Friday, September 4, 2020

Bedtime Story: Little People Big Dreams: Mary Shelley by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

Read for: Recently Added/ Children's Books/ Mary Shelley Week

Synopsis: "New in the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Mary Shelley, the English novelist and creator of Frankenstein.

When Mary Shelley was a little girl, she used to write stories beneath the trees in her garden. As an adult, Mary was inspired by this same imagination to create a ghost story, which became the famous novel: Frankenstein. This gripping book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the novelist's life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream."

My Review: Of course I had to pick up the Mary Shelley book in this series. I like how this book doesn't just focus on the writing of Frankenstein, it starts when she was born and the influence her family life had on her growth. The story is simple and easy for young ones to follow and the illustrations are simple yet have a beautiful artistic style. It appeals to both kids and adults. The aesthetics of this book are spot on with the dark tones in the book and the beautiful lightning covered end pages. I have to say just the quality of the book is great, definitely one I am happy to add to my Frankenstein shelf.

My Rating: This book is so beautiful and I like the way this takes her life from birth and influences that she takes throughout her life. I think it does a great job of showing her life and accomplishments in a way that will appeal to young readers.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Review of The Mortal Immortal by Mary Shelley


Read for: Borrowed Book/ Audio/ Mary Shelley Week

Synopsis: "JULY 16, 1833. --This is a memorable anniversary for me; on it I complete my three hundred and twenty-third year!

The Wandering Jew?--certainly not. More than eighteen centuries have passed over his head. In comparison with him, I am a very young Immortal.
Am I, then, immortal? This is a question which I have asked myself, by day and night, for now three hundred and three years, and yet cannot answer it.

I detected a gray hair amidst my brown locks this very day-- that surely signifies decay. Yet it may have remained concealed there for three hundred years--for some persons have become entirely white headed before twenty years of age.

I will tell my story, and my reader shall judge for me. I will tell my story, and so contrive to pass some few hours of a long eternity, become so wearisome to me. For ever! Can it be? to live for ever!"

My Review: I have been trying to read more of Mary Shelley's work this year, this is my first of her short works. Clearly she had a theme to her writing, with supernatural, science and a touch of alchemy. I found this to be an intriguing story but so short that you really couldn't sink your teeth into it. The open ending was a good fit for this story and I like the though provoking way it ends. It isn't really my favorite of hers so far, I wish it had been a bit longer, but it definitely has me wanting to try more of her short fiction.

My Rating: This book definitely fit into the realm of gothic and atmospheric books that I have read of hers so far. I really wish I had more to sink into but at the same time it was a very satisfying read.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Review of The Last Man by Mary Shelley


Read for: Recently Added/ Readalong/ Mary Shelley Week

Synopsis: "The Last Man is Mary Shelley's apocalyptic fantasy of the end of human civilisation. Set in the late twenty-first century, the novel unfolds a sombre and pessimistic vision of mankind confronting inevitable destruction. Interwoven with her futuristic theme, Mary Shelley incorporates idealised portraits of Shelley and Byron, yet rejects Romanticism and its faith in art and nature.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) was the only daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and the radical philosopher William Godwin. Her mother died ten days after her birth and the young child was educated through contact with her father's intellectual circle and her own reading. She met Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1812; they eloped in July 1814. In the summer of 1816 she began her first and most famous novel, Frankenstein. Three of her children died in early infancy and in 1822 her husband was drowned. Mary returned to England with her surviving son and wrote novels, short stories and accounts of her travels; she was the first editor of P.B.Shelley's poetry and verse."

My Review: I have been thinking for sometime that I should pick up another book, other than Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, and then a readalong was announced for this book. I knew nothing about it when I picked it up on March 1st, little did I know that this was either the best time to read it or the worst time to read it, with the basis of a plague wiping out the world population. I have to say it was rather tedious to get through and I was only able to read 30 or so pages at time and it took until well over halfway through to get to the real point of the book. The previous 200 pages were basic back story for the characters. Once we got to the meat of the story, it was a bit eerie as the book written so long ago started to mimic the current events of the world. While this was far from my love of Frankenstein, I am glad I picked it up and for me it was a good book to take my time reading and fully immerse myself in the atmosphere of both our lives now and that as presented in the story.

My Rating: This was a lot slower read for me and it didn't grip me the way Frankenstein did but judging on this work alone, it was rather disturbing how a work written so long ago can still feel so modern (not to mention that it was written as if it was taking place in our modern time).  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Review of #Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus: A Literary Classic Told in Tweets for the 21st Century Audience by Mike Bezemek


Read for: Recently Added/ Frankenstein Adaptation/ Mary Shelley Week

Synopsis: "Few classic works of literature have excited such enduring popular interest among the general public as Frankenstein. But suppose the characters—Victor Frankenstein, Captain Robert Walton, and, yes, even the “monster”—had shared their tale in tweets? #Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus in Tweets hilariously reimagines Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel in about two hundred tweets, each 280 characters or less.

A rainy November night, under a dying candle, I infused the spark. A gasp! A convulsion of limbs! A yellow eye opened. ;P WTF had I done?
In this witty abridgment, Victor Frankenstein’s quest to create a sentient being is retold with the occasional emoji. The plight of his monstrous creation is presented with internet acronyms. And Captain Robert Walton ponders the blinding power of ambition with hashtags.
Including an appendix that presents the original passages upon which each tweet is derived, #Frankenstein offers modern readers an entertaining and accessible companion to a great American classic."

