The Bookshop Book

TheBookshopBook
Title: The Bookshop Book

Author: Jen Campbell

Where to buy it: Amazon, Book Depository / Wordery (Free Shipping)

Synopsis:

A love letter to bookshops all around the world, from the author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores 

We’re not talking about rooms that are just full of books.

We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops.

Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine.

And that’s just the beginning.

From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over two hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).

The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.

My thoughts: This book is a “must have” for book and bookshop lovers everywhere. It is beautifully written with descriptions so good, you will almost feel like you are inside the bookshops themselves. Reading it was a wonderful escape from the stresses of work and a fantastic journey. It’s a book I will doubtless be rereading sometime soon, and again and again…

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Moonlands (ARC review)

Moonlands Title: Moonlands

Author: Steven Savile

Where to buy it: Amazon, Book Depository (Free Shipping)

Synopsis:

Ashley Hawthorne thinks of herself as the Cuckoo Girl. No matter where she is it feels like she doesn’t quite belong. Everything changes when her eccentric aunt, Elspeth Grimm, leaves her the key to a safety deposit box in a bank that was destroyed during the Blitz. That box contains the first part of her true inheritance: an umbrella, a battered old notebook, a pair of aviator’s goggles and a locket. Each of these gifts is a unique part of who she really is. Elspeth is a descendent of the brothers who purged this world of monsters by trapping them within the Concord. She is the Oracle. A keeper of all the knowledge we have amassed about the creatures of the Fae and other worlds. And someone intent on destroying the Concord has murdered her! When Ashley looks through the goggles that night she sees curious creatures on the roof of the house across the street watching her. To the naked eye they look like crows but they are not. It is the first glimpse of the other place—the place where she will finally belong. The journal is crammed full of things, but there’s no actual writing in it. Ash decides she’s going to use the journal, and begins the first entry: My name is Ashley Hawthorne. The ink fades so she writes it again. My name is Ashley Hawthorne. Again the ink fades. She tries again and again until the ink scratches out an entirely different first line: That is not who you are!

My thoughts: Although Moonlands concept and opening scene are very promising, the execution was below my expectations.

The characters are varied and the wardens are specially interesting characters, however there isn’t a lot of development or information about them, they show up mostly towards the end of the story. The main character Ashley is the normal supernatural (insecure) teenager who thinks she’s just an ordinary, unattractive girl and who by then end finally stands up for herself. Blackwater Blaze on the other hand is an assassin blindly fallowing orders, who ends up realizing he was manipulated and betrayed and ends up going through an internal struggle between his loyalty to the pack and doing what is right.

The pacing of the book seems a little disproportionate, it begins with an action scene, it slows down as we get to know the main character and she figures out who she is, not a lot happens after she crosses over to the Moonlands and suddenly we are at the end of the story where everything is quickly and easily resolved, leading afterwards to a big cliffhanger (hinting perhaps at a sequel). The abundant use of repetitions also made the pacing seem a little dragged.

The romance didn’t feel very convincing either (to me, at least). It all happened very fast (the usual instalove), the way Blackwater Blaze treated Ash in some scenes, during the journey in the Moonlands, also felt a bit exaggerated.

Overall this was an OK book, however if there is going to be a sequel I’m not sure I will be picking it up.

 

 

Bout of Books wrap up

Bout of Books

And so the read-a-thon reached it’s end, and what a week it was. The books I chose turned out to be great choices, I had a great time with each of them.

I managed to finish all three books during the read-a-thon, coming to a total of 1040 pages. I will post reviews of the books I read in the coming weeks.

Bout of Books Challenge

Bout of Books

Bookish Survey:

1. How do you organize your shelves? I am still trying to decide that, and as I am in desperate need of a new book-shelve for now they are organized from oldes to most recently bought. with the TBR at the end (actually just piled up at the front >.<)

2. What is one of your favourite book that’s not in one of your favourite genres? I don’t read a lot of contemporary novels, however Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore became one of my favourite books.

3. What is the last 5 star book you read? Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon? I’m excited to read all of them, but if I have to chose one…Jackaby

5. What book do you recommend the most? So many xD, Small Gods, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel and The Night Circus (can’t name just one T_T)

Bout of Books 13

Bout of Books
Today is the first day of the Bout of Books 13 and I will be taking part in it. You can follow my updates on my twiter, I will be posting updates mostly through tweets.
This will be my TBR:
bout of books 13 tbr
I will post reviews after the readathon is over.

The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) (ARC review)

The Winners CrimeTitle: The Winner’s Crime

Author:Marie Rutkoski

Where to buy it: Amazon, Book Depository (Free Shipping)

Synopsis:

Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust …

While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.

My thoughts:

The Winner’s Crime is the awesome sequel to The Winner’s Curse. Now in court and under the watchful eye of the emperor, the stakes are higher then ever before and Kestrel must continue to rely on her wits to prevent the carnages of war, without being suspected of disloyalty to the kingdom. The plot thickens as the political intrigues intensify keeping the reader on it’s toes.

As in the previous book, the writing is beautiful with wonderful descriptions that make you feel like you are right there in the middle of it all. The characters remain strong, and with the story’s progression there is also good character development.

