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.