Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Hangman's Daughter | Review

The Hangman's Daughter was published in 2008 and is the first in a quartet written by Oliver Potzch.  This book chronicles a witch hunt that takes placed in Germany during the 1660s after a boy mysteriously dies at the town's dock.   This sets off a series of children's deaths that are complicated by local economic and political conflicts, as well as the ethical and moral implications of a witch hunt.  The local hangman, his daughter, and the town physician set out to unravel the mystery of the deaths to ensure the right culprit is punished.

Source Image: Goodreads

I purchased this book on my Kindle on accident - it was on the Daily Deal and I thought I was purchasing The Madman's Daughter, a YA spin-off from The Island of Doctor Moreau.  Surprisingly,despite what I thought I was originally reading the plot of The Hangman's Daughter was really intriguing.  I enjoyed getting the local politics and folklore of Schongau and unravelling the mystery of the murders.  The plot frequently changed perspectives- first a third person perspective of the town, and then a first person perspective from the mysterious murder.

The first 80% of the book was great, the plot was fast paced and it was detailed enough to understand the conflicting relationships between all of the townspeople for really fleshed out characters and culture.  However, once the mystery started unravelling the book fell flat for me and I wasn't interested in finding out who the murdered was.  To be quite honest, this might not be the book's fault- I have the same problem with other mystery and horror novels that I read, where the build up is more exciting than the resolution.  Some of the mystery may have been lost in the translation as well (originally written in German).

 Overall, the end I ended up only giving the book 2/5 stars on Goodreads but despite that low rating I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a well developed, character driven plot. I do not plan on reading the other three books in The Hangman's Daughter quartet.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday | Library Edition

Hi friends.  Today for Waiting on Wednesday I am going to discuss a crazy habit I have- requesting interlibrary loans on books in my county.  It's like an addiction, I just browse through my TBR and put in requests for all of the books I want to read to be delivered to my nearest library for pickup.  In this post I'm going to focus on the physical books I've requested because the available e-books from my library is a whole different monster.  I have five pending requests (!!!) at my library and I just recieved an email today letting me know these two books are available for pick up.  I will have them by the weekend!

Hosted at Breaking the Spine
The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith - I recently saw a review of this on a blog last week (if it was your blog, please let me know! I can't remember who it was and I want to link you!).  This book is a collection of ghost stories and Vietnamese folk tales that sound interesting because I've never read anything about Vietnamese culture and it will count as one of my five committed books for Once Upon a Time.

The Most of Nora Ephron - I love the movie You've Got Mail, which is the first introduction to Nora Ephron that I had at 10 years old.  Unfortunately,  Nora passed away last year and I have never read any of her books so I am starting with this compilation before moving onto more of her movies and story collections.

Do you use your local library's request and borrow system? What do you have on hold?  Let me know in the comments!  I am always looking for additions to my TBR.

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I hope everyone is having a great Monday! It's raining here again (I feel like everytime I write a post it's raining).

Hosted by Sheila at The Book Journey

This past weekend I participated in the #24in48 readathon hosted at Home Between Pages and finished two books- The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson and Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.  I didn't make any progress on The Name of the Wind or Peter Pan so *hopefully* I will finish them sometime this month.

In My Mailbox this week are two new books. Dreams of Gods and Monsters, the conclusion of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor will download to my Kindle at midnight.  I also picked up a physical copy of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. I was debating on buying or borrowing this book from the library but the first few lines had me hooked and I had to get it:
"I first discovered I was trash three days before my ninth birthday - one year after my father lost his job and moved to Secaucus to live with a woman who lived with a woman named Crystal and four years before my mother had the car accident, started taking pills, and began exclusively wearing bedroom slippers instead of normal shoes."

This week I have a few posts already planned - a review for The Hangman's Daughter and for The Amityville Horror as well as a Waiting on Wednesday post for some of the books I've requested at my library.

Here's to a good week! Let me know what you've got going on in the comments.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Reads - 4/4

Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe how quickly and slowly this week went, if that makes any sense?

I am really excited for this weekend to relax in the beautiful spring weather that finally arrived in Philadelphia and to finish some of the books I've started in my book-ADD phase.

Since my March Wrap Up post on Monday, I've started reading two more books! Here is my reading progress so far:
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss- 31% complete 
Peter Pan by JM Barrie - 43% complete
The Amityville Horror - 43% complete
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - 21% complete

My goals this weekend are to finish Attachments and The Amityville Horror (which I can only read during the day!) and participate in the #24in48 readathon hosted by Home Between Pages here on Blogspot. I will be posting updated on Twitter using the #24in48 hashtag.

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Once Upon a Time | Reading Quest

After successfully participating in RIPVIII last fall, I kept my eye out for more themed reading challenges from Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings and he did not disappoint! The Once Upon a Time readalong starting on March 21 (the first day of Spring) and runs through June 21.  Carl describes the event much better than I can:

 This is a reading and viewing event that encompasses four broad categories: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. The challenge continues through June 21st and allows for very minor (1 book only) participation as well as more immersion depending on your reading/viewing whims.

I wanted to participate in this event without too many constraints (and without too much hunting into book genres).  I am embarking upon Quest the First.  I will read at least five books in the Once Upon a Time categories, with a focus on mythology and fantasy.

I mentioned in my March Wrap Up that I am currently reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss which fits in perfectly with this challenge, as well as Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor which releases next week.

Here are a few potential books I have lined up:
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Titan's Curse and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (books 3-5 in the Percy Jackson series).
  • City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Last year I read Deathless by Catherynne Valente which would have fit perfectly into the Folklore portion of this challenge.  I highly recommend this to anyone participating in this challenge!