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Athena

Athena's Reading List 2017

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13 hours ago, Little Pixie said:

Woof, 1225 pages !! That`s a whopper. :hide:

 

It definitely was! I read most of it during March though, I only read the last part of the book (last 100 - 300 pages or something) in April. It was a re-read though, that made it a slightly faster read. But it was a huge book! And there are two more books in the trilogy lol (both will be re-reads). I plan to read them later this year.

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Whenever I read a series, even if it's a re-read, I want to read them back-to-back. I even prefer to read them in the same month, because my reading list on tumblr is listed per month and I don't like a series to be in separate blocks, but often it can't be helped.

 

Doesn't reading other books in between a series get you out of the story?

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I used to be the same way, that I needed to read a series of books close together. I'd read trilogies and duologies back-to-back, just with bigger series I would split it up (or rather, that was sometimes due to necessity as I had to wait for further books to be released or for the library to have the next one available for me). I understand about wanting to read a series in the same month, that makes sense to me. It's nice you post about the books you read on Tumblr :).

 

For me, nowadays I get easily bored with the same writing style for several books in a row and with the same genre (and age range) for several books in a row. It just stops holding my attention at some point and it gets tedious. I call it 'author burnout'. I think it has to do with my ADD and concentration issues (and autism), but I'm not 100% sure if that's the only reason.

 

So instead I try to read a few books in between the series books. I should try not to leave too long in between or otherwise I'll forget stuff. Before this year I was quite reluctant to start a lot of series because I knew I'd be stuck with it for a while and I would then risk author burnout (or series burnout, if you want to call it that).

 

This year I've been trying to read some books in between the series books. So far it seems to be working out. I'm in the middle of a couple of series. The plan originally was to read one book of each series a month, but because I'm very much a mood reader, I've already deviated from that. I don't like too much pressure around my reading, so I've mostly just been reading what I felt like reading (aside from library books that were due).

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I read Marit Brugman - Friet in de Kliniek. This is an autobiographical memoir of a young woman who had anorexia and was treated for it in a clinic. Nowadays she makes YouTube videos with her boyfriend and a couple of other people (Dylanhaegens), their channel is one of the most popular ones in the Netherlands, especially among teenagers and adolescents. I bought the book because I'd heard her talk about it on YouTube videos. It was recently decided to re-release the book, before that it was out of stock. So I was able to buy it now. The contents are the same but there is one extra chapter at the end, about how she's doing now (so I'm kind of glad I wasn't able to get it at an earlier time, a new publisher too perhaps).

 

The book itself is relatively short, only about 107 pages. On one hand it makes the book seem a bit pricey vs. that you only get 107 pages, on the other hand I have to applaud someone who writes their story just long how it needs to be, instead of having to adhere to publishers who demand the book is a certain amount of pages (it has happened with some authors).

 

Anyway, I quite enjoyed reading this book. I've read multiple books about anorexia, fictional and non-fictional. I find it an interesting subject, just like I'm interested in other disorders and mental illnesses. The book has a nice writing style. I enjoyed learning about what life was like for Marit at the clinic. If there was one thing that's missing, is that I would've liked to hear more about what happened in the beginning, before she got help. But the book is mostly about Marit's life at the clinic, so perhaps that wouldn't have fit. I loved the extra chapter at the end, in which she talks about her life nowadays.

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I read Diane Chamberlain - Keeper of the Light / Kiss River 3: Her Mother's Shadow. I read book 1 in this trilogy in January and book 2 in February. I didn't feel in the mood to read this book until the beginning of May (I had wanted to read it in March originally). I liked book 2 in this trilogy a bit less than book 1. Book 1 was really good, book 2 was still good but I didn't enjoy it quite as much. I was pleased to find out I enjoyed book 3 a lot too (more than book 2). This book rounds off the trilogy and while on one hand I'm sad to say goodbye to the characters, on the other, as usual with series, I'm also glad to have finished off a series.

 

It was nice reading about the characters again. There are a few new characters, most of them are characters we met in earlier books. You could read this book on its own, as it explains things briefly, but you'd get spoiled for books 1 and 2, and you'll get much more out of book 3 if you have read the other two books as well.

