Postcard Haul

postcard haul blog diary of difference

Hello Lovelies!

This is my week’s postcard haul! I hope that you’ll like it!

 

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Keep Calm and Read Harry Potter postcard – which I love so much! It came from Postcrossing – RU-6594139. Special thank you to Sasha from Russia. And Sasha – congrats on passing all of your exams. That’s amazing! Harry Potter fans – how do you like this?

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Postcrossing postcard again, this time coming from Turkey. TR-376480. Thank you Eda, I really loved this postcard! The writing says Happy Ramadan, which is the biggest Muslim celebrations in the world. The building behind is the blue mosque and it’s very famous and beautiful!

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This amazing postcard comes from the Goodreads Postcard Exchange Group that I am into. Each month, we send a postcard to one person from the group, and the June theme was: Where do you usually read?

Thank you Manisha, for sending me this amazing postcard!

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Postcrossing again – this time from Wei from Taiwan (TW-2550963). I think this postcard is amazingly cute, and there are also lovely drawings at the back. So cool!

Do you like sending postcards? If you like the idea – it’s never to late to start. Check out Postcrossing, or send me a message. It’s an amazing hobby that I have apart from reading, and I love it!

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The Dead Sagas: Volume I, Part I – Lee Conley [BOOK REVIEW]

The Dead Sagas: Volume I, Part I by Lee Conley is a dark fantasy novel, a horror saga unlike any other. This is not a book for the weak. This is the book for the bravest, the ones who dare to read it, and the ones who can handle to continue living with what they now know.

Book description:

In a land called Arnar, where brave warriors fight for glory, a great evil comes alive.

The secrets of which the scholars were writing about in the past years, the scary stories that were being told in families throughout the generations are becoming true.

Creatures we thought were dead are now walking through the streets, spreading their disease, killing innocent people, and are about to take over Arnar.

The brave warriors are prepared to die defending their lands, but how can you fight creatures that barely feel pain? Are the warriors strong enough?

 

the dead sagas lee conley book review blog

 

My Thoughts:

A story that will leave you breathless until the very end, a story that will push you into anxiety and make you bite your nails. A story that speaks about evil, and good, love, bravery and survival, a book that will sit on your shelf after reading it, and you’ll give it a look once in a while, and say: Ahh.. that was good!

In The Dead Sagas we have the chance to follow the stories of many characters. We will meet scholars and apprentices, we meet warriors and lords, we meet people from the street, doing everything they can to survive, we meet survivors that have seen things and we will meet sailors that are dying.

From chapter to chapter, the story goes from one character to another, and we slowly see the progression of the evil creatures, the spreading pace by pace. While it starts with sailors getting sick and dying afterwards on a ship, it slowly continues to become more and more intense, as we see people literally transforming into dead walkers right after they die, right in front of our eyes.

You will meet Bjorn, who escaped a tribe that cooks and eats people, you will meet Arnulf, who sees unimaginable things will being a lord of the watch. You will see him go through the greatest pain in life, you will see him afraid and brave, you will see him fighting, even though he wants to go and cry in the corner and die.

You will meet a girl that sells her body, so she can buy food for her and her little brother. You will meet a woman warrior, and learn about her amazing and brave story, you will watch how people see their loved ones die right in front of their eyes, and sometimes, they even have to be the ones to kill them in order to survive.

Even though we learn so much about the characters and their stories, it was hard for me to really connect with any of them, as the chapters moved fast from one character to another. This is probably the reason to why I also found the beginning quite slow. It took me around 90 pages, to start realising what is happening.  

There will be a lot of violence in this book, a lot of swearing, and scenes that might upset or offend you. This book is not for the weak ones, that is for sure. And while for some of you this might put you off this book, I do have to say that if the book didn’t have a strong language and violent scenes like it does, it wouldn’t have been the same.

The biggest ‘’flaw’’ I had was the ending. I won’t say anything spoiler-ish , as I don’t want to ruin the book for you, but let’s just say that I didn’t expect it to end the way it did.

Even though this is a story about the dead people walking around and killing everything in front of them, this is actually a book about the survivors, the ones that managed to retell this story – the ones that lost anything and everything to be where they are now. This is for the lives of the brave souls, the mighty warriors, that were noble and tried to protect their lands.

A massive thanks to the author, Lee Conley, who managed to find me in the deep waters of Twitter, and who agreed to send me a paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.   

Book Wrap Up – June 2018

book wrap up june 2018 books diary of difference

Hello All! And just like that, it’s the beginning of July. I can’t believe that half of the year has passed. It somehow went so fast for me and I don’t even know how!

I have made a lot of progress reading a lot of my books, and I still have a huge list of books still waiting for me to read and review. You can see below a list of the books I read this month, and if you want to read a more detailed review, click on the links.

 

Here is what I have read in the month of June:

 

 

I greatly enjoyed this historical fiction. An interesting story about a man that does everything he can to try and save his wife from dying. Even if that means trying to find the secret item that one time belonged to the great wizard Merlin, from the time of King Arthur.

