Log in

No account? Create an account
The lesser spotted book post.... - Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it...... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
♣ ♥ ♠

[ * down the rabbit hole * | ** my twitter ** ]
[ * we're all mad here * | livejournal userinfo ]
[ * curiouser and curiouser * | journal archive ]

[Links:| ☆my twitter☆ ☆my tumblr☆ ☆my pop wishlist☆ ☆my letterboxd☆ ☆my goodreads☆ ]

The lesser spotted book post.... [Mar. 23rd, 2018|04:43 pm]
♥ sam ♥
[Tags|, , , , , , ]
[Current Location |waiting in the sky...]
[*feeling kinda* |thoughtfulthoughtful]
[*is humming* |starman ~ david bowie]

Okay I sucked at reading last year. In fact I sucked at life last year. This year I'm trying to suck less (it's an uphill battle to be honest)
so I'm buying books again, I'm reading books again and I'm gonna try and post hastily cobbled book reviews here again.

So here's the first...



Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left.
None of this was supposed to happen.
But, perhaps this doesn’t need to be the end…
Adrift in space with nothing to hold on to but each other, Carys and Max can’t help but look back at the well-ordered world they have left behind – at the rules they couldn’t reconcile themselves to, and a life to which they might now never return.
For in a world where love is banned, what happens when you find it?
2.5 out of 5
Okay I totally bought this book because of (a) the pretty cover and (b) the space aspect unfortunately both these things were outweighed by a pretty insipid and long drawn out love story. Not that I'm against a hokey love story mind you but I felt myself not really caring about either Carys or Max who seemed to both lack any sort of charm or chemistry. Also the futuristic utopian setting seemed a bit muddy and I never really got a real sense of the world that Carys and Max inhabitated or understood the reasoning behind some of the weird rules they had to abide to.
On the positive side I did like the parts set in outer space (although I'd have been a lot more invested if I was actually rooting for the main characters) and I did appreciate the weird ending(s) which at least left me with something to ponder. Oh, and I still love that cover.



Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history--performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.
So Tom moves back to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher--the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city's history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society's watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can't have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.
4 out of 5
I love how Matt Haig writes, there's something very beautiful and moving about his prose. I read The Humans by him a couple of years ago and absolutely adored it so I started this book with incredibly high expectations and thankfully there was plenty I really liked it about it.
How to Stop Time has a fantastic premise with a very likeable protagonist and for the most part the story was a real page turner. I think it was very slightly let down by the ending which seemed a bit too rushed and a tiny bit lazy and considering Tom has been alive for hundreds of years I would have liked to have known more about the big historical events he'd obviously lived through but other than that it was a genuinely engaging read.

(Oh, and I went into reading this book aware of the fact that apparantely Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Tom in the movie version and yet even knowing this I could never once picture him as Tom in my head.)



If El Greco had painted miniatures in his prime, no bigger than your hand, infinitely detailed, with his sulphurous colour and exquisite human anatomy, perhaps he might have used this man's body for his art. . .Yet the Illustrated Man has tried to burn the illustrations off. He's tried sandpaper, acid, and a knife. Because, as the sun sets, the pictures glow like charcoals, like scattered gems. They quiver and come to life. Tiny pink hands gesture, tiny mouths flicker as the figures enact their stories - voices rise, small and muted, predicting the future. Here are sixteen tales: sixteen illustrations. . .the seventeenth is your own future told on the skin of the Illustrated Man.
4 out of 5
I really don't have a good history when it comes to collections of short stories. Other than my (many) fairytale books most have been more full of duds than stories I actually liked so I was slightly dubious when my brother recommended this book to me, fortunately it turned out I had had no need to be.
Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man" is awash with a weird and wonderful selection of tales all with a space/sci-fi slant. There's actually something quite bleak about many of them and there a few that stay with you well after you've finished reading them (for example I've honestly never looked at rain as something so potentially terrifying before). My personal favourites were Zero Hour (which reminded me of one of those old 1950's alien invasion movies), Marionettes Inc, The Fox and the Forest (which if fleshed out would make a great movie), The Visitor and the Poe inspired Usher II.



Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
3.5 out of 5
Caraval is yet another book riding on the coat tails of one of my absolute heart-eyes favourites The Night Circus. In fact I purchased it on the back of reading lots of favourable reviews comparing it to my blessed Night Circus but alas it conjured up little of its magic, whimsy and beautiful scenery and storytelling or captivating cast of characters.
Saying that though if I'm honest Caraval is a difficult one for me to review because although its clearly not worthy to pop its black, white and red tent anywhere near the vicinity of The Night Circus its actually a pretty enjoyable read. Okay, it definitely needed a better main character because Scarlett was a bit of a sap most of the time (seriously her sister is missing and she keeps insisting on how determined she is to find her and yet she's constantly distrated by her not-quite-as-charming-as the author-thinks-he-is love interest Julian's arms or abs or lips....seriously, sort your priorities out already...) but despite its faults it was entertaining enough, had some nice imagery, an ending that left enough unanswered questions to merit a sequel and a story that zipped along easy enough.

(Oh and while buying Caraval the bookseller in Waterstones mentioned how if I loved The Night Circus I'd love this and also recommended "All the Birds in the Sky" to me which after reading some of the reviews on goodreads sounds like something that I'd absolutely *hate*.)



In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?
5 out of 5
There's honestly so much to admire about "In the Shadow of Blackbirds". I mean it touches on so many interesting and emotional themes - loss, the horror of war,
spiritulism and the afterlife and the constant dread of disease and death. Just one of these subjects would be enough to make me want to pick this book up but all of them together made for a totally fascinating and atmospheric read. I went through a stage a couple of years back where I read quite a few books touching on the Victorian practices of seances and spiritulism and although set later this book conjured up the same gloomy Gothic feel which I loved. It also benefited from a strong minded and resourceful main character, some eerie old photos thrown in for good measure and a storyline that grabbed my interest from the very first page. I definitely need to read more from the author.
(Big thanks to the lovely starpixie16 for sending me this flawless book.

**oh, and I'll be lumping February and March book reviews together seeing that I'm having a very lazy March.

In other news I've jinxed another show. *sobs*
RIP "The Librarians" you've joined my other most favourite shows (Galavant, Pushing Daisies, In the Flesh, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland to name a few.. ) that were cruelly taken from me far too soon.

I basically binge watched all four seasons and was waiting for news on the fifth only to find out that it had been canned.
I'm so gonna miss Flynn's jaunty fashion sense.

**wipes away a single tear**

So, f-list what have I missed in the 64 years I've been away from livejournal? What are you reading right now?
And what TV shows should I be checking out and possibly jinxing?


[User Picture]From: amyofaquitaine
2018-03-23 08:25 pm (UTC)
A book post by my fave LJ'er???


I know that "never judge a book by it's cover" is one of the most overused sayings in the history of ever, but I can't help it. I always do. So I feel for you, RE: Hold Back the Stars. That cover is gorgeous. Pity the inside didn't live up to it. I've been burnt by covers so many times that you'd think I'd learn. But alas...

Speaking of lovely covers, I like your cover of Caraval better than mine and that's saying something because I bought main mainly for the cover:

OH AND ALSO OBVIOUSLY FOR THE NIGHT CIRCUS COMPARISON. (Which you'd think I'd also learn never works in my favor. *sigh*) I had similar issues with it, especially with Scarlett. I liked the parts where they were on the magic island (or whatever it was, it's been awhile) in the fancy hotel with the fancy clothes. But she seriously needed to get her priorities in order.

(Also, I recently used one of my Audible credits to get The Night Circus and I'm ridiculously excited to listen to it.)

