Well, this booklet was a free gift during the Month of the Suspense Novel (June) in 2008 in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, most of the time, these free gifts have turned out to be terribly bad books. This was no exception.
I really, really didn't enjoy reading it. At all. I certainly wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Better to stick to one of her series, I think.
Note: I read a Dutch translation of this book....more
I found this book at a large book sale recently, and my edition has a cover that looks like rats ate half of it. Immediately intrigued by this, I just had to buy it.
While I'm not a big fan of rats, they do not really terrify me. Or at least, they didn't use to. The story features an infestation with very large rats that are working together to slaughter humans. This is the stuff of nightmares.
My edition features an introduction by Neil Gaiman, and he does a great job by mentioning the book's greatest weakness even before you've started reading. The main character is a hero cliché and not remarkable in any way. As the story unfolds he happens to be in the wrong place every single time and he's so special for some reason. Also, especially at the beginning, there are some short stories about characters' background that seemed too long and got the flow out of the main story. And, although I do not blame the author for this of course, the book was written forty years ago and I think it hasn't aged that well. It felt slightly outdated to me.
I hear you think, but three and a half stars? You must have enjoyed reading it. I most certainly did. It was a nice read, even with it flaws. I started reading it without any real expectations - I just liked the cover, and that is something that has proven to be tricky - and it was a nice surprise. Not the most memorable read, maybe, but an entertaining one nevertheless.
I wouldn't recommend this if you're terrified of rodents. You will not be able to sleep at night any more!...more
I had never read A Christmas Carol before, and even more shocking, I'd never read Charles Dickens before last week (unless you count a manga adaptation of Great Expectations). I was however familiar with the story (can someone not be familiar with the story?) and after I happened to stumble on the first chapter by chance last week, I immediately thought: I want to read this for Christmas.
I got a copy that was made available via Project Gutenberg, bringing ebooks of old books. I will just discuss some thought, as I believe the books has been reviewed way better than I could possibly do, and detailed description can easily be found.
I liked it more than I expected. Of course, the story held little to no surprises, and that's exactly why I was afraid I wouldn't like it any more. However, in reading there was something extra, I can't really decide what it was, that made it feel like it still added something to what I already knew. (As good books tend to do). Even though it was written quite some time ago, it didn't bother me when reading and there was definitely enough going on to keep the story (which is not so long after all) interesting.
It almost breathed Christmas. I was never such a big fan of the story, but in the light of Christmas, I may have to revise my opinion!...more
I was browsing the free Amazon books looking for a book that would fit in the 'mist November' challenge over on the ff-leesclub and so I came to this collection of three short stories of which The House in the Mist is the longest.
Over a hundred years old the stories are indeed a little bit outdated, but I've read them with pleasure. They were entertaining to read and kept me busy for some time. The title stories features a revenge plot that might have even worked in the setting of a longer story.
I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed reading them and would read another one of her books if I came across them....more
This was a freebie on Amazon, and it turned to be the companion (read teaser) to the new book Rat Runners.
Imagine London with more cameras and observation on every street corner. Privacy has been sacrificed for the greater good of safety. Children, so-called rat runners, are observed less so they are used to do the legwork for the criminals.
Although it was quite an interesting story (not that original because it is Orwell's nightmare in London again), it was too short to get attached to any of the characters or to really get into the story. I quite liked the writing, so if I were to come across the full novel, I think I would read it....more
Binnenhof is a book from the Dutch website speld.nl which is the Dutch version of the Onion. Filled with a lot of satire and sarcasm, this book is a travelling guide to the Binnenhof, the centre of the Dutch government and politics.
Als grote fan van De Speld, kon ik natuurlijk dit boek niet links laten liggen. Een reisgids naar het Binnenhof, snorkelen in de hofvijver. Wat wil je nog meer? Het is vooral bedoelt om wat meer kijk te geven op de politiek (en sommige absurde dingen blijken nog waar te zijn ook).
Ik vond zelf vooral Gnoe-gate erg geslaagd. Hoewel ik het boek iets minder leuk vond dan Nederland: Het Boek, zou ik het zeker aanraden aan die-hard fans van de site....more
Over the summer I've collected all the Little Black Classics that were published by Penguin to celebrate their 80th birthday! Every now and then I'm reading one of them, and my reviews are mostly some thoughts about each of the books.
