I feel like I was just doing one of these, and embarrassingly I've read a big fat ZERO from my last TBR list. Hopefully I'll do better this time - here's what I'm hoping to get to...
1. Trumpet by Jackie Kay. I have to admit I'd never heard of Jackie Kay before seeing her at the Sydney Writers' Festival - but I was blown away by her talent, humour, wit and wisdom when I saw her. I immediately bought this book, which is about a transgender Jazz musician, and was lucky enough to get it signed. Now I just have to read it!
2. Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I've been wanting to read another Libba Bray book since reading and loving Beauty Queens, and seeing her at the Sydney Writers' Festival gave me the perfect excuse to take home another of her books. I can't want to dive in to the story of a boy with mad cow disease.
3. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. This was another Sydney Writers' Festival discovery (seriously I spent so much on books that weekend). As soon as I heard the words "time traveling serial killer" I was sold.
4. A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. I loved A Game of Thrones when I read it a couple of months ago, but I needed to take a bit of a break before I read the rest of the series because it was kinda exhausting. But lately I've been obsessing over it a bit (can you tell?), thanks in no small part to the end of the latest season of the show, so I now I'm itching to read book two. I just have to wait for it to arrive from The Book Depository!
5. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead. I love Mead's Vampire Academy series and have been wanting to read more of her work. Even though it's gotten mixed reviews, I'm excited to read this one.
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I think this has made every one of my TBR lists since it came out, because I really want to read it, but can never quite bring myself to do it. I will one of these days!
7. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel. I have a thing for zombies lately, and this is one of the few zombie books I already own, so I want to get to it soon.
8. Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington. Love the concept of this one - a girl lives two lives simultaneously, switching day by day. It's also got some great reviews from my Goodreads friends.
9. Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan. I really enjoyed Larbalestier's Liar when I read it recently and I've heard great things about Team Human.
10. Night Beach by Kirsty Eager. So many people have told me I need to read Eager's books. I have this one so it's a good place to start!
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Friday, 14 June 2013
-I've been in a bit of a Game of Thrones Google binge since it ended this week. In my travels I came across this awesome Hitler reaction vid on the Red Wedding. Spoilers if you haven't read/watched it (YouTube). I also discovered Game of Kittehs, which is ridiculous but made me giggle (Tumblr). Then there's ah-mazing 80s-themed character posters (Society6), along with this 80s-style Jon Snow training sequence that totally needs to happen IRL (YouTube). Finally, a fan who is also a dwarf gives his perspective on the character of Tyrion, and it's brilliant (Reddit).
-The worst from the slush pile - or, what NOT to do in a query. (Tumblr)
-The actress of one of my all-time fave movies, Matilda, reveals her inside knowledge on why child actors go crazy so often. (Cracked)
-One child actor who didn't go too crazy (unless you count his obsession with skeletons and ghosts) is Ryan Gosling, who, speaking of skeletons and ghosts, had one of his earliest roles in the Goosebumps series. Watching it makes me all nostalgic. (Vulture)
-Mean Gurlz is the best Mean Girls parody I've seen in a long time. "You can't twerk with us!" (YouTube)
-I'm obsessed with this cinemagraph blog. Just stunning. (Tumblr)
-One photographer takes the 'Dear Photograph' concept to another level by going to the places old movies/TV shows were filmed and juxtaposing new photos with old shots. Awesome. (Tumblr)
-If you've been living under a rock and haven't yet watched The Greatest Event in Television History, you should probably go do that now. (YouTube)
-Here is a gallery of everything Ron Swanson has eaten on Parks and Recreation. It's a lot of meat. (Vulture)
-ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG new season of Skins is out soon and here is the trailer. Sad that Sid isn't in it while Cassie is, feel pretty meh about Effy, but interested to know what happened to Cook. (YouTube)
-A new show that I'm excited about is The White Queen, based on the series by Philippa Gregory. I haven't read the books but the trailer looks great, so I'll have to read then watch. Max Irons, hello! (YouTube)
-Pomeranians are probably are the key to world peace. Meanwhile, did you know giraffes use their BUTTS as pillows?! If that's not adorable/hilarious enough for you, these gifs should do you in. (BuzzFeed)
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
1. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares. It's all about summer (amongst other things), and it's so much fun. My kind of beach read.
2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Teen romance at its best.
3. Adorkable by Sarra Manning. Teen romance at its second best.
4. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. Just pure fun.
5. Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan. Not exactly a light beach read, but the ocean is such a central part of the story it would be fantastic to read this book surrounded by the sounds and scents it describes.
6. Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst. A book featuring vampires that are actually deadly, that's still fun, light-hearted and highly entertaining. Awesome.
7. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Teen romance at its trashiest. Perfect for sunny, no-brainer days on the sand.
8. Cargo by Jessica Au. This is another book which is not exactly light, but the beach is central to the story.
9. Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey. Again, it's all about the beach and surf culture. Even though it goes to pretty dark places, it's also hilarious.
10. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. It's Toddlers and Tiaras meets Lost. And it's as brilliant as it sounds.
