We Need to Talk about Kevin’

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Book Recommendations 2014





We Need to Talk about Kevin’

‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ is novel written by Lionel Shriver which centres around a school massacre carried out by the titular Kevin which saw him kill 7 fellow students and 2 staff members using his bow and arrow. It is written from the point of view of Kevin’s mother, Eva, who details life up to and after the attack through a series of letters to Kevin’s father.


I absolutely love this book as Shriver manages to perfectly convey Eva’s contrasting guilt with regard to what has happened and the love she naturally feels towards her child. As a reader, I was really endeared towards Eva and sympathised with her, especially after reading how she had become something of a hate-figure purely because of her association with Kevin. I also really respect Shriver as a writer because of how she has managed to produce a gripping and moving novel about a very relevant and controversial issue with the perfect amount of both sensitivity and maturity: it is in no way offensive but is still grown-up about an emotional and topical subject.
It’s always a challenge for a novelist to take on front-page events. A guilt-stricken Eva Khatchadourian digs into her own history, her son’s, and the nation’s, in her search for the responsible party, and her fierceness and honesty sustain the narrative; this is an impressive novel”

~New York Times

Book/Series: A Song of Ice and Fire
Author: George R. R. Martin

Books in the Series: A Game of Thrones (1996), A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), A Feast for Crows (2005), A Dance With Dragons (2011), The Winds of Winter (Forthcoming), A Dream of Spring (Forthcoming)

Summary: “A Song of Ice and Fire” takes place in the fictional land of Westeros, as several prominent families fight to take charge of the Iron Throne, and rule the Seven Kingdoms. In the North, Winter looms, which in Westeros can last for more than a decade, and means endless darkness, perilously heavy snow, bitter cold, the spreading of the ice, and The Others; reanimated corpses of ancient people, who’s one aim is to kill the people of Westeros to expand their army. As the Lannisters, the Baratheons, the Starks and the Greyjoys battle it out in Westeros, across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen realises she to has a claim to the Iron Throne, as the last of the Targaryen Dynasty - who was overthrown in war not long before. To gain the Iron Throne, much has to be lost before, and sacrifices have to be made. As the fight for the throne heats up, winter is just around the corner.
Why I like it: I find the many characters and their stories all interesting, and the fantastical edge to this series is more than I expected. Reading these books is truly a magical experience, as Martin combines fantasy, politics and war into one huge series. I also enjoy the challenge of it, as each books would normally surpass 800-900 pages – the longest being 1300 pages. This book series has shot to fame recently as HBO has been producing a television adaptation of it – “Game of Thrones” – highly popular and just as exciting television series. The language used in this book is highly sophisticated, and the story is just as complex as I can manage. The history that Martin has created is truly astounding, and I personally consider him to be the modern age Tolkein.

Quote from a Critic: “Colossal. staggering… Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of Roses or Imperial Rome” – SFX (sci-fi and fantasy website)



Looking for Alaska’
New York Times Bestseller

The book I have chosen to recommend is ‘Looking for Alaska’ written by the fantastic John Green. The book was slightly unusual for me to read as it is written from a teenage boy’s perspective rather than a female's. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to relate to the story very well but I was pleasantly surprised when I found that I actually preferred it in comparison to any other typical teenage novel as it wasn't cliché.

The book is set in America, Alabama where a group of unorthodox friends attend a boarding school called ‘Culver Creek Preparatory School'. The story focuses on a young man called ‘Miles Halter' and his fascination and adornment of a beautiful girl called ‘Alaska’, whose heart is unfortunately already stolen. Alaska is portrayed as an against the norm girls who is intelligent, funny and eccentric but also very troubled. Throughout the book Miles meets many interesting characters whom he builds spectacular relationships with. The group of quirky friends get up to mischief which results in them almost getting expelled! The book ends in a tragic yet heart-warming manner and leaves the reader wanting to know more about Miles Halter and his intriguing friends.

One reason why I recommend this book is because it really widened my taste in books. Before reading (and loving) 'Looking for Alaska' I only read one type of genre, however I continued to read other titles by this author and discovered that I am in love with his style of writing so I went on to read further books of his. Now I find myself turning away from the supernatural/adventure genres I enjoy and instead venturing into the world of romantic/tragedy which interests me just as much. Secondly this book is a great representation of a teenager's life and struggles yet the excitement that comes with it; I think people aged 15 and above would thoroughly enjoy this book and gain something from reading it.

