Month: May 2017

The Spring Has Sprung Book Tag

It’s spring! The flowers have blossomed in the trees and the weather is getting (slightly) warmer, despite the rain and wind in the cold Netherlands. So why not celebrate the coming of spring with a book tag?

I was tagged a year ago by Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions, so thank you so much! I try to vary the books I mention here with the books I’ve mentioned in other book tags, and most of them are books that I read in the last 9 months when I was inactive here, so hopefully you won’t get bored of my selection of books!

Flowers: Look on your bookshelves. What is the most beautiful book both inside and out?

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My Life in Houses by Margaret Forster is a small pretty book that I found at the secondhand section of my bookstore. It has a simple cover but I really liked it, and the story inside is also sweet and entertaining.

Grass: What is a book that you find that others like way more than you do?

Unfortunately, I have to choose Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi. I heard so many good things from other people, but I ended up disliking it.

Rain: What’s a great book that lifts your spirits when you’re down?

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I read The Martian by Andy Weir a long time ago but I remembered really liking it and lifting my spirits up! The main character is hilarious and so positive despite his situation.

Dew: What’s a book that made you feel alive?

I’m tweaking this question a little and going to choose another question. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell is a book that makes me feel glad I’m alive. Orwell describes such sad states while he was living as a broke and penniless person, so it makes me really thankful.

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Storms: What’s a book that you found unpredictable?

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn was quite unpredictable, another one is of course the all-famous And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Totally did not see the ending coming.

Rainbow: What was a book that you struggled with, only to be happy that you read it in the end?

The A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin, of course! Such a large book, it always takes me such a long time to finish, and the language is hard to digest, but I also enjoy reading it a lot.

Chilly Weather: What’s a book that you couldn’t finish or didn’t enjoy?

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan was my recent dislike. I did finish it, but by the end I just wanted the whole thing to be over, sorry.

Warm Weather: What’s a book that you loved and wanted more of?

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The Dinner by Herman Koch is a recent book that is super interesting, has a great premise, and also makes me wanna read the book without putting it down. A recommend for everyone!

Green: What’s a book that you haven’t read yet, but really want to?

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is high on my TBR list. I loved Crichton and have read some of his books, and I enjoyed the movies, I just never gotten round to reading the novels.

Pink: What’s a book in which you felt a strong connection to the characters?

A book I read quite some time ago was The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, about an immigrant living in another country and having a family. As a minority living in someone else’s country, I can really connect to the characters in the book. Here’s my review of the book if you wanna find out more.

Purple: What’s a book that when you read it, you feel safe?

Harry Potter by JK Rowling is probably my safe answer. I just looove going back to the story and feeling at home.

Orange: What book do you feel is intelligently written?

The recent book that I absolutely loved is More Than This by Patrick Ness. It’s so filled with suspense and also action, but at the same time describes the characters and the settings really well. The plot is also super exciting. Read about me ranting on how much I loved it in my review here.22551523

Yellow: What book puts a smile on your face?

I really enjoyed reading a children’s book, The Cat Who Came In Off the Roof by Annie M.G. Schmidt. It’s a book about a journalist who befriends a cat who became a human, and it’s super fun and makes me smile when I read it on the train. Especially since I love cats so much!

 

Phew, so many questions! Let me know if you like the books I mentioned above, and if you don’t! Also feel free to do the tag if you want to. See you in my next post!

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Book Titles: Length, Common Patterns and Names

Admit it, all of you have probably some time in your lives bought or read a book just because of its title. I definitely have numerous times. And I have always been fascinated at what writers (and publishers) actually do to make a book title, to make their future readers interested while they are browsing the bookshelves of the bookstore. Welcome back to Ayunda’s Thoughts on Tea and Paperbacks, and here are some interesting thoughts I have on book titles.

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Length

There are really long book titles, and really short book titles. I don’t know which one I prefer, but I realized that in the first month of 2016, I read five books in a row that only have one word on their title. It was completely coincidental, but it makes me really wonder about one-worded titles.

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Flipped by Wendelin van Draanen and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell are two great examples. The first one is a verb, a past tense. The second one is a noun. Both are very intriguing and once you read the book, you realize how it is connected to the story. Another really famous one is Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. This one is a little bit different because to be honest, the word twilight was only mentioned like twice in the book itself, and held no profound meaning to the book. Yet it felt by the author to be the most appropriate title to choose.

As for long titles, there are lots of combinations of them out there. A book title that really compelled me to read the book even though I didn’t know what it was about was The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Such a title that really pulls you to read it, right? Again, there are also The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, which gives a little more mysterious-y vibe to the book. And of course there is the all-famous Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, a book that I thought, because of the title, would be scary and chilling but ended up to be immensely disappointing.

