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Reading Roundup Archives - Page 6 of 17 - Canadian eReader

Category: Reading Roundup

Reading roundup – December 19th 2014

I must admit, I’m in a real reading slump right now. As I’ve mentioned in a recent post, I’m currently trying to adjust to my first hearing aid.  Most of the reading I’ve done recently has been on that subject.  I don’t think I’ve read more than a chapter or two of a fiction book in the last couple of weeks.  Adjusting to the hearing aid has also meant that I’ve not been in the mood to listen to audiobooks.  It’s not even the book I’m reading – it’s Mortal Heart, the last in Rachel Lefevers His Fair Assassin trilogy and it is a good book I think.

I am going out of town for Christmas leaving tomorrow and I’ve not even planned my vacation reading.  Dear me, I’ve got it bad!  Perhaps when I’m away from work and on a plane with nothing much to do, my reading will be kicked up a notch again!

Happy holidays and stay safe.

I’m back! Reading roundup – 10th December 2014

Aaand I’m back after my long hiatus!  Thank you for your patience.

First things first; confession time,  I reached exactly 0 words total on my NaNoWriMo project.  Sigh. My first challenge was that I was too engrossed in In the Afterlight the last in Alexandra Bracken’s Darkest Minds trilogy.  This was released just a day or so before NaNoWriMo, which was just mean!  I really couldn’t put the thing down.  I found this last instalment in Ruby and co’s story to be engrossing and wonderfully satisfying.  I probably won’t do a full review on it as it’s been a little while since I read it, but it got a five star rating from me on GoodReads.

Then in November things became unexpectedly crazy at work and I spent all day every day working my butt off to keep our support queue under some kind of control.  After that the last thing I felt like doing was coming home and writing.  It was much easier to delve into someone else’s world than to work on creating my own.  These are all, excuses, I  know, and I’m not proud of myself.  Maybe next year I’ll do better.

Other non-reading events in my November included starting the plans for the big trip I am taking with my husband next year.  As new Canadian citizens we get a one off 50% reduction in train travel with the Canadian rail company ViaRail through the Cultural Access Pass.  We are taking this fantastic opportunity to make the cross continental train trip from Vancouver in British Columbia back to our home in Montreal.  This is something we have talked about for many years, and this opportunity is too good to pass up. It promises to be an awesome trip.

On a less pleasant note, this month my hearing loss was confirmed and I am being fitted with hearing aids.  Yes, hearing loss sucks, but at least I live in a time and place where tech can help.  I’m blogging my hearing aid journey at thehearingaiddiaries.wordpress.com.  Check it out if you’re interested.  Fortunately my ability to enjoy audiobooks is not impacted and will only be enhanced by the hearing aids.

Other books I read in November included Tribulare by Anne Robillard which is the the seventh in her supernatural fantasy series A.N.G.E.  I must admit I found this particular volume a little depressing.  We’re clearly in the low point of the apocalyptic drama and it seems only bad stuff happened.  Our protagonists are also too caught up in their own personal dramas to be able to operate effectively.  Guys.  Come on.  If the end of the world is approaching and Satan is poised to take over, now is not really the time to indulge in your personal angst.

At the beginning of the month I was in a bit of a reading slump.  I tried my usual trick of browsing the first chapter of several books in my TBR list to see if any caught my attention.  It took quite a few attempts before I finally picked up Grave Mercy, the first in Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin trilogy.  I was immediately hooked.  Within a few pages LaFevers had transported me to 15th Century Brittany with a kick ass protagonist.  I am now in the process of marathoning all three books in the series and will do a full series review when I’m done.

That’s all I have for you today.  Have a good weekend reading or whatever you’re doing and I’ll be back with more reviews soon.

Reading roundup – October 25th 2014

This week I have been continuing with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series which I’m reading as a mixture of Kindle ebook and Audible audiobook.  Have I mentioned before how much I love Whispersync for Voice?  The ability to switch between the two media without having to worry about finding your place is pure awesomeness.  Anyway, I digress.  I finished Outlander this week and have moved onto Dragonfly in Amber.  I have to say, my rereading of the series is enhanced by the Starz series.  When reading about Claire and Jamie’s adventures it’s great to be able to imagine Catriona Balfe and the deliciously edible Sam Heughan in the roles.  It might even be able to get me past that point in Voyager where I lost interest in the series.

