Posts Tagged ‘books’
A year ago I decided to undertake five, count ‘em FIVE reading challenges. At this point I have realized my insanity with all the work I had to do this year. These goals were rather ambitious and I graciously accept defeat in most if not all my challenges.
Challenge #1: War & Peace Read-Along
I never finished this book, didn’t even half or quarter it, I barely scratched the surface. I got as far as the army inspection after the boys were deployed and stopped. I lost interest and when next I picked up a book it was anything but War and Peace. I imagine one day I’ll finish it as I hate starting a book and not finishing it, even if I don’t like it, I have to see it through, just in case it turns the corner and becomes magnificent.
Challenge #2: Read 50 Books in 2011
Yeah, about that I’ve read 19 books. Which is sad since in my A Year Of Challenges: Progress Report post I had read 12. However I cite school, work and sleep as the reason for my lackluster performance, school was brutal this semester, it’s a miracle I made it out alive. oO
Challenge #3: Fill In The Gaps – 100 Books That Fell Through The Cracks In 5 Years
As this challenge doesn’t end until January 1, 2016 I still have time to complete it and redeem myself. Since my last report I have dispatched three more making my final tally for 2011, six.
#30: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
#90: The Vampire Diaries Series – L.J. Smith
Challenge #4: Nicholas Sparks
Technically I have completed this challenge but not how I had planned to. The challenge merely asks for me to complete 1-4 Nicholas Sparks books but my goal was to read four, I only read two; The Notebook and A Walk To Remember.
Challenge #5: Harry Potter
As I stated in my progress report I never got around to re-reading these books but I will someday, possibly in audiobook format.
Bonus Challenge: WordPress Post A Week
Yeah, I have not posted a blog post a week and have not amassed 52 posts in 2011 and as such fail this challenge as well but I have tried to post more often, if that is any consolation.
So all in all this year was a failure for my challenges, it could be due to the pressure to complete them (my mind tends to procrastinate when told to do something) or the lack of time due to my obligations, or a combination of both. As a result I have vowed not to take any challenges this year, except of course the fill in the gaps which will continue until 2016 and see if my performance is any better when I’m not bound to reading.
Did you fare any better on your reading challenges this year? I sure hope so.
Let me know in the comments below.
Be safe ringing in the new year and happy reading!
Title: A Walk To Remember
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Description: There was a time when the world was sweeter….when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats…. Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he’d been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he’d fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town’s Baptist minister….Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart-and the joy and pain of living. The inspiration for this novel came from Nicholas Sparks’s sister: her life and her courage. From the internationally bestselling author Nicholas Sparks, comes his most moving story yet…. (Taken from Goodreads)
I started this book with one singular thought in my mind, the old adage “the book is ALWAYS without exception better than the movie” and since I loved the movie the book must be AMAZING!!!
Unfortunately that was not the case.
Don’t get me wrong the book was wonderful and emotional in its own right but to me the movie was just way better.
As soon as I started the book I realized the book wasn’t following the movie….or is it the movie wasn’t following the book. Either ways they were not synonymous. For example the movie took place in 1998 and the book is set in 1958. I was at first enjoying this little quirk, as this was the original and my hopes were still very high.
Then I began to realize that some of my favourite scenes weren’t even in the book. I sat and read and waited in vain for the unscripted kiss in the play, the flyer in the cafeteria, the fulfilling of the list…THE LIST!!!! The list wasn’t even in the book! A Walk to Remember is not the same without the bucket list. Everyone knows that.
Anyways after trying VERY VERY VERY hard to ignore the differences, and there were a lot I realized the book wasn’t as bad as I was making it out to be and in fact if I had read it first without all these preconceptions of what it should be in my mind I would probably have loved it too.
What I did love about the book however was the fact that Landon was completely devoted and smitten with Jamie even when she was ridiculously ill, like she’s paper-thin, and eating through a straw and he still thinks she’s the most beautiful person he’s ever laid eyes on. That right there is love my friends, true love, always remember that.
The end as expected was truly emotional and sad and had me tearing up. Especially the wedding scene where she walks down the aisle. That was so sad and heart wrenching. That scene also explains the title of the book, which I never really got in the movie so it one ups it there.
This book despite not being better than the movie in my mind was still a great read. The essence of both takes were the same they were just portrayed in different ways. The book still had sweet scenes and you still smiled that smile, laughed and cried. It was still great just not as great.
I give this a four out of five and recommend that you either read the book first then watch the movie or remove your preconceptions before reading the book. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it so much more if you do.
So that’s one book down from my Nicholas Sparks Book Challenge. I shall try to remember my advice when I tackle the other three.
