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Everything posted by Hayley

  1. Hayley's Book Bundle Challenge

    I've finished Cell now and I'm happy to say I really enjoyed it. I've seen negative reviews where people say it's just a zombie apocalypse novel, and in a way it is but at the same time it's much, much cleverer than that. There are quite a few really gruesome parts, but they don't dominate the story at all, the fear for most of the novel comes from how realistic King makes it feel. There are a couple of things, towards the end that I thought... ok it's pushing it with the realism now, I don't think that's very believable... but I would say 95% of it is. And the characters were really good, likeable and believable, you do feel as though you care what happens to them at the end. On a more serious note it's an interesting view on how quickly the world would change if we were to loose our communication systems, and on how we would behave towards each other once survival instincts kicked in. Overall it was a really enjoyable book, even if it did freak me out a bit at times but I would recommend it I've just started To Kill A Mockingbird which, based on its classic status and Ben's very enthusiastic recommendation, I have high expectations for
  2. Your Ultimate Dream Library

    I was thinking about my dream library and I remembered a scene from a film, which I found on youtube so I'm sharing it. I'm sure you've all seen it already https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fM7q3g8kjc Although personally I would have made it more purple
  3. Penguin World Cup

    I just wondered if anybody had seen this, I thought it was a pretty fun idea http://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/penguin-cup/#uk Would you make any changes to the teams?
  4. Penguin World Cup

    Is there anyone in particular you thought should be on there Athena? I have to admit I don't recognise any of the authors from the Dutch team, is there anybody you would recommend? I agree, and I think Pratchett should be on there too (I'd love to hear the conversation on that bench!)
  5. Hayley's Book Bundle Challenge

    Dodger was great Athena, I'm sure you won't be disappointed when you come to read it It feels a bit weird at first when there are real historical characters introduced, but it's really well written (of course!) and you get used to it pretty quickly. I just checked (using goodreads) and I'm apparently 51% through Cell. I did think I'd have finished it (or at least nearly) by now but I've been doing a lot of non-fiction reading for my thesis which has taken up a lot of my reading time. Luckily the really short chapters in Cell make it easy to read in short bursts. For example I just read a chapter while my laptop was starting up
  6. I would definitely recommend I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. It fits the criteria perfectly, although it's hard to explain exactly why without giving away what happens in the story! It has a brilliant message about ordinary people's ability to be extraordinary, and to learn from their past and their mistakes and keep going. And it has a really good mystery element, which really makes you want to read the whole thing in one go! It also won the Michael Printz award for excellence in Young Adult literature
  7. I'm not sure what you mean by an illustration of the photo at the front of the book, but if the photo is on the cover, the source reference will be somewhere near the barcode on the back cover. If the photo is just in the middle of the book, and doesn't have the source directly underneath (or to the side of) it, there should be a list of image sources either on the first or last few pages of the book. Near the contents or the index. Hope that helps, I know it's frustrating when you can't find a source reference!
  8. Hayley's Book Bundle Challenge

    I got a bit side-tracked from my challenge again I was having a bit of a stressful couple of weeks so when I spotted Terry Pratchett's Dodger in the library, I decided that would definitely cheer me up I am enjoying Cell though. Not even half way yet so I won't give any kind of review, but it has been really interesting, and not quite what I expected
  9. A lot of the time the source is written under the photograph, but I guess that isn't the case here. Sometimes there is a page at the beginning of the book, near the contents page, that lists the images used with their sources. I have seen books where this list is at the back though, generally next to the bibliography. But if the picture is on the cover of the book, it will definitely be on the back cover, by the ISBN as pontalba said
  10. Hayley's Book Bundle Challenge

