giovedì 14 marzo 2019

'Landilne' by Rainbow Rowell | Review

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell 
Published by: Orion Books 
Pages: 356
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

This book tells the story of Georgie and Neal, who love each other very much, but maybe that’s not enough because something isn’t right in their marriage. When Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go to Omaha to visit his family for Christmas, because she’s a tv writer and the show she’s been working on for twenty years with her best friend Seth finally has a chance. What she certainly doesn’t expect Neal to do is to take the kids and go back home without her. But that night Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past and maybe that’s a new opportunity to save their marriage.

“I love you”, he said. “I love you more than I hate everything else.”

“Georgie never thought she’d be old enough to talk about life in big decade-long chunks like this. Pretty soon she’d have been with Neal longer than she’d been without him.”

I really liked the plot structure of this book, how it plays on different moments in time. It always come back to Georgie’s present, but we also get glimpses of her past through flashbacks that allow us to better understand every character, and then we get this strange present-past moment whenever Georgie talks on the phone with past-Neal. 

Regardless of her obvious faults in her relationship I’ve found Georgie’s character as highly likeable, she doesn’t really want her marriage to break and she’s very conscious of the things she’s done wrong in her life and like all of us she’s just trying to make things better. And isn’t Neal the perfect husband? I think a tiny part of me fell in love with him too.  

I’ve spent half of this book, or maybe nearly all of it, wishing this thing of calling someone in the past was really possible. But wouldn’t we all? Just to talk to some people that aren’t here anymore at least one last time. I love books that make me think about my life, those books that end up in your hands exactly at the right time, when you need them the most. I’ve had this book in my TBR literally for years and just this past month I actually bought it. It turned out to be the perfect time in my life to read this, one of reflection and confusione and trying to figure life out. It made me think about the choices we make in life and their consequences, and is there anything better that a book can do? 

I absolutely adored every single book written by Rainbow Rowell so far, I’ve read ‘Fangirl’ and ‘Attachments’ before I read ‘Landline’, and I have to say this last one (this isn’t her latest book just the last one I’ve personally read) hasn’t disappointed. If you are on the hunt for a unique and cosy read, that plays on time and focuses on character development and love than this book is most certainly for you. 

Have you read this book yet? If so what did you think? 

(This post contains an affiliate link, buying the book through this link means I’ll receive a small percentage from it but it won’t cost you anything more) 

venerdì 8 marzo 2019

My favourite female authors | #internationalwomensday

Happy International Women’s Day to all of you wonderful women. We could all agree that we should celebrate women every single day of the year, but still it’s good to have a day that reminds everybody of the importance of fighting for women’s rights and to cherish women. 

As a book lover and even more a lover of women’s fiction and female writers, I thought today would be the perfect day to talk about my favourite female authors, as a way to celebrate great women who write amazing books. 

I read primarily books written by women, so it’s quite easy for me to pick my favourite from the list of books I’ve read. Even though every book I’ve read was written by a brilliant writer, in this list I’m going to include just four of them and to celebrate International Women’s Day I’m going to give them a shout out (i.e. you should totally go out and buy their books). They are the kind of authors I’ll never get tired of and I will always buy their new books, without even needing to know what they are about. 

So here they are, my favorite female authors in no particular order (including some of my favourite books): 

Stephanie Butland is the author of my favourite book of all time, the one I always tell everyone to read, which is ‘Lost For Words’. Even though that isn’t Stephanie’s first book, it’s the first one I’ve read and I fell in love with Loveday’s story right away. But her first novel is ‘Letters To My Husband’ (I’ve talked about this one in my post about my favourite books set in winter, check it out here), followed by ‘The Other Half Of My Heart’ (which I own but haven’t read yet, I’ll make sure to report back as soon as I’ve done). Stephanie’s latest novel is titled ‘The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae’ and I’ve loved this book more than I’m able to express through words. If you are looking for a new book to read, with amazingly brilliant female main characters, you’ll love to uncover these unique stories. 

Morgan Matson is the queen of summery YA novels, in fact all of her books except her latest one are set in summer. Her first novel is ‘Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour’, followed by ‘Second Chance Summer’ (which I own but haven’t read yet, again I’ll report back as soon as I have), then there’s probably my second favourite ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, followed by ‘The Unexpected Everything’, and finally my favourite of hers ‘Save The Date’. This one is her latest novel and probably my favourite, even though picking just one favourite is pretty hard. I’ve loved every single one of these books, to the point of racing through them in just a couple of days each. If you are looking for your perfect YA novel set in summer, with friendships, romance and everything that comes with being a teenager, soon-to-be adult, then these books are perfect for you. 

