Top Ten Tuesday . Audio Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish. But now lives over at That Artsy Reader Girl and you can check out her post here. It is a weekly bookish question that bloggers answer on their own blogs. Feel free to join in the fun as well.

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Today’s post is courtesy of my organised self who existed two months ago. She no longer exists so I was going to skip this week until I discovered it this morning.

IMG_20171201_184444_882.jpg1. The Book Thief

Look the narrator had quite a monotonous voice, but the book is incredible and I fell back in love with it and cried a whole lot so I guess that’s a win for audiobooks.

 

 

 

 

2. Go Set a Watchman

It was narrated by Reese Witherspoon so I survived the American accent (which let’s be honest is how Scout would have sounded). I loved this because it reminded me of how powerful the story really was.

3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This book is in my top ten, and as an audio book, I just felt like all of the characters were speaking to me and we became even closer friends.

4. The Tale of Despereaux INSTA PHOTO

I hadn’t read the physical book in years but came across the audiobook at the library so I read it. It was nice to catch up with an old world. I once knew incredibly well.

5. The ABC Murders INSTA PHOTO

Murder mysteries are even more thrilling when there is dramatic music playing in the background.

6. The Adventures of the Christmas Pudding

This was very short (45 minutes from memory) and I had forgotten parts of it, so it was like a brand new mystery.

IMG_20180205_223229_675.jpg7. The Hound of the Baskervilles

This was abridged. Please don’t do that to books. I don’t care how long they are. And especially don’t cut out half of Sherlock’s discoveries and leave his deductions intact.

8. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volume 2 INSTA PHOTO

It was dramatised so I was happy.

 

 

9. The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes INSTA PHOTO

Just saying Stephen Fry is the best narrator ever and would love to listen to the entirety of this series if I had the money to buy it all.

 

10. All the Light We Cannot See INSTA PHOTO

The narrator was not the best (although I could listen to the whole thing) but the book is the best and I enjoyed taking the time to stop and listen.

 

 

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Friday Feature . 6

Today’s featured book is Eight Lives by Susan Hurley and I would like to thank both NetGalley and Affirm Press (the publisher) for providing me with this free e-book in exchange for an honest review. By the second half of the book I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and couldn’t put it down.

So what is this book about?

David Tran is the star of Australian medical research and for good reason. He has just developed a miracle drug that will make a fortune for his investors. But right before human trials of the drug commence David dies in suspicious circumstances. The book follows five of his friends trying to figure out how and why he died.

What I liked . . .

  • I liked having a glimpse into the world of pharmaceutical development and how much work goes into the medicine we take for granted.
  • That it had an unexpected ending reached by about three different twists and turns.

 

What I didn’t like . . .

  • It wasn’t until Part 2 that I became engaged in the book (but after that I couldn’t put it down).
  • I think it had too many different perspectives for me to follow easily. (And that was one reason why it took me so long to get into the book.)

 

Conclusions

My Rating 💭/2 purpose  💭originality  💭/2 engagement

Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️.25/5

This book was an interesting read that immersed me into the stresses of life in the medical world and also of those who invest in it. It is a medical ‘whydunnit’. So if murder mysteries or medical dramas are your thing, track down a copy either by pre-ordering today or tracking down a copy after its release on the 26th of March.

Top Ten Tuesday . Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish. But now lives over at That Artsy Reader Girl and you can check out her post here. It is a weekly bookish question that bloggers answer on their own blogs. Feel free to join in the fun as well.

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So I’m in the southern hemisphere which means I have a few problems with this week’s prompt:

a) it’s autumn not spring

b) autumn started on the 1st of March so I’m already way into this season’s TBR

So I’ll have a mix of books I was looking forward to and books I am still looking forward to.

 

MARCH

1. Untitled Beta-Read

The book I was most excited for this month was a Beta Read written by a friend. I loved it and am super excited for its release date. Couldn’t put it down.

How Not to be Popular Final

 

2. How Not to Be Popular by Cecily Anne Paterson

This was an e-arc and I love anything Cecily Paterson writes. Check out my review here.

 

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3. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

This is for #TheUnreadShelfProject and the March challenge: ‘longest on shelf’. Hoping to finally get to it this year since I didn’t have the energy to read it last year.

