Wednesday, January 11, 2012
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Absolutely awesome! Really enjoyed it and am looking forward to more. This would be a great holiday read, nothing in it to trouble your brain, just kick back and enjoy the ride. It's like the fast food of sci fi/fantasy.
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My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Urgh please god let it end.
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This book is beautiful prose with characters whose minds you get to see inside, horrible dark and dirty though they be. However they are so self obsessed, agonised and such navel gazers that I just couldn't wait for it to be over!
Monday, October 10, 2011
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Animals revolt and take over from their human oppressors with dream of a better life. However just like in Heathers the movie with Christian Slater (if you're my age you will get this reference) if you cut off one monsters head it just grows another one. The pigs take over and can not help themselves but to exploit the other animals for their own gain. When reading this book I got shivers up and down my spine as it mirrored the behaviour of us (humans that is).
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I'm going to start reviewing on goodreads (it's like the last Sunday bookclub but with everyone in the world). I'll use goodreads to blog across to this blog though for those of you that haven't embraced the goodness of goodreads.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jane Eyre is tough... she has guts and stands up to people who bully her right from when she's little. She's smart, talented and full of character and when she could have become crushed by the saddness of her life she instead finds strength and purpose.
I really enjoyed it. I liked Jane, this is an easy read full of baddies you can hiss at and a heroine that you can feel connected to.
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Saturday, July 16, 2011
Dirt Music was fantastic, the story of three damaged people, Georgie, her partner and Jim and the man she leaves him for, the cursed Luther fox. Set again, as was parts of Cloud Street on the beautiful rugged coast of Western Australia, this book is told with a true Australian voice (by a New Zealander turned Aussie). Georgie trying to find herself, fleeing from her past lives. Jim, trying to live up to the legend of his family and father and Luther, having loved and lost so hideously are all trying to find their way.
Dirt Music is visceral, poignant, telling, emotional, dirty and so real that it hurts to read it. It's hard to put down and at times I just hated reading it.
I have lent my copy to a friend and I would recommend this one to anyone for sure!
I decided to read this as the first book on my kindle because I thought it was apt seeing as the 'hitchhikers guide to the universe' is an electronic book in the novel.
If you like sci fi you'll have already read this. If you don't like sci fi you could give it a go because it's pretty lighthearted although at times it does feel a little bit like the author might have taken a lot of acid in the 60's. If you really don't like sci fi, then watch the movie.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Thinking of reviewing Pride and Predjudice and Zombies rather than the old school Pride and Predjudice, since I read it early this year (thanks Ange).
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Li Cunxin grew up a peasant boy in China who was tapped on the shoulder to become a dancer at Madam Mao's academy of dance. He tells the story of the rise and fall of communism as a backdrop to the journey of his learning to dance and learning to love. During which he defects to the west, injures himself and falls in love twice.
This was an easy read and quite enjoyable. I would mildly recommend it but it won't change your life.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The book covers the life of two large families the Lambs and the Pickles. The Lambs are a god fearing, hard working christian bunch who are struggling with their faith after a tragedy in the family where one of their sons is almost drowned and is brought back to life but retarded by the lack of oxygen. The Pickles believe in luck and not hard work and their own tragedy, a father's work accident, their mother's predilection for other men have led them to rely on the generosity of their extended family. When their family member dies leaving them a big house in the city they move to Perth and the Lamb's become their tenants.
The book then chronicles the lives of the two families as they make a go of it in their supernatural ramshackle giant house.
All the characters in this book and there is a lot of them are deep and well defined. The way the book is written is deeply Australian and it's really amazing to hear a book written in that tone. I guess that so much of what we read is American (or other) and almost all the TV and movies that I watch are, so I get the greatest sense of comfort and familiarity from reading this author.
Well worth a read (or a listen if you're a commuter).
Peter, my brother, brought me a kindle reader which arrived just today. So I'll probably be doing a lot of reading on that and I'll let you know what it's like when I've done so.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The story is written about Quoyle who is raised in a dysfunctional family with little love, marries the wrong kind of girl who treats him woefully and is not good at his job as a pathetic hack reporter. His wife Petal, makes his life a misery but has two baby girls who Quoyle loves and Petal does not (but she's like pathological and sells them off). Quoyle gets them back meets his Aunt who comes to town due to his parents death and convinces him to move back to Newfoundland where his ancestors emigrated from some time before.Quoyle gets a job at the local paper and starts to make friends in the local community which is full of CRAZY newfies who are like the Canadian version of the two headed Tasmanians that Australians make fun of (I would like to just point out that I have nothing against Tasmanians and do not partake in the Tasmanian jokes). The characters are warm and wonderful and full and compelling and you will fall in love with them. Also the books has some dark parts but it has plenty of happy moments as well and has a happy ending! I love a happy ending.
