Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book review: Sister by Rosamund Lupton

Sister by Rosamund Lupton
(my own photo)
The bond between sisters is incredibly deep. I don't think that there is anyone else in the world who can get me to play as many games of Monopoly as my sister can.

Bee and Tess, the sisters in Rosamund Lupton's Sister appear to be total opposites. Bee is a nice person with a nice fiancee and a nice job and a nice life, all of which is...well...boring.  Tess is an rebellious, free-spirited art student.  However, when Tess is found dead, Bee sets out to prove that she was murdered, and to find the culprit.  Throughout this book, Lupton explores the bond between these two very different sisters.

I thought that this book was very well written, and that it is more reflective then the vast majority of crime novels.  There were many exciting twists and turns, and the plot was very detailed.

I thought that the ending was a little bit of a let down for me.  Lupton unleashes many surprises throughout the novel, and most of them were hair-raising.  However, I found that the twist at the end lacked credibility.

Chances of finding it in my imaginary bookstore: 80%

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Deserted Island Books

"Which five books would you bring with you if you were stuck on a deserted island?"

Seems like an innocuous question, but as every bookworm knows, it's anything but.

Five books? Only FIVE? Is that even legal?

But, if pressed, here is the answer I give:

How to Get Off a Deserted Island

by er... John Smith? (Some versions of this game state that the books can't help you survive on, or get off the island, so this wouldn't be allowed)

The Complete Works of Shakespeare

Yes, I am one of those people who reads Shakespeare in their spare time.  So far my favorite is Macbeth, but I think that they are all incredible.  Also, this book would have the advantage of being very long, which, let's face it, you would need if you were stuck on a deserted island.

The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

This is a book that I've wanted to read for a long time now, but I never seem to be able to.  Either I can't find it in the library or I'm really busy or I have an important deadline...
But there are no deadlines on deserted islands.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Need I explain?

Encyclopedia Britannica

When I was younger I used to read encyclopedias for fun; I literally wore out two encyclopedias by the time I was about eight.  I would like to try that again sometime, and I could also use this book to figure out which fruits, plants and berries would be safe to eat.

If you had to choose five books to bring with you to a deserted island, which books would you bring?

Book review: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
(my own photo)
It was late, the bookshop was closing, and I had to make a decision; would I buy Pyramids or The Five People You Meet in Heaven?  Even though I love Terry Pratchett, I'm glad I chose The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

This book is centered around Eddie, a war veteran who works in an amusement park.  After he dies, he goes to a version of the afterlife where he meets five different people, all of whom help him come to terms with his life and death.

The premise was really intriguing, and very well executed.

I thought that all of the characters were really well-written. They all had a great deal of depth, despite the fact that many of them appear only briefly.  I found the protagonist, Eddie, sympathetic and relatable.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a truly riveting read; I finished most of it in the course of one afternoon.

One could argue that the book contains a few coincidences that seem too improbable to be true, but I would argue that this is intentional.  Our lives are full of strange coincidences, whether we realize it or not, and all of our actions have a profound effect on others, many of whom we don't know.

Chances of finding it in my imaginary bookstore: 95%