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Pip's Reads 2011

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No lists of TBR's just a record of books I read in 2011

 

Number 1.

The Fry Chronicles - Stephen Fry

 

Once again Stephen Fry seemed to be sitting next to me and telling me his story, his voice comes through so clearly. Witty, entertaining, wonderful use of language (as one would expect from him) and honesty are how I would describe this book, which covers the eight years where Moab is my Washpot left his story. In The Fry Chronicles we hear about Stephen Frys university years and his life after leaving Cambridge. He tells of the beginnings of his acting and writing career while at university and about the start of his friendship with Hugh Laurie. He also tells of his sense of failure and insecurities.

 

I was looking forward to reading this because I enjoyed Moab is My Washpot so much, I enjoyed this book a lot but maybe not quite as much as the first book. :blush:

I think maybe I enjoyed Moab more because it was a totally different Stephen Fry that I was reading about, if that makes any sense!

I'm sure a third book will be written and it will definately be on my wish list. :readingtwo:

8/10

Edited by pipread

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Number 2. started 9-1-11

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Steig Larsson

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You are starting one of my favourite reads from last year. Although it can seem a little slow to start, stick with it as it is such a good read.

 

Your review of The Fry Chronicles has made me add Moab is my Washpot onto my wishlist, sounds like an excellent book.

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You are starting one of my favourite reads from last year. Although it can seem a little slow to start, stick with it as it is such a good read.

 

Your review of The Fry Chronicles has made me add Moab is my Washpot onto my wishlist, sounds like an excellent book.

 

 

Thanks Tunn, I was amazed that I sailed through 100 pages of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, because I really expected to struggle with it for some reason! I heard it gets better as well so I'm definately sticking with it :)

 

If you like Stephen Fry I would seriously recommend Moab is my Washpot, it was a great read.

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

 

I finished this last night, I would have finished it sooner but work got in the way! I absolutely loved it from begining to end.

I had been a bit reluctant to read this book mainly because when I hear something hyped up so much I usually end up being disappointed, but I'm so happy that it wasn't like that at all.

The hardest part was keeping track of the large number of characters but I managed. :blush:

I liked the character of Lisbeth Salander and look forward to finding out more about this unusual investigator in the other books that make up the millennium trilogy. I also look forward to seeing how the relationship with the journalist Mikael Blomkvist works out.

 

9/10

Edited by pipread

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No 3 this year

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (kindle)

 

Hi pip I have Dorian Grey on my kindle too but I won't get to it for a while yet; I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

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Hi pip I have Dorian Grey on my kindle too but I won't get to it for a while yet; I look forward to hearing what you think of it.

 

Hi there Vodkafan how are you finding the kindle?

This is the first book I've read on mine and to be honest I only got the book cause it was free! I'm very pleasantly surprised by it so far. I'm really liking the kindle as well. :)

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The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

 

from Amazon

Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The novel was a success de scandale and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. It has lost none of its power to fascinate and disturb.

 

I knew nothing about this story before reading it and the only reason I read the book was because I downloaded it free to my Kindle, I actually expected it to be hard going and boring for some reason :blush: I couldn't have been more wrong! The language was beautiful almost poetic, the characters were well written and the story flowed. Having said that I struggled with chapter 11, it seemed unnecessarily long winded and I worried that the rest of the story might continue in the same way but by chapter 12 it was back to its wonderful self.

I believe that sadly this was Oscar Wildes only novel it seems a shame perhaps I should look at some of his other work. I will almost certainly reread this book in the future.

 

9/10

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Book no.4 this year is,

Splinter - Sebastian Fitzek (on kindle)

looking forward to this one!)

Edited by pipread

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Splinter - Sebastian Fitzek

 

from Amazon

Marc Lucas had it all, and lost it all. He is only slowly putting his life back together after the car crash that killed his pregnant wife, when things start to go strangely wrong for him. Nothing too sinister to begin with: his credit cards stop working. But then his key no longer fits his door, and he discovers someone else working in his office. Much worse is to come: he returns home to find himself face to face with his once-dead wife, and she doesn’t have a clue who he is. The next day, there is no trace of her. Could this have anything to do with the clinic? They wanted to test their ability to remove traumatic memories from live subjects. Marc had met them, just once, but declined their experimental technology. He now fears they may have begun their tests illicitly... Can he discover just what is happening to him before the waking nightmare he finds himself living overwhelms his sanity?

