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bookworm87

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About bookworm87

  • Rank
    Settling In
  • Birthday 12/25/1987

Profile Information

  • Reading now?
    Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
  • Interests
    Baking, Cycling, Shopping and of course, Reading!
  1. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Synopsis (from amazon.co.uk) Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? Review This is the kind of book that you literally can't put down until you've reached the end, just because you can't imagine what is going to happen! I obviously can't reveal too much of the plot because there a few surprises along the way, but it certainly kept me guessing. The book is split into three parts and in the first section, everything that happens seems to be telling you loud and clear what happened and why Amy is gone. But, once you get to the second bit everything is turned in its head completely. The most striking thing about the story for me was the portrayal of a dysfunctional marriage. Love makes people do crazy things and often two people can be bad for each other, but can't let go of their relationship and I thought this was beautifully shown in Gone Girl. The character of Desi I found very unbelievable and a bit weird, and the ending is quite a controversial one. I think it will divide readers between those who find it unrealistic and those who don't. Personally, I felt Flynn just about pulled it off and the ending was definitely unexpected and sinister - it left me feeling unsettled and a little confused but in a good way! If you're going on holiday and want a good beach read, or if you just want something that will keep you hooked and turning those pages then I would recommend Gone Girl - I give it 4/5
  2. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Hi bobblybear, It's a really good one - I fully recommend it!
  3. Hi Alexi, This made me laugh because it was exactly what I thought as well It sounds like you had a very similar reading experience to me with this one, so I was really interested to read your comments!
  4. Who was your favourite character? I found myself liking Maureen the most, she wasn’t a character I initially warmed to but as the story progressed I felt like I was rooting for her to open up and establish a connection with Harold again Was there a particular part you enjoyed more than the rest? I started off quite enjoying it, but as the story went on I liked it less and less, so I’d have to say the first few chapters. I liked the way Joyce depicted Harold’s decision to start walking in a low key way, there was no over the top drama etc. Was this the first book you've read in this genre/ by this author, has it encouraged you to read more? This is the first book I have read by Rachel Joyce and I’m afraid it will probably be my last. The story and style of writing just didn’t appeal to me at all. Were there any parts/ideas you struggled with? Yes, I found the whole David storyline a bit peculiar. Maureen’s sudden change from being happily married to despising Harold once David was born I found really unbelievable. Also, David’s problems and suicide formed a central element of the novel and I felt they were completely glossed over. It was mentioned in passing that he may have been on drugs/depressed, but it was never actually depicted in any depth. I also found the incident where Harold destroys his boss’s clowns and Queenie covering for him (again, a central theme) as a bit of an anti-climax. I thought it would be revealed that Harold had done something like burn the brewery down! Overall, was reading the book an enjoyable experience? Unfortunately not for me, but I am glad I read it as it was something a bit different that I wouldn’t normally have read How important do you think the girl in the garage was? She seems to represent Hope and Faith in the book and Harold sees her as the embodiment of these qualities I think, so she is an important character in the book Why do you think strangers who met Harold wanted to help him? They saw the essential goodness of what Harold was doing and identified with it. I think the strangers were also meant to give a ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ message. Are there any morals to be drawn from the other "pilgrims" who joined Harold Most of them seemed pretty mean and selfish, it made me quite mad that they hijacked Harold’s pilgrimage and made it into something completely different. Did he help Queenie in the end at all? I think she probably recognised him, but Harold’s dissatisfaction when he reaches her really made me feel depressed to be honest and I found his behavior quite selfish. The ending was the worst part of the book and I found myself getting more and more annoyed with the doom and gloom. Was Harold's Pilgrimage all in vain? No, by the end he and Maureen seemed to have a better understanding of each other, so I think it was worthwhile in that respect.
  5. A Book Blog by Books do Furnish a Room 2013