My Review: Being such a big fan of Frankenstein, I thought this would be a fun adaptation, and it was everything I hoped it would be. It actually does a good job of abbreviating the original story with just the highlights. The screen names of the characters were great but the hashtags were the star of the show. It was quirky and entertaining. Such a fun and creative twist on the classic. I am curious if there are more like this and I may have to check them out.

My Rating: I was super curious about how this adaptation would work and for the entertainment value it is great. It was super fast to read and so entertaining, having been so familiar with the original work.  It may not work so well if you weren't already familiar with the original work but he does have annotations to each of the original passages that are referred to in the tweets.  I give it a rating of Three Paws due to the creativity and entertainment value!

Monday, August 31, 2020

August 2020 Wrap Up & September TBR

At least August was a much better reading month than July was, but I didn't get to all the books I wanted to this month.  I did say at the beginning of the month that I wanted to focus on the 2020 purchases and the requested reviews, which I did definitely accomplish.  I read 10 of the 2020 purchases and 8 of the pending requested reviews, I am pretty happy with how much progress I made on both those fronts. 

First and foremost is my only actual challenge for the  year . . .

TBR Books from the Past 3 Years:
I only read book off the TBR list from the last 3 years, but it was a big book!

I didn't read any books off my older TBR (not included in the last 3 years of hauls):

2020 Books added to TBR & Read:
After last month being one of my worst reading months, I really wanted to focus on reading all those new books I have been buying and try to get myself somewhat back on track to reading almost every book I purchase this year.  So I did read a lot of my new 2020 purchases.





August Additions:
So in the 5 weeks of this month, I have only added 6 books and one of them was a gift so it doesn't count.  I also read 2 of them.  So based on the last couple of months, I feel like this is major progress. Now with all the releases coming out in the next 2 months, I can't guarantee I will be able to stick with this goal!




In other reading I am tracking this year, I read . . .


Borrowed Books:

Books Over 500 Pages:

Requested Reviews:
The Menu (Direct)
Tank's Forever Home (Netgalley)
Fable (Netgalley)
Tea Dragon Tapestry (Netgalley)
Max Meow: Cat Crusader (Netgalley)
Mary:Adventures of the Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaughter of Mary Shelley (Netgalley)
The Barren Grounds (Netgalley)

August Reading Stats:
I read a total of 24 books this month
3,132 pages read and 3 days, 5 hours and 31 minute of listening

Resolutions Check in:
1. Read that TBR: I have pretty much given up on this goal, if I can just focus on not adding to it at this point I will be happy. - :(
2. Purchase Less Books:Last year I had purchased 14 books in August, this year it was 6. Less, definitely, 1 book a week? Still not yet but I am happy with it.  - CHECK
3. Read Big Books:Thanks to another Tome Topple, I managed to read 2 more books over 500 pages. I have also started a third! - CHECK
4. Interact: Still struggling with balancing in person life and online life. I haven't even posted on Instagram in ages. I just need to find that balance again.  The good news is that we made a ton of progress on a whole house purge and organize, so I feel like I don't have as much hanging over my head constantly. - :/ 


I did so well with my goals last month with reading 2020 purchases and requested reviews that I want to keep that momentum rolling into September.  I am also looking to get into some more atmospheric fall reads, but luckily I have a bunch of those in my recent purchases.

For TBR List
The Phoenix Empress *Currently Reading
I know this TBR list is way over achieving, especially based on the past couple of months but I really think I can make a big dent in it.  One of the reasons is that Munchkin will finally be going back to school and it will make my life so much less stressful in the office and I might actually have the brain power to read in between clients and files again!

Monday Reading List

 It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Red, White & Royal Blue
A Thief Among the Trees
The Mortal Immortal
My Toothbrush is Missing
Mary:The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaughter
Little People Big Dreams: Mary Shelley

Currently Reading:

You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 98 of 320
The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron - print/ebook - on page 134 of 528
The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera - Audio/Print - on page 67 of 544
The Barren Grounds by David Alexander Robertson - ebook - on page 76 of 256

Pages Read/ Time Listened
663:05 Hours Listened (12:20 listened this week)
20,403 Pages Read (382 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
#Frankenstein - READ
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift)
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift)
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Red, White & Royal Blue - READ
Dark Skies
No Country for Old Gnomes (gift)
About That Kiss
The Ranger of Marzanna
A Heart of Blood and Ashes (gift) - READ
The Girl and the Stars
A Choir of Lies
Loving Cara
This Will Kill That
Woven in Moonlight - UNHAUL
Girl of Fire & Thorns (gift)
Murder Past Due
Books Can Be Deceiving - READ
Due or Die - READ
Book Line and Sinker - READ
Apple Cider Slaying - READ
All My Loving
Fury of a Phoenix
Homicide in Hardcover (gift)
Unravel the Dusk
Ruthless Gods
Mexican Gothic
Happy and You Know It - READ
Flirtasaurus - READ
At Wolf Ranch (gift) - READ

I had such great intentions last week, but sadly my plans were completely blown.  I got called into work on half of my vacation days so didn't get nearly as many things done as I had wanted.  We also had Munchkin's birthday this weekend, and with Covid and State regulations we had to spread out the visitors over the whole weekend which made for a lot of cooking and cleaning for me.  At least he seemed to have had a great birthday even though it was so different from years passed.

I also had big plans for this week on the blog, I was supposed to post yesterday about it being Mary Shelley's birthday and then have a week filled with books written by her and inspired by her but I didn't get around to posting on Sunday.  I think I will still have my pre-planned reviews and posts for this week, since I have been working on it all year and don't want to have to wait until next year. So even though I missed her birthday post, I will still be celebrating it all week long.