January Wrap-up and 2015 reading challenge

A month as passed already, and it is time for a bookish wrap-up. 
I’ve said it before, but 2015 is definitely a year for reading and I started pretty well I believe. I set my reading goal on goodread to 40 books; I didn’t want to st the bar too high to be sure I will succeed and I am 7 books ahead already (yeah me!). I want to read more and I want to diverse my readings, this is mostly the reason why I choose to attempt ehe 2015 reading challenge: it’ll force me to step out of my comfort zone and pick up books I would probably didn’t glance at normaly. I haven’t necessarely done it yet because I was in a fantasy mood this month, but I will, promise! Anyways, let’s get into that wrap-up shall we? 

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon OO★★★★★
I read it in two sittings, this is how much I loved it. I have found the characters and story to be very well written and so enjoyable. Surprisingly I find myself really excited about the second book that I will most probably buy some time soon. This book will count for A book written by someone under 30 and A book set in a different country.

♦  The Magician’s Nephew by C.S LewisOO★★★★★
I am ashamed to say I’ve never read the Chronicles of Narnia before. I’ve watched the adaptations, loved them, but I never picked up any of the books. I found the bookset for 9$ in a thrifted bookshop and couldn’t resist. It was such a good opportunity to finalle read them. This book will count for A book with nonhuman characters.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire NorthOO★★☆☆☆
Saddly I didn’t like this book. I was very excited to read it because of the many good reviews I’ve seen on the Internet, but I just couldn’t get into the story. Not that the story is bad, it is not. I simply found it to be a little to slow and had a hard time relating to the characters. This boon will count as A book written for An author you’ve never read before

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingOO★★★★☆
Loved it. Simply loved it. Mindy is such a funny and refreshing woman. I usually am not into this kind of books (remember how I hated Not That Kind of Girl?) because women tend to talk about diet, about feeling bad in their skins and heartbreaks and bad experiences and I found it so tirring to read about other people tiny problems. Of course people can relate because these things happen to all of us at some point of our lives, but why making it so dramatic? Mindy, indeed, talked about her childhood, her past boyfriends, her friendships and sometimes bad things happened to her to, but she wrote about it in a very funny way and said « ok, that wasn’t nice when it happened, but f*ck that, I feel fine now so let’s laugh about it! » and THAT is what I loved. She never complained, never pitied her past self; she saw the funny parts in everything it felt good. 
So, without any doubt, this book will count for A funny book.

Oroonoko by Aphra BehnOO★★☆☆☆
This novel (that actually is a novella, but never mind) is the very first english novel AND was written by a woman. No, no, the first english novel wasn’t Robinson Crusoe. It was published in 1791, more than a hundred years after Oroonoko that was published in 1688. Anyways, I had to read it for uni and ended up liking it. It was complicated to follow from time to time, mostly because english isn’t my first language, but interesting none of the less. This book will count for A book written for A book by a female author.

Rome & Juliet by William ShakespearOO★★★★☆
Not much to say about it, it is a classic and I hadn’t read it yet; I liked it. 
This book will count for A play.

Frankenstein by Mary ShelleyOO★★★★☆
Another classic that I’ve never read and had to for uni. It was much much easier to read than Oroonoko, but then again, it was written so long after that it couldn’t possibly be harder. I loved discovering the real story of Viktor Frankenstein and his creature. This book will count for A book more than 100 years old.

City of Bones by Cassandra ClareOO★★☆☆☆
Such a disappointment. I can’t say much about it because there isn’t much to say really. The story was still enjoyable, I didn’t struggle to finish the book or anything, but it was so (so) predictable that I almost thought about putting the book down and never read the end. The story line has been used countless of times in other stories and the characters were, well, mundane (see what I did there?). I will probably read the rest of the series but will certainly not hurry to do so. It took me a long time to finally start it and it will take me at least the same aount of time to finish it, althoug I heard the Clockwork trilogy is far better, maybe I’ll give it a go? This book will count for A book that became a movie (movie I will surely not watch). 