    I'm a couple of days late posting this, I've been having a pretty hectic week. I finished The Watcher in the Shadows a couple of days ago. It was really good but I won't review it here since it's not part of the challenge. I looked back through my bookshelf and decided to try Cell by Stephen King as my next challenge book. I don't know why but I find scary books much more frightening than scary films. I think I find it harder to get into films, so I end up thinking practical things like 'I wonder how they got that effect', or quite a lot of the time 'why on earth would the character do that!?' But I suppose when you read a scary scene in a book it becomes as frightening as your imagination can make it. The Watcher in the Shadows was pretty freaky, so I thought I would be well prepared to start some Stephen King (although the cover suggests this is a thriller, rather than horror, I can confirm there are some pretty horrific images just in the first couple of chapters!) Blurb for Cell... The event which propels civilization into its second dark age is known as The Pulse. The virus is carried by every cellular phone operating in the world. Within hours, those receiving calls will be infected. Clayton Riddell, a young artist, knows he has to reach his son before the young boy switches on his phone. And time is running out... I'm not that far into the book yet but so far it's good. It's quite like a 'zombie apocalypse' theme. I think what makes Stephen King so good is that he writes genuinely believable worlds, which stay believable even when crazy things start happening. This one is a fairly thick book so it might take me a while to finish, but I'll update before then anyway
  11. Eurovision 2014

    I don't really watch Eurovision, but I turned the semi-finals (I think) on the other day and saw a woman pull her ponytail off mid song. I don't know if it was supposed to represent something but it was so random it did make me laugh
  12. Just had a quick search and the series seems to be 'coupling', the episode Alison King featured in was called 'the man with two legs' http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coupling_(UK_TV_series)
  13. Such a tragedy

    That's so sad. That it's possible for a child to feel there's no way out but suicide is heartbreaking. I don't know what else to say Virginia except I hope you and your daughter are ok, and know that everyone here is thinking of you and wishing you well.
  14. Regional Anecdotes

    well that was rude! (I love the Black Country Museum, I think that should be included, it's basically a whole Victorian village, it's brilliant!) I live in Birmingham, which (like the Black Country... since it's next to it) has a really industrial past. We apparently have more canals than Venice, which was pretty useful for transporting goods at the time. Quite a few famous people came from Birmingham actually. The ones that come to mind are Black Sabbath and UB40 (and I think Led Zepplin, but possibly not the whole band) and Julie Walters. There is actually a 'Walk of Stars', I'll link the wikipedia page for it in case anyone's interested in seeing the others... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_Walk_of_Stars We have the Cadbury factory too, which is great but I was slightly disappointed to discover they don't actually use waterfalls to mix chocolate. J.R.R Tolkien lived here, and you can see lots of the places he was inspired by in his writing. For example Sarehole Mill seems to be the direct inspiration for the Old Mill in Hobbiton, and Mosely Bog (which is next to it), Fangorn Forest. They have Tolkien Festival there once a year which is really good. I know W.H. Auden lived here too, but I don't know as much about that
  15. Hayley's Book Bundle Challenge

    Thanks Athena, I really did enjoy it more, Paper Towns was amazing! I actually don't think I have any negatives for it. It is so well written I don't know where to start complementing it. It's a brilliant portrayal of friendship, emotion and how we view the world and people around us. But it's also incredibly gripping and fast paced, as well as funny in just the right amount. The characters were just excellent. There were times when it's pretty easy to figure out some of the 'mysteries' before the main character, but it just does't matter, because you feel the truly important thing is his discovery, and what it will lead him to do next. It was just a beautifully written book, and I would absolutely recommend it to anybody. I have a little confession to make about my next read... my sister bought me two books I really wanted for my Birthday last week ('Possession' by A.S. Byatt and 'The Watcher in the Shadows' by Carlos Ruiz Zafón) and I actually can't wait so I'm going to read The Watcher in the Shadows quickly before moving on to my next challenge book I'm not sure which challenge book to go for next, I was thinking maybe Look to Windward but I'm not sure. Any suggestions for the sci-fi/fantasy category?
  16. Literary Gifts

    I found this shop on etsy, there are some absolutely amazing things made from recycled books https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MalenaValcarcel?ref=shopsection_shophome_leftnav
  17. Oh the places I'd go!

