Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Holiday Reading vol 2

Here come digital books I plan to read during my summer holiday.  

The Blade Itself, Joe Abercrombie - to be finished (90% done). I think Abercrombie is a good pick for the folks suffering from Song of Ice and Fire-withdrawal. Won't make my all-time favourites but it's decent escapism with some very interesting characters.

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi - to be finished. This is a buddyread I'm doing with Michael from Knowledge Lost. The world has gone pear shaped and the remaining population lives in constant fear of mutating plagues. Lovely beach read.

Ubik, Philip K. Dick - I think everyone should have more Philip K. Dick in their lives.

Wastelands 2, edited by John Joseph Adams - anthology on the apocalyptic themes. I've always had a healthy interest (:p) in apocalypse narratives. I have ordered Wastelands 1 in print but it might take a while to arrive. The authors of the stories in this collection make me feel all kinds of excitement. Another lovely beach read.

Breaking Stalin's Nose, Eugene Yelchin - one of the first books on my Kindle, a very short read, yet I haven't got to it yet. The title is entertaining and I'm happy to give it a go.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betti Smith - one of the great American books. I don't care much for all things American, but I have a soft spot for some of their literature, and I think this would be a good pick as a holiday read. 

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins - two words: low expectations. 

Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell - I have no idea how this book got to my e-reader. But there it is and I suppose there won't be a better time to give it a go. Might be an actual, sarcasm-free beach read for a change.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Summer Holiday Reading vol 1

Context: for the half of last month, I worked 12-hour days. For the rest of the half, I worked 10-hour days. Given that, it's fair to say I am slightly overexcited about the prospect of 3 glorious, summery weeks off from all the editing and translating and arguing with an irrational client and "herding the sheep" (this is a joke, I love my team a lot :) ) 

This may also be why I have listed 15 books in my to-read list for three weeks (plus one day... a lot can happen in one day). 

Here are the print books:

Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger - a collection of short stories. Salinger's Franny and Zooey is one of my favourite books.

The Republic of Thieves, Scott Lynch (about half way through) - the last book of the series was pretty much a miss for me, but this one has been going a lot better.

The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, Michael Booth - how is it that so many people seem to possess deep interest in Scandinavia/Nordic region, yet no one really knows anything much about it, not to mention dreams of living here? I'm afraid it might turn out a bit of a shallow read, but no doubt it will be entertaining, and at least semi-educating.

The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides - seems to be bit of a love-or-hate this one? Then again I guess Eugenides is... I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it because if you write like the guy who gave birth to Middlesex, it takes a sort of unimaginable skill to screw up a book.

Abaddon's Gate, James S. A. Corey - ain't no better combination than summer and space operas.

Apteeker Melchior ja Rataskaevu viirastus, Indrek Hargla -  the smart apotheka owner Melchior continues solving brutal crimes in medieval Tallinn. Bloody love this stuff.

City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett - so excited for this one! Looks very promising.

And that's about half of it, I will be posting e-books tomorrow!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Twinkle, twinkle, little five-star...

Been a bit of an odd reading year, this one. I've completed 37 books and given maximum score to only four. While normal for some, this is definitely a tad negative outcome for me, I'm not the type to "save" my fivers for the Life Changing Books :p Most of the books I've read have been 3-stars, there are a few ones among them (*cough* Not This Kind of Girl *cough*) It's been a mess, really, but on the other hand - those best books really stand out in the crowd. 

The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton - so back in the day (May 2013) I read The Innocents - a book that was said to be a retelling (gosh how I hate this word and what it represents!) of The Age of Innocence - and had some problems with it (of course I did...). So what do we learn from this situation? Don't fix it if it ain't broken. The Age of Innocence definitely ain't broken, and I recommend you read it if you at all like classic/American lit. 

Pirita k├Ągistaja, Indrek Hargla - keeping this one short since it is Estonian - this series by sci-fi author Hargla, in which chemist/druggist/apotheka owner Melchior solves mysteries in medieval Tallinn is getting better by each book. 

Caliban's War, James S. A. Corey - what's summer for if not reading chick lit space operas? The first in the series, Leviathan Wakes, was okay very decent, but this one really added some gears. I'm planning to read the third book soon - even if they say it's gonna go all downhill now. 

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick - you know that movie Blade Runner? Of course you do. Well, even if it is very much the matter of taste, and apples and oranges, this book is so much better. Let's just say it made a whole lotta more sense. And the whole topic of animals is just so close to my heart. 

But Riv, I hear you say while counting fingers on your left/right hand - you said you read four five-star books this year and yet there are five covers on this very amateurish Picmonkey collage photo? Very observant! Because technically, I have given 

Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed - four stars on Goodreads. However! As this year is going as it is going, meaning not very generously star-wise, I realised this is definitely a top read as well. Especially considering it has kinda stuck with me, and it was the very first book I read this year. To say I was skeptical about Tiny Beautiful Things (What Dear Sugar?? I ain't that kinda girl...) is ... well, I was very skeptical. But dear heavens, that lady can write! Don't be skeptical. It's good stuff if you feel like being a little bit emo about all sorts of relationship issues.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

[insert those *Comfortably Numb* lyrics]

Hello (hello... hello... helloo..... yep, it echoes around here :p)

Well. Ain't it just convenient where I left off with this blog - the last post was made on 31st of December, 2014. I can honestly tell you it was not a planned disappearance - but it happened anyway. I ain't even gonna attempt to say anything other than if you feel like blogging - blog; if you feel like not blogging - don't. Clearly I've been feeling like not blogging for seven months now, and obviously I, at least somewhat, feel like blogging again. 

I had a blog slump, I had a major reading slump in the beginning of this year, it can even be said I had a life slump (HI, M!) -  it was pretty bad, let me tell ya. 

I miss my book blog. I don't miss struggling with Blogger, though, but I miss writing about bookish stuff. I miss my bookish buddies (if there is anyone still around, HELLO!). 

It is a bit ironic that I am writing this post and planning the return while having major workload and 10-hour days (at least) - but there are people who get more done the more they have things to get done with, and I am clearly one of them people. 

It's summer, I still live in Helsinki, with a hobbit and two cats, I still read books. I shall leave you guys with that for now, and cross all my fingers to still feel like book blogging tomorrow.