February 19th, 2014
Readability: 7.5/10
Enjoyment: 7.5/10Critical: 5/10Thought Provoking: 5/10 —————First Thoughts:I’d rather watch the TV series because it’s so good! —————Mini Synopsis:The first book in the most famous Medieval Fantasy series… need I say more? I’m assuming most people know the story.

Readability: 7.5/10

Enjoyment: 7.5/10
Critical: 5/10
Thought Provoking: 5/10 
—————
First Thoughts:
I’d rather watch the TV series because it’s so good! 
—————
Mini Synopsis:
The first book in the most famous Medieval Fantasy series… need I say more? I’m assuming most people know the story.

February 14th, 2014
I can’t help it… I have to post (it has become so much a part of my reading routine). Finished this last month.

Readability: 8/10
Enjoyment: 6.5/10
Critical: 7/10
Thought Provoking: 7/10 
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First Thoughts:
Not as good as ‘The Secret History’, started with a bang and then became a bit depressing
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Mini Synopsis:
Theo Decker survives the bomb blast in the museum, that kills his mother. He manages to steal a priceless painting (The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius) and a ring. The ring and the painting lead him towards a career as an antiques dealer and underworld criminal.
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Interesting Morsels:
Tartt paints amazingly vivid picture of both New York and Las Vegas… the heat, the feeling, the speed or the lonliness… this, for me, was the best part about the book.
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If you liked this:
‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt

I can’t help it… I have to post (it has become so much a part of my reading routine). Finished this last month.

Readability: 8/10
Enjoyment: 6.5/10
Critical: 7/10
Thought Provoking: 7/10 
—————
First Thoughts:
Not as good as ‘The Secret History’, started with a bang and then became a bit depressing
—————
Mini Synopsis:
Theo Decker survives the bomb blast in the museum, that kills his mother. He manages to steal a priceless painting (The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius) and a ring. The ring and the painting lead him towards a career as an antiques dealer and underworld criminal.
—————
Interesting Morsels:
Tartt paints amazingly vivid picture of both New York and Las Vegas… the heat, the feeling, the speed or the lonliness… this, for me, was the best part about the book.
—————
If you liked this:
‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt

January 22nd, 2014
Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

{And this is why I will no longer be continuing this blog. I want to read for my own sake, for love and for pure pleasure with no thoughts about how others will receive my reading list or thoughts. Goodbye and hope you enjoy reading for your own pleasure.}

December 22nd, 2013
Readability: 7.5/10Enjoyment: 5/10Critical: 8/10Thought Provoking: 7/10 
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First Thoughts:
The names of the men in her stories stood out… Diamond, Grice, Shy, Car, Ennis, Aladdin, Pake.
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Mini Synopsis:
A collection of short stories set in Wyoming, where Proulx lives. The stories express the tough love of the land, the hope and despair of the inhabitants and the dryness of life in this part of America.
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Interesting Morsels:
The final book in the collected is ‘Brokeback Mountain’… yes, this is the story which the movie was based on. I think they did a good job… both versions are heartbreaking. This story,’The Half Skinned Steer’ and ’ Pair a Spurs’ were my favorite stories in the collection.
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If you liked this:
'The Shipping News' by E. Annie Proulx'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck (and anything by Steinbeck)'All the Pretty Horses' by Cormack McCarthy (and anything else by McCarthy)

Readability: 7.5/10
Enjoyment: 5/10
Critical: 8/10
Thought Provoking: 7/10 

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First Thoughts:

The names of the men in her stories stood out… Diamond, Grice, Shy, Car, Ennis, Aladdin, Pake.

—————

Mini Synopsis:

A collection of short stories set in Wyoming, where Proulx lives. The stories express the tough love of the land, the hope and despair of the inhabitants and the dryness of life in this part of America.

