Sunday Post – 7th August

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

Oscar has been staying with me this week. I don’t normally have a chance to spend long periods of time with him alone as he is the younger grandchild, so it has been a treat. He is a bright six-year-old who loves games, so as the weather has kept us indoors and we haven’t been able to have the car, we have been playing Dobble and Junior Scrabble and I have also begun teaching him the chess moves – he has picked them all up very fast, except for the pawns, which he finds very frustrating as they won’t do what he wants them to do! We went to see Finding Dory on Thursday and botfindingdoryh thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the beautiful underwater scenes and strong characterisation. The only grizzle I have is that Nemo’s bent fin – such an issue in the first film – now seems to be absolutely fine, which is a bit disappointing continuity-wise.

Yesterday afternoon, Oscar and I went to see Tim perform in Jungle Book, playing the part of Shere Khan at the Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis. He was a wonderfully convincing baddie, growling and snarling his way through the show – and to think that just over a year ago, he wouldn’t consider playing anyone who was ‘nasty’ or ‘unhappy’. The speed he is progressing is amazing – it was wonderful seeing him on the stage enjoying himself and giving such a very strong performance.

This week I’ve managed to read:
The Dark Dream – Book 4 of The Beaver Towers series by Nigel Hinton
thedarkdreamIn this fourth BEAVER TOWERS adventure, Philip and old Mr Edgar set off on their travels so that Philip can learn how to use his powers to fight evil. But while they are away, the island itself is under threat from a strange creature named Retson. This time it is up to Baby B, the little beaver and Nick, the hedgehog, to save the day.
This is the final book in the series and once more, Hinton manages to up the stakes with one of the main protagonists putting the community of Beaver Towers in danger due to his own silly behaviour. While the Dark Lord is always more than willing to take advantage of any weakness. I shall be reviewing this book in due course.

 

Nevernight – Book 1 of The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking nevernightvengeance against the powers who destroyed her family. Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Another gem from NetGalley, I have thoroughly enjoyed this one. Think of a very dark dystopian version of Hogwarts and you come slightly close to the atmosphere at the assassins’ school in the Red Church – please ignore the YA classification and keep this out of the hands of your younger teens before you have at least vetted it. This non-YA reader loved it…

 

The Steal – Book 3 of Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space by Cavan Scott
thestealStill on the hunt for their kidnapped parents, Milo and Lina Graf head to Lothal in search of an ally. But when something precious is stolen from them, they have to embark on their most dangerous mission yet. Will they succeed in THE STEAL?
Another children’s read – this is yet another slice in the ongoing travails endured by poor Milo and Lina in the desperate hunt for their parents. And this one leaves the pair on the real cliffhanger making me very glad I’ve got the next book for us to move onto.

 

 

Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Church of Armes of the Light has battled the forces of Darkness for as long as anyone can spiderlightremember. The great prophecy has foretold that a band of misfits, led by a high priestess will defeat the Dark Lord Darvezian, armed with their wits, the blessing of the Light and an artifact stolen from the merciless Spider Queen. Their journey will be long, hard and fraught with danger. Allies will become enemies; enemies will become allies. And the Dark Lord will be waiting, always waiting…

This is a joy. Tchaikovsky has taken some of the main tropes in epic fantasy – the struggle between Dark and Light; religious intolerance and infighting; a prophesy about a chosen one – and put his own unique spin on them. He is an intelligent, accomplished writer who also assumes his readers can keep up. So far 2016 has proved to be an amazing year – I can’t recall reading so many books of such quality – and this is yet another.

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 31st July

Review of After You Book 2 of the Me Before You series by JoJo Moyes

Teaser Tuesday – featuring Nevernight – Book 1 of The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of An Accident of Stars – Book 1 of The Manifold Worlds by Foz Meadows

Review of Solar Express by L.E. Modesitt Jr

Friday Faceoff – The First Men in the Moon featuring the book by H.G. Wells

Shoot for the Moon Challenge 2016 – July Roundup

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

Over-Booked – the San Diego Comic Con 2016 Edition! http://booksbonesbuffy.com/2016/07/30/over-booked-53-the-san-diego-comic-con-2016-edition/ Tammy really provides a slice of what it is to be a fan at a busy con in this enjoyable article.

Lake Tekapo is the Sanctury You Need on a South Island Road Trip https://memoirsonthemove.com/2016/08/02/lake-tekapo-is-the-sanctuary-you-need-on-a-south-island-road-trip/ One of the joys of social media is being able to vicariously travel alongside folks experiencing the real thing, thanks to their gift for photography and word pictures. This is a stunning example.

Writers’ Other Hobbies: Polymer Clay http://melfka.com/archives/1895 I have all the artistic ability of a doorknob, so I am delighted to see what other people do with the slices of time they spend away from their computer screens.

Placeholder https://ginnibites.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/placeholder/ This sharp-edged, beautifully observed poem by Ginni is a gem.

The Problem with Female Protagonists – http://writerunboxed.com/2016/08/06/the-problem-with-female-protagonists/ If you haven’t yet visited this site and you are a writer, I recommend you do. And this depressing, articulate article may account for the reason that woman are regarded as secondary in far too many walks of life. Still.

Many thanks for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

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24 responses »

  1. I’m glad you’ve been having fun with your grandson! Playing games with my grandma are some of my best memories, so I’m sure he’s been loving it as much as you have!

    That is a little odd that Nemo’s fin isn’t a problem all the sudden in the Dory movie. I haven’t seen it yet though. I’m not a movie theater person, so it’ll probably be quite a while before I see it.

    It also sounds like you’ve found some more great books! Have a great week 🙂

    • I hope he remembers his time with me with fondness in years to come:). I certainly enjoy my time with him. Yes – it was a shame they didn’t even mention that Nemo’s fin had been fixed.

