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Chrissy

Chrissy's Reading 2019

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A new Blog for me I think. 

I have no plans for my reading aside from enjoying it, so I will do no more than I have in previous years; a numbered list, and the occasional review. 

All are welcome to drop by. :)

 

For earlier Blogs of mine ~

2011

2012 & 2013

2014

2015

2016, 2017 & 2018 

 

2019

     The Passage by Justin Cronin (listing for mental continuity!)

 1) The Twelve by Justin Cronin

 2) The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

 3) Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

 4) Percy Jackson & The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

 5) Percy Jackson & The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

 6) Percy Jackson & The Battle of The Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

 7) Percy Jackson & The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

 8) The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

 9) The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

10) The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

11) The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

12) The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

13) A Bachelor Establishment by Isabella Barclay

14) Hope For The Best by Jodi Taylor

15) The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor

16) The Something Girl by Jodi Taylor

17) The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

18) Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves

19) Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves

20) Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves

21) The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves

22) Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves

23) The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves

24) The Seagull by Ann Cleeves

25) The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

26) La Belle Sauvage : The Book Of Dust Volume One by Philip Pullman

27) Once Upon A Time In The North by Philip Pullman

28) Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman

29) Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

30) The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

31) The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

32) Origin by Dan Brown

33) Shadowsight by EJ Stevens

34) Ghost Light by EJ Stevens

 

Edited by Chrissy

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1) The Twelve by Justin Cronin

 

I finished Justin Cronin's 'The Twelve'. This is the second in his trilogy. 

 

We went back in time, we danced forward a hundred years. We knitted together lots of the strands that have been forming since the beginning of the first book. A fast paced, compelling read. I reached a point where I had to take a break after each chapter or so, just to absorb what had taken place, and be ready for what was to come.

 

A totally unexpected read, I had thought this book two would trundle along as a bridge between the first and last book, giving the reader a few clarifying details etc, but essentially just pushing the story onward to the third book. Not this book! What a ride! 

 

Characters are given greater and more meaningful depth, and names from the past suddenly take on greater significance. Powerful stuff. I am looking forward to the third book immensely, while dreading reaching an end to this stunning trilogy.

 

Horror, supernatural, epic, humanity at it's best and worst. I didn't think this book was for me, until I started reading it. 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Chrissy said:

1) The Twelve by Justin Cronin

 

I finished Justin Cronin's 'The Twelve'. This is the second in his trilogy. 

 

We went back in time, we danced forward a hundred years. We knitted together lots of the strands that have been forming since the beginning of the first book. A fast paced, compelling read. I reached a point where I had to take a break after each chapter or so, just to absorb what had taken place, and be ready for what was to come.

 

A totally unexpected read, I had thought this book two would trundle along as a bridge between the first and last book, giving the reader a few clarifying details etc, but essentially just pushing the story onward to the third book. Not this book! What a ride! 

 

Characters are given greater and more meaningful depth, and names from the past suddenly take on greater significance. Powerful stuff. I am looking forward to the third book immensely, while dreading reaching an end to this stunning trilogy.

 

Horror, supernatural, epic, humanity at it's best and worst. I didn't think this book was for me, until I started reading it. 

 

 

 

I haven't read the second book in the series, but this review makes me excited to re-read the first one and the continue with the rest of the trilogy!

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Great review Chrissy! I wouldn't have thought Cronin's trilogy was for me either, but I'm tempted to add it to my to-read list now! 

 

Hope you have lots more great reads in 2019! :) 

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22 hours ago, karen.d said:

I haven't read the second book in the series, but this review makes me excited to re-read the first one and the continue with the rest of the trilogy!

 

I would recommend reading on. The plot genuinely thickens! :) I hope to make progress on book 3 this week, looking forward to seeing how the trio are concluded.

2 hours ago, Hayley said:

Great review Chrissy! I wouldn't have thought Cronin's trilogy was for me either, but I'm tempted to add it to my to-read list now! 

 

Hope you have lots more great reads in 2019! :) 

 

Reading it through, it's not much of a review at all. I fear giving away spoilers, so have kept things very vague. :) Describing the book is nigh on impossible. The central premise might not entice everyone to read it, but the sheer depth and breadth of the book, the way Cronin has unfurled the story is a winner. As a reader you are enticed in, then are kept on your toes for the duration.

