50 Book Challenge (part 2)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary-Anne Shaffer & Annie Barrows 8/10 – I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I’d anticipated, and I’ve been recommending it to anyone who asks me for reading recommendations. It was charming, sweet, and the characters were all vivid and delightful. The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the fact that it’s written in correspondence form, which meant the story jumped back and forth between characters. I’m not sure if it’s because I read it in kindle format and the pages weren’t formatted properly, but I found it quite difficult to keep up with who was writing to who.

Beauty by Lauren Conrad (5/10) – I probably shouldn’t have purchased both this and Lauren’s book ‘Style’, because both contain a lot of the same information. I love Lauren, but if you already own Style, don’t bother picking this up too. Unless of course you’re in the market for a very pretty little coffee table book.

Intensity by Dean Koontz (9/10) – This book was way better than I expected it to be. It was one of the most thrilling books I’ve ever read, and I had a really hard time putting it down every time I needed to stop and do something else. The female protagonist is one STRONG ASS character. No foolin’. If you’re in the mood for a book that will get your heart racing, pick this up ASAP.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (6/10) – I picked up this book because I was about to embark own my own road trip, and I felt like reading something to get me in the mood. This was a really sweet little read and although I didn’t actually read any of it on my trip as planned, I did love reading it afterwards and remembering cute little things about my own trip.

50 Book Challenge (part 1)

A Tap On The Window by Linwood Barclay (3/10) – The first book I read this year was a bit of a flop. I had high hopes for this, the plot sounded promising and I was in the mood for a good thriller, but this book just didn’t deliver. The story seemed to drag on for a long time without anything interesting happening, I found it hard to follow the characters, and I didn’t care enough about the main character to get involved in his back story.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (8/10) – With this book, Jeffrey Eugenides has officially cemented his place on my list of all-time favourite authors. This book was not my favourite of his, (fyi my personal ranking of Mr Eugenides books is as follows: 1. Middlesex, 2. The Virgin Suicides, & 3. this one), but still, I loved it. The characters in this book were so vivid that I felt like they were jumping off the page at me.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (8/10) – I loved this book. This is my favourite book by Gillian Flynn so far, I just couldn’t seem to put it down. I It was a real page turner, and I raced through it because I was desperate to find out what happened at the end. A great mystery/thriller and a very easy read.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (2/10) – Ugh, this book. Firstly, I may have read Flowers In The Attic at least 25 times when I was a teenager, but that doesn’t mean I’m down with pointless incest popping up in books. Especially when there is no character or relationship development whatsoever. You’re just supposed to roll with it? No. Also, I really did not like the way this book was written. I’m not a big fan of stream of consciousness writing, and I found it hard to pull anything from the story. Thankfully this book was super short and I zipped through it in two days.

50 Book Challenge 2014

Because I am absolutely flush with time and energy*** I’ve decided to embark on a reading challenge this year. I’m going to try and read 50 books by the end of 2014 (so far, I’m on track). I’ve written up a shortlist of books that I want to read this year, and here is a small selection –

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fford
Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy is determined by your perception of colour. Eddie Russett is an above average Red who dreams of moving up the ladder by marriage to Constance Oxblood. Until he is sent to the Outer Fringes where he meets Jane – a lowly Grey with an uncontrollable temper and a desire to see him killed. For Eddie, it’s love at first sight. But his infatuation will lead him to discover that all is not as it seems in a world where everything that looks black and white is really shades of grey.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move all the way across the country and needs Amy to drive their car from California to the East Coast. There’s just one problem: since the death of her father, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel of a car. Enter Roger, the son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute…and dealing with some baggage of his own. Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father’s death were not part of Amy’s plans for the road trip. But then neither was driving on the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado Mountains, visiting diners, dingy motels and Graceland. But as they drive, and she grows closer to Roger, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you need the most – – and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the New England island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to an impeccably appropriate young man. The weekend is full of lobster and champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust seep through the cracks in the revelry. Winn Van Meter, father-of-the-bride, has spent his life following the rules of the east coast upper crust, but now, just shy of his sixtieth birthday, he must finally confront his failings, his desires, and his own humanity.

Vitro by Jessica Khoury
A death-defying tropical adventure delivers a frightening message about dabbling with creation from the talented author of “Origin.” On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings–the Vitros–have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw. Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. She enlists hunky charter pilot Jim Julien to take her there. But once on the island, Sophie and Jim encounter more than they bargained for, including a charming, brilliant Vitro named Nicholas and an innocent, newly awoken one named Lux. In a race for their lives, Sophie and Jim are about to discover what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.

*** sarcasm

50 Book Challenge 2012 + Giveaway

I didn’t manage to reach my goal of 50 books for this year, but I did get through a variety of books and discovered some new favourites. As I did in 2011, I will be hosting a Christmas giveaway with my favourite books from this year. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post letting me know which of the following books you would most like to receive: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Consider The Lobster by David Foster Wallace, The Beach by Alex Garland, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood or The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The winners will be announced on January 18th, 2013 and please note that this giveaway is open to everyone, even my international readers. Good luck!

2012 50 Book Challenge Update #3

I’m a little bit behind in this challenge (9 books behind, according to good reads) but as the weather warms up I’ll hopefully be spending more time outside in the sun catching up on my reading. Since my last update, I’ve finished the following books:

The Enemy by Charlie Higgins – I picked this up purely because the story revolves around a zombie apocalypse, which turned out to be a mistake because I wasn’t that impressed by it. It’s a young adult novel and the characters in the story were just a bit to young for me to relate to.

The Ice Man (confessions of a mafia contract killer) by Philip Carlo – This was the latest choice for the book club that my close girlfriends and I have together, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I’ve never really been a fan of true crime stories but this was rather captivating. If you’re a fan of the Sopranos this book might interest you.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth – This is the second book in the Divergent series (trilogy?) and I enjoyed it just as much as the first. It’s a super easy read, but I found the dystopian storyline really interesting and the female protagonist was only mildly annoying which was a nice change.

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell – I enjoyed this book and managed to get through it in a couple of days and now I’m curious to watch the film adaptation. It’s quite bleak, so if you’re in the mood for something depressing maybe check this out.

Post-Mortem by Patricia Cornwell – I was in the mood for a quick and easy read when I picked this out of the 3000 books on my kindle. I don’t normally read books like this but I liked it and I think I’ll be reading more from Patricia Cornwell in the future.

Four Past Midnight by Stephen King – I’ve never been a huge fan of short story collections and this was no exception. As with all of the Stephen King books I’ve read in the past, each story ended with a great big WTF and not in a good way.

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer – I picked up this book with no real expectations as to what it would be like, and I have to say it surprised me. This was one of those books that sits with you for a little while after you read it, and so much so for me that I watched the film adaptation a day after finishing the book because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. A very interesting (true) story.

Jaws by Peter Benchley – I liked this book but it deviated from the plot of the film quite a bit which I wasn’t expecting it to do. A fun read but not something I’d suggest picking up if you’re planning on going to the beach any time soon.