Sunday, 26 May 2013

Showcase Sunday #2

Showcase Sunday was started by Vicky from Books, Biscuits , and Tea so that everyone can showcase what they have received to review, bought from shops, borrowed from libraries or downloaded from eBook stores each week. To join Showcase Sunday click here.

Hi everyone! I've had such a hectic week. So much revision to do and so little time (1 week and 5 days till my exams are over but who's counting!!). This hasn't stopped me from acquiring a new selection of books though!

A Present: 

My Dad bought me this book a while ago and it appears to have floated to the book of my bookshelf and hidden! Now I have rediscovered this book I cannot wait to get round to reading it.

On My Kindle:

A variety of books to keep my going through this hellish exam period. I'm currently reading Billy and Me and so far it is absolutely fantastic!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Publisher: Quercus
Release Date: 24 July 2008
Pages: 542
Genre: Crime

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder - and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

After years of hearing about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and even after watching the film, I finally got round to reading the book! Now it isn't like me to watch a film before reading the book, but I think in this case it was a good idea due to the sheer volume of characters!

Mikael Blomkvist is a disgraced journalist on the losing side of a libel case. Wennerström, a major figure in Swedish industry, has taken Mikael to court, where he has succesfully sued him for libel. Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is a socially inept computer hacker who is a genius when it comes to anything computerised. The pair are thrown together by Henrik Vanger, to investigate the 40 year old disappearance of Vanger's great niece, Harriet. In return for his work, Vanger offers Mikael proof that Wennerström is indeed a crook. So Mikael, later joined by Lisbeth, embarks on a journey to Hedeby, the hometown of the Vangers, to delve deep into the disappearance of Harriet Vanger.

We are initially introduced to Mikael and Lisbeth separately, with the book splitting time between Mikael and Lisbeth. The first part of the book is concerned with setting up the story, and I must admit it is a bit slow. We are taken through the court case and other details without any real action. I could definitely sympathise with Mikael, as he had lost his standing as a journalist and brought his magazine into disrepute. However I think Lisbeth made the more interesting character. It was refreshing to see through the eyes of a person that you would not usually be able to relate to. Although Lisbeth was socially awkward and didn't really speak to anyone, I found she was very likeable once you got to know her. As a reader you get to understand why she keeps her defences so high. Once her and Mikael are introduced, it is interesting to see how their relationship develops, as on paper they are very different people. Mikael is struggling with his journalistic ethics after the libel case and being introduced to an illegal computer hacker is bound to create sparks.

Once Mikael arrives in Hedeby, the pace really picks up and I found myself unable to predict where the next turn would take me. Larsson created an unpredictable sequence of events, which I really enjoyed reading. I have never before read a book that was set in Sweden, and I enjoyed learning about the Swedish culture. With the book being translated from Swedish, it was sometimes difficult to understand the references that Larsson made, whether it was to a popular author in Sweden or some of the places, it took a bit of research! Overall I do not think this retracts from the book in any way!

My advice for this book: give it time! Once you get past the beginning you will be hooked and it is well worth the wait!

4/5 Stars

My Song Choice: She Moves In Her Own Way by The Kooks. 
This song reminds me of Lisbeth, she's so unique but this does not mean she is a bad person!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

My First Showcase Sunday

Showcase Sunday was started by Vicky from Books, Biscuits , and Tea  so that everyone can showcase what they have received to review, bought from shops, borrowed from libraries or downloaded from eBook stores each week. To join Showcase Sunday click here.

What I have downloaded this week:

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Inferno by Dan Brown
As an avid reader of both authors books, I have been looking forward to reading these for some time and I'm glad I've finally got round to buying them both! As the sun is out more than usual in Britain I am looking forward to curling up with Wedding Night on a pleasant evening and just relaxing with a glass of wine. As for Inferno, my brain does need a good workout! I am hoping Inferno lives up to my expectations as I have really enjoyed the other Dan Brown books!

Richard and Judy Book Club - Summer 2013

Richard and Judy are back with their Summer Book Club Reading Challenge 2013! As the sun is shining (at least right now it is, probably won't last long!) and I am always looking for new books to read, I have decided to take part in the Summer Book Club Challenge this year!

What does it involve?
The aim is to read all 10 books in Richard and Judy's summer list between 1st June - 31st August 2013. It is all about getting involved by reading the books then discussing and reviewing them with other people. It's a whole group effort! You can read the books in any order and as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable, it's about enjoyment after all!

There is also exclusive content on their website such as author interviews and book snippets. The Book Club has also produced a podcast available on the Book Club website and on iTunes which contains book reviews and discussion as well as interview sessions with the authors. You can also buy the Summer 2013 Bookclub Bundle from the website as well as the books individually.

You can visit the Book Club website here.

Good Luck Everyone!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Book Mix: An Introduction

So it started with an ordinary day, browsing my bookshelf, having a quick peek at the Amazon Bestseller's list  when I stumbled across Goodreads. As an avid book-reader I had of course heard of Goodreads but had never actually used it before. I immediately created a humongous 'to-read' list which should keep me going for a few months at least! Seeing Goodreads made me realise that reviewing books is very useful for other book-readers, it opens up a new world of books so that you are never short of a book to read!

I love a wide range of books, from chick-lits to crime to fantasy books and all in-between. I also read books in a variety of formats. My bookshelf is full of hardback and paperback books but also the kindle app on my Nexus 7 is an absolute gem! It means I can be anywhere in the world, on the train, in a coffee shop, at a friends house or curled up at home trying not to wake my boyfriend up and I can hop onto the kindle store and download a book in seconds, so I can carry on reading quietly in the dark. It has brought a whole new dimension to my book reading habits and I absolutely love it!

 I have found that whilst I am reading a book or a series of books, there is always 1 song which I associate with this book. Whether it sets the atmosphere or simply brings back memories of reading, there is always that 1 special song! So the point of this blog is to not just review the books that I have been reading, but to link a song or piece of music with the book. I think it will be interesting to see which songs people match with the books they read as I believe there will be a complete mix of songs! And so Beckie's Book Mix was born, an opportunity to mix books and music together.

Happy Book Mixing!

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