5 stars · book posts · fiction · read-a-thons

Reads of Spring 2018

So apparently I read another 22 books this spring (which is exactly the same number of books I read in winter of 2018). I couldn’t have done better if I had planned.

 

Top Four of this Period

Four, not five? Just because.

(Every book read this spring was a new read – except for Inferno – so they [almost] all are counted.)

Continue reading “Reads of Spring 2018”

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5 stars · book posts · Challenges · Education · fiction · nonfiction

Reads of Winter 2018

I haven’t really felt like writing a full-length review yet, but I thought it would be good to do a post about the books I’ve read so far this year – and show y’all how I’m absolutely not on track with the challenges I was thinking of taking up this year (I really don’t know why I thought I would since once I announce I’m going to read a book, my brain just does not want to). What better time to stop and look over the books I’ve read than just at the beginning of spring!

First, I’ve read 22 out of the 60 books I wanted to. I’m absolutely ecstatic. I’m back on track with reading like I wanted to be – reading lots!!!

Continue reading “Reads of Winter 2018”

1 star · Book Reviews · today's society · We Read Trashy Millennial "Literature" So That You Don't Have To

The Princess Saves Herself in this One {Book Review}

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Anna’s rating: 1 out of 5. Or 1000. Whatever the percentage as little as possible. Is there a 0 out of 5 option on Goodreads? We should make one.

Episode 1 of Anna Reviewing Trash That Shouldn’t Be Called Poetry

My friend has this thing where she reads John Green books even though she knows they’re terrible – just so that she can talk about how terrible they are. I decided to offer my services to the We Read Trashy Millennial “Literature” So That You Don’t Have To club.

One of my favourite reviews:

hitting
enter
after
every
word
does
not
make
it
poetry.” [x]

I would add that neither does the addition of only one sentence to a page.

Continue reading “The Princess Saves Herself in this One {Book Review}”

5 stars · a reader's life · Book Reviews · Books · Christian/Catholic · Classics · fiction · nonfiction · oscar wilde · Reviews · YA books

My Favourite Reads of 2017

 

Before anyone thinks that this is a list of books from 2017 that I liked – stop right there. I don’t read many new books. Ergo, the title is “My Favourite Reads of 2017” not “My Favourite Books of 2017.” See?? Alright, we can continue.

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I definitely didn’t read as many books as I am usually prone to doing, but that means I can just move on up from here and read more next year!

Without further ado, here is my top ten list (the ordering could probably be shifted around a bit as always).

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3 stars · 4 stars · Book Reviews · Books · Sherlock Holmes · YA books

A Study in Charlotte {Book Review}

 

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A Study in Charlotte is going to be one of the last books I manage to get in before the end of the year, and since I had enough things that I both loved and hated about it, I thought it was a good time to write a review. And post quotes I liked. Lots of them.

Description (taken from this review): A Study in Charlotte follows the descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as they solve crimes on a modern-day college campus. In this story, both Sherlock and Watson were real people and Arthur Conan Doyle was Watson’s literary agent, who helped publish the tales of their cases. Many years later, Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson find themselves caught up in some copycat crimes that appear to be framing the two, using scenes directly out of the old stories.

I wanted the two of us to be complicated together, to be difficult and engrossing and blindingly brilliant.

And now on to my thoughts. Obviously, spoilers galore.

Continue reading “A Study in Charlotte {Book Review}”

a reader's life · Books · Challenges · read-a-thons

2018 Reading Challenge

December’s only just started, and everyone is already getting excited about their TBR piles for next year, it seems. I usually wouldn’t post about this so soon (I mean, I haven’t even finished my pitiful Goodreads challenge of 40 books yet. I have no idea what happened – actually, I do, it’s school), but I wanted to save the challenges I like before I lose them, so I thought that I would just go ahead and post.

I came across this amazing list from one of the reading groups on facebook I’m on, and it sure gave me many ideas from which to choose. First of all, I’m going to try to read 60 books. I read quite a much wider variety of books this year – from teaching books like The Elements of Teaching to political books like Ann Coulter’s Adios, America to some Victorian YA (Libba Bray) with even a little poetry (John Keats) mixed in.

Along with the Goodreads challenge, I want to try and do the Books ‘N Tunes challenge because when I read a book I really enjoy, I usually associate certain songs with it. Why not try to do it with all, or most, of the books I read this upcoming year? I’m also going to keep the A-to-Z Challenge (because it would be interesting to try to cover each letter of the alphabet) as well as the POPSUGAR Challenge (I’ve already printed it out) in mind for some reading inspiration, but I won’t be too sad if I can’t complete them because I’d rather focus on reading the books on my shelf that I’ve wanted to read for a long time.

Another sort-of-related-to-reading goal:

  • I’d like to try to improve my phone photographs and make my instagram a bookstagram. I took a couple pictures I’m pretty proud of (namely this and this and this and this and this), but those were far and few between.
5 stars · Book Reviews · Books · Uncategorized

Top Ten Reads of 2016

Most books I read aren’t new releases, but I thought I’d do my own list of my favourite books that I read this year. Some are new, others not. I decided to stick to books that I read for the first time this year, so that rules out favourites like Hamlet and The Lord of the Rings. I chose books that made me fall in love with them because they are clever, well-written, and just add to the literary discourse of the human heart.

