Saturday, December 27, 2014

'Night of Cake and Puppets', Laini Taylor


I mentioned that book in my TBR pile for 2015 but I couldn't resist on reading it. This is about cute, teen love and maybe you won't expect much but Laini Taylor has written word porn. WORD PORN, I tell you. 
Night of Cake and Puppets is a spin-off of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy which means it's not necessary to have read the other books. Everything you need to know is exposed in the first chapter.
Zuzana is Carou's best friend. She is a 4'8'' person but is vengeful for the whole planet, mostly because of her bigger brother Tomas. She has a twisted mind and her Deda used to tell her creepy bedtime stories when she was a child.

Truly, if I ever turn out to be a murderer or something, the newspapers can pretty much say, She didn’t have a chance to be normal. Her family twisted her from the day she was born.

Also, something less creepy and more innocent, she is a puppet-maker. A puppet-maker, fallen in love. What Zuze knows about him is:
  1. His name is Mik.
  2. He plays violin in the same theater she makes puppets for.
Mik, happily, knows more about her. (Yes, the story has two points of view, thank you, Laini!) He knows WHOLE FOUR THINGS! Well, three. The fourth is a quality. But at least he knows about her love for cake. If someone had a secret crush on me, I'd love him to know about my love for chocolate, and, yeah, cake, I lovelovelove cake. You don't know how sad I felt when Zuze had cake. Chocolate cake. Much tears, very wow, I want cake.
Whatever.
This is when the magic happens.
Scoopies are what Carou has - little beads, everyone with a unique pattern, and they make wishes come true. Simple, super small wishes, but Zuzana is satisfied. Scoopies are enough for her to... Well, read the goddamn book and find out what she does with her five scoopies. It is cute. It is magical. It is what I needed those days.
I needed something like that right then - I had more Christmas spirit in November rather than now, and my Christmas wasn't much Christmas-y at all. I didn't have a Christmas tree, only two garlands and three meters of Christmas lights in my room, that's it. I didn't know what magic was and I had lost my excitement.
Until I read that book.
For a reader, books are the little magic everyone wants, hopes for and or needs. And if you don't believe me, read Night of Cake and Puppets

Life doesn’t need magic to be
magical. 
(But a little bit sure doesn’t hurt.)
---
Книгата не е преведена на български, но я има безплатно в интернет в pdf формат само като ebook. Самата книга няма paperback/hardcover издание (за съжаление.)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2015 To-Be-Read

I promise myself (and you all) that I will AT LEEEEEAST!!!!!! try to read all these books. And many others.

  • Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
  • Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus (and gooooooosh, I so wanna read Greek Gods, but 30 euros unfortunately aren't something I have)
  • Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex
  • Laini Taylor: Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters. It's a shame I still haven't read those babies and I just loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone. There is a spin-off(?) of the series called Nights of Cakes and Puppets which is about Mik and Zuze. Maybe even Lips Touch: Three Times.
  • Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar
  • Douglas Adams: Life, the Universe, and Everything, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless
  • David Levithan: Every Day
  • Carl Sagan: Cosmos
  • George R. R. Martin: A Feast For Crows and A Dance with Dragons. And, the same as with Greek Gods - The World of Ice and Fire
  • John R. R. Tolkien: A Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún. I started it moooonths ago, it was the end of May, but reading 'poetry' in the spirit of the Norwegian mythology is hard.
365 days. 15 must-read books. Most of them are biiiig, man. But there is nothing hard for a reader.
I wonder what your TBR piles are. Share, if you want. :)
***
Обещавам, че поне ще се опитам да прочета всички тези книги. И много други. Но целта ми са тези. 
  • Джейн Остин: Гордост и предразсъдъци
  • Рик Риърдън: Пърси Джаксън и героите на Олимп (и ако някак си, с Божията воля, по случайност, както и да е, имам, ама дай боже!!! Greek Gods, ще отида на църква и свещичка ще запаля :D)
  • Джефри Юдженидис: Мидълсекс. Четейки резюмето, ми напомня за Физика на тъгата, въпреки че нямат нищо общо освен колко уникални са.
  • Лейни Тейлър: Дни на кръв и звездна светлина и Сънища за богове и чудовища. Има и спин-оф по поредицата, който се отнася само и единствено за любовната история между Мик и Зузана (Nights of Cakes and Puppets), който ЗА-ДЪЛ-ЖИ-ТЕЛ-НО прочитам!!! Може би дори Lips Touch: Three Times.
  • Силвия Плат: Стъкления похлупак
  • Дъглас Адамс: За живота, Вселената и всичко останало, Сбогом и благодаря за рибата и Почти безобидна.
  • Дейвид Левитан: Every Day (книгата я няма на български)
  • Карл Саган: Космос
  • Джордж Р. Р. Мартин (защо ли не се учудваме :D): Пир за врани и Танц с дракони. И отново с Божията воля, The World of Ice and Fire.
  • Джон Р. Р. Толкин: Легенда за Сигурд и Гудрун
365 дни. 15 задължителни за цялата година книги, повечето от които са големички. Ама нищо не може да спре един читател.
Чудно ми е какво вие задължително искате да прочетете през годината? :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Книжна равносметка || Merry Bookish Christmas!

