4 stars · a reader's life · Arthur Conan Doyle · book posts · Challenges · Classics · Classics Club · fiction · Short Story Reviews

Vampire Stories {Book Review}

Hey all! I wanted to start getting on top of the Classics Club posts, so I’ll be posting reviews for the latest two books I read pretty quickly. Here is the first of the two.

Did you know that Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker were friends and actually influenced each other’s work? I didn’t know until this book!

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 6.41.42 pm
Yes, this is my picture. (x)

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a reader's life · book posts · Challenges · Classics · read-a-thons

Yet Another Reading Challenge: Back to the Classics

Yes, you may be thinking – Anna, how many challenges are you taking on this year? However, since they mostly all have to do with reading classics, I think they fit.

Basically, this is the challenge. You need to read one book from each category.

Here are my ideas of what I think I shall read for this challenge.

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a reader's life · book posts · Challenges · Uncategorized

Reads of Fall 2018 (and the reading challenge)

65110Well, I did end up reaching my goal of 60 books this year (I actually read 70)! I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it since I didn’t have time to read during my practicum with grade one this year, but as soon as Christmas break hit, I hit the books. (Well, maybe a week in.) I read a bunch of kid books these months, but it was either something I read to my kids (to save my butt in this read-60-books thing) or some fluff because A. my mind is still recovering from the past semester and B. I need to finish A Series of Unfortunate Events before the last season comes out on Netflix and C. ASOUE is an amazing series so you don’t even get to judge, heathen.

I’m not going to do a top books of this period since I didn’t read many really amazing books, but kudos to the paragraph above because I absolutely love A Series of Unfortunate Events and how these books are not only great for kids, but also pretty great for adults as well.

I did not do the Books ‘N Tunes challenge because none of the books I read this year really gave me any musical inspiration. Except Patrick Melrose (listen to my short playlist here). I even made some music videos for this book/tv series. You can see them here and here (pssst the second one is my personal favourite).

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1 star · 5 stars · a reader's life · book posts · Book Reviews · Challenges · Classics · fiction · oscar wilde · Sherlock Holmes

Reads of Summer 2018

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. My deepest apologies. I’ve got another Anna Rant on the back burner, I promise.

Anyway, on to it.

Top Four of This Period (in no particular order this time)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

This book was just as incredible, although maybe not quite as good, as The Secret History. Donna Tartt’s writing in this book is just stunning. At times, I felt as if though I were studying a painting rather than reading a book because her description is so vivid – which is quite appropriate for a book that revolves around a painting. This novel is also very character-driven, which I absolutely adore.

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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!!!

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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.
Anna's Life · Challenges · Uncategorized

Tag: 10 Things That Make You Happy

symphonyonasoldier on tumblr tagged me in this, but since it’s a longer post, I decided to answer here 🙂

  1. Music

Music is really what I live and breathe. I usually go through my day having listened to a whole bunch of different artists, and when I’m not, one can usually find me humming or singing a song… or I just have a song stuck in my head where no one can hear it. 🙂 I love listening to Troye Sivan because his music makes me feel relaxed and like I can be okay with myself – some of his songs, like Wild, Fools, Talk Me Down, and Blue remind me of the ocean, but that might just be because I’ve watched the Blue Neighbourhood trilogy. Tenth Avenue North is what I listen to when I’m really down and I need to remember God still loves me and is always here for me. Fall Out Boy’s lyrics make me realize someone else feels like I do. I just really love a wide variety of music, but my standard genre is that category called alternative (aka iTunes lumping everything together that isn’t pop or country or opera or something).

2. Books

I’ve loved to read since a very young age – one of my very first favourites was The Lord of the Rings, actually. I stopped reading for pleasure during high school and the first few years of university, but I recently got back into it and all I can say is, there is nothing better than getting lost in a good book and forgetting all the crap that exists in the world. I love going into bookstores and looking at the books and smelling the books – I love being surrounded by books – I love reading them – I love trying my hand at writing them…. I just really love the way that words can transform our lives and the stories that they can tell.

Continue reading “Tag: 10 Things That Make You Happy”

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

Day One of Read-A-Thon: TBR & Goals

Since the Read-A-Thon is only covering June 25 – July 3 (which is less days for me since I can’t ever seem to get any reading done on the weekends) AND I am also working on my novel, I didn’t choose very many books for the Read-A-Thon.

The books you plan to read…


As you can probably see, I’m already partly into The Exiled Queen. I think I can count, it, however, as I’m going to have to take some time off reading a nonfiction book I promised to write a review for. I doubt I will complete either the Father Brown or Oscar Wilde books – I’m planning to read at least some stories from the Father Brown, and I want to read The Picture of Dorian Gray and perhaps some poetry from the Oscar Wilde collection.

