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  1. BEWARE - THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS THREAD, FOLLOWING THE TWO REVIEWS I originally posted this review on my book thread, but after a spoilertastic discussion in Noll's book thread, and with others planning to read the book, I thought I'd set up a separate thread where we could discuss some of the issues and plot lines in the book without having to put everything in spoiler tags. Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill Synopsis (from waterstones.com): freida and isabel have been best friends their whole lives. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions - wives to wealthy and powerful men. The alternative - life as a concubine - is too horrible to contemplate. But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to remain perfect becomes almost unbearable. isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty - her only asset - in peril. And then, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. freida must fight for her future - even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known... Shortlisted for the Best Fiction for Teens category of the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2015 Review: If you're looking for dystopian, this is it, and blimey, is it bleak. The book is set at the School, and freida the main character is sixteen and in her final year. But this is not an ordinary school. In a world where girls are no longer conceived and born, females a genetically engineered and then raised by the "chastities" in the school, where they are required to aspire to perfection, and their weight and condition is constantly monitored, and the outside world ranks them according to attractiveness. Sound bleak enough yet? Wait … it gets worse. At the end of their final year, the girls will either be chosen by a boy to be married in order to produce male heirs, or become a concubine or a chastity. Their names start with a lower case letter as they are lesser than men. Their lifespan is forty years, when they go on the pyre. As you follow freida's story, you see the parallels between how girls today face the constant pressure about their image, bombarded with photoshopped pictures of unachievable perfection. As the story unfolds, the oppression of the women gets more and more suffocating, and it gets bleaker and bleaker. And I know I've used that word before, but it's really the only word that can describe this book. That's not to say it's not compelling - I found it difficult to put down - but it's so awful to read what's happening, and the little details (like the uncapitalised names) that aren't necessarily explained, add to the oppression of the women in this society, and which as a reader you can see but the characters in their sheltered lives have no idea about. Having said all that, there is so much about the issue of food and weight, but nothing to explain why it's wrong for that to be the focus of your life, and no alternative for the reader to consider. But it's still such a fascinating read, I wouldn't stop me recommending it. A very dark read, and left me with a desperate hope that all girls today have someone in their lives to tell them their worth is not based on their looks.
  2. On GoodReads, and also on blogs and YouTube, there is such a thing as 'Top 5 Wednesday' where every Wednesday there is a bookish topic and then you talk about your top 5 (creator: GingerReadsLainey). For Dutch blogs, they do a "Top Ten on Thursday" (by Emmy from Zon en Maan. For example for this week the topic is 'Favourite Retellings (fairytales, myths, literature, etc.)'. I thought it might be a nice idea to do this here, so every Wednesday (or maybe Thursday) I will post the topic of that week and whoever's interested can post their top 5 (usually involving books, but on occasion it can be about for example book to movie adaptations). The top 5 doesn't have to be in order (ie. 1, 2, 3,...), but it can be if you want it to. Since I know most of us find it hard to choose, we could change top 5 into a top 10 instead, I'll leave that up to the posters, we can just see how it goes. Hopefully there will be at least one reply! So for this week the topic is Top 5 (or 10) Favourite Retellings (fairytales, myths, literature, ...) I have to admit I haven't read a lot of retellings, the main ones that come to mind are the Stilton retellings of famous literary works. I have some retellings I still want to read though. Here's my top 5 of what I can think of right now (not in any particular order): Natsuki Takaya - Fruits Basket series Melissa Nathan - Acting Up Juliet Marillier - Trilogy van de Zeven Wateren 1: Dochter Van Het Woud (Sevenwaters 1: Daughter Of The Forest) Geronimo Stilton - De Avonturen van Robinson Crusoe (Le Avventure di Robinson Crusoe) Geronimo Stilton - De Avonturen van Koning Arthur (La Avventure di Re Artù) And another 5 (okay, so I couldn't stick to a top 5 ): Geronimo Stilton - Het Jungleboek (Il Libro Della Giungla) Geronimo Stilton - Alice in Wonderland (Dutch translation) (Alice Nel Paese Delle Meraviglie) Geronimo Stilton - De Geheime Tuin (Il Giardino Segreto) Geronimo Stilton - Robin Hood (Dutch) Geronimo Stilton - Heidi (Dutch) And here are some retellings I want to read (I'm just throwing this in.. for the sake of it ): Marissa Meyer - The Lunar Chronicles Naomi Novik - Uprooted Rick Riordan - Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (& other series) Sarah J. Maas - Throne of Glass Alison Goodman - Eon series Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer - Between the Lines series (fairytale themed) Michael Buckley - The Sisters Grimm series Isaac Marion - Warm Bodies Other Stilton retellings What are your top 5 or 10 favourite retellings?
