Friday, 31 March 2017

Reader Problems TAG


1. You have 20 000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?
Well, I don't really have a problem with that. I remember times when I had been committed to read books that were sent to me for review. And I hated having an overflying TBR pile without any chance to pick a book from my shelves randomly. And so I am really happy I can decide what to read next according to my current mood, now that I don't receive review copies anymore. It's the best kind of freedom and I love it. So whenever I finish a book, I take my time to browse through my home library and pick a book that I just feel like reading at the moment. I don't ever get overwhelmed by unread books on my shelves. In fact, I prefer to have plenty of them to choose from. That's what keeps me excited about reading. The endless possibility, I guess...

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?
Well, it really depends on the particular book. If I do not enjoy it just because the time isn't right, I usually put the book down to come back to it later. I know that it might look like I am never going to do that. But I've actually done that before and sometimes I even ended up loving the book. In general speaking, though, I always try to finish the book, for I kind of feel commited...

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?
I had actually never set up a reading challenge on Goodreads before. So I can't really tell. But this year I've challenged myself to read sixty books so I'm going to at least try to finish my goal. In my opinion, the best thing to get on with reading is to read books that are simply your cup of tea. That way you wouldn't feel any preasure to complete your reading challenge, instead it would be a great fun...

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?
This is a tough one. You see, I usually try to search for books that match my collection. But sometimes it's not that easy. In the Czech Republic publishers don't tend to change the cover team for a series often. And there are no more editions to choose from, either. So there's no problem with that. What publishers tend to do, though, is not publishing the last book in the series. What the heck... Right? So, throughout the years, I ended up with some unfinished series. And if I want to know the ending, I am now forced to buy the last book in English, in which case my books won't match. It's really annoying. That's the reason why I've started to read in English. And I am never going to buy any series in Czech translation ever again. How do I cope? Well, I usually split the unmatched books so that way I don't have to be annoyed by looking at them every time...

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?
I don't think I need someone to bond with over my hatred feelings. If I really don't like a book, even though everybody else is raving about it, I don't care at all. I read the book. I did everything I could. Now it's time to move on and find something that I would like so I could experince the same excitement as everybody else...

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?
The thing is that I usually can't concentrate on my feelings properly when in public. So I have never gotten into that kind of situation. When I am reading a book that is really emotional, I usually save it for later to get some privacy in which I can thoroughly absorb the whole story and feelings that come with it...

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!
This is seriously a story of my life. I've never finished a whole series in one time period. Even if all the books were out already. I don't know why but apparently it's unattainable goal for me. What I usually do, though, when there is a sequel of the book I like coming out, is that I re-read the first novel to refresh my memory and also enjoy my favourite book all over again. There's nothing to cry about...

8. You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?
I used to be really strict about lending my precious books to other people. I am not that much now. I don't mind if the book is a little bit worn after reading and so I would gladly lend it to a friend had they asked. But the thing is that they don't ask me. They're probably afraid I would say no according to my previous opinions I shared on my blog, concerning lending out books. But I am still quite misgiving about people not returning my books, which is always a risk. I only lend my books to my parents and Grandmother currently, for I can fully trust them about treating my books carefully. Plus they always give them back to me...

9. Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?
I don't know, really. I sort of think that having a reading slump isn't necessarily a bad thing. I mean, it's okay to do other stuff, too. I always say that being a reader is kind of a lifestyle that we choose. I personally read most when I am having a boring period of my life. But if there are many exciting things going on, I can't read that much, for my mind is floating somewhere else. I would say that a short reading break is the best way to get out of a reading slump, because after it you can rediscover the joy that books bring to you. But sometimes I also push myself out of a reading slump by reading books from my favourite genre. Something light and fluffy. That works for me just as well...

10. There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?
Obviously, it depends on how much money I have in my disposal at the moment. Surely, I would like to buy them all at once, but I usually try to be sober about buying books. So I will wait till I have free finances, and in the meantime, it becomes clearer what books I am genuinely interested in. And little by little I'll buy those eventually...

11. After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?
It really depends... Sometimes I read new books straight away, just like I did it with Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland, which I bought and read in one day. But there are also times when I buy a book which then lays on my shelf for three years before I get to it, which was the case of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. But I would like to believe that I'll read every single book I buy no matter when it'll be. Books are patient and I'm sure they'll wait for me till the time is right...

Monday, 27 March 2017

Sarah Dessen Book Club #3| What Happened to Goodbye

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing date: 2011
Pages: 402


Mclean is practicaly on a constant move since her parents had divorced. On each place she lived as someone else until this last place where she suddenly finds herself stuck with her real name. Almost as if it chosen her by itself. She has had a rule of not making any connections to avoid hurt feelings when the time of another moving will come around. But then she gets acquinted with a whole bunch of new friends. And suddenly, it's not that easy for her to picture herself going away...

"Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go."