—————

Interesting Morsels:

The final book in the collected is ‘Brokeback Mountain’… yes, this is the story which the movie was based on. I think they did a good job… both versions are heartbreaking. This story,’The Half Skinned Steer’ and ’ Pair a Spurs’ were my favorite stories in the collection.

—————

If you liked this:

'The Shipping News' by E. Annie Proulx
'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck (and anything by Steinbeck)
'All the Pretty Horses' by Cormack McCarthy (and anything else by McCarthy)

December 1st, 2013
Readability: 7/10Enjoyment: 7/10Critical: 6/10Thought Provoking: 7/10 
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First Thoughts:
Can’t stop thinking of Downton Abbey.
—————
Mini Synopsis:
Anne Elliot was persuaded by her father and a mother figure to give up her teenage love because he was not of high enough status. Their paths cross eight years later… and what will happen next!? I think you can guess… but the book is long enough.
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Interesting Morsels:
Jane Austen must have loved Lyme because she really goes on about it and I think in Tracy Chevalier’s book ‘Remarkable Creatures’ it mentions that Jane Austen was present in Lyme.
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If you liked this:
Any other Austen book. My personal favorite is Mansfield Park.

Readability: 7/10
Enjoyment: 7/10
Critical: 6/10
Thought Provoking: 7/10 

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First Thoughts:

Can’t stop thinking of Downton Abbey.

—————

Mini Synopsis:

Anne Elliot was persuaded by her father and a mother figure to give up her teenage love because he was not of high enough status. Their paths cross eight years later… and what will happen next!? I think you can guess… but the book is long enough.

—————

Interesting Morsels:

Jane Austen must have loved Lyme because she really goes on about it and I think in Tracy Chevalier’s book ‘Remarkable Creatures’ it mentions that Jane Austen was present in Lyme.

—————

If you liked this:

Any other Austen book. My personal favorite is Mansfield Park.

October 11th, 2013
Readability: 8/10Enjoyment: 7/10Critical: 7/10Thought Provoking: 10/10 
—————
First Thoughts:
I had many many thoughts throughout reading the entire book. I had to read a chapter at a time and just sit there in silence for awhile, soaking it all in; processing all the thoughts he had just pushed in my direction.
—————
Mini Synopsis:
Blue Like Jazz is a mix between memoir and Christian Spirituality book. It addresses ideas central to modern life such as lonliness, love and lust, money, community, service and the mystical wonder of faith. But when you might be thinking this was a typical spiritual/life guidance book, you’d be wrong. Miller explores these ideas with anecdotes and refreshing honesty. I found myself looking at the idea of community, spending and giving my money and looking after others in a new and challenging way.
Don’t read this book if you love to be stubborn and stuck in your ways/world view. 
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Interesting Morsels:
He is more interested in his journey of Christian spirituality that describing religiosity.
—————
If you liked this:
I have heard his other book ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’ is good too!

Readability: 8/10
Enjoyment: 7/10
Critical: 7/10
Thought Provoking: 10/10 

—————

First Thoughts:

I had many many thoughts throughout reading the entire book. I had to read a chapter at a time and just sit there in silence for awhile, soaking it all in; processing all the thoughts he had just pushed in my direction.

—————

Mini Synopsis:

Blue Like Jazz is a mix between memoir and Christian Spirituality book. It addresses ideas central to modern life such as lonliness, love and lust, money, community, service and the mystical wonder of faith. But when you might be thinking this was a typical spiritual/life guidance book, you’d be wrong. Miller explores these ideas with anecdotes and refreshing honesty. 
I found myself looking at the idea of community, spending and giving my money and looking after others in a new and challenging way.

Don’t read this book if you love to be stubborn and stuck in your ways/world view. 

—————

Interesting Morsels:

He is more interested in his journey of Christian spirituality that describing religiosity.

—————

If you liked this:

I have heard his other book ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’ is good too!

