Books and Reading Thursday: Books on my Bookshelf

(Books on my Bookshelf is not a review, just my personal thoughts, feelings, and memories on the books I own).

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Books on my Bookshelf post, so thought I’d do one today 🙂

This time’s book is Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.

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When I was much younger (pre-teens) I wasn’t a big reader. Though my mum would read tons of stuff to us, and I loved that, I never actively sought out to read books.

I don’t even know where this book came from 😀 Possibly someone bought it ’cause she thought it looked interesting for someone my age.

But I did pick it up one day when I was young and read it, and I am so glad I did! This is definitely one of those books that left an intense impression on me.

I think part of the reason I actually finished this book was due to the illustrations in it. Even when I was younger, I was a very visual person (why I enjoyed comics and those types of story formats more back then), so having the text accompanied by such stunning illustrations really helped pull me further into the story.

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This book made me cry (I was so upset at one point I had to put the book down and not pick it up for a couple of days! 😀 ), and it also scared the woozies out of me!

The most distinct memory I have of this book is reading it in bed late at night, and it was quite an intense scene where the main character, Twig, is running for his life from a monster. I was so into the story that when I turned over the page to read what happened, which was also accompanied by an image, I was so freaked out!

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I can look back on it as funny now, but at the time I was very scared.

But that is my main memory of this book, of it being one the first books that got me hooked on story telling and making my imagination really run wild!

Though I haven’t re-read it (no, of course it has nothing to do with the emotional turmoil it put me through…) it is one that sits on my bookshelf and won’t be going anywhere. If I have kids someday, then it will definitely one I will experience with them!

Random quote: ‘Massive shoulders, bulging biceps, tree-trunk legs… And her head! It was already immense when, suddenly, the hair- that wild shock of orange- cascaded down to the ground. The transformation was complete.’

Favourite thing about the book: I’m not sure I could pick one thing, but probably the main character; he was really one I could relate with it at that age.

Least favourite thing: The emotions it rips out of you!!! 😀

Something I took away from the book: That stories really can take you anywhere.

Do you remember a book from your childhood that made you feel so strongly? Have you ever been so into a book your emotions went everywhere the character’s did?

Progress Report: More on that on Saturday’s post.

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Books and Reading Thursday: Books on my Bookshelf

(Books on my Bookshelf is not a review, just my personal thoughts, feelings, and memories on the books I own).

Another book for this series 😀

This week I have chosen, Magic Kingdom for Sale- Sold! By Terry Brooks.

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Nice chapter headings!

Nice chapter headings!

I actually didn’t realise this was the first book in a series until recently, so I might have to g check out the rest.

I got this book for free because someone I knew quite a few years ago was having a big turn out, and I saw this in his pile of ‘rubbish’ and it caught my interest.

Not only because the title looked great fun, but because of how well read it looked! I figured any book that looked like it had been opened over and over again had to be a good read.

So he let me have it, and it sat on my bookshelf for a couple of years longer until I finally got around to it.

One of my main memories of this book is that it was a major slog to get through the first few chapters. I mean, seriously a slog. It probably wasn’t like that for a lot of people, but I’m not very good with books that don’t start the story or action within a couple of chapters. I lose interest with all the scene setting and background setting.

I get that it has to be done sometimes, especially in series, but it didn’t help that the main character’s background that was being set up was really rather depressing!

But, I managed to churn my way through the chapters and I’m glad I stuck with it! It was a great read, and was packed with a great deal of fun as the cover and title hinted at.

I also have to say it’s one of those books that really inspired me to want to write my own books. I love those stories where someone goes from a hum-drum life and is thrown into a new world of adventure and excitement (that also might have something to do with all the fairytales my mum read me as a kid, it really spurred my imagination!).

Those books where an ordinary person is thrown into another world just is such a great parllel to readers.

You pick up a book and, as the reader, you’re like the character being thrown into this whole new world and story to enjoy. And sometimes it can be just as confusing, but also incredible!

