Overall Impression: A leisurely walk through history with some strikingly memorable characters.
This is another book I never really planned to read because it seemed impossible that it could live up to the insane hype around it. Its chick-lit-esk cover also confused me somewhat, why was a book dealing with important issues masquerading around in such a way? It seemed like an odd mix. Although I felt this way, I thought it would appeal to a member of my family so I suggested it as a Christmas gift for her. She read it, enjoyed it and then passed it on to me due to my reputation as a woman who adopts all unwanted books to look after, lol!
With the positive comments from all of you echoing in my ear I with much trepidation opened the first page to discover a tale of courage and hardship in the deep south.
I also just realised that I can use this as my last book for the 2012 Eclectic Reader Challenge. Huzzar, it is complete – some 5 months late but COMPLETE. WOO!
Enter a vanished world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver…
There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from college, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.
Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they’d be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell…
The Help switches between three main perspectives for its duration Aibileen, Minny and Miss Skeeter. Aibileen is a black maid who specializes in taking care of children, her current commitment is Mae Mobley, a child desperate for her mothers approval receiving only agitated looks and scolding in return. Continue reading
Overall Impression: This is a tiny little book with a lot of information, but does anyone actually TRY and make these writing books interesting as well as informative? Zzz.
This was a book set to me as recommended reading for my minor in creative writing at university. Being a good little student I decided to play along. It’s geared towards both creative and formal essay writing.
Of my own free will I never would have picked up any kind of grammar book even if you paid me. Maybe it’s because I hate the idea of writing as a formula, or perhaps it’s because the idea of writing being filled with rules is horrifying to me as it immediately makes it feel less fun. But I suppose…. *sigh* that it is kind of necessary. Maybe……
I’m also using this as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge, partly because I need a non-fiction book and partly because it was a reason to push myself to actually read it all, lol. Yep that’s correct, I read the whole yawnsome thing from cover to cover! -_-
I’ve never reviewed anything non-fiction before, but I shall do my best. Wish me luck!
Blurb from Goodreads (as mine doesn’t have a blurb at all):
You know the authors’ names. You recognize the title. You’ve probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book’s unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of “the little book” to make a big impact with writing.
According to the introduction this book was originally printed by William Strunk Jr. as a little 43 page guide to help his students. E.B White just so happened to be one of those students, and many years later he was asked to revise it. As a big practitioner of the book he accepted, updating it as well as adding a few extra pearls of wisdom and so TA DA, we have The Elements of Style 4th edition. Continue reading
Overall Impression: Longwinded; but ultimately a great atmospheric and tangible tale of the most notorious vampire in pop culture.
I have wanted to read this book for so long, that I almost can’t believe I’ve finally done it! As a girl who got caught up in the vampire craze of YA literature, I knew that at some point I would have to delve back in history to one of the original sources and inspiration; Dracula. While, like many others I had of course heard of Dracula from the constant stream of references, puns and parodies saturating our media, I never really had any knowledge of the details and plot twists it entailed. And I have to say in many ways, it was not at all what I was expecting! When I finished the book in the early hours of 5am I was almost left with the feeling that the whole tale was real, or at least, that it could have really happened.
This I think, is a large aspect of its appeal.
This book was also read for the belated Eclectic Reader Challenge for the horror genre.
Collected inside this book are diary entries, letters and newspaper clippings that piece together the depraved story of the ultimate predator. A young lawyer on an assignment finds himself imprisoned in a Transylvanian castle by his mysterious host. Back at home his fiancée and friends are menaced by a malevolent force which seems intent on imposing suffering and destruction. Can the devil really have arrived on England’s shores? And what is it that he hungers for so desperately?
Jonathan Harker is a young Englishman with the new burden of responsibility, and all he wants to do is succeed. So when he is sent to help the mysterious Count Dracula he does everything within his power to please him. It is not long however, until he starts to find a few strange things about the place. There seem to be no serving staff – or anyone else living around for that matter. Why does the Count never eat, and where does he skulk off to late at night? Continue reading
Overall Impression: A random mix of science fiction, dystopian and romance that intrigues but fails to entertain.