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a reader's life · Books · Uncategorized

Ten Books I’d Buy Now (if I had a gift card)

Oh look! I’m not dead. You can thank thebookavid for inspiring me to come back with that latest post. Here are ten reasons why someone should buy me a gift card for Chapters! (Or at least the books on this list.)

 

1)) Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Several friends have recommended this one to me and it looks really intriguing! I love fairy tales retold and a sci-fi one?? Sounds pretty neat!

2)) The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. I got this from the library and I’m in love with it. It’s perfect and I want to keep it forever and read it all.

3)) Collin’s Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. I have this one from the library, too.

4)) American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I still have yet to read anything by Gaiman but this looks like a perfect one to start with!

5)) Paradise Lost by John Milton. I really loved reading this work in university and I would love a nice copy of it.

6)) The Divine Comedy by Dante. I’ve read Inferno and I would really like to read the rest of this great work. Maybe the nice illustrated version?? 😉

7)) Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. I love this novella a whole lot and it would be perfect to add to my bookshelf, along with all my other Gothic favourites. (I just really love Gothic literature.)

8)) Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I loved the movie and I really need to read this one. Soon.

9)) The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacchs. I read a couple excerpts from this book in my psychology class last year and I really want to read the rest! They’re so interesting and very humorous, too!

10)) Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. This one sounds like a book that I would really enjoy. I’ve had it on my to-read list for a very long time.

5 stars · Book Reviews · Books · Dan Vyleta · Hope in Darkness · Literature Analysis · Uncategorized

Smoke {Book Review}

 

 

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Wow. Magnificent. Oh my goodness gracious me. I was blown away by the utter magnificence of this book – I think it could even replace my beloved The Lord of the Rings as my favourite book of all time?? I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to completely process everything, but then a good book is one that captivates you every time you read, for years to come, isn’t it?

Anna’s rating: 5 stars

 

Summary

Thomas Argyle, Charlie Cooper, and Livia Naylor live in a world not unlike Dicken’s Victorian England. In fact, Dan Vyleta begins with a quote from the Master Author’s novel Dombey and Son:

“Those who study the physical sciences, and bring them to bear upon the health of Man, tell us that if the noxious particles that rise from vitiated air were palpable to the sight, we should see them lowering in a dense black cloud above such haunts, and rolling slowly on to corrupt the better portion of a town. But if the moral pestilence that rises with them … could be made discernible too, how terrible the revelation!”

(Beginning a section of a book with a quote from Dickens or Dostoevsky or Dante or one of those other great authors is my new favourite thing.)

That quote really summarizes the setting of the novel. In this world, any baser emotion, whether that be lust or anger (or even joy), causes a human being to emit Smoke. The Smoke is seen as a sign of one’s fallen state – therefore, the common people live in Smoke, the aristocracy using Smokelessness as a sign of their right to rule. (Of course, they are just able to hide their Smoke because they have the money to do so – nothing to do with morality.) The Smoke is therefore highly entangled with both religion and politics. In the boarding school which Thomas and Charlie attend, the slightest sign of Smoke brings great punishment upon the unfortunate boy whose clothes are found stained with the soot which will not disappear. However, the two boys soon begin to learn that everything they have been taught is a lie and there are deeper, darker secrets to be found in the streets of London.

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4 stars · 5 stars · Anna's Life · Book Reviews · Books · Maggie Stiefvater · Music Reviews · on writing · The Lumineers · Thoughts · Troye Sivan · TV Shows · Uncategorized

(I’m not gone, I promise.)

I’ve got a bad cold, so it looks like it’s going to be a lazy day. Perfect time for a blog post, eh? I thought so, too.

Reading

I just finished reading The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff. It’s a book that teaches writing by showing examples of writing, a technique of which I most heartily approve. I put this book on hold at the library because after reading The Raven Cycle, I am absolutely spellbound by Maggie Stiefvater. Her writing has such magic to it, and she makes me fall in love with writing in a way that only my friend Gina (author of the recent The Rose and the Sword) has been able to do before.

This was such a great read not only because I got writing advice from my beloved Maggie (if I was born in the time of Homer, I’d probably offer sacrifices to beg her to be my Muse), but because I discovered a new favourite – Brenna Yovanoff (now I have to go look for books she’s written). Not only was her story right up my alley (modern YA with a twist of the Gothic), but she showed her writing process in a very different way from Maggie and Tessa (just the short story with comments here and there). Brenna first told a story from her childhood of a drowning that stuck with her the rest of her life before showing the short story as well as a very different earlier draft. While I wasn’t a big fan of Tessa and her world-building, her story at least kept my interest. The book also had a few sections of words from the author s – for example, how to gain ideas and the overwhelming doubt that plagues readers.

Anna’s rating: 5 stars (note to self: need to buy a copy of this book to have forever)

Continue reading “(I’m not gone, I promise.)”