Posted in Tags & Awards

One Lovely Blog Award

one-lovely-blog-award

Thank you so much to Ajoobacats Blog for nominating me for this award! If you haven’t already, you should check out her blog, it’s filled with interesting and thoughtful book reviews as well as inspiring posts.

The Rules

Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
List the rules and display the award.
Add 7 facts about yourself.
Nominate 10-15 bloggers for the award, and comment on one of their posts to let them know.

7 Facts About Me

  • I watch the newscast every morning during breakfast. It began when I started school, my mother wanted to make sure I knew what was happening in the world from an early age.
  • A medical condition prevents me from eating most fruits, veggies, and anything with aspartam in it, which makes it hard to eat out or at friends’.
  • I talk to the screen when watching my favorite TV shows. I can’t help screaming at the characters, or giving them advice, or reacting strongly whenever something happens. When the episodes are over, I feel like I’ve run a marathon. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen with all TV shows. It makes it awful or fun (depending on the person) to watch with me.
  • I have a dog: her name is Yûki (勇気), it means Courage in Japanese. She was given to me to help fight agoraphobia. We’ve been living together for five years and she’s my anti-anxiety magical baby.
  • I am organized. I make plans and lists all the time. I have an illegal amount of fun scheduling my weeks.
  • I always put Rum in my waffles and cakes. No Rum No Fun.
  • I can’t leave the house without a bag filled with books, my agenda, food, my ipod, and everything I might need when I’m out, even if I’m just away for a little while. My bags are always too big and too heavy.

My nominees

I don’t feel like choosing people as I’d love to get to know all of you a little better so consider yourself tagged! 🙂

Posted in Tags & Awards

Book Quote Challenge: Day 3

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All good things must come to an end (the person who said that never heard of reading!), this is the final day of my Book Quote Challenge. A big thanks to Ajoobacats Blog for nominating me, it was really fun to dig into my notes and memories to find the best quotes!

The Rules:
Post for three consecutive days
Pick three quotes per day
Challenge three different bloggers per day

Quote n°1

“To hang on from day to day and from week to week, spinning out a present that had no future, seemed an unconquerable instinct, just as one’s lungs will always draw the next breath so long as there is air available.”

From 1984, George Orwell

Quote n°2

“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”

From Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

Quote n°3

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K Rowling

My nominees:
First Things First
Bibliophile
Rose Reads

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I’ll start this second day by thanking Ajoobacats again for the nomination, I am having a lot of fun picking those quotes!

The Rules:
Post for three consecutive days
Pick three quotes per day
Challenge three different bloggers per day

Quote n°1

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

Oscar Wilde

Quote n°2

“It was like a whole separate life; the paler his waking life grew, the more colorful his sleeping life.”

From Digging into Life, Anne Tyler

Quote n°3

“Locking up the booze doesn’t come under etiquette. It comes under tyranny.”

From Too Many Cooks, Rex Stout

My nominees:

Claire from Art and Soul
Clare from A Book And Tea
Scifi & Scary

 

Book Quote Challenge: Day 2

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (Feb 24th 2016)

thisweekinbooks

This Week In Books is a great meme hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found where you sum-up what you’ve been reading during the week.

∧ Then ∧ Back When We Were Grownups, Anne Tyler
Back When We Were Grownups has its flaws but it was an enjoyable read. I am looking forward to reading other Anne Tyler’s books.

≈ Now ≈ Only Ever Yours, Louise O’Neill
Disturbing and horrifying world that has me clinging to my iPad instead of working. Oops #notsorry

∨ Next ∨ The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith
I finally got a copy of this, even if it’s only the ebook. I can’t wait to get to it!

Still no library card so this week will be Kindle only. It’s my first time reading ebooks, let’s see if we’re meant to be!

Have you read any of those books? What’s next on your reading list?
I wish you a good bookish week!

 

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Thank you Ajoobacats Blog for nominating me for the Book Quote Challenge!

