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Everything posted by katrina

  1. Nicholas Urfe is a fairly typical young man, fairly intelligent and attractive he drifts from job to job, meaningless relationship to meaningless relationship. When offered a job in a remote island of Greece he quickly jumps on board despite having many reservations, including his recent off-on relationship with Allison. Once in Greece he becomes quickly board with his teaching job and explores the remote areas of the island, discovering Conchis a reclusive millionaire he quickly becomes entangled in a mind game. Meeting many figures whose identity and stories change, develop and fall back on themselves Nicholas is placed in the middle of an experiment/game. As a reader I wanted to scream at him not to return, not to ask so many questions, just to enjoy the beautiful girls, to stop being blind etc and yet like him I would learn a new story and quickly accept this despite being aware that a few pages later all would unravel. Well worth a read and certainly an author I will be picking up again sometime soon.
  2. Please BGO is back, I haven't been a regular poster for a few years but was sad to see that it had gone. I will now have to make an effort to visit more recently.
  3. I also have been selected to give away The Blind Assassin, many will be through school (some brighter kids and staff), friends who want a copy then the rest through bookcrossing.
  4. I ordered one (1p in amazon marketplace) of them and asked a bookcrosser to send me their copy of the other one so I'm all set! (Or will be when they arrive). And I managed not to spend much.
  5. Off to amazon, I should just order one, lets see how good I can be
  6. I just finished this and thought it was ok, but agree that the tone and pace were slow. I was more annoyed by the lack of contrast between South Africa and London, South Africa had a distinct English feel to it.
  7. Been meaning to read The Sun Also Rises for ages so I second that one. There are many others that sound great and only one I've already read - Their Eyes were Watching God - a fantastic read.
  8. I finished this novel yesterday and enjoyed it for the most part, but like Stewart some bits drifted away from me and then I grabbed the thread again. The Smale's children have a very different response to life in the country than there parents and it's interesting to see how the whole family dynamic changed during such a short time. The ending was very open and I'm still wondering about it 24 hours later.
  9. The part about the dancing princesses was certainly my favourite.
  10. I was wondering if anyone else had read this book? I first picked it up and abandoned it years ago, and have just given it a second chance and really enjoyed it. Set in 17th Century England Jordan is found just days old in the sludge of the Thames by a giant female and her hordes of dogs. She brings the boy up and takes his to see the first banana brought to England. From this and his imagination he starts travelling both the real and fantastical world, allowing the pair to make many mysterious journeys. The langauge and descriptive style is often poetic, and in places like that of a fairy tale. This is the type of novel where reality flies out of the window.
  11. My mum loved this and passed it too me, I thought it was ok but definitely a holiday read for me, something that will quickly pass from the memory. Ann Eliza's story was really interesting and I would have like to have read more about her story and not have the modern example. While I liked Jordan and his friends, his tale worked out all very convenient and was definitely airport reading. I would be interested in reading more about Mormons and societies in which polygamous marriages exist but maybe through non fiction
  12. 1. Surfacing, Margaret Atwood ***** 2. Anthem, Ayn Rand ***** 3. Pride and Prejudice ***** RR 4. Anything but Ordinary: The Nine Lives of Cecile, Dorward ***** 5. The Duppy, Anthony C. Winkler ***** 6. Youth, J.M Coetzee ***** 7. Island Madness, Tim Binding ***** 8. Jezebel, Irene Nemirovsky ***** I'm being harsher with my rating this year, I seem to in the past have lots of 4 star books that I can't remember anything about so I devised a more 'honest' system. ***** Amazing, amazing, amazing I would happily be stuck on a desert island with just this to read. ***** Great read, one I'd like to reread at some point and will probably harp on about to all my reading friends. ***** It was a good read, but if we're honest so parts were just okay, and my fuzzy brain will quickly forget it. ***** Ok, probably would have abandoned if it wasn't for a challenge, or I wasn't wishing that everything would turn out alright in the end. ***** Really disliked this and pulled my way through it because I felt I had to - bookclub, present etc.
  13. The gothic number follows that plight of four people as they come together in a scientific study on a haunted house. The previous tennants of the house have always left after a few days on sudden business to be elsewhere. The main character Eleanor, a woman who has spent much of her life looking after a sickly woman, connects with the house and all its mysteries. This book creates a great atmosphere, and while it was never scary it certainly grabbed my attention. The oddly angled house, the strange relationship between the characters, the housekeeper and the goings on in the novel have confirmed that I need to read more Shirley Jackson.
  14. As you can see above this novel starts off full of beautiful language and images, well crafted, but also a warning to us all. Exodus is a novel about Mara a young girl who lives on the island of Wing. As the polar ice caps have slowly melted the world has been taken over by the sea. Unsure whether they are the last island on earth the inhabitants of Wing battle for survival against the elements. Playing a computer game Mara meets an unexpected person amongst the ghosts on the internet and discovers that a New World exists, a city built above the sea, anchored to fend off the elements. Mara convinces the inhabitants of her island to set off in search of this new land, in search of a new life. This book started off really well for me, but then 10 pages in I nearly gave up when the computer game suddenly appeared. Luckily it lasted only a few pages and the novel was back on track, although it still took a good 50 pages for it to grab my interest again. I'm glad I continued as I loved some of the characters and the various communities that we meet in this novel. I thought that the book may be preachy, but the message was far more about fighting for change in the new world, rather than the faults of the past. If you enjoyed The Pretties, The Knife of Never Letting Go (and who couldn't, that was an amazing trilogy) and The Giver this is a novel you should definitely check out.
