Monday, April 20, 2009

New Books and Favourites of 2009 (so far)

I haven't posted anything for Mailbox Monday for the last 4 weeks, as I simply hadn't received any books to tell you about. However, I ordered a few earlier in the month and they arrived last week.

Emma, vol. 8 - Kaoru Mori
Read this one during the read-a-thon.

The Commoner - John Burnham Schwartz
Fascinating topic and such a pretty cover!

The Love We Share Without Knowing - Christopher Barzak
How could I not want this after Nymeth's review?

Tears of the Desert - Halima Bashir & Damien Lewis
Since I'm reading for a charity which helps refugees of Darfur, Book Wish Foundation, I'd like to read more about their plight.

Looking for Alaska - John Green
Everyone seems to be talking about John Green this year, so I've just got to read one for myself!

For more Mailbox Monday visit The Printed Page.

Coming towards the end of April, we’re a third of the way through the way through the year. What’s the favourite book you’ve read so far in 2009? What about your least favourite? (question courtesy of MizB)

I've read some pretty good books so far this year. My favourites though (I can't just choose one, you'll have to settle for two) are Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg [US title: Smilla's Sense of Snow], for its great wintery, unsettled mood, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman which I just read over the weekend for the read-a-thon. A wonderful coming-of-age story with a subtle, but powerful impact!

My least favourite? I guess it would be the manga xxxHolic, vol. 1 by CLAMP as I just didn't really care for it, and it's my lowest rating so far this year.

What's your favourite book of the year so far?

For more Musing Mondays visit Just One More Page.

Thanks to the read-a-thon, I did quite a bit of literary travelling this past weekend. First I spent the years of my childhood living amongst the ghosts in an old graveyard in England [The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman]. Then I went back in time to the Fall of 1152, where I almost witnessed a mouse uprising as a traitor from the elite guard tried to overthrow the main fortress town [Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 - David Petersen]. Then it was to Victorian London, with a side trip to Brighton, following various characters that somehow touched the lives of Emma and William [Emma, vol. 8 - Kaoru Mori]. After that I travelled to Japan where I lived for the first few years of my life as a rather precocious child [The Character of Rain - Amélie Nothomb]. And finally I ended up in Canada, trying to survive the angst and drama of high school [Skim - Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki].

For more Where are you?, visit an adventure in reading on Tuesday.


  1. Huh, I couldn't get into Smilla's Sense of Snow. (I must admit I like the US title a lot better too!) Enjoy the books you got this week!

  2. Smilla is another one in my TBR pile that I have to get to.
    so many little time..

  3. So everyone is talking about Green, I must check him out then :)

  4. You got some excellent books! I hope you enjoy them all. Especially The Love We Share Without Knowing, as I don't want you to be all "hey, thank you so much for the bad recommendation, you!!11" :P

  5. I've read a lot of good books so far this year, so it surprises me that if I'm going to pick just one, it'll have to be "The Black Flower" by Howard Bahr. I say surprising because it's a 'Civil War novel' - not something I'm drawn to. But it's much more than a novel of the Civil War. It's a story of true friendships, of persevering and of loving and remaining human despite unimaginable pain and fear. It contains beautiful, insightful prose; scenes and characters that stay with you; details that break your heart. (There's a scene detailing the 'journey' of a wasp that is amazing!)

  6. Smilla's Sense of Snow is one of those books that's been hovering around the margins of my wishlist for years now. One of these days I have to get to it! I'm glad you liked it so much! :-)

  7. Oh my gosh, Tears of the Desert is so good - make sure you have tissues near when you read it.

  8. I think I'm going to read Looking for Alaska. I've read several good reviews. Enjoy your books!

  9. Looks like you got some great reads!! You'll love John Green. I can't wait to read The Graveyard Book, I must get to it soon!! You've been all over the world in your reading...I love how reading can transport you to different times and places!!

  10. It sounds like you really got around this past weekend, Nat. :-)

    I have Tears of a Desert on my TBR pile to read as well. It is such an important tragedy to keep in mind of as it still continues today.

    Enjoy your new books, Nat!

  11. Tears of the Desert was very moving. I reviewed it several months ago. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it. The Commoner sounds good, too.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  12. I hadn't read John Green before this year, either! I gave in to all of the posts I had seen, though, and read him and I was very impressed! I have read all three of his books now. :) I hope you enjoy The Commoner! I found it a very good read.

  13. I think when you posted your review of Smilla was when I really started following your blog (no connection, just an observation). I'd really like to read that one sometime. I'm also really interested in those Emma books!

  14. I think you'll find that John Green is worth talking about. ;)

  15. Avis - I can see Smilla's Sense of Snow being a mood read, as in you have to be in the right mood to enjoy it. I loved the atmosphere of the book and that helped me get through some of the slower bits.

    caite - So many books, so little time, seems to be my personal motto! Hope you enjoy Smilla when you get around to it.

    Blodeuedd - Well, quite a few of my favourite bloggers have been reading and loving his books lately, so I had to give him a try. :)

    Nymeth - LOL. I'm sure I'll enjoy The Love We Share Without Knowing. I'm always interested in books with some sort of Japanese angle so I don't think you have anything to worry about. :P

    Teresa - That's the second time you've mentioned this book now, I may just have to think about getting it, despite my usual aversion to Civil War stories. It's fantastic though when a book surprises us, isn't it? :)

    Marie - It just fit my mood at the time and I really enjoyed it. I hope you do too when you get to it.

    bermudaonion - Oh, thanks for the warning. I hope to read it in the next couple of months or so.

    Mary - I've been eyeing Looking for Alaska and think I may end up reading it sooner rather than later.

    Staci - I love how reading takes me to so many different times and places too! I think half the enjoyment of reading is wondering where I'll end up next. :)

    Wendy - The fact that it is still occurring really does make it seem all the more tragic. I should email you, but would you be interested in reading it together, or discussing it afterwards?

    Anna - I'll have to look up your review after I've read it. It does sound like a very moving story.

    Kailana - Of course you've read all 3 books already! LOL. But yes, how could we not read him after all the rave reviews? :P

    Trish - You have a good memory! I'm terrible about remembering details like that. The Emma books were a lot of fun, a good introduction to manga I thought.

    Nancy - LOL. We'll I'll soon find out for myself. :)


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