September 11th, 2013
Readability: 7/10Enjoyment: 6/10Critical: 9/10Thought Provoking: 8/10 
—————
First Thoughts:
such a dark, sadistic and haunting tale of passion and madness. I am not sure whether I really enjoyed this but I can see why others can be fanatical. You can really see the influence of the Bronte’s upbringing on the deserted moors of Yorkshire in the desolate and lonely pages of this book.I am reminded of ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett…. the invalid child, the absense of a mother, the lonely moors, the housekeeper and the menacing father all have a role to play in both stories.
—————
Mini Synopsis:
A gentleman moves to the moors of Yorkshire and makes acquaintance with Mr Heathcliff, the supposed owner of his manor house and the surrounding lands. It is an odd, disturbing meeting and the gentleman asks his housekeeper to recount the history of Heathcliff and the people who surround him.The story develops through three generations. Love, passion, hatred, death and sickness all being major themes that centre around the actions of Heathcliff, posing the question… who is he???? What is he???
—————
Interesting Morsels:
Emily Bronte wrote this book the year before she died at the age of thirty. All of her brothers and sisters died before the age of forty. They grew up in a similar location to Heathcliff and Catherine… the windy, isolated moors… and never really met many people apart from their father and their mothers sister.The girls had wild imaginations, devoured novels and made their own imaginary worlds which almost became as real as life to them.It seems amazing that Emily Bronte can write such vivid accounts of passion, hatred and love, when she had such minimal experience of human companionship.The other thing I would say is that people love to pull apart her work… but in the end, she wrote it apart from the literary world entirely and much of the deeper meanings found within the pages must have been unintentional. 
—————
If you liked this:
'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett (more for kids)'Fingersmith' by Sarah Waters'Dracula' by Bram Stoker'Rebecca' by Daphne du Maurier 

Readability: 7/10
Enjoyment: 6/10
Critical: 9/10
Thought Provoking: 8/10 

—————

First Thoughts:

such a dark, sadistic and haunting tale of passion and madness. I am not sure whether I really enjoyed this but I can see why others can be fanatical. 
You can really see the influence of the Bronte’s upbringing on the deserted moors of Yorkshire in the desolate and lonely pages of this book.
I am reminded of ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett…. the invalid child, the absense of a mother, the lonely moors, the housekeeper and the menacing father all have a role to play in both stories.

—————

Mini Synopsis:

A gentleman moves to the moors of Yorkshire and makes acquaintance with Mr Heathcliff, the supposed owner of his manor house and the surrounding lands. It is an odd, disturbing meeting and the gentleman asks his housekeeper to recount the history of Heathcliff and the people who surround him.
The story develops through three generations. Love, passion, hatred, death and sickness all being major themes that centre around the actions of Heathcliff, posing the question… who is he???? What is he???

—————

Interesting Morsels:

Emily Bronte wrote this book the year before she died at the age of thirty. All of her brothers and sisters died before the age of forty. They grew up in a similar location to Heathcliff and Catherine… the windy, isolated moors… and never really met many people apart from their father and their mothers sister.
The girls had wild imaginations, devoured novels and made their own imaginary worlds which almost became as real as life to them.
It seems amazing that Emily Bronte can write such vivid accounts of passion, hatred and love, when she had such minimal experience of human companionship.
The other thing I would say is that people love to pull apart her work… but in the end, she wrote it apart from the literary world entirely and much of the deeper meanings found within the pages must have been unintentional. 

—————

If you liked this:

'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte
'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett (more for kids)
'Fingersmith' by Sarah Waters
'Dracula' by Bram Stoker
'Rebecca' by Daphne du Maurier 

August 26th, 2013
Granta is called the ‘Magazine of New Writing’ and focuses on exposing the world to the fantastic, inspiring and thought provoking work of twenty authors in Britain, under the age of 40.
So far they have done a great job at predicting superstars of the literary world… like Salman Rushdie, David Mitchel and Kazuo Ishiguro.
I enjoyed reading these excerpts from up and coming novels and short stories. It was a huge variety! Some were hard work, like walking through treacle, others were captivating and moving.
From now on, I am going to look out for the work of Tahmima Anam, Adam Foulds, Helen Oyeyemi and Ross Raisin. Their excerpts left me wanting more!