Inspired by my favourite Ivy, I decided to sum up all the great books I've read. I cried like a baby, my heart goes vroom-vroom when I just think about them.
***
Вдъхновена от така любимата ми Айви, реших да си направя равносметка на всички прочетени книги през годината, накарали сърцето ми да бие бясно и само мисълта за тях да ме прави щастлива.
***
I started the year with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his 'A Study in Scarlet', 'The Sign of Four' and 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. I cannot think of something I don't like about Sherlock Holmes (especially Benedict Cumberbatch, ahem (you didn't read this)).
***
Започнах годината със сър Артър Конан Дойл и неговите "Етюд в червено", "Знакът на четиримата" и "Баскервилското куче" и не мога да се сетя за нещо, което не харесвам в книгите за Шерлок Холмс (пък и Бенедикт Къмбърбатч (ама това не сте го прочели)).
***
...And the year continued with 'High Fidelity' - a funny, yet kind of boring novel, by Nick Hornby, which tells the story of Rob. He works in a record shop and is obsessed with music. The novel is about how much the adulthood sucks, and so does love, and so do women, and so does he.
 It was February and I was in a reading slump, so I decided to finish a novel I had put down months ago - 'The Heart in the Cardboard Box' or whatever its name has to be in English because it is a Bulgarian book. I can't say I liked it. It started in an amazing way but finished bad. I felt obligated to read it.
 Karma, what have I done to read a bad book after a bad book? Another famous Bulgarian writer, Nikolay Tellalov, is famous for his trilogy 'To Wake Up a Dragon' and I had read so many positive reviews about it. It includes Bulgarian folklore bUT ALSO THERE ARE DRAGONS!!! Let me explain it: Radoslav, our protagonist, gets lost in a forest during a walk in the mountains with his friends. He is searching for the right way to get out, but then he founds an ancient stone. And Verena wakes up after a thousand years of sleeping, and they fall in love, blah blah blah. I forced myself to like it - it didn't work out.
***
...Годината продължи с "Ега ти живота" на Ник Хорнби - забавна, макар и донякъде скучна. Разказва историята на Роб, който работи в магазин за винилови плочи и е обсебен от музиката. Според него е ужасно трудно да си възрастен и любовният му живот не струва, пък и той самият също.
 Беше февруари и трудно четях каквото и да е, затова реших да довърша книга, започната още през 2013 - "Сърцето в картонената кутия" на Светослав Минков. Дори не мога да кажа, че ми хареса, въпреки обещаващото начало и интересното заглавие.
 А кармата продължаваше да ми поднася лошо четиво след лошо четиво. Следващата прочетена книга беше "Да пробудиш драконче", която много хора намират за великолепна и една от най-добрите в българската литература. Не я харесах. Прекрасната идея за вплитане на българския фолклор и ДРАКОНИТЕ (♥) е провалена, а любовната история - недоизпипана. Искаше ми се да заобичам тази книга. Не се получи.
***
 It was spring and not only the whole planet woke up after the bad winter, but so did my desire for reading. Ladies and gentlemen, one of the best books for me, 'Sputnik Sweetheart'! And then I read 'The Brothers Lionheart' which I'd enjoy more if I were a kid. And then Pratchett's 'Equal Rites'. Oh. My. Gosh. In the beginning of the year I read 'The Colour of Magic' but it was the same as with 'High Fidelity' - funny, cool, yet boring and didn't leave me satisfied. BUT THEN I READ 'EQUAL RITES' AND FELL IN LOVE WITH PRATCHETT.
 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. I think everybody should read it because it is so important - talking about racism, rape victims, growing up; it shows us the coexistence of good and evil, and how we are not able to remove one of them. It shows us the existence of social unequality and the worst thing is that it still exists, sixty years later.
 'Legacies' by F. Paul Wilson is a pretty cool and mindblowing book I didn't expect to like. I read, like, almost the whole book for a day. I could not get enough of it. The characters are developed so well, and let's not talk about the plot twists that are in maybe every sentence. A quote I love:
Life really sucked sometimes.