The Rules:
Post for three consecutive days
Pick three quotes per day
Challenge three different bloggers per day

Quote n°1

“A book is a dream you hold in your hands.”

Neil Gaimain

Quote n°2

“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”

From Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

Quote n°3

“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

From Extremely Close And Incredibly Loud, Jonathan Safran Foer

My nominees:
Rebeca from Books and Messy Buns
Linda’s book bag
Lisa from Remarkablylisa

See you tomorrow for more quotes! 🙂

Book Quote Challenge: Day 1

Posted in The Pub Corner

Counting Stars: A Rating Problem

I am a bloddler (= blog toddler. Yes, I love inventing words), which means I watch, try, fall and learn.

My focus for the first reviews had been on how to write an honest and understandable review. It’s a work in progress but so far I’ve been enjoying it a lot. We all know that before a review is ready for publication, there are things to take care of, such as the illustration, the introduction, the actual review, and ‘tadada’ the rating. I innocently thought it would be the easiest part. I can’t explain why I chose to rate my books on a 1 to 10 scale. Did I just hear someone say ‘School habit’? It might be it. But I realized it did not work here. I tried to find a way to divide those numbers using items that would help me find the right number for each book, and failed. I liked it but it dragged a bit, should it be a 7 or a 8? Maybe a 6,5? Too many choices! It shouldn’t be that complicated.

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So from now on, I’ll be counting stars too. I can definitely count to 5. I’d rather be counting waffles or chocolate bars but it turns out waffles emoji DO NOT EXIST (I am still recovering from this heartbreaking discovery), and those teeny-tiny chocolate bars are way too small to be used. (Special mention to The Orang-Utan Librarian for the great banana rating). Until the day I can make my own emoji comes, here is the system I will be using:

Renewed Basic Rating System

5*
Favorite Book Alert. I absolutely adored the book! I would recommend it 100%. It was flawless/had me on the edge of my seat/made me cry my heart out/burst out with joy/add mention needed.

4*
I loved this book! I would definitely recommend it.

3*
I liked this book.
I had minor issues with it but overall it was a good read.

2*
I did not really enjoy this book.

1*
I did not like it. Things did not work out between us.

I just felt I needed to get this straight before posting new reviews. Now that it’s done, I can get back to work with a soothed mind and a plate of waffles.

Enough about me, I’d love to hear if you use a rating system and what are the most important points for you to decide how to hand out your stars!

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (February 17th 2016)

thisweekinbooks

This Week In Books is a great meme hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found where you sum-up what you’ve been reading during the week.

∧ Then ∧ 2084, Boualem Sansal 
It was not that bad but I don’t get what all the fuss around this book was about. My review should be online by the end of the week!

≈ Now ≈ Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
I ran out of time last week, so I’m excited to start this book today.

∨ Next ∨ Back When We Were Grownups, Anne Tyler
I want to confirm my feelings about Anne Tyler’s writing. I will go over all of her books available at the library in the next months.

Because of a late email from the library, leading me to return a book with a 4-day delay, I now have to wait February 29th before I’m allowed to borrow books again. Now I’m grumpy and anxious about not having anything to read. Let’s hope time flies and I get my library card back very soon. Valentine’s day brought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (can’t believe I never read it English!), I might sandwich it in for moral support.

Have a great bookish week 🙂

Posted in Tags & Awards

Soundtrack To My Life Book Tag

Hello world! I have been away from the Internet for five days. Five days! I usually don’t really care but now that I’ve been blogging for a little while I missed reading my fellow bloggers posts. And of course, the connection was severed when I could have had fun doing the tags I’d been invited to!
I’m starting off the week with the Soundtrack To My Life Book Tag! Thanks to the lovely The Orang-Utan Librarian for tagging me 🙂

Opening Credits: Favorite childhood book
Kamo et moi, Daniel Pennac
kamo et moi
I don’t have many childhood memories but I remember carrying this book with me everywhere.

