Tag Archives: book

The Day of the Triffids – John Wydham * Reading Challenge Recap *

14 Feb

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Challenges – Ultimate Book Guide #5/672, Ultimate Teen Book Guide #8/691, Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition #8/782

My original review can be found HERE

Synopsis – When a freak cosmic event renders most of the Earth’s population blind, Bill Masen is one of the lucky few to retain his sight. The London he walks is crammed with groups of men and women needing help, some ready to prey on those who can still see. But another menace stalks blind and sighted alike. With nobody to stop their spread the Triffids, mobile plants with lethal stingers and carnivorous appetites, seem set to take control.

My Thoughts – I read this back in 2011 and it was one of the first dystopian books that I read. Although I don’t remember too much about it since it was so long ago I do remember that I enjoyed it. If you are interested in what I thought back then I’ve added a link above.

Rating – I rated this 4/5

Recommendations – Ultimate Book Guide – Chocky – John Wyndham, The midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham, Z for Zachariah – Robert C. O’Brian, Why Weeps the Brogan? – Hugh Scott (Challenge Book), Enders Game – Orson Scott Card.

Ultimate Teen Book Guide – The Kraken Wakes – John Wyndham, The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells (Challenge Book), Hatchet – Gary Paulsen (Challenge Book), Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton (Challenge Book)

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – The Kraken Wakes – John Wyndham, The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells (Challenge Book), The Death of Grass – John Christopher, I Am Legend – Richard Matheson (Challenge Book), Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton (Challenge Book)

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 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

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 Secret Child – Kerry Fisher Book Review

11 Jan

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Format – audiobook

2018 book

Synopsis – You can run from your past, but it will always catch up with you…

Susie was forced to do something she will always regret. Everything that led to the choice she made had to be buried and forgotten.

Her secret echoes down through the years, tainting everything it touches. Her husband wonders why his wife is so distant. Her daughters can’t understand their changeable mother.

Susie knows her past is pushing her family apart, and the guilt is eating her up, but she can’t escape from the consequences of what she has done. No-one but Susie knows the whole story, and when her daughters discover a piece of the puzzle, she must face the question she has struggled with for most of her life:

Would the truth bring them back together, or break them?

My Thoughts – I downloaded this on audible as I’m really enjoying thrillers and this sort of genre at the minute. This book is about Susie a woman who lives in England and how one event can shape not only her whole life but all those others around her. It was quite a thought-provoking book about how you could be married to someone and not quite know everything about them and the guilt that you could feel from one tiny little secret.

This book was the first that I had read by this author and I really enjoyed it – I’d definitely want to read more.

Rating – 4/5

Strangeways: A Prison Officers Story – Neil Samworth – Book Review

17 Dec

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis – Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth spent 11 years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, aka Strangeways. A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, Sam had to deal with it all – gangsters and gangbangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out.

Strangeways is a shocking and at times darkly funny account of life in a high-security prison. Sam tackles cell fires and self-harmers and goes head to head with some of the most dangerous men in the country. He averts a Christmas Day riot after turkey is taken off the menu and replaced by fish curry and stands up to officers who abuse their position. He describes being attacked by prisoners and reveals the problems caused by radicalisation and the drugs flooding our prisons.

As staffing cuts saw Britain’s prison system descend into crisis, the stress of the job – the suicides, the inhumanity of the system and one assault too many – left Sam suffering from PTSD. This raw, searingly honest memoir is a testament to the men and women of the prison service and the incredibly difficult job we ask them to do.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as I enjoy reading real life non fictin but I’ve never read one that is from a Prison Officers perspective. This was a really good book – it was shocking at times the things that a Prison Officer has to go through in there jobs – somethings that they shouldnt have to deal with. He also talks about high profile prisoners that he has met – some of which I had obviously heard of – others not so much! it was a real eye opening book and really made me think about the realities of PTSD and other mental health conditions.

Rating – 4/5