Sunday, February 05, 2006

 

Some Book Reviews.

"Tremeraire" Naomi Novik.

Britain is at war with Napoleon and the British nave are doing their best in the fight. Including Lawrence, a young naval Captain who has made a great start to a bright career in service. That is until they attack a ship which turns out to be carrying a dragon egg. Good for Britain but not good for Lawrence who's career with Navy is at an end when the dragon insists on choosing him. So now Lawrence must join the British Airforce and learn to look after his dragon. A duty which he does not want but which he learns to enjoy and appreciate.

I have heard nothing but good things about this book in all the sci fi magazines. And the book has everything that I would normally like, a dragon and alternate history. I just didn't enjoy it though. I found it dull from the start and it didn't seem to improve as I continued. The characters were difficult to like and the only bright spot in the whole book was Temeraire, the dragon. The dragon relationship in this book has a lot in common with Anne McCaffrey's Pern books so I can see a lot of people enjoying it.

"The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding" Agatha Christie

Unexpectedly this is a book of short stories. Unexpected because I didn't read the blurb when I bought it. Poirot basically solves a number of murder mysteries. There is one where Miss Marple is the star of the show (I wonder if there is a book where Poirot and Miss Marple work together). The stories were shorter and so simpler again. I found them a lot of fun to read and I was actually able to guess correctly in a few of them. There was even one story where there was no murder. A good introduction into the world of Poirot or an easy read. Either of them are good reasons to pick this one up.

"The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas" John Boyne

Nine year old Bruno comes home from school one day to find that his things are being packed away. He has a momentary panic and tries to remember if he has done anything to deserve being sent away. Coming up with nothing he runs to his mum to ask why he is being sent away. He soon discovers, to his horror, that the whole family are moving away as his father has a new important job. Bruno is disgusted as he and his friends have lots of plans for chaos and why does his sister have to go with them? When they arrive at their new home his horror grows. There are no children to play with. And there are lot of funny people living nearby. He soon finds a friend which he has to keep secret from everyone else. He doesn't know why but he know people won't like it if they knew.

I can't recommend this book enough. Although written from the point of view of a nine year old this is not a children's book. You will find yourself laughing as you read the thoughts that run through Bruno's head. But it is also very moving and sad. A great book!

"Avalon High" Meg Cabot

Elaine is having to move as her parents have been offered a place to work on their studies. Elaine is used to moving about but it doesn't make it any less irritating. Even knowing that they would have a pool doesn't make her feel any better. Then she meets William and she is smitten despite him belonging to someone else. But why does she feel as though she knows him? Why is she coming across so many references to King Arthur?

This wasn't what I expected. I think I was expecting a school of magic or something like that. I should really learn to read the blurbs properly! Anyway, it was still a fun read although obviously orientated towards teen girls. Definitely worth a read if you want something quick and entertaining.

"The Princess Diaries" Meg Cabot

Mia is a young girl living in New York with her artist mum. She is far from popular and doesn't really mind it so much. She loves her best friend and would love to date the school hunk, Josh. She also wants to save the planet and the worst thing to happen to her is that her mum is now dating her teacher. That and she is flunking algebra. Then her dad pays her a visit and becomes the worst thing that can happen to her. Due to illness he can no longer have children so she must rule Genovia after his death. Not only is Mia a princess but she has to have princess lessons. This is now the worst thing to happen to her and she can't tell anyone.

Another teen girl book but this one is really funny. I think that if you like Louise Rennison you will enjoy this. Lots of teen sarcasm and a does of 'I know more than my parents do'. A fun read. Also if you are a fan Meg Cabot has her own blog which is worth checking out.

I go back on my rota today. Which means that you will finally see the project I have been keeping so secret. It's not really that exciting. As I said before I really don't know why I felt the need to keep it secret.

Lili, I am glad you liked the idea. I know a lot of people who keep a list of books they have read like I do. I just wondered if others kept a similar notebook for crafts. I quite like pasting in photo's and examples of the materials used. Earlier you asked about my music and I forgot to answer it. It's still the same problem of not having time to myself. Everyone seems to have their days off at the same time as me now which means I haven't been able to get any practice in. I haven't given up on it though. My cooking on the other hand has taken a dive. I was really doing it for when the ex and I moved in together this year. He used to make fun of my inability to cook and I wanted to surprise him. I think I will go back to it but just don't feel inspired to just now.


Comments:
Keeping this project secret is known as a stimulus (or incentive) in litterature, isn't it? You're teasing us... and it works! I come back almost everyday (although not only for this project...).
I agree on your Agatha Christie review. There are other small stories she has written that were very frightening to me when I read them (about 20 years ago, oh my...)!
I liked your craft notebook idea so much that I have already started gathering information for it!
I'm sure you can be the best cook ever, it hasn't happened yet because your ex didn't deserve it!
Lots of hugs, and thanks a lot for the book reviews (although it feels frustrating from France, but I have started a list...)!
 
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