Ten Books Set Outside The US

Friday 56Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


A nice and warm afternoon to the north hemisphere! Hello and welcome to another fun Top Ten Tuesday! To be honest this isn’t going to be hard to do and I’ll probably definitely be raving about some specific books again.

Between Shades of Grey by Ruta SepetysBetween Shades of Gray

For those of you who heard about or read The Book Thief this is going to break your heart again. Set in Lithuania and then in Siberia in 1941, this book shows that Hitler wasn’t the only bad guy of that time. I learned so much from this book, things they don’t even teach us in school. I allow myself to say that if you though Hitler was a bad guy, you should wait and meet Stalin.

The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

Set in Nazi Germany, this book will always have a special place in my heart. It is so unique and heartbreaking and everyone should read it.

Me Before You by Jojo MoyesMe Before You (Me Before You, #1)

Moving onto another heartbreaking novel we’ve got Me Before You, which is set in the UK of our time. This book has been the topic of many discussions lately and I approve that it deserves the attention. I wrote a rather small review on Goodreads and I’m still planning a complete one for my blog.

The Alchemist by Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

Changing the mood for a happier one (although I can’t promise it will last). This book is set in Andalusia, Spain at first and its main character travels to Egypt. It is a very powerful book that teaches its reader to never lose hope and to keep on fighting for their dream. Under 200 pages this book left me speechless and I wish more people would read it.

Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas SwarupSlumdog Millionaire

This book shows glimpses of the harsh Indian life many find themselves in, but also how one’s life experiences helped him win Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. High recommendation.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick SüskindPerfume: The Story of a Murderer

Set in France this has been one of my favourite books of all time. It is a very dark, bizarre and psychological novel that I wouldn’t recommend everyone to read.

Peony in Love by Lisa SeePeony in Love

A wonderful novel set in 1600 China. A story full of traditions and history, but also love, family and friendship. Most of the book takes place in the after life and I think the whole book teaches a lot about Chinese culture. I highly recommend it.

The Girl of the Sixth Moon by Moony Witcher

Fetita celei de a sasea luni (Fetita celei de a sasea luni, #1)Nina si Misterul Notei a Opta (A sasea luna, #2)Nina si blestemul sarpelui cu pene (Fetita celei de a sasea luni, #3)Nina si Ochiul Secret al Atlantidei (Fetita celei de a sasea luni, #4)

One of my favourite series (like I said before I’m sad they weren’t published in English). The main setting is Venice, but the main characters travel through space and time, so you would travel to ancient Egypt, the Maya civilisation and Atlantis.

The Songs of the Seraphim by Anne Rice

Angel Time (The Songs of the Seraphim, #1)Of Love and Evil (Songs of the Seraphim, #2)

This series opens in the present with a contract killer as the main character (I don’t remember where this present takes place). He is visited by an angle who offers him a way towards salvation which includes time travelling to thirteenth-century England and fifteenth-century Rome.

Dracula and Dracula The Un-Dead by Bram and Dacre Stoker

DraculaDracula, the Un-Dead

One of my favourite classics will always be Dracula because I love stories about vampires and there is none as bad-ass as Dracula. It is set in Transylvania, Romania and also in the UK.


There you have my choices for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I tried to give as many different locations as possible. My honorable mentions would include: The Harry Potter series, Peter Pan, HamletThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Tunnels series.

-Demi xx

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Tag: The Ultimate Game of Thrones Book Tag

Hello everyone! At the beginning of this month Shannon@ClockworkBibliophile tagged me for another fun Book Tag (you can check the Harry Potter Book Tag I did, if you like 🙂 ). Thank you very much for choosing me Shannon 😂 as for the rest, you should totally go give her a follow, in case you’re searching for an awesome bookish blog. As for the reason why it took me so long (and no, it wasn’t school or work)… well, the truth is I wasn’t prepared to say what I’m about to say right now. I don’t like Game of Thrones and I know right now it’s literally the most viewed show, but it’s not my thing. I know it’s kind of childish reason for not participating (we’re all educated and reasonable adults) and it should be ok not to like something. At the end of the day it shouldn’t change somebody’s opinion on me (hopefully?). I’m not saying it’s a bad show or book series, not at all. It’s wonderful and all, but not my style (sorry, too much dying, not a real fan of historical shows, besides Merlin I don’t watch anything that plays in a time long before ours, not a fan of that type of fightings, too complicated alliances, incest, nudity). Again, I’m not saying it’s a bad show and I don’t have anything against people watching it. It’s just not for me. I know there are dragons uuuh, but not that much of a fan of them either 😂. In a way I know most of it because of Internet spoilers and please don’t try to convince me to watch 😂 I’m sorry Shannon 🙈 (Shannon’s post)


