Hall of Records

Jana's random ramblings and musings

DIY Spoilertags!

If you're a goodreads transplant, and, like me, depended heavily on those handy little spoilertags, then don't worry.  Booklikes is flexible enough that you can make your own!

 

Here are two ways, for different levels of effort/html-savvyness.  And since I actually am quite rusty and haven't used javascript or html for years, I'll bet my life there are even better ways.

 

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Reblogged from bookaneer

From Moonlight Reader: By our reviews and posts, you will get to know us

So, in my real life, I'm a trial lawyer. I prosecute people who rape children and commit murder, and engage that sort of anti-social criminal behavior. Because of that, I'm pretty familiar (actually, extremely familiar) with the rules of evidence.

 

This post is for the purpose of talking about the rule against hearsay. I don't want to get all boring and legalish and stuff, but basically, the rule of hearsay provides that stuff that is said outside of court (i.e., to a witness who wants to repeat it in court) is sufficiently unreliable that it won't be allowed in court in front of the finder of fact (i.e., jury) unless it fits into an exception that gives it something that we call indicia of reliability. For our purposes, I'm just going to talk about regular old hearsay.

 

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Reblogged from Moonlight Reader

[Masterpost] Customizing BookLikes

There are quite a few tutorials on how to change the layout of your BookLikes blog. I figured it's good to have them all in one post, and I'd like to thank all who put a lot of work into making them so others can enjoy BookLikes. 

 

Let's start with the customization blogs posted by BookLikes: 

 

 

 

Tutorials made by BookLikers for BookLikers: 

 

 

 

 

Note: All links open in a new window and take you to the original posts and their creators. Leave comments, likes and reblog the hell out of them so others can see it too :) 

 

Source: http://j4n3m3.booklikes.com/post/351682/-masterpost-customizing-booklikes
Reblogged from Likest thou jelly within thy doughnut?

Unravelling

Unraveling -

Another non-committal three-star rating and I’m left wondering whether the people writing dust-jacket endorsements get to read other versions of the books than I do. A “high-stakes thriller, complete with a mind-bending sci-fi twist [that] will hook you and never let you go”? My mind was not bent and I was not hooked and six months after reading the novel I hardly remember anything about it but that it left me with a feeling of severe dissatisfaction. So, all the good things must have been replaced with (almost) insta-love, lame pseudo-science references and teenage snobbery in my copy.

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Deadly Cool - Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool - Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool

This was a quick read of a fast paced, entertaining novel, told from the POV of 16 year old Hartley Featherstone who just learned that her boyfriend, Josh, is cheating on her and then finds the girl he’s cheating on her with in his closet – dead.

This book feels like a mash up of a number of teenage drama TV shows and high school flicks, set in a predominantly white, middle-class world, with all the relevant tropes exaggerated to a point it feels like parody. It’s ridiculous and really quite entertaining. My pleasure reading this was completely due to Hartley’s narrative, whose recounts of her plunging headfirst into all kinds of embarrassing or dangerous situations are quick-witted, snarky, cheeky and never take themselves too seriously. There’s quite a bit of banter and it’s done nicely.

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Instructions for a Heatwave - Maggie O'Farrell

Instructions for a Heatwave - Maggie O'Farrell

A father goes missing and a family has to reunite and face their differences and overcome their grievances in order to solve the puzzle of what might have happened and where he might have gone off to.

This as far as I would go in summarising the plot of this novel. I salute the people who wrote the synopsis on the book’s back as it doesn’t give away half as much as one of the praises in front that makes reference to developments in the story that don’t occur before page 261.

This was a perfect read for a lazy Saturday. I was sucked right in and couldn’t let go until I’ve reached the last page. Only forty pages in and I was wondering if the mother’s character, Gretta, was based on my mother. My mother frowned back at me in every description I read of Gretta, in every one of Gretta’s remarks about her children.

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Dodger - Terry Pratchett

Dodger - Terry Pratchett

Strangely enough, it always takes me a while to get into Pratchett’s books for younger readers. They appear more sombre and the message seems to be hammered into the reader’s mind from the onset. I don’t like being lectured and I struggle to see past the didactic purposes and actually enjoy a story as it unfolds.

That being said, the novel is populated with some fascinating protagonists and the characterisation is as great as usual. I think I loved Solomon most of all. Charlie Dickens not so much, but that might have less to do with Pratchett’s depicting him as an upper-class snob than with my lack of appreciation for the actual Dicken’s oeuvre. Dodger is a likeable hero, someone who uses his street smarts and survival skills for the benefit of those less lucky and resilient than himself. He might be calle a little dim at times, but he tries to remedy his lack of education at every opportunity he gets and we see that he would have to be considered a genius if upbringing had placed him on another rung of the social ladder. But he’ll get there…

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Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch

After reading Moon Over Soho, I wasn’t too sure where this series was going and I started this with some trepidation. Luckily, there is so much for me to love in Whispers Underground. Peter Grant is really starting to grow on me. Ben Aaronovitch has a way with words, which he aptly puts into Peter’s mouth as exemplified on page 41 when Peter “instructs” another driver after that one had collided with a car while overtaking Peter’s in the first heavy snowfall that winter (this sentence sounds awkward, but I can’t be bothered to try again just now):

 

 

 

 

 

Despite the cold, I lowered the window as I drove carefully past and explained that the superior handling characteristics of a four-wheel-drive vehicle were as naught if one were deficient in basic driving skills.

