Welcome to Bookish Pursuits!

My name is Joyce and this is my humble playground in cyberspace where my insanity runs amok. I created this book blog with the intention of using it for my thoughts,opinions, and reviews on the books I've read and the books I want to read. This is also where I'll keep a tab of all the reading challenges I decide to participate in, and interesting excerpts from the books I'm reading, as well as any odds and ends related to books and reading.

If you're interested, feel free to follow me and I will probably return the favour.

I’m a voracious reader and I enjoy a variety of genres including young-adult, romance, classics, mystery, fantasy, and historical fiction.

I would love to hear book recommendations from fellow booklovers. So if you want to share a recommendation or two, you can check out my Never-ending Reading List and leave me any suggestions in any of the comments section below.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Finds (2)

FRIDAY FINDS is a weekly book meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can tag along! So come and join us.

What great books did you hear about, or find, this week? SHARE WITH US YOUR FRIDAY FINDS!

The books included in my Friday Finds posts are not books that I have bought (those are saved for my In My Mailbox post) but are the titles that I have come across in my book hopping time during the week –browsing book blogs, bookstores and online stores. These are the books that I've added on my Never-Ending Reading List throughout the week.

I had a blast of discovering some very wonderful books this week. Since I'm on a holiday, I've been busy updating my blog and reading some wonderful reviews of books and recommendations from fellow blogger and friends on book networking sites that I'm a part of. Most of my finds are young-adult books (which I've been devouring a lot lately) with a mix of romance, paranormal, historical, mystery and children's books.

Here are my Friday Finds for this week:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
(Synosis from Shelfari.com)

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

I discovered this book and this author upon a recommendation from a friend of mine from Shelfari. She told me that since I loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, that I would also enjoy reading this debut novel from author Kristin Cashore. So I did my little research and discovered that the book blogging world had already been buzzing about this book. The novel combined the elements that I enjoy in a book: fantasy, strong heroine and romance. I'm very excited to read it!

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
(Synopsis from Shelfari.com)

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. . . With these words the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room in the immense, foreboding estate were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten -- a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. And with an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife -- the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

I found out about this book when it was chosen by two of the book clubs I'm a part of as November's Group Read. It' s the first time I'd ever heard of the book and the author. The synopsis may not be enough to merit your time but a lot of the reviews I've read said that there's more to this book than just the blurb. I'm so eager to find myself a copy of this book.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
(Synosis from Shelfari.com)

Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they? The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to. It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.

I'm proud to say that this book was recommended to me by an eight year-old girl I met at a local bookstore. I was happily sitting on a couch reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman when she approached me and asked if she could sit with me. I was happy to share the couch with her and noticed that she was holding a stack of books which I later found out to be the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I asked her about it and she told me about the adventures of Greg Heffley. Before she left, she told me that I'm not too old to read it and that I would also enjoy reading it. ^_^ So I'm definitely going to try and read this book.

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
(Synosis from Shelfari.com)

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership. In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

I found out about this book because the book blogging world had been buzzing about the Night Huntress series by author Jeaniene Frost. I don't usually read urban fantasy romance novels but I'm willing to give this book a try and see where it goes.

The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

(Synosis from Goodreads.com)

The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family--rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them--of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.

The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama--an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

This book had been recommended to me by fellow romance bloggers who had been raving about this novel by Jennifer Ashley. I haven't been reading historical romance lately(mostly because I couldn't find a book that could hold my interest for long to actually let me finish a book) but a lot of my friends had been recommending this book to me so I wanted to give it a try. And I'm actually intrigued by how Jennifer Ashley would portray a hero who had spent his childhood in an asylum. This book looks very interesting!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

(Synosis from Shelfari.com)

I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

I found out about this book after a friend of mine posted a review of this novel on her website. The synopsis has captured my interest and I want to know how the authors told the story in a epistolary format.

So what are your Friday Finds for this week? Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Friday Finds post, or share your Friday Finds in a comment here if you don’t have a blog. Thank you.


  1. Ooooooh good picks, but the best is Rebecca. I first read it in high school and need to read it again because it's popping up on blogs everywhere all of a sudden. It's so amazing, I hope you like it. Great blog by the way, I'll add you to my list. :)

  2. Rebecca is one of my fave books of all time. I just recorded the movie on my DVR the other night. I can't wait to sit down to enjoy it. Both movie and book are great.

  3. I've only seen the movie Rebecca - liked it. Loved "Guernsey". I've read good reviews for the Jennifer Ashley book. Happy reading!

  4. Graceling and Halfway to the Grave are both in my TBR pile...I look forward to reading them!

  5. Great finds! I really enjoyed "Graceling" and I've heard some great things about "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"

    MY FF

  6. im sure im the 89754 millionth person to say this: i LOVED Potato Peel Society but it took me a while to get into the writing style of the story being told through letters back and forth. but there was the perfect amount of romance and sadness mixed with joy to satisfy my preferences.

  7. These all look good! I loved Rebecca, which I read man, many years ago, and I just checked out Graceling at the library.

  8. 89754 million +1 - loved Guernsey, and I loved Rebecca as well! I bought Halfway to the Grave when it first came out, never actually managed to read it, and I own the Jennifer Ashley as well.

  9. Rebecca and Guernsey have both been on my radar for quite a while now. Great finds!

  10. @ Alayne,

    Thanks for adding me up. I already added your blog on my list. I've been seeing a lot of blogs as well reviewing and singing praises for Rebecca. So I have to read it to know why everyone else is raving about it. ^_^

    Have a nice day Alayne!

  11. @ Ti

    I didn't know there was a movie adaptation of Rebecca. I'm going to look for that too and watch the film after reading the book.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  12. @ Mary,

    I was totally clueless that there was a movie adaptation of the book until you guys mentioned it. I'm totally curious about Guernsey that's why I'm very excited to read it. ♥ Same here! I've never read anything by Jennifer Ashley. But my friend told me it's one of the best romance books she had the pleasure of reading this year. And I really want to know how Ashley wrote about a hero who spent his childhood in an asylum. You don't normally see that in a lot of romance books. ^_^

    Thanks for dropping by. Happy reading!

  13. @ purplg8r

    Have fun reading! I've read so many good reviews for these two books.

  14. @ Nikki

    I'm so curious to read Guernsey too. Especially on how the authors used the epistolary format in telling a story.

    I'm starting to read Graceling later tonight. I've heard so many praises for this first book by Kristin Cashore. I'm very excited! ♥


  15. @ Lusty Reader

    Thanks for dropping by and I love your name. ♥ I'm actually interested about the writing style and how they used it. I can't wait to read this book. :)

  16. @ Laughing Stars

    Have fun reading! I hope you enjoy Graceling. I'm going to start it later tonight.

  17. @ Marg

    It seems to me that a lot of people really loved Rebecca and Guernsey. I can't wait to read these two books. And I hope you enjoy the Jennifer Ashley and Jeaniene Frost books.

    Happy reading Marg! ♥

  18. @Jo-Jo

    Thanks for dropping by Jo-Jo. I'm very excited to read those two books as well. ;)

    Have fun reading! :)

  19. You have quite a list going there. I haven't read REbecca since high school, so I'm due for a re-read. It may start out slow, but stick with it.