Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Originally published: April 29, 2009 (my birthday)

I was at a train station, serious delays in every direction and I would not be leaving anytime soon. To top off my bad luck, my kindle had run out of battery. It was time to purchase a real, paper book.

I perused the bestsellers in WHSmiths and found Brooklyn. I had seen the film advertised and as always I prefer to read the book before watching the motion picture. The blurb on the back wasn’t exactly captivating, but it had won the Costa novel award in 2009 and had been short and long listed for a few other awards since. It seemed like an easy read that would help me pass the time.

It is set in 1950’s Ireland and is the story of a young girl, Ellis,  who has grown up in a small rural town with her mum and sister (and a few brothers who have since moved away). She has no real prospects until an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor her in New York where she will be able to live, work and study for a better future.

She travels to New York by ship, and has a bumpy ride. She finds a lodging with some other similar minded women, a job in a department store, an evening course and eventually love. But, as with all soppy stories there is also another man, this one all the way back in Ireland.

It is basically the story of Ellis growing up and having to choose between two boys. I would say it is half interesting and a very tame read. There was one dramatic plot twist which I didn’t see coming and actually upset me a little. But I soon go over it and realized I was back in the monotony of this read. This book is exactly the reason why I tend to avoid the WHSmiths bestsellers.

If you want an easy holiday read about young love, dances and courting then please…be my guest!

3 star

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26 Reasons Why You Need To Read More

A great Buzz feed article, asking attendees of the Book Expo America to write down reasons why you need to read more. One of my favourites is:

“Because books tell the stories of people we don’t know, places we haven’t been, and worlds we can only imagine.”

Read the article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jarrylee/reasons-to-read-more#.fh3AbQwqxo

Inside all of us is… A Wild Thing

Inside all of us is Hope.
Inside all of us is Fear.
Inside all of us is Adventure.
Inside all of us is… A Wild Thing.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Fractured

Fractured

Fractured by Karin Slaughter

There is a local bookshop which sells second hand books from anywhere between 1 and 5 Euros. What I enjoyed about my visit was the ‘lucky dip’ style of purchase, books were concealed in brown paper wrapping with only a few critic reviews written on the front to entice your purchase. I picked up a large paperback, which stated it was a bestseller and that the “climax will blow you away”….for 1 Euro. The novelty was fun and I will definitely return.

The whole book is centred around a time frame of approximately 3 days, with an investigative team above that of a city police department, swooping in and taking charge of a crime. Two main characters are flawed (shock) and put aside their differences and history to work together in solving the case of 2 murdered teens and a third missing.

The writing style is adequate, that is to say that there is nothing I can really say negative about the book but then it is not like I can sing from the rafters about how great it is either. I am glad I payed only a euro.

3 stars for this read…

3 star

Dear Daughter

Dear-DaughterBUY BOOK

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

A few weeks ago Stylist magazine published an article on the best books that have fallen below the radar in 2014, of which I instantaneously ripped out and stuffed it into my handbag. I couple of weeks later I then perused the page again with a smug, self congratulatory air and named Dear Daughter as the first book I would devour.

 Consumed within a couple of days, I could not put this book down. I revelled in the re-awakening of an addiction, which hadn’t flared up for some time.  It was such an unusual read, as though I were watching an interview on E-Entertainment with the same digression and memories a person would have if they were sat in front you.  There was also supporting evidence thrown in for weight such as Twitter feeds, news articles and texts which entertained the E-news similarity.  Elizabeth Little is an artist when it comes to setting up and delivering cliff hangers, I thought I predicted the climax. But I was wrong, and that felt so good!

It is the story of a wealthy American-Swiss Socialite who is jailed for murdering her philanthropist Mother.  It starts with her release 10 years later.

An excellent read, written in a modern, swearing way which usually I would have steered clear from. I will say this, missing words occur regularly.

5 star

New Header, New Home

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Today is moving day, and all of these precious items are being packed away and not seen again for another week.

Since I will have a new home, I figured, why not update the header image on my blog! Hope you enjoy!

See you on the other side!

Oh yes, I love to read

matilda

 

Reminds me of myself when I was a child.

To me it’s another adventure

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A good book should…..

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The Alchemist

the alchemist

 

BUY BOOK

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

After reading that this book has remained steadfast in the NY Times Best-seller List for 267 weeks, I felt it was a no brainer. I had to read it, and with only 192 pages it would provide a welcoming break between Bond books.

