This book was really interesting. I've always been fascinated by America and after reading this book I have even more of a desire to spend time thereThis book was really interesting. I've always been fascinated by America and after reading this book I have even more of a desire to spend time there exploring.
Each state is covered, some in more detail than others. I liked the fact that he focused on things that readers may not have known about each state rather than going for the obvious things. I do feel that some of the states were a little short-changed. I know that he had a timescale to stick to in getting around all the states, but for the sake of a few extra pages in the book he could have written more.
The photographs throughout the book are interesting and some of the landscapes captured are beautiful. Also running through the book is Stephen's dry humour, which made this book feel much more than just a travelogue.
This was a really interesting read and, for me, was the perfect introduction to the USA. ...more
I must be one of the only people who hasn't actually watched a whole Bond movie... I've seen 10 min sections and such like, but never the whole thing.I must be one of the only people who hasn't actually watched a whole Bond movie... I've seen 10 min sections and such like, but never the whole thing. So I figured I needed to change that - but thought I'd read the books first (cuz I have that OCDish need to read any book before watching the movie version). Also it means that I'm seeing the book in a different light to a lot of the other readers.
I wasn't really sure what to expect - I know that a lot of people prefer the movies to the books. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.
It does start off slowly, which made me worried about the pace of the rest of the book. I needn't have worried - the pace definitely picks up and it became a real page-turner!
The 2 main scenes in the book were great, the suspense meant that I couldn't put it down! I did figure out the twist before the book revealed it, but I didn't figure it out as early as I thought I would which is great - I like a book that keeps me guessing.
In this book, Bond is very masogynistic. I appreciate that a lot of women would probably find that offensive, but I found it hilarious. I loved reading his views - lets face it, that's how people thought when these books were written. I am glad to see that things have changed though!
Fleming does a great job with creating atmosphere through his use of language and imagery. His depiction of the casino scenes was particularly effective. He also does a great job with the characters - Bond in particular. I like the different layers he has, and the way that these layers are shown throughout the book. I like the fact that he shows even the toughest of guys can sometimes show sensitivity.
A good read, losing a star only because of the slow beginning. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series....more
I was a little disappointed by this book. My edition was one with all those quotes on it from people (critics usually) that had read it and loved it.I was a little disappointed by this book. My edition was one with all those quotes on it from people (critics usually) that had read it and loved it. They all made it sound really scary and so I was looking forward to being scared. I wasn't in the slightest.
I liked the plot, it was interesting and was very well paced and kept me turning the pages (although it was such a short book that there weren't many pages to turn!). There wasn't much character development, but the suspense of the plot made up for that. The ending was very predictable though, and I had it figured out by the middle of the book.
In all, it was an ok read and I enjoyed it. It was just disappointing because it didn't live up to my expectations....more
I love watching Dawn French on TV and so I naturally had to have her book when it was released.
The book takes the less-used form of a collection of leI love watching Dawn French on TV and so I naturally had to have her book when it was released.
The book takes the less-used form of a collection of letters written to various people in her life. Through the letters she communicates her most prominent memories of experiences in her life.
Dawn definitely has a way with words. The writing flows well and it's made all the better by the fact that she's written it herself instead of having a ghost writer do it for her. The letters she writes manage to be funny (naturally) and heart-wrenching all at the same time. The letters to her Dad are particularly touching, as he committed suicide when she was 19 and left her with so many unanswered questions.
I like the fact that she's been pretty honest throughout the book, whilst managing to keep the private things private. She writes to her husband - Lenny Henry - but doesn't really go into lots of intimate details. I respect her more for this - there are too many autobiographies now that feel the need to reveal Everything.
I loved this book, and I also really enjoyed looking through the (many) photographs that accompany the letters. Dawn has led a pretty interesting life, and after reading her book I like her even more....more
This was my first Ben Elton, and I'll definitely be reading more.
Whilst being funny, this book was actually a little scary. Ok, so this is a gross exaThis was my first Ben Elton, and I'll definitely be reading more.
Whilst being funny, this book was actually a little scary. Ok, so this is a gross exaggeration of the way our society seems to be headed, but it's still the way our society is headed nonetheless.
