Currently Reading | Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Hello lovely readers,

It’s a rare occasion where I actually have had the time to read and even write a blog post – I hope that soon I will be able to do this a little bit more regularly in the following weeks. For now, it will be sporadic.

Anyhow, I have finally come out of my reading slump that has lasted me a third of the year – I just now realised I have been telling people that I have had a reading slump for a six months which is completely inaccurate, and the book the I am reading is Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavrial Savit.

Synopsis:

November the sixth, 1939 – Anna’s seventh year – and all Anna knew that morning was her father had to go away for a few hours. 

He left her in the care of Herr Doktor Fuchsmann shortly after eleven o’clock, and then he did not come back again. 

When the Germans take her father, Anna is suddenly alone.

Then she meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall, and like Anna’s missing father, he has a gift for languages.

With a million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs, Krakow no longer feels like home. And so Anna and the Swallow Man travel together, dodging bombs, taming soldiers and even, in spite of their better judgement, making a friend.

But in a world gone mad
everything can prove dangerous…

I have been loving this book so far, albeit I have become a slow reader as of late, I have managed to read half of the book in three hours. In that span of time, the book has managed to pull at every single one of my heartstrings, and I have cried twice for Anna.

As you have read from the synopsis, this story is set during the Second World War and you can just imagine what this little girl must be going through. Although the novel is written in third person, you still see things through a child’s eye.

I find Gavriel Savit’s writing enticing and very engaging, and the truth behind his words just pulls you in to this world he has created.

This book has been on my wish list since last year, and when they released the paperback version I didn’t even hesitate to buy it. Of course, it’s been sitting on my bookshelf for quite sometime collecting dust, but I am so glad that I finally took the time to read this book!

What are you guys currently reading?

 

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Book Review | Nimona by Noelle Stevenson 

Nimona

This is a graphic novel about a shapeshifting girl who forces an Evil villain to let her be his sidekick/apprentice. He is a moody, one-armed villain; a villain who has moral codes and one who has a tragic backstory, and she, as straightforward and impulsive she is, slowly melts his heart and makes him somewhat happy again.

Noelle Stevenson has created a wonderful set of characters. I loved Nimona so much, and she is unique and amazing. She isn’t perfect, I mean she is more a villain than her boss – Ballister!

I’m not a kid. I’m a SHARK

There’s so much humour in this graphic novel. It made me giggle and laugh out loud several times. However, there are darker and more emotional contents in this piece of art; such as Nimona’s story, and the reason why Ballister became a villain. I cannot fault the author/artist in her delivery of her story because they are very fleshed out and these characters are as real as they can be. 

The relationships between characters are wholesome and none of them are half-hearted. Nimona may seem like a selfish teenager, but if you really look at her as an individual, she cares a lot about her mentor. What she is as a villain does not define who she is as a person, her actions may be irrational and very much spontaneous and disastrous – but her feelings towards her mentor is as real as how a student looks up to their teacher. 

Ballister Blackheart is a bit more complicated with his relationships with the different characters involved in the story. He is a villain with a moral code, he will not endanger the lives of innocents if he can help it, and he will not injure or kill his nemesis (Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin). His relationship with Nimona is the most notable aspect of this graphic novel. Although he was initially against the idea of having a sidekick, he relented to Nimona’s ever persuasive (if not aggressive) ways. Their Maste-Sidekick relationship however, is nothing like your Batman-Robin trope (but villain style). In fact, the dynamic is all off, and sometimes it feels like Blackheart is the sidekick and Nimona is the main antagonist. But, their relationship does develop a lot throughout the story – where they come to care for each other and built up a friendship that will surely last.

Of course, there’s also Blackheart’s relationship with his suppsed nemesis, Sir Goldenloin (by the way, his name makes me laugh). It’s quite complicated in the sense that it’s very much a sort of a love-hate relationship. There isn’t really anything malicious going on, and you get to understand how and why Blackheart became the man he has become, and it involves Goldenloin. It’s quite frustrating actually, the relationship between these two characters. Throughout the whole thing I really did think that one is in-love with the other, or maybe I am just reading too much into it, and it’s really just a simple brotherly love. 

I think I have rambled enough about characters and relationships. Let’s talk about the art style!

I loved Stevenson’s art style, it reminds me very much of Adventure Time – but, that isn’t exactly relevant at this point. The art style I loved because it’s simple and simple is very nice. I don’t really know what else to say, apart from how lovely the art is. 

