Escaping books!

The books are trying to make an escape! Just found this in the bin in my bedroom…😳  The absolute horror on my face could not be descriAmber Walsh's photo.bed. While myself and Mr. Pound had a love/hate relationship during my time spent as a postmodern student in third year at university I would still rather that this quite expensive edition which has my frustrated underlining and notes etched inside did not end up in the refuse if I can help it! There was a stack of poetry books next to my bedroom bin waiting for our first day back at school – I like to show students that poetry, drama and novels exist in forms outside of their textbooks to bring life and variety to the introductory (and sometime proceeding classes – look at me! You’d swear I’d been teaching for years!) – However I think it may be time to add that stack of books back into the book shelf for safe keeping!

Late Declaration of Reading Plans for 2014

I’ve been wanting to write this post since I posted my first haul more than a week ago but college demanded that it be delayed somewhat. Like so many other book bloggers out there, Goodreads has become invaluable to me overory gilmore challenger the years in helping me to compile lists of the books I’ve read, books I want to read and just lists  of books in general (God I love lists! :P). So it’s not surprising that I’m entering into their book challenge for my fourth consecutive year. I successfully read 36 books in 2013 and only challenged myself to read 30. I was more than surprised that I read as much as I did over the year because I spent the summer away from home in New York, working. Despite being incredibly busy and unable to bring a lot of paperbacks with me, a 2 hour daily commute and my trusty Kindle meant that I surpassed my own expectations. This year, while I hope to get a job, it won’t be in another country so I should have a lot more time to read. Therefore, I’m setting my challenge for 40 books. I failed to read that many books when I set it as my goal in 2012 but I was under a lot of pressure to study for exams in the first six months of that year so I forgive myself :).

I promised a reading list of some sort that would map out my reading for the next year and I sat down today and compiled it. It’s not exhaustive and it’s open to change but I either have to (for college) or want to read all of these in the next 12 months and I’ve left 9 spaces free for books I just pick up (or more likely books for the next semester of college).

The List is as follow:

College Books

  1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. Emma by Jane Austen
  4. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  5. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  6. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  7. York Mystery Plays
  8. The Knight of the Burning Pestle
  9. The Revenger’s Tragedy
  10. The Alchemist and other plays
  11. Anthony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
  12. As you Like it by William Shakespeare
  13. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare
  14. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare

Pleasure

  1. As I live Now by Meg Rosoff
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  4. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  5. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  6. This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by Esther Earl and Earl Family
  7. The Fault in Our Stars (while it won’t count towards the Goodreads challenge as it is a re-read I can’t resist reading it before seeing the film in June)
  8. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  9. Eon by Alison Goodman
  10. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  11. Are You Somebody? Nuala O’Faolain
  12. The Cather in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  13. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  14. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David
  15. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  16. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  17. The sonnets by William Shakespeare

I also stumbled across a reading challenge called ‘The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge’ recently on two blogs which I’ve linked: NJC Novella and Blogs-of-a-bookaholic. Basically a list has been compiled of all the books which the character of Rory Gilmore either read or mentioned during the seven seasons of The Gilmore Girls . She was a veracious reader and I loved the series when I was growing up so it seemed like the perfect challenge to start with. I’ve gone through the list and marked the ones I want to read in purple and the ones I have read in blue however changing the colour of font on WordPress is beyond my abilities so I’ve just added two separate lists below (edit: I’ve since learned how to do it but this way works too). There are a number of books that I want to read this year and there are a lot that I have no intention of ever reading but my personal challenge is to eventually read the books off the list that I have indicated below.

Books to read for the challenge

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – 2014 TBR
  2. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  3. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – 2014 TBR
  5. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  6. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger – 2014 TBR
  7. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  8. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
  9. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
  10. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  11. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
  12. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  13. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  14. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
  15. Emma by Jane Austen – started to read but didn’t finish – 2014 TBR
  16. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  17. The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  18. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
  19. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
  20. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  21. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  22. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
  23. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
  24. Henry V by William Shakespeare
  25. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  26. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  27. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  28. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  29. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  30. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
  31. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  32. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris – 2014 TBR
  33. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
  34. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  35. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  36. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – 2014 TBR
  37. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  38. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  39. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
  40. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – 2014 TBR
  41. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  42. The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien
  43. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
  44. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – Started to read but didn’t finish 2013
  45. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare – 2014 TBR
  46. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare – 2014 TBR
  47. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  48. Ulysses by James Joyce
  49. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  50. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  51. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