Privacy is a thing that many people claim to hold dear, yet many of us also use sites like MySpace and Facebook on a regular basis. This, however is through choice. How would people feel if they were forced to upload every TINY detail about their lives to these sites (including photos of yourself stark naked, compulsory videos of you giving birth... etc etc). This book explores the extreme of our worldwide growingly obsessive nature with knowing everything about everyone. The characters in the book are forced to blindly follow a faith that someone seemingly thought of one day... If they choose not to they are breaking the law. Science is illegal. Everyone must have live webstream access to your home. Scary stuff.
This book was an interesting look at the classes in England in the early 20th Century. It showed how large the difference was between men and women atThis book was an interesting look at the classes in England in the early 20th Century. It showed how large the difference was between men and women at that time. It also touches on the effect of the coal mine closures, which I found to be interesting to read, as this was something that affected the area in which I live.
The sex wasn't that scandalous... ok I can appreciate that it was scandalous back then, but by today's standards I found it to be pretty tame and in some places quite cliche. I liked the bit where they were talking about their genitals as though they were people... very entertaining and made me laugh out loud!
I actually liked this book for the story behind it. I was expecting it to be just about sex with nothing substantial to back it up and was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case. I warmed to Connie from the beginning, I liked the fact that she was gutsy and wasn't happy to settle for what society deemed should make her happy. I also liked Mellors most of the time and felt that he was the perfect match for Connie... I was rooting for them throughout the book.
I liked the ending and I think that it closed off the story nicely. I liked that it wasn't a completely happy ending - it made the story seem more real....more
I somehow managed to skip over reading this in my school years. It wasn't required reading at school and I always managed to find books that looked moI somehow managed to skip over reading this in my school years. It wasn't required reading at school and I always managed to find books that looked more interesting. To be honest I didn't read many classics at all and so I'm trying to make up for it now!
I enjoyed this book. I found the language difficult at the beginning, but as I got further into the story I found that I picked up most of it relatively easily. I struggled with the dialect Joseph used though, so was thankful that there wasn't much of his dialogue!
I know that there have been arguments as to whether this should be classed as a 'romance'. Personally, I think it's a great depiction of love and the pain and anguish that comes with it when love cannot take its desired course.
I had a love/hate relationship with most of the characters in the book. For the majority of the book I hated Heathcliff, however I couldn't help feeling some sympathy toward him later on when his love for Catherine was tearing him apart. Similarly, at first I hated Cathy (Heathcliff), however as the book progressed and I saw her love for Linton, my feelings changed. By the end of the book I had really grown to like her. I can't say that I liked the character of Linton much - he was too feeble for my liking - but I liked the way that his character was developed and there was a small pang of sympathy for him in certain parts of the story.
I think the only character I liked all the way through was Nelly Dean. It was clear that she cared very much for the children and she did the things she did through love for them, not to be spiteful.
There were slow parts in this book, but the majority of it progressed well. The language meant that it took me longer to read than usual, but I was fine with this as I feel a classic should never be rushed! ...more
Having recently read Dracula (another classic horror), I was somewhat disappointed by this book.
It started out ok, but as I read on I found that I didHaving recently read Dracula (another classic horror), I was somewhat disappointed by this book.
It started out ok, but as I read on I found that I didn't particularly like the way the story was told - somewhat backwards. I did however like the fact that it was told from different viewpoints - I think that is the only way to tell the story effectively.
The story was short. This meant that, aside from the main character, there was little room for character development. This was disappointing as it meant that I had trouble connecting with the story.
I felt that because of the way the story was told (with the revelation at the beginning), I was carrying on with the book simply because I had started it and didn't want to leave it unfinished. The story didn't really go anywhere and left me feeling a little bored.
I did enjoy 2 of the 3 short stories in the book, and these almost made up for the disappointment of the main story... almost......more
I wasn't particularly looking forward to this book, but agreed to read it with others during October as it fitted in nicely with Halloween. I was expeI wasn't particularly looking forward to this book, but agreed to read it with others during October as it fitted in nicely with Halloween. I was expecting it to be relatively dull, but thought that it might have the occasional thrilling passage.
