Nov 30, 2010

Challenge Wrap-Up: Fall Into Reading Challenge 2010!

I completed the Fall Into Reading Challenge 2010!

This challenge was hosted by The Mistress of the Dark @ A Chick Who Reads!

Here are the books I've read for this challenge:

1. Read a book outside your comfort zone
- The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman & Dean McKean - graphic novel - review

2. Read a "chunky book" 500 + pages.
  - The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima - review

3. Read a book with the letter "S" for September in either the title or the author's name.
  - Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard - review

4. Read a book that is part of a series.
  - The Lady in Question by Victoria Alexander - review
 (Book 7 in the Effington Family & Friends series)

5. Re-read a book that you consider an old friend.
  - Sans Famille by Hector Malot - review

6. Read something "Spooky" for halloween.
  - The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey - review

7. Read a book that was recommended to you by a friend.
  - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - review

8. Read one of the books that's been on your TBR the longest.
- Persuasion by Jane Austen - review

9. Read a book by a debut author.
  - Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - review

10. Read a book with a "fall" theme

  - It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas - review

11. Reader's Choice
  - Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry - review

12. Read a book by an author that you love
 - Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - review

#216 - "Sans Famille" by Hector Malot

Title: Sans Famille (a.k.a. Nobody's Boy, Without Family, Without Home, etc...)
Author: Hector Malot

Hector Malot's most famous book, tells the story of an orphan, raised by a loving adoptive mother, later sold to an entertainer, traveling across the French countryside.
My rating: 5 of 5
My thoughts on the book:
This book was one of my favorites when I was little. Although I had read it a few times, it's been at least ten years (probably more) since the last time I read it & although I remembered the main story, I didn't remember the adventures in between. So, I re-read it & I absolutely loved it again! It's really great story! I loved the characters, although my favorite part was probably the friendship between Remi & Mattia! I highly recommend this book to everyone!


The Four Month Challenge, Part 5!

The Four Month Challenge, Part 5 is hosted by Book Drunkard!
The challenge starts tomorrow, December 1st & ends March 31st, 2011!
To sign-up, go HERE! For updates, go HERE

Total points: 175


Read a book by your favourite author
  • Rules of an Engagement by Suzanne Enoch - my review
Read a YA book
  • Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft - my review
Read a book written in 2010
Read a book with a colour/color in the title
  • Black and White by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge - my review
Read a book set in any country other than your own
  • Pretend You Don't See Her by Mary Higgins Clark - my review


Read a book with any ‘family’ name in it.  Eg: Father, daughter, uncle, etc.

Read a book you’ve read before
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - my review
Read a fantasy book
  • Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - my review
Read a book a book you’ve been meaning to read for ages
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - my review
Read a book set in the same country you live in


Read a book written before you were born
Read a book suggested by a blog
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - my review
Read a book set in a country/place you’d like to visit
  • Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson (Italy) - my review
Read a book about a person who is still alive (Memoir, bio, auto-bio, etc)

Read a book that is the first in a series


Read a book about a person who is passed (Memoir, bio, auto-bio, etc)
Read a classic you’ve never read before
Read a book you need to read for another challenge
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson - my review
Read a book of short stories
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling - my review
Read a book with a food in the title

Teaser Tuesdays #33

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I already finished both these books, but since the book I'm reading now is not in English, I decided to share one sentence from both these books as teasers!

"Suddenly, from somewhere - no one's sense of direction was very clear by now - there came a cry, either of some inhuman voice or else a voice of one in such extremity of terror that he had almost lost his humanity."
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
"Huge waves were rising and crashing over the city; the night sky was rent with forks of white lightning from horizon to horizon; the rain fell in sheets, the city trembled; fires started near the great amphitheater and spread, quickly, through the city, defying the storm."
 Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Challenge Wrap-Up: 451 Challenge!

This challenge was hosted by Elizabeth @ As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves
This challenge has a dedicated blog: 451 Challenge!

Although I didn't read all the books I planned, for example I read only books 1-3 from The Chronicles of Narnia, instead of all 7, I completed the 451 Challenge! I chose the level Blaze, for which I had to read at least 7 books from the list & I did that!