It was my first time of reading this book. And even though I've heard Sarah Dessen confessing many times that it was one of the hardest books for her to write, it became one of my absolute favourites of hers nonetheless. The story was really complex and coherent, full of beautiful and colourful characters whom I found a lot of in common with. And I loved that I had a chance to meet some of the characters from her older novels as well. I think it's awesome that in Sarah Dessen's novels even the side characters are just as important as the main ones. That in her books everybody has a story. An interesting story that's worth of being told. It makes all of her novels unique and real...

I think this book is partially different from her other ones for its slightly melancholic feel, which I actually really enjoyed. I mean, there's just something about an abidance in your melancholy as long as it won't exceed to a depression. It's nice to live in your own world, completely immersed in a story of a book. But the reason why I loved this book so much is because it showed how important it is to step out of your inner world at some point, and interact with people around you. By reading it, I realized that sometimes I don't give people enough credit. If I did, though, I might be surprised how much they actually care. It's so easy expect the worst from them just for the sake of not being disappointed. But that way you never get a chance to get to know someone who might be worth it...

"Once you love something, you always love it in some way.
You have to. It's, like, part of you for good."

What Happened to Goodbye is a story about finding your own personality, about importance of a family and friendship. It's about finding your place in this huge world full of people, waiting for their chance to do what they love the most. It's also about learning to understand to each other and forgiving people we love their faults. I would highly encourage you to read this book. Either for finding an inspiration in it or simply for the pure pleasure of reading of a good story.

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 24 March 2017

What I Read Lately

Hello everybody,
I hope you're doing well and are having a great reading time. I am sorry I haven't been around much lately. But even though I haven't blogged, I have been reading. So I decided to share my thoughts about some books I haven't reviewed but enjoyed a lot. There are some interesting posts coming up so stay tuned for those. And have a lovely weekend...

  • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders - This was definitely one of the best books I've read so far this year. The story was brilliantly crafted and beautifully told. I loved all of the characters. They were absolutely unique. It was immensely funny and touching to read about them all. I've heard people describing this book as "weird", but I don't think it is. It's just really different, kind of raw and utterly honest. It's visible that the author has a really expanded imagination, which makes her story unforgettable. I would encouraged all of you to read it...
  • Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - Another absolutely amazing book. To tell the truth, I wasn't planning on reading this one at first. It just didn't seem as something I would normaly go for. But because everybody was raving about it, I decided to give it a try. And I am so happy now that I did, for this book definitely desrves all the hype. I loved the voice of the main character. I grew fond of him practically immediately. And from then on I was investigated to the story with my whole heart. Such a lovely coming-off-age story that made me kind of miss my high school years...
  • Off the Page by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer - This is a sequel to Between the Lines which is a book that tells a story about a prince who would do anything for a chance of escaping the fairy tale he is forced to live in. In this novel we follow his escapades once his wish comes true. And I have to say that I loved Off the Page even more than the first book. It was really entertaining throughout the whole time. And as sweet as ever...
  • Life and Death (Twilight Reimagined) by Stephenie Meyer - I'd wanted to read this book ever since it came out, but I waited till it came in paperback because I really didn't like the huge bind up copy with the original Twilight in it. So I finally read it and really enjoyed it. I thought the story worked very well even with the swap of genders of the main characters. But I couldn't really separate this book from the original. And sometimes I found myself confused, for somewhere in the middle of the dialog I automatically started to think about Bella and Edward. So I don't know. I guess I am too connected to them to suddenly try to applicate their story on someone else. But over all it was highly enjoyable read...

Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Little Prince

Original title: Le Petit Prince
Author: Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
Translators: Ros and Chloe Schwartz
Publisher: Macmillan Collector's Library
Publishing date: 2016
Pages: 135


Considering how much I love this book now, it's actually kind of a funny story that The Little Prince was the only book I never wanted to read. I remember it was one of the first books I've ever picked up to read for school when I was very little. But I couldn't get into it and I didn't like the first two drawings at all, for drawing was, like, my second self and I was craving for something different by that time. And so I just never finished the book and also never intended to do it. And the fact that everybody was raving about it made it even worse. It just struck me that the book was too difficult to understand and everybody was lying about reading it just to make themselves look cool. But when I had been working in a bookshop in London, some girl stopped before a little stuck of The Little Princes and, without knowing she was being observed, said to herself: "Oh, this book. It's such a beautiful story..." And then she nodded her head, as if it hadn't been her who just said it, but completely agreed with the statement. I guess, this was the first impulse that made me finaly overcome my impenitence regarding this book and challenged me to read it.

"To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world...”

I am so glad I did it, for this book really deserves all the hype it gets. If you pay attention to the story, you'll be able to find what you're looking for in it. It was so beautifully written, and this time I even loved the illustrations. I din't expect it at all, but I actually cried a little bit when I came upon the quote which you can see above. In the concept of the story, it was very touching. Something about it just make my heart ache. The whole book made me feel a little bit of hope in the world around me, which is actually why I think it's more of a book for grown-ups than for children. When I was trying to read this book as a child, I didn't need such a reminder. Back then I saw hope everywhere. The funny thing is that things haven't really changed since then, only the way I see them has changed. So I guess that the hope I felt back then is still here waiting for me to see it. The Little Prince is one of those precious things which help me to find the way to it...

