Now Reading: Michael Lewis – Moneyball

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.

20111015-142302The 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.

Now Reading: Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre

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.

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Now Reading: Jon Richardson – It’s Not Me, It’s You

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‘.

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Now Reading: Joyce Carol Oates – We Were the Mulvaneys

I was a bit unsure about what to expect from my last book (The Postman Always Rings Twice). The blurb said that it was originally banned in Boston when it was released in the 1930s because it was too erotic and violent. I think I’ve been desensitised by modern films as I didn’t find it too bad. It was violent, but I’ve definitely read worse. The story itself was very interesting, I was just disappointed the book was only 116 pages long!

I got home from work today to my latest parcel from The Book People. This time I bought a couple of sets, including one set of 10 books for £4.50, which is where my next book comes from. Not a clue what to expect from it, but I’m just glad it’s a longer book than the last two, so it doesn’t end just as I’m getting in to it!

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Now Reading: James M. Cain – The Postman Always Rings Twice

The book I just finished was rather strange, but I quite enjoyed it. It was a collection of short stories written in the 1300s, some a bit stranger than others (The Eaten Heart was the weirdest).

My next book, The Postman Always Rings Twice, is part of my ‘successfully made into films’ set. I’ve never watched the film, and although I’ve heard of the book in the past, I don’t really know what it is about, so it should be interesting.

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Now Reading: Giovanni Boccaccio – The Eaten Heart: Unlikely Tales of Love

I really enjoyed the last book I read (One Day by David Nicholls). The book was set on the same day every year for 20 years, and it was pretty cool that the day just happened to be my birthday (St Swithin’s Day). The ending of the book was a complete surprise (I won’t say why in case I spoil it for you), but it was definitely unexpected. I’m looking forward to the film coming out in the cinema, although I’m 99.9% sure that it won’t live up to the book. I’ll be adding Nicholls’ other books on to my wish list, although for now I think I should read some more of the books I already have!

Which brings me on to the next book. I bought a set called ‘Great Loves‘ from The Book People quite a while ago, and I’ve only read the first 5 books from the set, so I’m going to make another start at it. Penguin describes the books as:

“a tribute to the power of love in all its guises, romantic and passionate, deviant and doomed “

The books I have read so far have been good, not the type of books I usually read, but I think that’s a good thing!

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Now Reading: David Nicholls – One Day

First of all, it seems like forever since I started reading the last book, because I haven’t had much time for reading the last few weeks. But even though it’s taken me a while, I loved the book. I always expect auto-biographies to be a bit fake and fluffy, but David Wells definitely wasn’t pulling any punches. Brutally honest about himself, but also about anyone else he didn’t like (I think the Blue Jays took the brunt of most of it). I was surprised that he wrote the book while he was still playing, there was a lot of the book that I would have thought could make him pretty unpopular in the club house. Regardless, I learnt a lot about him from reading the book, and he seems like a genuinely nice guy – I think I had the wrong picture of him before I started reading.

My next book is one that is coming out in the cinema really soon. I saw the trailer for it when I saw Bridesmaids (funniest film of the year), and it looked like a great film (Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess). The trailer for the film said that it was based on a best-selling book, and I always like to read the book before I watch the film (mostly because the films never live up to the book, so I prefer to get the true story first), so when I saw the book at Asda on the 3 for £10 offer, I couldn’t really resist!

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Now Reading: David Wells – Perfect I’m Not

The autobiography of Joe Torre that I just read was fantastic! I was quite lucky that I had a train journey to London and back on Friday, so I read the entire book in one day. The first part of the book was about his life – his upbringing and the start of his career (his playing days). I didn’t know too much about him before I started reading, but I was interested to learn he had quite a tough childhood, that he almost didn’t get to play baseball, and that he had an older brother (Frank), who was also a baseball player.

The second part of the book was about his managing career. I had only associated him with the Yankees, so it was quite surprising that he managed for a long time before the Yankees (and not very successfully either). The Yankees must have been the right fit for him, as the last part of the book was an in depth description of the 1996 World Series. It was fascinating to get inside the mind of a manager as he makes all the decisions, like when to take a player out of the game, and when to let them try and rescue themselves. It was highlighted because Joe Torre was previously a national league manager, and gave us descriptions of that mindset.

I’ve definitely got a different opinion of Joe Torre (and to some extent the Yankees), after reading this book, and it will definitely be one I read again.

The next book is another of the baseball books I just bought from Amazon. I didn’t realise that Amazon had some ‘Preferred Partners’. Basically this means that you buy a used book from another company, but it gets dispatched by Amazon, from the Amazon warehouse, and is still eligible for free shipping. It means you can gets books for £1-2 instead of £7-15. The condition is stated up front, and was pretty accurate when the books came. I’m the kind of person that likes to enjoy reading (as you may have noticed), so I don’t worry about keeping books in immaculate condition anyway.

I’ve heard some stories about David Wells, so I’m interested to see if his reputation is true!

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Now Reading: Adelbert Von Chamisso – Peter Schlemihl

I’m taking it in turns between trashy books and ones that have a bit more substance, so this is the first of my set of books that are apparently ‘lost classics’. It’s about a man who makes a deal with the devil to exchange his shadow for everlasting riches. It sounds different, so we’ll see how it goes!

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I had a couple of requests to post a review of the Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham book that I just read – ‘The Wedding Girl’. I don’t want to spoil the story for those that haven’t read it (I hate reviews that give you the ending in the first line), so these are just my opinions.

I’m a big Sophie Kinsella fan – her shopaholic series was good, and she’s written some other books that I really liked too. Madeleine Wickham is her real name, the one she used before she ‘rebranded’ herself as Kinsella. Apparently she did it because she wasn’t sure about the new direction her books were going in. To be honest, she would have been better keeping her name, seen as though no-one has heard of Wickham. I can see why her books have been re-released as ‘Sophie Kinsella writing as Madeleine Wickham’.

Reading this book, you could tell she was younger and less experienced when she wrote it. Some of the character descriptions seemed a bit forced or exaggerated, which I think disrupted from the flow of the story. The plot was good, although the end seemed quite rushed. There was a lot of build up, and then it seemed to just fizzle out. Wickham made an effort to intermingle three different stories, and while most of the book was written from the main character’s perspective, there were also chapters written from the perspective of the other characters, but I don’t think these stories were developed enough. I would happily have read a longer book to get more of a complete story.

Regardless of all this, I still really enjoyed the book. The story was good for the most part, and it was just like most chick-lit books in that I got to the end and just wanted to keep reading to see where the story was going to go.

I’m looking forward to reading the other two Wickham books to see what they are like, but at this stage I have to say I prefer her as Kinsella.

Now Reading: Jean Webster – Daddy Long-Legs

Firstly, I wanted to say how interesting I found The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman. I always find it hard to read books about the war, but we must never forget the terrible things that happened. This book was the true story of the author who managed to escape death against all odds, with help at the end from a German soldier, who was killed after the end of the war. Apparently the film of the book won a lot of awards, so I will be watching that soon.

Daddy Long-Legs was my favourite book when I was younger, and when I saw it on amazon for £1.50, I had to buy it to read it again! It’s quite a short book, so will make a nice break after the last one.

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