainted him to Raphael Hythloday, who had just returned from his travels all around the world. He had seen many wonders, but the one thing that deeply moved him was Utopia. And so, after the urging of the writer he described every aspect of this ideal society.

We made no inquiries after monsters, than which nothing is more common; for everywhere one may hear of ravenous dogs and wolves, and cruel men-eaters, but it is not so easy to find states that are well and wisely governed, declared Thomas More. This is completely true, and if there were such an ideal society, I’d love to hear everything there is to it. The rest of the book is the narration of Raphael of what he witnessed during his stay in Utopia.  

But how is the Utopian society so much different? How can such an ideal society exist? How can all of the citizens be content with just a single system? These are the questions that still torture me. Before anything else, I have to admit that I am not a political person. I have my beliefs but I’m never too passionate about them. Well, Utopia made me realize how much I care when they are talking about the most important thing for me: personal freedom.

First of all, in the island of Utopia there is no such thing as a property. All of the goods are stored in warehouses and given equally to all of the citizens. The houses do not own locks, as every ten years the Utopians change houses. The objective of each citizen is to offer something to the society. The most important job in Utopia is agriculture and for this reason everyone has to spend at least two years in the countryside in order to learn the craft. They also learn other crafts, such as carpentry and weaving. Only a select few, who show a tendency for learning during their early years, learn how to read and go on to become officials and priests.

For me, each of these citizens is the same person with a different face. There is no fashion - all of them have to wear the same woven clothes. But this isn’t what bothers me at all! None of them has the freedom to decide for himself what he would like to do. He has to act solely for the society. He can’t travel without a special permission, he can’t choose the way he spends his life, and he can’t have his own views concerning pleasure. And above all, there is not even a hint of privacy in Utopia. I’ve always esteemed the individual, and reading all of the above things, I was shaken. Such a society, for my own way of perceiving the world, would be a nightmare. Even though there are a few things that I’d love to see in our actual societies, I couldn’t deal with the absence of the individual.

Another thing that baffled me was that slavery exists in Utopia. I thought that in such a society that everyone is trying to offer their best for their society that there wouldn’t be in need of slavery. The slaves are doing all of the hard labour and they are either prisoners of war, or Utopians that broke their law. They find it such a disgraceful thing since they could not be restrained by the advantages of so excellent an education, and so they are judged worthy of harder usage. For my ideal society slavery should never exist.

As for the good parts of Utopia there are still things that even today we find controversial. The first issue is free health care. What is more important in a society than to offer to the citizens hospitals and care whenever they need it? Another issue is euthanasia. Well, this is definitely a controversial one. Should one decide whether he wants to die? We have still a long way to go, until we truly realize the mindset and the suffering of these people. Other things that I liked are premarital sex and divorce. Yes, nowadays they are so common, but this book was published in 1516. I wouldn’t go as far as punishing adultery with slavery, though.

Utopia was an interesting read. It wasn’t an easy one (imagine if I’d read it in Latin!) and it did challenge my own views more than a few times. The problem I had was that its ideas are so different from the fundamental view of the world that I have. Nevertheless, I realize why this is an important book. I’m sure that when it was published those very same ideas were revolutionary, even unthinkable. Be prepared for a book with an argument after another, complex sentences and many ideas that will challenge your worldview. 

October 24, 2016

The Reading Book Post, October 24th


Hello, everyone! Halloween is approaching and the spooky mood is definitely on the air! Meanwhile there are a lot of news that shook up the literary world those past few weeks. Let's take a look at what happened the previous week.

  • Tiffany McDaniel has won the Not the Book Prize 2016 with her novel The Summer that Melted Everything. The novel was one of the most popular titles that were nominated for the prize both if the public and the judges.


  • The Folio Prize is returning! The prize was suspended last year after the withdrawal of its sponsor, but it was announced the it will return in 2017. This time the award is expanding its categories, since now it will include non-fiction books as well as novels.


  • A tragic loss for the comic world! Steve Dillon has passed away at the age of 54. Dillon's most well-known work was his DC/Vertigo series The Preacher, while he is also known for The Punisher and Hellblazer.


  • The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature definitely steered the literary world. Bob Dylan has not yet to make an announcement concerning the prize. A few days ago it was added in the website that he is the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, but apparentely this statement is now gone. What do you think about this year's Nobel Prize in Literature?


  • Can't get enough of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children? I have some good news for you! A new Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children trilogy is coming! In this new trilogy the adventures of Jacob Portman, Miss Peregrine and the rest of the children continue. The first book of the trilogy is expected in fall 2017.


  • The authorship of Shakespeare's plays has been questioned numerous times through the years, Now, an international team of 23 academics believe that Christopher Marlowe was working on Shakespeare's plays and that he deserves a credit in future editions. 