 

I quite enjoyed reading this book. At some point I just wanted to keep on reading, to find out the secrets and what would happen. Overall then I enjoyed reading this book :).

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I read Laura M. Hughes - Danse Macabre. Laura used to be a member here on BCF, so I know the author of the book. This is a novella she wrote. It took me a bit of time to get into the story. In the beginning I was mostly just confused and wasn't sure what was going on. I persisted and I'm glad I did, because after a while things became clearer. The story is quite creepy, I enjoyed reading about this creepy atmosphere. After things became clearer I enjoyed the story a whole lot more. I liked the way the chapters were done, counting down from ten. It was cleverly done. Overall it's a nice story that I enjoyed reading.

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I've been reading a lot of library loans recently.

 

Geronimo Stilton - Geronimo Stilton 50: De Karatekampioen (Te Lo Do Io Il Karate)
This was nice.

 

Geronimo Stilton - Oerknagers 9: De Verschrikkelijke Sneeuwrat (L'Abominevole Ratto Delle Nevi)
Now I've read all 1 - 9 of this series (that are currently available in the Netherlands).

 

Paul van Loon (ill. Hugo van Look) - Dolfje Weerwolfje: Dolfje Sneeuwwolfje (Het Nachtmerrieneefje + Niet Bijten, Dolfje)
I enjoyed reading this book, only a few left in this series to read!

 

Luc Descamps (ill. Rik Willemen) - De Poortwereld 2: Het Uur van de Weerwolf
Tense sequel to book 1. I look forward to read the remaining books when they're out and the library has them available.

 

Finn-Ole Heinrich and Rán Flygenring - De Ongelofelijke Avonturen van de Miraculeuze Mauwlein 1: Het Leven is een Pannenkoek (Die Erstaunlichen Abenteuer der Maulina Smitt 1: Mein Kaputtes Königreich)
Finn-Ole Heinrich and Rán Flygenring - De Ongelofelijke Avonturen van de Miraculeuze Mauwlein 2: Wachten op een Wonder (Die Erstaunlichen Abenteuer der Maulina Smitt 2: Warten auf Wunder)
These were the first 2 books in a series. I liked them.

 

Will Mabbitt (ill. Ross Collins) - Merel Jansen 1: De Ongelooflijke Avonturen van Merel Jansen (Mabel Jones 1: The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones)
Will Mabbitt (ill. Ross Collins) - Mabel Jones 2: Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City
I read the first book of this series in Dutch and the second in English. The library did have the second one available in Dutch also but I wanted to try the English one (also, I found the English one first). I'm sure they also have the English book 1 but it was probably loaned out. Anyway, I enjoyed reading these two books.

 

Simone Lia - Eigenlijk Ben Ik Een Flamingo (They Didn't Teach THIS In Worm School!)
This was a pretty enjoyable story, I liked it.

 

Kazu Kibuishi - Amulet 2: De Vloek (The Stonekeeper's Curse)
Kazu Kibuishi - Amulet 3: De Wolkenverkenners (The Cloud Searchers)
It was nice to read books 2 and 3 in this series. I enjoyed them. There are more available, though not all have been translated into Dutch. The library has book 4 on order I believe, so that should be available in a while. I enjoyed these two books, the illustrations were pretty nice.

 

Anthony Horowitz (ill. Thomas Yeates) - Legends 3: Beasts and Monsters
This book retold a few legends, it was nice. I recognised some of the legends but others were new to me.

 

Philip Ardagh (ill. Mike Gordon, col. Carl Gordon) - Het Weetjes Stripboek voor Jonge Lezers (Dino's; Bodies; Space)
I mainly borrowed this book because I liked the cute illustrations. A lot of the information I'd heard of before, but I liked the jokes the book made (particularly to do with the dog Mottenbal (I don't know his English name)).