 

  • Cryptid by Michael Kott (paperback) – ★★★

 

I was a bit disappointed by this book, and I enjoyed the first book of this series more (Piasa). However, I truly believe that it might be interesting to some of you, as it covers the plot of how one young lady struggled through everything in life and in the end manages to find herself and be happy.

 

 

To all the lovers of Harry Potter out there – I loved this book, and you’ll love it too. I listened to the Audible version (P.S. – if you create an Audible account now, you get one audiobook for free – here’s the LINK). This is my second audiobook that I have listened to, and I really enjoyed it. A whole description about the rules of Quidditch, the most famous teams, and also the World Championship, with Rita Skeeter and Ginny Potter as reporters! So cool

 

I have won this Children’s book on a giveaway hosted by BookLikes. I don’t usually read Children’s books, and this one was quite interesting. I liked the story behind it, but didn’t really enjoy the illustrations. I think, especially with the young audience, it’s a key factor to have interesting illustrations.

 

 

A very interesting and unusual (in a good way) book, that tells a story about a nun that tries to fix a time travelling machine. It was a surprisingly refreshing read for me, and I did enjoy it, even though it’s not actually my cup of tea. The author, Jay DiNitto, was also kind enough to do an interview with me, and you can read more about it here.

 

 

An ARC provided to me by NetGalley. Unfortunately, this book did disappoint me. I expected more romance and more Alzheimer’s disease related content, but it didn’t deliver. Falling Short is a story about a lady that tries to find herself, and her mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and somehow, it turns out that her father actually might be alive, and she goes on a journey to try to find him, and also find herself as well.

 

Falling Short – Lex Coulton [BOOK REVIEW]

When I first found out about Falling Short, written by Lex Coulton, the blurb promised to be ‘’fresh, funny and life-affirming’’. I am sorry, but no. That is not correct. This book was none of those things. It wasn’t bad at all, but I would prefer describing it as a slow-paced, and confusingly complex in an unsatisfying way.

About the book:

Frances Pilgrim’s father went missing when she was five, and ever since all sorts of things have been going astray: car keys, promotions, a series of underwhelming and unsuitable boyfriends . . . Now here she is, thirty-bloody-nine, teaching Shakespeare to rowdy sixth formers and still losing things.

But she has a much more pressing problem. Her mother, whose odd behaviour Frances has long put down to eccentricity, is slowly yielding to Alzheimer’s, leaving Frances with some disturbing questions about her father’s disappearance, and the family history she’s always believed in. Frances could really do with someone to talk to. Ideally Jackson: fellow teacher, dedicated hedonist, erstwhile best friend. Only they haven’t spoken since that night last summer when things got complicated . . .

As the new school year begins, and her mother’s behavior becomes more and more erratic, Frances realizes that she might just have a chance to find something for once. But will it be what she’s looking for?

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My thoughts:

I am usually good at explaining why I don’t like a certain book, or why I feel the way I feel, and believe me, with this one, I have spent two days and 6 sittings in front of this draft (now published post) to try and write about it. So I am doing my best now…

First of all, there has to be something about a certain book to make me want to read it. With this one – there were two things:

  • I love romance and intrigue, and the blurb promised two people not really talking to each other, but sparks flying around… so yes, that got me

  • The Alzheimer’s disease – as a person that has worked with people suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer’s, this subject is very close to my heart. I couldn’t miss this book for this reason.

Now – the romance part disappointed me, as there was no romance. No romance at all. Unless, of course, you count as a romance a person in their mid-forties sleeping around with drunk teens, and is then too complicated of a character to even realise who he loves, and why, and the moment he does, he still has no idea what to do with that information.

The other disappointment I had was that I expected to read about the Alzheimer’s, and not only that they weren’t there, but also some of the symptoms mentioned were not correct at all. There were only sex relationships and sex scenes, and that was supposed to define their relationship in the end. Not realistic at all.

Even though it seems that we follow Frances’s story throughout, we actually follow Jackson’s story as well. Their characters were too complicated and confusing for me, and it let me to now feel nor care about them at all. I honestly cared about Frances’s dog the most in this book.

The plot wasn’t perfect – there were times when the information given didn’t match

[SPOILER ALERT]

The scene how Frances searches on Google to find the address of her dad. We are then told that she found out his address through Jean. Which one is it, then?

[SPOILER FINISHED – SAFE TO CONTINUE READING]

I am actually quite sad that I didn’t enjoy this book, but I will still be curious about new works from Lex Coulton, because, somehow, I really liked her writing style, despite all the flaws.

Thank you to Netgalley and John Murray Press for providing an ARC copy of this book to me, in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Pale Blue Scratch – Jay DiNitto [BOOK REVIEW]

Pale Blue Scratch - Jay DiNitto book novel books review blog wordpress writer author diary of difference

I was lucky enough to be approached by Jay DiNitto himself, and he sent me a copy of his first novel – Pale Blue Scratch (you can read the e-book for free here) in exchange for an honest review. This is a book unlike anything else I have ever read, and it left me impressed. I dearly enjoyed it, and maybe you will too.