 

 

APRIL

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Taken from paperfury.com

4. The Boy Who Steals Houses by C. G. Drews

This was going to be for #TheUnreadShelfProject’s April challenge: ‘newest’. I mean it technically isn’t on my unread shelf yet, but it will be when April comes around since I pre-ordered it last week. (Kind of sad that it gets released in Australia five days after the U.K. edition. But anyway . . .) However, I discovered today that my e-arc request was accepted so it might become a March read.

 

 

 

5. Gallipoli by John Masefield 20190319_173814.jpg

This book was referred to in Testament of Youth and since it’s been on my Unread Shelf
for about four years I’ll hopefully read it this April.

6. The Gallipoli Story by Patrick Carlyon

This one has been on my shelf for about three years, but reading this and Gallipoli back to back will be interesting as I’ll hopefully see the way in which perceptions of Gallipoli have changed over time.

 

May

FAWKES-Rollover-Plain-e1513549653551

Taken from author’s website

7. Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

I managed to get an e-arc of Romanov but decided I needed to read Fawkes first. Currently waiting on a library to order it in since I have a book budget of $0.

ROMANOV-COVER-FINAL

Taken from author’s website

 

 

 

8. Romanov by Nadine Brandes

An e-arc so I’ll read it just before its release. Keen for some Russian history. And isn’t this cover gorgeous? If I had a bigger book budget, I would totally buy it just for the #aesthetic.

 

 

20190319_174133.jpg9. A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor

This is for May’s #TheUnreadShelfProject challenge ‘adaptation’. I was given this as a gift along with tickets to the exhibition, but at the time filed it under ‘too hard to read’. Perhaps not your classic adaptation, but it’s the closest that I have.

 

 

BONUS

10. The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

I want to squeeze this in sometime in the next two-and-a-half months. It is short, so it might turn out to be a weekend read.

Friday Feature . 5

Today’s featured book is The Mozart Girl by Barbara Nickel and I would like to thank both NetGalley and Second Story Press (the publisher) for providing me with this free e-book in exchange for an honest review. The book took me only a couple of hours and made me fall in love with music.

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So what is this book about?

Maria Anna Mozart was the sister of the musical prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Herself an accomplished musician, she spent years of her childhood traveling alongside her brother performing among the elites of European society. It’s a short book about a girl who dreams of fame in a society where women have little opportunity to achieve it.

What I liked . . .

  • How music consumed Nannerl. I love seeing how a character’s love of something explodes on to the page, making me fall in love with it as well.
  • Seeing a whole lot of famous people in connection to each other. I never realised that Bach and Mozart were from different eras or that the Mozarts grew up prior to the French Revolution and performed inside Versailles in its glory days.

 

What I didn’t like . . .

  • Nannerl was written as a character much younger than twelve and I struggled to reconcile her age with the way she was acting (although perhaps I was a very mature twelve year old).
  • It didn’t quite seem to quite fit into the historical narrative I know. Whilst I acknowledge that all authors take creative license, the views of Nannerl seemed quite ahead of her time, and I suspect that she would not have questioned and criticised her society and the opportunities available to women as much as she did. But having said that, I have a very limited understanding of 18th century attitudes so I could be completely wrong and am open to correction.

 

Conclusions

My Rating 💭/2 engagement  💭/2 enjoyment

Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This book was set at a much younger audience and 10-12 year old me would have loved it. But if you want a little insight into life long ago, especially mid 18th Century Europe, then this might be the book for you. The book comes out on the 17th of March and if anything I’ve said interests you, why don’t you give it a go?

Top Ten Tuesday . Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish. But now lives over at That Artsy Reader Girl and you can check out her post here.

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I love all of the books below, and think that they all work as standalone books. I don’t have any questions that weren’t answered, I just wish their authors would write more so I could see into their world once more.

1. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I haven’t read this in about eight years, but I always wanted to know ‘what happened next’ with Sara Crewe.

IMG_20180307_214749_295.jpg2. Rilla of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery

I just want to see Ken and Rilla get married and have babies and fall more and more in love with each other. Is that too much to ask? I mean probably since the author is dead, but that’s a minor detail.

3. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

I read this the other week, and loved the writing and the way she analysed the war and the way it shaped her generation. Would be keen to see what she thought of the Second World War since she seemed kind of cynical about the League of Nations.

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4. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Look it’s the ending. I want it changed, or failing that to see what she does next. Fun Fact: Only book I’ve discovered where I liked the movie better.

