WWW Wednesday 27th January 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

As always, clicking on the cover image will take you to the book’s Goodreads page.

1. What I’m reading at the moment

The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike #2) by Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith book coverSo far, this seems to be moving along more quickly than The Cuckoo’s Calling. I’m already guessing I’m going to say it’s too long though. And why, oh why, do writers insist on using epigraphs from classical literature at the start of every chapter?

The blurb: When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…


2. The last books I read

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell book coverLoved it! Entertaining and made me smile lots. My full review.

The blurb: Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

AND

The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker (aka The Golem and the Jinni)

The Golem and the Djinni book coverThis is a great book. Slow to get going but worth giving it your time. If you like historical fiction but aren’t sure about reading fantasy, perhaps this could be the one to give a try. My full review.

The blurb: Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

Struggling to make their way in 1899 New York, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their immigrant neighbors while masking their true selves. Meeting by chance, they become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Marvelous and compulsively readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.


3. What I’ll read next

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #2)

The Dream Thieves The Raven Boys 2 by Maggie StiefvaterI read the first installment in The Raven Cycle series late last year (my review). It was entertaining enough that I’ve been looking forward to continuing the series. I saw The Dream Thieves in the library and pounced before the books are swiped by fans wanting to re-read the series before the last book (book 4) comes out at the end of April (although that could just be me judging other book readers by my standards…).

The blurb: Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake...

AND

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill book coverI’ve seen lots of good reviews of this. Plus, the blurb reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale, which is a good start.

The blurb: In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful. For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year. But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight… And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known…


Have you read/are reading any of these? What are you reading? Let me know! 🙂


Snickers muffins with chocolate and vanilla buttercream swirl frosting

Last week I used up surplus Snickers bars by baking them into Snickers muffins, topped with a two-colour swirl of buttercream frosting. Mmmm….


Claire Huston / Art and Soul
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69 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday 27th January 2016

  1. I just read how you should never start every chapter (or any chapter, for that matter) with a quote! I don’t understand it, either. It’s not an essay, like we wrote at uni or in High School (and even then one quote at the beginning was enough). It’s a novel.
    I haven’t read any of these but some sound really interesting! Might have to add a couple to my reading list ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! I start to wonder if the authors feel like they need to prove how well-versed they are in the classics. There’s no need! I want to read your story, not bits of someone else’s!
      I don’t mind a quote(s) at the beginning of a novel or even at the start of each part or act (they can be quite interesting, particularly if they give intriguing hints of what’s to come), but the start of EVERY chapter?!
      I’m particularly looking forward to Only Ever Yours. Anything which makes me think of The Handmaid’s Tale is off to a good start and I haven’t read any dystopia for a while (I put myself on a ban because if you read too much back-to-back it all starts to blur into one).

      Like

  2. So glad you enjoyed Carry On. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about it but I did love it (although so far I’ve loved everything RR has written).

    I do really need to look out for The Golum as it sounds interesting and has such a pretty cover. I’m probably one of those who is not so keen on historical but loves fantasy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had the exact same thoughts about epigraphs. I mean, I suppose it adds to the theme and what-not, but how many people actually read and digest them to the same degree that they do the rest of the story? You could probably remove them altogether and have it effect very little.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ok, first, I am an author who uses quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Most are pop culture references, rather than classic literature and give a hint of what’s to come or something about the characters. I’ve had good feedback on them because they are fun and (hopefully) funny and work well with my style of writing. Anyway, I felt the need to throw my two cents in about that particular subject.
    Second, I’m glad you liked Carry On and you’re right about the warm and fuzzies. I didn’t love Fangirl so I was hesitant at first about Carry On but I’m so glad I read it. Love Simon and Baz. Silkworm and Cuckoo have moved up the TBR list and so has Golem and Djinni. Sounds like a really good read.
    Here’s my list this week http://hollykerr.ca/www-wednesday-what-im-reading/ Happy Reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I’d mind pop culture references so much, they’d seem more at home in a contemporary novel. The classical literature ones – and in this case they come from drama which is a bit odd, but I do see how they’re supposed to be connected to the plot – can just seem a bit out of place and I wonder if the reader is stopping each time to read and understand them.
      I’m so happy you enjoyed Carry On – Simon and Baz are great.
      I’ll check out your WWW now 🙂