The Women Who Walked into Doors’ by Roddy Doyle

‘The women who walked into doors’ is the book I am currently reading. The general idea of the story is the main character ‘Paula’ and her relationship with ‘Charlo’. As Roddy Doyle begins to explain the situation through Paula’s eyes, you completely forget that this was in fact written by a man. Only a couple chapters in I began to sympathise with Paula and found that the more I read, the easier it was to understand. This isn’t just another ‘Rom Com’ though which, in my opinion, is a good thing as it deals with important issues without attempting to preach to the audience. The honesty and clarity in which this novel is written allows the character to be truthful yet not wallow in self pity.
It has to be said that I am intrigued as to how everything will tie together at the end as I am really enjoying this book so far. It makes it much more understandable as she looks back at her whole life and the reader can begin to piece bits back together slowly but surely. Also as the book isn’t just focused on their relationship and domestic abuse, I feel it has much more of a ‘story’ behind it. It looks at the differences between her and her sister’s account of their childhood memories and how these can be twisted or morphed due to certain events. These in depth themes make this novel much more interesting and allow the reader to interpret different parts in different ways rather than just black and white.

“He climbs into a women’s skin so brilliantly that you have to pinch yourself to remember this was written by a man…Doyle triumphs in The women who walked into doors because he remembers what other male writers have forgotten- that his heroine is more than just a women. Mainly, she is a human being.” –Sunday Express



The Book Thief’

'Unsettling, thought provoking, life- affirming, triumphant, and tragic, this is a novel of breath- taking scope, masterfully told' - The Guardian

The moving and engaging novel, 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak, is written in the perspective of Death, which visits the main character 3 times throughout the book; on a train, at a plane crash and after a bombing. Death, tells the story of a young girl, Liesel Meminger, who is taken into the care of a foster family in 1939, Germany. Liesel is not fond of her foster family at first but is won over as Hans, her foster father, teaches her how to read which leads to her love for books. Liesel's foster family are hiding an old friend's Jewish son in their basement as a favour to the family friend, Liesel befriends Max, the Jewish boy and becomes a book thief - thus the title of the book, to give to Max. 'The Book Thief' explores the individual situations people in war time Germany were put through and how words can connect so many people and bring them together.
The book intrigued me as I had noticed that it was made into a film, it was the trailer that brought my attention to 'The Book Thief' in the first place and I know, ' the film is never is good as the book', but the trailer had interested me which made me think that the book must be even better! But, after doing some research on the book, the book also intrigued me as it was written in an upsetting period of history which instantly caught my attention as I'm fascinated by stories and facts about the past, so to find a book written based in such a heartbreaking time telling the story of a young mind interested me. I can't wait to read this book over summer, the reviews are nothing but praise.

Fallen’
As well as reading ‘Empire of the sun’ for English homework, I have now set myself another challenge and that is to read ‘Fallen’ written by Lauren Kate.

This book caught my eye because the blurb makes me want to read more and find out what happens to Luce considering she has been accused of murdering a boy by starting a fire. Then Luce meets a boy who she feels drawn to but she doesn’t even remember setting eyes on him. Already this book is building up tension. Since I like reading more dark, romantic books I feel this is the book for me and especially because they catch your attention more.

I also would like to read this book because the reviews from the critics put the book in a positive place. A review from The View from Chesil Beach stated “I found myself completely engrossed in this story. Intriguing characters and with a niggling creepiness to the story with gradually builds to a thrilling crescendo”.
“Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar… The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can’t shake the feeling that she has… and with him… a boy she doesn’t remember even setting eyes on. Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her – or destroy her?”


Killing Floor’ (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child

One book I would like to read is ‘Killing Floor’ by Lee Child. I would like to read this book because it seems very interesting and dramatic. This book seems interesting because it is in the action genre, which I prefer over all others. It also seems very interesting because it is part of the Jack Reacher Series which stars Tom Cruise. Another reason I would like to read this book is because it is based around murder and crime, which I find very interesting.
The basic plot summary and outline of this book is Jack Reacher, who is an ex military police officer, jumps off of a bus and heads down a country road headed towards Margrave, Georgia. This is a decision he is supposedly going to regret. When Reacher arrives in the town, he is the only stranger there. This was unluckily on the day the town had their first homicide in 30 years. Reacher finds himself arrested and the police officer becomes a witness to place Reacher at the scene when he never killed anybody. The body count then begins to grow and the plot of the story further unfolds itself.
The Daily Mail deemed this book as "Stunningly Dramatic", showing that this book just has to be read.


