A story in three parts- told in reverse order, of first love, separation, hope and redemption. The Last Time They Met also turned out to be much moreA story in three parts- told in reverse order, of first love, separation, hope and redemption. The Last Time They Met also turned out to be much more serious than I'd first expected, and the ending took me by surprise (won't give it away though)....more
Isthmus by Gerard LaSalle is the second book in The Widow Walk Saga, taking place along the Isthmus rail ride across the Panama. Overall I quite enjoyIsthmus by Gerard LaSalle is the second book in The Widow Walk Saga, taking place along the Isthmus rail ride across the Panama. Overall I quite enjoyed it, it's full of interesting and fascinating characters - my biggest criticism is probably that there were too many characters that you follow in depth. It's hard to get to care about each character, when you're constantly switching from one to the next. This made it hard to get into, but by the end it all came together and became really enjoyable.
It's a fascinating insight into the time period, the challenges around travel, medical issues and insights of the time and cultural clashes....more
Storytellerby Jodi Picoult - like all of her brilliant novels - tangle with the more difficult questions. Who's got the right to forgive? Can murder eStoryteller by Jodi Picoult - like all of her brilliant novels - tangle with the more difficult questions. Who's got the right to forgive? Can murder ever be justice? Or mercy?
You will ask me, after this, why I didn't tell you this before. It is because I know how powerful a story can be. It can change the course of history. It can save a life. But it can also be a sink-hole, a quicksand in which you become stuck, unable to write yourself free. You would think bearing witness to something like this would make a difference, and yet this isn't so. In the newspapers I have read about history repeating itself in Cambodia. Rwanda. Sudan. Truth is so much harder than fiction. Some survivors want to speak only of what happened. They go to schools and museums and temples and give talks. It's the way they can make sense of it, I suppose. I've heard them say they feel it is their responsibility, maybe even the reason they lived. My husband - your grandfather - used to say, Minka, you were a writer. Imagine the story you could tell. But it is exactly because I was a writer that I could never do it. The weapons an author has at her disposal are flawed. There are words that feel shapeless and overused. Love, for example. I could write the word love a thousand times and it would mean a thousand different things to different readers. What is the point of trying to put down on paper emotions that are too complex, too huge, too overwhelming to be confined by an alphabet? Love isn't the only word that fails. Hate does, too. War. And hope. Oh, yes, hope. So you see, this is why I never told my story. If you lived through it, you already know there are no words that will ever come close to describing it. And if you didn't, you will never understand.
It's the story of a small-town baker hiding from the world, until she strikes up a friendship with a man old enough to be her grandfather - with a story of evil he's kept a secret for most of his life. How do ordinary people end up able to commit horrific crimes?
Did I know this brutality was wrong? Even that first time, when my brother was the victim? I have asked myself a thousand times, and the answer is always the same: of course. That day was the hardest, because I could have said no. Every time after that, it became easier, because if I didn't do it again, I would be reminded of that first time I did not say no. Repeat the same action over and over again, and eventually it will feel right. Eventually, there isn't even any guilt. What I mean to tell you, now, is that the same truth holds. This could be you, too. You think never. You think, not I. But at any given moment, we are capable of doing what we least expect. I always knew what I was doing, and to whom I was doing it. I knew, very well. Because in those terrible, wonderful moments, I was the person everyone wanted to be.
I don't want to give too many details away, suffice it to say that Picoult is as thought-provoking as ever. She's a master at pulling at your heart-strings while making it completely impossible to continue to see the world in black and white - which is why she's one of my favourite writers. ...more
Interesting mix of historical and fictional characters and how their lives intertwine on both side of the Atlantic ocean. It was enjoyable, especiallyInteresting mix of historical and fictional characters and how their lives intertwine on both side of the Atlantic ocean. It was enjoyable, especially towards the end, but I felt like so much more could've been done with the premise....more
Loved this much more than I expected. Once I got properly started it I devoured it within a day. Rowell really manages to catch the fleeting love of yLoved this much more than I expected. Once I got properly started it I devoured it within a day. Rowell really manages to catch the fleeting love of youth. ...more
I have to admit that A Breath of Snow and Ashes was way longer than it needed to be, and I sort of lost interest several times under way. Definitely nI have to admit that A Breath of Snow and Ashes was way longer than it needed to be, and I sort of lost interest several times under way. Definitely not as good as previous books in the Outlander series....more
Power (Protection)by Shaun McGonical takes you into a fascinating, sci-fi, future dystopian world. A world that battles with issue of religion, issuesPower (Protection) by Shaun McGonical takes you into a fascinating, sci-fi, future dystopian world. A world that battles with issue of religion, issues of power and how far we should be allowed to go in our "protection" of others.