But it didn't have to suck all the time. Sometimes things could be fixed.
I am so thankful a friend of mine gave it to me. That's what I call destiny.

 A book I was searching for a really long time - 'The Diary of a Young Girl' by Anne Frank. Although I expected much more, it still left me satisfied and I do think it is an important part of the contemporary literature. Most of the people can relate to Anne - she is growing up in front of the reader's eyes, falling in love, trying to deal with her parents, struggling with her identity. 
 ***
 Пролетта дойде и не само цялата планета се събуди след лошата зима, ами и литературният ми глад. Една от най-добрите книги, които съм чела тази година - "Спутник, моя любов". И после прочетох "Братята с лъвски сърца", на която със сигурност бих се насладила повече, ако бях дете. И после Пратчетовата "Еманципирана магия". В началото на годината прочетох и "Цветът на магията" но беше същото като "Ега ти живота" - забавна и все пак донякъде скучна и не ми допадна толкова много. После прочетох "Еманципирана магия" и се влюбих в Пратчет.
 "Да убиеш присмехулник". Според мен всеки трябва да я прочете, защото е толкова важна - повдига темите за расизма, жертвите на изнасилване, че и порастването; показва ни съществуването едновременно на добро и зло и как не сме способни да оставим само едното. Показва ни съществуването на социалното неравенство и как все още съществува, за нещастие.
 "Завещанието" на Ф. Пол Уилсън, която не очаквах да харесам, а всъщност не можах да оставя. Прочетох я буквално за ден и после имах ужасно главоболие, но си струваше. Героите са развити толкова добре и нека не говорим за обратите в сюжета, които са едва ли не във всяко изречение.
Сигурна съм, че тая книга дойде при мен заради съдба и съм много благодарна, че ми я заеха. (защото аз мразя да заемам книги)
 Книга, която търсех над година може би - "Дневникът на Ане Франк", по-известна в България като "Задната къща". Въпреки че очаквах повече, все пак наистина харесах книгата и я смятам за толкова важна, колкото и "Да убиеш присмехулник". Голяма част от хората може би биха се асоциирали с Ане, която израства пред очите на читателите в период от две години, открива трепетите на любовта за първи път, опитва се да не се кара с родителите си и се опитва да намери своята идентичност, лутайки се из дебрите на съзнанието си.
***
 SUMMER! No school, no homework, only warm days and a comfortable couch made only for reading. While my friends were sunbathing or hiking, or going to the countryside, I was lying in the living room, with the air conditioner on, reading and listening to music.
 I was super interested in this year's Booktube-A-Thon, so I challenged myself into reading a book series for only 7 days. PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPICS, IS THIS BOOK SERIES EVEN FOR REAL? I tortured myself into reading half of the books on my phone, then I took them from the library, and I'm super sad I don't own them. But, still. Rick Riordan, you have my admirations. Give that man a cookie for being SO GOOD. I usually don't read young adult because it is really stupid most of the times (not to offend anyone!), I can easily predict the plot, there are so many clichés repeating in every damn book but, gosh, Rick totally nailed YA. I can't wait to get my stipend and buy 'Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus' because it is going to be so good (and I'm gonna cry sooo much).
 The other YA book that broke my heart into TINYTINYTINYTIIIINY pieces - 'As White As Milk, As Red As Blood'. I can't think about it without feeling an emptiness in my heart. I've read mostly negative reviews, I don't know why. This book is so touching and real.
 '18% Gray' is another Bulgarian book I read this year. if they ever translate it in English, read it. Buy it as fast as you can, and start reading it before going out of the book store. There is no such story, no such emotions, it is one of its kind. I totally recommend it.
 Brönte's 'Wuthering Heights' is a must-read for classic lovers. I thought it was really boring at the beginning and I forced myself into reading it. After the thirtieth page, I was sniffing and wiping tears.
