erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I've been bad this month. Just 3 books... I have been busy with all that was required of me for the purchase of the condo and now Eric is back and we're so incredibly busy... But it's not an excuse. Not even the fact that one of the books I read was pretty bad and another one was extremely heavy... I didn't know I was buying a book about the holocaust and I could not bring myself to read more than a few pages a day because I was getting so sad...

So this is what I read on February:

- books read: 3 (tot 9)
- pages read: 1188 (tot 3325)
- average page per day: ~42 (~55)

January 2017 Books )
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I decided to change the format for this monthly post because what I was doing does not work very well with my layout (it worked when I was posting about a book every time I finihed one, but this way it looks messy). I am almost sure I will change again, but for now I think I like it!

- books read: 6
- pages read: 2137
- average page per day: ~70

January 2017 Books )

I am very proud of myself because last January I read only one book during the mont of January! I feel very positive about my goodreads reading challenge this year!

Best Book of the Month: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Worst Book of the Month: Wild Woods by Posie Graeme-Evans
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
Last year I set my Goodreads Challenge to 30 books.... When I reached my goal I set it up to 36 and I ended up with 40 (38 plus a short story and a graphic novel) I set my goal at 30 again this year, but I will probably change it down the line! Thing is I am starting with a book that is 606 pages long! So I feel a little bit overwhelmed already LOL!

I'll soon do either the book meme or a personal top 5 of the books I've read this year (and I'll do the same for shows and movies probably), but for now: Here's what I've read this month:

Lord of the Flies
Originally published: 1954
Author: William Golding
Genre: Classic
(reading time Nov 27 - Dec 18)
A great classic! I loved going back reading some of these books this year! This is another heavy one! A book that must be read multiple times on our lives to allow us to reflect on something very important about the human kind. I'm glad I did it this year, I'll probably come back to this book again later on in my life!

The Princess Diarist
Originally published: October 18th 2016
Author: Carrie Fisher
Genre: Non Fiction / Autobiography
(reading time: Dec 19- Dec 23)
I wanted to put my hands on this book as soon as I've heard the rumor Carrie was writing it... I have to confess I was way too interested in the truth about her and Harrison, especially if given in the form of diary pages written by a 19 year old Carrie...

I enjoyed this book more that I expected... I wasn't after all expecting a lot of details about how they did it, when they did it, how many times, how was it,... but I appreciate the way it was written. I've never read anything from Fisher and I enjoyed her way of telling stories, she's - as much as this adjective might sound weird when used for her - candid... she tells you thing for what they are... she seems True to herself and to her fans...

Read more... )

The Little Bookshop on the Corner
Originally published: Feb 11th, 2016
Author: Jenny Colgan
Genre: Fiction
(reading time: Dec 24 - Dec 31)
This was a surprisingly good read! A very light book, highly recommended. The characters are very enjoyable and feel quite real and have layers! I enjoyed the dialogue and the whole narrative. A very good book!

I wasn't expecting the romance and I wasn't expecting it to happen that way! The only "negative thing" I can say is: I felt the end was a little bit rushed, 50 more pages would have not hurt to explore a little bit more Nina's situation in the romantic department... It feels like it happened too fast and it wasn't properly trigged!

But it was a good book and I really enjoyed it! I will read more about this author!

TOTAL of BOOKS READ 2016: 38 / dec: 3
TOTAL of PAGES READ 2016: 12651 / nov: 833
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I'm in suc a rush and I'm so tired... I really need ot sleep! But I'm happy because I am busy and I like busy! I'll make a life update as soon as I have a day off, so probaly Monday... I haven't stop workign since I started LOL, and I'm not complaining because I'm having fun! :D Anyway! I wanted to finish Lord of the Flyes this week, but I didn't have the time! I'm enjoying it since it's the first time I read it in english! But I am satisfied because I read 3 books this month! I won my goodreads challenge months ago and changed it from 30 to 36 and I'm about to win this one too!

Here's what I've read this month:

A Man Called Ove
Originally published: 2012
Author: Fredrik Backman
Genre: Novel
(reading time Oct 20 - Nov 18)
It took me a long time to read this book, but that doesn't mean it was a bad book... it was the opposite! It made me laugh out loud while my husband - in bed next to me - was trying to sleep. And it made me cry to the point I wasn't able to see the words on the pages.
It is a very good story. All the characters are very likable and easy to relate to. We all have someone like them in our lives! We all met an Ove along our way, he's hiding under a lot of grumpiness probably, but is up to us to stop and look underneath that...
It worths taking the time to get to know someone and to look underneath all the layers. You'll never know what you'll find... that's one of the teaching of this book... not to stop and judge someone by one action, one moment, one behavior,...
Ove's story is beautiful. He's a wonderful man and it's quite easy to learn how to love him, the only way to do it is not to stop at the first page... keep reading!

Whispers Beyond the Veil
(A Change of Fortune Mystery #1)

Originally published: August 9, 2016
Author: Jessica Estevao
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
(reading time: Nov 18- Nov 22)
I love historical fiction, and I love mysteries and a good female heroine! This book has it all! I really enjoyed the characters and the story was well narrated! I was glad to see the author didn't use just Ruby's point of view.
I'm definitely going to put my hands on the next book of the series as soon as it comes out! There are a lot of stories to be told and a lot of characters to discover.
I'm not going to lie, I'm very interested in the romance too! I wish we had a date for the release of the next one!

