Archive | December, 2011

BBC Top 200 Books Challenge Wrap up 2011

30 Dec

This is my first year of taking part in this challenge properly. This challenge is good because so many of the books are well known, and i have a lot on the list that i have already read. I orginally thought that this was only a 100 book challenge, but found out this year that there are actually 200 on the list. oh well, more books are always good!

Books Read in 2011

1- Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden This book is fantastic. One of my favourite reads of the year. I thought i wouldnt enjoy it, but it was fantastic. This book has opened me up to reading about other cultures.
2- The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien This was the first time i had read this book, but this was another fabulous read.
3- The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkein As i read this book in the three separate books, i would ideally like to say i read it as three! wow what a trilogy, i need to go back and re-read this because i dont think it all sunk in properly.
4- The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham This was another good read, i really enjoyed the genre of this book and i want to read more.
5- A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving As a contrast, i didnt really like this book, i just couldnt get into it, at all.

I only managed 5 books this year, which is actually a bit disapointing. I must do better next year.

Random Stats

Percentage Complete – 16%

Books on TBR at the end of 2011 – 19

Books on Wishlist – 16

Target for 2012 – 10

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge Wrap up 2011

29 Dec

Well, this is my first year taking part in this challenge properly. I love this challenge, it was the first i came across and it has encouraged me to read more varied books. Most of the books on this challenge are fairly readable, so I’m hoping that i will read more in the new year.

Books Read in 2011

1 – Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes I liked this book, however it was very sad towards the end.
2 – Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer. This book i didnt really ‘get’ maybe it was me, but i just didnt understand it that well.
3 – The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold This book is quite disturbing, but i kind of struggled with this one too.
4 – Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire This one i did enjoy, Everyone is aware of the story of The Wizard of Oz, and this is just another take on that.
5 – The Group – Mary McCarthy Eurrrgghhh. i did not enjoy this one at all.
6 – The Fellowship Of The Ring: Lord Of The Ring – Book 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien What a brilliant book, I’m quite hooked on everything Lord of the Rings.
7 – The Return of the King: Lord Of The Rings – Book 3 by J.R.R.Tolkien This is better if possible than the first book.
8 – Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi I really really enjoyed this memoir. Just the shocking treatment of people in the country was really shocking. A very good book.
9 – A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers I enjoyed this one too, but it could have done with being a couple of hundred pages shorter.

Well i managed nine books this year, not that good really when you consider how many books are on the list, but at least its a start.

Quick Stats

Percentage Complete – 4.87%

Books on TBR list at end of 2011 – 19

Books on Wishlist – 23

Target to read for 2012 – 10 books (at least!)

 

Booking Through Thursday – Best of 2011

29 Dec

What were your favourite books of 2011?

I read a fair few good books this year, but these are my favourites.

1)The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne. This was quite a shocking storyline and made me cry at the end.

2)The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown. I konw a lot of people don’t like these books, but i loved it.

3)PS I Love You – Cecelia Ahern. This book is fantastic, a real page turner and made me cry again.

4)The Secret Garden – Francis Hodgson Burnett. This was a re-read of a childhood favourite.

5)Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi. This was a book i was a little unsure about, but the treatment of women in this book is nothing short of shocking.

6)Teacher, Teacher! – Jack Sheffield. This is a memoir of a headteacher. Fabulously funny.

7)Where Rainbows End – Cecelia Ahern. The second book by this author to make the list. This one takes the form of letters all through the book.

These books are my favourite of the year, but many others could have made the list.

 

Me and Mr Darcy – Alexandra Potter

28 Dec

Synopsis He’s every woman’s fantasy.

After a string of nightmare relationships, Emily Albright has decided she’s had it with modern-day men. Shed rather pour herself a glass of wine, curl up with Pride and Prejudice and step into a time where men were dashing, devoted and honourable, strode across fields in breeches, their damp shirts clinging to their chests…

So when her best friend invites her to Mexico for a week of margaritas and men, Emily decides to book a guided tour of Jane Austen country instead.

She quickly realises she wont find her dream man here. The coach tour is full of pensioners, apart from one Mr Spike Hargreaves, a foul-tempered journalist sent to write a piece on why Mr Darcy’s been voted the man most women would love to date

Until she walks into a room and finds herself face-to-face with Darcy himself. And every woman’s fantasy suddenly becomes one woman’s reality. . .

 

My Thoughts – Well the first thing i must say is i havent yet read Pride and Prejudice, on which this novel is based. It is one my list of books to read one day, but i havent got around to it yet. However i am of course familar with who Mr Darcy is. Shameful confession over with, now time to get on with the thoughts.

