Archive | January, 2019

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown * Reading Challenge Recap *

30 Jan

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Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide #7/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition #7/782.

Series – Robert Langdon

Synopsis – Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes.

As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci – and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vault of history.

Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, a stunning historical truth will be lost forever…

My Thoughts – Annoyingly I can’t find my original review for this book as I read it about 10 years ago and really enjoyed it. Dan Brown is an author for me that doesn’t really disappoint with his books. I really enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and it kept me guessing at the time the outcome of the book. I’ve also read Angels and Demons – another review that is missing and The Lost Symbol which is linked above. I do also have Inferno on my TBR along with Digital Fortress which I will get around to reading – the only thing that has stopped me reading this is that they have been packed away in storage and I have no idea where they have gone! I really would recommend this series/author. I’ve watched the films in the series and I have to say that they really don’t compare to the books at all, the books are so much better!

Rating – 5/5

Recommendations – Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Holy Blood, Holy Grail – Michel Baigent, Last Temptation – Nikos Kazantakis, Chasing Vermeer – Blue Balliett.

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – Holy Blood, Holy Grail – Michel Baigent, Last Temptation – Nikos Kazantakis, Fatherland – Robert Harris (Challenge Book)

 

The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks Book Review

29 Jan

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Format – Paperback

Synopsis – How far can love endure?

Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other.

But when these distant memories begin to slide into reality, the passion that had lain still is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade.

My Thoughts – I’ve had this book on my shelf for a long time – along with other books by this author. I’m not sure why its taken me so long to get around to reading this.

I enjoyed this book alot – i read it practically in one sitting and the love that Noah had for his wife was so perfect it was untrue. There isnt too much to say about the plot of this book but it was an amazing love story!

I’m looking forward to reading more of the authors work!

Rating – 4/5

The Language of Kindness: A Nurses Story – Christie Watson

28 Jan

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Christie Watson was a nurse for 20 years. Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astonishing account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.

We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient’s agonising heart-lung transplant and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive.

In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book from audible as it was on the Daily Deal for a day. The book is a memoir of Christie Watsons life as a nurse, the career that she has had and patients that she has treated. What makes this book really good is that she narrates it herself which for a medical audiobook can only be a good thing. You could tell with her as a narrator that she understood the medical terminology well and was able to explain it in a really easy to understand way.

This book is called ‘The Language of kindness’ and it really made me reflect on the times that I have been in hospital both myself as a patient and with my children. For example – I had my tonsils removed when I was five – over 20 year ago now and I can still remember the kind male nurse who looked after me in recovery. When my Son was born the kind nurses in the special baby care unit that care for him while I was recovering. The kind nurses that calmed me down when I had to have an emergency c-section early when my daughter was distressed and when she was readmitted to hospital at just 2 weeks old who cared for her so kindly.

I really feel that the author has captured what it meant to be a nurse. It was also quite thought-provoking in places – she was working really hard, being a mum and an author and still only just making ends meet. I honestly believe that nurses should have more funds available to them – but with the NHS the way it is at the minute I can see why this doesn’t happen.

Overall this was a really good book – one I would recommend.

Rating – 5/5

3096 Days – Natascha Kampusch Book Review

23 Jan

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Format – Paperback Book

Synopsis3,096 Days is the remarkable and shocking true account of the kidnap of Natascha Kampusch in 1998, who relives her traumatic experiences in this amazing true story.

On 2 March 1998 ten-year-old Natascha Kampusch was snatched off the street by a stranger and bundled into a white van. Hours later she was lying on a cold cellar floor, rolled up in a blanket. When she emerged from captivity in 2006, having endured one of the longest abductions in recent history, her childhood had gone.

in 3,096 Days Natascha tells her amazing story for the first time: her difficult childhood, what happened exactly on that fateful morning when she was on her way to school, her long imprisonment in a five-square-metre dungeon, and the physical and mental abuse she suffered from her abductor, Wolfgang Priklopil – who committed suicide by throwing himself under a train on the day she managed to make her escape.

3,096 Days is ultimately a story about the triumph of the human spirit. It describes how, in a situation of almost unbearable hopelessness, she learned how to manipulate her captor. And how, against inconceivable odds, she managed to escape unbroken.