Our Red Hot Romance Is Leaving Me Blue
Originally published: August 9, 2016
Originally published: June 15, 2010
Author: Dixie Cash
(reading time: Nov 22- Nov 27)
As the cover says this is a very easy read and the dialogues are good... it flows right. I'm not a huge fan of the genere but I wanted to try... the unfortunate thing about this book is that we(the readers) find out everything right away. The book is not boring but there are so many unnecessary parts that if they weren't there the book would be around 100 pages long if not less!
I appreciate the fact that this is book number 6 in the series, but it can be easily read as a standalone, because we get all the informations we need about the 2 main characters.
I don't think I'm going to read any other book connected to this series even if I enjoyed the way it was written.

TOTAL of BOOKS READ 2016: 35 / nov: 3
TOTAL of PAGES READ 2016: 11818 / nov: 1011
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I'm very ashamed of myself... I haven't read much this month either. I have some good reasons and some less good ones. I've been traveling around quite a lot and I've been trying to spend as much time as I can with Eric and in the evening I'm just so tired that I can't read as much as I want... Next month should be easier since I'm completely alone and I'll need a distraction... The other reason (the bad one) is that my TV calendar is full, as I neglected my books I also neglected my shows so I am behind with almost everything and I'm trying to catch up as fast as I can, so that I can go back dividing my time equally between books and shows.

Also Eric now really likes Suits, so I am re-watching it with him and it's fun! He is totally into it and he wants to watch it together so I can't watch something else when he's in a TV mood... The funny thing is: Eric tends to watch an episode a day and no more than that... With Suits we end up watching 3 episodes per night! I'm glad he likes it so much! But this is a post about books so:

Here's what I've read this month:

A Place For Us
Originally published: Feb 2016
Author: Harriet Evans
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
(reading time: Sept 23 - Oct 15)
I like books narrated from different points of view and I quite enjoyed all the character in the novel, but the book felt very long... I think the story could have been told in less pages.

The Time Keeper
Originally published: Oct 2013
Author: Mitch Albom
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
(reading time: Oct 18- Oct 19)
This book was so good! I read it while flying from Miami to Paris. I could not put it down... I love Mitch Albom and the the way he writes. This book is a masterpiece and I think it should eventually became a Classic! It is truly something everyone should read and talk about!

I'm now reading A Man Called Ove and it seems pretty good!

TOTAL of BOOKS READ 2016: 32 / oct: 2
TOTAL of PAGES READ 2016: 10807 / oct: 768
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I din't read much this month! Too much went on in my life I guess... No it's just excuses... I've been bad! I concentrated too much on music videos and the TV season started again... But I regret nothing LOL!

Also, the second book I read was VERY long and dry so I won't be too hard to myself... After all I've read 865 pages this month!

Here's what I've read this month:

Beautiful Ruins
Originally published: June 12th, 2012
Author: Jess Walter
Genre: Fiction / Romance
(reading time: Sept 01 - Sept 10)
This is one of the best books I've read this year. If I could give it more than 5? Stars I would!
Read more... )

The Post Birthday World
Originally published: March 13th, 2007
Author: Lionel Shriver
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
(reading time: Sept 12 - Sept 23)
There are two things you need to know about me
1) If I start a book I finish it... No matter how bad it is.
2) I really don't like not liking a book.

Starting a book and not finishing it is like to leave someone in the middle of a conversation without notice. No matter how dull that conversation is, you can always learn something about the other person, or about yourself! It has been VERY difficult not to leave this conversation.
Read more... )

I'm now reading A Place for Us by Harriet Evans I'm enjoying so far, but books like this can turn in a moment! :D

TOTAL of BOOKS READ 2016: 30 / sept: 2
TOTAL of PAGES READ 2016: 10116 / sept: 865
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I always say I'm a very organized person so I decided to learn from my friend [ profile] orangerful (she's a librarian so she knows what she's doing ) and, instead of posting my reviews everytime I read a book, I'm going now to make a monthly post with a list of my acomplishments xD

Here's what I've read this month:

The Husband's Secret
Originally published: July 30, 2013
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
(reading time: Aug 09 - Aug 13)
This book took me by surprise. It stated slowly, giving into many futile details about the lives of the 3 main characters, but then - suddenly - it got extremely good and I wasn't able to put it down. Even when I was just past the middle mark and I thought I knew what was about to happen it kept surprising me and making me gasp. The epilogue was so perfect I had to give the book 5 stars.

Liane Moriarty did a great job with this book, and I have another book - from the same author - I was planning to read later on, that might actually jump to the top of my list!

The Last Anniversary
Originally published: 2005
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
(reading time: Aug 14 - Aug 21)
This is the second book I read by Liane Moriarty and - although I liked The Husband's Secret better - I think she has a great talent when it comes to create very human characters. They tend to be exquisitely real and you feel like these are people you might know. You don't paint them white or black, there isn't the evil character you love to hate or the annoyingly good one that you have to like or the sidekick you secretly think should be the focus of the whole book... These are real people... And her books are filled with characters, and they are all important and give something to the story.

LM has a great way of writing about different people/families entering into each other's lives and changing them, and you'll never know if it's from the better... You know there's going to be a big change though.

The parts I was more interested about were the ones concerning Grace and the way she dealt with the postnatal depression. That was extremely intense, especially when her mother Laura stepped into the picture.

Every little part of the book is important... Some things might seems fillers, but they're not... I loved how the mystery about the man found dead in his porridge was solved in the end just like that... Or who the mysterious man Aunt Connie choose for Sophie was. So perfect!

The thing I like the most about this author is the way she writes the endings... They are so perfect...

I want to read more books by this author... I'm sure of it! Her stories are never dull and - again, I can't stress it enough - her characters are very well written!

