Sunday, 8 May 2016

Review: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Title: The Silver Linings Playbook
Author: Matthew Quick
Year: 2008
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Pages: 289

In The Silver Linings Playbook we get to know Pat. He only just got out of a mental institution and it soon becomes clear that he's still a little unstable. He's very much in love with his estranged, Nikki, but they have agreed to have an indefinite 'apart time'. Pat's sure he'll win her back and tries to become the man she's always wanted. But then he meets Tiffany, who thinks about life quite differently.

It doesn't happen very often that I see the film before I read the book. Generally, I don't watch a film 'because I want to read the book first' but then I never read the book and consequently never get to see the film.
In the instance of The Silver Linings Playbook it was a little bit different: I desperately wanted to watch the film, but wasn't too interested in the novel. After I had seen the film, I kinda wanted to read it but still didn't pick it up. Until some friends started to recommend it. I picked it up, and finally got around to reading it.

I don't think I should compare the film and the novel, but I do want to say that I found they're very different. Not necessarily story-wise, but the characters of Pat and Tiffany intruiged me more while reading him rather than watching him.

This brings me to the first reason  why I really loved the book: the characters. They're so well-rounded, and there's so much development going on. Moreover, I just really liked the story. I had seen the film, so I couldn't say it was unpredictable, but don't suppose someone would be able to pin-point where the plot was headed. Because of the fickle nature of both Pat and Tiffany, you'd never know what they'd be up to.

What I didn't like, however, was the superfluous amount of  football references. Football is big in Pat's family, and I get that it's big in the United States, but I personally know little about it, nor do I care to know about it. There were quite a few parts in the novel that I skimmed, just because of the football.

Overall though, the novel was great. Perhaps less 'fun' than I had expected - there were some really sad parts, but I truly loved the characters, despite their many flaws. Great quick read - go read it!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Review: More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

Title: More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Author: Jen Campbell
Pages: 128
Publisher: Little, Brown

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops is the second book Jen Campbell wrote about her experience as a bookseller. It's entirely composed out of short conversations either she had in the bookstore she worked, or readers had - the latter part of the book were submissions.

Some quotes were funny, but some really weren't. None were laugh out loud funny, which left me feeling a bit disappointed. And honestly, I doubt the authenticity of some of these conversations. Perhaps made funnier than they originally were.

Still, it was a fun little book and I enjoyed reading it.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Dewey's Readathon - Live Blog

11:00 | Only three hours left

I've been enjoying reading V for Vendetta far more than I thought I would - I'm usually not really into graphic novels. I've read 150 pages so far, which brings my total page count to 848

I'm eating some fruit as a snack, and I've drank some lovely white dragon tea. 

The next few hours I'll likely finish my current read, and perhaps start a new one. Also, my friend'll probably be here within the next hour :) 

8:50 | 19 hours in

I slept until 7:15, made some breakfast, checked twitter and some blogs, and now it's time to continue reading. But which book?

While deciding this, I tidied the house a little, brushed my teeth, did my hair and makeup.. andd an hour later, I still don't know what I should read. 

V for Vendetta it is. Let's go!

1:00 | 11 hours in

I've just finished my third book for the day - Wie heeft er wel een boek bij zich? by 
Johan Goossens. A Dutch one this time, and it was a fun little book to read and I really enjoyed it. It was 175 pages, which brings my total to 696

I didn't snack, except for a few sweets, and all I drank was a glass of water. 

I know the true readathon'er stays up all night, battling through their tiredness. But to be quite frank, I've come down with a heavy cold a few days ago, and it'd be plain stupid not to get a decent amount of sleep. So I'm going to bed now, probably will be getting up at around 7:30 and read lots more! Tomorrow's extra exciting because a friend is coming over for the last few hours, and we'll be reading together :) 

23:00 | 9 hours in

Finished Silver Linings Playbook just in time for my next update! That means I've now read a total of 521 pages. The last three hours were exciting, just because I was really getting into this book. It's absolutely great! Thanks everyone for recommending it, it surely is a good book for a readathon :)

I didn't end up taking a walk. I didn't really want to go alone and I only wanted to go for a twenty minute walk or so and my boyfriend didn't wanna go with me for that short. So I just took another cup of tea and continued reading. 

