February Book Roundup.

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This month I, technically, read a book a week. And I think that’s a pretty good achievement. However, I was so busy yesterday I forgot to write this post. Thankfully it doesn’t really make a difference whether I write and post it on the last day of the month, or the first of the next month. At least it doesn’t to me. (remember to click the pictures for a link to a purchasable copy)

So here we go!

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Read:

Princess Ben – Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Easy. ★★★★★

 A book with a female heroine.

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I have read this book more than six times. It’s a rollicking good read. It’s smart, it’s funny, and it’s sweet. It subverts so many fairytale motifs, such as the idea of a Princess getting saved by a Prince; rather it’s Princess Benevolence who saves Prince Florian. Ben is also an unconventional Princess, in that she doesn’t wish to be one. She loves eating and playing in the town’s streets and getting dirty.

The book also has magic. Ben realises she has magical blood, and teaches herself magic. She learns elemental spells, how to make a Doppelschläferin (doppelganger), and how to fly on a broom stick.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t got around to putting the quotes I marked onto GoodReads, but I will soon. I just need to remember to do it.

“With that, I hurled the slipper at him, not caring if I caused his decapitation. (I did not.) Marshalling what little dignity I yet possessed, I stomped down the corridor – challenging indeed with one shoe – and around the corner.”

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American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History – Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen & Jim DeFelice. Medium. ★★★★☆

 A memoir.

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I quite enjoyed this book, though I wasn’t sure if I would. It offers an extremely interesting perspective on the Iraqi War, and American militarism. As an Australian I don’t quite get American patriotism, so hearing Chris Kyle’s thoughts on God, country and family were really insightful.

At no point does he say his thoughts are the ‘correct’ ones to have. In fact he makes a point that everything in the book is his interpretation and memory of what happened (though vetted by the government, with some names changed for security purposes), and I like that he’s matter-of-fact about that.

I would just like to point out that I checked the difference between an autobiography and a memoir, and this book actually seems to tick more of the criteria for a memoir.

“The joke was that President Bush only declared war when Starbucks was hit. You can mess with the U.N. all you want, but when you start interfering with the right to get caffeinated, someone has to pay.”

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The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien. Hard. ★★★☆☆

 A book with a number in the title.

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I FINALLY FINISHED THIS BOOK!!! I feel so damn accomplished. I really enjoyed Book 3, which followed the main group of the Fellowship, as they battled at Helm’s Deep, encountered the Ents, and defeated Saruman. It was fast paced and exciting.

I struggled to get through Book 4, which followed Sam and Frodo’s adventure to get into Mordor. Not that the journey itself was boring, they get into lots of scrapes, but it took a while. It was drawn out a lot more than I would have liked. Gollum gets kind of annoying and I’ve always quite liked the character. He’s intriguing. I most enjoyed when they meet Faramir. Faramir is awesome.

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

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Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell. Easy. ★★★★★

 A book you loved.

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I stayed up until three o’clock in the morning, on a day I would be working, just to finish this book. It took me a total of six and a half hours to read. I literally could not put it down.

It’s about Cath, who is just starting college with her twin sister, Wren. Cath suffers from anxiety, and often escapes her life by writing fanfiction for her favourite book series, Simon Snow (which is sort of like Harry Potter). The story is really about her relaxing into this new and strange experience, making friends, and finding love.

As a writer, a young adult and someone who often experiences anxiety, I really related to a lot of the things Cath went through. She often wonders if she could possibly write something completely original, rather than borrowing another authors characters and world and putting them in new situations. It’s all these sorts of thoughts that make the book realistic. Though her relationships, with her sister, room mate, and eventual boyfriend, definitely add to this.

“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.”

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Currently Reading:

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Hidden Enemy – Pittacus Lore.

I’m still reading this like I was at the end of last month. I just haven’t gone back to it yet. I will, and I’m sure I’ll get really in to it and finish it in a couple days.

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I’ll be posting later tonight my second Book Series Appreciation post, which will be about the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

– Gabi

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