Sunday, 30 March 2014

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones || Book Review

 I've finally finished this book on Feb 1, 2014, after more than 6 months of reading (I know, I know...) and I can tell you guys, don't ever read like that! Stories like Howl's Moving Castle are supposed to be read in one-two maximum three sittings and not collecting dust while you've started it and put down, and then read a few pages, and put book down once again, and so on and so forth.

 Before I continue, I just want to say one thing. Despite the fact that this book and Studio Ghibli's adaptation are really different and you can definitely say "anime was based on a book", I loved the anime for many years before even knew it was based on book and after finishing the book I would announce that I PREFER THE ANIME! YES! I've said that.

O.K., my edition is illustrated so, here's a couple of examples for you (and I'm not a big fan of those, because illustrator and me have different imagination fooooor sure and since I've seen anime first, things are more "Miyazaki Hayao" in my head - yes, I'm saying Japanese names in Japanese order, because I want).

 Fine, I love the first one, with castle, and like ("like" is the word) the cover, but that's it. Other illustrations are meh for me. Characters looks more awesome in my head. 

 Especially Howl. Like, why is he look like that (3rd picture) in illustrator's head??? WHY??? Howl's HOT! And corky. And he'll look like that (below) in my head forever. FOR-EVER!

Art by chernotrav. Check this amazing artist, I found some more works and think they are absolutely stunning, just saying. Chernotrav's deviantart page.

 And like this (also by chernotrav).

Why chernotrav can't be the illustrator of Russian edition? This artist is from Russia! It's not fair...
 Same with Calcifer, btw.

Oh well, enough pics for this post (there's never enough pics, muahaha #evil_laugh).

Everyone knows the story (if you don't know, I don't's the link) and since I loved the anime so much, I wanted to read the book, original story, too.
I really liked it, but think if I had read it a little faster, and hadn't put it down sooo often, I'd like it even more. Long pauses kill the experience, guys.
My favourite characters are Howl (of course) and Calcifer (love that demon), because they are just the best. Howl can be a douche sometimes (and even this is awesome), but most of the time he's just perfect. And I can talk about him a lot, but you'll probably fall asleep and then wake up and nothing will change, so I'll stop. And Calcifer. Oh, Calcifer! He was saving this book for me many times, ecpecially when I wanted to give up on it. He made me laugh a lot and his personality (despite the fact that he's not a person) is just superb.  As for our MC, Sophie, well... she annoyed me most of the time, because even despite the fact that in the book, she was a young lady turned into granny, I think, in reality, she was true granny from beginning 'till the end. And not one of those awesome rock grannies, but grumpy and constantly complaining one. Which is lame. I hope I won't be like that (but I can already be like that sometimes. Damn it). Maybe she reminded me myself a little, like my dark (grumpy) side, that's why I wasn't a big fan of her. No one likes when their dark sides are thrown in their face. Well, maybe someone likes that, but I don't.=D
 But at the end of the book things got a liitle better, so... That's good. She's not the worse character from all of those I've read about in my life, I would say.
 What I really liked about a book, and that wasn't shown in movie, is knowing Howl's back story, his roots. I wasn't expected that at all and it was a pleasant surprise. Also I really enjoyed the writing style (I've checked original text as well, so I can say that), it was truly magical, helped me imagine everything better and the world, that Diana Wynne Jones created called for many more visits in future (but I'm still not sure if I want to reread this book, or not). 
 What I didn't really liked though, is that at some points story dragged a little and having so many side characters (way more than in anime) was confusing sometimes Not massively, though, but still. I needed quite a few chapters to remember all of them, especially after Sophie's sisters switched places.
 Overall, it was a good story and I liked coming back to that world, but in book form, and knowing more about my fav characters. I've already said that I don't want to continue reading this series in one of my videos, though. But now I think, that I can change my mind. Someday. 
 What I can tell you is that I dream of living in that Moving Castle now and I know for sure where my doors will lead.

About my copy in few words:
Hardback, 448 pages, in Russian (translated by Anastasia Brodotskaia (Анастасия Бродоцкая), illustrated by Elena Gozman (Елена Гозман), cover art by Maria Gliniavaia (Мария Глинявая). Published by Azbuka, in 2013.

Final rating:


Have a great day, awesome book and DFTBA!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

CURRENTLY READING and stuff (or how many books can I read at the same time)

 I already know that I'm not alone in this, so... *BAM!*

I'm currently reading 6 books. *take a moment to think about that*

Before you'll start going (O___O) and *WHAAAt?* here are those books:

[and I've added the last one yesterday - 15.03.14 - and really liking it so far]

1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
"Американские Боги" Нила Геймана.

My copy is in Russian (as you may or may not noticed), 685 pages and I'm reading it with Booktube Reading Buddies group (Goodreads) and really enjoying so far.
By the way, this book is a bind-up of three Gaiman's works: American Gods, The Monarch of the Glen (novella) and Anansi Boys. So, it's 1120 pages in total...