The Fault In Our Stars’

‘The Fault In Our Stars’ is a book by John Green that is about a young teenage girl named Hazel who has been diagnosed with lung cancer and regularly goes to a cancer support group which at first, she opposes of. Gradually throughout the story she comes to realise that the support group was a good idea and eventually meets another young teenage boy, Augustus Waters who has suffered from osteosarcoma which is a rare type of bone cancer but has been in the all clear so far. Hazel and Augustus both have the same favourite book and go hunting for the author, Peter Van Houten and end up creating a strong bond between one another and go through a series of different emotions together such as sorrow and romance. Later on in the story, Hazel is told some heartbreaking and devastating news from Augustus, which makes their worlds fall apart completely. I haven’t read this book but I have heard and read a lot of recommendations about this story as it has a heartbreaking and brilliant story line. One critic view on the book is that it is a humorous, emotional book that leaves you in tears at the end and is highly recommended.

Life After Life’

The book I aspire to read this summer is Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This book is about a woman called Ursula Todd who is able to turn back the clocks and do everything again and infinite amount of times. In a snowstorm in England 1910 a baby dies before even being able to really take their first breath. During a snowstorm in England 1910 the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. I would love to read this book because when I first saw it the title intrigued me and after reading the blurb I decided I definitely needed to read this book. Also, it’s different to what I normally choose to read so thought I would challenge myself.

"Truly brilliant...Think of Audrey Niffenegger's The TimeTraveler's Wife or David Nicholl's One Day...[or] Martin Amis's Times Arrow, his rewinding of the Holocaust that was shortlisted for the Booker. Life After Life should have the popular success of the former and deserves to win prizes, too. It has that kind of thrill to it, of an already much-loved novelist taking a leap, and breaking through to the next level...This is a rare book that you want, Ursula-like, to start again the minute you have finished." (Helen Rumbelow The Times)
"Merging family saga with a fluid sense of time and an extraordinarily vivid sense of history at its most human level. A dizzying and dazzling tour de force." (Amber Pearson Daily Mail)


Night Song Of The Last Tram’

The book ‘Night Song Of The Last Tram’ by Robert Douglas includes the personal account of a young boy growing up in a disrupted single end tenement in Maryhill Glasgow during and after world war two. The personal memoir shows the contrast in his relationships with his caring mother whom he is very close to and abusive father who came and went throughout his life. “If my father had been killed in North Africa during the Second World War, I know that for the rest of my life I would have looked at a few photographs of him and mourned our lost relationship. Unfortunately, he survived and came home.”
The story shows an eye witness account of a poverty stricken family living in a very poor yet very close community. The book consists of a variety of tragic and frustrating events where the main character faces lots of disappointment. However it is equally balanced by many humorous scenarios which show how naive the young boy is in the company of some interesting characters who are woven into his surroundings as he is growing up.

I personally enjoyed this book because it gives you an insight into a historical era that takes place within a fascinating setting. The book demonstrates the perceptions of a young boy who comes from a lower social class and takes you through his life which turns out to be full of diversity as the story progresses.


Reviews
Exquisite... a beautiful paean (Sunday Times)
His prose is direct, pacy, uncluttered … engaging, deftly written and honestly remembered (Herald)
A well-written slice of social history delivered directly by an eyewitness (Independent on Sunday)

‘Plain Truth’


‘Plain Truth’ is a novel about Katie Fisher an Amish teenager who is blamed for murdering a newborn baby and her lawyer Ellie Hathaway. Katie gives birth to a child alone not even knowing she is pregnant then falls asleep on the floor after praying to god for the baby to disappear. And disappear it does. When she wakes the baby is gone and once it’s body is found she is accused of murder.