Shaun McGonical is one of the author's and founder of PolySkeptic, which is how I came across his book in the first place. While you can tell that the novel hasn't been edited by a professional, it does not detract from the content. I read a lot. These days it is quite unique that I really get stuck in with a story - especially a story of 800+ pages, but Power did just that for me.
Support a new author who dared to take the step and self-publish his book - and get stuck in a great story while you're at it. Highly recommended. Quotes
Thaleans never had any religion, not in the entire history of their world. They had never had their own concepts of gods, spirits, or any supernatural power or realms. The Bruuk sometimes joke that this is because Thaleans lack a power of imagination and abstraction that allow other races to imagine such false beings in the first place. This is also why, they say, Thaleans never had any need for philosophy; they saw only the world as it was, and thus never had to invent a way of thinking to circumvent the illusions created by minds riddled with fantasy. Of course, this may be why Thaleans don't have much in terms of art, as what the Thaleans see as art the Bruuk see as functional architecture and technology that works very efficiently.
“You know, the thing I’ve noticed is that Thaleans tell everyone that family doesn’t mean anything to them. But I think you might have the wrong concept of family, my friend.” Brax stiffened, and was about to respond when Tellinas continued; “Think about how your cities coalesced over the centuries. Think about how you share everything with your neighbors in the hope of improving yourselves. Now think about how each city is different in many ways; how you can tell a person from Patula… well, what few of them left anyway… or from Cesternatton or Zule. Your families are your cities, and you take care of one-another like extended families as a race . Family is important to you; it’s just that family is not limited to biology for Thaleans. It’s one of the things that we, as Kasarians, have in common with you, except we are well aware of it while you seem not to be… at least not so much.”
“Son, one day you’ll learn that there are some things that when known, cannot be unknown. And those things will forever change your perspective on the world. If you knew half of what I know about the Protectors, you would not want to know any more.”
As a Decade Fadesis a collection of shattered glimpses into the life of a broken man, Jody Grafton. We see little bits and pieces of his life, as hisAs a Decade Fades is a collection of shattered glimpses into the life of a broken man, Jody Grafton. We see little bits and pieces of his life, as his career as a singer-songwriter is falling apart and he himself tries to make sense of his life as he approaches thirty.
There were parts of this book that I absolutely loved, there is a lot of beauty, as well as a lot of rawness. Ultimately, however, I found it hard to care about the protagonist. Although most of his mistakes were made in his youth, I found myself caring much more for Jody as a young boy and man, than I did for the older, but also more cold and cynical man. Ironically though, I did love "his" song lyrics, and I found myself wishing there was an actual album. Quotes
People don’t know how to love the ones they love until they disappear from their lives.
And yet they never found what they were looking for, and so their search continued— a target without a bullseye.
Sometimes the easiest things in life are the hardest and most frustrating things to understand.
It’s lonely at the top, but it’s crowded and miserable at the bottom.
Don’t give me your heart, I can’t even be trusted with my own, was the song he sang in his head but not aloud.
“You can’t get around what you have to go through,”
He knew his sorry couldn’t fix her broken heart. If you’re careless with something for long enough, it breaks.
People often avoid the truth for fear of destroying the illusions they’ve built.
— all of which questions he dismissed casually, because women are complex, insecure creatures. And so was he.
Those three words hurt infinitely more than all the punches combined; he wanted nothing but to be loved. But perhaps to hate someone this much you have to love them immensely. For a moment he understood how battered wives could repeatedly return to their husbands.
Sometimes we have to get everything we ever wanted before we realize that everything we wanted is not what we wanted at all.
“Sometimes love is sad. Sometimes it drops your heart from a great height and it shatters into a million tiny shards, and those shards are sharp and painful.”
“I look at it like this: love wins, but love also ends, and when it ends it’s painful. So winning— at least a part of winning— is painful.”