Lazy Saturday Review: The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin #MiniReview

icon7

I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

icedragonTitle: The Ice Dragon
Author: George RR Martin
Series: N/A
Format: Hardback, 128 pages
Publication Details: December 4th 2014 by Harper Voyager
Genre(s): Children’s; Fantasy
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!

Goodreads 

bookdepo

From ancient times the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child — and the ice dragon who loved her — could save her world from utter destruction. 

Review

This is a beautifully illustrated book (Luis Royo) from the Game of Thrones author. It’s a charming, short tale suitable for children and adults alike. I enjoyed it a lot.

Protagonist Adara was both adorable and strong and I loved that she was a sort of Winter princess, and the only one who can help defeat the dragons destroying the land. Full of rich mythology and folklore, this a much more accessible George RR Martin for those like me who are intimidated about starting the GoT books.

The illustrations are what really make this book special, and I think it would make a lovely gift. Especially for Christmas, with its celebration of Winter. Worth a read for sure.

unicorn rating 4

 

Advertisements

Horror October: The Travelling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories by Susan Hill #BookReview #HorrorOctober

horroroctofficial2016

a2Title: The Travelling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories
Author: Susan Hill
Series: N/A
Format: Hardback, 160 pages
Publication Details: September 29th 2016 by Profile Books
Genre(s): Short Story Collection; Supernatural; Ghost Stories
Disclosure? Nope I bought it! 

Goodreads 

bookdepo

 

Walter Craig was a clever scientist. As a young man he took away all the honours and prizes and some of his work was ground-breaking. But after he became seriously ill, his genius faded, and he needed the help of an assistant. When Silas Webb was appointed to the job he seemed the perfect choice, but he always preferred to work alone, even in secret. Then, quite suddenly, Webb disappeared.

Why ?

Later, Craig opens a prestigious scientific journal and finds a paper, containing his own work, in detail, together with the significant results he had worked out. The research is his and his alone. But the author of the paper is Dr Silas Webb.

Craig determines that he will hunt Webb down and exact revenge.

Were it not for a terrifying twist of circumstance, he might have succeeded.

Review

As I mentioned in my recent review of Self-Made Man by Poppy Z Brite, short story collections are always a bit ht and miss for me. I find short stories in general to be too vague, too brief, or just downright confusing. However, I do think an exception to the rule is generally when concerning ghost stories.

I think ghost stories tend to work in this medium. Being short and snappy and not too complex is often what make a great ghost story in my opinion, and so I was hoping for good things from this new Susan Hill collection. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I enjoyed the titular story very much. Hill mastered the whole eerie atmosphere/building suspense thing a long time ago, and you can see it here in spades. Plus, the pay off is worth it too. This story creeped me out because I, like one of the characters, am terrified of moths. They’re just gross. No need!

Other stories include Boy Twenty-One, a gentle story about two friends, one whom disappears, and then returns…but no one else can see him. This had to be my least favourite. It wasn’t bad, just a little predictable.

Alice Baker, however, the third story in this collection was by far my favourite. Hill has such a stunning way of making ordinary things seem spooky. Like a new girl in an office of close, seemingly-too-nice-to-be-true colleagues.

The fourth and final story, The Front Room is one I can barely remember to be honest. It features an evil mother taken in by her son and daughter-in-law and that’s about all my caffeine-addled brain can squeeze out right now. Obviously it didn’t blow me away!

So there you have it. A mixed bag but very enjoyable overall. A great book to batten down the hatches with this Halloween.

horroctrating-3

The Travelling Bag is available in a stunning pocket hardback, and is 30% off at The Book Depository now. 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: If you really loved me… #TTT #WishlistBooks

icon4-ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten Tuesday REWIND — go back and do a topic you missed over the years or recently or a topic you really want to revisit.

I’m pretty pleased with this topic because I missed last week’s and really wanted to do it. Therefore (even though it will make me cry because of all the pretty books out of my price range) I’m doing: Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card.