This week I’m back on nightshift for a week to cover a coworker’s vacation.  I fully expect to spend my time monitoring servers in the company of Jamie, Claire and the others of Clans Fraser and McKenzie.

In other news, I’ll be going on blog hiatus for the month of November, so this will be my last entry for a while.  I have decided to take part in NaNoWriMo.  For those of you unfamiliar with this project, it’s short for National Novel Writing Month.  The idea is that you challenge yourself to write a 50,000 page novel during the month of November.  I have set myself that challenge.  I won’t be able to do both reading/blogging and writing a novel, so my reviews will be on the back burner.  I have not yet decided if I’ll share my work in progress on my blog – it’s likely to be quite rough!  I’m thinking along the lines of Bridget Jones meets Lord of the Rings.  I have a few ideas brewing so we’ll see how they turn out.  This is my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, so wish me luck!

Added to my library this week/next week

I realised I didn’t have the audiobook to go with Dragonfly in Amber and came across a bit of a hitch.  Even though I had the Kindle book in my library and it said WhisperSync for Voice enabled, it still wanted to charge me full price for the audiobook.  A quick MayDay call to Amazon’s customer support soon had it fixed and I was happily listening to both.  

This week an audiobook I’d put on hold at my local library became available – it was The Long Way Home by Louise Penny.  From what I can gather it’s a mystery series set in my home province of Quebec.  I’ve not listened to it yet, but should be fun.

For the other books I’m expecting to hit my Kindle/Audible libraries in the next week I’ll just direct you to my September 26th reading roundup

That’s all for this week folks.  I’ll see you at the other end of NaNoWriMo!

Reading roundup – October 17th 2014

So this week I finished a couple of books, one of which left me thinking, “oh… OK.  What happened exactly?” and the other received my first five star rating in quite some time.  The first of these was Unraveled by Gennifer Albin, the final book in her Crewel World YA dystopian trilogy.  I think it would require a second reading to understand fully what Albin was trying to achieve.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel strongly enough about it to care about a reread.  I loved the first book, second one was so-so and the third.  Hmmmm.  I probably won’t review this one.

The second one was the audiobook of Graeme Simsion’s quirky romance The Rosie Project.  I adored this, so expect my full review next week.

Other than reading, I’ve been indulging in my new secret obsession; the British quiz show QI, which I discovered recently on UK Netflix.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, it’s a cross between standup comedy and a quiz show.  The quizmaster is the always engaging Stephen Fry with regular panelist Alan Davies.  The other panelists are standup comedians generally from the UK.  Each episode has a theme, and panelists gain points by answering trivia questions in an amusing and unexpected manner and lose points for giving the boring, standard answer.  Check it out, it’s highly addictive.

In the manner of Emma Approved and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries I recently came across a vlog based on Anne of Green Gables, Green Gables Fables.  While not quite as clever and brilliant as the other two, it is very well done and very engaging.  Go ahead, check it out.

Added to my library this week

This has been a very quiet week for my library.  My new Audible credits arrived, and only things I’ve added were:

Silver blind by Tina Connolly in audiobook format.  I really loved Rosalyn Landor’s narration of the first book in the series and found Connolly’s worldbuilding fascinating.  I look forward to listening to Dorie’s adventures.

Talon by Julie Kagawa (Audible preorder)  This is a new series by Kagawa and the premise sounded very intriguing.  Dragons posing as teens!  This is a multi-narrator book, and I’m familiar with one of them.  I look forward to this.

Have a good weekend and see you next week!

Reading roundup – October 10th 2014

First of all, happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!  An extra day to read!  Woohoo!  Have a great weekend and safe travels if you’re visiting family.  We already have the pumpkin pie ready.

As my regular readers may know, this week saw the release of some books that I had been anticipating.  See below for details.   Unfortunately I was also sick with a nasty headache and ended up taking Wednesday off work.  Fortunately, listening to the audiobook of Blood of Olympus was much less taxing than assisting people with their technical support issues – and, let’s face it, a lot more fun.

So let’s cut to the chase and talk about this week’s books.

