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Athena's Reading List 2017

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I read Diane Chamberlain - The Bay at Midnight.

 

Here's the synopsis from the back of the book:
 

Quote

Her family's cottage was a place of innocence for Julie Bauer - until her sister was murdered.

 

It's been many years since that August night, but Julie's memories of Izzy's death still haunt her.

 

Now someone from her past is asking questions about what really happened. About Julie's own complicity. About a devastating secret her mother kept from them all. About the person who went to prison for Izzy's murder - and the killer who didn't.

 

Julie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the complex emotions that led to one unspeakable act of violence on the bay at midnight.

 

 

This is not a thriller, this is definitely a contemporary fiction book, which involves a mystery, but the characters and their emotions (and their past and present) are important in this book, more than the mystery. The chapters are written from the points of view of either Julie, Lucy (her younger sister) or Maria (their mother). There are chapters that take place in the past and those that take place in the present.

 

Diane Chamberlain is one of my (many) favourite authors and I enjoyed reading this book. I wouldn't call this my favourite of hers, but it's definitely a good one.

 

Still not quite out of my reading slump yet :(. I'm not sure what to add to my review, nor what to read next. I have other things planned for today so I might not pick another book today, perhaps tomorrow though. I'm seeing my brother and his girlfriend again this weekend, after they've been away for a 7-month trip. Looking forward to that :). As for my next read, I'm just going to see what I feel like reading.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Little Pixie said:

I`ve barely read all month - it must be contagious. Hopefully we`ll improve soon. :hug:

 

Thanks, I hope that too, for both of us :hug::friends3:.

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On 19-8-2017 at 2:18 PM, Athena said:

I read Diane Chamberlain - The Bay at Midnight.

 

Here's the synopsis from the back of the book:
 

 

This is not a thriller, this is definitely a contemporary fiction book, which involves a mystery, but the characters and their emotions (and their past and present) are important in this book, more than the mystery. The chapters are written from the points of view of either Julie, Lucy (her younger sister) or Maria (their mother). There are chapters that take place in the past and those that take place in the present.

 

Diane Chamberlain is one of my (many) favourite authors and I enjoyed reading this book. I wouldn't call this my favourite of hers, but it's definitely a good one.

 

Still not quite out of my reading slump yet :(. I'm not sure what to add to my review, nor what to read next. I have other things planned for today so I might not pick another book today, perhaps tomorrow though. I'm seeing my brother and his girlfriend again this weekend, after they've been away for a 7-month trip. Looking forward to that :). As for my next read, I'm just going to see what I feel like reading.

 

 

 

That sounds like an interesting novel - I'm going to see if they have it in our library!

 

Sorry to hear about the ongoing reading slump :( Seven months is a long time! I don't know how I'd deal not seeing my sister for seven months. I don't see her every day, not even every week (although I do see her more since Jeanne was born, at least once a week), but seven months, wow. I hope you pick up that book that takes you away :) 

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10 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

That sounds like an interesting novel - I'm going to see if they have it in our library!

 

If you read it, I hope you enjoy it :).

 

10 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Sorry to hear about the ongoing reading slump :( Seven months is a long time! I don't know how I'd deal not seeing my sister for seven months. I don't see her every day, not even every week (although I do see her more since Jeanne was born, at least once a week), but seven months, wow. I hope you pick up that book that takes you away :)

 

Thanks :). I started to read V. E. Schwab - Shades of Magic 1: A Darker Shade of Magic, which I'm really enjoying so far.

 

Seven months is a long time, I agree! It was so good to see my brother (and his girlfriend) again! We did have contact while they were away, through messages and Skype. They also sent us some photos now and then and they had a blog in which they wrote down their experiences as well as posted some photos. But it was great to see them again and spend some time with them :). It's nice you see your sister often :). I don't see mine as often because she lives a bit further away, but we phone almost every week.