The Catcher in the Rye
Originally published: 1951
Author: J.D. Salinger
Genre: Literary realism, Coming-of-age story
(reading time: Aug 21 - Aug 31)
I was very nervous at the idea of reading this book again after all this time, but I wanted to read it in english and I wanted to see how it made me feel almost 15 years later (on my italian copy I wrote in pencil 29 Jan 2002, so yes, almost 15 years) . It is a book that has to be read thinking about its contest to be able to fully enjoy it, otherwise it's just like listening to a teenager for hours, and we all know what we want to do after just 5 minutes listening to a teenager: slap him/her in the face. I think my idea of the book hasn't changed. The thing I appreciate is the way it flows: it's like a day into someone else's mind that, by the end of the day, leaves you with something that you can't quite understand. I love how Holden makes my eyes roll when he complains and hates everything, because it's what he does, but his actions are different and - when he doesn't thing -  he says or does something unexpected. We all went through that though couple of years where the hormones were the ones in charge and everything was just the worst... Reading it when you are an adult (I still don't consider myself an adult even if I'm 30) it's kind of scary, because it's a reminder of all that hate you had in you for no reason whatsoever.

TOTAL of BOOKS READ 2016: 27 / aug: 3
TOTAL of PAGES READ 2016: 9271 / aug: 1038
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I am genuinely ashamed of myself because I didn't have the time to read as much as I wanted. When I was packing to come over to Italy I packed a lot of books thinking I would have spent HUGE chunks of my day reading, but life got in the way and even reading in the evening while in bed is difficult because here, up in the mountains, you get tired easily!

I'm glad I'm spending quality time with family and friends and driving around by Vespa taking it all in! But I wish I gave more time to my books! I'll try to be better from now on... I really want to get back on tracks!

The Book of Speculation
Originally published: Jan 1, 2015
Author: Erika Swyler
Genre: Fiction / Magical Realism
(reading time: Jun 26 - Jul 14)
I hate it took me so long to finish this book because it was very good!

Very well written and real to a fault characters and intriguing story. The story is narrated both in the past and in the present by two different characters and it moves in a way that just flows perfectly, I really don't know how else to put it!

The whole concept of a curse running through a family was already appealing to me, but I found also very cleaver that the curse was somehow casted unintentionally. There aren't elements of fantasy in the book, so it feels like it could be a real story and the people in it act like real people would do in such a situation, with the right amount of skepticism. The characters know they need to find a way to salve themselves and there's no need of someone acting as the hero, the chosen one. The entanglement of the families involved in the story is again surprisingly accurate and real.

Some of the passages of the book are wonderfully written. I highly recommend this book to anyone!

Aftermath Book 2 Life Debt
Originally published: July 12, 2016
Author: Chuck Wendig
Genre: Science Fiction
(reading time: Jul 14 - Aug 3)
I didn't know how many stars to give to this book because, maybe, if I didn't expect a book about Han and Chewie I would have read it and rate it under a different light.

It's not a bad book, but to me it doesn't deliver what it promised. The book back cover basically mentions just Han and Chewie on a mission to liberate Kashyyyk (Chewie's home planet) from slavery, but, after the first chapter, it takes more than 200 pages to the reader to be reunited with their favorite smuggler... The first half of the book is very slow and I had to use the audiobook file in order to get through it... Usually it takes me a week max to read a book... It took me almost 3 to finish it. Luckily the second half it's better, but maybe because Han, Leia and Chewie are in it.

I don't think I'm going to read the third one... I will probably read only the parts that interest me: the Han and Leia parts, I would expect them to make an apparition since Leia is about to give birth to Ben... And I'd read about Wedge... I really hope he'll end up with Norra, but a part of me doubt it... :(

The parts I've appreciate are of course the ones about my heroes. Leia was AWESOME as usual and I loved the bits about Han and Chewie too (the reunion and the goodbye above all) but I needed more...

Luke is again MIA as in Claudia Grey's Bloodline... That males me thing in Episode VIII we might get some interesting flashbacks about what went on with him right after Endor.

I miss the old canon and I'm scared we're going to have less and less books about the original trio and that's a pity. :(

I'm giving the book 3 stars because it didn't suck and the parts I was interested in were very good. Norra's crew is also very likable so it wasn't that bad reading about them!
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I can't believe in less than one week I'll be back to Italy. The next few days will fly by as fast as the past 2 weeks (probably even faster than that) so here's my official apology about my being MIA and be quite brief in my comments, but I'm reading you... I promise! It's just that I have to pack everything and put it all in my storage unit and stuff seems to multiply somehow...

Plus, with all that is happening in the UK, (even while I'm writing this I'm shaking my head... this is unbelievable...) I'm struggling a bit. It also took me a little bit longer to read my last two books. My luck with books this year is just bottomless... I enjoyed these last two novels A LOT!

The First Phone Call From Heaven
Originally published: 2013
Author: Mitch Albom
Genres: Fiction / Contemporary
(reading time: Jun 14 - Jun 17)
The thing that impressed me the most about this book is the way its narrative flows. It's just one of these books that's simply beautifully written. It wasn't my "need" to know how the story ended that made me go through it so quickly... it was the way it was written. It's very easy to get lost in a book when the author knows how to write a story.

When I'm saying this I'm not saying the story per se wasn't interesting enough to keep me glued to the book, because it was a good story, and even if I knew how it would have ended I enjoyed every page.

