Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Disposessed by Ursula K.Le Guin

My feelings towards this book are very ambiguous. This was the first real science fiction that I can remember reading and I am not sure what I think about it. There are a lot of things I liked about the book and a lot of things I really did not enjoy.

I loved watching Shevek learn about Urras, about the differences between the two worlds and Shevek's difficulty in reconciling the two. Personally although Anarres is portrayed as a free world, I dont think the people are free at all, certainly no more free than those on Urras. Although people of Anarres are supposed to be free because of the lack of posessions it seems like that freedom is in very strict boundaries. The moment you do, say or think anything which doesnt fit in with societies rather rigid boundaries then you are outcast. I personally didnt see much freedom in Anarres, Urras of course is much more like our own world and so I guess I could identify with it a bit more. This whole aspect of the book definitely made me think though.

What I didnt like was that this book felt like a textbook. It was extremely slow and dry, and it seemed like nothing at all happened until the last few pages, then suddenly there was a bit of action. The book also seemed to end with a lot left undealt with, although maybe this is discussed in another book. I also didnt understand half the discussions that happened in the book, felt like I was wading throug mud, lol, although I consider myself of reasonable intelligence. Maybe they werent supposed to make sense.

All in all, this was not my favourite book, I found it heavy going and despite the fact that there were some enjoyable bits, I really had to push myself to finish it.


Monday, 21 February 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Wow, the weeks are just flying by this year and here it is Monday again!
This week I managed to read 4 books. 
I, Alex Cross by Jame Patterson, which I loved as I love all of his books
The dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin. I found this book really strange, still unsure how much I enjoyed it. A review will follow at some stage
The Three way miracle by Karen Sandler a quick read
The Genesis Code by John Case. This was a new author for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it couldnt put it down!

This week I am reading:
An Echo in the bone by Diana Gabaldon
The Fellowship of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien (readalong)
The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C.S Lewis (readalong)

Pop over to Sheila's blog for more reading inspiration

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Magicians Nephew

Magician's Nephew (Puffin Books)

I read this entire series when I was a child and since then read this book an The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe at the time that TLTWTW came out at the cinemas. The picture on this is the same as the one on my copy but it is a different edition. I still have the copy that I was given as a child, in fact it has my name written on the inside cover in very childish writing in pencil and also in slightly more mature writing in pen!
I never realised that there was any controversy over the order of the books. I do remember that when I read the books the first time it was a bit of a lightbulb moment when I realised that that was the start of Narnia and that the book actually had anything to do with TLTWTW. (I may have been a bit dim lol)
I really enjoy these books so much, since even though some scary and reasonably thought provoking stuff happens they are still so innocent and easily read. I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series since their are a few that I dont really remember much. 
As far as this book goes, I think it is a really good introduction to the series. I love the relationship between Polly and Diggory they are like two old souls in childrens bodies. Even though he is not really a hero I like Uncle Andrew. It always seems to me like he is trying to be the big, clever, powerful magician but is actually quite happy that he isn't. But when it does work it really shocks him. This is the first time that I have picked out that he is actually a bit of an alchoholic, I never really noticed it much in my previous reads. 
What was also much more obvious to me this time was the strong similarities to Christianity in the book, the whole Good vs evil thing. It may also be though that I am more aware now of what a devout Christian C.S Lewis was.
Favourite scenes: There are many!
  • Polly and Diggory meeting each other
  • their first meeting in the wood between the worlds
  • the charn scenes especially once Jadis comes on the scene
  • the scenes where we see the aftermath of Jadis roaming about London
  • the scenes with Uncle Andrew and the animals. I love the idea of him being planted and watered
  • Not really a scene, but I also picked up a lot more of the humour in this book than I have the last times and I just loved how he kept talking about the housemaid's good day with all the comings and goings.
My original plan with this book was to spread it out over the entire two weeks, however I forgot that 14 chapters in 2 weeks was 1 chapter per day not 2, as a result I read it much quicker, so have been desperate to start the next one, which I will do tonight. (I know that there is no law to say I cant read it before the correct dates,  but want to stay with the program!)

