What I’m Reading: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I’m almost ashamed of admitting how long it took me to finish reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I made a pact with myself a while back to read more classics. I know and love Pride and Predjudice very well, but I haven’t read all that many classics other than everything by Jane Austen. Since I’ve begun reading more of the old famous books, I’ve found a few that I love, Dracula and Frankenstein, and a few that I’ve hated, Lolita and Madame Bovary. Jane Eyre fit somewhere in between those two ends.

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Jane Eyre wasn’t quite as romantic as Pride and Predjudice, and it wasn’t quite as gothic as Frankenstein and Dracula. I’ve noticed the obvious pattern that even amongst the classics I mostly prefer those with a fantastical twist. Part of the reason I picked up this particular copy of Jane Eyre was because of the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous? Here’s a better look.

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Previous to reading the novel, I’d seen a couple different remakes of Jane Eyre in cinema format, and I’ve never particularly loved any of those either. Part of the reason, I think, is that the pieces of the novel I found more interesting always seemed to be wiped out of the movie. For instance, i really enjoyed the beginning of Jane Eyre when Jane’s at school. This took up at least a good quarter of the book, but I’ve never seen a movie dedicate that much time to it.

All in all, reading Jane Eyre was a pleasant experience, so pleasant in fact that I kept falling asleep when reading it, which is part of why it took me over six months to get around to finishing it. But I’m glad I’m done, and that I can now add it to my GoodReads count.

4/5 Stars.

JEH

 

Books I’ve Read: Castle Waiting Volume 2 by Linda Medley

I stayed up late last night finishing the second volume of Castle Waiting. It was good. Once I finished I Googled whether or not there would be a third volume, and read that the author is working on it. Supposedly the third volume would be in colour, and I’m not sure I’d like that. I love that volumes 1 and 2 are in black and white, I honestly think black and white is underrated. And yes, I also have a thing for black and white movies.

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Castle Waiting Volume 2 continues where volume one left off, and follows the inhabitants of the castle during they regular day, which is never regular. There are over four hundred pages of beautiful drawings and lovely story in this hardcover volume. It’s a lovely view of a fairy tale life, and definitely a castle I wish I could visit.

5/5 Stars

JEH

 

What I’m Reading: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

The second book in the Young Adult Reckoners series by Brandon Sanderson moves the action from a futuristic Chicago (Newcago) to a futuristic, dystopian Manhattan (New Babylon). I loved this second book and I found New Babylon (also called Babilar) to be very interesting, but part of what I loved about the first book, Steelheart, was the setting: a city that had been completely morphed into steel, and I missed that setting in Firefight. Not that I didn’t love Babilar, I just love Newcago more.

The action of the second book, Firefight, is just as fast and heart-pounding as in the first book. The stakes get higher, and we discover more about the world and Epics (the bad guys), in general.

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Like the first book, Firefight is 75% action, 20% romance, and 5% bad metaphors (which are often hilarious). That isn’t an exact breakdown, so don’t quote me on it. The main point is that this book is mostly the kind of action you would see in a Marvel movie.

Loved it.

5/5 Stars

JEH

What I’m Reading: Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson

In case you missed it, I posted a review of the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners Series, Steelheart, last Saturday. I picked up Book 2, Firefight, and began reading but kept coming across this mention of a battle with Mitosis, which sounded familiar, so I checked, and sure enough, Mitosis is a standalone story that falls between Steelheart and Firefight.

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Mitosis was fairly short and I finished reading it in under an hour. It was a good piece of action between the two main novels. I wouldn’t say it’s a must read. I think one could just go from Steelheart to Firefight and not feel like they’re missing much, but it did add a nice bit of backstory during the passage of time between Steelheart and Firefight, which is a few months.

If you’re a Sanderson fan, or just need to read every piece of lore in a universe, then you probably won’t want to skip Mitosis.

4/5 Stars

JEH

Choosing Your Next Great Read

Last Friday I spent all day absorbed in a book. it was so good that I just could not put it down. I mean, I did have to actually put it down now and again, but i picked it up immediately as soon as I was able. That book was The Girl on the Train. I loved it, but I’m not going to review it on here, because it is out of the norm for what I do review. What I am going to talk about is how to choose your next great read after having an epic-ly good time reading something else. Or rather, how I choose my next great read. Especially on a snow-bound weekend.

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Every reader is familiar with that post-good-book lull. The, ‘that was fun but now what’ blues. I find they always leave me floundering. How do I choose my next book? I have an easier time choosing my next read after finishing something okay or so-so. I have a really easy time choosing my next read after reading something I didn’t particularly enjoy (because anything seems entertaining after that). But after reading a really great book…. SIGH… I flounder.

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After finishing The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I picked up about five different novels, read a paragraph or two, flipped through the pages and debated. What did I want to read now? I already had a stack of books next to my bed, the ‘read-next’ stack, which I order and rearrange on a regular basis. In the stack was, The Invasion of the Tearling, Steelheart, Seven Dead Pirates, Jane Eyre (which has been waiting half finished for over a year now), Fate of Flames, Splintered, and What Light. So I bounced, from book to book to book attempting to find something to hold my attention.

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It might have been easier to just toss a coin. But it probably wouldn’t have been as fun. I read the first chapter of Fate of Flames, and enjoyed it, but it’s an e-book, and I decided I felt like reading a paper book. I read a few pages of The Invasion of the Tearling, but discovered I needed something faster paced following The Girl on the Train. I read a little bit more of What Light, which I’ve been slowly reading on my phone whenever I’m on the move, but couldn’t commit to it fully. I continued to ignore my beautiful copy of Jane Eyre because no matter what, I always just seem to feel too tired to pick it up. Then I picked up Steelheart and was like I FOUND IT.

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So, how do you choose your next great read?

JEH

What I’m Reading: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton a Young Adult Book Review

I found this book browsing around my e-library. It sounded different than a lot of Young Adult fantasy I’d recently picked up so I put it on my wait list, and I loved it. Rebel of the Sands is a fantasy/western Arabian Nights full of Sultans and Djinnis and kick-a** heroines. There were so many unique aspects in this book that I’m not going to get into them all (plus, I wouldn’t want to ruin the story for you).

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What I enjoyed most about Hamilton’s book is how complete the world felt, from where the story begins in Dustwalk to where it ends (not going to say). And the ending itself. This is the kind of book that keeps a lot of secrets, but reveals them in a well timed manner that makes complete sense and is so fitting for the book. I wasn’t sure if this book was going to be a series, however, so I looked it up, and apparently a second book will be released in 2017. I get the feeling that Rebel was written with the intention that it could be left a standalone book, but it is so delicious that I’m glad it’s not. Though I have to say, I’m not a fan of the cover art for the sequel which can be preview on Goodreads if you’re interested.

If you’re a fan of Aladdin or Sinbad or just want something mystical but a bit different, pick up Rebel of the Sands, you won’t regret it.

5/5 Stars.

JEH