31 Jan 2015

January Wrap-Up: In Which 2015 Starts With a Bang


One of Chami and I's resolutions this year was to become more consistent in our blogging. This got me thinking about last year, specifically my monthly wrap-ups - I was all over the place with them, sometimes I'd write 500+ word posts and then the next month there wouldn't be anything. I'm trying to change that this year by posting a wrap-up every month. I'll be posting them in the first week of the next month - so January is being posted today in February and so on. 

I won't just be talking about the books I read. I'll be talking about posts we did throughout the month that we are particularly proud of, other things that are happening in my life - the TV I've been watching, book related events I've been to and etc. Without further ado, let's wrap up the month that was January 2015. 

BOOKS

 This month I read 13 books. Six of those were comics, four YA and two adult. Burial Rites, Tandem, The Winner's Curse and The House of Silk all got five star ratings. I also reviewed Defiance and I Was Here which both got four stars.

I also DNF'ed these two books. I really tried to like these, but I just couldn't.

CHALLENGES
I set myself quite a few challenges this year. A few of them I discussed in this post, and a bunch of others that are things like 'read more of this author' and things like that - I don't think you guys will really care about those and I haven't really started on them anyway. I haven't actually made a start on any of the challenges I mentioned, except for 'Around the World'. This is what my map looks like now. (If you click on the red things, it'll tell you the location and the book.)


TV/FILM
I've been pretty restrained this month, in the case of starting new TV shows at least. I've been watching a lot of Veronica Mars - I'm on to season three now and just...FEELS. I also finally finished Firefly - seriously, it took me over a year to watch this. I saw Serenity too (the movie continuation of Firefly) I'm not quite over it yet. Finally, I started Agent Carter. OH. MY. GOD. THIS SHOW. I don't care if you don't even like Marvel, you need to watch this show because it's amazing and Peggy Carter is kickass. I also re-watched the first Captain America film - I've watched the second one about ten times, but I'd only ever seen this one once.

WRITING 
I've done a quite bit of writing this month (almost 9,000) - not nearly as much I hoped but still a reasonable amount. I've been mostly writing Tied Together but I've been planning out a few other things to pick up once I've finished. I'm currently 44,000 words in - I did write 50,000 for NaNoWriMo but I deleted at least 15,000. I've sort of reached that stage where everything is really, really difficult to write so I'm not forcing myself to write when I've got no motivation.

VIDEOS 
I've been pretty busy on YouTube this month. I thought I'd just link them all here and you can pick out the ones you'd like to see, if you'd like to watch any of them at all. Would You Rather: Booktube edition. Read-a-thon TBRs. #ProjectTBR. Bookentine Read-a-thon Announcement. RYBSAT Round 4 TBR. Comic Book Haul. RYBSAT Wrap Up. Bookentine TBR.

ON THE BLOG
This was a big month on the blog! Chami posted quite regularly at the start of the month while I kicked back, and then we swapped for the second half of the month after Chami left for America. Fathomless Females, our new 2015 feature, started this month with Regan Claire and Eva Pohler joining us. Chami talked about apps that all book lovers need, and we also celebrated Chami's 18th.

OTHER THINGS
I caught up with a couple of blogger friends this month. On the 17th, I caught up with the wonderful Michelle and she took me comic book shopping. I picked up some exciting things as you can see in the video, and then we spent some time crying over how expensive clothes are. Last weekend - the 24th, there was another Melbourne Booktube/Blogger/Watcher Meet Up. There were only six of us this time, but I got to catch up with my Sydney girls - Michelle, Nicole and Miranda. I also got to see the lovely Neisha again as well as a friend she bought along. We had a really great day!

So that was January. I hope you all had a wonderful start to the New Year. I've got a very exciting month coming up in February, so stay tuned for that!


30 Jan 2015

BOOK SHAME #3

Book Shame is a monthly post here on A Book So Fathomless where I pick out four books from my TBR jar, talk about them and then challenge myself to read them before the next post.

Firstly, I'm going to talk about the four that I challenged myself to read last month.

I didn't get to Wuthering Heights or The Lady in the Lake, so I've decided that those will go back in the jar for another month. I read the first 41 pages of Seraphina and then decided to DNF it - I'm going to count that as a success because it did take the book off my TBR. Finally, I finished The House of Silk even though it took me two weeks to read.