Overall, I think that this is an absolute gem of a book, and would highly recommend this to individuals who are just starting to read graphic novels. It has a great story and character development, and the art is absolutely stunning. It’s easy to read, and although it may seem light, it does get pretty dark in some parts.  

Hiatus in progress

Hello my lovely readers, 

It’s been more than two months since the last time I made a blog post on here – and that’s a long time. I haven’t given any warning or mention to my blog hiatus and it’s going to be filled with sorry excuses that nobody will probably want to hear. 

First things first, I am fully aware that I am extremely behind with a lot of things in terms of this blog. I haven’t been able to take the time to just sit down and read a book, what with having classes every other day, then assignments and essays needing to be done – there’s just no time for me. It is very frustrating, to not be able to enjoy something that I love, but it’s all about time management.

Secondly, I just started my first ever placement. As much as I enjoy working, it does take a lot of my time. There are breaks, but they are just often enough to sit down and eat lunch or a snack and relax for a couple of minutes. There isn’t exactly time for me to write a quick blog post, or even read a book. 

Lastly, I am behind on two book reviews that should have been up since May. I will try my best to get those book reviews up as soon as possible this month and hope that I don’t do this to myself again. 

Hopefully, this coming August I will be able to do more in this blog, and that I will be able to catch up on my reading. At the moment, I am not taking any book review requests due to the fact that I have not the time to read a whole book and write a review in a timescale – therefore I apologise in advance. 

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

-Nielle 

Graphic Novels

Hello my lovely readers,

If you have read my previous blog post here, you may recognise a couple of books that I haven’t exactly touched on at all in my years a book blogger – and those are graphic novels!

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Book Haul | April 2017

Hello my lovely readers,

This is a blog post that I have not done in the past few months! Due to book buying ban and all that shenanigans. But I finally caved in and bought a “few” books that I thought I should buy – but definitely wont read until I am seventy-years-old!

In all seriousness, I have been really good in preventing myself from buying any books – in fact for a few weeks I haven’t even thought of buying books at all. But then… my colleagues from work – or ex-colleagues, were kind enough to gift me with a £50.00 Waterstone’s voucher!!!! I was so shocked and so grateful for this parting gift that they have given me!! But… let me tell you a secret. I actually haven’t used up the voucher yet. In fact I only bought one book using the voucher, the rest of the haul is from my own funds!

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Book Review | Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval

Buy This Book | Amazon

WELCOM TO CARAVAL,
WHERE NOTHING IS
QUITE WHAT IT SEEMS.

Scarlett and Tella have never left the tiny isle of Trisda, pining from afar for the wonder of Caraval, a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show.

Caracel is Magic. Mystery. Adventure.

When the sisters’ long-awated invitations finally arrive, it seems their dreams have come true. But no sooner have they arrived than Tella vanishes, kidnapped by the show’s mastermind organiser, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is an elaborate performance. But she quickly becomes entangled in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak.

And real or not, she must find Tella before the game is over, and her sister disappears forever.

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Should You Annotate Your Books?

Hello my lovely readers,

I have been wanting to give discussion posts another try, you know to connect with my readers a little bit more. I’m far too introverted even online to even start up a conversation! Anyhow.

Book annotation is one of the things that we debate about as bookworms. I mean we love our books too much to deface them.. right? We won’t even bend the spine! Books must stay aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

I agree! However, I also disagree. (I hate these kinds of things, because I always end up sitting on the fence).

For most of my life, I never wrote on my books. Apart from writing my name at the front of my books, I never underline or wrote notes on them. If I had to, I would use post-it notes and index tabs.

“Writing on you books are a big no-no” for me. Back then.

However, when I decided to write book reviews as a hobby. That mentality kind of changed. With my kindle, I was constantly writing notes and highlighting passages. Of course, this is different when it comes to paperbacks and hardbacks. I still had my reservations. However, lately – I just can’t be arsed to bring post-it notes with me, or a separate notebook for notes. Especially since I started working.

It’s kind of hard to write down on a piece of paper or a sticky when most of your reading time is done on public transportation. So I have been using pencils to write marginalia. I also started to think that marginalia makes the book a little bit more personal too. It shows that you have given thought to the passage and the text, and maybe even questioned it.

But there’s still the perfectionist side of me. I still dislike writing on the book pages, because it’s messy. Sometimes, it’s just nice to flick through unmarred pages. To see the pristine print of text without any random markings you have no clue was there for.

So here’s my question for you!

Should You Annotate You Books?

I’d really love to see your comments, and your opinions on the matter!