Ellie’s life is in disarray. She has fallen out of love with her job and her lover which results in her taking the case as a favour for her aunt and moving in with the Fishers. She’s finding it difficult to manage her own life, will she be able to save another? Katie says she’s innocent is that true? If so, who did kill the baby?
‘Plain Truth’ is a gripping tale about two completely different women and how this case changes their lives completely. From beginning to end love, suspense and confusion intertwine all trying to come out victorious. The reader is left guessing on the culprit from the first word to the last. A brilliant read.

This is Picoult's greatest strength; her ability to inhabit other people's feelings, relishing the bits that are complex and contradictory . . . She is a master of her craft. (Sunday Telegraph)

‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne

This heart breaking tale is set in pre-war Germany. The novel focusses on a young boy called Bruno who, with his family, is relocated to the countryside where his father runs a prison camp. While there Bruno meets a young Jew called Shmuel and befriends him. Bruno can’t understand why this new found friendship is forbidden by his family or why the people in striped pyjamas live behind an electrified fence.

This is one of my favourite novels. Though short it manages to capture perfectly the world as a nine year old would see it and helps open the reader’s eyes to the horrors of the holocaust. Although I read it when I was a little younger I feel that it is a book which older people can really appreciate and enjoy. It moved me to tears and teaches us a very important moral lesson about acceptance and judgment. It builds tension and atmosphere beautifully to help create an overwhelmingly powerful story.

“This is what fiction is supposed to do: introduce you to the minds of those you wouldn’t ordinarily meet” Guardian


A Game of Thrones’

The challenge I set myself this summer is to read a book suggested to me by one of my friends. The book was “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martian and this book is from the series game of thrones. Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.


A review from Booklist:

“The first volume in Martin's first fantasy saga, A Song of Ice and Fire, combines intrigue, action, romance, and mystery in a family saga. The family is the Starks of Winterfell, a society in crisis due to climatic change that has created decades-long seasons, and a society almost without magic but with human perversity abundant and active. Martin reaches a new plateau in terms of narrative technique, action scenes, and integrating (or not injecting) his political views into the story. He does not avoid a dauntingly large cast and a daunting number of viewpoint shifts, but these are problems seemingly inseparable from the multivolume fantasy genre. Accordingly, one doubts there will be any other comfortable entry point into this example of the genre except at the beginning. Judging by this beginning, however, it promises to repay reading and rereading, from first volume to last, on account of its literacy, imagination, emotional impact, and superb world-building. Roland Green --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.”


A Game of Thrones.

Set in a vibrant mystical world spanning continents from Westeros to Essos, A Game of Thrones sets the bar for modern science fiction fantasy. This book is amongst a series of 5 (that is, seven volumes in total as two books have been split into two parts) known collectively as “A Song of Ice and Fire” written by the adored American author George R.R Martin, a now even more so globally renowned writer thanks to the relatively recent television adaption of his series under the more simplistic name: Game of Thrones.


Placed on an unprecedented backdrop of medieval politics and warfare, A Game of Thrones follows the high and mighty houses of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, including such families as the rivalled Starks and the Lannisters. Each new character introduced is captivating and very different from the others – there is even a noticeable cultural diversity amongst characters (i.e: The Dothraki – a lesser race of people home to the continent of Essos), mounting further complexity to Martin’s charming universe as he has to magic up more background to his luscious world. This is implied by Janny Wurts when she reviewed: “Few created worlds are as imaginative and diverse.” In short, A Game of Thrones is a book not to be undermined and certainly to be read, as it sets the stone for a fantastic fantasy series whose immersive world will come sprawling out of the pages to be addictively absorbed by its every reader.

The reason I enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire so much, being on the fourth book at the time being, is because it appeals to my most prominent interests: Politics; Fantasy; War. Somehow combining these aspects/genres and employing them as a backdrop throughout his books, George RR Martin manages to encapsulate the contrasting ideas of heroism/honour and ambition/dishonour. The readers becomes increasingly aware of how far Martin will go to prove how simply unfair life can be, leaving streams of sweat and tears following multiple moments of anxiety and tension during his most surreal plot twists. Martin furthermore adopts many aspects of realism so as to relate to the reader, cleverly demonstrating the apparent timeless idea of power and ambition against the not so commonly seen good. The very title of the book highlights the idea of playing people as chess pieces in the name of self-interest and power – and idea reflected on throughout.