 

J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne - Harry Potter: Harry Potter en het Vervloekte Kind (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)
When I learned the library had the Dutch book available I was eager to reserve it. I was waiting for the English book to be available in paperback, but it seems to take ages so when I saw the Dutch one available for loan I borrowed it. I liked the book, I can see why some people didn't like it and I did have a bit of trouble getting into it at first (because it's a play, not a novel). Once I got into it though, the story got pretty tense and I quite enjoyed reading it. I would've preferred for this book to have been a novel as I think I would've liked that even more, and if it had been a movie I would've watched it (on disc, once out). I probably won't be able to see the play though. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this book / play and will probably get the English one in paperback once it's out.

 

Phil Earle (ill. Sara Ogilvie) - Superhero Street
I was surprised when I found out this book took place in the same town as Demolition Dad did (by the same author and illustrator), it even features a few of the same characters and cameos. I quite liked reading this book.

 

Mathila Masters and Georgien Overwater - De Keukenprins van Mocano 2: Koekjes voor de Koningin
It was enjoyable to read this sequel (which had a standalone story in itself and didn't have any cliffhangers or anything. That's one thing I quite like about children's series books vs. books for adults, is that they're less likely to end on a cliffhanger). I liked the illustrations and I enjoyed reading the story.

 

Marc Boada (ill. Pere Mejan) - Max 1: Max en de Slinger van Foucault (Max Picard 1: Max Picard i el Maleït Pèndol de Foucault)
This was a fictional book but it involved a lot of scientific information. I wonder if children will be able to understand all of this information. A lot of it was familiar to me but I didn't feel I understood everything completely. So I'm not sure how children are supposed to understand everything (you know, given that they've probably not had as much education as I have at my age). I did enjoy reading the book though and learning more.

 

Cressida Cowell - Stikkum Stoere Steurkop III 1: Hoe Tem Je Een Draak (How To Train Your Dragon 1: How To Train Your Dragon)
Cressida Cowell - Stikkum Stoere Steurkop III 3: Hoe Leer Je Draaks (How To Train Your Dragon 3: How To Speak Dragonese)
A while ago I read books 2 and 4 in the series, which is what the library had available at the time. Now I borrowed books 1 and 3. I enjoyed reading these books. I will say they are quite different from the films based on this book series, but I feel each is nice in their own way.

 

Graeme Simsion - The Best of Adam Sharp
I liked that music played a big role in this book. I didn't know some of the songs, but I liked how the lyrics matched with what happened in the story and the role music plays in the story in general. I wasn't so keen on the story itself though. It started off fine but I wasn't so keen on the later directions of the story and some of the plot. A couple of things I found weird. I was a bit disappointed with this book. I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed The Rosie Project, not that I was expecting to enjoy it as much.
That said, if music means a lot to you, particularly the music from earlier time periods (ie. the 1970s), you may enjoy this book.

 

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I read Jen Wilde - Queens of Geek based upon the recommendation of a blogger. This book is about three friends who go to attend a convention about all things popculture and geek.The book is narrated in dual perspective, by Charlie, a bisexual, biracial YouTube vlogger and small movie star; and by Taylor, who's autistic and anxious and a bookish nerd and overweight. I loved both voices, but I could really identify with Taylor and I loved that. The third friend is Jamie, he doesn't have POV chapters though. This is an #OwnVoices book (the author is bisexual, has autism, is anxious and is genderfluid), and it features lots of diversity (which I loved).

 

The synopsis on the back of the book explains things better than I can, so I'll quote it here.

 

Charlie likes to stand out. She's a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she's over her public breakup with costar Reese Ryan. Then when Internet-famous, cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives, it seems Charlie's longtime crush on her isn't as one-sided as she thought.

 

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there's one thing in her life she things will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend, Jamie - no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favourite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

 

The book does have a bit of instalove going on, though personally I didn't mind it in this case because of things that happened before the book started (which the book does refer to) and I loved pretty much everything else about the book, so. The book takes place over the course of the convention. It contains quite a few geeky references which I liked. I liked the fangirl and cosplay aspects too. And Taylor waiting in line to get her books signed, appealed to me as a book wurm.

