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What Happens in Books

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SIBF 13

My favorite person just opened my favorite annual event.

 

The biggest literary event in the Gulf and the Arab world.

 

I honestly cannot wait to be there, I'd go everyday if I could.

 

 

 

SIBF 13

Reblogged from What Happens in Books:

My favorite person just opened my favorite annual event.

 

The biggest literary event in the Gulf and the Arab world.

 

I honestly cannot wait to be there, I'd go everyday if I could.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 32 Sharjah International Book Fair

The Mage's Daughter - Lynn Kurland

""She was rather glad her face was in shadow. It saved her from embarrassing herself by gaping at what were easily the most beautiful men she had ever seen - beautiful and terrible and glittering, as if they were come recently out of dream. No wonder Miach was so mesmerizing to look it, it's whatever Elven blood he possessed"

 

Things I Didn't Expect (When I Was Expecting) - Monica Dux

Ok, first of all I'm not pregnant.

 
But when I saw this on NetGalley I couldn't resist, why?
 
Because when you're pregnant and you have all those things and emotions and changes and all you really want to do is to express how miserable you really are, BUT also happy and grateful at the same time.  You are looked at with the "you've been trying to get pregnant and now that you are all you do is complain about it" look, that totally accuses you of being ungrateful and undeserving.
 
But I'm NOT you want to scream, it's just everything, everything, EVERYTHING in me is changing and "news flash" it doesn't get BETTER the third time.
 
Anyway, back to the book, I totally related to it, because it expressed most of how I felt and what I experienced, in a hilarious and witty way, and the author makes it a little bit personal with her own experience, which only makes us feel a little bit better.
 
We are not alone.
 
And I'm probably going to read it again if I ever get pregnant, "again" because I will need the moral support.
 
This review is for a free copy courtesy of Melbourne University Publishing bus Netgally. 

Fairytale Adaptations!

When Beauty Tamed the Beast - James Griffin, Eloisa James Once Upon a Tower - Eloisa James

So Rapunzel was never one of my favorite fairy tales, I mean did you read the original, it wasn't really romantic, I personally thought it was stupid and unpleasant.

 

 

 

Well, As I was saying Rapunzel was never one of my favorite fairytale UNTIL:

 

 

 

Yep, that's right, Disney's Tangled.

 

I mean at my age, when I saw it, it was magical, like when I was young and I lived the magic with Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and the Little Mermaid, I was totally enthralled.

seriously!

 

And I can't get enough of it, seriously!

 

Well, It seems Eloisa James has a book in the "Fairy tales" series that is based on Rapunzel (roughly) and I'm thinking I want to read it, even though I'm not an Eloisa James fan.

 

But I think if I'm going to do it, then I probably should read her book based on "Beauty and Beast" first since it's my favorite fairytale EVER.

 

 

and I do really like the Disney Movie as well. I mean that LIBRARY,,

 

 

Below is a the two books mentioned above.

 

Once Upon a Tower (Fairy tales #5)

 

 

and the stepback cover

 

 

 

And "When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy tales #2)"

 

 

The Bronze Horseman  - Paullina Simons

 

This book is such a paradox and I'm finding it very difficult to review.

 

Even though I had a few issues with it and there were moments when I lost interest a bit, but I still can't get it out of my head.

 

This book took over my life, and affected my mood, yet somewhere in the second half I started to slowly get disappointed and lose interest. But still I just could not stop reading it. It was so addictive.

 

I'm not going to go into a summary of the book, I think there is enough of that around. But I felt so much through the book that I really need to express my feelings and my opinions.

 

I have to start by saying that I knew little about the Soviet Union and their way of life, my exposure to Russian literature consists of reading badly translated (into Arabic) novels in high school of which I don't remember the titles, except the one called Rasputin. They mostly were set in a pre revolution period. And of course watching "Doctor Zhivago" which I thought of all through reading this book.

 

The way of life and the conditions and the harshness of war really got to me. I totally enjoyed reading about it and at the same time I was feeling sad and depressed and thankful. Knowing that the author is Russian and that her grandparents went through all that gave it authentically and I didn't have to go check info all the time which enhanced the reading experience.

 

Leningrad was bleak and miserable. It was bad enough before the war with the living arrangement and their way of life. There was no privacy, no shame and most importantly no ambition. These who had opinions and ambitions did not survive.