  3. How much should a book cost? I ask because I'm currently reading a 36-page black and white book which cost £14.99. Yes, you read it right - 36 pages. Don't get me wrong. It's worth every penny. It's a beautifully illustrated book on Dorset footpaths. But I know I can buy Wolf Hall for under £4 and that runs to nearly 700 pages. That's a halfpenny a page instead of 41p a page. My footpath book - Holloway by Macfarlane, Donwood and Richards - was originally printed as a limited edition of 277 copies and one would clearly expect to pay a premium price for one of those. But my £14.99 edition is a reprint by Faber & Faber. The paper is lightweight rather than art-paper quality and - horror of horrors - it appears to be perfect-bound rather than stitched. It looks 'nice' but lacks the sort of quality that shouts "I'm worth £14.99". At the end of the day, I bought the book; it was a topic that interested me and I was happy with handing over the cover price. It did intrigue me, however, how Faber decided on the price. Do they reason that this is a niche market and those specialists like me will pay the price, or are there other market forces at work? And then there's the question of how much an ebook should cost. But that's probably a topic for a separate thread!
  4. I am looking for a book to read, I like mistery books, tell me you´re favourite books!
  5. Hello Everyone I'm currently reading a lot of lesbian novels, but mostly, they are always about two women falling in love but only come together at the end of the book. Now I would like to read lesbian romance novels or short stories about couples, which are already in a relationship for quite some time or actually married, but their relationship has already "gone dry" but want to find to each other again. I would be very pleased if anyone would have any recommendations. I thank you in advance, your bookworm95. PS: Please excuse my english, but I'm not an "english-native-speaking" person.
  6. Hello folks! I thought I would share with you four of my favorite books I ever read. You can find them in the article below! Enjoy Matt
  7. This year, I decided to read at least 3 books every month and do book reviews on my FrankMwenda blog. I will also be sharing my monthly reads with you here.
  8. Hello everyone! I'm Mandy from Singapore and I'm here because I have a book hoarding addiction. I have about 400+ books on my bookshelf now, and more than half of them have been bought and unread for years and years. I have very recently put a ban on myself from acquiring any new books (including borrowing library books) until I have cleared at least one page of TBR (~30 titles). I'm a pharmacist, but I recently quit to do a Master's in English Literature. It's a crazy move but one I really wanted to do for my own sake. Besides reading, other hobbies I enjoy are bullet journaling, calligraphy, and I've also tried to pick up drawing and cooking recently! I'm very happy to be here and look forward to lurking around.