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The Devil's Rose - Brom

The Devil's Rose - Brom

A long time ago Cole did a bad thing to someone he loved. Now he’s a soulhunter, chasing fugitive souls to return to the devil for a chance at redeeming himself to the one he hurt. His current assignment leads him to the trail of someone who is more than a runaway crook, someone more powerful, someone with a different goal, someone who will ultimately change Cole’s perception of what he is doing and to what end and who will provide Cole with the opportunity to reconsider the choices he made and maybe even choose a different path – if Cole is daring enough to take on the horrors Hell will throw at him on his way to his lost love and redemption.

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SPOILER ALERT!

The Fade - Chris Wooding

The Fade - Chris Wooding

The plot unfolds in a subterranean world of tunnels and caves on a moon whose surface is apparently uninhabitable due to the increased radiation of two suns. The story is narrated from the POV of one Cadre Massima Leithka Orna, assassin and spy from the city of Veya in Eskara, one of several nations, currently at war with the people of Gurta. Orna is held in one of the Gurta prisons inside a fort called Farakza, situated on the edge of the Borderlands. They prisoners are held in caves beneath the fort that are surrounded by magma. From there she attempts to flee with two other prisoners to find her son and right a wrong – or so she thinks. We learn about the hierarchical system of Eskara in which Orna is bound to Clan Caracassa by a life debt and for whom she works as a spy and assassin.

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Damn Him to Hell (Saturn's Daughter) - Jamie Quaid

Damn Him to Hell (Saturn's Daughter) - Jamie Quaid

This was still quirky, action-packed fun, but I fervently wished a copy editor had paid closer attention to weeding out the endless repetitions, inconsistencies and downright mistakes. If I have to read one more time how Tina is going on about her hair being all lustrous thanks to Saturn awarding her for damning her boyfriend to hell, I’m going to pop a vessel. I’m not senile. I’ve got it the first dozen times she mentioned it and I fail to see the hidden meaning however often she chooses to bring the topic up again. I might be a bit touchy on that because I know far too many people who tend to tell the same stories over and over again (regardless of how inconsequential and boring they were the first time you were forced to politely listen to them) despite their audience’s assurances that they’ve heard them before, just because they are either enamoured with the sound of their own voice or feel a pressing need to prostrate their own specialness with no regard to whether anyone is at all interested in hearing them – or both. I really don’t need to be subjected to this kind of self-importance from fictional characters. Their false humility is making these obvious contradictions even more annoying. And unlike nattering colleagues and assorted acquaintances and family members I can shut up the fictional nuisances by flipping the book covers shut. So. There. Main rant over.

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The Westing Game

The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin

This was given to me by a friend who said that she loved to read these mystery puzzles when she was a kid (back in the late 1970s). Again, I wished I had read this book at a younger age, because I didn’t manage to get engrossed in it now. Note that I’m not saying that the book failed to engage me but that it was me who wasn’t right for the book. Certainly good book that still feels strangely out-of-place-and-time in these days. With the exception of Turtle Wexler who is pretty awesome in a wisecracking underdog kind of way, none of the protagonists quite captured my attention and I guessed pretty early on what was going on. There wasn’t much of a revelation for me. A bit more characterisation would have been welcome, so that the characters didn’t feel like thinly veiled stereotypes.

Poison - Sarah Pinborough

Poison - Sarah Pinborough, Les Edwards

 

Beautiful, kind and demure. Exactly what he’d always wanted. A perfect princess.

Only nothing is quite as it seems in Sarah Pinborough’s retelling of the classic fairy tale of Snow White and the seven dwarves.

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Charm - Sarah Pinborough

Charm - Sarah Pinborough

There’s this 1973 Czechoslovak/East German film adaptation of the fairy tale that has been showing on TV every Christmas for as long as I can remember: Tři oříšky pro Popelku or Drei Haselnüsse für das Aschenbrödel. It is still one of my favourites, even though I cling more to the memory of it than actually watching it these days because it’s cringeworthy and over-the-top sweet at times. And it’s IMPOSSIBLE to watch with the boyfriend hovering nearby, groaning and rolling his eyes. But I know – for a fact! – that the film has charmed its way into the lives and memories of generations of girls and women (at least of those grown up in the Eastern bloc countries). It’s the opposite of any Disney versions despite it’s almost ridiculous cuteness (accentuated by the brilliant film score) and happy endings. The heroine in the film is what you’d call a strong female character. She runs around in boy’s clothing and hunts when it suits her and mocks and provokes the prince, who has to woe and convince her of his worth by solving the riddles she poses to him. She endures the hardships of life and the mistreatment at the hands of her stepmother and stepsister without complaint. The actress portraying this version of Cinderella, to my mind, is one of the prettiest women I’ve seen. The prince, despite being a bit foppish in his tight pantaloons and tiny hats, was definitely worthy of being a little girl’s crush.

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Do you remember GoodReads?

I'm really hoping that my answer to that will some day (soon) be "No, I don't think I do. What was that?"

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Partials

Partials - Dan Wells

Partials - Dan Wells   

It’s been two months since I read this book and my notes are not exactly helpful in creating anything resembling a coherent review. It probably wasn’t the most brilliant idea to read Partials while also watching Battlestar Galactica for the first time either. My notes go something like this: “Cylons!”, “Boomer!?!”, and then “Arwen? Seriously? WTF?!”.

I was overjoyed to see this narrated from a limited third person POV, because YA 1st person heroine narrators tend to get on my nerves something wicked, but it wasn’t enough to stave off a growing annoyance with the main protagonist, Kira.

There were a couple of ideas I found interesting; not that they were particularly novel, but rather the kind of concepts I like reading about. However, in the end, too many questions remained unanswered and conclusions seemed a bit hastily cobbled together.

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