Can't say I'm too far in (83 pages), though, and I'm behind, 'cos I need to read 300 or something pages by now, but I just keep getting distracted by other books and TV shows. Yeah, I'm not your best book blogger and booktuber....

But I can't help it right now. None of the books in this post can capture my interest for a long time, enough for finishing it. Oh well... I'll do my best and at least participate in final discussion. Because I've created this blog and my booktube channel to PARTICIPATE! (yeah, The Perks of Being a Wallflower style). =)
 Wish me luck!
Goodreads Link

2. Mistborn. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.
"Пепел и сталь" Брендона Сандерсона.

Was reading Russian e-book and it's HUGE on my e-reader, so I ordered a physical copy. I know, it's bad... But. But... I don't know what "but".

I was hooked from first pages, but once again, other books keep catching my eyes and I keep starting them. It's a problem, guys, it's a problem.

This is also a reading for Booktube Reading Buddies buddy-read, so I hope to finish it by the end of March. So far I'm like 2 or 3% in, so I can't tell you what I think about this book.

Goodreads Link

3. Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

I bought this book in April 2013 (YES!) and it was sitting on my shelf since then.
Shame, shame, shame...

But then, one of my GR friends offered to read it together, and I said YES, obviously.
Now I'm only 20 pages in, can't say it grabbed me yet, but I'm hopping for best.

Goodreads Link

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass.
"Стеклянный трон" Сары Дж. Маас.

I can tell you, I'm reading this book because of hype and also I like to say "Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas" - sounds cool, isn't it? =)

 Almost all of my GR friend loved this book to bits and I, as always, have a little problem with it (over-hyped books+me=long story). This book happened to be the one I'm more far in - 58% on my e-reader. And despite the fact that I enjoy many parts, I also don't really like other ones.
 It's too YA-ish in parts and also too wordy, when it seems like there don't have to be THAT MANY words.
 And also, where did she (author) got those names??? Well, I like them, but just interested in knowing that. I'm glad I have that "How-to-Spell Guide" at the end of the book, so it helped a lot.

Oh, and I'm team Chaol FOR SURE!!! And I don't want it to change.=) Not really into Princes this days (I mean in books, because Princes from Once Upon A Time TV show are ...HOT! And I love them. Just saying...=D)

O.K., I think Throne of Glass will be the first or second book I'll finish this month, and maybe I'll have to skip some part to do this, tbh.
Goodreads Link

5. Half Bad by Sally Green.
"Напівлихий" Саллі Грін.

 Bought it from publisher as soon as I learned it will be reliased on March 3 in Ukrainian. Received it on March 4, started reading, got hooked, but then Penumbra happened. I'm only 20 pages in as well, but like it WAY MORE then Mr P. I hope to read it soon, because I planned to finish it in one-two sittings right after I got it, but life and other books...
 O.K., it's really good so far and I think it will be an awesome roller-coaster ride of feels (at least that's what I've gathered from reviews).

Goodreds Link

6. the TERRIBLE THING that HAPPENED to BARNABY BROCKET by John Boyne, illustrated by Jliver Jefers (???) = Oliver Jeffers (obviously).
[that's how it's written in my book...weird. I haven't seen mistakes like this]
"с БАРНАБИ БРАКЕТОМ случилось ужасное" Джона Бойна.
Like can you see this??? Or it's just me???

 O.K., then.=)

 I've added this book to my "Currently Reading" shelf on Goodreads yesterday, few hours before midnight. Read 50 pages before went to sleep and really liking it so far. Wondering, where this story goes.
 This edition is in Russian, so maybe that's why I'm reading it so quickly. Hope to be done with this book today (March 16, 2014), and also hope Reign won't stay on my way... =D
 By the way, illustrations are awesome! Oliver Jeffers have done an amazing job and they suits the story perfectly.

Goodreads Link

O.K. that's it.


Hope you're having an lovely day, reading an amazing book and DFTBA!!!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Top Ten Series I Want To Start, but Haven't Yet.... YA EDITION.

I guess, everyone has that guilty (or kinda guilty, because I don't feet that guilty about that) list in head. So here's mine, with teeny-tiny explanations:

1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

 I know, I know, this series is super popular and got a lot of hype these past few years and I own first 2 books (Cinder and Scarlett), but for some weird reason I keep putting it off. I'll try to read it soon, especially since the 3rd one, Cress, came out recently and I really want to read them back-to-back.

2. Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu.

 I have a little strange reason for this one, but still. I wanted to read this series for such a loooong time, I own all 3 books, thought I researched it well, but, BUT (and I don't even know how I missed that...*idiot*), but I didn't know this series was based on Les Miserables... @-@ And ever since I found out about that, I just lost an excitement... I can't even explain why... 
 But, after all the hype on Booktube started to fade a lil', I want to finally jump on that bandwagon and read all three one after another.=)

3. Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness.

 Well, I don't really have a reason for still not reading this trilogy, tbh. And since I own all of the books and don't have an excuse as well. So, *fingers crossed*, I'll read it in 2014.