Overall, A Game of Thrones is a brilliant book and is a must-read, especially for those who particularly enjoy science fiction/fantasy literature, with just a hint of politics.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower’
‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky is a book following the life of freshman, Charlie, and his difficulties with the struggles in growing up. He wants to live his life but at the same time wants to go by unnoticed when confronted with the new areas of first dates, family drama, sex and drugs. He soon realises that he can’t stand by watching life from the sidelines forever and he needs to tackle things from centre stage.
Amazon customer reviews
By Sophie:

When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure about it. I found it hard trying to connect with the character Charlie. He puzzled me a bit, as I wasn't sure what he was so sensitive and emotional about.

At a later date I continued reading this book out of boredom, and literally couldn't put it down. I ended up finishing it in a day, and when I got to the end is when I realized what the cause of Charlie's emotions was, and it was truly shocking.

By A Customer:

In this day and age when people are so cynical and cruel, it was a pleasure to read a book from the point of view of a genuinely nice person. Charlie is a "wallflower," meaning he stands back timidly watching others live life, afraid to participate. In the course of the novel, we watch Charlie grow: make friends, go to parties, participate, even fall in love -- in other words, come out of his shell. And by the end we discover why Charlie is unable to participate in life until now; we come to understand the source of his pain. I truly loved this book.

Why I recommend this book:

I haven’t read this book but I would really like to. This book appeals to me as it is from the perspective of someone of a similar age to me and is going through similar things to what people my age might be going though. This makes it easier to connect with the character and help you to understand his situation and just generally making it a more interesting read.


One Day’ by David Nicholls
The book that I recommend is One Day by David Nicholls it was published in 2009 and follows the lives of the two main characters, Emma and Dexter, the same day every year for 20 year the day in question is St Swithins day (the 15th of July) the pair drift together and apart on many occasions through this time but both vow to keep in touch even if it is one sided.
Emma wants to improve the world and begins writing and performing plays unsuccessfully, while Dexter travels through the world, drinking exploring and womanising. Through the story the pair have many careers leading them into more complications in their relationships namely through the other women in Dexter’s life and Emma’s long term boyfriend that’s not so long term.
The reason I like this book is because of the many plot twists and the writers great ability to keep you wanting to read more, the pair also travel a lot and which is always something that appeals to me especially if the writer is good enough at describing the places explored with great detail. The book is funny, sad, exiting and basically and emotional roller coaster throughout and as each section is a year apart a lot can happen to keep you on the edge of your seat between even a chapter.

One Day is a wonderful, wonderful book: wise, funny, perceptive, compassionate and often unbearably sad. It’s also, with its subtly political focus on changing habits and mores, the best British social novel since Jonathan Coe’s What A Carve Up. –John O’Connell, The Times.
‘Trainspotting’

Trainspotting is a book about a group of friends from Edinburgh, but it shows a side of Edinburgh you don't see on the post cards. It centres around the main character Mark “Rents” Renton and his battle against heroin addiction and the shenanigans and situations himself and his rag tag group of friends which includes other addict, alcoholics and psychos find themselves in.

The reason I personally like the book is because it shows you another side to what is a very idyllic place. The author, a local Edinburgh man Irvine Welsh manages to make you empathise with the characters by landing them in situations that everyday normal people find themselves in, whether its getting harassed by groups of “wide boys” or simply holding a happy relationship through what is essentially a normal group of people despite their own individual vice. I also like the fact that it is written in Edinburgh slang and the fact that, whilst reading the book you can really imagine how each of the characters look and sound by the various ways they each use their own personal takes on the dialect and their views on various matters including drugs, alcohol, women and their own families.

The Independent on Sunday said:

“A page-turner … Trainspotting gives the lie to any cosy notions of a classless society”


The Godfather by Mario Puzo
The film the Godfather Is known around the world and is highly regarded as a masterpiece, but not many people actually know that The Godfather was a book. Probably the biggest worry for somebody thinking about picking up the book is that it might not be as good as the films or that it isn’t a good book. Fear not: the book is supposed to be great.
For those of you who aren’t aware of the plot here is what entails:

Tyrant, blackmailer, racketeer, murderer - his influence reaches every level of American society. Meet Don Corleone, a friendly man, a just man, a reasonable man. The deadliest lord of the Cosa Nostra. The Godfather.
A modern masterpiece, The Godfather is a searing portrayal of the 1940’s criminal underworld. It is also the intimate story of the Corleone family, at once drawn together and ripped apart by its unique position at the core of the American Mafia. Still shocking forty years after it was first published, this compelling tale of blackmail, murder and family values is a true classic.
What Mario Puzo does so well is make you want the main characters to win. Even though the characters in the book are murderous gangsters, you still however want them to succeed rather than fail. Even if you have watched the film I would still recommend this book as you will thoroughly enjoy it (unless you don’t like this kind of thing that is).

