July Wrap-Up!

I read a total of 7 books in the month of July, which I think is pretty good, would have liked to have read more but will try harder in August!

This month I participated in the Under – Hyped readathon which was a lot of fun and for the first 2 weeks in August I will be participating in the “dusting of the shelf” readathon.

All links to the books on Goodreads has been added to each title.

 So the books I finished were as follows:

  1. Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding – 4 stars
  2. The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault by Angela carter – 4 stars 
  3. The Theory of Light and Matter by Andrew Porter – 5 stars
  4. Coraline by Neil Gaiman – 3 stars
  5. An Exclusive Love: A Memoir by Johanna Adorjan 4 stars
  6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and other stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 4 stars 
  7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and other stories by Truman Capote – 4 stars

 

Mini Reviews:

Bridget Jones Diary

Pages: 310

My Rating: 4 stars

I really enjoyed this book, it was funny, light-hearted and embarrassingly awkward (in a good way)  even though I had seen the movie before reading this it was so different to the film, in my opinion much better. The ending especially was 100 times better!

This is the type of book you read when you want something fun, easy and quick. I will definitely pick this book up again later on in life when I can relate more to Bridget as a character and what she is going through, but I am so glad I read this and can’t wait to read the next two in the series!


 

The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault

Pages: 112

My Rating: 4 stars

This book was a collection of the original fairy tales of Charles Perrault (1628-1703) who laid the foundation for the new genre, fairytale. The book contained 10 fairy tales; Little Red Riding Hood, The Fairy, Blue Beard, Sleeping Beauty In the wood, Puss in Boots, Cinderella, Riquet with the Turf, little thumb, the ridiculous wishes and Donkey-Skin.

My favourites being: Puss in Boots, Riquet with the Turf and Cinderella.

This was a very short read, but very enjoyable. Having read the Grimm’s fairy tales beforehand I knew most of these stories, but I liked the subtle differences between the two.


 

The Theory of Light and Matter 

pages: 192

My Rating: 5 stars

Wow, where do I begin with this book, by far the best read of the month, it was incredible and would definitely recommend!

The Theory of Light and Matter is a collection of short stories by Andrew Porter set in America and deals with family issues and personal discovery. I was apprehensive in starting this book as I had heard nothing about it previously and with short story collections they are usually hit or miss.

I am studying short stories next year in college, mainly “short cuts” by Raymond Carver and this collection of stories reminded me of that book, both set in America and both deal with family and character struggles.  All of these stories were incredible and gripping to read, in particular I really liked “Theory of light and matter” and also “hole” the title story being one of the best short stories I have ever read.

Definitely recommend if you are a fan of short stories, but also if you want a very different read.


Coraline

pages: 162

My Rating: 3 stars

This was the first Neil Gaiman book I have read and I did really enjoy it, but I think seeing the movie before reading the book really ruined the story for me and that’s why I only gave it 3 stars.

I love the premise of this story and I really liked the characters, even though it was a bit of a let down and I missed some of the characters that were added in the movie, I can’t wait to read more Gaiman, mainly the ocean at the end of the lane!

It is a brilliant children’s scary story about a lonely girl looking for adventure and learning the price of curiosity. Coraline is unhappy in her new house, with her new neighbours and a mum and dad that doesn’t pay her much attention but while exploring her new house, Coraline finds a small door that leads to an alternate version of her reality where her parents are fun and attentive and where everything is magical and wonderful.

Would definitely recommend if you are a fan of Gaiman, but If you haven’t read any of his books before, maybe start with a more universally loved one.


 

An Exclusive Love: A Memoir

Pages: 192

My Rating: 4 stars

I read this book during the Under-Hyped Readathon and have a review of it on my blog, but for a quick overview of what I thought:

This book is a sad memoir about an elderly couple (Adorjan’s grandparents) living in Denmark and the authors attempt to recreate her grandparents last day together before taking their own lives. Adorjan explores their lives leading up to their last day, what they have been through together and how much they loved each other.

Overall I found this book very sad, but also eye-opening, it is a book I would recommend reading if you like memoirs, but not if you are looking for a happy, light novel, I found myself having to put this down a few times to overcome some of the topics brought up in this book. But I loved reading it and finding out more about her grandparents life.


