Tag Archives: classic

The Big Books of Summer | Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday all,

I’ve been quiet since my last post, but that’s because I’ve been busy with a few projects. I’m hoping to have an update up this week regarding Pirate Eyes and I’m preparing my usual end of the month wrap-up. But I am loving this new weekly TTT post because (fun fact) I LOVE making lists 😉

If you want to participate, you can find out all the information here at The Broke and the Bookish!

Today’s theme is a Summer freebie so I though I’d share with you my (wishful) summer TBR which is mostly comprised of large high fantasy tomes that could make great door stoppers or head knockers if wielded properly.

But before I jump to that list, I just want to take a moment to extend a prayer to those affected by the attack at the Manchester Arena, and to all of us really, looking for peace and love in this world.

I also want to share this tweet I posted on Twitter this morning. I was feeling really frustrated by what had happened, but then I realized a kinder truth that eased it. I hope it can help do the same for you…

Remember to stand by your values, friends, to look for the light in the dark. Standing together, holding to hope and that wish for peace, that is what will guide us through.


THE BIG BOOKS OF SUMMER | TBR

As a reader, I set aside most of my outrageously large TBR books for the summer months. Here are the top ten I hope (but know I won’t) read this sunny season…

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Coming in at 1,107 pages, this is definitely one of the largest tomes I have on my TBR, and one of my highest anticipated ones as well. I read the first book (Name of the Wind) in the series last year and fell in love with the characters and the narrative style and the setting and… oh! I just fell in love with ALL OF IT ❤️️

The only thing that’s been holding me back is the fear that all wise book readers fear — that by the next time the third book comes out I’ll have forgotten everything that happened in the first two. Of course, by the logic of this, my other fear should be if I remember everything that happened in book one… 😳

Oh well, I’ll take my chances and hope that book three comes out a year from now. Hear that Mr. Rothfuss… Please don’t be another Grr Martin. 😊

Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb:

27855850When it comes to this lovely book, the truth is that I forgot I hadn’t finished the series 😅 I only realized it yesterday when I was looking through my shelves to figure out my June TBR and saw it and then the realization struck hard and fast! 😳

I loved Hobb’s first series (the Farseer Trilogy) & I jumped into her second one hoping for the same feeling. While I haven’t enjoyed it as much, mainly because there’s no character quite like Fitz in it, I do love the ocean setting and pirates (I’m writing a pirate book, so pirates are always a must for me 😉) .

Anyhoo… I intend to finish this trilogy in June. At 800 pages, it’s not too intimidating a read…

Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson:

243272In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

Counting this as three, four and five on the list.

Here’s one that’s been on my TBR for much longer than it deserves to have been. I’ve heard only amazing things about this series and I am making darn sure that this summer is the season when I finally indulge.

Whether or not this means binge reading the entire series remains to be seen. If it does then I can look forward to a whopping 2,168 pages of high fantasy epicness!

Not a bad thing in my mind. Not a bad thing at all…

The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman:

1321064The first non-fantasy on my list, this lovely book falls into my second favourite genre category: historical fiction. This will be my first Penman novel – – though she’s been on my TBR longer even than Sanderson! In the past seven months or so, I’ve stocked up on five of her books (Book Outlet had them price at 7.00 versus the normal 20.00. Steal, am I right 😉)

This particularly gorgeous tome focuses on the life of Richard III, infamous for his villainy and twisted shape. Her retelling sheds a different light on the story and I can’t wait to see how she does! In the 936 pages that she tells it in! 😅

This magnificent retelling of his life is filled with all of the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and lore of the fifteenth century, the rigors of court politics, and the passions and prejudices of royalty.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon:

685374The fourth book in the Outlander series, I have set this one aside since I read Voyager in winter 2016.  While I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as I hoped to, I loved the second one for its historical setting and did enjoy the third one as it introduced new characters and new settings to delight in.

What I really enjoy about this series is how it blends romances, history and fantasy. And Scotland. Enough said!

I really do intend to read the whole series through and if I can get through one a year that would be marvelous. So here’s hoping the summer brings an opportunity to return to Claire and Jamie (which reminds me that I still need to watch the second season of the show. Luckily, it’s now up on Netflix 😊)!

So that’s another 1,070 pages!

