Monday, 26 November 2012


So here's the thing. I think I suck at book clubs.

'Cause I either don't get around to reading the book everyone's reading, or I'm not in the mood for the book, or I've already read the book, or whatever. But I love books, and I really love you guys, so here's what my book club participation is gonna consist of:


Feel free to join me in this endeavor, or comment if you've read one of these books. You are also free to ignore all of these recommendations. I'm also on goodreads, and you're welcome to check out more book reviews there. Also, when it's my turn to pick a book, I'll let you guys just decide from among these posts.

So, here are a few recommendations I have from the last few months. (I was about to recommend Anna Karenina, but I'm only a third of the way through and that seems like breaking the rules. It's HECKA good though.) These are all YA reads.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
This book is told from the point of view of a girl whose boyfriend opened fire on their high school, using a list they created together of people they hated to target victims, before turning the gun on himself. She never had any intention of harm, but she now finds herself in the difficult position of being both a victim and an accomplice.

Purity by Jackson Pearce
I worried that this was going to be one of those cheesy "Christian questioning her desires for chastity" books, but it totally wasn't. Through a series of circumstances, 16-year-old Shelby decides to try to lose her virginity in the next 5 weeks before the "Princess Ball," where she's supposed to make a vow of chastity. She feels restricted by the idea, so she figures that if she has sex BEFORE the ball, she won't have any purity to pledge and the vow is void. But things are more complicated than she thought, and she has a series of misadventures, including buying condoms from a pharmacist who looks like her grandfather and trying to seduce a guy who looks like Jesus. A beautiful coming of age story about identity, love, selflessness, and what it truly means to keep a promise.

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell
I was so enchanted by this book that I immediately ordered it on Amazon after reading the library's copy.  I almost always judge books by their covers, and this one lived up to its fantastic cover design. I love this book so much I'm going to buy it. A great story about letting go and living in the moment, told by a narrator I recognized as, well, a lot of myself. The author herself has lived a life of travel and adventure, and reports that at least half of the things that happen to Vassar in the book happened to her at one point or another (including being held hostage in the jungle of Laos). The truth is always stranger than fiction, they say, but this fiction is delightful enough for me.

Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green
If you can find this book on tape (or cd...or...mp3 file--man I gotta get with the times), LISTEN to it. The actor who reads it is phenomenal. John Green is a master, and all of his books are wonderful. In this one, the themes of identity and truth and fear are true to life and confusing and beautiful. **NOTE: Homosexuality is a major theme in this book, and while none of it is explicit, it IS talked about. There's also a lot of language in this book. If you're uncomfortable with either of those things, you may want to skip it.**

Happy reading!  

Friday, 2 November 2012

Finally my turn! (November)

Hello fellow bookclubbers! My name is Esther, and it is my turn to suggest a book.
This summer I got a kindle for my birthday, and as a result I've been reading much more than I used to. I have read some great books, but I've narrowed it down to 3 to choose from. If there isn't a clear winner in a few days then I will pick my favourite.

The first book that I present to you is "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. I picked this up in holiday this summer and I really resented having to put it down! This is Amazon's summary;
Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver...

There's Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son's tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared.

Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they'd be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell..."

This isn't a topic that I ever thought would appeal to me, but it was told so well that I got sucked in. I loved all the characters and really wanted to know what would happen. It was one of those books that I never wanted to end. It was also a real eye opener, I couldn't believe that it was set in the 60s! The only downside to this book is that it is quite long, but if you can find the time, you wont be sorry. Oh, and I have seen the film since then, and as usual the book is much better. The film was good, but there is only so much that you can fit in, and anything cut out of the book would be a shame.

This summer I especially made an effort to read some of the classics, in an atempt to feel intelligent, and to be better at quizes! So, when my husband downloaded "Around the world in 80 days" by Jules Verne, I thought that I would give it a go. I was very pleasantly surprised. Again, I really liked the characters, and the book wasn't full of boring descriptions like I feared.I especially enjoyed the chapter in Utah :) The best thing about this book though was the ending. Ever though the story is really old, I hardly knew anything about it, and was still surprised at the end! So if you want a classic read, with a really cool story, this is the one!

The third choice is also along the classic lines. The summer I finished reading all of Jane Austin's novels for the first time, and I was in mourning that I would never read one of them for the first time again. I decided to branch out and read "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte. I found it to be a lot more sombre than Austin's work, but still very well written and I was invested in the characters. I think that this is a book that should definitely be read in a person's life time. I also think that it is one of the most romantic stories ever, and I love how doing the right thing and being brave really pays off  in the end. It would have been so easy for Jane to take the easy way out, and , well, I don't want to spoil it if you haven't read it already! I will just say that it was a very satisfying read.

So, it's up to you, although ..I strongly recommend all 3!