Waking up: A book that got you out of a reading slump
1984, George Orwell
1984
At the time, I was studying full time, I think the only thing I read was the TV program once a week. I had to read 1984 for a class nobody cared about so I was not very enthusiastic. I had never heard of 1984 and wasn’t expecting much. And then, it happened. When I put the book down, I was glad a book as strong as this was the one that reminded me about the power of reading.

School: A book you had to read for school that you ended up loving
Les Liaisons Dangereuses, C.De Laclos
Les liaisons dangeureuses
Epistolatory novels are not my thing. Still, I loved this one. I couldn’t wait to know how the game would end.

Falling in Love: An author you love so much you want to read all of their books
I am more of a “all-about-the-book” person so it’s never really about the author. At the moment, I’m very curious about Anne Tyler. I’ve read only one of her books but I intend to read more of them as I really enjoyed her style.

Fight: a book with the best action sequences
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K Rowling
HP et les reliques
I thought and thought about it but I can’t recall a book with real action sequences except for the last Harry Potter. It looks like I’m not into books with a lot of action.

Break up: a book or series you didn’t finish and do not intend to finish
A Game Of Thrones, G.R.R Martin
got
Maybe I should not have started with the TV show. I was very disappointed with the books. I gave it several tries but I always ended up bored. I feel there’s something missing, and the style never really appealed to me.

Hanging with friends: a book you think everyone should read
French Grammar for All
bescherelle
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hanging around waiting for someone to make a grammar mistake and yell at them, but recently it’s been hard not to wince at people’s speech or writing.

Breakdown: a book that seriously affected you/had you crying your eyes out
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, J.S Foer
extremely loud
I read it earlier this year, and I feel it’s still with me. I was deeply moved by the writing and the story itself,  some things echoing with my own story.

Roadtrip: Your favorite series (more than 3 books)
The Stephanie Plum series, Janet Evanovich
one for the money

My go-to series for all times: depressed? Happy? Bored? Sick? Commuting? Waiting for the dentist? Stephanie Plum is my answer. This series never fails to take my mind away from everything that’s bothering me, and it’s always a pleasure to read about Stephanie and her messy life.

Flashback: your favorite book from five years ago
The Slap, Christos Tsiolkas
theslap
Someone I knew was reading it on the beach, that was the only reason I picked up this book. You can say a lot about people by the books they read. I’d say that person has great taste, at least when it comes to reading. it’s still a favorite of mine.

Getting back together: What book can you not stop rereading?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K Rowling
Harry potter 3
I don’t reread much, especially because I had been on a reading break for a long time and only resumed a few weeks ago, but if there’s a book I can go back to at any time, it’s the third Harry Potter. It was the first I ever read, and it has a special place in my heart. Every chapter takes me back and triggers good memories every time.

Wedding: a book that is special to you
Stepmom, Maggie Robb
stepmom
I read this one after I watched the movie. I remember being in tears when I finished it. There is nothing special about the writing, and the story is quite simple, but I could never relate to another book the way I relate to this one.

Moment of Triumph: the longest book you’ve ever read
The Iliad, Homer
l'iliade
I’m not sure it was the longest but it sure felt like it!

Death scene: Book or series you wish had ended differently?
Red Mist, Patricia Cornwell
red mist
As a teen, I used to love the Kay Scarpetta books. I know the series is not over but somewhere along the way the style and tone changed and I lost interest. The series ended with Red Mist for me and I wish it hadn’t because I miss it.

Funeral: a book with the best/worse epilogue


An epilogue that had me having nightmares was Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. It felt like the perfect last touch and gave me shivers. I can’t think of a better (if “better” can be used with this book…) ending.  I must have read it 14 years ago and I still remember it too clearly.
I was disappointed with the ending of Reconstructing Amelia. The story had built my expectations so high that I fell hard when I reached the last page.

End Credits: who do you tag?

That’s so Jacob

Michelle from I’m an adventure

Claire from Art and Soul

RedHeadedBookLover

Monique from Land of Literature

And anyone who hasn’t done it!

