Quite simply, The Snow Child is the most gorgeous piece of fiction I've read in ages. It's everything a fairy tale should be - complete escapism into...moreQuite simply, The Snow Child is the most gorgeous piece of fiction I've read in ages. It's everything a fairy tale should be - complete escapism into a vivid fantasy world that feels so real it's almost tangible. Very rarely does a book allow me to completely shut out the world and escape, but The Snow Child did just that.
If you're stressed and could do with some time out this is the perfect antidote. Ooh, and it could be quite an expensive read for me too as it's seriously made me want to go to Alaska.
Eowyn Ivey is definitely an author to watch and I can't wait to read her next book. Incredibly this is her début novel, what a talented lady!(less)
I started mourning the loss of Gone with the Wind well before the end. After whizzing through 700+ pages of pure escapist joy the thought of life with...moreI started mourning the loss of Gone with the Wind well before the end. After whizzing through 700+ pages of pure escapist joy the thought of life without the capricious Scarlett, sweet Melly and dashing Rhett was almost too much to bear. So I started taking my time, re-reading each paragraph and savouring each word. Sadly time can't stand still forever and eventually, despite my best efforts I finally finished the last 300 pages... And now 2 days later I have the book hangover to end all book hangovers!
The last 50 pages broke my heart! Tragedy piled onto tragedy until I had tears running down my face. And lets get this straight, I don't cry at books. Well, with the exception of The Fault in Our Stars I don't cry at books, and that's got kids with terminal cancer in it, so if I didn't cry at that I'd be kinda heartless.
I've read the reviews on here with interest and generally people either love Gone with the Wind or hate it. Don't get me wrong this book isn't perfect, but neither are people and neither is life. Yeah Scarlett is flawed, incredibly flawed, but at the bottom of all that she's got a good heart, she's a survivor and she's incredibly readable. Oh, and she's racist too, but considering the time period any other attitude would seem fake, although the idea of African Americans being like children made for pretty uncomfortable reading at times.
I know the history of the deep South isn't 100% accurate, but for a reader from the UK who previously knew nothing about the US civil war I found it fascinating. It's definitely given me the push I need to learn more about US history.
There's so much I could say about GWTW and not enough time or space to capture all my feelings. It's the ultimate tale, one i'm confident i'll come back to time and time again throughout my life. I already loved the movie, but it pales in comparison with the book (as do most film versions for me due to my preference for the written word). Although I finished this 2 days ago it'll take a long time for me to stop reeling. This is one of the most upsetting books I've ever read, yet also one of the best. Guess I'm a masochist when it comes to books.
Don't read this if you want a cosy bedtime yarn, it isn't cute and it isn't pretty. If you're ready for a roller-coaster and don't mind being emotionally challenged, this is the book for you.(less)
Gorgeous, dark, sinister - I loved this book! A kiss Before Dying is a classic 1950's noir that kept me entertained from beginning to end. If you like...moreGorgeous, dark, sinister - I loved this book! A kiss Before Dying is a classic 1950's noir that kept me entertained from beginning to end. If you like thrillers at their finest I highly recommend!(less)
If The Martian isn't a million dollar blockbuster in the next 5 years, Hollywood have missed a treat. I read the entire thing in one sitting, making i...moreIf The Martian isn't a million dollar blockbuster in the next 5 years, Hollywood have missed a treat. I read the entire thing in one sitting, making it probably the best way to pass 8 hours that I can think of. Maybe it helps that I came to the book with no expectations, except the hope that I might get my next 'fix' for my inner space geek.
Well, what a fix! The story is a fast-paced, compelling adventure across Mars and offered everything I wanted and more. I was behind Mark Watney the whole way, from the moment he wakes up alone with his crew gone, to his eventual rescue attempt. It helps that Mark is a great character with a hilarious internal dialogue, I warmed to him quickly and found myself rooting for him as I turned the pages.
Yes, this book is sciency, but it needed to be. That's what makes it feel so authentic. It's the kind of book I'd like my future children to read, to help them understand the importance of science. It offers a perfect demonstration of how something seemingly dry and theoretical can have practical applications, and even save your life.
This book isn't for everyone, there are no little green people roaming the surface of Mars or any Roland Emmerich style hi-jinx, so leave your fantasy head at home. But if you like your sci-fi realistic and plausible then you're in for a real treat.
