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)
This isn't the kind of book I usually read, having said that I really enjoyed it. I've always been fascinated by Everest but I've never read any liter...moreThis isn't the kind of book I usually read, having said that I really enjoyed it. I've always been fascinated by Everest but I've never read any literature on the subject before.
In this informative 300 page book Conefrey chronicles the first summit of Everest by the British team in 1953. It includes the planning, the earlier scouting expedition in 1951, the summit itself and it's legacy. Surprisingly interesting and a worthwhile read for any armchair explorer.(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)
If you want a book that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster, dash you against the rocks, and leave you feeling happy and grateful for all you...moreIf you want a book that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster, dash you against the rocks, and leave you feeling happy and grateful for all you've got, then you need to read The Girl You Left Behind.
I'm not normally a fan of books that move from the past to the present, I often find them difficult to get into but Moyes develops both worlds so well that you don't feel like you're reading two separate stories, it flows like one cohesive whole.
William Styron once said "A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading" and this couldn't be truer than with Moyes latest novel. France in the first world war and present day London are described vividly, the characters are enigmatic and well developed, I found myself rooting for Sophie and Liv, hoping for them like they were real people and not characters bound within the pages.
This is much more than a love story, it's a life story that shows the reader what it is to be a human being. I cannot recommend this book enough,
These are just my initial thoughts, i'll do a more thorough review when I have more time, but thank-you good reads for my free copy! (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)
An important little book (50 pages) that you just cannot afford to miss. It was written in the '30s for an American audience in an attempt to depict t...moreAn important little book (50 pages) that you just cannot afford to miss. It was written in the '30s for an American audience in an attempt to depict the rise of the Nazi's in Germany and open the eyes of the nation to the growing problem in Europe. Written as a series of letters between old friends (a German Jew living in America and his business partner, who moves back to Germany) this book is small but packs a powerful punch.(less)
Phew, Phillipa Gregory is finally back on form with this third book in The Cousins War series. Taking a leap back in time from the previous b...more3.5 stars
Phew, Phillipa Gregory is finally back on form with this third book in The Cousins War series. Taking a leap back in time from the previous books we follow the life of Jaquetta, the Duchess of Bedford and mother of Elizabeth Woodville, our previous heroine.
Thankfully this book is everything it's predecessor was not, lively, well paced and refusing to go over the same old ground. Personally I'd have preferred this to be the first in the series as it would give us a better understanding of the characters and background of the other books, but hey ho, I guess it gives it a pulp-fiction type vibe.
I found myself liking Jacquetta. Okay, some of the stuff she did made no sense, but it's refreshing to see a strong female lead in a historical novel. With Margaret of Anjou she kicked some serious ass, of course the rest of the time she was a baby machine, but she seemed quite happy being a Mum of TWELVE, or was it eleven?
The whole magic thing was a bit tedious at times, I wonder whether it had any actual historical basis. Having said that, mysticism and faith must have been a huge part of Medieval life, and it did add an extra dimension to the book. Although I hasten to add this element was tackled in a much more realistic way than in The White Queen.
Overall it was a good read and I'll be checking out the next in the series at some point over the year. (less)
I have no idea why Philippa Gregory chose to write this book. The Red Queen covers the same period of history as it's predecessor (The White...more2.5 Stars
I have no idea why Philippa Gregory chose to write this book. The Red Queen covers the same period of history as it's predecessor (The White Queen) but this retelling is from the perspective of Margaret Beauford, the mother of Henry VII.
I enjoyed parts of the book that I didn't know from the first, but in several places I found myself flicking through the text absent mindedly. It simply isn't riveting like the other Philippa Gregory books I've read, the repetition was my main annoyance but I also really disliked the portrayal of Margaret. History doesn't cast her in generous light it's true, but her character seemed almost too maniacal for her to be a real person. Yeah, she was single-minded in the pursuit of the throne for her son and this may have made her ruthless, but a book being told from her own perspective should have made more of an attempt to justify her behaviour. To put it nicely, The Red Queen makes Margaret seem like a really nasty piece of work, it's hard to have any empathy for her which was the reason for my detachment for most of the book.
I'm still looking forward to the next book in the series as I loved the first, but overall I found this quite disappointing. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I'd not read The White Queen first.(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)
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)
Really enjoyed this book. I would have loved to live in 1920's Paris with the literati of the 'lost generation'. Its given me the incentive i needed t...moreReally enjoyed this book. I would have loved to live in 1920's Paris with the literati of the 'lost generation'. Its given me the incentive i needed to read some Hemmingway too.
I've got to say Hadley is portrayed as a complete walk over. i mean what kind of woman would pretend to be asleep when her husbands mistress climbs into bed and starts fucking him!? How can anyone be so lacking in backbone?
Id recommend this if you want to learn more about the life of a young Hemmingway and the circles he mixed with in his early years in Paris.(less)