But that’s what books do and why we read them, right? To let ourselves be taken somewhere else for a few hours, away from the hum-drum of everyday life.

So, yeah, it was a book that I definitely remember for the slow start, but also the incredible adventure that lay beyond it.

Random quote: “Ben grimaced. Wonderful. Just tap the red shoes together three times and repeat, ‘There’s no place like home.’ Off he would go, back to Kansas. Just wonderful.”

Favourite thing about the book: The story of the ordinary being thrown into the extraordinary. It was definitely one that got my imagination and creativeness pumping!

Least favourite thing: The incredibly slow start. My word. Ugh.

Something I took away from the book: That I shouldn’t be afraid to write the story I want to, even if it seems outlandish. You just got to write it!

Have you read any books with a slow start but a great story? Do you enjoy these kind of fish out of water tales?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: A bit up in the air!
Word count: … Don’t ask.

Books read towards goal: 1/50
Currently reading: The Creative Writing Workbook by Matthew Branton.

Books and Reading Thursday: Books on my Bookshelf

(Books on my Bookshelf is not a review, just my personal thoughts, feelings, and memories on the books I own).

This week I thought I’d share a book I got for Christmas/Birthday!

Dragon Age: Library Edition (Includes The Silent Grove, Those Who Speak, and Until We Sleep).

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As you may have guessed by now (for anyone who’s followed my blog for a while), I have a thing for the Dragon Age series of games by Bioware. I won’t call it an obsession, mainly because it’s so far past that point by now…

Anyways, my best friend bought me this for Christmas/Birthday, and it was seriously a very happy surprise, especially as it arrived on the day I was getting my new PS4 and the game, so it was very well timed!

I remember I was really upset when the book was released earlier in 2014 as I couldn’t afford to buy it, so receiving it was more than a little exciting as you can imagine!

I read through this in an afternoon. I couldn’t put it down. Not only were the stories amazing, but the artwork was stunning, and I loved the artist and editors notes down the sides of the pages. Reading about their insights into how they set up the stories, or why they chose certain panels or dialogue really got me thinking about my own writing and how I set it out. I know it’s different formats, but it’s all about storytelling, right?

It’s going on my TBR list again, so as I can re-read it this year 😀

Stunning artwork!

Stunning artwork!

Artist and editor notes down the side were great insight!

Artist and editor notes down the side were great insight!

Random quote: ‘Long live the King! Long may he reign! And so forth. Pray to the Maker he doesn’t do something stupid…’

Favourite thing about the book: Apart from the fact it has returning characters from the games? 😀 It was laid out in a great, easy to read format, which kept me turning the pages.

Least favourite thing: Um, there is a moment that I thought was a bit out of character for one of the characters. But that’s pretty much it, I loved it all!

Something I took away from the book: The way the pages were laid out really got me thinking about the way I end chapters in my own books, and how to keep the reader turning the pages!

Have you read many graphic novels? Do you enjoy reading different types of storytelling?

Progress Report (I know, I forgot on Tuesday!)

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Daily word count: 913.

Books read towards goal: 1/50
Currently reading: The Creative Writing Workbook by Matthew Branton.

Books and Reading Wednesday: Books on my Bookshelf

Another post for my Books on my Bookshelf series!

(Books on my Bookshelf is not a review, just my personal memories and feelings on the books I own).

This week it’s Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong and translated by Moss Roberts.

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Despite the picture, it’s not a series, it’s one massive book chunked up into four volumes.

I got them a few years ago, I remember I added them to my wishlist for one Christmas, and when Christmas came my uncle and aunt gave my Sun Tzu’s, Art of War to hold me over until Three Kingdoms arrived, as it was quite hard to get hold of 😀

My main memories of these books were devouring them as soon as I got them, and to be honest, I read them so fast I didn’t remember much about them! So, I took them on vacation with me one year, to a beautiful cottage in the middle of nowhere.