Why did you choose these books?

I’ve wanted to read the Father Brown stories for a long time now. The same for Oscar Wilde, especially since I very much enjoyed reading a few of his short stories and his play An Ideal HusbandThe Exiled Queen is the second book in a series I am borrowing from a friend. The Tolkien book is just one book in my list of books to read as part of my research for my capstone project.

What do you look forward to reading the most?

The Exiled Queen – since I am already enjoying it – and The Picture of Dorian Gray.


And now for the reading goals. I want to set aside at least an hour or two every day to read. (It’d be great if if I could get three, but I’m not so sure that’s going to happen.) As stated above, I’m not so sure I’m going to get through either the entire Father Brown or Oscar Wilde collection, but I want to at least make a good start. If my reading goes well, I may add in either the third book of the Seven Realms series or the Rick Riordan  Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard that I have been wanting to read for a long time.

I’ll try and see if I can do daily updates, but weekends are usually insanely busy for me and I don’t really get much, or any, computer sit-down time.

Challenges · YA Literature

Re-Readathon: Goals & Beginnings

When I heard about thebookishdragon’s Re-Readathon, I thought it sounded like a really great idea. I’m joining in late (because I changed my tumblr url and didn’t get a notification when the re-readathon started), but I thought I’d still give it a shot. With the amount of school I’ve got, there isn’t much time to read at all, but I thought it would be fun to at least read a few old favourites.

My goal is to read 5 books from this list of old favourites:

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (which I just started rereading this morning)19063
  • Alice in Wonderland (not so much of an old favourite, but I had a slight obsession with the idea of Wonderland a few months ago, started reading it for a school project, and never got around to reading much)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (and that way, I can read Go Set A Watchman which my boyfriend bought me!!)
  • The Silver Chair AND/OR The Horse and His Boy (my two favourite Narnia books)
  • My Anastasia (one of my very favourite books when I was a little girl, which I haven’t read since probably near a decade ago)
  • Matilda (because it’s Matilda)
  • The Long Winter (my favourite Little House on the Prairie book when I was young)
  • The Postman
  • any book by Kit Pearson or Madeline L’Engle

I’d love to start reading The Lord of the Rings again because it’s been a couple of years (where has the time gone when I used to read it every year?!), but I know that would be a little too much to ask with my schedule.

So far, I’m rereading The Book Thief, and I got through 29% on my hour ride to school this morning, so I think it’s going well so far!
11250317As a side note, I finished three books that I had been reading at the same time (all from the library, just in time for another ebook to come in) – The Song of AchillesMockingjay, and JackabyTSOA is basically a retelling and expansion of the story of Achilles and Patroclus from Homer’s Ilyiad. I thought it had a really good plot and some great one-liners, especially towards the end – but the writing style drove me nuts. It was very rushed and I think the writing was less than stellar. I almost didn’t finish it, but I didn’t want to let the book defeat me. Jackaby was better. I picked it up at the library after seeing the Doctor Who meets Sherlock advertisement. However, I believe it was more Sherlock meets Supernatural, since the adventure included creatures of lo7260188re (like banshees), not aliens. It was a delightful read, but I’m not sure if I’m interested in reading any of the other books in the series. Mockingjay was the best of the lot. I enjoyed it more than the first two books in the series since it didn’t focus on the Games, but rather, the unfair treatment of the people by the Capitol and the people’s response to it. The book reminded me a little bit of a dystopian uprising, like The Postman, but the kindness shown within times of suffering really reminded me of my favourite Les Misérables. I thought Collins did a very good job writing mental illness and PTSD, as well. The ending was a little rushed, but as a whole, I felt like this one deserved a 5 star rating on my Goodreads.

Anna's Life · Challenges · Uncategorized

Part 2 of the Book Photo Challenge

Here is my little gallery of Days 6-11 of the Book Photo challenge. Click on each picture to enlarge and read the caption!

And just for a little explanation of some of these pictures. For my borrowed books – I just started A Series of Unfortunate Events and I’m really enjoying it, so I thought I would get the next few. The other book was a recommendation by someone whom I follow on Goodreads. The books I’m reading now are The Idylls for Medieval Literature (I’m reading it all instead of just certain sections because I want to) and The Help (I bought this book a long time and forgot about it, but one of the groups in my Literary Theory class did their presentation on this book and reminded me!) – however, knowing me, I’m reading lots of books. I’ve got Mockingjay for pleasure and a book of letters by Dorothy Day for a project both in e-version… as well as Alice in Wonderland for a project, a book of poetry by Ann Scowcroft, and a book of Catholic devotions. Last, the signed book is my only signed book. It’s a book called I Thirst which was written by a close friend – I highly recommend it, of course. She is actually going to be releasing the sequel very soon!