Books I’ve read for the Challenge

  1. 1984 by George Orwell – read February & March 2011
  2. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – Childhood read
  3. Atonement by Ian McEwan – Read December 2010-June 2012 repeatedly for school
  4. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney – Read April 2013
  5. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer – Read December 2012
  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – Read July 2012 –Reviewed
  7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Read August 2013 and again in November for College
  8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Read August 2011
  9. Hamlet by William Shakespeare – Read September 2010 to June 2012 repeatedly for school
  10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling – Childhood read
  11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling – Childhood Read
  12. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini –  Read January 2013
  13. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – Childhood read
  14. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Childhood read
  15. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold  – Read October & November 2010
  16. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka – read January 2012
  17. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – Read March 2012
  18. Othello by Shakespeare – Read unwisely read during my leaving cert J – June 2012
  19. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – Read March 2013
  20. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Read 2012
  21. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe – Read June 2011
  22. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – Read March 2013
  23. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – Read January 2014
  24. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – Read June 2012
  25. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Read 2008- June 2010 repeatedly for school
  26. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – Read October 2010

Books I’m not interested in currently from the challenge list (there are a lot hence the cut)

Continue reading

Book Haul #1

While I have a more than a shelf full of books that need to be read, not to mentionImage the books for the next term of college…I may have picked up a few new books today. I stumbled across a 3 for 2 offer that I just couldn’t say no too and picked up a couple YA novels that I’ve heard a lot about but just past me by over the last year.

#1 How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Click link for Goodreads description

Click link for Goodreads description

This was first published in 2004 but I didn’t hear about  it until the movie promotions started last year. I wasn’t even aware that it was an adaptation until I stumbled across the book today. It sounds really intriguing. It’s told from the point of view of Elizabeth, who moves to England just before a mysterious war breaks out. We’re given very little details about the nature of this war other than it changed their way of life in some way that isn’t really elaborated upon. The synopsis does end by saying that “Mostly everything changed because of Edmond” which leads me to safely assume there’s a love interest somewhere in these pages which will be a nice change. I don’t read enough YA anymore in general so I’m excited to pick this one up, though it might have to be later in the month with all the college craziness that will descend on my head by Monday. O_o

#2 Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Click link for Goodreads description

Click link for Goodreads description

This is one that I feel I have heard of in the past in YouTube videos etc but never in great detail. It was written in the late 70s and despite the fact that my copy doesn’t really have a great synopsis, Goodreads tells me that it’s a dystopian in which Earth has taken to breeding groups of child genius’ from which they choose the most elite to be trained in militaristic schools for the sole purpose of finding the perfect soldiers to fight against an alien threat. I don’t have much more information on this which makes me even more excited to read it; I like going into a book without knowing too many details.

#3 Divergent by Veronica Roth

Click link for Goodreads description

Click link for Goodreads description

I don’t even know if this needs too much introduction. I’ve heard this name so much in the last year or so that I think it’s blasphemous that I haven’t managed to pick up a copy. I got the new cover with gold writing on a black background, which I love and it gives it a Hunger Games feel, though I have no doubt that it’s pretty different. I know, I know, never judge a book by it’s cover but let’s face it we all like pretty covers for our shelves. Once again this is a dystopian. I know the new craze is dystopian but I feel I haven’t actually read a lot of it myself which makes the fact that I picked up three dystopian books in a row quite strange for me.

Ok that’s it from me… I’m reading the complete works of Austen at the moment for a seminar I’m starting on Tuesday so I don’t know if I’ll get many reveiws posted this month but I will post and I might even get the urge to review one of the Austen novels, who knows? 🙂