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Great Expectations

Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: SPLINTER
Publishing date: 2012
Pages: 571


"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."

The story follows Philip Pirrip - Pip for short - who is in his infancy forced to steal some food and a file for a fugitive who threatens to kill him otherwise. And this deed haunts him from then on. When Pip falls in love with a rich and cold-hearted young lady, Estella, to which guardian Mis Havisham he keeps company time to time, Pip begins to hanker for being a genteman who would be worthy a beautiful Estella. When his wish comes true, he doesn't realize where his sudden wealthiness might lead him to...

"Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape."

Great Expectations was the third book I've read by Charles Dickens (the previous ones being A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist), so I believe that I have been acquinted with his work quite properly, although I have yet to cope with some of his largest tomes. As you may know, I am a huge fan of A Christmas Carol. It's one of my all time favourite books, for sure. Oliver Twist I also love, but Great Expectations is undoubtedly the best of all. It's quite possibly the most beautifully written book I've ever read, yet it's surprisingly easy to read and understand. Charles Dickens is such an quotable author. His sentences are in my opinion ones of the finest and most truthful in whole literature. I admire his work utterly. And Great Expectations is the one book of his I've connected with the most. I honestly found myself between the pages of this book. And I related to Pip entirely. I mean, he is certainly quite difficult character to like, since he does so many mistakes that lead him to all sorts of unfortunate affairs. But I am able to understand his wishes and dreams, for I've had them too. He just feels real to me, and the whole book seems like his most sincere confession. And it's not a reader's business to judge, only listen.

"So throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise."

Charles Dickens is a master when it comes to the characters. They are so precisely crafted. And I couldn't help feeling for them. I was scared by them, also touched and amused, I feared for them too, and often felt allied to them. Some of them were so nice and the others rather horrid or downright weird. Either way, I just loved reading about them all. I also enjoyed the settings of this novel. It was highly interesting to visit London in Victorian era. Even though the skyline of the city wouldn't be recognizable at all for Charles Dickens nowadays, I think that some of the things about the place haven't really changed since his age. And I absoltely adored his description of the main city od England. It was stunning and mesmerizing. Just like the book itself. Even if I knew the basic storyline beforehand, there were many things which took me by surprise. Great Expectations is surely an amazing classic to read for anybody who yearns for beautiful language and thrilling plot at the same time...

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 3 March 2017

Sarah Dessen Book Club #2| Just Listen

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing date: 2016
Pages: 371


Annabel seems to have it all. Everybody imagines her to be perfect and having an amazing life full of loving people and exciting events. But there are things that Annabel keeps deep down in herself and even, or especially, her own mom doesn't know. Some kind of serendipity throws her together with Owen, whom she always expected to be scary and reclusive. But she soon learns that nobody is what you first suspect them to be. Owen will share his love for music with Annabel. And step by step Annabel will learn how important it is to open herself to the people she loves...

"Don't think or judge, just listen."

This is not the first time I am writing about this book on my blog. I had actually written a review on it already, but it was many years ago, so I might as well go ahaed and try to do my best to express my feelings about this book again. If you follow me continously, it won't be surprising for you to hear that I freaking love this book. In fact, I consider it as one of the most influental books in my whole life, if that says something. I think that because it came to me in the most important time, it had a really great impact on me. In this book Sarah Dessen helped me to see many things differently. I stopped being so immersed in my own problems after reading it. I also realized that I was not the only one person having issues. And I learnt that it's okay to have flaws because nobody expects from you to be perfect. And just as Kirsten found comfort in taking care of herbs and Annabel in listening to music, I started to think about what I could do with my free time. And so I established this blog which has become a big part of my life since then. So I've really gained a lot since reading Just Listen for the first time five years ago...

"No matter how much time has passed, these things still affect us and the world we live in. If you don't pay attention to the past, you'll never understand the future. It's all linked together."

It was amazing to re-read this book after such a long time. I was so surprised by how many things I forgot about it. I think I needed some reminders of the important things in life, therefore I am really glad I had a chance to pick this book up again. I found the main characters highly inspiring and I loved reading about them. Sarah Dessen writes about people willing to change themselves. They are still full of hope and optimism, even if they experienced really bad things. And I admire that about them a lot. That's the reason why I like reading Young Adult novels, even though I am not a teenager anymore. It's so easy to lose your ideals when you're getting older. And it's really not that hard to conceive hatred for people in general, once you've experienced some kind of betrayal. But to see these young people being so passionate and open, is something that makes me want to be like them. Therefore I adore Sarah Dessen for her writing. She created these characters which means she herself believes in better of the world...

I can't recommend Sarah Dessen's books enough. I would like to encourage everybody to read them, for I am convinced you'll find something in them that will resonate with you. Whether you need a little bit of hope, love or faith, you can find it in her novels. There's plenty for everyone. And if there'll come some time in your life when you'll need some more, you can always come back and find what you need in her books again...

Rating: 5/5