Saturday, 13 December 2014

My 2015 TBR Pile Challenge: Masterpost

Hello! Hi! Welcome!

Okay, that's enough of that. I'm just a tiny bit excited here. I've just discovered Roof Beam Reader's TBR Pile Challenge, and it sounds perfect for me, who is desperately trying to get some order to my own TBR pile (a saga anyone who reads this blog is familiar with!).

The point is that you sign up for the challenge, and submit a list of 12 books that you have had on your TBR for more than a year (in other words, published BEFORE 2014), plus two alternates in case some of your choices turned out too terrible to endure (which, if I'm being honest, is likely seeing as 14 year old me did not make the same choices as 24 year old me), and then you read them. Easy. Right? Right...

This is my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge List:

* = read but never got around to reviewing.
  1. A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin (2002)*
  2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (1996)
  3. Last Argument of Kings (The First Law #3) by Joe Abercrombie (2008)
  4. The Last of Mr. Norris/Mr Morris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood (1935?)
  5. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890)
  6. A Disovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness (2010)
  7. Redshirts by John Scalzi (2012)
  8. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927)
  9. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins (2009)
  10. The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss (2007)*
  11. Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu (1872)
  12. Succubus on Top (Georgina Kincaid #2) by Richelle Mead (2008)
  1. The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan (2010)
  2. Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider #9) by Anthony Horowiz (2011)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

December pick: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

We're back, back again *hums*

In December we are reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It's a classic and we've heard nothing but good things from a multitude of different directions (though the internet, of course, is full of negatives as well). It's sci-fi too, which we haven't really read much of (if at all) for this little endeavor.

Brave New World was published in 1931, and is set "far into the future" whatever that means (we're exited to read all about it), and the World Controllers (at least they're honest about it) have created what their people are supposed to feel is utopia. Bernard Marx (I'm guessing that name is carefully chosen) doesn't feel that way, and perhaps a visit to a group of old worlders (my word) in a Savage Reservation where the imperfect ways of old are still in action is just what the doctor ordered.

I have a feeling there will be much to discuss in this one. We'll be discussion last months book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Stories from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty (affiliate link) somtime tomorrow, so keep your eyeballs on our blog of that (text discussion, as of our olden days...)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Kiwie's TBR#10: November, or the one where two becomes three

Long time no see! I'm back with a very belated TBR... I blame everything on NaNoWriMo. Everything. We're reading Caitlin Doughty's Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Stories from the Creamatorium this month, and let me tell you: It is brilliant. But over to the horror that is my physical TBR piles. I added one. There was a second hand book market. We got 28 books for the price of three new hardcovers (in Norway anyway, I'd get more from say, the book depository). Most of those were not for me though, I only got a few, but lets cut to the chase:

I know, and there will be more books to come. I'm waiting for Foxglove Summer (affiliate link) by Ben Aaronovitch to arrive (The newest in the Peter Grant series), and then there is Christmas coming up and I'll be getting at least two new books then. Send help, I'm in desperate need of rehab!

I've also abandoned the immediate TBR pile for three reasons a) NaNoWriMo, I just won't be reading normally this month b) I've already hit my reading goal for the year which was the point of the immediate TBR anyway c) I don't really know what I want to read. I am being super indecisive about it, and I won't stick to any TBR I make anyway, so why spend time making it? I'll only feel guilty about something that doesn't matter!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Kristine's TBR #9: October 2014

ooops I did it again?

As you can see, my pile hasn't shrunk this month, rather the opposite, but in my defense I only bought two books. The "problem" is that I didn't read enough & that one of the new books is really fat. I read books, but a lot of them were digital. Let's list them:

  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April G. Tucholke
  • Sleep Donation by Karen Russel (novella)
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Out of all these the only one was in my phyisical TBR pile. Two were e-books, one was a library borrowed audiobook (CDs!). So I've read as much as I wanted to (if not exactly what I planned on reading), but not the "right" things for pile shrinking. I'm just reading whatever I feel like at the moment, so the focus has shifted a bit. I think I want something new and fresh (to me) or I'll just not read at all and forcing myself to pick from a pile where all the titles (if not the content) are familiar isn't that tempting at the moment. I also bought some ebooks and I'm deep into one of them at the moment (Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig). Therefore there will be no immediate TBR pile for October. 

The only thing I know for sure I'll be reading is the Bone Clocks by David Mitchell as we are reading that this month (and I'm sorry we haven't communicated this well, I do recommend being part of our Goodreads group if you can as that actually sends out reminders).

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, review and discussion post (with spoilers)

In September we read Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke. There will be SPOILERS! If you want to read this book, stay away.

Now, this books has a pretty title (after a song if I'm not incorrect, at least they mention a song with that title in the book), and the first line is a good one:
"You stop fearing the Devil when you're holding his hand"
I'm intrigued by this. Who is this devil and what does he do? It does make the beginning a bit tedious, because you are anticipating his arrival, and you are reading through a lot of descriptions and Violet and her grandmother Freddie talking about the devil and not saying damn so much (damn count in the book: 64). Violet White and her brother Luke have two irresponsible artist parents who have run off to Europe with all their savings, leaving their two kids in a run down old mansion and a growing pile of bills. So, this is a no-parent YA, I know some of you have problems with this, but at least here their absence is explained (if entirely fucked up). Vi and Luke love each other, but are quite cruel to each other. He's a real douche and totally insufferable throughout a large part of the book. She is a pretentious girl in her dead grandmothers clothes, always with a book nearby and a mouth ready to taste things so she can describe them. Their neighbor Sunshine Black (Black/White what are you doing author?) is Violet's only friend, and that mostly due to proximity, and also Luke's make-out partner (one of them anyway).

The house they live in is a character of its own, named Citizen Kane, and we get a lot of descriptions of the house, the property and the decay. Lots and lots and lots. The house and the food they eat is well described. The smells too. If you don't like that kind of thing the first part of this book is not for you. I don't mind as I love these kinds of houses. Vi and Luke are running out of money and can't pay all their bills anymore, so Vi hangs a poster offering the guest house for rent.

Cue the Devil. He drives up in his nice car, is a seventeen year old boy who pays upfront (and folds origami out of money and leaves it around). His name is River West. Sunshine says that sounds made up, and I laughed hard at that because  Violet White and Sunshine Black does not?

