Archive | March, 2013

Ground Truth – Patrick Bishop

28 Mar

Started – 16/3/13

Finished – 28/3/13

Format – Paperback Book

 

Synopsis –  Afghanistan, 2008. After their eighteen-month epic tour of Helmand Province, the troops of 3 Para are back. This time, the weight of experience weighs heavily on their shoulders.

In April 2006 the elite 3 Para Battle Group was despatched to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on a tour that has become a legend. All that summer the Paras were subjected to relentless Taliban attacks in one of the most gruelling campaigns fought by British troops in modern times.

 

Two years later the Paras are back in the pounding heat of the Afghanistan front lines. The conflict has changed. The enemy has been forced to adopt new weaponry and tactics. But how much progress are we really making in the war against the insurgents? And is there an end in sight?

 

In this searing account of 3 Para’s return, bestselling author Patrick Bishop combines gripping, first-person accounts of front-line action with an unflinching look at the hard realities of our involvement in Afghanistan. Writing from a position of exclusive access alongside the Paras, he reveals the ‘ground truth’ of the mission our soldiers have been given. It’s a sombre picture. But shining out from it are stories of courage, comradeship and humour, as well as a gripping account of an
epic humanitarian operation through Taliban-infested country to deliver a vitally needed turbine to the Kajaki Dam.

 

My Thoughts – I have read a couple of this authors books before, Fighter Boys and 3 Para and really enjoyed them so when i saw this book i thought i would give it a go. This book follows on from 3 Para which i loved so i was hoping this book was as good.

 

It tells the story of 3 Para Battle Group who are deployed to Afghanistan during the war. Although most of the heavy fighting is over with they still have a duty to flush out the Taliban and protect the people of Afghanistan while fighting against the newest weapons against them, IEDs.

 

I thought the writing of this book was really good. Although the war in Afghanistan is sometimes in the news mostly when a young serviceman or woman is killed you dont tend to think about the fighting going on on a day to day basis. I have had friends who are in the RAF and Army go out there and they say of the horrors that are out there and it always upsets me to think of all the people that are loosing there lives out there. In this book people are unfortunatly killed and as this is a true account its sometimes hard to realise that these are real people and the young people that were killed were under the age of 25-30.

 

There are lots of technical aspects to this book like the weapons systems and the living conditions and to people that are interested in this sort of thing i think they would find it enjoyable.

 

I did enjoy this book and although it made me cry i think that it is a very good book that brings home the harsh reality of war.

 

Rating – 3.5/5

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J. K. Rowling

27 Mar

Read in 2013

 

Format – Hardback Book

 

Synopsis – Harry is furious that he has been abandoned at the Dursleys’ house for the summer, for he suspects that Voldemort is gathering an army, that he himself could be attacked, and that his so-called friends are keeping him in the dark. Finally being rescued by wizard bodyguards, he
discovers that Dumbledore is regrouping the Order of the Phoenix – a secret society first formed years ago to fight Voldemort. But the Ministry of Magic is against the Order, lies are being spread by the wizards’ tabloid, the Daily Prophet, and Harry fears that he may have to take on this epic battle against evil alone.

 

My Thoughts – I have been re-reading my favourite book series on and off for months. These books are solely responsible for my love of reading and are pretty much the only books that i have read over and over and over.

 

In this book Harry is trying to persuade the wizarding world that Voldemort is back but nobody will believe him. Also he has disturbing links with Voldemort, has an evil teacher at Hogwarts, gets suspended from Quiddich and meets Hagrids half brother who just so happens to be a giant.

 

This is my second favourite book in the series and for me its the turning point between Harry being a child and not understanding why Voldemort is trying to kill him and Harry becoming an adult and can understand what he has to do to defeat evil.

 

This is also the first book where death really starts coming to Harry and its kind of a reflection onhow dark the series is going to get.

 

I love love love these books and cant say enough good things about it. Its a must read for anyone, young or old.

