Friday, 31 May 2013

Bookclub! Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Caririger

   So this month's bookclub is Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. I read this on my kindle for bookclub.



   So my first thoughts were I really liked it. I picked this book because I really liked Soulless (for any who haven't read it yet, if you liked this book I think you would really like Soulless) and this is also a young adult book, a genre of books that I am steadily getting more and more into.

   So the main character is Sophronia is great. I liked the school and teachers. I feel that Carriger did a great job of world building here. The school and the lessons are really well done.

   I liked that these characters are all young but you are with them in the adventure that they have. I also really liked the steam punk aspect to this book, which was the thing that most reminded me off Soulless actually, that and the tone.

   Overall I liked this book a lot. I also really want to read all the series that will come.

   Do feel free to comment on here as well as on Facebook.

Monday, 27 May 2013

It's all about me

   I was going back and forth over whether to write something so self involved, but screw it this is a blog that is in fact all about me anyway. I don't mind that I am going navel gazing into my own navel for this post at any rate.


   I don't know whether I have said this before but I am really introverted, not completely cut off from humanity but I do like being alone for big periods of time. My energy is recharged from thinking, reading, and writing, not really from other people. One of the big reasons I get tired at parties is because it takes a lot energy for me to be there, whereas I find that I can read, write and think for really long periods of time, like days and not want to talk to anyone.

   It does not make me abnormal, just introverted. Really I am at my happiest when reading, it really is a big pleasure source and if I get hooked it can be days until I drift back to civilisation.

   I don't think it's everybody who does this, there is a reason why there is the opposite of an introvert, an extrovert. It is important I think here for me to say they are just as good as me, just because I like reading does not make others who do not bad, we are just different.

   Being introverted just means there is a name for traits that describe myself best. That is never the whole story. People are not statistics they are always going to have different quirks, things that makes different from everyone else. I do like having conversations, I like those long winding ones that take forever to end. I like having really intense debates as well, but these conversations I like having with people that I know really well. People that I trust.

   I am also shy, I also want people not to take this as a directive that I am a wallflower that needs to meet lots of people. Being shy means to me that It takes me time to get to know people. I like it like that. I do find it uncomfortable meeting people for the first time, but it goes away after a while, it's just connections and people take me time to come around to. It is part and parcel of my personality, no need to fix it.

   No one person could be completely introverted but sometimes I need to be alone. That is not to say I don't want to get out more and do more things, but knowing who you are and how you react to people makes life easier to live. I have no idea about what that picture means but I like it, and it's blue which is nice too.

   So introverts let's whisper about how awesome we are together!

  

Up coming

   I have a few things that I am looking forward to so that's what this recommendation post Is going to be.



   Joss Whedon has some new stuff coming out, his interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing is coming not too long here in the UK, I am not sold on the main cast but I think it will be at least interesting and I do want to see what he does with Shakespeare. He also has a new TV series in S.H.E.I.L.D. coming out in the fall which I really want to see how the agents are handled, and the tone of the series is done. 


   There is a spin off of Once Upon A Time, called Once Upon a Time in Wonderland coming out in the fall (dunno when these shows are coming to the UK but at least in the US they are coming in the fall) and it looks good at least from the trailers that I've seen. The art work and the production I was really impressed with. I was not sold on the original one but maybe this will be different and in a good way.   

   There hasn't been much to tempt me with TV really, but I think at least these have potential. I am weary of putting my chips down though TV series often go off the rails for multiple reasons. These shows and film though I hope that they do something cool and interesting and that is why I am looking forward to them.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Heroine

   The romance heroine. There have been many, many posts about her. I have my favourites and I am going to give a list, in a way this is the main post in comparison to the previous post to the romance hero.

   The heroine is the main reason that I read the romance novel in the first place. The heroine is for me the one that I hook onto. The person that gets me through the narrative. I find that I have very little patience for women who are annoying, silly or irritating. I also find that I can't read about women who only have beauty to recommend them. There has to something for me to sympathise with or I am not going to finish the book.

   This is a post about the heroines that I love and adore, that I go back to again and again. And in alphabetical order here they:

   Charlie from Every Women for Herself by Trish Ashley. I think probably everyone knows by now any romance list I make will always have a Crusie book and an Ashley book on it. I know it's probably predicable but I love their books so much that I will always put them in. Charlie is a great heroine, and from the start you are with her. She goes back to where she grew up after her divorce and meets Mace. 

   Charlie is an artist, she is funny but for me what makes me return to it is how she settles back into this community that includes her sisters and the Mace the hero of the book. 

   I like that she develops a real relationship with his daughter first. She is fully part of the environment that she inhabits. Charlie is the person that we see the story from, it is written in first person, I like how different she is from everyone else. Charlie is a great heroine, in a funny and thoughtful book.  


    

   Harriet from Duchess by Night by Eloisa James. Harriet I loved from the beginning, she uncovers herself in the book. Harriet also dresses herself as a boy for most of the book. This is a book that I completely rediscovered how much I loved it from listening to the audio book of it read by Karen Cass. Harriet is another heroine that gets uncovered. 

