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text 2017-12-08 14:01
#19 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Wanda's Book Reviews

 

It's Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Wanda, a book lover who cherishes fantasy books and penguins! What? Read on to find out more!

 

Follow Wanda's blog on BookLikes: http://wandapedersen39.booklikes.com/

 

 

When did you discover that you’re a bookworm?

 

I guess I knew before I started school.  Our small town didn’t have kindergarten, so the June before we were to start Grade One, we had to go do some tests to see if we were ready to start school. I came home from those tests outraged because they hadn’t taught me to read!

 

How did your blogging adventure start?

 

I’m all about projects. When I turned 50, I started reading the NPR List of Science Fiction and Fantasy Finalists (https://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists). I decided to start a blog to keep myself on track. I discovered that I enjoyed the process and I have just kept on blogging about all of my reading.

 

 

You’ve completed your 2017 reading challenge!  Yay, congrats!  Reveal your secret—how did you read 250 books in one year?  It’s an amazing book total!

 

I don’t have as many demands on my time as other people. First off, I don’t have a spouse or children to take care of. But I also don’t own a TV and I don’t get the internet at home. I spend my workdays at a computer and don’t want to spend my evenings there too. I read, at least a little bit, every day.  If my friends cancel plans, I always have a book waiting for me at home. 

 

Wanda's reading chart month by month. Read more->

 

Wanda's reading challenges year by year. Read more->

 

 

You seem to be a fan of reading lists.  You’re reading the NPR sci-fi & fantasy list—can you tell us more about your favourite books in the genre?

 

I have always been a fan of fantasy and over the last couple of years I have discovered urban fantasy. I adore any books that have Fae/Fairy characters! I love the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, as well as their Kate Daniels and Innkeeper Chronicles series. I’m a big fan of Seanan McGuire, especially her October Daye and InCryptid series.  I’d have to include Patricia Briggs and her Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega books. Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. The Invisible Library series by Genevieve CogmanBen Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. Suzanne McLeod’s Spellcrackers.com series.  I’m all about the magic, vampires, werewolves, fae, all that fun stuff.

 

Your bookshelf is very organized with the thematic shelves and yearly challenges.  Does the shelf reflect your personality?

 

More that I’d actually like to admit! I don’t really believe in astrology, but I’m a Virgo and they are reputedly very organized, detail oriented, and practical. In Oriental astrology, I’m an Ox.  Ox people are workers—we work for fun.  Put those two together and I’m willing to work at being organized and efficient, even at my hobby of reading.  Also, I have so many books that I’ve read or want to read that I have to maintain good shelves, or I couldn’t find them.

 

Wanda's reviewed books bookshelf

 

What are your three favourite book covers?

 

Aren’t these three pretty?  I haven’t read them yet, but I will just because the covers are so gorgeous!

 

Wild Beauty - Anna-Marie McLemoreSweetpea - C.J. SkuseThe Gallery of Lost Species - Nina Berkhout

 

 

Which books are you most excited to recommend to your followers this winter?

 

In the year ahead, I’m looking forward exploring the work of Holly Black.  She has a new book coming out called The Cruel Prince. Another book I’m anticipating is An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. I’m also really excited to read Genevieve Cogman’s latest installment in the Invisible Library series, The Lost Plot

 

The Cruel Prince - Holly BlackAn Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret RogersonThe Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman

 

There are also two new offerings in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn and Macbeth by Jo Nesbø. There are so many exciting new books being published that it’s hard to choose. 

 

Dunbar (Hogarth Shakespeare) - Edward St. AubynMacbeth - Jo Nesbø

 

What’s your reading spot?  We’d love to see the photos.  

 

I usually read in my living room, in a recliner where I can put my feet up.  I have my trusty tray beside me for the cup of coffee or glass of wine necessary and I have my wonderful new blanket (but I have to be careful of it—it tends to put me right to sleep and I don’t get much reading done that way).

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

So far, I just read paper books. But I can see where an e-book reader would be handy.  One of these days I will have to learn how to deal with this technology!

 

Three titles for a boring social party?

 

If it’s boring, don’t linger there! Just head for home & your book nook!

 

A book that changed your life?

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg LarssonWould you believe that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson changed my life? I used to read a lot of books with my mom. We would both read them & discuss them, our own little book club. When she & my dad were killed in a car crash, I pretty much quit reading because I couldn’t talk books with her anymore.  It was ten years later when a coworker lent me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which I whipped through in 2 days) that I realized how much I missed reading. I lost a lot of reading time that I’m still making up for, but I am enjoying it even more now. Now I have BookLikes friends to discuss things with. 

 

Favourite quote?

 

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” - Mark Twain

 

 

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?

 

Jane Jameson, the children’s librarian turned vampire, from Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson series.  She has a snarky sense of humour, she owns a great bookstore, plus she has a great friend, another vampire called Dick Cheney, whose antics amuse me.  I’d love to attend the book club meetings at her store.

 

Shelfie time!  Please share your home library photos. 

 

I didn’t get a picture taken before I decorated for Christmas.  So you can also see my growing Christmas penguin colony!

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

#18 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Leigha's Little Library ->

#17 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Lost Girls Reviews -> 

#16 Follow Friday with book bloggers: OBSESSION WITH WORDS ->

#15 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Bookish thoughts!!! ->

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

 

See you next Friday! 