River is beautiful and charming and Vi falls in love with him.
" 'His name is River West,' Sunshine slipped in. 'And Violet's decided she's going to be mad as a hatter in love with him.' "

Now the insta-love is actually explained later, but when I didn't for sure know that it was, ah, magically induced? HATE IT. River West is charming, a good cook and everybody likes him, for half a day or so, then the lies pile up and scary things start to happen and Vi fixates more on River, more on her dead grandmother (and finding letters that have been left behind) and on the weird things that are going on. There are devil's in graveyards, scary men in tunnels, fire's in attics and witches with red hair. It turns out that River is doing most of it, that he's got this power (glow, spark, burn, whatever) to make people feel, and think and do as he wants and it is addicting for those who do it and those it is inflicted upon. He's a narcotic and Vi is hooked. So we find that it has been River all along (or William Redding as he is called). He's got a brother that shows up and tries to fetch him back home, they fight and make up, and just as they are supposed to leave and calm once again settle over their idyllic little town with their italian food and coffe, and their organic grocerystore, but no! There's a third brother, a half-brother to be exact, and he's got powers too (only River has them of the other two), and he hates River badly and wants to either kill him or have him join him in mass murder sprees (which River has been doing anyway, but regrets rather than enjoys)

Honestly this book is like if you mashed up Gilmore Girls and/or Hart of Dixe with something like Supernatural or Sleepy Hollow, then added in a little bit of some crime show or other. It would make a great series for the CW.

Now I liked the book somewhat, and I enjoy good villains and think they can be sexy or whatever, but River? Nope. He's like the nicer bad guy and I can't, and Vi's still into him at the end of the book. She does think it might still be from having been glowed for so long, so who knows what happens next. The follow up is called Between the Spark and the Burn. So I guess that's about brothers fighing and Vi getting stuck between them. I would have liked it if River was more of a villain, that there wasn't some badder guy out there, but how this resolves itself is still unknown. I would also have liked for it to be more eerie, with all the descriptions it could have been, but it didn't feel remotely scary. Even with nighttime graveyards and witch hunts going on. The thought of someone controlling your mind without your complete knowledge though: TERRIFYING!

It was a little heavy on the descriptions at time, but certainly way to heavy with the references, I counted 40, but might have missed some!

Anyone agree with some of this or think I'm dead wrong? Comment!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Kristine's TBR #8: September 2014

Well look at that, the first Friday of another month, at least I remembered it this time. 

Last month there wasn't any difference between the piles, but THIS month there is! The inner pile is now taller than the outer pile. Huzzah! 

Books I read in August (all links to Goodreads):
That's five books. Woot! I've read a couple more in the few days between the first of the month and today too, and they're also missing from the picture above, but not included in the list. In case you were studying these things. 

I'm not sure what I will be reading in September, I'm not feeling like reading anything in particular right now, at least not from the piles, but I've picked a couple of books and then I know I'll be reading some stuff off my Kindle as I've got two books that I'm super exited about there right now. We'll see!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

September read: Between the Devil and the Blue Sea

Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Published 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, romance
It is book #1 in the Between series

About the novel:

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back.

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Why we chose this novel:

Because it is pretty. Because we've heard good things about it. Because the Devil is a fascinating topic for us. Because why not. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bout of Books 11: Days 6 & 7

Well, day six didn't really happen for me, I was ill and tired and just wanted to watch TV, so I did.

Today was much better.

The stats:

Time spent reading: approx. 4 hours
Pages read: 242
Books finished: 1, Hollow City.

Social: Nope. 

Time spent reading: 15 hours 26 minutes
Pages read: 1124
books finished: 3.5
#Days social: 6/7

Books Finished:
Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig (second 1/2 as I was already reading it when BoB11 started)
Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun (finished Wednesday).
Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman (finished thursday)
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. 

The evaluation:

So, how did I do?
Well, I did not read 4 books, but I got close enough (being 1/2 from it) and I did read more pages than I anticipated (aimed for 1050) so I consider that a win, I also read for longer than I aimed for so that was good too. I was social and/or updated my blog with stats and/or challenges 6/7 days and while I would have liked 7/7 I'm pretty happy about that too. I continued two series so that was great too. 

Most importantly: It was great fun. I especially enjoyed the twitter chat I participated in (planned on doing a second one, but again, I barley had the energy to lift my head). I hope everyone else who participated enjoyed the time they spent on it too!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Bout of Books11: Day five

The stats:

Time spent reading: 2 hours 16 minutes
Pages read: 154
Books finished: 0, started Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (loving it so far!)

Social: Commented on some blogs.

Time spent reading: 11 hours 26 minutes
Pages read: 882
books finished: 2.5
#Days social: 5/5

Books Finished:
Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig (second 1/2 as I was already reading it when BoB11 started)
Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun (finished Wednesday).
Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman (finished thursday)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Bout of Books 11: Day 4 and Like This, Try This challenge

The stats:

Time spent reading: 2 hours 40 minutes
Pages read: 254
Books finished: 1

Social: Did a challenge, wrote some comments.

Time spent reading: 9 hours 10 minutes
Pages read: 728
books read: 2.5
#Days social: 4/4

Books Finished:
Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig (second 1/2 as I was already reading it when BoB11 started)
Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun (finished Wednesday).
Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman

Like this, try that challenge:

If you like the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher you may also enjoy the Nightside series by Simon R. Green because they are both Urban Fantasy with male main characters who get hired to solve other peoples problems, and have their own sense of justice (both being loyal to the truth).
Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1)Something from the Nightside (Nightside, #1)
I don't recommend reading them at the same time though, one might get confused as they do use similar base mythology on occasion and the same names may pop up here and there. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

BoB11: Day 3 update + Create a sentence challenge!

The stats:

Time spent reading: 3 hours
Pages read: 195
Books finished: 1

Social: Did a challenge, wrote some comments.

Time spent reading: 6.5 hours
Pages read: 474
books read: 1.5
#Days social: 3/3

Books Finished:
Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig (second 1/2 as I was already reading it when BoB11 started)
Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun (finished Wednesday).

Sentence challenge:

Today's challenge was to create a sentence using the two first words from some awesome books, it is hosted by, and I think it was pretty fun! Here's what I got:
In this book I had a Shadow, here they had nothing.

What I used:
The Diviners by Libba Bray: In a
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen: Here They
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: This book
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: I had
American Gods by Neil Gaiman: Shadow had

My one free word: nothing.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Bout of Books 1: Day 2 updates + spine poetry challenge!

The stats:

Time spent reading: 1.5 hours
Pages read: 84
Books read: 0.5 still (grrr, I'll be done with another tomorrow!)

