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31-01-2011
  31
Spring of Córdoba
 
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LOVE this thread. Thanks everyone for the interesting reviews.

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05-02-2011
  32
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Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
★★★★☆


I tried writing a short summary of the story but I can't seem to do that without giving too much away. So I'll just say this:

I really enjoyed reading this, it is full of irony & wit as well as serious (& not so serious) thoughts about science, religion, power and the end of the world.

This being my first Vonnegut, it made me want to read more of his books.

(theasylum.wordpress.com)

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08-02-2011
  33
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^ Couldn't resist buying this from a Penguin Books sale at Borders. I already reserved it for my next read.

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12-02-2011
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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton [3/5]

For some reason it took me a long time to really get into the plot of this book. Around half way through it did start to get interesting though, and I managed to finish the second half in a couple of days after taking 2 weeks to get through the first half. I don't think it helped me to get involved in the plot having the chapters jumping between 3 different timelines and, but once I sat down and really concentrated it wasn't too hard to follow. The writing was easy to follow and I liked the character development. I had already guessed the "twist" about 1/4 into the story so that wasn't too much of a surprise. Not a bad book but not particularly great either.

Recommended for: Those who like historical fiction and a bit of mystery.

cover source: bookdepository.co.uk

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14-02-2011
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The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis [4/5]

I read this book because I wanted something 'fast and easy' to get through so I could get back up to speed (after taking 2 weeks to finish my last book), and I now remember how much I love the magic of C.S. Lewis' Narnia. The writing style is quite old fashioned, but Lewis' wit and imagination really does not age. Such a sweet story, and I'm glad I re-read it, and can't wait to re-read the rest of the Narnia chronicles.

Recommended for: Those who want to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane to Narnia.

cover source: bookdepository.co.uk

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15-02-2011
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Z For Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien [4/5]

This was another book that I had read for English Literature in high school and had a vague recollection of enjoying, so I decided to re-read it again. I think I got more out of it in this re-read than I did when I initially read the book back in school. It's the story of a 16 year old girl who survives a nuclear war and is living self sufficiently until a man makes his way into the valley where she is living. It's writting from her perspective in diary form, and it's a really interesting story of how people react under pressure and extreme circumstances. A fairly quick & easy read, I managed to finish it in 2 days.

Recommended for: Those who find post-apocalyptic stories and tales of survival interesting.

cover source: bookdepository.co.uk

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16-02-2011
  37
the echo of silence.
 
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The Lovers Room by Steven Carroll

(dymocks)

The best book I've read this year so far, hands down. A novel that involuntarily made me forget a world existed outside Carroll's pages of fluid-like words and captivating story. The story of a sensitive and overall doomed love affair between a western educated Japanese girl and an Australian interpreter for the British army, just at the end of WW2, will have you questioning -- what if we could control our human weakness and inner demons - the jealousy, the recklessness, the betrayal - just for an hour, or a brief moment in an impending time, could we possibly change the whole course of the rest of our lives? Thought-provokingly wonderful, a novel that will effectively inject the never-ending saying and sentiment of 'what if?'. Highly recommended.

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21-02-2011
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I am legend by Richard Matheson


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i love post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels so this one sounded great.
the main characters is the only person surviving an "virus" outbreak which turns people into ...vampires. of course the plot sounds crazy, but it didn't feel like a fantasy, more like something that could really happen one day. the way the character reacts to the changing world felt quite believable as well, so overall i really liked the story
now the big minus: i didn't like the writing style. it felt more like a short story (and i can't stand short stories) and i didn't like the way the flashbacks interrupted the story, in this case i would've preferred a linear narrative

3/5

Big mouth and ugly girl
by Joyce Carol Oates

ebooks-imgs.connect.com

don't know why i picked this one up, i was at the bookstore and bored so i read it in a few sittings there
boy says some stupid stuff at school, gets overheard and before he knows what's happening he's questioned by police and this loser girl tells the headmaster what really happened. they become friends and yadda yadda yadda
i guess it's a nice read for very young teens and teaches you it's important to stick up for others and say the truth even if it's not what your parents or friends want you to do, but really, this has been done before and MUCH better. the writing is ok i guess.

2/5

The pillars of the earth
by Ken Follett (re-read)

images.contentreserve.com

LOVE
it's a mammoth, but worth every minute you spend with it. i can't even describe it since it tells the stories of so many different people. there's love, hate, revenge, ecclesiastical life, life in the middle ages, architecture and so on
it's really for everybody, my father and my brother were fascinated with it as well.
there comes a point when you can't put it down anymore and you just need to know what's going to happen to your favourite (or most hated) characters.
if you're looking for a novel that transfers you into a different time and you have time to hole up and read for hours, this is your book!