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TBRs

There are several books that I picked up and added to my TBR shelf because I was intrigued from the title of the book. Here are some of them:

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Patterns

You would probably notice after reading so many books that there are actually patterns that authors use to name their books. There’s always the “The… Of…” pattern. Examples I could give from the top of my head: The Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The City of Ember, The Silence of the Lambs, The Blood of Olympus. Not to say that they are bad titles, it’s just that this pattern is a great way to summarize a book while also take the future readers’ attention.

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There is also the pattern of using punctuations like commas in a book. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is a really good example. What is the connection between a blind willow and a sleeping woman? Read the book to find out. Other books I haven’t read, such as Happiness, Like Water; All the Birds, Singing; Everything, Everything; Boy, Snow Bird grip me to put these books in my TBR list even though I’m not a hundred percent sure what they’re really about. Other symbols like questions marks (Death or Ice Cream?), exclamation marks (Swamplandia!), or dots (You’re Never Weird On the Internet… Almost) also gives various reactions from readers, ie me.

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Names

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There are also lots of books, namely series that have the name of the main character in its title. Examples include the Harry Potter series, the Alex Rider series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Eleanor and Park, Mr. Fox, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, and the titles in the Lunar Chronicles. This makes the books interesting especially when the names are unique. Other times you’d probably not be interested because the title doesn’t describe what the story of the book is actually about.

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What are your favourite book titles? And can you name the books you picked up just because the title looks interesting? Any book title dislikes as well? Let me know down below in the comments!

March and April 2017 Bimonthly Movie Wrap Up

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Tea and Paperbacks! Movies, movies, movies. I read a lot, but I think that movies are just an amazing way to escape the real life. Here are the movies I watched in March and April! I can’t believe the last Bimonthly Movie Wrap Up I posted was the March and April 2016 movies… If you’re wondering what movies I watched this past year, go and add me on Letterboxd!

March Movies

Movies watched: 14
Movies watched at the cinema: 2
Rewatches: 1

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April Movies

Movies watched: 13
Movies watched at the cinema: 2
Rewatches: 5

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TV Shows

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  • Riverdale: keeping up with the episodes with my housemates and we’re soooo into it it’s just crazy!
  • 13 Reasons Why: I’ve only got to around episode 3, it’s a slow progress.
  • Angel Beats: finished it in a week because my boyfriend, an anime freak, forced me to watch it.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: I binge-watched it through January and February and now I’m just waiting for each episode of the new season to come out.
  • New Girl: my boyfriend and I have been binge-watching the series from season 3 through the newest one all day long, it’s such a light and funny series and the characters are so hilarious and lovable.
  • Rick and Morty: again, another series I watched with my boyfriend, it’s hilariously smart and I can’t wait for the new season, whenever that is.

Highlights

Midnight in Paris (2011). I realized that I have a thing for Woody Allen’s movies, I loved this movie and the dialogues and the whole vibe it brings.

Moonlight (2016). This is yet another movie I watched at home because I missed it when it was at the cinema. I really liked it, actually. I don’t really know if it deserves all the awards and hype it has gotten, but I love the story and the cinematography and the acting. Sure, the story is basically straightforward and not complicated. But how the story unfolds, the small conflicts and the character development, was well constructed. I liked the dialogues (or lack of them), and the shots were just really really pretty. I also particularly liked the family themes it expressed.

Beauty and the Beast (2017). As a person who loooves Disney movies and had Belle as my favourite character because she also loves reading, I thought this remake was soooo good! Probably the best movie I watched in April, it’s exactly what I expected and wanted it to be and more. The songs made me choke at times, but it’s also not too copy-paste-ing the original movie, which was nice. The dialogues are great, characters were well introduced and well crafted, I liked the costumes and special effects, basically it was a great time.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017). My boyfriend, being the marvel fan he is, was so psyched to watch the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie and so we rewatched the first one first to refresh our memories. I liked the first one, but I thought the second was even better! I liked the story and all the special effects, the characters are more developed and you can really see they tried to explore the relationships between each other. I felt like it could’ve been better in terms of directing – the music wasn’t as memorable as the first one, and there were too many pretty colors/lights and slow motion sequences. also a lot of cliched moments. however, it was fun and funny (waaay funnier than the first one, which I didn’t mind), and I LOVE BABY GROOT SO MUCH.

21 and 22 Jump Street (2012 & 2014). Rewatched these two movies with my boyfriend and his sister cause we wanted something fun and light. They were hilarious, I think the first one was one of the funniest humour movies I’ve watched? Maybe because I also don’t watch that many of them, and I don’t laugh at most of the humorous parts of a comedy for some reason. I do prefer comedy TV series than movies, but the casting here is just perfect.

So these are the movies I watched in the past 2 months! Which were your favourite movies in March and April? And do you like any of these movies and TV shows? Let me know in the comments! Until then, see you in my next post in Monday!

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