Books of Colour: Yellow

©Conny Kaufmann / Literati Girl

©Conny Kaufmann / Literati Girl

In this picture:

  • Die Nebel von Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Heldensommer by Andi Rogenhagen
  • Street Without A Name by Kapka Kassabova
  • Tape by Steven Camden
  • Das Böse unter der Sonne by Agatha Christie
  • Summer Falls (Doctor Who Collection)
  • Roadfever by Tim Cahill
  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  • Hudson River by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Down Under by Bill Bryson
  • Once (The Musical) by Walsh, Hansard & Irglova
  • Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Faust I by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Das Fräulein von Scuderi by E.T.A. Hoffmann
  • Wilhelm Tell by Friedrich Schiller
  • Woyzeck by Georg Büchner
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Hard Red Spring by Kelly Kerney #60Books

Kelly Kerney’s Hard Red Spring brings one hundred years of Guatemalan history to life.

Told through the eyes of four American women who witness four different periods of the twentieth century in Guatemala, this novel beautifully combines historical facts with memorable fiction.

Hard Red Spring also takes a look at the cultural divide, not only between the Guatemalans and the four American women, but also the different cultural groups in Guatemala, notably the Mayans.

The 1902 disappearance of a young girl is the red thread linking the four women, but the real protagonist of this novel is the country it is set in. Multi-dimensional and dynamic, the story remains as intriguing as it is heart-breaking to the very last page.

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Title: Hard Red Spring
Author: Kelly Kerney
Publisher: Viking
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Pages: 448
ISBN: 978-0525429012

Hard Red Spring by Kelly Kerney was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook format by
Penguin Random House’s FirstToRead

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On March 26

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat.

As a book blog, I will do my best to keep my topics bookish.

Have you read any good books recently? Can you recommend any? I am currently reading The Assistants by Camille Perri as an ARC. It’s a corporate story about embezzlement and education getting you no further than a PA’s job.

I am also currently still reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, as well as The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. I usually have at least one eBook and one paperback at the same time.

What I really got into this year is audiobooks. It’s really nice to listen to them in the car,sort of like having someone in the car with you who is talking to you. So far, I’m on my 9th audiobook. Currently, I am listening to a full-cast production of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (can you see a trend there?). I love this one! Narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi, with a cast including Robert Madge as Bod, Miriam Margolyes as Mrs. Owens and Mrs. Lupescu, Andrew Scott as Jack the Man, as well as Lenny Henry, Reece Shearsmith, Emilia Fox and Neil Gaiman himself.

What’s your opinion on audiobooks? Do you listen to them? Do you prefer a “proper” reading or a full-cast production with voices and sound effects?

Anyway, I’m on a bit of a deadline with one review, so I need to get back to it. But thank you for having coffee with me today! Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers as well!

 

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal #60Books

Read as part of my 60 Books Challenge: One-word title

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal is a coming of age story with a twist.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s not so much a coming of age tale, but more a loss of innocence.

It follows Mormon life from the 1950’s Short Creek, Arizona to 1970’s Gooding, Idaho, and takes not only the characters, but also the readers, on a vivid roadtrip across the United States.

Central to the story is 15-year-old Loretta, whose life changes after she is caught sneaking out of her house one night. As punishment for wanting a normal life, her parents marry her off as a sister-wife to a Mormon Elder.

What follows is the urge to escape, the yearning for freedom from the confines of the family faith, not only for Lori who lives in a polygamist community, but also Jason who is also a Mormon but monogamist. He idolises Evel Knievel, and longs for a life of adventure. Together, they embark on a trip in search of gold and freedom.

The story is a page-turner from cover to cover, and not only provides an insight into Mormon religion and communities, but also into what teenage life is like governed by those restraints. Throw in the 70’s and a joyride across the States, and you’re left with a novel that shows the deeply human desire to break free.

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Title: Daredevils
Author: Shawn Vestal
Publisher: Penguin Press
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1101979891

 

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook format by
Penguin Random House’s FirstToRead

 

A to Z Challenge: Theme Reveal

Literati Girl is participating in this year’s A to Z Challenge, a blog hop that will see more than 1.000 bloggers worldwide blog their way through the alphabet throughout the month of April.

So on April 1, the post will have to do with the letter A and then every day (except Sundays) will be a different letter, finishing on Z on April 30.

As Literati Girl is a bookish blog, my theme will be:

BETWEEN THE PAGES

Continue reading

60 Books Challenge

 60 Books Challenge 2016

This reading challenge was put together by Study.Read.Write.

  1. A book written by someone under the age of 25 
  2. A book written by someone over 65 
  3. A book published before 1850 Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  4. A book published this year Hard Red Spring by Kelly Kerney
  5. An anthology 
  6. A book published by an indie press
  7. A book about or by someone who identifies as LGBTQ 
  8. A book that takes place in Asia 
  9. A book written by an Asian author 
  10. A book by an African author 
  11. A book that takes place in Africa 
  12. A book by or about Native Americans 
  13. A book by or about Aborigines 
  14. A Young Adult novel Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sàenz
  15. A sci-fi novel Doctor Who: The Angel’s Kiss by Melody Malone
  16. A National Book Award winning book 
  17. A Man Booker Prize winning book 
  18. A Pulitzer Prize winning book 
  19. A retelling of a classic story Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
  20. An audio-book Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Motion
  21. A book adapted for radio The Gaveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (adapted by BBC)
  22. A book that was recommended to you My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  23. A book originally published in a different language 
  24. A book in a foreign language 
  25. A book you consider a “guilty pleasure” 
  26. A book published the year you were born 
  27. A book with more than 500 pages 
  28. A classic romance 
  29. A book that became a movie Octopussy & The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming
  30. A book with a number in the title 
  31. A funny book Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  32. A mystery or thriller And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  33. An erotic novel Casanova: The Venetian Years by Giacomo Casanova
  34. A book with a one-word title Daredevils by Shawn Vestal
  35. A nonfiction book We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  36. A popular author’s first book 
  37. A book from a favourite author you haven’t read yet 
  38. A book based on a true story Voss by Patrick White
  39. A book from the bottom of your to-read-pile The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
  40. A book based on its cover alone The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
  41. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t 
  42. A book with antonyms in the title 
  43. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit 
  44. A trilogy 
  45. A book from your childhood 
  46. A book with a colour in the title 
  47. A book that makes you cry 
  48. A book with magic Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  49. A book by an author you’ve never read before The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  50. A book you own but haven’t read How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  51. A book that takes place in your hometown, state or country 
  52. A play Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
  53. A banned book Into the River by Ted Dawe
  54. A book based on or turned into a TV show Doctor Who: Sleepers in the Dust by Darren Jones
  55. A NaNoWriMo winning novel 
  56. A book your dad loves 
  57. A book your mum loves 
  58. A book your grandparents love/own Xingu by Edith Wharton
  59. A book by an author with your initials  
  60. A book by an author with the same first name  

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Ottessa Moshfegh’s debut novel Eileen sounded like a great and intriguing read. The 1960’s, a girl’s escape from a boring life in a small New England town, a mysterious crime – there are lots of interesting plot points going for this book, which will be released in August 2015.

Unfortunately, this does not necessarily translate to the writing. Don’t get me wrong, Eileen Dunlop is an interesting yet thoroughly unlikable character, and her insights into her life range from bland and depressive to curious and strange. But the story drags on. There is no action, and a lot of repetitions. You constantly feel like surely, next page, something is going to happen. Not so much out of suspense, but rather because you see the pages of the book running out. The interesting plot only starts at the very end, where the reader finally finds out what hideous crime Eileen was involved in.

Eileen’s story is told in the first person, by an Eileen who is fifty years older and looking back on her life. First person narrative told by a despicable character in flashback is a bold choice for any novel, let alone a debut novel. Sometimes it works, but sadly, in this case, it does not.

With its depressing story and dragging plot, I had to force myself to finish reading, and found myself ready to simply abandon the book several times. The twist is neither “Hitchcockian,” nor is the writing anything “like Shirley Jackson or early Vladimir Nabokov,” as the description claimed.

If you want a slow, dull and very sad character study, look no further. If you want a plot twist that would make Hitchcock proud – look elsewere.

My Rating: 

Title: Eileen
Author: Ottessa Moshfegh
Publisher: Penguin Press
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-1594206627

 

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook form by
Penguin Random House’s FirstToRead

NOTE: I originally read and reviewed this book in July 2015.