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (February 10th 2016)

thisweekinbooks

This Week In Books is a great meme hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found where you sum-up what you’ve been reading during the week.

∧ Then ∧ Too Many Cooks / Champagne For One, Rex Stout
I am glad I came back to mystery with this book. It’s not just about murders, hints, and culprits. The setting, the writing, and well-written characters make those stories different from what I expected. I will definitely be reading more of Stout’s novels in the near future.

≈ Now ≈ 2084, Boualem Sansal
This week is all about my love for Valentine chocolate 1984. That’s why I picked 2084. The blurb describes it as Orwell’s descendant and I’m curious to see how far the author went to draw parallels. I was a bit irritated by the title because while the book was acclaimed by French media, and everyone talked about it, no one mentioned the obvious link between the two novels. I thought it was unfair to one of my favorite books of all time.

∨ Next ∨ Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
As 1984 is this week’s theme, I thought it was time to read the books often quoted with it. The library didn’t have a copy of Huxley’s Brave New World available so it’ll have to wait till next week.

Now, what’s on your reading list this week? 🙂

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Digging to America, Anne Tyler

diggingtoamerica
Author
: Anne Tyler
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release date: 2006
Format: paperback
Pages: 292
Rating: 4/5

Blurb:
Two families, who would otherwise never come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport, each anticipating the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. Brad and Bitsy Donaldson, all-American suburbanites, and their gift-laden clan resemble a gigantic baby shower with their flotilla of silvery balloons and pink ribbons. Iranian-born matriarch Maryam Yazdan stands unobtrusively in the back of the waiting area with her fully assimilated son, Sami, and his attractive Iranian American wife, Ziba. When Bitsy invites the Yazdan to an “arrival party” at the Donaldson home, an improbable friendship begins, and the occasion evolves into an annual tradition. Over the years, as the parents, children, and grandparents become more deeply entwined, cultures clash, values are challenged, and the American way is seen from the beguiling perspectives of both those who are born here and those who are struggling to fit in.

My thoughts
It all begins at the airport. Two families are waiting for the same life-changing arrival: a baby on its way from Korea. Right from the start, the author gives you a detailed account of how much those two families are different. The Donaldsons are the perfect American cliché, loud and conspicuous, surrounded by balloons and cameras. At the rear, silently waiting, are the three members of the Yazdan family: the soon-to-be parents and a grandmother. At first sight, they have nothing in common.  Drawn together by fate, the story will reveal just how different they really are.

Every chapter is narrated by a different character. each time alternating between he Donaldson and the Yazdan. Maryam, the Iranian-born grandmother, acts as a pillar in the storyline, as we get to follow her more often than the others. I thought it gave the book a good rhythm and allowed the reader to get different sides to every event. Although the baby girls’ arrival is what brought them together, the story doesn’t focus on them, or adoption, but rather on everything around it and how the families are affected and changed by everything that happens. The question of fitting in a country, in a family, in a group, is at the heart of the story. By being confronted to each other, they all question and confront their own lives. As you scratch the surface, the first impressions fade, so do the cliché, and the lines between their differences blur. I enjoyed moving from one character to another. I don’t know how she does it but Anne Tyler has a thing to make to feel for all her characters.

This book is about values, belonging, and family relationships. I loved the parallels between the families and how the author used them to show that cultures may be different but feelings are the same.
I already mentioned I was nosy, and Anne Tyler’s writing is pure candy for me. It was like creeping to a neighbor’s window and sit there with a bowl of popcorn. I love daily scenes filled with people, misunderstandings, food and unsaid things, because that’s where life hides. I’m a sucker for books digging into the essence of all relationships, stories which writes them as they are: raw, full of often contradictory feelings, and at the heart of the sense of belonging. That’s why I highly recommend Digging to America.

Quotes
(I thought adding a couple of quotes from the book could give you a hint at what to expect from the writing so I’ll try to add a couple at the end of every review.)

“Like most life-altering moment, it was disappointingly lacking of drama.”

“Wasn’t the real culture clash the one between the two sexes?”