Joseph Conrad was a new author for me, but this short story didn't disappoint me, although it had a very uncanny feel to it. The whole village seems a bit off, and both father and son don't come across as likeable or nice people. The father's been waiting for years for his son who's returning to-morrow.
I liked the writing and would like to read more from this author after reading this story....more
Over the summer I've collected Penguin's Little Black Classics, a collection of 80 little booklets from all parts of world literature. Now, I'm reading them in a random order.
This booklet contains 'Captivating aphorisms illustrating the Buddhist dhamma, or moral system. '
I must admit that I read and rated it purely based on reading it as a piece of literature, rather than spiritual. And, to be quite frank, it was not an easy read. It was not even a nice read. The aphorisms (at least the ones collected) are often almost the same and just stated slightly different, or one is stating it positively and another one negatively. This made it so far my least favourite of the Little Black Classics even though I thought it was interesting to read something for a change that I perhaps wouldn't have picked up on my own....more
Over the summer I've collected all the Little Black Classics that were published by Penguin to celebrate their 80th birthday! Every now and then I'm reading one of them, and my reviews are mostly some thoughts about each of the books.
I only knew H.G. Wells from his science fiction stories, and then only what I've heard about them. At this point I haven't read any of them. I was a little bit surprised when I was reading this booklet and the two stories featured are no science fiction, the latter which is also the title story doesn't even have any mystery element to it. This said, I didn't think they were bad stories, just not what I had expected from it.
Will I try something else from this author? I'm certainly planning to, but I think I will go for some of the more famous stories next....more
Harold Fry, recently retired, receive a letter from a former colleague and friend who's now in a hospice dying from cancer. While he at first only plans to post a card with his support, he ends up walking all across England to visit her. Like a modern pilgrimage.
This was one of these books that kept staring at me every time I entered a book store. The story had always seemed interesting but somehow, in the end, I never bought the book. Until last summer. And I'm glad I did.
In general it was a nice story about an old man trying to find out what his worth in life is. His pilgrimage is more than just a walk, he is finding out who he is and trying to deal with some problems that have been bothering him for a very long time. While beautiful most of the time, there were a few points that it was a bit too much, too preachy for me. Like for example when he decides that he doesn't need anything any more and continues without food and money. However, overall I really liked the book. It was a nice read....more
I read Pride and Prejudice but I didn't really like it. I know it's something you're not supposed to say, but still it's how I felt. However, when I started collecting the Little Black Classics over the summer, I decided to give her another chance.
There are a few very short stories collected in this volume. And although they were very short I don't think I would have enjoyed reading a full novel of them. I liked them, not in the least because it was less than an hour of reading.
The stories were interesting enough to keep me entertained, though I didn't think they were very special. I would, however, after reading reconsider to perhaps give another one of her novels another try....more
I didn't care much for the cover, but I'm really glad the TBR jar decided it was time to read this book anyway. I read the Finishing School series by Gail Carriger and although this is not a school training girls to be assassins and spies it did have the same feel to it (which is good because I can't wait for the next book in that series).
In school Claire has always been experimenting, in chemistry for example. After her fortune takes a wrong turn because her father made some bad investments, she'll have to use her experiments to become a Lady of Devices in London's Underworld (while keeping appearances for her family and friends).
What I liked most was the feel it had to it. It's an easy read, with characters with the ridiculous Victorian names and all. Besides, it does also have a twist of Oliver Twist in it. It was a pleasure for me to read it. Does this mean the book was perfect? Far from, mostly because everything is (a little) too easy for our heroine, but I do like Claire and want to know what happens in the next books.
Lady of Devices is the first book in the Magnificent Devices series. There are currently eight books in this series. ...more
I really enjoyed the Swedish movie Let the right one in, based on a book by this author, so when I came across this free ebook on Amazon, I thought it would be a great way to get to know his writing.
The actual story is only about ten pages long (the rest is promotion of his other works) and the story wasn't that good. I admit I was curious to find out what was happening at first but the ending was really weird and I didn't feel like there was a single question answered. It almost felt like there were a few scenes drawn from a bag and pasted together.
I was underwhelmed by this reading experience....more
Well, I was really glad when that night was finally over.