I, Alex Cross

Another book in the Alex Cross series, this one starts with the murder of Cross's niece. When Alex is called to identify the body he embarks on a quest to find her. He discovers that she was a high class prostitute and eventually discovers that she is only one in a string of similar victims. This is a world where your every fantasy is within your fingertips so long as you are prepared to pay, and anonymity is guaranteed. Although he is suddenly pulled off the case he continues to investigate and eventually realises that this case goes to the highest levels of society and that their are powerful people who will do anything to keep this quiet. Despite all of this, Alex manages to discover the identity of the killer, and that was a bit of a shock. There are hints throughout but I must say that I hadn't guessed the righ person. The ending is a bit of a surprise too, but I guess it was the best outcome.
What I liked: Pretty much all of it, I just love the way James Patterson writes. Although the books are jam packed and relatively scary, they are so easy to read and go so quickly.
What I didnt like: nothing much, although some parts are pretty gruesome.
Would I read it again: in a while
Would I read other books by this author: Yes


Thursday, 17 February 2011

Fire Ice by Clive Cussler

I really enjoy Clive Cusslers books and this was no disappointment. Kurt Austin loosely teams up with an ex-KGB officer to prevent a Russian megalomaniac from attempting to destroy America and thus take over the world. As always there is action, a bit of history, suspense, lots of thrilling scenes, underwater exploration and a little bit of romance (or perhaps that should be lust lol) The scenes move from Russia, the Black Sea, Turkey, the Maine Coast and Washington DC so really something to satisfy everyone.
What I liked: I just love the fast pace of these novels. I like how there are the same characters each time with a few new ones thrown in for luck. I loved the scenes in the Russian submarine base as well as the scene where Dr. Jenkins saves the coast from a Tsunami. I also liked how two old enemies put aside their differences to work together for the common good. Also, how the author keeps you guessing as to whether they are working together or whether there is one of them that is not being honest, but that may be my own sceptical nature, lol.
What I didn't like: Not much
Would I read it agian? Yes
Would I read other books by the same author? Have read numerous books by this author

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Kingdom by Tom Martin

Another book from my bookclub Kingdom was one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
A dying man arrives outside the gates of a monastery in Tibet and by nightfall the monks have evacuated and the abbot is dead.  Nancy Kelly, a journalist, newly arrived in India receives a bone trumpet from her predecessor who has disapeared. She is also arrested and then detained by the Indian police for being a spy. What follows is a treasure hunt through the forests of Tibet for the fabled land of Shangri-La.
What I liked: This book kept me guessing from beginning to end. There were so many twists and turns it is incrdible. Good guys become bad guys, bad guys turn out to be good. What seems to be the truth turns out to be not so true after all. I enjoyed learning about a culture which I know very little about, as well as all the historical references. It was also fast paced and a real page turner, with lots of action and adventure.
What I didn't like: I am a little bit sceptical about all the magic issues that were brought up. I got a bit confused with all the "foreign terms" Also, I didnt feel like you really get to know the characters, their development was minimal.
Would I read it again: Yes
Would I read another book by the same author: Yes

Monday, 14 February 2011

It's Monday, what are you reading?

Wow, these weeks just seem to be flying by this year, and Monday is here again.
Last week was really busy but I have still managed to be reasonably productive with my reading.

I read:
Hullabaloo in the guava orchard by Kiran Desai: While I did enjoy this book, I didnt enjoy it as much as The Inheritance of Loss. It also had a totally incomprehensible ending!
Kingdom by Tom Martin: Thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was set in India/Tibet and really caught me from page 1. I will do a review when I get a chance.
The Magicians Nephew by C.S Lewis for the Narnia Read a long. The plan was to read this book over two weeks  but I miscalculated and read 2 chapters a day instead of one, so it is finished.
Fire Ice by Clive Cussler. I havent read one of Clive Cusslers books for a while, this reminded me why I like them.

