29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding of William and Kate

               Like many people I love weddings. My cousin got married last October and it was a day that I thoroughly enjoyed; I saw my family, My cousin was happy, there were embarassing speeches and lovely food. The only thing I didn't like about the day was that I had to spend some of the morning finishing an essay.
             Today, for me, was very similar. I Loved it. I got to see beautiful dresses, crowds of people of whom many are from my national community and the Bride and Groom looked radiantly happy. I was in my element, as I have to say I'm probably a bit of a Royalist. I spent my morning camped out in the living room watching the BBC coverage up until the appearance of the Royal couple on the Balcony at Buckingham Palace.
             However there was once again an element of the day which spoiled it for me, just a little. Which is that my dad is the polar opposite to me and a Republican. Therefore he was making irritating background noise which made it difficult to hear a lot of what was happening. Despite that I have to say I've Loved it and would be glad to hear from anyone who is in the same boat as me; enjoying such occasions despite friends and relatives who do not?


27 April 2011

Good Time Girl - Kate O'Mara

I read a lot of trashy books, I have a thing about the predictability and comfortable happy ending which a Mills and Boon book never fails to provide. If I'm in a foul mood or simply bored I'll pick one up and read it, cos I know that chances are I'll have finished it in about a day and i'll be left feeling satisfied. I assumed this would be similar, a friend gave it to me with several Mills and Boon books that her grandma was chucking out. I was wrong.
            This book to the term trashy novel to an entirely new level and I can say quite honestly that I wish never to read a book like it. It wasn't just that it was trashy, but it had no plot, was riddled with affairs and some of the language used made me cringe. I still like Mills and Boon books, but for that kind of fix I think I'll stick to them from now on.

18 April 2011

The Grave Tattoo - Val McDermid

The Grave Tattoo is a book I wasn't expecting to like, as I had suspicions of it a Silent Witness type novel, and it was a bit like that, but there was enough variation in it that it didn't overwhelm. The book is actually about the discovery of a lost William Wordsworth manuscript, which is gradually revealed to you at the end of each chapter, but it is interpsersed with suspicious deaths as someone kills for the manuscript.
           The thing that I liked most about the book is that it kept you guessing about who the murderer was right until the end of the book, and I think I guessed just about everyone but who the murderer actually was. If I'd been like my sister, an avid Silent Witness and similar programmes fan, then I probably could have used stereotypes to figure it out very near to the beginning of the book. I didn't like the book that it seemed to drop a couple of threads somewhere near the middle, or that it left some of the characters a bit unresolved, there was some stuff I'd have liked to have known that it didn't bring up.
          I also don't believe that it's part of a series of books, although if it had've been then I think I would have been interested, having finished that one, in reading more of them.


14 April 2011

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Last night I finished reading Little Women which is one of the 'Great American Novels', I can't say I was overwhelmingly impressed with it, but it had both good and bad aspects. I read it because a friend got it for me as a Christmas present because it's in a book I have entitled '1001 books to read before you die' and I'm intent on reading them all, this is the 45th one that I've read.
      The book started out much too like a sermon for my taste, it was preaching very particular morals, and effectively criticising those who do not have them, as a lot of them are outdated, it made me feel uncomfortable. At this point it also didn't seem to have much of a plot, a situation which improved after reading approximately the first quarter. Meg got married and Beth got ill and there was a general middle, and then you skipped three years and the book once again declined as it lost all sense of timescale. Beth died, a part of the book which was very well written and moved me to tears, but then Laurie married Amy instead of Jo, a point which made me angry as the Author had been very nicely setting up a camaraderie which would naturally lead to Jo and Laurie rather than Amy and Laurie, and although it was explained it left me feeling so angry I had to put down the book and do something else to distract myself. This may be seen as good writing to have such an effect on emotion but I like my books to be comfortable reads and not want to throw them across a room for the troubles they afford me.
                I can see why this book is described as it is, but for me it will never be a work of brilliance, as is my opinion of the majority of the '1001 books' which I have so far read, one thing I can say is I'm glad I was guided to read it because it's widening my experience of books and causing me to look outside my comfortable genre of high fantasy.


7 April 2011

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

I've just finished reading 'The Book Thief', literally a few hours ago, and it's an unusual book. It's narrated by death as opposed to the main character, Liesel, which is the first strange thing about it. Secondly he's rarely met her, but he has met her more than once, which when you stop and think about it seems odd in itself. Thirdly in places the outcome of an event is told to you before you're told any of the accompanying circumstances.
            I bought 'The Book Thief' because I take history. One of my coursework essays is on the status of women in nazi germany, and my teacher for this area suggested it as a different perspective that I might like to read. She told me the basic plot summary and it sounded like the kind of book that I might like. I can't say it was the most entrancing book I've ever read, I can't even say it moved me as much as some books I've read, although that could be because of the reason I was reading it. I did however enjoy reading it, which is afterall the primary function of any good novel.
            I liked the fact that it was unusual and I also liked the fact that it made the perspective of a difficult era of history generally acessable through the eyes of someone, albeit fictional, whose story would probably have never been told.