Sunday, 14 September 2008

#1 - Read 64 Books

#1 - The Outcast by Sadie Jones.
The book was brilliant, if not a little sinister. Our book group book for September and I'm hoping the other members of the group liked it as much as I did!
#2 - 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
A charming real life story of an American writer who strikes up a long lasting friendship with the members of an English bookshop.
#3 - The Island by Victoria Hislop
This was the Book Group book for October. I have finished this one by the skin of my teeth for the meeting this week. It was very readable but not something I would have chosen to read myself. It is the story of the island of Spinalonga in Crete where a Lepers were sent and the relationship of the inhabitants with the mainland.
#4 - Elleander Morning by Jerry Yulsman
November book for the book group. This book is out of print so some of the group struggled to get copies that weren't too pricey. The concept of the book is that the Second World War didn't happen. It was an interesting concept but I don't think the author went far enough with it.
#5 - Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell
The book group takes a break in December so I decided to use this spare time to tackle the longest unread book on my book shelves. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it a cross between Harry Potter and a Jane Austin novel. A little slow to get going but once you are familiar with the characters (and reading the numerous footnotes) then it is a cracking read!
#6 - Tales of Beedle the Bard
A little book in the style of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Thoroughly enjoyable and I found the commentary by Dumbledore my favourite bit of the book. JK Rowling couldn't resist a few HP references!
#7 - The Reader - Bernhard Schlink
Book group book for January and picked primarily because it was short so we could get back into the swing of things after the Christmas break. An interesting and alternative look at the Holocaust. I want to see the film now but will it be the usual story that the film is never as good as the book?
#8 -The house on the strand - Daphne Du Maurier

Book group book for February chosen by me! Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favourite authors and she did not disappoint with this book. My only criticism is the number of characters introduced in the time travel section of the book. I spent more time referring to the family tree at the beginning of the book trying to figure out who everyone was than reading the book!
#9 - Remember me? - Sophie Kinsella
Book group book for March and to be honest I wasn't looking forward to it one bit, chick lit is not really my thing. It only took me a couple of days to read and I found it was a nice change to read something quick and not particularly taxing on the brain. I enjoyed it a bit more than I thought I would (and probably more than I would want to admit to other people!)
#10 - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
I found this book incredibly hard to read at first and thought I would struggle to finish it. However, when Charlie's IQ begins to increase the story starts getting good. I would have been put off this book by its science fiction classification had it not been a book group choice and once again I am glad I tried it!
#11 - Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
This is a beautifully written book about a circus during prohibition. The underlying theme of the book is a love story but there are lots of historical references and subplots to keep everyone interested.
#12 - A Place in my Country - Ian Walthew
I thought this book would be much more twee than it was. I was expecting the usual tale about a couple moving from the big city to the countryside and the 'hilarious' stories that evolve as they get used to rural life. This was quite the opposite and the couple fit in to the community almost straight away but their finances and lack of jobs in the area mean that they have to make a heartbreaking decision.
#13 - Behind the Scenes at the museum - Kate Atkinson
I was vaguely aware of this book but had never got round to reading it. Prompted by the book of the month on the Book It List I got myself a copy and lapped it up! I enjoyed this book immensely and think it might be my favorite book of the year (although it is hotly contested with Water for Elephants).
#14 - Pompeii - Robert Harris
After honeymooning in Italy last year and visiting Pompeii we were recommended this book by virtually everyone who went on the trip. I thought the book would bring to life the everyday life in Pompeii but it was little more than a glorified love story. I didn't connect with the main character and didn't care if he lived or died during the eruption. I know lots of people love Robert Harris but I'm afraid for me he is just another Dan Brown (I can hear the tuts from here!!). I have a couple of his other books but I wont be rushing to read them after this disappointment.
#15 - My Sisters Keeper - Jodi Picoult
After posting a few days ago about starting this book I got some very positive responses from other people about it. I decided to go for it and ended up ploughing through it in 4 days - pretty quick for me! This book wasn't as twee and soppy as I thought it would be (I didn't cry once!) and on the whole the story was good. I really liked the way the each chapter was written from a different characters point of view. I'm not sure I will be watching the film but I enjoyed the book for what it was.
#16 - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby
After winning this book on the BookIt list blog I put aside The Ressurectionist that I had been struggling with for a couple of weeks and got stuck into this. It only took a couple of evenings to read and it was very thought provoking. Bauby talks of his loneliness in the hospital but it is far from being a sad story. It was much more uplifting than I could ever imagine...
#17 - Elegance - Kathleen Tessaro
I picked this book up from our accommodation when we were in Italy last year (don't worry, I replaced it with one of my own!). This book was just what I needed - a quick bit of chick lit to get me back into the swing of reading again. I read it in less than a week and the story was enjoyable if not a little predictable at times.
#18 - Saturday Night Sunday Morning - Alan Sillitoe
Have wanted to read this for ages as it is set in Nottingham where I live. The book is about working all week and blowing all your money in the pub at the weekend...very little has changed there then...
#20 - Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
To put it bluntly, this book was hard work. In places it was brilliant but unfortunately in others it was slow going and a bit difficult. I really wanted to enjoy this as it won the Booker of Booker prizes.
#21 - The Suspicions of Mr Whicher - Kate Summerscale
I really enjoyed the first part of this book about the murder and the detective elements of the novel. However, I lost interest a little bit when the book started going into great detail about other crime novels - I thought it ruined the flow of the novel. Overall, I did enjoy this book.
#21 - The House at Riverton - Kate Morton
Enjoyable mystery with a twist at the end. Reminded me a bit of Romeo and Juliet?

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