The Fortune Hunter

Originally published: 2014
Author: Daisy Goodwin
Genres: Historical Drama/Romance
(reading time: Jun 18 - Jun 25)
What can I say... I'm a sucker for historical fiction books... Especially when the main characters are strong women! As probably the 75% of the people who picked up and read this book, I was drawn to it because of Sisi, the tragically beautiful young empress. I remember growing up watching the movies on tv, around Christmas time (like Home Alone, the Sisi trilogy is a constant on Italian TV in that particular time of the year) and I loved her... Her strong personality, her need for freedom, her love for Franz as the man and her hate for the obligations of her role.

I was shocked when I started talking to my husband about the book (he's such a sweetheart... He always asks me to tell him about what I'm reading and he loves listening to me blabbing about my latest book discovery) and he didn't know ANYTHING about Sisi!so I told him her story and he was fascinated... Americans: you need to study European history in school... ;)

I really enjoyed the book. As I said I love historical fiction, and I was very surprised when I discovered that all the main characters are real people and just the story that ties them together is a work of fiction!

The 3 main characters (Charlotte, Bay and Sisi) have been perfectly humanized by the author... They all have their flaws and I love that! Bay - the fortune hunter - is a very passionate man who gets easily distracted and attracted by everything that is shiny, but he's everything but a fortune hunter (like his "friends" like to describe him out of jealousy). He's a kind generous man who makes mistakes. He slowly falls in love with Charlotte and he does it in a crescendo... When he proposes to her the first time he's not in love with her like he is in the end. The thing I like the most about him is that he knows what people thinks about him, he knows what people say (to his face most of the times) but he never gets bitter toward these people!

Charlotte is a beautiful character (and the author had basically a clean slate when it came to her, since - historically speaking - there's not much known about her. I liked the fact she had a passion for photography and no one around her understood her. Her family and friends saw her only under the light of her fortune. I liked how she - as Bay - seemed to be untouched by it... Like she was so used to this constant to her life, that she didn't even care... Her family was only concerned about how Charlotte actions would have repercussions in their life, not caring at all about how she felt... And she dealt with it pretty well! I loved how, in the book, she grows, even if she's pretty strong when we met her the first time...

And Sisi is just perfectly tragic. Her pursuit for happiness makes you love her even when she acts like a privileged brat... She was just 16 when she became the empress and, getting what she wanted, was normal for her...

The only thing I "didn't like" was that we never find out the story behind the name Chicken... But Bay state true to himself by keeping the secret...

Also... Was Caspar gay? I thought from the beginning he was in love with Abraham and that all he wanted from Charlotte was to get out from that life and be allowed to shine without following the rules... I would have liked to know more about him... One of my favorite passages is the moment he describes America to Charlotte... Beautiful!!!

The other day I posted a ASK ME ANYTHING meme... Please, feel free to ask me some questions... I LOVE questions, that allowes me to create a dialogue with you guys and we can get to know each other better. So don't be shy and ask away... personal stuff... books... TV shows... movies... my endless love for Harrison Ford... Anything...
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
The hubby brought home with him bad weather, so we ended up having to schedule our activities around the weather forecast, which tended to be wrong quite often. We found ourselves caught up in the rain while on our bikes more than once. Luckily, there's something you can always count on around here: A friendly Starbucks Coffee Shop every other block or so! And when I go out I always go prepared, so I always have a book on my backpack.

We spent a rainy afternoon at Barnes & Noble too (I like it there... It could be better, but it's the closest thing to La Feltrinelli they have here) and guess what? I bought another bag full of books even if I have plenty to read home thanks to my last 2 visits... The Violinist of Venice was one of them and WOW, what a book! But first, The Winter People:

The Winter People

Originally published: 2014
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Genres: Fiction / Paranormal / Mystery
(reading time: Jun 5 - Jun 11)
I usually don't read this kind of books. Creepy thriller with a touch of supernatural are not usually my thing, but I was draw to this one, and I'm glad I decided to go ahead and read it!

This is and haunting, amazing read. Full of mystery and suspense. Amazingly written. And the story is just perfect, every piece of the puzzle finds its right spot. This is the kind of book that's impossible to put down until you've reached the back cover.

I'm definitely going to be reading more from the same author soon, I saw another of her book on a shelve the other day but I ended up not buying it because I didn't want to jinx it. I want to get to the end of a book before buy more from the same author and this is the kind of book it can be easily ruined in the last few pages when everything gets together, but now I'm definitely going back and buy The Night Sister. (I can't stress it enough) she did a great job!

The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi

Originally published: 2015
Author: Alyssa Palombo
Genres: Historical Drama/Romance
(reading time: Jun 12 - Jun 14)
Wow! This book was all that I expected to be and even more! I was looking for romance and I found myself swept in a world of music, secrets, history and wonderful character growth! What a wonderful book!

You know, they say never to judge a book from its cover? Well, this cover is so pretty that, when I saw it for the first time on a bookshelf, for a moment I didn't even care if the story was good... But it is! The story is fantastic! I've been to Venice because I've friends that live there (not in the city but close by) and the city, its people and its artists are something different from any other place in Italy. I grew up 5 hours of train from there, and when I first stepped among these streets I felt like I was moving around a timeless place where everything was protected in this bubble and untouched by the modern world!

This book made Venice, its people and one of the greatest artists of all, justice! I knew Vivaldi's story from school and I remember all the gossip about Anna Girò and I found very clever how Palombo decided to tell this story!

Adriana is a wonderful character from the beginning and her character growth is something brilliant! I can't wait to read more from this author, her next novel (her second one) is going to get published on April 2017: The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli and Look at the pretty cover here. I want to read this so badly!!! :D
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
Oops... I forgot about this one. With the hubby finally at home I don't have time for anything! :D

A couple of weeks ago David Meredith contacted me on goodreads and asked me to read his book. He sent me a free copy for my kindle and all he asked in return was a review. I'm sure I'm not the only one who received this kind of request but it got me so excited... Seriously, I would have never choose to read this kind of book, but as a marketing idea it's quite a good one!