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5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is amongst my favourite books of all time, but I would love to see Liesel grow up and the decisions that she makes, and see how she teaches her children about the war.

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6. The Guernsey literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary-Ann Shaffer

A book on group friendship is few and far between. Honestly this book was the first time in forever where I had made friends with all the characters by the end of my first read, so I just want to go and hang out with them heaps more.

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7. A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

Apparently a sequel is coming which is good, since I’ve been wanting one for ages, but I want it sooner rather than later. In the meantime I guess I’ll have to re-read it.

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8. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I’d love to re-read this, but I lent my copy to someone and have too many other books to read anyway. I liked the companion novel, but sometimes you just need the same characters in a new book.

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9. Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter

I will read anything Ally Carter writes, but would be curious to see what else Maddie and Logan get up to far away from Alaska.

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10. A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

Would a sequel add anything? Maybe not, but still Australian contemporary with cake? I am there and buying it.

Friday Feature . 4

Today’s featured book is How Not to be Popular by Cecily Anne Paterson and I would like to thank both NetGalley and Wombat Books (the publisher) for providing me with this free e-book in exchange for an honest review. I started it yesterday afternoon and finished it this afternoon since I couldn’t put it down.

How Not to be Popular Final

 

So what is this book about?

This book is about a girl called Maddie who desperately wants to stay a part of the cool crowd at school. At school camp, Maddie is forced to make a choice, just how far will she go to be popular? The book follows her beyond camp, across the school year seeing the choices she makes and the consequences (both good and bad) that they lead to.

What I liked . . .

  • The small town nature of the book. (I’m from a big small town and I’d love to move to a smaller one, but until I get the chance to do that, I’ll just have to live my small town dreams through books.)
  • How Australian it was. (Although most of the books I’ve read this year have been by Australian authors, they haven’t had things that remind me of my childhood and are set in places that I can easily imagine in my mind.)
  • That there were bad things that happened and responsibility was taken. (I think in a lot of Middle Grade fiction the protagonists do bad things and don’t make amends for them, but here we see Maddie facing up to them and dealing with the consequences.)

 

What I didn’t like . . .

  • Being popular has never interested me so I didn’t really connect with the main complication of the book but I know that it is a struggle for many girls in the target audience so I’m grateful that I never experienced that struggle.

 

Conclusions

My Rating 💭/2purpose  💭/2originality  💭engagement  💭/2writing skill  💭enjoyment

Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This book was a most wonderful and refreshing read.  It’s a book about friendship and growing up well, even when life is hard or you’ve made poor choices. This book comes out next Friday, so go pre-order your copy today. If you’re curious about Australian life, go buy it. If you are Australian, buy a copy to take a trip down memory lane, or find a new friend your own age. Buy a copy for a tween girl in your life or for yourself. It’s currently among my favourite books of the year.

Friday Feature . 3

Today’s featured book is The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers by Kerri Turner and I would like to thank both NetGalley and Harlequin Australia (the publisher) for providing me with this free e-book in exchange for an honest review. I finished it earlier this week and it came out just over a week ago.

thelastdaysoftheromanovdancers

 

So what is this book about?

This book is told from two different perspectives, that of Valentina Yershova and Luka Zhirkov. Both were born peasants but through talent have come to be part of the Imperial Russian Ballet company who receive the support of the Romanovs. These two ballet dancers walk the line between a world full of all that glitters and a world full of whispers of discontent and dissatisfaction. History tells us who the winners will be, but these two dancers must decide on which side of history they will fall.

What I liked . . .

  • Historical fiction set in the Russian revolution. (The Russian Revolution is in my top five favourite periods)
  • Learning about the ballet. (I had no idea it was so popular in Russia nor had I quite grasped the hard work that goes into success.)
  • The fact that the storyline kept me engaged the entire way through.

What I didn’t like . . .

  • There was way more romance than I thought there would be. (But please bear in mind I say this with romance being my second least favourite genre and I’ve got into the habit of trying to avoid it.)
  • I got an insight into early 20th century Russian contraceptive methods.

 

Conclusions

My Rating 💭/2purpose  💭/2originality  💭engagement

Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

This book was a fascinating read. I loved learning about Russian history and the difficulties in trying to succeed in the cutthroat world of the ballet. I thought the author did a great job at positioning me in both the opulence and extravagance as well as the extreme poverty that existed in Russia. I found the book engaging and if you want to read a book about romance and revolutions, then this might be a book for you.