My Bookish Highlights from 2017

It seems like only a minute ago that I was writing up my 2016 end of year post! 2017 has been a reasonably eventful year for me. I started a new job, turned 30, and got married. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the Czech Republic a bit better, travelling further afield than my local hangouts in Prague, which means I’ve done quite a lot of reading on trains and buses!

Most importantly, I’ve read some really fantastic books, even if I haven’t managed to review them all. Here are just a few of my favourites in no particular order: Continue reading

Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood

When I saw this in the Oxfam bookshop at only £2.49, I simply had to grab it before someone else did! I was told by a fellow volunteer that Alias Grace was ‘the most accessible Atwood book’. Not that I was worried – I’ve never had a problem getting stuck into one of her books before, in fact it’s always been the opposite. So, I was quite confused with how long it took me to start enjoying this book. Was it me? Alias Grace has all the ingredients for an unputdownable, thrilling read – a real life, infamous Canadian murder, a woman incarcerated for years, while her supposed paramour is hanged – so why was I finding it so hard to get into? Continue reading

Top 5 – Books Awards 2011

I started Bundleofbooks in April, so it’s not quite a year of reading – but oh! what books I have read in the last nine months! I have re-read old favourites such as Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn and Rebecca and discovered some incredible authors; Margaret Atwood and Isabel Allende. I’ve finally got around to reading books that have been on my To Read list for years; Brick Lane, Naples ’44 and Sense and Sensibility. I’ve had a giggle with Bill Bryson and Douglas Adams and suffered moments of depression with Cormac McCarthy and Graham Greene.

Through all the delights, tears, fears, laughs and yawns I have had a wonderful year of reading! So without further ado, I would like to welcome you to the Book Awards – 2011 where I have chosen the best (and worst) books from my 2011 reading list!

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The Guardian Review Book of Short Stories – Various Authors

Last month was The Guardian Book Season – A very exciting thing for bookworms all over Britain and beyond. It included a huge book swap, which book lovers across the UK got involved in, leaving their used books on park benches, at bus stops and in coffee shops. A @GdnBookSwap Twitter account was opened and photos of dropped and found books popped up everywhere.

Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to find a book, but I did leave a couple of my own lying around for others, wanting to spread the joy of reading. It is lovely to celebrate something as important as reading and to get people involved in sharing their favourite books. Hopefully it also encouraged people, who wouldn’t normally, to pick up a book and start to read. Continue reading

Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood

Well Atwood has certainly done it again. While reading this book, I was transported to another world – a future world where mankind has gone too far and experimented one too many times with technology and genetics to a devastating result.

This new world is empty and cruel. The sun is harsh and the creatures have become wild and dangerous. The creatures are strange hybrids, spliced together to make odd cross breeds, my favourite being the rakunks, a cross between a raccoon and a skunk – but without the smell, making them perfect pets. There are also spoat/giders, wolvogs and pigoons. Continue reading

The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

Not often do I read a book that takes my breath away. Margaret Atwood has managed to do that twice. First with The Handmaid’s Tale, an absolutely brilliant and imaginative book, and now with The Blind Assassin. Every moment of reading, felt like a luxury, like eating a very rich and creamy dessert. Atwood writes beautifully and has some very inventive descriptions. It’s rare to want to read a sentence for a second time, not because you didn’t understand it, but because you want to savour every word.

The story is of two sisters, Iris and Laura Chase. Iris is now an ‘older woman’ looking back on her life and all the events leading up to her sister’s death at the young age of twenty three. We learn in the very first page that Laura drove a car off a bridge and immediately our interest has been grabbed. Why did she do it? Continue reading