“A splendid and distinguished blood saga of the American Mafia, and of the whirl created by the five families of Mafiosi at war in New York” Sunday Times



Cherub Series

The ‘Cherub’ series of books by Robert Muchamore are about a organisation of young adults (Cherubs) trained in multiple fields of combat and stealth to become undercover spies to intercept and retrieve important information from adults for intelligence purposes. The CHERUB organisation works with British Intelligence to protect the UK from threats such as terrorists and drug traffickers.

The series focuses on a boy James who was recruited at the age of twelve. The storylines are very interesting and keep you engrossed throughout. As well as learning about the missions, you grow attached to the characters, and a good portion of the books are also about their personal life. The books give both a high-paced story and teenage romance.


I personally love these books and have read the entire series up to date and would recommend them to anyone loving a book full of action, violence and just in general an amazing book that keeps you reading till the very end. And still leaves you wanting more!

Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times
This book is written by Thomas Hauser with the collaboration of Muhammad Ali. It chronicles Ali’s life from his first fight to his first championship.
“One of the most recognisable, respected and inspirational men on earth, Muhammad Ali is the world's most famous boxing hero. Ali brought unprecedented speed and grace to the sport, and his charm and wit changed forever what the world expects of a champion athlete. In the words of over two hundred of Ali's family members, associates, opponents, friends and enemies, this comprehensive and honest portrait relates his legendary sporting accomplishments, as well as the high drama of life outside the boxing ring. From Olympic gold in Rome, to stunning victory over George Foreman in Zaire, every historic victory and defeat of Ali's career is covered. His controversial embrace of the Nation of Islam - with the renunciation of his 'slave name', Cassius Clay - and the historic refusal to be inducted into the US Army makes for compelling reading. Ali became America's first national conscientious objector, and with a willingness to stage his fights in Third World locales, he continued his advocacy for people in need which was honoured in 2000 when he became a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Charismatic, dedicated and a skilful self-publicist, Ali is the living embodiment of the American Dream. This is the biography to match his achievements.”

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I believe it helped me advance my English skills.

‘The Times’ said about this book, “A suburb book, hilarious, sad, moving and helpful.”
This book is also the winner of the William Hill sports book of the year award.


Behind the scenes at the museum’ by Kate Atkinson
little short of a masterpiece… fizzing with wit and energy, Kate Atkinson hilarious novel made me laugh and cry” by the daily mail
Ruby tells the story of the family, from the day at the end of the nineteenth century when a travelling photographer catches frail beautiful Alice and her children, like flower in amber, to the startling witty and memorable events of he own life.
Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father George, was in the dog and hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a d-cup that he wasn’t marred. Bunty had never wanted to marry George but here she was stuck with three little girls in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster. The reason why this book gets my attention is because it is a point of view of a child and how she sees things in a different way to us. It is set in the twentieth century: the way they speak and the way they acted might be different and it’s nice to see life played out in a different way.
"The Shining"

"The Shining" is a horror novel consisting of 497 wrote by Stephen King. "The Shining" surrounds the character of Jack Torrance and his family as they become caretakers of a old hotel for the winter period. Jack is a recovering alcoholic and a inspiring writer. His son and only child Danny has a "gift" called the shining which grants him many supernatural abilities, and the ability to see the horrible history of the hotel. The winter leaves them stuck and alone in the hotel, the supernatural entities in the hotel play with Jack's sanity. I like this book as I think that it is one of the best horror novels creating a sense of suspense all throughout the novel. And the development of Jack and his eventual fall into insanity is incredibly unique and interesting. The book has had a amazing film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick. The film is considered to be a classic like the book and holds a score of 92% on rotten tomatoes. Peter Straub an American horror writer described the book as, "obviously a masterpiece, probably the best supernatural novel in a hundred years."