 

 

Then war starts and people are even more scared. Millions die, and some are just died freezing and starving in the streets.

 

 

What came as a total surprise to me is that people from other countries decided to make the Soviet Union their country and home and they embraced communism. I have only heard of people leaving the SU.

 

I'm not sure what I think about the two main characters, especially Alexander.

Tatiana is certainly a survival and selfless person. She starts of as this innocent seventeen year old who sees the start of war as an adventure. She does not see the seriousness of the situation, does not rush to do her father's bidding. But slowly her character matures as war and starvation takes all. We see her sacrificing everything, she puts her self in danger getting everybody's rations, she gives up food for others, but most importantly she sacrifices Alexander.

 

And here I can not help but think the situation and the heartache could have been avoided. Because really Dasha, Tatiana's sister obviously gets around, and she just have met Alexander. Yes she mentions that she likes him too much, but it's not something new to her, they weren't serious. Alexander himself did not think it was serious. So why decide to sacrifice her feelings for her sister, why not say the truth from the beginning and spare everyone the hurt. Dasha would have found someone new in a short time, instead if believing in Alexander's fake feelings and declarations and getting more in love and more attached, just making the hurt more. You just feel sorry for Dasha and anger towards those two.

 

Tatiana survives so much, bombing, freezing, starvation, heartache, and it just makes her stronger. For someone who says she faints for the least reasons, she did extremely well. Especially near the end with her situation. But really some things are just to convenient.

Alexander now was a little confusing. Is he a good guy? He does the right thing. But then he gets too self absorbed, it's all about what he wants and he wants Tatiana to be save, so he is rude and angry and annoying to everyone else. He is very intense, it's not just the war, but his background and history as well. I'm not quite sure what to think of him, but I admit I kinda liked the scenes where he is so angry and shouting the most. From what I read, we might just get a better idea in the next book.

 

The first half of the book was just amazing, even though I had a few issues, I just couldn't put it down, it just had a hold on me. Then somewhere in the second half things changed and we had pages and pages of nothing but these two eating and having sex, it was just disappointing and trivial after all that happened in Leningrad. I started to lose interest, but still I could not stop reading. It does pick up a bit at the end, but by then I wasn't worried since I knew there are two more books in the series.

 

I do want to read the other books but not just yet, this was exhausting and I want to wait to do it again.

 

I feel like my review is all over the place, I'm trying to summarize all that I felt while reading it. I'll see if I can revise it later.

 

And now I leave with this image, Lee Pace as Alexander.

 

 

 

The Monster at the End of this Book (Sesame Street) (Big Little Golden Book) - Jon Stone, Michael J. Smollin My kids have an interactive copy of this on their IPad. My 6year old enjoyed it the first time, but my 2 year old really loves it, even though I'm really sure he doesn't understand a thing.

Don't Read This Book!

Don't Read This Book! - Jill Lewis, Deborah Allwright My kids love it when I read this to them.

I have also read it in class to their classmates who also really enjoyed it.

For kids who are more familiar with the fairytales it might be more enjoyable.
تحت أقدام الأمهات - بثينة العيسى يعني الصراحه مافهمت مغزى القصه، اوكي، فهمت استبداد الجده و كيف اثر في حياة الجميع، لكن و بعدين؟ ولا شي، و تستمر الحياه.

الروايه فيها بعض من السوداوية، و كثير من الرموز و الأشياء التي تفوق الطبيعه لم أعي تماماً معناها، اعتقد المسألة فيها تذوق، وانا لا اتذوق الكلام الكثير الذي يلف و يدور، وإنما احب الروايه الجميله بكلامهما الصريح و أحداثها المثيره.

بثينه العيسى كاتبه موهوبه، لكن الروايه لم تشدني لدرجه تجعلني أتغاضى عن بعض ما فيها.

تبدأ الروايه بفصول تتحدث من وجهة نظر موضي، ذات الخمس سنوات، ومن ثم بفصول من وجهة نظر فاطمه، ذات الخمس سنوات، ووجدت نفسي افكر عن الزمن هل هن ينظرن الى الماضي مما يفسر نضوج الفكر و الكلمات والمعاني المبطنة، ام ان السرد يوافق الزمن مما يجعلني استغرب من نضوج الطفلتان ذوات الخمس سنوات، و من ثم سبع سنوات في فصول أخرى؟؟!!