Rules:

  1. Mention the creator Orang-utan Librarian.
  2. Answer all the questions.
  3. Tag people and keep it going!

Part 1 – Book Questions

“We do not sow”

A book you would not be willing to invest in.

we-do-not-sowI’m not really sure I read books that I wouldn’t have willingly invested in, but there are 4 books that after quite some time I realised they were actually pretty bad (my own opinion) I could say Game of Thrones, but for that I’m probably getting enough hate already, so why not multiply it by admitting I don’t like the Twilight series sorry-not-sorry. The truth is, I’ve got a love-hate relationship with Twilight, very complicated (probably I’ll explain it another time).


“Fire and blood”

A book that produced strong emotions in you.

fire-and-blood

Just like Shannon I’m quite a book crier myself, meaning this choice isn’t easy. The last book that broke my heart into million pieces was Between Shades of Grey (I’m still planning a review on it). The story takes place in the second World War in Russia and for me it’s that side of the history we don’t really learn in school.


“Winter is coming”

Your favorite winter read.

winter-is-comingIt cannot be a book, because I don’t read books twice. My answer is though Nicholas Sparks and if you’ve been following me for a while now, you know that I’m his no°1 fan! I don’t even have all my books with me (6 of them are still in Romania and I’m planning to bring them over this summer.).IMG_1381


“Family. Duty. Honour.”

A book about strong family ties.

family-duty-honour

I might have read a couple of books which were partially about strong family ties, but honestly I never pay too much attention to them and always most of the times forget about them. searches through Goodreads comes across some good titles realises she cannot promote a contemporary novel There is actually a book that crosses my mind and that is Wuthering Heights. I got it as a birthday present and read maybe 3 or 4 years ago. It is a bit confusing at first, as it talks about a lot of people and how they’re all related to each other somehow. I had to print a family tree to keep up with it. I blame it all on age.


“Growing strong”

A book you had low expectations of but that grew on you.

growing-strongThere are a couple of titles that I can think of, but I decided to present one that I haven’t seen so much of it on this platform so far (actually nothing). The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time breathes out why the long title Mr. Haddon?. I read this in English class last year and I LOVED it. In case you haven’t, I ask you deeply to check it out.


“Ours is the fury”

A book that made you furious.

ours-is-the-furyI’m not sure I’ve ever been furious because of a book; disgust that eventually turned into something similar to fury happened. Best and most recent example is The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.


“Unbowed. Unbent.Unbroken.”

A book you have unwavering devotion to.

unbowed-unbent-unbrokenI’m going to cheat on this and say Nicholas Sparks again don’t need to roll your eyes very judgy of you she knows she talks a lot about him.


“A Lannister always pays his debts”

A book you feel indebted to.

hear-me-roar

The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls *breathes out* *why do some authors have a thing for such long titles*. Some grew up with Hogwarts, I grew up with Sherbet. If you are in need of a childish similar-to-OZ kind of book this is perfect for you.


Part 2 – Fan Theories

Who do you want to win the Game of Thrones?

I realise I’m not actually in any position to make any theories, but as much as I get from the Internet I’d say John Snow *mainstream probably*. He seem like the only nice person on the show. I could also say the dragon lady *I know her name, it’s just toooo long*, but I get the feeling she would be more interested in taking care of dragons than winning the Game of Thrones.

Who do you think will make it to the end and who do you think will die?

Are there people still alive on this show? Or they got to the point where ghosts fight each other? Can they try to keep the 2 above and one bellow alive?


Part 3 – My Game of Thrones

Would you win or die?