Granta is called the ‘Magazine of New Writing’ and focuses on exposing the world to the fantastic, inspiring and thought provoking work of twenty authors in Britain, under the age of 40.

So far they have done a great job at predicting superstars of the literary world… like Salman Rushdie, David Mitchel and Kazuo Ishiguro.

I enjoyed reading these excerpts from up and coming novels and short stories. It was a huge variety! Some were hard work, like walking through treacle, others were captivating and moving.

From now on, I am going to look out for the work of Tahmima Anam, Adam Foulds, Helen Oyeyemi and Ross Raisin. Their excerpts left me wanting more!

August 20th, 2013
An utter page turner and the most entertaining book I have read in a long time.
This is the story of Don, a genetics professor who is on the Asperger’s spectrum as he tries to find a suitable wife. If that’s the premise, then you can imagine that this book is funny and imaginative. You would be right. His quirky phrasing and logical thinking tell a love story that is far from conventional.
What makes this story so compelling is probably due to the way it is narrated but also it is action packed! Think delicious cuisine, street fights, cocktail evenings, a ball, a trip to NYC and a quest to find Rosie’s genetic father. 
Honesty, not a dull moment. Recommend to all.
If you liked this, you will also like:'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' by Mark Haddon'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' by Jonathan Safran Foer 

An utter page turner and the most entertaining book I have read in a long time.

This is the story of Don, a genetics professor who is on the Asperger’s spectrum as he tries to find a suitable wife. If that’s the premise, then you can imagine that this book is funny and imaginative. You would be right. His quirky phrasing and logical thinking tell a love story that is far from conventional.

What makes this story so compelling is probably due to the way it is narrated but also it is action packed! Think delicious cuisine, street fights, cocktail evenings, a ball, a trip to NYC and a quest to find Rosie’s genetic father. 

Honesty, not a dull moment. Recommend to all.

If you liked this, you will also like:
'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' by Mark Haddon
'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' by Jonathan Safran Foer 

August 4th, 2013
After visiting the west coast of the South Island of NZ, I wanted to learn more about life in the coal and gold mines. 
So, instead of delving into a dry and dense textbook on the subject, I decided to read ‘The Denninston Rose’ by Jenny Patrick. Set in the 1880’s, this piece of historic fiction, follows a young girl called Rose who travels with her mother to the vast, damp and dreary Denniston Plateau (near Westport) to find a new life.
However, more interesting for me was the account that Patrick gave of the first miners strike in NZ. This arose from poor working conditions, and the dangers of the job. Trained English miners scorned the ‘hacks’, claiming that these untrained men put all their lives at stake. Patrick certainly did a good job of describing a hard life up there.
All in all, it was interesting and fulfilled my need to learn more about the West Coast - however, as a story it jumped a bit from here to there and I didn’t really engage with it until the last quarter of the book.

After visiting the west coast of the South Island of NZ, I wanted to learn more about life in the coal and gold mines. 

So, instead of delving into a dry and dense textbook on the subject, I decided to read ‘The Denninston Rose’ by Jenny Patrick. Set in the 1880’s, this piece of historic fiction, follows a young girl called Rose who travels with her mother to the vast, damp and dreary Denniston Plateau (near Westport) to find a new life.

However, more interesting for me was the account that Patrick gave of the first miners strike in NZ. This arose from poor working conditions, and the dangers of the job. Trained English miners scorned the ‘hacks’, claiming that these untrained men put all their lives at stake. Patrick certainly did a good job of describing a hard life up there.

All in all, it was interesting and fulfilled my need to learn more about the West Coast - however, as a story it jumped a bit from here to there and I didn’t really engage with it until the last quarter of the book.