الكاتبه تعرفنا على هيله، احد الشخصيات الرئيسيه في القصه على أساس أنها على نوع من أنواع التدين، وأثارت مشكله بالنسبه لحفل عيد الميلاد على أساس انه حرام، لكن لا هي و لا اي واحده أخرى من "الأمهات" يعترضن على وجود موضي و فاطمه بكامل زينتهم أمام فهاد، دون حجاب و في خلوه أيضاً، بل كن يشجعنهم!!

أفضل الفصول هي تلك التي كانت ترويها رقيه، الشخصيه الوحيدة التي بدت واقعيه و مقنعه، والشخصية الوحيدة التي حافظت على رباط جأشها عندما حلت مصيبه فهاد والتي حولت الجميع الى أنواع مختلفه من النفسيات، المصيبة التي حولت بيت العائلة الكبير الى بيت ميت في مبالغه كبيره.

تجربتي الأولى لبثينة العيسى و لكن لن تكون الأخيرة ان شاء الله.

بس يعني شو صار في موضوع فهاد و قصاصات الورق؟؟؟
The Spirit Keeper: A Novel - K.B. Laugheed Katie is a seventeen year old Irish immigrant who is living a hard life, a tough mother and a drunken father and a crowded house with lots of siblings and their kids. Her life is full of beatings, hunger and sickness.
She wants nothing more than to get away from it all, only she didn't think it would be by being a captive to Native Americans.

Syawa and Hector have travelled very far and tiring journey in order to find the creature of Fire and Ice, the one Syawa (a seer) saw in a vision and need to bring back home to his people. That creature being Katie!

Slowly Katie realizes their intentions and why they treat her respectfully. On their long journey back home she starts to learn the language and the way of life, she tries to overcome her fears and let go of her hurtful past. And she learns about love and trust.

Most of the book is just that, a journey, a very detailed one, to the point where we are told about Katie's monthly every month, I should have kept count.

Most of these details are interesting and some are insights into Katie's past and life and why she is the person she is now.

And because of these details we see the progress of the romance and the relationship between the three travelers.

But the book was a little boring in some parts and I had to struggle to get past them in order to finish, I guess it's because it's narrated by Katie and she was having communicating problems with her travelers. Which also led to the fact that we knew very little about the other characters.

Also it was a bit philosophical for my taste, and I totally didn't get the ending, it somehow made me feel cheated.
Katie's conclusion at the end had me a bit disappointed as well.

this review is for an ARC courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

زوجي مازال حبيبي

زوجي مازال حبيبي - سارة درويش,  محمد حلمي الريفيو باللهجة المصريه لان الكتاب كان مكتوب بلهجته مصريه جداً فأثرت فييه

انا تصفحت الكتاب أكثر من أني قريته

الصراحه ما حبيتش فكرته، يعني إيه، هي الست مالهاش شخصيه خالص، يعني إيه أتولدت يوم فرحهم، كانت بتعمل إيه قبل كده، دي حتى كانت موظفه، يعني المفروض إنسانه دارسه و مستقله، طيب لو ماحصلش نصيب، ومااتجوزتش، تبا إيه يعني، ولا حاجه، تموت يعني؟؟؟!!! حاجه غريبه!!!!

لا، وفرحت بأول شخطه، حمش الراجل يعني، طب دي لو ست بجد كانت عملت مصيبه من اول شخطه ديه، آه اصلو من الأول الوحدة تثبت شخصيتها، مش حاضر يا سي السيد وهي لسه في بيت أبوها.

يعني المفروض دلوأتي ان البنت لما تقرأ في الكتاب تعيش بلا هدف، ترعى و تنام و تستنى لحد ما يجي الراجل الي حيديها الحياه.

إيه الهبل ده.

المفروض المرأه تحاول ان تثبت ان لها شخصيه مستقله وحياه و اهتمامات، الي جانب كونها حبيبه و زوجه و ام و ربت منزل، وليس ان يكون غيرها هو محور حياتها.
A Night Like This  - Rosalyn Landor, Julia Quinn More like 3.5, but I'm giving it a 4 for the audio book experience.

This was a typical JQ, but reading it was a different and new experience since it was my first audio book.

I was a bit skeptical about listening to a book, I thought my mind would start wondering and that I would not pay attention.

But I think choosing a JQ book was a good choice, because the way she writes is like banter, and the narrater was reading just like I myself read JQ books to myself, I was quite excited and happy.