Social: Not much, I was busy with life today, saw Guardians of the Galaxy (fun!) and went shopping for new running shoes (not so fun, but my feet will love me). Am doing the Spine Poetry challenge hosted by (see below) also commenting a bit on a couple of blogs. So it's all good.

I'm a little behind on my time/page count, but I can catch up tomorrow, the most important part is that I'm still having fun with the reading!

Book spine poetry challenge:

The Outsiders
postcards from no man's land
in their
Hollow City
Between the Acts
Boy Meets Boy

I used five books (all good too) and wrote a little nonsense, but it is a love story I think. Love and war, two great themes there...

Monday, 18 August 2014

BoB11: Day 1 update

The stats:

Time spent reading: 2 hours
Pages read: 196
Books read: 0.5

Social: Did the Bout of Books Scavenger hunt, hostes at, that was a fun challenge. Then I participated in the twitter chat & that was fun and dizzying (My head was spinning for a while there), and my wishlist grew a mile.

What I read today:

Mockingbird (Miriam Black, #2)I was in the middle of Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig and read the second half of that. Great book, dark, foul mouthed, violent and with a little lesson or two in there if you're paying attention. Miriam Black is a really unlikable and unreliable main character and I absolutely love her, I don't like her much, but I do love her. Probably not recommended for younger readers though, as this is dark adult urban fantasy and all, and Miriam Black is one fucked up heroine (but a great one). This series gets a bonus for really cool cover art too. I like just having them on my shelf. I'll be reading the third one soon I think.

 Today I've had a lot of fun & I did not fall behind on my goals. Yay!
- Kristine

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Kiwie's TBR pile #7: August

Wait, this isn't the first friday of the month? This isn't even at the beginning of the month? Sorry, but in my defense I've been busy watching Covert Affairs. Yeah. I know. Shush.

Okay, so after my attempt at the BookTube-A-Thon (a week of reading) my piles were a big mess, and I've just now gotten round to putting things back where they belong. Because of my last minute decision to join in on the BookTube-A-Thon I ended up not reading my immediate TBR, so things look very much the same, but in happy news: I DID NOT BUY A SINGLE BOOK IN JULY! I feel like someone ought to be high fiving me right now. No? Fine then.

On to the important bit, these are my piles as of right now (Aug. 12):
As I'm sure you noticed the pile is the same. Some things were moved about a little, the contents are the same. No change. Hopefully by the next post there is some. I'm thinking of doing another read-a-thin, but this time without videos and travel so it would be much less stressfull! 

My immediate TBR is also much the same:

I added Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman (Goodreads | Buy it from Bookdepository). Otherwise the pile is the same, and this time I will get through it!

Kristine's doing Bout of Books: Sign up + goals


So I really want to read a lot this month, and a read-a-thon seems like a good idea. And so I'm signing myself up for Bout of Books! I've never done this before, so I'm not enitrely in control over how it works aside from the fact that you set your own goals, sign up and then spend Aug. 18-24 reading! It's about having fun and not stressing too and that is what I need right now. You can find all the information you need at the official blog:

Bout of Books

My Bout of Books goals:

Time spent reading:

I want to read an average of 2 hours per day (14 hours total), and that time will be while I'm on the bus (audiobooks!), before bedtime and just whenever I can squeeze it in.

Specific goals:

  • Read 4 books
  • 1 book has to be part of a series (but not #1)
  • Read an average of 150 pages per day (1050 total)
  • Read an average of 2 hours per day (14 total) 
  • Communicate & update: daily blogs + tweets and comments + at least one challenge

Books to read

I've decided to not make a TBR, I will have to read books I already own or books that I get from the library. I also think that for the continuation of a series I'll be reading either Hollow City by Ransom Riggs or one of Chuck Wendig's books about Miriam Black (I have two unread ones) as these are not so long. If I start into some Joe Abercrombie or some A song of Ice and Fire I won't get anything else read and I'm aiming for diversity & fun.

Here on the blog I'll be using the tag "Bob11" so now you know what that is. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

August read: Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun

This month we will be reading Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun. Sorry for giving you this information so late into the month already, but the vacation kind of went to our heads. But now we are back full time and will hopefully be bringing you good books and videos, as well as regular reviews.

About the book:

Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world. Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness. Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend. All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.

Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.

Why we chose this book:

It was Kat who chose this book, as she has a thing for horror. I don't really know much about this book, other than what is above. I found out about it via Pinterest and it's the first time I pick a book I found from there. So, don't know what to expect, but I hope this book will be a really creepy read!

Buy this book from: Bookdepository.
Check it out on: Goodreads
Hang out with us in our goodreads group: The Cat's Tale

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Kiwie's TBR-pile #6, July: The Nightmare almost came true!

June turned out to be the month were two piles became three, eeek, fortunately it was a temporary situation. I got 5 new books! I only needed one for pile number three to form, well, it wouldn't be a pile with only one book, but still. I made a video about the books I got, you can see it here. It's terrible. I just didn't speak too clearly.

I also read a whole bunch of books in June. Being unemployed I have massive amounts of time (half of it I spend having panic attacks about my life), and spend quite a bit of it with my nose in a book.

Books I read in June:
  1. Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger
  2. Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth (Nightside #6) by Simon R. Green
  3. Blackbirds (Miriam Black #1) by Chuck Wendig
  4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  5. Summer Knight (The Dresden Files #4) by Jim Butcher.

That's pretty good I think. I really liked these also.In May read along with Vaginal Fantasy , and I have done so again, but as I'm writing this I'm not done yet (but that's okay, the hangout isn't until next week anyway). I'm about halfway into The Lions of Al-Rassan now, and I must admit I've spent almost half the month on it, I like it, but I'm in a reading slump it seems. I just cannot get myself to pick it up, but when I do pick it up I read a hundred pages before realizing that time is something that happens and that maybe I should go to sleep.

Pile status:

Well, isn't that a miserable sight? I'm hoping to read at least 6 books in July, buy none and only borrow one from the library (if that), so that I get my piles back under (relative) control. Here's the four books I've picked beforehand:

As you can see I've included the book that I'm currently reading (I have not done so in the past, but there are 250 pages left of it, and well, that's book length). Then I've got two of my birthday books and then The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (and this I've technically read before, but I've deliberately left it in my pile to re-read, it's been a decade anyway). That latter was a TBR-jar pick, and I'm pretty happy about it.