 

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and other stories

Pages: 202 

My Rating: 4 stars

This is the 2nd Fitzgerald book that I have read (the first being The Great Gatsby, which is one of my favourite books of all time) and I loved it! This collection of short stories was truly fantastic, my favourite being cut-class bowl and Benjamin button.

The only reason I gave this 4 stars was because I didn’t really like the last 2 stories, I found them quite boring and dull, but maybe that is because I just wanted to finished the book!

Would definitely recommend this collection of short stories to anyone who is a fan of Fitzgerald, short stories or just a different sort of read.


 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s and other stories 

Pages: 157

My Rating: 4 stars

This book was the 3rd short story collection that I read this month and again I loved it! obviously Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a very well-known movie starring Audrey Hepburn, but I hadn’t seen the movie before reading this short story, I really liked the writing style and the characters, I liked how we never knew the narrators name and I loved Holly’s character. After reading the short story I watched the movie, but I didn’t really like how they adapted it from the book.

However my favourite story from the collection was “a Christmas memory” which made me cry. Overall I loved this short story collection and can’t wait to read more Capote, in particular ” in cold blood”

Total Page count for July: 1327 

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Dusting off the shelf readathon TBR

I am participating in the “Dusting off the shelf” readathon hosted by Emily at books and cleverness and basically it is a readathon from August 1st – 15th,  where you only read books that have been on your shelf for 6 months or more. I think this is a great idea and can’t wait to get started!

Here is Emily’s post for more information!

The challenges are as follows:

  • Read a book set in the past.
  • Read a classic.
  • Read a book written before 2010.
  • Read at least 100 pages a day.
  • And of course…the books must be neglected by you!

My TBR:

  • Read a book set in the past: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Read a classic: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley / Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Read a book written before 2010: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk / If Only It Were True by Marc Levy

Others:

  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S Lewis
  • The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
  • Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Let me know if you are participating!

 

July book haul 2014!

So, I may have gone a bit overboard this month, but most of these books were purchased in used book shops or charity shops! :S

Let me know if you have read any of these books, would love to here your views of them! 🙂

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I have a total of 21 books (which is ridiculous) so I will break this haul up a bit, to start with:

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  1. Beauty – Robin McKinley (beauty and the beast retelling)
  2. Exurbia – Molly McGrann
  3. Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore – Robin Sloan
  4. Night Film – Marisha Pessel
  5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larsson
  6. The Guernsey literary and potato peel society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  7. The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
  8. A Single Man – Christopher Isherwood
  9. The Line of Beauty – Alan Hollinghurst

And the remaining books:

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  1. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
  2. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
  3. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  4. Bridget Jones Diary: the edge of reason – Helen Fielding
  5. Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy – Helen Fielding
  6. The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
  7. Dead Sea Poems – Simon Armitage
  8. Pemberley – Emma Tennant
  9. Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
  10. can you keep a secret? – Sophie Kinsella
  11. The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde
  12. Ciao Bella: In search of my Italian father – Helena Frith Powell

 

 

Under-Hyped Readathon wrap up!

So the under-hyped readathon is over. The week has gone by so fast!

I think this was such a good idea for a readathon and would definitely do it again. Would like to thank Ramblings of an elfpire for organising it all!

I didn’t do as well as I had hoped this week but I had a rather surprisingly busy week, but what I did manage to read I was very happy with 🙂

  • I started off the week by reading the remaining 148 pages of An Exclusive Love: A Memoir by Johanna Adorjan, which I have a review of on my blog. I gave this memoir 4 stars, it was a very interesting and eye opening read for me.
  • Next I read the remaining 152 pages of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and other stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This is my second Fitzgerald book and I loved it! the short stories were incredible (my favourite being cut-class bowl) I gave this 4 stars as well.
  • Then I started a book that was not originally on my tbr and that was Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller. I did not get to finish this but did get to page 123, I am really loving this so far and will do a review when I have finished.
  • During the week I also read a library book as I had to take it back to the library and that was Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote which was 100 pages long, however I am not counting this as it has more than 5,000 ratings on Goodreads.

An Exclusive Love: A Memoir by Johanna Adorján book review

Published: January 31st 2011 (first published January 1st 2009)

Author: Johanna Adorján

Translator: Anthea Bell

Pages: my edition – 188 pages.

Original title: Eine exklusive Liebe

This is my first book review on this blog! ahhh 😀

I read this memoir for Under-Hyped readathon with only 470 ratings on goodreads.