About the book:

“I would disassemble this body and cast it onto the coronal burn of the sun if it means I get answers.” Thus proclaims the determined Elisabeth Reese, journalist, professor, and joke-cracking nun working in alternate history San Francisco. She has one goal: to rebuild a failed time machine that caused a lethal explosion during its initial demonstration. With her reluctant protege, a young budding scientist, she searches for the machine’s plans left behind by its exiled inventor. But her pursuit is disrupted, threatened by area conflict. A faction of the deadly Al Sayf al Ahmar-the Red Sword-has been rising to power. Lead by the hulking Crazed Herald, Maalik du Mahdi, the Red Sword heed a prophecy that will culminate in a battle between two “one-armed wild men.” Du Mahdi is believed to be the first of the pair, while his counterpart could be anyone…even a small, peculiar nun from across the bay. All Elisabeth wants is to witness the impossibility of time travel, but first she must battle the odds and fulfill the present. Part steampunk and part mystery, Pale Blue Scratch explores the conflict between the senses and logic, and the lengths one may go to resolve it.

Pale Blue Scratch - Jay DiNitto book novel books review blog wordpress writer author diary of difference

My thoughts: 

As I mentioned above, this is a book unlike any other that I have read. It is a great mix of fiction / action / fast-paced scenes / philosophy / psychology and a little bit of time-travelling.

Even though we have two main characters – Elizabeth and Vincent, this book focused more on Elizabeth, for various reasons.

There were times when the scenes were slow, and somewhat a bit dull, but there were also times when there were fast-paced scenes that make me bite my nails. Though, as a whole, I found the story to not quite fit my taste. It felt like Elizabeth didn’t have a great or a strong enough reason to do this adventure.

Elizabeth’s character – now this is something quite amusing! I have never met a character like this – so twisted in a cute hypocritical way. A nun with an adorable sense of humor, that goes around on a mission to make a time-travel machine, and happens to hurt people on her way… I loved her character in a very weird way (don’t judge!)

Now Vincent didn’t quite hit the mark. He seemed more of a plain character, like a little copy of someone else, somewhere, once upon a time. He gave the impression of a person that, unlike Elizabeth, didn’t quite knew where he belonged and what he’s doing. It felt like it didn’t bother him at all. And that’s alright. The moment when this started to hurt me was at the end – when he didn’t change a bit.

Even though a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to read much about time-travelling as I would want to, this book was quite amusing and it covered various random topics that I quite liked. I loved that variety when one moment you talk about religion, the other moment a great action scene happens, and then here we are again, discussing life philosophy.

All in all, to sum it all up – I greatly enjoyed this book! It was definitely unusual read, and unique in every single way. And if you love fiction / action / a bit of time-travelling / humor and philosophy, this might be easily your new favorite book!

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The Frightened Little Flower Bud – Renée Paule, G R Hewitt [BOOK REVIEW]

I don’t usually read Children’s Books. I used to love them when I was a kid, and of course, those were the books on which I learned how to read. Those are the stories that I will always remember with happiness in my heart and they will always have a special place in my heart.

I was lucky enough to win The Frightened Little Flower Bud on a giveaway from Booklikes, and I couldn’t be happier! This is a short, cute story about one flower, and the process of how it blooms.

Before it blooms, it has many fears as to what is going to happen, it fears that the sun will dry it, and the rain will drown it, and that it won’t be as beautiful as the other flowers out there.

It reminds me of the fears that us people have every day before we go out of the door. We fear this and that, without realising to enjoy our lives, and live them like they are our last. A perfect description of how fear and doubt can let us down, but also a perfect example of what happens when you actually get the courage and go out there, and realise that yes – you can be the prettiest flower out there.

I liked how there are questions at the end of the books, to engage the little readers after reading it. However, in all honesty, I believe that the images inside the books won’t keep a kid there for very long, and they might not be the most exiting this in the world.

Quidditch Through The Ages – J. K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

For every Harry Potter fan out there, there is a book in the fictional library, that somehow wizards allowed for it to be shared with us muggles.

Note: I am not a muggle, I am, of course, a wizard, but I believe Hogwarts has made some admin mistakes and my letter is yet due to arrive!

But for you muggles out there, this book has been approved to be shared, and it talks about the most famous sport in the wizarding world – Quidditch. A sport in which Harry Potter was a star, just like his father and many famous people before him!

Quidditch Through The Ages speaks about the rules of Quidditch, the history, the famous teams around the world, the most famous players, the most exciting matches, the most devastating injuries, and the most mysterious endings of the matches.

While I was listening to it (Yes, I have the audible version – actually the second audio book I have ever read/listened to), this book made me feel like I was a part of this world, the same feeling I always get when I read the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling is such an amazing writer, and times and times again, I wish this world was real, and I wish I was part of it.

With my audio version, I also got the bonus scenes of the 2014 World Cup being held, and it being reported by Ginny Potter and Rita Skeeter. It was the most amazing thing ever. It is also taken out from the Pottermore edition, so I think you might be able to find it online!

This book belongs to the never-forgettable shelf, alongside Harry Potter, and alongside all my other favourite books!

Note: Audible has an amazing offer that let’s you get one book for free once you sign up. So if you want to pick this book, or any other book, click here.