I'm also doing Camp Nanowrimo in July (not going well I've had to start a second story because the one I wanted to write doesn't want to come out and it is the umpteenth time I've tried it. ONE DAY I WILL SUCCEED!).

Have a nice July everyone, we'll be back with a monthly read for August! We're taking a summer break (what with Nano + going on vacations and reading slumps and all).

Friday, 6 June 2014

Kiwie's TBR #5: June

I read a lot in May, but I also borrowed most of it from the library or bought them (shame on me). You can watch my haul on YouTube if you haven't seen it already (or just don't, I'm akward). I bought three books this month and then I got two books (they're not in the haul video).

Books I got (all links to goodreads):
  1. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton.
  2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
  4. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
  5. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
The last two are both #2 in their respective series (or trilogies or whatever they are), so no breaking of the rules with them(also I didn't pay for them myself, my father did, thanks dad!). The other three are totally breaking the rules though, but the pirate one was used and cheap, I do like Rainbow Rowell (and one could argue that it is a book by an author I love and so I'm allowed, but then one remembers that it isn't quite new...) and there is absolutely no excuse for Wendig's novel other than this: I FINISHED SCHOOL AND AM NOW A FULL TIME UNEMPLOYED PERSON (give me a job). 

Okay. So obviously my TBR pile grew a lot (and all progress was lost), in addition to that I've mostly just read library books. I did finish the four books I pulled out for my May TBR though, so that's good. I also read three more books. Two in the Nightside series (and have another checked out of the library), plus this month's Vaginal Fantasy read Hunter's Claim, because why not (it sucked, don't bother unless you want poorly edited alien abduction fantasies & follow the drinking game they came up with over at goodreads: Hunter's Claim: Drinking Game) . That's seven books for those who are counting (me). 

Okay so my TBR-piles-of-shame look like this now:

One more book and I would have three piles instead of two... 5 new books was all it took. I also have a library book that I'm planning to read, so one could say I'e started a third pile... If anyone is wondering, that Amanda Palmer art book is not part of any pile, it's just too big to fit anywhere else, nor is that book under Middlesex a part of it, I just don't know where to put it, same with the Lost Souls copy that is wedged between the piles, but that I want to re-read so you can count it if you want). 

Now, what will I read this month? What does June have in store for me?

Well, mostly the books I bought in May, with the exeption of Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth which is the sixth book in the Nightside series (which means I'll be halfway in the series when I've read it). If anyone is considering reading the Nightside series I think I reccomend getting the omnibuses, or at least the first one: Into the Nightside (bookdepository link) as the first book really isn't as good as the rest (which isn't very good, but entertaining and fun) and having the next book in the series in the same volume might encourage you to read it, or if you dislike the first one you can just try out the second immediately. Or just skip the first one completely. That is also an option. They're really short (around 230-50 pages mostly) too. Okay, I think I've pushed them enough now. 

What does your June reading landscape look like?

Monday, 2 June 2014


In May we read Bram Stoker's Dracula. Dracula is a classic horror novel, and we're all familiar with the character if not the novel. Written in 1897 this novel is quite old (there's a whole century between us), but it is still a fairly easy read. This is a horror novel in the format of journals, diaries (what is the difference between those anyway?), news cuttings and letters. I found it quite entertaining that they talk about assembling these different sources and turning them into a manuscript as the story progresses, so meta. That said I'm not the biggest fan of epistolary story telling, as the structure can turn a story quite cringe worthy and/or boring depending on who it's handled. In this case it is a pretty effective way to have several characters seeing things from very different points of view and coming up with a multifaceted narrative that works very well at times. There are boring parts though, where things are repeated without adding new insights.

The first part of the novel is Jonathan Harker, travelling to Count Dracula in his castle in the middle of nowhere, Transylvania. I find Jonathan to be much less bright than the rest of the characters in this novel, and also quite annoying. He really is slow to understand that something isn't right with the count ( I get that he didn't know about vampires and was 100 years to early for Buffy, but it was pretty obvious that something was up with the count) and he's also very sedate about it until he screws up and then allows himself to panic (which incidentally is when he manages to do something about his situation). Both castle and count is well written and satisfyingly creepy though! Jonathan Harker has a knack for descriptions, if nothing else.

What I found when I started reading Dracula was that I knew the story much better than I thought I did. I have seen movies, and read an illustrated children's version of the novel, but I didn't quite realise how familiar I am with the story as a whole, specially the beginning, which is probably why I noticed the writing the most here, and there really are some great descriptions in this novel.

All the characters have good and bad traits, and they all ended up annoying me somewhat. Van Helsing and his stupid exclamations of friendship and adoration (honestly, you'd think he'd never met a person before), and Mina's heartfelt speeches that showed just how good and godly she was. Very boring. Also the fact that later in the novel when Mina is so tired no light goes on in anyone's brain. YOU'VE JUST BEEN THROUGH THIS! I felt like shaking them all so very badly.

The pacing of the story could also have been better. It starts off well with Jonathan's journal, then it jumps to Mina's (who explains that she is practicing shorthand for her future husband so she can be a good lawyers wife, and otherwise wouldn't be journaling) who is spending her time with her mysteriously ill friend Lucy, and this part felt like it was too long. I understand that it was a set up, and that Lucy was so dearly loved by everyone (three men, friends even, asked for her hand in marriage on the same day, she's also Mina's BFF) waists away and nobody knows how to stop it (at leat not until Dr. Van Helsing does some research). This waisting illness is of course Dracula, who in the shape of a bat (mostly) sucks at Lucy's neck. At one point Mina finds her on a bench with a crature with red glowing eyes bent over her. I'm sure you know the gist of the scene (it's eerie and quite good). I found Lucy's drainage period lasted too long, at least proportioned against the later hunting of Dracula, which was, in the end, very anticlimactic.

To sum up, I'd like the focus to have been a little different (and thus the pacing to have been a little different) and there was just not enough Dracula. I'd have loved to learn more of Dracula's thinking. I know Van Helsing describes his brain as a child-brain, but one that has developed for a long time and that Dracula was a very clever man when he was alive, and so he must be when he is dead, even if his brain isn't fully developed in his vampire state. What drives Dracula? Why does he have three female vampires running around his castle? Why does he go after Lucy? Then Mina (revenge I guess)? I'd have liked to see a little of his reasoning (this is what fanfiction is for I guess... And there is a lot of it).