      Like

  5. I’m looking forward to hear what you think of The Silkworm! I wasn’t completely convinced by the first book, but I still want to continue the series at some point. I also want to read The Raven Cycle sequel soon… Who knows, maybe next month?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Good to hear The Silkworm is better! I liked The Raven Boys as well, although I have quite a few YA fantasy series I want to read at the moment. I should pick just one and finish it first, but until now that’s not happening. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A great selection of books as always Claire – I still need to read the Robert Galbraith series. I have a confession I tend to skim read the quotes at the beginning of chapters unless they have a really close link to the story!
    I love the look of your cakes the pictures alone make my mouth water.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree that quotes at the beginning of every chapter is excessive. Lots of times the quote has little to do with the chapter. It’s like “look at this piece of classic literature. See, I am knowledgeable.” Sometimes it works, but most of the time, it gets annoying and I find myself skipping over them.
    I’m excited to read Cuckoo’s Calling and The Raven Boys. Once I get those done, I can tackle the sequels. I’ve started The Raven’s Boys before, but I didn’t finish, so I’ll have to start over from the beginning (darn normal day things getting in the way of reading). Hope you enjoy The Silkworm and Dream Thieves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      I think the problem with using them at the start of every chapter is just that: reader fatigue. Eventually you don’t even see them, you just skip past. Which is a shame, because the author clearly put it there for a reason (even if it was just to show off!).
      I’m always wary of starting series because I find I have to finish them, even if I don’t like them that much!
      Thanks for visiting and happy reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know why but I am still unsure about Carry On. I see a lot of people loving it, might have to eventually pick it up.
    But I really need to pick up The Raven Cycle series, have been eyeing it up for ages. And I loved her other books X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carry On has divided Rowell fans. I was worried I wouldn’t like it and I was relieved when it picked up in part 2. In the end, it was great!
      The Raven Cycle are the first books by Stiefvater I’ve read but I’ve been told they’re among her best, so I started in a good place!
      Thanks for visiting and happy reading 🙂

      Like

    • I’ve heard so many good things about Only Ever Yours. My only worry is that I’m not really in the mood for anything very dark at the moment… hopefully I will be by next week when I get to it 🙂 Might need to re-read Carry On before to cheer myself up!
      Thanks for visiting and happy reading 🙂

      Like

  9. Glad we both liked ‘Carry On!’ I’m going to write a review in the next week or so. I do agree ‘The Silkworm’ was a bit long, but I trust in Rowling at this point that what seems pointless now will come into play later. I hope she doesn’t let me down. Happy reading and thanks for participating in WWW Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Once I finish the book that I’m reading now, my next book is going to be Only Ever Yours! I’ve heard it often compared to The Handmaid’s Tale. I can’t wait to read it! It’ll be fun to book chat about it once we’re both done. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Can i just say, THAT CUPCAKE LOOKS SO GOOD! Ive yet to master the art of swirl frosting but one day.
    I cannot way to read Carry on, I need it in life and also the dream thieve. i red the raven boys and i really enjoyed it. so I’m looking forward to this one.
    Happy Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Aggh, I really do want to read the Dream Thieves, despite never quite figuring out my feelings for The Raven Boys, but my local library has lost their copy (I think I may have already had this rant to you). I’m probably going to reach the point where I just spend the full $10 on an ebook version. Since my digital libraries are also kinda useless and don’t seem to have it, either. I hope it’s good!

    Thanks for stopping over at my WWW post (https://keysandopenmind.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/www-wednesday-27-january-2016/)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Argh! I hate it when the library catalogue says something’s there and then it’s gone AWOL. I hope it’s good too. I worry slightly because from what I can get from the blurb it looks to be quite Ronan-centric, and he was my least favourite character in The Raven Boys. That could be misleading though… we’ll see!

      Like

  13. What an interesting selection of books. I’m not familiar with any of the authors except R. Galbraith and you’ve made them all seem very appealing. More for the ever increasing TBR list. Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday and hope you have a happy reading remainder of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Epigraphs can be pretty hit or miss, especially when they’re at the beginning of every chapter. Like, at the beginning of a book or at the beginning of each sub-book is usually fine, but most of the times I don’t like getting more than that. I say most of the time because there are always exceptions – in my case Malazan Book of the Fallen, which, to be fair, is using fictional epigraphs from the fictional world, and often sets the tone for the (very lengthy) chapters.

    Thanks for visiting my WWW post, and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right: there are always exceptions. I think in this specific case it was irritating because I don’t think it added anything to the story and seemed a little like trying to be too clever.
      Thank you for visiting too 🙂 Until next week, happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. As a great fan of The Handmaid’s Tale and what I call “classic” rather than “adventure” dystopias (i.e. they’re about ideas and tend to be much darker), I like the sound of this one a lot. Will probably need to read a nice comedy/romance to cheer myself up afterwards though!

      Liked by 1 person

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