Banned Books

I’ve made the decision to stop buying books for a bit. I can hear your sharp intake of breath right now. You’re thinking

But you love buying books. You have a book depository wish list that is ten deep. What about all those awesome books that are about to be published?!

And believe me, I hear you. I pretty much buy a book every time I go out. And that’s kind of my problem. While my wish list is ten books long, so is my physical to be read pile. And they’ve been piling up since Christmas.

I’ve got the new Maria V Snyder and a new Traci Harding. Plus Sebastian Bach’s memoir (the rock one, not the classical one). Plus I’m only like a hundred sites into 1001 Historical sites you should see before you die, I haven’t even ventured out of the Americas yet.

So I’m sticking to this self imposed ban until I do some reading. Or maybe just until the new Patrick Ness is out next week.

26. A book with multiple authors

I’m actually skipping writing about a book I read before this one firstly because this is an awesome book, and secondly because I don’t know what to write about Anthony Bourdain yet.

So this is another book about books. It’s kind of my favourite genre.

I just love reading about what other people think of books. Though not reviews, per se. I like knowing what they think about books or what it made them feel or what makes it great. I don’t want to know plot. If you can convince me it’s a good book without really talking about plot then I might read it and I don’t want any spoilers.

This book sees a whole bunch of Australian authors who mostly write for children and teens talk about books that affected them most. I didn’t read it with post its beside me this time but I should have.

It is completely fascinating to see how books imapct on people and then to consider how they may have impacted on you. I don’t know if I could pick just one book to say affected me most, and some of the authors don’t just choose one.

Jane Eyre or Northanger Abbey are my go to books for a re read but that’s mostly because I like the story. Nothing jumps to mind in terms of having a profound effect on the trajectory of my life. I do wish I had every Teen Power Inc ever written but alas I borrowed them from the library. 

I’m going to have to give it some more thought and get back to you.

29. A favourite book from your past

 I can’t remember why I picked up this book originally, or how many of the four books I have actually read

   
But I’ve chosen the following

 
As a favourite book from my past, not so much for the novel itself, but rather for the time that I read it.

Now, A Wizard of Earthsea is your pretty basic fantasy novel that deals with good and evil and how they balance in the self. It’s got a pretty good demon metaphor that at the end makes you go “oh, that’s deep”, but other than that there’s not much to write home about.

In year 9 my English was given this book to read. We had an enthusiastic new (young) teacher so along with all the normal things you do with novel study – character analysis, themes, literary techniques – we also did some of the most fun activities that I can still remember and think fondly of today.

One of the things about the novel is that, like many fantasy stories, the protagonist goes on a journey. He sails around a bunch of islands fleeing this demon. So as part of our study our teacher asked us to create a travel guide for the world of the novel. It was perhaps one of the most fun activities I have ever done. My friend and I partnered up and we raided the local travel agents for old brochures to cut out pictures from . We embellished on the descriptions of some of the settings and made up five day itineraries for potential travellers. Like I said, it was so much fun. It’s those activities, rather than the novel itself, that make me think back fondly about this text.

I recently found my workbook from this class, obviously I had loved it so much that I kept my book for more than a decade. Flipping through it reminded me of so many good times with my friends in this class (even being forced to watch Schindler’s List) and of the amazing teacher I had (who pretty much chose my career path for me).

When I re read the book I felt like a lot of plot was missing which makes me think that perhaps I did read some of the others as well. Or perhaps it’s just easier for me to read now that I’m twenty eight and not fourteen.

It’s not my favourite book from my childhood, nor is it even a favourite book that I have read this year, but it reminds me of such a happy and creative and formative time in my life that it fulfills this category perfectly.
Coming up on my next blog: It’s practically Christmas.

29. A favourite book from your past

 I can’t remember why I picked up this book originally, or how many of the four books I have actually read

   
But I’ve chosen the following

 
As a favourite book from my past, not so much for the novel itself, but rather for the time that I read it.

Now, A Wizard of Earthsea is your pretty basic fantasy novel that deals with good and evil and how they balance in the self. It’s got a pretty good demon metaphor that at the end makes you go “oh, that’s deep”, but other than that there’s not much to write home about.

In year 9 my English was given this book to read. We had an enthusiastic new (young) teacher so along with all the normal things you do with novel study – character analysis, themes, literary techniques – we also did some of the most fun activities that I can still remember and think fondly of today.