Added to my library this week

Tribulare by Anne Robillard.  This is the sixth book in her contemporary fantasy series.  I really look forward to reading this, and I see the next two are due in ebook format at the end of the month!  Yay!  I have been collecting Robillard’s books in Kobo format.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.  This was rather an impulse buy with my last Audible credit for this month.  It’s about a socially inept geek who develops a scientific plan to find the perfect wife.  I’ve started listening to it and it is very sweet and amusing.  I loved the sample I heard on the Audible website so picked it up in audiobook format.

The Blood of Olympus, the finale to Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series.  If you’re not familiar with Riordan’s work, go check it out.  I have already finished this and did enjoy it very much.  Look out for the review next week. I picked this up on both Kindle and Audible formats.

Unraveled, the third and final book in Gennifer Albin’s Crewel World series.  This is a YA fantasy/dystopian series with an interesting magic system and politicking. I didn’t enjoy book two as much as book one in which the world building was excellent, but I am still interested enough to want to read the end of Adelice’s story.  I have this on Kindle and, with Whispersync for Voice, also Audible.

A Midwinter’s Tail by Sofie Kelly, the next in her series of cute cat mysteries. I am a sucker for these and this is a good series.  I’ve already started reading it.  I have A Midwinter’s Tail on Kindle.

Silverblind by Tina Connolly.  This is the third in Connelly’s fantasy series, the first of which was based on Jane Eyre meets the fae.  I picked up Silverblind in Kindle format, but I will likely wait til my next Audible credits hit and buy the audiobook instead as I enjoyed Rosalyn Landor’s narration of Ironskin so much.

So there you go.  Have a  great (long) weekend.

Reading roundup – October 3rd 2014

Well, I had been going to spend this blog post moaning that I was in a bit of a reading slump anticipating all the new releases coming out this month. I felt I couldn’t really get into any of the books I was reading. However twice this week I managed to miss my bus or metro stop because I was reading!  I suppose I was more engrossed in my book than I thought.  For those interested among you the guilty book was Awakened, the eighth book in P.C. and Kirsten Cast’s House of Night series.

One book I have read this week – I borrowed it from the library – was Opera for Dummies by David Pogue and Scott Speck.  Let me give a bit of background here.  A very good friend of mine is a keen opera goer and she normally attends several performances of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s Live in Cinemas season.  She is so passionate about it that this year I decided to accompany her to three operas.  Now, I know very little about opera, so I decided to do some research first of all.  I do enjoy the …For Dummies books.  They are usually excellent at getting across the basic information about a subject in a very a amusing and informative manner.  They are very much geared for beginners though.  If you already have some knowledge of the subject then in my experience the …For Dummies books can be a little superficial.

Being a complete novice to the field of opera I did find the book very useful and very interesting.  It talks about the history of opera, the various styles, the various aspects of an opera and a brief introduction to the major operas.  The book also includes a CD of key opera moments which are very well explained by the authors.  I hope it will be a good start to my opera season.

Added to my library this week

This week I’ve not added much to my library in anticipation of all the good stuff coming my way later this month. 

The only book I’ve added was the free booklet Abriel Haraldsson and the Moors of Iberia by C.J. Adrien.  This is in the same vein of Viking historical saga as his In the Line of His People, which I have not yet read.  While I found the writing style somewhat lacking, it is an interesting tale and Adrien’s passion for the subject clearly comes across.  Worth checking out the short booklet in any case as it’s free.

Oh, and in other news, my Kindle Fire 6” is shipping today!  Yay.  Expect a review at some point.

Have a good week!

Reading roundup – September 19 2014

My apologies for the delay in my reading roundup this week.  I was rather distracted by the announcement of the new Kindles and the referendum held in my country of origin on independence.  I stayed up late last night watching the BBC and Scotland Decides.  I really hope once the dust has settled, the UK can work out some structure that works for everyone.

Ahem, so onto more literary matters.  This week I breezed through Christine Manzari’s Deviation, the first in The Sophisticates, a YA dystopian series.  I absolutely loved it – expect a full review next week.  I’ve also been continuing with the audiobook of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.  I only listen for half an hour or so at night before I go to sleep, so at 33 hours it’s not quick.  I’m just about managing to keep ahead of the wonderful Starz TV series (at least as the episodes are broadcast in Canada.)