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review 2017-11-07 20:37
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 1 - Día de Muertos
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James
Twilight - Stephenie Meyer,Stephenie Meyer

Tasks for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: create a short poem, or an epitaph for your most hated book ever.

 

I decided these two ought to be buried in the same grave, so here we go:

 

 

Also:

 

And:

 

 

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text 2017-11-04 13:41
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Task One-Día de Muertos
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James

Short poem for my most hated book ever was not that hard to determine. I'm still mad at 50 Shades for it's pro stalking and abusive message. One of these days I will read book 2 and I'm sure will end up rage posting again.

 

Here lies a book

That gave BDSM romance a bad look

With a terrible man 

And not so great woman

That just made 'real love' the worst

This book is definitely first

 

 

Tasks for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: create a short poem, or an epitaph for your most hated book ever.

 

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review 2017-08-20 15:27
Book Review of Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.

 

Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

 

As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Christian keeps hidden away from public view …

 

Review 3*

 

This is the first book in the series by E.L. James.

 

Anastasia Steel is a character that found myself neither loving or hating, though I found myself rolling my eyes at her inner monologue. She is a stumbling, bumbling teen in a twenty-something young body. She is so insecure and full of angst that I wanted to strangle her. Okay, having said that, her character does grow and mature as the story progresses, which I like when reading stories. When she interviews Christian Grey on her ill roommate's behalf, she finds herself enthralled with him. When he warns her away from him, she doesn't listen to him and finds herself thrust into a world that she was woefully ill prepared for.

 

Let me first say that I bought this book in 2012, but due to my large reading list, and then the subsequent social media storm about this book, I decided to hold off reading it until recently. I still haven't watched the movie.

 

I started to read and, as many others have mentioned in their reviews, I found myself shaking my head at Ana's inner goddess monologues. However, I also knew that this was a piece of fan fiction after the author had read Twilight, so I could see some of the influence in the writing. Ana knowingly enters into a relationship with Christian. She didn't sign any contracts, apart from the secrecy one which, in my eyes meant that she went into this relationship of her own free will. Christian could have pushed her to sign the contract. In fact, if he was a complete control freak he would have. Yes, he's a controlling a-hole, but to be fair, he warned Ana on several occasions to stay away.
That contract! Goodness me! If someone handed me that contract I would run for the hills! Some of them made sense (health and safety wise) but some of the rules had me scratching my head and a red warning light flashing.

 

As for the BDSM aspect of the story, I laughed at the scenes. They were more like mild kink and not hardcore BDSM. I have read several erotic romance novels with BDSM in them and those scenes were more realistic than in this book. I do not practice this lifestyle and cannot say for definite that the other books I have read are accurate either, but this felt more like titillation rather than any real BDSM. Several people have stated in their reviews that this book promotes an abusive relationship and to some degree I agree, that one scene with the belt comes to mind. However, I also think that Christian Grey has some serious issues from his childhood that were hinted at that need addressing with major therapy.

 

Having said all that, I actually enjoyed reading this book, even though it was like watching a train crash at times. I tried not to let anyone's opinion colour mine, so I hope those who read this review and then decide to read the book will also keep an open mind. There has been two camps saying you either love or hate this book. However, I find myself not able to definitively say which camp I fall into because I didn't love it nor did I hate it. I found it entertaining but it just didn't excite me either way. Will I continue to read the other books? Unknown at this time, but I am not ruling it out in the future. As for watching the movies, I am not sure about that either. Only time will tell.

 

This was E.L. James' debut novel and as such I found her writing style rather amateurish, this is not a bad thing as one has to start somewhere and improvement can always be made. The story pace was not particularly fast, but I still found myself turning the pages to find out what happened next. The story flow could have been tightened up with some scenes being shortened, but for the most part it flowed well.

 

Due to the nature of this book, I do not recommend it to readers under the age of 16. I do, however, recommend this book if you love contemporary romances. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-08-06 22:45
Readable, not a very interesting plot though.
Shades of Earl Grey - Laura Childs

This book still retains their likable and quaint characters, and still ends up a light enjoyable read. Although it would be preferable if read in order so you can get a feel for the characters, it could be read out of order (there’s a few references in the past books but nothing that will let the reader be lost and confused.)

 

My guess as to who the culprit was going to be was spot on. That being said though, what I really enjoyed about this book was the author got the reader to second guess their deductions. There were moments where I was second guessing myself because of the way the breadcrumbs were trailing. That was the best part of the book and the most enjoyable. I liked the little twists and turns being made to finally come to the ending and revealing of the cat burglar.

 

Although the characters and the mystery aspect of the book was enjoyable. The plot itself was a little lackluster and not very interesting to begin with. Delaine really struck a nerve with me as I didn’t enjoy her personality or her drama queen antics. I wanted the plot to be a little more interesting and more engaging to read. If it wasn’t for the breadcrumb trail you were being led on, the book would have been less enjoyable.

 

Overall, it wasn’t the greatest book of the series. The first two were much better. Let’s hope the next one will be better than this book. Still, it’s a light read to get through the day in between heavy novels. Worth a read through for cozy mystery fans.

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