For a while now I’ve been reading and hearing a lot of really raving review about The Fault in our Stars. When I saw the trailer for the movie based o...moreFor a while now I’ve been reading and hearing a lot of really raving review about The Fault in our Stars. When I saw the trailer for the movie based on the book and knew it was coming out to the theatres last Thursday I knew the timing would be perfect if I could finish it on the very same day the movie came out so if I’m all hung up on it I wouldn’t have to wait long.
If you read the back cover you would know what the book is about: a teenage girl with terminal cancer who comes upon a friend that changes her life. You’d expect a lot of tears and heartache as you read the pages, and it would be the perfect read if you have a heavy feeling in your heart that you want to relive with tears, but for some unfathomable reason I didn’t cry at all, not one tear! Its not that the book is not sad, you know from the cover it is sad and there will be a death between the pages. Its just so honest, and heartbreakingly desperate, that somehow stops the tears from coming, at least in my case and I’m a notorious basket case. I can tell you that the book made me laugh, and laugh out loud, but despite what feeling it evokes in the reader, the overall story is good and well written with really big words even though I felt the last few chapters did drag on a bit, perhaps for the sake of suspense. However, in the end of the day you understand why the book was in the young adult section of the bookstore. I believe the hype surrounding it is partially because the readers are young girls and teenagers who would be shattered to pieces reading the pages, the teenagers of the nation are crying their eyes dry over Hazel and Gus and OMG-ing to everyone who would listen. Ah, to be sweet sixteen again!
Anyways, in conclusion the book is not bad at all but as I said, a bit overrated and I’ve read better. Expect a few laughs and even a few more tears plus a deep feeling of hopeless despair but its quite predictable, and also painful especially if you’ve been complaining about the things going wrong in your life and morphing into a drama queen/king, the suffering between the pages will put things back in perspective for you for sure. (less)
Cecelia Ahern’s latest novel, How To Fall in Love, was one I couldn’t put down until I finished it. It starts with a bit of a mystery, when Christine...moreCecelia Ahern’s latest novel, How To Fall in Love, was one I couldn’t put down until I finished it. It starts with a bit of a mystery, when Christine is found next to a man who just committed suicide in a run down building. Not too long after, Christine finds herself on a bridge next to a man who is about to jump and in a bid to stop him, she strikes up a deal with him to give her two weeks to help him try and fall back in love with life.
The book is sweet, funny, and just what you’d expect from Cecelia. There was no touch of Irish magic in the storyline like in previous Cecelia novels, which I’ve missed to be frank, yet this book is a bit different given that it deals with serious issues like depression, suicide, and trying to reach out and help people in despair. The seriousness of the issue, however, doesn’t mean the book is dark and depressing, quite the opposite. I’d totally recommend it and once you are done with a smile on your face -the ending was predictable though but I didn’t mind it one bit- you are left with a feeling that you want to read a little bit more. The book is a keeper for sure.(less)
Reading the very first pages of Dorothy Koomson's latest novel filled me with warmth, just like giving a long lost best friend a big bear hug!
I loved...moreReading the very first pages of Dorothy Koomson's latest novel filled me with warmth, just like giving a long lost best friend a big bear hug!
I loved the book, I couldn’t put it down, my heart went out to the widow of the murdered man and I could feel her grief. I felt her frustration with her teenage daughter’s situation and was amazed by how tolerant she was towards her. Perhaps a bit too tolerant, her constantly trying to talk to her daughter and only be rewarded with shrugs got on my nerves eventually, I wish her dilemma and sulking didn’t take up so much of the storyline, I actually wanted to reach inside the book to give her a piece of my mind and perhaps a well deserved shake!
However, I did feel that there were perhaps too many balls in the air in terms of characters and side-plots. There is the best friend, the neighbour who is an emotional vampire, the in-laws, the jerk boss, the teenage daughter, the school teacher, and the eccentric old aunt! In the midst of all these people, the person who murdered the husband and now stalking the family, felt a bit lost and I would have loved to know more about their story, their background, and what drove them to the point of no return. Also, with so many things going on at once, when the confrontation with the killer finally arrived it felt too short and abrupt. I expected a longer, more dangerously dramatic chapter.