    I found The Dubliners a bit disappointing when I read it too. It's a really interesting book to study though, you can find loads of interesting interpretations on the stories. I think because it's little snippets of different lives without any complete story, when you get to the end of the book without having read a story it feels quite strange! I hope you enjoy Anna Karenina more, I've never read anything by Tolstoy so I'll be interested to see what you think
  18. Literary Gifts

    You can buy books by the foot!? That's really strange but I now really want a foot of Victorian books
  19. Hayley's Book Bundle Challenge

    I finished Cat's Cradle last night. Anybody I have on Goodreads may have noticed already I gave it two stars, or 'it was ok'. I found it quite difficult to rate really. I think with books that have been categorised as 'classics' you always have a slight sense that there must be something amazing about it, maybe it's just you missing it. But if I'd picked the book up not knowing anything about it, I think two stars is what I'd have given to it. I'll get negatives out of the way first. It really wasn't my kind of book. The whole thing is basically ironic satire, with a general message that humans are stupid, everything is pointless and then you die. At times it's almost fairly funny, these are the best parts, but there aren't enough of these to say the book is really humorous. A technical negative was I found that although the main character was often relatable, there were other times, particularly towards the end of the book, where I just felt that was lost and I didn't really understand what he was thinking any more. My final negative is that I felt there were multiple occasions where the author was poking fun at religion. I don't think it's ever ok to mock what other people believe and I didn't think it was funny, it just made me feel uncomfortable. But there were positives. The characters were interesting, often very over-the-top but it fitted with the book. I liked the layout of the book, it's incredibly short sections made it easy to read. The concept of the weapon was interesting, so was the exploration of the use (or misuse) of science. And you can definitely say it's unique. It's one from the bestsellers list now and I've decided to go for Paper Towns by John Green based on Chaliepud's recommendation Blurb... 'Who is the real Margo? Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent, adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she opens his bedroom window late one night and summons him to join her on an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to find that Margo has not. Always an enigma, she now becomes a mystery and Q soon learns that there are clues to be followed in his search for Margo'
  20. Hayley's Book Bundle Challenge

    I'm planning to go classics, bestselling, sci-fi/fantasy. Until I run out of classics. But To Kill A Mockingbird can certainly be promoted to my next 'classics' read if it comes that strongly recommended I'm hoping to finish Cats Cradle soon. It's a really short book and I probably would have finished it by now but I've had quite a hectic week (which included my memory stick breaking, although hopefully I'll be getting the files back from it this week). It is quite a strange book, but nowhere near as strange as Endgame, so I was quite pleasantly surprised there. I at least don't have to read a chapter 3 times to make sure I know what's actually going on! But I'll be able to say more once I've finished, so back to reading...
  21. Charles Dickens –vs-- Neil Gaiman Vladimir Nabokov –vs-- Terry Pratchett George Eliot –vs-- Edgar Allan Poe Paulo Coelho –vs-- JRR Tolkien E M Forster –vs-- Jane Austen Edward Rutherford –vs-- Oscar Wilde Leo Tolstoy –vs-- Gabriel Garcia Márquez Fyodor Dostoyevsky –vs-- Donna Leon Stephen King –vs-- George Orwell Peter F Hamilton –vs-- Franz Kafka
  22. Literary Gifts

    Great thread This might be a bit of an obvious one, but the British Library have an online shop with some interesting bookish things http://shop.bl.uk/mall/departmentpage.cfm/BritishLibrary/_87295/1/New-in I love the Alice in Wonderland one! What an interesting idea! I really wish I could afford some of those sets, they're beautiful!
  23. Oh the places I'd go!

    I'm a bit late but I just remembered the name of that book, it was The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry. I had in my head that it was the scarlet something and it was throwing me off . Oh well maybe it can be an option if you re-visit Ireland later
  24. Dreams

    I wish I would dream about books or being in a library, they were good dreams! I have quite a lot of weird dreams. My mom used to say it's because I read too much . I also have those dreams about being chased sometimes. I had one a couple of weeks ago where I was chased by giant, climbed an enormous set of drawers to hide in the top one and then realised it wouldn't open far enough for me to fit in when I got there. As I said... weird dreams
  25. Philip Pullman

    You'll love them, they missed so many good bits out of the film! I also didn't get the anti-religious theme. I was quite surprised when I heard people talking about it to be honest. There's a part, I think it's in the third book, where it describes all the particles of someone who has died going back into the earth to make rain and flowers. I thought that was beautiful, and not at all anti-religious. And isn't the daemon basically like a soul? Maybe I need to read them again, but I really don't see the anti-religion.