Now that's done, let's see which books I'll be reading (hopefully) in February.

1. Rags and Bones edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt
This is an anthology of fairytale retellings by mostly YA authors (I believe) so it should be pretty easy to get through. I know this features a story by Neil Gaiman which is the only reason I bought this book in the first place.

2. Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution by James Tipton
I bought this one for $5 quite a while ago, but I love me some French Revolution books. I have no idea what this is about otherwise.

3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Nope, I haven't read this one yet. I have actually started it before, I think I got about 60 pages in but I put it down. I want to love this because it's partly set in Wales and I'm studying there in the second half of the year, but I don't know if I will.

4. The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie
I've desperately wanted to read another Christie recently but I own so many of them that I didn't know which to choose. I haven't heard a lot about this one, but it's Christie so I'm sure I'll love it.

I think I've got a good selection here. I'm really happy that three out of the four are adult rather than YA and that none of them are contemporary. (I'll be reading lots of contemporary for #Bookentine.) Hopefully I can get all of these read in February! Let me know if you've read any of them.


29 Jan 2015

On My Bedside Table #1

2015 is the year of ALL the new features! Obviously, not all of these features will stick but we're trying out a bunch of things anyway. Maybe halfway through the year we'll do a little 'What Worked' sort of post.

Moving on, today we're introducing 'On My Bedside Table'. Basically, this'll appear every other Sunday (I realise it's Thursday today) whenever Fathomless Females isn't on, and it'll showcase the books on my bedside table. I don't always get the chance to talk about what I'm currently reading so this is my way of doing that. Let's get start!



Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution by James Tipton (Can we talk about how gorgeous that spine is?)
The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

What's on your bedside table? (Whether it's imaginary or not.)


28 Jan 2015

REVIEW: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz


Title: The House of Silk (Sherlock Holmes by Anthony Horowitz #1)
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Historical.
Publication Date: August 30th 2012
Publisher: Orion
Format: Paperback
Pages: 405
Rating: 5/5


THE GAME'S AFOOT...

It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks.



Intrigued, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston and the mysterious 'House of Silk'...


I feel that I should start this review by admitting that I’ve never read any of the Sherlock Holmes books. That being said, I love Sherlock Holmes – I love the BBC show (because Benedict) and the movies. I also own about five different copies and collections of Sherlock stories. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read any of the originals yet.

I picked this one up because it was Sherlock related, but also because I knew of Anthony Horowitz because of his Alex Rider series (I’ve never read them, but I loved the movie as a child.) This sat on my shelves for years after that and I probably never would have picked it up unless I’d seen the sequel, Moriarty, in the bookstore (it has a pretty cover.) This was also one of the books I picked out as part of my new Book Shame series.

This took me a good two weeks to get through – not because it was boring or anything, but it is quite a slow book to start off with. I also didn’t have a lot of time to read this past week, especially as I was participating in RYBSAT. That being said, when I did actually pick this up I found myself completely sucked in by the story. It was like there was nothing else happening around me, my entire world just became Sherlock Holmes for that time.

I think my favourite thing about Sherlock Holmes and the whole mystery genre is the fact that I can never really guess where the story is going. I know some people like to work out the mystery themselves, but I don’t think it’s nearly as fun that way. I definitely did not see this one coming, and I have to admit that there were parts that made me uncomfortable, I think that’s the best way to put it without spoiling the book. It was still really interesting to have all the dots joined together in the end.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this for Sherlock lovers even if you haven’t dabbled in the books yet. And now, I’m going to go obsess over Benedict Cumberbatch…I mean *cough* rewatch Sherlock. 



27 Jan 2015

REVIEW: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Title: I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary.
Publication Date: February 1st 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia
Format: Paperback/ARC
Pages: 288
Rating: 4/5



From the bestselling author of If I Stay - this summer's YA blockbuster film.

This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend's shocking suicide.

As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.

A phenomenally moving story, I Was Here explores the sadly all-too-familiar issue of suicide and self-harm, addressing it in an authentic way with sensitivity and honesty.


This book was provided to me by the publisher, but this is no way alters my review.