Who doesn't love freebies?

The Reflection of Queen Snow White

Originally published: 2013
Author: David Meredith
Genres: Fantasy
(reading time: Jun 2 - Jun 4)
As a kid I always wondered about what happens in the "ever after"... The story always end with the prince and the princes getting married, they kiss and than "the end". I remember asking "but what happens when their lips part?" And my mom would say "they'll kiss again, they'll be happy, they'll be crossed with each other sometimes, they will laugh and they will fight, but they will always love each other" and this is what this book is about: it's about what happens in the ever after. Life goes on, and David Meredith guides us through the journey of Snow White after she loses the Love of her life. Thanks to her evil step mother mirror (very clever idea) Snow White is able to see what she has and not only what she has lost.

A very well written story. With a lot of interesting missing scenes form the Disney Story and some parts that the Grimm's brothers would have appreciate.

Thank you David for sending me this book. I really enjoyed this tale. I've never been a huge Snow White's fan (She's not my favorite Disney Princess) but you made me like her a little bit more :)
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
You can tell the TV season is over because I'm reading a book after another...
Truth is, I just want to read as much as I can before the husband gets here, because I know, that for these 2 weeks we're going to be together, I'll be spend all my time doing fun stuff with him... Then I'll have 2 more weeks of loneliness and then BACK TO ITALY (where he's based now) for a couple of months! YAY, I'll be able to see my family, my friends, and I'll have my hubby with me every day after 5 pm! I can't wait... I love Florida but I don't have a real life here yet. I lived and worked on the water, constantly moving for 4 years, and now that I stopped I finally feel like I can start live a real life again but these past few months have been complicated... it's difficult to go out and meet new people when you know your time is limited and after all you're still a sort of gipsy. I just have to get over it I guess... Next year will be different.

But this is a book review post, so let's talk about the book!

The Miniaturist

Originally published: 2014
Author: Jessie Burton
Genres: Historical Drama
(reading time: May 31 - Jun 3)
400 pages in 2 days... I just couldn't bring myself to put this book down, I needed to know what would have happened to Nella, Johannes and Marin.

It's difficult to talk about this book without revealing too much, so I won't try to... If you want to read this review be aware it will contain spoilers.

Can't wait for it... I hope it'll come out soon even if the last news is dated Jan 2015... and I can't wait for Burton's next novel!

P.S. I should make myself an icon more book related... This thing is driving me insane! :D
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I'm sorry!

I just feel like I have to start with an apology.

I'm sorry but I didn't get it... I failed to see all the hype about this book. Everyone I know that read this book, fell completely in love with it, and I feel like I have to say I'm sorry because I didn't liked it.

Code Name Verity

Originally published: 2012
Author: Elizabeth E. Wein
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Historical Drama
(reading time: May 24 - May 28)
I have to say it wasn't the story the part that I didn't like. It was a very powerful story about a beautiful friendship during very difficult times. The author did a great job with the book... She wrote about two girls: a pilot and a spy, during WWII. We all know that there were women doing these jobs, as well as men, during the war. These women fought and suffered just as hard as any men and it wasn't their time... We all tend to forget that. In Italy women won the right to vote in 1945, in UK (if I remember correctly) it was 1928 when women finally received the right to vote on the same terms as men (over the age of 21). I think this is a powerful book if it's put in the hands of a (old) teenager, and I appreciated this. My problem with the book was its narrative.

It had a purpose for the story of course, but it was so hard to be able to read. I just don't like book set as diaries, I find it annoying because the writer often feels like he/she has to write as a child and put on paper everything that goes through the mind of the person in a very chaotic way. With this book, in the same paragraph we had technical informations, the main character referring to herself in third person and first person, the narrator was telling the story from the point of view of another character, there was dialogue, random thoughts, flashbacks, the environment, and what people around her is doing while she's writing... Plus random insults to the Nazis (who were then receiving the papers to read them). I don't see how the Nazis - the worst kind of people among all the Wars - could allow a girl to write a novel instead of writing down the informations they needed. They torture her, yes. But they would have not let this girl write a 200 pages essay about the adventures of her best friend: a civilian pilot who dropped her in France where she got captured. The first 100 pages were very slow and when I got to the second part (where it was the time for the pilot girl: Maggie to talk) I was extremely disappointed when the author decided to stick with the same style, not just the diary style but the random thoughts, flashbacks and a constant "i should not write this down or I'll end up in trouble or killed but I'm doing it anyway for no reason whatsoever. This made the book very difficult for me to read. So yes, sorry, I didn't liked it!

This book is a YA novel and I think it would be the perfect book to read for school while studying the events of WWII, but beofre that I don't think it would have the same powerful effect. 
erychan86: (Han Solo (Star Wars))
If you want to read a very good book about the one and only Han Solo you need to consider this one! I've found in extremely well done. I think Han is even a more difficult character to write than Leia since he tries to hide what he feels under piles of sarcasm and wit! James S.A. Corey gave him justice and I enjoyed the book (especially the second part) immensely!

The book is the second part of the trilogy Empire and Rebellion but it's set before Razor's Edge. As Razor's Edge covers the events right before Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Honor Among Thieves is set right after Episode IV - A New Hope. I think this is kind of odd for a "trilogy" but I understand it's called that way because each book covers the adventures of one of the 3 big characters. Sorry Luke but I don't think I'll read yours any time soon! Nothing against you but I'm mainly here for Han and Leia :D

“But always there was the voice at the back of his head telling him that by joining the Rebellion he’d become less of a rebel than he’d ever been.”