There is a also the aspect of reading this in 2014 and the "themes" that stick out to me, the gender roles (or sexim as we call it today, ack, I wanted to punch someone, and Mina was really quite progressive at the start), the religious aspect (Dracula is referred to as a devil, while our heroes are strong in the faith of God etc.), science vs superstition, and the foreignness of Dracula and the primitiveness of the people in his lands (when Jonathan travels people become more and more superstitions and less and less "modern" as he journeys towards Dracula's castle).

The horror story itself is really creepy and really good though, so despite all my issues with it I did love it, and you know I do love a good vampire story, and this is one of the most famous (I'm going to tackle Carmilla soon!) ones and for good reason. Dracula is delicously evil, and fascinating in how he can transform into bats, rats and effing mists! He also controls the wind you know (in a small radious). He literally creates storms and eats entire ship's crews!

Friday, 30 May 2014

June reads!

In June we will be reading and hopefully enjoying Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, in addition we'll try to read  Freezer: The complete horror series by J. Joseph Wright. The latter we got for free as an ebook from amazon a while ago (via, so we have no hopes or expectations of that being particularly good, but it is about a cursed freezer. Yes, you read that right, a cursed freezer. We hope that it is funny and stuff, also a bit of a contrast to the main read.

Fangirl is our main pick and the one we have to read. We've diverted from the type of book we normally choose because we wanted something light and summery, and this promises to be totally adorable and a fast read. The story is about Cath who is a major fangirl, she lives, eats and breathes fandom (her fandom is Simon Snow, which as I understand it, has a lot in common with a wizard boy we're probably all familiar with...) and she's close to her twin sister, but then college happens and change is inevitable. 

Freezer is a book both Katastrofekat and I got for free it they sounded funny (but we're not delusional, free books are often crap), it is not free right now so purchase at your own risk. It's a bit of an alternative pick, that should contrast a lot from our main book!

There you have it, we'll (hopefully) do a google hangout at the end of the month, chatting about the book(s)! You can also (as always) join us on goodreads:

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Books I bought in May

I've made a video, and I can't speak properly.

Thanks for watching!

The Books (affiliate links):
Pirate Latitudes:

And finally a link to my TBR series-of-posts that you can find here somewhere. I post these the first friday of the month, so there'll be a new one the 6th of June if everything happens as it normally does:

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Tipsy booktalk: Veronica Mars, Thousand dollar tan line

Hope you enjoy this video and let us know if this is something you would like to see us do again.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Kiwie's TBR #4: May

Hello, it's May already. April was endless, yet suddenly over. April was also a good reading month for me. I did NOT buy any physical books that needed to be put into any TBR pile. I did get that ebook humble bundle though (this month they've got comics), so I am actually 10 (!) books (or bookish documents) richer... Nevermind that though, because this is primarily about the physical TBR pile that got out of control and that I paid lots of money for (really, books are pricey in Norway and that pile is mostly the result of me just buying stuff when I was younger and had money).

I read a lot in April. I, of course, read The Thousand Dollar Tanline (we did film a video, it's coming sometime) as that was the book we read togheter here. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin was everything I wanted it to be and more, I absolutely loved it. I listened to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files a lot, I heard both Fools Moon and Grave Peril. I like this series a lot, it's fun. I also went to the library and checked out another urban fantasy book Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green, read and liked it enough to go back and borrow the next two in the series (there are 12 in total). So I'm definitely on an urban fantasy binge, but that isn't all that I read. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld was also a book that I read. I liked it, but tought it was too long and the way the last pages were just made the whole thing in front a bit meh. It was a good book, and I really liked some parts, but other times I felt it was uninteresting. Maybe it was too long? Don't know. I've somehow misplaced the Norwegian contemporary I was reading (I took it to the cabin for easter, and I know I took it back down with me, but I don't know where I put it when I unpacked!) so that I didn't finish. I hope it turns up soon.

Last month's TBR to the left and this month's to the right:

I had already removed Dracula from the pile when I took the May photo (from the back pile, you can see it in the April photo, it's the blue one that is mid-pile), so the photo is a bit of a liar, but not that much. There is actually space above A Clash of Kings now, there wasn't before (well there isn't now either, but that's because the cover clearly has some size issues). So today I can happily declare progress. Huzzah!

Since I've taken to reading the Nightside series the pile probably won't shrink much in May (I also have an exam and am stressing madly about getting a job! HELP!). For my immediate TBR I am mostly finishing stuff I've already started, one of which I pulled from my minimalist hipster TBR-jar:

World War Z was actually a book we were supposed to read for the Cat's Tale last summer, but I never finished it and so when I made my jar I put it in there (along with a bunch of other books I just didn't finish for some reason or other). I have this as an audio book and I have listened to parts of it and I did like it, I just wasn't in the mood for audio last time, but I've been listening a lot this year so I think we'll be compatible this time around.

The rest of my TBR pile looks like this:
There's Dracula our monthly pick (which Kat gave to me as part of a gift once, because she's awesome) and Nightingale's Lament by Simon R. Green (book #3 of Nightside) and the thing on the bottom is my Kindle where I've started Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw, which was one of the ebooks from the Humble Bundle I bought.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Book review of Doctor Who: The Sleep of Reason

At long last, here is my review of The Sleep of Reason!

Keep a look out for a tipsy book talk with both me and Kiwie, where we discuss the Veronica Mars book The Thousand Dollar Tan Line

Friday, 18 April 2014

Come what May: Dracula

In May we decided to read a classic (apparently that's a thing for us, because last May we went for Lolita, which is also part of the western canon as it stands today) and this May we are going for Dracula, another horrifying tale (albeit for different reasons).

Bram Stoker's Dracula is told through letters and diary entries (and more I believe) from various characters' point of view, that together tell the story of a strange count, a wasting illness and death. I don't think the story needs further introduction. You would think we had already read it. We love horror. We love vampires. We really should have read it, and we have, but not in its original/full form. I've read an illustrated, shortened children's version, and of course, seen numerous versions in TV and film, sometimes the whole story, sometimes just characters thrown into something else (Dracula did show up in Buffy once, right?). Some good, some bad and some deliciously so.

So, in May we will flip our way through Dracula, and hopefully we won't be disappointed, or should I say that hopefully we won't be bored seeing as we know the story so well already.

Find it on Goodreads. Buy it on Bookdepostory

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Kiwie's thoughts: Shada

In March I read Shada, which is based on scripts by Douglas Adams and turned into a book by Gareth Roberts. It i about the fourth Doctor, you know, the one with the ridiculous scarf...