The book has a happy-sh ending but its not really a happy ending if you look at the big picture, the husband is still gone and no matter what comes out of the story, he is still lost forever and is never coming back.(less)
I still recall the opening chapter of The Devil Wears Prada, where Andy the poor assistant to the fashion editor also sociopath Miranda Priestly was t...moreI still recall the opening chapter of The Devil Wears Prada, where Andy the poor assistant to the fashion editor also sociopath Miranda Priestly was trying to drive Miranda’s Porsche while trying to smoke and figure out how to drive manual gear, ruining her suede Gucci pants. The Devil Wears Prada was an international bestseller and a novel that I really enjoyed reading. Therefore, to know that there is a sequel with the name “Revenge Wears Prada”, I was over the moon.
Sadly, not all sequels are created equal. From the very first pages I had a sunken feeling in my heart but I shrugged it off, hoping it would get better. Andy is about to get married, and she finds a note from her mother-in-law to her son urging him not to marry Andy. Then there is a lot of focus on the note and what it meant and what’s not, a fleeting sighting of Miranda by chance, then suddenly the note issue is resolved without much explanation.
The story was fast paced, too fast paced, and then progresses into babies and nappies and all the hoopla that goes hand in hand with giving birth to a child. Then, at last by the middle of the novel Andy goes to meet Miranda face to face, then there is another encounter, after which there is barely anything except a deep betrayal. The book is supposedly about Miranda Priestly’s revenge from Andy but there were no real defined revenge, or a final confrontation between Miranda & Andy considering how Andy quit her job in the first book, or barely even a Miranda!
If you are picking up this book thinking there will more glamours fashion, hilarious situations, and unbelievable Miranda moments that would make you want to reach inside the book and strangle her, then you’d be quite disappointed. If you want to keep up with Andy’s life ten years after quitting Miranda’s job and see the brief encounter of her path with Miranda’s with a handful of Miranda sightings and meetings, then do pick it up. It’s not a bad book, but it’s not what you’d except and in no way comparable to the Devil Wears Prada. Same characters yes, totally different read. It does pick up in both pace and interest by the middle of the novel, which makes me glad I decided to complete after all, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to pick it up again or wait for it to hit the movie theatre next to me.(less)
Have you ever read a book that captivated you, so strongly you didn’t want to put it down? When, if you were reading it, your eyes decided its time to...moreHave you ever read a book that captivated you, so strongly you didn’t want to put it down? When, if you were reading it, your eyes decided its time to sleep you’d force them open so you could continue reading because you couldn’t bear not knowing what will happen next? Dan Brown’s latest novel, Inferno, is that kind of book.
The book is really good, laden with historical facts and clues as any other previous Dan Brown book. Inferno is almost as good as The Da Vinci Code. The ending of The Da Vinci Code is striking, the ending of inferno kind of stretches along plus inferno deals with real time crisis that can effect the planet rather than trying to life the veil of an old secret. In inferno, you the reader are as baffled about what’s going on as Robert Langdon since his amnesia prevents him from knowing what is going on and who to trust so together, you and Robert discover that things are not what they seem to be, or as Dante would put it ‘O you possessed of sturdy intellect, observe the teaching that is hidden here… beneath the viel of verses so obscure.’
The first time I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger was while watching Terminator with my father. When the terminator came ion the screen, my father pointed at...moreThe first time I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger was while watching Terminator with my father. When the terminator came ion the screen, my father pointed at him and told me "This actor? This is the world's champion in bodybuilding". Of course, an athletic person going into movies is not that surprising, happens all the time with football and basketball players. An Austrian champion bodybuilder becoming a movie star then becoming the governor of the state of California in the USA, is worth reading about.
I loved the beginning of this book, how Arnold was born in a year of famine, how they lived in bare necessities, how he had strong parents who disciplined him yet a father who didn't believe in him. Defiance is very present in the first chapters of the book and throughout. How the little boy had a dream and he worked relentlessly to make it happen and worked harder whenever someone laughed his dream off or told him it cannot happen.
His commitment, his punctuality, defiance, determination, and steel will got him his many bodybuilding titles and helped put the bodybuilding on the map and got him to America and gave him his first business of bodybuilding videos, tips, and supplies mail order. Then the book talks about his American life and doesn't much talk about his relationship with women then you turn a page and find him talking about falling in love with a Kennedy and marrying her and having children.