  1. The whole collection of Penguin’s Clothbound Classics. I have one so far (Alice in Wonderland). Must try harder! £20 each
  2. David Bowie Is: Companion to the V&A Exhibition ❤ £35
  3. Peter Pan: Yes I already own two different copies of this…but this new one looks so pretty and has interactive illustrations (almost a pop-up but not quite). £25
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia: My set is one of the standard paperback ones, but I want a nice version like this sooooo bad! £75 ish
  5. Red Queen Hardback Book Set: This isn’t out until Oct 25th, and I have Red Queen in hardback already, but Glass Sword in paperback…which is irritating…£29

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  6. Canterbury Classics Leather-bound set: So, so pretty! £105
  7. Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Visual History: Omg I need this so bad. It’s also not out until Oct. I think it will be the first thing on my Christmas list 🙂 £30 (and while we’re at it I’d like the novelisation too but can’t find it anywhere – not the original version anyway).
  8. The Gormenghast Trilogy (Folio Society edition): Need I say anything? £30
  9. The Raven Pop-Up Book: I didn’t know this existed until, well, just, but now I NEED IT! £25
  10. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary: Yep, I’m totally channelling Rory Gilmore here…but who DOESN’T want this beauty!? £260

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I really could have carried on FOREVER!

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen #BookReview #FairyTales

snowqueenTitle: The Snow Queen
Author: Hans Christian Andersen
Illustrator: Sanna Annukka
Format: hardback, 92 pages
Publication Details: October 22nd 2015 by Hutchinson (first published 1844)
Genre(s): Fairy Tales
Disclosure? Nope, it was a Christmas gift.

Goodreads // Purchase

Hans Christian Andersen’s magical tale of friendship and adventure is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish-English illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in deep blue, with silver foil embellishments, The Snow Queen is a unique work of art. 

Sanna Annukka is familiar to many from her collaborations with Marimekko and her artwork for Keane’s album, Under the Iron Sea. For her second book project, she illustrates Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen.

Review

This edition of The Snow Queen is absolutely beautiful, complete with Scandinavian style illustrations.

I was always more of a Grimms gal than an Andersen one, but this has made me think that perhaps I’ve been missing out. I didn’t expect Andersen’s fairy tales to be dark and twisted, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that one certainly has an edge to it.

The Snow Queen has had a lot of interest since Frozen was released, being the text that inspired it, but the similarities are relatively small, and the links often tenuous.

The Snow Queen is about the friendship between a young boy and girl, Kay and Gerda. When Kay is infected with icy evil from the shards of shattered magic mirror he changes, becomes mean, and is taken by The Snow Queen. Despite his recent behaviour, Gerda’s love for Kay never falters, and she sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue him meeting a variety of strange characters on the way.

The themes of unconditional love and sacrifice, along with the stunning Scandinavian winter landscape are what clearly inspired Frozen, but don’t expect much more of a connection than that.

I enjoyed this story, but I loved the illustrations more. It’s a lovely book for a gift.

unicorn rating 4

End of Summer SALE now on in my Etsy Vintage Book Store! 30 % Off Everything!

icon6-shop

Hi guys, I’ve decided to celebrate the Bank Holiday by having a sale in my Etsy Store.

I’ve been busy adding new stock (and continue to do so over the weekend) and working on a range of handmade gifts to sell at a later date too. I’m currently in ‘perfecting’ mode as I don’t want to sell anything that isn’t the highest quality!

You can get 30% Off anything in store until the end of Tuesday 1st September. Simply use the code L1P5YY30 at checkout.

 

 

Here’s what’s been going on since my last post, two weeks ago…

Added to the shelves

Click on the book titles to view in store.

Ghosts and Two Other Plays (1949) – Henrik Ibsen
etsy4

Scottish Scenes Drinking Set (1950/60s)
etsy5

OK so it’s not a book, but look how awesome these little whisky/shot glasses are. So kitsch!

Sold

What Katy Did at School ~ Susan Coolidge (1920s)
etsy6

I’m so glad this has gone to a good home!

About the Shop

I opened the shop because I love nothing more than scouring second-hand bookshops, markets and car-boot sales for vintage books. I love the way they look, the way they smell and the way you can imagine the history of them.