I didn't quite know what to expect from this, with about 400 pages I had hopes of it being a fleshed out story with more behind the dialogue and the timey-wimey. There was, but only a little. The Doctor, Romana and K9 arrive at Cambridge University because of a distress call they recieved, sent out by The Doctors friend (and fellow time lord) Professor Chronotis. Throw in two Cambridge scientists and one bad guy and we've got our main characters.

We start this story knowing that something is wrong, but not exactly what. The story of Skagra (our baddie) unfolds next to the ones of our heroes. There are lots of funny bits with The Doctor biking about, a very talkative space ship, two somewhat one-dimensional and totally in love with each other scientists, one time lord professor who bumbles about and forgets things as well as the guy who lets people in and out of the college where the proffessor works, who's seen a lot and is never surprised, but is very, very wrong (and eventually quite upset by a certain disturbance in the status quo).

There's a lot of fun stuff here, and the plot is a little twisty, with information being revealed at a fairly good pace (I have to admit, it slows down a little too much for my liking in the earlier parts, but not dramatically so). I did like the bad guy, or rather, I liked his sphere (which I can't tell you about without spoiling it). It was quite terrifying really, in a really quiet way. My favourite character was Professor Chronotis, and his naughty ways, and his constant tea-making.

Douglas Adams' style shone through in the dialogue and in some parts of the story, adding that whimsical flavor, but the story never got extremely random or out of control, and the plot tied neatly together in the end. The Doctor was very much The Doctor (i.e in character) and this read like a great, fun, timey-wimey adventure. Just as it should be.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Kiwie's TBR Pile #3: April

I have scanned all the books in my tbr-pile and added them to Goodreads and stuck them on a shelf called: Physical TBR pile. So if you want an updated book count, that's where you go! Well, there's two that didn't make it to the list due to lack of bar code, but other than that it is correct!

So, how did March go? Well... I got A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Goodreads | Bookdepository), it was a gift from Katastrofekat (thanks!). I bought the The Thousand Dollar Tanline AKA The Veronica Mars Novel (Goodreads | Bookdepository) by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. It came in the mail the first day of April, but I'm counting it since I pre-ordered it and it did come out in March even though it didn't land in my mailbox just then:

The Thousand Dollar Tanline is also our book of the month for April, so I don't even have to feel guilty about adding it to my TBR!

In March I didn't quite read as much as I thought I would, but I did read Broken Homes (Goodreads | Bookdepository) and I absolutely loved it, it was awesome and had a very character-like bulding, which is fun, and then it got serious and my heart hurts now. This is the fourth novel in the series and it is urban fantasy set in London and it's awesome (& funny). The first book is Rivers of London (Goodreads | Bookdepository). I also finished A Game of Thrones and Shada, but didn't get to of The Evolution of Mara Dyer so I'm letting that go into April's TBR. I also started the tiny Norwegian book, but didn't finish it, so that moves forward too.

My giant TBR pile(s) looks different now. When I scanned the books I naturally reorganized my books, I think it looks neater now, even though it isn't actually shrinking... I'm terrible at this! I feel like I'm getting somewhere and then I go to figure out my next month and wham: No progress. This month's pile is to the left and last month's is to the right... Sigh:

I also discovered that a lot of the books on the bottom of the piles had bookmarks in them. So I guess I just suck at finishing books. I already knew that. I couldn't read the last 20 pages of The Virgin Suicides because I liked it too much... That's years ago now, I still have a bookmark in it. These other books I might have just lost interest in. I don't really know. Anyway, this time around if I don't want to finish them I won't. I'll stick them in my "give away" pile and donate them somewhere or pass them along to friends who might like them more than I did. I'm getting really good at getting rid of books I don't really need. Because I don't have space.

Immediate April TBR:

So the top two are transfers from last month and I am looking forward to that. Veronica Mars I've already talked about. Then there's the one you haven't seen before, because I got it out of the library just now. It's a Norwegian translation of Prep by Curtis Sittenfield. So April, please let me get through all of this.

I also have only ONE thing I might buy this month, and it's MIGHT. Staying out of that library with all the free books too... Wish me strength and desire to tear through some books.

Monday, 31 March 2014

April: The Thousand Dollar Tanline (Veronica Mars)

In March we watched the Veronica Mars movie while munching Marshmallows and squealing with reuinion glee. Our favourite characters were back on the screen, could it get better? Why, yes, yes it could: Novelizations! Two of them. We were thrilled to hear that (of course!). When the news came we hurried over to our online bookstores of choice and pre-ordered. Since we're both reading it we thought it would make a nice April pick! A little different from the previous months too. Mine got shipped a couple of days ago and should be here this week. I have a hard time not checking the mailbox whenever I walk past it even though I know I've already checked that day...

The Thousand Dollar Tanline

Author: Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
Published: March 2014 by Vintage

What's it about:
It's spring break, and Neptune is filled with college students spending the week pretending there is no tomorrow. A girl goes missing. Veronica investigates and finds that the girl went missing from the house of a man with organized crime ties, and her journey into this world connects to Veronica's past. 

Check it out: Goodreads | Bookdepository (adlink)

I'm very unsure about what to expect from this, but I hope that Veronica's snark prevails and that the plot doesn't fall entirely apart. It's always a bit nerve wracking when your favorite characters switch medium!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Cat's Tale book haul and unboxing

We want to branch out a bit and felt that booktube was a good place to start. So please enjoy this video, like, comment and subscribe to our channel if you would like to see more like this from us.

Also, you get to see Katastrofekat fail at speaking without mumbling. And please be kind, this is my first time in front of a camera (it's so weird editing yourself!).

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Kiwie's TBR Pile #2: March

I was so optimistic last month, and I have read a lot, just not that much from The Pile (I should trademark that). I have not finished A Game of Thrones, I have about 150 pages left, but I needed a bit of a break (I have a hard time finishing books, and well, this project is helping me a lot, but sometime's I just can't). I finished To Kill a Mockingbird (amazing!) and Eleanor & Park (I liked this a lot too, but it hasn't stuck with me really), plus the audible edition of Divergent (It was fun and enjoyable despite some annoyances). So there was plenty of reading done. I just couldn't finish that 700-page monster in time.

Then I went to the library, and guess what they had? A shelf of free books. To take home and keep and love. I went there with my mom and we picked them together and so I won't add them to my pile (since, technically they're not just mine...). They are all Norwegian contemporaries:

I'm not going to rattle on about them, but the top one is an art book (so not that kind of book) and the bottom one I've read before (& liked, and well, IT WAS FREE, and you know, pretty). The others are novels & shorter texsts, some serious, some less so. No YA or fantasy though, so a bit unusual for me, but I have been wanting to check out a few of these.