Here are the books I read:
  1. "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card - review
  2. "Persuasion" by Jane Austen - review
  3. "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte - review
  4. "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak - review
  5. "The Chronicles of Narnia" series by C.S. Lewis
          - "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" - review
          - "Prince Caspian" - review
          - "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" - review
  6. "The Lord of the Rings" series by J.R.R. Tolkien
          - "The Fellowship of the Ring"   - review
          - "The Two Towers" - review
          - "The Return of the King" - review
  7. "The Giver" by Lois Lowry - review 
  8. " The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams - review
  9. "The Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling (re-read)
          - "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" - review
          - "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" - review
          - "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" - review
          - "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" - review
          - "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" - review
          - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" - review
          - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" - review

Challenge Wrap-Up: Series Challenge Season 4!

This challenge was hosted by Kathrin at Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic

I didn't do as well as I hoped, I finished only one series for this challenge, but because the goal was to read at least 4 books & I read 5, I completed it!

I finished the Effington Family & Friends series by Victoria Alexander! This series has 11 books & I had already read book 1-4 & books 10 & 11 when I signed-up, which left me to read books 5-9 & I did!

Effington Family & Friends by Victoria Alexander
     - Book 5: Her Highness, My Wife - review
     - Book 6: Love with the Proper Husband - review
     - Book 7: The Lady in Question - review
     - Book 8: The Pursuit of Marriage - review
     - Book 9: A Visit from Sir Nicholas - review

Challenge Wrap-Up: Finish That Series Challenge 2010!

This challenge was hosted by Royal Reviews and then by Alayne - Queen of Happy Endings!

I finished 10 series for this challenge:

1. Domestic Gods by Robin Kaye
  • Book 1: Romeo, Romeo - review
  • Book 2: Too Hot to Handle - review
  • Book 3: Breakfast in Bed - review
2. Chicks with Sticks by Heidi Betts
  • Book 3: Knock Me for a Loop - review
3. Albright Sisters by Jess Michaels
  • Book 2: Something Reckless - review
  • Book 3: Nothing Denied - review

4. Lessons in Love by Suzanne Enoch
  • Book 1: The Rake - review
  • Book 2: London's Perfect Scoundrel - review
  • Book 3: England's Perfect Hero - review

5. The Heir Chronicles by Cinda Williams Chima
  • Book 1: The Warrior Heir - review
  • Book 2: The Wizard Heir - review
  • Book 3: The Dragon Heir - review

 6. Bakery Sisters by Susan Mallery

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Book 1: The Hunger Games - review
  • Book 2: Catching Fire - review
  • Book 3: Mockingjay - review

8. The Stud Club by Tessa Dare
  • Book 1: One Dance with a Duke - review
  • Book 2: Twice Tempted by a Rogue - review
  • Book 3: Three Nights with a Scoundrel - review

9. Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
  • Book 1: Leaving Paradise - review
  • Book 2: Return to Paradise - review

10. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Book 1: The Fellowship of the Ring - review
  • Book 2: The Two Towers - review
  • Book 3: The Return of the King - review

#216 - "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" by C. S. Lewis

Title: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Author: C. S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 3

Lucy and Edmund, with their odious cousin Eustace, journey on board the gallant ship Dawn Treader to the Eastern Seas in search of the seven lost friends of King Caspian the Ninth. On this extraordinary voyage of discovery they encounter a dragon, a sea serpent, a band of invisible people, a magician, and also the great Aslan himself, who makes them a very special promise.
My rating: 4 of 5
My thoughts on the book:
I liked this one a lot! Although the first few chapters were a little boring to me, after that it became much better & really funny! My favorite character was definitely Eustace! Although he was one spoiled little brat, he cracked me up. I'm glad that the next book is with him, so I'm looking forward to reading it! Really fun children's book & I recommend it! I'm also looking forward to the movie.

#215 - "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman

Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman

Under the streets of London there is a world of which most people could never dream. When Richard Mayhew accidentally stumbles on this hidden city of monsters, saints, murderers and angels, he is catapulted from a safe and predictable world into one that is eerily familiar yet utterly bizarre.

My rating: 4 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I enjoyed this book a lot! Although at the beginning it was a little hard for me to get into it, after that I loved it. It was just so typically Neil Gaiman story and I love his books! The London Below he created was really interesting, of course a little bizarre, but yet fun & funny, with really fun, interesting & different characters & of course funny situations! I think that if I've read this book before I read Anansi Boys or Good Omens, I would've really loved it, but although it's really good, it's just not as good as those two, but I still like it a lot & I'll definitely watch the BBC tv mini series, too. After all, it was first tv series, than book! I highly recommend it!


#214 - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J. K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, Book 7

Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him. 

