The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A self-indulgent exploration of the well-known Dracula mystery in which the vampire has become oddly obsessed with hunting librarians.The Historian by Elizabeth Kostiva

The Historian has sat on my shelf unread for over seven years. Yeah, that’s pretty shameful! I picked up my battered copy for a whole 20p at a hospital book sale, unable to resist the fancy swirling writing and menacing blood droplets on its cover. Having been struck down with a seriously evil case of tonsillitis this week, and having already binge watched all of the Outlander Season 2 TV series, I decided it was time to pick up this neglected tome of a book and show it some love.
The best way I can sum up this novel is that it was a good, entertaining book…until suddenly it wasn’t.

 

To you my perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor.’ Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

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The Help by Kathryn Stockett Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A leisurely walk through history with some strikingly memorable characters.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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

Books I Just HAD to Buy… but are Still Sitting on my Unread Shelf

I saw this title bobbing around the blogosphere a couple of weeks ago, I think it might have been for a meme but I don’t seem to be able to find it now. Either way, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun! After all, how many books have you just HAD to rush out and buy on a whim because you read a great review of it, or it was new from your favourite author or had taken the world by storm? Before you know it you get distracted by something shiny, and suddenly it’s months later and the book is still sitting on your shelf. I am definitely guilty of this, so I felt the need to participate and make my own post! 🙂

So without further ado here are ten books I absolutely had to buy that are still unread:

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I decided to buy this after reading so many great reviews. Everyone was calling it a captivating, magical story about a mysterious circus that appeared at nightfall and disappeared at dawn. At first I wasn’t sure about it, I had never really been interested in circuses. But reviews from spellbound readers continued and the cover was so beautiful (Especially in hardback!) that I came to the conclusion I absolutely, positively had to buy it!
The main reason I haven’t read it yet is that I am saving it for the right moment….if that makes any kind of sense. I don’t know, I feel like I will really enjoy it but I want to wait for a day where I can appreciate it. Plus, after all the hype I’m a little scared I might not like it. :S

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The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time Book 1) – I got this book in 2011 for Christmas because it was on my wishlist. It’s the first in the popular Wheel of Time series known by pretty much every bookworm dedicated to the fantasy genre. I was on a fantasy kick when I first heard about it and so I automatically wanted to read it! It was a couple of months later that I started questioning whether it had been a good idea.  Continue reading

Shades of Grey by Michael Cargill Review 3/5

Overall Impression: From government organizations, to battles in WW2, and evil teddies. This book is surely an entertaining mixture.shades-of-grey2

I received a request to review this book by the author Michael Cargill, it is a collection of three short stories; Shades of Grey, There and Back Again, and Down the Rabbit Hole.

John is not a very nice man. He works for the government. So who has tied him to a chair and what do they want? James is a British soldier during WWII. Tom is a young boy with a terrible secret.
Three stories. Three very different people. All of them battling to survive.

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This story focuses on John, a man that works for the government. One day he finds himself tied to a chair in an interrogation room. He doesn’t know why he’s there or what they want, but he does know one thing; he’s not talking. As his interrogators try to coax information out of him he fades in and out of consciousness and reminisces on his life. Will he find a way to escape? Does he even want to?

I really enjoyed this story because I felt it was very original, I have never read anything with a setup quite like it. Continue reading