The book, even though it talks about his family life after marriage, is still on the private side. You cannot sense much gooey emotions but you can definitely sense a strong will and determination to put a mark on this world and change it to the better. Then the book progresses into the movie parts of Arnold's life, which was fun to read, then the politics part. In the politics part we see a side of Arnold that is so private that he didn't inform his wife of his wanting to run for governor or the people of California until the last-minute. The man is like a machine that works silently with Austrian efficiency!
I, however, hated the part about Arnold's secret affair with the housekeeper that resulted in him fathering a son who'se as old as his youngest son from his wife. His, lets say, explanation is too casual and after a long book filled with details, its just not enough or that convincing.
Overall, the book is an inspiration for how to achieve what you want in life even if all the odds were against you. I can identify with that and I think I'm going to listen to Arnold's dream-to-reality transformation tips. After all, he made, didn't he? Defienetly going on my bookshelf and I would strongly recommend it. (less)
Out of the three hunger games book, this one was the most boring and my least favorite. Its all about war and fighting and resistance and blood being...moreOut of the three hunger games book, this one was the most boring and my least favorite. Its all about war and fighting and resistance and blood being spilled everywhere. I had to read it just so I'd know the ending but I felt like reading a war time novel which is something I'm not that interested in usually.(less)
I saw the movie in the cinema before I read the book, then I had the trilogy in my bookshelf waiting for the perfect moment to be read. The moment pre...moreI saw the movie in the cinema before I read the book, then I had the trilogy in my bookshelf waiting for the perfect moment to be read. The moment presented itself when The Hunger Games movie premier came on TV so I picked up the book and read it during commercials.
Turns out the movie was a good adaptation of the story. I like the book a lot, the writers imaginary world, the poverty, the despair, and Katniss's fierceness. But it was very bloody and gruesome and I kept thinking why is this a book for young adults again?(less)
Another book by Emma Donoghue that I had the pleasure of reading. Astray is a collection of fourteen short stories all revolving around one theme: imm...moreAnother book by Emma Donoghue that I had the pleasure of reading. Astray is a collection of fourteen short stories all revolving around one theme: immigration. The charachters in these stories are either heading to somewhere or are trying to settle in. There are theives, goldminders, slaves, souldiers, lovers, politicians, and one elephant who did immigrate.
Each and every story is fact-inspired which makes it more interesting than the next. I'm not really sure which one is my favorite but I could tell you that after many of the stories I was on Wikipedia trying to learn more. Especially with the story about Bejnamin Franklin! Its the perfect bed time read as you can get immersed in a story and be done wanting more but you still didn't stay up too late lost in the book -you must allow some Wikipedia browsing time though-.
The Afterword by the author set the books theme in perspective once and for all. The writer Emma Donoghue explains that she had immigrated twice and that explains the fourteen immigration themed stories. Perhaps when someone decides to leave a place behind, something always linger wanting more. More time, more opportunities, more memories. I've never immigrated myself but astray did give me a glimpse on how it might feel for someone who did. (less)
Ever had a friendship you cherished end up abruptly? Ever wished for friend who had done you wrong to come back and mend everything, to resume where y...moreEver had a friendship you cherished end up abruptly? Ever wished for friend who had done you wrong to come back and mend everything, to resume where you stopped last and have the good old days back? That’s what happened to Emily ‘Fido’ Faithful on one summer day in Victorian London when her long-lost friend Helen Cordington returned to her life. Fido, a women’s right activist during a time where women were oppressed by society, was happy to have her friend back in her life. Little did she know that it will lead to a scandal that lands her in court, putting everything she held dear at stake, threatened by a sealed letter with unknown contents.
The amazing thing about the story is that the characters are real, the court case is real, and the sealed letter actually does exist! Emma Donoghue based her story on these characters and filled in the blanks with her writing and fiction. Its intriguing indeed and if there is something I didn’t like about it, it’s that the emphasis on the sealed letter, which happens to be the name of the book, comes very late in the story and could have used some more attention. At one point I almost forgot all about the book’s name and the fact that there should be a sealed letter somewhere. Also, parts with the court dealings and law jargons were a bit boring but then the story does indeed revolve around the case so you’d still want to read through.