  • On October 21st we were celebrating Wonder Woman's birthday. But because we love to read into things, Wonder Woman wasn't the only strong woman who celebrated her birthday that particular day. I'm talking about Ursula K. Le Guin and Carrie Fisher!


  • Elena Ferrante has written a children's book! And it's a little creepy! Take a look at some of its beautiful illustrations, that were created by Mara Cerri.


  • Marvel often comments on current affairs with its comic books. The latest comic is named Madaya Mom and it's about a Syrian mother trapped in a town. And you can read it for free!


  • It was about time! Amazon is releasing a limited edition of Kindle Paperwhite designed specfically for reading manga. The product will, of course, be available in Japan!


  • Can You Identify These Classic Children's Books? This quiz is trickier than you'd expect as the description of each book is made with emojis!


  • Which Spooktastic Book Should You Read This Halloween? Take the quiz to find out! I got The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Which one did you get?


October 20, 2016

Play(list) by the Book: Deadpool v Gambit




Hello, everyone! Long time, no see! But what a better comeback than with a Play(list) by the Book, one of my favourite segments of the blog. So, today we have a playlist based on all the songs and artists that were mentioned in Deadpool v Gambit. It's a really small playlist, so you'll be able to listen to it in just one sitting. Enjoy!




As usual, the rules for the playlist were the same. If a song was mentioned, it was in. If an artist was mentioned then I picked a song that I personally like. If there were certain lyrics mentioned, then I tried to find the song that they came from. Deadpool v Gambit didn't have a tricky song, so everything is included.


Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

September 12, 2016

The Reading Book Post, September 12th


Hello, everyone! I've been absent for some time, but this September turned out to be very busy, so I might not blog for another two weeks. Fingers crossed that everything will go well! Anyway, let's se what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The winner of the Wallace Stevens poetry award has been announced. The prestigious award was given to the American poet Sharon Olds.


  • Tha actor and director Andrew McCarthy is making his literary debut with the YA novel Just Fly Away. You can read an excerpt of the book, while it's set to hit the selves on spring 2017.


  • Alan Moore has announced that he is retiring from creating comic books! He declared that he would like to focus on films and literary novels. I'm curious to see what he'll do next!


  • There only a few stories written by F. Scott Fitzgerlad left unpublished. Well, not for long. The collection of these stories will be called I'd Die For You (And Other Lost Stories) and it will be released on 11 April 2017.


  • JD Salnger's house is becoming a retreat for young artists! Illustrator Harry Bliss has bought it and it will be offered as a workplace to all those who desire to be away from everything and create intimacy with their work.


  • Looking for a bookish present? Well, these Pokemon bookmarks are more than cute! Can I have one (or all of them)?


  • Can You Pass A Difficult 12th Grade Literature Exam? Test your knowledge of the classics with this test! I'm glad that I passed, but I'd say that I need a revision! How did you do?


August 15, 2016

The Reading Book Post, August 15th


Hello, everyone! How is your summer reading going? I finally got some time to get to the things I was meant to for so long! Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The winners for the 2016 Aurora Awards have been announced at Canvention. Among the winning novels is A Daughter of No Nation, by A. M. Dellamonica, and An Inheritance of Ashes, by Leah Bobet.


  • Book trailers always get me hyped for the upcoming novels! Watch the book trailer of the children's book The Littlest Bigfoot, which will be published on September 13. Also, watch the book trailer, and read a little excerpt, from the soon-to-be published on August 9.


  • 20 years ago Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published. So, London's British Library will exhibit J. K. Rowlings personal Harry Potter collection.


  • Language is constantly evolving. New words are added to our everyday lives every year! But there are some words that we all use that their etymology remains a mystery to us. Interesting, right?


  • Just a few months away from Gilmore Girls: A Year In Life, Lauren Graham has revealed the cover of her new memoir From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (And Everything in Between): Talking As Fast As I Can. The memoir will hit the shelves on November 29, just a few days after the series' premiere.


  • Mr. Men and Little Misses were a huge part of my childhood. The series is turning 45 years old, and in order to celebrate the occasion new characters will be joining the gang. So, get ready for Mr. Marvellous, Little Miss Fabulous, Mr. Adventure, and Little Miss Sparkle!



August 11, 2016

Review: Manga Classics: Emma, by Jane Austen, Po Tse, Crystle S. Chan, and Stacy King

Title: Manga Classics: Emma

Author: Jane Austen

Illustrator: Po Tse

Adaptation: Crystle S. Chan

Publisher: UDON Entertainment

Date of Publication: June 17th, 2015

Number of Pages: 308

Find it at : Book Depository

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Summary

Just in time for the 200th anniversary, Manga Classics brings Jane Austen’s classic tale of youthful folly and romantic exuberance to a modern audience with this beautiful new manga adaptation of Emma.