Honor Among Thieves

Originally published: 2014
Author: James S. A. Corey
Genres: Star Wars Novel/SciFi
(reading time: May 21 - May 23)
So, in a nutshell: The rebels are looking for a planet where to set base, and they have some options (Holt is among them). Leia has some meetings she has to attend to on a planet, but before leaving she sends Luke (Wedge and his group) to go investigate a system where they might build their secret base, and Han is sent into the core of the Empire to extract a Rebel Spy: Scarlett. Han is worried about Luke because the system he has to check out is a sort of Bermuda Triangle where ships get lost but no one knows why, and he spends most of the first part of the book thinking about their friendship, and how he cares about the farm boy in a brotherly way. Han goes to pick up Scarlet and, of course, they run into an old friend of his, who's now a bounty hunter. Han does't even have the time to shake him off that Scarlet asks him to help her finish her mission. After getting what they need, they manage to run away, and Han wants to bring Scarlet back to the Resistance ASAP, until he finds out Leia is in danger so he runs to her.  They get to Leia and, before leaving the planet that is about to be destroyed by the Empire in order to destroy an information, our 3 heroes (plus the bounty hunter who's back) has to recover the information and get out alive. Since Han is a GREAT pilot they escape and they find out the information the Empire wanted to keep hidden is a new weapon that allows them to control hyperspace jumps and guess where it is? Yep, on a planet in the system Luke went to investigate so Han goes to the rescue. At the end of the day they destroy the planet and the weapon and save the day.

I enjoyed the first part but the second one was the best (maybe because Leia was in it too). In the first part we have Scarlett who acts like Leia and it feels like there's no point in having her when they could have the princess, but I loved how Corey describes the conflict in Han's head about being part of the rebellion, using Scarlett and then Leia:
“We’re not anarchists,” she said. “We have goals. We want to end the Empire.”
“And replace it with what?
“You know what,” Scarlet said. Her crossed arms matched his own. “Are you trying to make fun of me?”
“It was rhetorical. I’ve heard the speech, sweetheart. ‘A glorious return to the Republic of old.’ To a guy like me, a new boss is still a boss.”

I think is great that the author managed to describe Han's internal conflict so well. This kind of conversation take places quite often throughout the whole book (with Scarlet, with himself and with Leia). Han is trying to figure out what he's doing and why and what's going to happen next. He says he does't like to think about it, and that's totally in character, especially for a novel set right after the events of A New Hope, in any other period it wouldn't have the same impact for the reader.

I loved the Han and Leia bits. There is a part where the Bounty Hunter tries to help Leia getting to a platform and he reach for her butt and Han punches him in the stomach when he notices and he gets very mad. And also Scarlet notices he is starting to have feelings for Leia but Han is totally oblivious until, I guess, this part:
“I was afraid you were in trouble for a second, Your Highnessness,” Han said, but the barb sounded hollow and unconvincing. Leia looked up at him, and the softness in her face told him that she’d heard the relief in his voice. He might just as well have said I thought I’d lost you.
“No such luck,” she said softly. He was surprised by the power of his urge to sweep her into his arms and kiss her. For a moment, there was something else in her expression—apprehension or hope or something of both. She blinked and looked away.

Here's a dialogue between Han and Leia that I think is just brilliant and you should read it even out of contest because it's great!

erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
This is not the kind of book I would ever pick up and read, but my mother in law asked my husband to give it to me because a friend of her read it and she found it good. I'm 30 and my mother in law is older than me (I won;t say her age because it's not mine to tell) and her friend hasn't been in her teens for a while now, so I don't know why she picked up this book.

I never read YA romantic novels and there is a reason. I just can's stand cheesy in books. I can deal with it in TV shows and movies for some mysterious reason, but not in book! Maybe because I started reading adult novels pretty quickly without going through that phase of a reader's life. But this is not even a YA book to me... It's a child book where a 15 yo girls falls in love with a character in a book and she starts talking to him and - guess what? - he's actually alive and he wan't to get out and be with her. So they start this quest, trying to get him out and in the end they succeed of course (and in a pretty silly way that doesn't make any sense)

Between the Lines

Originally published: 2012
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genres: Young Adult (but very very young IMHO)
(reading time: May 18 - May 20)
The only thing I liked about the book was that it was written by a mother and a daughter together. The kid had the idea and for 2 years they worked on it during weekends. I think it must have been a pretty good bonding experience for the two of them, but I don't think they wrote a YA book unfortunately so I can't give it more than 2 stars... I will actually give 1 because the ending was just so predictable and cheesy and I just didn't like it. Sorry!

P.S. I read it as quickly as I could because I want to spend time with books that I know I might like and I finished it just because when I start something I just have to get to the end of it, but it has been hard! :D
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I don't think I've ever openly cried while reading a book. If I try to search into my memories, I can't recall a moment I wasn't able to read something because my eyes were full of tears... Until now.

This book is a piece of art (not pun intended sonce is the story of a painter xD). I'm so glad I picked it up because of its pretty cover. I read the back and it got me intrigued, but it's what I've found in its first pages that bewitched me to the point I lost track of time. For the past two night I went to sleep way after 2 am.

The story is beautifully written, the characters are crazy interesting and the descriptions of places and and things create a picture so vivid that you can actually see what the writer saw.

You simply have to read it!