I can’t however keep buying books indefinitely. I have limited space, and limited funds, and therefore I opened this shop in order to generate a bit of a return in order to carry on doing what I love – buying books! And the way I look at it, if they don’t sell I get to keep them – DOUBLE WIN!

30% Off anything in store until the end of Tuesday 1st September. Simply use the code L1P5YY30 at checkout.

Lipsyy Lost & Found Vintage Book Shop Update

icon6-shop

It’s been a really lonnnnnnnng time since I last did a shop update! And to be honest, that’s because not a lot has been going on. I haven’t sold any books in the last few months, but now I’ve added more stock I hope it picks up.

Click on the book titles to view in store.

Added to the shelves (on sale now!)

Christine (1984) & Night Shift (1987) – Stephen King
etsy1

I love these retro paperbacks. If I had the space I’d keep them and try to collect them all, but I don’t! Night Shift is King’s first short story collection which includes The Children of the Corn and the story which was adapted into the movie Cat’s Eye. Both of these books have creased spines but I think it adds to the retro feel. They would look awesome on any bookshelf!

The Running Man (1989) – Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)
etsy2

The original dystopia? If you haven’t read this book or seen the movie adaptation you might not realise how much it has in common with The Hunger Games – and if you’re a fan then you MUST read it. So, so good. This movie tie-in paperback is in great condition and I love how 80s it looks.

The Shorter Poems of William Wordsworth (1927)
etsy3

This is my Book of the Month! It is so stunning. I am completely in love with the old Everyman’s Library collection with their beautiful endpapers. Every book in the earlycollection has these, and along with the gold gilt text…just LOVE. I’ll be really surprised if this doesn’t get snapped up quickly (but I’m secretly hoping that it doesn’t so I can keep it)!

The Anatomy of Melancholy, Volume 1 (first edition) by Richard Burton (1932)
etsy4

Another of the Everyman’s Library collection and just as stunning. I wasn’t sure how much to sell this for, seeing as it’s a first edition, but I don’t want to be greedy – I just want them to go to a good home and get a bit of pocket money in return – LOL. So this could be the deal of a century…who knows? 😉

About the Shop

I opened the shop because I love nothing more than scouring second-hand bookshops, markets and car-boot sales for vintage books. I love the way they look, the way they smell and the way you can imagine the history of them.

I can’t however keep buying books indefinitely. I have limited space, and limited funds, and therefore I opened this shop in order to generate a bit of a return in order to carry on doing what I love – buying books! And the way I look at it, if they don’t sell I get to keep them – DOUBLE WIN!

Exciting News

I have decided to widen the range of things I sell on Etsy as well. At Christmas, when I was out of work, instead of buying presents I made each member of my family Christmas hampers, and they went down a storm. I am now back in work (and I love my job soooooo much), but having taken a large pay cut I find myself struggling for money, so I thought why not try to make some extra spends by selling handmade gifts!?

It might all go terribly wrong, but I’m currently working on a range of handmade candles using all recycled materials, and other handmade gifts to sell. I’m hoping to add these to my shop in the coming months, and especially in the lead-up to Christmas.

So if you want to help a girl out, keep checking back. xxx

Friday Feature: It’s all about the Trees…

I’m a fan of trees. Is that a weird thing to say? But you know, some trees are just really cool, like these ones…

IMG_3549

IMG_3347

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know if it’s just because it’s finally Spring, but I swear I’ve been seeing trees all over book covers lately, so I thought I’d investigate and choose my favourites.

New/Recent Releases

treesnew
(Click image to enlarge)

Best of the Rest

treescoll1

treescoll2

treescoll3

I love the way different types of trees are used to convey completely different things. In this selection alone there’s mystery, magic, beauty, and they’re all pretty ominous.

What’s your favourite tree cover?

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

ARI
Title: Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Series: N/A
Edition: Paperback, 359 pages
Publication Details: April 1st 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA; Contemporary; LGBT
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it

Goodreads // Purchase

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

Review


So you know the other week when I said I’m over Contemporary YA and have had enough of traumatic school-days reads? I take it all back. This book made me take it all back and eat my words. The shame!

Oh this book, you guys.

