Monday, February 28, 2011

Wallpaper: Robin Hood


I have been watching the BBC miniseries of Robin Hood and am absolutely enchanted by him! I have also been busy updating my Robin Hood fanfiction, so I have been spending a few Robin Hood days -so you might say. 

For those of you who have watched the miniseries, and will understand what I'm talking about,
I have discovered that I own a ring that is almost the exact replica of the one Sir Guy of Guisborne gave Lady Marian in the first season (the one Robin later stole from her finger). I am now almost constantly wearing it, and considering asking my husband to try to steal it, in a Robin-esque manner....





Much as I dislike the Marian of the miniseries, I couldn't resist making a few wallpapers of the couple, so here they are. It's really the same wallpaper, done in three different versions. Left-click for the larger image and you are free to save them to your computer, if you like.


In other news, I recently found out that Richad Armitage, the Sir Guy of this series and also the Mr. Thornton of North and South, also a BBC miniseries, has done a recording of three, I believe, of Georgette Heyer's books! Imagine my delight when I found this out! I am currently listening to Sylvester, one of my fvorite GH books, and I have to say, he is more than doing it justice.

What a lovely way to start the week!
The bookshelf is full of books, a beautiful voice is reading to me one of my beloved books, my husband is coming home any minute, and God is watching me from heaven.

I wish you all a happy and blessed week :)

  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February Books and The Tragedy of a Girl Living in Greece Part 2



( a pirate romance and adventure. For those of you who are not familiar with this author, she writes clean romance)
(this one is about a locket that takes you back in time in order to erase a mistake that you did)
(about a designer of wedding gowns, in Paris)
(a dystprian novel about neo-gladiators)
(this highschool romance needs no introduction)
(these three are fairytale retellings from the Once Upon A Time series)
(Angria is the land Charlotte invented with her sisters and brother, and these are the tales she wrote for leisure. I did not know these stories were in print, and was thrilled to find this book after reading A Taste Of Sorrow)
(this gothic romance is penned by the author of the Mysteries of Udolpho. In Jane Austen's books, and especially Northanger Abbey, her heroines are alternatively captivated or mocking 'Mrs. Radcliffe's' books. I had to find out what they were talking about.)
(this amazing anthology of short stories -really short- is authored only by very-well known authors. Each story is really special)
(you can find a review of this amish collection here)

So, the 'Tragedy of  Girl Living in Greece' is no longer a tragedy!!!
Why? Because I discovered the Book Depository, where you can shop books and they are sent to you free of shipping costs. On top of that, they are a but cheaper than what you would regularly pay for them. I had heard of people buying books from there, and they said that it takes a bit too long for the books to arive. I prepared myself for an even longer wait.
(that is explained here, in my other 'Greek Tragedy' post)
To make a long story short, the books started arriving merely a week after I had placed my order, because apparently they were shipped from the UK. That made me reconsider the whole 'tragedy' outlook on my situation.
I have decided that I am happy with it, tragedy or no tragedy.

I also ordered some of the books from ebay, and bought two or three from a local bookstore.
I have ordered a few more books from the Once Upon A Time series, and expect them shortly.

This week I plan to post a link in The Story Siren's IMM post, so we'll see how that goes.


I am going to do some reading now (surprise!!!), so have a wonderful day and God bless.





Saturday, February 19, 2011



I just wrote the final sentence to the manuscript of my story! It will need a great deal of editing and stuff but... yay! it's done. I did not know who else to tell it to, so I am telling it to you, dear blog. I hope you are a little bit happy for me.

the hop!!







"What book(s) would you like to see turned into a movie?"




That's an easy question for me!
Any Georgette Heyer book would be an incredible film, in my opinion, and certainly one I would want to see really badly. (I used to fantasize that I was a big producer in order to quench my disappointment that there aren't any fims based on her books...)
More specifically, I think The Devil's Cub would make an awesome movie, since i has a lot, A LOT, of action, humour and romance -among other things. 
For those of you who are not familiar with the plot line, it is about a Regency era adventure, where a girl is abducted by an infamous rogue instead of her sister. A journey to France and a couple of duels later, they are unmistakably in love.

A usual, here is the hop:
and
remember that anyone who follows or visits this blog will be followed and visited back, accordingly.
Have a wonderful and blessed weekend!!! 


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler


An anorexic girl becomes Famine, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.
This has the potential to help her see what real hunger (not self-induced) feels like, but it could also push her over the edge.

I liked this realistic, raw book. It also had a touch of romance in it.
However, eating disorders, which are the real subject, were protrayed honestly -if a little terrifying to someone who has no knowledge about them. It also had a redeeming theme, which I really appreciated and admired in the story.

The problems I had with this book are these:

First of all, Death was protrayed rather immeturely as a rockstar, which I found shallow and irresponsible of the author. Death is not someone -or something- to be attracted to, to tap your fingers at his rythm. He's appalling, he's terrufying, he's ugly, he's dangerous.
That's the main reason I think this book is highly innapropriate for teens.

