Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe

It took me a while to get into this book, mostly because of the style of writing and the language used. However, once I had got used to the lack of speech marks and the odd way the protagonist narrates the story, I found the book hard to put down.

The memoirs of the notorious Moll Flanders look back on her colourful life.  The full title is The History and Misfortunes of The Famous Moll Flanders, which I think is a much more interesting title and very accurate.

Moll is an fascinating character who I can’t help feeling sorry for. She is not a bad person, just unlucky. Her childhood is a hard one, but not unhappy. Being born in the London prison of Newgate to a criminal mother, she is taken in by a caring woman who teaches children in similar situations. When she is old enough, she is lucky enough to work in the household of a kind family. But as she grows more attractive and womanly, her luck begins to run out. Continue reading

Top 5 Desert Island Books

I have been listening to a lot of BBC’s Desert Islands Discs recently as I have found that the website has years of episodes archived. If you are interested, have a listen . It must be really difficult to choose only eight songs to have on a Desert Island, but imagine how difficult it would be to choose only 5 books! According to the BBC’s rules, each castaway automatically gets a Bible and the full works of Shakespeare. Along with these, I would choose…

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Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

I have mixed feeling about this book. On the one hand, I found the descriptions of life in the trenches in the First World War powerful and thought provoking, but what lets Birdsong down for me, is the weak romantic storyline that continues throughout.

The opening chapters set the scene in a small town in France, where a young English man, Stephen Wraysford has come to learn more about his trade in textiles. He stays in the the grand family home of the Azaires. Here he embarks on a love affair which will change the course of his life. There are some suggestive scenes with forbidden glances and hasty fumblings and also a couple of steamy sex scenes put in for good measure. As I read these parts, it didn’t feel realistic, and it almost felt as though these passionate encounters were only added to sell more copies. Continue reading

Top 5 Books That Inspired You To Read As A Child

As a child, I remember hours of car journeys with my dad playing a certain game called Top 5 Favourite. It was more interesting than Eye Spy and more exciting as I really believed my dad had made it up. It’s only in the past few years that he has admitted that he stole the idea from Nick Hornby‘s High Fidelity. However, I still love to play this game on long car journeys.

Recently, someone asked me why I loved to read so much and how they could get there child to love reading. I thought about it and came up with my Top 5 Book That Inspired Me To Read As A Child. Continue reading

In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

After reading Breakfast At Tiffany’s and not enjoying it half as much as the film, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and give Truman Capote another shot with In Cold Blood. The synopsis sounded promising, and I was not disappointed!

It is based on the true murders of four members of the Clutter family in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. However, it’s not the murders themselves that make this book such a good read. It’s the aftermath; how the town dealt with it, the police investigations and of course, the story of the killers. Whereas in most books, the reader is usually kept guessing about the killer’s identity, In Cold Blood has them as main characters from the first few pages. Continue reading