Waiting on Wednesday (10)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) , by Beth Revis
Release Date: January 10th, 2012

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.
In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

This is the sequel to Across the Universe. You can red my review of the first book HERE.


Monday 10: Of Christmas

Monday 10 is a post where I share a list of 10 bookish items based on a theme, subject, idea, fancy, etc.

* 10 stories of Christmas, winter and/or Holiday cheer *
What are your favorites winter/holidays/Christmas books? Happy Monday!

Review: The Collector, by John Fowles

The Collector is not the kind of book I used to read much, it is neither fantasy or mythic fiction, neither YA or children literature, or some fairytale retelling, but is had been recommended to me several times, and it was on so many friends' favorite list that when I saw a used copy at a bookstore I grabbed it, hoping I would like it. And I did. I can safely say that it is one of the best book I have read this year.

The Collector is a chilling story of a kidnapper and his victim and the power struggle and obsessiveness at the core of their relationship. Goodreads informs me that this was hailed as the first modern psychological thriller (it was first published in 1963), and it truly takes you into the depths of its two, and only, characters. Told in two parts, first by the kidnapper a lonely butterfly collector and second by the art student he becomes obsessively in love with and ultimately kidnap, "collect". The contrast between the two voices is one of the thing I loved the most about this novel.

The choice to put the captor's POV first was a great idea. We, the readers, are forced to immerse ourselves in this unassuming, seemingly non-violent and calm individual's mind. We are force to see the events through his eyes, to understand them only through his own rationalization. If we do not completely sympathize with him (at first), it's quite easy to understand him, even as the horror of his actions clashes with the tone of his voice. We are also force to see the victim and her actions through his eyes, and can only go by his own interpretations of her behavior which we know to be unreliable, but know nothing beyond what is told to us. Because it is narrated in the first-person point of you, the narrator himself does not delve into his own psychosis, we are not told why he does the things he does beyond his own twisted rationalizations, we only have his voice to go by. His voice is frank, simple, non-dramatic, which only adds to the spookiness of the whole thing, as we constantly feel like digging between the lines, to understand why, why why, but are not offered any respite, any answer, just the facts of the story unfolding before us.

And then the point of view changes to the victim's. Before it was almost easy to forget about what she must have been thinking, or even feeling, so immerse were we into the kidnaper's own mind, but now we are forced to confront the disjointed, panicked and passionate thoughts of his victim, in the form a journal entries. These entries are personal, meandering, weaving in and out of the present and the past. You feel that in an effort to comfort herself, to keep her mind off things, while she lives in a room, in the basement f a house, at the mercy of a man who feeds her and buys her things, but does not seem to want more than spend time with her (nothing sexual or perverted either), she writes and writes about her life, about her love. Feeling trapped and more and more desperate to be free, she writes about the man that has kidnapped her, yes, but also about art, about friends, about philosophy and the things she wants to do, and the things she regrets, and the things she cares about. And we, as the readers, are forced to realize how alive a person can be. This second part is a bit longer, and less plot-driven, slower, more introverted, a complete contrast with the direct, simple point of view at the beginning, exacerbating the contrast between these two characters as the novel comes to its, ultimately unavoidable, conclusion.

And finally the epilogue, from his point of view again, is chilling to the bone.

I didn't know I would like this book at first, and I am glad I took the chance, even if I hadn't loved it as much as I did, it is a tightly well woven novel that brought shivers to my spine.


Winter 2011-12 Reading List

Winter approaches and I've decided to (mostly) dedicate the next few months to reading tons of children's books, some of which I've been meaning to read for the longest time, but haven't gotten around to do so. They say there's not time like the present, and so I figured I should get to it and just read those wonderful little books. I just finished reading the whole of A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket (expect a review soon-ish), which was on my list, and after a trip to the library I am now on the way to accomplish my goal.

Here are some children's books (but not all) that I plan to read this Winter:

  • The Moomins series (9 books), by Tove Jansson (see my pinterest Moomin/Tove Jannsson board)
  • The Sisters Grimm series (#4~8), by Michael Buckley
  • The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain #1), by Lloyd Alexander
  • The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
  • Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles #2), by Joan Aiken

  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
  • Dealing With Dragons (Enchanted Forest #1), by Patricia C. Wrede
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society series (3 books), by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge
  • The Folk Keeper, by Franny Billinsley

  • Swallows & Amazons, by Arthur Ransome
  • The Children of Green Knowe, by L. M. Boston
  • The Hidden Gallery (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #2), by Maryrose Wood
  • Mary Poppins, by P. L. Travers
  • Wildwood, by Colin Meloy
And more! See the whole list (ever growing) HERE
What are you favorite children books? What do you recommend?

New Beginning & Listography

Oh, what a long unexpected hiatus this has been! I know I haven't updated this blog since July, and to be honest I am not quite sure what happened. I knew Summer is always a bit of a lethargic time for me, but this Summer really took me by surprise and I found that I neglected many things, this blog included. But now that Summer is gone, and that Fall has almost past as well, I am ready to start working on this blog again.

Mostly though, I just miss writing about books. I've been reading a fair amount of books in the past few months and I want to talk about them and discuss some of them. So let's start over shall we?
(also expect some guess posts in the future from readers and friends. If you are interested in submitting something to The Woodland Library, please see this post)

If you browse this blog you will soon realize that I am a big fan of lists, and book lists are often the best lists there are. So I made a Listography.com account for The Woodland Library. There you will find all the list that have been featured on this blog. Easy to check, easy to print if you want to carry them with you to your nearest bookstore. These lists will continually grow and some will be added and created with time. If you want to submit a book-related list, please don't hesitate to contact me.

So here we are! November 2011 is well on the way and we are starting anew.
Welcome back!