Second, the whole Apocalypse thing was not dealt with very precisely, as someone who has studied the Apocalypse and indeed the Bible would know. There were some very obvious mistakes. However, Famine and the whole Horsemen thing, viewn as a metaphor of our world's problems and pain, really worked for the book and for the story.

Last but not least, there seemed to be a confusion between anorexia and bulimia, which I was rather surprised at, since the author claims to have been anorexic at one time herself. 

On another note, the girl's -Lisa's-relationhsips with everyone weren't expecially damaged, which usually justifies an eating disorder. She has a boyfriend who adores her and constantly forgives her, a beast frined who wants to help her even when pushed rudely away and a father who calls her princess.
It's true that not only teens in problematic families succumb to eating disorders, but I would have liked to have seen more drama in her life.

I really liked the ending of the book, the resolution so to speak, and the way every problem was dealt with.
It's message is really encouraging and hopeful, and it made me glad to have read it.

There are some very descpriptive scenes in this book, so maybe I would say it is not for the faint of heart. It is incerdibly realistic and honest and -for me- that is its main charm.

There is a very interesting and funny interview with the author (taken by the characters of  this and the next book in the series, Rage) at Figment Blog

Rating: 3.5/5



Monday, February 14, 2011

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell


I just loved this historical, paranormal ya fiction book.

It's the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

This impressive summary doesn't cover the half of it.
For the greatest part this book is an incredible romance. The speech and the secret meetings the dances and the balls and the gentlemen.... it is just fascinating! There seems to be really deep feelings developped between Amelia and.. him (I won't give away his name). They also seem to have a secret communication beyond the confines of space, which is very interesting and adds a touch of mystery to their relationship. 

Of course, as you can judge from the description, there is a rather strong element of tragedy -and in some instances gore- so be prepared for that. It was not enough to dim my enjoyment of the book, however.

Now about the vision thing. To me at least it was not very clear. It was not entirely developped -perhaps in order to preserve an air of mystery on the whole thing. And it was not clear  what its purpose was in the book, I mean it didn't lead anywhere specific.  
On the other hand, seen as a metaphor for a characteristic than makes one different and interesting in society, it was very interesting. Because these visions at first earned Amelia a place among the best and most respected in Baltimore's society. But as soon as things started to become unpleasant... everyone turned against her within seconds.
Now that's something that happens in our society too, a really modern occurance, and I was very interested to read about it and to see where it would go. 

There weren't any boring period details in this book, which I appreciated, but still it managed to give out an ambience of the time and place. I think it takes a really good author to be able to do that.

The whole book left me with a sweet taste on my mouth, or rather with a taste of hope, in spite of the pain and tragedy. It left me with a sense of victory and independence even in the face of adversity.
You have to appreciate that in a book.

I read this book in the NetGalley, and I think I will buy it as well. I would love to read it again.


Rating: 4.5/5

An Award!!!!!

Truly Bookish just sent me an award!!! Wow!!! Thanks so much, Truly.


Yay!!! Now, I will have to try not to eat my award... hmmm, that's gonna be hard...

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Friday, February 11, 2011

the hop!!


Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!

This week, I was really excited about a post about Jules Verne. I posted about the Google logo, and about which of his books were my favourite.

If I may, I want to tell you about another post, however, which is about a subject that is very close to my heart. 
This week I posted -for the first time- about Robin Hood and books about him and his legendary band of merry men. He is a hero I much admire and love reading books much or even little related to him.

If you want to do the hop, visit Crazy-for-Books.
If you visit and follow, be assured that you will be visited and followed back!!!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Robin Hood Books



I just realized (to my horror) that I haven't yet mentioned here my favourite hero: Robin Hood.
So, here are some of the books that have created and kept alive his myth and history in my heart since I was a child.

Robin Hood of Longman Classics (for very young readers)
Maid Marian by Elsa Watson (I love this book.)
 Hood by Stephen Lawhead (This story differs a lot from the well-known legend and is an interesting take. This book is the first of a trilogy, however I have read only this one, and didn't enjoy it as much as I thought.)
The Highwayman of Tanglewood by Marcia Lynn McClure (This is not a  Robin Hood story, perhaps a retelling. However, this outlaw is incredibly brave and romantic and could very well have been my favourite hero in person. I absolutely adored this book.)



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Google Celebrates Jules Verne

here is the link to the search.

If you grew up looking through his spyglass and navigating jungles of his making, like me, comment here and say what your favourite Jules Verne book is. Mine is Deux Ans De Vacances (Two Years Holiday), but The Children of Captain Grant and Michael Strogoff are very close seconds.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Willow by Julia Hoban


Willow is a cutter, suffering from the guilt of her parents' death and from the cruel silence of her grieving older brother, with whose family she lives.

I was really touched by this realistic, raw book.
Willows' problem and her struggles are pictured in detail, as are her inner thoughts, giving the reader a very good idea of what is going on inside a cutter's mind.
Her relationhsips with her schoolmates and friends was also honestly protrayed. Her brother is supposed to be a good man, struggling with his own grief and troubles. However, I thought his behaviour towards Willow to border on the emotionally abusive. He doesn't talk to her and he seems to blame her by his attitude, although he doesn't actually say so with words. I believe he was as much a cause for her problem as her guilt was.