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I read V. E. Schwab - Shades of Magic 1: A Darker Shade of Magic. I'm still in a kind of reading slump, and even though I didn't really intend to start another series, somehow this book was the only one that appealed to me (in this particular reading mood).

 

I'd heard good things about this book from other people, and it didn't disappoint. I really liked this book. I just wanted to keep on reading it. I liked the magic, the different worlds in the story, the action, the plot twists. I also liked the characters. I liked Kell's coat, I want one :P. The book was dark, which is not usually the kind of fantasy I read, but I liked it a lot. I was glad the book didn't end on a cliffhanger, I was satisfied with the ending.

 

Overall I enjoyed reading this book, and would recommend it if you like dark, stabby fantasy books with magic.

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I read Meredith Russo - If I Was Your Girl. This is a debut novel about a trans girl written by a trans woman. I enjoyed reading the book. I struggled a bit in the middle, somehow I wasn't in the reading mood (hello again, reading slump, when will you leave). We get to know Amanda (the main character) in this book, and I liked her. I would've liked to get to know some of the side characters a bit better. I enjoyed reading this book. I think it's an important book, as there aren't that many #OwnVoices books about trans people out there (yet) (to my knowledge, at the time of writing this review (24 August 2017)).

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On 24-8-2017 at 11:17 AM, Athena said:

I read Meredith Russo - If I Was Your Girl. This is a debut novel about a trans girl written by a trans woman. I enjoyed reading the book. I struggled a bit in the middle, somehow I wasn't in the reading mood (hello again, reading slump, when will you leave). We get to know Amanda (the main character) in this book, and I liked her. I would've liked to get to know some of the side characters a bit better. I enjoyed reading this book. I think it's an important book, as there aren't that many #OwnVoices books about trans people out there (yet) (to my knowledge, at the time of writing this review (24 August 2017)).

 

Is this fiction or a memoir? And did you find it in the library, or do you own it?

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20 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

Is this fiction or a memoir? And did you find it in the library, or do you own it?

 

It's YA contemporary fiction. I bought it from Amazon, I don't think it was translated into Dutch and my library's selection of English books isn't that big. I heard about it from people on BookTube (YouTube for books), so I decided to buy it and give it a go.

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I've been in sort of a reading slump for the past few months (my mojo wasn't 100%), so last weekend I decided to re-read something instead. In the past week I've re-read these:

 

Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (re-read)
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (re-read)
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: The Last Straw (re-read)
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: Dog Days (re-read)

 

I quite enjoyed re-reading these books :). I wanted to re-read the first four books, so I could watch the 3 Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies currently out. I've watched the first 2 movies now, just got the 3rd one left to see.

Of course the question now is, "what's next" as I think I want to read something else now rather than continuing to re-read this series. I guess I'll see what I feel in the mood for at a later time.

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I know how hard it's been for you, I'm glad it went well with these rereads :)

I'll be curious to know what's next!

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14 hours ago, Anna Begins said:

I know how hard it's been for you, I'm glad it went well with these rereads :)

I'll be curious to know what's next!

 

Thanks :).

 

Next I read Inge Claeys - De Pestdokter. I got this Belgian children's book at a recent library sale (so it was a new book to me). It's about these two children (a boy named Robbe and a girl named Silke) who have to do a school project together about something from the Middle Ages. Robbe has been getting bullied by Silke and two of her friends. But then they have to do a school project together. Somehow they time-travel to the Middle Ages around the time of the plague.

 

I was kind of disappointed with this book. I mean, I didn't have high expectations or anything, as it was just something random I picked up at a library sale. But I was disappointed when the book ended, because I still had lots of questions that weren't answered, and this bothered me. During the reading of the book I was confused at times, partly because I didn't know a few of the words used, that referred things from the Middle Ages. I could've looked them up but doing so takes me out of the reading experience, so I didn't do that. Sometimes it was not clear to me how much time had passed (ie. between one chapter and the next or during a chapter) and it wasn't always clear to me what was going on, I was confused some times. But mostly I was a bit frustrated that we didn't learn more about certain aspects of the story. I liked the premise of the book, but I guess you could say the execution fell a bit flat for me.

