Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Snippet

It has not been a good reading week. In fact, it hasn't been a particularly good week in general, as I've been ill with a double ear infection. The good news is, that I'm now on antibiotics and I'm slowly getting better. That means, that I'm more in the right frame of mind, for reading!

Some of you may have noticed that for a while on the 'Currently Reading' section of the blog, it said that I was reading Jackie Collin's novel 'Goddess Of Vengeance'. Then it suddenly changed to 'The Book Of Ebenezer Le Page' by G.B Edwards. The reason being is that I found 'Goddess Of Vengeance' to be so bad, that it wasn't even the sort of book that's so bad, that it's worth reading! It was so full of clich├ęs and disjointed back tracking, that I had to put 'Goddess Of Vengeance' down. Lots of people love Jackie Collin's novels, after all, she has written numerous of novels which have reached the top of many bestseller lists, but I have decided that her books are not my cup of tea.

So far, I haven't read more than a chapter of G.B Edwards' novel 'The Book Of Ebenezer Le Page', so I haven't had the chance to form an opinion on it. However if you have read this novel, I would love to hear what you think about this book.

Here's a 'snippet':

Page 30- 'I can see the old schoolroom: the broken-down desks and the worn-out forms with knots in that got stuck in your backside and the picture of the old Queen on the wall and of Jesus Christ walking on the water and the jam-jar of tadpoles on the windowsill.'

Whatever you're up to this weekend, have a great time.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Word Of The Week

floccinaucinihilipilification- The estimation of something as valueless.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

'Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone' by J.K Rowling

Publisher: Bloomsbury

ISBN: 0-7475-3269-9

Length: 223 Pages

What the 'blurb' says:

'Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy- until he is rescued by a beetle-eyed giant of a man, enrols at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The reason.....Harry Potter is a wizard!'

Opening Line: 'Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.'

What's good about this novel?

J.K Rowling's story of Harry Potter is engaging from the first page. The characters are well formed and believable, even though the circumstances that Harry finds himself are extra-ordinary.

The plot is fast paced and is crammed with action. I found that I had difficulty putting the book down. Rowling manages to fit a lot of detail into the environment she is describing, without bogging the reader down with a lot of detail.

What's wrong with this novel?

In some ways, I feel that the simplicity of this first novel, might put older readers off, from continuing with the series. However, for the age that 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' is aimed at (about 9-10), it's a very enjoyable read.

Is this worth a read?

Being a fan of the 'Harry Potter' series, I think that the later books are better written and more mature than 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'. However, if you're an young adult/adult who is debating whether or not to read this world famous series of novels, then I would say give it a try. 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' isn't the best installment of the Potter books, but it's a fun, imaginative introduction to Harry Potter's world.

Monday, July 25, 2011

'School Stories' by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Publisher: Parragon Books

ISBN: 0-7525-0912-8

Length: 384 pages

What the 'blurb' says:

'The School at the Chalet'- Madge Bettany's plan to start a school in the mountains of the Austrain Tyrol is very exciting for her younger sister Joey, for she will be the first pupil. Joey knows- that all sorts of new adventures are in store for her, but even she can'r guess at the wonderful future that lies ahead for the Chalet School.'

'Jo of the Chalet School'- The Chalet School now boasts over thirty pupils- including the enchanting Robin. The autumn term sees adventures of all kinds- a flood that threatens the school and the dramatic rescue of an unwanted St Bernard puppy- and ends with happiness of a very special kind for Madame Bettany.'

Opening Line: "If only I knew what to do with you girls!" said Dick in worried tones.'

What's good about this novel?

Not being a fan of children's novelists such as Enid Blyton, I had trepidations about whether or not I was going to enjoy this book.

However, this 2 book novel is utterly charming, without being too over sentimental. The characters are likeable and the plot was mature enough to keep my attention.
Even though this is for children, Elinor M. Brent- Dyer does not patronise her audience. In fact most of the time, this novel read as if it were for a young adult/adult audience.

This book not only takes the reader back to a time of a more innocent, simplier child hood, but also transports you to a different culture and landscape. The descriptions of the countryside and mountains within this novel are beautiful.

What's wrong with this novel?

'School Stories' is a novel of a different time, so occasionally I found the word order of some of the sentences to be slightly strange. However, I think that in some ways, this added to the novel's charm.

Is this worth a read?

If you want to read something light and fun, then this book may be for you. It's not quite as sickly sweet as Enid Blyton, but still has a sense of adventure about it. So if you are/were never a fan of Enid Blyton, you may enjoy this.

Have you ever read the 'Chalet School' books? Or do you prefer Enid Blyton?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Snippet

At the moment, I've abandoned 'The Goddess Of Vengeance' by Jackie Collins, as shown on here that I'm currently reading and decided to re-read the 'Harry Potter' series, beginning with 'Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone'. Here's a 'snippet':

Page 115 - 'There was a very good chance they were going to get caught by Filch or Mrs Norris, and Harry felt that he was pushing his luck, breaking another school rule today. On the other hand, Malfoy's sneering face kept looming up out of the darkness- this was his big chance to beat Malfoy, face to face. He couldn't miss it.'

'Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone' by J.K Rowling.

Whatever you're doing, enjoy the rest of the weekend. I have been busy taking loads of photos of the 'Moors and Christian's' festival, that has taken place in my town over the last few days. Look out for some of the photos on the next few 'Wordless Wednesday's'.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Word Of The Week

Slugabed - A person who remains in bed through laziness.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

'Sunday Snippet'

With the onset of summer, I thought that I would more time to read. However, it seems like I have no time at all!

So far this week, I've been out for coffee, gone to the cinema (to see 'Bad Teacher' which isn't a bad film), had a couple of nights out and then yesterday, I spent most of the day at a pool party. So you can imagine, I have been too tired to pick up a book.