On the go this week:
I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
The Fellowship of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
Ancestral Vices by Tom Sharpe (reading this at work, but we have been so busy I havent had much time to eat let alone read!)

For more inspiration on what ro read pop over to Sheila's blog.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Five Question Friday

Ok, back to this meme.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky to appear Friday morning! And make sure you have fun!

1. Would you rather be on ABC's Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC's What not to Wear?

Since my house is desperately in need of a makeover I would have to go with that one. I am slowly trying to change things in the house but finances are a great damper on my ambitions. I would desperately love a home makeover especially if money was no object. Mind you I could do with a wardrobe makeover too, however it is much cheaper to buy a new shirt than a new oven lol.
2. Do you have any tattoos?

Nope, and I have never had any desire to have one.

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?

Things I did as a child, yes. Things I did as a teenager and young adult, definitely not! I think she would be horrified since she is rabidly anti-smoking. (I only smoked very occasionally, never even bought cigarettes) She is also desperate to see me drunk but since she is of the opinion that all drunk people fall over and behave badly, she has never actually noticed the odd occasion when I have been tipsy, lol.

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?

Oh dear, I have to say that I generally speed up :-(
This does depend on how far I am away though if I know there is no hope of getting through then I do slow down.

5. What's your preference: chocolate or chips?

In that choice chocolate, but I am generally a savoury person. That is of course not when I am about to have my period then it is chocolate all the way!

Hop on over to My little life (click on the picture above) for more questions and answers.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I really enjoyed this meme last week, so here is my teaser for this week:

"MY God," whispered Jack in horror. "What on earth was he doing with a terton?"

pg 281 Kingdom by Tom Martin.

I have actually only just started this book but so far it is hard to put down!

Monday, 7 February 2011

It's Monday, what are you reading?

Well, another week has flown past and it is Monday again. I have finished the two books that I was reading last week and actually now am in the middle of 3 more!
Books I read:
Duncton Quest by William Horwood - this is the third time I have read this series and I just love them all.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien - also a reread although I havent read it for years & I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Reading at the moment:
Hullabaloo in the guava orchard by Kiran Desai
The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Ancestral Vices by Tom Sharpe

For more reading inspiration pop over to Sheilas blog to see more lists.

Friday, 4 February 2011

January review post.

I have decided to do a review of all my reading and the end of each month, just so that it is easier to keep track. I of course am a few days late.
Books read this month:
1. The Double Crown by Marie Reece

2. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
3. The Last Testament by Sam Bourne
4. Duncton Wood by William Horwood
5. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
6. Wedding Bells at wandering creek by Pamela Thayer
7. Cobblestone Heroes by Ken McCoy
8. Riotous Assembly by Tom Sharpe
9. Other secrets by Farida Karodia
10. No, I don't want to join a bookclub by Virginia Ironside
11. A cat called Norton by Pete Gethers

Mystery and suspense Reading Challenge: (1/12)
The Last Testament by Sam Bourne

New Author Challenge: (3/15)
Marie Heece
Kiran Desai
Farida Karodia

LOTR Read a long
Not started yet - reading The Hobbit first

Narnia Read a long
Starts next week

Read me baby one more time (not reviewed yet)
Duncton Wood by William Horwood
Riotous Assembly by Tom Sharpe

Support your local library: (2/30)
The Last Testament by Sam Bourne (link above)
Duncton Woody by William Horwood

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Teaser Tuesday

I have seen this meme around a lot and wanted to try it for ages, but I keep forgetting on a Tuesday, fortunately I remembered today.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

So here is mine:
"I was having such a lovely dream," he grumbled, "all about having a most gorgeous dinner."
"Good heavens! He has gone like Bombur" they said.
The Hobbit by J.R Tolkien pg 190