All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer is a book I’ve been hearing about for ages that everyone raves about. So when I saw it in a second-hand bookstore recently, I just had to grab it. My expectations were huge going in to read this book and I have to say that it mostly lived up to all the hype.
Set during World War II it tells the story of a young, blind French girl named Marie-Laure who must navigate war-torn France and all its dangers without being able to see them. Her father works at the Museum of Natural History in Paris and helps Marie-Laure find her way around by carving a replica of the city streets for her to memorise. Continue reading →
I have struggled for a few weeks to find a good book to get into. I kept starting books and then abandoning them. I don’t think it was the books at fault, just my own strange reading mood. Then I picked up Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and suddenly I was back into reading. I couldn’t put this book down until I had made it to the end.
Pachinko is a historical fiction saga that takes place over a few generations of a Korean family living in Japan. Starting in South Korea in 1911 in a fishing village in Yeongdo, it moves through to Osaka in Japan and the Second World War and finishes up in Tokyo in 1989. Continue reading →
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland is a gorgeous book inside and out. The cover is to die for and inside the book each chapter is named after a different wild flower and accompanied by a stunning illustration. Even if you never read this book, you’d want to own it based purely on its visual loveliness. So it’s good to know that it’s also a wonderful story.
This debut novel tells the story of Alice Hart, a young girl whose childhood is marred by a terrible tragedy that sees her mother, father and dog killed in a fire. Up until this point, Alice has grown up isolated on a property under the thumb of her abusive father. Alice is emotionally scarred by all that she has been through. Continue reading →
Until recently I wasn’t a huge Young Adult (YA) book fan. Don’t get me wrong, I still read books like The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight series but I mostly did this because the popularity of both of these series was too huge to ignore. Even my husband and my dad read and loved The Hunger Games. But I thought these books were an anomaly that transcended their intended audience. Gosh, what did I know?
I didn’t read YA books because as an adult I assumed these books were too juvenile for me. I didn’t even read books in this category when I was a teenager. At about age twelve I just jumped straight to reading all the adult books on my parents’ book shelves. Continue reading →
Why did I wait so long to read this wonderful book? I had seen The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah being raved about for years and for some reason I never read it. It was only when I visited my parents’ place and saw this book on their shelf that I finally decided to give it a go. Even then it sat in my to be read pile for ages, alone and unloved, until I picked it up recently and started reading. And then I couldn’t stop until I had read it all. Continue reading →
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is a book I wanted to read for a long time but never quite got around to reading. Then I heard about the movie coming out in a few months based on the book–and that was all the encouragement I needed to finally pick this up. I’m so glad that I did! It was FUN from start to finish and so enjoyable to read.
Like the title suggests, it’s a book about fabulously wealthy Asians. Most of the action takes place in Singapore and follows the lives of three very wealthy, interconnected families–the Youngs, the Shangs and the T’Siens. Into their lives comes Rachel Chu, a New York college professor who has no idea that her boyfriend of two years, Nick Young, is seriously wealthy and connected back home. Plus he is one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors and has a meddlesome mother who will do anything to stop Rachel and Nick becoming a permanent item. Nick invites Rachel to Singapore for the wedding of his best friend (in what will be the wedding of the year) and Rachel has no idea what she’s about to walk into. Continue reading →
Why do you like reading books? That’s a question I often get asked in a horrified tone by the non-bookish people in my life. People who never read, don’t understand why I do. I’ve long since given up trying to win them over to reading. In fact, I often turn the question back on them and ask ‘Well, why don’t you like reading?’ For me, reading is something I do as naturally as I breathe. I just have to read because I love it. But let me try to delve a little further into the ‘why’.
I love to read because I’m interested in the world and other cultures. I can learn so much about places I may never go from reading about them. Or I end up visiting these places because I’ve read so much about them. One of the reasons I went and lived in the UK for a year and a half was because of all the English literature I read.
Circe by Madeline Miller was a book that I gobbled up in a few days. I tried to pace myself but I just couldn’t. The magnificent writing, the story, the characters and settings all just flowed so beautifully and made this such a pleasant reading experience.
Without giving too much away, Circe tells the story of the nymph Circe (fancy that), daughter to the sun god, Helios. She is one of his many children and is considered ugly and weak-voiced compared to all the other gods. She is laughed at and ignored by her family, until the day she discovers an ability to transform gods and people using herb lore and witchcraft. Continue reading →