 

Next up I was thinking of re-reading another children's book, perhaps Rachel Renée Russell - Dork Diaries 1: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life (this is UK title I think).

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August 2017 Summary

Books read: 21
Pages read: 4685

Most impressive / Favourite(s) of the month:
V. E. Schwab - Shades of Magic 1: A Darker Shade of Magic Diane Chamberlain - The Bay at Midnight Geronimo Stilton - De Avonturen van Marco Polo (Le Avventure di Marco Polo) Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton - De 13 Zwaarden 3: De Geheime Tunnel (Il Segreto della Tigre)
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (re-read)
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (re-read)
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: The Last Straw (re-read)
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: Dog Days (re-read)
Jeff Kinney - Het Leven van een Loser: Niet te Filmen! (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary)
Paul van Loon (ill. Hugo van Look) - Dolfje Weerwolfje 7 / 9 / De Leeuwenkuil 3: Een Weerwolf in de Leeuwenkuil!
Paul van Loon (ill. Hugo van Look) - De Leeuwenkuil 4: Lang Leve de Leeuwenkuil

Pretty enjoyable:
Meredith Russo - If I Was Your Girl
Suzanne Young - The Program 1: Het Programma (The Program 1: The Program)
Geronimo Stilton - Oerknagers 10: Het Feest van de Grote Donder (Occhio Alla Pelliccia, Arriva il Grande Bzot!)
Paul van Loon (ill. Hugo van Look) - Dolfje Weerwolfje 6: Weerwolvenfeest
Evelien de Vlieger (ill. Wendy Panders) - Felix: Hoe Maak Ik Een Vriend?
Evelien de Vlieger (ill. Wendy Panders) - Felix: Hoe Maak Ik Tijd?
Evelien de Vlieger (ill. Wendy Panders) - Felix: Hoe Maak Ik Het Aan?

Somewhat enjoyable:
Betty G. Birney - According to Humphrey: Holidays According to Humphrey

Disappointments / Least favourites of the month:
Eric Maisel - Why Smart People Hurt: A Guide for the Bright, the Sensitive, and the Creative
Suzanne Young - The Program 2: De Behandeling + Het Herstel (The Program 2: The Treatment + The Recovery)
Inge Claeys - De Pestdokter

Abandoned book:
Suzanne Young - The Program 2: De Behandeling + Het Herstel (The Program 2: The Treatment + The Recovery)
(page 84 out of 396)

Shortest books read this month:
Evelien de Vlieger (ill. Wendy Panders) - Felix: Hoe Maak Ik Een Vriend? (75 pages)
Evelien de Vlieger (ill. Wendy Panders) - Felix: Hoe Maak Ik Het Aan? (78 pages)
Evelien de Vlieger (ill. Wendy Panders) - Felix: Hoe Maak Ik Tijd? (80 pages)

Longest books read this month:
Diane Chamberlain - The Bay at Midnight (479 pages) Suzanne Young - The Program 1: Het Programma (The Program 1: The Program) (398 pages)
V. E. Schwab - Shades of Magic 1: A Darker Shade of Magic (387 pages)
Geronimo Stilton - De Avonturen van Marco Polo (Le Avventure di Marco Polo) (385 pages)

Other Notes:
I managed to read a bit more this month than in July and June, which is good! I did read some disappointing books, but gladly also a lot of nice ones. I re-read a few books too this month.
 

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If you want to try a really good time travel book set during the plague in the Middle Ages, there's Connie Willis' The Doomsday Book. :)

 

Fingers crossed that September will be great for your reading mojo. :D

 

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7 hours ago, Little Pixie said:

If you want to try a really good time travel book set during the plague in the Middle Ages, there's Connie Willis' The Doomsday Book. :)

 

Thanks, I shall put this on my wishlist :)!!