 

Rating – 5/5

On the TBR – Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel

26 Mar

On The TBR is a new thing I’m trying out on my blog to try and keep a record of the books i buy and download this year.

Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel is the choice for the April reading circle and its also been on my wishlist for a long time so I’m pleased that its been bumped up a bit.

Synopsis – ‘Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,’ says Thomas More, ‘and when you come back that night he’ll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks’ tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.’

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey’s clerk, and later his successor.

Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

I really like fiction set in this time period in history so i am really looking forward to reading this book. I havent read any of her works before but i’ve heard that she is a very good writer. The only thing I’m put off by is the size of the book!

Fifty Shades Freed – E. L. James

25 Mar

Started – 11/1/13

Finished – 24/3/13

Format – iBook

 

Synopsis –  Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them had anticipated. Ana must learn to share Grey’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity or independence; and Grey must overcome his compulsion to
control and lay to rest the horrors that still haunt him.

 

Now, finally together, they have love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of infinite possibilities.

 

But just when it seems that they really do have it all, tragedy and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true …

 

My Thoughts – I received the Fifty Shades trilogy for Christmas from my lovely boyfriend and although this book has taken me a long time to read i have really enjoyed it. This is one of the first books i have read fully on my iPad and i really got into reading on my iPad.

 

This book is about Christian Grey and Ana Steele. It follows straight on from the first two books in the series and in this book it does seem to jump about a fair bit. I really like books that do this as it gives the book twists and turns and really hooks you in.

 

This for me was a book of two halves. The first half i didnt really enjoy all that much it just seemed to rattle on and didnt really go on about anything but the second half of the book was very very good. I had to re-read a few parts as i couldnt believe what was happening. I also liked the end of the book where the first meeting of Christian and Ana was told through the eyes of Christian not Ana.

 

Now for me the ‘adult’ part of this book wasnt all that overwhelming to me. Whether or not i have got used to it or something I’m not sure but i definitaly feel that the first book is a lot more ‘adult’.

 

I didnt expect the twist towards the end either i could kind of see it happening in the furture but not when it did.

 

Now i have read all three books I’ve decided that they arent all that bad as people make out. Sure they are not works of literature like Shakespeare or anything like that but they are enjoyable as a womans fiction book.

 

Rating – 4/5

Its Monday! What are you Reading? (18th March)

18 Mar

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Its Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly bookish meme held onBook Journey by Sheila. It’s a great place to discuss your week in reading and see what others are reading too.

My reading mojo has really returned this week so I’m hoping that it sticks around for a long time 😀

Books Read

This week i read Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre de Laclos. I have to say i really didnt enjoy this book in the  slightest and I’m glad that it over with. I didnt understand the language at all so that could be why!

Reading Now

I am currently reading Ground Truth by Patrick Bishop. I brought this book about a month ago as i has read his book 3 Para and really enjoyed it. This book is fantastic, it tells the true story of 3 Para and there return to the war in Afghanistan.

Next Up

Next up is a kindle book What is it About Yorkies by Dr Harry Jay. I was going to read this a few weeks back but this time i am going to pick it up.

Synopsis – Dog Training Yorkies – What Is It About Yorkies is about how to potty train a yorkie and training your yorkie puppy. The dog training methods are not different than others but there are some unique dog training tips regarding Yorkies you need to know. So this book offers you the complete Yorkie information. For those of you that follow my writing, my subject matter is usually of a more serious nature. Every once in a while I like to write about a subject that isn’t so serious and my dog is one such subject. But I must add, I usually end of writing about some behavioral science traits that are applicable to the subject matter (I can’t help it; it’s a living.). My dog is a Yorkie and his name is Gage. He weighs all of about 7-pounds and he thinks he is a guard dog. For his size, he literally is not afraid of anything (I live in Southern Utah and watched Gage charge a full grown 14-point stag deer that had to weight about 800 lbs.). He makes me laugh (and cry sometimes) and he has more idiosyncrasies than a manic person or as I like to say, “He has issues!”…

Books Brought

I brought one book this week Lovely Green Eyes by Arnost Lustig. It is a book that has been on my wishlist for a long time and I’m so pleased that ive finally got my hands on it.