The one who helps her -and the only one who cares about what happens to her- is Guy, a boy a bit older than her, with whom she eventually falls in love. I really liked the romance aspect of this book, it was sweet and tender. Guy is an amazing guy, realistic (not superhumanly good, he has his flaws) and yet unbeliavably strong, able to deal with a problem everybody else shies away from.
He eventually became the solution to her problem.

There is something greatly humane about this book, it leaved you with a taste of goodness when you are done reading it. I loved that it was a journey of healing and of growing up.
 That's why it was different from every other book about cutting out there, and it would have deserved a 5 out of 5, except for one thing.

When all is been said and done, I really can't believe that romance is enough to help you overcome guilt, or give up cutting.  Romance isn't enough. Sleeping with a guy isn't enough certainly, and even being loved by a guy isn't enough.
This book failed to persuade me, and anyway, it's not true.

Please let me know your opinion on this, especially if you personally happen to know someone who is or was a cutter.


Rating: 4/5

Friday, February 4, 2011

the hop!!



"What are you reading now and why are you reading it?"

I am reading The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell, which is a historical paranormal ya fiction book, and was sent to me via  the NetGalley. So far I'm loving it, it's so romantic and so... historical :)
I wanted to read this book because I love historical fiction and ya, and this book has it both...

Here is the cover

And here is the link to Crazy for Books, who hosts the hop every week.
Any hoppers are more than welcome and will be followed back.
Have a blessed Friday and weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecilia Ahern


I finished this book yesterday, and as some people seemed to find the teaser I shared on Tuesday interesting, I thought I would review it as well. 
First of all, isn't the cover gorgeous? It is also gold in real life. (I think this is the UK cover, you can go to the post titled the tragedy of a girl living in Greece to find out why I have mostly UK covers in my blog.)

The story is this: a girl who is uprooted from her aristocartic, rich life, has to go live in the country with her mother, after losing her father and all of their money. While there, bored and sad, she finds a book in the form of a diary, where she herself, apparently, has already written tomorrow's thoughts today. She reads that and decides what to do guided by her future thoughts.

The premise was very interesting and I thought that the diary idea was played down a bit, I would have liked to see more of it. Anyway, the book was quite good and the mystery really interesting.

 This book has a bit of everything: teenage angst, grief and depression, a mystery of the past, the paranormal diary situation and a touch of romance.
The romance was sweet and tender, with that friendly banter witty comebacks that belong to teenage love, but it wasn't the main theme of the book, it gave more of an accent than anything else. That's why I don't know what this book is, a ya or an adult fiction. It had some language but no graohic scenes.

The main theme of the book is relationships. Parents, siblings, friends, daughters, everything. That;s what made it so touching and realistic. That's what made you want to cry and laugh while reading it. 
It is narrated in first person by the teenage protagonist, Tamara, and through her eyes we can see into her heart and she takes the reader on an amazing journey of self-discovery and growth. 
Towards the end, there is a bit of an adventure and quite a lot of revealing, but the main point of that was to help the characters to heal and mature, so it really fit in well.

This is a good book, even if sometimes the writing seems juvenile and wandering off the point. I took a lot from it and intend to read it sometime in the future. The whole idea of living youe life according to what will happen to you was well-played (although I would have liked it to be more of a prominent theme in the book than it was) and I learned a lot from it about myself.

Rating : 3.5/4

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.

So, here's what I'm waiting for (or at least one of the books that I am anticipating):

The Hunt Of the Unicorn by C.C. Humphrey's  

Elayne thinks the old family story that one of her ancestors stepped through a tapestry into a world of mythical beasts makes a great fireside tale. But she lives in the real world. In New York City. And she's outgrown that kind of fantasy.

Until she finds herself in front of a unicorn tapestry at the Cloisters museum and sees her initials woven into the fabric. And hears a unicorn calling to her. And slips and falls—into that other world.

Suddenly the line between fantasy and reality isn't so clear. But the danger is real enough. Almost before she can think, Elayne is attacked by a ferocious beast, rescued by a unicorn, and taken prisoner by a tyrant king. Each of them seems to have an idea about her—that she's a hero, a villain, dinner!

But Elayne has a few ideas of her own. She wants to overthrow the king; she wants to tame the unicorn. She wants to go home! And she's willing to become both hero and villain to do it.



So, what's your WoW post?

The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi


What great words to live by.
This is my perpetual prayer. I hope you like it, left click and then right click to save to your computer. And then jut let me know how you liked it.
God bless you all.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, 
hosted by Should Be Reading.


I decided to participate, and this is my first time, 
we'll see how it goes. It seems really fun when I read it 
on aother blogs. So, here goes.


My teaser:
"I hate her," I shouted, breaking the silence and sending
 a flock of birds up from a nearby tree into the sky where
 they tried to regroup and relocate. 
I stomped across the scorched grass in my flip-flops.
                                                                            
from The Book of Tomorrow by Cecilia Ahern, 
                                                                                                                            
  p.272-273