Very easy reading, finished in about 3 days.  A lovely story about a boy who sets off to fulfil his ‘personal legend’, finds love along the way and realises….well I will keep that bit quiet.  I don’t think it is written particularly well and has a sort of stop start style, but it is full of  life lessons and I can’t wait to read it to my kids (If and when).

I think every book worm should read this, then pass the book on to a friend….

3 star

Live and Let Die

Reviewed

Live and Let Die by Ian Flemming

I have accidentally set myself the challenge of reading all the books in the James Bond series. Not quite sure how it happened, I read the first and then realised James Bond didn’t have to end there, he can continue for 14 more daring adventures. Dam, I hate the addictive side of my personality….at least I haven’t been caught up in drugs and cigarettes!!

I enjoyed Live and Let Die, more so than Casino Royale. I felt there was a bit more substance to James, a character as opposed to a machine, an indestructible animal that the recluse Ian enjoyed living his life through.  Maybe that is why the Bond books are so intoxicating, living on the edge of fantastical ideas and the possibility that it could be realistic, because Ian didn’t like people, or women and so kept himself to himself? Both books so far have been written on a cusp of “this is ridiculous… isn’t it?”

Examples;

Ridiculous: the torture methods. Reality: torture.

Ridiculous:  Rescuing a stunning girl who can foresee the future. Reality: Hot girls fall for bad boys

Ridiculous: Surviving a swarm of sharks just by swimming away. Reality: Sharks.

What I didn’t like about the book, was the amount of times the term negro was used. Jesus, there were many times I was mortified to be standing on a crowded London tube reading this book.  Just a heads up there folks! Thank goodness times have changed!

Awarding this one a 4 star, I hope I can deliver a 5 star before the end of the series….

 

4 star

 

 

Currently reading: Moonraker #3

 

Monica Ali

Brick Lane

I thought I would reveal my current read, Brick lane by Monica Ali, a book that has managed to remain under my radar for some years despite its acclaim. But, with Monica Ali being named as a Leading Lady in Marks and Spencer‘s new campaign, Britain’s Leading Ladies, I couldn’t help but take notice of her and her first novel.

http://www.marksandspencer.com/Monica-Ali-Britains-Leading-Ladies-Preview-Womens/b/3147225031

I am trying to avoid commenting on how I am finding the book so as to be able to write a full review once I am finished, what I will say is that I have just discovered that the book was made into a film in 2007 and it looks incredible!!!

Watch this space!

Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

 

BUY BOOK

The book fairy came to me again yesterday, but this time he hand delivered the goods. He had been given this book in a corporate goody bag of some sort and thought I might like to read it! I glimpsed the Orange Prize sticker on the front and exclaimed my delight at award winning books. Then after he walked away I read the back and now I cannot wait to start it as it is only my favorite sort of book…historical, set in Tudor England 🙂

This is now next in line!!

 

His Dark Materials

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The book fairy visited me and left me the ‘His Dark Materials‘ series on my desk!!!!

That is to say my boss’ boss remembered my squeal when he mentioned his daughter had all 3 books, so bought them in for me and I cannot wait to get straight onto the second. They arrived in perfect timing to my finishing Inferno last night 🙂

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

hundredyearoldman

 

by Jonas Jonasson

 

I have never read a book like this before. It was not gripping nor was it exciting and it did not include any cliff hangers. But it was beautiful and heart warming and it felt as though I was lovingly listening to my Grandad recount the tales of his very long life. After each chapter  it was “Then what happened Grandad?”.

It is the story of a 100 year old man who decided that it was time to move on from his pensioner home, with the chapters alternating between the present day (2005) and the Mr Allan Karlsson’s life adventures, ranging from dinners with Presidents of America to inventing the Atomic bomb and being a prisoner in Russia under Stalin’s rule.

A fantastic story, it would make the most incredible bed time story for young and old alike with laugh out loud moments and a happy ending.

4 star

Book Hangover

book-hangover-books-quotes

I definately think this applies to me. After Oryx and Crake which was so thought provoking, I can’t seem to get into another book!. That being said, I downloaded a new one today that I have high hopes for; “the one hundred year old man who disappeared through a window”.

Harry Potter has so many levels.

Has anyone read Salmon Fishing in Yemen?

I desperately want to see the film but would much rather read the book first, does anyone have any thoughts on this?