Being brutally honest about books

Showing posts with label stacking the shelves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stacking the shelves. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Stacking the Shelves: Library Haul

Stacking the Shelves 
 Stacking The Shelves is a meme created by Tynga’s Reviews. The following links go to Goodreads.

I went for a walk because today was lovely and sunny and I hadn't left the house in a week, so I was getting cabin fever. I felt like going to the library, because while I've been good lately at reading the books already on my shelf, the remaining ones didn't inspire me. So I walked to the local public library, which I hadn't been to in a very long time (possibly since March or February, can you believe it?). I expected to get some books on my ginormous TBR list, but alas, I didn't (in fact I only found one of the books on my TBR at the library). Isn't it always the case?

Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison

I picked up this one for the cover, and borrowed it for the history. I don't have high expectations for the quality of the book (the average rating on Goodreads is only 3.21); I'll be reading it for the history and Russian-ness alone.

St. Petersburg, 1917. After Rasputin’s body is pulled from the icy waters of the Neva River, his eighteen-year-old daughter, Masha, is sent to live at the imperial palace with Tsar Nikolay and his family—including the headstrong Prince Alyosha. Desperately hoping that Masha has inherited Rasputin’s miraculous healing powers, Tsarina Alexandra asks her to tend to Aloysha, who suffers from hemophilia, a blood disease that keeps the boy confined to his sickbed, lest a simple scrape or bump prove fatal.

Two months after Masha arrives at the palace, the tsar is forced to abdicate, and Bolsheviks place the royal family under house arrest. As Russia descends into civil war, Masha and Alyosha grieve the loss of their former lives, finding solace in each other’s company. To escape the confinement of the palace, they tell stories—some embellished and some entirely imagined—about Nikolay and Alexandra’s courtship, Rasputin’s many exploits, and the wild and wonderful country on the brink of an irrevocable transformation. In the worlds of their imagination, the weak become strong, legend becomes fact, and a future that will never come to pass feels close at hand.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

I have some other Sarah Waters books on my TBR since I read and loved Tipping the Velvet earlier this month. So I knew the chances of me enjoying this one were pretty high. I don't really know anything about 1920s London (1920s New York, yes), so this will be interesting.

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the 'clerk class', the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

Ancients by David Lynn Golemon

I love ancient mythology (especially Greek) so this book had me at "Ancients" and "Atlantis". My sister took one look at it and asked if it's about Stargate. It's not, but it looks very similar. It also looks exciting, but guess what? I just discovered it's the 3rd in a series! I just hope that it can be a standalone as well.

The lost city of Atlantis is the stuff of legend. A vast treasure of secret knowledge and unimaginable wealth. An entire civilisation that disappeared for unknown reasons, forgotten in the mists of time. But now, battle lines are being drawn to claim the immense power which once resided there.

On one side, led by Colonel Jack Collins, is the Event Group - a top secret government organisation made of the most brilliant soldiers, scientists and historians on earth, all dedicated to discovering the truth behind the world's greatest unsolved myths. They must take down a shadowy conspiracy of men fuelled by hatred who want to unleash a weapon which could change life as we know it forever...

These are all fairly different books, although they all have elements of history. Is anyone surprised by that? I'm not. 

These also aren't small, read-in-a-day books, but I have until 9th January to read them, so I should get through them. Better start now...

Have you read any of these? Do you often borrow or buy a book only to find it's the middle of a series? What books have you bought or borrowed this week?

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves 

 Stacking The Shelves is a meme created by Tynga’s Reviews. This is my first time participating, but I got some new books today and haven't posted in a while, so here we go! Links go to Goodreads.

This afternoon, my mum and I went into a second-hand bookshop we like but haven't been to for a very long time, and she bought these for me! The first I picked up because I have two other books by the author on my TBR list and it sounded very interesting, the third was on my TBR list, and the second my mum picked up because she has the same name as the title and enjoyed one of the author's other books.

Despite The Falling Snow  by

The enthralling narrative of Shamim Sarif's powerful second novel moves between present day Boston and 1950s Moscow. After an early career amongst the political elite of Cold War Russia, Alexander Ivanov has built a successful business in the States. For forty years, he has buried the tragic memories surrounding his charismatic late wife, Katya - or so he believes. For into his life come two women - one who will open up the heart he has protected for so long; another who is determined to uncover what really happened to Katya so long ago. The novel's journey back to the snowbound streets of post-Stalinist Moscow reveals a world of secrets and treachery. Shamim Sarif's elegant writing delicately evokes the intensity of passionate love and tragic violence.

Helen  by

Newly orphaned Helen Stanley is urged to share the home of her childhood friend Lady Cecilia. This charming socialite, however, is withholding secrets and soon Helen is drawn into a web of ‘white lies’ and evasions that threaten not only her hopes for marriage but her very place in society. 

A fascinating panorama of Britain’s political and intellectual elite in the early 1800s and a gripping romantic drama. Helen was the inspiration for Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters.
  Tipping the Velvet  by
This delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King, who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler.

When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on "Grease Paint Avenue", Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover, and, soon after, dons trousers herself and joins the act. In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education - a sort of Moll Flanders in drag - finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.
All of these are set in the past, but are quite diverse - there are 20th Century Russians*, Georgians, and Victorians. Being the history nerd that I am (who loves these 3 eras) I am very excited to read these 3 novels! (Unfortunately my bookshelf is already overflowing, so I have no idea where I'll put them.)

*I seem to be going through an unintentional 19th and 20th Century Russia phase. Stay tuned for my review of War and Peace whenever I finish it (I'm still not even halfway, though I'm making good progress!).

Have you read any of these? What have you added to your bookshelf lately? Or have you been good?

I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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