I fell in love with it instantly and read it in two sittings. The story is set in El Paso, Texas, and narrated by Ari. Ari’s a loner and more troubled than he even lets himself acknowledge. He’s clever and funny, but he’s angry too. He’s angry that his dad won’t talk about the war that has affected him so badly. He’s a angry that his brother is in prison and that his family won’t tell him why. In fact they pretend he doesn’t exist at all.

Ari meets Dante, who offers to teach him how to swim. On paper they are complete opposites. Dante is effervescent and loved by everyone who meets him. He finds it easy to open up to people and talk about his feelings; everything Ari isn’t, and can’t do.

The two become inseparable during one summer, and together they try to make sense of the world.

I’m reluctant to say much more plot-wise but just know this: Aristotle and Dante is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching coming-of-age story that I know will stay with me for a long time. I’ll definitely be reading this again in the future.

I love the setting, I loved the relationship between Ari and his mum, and obviously the relationship between Ari and Dante…I just can’t even… have ALL THE UNICORNS. I need to get my hands on Alire Sáenz’s other books STAT!

unicorn rating

Lazy Saturday Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

ghosts
Title: The Ghosts of Heaven
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Series: N/A
Edition: Hardcover, 424 pages
Publication Details: October 2nd 2014 by Orion Books
Genre(s): YA; SciFi
Disclosure? Nope, it was a gift!

Goodreads // Purchase

The spiral has existed as long as time has existed.

It’s there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin. There centuries later in a pleasant greendale, hiding the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who they call a witch. There on the other side of the world as a mad poet watches the waves and knows the horrors the hide, and far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny.

Each takes their next step in life. None will ever go back to the same place. And so, their journeys begin…

Review


You should all know by now that Marcus Sedgwick has become one of my favourite authors in recent years. His books seem to fall into two categories; dark and foreboding, or beautifully poignant, but they all have one thing in common – they are written wonderfully.

The Ghosts of Heaven is no exception, but… sigh, I was quite disappointed. I think my main issue was the format. It was hailed as a book in which the four parts of it can be read in any order and still make sense. I thought the idea was pretty cool and wondered how he’d managed it.

Well, in my opinion, it can be read in any order because this is a book of four completely different stories. I mean sure, I get the spiral thing, and see the tenuous links between each of the stories, but they are essentially four short stories with one common element. It kind of reminded me of some of David Mitchell’s books – all of which I didn’t enjoy.

That being said, I was completely enthralled by the futuristic part involving Keir Bowman who is scheduled to wake up on a spaceship every ten years, and is journeying to a new earth-like planet to inhabit. Only every time he wakes up, more of the crew are dead…

This one was definitely my favourite of the four, it was dark and twisted and reminded me why I love Sedgwick – he can write in every genre – so I’ll try not to dwell on my disappointment of this one. You can’t win them all, right? And anyway, the book is very pretty!

unicorn rating 3

Available to buy in both paperback and hardback, from Waterstones now.

Vintage Book Shop ~ Now Open!

As promised in my proposed schedule, I’m dedicating some posts to all the goings on in my Etsy vintage book shop. Because we all love vintage books, right!?

The past fortnight has been a bit slow, but then I wasn’t exactly expecting to be bombarded with orders so I’m pretty happy overall.

Items Sold:

IMG_3713

A friend of mine took a shine to Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall, and instead of selling it to her we agreed on a swap for an old SLR Camera she was going to put on Freecycle. Score.

I also sold the first Holmes & Watson story, A Study in Scarlet, so that’s 2/2 Penguin Classics gone. I knew they’d be popular but didn’t expect them to go that quickly. Must find more!

Items Added:

IMG_3712

Le Petite Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1951 (in French, illustrated).

I love this book. Clearly, I can’t read French, but it’s a beautiful edition of the Children’s Classic. I hope this gets snapped up by someone who will love it!

 

The Complete Plays of Bernard Shaw, 1937

This is definitely a WOW book. The leather-bound cover complete with medallion on the frontispiece makes it look pretty grand. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of Bernard Shaw, so I want it to go to a home that will appreciate it more.

You can view my shop here.

If you have an Etsy store, link me and I’ll follow you 🙂