Monday, 11 January 2016

Mini Review - An Atlas of Tolkien by David Day

27875123Genre: non fiction about fiction?
Pages: 256
Rating: 3.5/5

J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional universe is as vast as the human imagination, so an atlas is a helpful tool to get around. Consider this book your navigational guide to Middle-earth and the Undying Lands. Maps, images, and vivid descriptions in full color create an enchanting reference to all the fantastical places and creatures that sprung from Tolkien’s mind.

My thoughts
This book is not so much an atlas as it is a history of the world J.R.R. Tolkien created. The book is beautiful with a green faux leather binding and beautiful illustrations throughout that go perfectly with Tolkien's stories. Most topics are discussed in one page with an illustration next to it, sometimes it is a bit longer. Because the information is bite-sized it is very easy to pick up and just read a couple of pages before going to do something else. If, like me, you are fascinated by the world Tolkien created, you will probably find this book an interesting read. Though, of the 256 pages only a little more than half of the book is text, because there are so many illustrations and a couple of maps and timelines, but the book still goes into a lot of depth.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Reading Goals for 2016

This year I am setting my Goodreads challenge at 50 books. I read 68 books in 2015, but I do not want to push myself too hard. Otherwise I will end up reading really short books, eventhough there are a couple of long books I want to get around to. I do not just want to focus on the number of books I am reading, but also on what kind of books I am reading.

That is why I am also challenging myself to read the types of books listed below. I'm okay with crossing of multiple descriptions for one book, it is just a way for me to get out of my comfort zone or read books that I have been wanting to read for ages but somehow just never got around to.

  • A final book in a series (why haven't I read Allegiant yet?)
  • A poetry collection
  • A non fiction book
  • A book in another language than English or Dutch
  • Historical fiction
  • A book with more than 600 pages
  • Dutch literature
  • A short story collection
  • A graphic novel
  • A book by a non European or American author
  • A banned book
  • A book I started but never finished
  • A book that has been made into a movie
  • An unread book that has been on my shelf for more than a year
  • A book published before 1900
  • A book published between 1900-1980
  • A second book in a series (because I tend to read first books in series and even if I like them I forget to continue with the series)
  • An old favorite
  • A book of less than a hundred pages
  • A book by Agatha Christie (this one is more specific, but I own at least a dozen unread books by her)
  • A young adult novel
  • A high fantasy novel
  • A contemporary
  • A book finished in a day
  • A Christmas book
  • A trilogy/series
  • A book by a female author
  • A romance novel
  • A borrowed book
  • A translated book 
As for my writing, I hope to finish at least one of my longer stories this year. I often start new projects, but I also need to finish them!

What are your reading or writing goals for 2016?

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Favorites of 2015

On Goodreads I set myself the challenge to read 45 books in 2015 and I ended up reading 68 books, which I'm super happy with! Today I'm sharing my favorite 10 books I read throughout the year.

Saga, Volume 11. Saga Comics by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
I read the first volume of Saga and I was immediately hooked! This sci-fi series has beautiful artwork, great characters and really made me want to read more comics! I read the next three volumes and love them all just as much as the first one, or maybe even more. I can't wait to read volume five!

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)2. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
10338850I already loved the world Tolkien created in The Hobbit, but in the Fellowship of the Ring the world is so much more fleshed out. It truely feels like it is a real place and I can really imagine things happening before and after the story that is described in this book. I think Tolkien's world is truely fascinating!

3. The Lily Pond by Annika Thor
This historical middle grade book was a reread from when I was younger. I usually don't read a lot of books about the second world war because I have a hard time connecting to the story, but Thor manages to describe life during that time very well, while still making the main character relatable.

Tales from Outer Suburbia4. Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
In 2014 I read The Arrival by Shaun Tan and immediately fell in love with his artwork. Though it is still my favorite book of him, Tales from Outer Suburbia again shows how creative Tan is. The stories are all very inventive and the artwork is amazing.

Wild Magic5. Wild Magic by Cat Weatherill
North and SouthI don't generally read a lot of fairy tale retellings, but this was one I absolutely loved! The story revolves around the legend of the Pied Piper. Eventhough there are a familiar elements to the story I loved how Weatherill used the story to create her own.

6. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Book of EverythingWhen I first started this book I felt like it was very serious, but as I read on I absolutely grew to love this book. There where just so many beautiful descriptions! A lot of times I reread a passage because the writing was so beautiful...

7. The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer
The Rithmatist (The Rithmatist #1)This book was also a childhood reread. While I enjoyed it when I read it as a kid, I think I love it even more now that I am older. There are a lot of subtle details that I did not even realise where there when I was younger. Kuijer creates a very likeable main character and his story deals with faith in a beautiful way.

Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet, #1)8. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I loved the unique fantasy world that Sanderson created. The book also contained a mystery and I am a huge fan of fantasy combined with mystery. I can't wait to read the sequel!

Into the Wild9. Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
This middle grade graphic novel was a really good introduction to the series. It is adventurous and full of fantastical elements and the main characters Emily and Navin are wonderful. The artwork is very different from other graphic novels I have read, but I loved it!

10. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
This is one of the very few non fiction books I read in 2015. The story of Chris McCandless is a tragic but fascinating one. Eversince seeing the movie I have been curious to know more about his life. The book definitely goes into a lot more dept than the movie does. Whereas the movie portraits his parents a little bit as 'the bad guys' the book is much more nuanced. Krakauer really tried to look at the story from all points of view.

Dit you manage to reach your reading goal for 2015? What was your favorite book you read?