Now here is what those two giant piles look like this month:

Yeah, didn't I remove TWO books from that last month? Why isn't this shorter now? Well one part is that I added ONE of the books from my recent library haul to it, the other because I got Broken Homes (Peter Grant #4 written by Ben Aaronovitch) in the mail. Didn't break any rules. Free book + next installment in a series. I also read two books from the pile (okay, so I didn't finish one of them yet, BUT I AM WORKING ON IT, and also shouting a lot today it seems). So I'm A-okay, but this pile won't shrink if I keep bringing in and equal amount of new (non-digital) books. I've gone on a "oooh, pretty covers" bender and my pinterest board has only 4 entries so far, but those are series, either by a writer or a publishing house so that could potentially be a lot of books, but I do not have the money for them.

Now to my March TBR pile:
Pile organized after book height, not priority. Finishing A Game of Thrones is first priority. Then I'm either onto Broken Homes or The Evoution of Mara Dyer. I'm so exited about both of those that I might have to toss a coin.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Katastrofekats review of Burial Rites

Burial rites wasn’t a bad book even though I only gave it two stars on Goodreads, but in a way it disappointed me. I know it’s based on real events and thus won’t be that original, but still. It was I who chose this book and I did so because I had heard how the language was so beautiful and that the story really dragged you in, but for me neither of those was right. I had a hard time getting into the story and the magical landscapes and fauna in Iceland didn’t really play a large part in this book and I had hoped it would. It was only a few times I actually remembered that this was set in Iceland. 

There was positives sides to the book of course, and the main one was how it switched from a third person point of view and then to first person point of view, so we got to know Agnes from the perspective of those around her and from her own perspective. This made Agnes feel really well developed and in contrast the other characters faded a bit into the background. 

In all, an okay book, just not what I was hoping to get out of it. My expectations might have ruined the reading experience a bit for me and I won’t not recommend this book, as I think it just wasn’t for me. The experience of reading the book was fine, but this was a hard book to pick back up again. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Kiwie: Burial Rites

Long story short: I liked it, but I didn't.

The good:
- I love how the skeleton of this story is something that actually happened, with characters and evens from reality.
- I did enjoy the descriptions of life on Iceland, and how society worked.
- I loved getting to know Agnes, first through the eyes of others and then through her own.
- Some parts of the writing was really beautiful, some of the descriptions of the landscape and the homes really stuck with me.

The bad:
- I feel like I've heard this story before. A lot. Maybe because reality isn't creative and this is a story born out of a real event.
- The book is trying to layer Agnes, show a version of what might have happened and who she might have been (without redeeming her completely) and succeeds (though sometimes it feels like it is a bit too "team Agnes"), while the other characters are mostly one-dimensional. Margret and Toti being the two with some depth.
- Hints at spiritualism and religion, but doesn't delve into it. It just pops its head out now and again.
- To much reading between the lines - which is probably why things were only bleak and the characters were only one dimension. I had to fill out the blanks too often.
- Really wanted more about death, but this is all about waiting for death and describing a murder. The reverend was there to talk to Agnes and prepare her for her execution, but we got her life story instead (as told by her, we don't know what was true and what wasn't).
- Unlike a lot of others I didn't feel "transported" into the story. Yes, sometimes the prose was beautiful, but sometimes it failed me entirely. I think I expected it to be more eerie. I think my expectations weren't tuned to the book at all, and I blame the beautiful cover art this book has (in more than one edition) and that I have a very fixed image of Iceland in my head so it might not be the writing alone, but still a reason I didn't love this.

All that said it still wasn't a bad novel, and the prose was at times strikingly beautiful, but it was also a bit repetitive. It's cold, I get it. They're all poor and just scraping by, I get it. They're not all clinically depressed though, and I feel like there is no culture aside from dirt (and the Bible and the Sagas, but these are barely touched upon and nobody seems to go to church), and I know that can't have been the case. It's like this book was too long, yet far from enough. I wanted more about the stroy, more about Agnes, more about the other characters, but at the same time less. It had a very slow build up and then it was over. Like Agnes' beheading, which is fitting, but I still wanted more about death, less about the monotony of life (as poor people who are barely scraping by) and more burial rites.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

March is Doctor Who reading month!

We thought we'd try something different in March, reading novels from the Doctor Who universe, and not the same one! We both love the TV show, and we've both listened to some of the audio-books and we both have some of the novels on our reading list so we thought we might do a themed month this time.

Katastrofekat will be reading The Sleep of Reason

Doctor Who: The Sleep Of ReasonAuthor: Martin Day
Published: 2004

"The latest in a long line of suicide attempts sees Caroline 'Laska' Darnell admitted to the Retreat, a groundbreaking medical center surrounded by woodland. To her horror, she recognizes the Retreat from her recent nightmares of an old building haunted by ghostly dogs with glowing eyes. But who will believe her stories of an evil from the past that has already made one attempt to destroy the building and all its inhabitants? The mysterious Dr. Smith seems curiously aware of the Retreat's past, and is utterly fascinated by Laska's waking dreams and prophetic nightmares. But if Laska is unable to trust her own perceptions, can she trust Dr. Smith?" - Bookdepository

The Eight Doctor, a girl in a mental institution, I mean "medical center", the mixing of past (turn of the century-ish as I understand) and present. This is an interesting premise (if not original), it could all be in Laska's head, or not. I'm sure reality and fantasy will mix, past and present wind itself toward the solution to the mystery of what is going on at the Retreat.

Kiwie will be reading Shada:

Author: Gareth Roberts, Douglas Adams (based off some scripts he wrote)
Published: 2012
"The Doctor's old friend and fellow Time Lord Professor Chronotis has retired to Cambridge University - where nobody will notice if he lives for centuries. But now he needs help from the Doctor, Romana and K9. When he left Gallifrey he took with him a few little souvenirs - most of them are harmless. But one of them is extremely dangerous.
The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey isn't a book for Time Tots. It is one of the Artefacts, dating from the dark days of Rassilon. It must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. The sinister Skagra most definitely has the wrong hands. He wants the book. He wants to discover the truth behind Shada. And he wants the Doctor's mind..." - Bookdepository

This is about the fourth doctor, and I picked up the book cheaply in an Irish bookstore a two summers ago. I have no idea what to expect, I am not that familiar with the fourth doctor, but I hope this will be an exiting read anyway. I do know about the abandoned scripts that Douglas Adams wrote, that were partially made, but then left behind due to a strike, never to make it onto the screen. The scripts have been published, and there have been audio versions (I think?). Anyway, I only learned about this after having bought the book, which I bought because a) it was cheap b) I wanted to read a Doctor Who story that wasn't a choose-your-own-adventure (Claws of the Macra) nor an audiobook (I do love the ones read by the recent Doctors though!) c) I wanted to know the classic Who Doctors better d) Douglas Adams.

