Anne & Kristilyn’s 2013 Book Bingo Reading Challenge – Update 1

In January I decided to take part in the 2013 Bingo Reading Challenge which is hosted over at Reading In Winter.

This is the first update in the challenge! You can see my scorecard below…

As you can see I’ve got the whole top line filled and have started on the second! Here are my reads:

Read 2 books from your TBR pile

Beauty by Robin McKinley has been in my TBR pile for years! I finally got around to reading it in January. My review is here.

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris is a library book that I’ve had for a year now! I finally read it this month and the review is here.

Read 2 books that are part of a series


Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is a part of one of my favourite series, True Blood. It was actually a re-read as well as I’ve read this series a few times!

Marked by PC and Kristen Cast is a book I’d been wanted to try for a while. It’s from the House of Night series which I am now desperate to read. The review is here.

Read 1 book that is released in 2013

Splintered by A.G. Howard was on my list of 2013 debuts I needed to read and my spring to-read list. My review is here.

Read 1 book everyone but you has read

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is a must read for all vegans and a book that it seemed every vegan in the world has read. I finally finished my copy this month and enjoyed it a lot. My review is here.

Re-read 1 book

Living Dead In Dallas by Charlaine Harris is the second in the True Blood series. As above, I love this series!

Are you taking part in this challenge? I’m looking for a recommendation for the middle square which is a book chosen by another participant or a genre chosen by another participant!

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Book Review – Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

 

“Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake – but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow named after a raspberry liquer, plies her culinary trade at the creperie – and lets memory play strange games.

Into this world comes the threat of revelation as Framboise’s nephew – a profiteering Parisian – attempts to exploit the growing success of the country recipes she has inherited from her mother, a woman remembered with contempt by the villagers of Les Laveuses. As the spilt blood of a tragic wartime childhood flows again, exposure beckons for Framboise, the widow with an invented past.”

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Joanne Harris I’ve always considered as a hit and miss author. Now I realise there is a pattern to the books I liked that were written by her. The first book I read by Joanne Harris was Chocolat and I fell in love with it. It was probably the first novel I’d read that was set in a different country to the UK and I loved the idea of a little french village. I then read Blackberry Wine which I loved for similar reasons. I was therefore quite surprised when I tried Holy Fools and got bored. I then realised what it was that made me love the first two books. Joanne Harris has a remarkable talent for portraying the emotions and family ties caused by food. It’s the one thing that always manages to bring people together. I therefore tried Five Quarters of the Orange and it turns out I was right, I loved it.

This novel switches from the present day Framboise to when she was a child. This confused me at first but it was a brilliant  way of writing and creating suspense as I desperately tried to get to the end to find out what it was that made the adult Framboise so ashamed of her childhood.

The chapters that were based on the younger Framboise were my favourites. As a child she grew up on a french farm and spend most of her time tending crops and making food such as jam. It always sounds like such a wonderful life! I’d missed the bit about the war when I read the back of this book which is lucky because it usually puts me off. However this was a very interesting angle on the war, there were little or no bombings and the terror of wartime childhood wasn’t portrayed at all. This might because Framboise and her siblings grew up on a village farm where the threats were lower. The german soldiers buying information from the children was really interesting to me as I’d never heard of it before. I’ll stop there because I don’t want to give to much away!

The older Framboise’s story didn’t grip me quite as much but it served as a teaser and kept me reading because I wanted to find out what had happened in her childhood. I liked the idea of her little creperie though and the scrapbook left by her mother was a beautiful addition. I love the idea of a recipe scrapbook slash diary and it just adds to what I was saying before about food and emotions.

All in all I really enjoyed this novel. I didn’t speed through it like I do with the novels that really grip me but I did want to keep reading. It definitely restored my faith in Joanne Harris but from now on I’ll look for titles with food in them!

Have you read this book? What do you think of novels based on the emotional aspects of food and family life?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Series I Want To Read!

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week the theme is top ten series that I want to read but haven’t yet. My list contains some series that I’ve started and some that I haven’t got around to yet!

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1) A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin

Everyone raves about this series so I think I should at least give the first one a try!

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2) The Dark Tower Series – Stephen King

Another one that every other Stephen King fan has read but me. I actually have these books on my shelves so I’ve got no excuse!

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3) The Vampire Chronicles – Anne Rice

I am a huge fan of vampire novels but I still haven’t read these yet! I started Interview with the Vampire when I was a lot younger and got bored but I’m definitely going to try it again.

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4) The Chocolat Series – Joanne Harris

I loved Chocolat but it has been a while since I read it. I recently bought the sequel to this (The Lollipop Shoes) and apparently there is a third one coming! I need to catch up!

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5) Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams

I’ve only read the first novel of this series but I loved it. Again, I’ve got the whole series on my shelf so no excuse!

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6) Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett

I think I’ve mentioned this before but I’m totally confused about where I’m up to in this series! I think I need to reread from the beginning!

Are there any series you need to read?