 And, again, Pratchett. AND 'THE REAPER MAN'. I feel like Death for using caps (you SEE WHAT I DID HERE?) This book is a masterpiece. Death is a masterpiece. Pratchett is a masterpiece.
 Whatever said for the books above, there are only three book series that have a special place in my heart - first of them is 'Percy Jackson and the Olympics'. Second of them - Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy'. Adams' books are as funny and yet so meaningful, just like Pratchett's but they're sci-fi. THIS GUY BROUGHT ME INTO SCI-FI!!! Now I own the full book series and I don't know why I still don't have an altar with a picture of Douglas Adams and the book series in the middle of it.
 'Carrie' by Stephen King was a good book but not enough in the same time. 'The Green Mile' is my favourite of King's by what I've read so far.
 ***
 ЛЯТО! Без училище, без домашни, само топли дни и удобно канапе, създадено само и единствено за четене. Докато всичките ми приятели се пекоха по плажовете или бяха на разходки из планините, аз си лежах в хола, климатикът ми беше включен, избирах си подходяща музика и четях. И мога да кажа, че имах страхотно лято.
 "Пърси Джаксън и боговете на Олимп" е една от най-прекрасните поредици, които съм чела. Отне ми само шест дни да я завърша. Дори да не чета young adult, тази книга е guilty pleasure-ът ми. :D Нямам търпение да получа парите от стипендията, за да си купя "Героите на Олимп". Не ми се мисли колко сълзи ще изплача.
 Друга young adult книга, която не очаквах да е толкова добра, беше "Бяла като мляко, червена като кръв" и разби сърцето ми на малкималкималки парченца. 
 "18% сиво" е една от най-добрите български книги, които съм чела. Тя е за всички българи, които се съмняват в литературата ни. Единствена по вида си.
 Следващите прочетени - "Брулени хълмове" и "Жътварят". Но върхът на сладоледа за цялото лято беше поредицата "Пътеводителят на галактическия стопаджия", която е като "Светът на диска", ама сай-фааааааааай! Ама е точно толкова забавна и прекрасна! И обичам и двамата автори еднакво! Мога да си я препрочитам редовно. Не знам как все още не съм си направила паган-олтар на Пътеводителя. 
 И последно "Кери" на Кинг, която беше... meh.
***
 Autumn brought me into another reading slump I tried to fight with a small book such as Bukowski's 
'Post Office' but it was so boring I gave up on reading for a while. But then my bestie gave me 'The Secret Garden' which is one of cutest books eveeeeeeer! It isn't childish, not even a little!
Another heartbreaker - 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' and I still associate myself with Holly Golightly.
And, finally, it is time to discuss my, already endless, love for
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.
I finished the first two books, currently reading 'A Storm of Swords' and secretly crying for 'A World of Ice and Fire'. I even had a dream and I was Arya, like, what the fuck, maaaaaaaaan? Whatever. I can't read anything else and I feel like constantly living in Westeros. And I certainly am a Stark, you can't convince me otherwise.
***
 Есента пак имах период, в който не ми се четеше, и се опитах да го "изгоня" с малка книжка като "Поща" на Буковски, но беше толкова лоша, че просто се отказах от четенето. Докато не ми подариха "Тайната градина" за рождения ден, която е толкова сладурска!
И, най-накрая, моментът, който чаках през цялото време...
"ПЕСЕН ЗА ОГЪН И ЛЕД". Не знам къде съм бляла през цялото време, но откакто съм започнала поредицата, друга книга Н Е  М О Г А да погледна. (а мога, кой каза :P)
Живея на Вестерос от няколко месеца и някои нека си припадат по Огъстъс Уотърс, аз умииииирам за Джон Сняг!
***
Edit: I skipped a few favourites:

  • Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451. All time favourite.
  • Again Bradbury - 'Farewell, Summer'. I read 'Dandelion Wine' back in 2013.
  • Herman Hesse's 'Siddhartha' - a deeeeep book :D I can't say I really enjoyed it, but there is something about that book I really love.
  • 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' by John Green & David Levithan. A fun and enjoyable book, yet not so good as I expected it to be.
Moral of the story: less expectations&prejudices, more optimistic thoughts for books and more bought books.
Merry Bookish Christmas everyone!