I switched reading spot for the first time today as well - from a chair to the couch :') because my boyfriend was watching The Dark Knight and we were going to have some crisps  and some beer. I thought it would be sociable to move a little bit closer. 
Anyway, I got too engrossed in my book, so I didn't really watch the film. 

I'm excited to continue reading, but I don't know which book I'll pick up just yet. I should admit I'm not going to be able to stay up all night, too, so in the next few hours, I'll probably go to bed as well. I will update before that happens though! 

               20:00 | 6 hours in

I read the first 30 pages of Silver Linings Playbook before I started cooking dinner. 

Making and eating dinner took about an hour, and afterwards I read a little bit more. I'm now at page 100, which means my total count for today this far is 332 pages. Not going too fast, but I'm enjoying the readathon a lot, keeping up with twitter and instagram a lot more than I did last year. 

Other than dinner, I didn't have any snacks. I did drink tea, obviously. This time, white tea Jasmine. It's really good. 

I'm still feeling energised, but I do think I may go for a little walk in the next few hours. Also, I'm just going to continue the book I'm currently reading, as it's really great so far.  

17:00 | 3 hours in

I just finished reading Scarlet. As I'd already read about half of the novel, this sets my total amount of pages read to 232. I'm really glad I finally finished this book, and I'm glad I picked it up as my first readathon read. 

As for snacks, I've eaten a few pieces of frozen pineapple, and I had a piece of 'vlaai' which is a kind of pastry typical for the part of the Netherlands I live in. I've also drank quite a few cups of china gun powder tea.

My plans for the next few hours include cooking dinner and obviously reading. But I'm not entirely sure which book yet. Should I pick up Silver Linings Playbook?

14:00 | Kick Off

It's almost time for the Readathon to start, and I'm so excited, bordering on nervousness!

This morning, I prepared myself as best possible. Unfortunately, I woke up earlier than planned, but that allowed me to go to the store earlier so I could pick up some snacks for the day. I decided to keep it slightly healthy this year, eating mostly fruit.
I prepared dinner for as far as possible, cleaned the house a little, ate a big lunch and read tons of blogs, twitter posts and checked out instagram filtered on #readathon. It's so much fun to see everyone so excited.
I just took a shower, boiling water right now for my first cup of tea for the day and to be fair, I'm currently just waiting for the clock to hit 14:00.

The first book I'm gonna pick up is Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I started this a while ago, and although I haven't been in the mood for YA recently, I think this will be a great start.
Are you ready? Let's go! :)

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Dewey's 24-hour Readathon

On April 23rd the lovely people over at are hosting yet another 24-hour Readathon.

Generally, I work every weekend, which is why I couldn't join in on October's edition. Yesterday, however, I found out that I'm not working this weekend which means I can join in this time!

This is very last minute, and I'm very indecisive about my TBR-pile, but I'm utterly excited as I thoroughly enjoyed it last time (April 2015). As this marathon starts at the same moment all over the world, for me it'll start at two in the afternoon. Inconvenient in the sense that I'll be awake for hours before the readathon starts, which may mean I'll need to sleep a few hours at night, but it also means I have time to prepare in the morning. I may go to the library, pick up a few extra books, and then head to the store to pick up some delicious reading food and drinks. Any recommendations for snacks?  

Here's a picture of books I might perhaps read, but as I mentioned, I'm having a hard time deciding.