A creepy prisoner held in an even creepier building. The doors are locked until the next crew comes. Have fun!
Even though it was only 80 pages or so I was very relieved when I finished the story. It was not even that scary, that would have been something I could handle. No, I just wasn't enjoying myself and then 80 pages can be quite long. I read this book based on some recommendations and great reviews I read, but I feel like the odd one out. I didn't like the characters or the writing. Like I said, I didn't think it was that scary. I'm sure there are people who would enjoy it, but it wasn't for me....more
This is one of those stories that I (think I) once picked up when it was free on Amazon.
Set at the eve of the second World War, this was a very short story that I didn't completely understood.
The writing was good and thus it was not an unpleasant read, but being so short there was hardly any place for a story to unfold. Which left me wondering: What did I just read and what was I missing some things perhaps? So overall, I was not really impressed by it. Perhaps had it been a full-length novel, it would have been better...more
I must admit I'd never even heard of this sweet little poem until very recently. I also, first misread the title and thought it had something to do with The Nightmare Before Christmas. My bad, I know.
However, I found this poem very cute and it breathed Christmas feelings. I wish I'd known it earlier, because it really feel like a classic. It doesn't take a lot of time to read, so I would definitely recommend it!...more
I downloaded this as an Amazon freebie because I like time travel. I didn't really know what else the book was going to be about to be honest. I'd recommend you not to read the full blurb since it's one of those that tell so much about the story already.
American archaeologist Rivka (who happens to know a lot of dead languages by the way) learns about Ari and his time travel device and gets trapped in the Jerusalem of 2000 years ago.
At first I thought the book was a bit too strong on the religion side, and although is was more interesting since I know less about the different groups of Jewish faith but there's a scene particularly anti-Christian (and I don't like my books anti-anything). I was afraid this would be the tone for the rest of the novel, but luckily, although religion does seem to play an important role in the rest of the novel it didn't feel pushy anymore and it didn't really bother me.
Rivka's transgression into the new society is very smooth. She happens to know the language and figures out extremely easy how it's supposed to be spoken. There are a few mentions in the beginning of her finding the right wording, but after that she can hold very long and difficult conversations. The same goes for the rest of her transgression. The story that Damien tells her is utter crap and I can't believe she fell for that even in the beginning.
Besides these things I did find myself enjoying the novel, but not so much I'm already planning to read the rest of the novels. Perhaps some day.
Transgression is the first book in the City of God series, the other books are Premonition and Retribution....more
I started collecting Penguin's Little Black Classics, and my random reading pilot drew this booklet.
I was never really crazy about The Picture of Dorian Grey. I read it and it wasn't bad but not as good as I expected it would be (based on raving reviews by friends). However, I was quite curious to this little story I hadn't heard about and since it's very short it can be easily read in a single sitting.
And actually I really like it. It had a nice twist at the end, but I won't tell you too much about the story for fear of spoiling the story. However, I would recommend it as a nice quick read!
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime is the 59th Penguin Little Black Classic....more
I didn't really think this one would work for me. It got on my nerves even before I read it. First, because I was afraid it would be a book like The Fault In Our Stars, which I promised myself I wouldn't force myself to read any more (even though now everyone keeps asking me what my opinion is on Paper Towns; not falling into that particular trap). Second, because I couldn't understand the arrogance of expecting women to fill in that ridiculous questionnaire. And last, because I (like I suppose everyone else on this planet) had the feeling I knew exactly what would happen when Don met Rosie.
However, when this book was book of the month on one of my online forums, and someone gave me copy, I decided to try it (after some heavy assurances that no, it wasn't like TFIOS at all; and it was an easy read anyways, so I should be able to finish it in a few hours).
For who's not familiar with the plot. Don is a (more than a little bit) autistic geneticist with a dubious friend, and he's decided that a wife might not be such a bad plan after all. Even though he doesn't seem all that social incapable (although a bit awkward), I mean he does attend speed-dating and whatnot, he decides not to waste any time and make a questionnaire to filter out anyone who's not a complete fit (read: everyone). Only to throw all that hard work away when he meets Rosie.