Probably die, maybe I should watch it and learn how to survive. *thinks this for a second* *nah*

What house are you?

It’s pretty obvious I had to take the online test suggested by Shannon and the outcome was…..

Martell

You are charming and clever. You are also as close to progressive as Westeros gets, believing in such strange concepts as women inheriting property and children having the right to not be tortured for their parents’ mistakes. Really, you have everything going for you except for the grudge-holding and the cockiness – for the gods’ sake, take the time out of your day to stab your opponent twice, OK? I don’t care how dead he looks.

Hmmm… I don’t know how to feel about this, so I’ll just leave it there.

My Nominees


Although I don’t like Game of Thrones I did enjoy this book tag maybe. maybe I’ll think about watching the first episode. Change of subject. There have been a few changes the past few days, from my blog theme to Brexit. It saddens and puzzles me at the same time. The first for all the nice Brits that aren’t happy at all and the second because it creates an uncertainty. To be a bit selfish, I hope it won’t make it harder for me to go to study in the UK, but then I wouldn’t be the only one. I hope everything will get sorted out and compromises will be found. I think of you and wish you the best my dear friends!

-Demi

“Teaser Tuesday” No°5 : Between Shades of Gray

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Teaser:

He threw his burning cigarette onto our clean living room floor and ground it into the wood with his boot.
We were about to become cigarettes.

Between Shades Of Gray by Rute Sepetys (page 5 / paperback)

Synopsis:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

-Demi

“Friday 56” and “Book Beginning” No°4 :: Between Shades Of Grey

Two wonderful memes joined together. The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda at FredasVoice and Book Beginnings by Gilion at RoseCityReader.


Chapter 1

THEY TOOK ME IN MY NIGHTGOWN.
Thinking back, the signs were there – family photos burned in the fireplace,  Mother sewing her best silver jewellery into the lining of her coat late at night, and Papa nor returning from work.

Page 56

The priest looked up, flung oil, and made the sign of the cross as our train rolled away.
He was issuing last rites.

Between Shades Of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

Synopsis:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.


This book has been on my shelves for a while now and I’m super excited to read it! I’d love to read you opinions on it, if you read it.

-Demi

Cover Color Challenge: June – White & Silver / May – Results

The Rules:

  • The Book’s cover must have the color of the month somewhere on it. It’s ok if it’s just the dominate color.
  • You have to read that book during the month the color is chosen.
  • Link up & have fun!

For Rachel’s Books Review‘s Challenge click here.


It couldn’t have an easiest colour! I’ve found a bunch of books with a white cover on my shelves, but because I’m kind of lazy I will take pictures from the internet.

This is all I could find in 5 minutes, so there might still be some books with a white cover that I haven’t found yet.

Click here for the results.


As for the results for May I’m glad to say I read all 3 books I planned to read and 2 other books, one for the April Challenge (yellow) and one for the March Challenge (light blue). At the end of the year it wouldn’t count to the whole Challenge because of the second rule, but I wanted to do it for myself as well as to shorten my TBR list.

-Demi

Ten Books I Plan To Read This Summer (On The Beach)

Friday 56Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


Hi everyone! 🙂 I hope you’re enjoying your Tuesday! This week’s “Top Ten Tuesday” theme helps me set some goals for this summer, that I really hope I’ll achieve (although my experience tells me I won’t). I put ‘on the beach’ in brackets in case I might not actually get there (my parents plan a 2 weeks family vacation in Spain, so I might be reading some of this books on the beach). Before I start I want to say that my TBR list is unbelievably long and gets only longer with each day, so it is pretty hard to choose just 10 books. I also decided to pick books I already own.


You Had Me At Hallo by Mhairi McFarlane | Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | Safe Heaven by Nicholas Sparks

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert | The Choice by Nicholas Sparks | Brida by Paulo Coelho

The One I Love by Anna McPartlin | Juliet by Anne Fortier | Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

I realise the last 2 books aren’t the “usual” beach read, but I’m not an usual beach reader either. Besides that, I think a little bit of drama/history and crime/mystery would be the perfect ingredients for a perfect summer.


What about you? Have you read any of this books or plan to read them as well? What other nice books could you recommend me and what do you think about the ones I picked?

