The last book I read was typical chick lit – totally predictable with a little twist in the middle, but great all the same – just what I would expect from Belinda Jones. I’ve read a lot of books recently that are a bit different from my normal style, so it was nice to get back to something a little bit easier to read for a change.
And I’m carrying that on with the next book I’m reading – Be Careful What You Wish For by Alexandra Potter. I actually started it yesterday and I recognised the first 10 or so pages, so I think it must be one of the books I’ve started in the past that I just didn’t get into and left for later. I’ve got a bit further now though and it seems quite good so far. After this I think I’m going to give Anna Karenina a try, so this will be a nice laid-back book beforehand. Although saying that, I had a lot of books on my Christmas list, so if Santa is nice to me, I may have a lot of books jumping to the top of my reading list!
I really loved the last book I read (Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck), I can’t believe that I’ve never read it until now! I loved the relationship between George and Lennie, so the ending of the book really shocked me. I don’t want to say too much in case you want to read it yourself, but I had pictured a few ways which this book could end, and I was way off with all of them! It was a short book which I just couldn’t put down once I started – if you’ve not read it, you really should!
My next book is The Paradise Room by Belinda Jones. It’s a book I’ve had for a while, but definitely a trashy book compared to my last few books. It probably won’t take me too long to read, especially if it’s anything like the other Belinda Jones books I’ve read. I really like her style of writing and always find it hard to put her books down once I’ve started. Perfect reading for after I’ve been dragged around the shops by my sister on my day off work tomorrow 🙂
So the last book I read (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian) was only a little bit about tractors, but I really enjoyed it! A few people had told me that it was a really funny book, but I also found parts of it to be really sad. I loved the character of the Dad, both stubborn but also charming and helpless. The end of the book was totally not what I expected to happen, but I prefer how it ended to how I would have written it. I guess that’s why I’m not an author! I learnt quite a lot about Ukrainian history while reading the book, although these parts were some of the saddest parts, because you know that they are true. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone thinking of reading it, don’t be put off by the title.
My next book is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. For GCSE English at school, there were two sets of students. One who studied a set text of a series of short stories, and one who read Of Mice and Men. Unfortunately, I was in the set who had to read the short stories over and over again, so I never got to read this book. It’s only about 100 pages long, so shouldn’t take too long to read, but the thing I hate about short books is I usually get too involved and then they leave me wanting more. I suppose this should be considered a good thing though…
The last book I read (Eve Green by Susan Fletcher) was really good. It took me a while to get into it, but once it had grabbed my attention I found myself desperate to find out what happened next. When I’m reading I often guess (or try to guess) what will happen next, and I did this often during this book, but I was wrong every time. Most of the books I read are quite predictable, so I really enjoy books that surprise me, and this one definitely did just that!
The book was the winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award, and I can see why. Fletcher perfectly captured the thoughts and feelings of Eve Green, the woman recalling her past, and of Evie Green, the eight year old version of Eve who travels through tragedy, grief, mystery and unlikely friendships towards love, happiness and some sort of understanding.
The next book I am reading has been on my shelf for a while, and the title keeps catching my eye. As with most of my books, it’s part of a set from The Book People, so I don’t really have any idea what it is about, although I’m guessing (and hoping) that it’s not actually about tractors. We’ll see…
The last book that I read (Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín) was one of the best books I have read in a long time.
(Spoiler alert – don’t read the next paragraph if you plan on reading this book)
It was set in the 1950s, and focused on a young Irish girl named Eilis, who is persuaded to move to Brooklyn by her older sister Rose. She struggles with settling in, but eventually meets a guy (Tony) she really likes. She is then shocked with the news that her older sister has died, and her mother wants her to return to Ireland. She makes plans to return home for a month, but marries Tony before she leaves. He loves her, but isn’t convinced she would be able to leave her mother in Ireland if she had no permanent tie to Brooklyn. When she gets back to Ireland, her mother and friends have started making plans for her to stay, getting her a job and setting her up with a guy. She doesn’t tell them about Tony, and is almost tempted to stay and just write a letter to Tony asking for a divorce. In the end though, she makes the right decision and returns to Brooklyn and to her new life with Tony.
The book drew me right in, and I felt myself wishing Eilis to make the right decisions. I love books that make me feel involved, and this one definitely did. When I turned the last page, I really wished there were a couple more chapters, but I think Tóibín left it in the right place. This quote from the description of the book on Amazon hits the nail right on the head:
Brooklyn is a tender story of great love and loss, and of the heartbreaking choice between personal freedom and duty. In the character of Eilis Lacey Colm Tóibín has created a remarkable heroine and in Brooklyn a novel of devastating emotional power.