One of the things about the novel is that, like many fantasy stories, the protagonist goes on a journey. He sails around a bunch of islands fleeing this demon. So as part of our study our teacher asked us to create a travel guide for the world of the novel. It was perhaps one of the most fun activities I have ever done. My friend and I partnered up and we raided the local travel agents for old brochures to cut out pictures from . We embellished on the descriptions of some of the settings and made up five day itineraries for potential travellers. Like I said, it was so much fun. It’s those activities, rather than the novel itself, that make me think back fondly about this text.

I recently found my workbook from this class, obviously I had loved it so much that I kept my book for more than a decade. Flipping through it reminded me of so many good times with my friends in this class (even being forced to watch Schindler’s List) and of the amazing teacher I had (who pretty much chose my career path for me).

When I re read the book I felt like a lot of plot was missing which makes me think that perhaps I did read some of the others as well. Or perhaps it’s just easier for me to read now that I’m twenty eight and not fourteen.

It’s not my favourite book from my childhood, nor is it even a favourite book that I have read this year, but it reminds me of such a happy and creative and formative time in my life that it fulfills this category perfectly.
Coming up on my next blog: It’s practically Christmas.

47. A Fantasy Book

This is probably my favourite genre. And certainly if the novel is aimed at a teen audience I am bound to like it. Such is the case with Maria V Snyder’s novels.

  

This is a recent addition to her Study series, and while I had forgotten a lot that had happened I still loved this book.

YA Fantasy is my favourite because things usually work out alright in the end, even if it does take the mandatory three books to get there. There’s always a great love plot and a strong female lead.

This novel revisits some of my favourite characters, Yelena and Valek, and has them going on the same old adventures. I like the witty sidekicks and the intrigue but was disappointed by the loose tie ending. Snyder had said she only wrote this book because fans pestered her so much to do another story about the pair, but she has totally left it open for another in the series and if she doesn’t write it I will be totally devastated.

Honestly, go back to Poison Study and read them all (I probably will) you won’t regret it one bit.
Coming up on my next blog: I think I’ll have to admit defeat in the Read Harder challenge.

29. A favourite book from your past

 I can’t remember why I picked up this book originally, or how many of the four books I have actually read

   
But I’ve chosen the following

 
As a favourite book from my past, not so much for the novel itself, but rather for the time that I read it.

Now, A Wizard of Earthsea is your pretty basic fantasy novel that deals with good and evil and how they balance in the self. It’s got a pretty good demon metaphor that at the end makes you go “oh, that’s deep”, but other than that there’s not much to write home about.

In year 9 my English was given this book to read. We had an enthusiastic new (young) teacher so along with all the normal things you do with novel study – character analysis, themes, literary techniques – we also did some of the most fun activities that I can still remember and think fondly of today.

One of the things about the novel is that, like many fantasy stories, the protagonist goes on a journey. He sails around a bunch of islands fleeing this demon. So as part of our study our teacher asked us to create a travel guide for the world of the novel. It was perhaps one of the most fun activities I have ever done. My friend and I partnered up and we raided the local travel agents for old brochures to cut out pictures from . We embellished on the descriptions of some of the settings and made up five day itineraries for potential travellers. Like I said, it was so much fun. It’s those activities, rather than the novel itself, that make me think back fondly about this text.

I recently found my workbook from this class, obviously I had loved it so much that I kept my book for more than a decade. Flipping through it reminded me of so many good times with my friends in this class (even being forced to watch Schindler’s List) and of the amazing teacher I had (who pretty much chose my career path for me).

When I re read the book I felt like a lot of plot was missing which makes me think that perhaps I did read some of the others as well. Or perhaps it’s just easier for me to read now that I’m twenty eight and not fourteen.

It’s not my favourite book from my childhood, nor is it even a favourite book that I have read this year, but it reminds me of such a happy and creative and formative time in my life that it fulfills this category perfectly.
Coming up on my next blog: It’s practically Christmas.

Fifty so Fine

Books 2015
1. How to traumatise your children.

2. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.

