Thursday, 19 July 2018

Book Review: Mrs Rosie & The Priest; Giovanni Boccaccio.

While I was still in a big reading mood, I decided to make the most of it and grab the first of my new set of eighty little black classics. I love these gems because they give me a new reading experience every time.

SOURCE: Gift
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: Mrs Rosie & The Priest
AUTHOR: Giovanni Boccaccio
SERIES: Little Black Classics (#1)
PUBLISHER: Penguin
PAGES: 54
GENRE: Classics, Adult, Short Stories


Blurb:
Four hilarious and provocative stories from Boccaccio's Decameron, featuring cuckolded husbands, cross-dressing wives and very bad priests. 









What I Liked:
  • The first three tales in this collection were very different to what I expected from an excerpt from 14th Century Italian literature. They were not only fun, but also very bawdy and full of clever word-play and innuendo. I really enjoyed this aspect of them, especially as the characters were so full of life and personality. The women were intelligent as well as beautiful, every story had a lesson/moral and I have to say I enjoyed this saucy collection a lot.
What I Disliked:
  • The final story made my inner feminist scream. And it also felt like it didn't really fit into the collection with the other three. Here, the sadistic, cruel husband tests his patient (aka meek) wife by publicly stripping her, verbally abusing her, pretending he has killed their children and sending her away and saying he'll marry someone else and then ends by giving her a pat on the back for putting up with it all. Ugh.
Overall Conclusion:
I started off quite well with this. Nothing here blew me away but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed this set. The last story was a bit of a buzzkill, but nevertheless this was pretty good and I feel like I've dipped my toes into a new reading pool and found it pretty agreeable.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (9th July - 15th July)...

So I finished off my mini vacation with Mat at his family's, and we really loved our last couple of days. We spent our time there with the dog they were sitting, and I got a lot of work done on my end. My favourite part of the week happened when we returned home. Because Mat had a little surprise for me...


Meet Thor and Loki!

I met them on Tuesday and we picked them up on Sunday! I'm so, so happy to finally have a couple of gorgeous kittens. I've wanted them for so long and I'm happy to announce that so far they've not been setting off my allergies!

They are just over 8 weeks old and settling in nicely, and we both adore them. I can't wait to watch them grow up!

I Read...


I Received...


- 'Into The Jungle' by Katherine Rundell: Netgalley (09/07/18)

Memes...

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I've Read In 2018 So Far

I Posted...

Floored Blog Tour!

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Book Review: The Penelopiad; Margaret Atwood.

I've been waiting for a read like this to break the reading slump and get me all excited about reading again! I'm so relieved!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: The Penelopiad
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood
SERIES: Canongate Myth Series (#2)
PUBLISHER: Canongate
PAGES: 224
GENRE: Adult, Retelling, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

RATING: 5/5 Stars


Blurb:
In Homer’s account in The Odyssey, Penelope—wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy—is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan War after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumors, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters, and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and—curiously—twelve of her maids.

In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged maids, asking: “What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?” In Atwood’s dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the story-telling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality—and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery.

What I Liked:
  • Atwood's writing is intelligent and witty, and that's what I loved most about this book. Penelope is not the most loveable MC, but she doesn't need to be. She's an incredible storyteller, and I found that I didn't care for Odysseus's adventures. Her account of life as a lady was far more interesting. I liked the unusual choral additions from the twelve maids, laced with a sharp bitterness. It really referenced greek culture and entertainment, but brought it into the modern age.
  • This book really resounded with current events, especially the #MeToo campaign and the feminist movement. Social injustice and sexism are really big themes right now and it felt like the perfect time to read about them with the backdrop of an ancient story. Scarily, it doesn't feel like we have moved forward from these times a whole lot.
What I Disliked:
  • Nothing about this book really stood out to me as a dislike. I was hooked from beginning to end. The only thing, I guess, was that the characters felt a little one-dimensional at times. Particularly Helen, whom I would have loved to see some more depth from (especially as history remembers her for beauty alone, and no personality). That being said, this wasn't Helen's story and characterisation was not the point to this.
Overall Conclusion:
I'm so glad that I adored this for a couple of reasons: (a) I love Greek mythology and retellings, (b) I liked the last book by Atwood that I read but I really wanted to find some work of hers that I love and this fit the bill nicely, and (c) I needed to find a book to be hooked on again. I really enjoyed this read and it was perfect for the Summer too with the Greek setting!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Floored Blog Tour!


"Velvet?"

That's the line I've drawn inspiration from for this post, and it's also the name of the character that the chapter this line is from focusses on. I really liked the opening section of Velvet's first chapter because it's really about her unusual name, and the kind of reactions she gets as a result.

My name also produces a lot of reactions.

- "Oh? Katrina? That's an unusual name."

- "You don't look like a Katrina."

- "Where are you from? Oh...Britain? But Katrina is an Indian/ Irish/ Greek/ Scottish/ Polish/ Martian name. Are you sure you don't have family there?

- "Katrina? Spelt with a K?" *disapproving glare, proceeds to ramble on about the number of people killed and injured in various parts of the world during Hurricane Katrina, somehow insinuates that it's all my fault.*

- And...my least favourite? "Katrina? Oh like--" *proceeds to sing, dance to or hum the tune of Walking On Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves*



Sigh.