-Demi

Monthly Recap: April 2016

The time of the month has arrived ‘drum rolls’ and I’d like to start off with a confession/ clarification. I mentioned on my “About Me” page that I created this blog for the simple reason of sharing my thoughts. I realised I posted memes more than 25 times this month, which came as a surprise for me. I thought long about how I should present my blog. Some post reviews on books, some on movies, some take part in a great amount of memes. Well, I’m going to to a mixture of all, since I enjoy all equally. What I need to figure out at the moment is finding a balance, considering that this month I only managed to finish one book and watch 5 movies, which made me feel quite disappointed. Sometimes I might join weekly memes, sometimes write about movies or books or sometimes it could be quite for a longer time, I just don’t want to feel the pressure “Oh God, I have to blog!”. Also sometimes I might watch or read something so majestic that I cannot find words to describe it properly. For example “Hidden Fires”. I could talk about this book for hours (and I did with my best friend), but I couldn’t find the essence that I was looking for in my opinion. When I’l encounter situations like this in the future, I’ll feature a short review in my monthly recaps. With that being said, here is what happend this month. (Warning: This post might include spoilers)

Movies I’ve watched:

Paper Towns (2015) #536   Score: 9  26.04.2016
I’ve heard so many good things about the book and I couldn’t resist it any more. Now I’ll have to wait for a couple of months until my memory of the movie gets blurry so I can read the book. Was it worthy? I’m not sure. The ending left me a bad tase in my mouth and I didn’t like Cara Delevingne’s acting. I think she should stick with modelling. The plot was crazy and I loved it. It makes me want to jump in a car with my friends and head for Amsterdam (we actually talked about it, but I’m not certain it will come true ‘fingers crossed’). The movies’s message is inspirational if you interpret it this way “Get out of your comfort zone. Take risks and enjoy life. Carpe diem!”

Quentin Jacobsen: Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterwards, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.

Brooklyn (2015) #535   Score: 10  25.04.2016
You would guess a movie nominated for the Oscars should be good. It was exquisite. It made me cry. I connected with Eilis, considering I went through a similar situation 5 years ago. I could have easily given it a 9.9 (it wasn’t a masterpiece), if it wasn’t for Eilis’ deceiving character. She should have told her friends and family about her marriage and not fool the poor Irish lad. I have a soft spot for Irish accents and that helped a little in giving the score. All in all, this movie could have won the Oscar (I haven’t watched Spotlight, so I cannot say which one is better).

Eilis: You’ll feel so homesick that you’ll want to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it apart from endure it. But you will, and it won’t kill you… and one day the sun will come out and you’ll realize that this is where your life is.

Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (2016) #534   Score: 7 12.04.2016
(you might wanna skip this part if you cannot take criticism on sensible subjects)A movie about historical events during WWII we had to watch with our history class. I came in contact with a few works that handle Nazi Germany, The Book Thief and Schindler’s List, both which have made me cry. A lot. Normally I am very critical with stories around Jews, since most of the time the people are over-victimised. This movie is one of them. It felt weird from the start and I didn’t feel much of a connection with Anne.

How To Be Single (2016) #533   Score: 9.5 09.04.2016
This movie I watched with my best friend at the cinema and it was hilarious. We came to the conclusion that Dakota Johnson played a character very similar to the one in 50 Shades of Grey and in How To Be Single we see her after leaving Christian. Also we see Rebel Wilson playing Fat Amy again. Throughout the movie you root for Alice (Dakota Johnson) to end up with Tom (Anders Holm), although you want Tom to end up with Lucy (Alison Brie). You get a lot of mixed feelings.

Robin: In every male-female friendship there’s a total number of drinks and if you hit that it means you would definitely have sex.

Epic (2013) #532   Score: 9 06.04.2016

TV Shows I’ve watched:

Lie To Me

Lie to me

I finally managed to watch the 3rd season and all I can say is that Lie to me is definitely worth watching. Although it was cancelled (at least that’s what I think since they left some unanswered questions), they didn’t finish it off with a cliffhanger. It was delightful for me and I may have even learned a few things. Micro-expression, how to interpret them, basically reading people’s faces. I think it it a very interesting science and I hope I’ll be able to do the same thing later in life.


