Book of the Month (November 2018)

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This just in!!

The Ragdoll Reads Book of the Month pick for November 2018 is:

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Pilu of the Woods

by Mai K. Nguyen (2019)

TL;DR – A beautiful story about overcoming your demons

See the full review here: Book Review: Pilu of the Woods (Mai K. Nguyen)

See the full Book of the Month list here: Book of the Month

Weekly Roundup

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About my week

This week was completely dominated by NaNoWriMo, which in case you were wondering, I ACTUALLY BEAT!!!! 50,000 words of story and I couldn’t be happier about it. I reckon it’ll take another 20k to finish the plot, then I have to go through and make a first draft. Exciting stuff. Also, the PLEXUS committee elections kicked off this week, so by this time next week, I’ll know if I’ve blagged myself a position, which is WAY scary!

 

This weeks reading

This week I’ve been reading (links to Goodreads)

This weeks posts

New acquisitions

Books added to the collection this week (links to Goodreads)

Nothing this week.

 

Soundtrack to the week

3 songs that had me hooked this week (Links to YouTube)

 

Warrior of the World (Jeffe Kennedy)

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I received an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review.


Goodreads Link | Author Website

More domestic than its predecessor, but just as entertaining

TL;DR – The continuing adventures of Ivariel, and her new life wiht the D’tiembo family.

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Ragdoll Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

Recommended For: Folk who enjoy romance with a bit of action thrown in for good measure

About the Book…

Warrior of the World is the sequel to Exile of the Seas (Book Review: Exile of the Seas (Jeffe Kennedy) ). With her former husband dead and buried, Ivariel is learning to live again among the D’tiembo family, who have welcomed her with open arms. But all is not as it seems.

Ivariel soon learns that Ochieng had introduced her as his betrothed, and his family had treated her accordingly. Ivariel finds herself trapped by her past trauma, and must learn to trust others to help her overcome her history. But soon, Ivariel’s destiny comes knocking and she must take up the post of Warrior Priestest in order to protect the people she loves.

What I thought…

This book was so much fun. For the most part, this book had a more gentle pace to it. Where Exile of the Seas was all about escaping an abusive existence, Warrior of the World focuses a great deal on exploring aspects of Ivariel’s character and how she relates to the world at large.

Ivariel’s relationship with Ochieng is explored extensively in this book, and it’s heartbreak as well as heartwarming. Ivariel has such horrific memories associated with love and relationships, but with Ochieng’s tender patience, she learns very, very slowly to come to terms with them and to blossom into something more than just the product of her past.

But this book isn’t without it’s action. Ivariel must learn to take up her position as a Warrior Priestess in order to protect her new family from rival civilisations, raiding in desperation after the rainy season.

This book does have several chapters of explicit sexual content, but I don’t think it’s gratuitous or out of place – it’s enjoyable and readable, even though erotic writing is not my thing.

Final Thoughts…

If you enjoyed Exile of the Seas and wanted character development and more romance, you will love this book.

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Please Note: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!

Weekly Roundup

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About my week

This week has been the poster child for bi-polar moods. I’ve been super productive, writing and studying loads, and it’s been totally amazing. I’ve also been utterly miserable about a whole lot of stuff, which was less fun. On the plus side, I’m about 5,000 words away from beating NaNoWriMo which is totally awesome!

This weeks reading

This week I’ve been reading (links to Goodreads)

This weeks posts

New acquisitions

Books added to the collection this week (links to Goodreads)

Soundtrack to the week

3 songs that had me hooked this week (Links to YouTube)

Yes I know it was all spongebob last week but I love this soundtrack SO MUCH

Weekly Roundup

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About my week

I can’t remember it, so it must have been good! Seriously, I can’t remember it. I’ve done a heck of a lot of writing though, for my #NaNoWriMo project, which is now sitting at a whopping 24,634 words! Which, obviously, I am incredibly happy with.

 

This weeks reading

This week I’ve been reading (links to Goodreads)

This weeks posts

New acquisitions

Books added to the collection this week (links to Goodreads)

My local library had a book sale, so it’s been a good week…

Soundtrack to the week

3 songs that had me hooked this week (Links to YouTube)

I cannot overstate home much I adore this soundtrack.

Book Review: Pilu of the Woods (Mai K. Nguyen)

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I received an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review.


Goodreads Link | Author Website

Intensely beautiful in every way.

TL;DR – A beautiful story about overcoming your demons

Book of the Month
Book of the Month (November 2018)

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Ragdoll Rating: Exceptional

Recommended For: Anybody who struggles with the nasty voices in their heads.

About the Book…

Poor Willow. Life feels so hard. She runs away from home into the forest after an argument with her sister, where she makes a discovery. Willow finds a forest spirit, Pilu, crying in the woods. Pilu has run away too, but now she is lost. Willow knows the woods better than anyone and offers to return Pilu to her home safely. The pair become firm friends immediately but the monsters are not far behind.

What I thought…

This book is so beautiful. Willow has these monsters in her head, monsters that make her angry and aggressive. She tries to bottle them up, to keep them subdued and hidden – an attempt at being strong. But it doesn’t work. The monsters get angrier the more they are resisted and then they burst out and take over, causing Willow to do things she really regrets.  But with Pilu’s help, Willow learns to overcome the monsters through compassion and understanding. This book shows a real deep, clear understanding of what it’s like to live with little demons in your head – monsters that don’t feel part of you, creatures you despise. It’s something I go through constantly, and to see Willow work through things compassionately is so close to my own personal experience it genuinely made me weep.

The story also deals with loss, feelings of isolation, and friendship. It’s so wholesome and heartwarming.