This book is not for everyone though. Its for history lovers who’d love to open a window on the past and see how people were living, thinking, and gettin by back then. Women’s right did come a long way since the 1850′s indeed but the fight doesn’t seem to be over still, not by a long shot. This book is definietly going on my shelf.(less)
Ever since I saw the movie Julie & Julia I was itching to know more about Julia Child, the American culinary legend. I got myself the book that wa...moreEver since I saw the movie Julie & Julia I was itching to know more about Julia Child, the American culinary legend. I got myself the book that was partially responsible for inspiring the movie, My Life in France, and a while ago I began reading.
The book, published in 2006, describes a period of Julia Child's life when she lived in France, learned how to cook in the Le Cordon Blue, and then began her career by teaching cooking, writing her two famous cookbooks, and her cooking show. Its mesmerizing, learning how life was back then in the 1940's onwards. How, at the ripe age of 38 when you think you would want to retire she began a full new career path.
Through the pages I could almost see Julia & Paul Child's life playing in front of my eyes. Often I'd pause while reading and remember sadly that this couple having the time of their lives are no longer alive, their time was up. Sadness also creeps in on you as you read the last pages, mentioning how this person died or this person no longer functions well. If the book teaches you anything, its about how to live your life. Live for today, don't be afraid on embarking on new adventures no matter what age you are, cease the moment and simply live. In the end, all that remains are the good times: the happiness, the laughter, the gathering with friends around a fine meal.
Another lesson? Eating butter won't kill you! The Childs lived a long and prosperous life. Julia Child lived until she was 91 and her husband lived until he was 92! Now that's a thinker.
The book is very entertaining. Its like opening a window to an amazing time long gone. There is also another biography about Julia Child that was released in 2012 that I'm going to look for next. Highly recommended.(less)
Back in March I read and loved a book "Trust me, I'm a junior doctor" by a British medical doctor called Max Pemberton. I liked it so much I set out t...more Back in March I read and loved a book "Trust me, I'm a junior doctor" by a British medical doctor called Max Pemberton. I liked it so much I set out to find the other books written by the same author/doctor and yesterday I managed tofinish another one, his third or fourth actually, titled "The Doctor Will See you Now".
In this book I can see the doctor has gained confidence and is training in psychiatry. It is still an enjoyable and funny read however it was very touching indeed. Less humor and more reality for sure. You get to read about old people wasting away with dementia or living in nursing homes and how, in one's old age, having someone by enough caring enough to take care of you is a blessing.
Some of the situations in the book raise questions like, would you be willing to bequeath your priceless Picasso paintings in exchange of companionship, would that be right? What about the use of Electrical Shock Treatment for severely depressed patients? How is that administered and how humane is that, if at all beneficial? All of that with doses of comedy lurking in between the pages.
I would personally recommend this book, I liked it very much indeed and I'm still on the lookout for other publications by Dr. Max to go on my bookshelf along with the two books I've read already.(less)
رواية جميلة و سريعة بأسلوب سلس و تشبيهات مبتكرة لم تخل من بعض المفردات العامية الشقية. تحكي المشاعر المتخبطة لمترجمة امريكية من أصل عراقي رافقت الجيش...moreرواية جميلة و سريعة بأسلوب سلس و تشبيهات مبتكرة لم تخل من بعض المفردات العامية الشقية. تحكي المشاعر المتخبطة لمترجمة امريكية من أصل عراقي رافقت الجيش الأمريكي للعراق عام 2003 و لاقت هناك جدتها التي تعيش وحيدة بعد موت زوجها و هجرة جميع ابنائها للخارج.
بالمناسبة، توقعت ان تكون القصة من وجهة نظر الجدة لا من وجهة نظر الحفيدة, و ان تسهب الرواية في شرح العلاقة ما بين الأثنتين حال وصول الحفيدة للعراق لكن خلافا لعنوان الرواية لم يكن حالها كذلك. و مع كل حلول نهاية كل فصل احسست باني اريد قراءة المزيد و معرفة المزيد من التفاصيل كان هناك بقية من القصة لم تروى بعد.