In this book, as we are also introduced to another kingdom we get another glimpse of the trilogy’s great world building and well written characters.

I devoured this book and I am dying to get my hands on the last volume and see where it all leads.

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)

The-Winners-CurseTitle: The Winner’s Curse

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Where to buy it: Amazon, Book Depository (Free Shipping)

Synopsis:

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. Kestrel has other ideas.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in Arin, a young slave up for auction. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him – and for a sensational price that sets the society gossips talking. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for him is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

The first novel in a stunning new trilogy, The Winner’s Curse is a story of romance, rumours and rebellion, where dirty secrets and careless alliances can be deadly – and everything is at stake.

My thoughts: When I first looked at the cover of this book I was not drawn to it, I thought it might be something like glitterature and I was not in the mood for it. I was VERY wrong.

After seeing several good reviews and people gushing over it on booktube I decided to give it a try…and I was hooked. As the fist book in the trilogy the pacing begins a bit slower, we are introduced to the characters, to the world, the main characters meet and their relationship begins to grow. The slower pace at the beginning however does not make the book boring, far from it, and the pace quickly picks up as the plot advances.

The writing is engaging, with beautiful descriptions that just pull you in and good world building.

The characters are well developed and multi layered. I particularly like the female lead, she is strong, independent and very intelligent.

If you like YA fantasy you should definitely pick this one up, it’s a fantastic book and I can’t wait for the third book to come out.

 

 

 

Splintered (Splintered #1)

splinteredTitle: Splintered

Author: A.G. Howard

Where to buy it: Amazon, Book Depository (Free Shipping)

Synopsis:

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence.

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

My thoughts: As a big fan of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, I was a bit sceptic about this book but I ended up loving it.

The author did a great job of describing the world, with it’s dark environment and creepy characters, it just pulls you in and envelops you.

The concept of the curse through generations of Alice’s descendants was also interesting. The love triangle was a bit cliché but no less fun to read with a lot of tension between the characters and some steamy scenes to top it up.

Another aspect of the book that caught my attention was the beautiful cover and the overall design of the book itself, with the purple text (I love purple) and the designs at the beginning of the chapters and the page numbers, small details that bring the book together.

 

 

 

Versatile Blogger Award

I would like to thank Anastasia from Read and Survive for nominating me for the VBA, Check out her blog, just follow the link 😉

versitle-blogger-1versatile-blogger-award-pic

So…the rules:

1. Show the award on your blog (twice?)
2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
3. Share 7 different facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

7 Facts about me:

1. I am Portuguese but I am currently living in Düsseldorf.

2. I’m married, no kids just a VERY needy cat named Loki

3. I miss my home town, Porto, terribly. I think it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world

4. I practice Kendo

5. I’m a metal head…and a big Sailor Moon fan xD

6. I played World of Warcraft for almost ten years

7. I learned Japanese, but had to stop to start learning German, I hope to go back to it as soon and I am done with German

My nominations

1. https://theprettybooks.wordpress.com/

2. https://carrieslager.wordpress.com/

3. http://thebookbindersdaughter.com/

4. http://ragingbiblioholism.com/

5. https://scribblesandwanderlust.wordpress.com/

6. https://leaningtoweroftomes.wordpress.com/

7. https://nordie.wordpress.com/

8. http://girlinchaiselongue.blogspot.pt/

9. http://misspageturnerscityofbooks.blogspot.de/

10. http://thebookofjules.blogspot.de/

11. http://thebookcastle.blogspot.de/

12. http://www.yabookloverblog.com/

13. https://birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com/

14. http://ivybookbindings.blogspot.de/

15. http://www.alexalovesbooks.com/

Obsidian (Lux series 1)

obsidian

Ttitle: Obsidian

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Where to buy it: Amazon, Book Depository (Free Shipping)

Synopsis:

Starting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My thoughts: To be honest this isn’t a book I was thinking about reading, the story didn’t sound very interesting, one of those YA novels where the girl let’s herself be abused by an irritating male character and never really stands up for herself. However all the raving about it on booktube got me curious and when I saw it for free on Amazon I downloaded it, and later it was voted to be read on the Little Book Club…so I finally gave in and read it…and since my expectation where not very high to begin with, I wasn’t really disappointed.

As I was expecting, the story is nothing special although weirdly addictive, it was a very fast read. There isn’t anything distinctive about the characters or the plot (there is very little information abut the aliens, maybe the other books in the series delve more into their world). Daemon is just exasperating, one second he is being arrogant and pretentious (the “I’m doing this for your and my sister’s protection” didn’t really stick); the next he is being affectionate and tender. Katy on the other took all the abuse and went back for more, it ends up being frustrating, and the fact that she is a nerdy book blogger is very unconvincing as she seems to rarely pick up a book or do any writing.There are some steamy, sexy scenes and a lot of sexual tension between Katy and Daemon, however the back and forth between them becomes a little repetitive.

Overall it was an entertaining read, I didn’t struggle or though about just putting it down, despite it’s flaws this book was kind of a guilty pleasure, nonetheless I will not be continuing with the series, at least for now.