I'm relieved to hear you loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds. I've owned it forever but after reading the author's books The Cure For Dreaming (which I haaaaaaaaaaaated with a fiery passion), I've shoved 'Shadow' waaaaaaaay down the list. I'll have to boost it up now! I think all of Cat Winters's books sound amazing and have them all on my "Want to Read" list but have held off buying them because of such a bad experience with that one.

The more I think about How to Stop Time, the more the ending bums me out. It just seems so rushed & tacked on. And lacks the heart of The Humans (but then doesn't everything? ♥) (AND NO TO BENEDICTINE CUCUMBERPATCH AS TOM.)

I'm like you with the 'meh-ness' on short story collections. I usually end up liking 20% of them and not liking the rest. I'm glad you found a collection to your liking!

I'm sorry about your show getting cancelled :(

Now I'm off to check out this All the Birds in the Sky...I remain dubious for the moment....

Just looked up All the Birds in the Sky on goodreads and

Modern day? Global issues*? HIPSTERS? NO!THANK!YOU!

*(for the record, I think global issues are VERY IMPORTANT, I just want to ~escape~ real world stuff if I'm reading a book that's supposed to be like The Night Circus)

Edited at 2018-03-23 08:35 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pleasant_valley
2018-03-27 05:14 pm (UTC)
Awww bless you and your dancing Dumbledore gif. 😁

I'm a sucker for a pretty book cover. Its so disappointing when a book fails to live up to its lovely cover or even when you're really excited for a book and then the cover winds up being unforgivably ugly (I had to wait ages for the paperback version of "A God in Ruins" to be released cos I couldn't bring myself to buy the dead rabbit hardback version.)

Ooh I like your Caraval cover. I really like the colouring. I've always thought its kinda weird how some books have different cover art in different countries...I mean why???

I don't think Caraval was a total disaster, I mean apart from Scarlett who was a drip it was a pretty easy read and truth be told I'd probably buy the sequel. I think the main issue was it being touted as the new Night Circus cos quite frankly its not in the same league.
I would looooove to listen to the audio version of the Night Circus. It seriously feels like about two decades since I last read it and as I have so many unread books on my bookshelves (and I'm a slow/easily distracted reader) I tend not to do much re-reading.

Okay, I totally need to investigate The Cure for Dreaming now. 👀

I absolutely agree with you in regards to "How to Stop Time". I mean I thought maybe I was too hard on it because I went in with such high expectations after the Humans but you're totally spot on about it lacking the same heart. I mean I cry over *everything* but I didn't shed any tears reading this one whereas I was a sobbing wreck over that rules for a human section in the Humans...seriously I well up just thinking about dogs being geniuses of loyalty.

I actually don't have a problem with Benedict Cumberbatch (I watched Doctor Strange the other day and quite enjoyed it...please don't hate me) but I just don't see him as Tom.

All the Birds in the Sky sounds the worse. Even the synopsis made me stabby. I swear if I go to hell I imagine I'll be forced to continuously read that and bloody Splintered for all eternity. I'm not here for modern day hipsters thankyouverymuch world.
Also how is that anything like The Night Circus???? I feel that bookseller needs her book recommending license revoked. 😒

(Edited cos I forgot to say how much I appreciate that Dean gif. ❤)

Edited at 2018-03-27 05:19 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: amyofaquitaine
2018-03-27 05:51 pm (UTC)
The audio version of The Night Circus is narrated by Jim Dale, who I'm pretty sure did the Harry Potter books. I may listen to it next. The last 2 audio books I listened to were 1-star horrors; I'm listening to a short story collection right now & those are really hit & miss for me. I may need an audio palate cleanser. I know what you mean about re-reading. I kind of made a deal with myself last year that if I went past my reading goal, I could re-read X-amount of books. But I re-read SE Hinton books instead of The Night Circus. I'm trying to decide whether to put The Girls at the Kingfisher Club on my 2018 re-read list *OR* get the audio of that, too. WHY NOT BOTH?!?!?!