I'm not in the habit of giving 5 star reviews out often, The Martian really is something special. (less)
Quite simply this book is gorgeous. It's the kind of book that makes you fall in love with reading all over again - love, hope, tragedy, loss, joy - a...moreQuite simply this book is gorgeous. It's the kind of book that makes you fall in love with reading all over again - love, hope, tragedy, loss, joy - all depicted with language so vivacious and alive that I could practically feel the story in my gut.
I'm not massively into the classics, I haven't read The Iliad, on which this book is based, but of course I know the story of the Trojan War, or at least I thought I did. The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is beautifully portrayed, and is just as relevant today as it was back then. Heck, even in 1200 BC there were controlling mothers in law.
I won't go into the story itself, because I'm assuming most of you will know it, but you won't find a better re-telling. No wonder Miller has won countless awards, I stayed up well into the night with this one. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I just couldn't put it down, and that's the hallmark of some great storytelling.
Warning - DO NOT pick this book up if you're planning on doing anything other than reading and peeing, with an occasional hasty snack, in the next 24 hours. (less)
I tried to review Of Mice and Men but words fail to fully capture its brilliance. In 100 pages Steinbeck took me on a roller coaster of emotions leavi...moreI tried to review Of Mice and Men but words fail to fully capture its brilliance. In 100 pages Steinbeck took me on a roller coaster of emotions leaving me, ultimately, heartbroken.
If a book could encapsulate what it's like to be a human being then it would be this one. Steinbeck is a genius and I look forward to reading more of his work.
So yes, if you haven't already - READ IT! READ IT! READ IT!(less)
Player One was originally written as a series of week long one hour lectures, hence the novel is split up into five "hours" and is written in real tim...morePlayer One was originally written as a series of week long one hour lectures, hence the novel is split up into five "hours" and is written in real time.
This is the first Coupland book I've read in years, I have a vague recollection of skimming through Generation X in my teens and dismissing it as pretentious intellectualism. It would be interesting to re-read it now and see what I think as I really enjoyed Player One and Coupland's unique style of writing.
When Coupland describes a character he gets to the nitty gritty, into their soul and thought process. The novel alternated between the point of view of a preacher turned thief, an ex-alcoholic bar tender, a beautiful autistic teenager and a 40 year old divorcee. Then throw into the mix a self help guru, an indiscriminate killer, a MILF hunter and an awkward internet hook up, and you have Player One's unlikely cast. Whilst each character has a distinct personality Coupland points out"we run out of things that make us an individual very quickly; all of us have more in common than we do not have in common". And he's right of course. In a world overpopulated with 6 billion people, how is it possible to be truly unique? Yet everyone wants to feel they are different, everyone wants to count, as Luke puts it "I want a Wikipedia page. I want Google hits. I don't want to just be a living organism that comes and goes and leaves no trace on the planet". So many of us can relate to this. Or at least I can. Yet in wanting fame, or infamy as the case may be, we become just like everyone else.
I could go into the intricacies of the plot but a Coupland novel is much more than this. It's food for thought. It's liberation. And most importantly it made me think about so many things I'd never normally consider. I feel a better person for reading Player One, like I learnt something intangible yet important. I will definitely be reading more from him. Whilst the characters are different they all speak with Coupland's voice and give you a unique glimpse into a future I hope we never have to witness.
The only thing I would say that errs on the negative side is that this is not a books you can read when you're sleepy and about to go to bed. It requires full concentration, if you daydream through a paragraph you will lose the thread entirely and need to re-read it. As i'm the kind of person who likes to read before I go to bed to relax this was hard going at times. Player One a relaxation book that i'd take to the park to chill out with, it's a thinking book that challenges you, and whilst I honestly do love this, after 250 pages I felt like i'd earned a well deserved rest!(less)
This is the perfect book to curl up with beside a fire on a cold winters night. That said, I read it in the middle of summer and it was still a joy.
Ou...moreThis is the perfect book to curl up with beside a fire on a cold winters night. That said, I read it in the middle of summer and it was still a joy.
Our heroine is working in Monte Carlo for an elderly lady when she falls in love with recent widower Maxim De Winter, the owner of the spectacular Manderley estate. Just as she is due to leave to accompany her employer to America Mr De Winter proposes, and after a brief honeymoon in Italy she is whisked off back to Manderley to begin married life.