The Gravity of Birds

Originally published: 2013
Author: Tracy Guzeman
Genres: Fiction
(reading time: May 13 - May 18)

This book is a must read and if you are reading this review you just have to go get this book, sit down, read from cover to cover, and come back here to say I was right!

I would not be surprised if someone decides to put it into a Movie one of these days... Good luck with that, because I can't imagine how could someone give it the justice it deserves. I'm looking very much forward to the next book from this author! (less)
erychan86: (Han Solo (Star Wars))
Last night I finished Bloodline by Claudia Gray... Maybe I should say I finished it early this morning, because it was 2 am when I finally put the book down... The last few chapters were so good I just couldn't bring myself to stop... and now it's over and I have a more clearer vision of what happened in The Force Awakens, and it hurts even more now...

This book is great! I absolutely loved it and if I could give it more than 5 stars I would.

The author is indeed a huge Han/Leia Fan because in Bloodline Leia is just spot on... I could see Carrie Fisher's face and hear her voice while I was reading!


Originally published: 2016
Author: Claudia Gray
Genres: Sci/Fi / Star Wars Novel
(reading time: May 6 - May 12)
The book is full of politics but - since basically all of it is from Leia's point of view - it's not heavy as you might think. She constantly talks and thinks about Han and how much she misses him/wants to be with him/loves him.

Han is away working for the whole book, and it makes sense for the story itself, but also it's something that feels right for them. They live on the planet where the Senate is, and I can't imagine Han being able to be Han there, where all that matters is image and protocol, mining Leia's career and be bored as hell.

I can see them being private about their relationship and I love the fact people is still puzzled about how two people so different ended up together... For our joy, even if they're not physically together, they talk constantly via holo. You can feel they love each other very deeply, and that makes the events of TFA even more intense...

I remember reading online that the book portraits Han as a bad/absent father (and that explains why Ben turned to the dark side)... It's not true! Han is away for work often but he stays in contact with his family all the time, and he's there for them when they need him, even when they don't ask (He drops everything after Leia sends him a message just to say what happened when her secret got exposed, because he knows she needs him to be there to comfort her, even if she doesn't ask and pretends to be okay). In the book it's made also clear that Han acted like a big brother for Luke and a father for a lot of the pilots he trained, because he has it in him and he always regretted not being able to do the same for Ben - probably because he had to start training as a Jedi pretty soon, or he didn't want him to follow his footsteps...he wanted more for him that he could offer... Oh Han!!!

Han had taken countless young pilots under his wing during the past several years, many of whom remained close to them both even now.
His willingness to take on the role of mentor was one of the first things she’d noticed about Han Solo, years ago—well, one of the first things she’d liked about him. For all his griping about “farmboys,” Han had dedicated himself to Luke in the days after the first Death Star’s destruction. Leia had watched as Luke slowly overcame his grief for Obi-Wan Kenobi and his aunt and uncle, while learning about gunnery, ship repair, and countless other things from Han. The sarcasm and wit Han used disguised his concern from Luke, and even Leia took a while to realize that Han was looking “out for her, too.
Han was just as committed to his current crop of young pilots. Leia wished she could believe he mentored them out of the same impulse that had led him to befriend Luke; probably, on some level, he did. But Han was also teaching these kids the same lessons he’d wanted to teach their son.

Ben is away with Luke, and they're unreachable throughout the whole book, so we don't know what's going on with them, and Ben doesn't know Darth Vader is his grandfather, Leia leaves him a message but the story is all over the news so we don't know how he finds out in the end... We'll probably have an answer in episode VIII, I hope.

As I was saying, I think that the whole family situation is very real. It looks like a real family (one from our galaxy) where the dad has to spend time in another city for work and the kid is in college... I don't understand why people go crazy about the fact Han is not with Leia the whole time... I can't stress this enough, but can you honestly imagine Han sitting around the house doing nothing or joining the political scene? No... I think the picture Claudia Grey portraits works extremely fine. I'm totally on board with that...

I also understand even better why Han and Leia took some time apart after what happened to Ben... Han says - in The Force Awakens - that he knows that seeing him reminded Leia of Ben and that hurt... This makes one thing pretty clear to me: The reason why he left was selfless... He left because he couldn't stand being the one who caused Leia to suffer and he's the kind of guy who wants to fix things... Not make them worse... I can imagine them fighting because they weren't able to express their feelings about what happened to them, and taking all the blame upon themselves... Leia thinking that she was wrong sending Ben away, and Han thinking he could have done more for him... Blaming themselves, believing that the other person was probably thinking the same thing.

The reaction of the Senate when they discover Leia is Darth Vader's daughter is intense and they fear she (and Luke) could be like him... So, can you imagine when Ben turns to the dark side? After he has been training with Luke God knows where?... I can see the people turning their back on the Skywalkers and point their fingers... That's maybe the reason Han goes back to be a smuggler... Maybe his business goes south because of all the gossip... Maybe he goes back home to be with Leia and it's just too painful not to be able to find a way to solve the situation so - after a fight - he leaves... But the love is true... That's pretty clear to me! They separate for a while just because they weren't able to express their feelings in a totally Han/Leia fashion...

So THANK YOU CLAUDIA GRAY for giving me this book that puts my heart at ease about Han and Leia's love... I've never had any doubt but sometimes the internet goes crazy, and I start to wonder if I just live on my own planet where I just see what I want to see...