Jenny Han, if you don’t know her I can presume you’ve been living under a rock in the past year or so. She is the amazing author behind the ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ series, now also an amazing movie on Netflix (you should go read the books before the second movie comes out). But before that she wrote ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ trilogy (which I haven’t read yet, but I just bought all three books and I can’t wait to read them all). 

Rainbow Rowell is the author behind some of my favourite books, first and foremost the first book of hers I’ve ever read which is ‘Fangirl’, one of the best YA novels with the best introverted fangirl main character, and if you are all of those things like me then you’re going to love this book. I’ve also read ‘Attachments’ and ‘Landline’ (which I just finished and I’m going to review it soon). Her books have some of the best characters I’ve ever read about and their unique stories make these books even more special. 

What are your favourite female authors? And which are your favourite books from them? 

(This post contains affiliate links, buying these books through these links means I'll receive a small percentage from it but it won't cost you anything more.)

martedì 5 marzo 2019

5 must-haves of every book review

How do you decide which book are going to buy next? Do you do a lot of research or do you just enter a bookstore and pick whatever seems nice in that moment? As for anything I do in life I am a planner and I never pick a book just because the plot or the title seemed nice, I do my research first and then I buy it. 

The main thing I do in terms of research is reading a few reviews from other readers, especially bloggers or bookstragrammers that I know enjoy reading the same books as me. I love short and quick reviews that still give you a lot of info and insight on why that book is worth reading and I think the best place for those kind of reviews is Instagram. Something quick and easy to consume that gives you just enough information to grasp what that book is about. 

But sometimes, well most of the time, I want to know more before I buy that book. Books can be expensive and I always try to pick books that I know I’m going to love and enjoy. Let’s be honest no one likes to DNF books (even though sometimes it is necessary) and I’d love to always pick up a book I’m gonna end up loving. 

For these reasons here are the 5 things I consider must-haves of every book review or at least the 5 things I always look forward to reading in a book review:  

[1] Book info: this one is obviously the first thing on this list. It is probably obvious that you should include the author, the publishing house, where to buy it and other important information, but it isn’t always the case. I’ve read plenty of reviews that lacked basic book information and that definitely doesn’t help someone in making their decision. In my reviews I always try to include a link so it’s easier to buy it or at least find it online, because that’s what I look for a in a book review I read. 

[2] A short and spoiler free summary: this is possibly the second most important thing, that allows the reader to know what the book is actually about. In fact, your personal comments on the book will mean nothing if you don’t tell me anything about the plot and the story. But I personally prefer a short summary, I don’t want to know everything, just the basics to grasp what the story is about, I want to discover the rest when I read it. And finally I obviously prefer a spoiler free summary, but if you do want to include spoilers please put a spoiler warning at the top of your review, so I can avoid it if I don’t want to know what happens before reading the book.

[3] Personal comment about the plot and the characters: this is what makes your review unique, what makes me realize that you have read the book and that you’ve thought about it. I want to hear your voice in your blog post, what you really thought of the story and of the characters, if you connected to them and what this story has given you. 

[4] Personal comment about the writing style: this is also a very important part, when I decide to pick a book up I want that book to correspond my personal liking and that it’s true also in terms of writing style. Is that book easy to read or is the writing style distracting? Is the writing style unique and the point of view unusual? I want to know those things before I make my choice.

[5] Why I should read it too: and finally I personally prefer when book reviewers include a couple of reasons why I should pick that book up, they could be anything from the way I’m going to connect with the characters for a specific reason to the beautiful descriptions. But give me something, a final information that will finally convince me to buy it. 

Is there anything else you like to see in a book review? What makes you trust that reviewer and go back to read more of their posts? And what do you want to know about a book before you buy it? 

martedì 26 febbraio 2019

3 perks of being a bilingual reader

If you’ve taken a look at my blog you know that I write my posts mainly in english, but sometimes I do translate them in Italian. That’s because Italian is my first language and english is my second one. I’ve talked before about the first book I ever read in english and I’m planning on writing a post on the reasons why I read in both languages. 

But today I want to talk to you about three perks of being a bilingual reader. Three things I love about being able to read books in more than one language. 

The first one is being able to read a book in its original language as soon as it comes out. I don’t have to wait for the Italian translation to be made (if it will ever be made, considering lots of books aren’t translated at all). I am an impatient reader, especially when we’re talking about some of my favourite authors, knowing another language has allowed me not to wait around for a book to be translated. 

