So it's near the end of the trimester and I should be doing some work for exams which are next. The plan was to stay away from the computer (other than for research purposes) and concentrate. However, I of course had to check out facebook first (lots of rants going on my year groups nursy page thanks to recent events). Anyways, I came across this. I am posting it here because I would have loved this as a poster back in my teenage years and sort of would like one now. Was created by someone called Tessie who loves to create flow charts. Her blog is Tessie Girl and is worth checking out.
Monday 25 March 2013
I am actually a little sad to be reviewing this book. It's good to share but at the same time it also means that I have well and truly finished this book. Yes, I can go back and read it again but the second time isn't always the same as the first. The first is special even if you do discover more the second time. Anyways I am biting the bullet because if I don't you will have another two weeks of nothing but It's Monday.
So what you may not know about me (although I haven't hidden it very well) is that I am a big geek. I love my sci fi and there are some things that take me to my geeky happy place where I geek out. This was one of them. I was geeking out from page to page. For the owner of OASIS, the guy who died, was a bigger geek than I am. He was also a genius (which I am not, I am sure I haven't hidden that very well either). In order for these people to uncover the easter eggs they had to reveal some clues. Each of them are linked into things the owner loves which is quite a large number of things in the geek universe. There seems to be very little he didn't like sci fi shows, games, rpg games, games and anything from the 80's. As you can imagine these constant references were the reason I was in geek nirvana. I even discovered, to my horror, that my disdain for all things 80's was actually a cover for a love of most things 80's. I liked almost all of the references which just added to the geek out.
Enough about me and back to Wade. I liked Wade, he's the unlikely hero. The boy who has nothing but somehow ends up being known round the world as he and his friends compete to find the eggs. You want him to win even when he is at his lowest because he needs a break. He deserves it and he deserves to get the girl too. He's the good guy. The small lone wolf against the big, ruthless corporate body with the evil leader whom we definitely don't want to win. Plus the girl he is in love with is a fellow gunter and she kicks ass. She is just as intelligent, just as determined and is funny to boot. We like his best friend too so it seems a shame that only one can win.
Wade and his friends not only have to find these eggs first but they also have to avoid virtual death. Much like video games if they die on line they reset back to the beginning. They lose any magic swords or weapons or boosts that they have picked up along the way. So this they want to avoid at all costs. It gets trickier as the rules change depending on which world they are on. If they are in the Star Trek universe say (and there is a Star Trek universe which means to me there must also be a Doctor Who universe which equals DAVID TENNANT) then technology rules apply. On Middle Earth it's magic, swords and arrows. On Star Wars it's both.
Don't worry though. It's not all online adventure. There is quite a bit in the real world too as the evil corporation exist in this real world and would love nothing better than to track down these kids trying to take that big money pot away from them.
Sunday 24 March 2013
This is a book meme by Sheila of Book Journey. A fun way for everyone to share their reading week
This month has turned out to be a great month reading wise. Even if I finish no books this week I have read the same as January and February combined. This means that I am catching up in my good reads target. Fingers crossed that after this week I will no longer be behind. I got some pretty new books which I can't wait to get to. I have managed to do a fair few reviews and I'm slowly catching up on those too. I was saddened to hear about the death of James Herbert. I used to devour his books in my teen years.
Last week I read;
The Wind Through The Keyhole - Stephen King. I was disappointed with this book. Not up to the Dark Tower standard although it gave me a taste of how much I loved that series.
The Sunset Limited - Cormac McCarthy. One of the library books I picked up on a whim. I read it in a day but I am still thinking about it. Not sure what I make of it yet.
Just now I am reading;
Amsterdam - Ian McEwan. Proving to read this quickly too. Enjoying it so far.
Next I plan to read;
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton. The last of my library book pile. I am looking forward to this as I haven't seen a bad review for Morton. Everyone seems to love her books.
Chinua Achebe also passed away. I didn't do a post on him as I haven't gotten round to reading any of his books although I have almost bought one a few times. I did consider reading him for last years Classics challenge. He was a famous African author who was prominent in politics and was notable for criticising Joseph Conrad. His most famous book is probably his first called Things Fall Apart. Have any of you read him? Would be interested to hear your thoughts?
How has your week been?
