July 31, 2010

On My Wishlist : Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted at Book Chick City.

On My Wishlist

Do you have any books that you desperately want but haven't bought yet? The books can be old, new or forthcoming.

Daddy-Long-Legs is another one of the books I've heard good things about but never had the opportunity to read.

Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy
From Amazon:
Daddy Long-Legs is a 1912 novel by an American writer Jean Webster. It follows the protagonist, a young girl named Jerusha "Judy" Abbott, through her college years. She writes the letters to her benefactor, a rich man whom she has never seen. The themes of this book reflect upon Webster's interests in social work and women's suffrage. Some scholars have criticized Daddy-Long-Legs as being an "anti-feminist fairy tale", while others have argued that Judy shows growing independence, including increasing disobedience to her benefactor and his wishes, and indeed succeeds in educating Daddy-Long-Legs that he cannot control her, and that his socialism needs to move from the academic into real life. Dear Enemy is the sequel to Jean Webster's novel Daddy-Long-Legs. Dear Enemy shows how Sallie McBride grows from a frivolous socialite to a mature woman and an able executive.

July 30, 2010

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 : The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw
From Amazon:
"The Turn of the Screw" is an intense psychological tale of terror. It begins in an old house on Christmas Eve. It is the story of a Governess who comes to live with and take care of two young children. The Governess loves her new position in charge of the young children, however she is soon disturbed when she begins to see ghosts.

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted at Page Turners.
Book Beginnings on Friday

Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading. If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.
The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in and old house, a strange tale should essentially be, I remember no comment uttered till somebody happened to say that it was the only case he had met in which such a visitation had fallen on a child.

The Friday 56 is hosted at Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
The Friday 56

Share the fifth sentence (plus one or two others) from page 56 of the book nearest to you.
"Infernal, then!" I almost cheerfully rejoined. "He has provided for himself as well. But come!"

July 29, 2010

Upon the Midnight Clear by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title : Upon the Midnight Clear
Author : Sherrilyn Kenyon
Reading Dates : 20 Jul - 22 Jul 2010
Upon The Midnight Clear (A Dream-Hunter Novel, Book 2)
The Dream-Hunter series.
Upon the Midnight Clear is the second book in the Dream-Hunter series. Check out the link below for a listing of the books in the series.
From Amazon :
Ever think Scrooge had it right before the ghosts ruined his life? Meet Aidan O’Conner.
At one time he was a world-renowned celebrity who gave freely of himself and his money without wanting anything in return...until those around him took without asking. Now Aidan wants nothing of the world—or anyone who’s a part of it.

When a stranger appears at his doorstep, Aidan knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams.
Born on Olympus as a goddess, Leta knows nothing of the human world. But a ruthless enemy has driven her from the world of dreams and into the home of the only man who can help her: Aidan. Her immortal powers are derived from human emotions—and his anger is just the fuel she needs to defend herself…
One cold winter’s night will change their lives forever…
Trapped together in a brutal winter storm, Aidan and Leta must turn to the only power capable of saving them—or destroying them both: trust.

Book Review of Upon the Midnight Clear.
To start with, the worst part of the book are the constant reminders of the pain Aidan is in. Due to the betrayal by his friends and family, Aidan distrusts the world at large and has chosen to isolate himself. This is made known to us fairly early on in the story but just in case we somehow missed it the first few times, this fact will be repeated at every opportunity to be clear we are aware that Aidan is the proverbial wounded hero. Unfortunately any sympathy I might have felt dried up pretty soon.

Apart from that annoyance, I also felt disappointed that more was not made of the role reversal in this Dream-Hunter book. Aidan is a mere mortal here while Leta the all powerful dream goddess on whom his life depends. Too bad, we do not get to see Leta wield much of her powers as a Greek goddess.

What did get me interested in the story was the portrayal of M'Adoc and Deimos. In The Dream Hunter, we see them as one of the ruthless enemies whom Arik and Megeara must battle. Yet, here they are loyal and caring friends of Leta. It will be interesting to see how such different aspects of the same person can be reconciled in the future books.

The best part about Upon the Midnight Clear though are the vignettes included at the end of the book where we look in on some familiar characters. Almost like unexpectedly meeting a long-lost friend.

By the way, I also realized from the spoilers at the end that I'd read the book out of order. This book should have been read after Devil May Cry.

My conclusion : Give this a miss unless you're a hardcore Dark-Hunter or Dream-Hunter fan.

My favourite books from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter and Dream-Hunter series so far :

Want to read other reviews of the book? Try ...

July 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays : Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted at Should Be Reading.

Teaser Tuesdays

Share 2 teaser sentences from your current read. Be careful not to include spoilers

"Your brother looks like you?"
"Since we're twins ... yeah."
Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, Book 11)
From Amazon:
As an ancient Sumerian god, Sin was one of the most powerful among his pantheon. . . Until the night Artemis brutally stole his godhood and left him for dead. For millennia, this ex-god turned Dark-Hunter has dreamed only of regaining his powers and seeking revenge on Artemis. If only life were that simple. Unfortunately he has bigger fish--or in Sin's case--demons, to fry. The lethal gallu that were buried by his pantheon are now stirring and they are hungry for human flesh. Their goal is to destroy mankind and anyone else who gets in their way. Sin is the only one who can stop them-that is if a certain woman doesn't kill him first. Unfortunately, Sin discovers that now he must rely on her or witness an annihilation of biblical proportions. Enemies have always made strange bedfellows, but never more so than when the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Now a man who knows only betrayal must trust the one person most likely to hand him to the demons. Artemis may have stolen his godhood, but this one has stolen his heart. The only question is will she keep it or feed it to the ones who want him dead?