Secondly I can also have the pleasure of reading the exact words the author chose to use. I don’t mind reading translated books, I actually switch between the two options quite a lot, but there is just something special about being able to read exactly what the author wanted to write. This aspect is valid for me with books in both languages, languages are beautiful and powerful and knowing more than one language opens up a wider world of words and knowledge. 

And finally being a bilingual reader has allowed me to connect with other readers from all over the world, that I would have never gotten in contact with if it wasn’t for our shared love for reading and my ability to speak in another language than my mother tongue. Reading can be a solitary activity, but it doesn’t have to be. 

I would have never discovered some of my favourite authors if I didn’t know more than one language. Unfortunately some amazing books, that most of the time don’t even get the recognition they deserve, aren’t translated in other languages. But by knowing more than one language I have had the chance of removing this obstacle. 

venerdì 22 febbraio 2019

'The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts' by Annie Darling | Review

Title: The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts
Author: Annie Darling 
Published by: Harper Collins 
Pages: 381  
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

This books tells the story of Posy Morland, who basically grew up in Lavinia Thorndyke’s bookshop called Bookends. Her father used to work in the bookshop and her mother in the tea room attached to the bookshop. After her parent’s death Posy and her brother Sam found a family in Lavinia and Posy has been working in the bookshop ever since. When the old bookshop owner also dies their future seems uncertain and they are both scared that they’ll have to leave their home. They, in fact, have always lived in the apartment on top of bookshop. But their worries are put to rest for a while, Posy inherits the bookshop and she has two years to make it successful again before it goes back into Lavinia’s grandson Sebastian, also known as the rudest man in London. Posy plans to transform Bookends in the bookshop of her dreams in just six months even though the road to get there seems full of obstacles, in particular those created by Sebastian, who seems to find his way to the bookshop more often than usual. 

“Because you, my dear, of all people know what a magical place a bookshop can be and that everyone needs a little magic in their lives.”

I have to be honest and say that it took a long while to properly get into this book, I’m not sure why. Maybe because I didn’t connect with the main character straight away and the absence of this connection had an effect on my want to keep on reading. It actually has everything I usually enjoy in a book, first and foremost it is set in a bookshop and what book lover doesn’t love a bookshop as a setting? 

I also quite enjoyed the enemies to lovers trope, I haven’t read a lot of novels with this trope but I have read plenty of fan fictions with it and I always loved them. So maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood, but by the middle of the story, when things started to pick up I actually got really into the book and struggled to put it back down. I ended up racing through the second half of this novel and that is why I decided to give it 4 stars, I debated whether I should give it 3.5 stars, but there were a lot of positive aspects in this book so I went with 4. 

One thing I wasn’t really able to enjoy was the romance novel/kind of fan fiction Posy started to write at some point during the book. I just had to skip some of those parts where we can read bits and pieces of this novel, it just wasn’t for me and I found it a bit forced. But beside that I enjoyed it all. 

I recommend this book especially if you love books set in bookshops, with main characters that deeply love books and everything they represent and that get a chance at growing and bettering themselves (but not too much because we know how much Posy Morland loves those Christmas pjs with Christmas puddings all over them.)

Have you read this book? If so what did you think about it? 

(This post contains an affiliate link, buying the book through this link means I’ll receive a small percentage from it but it won’t cost you anything more)

'La piccola libreria dei cuori solitari' di Annie Darling | Recensione

Titolo: La piccola libreria dei cuori solitari 
Autore: Annie Darling 
Traduttore: Chiara Brovelli 
Editore: Sperling & Kupfer 
Pagine: 317
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(4 stelle)

Questo libro racconta la storia di Posy Morland, che è praticamente cresciuta nella libreria Bookends di Lavinia Thorndyke. Suo padre lavorava in negozio mentre sua madre gestiva la sala da te adiacente. Dopo la loro morte Posy e suo fratello Sam trovarono in Lavinia una nuova famiglia e Posy lavora da Bookends da allora. Ma quando anche l’anziana proprietaria muore, il futuro di Posy e Sam sembra incerto e sono entrambi spaventati all’idea di poter perdere la loro casa. Infatti, vivono da sempre in un appartamento collocato proprio sopra la libreria. Le loro preoccupazioni vengono momentaneamente sopite, Posy, infatti, eredita Bookends e ha due anni di tempo per farla tornare ai successi di un tempo, prima che la proprietà torni al nipote di Lavinia, Sebastian, anche conosciuto come l’uomo più scortese di Londra. Posy vuole rilanciare la libreria in soli sei mesi, ma sono molti gli ostacoli che si trova ad affrontare, in particolare quelli posti da Sebastian, che sembra ritrovarsi sempre più spesso nella zona della libreria. 