Have you ever loved a movie and then read the book that inspired it and realized the book doesn’t live up to it?
Let me know in the comments below.
Sharing is caring.
So as per usual as soon as exam season came around my mind started wandering to what books I wanted to read, what movies I wanted to watch and all the tv shows that I needed to catch up on.
Ah the joys of procrastination.
Anyways as I was pondering my recreational life instead of studying for my Biology final I thought about reading challenges and the fact that I’ve always wanted to join one.
So in true nerd style I Googled reading challenges and found some great websites to help me choose and join one.
There’s A Novel Challenge by Wendy and Teddy and Bibliobabe which both have a nice compilation of all the challenges running for each year. You just pick the one you like, click the link and sign up….or you could just do it by yourself and not sign up either way is fine as long as you read.
So as soon as my exams are over I plan to pick out at least 3 to tackle.
On the other hand to make next year really special I have decided to make a challenge of my own. If you want to try it go right ahead, just leave me a comment and update me on how it’s going. I’ll be sure to do the same.
The challenge is that I read ever single novel that I have at home that I have either abandoned or never started.
Wish me luck!
So a couple days ago my little brother finished his first non-school book in ages.
It took him four months, yes you read it correctly FOUR MONTHS to do it!
So to prove to him that he’d been wasting time I bet him I could finish it in one day.
Easy enough, 17 chapters, 198 pages in 24 hours. Which serious reader couldn’t do that with ease?
Okay so not me since I won the challenge but still I only barely made it.
No not because I couldn’t read it quickly enough but it was so boring that everything else distracted me.
I procrastinated until about 3pm to start reading it. When I left work to go home at 7pm I had a couple pages left and I didn’t finish reading them until 11:30pm because I was busy watching a movie.
Yes, yes some example I am but it just didn’t interest me. Sheer pride was what made me win this bet, sheer pride I tell ya.
Now before I reveal the name of the book I just want to say I have nothing against the book, the author or the series. I just think that I read it at the wrong time, I’m in the wrong age bracket to really enjoy this book. So don’t go getting your panties in a bunch.
The book in question is none other than The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
I watched the movie as well but I didn’t like that either. Just not my cup of tea I suppose.
So because of this incident I shall reinstate my rule to never ever read a kiddie book again unless it’s a classic or comes VERY HIGHLY recommended.
Now back to Memoirs of a Geisha!
Title: The Shadow Of The Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Published: 2001 (English: 2004)
Translated by: Lucia Graves
Originally in: Spanish
Description: Barcelona, 1945—Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes one day to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.
Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a book from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the book he selects, a novel called The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last of Carax’s books in existence.
Before Daniel knows it, his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness, and doomed love, and before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly. (Taken from Goodreads)
I started this book about a year ago and got sidetracked and ended up abandoning it. Now having picked it up again I could kick myself. This book was amazing. Once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. Work, sleep and the mundane routine of summer life were the only things that got in my way of reading this book. I wanted to solve the mystery of Julian Carax and his books as much as Daniel did.
When I wasn’t reading I was thinking about the mystery, scribbling down my suspects as the story unfolded. I felt like a detective, analysing everything he found out, weighing the odds and even with all that I almost got it wrong. As my elaborate solutions dissolved around me I threw out an idea that I’d been bouncing around in my head and voilà I solved the mystery, or well the one I was trying to solve.
I loved the characters and the fact that for almost everyone that you meet you get a little snippet about. A little story about their past or their habits something that made even the simplest character just a bit more real and memorable to you. He has a way of making his characters come to life and I found myself worrying about them, cussing them out, sympathizing with them and even despising some of the characters in this story.
I thought it was a great read, took me a little bit to finish it but I blame that mostly on work. I enjoyed my stay in Barcelona and my trips to Paris and I wish one day I can visit them for real if only to find out if there really is a crumbling mansion at 32 Avenida de Tibidabo.
I gave it a 5 out of 5 and I’d recommend it to everyone because, it’s awesome.
Today has got to be one of the happiest days of my life.
I am typing this from my laptop!
I just took it up and decided to try it one more time and bam it turned on.
My Internet is being crappy but at least Mr.Lappytop is working! *big grin*
Now I’m happily catching up on my blogs and podcasts.
I’m half-way through Shadow in the Wind and enjoying it immensely. I love the characters and the mystery surrounding Julian Carax. I find it interesting they keep comparing Daniel and Julian saying they look alike. Reminds me of Harry Potter and his mother’s eyes.
Anywho off to read, night!
Hey guys! On Tuesday I finished reading the last book in the Chesapeake Bay series. Yaaaay!!! I’m so happy. I would have come on immediately after to rave about it but my Internet was down…booooo!!!