It rained quite hard at times, so I had the most relaxing and snuggly time cosied up by a fire, listening to the rain outside, Harli led beside me, whilst I re-read these books in a more relaxed fashion. Which meant I could enjoy them to the full.

But I don’t regret that fist read through where I sped through them, I was so excited to read them!
And sometimes, that’s the best way to read a book, to go through it, have a great time, and then go back through again and pick out the details you missed first time!

Three Kingdoms is a romanticised version of the historical period in ancient China when the Han dynasty fell and chaos ruled. A thrilling read with loads of figures from history. Though be warned, it’s not an easy read. But the books themselves are awesome; the stunning portraits at the beginning always capture my interest.

Some of the portraits.

Some of the portraits.

Example of the beautiful illustrations that are dotted throughout all the books.

Example of the beautiful illustrations that are dotted throughout all the books.

Random quote: ‘In the shadowlight of the fires no one detected the deception.’

Favourite thing about the book: The style. There is no worry or concern about how you should write a book, it’s just written for enjoyment, and that makes it such an great read.
Also, the illustrations are great throughout.

Least favourite thing: The fact that characters often have two names, their true name and then like a nickname, and there are A LOT of characters, so you have to make sure to remember it all to keep up, as they interchange the two names often.

Something I took away from the book: That a great story doesn’t’t have to be written in the same way everyone else writes. Also, the realisation I really enjoy battle scenes 😀

Has there ever been a book you were so excited to read you just read it so fast? Have you enjoyed re-reading books?

Books and Reading Wednesday: Books on my Bookshelf

I struggled to write my mid-October review this month, though I will try again and maybe put it up middle of next month. But for now, have another post from my new series, Books on my Bookshelf 😀

(Books on my Bookshelf is not a review, just my personal memories and feelings on the books I own).

The book this time is Odalisque by Fiona McIntosh.

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I wasn’t given this book and I didn’t buy it, it was a book that was in one of the bookcases in the house and I was looking for something different so picked it up, now it sits in my bookcase 😀

I have to be honest and say it’s not a book I remember fondly. I didn’t really enjoy it and what I most definitely remember is that it was a slog to get through!

It’s a book I read a few years ago, when I was trying to better my reading habits. Mostly I think I lay in bed, glancing at the clock and hoping my one hour reading slot was nearly over as I read it. I did finish it, but only because I forced myself to.

There is one scene particularly that I remember from the book, and is the main memory I have of it (SPOILERS for those who plan to read it or are reading it).

It was a scene where the mother of the new king (emperor, tsar? I can’t remember), takes the sons of the other women in the harem and lures them outside saying they are going to play. She makes them all crawl into red velvet bags and then has elephants trample all over them.

Now, I’m sure this wasn’t all that uncommon in reality in ancient times (killing of rivals, etc), but still, it’s a scene that stuck out to me and not for good reasons.

There was also another very detailed, gruesome scene about a man becoming a eunuch. Not so nice.

Though I have to say, I didn’t realise there were different types of eunuchs, so it taught me something! 😀

Overall, it’s not a book that has me remembering much, I actually don’t even remember what the story was about.

This is just my opinion! I’m sure there are loads of people who loved it and that’s great too!

Random quote:Seeing his friend so broken had sickened him sufficiently that when he had strode from the balcony he had actually lost his morning’s meal into the bushes not far from his chambers.’ (Hm, lovely!)

Favourite thing about the book: The setting. I did love the setting, the deserts and the kind of Persian/Arabian feel it had to it.

Least favourite thing: Unnecessary detail. Felt like a lot of it was in there just to gross people out.

Something I took away from the book: Not every story suits everyone, even if you enjoy the genre!

So there you have it, another book from my bookshelf!

Do you have a book that you don’t remember fondly? Have you ever forced yourself to finish a book you weren’t enjoying?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2503 (Total word count: 26,006).

Books read: 2/4.

End of October Indie Review: Reading.