4. Summer Series by Jenny Han.

 I want to read this series, but little later, maybe closer to summer. And, thanks God, I own only the 1st book.. *fuh*

5. The Archived Duology/Trilogy/Series (who knows!) by Victoria Scwab.

 I'll read it. Soon. Promise.

6. (see what I've done there? haha) Gone Series by Michael Grant.

 There're 6 chunksters in this series, guys. SIX! I own the first book (and it's not me, who done that with cover. I bought it used) and keep preparing myself to read it.

7. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare.

 Read first 4 books in The Mortal Instruments series in January 2013 and recently got the 5th one. But I want to read this series even more, because a lot of people keep saying that it's even better than TMI... Hm, and I really liked TMI! So, can't wait.
 Own first 2 books, btw.... In Russian.

8. The Fifth Wave trilogy(?) by Rick Yancey.

 Heard mixed reviews, but still plan to read it. Actually this month as a group read.=) My edition is in Russian, btw.

9. Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children trilogy (?) by Ransom Riggs.

 The 2nd book came out recently, but I haven't read the 1st one yet. I know, shame on me. Especially, since I have 2 copies of the 1st book - in Russian (bought) and in English (won). But, people, there're sooooo many good books out there... Oh my. I need more time.

And finally...
10. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

 Own all 4 books (3 and companion, Extras), because I'm cray and there was a huge booksale once... So, basically, I NEED TO READ THOSE!!!
 Oh, and Uglies and Pretties form a face together (fun fact for you...). Yay! to Russian editions, once again.=)

 Sooooooo, yeah. It's not all of the book series I have on my shelves, though, it's just a tip of an iceberg... YA tip (because I have an Adult list, too. Will post it later). And I want to read all of them, I just need more time.

 Here they are together. Enjoy the SPINES!


By the way, the realisation of the fact that I OWN TOO MANY UNREAD BOOKS made me apply a new rule: "NEVER, for the sake of sanity, buy more then 1 book in a series at once!!!". Which means, read the first book and then buy next.=)


Hope you're having a great day, reading awesome book and feeling super cool.

A Year In Japan by Kate T. Williamson | Graphic Memoir/Book Review

 I found this book on Goodreads, because it was marked as similar to Tokyo on Foot by Florent Chavouet. So I had a gift card back in the day and ordered both. That's it, that's a story.=D

 O.K., there's a little more. I've read GR description, then looked leafed-through Amazon sample, liked what I saw kow the rest.
 I thought A Year in Japan will be your typical graphic memoir (I haven't read a lot of them, but I know what to expact), but this book is more like a compilation of facts about Japan that author gathered during her stay there.
 It's made in form of show-and-tell journal where you see a drawing and then a little article connected to that drawing on the next page. I'll definitely say that I need a re-read in future, because despite a fact that I always remember a lot of bits'n'bobs - usually those that I don't really need, though - there where a lot of Japanese names for things and if I wanna know them (and I want to know them), I need to read this book again. 
 A Year in Japan was a quick read for sure and I'll recommend this book to all lovers of Japan, cultures&traditions and present day life, and to lovers of art, because in terms of illustrations this book was absolutely beautiful. Saying that I was more of a fan of Williamson's nature drawings, then her drawings of people.
 My favourite illustration without a doubt is this one (sorry for the blur... Damn you, shaky hands!):

 Because I don't know how Kate T. Williamson managed to do that, but for me, it actually feels like I'm looking through the window or standing in real park. Just..gorgeous!!!
 Also I really like this one:

 Yeah. Those 2 are my fav. Of course, I liked more than these 2, but I can't add 70% of book here, can I?=D

That being said, I also had a few probs with this book. And both of them have word "writing" in name.
 First of, I wasn't a big fan of a font (or style of writing), because A Year in Japan is made like a hand-written journal and despite my 6 years in Medical University (and you know how doctors write... I had and still write like that...), I couldn't understand some of the words at first, because of the way she connects letters, but I got used to it after first 20 pages, so it wasn't a huge problem.
 But I had a little bigger one with writing style, because this random bunch of facts and the way Kate described them weren't too exciting at first. It became more and more interesting closer to the middle, though.
 But at the end of the day, I had a little feeling, that this book is written by westerner about East, because last couple of articles were spiced with a drop of a snobbery (at least it felt like that for me, especially when she writes about street decorations...). I try not to be a snob myself, so I don't really like to read snob's musings about another countries culture and traditions. But, to be honest, I hope I was wrong about that.

 Other than that, this was a beautiful book, piece of art indeed. I can recommend it as a gift for sure and if it sounded at least slightly interesting to you, give it a go.=)

Add it on Goodreads
You can buy this book here: TheBookDepo  |  Amazon

My rating:
* * *,5.

 I'll read more books about Japan in upcoming months for sure, because I wanna know more and Tokyo on Foot is first on the list (since I own it =)).


Hope you're having an awesome day, reading your next favourite book and just having a best time of your life.
Keep reading and DFTBA!

Few more words:
Paperback with HUGE French flaps, that form their own layer of cover, 192 pages, published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2006. Bought for ma-self haha.