Aggh, unfortunately another book I was disappointed by, I seem to be hitting a bit of a rough patch in my reading lately. I’ve got to stop getting reeled in by pretty covers on books dammit!
I got this book last year for Christmas after putting it on my wishlist, and while there were some aspects of Across the Universe that were really interesting there were also a lot of issues I couldn’t overlook. Then again, maybe I’m just becoming the grumpy granny of the literary world, lol!
I am also using this book for the science fiction category on the Eclectic Reader Challenge. I think this is the first science fiction book I’ve ever read, so from that point of view it was at least a good way of dipping my toes into a new genre.
Amy has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away.
Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she’s due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy’s lost on board and nothing makes sense – she’s never felt so alone.
Yet someone is waiting for her. He wants to protect her – and more if she’ll let him.
Amy has the opportunity to make a journey of a lifetime, they called it ‘the epitome of the American dream’, a chance to find more land on a new planet. Her mother and father are determined to embark on the journey, but Amy is not so sure. Continue reading
Aggghhh stressed! So, so stressed! I have too many deadlines and essays. It’s a spiraling abyss or psychological journals and books on grammar! I have 5,100 words of mumbo jumbo to write all due in by the start of December, and a looming exam. It feels impossible, but I’ll do it somehow I guess…
Meanwhile I have all these blog posts I want to write, and all these books I want to read but I barely have the time to touch either of them.
Which brings me back to my main point; books. It always goes back to the books doesn’t it? Lol.
I’m so behind on the Eclectic Reader Challenge! I’ve only read 8 of 12 books on the list and I only have until the 31st of December, and at the snail pace I am currently going there’s no way I will complete it. It’s quite depressing actually. I thought I would complete it no problem, but I keep deviating from the list. I’ve read 20 books this year, but only eight of them are relevant to the challenge. *sigh* So contrary. Not to mention the fact that various big changes in my life keep throwing me off balance which puts me even more behind.
As my first book challenge I really wanted to complete it, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. 😦
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In other news….. Continue reading
Overall Impression: Finally a thriller I enjoyed! Smart, sophisticated and classy.
I’ve had this novel on my bookshelf for a long time. At school I went through a phase of researching books when I was bored in ICT class, and I found The Brutal Art mentioned a lot with rave reviews. So, I eventually purchased a second hand copy from ebay. After one failed attempt to read it while waiting in a Thorpe Park queue with friends (too full of nervous anticipation) it made it’s way back to my shelf soon forgotten. Until now.
I am also using this book as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge for the Crime/Mystery category. 🙂
In a New York slum, a tenant has mysteriously disappeared – leaving behind a huge collection of sick but brilliant paintings.
For art dealer Ethan Muller, this is the discovery of a lifetime. He displays the pictures in his gallery and watches as they rocket up in value.
But suddenly the police want to talk to him. It seems that the missing artist had a deadly past. Sucked into an investigation four decades cold, Ethan will uncover a secret legacy of shame and death, one that will touch horrifyingly close to home – and leave him fearing for his own life.
Ethan Muller is a hot shot living in New York. He has money to burn, a no strings attached relationship and a successful art gallery. He has everything he could ever need. Or at least he thinks so, until he comes across Victor Cracke’s paintings. Disturbed and intoxicated by the work he sets up an exhibit which is an instant success. Desperate to know more he searches for the missing painter; interrogating neighbours, shuffling through boxes and reading the mans diary, but gets nowhere. So when Continue reading
Overall Impression: At the risk of sounding immature and uncultured – what a snooze fest!
This book was read as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge.
I really wanted to like this book.
From the moment I first bought it, I was staring longingly toward the spot it occupied on my bookshelf. Excited to discover this epic story that is so widely praised, and cherished.
Seriously, what just happened? Gatsby goers what am I missing?
This year I set myself the goal of trying to read more classics including books from the Rory Gilmore Challenge. And weirdly it has only just dawned on me – I am not going to like all of them; because no matter how much literary merit they have, people’s tastes vary. Unfortunately this was one I just did not get on with.