  2. It sounds like you are having a great time with your grandson, Sarah! My daughter enjoys games too. 🙂 Wasn’t Finding Dory cute? We enjoyed that one also. I am glad you all enjoyed the Jungle Book. It sounds like Tim did an amazing job in his role.

    I am looking forward to reading Nevernight. I am glad you enjoyed it. Spiderlight also has caught my attention.

    Thank you for the links, especially the article about The Problem with Female Protagonists. I am not a writer, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

    I hope you have a great week, Sarah!

    • Sadly, I think the issues highlighted in The Problem with Female Protagonists are more far-reading than authors and books… If any time women are treated with parity, the perception is that they are getting special attention, then we are not ever going to get equal treatment.

  3. *waves*
    Thank you for the share on your lovely blog, it was huge surprise this morning 🙂

    Also 15 books in July? How do you even have time for a blog hehe, it’s an amazing amount of work you put in each day, we appreciate the reviews though 😉

  4. Sounds like you had a fun week with your grandchild visiting. I watched Finding Nemo a few years back, so I might watch Finding Dory eventually as well. It sounds like it was a good sequel with the exception of how Nemo his fin wasn’t as much of an issue now.

    Looks like you had a good reading week! That Star wars Adventure book sounds fun, I hadn’t heard of those books before. I do own two star wars books, but there are so many of them it’s hard to keep track. I hope you’ll have a great week!

    • I highly recommend Finding Dory:). The Star Wars Adventure Books are written for children and are just the job for my lively 6 year old grandson, who loves all things Star Wars – I always get to discuss/read more childrens’ books when the grandchildren come to stay. I hope you have a great week, too, Lola:)

  5. Thanks for listing The Problem with Female Protagonists. There is a lot of really good articles out there on the web and it’s hard to find all of them yourself. I really rely on bloggers I follow to help me find them. And then I pass it on to my non-blogging friends.

    • That’s fabulous, Loreen:). I was really hoping this one would chime with a number of fellow bloggers – it’s something we ALL need to know about, I think… No wonder women’s equality has hit the buffers/glass ceiling!

  6. Glad you enjoyed your week with your grandson! And yay for Finding Dory. I’ve been meaning to see it all summer long, but I’m not sure I’ll get around to it before it swims out of theaters.

    Loved the female protagonist article at Writer Unboxed too, btw. WU is one of my favorite writerly websites; I love the insights and information their staff presents from day to day.

      • The weird thing is, I actually tallied up the protagonists for the books on my shelves (female, male, and both / multi-POV)… and I have TWICE as many books with female MCs as I do with either male MCs or both male and female. I guess I’m subconsciously attracted more to books with female protagonists? But I’m sure this is an exception to the norm…

      • Sadly, I think that’s the case, Sara. I find it very depressing that women who require the same amount of attention as men in class are thought to be unduly demanding…

  7. It’s great to hear that you had a great time with your grandson :). Also, thank you for mentioning my post again, and for other recommendations: some of the links you’ve mentioned sound really interesting, so I’ll be reading them.

    • If you get a chance to read the article The Problem with Female Protagonists, I’d love to know what you think about that one… I found it profoundly depressing – but it also got me thinking about situations I’d been in, where I’d heard the same sort of reactions.

      • I’ve read the article and it frustrated me a bit. I love reading books with female protagonists, but on the other hand I don’t care about quantity. I care about quality. I’d much rather see only 10% of female protagonists out there, but the ones I love (and everybody loves), instead of going for the numbers… As much as I’d love to read more books with female protagonists, most of them act in a stupid, overly emotional, and immature way, and their “badass” side is to prove to the men they are so much better at [insert anything], which to me doesn’t really come across as confidence. Confident females have nothing to prove to anyone and have no need to bash males. And I’d like to see more of such characters in books I read.
        I’d agree though that we need more fictional role models. The problem is that even the female authors often write their characters as stupid and immature, and that’s not a good role model.

      • I think one of the issues is the huge amount of YA writing produced mostly by women writers for young girls. The protagonists are bound to be emotional and immature, because the age range they are targetting are also immature and emotional… And I’m not sure if that’s such a bad thing – I know my young granddaughter is finding a lot of those types of books very helpful when working through some gnarly issues in her life. The dismaying aspect with that article is that both men AND women assume the women are getting undue attention or visibility when they are not even attaining parity – even in the classroom when teachers are TRAINED to be aware of gender issues.

      • I don’t read YA (I’m not the target), so the issues I mention are from my experience of reading books for adults.
        As for the dismaying aspect: sadly, it comes from “demanding” (for lack of better word) that attention. If you make an issue to be “everywhere”, it creates the feeling of overabundance.
        Also, there’s the problem of the timeline too: “boys” got their books for the last couple of centuries, while “girls” – merely decades. There’s going to be a difference merely because of that. To try to remedy that in a short time span would result in a drop of quality of “female” fiction which would do “us” no good.
        For those reasons, as much as I can relate and in a way support the notion, I grow tired of all the shouting about it. And that’s why, instead of talking about an issue or artificially push for the said parity, I try to create interesting female characters. If my books and my characters are good enough, and if other female writers follow, within less than hundred years we will have the parity and, hopefully, women’s fiction will be perceived as of the same quality.
        I know hundred years sounds like a long time, but in the scope of human history, and in the perspective of where what we’ve already achieved within 100 years, I think it’s awesome what we’ve achieved so far.

    • Thank you! It didn’t hurt that half of them we completed together:). But I’m an insomniac of the first order – and refuse to lie in bed staring into the dark, so I’ll get up and work or read…

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