 

Having read Therapy by this author, which was a brilliant thriller I was really looking forward to Splinter, and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed! :D

Splinter gripped me from the start and I was off on a rollercoaster ride, there were so many twists and turns in this story that at times it left me breathless.

The main characters world has been turned upside down and his sanity is in doubt, the reader is kept guessing to the end!

A brilliant thriller, highly recommended - but be warned it's hard to put down once you start reading it. :smile2:

I hope more of Sebastian Fitzeks work is translated soon. 9/10

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Splinter sounds like a great read. Have added it to my wishlist. :)

 

Hi bobblybear it was brilliant in my opinion and if you read and enjoy it you'll probably like Therapy by the same author :)

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Room - Emma Donoghue

 

from Amazon

Synopsis

Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don't have the key. Jack and Ma are prisoners.

 

 

Room is a book I've been thinking of getting for a while and after reading Tunns review I couldn't put off getting it any longer! :wink:

It is written through the voice and perspective of 5 year old Jack, we hear of the happy, secure and solitary life he leads with "Ma" in "Room" We feel his excitement and joy and his frustrations in what to him is a normal life, we also feel the unsettling tension that creeps into the story.

There were times that this story was a tear jerker, at other times it was touching and heart warming.

The two main characters were brilliantly drawn and I found it impossible not to care for them both.

I thought this was an excellent book, it has certainly left me thinking about Jack and Ma and the situation they were in.

 

10/10 :)

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Book number 6 this month,

 

Paul O'Grady - At My Mothers Knee ... and other low joints

 

from Waterstones

Synopsis

Paul O'Grady is one of Britain's very best loved entertainers. He is known and adored by millions, whether as the creator of the acid-tongued Blonde Bombsite, Lily Savage, or the presenter of the fantastically successful, award-winning "Paul O'Grady Show" on Channel 4. Now, in his own unique voice, Paul O'Grady tells story of his early life in Irish Catholic Birkenhead that started him on the long and winding road from mischievous altar boy to national treasure. It is a brilliantly evoked, hilarious and often moving tale of gossip in the back yard, bragging in the corner shop and slanging matches on the front doorstep, populated by larger-than-life characters with hearts of gold and tongues as sharp as razors. "At My Mother's Knee" features an unforgettable cast of rogues, rascals, lovers, fighters, saints and sinners - and one iconic bus conductress.It's a book which really does have something for everyone and which reminds us that, when all's said and done, there's a bit of savage in all of us...

 

 

I'd had this book sitting on the shelf for months after it was given to me by a friend who read it but said she was disappointed in it, that put me off it really.

However at christmas I was given the follow up book as a gift, so thought it was time I picked it up and read it!

 

I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading of Paul O'Gradys life from the ages of 5 - 18, there were so many laugh aloud moments in the book when he spoke of his mum and his catholic upbringing and the mischief he got into that I found it a real page turner. :)

The stories are told with the humour one expects from the author and you can hear him speaking loud and clear with his distinctive voice and manner.

The stories of his mother and the things she said and did reminded me of my mum in many ways, only I couldn't tell the tales half as well as he does. :giggle2:

 

Really enjoyed it and I look forward to reading part 2 very soon. 8/10

Edited by pipread

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I've started book number 7 of the year, reading on the kindle

 

All The Pretty Girls - J T Ellison

a debut novel and halfway through the book finding it a good thriller.