 

Quote

Fingers crossed that September will be great for your reading mojo. :D

 

Thanks, I hope the same for you :D!

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For the read-a-thon this past weekend, I re-read some books.

 

Rachel Renée Russell - Dork Diaries 1: Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (re-read)
Liz Pichon - Tom Gates 1: The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (re-read)
Jim Smith - Simon Sukkel 1: Ik Ben (G)Een Loser (Barry Loser 1: I am (Not) a Loser)(re-read)
Lincoln Peirce - Big Nate 1: The Bog with the Biggest Head in the World (re-read)
Stephan Pastis - Timmy Failure 1: Mistakes Were Made (re-read)
Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton - Treehouse 1: The 13-Storey Treehouse (re-read)
Dee Shulman - Mijn Supergeheime Dagboek: Reality-tv: Een Nachtmerrie! (Polly Price's Totally Secret Diary: Reality TV Nightmare) (re-read)

 

It was very enjoyable to re-read all of these books. The books all had a lot of illustrations which helped me feel like I was making good progress during the read-a-thon.

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Well during the re-reading my mojo was doing relatively well, but after the read-a-thon I didn't want to do anymore re-reads and spent a couple of days not reading any book (I wasn't sure what I felt in the mood for, too). Now I've started V. E. Schwab - Shades of Magic 2: A Gathering of Shadows and so far I'm enjoying it :). But I don't quite feel back to my normal reading moods the way they used to be, yet.

 

That was nice of you to ask :). How has your reading been lately?

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8 hours ago, Athena said:

Well during the re-reading my mojo was doing relatively well, but after the read-a-thon I didn't want to do anymore re-reads and spent a couple of days not reading any book (I wasn't sure what I felt in the mood for, too). Now I've started V. E. Schwab - Shades of Magic 2: A Gathering of Shadows and so far I'm enjoying it :). But I don't quite feel back to my normal reading moods the way they used to be, yet.

 

That was nice of you to ask :). How has your reading been lately?

 

I don`t feel quite back into Reading Mode ; maybe my brain needs to do some processing of the intense reading earlier in the year. :) Hopefully, the coming colder months will get us both back into `proper` reading. It`s odd how reading mojo suddenly vanishes. :117:

 

At leasy you`re reading something worthwhile now. It`s difficult when you`re struggling and the the book isn`t brilliant. :)

 

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On 9/7/2017 at 7:15 PM, Little Pixie said:

I don`t feel quite back into Reading Mode ; maybe my brain needs to do some processing of the intense reading earlier in the year. :) Hopefully, the coming colder months will get us both back into `proper` reading. It`s odd how reading mojo suddenly vanishes. :117:

 

At leasy you`re reading something worthwhile now. It`s difficult when you`re struggling and the the book isn`t brilliant. :)

 

I hope you will feel more into reading mode a bit later in the year :). I hope so too!

 

It's very odd indeed how that just happens :(.

 

That's very true :).

 

On 9/7/2017 at 8:28 PM, Anna Begins said:

I'm so glad you found something!

 

Thanks, me too :).

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I read V. E. Schwab - Shades of Magic 2: A Gathering of Shadows. It took me over a week to read this book (for me, that's a bit long). Part of that is I think because I still have a bit of a reading slump. I've also been doing other things. And, I found the first half of the book a bit slow in places. I felt like not much was happening. I did like the characters in the book and I liked the magic. But I didn't like the book as much as the first one, there wasn't quite as much action and it felt a bit like most of the novel was a build-up for the end, which was a cliffhanger (and presumably continues in book 3). But I did enjoy reading about the characters and the things that did happen.

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I read Sara Barnard - A Quiet Kind of Thunder. This is a love story about Steffi, who has selective mutism and struggles with anxiety, and Rhys, who is deaf. I really liked this book. It feels like the disability representation was well done, though I cannot speak from experience myself. I really enjoyed reading about these two characters. The book is written from Steffi's perspective. I thought the book had a good message and I liked it a lot.

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