In this final, seventh instalment of the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling unveils in spectacular fashion the answers to the many questions that have been so eagerly awaited. The spellbinding, richly woven narrative, which plunges, twists and turns at a breathtaking pace, confirms the author as a mistress of storytelling, whose books will be read, reread and read again.

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
This is definitely my #1 favorite Harry Potter book & also the book I've re-read the most times! I wouldn't say that it's the best book in the series, I actually still can't decide which is the best, but it's my favorite because it wraps-ups the series amazing & most of my favorite chapters in the series are from this book & although I've read it so many times, I'm still enjoying it & loving it just as much as I did when I read it for the first time! 


#213 - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J. K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, Book 6

Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts begins, and it feels like a reassuring place to return after the strange events of the summer. Disappearances, murder and an ominous chilling mist which swirls through both the Muggle and wizarding worlds are harbingers of more sinister purpose. Voldemort's army is swelling, and with it the Death Eaters are growing bolder and more deadly. Suspicions are rife, and allegiances questioned as even the safest havens cease to feel secure from the Dark wizards. As the storm gathers strength, Harry must face the terrifying truth of his destiny.

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
This is also one of my favorite Harry Potter book & it's one of the 2 Harry Potter books I've re-read most times! Also, it's probably the funniest of them all, although of course there are dark moments, too!


"The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch" by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean

Title: The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch
Authors: Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean

In his grandfather's seaside arcade, a young boy encounters a mysterious Punch & Judy man with a dark past and a woman who makes her living playing a mermaid. As their stories unfold, the boy must confront family secrets, strange puppets and a nightmarish world of violence and betrayal.

My rating: 5 of 5
My thoughts on the novel:
Although this wasn't the first work by Neil Gaiman I've read, it was my first graphic novel. I can't actually express how I feel about it. All I can say is that it leaves you thinking about it again & again. The graphics were really good, a little creepy & really weird, but they fit the story! Dave McKean is great illustrator! I have to mention that when I first watched the movie Mirrormask, which is based on a story by both Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean, I thought it was the weirdest & at the same brilliant movie I've ever seen & the same goes for this graphic novel!


#212 - "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" by J. K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, Book 5

Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unusually for a school boy, however, Harry is not enjoying his summer holidays. He is feeling neglected by his friends, and, as ever, the Dursleys are making his life a misery. But Harry has had enough. He is beginning to think he must do something, anything to change his situation. Then the summer holidays come to an unexpectedly dramatic end, and Harry is thrown back into life at Hogwarts School. What Harry is about to discover at Hogwarts will turn his world upside down...

My rating: 5 of 5
My thoughts on the book:
I love this one, too! This is perhaps my second favorite book in the series & of course jus like the others, I loved it & I couldn't put it down, although it was re-read for me!


#211 - "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by J. K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter, Book 4

When the Quidditch World Cup is disrupted by Voldemort's rampaging supporters and the resurrection of the terrifying Dark Mark, it is obvious to Harry that, far from weakening, Voldemort is getting stronger. The ultimate signal to the magic world of the Dark Lord's return would be defeat of the one and only survivor of his death curse, Harry Potter. So when Harry is entered for the prestigious yet dangerous Triwizard Tournament he knows that rather than win it, he must get through the tasks alive.

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
Ok, so this one is one of my favorite Harry Potter books & from this one (although I love the previous books, too) the more serious things start to happen & I enjoyed every second of it again.


Nov 29, 2010

#210 - "The Devil in Winter" by Lisa Kleypas

Title: The Devil in Winter
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: Wallflowers, Book 3

Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!

Sebastian's reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden's good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.

But Evie's proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine's callously discarded broken hearts -- which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions...or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love. 
My rating: 3 of 5
My thoughts on the book:
I really liked this one, too! The story was enjoyable & funny at times, I liked Sebastian, he really was sweet to Evie with all the little things he did for her from the beginning & I'll definitely continue reading the series!

#209 - "It Happened One Autumn" by Lisa Kleypas

Title: It Happened One Autumn
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: Wallflowers, Book 2


It Happened at the Ball...

Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren't entirely "the thing." And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London's most eligible aristocrat.  

It Happened in the Garden… 

When Marcus shockingly -- and dangerously-swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn't even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed…thank goodness they weren't caught very nearly in the act!  
It Happened One Autumn...

Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly unsuitable…as his bride? 
My rating: 4.5 of 5
My thoughts on the book:
This was the first Lisa Kleypas's book I've read & I loved it & enjoyed it a lot! I can see why her books are so popular! It was really fun & funny, I loved the characters & their chemistry & I recommend it a lot!