Synopsis -Fifteen-year-old Hanka Kaudersová has ginger hair and clear, green eyes. When her family is deported to Auschwitz, her mother, father and younger brother are sent to the gas chamber. By a twist of fate, Hanka is faced with a simple alternative: follow her family, or work in an SS brothel behind the eastern front. She chooses to live, her Aryan looks allowing her to disguise the fact that she is Jewish. As the German army retreats from the Russian front, Hanka battles cold, hunger, fear and shame, sustained by her hatred for the men she entertains, her friendship with the mysterious Estelle, and her fierce, burning desire for life.

Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

16 Mar

Started – 4/3/13

Finished – 16/3/13

Format – Kindle e-book

Challenges – 1001 Books You Must Read

 Synopsis – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos produced “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” in an effort to “write a work which departed from the ordinary, which made a noise, and which would remain on this earth after his death.” He did just that. First published in 1782 in four volumes, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” was an immediate success, and has since inspired a large number of literary commentaries, plays, and films. The novel is an epistolary piece, written as letters between members of the French noble class. An egotistical battle for control ensues between the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, with the promise of sexual gratification to the victor. The primary victims are Cecile, a naïve but pretty young girl, her admirer, the Chavelier Danceny, and Madame de Tourvel, a virtuous (and married) young woman. This scandalous web of sexual desire, intrigue, infidelity, the struggle for power, and the corruption of the French upper class is a masterpiece from one of the most subtle and skillful novelists of the 18th Century.

 My Thoughts – I read this book as part of the March reading circle. Now with books that were written a fair few years ago i either really love them or I’m not able to get into them. I have to say that this was a book that i really could not get into at all.

This is a book that is told through a series of letters and this is a format that i do normally like and can get into very well. However i had a lot of trouble with the language of the book and the characters. I couldnt really understand who was who and how they all knew each other. For some reason i couldnt seem to understand the language and i had a lot of trouble because of this.

I did feel quite sorry for one character Cecile who it seemed things never seemed to go right for and it was her letters that i understood the most and looked out for.

I did like how the story was told through letters and it was interesting how the story came about through this. Also i read somewhere that there was a fair few different translations of the orginal which was written in French and i am thinking that if i had read a different translation i might have been able to get into the book a bit more.

I am glad that i stuck with the book and followed it through as i did get into it a bit more towards the end but i cant say that i thought it was a very enjoyable read in all honesty.

Rating – 2/5

On the TBR – Lovely Green Eyes – Arnost Lustig

15 Mar

On The TBR is a new thing I’m trying out on my blog to try and keep a record of the books i buy and download this year.

Lovely Green Eyes by Arnost Lustig is a book that has been on my wishlist for a long time and I’m so pleased that ive finally got my hands on it.

This book is new to me i think i saw it on another blog somewhere a little while back and its also a new to me author.

Synopsis -Fifteen-year-old Hanka Kaudersová has ginger hair and clear, green eyes. When her family is deported to Auschwitz, her mother, father and younger brother are sent to the gas chamber. By a twist of fate, Hanka is faced with a simple alternative: follow her family, or work in an SS brothel behind the eastern front. She chooses to live, her Aryan looks allowing her to disguise the fact that she is Jewish. As the German army retreats from the Russian front, Hanka battles cold, hunger, fear and shame, sustained by her hatred for the men she entertains, her friendship with the mysterious Estelle, and her fierce, burning desire for life.

 

Lovely Green Eyes explores the compromises and sacrifices that an individual may make in order to survive, the way a woman can retain her identity in the face of appalling trauma, and the value of human life itself. This is a remarkable novel, which soars beyond nightmare, leaving the reader with a transcendent sense of hope.

I really enjoy reading about Nazi Germany and books set in this period always remind me of the horrors that some people went through and this must never be forgotten.