We agreed to read this book for our online book club back in April 2010. I was so happy that we chose this book because I read another version of this...moreWe agreed to read this book for our online book club back in April 2010. I was so happy that we chose this book because I read another version of this book during my high school years. It was a special edition for intermediate level English learners.
The setting for the story of the Hound of the Baskervilles came from Doyle’s visit to the English moors. While he was there, he visited prehistoric ruins and heard tales of missing prisoners and a local legend about a dog. From there, he developed the tale of the Baskerville hound.
It was a light and easy read. I believe that is why Sherlock Holmes mysteries are so popular. They are easy to read and quickly paced. Holmes’s observation power and deduction skills are so admirable. With a little trick, Doyle makes the reader think that with a little help and lots of practice, it is possible to replicate how Holmes solves the mysteries. (less)
The story is about Sarah, a London magazine editor, and a young Nigerian woman, known as Little Bee. They get involved with each other on a beach in N...moreThe story is about Sarah, a London magazine editor, and a young Nigerian woman, known as Little Bee. They get involved with each other on a beach in Nigeria with a horrifying moment of crisis. They never expect to see ach other again. However, Little Bee finds Sarah in England after spending two years in an immigration detention center. The day she arrives is a turning point in Sarah’s life.
The chapters of the book going between Sarah and Little Bee just took me away from my own world to theirs. Only after I finished reading the book, I realized how cleverly the author touched many big issues ranging from globalization, corrupt forces, and ongoing wars for oil in Africa.
For me it was a both painful and beautiful book to read. The things happened on the Nigerian beach was the center of the book but the author was really creative in limiting the details to be provided to the reader. While reading the book, you realize that you are making up the beach in your ming on your own with the guidance of the author and you suddenly become Sarah or Sarah’s husband or Little Bee or Little Bee’s sister. I wonder if there are any women out there who read the book and resisted putting themselves in Little Bee’s or Sarah’s shoes. It is hard to believe all these were written by a man. (less)
The story is set in the reign of King John, during the period known as the Interdict, when (the King having fallen out with the Pope) the whole of Eng...moreThe story is set in the reign of King John, during the period known as the Interdict, when (the King having fallen out with the Pope) the whole of England was placed under interdict and no religious ceremony of any kind was permitted to take place. The hero of the book, Sir Richard Straccan, an ex-Crusader, deals with authentic, extremely valuable relics. The relics are generally the body parts of saints, such as three hairs of St. Edmund, the ear of St. Marcellinus, etc.
One of those relics is the finger of St Thomas, which Straccan has been asked to obtain for a wealthy patron. Straccan does not know much about the finger itself: The finger is needed to make up the sum of eleven relics (of the eleven good disciples of Jesus) that a Scottish sorcerer will need to protect himself when he sacrifices Straccan's daughter in his attempt to release a devil from Hell.
It was the most boring book of 2010 so far. I didn’t like the story. I didn’t like the hunt for relics interesting or exciting at all. I do not know if it is the Turkish translation to blame but I had hard time trying to reach the end. This book is the first book of Sir Richard Straccan Trilogy and I am so sure that I will not read the other two books.(less)
“The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades into myth and even myth is long forgotten when the...more“The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades into myth and even myth is long forgotten when the Age gives it birth again.”
I borrowed the book from my sister last August and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf since then. One day I decided to read the first page to see if I was ready to start this long journey. The sentence I quoted above was the first sentence of the book and at that point I knew that it was time to start.
I wanted to read a fantasy book and now I’m glad that I chose this one. It is a quite long read, full of action, wierd creatures and worlds. It was quite satisfactory for me. I actually really liked it but my base for fantasy books is “The Lord of the Rings” and it was one level below it. That is why the number of stars I gave is four. I again couldn’t help myself but compare the authors (J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Jordan) and the characters of the books. Although there were many things in common, I liked Jordan’s story telling as well and I will go on with the second book of the series a couple of months later.
In the Turkish version I read there wasn’t a map included. I found some maps on the internet but I don’t know if they were included in the original publication of this book. As the main characters of the book keep travelling, at certain times, I felt the need to see their departure and destination points.
Although it was a quite long read, I enjoyed it a lot. I was quite surprised to see that many readers couldn’t stand the book at all.
The challenge for me wasn’t the story or the characters of the book but it was its weight. It was a bit hard for me to carry it with me everyday to wherever I go. It was quite funny to hear people’s guesses about what I was reading. I took the books original paper cover off and only the dark red hardcover was left. A colleague of mine thought I was reading the Quran and another friend asked if I was reading the Civil Code :) (less)
I gave it three stars for three reasons: Firstly, it was a really quick read. Secondly, I really liked the last parts of the book. Lastly, I am alread...moreI gave it three stars for three reasons: Firstly, it was a really quick read. Secondly, I really liked the last parts of the book. Lastly, I am already in love with most of the charming places Ginny visits. I was lucky enough to see most of those places. I was taken away to my own memories while I was reading. Although the way Ginny’s story was told was really shallow, the old memories that came to my mind were really deep.