When her former governess finds happiness as the bride of a local widower, the brilliant and beautiful Emma Woodhouse — one of Jane Austen's immortal creations — flatters herself that she alone has secured the marriage and that she possesses a special talent for bringing lovers together. The young heiress next busies herself with finding a suitable husband for her friend and protégé, Harriet Smith, setting off an entertaining sequence of comic mishaps and misunderstanding in this sparkling comedy of English-village romance. Beneath its wit, the novel is also the story of a young woman's progress toward self-understanding. The impulsive match-making of Emma Woodhouse delivers both humor and heartache through the gorgeous artwork of master artist Po Tse.

Review

If there are two things that I love reading, they would probably be manga, and Jane Austen. So, when I first learnt that there was a combination of these two I was thrilled. Having already read another three instalments of the Manga Classics (Pride & Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter, and Les Miserables), I was more than eager to find out if Emma would also work well in this format.

Do you guys even need an introduction to the story? Emma is a delightful novel, with great characters! Mr. Knightley is one of those dreamy gentlemen, and Emma, although a little spoilt, is compassionate and tries to make up for the errors that she makes. Certainly, Mr. Knightley is the one that makes sure that she understands where she is wrong. This is one of the reasons why I believe that they are one of the most well-matched couples is literature, despite their age difference.

The adaptation of this Manga Classic was once again great! It made sure that the volume contained all of the main plot points, so even if you haven't read the novel you wouldn't miss anything from the story. Also, the dialogue maintained the witty spark of the Jane Austen's original dialogues, which was a big plus for me.

What I really love in this series, is that I can finally see all of my favourite characters with the exagerrated emotions that are so usual in manga. Once again, you can see the constant blushing on their faces, starry eyes, and flowers around the charming gentlemen, like Mr. Knightley, and Frank Churchill. All these images add up to the general enjoyment of Emma. 

The art style wasn't so very different from the other Manga Classics. It was beautiful, in a manga kind of way. I particularly liked the design of Emma, as well as all of those dresses! They are seriously impressive with their laces and their flowers. The one thing that I didn't really like was the Mr. Knightley. His image didn't suit the mental I had created for him, as he seamed a lot younger, almost the same age as Emma. I have to admit that this fact was a serious turn off, and I believe that I would have enjoyed this manga much more if Mr. Knightley's design was different.

Emma was delightful, like the original novel. Although I was acquainted with the plot, it managed to keep my interest. This Manga Classic is ideal for both Jane Austen fans, and for readers that aren't yet familiar with her work. I could go as far to say that this might be more enjoyable to some than the original novel, because in the manga version Emma isn't that annoying, and I know that this is one of the usual reasons that people hate it. Apart from the trouble I had with Mr. Knightley's design, this manga was easy to read and quiet enjoyable. If you're in the mood for a romance, don't hesitate to pick it up!
  

August 2, 2016

The Reading Book Post, August 2nd


Happy August, everyone! I can't believe that we are already in the last month of summer! At the moment, I'm back in my hometown and I'm taking it easy. Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2016 has been announced. Among the nominees is J.M. Coetzee, twice winner of the Booker Prize, for his novel The Schooldays of Jesus.

  • Our favourite vampire is coming back! The upcoming novel of Anne Rice, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis will be published on November 29, but you can already read an excerpt.  

  • Have you finished reading Harry Potter and The Cursed Child yet? Well, J.K. Rowling has declared that after this story, Harry is done.


  • Any fans of The Savage Song by Victoria Schwab? Well, you might be lucky to watch it on the big screen, as Sony has bought the rights to the YA novel!


  • The first trailer of the long awaited American Gods is finally here! This only hyped me up!


  • While it's still summer, you might be searching for cities that are ideal for all of us book lovers. So, here is a list with all the cities around the world ideal for bookworms!


  • Every night, Dr. Seuss was creating artworks just for pleasure. He called these areworks Midnight Paintings and they are on view for the very first time. 


  • Looking for some book recommendations? Actress Tilda Swinton gives us her list with her 10 favourite books.


  • Which Rainbow Rowell Character Are You? Take the quiz to find out! I got Cath from Fangirl, how about you?


July 30, 2016

Manga Review: Orange, by Takano Ichigo

Title: Orange

Author: Takano Ichigo

Publisher: Seven Seas P., N.Y.

Date of Publication: 12 February 2016

Number of Volumes: 5

Number of Pages: 192 (each volume)

Find it at: Book Depository (Vol. 1-3), Book Depository (Vol. 4-5)


Summary

One day, Takamiya Naho receives a letter written to herself from ten years in the future. As Naho reads on, the letter recites the exact events of the day, including the transfer of a new student into her class named Naruse Kakeru.

