Monday, 28 November 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

badgeSince I started working with EF I have been working 6-7 hours during the weekend, which means that "a normal week" has sort of lost its definition. Saturday and Sunday are not relaxed anymore and Monday is actually the end of my week rather than the beginning. You heard that right, I now welcome Mondays because they're my Fridays! What have I come to... But anyway, that is no reason not to join a blog hop and find out what you're all reading! Hence I'm joining in with some of my favourite Monday memes again! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted over at The Book Date now by Kathryn!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! 
So, let's get this party started!


I've had quite an eventful and fun week! I finally got my wifi sorted out, hence why I'm back to blogging again! I've also been anxiously awaiting my copy of Catalyst by James Luceno, a sort of prequel-novel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which is coming out next month! Since we have some American teachers at my school we all celebrated Thanksgiving together with a potluck. I had never celebrated Thanksgiving before so the sheer size of the turkey was sort of intimidating, but it was loads of fun and the food was delicious. We continued in the name of work team spirit last night with a night out to Big E, which is a place that combines laser tag, archery, karaoke and a bar, with a pool table and loads of other arcade-like games around. I was absolutely terrible at both archery and laser tag but it was loads of fun!

What I Read Last Week:
Atlas ShruggedI finally finished Atlas Shrugged last week which led to some heartbreak. Whenever I start a big book, say 800+ pages, I get really invested just by the sheer amount of time spent reading it. And when it's over there is that genuine '... now what?' moment! I know a lot of people have their prejudices against Ayn Rand and it's something I try to address in all of my review on her book, but I can't help but love aspects of her work.

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators?
Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor — and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story. 
Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life — from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy — to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction — to the philosopher who becomes a pirate — to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph — to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad — to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels. 
You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions.
This is a mystery story, not about the murder — and rebirth — of man’s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events, a ruthlessly brilliant plot structure and an irresistible suspense. Do you say this is impossible? Well, that is the first of your premises to check.
Reading Now:
I have really dedicated myself to the two books below for this week:

The Witches of New YorkThe Witches of New York by Ami McKay:

The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom ('Moth' from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it's finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and "gardien de sorts" (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan's high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions--and in guarding the secrets of their clients. 
All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment. Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor's apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? 
Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches' tug-of-war over what's best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force. 
As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they're confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe? 
Swing TimeSwing Time by Zadie Smith:
An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.
Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either...
Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.
 I have been hearing loads of great things about Swing Time and am so happy I got approved for it on Netgalley. I haven't read anything by Zadie Smith yet (yes, shame on me!) so this will be a great start.

I also thought I'd share a song I've been listening to a lot and which sort of fits in with Swing Time quite well, I think! It's Ain't Got No, I Got Life by Nina Simone. She was an amazing artist and this song has really helped getting settled into a completely new culture and country.
 

So, what have you been reading? Share a link to your post in the comments and I'll hop by after work!

17 comments:

  1. I'll have to check out Ami McKay's book. I read "The Virgin Cure" and really enjoyed it!

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    1. Definitely do! I want to read The Virgin Cure next, really loving her writing style! Thank you for commenting :D
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  2. I always find cooking the turkey so stressful - either it won't thaw thoroughly in time, or it won't cook in time, or the meat will be too dry - ahh, so stressful!!

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    1. It sounds like a very hectic time of year, only ever to be rivalled by getting Christmas dinner ready! Thank you for commenting :D
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  3. The Witches of New York and Swing Time are both new to me so I'll be checking those out.... I do love that Nina Simone song though it's one of my favourites by her. She's such an inspiration. I hope you enjoy both your reads this week.
    My It's Monday! Post
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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    1. Nina Simone was such a brilliant singer and person! Can't wait to see what you've been reading :D Thank you for commenting :D
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  4. So did you read every word of that 100-page (or how long it was) speech? When I read Atlas Shrugged years and years ago, I think I pretty much starting skimming by a third of the way through.

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    1. I did, but I definitely started feeling the pressure about halfway through... I'm a sucker for big and convoluted books though ;) Thank you for commenting :D
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  5. Ooh nice! Those are all totally new to me ones! Hope you enjoyed them all!

    Here's my Monday Wrap-up

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

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    1. I'll definitely come see what you're reading! Thank you for commenting :D
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  6. Great books! I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead when I was in college...so it's time to reread...to see if my perspective has changed. I remember loving both books!

    Thanks for sharing...and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. I've heard it's the kind of book that young people love but grow out of, so I can't wait to reread them myself in a few years" Thank you for commenting :D
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  7. I read The Fountainhead but haven't read Atlas Shrugged. I'm a little hesitant these days to tackle such long books. The Witches of New York sounds good. I'll be eager to hear what you think of it. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Atlas Shrugged truly is immense! I'll be posting a review of The Witches soon if you're curious! Thank you for commenting :D
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  8. Ooh, I've been wanting to read that Zadie Smith book. I loved On Beauty.

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    1. This is my first Zadie Smith book but On Beauty is definitely next! Thank you for commenting :D
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  9. I have Atlas Shrugged on my shelf. It is quite a hefty book! I like political nods, so I really should dig in sometime soon. I picked up Swing Time this week and hope to start that later in the week. This will be my first go with a Zadie Smith book too.

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