A pre warning, this is probably more of a rant than a review, and when I look back on it later I hope I will be able to look down my nose at it and say ‘gosh, I was so immature’. But here goes!
Jay Gatsby is a self-made man famed for his decadent, champagne-drenched parties. Despite being surrounded by Long Island’s bright and beautiful, he longs only for Daisy Buchanan. In shimmering prose, Fitzgerald shows Gatsby pursue his dream to its tragic conclusion.
The above description pretty much sums up the entire plot (it’s only a small book, 148 pages in my version). We are guided by Nick Carraway, our narrator (implementing the age old unreliable narrator debate) a man in his 30s recovering from his involvement in the war. He decides to try his hand at the bond business, moving to New York. As an outsider he paints a bright picture of the 1920s in America – the glamour, the parties, and the desecrated American Dream. He rents a house which resides next to the mansion of the one and only Jay Gatsby, a figure of mystery and intrigue who’s story is slowly revealed throughout the course of the novel. As past and present collide, tensions hit breaking point in a whirlwind of love, jealousy and betrayal. Continue reading
Overall Impression: Wow, wow, wow! An emotional and fitting end to the wonderful Inheritance Cycle. I didn’t want it to end. Can we have another Cycle? Pretty please?
(To read my review of the previous book from the Inheritance Cycle, Brisingr click here.)
This book was read as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge for the favourite genre category.
Ohhh how I have been dreading writing this review. It had actually gotten to the point where I was having full on staring contests with my computer. It’s a typical example of when you read a fantastic book, and afterwards have an inability to form any coherent thoughts and your vocabulary flies off the face of the Earth and is replaced with simplistic “EEEEEEP” “EEEEEK” “OOOH” “AHHHH” syllables. Sure, this series has flaws as most do, but this book series has spanned eight years of my life. I remember the first time I laid eyes on it in Waterstones, the excitement that Christmas when I received it, and the next when I received the second book. I guess you would say it has sentimental value. The characters have grown and evolved parallel to my own life. It’s sad to have to say goodbye to them… and yet, at the same time there is something rather satisfying about seeing their stories finally completed. It may have been a long journey, but good things come to those who wait!
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the rest of the Inheritance Cycle this review may contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from past books in the series. However, for those of you who have read the previous books, this review will not contain any major spoilers about the book Inheritance.
It began with Eragon . . .
It ends with Inheritance. Continue reading
Here in the UK, summer has begun.
For some of us this means a chance to relax and splurge on an expensive holiday, for others it provides some much needed hope when shuffling into work, but for students it means the long awaited summer holidays are finally here; a short break from ramming facts and figures into our heads. Of the overwhelming stress and the manic shots of adrenaline our bodies pump through our system to keep us revising until 2am in the morning. But most importantly for me, it means the opportunity to hopefully get a lot more reading done!
Overall Impression: Insightful and funny, with traditional Jane Austen flair, this makes the perfect summer read.
I read this book as a part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge, the Rory Gilmore Challenge, and also because of my personal goal to try and read more classics this year. This is the second Jane Austen book I have read, the first being Pride and Prejudice, but I enjoyed this one much more! Emma was quite a different experience because I had no prior knowledge of the plot, and I think this led to a much more rewarding read.
Emma Woodhouse, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition’ thinks a little too highly of herself, and entertains herself by meddling in the affairs of others. The results are not always to her liking.
The blurb doesn’t give you much of a taster of the book, so here’s my expanded version, as always, no spoilers. 🙂
Emma Woodhouse lives with her eccentric/hypochondriac father and her governess Miss Taylor. Life is good. She lives in the beautiful estate Hartfield, has everything she wants, and has no desire to marry. However, when her closest friend and steady companion Miss Taylor is wed to Mr Weston and moves out, Emma finds herself with a lot of solitary leisure time. Holding herself in high esteem from being the one who first introduced Miss Taylor and Mr Weston, she decides to take up matchmaking, much to the dismay of her friend Mr Knightly. She finds her perfect mission in Harriet Smith, a beautiful but naive young girl who is easily led. She quickly befriends her and sways her in the direction of Mr Elton, a well mannered man she believes is in need of a spouse. But Emma’s scheming doesn’t go to plan, and soon she finds herself in a flurry of unforeseen events, tumbling in a downwards spiral of confusion and mayhem. Continue reading
Overall Impression: An excellent lighthearted book that is a must read for hopeless romantics.