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C.S LewisOO★★★★★
Not much surprises there because I knew the story already but it was a real pleasure to read it and visit Narnia again. I won’t use this book for any of the challenges because I used the first one of the series already and I’d wish to read a book per challenge to read as much as possible.

Last minute edit:

City of Ashes by Cassandra ClareOO★★☆☆☆
I said I wouldn’t read the rest of the series anytime soon because I didn’t like the first book that much, but I was in a huge reading slump after that. And I didn’t know what else to read, so the easier way for me to keep reading was to stick to something I already knew. I then picked up the second book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy. Nothing much to say, it left me with the same feeling: unfinished characters, not much actions, the story is slow and nothing much happens. We’ll see the rest. 

All of this gives me 1 books read and 8/50 challenges done. 

What were your reads this month?

« The New Harry Potter

The title being confusing I feel like I should tell what exactly I am talking about. It obviously is a book that has been compared to the Harry Potter series many many times over the past few months; and it is The Bone Season By Samantha Shannon. For those of you who haven’t read or heard about this book, here is the synopsis: 

« IT IS THE YEAR 2059. SEVERAL MAJOR WORLD CITIES ARE UNDER THE CONTROL OF A SECURITY FORCE CALLED SCION. PAIGE MAHONEY WORKS IN THE CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD OF SCION LONDON, PART OF A SECRET CELL KNOWN AS THE SEVEN SEALS. THE WORK SHE DOES IS UNUSUAL: SCOUTING FOR INFORMATION BY BREAKING INTO OTHERS’ MINDS. PAIGE IS A DREAMWALKER, A RARE KIND OF CLAIRVOYANT, AND IN THIS WORLD, THE VOYANTS COMMIT TREASON SIMPLY BY BREATHING.
BUT WHEN PAIGE IS CAPTURED AND ARRESTED, SHE ENCOUNTERS A POWER MORE SINISTER EVEN THAN SCION. THE VOYANT PRISON IS A SEPARATE CITY—OXFORD, ERASED FROM THE MAP TWO CENTURIES AGO AND NOW CONTROLLED BY A POWERFUL, OTHERWORLDLY RACE. THESE CREATURES, THE REPHAIM, VALUE THE VOYANTS HIGHLY—AS SOLDIERS IN THEIR ARMY.
PAIGE IS ASSIGNED TO A REPHAITE KEEPER,WARDEN, WHO WILL BE IN CHARGE OF HER CARE AND TRAINING. HE IS HER MASTER. HER NATURAL ENEMY. BUT IF SHE WANTS TO REGAIN HER FREEDOM, PAIGE WILL HAVE TO LEARN SOMETHING OF HIS MIND AND HIS OWN MYSTERIOUS MOTIVES.
THE BONE SEASON INTRODUCES A COMPELLING HEROINE—A YOUNG WOMAN LEARNING TO HARNESS HER POWERS IN A WORLD WHERE EVERYTHING HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM HER. IT ALSO INTRODUCES AN EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG WRITER, WITH HUGE AMBITION AND A TEEMING IMAGINATION. SAMANTHA SHANNON HAS CREATED A BOLD NEW REALITY IN THIS RIVETING DEBUT. »

Now I must tell you right away that I do not agree with the latter statement on many levels. First of all,  I believe there is nothing like Harry Potter (you Potterheads out there know how strongly one can feel toward this series). How dare they compare the two? Not that The Bone Season isn’t good, because, damn, it is. Second, neither the plot nor the characters of the Samantha Shannon’s book ressemble those of J.K Rowling’s. Lastely, beside the fact that both stories are set in England (or in the UK more generally when it comes to Harry Potter), they really have not much in common. To begin with, the main character is a female in The Bone Season and, for me, it makes all the difference in the world.