“Perché nessuno di più di te, mia cara, se che una libreria può essere un posto davvero magico, e che tutti hanno bisogno di un pizzico di magia nella propria vita.”

“Posy era un’indecisa, era felice di fare il suo e di lasciarsi trasportare dalla marea, e tutto quello che le stava accadendo era troppo.”

“Ricorda sempre di seguire il cuore. perché solo così riuscirai a mantenere la rotta.”

Devo essere onesta e dire che mi ci è voluto un po’ per appassionarmi a questo libro e non so bene perché. Forse perché non sono riuscita fin da subito a trovare una connessione con la protagonista e l’assenza di questa connessione ha avuto degli effetti sulla mia voglia di continuare a leggere. Questo libro però ha tutto quello che generalmente adoro ritrovare in un libro, prima di tutto è ambientato in una libreria e quale amante dei libri non adora un libro ambientato in libreria? Personalmente posso dire che alcuni dei miei libri preferiti sono proprio quelli che ruotano intorno a un negozio di libri. 

Ho apprezzato il tema “da nemici a amanti”, non ho letto molti romanzi con questo tema alla base ma ho letto più di una fanfiction con questa struttura e devo dire che mi sono sempre piaciute molto. Forse quindi non ero semplicemente dell’umore adatto per appassionarmi fin da subito a questo romanzo, ma intorno alla metà del romanzo quando il ritmo del racconto sembra aumentare il passo mi sono ufficialmente appassionata e ho fatto molta fatica a smettere di leggere e a chiudere il libro. 

Una cosa che non ho particolarmente apprezzato sono stati gli intermezzi al romanzo, in cui ci viene offerta la possibilità di leggere alcune pagine di un romanzo che Posy stessa sta scrivendo. Devo dire che ho dovuto saltarne alcune e continuare la lettura di questo libro senza quelle parti, la cui lettura non è comunque fondamentale al fine della storia, se non conoscerne l’esistenza. Ma tranne che per questo ho apprezzato l’intera narrazione. 

Consiglio questo libro soprattutto a coloro che amano leggere libri ambientati in librerie, con protagonisti che sono grandi amanti dei libri e di tutto ciò che essi rappresentano e che hanno la possibilità di crescere e migliorarsi nel corso del libro (anche se non troppo perché sappiamo che Posy adora i suoi pantaloni del pigiama natalizi con disegni di puddings al cioccolato.)

Hai letto questo libro? Se si che cosa ne hai pensato? 

(Questo post contiene un link affiliato, questo non comporta alcun costo aggiuntivo ma significa semplicemente che se acquisti il libro attraverso questo link io riceverò una piccola percentuale.)

martedì 19 febbraio 2019

My first memory of the library | #libraryloversmonth

I’m aware that we’re more than half the way through the month of February and that I’m probably a bit late to the party, but better late than never. For those of you that don’t know February is Library Lovers’ Month, a month to celebrate libraries and to remember how important they are. 

I’ll admit I’m not the best advocate for the importance of libraries since I buy most of my books. The main reason for that in my case is that I love books so much that I always end up wanting to keep the ones I loved reading and I certainly can’t do that with library’s books. So that’s why I buy most of my books, but that doesn’t mean I have never used the library. 

All throughout my university years I went to the library especially to try to find books that where nowhere to be found elsewhere, particularly very old books. That’s one of the reasons why libraries are so good and such resourceful places. Could there be anything better than a quiet place to read books, that you can also borrow for free? 

So libraries have been super useful for my life as a student, even more when I was writing my dissertation or working on similar projects. But that is not what this post is about, today as a way of celebrating libraries I want to tell you about my first memory (or memories) of the library. 

Books have always been a big part of my life. Reading has always been the thing I love doing the most, above anything else. That was particularly true when I was a child, even before I was able to read myself. There is just something special about stories that captured my attention when I was really really young. 

We all know that books can be expensive, especially when you are a young kid that goes through more than one book a night. That’s when the library came into place, it was the perfect solution. My mum used to go every week and she would come back home with a stack of (mainly picture) books. 

Before I was able to read them all myself, either my mum or my dad would read me a couple of books before going to bed at night. We went through books so quickly that buying them would have meant spending too much money so the library’s books were perfect. I actually got some of my favourite books as a very young child from the library. 

Do you use the library a lot? If so what’s your favourite thing about libraries? And what is your first memory of it?