  15. This bumper novel tells a fictionalised story of Marilyn Monroe's life. Taking into account many facts from Marilyn Monroe's life Oates weaves a story of neglect, a deep yearning for love, stage fright, obsession and addiction. The Marilyn she creates in the novel is far from the one that we see on screne, and the one rumoured about. She is a fragile bubble, seemingly ready to burst at any moment. She seems to crave love, but when she has it she quickly tires and needs to move on as she needs to feel loved by another person. This is well worth a read and has restored my faith in Oates, I'd previosly loved and read We Were the Mulvaney's but then read Rape: A Love Story which really didn't work for me.
  16. If it is fiction generally about 2-3 days, as I rarely watch telly and live alone, with the exception of marking and planning my free time is mine to decide what to do with. When I have longer or more dense fiction and it takes longer than a week I start getting twitchy. With non-fiction it can take me ages as I generally read it alongside a novel
  17. The only books I have in my front room are those I'm reading on top of the coffee table - a house rabbit and books just don't work. However as you move upstairs the books loom. There are three stacks of books on the stairs (in the corner where the stairs turn), one of these is library books as I don't want them getting mixed up with my own books. I then have a set of book shelves at the top of the stairs, this is all tbr books, apart from the bottom shelf whaich has my book series - Twilight, Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket. And the middle shelf, and top of the book shelf is unread non-fiction. Around this bookshelf I have a two piles, one is collections of books and the other is large picture books, mainly by Shaun Tan. People are shocked when they go to my bathroom and see the bookshelf and those on the stairs, they don't get to see the stacks in my bedroom, all stacked against the wall, each stack relates to something differect and all are tbr, or the stack of read books that I keep in the bottom of a wardrobe. Luckily most of my read books get sent out through bookcrossing, I'm not sure how I would fit myself into the house if I kept the books I'd read. In terms of the books, they'd show that I'm an eclectic reader, and need lots of choice.
  18. Reading three books at once! (never a good sign) Blonde by Carol Anne Oates (a fictionalisation of Marilyn Monroe's life) The Duchess by Amanda Foreman Anything but Ordinary: The Nine Lives of Cecile by Cecile Dorward and Ron Davidson
  19. The gorgeous black and white cover gives away the feel of this book immediately, much like Twilight the publishers created the perfect mood from the outset - the story has many similarities to Twilight too. Grace at 6 is pulled into the woods by wolves, as they go to savage her one steps in and stops that attack returning her to a place of safety. From then on the wolf visits the girl in her backyard and their fascination with each other grows. After a fateful attack, Grace finds the wolf transformed to his human shape - devillishly good looking, her perfect age and a reader of Rilke - injured on her doorstep. From there the romance and all their issues develop. It's fairly run of the mill teen fiction, and the ending is clear from the start, but like the Twilight books it has the intensity of teenage love and longing and pulls you along at a good strong pace. The setting is also perfect for these winter months.
  20. I finished this today, it was a reread, although from so long ago that I can't remember how I felt about it at the time. I didn't like or symapthise with Emma, Charles or any of her men. She was a vapid creature, wanting to fulfill her unhappiness with life with possessions, secret relationships and the need to feel wanted. Much of her relationship with the men, although real, was played out in her head where she created the drama that she so desired in life. The sad thing about this book is that we see examples of people like this everyday in celebrity magazines, and now these materialistic lives are looked up to and celebrated. I'll be searching out some of his other fiction in the future. When I looked this novel up on the interenet, looking for reading group discussion points I saw that this was considered the second most important work of fiction after Anna Karenia, now unless this is because it was risque and a 'modern' novel for the time, I'm not sure I would class it up there with many great classics like Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, 1984 etc.
  21. I'm half way through Madame Bovary which I'm reading as part of a book group which is meeting for the first time this week. I now have internet access at home again so hope to be able to join in the discussion, book and bookreads on this site again. I look forward to seeing all your thoughts, and the inevitable growth of my mental tbr pile.
  22. I've been staying at my Mum's for the last week and in typical holiday mode I didn't fancy any of the books I'd packed (a selection of 6 covering a variety of genres) so when my Mum handed me this I thought I'd give it a go. Nicholas Evans is the author of The Horse Whisperer, something I fear to read or watch knowing I would spend the whole time in tears. The Divide has a less sentimental storyline, although it still tries to tug on the heart strings a little. The novel starts with the discovery of Abbie's body, her recently divorced parents are forced to go and collect the body and deal with trying to piece together the last 4 years of their daughters life. The novel then goes back and relives the breakdown of the couples marriage and the effect that it had on both their lives and the lives of their brilliant young daughter who had been on the run from the FBI wanted in connection with murder. The novel has some lovely settings stretching across America and managed to hold my attention throughout. The story of Abbie's life, their marriage and all the events leading to it are seen through the eyes of several of the characters in gthe novel. Not a masterpiece, but a good book to curl up with.
  23. About to start A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I suspect I may have read before but can't be sure
  24. The films quite dark, with a kind of green hint to the whole thing. His reactions and passions and needs for the scents really create the impression of his obsession. Should be sure to check it out when you've finished readin g the book.
  25. Just started The Divide by Nichloas Evans, seems good so far
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