Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello, I'm back!

Hi Everyone! :-)

I've actually been back for a week but have been very busy and haven't had a chance to blog at all! I'm now in a new job, which I absolutely love, and am trying to get myself organised before September madness starts. This is a job I've been wanting to be in for years and years and I'm thrilled that things have finally fallen into place.

My vacation was fantastic. If you haven't been to Wales, I suggest you add it to your list. It's a wonderful place to spend a few weeks. We stayed in South Wales, in the Brecon Beacons, which is a national park. Lovely countryside, amazing scenery, picturesque towns... Ahhh....

We also spent a few days on Cardiff, the Welsh capital. What a great city! Admittedly, all I really did was shop, the shopping was amazing!! I live in Belgium, where the shopping really doesn't compare... :-( Although that's probably good for my wallet. Although not anymore, since many British stores now deliver to continental Europe. But I digress.

Seriously, visit Wales, it's so beautiful. It reminded me of Ireland, which makes sense, with the Celtic connection and all. If you're looking for a relaxed holiday that's in an interesting place, Wales is a great option.

I didn't get all my reading done, as expected, but I did some and I have several reviews of some great books coming up. Looking forward to catching up on your blogs to see what you've been up to!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Holiday Reading

That's it folks, I'm finally off on vacation tomorrow. YAY! I am SO ready. The past two have totally worn me out, with a combination of the shock of going back to work after maternity leave, starting a new extremely busy job and trying to get that life/work balance right. I can't wait till we're on our way tomorrow.

Obviously, I cannot go on vacation and not bring a car load of books with me. Even though I've been told that the area of Wales where we'll be has tons of second-hand bookstores that I'm sure I won't be able to resists. But books don't take up that much space, right?

Here's what I'd like to accomplish -

I plan on finishing the following started books:
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Secret Life of the Unborn Child by Dr Thomas Verny
  • Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
  • Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

And I plan on reading the these ones as well:
  • Baby Signs: How to talk with your baby before your baby can talk by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn
  • The Power of Now; A guide to spiritual enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
  • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  • Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
  • I'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti
  • The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

Seeing that I'm going away for two weeks and not two months and that we're bringing the baby, how many of these do you think I can get through? :-)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The second book in this fun series was just as satisfying as the first one. Percy's adventures are extremely entertaining. I had a few 'isn't this just like Harry Potter' moments (like the trying to recreate a dangerous monster from his remains thing, what's up with that?), but mostly the story is very original. Or as original as you can get when all the adventures are pretty much based on Greek mythology. :-)

In any case, when I read this series I feel like I'm inhaling the story - seriously, these books finish so fast for me, a day or two and they're over! This is strange only because I no longer have that much reading time. Must mean that they're good reads then. And that I have the same taste in books as 9-year-old boys. Ha. :-)

Anyway, these are great fanntasy stories and if you loved Harry Potter then this should definitely be your next stop. Larissa, if you still read this blog, this means you. :-)

Challenges: 2010 Countdown Challenge, What's in a Name?

Monday, August 2, 2010

In the Woods by Tana French

Um, I think Tana French owes me an answer to the second mystery? There are two cases in the book and only one of them is solved - I was very very very disappointed when I finished! I know that it makes the book different and all that and that in theory it's a positive that all loose ends aren't tied up like in Hollywood, but I wanted to know who did it!!!

There, I got that out of my system. Kinda. Nah, I still want to know who do it. :-)

For the rest, I thought the book was great. I loved the Irishness of it, first of all, the specific way sentences and phrases were built and the distinctive slang of the Irish. I loved the writing, but only once I got into the story, so perhaps I was just following plot by then. I found the language way over-flowery at the beginning, to such an extent that I had to re-read sentences and was wondering if I shouldn't just put the book down.

What I loved most was the relationship between Rob and Cassie, the two detectives working the main case. I absolutely loved the way  they were with each other and the way their relationship grew. There was such warmth, such closeness in it. The way the author wrote them interviewing people and working in general was spectacular. That private relationship somehow made them think like one person, they knew each other completely and this was indispensable to getting witnesses to talk. I don't like what happened to them in the end but I understand that there wasn't any other place Rob's character could go.

All in all, a very enjoyable page-turner.

Have you read The Likeness? Is it worth reading?

Challenges: 2010 Countdown, Orbis Terrarum