July 25, 2010

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Title : The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde : Author
Reading Dates : 18 Jul - 20 Jul 2010
The Picture of Dorian Gray
From goodreads :
Spellbound before his own portrait, Dorian Gray utters a fateful wish. In exchange for eternal youth he gives his soul, to be corrupted by the malign influence of his mentor, the aesthete and hedonist Lord Henry Wotton. The novel was met with moral outrage by contemporary critics who, dazzled perhaps by Wilde's brilliant style, may have confused the author with his creation, Lord Henry, to whom even Dorian protests, 'You cut life to pieces with your epigrams.'. Encouraged by Lord Henry to substitute pleasure for goodness and art for reality, Dorian tries to watch impassively as he brings misery and death to those who love him. But the picture is watching him, and, made hideous by the marks of sin, it confronts Dorian with the reflection of his fall from grace, the silent bearer of what is in effect a devastating moral judgement.

Book Review of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
This will be the second time I have read The Picture of Dorian Gray. The first time I read it, I disliked it immensely and so it was with a certain trepidation that I picked it up again. I won't say I like the story now, but I don't dislike it either. What I am is fascinated.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story that is beautifully written from start to finish. The author has a way with words which is utterly amazing, drawing vivid images of events or actions with his words. The teaser I picked from the book earlier is such an example. But it can be frustrating and confusing also. I frequently I had to re-read the same sentences over and over again trying to make sense of what was being conveyed. And whenever it turned out that these pages of descriptive text could be condensed into a few sentences, it robs some of my pleasure from reading it. There was one part in particular where several pages are dedicated to detailing his excesses which still leaves me puzzled  as to the significance. The knowledge of it was necessary to understand Dorian Gray but was it necessary to spend a few pages on it. Near the end, I even found myself skipping paragraphs or pages to get to the next part of the story.

Even so, I believe that The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story that everyone has to read at least once. Dorian's fall and how society reacts to his vices is food for thought. How great a part was Lord Henry Wotton's role in Dorian Gray's change? Was he really corrupted by Lord Henry or did his friend merely help in revealing his true nature ? Could he have at any time saved his own soul ? At which point, did he become irredeemable? Was his repentance at the end false or did he believe it false because of his friend's influence ? Why did he place the blame of the corruption of his soul on the painter of the portrait and not on the poisoner of his soul? Up until the end, I still couldn't resolve any of these questions to my own satisfaction.

My conclusion : Belongs on the list of books everyone must read at least once in their lifetime.

Dorian Gray (2009) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - United Kingdom ]The Picture of Dorian GrayThe Picture of Dorian Gray

July 23, 2010

Book Blogger Hop #8, Follow My Book Blog Friday #3 and Friday Finds #1

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted at Crazy For Books while Follow My Book Blog Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.

Book Blogger HopFollow My Book Blog Friday

The Book Blogger Hop and Follow My Book Blog Friday are places for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new book-related blogs. Grab the button, post about the meme and follow as many book blogs as you like.
This week's question from the Hop : TELL US ABOUT THE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING!
The book I'm reading now is Dracula by Bram Stoker. Right now, I'm only a few pages into the book and not sure yet what to expect. What I didn't expect was for the book to start of as a series of journal entries by one of the main characters, Jonathan Harker. The journal entries takes some getting used to, his descriptions of the locals' reactions to his destination striking me as being more funny than bewildering at first, but the story has become suitably scarier since he met the Count's servant. Just hope it doesn't get too scary.

Friday Finds is hosted at Should Be Reading.

Friday Finds

Share the great books you heard about or discovered this past week.
A book series I'd love to read is The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. I saw Book 2, Changeless on About Happy Books and now I want it.

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate)Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate)

July 22, 2010

Thursday 13 #2

Thursday 13

Choose a theme. Then list 13 things that fit that theme.
Here I've listed the 13 anime series I've seen and loved. I've only picked the ones I've finished watching though. My theme this week was inspired by Books at Midnight's post Anime Movies: My Top & My Thoughts.

Why I love them ?

Well, Ghost Hunt makes a great supernatural mystery story. Creepy enough to give a few shivers without totally frightening me. And each of the cases are difficult enough to keep me guessing.

Ghost Hunt: The Complete Series Box Set

Darker Than Black, GunxSword, Hellsing and Samurai 7, I just love for the action. Not only are the main protagonist(s) very good at kicking their enemies butt, they're also not the typical heroic type. Alucard from Hellsing for example is an evil vampire who greatly enjoys being what he is.

Darker Than Black: The Complete SeriesSamurai 7 - The Complete Series

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood too has great action and comedy. But more than that, its great cast of characters and theme of sacrifice and growth can sometimes leave me in tears.

And the rest ? No matter their setting, I love them for the romance between the leads. All of which possess great chemistry. I never doubted from the moment they first appeared that they were meant for each other even when the main characters do not. Nodame Cantabile with its story of opposites (a slob and an over-achiever) had me in stitches. But that doesn't mean that they don't all have their touching moments.

Full Metal Panic! Season OneTsubasa Reservoir Chronicle: Season 1 SetEscaflowne: Complete Collection
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