 

The main character in the book, Emily, is a huge bookworm and Austen fan. Now, most bookworms that i know love reading books about bookworms. Even more exciting, she is the manager of a bookstore in New York. She decides to take a trip over to England, on a Jane Austen tour, and that is where her fun begins. I wont go into what happens as i dont want to spoil it, but i do think sometimes fantasies should sometimes be kept in your head.

 

This book would be good for any Austen fan, as through fiction, it describes various places in her life that were important to her. This was fascinating to me, and it had definitaly made me want to read Pride and Prejudice.

 

This is the second Alexandra Potter book i have read this year, i read Be Careful What You Wish For, and like that story it has a kind of magical element to it. I am so pleased that i picked up this book as it made a welcome change to the normal predictable chick lit.

 

A lovely book to curl up and read, especially good for any Austen fan.

 

Rating – 4/5

 

 

WWW Wednesdays (28th Dec)

28 Dec

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme held over on Should Be Reading. To play along just answer the following questions.

What are you currently reading?

  • The first book I’m reading is Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter. This is a very good book so far. The main character is a bookworm which is always good with me! I read another book by this author earlier in the year and i really enjoyed it, so I’m hoping that this one goes the same way.
  • The second book I’m reading is on my Kindle. I’m reading Broadmoor Revealed by Mark Stevens. Its really fascinating to read how things were at the ‘hospital’ were during Victorian times. A really fabulous kindle freebie.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading Thanks For The Memories by Cecelia Ahern. Cecelia Ahern is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and her books never fail to disapoint. They are womans fiction, with a more serious side. This book is really good, give it a try if you havent already.

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • The Next ‘tree’ book that i’ll read is The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle De Jour. I read the first book a few years back a really enjoyed it, so I’m hoping this book is just as good.
  • The next Kindle book to read is The Girl Who Couldnt Say No by Tracy Engelbrecht. This was another kindle freebie. This is a memoir about a teenage girl that gets pregnant and all about that.

 

 

 

Thanks For The Memories – Cecelia Ahern

27 Dec

Synopsis – Lose yourself in the magical new novel from Cecelia Ahern – the No.1 bestselling author of PS, I Love You How can you know someone you’ve never met? Joyce Conway remembers things she shouldn’t. She knows about tiny cobbled streets in Paris, which she has never visited. And every night she dreams about an unknown little girl with blonde hair. When she leaves hospital after a terrible accident, with her life and her marriage in pieces, Joyce moves back in with her elderly father. All the while, a strong sense of deja vu is overwhelming her and she can’t figure out why! Justin Hitchcock is divorced, lonely and restless. He arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art and meets attractive doctor Sarah, who persuades him to donate blood. It’s the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time. When Justin receives a basket of muffins with a note simply saying thank you,he is sure someone is playing a trick on him. But then a series of gifts begin to arrive. Intrigued and disturbed, Justin is determined to find out who is sending them. What he discovers will change his life forever.

 

My Thoughts – I am a huge fan of Cecelia Aherns books i find they never fail to disappoint and are always a good read. This book centres on Joyce, who through loosing a baby has to have a blood transfusion. In another part of Ireland, a lecturer gives blood in the hope of impressing a female doctor. Following on from that strange things keep on happening. I wont go into what happens as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone that wants to read it in the future.

 

I thought this book had a fantastic plot to it, it was a lovely story with an element of magic or something not all that normal thrown into it. A little bit like If You Could See Me Know. It makes a nice change to read something that has that sort of twist to it. Another thing that i liked was the story was told by the two main characters, Joyce and Justin, I always think its nice to get different perspectives within a book .

 

Cecelia Ahern has a beautiful way of writing and is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Although this book wasnt on the same level as PS I Love You or Where Rainbows End, it was still a fantastic storyline that i kept delving into. A really good book, highly recommended to anyone that hasn’t yet read it.

 

Rating – 4/5

 

Bookish Christmas Gifts

26 Dec

I hope everyone is having a good Christmas and everything, but i just wanted to quickly share my bookish gifts. I am really lucky this year because i got some brilliant bookish gifts.

I got a calender bookmark set from my mum, so new bookmarks for every month of the year for me.

I also got The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I’ve been wanting to read this series for a while and I’m so glad ive finally got it!

Now to the big bookish news, i have a Kindle! i’m so pleased that ive got one, in fact im over the moon! So far, I’ve just downloaded a few books onto it, but that will soon change. So far,

  • Broadmoor Revealed – Mark Stevens
  • Dracula – Bram Stoker
  • The Girl Who Couldnt Say No – Tracy Engelbrecht
  • The Glass Wall ( #1 The Glass Wall) – Carmen Caine
  • Frozen in Time – Ali Sparkes
  • Hollowland (The Hollows #1) – Amanda Hocking
  • The Golden Acorn – Catherine Cooper
  • The Illad – Homer
  • The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  • Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  • Little Woman – Louisa May Alcott
  • Grimms Fairy Stories – Brothers Grimm
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.