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: Joe Torre – Chasing the Dream

I just bought some new (well technically used) books from Amazon. Even if Hermes did leave the box outside in the rain and the calling card on the doorstep, the books seem to have survived! Looking forward to reading this one (and open to more baseball book suggestions).

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Now Reading: Madeleine Wickham – Cocktails For Three

It feels like ages since I finished my last book, but I’ve been so busy I’ve not had time to start a new one. Another trashy one before I make a start on the latest set from The Book People.

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Bible in 6 months?

I sometimes have problems picking up the bible and reading it. Sometimes, I can open it and find exactly what I needed, and other times, I seem to lack the motivation. I’ve recently been reading a 100 day reading plan, which takes you briefly through the bible in (you guessed it) – 100 days.

Although I am really enjoying reading this and the notes that come with each day’s reading, I am not really reading anything that I have not read before. There are still some parts of the bible that I have not read, and some that I am not too familiar with, so my goal for the next 6 months  is to read through the entire bible.

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Rather than reading front to back, which can be demotivating when you know exactly how many pages you have left to go, I have chosen a reading plan on YouVersion which takes you through the entire bible, mixing in old and new testament. I read the descriptions of a lot of the ‘Whole Bible’ reading plans, and the one that caught my interest was OwnIt365. As you may guess, this aims to go through the bible in 1 year, but I have decided that I would like to read more each day, so I am aiming to read it in 6 months.

The good thing about YouVersion is I can read the days readings in my bible, online, or on my iPhone or iPad with the free apps that they have. You can also listen to the audio version on any device if you want. If you miss a day out, there is a ‘catch up’ button which allows you to move back to the last day that you read (could come in quite handy).

Here we go…

Now Reading: Dennis Avey – The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz

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Now Reading: Madeleine Wickham – Sleeping Arrangements

After the last book, which was quite good (if a little strange), it’s back to another trashy book, and the next of the Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham books.

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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.