Added to my library this week

Conviction by Christine Manzari.  This is the second in the Sophisticates series.  I imagine you can guess where I’m going in my review if I immediately went out and bought the second book upon finishing…  I’ve not started it yet, but it’s in my library.  Conviction is available in Kindle format.

On Audible I placed a preorder for Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus.  Mmmm I can’t wait for this one!

That’s all I got for this week folks.  Have a good one.

Reading roundup – September 12th 2014

This week I have been reading shorter books so I feel I have been making excellent progress compared to the epic fantasy behemoths I’ve been reading lately.  I finished the cutesy contemporary romance Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I will be doing a full review next week, so I won’t say too much now.

I have also been dipping in and out of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.  OK, at 640 pages or 33 hours audiobook, that’s not exactly short…  I’ve been listening mainly to Davina Porter’s excellent audiobook narration.  As I am Scottish born, I appreciate her rendition of the Scots accent.  I was reading the series, but I became stuck in the middle of book three.  The major TV adaption by Starz has inspired me to start rereading.  I’ll probably just keep dipping in and out rather than reading it in a block.

Since I’m talking about the series, I would just like to say how much I’m enjoying it.  We in Canada are a couple of weeks behind our US cousins.  I knew the series was in safe hands with Ronald D. Moore who helmed the wonderful Battlestar Galactica.  He is very skilled at creating worlds while retaining the human core of a story.  The casting is pitch perfect.  Catriona Balfe is amazing as Claire Randall and Sam Heughan – phwar.  Not only is he exceptionally easy on the eye to say the least, he has the acting chops to bring out Jamie’s personality.  Where do I get my Heughligans tee-shirt again?  I’d only seen Tobias Menzies as the milksop Edmure Tully in Game of Thrones, but he is doing a fantastic job of distinguishing between the dual roles of sweet and studious Frank Randall and the dastardly Black Jack Randall.

My one gripe about the series is Claire’s voiceover.  That is so annoying.  The script and the actors are perfectly capable of portraying what’s going on and the characters’ emotional reactions, thank you very much, without having to listen to a voiceover.  It seems to have lessened the further on in the series we go, which is a relief.  I’m happy to hear Starz has already renewed it for a second season – yay!

Added to my library this week

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.  I didn’t know much about this book before I bought it – I purchased it purely on the names of the authors, whose work I like very much.  I’ve started reading it and so far my opinion is that it is a poor man’s Harry Potter.  We’ll see if my opinion remains the same.  Look for my review next week.  I bought The Iron Trial in both Kindle and Audible formats.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel has been on my radar for a little while now.  This seemed an interesting concept.  An actor’s death links several characters and we follow them through civilisation’s collapse in the wake of a devastating pandemic.  I read the Kindle sample and found it intriguing and well written.  I picked this up from Audible.

Do you listen to audiobooks?  Which ones are you listening to right now?  Let me know in the comments.

Reading Roundup – 5th September 2014

This week has been pretty quiet in terms of reading.  I’ve pretty much spent all my time this week finishing my reread of Brent Weeks’ The Blinding Knife and following up with the new release The Broken Eye.  These books are HUGE.  The Broken Eye comes in at 816 pages or 29 hrs and 33 mins in audiobook format.  I won’t say too much more – my full review will come out next week, so keep an eye out for it if you want to know my thoughts on it.

Coming so close on my reread of Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings reading challenge I’m rather epic fantasied out.  I definitely need to take a break with some cutesy contemporary romance – Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, I’m looking at you – or some cozy cat mysteries or some contemporary urban fantasy such as The Dresden Files.  I suspect I’ll just flick through my Kindle’s library and see what takes my eye. Next week sees the release of the first in a collaborative contemporary fantasy series by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, The Iron Magisterium, so that my hit the spot.

Added to my library this week

The Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas.  This is the third book in Maas’ Throne of Glass series of epic fantasy novels about a teenage assassin.  It might be some while before I get round to this.  Although I loved Throne of Glass, I’ve not yet read book two, Crown of Midnight, and I think it’ll be a few weeks before I’m in the mood for epic fantasy again!  I picked up Heir of Fire in both Kindle and Audible formats.  Thanks Whispersync for Voice!

