The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This is the novel written by Jean-Dominique Bauby about his life after a stroke, which left him suffering locked-in syndrome. This meant that Bauby could only blink a single eye, turn his head, and some facial expressions voluntarily. And yes, that means that this entire book was blinked out, letter-by-letter. Which is just incredible to begin with. The patience and effort that that took is astounding.

“My diving bell becomes less oppressive, and my mind takes flight like a butterfly.”

Continue reading The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Evermore by Isobelle Carmody and Daniel Reed

I got this book at the wonderful Red Queen Launch in Melbourne, and then promptly read it on the way home. It is a lovely little story described aptly as a post-apocalyptic fairytale. Dan Reed was the illustrator, and helped push Isobelle to make Evermore into a graphic novel, instead of the novella, which grew too big.

Some scenes of Evermore illustrated by Dan Reed via Obernewtyn.net
Some scenes of Evermore illustrated by Dan Reed via Obernewtyn.net

Continue reading Evermore by Isobelle Carmody and Daniel Reed

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

This is one of the SF classics that I have been meaning to get around to for a while. I have watched the movie version, which I think I thought was alright at the time. So reading through this, it did feel familiar to some extent, and I of course couldn’t help picturing the characters with their actors, especially Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent. This previous exposure may have been a bad thing, because I didn’t love it all that much…

Continue reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

A Clockwork Orange

This is an odd book, but a good one at that, or should I skazat ‘Horrorshow’. It is a truly violent book, with some tough scenes to read, including a gang rape. But it isn’t idolising the violence, it is using it to make us question our ideals and what freewill really means.

Warning, a slightly disturbing gif below from the movie. 

Continue reading A Clockwork Orange

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

Ah Patrick Ness, the author who destroyed me at the beginning of 2015 with the Chaos Walking Trilogy (destroyed in the ‘good’ way), and now proceeds to destroy me again with this book. He is the king of emotionally destroying people. This is a really fantastic novel, it’s not that long, and just took me a day to read, but it really packs a punch. We learn in the author’s note that Ness was approached with the idea of turning the work of Siobhan Dowd into a book. Siobhan sadly died aged 47 before being able to write her fifth book. But she had the characters, a premise, and a beginning. This is where Ness comes in. Siobhan was posthumously won the Carnegie medal in 2009, this book also won the Cilip Carnegie Medal as well as a bunch of other awards, which it truly deserves.

Continue reading A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

New Riordan! And a brand new series, it’s really exciting! And it’s Norse mythology, which I know very little about (only stuff from American Gods, cause I haven’t seen the Thor movies… or really read into it before). So I’m quite excited to learn more about the mythology (not that the books are perfect, but still pick up a few things). Further excitement is that I have a signed edition!

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Continue reading Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

2015 Year in Review

Happy New Year! Another year is over, and that means another End of Year Survey hosted by Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner. I’ve done this for a few years now, 2014, 2013, 2012, and it’s always a nice way to finish the year. So without any further ado:

2015-end-of-year-book-survey-1024x984

reading-stats-2015-1024x278

Number Of Books You Read: 53
Number of Re-Reads: 5 (The Obernewtyn Chronicles)
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy/Dystopia?

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I think having seen the movie just put me off a bit.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

A Clockwork Orange – I had no expectations with it, so it was so different to what I thought it was going to be

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I will now forever push Patrick Ness on people – but is that a little evil of me, cause it means I want them to suffer a bit???

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Series – Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness

Sequel – Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Series Ender – The Red Queen by Isobelle Carmody

 6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2015?

Patrick Ness without a doubt.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I’ll Give You the Sun – don’t tend to read YA romance at all, but this was really good

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I think The Ask and the Answer – the second book in the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness was.

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Well, I dunno if I will reread any, the most likely ones would be those from the Red Rising Trilogy before the new one comes out, but even then perhaps not.

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2015?

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach, published by Simon and Schuster
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach, published by Simon and Schuster

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Alex from A Clockwork Orange – a very interesting character who has an interesting life

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, definitely made me think

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, I owned it for a few years now so no excuse really

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

Hahaha, last year I said I’d try to remember one quote per book in 2015, and that failed miserably. I think it lasted for a week.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly at 132 pages

The Red Queen with 1108 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

The Knife of Never Letting Go (and the sequels) by Patrick Ness, these absolutely destroyed me.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Ana and Hendon from The Red Queen

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Um I have no idea

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan – always love Riordan

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Red Rising – a recommendation via MsSimms7 on Twitter

(also Getting Things Done – via CGPGrey but that doesn’t quite count since it wasn’t personal)

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Pft

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

I quite liked Surveillance by Bernard Keane

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Well that would have to be Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles and their world

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

Well The Knife of Never Letting Go did a pretty good job right at the start of the year!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

“Hidden” is tough. I think Sandman for me, it is a series of graphic novels by Neil Gaiman, and doesn’t have enough love, perhaps because of it’s format.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Well Ness and Brown both have done that consistently.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War by Bill Gammage, was told via soldier’s letters home.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Scorch Trials – and it does mean I didn’t like it

book-blogging

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I shamefully spend little time browsing other book blogs – so give me some suggestions?

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2015?

Have no idea

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Had too few of these to have a best

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I went to The Red Queen (by Isobelle Carmody) book launch in Melbourne which was a Masked Ball, it was incredible!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

I think it was realising that Isobelle Carmody had read my predictions for The Red Queen and laughed about one of them

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I think keeping up with everything. Trying to write the posts and read books to review is a challenge.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

By views – The Devil and Daniel Webster (only cause it comes up high on Google), and followed by Growing Up A Saumensch again due to it’s high rating on Google. The highest one published this year was my Winds of Winter Prediction post, followed not that far behind by my first Thoughts of The Red Queen.

By comments it would be a TTT – Books I’m dying to read – which was from the beginning of the year, and ahahahahaha I read 3/10 of them. Whoops. I’m terrible.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Golden Son – It was such a good book so it deserves more love

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Hmm I guess it could be that my library has a pretty good ebook selection online, and if you want to request they get a book, they usually do it pretty quickly which has been handy.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I set myself a challenge to read 52 books this year and I made it.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Hehehe, Catch-22 is still on my TBR list! Sigh. I think I’ve said this one a few times now…

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

Winds of Winter! Is that actually a 2016 book though, who knows?

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

See this TTT

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

Well I’m looking forward to the next Magnus Chase book a lot (besides Winds of Winter)

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Well this year I want to read Terry Prachett’s Discworld, which I am really looking forward to. I want to continue trying to keep with with TTT also.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Haven’t read any yet