Friday 22 March 2013
I quite liked Aaron. I usually do like Tyler's main characters even with their flaws. Then flaws are what make characters and separate them from the Mary-Sues of fiction. With Aaron his disabilities are not his flaws. That's just a part of him. The fact that he believes that the people who love him can't see beyond his disability and want to smother him is his flaw. With this belief he is pushing everyone away from him.
Again, like most of Tyler's books all the characters had their own flaws too and I like each of them for it. Even Dorothy who seemed to have been a woman who had been difficult to like. Having said that it wasn't enough. There was something missing from this book that the other Tyler books that I have read have. I don't know what that something is but this book just didn't do it for me.
I liked the characters, I liked the story but I don't think enough went into it. It was a very short easy read. I usually do find her books easy to read but this was almost too easy. Not in terms of language, the language was fine. It's one of those stories in a few months I will vaguely remember reading but won't remember much about the story. As sad as the story was it's not going to stay with me.
That's not to say it's the worst book I have ever read. Far from it. I still enjoyed it. I just think this one has nothing on Tyler's other books.
Thursday 21 March 2013
James Herbert passed away at only 69 yesterday. 69 just seems like such a young age these days. Of course Herbert was famous for his horror books. Probably his most famous are The Rats and the two sequels. I was introduced to Herbert through these books not long after I started reading Stephen King. That was in my very early teens. Although I read a fair number of his books it's those ones that I remember most. Probably because they showed me that rats can scare the crap out of you. Particularly big killer rats. They hadn't bothered me before but since then I have eyed them with suspicion.
It's been a long time since I have read one of his books but I still remember going to the library and going straight to the horror section to see if they had any that I had yet to read. I usually always managed to go away with one in my pile. Although I'm not sure I would go back to reading his books I still remember them with great fondness. Anyone have a favourite book by Herbert?
The BBC have done a small piece on the author should you wish to know more about him.
Wednesday 20 March 2013
I am going to admit that when I started this and realised that no part of this book was going to be in the book world I was more than a little disappointed. Especially when you discover that Thursdays injuries from her last exploits prevent her from going there. How could this book possibly hold any interest for me now? I needn't have worried as it still had plenty of laughs and book related humour.
In any other book series a fraction of this plot would have seemed ridiculous. Lets face it. How many of you would shake your head at God's existence being proved and so he starts smiting parts of the world in a timely manner. Never mind the fact that Thursday's brother is the reason behind it and the fact that he has proved it sort of brought God into existence in the first place. Something like there being lots of believers and so he exists. My mind is going cross eyed thinking about it. It works though and the whole smiting thing does have something to do with Thursday herself. Plus whilst it's essential to the plot it's only one part of it.
We then have another mind-twisty moment where Friday is no longer going to save the world a million times over as he becomes the leader of the chronoguard (people in charge of time travel). When they could no longer prove that time travel was ever invented time travel stopped and all the people who worked for and will work for chronoguard are give alternate life stories. Again this is central to the plot but only a small part of it.
There is also a teenage love affair, evidence of where lost stories go, replacement Thursdays all over the place and dodo experiments. Two of my favourites though have very little to do with the central story but they amused me no end. The first is a nutty Enid Blytonist who wants Blyton's stories protected to the point of being a little fascist about it. The second was the mention of Daleks. Sorry, anything that mentions Daleks has my vote.
I loved every page of this book and once again I can't wait until the next one. On that note I am going to leave you with a picture of Daleks. Just because.
Tuesday 19 March 2013
I said in my review of the book previous to this that I knew who the next couple were going to be. I was wrong but I still see a story for them coming up. This book has me more convinced than ever.The couple that it did focus on just didn't do anything for me. Both seemed completely different from their first appearance. I maybe would have liked them better if they had continued as they were. Instead I found it difficult to like them. Not that they were horrible people but just that they seemed more than a little two dimensional. I found it hard to engage with them and to feel for them or even root for them. In fact I didn't feel anything for them. I nothing them (if that makes sense).
Perhaps I am just bored with the formula of these books. They are all the same it's just the plot that differs each time. Woman is in danger. Man helps save woman. Both have dark secrets which make them two scared to act on the fact that they fancy the pants off each other. They get over it. Solve the case. Live happily ever after. I didn't mind the formula before now. It was after all the only romance I would really go near (classics don't count). Plus the murdery bit was usually enough to keep me going (I am Scottish after all and we do love our murder books). Not this time. This time it was more than a little far fetched or rather tenuous. Sadly I can't really explain that link without spoiling it.
