woensdag 4 januari 2017

My Favorite Books of 2016

Hi everyone

Last year, I got asked about my favorite books of 2015 so I wanted to come up with a list of my most loved books in 2016 too.
I made it easier on myself by adding star ratings to my reviews and that’s why I made two lists for you.

Here are my all 5-star books I read in 2016.

And here is my top 10 of 2016 (without the rereads) in alphabetical order.

What were your favorite books of 2016?

Happy reading!
Helena

maandag 2 januari 2017

Wrap Up: 2016

Hi everyone

Happy New Year!
I hope 2017 will bring you as much or even more reading pleasure as 2016 did.

Here is the list (with links to the reviews) of all the books I read in 2016.
I had a lot of fun taking the pictures at the end of this post and it was the perfect time to give my shelves a good, thorough clean too. Great way to end the year! Rearranging books and then spending a lovely evening with friends.

In the end, I read a total of 50.433 pages in 126 books last year.
That’s exactly 400 pages per book and 138 pages per day.
I think I can safely say I surpassed my own expectations and I crushed my 2015 Wrap Up.

Here’s some information about the series I read in 2016.

I started reading:

I continued reading:

I finished:

I started and finished:

I’m still waiting on the next one to come out:

I won’t continue reading:

Here are the books I read in 2016 in the order I read them. If you click on the title of the book you will automatically open the review.


Happy reading in 2017!
Helena



zondag 1 januari 2017

Wrap Up: December 2016

Hi everyone

Time for another Wrap Up!
December has gone by so incredibly fast I can’t believe it. And January will be even worse with both my husband’s and my birthday.
Enough with the chatter, here are the books I read last month.

I read a total of 3921 pages. That’s 381 pages per book or 160 pages per day.
But I did cheat a bit there. The poetry book was read over the last 6 months.


How was your reading last month? Anything you’d like to recommend?

Happy reading!
Helena

zaterdag 31 december 2016

Randall Munroe: XKCD volume 0

Hi everyone

A couple of years ago my husband (then boyfriend) became of big fan of Randall Munroe’s webcomic XKCD so I gave him the book for his next birthday. It has 120 pages but the only reason I know that is because of Goodreads as the pages skip numbers.

My husband is an engineer so he understands all the sciencejokes and references. I don’t.
The ones I do understand are very clever, sweet and funny.
However, I would recommend this only if you are interested in science and engineering in particular because the comics are targeted towards those of you who are.
I can only rate this as I read and understood this.

3 STARS

Happy reading!
Helena

vrijdag 30 december 2016

Neil Gaiman: Fragile Things

Hi everyone

The last novel I read in 2016 is Neil Gaiman’s short stories collection Fragile Things.
I got it as a gift from my husband and it has 433 pages.
You can find all my Neil Gaiman reviews here.

I enjoyed this collection but I can’t say I loved it.

Some of the stories are different and interesting enough and Gaiman does write imaginative stories but there were a few I just didn’t get or I couldn’t understand what’s so special about them.
The writing is lovely and I enjoy his style but I had a hard time reading more then a few stories a day. That wasn’t a problem because life was very busy but it’s not something I’m used to; I tend to read an hour or two hours at a time in the evening.
Some stories felt like Gaiman was trying too hard to make them different by adding sexual elements, gratuitous violence or gore and those stories felt a bit wrong to me. He just added and added those elements and they made the stories less about the plot and more about those aspects.

All in all I had a mixed experience. I liked quite a few of the stories but I was disappointed one way or another with the majority of them.

3 STARS

Happy reading!
Helena

donderdag 22 december 2016

Arthur C. Clarke: A Fall of Moondust

Hi everyone

This is my review for my first Arthur C. Clarke, A Fall of Moondust.
My beautiful copy has 224 pages and I got it at De Slegte.

“Time is running out for the passengers and crew of the tourist cruiser Selene, incarcerated in a sea of choking lunar dust. On the surface, her rescuers find their resources stretched to the limit by the mercilessly unpredictable conditions of a totally alien environment.”

This was a really enjoyable and fast book to read.

The story is obviously very dated at this point in time, but it doesn’t really take away from the enjoyment and thrill you’ll get out of it.
Clarke’s writing style is wonderfully engaging and it really sucks you in. The technical explanations made by a few of the characters went over my head but there weren’t too many of those and as far as I did grasp them, they did seem to be logical and plausible.
I liked the characterization a lot; they all felt true to their words and actions; the characters felt right. The worldbuilding is amazing and I could really imagine myself being there. And the general atmosphere is very claustrophobic and urgent. I liked the switches from the cool, calculating scientists to the more emotional people trapped in the Selene. The story moves rapidly forward and it never gets slowed down by long explanations or touchy/feely type scenes.

There was one thing I disliked though. Clarke has a tendency to end at least two (or so) paragraphs in every chapter with a sort of prediction of what bad things are yet to happen. It felt very childlike and it aggravated me every time. There’s really no need to do that, we all know a lot can go wrong and will go wrong before the end of the novel.

4 STARS

Happy reading!
Helena

dinsdag 20 december 2016

Sebastian Faulks: A Week in December

Hi everyone

This is my review for Sebastian Faulks’ A Week in December.
My copy has 392 pages and I got it as a gift from friends.

“London, the week before Christmas, 2007. Seven wintry days to track the lives of seven characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career; a professional footballer recently arrived from Poland; a young lawyer with little work and too much time to speculate; a student who has been led astray by Islamist theory; a hack book-reviewer; a schoolboy hooked on skunk and reality TV; and a Tube driver whose Circle Line train joins these and countless other lives together in a daily loop.”

As the title suggests, this book is about a week in the life of a few lightly connected people. Normally, I’m not a big fan of those kinds of narratives and that has proven to be the case this time too.

The only thing I liked about the story was the tale, woven throughout, of their loneliness. Every character was lonely in a different way. And I enjoyed that a lot (though that is weird to say). It can be very emotional and touching to read how people deal with feeling isolated and alone.

But the book was incredibly boring, long-winded and the characters read like wooden puppets so I can’t say I thought the book worth the time.

2 STARS

Happy reading.
Helena