There’s something about seeing Gayle Forman’s name on a book cover that reminds me that I’ll never be prepared for the feels that I’m about to experience. For me, I Was Here was no different. As a whole, I really enjoyed this book but there was one aspect that held it back from being a five star book for me. This is the story of a girl coming to terms with her grief after her best friend, Meg, commits suicide.  I felt like I’d read this before. Meg and Cody are those typical best friends you read about – Meg is the more popular one, the one that’s going places, has a good life etc. and Cody is the one that’s more in the shadows. Typically, Meg is the one that commits suicide. I know that depression can hit anyone and it effects different people in different ways, but just once I’d like to read a book about how the popular one deals with the loss of her quieter friend. Sort of off topic, but if anyone knows of a book like that please let me know.

Apart from that, I really liked the book. I’m going through the process of grieving right now, so I kind of understood where Cody was coming from. I know some people found her annoying but she was sort of exactly what I needed right now. Our situations are very different, but there were aspects of her grief that I’ve felt myself recently so I really appreciated the authenticity of her voice. I admit that I didn’t actually cry in this one so it didn’t tear me apart quite as much as If I Stay did.

I think, all in all, this was a really beautiful story. There were a few parts that I wasn’t exactly keen on, but I still understood why (most of) those things happened. I think one of the most important messages this book has is that life does go on, it might not seem like it at the time but eventually, the pain eases.

Thank you the wonderful mods of the Australian YA Blogger group for organising the review copies and to Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me an extra copy after my original was lost in the mail. 




26 Jan 2015

Happy Birthday Chami!

Today, the 26th of January, is a very special day! Today the beautiful, wonderful, marvellous Chami turns 18. This isn't going to be a super long post because I'm notorious for writing six page birthday messages (yes, I will take extra pages into my birthday cards.) Instead, I'm just going to say...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHAMI <3

The birthday girl is actually in California at the moment, so I don't know when she'll see this but make sure to leave Chami some birthday messages in the comments! I hope you're all having a lovely day, especially you Chams and I can't wait to see you when you get back. Love you xx


24 Jan 2015

My Happy Movies



There are those times that you feel really sad and sometimes, books just don’t cut it. I find it takes a lot of attention to read books and when I’m feeling particularly down, I just can’t focus. This is where movies come in for me, and today I thought I’d share with you a list of my ‘happy movies’. These are my go-to movies when I’m feeling down.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
This is probably the biggest one. I’m sure most of you are aware of my love for Captain America, so this probably doesn’t surprise you. This movie just makes me incredibly happy – the second I put it on, I feel infinitely better. 

 (Yes actually, I'm watching Captain America...again.)

Mulan (& Mulan 2)
This is my favourite Disney film ( This and Tarzan is also my favourite! - Chami) – I love Beauty and the Beast too, but this one takes the cake for me. I love the songs, I love the story and I love the characters, especially Mushu, I mean, come on!


Anastasia
Same sort of thing here, though this isn’t made by Disney. I love the Romanov’s and Russian history, especially the Revolution. Plus, I can’t resist some good old Dimitri feels. (WHAT?! I need to watch this now.)


The Terminator
A movie about robots that are trying to kill people and people being sent back in time…How could that possibly make me happy? The thing is, this is my dad and I’s movie – in fact, the trilogy is our movie. I know if I’m having a really bad time I can go hang out with dad and watch this and then everything will be okay. (I actually posted more about this here, specifically the reboot, if you’re interested.)


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
All of the HP movies make me happy, but this one is my favourite. I saw this one at least three times in the cinema and age seven, for one reason and one reason only – Sirius Black. He’s my original fictional boyfriend and I will love him forever. 



Hana Yori Dango: The Movie
I don’t know if this is the actual title for this one – it’s a Japanese drama so I’m just guessing. This is the movie that finishes off the two seasons of this show. It’s amazing and there’s lots of feels and Chami and I just like to cry about it to each other all the time. (THE FEELS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? - Chami)



So that’s it, my happy movies. These are necessarily my favourite movies of all-time – there are some others but those are usually the ones that make me ugly sob. One day I will do a list of those!

Do you have any ‘happy’ movies? If you do, tell me what they are and we can (probably) fangirl.