 

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I read The Passage a few years ago, and while I enjoyed it, it didn't fully grab me. Last year (or maybe the year before) the trilogy was for sale on Kindle for £0.99 each. I've bought them, as I figured I will give it another go (I only read the first one). You review makes me want to read the series sooner rather than later. :):readingtwo:

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The three books have really grabbed me @bobblybear 

 

Has it been a matter of timing? Mood? I really don't know, but I am making my way through the final book, and enjoying it. The three books throw so much at you, are so different from each other, yet manage to remain true to the over arcing theme of what it truly means to be human. But maybe that's just my reading of it!  :blush:

 

 

 

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It could have been timing or mood, sometimes it's just not the 'right' time to read a book. I've had this with a few books, where I have tried them but couldn't get into them. Then a few years later, I will pick them up again and it really grabs me this time. Those books are right up my alley, so I will definitely be giving them another go. 

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2) The City Of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

(I'm just going to throw a few thoughts on the trilogy down here - I apologise for waffling! :))

 

From the outset I was quite taken by the Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin. I knew little about the series but had a vague idea that it was a dystopian/post-apocalyptic, possibly vampire/zombie story. I love a good dystopian world, and being well acquainted with supernatural stories, I went ahead. To be honest, the clincher on it was the price of the first book at the time (99p), and the front cover showing a black and white photo of a young girl looking directly into the lens.

 

I enjoyed The Passage Trilogy immensely. What drives the books are the characters, their humanity, or on occasion lack thereof. Cronin manages to give you a gist of the person in a sentence or two but goes on to develop and deepen the readers understanding of their personalities and motivations over the course of the three books.

 

The weird and often surreal elements are mixed in with the gritty of everyday, and occasionally nudged forward with ‘textually convenient’ moments of weird interactions, and Cronin manages to avoid gratuitous overly graphic descriptions. The books don’t need them. So many stories to be told; from the small vignette of an encounter, through to epic century spanning tales. People, children, loyalties, passions, love, duty, and the fundamental questions about what it means to be human, to be sentient, empathic and engaged with life.

 

They make three different books, with threads that sew their way through the trio. Peripheral characters can take on greater significance across the books, and I found myself asking “Hang on, wasn’t that the first name/surname/circumstance of so-and-so?”

 

The Passage was a big book by itself, and I dreaded starting The Twelve, thinking it would not meet the standard set by the first book. It was a different story in many ways, dancing about the time line, and taking us forward. By the time I got to the last of the trilogy, The City of Mirrors, I was both excited and anxious to see how Cronin would conclude the three.

 

I reached the end of the book and felt he had done a good job of it. It didn’t jar or feel a let-down. I shed a tear or two, and my heart was warmed in a few places. Many stories, about people, individuals and collectives. Across the books I had grown to really engage with the characters, and I cared about what happened with them. It was good to conclude each of their stories. 

 

Such a vague review, I know. Having approached the books with so little prior knowledge I believe I got the best out of it and would hate to give anything away to anyone thinking of reading them. I would say that if you can deal with a vampiric/zombiesque/supernatural/dystopian premise, then I would thoroughly recommend the trio as they are so much more than that.

Edited by Chrissy

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NOW WHAT DO I READ????? :lol: I think I need to give myself a few more days before I start something new. Phew what a ride! 

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I enjoyed reading your review :)! I'm glad it was such a good experience for you :). I can imagine you need a few days of break before you go on to read something else. I felt that way after reading The Stand by Stephen King, such an epic book I needed a reading break after. Some people online call it a 'book hangover'. When a book you've just finished is so good or was so impressive you don't feel like starting anything else yet.

 

Happy reading in 2019, Chrissy :):readingtwo:!!

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Book hangover sounds about right! :lol: I have looked at a couple of next-to-read potentials, but nothing so far. I am not worried, I will let things drift for a few more days before pinning something down. Happy New Reading Year G! :flowers2:

 

:readingtwo: HAPPY 2019 READING EVERYONE! :readingtwo:

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On 18/01/2019 at 12:30 PM, ~Andrea~ said:

Wow, The Passage trilogy sounds very intriguing Chrissy! Great review!