I have to admit that I looked at the part of the questionnaire that was printed at the end of the book, and some of it made me smile (especially the minus points for using antibiotics for the common cold :) ). The idea in itself, I still find repulsive, and should anyone I'll ever date offer me a questionnaire I would not be pleased, to say the least. I was quite surprised at the gigantic number of women who actually did fill in the form. If I recall correctly is was more than 300?!
It is in fact a very fast read, and a light one. The clichés unfortunately were there and the ending won't come as a surprise. I wasn't super invested with both Don and Rosie nor their relationship. Although it was an easy read, I didn't completely see the wonderfulness that I'd heard about this novel. It felt to me, like most of the contemporary novels I've read, too polished, too fake. I don't really know how to describe it and it's not necessarily a bad thing (just something I can only read once in a while).
I didn't completely understood Gene's role in the novel. I'm usually not one for really seeing messages in novels, but I didn't understand why a novel, that's already on the edge of objectifying women (because of questionnaires and Don's one way thinking) would add a character that literally does so by trying to sleep his way around the world (he's got a map in his office not unlike the ones people usually have to keep track of where they have been). To me, it made very little sense.
Would I read the sequel, The Rosie Effect? Perhaps someday, but not too soon I think, it's not the kind of book I could read all summer long....more
I was quite surprised to not find this book in English translation yet. I mean the Dutch translation has been out for three quarters of a year and the English one isn't even announced as far as I could tell, even though all the other books in the series were translated.
However, I've always enjoyed the stories a lot, even though they're usually not very suspenseful and contain for a large part not-detective stuff and the eating of the Swedish cinnamon buns (the ones they also sell at Ikea).
This book is not different from the other ones I've read. When a missing girl is found back, there are only more questions than before.
I always need to turn a switch because in these novels, policing isn't done by the police. Instead Erica, a crime-writer and wife of police officer Patrick is solving everything. So, I realize this isn't the most believable kind of story, but still I enjoy them from time to time. I used to frequently read Scandinavian detectives but this is one of the few series left from which I buy every new book blindly. I finished this story in a single reading.
I hope the next book won't take as long as this one though!...more
My translation of the title: The Netherlands: The Book. In five billion years from super power to global empire.
De Speld, or in English The Needle, is the Dutch version of online paper The Onion. Presenting not so real news with humour. Needles to say I'm a big fan and wanted to read this book, that provides the somewhat 'original' history of the Netherlands.
Als grote fan van de site, was ik natuurlijk heel erg benieuwd naar dit boek en ik was dan ook heel gelukkig toen ik het voor mijn verjaardag cadeau krijg. Wel was ik natuurlijk erg benieuwd of het in staat zou zijn even leuk te zijn als de korte stukjes op de site. En ik denk dat het daar redelijk in geslaagd is. Het bevat zeker wat pareltjes.
Van de eerste twintig pagina's heb ik bijna alles voorgelezen aan mijn zusje. Dat moet toch een goed teken zijn. Sommige stukken waren wel wat flauw maar over het algemeen heb ik er erg van genoten. De reisgids die ze laatst hebben uitgebracht gaat zeker ook op het lijstje....more
This is one of those books I would read a few pages from every time I saw it in a bookstore. I was about halfway. But then it was no longer necessary since my sister gave me this little book for my birthday last month.
It's a quick funny read. Not ROFL funny, and some have the feeling that they were made up, but it certainly has some very nice once.
Personal favourites include:
"Lionel Ritchie and the Wardrobe"
Now I'll start reading the next book More Weird Things Customers Say In Bookstores next time I'm in the bookstore :)...more
I pre-ordered Mockingjay a long time before it was actually released, and a friend of mine, who also wanteREAD IN ENGLISH/DUTCH
I pre-ordered Mockingjay a long time before it was actually released, and a friend of mine, who also wanted to read it straight after it hit the shelves, was disappointed as all copies in our city has been reserved and new books took weeks to arrive.
I think this shows just how much we all were looking forward to the release of Mockingjay. I struggled a bit with the same things as with Catching Fire, how is Suzanne Collins going to keep things interesting. But I was far too curious to let that stop me from buying this book.
For me, this book felt completely different from the first two novels. I think that the arenas were good structures that these books needed. Without it felt somewhat weird. Where the terror from the capital is first mainly invisible (at least for the people of the capital), it ends with destroying the capital itself.