I am having a baby tomorrow but I wanted to get this review written because who knows when I will get a chance to sit down and do it!! Could be months!!!
Monday, August 2, 2010
I read a book called Bareback by Kit Whitfield which was about an alternative world where humans are the minority and lycanthropes are in the majority. The minority humans are required to keep the majority of the population in check on the nights that they turn into wolves. It was readable but I wouldn't have read it if I had something better :) Also naming a book after a sex act is just weird.
Then I saw my friend Rhiannon and she is a great reader and she has a huge bookshelf of books that I haven't read. It's great to meet new readers because they always take you somewhere that you might not have gone yourself. There are so many authors and so many books that really what you read is just all chance and you're probably missing so many fantastic books and authors but there isn't the time to read them all. That's why the book group, although fleeting, was fantastic.
So one of you read, I think it was Penny, The Time Travellers Wife which was published in 2003, written by Audrey Niffenegger and I just only had the chance to read it. It's was such a fast fun read and with my background of obsessive science fiction reading it was great to have what was quintessentially a love story put into such an interesting time scale. So the protagonist travels back and forth in time, with no control over when it will happen or where he will go and travels to this one spot over and over again where he meets a girl when she's a child who won't meet him in real life until they're in their twenties and but the time that he goes back to meet her as a girl doesn't occur for him until his thirties, so when he meets her in his twenties he's never met her before but she has met him many many times. It's so confusing to try to explain but it was enjoyable and I would recommend it.
Then I picked up Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen which wiki tells me is was written in Nanowrimo which is national write a novel month. It's the story of Jacob Jankowski who was a bright young man on his way to his final exams to become a vet when his parents died and sent his life into a spiral, into the circus in fact. The story is written back and forth from Jacob's point of view as a young man and his memories that are being prompted by the visiting circus across the road from his old peoples home when he's in his 90s. It is again a love story predominantly but the characters are bold and warm and many of the anecdotes are based on real stories from actual travelling circuses in America.
I'm reading The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx at the moment which is so much better than the movie, which shouldn't suprise me at all because that's the way of things and I'm listening to the audiobook of Cloudstreet by Tim Winton and both of those are on the 100 best books list so I'll be back with reviews when I can.
Our baby is due in about 12 days! so it could be awhile.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The story of Atticus Finch a lawyer in a small Southern town, widowed and left with his two kids Scout and Jem. The story is told from Scouts point of view and she is only about 8 or 9 in the story. Atticus is from an old money family and is doing the best to bring up his children to be moral and upstanding members of the community. No nonsense tough love is handed out by Calpurnia, the negro maid at the house who takes care of the children. Atticus respects and likes Calpurnia and has brought the children up to do the same. He is a loving father but perhaps has brought the children up a little too fast, talking to them like adults and reading the paper with them. They have turned out really smart but a little precocious.
The first part of the book is all about the kids summer adventures, which made me nostalgic for the days when I used to take off into the bush with my friends and spend hours making camps and tree houses and playing games fuelled by our imaginations. Scout and Jem make the acquaintance of the boy staying with their neighbour the strange little guy called Dill who has an amazing ability to tell fantastical stories. Much of their play centres around the character of Boo Radley, a shut in living across the road with his fanatical religious parents. In the book the children in the town have made up hundreds of myths and stories about the Radley family, like if you eat the pecans that fall from their trees you'll die because they're poisoned. However Boo makes gestures of friendship to the kids by leaving secret presents in the tree that they pass on their way home from school.
Their summer idyll is troubled by a big case that Atticus gets appointed to where a upstanding hard-working young black man Tom Robinson has been accused of raping a white girl. Atticus defends Tom's case passionately in the face of racism and hate from other people in the town who feel his actions are traitorous. One of the main themes of the book is the coming of age of young Jem who is a little older than Scout and feels the injustice strongly. I'm sure you can all remember being young and having to deal with something unfair for the first time, it's a hard lesson to learn as a child and one that you can't ever reverse.
This is a classic for a good reason and number 4 on the top 100 books as voted by the Australian public. If you haven't read it then do so! you won't be disappointed.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This story of Pug, the keep orphan, and his journey through life is a bit of a door stop running to 831 but it is epic fantasy at its best. As a young adult I loved fantasy because it gave me an escape from the real world and the Magician is a book that I would recommend to people in their early teens.
