Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Book Tag: The Harry Potter Book Tag

Thank you so much for tagging me, Simona!
You were right, this is thé perfect tag for me ;-)

1. What is your favourite book in the series?

I think the first book, The Philosopher's Stone,
is still my favourite. Just the absolute joy I feel every time I read Harry's first impressions of everything magical... especially Diagon Alley and magical (in more than one way) Hogwarts... It's a book I will reread for the rest of my life, I'm sure.

2. What is your favourite film in the series?

This is a tough one. I think I'll have to go with the Philosopher's Stone as well. Probably because it's my favourite "story" in the series, but also because I remember first seeing the film and thinking that these actors actually ARE the characters. McGonagall, Snape, Dumbledore, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Hagrid,... each and every one of them felt like characters come to life. Yes, this is true for the rest of the series as well.. But I think this film really set the tone for the other films to come.

3. What is your least favourite book?

I think I struggled most with The Order Of The Phoenix. Apart from Voldemort invading his mind, Harry really has a bad temper and has that typical teenage mood which is usually foul for no apparent reason. I also hated Umbridge with a passion. The injustice of it all... WOW. Of course, this makes it a brilliantly written villain, if she makes me this angry and frustrated... But I felt the least comforted or inspired,... by the magic of Harry Potter (as a series, not the boy). 

4. What is your least favourite fillm?

I'll have to say The Order Of The Phoenix again. And yes, again, because it's my least favourite "story" in the series, but I was incredibly frustrated by it's adaptation when it first came out. And even now I still don't really enjoy watching it.

5. What are the parts in the books/films that made you cry?

Seriously? Wow. Ok. Um. Where to start. I remember crying my eyes out finishing The Deathly Hallows. First that bombshell news about Snape's "real" character, followed by Harry's walk into the forest, accompanied by all his dead role models.. I mean.. Ugh! Give me those tissues!
I always get very emotional at the end of the school year as well. Or when Harry talks about Hogwarts being his home... And Dumbledore's death of course. Or when Hagrid gives him that photo album with pictures of his parents.

6. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?

Hehe. Um. I think I'll go for Ron. I think he'd annoy me at times, but I'd still find him irresistible. I know book-Ron isn't as cute as Rupert-Ron, but still... And he never fails to make me laugh.Purely physical attraction... hard not to be influenced by casting (Neville, anyone?!)... Not sure actually!

7. Who is your favourite character?
It's hard to pick just one, because all of them have so many great characteristics... So I'm just going to applaud all those strong female characters! I really love McGonagall. She's not the most important character, but in a way she's always been a strong constant and I think I'd feel very safe and protected by her... same goes for Molly Weasley.

And of course there's Hermione... I don't even think I should explain her...
Luna. Oh Luna. So wonderfully weird, but so wise and strong.

8. Who is your least favourite character?

Umbridge. Self explanatory, no? ;-)

9. What would your patronus be?
A cat, definitely. It's my favourite animal. But I did this test Simona used, and I got "cat" as a result! So definitely meant to be. 

Click here for the test

Another Harry Potter favourite:
Favourite Diagon Alley -shop:
Flourish & Blotss

Friday, 26 September 2014

Book review: A Cat Called Dog - Jem Vanston


Dog is a cat - the only problem is he doesn't behave like one. Instead he wags his tail, sticks out his tongue and yaps in a manner distinctly puppyish. Something has to be done; the pride of cats is at stake!

Against his better instincts, George, an old ginger tom, decides to take on the enormous task of teaching the confused kitten how to behave like a proper cat. In the company of the cheeky Eric, the mysterious and exotic Francois and the elegant Miss Fifi, George commences his teaching of the cat curriculum, including lessons on the feline 'Holy Trinity': eating, sleeping and washing. 

But things do not go smoothly. Maybe Dog will find it impossible to change and unlearn all his bad habits?

A Cat Called Dog is an entertaining, funny and heart-warming novel that is all about cats and what they get up to when you're not looking! It is as wonderfully arch and droll and the memorable cat characters themselves, with some gloriously witty dialogue and scenes. 

It could also be seen as a mild satire on human nature, riddled with subtexts, dealing with issues of identity, loyalty, betrayal, trust and friendship - like Animal Farm, with cats!

*** A Cat Called Dog was one of my holiday reads - Tuscany, Italy ***

My opinion
A Cat Called Dog is an amazingly entertaining, heartwarming and funny read. Every cat owner has asked himself at least once what it would be like if their beloved pet could talk, or understand what you're saying to them. Well, A Cat Called Dog gives an endearing, funny view on "the world according to cats". It will make you laugh out loud. I promise you, you won't look at your furry pet the same, after reading this. Jem Vanston introduces some adorable characters: cats with their own "look" and personality, complete with accents! I was very pleasantly surprised, reading this book and I really enjoyed this relaxing, endearing story. A must read for cat lovers.