Despite being in love with Maxim the new Mrs De Winter feels in the shadow of his former wife Rebecca, who was well loved by the staff on the estate. In particular the housekeeper Mrs Danvers shows her disdain for Rebecca from the first time they meet. As a young girl in her early 20's our heroine is quite insecure and was born into a much lower class than Mr De Winter. Everyone knows this and she has a prevailing sense of inadequacy that Mrs Danvers is happy to encourage. Everything in Manderley seems connected to Rebecca and the constant reminders are putting strain on her marriage and making her feel more and more insecure and out of place. But soon it becomes apparent that everything is not as it seems and there is more to Rebecca's death than a sailing accident...
Du Maurier is masterful at building up suspense and tension. There are dramatic plot-twists and a creeping sense of anxiety and unease overtook me whilst I was reading this novel. I stayed up most of the night to finish it and wasn't disappointed. I loved the character development of our heroine, from an insecure wallflower to a confident, strong willed woman.
The ending leaves as many questions as it answers, but all in all this is a charming Gothic novel that should be on everyone's shelves.(less)
Bed is almost too good. Every once in a while I read something so special and unique to me that I want to hide it away from a world of prying eyes, cr...moreBed is almost too good. Every once in a while I read something so special and unique to me that I want to hide it away from a world of prying eyes, criticism and make it mine. Despite being long listed for the Desmond Elliot Prize this novel hasn't got the critical acclaim it deserves, and it's 3.19 rating on Goodreads is quite frankly a disgrace.
So what went wrong and why is this book so misunderstood?
Bed is about Mal, a discontented 25 year old who hounded by an unbearable ennui, decides he's going to bed, and staying there. After 20 years laying naked in bed doing nothing but watching TV and eating food cooked by his over-zealous mother he weighs 100 stone. But this isn't a book about being fat and if you're reading it in the hope of an insight into obesity then you should look elsewhere.
Bed is a book about love, the bonds between family, how one persons selfishness can bring people together and at the same time tear them apart. Told from the perspective of Mal's younger brother (we never learn his name) he describes Mal as a planet which the family are orbiting. An ambitious young man, Mal left school telling the careers officer he wants to change the world, but like so many of us 2 years later he finds himself working a 9-5 office job with a steady girlfriend. This isn't the life Mal wants, he hates the banality of the weekly grind but feels that there is no way out.
I view Mal as the ultimate individual, a man with a voracious appetite for the extraordinary who is unable to find fulfilment in the real world outside his dreams. So he goes to bed. The only rightful protest he can make against the cruel disappointment of living in a society that raises its children with an expectation of future greatness, and fails to deliver.
You may not like Bed, a lot of readers hated the graphic descriptions of Mal's obesity. It's certainly not a book for the squeamish and some scenes will probably shock you. But if you can get past the imagery and read Bed with an open mind it will repay you in buckets. Some books feel like they can tear a fissure in your life leaving an invisible before and after, it's an unsettling experience but also quite mind blowing. I love this book, a day later i'm still reeling. (less)
I got an email through from Amazon saying this book was deal of the day, and so picked it up for just a pound on my kindle. I must admit I wasn't expe...moreI got an email through from Amazon saying this book was deal of the day, and so picked it up for just a pound on my kindle. I must admit I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. Of course, i've seen the movie, but after reading the book there didn't seem to be much similarity between the two.
I rarely find myself laughing out loud at a book, but whilst reading this I must have been giggling away conspiratorially to myself as my boyfriend even asked me what was so funny. There's something about the quirky things Bridget does that every woman can relate to on some level. She's a walking contradiction, a woman who wants to be strong and independent yet at the same time is desperate to be loved.
I must admit I was annoyed by her at first because it seemed almost like she was one of those awful women whose life is defined by the man she's dating. I guess in some ways she is, but she doesn't want to be. She's a unique spirit, and it was quite lovely to see a man fall for her because of all her imperfections rather than in spite of them.
I'd wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants a bit of light relief. You can easily chomp through the pages in a day or two and it leaves you with a real feel-good vibe. Looking forward to reading the next one!(less)
If I was stranded on a desert island and could only read one book for the rest of my days, this would be the one! I absolutely adored it, the characte...moreIf I was stranded on a desert island and could only read one book for the rest of my days, this would be the one! I absolutely adored it, the characters are so well formed and realistic that by the end of the book I almost felt a genuine bond with them.
As a cancer survivor myself I was touched by the way Green handled the illness in a funny but realistic way that left me in tears. I don't class myself as an oversensitive person but after this book finished I cried like a baby for at least half an hour.
This is one of those rare books that touches your heart and soul. I wish there were 6 stars because finally I have found a book worthy of them.(less)