V for Vendetta by Alan More and David Lloyd
Because a graphic novel may be nice to switch things off
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Because I love classics, but I know I shouldn't read those during a readathon - a children's book may be a good solution
Efter by Hanna Bervoets
Because I'm trying to read more Dutch
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
Because I'm dying to know how this series ends
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Because I started this months ago and never finished it even though it was a quick read
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Because I'm sure it'll be a quick read
Everybody Sees the Ants
Because I've owned it for a long time and should get to it
Wie heeft er wel een boek bij zich by Johan Goossens
Because I saw this guy's comedy show the other day and it was great

I'll probably update this blog every few hours, like I did last year, but I'll also be over at twitter and instagram, as well as goodreads.

Are you joining? Please let me know, so we can support each other :D


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Review: Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Title: Tipping the Velvet
Author: Sarah Waters
Year: 1998
Publisher: Virago
Pages: 472

Nancy is your typical young girl in Victorian England. She helps her parents out in their oyster restaurant, and enjoys going to the music halls every once in a while. When one night she sees male impersonator Miss Kitty Butler perform, her whole life changes.  

The novel is divided into two parts, the first of which describing Nancy falling in love with Kitty. This part really shows Waters' writing skills, as you're truly experiencing first love all over again. You understand the emotional rollercoaster Nancy is going through - you feel happy when she's happy, but you're also as heart-broken as Nancy when she is.   

The second part is a lot different. I don't mean to spoil anything, but Nancy goes through so much - from being a whiny, heartbroken girl, to becoming a male prostitute, to becoming someone's sexslave, back to being a heartbroken girl. It's epic, it's big, amazingly written, but it's rushed, and lacks a depth I would have preferred. You experience life with Nancy through some of the most crucial moments in her life, yet you don't truly get to know her as you don't know what she's thinking. It seems as though Waters was rushing the story a little bit, focusing too much on plot development. That is not to say that there isn't any character development - there is, her actions change, but we don't know what moves her in that direction.  

One of the most magical aspects of this novel is the way in which it makes you feel like you're actually there. Events are described in great detail, allowing you to experience what is happening, but Waters also describes the surroundings so well - you almost smell the oysters in the beginning, see busy London, and feel the enchantment of the theatre.   

Tipping the Velvet is the debut novel of the now highly acclaimed novelist Sarah Waters. This is also the first Sarah Waters I've read, and I'm mesmerised, and certainly going to be reading more of this author's work. As I said, I enjoyed the first part more than the second, based off the fact that this was only her first novel, I can only imagine she has become even better an author, and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work. 

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Review: Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Title: Far from the Madding Crowd
Author: Thomas Hardy
Pages: 448
Publisher: Penguin

"Hardy's powerful novel of swift sexual passion and slow-burning loyalty centres on Bathsheba Everdene, a proud working woman whose life is complicated by three men - respectable farmer Boldwood, seductive Sergeant Troy and devoted Gabriel - making her the object of scandal and betrayal. 
Vividly portraying the supersitions and traditions of a small rural community, Far from the Madding Crowd shows the precarious position of a woman in a man's world" 

I read this novel in the beginning of February, and I should have written the reveiw in the middle of February. I never jotted down any of my thoughts on this novel, and although I remember really loving it, I can't recall exactly why. So I'm terribly sorry for this super short and shitty review, but I'll just write down what I do remember: 
- I love Hardy's writing style;
- I loved how I disliked Bathsheba - such an annoyingly naive character, yet well-crafted
- The ending was marvelous
- It took me a while to get through, because the beginning takes forever, which is probably why I rated it four stars, rather than five. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

No More #FridayReads

I've decided to stop with my #FridayReads posts, for now at least.
My main reason for this is that I want to focus on writing more reviews, and reading lots of books. Writing these #FridayReads posts costs energy I'd rather spend on other (blogrelated) things.

For 2016, I've decided to read very many new books. Books that are nominated for awards, to be precise. I'm going to be reading (or at least, trying to read), shortlisted books for some literary prizes.

I do hope you check back soon for my next review :)