(To read my review of the previous book from The Kissed by an Angel series click here.)
This is the third book that I have read for the Eclectic Reader Challenge, this one is for the romance catagory. To find out more about this challenge you can visit the original challenge creator at Book’d Out. 🙂
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous book, Kissed by an Angel this review may contain spoilers in the first two paragraphs only. However, for those of you who have read the previous book, this review will not contain any major spoilers about the book Evercrossed.
It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died, and in that time she has tried to move on. But when a near fatal accident leaves her own life hanging in the balance, Ivy finds herself reunited with Tristan as she floats towards the afterlife. A passionate kiss from him returns her to life, but when Ivy wakes up in hospital, all she can think about is Tristan and the love she has lost.
And memories are not all that’s come back from the past… Cast out from heaven for saving the girl he loves, Tristan finds himself back on earth, in the body of a stranger. Can he find his way back to Ivy – and will their love be enough to save them?
The book begins with Ivy, Beth and Will trying to escape the memories of last summer by spending their holiday in Cape Cod in exchange for working at Beth’s Aunt’s hotel. On the surface, Ivy has moved on with her life, and is happily soaking up the beach with her boyfriend Will. But Continue reading
Overall Impression: Chilling, compelling and clever, but also with a number of flaws I found difficult to overlook.
A friend of mine recommended this book to me for the thriller category of the Eclectic Reader Challenge I’m taking part in, and consequently very kindly lent me the book. This will be the second book I have read for this challenge. If you want to find out more or participate in the challenge yourself you can check out the original creator at Book’d Out or you can visit my post here. 🙂
I will admit straight away that I am not the biggest fan of thriller/crime type books. Not only because of the annoying stereotypes found in them but also because they rarely manage to capture my attention from start to finish. I often find my mind drifting when I reach the middle point. However, the whole point of the Eclectic Reader Challenge is to read outside of your comfort zone, “and who knows” I thought, “maybe I’ll even enjoy it!”
Overall impression: This book is a piece of YA genius! It’s absolutely impossible to put down!
This is the first book I have read for the Eclectic Reader Challenge for the Young Adult section! Click here to find out more.
Before entering the blogosphere I had never even heard of this book. Then the name began to pop up left right and centre. The Hunger Games. “It’s the most amazing book ever” people were saying. Again and again it emerged in my books tags. Repeatedly I would come across book blogs singing it’s praises and declaring it their favorite YA book to date. So what does one do in this situation? Why, turn to Google of course! I looked it up and discovered it was also soon to be released as a full major motion picture with stars such as Taylor Swift lining up to help create the soundtrack. I was beginning to feel very out of the loop, so at this point I immediately bought the books. No way was I going to let a YA craze like this go by without joining in. I must admit, I was almost apprehensive to begin reading the book. What if I I’m the only one on this planet that dislikes it, and I get attacked with hate mail from dedicated Hunger Games fans I thought. Luckily, I absolutely loved it, so I no longer have to worry about that scenario!
In the dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games.
There is only one rule: kill or be killed.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sisters place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
This book jumps right in and quickly sets the scene. Katniss Everdeen lives in a dystopian future in a place that used to be North America. Continue reading
I came across this challenge on The Reading and Life of a Bookworm which is a great blog, full of book reviews and lots of interesting reading challenges, so you should definitely check this blog out if you have the time. 🙂
The aim of this challenge is to get readers (like me) who often get stuck into a rut of reading the same genre’s over and over again, to dive out of their comfort zone into the scary unknown. You know if your the type; those of you who enter a book shop and always find yourselves pulled, as if magnetized, to the same section of the book store every time 😉 (in my case, the YA and Fantasy sections) Continue reading