Reviews: July to October, with quite a bit of YA (and some “classics”)

Hihihihiii from Belfast! I know it’s been aaaaaages since I’ve posted, but things have been rather hectic with the move from Sydney back to the UK. In addition, I had quite a few writing projects going on during August (hence no books were read then!), and I’m now back to my PhD, which comes with its own set of eyeball-killing books… Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading over the last few months–some amazing titles, and some awful ones (unfortunately).

39. Lauren Oliver – Delirium (2 July)
40. Elizabeth Harrower – In Certain Circles (17 July)
41. Alice Munro – Dear Life (31 July)
42. Kim Harrison — Dead Witch Walking (12 September)
43. Natsume Soseki – Kokoro (trans. Meredith McKinney) (14 September)
44. Lois Lowry – Gathering Blue (20 September)
45. Lauren Willig – The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (28 September)
46. Classical Literary Criticism (3 Oct)
47. Cath Crowley – Graffiti Moon (4 Oct)
48. Anne Bishop – Written in Red (10 Oct)
49. Claudia Carroll – A Very Accidental Love Story (25 Oct)

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Reviews: Fall On Your Knees and The Hours

Happy Australian Financial New Year! On this monumental day, we have reviews of the two books I’ve been enjoying over the last two weeks or so!

37. Ann-Marie MacDonald – Fall On Your Knees (26 June)

I don’t remember when I got my copy, but I think I purchased it after hearing about it on Oprah’s Book Club over a decade ago. Anyway, I finally picked it up, and…wow.

37 - Fall On Your Knees

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Aria Restaurant, Sydney

Let’s deviate from our regular onslaught of book reviews and book love, and talk about food! Namely, the super amazing dinner I had with my good friend Anika on Wednesday, which still has me sighing in contentment at its recollection. And then I thought, well, why not write about my experience? (Yes, I’m blogging about food, and including loads of photos. What a sure way to make one hungry…)

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Reviews: A little semi-mid-June update (with 3 YA books!)

I’ve been sitting on this update for aaaaaages, and, it being a Sunday evening, thought it’ll be a good idea to post this before a new week begins. I’m the lead (read: only) writer for Regency Love, a Regency-set iOS game/interactive novel, and have been working on new content for the app. It’s great fun, but significantly cuts down my reading time!

30. Gabrielle Zevin – The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry (19 May)
32. Amanda Hocking – Wake (1 June)
33. Annie Proulx – The Shipping News (7 June)
34. Jo Riccioni – The Italians at Cleat’s Corner Store (15 June)
35. Lois Lowry – The Giver (18 June)
36. Aeschylus – The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides (trans. Robert Fagles) (19 June)

(In case you’re wondering, 31 was The Theban Plays, about which I’ve already posted.)


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Ancient May-hem: Sophocles’ Theban Plays and Wrap-up

Alas, I was unable to get through as many Classics as I would’ve liked in May, and only managed to finish one more book after the Aristotle. But hey, just because the month is over doesn’t mean the Ancient Awesomeness has to stop!

31. Sophocles – The Theban Plays (trans. E. F. Watling, Penguin) (23 May)

31 - Theban Plays

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Ancient May-hem: Finishing Aristotle’s Ethics

I finished the Nichomachean Ethics over the weekend, and have continued to process it throughout the week. It’s just such a tremendous work, and I can see myself revisiting it quite regularly in the future. I’ve already recommended it to a whole bunch of my friends, and I hope they—and you—will give it a go, because it’s really quite eye opening!

So, after the stunning introduction in Book I, Aristotle goes on to talk about the virtues of character and virtues of thought, and gives a very good idea of what each is and does.

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Ancient May-hem: A Stunning Start with Aristotle’s Ethics (Book I)

Almost a week into the Ancient May-hem Reading Challenge, and I have an announcement to make: I am crawling through the challenge at a reeeeeally sloooooow paaaaaaaace.

No, seriously.

EthicsSo far, I’ve only managed to get through Book I of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (more commonly known as the Ethics). That’s not a lot of reading being done. However, there’s been a lot of thinking being done, and that has been incredible. Need a distinction between quantity and quality? Look no further.

I decided to make this special post because I was so inspired by what I’ve read and learnt so far that I wanted to share it with you, and because, oh boy, my mind has been blown, and I feel my life is about to be changed.

Seriously.*

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Reviews: 5 fantastic books from April! (Mistry, Green, Denfeld, Jin, Gogol)

April was a rather quiet reading month with only five books, primarily because I was busy with the third draft of my manuscript, which is now complete and with my trusty beta-readers (yay!). By some stroke of luck, I enjoyed every single book I read, even if some of them took a while to complete—all of these have garnered at least a 4/5!

24. Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance (10 Apr)
25. John Green – The Fault in Our Stars (12 Apr)
26. Rene Denfeld – The Enchanted (15 Apr)
27. Ha Jin – In the Pond (18 Apr)
28. Nikolay Gogol – Dead Souls (Penguin Classics, trans. Robert A. Maguire) (3 May)

(Yes, the Gogol technically belongs to May, but I’m going to leave this month free for responses to my Ancient May-hem Reading Challenge.)

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2014 Ancient May-hem Reading Challenge – Introduction & Sign-up

This year, because I have a bit of leftover brainspace for nerdtastic things, because it’s my birthday month, and because I simply can, I shall declare May to be one of Ancient May-hem! Essentially, I plan to read as many texts from Ancient Greek and Rome as time allows, and then post about each after I’m done. I currently only have a rather vague list containing the works of Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, and Plutarch, but I’ll have this consolidated by the beginning of May. In any case, I’m hoping to indulge in a great deal of Ancient May-hem!

ancientmayhemI know it might be a little late to make this a “proper” reading challenge, but I’m going to try to hold an “improper” one anyway (whatever that means). If you’re interested in joining me, please sign up using the “Add a Link” thingy below—participants who read at least one text will be in the running for a book prize at the end of the month!

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The Bard Turns 450!

Today marks Shakespeare’s supposed 450th birthday (“supposed” because there are no records of his actual birth date, though all sorts of fancy schmancy scholars and historians have basically agreed that he was born three days prior to his baptism on 26 April 1564). As a teeny sapling of 25, I am quite overwhelmed by Shakespeare’s (literary) longevity—he’s exactly 18 times older than I am!

ShakesFestivalTo commemorate this momentous day, I decided to put together a list of my three favourite Shakespeare plays—for now. And, since I’m a teeny sapling Shakespeare scholar, I’m even going to try to explain why I love these plays so much (but do prepare yourself for what will essentially be a super gushfest).

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