If you read The Cure for Dreaming, be prepared for a totally implausible plot, glaring historical inaccuracies and a dolt of a 'heroine'. It had such potential but the author couldn't leave well enough alone and had to micro-manage every plot point. (My goodreads review for that book is the longest review I've ever written. I had strong feeling about that one lol!)

I've seen a smidgen of Dr Strange and I just sat there thinking that I would've rather them cast Benjamin Bratt as Dr Strange instead of the minor side character he played pffffft. He's more of what I had in mind for Strange after seeing the Doc in comics & whatnot. BUT I'M A PICKY MARVEL PERSON LOL. I guess I'm just confused by the OMG HE'S SO HOTTT Benedryl Cumberband fangirls rather than having a real aversion to him. And anyhoo, I'll definitely be watching him in Avengers: Infinity War in another month wheeeee!!! they are totes going to kill my Captain America though *cries*

I think the book world shouldn't be allowed to say "if you loved _____________ then you'll love this!" cause they are HARDLY EVER RIGHT. And I usually side-eye book recs I've gotten from people working in bookstores because they've always rec'd really ordinary books that are like the "current thing" rather than a hidden or underappreciated jem (like they've rec'd John Green and Cassandra Clare and ugh no...plus everyone who looks at a book site knows of those authors because they get shoved down our throats, and BREAKING NEWS, they're not that great lol).

I'm currently on the last book in Gail Carriger's Finishing School series. I'm pretty sure you read her book Soulless and found it too explicit? (I apologize if I'm thinking wrong!) Well, the Finishing School series is YA instead of adult but set in the same world so you have vampires/werewolves/dirigibles/automatons/etc. Plus it's really humorous and I think the premise is clever (it's a Victorian finishing school that LITERALLY teaches the girls how to finish...as in 'finish someone'...they're trained to be spies and assassins and it's a really fun concept). The 3rd book annoyed me a bit because of a love triangle but it *is* YA so I guess that was to be expected.

Next up I plan on reading The Perfect Nanny, which weirdly enough, is on your goodreads Want to Read list under the title Lullaby...but with the same cover! I've never seen anything like that before! And then I'll probably read the book my mom is giving me for Easter lolololol The Alice Network.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pleasant_valley
2018-03-28 08:29 pm (UTC)
Funny you should mention Lullaby cos its featured in the Waterstones window display at the moment so I'd already decided that that would be the next book I was going to buy.
Also you mentioned that long forgotten The Other Typist movie to me the other day and it made me realize that I really, really want to read something along that style again.

I've read the first in the Finishing Series books. I liked it better than Soulless (and yep I probably did say it was too explicit....that sounds like something I'd say 😳) but if memory serves me correctly I think I just felt it was a little light on the story front but maybe that's cos it was the first book in the series so there was probably a bit of setting up the concept going on. Might have to give the second book a try.

I really want to see Avengers : Infinity War even if it means I'll probably have to go on my own cos I have no friends. 🙃
I mainly want to see it cos I love the Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG 2 was my absolute favourite film of last year) and I recently watched the latest Thor movie and absolutely adored that too.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: amyofaquitaine
2018-03-28 08:54 pm (UTC)
I think I found Lullaby/The Perfect Nanny on my goodreads feed when you added it to your list. I was stalking your goodreads the other day to see if I'd missed any that you'd added that I think I'd like and that's when I noticed the different names. SO WEIRD. I hope it lives up to the unreliable narrator-ness of The Other Typist! I see that the author of The Other Typist has a new book coming out soon that reminds me of Code Name Verity & Rose Under Fire. (I also own her 2nd book Three Martini Lunch, which I haven't read but it sounds Mad Men-esque lol.)

Yeah, the first Finishing School book is a lot of world building. Some of it annoyed me slightly because I'd just finished the Soulless series and since they're set in the same world, a lot of the stuff I already knew. But I get why she did it because young readers should NOT read her Soulless series but still need to know about her world. They definitely get more action packed as the series progresses. I really like her writing; it's a pity that her other series only has 2 books released and the 3rd won't be out for over a year...I hate waiting like that.