Here some of my favorite Han/Leia Moments in the book:
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
I've finished another book!
Baby I'm on fire! \o/
I have to admit I was in a rush to start and finish this one because, when I've finished Razor's Edge 3 days ago, I already had in my grasp another Star Wars book I really wanted to read (Honor Among Thieves by James S. A. Corey), but I promised myself to interval books for some mysterious reasons, so I picked up One Evening in Paris by Nicolas Barreau because the chapters were very short (short chapters make me read faster) and I was in a romantic mood. (After all that Han and Leia UST). While I was reading outside in the sun, I received a package with Claudia Grey's Bloodline, so now I have to start this one. This puts Honor Among Thieves further from my grasp but I think I can read this book and the next one pretty quickly...

One Evening in Paris by Nicolas Barreau

Originally published: 2014
Author: Nicolas Barreau
Genres: Romantic Novel
(reading time: May 2 - May 5)
This book is a romantic comedy set in guess where Paris in our times, but it has that sense of timeless romance you can probably get only from stories settled in France or in Italy.... maybe it's also because the main character - Alain - is the owner of an old Cinema who loves old movies...


A very easy read. I'm surprised it was written by such a young guy. Sometimes I forget there are still romantic souls out there that can actually fall in love at first sight. One of my best friend [ profile] mrbartleboom , is actually one of them, but I always thought he was the last of the romantics... I'm glad he's not alone in this World and I hope he'll soon find his Mélanie.

If you have a Goodreads Account HERE's mine. Friend me so that I can get some books ideas, because if I keep reading this fast I'll run out of books pretty soon!
erychan86: (Han Solo (Star Wars))
I really wanted this book to last a long LOOOOONG time because it was so damn good...

But - like everything in life - it had to end, and made me very sad because I think I won't be able to find anything this good in the Star Wars EU.

I know you might think I'm being overdramatic but try to start this book and the come here and tell me if I wasn't absolutely right!

Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge

Originally published: 2013
Author: Martha Wells
Genres: Star Wars Novel / Sci-Fi
(reading time: Apr 28 - May 2)
I think this is the best Star Wars Book about here (Okay... I didn't read them all, but I can't imagine something better than this at the moment). The author captured perfectly the personalities of our 3 heroes, especially Leia's since the story is mostly written on her prospective.

Summary )

So now it's time for another book, a non-Star Wars book and it's going to be though since today I bought the second book of the Empire and Rebellion series "Honor Among Thieves" and I know there is a scene where Han takes off his clother because they are wrinkled... CAN SOMEONE CLONE A YOUNG HARRISON FORD AND A YOUNG CARRIE FISHER AND HAVE THEM ACT IN THE ADAPTATIONS OF THESE BOOKS? COME ON!!! Ans also Bloodline comes out tomorrow and that's another book I need to read since is set 6 years before the events of The FOrce Awakend and Han and Leia are still together... I need a very short book... I might read The Catcher in the Rye that I've never read in english... I don't know yet, but I better start now...
erychan86: (Real Life: Books)
Time for another review.

The Edge of the Earth by Christina Schwarz.

This is one of the last book I bought. The cover called to me at the store and, when I read the synopsis, I thought it might be an entertaining book... after all I've always been always fond of love stories. But this is NOT a love story. It's a story about a young woman and her journey of self discovery. This book was an unexpected surprise.

The Edge of the Earth

Originally published: 2013
Author: Christina Schwarz
Genres: Novel
(reading time: Apr 21 - April 27)
On the back of the book we read this:

Trudy, who can argue Kant over dinner and play a respectable portion of Mozart’s Serenade in G major, has been raised to marry her childhood friend and assume a life of bourgeois comfort in Milwaukee. She knows she should be pleased, but she’s restless instead, yearning for something she lacks even the vocabulary to articulate. When she falls in love with enigmatic and ambitious Oskar, she believes she’s found her escape from the banality of her preordained life.

But escape turns out to be more fraught than Trudy had imagined. Alienated from family and friends, the couple moves across the country to take a job at a lighthouse at Point Lucia, California—an unnervingly isolated outcropping, trapped between the ocean and hundreds of miles of inaccessible wilderness. There they meet the light station’s only inhabitants—the formidable and guarded Crawleys. In this unfamiliar place, Trudy will find that nothing is as she might have predicted, especially after she discovers what hides among the rocks

You can understand why I thought this book was about a love story. I could have not been more wrong.

Trudy is a young privileged girl when we first meet her. She is just 19, and all her life has been planned for her by her parents, but she seems okay with it on the surface. Deep down she needs more so, when Oskar steps into her life, she lets him take her away from all that is familiar into the unknown (where - in the end - she finds herself).

Oskar seems like a dreamer at first (I'll tell you this: he's just a dick who believes he's the smartest prick in the room). He takes the job at the lighthouse, because he thinks that a tedious job like that can give him the time to think and work on his various projects. He tends to get tired of things when they don't go the way they should, and he probably knows he's smart but not smart enough to actually do something valuable with his life, or maybe he just lack of focus. Trudy instead is so much stronger than she realizes, and extremely resourceful. She adapts to that life finding a purpose, first as a teacher for the Crawley kids (unpaid job and commitment that she keeps until the end, even when she have to take care of Oskar work, tend to him and tend to the house) and then as a scientist (she starts to catalogue the unknown species that lives in the areas). Five grownups and four kids living 3 days away from the nearest city. They see new people 3, 4 times a year when a boat brings to them provisions (can food and other stuff) and mail.

This would make the book interesting by itself but try to add a mysterious native indian woman who lives in a cave by the beach who have a past which interlaces with the lives of the inhabitants of the lighthouse... Even better, right? And try to immagine what Oskar wants to do with her in order to be recognized as the genious he is by the people of the civilized world.

Every character is described with impeccable care as well as their surroundings. The author did a wonderful job and I will definitely read more of her work.

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