Wow October was a busy month. I’ve been super hectic with studying and work and have had family visiting too. To make up for being quieter than usual I’m running a giveaway to win Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella! See the Gleam mechanism at the end of the blog to enter :).
I’m a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella (author of the Shopaholic series, among many other books) and this is her first young adult novel.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.
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
So the Goodreads tag is a super old tag that has been around for years. But this week I reached my Goodreads book challenge target for 2016! I’ve never actually reached my target before, let alone a few months early! So to celebrate I thought I’d do my first book tag…
What was the last book you marked as read?
So this seems to be book ‘2.5’ in the series – set between the second book and the last book, ‘Mad About the Boy’. Whatever, I love Bridget and would probably love any Bridget-related book. This was the perfect read for me at the moment because it was so easy to read and very short.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve just started reading The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church which is my last book for review this month, and which I am super excited about. Continue Reading
Over the last few weeks, the dreading ‘reading slump’ happened to me. Having taken a couple of months off working due to family reasons, I managed to get through 20+ books in that time. Then a few weeks ago I started a new job and started studying part-time and boof… any motivation I had to read disappeared.
As any book lover knows, going through a reading slump is painful. There’s nothing better after a hard day than cuddling up with a good book. So when tiredness mixed with having other responsibilities means you just stop reading altogether, it really sucks!
Here’s how I’m managing to get out of my reading slump: Continue Reading
I’ve written a guest post over at Arctic Books about my favourite Booktubers, thanks to the lovely Alice. I’m also giving away a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – open internationally! GO GO GO!
Read my blog post and enter my competition here.
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.
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
The Muse is honestly one of the most beautiful books I own. I’m feeling generous so I’m giving you the chance to win a hardback copy! All you need to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the below tweet! Continue Reading
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.
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.