  9. I was reading about taste receptors in testicles - YES! (link) - don't ask! Google throws up some random results sometimes which I can't resist. ANyyyyywhooo Saw this 'related' hmm - again don't ask - article on how the smell of chocolate in a book shop makes people browse longer and buy more. I can get behind that! Chocolate and books! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2371566/Sweet-smell-success-How-smell-chocolate-help-reverse-decline-number-people-buying-books-shop.html
  10. I follow ReadingWithJack on YouTube and he just created this tag (see for the video here). I thought it would be nice to post it here as I believe we have some people who watch this show? QUESTIONS (copied from ReadingWithJack's video description): 1. CAKE: The cake has sunk in the middle. Pick a book that didn't rise to your expectations. 2. BISCUITS: Once you've eaten one, you’re hungry for more and each time you eat another, they get more and more delicious. Pick a book series or trilogy that got progressively better. 3. BREAD: Kneading dough requires hard work and determination. Pick a book that you put off reading for ages and needed a lot of determination to pick up. 4. DESSERTS: Foreign deserts such as crème brûlée and Spanische Windtorte are on the menu. Pick a book set in a foreign country. 5. ALTERNATIVE INGREDIENTS: Not usually used, but surprisingly good. Pick a book from a genre you wouldn't normally read but ended up loving. 6. PASTRY: Shortcrust pastry can crumble easily. Pick a character who you initially liked, but as you read more and more, your relationship with them crumbled apart. 7. VICTORIAN/OLD-FASHIONED BAKES: Recipes from the past that still taste delicious today. Pick your favourite classic novel. 8. PATISSERIE: You’re eating a chocolate éclair but there’s barely any filling inside. Pick a book that lacked substance and fell flat. 9. CHOCOLATE: Chocolate is a comfort food for many people. Pick a book you could read again and again and still find comforting. 10. THE GRAND FINAL: Everyone is out to impress with extravagant show-stoppers! Pick your favourite book of the year so far that really impressed you.
  11. There was an article in the newspaper this morning (Eindhovens Dagblad), that the book industry in the Netherlands is doing better than a few years ago. The article talks about Amazon, their plans for physical book shops, and how they don't have much market in the Netherlands. Because we have a set book price for each book of a specific format sold, online shops like bol.com (I'd recommend them) don't have as much of a market share over physical book shops as Amazon does in the US and UK (where Amazon sometimes lowers the prices of certain books, to the point where they don't have any profit). During the economic crisis, the book revenue was 642 million euros in 2009 and 485 million euros in 2014. Lots of shops and companies went bankrupt. Nowadays though the industry is doing better in the Netherlands. E-books take up only 6% of the market, though there are also illegal copies going around that aren't included in this statistic for the obvious reason that they are not 'sold'. So most books sold are physical books. I would have to add to that personally, that for example Amazon US and Amazon UK have MUCH better deals for the Kindle than e-book selling websites in the Netherlands (including Amazon NL), most e-books are pretty expensive and you rarely see e-books below €5; €5 is when it's on sale. At least, that's as far I've browsed e-book selling sites myself. It probably has to do with the 'set' book price, though I'm not 100% sure of this. Last year (2015) 39 million books were sold, an increase of 3.5 %. In the holiday period (Christmas) there were 15% more books sold than in previous years. The article also talks about the personal service you get in physical book shops, that you don't get online, interviewing a woman who works in a book shop. Source: Eindhovens Dagblad, 4 February 2016, p. 22-23. I don't intend this as a discussion of 'which is better, the physical book or the e-book' (there are other threads for that), I think both physical book shops, online book shops and e-book selling websites, and also book fairs are great places to buy books. But it's great the book industry is doing better (at least here). I thought it was an nice article to share. I've seen similar topics about the book industry in the UK here on the forum but now I've read one for my own country.
  12. As the title : What are the name of the legendary novels? can you tell me?pls...
  13. Hi all, my name is Eleni and I'm a freelance journalist now working on a feature article about independent bookshops in the UK. I would love to include some general views of booklovers in it! So it would be brilliant if you can answer any of the following questions you fancy: Name and Surname: Only if you don't mind me dropping in a small quote (of course I will not include your name otherwise!) Age group: <25, 25-35, 35-50, 45-60, >60 Do you prefer to read print books or e-books and why Do you buy print books even though they are more expensive than e-books? Where do you buy your books from? Do you have a favorite local independent bookshop? What do you love most about indies? What do books mean to you? What types of books to you love best? Have your tastes changed throughout the years and if yes how? Thank you all very much!! Eleni
  14. My favourite YA fantasy series is The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. For a review on the series go to Thanks!