Anywho the Chesapeake Bay series is about three brothers, Cameron, Ethan, and Philip that were taken in by a lovely couple Ray and Stella Quinn when they were kids. Ray and Stella gave them a home and a chance at something good in life and they turned out wonderful. Now that they’re all grown, and Stella has died Ray takes in another troubled kid, 10 year old Seth DeLaunter. Unfortunately on his way back from Baltimore old Ray Quinn meets in an accident and succumbs to his injuries after getting his three sons to promise to take care of Seth.
With a promise to honour, Cameron, Ethan and Philip all move back to the little white house with the blue trimmings by the water to take care of their new brother Seth. And if looking after an abused boy with a smart mouth and an objection to being touched wasn’t enough rumours are flying that Seth is Ray’s biological love child that he had cheating on Stella and that the crash he was in was no accident, he’d committed suicide out of shame.
And so starts the first book, Sea Swept. This first book is about Cam moving back home, learning to settle down and enjoy life in the slow lane for once, and the beginning of the family business, Boats by Quinn. It shows how Cam and Seth’s relationship develops as he moves from protecting Seth because of a promise to his dead father to doing it out of love for the boy. Anna Spenelli, Seth’s case worker plays a vital role in this book as she encourages the relationship between the two and help the Quinns keep Seth in their custody. Inevitably she and Cam end up in a relationship and fall in love. This is a Nora Roberts novel after all.
The problem I had with this book was the lack of serious conflict in the relationship. Their love affair went too smoothly for my liking. She was the boy’s case worker for heaven’s sake. No one wondered if that would make her recommendation that they keep Seth biased? Her employer had no problem with the affair, she had no problem with the affair. She was so straight forward and practical about everything. *sigh* I guess I just missed the drama of relationships. For that reason I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.
The second book, Rising Tides I read about a year ago and loved. It’s about the second brother Ethan Quinn and his long time friend and love Grace Monroe. This book was wonderful and I loved every minute of it. It was one part family one part romance. In this book Seth’s love for the older Quinns and his trust in them grows especially when Gloria rears her ugly head again. The love story between Ethan and Grace was just so real. The drama, the fights, the reservations. It all made sense and it all made you grieve for young Ethan that lives inside him. I had no problem with this book as it continued Cam and Anna’s story instead of forgetting them on the sidelines and for that reason I gave it a 5 out of 5.
The third book in this lovely series was Inner Harbour which was about the last Quinn to be taken in, Philip. Philip was never my favourite character as he was mostly in Baltimore and dealt with the details in the background and seemed a bit resentful towards Seth but in this book he’s thrown into the spotlight. We get the full back story on him and we get to know him a little better. His love interest turns out to be the half-sister of Gloria DeLaunter and the aunt of Seth Quinn, Sybil Griffin. The mystery of Seth’s relation to Ray is also revealed in this book and all I can say is thank God. Lol!
Truth be told I didn’t like Sybil at the beginning of this book. She was reserved and very stand offish to me. She was also very naive when it came to her sister which just annoyed me. She grew up in this book, standing up for herself, coming out of her shell and interacting rather than observing from a distance. In the end I was very proud of the person she became. Especially after she kicked Gloria’s ass and sent her on her way for good. And for that reason I give Inner Harbour a 4 out of 5.
The final addition to this would be trilogy was Chesapeake Blue and it takes place 18 years in the future from the other three. I loved it because it was like a reunion where I got to catch up with all the characters I loved. I got to meet all the new Quinns, and even an old Quinn *hint hint* for one last hurrah.
Seth of course is now 29 and very much capable of having a love affair. His love interest is Druscilla Whitcomb-Banks, a florist that just moved to the Shore to start her own business. Everything seems to be going great until Gloria rears her nasty head again and all you can think is, isn’t she dead yet? It would seem she never really went away and has been hitting Seth up for money since he was 14, a small detail he hadn’t bother sharing with the other Quinns.
Since Seth is now a famous painter and the family business is doing so well Gloria has decided she would like her share, 1 million dollars. Thankfully Dru pushes him to his senses and he confessed to his family and in true Quinn fashion they show Gloria up for the scum she really is and sends her on her way. Just when you think everything is as it should be and the good guys have won Nora throws a little reality our way and allows Gloria to get even. This ending I think is very fitting as it shows that they can’t get rid of Gloria forever but they can deal with her as a family whenever she rears her ugly head. For that reason I gave Chesapeake Blue a 5 out of 5.
This series shows the true meaning of family and shows that it doesn’t matter how you start out, given a chance you can change your life and be happy. I love the series and I would recommend it to everyone. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 overall.