Monday, February 16, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - February 16th 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted each week over at Book Journey and it's a great way to grow your TBR pile too by seeing what others are reading.

I missed out on posting last week, so I'm going to include my totals in this week's reading. I've also done some book buying this week, so I'm going to include a list of those as well at the end.

Since my last post, I've read:
The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across The Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor.

Although it took me a lot longer than I thought it would to get through this, it was a fascinating and educational read. If the legends and accounts of the Amazons, be they the ancient Greek, Persian, Chinese or others intrigue you, this is the book for you. Adrienne Mayor has gathered together the legends and the archaeological evidence that backs them up in her quest to prove that the Amazons were not just mythical but were real people.

Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey
Book one of the Mage Winds trilogy.
Read for the Valdemar Challenge and the Hardcore Re-Reading Challenge.

Winds of Change by Mercedes Lackey
Book Two of the Mage Winds trilogy.
Read for the Valdemar Challenge and the Hardcore Re-Reading Challenge.

I'm currently reading:
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
I started reading this one last night, and I'm already loving it - even though I'm only about 30 pages in at the moment. This was also one of the books I bought in the past week.

Winds of Fury by Mercedes Lackey
Book three of the Mage Winds trilogy. I read partway through the first chapter last night after finishing Winds of Change, and just stalled out. The book starts from Ancar's point of view - a first in the whole series - and it seems like his favorite word is the "B" word. I just couldn't take it at the time.

The books I bought in the past week:
Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The amazon.com product description:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

Appearing in paperback for the first time—with twenty arresting new photos and an extensive Q&A with the author—Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, brought vividly to life by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand.

Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award
I've just started reading this one and I'm already loving it. I can't believe that it took me until now to finally give the book a chance.

The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
The amazon.com product description:
Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel is a major television miniseries airing on BET Networks.
The Book of Negroes (based on the novel Someone Knows My Name) will be BET’s first miniseries. The star-studded production includes lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (Ray, The Help), Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men), Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. (A Raisin in the Sun, Boardwalk Empire), and features Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue), Jane Alexander (The Cider House Rules), and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line). Director and co-writer Clement Virgo is a feature film and television director (The Wire) who also serves as producer with executive producer Damon D’Oliveira (What We Have).
In this “transporting” (Entertainment Weekly) and “heart-stopping” (Washington Post) work, Aminata Diallo, one of the strongest women characters in contemporary fiction, is kidnapped from Africa as a child and sold as a slave in South Carolina. Fleeing to Canada after the Revolutionary War, she escapes to attempt a new life in freedom.
Ok. I'm going to shred this blurb a little bit. First of all, that they're saying it's based on the novel Someone Knows My Name - Up here in Canada, the book has always been called The Book of Negroes. It's only in the USA that they changed the name. Second, the blurb given is more about the stars in the TV series. Amazon.ca has a better description, given for the illustrated edition (which I would dearly love to have):
This beautiful full-colour gift edition of the new Canadian classic, The Book of Negroes, shares with readers the many photos, works of art and documents that inspired Lawrence Hill to create his award-winning work. It adds to the novel more than 150 images: early maps and documents, archival photos, period paintings and never-before-published pages from the original handwritten ledger called the Book of Negroes. Readers will travel the world with Aminata Diallo, from a West African village to an indigo plantation in South Carolina, through the tough streets of New York City and the harsh climate of Nova Scotia to the coast of Sierra Leone, and finally to an abolitionist’s home in London.
However, I have to agree that the TV series The Book of Negroes was absolutely amazing. I'm now looking forward to the DVD release, and hoping that it comes out on Blu-Ray as well as DVD. There were moments where the series actually drove me to tears - and anger at the treatment meted out to Aminata.

The final book I bought this week was a crochet book:
Blueprint Crochet Sweaters - Robyn Chachula
Blueprint Crochet Sweaters by Robyn Chachula
The amazon.com product description:
Learn the must-have basics of sweater construction and ways to achieve better-fitting garments!
Best-selling author of Blueprint Crochet, Robyn Chachula presents an approachable resource on the basics of crochet design. This friendly introduction to sweater and garment construction will give you a deeper understanding of working with crochet and help you make better-fitting garments in the process.

In this collection of 16 patterns, Robyn focuses on four basic garment types and their variations--"classic" construction (including raglan, drop-sleeve, and side-saddle sleeve); unique construction (side-to-side or from the bottom up, around the shoulder, and back down); motif construction; and top-down (both round and raglan types).

The perfect introduction to the building blocks of crochet sweater construction, Blueprint Crochet Sweaters breaks down intimidating garment design into easily digestible parts, offering a deeper appreciation and understanding of how to create projects that reflect your own personal style.
I know I've been hesitant to start a project as complex as a sweater - for several reasons, including the cost of that much yarn. Reading through the introduction to this book, well it isn't exactly helping to make things seem simple, but it's certainly going to make sure that I'm prepared when I do attempt a sweater. Not to mention, there are some great looking patterns in here too.
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