  15. Hey everyone, I love reading and mainly read classics --- I'm trying to make it through the Russians and have a strong interest in 20th century modernist fiction. As a result, I almost totally miss out on contemporary literature and, most of the time, don't have a clue what new stuff to read or where to find tips for great new contemporary fiction/non-fiction. - How do you discover new books to read? - How do you decide which books to read? - What are your most trusted sources for books? Thanks, Sarah
  16. I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've tried to do some Googling and using Wikipedia and such. I was wondering about some book genres (and in a similar way one can think about film genres as well). I don't quite understand the way book shops or websites or people categorise books sometimes. It seems not everyone uses the same 'system'. I know I use something different from most people. For example, I've read that for a book to be classified as 'historical fiction' it has to be written in a different time period than the one the story takes place in (that's just how I prefer to classify my books). For me, I classify anything taking place before ~1985, on Earth, and that isn't what I call 'literature', I call that historical fiction. What I call 'literature' is what some people call 'classics' and some Dutch literature (where conveniently it says it is on the cover, such as literary thriller: literaire thriller). But I also have 'contemporary fiction', which is fiction taking place after 1985 but not too far into the future and that isn't romancy but that has more depth to it. 'Chick-lit' are romancy and love type stories, as well as sort of girly fun stories about friendship and such. 'Science-fiction' are stories taking place in the future for me, including stories about aliens, space travel, space ships, multiple planets, dystopians and post-apocalyptic. 'Fantasy' is a story with magical elements, often though not always, taking place on a world different from our own. Some people call stories with vampires and werewolves 'urban fantasy', and there's also 'high fantasy'. I call stories with vampires and werewolves and such (or ghosts etc.), 'paranormal'. Classifying things with contemporary and historical, is doing things based on time period the story takes place in. In some British book shops I've been in, 'young adult' is used as a genre (it's on the sign, just like 'science-fiction & fantasy' for example. To me, young-adult isn't a genre. It's an age-range. Within the young-adult age range, the book can be any genre, it can be a dystopian like The Hunger Games or it can be something contemporary such as The Fault in Our Stars. To say they are both the same genre, makes no sense to me. That's like saying there are only a couple of book genres, adult, young-adult, children (or middle-grade, toddlers, whatever). Just like 'comic' or 'manga', I consider that a book format, a way to tell the story. Within comics, or manga, or graphic novels, there's a wide variety of stories to be found. That would be like putting all the books without pictures, 'text'books as I call them, in one catagory too. When is something literary fiction? And why is for example fantasy hardly ever literary? Who decides what has literary value, and who decides what has value for another person? Why are certain genres seen as 'better' than others, and why are there snobs? Why do I feel embarrassed about reading certain books in a public location? Why would there be anything wrong with me reading anything, any book, including something that's below my age range or above my age range or with or without pictures, and more or less complicated, more or less fantastical. A genre is way of classifying books, but within a genre there are still a lot of differences between books. Some books have elements from multiple 'genres'. You could totally have a book with magic and futuristic laser pistols and space ships, that has some deep thoughts on the meaning of life in it. Anyway, just some musings. I hope this wasn't too rambly for anyone.
  17. What are your reading plans for the rest of the year, are there any books you really want to read / finish in 2014? What are they? I'll post mine later (definitely have some books I want to read soon), I have to start cooking soon.
  18. I've been going through the pieces I wrote for my 'Book about Books' that I stopped working on a while ago when I got too tired. I worked on a piece on what I love about books and what they mean to me, and this got me thinking. What are some of the things you love about books? This can be from any particular story element to the way a book feels in your hands.
  19. For me "On the Road" and "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" I honestly expected to love both these books from page 1 but was totally underwhelmed. Does anyone else have a total let down? Not so much an awful read as a book you'd looked forward to reading for ages and then wondered what all the fuss was about?