No shame, I'm taking my mom to Avengers: Infinity War. I got no real life friends, either. And the more I think about it, I don't want any. I'm surrounded by religious nuts, gun people & Trump supporters (usually all rolled into one) so it would be difficult to find a decent one anyway!

I still have not watched Thor 3. But I'm getting the Blu-ray for Easter (shh! lol). I love the Guardians and have the most memorabilia of them...but my fave Marvel movie constantly flips between their first one & the 2nd Captain America movie. I did love the 2nd Guardians movie too! That opening sequence of Toddler!Groot dancing to ELO is EVERYTHING. Have you seen any of the new trailers for Avengers: Infinity War that feature the Guardians? There's a really funny one where teen!Groot says "I am Groot" in a snotty-toned voice and Peter is all "Groot! Language!" And there's a bb!Gamora flashback in the film awww.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pleasant_valley
2018-04-03 07:43 pm (UTC)
Toddler!Groot is the cutest thing in existence. 😭 GotG2 is on Sky Movies atm so I've watched it three times since Christmas.
Hope you enjoy Thor 3. I only decided to watch it after seeing the Honest Trailer for it but I was surprised just how much I enjoyed it and just how fun it was.
And yep, I've watched all the Infinity War trailers on youtube. I love Peter being snarky to Tony.

I actually went to GotG2 with my mum but I don't think she enjoyed it so I can't really force another Marvel movie on her. But I'm kinda at peace with having no real life friends seeing that most people suck.

I'm gonna give the Finishing School series another go at some point cos I do love the overall idea.
I hate waiting a year for the next book in a series too. I have a shockingly bad memory so it's hard for me to try and recall what happened in a book I read a week ago let alone one I read 12 months back.

Not quite sure why there's two different titles for that Nanny/Lullaby book. I'm not sure if I dreamt it but I have a feeling it was originally published in French. It actually showed up on my Amazon rec's and I thought it sounded intriguing (although when I mentioned it to my mum she was like "why would you want to read something like that???")
I'm fairly certain I have Rose Under Fire on my bookcase.
Oh, and that Eagle & Crane book sounds like it has potential too.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: amyofaquitaine
2018-04-04 01:35 pm (UTC)
I need to watch GOTG2 again! It's become even more difficult for me to watch things I want to see at home lately.

I love when anyone snarks to Tony! He deserves it lol. I'm soooo excited for Infinity War. I was afraid I'd have to skip seeing it in the theaters since I've missed the last...6 Marvel movies in theaters *gulp*. If I hadn't missed so much work because of being sick, I'd be scheduling off 1/2 days to go see Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp later in the year. BUT my mother actually said last night she wants to go see IW which shocked me to my core (she likes the majority of Marvel movies, even if she doesn't get the point of villains and they piss her off which duhhhh they're *supposed* to piss you off?!?). That's a bummer your mom didn't like GOTG2. It's so fun & funny & has great music!!!

I found this website Book Recaps that has synopeses (I KNOW I SPELLED THAT WRONG) of books in series so that you can get a highlights version of a previous book before continuing the series. Unfortunately, it's only worked for me twice because it doesn't have most of the series I'm trying to work on. (OH BUT HEY I JUST NOTICED IT DOES HAVE THE DIVINERS SO THAT'S A SCORE FOR ME LOL.) Though now that I peruse the site, it looks like they've added a bunch of books since the last time I searched so maybe it'll be more helpful? *fingers crossed*

I think you're right about Nanny/Lullaby being French originally. I read the first 2 pages the other night and it starts off promisingly (if morbid) so that's a plus. And Entertainment Weekly gave it a glowing review not that that means much but hey.