My Thoughts – I’ve had this book on my shelves for a while and to be honest I’ve put it off a little bit due to the fact that its a true story and I cant quite imagine how traumatic it would have been for her.

Natascha was 10 when she was abducted and held captive for 8 years. Now while this is horiffic written down you you cant imagine the pain and horror she must have gone through. I have a 10 year old cousin and I just cant imagine her going through such a thing at such a young age.  I do remember this story in the newspapers – both when she disappeared and when she was found. However I wasnt aware of the cover ups that the police had done and quite how close she was to being found a couple of times.

This book was a very harrowing read – I cant imagine how she must have felt or what she had to go through at the time. It was also very shocking that her captor used to take her out in public but she couldnt do anything to leave or brake free until one day.

A very powerful read

Rating – 3/5

Bring Me Back – B A Paris Book Review

21 Jan

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Format – Audiobook

SynopsisThe Disappearance
Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend disappeared.

The Suspicion
He told the police the truth about that night.
Just not quite the whole truth.

The Fear
Now Finn has moved on.
But his past won’t stay buried….

My Thoughts – I downloaded this as it was the daily deal on Amazon. This book is about Finn, a man who 12 years ago lost his girlfriend in France following an argument. She has never been found – he has moved on with her sister. But things have been coming to light to indicate that Layla, the first girlfriend, is alive.

Never have I been so confused by a book – in a good way. It really messed with my head and I couldn’t work out which way this plot was going to go. I did work out around halfway through what I thought would happen – and it did eventually happen – however I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the different narrations and the going back and forward in the time lines. A very enjoyable listen.

Rating – 4/5

Does My Bum Look Big in This? Arabella Weir Book Review

19 Jan

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Format – Paperback book

Challenges – Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition

Synopsis – Like all women, Jackie knows life would be perfect if only she had a small bum, sticky-up bosoms and didn’t grow a moustache once a month . . . Chart her progress as she perfects the art of feeling shitty about every little, and not so little, bit of herself. The potential for self-doubt lies in everything – and it’s all her fault.

My Thoughts – I brought this as it was part of the Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition reading challenge as it was recommended under the Bridget Jones books. This was fairly similar to the Bridget Jones in the plot however I just found it very unbelievable and almost quite shocking that anyone could be quite that shallow. For example – deciding not to eat to impress a man is quite ridiculous and really in my opinion doesn’t set too much of a good example to a young girl that could be reading the book. I didn’t really enjoy this at all and to be honest I was glad to see the end of it. Maybe I’m just at the wrong time of life to read this book however it just wasnt for me.

Rating – 1/5

The Forth Friend – Joy Ellis Book Review

14 Jan

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Format – audiobook

Synopsis – Crimebusting duo DI Jackman and DS Evans are back, solving another crime that will make your skin crawl.

Police detective Carter McLean is the only survivor of a plane crash that kills his four best friends. He returns to work, but he is left full of guilt and terrible flashbacks. So for each of his four friends, he decides to complete something that they left unfinished.

Eighteen months before the crash, Suzanne Holland disappeared, leaving a room with traces of blood but no other leads. Suzanne was the wife of one of Carter’s four best friends. Adding to the pressure, the boss’ niece has a stalker. Due to the sensitivity of the Holland case, Carter is put on this investigation.

DS Marie Evans is the only person Carter can confide in. But even she begins to doubt whether he can really cope and whether he is actually losing his mind. DI Jackman and DS Evans of the Fenland police face a battle to untangle three mysteries, and can they really believe their friend and colleague Carter?

My Thoughts – I am loving this series of books set in the Lincolnshire Fens. This is the 3rd book in the series and I’m going to be sad when there is no more left to read!

This book is more about Marie Evans than Jackman as opposed to the first couple of books and it was good to have a bit of difference in the series. I did wonder for a while how the missing person plot and Carter McClean were going to tie in together and I was a little frustrated with it to start with. However I enjoyed how the two sub plots became one plot in the end. The ending was very sad too – I wished that there could have been a different outcome but I understand why it happened that way.

The next book is released on audible on 15th February and I’m very much looking forward to it!

Rating – 4/5