The Masked Songbird.  This is a new urban fantasy series by Emmie Mears set in Edinburgh, Scotland.  From the blurb it seems to be a superhero type of adventure.  It drew my attention because it’s set in the beautiful city of Edinburgh where I studied.  It also appears to be very timely with the upcoming Scottish referendum on independence playing a role.  I do have concerns that this might limit its appeal after September 18th when my compatriots decide the future of their country.  This was a great deal on Kindle.

I also placed a Kindle preorder for Silverblind by Tina Connolly.  This is the third book in her excellent Ironskin series.  OK confession time.  Although I loved Ironskin which was a fantastical story of Jane Eyre meets the face, I had no interest in reading book two, Copperhead.  I adored Ironskin and really enjoyed Connolly’s writing style, but Copperhead is from the point of view of the minor character of Helen from Ironskin.  That particular character really, REALLY irritated me, and I had no desire to spend a whole book with her.  However, Silverblind is from a far more interesting character’s perspective and I really look forward to it.  I have placed the preorder in Kindle format, but I’m very likely to return it to place the order for the Audible book instead, assuming Rosalyn Landor continues her narration duties.  She does a wonderful job.

Well, folks, that’s all I got today.  Have a good week!

Reading Roundup – 29th August 2014

So, I’m back from my vacation at last!  I didn’t read a whole lot – I spent time with family – but I did get through a few things.  My review of Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Assassin was published yesterday – go check it out if you like slow burning character driven epic fantasy.

I also finished the Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.  It had been on my TBR list for a while, but I found it slow going because I had been watching the YouTube video series in sync with the book.  I gave up on that and breezed through the book.  I thought it was an excellent companion to the web series, and enjoyed reading it very much.  The trouble is, it’s spoiled me now for The Austen Project series of modernisations of Austen’s works.  The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved are just so cleverly written and adapted, nothing else can come close.

Reading Roundup – 29th August 2014Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
Format: eBook
Pages: 336 pages
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy from AmazonKoboiTunesAudible
Evelynne's rating: four-stars

One book I picked up this week and breezed though was Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods.  This is written from Percy Jackson’s point of view and in it he tells the stories of the Greek gods in his own inimitable style.  It was a lot of fun and I found it a great antidote to all the heavy epic fantasy I’ve been reading lately.  I would suggest reading this book in hard copy form or on a colour device – the book is packed full of illustrations by John Rocco which are gorgeous.  I started reading on my eInk Kindle but switched to my Fire to get the full effect.  I would say though that without a strong through narrative as in the rest of the Percy Jackson series, the humour did seem a little forced at times.  For that reason I gave it four stars out of five.

Added to my library this week

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks.  This is the third book in the Lightbringer series.  It’s been two years since we had a book in this series and I am very much looking forward to listening to it.  Simon Vance is a fantastic narrator, and suits Weeks’ witty style perfectly.  I’m relistening to the previous instalment, The Blinding Knife, before I move onto this.  Obviously, I picked it up in Audible format.

L’Eveil – Le Retour de l’Oiseau-Tonnerre Tome 1 by Anne Robillard.  I have mentioned the Quebecoise author Anne Robillard a few times on my blog now.  She writes incredibly real characters in a fantastical setting, and L’Eveil – The Awakening – is the first book in a  contemporary series.  I don’t know much about it other than that the main character regresses through past lives, but I’m happy to give it a try.  I actually bought this in hard copy – it’s not available electronically – so you must appreciate how much I admire Ms Robillard for me to read that format again!

Upcoming releases in September

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas will be released on September 2nd.  This is the third instalment in the Throne of Glass series which is an epic fantasy telling the story of Celaena Sardothian.  The fantasy element has been quite subtle so far. I loved Throne of Glass and have Crown of Midnight, the second book in the series in my library – just not got round to listening to it yet!  I have preordered Heir of Fire in Kindle format.

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black is published on September 9th.  I know very little about the book other than that it’s written by two excellent authors.  I love Clare’s Shadowhunter world and although I’ve only read a bit of Black’s Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I’ve read enough to like the style.  This collaboration has potential to be excellent.  I have preordered it in both Kindle and Audible formats.

That’s all for today, folks.  Have a good weekend!

four-stars
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