I was pleasantly surprised. In the early chapters, Stoker does a brilliant job of describing the characters and scenery. This works wonders at building the dark, brooding atmosphere of Castle Dracula. Having read more up to date thriller/horror stories, I was expecting something more frightening; however this book is more of an atmospheric horror. I wouldn't say that it is scary per se, but I think that it is certainly eerie and makes for a chilling read.
After Harker left Transylvania the story seemed to lose some of its pace, which I found disappointing; however I didn't feel that it stalled the story too much and I still felt compelled to keep reading. There are points in the book where the action picks up again, but mostly it wasn't as fast-paced as the beginning chapters.
I liked the way the story is told from multiple viewpoints. This especially works as each character is explored well and therefore I felt like I could connect with them. I do think that some of their musings regarding right/wrong and good/evil could have beem omitted (therefore picking up the pace somewhat). These musings tended to come right in the middle of the juicier parts of the book and I found them to be more of a distraction than an enhancement of the plot.
The ending of the book was, for me, too rushed. I felt like this could have been thought through more and written in more detail. I would have liked to have seen more action in the final chapters than there was. I think that too much of the latter part of the book was spent talking about what they planned to do rather than focusing on the actual happenings.
Overall, I found that the book wasn't at all as dull as I was expecting and despite the slower pace, I found it an enjoyable read....more
It's the story of Leo, your average high school student, who is intrigued when a new girl, Stargirl Carraway, joins his schI really enjoyed this book.
It's the story of Leo, your average high school student, who is intrigued when a new girl, Stargirl Carraway, joins his school. Stargirl's name isn't the only thing that's different... she's a free spirit who doesn't care what anyone else thinks of her. At first, Leo thinks (along with the rest of the school) that she's crazy. Then he gets to know her...
The writing flowed really well and this was an easy, pretty quick read. The thing I like about YA books is that the majority of them (the good ones anyway) have some sort of message/lesson to learn. Makes sense really, as teens are just starting to find their way in the world and need all the help/support/advice they can get. This book is no exception and carries a very valid message - it's ok to be different; be who you are.
That was my initial thought on finishing this book. I can't even begin to put into words my feelings about the author and the st**spoiler alert** Wow.
That was my initial thought on finishing this book. I can't even begin to put into words my feelings about the author and the story of his life.
Shantaram made for some heavy, yet mesmerizing, reading. It took me an age to finish, because I wanted to absorb all of it, and therefore felt like I wasn't doing the book justice if I simply rushed it.
Roberts has been through much more than your average person. Granted, a lot of it was because of things he had done, however even he didn't deserve the cruel beatings he was forced to endure in the Arthur Road prison. On the flip side of this, he also experienced a lot of love. This book shows the kind-hearted nature of the Indian population - even down to the hardest criminals.
I found this book inspirational. Roberts talks openly about the crimes he committed, and their consequences. Yes, he should have served his time in prison instead of running. After breaking out, however, a lot of the things he did in India (for example the free health clinic in the slums) went towards repaying those dues. He rebuilt his life, even though his past meant that he was constantly on the run, and proved that people really can change.
I liked the philosophical side to this book, and found that there were many passages which spoke to me. I especially liked Khader's take on life, the reasons for us being here and people's moivations for the things they do and the choices they make.
The friendships built within the book were heartwarming. I was particularly touched by the author's relationship with Prabakar. I cried like a baby when he died. The author does such a wonderful job of capturing the essences of all the people referred to in the book, and I felt like I really knew some of them.
This account of the author's incredible journey made for compelling reading and I was sad to finish the book. I know that the story and its lessons will stay with me for a very long time....more
Eh... My second Stephen King and my second disappointment. I've heard so many people rave about him, but so far his writing just isn't grabbing me.
ItEh... My second Stephen King and my second disappointment. I've heard so many people rave about him, but so far his writing just isn't grabbing me.
It's a fun concept - the world is struck by a 'pulse' that makes anyone using a cell phone at that moment go crazy - but I didn't feel that King made the most of it.
Don't get me wrong, the pacing was good and it kept me turning the pages and I did want to know what happened, but I was expecting classic horror and this was not it. There was nothing remotely scary/creepy about it and even the gore didn't bother me, except for in a couple of places.
I've decided I will give him one more chance and have been given a few recommendations from the middle of his career. Here's hoping whichever I choose impresses me more than this one did....more