All my favourite character's don't make it to the end of this book. I hate it when everybody lives, because then I don't feel like there is any suspense left (if you already know no one will die), but it seemed almost targeted to kill just the people I liked best.
I know that a lot of people had a problem with Prim dying, and of course I wasn't happy for her dead, but from the story-viewpoint it made sense to me. It was as if - no matter who would win in the end - everything Katniss did was in vain, because she only ever entered the Hunger Games to save her little sister.
I have a problem with the execution-scene though. Katniss decides to shoot the president of district 13 and leader of the rebellion after a nice little chat with President Snow (who is such a loveable chap, I would definitely trust him?! :S ). And then, President Snow laughs himself to death?! O, Come on!...more
When I first read the Hunger Games in 2009 I really liked it, and couldn't wait for Catching Fire, which wasREAD IN ENGLISH/DUTCH
When I first read the Hunger Games in 2009 I really liked it, and couldn't wait for Catching Fire, which was by that time due in a few months. My sister and I bought the book as soon as possible.
I'd been wondering though what exactly would happen in this book and the one that turned out to be Mockingjay. One of the strengths of THG was in my opinion the arena and the 'actual' 74th Hunger Games.
So, when I found out we were in fact returning to the arena, I had some mixed feelings. I was glad, because that was what I liked the other time, but it also felt a bit as a device to 'never change a winning team'. I really liked the clock-arena though, I thought that was very clever.
I liked how, when President Snow is telling Katniss he's seen her with Gale, (and the television people have changed him into her cousin), he says something about her family 'and all those .... cousins.' Such a shame it didn't make the movie.
I liked that Gale was absent for the rest of the book :). I liked Finnick and his sarcasm. Then, what didn't I like? For me, the ending felt rushed and very confusing. I understand she was creating a cliffhanger of course, but I had to go back and reread in order to understand what she was doing, because so much happened in so few pages. Still, I really enjoyed reading this book, and even pre-ordered Mockingjay because of it. (It's the only book so far I've ever pre-ordered)....more
I first read The Hunger Games in Dutch after my sister had bought it. At first I was a bit sceptic about the book. But after I reREAD IN ENGLISH/DUTCH
I first read The Hunger Games in Dutch after my sister had bought it. At first I was a bit sceptic about the book. But after I read the first few pages I knew I was wrong. It was an amazing book! So, after reading the Dutch book (De Hongerspelen), I went to the bookstore to buy the original book (the English one), so I could read that as well.
The United States no longer exists. A new country, Panem, has taken it's place. We never get to know what actually happened to the USA, but they imply some sort of terrible world war killing almost everyone. Panem has a capital, called 'The Capital' and 13 (only 12 remain) districts around that city. The Capital rules over the districts and to demonstrate it's power every year there are so called Hunger Games. In these Games two children from every district will be drawn by the Reaping to fight the others in an arena on live television. There are 24 children in the arena each year and the Games aren't over till all but one are killed. Last man standing will win the Games and become very famous and rich. Katniss Everdeen takes her sister's place when her name was drawn at the Reaping to be this year's female Tribute in the 74th annual Hunger Games.
I don't want to reveal more of the story, it just nicer to read it all yourself. As I said before I really liked the Hunger Games. They are one of my all time favourites. The writing style of the English version was better in my opinion, so now I recommend the English one to all my friends. It's the first book of a trilogy, and I couldn't wait for the others book to be published. What I liked about it was that Suzanne Collins didn't give me the impression that she put everything she had came up with in the book. I got the idea that there was much more behind the story, namely, the things Collins didn't tell us. Now, I got the feeling that there was a whole world, and not only a story. (That last impression I sometimes got when reading Harry Potter). Needless to say that I think The Hunger Games are way better than Harry Potter.
I would love to recommend this book to everyone who wants to read a fantastic book!...more
I'd never even heard of the series, but I received this short comic book from someone (I honestly don't remember who it was, sorry) when it was a gift from Humble Bundle. And it was a very good gift.
I really enjoyed it. Every family member had his/her own 'sketch' and they were fun. I don't know to what degree it's similar to the series, but after reading this I want to check it out. Especially the one with the musical song was great (since I just love musicals) and I really liked the one 'from' each parent as well. They were very short, but very sweet....more