I was given some Walmart gift cards that could only be used online (weiiiirrrrrd) so I just got done spending them on Funkos. I got Infinity War Captain America, Tender Heart Care Bear, Mulan, Batwoman, Sirius Black & Remus Lupin. It's like, I normally go to Wally's World for toothpaste & deodorant & food and I don't want to order those things online so I might as well blow it on fun stuff (plus, their book selection SUCKS lol).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pleasant_valley
2018-04-06 04:28 pm (UTC)
I can honestly say I do not miss Walmart's book department one bit. *lol* From what I remember it was all shabby looking bodice ripping Mills and Boon-ish type books and terrible looking vampire teen fiction.
Oooh, so many cool pops. I really want Lupin and the whole Care Bears set. Unfortunately since Christmas I've had a run of birthdays plus Easter and Mothers Day to buy for so my pop buying has taken a back seat a bit...I must rectify that soon cos my must-buy pop list is reaching critical level.

Thank you so much for that link! That's a life saver for me cos I have way too many unfinished trilogies on my bookshelves.
I have the second Diviners book but I've been putting off reading it cos I'm a bit hazy on the details of the first one. Wasn't there a creepy love interest???

My mum didn't hate GotG2 but its just not her sort of movie (in fact she hates going to the cinema fullstop really) I mean she did say it was better than she expected but tbh she only went cos she didn't like the idea of me going by myself.
I should go to the cinema more often though. Our nearest cinema is only a ten minute walk from our house so I feel like I should take advantage of it more really.

I can never find the time to watch my stuff at home unless my mum and dad go away. Its the curse of liking tv shows and movies that nobody else at home likes or are willing to tolerate.
And I hope you're feeling better now Amy. ❤
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: amyofaquitaine
2018-04-06 07:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, where I live Walmart's book aisle consists of:
*tacky cheap bodice-ripper paperbacks
*Amish romance novels
*"history" books written by FOX "news" pundits (meaning it's FAKE)
*inspirational/Christian biographies by pseudo-celebs and hypocritical politicians
*crazy books by insane Republicans about how Hillary is Satan and Tr*mp is the greatest ever

YES there was a creepy love interest in The Diviners! There was the cool pick pocket she met at Grand Central Station (who should've been her love interest & I hold out hope he will be eventually) and then the weird robotic Amish-like dude who worked for her uncle. And he was oddly super-strong or something? BUT JUST WARNING SIGNS EVERYWHERE ABOUT HIM.

I need to do a Marvel catch-up since Infinity War comes out in 3 weeks *squees* I have the DVDs for Spider-man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok and...PLOT TWIST!...Dr Strange (I belong to the Disney DVD club and you have to respond to the featured selection each month and I forgot and they sent it to me and it's more hassle to return than keep lol). I feel like I need to watch Captain America: Civil War again since I've only seen it once. And GOTG2 again.

I looooove going to the movies by myself. I always have to explain stuff to my mom when she goes lol. And the last time we went to the movies, to see Wonder, she was SO ANNOYED by the previews she kept loudly bitching all the way thru. I was just like, previews aren't a new thing, what's your problem?? Luckily the theater was packed and people weren't settled so they didn't get mad at her.

I can never find the time to watch my stuff at home unless my mum and dad go away.
SAME. Well, my dad wouldn't care but my mom has an iron grip on the remote lol. And she's retired now so the only time she leaves when I'm home is for church and that's only for about 4 hours. And I have stuff I record during the week so arghhhhh I don't know when I'm going to watch this stuff.

I figured out why I've been getting sick so much lately. (I was SUPER SICK yesterday.) It's my iron pill. I knew it would be hard on my stomach and that it causes nausea so I've been taking it before a meal but that's not helping. People are saying now I need to take it AFTER a meal but I'm at the point where I'm afraid to take it again cause I'm sick of being nauseous all the stinkin' time! Ughhhhh stupid faily blood!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starpixie16
2018-03-23 11:39 pm (UTC)
I have really missed your marvelous book posts, hon, so seeing this one on my f-list tonight ... well, I can only express my feelings in .gif form:

"Hold Back the Stars" sounds like it doesn't deserve to have such a stunning cover. It's always a shame when the cover of the book is better than what's on the pages in between.