Results

Early last Wednesday morning as you were all tucked up in bed, I like so many of my fellow students was pacing the floors, waiting for 9 o’clock when my leaving cert results to be released. Never before have I been so calm and so nervous at the same time. Most of the nerves you feel at that moment are the ones you think you’re supposed to have, you see your friends almost in tears beside you and think that you must also react in that way. But when the principal’s door opens and you’re summoned in to collect that ominous brown envelope, you don’t care how you were feeling moments before. I can only speak for myself, we each have our own reactions, but a strange calm came over me. I thought before hand that I would have a problem opening the envelope, that the nerves would get the better of me, but they didn’t. I opened it quickly, taking only a moment to remember the huge amount of work that I’d put into the exams and accepting, in advance, anything it might hold. But I didn’t have to worry, when I pulled out the form the most important grade was right there at the top…A1 in English…top grade. Not many are lucky enough to get it despite being good enough. I’m delighted but also grateful, grateful to myself for getting the work done, grateful to my mom for believing in me and grateful to my teacher who made me believe it was possible. To remember where I came from and the work that went into getting where I am today is a strange, wonderful thing, but it makes me believe that whatever I decide to do in the future will work, simply because I’m too stubborn to let it fail and because I’m surrounded by people who won’t let it happen.

Lone venture

I regret to inform our readers that from now on this blog shall be a lone venture (hence the name change). Kate has decided that she would prefer not to post but has urged me to continue. I was disappointed that we couldn’t do this together but at least I’ll have someone behind the scenes making sure I post regularly. I decided to change the name because it didn’t feel right still posting under the joint name (thought it was a pain in the neck to change). I’m going to continue the blog because I’m really enjoying the challenge it has presented. I love being able to talk about what I read and my views on different aspects of literature. I will be posting reviews regularly on Monday’s (hopefully I’ll venture into the classics soon) and I want to write a couple of discussion posts in the coming weeks which are basically already written in my head. 🙂

I feel I should tell you more about myself as it’s now just little aul me. I just graduated from secondary school(high school). My two great passions in life are History and English and I hope to start a degree in both in September (fingers crossed). It’s a love which my mom instilled in me from an early age. I still remember her telling me that if I had a book I’d never be alone. As I grew up I saw just how true this could be and how much reading can enrich our lives. I doubt she ever dreamed of what that seed of interest would grow into.

As I write this I don’t actually have a favourite genre, nor do I really have a favourite author (though Ian McEwan comes close) I just enjoy what I read and find it hard to categorise it or limit it. I’m trying to widen my horizons by branching out into contemporary, post modern and classic literature. But it was the fantasy genre which grabbed my young imagination all those years ago. I fell in love with the adventure and pure escapism that the genre presented.( I also had/have an insatiable obsession with Dragons which needed to be fed.)

In regards to what I define as a good book, it really comes down to the characterisations. I love relationship driven works and by that I don’t necessarily mean romance novels. I love to read about friendships and if a book has that to fall back on I’m instantly engaged. Other than that I can forgive a book a lot though the ending is the clincher. If an author can’t tie up all the loose ends then they can wax lyrical all they like because I’m not going to enjoy the book half as much as I would have.

I hope you stick with me 🙂

Happy reading!

Amber

Introduction

Hello!

We’re Kamberlit, better known as Kate and Amber. We thought a proper introduction was in order before bombarding the cosmos with posts. We’re a couple of girls from Ireland who love book covers. This blog is dedicated to those special occasions when we get past the pretty picture on the front and read the actual words inside. Besides both being YA fanatics, Kate loves graphic novels and anything set in the future, while Amber holds a fascination for fantasy, as well as relationship driven works and is currently battling her way through a list of classics. While it’s a rarity for us to disagree it does happen and our taste in books, while similar, does differ, so there will be a variety of genres and topics covered in the blog.

As for what you can expect from our blog…the plan is loads of reviews, discussions and maybe even fancy pants literary analysis when we’re feeling smart enough. We talk about books constantly and this blog is going to be used as an outlet to channel all our opinions, thoughts and questions regarding the stuff we’re reading.

We’ve decided that we’re going to do individual book reviews weekly. So Amber will post Mondays and Kate will post Fridays. When we get into the swing of things (so to speak) we’re also going to try doing a discussion post on Wednesdays. We’ll hopefully be documenting our struggle through Nanowrimo in November. Maybe we’ll even read Ulysses someday. Or maybe we’ll start Ulysses, throw it at a wall, and pick up 50 Shades of Grey instead.

Besides books, Amber likes dragons, sleeping and historical debate.

Kate likes animals, matching socks and speaking in the third person.

We both consume way too much coffee and Sherlock fanfiction. Everyone has their faults.

Now we’re going to review stuff. Well, we’ll try.

-Kamber