Right now I'm reading...

Right now I'm reading... Taylor Swift: The Whole Story by Chas Newkey-Burden.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Bridesmaids by Jane Costello.

Is it wrong to be in love with a book character?.. because I think I'm in love with Jack!

I loved this book.  It's chick-lit in its best form.  Four best friends and four weddings - it was great.   The main characters are loveable and very relateable.  I absolutely loved the hero of the book, Jack, he's the perfect leading man for this story.

I was routing for the main character the whole way through the book and you really go on her journey with her.  I had tears rolling down my cheeks when I finished the book, plus it's full of romance and giggles.  But there's also some gritty stuff in there too, which all in all makes it a brilliant book to pick up when you're in need of a cheer-me-up read.

The perfect example of 5-star chick-lit.

Title: Bridesmaids
Author: Jane Costello

And here's my review of Girl On The Run, also by Jane Costello.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Funny Peculiar by Will Young.

I'm a big Will fan which is why I was so keen to read this book.

It's funny in places, but also covers Will's battles with depression so there's a bit of everything.  I thought the parts of the book about Will's school went on a little bit too long as I would have preferred to read more about his later life.

The book is illustrated which I found a nice touch and quite unique, but  I would have liked to see the photo pages that you usually see in autobiographies.

Some parts of the book didn't paint Will in the best light, but I would presume most people are reading the book because they are a fan and therefore will forgive Will pretty much anything (if you're anything like me!)

Title: Funny Peculiar
Author: Will Young

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Life Of Pi by Yann Martel.

"...an astounding story of courage and endurance in the face of extraordinarily difficult and tragic circumstances."

The quite above is a brilliant summary of this book.  In short it is wonderful.  It's a moving and fascinating account of Pi's incredibly journey on the sea.

There were times when reading this book that I nearly put it down and gave up - only because the description of some of the animals behaviour, namely them hunting, was so vivid that it was upsetting to read (I'm one of those people who turn off nature programmes when animals start killing each other).  But I'm glad I persevered.  This is an excellent book, different to others I have read.  It combines zoological facts, spiritual discussions and survival techniques, all of which I found very interesting.

The struggle that Pi went through is unbelievable, and if it weren't for the book introducing the origin of the story it would be easy to believe that it was a work of fiction.

I would recommend this book and would imagine it's appeal to be universal; what with survival, death, nature, endurance, philosophy, humour, imagination, family, friendship, hope and loss I believe anyone could read this book and take something special from it.

Title: Life Of Pi
Author: Yann Martel

Bright Young Things by Scarlett Thomas.

So six young people discover they've been dumped on an island.  The don't know where they are or why they're there.  Sounds like an interesting concept, and it is, but unfortunately the book wasn't so interesting.

The story begins with a good introduction to each character however after the six arrive on the island there was little content to the book.  There was a very thorough account of a game of truth or dare but the book didn't delve into any of the issues that you would have expected... characters could have tried to escape, it would have been interesting to hear the characters philosophise over why they were there and there was little discussion of group dynamics i.e. who was naturally becoming the leader.

The conclusion of the story was far too rushed, and the actual important facts of the plot were glossed over in favour of discussing teenage angst.  The ending was very disappointing  to the extent that I actually turned the page expecting to read more.

All in all, this book is okay but the concept could have produced a much more intriguing plot which would have created a more satisfying to read.

Title: Bright Young Things
Author: Scarlett Thomas

Saturday, 12 January 2013

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson,

It was the title that attracted me to this book, I like the fact it's totally obviously rather than a cryptic title which only hints to the story you're going to read.

The book narrates both the story of the hundred-year-old man's escape and also looks back over his life telling his life story.  If I had known the detail this book would go into about Alan's adventures with world leaders, incorporating some world politics I would probably have been put off, but it was actually more interested than I would have thought.

The characters are very rich, especially Alan, and I absolutely loved the way that the story ended, with both the escape and the life story tied up brilliantly.

This is a humorous book with lots of interesting characters. Even though there are quite a few strange and unrealistic twists and turns (a pet elephant for example) somehow you're happy to accept these and go with the flow of the tale.

If you would like a book that's refreshingly different, combining a bit dollop of make-believe with some real-life history then this one's for you.

Title: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared.
Author: Jonas Jonasson.

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson.

This book was recommended to me and although it isn't the usual type of book I would read I thought I would give it a go.

Unfortunately I didn't find it that interesting.  Maybe the hype I had heard upped my expectations too much, but I just found the story a little dull.  It seemed to jump around from Jeanette being a child to an adult very quickly, without much explanation.

I can obviously appreciate how religious her mother was, but I would have liked the book to conveyed how restricting this was to Jeanette in just a little bit more detail.

Obviously this book was popular enough to be made into a BBC television drama, but it just wasn't for me.

Title: Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
Author: Jeanette Winterson

Sunday, 6 January 2013

You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane.

This is the first book by Mhairi McFarlane.  The story flicks between present day, and the main characters past lives at University, but is very easy to read without getting confused between the two times.

The story takes place in Manchester which I loved as I myself have worked and socialise in Manchester.  I really enjoyed knowing every place that was referenced in the book and being able to clearly visualise the scenes.  It really made me feel connected to the story.

I loved the characters and found them all very believable   The story was funny, moving, sad in places and most of all true to life.  This was a brilliant example of chick-lit escapism, the books makes you feel good despite having me in tears at one point.  I didn't hesitate giving it five stars on Goodreads.

Plus, the book has been on offer in paperback and also on Kindle; and I love the cover!

This book was the first book I read on my new Kindle Fire and I really enjoyed it.  I particularly like that I can pick up reading whenever I like so even if I don't have my Kindle with me, I always have my phone, which having the Kindle app, means I can read whenever I have a spare five minutes.  Given that I didn't want to put this book down, that was quite handy.

Title: You Had Me At Hello
Author: Mhairi McFarlane

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues by Trisha Ashley.

Like other Trisha Ashley books I would say this one was slow to begin with, but by about half way through the story had developed enough to make it a pleasant read.

The characters are quite plain and the story is not interesting enough to make this a page turner - despite the fact that there was promise of a family secret being revealed at the end of the book.

There's nothing wrong with this book, it's a perfectly good read but it just lacked that something special that makes a truly good chick-lit book.

Incidentally this was the 51st book I read in 2012 bringing me to a much higher total than I had anticipated that I would read, my challenge being 35 books over the year.  I have enjoyed my reading challenge more than I ever imagined I would, especially sharing books and recommendations with friends, work colleagues and the Twittersphere.  Here's to much more reading in 2013!

Title: Chocolate Shoes and Wedding Blues
Author: Trisha Ashley