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Reviews
October 22nd, 2016

REVIEW – The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

the atomic weight of love

The Atomic Weight of Love follows Meridian, an intelligent and brilliant young woman, from the age of seventeen when she’s starting university in 1941, to the present day when she’s in her eighties.

While at university she falls in love with an older man, Alden, an intelligent but mysterious professor. They end up getting married and she follows him to Los Alamos where he’s working on a secret project (which we later find out is the atomic bomb). For him she gives up her hopes of studying for a PhD and of furthering her career in ornithology (the study of birds).

We follow our main character through the decades as she makes and loses friends, falls into temptation with a younger man and deals with the changing roles and increasing power of being a woman.

This novel is many things – it definitely has a feminist slant as Meridian promotes this throughout her story. At the end of the book we learn what she is up to in her later years and it really is fantastic.

It’s also a very erotic novel in parts, as we’re with her as she discovers the power and freedom of sex and truly explores it for the first time. Continue Reading

Reviews
September 30th, 2016

REVIEW – The Illuminati by Robert Howells

illuminati

Sometimes there’s nothing better to read than a new Illuminati and conspiracy-related book!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This book demonstrates that the old secret societies were driven by the same impulse as Anonymous and WikiLeaks are today. These marginalized groups have always rebelled against the establishments; some subversively by spreading progressive ideas through art and literature, while others are far more proactive, driving revolution and exposing government secrets. The Illuminati, founded in 1776, aimed to rid Europe of the ruling aristocracy and religious control of education, politics and science. They supported the Age of Enlightenment and were accused of fueling the dissent that culminated in the French Revolution.

Since that time the term Illuminati has become a meme, giving a name to a secret network believed by conspiracy theorists to control the world. These were depicted as pranksters, working in the shadows to manipulate society. It was in this climate of pranks, memes and conspiracy theories that the hacktivist collective Anonymous were born. Their ideals of freedom from censorship and the empowering of societies against their rulers make them the spiritual successors of the Illuminati.

The kindling of the French Revolution by the Illuminati has found a modern counterpart in how Anonymous and WikiLeaks played a key role in the Arab Spring uprisings using the internet as a new weapon against dictatorships. It is the same battle fought by secret societies for a millennium but the new inquisition has shifted its focus from secret societies to wage a war on the connected communities of the internet age. This is the story of that war and how you need to be a part of it.

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Reviews
September 5th, 2016

REVIEW – Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

I found Homo Deus to be quite an odd book and not quite what I was expecting. Nevertheless I really enjoyed it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. Continue Reading

Reviews
August 22nd, 2016

REVIEW – A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

keith_stuart_a_boy_made_of_blocks

This book was just delightful. A Boy Made of Blocks follows Alex and his son Sam, who has autism, as their relationship develops through their shared love of Minecraft.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the tradition of Nick Hornby and David Nicholls comes a warm and tender novel in which a father and his autistic son connect over the game of Minecraft.

Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy.

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Reviews
August 19th, 2016

REVIEW – The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old

Already a hit in its homeland of The Netherlands, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, is the tale of a delightful old man and his friends. I find it intriguing that we don’t know who the author actually is – all we know is that he is working on another diary. Although the book is published as fiction, I like to think that Henrik is really out there, carrying on his adventures with his friends in the brilliantly named Old But Not Dead Club.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

‘Another year and I still don’t like old people. Me? I am 83 years old.’

Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn’t planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he had to visit his doctor more than he’d like. Technically speaking he is … elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?

Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs – not least his new endeavour the anarchic Old-But-Not Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in – the woman Hendrik has always longed for – he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what’s left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.

The indomitable Hendrik Groen – Holland’s unlikeliest hero – has become a cultural phenomenon in his native Netherlands and now he and his famously anonymous creator are conquering the globe. A major Dutch bestseller, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen will not only delight older readers with its wit and relevance, but will charm and inspire those who have years to go before their own expiry date.

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Reviews
August 10th, 2016

REVIEW – Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Watching Edie

Watching Edie is a fast-paced, intriguing psychological thriller. I’d already heard great things about it so jumped at the opportunity to review it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Beautiful, creative, a little wild… Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then—but it didn’t take long for her to learn that things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.

Now, at thirty-three, Edie is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. And when she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to…

But someone’s been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. So much has passed between them—so much envy, longing, and betrayal. And Edie’s about to learn a new lesson: those who have hurt us deeply—or who we have hurt—never let us go, not entirely…

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Reviews
August 1st, 2016

REVIEW – The Fire Child by SK Tremayne

The Fire Child

As a huge Fan of SK Tremayne’s The Ice Twins, I jumped at the chance to review his new book: The Fire Child.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.

But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?

As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:

‘You will be dead by Christmas.’

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Reviews, Round ups, Zoella Book Club
July 28th, 2016

Zoella Book Club Review – Part 1!

zoellabookclub review
zoellabookclub review

Weirdly I’m not a huge fan of her channel but as soon as I heard Zoella was bringing out a book club I couldn’t resist buying the full set. I think I just bloody love book clubs. And it’s excuse to buy a ton more books (I have a problem).

I am a fan of Zoella herself though. We’re the same age (she’s a week older than me) and I admire the huge empire she’s built in the last few years.

Instead of writing individual reviews I thought I’d do a round up of the Zoella Book Club books I’ve read so far. It was originally going to be a halfway review but I’ve since read another… so here’s a 5/8 book round up! Continue Reading

Reviews
July 25th, 2016

REVIEW – Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

I have to say, I think Under Rose-Tainted Skies is the first book I’ve had where I found myself constantly turning the corners of pages over because there were just so many beautiful quotes I wanted to save. At first I worried it would be very similar to Everything, Everything as the concept is similar – girl can’t leave her house but then meets a boy and her life changes. But they really are very different books.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.

Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.

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Reviews
July 14th, 2016

REVIEW – Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh

Fermat's Last Theorem book review

Originally published in 1997, Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh has been on my TBR list for a while. I picked it up last week while visiting a glorious second hand bookshop in Edinburgh (thank you Armchair Books!).

I love a good popular science book and this is probably the first ‘popular maths’ book I’ve read. It’s absolutely accessible for readers with little or no mathematical knowledge – there’s a reason this book hit the bestseller list when it was released.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, …no solution

“I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.”

With these words, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future generations. What came to be known as Fermat’s Last Theorem looked simple; proving it, however, became the Holy Grail of mathematics, baffling its finest minds for more than 350 years. In Fermat’s Enigma–based on the author’s award-winning documentary film, which aired on PBS’s “Nova”–Simon Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit of that grail, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it. Here is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery that will forever change your feelings about mathematics.

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