This is the sad and true story about an elderly couple (Adorjan’s grandparents) living in Denmark and the authors attempt to recreate her grandparents last day together before taking their own lives. Adorjan explores their lives leading up to their last day, what they’ve been through together and how exclusively they loved each other. Adorján tries to imagine what was said and how they went about their last day.

I found this book heartbreaking but also a sense of happiness flowed through the pages. I knew the premise of this book before I started reading so I didn’t think I would cry, bit I did. I found myself wanting to know more about the lives of this couple whom I had never heard of before, I found their story interesting and also the authors portrayal was honest and intriguing. I liked reading Adorján’s view on her grandparents life, even though no-one truly knew what had happened and what was said, Adorján gathers all this information from different accounts and creates her own conclusion about these events.

Overall I found this book very sad, but also eye opening, it is a book I would definitely recommend reading, however I found myself having to put this down a few times to overcome some of the topics brought up in this book and at times I completely forget that these were true events and the people in this book were real, but It is a book that deserves more recognition than what it has and one I would definitely recommend.

Under – Hyped Readathon TBR!

My TBR during the under hyped readathon which starts tomorrow, Monday the 21st July!

Probably won’t be able to read them all but I have a wide selection to choose from!

All are under 5,000 ratings on goodreads except one, which is under 10,000.

1) An Exclusive Love: A Memoir – Johanna Adorjan  420 ratings (4 stars)    

2) A girl is a half formed thing – Eimear McBride 572 ratings

3)  The curious case of Benjamin Button and other stories – F. Scott Fitzgerald – 2,151 ratings  (4 stars)

4) The Museum of Extraordinary Things – Alice Hoffman 7,387 ratings 

5) Once in a House on Fire – Andrea Ashworth 788 ratings 

6) The Dog Catcher – Alexei Sayle 151 ratings 

7) A River Sutra – Gita Mehta 1,214 ratings 

 

2014 reading challenge

January 

1) Taming of the shrew – William Shakespeare – 3 stars

2) Uglies – Scott Westerfeld – 4 stars

3) Pretties – Scott Westerfeld – 4 stars

February 

1) It’s kind of a funny story – Ned Vizzini – 4 stars

2) The History Boys – Alan Bennett – 3 stars

March 

1) No and me  Delphine De Vigan – 4 stars

2) Alice’s adventures in wonderland and through the looking class – Lewis Carroll – 4 stars

3) Tales of beedle the bard – J.K Rowling – 4 stars

4) The time machine – H.G Wells – 5 stars

April 

1) The curious case of Benjamin Button – F. Scott Fitzgerald – 5 stars

2) Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson – 4 stars

3) War Horse – Michael Morpurgo – 5 stars

4) The metamorphosis – Franz Kafka – 4 stars

5) Shutter Island – Denis Lehane – 3 stars

6) Grims Fairytales – Brothers Grimm – 5 stars

7) The Magicians newphew – C. S Lewis – 4 stars

May 

1) The night circus – Erin Morgenstern – 5 stars

2) Stuart and life backwards – Alexander Masters – 4 stars

3) A monster calls – Patrick Ness – 4 stars

4) the importance of being Ernest – Oscar Wilde – 5 stars

5) 3.00 AM – Nick Pirog – 4 stars

6) Arctic Summer – E M Forester – 3 stars

7) Annexed – Sharon Dogar – 4 stars

8) Losing It – Cora Carmack – 3 stars

June

1) Every day – David Levithan – 3 stars

2) Short cuts – Raymond Carver – 3 stars

3) Much ado about nothing – William Shakespeare – 5 stars

4) Farm Boy – Michael Morpurgo – 3 stars

5) Pride and prejudice – Jane Austen – 5 stars

July

1) Bridget Jones diary – Helen Feilding – 4 stars

2) The fairy tales of Charles Perrault – Angela Carter – 4 stars

3)  The theory of light and matter – Andrew Porter – 5 stars

4) Coraline – Neil Gaiman – 3 stars

5) An Exclusive Love: A Memoir – Johanna Adorján 4 stars

6) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and other stories – F. Scott Fitzgerald 4 stars

7) Breakfast at Tiffany’s -Truman Capote – 4 stars

 

BBC’s The Big Read Top 100

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie