Monday, May 27, 2013

Free Audiobooks, Classic and YA!

      Today, I discovered (through another blogger), a fantastic website offering free e-books all summer long! This website offers a Classic book and a YA book each week.
 Here is a link to the list of this years books:
      The books are delivered to you through Overdrive Media Console. To be able to read books in the app, you must have an Adobe account. Overdrive is compatible with many things, including IPod/IPhone, Kindle, Mac, Windows, Android and more.  The Overdrive website has some 'How To' videos, and the app has a help section, which were helping me quite a bit. Have fun with summer listening!


Double Book Review ~ The Island Unknown and The Mystery of the Golden Pocketwatch ~ by Gary Henicke

      This was a good, quick read. I won the sequel to this novella, and the author was very kind and sent me this one as well.
      This book is about a boy named Peter, who makes a promise to his grandfather to find Island Unknown, a place from a bedtime story Peter used to hear.
       Peter doesn't leave for the island until a little over half-way through the book. This isn't a problem, because the early part of the story is necessary to the plot and is still very interesting. The book's plot moved quickly, and so there wasn't a slow part.
       Peter's relationship with his grandfather was very important, and was why he wanted to find the island so badly. Peter's father had died when Peter was very young, and his grandfather raised him as if he were Peter's father. They were very close, and multiple times in the book it refers to Peter's grandfather as being Peter's 'father'.
       At first I didn't like Peter's mother, she seemed always to be upset with Peter. This was because she was worried that Peter would disappear like his father in a quest for the Island. Later, she redeems herself by giving Peter permission to leave and telling him that she doesn't want them to always be mad at each other.
       A book of exploration, and I don't read these often, I had forgotten how much I liked them. A few times I would have liked a few more details or more description, but this did not effect the story, which was very good. Peter is a likable character who I enjoyed reading about. I hope the author will write more books in this series.

Link to the book on Amazon:

On Goodreads:

       I love how this author writes shorter books, they are a nice change from the thick classics that I have been reading more recently. This is the sequel to Island Unknown, and this book is about Peter four years after the first story.
       In this book, Peter receives a package containing a watch that had belonged to his father, who had disappeared while on a search for Island Unknown. Peter's father had never been heard from after he started on his voyage. Peter goes on a quest to England to locate the sender of the watch. After he locates the man, he decides to discover if the man's claims about Peter's father's fate were true.
       I only have two negative things to say about this book. The first one is the lack of detail. There were a few parts of the book where I would have liked more detail or more description. The details were not necessary to the plot of this story, but would have helped me visualize the scenes and what the characters were doing.
       My other negative point is sentence structure. I am extremely sensitive to sentence variation. Most of the sentences either started with an -ly word, a name, or the word he. Though distracting at first, once you get into the story it isn't an issue.
       The story was pleasant, and something that would be nice to read on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate. The last 51 pages were my favorite, and I can't tell the reason without any spoilers. It was a great resolution to the problem of the story, and also very sweet.
       This could easily be a trilogy, and I think a third book would be a great addition to the series.

Amazon Link:

Goodreads Link:

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Classics Club Book Review: The Lifted Veil ~ George Eliot

This was the first book I've read by George Eliot, and I noticed that many people say that it wasn't the type of book that she normally wrote. I look forward to reading more George Eliot so as to do a comparison with this book.
      This is about a clairvoyant man who has a vision of a woman, who he later discovers is his brother's fiancĂ©.
      this book is written as if this man was writing the story of his life and you are reading it at a later date.
      It tells about his life and his various visions, and how he struggles with them. He begins to believe that his brother's fiancĂ© loves him more than his brother, but a later vision shows him that this is not true.
      There are multiple times that the narrator says that he is skipping to a later date, when key events happen, and this reinforces that it is being told to you as if you were in the same room as the main protagonist.
      The title, 'The Lifted Veil', refers to the 'veil' of the future, and how this man can see through it, as though it were lifted. The story is really only

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Classic Club Spin

      As some of you know, I joined the Classics Club, which means I have to read 50 classics in the next 5 years.
      The Classic Club created the Classics Spin to help you read some of the books on your list that you don't want to read as much as the others. You will make a list of twenty books and The Classics Club will pick a number and everyone has to read the book with that number by a certain date. I'm excited about this!
       ~~~~~~~~~~~~Classic Spin List~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1:  The Brothers Karamazov
2: The Man in the Iron Mask
3: Middlemarch
4: Bleak House
5: Don Quixote
6: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
7: The Mill on the Floss
8: The Phantom of the Opera
9: Frankenstein
10: From the Earth to the Moon
11: Mansfield Park
12: Jane Eyre
13:  Robinson Crusoe
14: Through the Looking Glass
15: The Diary of a Young Girl
16: The Last Man
17: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
18: Treasure Island
19: Dracula
20: Persuasion
Update: I am horrible at reading challenges. Maybe I will do this... eventually. :) It sounds fun!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: Tuesdays at the Castle ~ By Jessica Day George

      I am surprised that I haven't read this sooner, since it is written by Jessica Day George, one of my absolute favorite authors. With the sequel coming out, I decided that I must read it.
      This book is about Princess Cecelia, whose parents go missing and are presumed dead. Her home, the castle, is magical. It has a mind of its own, quite like 'Herbie the Lovebug'. It will create new rooms or corridors, just to have them vanish the next day. Rooms will be moved, and their size may change, according to how the castle feels about that person.
      I would have thought that a magic castle would be difficult to write about; that every problem would be solved by using the castle's magic. This was not the case. Jessica Day George did a fantastic job avoiding this escape route, and not once did I think that the characters got off easily.
      This was a very intriguing book, and not stressful. It kept me fully interested and not constantly checking my progress as I usually do.
      I wouldn't classify any of her books as romance, but some have more romance than others(all of her romance is perfectly wholesome and would be suitable for younger children). Tuesdays at the castle has no love story plot at all.
      I enjoyed the characters unique personalities. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series. For me, there is nothing like picking up a new Jessica Day George story.
Here is the link to an interview of Jessica Day George about her new book:

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

What is Classic Literature?

      When I think of Classic Literature, I think of old books written by people like Jane Austen, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, etc. However, some people may consider books that everybody has heard of as Classics, like The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter. So what is a Classic, really?
      A Classic book is a book that had withstood the test of time. A book that people continue to enjoy years after it was published and it's author died. Their copyright has expired, and so they are printed by many different publishers.
      These books generally contain a sort of appeal to where it is read by a diverse group of people. It will also contain some artistic quality, be it a writing style different from most other books, or an especially engaging plot.
      Traditionally, Classic Novels were only fictional narratives. Recently, though, some graphic novels were shockingly referred to as 'Classics.'
       This term is truly ambiguous. This set of 'rules' is only the generally accepted definition of a novel. There are no official requirements, but since books like Harry Potter and Twilight have not had a chance to withstand the test of time, I do not think they can truly be considered classics.