Some more cynical than myself, ok no it's actually me, might draw scathing comparisons between Magician and Tolkien's famous trilogy Lord of the Rings and it's true there are some similarities. Elves in a magical Elven place like Lothlórien, lead by an ageless stunning queen like Galadriel, dwarves and a journey under the mountain through old tunnels (like the Mines of Moria), which results in the loss of a party member to the baddies and epic wars but there is enough strong character development in the main character Pug to keep me interested.
The part that doesn’t mirror Tolkien doesn't have is a vibrant and well thought out alternate universe, called Kelewan which is as different from our traditional kings, castles, damsels in distress fantasy as chalk is to cheese. The alternate world reminds me somewhat of feudal Japan with it’s honour codes and political intrigue.
There’s a smattering of love interests and some nicely tied up plot endings that make this a read which won’t leave you crying into your bellybutton. I would say that this is a feminine book even though it was written by a man, Raymond E Feist, and enjoyed by many a gentleman the world over.
I would heartily recommend you all to read the story of Pug as he journeys between these two worlds to find his path to become a Magician.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The internet informs me that the book has a theme of the destruction of the great American dream by the moral and social decay brought on by too much money in the early 1920's. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's mind that might be what he was writing (which was the same time the book is set) but when I read it this time out of that milieu my experience is of a story of love gone wrong and commentary on how people can devalue eachother, cause a mess and then run away but that running away doesn't solve the problem because if you don't fix what's wrong with you the same problems arise wherever you go.
The story is by the character Nick Carraway who moves to the east coast of the US to become a financial worker. He learns about his neighbour Jay Gatsby who is nouveau riche and throws crazy parties where people go who don't even know him. Nick has a cousin in Long Island near where he settles who is in a fundamentally busted ass relationship with a once famous sports guy he went to college with who is now suffering from a bit of small man syndrome. Nick finds out that Daisy and Gatsby have a past which comes to impact all their lives.
So anyway I won't write too much more about it. If you haven't read it then do so, it won't take much time, it's a simple tale that is well written and worth reading and for some reason people always refer to it even recent TV (e.g. Greek Series 1 Episode 12) of all things.
It also has the best closing line of all the books I've read which I won't spoil for you here, which sums up the futility of trying to recreate the past or striving for goals which are unattainable.
Until we turn the next page :) have fun!
Monday, October 5, 2009
In case you were wondering what those 100 favourite books that the Australian public voted on way back on the 5th December 2004. Here they are :)
1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. The Bible (Various Contributors) - Refuse to read :)
4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Read February, 2010
5. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton - listened to in July/August 2010
6. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (Book 5) by J. K. Rowling
7. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
8. The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams - Read April, 2011
9. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
10. A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey
11. Dirt Music by Tim Winton- Read May, 2011
12. 800 Horseman by Col Stringer - Refuse to read. Some weird hate mongering Christian dude wrote this one.
13. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
14. Zhaun Falun by Li Hongzhi - Refuse to read :) like the bible I'm just not interested but I am surprised that it got this high up on the list. I didn't think that Falun Dafa was that popular in Australia.
15. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling
16. Captain Underpants And The Invasion Of The Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies From Outer Space by Dav Pilkey
17. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - read August, 2011
18. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
19. The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
20. The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
21. The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett
22. Magician by Raymond E. Feist - Read November, 2009
23. Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt
24. Dune (Dune Chronicles) by Frank Herbert
25. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
26. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
27. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
28. One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
29. 'Fighting' McKenzie Anzac Chaplain by Col Stringer - Refuse to read. Some weird hate mongering Christian dude wrote this one.