  20. What book series would you like to see developed into a TV series or film which haven't been attempted yet?
  21. I love to read, but I tend to stay with a certain genre (largely romance). Nothing wrong with that, but it means there’s not much variety in what I read. I tend to stay inside the lines, where it’s comfortable and the plots are simple. There are no complex plots, and for the most part, it’s only a few (if that) different genres yearly, by a few (if that) different authors. In September 2013, I had the idea to start a different reading pattern from what I had done heretofore. My plan was to read a book from a different genre each month, for a year. 12 genres in 12 months. I thought, why wait for the New Year to start something new? October was Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, November was Justin Halpern’s S*it my Dad Says, December was 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30 by Pamela Redmond Satran and the editors of Glamour Magazine, and since the last book started in December and bled into this month, I accidentally skipped a book for January. Plus, I don’t have it all mapped out. I only have eight books planned so far, and I might change some of the genres. I’m not sure what February will be, but I plan to keep going after the year of genres. Maybe a year of Stephen King next, or a year of series. Help me out here! Any suggestions? What year of books have you done, or would like to do?
  22. I wasn't sure if a general discussion on reading challenges should be in the Reading Challenges forum or in the General Book Discussions forum, so feel free to move it if I made the wrong choice. I see several people on here doing one or even multiple Reading Challenges. I think it's great that these people are challenging themselves, based on countries, famous lists, literature, etc. However for me, at least with my busy schedule lately, I couldn't handle the pressure of doing a reading challenge (or any other kind of challenge for that matter). Maybe in a while this will be different (I hope to be less stressed at least) but right now I don't want to do it. I want to enjoy reading and read what I feel like reading, not what I think I should read (other than literature for university). So if I feel like reading a work that's not so famous, not so literary or whatever other reason, then I just want to do so. Now I'm very proud of all of you who do do reading challenges and who manage to succeed in them! So don't take this as any sort of critisism on what you're doing or any bad comments on your progress or anything. I'm simply saying I don't think it's for me. I've never tried it though, I didn't know about reading challenges before I joined this forum. Right now I just couldn't handle the pressure, and even once I become less stressed I might just want to enjoy reading what I feel like at that specific moment. If that happens to be a famous literary book (for example) that is on many lists, then so be it. And of course I want to read all the unread books on my shelves (and reread ones I have read). And I did say in my reading thread that I'd try to read more of this or that this year. But right now I'm just reading what I feel like reading (I should point out that I have read some of what I stated in my thread I'd try to read). Even making a TBR-soon can be difficult, as it depends on my mood. Right now the TBR-soon contains books of various genres, so if I'm in the mood for science-fiction right now the book I might read would be Replay (because I've heard a lot about it from others on this forum). However I might not be in the mood for science-fiction for a while. It by Stephen King has been on the TBR-soon for several months now, but it's big and horrory and I haven't been in the mood yet. For a read-a-thon I do prefer to have a TBR-soon otherwise I might lose too much time spent on trying to pick a book from all the books on my shelves. How do you deal with a reading challenge or making a long-term reading plan? Anyway, I applaud all of you who are doing one or multiple reading challenges but I don't think it's quite for me .
  23. Most Famous Book from Every State, : Most Famous Authors from Every State . How many have you read ? I think I may have a crack at both of these Not an impossibly large goal, and it should be interesting . I'm not sure yet what order I'll go in, whether alphabetically by state, or choose one book at a time from one list ,then the other . Need to do a little planning on it, but it should be fun ,and also not a really strict schedule to follow. Lots of books to choose from between the 2 lists and also , no time frame to complete it . In a few cases, there are overlapping authors and states ,so in that case, I'll have to choose a different book for the same author . Lists in posts below for books, then states .
  24. I've been working my way through a list of classics that I own and am trying to read, but I'd like to read something "easier" at the same time. Some type of YA fiction. I've already read The Hunger Games trilogy and Harry Potter anything similar or even any YA book that you really liked would be helpful.
  25. If you have a fairly consistent reading habit, how many do you read in a week? Yes, it depends upon word length and readability of novel, let's just say the fairly standard 100,000 word length. If I'm not off work - I don't take books to work (my workplace isn't really the kind of place you can find somewhere to settle) - I only read just before going to sleep. I average 1.5-2 books a week. On holiday, if I don't go out, I sometimes read for 2-3 hours a day, sometimes more if I have nothing better to do. I average 3-4 books a week under those circs. Suppose I am above average when it comes to speed. And, yeah, I can have an intelligent conversation about said book, I haven't just got "the gist" of it. How 'bout yous out there?
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