I’m making a complete pig’s ear of explaining the story, but trust me, it is wonderful.

The illustrations, also, and so pretty. Nguyen’s art style is adorable, and the characters are all so sweet, you just want to hug them until everything is alright again.

Final Thoughts…

This book was completely beautiful in every way, and I will absolutely be buying a physical copy as soon as I am able.

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Please Note: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!

Weekly Roundup

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About my week

This week was very busy, and a little depressing. But most importantly it was the start of NaNoWriMo 2018! I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to keep my word count so far, and the story seems like it will be a lot of fun. I’m excited!

 

This weeks reading

This week I’ve been reading (links to Goodreads)

This weeks posts

New acquisitions

Books added to the collection this week (links to Goodreads)

Nothing this week.

 

Soundtrack to the week

3 songs that had me hooked this week (Links to YouTube)

Book Review: St Paul’s Labyrinth (Jeroen Windmeijer)

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I received an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review.


Goodreads Link | Author Website

Interesting story, but not my cup of tea.

TL;DR –A story of conspiracy, kidnapping and alternative theories on Christianity

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Ragdoll Rating: 2.5/5 Buttons

Recommended For: People who enjoy religious conspiracy

About the Book…

When an unknown tunnel is discovered under the streets of Leiden, it’s an exciting time for historians. But when one colleague winds up dead, and another kidnapped, Peter de Haan’s life is about to get difficult. Peter is forced to follow a trail of clues to rescue his friend, and finds himself learning more and more about the mysterious cult of Mithras.

St Paul’s Labyrinth is story of religious conspiracy, and devotes a long time to offering an alternative explanation for the history of Christianty – so obviously, if that’s going to rub you the wrong way, probably best to avoid it.

What I thought…

This book has me split down the middle, and I’ll tell you for why. I picked up this book hoping for your standard religious conspiracy treasure hunt style story, which is exactly what I got. I just found myself hopping between liking and hating bits really rapidly.

What I liked about this book was the alternative history it provides. The book suggests, among other things, that Jesus and the rest of the Jewish people were totally fine with each other, until St Paul got spurned and humiliated by a Jewish priest and decided he was going to destroy Judaism. He did this, according to the book, by re-tooling the concept of Jesus, to fit around the existing story of Mithras, and then spreading it around. This caused a big divide in the Jewish faith, and sparked of Christianity which really is just a collection of rituals and stories about a completely different god. This is explored in considerable detail during the course of this book, and that’s sort of what bugs me. If you’d handed me this book and said “Here is a well referenced work of non-fiction explaining many of the inconsistencies in early Christianity” I would have eaten it up with a spoon. Religious history is my JAM. But it was a bit much in the middle of a fiction work, and I personally found that the story was less interesting than the religious history element, which was a bit jarring.

What I didn’t like was the quantity of analogies. This book is full of them, for completely random things. Things you would never think needed an example. Everything is ‘like’ this and ‘like’ that. I found it really, REALLY annoying, and I know that’s pretty petty, but it wrecked the flow of the book for me.

I also struggled to follow the book itself. Each chapter has a date, and they jump all over the place, but also I struggled to understand the motivations. The main character, for example, seems to be expecting some sort of religious quest to drop into his lap, as he is waaaay to into the whole thing long before his colleague is kidnapped. He runs from the police after his other colleague disappears for no apparent reason at all, and then keeps going. Also, the book declares that Peter is not a Robert Langdon-esque super genius, and yet he still manages to solve a myriad of random clues in no time flat, something I don’t imagine your average professor would be able to do. I don’t know why this bothered me.

Final Thoughts…

I personally would have loved to see this book split into two, a fiction book containing a heavily reduced quantity of religious explanations, and a non-fiction book giving the background to the whole thing. Alas, it was not to be.

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Please Note: I received a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!

Announcement! 2019 Reading Challenge Category Reveal!!!

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That’s right you beautiful somebodies. The big day is here, the wait is finally over. The categories are being revealed so you can go out and stockpile your books ready for next year.

Before anything else, a request. Please, please, PLEASE spread this about, I’d love for people to get involved. Share it anywhere you like (as long as you link it back here, or to @RagdollReads on twitter). If you or somebody you know decides to take up the challenge, let me know. Now back to what you came here for.

The reading challenge is in three parts. Light ReadingRegular and Serious Book Dragon editions.

cooltext30352622618610012 categories – one book for each category. (Plus a special WILDCARD category for the holidays)

That’s one book per month, and one bonus book for the holiday season.

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Light Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge – Light Chart PDF

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24 categories – one book for each category. (Plus a special WILDCARD category for the holidays)

That’s one book every two weeks. Or two books per month if you prefer. Or roughly 0.00204918 books every 45 minutes if you want to be completely absurd about it! (I think!)

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Regular Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge Chart PDF

 

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52 basic categories

4 ‘free read’ categories

3 ‘Wildcard’ categories

That’s 59 books for those of you who can’t be bothered to work it out. 1 read a week, plus a few extras thrown in. Finish this, and you can consider yourself a Serious Book-Dragon!

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Serious Book-Dragon Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge – Serious Book Dragon Edition PDF

Please enjoy the challenge. I hope you’ll spread it around (remember to tag me here or @RagdollReads on twitter). Enjoy your reading ❤ Much love all!!!

 

 

Book of the Month (October 2018)

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This just in!!

The Ragdoll Reads Book of the Month pick for October 2018 is:

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Quantum Mechanics

by Jeff Weigel (2018)

TL;DR – A pair of young mechanics are kidnapped by pirates. Adventure follows.

See the full review here: Book Review: Quantum Mechanics (Jeff Weigel)

See the full Book of the Month list here: Book of the Month