30. Deltora Quest Series by Emily Rodda
31. Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden
32. Perfume: The Story Of A Murder by Patrick Suskind
33. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
34. The Ancient Future Trilogy by Traci Harding
35. The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
36. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling and The Power Of One by Bryce Courenay
37. The Shipping News by Annie Proulx - Read August, 2010
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
39. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
40. Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
41. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
42. Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon
43. Persuasion by Jane Austen
44. Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
45. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
46. Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
47. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
48. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
49. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
50. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Read December, 2009
51. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
52. Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
53. Rage by Steve Gerlach
54. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
55. The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer-Bradley
56. Cafe Scheherazade by Arnold Zable
57. The Bone People by Keri Hulme
58. Jessica by Bryce Courtenay
59. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (Book 2) by J. K. Rowling
60. The Fortunes Of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson
61. My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
62. War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy
63. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
64. Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin- Read November, 2010
65. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
66. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
67. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
69. The Riders by Tim Winton
70. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
71. Angela's Ashes by Frank Mccourt
72. The Age Of Reason by Thomas Paine
73. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
74. Middlemarch by George Eliot
75. Emma by Jane Austen
76. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
77. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
78. Matilda by Roald Dahl
79. Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
80. On The Road by Jack Kerouac
81. The BFG by Roald Dahl
82. Animal Farm by George Orwell - read September, 2011
83. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
84. A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving
85. Boyz Rule by Felice Arena and Phil Kettle
86. Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly
87. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
88. Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
89. Watership Down by Richard Adams
90. The Thorn Birds by Colleen Mccullough
91. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
92. Winnie The Pooh by A. A. Milne
93. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling
94. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
95. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
96. Heart Of Darkness by Conrad
97. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
98. Goosebumps by R. L Stine
99. The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay
100. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Sunday, October 4, 2009
It's been forever and no one might ever read this but I want you to know that I'm going to read the 100 favourite books as voted by the Australian public on the ABC. Except for the bible because I'm an atheist and I would rather stab my own eyes out. Actually there were three spots that tied so it's the 103 best books as voted by the Australian public, minus the bible, so the 102 books to read :) Well if you want to get all semantic about it, some of them are more than one book e.g. The Lord of the Rings at number one. So I'll just let you know how I go shall I.
I've read quite a few of them before but I'm starting from scratch. The Great Gatsby is first and I'll review them all as I go.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Belle's blog switches seamlessly between on-the-job stories and her personal life, its almost like reading observational comedy with advice and tips:
"A few things I have learnt on the job: Fact. In a world of twelve-year-olds in sexy boots and grannies in sparkly mini dresses the surest way to tell the prostitute walking into a hotel at Heathrow is to look for the lady in the designer suit."
I thought it was well written, Belle is intelligent, insightful, erotic and witty - she has a dark sense of humour I related to. I have no moral objections to the subject matter but realise it won't be to everyone's taste. It is graphic in parts although I found Belle's personal relationships more distasteful and flat than her working life! It is light hearted entertainment, this is not a memoir about a victim that is helpless or exploited. The anonymous feel of the blog entries appealed to me.
Belle is an independant woman, very much a female of her generation. I found myself thinking this book would have been subject to censorship and a lot of judgement 20 years ago. The nature of a weblog automatically moves it outside any type of decency parameters set by society because of the subject matter. It's interesting that I just accepted buying the book (and watching the tv series) and didn't give it a second thought. It wasn't until I got a strange look on the bus as I was reading it that it registered how taboo, or distasteful, some may find a book about prostitution.
I watched the first series of the UK drama based on this book, Billie Piper was great as Belle. The book was more "real", Belle is a call girl on the high priced side of the road - the tv series is more high-high priced, Belle is more of a courtesan. The to-camera speeches seemed unnecessary but probably helped it to retain the diary structure of the book.
The UK press did a lot of investigative/tabloid stories trying to uncover who Belle is, one story I read said the author was male. My gut instinct is the author is a female. There was also controversy about the authenticity of the blog, probably after the James Frey debacle. I don't really care if it's true or false, it entertained me!
In summation I give it 3 stars out of 5. Amusing but not earth-shattering, a great book to read in one sitting or in small doses because of its diary-like nature. I'll probably read the second book "Further Adventures of a London Call Girl". I've passed the book onto Penny, hopefully she'll add her impressions.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Ancestor by Scott Sigler is a sci fi (or skiffy as I've started hearing it called lately) podcast only novel by an American author. It's a fast paced romp into a gun toteing world of greedy corporate America. The overreaching plot is the race to perfect the xenotransplantation of animal organs into humans to make gross amount of cash off the poor dying public of the world.
The story has many plots and not all of them are well covered. At first there is the concern of disease crossing from animal to human because of the experimentation. That is quickly over taken by the horror of a man made genetic throwback, created so that the evil multi-national company has full control over the patent of the product, turns out to be more than they bargained for. The animal breaks loose and starts eating innocent farmers and scientists.
So that's about it, sounds pretty uninteresting and this could be one for the boys. This is not the book to listen too to change your life, this is total escapism and a bit of adventure to take your mind off whatever troubles you.
I would give it 2 out of 5. One to listen to and forget as you go for a jog (or a slow meander).
If you're interested in Sci Fi or Fantasy I would suggest PodCastle and Escape Pod for 30 to 50 minute Fantasy or Science Fiction brought to you free weekly. If you're interested in longer novels there is a heap for free at Podiobooks and I'm a member of Audible where you can pay a monthly subscription of about $10 and get access to one quality audiobook a month (or more if you care to pay) from a selection of thousands.
Much Love Girls. Wishing you all the best from the south.