Wednesday, 31 July 2013

WWW Wednesdays | July 31st 2013

Originally created by MizB

What are you currently reading?
The End Of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas - I'm not sure what I think of this book so far; it seems to be quite pretentious in its writing style in the way that it's trying to be more intelligent than it actually is. She is name dropping lots of philosopher names and quoting them, but it all seems to be a little misdirected and it's coming off in quite a bland way. I am only about 100 pages into the book, so I am going to see how it goes and hope it gets better.

 What did you recently finish reading?
Various Pets Alive & Dead by Marina Lewycka - this definitely surprised me at how much I actually enjoyed it. I wasn't expecting to like it that much from the off due to the fact it revolves around topics that I am not too interested in and find quite boring, but despite all of that it was very interesting to read. I have never read anything about human nature and how different people lead their lives and it made me really think about my own life and how I live it. It was a real eye opener and I'm definitely going to try her other books.

What do you think you'll read next?
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman - This is the series that I've always wanted to finish, as I absolutely adored the first book, but have never got around to. The first time around it was due to the fact that I only had the three books in one hard bound volume which was ridiculously heavy and clunky to read from, but I have recently bought singular copies of each of the series from a charity shop so I have no reason not to read them any more. Now is that time.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Review: Various Pets Alive & Dead

Author: Marina Lewyca
Series: -
UK Publisher: Penguin
Published: 2012
Format: Paperback

Marcus and Doro were part of a commune from the late 1960s until the early 1990s: lentils, free love, spliffs, radical politics, cheesecloth blouses, sex, housework and cooking rotas, crochet, allotments. Their children have grown up rather different from them: primary schoolteacher Clara craves order and clean bathrooms, son Serge is pretending to his parents that he is still doing a Maths PhD at Cambridge, while in fact working making loadsa money in the City; while third child Oolie Anna, who has Downs Syndrome, is desperate to escape home and live on her own. Once the truth starts breaking through, who knows what further secrets will be revealed about any of them?

This book revolves more around social talking points than in depth plot and character development; it highlights the idea of living in a communal setting in the late 1960s, and the trials and tribulations that go alongside it. It details how these people lived, their views and opinions on the situation, and how different generations react to these living conditions.

In the past I've been more into fantasy fiction with overly complicated plot lines and mythical creatures, so when it came to the start of this book I was hugely skeptical. The skepticism was started when I was introduced into the world of marketing and economics, (two areas of which I have a complete and utter disinterest in) with Serge - I have read books before, and got extremely bored with talk of money, politics and other general topics, but with this one I thought it was strangely interesting, and found that I was learning a massive amount about finance along the way.

The idea of learning was a big one for me when reading this book; as well as the finance aspect, I felt as though I was learning about a different way of life and of living, which compared to my own, is extremely strange to me. Their ideologies, their habits, their lifestyle; it all seemed so alien to me that it was ridiculously intriguing. Learning and critiquing about other peoples lifestyle choices makes you really think about your own more than you would have before.

Nothing and everything happened in this book - it was mainly spent with the characters reminiscing about things that had happened in the past at the commune where they all lived. There was, however, a sub plot for each character which highlighted things about their personalities and how they've grown since their commune days. This change of topic was not a relief but a refreshing change to the anecdotes that were remembered from the past.

Various Pets Alive & Dead is a wonderful book, and being something that I would not normally pick up, I am most certainly glad that I did.


Monday, 29 July 2013

First Impressions: A Clash of Kings

Currently being 100 pages into this book, I thought I'd give you my thoughts of the book so far. I am taking my time with this 800 page extravaganza of a book, I'm going to take my time and absorb all of the new information that is coming my way. When I read A Game Of Thrones, I read half of the book had a break with another one and came back to it fully refreshed; this is what I plan on doing again as I think this will be the best course of action for such a beast of a book.

So far I'm absolutely loving it, we're seeing the aftermath of the plot in the first book, and it's really interesting to see how everyone is reacting in their different ways and how all these different sides are forming. The plot is just thickening by the minute, and you can see through the writing that it will just keep getting thicker with storyline, character development and twists, as already in 100 pages you can see the changes in the different characters and how they're reacting to the different circumstances they have happened upon.

From the off I've reservations about this book however, due to the fact that my dad has only just recently managed to finish it and wasn't truly impressed in comparison to the first one. I've gone into it with a negative outlook, but so far I have been proven wrong and long may I hope it will stay that way.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Charity Book Buys

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Jasper Fforde is my author of the moment; his writing style is hilarious, witty and just plain addicting. Of his works I have currently read Shades of Grey and his Nursery Crime series, both of which I absolutely adored. The one series that I have not tried so far of his is Thursday Next, so when I saw this book I just had to pick it up to give it a go.

The author obviously drew me in to picking this book up on first glance, but the cover was what sealed the deal. I have only ever seen the cover with the multi-coloured car on the front and this one topped that; it's bright, eye-catching and just so simple and minimalist that it's wonderful.

The Book Of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

I have only ever read PS I love you by Cecelia Ahern and I must say, I absolutely adored that book. Ever since then, I have always had this prejudice with her books that they're all going to be romance novels, which I am not a massive fan of, but I definitely had to double take when I saw the blurb of this book.

Again, it was the cover that drew me to buying this book, but the idea of a book about books did have a massive impact on that decision as well. I absolutely love reading books about books, or books about book characters as it's always something that I can relate to and appreciate.

I had never even heard of this book before picking it up, but I am really interested to see what Ahern can achieve with a book that (I'm being led to believe) isn't romantic.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

I went through a phase a while back of searching on Goodreads for books with brilliant typography designed covers - although this isn't the cover that I wanted, this is the book that I was drawn to through the other cover. I added it to my to be read pile not really knowing anything about it, and still not really knowing what the story is about. 

Despite my lack of knowledge on this book, I have heard nothing but good things about it and I am really looking forward to finding out what all of the fuss is about.