    I have Things Fall Apart on my wishlist, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of it
  6. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Review: On Beauty by Zadie Smith Synopsis (from amazon.co.uk) Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful? Set in New England mainly and London partly, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions - both personal and political - of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family. Review Firstly, it has taken me an absolute age to read this book! I have recently started studying for a work-related qualification, so my beloved books have temporarily been replaced by study texts and I have been struggling to fit in reading for pleasure. Sometimes I'd quite like to press a 'Pause' button and snatch some time to read Zadie Smith is one of those authors that I have always wanted to read, but never quite gotten around to doing so. She generally gets very good reviews, so I was really interested to see for myself what was so special about her writing. It's quite hard to describe the plot of On Beauty - not much happens in terms of action and I would say it's more a study of human relationships, family dynamics in particular. Smith states in her introduction that she has based the book on Howard's End by E.M Forster, I have seen the film so I roughly know what happens, but the book is on my TBR pile and i think it might have been beneficial if I had read it first to be able to make more of a comparison. The theme of Howard's End is 'Only Connect' and I think Smith does quite a good job of weaving this theme through the book. I won't try and go too much into plot/characters etc, because as I said it is actually difficult to summarise the story! There were several storylines which left me a little confused and felt unfinished: there are references to Haiti and Haitian immigrants throughout the book and they seem to always be present throughout the novel, but I'm not sure how I was meant to view them as a reader or what point they were meant to be making. However, the main thing I took away from this book is Smith's sheer talent as a writer. I know good writing when I read it, and this book is full of it. She's got such a skill for writing her characters' speech in a totally realistic way and I could completely understand why she is so praised. This book gets 5/6. The writing alone was superb and I found myself really identifying and liking a lot of her characters. I'll definitely be reading more Zadie Smith in the future
  7. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    I hope you do too! I don't think it helped that I was reading it with a raging cold, so I was in a bad mood to start with I'm quite glad I didn't love it, because sometimes it adds a bit of extra interest to talk about a book you don't like rather than one you do, so I'm really looking forward to the reading circle and finding out what others thought of it.
  8. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce Synopsis (from amazon.co.uk) When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else's life. Review As I read this for the July Reading Circle, I’m not going to do a full review. However, I will say that after I finished this book I felt very disappointed and I struggled to explain why. As I was reading, I knew I was meant to be finding the story moving/life affirming etc., but the reality is that I didn’t. For whatever reason, I couldn’t connect with the characters and I found the whole thing quite predictable and even boring at points. I have a feeling I’ll be in the minority on this one, as it has rave reviews elsewhere, but hey – sometimes a book just leaves you cold and this was one of those books for me. That’s not to say there weren’t any positives at all, but I give this book 2/6 – it’s not one that I’ll be reading again in a hurry.
  9. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Review: Moranthology by Caitlin Moran Synoposis (from amazon.co.uk) Possibly the only drawback about the bestselling How To Be A Woman was that its author, Caitlin Moran, was limited to pretty much one subject: being a woman. In MORANTHOLOGY Caitlin 'gets quite chatty' about many subjects, including cultural, social and political issues which are usually left to hot-shot wonks and not a woman who sometimes keeps a falafel in her handbag. Review Caitlin Moran writes columns for The Times newspaper as well as the book How To Be a Woman, which I really enjoyed when I read it last year. She’s a very skilled writer who writes both movingly and humorously on every subject under the sun, so this collection of her articles was ideal for a quick, enjoyable read in between more serious novels. Whilst I liked the collection overall, I thought it could have been longer and a bit better structured. For example, all the interviews she does could have been put together rather than scattered randomly throughout. Some of the pieces in here are brilliant, especially her reviews of the BBC TV programme Sherlock, where she talks so passionately about it that it makes you want to run out and buy the box set! I give this collection another 4/6!
  10. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Thank you Frankie!
  11. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Review: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory Synopsis (from back cover) 1464. Cousin is at war with cousin, as the houses of York and Lancaster tear themselves apart… …And Elizabeth Woodville, a young Lancastrian widow, armed only with her beauty and her steely determination, seduces and marries the charismatic warrior kind, Edward IV of York. Crowned Queen of England, surrounded by conflict, betrayal and murder, Elizabeth rises to the demands of her position, fighting tenaciously for her family’s survival. Most of all she must defend her two sons, who become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing Princes in the Tower. Review I have always enjoyed Philippa Gregory’s historical novels, and I was expecting The White Queen to live up to what I’ve read before. Like many people, I saw that the book is becoming a BBC drama, so I was keen to read it before the TV programme aired. Gregory moves away from the Tudor period this time and choses the War of the Roses as the setting – a period that I have to admit I’m not that familiar with (although being from Leicester, Richard III is someone I’ve heard a lot about recently ). Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I will definitely be reading the others in the series. It also inspired me to read more about this period in history, as it genuinely is fascinating and anyone who enjoys Game of Thrones will notice marked similarities – York and Lancaster/Stark and Lannister, need I say more?! I warmed to Elizabeth Woodville as a character and I think that’s because Gregory is not afraid to show us her flaws. She is ambitious, sometimes to the detriment of those she loves and she condemns others for qualities she herself shares, but I couldn’t help but like her fighting spirit and her bravery in some truly terrifying situations. The character that really made an impression on me however, was Elizabeth’s mother Jacquetta. She is a really likeable and intriguing character and I’m looking forward to reading the Lady of the Rivers (the third book in the series), where she takes centre stage. If you’re looking for spot on historical accuracy, then you might not be too pleased with some of Gregory’s plotlines. She weaves a strong magical element through the book and while I liked it, I can see how it might put others off. She also has a very interesting take on the Princes in the Tower’s fate that would be very exciting if it were true! There were some things I disliked about the book. I find the way characters speak in Gregory’s books quite contrived sometimes; they often repeat certain phrases and refer to other characters by their full title - e.g. George, Duke of Clarence – which I don’t think is particularly realistic. I also found the jumps in time which occur throughout meant that it was hard to get a clear picture of Elizabeth and Edward IV’s marriage. We’re told they are very much in love, but it isn’t really demonstrated and I felt quite distant as a reader from them together. I give this book a strong 4 out of 6: I enjoyed it, it inspired me to find out more about the period and the characterisation was excellent
  12. just received my new Kindle Paperwhite - very excited!!

    1. Karsa Orlong

      Karsa Orlong

      Ooh! Let us know what it's like! :D

    2. vodkafan

      vodkafan

      Like most of us you will have kindlefever for several months

  13. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Thank you pontalba Hi willoyd, I have heard of Jenny Uglow, I think she has done a book on Charles II that I was interested in too, so I'll take a look and add her to my wishlist I am saving my Schama and Ackroyd for when I feel I can give them my full concentration as they are both big books! I love Claire Tomalin too, I've read her biographies of Samuel Pepys, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens and each one was amazing Hi Devi, Thanks for the welcome!
  14. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Thanks chesilbeach, vodkafan and Athena - I'm sure you guys will have a few suggestions to make that wishlist even longer!
  15. Lauren's Reading Log - 2013

    Hi Janet, Yes this post is now open for comments I know - there's a few years worth of classics there for me to get through. I'll be pretty pleased with myself if I can eventually work my way through them!
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