   One of the reasons that I loved this book was that Harriet doesn't back down from the challenges of pretending to be a man. She also develops a great relationship with Jem's daughter Eugenia as well. I love many scenes but what I thought was done really well was the advantages of being a man but Harriet also never loses who she really is.

      I liked how brave she was but also how well written the scenes between her and Jem were done. I like disguises in romances and this is fun hiding what gender you are, and the fun that James has with misunderstandings as well as the happy ending that they find at the end. Harriet is a great heroine and I loved this book because of how she meets the challenges but retains her core beliefs. Harriet is passionate, but slowly begins to believe her true worth. Jem comes to that conclusion more slowly but her wins her in the end. A Great book, with a strong heroine in it.    

   Min from Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. I have always loved MIn, there are so many qualities about her that I like. Her fairness, loyalty, intelligence, sense of humour and her brightness. If I was going to fall for a heroine this would be the one.

   She has her insecurities but she understands people and she slowly begins to really understand herself. This is a romance and I like that she and Cal really fight and challenge each other. Min is a great romance heroine, but most of all she loves with all her capacity, and that takes guts. I have loved this book for long time and Min is well deserving of being a wonderful heroine. 

   Prudence from The Perfect Rake Anne Gracie. I have to fully admit that this book fulfils my romance crack on every level. Heroine not a beauty? Check. Heroine fighting for what she loves? Check. Heroine slowly realising that she can have the man she loves, and he really loves her? Check. The community around that is built is full of laughs and really fun characters? Check. Hero of the book enchanted with the heroine, for the right reasons? Check. So really how could I not love with book?

   Prudence herself though makes this a book that I re-read all the time. She is a  fighter, Gracie does not pull back from the darkness including a Grandfather that beats his grandchildren, you can see in the book how strong Prudence has been to live in that environment and to survive it herself. Prudence also has a great sense of humour, but she knows what kind of danger she and her sisters are in.

   Gideon is a great hero but Prudence is an amazing heroine for me. There is a humour to this book, especially between the two lovers. Tone can be a very hard thing to pull off but this book has a wonderful lightness while including the dark. For me Prudence is the perfect heroine in this book. 




   Polly from Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde. This has I have said many times before is my favourite Fforde book, but in a lot of ways Polly is my favourite heroine. She is funny, resilient, hard working and very stubborn. I love the dinner party scene funny, and yet serious at the same time. There is a lot to Polly that I love. She vulnerable yet strong. Seemingly right and yet wrong on so many levels. 

   I like that she is very much someone who fights for herself, and yet has insecurities. I think though in the end this is a book about her, the trouble is with her and she is the person that struggles with love and has to drive up to Scotland to get her lover. There is a lot of love about this book including David and his ties. Polly though is for me the heart of this book and the reason why I go back to a world that has her at the centre. A wonderful love story, it's funny but also real. A hard balance to get right and this carries it off beautifully.




   And finally Reece from Angels Fall by Nora Roberts. I am a huge fan of Roberts, I think people who like romances do find at least one of her books good. I have my favourites of the books that I own and Angels Fall is one of them. Reece is recovering from a traumatic experience in her past. Reece is someone who slowly begins to trust, and slowly becomes someone who can fight. She is steely from the beginning but she is the person that drives the narrative. Brody is a great hero, but Reece is the person that the troubles hang on.

   Reece is also a wonderful cook, one of the reasons I love re-reading this book is for the cooking scenes, because it illustrates her character so well. She also fits in with this community of people. She becomes someone who trusts in herself. I love the scene where she cooks for Brody in his house, because she finally trusts him enough, but also I like the scene where she cooks a roast for him in her house. I think one of the reasons that I love it so much is that you see through his eyes her house, the changes that she makes. It all makes her character all the most interesting.
 
   She is a heroine that I go back to and for good reason, I always find the journey fulfilling. 

   That is my list, and I am probably going to a part two of heroines and heroes that I forgot. The ones that I listed now though are all ones that I love.           

Re-reading

   I have been a huge re-reader my whole life. It is more that remembering, you get to rediscover and in some cases uncover all the things that you didn't see before. I love going back to worlds, I do it with a lot of things, movies and sings, but most of all I do it with books.

   Books have been important to me since I was old enough to read. Most of all though I have a passion for romances. All sorts and all kinds, historical, contemporary and short. I love them all. I was re-reading Tell Me Lies this week as well as Open Season and they are both ones I re-read and I always discover something new. It helps that I absolutely love Crusie as an author but I forgot about how this book is so centred on women, and how much I believe in that town. I love Maddie as well. I keep forgetting the condom scene in Open Scene which made me giggle this week.    

   I love re-reading them as well. That is what I am recommending this week, re-reading of all sorts of things. It gives me great pleasure, though do have to admit I have a hell of a lot of books, but I wouldn't give them away.