But I’m rambling, let me get into the real subject.
The Bone Season; I have ab-so-lu-te-ly loved you. Loved loved loved you. I have heard countless of things about this book and read just how much amazing reviews of it that when I found the novel for 5$ at Chapter-Indigo… I couldn’t resist. It was destiny. I knew from the start I was gonna love the story but I had no idea I would fell IN LOVE with it. It was love from page one, and I devored my way through the book. I picked it up one night and two days later I finished it and was left with a mixture of joy, saddness and anticipation. Now I am desperately waiting for the second book of the serie to come out on January 27th (if I am not mistaken). The Bone Season is the first book in a series of 7 I believe, the sequel being entitled The Mime Order. I must say I haven’t felt that much excitement at the perspective of a book coming out since, well, Harry Potter. I quite guess this is what all of those comparing the two series think about: The Bone Season brings back the excitement, the anticipation and the desire for time to simply fly over and bring us the next book. 

IF YOU HAVE YET TO READ IT, I HIGHLY RECOMMAND THAT YOU DO PICK IT FOR I AM 100% SUREYOU WILL LOVE IT.
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A year of trying not to be a lazy slug – two months wrap-up

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Two months ago I wrote this article I said I would try and stop being lazy and anti-productive. Looking back at all the things I listed I realize I have succeed in almost all my challenges. Here are the wrap up of these last two months: 

♦ Watching 3/4 episodes of a serie in a row:
Due to the winter break I had plenty of time to read instead of watching tv shows. But even now that the break is over I keep watching one episode at the time and not two or three in a row. I am also back in class which means I have a hell of a lot of books to read, rather I like it or not (here’s my november wrap-up).

Being clued to my phone before bed: 
I can say I mostly succeeded on that. I try to read before bed instead of going through my instagram etc.

Buying things I don’t need: 
Ok, I confess I failed. I failed pretty baddly. I said I wanted to thrift the things I wanted, and I did. But I did buy things I didn’t need (as you can see here) But it was books, so, that doesn’t count. Does it? 

Lay in bed all day when the weather is fine: 
Oh well, the weather haven’t been fine so that clears up the question. However I did go out a lot more (I even took photos).

Complain about everything: 
There’s not point in arguying: I failed. I love complaining way to much to stop. 

Do nothhing productive on the internet: 
I think I did quite well, mostly because I read a lot more and knitted a lot as well (have a look here and here).. Although, I still watch cat videos from time to time. 

Being to scared to go out: 
I wanted to socialize a lot more. In some ways, I did. I’ve meet a girl in uni with whom I spend some time. Unfortunately, she was an exchange student and had to go back to Italy at the end of December. I guess I have to get myself out there again and try to make some friends. 

Conclusion: I think I did well in general. I haven’t made drastics changes in my life, but I tried to respect these challenges and be a little more productive. I just have to keep it this way.

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The Weasley Jumper #1

Ever since I started knitting I have been dying to make myself a Weasley jumper. And, honestly, who doesn’t? I keep wondering why I haven’t done earlier and the truth is I have no idea. But here it is, my precious little Weasley jumper. I felt like Molly knitting it (minus the magic part, unfortunately) but I experienced a little bit of magic when I blocked the second and last sleeve; finally, it was done. After years and years (and years) of saying « I’m gonna knit a Weasley jumper« , I had done it. And I must say I am damn proud of myself. DSCN2049**

Alright, it wasn’t all easy and nice to knit this piece, especially (you know what’s coming) the letter part. I spent two days trying to figure out the right size of it, and where to begin, adjust my pattern for it to fit in the middle, but oh, the joy of putting it on in the end! To my delight, it fits perfectly. The body is long, but not to long and large just like I wanted it to be. The sleeves are big enough to feel extra cosy and long enough to cover half my hands which is, well, pure perfection.

Apart from being able to add a new emblematic item to my ever-growing Hp collection, I now feel like an accomplished knitter.

And for the first time, I am gonna share my very own pattern.
Hope you’ll enjoy it!

Weasley Jumper
English – French

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