3. Thinking about it only makes it worse… by David Mitchell.

4. Sleeping Like A Baby by Pinky McKay

5. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James

6. Empire State by Jason Shiga

7. Masters of doom

8. Harry potter

9. FitzOsbournes 

10. This House of Grief by Helen Garner

11. Baby Dracula

12. Baby Jabberwocky

13. Slinky Malinky

14. Baby Days by Alison Lester

15. Faking It by Gabrielle Tozer

16. Stuffocation

17. Storm by Tim Minchin

18. King Lear by Shakespeare

19. Raging Heat by Richard Castle

20. The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell

21. The Life of a Stupid Man by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

22. The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

23. How we weep and laugh at the same thing by Michel de Montaigne

24. Veronica Mars: Mr Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas

25. I don’t like koala by 

26. The Greatest Gatsby by Tohby Riddle

27. Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

28. Pandora Jones: Reckoning by Barry Jonsberg

29. The Heir by Keira Cass

30. Anxiety as an Ally

31. The Heir by Keira Cass

32. The Guest Cat

31. Unwanted by Amanda Holohan

32. Saga Volume One

33. Saga Volume Two

34. The life changing art of tidying by Marie Kondo

35. Y: The Last Man Volume One

36. Winter girls by Laurie Halse Anderson

37. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

38. Saga Volume Three

39. Saga Volume Four

40. Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

41. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

42. The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore

43. To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix

44. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

45. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones 

46. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

47. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

48. Emma by Alexander McCall-Smith

49. Saga Volume Five

50. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
Haven’t quite finished he challenge though.
Coming up on my next blog: The annual Christmas trek to the city.

2. A Classic Romance

  
I didn’t even know this book was coming out! I just happened to be in a library when it arrived for cataloging and when I saw the words

Regency romance

I knew I had to read it.

I was going to read Gone With the Wind for this category, but seeing as we are less than two months away from the end of the year I didn’t really like my chances. I could also have used this book for the still unfilled colour and character title categories but it fits much better here.

It seems every blog post I. Telling you how great Garth Nix is, and this one is to be no different. He is just such an amazing author and every time he puts pen to paper he comes up with story gold. At the back of the novel he says this novel came out of a story he had written many years ago and put aside. I’m so glad he picked it back up again and tweaked it because it is just perfect. Well, maybe not perfect. I would have liked it longer, or as part of a series (I know this is scandalous for me as I am always bemoaning the fact that authors can’t seem to write stand alone novels anymore and always have to write trilogies, but I wish Nix would), because I love Truthful and just want to keep reading about her and her world.

This novel is exactly what it claims to be.

  
If Jane Austen was a fantasy author his could have been written by her.

It has all the best parts of Regency romance novels –

  • Young adventurous debutant ✔️
  • Mysterious but handsome gentleman ✔️
  • Hatred (or at least dislike) at first sight ✔️
  • Lots of mix ups and misunderstandings ✔️

All with the added benefit of magic. Simply perfect.
Coming up on my next blog: I’ve exhausted my supply of Garth Nix. On to other authors.

16. A book by an author you love

There are so many to choose from, so many whose books I buy when I see them, whether I’ve heard about it or not. 

  
I love Garth Nix. Though not all his stuff. I haven’t read any of the Keys of the Kingdom series because by the time I realised they existed I felt a bit old for them. I can’t get enough of The Old Kingdom books though. So this collection starts with a long Old Kingdom story and then has a whole bunch of horror, mystery and fantasy stories that Nix has written over the years. And most of them are awesome. I only stopped reading one about Mars because I didn’t like the character telling the story. He was too boring.
Coming up on my next blog: Another Nix.

5. A book with a number in the title

I don’t know why I keep reading these.

 
The problem with the Lorien books is that they are just not published quickly enough. So much time lapses in between instalments that you forget the plot and who the characters are, and to really care about it at all. And yet, when I see a new one on the store shelves I think to myself

I really must get that.

I’ve had a big problem with his series right from the beginning.  It really annoys me that he author thinks they can just create different character voices with font changes. It doesn’t work. I never remember whose perspective I am reading because they all sound the same. Even switching from first to third person doesn’t have all that big an impact on voice. And some of the fonts hurt my eyes, like the one for Six, seriously at least choose fonts that reflect their personality, and are easy on the eyes.
So The Fate of Ten. I can say that I didn’t hate it. In fact, of all these books since I am Number Four, it’s been the best. This one is only set over about a day or so and Lore packs a lot of action into those few days and hundred odd pages. You can really tell that we are coming to the pointy end of the series. Things are starting to be wrapped up, they’ve cut all the mystery and are revealing things from the past which helps to make sense of everything. I like that. I like to learn things while I am reading. They don’t have to be facts, they just have to help me understand the world of the novel and now I feel like I kind of do.

There is one pretty startling twist at the end. I totally didn’t see it coming, and it will make the next book very very interesting.
Coming up on my next blog: Not quite sure.