Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of those books which you feel you must read at some point in your life, and after sitting on my shelf for a long time I fiNineteen Eighty-Four is one of those books which you feel you must read at some point in your life, and after sitting on my shelf for a long time I finally decided it was time to pick it up.
It is 1984 and in the state of Oceania, Winston Smith is struggling with the oppression of Big Brother. Everything is under the watchful eye of the party and with most things being banned, everyone must be very careful of what they do and even more so what they think. Winston is trying hard to hang on to his memories of when life was different, but nowadays he is starting to doubt if things were ever better or if everything was in his imagination. He does not agree with what the party is doing and has always had rebellious thoughts, but it is only when he decides to pursue a relationship with Julia that their actions bring him under the spotlight.
I had great expectations for this book but I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was not what I always thought Nineteen Eighty-Four would be. The beginning was good and it had me hooked for a while, until it started to dwindle and even got a little tedious at times. I liked the premise however the characters seemed weak and most of them not very interesting. My biggest complaint about this book though has to be the entire excerpt from "The Book", this was too long and it quickly got boring, I would have preferred if there were shorter highlights or even just a brief description of the concept. If this book is meant to instill the fear of Big Brother in the reader, it didn't do that at all for me and that is probably why I was disappointed, I was expecting it to be more thought provoking in the way that Animal Farm was. I am still glad that I read Nineteen Eighty-Four and perhaps this would have been more valid in the time it was written, I am just a little let down that it wasn't the great book I was hoping for.
I must say that I loved Animal Farm by the same author much more. When I finished Animal Farm I had to stop and think for a while and it was scary how true it felt. I expected to have the same reaction to Nineteen Eighty-Four but in the end it wasn't quite the same....more
I borrowed this book from a friend and had it for a long, long time before I finally go to it. When I actually started this book my first reaction wasI borrowed this book from a friend and had it for a long, long time before I finally go to it. When I actually started this book my first reaction was, what was I waiting for??
Spanning four generations of the del Valle family, The House of the Spirits is an amazing family saga based in South America in the twentieth century. Clara del Valle is a young girl who is able to predict every event in her life although not able to change the future. When her uncle Marcos dies and his body is delivered to her house, along with a puppy called Barrábas, Clara decides to start keeping a journal, which is later used by her husband Esteban and granddaughter Alba to piece together the story of their family. Clara's sister, Rosa the beautiful is engaged to Esteban Trueba, until one day she is accidentally poisoned instead of her father. Esteban continues to work hard and through his determination makes a fortune out of his estate, Trés Marias. Nine years later he returns to the city and visits the del Valle family again. This time he gets engaged to Clara and the two get married. From then on, this compelling story continues to detail the lives of the del Valle / Trueba family as well as the social and political ongoings of the country.
The female characters in this book make this a magical, yet heart wrenching story. There is just something special about Clara, and later Alba that gives you an entrancing feeling. This was a completely different culture and a whole new world for me, but it amazes me how people are always looking for the same thing no matter where they are - freedom. The peasants at Trés Marias are a perfect example of this, where the fight between the social classes is so evident and this book gives you a view from both angles. Until the very end of the book I couldn't decide whether I liked or hated Esteban Trueba. The way he oppressed the peasants and the way he treated his wife at times was definitely hateful, but there was also something that drew me to him, in his determination, the way he wanted to protect his family and the relationship he had with his granddaughter Alba. Most of all in this book, I liked how the personal and political aspects are woven together in a novel that analyzes the changes in the different generations of the family as well as those happening in the country, with the magical touch of the del Valle family to enhance the story but not ruin it with unrealistic occurrences.
I've always heard good things about Isabel Allende and I am glad that I finally got to read this one. I am looking forward to reading more books by Allende, especially Zorro, which is another book I've had in my to-read list for a very long time!...more
I borrowed this book from a friend a couple of months ago and only got to it now. I read books depending on what I feel like next, and after my last oI borrowed this book from a friend a couple of months ago and only got to it now. I read books depending on what I feel like next, and after my last one I really needed a chick lit book. I was so glad I had this one at hand! I have read several of Marian Keye's books and I like her style, so I was looking forward to immerse myself in her characters.
Last Chance Saloon is the story of three best friends, Tara, Katherine, and Fintan. Now in their early thirties, they have known each other since their childhood. They moved to London together to start a new life, and seven years later Tara is stuck in a bad relationship, but with struggling with her weight and the fear that this was her last chance at love, she is afraid to move on. Katherine is single, well organized, and very successful in her career. The last thing she needs is a man to mess it all up for her so being single forever is her solution. Fintan has it all, a great job, a healthy relationship, and lots of friends. His life couldn't be better. That is until he gets ill, and circumstances force them all to reevaluate their lives.