I thought it was just me but the friend who got me reading Karen Rose in the first place didn't like this book either. This is her 14th book so maybe she is bored with he formula too. I haven't had a chance to talk to her about it. For me anyway this is the last one. I don't even want to go back to read the others that I have missed in the middle. I will just have to find another light murdery read for when I am stressed or busy.
Monday 18 March 2013
I picked up Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy in the new penguin classic paperback. I get the impression that this is one of those books you either love or hate. A little like marmite. I hate marmite so I am hoping I will love this. I should probably have just got it out the library but with classics I feel I should get my own copy instead.
Lastly I picked up a Penguin Clothbound. I have been wanting to re-read Sense and Sensibility for a while now. I had planned to do it last year but didn't. So this is the year. I was determined if I was going to get my own copy of this book it had to be this edition. It's the magpie in me. I have read all of Jane Austen's books but I don't actually have my own copies (apart from P&P which you saw a few weeks ago) as I borrowed my mum's. I'm not sure she even has them any more. My mum is one of those people who passes on books as soon as she reads them. My dad is the same. My sister and I make up for it for the both of them.
Sunday 17 March 2013
This is a book meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. A fun way for everyone to share their reading week.
Another good week books wise. I managed another two whole books which puts me two books ahead of this years monthly best (so far). Not only that I managed actual reviews this week. Not just one but three of them. I am still behind but I promise more for this week. I also paid a happy visit to the library. At the end of the week I picked up some books which I have still to share with you.
This week I read;
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky. I read this as quick as I could because I had skipped the rather large queue at the library (all explained in my library post - I'm not a bad person, honest!). I would probably have read that quick anyway. I have since watched the film AND picked up the soundtrack. A first for me I think and I loved all three.
Capital - John Lanchester. I still don't know what to make of this book but I did enjoy it. I am just not sure why because there were so many things about it which should have annoyed me.
Just now I am reading;
The Wind Through The Keyhole - Stephen King. Far too early to tell. To be honest I have read two pages of this. I stayed up later than I should have to finish Capital and have read two pages of this one. Enough to know I don't remember the references King gave for placing this book in the timeline. Not going to worry about it as he does say you don't need to have read the Dark Tower to enjoy this.
Next I plan to read;
The Sunset Limited - Cormac McCarthy. Picked this up on a whim at the library. Looks like it's going to be a little bit different so I'm looking forward to it.
In the past I have given shout outs to various blogs that I like. Usually in the context of a review or something related to what I am posting about. This time I am just going to say go along to Alex In Leeds. You won't be sorry.
Saturday 16 March 2013
I really find it hard to write a blurb for collections of short stories. Particularly when there is no one character running through them. I feel as if I am doing Moore an injustice by not coming up with one. However, I shall just have to do my best to make up for it with my review.
I was accurate in saying that each of the characters were lost in some way. Some of them are happy with that state and some of them are just unable to find a notch for themselves. Each of them are unique. That's what makes this collection of collections so good. No two characters are the same. Some have similarities same as any collection of people might but they all have their own voice. Granted these stories were written over different periods of time but still. To come up with so many different voices takes a talent I find admirable. I don't care if that makes me easily impressed.
You would think with a running theme of being lost or not fitting in that you would find yourself depressed reading these stories but that's not the case. Moore was able to put a lot of humour into them and not all the scenarios were sad ones. As I mentioned some of the characters were accepting of who they were. The first story is probably the one that I keep thinking back to because it has one of the funnier moments (funny to me). It probably says a lot about my humour but I'm going to share it anyway. This story is about a writer who has been invited to some bigwig event. He's been invited as a token writer rather than because he is of importance and he knows it. Once there, feeling a little nervous and awkward, he strikes up a conversation with his neighbour and unwittingly manages to offend her by talking about politics. One of the topics his wife had warned him to avoid. One of her other warnings was;
"And unless you see the head crowning, never look at a woman's stomach and ask if she's pregnant"
Funny because my dad has actually made that little social error much to my mother's mortification. Obviously this guy has too. There are lots of little gems of humour through out but this is the one that stood out for me.