The Once and Future King by T.H. White:

10571Another one long on my TBR and on my shelf. I am looking forward to delving into this classic Arthurian text. It’s been too long since I read a book that deals with King Arthur and Merlin and the knights of the round table! The last was Mary Stewart’s Merlin cycle which I must highly recommend to any fellow Arthurian enthusiasts 😊

The version I have is a total 823 pages but there could never be enough pages for me to get lost in when it comes to any Arthur retelling!

Exquisite comedy offsets the tragedy of Arthur’s personal doom as White brings to life the major British epic of all time with brilliance, grandeur, warmth and charm.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:

18243Nothing like a hefty classic book to make the sun shine brighter and the long days feel longer! 😅

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy’s genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle—all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

I have been avoiding this lofty Russian tome for some time only because of the sheer size of it, but I am tired of hiding from it and this summer I shall attend to it with determination! Each summer I try to read a large classic (two years ago it was Les Miserables, before that The Count of Monte Cristo). They are among my favourite books and I have no doubt that Tolstoy will captivate me with his words.

Bring on all 1,388 pages! I’m ready to get lost!

Empress by Karen Miller:

2015492This high fantasy is one that was recommended to me by the lovely and talented Sarina Langer and I have it set to read for July. It’s another chunk of a novel coming in at 717 pages! But the story sounds oh so promising:

Her name is Hekat–
And she will be slave to no man.

In a family torn apart by poverty and violence, Hekat is no more than an unwanted mouth to feed, worth only a few coins from a passing slave trader.

But Hekat was not born to be a slave. For her, a different path has been chosen. It is a path that will take her from stinking back alleys to the house of her god, from blood-drenched battlefields to the glittering palaces of Mijak.

Honourable Mentions

On the off-chance that I finish the ten books above, I also hope to get to these books as well…

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Eye of the World by Robert Jordan



So there you have it! All in all, if I do manage to read these ten books this summer, I’ll be looking at a whopping 9009 pages to delight in! Actually, I rather like the look of that number 😍

What’s the biggest book you’re looking forward to read this summer? Let me know in the comments!

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith   quill-ink

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WWW Wednesday | The Seventeenth

Another Wednesday.

You know what that means!

Another round of WWW Wednesday thanks to our lovely host: Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

Care to join in sharing your weekly reads, all you have to do is answer these 3 questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m so happy to say that, reaching the end of July, I managed to SMASH my goal of reading 9 books, topping the month off at 12 🙂

I’ve also read 74 of my planned 100 books for 2016, which means I have to read an average of 6 each month to meet it. I think I can do it 😉


WHAT I AM CURRENTLY READING

Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

25667118Blurb

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

After finishing ACOTAR last night, I was eager to pick up ADSOM! And I am in love so far. With Kell. With Lila. With the worldbuilding. With Schawb’s voice and prose. It killed me to put it down at 11:15pm, but I had to be up at 5:45 this morning. Cannot wait to continue the adventure tonight ❤

WHAT I RECENTLY FINISHED READING

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

18695294Blurb:

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.

Stunning. Written with all the mastery I’ve come to expect from Mr. Gaiman. A true gem of literature. And the ending…. shivers… I highly recommend this novel. I’ve fallen behind in posting reviews, but I’ll have one up for this soon.

Saint Odd (Odd Thomas #7) by Dean Koontz

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Blurb:

The future is haunting Odd Thomas.

The carnival has returned to Pico Mundo, the same one that came to town when Odd was just sixteen.

History seems to be repeating itself as Odd grapples with a satanic cult intent on bringing destruction to his town. An unseasonal storm is brewing, and as the sky darkens and the sun turns blood-red, it seems that all of nature is complicit in their plans.

Meanwhile Odd is having dreams of a drowned Pico Mundo, where the submerged streetlamps eerily light the streets. But there’s no way Pico Mundo could wind up underwater . . . could it?

I finished it. A satisfying conclusion. I felt that the series was tied up neatly, but the final conflict lacked a little. I would say more, but I risk spoilers. And no one likes those. I am glad that I read this series, because it was very poignant, and Odd Thomas is an endearing character. I’m planning to do a review of the series. Keep an eye out.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

16096824Blurb:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

I just finished this last night. I don’t know quite how to sum up my feelings. I’m a sucker for all stories that adhere to the narrative of Beauty and the Beast, and there was a lot about this novel that I loved, but the last act really soured my experience. More in a review to come, but for now I’m in no rush for the sequel.