This book represents real life situations and characters which you can easily identify with. The way each of them deal with the situation is very realistic, with a few things blown out of proportion to keep it light. The plot itself is not as great, but the characters more than make up for that in my opinion. A funny thought I had while reading this books was that they all have full time jobs, but do they ever get any work done?! I guess I'm jealous of how relaxed life at the office seems to be for them, in a time when twelve hour non-stop days are a norm for me! With Marian Keyes' books I am always a little sad when they come to an end, and this was no exception. Tara, Katherine, and Fintan are the kind of characters you find yourself missing after finishing the book.
Although this is not the best book I have read by Marian Keyes, I enjoyed reading it nonetheless and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of her books. At this point 'Anybody Out There?' is still my favorite of hers!...more
After reading The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, which made it to my favorite's list, I could not wait to read The Constant Princess. I just lAfter reading The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, which made it to my favorite's list, I could not wait to read The Constant Princess. I just love reading historical fiction, and the Kings and Queens of Britain is a topic that I have really gotten interested in, especially the time of King Henry VIII, of course.
This book details the life of Queen Katherine of Aragon, who at the age of three was betrothed to King Henry VI's son Arthur. Ever since she can remember she was the Infanta of Spain and Princess of Wales, and when she turned sixteen she was sent to England to get married to Arthur, who at the time was fifteen years old. When Arthur died, her chances of becoming Queen of England started to fade, but Katherine was determined to make it happen, even if it meant telling a lie and getting married to Arthur's brother, Henry VIII.
When I began reading this book I immediately started to like it. It promised to have the same potential as The Other Boleyn Girl, but further into the book I realized that it wasn't quite the same. The first noticeable difference is that The Constant Princess revolves around Katherine, as you would expect, and not much else is given importance. This means that the story is not that intricate, which is one of the things that made me love The Other Boleyn Girl so much. Parts of the book are written in the first person from Katherine's point of view, and I found those to be quite tedious. Having said that though, I admired Katherine's courage and determination to get what she believed was rightfully hers, and even when it kind of dragged on I still enjoyed the story. The ending seems to have been cut short, and there is no explanation how Katherine fell out of the King's favor. This was okay having already read The Other Boleyn Girl, however it may be confusing for those who haven't and do not know the story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII.
As you can see from my review, I couldn't help comparing this book with The Other Boleyn Girl. I would definitely suggest reading that one first, although it does set your expectations a bit higher when reading The Constant Princess. Now I cannot wait to read the next book in Philippa Gregory's Tudor series, The Boleyn Inheritance. ...more
With the release of The White Queen, I've been hearing a lot about Philippa Gregory so I decided to try one of her books from the library. I had no clWith the release of The White Queen, I've been hearing a lot about Philippa Gregory so I decided to try one of her books from the library. I had no clue that this was a series and that this is actually meant to be the second book, but I don't think that hindered me from enjoying the book any less. This is also the first historical fiction that I read which is not related to WWII!
Set in the 1500's, the Howard family are ready to do everything to advance in King Henry VIII's court and the Boleyn sisters are part of the game they are playing. The story is told from the point of view of the less popular sister, Mary Boleyn, who attracts the King's attention for a few years but then is set aside when his attention turns to Anne Boleyn. The rivalry between the two sisters is very evident, however Mary remains loyal to the ambitious Anne throughout her rise to power, and then her downfall when she could not give the King what he wanted.This is a captivating story of ambition, love, treachery and drama all in one book.
This book has really got me interested in the Kings and Queens of Britain, and while reading it I even bought a non-fiction book about this topic. Apart from what probably everyone knows I did not have much knowledge about the history of the British royal families, but now I am fascinated by it and want to know more. Reading The Other Boleyn Girl felt like reading a classic, I loved the complexity of the plot, the number of characters involved, and that something is always happening to keep you reading on. Although there are many characters, I think Philippa Gregory did a great job at giving just enough information on each for you to connect with them, but not overdoing it to a point that it gets confusing. Choosing Mary Boleyn as the narrator was excellent in my opinion, it gives you a view of the court from the girl that was given less importance and considered not to be as intelligent as her sister, but was loyal to her family just the same. Throughout the book I couldn't decide whether I liked or hated Anne. I admired her persistence and how ambitious she was, especially for a woman in those times, but she also came across as being ruthless and determined to get what she wants without caring about anyone else. I hated her mostly because of the way she treated Mary, but her fate left me feeling bad for her.
The Other Boleyn Girl has made it to my all time favorite books. In fact I was amazed when I was reading reviews on this book that people gave it a negative rating because they said that the facts are not all correct. I mean, this is fiction and it shouldn't be entirely on the facts. If you're interested in the facts shouldn't you just read a non-fiction book? That is just my thought because I thoroughly enjoyed this book for what it is, and I ended up buying the book after I had finished reading my borrowed copy! ...more