Next week will also be busy (I'm off to see 'Harry Potter and The Deathly Part 2' on Wednesday yay!), but I'm hoping that I can finish 'School Stories' by Elinor M.Brent-Dyer, because it is such a charming book. Here's a 'snippet':

Page 241- 'Gisela and Bernhilda went over to Le Petit Chalet; Juliet and Grizel tackled the dormitories, and the others hunted all over the lower part of the house. They dived into the stationary cupboard; they looked behind the book-lockers; they moved all the desks- though how they thought even Robin, much less Joey, could have hidden in them was beyond anyone with any common-sense!'

On the 'Sunday Snippet' I always talk about what I'm doing over the weekend, but what about you?- What have you been doing this weekend?

Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Word Of The Week

Dumbledore- An 18th century word, originating from the dialect of South-West of England, meaning 'bumblebee'.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Snippet

It has been a bit of a slow reading week for me. I had meant read more of 'School Stories' by Elinor M.Brent-Dyer, but the time has run away with me. In fact, it seems like the whole year is running at warp speed! Is it the same for you?

Here's the snippet:

Page 42- 'The flowers in the Tyrol are wonderful, and now, in mid-May, the place was a veritable fairyland.'

'School Stories' by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Whatever you're doing, as usual, enjoy what's left of the weekend. Today is going to be a quiet one for me, so I hope to get some more reading done.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Word Of the Week

Graphophobia- A fear of writing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

'Pillars Of The Earth' by Ken Follett- Review

Publisher: Pan Books

ISBN: 978-0-330-45013-3

Length: 1076 pages

What the blurb says:

'Set in the turbulent times of twelfth-century England when civil war, famine, religious strife and battles over royal succession tore lives and families apart, 'The Pillars of the Earth' tells the story of the building of a magnificent cathedral.

Against this richly imagined backdrop, filled with intrigue and treachery, Ken Follett draws the reader irresistibly into a wonderful epic of family drama, violent conflict and unswerving ambition. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, the dreams, labours and loves of his characters come vividly to life. 'The Pillars of the Earth' is, without doubt, a masterpiece- and has proved to be one of the most popular books of our time.'

Opening Line: 'The small boys came early for the hanging.'

What's good about this novel?

Sometimes when you read the 'blurb' of a novel, the hype never quite matches the contents of the pages inside. However with 'The Pillars of the Earth', I think that this did.

The characters are fantastically constructed. They were believable, engaging and even though there are numerous characters within this novel, I felt that Follett paid equal amount of attention, to ensuring that all of his characters were formed fully.

What I particularly liked about the characters, was that Follett does not just divide them into 'good' and 'bad'. He writes in a way that shows the multi-facated and sometimes grisly, nature of the human race.

For example, the character Prior Phillip is not only a religious, good natured man, but he is also driven by ambition and has a slightly calculating nature, even though his actions were for the good of his people. I found William to be the most interesting because he was the most complex. In essence, he's pure evil, but Follett explores weakness and fear with this character too.

The story line is brilliant too. Previous to reading any of Ken Follett's novels, the only other author which I have felt could successfully use a multi-layered plot has been Kate Atkinson. Ken Follett, in my opinion, takes it to another level. Not only can he handle a numerous amount of characters within 'The Pillars of The Earth' without confusing his audience, but he writes the story in a way to make the different stories within the novel, seamless, but still providing many twists in the plot. At no point during this novel, was I ever able to predict what was going to happen and I was carried along on a very enjoyable journey.

What's wrong with this novel?

Even though I know that this added to the authenticity of the novel, I found that the parts in which Ken Follett described the concept of architectural techniques and descriptions of the cathedral, to be a little tiresome. I'm not a reader that likes a lot of description, so I have to admit that a couple of times at the first portion of the novel, I skipped some of the building descriptions. I was pleased that, as I read the novel, the descriptions became less frequent and there was more action. I also don't know what to make of the last few pages of the novel.

I also found this novel slightly slow at the start and it took me a while to get into 'The Pillars of the Earth'. However, I'm so glad that I persisted with this novel, because it's brilliant.

Is this worth a read?

If you are a patient reader, then yes. Some of the scenes within this novel are quite graphic, so if you are easily offended, this book might not be for you. I do think that these scenes were necessary however.

'The Pillars of the Earth' is compelling, extremely well written and even though this is a mammoth read, it's definitely worth persisting with. It's one of the best books I have read.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

'Sunday Snippet'

After two months, I've finally read all 1076 pages of 'The Pillars Of The Earth' by Ken Follett! This may have been a mammoth task to undertake, but I think that reading this novel has been a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. I will post my thoughts on this novel sometime next week but for now, I want to talk about my latest read.

Since 'The Pillars Of The Earth' was such a heavy going book, I thought that I would read something fun and easy. The other day, I was discussing books with a friend and she mentioned that she had read 'The Chalet School' series of children's books by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. Being adverse to anything resembling the twee style of Enid Blyton (yes I know, I'm probably the only person to dislike Enid Blyton with a passion!), I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this. My friend assured me however, that 'School Stories' was worth a try. So far, I'm finding it interesting and amusing, because the language is so old fashioned, but this book is strangely mature for a children's book. I think that I am going to enjoy this.

Here's a snippet:

Page 8 - " Rather! Topping little place, right up in the mountains, 'bout an hour's train run from Innsbruck, wasn't it? You went up in a mountain railway from some rummy little town or other- I forgot its name!"

'School Stories' by Elinor M.Brent-Dyer.

Whatever you're doing, enjoy the rest of the weekend. I'm off out for lunch again this afternoon and the sky is looking rather cloudy. I'm hoping that we don't get caught out in a summer thunderstorm....

Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 1, 2011