 

I loved the geekyness and I loved the main characters. The romance in this book was sweet and the book is a light read. I read it in one day. I was particularly taken with Taylor's chapters as I felt some of the things she wrote about were just how I felt or would feel in that situation. I liked that Charlie was a vlogger on YouTube and to see that playing a role in a story. It was also nice to read about a story that took place at a convention, because I've only ever read one other fictional story taking place at a convention.

 

If there's one thing I could say that's perhaps less positive, is that there wasn't a whole lot of focus on sensory overload, which was a shame. It was there! But not as much as I would have liked it to me, as important as it would've been to me, had I ever been at a con(vention).

 

Anyway, overall I was very taken with this book. I loved the diversity in it and it was a light fluffy cute romancy YA read. I loved both perspectives but Taylor in particular as I felt it was a very authentic voice.

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My sister came by last weekend and gave me Stephenie Meyer - Twilight: Life and Death to read. This is the 'gender-swapped' book based on Twilight (the book). I was a bit disappointed with this book. It was an enjoyable read but it was a bit too similar to the original Twilight, especially in the beginning. I quite liked Twilight when I read it, but I'm not sure if I would enjoy it as much a second time around. I'm older now and in a different part of my life. I did like the last part of the book when things got a bit more suspenseful and I liked the ending. I also liked reading some of the scenes again I remembered from the first book. But it took me a couple of days to read the book because I didn't always really feel like picking it up. I did enjoy reading it though, once I did pick it up. So maybe I just wasn't in the reading mood. I would say if you didn't like the original Twilight, you're not going to like this book. If you did like the original Twilight book you might enjoy reading this book. It's by no means essential reading and I don't know if it'll stay with me, but I did like reading about the characters and reading how the story played out.

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I read Rachael Lucas - The State of Grace. I randomly found this book in a book shop while I was out shopping in another city. The synopsis spoke of a YA female main character with autism so on a whim I decided to buy it. And I'm glad I did!

I really enjoyed reading this book. While I wouldn't call it the perfect read, I absolutely loved reading what the world is like for Grace. I particularly liked the descriptions of sensory overload and what the world feels like to Grace, because I could identify with this so well. Sensory overload is an autism symptom that's not always described very well by authors, particularly not if the author isn't autistic themselves. Both Rachael Lucas and her daughter have autism, and Grace's descriptions of sensory overload rang true for me, #OwnVoices. I also liked how Grace wasn't the stereotypical person with autism (a young boy who's good at maths). There are less books about autism girls /women than autism boys / men, in my experience.

Things are changing in Grace's life and she's having trouble adjusting. The book features a great female friendship which I loved. Grace is having some family problems. I didn't quite get the motivations of some of her family members, and sometimes I wanted to slap them hard in the face for treating Grace badly. There were other times in the book though when I quite liked the family members. Grace has a mother and a father, and a younger sister.

I also loved the relationship between Grace and her horse Mabel. The horse lives at the stables and they're kind of Grace's safe place. While I'm very allergic to horses myself and haven't much been in their vicinity, nor do I feel the need to, I loved reading about Mabel and how much Grace loved her and the relationship between the two of them.

Grace likes this boy, Gabe, but I wish we had seen more of his character. As it was, I got to know Grace really well, but I didn't get to know Gabe that well. I feel his character could've been better developed.

I didn't like Holly's character, but mean girls do exist so in that sense it's realistic. I just wanted to slap her in the face and tell her to be nice to Grace or just GTFO.

The quote from the book on the back says:

"Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost."

This is exactly how I've been feeling all my life, and I've used a very similar version of this sentence, albeit in Dutch, when I was younger, to try to explain how I felt.

While I agree that this isn't the perfect read for everyone, I personally loved reading this story because of how much I identified with Grace and how well the story detailed Grace's life and how her autism influences that (and particularly the sensory overload, as this is a huge problem for me). I wish we'd know a bit more of Gabe, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I loved reading this book. It's not a very suspenseful book or anything, but I loved feeling understood. I can't think of too many fictional books that get sensory overload right (also because #OwnVoices vs. written by an 'outsider'). This book (along with Queens of Geek, which I read recently) has made it onto my favourites list.