I found myself getting into the story and thinking about it and laughing, sometimes out loud. And I liked the fact that I can do other things while "reading", like play game and crochet :)

But soon the excitement dulled a bit as I realized that I could only listen to it when I was alone, like while waiting for the kids in the school parking or after they go to bed (when I'm totally exhausted), and so it took me much longer to finish it.

It's only fair that I now talk about the book in its review and not only on the experience.

The second Smith-Smyth book starts of with some familiar events but this time from a different point of view, Anne, the governess who was asked to save the musicale, and Daniel, Honoria's brother who returns at the end of Just Like Heaven.

There is instant attraction between these two, but while Daniel pursues this attraction and try to take it forward, Anne is trying to avoid it with all she got. Even though she is trying to save her job, we soon find out that she has secrets of her own and that she really want to keep a low profile and avoid trouble.

There are so many female secondary characters and they have such interesting and confusing conversations that its not boring at all.

And we are very smartly introduced to the couple for the next Smith-Smyth books, that now I can't wait to read.

A quite enjoyable read and a good audio book experience that I can't wait to try again.
One Wore Blue - Heather Graham An entertaining read.

I might have enjoyed the historical details a little bit more than the romance since that was a bit typical.

I have read a few Civil war fiction before, but I might have forgotten the details, because I think I learned a few new things about it.

The two main characters were very typical but well written, although that strong and independent and a little spoiled southern heroine has been done before, Kiernan comes off as a bit annoying to me at times, I found myself thinking at one point "sorry but your no Scarlett".

Unfortunately for the book I have read another one with a the main character as a doctor during the civil war, one that gave lots more details on the subject.

I feel like I'm being a bit harsh since I did enjoy reading it, and I actually want to read the other two in the series.

A bit of a warning though for those NOT interested in the history, there is lots of it.

This review is for a Free copy courtesy of Random House via NetGalley

The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin My second book by Jeannie Lin, and I was not disappointed.

Lin's writing brings the place and time of the book to life, as we read there is not a dull moment, no urge to flip through the pages, no eye rolling, just pure pleasure.

In this book Lin takes us to the pleasure district, the Pingkang Li, where courtesans entertain scholars and bureaucrats, under a strict set of rules. And where a courtesan is murdered and a set of events triggers as one maidservant and a noble man start investigating the mystery behind the murder, much is revealed in the process most importantly their secrets and true feelings.

Both the main characters had flaws, and I liked that the hero had a weakness that was plaguing him and that he wasn't stubborn when the heroine was trying to help him. She also had a past that was haunting her, and stopping her from letting go and be happy.

The relationship between these two builds up quite nicely and you get to know them and understand them as their secrets unfolds, even though the barrier between them stays till the end.

The mystery element in the book was well written, I admit I didn't figure out anything and just found out as I read, but it was a good way to wrap the romance.

A few strong secondary characters that one ends up liking, epically Wei Wei, whom I wish to read more about.

Obviously I totally enjoyed reading this one, and will seek more titles to read by Jeannie Lin.

This review is for a free copy courtesy of Harlequin via NetGalley

Most of the characters visualization was influenced heavily by my characters from the PS3 Dynasty Warriors game, as I was playing at the same time, well the game IS set in China and my female warrior had a red tattoo on her cheek. Although my male warrior had blue hair!
His Seduction - Diana Cosby Historically not a bad read, but I think because its the fifth in a series, and I haven't read any of them, I was a bit confused, it can be read as stand alone, but there wasn't enough introduction and background to build from. You kinda meet the characters from the previous books and its a bit overwhelming and I kept thinking that I wanted to go back and read their stories.

Griffin's character is interesting, it's presented quite well, you feel his emotions and struggle and you understand him a little.

Where as Rois's character is the reason I'm giving this book a lower star rating. We are told she is kind and intelligent, that she is everything any man would want. Yet I didn't see it, she acted on impulse, made lots of mistakes, put them in danger and trouble many times. I found myself judging her. And I got tired of reading about her green eyes the color of Scotland's fields.

And I kinda don't like it when the two main characters are pushed into each other by other forces, natural or supernatural. It's so much stronger when in the end it's their own feelings and decisions that keep them together, even if they made mistakes before they realize it.

Overall, interesting historical read, but the heroine was not portrayed well enough for me to enjoy it more.

This review is for a free copy courtesy of Kensington Books via NetGalley