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text 2015-12-31 18:03
Books are our Time Machines

"We all have our time machines, don't we. Those that take us back are memories...And those that carry us forward, are dreams." H.G. Wells



Books contain our memories, both imagined and real, subjective and collective, personal and general. They can not only show us our past but let us experience it through the intimate process of reading. It is not just history books, historical fiction or classic books that have this impact, but also one's own history of reading, the books you have lived with, grown up with. Whenever I open my little cupboard full of childhood books, it's like opening up a little time capsule. Between the pages I suddenly remember things I thought long forgotten, feelings I felt at the time I read them, my dreams and hopes. Books can take us back to that and they can also take us forward. They can literally take us into the future through their exploration of science and technology or sci-fi, but they also make us dream about our lives, what we'd like them to become, and of our collective futures.


Books are our time machines.

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text 2015-12-31 16:32
My Winter Books
Sabriel - Garth Nix
The Diviners - Libba Bray
The Lake House: A Novel - Kate Morton
Wild Fell - Michael Rowe

Winter is the best time to read about ghosts, creepy haunted houses and murder mysteries!

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review 2014-02-28 04:30
An Ordinary Cinderella
Cinderella: Faerie Tale Collection - Jenni James
"Ella picked up the last basket of clothing, her arms strained from attempting to carry the heavy, wet mass the twelve or so feet to the drying line."


I picked this book because I wanted to read a Cinderella story. This turned out to be a very non-magical fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella. All the aspects that made the original story wonderful are missing here. There is no fairy godmother, no magical transformation, no running away at midnight and leaving behind a glass slipper for the prince to find, and no sense of awe or wonder at the discovery of the identity of the mysterious and beautiful maiden at the ball since everybody already knows who she is. There are several other problems with the plot as well. 

Firstly, the only reason Ella was living as a servant in her own house was because she did not know her father had left everything to her in his will. This is revealed to her later by a servant. Why would the servant keep the secret for so long and let her suffer like that all these years? Did he deliberately wait for her to find a possible suitor first? 

Secondly, the abusive stepmother just allows her to go to the ball without trying to create any obstacles.  In fact, once she sees the Queen's invitation to Ella she just fizzles out of the story.

Also the fact that a ball was held so soon - just two months - after the King's death seems rather inappropriate, especially as it's followed by a wedding right after. Shouldn't the prince have waited at least a few months or even a year mourning for his beloved father?

(spoiler show)

In addition, there are also several typos and errors in the book that should have been edited out such as "He ran his fingers through his hair and rested his knees upon his elbows," or "Her faint worries were for not," or Ella asking "Anthony, were in the world are we?"


What I did like - the only thing I actually like - in this particular retelling is the character of Prince Anthony/John. So often in fairy tales we have just the princesses' POV, but one thing that's different in Jenni James' stories is that the princes are given just as much attention and a personality as the princesses. I have also read James' The Frog Prince and found it to be a much better retelling, even better than the original which I never really liked, and this is due to the inclusion of a very 'charming' prince in her version. And for that I'm going to try another of her books in her Faerie Tale Collection.

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review 2014-02-27 00:00
The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1)
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment - James Patterson I thoroughly enjoyed this series as did my children, it was fast paced, exciting, action packed and very well written. The characters are all so different but gel together wonderfully and you can't help but get drawn into their world. Definately a series I would and have recommended to friends.
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text 2013-11-08 17:51
Day 8: Most Overrated Book
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
The Angel Experiment - James Patterson
I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
Bloodlines - Richelle Mead

Now we're getting to the part of the challenge that will not score me any favor points. I am going to be honest about these books. I had a hard time telling the difference between books I hate and books that were really blown out of proportion.


The Night Circus was one of those I wanted so badly. And then I read it and was pretty let down. The imagery was nice and whimsical, but the ending was so weird. Not to mention a letdown. It made me scratch my head and wonder WTF. I read the whole book for THIS?! This is why I never read popular fiction.


The Angel Experiment is the first Max Ride book. I got it for free, I think. Or at Goodwill or something. It was enjoyable enough, but I sure don't see what all the fuss is about. It was just another teen action, James Patterson is a fucking factory, Mary Sue novel. I've read 5 of these, and the kids are getting more and more Mary Sue. Now they can breathe under water and fly and read minds. I know it's a series for kids but geez.


I Am  Number Four was basically Superman. That's it. Alien with super powers wants to save people. Runs from other aliens that threaten the world. Superman. Enough said.


Bloodlines is the first in the series after Vampire Academy. And let me tell you, Sydney is one dumbass woman. The whole book, she seriously couldn't figure out the obvious plot going on around her. I just wanted to slap her and throw her in front of a bus. She was so racist and mean I couldn't figure out how they all loved her. But Adrian is sweet, so I tolerated it.

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