The Naho from ten years later repeatedly states that she has many regrets, and she wants to fix these by making sure the Naho from the past can make the right decisions—especially regarding Kakeru. What's more shocking is that she discovers that ten years later, Kakeru will no longer be with them. Future Naho asks her to watch over him closely.

Review


WARNING: Do not attempt to read this manga without a box of tissues nearby!

If I tried to describe the way that Orange made me feel, then I'd have to do it with a quote from the manga itself: It tasted sweet, sour, and sorrowful. Just like the orange juice that Naho tasted. But, first things first, Orange is one of those manga series that will tear your heart apart and throw it out of the window. Seriously!

The day of the opening ceremony Naho received a letter from her future self. The letter described how a new transfer student, Kakeru, would arrive into their class and all of the things that would happen afterwards. The Naho that tried to reach her younger self wanted to erase some of her regrets that had been tormenting her. Kakeru would die, and Naho thought that somehow she and the rest of the group would find a way to prevent it. Knowing what she did, it must have been devastating to her that none of them noticed Kakeru's suffering.

This science fiction element was the one that made the story work. Without this letter the story would have been the same. But it really added up that by changing the present, young Naho wouldn't erase the future. A parallel universe was created where her new actions led to a different future. So, in the original Kakeru always died 17 years old, while in the new one he could be saved, if Naho was successful. The only paradox that was created with the time travel (which would be weird if there wasn't one), was how the letter reached the past. That's the one thing that wasn't explained, but I didn't really care, as the story was so beautiful to bother.

In the surface, Orange is a romance manga. Yes, Naho and Kakeru fall in love, but for me what mattered the most was the friendship of all of the six students. Suwa, Takako, Hagita, Azusa, Naho, and Kakeru formed a delightful group. It felt like one of those friendships that could last a lifetime. That's why the news that they didn't keep in touch after they graduated, and the deat of Kakeru, it was disappointing. It felt realistic somehow that they fell apart. I also got the impression that in every action that Naho did, the rest of them always supported her. I'm not sure how many regrets she would be able to erase if it weren't for them. To be honest what stayed with me from this manga is that being in love might not be enough to save you, but maybe having some people care deeply for you is.

Another plus of Orange was the characters. I am usually frustrated with all those girls in shoujo manga that are too afraid to express their feelings and even share their thoughts, and Naho was more or less this type of girl. But it didn't bother me that much! Ok, there were times that I wanted to scream "Why don't you say something?", but the rest of the girls were totally different. Takako was serious and Azusa was so bright and cheerful all the time. The guys were the same, each one of them had different traits that were obvious in their conversation. Nevertheless, my absolute favourite is none other than Kakeru! After so many manga that I've read it's time for a confession: I am a sucker for the troubled guys, like Kou from Ao Haru Ride, Tsuruga Ren from Skip Beat, etc. Kakeru has definitely risen into the top of my favourite guys list.

Having a friend that died is depressing. But learning years after the incident that it was his own choice it's devastating. This fact hung over the whole manga, even though the group of friends was laughing. There is a particular chapter towards the end of Orange where we get the whole story from Kakeru's point of view. This must be one of the most depressing things I've ever read. I only wanted to hug him and say that everything's going to be ok and that life is worth living.

There is one final thing I could say about Orange: I loved it! I cried and I laughed, I swooned and I had my heart broken, I admired Suwa's choices and felt jealous of the students' friendship. When we are transfered in the future throughout the manga I was sad that they grew apart, but happy that they found one thing that could reunite them. It was like the quote I used earlier:

 
This counts as a manga in the 2016 Reading Challenge.  

July 18, 2016

The Reading Book Post, July 18th


Hello, everyone! I just love all those lazy days by the beach, with some great reads. I'm in the middle of my vacations and so I'm taking everything slow. Anyway, let's see what happened in the literary world the previous week.

  • The Kibble Award for Australian Women Writers was given to Fiona Wright, for her book Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger, in which she talks about anorexia. 


  • I enjoy watching book trailers and I'm always excited when I found one that gets me pumped up for the book itself! Watch the hilarious book trailer of Tony Millionaire's Drinky Crow Drinks Again, as well as the book trailer of the new graphic novel based on the short story by Neil Gaiman How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Both books are available now!


  • Philip Pullman has announced that he's working on a graphic novel! The comic book will be called The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship and it will be published in June 2017.


  • Archie meets Ramones! No need to say anything more: this is the crossover we've been waiting for! Archie Meets Ramones is expected in 2016. 


  • Chvrches new music video features art from Jamie McKelvie's Phonogram. The comic book artist has collaborated with the animation company Mighty Nice for this beatiful video.




  • Do you keep a journal? Whether you already keep one, or you want to begin writing one, this article will give you some useful ideas and tips on how to keep a diary!


  • Which YA Sidekick Are You? Take the quiz to find out! I got Reagan from Fangirl, which one did you get?

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