The only stories which seemed a little different from the rest was from her collection Anagrams. In fact Wikipedia lists it as a novel (I was too lazy to find the book in order to see the titles of the collections within). I think it's maybe listed as a novel because each of the stories (of which there are only a few) contain the same characters. However, in each story the characters are very different. They have the same names and they are all connected to each other in some way but play a different role in each and the importance of each character changes. I actually quite liked that. Thought it was a little different.
I could go on here and rave about more of the stories but I think everyone should get to read them for themselves. I can see it being a collection that people might want to dip in and out of. For me though I had to keep going. They were to good to set down and possibly forget about.
Friday 15 March 2013
I picked this book up after reading FBT's review over at Kill Me If I Stop. I have to admit I had wanted to see the film but I am glad I didn't as, going by that review, it would have irritated me. As FBT says the book gives nothing away until the end. The film gives everything away at the start. An example of why some people should just leave books alone.
Anyway, back to the book. The language of the book was fairly simple and Pat was an engaging character. You knew there was a reason why he wasn't going to see his wife (and probably wouldn't) but like I said you didn't find that out until the end. That doesn't stop you for routing for him. You want him to have his happy ending so badly. He did everything he could to prove himself. I particularly enjoyed his views on some of the books his wife had tried to get him to read in the past. By the way if you haven't read any of these classics they will be spoiled for you (I'll list them at the end). Luckily I had read most of them and knew the story lines to the ones I hadn't read. What was interesting was that his take on them were skewed by his own belief that life should have a happy ending (or a silver lining).
I should warn you that there is also quite a lot of American football talk in the book. Pat's family are huge football fans and it's the only way Pat can seem to find any connection to his father who otherwise refuses to acknowledge his existence. It's quite heartbreaking to read Pat's attempts being brushed off again and again and yet he doesn't give up. I am far from being a sport fan but I actually enjoyed most of it. I liked the feeling of connection it gave Pat to his brother, old friends and even new friends.
Then there is Tiffany. She's quite a strange character but there is a reason behind her strangeness. It's all linked to her trying to overcome the death of her husband (and failing). She unexpectedly finds herself drawn to Pat to the extent she begins to stalk him whilst he takes his runs.
I loved this book. It was funny and sad and moving and just a good read. I understand that Pat was supposed to be bipolar but it didn't come across as that to me. Instead I have my own theories but alas I can't share without spoiling. I definitely recommend the book and I also recommending reading FBT's review. Oh, and I hate film tie-in covers but it was either that or wait to get the book. Being impatient I chose to go with this cover.
Book list as promised;
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemmingway
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Thursday 14 March 2013
After doing the rounds on the It's Monday meme I decided to take a visit to the library. I had in my head that I wanted to get a copy of one of Kate Morton's books. I have seen over the last few weeks a large number reading her books and I thought it was about time I gave her a go. I see that The Forgotten Garden isn't her first book so I have a question for any Morton fans out there. Do I need to read The House at Riverton first? The library did recommend I read Forgotten Garden before Distant Hours but didn't mention anything about Riverton.
The second book I picked out was Ian McEwan's Amsterdam. Again I went in with the intention of picking out a McEwan. Someone on the meme was reading one of his books and it reminded me that I hadn't read one in a while even though I enjoy his writing. I just picked out the only one that was available which just happened to be Amsterdam. The Cormac McCarthy was a total whim. Looking forward to that. The Road is the only other book I have read by him.
I may even watch the film so that I can do a comparison.
Tuesday 12 March 2013
As I was starting to get my reading mojo back a friend recommended this book. Glad she did as it was one that I read in two days which made me feel like I was back to my old reading self.
Nick seemed quite likable at first. Just a lovable rogue who doesn't quite live up to his wife's perfect expectations. As we hear from Amy's point of view though you begin to doubt him. I didn't want to at first. I was determined that because I liked him for the most part that I was going to believe him and wanted to believe him. It was hard to relate Amy's version of Nick to actual Nick. In the end what I realised about this book that it is actually about a pair of psychopaths. They are both nuts. Amy isn't quite what she seems either and I believe they were both welcome to each other. I really can't say any more about the characters without revealing it too much. Suffice it to say that the only one I actually liked in the end was Nick's twin sister.