8382b0dde2bf28d30c7731ea78e03918

Steins;Gate

I gave this anime only 3 stars, because it felt really weird at times and I didn’t really liked the main character Rintarou “Hououin Kyouma, Okarin, Mad Scientist” Okabe. You would guess by the nickname “Mad Scientist” that he’s crazy, which is entirely true. Putting that aside I did like the time-travel plot, the female main characters and of course Rintarou’s  never ending search for a way to save his friend.

Books I’ve read:

As mentioned above I only managed to read one book this month, but also started 2 others: “The Yellow Fairy Book” by Andrew Lang and “I Hate Myselfie” by Shane Dawson.

“Hidden Fires” by Sandra Brown
Published (under Laura Jordan): 1982  by Richard Gallen Books
Published (under Sandra Brown): 1997 by Warner Books
296/356 pages

Goodreads description:

As the twentieth century turned, Texas flamed with railroads, ranchers — and a daring new love!
When innocent, raven-haired Lauren Holbrook left her home for a promising life in Texas, she found heartbreak, not happiness, forced into a loveless marriage of convenience to playboy-rancher, Jared Lockett.

Now a victim of Jared’s scheming mother, whose hunger for power and wealth defied the boundaries of human greed, Lauren was unjustly accused of betrayal…threatened by an ambitious investor’s savage lust…and rejected in love by her rebellious husband.

But nevertheless Lauren’s love for Jared grew. She bravely challenged the hate that surrounded Jared’s heart, and offered instead a rapturous passion — a shimmering new dream they could share — if only they could conquer the treachery that ruled their lives.

There is a lot I can say about this book, but I’ll try to keep it short. The main topics of the book are rape and the role of women in the society, but arranged marriage, prejudices and hate turned into love also play an important part. I was surprised by the book and although it took me long to read it I love it from the beginning to the end . It is a beautiful story, like none I’ve read before and it shocked me at times. I don’t really want to spoil it to much, as I want others to read it as well, so I’m only giving some quotes and nothing more.

Once again, she relived the moment when his hand had pressed against her breast. She felt his breath on her face, and tried to imagine how his lips would feel against hers. A long, shuddering sigh escaped her and she moaned into her pillow. She wanted to know what it was like.
And she knew that finding out would bring her perilously close to the brink of hell… or heaven.

Well, I don’t give a damm, he swore. But he did. That was what rankled. He did care, and it ate at his gut every time he saw that Vandiver bastard go anywhere near her.

Lauren was never sure when the thought took form and solidified in her mind, but all of the sudden it was there. I’m in love with Jared Lockett. I love Jared.

Books I purchased:

IMG_1153

As you can see this month I’ve been very productive👍. I’ll go from left to right.
1. William Shakespeare – “Romeo and Juliet” (I had to buy this book for my English class.)
2. Shoko Tendo – “Yakuza Moon” ( I got this book for free from my school’s library)
3. Stephen McCauley – “The Object Of My Affection”
4. L. Frank Baum – “Oz, the Complete Collection, Volume 5” ( This one I mentioned previously that was sent to me, although I didn’t order it)
5. D.H. Lawrence – “Selected Tales”
6. John Grisham – “The Associate”
7. Sue Townsend – “True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole”
8. Iris Murdoch – “The Black Prince”

The books 3 and 5-8 I got from a local public bookcase (A public bookcase is a cabinet which may be freely and anonymously used for the exchange and storage of books without the formalities associated with libraries. – Wikipedia)

The series in the middle I’ve previously talked about and this month I finally managed to complete it. I already had the first, second and forth books.

  1. Nick Hornby – “A Long Way Down”
  2. Nicholas Sparks, Micah Sparks – “Three Weeks With My Brother”
  3. Mhairi McFarlane – “You Had Me At Hello”
  4. Jojo Moyes – “Me Before You”
  5. Ruta Sepetys – “Between Shades Of Grey”
  6. Nicholas Sparks – “The Guardian”
  7. Nicholas Sparks – “The Rescue”
  8. Nicholas Sparks – “A Walk To Remember”

-Demi