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All The Pretty Girls - J. T. Ellison

 

Synopsis (from Waterstones)

This is an electrifying debut packed with hold-your-breath suspense. When a local girl falls prey to a sadistic serial killer, Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her lover, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, find themselves in a joint investigation pursuing a vicious murderer. The Southern Strangler is slaughtering his way through the Southeast, leaving a gruesome memento at each crime scene - the prior victim's severed hand. Ambitious TV reporter Whitney Connolly is certain the Southern Strangler is her ticket out of Nashville; she's got a scoop that could break the case. She has no idea how close to this story she really is - or what it will cost her. As the killer spirals out of control, everyone involved must face a horrible truth - that the purest evil is born of private lies.

 

 

I found this an exciting story and a real page turner, it was a quick and easy read that kept me wanting to read more. I thought the main characters were well written and although I guessed the murderer quite early it didn't spoil the book for me.

8/10

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You have read some excellent books this year. :)

 

I skipped over your thoughts on Room as I may choose it for my Book Club when it's my turn to pick, but it's one I'd like to read anyway. Without giving anything away, do you think it would make a good book for discussion?

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You have read some excellent books this year. :)

 

I skipped over your thoughts on Room as I may choose it for my Book Club when it's my turn to pick, but it's one I'd like to read anyway. Without giving anything away, do you think it would make a good book for discussion?

 

 

Hi Janet I've been very happy with all the books I've read in January, I just hope I continue to be so lucky. :)

Regarding Room for a book discussion, I think as its a quite unique, quick, fairly easy and light read it would make a good choice. It is a serious subject and is very thought provoking, I personally think there's plenty of discussion material. Whatever you decide I'd definately recommend you read it, I've read 2 or 3 books since Room but I still keep thinking of it. :)

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I like books that stay with one long after they've been read. I'm almost 100% decided on this (although it's not my turn to choose until some time late summer/early autumn). Thanks, Pip. :)

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Book no.8

 

Bye Bye Baby - Allan Guthrie (a novella)

 

from Amazon

When a seven-year-old boy disappears after school, the case is handed to Detective Frank Collins. He's been looking to lead a high-profile case for a while, and sets out determined to prove his worth. But the missing schoolboy is only a trigger for another crime. Someone is intent on exploiting the boy's grief-stricken mother. And they have plans for Frank Collins too.

 

A quick, easy and simple read with a twist or two to keep you guessing.

I'm not sure whether I found the writing 'to simple' really, or whether it's the fact that this was a short book but I was slightly disappointed.

I quite enjoyed the story which has an unusual plot and a rather sad, underlying subject, I think I'll try this author again sometime because he deserves another chance. :)

 

6/10

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Book no.9

 

The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson Millenium Trilogy book 2

 

from Amazon

 

One of Larsson's key achievements as a writer was to create an innovative kind of heroine for the crime novel. His unconventional sleuth, the highly intelligent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, is a confrontational young woman, whose Goth accoutrements sometimes alienate those around her (except the individuals she opts to have sexual relations with – strictly, that is, according to the rules she lays down). In the second book in the Millennium sequence, The Girl Who Played with Fire (as in its its predecessor), Lisbeth's closest ally is the older journalist Mikael Blomqvist, even though she has abruptly ended her emotional relationship with him. Lisbeth has left all she knows behinds her and has begun a relationship with a gauche young lover. But after a grim revenge run-in with a man who has abused her, she becomes a suspect in three murders, and is the subject of a nationwide search. Blomqvist, however, is convinced of her innocence (he has just been responsible for a blistering report on the sex trafficking industry in Sweden), and is determined to help her – whether she wants his help or not.

 

 

What can I say about this book that hasn't all ready been said?

It is quite long and maybe the editing isn't the best but I can forgive that for such a great read.

Like the 1st in the trilogy I found this a real page turner from beginning to end and I think Lisbeth is a brilliant creation. I look forward to reading the 3rd part very soon.

9/10

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You've had some cracking reads this year Pip, hope it continues for you! :friends3:

 

Hi charm :friends0: Thanks, I've been pretty lucky so far, my kindle has definately helped, it's so easy to click and have the book downloaded in seconds! :blush:

 

I've been looking at your reviews on the Karen rose books, think I'll get 1 or 2 to try they sound like my cup of tea!

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