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Filling the Shelf – 210

Posted by on May 2, 2016 2:48 am in Book talk | 5 comments

Welcome to Filling the Shelf, or as many of you know it, Mailbox Monday! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, click away! (but beware, visiting other mailboxes will probably add to your neverending wishlist!)

Happy Monday all!

It’s a new week and an exciting one. I have lots of work ahead but I’m also going out of town for a couple days, which means lots of reading time. I’ve already selected a few books to bring… probably enough to last me a couple weeks…

But I also received some new books this week! I was excited to receive The Outliers so early, even though the book is being released this Tuesday. I’ve enjoyed both of Kimberly McCreight’s books I read before and I was really curious to see what she could do with the YA genre, so I started this one right away. So far, so good.

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The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight and These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

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What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler and The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos (audio)

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The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas and The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle (audio)

What books did you recently add to your shelves?

 

Review : The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Posted by on May 1, 2016 11:58 am in 5 stars reads | 2 comments

the first fiften livesThe First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
Pages : 405
Genre : Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Stand alone
My Rating : 5/5

About the Book  :

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

My Thoughts :

I have a new favorite.

It doesn’t happen that often (I only had one last year), but when it happens, wow. It’s a bit like falling in love, isn’t it? So this is not a review as much as it is a love letter. I loved everything about this book, and I couldn’t think of one single aspect of it I would change.

First of all, Claire North’s writing is amazing. It’s evocative, poetic at times without being overly so, and it flows extremely nicely. It suits the pace and structure of the book – slow, intricate – perfectly.

And slow, and intricate, the book really is. This is a book that needs time. It starts carefully, intriguing but a little confusing. The first few chapters come and go between Harry August’s lives, and I had to pay attention to keep track of the different lives and their characters, think of which one happens before which, what they meant in relation to each other.

I absolutely loved the science-fiction aspect of it. Time travel is tricky, but I thought Claire North managed to answer most questions the reader could have logically. Her take on it is original but also well thought through. The mythology she created for it spanned centuries, and the implications and consequences made it fascinating. Whenever I wasn’t reading the book, I kept thinking about it. What would it be like to relive the same life again and again, but to be able to make different choices? What would it be like relieving important world events without having the power or changing or influencing them?

The “thriller” part of the story was also very well done. The pace is slow and there’s very little action, but it still felt, to me, like a page-turner – an existentialist one, perhaps. Despite living his life again and again, Harry isn’t exactly immortal, so there really was something to lose for him. In a way, the treat of mortality felt even bigger for him and the members of the Chronus club (a group of people who also shared Harry’s ability).

There’s little more I can say about the book except that I really, really loved it. I can see why some readers thought it was slow, uneventful, boring; for me though, it all clicked perfectly. The writing, the pace, the characters, the story, the plot, and all of the questions and answers hidden between the lines, I loved it all. One thing I know, I’ll be reading more of Claire North soon!

Wordless Wednesday – A Hint of Blue Wing

Posted by on April 27, 2016 2:20 am in My work | 3 comments

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Botanical Garden of Montreal, April 2015

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here!

 

Filling the Shelf – 209

Posted by on April 25, 2016 3:20 am in Book talk | 13 comments

Welcome to Filling the Shelf, or as many of you know it, Mailbox Monday! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, click away! (but beware, visiting other mailboxes will probably add to your neverending wishlist!)

Hi everyone!

How was your week? Here it was up and down. I got a break from work early in the week and enjoyed the nice weather a bit, but as it turned to rain and colder days, I also got a cold. I spent a bit of time in bed, just relaxing and reading, which was still really appreciated despite the circumstances! :)

We also watched a lot of movies, all of which I loved : The Big Short, The Bridge of Spies and Spotlight as well as re-watched the new Star Wars – still excellent!

As for books, I got an eclectic bunch this week, including YA, fantasy and literary fiction. Isn’t is pretty how they all sorta fit together in color? I’m excited for all of them, mostly. I got The Goblin Emperor as a bargain after having it recommended to me many, many times. I’m still not convinced but I’ll give it a try! I don’t take many chances with my reading these days, so I am curious to see how this turns out.

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My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (audio) – Unbecoming by Jenny Downham – When We Collided by Emery Lord

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The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield – The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison – The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley (audio)

What books did you recently add to your shelves?