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
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.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah was an amazing read. At first I had trouble getting into it (not the book’s fault), but then the story suddenly latched onto me and sent me on an entertaining and emotional ride. I am very rarely reduced to tears when I read, but this book had me wiping away tears on public transport and having to hide behind my sunglasses. Be careful reading parts of this book in public!
The story is told from the point-of-view of Lenora (Leni) Allbright, who we first meet at thirteen-years-old. She is the only child to a beautiful, fragile mother and a damaged father. Her dad was a POW during the Vietnam war and returned a changed man, prone to outbursts. But her parents love each other intensely. Continue reading
Attachments is the third book I’ve read from author Rainbow Rowell and it just might be my favourite so far. While Fangirl and Eleanor & Park were written for a YA audience, this book is aimed more at adults. I loved the premise for this story. It was quirky, original and read like a chick lit book from a male perspective.
Attachments is set in a newspaper office in 1999, a time when the millennium was fast approaching and hysteria about the y2k bug was everywhere. Lincoln is a twenty-something IT guy who works the evening shift at the newspaper and his job is mostly monitoring staff emails and issuing warnings if there’s any inappropriate content. It’s in this capacity that he starts reading email exchanges between two female colleagues (Beth and Jennifer) who work at the newspaper during the day, as their emails keep being flagged by the security system due to inappropriate content.
I’ve been a big fan of author Jojo Moyes ever since stumbling across Me Before You years ago. This was before the movie and before a lot of the huge hype. Me Before You first introduces the loveable Louisa Clark, wearer of quirky vintage clothes and bumblebee yellow and black striped stockings. In this first book she becomes a carer to Will Traynor, a complicated man not coping very well with life as a quadriplegic and they both change each other’s lives. If you haven’t read this first book, definitely give it a go. I don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t read it.
I loved Me Before You, even though it smashed my heart to pieces, and was quite happy for it to be a stand-alone book. But then Jojo Moyes released a sequel called After You. Although I devoured this book it didn’t have quite the same feel as book one. Louisa was far from the happy, positive young woman and with a major character missing in this book, it was a bit of an adjustment. But I liked it well enough in the end.
Which brings me to the newly released third book in the series, Still Me. I rushed out to get this because Continue reading
I started 2018 reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I had heard great things about this book so was very happy to get this as a Christmas gift from my husband. I am on a great reading roll at the moment and this makes the third book in a row that I have devoured.
At first I thought this was going to be a hard book to get into, but I dived into this without any effort and was sustained by a cast of interesting characters and a riveting plot that delved into the lives of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots,’ the conformers and the free spirits.
Set during the time of Clinton’s presidency in Shaker Heights, Cleveland, a meticulously planned town, it follows the lives of the golden Richardson family consisting of two parents and four teenagers. Into their lives comes Mia Warren and her teenager daughter, Pearl, who rent a house from the Richardsons.
Mia is a struggling artist who moves from place to place and doesn’t like to be tied down. She has a mysterious past and I was pleasantly surprised when the story of her past was revealed. She is the opposite of Mrs Elena Richardson who was born and bred in Shaker Heights and likes everyone and everything to be in its place.
Little Fires Everywhere is a story about teenagers, mothers, families, parenting, art, race, class, creativity and love, told from many perspectives. There’s also a court case woven into the story that will have you debating both sides as an affluent couple who can’t have a child of their own adopt an abandoned Chinese baby, only to have the birth mother come into their lives after a year and want her baby back. I couldn’t help but cheer at the outcome of this part of the plot, even though I felt for the other side.
I’ve never read any books by Celeste Ng before but I definitely will in the future. I can see why this book was the 2017 Winner of Best Fiction in the goodreads choice awards. If you haven’t already read it and you like quality fiction, give this a read.
Verdict: An absolutely compelling book worth a read.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is the second book in a row I’ve read with a protagonist named Eleanor (the other one was Eleanor & Park). And it was another book which I sped read over a couple of days.
Set in Glasgow, the story is told from the point-of-view of Eleanor Oliphant. She is a 30 year old loner who lives by herself, works in a boring office job and sticks to a routine which sees her wear the same clothes every day and eat the same food. She thinks and behaves very differently from the social norm and is often perplexed by the people around her. A series of events happen which disrupts Eleanor’s ordered life and lets in other people, new experiences and dark memories from her childhood which she had been trying to suppress.
I haven’t encountered a character like Eleanor before. The way she thinks and acts throughout the book had me laughing, cringing and pitying her. I also cheered her on as she opened up more to people and life. People can be cruel to someone who marches to the beat of their own drum and at times this makes for squirmy reading. I wanted to pummel her bullies and at the same time shake her for being so clueless. That’s the measure of a good book when you get so invested in a character.