WWW Wednesday (April 22nd)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

Hi all! Hope you’re all safe and well and enjoying your books 🙂

I’m reading Snap by Belinda Bauer

Think this is going to be a quick read as it’s quite fast-paced!

The blurb

Eileen Bright puts her 11-year-old son Jack in charge when she left their broken-down car on the side of the road to find help. But she never comes back, and three years later, Jack’s still in charge: of his sisters, of making ends meet, of making sure nobody knows they’re all alone in the house, and–quite suddenly–of finding out who murdered his mother. Meanwhile, a young woman named Catherine While wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note reading “I could have killed you.” With a husband on the road and a baby on the way, Catherine makes a single bad choice that leads her into a tangled web of deception and danger. 

 


I recently finished 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Loved it! There wasn’t anything that I disliked about this book and if I had the time would read it again! Enjoyed the setting, the characters and the plot, all of it. If I had to make one small criticism it would be that in places it was somewhat overly descriptive but it’s of its time.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

When a book is so eagerly anticipated and the hype is off the chart you can’t but help feel that the actual event will be a massive anticlimax – thankfully this is not the case here.  I bloody loved it!

Doreen by Barbara Noble

This is one the Persephone books and is about the effects on children, parents and host families of those evacuated during World War 2.  It’s an interesting one as it looks at all those involved.


What’s up next? Who knows 😉

It could be one of many at the moment.  It’s definitely going to be one guided by my mood on the day.


What do you make of my choices this week?

Do share what you’re reading and recommendations in the comments…and stay safe everyone!

WWW Wednesday (April 8th)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

Wow, it’s been a while since I did one of these posts! I’m right back to being a newbie again 🙂

I have the time and opportunity at the moment given that I have been furloughed from my job, for at least 3 weeks, due to the impact of Covid-19.  Not ideal but every cloud and all that…so I could be around for a little while yet.

I’m reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

And loving it! I’ve never read it before and because it’s a bit of a whopper at over 600 pages, now is perfect timing.  Also, it’s being screened this week by National Theatre Live as part of the Free At Home events.

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.

But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

 

 

 


I recently finished The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

This was a re-read for me as it was a book club choice.  Hated it the first time around but did manage to see a lot more positives and found more empathy for Holden in a second read.

The blurb

The Catcher in the Rye is J . D. Salinger’s world-famous novel of disaffected youth.

Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school.

Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the ‘phony’ aspects of society, and the ‘phonies’ themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection.

Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, The Catcher in the Rye explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature.

 


What’s up next? The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I borrowed this book from a temporary member of staff at work, still unread, and not sure when I’ll see the owner again, if at all.  Looks like it’s gonna be a big books month!!

The blurb

More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

 


What do you make of my choices this week?

Do share what you’re reading and recommendations in the comments…

My 5* reads of 2017

As a follow up to yesterday’s 2017 reflection post (you can catch up with this here) today’s post goes into a little more detail about my reading and books I read in 2017.  I love this Goodreads infographic >>

Although my average rating was 3.6 (am I a harsh marker?) I’ve rounded up my 5* reads of 2017, of which there were 7, in one handy bite size post.  So here they are:

Holding by Graham Norton

I listened to this as an audio book and it’s quite darkly humourous, especially with Graham’s narration; the characters swear quite a lot and it just made me laugh in the context it was used.  I think it would make an excellent drama and was surprised that I enjoyed it so much given its celebrity author.

Full review:  Holding

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon 


I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Everything worked in this book: the style, the pace, the writing, the characters, I can’t really think of anything I didn’t like or could fault and it doesn’t come as any surprise that the author’s background is as a police officer as the police investigation came across as incredibly authentic.

Full review: I Let You Go

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon


He Said She Said by Erin Kelly

I thought this book was brilliantly written although somewhat slow in places that I wanted it all to move on a little quicker but I couldn’t fault the drama, the tension and all the twisty bits down to the last sentence.

Full review: He Said She Said

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

 


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

So very late to the party with this book and in all honesty I probably wouldn’t have picked it for my book club choice had it not been made into a TV drama.  Thought-provoking, shocking and truly disturbing, a definite must read.

Full review: The Handmaid’s Tale

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

 


I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Clare Mackintosh makes a second appearance in my list with a 5* rating for her second novel.  The social media culture allows us to put our whole lives online if we so wish so when you get scenarios in books like these it’s easy to feel how realistic they are.

Full review: I See You

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

 


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

If I could award 6* this book would certainly be worthy!   There are parts of this book that are truly awful because of the subject matter but this is just an outstanding novel.

Full review: The Underground Railroad

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

 


The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Oh Flora I miss you and your antics!  I think Flora is my favourite character from books read last year, I loved her style and her attitude and empathised with her situation.  Hopeful and heart-breaking – what more could you want!

Full review: The One Memory of Flora Banks

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

 


So there we have it, my top rated reads of 2017. 

Have you read any of these? Any top picks you would have added?

#BookReview: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

What’s it about?

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

 

 

 

My thoughts

Seriously…what can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said!!?

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it but the buzz around the Channel 4 TV adaptation had me picking up a copy for our book club read which overall was received quite well.

I have to admit I didn’t love the writing style.  I much prefer to read with speech in quotation marks, rather than just pages and pages of block text – on a first glance this would really put me off.  Having said that, on this occasion I found it quite easy to read, not the heavy going slog I had honestly expected from one of the books everyone should read.

It’s probably been said so many times this was just so thought-provoking and shocking! This Government sanctioned abuse was just downright horrifying.  Made even more so because even though it was written in 1985 some of Atwood’s thoughts are still so relevant today.  This may sound strange given it’s of a futuristic nature; it’s just so cleverly written the content doesn’t date it and feels as though it could have been published yesterday.

I had such admiration for Offred’s character; her fear and courage jumped off the page and her astounding strength of character truly makes her one of the best female characters ever written and that I’ve ever read.

I’m also loving the tv adaptation and the additions to the plot they’ve made.  Seeing it on screen actually makes the whole idea seem so much darker and terrifying.  And Elisabeth Moss is just incredible in it.  Although a lot of what’s happened isn’t explained in the book or tv series, it just is what it is, and so you’re left to draw your own conclusions; such as, how many States has this affected or is it the whole of the US? Where are the Colonies and do they actually exist or is this a story that is fed to the Handmaid’s to keep them under control? Are those that were sent to the Colonies actually dead? What caused the War that led to this regime? Maybe these questions will be more explored in the second series…..Loved it, 5*, read it if you haven’t! 🙂

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Author links: Twitter | Website

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 324
Publisher: Vintage