 

Thank you @~Andrea~

 

If I had left more time between each book, I probably could have written a more coherent review of each book. Having ploughed through the three as I did it all became one giant book and therefore one huge melange of feelings and impressions. :D 

 

I found the trilogy compelling and well conceived and I really did enjoy them. They took me completely away from my world, and into theirs. They were surreal at times, but I just went with it as I have with the magic realism books I have read, and as I do with Neil Gaiman and Ben Aaronovitch. The trilogy aren't like those books though, and I make mention of them only to describe how I 'managed' the oddities and weirdness here.  

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3), 4), 5), 6) & 7) ~ Percy Jackson & The Olympians series

I meandered around my book shelves, and meandered through my collections on my kindle (we are talking many, many books!) and could I find something to read?

 

My book hangover (Thank you for the new and highly appropriate term @Athena ) from The Passage trilogy sent my reading decision making off kilter. I had tried a book or two, but nothing was grabbing me, so I went for a fun fave. Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series is a fast and fun read. PERFECT! I am ploughing my way through them, and enjoying every minute!

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:D

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the Percy Jackson & The Olympians books :). I've read the first book and liked it a lot, but I haven't yet continued with the series.

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On 1/9/2019 at 10:02 AM, Chrissy said:

2) The City Of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

(I'm just going to throw a few thoughts on the trilogy down here - I apologise for waffling! :))

 

From the outset I was quite taken by the Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin. I knew little about the series but had a vague idea that it was a dystopian/post-apocalyptic, possibly vampire/zombie story. I love a good dystopian world, and being well acquainted with supernatural stories, I went ahead. To be honest, the clincher on it was the price of the first book at the time (99p), and the front cover showing a black and white photo of a young girl looking directly into the lens.

 

I enjoyed The Passage Trilogy immensely. What drives the books are the characters, their humanity, or on occasion lack thereof. Cronin manages to give you a gist of the person in a sentence or two but goes on to develop and deepen the readers understanding of their personalities and motivations over the course of the three books.

 

The weird and often surreal elements are mixed in with the gritty of everyday, and occasionally nudged forward with ‘textually convenient’ moments of weird interactions, and Cronin manages to avoid gratuitous overly graphic descriptions. The books don’t need them. So many stories to be told; from the small vignette of an encounter, through to epic century spanning tales. People, children, loyalties, passions, love, duty, and the fundamental questions about what it means to be human, to be sentient, empathic and engaged with life.

 

They make three different books, with threads that sew their way through the trio. Peripheral characters can take on greater significance across the books, and I found myself asking “Hang on, wasn’t that the first name/surname/circumstance of so-and-so?”

 

The Passage was a big book by itself, and I dreaded starting The Twelve, thinking it would not meet the standard set by the first book. It was a different story in many ways, dancing about the time line, and taking us forward. By the time I got to the last of the trilogy, The City of Mirrors, I was both excited and anxious to see how Cronin would conclude the three.

 

I reached the end of the book and felt he had done a good job of it. It didn’t jar or feel a let-down. I shed a tear or two, and my heart was warmed in a few places. Many stories, about people, individuals and collectives. Across the books I had grown to really engage with the characters, and I cared about what happened with them. It was good to conclude each of their stories. 

 

Such a vague review, I know. Having approached the books with so little prior knowledge I believe I got the best out of it and would hate to give anything away to anyone thinking of reading them. I would say that if you can deal with a vampiric/zombiesque/supernatural/dystopian premise, then I would thoroughly recommend the trio as they are so much more than that.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the trilogy. I finished reading 'The Passage' a couple of weeks ago and have been worried about reading the next book, just in case it isn't as good as the first!

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On 17/02/2019 at 4:39 PM, karen.d said:

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the trilogy. I finished reading 'The Passage' a couple of weeks ago and have been worried about reading the next book, just in case it isn't as good as the first!

 

The three books are so different from each other, but I felt they worked as a trio. I really look forward to reading your thoughts on the second book. :) 

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8) The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

 9) The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

10) The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

11) The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

12) The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

I headed straight from Percy Jackson into the companion series 'Heroes of Olympus'. An enjoyable romp!

 

13) A Bachelor Establishment by Isabella Barclay

A regency novel, part romance, part mystery. A robust and damaged female becomes acquainted with a neighbour under dangerous circumstances. Light and well written, with enjoyable characters and a well rounded feel to it. 

 

14) Hope For The Best by Jodi Taylor

The most recent book from the Chronicles of St Mary's series. I have enjoyed each and every one of the series, and this latest does not fail to please. A different direction is taken with the story, and by our central protagonist Max. It certainly keeps the reader on their toes. Loved it, and as always I am now craving for my next St Mary's reading fix! 

 

15) The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor

16) The Something Girl by Jodi Taylor

By the same author as the St Mary's books, but unrelated. A curious duo of books that are delightful and quirky and  make for a satifying read. You cannot fail to love Jenny Dove, and I defy anyone not to adore Thomas! Too weird in some ways, to describe adequately here. I would only say that if you enjoy Jodi Talor's writing (humour and quirk and heartfelt) then you will enjoy these two. 

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17) The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

18) Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves

19) Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves

20) Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves

21) The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves

22) Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves

23) The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves

24) The Seagull by Ann Cleeves

I have been buying Ann Cleeves books for my kindle each time they have come up on special offer, and have managed to accumulate so many. I thought it was about time I actually read one! I started the Crow Trap and thought "Oh dear, this is going to drag." but within a couple of chapters I was absolutely hooked. Having enjoyed the television series I had concerns that I was doing this the wrong way around, but I really needn't have worried. I could not remember the who-dunnit from the tv, although I did recognise some scenes at different points. Getting to know Vera, Joe and Holly in greater depth, and seeing their thought processes and motivations was fascinating and I ended up ploghing my way through the 8 books in the series. Ann Cleeves is a really talented author, she draws her characters so well, can describe a scene thoroughly with so few words and great skill. I look forward to delving into her Shetland series later on in the year - especially now I have been lucky enough to visit Shetalnd on holiday. 

 

25) The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Gosh, what a read! Joan Didion's adult daughter was seriously in hospital, and upon returning from visiting her Joan's husband John Gregory Dunne,  collapses and dies. 

This powerful book is Didion’s ‘attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness … about marriage and children and memory … about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself’. The result is an exploration of an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage, and a life, in good times and bad. (Amazon uk)

 

A powerful and at times intense read, made all the more painful by knowing what went on to happen within the family. 

 

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Lovely to know what you've been reading :)!

 

I've read one novella by Ann Cleeves, called Too Good to Be True (QuickReads). I think it's part of a different series though (Shetland series?), but I did like that one :).

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50 minutes ago, Chrissy said:

I look forward to delving into her Shetland series later on in the year - especially now I have been lucky enough to visit Shetland on holiday.

 

It would be wonderful to recognise places she talks about in her books. The one I read, Blue Lightening, is based around the twitchers or bird watchers who flock to the islands to try and see rare birds. When I looked up about it, it's based on what does happen there.

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21 hours ago, Athena said:

I've read one novella by Ann Cleeves, called Too Good to Be True (QuickReads). I think it's part of a different series though (Shetland series?), but I did like that one :).

20 hours ago, poppy said:

 

It would be wonderful to recognise places she talks about in her books. The one I read, Blue Lightening, is based around the twitchers or bird watchers who flock to the islands to try and see rare birds. When I looked up about it, it's based on what does happen there.

 

If you enjoyed a quick reads by Ann Cleeves, I think you'll enjoy her books @Athena. I found her storytelling easy to settle into, and the story flows. :smile:

 

@poppy We think we have located Jimmy Perez's waterside home from the tv series! Yes, I do look forward to recognising places while I'm reading (fingers crossed!). I will get to the Shetland series later on in the year - probably around the time I start pining for Shetland. :D

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I love the Ann Cleeves books, and just started watching the Shetland series.  I would love to go to Shetland one day, especially since my family are originally from Scotland, but since I live in New Zealand, it's very expensive from here.  Maybe one day I'll win the lottery. 

Edited by bookmonkey

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1 hour ago, Chrissy said:

If you enjoyed a quick reads by Ann Cleeves, I think you'll enjoy her books @Athena. I found her storytelling easy to settle into, and the story flows. :smile:

 

Thanks Chrissy :)!

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