WHAT I KNOW I’LL READ NEXT

I managed to get to (if not finish) all of my up next reads from last week. YAY!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

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Blurb:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Harry’s back! Harry’s back! I have been waiting for this day since I finished the 7th book on the day it was released! I cannot wait to delve into a new story. The best part? It’s a stageplay 🙂

Witch Infernal (Infernal Hunt #3) by Holly Evans

Witch Infernal (Infernal Hunt Book 3) by [Evans, Holly]Blurb:

Evelyn Hawke wasn’t made for the quiet life. She’s bored.

Luckily for her, things start going wrong, and she’s expected to fix everyone else’s problems. A trio of celestials task Evie and her friends with the job of tracking down the witch who opened the hellmouth and putting an end to her. Little do they know that the witch has big plans and a far-reaching influence.

Cannot begin to explain how excited I am for this next installment in Holly’s fast-paced Urban Fantasy series. I’ve really missed Evie these last few weeks and I am ready to follow her on a new adventure. August 9th is the release date so with any luck I’ll get a chance to start reading it before next Wednesday.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

https://dynamic.indigoimages.ca/books/1785996320.jpg?altimages=true&width=260&quality=85&maxheight=400&lang=en&z=3.6.90.3.6.2.10112-8Blurb:

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity.

She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

Finally! It’s time for my annual reread of one of my favourite novels: Jane Eyre! I even bought a new copy for the occasion. Depending on timing, I’ll either read this before Witch Infernal or after it. Either way, I can’t wait to reacquaint myself with old friends 🙂


Well, that’s it for me for today! Please feel free to share your links in the comments or just tell me what you’ve been reading if you don’t have one. I might only respond Friday. I’m in the midst of readying my MS for #PitchWars so I’m falling a bit off the grid. But I’ll hop along when I get a chance.

Happy Reading 🙂

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

 

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Happy Thursday everyone!

Here’s a new book review of an old classic for your enjoyment 🙂


Treasure Island

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Blurb:

The most popular pirate story ever written in English, featuring one of literature’s most beloved “bad guys,” Treasure Island has been happily devoured by several generations of boys—and girls—and grownups. Its unforgettable characters include: young Jim Hawkins, who finds himself owner of a map to Treasure Island, where the fabled pirate booty is buried; honest Captain Smollett, heroic Dr. Livesey, and the good-hearted but obtuse Squire Trelawney, who help Jim on his quest for the treasure; the frightening Blind Pew, double-dealing Israel Hands, and seemingly mad Ben Gunn, buccaneers of varying shades of menace; and, of course, garrulous, affable, ambiguous Long John Silver, who is one moment a friendly, laughing, one-legged sea-cook . . .and the next a dangerous pirate leader!

When most people hear the word pirates, the first image that jumps to mind is either good ol’ Jack Sparrow or peg-legged Silver. The former is a result of mass media projection, the latter a result of masterful writing.

It’s been a while since I last read Treasure Island and even then it was an illustrated classic which meant some abridgment to the actual text.  It was an absolute pleasure to read the full version. Stevenson created a masterpiece of an adventure, a true seafaring ride with twists and surprises, moments of honour and displays of dastardly deeds.

The plot is simple, yet effective, every scene well executed with purpose and driven by conflict. It is succinctly told and full of lessons of morality as well as thrilling fight sequences. It really is a well-rounded little book.

Of course, no review can be done of Treasure Island without some discussion of its characters.  Jim Hawkins might be the protagonist of this story, but Long John Silver is the essence of it. His morally ambiguous character  keeps a level of suspense, at times masquerading as Jim’s mentor/protector, at other times as the pirate captain with a desire for treasure. Stevenson created not only one of the most notable pirates in literature, but one of the most memorable fictional characters of all time.

Jim is a great character too, perfectly embodying the coming-of-age protagonist as he is thrown from his comfort zone and made to become a man, learning to fend for himself.

Treasure Island is a classic adventure novel and is easily enjoyable for readers of all ages. If you haven’t yet traveled with the Hispanolia to Treasure Island, then I highly recommend that you book a ticket! It’s one ride you don’t want to miss 😉

RATING:

quills


May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith quill-ink