I thought this book was going to be another one of those usual mysteries. It was similar to another book that I had read by Flynn where it alternates between chapters of Nick proving his innocence and chapters from Amy from the start of their marriage/relationship. The big twist happens somewhere near the middle which I wasn't expecting at all and the book continues to build from there. Don't worry, I'm not spoiling it as there is another one at the end.
If you like a mystery and you don't mind that the characters aren't quite what you expected then you should give this a try. It's a little bit different and whilst the characters may be crazy it just makes the book all the harder to put down.
Monday 11 March 2013
This is a book meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. A great way for readers to share their week.
Another week gone by and I still haven't posted any reviews. I will this week, I promise. I don't want to get too far behind and for the only thing on my blog to be this meme (as fun as it is). Otherwise I had a good week. I did lots of crafting, some baking, lots of reading and of course some study and course work were thrown in there. Oh, and I am now sitting at four books read for this month. I just need to finish one more book and I will have beaten January and February!
Last week I read;
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler. Not my favourite by Tyler but I still enjoyed it.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I was having a geek out at almost every page of this book. Another book on my favourites of 2013 list.
Just now I am reading;
Capital by John Lanchester. Not sure about it but as I am only 20 pages in I am trying not to make any judgements.
Next I plan to read;
The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King. This seems to be my year to catch up with the few King books I have missed. Looking forward to this one as I loved the Dark Tower series. Problem is that my memory may not be up to it. I read the Dark Tower when they were first released in hardback so it's been a while.
Has everyone else had a good week?
Sunday 3 March 2013
This is a book meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. A great way for everyone to share their reading week.
A good week for me book wise. Although the end of the month caught me unawares.
Last week I read;
Did You Miss Me by Karen Rose. Wasn't that great to be honest. Think this will be my last Karen Rose book.
The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde. I was a little disappointed when I realised that this one wasn't set in Book World. That disappointment soon fled though as I got lost in the story. If you follow me on instagram I apologise now for all the photo's I posted.
Just now I am reading;
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler. Only just started this one so it's too soon to tell.
Next I plan to read;
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I have seen this reviewed so many times and it's always been positive. Can't wait to get started on it. First sci fi of the year.
Last week I bought;
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Okay, I have read this before and I have already shared this book here. However, this cover is too good not to show off more than once.
Like I said a good week. Plus I am only at the start of the month and have read two books. Hopefully that means I will beat the last two months of 4 books each.
How did everyone else get on?
Friday 1 March 2013
What do you mean it's now March? Seriously, I know it's a short month but in my head I had weeks to go until it was over. I was determined to read more than January's poxy four books and I thought I had plenty of time. Alas, I was mistaken and I have another month of just four books. Okay, so one of those books was originally published as three or four seperate books but that still does not make me feel better.
Despite the poor showing it was still a good book month in that I loved them all. Here is what I read;
1. Spring Snow - Yukio Mishima
2. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
3. The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick
4. The Collected Stories - Lorrie Moore
All of them fabulous books and all of them ver different. Although Spring Snow was beautifully written the book that really stands out is The Collected Stories. I don't want to say too much as I haven't reviewed it yet but I bet this would persuade anyone to the short story. Fabulously written with an amazing collection of characters. The fact that each character seemed so different from the last is a tesament to Moore's talent.
I am not going to pick out a least favourite. Simply because I enjoyed them all.
As for the month ahead. I am in the middle of reading a Karen Rose book. It is taking me far longer than it normally would because I don't have the time and it's annoying me. I am fed up with the formula and I think this will be the last of her books for me.
Next I have a the latest Thursday Next book. I also have a sci fi book, an Anne Tyler and a whim buy on the cards. I am waiting still for a couple of books I have reserved at the library. There are umpteen copies of this book and although the queue is getting longer my place in it hasn't changed in a month. A little frustrating but it's the price you pay I guess.
Oh, and that image at the start of this post is of another whim purchase. I already have a copy of Pride and Prejudice but I couldn't walk out the shop without it. It's a pulp publication and there are several classics in the series which have been brought out with a pulp fiction style cover.
I hope everyone else has had a good month.