I think "How to Stop Time" would have benefited from being at least 100 pages longer. Normally, I'm happy with a book that doesn't drag on, but this one really seemed like there was so much more to explore. (And, of course, I think a little more time could have been invested in carving out that ending so it would have seemed less hasty/sloppy.)

I'm usually wary of short story collections as well. There's usually one or two really good stories and the rest are all duds. I've always heard good things about Ray Bradbury over the years, but I honestly don't think I've read a single thing he wrote. Based on your comments, though, "The Illustrated Man" sounds interesting. I'll definitely have to check it out sometime.

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that any book that is compared favorably to "The Night Circus" will most assuredly be a disappointment, but I keep falling for it anyway. I think I have "Caraval" on my Kindle, but I've been uncertain about it, so I keep putting off reading it. The fact that you found it an enjoyable read in spite of its faults put me at ease, though.

Aw, bless you, hon. I'm glad you enjoyed "In the Shadow of Blackbirds" so much. I'm always a bit hesitant about sending books as gifts because I'm afraid the recipient will either A) hate it or B) already have it, but I had to take a chance with this book because so many things about it seemed right up your alley. It's really my favorite of the Cat Winters novels I've read so far. Everything about the plot was perfect, and I really loved Mary Shelley as a character.

I totally understand your pain, hon. I've loved and lost so many great shows too soon ("Pushing Daisies", "Carnival", "In the Flesh"). I've gotten to a point where I'm afraid to even invest myself in new shows anymore since the truly good ones always seem to be axed before their time.

As for shows you can check out, I have to recommend "Psych" (which is already off the air, so no worries about jinxing it ;D) and the always witty "iZombie" (which may be one of my top three favorite shows at the moment).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pleasant_valley
2018-03-28 08:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words and fabulous genie gif Lisa! 💙

Have to admit I was really looking forward to reading Hold Back the Stars based on the premise and *that* cover art but it ended up being a bit of a slog to get through. I think there was a good story there somewhere but the romance was a no go for me so it was hard to invest when I didn't care about either character.
I'm a fool for a lovely book cover though so I know its definitely not the last time I'll be hoodwinked into buying a book based on the pretty cover factor.

I definitely felt like there was so much left unexplored in How to Stop Time. I know it would have been impossible to cover all those decades/centuries Tom had lived through but there was so much more I wanted to know about his past.
And that slapdash ending really didn't do the rest of the book justice in my opinion.

I've had shocking experiences with short stories which is a shame cos sometimes its nice to pick up a book and know that it isn't going to be part of a trilogy. I'm going to buy The Halloween Tree and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury to read in October (yep, I'm already fast forwarding Summer) because they both seem perfect Halloween reads.

I'm glad I read Caraval and I'll certainly buy the sequel so I guess in retrospect the positives must have outweighed its pretty drippy lead character.
I really think The Night Circus was one of a kind, there was honestly something magical about that world, the story and those intriguing characters. ♥

I'm so very grateful that you were kind enough to send me In the Shadow of Blackbirds because it was absolutely my cup of tea. It was so refreshing to read a story with such a strong central character on the back of reading a couple of books with less than charismatic main characters. Also there were so many elements that spoke to me - I practically whizzed through it!

It feels like every time I get completely hooked on a show it gets axed, its so frustrating! Other than The Orville I've not really been able to find anything new that grabs my attention.
And thanks for the recs, just gotta find out if either of those actually air over here. 🤔😁

Edited at 2018-03-28 08:09 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starpixie16
2018-03-28 10:45 pm (UTC)
I want to like short story collections because it's nice to have some variety, but I so often get burned by them. Even the Stephen King collection I read last fall was full of hit-or-miss stuff. I have high hopes for "The Illustrated Man", though. And I've been planning to read "The Halloween Tree" this October, too! It's already waiting on my Kindle. :D

"The Swan Gondola" is about the only book I've read that has come close to capturing a glimmer of the magic "The Night Circus" had. It seemed like it had a similar quality and atmosphere to it. Overall, though, it's just impossible to duplicate what made "The Night Circus" so special.