It took me a while to decide what book to read next (I’ve too many on my shelf to choose from), but I finally settled on Eve Green by Susan Fletcher. I’ve no idea really what it will be like, but the quote from The Observer on the back says ‘An exceptional debut of grace and subtlety’, and the book was the winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award. Quite a lot to live up to, but we’ll see how it goes. I did originally want to read Anna Karenina next, but it’s 848 pages long, and I wasn’t quite in the mood for something so in depth. I think I may read it over Christmas when I’ve got more time for reading.
I LOVED the last book I read, typical Nicholas Sparks really. At first I thought the book was going to be really predictable, man falls in love with woman, woman already has a boyfriend, she has to make a choice, blah blah blah. Then at the end of a chapter, I turned the page to an insert page which said ‘Part Two’. The story had skipped forward 11 years and she was in a coma. I did NOT expect that to happen and wasn’t sure where the book was going to go. In the end, it was still predictable, but that’s kinda what I like about Nicholas Sparks, the books are so ‘feel-good’ that they are easy and enjoyable to read.
My next book is Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. I bought it from Amazon for about £2, and apparently it was the winner of the 2009 Costa Novel Award. I’ve never heard of the book before, but it jumped out at me when I was trying to decide what to buy, so I’m glad to finally start reading it.
I’ve just finished reading Moneyball by Michael Lewis. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’d been told by a lot of people on Twitter that I should read it, and I did really enjoy it. I was worried that there were going to be too many statistics which would make it hard to read, but I found it really informative – any statistics mentioned were clearly explained. I felt compelled to keep reading as I really wanted to know what was going to happen next. The book all took place a few years before I started watching baseball and I had no idea how the season ended, so it was really surprising what Billy Beane achieved with such a small payroll and a willingness to try a new idea. I’ve just found out the film is out in the UK on 25th November – I’ll definitely be in line to see it.
The next book I’m reading is The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I recently bought a set of three books from The Book People (The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night). I read The Great Gatsby a couple of years ago and I really enjoyed it, so I’m hoping that I enjoy this one as much. I’m a terrible one for judging books by their covers (especially if I’m in the local charity shop stood in front of a shelf of books for 25p each and trying to decide which ones to buy), but I do really like the covers that they have put on these books, they look very stylish and 1920’s-esque, perfect for these stories.
I finally finished reading Jane Eyre last night. I’ve not had much time for reading lately so it’s taken me a while! Too long for me to go see the film adaptation at the cinema I think, so I guess I’ll have to wait for the DVD to come out. The book was superb, a true love story with tragedy, heartbreak, and of course a happy ending (eventually). Whenever I though the story was starting to go a bit slow, boom – another twist! I really wish I had read this one last year when I first got it, as I really really enjoyed it.
The next book I’ve got is Moneyball by Michael Lewis. I’ve had people on Twitter telling me that I should read it for the last year or so, and I finally decided that I would buy it from Amazon. I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a good baseball book. There has been a film adaptation out recently in America, but I would guess that it probably won’t come out in the UK, can’t see many people being interested in a film about baseball. The only reason I could think of would be that it has Brad Pitt in it, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Jon Richardson’s book was just as I expected, honest, a little grumpy and completely hilarious. The book was pretty much just a stream of consciousness, and there were a lot of times reading the book that I found myself nodding in agreement with what he was saying. It was a lot like his stand-up or the radio show he used to do but a lot more frank – it’s refreshing that he’s not embarrassed to just tell it like it is.
The next book I’m reading is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I was bought it for Christmas last year, but it’s never worked it’s way to the top of the pile. Last time I was at the cinema I saw an advert for the new film adaptation, so I decided now was as good a time as any to read it. I probably won’t go to the cinema to see it (too expensive nowadays!), but it will be good to have read the book before it comes out on DVD.
We Were The Mulvaneys was definitely not one of the best books that I have read recently. The story was good, focusing on the falling apart (and eventual putting back together) of a American family following the events of one night. It just took a long time to get going, and didn’t really capture my attention fully until around 250 pages in (out of about 450 in total). There was a lot of description involved in setting up the story, which meant that I found it hard to get ‘involved’, or to feel ‘attached’ to the characters, like I tend to do in my favourite books.
The next book I am reading is by my favourite comedian, Jon Richardson. When I first started work, he did a Sunday morning radio show with Russell Howard, and I used to listen to the podcasts on my way to work. They used to talk about such random things, but made me laugh so much that I’m sure I got strange looks from everyone else on the bus. I didn’t know he had a book out until I saw on Twitter that he was doing a book signing, so I was straight on Amazon to buy it. It looks like it’s going to be a funny book, about his OCD and how it makes it hard for him to find a ‘significantly tidy other‘. As he describes on the back of the book, it is ‘an essential guide to what you do wrong and why it irritates him so much‘.