Friday, 7 February 2014

All these books I haven't read: The Saga of Kiwie's to be Read Pile(s) #1

What is this? A post not about a specific book or out monthly read? Are we sick? No, just really into books and thought we might expand this blog a little. 

I have a project: 
All those books, those TWO piles are books that I own (or, in two cases, have borrowed from my co-blogger Kat!), but have not yet read. Yeah, that is a lot of books. Some of these I bought a decade ago (I think). So in 2014 I will read as many as I can, but because new & exiting always sneaks ahead of (most of) these, I've made some rules:
  1. Every other book you read have to be from this pile.
  2. You are not allowed to buy new books, unless they are for the monthly cat's tale read, new releases from authors you love, or the next installment in a series (which is why I'm staring at my mailbox, eagerly awaiting a book). 
  3. New books are always added to the pile (unless I tear them open and read them immediately) and not kept separately.
So I'll be reading mostly these, but also books for this blog, new releases (or next installments in series that may not be entirely new, but that I'm reading) and a lot of library books. Libraries are the best. I'm aiming for 4 books a month in 2014 so I should grind this down to one pile by the end of the year. I'll post progress photos!

Immediate TBR:

As you can probably see I've cracked open To Kill a Mockingbird already, next is eleanor&park (which I've checked out of the library, and want to read immediately) and then I'm staring Game of Thrones. Yep. I'm doing it. I've had this lying around since summer and it's not even mine, so I'm getting on that sometime in the next two weeks. Not pictured: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, our monthly pick, due to the fact that I've got that one as an e-book. So yeah, this is what February's got in store for me. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Book chat: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Warning: This is a book discussion, there will be some spoilers so if you haven't read the book yet, but intend to I'd advice staying clear of the conversation below.

Kat: Hi!
Kiwie: Hello!

Kat: What did you think about the book then? I really enjoyed it and I think this has been one of the better books we have read for the Cat's Tale
Kiwie: I absolutely adored it. This was a proper vampire novel!
Kat: Yeah, I agree! The vampires were very good and I loved Tana, the main character. I would like to meet her in real life.

Kiwie: Tana was pretty awesome, she made a lot of irrational decisions, but they were all based on what she thought was the best for her and the people she cared about. She had a heart, a conscience but also a practical side.

Kat: Yes. Her decisions were sometimes irrational, but most of us make bad choices sometimes, so I felt it was right for her character. She was well developed and seemed to be a whole person, not two-dimensional.

Kiwie : Yes, her stupid choices made sense a lot of the time, and it is mentioned several times that she might have a bit of a death wish. The other characters were good too, because they were a mix of good and bad, and most of them were distinct from each other.

Kat: There were some really annoying characters as well. Tana's boyfriend and the twins they meet outside of the cold town for example. Midnight and Winter (the twins) was kind of stereotypical, but it worked for the book.

Kiwie: Yeah, but people are annoying, so it's good, and there are so many Midnights on the Internet, and I'm sure most of the people who went into these coldtowns ended up like Winter; dead and not in the right way! The vampires were pretty good though, we did not get a lot lore, but we did get some (what with Gavriel and Lucien's back stories) and that was nice. They were complicated beings, not all bad, but certainly not very good either. Lucien was a bit of a vampire stereotype, he's pretty much like I picture vampires in my head a lot of the time.

Kat: True. The part about Lucien especially, I also picture him like the stereotypical vampire I have in my head. I read a lot of series and wish more of the books I picked up were standalone novels, but with this particular book, I really wouldn't mind a deeper dive into the world and get to know it and its characters better.

Kiwie: Yeah, this was not a novel that dug deep into anyone, except Tana and her family, even though it did provide enough information about the other characters to understand a lot of their behaviour as well (though not all of them). The vampire's were good though, I really liked the whole "reality show" aspect and the sex&blood connection that was made. Not original, but was done in a way that quite matched the sticker on the book saying "dark, decadent and seductive." It had those aspects, as well as a more balanced "realism."

Kiwie: The vampires were "keeping up appearances" and Gavriel came in with his crazy (that turned out to be not so crazy) and shook it up.

Kat: Some crazy to stir things up a bit is never wrong if you ask me. I also liked the sudden start of the book, with Tana waking up in the bathtub and finding all of her friends at the party has been murdered, except her ex-boyfriend and Gavriel. I like that she wants to take her car and run away but that she still saves them.

Kiwie: Yeah, really liked the start too, shows Tana's strength and flaws, and she makes the kind of decisions she'll keep making throughout.

Kat: Also, the book wasn't really heavy with romance, which is a plus for me at least, and the love interests that do exists in the book are realistic and not just insta-love.

Kiwie: Yeah, I mean Tana kind of falls for Gavriel, against her better judgement, in an "instant" fashion, but I mean, I would too...
Kat: Me too, I think!

Kat: I do love Holly Black and the way she writes. Her worlds are quite similar to our own, but darker, grittier and deadlier. I like that.

Kiwie: Ditto! I also really loved the ending on this one, closed and open at the same time. Great for those of us who would have made a totally different choice...

Kat: Yes, I think there is quite a few vampire fans out there that would have made a different choice than Tana. It was an open ending that wasn't so open that it was annoying. Open endings can sometimes be a bother, and it feels like the author makes you do the job, but in this book it worked perfectly. I think this book will end up high on my list of best books I have read in 2013

Kiwie: Yeah, Tana made a choice, we just didn't get to stick around to see if it was actually possible. I was really into this book, it was a really entertaining, fun story with my favourite supernatural creatures being the way that I like them best.

Kat: Indeed. Also, the cover of the book is so pretty and simple. It looks really good on my shelf and I like having it in a physical copy.

Kiwie: Yeah, beautiful cover!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

February pick: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This month we are reading Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. We decided it was time to read some historical fiction for this book club and this seemed like a book we would both enjoy.

Here's what Goodreads says about the book:

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Buy: Bookdepository.