Friday, 7 June 2013
Micah lives with her parents and little brother in New York City. She spends summers with her eccentric grandmother and great aunt. She loves to run. She has a boyfriend who has gone missing. And she is a compulsive liar. Talk about an unreliable narrator!
Liar is split into three parts, and in each Micah tells a version of what she claims is the truth. I loved the first part of the book and was intrigued about the unfolding mystery around Zach's disappearance. I couldn't put the book down. Then I just about threw it down when it took an unexpected supernatural twist in part two. I thought I was getting a contemporary thriller so I was disappointed - even angry - when it turned out I was apparently reading something else. Then I remembered Micah is a liar and decided to keep reading to figure out whether this twist was actually "true". By the third part I was very much drawn into the story again. Then the end came and there was no concrete resolution. Being a stickler for closure, I was frustrated once again.
But, I have to say, Liar got me thinking. And the more I thought about it, the more I appreciated it. You see, while you never find out the exact "truth" in the text, there are two clear options - and it's up to you to decide which one is right. There are other interpretations that work too, discussed by fans on the SPOILERY SPOILER thread at Justine's website, and reading through them kind of blew my mind. Instead of being frustrated as I initially was, I became awed at the possibilities and loved how the book really encouraged creativity and imagination in its readers. I like that you can make up your own mind about the truth. Or whether there even is a "truth".
So yes, Liar makes you think, which is awesome. But it also makes you feel, which is even awesomer. I didn't warm to Micah at first - I mean, she's a compulsive liar, it's hard to love someone like that - but boy, did she get under my skin by the end. My heart broke for her in places. She may not be likable or reliable, but she's complex and interesting and unique and fierce. This is her story, and while the facts might be blurred, the emotion is distinct and true.
Liar is a remarkable book, and has definitely made me want to read more of Larbalestier's work. It's amazing that she pulled this off and a testament to her skill as a writer. It might not work for everyone, but it really worked for me.
Spoilery Talking Points
- After thinking about it a lot, I believe Micah was lying about the whole werewolf thing. I think it was symbolic of her wildness, perhaps even her sexuality, that her parents tried to contain.
- I think maybe her brother died in an accident that Micah was somehow responsible for, and she probably killed Zach during a blackout. I think the other wolf was a personification of a fragmented part of herself, the part she felt had been abandoned by her parents, the part she hated herself.
- I think the farm is symbolic of a mental institution. It was so heartbreaking when her parents left her there.
- At the end I think she's probably still in some sort of facility, but on her way to healing. I'd love to know if anyone else who has read Liar has any theories!
Published: 2011, Allen & Unwin
Get It: Bookworld
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
|Vintage deer bookends|
|Sausage dog bookends|
|Vintage horse bookends|
|Vintage duck bookends|
|Vintage Colonial bookends|
Tuesday, 4 June 2013
1. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. The best roadtrip book I've read. It will make you laugh, cry and swoooon.
2. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. I could put the whole of The Lumatere Chronicles, but Finnikin is the one with the most travel. They're all wonderful.
3. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. The magical, gorgeous tale of one unicorn's quest to find others like her.
4. The Reluctant Hallelujah by Gabrielle Williams. A roadtrip book with a very unique twist. Not for everyone, but I loved it.
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Trip to the Peak District, anyone? Namely Derbyshire.
6. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. What better way to travel than through time? Though it doesn't exactly work out well for Henry. This book gives me All The Feels.
7. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. Four friends use a magical pair of jeans to stay in touch when they're separated over the summer. It's nowhere near as lame as I thought it would be before I read it.
8. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. Second star to the right and straight on till morning!
9. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. One of my favourite books of all time, I wouldn't mind a trip with Fezzik and Inigo - and Westley, of course. Buttercup can stay at home.
10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. While it's mostly set in Paris, the kids do travel there to start with (and to America and back again over the holidays). Anna may whinge about it at first, but I wouldn't have minded going to school in such a gorgeous city!
Friday, 31 May 2013
-Markus Zusak reveals why he used Death as a narrator in The Book Thief. (Tumblr)
-BuzzFeed compiled some of the best book-related memes in 25 signs you're addicted to reading, plus revealed what you can do with all those books you're done reading. So many cute crafts, so many books sacrificed. (BuzzFeed)
-This is kinda old but I just discovered it - College Humor's Font Conference, where Times New Roman is boss, as he should be. Meanwhile this is their version of a horror movie, Sims style. (YouTube)
-The stories behind the most gorgeous gem stones of all time are quite fascinating. (NY Mag)
-Yearbook Yourself is the most fun I've had all week. Ahem. (Yearbook Yourself)
-Internet pros reveal their favourite GIFs. I have so many I love, but if I had to choose a fave it would probably be this slightly NSFW one. (Refinery 29)
-This adorable dog doesn't realise his size. (Reddit)
-I love this montage of awesome dance scenes from movies. (YouTube)
-You will not be able to get through this post without trying to tickle your screen. And you won't be able to get through this post without squeeing at least twice. (BuzzFeed)
-I love Flavorwire's response to the obsession with Portia de Rossi's face in the latest season of Arrested Development. I also looooove this compilation of famous authors' annotations in classic novels. (Flavorwire)