I've actually been wondering about "The Orville". I remember seeing some ads for it back when it premiered, and I thought it looked interesting ... but then I forgot all about it. I might have to see if it's available on streaming. I've also been curious about "Ghosted", but I'm not sure if it would be clever along the vein of "The Frighteners" or just stupid, frat boy kind of humor.

I've recently been catching up on shows on Netflix, and I'm realizing there are a LOT of shows I want to see. Right now, I'm in the middle of the first season of "Santa Clarita Diet", and I'm about to start the second season of "Galavant" (which is pretty darn brilliant, by the way!).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pleasant_valley
2018-04-03 08:04 pm (UTC)
The second series of Galavant was fabulous! I honestly miss that show so much and I'm utterly gutted that it's never been shown over here in the U.K, not even on Netflix.
The second season soundtrack was flawless too - so many songs I utterly adored and Richard was a constant joy.

I've really enjoyed The Orville. I know it's a Seth McFarlane show but it's not full of OTT humour and some of the episodes have real heart (plus I love the space/scifi aspect.) It also has a great collection of characters.
I've never heard of Ghosted but you had me at the Frighteners reference...

Oh god how could I forget The Swan Gondola!?! That was such a beautiful book too.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: starpixie16
2018-04-03 10:45 pm (UTC)
I haven't started the second season of "Galavant" yet, but now you have me even more eagerly looking forward to it. Out of all the characters, I really love Richard. He's just so childlike and silly. I'm used to seeing Tim Omundson on "Psych" where his character was really stern and uptight, so to see him playing a character like King Richard is a bit jarring, but so very entertaining!

I think the thing that caught my eye when I saw ads for "The Orville" was that it looked pretty funny. Our satellite TV subscription has it available On Demand, so I'm definitely going to check it out once I get caught up on the other shows I'm watching.

The one ad that I saw for "Ghosted" way back when it premiered last year made it look like this independent duo of guys hunting ghosts, but they're actually working for a secret government agency ... so nothing like "The Frighteners" as I'd thought it might be. :( I watched the first two episodes of "Ghosted" over the weekend, and it's still too soon for me to make up my mind whether I like it or not, but I can see it having potential.

"The Swan Gondola" was beautiful, but how it truly won me over was with all the "Wizard of Oz" references. ♥
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: emeraldarrows
2018-03-24 02:48 am (UTC)
I looove The Illustrated Man! I'm a huge fan of Ray Bradbury in general, and that collection has so many of my favorite stories by him. <3

I tried to read In the Shadow of Blackbirds a while back, and just couldn't get through it. Perhaps I should give it another try sometime.

Aw, I'm still so sad about The Librarians. I mean, it had a much better end than so many of my shows have gotten, but it was such a comfort show and I'm going to miss it a lot.

*hugs* So wonderful to have you back! <333
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pleasant_valley
2018-03-28 11:17 am (UTC)
Thanks matey. I'm very happy to be back. ❤

I think The Librarians was the first show since Galavant that I felt wholly invested in. I loved the characters and the fact that it never took itself too seriously - it was such a feel good show. I wish that some other network picks it up but I'm not all that hopeful.

I think everything about In the Shadow of Blackbirds appealed to me, it was just my kind of book.
I have about four books that i started last year and just couldn't get in to so I totally get that.

I'm hoping to buy a couple of Ray Bradbury books to save for October. I've been meaning to read Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Halloween Tree for a couple of years now.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: arctic_comet
2018-03-25 05:38 pm (UTC)
I've got In the Shadow of Blackbirds on my Kindle, glad to hear you enjoyed it :) Hope I'll have a chance to read it soon!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pleasant_valley
2018-03-27 05:16 pm (UTC)
It was definitely my type of book. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)