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That's nice to hear :). I hope you like it if / when you get to it :).

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I read Gemma Correll - The Worrier's Guide to Life. I enjoyed this book with its illustrations. Some of them were funny, others less so. Most were at least amusing. There were a few I didn't understand, presumably because it references something or someone I don't know of. Overall the illustrations were nice and I enjoyed the humour of the book.

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The State of Grace sounds like a very interesting read!

 

It's definitely true that most books etc. about people/kids with autism feature autistic boys who are good at maths. That's a shame, because the spectrum is so wide and it helps create this standard image people have of autism, which I imagine makes it even harder for other people who do have autism but don't fit this standard image.

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I can't remember if you read The Girl with all the Gifts, Gaia?  The follow up, The Boy on the Bridge, has a character definitely on the autistic/Asperger spectrum, I felt he was portrayed very well but obviously that is speaking as an outsider to the condition. 

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4 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

The State of Grace sounds like a very interesting read!

 

It's definitely true that most books etc. about people/kids with autism feature autistic boys who are good at maths. That's a shame, because the spectrum is so wide and it helps create this standard image people have of autism, which I imagine makes it even harder for other people who do have autism but don't fit this standard image.

 

Thanks :), I do find it hard sometimes. My maths skills are above average but nothing exceptional, and I am a woman. It's quite nice to see a different character instead of the stereotype.

 

2 hours ago, chaliepud said:

I can't remember if you read The Girl with all the Gifts, Gaia?  The follow up, The Boy on the Bridge, has a character definitely on the autistic/Asperger spectrum, I felt he was portrayed very well but obviously that is speaking as an outsider to the condition. 

 

I haven't read it, but I shall put both on my wishlist :).

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11 hours ago, Athena said:

I haven't read it, but I shall put both on my wishlist :).

I hope you enjoy them, they have both been very well received from the reviews I have seen. :) 

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On ‎04‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 2:30 PM, Athena said:

I read Diane Chamberlain - Keeper of the Light / Kiss River 3: Her Mother's Shadow. I read book 1 in this trilogy in January and book 2 in February. I didn't feel in the mood to read this book until the beginning of May (I had wanted to read it in March originally). I liked book 2 in this trilogy a bit less than book 1. Book 1 was really good, book 2 was still good but I didn't enjoy it quite as much. I was pleased to find out I enjoyed book 3 a lot too (more than book 2). This book rounds off the trilogy and while on one hand I'm sad to say goodbye to the characters, on the other, as usual with series, I'm also glad to have finished off a series.

 

It was nice reading about the characters again. There are a few new characters, most of them are characters we met in earlier books. You could read this book on its own, as it explains things briefly, but you'd get spoiled for books 1 and 2, and you'll get much more out of book 3 if you have read the other two books as well.

 

I quite enjoyed reading this book. At some point I just wanted to keep on reading, to find out the secrets and what would happen. Overall then I enjoyed reading this book :).

Oh good...I have all 3 on my TBR pile. I must get around to starting this trilogy. Glad you enjoyed them. I must be due a Diane Chamberlain read this year...:D

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On 31/05/2017 at 11:19 PM, chaliepud said:

I hope you enjoy them, they have both been very well received from the reviews I have seen. :) 

 

Thanks Chalie :)!

 

9 hours ago, Inver said:

Oh good...I have all 3 on my TBR pile. I must get around to starting this trilogy. Glad you enjoyed them. I must be due a Diane Chamberlain read this year...:D

 

I hope you enjoy the next Diane Chamberlain book you read :D!

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I read Rob Eastaway - How Many Socks Make a Pair?. This is a maths book about surprising every day maths. I had heard of some of the things in the book (through ie. my maths teacher, who was always up for telling us something fun), but others were completely new to me. The book was written in a way that it was easy to understand and I liked the writing style. I quite enjoyed reading this book. It taught me new things and while I'm not remembering all of them now, a few days after the book, that's more my own fault than the book's (my brain doesn't take up new things as easily as it used to, my memory isn't as good as it used to be).

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