The Lord of the Rings’



‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J,R,R, Tolkien is a

Fantasy adventure set in a vast imaginative world.

The book takes place in ‘Middle Earth’ which landscapes from green fields, rolling hills and cosy homes all the way to volcanic rock and mountain slopes. The plot is that a master ring containing great evil has awoken and must be destroyed before ‘Salron’ can regain his full power. A strange creature called a hobbit must take the ring into Mordor and through it in the fires of mount doom or all will be lost. In his journey he encounters wizards, goblins, trolls, orcs and even huge war elephants. While he is on his journey many other plots are taking place around the ring such as cavalry fights, ambushes and even sieges on an epic scale.


I would recommend this novel to everyone to read as you will not be able to put it down from the first line to the last and also contains amazing characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn and everyone’s favourite Gollum.

MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA

Memoirs of a Geisha is definitly one of my all time favourite books. I've read it more than three times and even though it's not a terriblly hard read, it does challenge at some points and the story in itself is not too easy to follow.

It's about a little girl of 8-years-old called Chiyo (later on in the book known as Sayuri) who is taken away from her dying mother and elderly father by men who sell very young girls to Okiya (places where Geishas are trained). Chiyo grows up to be called Sayuri and a long the way meets her best friend Pumpkin, a loving but firm mentor called Mameha who is one of the most famous Geishas in Japan, Hatsumomo; a disgraceful and cruel but outstsandingly beautiful Geisha, Nitta Kayoko; the woman who buys Chiyo and the Chairman who is Chiyos hope in the world. Even though he is older by quite a bit, Chiyo falls for him completley and will do anything to please him.

This book is wonderfully written and filled with love, misfortune, passion, trust and friendship but mostly the harsh realities of Geisha life, training and what happens when your world is completley altered (and who knows if it's for the better).

I would reccommend this book to anyone who loves a read involving drama, love and an interest of a different culture.


The host’ by Stephenie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.
I would like to read this book because it sounds like something I would genuinely enjoy as it looks quite interesting. I have heard of the film and apparently its good, so I would hope the book would be even better because it would include more detail. It’s a sort of romance/thriller or science fiction type of book. It looks like it would be a very emotional story to read.
The “Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

Story /Plot:

Harvard Professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police found a series of baffling codes. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci – and suggest the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vaults of history.

Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, a stunning historical truth will be lost forever...
I haven’t read the Da Vinci Code but was intrigued after a friend showed me the book and told me a little about it. It really interested me because it’s a novel based around historical figures and events and add a mystery to it, making me want to find out the truth and what the mystery actually is.
‘Wow... Blockbuster perfection... An exhilaratingly brainy thriller.’ – New York Times
‘Fascinating and absorbing... A great, riveting read. I love this book.’ – Harlan Coben
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
This book is set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno who is eight years old. When Bruno returns home from school one day he discovers that all his belongings have been packed. He then realises that his father has received a promotion and that his family and him are going to be moving to their new house in the countryside. When Bruno arrives he finds that there is not much to play with but Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own as he lives in a concentration camp. Their friendship builds throughout the book and leads to devastating consequences.

The reason I like this book is although it is fiction It shows the views that many Germans were brought up to believe and how this affected the way children thought as the sister of Bruno was almost brain washed into believing Hilter was the greatest man but she didn’t really see the horror he was bringing to the country. I also like the message portrayed that if you are cruel to people it can backfire and mean that someone close to you can be hurt. Finally the last aspect that I really like about this book is that it shows that despite different religious backgrounds children can play and bond with each other like Bruno did with Shmuel.

‘The Lovely Bones’

One book I would love to read is ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold. It is narrated by a very smart fourteen year old, Susie Salmon. This story opens with her violent death in a cornfield at the hands of a quietly deranged man, George Harvey. She narrates the story from Heaven, a place that continually changes as she matures and watches her family’s struggles and accomplishments on Earth. Reeling from the gristly crime, and not having closure to their daughter’s death, her parents have a difficult time coming to terms with this situation, and as a result, their marriage and relationships with their other children suffer.

I would love to read this book as it seems very gripping and heartbreaking. It also appeals to me as the subject of the book, the murder of a young girl, is very real and happens a lot in reality which I like because it gives me mire of an emotional attachment to the book. After watching the film, I have wanted to read this book as most of the time books are more in depth and detailed.


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