But it got me thinking a lot about what I could do with this post, as I've already reviewed the book here. And in an effort to give a spoiler free way of getting to know the characters a bit better (and get Walking On Sunshine out of my head) I decided to pick seven songs that I think represent the characters in the book or a situation they face, and the book as a whole, without telling you guys which characters they represent.

So here they are!

1) 'My Father's House' by Bruce Springsteen.


2) 'Hero' by Mariah Carey.



3) 'Puppy Love' by Donny Osmond.


4) 'Ka-Ching' by Shania Twain.


5) 'Walk Of Shame' by P!nk.


6) 'The Blower's Daughter' by Damien Rice.


7) 'Crowded Elevator' by Incubus.


Well guys, I hope you liked my list! If you've read the book, I'd love to hear your ideas on which songs match which characters and why! If not, then I thoroughly recommend it, it's a great book!

Also, I'm part of a week long blog tour with six other blogs. Please feel free to check out their posts too! The schedule below will let you know if you've missed anything and what's to come!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Best Books I've Read In 2018 So Far'.


My favourite kind of lists are that ones that let me reflect upon things I've already read, so this list is perfect! Yay!


1) 'Six Of Crows' by Leigh Bardugo.

I really loved this book, and especially loved the different take on the world I was introduced to in the Grishaverse series. I have so many new OTPs from this novel and loved everything about it!

2) 'Wintersong' by S. Jae-Jones.

Labyrinth was one of my favourite movies growing up, and I've been wanting to read a book with the Goblin King featured for a while. This was a magical, gorgeous retelling. Dark and sexy, I can't wait to read the sequel!

3) 'Goodbye, Perfect' by Sara Barnard.

I loved Sara Barnard's newest contribution into the YA genre, this time touching on the sensitive topic of a teacher-student relationship. I worried that I wouldn't enjoy reading this because of the topic, but there was a lot more to this book than meets the eye.

4) 'Children Of Blood & Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi.

Okay, this is pretty much my favourite read of the year so far. I loved it! It was top of my anticipated reads list, and for good reason! Thank goodness I got to pick it up so early on!

5) 'Out Of The Blue' by Sophie Cameron.

A recent read of mine, I loved Cameron's different take on angels and what would happen if they started falling from the sky. I'm glad there was no paranormal romance in sight here too, instead the story focused on deeper themes. 



6) 'The Cruel Prince' by Holly Black.

Yes, I am so happy to see a great contribution to books on the fae! I knew this would be good because Black has such a great grip on her idea of the world of the fae, it's various courts, and her world-building is exquisite.

7) 'Spectacle' by Megan Rose-Gedris.

The only graphic novel on the list, I was surprised by this one! Ghosts, the circus and a murder mystery make for a great combination. I loved the art as well!

8) 'bone' by Yrsa Daley-Ward.

I also have some poetry on the list! I really don't read poetry much, but I adored this little addition to my 'books I've read' list. I really want to read more poetry, and this book is part of the reason why.

9) 'Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them' by J.K. Rowling.

I have never read this book before, despite loving the Harry Potter universe! I'm glad I have now though because it really added a lot to the lore of the universe. I also liked the essay on the classification of beasts.

10) 'Floored' by Various.

This is my most recent read and one that I liked a lot. Written by seven very talented authors, I got to meet seven very different POVs and liked them a lot. Especially Hugo. Even if he was the worst.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (2nd July - 8th July)...

It's been another slightly hectic week, but things began to calm down again at the end and I think I can start settling back into a routine. I have exciting things on the horizon too! At the beginning of the week I pretty much worked non-stop and became very tired as a result, but Mat and I did get to go out to Central London for the afternoon and then visit our friends and meet their new kittens, Rocket and Quill! They are absolutely adorable! 

After work on Thursday we went back to see them again, and stay while the work on our flat was being completed. Then, on Friday evening, Mat and I went to visit his family and spend a few days there. In fact, we're still there! They are currently dog-sitting an adorable little girl called Polly which is a bonus! We also went to visit our potential florist on Saturday morning, so as you can see, we've been busy bees!

I Read...

--

I Received...


- 'Den Of Shadows' by Christopher Byford: Netgalley (03/07/18)
- 'Colour Me In' by Lydia Ruffles: Netgalley (03/07/18)
- 'The Darkest Legacy' by Alexandra Bracken: Netgalley (03/07/18)
- 'Vox' by Christina Dalcher: Netgalley (04/07/18)
- 'The Colour Of Madness' by Dr Samara Linton & Rianna Walcott: Netgalley (06/07/18)

Memes...

Top Ten Tuesday: 4th July Special! Red, White & Blue Covers

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: 4th July Special! My picks for 'Red, White & Blue Covers'.


I am not American, so of course 4th July is not really all that special to me. But I am British, and of course red, white and blue are the colours of the Union Jack! So here are some of my favourite covers in those colours, from books I've read!


1) 'The Snow Child' by Eowyn Ivey.

2) 'Heartless' by Marissa Meyer.

3) 'No Lasting Burial' by Stant Litore.

4) 'Wolf By Wolf' by Ryan Graudin.

5) 'A Monster Calls' by Patrick Ness.


6) 'One Of Us Is Lying' by Karen M. McManus.

7)  'Siege & Storm' by Leigh Bardugo.

8) 'Wintersong' by S. Jae-Jones.

9) 'Good Bones' by Margaret Atwood.

10) 'Child 44' by Tom Rob Smith.