From the beginning to end, Ginny was in a hurry to do what she is told to do. I was kind of annoyed by that rhythm. What was more annoying for me is the fact that I felt like the author was in a hurry to finish off the book. I couldn’t connect myself with the main character because of that rush. That said, my friend’s 16 year-old daughter read the book and felt totally connected with Ginny so maybe the problem is my age.
What I really liked is the ending of the book. Maybe it was the only part I was really involved in the story. I was able to feel the grief of Ginny for her aunt. I think the author did a good job in only that part of the book. (less)
I was biased in a positive way before I started the book. I was conditioned to like it because of the other books of the same author. I like the way h...moreI was biased in a positive way before I started the book. I was conditioned to like it because of the other books of the same author. I like the way he described the rural settings of Turkey, the way he used the local dialects in writing and the way he criticized political, social, religious and cultural issues.
The author himself worked as a teacher in rural areas for several years and with this book I can see how successfully he observed people. I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the unnamed teacher in the book to make a change, the fears of the villagers for that very change, the level of illiteracy and how beautifully all these were put together in a book. I gave it four stars only because the local dialects were a bit hard to understand in some parts (at least for me).
The books of Fakir Baykurt were actually banned in Turkey during 1970s and early 1980s because of the way he touched the above-mentioned fragile issues. Today he is considered as one of the milestone authors of modern Turkish literature. My father-in-law is a retired teacher and he remembers himself digging Fakir Baykurt books under the ground one night as the police/soldiers were searching houses for banned books in 1980. Turkey has gone a long way and we can read whatever we want today. (less)
This year in January I had read a fabulous book (Şu Çılgın Türkler) about the Turkish War of Independence. One of the main characters of that book was...moreThis year in January I had read a fabulous book (Şu Çılgın Türkler) about the Turkish War of Independence. One of the main characters of that book was Halide Edip Adivar, who served as a soldier in the Turkish military during the Turkish War of Independence. She was a Turkish novelist and feminist political leader. She was best known for her novels criticizing the low social status of Turkish women and what she saw as the disinterest of most women in changing their situation. I read some of her novels during my high school and university years and really liked them. When I saw a book about Halide written by a foreign author about the early years of her life, I didn't think much and decided to buy the book and read it immediately.
Unfortunately, the book was a total disappointment for me. I gave the book 2 stars because I managed to read it off rather quickly. Otherwise, I'd have given 1 star for sure. As I read quite a lot about the Ottoman history, I can easily say that the way the historical background of the last decades of the Ottomans was described in this book was rather poor and shallow. For people who do not know much about the Ottoman history, it may even be quite confusing.
About the story of Halide, the author herself said that she only knew the basics of Halide's life and she just imagined her childhood. I found her imagination lacking creativity when it comes to telling the story about how Halide had become a feminist political leader and a soldier. The Islamic values in her life was overstressed in the book. I think the author did it to show the reader how sharp Halide's transition was but I didn't find it interesting at all. (less)
I was literally crying when I reached the final pages of this book. It was a really moving novel for me and I had to spare some time to myself before...moreI was literally crying when I reached the final pages of this book. It was a really moving novel for me and I had to spare some time to myself before I get back to real world, before I move myself away from the bombs falling on Sarajevo. I managed to read it in less than a day and totally loved it.
After I read the book, I also took some time to read the critics and other reviews about the book. A great number of people found the story very similar to that of the movie, “The Pianist”. I agree with the similarity but I don’t agree with those who claim that the author didn’t add anything. Galloway was inspired by a real story: The story of Vedran Smailović. He did play his cello every day at 4:00 pm for 22 days to honour 22 people who were killed by the bomb in the market place. The other three main characters of the book were his imagination. I really liked the flow and how each story is linked to that of the cellist.
I’m not sure about the historical background given in the book. Some argue that it was misleading. I didn’t read it as a historical novel so the the chronology of the events did not grasp my attention. I really felt sorry for Galloway when I read that a Bosnian writer, Nenad Veliceovic shouted at him and told “Go home and write about Canada. You know nothing about Sarajevo”. As I do not know much about what really happened in Sarajevo, I do not have much to say about this. Still, Galloway could have given the list of sources he had used to avoid such criticism. In my opinion, if the real events are used in a novel, the sources used should be listed somewhere.
The only thing missing in this story was about the cellist. I believe the author wants the reader to decide why he is there, playing his cello, risking his life everyday. I really wanted to answer this question but with the details provided about the cellist, it is just impossible. There is no base to rely on to understand him.
All in all, if a lot has been said about a book just like this one, that means the book managed to provoke people in a way. It impressed me in a very emotional way and no matter how fragile the historical base of the story is, it is a good book! (less)