Saturday, 14 July 2007

What I've Read #5 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

woo, is that list coming down!...

and let's face it, it needed to.

I'm not going to give an overlong review of this book, to be honest, I just don't have the time. Suffice to say, this is a very good book. Hugely enjoyable; even though at times I felt it was too long.

I give this book 8 out of 10


Friday, 6 July 2007

My Daughter heartily recommends....

Did I tell you that I've completely and utterly corrupted my daughter....?

She's three and already she has a huge shoe collection and a very enviable library.

Every day she likes me to read to her, sometimes it can be three or maybe more sessions in a day. She likes being read to whilst in the bath, obviously she likes stories at bedtime and all other times in between.

As well as this the childrens tv channel CBeebies, has a story time too. During one of these story times, a presenter read The Rattletrap Car, which my daughter thoroughly loved. She had me scooting around every bookshop in our area just to buy this book, but we didnt manage to get it.
Instead we hotfooted it to the library where they ordered it.
I wonder how many orders a library gets from a three year old...?
I'll give this book 10 stars on her behalf (and they'll be in red as it's her favourite colour); we've read this book so much already that i almost know the whole thing without having to look at the words!

* * * * * * * * * *

What I've Read #4 - The Shoe Queen - Ann Davis

Could there be a book more perfect for me???

I borrowed this one from the library - when I saw it, I just knew I had to read it.
the blurb on the inside flap reads: English society beauty Genevieve Shelby King parties to the utmost with the Anglo-American artists and writers of Montparnasse. She has a rich husband, a glamorous apartment and an enormous shoe collection. But there is something hollow at the centre of Genevieve's charmed life. When she spots a pair of unique and exquisite shoes on the feet of an arch rival one night, her whole collection - indeed everything she has - seems suddenly worthless. The exclusive designer Paolo Zachari, renowned for his fabulous shoes and eccentric behaviour, hand-picks his clients according to whim. And he has determined to say no to Genevieve. As her desire for the pair of unobtainable shoes develops into an obsession with their creator, Genevieve's elaborately designed life comes under threat, and she is forced to confront the emptiness at its heart.
This was an okay book. The title immediately appealed to me (of course!) and I adored the cover (which fits perfectly with my living room decor - perfect coffee table book) but I wasnt as impressed with it as I had hoped.
Don't get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with the book.. it just wasnt great. Good...but not great. It'll appeal to lovers of chick lit.
I give it a 6 (although after ive thought on it, I may up the score to a seven)

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

What I've read #3 - Public Confessions of a Middle-aged Woman - Sue Townsend

Finished less than an hour ago....

I was sorry to finish this one.

As I said in a post previous to this, Sue's book is ideal for any blog readers. The chapters are short, you can dip in and out of the book as and where you have a spare moment, you dont have to read the chapters in any particular order and it is very amusing.

While I dont think of this book as a classic, it still gets a high score... It does however lose a point because when I reached the end of the book, it didnt feel like I had reached the end. There was one last chapter (I almost said 'post') and that was it. No afterword, nothing. For my taste, I thought it needed a little something just to finish it up, but well, thats just my personal taste.

I gave this book a 9 (I'd read a sequel to it)


What I've Read #2 - The dead of Summer - Camilla Way

This was the next book in the pile on my bedside table....

I think reading this book after Camus' meant that I give it a slightly higher mark than I otherwise would have. It tackles one or two of the issues in The Outsider - murder, alienation, normality... but it is no way in the same league as The Outsider. One of the reviews printed on the front cover claims the book to be a modern classic in the making... I really didnt think so.

While, it has to be said, the book is very atmospheric, I found it to be a mish-mash of other novels - Catcher in the rye - JD Salinger, The body - Stephen King, A secret History - Donna Tart, The Outsider - Albert Camus, The Virgin Suicides - Jeoffry Euginides and anything by Virginia Andrews are the ones that spring to mind. Not bad comparisons I don't suppose, but I found this to be a book I could really have seen myself enjoying at the age of thirteen (incidentally, this was my opinion when I read the Euginides book.).

It was an 'okay' book though I probably wont be reading it again.

I give this book a 6 (I was going to say 5 but it gets an extra point for the sustained atmosphere throughout the book)


What I've Read #1 - The Outsider - Albert Camus

It took a little re-arranging of my schedule....

cashing in a sick day (which constitutes someone other than me looking after my daughter for the day - and I genuinely was sick...not faking.. honest! ) and not picking up the new Laurell K Hamilton which seems to call out to me evey time I pass by its little book nook, but I seem to be finally making a weeny little bit of progress on my "to read" list.

The first book I finished this week was Albert Camus' - The Outsider.
I had to start this book from scratch as I couldnt remember much of what I'd read before, but as the book was only a hundred and something pages long, that didnt matter so much. While I read it, I thought it was an okay book. It doesn't seem to be spectacularly written; no extravagant prose or complicated lex, but therein lies it's charm. The simplicity with which the story is given ensures you see the story and not the overly verbose props that creep into some fiction.

Once I'd finished this book, I thought it a good book, better than the "okay" I'd previously labled it with but I did wonder if it deserved the classic status which its been given.

A few days later and I think it does; with a resounding yes. Mostly because I can remember the book so easily now, even after finishing two others, this is the book that is staying with me. And really, what is a classic if not a book that stays with you long after you've finished reading it?

I give this book a 9