Thank you so much, Jem, for sending me a copy for me to review.
It was the perfect holiday read and I really enjoyed reading it!

Friday, 5 September 2014

M's Bookshelf on Holiday

That's right, after an entire summer of studying, moving and some more studying,
it's finally MY turn to go on holiday!!

The books in my trunk:

Check back here for reviews on these books and picture updates when I get back!

Happy reading!

xxx M.

Book Tour Promo: The Vineyard - Karen Aldous

It’s been five years, and Lizzie Lambert has decided it’s time to try to make things right with her estranged mother. She’s made a success of things in Cannes, she’s bringing up a lovely little boy on her own, and she’s ready to put the past behind her.
But it seems Lizzie’s mother has moved on as well. She’s moved her toyboy – a muscle-bound vintner named Cal – into the family home, and given him the run of the land that was meant to be Lizzie’s inheritance!
Cal’s wine business frequently takes him to France, and suddenly wherever Lizzie goes, he’s already there – meddling, giving unsolicited advice, saving her little boy’s life and stealing her heart. But none of this changes the fact that he’s her mother’s lover…

Praise for Karen Aldous
'...you must read this wonderful debut from Karen, absolutely great.' - Cometbabesbooks
'Not since Peter Mayle has anyone captured the essence of Provence and Karen Aldous does it vividly. Settle back with a glass of wine and experience the Vineyard for yourself.' - Elder Park Book Reviews
'A delightful romantic comedy that tales place amidst the beauty of France, with plenty of wine and laughter.' - cayocosta72

While The Vineyard is touring, the publishers have reduced the Kindle price to 99p/99c

About the Author Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!

Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland and Italy would be her favourite. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in 'Karen's World'. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives - but struggle to control them! And, of course there's always a gorgeous hunk or two!

Author Links

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Book review: No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday - Tracy Bloom

A very funny romantic novel (... and no. 1 ebook bestseller)

Childhood sweethearts Matthew and Katy agree they must never see each other again following a school reunion.

So all is forgotten ... until eight months later when a shock meeting at an antenatal class forces them to confront the fact that Matthew could be the father of Katy's baby.

Love and life are messy, but Katy and Matthew take things to a whole new level as deep emotions begin to resurface and hormones run riot.

Never has a one-night-stand led to such chaos!

My opinion.
I've never been a big fan of love triangles... and what's worse than a love triangle with a baby involved?! 
Tracy's writing is so hilariously funny at times that I even managed to forget my frustrations about the whole situation. She even managed to give the characters an ending I was really happy with - and let's face it, the one thing all love triangles have in common is the lack of a (possible) happy ending. It took me a while to warm up to the characters, but I ended up enjoying them and the story. It's even better than a tv soap. So many awkward moments, secrets, lies and funny slip ups, this book has it all. I mean, there's even a gay best friend!
The cover and title are just brilliant. I wanted to read this book before even knowing what it was about (maybe a good thing, since the love triangle thing might have scared me off).
Fun, light read!


Big thank you to The Random House Group,
I'm very happy to have won a copy of this wonderful book!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Book review: The Secret Paris Cinema Club - Nicolas Barreau

Alain Bonnard, the owner of a small art cinema in Paris, is a dyed-in-the-wool nostalgic. In his Cinema Paradis there are no buckets of popcorn, no XXL colas, no Hollywood blockbusters. Alain holds firm to his principles of quality - to show films that bring dreams to life, make people fall in love. And Alain would do anything for his clientele - particularly the mysterious woman in the red coat who, for some time now, has turned up every Wednesday and always sits in row seventeen. What could her story be? Finally one evening Alain plucks up courage to invite the unknown beauty to dinner. But just as the most tender of love stories is getting under way, something happens that turns Alain's life upside down, shoving his little cinema unexpectedly into the public eye. So when the woman in the red coat suddenly vanishes from his life, the cinema owner can't help but wonder if it is more than a coincidence. Taking matters into his own hands, Alain sets off in search of the stranger he has come to love - roll the opening credits for a timeless cinematic romance worthy of the Parisian silver screen!

My opinion.
This is such a wonderful novel. The Secret Paris Cinema Club is a lovely, timeless romance. It reads and feels like an old movie and I loved every page of it. Nicolas Barreau's writing is simply amazing. He takes you to Paris on a wonderful journey along with his main character Alain; an old soul, a dreamer, a romantic.
Everything about this novel is brilliant. The cinema theme, the characters, the writing, the cover... Just marvelous.
Nicolas Barreau makes you believe in love at first sight, in fate and love-meant-to-be. I couldn't help but to sigh dreamily and picture Marion Cotillard in a gorgeous red coat in the city of love.
I highly recommend The Secret Paris Cinema Club to every romantic out there.


Big thank you to Quercus for sending me a review copy.
I loved reading The Secret Paris Cinema Club - thank you!!