5/5

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21-02-2011
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Afterdark by Haruki Murakami

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the first novel i've read by Murakami. i was running late so i just grabbed it from the shelf, no time to choose
not much happens actually, it's only about one night and the lives of several people, the main character being Mari. i really don't know what to say about this one, but it was a nice, quick read and i will definitely check out more books by him

3/5

If I stay by Gayle Forman

collider.com

17 year old girl gets into a car-accident with her whole family. her parents and brother die and she's the only one who (barely) survives. there's a little intro until the accident happens from then on we follow "ghost" Mia and there are many flashbacks. she has the outer body experience (or whatever it's called) seeing herself being transported to the hospital, friends and relatives visiting her etc. now she has to make the decision whether she wants to go with her family or 'come back to life'
it's very touching actually, i had to fight back tears many times, from all those flashback scenes you grow to love her family and up until the very end you wonder how she's going to decide.

4/5

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21-02-2011
  40
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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua [5/5]

I know that this book has caused some controversy in the US but thats part of the reason why I read the book. This book is about the author looking back on her style of parenting, the 'Chinese way,' on her two daughters. In the first third of the book it can be quite humorous with the struggles of enforcing so to speak the 'chinese way.' As the book continues this method is then questioned. The controversy and humour aside there are ways of looking at things to be learnt such as one can only truly enjoys things that they are good at, one can only be humble if they have something to be humble about etc. Would also highly recommend youtubing the classical pieces that pop up in the book, it really adds to what has been written

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22-02-2011
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The Forest Of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan [3/5]

This is a young-adult book, so if that is enough to put you off of this book - don't bother reading ahead... I basically only read this book because of the fact that the storyline revolves around a zombie apocalypse. I love dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post apocalyptic fiction and of course ZOMBIES. The story itself would have been great if it didn't include a cheesy teenage romance/love triangle. Some of the scenes were pretty cringe-worthy with the main female protagonist so obsessed with her 'crush' that she made selfish decisions that made me hate her a little bit. But having said that, overall I did enjoy the book. It's the first book in a 3-part series, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series when the final book is released this year.

Recommended for: Those who aren't put off by annoying teenage female protagonists but enjoy a good zombie war.

cover source: bookdepository.co.uk

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23-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belowen View Post
The Collector by John Fowles [4/5]

I originally read this book years ago in high school in my year 11 English Literature class. I still have the first copy of the book that I bought for school, and I've re-read this story around 5 times since then. For some reason reading it now I understand it so much more than I ever did before. (Oh, what you can learn to understand in 11 or so years...) For one thing, the book is set in England in the 60s, not in Australia in modern times like I originally remember... Also, the tone of the book is a lot darker than anything I remember. The basic storyline is that a socially inept man becomes obsessed with a young, beautiful 20-something year old girl. He wins the lottery and has enough money to transform the cellar of a cottage into a prison, in which he keeps the girl after kidnapping her. The narrative is split between the girl and her kidnapper, which offers insight to both sides of the story - which I found fascinating. I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to spoil the book but the ending is extremely chilling, and sat with me for days afterwards.

Recommended for: Those who like psychological thrillers and are not disturbed by stories of kidnapping.
I just finished this one, I bought it actually because I thought it sounded very intersting the way you described it.
So I'll give you all a second opinion:

It is by no means an easy subject. I've always had the real life kidnapping story of Natascha Kampusch in the back of my head (you might have heard about it, she was held captive for 8 years in a cellar room until one day she somehow managed to make someone notice and was freed by the police, her kidnapper committed suicide) and I always thought if her story was anything like the one described in the book.

What I liked about it though, was that it showed two sides of one incident and how differently both parties can perceive it. There were some scenes where I thought it was kinda unrealistic for her to act a certain way but then again she was desperate and it was an exceptional situation.

Anyways, I think I'm gonna read Natascha's book (it's called 3096 Days) as well, I heard it's really shocking & interesting. We'll see how close Mr Fowler was in his description.

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26-02-2011
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^ Thanks for that! It's great to hear a second opinion on one of the books I've read



The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold [4/5]

I had read this book before but really enjoyed it and thought it was deserving of a re-read and a re-think. I fell in love with this book all over again during my second reading. The subject matter is definitely not easy to deal with, and as it's mentioned on the back of the book and therefore not a spoiler I will go into some detail about the plot. The storyline revolves around fourteen year old Susie Salmon, who was raped and murdered in 1973. When Susie dies, she doesn't compeltely leave this world, so she is able to watch over her family and friends (and killer) and see how life unfolds after her passing. Though it sounds like it would be a horribly sad story (and at times it is) I think it's ultimately hopeful.

Recommended for: Those who like beautifully written, if at times sad stories of hope, love and loss.

cover source: bookdepository.co.uk

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02-03-2011
  44
front row
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kate_is_goddess View Post
Anyways, I think I'm gonna read Natascha's book (it's called 3096 Days) as well, I heard it's really shocking & interesting
I read it, I'll make a review tomorrow if you want.

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02-03-2011
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^that would be great, thanks!

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