My Conflicting Thoughts on Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Sarai has lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old.

She believed she knew every horror, and was beyond surprise.

She was wrong.

First published: October 2018

This book is a sequel – read my review of the first book here.

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Book vs. Film: 3 adaptations I watched recently

BOOK VS FILM

I love a good film adaptation, but like a lot of readers, I tend to want to read the book first. That usually makes me even more excited to watch the film, although I am also more likely to be a bit more critical (but that’s fine; I like being critical). When it’s the other way around, however, meaning when I see the film first, I’m usually not very inclined to pick up the book afterward. That happened to me with Everything, Everything, for example.

Over the past couple of months, I read a couple of books mainly because I was excited to see the films: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Marie Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows (wow, that’s a mouthful), Room by Emma Donoghue and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I thought it’d be fun to write a post comparing these books and films because I had very different reactions to all of them. It ranged from loving the book way more than the film, preferring the film over the book and thinking both were great in their own right.

So, let’s get to it!

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Why How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis Is the Perfect Book for Female Bookworms

While debating literature’s greatest heroines with her best friend, thirtysomething playwright Samantha Ellis has a revelation—her whole life, she’s been trying to be Cathy Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights when she should have been trying to be Jane Eyre.

With this discovery, she embarks on a retrospective look at the literary ladies—the characters and the writers—whom she has loved since childhood. From early obsessions with the March sisters to her later idolization of Sylvia Plath, Ellis evaluates how her heroines stack up today. And, just as she excavates the stories of her favorite characters, Ellis also shares a frank, often humorous account of her own life growing up in a tight-knit Iraqi Jewish community in London. Here a life-long reader explores how heroines shape all our lives.

HTBAH

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What I Learned about the War from a Children’s Book: The Secret of the Blue Glass

In a dusty library, in the quietest corner of a house in a Tokyo suburb, live the Little People: Fern and Balbo, Robin and Iris. Just a few inches high, sleeping cigarette boxes and crafting shoes from old book jackets, they need only one thing from their Humans–a nightly glass of milk, served in a sparkling blue glass goblet, by a trusted young member of the Human family.

But when the Second World War come to Japan, both Humans and their beloved Little People face a world they could never before have imagined. It will take great love, bravery, and a rather loyal pigeon, to bring their unique families back together once more…

First published: 1959 (in Japanese); this translation/edition is from 2018 by Pushkin Press

**I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

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Why Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor Is an Extraordinary Novel

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

First published: 2017

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Festive Fortnight [9]: A Festive Review of Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

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“I need you to be my person. I need to see you. And hear you. I need you to stay alive. And I need you to stop kissing other people just because they’re standing next to you when the ball drops.”

Two festive short stories

Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year’s Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time…

Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

First published: 2017

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My First Foray Into Comic Books: The Sandman and Saga

I think it’s fair to say that I read a lot of books. I mean, I’ve got a book blog, for crying out loud, so this is a major case of “no shit, Sherlock”. Yet, despite being an avid reader, I never read comic books. The only thing I ever read (and I only just remembered this) is W.I.T.C.H., which I loved – and never finished, come to think of it.

Anyway. The point of this post is that recently I did read two comic books, because my boyfriend owns a few and I got curious. In August, I read Neil Gaiman’s Preludes & Nocturnes, which is a collection of the first 8 installments (or whatever they’re called – let’s remember I’m a rookie) of The Sandman. And then just this week I finished reading Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Turns out, I quite like comic books. I wasn’t blown away by either, but I did really enjoy reading them. Plus, they’re nice quick reads for my Goodreads challenge; let’s not pretend that wasn’t on my mind as well.

The thing I have found to be a little annoying with comic books is that there’s so many volumes, though… Before you know it, you’ve finished the first one, and then what? Just buy all the rest of them? It’s all so cliffhanger-y, but buying the rest of the series in one go seems a little excessive…

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Mini-Reviews [3]

It’s been a while since I did a Mini-Reviews post! I don’t review every book I read; usually because I don’t feel like I have a whole post worth of stuff to say about a certain book, or because other books just take priority. But sometimes I take a look at my Goodreads “Read”-shelf and I think “it’s a pity I didn’t say anything about that one on the blog”. Those books are perfect for this type of post! At first I thought I could call this one “the 4-stars edition”, but then NW came and ruined things. Oh, well. Let’s go!

nutshellNutshell by Ian McEwan ★★★★

Nutshell is the first McEwan I’ve ever read, and I really liked it! I read it for a job (I had to write a reading guide on it for book clubs) and it was a great book to dive into for that type of thing. The story is a Hamlet retelling and it’s told through the eyes of an unborn baby, so that’s two kinds of cool. The unborn baby thing means all we’re getting as a reader is what the baby hears from the womb, which means we only get his mother’s conversations with other people. He does imagine what’s happening outside of that, but he (and we) can never know for sure. It’s a really short novel, but I felt like it was the exact right length. The writing is beautiful, although somewhat pretentious – but to me, that fitted perfectly with the strangely intellectual character of the baby.

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6 Reasons Why Illuminae Surprised Me

The year is 2575 and two mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice covered speck.

Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Ezra and Kady have to make their escape on the evacuating fleet. But their troubles are just beginning. A deadly plague has broken out on one of the spaceships and it is mutating with terrifying results. Their ship’s protection is seriously flawed. No one will say what is going on.

As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her. Ezra. And the only problem with that is they split up before all this trouble started and she isn’t supposed to be talking to him.

First published: 2015

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Turtles All the Way Down and the Importance of #ownvoices

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

First published: 2017

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